Why is Shudra varna considered to be the supreme one?

The Brahman is said to have been created from God’s mouth. Amongst all the ‘Kha’ (‘Ke’) (‘Kha’ means void or an opening) in our body, the mouth is considered the most important ‘Kha’. ‘मुख्यं ख इति मुखम् ।’, since it is through the mouth, that we can chant God’s Name. Since the mouth is considered important, a Brahman well-versed in the Vedas is accorded a superior status. Even so, from the spiritual perspective he became inferior, and his importance declined. Presently, the Brahman is considered superior only from the worldly perspective. The Brahman’s duty is to impart knowledge to the society; however, since this knowledge is a part of avidya (Nescience), it is ignorance too. Even then, as the Brahman became vain, he became inferior from the spiritual perspective. Eventually, spiritually the Shudra varna is the greatest. The Shrimadbhagwat proclaims the Shudra varna to be the supreme one, because it is allotted the task of serving all the other varnas. Service cannot be done without humility and complete surrender. No matter how great a Brahman is, if mentally he does not become humble like a Shudra, he cannot attain the position of a Sadguru. That is why, it is said that ‘knowledge without modesty is futile’. Hence, being knowledgeable is not a good quality, rather humility is; humility, attitude of a servitor and politeness are all qualities of a Shudra.

The reason why Shudra varna is superior from the spiritual perspective is, that it has originated from the feet (pad) of God, that is, Sadgurupad. That is why, the Sadguru is Padarup (Shiv-form), while the disciple is pindarup (Attached to his body).

Emancipation of human life takes place at ‘the very feet of the Sadguru’. No matter how learned a man is, he can never become omniscient like God. He will acquire godliness, only if he overcomes whatever is lacking in him with humility. Thus, the equation that ‘human intellect + humility = God’ can be deduced.

The Shudra is superior to the Brahman because of the qualities of humility, servitude etc. Despite this, only Brahmatej (Radiance of a Brahman) and Kshatratej (Radiance of a warrior) are spoken of; while Vaishyatej and Shudratej are unheard of. This is because sadhana of a Brahman and a Kshatriya are principally samashṭi sadhana (Spiritual practice for spread of Spirituality); while those of a Vaishya and a Shudra are mainly vyashṭi sadhana (Individual spiritual practice). The use of the word ‘tej’ is in the context of how much the others benefit from it.’ – H.H. Kane Maharaj, Narayangaon, District Pune, Maharashtra

 

1. Sadhana of Shudra varna

Since the intellectual level of a Shudra is rather low, it would be difficult for him to understand the rules of Dharma and follow them. Hence, as sadhana, seva (Service unto the Absolute Truth) is prescribed for him. A Shudra neither possesses sharp intellect nor wealth; hence, he can serve God only with his body. This amounts to offering the body. Along with seva, he also offers his time. Physical seva can be done by cleaning temples, Ashrams etc., preparing prasad (Holy sacrament) to be given to the people gathered for functions there, doing menial chores such as chopping vegetables, washing utensils etc. during religious festivals or bhandaras (Distributing food for a spiritual purpose), so also by putting up posters and banners for a spiritual discourse. Seva causes rapid reduction in ego and brings about swift spiritual progress. It is due to this, that a Shudra is superior to a Brahman from the spiritual perspective.

 

2. Sadhana according to varna in current Era

In the present Kaliyug, every individual, whichever varna he may belong to, becomes a Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra for some time of the day. During the day, every individual is a Brahman for some time, meaning, he studies; a Kshatriya for some time, meaning, fights as per the situation; a Vaishya for some time, meaning, he earns a livelihood and a Shudra for some time, for example, while bathing we clean our body. Hence, each of us has to perform sadhana according to all the four classes for some time of the day. Chaturvarna originated long ago. Since then, nearly 70% of the population has been born of interclass marriages. For this reason, each one needs to perform sadhana of all the four varnas for some time at least.

If an employee in an office guides a subordinate appropriately, even though this is related to Maya, it becomes sadhana of the Brahman varna. Similarly, if one gets an individual receiving or giving a bribe apprehended and makes an effort to give him due punishment, then although this is a task related to Maya, it amounts to sadhana of a Kshatriya. Planning on how to strengthen the financial resources of the office becomes sadhana of a Vaishya and obeying the instructions of one’s superiors in the office politely becomes sadhana of the Shudra varna. However, sadhana of the class in which we are born and which we profess should be slightly more than that of the rest.

3. Vyashti and samashti sadhana and varna

It is not possible to perform samashti sadhana without performing vyashti sadhana. Hence, to make rapid spiritual progress, performing both the types of sadhana proves to be beneficial for a seeker. According to the influence of time in Kaliyug, samashti sadhana has 70% importance, while vyashṭi sadhana has only 30% importance. The samashti sadhana of a Brahman is to teach Spirituality and that of Kshatriya is to protect the society even if he has to sacrifice his life for it.

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy text ‘Varnashramvyavastha’