Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 20 May 2024


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Swami answers questions of Ms. Thrylokya

O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

1. Can it also be inferred that the father of Satyakaama must be a Brahmana by birth?

[Ms. Thrylokya asked:- Paadanamaskaaram Swami. Swami, You told that Goutama inferred Satyakaama Jaabaala to be a Brahmana because he told the bitter truth about his birth. This inference may be in another way also, which is that the father of Satyakaama must be a Brahmana by birth.]

Swami replied:- Even if Goutama came to know from the mother of Satyakaama that the father of the boy was a Brahmana by birth, Goutama will not decide Satyakaama to be a Brahmana without testing the quality of speaking truth. Had Satyakaama told a lie, Goutama would not have admitted him into his school simply based on his birth. Moreover, the second example of King Janashruti proves the actual concept of caste, which is that the caste is decided by qualities and deeds and not by birth. Sage Raikva knows very well that Janashruti was a Kshatriya. If the caste is fixed by birth, the sage cannot call him as Shudra. Because Janashruti is mentally worried about materialistic matters only, the sage called him as Shudra and this proves that the caste is based on qualities and deeds of a soul and not birth. The sage knows that Janashruti is a Kshatriya by birth. If the standard concept is that the caste is decided by birth only, the sage should call him as Kshatriya only. Caste by birth can be mentioned for the sake of the address of identity. But, the final decision of the caste is only by qualities and deeds. A soul may be born in the caste of Brahmanas and we say that the born soul is Brahma Bandhu (related to Brahmanas by birth) or Janma Brahmana (he is a Brahmana by birth only). If his qualities belong to a Kshatriya or Vaishya, he shall be called as Karma Kshatriya or Karma Vaishya.

The decision of the caste by birth is concluded by an illusion, which is that a child born in the family of Brahmanas picks up the entire culture of Brahmanas due to the influence of the surrounding Brahmana atmosphere. But, this is possible only when the soul born also has inherent Brahmana qualities. If the soul has the qualities of other castes as its inherent qualities, he will not pick up the culture of Brahmanas. Hence, mere birth to Brahmanas and mere atmosphere of Brahmanas cannot make a soul to become Brahmana unless the soul already has the Brahmana-qualities even before its birth as its inherent qualities. Hence, even though the soul is born to Brahmana parents and is brought up in the Brahmana atmosphere, if its inherent qualities belong to Kshatriya caste, such a soul is called Janma Brahmana and Karma Kshatriya. Therefore, the caste is decided not only by the atmosphere in which the soul is brought up, but also by the inherent qualities of the soul. If both these (atmosphere and inherent qualities) become one and the same, then only the soul is called Janma Brahmana and Karma Brahmana, which means that it is a complete Brahmana. When the soul has inherent Brahmana qualities, born to Brahmana parents and is also brought up in Brahmana atmosphere, such a soul becomes complete Brahmana and by observing such cases, people developed a wrong opinion that the soul became complete Brahmana because he is born to Brahmana parents. This conclusion is wrong because the blood (genes) may carry on certain mannerisms but not the qualities.

The qualities of a soul even before birth are inherent qualities of that soul and these inherent qualities only come with the soul in any number of births. Therefore, the safest test shall be to decide the caste based on these inherent qualities that are expressed in the deeds of a soul. Even the incarnation of God like Parashurama was a Janma Brahmana and Karma Kshatriya because his qualities belonged to the Kshatriya caste only. If you take the case of Rama, He was Janma Kshatriya. But, His qualities were of sattvam and hence, He is Karma Brahmana. Ravana is Janma Brahmana but Karma Chandala. If you base your caste-test simply on the qualities and deeds of a soul only, your conclusion of the caste of the soul will be perfect and the safest.

2. Why does God, in human form, follow the rules and limits of time and work?

[Why God in human form works following the rules and limits of time and work? He can do the work in a fraction of a second using His unimaginable power called omnipotency. Swami, please comment.]

Swami replied:- If the human incarnation of God does work using His omnipotency, it cannot be an example for other human devotees. If God in human form performs the work following the limitations of time and work, He can become a perfect example for human devotees. Hence, God will not exhibit His omnipotency frequently unless very much essential situation arrives. Then also, God will see the situation of the deity of justice running the cycle of deeds and fruits. Such an administration is the best divine administration. If the king shows his sword in every statement uttered by him, it is the mad administration of the mad king called Tuglaq! Hence, God Rama strictly followed all the limitations of the world because He wanted to stand as an ideal example for human beings (Aadarsha Maanushaavataara). God Krishna performed several miracles and showed that He is beyond humanity and the aim of this incarnation is to exhibit the omnipotency of God (Leelaa Maanushaavataara). Rama is the path for the spiritual aspirant to walk and Krishna is the final goal to be reached. The Gita says that any great soul including the human incarnation shall follow the limitations of the world while doing deeds so that other ordinary human beings will also easily follow the good traditions setup by great souls including the human incarnation of God (Loka saṅgraha mevā'pi…).

3. ISCKON considers Romaharshana at fault and Balarama correct. Please comment.

[Swami, ISCKON people stopped the story of Romaharshana with his death given by Balarama. They found Romaharshana faulty and Balarama as correct. Please comment on this.]

Swami replied:- The story-cinema is presented upto the interval only. In the second part of the story, all the sages scolded Balarama for His fault and Balarama realised and repented for His mistake. Balarama being the incarnation, gave life to Romaharshana again. Perhaps, that ISCKON devotee has the habit of seeing the cinema upto interval only and leaving the theatre to go to his residence!

4. Why did God Rama become faulty in the story of Yayati, who was protected by Hanuman?

Swami replied:- God is never faulty. He tested Hanuman that whether He can cross the worldly bond with the mother for the sake of God or not. Hanuman failed in this test and supported His mother against God. Hanuman realised His mistake in His next incarnation as Shankara, who left His old mother in His childhood itself for the sake of God’s work. Suppose Hanuman surrendered to God Rama and submitted Yayati to Him, Rama would not have killed Yayati and Hanuman would have passed the test of God Rama! God Rama could have convinced His teacher (Guru), Vishvaamitra and solved the problem! When God tests the devotee, God appears to be faulty supporting injustice. But, the devotee shall have the faith that God is never faulty. At the end of the test, God also proves that He is not faulty. God Krishna appeared as a thief in stealing the butter of the Gopikas. But, God was testing their joint bond with their wealth and their issues. In this case, since God had to test the worldly bonds with reference to their bond with God, God had to act like this, which is inevitable for an examiner. Hence, the stealing of butter is justified!