On Apr 15, 2006, at 4:09 AM, TurquoiseB wrote:

I think it's the latter. I don't think there are
ANY rational arguments that someone can come up
with to support the caste system.  But that's just
me...if you believe differently, and think that
 
the caste system makes sense, please present the
 
reasons why you feel that way.  Thanks in advance

From: While the Gods Play by Alain Danielou. You'll also find out why the Maharishi wants to lay out cities like he does...

The Castes (Varnä)
 
MAN is a social animal, which is to say that the human species forms a whole, an organism, whose various cells have their own distinct functions. This is why the different lineages of mankind exist. The qualities and abilities of each improve over the generations so as to form an efficient, harmonious society that is capable of carrying out the role assigned to the human species in the plan of creation.
 
In the same way that the different organs of the body have different functions, even though they originate in cells, so in the plan laid out for the species there exist particular lineages that are more adapted to certain functions and whose abilities, once they are recognized, encouraged, and developed, become hereditary. Each human grouping, each race, each family, must seek to uphold its integrity, to improve its particular speciality, and to play the social role corresponding to its nature, and above all else to preserve and transmit its own special genetic and cultural heritage.
 
Our virtues are to a great extent transmissible, being connected to aspects of character that can be inherited. This is why they must be cultivated and improved so that we may play our role to the full in the brief span of our existence.
 
There is thus for everyone a "natural law" (Dharmä) that regulates the use and development of mental and physical characteristics, inherited at birth, together with the gift of life itself, so that we may play to the full our part in the evolution of our lineage.
 
Ancestor worship involves above all else the respect and transmission of our double heritage, genetic and cultural.
 
Each being is born unique. In the almost infinite number of possible combinations of the elements that constitute the living being, it is beyond belief that the same arrangement could be repeated, that two beings could be absolutely identical, with the same nature, appearance, function, and station; nevertheless, the human types defined by heredity can be classified. In order to achieve his physical and spiritual destiny, each individual must establish his basis; determine the class to which he belongs, the duties and qualities inherent in that class, and its unique characteristics so that he may make them productive; and, eventually, go beyond them. Everyone must achieve the perfection of a social or exterior role before he can perfect his personal or interior role. The two roles can be vastly different and even contradictory; thus, we see that men from the artisan castes can earn their living in their humble professions and yet can at the same time be philosophers, holy men, and artists before whom kings and Brahmans bow with respect.

The circumstances of our birth correspond to the level of development of our own lineage and to the conditions in which we can best progress. Each of the links in the lineage is found at a particular stage of the evolution of that species‑in its youth, maturity, or decline. This is why individuals of different races are not at the same level in their evolution.
 
There is no advantage to anyone in wanting to change one's situation or function, nor in wanting to perform the duties of another. Thus, except in very rare cases, one does not change one's sex, species, race, or caste during one's life. The external hierarchy of beings and things is often the opposite of the interior order. This is the reason why, during the Kali Yuga (the present world age), it is most desirable to be either woman or worker (Shudrä), for through mere humility and devotion to their role or work, these people can attain exterior perfection, which in turn permits the interior development that frees them from the weighty chains of life and leads them effortlessly toward the higher spheres of knowledge. The state of prince, or Brahman, noble and magnificent though it may seem, is disastrous in the dark age, for the discipline that they demand is so severe and the virtues so difficult that failure is almost certain.
 
It is not at all by chance that for nearly the last thousand years, almost all the great mystic poets and holy men of India have been men of humble birth who could so easily free themselves from their social and ritual responsibilities and devote themselves to their inner life.
 
An organic society can only exist on the basis of a division of powers and functions.
 
With the appearance of urban societies at the dawn of the Kali Yuga, a system developed in India whereby the different groups were able to intermingle and collaborate; each group was able to maintain its own identity, traditions, and knowledge, while at the same time cooperating in the development of a common civilization.
 
Ancient cities were divided into four parts, separated by avenues in the shape of a cross; each part was reserved for
one of the four functions: priest, soldier, merchant, and artisan. The word quarter is the remnant of this division.


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