Vaeshya

(43)
“The rule of the social cycle is that the Shúdra Age is followed by the Kśatriya Age, the Kśatriya Age is followed by the Vipra Age, and the Vipra Age is followed by the Vaeshya Age, which is followed by social revolution. This kind of social rotation is the inexorable law of nature.
Even during the period of their dominance, kśatriyas and vipras both understood (at least) that as nothing in the world stays the same forever, their dominance as well would one day come to an end, and that too due to their unworthiness. For this reason they extolled the right of inheritance and attached greater importance to it than to individual capacity – so that regardless of his ability, the son of a king would become a king and wear the laurels of kśatriya victory, and however foolish or stupid, the heir of a vipra would be respected by society and enjoy the privileges of a vipra. Subsequently the same thing occurred in vaeshya society.
It can be observed that in the Kśatriya Age power gradually passes into the hands of non-kśatriyas who are kśatriyas in name only, and in the Vipra Age power passes into the hands of non-vipras who are vipras in name only, all in the name of hereditary rights. But it is impossible for such unworthy people to maintain their hold on power. Under such circumstances power passes out of the hands of the kśatriyas and into the hands of the vipras, and later passes again from the hands of the vipras to the hands of the vaeshyas; and when the dominance of the oppressive vaeshyas becomes intolerable the common people revolt, thus starting a new chapter in the social cycle…
In the course of time the deceitful mentality of the vipras contributed greatly to the emergence of the vaeshyas as social exploiters. The vipras desire not to do any work resulted in their becoming parasites of the vaeshyas. So eventually the religious doctrines and social ideals propagated by the vipras became completely mortgaged to the wealth of the vaeshyas…
“Because the vipras have so much confidence in their presence of mind they fail to think about the future; consequently they rarely bother to accumulate wealth. They think that they will always be able to make some arrangement in any situation. But this overconfidence leads to their downfall. When real danger arrives and their presence of mind fails them, they have to sell themselves to anyone with any kind of wealth.
The vaeshyas, though endowed with less intelligence, begin to control the vipras with their capital. The subservient vipras then occupy themselves in increasing the wealth of the vaeshyas. Although they lack the capacity to accumulate wealth themselves, the vipras explain to the vaeshyas how to increase their wealth. The vipras show the vaeshyas all the straightforward and dirty ways of killing and cheating others that had escaped the vaeshyas’ attention. The vaeshyas evade taxes and indulge in black marketeering, smuggling and adulterating food and medicine, and increase their profits by paying bribes, but it is the vipras, grovelling at the feet of the vaeshyas, who supply the brains and the techniques behind these activities.
But in the course of time the vipras lose even their intellectual originality. They become servants of the vaeshyas, agents of capitalism. In the vaeshya-dominated society the vipras become like the shúdras and kśatriyas: mere beasts of burden who carry bags of sugar without ever tasting its sweetness. The capitalist vaeshyas gradually wrest the right to lead society out of the hands of the vipras, and establish their dominance using the vipras’ intellectual force.
Almost everywhere in the world the vaeshyas support democracy rather than monarchy, because in a monarchy the administration cannot be as easily influenced. People regard the bravery, tradition, noble birth and kśatriya nature of a monarch with respect, or with a mixture of devotion and fear. For this reason they do not like to oppose a monarch unless he or she does something which severely undermines the interests of the people. If the monarch demonstrates even a little concern for the public interest, the lives and properties of the vaeshyas in that kingdom may at any time be endangered.
In a party dictatorship or any other type of dictatorship, the dictator has to take into account the interests of the people. Even oppressive dictators cannot afford to ignore the welfare of the state, otherwise they will lose power. But in a democracy there is no danger of this.
The unintelligent kśatriyas and ignorant shúdras are easily duped by the mind-stupefying, life-enchaining propaganda of the vaeshyas, assisted by their vipra servants. Even the vipras, despite their intelligence and despite whatever they may say or think, support the vaeshyas out of fear or due to lack of a proper alternative. Thus in a democratic structure, particularly in a structure where downfallen vipras and kśatriyas are few in number and ignorant shúdras form the majority, the vaeshyas can easily win votes.
During vaeshya rule the vipras’ intellect remains intact; it neither sleeps nor becomes rusty. However, though the vipras have intellect, they do not have the courage to apply it, because crude worldly bondages hold them tightly, like the grip of an octopus. It can therefore be said that the day that the vipras submit to the vaeshyas, the Vipra Age dies, even if the vipras themselves do not.
The blood-sucking vaeshyas order the vipras whom they hire to write voluminous books which artfully distort the truth. They try to portray as mean and sub-human those who oppose the vaeshyas and demand the right to live. In order to keep their machinery of exploitation running, the vaeshyas produce deadly weapons with the help of mercenary vipras. On the orders of their vaeshya overlords, vipra scientists willingly or unwillingly take up the task of making weapons in their laboratories that have the potential to destroy human civilization.
Although the vipras understand what is going on, they cannot do anything about it. They look up towards heaven, hoping to see the arrival of better days. They think, “When will the downfallen vipras, kśatriyas and shúdras unitedly save human civilization from the all-devouring greed of the vaeshyas. When will people realize that it is not the desire of providence for some to exploit others.” Due to the utter despair they feel, the subservient vipras gradually become consumed with remorse recalling how they themselves once exploited others.
The economic exploitation of the vaeshyas relegates the vipras to the level of intellectual satans, and the money of the vaeshyas controls the brains of those satans. In the Vaeshya Age intellectual progress occurs on many levels: new inventions are brought forth, new types of deadly weapon are invented, and people learn how to produce many types of commodity to increase comfort. Many people believe that these things are creations of the Vipra Age, but actually they are expressions of the Vaeshya Age. The vipras who sell themselves to the vaeshyas for money produce such items at their behest.
A deep analysis reveals that many of those whose creative and inventive ability once commanded the respect of innumerable people, become dependent upon the mercy of the vaeshyas for their food and clothing. Poets and [authors] write according to the dictates of their vaeshya publishers or in the hope of winning prizes from the vaeshya-controlled governments. Artists wield their brushes according to the demands of the market, or are compelled to produce commercial art, neglecting more subtle art forms in the process. Instead of writing the truth, journalists turn day into night and night into day according to the wishes of profiteering newspaper publishers because they are afraid of losing their jobs. They go against their own consciences and pervert the truth in order to help unworthy people become leaders. They create spectacular lies with their pens.
Of course there is another side to all this. If vipras engage themselves in intellectual development and research, it is difficult for them to meet their material needs. Because the vaeshyas finance them, this problem is solved, and they are able to work free of worry. But naturally the vaeshyas do not extend their economic support in a disinterested way. Their ulterior motive is to establish themselves in society, and because of this the Vipra Age comes to an end.” (The Vipra Age)

