Bhagavagd Gita - Session 7- Track 708

In our tradition however gradually Swabhava and Swadharma came to be determined by birth: this was the beginning of the deterioration of Indian tradition. If India had to keep itself alive to the Truth that irrespective of birth considerations, we have to decide whether you are this or that or that or that, Brahmin or Vaishya or Kshatriya or Shudra, then our culture would have remained very strong. But human nature is mechanical; it wants to decide things mechanically, much more easily.

Just as the examination system: you should be able to judge each one individually. Each one should be compared with his highest, but that is very difficult, so we give a general examination to everybody and then judge by comparison because it’s much easier, so mechanical. Even in marking, we follow a very routine mechanical method: five answers are given more or less correctly so equal marks should be given, without realising that to give a very intelligent answer to one question may be more difficult than answering five questions.

As Pranav rightly said the other day that the answer that they give, the teacher did not appreciate, and it is quite true. An intelligent answer to a one question is to be much more appreciated than mechanical answers to five questions. But it is difficult, if you have to give attention to each one of these intelligent answers, then teacher has to work very hard and that human beings don’t normally accept; so that make out a mechanical chart. If this question is answered in this way: ‘correct’. If it is slightly different, it is ‘not correct’: this is the difficulty of human nature.

If you have to decide what is your Swabhava and Swadharma according to your perception of the Guna and Karma, it is a very difficult task. You have to examine each one very, very thoroughly, very minutely with a great subtlety, with a great complexity; but if there is a bench mark, or if he is a son of a Brahmin therefore he is Brahmin, it’s very easy.

Therefore, consistent with the mechanical nature of human nature, the profound idea of Swabhava and Swadharma got deteriorated. We forgot for example the great statement: janmana jayate śudraḥ, ‘everybody is born a Shudra at birth’, everybody. It is by Guna and Karma that a distinction arises whether he is Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra. These profound statements have been relegated into the background. That is why Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita does not allow you to take recourse to mechanical answers.

Question: One has, two or three children how is it that every child’s nature is different from birth; they must be born with such a nature. Is it true?

Answer: The point is that each individual is a special manifestation from the Divine, having a very specific action to be done by him or by her: this is what is really called Swabhava. The original bhāva of his own Self (svabhāva means bhāva of the svā: svā means oneself). This svā actually is nothing but a portion of the Divine Himself. The Divine Himself is Satchitananda; therefore basic Swabhava of everybody is Satchitananda, of everyone, no distinction, because it is the common nature of everyone.

And yet, in the play of the world, each one is given a specific task. Therefore there is a preponderance of the movement towards that task which he is supposed to perform, those energies, which are appropriate to that action they become prominent in a given individual; others do not become so predominant; they become predominant in another person. Swabhava has two meanings: Swabhava is that which is born out of the Divine, and which in any case we manifest irresistibly; and secondly Swabhava is that, which is pertaining to your specific work in the world.

Both the things are important while giving an account of an individual. There are certain things, which are common to everybody; but there are also certain things which are specific to a given individual. I am answering a question at the origin, but the question that you have put forward is a question regarding what is happening now, not at the origin. The answer to that question is that each one of us, even though he has a Swabhava of these two kinds, he has been cast into the veil of Ignorance. Therefore, his original Swabhava gets distorted in this veil of Ignorance. There is a conflict between the movement of Nature, in which we are cast and our original Nature and our original action, which has been prescribed for us by our very Being.