Monday, 20 May 2013

The launch of The Shackles of the Warrior - Tidbits from the Media Part III

The launch of the Shackles of the Warrior was very successful. The media had quite a few questions to ask. Here, I share with you a few of them with my replies.

3. Ekalaiva

Q. Ekalaiva was not admitted to Drona’s Gurukul. Is it not discrimination?

Varna is character driven, while caste (Jathi) is birth driven. Our education system determines the Varna. A Brahmin by Jathi may adopt a warrior’s role. Look at Dhronacharya - a Brahmin who took up a warrior’s role. His Varna is a warrior, but by Jathi he is a Brahmin. Depending upon the characteristics tested and certified by the Gurukul and endorsed by the education council, citizens of this kingdom take up their position in life. The qualities of people as tested are matched with their profession. Aligning profession and skill is not discrimination.

If we say that a member of the Kshatriya caste can only be a warrior all his life, then we are definitely discriminating. However, this kingdom believes that the father’s occupation need not be pursed by the son. The kingdom of Krishna never recognizes disparity between people. In fact, even on the political front, the kingdom elects its leader; while King Ugrasena is the ceremonial king, the elected leader is Lord Krishna, who has been elected by the people. Where is the discrimination here?

Let me give you some more examples, Saint Vyasadeva was the grandson of a fisherman. His father Parashara was born from a woman who was a dog-eater. Vashishtha was the son of a lady with questionable background. Other sages like Kanada, Shringi, Mandapala, and Mandavya have all had questionable births, and yet all of them are highly qualified Bhramhins and recognized as such.

Likewise, several historical instances are known where the Varna of an individual changed due to circumstances such as adoption. The Brahmana Jathi, Rishi Bharadwaj became a Kshatriya, when he was adopted by King Bharata. His descendants were also considered as Kshatriya and were called Bharata Kshatriyas. King Vishvamitra was a Kshatriya but became a Brahmana as a result of his spiritual austerities.’

And, to the question of Ekalyva’s admission, please note that individual liberty cannot be overruled as long as it does not affect social justice. A master has liberty in choosing his students.

The teacher and a prospective students’ communications, the student’s limitations and other factors matter in the admission process. It is a personal liberty issue. Had Dhronacharya admitted Ekalyva and not given equal education to all his wards; it is a social justice issue. But not admitting Ekalyva is an individual liberty issue. The Kingdom of Krishna has set up their Royal Gurukul Centers to admit those students, who are unable to gain entry into private ‘Gurukul. be contd.

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