(47)
“In the Vipra Age those who were defeated due to their lack of physical strength, courage or intellectual ability tried to discover an alternative way to live and gain social recognition. The particular type of psychic clash which arose in their minds due to their constant efforts to establish themselves developed in them their money-making intellect. This skill helped them to utilize the strength of the strong, the courage of the brave and the intellect of the intellectuals, and the more they were able to do this the more they became known as shreśt́hiis.
Here the funny thing is that the vaeshyas, who had money but no social status, were able to obtain from the vipras whom they exploited titles of respect such as shreśt́hii(3) and sádhu [honest]. (Sádhu became sáhu and today it is Sáu [a common surname].) The vipras took on the worry-free job of priests to these shreśt́hiis and sádhus. They underwent austerities, performed worship and recited scripture on behalf of the shreśt́hiis in return for money. The courageous kśatriyas took upon themselves the responsibility of being armed gatekeepers, and began to salute the shreśt́hiis twice a day. Other vipras became clerks, accountants, etc.; and the shúdras became porters and labourers. Through their work they all gradually began to elevate the status of the shreśt́hiis. This is an objective picture of the Vaeshya Age in every country of the world.” (The Vaeshya Age)

(48)
“The vaeshyas do not want to enjoy material objects; rather they get enjoyment at the thought of accumulating them… The difference between the former two classes and the vaeshyas is that the vaeshyas seldom come to power directly. They put the kśatriyas or vipras in power, and control the society, economy and polity from behind the scenes. Generally, the amount of physical and psychic clash is less during the kśatriya and vipra eras compared to the vaeshya era, where poverty, deprivation and exploitation are extreme.” (Nuclear Revolution)

(49)
“As the result of a natural process, the kśattriyas and vipras gradually became subservient to the vaeshyas in order to maintain their mundane existence. In the absence of farmers no food could be produced; without weavers no clothes could be made – blacksmiths, potters, cobblers, etc., were also indispensable. Thus gradually the vipra society had no alternative but to accept the supremacy of the vaeshyas.
Those who were devoid of the qualities of the kśattriyas, vipras or vaeshyas had no option but to become their obedient servants. They were exploited by all three classes in the same manner – ruthlessly.
The world advanced still further, and along with this the social structure also underwent changes. As a natural consequence of the flow of creation, human beings invented money. Gradually money itself became a source of pleasure. People scrambled among themselves, because the more money one accumulated, the richer one became; one could become the owner of as much land as one wished or as many luxuries as one desired. In the vaeshya-dominated society the vaeshyas were undoubtedly the most affluent; the other classes, for their subsistence, were totally dependent on the favours dispensed by the vaeshyas. This vaeshya-dominated society continues even today.” (The Evolution of Society)

(50)
“The continued exploitation by one section of society resulted in the necessity for the collection and transfer of consumable goods. Even otherwise, need was felt very badly for the transport of food and other necessities of life from surplus parts to deficit parts. Also, in the case of clan conflicts, the result of the resources of one community or class versus another gained importance. This aspect was confined not only to the producers but also to those handling the goods at various stages up to the point of consumption. These people became known as vaeshyas, and ingenuity and summed-up production began to enjoy supremacy and importance, till an age was reached when this aspect of life became the most important factor. These vaeshyas, therefore, began to enjoy a position of supremacy, and the age dominated by this class is said to be the Age of Vaeshyas.
Individualistic or laissez-faire sense develops [into] capitalism when the means of production pass into the hands of a few who are more interested in personal exploitation. At this stage it can be said that the instinct of acquisition has developed tremendously. The thirst for acquisition instigated them to [develop] the psychology of complete exploitation of the human race also, and this resulted in a class by itself. In the race for greed and acquisition not all could survive, and only a few remained to dominate the society in general and the economic set-up in particular by their capital. The great majority were either duped into believing that they would be allowed to share such resources, or were neglected and left uncared-for for want of strength and did not survive the race. Such people in society ultimately occupy the place of exploited slaves of the capitalists. They are slaves because they have no option other than to serve the capitalists as labourers to earn the means of subsistence.” (The Place of Sadvipras in the Samája Cakra)

(51)
“The vaeshyas, however, are more interested in possessing material objects than enjoying them. Looking at their possessions, or thinking about them, gives them a certain peace of mind. So in the Vaeshya Age the practical value of material goods is less than at any other time. They gradually become inert both literally and in financial terms. This is the greatest curse of the Vaeshya Age, because the less the mobility of material goods, that is, the greater their stagnation in different spheres, the more harmful it is for the common people. In the Kśatriya and Vipra Ages it is very rare for people to die of starvation while grains rot in the warehouses. Although there is disparity of wealth in the Kśatriya and Vipra Ages, kśatriyas and vipras do not kick others into a pit of privation, poverty and starvation while they themselves enjoy their wealth. This is because they see other people as tools to be used for the purpose of exploitation, but do not see them as the wellspring of exploitation as the vaeshyas do. To a vaeshya, the shúdras, kśatriyas and vipras are not only tools to be used for exploitative purposes, they are the wellspring of exploitation as well.
The vaeshyas gain material objects of enjoyment through the physical efforts of others; or directly through mental efforts; or sometimes through such physical efforts, sometimes through mental efforts, and sometimes through both simultaneously, according to the situation. So in this respect the vaeshyas are similar to the vipras. However, the difference is that when the vipras acquire objects of enjoyment, they do not let others know that that is their intention; they resort to various types of logic, quote from the scriptures, fake indifference, and employ many other techniques. The vaeshyas do not do such things. In this regard at least, they are more straightforward than the vipras. They do not hide their intentions, which are to accumulate an increasing number of objects of enjoyment.
As vipras are to some extent guided by conscience, they do not utilize their intellects solely to accumulate objects of enjoyment. If they develop a greater degree of conscience or if their intellects increase, they will often neglect to do this altogether. But this never happens with vaeshyas, first of all because they are somewhat lacking in conscience. And secondly, if any of them do have a bit more conscience, they will satisfy it by making donations according to their convenience, priorities or inclination, but they will never stop accumulating objects of enjoyment. A vaeshya with a conscience may donate a hundred thousand rupees at a moment’s notice, but while buying and selling he will not easily let go of even a paisa.
The consequences of accumulating material objects of enjoyment are not the same for vaeshyas as they are for vipras, either. Because they generally spend some time thinking about higher pursuits, vipras do not ideate on objects of enjoyment. But vaeshyas do. As a result they one day take the form of matter.” (The Vaeshya Age)

