CHATURVARGA AND BHAKTI[corrected from different source - November-December 1982]



In Ramayana there is a small episode. Once Maharśi Vishvamitra accompanied by Ráma and Lakśmań, was proceeding towards the city of Mithilá by crossing the river Ganges. You all know that Saḿskrta literature is divided into four categories: kávya (poetic verse), puráńa (fictive tales), itikathá (history) and itihása (benevolent history).

One is Kávya, the second is Puráńa, the third is Itikathá and the fourth is Itihása.

Kávya is “Vákyaḿrasátmakaḿ kávyam.” That is if any story is told in a lucid way, in an well arranged manner then that piece is called kávya. The fact may or may not be true – the story may or may not have any educative value – but if it is said or expressed in a lucid way then it is formed as Kávya.

The second one is Puráńa: What is?

The event is not true but the story has much educative value. If the story has any educative value then it can be called Puráńa.

Vyása Deva wrote 18 puráńas. All the purańás are legends – name of them is true, but he wrote the stories of purańá for the sake of public education only. But he wrote the stories of purańás for the sake of public education only.

In the stories of purańás, there are many tales about the Gods and Goddesses and many splendoured things are narrated those stories too. But, because the stories were not factually true that was why after having written the purańá, Vyása Deva asked forgiveness from Parama Puruśa for his misdeeds.

Rupaḿ rúpavivarjj itasya bhavato’yaddhyánena kalpitaḿ

Stutyá’nirvacaniiyatá’khiloguro dúriikrtá yanmayá,

Vyápitvaḿcr nirákrtaḿ bhagavato yattiirtha yátrádiná,

Kśantavyaḿ jagadiisho tadvikalatá dośatrayaḿ matkrtam.

Oh Lord, you are formless – you do not have any shape. Yet I have described many Gods and Goddesses as ten-handed entities, I have said, so many other things too.

My only aim was to educate people. But in doing so, Oh, my formless Lord, I tried to bind you within the bondage of shape and form. This is my number one fault.

My second fault is that you are beyond the periphery of the Gunas. All Gunas are under your control then how can one bind you with Gunas?

Yet, I have described your many attributions – in different prayer and songs.

By doing so I have lowered you – belittled your entity.

You are Omnipresent – yet, I have narrated stories about so many places of pilgrimage describing where you had done this or performed that divine acts etc.

By narrating such things, I have tried to bind you, establish you and pin-point you in some particular spots.

This is a very wrong thing that I have done because the whole universe is your abode – a place of pilgrimage. You are everywhere – yet by trying to localize your presence, your existence in some particular places. I have committed my third crime.

Please forgive me my Lord; As a result of my confused state of mind due to my mental imperfection and weakness, I have committed these mistakes. Please forgive me for those three wrongs done by me.

So, that is Puráńa. The Puranic events are not true but they contain immense educative value. Rámáyańa is one of those Puráńas. The story is not true but Rámáyańa has great educative value for the people.

Of the rest two-one is Itikathá and other is Itihása.

Itikathá is a just chronological record of events about what has already been happened. To put in records exactly and to give publicity of the same for public knowledge is Itikathá.

In Saḿskrta, language, Itikathá is also termed “Purákathá”; “Itivrtta” and “Purávrtta”. In English it is called “history”.

Now about Itihása: Itihása is that little portion of Itikathá, by going through which people are benefited. That is Itihása contains educative value. By going through the entire Itikathá or History one is not much benefited – it does not matter.

But if by reading any one of its portion, people derive benefits than that particular portion may be termed as Itihása. In English parlance there is no synonym of the word Itihása.

It is by error only that the History of India is called “Bhárat barśer itihása”. It ought to be called as itikathá of India.

Therefore, the fourth part is called Itihása which contains much educative value. It has been said about Itihása:-

Dharmárthakámamokśáthaḿ niitivákya

Samanvitaḿ Purávritta kathájuktamitihás apracakśate.

From which object people derives the chaturvarga – that is Dharma, Artha, Kama and Mokśa and which subject contains logic as well as moral – such type of Itikathá, is called Itihása.

The Mahábhárata is a such an example of Itihása.

What are being taught in schools & colleges are mainly Itikathá or History. So by going through this Itihása. What do the people get?

They obtain Dharma, Artha, káma and Mokśa. And along with them they learn some morals too.

What does it mean by Chaturvarga?

