This is an attempt to understand Ancient age social system based on Karma principle (called four Varna – Kshatriya, Vaishya, Brahmin & Shudra) in India and comparing it with today’s Profession or Career (Karma/work/action) based system in Globalization .
Karma based system in Ancient age:
During ancient kingdom /monarchy era, where there was high chance of misusing all social power by a single person (king/ruler). To avoid this, social scholars or Rishi (Bharadwaja , Bhrigu and others) at that time decided to build a system based on Karma (duties/action), where there won’t be more than one type of power belonging to one person.
They came up with idea of 4 types of duties/categories in society: Military (Ruler/Kshatriya),Wealth (Vaishya), Knowledge (Brahmin), and Land (Shudra). Person could choose any one of these four types of social power as per wish/skills and follow his/her Karma path (also discussed here).
Even ruler/king was supposed to respect and consult other groups before implementing any decision in his Kingdom. Many good rulers followed this tradition of taking advice from others. Thus encouraging decentralization of power and maintaining social balance.
Post Vedic era , there were fights and invasions among different Hindu rulers. Due to this, the karma based social system was messed up. The confusion leads to caste (Jati)-based system – which is based on Birth, rather than Karma-based system- which was based on Duties/Action/Work in life.
For examples, in Ancient time, King Ravana was born in Brahmin family (son of Rishi Vishrava ) but became ruler (Kshatriya) later.
Similarly, Parashurama even though he was born to Brahmin family (son of Rishi Jamadagni), he turned to be a great warrior (Brahmin choose path of non-violence).
Great rishi Valmiki (writer of great Hindu epic Ramayana) and Brahmarshi Vishvamitra had chosen path of being Brahmin after following Spirituality and gaining highest divine knowledge/wisdom.
Karma based system in today’s Globalization:
After industrialization and economic reforms in Globalization, there are lots of options available to each individual. Generally, now a days society is divided in three parts as per economic condition – Lower class, Middle class, and Rich class.
In terms of Karma (work/action), today one can choose any career path as per education, interest, skills, knowledge, etc. irrespective of parent’s profession. If we compare today’s career system with ancient system we get following interesting pattern, see chart below.
As per the chart, in globalization, ancient Land lords (Shudra) and Knowledge (Brahmin) based system becomes one complete “job/service sector” (shown in orange dotted line at bottom right of the photo). But, Wealth (Vaishya) and Ruler (Kshatriya) based system is still somewhat in accord with ancient system.
Well, this is just for understanding of ancient and today’s Karma (read career/job) systems. Hope this has given some insights about both Karma based systems.
Note: This is as per my current knowledge and understanding of the topic. Suggestions/inputs are welcome! Visit this place in future for more updates on this topic.
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Sources: Wikipedia, Google search, HAF YouTube clip, and other hyperlinks provided in the post. Image source- Wikipedia