This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 2 and consists of 101 lectures, available on:

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, November 2011-April 2012

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • All the situations that people live in are created even before Brahma creates this universe, and along with that what's right and wrong is created by the Lord, along with it duties, law. So the particular occupations for particular people based on their particular senses are created by Krishna Himself.
  • 7:20 Why are people not satisfied in their occupations? A common person may not be situated in the occupation that suits their nature. But then there are people who don't like the concept of acting according to their duties.
  • Formerly Bachelor of Arts was simply to enrich one as a person, there were elements of education relating to varna and to ashrama. But nowadays people mostly only worry about their occupation.
  • Most animals are not trained. Humans are. But since in the West we grow up like animals, to take up human life is very daunting for us.
  • When we are comfortable with things, we do not notice the restrictions.
  • The only reason we don't see human culture as practical is because we don't see through human perspective.
  • Westerners focus on relationships with things and have no idea how to deal with people. But if one understands relationships with people, things are easy. Many Western enterprises are taken over people who come from communities and now apply that understanding in dealing with things.
  • 30:00 Freedom is always there in advanced stages of following the rules. That is spontaneity.
  • If devotees had spent all the time they spent arguing against varnashrama in discussing how to actually apply it, they would be good at it by now.
  • We will take that only illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication and gambling is sinful. But not following rules of human life, e.g. not washing feet after using bathroom, is also impious.
  • Every varna have to be tolerant. Just brahmanas already need the quality to perform their duties, while others can develop those qualities in the process of performing their duties.
  • The concept of bachelor is a shudra thing. Brahmanas, kshatriyas and vaishyas are brahmacharis, then they get married, but shudras are always in family environment.
  • The principles of our conditioning always remain, but it can be purified and uplifted.
  • Discussion on eating with fingers.
  • Culture and consciousness when eating are the main things, details may vary. But usually people sitting at the table and eating with fork don't have a proper mood and discussion.
  • 104:00 While eating elbows should stay within the range of the knees.
  • As one advances, one's varna does not change, but one's qualities and attitude in that varna will improve.
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