How Hinduism helped me to understand the nature of human callings

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The essay about how the concept of Hindu societal castes can be applied to the personal philosophy

As soon I started to investigate myself striving to solve my personal issues and learn how to master my mind I became keen for understanding the human nature and the principles that govern our behavior.

I started to study different religious scriptures and philosophical works assembling my mindset as a puzzle game piece by piece.

At one point I bumped into the concepts of castes in Hinduism that completely changed my perception of the nature of human callings and the way people select their profession.

Today I want to share it with you and hopefully, it will serve you as a food for thought.

Varnas

Varṇa (वर्णः) is a Sanskrit word which means type, order, color or class.

Varna is basically a caste, a layer of societal hierarchy in Hindu communities. In Hindu literature, the society is divided into four castes: ShudraVaishyaKshatriya, and Brahmin.

The community was segregated into these 4 casts based on the profession:

  • Shudra — manual labor, craftsmen, service providers.
  • Vaishya — merchants, traders, agriculturalists (sales and services, businessmen).
  • Kshatriya — rulers, and warriors (managers, supervisors, politicians, CEOs).
  • Brahmin — priests, scholars and teachers (professors, thought leaders, people of knowledge).

I was studying about the ways this system can be applied to our modern lives and precipitated it down to the level of practicality stating three major conclusions.

Bear 🐻 with me:

1️⃣ All people are different but all are equally important.

We are different from the moment we rock up to this planet. Every mother who has more than one child will undoubtedly confirm that her children are different right from the moment they open their eyes. It’s a fact. Buddhists will adduce arguments of the concepts of reincarnation and family karma, scientists will justify it solely by what we know about genetic heritage. Both are irrelevant to the practical implication of it which is

The mindset of acceptance.

I have accepted the fact that all of the people are different. There are people who are destined to do monotonous manual work, there are people who make a fortune chasing the financial abundance, there are people who strive for power, and there are those who harness the knowledge. No one is better or worse than the other. Everyone is equally important comprising the pyramid of society.

Shudras are the legs. They are a strong foundation. No one will be able to do their work if shudras didn’t do theirs. It doesn’t matter if I am a seller, a politician, or a professor, I can’t do my job if my toilet is not working. It is as simple as that.

Vaishyas are the metabolic system. They make sure that everything is moving. The whole organism can survive only if it has food, shelter, and other products that have to be constantly produced, consumed, exchanged and eliminated when they become obsolete.

Kshatriyas are the hands. They protect the whole organism from the external threats. More importantly, they establish the rules for all of the parts of the body so that they do not harm each other accidentally. The absence of governing power causes anarchy and chaos.

Brahmins are the head. They hear things, observe things, “taste” them and make conclusions about what is good for the whole body. They accumulate and transfer knowledge increasing the efficiency of the organism and select the direction beneficial for everyone.

All people are equally important as they have their specific set of functions and responsibilities that ensure the survival of the community as a whole.

The understanding of this is crucial because it has two very important implications that could be applied to the personal philosophy:

It makes you worthy.
Knowing that you have your own defined sector of responsibilities in this world gifts you the understanding that regardless how minor your contribution to the goodness of humanity is, it is important to do your best with what you have, where you are. Your work is always valuable.

It makes you humble.
I became more observant of the moments when I fall into the fallacy of thinking that I have a right to look down on people with professions I would previously call “low”. I harshly scold myself when I become so foolish.

2️⃣ Elevating consciousness is an individual mission of every person.

Although it is true that all castes are equally important in the society, in Hinduism all 4 varnas have ranks. Logically, Shudra is placed on the lowest level, with Vaishya, Kshatriya, and Brahmin building up correspondingly on top. It was a hierarchical system where a person found his place based on his inherent motivation.

Shudras do not have extraordinary ambitions. They can get fulfillment and happiness from simple life, good relationships and do not object addressing routine tasks mainly associated with manual work. Their inherent motivation lies in the perfection of their craft and doing their job well serving the others.

Vaishyas follow the money. Getting rich is what they strive for. They put their financial prosperity as their number one priority and dedicate their work to multiplying their assets and growing their wealth.

Kshatriyas are hungry for power. They want to be in control and govern the processes that involve people’s lives. Constant expansion of their Circle of Influence is chosen by them as a personal objective.

Brahmins dedicate their life to serve as a channel of knowledge. They are lifelong students and teachers. They absorb, accumulate, transform and transfer the knowledge and value it as the highest virtue. Developing the world through the development of intelligence is their inherent motivation.

