Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 246

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan


43. sauryam tejo dhrtir daksyam
yuddhe ca ' py apalayanam
danam isvarabhavas ca
ksatram karma svabhavajam
(43) Heroism, vigour, steadiness, resourcefulness, not fleeing even in a battle, generosity and leadership, these are the duties of a Ksatriya born of his nature.
Though the Ksatriyas cannot claim to be spiritual leaders, they have the qualities which enable them to adapt spiritual truths to the requirements of action

44. krsigauraksyavanijyam
vaisyakarma svabhavajam
paricaryatmakath karma
sudrasya 'pi svabhavajam
(44) Agriculture, tending cattle and trade are the duties of a Vaisya born of his nature; work of the character of service is the duty of a Sudra born of his nature.
It ,is not a question of identical opportunities for all men to rise to the highest station in social life, for men differ in their powers, but a question of giving equal opportunities for all so that they may bring their respective gifts to fruition. Each one should have the opportunity of achieving his human fullness, the fruits of wisdom and virtue, according to his effort and condition It makes little difference whether we dig the earth or co business or govern a state or meditate in a cell. The varna rules recognize that different men contribute to the general good In different ways, by supplying directly urgent wants of which all are conscious and by being in their lives and work witnesses to truth and beauty. Society is a functional organization and all functions which are essential for the health of society are to be regarded as socially equal Individuals of varying capacities are bound together in a living organic social system. Democracy is not an attempt at uniformity which is impossible but at an integrated variety All men are not equal in their capacities but all men are equally necessary for society, and theii contributions from their different stations are of equal value.[1]

45. sve-sve karmany abhiratah
sarhsiddhirim labhate narah
svakarm aniratah siddhiin
yatha vindati tac chrnu
(45) Devoted each to his own duty man attains perfection How one, devoted to one's own duty, attains perfection, that do thou hear. svesve karmany abhiratah devoted each to his own duty. Each of us should be loyal at our level to our feelings and impulses; it is dangerous to attempt work beyond the level of our nature, our svabhava. Within the power of our nature, we must live up fully to our duty

46. yatah pravrttir bhutanam
yena sarvam idam tatam
svakarmand tam abhyarcya
siddhim vindati manavah
(46) He from whom all beings arise and by whom all this is pervaded—by worshipping Him through the performance of his own duty does man attain perfection.
Work is worship of the Supreme, man's homage to God. The Gita holds that quality and capacity are the basis of functional divisions. Accepting the theory of rebirth, it holds that a man's inborn nature is determined by his own past lives. All forms of perfection do not lie in the same direction. Each one aims at something beyond himself, at self-transcendence, whether he strives after personal perfection, or lives for art or works for one's fellows. See also XVIII, 48 and 6o.


References and Context

  1. Mr Gerald Heard in his book on Man the Master (1942) ernphasizes the need for a "quadritype organization of society." He writes. "It would seem then, that there have always been present in human community four types or strata of consciousness. We have already spoken of the first level These are the eyes or antennae, the emergent seers and sensitives. . Below the eyes are the hands, behind the forebrain are the motor centres The two mental classes below the seers, the upper and lower middle classes, the politician and the technician-it is to them that is mainly due our present crisis. The one by its great advances in administration, in social instruments, has made it possible for the monster states to exist—and so for their unresolved internal stresses to become more acute The other, by its even greater technical advances in plant, in power machinery, in material instruments has made our societies hypertrophies—organisms of unbalanced internal structure and mutually deadly. Besides the two middle classes already made unstable and disruptive by their becoming individualized, there remained the basic, unspecialized, unquestioning class or mass—the coherers. This class is not only capable of faith • it will not hold together, it will not live without it" (pp. 133-7). Mr. Heard reminds us that "the Aryan—Sanskrit sociological thought, which first defined and named this fourfold structure of society, is as much ours as India's" (p. 145).