Vaeshya Exploitation of Vipras

(52)
“The subservient vipras employ all their intellectual power to increase the wealth of the vaeshyas in exchange for the basic necessities they need to fill their bellies. Millionaire vaeshyas employ vipras at low wages in order to increase their wealth; with the help of these vipras they build up networks of adulteration, black marketeering and smuggling.
After the vaeshyas secure the allegiance of the vipras, they enlist them to help them consolidate the capitalistic social structure and philosophy. The contemporary Bhúdán movement(19) is an example of this type of philosophy; it is supported by the vaeshyas and propagated by the vipras under their control. As a result of this kind of movement, efforts to fight the exploitation of the vaeshyas decline because people think, “Why fight against rich people when they voluntarily distribute their land and wealth to the poor?” This aversion to fighting will somewhat lengthen the Vaeshya Age; because as the vaeshyas know full well, most of their donations are not genuine, but exist on paper only – and whenever they make genuine donations, they realize double the amount as profits in some other way.
In the Vaeshya Age this type of rotten philosophy gets widely trumpeted in the newspapers. Attempts are also made to mislead students by including such harmful philosophies in textbooks. The agents of the vaeshyas attempt to awaken respect and devotion for vaeshyas in children’s minds by depicting them in textbooks as symbols of peace, love and humanity.
To accomplish this objective a new type of nationalism based on economics is created which is totally different from both the nationalism of the Kśatriya Age, based on personal force and family glory, and that of the Vipra Age, based on learning. The nationalism of the Vaeshya Age leads to a form of imperialism which is extremely dangerous for the unity of the human race.
Although the vipras grovelling at the feet of the vaeshyas wield great authority at various levels of society as the servants of capitalistic imperialism, the vaeshyas never entrust them with the responsibility of leading society or structuring the economy. Only in this way can one easily understand whether a country or state is in the Vaeshya Age. It is not always the case that a state controlled by the vaeshyas is democratic. One indication that is clear is that the vaeshyas always keep the collection and distribution of finance and the corresponding ministerial posts in the hands of orthodox vaeshyas. They never delegate these responsibilities to a learned and experienced vipra economist, because it is their own systems of collection and distribution of finance that provide them the opportunity to establish themselves. Thus in the vaeshya social system, vipra scholars are nothing but paid planners and intellectual servants appointed to materialize those plans.
Whenever, after popular acceptance of the vaeshya-created social system, it became apparent that vipras were trying to free themselves from the rule and exploitation of the vaeshyas, the vaeshyas would buy the support of the masses, rub the noses of the rebellious vipras in the dirt, and then replace them with a group of sycophantic vipras.
The vaeshyas have repressed unrest and discontent among agricultural and industrial labourers, as well as political revolution, with the help not only of their vipra hirelings, but of kśatriyas and shúdras as well. In fact, of all the classes, the vaeshyas have made the most extensive use of the policy of divide and rule. For example, when a group of vipras vociferously demanded an investigation into the mysterious death of Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, another group of vipras immediately diverted their steam by increasing the tram fares in Calcutta and at the same time starting a movement to oppose the increase. Because of this, those typical vaeshyas who were directly or indirectly responsible for Shyamaprasad’s death escaped punishment.
The discriminatory measures adopted by employers or states ruled by vaeshyas to suppress labour agitations are generally known to every educated person. To disrupt the plans and intellectual movements of one group of vipras, a second group of vipras are appointed as spies or informers. Such spies or informers do not work out of ideological inspiration but in order to fill their stomachs. They are merely paid servants of the vaeshyas.
The efforts of intelligent vipras or brave kśatriyas to escape from the influence of the vaeshyas can be called the vikránti [counter-evolution] or the prativiplava [counter-revolution] of the vipras or kśatriyas.
Some people consider what happened recently in Hungary as counter-revolution, but actually it was not. It was a vipra revolution against kśatriya rule. It failed because factors relating to time, place and person could not be prepared properly. Those in power called it counter-revolution in order to belittle it.
In India at present the Vaeshya Age is in full swing. But because there is not sufficient consciousness among the exploited vipras, kśatriyas and shúdras – and because the clever vaeshyas of India, having learned from the experiences of other countries and having become cautious, often employ some psychology and exploit people indirectly rather than directly – the revolution to end the Vaeshya Age has not yet taken place…
Because rich people have the opportunity to purchase votes, it is not easy for leaders who are genuinely concerned about the people to become members of parliament. It is therefore not possible to eradicate the sufferings of the people of India by enacting laws befitting a genuine welfare state. It is not possible to bring about the economic liberation of India through the present democratic structure.
The predominance of dishonest people over honest is far greater in the Vaeshya Age even than it was in the Vipra Age. The vaeshyas use most of their capital and privileged status to deprive others of the wealth they earn through their hard labour. (Here “labour” certainly includes intellectual labour.) Just as the vipras use their intellects to stupefy and manipulate the kśatriyas’ vitality, the vaeshyas still more ruthlessly turn the vipras, as well as everybody else, into beasts of burden. When the Vaeshya Age begins after the Vipra Age, and the vipras and kśatriyas helplessly sell themselves to the vaeshyas, the vipras and kśatriyas clearly understand that they are sold. They are like chickens that have just been sold to the hungry chicken-fancier.
Only the shúdras fail to realize that they are sold. Although the vipras and kśatriyas know what is happening, they nevertheless accept the dominance of the vaeshyas due to selfishness, infighting and a lack of economic knowledge. The vaeshyas are fully aware of the disunity and other weaknesses of the vipras and kśatriyas, and they use this knowledge to perpetuate their hold on power; they use their financial power to incite one group against another. The kśatriyas, out of obligation to the vaeshyas, lose their lives in needless battles and fracases of different kinds; while the vipras, similarly fed and sheltered by the vaeshyas, keep such factional conflicts permanently alive by creating various types of sentiment such as casteism, communalism, provincialism and nationalism, and by composing the necessary scriptures to accomplish this.
It should be clearly understood that the vaeshyas encourage all isms that divide people. Casteism, communalism, provincialism and nationalism are supported mainly by the money of the vaeshyas. They finance such isms to keep people divided so that they cannot unite and protest against their exploitation.
The funny thing is that the vaeshyas purchase the vital energy of the kśatriyas and the intellectual skills of the vipras with money and use that energy and those skills to perpetuate their hold on power and turn the kśatriyas and vipras into long-term slaves. The vaeshyas’ financial power carries more weight than the power of speech and intellectual power of the vipras, not to mention the physical power of the kśatriyas; therefore the vaeshyas have no trouble buying the vipras’ brains and the kśatriyas’ brawn with their money.
Among those who possess knowledge, intellect, great courage or physical strength, there is hardly anyone who has the courage, or sometimes even the intelligence, needed to take the financial risks necessary to earn money. The vaeshyas understand this weakness of the vipras and the kśatriyas. They lull their discrimination to sleep by praising the kśatriyas’ valour and the vipras’ intellect. Then afterwards they can easily buy them off. In a vaeshya state, poets, scientists, [authors] and great heroes are awarded prizes, medals and titles for this very reason. By participating in all this, the vipras and the kśatriyas surrender all their endowments at the feet of the vaeshyas for a little money or some name and fame; and at the same time feel they are fortunate. They fail to realize that they are digging their own graves.
What to speak of revolution, even the need for revolution has not yet been felt properly among intellectuals. At present they are in a hesitant frame of mind. They are waiting for the auspicious day when the Vaeshya Age will end naturally through kránti [evolution], without any struggle.
This mentality is reflected in the support which a group of intellectuals extend to the Sarvodaya movement(22) and Gandhism. They deliberately ignore the fact that the Sarvodaya movement and Gandhism will only increase the period of their suffering…
In today’s world also, satanic vipras, the protected agents of the capitalist vaeshyas, have led and are continuing to lead millions of people along the path of death and destruction. Evil vipras are fanning the flames of the vaeshyas’ insatiable, demonic hunger. Neither the shúdra masses nor the warlike kśatriyas are responsible for the problem of the millions of refugees in different countries, for the heart-rending cries of the mothers, wives, sons and daughters of the soldiers who died on the battlefields, for the blazing flames of communal (religious) riots, for communalism itself, provincialism, nationalism and casteism. The responsibility lies with a small group of shrewd vipras who, out of petty self-interest, have instigated the shúdras and kśatriyas to commit heinous acts.
The meanness and brutality of such vipras put on a ghoulish graveyard dance, seeming to make a mockery of the vipras’ intellect. In the Vipra Age the vipras drew power from this type of brutality, and through a staged display of black magic, vipras bestrode society. In the Vaeshya Age the vipras commit similar sins in order to shine like fancy shoes on the feet of the vaeshyas.” (The Vaeshya Age)
Footnote (22) In the Sarvodaya movement started by Jayprakash Narayan (as in the Bhúdán movement), an attempt was made to convince landlords to donate land to poor, landless people. (Sarva means “all” and udaya means “rise”.) –Trans.

