Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 30 Mar 2021


When a soul's rebirth always depends on its deeds and qualities, should caste too not be decided by birth?

[An online spiritual discussion was conducted on March 27, 2021, in which several devotees participated. Some of the questions of devotees answered by Swāmi are given below.]

[Dr. Nikhil asked: The Śaṅkarācārya of Pūrī Pīṭham, Swāmi Niścalānandaji, has claimed that the caste into which a person is born it is the person’s actual caste. He opposes those who claim that caste by birth is invalid and that caste by qualities and deeds alone is valid. He says that such people are misleading the public for the sake of popularity and politics and are causing Hindu society to disintegrate...[Click to read detailed question→]

Swāmi replied: Even in the case mentioned by you, the caste is decided by the qualities possessed by the soul only and not by the birth. The birth may give certain specific qualities because the soul having such qualities only takes birth in the caste having the same qualities. OK. This is correct and I agree to this. But, there are some exceptional cases like Prahlāda born in the caste of demons. Are you deciding Prahlāda as demon by birth or by qualities? Hence, you shall not take the word “birth” in your argument. If I take the argument that caste is decided by the qualities of the soul, even all your 99% cases are included along with My 1% special cases also. Hence, My point covers all 100% cases. Your point covers only 99% cases. Which point is universal and correct covering all cases in the world? My point does not disturb your argument of 99% cases whereas your point disturbs My argument of 1% cases. You are 99% correct whereas I am 100% correct. All these funny arguments arise due to blind egoistic ignorance of stamping greatness through birth. Such intelligence is foolish and crooked. If you are getting your due fruit through My argument also, what is the harm done to you that disturbs you in this foolish way? “Caste is by qualities and deeds” is told by God Himself (Cāturvarṇyaṃ mayā sṛṣṭaṃ, guṇa karma vibhāgaśaḥ…- Gītā). God says that He followed this rule while creating the caste system. This also looks very much logical since it never fails in any case having 100% success in 100% cases. Rāvaṇa is a Brāhmaṇa. Will you support him as the real Brāhmaṇa? He could not recognise Rāma as God. A Brāhmaṇa must have the knowledge about God. Rāma and Kṛṣṇa are not Brāhmaṇas by birth. Kṛṣṇa belongs to backward caste (BC) as per the present norms. Is there a real Brāhmaṇa other than Kṛṣṇa? Keep your hand on your heart and say the truth realised by your brain and heart. All the Sages in the forest were Brāhmaṇas by birth. God Rāma did not give salvation to them. He gave the salvation to Śabarī belonging to scheduled tribe (ST). In Hinduism, the original Sages, the original scriptures have established this truth without any partiality or blind egoism and blind fanatic. The misinterpretations of caste system by birth are given by the middle-aged priests, who never gave importance to the knowledge of the Vedas and blindly recited the scriptures like the inert tape recorders. These priests (Pūrvamīmāṃsakas) have made all this havoc and weakened Hinduism by bringing splits, which lead several Hindus to convert their religion. Even the author of our constitution felt ashamed of such misinterpreted Hinduism and changed his religion to Buddhism! Is it not a shame on the part of our Hindu religion? Truth must be realised at one stage or other and shall be strictly followed expressing apologies for the past. That will bring real dignity of Hinduism and God will be pleased by such good behaviour. It is better to be late than never.

Nobody is rejecting his caste and joining other caste. Due to the above crooked interpretation, one is rejecting Hindu religion and is joining other religion in which such foolish caste system does not exist. Such person is losing the excellent spiritual concepts in Hinduism which are like the most precious diamonds. For the sake of just a superficial fault, one is leaving the innermost core merits. This is the real pain of My heart. I also agree that the balance of qualities (Karmaśeṣa, which is actually the Guṇaśeṣa because by the enjoyment of fruits in the upper worlds, the quantitative aspect of the qualities gets reduced and not the qualitative ratio of the qualities. Quantitative ratio is karmaśeṣa whereas qualitative ratio is the guṇaśeṣa.) called as Prārabdha gives the congenial atmosphere of rebirth in this world. Let it be so. Who opposed this argument?  A law student trained by his lawyer-parents passed the law examination in 1st class. Because his parents are lawyers, did we oppose the 1st class result of his examinations? Did we say that because he is the son of the lawyers, his result shall be withheld? What we say is that if the son of agriculturist-parents also gets 1st class in the same law examination, his 1st class result shall not be withheld because he is not the son of the lawyers. As per your argument, the result of the son of the lawyers alone shall be declared and the result of the son of agriculturists shall be withheld! Who is wrong between both of us? Don’t bring the reference of the parents of the students and declare the results simply based on the performance of the students in the examinations. By this, injustice is not done either to your argument or to My argument. Your argument is doing injustice to My argument.

We agree to your argument fully that a soul having predominant Sattvam is born in the family of Brāhmaṇas and souls having predominant Rajas and Tamas are born in other castes. But, My objection is that you should say that the soul is born in congenial atmosphere of such predominant qualities. Wherever such congenial atmosphere of promotion of Sattvam exists, such family is the family of Brāhmaṇas. Such family (in which this Sāttvik soul is born) shall be Brāhmaṇa family not by birth but by having such Sattvam promoting qualities. We agree fully with your concept provided you agree that such family (in which the corresponding soul is born) is decided as Brāhmaṇa family by its qualities and deeds and not by birth. If the parents of such family were real Brāhmaṇas having Sāttvik qualities and deeds and this family is not having such Sāttvik qualities and deeds, this family shall not be told as Brāhmaṇa but, shall be told as “Brahma-Bandhu (related to real Brāhmaṇas)”.

You are saying that 99% majority shall be taken for passing a rule. I am telling that the rule shall be passed when there is 100% majority. Why do you oppose 100% majority, which includes your 99% majority also? Why shall you stick to 99% majority neglecting 1% minority when the rule can be passed through 100% majority? When you are agreeing that caste is based on qualities and deeds, simply stick to that point by which your 99% majority is also benefited along with the other 1% minority. When you are sticking to 99% majority, you are clearly opposing the 1% minority. On one side you say that you are supporting caste system by qualities and deeds and on the other side, you are supporting the caste system by birth. Both these are contradicting aspects since your argument clearly covers 99% majority only and not the 1% minority. If your argument is correct, Kṛṣṇa should have told that the caste system is created by Him based on birth since such policy covers 99% majority. Then, He cannot be God since He neglects 1% minority. God is the divine Father of 100% humanity (Ahaṃ bījapradaḥ pitā - Gītā).

Your theory based on the concept of deciding caste based on birth applies in the following two cases:-

1) Son of lawyer parents failing in the law examination is still lawyer because his parents are lawyers and

2) Son of agriculturist parents passing in the law examination is not a lawyer because his parents are not lawyers.

This means that your argument that "caste by birth supported by caste by qualities and deeds" applies in the above two cases. But actually, it fails in the above two cases. In the above two cases only caste by birth applies and caste by qualities and deeds fails. You cannot have both the arguments amalgamated together. You shall take either of these two only. Our argument that "caste is by qualities and deeds" not only applies in the two special cases (which are that the first of the above two cases is not a lawyer and the second of the above two cases is a lawyer) but also applies in all your cases of caste by birth provided the caste by birth is certainly getting corresponding qualities and deeds as per your given argument. When all your cases pass through the test since all your cases have corresponding qualities and deeds, why are you worried about the birth unnecessarily? Our argument is straightly from the mouth of God Krishna in the Gītā. Your argument (caste by birth always is supported by caste by qualities and deeds) is not said by God. We are following God's words perfectly and you are violating God's words perfectly.