Caste System, Karma and Moksha
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami , 2000-11-15
A cyberspace devotee from Malaysia ask why high caste people do not mix with low caste people and is caste a part of Hinduism. Gurudeva explains that the caste system has been thrown out of India but some people still hang on to it. He also explains what the four castes are. A question from a cyberspace cadet in New Zealand who ask how can we get rid of karma to attain moksha. Gurudeva says that through the process of reincarnation we learn to live within our dharma which in turn controls karma.
A question from Kuala Lumpur from a cyberspace cadet regarding caste. "Why is it higher caste people don't mix with low caste people? Is caste a part of Hinduism or just made up by humans?"
Caste has been thrown out of the culture of India. But, people still hang on to it as an ego structure. The high caste people love to hurt the low caste people, so to speak, by ignoring them, treating them roughly. That is not the way it should be.
People naturally divide themselves up into caste. We have the workers. You go to work, you work under somebody else. That happens all over the world. That is the sudra caste. We have the merchants who are self-motivated, nobody is telling them what to do. That is the vaisya caste. We have the politicians, the law makers and law enforcement people. That is the kshatriya caste. Then you have the priests, the ministers, the missionaries. That is the brahmin caste.
Every society has these four castes, working within them in one way or another. In today's world, if one is not fulfilling the dharma of his born caste, then he changes castes. For instance, if a brahmin husband and wife are working eight to fifteen hours a day in the hospital under others, they are not brahmin caste because they are not performing the duties of the dharma of that caste. They are workers, the sudra caste.
I know in Malaysia the caste system is distorted, also very strong. If you find the high caste in your society, ignoring and not wanting to speak with or associate with the lower caste, those are nasty people and are those you should avoid. Spiritual people or even ordinary kindly people would never think of behaving that way.
A question from a cyberspace cadet Nitesh in New Zealand asking the question about karma. "We are always creating new karmas. It is a constant, ever-going thing. How can we ever get rid of them to attain Moksha, which is the elimination of karma?"
That is a very, very good question. Fortunately, when Lord Siva created the Universe and created all souls, He didn't forget to create reincarnation. We come back and back and back, until we get it right.
In our beautiful trilogy of books - 'Dancing with Siva', 'Living with Siva' and 'Merging with Siva', we explain Hindu Dharma. To live within your dharma, controls karma. Get a hold of these books and read them carefully. This will clear your question in your mind and show you very carefully how you can avoid making new negative karmas. The karma, with great emotion attached to them, are the ones that bring us back into physical birth.