(53)
“the history of the Vaeshya era contains an abundance of stories about the glories of the Vaeshyas.”
(What Should History Be Like?)

(54)
“The path of the vipras is crooked and so is the path of the vaeshyas. The difference between them is that since the vaeshyas’ crooked intellect has no trace of spiritual consciousness, it often proves to be suicidal.
A dreadful calamity will befall society if those who have intellectual capacity squander it by running after mundane pleasures instead of utilizing it to realize spiritual bliss – if they utilize all their intellect to fatten themselves by sucking the vital juice of others. So there can be no social welfare until this type of mentality is eradicated or rendered ineffectual through circumstantial pressure. No political leader or governmental or social system can build a welfare state, a socialistic state or an ideal society if they neglect this fundamental disease. If those who go around looking for opportunities to enlarge their stomachs by sucking the vital force of others continue to control society or the nation through their own group of sinners, what can one expect to see in such a society except a horrid picture of hell!
Most of the evils that occur in society are created due to the exploitation carried out by the vaeshyas. In order to increase the size of their bank balances, the vaeshyas create an artificial scarcity of such items as food, clothing and other essential commodities, and then earn a profit by black marketeering. Those who do not have the capacity to purchase commodities at exorbitant prices steal, commit armed robberies and engage in other criminal activities in order to obtain the minimum requirements of their lives. Poor people deprived of food and clothing work as the agents of the greedy vaeshyas engaged in black marketeering and smuggling. When these poor people are caught, they are the ones who get punished, while the vaeshyas escape thanks to the power of their money. Such ill-fated poor people lose their consciences and descend deeper into sin. Society condemns these sinners, while the rich vaeshyas, the instigators of the sinners, play the role of public leaders. They wear garlands, set off verbal fireworks, and shrilly exhort the masses to make greater sacrifices.” (The Vaesha Age)

Good Aspects of Vaeshyas

(55)
“Only the small number of good vaeshyas in whom humanism has begun to develop and who have discovered the meaning of life, should be eligible to guide and manage the material affairs of society. Some among them may say, ‘What I save, I lose. It is a sin to die rich.” (Various Occupations)

(56)
“Nothing in the world is exclusively good or exclusively bad. Is the Vaeshya Age only an age of economic exploitation? Is there nothing good in this present Vaeshya Age, and has there never been anything good in it? Although it is a fact that the vaeshyas’ economic exploitation has always surpassed their service, they have nevertheless done service, however small or insignificant it may have been. When the vipras collect something (directly or indirectly), they decide how and to what extent it can be put to use, how it can be enjoyed by the people and how it can be utilized for their welfare. But the vaeshyas collect things without thinking about how they can be utilized for social welfare. Instead they think about how to compel people through circumstantial pressure to buy those things so that they can earn money in exchange.
Material goods have no practical value for the vaeshyas, except as a source of income. This type of mentality leads them to illegally hoard foodstuffs out of a greedy desire for greater profits, depriving millions of people of food and pushing them down the road towards death.
We do not expect vipras to do such things. The vipras do promote their personal interests and their domination, but they do not try to deprive the shúdras and kśatriyas of a chance to live. But if the vaeshyas think of the kśatriyas or shúdras as thorns on the path of making money, they will deprive them of a chance, and often out of greed for greater profit indirectly kill them.
Having said all this, I still contend that nothing in this world is exclusively good or bad. For any individual or collective endeavour, capital, either in the form of money or resources, is initially required. The opportunity to create such capital, to create capital in a massive way or in a widely-diversified way, comes in the Vaeshya Age. With the help of such capital, wealth can be generated for both individual and collective needs, and this is what happens.
In order to raise the general standard of living in a society, state or economy, capital is required, whether the capital comes from within a particular country or from outside. No matter where it comes from, it must be controlled partly or completely by an individual. The individual controller is, of course, the vaeshya. But if, without examining how it should or should not be used, the use or control of the capital is entrusted to a government, a cooperative or a representative of the public, non-utilization or misutilization of the capital will be inevitable in all circumstances. This is one of the main reasons why capitalistic countries develop extremely rapidly in the material sphere.
Furthermore, if large amounts of capital are placed under collective management, a small error on the part of the managers will lead to gross misutilization. This is the main reason why the system of collective farming, or the commune system, has failed in socialistic countries. If the ownership of wealth is taken away from individuals and placed in the hands of the state – in other words, if the vaeshya system is abolished by force – managers will not have the same control over that wealth as individual owners would…
“Whatever glory the vaeshyas gain, they gain at the risk of their lives. In this regard they are definitely greater than the vipras and may also be greater than the kśatriyas. The vaeshyas always keep in mind the possible ups and downs in life and their personal profit and loss; thus they develop the capacity to adapt to a wide variety of situations. They are neither especially attracted to luxuries nor repelled by hardships. This is the key to their success.
Vaeshyas are fighters, but their methods of fighting are different from those of the kśatriyas or even the vipras. Actually they lack the powerful personalities of the kśatriyas and are in fact the opposite – weak personalities. They do not hesitate to sell their personal force, their society, their nation, the prestige of women, or national welfare, which the kśatriyas would never do. Vipras limit their fighting to the intellectual sphere, but this is not exactly the case with vaeshyas. Although they also fight intellectually, they do so only to make money. If a vipra and a vaeshya ever engage in a purely intellectual fight, the vipra will win. But if the fight is between their urges for financial gain, the vaeshya will win; the vaeshyas will lock the vipras’ minds up in their iron safes.
Vaeshyas perceive the world through greedy eyes. They do not have the capacity to correctly or fully understand worldly issues. They do not understand anything except the economic value of things. Their commercial outlook is not confined to the material world only; it also includes the psychic and spiritual worlds.
Even though vaeshyas, as a kind of intellectual, have the capacity to acquire psychic wealth, they do not utilize this capacity properly. However, some vaeshyas do find quite subtle ways to make money – it all depends on the degree of their intellect. Though they may have a developed intellect or a desire to do good, they never forget that their primary aim is to make money. They worship whichever god makes them rich. After earning tens of millions of rupees by cheating people with their business acumen, they use a small part of their profit to construct temples or dharmashálas [pilgrims’ inns], because they believe that this will absolve them of their sins.
Vaeshyas do not like to tread the path of desireless action in order to make their minds one-pointed and realize God. They avoid or usually try to avoid the real purpose of dharma, for they do not have any sense of or feeling for religion other than some degree of fear of God. If this fear decreases, they begin to behave like mean-minded demons. In such a state of mind they can commit any type of sin to satisfy their hunger for money.
A mind which runs after money moves in very crooked ways. Although this movement involves intense effort, due to the crudeness of its objective the movement cannot be straightforward: it is crooked, extremely crooked.
Due to their intense effort vaeshyas are mutative by nature, and due to the crudeness of their objectives they are static by nature; thus they are a combination of the mutative [red] and static [black] forces and are symbolized by the colour yellow.
Though vaeshyas make greater efforts than do kśatriyas, their efforts are more psychic than physical.” (The Vaeshya Age)

