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Varanasi
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Varnashrama system is a pragmatic framework to organise diversity, does not seek ‘perfection’ or monoculturalism

The sheer genius of VAD and the so called caste system can only be understood with some honesty if we accept that perfection is not possible in the wordily sphere.

If we start with the mistaken assumption that perfection is possible and that our ideals and holy books have the recipe for perfection within them, then VAD and the so called caste system will appear imperfect and perhaps monstrous.

But in reality, history has shown that it is the followers of perfection who have led the world into monstrosity again and again and again.

VAD and the so called caste system are both not intended to be systems of perfection. They are systems of pragmatism. They are loose frameworks for organizing diversity and bringing order to the ocean of life. They do not attempt the impossible task of ‘ending conflict’ but they give us the tools by which we humans can manage conflict.

By all means, let us adjust the frameworks to suit our current needs but let us not enter into this exercise believing that our new ideals can bring us perfection. It is in their imperfection that our old frameworks reveal their humanity and therefore, their suitability for humans.

Humans who are trapped within systems of perfection find themselves unable to measure up and are consumed by stress and various degrees of self-hate. Humans who live within humane systems exhibit the easy non-judgemental, self-acceptance that we are so accustomed to seeing in old India.

I look into the nature of our ancient systems in this Part-2 of my last essay series.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread originally tweeted by Maragatham (@bhoomiputraa) on July 27, 2022.

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