One of the chaturvarga is káma which means fulfillment of the physical necessities – such as food, clothes, treatment and shelter etc for good and proper living. The means by which these physical necessities are fulfilled is called káma – the first varga of the chaturvarga.

Now where from do we get this káma?

We get it from Itihása.

These worldly and physical necessities which are the first varga of the Chaturvargas are fulfilled and satisfied by philosophy and by the reaching of Itihása and to fulfill these necessities only one day, I compelled to prepare and propagate the philosophy of PROUT. Because a human being who is starving must be provided first with food.

Then only I shall teach him spiritual philosophy. Then only I shall make him sit for Sádhaná.

Yes, after feeding him properly I won’t allow him to dance or jump from tree to tree; but will certainly make him sit for Sádhaná.

But before that, arrangement should be made to fill his belly, to arrange for his clothing’s for winter, and to provide him shelter for his dwelling, in illness he should get proper treatment. These are the basic necessities of life.

Unless fulfillment of these necessities are made no all round progress of human society is possible.

That is, why Lord Shiva has said in the Tantra about the physical practicability; Varttamáneśu vartteta.

No body should try to go ahead neglecting the present. This is a straight-forward command of Lord Shiva.

We in Ananda Marga have not disregarded this directive and because we have not disregarded it, it became possible for me to formulate the PROUT philosophy that is why nobody can disagree with PROUT.

He who disagree with the Philosophy of PROUT is a self deceiving person and is therefore a hypocrite. This is the first varga of Chaturvargas.

The second varga is Artha.

By Artha the fulfillment of a want is achieved. But this fulfillment of want is not felt in the physical spheres alone – it is also a physico-psychic phenomenon. By which means all these fulfillment of want one achieved is called Artha by which means a permanent fulfillment of want is realized is called Paramártha. One is Artha and the other is Paramártha.

One is a temporary saturation and the other is a permanent and complete fulfillment. Artha is the thing by which fulfillment of the physico-psychic necessities is to achieve Artha is the second varga of the Chaturvarga.

Here Artha does not mean money alone. But money is also called Artha because by acquiring money, a temporary fulfillment of want can be achieved. Therefore money is also called Artha in Saḿskrta language.

Again suppose some one has failed to find out the meaning of a object a thing such KADALI. NO BODY know the meaning of Kadali, so a vacuum, this want was created in the mind. “I do not know the meaning of KADALI”, a mental discontent is being created in the mind.

Thereafter as soon as that person came to know that KADALI means ‘Rambha’(banana) that discontentment disappeared. So meaning of an object is also called Artha in Saḿskrta language. Hence Artha not only means money, it also means ‘meaning’ too. But the real meaning of Artha is by which the fulfillment of want is achieved. This is second Varga.

The third varga is Dharma. Dharma means by which fulfillment of want in the psycho-spiritual sphere is achieved. Psycho-spiritual want does not mean only the physical necessities it goes beyond it, it means subtler fulfillment of all the wants also. One who does not suffer from want of any wealth, suppose one is found to leave or renounce his home & goes out leaving in search of everything and embraces sannayasi. Why one leaves home and starts wandering? Why a son of a king embraces sannayasi? To fulfill what discontent and vacuum Maha’prabhu Caetanyadeva had renounced home and embraced Sannayasi? What for Lord Buddha came out of his homely bondage? They did not suffer from any want from the physical necessities in their domestic lives. They did not have any want for káma and Artha. Still why they left their homes? They left their homes because somewhere in the lone corner of their minds there were some sorts of want, some discontent. Rising to the height of the subtler sphere, people can understand that they know nothing of this world. Being born in the world – yet people can not recognize or understand this worldly phenomenon. This is called a spiritual bankruptcy, a spiritual want or necessity.

And this is the third varga. Dharma is psycho-spiritual that is to be fulfilled, Dharma – which is the third varga of Chaturvargas.

The last varga is Mokśa . When people have achieved full development then that development becomes a burden to them. People then want to return all that is achieved, developments unto HIM from whom they accrued those developments. Tava dravyaḿ, Gobinda tubhyameva samarpaye, Nivedayámicátmanaḿ tvaḿ gatih parameshvara. This is the last stage and it is called Mokśa. By reading and understanding the events of which literature,the path of achieving the fruits of chaturvarga becomes smooth-that nature is called Itikathá. So what are being taught in the schools and colleges are not Itihása. Ramayana in fact is a puráńa but the stories in it are all very educative.