Women Under Vaeshyas

(57)
“The Vaeshya Age followed the Vipra Age. But in the Vaeshya Age as well, we see that, as a legacy of the Vipra Age, women who have been abandoned by their husbands have not been respected by society. Even today, in places where society has not yet begun to feel the influence of shúdra revolution, society follows the system of the Vipra Age in not open-mindedly accepting divorce. In such places women have been given some opportunities on paper, but in reality they still have to depend on the mercy of oppressive men…
The Vaeshya Age followed the Vipra Age. But in the Vaeshya Age as well, we see that, as a legacy of the Vipra Age, women who have been abandoned by their husbands have not been respected by society. Even today, in places where society has not yet begun to feel the influence of shúdra revolution, society follows the system of the Vipra Age in not open-mindedly accepting divorce. In such places women have been given some opportunities on paper, but in reality they still have to depend on the mercy of oppressive men…
The repugnant social disease of prostitution is also a creation of the vaeshyas. As a result of excessive wealth the vaeshyas lose their self-control and their character on the one hand; and many unfortunate women are forced by poverty to descend to this sinful occupation on the other hand.
In India prostitution has been outlawed, but every rational person knows that it cannot be stopped by legal means. Poor women who once lived in red-light districts have only fled out of fear of the law to respectable localities. As a result the sin which was previously confined to certain areas is now spreading to other parts of town. In order to eradicate this sinful occupation in India, it will be necessary to eliminate the vaeshya social system, because in eighty per cent of cases the cause of prostitution is economic injustice. Of course if due to wrong education or base propensities people (both men and women) give indulgence to this sinful occupation, it will continue even after the eradication of economic injustices. So instead of enacting laws, the exploitation of the vaeshyas will have to be eliminated, as will other social injustices. And instead of legally banning something, a healthy outlook should be encouraged.
Of course it is in the nature of a vaeshya-dominated social system that many good laws are framed just to win cheap applause from the public. However, none of these laws are strictly implemented; because if they were, it would become difficult to exploit people.” (The Vaeshya Age)

