Systems Science of the Varṇāśrama System

There is no dearth of people who criticize the Varṇāśrama System as a caste system and portray the Western model based on competition as the alternative. They neither know the scientific principles of system organization nor do they understand that a model based on competition is self-destructive. A clear contrast between these two models is needed to understand which type of society is long-lived and which one dies a natural death due to its inner contradictions.

The Yellow Pill discusses a 4C model of a society. The 4Cs are:

  • Completeness denoted by Brahmanas
  • Cooperation denoted by Kshatriyas
  • Competition denoted by Vaiśyas
  • Consistency denoted by Sudras

This model is based on the Nyāya Sūtra conception of a scientific theory in which reality is described as an organism or system comprising four features:

  • The purpose represents the whole
  • The controller uses parts to deliver the goal
  • The parts work to implement the goal
  • The repairers fix damages done in the process

We can take two examples to illustrate these points, one for a body and the other for a society. In the body, there is a brain that represents the purpose. Under the brain’s control is a peripheral nervous system that controls the various organs. Then there are various organs. Finally, there is an immune system represented by the spinal cord that repairs all the damages done to the body while it tries to achieve its purposes.

In a society, the Brahmanas represent the purpose of society’s existence. They impart this purpose to everyone. The Kshatriyas represent the control system. The Vaiśyas denote the various parts doing the functions of the body. Finally, the Sudras repair and fix the damage done in this process. If the first three classes do their job well, then the damage is minimized to clothes getting old, the houses needing mending, the roads and other infrastructure needing to be restored, furniture, utensils, and shoes having to be produced and so on. The repair, cleaning, and upkeep is done by Sudras.

The meaning of competeness is a purpose. The whole isn’t a physical agglomeration of parts. It is rather the purpose for which it exists. In a reductionist view of the world the whole is removed and the result is that nature ceases to be purposeful. Without a purpose, the control system also ceases to exist and control is transferred from the central purpose to each part. Now, each part acts individualistically in its own interest rather than cooperating toward a single goal. Each part is also equalized to other parts. By such equalization, the body of unified parts disintegrates into a collection of independent parts. Nothing can be head vs. leg, or stomach vs. hands. When there is no purpose, then there is no intended state of any part. Without an intended state, there is no concept of damage and repair. And yet, due to individualization of parts, each part competes with the other parts to grab the most for its own well-being.

Thus, when we remove the purpose from a system, initially completeness is lost, then cooperation goes away, and finally consistency is destroyed. The system reduces to competition between individuals. A body fragments into independent parts. People start theorizing that this is the best form of science and society. Natural sciences claim that the world works according to push-and-pull forces between independent individuals. All social sciences postulate that every individual must act in his best self-interest because (a) there is no shared purpose, (b) any control system that ensures cooperation among people is called oppressive, (c) competition reigns supreme due to individualizaiton, and (d) nobody is responsible for repairing the damages to maintain the system and restore it back to its functional stage upon any kind of damage.

The competitive people live for themselves and all children, old people, sick people, and other poor sections of society start falling behind. Grave societal disparities are created in which the divide between the haves and the have-nots starts growing. Men and women start competing rather than cooperating for survival. Since competition is always a zero-sum game of winners and losers, therefore, those with power and wealth use their resources to ensure their win while those without power and wealth start falling behind. Many people have estimated that 90% of the society is now falling behind while the 10% of the society is getting wealthier and stronger day by day.

This is just a step toward total disorder and chaos because when people start falling behind and cannot find ways to survive, let alone thrive, then the 90% people attack the 10%. The result is a revolution of the kind seen in many previous unequal societies. A revolution resets the society back to square one and the same process restarts. In case of the body, the 10% is the head and the other 90% is the rest of the body. When the rest of the body attacks the head, then a person becomes mentally sick. Rising mental sickness is an indication that the head is not able to control, guide, and repair the rest of the body. Leadership dysfunctions are indicators that the leaders of the society are not able to control, guide, and repair the damages to the society.

When society is modeled as a body and a body is modeled as a society, then we can draw parallels between the two. Both can be treated as a system that needs a systems science based on the 4C principles of which 3Cs at present have been removed and the society has been reduced just to one C or competition for survival. Evolutionary theories further spread misinformation that competition for survival produces better life forms over time. They disregard the fact that without a cooperative ecosystem of life forms doing different functions, the highest life forms will die rather than get better. Mere competition leads to extinction rather than betterment over time.

A systems science is very powerful because it allows to transplant insights of one area of knowledge to another because everything is modeled as an organism. The human body is just one type of organism. There are others such as a society, an ecosystem, a planet, and ultimately the entire universe. We can also think of every part of a human body as a society, organism, and ecosystem that must exist according to the 4C principles if that body has to survive. Separate subjects such as biology, ecology, and geology don’t need separate theories or principles when everything is treated as an organism. Different data points just reinforce the same theory.

Since the Varṇāśrama System is derided by a self-destructive competitive society as a “caste system” therefore it is important to establish that the Varṇāśrama System is just a natural principle of organization in human society. However, its application is not restricted to human societies. A natural principle of organization can be found in every area of organization including a ecosystem or a planet. Natural organization principles must also be used to study everything as an organism. They should in fact be used for modeling everthing in the same way to ensure that they not just remain long-lived but also that they attain their purpose of existence. This is presently missing. The role of the Varṇāśrama system is restricted to a human society rather than all of reality because the self-destructive competitive society has universalized competition. Such a society is neither long-lived nor does it attain the purpose of its existence.