So what’s the practical implication of these castes? The answer is

The varnas represent the steps in a personal evolution.

You know yourself well and you know what is your inherent motivation. You can instantly analyze and identify your Varna. It is essentially your level of mind.

Of course, there is no one single trait in one person. Most of the time it is a mixture of one or two varnas being dominant. One can have a mind of Shudra and Brahmin and be a brilliant craftsman or an artist confining the deep meaning and knowledge inside his masterpiece, another can be transcending from Vaishya to Kshatriya after selling a successful business and looking for the ways to scale up his influence to change people’s lives.

We can take Arnold Schwarzenegger as a perfect example of the mind evolution. He started with the mind of Shudra focusing all of the work of his spirit on his physical shell and honing it to the level of iconic perfection. When he started his cinematic career he elevated his mind to the level of Vaishya earning a lot of money and learning how to invest. When he exhausted the meaning from that level he excelled on the political arena as a governor developing the mind of Kshatriya. Finally, right now he is a respected old man with a rock solid life philosophy that he’s ready to pass on to younger generations and a legacy that will be remembered for years. He is an author, a philanthropist and a thought leader. He doesn’t crave for money or power anymore. He became Brahmin.

3️⃣ Automation will cause the shift in the planetary consciousness.

AI and robotics. Potential threats or a way to liberate the humanity from mundane routines? I am not here to argue about either scenario. What I know for sure is that automation will keep eradicating the necessity of manual labor at a pace we can’t even imagine. We will witness the scale of the Internet capture and the drop in the price of knowledge that will quake the very essence of our existence.

Having a smartphone and an access to the Internet will allow people with the minds of Shudra to evolve straight to the mind of Brahmin. We will see the rise of minds. Billions of new minds.

The planetary consciousness follows the Compound Effect just like anything else. We will transcend as species when the majority of people will have the access to the majority of information. The global evolution of consciousness is gifted to us by computers and the best part about it is that it has already started.

My essay about meditations was a first small personal victory for me. Hundreds of people from all over the world read it. It was a small stone thrown into the ocean of information but it creates ripples. What if I throw one stone every day? What if I inspire someone to pick up his own stones? What if we all throw a stone at once? How big of a wave can we create?

Meditations will remind us of who we are when the robots will come. As long as we all practice meditations and anchor to our center deep inside we should cherish the technological progress and look forward to the beautiful changes it brings. As a millennial, I anticipate the brave new world that could be just 10 years away and if someone would ask me if I plan to be a part of it I will say: “Hell yeah!

How about you?

Don’t follow your passion!

Photo by Kaique Rocha

Don’t follow your passion!

Instead be cool-headed and make smart decisions.

You watched motivational videos on YouTube. You read uplifting articles on Medium. You were listening to hundreds of podcasts with successful people.

How many times did you hear this👇 over-hyped phrase?

Are you anything like me — a person who is bumping now and then into this phrase and starting to cringe involuntarily?

Let me be honest with you. Personally, I had a very hard time removing this pile-of-bullshit mindset from my head.

Pardon me for my French but :

Fuck passion!

And let me tell you why.

The “word” passion implies that you have this strong and uncontrolled emotion, a feeling to do something.

Well here is what I know — emotions fail us and feelings let us down.

Passions are like hang-loose strumpets come and go. We might feel “passionate” about something one day and then suddenly we don’t the other.

As a result, we don’t reach our goals, we feel resentment, we feel a bitter taste of disappointment.

Passion is like an infatuation. You get possessed fast, it burns bright, it fades away unnoticeably.

Passion won’t help you to get through the path of mastery that teems with challenges and frustrations. Passion is a bitch that cuts and runs when you find out that you need to chew glass to get to the next level.

Nothing worth having is easy neither it is supposed to be.

So if passion doesn’t work, then what does?

Making cool-headed experiments in order to understand yourself better, being mindful and analytical about the results and fostering the qualities of self-discipline, willpower, and grit — this is what works. This will get you to great results even if you don’t know where you are going.

Being analytical doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t love what you do. On the contrary, it means exactly the opposite.

Some people compare a love for a woman with the sea. A sea can surge during the storm transforming the waves into an overwhelming tsunami. This is one type of love. It is strong and breathtaking but never long-lasting.

And then there is another type of love — a sea after the storm. Calm and calming, it instills serenity.

The same analogy is applicable to the love for your work, your Mission, your life-long project. Calm deep blue sea — this is the love you would want to seek for. When you are not disturbed by big waves-emotions you are capable of making intelligent decisions.

