What's your VARNA quotient?

What's your IQ? What's your EQ? These days we are also asked what your SQ (spiritual quotient) is. These IQ, EQ, SQ etc are available today only to measure our aptitude, emotions, spirituality etc. But there is a quotient that was discovered thousands of years ago in India, which is based on natural order of things. It is the Varna quotient that is simple, logical and provides a template to understand oneself.

We just can't help but categorise anything and everything. We have created so many categories, divisions, sub divisions in almost everything we know of. It is no surprise then, that there exists all over the world one sort of division or the other in a society.

Those who know the Indian society would agree that Indian society is one of its kind with categories and categories of people and people, full of diversity and riddle with complexities. It has been that way for thousands of years. But the Indian thinkers of the past, in their wisdom, observed deeply and discovered a system of classification or grouping the very society they lived in.

The four categories...

We all can identify with this grouping as it is based on our innate tendencies and behaviour. It is famously called the Varna system and according to this system, there are the four categories. They are the four categories of Thinkers, the Leaders, the Profit-minded and the Hands-on-Workers. A society has people in all of these four categories be in Western, Middle Eastern, South Asian or Far Eastern. Here is a simple descriptor of these four categories.

THE THINKERS: The thinkers are those who are purely intellectually driven. They are the contemplative ones who have a passion for research and study. They create knowledge and they are the policy makers, the scientists, the hardcore R&D guys, the sublime mystics, the philosophers, the educators of the society etc. These people love to think, analyse, categorise, educate and provide roadmaps for mankind.

THE LEADERS: The Leaders are the ones who have a commanding personality and provide leadership. They naturally tend to lead the masses. They are the ones who govern, offer protection to society, are in the military, defence, prevent wrong doing in the society, ensure justice, are the lawyers, cops etc.


THE PROFIT MINDED: The Profit minded people are the corporate guys who live and breathe profit. Business is what they understand. Profit and loss is their fundamental temper. They own capital, run industries and fund enterprises.

THE WORKERS: They are the ones who work more, do service to society and do the processing, the grassroot workers. They need not be just unskilled workers or those who do menial jobs.

Technically speaking...

The technical terminology used for these categories or Varnas are "Braahmanas" for thinkers, "Kshatriyas" for leaders, "Vaishyas" for the profit minded and "Shudras" for the workers. This four-fold category is not by inheritance or birth but only by mental temperaments. For example a thinker's son need not be a thinker. A businessman's son can be a natural thinker or even a worker. The word Braahmana is derived from the noun Brhman (brahmani aacharati iti braahmanah - One who seeks Brhman is a Braahmana). A Kshatriya is a holder of kṣatra or authority. Vaishya is from the noun Vishaha meaning merchant. The Vaishya is colloquially called 'Bania' or 'Vaania' which is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Vanij', meaning trader. Shudra is said to share roots with the words shuddha and shucha which mean pure.

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