Vaeshya Exploitation

(58)
“The vaeshyas became established through their materialistic intellect. First they defeated the vipras through their materialistic intellect and financial machinations, then they turned them into sycophants so that they could harness their intellects in order to increase their wealth.
Although the production, accumulation and distribution of things indispensable for the preservation of human life are carried out under the ownership or partial supervision of the vaeshyas, those whose labour, personal force and intellect are actually used to produce and distribute essential commodities are not vaeshyas. In order to meet their own needs those people mortgage their labour, personal force and intellect to the vaeshyas. The vaeshyas clearly understand that their system of exploitation will fail without the help of the shúdras, kśatriyas and vipras.
Thus behind their grandiloquence the vaeshyas continue their psychological manipulations in order to perpetuate their capitalistic rule. Through this process the shúdras and kśatriyas readily become their slaves. Although the vipras understand what is happening, after a short struggle they are also compelled to surrender to the vaeshyas like a fly caught in a spider’s web.
These psychological manipulations, a part of vaeshya philosophy, begin to fail only when the shúdras, kśatriyas and vipras lose their minds due to excessive exploitation. They then become desperate, blind, mindless people who completely lack conscience, intellect or rationality. One day they mercilessly smash the vaeshya structure to pieces. How or why they did it, or how the new structure will be built – these considerations, this type of thinking – never enter their minds. They only jump into the struggle in order to survive. They think, “Since there is no point in living, let us die sooner.” While this directionless revolution is going on, the condition of the shúdras, kśatriyas and vipras becomes almost the same. It is useless to expect from them anything worthy of human beings.
Intellect controls strength; therefore the vipras control the shúdras and the kśatriyas. But, Annacintá camatkárá [“Wonderful are the ways of hunger”] – when even intelligent people find themselves struggling to survive, they readily sell their intelligence for money; for this reason the vipras sell themselves to the vaeshyas. They not only sell themselves, but also surrender the shúdras and the kśatriyas, whom they had previously controlled, at the holy feet of their vaeshya overlords. Without the help of the vipras, it would be virtually impossible for the vaeshyas to force the shúdras and the kśatriyas to work.
It is therefore evident that in a capitalistic structure, when the vaeshyas struggle to perpetuate their system of exploitation, they do not physically struggle, they merely spend money. Upon taking the money, the vipras then fight with their nerves, the kśatriyas with their muscles, and the shúdras with their sweat and labour.
Thus it is clear that in any type of communal or other reactionary-instigated conflict, there are wealthy bosses on both sides behind the riots and fracases. The bosses themselves never take up spears, lances or axes and fight.
The victory of wealth over intellect, the vipras’ surrender at the feet of the vaeshyas, does not come about in a single day. As mentioned earlier, the vipras get caught like a fly in a spider’s web; they do make some efforts to understand their situation, but finally they become so entangled in the web that their vitality gets exhausted in the struggle and they have no alternative but to surrender. They are then compelled to sing the victory songs of the vaeshyas as they beat their heads in despair.
Through the power of money the vaeshyas take over all the constructive work accomplished by, or useful things built by, the intelligence and ideological commitment of the vipras, the sacrifice and personal force of innumerable kśatriyas, and the labour of countless shúdras. Sometimes the vipras, kśatriyas and shúdras seek the help of the unworthy vaeshyas in order to preserve some worthy institution. But for the sake of money, they are compelled to name the institution after those vaeshyas.
However, the vaeshyas’ cunning methods of economic exploitation do encounter set-backs according to time, place and person. Whenever they see the vipras, kśatriyas and shúdras moving towards counter-evolution or counter-revolution, they adopt new forms of deception in order to save their position. Until an actual shúdra revolution occurs, they engage themselves untiringly in trying to discover newer and more artful methods of deception.
It should be remembered that in countries where the dominant vaeshya structure is at present extremely firm and stable, the strength of that structure was not created in a day. The vaeshyas laboured a long time to build it and they will try to maintain it by any means. To expect, under such circumstances, that they will be won over by humble requests, or will voluntarily put on a loincloth and renounce the world, is sheer lunacy. Actually such things are possible if they become inspired by a great spiritual ideology; however, this would require the long-term, continuous propagation of morality-based spirituality among the vaeshyas. Intelligent people should certainly consider whether it is really rational to allow the exploitation of the masses to go on until such a day comes.
The occasional charity works that the vaeshyas undertake are only a trick to maintain their exploitation. Most of their charitable activities are not inspired by humanism; their sole purpose is to keep the machinery of exploitation, that is, the vipras and the shúdras, functioning. If the vipras and the shúdras die, who will there be to exploit? The cunning vaeshyas consider such charitable activities as investments.
The help that vaeshyas extend to poor people in difficult times, during floods and famines, they afterwards recover with interest. They are benefited in various ways. First, their businesses continue to run and they make good money. Secondly, people who are disgruntled with the vaeshyas’ exploitation are to some extent pacified and their wounded minds are temporarily soothed.
Of course these comments do not apply to those vaeshyas who do social service out of humanitarian or spiritual inspiration. No doubt there are some honest vaeshyas who are worthy of veneration by everyone.
Whatever dignity a person possesses as a human being in either the Kśatriya Age or the Vipra Age is dealt its heaviest blow in the Vaeshya Age. In the Vaeshya Age a person’s dignity is measured in terms of money. The repercussions of this defective evaluation of human beings are not confined only to the realm of dignity; they have far-reaching effects in all spheres of society.
No matter how many other qualities they may possess, vipras and kśatriyas who think independently, possess a sense of dignity or are self-reliant, cannot establish themselves unless they learn to flatter the vaeshyas in a psychological way. Even the unworthy son or relative of a wealthy person has the opportunity to sit at the head of society, and through the power of money an unattractive daughter is properly married to a good bridegroom. A good marriage cannot be arranged even for the sons of the poor, intelligent and educated though they may be, let alone the daughters of the poor. In fact in the Vaeshya Age people cannot hope to be respected unless they are rich. Those who hope for respect or have gained it, depend or have depended on the mercy of the vaeshyas.
Yasyásti vittaḿ sah narah kuliinah;
Sa pańd́itah sah shrutavána guńajiṋah.
Sa eva vaktá sa ca darshaniiyah;
Sarve guńáh káiṋcańamáshrayanti.
[Those who have wealth are high-caste, are well-educated, possess many abilities, are good orators and are good-looking. They have all these qualities because they have money.]
The methods of social exploitation used in the Vipra and Vaeshya Ages are somewhat similar. Certain aspects of society in the Vipra Age therefore remain unchanged in the Vaeshya Age, such as the social system, the law, the status of men and women and the right of inheritance…
Vaeshyas believe that only a few people can accumulate material wealth, depriving the rest. Thus there will always be only a few vaeshyas, while those who are the objects and tools of their exploitation form the majority. Like exploited beasts of burden which carry bags of sugar, in their crippled state of mind the majority feel that they do not have the right to taste the sweetness. This feeling is the greatest ally of the vaeshyas, so directly or indirectly they always try to nurture this type of feeling in the minds of the majority. Consequently they propagate various types of isms and ethereal theories with the help of the vipras in their pay whom they have reduced to the level of shúdras. When the majority, unable to tolerate this exploitation any longer or find any other way out, desperately leap into action, the Vaeshya Age comes to an end. But it takes a long time for downtrodden people to understand that the vaeshyas are the parasites of society. Hence thorough preparation is required to end the Vaeshya Age.
By vaeshyas I mean here the low type of vaeshyas. However, I am not prepared to call those who are not low vaeshyas, “high” vaeshyas; because while it is true that they give donations as well as exploit, and that society may be benefited by their donations, that will not bring the people who have died from their exploitation back to life!
The vaeshyas increase their wealth by buying the back-breaking labour of the shúdras, the powerful personalities of the kśatriyas, and the intellect of the vipras, according to their needs. The shúdras, just like beasts, sell their physical labour in exchange for mere subsistence. Because they sell their labour, society survives and moves ahead. The powerful personalities of the kśatriyas build and maintain the social structure with the labour extracted from the shúdras. Through their intellect the vipras utilize the personal force of the kśatriyas, and through their money and capitalistic mentality the vaeshyas utilize the vipras’ intellect to increase their wealth.
The vaeshyas do not confront any social problem directly. Just as they buy the labour of the shúdras, the personal force of the kśatriyas and the intellect of the vipras with money, so they endeavour to solve all social problems with money. They do not win victory on the battlefield; they buy it with money. In poverty-stricken democratic countries they buy votes. As they accomplish everything with money, their vital force comes from money. They therefore take all sorts of risks in life to accumulate money. For money they can sacrifice their conscience, their sense of good and bad, right and wrong, at any moment. So in order to save the exploited shúdras, kśatriyas and vipras from the vaeshyas, money, which is the source of all their power, has to be taken out of their hands.
Of course it is not wise to think that all social problems will be solved just by taking money away from the vaeshyas. Although they will have lost their money, they will still have their greedy, money-making mentality.
Thus the structure of society will have to be built in such a way, and society will have to progress in such a way (maintaining balance among time, place and person), that the greedy, money-making mentality of the vaeshyas is rendered ineffectual. This cannot be accomplished by persuasion or by delivering philosophical talks. Their money-making intellect will have to be rendered ineffectual through physical force, and they will have to be shown the divine truth and made to sit and perform spiritual practices to awaken their pinnacled intellect.
To the vaeshyas the social body is merely a machine for making money. The vipras are the head, the kśatriyas are the arms, and the shúdras are the legs of the machine. The authors of scripture may say that the vaeshyas are the thighs of the machine, but I would say that this is incorrect. Of course the vaeshyas are part of the social body, but they are not part of the money-making machine within that social body. They are separate. They supply the oil, water and fuel to the machine, but they take far more from the machine than they spend on it. They think, ‘As I supply oil, water and fuel to the machine to keep it running, all of the output is mine. My money built the machine, and with my money I can destroy it. If necessary I will get more work out of it by supplying it with more oil, water and fuel, and if I no longer need it I will send it to the junkyard.’
If, in the history of human struggle, the role of the vipras is one of parasitic dependence on others, I cannot find words to describe the role of the vaeshyas. Both the vipras and the vaeshyas exploit society, but the vipra exploiters are not as terrible as the vaeshya exploiters. The vaeshyas are like a deadly parasite on the tree of society which tries to kill the tree by sucking dry all its vital sap. But if the tree dies, the parasite will also die. The vaeshya parasites understand this and therefore try to ensure the survival of society by making some donations; they build temples, mosques, churches and pilgrims’ inns, give little bonuses, feed the poor; etc. Calamity only comes when they lose their common sense out of excessive greed and try to suck society completely dry.
Once the social body falls unconscious, the vaeshyas will die along with the rest of the body. Otherwise, before allowing themselves to die, the exploited shúdras, kśatriyas and vipras can unite to destroy the vaeshyas. This is the rule…
“Neither the vipras nor the vaeshyas directly produce the wealth of society; instead they accumulate the wealth produced by others. To say that there is a heaven-and-hell difference between their methods of acquiring wealth is to say little. The vipras use their intellect and acquire the hard-earned wealth of others in order to meet their material needs, maintain their reputation in society and protect their prestige. But the vaeshya outlook is different. They are content to simply accumulate wealth, and derive pleasure from thinking about their accumulated riches. Hence even millionaire vaeshyas sometimes neglect the bare necessities of life. They forget their hunger when they are counting their money; they forget their personal needs – their minds get absorbed – when they see the wealth they have accumulated. And as for prestige, they sell it for money without any hesitation.
If a certain commodity is easily obtainable in the open market, a vaeshya will welcome a customer with folded hands, saying, “Please come in, sir, have some betel.” But when the same commodity is only available in the black market, the same vaeshya will not even recognize that customer.(2) In other words, to vaeshyas money is the only thing that matters. Where money is concerned, their own prestige or the prestige of others is of no consequence.
When people use their intellects over a long period of time solely to accumulate material wealth, their intellects, because they have inculcated this sort of thought in their mental bodies, gradually develop in that direction. In other words, “How can I accumulate more?” ultimately becomes their only thought. Their social spirit and sense of humanity gradually disappear until eventually they become total blood-sucking leeches. They do not retain even the tiniest scrap of humanity.
At the beginning of the Vaeshya Age some social spirit still exists in them alongside the desire to make money. Whatever their motive may be, the vaeshyas do sometimes spend generously on social service and charitable activities, but by the end of the Vaeshya Age they lose even the last vestiges of social consciousness, and as a result of their foolhardiness shúdra revolution occurs.
At the beginning of the Vaeshya Age the vaeshyas use their money-making intellect both for social service and for accumulating money, and in these matters they take advice from other members of society. But by the end of the Vaeshya Age they become so irresponsible due to the intoxication of accumulation that they are not prepared to take advice from anyone. They use their money-making intellect solely to exploit society.” (The Vaeshya Age)

