Many people these days scream that varna is determined ONLY by guna & karma, not ONLY by janma.

Dronacharya was a teacher, a brahmin by varna who followed his svadharma.

Later in Kurukshetra war, he was a fighter by KARMA, a kshatriya who fought in war.

Does it mean that :

  • he changed his varna ?
  • brahmins are allowed to fight but it doesn't change their varna ?
  • brahmins are not allowed to fight, so Drona disobeyed rules of varna dharma ?

Same with Kripacharya.

Same with Yudhishtira - who refused to fight until very end owing to his extraordinary brahmin-like patience.

Does it mean Yudhishtira was a brahmin by GUNA until very end when he decided to change into a kshatriya?

Suppose I teach Vedas on Monday, and fight naxals (rural and urban) on Tuesday, does it mean on Monday I am brahmin and Tuesday I am Kshatriya ?

Maybe if I study scriptures in morning I am brahmin, after 12 noon I do business then I am vaishya, and after 6pm I drink/party I am Shudra, so I can change varna 3 times within same day ?

  • 1
    Yudhiṣṭhira is not some perfect character. In the lure of winning the battle (a selfish goal), and to defeat Droṇa by unfair means, he deliberately spoke a lie, he had a choice not to. But that wasn't even a white lie, it was the darkest of the dark. Some may answer that Yudhiṣṭhira was persuaded by Kr̥ṣṇa but doesn't this expose his fatal weakness of will and truth? Due to this weakness of will and firmness, he was a compulsive gambler. But along with that he was extremely stubborn, as in gambling, continuing even when he was losing one stake after another.
    – Bingming
    Dec 28, 2022 at 1:29
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    Brahmans are allowed to fight. Infact , Even for a Brahman , making livelihood by means of Kshatriya is the best . As taking daan leads a Brahman to hell , weakens his soul (Manu 10:109)
    – river
    Dec 28, 2022 at 1:40
  • @river The OP is asking on the basis of Bhagavad Gītā which differs from Manusmr̥ti. In BG, varṇa is on the basis of one's karma and guṇa, not on birth. So, the verse you cited doesn't answer his/her question. And a brāhmaṇa practices non-violence with regards to BG, war is the dharma of Kṣatriyas not Brāhmaṇas (as per BG)
    – Bingming
    Dec 28, 2022 at 1:42
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    Also, mar, I would like to point out that Droṇa and Kr̥pa weren't fighting of their own accord. Droṇa was fighting because he was given shelter by Hastināpura. He was in a way doing his duty to get rid of his debt, it was similar case of Kr̥pa, due to their statuses, they had to fight as per their duty, they weren't willing or had the intention to fight in the war actually. Similar case with Bhīṣma too, his duty was to fight although he was unwilling. Also, even at the end, Droṇa did drop his weapons and sat down to meditate, and finally do what a true Brāhmaṇa must.
    – Bingming
    Dec 28, 2022 at 1:48
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    It requires One in the stature of Haridrumata Goutama to discover Satyakam Jabal (by guna and karma), otherwise it would be truly improbable for anyone to speculate ..Also Satyakama Jabal possibly might not have self- proclaimed, either. Same is the situation of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda.Although guna /karma is said to be the the criterion, ,'who can lay it on the line' becomes a debatable point.In other words , whose matter of opinion, it should be?
    – Athrey
    Mar 30 at 13:21


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