Can a lower caste attain Liberation? | Hari Vamsam-14
Most people wonder if caste or sect has anything to do with liberation or Moksha. There is none whatsoever. The Shastra says, birds, animals, plant, creepers, all living creatures have their goal as Liberation or Moksha. What to talk about castes, creed, and gender in the human race. This is a fact but might be indigestible for many people.
Let us take scriptural references to get rid of all doubts. The great bird, Jatayu, a vulture, attained Moksha when He had a vision of the Lord as he was about to leave his mortal coil. The great elephant, Gajendra in that very body, attained Moksha. There is no such distinction in the Vedic texts.
Many people criticized the great Avatar of Sheshanaga, Sri Ramanuja because he proclaimed that even Shudras, distinguished by their Gunas (qualities) and Varna (society of the Lord), are perfectly eligible for Moksha.
He was criticized by the scholars of those days. But he never uttered a word opposed to the teachings of Shastra. He just expressed and gave voice to the text of Shastra. He is known as the “Veda Marga Pratishtahapana Acharya” (वेद मार्ग प्रतिष्ठापनाचार्य), which meant a world teacher who has descended to the earthly plane to establish firmly the path of the Veda. Ramanuja can never utter a syllable which is not mentioned in the Vedas.
How should one strive for Moksha?
However, the Vedas have delineated different paths for different types of beings positioned at various levels of consciousness. A Brahmana cannot follow the path of the Shudra to attain Moksha. A Vaishya or a business class man cannot live the way he wants and expect liberation. Paths are strictly mentioned in the Vedas and based on time place and circumstance, people have to align their consciousness to that particular path and surrender gradually to the will of the Divine.
One cannot have one door for entry for all and expect people to follow one path program towards liberation. This shall be a catastrophe according to the Shastras. One becomes eligible for liberation by strictly following the mentioned path and then slowly dissolving the relationship with earthly engagements. Subsequently, one gets dedicated to the path of the Lord. One cannot expect a person born in the Shudra family, to follow the strict Brahminical processes to evolve. He should have an easier path, following which one becomes fully God-conscious.
Similarly, a Brahmana cannot waver from his path of Vedic teachings following and relinquishing all responsibilities that he is expected to perform by Shastra. He cannot simply think or imagine “I am now completely surrendered to the Lord.” He has to follow rituals according to His Dharma, as much as possible in line with the Brahminical way of living.
Why does Shastra reject inter-caste and inter-religion marriages?
One has to avoid mixing classes through marriages among various Varnas or getting married to a class which is beyond the scope of Varna and Ashrama.
Today, even dogs are expected to be of an original breed and people demand certificates of the dog’s ancestry. Buyers consider purity of behavior among their pet dogs and hence go for certified breed of dogs. Yet, in the name of liberalism, human beings of various consciousness cross the limits set by Shastra. People today, encourage mix culture, religions and Dharma. How can there be peace? Liberation is far-fetched. Yet there are a lot of provisions made by the Shastras for mixed classes.
Following it can steadily gallop towards liberation. This is the direct claim of the Shastra. Shastras lay certain broad guidelines as to how one has to conduct in society.
How are Shastras unbiased?
Depending on the structure of gender, there are some basic rules that are laid down for men. This may not necessarily match the rules laid out for women. Does this mean Shastra is biased? No, never. Shastra has a full view of billions of years ahead of time and has a perfect framework to handle all situations and races.
It is for man to get aligned with Shastra. One must abide by it as much as possible, given the restrictions of Kaliyuga and the leeway given by Shastra to man. When there are rules are exclusively designed to suit people of differing bodily structures, energy currents, body type, categories of human beings, consciousness levels, etc, man immediately blames Vedic Shastra. They call it biased, though they are gestures of concern.
