On Reviving Varnasrama Dharma

[The following are some of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s instructions on reviving varnasrama-dharma.]

In order to revive the principles of varnasrama the following few rules
have to be reintroduced:

1. No one’s caste should be ascertained simply by birth.
2. A person’s caste should be determined according to the nature he develops in association as a child and by the accumulation of knowledge.
3. When ascertaining a person’s caste, one should consider both the person’s nature and taste, and his parents’ caste.
4. After a person has matured to age of about fifteen, the family priest, landlord, parents, and a few selfless but educated persons from the village should sit together and determine his caste.
5. To which caste should a grown person belong? Such a question should never arise. Rather, it should be asked whether he is qualified to retain his father’s caste or not.
6. If it is found that a person is qualified to retain his caste, then appropriate samskaras or purificatory rituals should be performed. If it is seen that he is qualified for a higher caste, then his samskaras should be performed accordingly. If it is found that he is qualified for a caste lower than that of his father, he should be given two additional years to improve himself.
7. after the additional two years, the person should be re-examined and his caste ascertained.
8. Every village should have a committee consisting of landlords and scholars to protect the rules and regulations of society.
9. The king’s support has to be obtained in order to keep these activities going. The king is actually meant to be the protector of the varnasrama principles.
10. One’s marriage and other activities should then be carried out according to one’s caste.

(Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sajjana Tosani 2.7)


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