The Vedas profess a scheme which is ideal for success for a human in a society. According to the scriptures mere material is worthless as discovered by Arjuna in the battle field (refer Mahabharata) even though he had materialistic success, reached spiritual bankruptcy in the time of dire need.
Varna Vyavastha is macro scheme taking a society as a whole and the ashrama Vyavastha is for an individual. As individuals comprise a society a balance is struck explaining both.
A society is divided into four Varnas in Varna Vyavastha. A society is seen as an organic body with four organs as the Varnas.
The basis of the division or condition of societal classification
- Character based classification or Guna Vibhagaha.
Guna Bhrahmana is a spiritual personality, loves spiritual pursuits, solitude, silence, contemplation, pursuit of the ultimate reality alone appeals to this mind. Solitude is a depression to most people and a terrible punishment, this mind moves towards it.
A dynamic personality, a selflessly motivated in helping the society. This mind contributes to material progress of the society.
Equally dynamic, motivated personality, cannot move towards solitude or contemplation. Only difference is that this personality is selfishly motivated. Every activity by this mind should be beneficial to itself and the family.
A personality which is passive, lethargic and which has no motivation for either material or spiritual success. A mind which is very close to contamination is characterized as Guna Shudra.
Technical term in vedic scriptures
- Guna Bhrahmana – Sathva Pradhana spiritual personality
- Guna Kshatriya – Shuda Pradhana or noble personality
- Guna Vaishya – Ashudha Pradhana or selfishly motivated personality
- Guna Shudra – Tamas Pradhana or a passive personality