If Shastra said “Man can attain liberation, but not women; Brahmana can attain Liberation but not Shudra”, then it has to be rejected right away, no question about it. The problem with the Shastra unfortunately is that it takes care of the temperament needs, bodily needs and other finer needs of every being and gives personalized solutions to attain liberation, in this very life. Shastras have assigned special practices for women.
Why are women not allowed to read the Vedas?
The Puranas were documented By Veda Vyasa exclusively for women to read and uplift their consciousness. On the other hand, the Vedas are meant for men. The scientific reason for this is that the Vedas contain strong mantra vibrations which can harm the sensitive parts of the woman’s body.
Shastra lays it as a rule that women should not read the Vedas just because they are concerned about them. How can man blame Shastra without an extremely scientific and logical eye, brushing it off, as discriminatory and prejudiced? This is the highest level of ignorance displayed by the so-called scientific-modern temper.
When one arrangement is made for a particular section of creation, others are also considered. The mediums are different, but that does not make it inferior or superior. This untold care, devoid of any expectation has caused modern man to envy it. We reject those things that are extremely caring towards us. This is our modern-day misfortune.
Story of the ignorant old woman and the Pontiff
An old woman once approached the chief pontiff of a famous Mutt and asked “Does the Lord even know what it means to be born as a woman and suffer? You say that the Lord is responsible for everything? What is the harm if man were to attain the status of the Lord? All problems will simply disappear, is it not Swami?” The spiritually advanced pontiff lost his cool right away.
He said “What is the quality and quantity of accountability you have shouldered in your so-called troubled life? You have suffered in ignorance and that is your virtue. Is it not? Shastra guided you. You wanted to get out of your tiny problems and so you came here and accepted the Lord. That’s all you did.
But, is it the same for the Lord, you stupid woman? He has the power to transform the whole universe with His will. Such is His power and the range of His accountability. He has the capacity to burn the Karma of every living being in the universe in the wink of an eye and can destroy the universe just by raising his eyebrow.
The Lord has documented the Shastra for every small insect on the planet. He expects you to just use some basic intelligence and follow some rules of Shastra. But, you underestimate the Supreme Being. You speak against the Shastra and try to form your own hallucinatory rules.
Are you not sensitive towards His sorrow, which He experiences when His own dear beings violate His code of conduct? How would a father feel when his son misbehaves consistently and questions the authority of his own parent?”
Parental affection of Bhagawan for living beings
The pontiff explains the plight of Bhagawan to the old woman. He continues. “A father feels dejected for a son when he misbehaves. The fact is that these two are in such a bound in such relationship only for this birth. If this is the plight of a temporary parent (for this life), what will that father feel who is eternally related to us feel as we go on misbehaving life after life?
Let alone that, we do not even recognize the presence of our eternal father, Ishwara, the Supreme Lord. He tries to guide us from time to time without trying to exhort His superiority. He stays with us patiently for endless lifetimes although we get tired with our own tiny life.
Can you imagine how patient the Lord must be? He says with us for every little step we take in life. Every decision of ours is managed by Him. But, in return we disobey our eternal father. His travails only He knows. Moreover, He has infinite children and He waits for every child to progress. Our bodily father has no connection at our innermost core. But, our spiritual father is waiting silently at the core of our heart. An eternal wait, He wishes to put an end by us joining Him.
How is Bhagawan attached to us?
Our bodily father never did anything to construct our body or has no control over our innate nature. Our spiritual father, Bhagawan, is aware of the deepest desire. He very well knows our innermost core. All solution to problems are His blessings alone as He tries to help us.
It is we who are deaf and blind. Can you imagine the troubles of our eternal father, who being all capable, considering our freedom, suffers patiently inside us? Brahman’s woes is infinite whereas our problems are fleeting, transitory and forgettable.
So it is better that we remain Dasa (दास servant of the Lord). Let Him remain as our master. Let us listen and pray to the Lord instead and become humble. The position of a lowly grass is the best. It is easier to be a son, than to be a father. Let us remain as the faithful son of the Lord. This is Sharanagati of the highest order.”
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