tad viditvā muniḥ prāha
patnīṁ kaṣṭam akāraṣīḥ
ghoro daṇḍa-dharaḥ putro
bhrātā te brahma-vittamaḥ
tat—this fact; viditvā—having learned; muniḥ—the great sage; prāha—said; patnīm—unto his wife; kaṣṭam—very regrettable; akāraṣīḥ—you have done; ghoraḥ—fierce; daṇḍa-dharaḥ—a great personality who can punish others; putraḥ—such a son; bhrātā—brother; te—your; brahma-vittamaḥ—a learned scholar in spiritual science.
When the great sage Ṛcīka returned home after bathing and understood what had happened in his absence, he said to his wife, Satyavatī, “You have done a great wrong. Your son will be a fierce kṣatriya, able to punish everyone, and your brother will be a learned scholar in spiritual science.”
A brāhmaṇa is highly qualified when he can control his senses and mind, when he is a learned scholar in spiritual science and when he is tolerant and forgiving. A kṣatriya, however, is highly qualified when he is fierce in giving punishment to wrongdoers. These qualities are stated in Bhagavad-gītā (18.42–43). Because Satyavatī, instead of eating her own oblation, had eaten that which was meant for her mother, she would give birth to a son imbued with the kṣatriya spirit. This was undesirable. The son of a brāhmaṇa is generally expected to become a brāhmaṇa, but if such a son becomes fierce like a kṣatriya, he is designated according to the description of the four varṇas in Bhagavad-gītā (cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]). If the son of a brāhmaṇa does not become like a brāhmaṇa, he may be called a kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra, according to his qualifications. The basic principle for dividing society is not a person’s birth but his qualities and actions.
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