Vaeshya Exploitation in India Today

(59)
“The vaeshya control and administration and vaeshya exploitation in Ráŕh manifests itself in two different ways: 1) exploitation by the local vaeshyas, which is relatively insignificant, and 2) exploitation by the outsider vaeshyas, which is very extreme. The fundamental difference between the exploitation by the local vaeshyas and that by the outsiders is this: though both are exploiters and the exploitation of both causes people to cry aloud for relief, the local exploiters mostly keep their exploitation-gotten wealth within the territory of the land, and hence there is a chance for that wealth to be utilized in future in the service of the people. But the outsider exploiters will in most cases transfer outside all the wealth that they have ruthlessly squeezed out of the land. This means that there is no chance whatsoever for those resources to be utilized in future in the service of the local people.” (Ráŕh – 31)

(60)
“Up until now no serious effort has been made by the rulers of India for the economic development of the country, either in the pre-independence period or in the post-independence period. The post-independence period can be divided into three main phases – the Nehru era, the Gandhi era and the Janata government. All these three eras came within the jurisdiction of Vaeshyan or capitalist rule and they all had one thing in common – they had a soft state policy towards the capitalists. The Janata government represented a counter movement within the Vaeshyan age. It was neither a Vipra or intellectual revolution nor a Vipra counter-evolution, but simply a movement of Vaeshyan mentality. It was an intellectual reformist approach motivated by Vaeshyan interests. To strengthen its position it tried to give the Vaeshyas better scope to chew the bones and marrow of the Shúdras, Kśatriyas and Vipras. As it was a counter movement it was short-lived and brought Shúdra revolution nearer. Consequently, there was no economic development during that period. Hence, for the Proutists there was no alternative but to form socio-economic groups.” (Developmental Planning)

Pseudo-Vaeshyas

(61)
“Some vipras’ economic intellect is awakened while under the patronage of the economic intellect of the vaeshyas. Such people become pseudo-vaeshyas, and towards the end of the Vaeshya Age their dominance of society becomes evident. The vipras’ crooked thinking blends with the vaeshya-like economic intellect of these pseudo-vaeshyas, but the pseudo-vaeshyas do not possess any of the good qualities of either the vaeshyas or the vipras. So although they carry on the vaeshya legacy up to the very end of the Vaeshya Age, they finally fall into utter disgrace and disrepute.(4)
In their efforts to perpetuate their exploitation without hindrance, the pseudo-vaeshyas make use not only of their economic intellect but also of whatever other intellectual capacities they possess. By hook or by crook they even seize governmental power. They then use that power as an instrument of exploitation, a cruel machine to ruthlessly pulverize the whole of society. Out of fear that their descendants may face financial difficulties in the future due to their lack of competence, they not only continue to exploit the whole of society, but also set aside for those descendants huge sums of money which remain wholly or partially unutilized.
The non-utilization of capital is the worst consequence of economic exploitation. Exploited and downtrodden people who do not want to be exploited to death, revolt. Thus shúdra revolution occurs during the period of the Vaeshya Age which is dominated by dishonest vaeshyas.
The vitality of the Kśatriya Age gives way to the intellectuality of the Vipra Age, and the intellectuality of the vipras is bought for money in the Vaeshya Age. The vaeshyas buy the vipras’ intellect with money, and with the help of that intellect they build up their state, society and economic structure, putting them to work as they choose.” (The Vaeshya Age)

