Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sa-Varna and Sa-Kula Marriages

Bhagavan Sri Krishna in BhavatGita says that catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah; “the Varna of an individual is determined by the combination of Guna & Karma”, including the karma of past lives. If an individual is given an option to choose one’s Varna, s/he would choose the Varna that resonates her/his Guna (temperament, attitude) and karma (Buddhi karmaanusaarinaa! In other words one makes one’s own fate). There is no escape from this. Probably that's why Bhagavan continues his statement with tasya kartaram api mam viddhy akartaram avyayam; “thus determined, even I cannot undo that”.

Now if we look around, any individual with absolute freedom to choose one’s  life partner, would choose someone that resonates with his/her own Guna & Karma; in other words Sa-Varna marriage. That's why we see the so-called love marriages to be of Sa-Varna in nature to the extent that IT people marrying IT people, doctors marrying doctors etc., of course for convenience and mutual compatibility. In a Sa-Varna marriage the Guna plays dominant role while Karma follows it. 

When the society gave the education and work/social profession suitable to one's own Varna, there was no need for love-marriage because parents found them to be not against the system.

Coming to Sa-Kula marriages, these are mostly arranged by families or outsourced to parents by young for, again, convenience. Parents, in addition to looking at basic socio-economic comfort zones, rely mostly on already established Kula-definitions; which themselves started based on some Varna a long, long time ago.

In a Sa-Kula marriage, parents/families rely more on Karma (the reason why a soul chooses a specific life in a given cycle) than Guna because they assume the Karma (or initial conditions) have more influence on a certain outcome than an individual's choices/perseverance. This is no different from the secular and modern liberals thought process concerning things like IITs and Ivy Leagues. Getting into an IIT, the initial condition, is good enough to determine one’s social recognition, irrespective of one's intellectual aptitude or social contribution. This is just a less risky option for individuals. This is same as an Indian preferring an Indian spouse than say an African spouse; Kula being a much more specific preference group.

Going thru the life trajectories that we have gone thru in our lives and those of people around us, we can sufficiently understand and appreciate this rationale. Only a handful of us moved beyond the life-changes that are destined by our initial conditions be it in social, economic, spiritual or nationalistic planes of mind.

For example, say I am an Indian and my spouse is an African. When someone asks our children about their background and my children respond with Indo-African (mixed blood), neither my children nor the society get worked up. But secular minds get worked up if/when my daughter says she is a Nishada because she is mix of Brahmana-Sudra parents! English words are good, Samskruta words are bigoted/outdated to a secular mind.

Sa-Varna marriages (a.k.a Love marriages) bring a new dimension in to social discourse; what happens to the children of these marriages? Their parents created a new “initial condition” for these children. So it is only natural for these children to face problems (in some cases) when they want to rely upon the existing Kula-structures and those families are apprehensive if a Sa-Kula marriage would work for the child as his/her initial condition is more Guna based than Karma based. Often such Sa-Varna children ending up blaming the Kula-structures instead of understanding this simple logic.

Author’s note: This opinion is written as part of a discussion on Bharat Rakshak Forum. Request readers to visit the forum to get complete discussion and participate.

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