Bhaagvat Puraan | Skandh-7
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Skandh 7: Page 5 of 7
Yudhishthir got very satisfied listening to this description, so he requested Naarad Jee - "Hey Naard Jee, I am very much satisfied with this description, now please tell me about Sanaatan Dharm along with Varn and Aashram Dharm, because as much deeply you know about it, nobody else can know it, because you are the son of Brahmaa Jee and he loves you more than his other sons."
Naarad Jee said - "Bhagavaan is the root of all Dharm. The same Prabhu is doing Tapasyaa in Badarik Aashram taking part Avataar appearing in Dharm and Moorti's (Daksh's daughter) house. I describe you the same Sanaatan (eternal) Dharm which He Himself described. Dharm can be identified with its 30 characteristics according to our Shaastra. By following these characteristics Bhagavaan is pleased.
In whose lineage Sanskaar are performed regularly and who have been accepted for Sanskaar by Brahmaa Jee, they are called Braahman. By birth or by action, pure Braahman have the Dharm of study (Adhyayan), teaching (Adhyaapan), Daan (taking or accepting alms), doing Yagya for themselves and for others - these six actions are their Karm (actions). Kshatriya should not accept alms. Kshatriya protect people and they should live upon taxes and fees and fines from other people than Braahman. Vaishya should always be follower of Braahman Vansh and live upon agriculture and trade. Shoodra's Dharm is service - to serve all the Dwi-Jaati (three higher Varn). They live upon their Swaamee's income.
Braahman live upon Vaartaa (charging for teaching and doing Yagya for others), Shaaleen (whatever he can get without asking), Yaayaavar (on daily alms) and Shilonchhan (leftover grains in the farm after the farmer has taken all his crop is called 'Shil' and leftover grains after the trade has been completed in the market is called 'unchh'. A Braahman can live upon such grains.) Among these four, the latter is better than the previous one.
The lower Varn people should not adopt the upper Varn people's means of living except in emergency. Kshatriya can accept Braahman's five types of means of living except accepting alms. In emergency every Varn can accept any means for living.
Rit, Amrit, Mrit, Pramrit and Satyanrit, all means are all acceptable, except Shwaan (dog) Vritti. Living on Shilonchhan is called Rit. Living on Shaaleen is called Amrit. Living on Yaayaavar is called Mrit. Living on Vaartaa (through agriculture etc) is called Pramrit, and living on trade is called Satyaanrit. Serving the lower Varn is called Shwaan Vritti. Braahman and Kshatriya should not accept the Shwaan Vritti as much as possible, because Braahman is equal to Ved and Kshatriya (Raajaa or king) is like Dev (Devtaa).
Sham, Dam, Tap, Shauch, Santosh, Kshamaa, Saraltaa, Gyaan, Dayaa, Bhakti and Satya are Braahman's characteristics. Excitement in war, Veerata (bravery), Dheerata (patience), Tejaswitaa, Tyaag (sacrifice or leaving something), Manojaya (control of mind), Kshamaa (forgiveness), respect to Braahman, Anugrah (favor) and security of people are the characteristics of Kshatriya. Bhakti to Devtaa, Guru and Bhagavaan, following of Arth (wealth), Dharm and Kaam (desires), Aastikataa (being theist or being God-fearing), laboriousness, skilled in day-to-day behavior are the characteristics of Vaishya. Being polite to upper Varn, holiness, serving the master without any cunningness, Yagya without Vaidik Mantra, not stealing, speaking Satya, protecting cows and Braahman are Shoodra's characteristics.
Serving the husband, obeying him, pleasing his relatives, and accepting husband's principles is Dharm of women. They should keep the house clean and attractive, keep her body attractive with good clothes and jewelry. Whatever is given to her, she should be satisfied with that and should not be greedy. The women who serve her husband like Lakshmee Jee, her husband goes to Vaikunth and she herself is always joyful like Lakshmee Jee. Whatever characteristics are found in whichever person, even if he is not of that Varn, still he should be considered of that Varn.
12-Rules for Brahmcharya and Vaanprasth Aashram
Naard Jee further said - "Hey Dharm Raaj, A Brahmchaaree who lives in Gurukul, should serve his Guru controlling his Indriyaan. Every morning and evening, he should worship Guru, Agni, Soorya, do Jaap of Gaayatree Mantra and do Sandhyaa. He should live under strict discipline. Before and after the lessons he should bow to Guru's feet and use deer skin, Jataa (matted hair), Kamandal, Yagyopaweet etc for himself. Every morning and evening he should go for alms and bring it to Guru Jee. He should take the food only when his Guru orders him to take. If Guru does not order to eat, he should not eat. He should protect his character. He should not keep touch with women or women-related talks. He should not ask for any service from any young woman or even Guru Maataa (Guru's wife). Women are like fire and men are like pitchers of Ghee that is why one should not sit even with his own daughter in a lonely place. Until the difference of body is not disappeared - means until "this is man and this is woman" feeling is not gone completely, the attraction of the opposite sex will never go away.
All these rules apply to a Grihasth and Sanyaasee too. Those who follow Brahmcharya should not apply oil massage, should not draw women's pictures, should not take meat and liquor, should not use flower garland, perfume, jewelry. Thus in this way people should study Ved, Upanishad etc. Then if conditions permit then whatever Guru asks for Guru Dakshinaa, should be given to him.
Now listen to the rules for Vaanprasth Aashram according to Rishi. By following these rules Vaanprasth people get Mahar Lok - Rishi's Lok. Such person should not eat grains from the cultivated farms. If a grain is ripe untimely, that grain should also not be eaten. They should eat only the food of roots, fruits, vegetables etc - ripen by the Sun's heat. Whatever grows in the forest itself should be used for Havan (Yagya). When they get new fruits etc then the old ones should be discarded. House, or house made of leaves and sticks etc or caves should only be used to protect Havan's fire not for living purpose. Hair, nails, mustache and beard etc should not be trimmed. Kamandal, deer skin, Dand (scepter), yellow clothes and Havan materials should always be with them. Thoughtful people should spend 8, 4, 2, or one year as Vaanprasthee. Just keep watch that because of excess of Tapasyaa, mind should not go astray.
When a Vaanprasthee cannot complete his actions because of disease or old age, and cannot understand Ved etc then he should keep fasts. "Mine" feeling should be left out. All elements of the physical body should be sent back to their original places."
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/9/02
Updated on 06/09/11