(62)
“Even the feudalistic exploitation in Indian social life did not run counter to the original Práńa Dharma. But the present capitalistic (Vaeshyan) exploitation [legacy of British rule] has financially ruined the Indian people. Hence, it is impossible for the people to follow their Práńa Dharma. At this period of crisis in Indian Práńa Dharma the materialistic philosophies are getting scope to rear their heads.” (Práńa Dharma)

(63)
“But today it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for people to run their businesses honestly.
Vaeshyas’ means of earning a living are such that at any moment they may fall victim to greed and indulge in contemptible activities. So the vaeshyas of ancient times had the term sádhu [Sanskrit for “honest”] attached to their names to help them to keep the ideal of honesty constantly alive in their minds. They were known in society as Sádhu (which became Sáhu in Prákrta and finally Sáu or Sáo today). History tells us that from ancient times vaeshyas have, by monopolizing trade, frequently degraded themselves and betrayed their humanity, and that since the Buddhist Age, they have accumulated most of the wealth in society.
It is worth noting that according to ancient social literature, sociologists and diplomats took a series of measures to save society from the greed and excessive hoarding of the vaeshyas. In the first part of the Middle Ages the power of the government, which was controlled by kśatriyas, was used to launch various campaigns whenever and wherever necessary to limit the hoarding tendency of the vaeshyas.
Chanakya said that a business person who becomes extremely rich is harmful to the state. If a king finds that somebody has become extremely wealthy, he should reduce the person’s wealth and property by imposing direct and indirect taxes on them. If he does not do this, the vaeshyas may destroy the structure of the government unless they can make it the tool of their exploitation. Chanakya also said that if the imposition of taxes fails to stop or control extremely wealthy vaeshyas, the king should poison them to death through a secret agent. These are indeed strong recommendations, but in that age of social darkness there was no alternative. Vaeshyas received the good advice that their responsibility was to earn money and undertake charity, not to hoard wealth.
But the vaeshyas of other times and other countries were unable to fulfil the duties connected with their nature. Because the ignorant people of ancient times were more religious, the vaeshyas used to undertake a little charity in the hope of deriving some benefit in their next life. But today in this age of materialism, vaeshyas are not the slightest bit interested in undertaking charitable work in this life in the hope of gaining some benefit in their next life.
According to Indian social treatises, “Those who donate to others in this life are misers, and those who are misers are actually donors.” This ironic statement was made about hypocritical vaeshyas. “Those who donate to others in this life are misers” means that those who give donations to others in this life have deposited something in their next life’s account; that is, they have successfully arranged so as to maximize their accumulation. And “those who are misers are actually donors” means that misers when they die give up all their hard-earned wealth, because they have not deposited anything in their next life’s account. But the vaeshyas of today are not to be charmed by such humour.
Regarding earning money and hoarding wealth, most vaeshyas today are pishácavats [ghouls]. In Sanskrit pisháca means “one who breaks the neck of an animal and then sucks out all the blood, leaving only the flesh and bones”. In India it is said that it is extremely difficult to understand the nature of these bloodsucking pisháca vaeshyas – because when they drink water, even if it is already pure, they filter it; but on other occasions they drink people’s blood, which, even if it is not pure, they do not bother to filter! Sometimes they kick the heads of their customers, and sometimes they lick the soles of their feet.
Incidentally, the word vaeshyas actually means “those who produce through various occupations”. But today the meaning has completely changed. Today vaeshyas means “those who profit by trading and broking without being directly involved in production”. Where profit is the only objective, there is every possibility that all types of selfish and antisocial activities will flourish. In one sense the vaeshyas of developed countries are better than those of other countries because although they engage in activities which are detrimental to the welfare of the public, they generally prefer not to undertake activities which are harmful to public health, due to either their own consciences or people’s awareness of their rights.
If, after analysing the economic structure of society, I described vaeshyas from developed countries as polished devils, I would find it extremely difficult to find a suitable term for their counterparts in underdeveloped countries. Such vaeshyas are not satisfied with just sucking people’s blood, they often devour their flesh and bones as well; then they beat drums made from the skins of their victims as they deliver religious and philosophical discourses, build temples and construct lodgings for pilgrims, and undertake various other activities. They criticize materialism and try to retard its progress not because they object to it philosophically or psychologically, but because in a materialistic system there is every possibility that their vested interests would be adversely affected. Although they support spirituality, they are not motivated by spiritual sentiments. The fake spirituality they preach actually injects impotency into society. In their endeavours they are assisted by like-minded exploiters who trade in religion.
There is an unhealthy collusion between vaeshyas and those who trade in religion to try to prevent human beings from forcefully asserting their rights. They try to persuade people that exploitation, the sucking of blood, by vaeshyas, is not an outrage but a law of nature; that it is useless to try to bring about social welfare by establishing human rights. The exploited people should forget about the world and support those who trade in religion in order to enjoy unlimited happiness in an imaginary heaven.
Now, let us return to our previous subject. The vaeshyas of today have let loose the reins of their greed. Perhaps they can hear the sound of their death-knell. Because they lack a spirit of sacrifice and are not prepared to undergo hardships in order to progress, the great majority of them are unable to find their path in life. They believe that their business will be short-lived, and like Abu Hussain [a fictitious character who became king for a day] they lack discrimination, plundering as much wealth as they can to satisfy their greed without caring about right or wrong.
Among these vicious vaeshyas there are some who project themselves as philanthropic politicians. They also devour the people, but they shed a few false tears. They too have not discovered any real meaning in life. Their only aim is to fool the public in order to prosper in business. They try to prevent class struggle by advocating non-violence and preaching utopian philosophies, although they realize full well that if spirituality, whether or not it is practised in individual life, is not practised in at least an important section of collective life then it will be impossible to remove the economic disparity and exploitation of the vaeshyas without conflict.” (Various Occupations)

State Capitalism

(64)
“One thing more needs to be said about collective capital: collective capital does not always mean the establishment of socialism. Where collective capital means the capital of the state, if the state tries to increase its national wealth without stopping exploitation in society and without trying to increase individual wealth, increasing the national wealth will mean increasing the individual wealth of only a few people in power. Thus, although there is an increase in the per capita income, the per capita income of the poor does not increase, and the per capita income of the well-to-do does not decrease.
Although one cannot support this sort of state capitalism, one cannot deny that the state has to utilize capital in order to increase the wealth of the state. If state capitalism actually increases the per capita income of every person without constantly seeking to exploit, we cannot but praise it – it can be considered exemplary socialism. After all, a state must invest capital if it wants to increase the national income. Such capital investment is clearly a vaeshya system.”

Next: Conclusion on Varna

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