As you get rid of the passion, you can step back and become more observing. It will help you to understand things like whether you work better alone or with people. Are you a better fit for monotonous repetitive work or you need to frequently change activities in order to stay engaged? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Answering these questions is crucial when it comes to a choice of the career.

Here is the question that I hear a lot:

“I am __ (👈insert your age) years old. My life is a mess. I don’t know what I want to do with my life and where I want to go.”

This is what I would like to tell you:

If you are 12–19, seek for mentors. Have the following mindset: Education starts after school. There is an inner God in every person — a mini-clone of Creator. Look around yourself and absorb, learn what kinds of different manifestations of human’s creating power exist out there. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try things. Be bold. Learn from your mistakes. Focus on fundamentals — hard science and hard skills.

  • Read this 👉 essay to learn how to study at the age we live in.
  • Read this 👉 essay to make a wiser major and career choice.
  • Read this 👉essay to learn about the biggest mistake I made in life that you can avoid.

Every free moment of your life — Read, READ, READ! Learn as much as you can about your weaknesses and strengths.

When I was younger I was looking at older guys, especially those who were 30+, and I thought: “Yeah. These men got their shit together.” How naive I was. I will turn 30 this summer and I realize that very few people understand what is all this mess that is going on around us, surely, I am not one of them.

If you are 20, you should self-reflect. By this age, you already know at least something about yourself. As a rule of thumb, move towards improving on your strengths and working on your weaknesses in the meantime. From now on you have 10 years. This is what it takes in order to become an expert in one domain. First of all become an expert life-long learner. Be a master of your craft and a solid generalist. Learn how to distribute your time between the skills and activities that you want to study.

If you are 30, damn bro, who knew we will survive right? 😄 There is one thing I know — it’s only a start. No matter where you are and what you are doing keep pushing. We are strong and we are young, and most importantly we are not so stupid anymore to jump into the traps of this world. You should definitely take time and read these 👉 answers on Quora. Very insightful.

If you are 30+ and reading this, sorry, I didn’t make it to this stage of the game yet.

I am still trying to figure it out myself and I am not sure if panacea to our sickness exists at all but there is one thing in life that I learned and that I am completely certain about:

The process is the goal.

There were many times in my life when I didn’t have any particular goal in mind yet I was possessed by the process. It is in the process where I underwent the transformation and grew up to the person who is capable of doing, seeing and understanding more. I was learning. It is like putting books under your feet to stand taller until the moment you suddenly start to see behind the wall. In the process, I learned that the things that seem impossible become possible if you stay in the game long enough.

It doesn’t really matter how old you are. The principles are always the same.

  • Work your ass off.
  • Study the trends of today and understand that they are the harbingers of the world that will come tomorrow.
  • Help people in their mission and they will help you

That’s it. Pure practicality with no need for “passions”.

I guess this is one of those letters I wish I could send to my past self. I can’t. So I send it to you. Take it easy on yourself. As J.R.R. Tolkien said:

Not all those who wander are lost”.

Keep wandering but make it profound, make it intense, make it challenging.

If there is an intent there will be an insight. Don’t follow your passion. Grind your way up.

 

 

The writing advice from James Altucher that changed my life

The most important lesson about writing and life in general.

Written for Quora: What are one or two sentences that someone has told you that changed your life for the better?

James Altucher.

I have been following him for about a year now. And if you are a regular on Medium like me you maybe also wondering how is this guy could be so omnipresent. His voice seems to be scattered all over the internet. The simplistic almost minimalist style of his writing peeled off the layers of my stereotypical thinking about the craft of writing.

Personal finance. How to manage your money

My take on how to manage personal finance

Iwas bad at managing my money all my life. It just happened that my parents never gave me a proper financial education. Not their fault, they never got one either. They figured out how the money works all by themselves but maybe never had the time or didn’t know how to find the approach to educate their kids about the money.

Meditations. The single practice that will change your life forever

I have been practicing meditations for 4+ years. Here is what I learned.

I started my meditation journey after I passed Sparta. I was following my coach Anton on SNS and watching his videos where he emphasized the importance of meditations in his morning routine.

At that time I knew very little about the meditation. So as many there was still an imprinted association with Buddhism and religion but I got the determination to explore what the whole meditation thing is about.

So I started to practice.

How to shape your mindset

Written for Quora: How did you change your attitude towards people, yourself and life?

There were times when I was thinking that the whole world is against me. I thought that my life is falling apart.

It wasn’t. I was.

It took a lot of pain of learning the life lessons the hard way in order to understand how to become an effective human being in this world.

I want to save your time and share my ideas on the topic with you.