Now let us come back to our original topic. Viswamitra together with Rama and Lakśmańa was going and because Ramayana is a puráńa it is futile to find any factual consistency in it.

Ramayana is educative but it is not factual and true.

So when they crossed over to the other side of the river by boat it was observed that the boat by the touch of Shri Rama’s feet had turned into gold.

When the boatman – the helmsman saw the miracle he thought “God, God what is the matter? This man is no ordinary person”. He quickly ran to his house and told the strange happening to his wife. And his wife, collecting all the household utensils, such as the rolling pan and the board etc from the house, came running to Rama and got those articles transformed into gold by the touch of Rama’s feet.

Now a household contains so many wooden household articles. To bring them all and carry them back in there golden form is serious matter because gold has more weight.

The wife of the boatman started suffering from back ache-her hands, her back and her body all became very painful.

She was unable to carry none any more – yet she could not escape from her greed.

More Gold-more gold she wanted.

In other words she wanted to bind herself securely with more worldly and physical bondage.

People are inclined to suffer from such experiences.

The back has started aching still people can not discard the old habit.

Take the example of the people who are voracious eaters. They go to a feast and start eating so voraciously that at last they can eat no more – yet they will gobble one or two more rasogollas even it is gives them extra suffering.

If obtained on someone’s cost then let us eat it for days together – such is the idea that plays on them.

So the condition of the boatman’s wife also became similarly very painful. She was unable to carry on any more yet she was unable to stop. That is why Rabindranath Tagore has said:

Jaráye áche bádha, cháráye jete cái Cháráte gele byathá báje

Mukti cáhibáre tomár káche jái Cáhite gele mari lage

[I am tied to so many bondages. I want to get rid of them. When I try to do so, those bondages affect me. When I approach You with the prayer of liberation from those bondages, I feel extremely ashamed.]

The condition of human being is just like that. Then the boatman told her wife – “Women, you are great fool. You will die carrying the load yet your greed for gold will not be satisfied. Your greed will never saturated. You are a foolish women.

Replied the boatman’s wife – All right – I am fool, But tell me what am I to do”. But tell me what am I do.

The boatman said – “The pair of feet which possesses such a wonderful virtue – by mere touch of them when everything turns into gold -take that pair of Carane, so that you need not carry the burden.

So the boatman’s wife said to Rama – “That is right – You come with me”. But first Rama was not agreeable to go with her. However due to pray and pressure Rama had to go and sat at her place. Then what happened?

The boatman’s wife forgot that all her household were to be transformed into gold – instead, she brought full articles, engrossed attending and carrying for those two feet.

That is, the real thing is achieved – so what is the use of making gold any more? I will make gold whatever I wish, – now that I have got the real thing.” Then the boatman’s wife said – “Oh Rama leave something for me as a token of your coming to this place”.

Then Rama gave her four delicious fruits. The wife wanted to know the name of those fruits – what are they – where from they came from which country they originate stand etc etc.

Then Lakśmańa answered that the four fruits bear the name of “Dharma”, “Artha”, “Kama” and “Mokśa” – the chaturvargas.

One who has achieved Lords Lotus feet has taken the shelter in that pair of feet for him/her no further search of chaturvarga is necessary. It comes on its own.

There is no need to stain the brain.

One who is a Bhakta, he/she does not have to bother about chaturvarga in fact there is no need at all to worry about any thing. So that people do not have to think any more, that is why in the physical sphere whatever deficiency or inconsistency there was – in order to rectify that, I prepared and introduced the philosophy of PROUT.

There was no need to ponder about the rest in the by gone days nor one should think about them now or in the future.

Because some sorts of inconsistency did appear in the physical sphere that is why by preparing PROUT I have made the matter self-complete and self sufficient.

Then all the rest of the people said to Lakśmańa – “Your brother has given four fruits – why don’t you too give some thing”.

Lakśmańa replied, “I am a poor person – what I can offer. I have only one fruit in my possession. Take that fruits. Then all asked, “What is the name of this fruit – tell us, Oh Lakśmańa replied – If you do not get this fruit then possessing those four fruits will be of no avail to you”. All the people then wanted to know the name of that fruit quickly from Lakśmańa. Because all the virtues of those four fruits are accumulated in that one fruit alone and unless that fruit is gained the other fruit alone and unless that fruit is gained the other four will not remain in possession.

Lakśmańa replied, “I am a poor man. The name of this fruit is BHAKTI”.

[Translated from Original Bengali]