Lalit: Swamiji which is one best karma. If we can do only one than which among these — meditation on OM, gayatri mantra, havan , brahmacharya, serving a learned yogi is the best. I understand that all these are a part of a whole and should be practised collectively. But which of these is the most important that would benefit us in this life as well as the future. Please reply.
Swami Ram Swarup: Actually, the best karma (deed) is to perform daily yajyen/havan. In yajyen, Brahma is seated and preaches Veda mantras with detailed comments and the listener also becomes learned. You see, when aspirant listens to Vedas, then only he becomes able to learn and do meditation on Om, Gayatri mantra, maintaining Brahmacharya, havan, serving learned Yogi. So, best karma is Yajyen. Article concerning the meaning of Yajyen is pasted below-
Actually, there are three meaning of Yajyen- to serve mother, father, atithi, acharya and Almighty God ; second is Sangatikaran i.e., to serve and satisfy an acharya, who is learned of Vedas and yoga philosophy to learn spiritualism from him in turn and third is daan i.e., donation. So, one should try to perform yajyen daily otherwise daily havan should not be discontinued and the yajyen, wherein the presence of Brahma i.e., learned of four Vedas is required, should be done timely.
Secondly, to maintain Brahmacharya is also a worship of God. I mean to say the best karma is Yajyen and thereafter to hold Brahmacharya. Rest of the meditation etc., will automatically be practised.
Dadi Amma: Hari Om. Swami ji, I have heard there are two ways of seeing this world in order to understand brahman. one is dristi shristivad & shriti dristivad. what is the difference?
Swami Ram Swarup: Brahmin is he who has studied Vedas, and has realized God adopting Vedic path. One must also listen Vedas, do havan and practice of yoga asan, pranayaam and meditation, while discharging one’s family duties.
To choose Brahmin, the Vedas philosophy is required. In this connection, I paste my article regarding Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra.
I have already written about caste system (varn vyavastha). Yajurveda mantra 31/11 says that caste is based on present deeds (karmas) and not by birth. The sense of Mantra is that if a son of shudra studies Vedas, controls senses/organs and mind, does practice of Ashtang yoga, then he will be considered Brahmin and a Brahmin who has no such qualities he will be treated as shudra etc., etc. There is no caste system in Vedas based on birth and the other holy books like Manusmriti, six shastras, Upnishads, Valmiki Ramayana, Mahabharat (Bhagwad Geeta) etc., were written by ancient Rishis/Munis based on only the knowledge of Vedas, so no caste system exists therein based on birth.
In this connection Yajurveda mantra 31/11 also says that he who knows Vedas and God, he is Brahmin being most supreme in the world like a mouth in the body. So anyone (of any caste) can be a Brahmin by hard studies of Vedas, practising Ashtang yoga therein and thus realizing God. One who has physical power in his arms, he is Kashtriye-Rajput to protect the country. So anyone can be a Rajput, holding the said qualities. One who has powers in his thighs to travel and to do hard work to establish business, he is Vaishya (businessman). One who has not studied, based on his qualities that he could not gain the qualities of Brahmin, Kashtriye and Vaishya, he is shudra (may be of any caste).
There is a symbolic story in Mahabharat. That once Yudhistar saw that his brother Bhima was caught by a huge python. Yudhistar asked python that my brother is a great warrior having sufficient power that you could not catch him. So really you are not python, tell me, who you are. Python replied that he was a yaksha. O Yudishtar, if you would answer my question, then your brother would be released. Yaksha asked Yudhistar that if a son of Brahmin takes wine, meat, gambles and does bad deeds then whether he will be considered as Brahmin and when a shudra (lowest caste) reads Vedas, does practice of Ashtang yoga, controls his five senses, five organs and mind and does always pious deeds then whether the son of such shudra will remain shudra? Yudhistar replied that the Brahmin will be treated as shudra and shudra will be treated as Brahmin.
King Janak called all the emperors/anybody to break the bow to prove to be the best powerful emperor amongst all to marry his daughter Sita. So King Janak did not make any objection of caste system. So was the case of marriage of Draupadi where in the dress of a Brahmin Arjuna pierced the eye of the fish with arrow and Yudhistar married Draupadi. Draupadi was daughter of Khastriye, Rajput whereas in the dress, Yudhistar was Brahmin. So qualities are to be checked either of boy or girl.
Yajurveda mantra 31/11 states that Brahmin title is not given by birth but it is awarded by God or learned acharya, when a devotee becomes learned of four vedas and Ashtang Yoga Philosophy and adopts the teachings in his daily life and thus he performs daily yajyen, does name jaap of God, practices ashtang yoga philosophy, becomes able to control five senses, perceptions and mind, becomes soft spoken and remains always benevolent to living-beings. So, knowledge of vedas is meant for Brahmins, kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras equally. Otherwise, how friction, hate would be destroyed, failing which peace, international brotherhood cannot be maintained. You see, keeping away the vedas knowledge from human-beings, how drastic/dangerous problems are being experienced at world level.
Please study the article, if still you’ve some doubt send your question again. So, to choose the Brahmin drishti shristivad & shriti dristivad are not required being against Vedas.