In American society, the purpose of education is to acquire knowledge to apply toward your eventual job; the higher the degree of the education, the more professional, and thus the higher paying, the career. But little in our education actually helps us take a step back and discover what we would be good at, or interested in, or happy doing. Most people simple stumble into a career, and whether they are happy doing it is a matter of luck and happenstance, rather than planning. At the 30 year mark, I am starting a bit late with my career path, but that is how long it took to find what it is I wanted to do, and largely, I stumbled into it. It took years to find the questions I needed to ask myself, much more the answers to those questions.
This paper will explore the Hindu caste system. Varnasrama-dharma, as applied to the varnas, or castes, is one of the fundamental aspects of Hinduism. Its origins trace back to the 1500’s, when the Aryans invaded India from then Persia. The complex hierarchy was devised as a system to facilitate the subjugation of the conquered tribes. The caste system is based upon the principle that human society is like a complex machine, with individuals and communities as its parts. If the parts are weak, broken, or asked to perform a function it was not designed for, the machine will not work. Likewise, each part has its place and function; no part can do the job of another, and all must keep their place for the machine to function smoothly. This Dharma, our place within and duty to the machine of society, is not just essential to our happiness, but the happiness of all.