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Lecture 14

MMW 12 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Dvija, Vaishya, Shudra

Making of the Modern World
Course Code
MMW 12
Richard Cohen

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Carolyn% Kao%
l Varna-Ashrama-Dharma
u Varna: color, caste, classification/categories
u Ashrama: stage of life
u Dharma: law
n Everyone has personal duty based upon their varna (social classification)
and ashrama (stage of life)
n [Varna-Dharma] The Four Varnas (Caste System)—A person is born into
his/her unchangeable varna
Brahman (priest)—to perform ritual/serve god
Dvija (twice-born)
Kshatriya (warrior)
Vaishya (commoner)
Shudra (servant)—to serve the above three
Non twice-born
u Jati (birth)—more detailed classification, various kinds
u Varna determines the marriage, social contact and personal worth
u Each person has his personal value as well as a place in the cosmic
n [Ashrama-Dharma]
u primarily focus on male
Aim (artha)
Debt (rna)
Celibate student
Learning Dharma
(righteousness, law)
Debt to seers; paid
by studying
Married householder
Kama—holy pursuit of
pleasure (in Kama Sutra)
Debt to ancestors;
paid by having a son
Artha (wealth and power)
Debt to gods; paid
by doing rituals
Forest dweller
Leaving the business
for the son
Moksha—to escape from
the cycle of life
Carolyn% Kao%
l Kama Sutra [How does it make sense?]
n How to live an emotionally satisfying life of human beings
n Given forth the expectation of god and obligation of human beings
n One should participate in the Kama and fulfill it as a human being
n Logic
u Not to enjoy sex or pleasure, but to give birth to baby and make a
successful society
u The finely focused context (context sensitivity) guides people how to
be disciplined in pleasure in line of Kama Sutra
u A right way to enjoy yourself with Dharma and righteousness and
control of mind
n Author Vatsyayana
u Renunciant
u Teaching the sex life in the right way
n Close reading
u Page 3
l written by the creator’s (Shiva’s) best friend, Nandi
l a divine book from the god to the world
l reproduced by human in an abridged form
u Page 6
l Human is not “animal-like,” not a “brute creation”.
l The book is needed for the “application of proper means.”
l To be a full human, one needs to pursue Kama with discipline,
intelligence intentionally
l Human has the capacity to follow rules.
u Page 44
l Not a mere brute
l Wearing a mask of animals and acting like them—“imitation of
these animals”
l Distinction: acting “intentionally” like animals, not
u Page 30-31 Of the Embrace
l Tension between…
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