The End of the Kshatriya Line

As you know, in India we think of society as a great family. Within that
family there are four classes or castes which, ideally, work to make the
family function harmoniously. The four classes are Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya
and Shudra. Brahmins protect the family from hostile forces by virtue of
their prayers and meditations. Kshatriyas are warriors. They protect the
family from enemies by virtue of their physical prowess. Vaishyas are businessmen
and merchants. They support the family. And Shudras serve others. They do
not have money or intellect, but with their strong hands they serve the rest
of the family.<br>
<br>
The spiritual Masters of India?s past have come from either the Brahmin class
or the Kshatriya class. Sri Ramachandra, Sri Krishna, Sri Chaitanya, Sri
Ramakrishna and Sri Aurobindo, to name a few, were all either Brahmins or
Kshatriyas.<br>
<br>
Both Brahmins and Kshatriyas have tremendous pride because of their status
in society. Although Vaishyas support the family, they do not show that much
pride. They feel that they do not have the prayerful capacities of the Brahmins
or the strength and velour of the Kshatriyas. The Shudras, since they are
the servant class, do not have any pride.<br>
<br>
This story is about the wrath of a Brahmin?s son towards the entire Kshatriya
caste. There was once a king who prayed to Brahma to make him supremely powerful.
Brahma gave him thousands of weapons and the king was truly all-powerful
on earth. One day the king went out hunting with his retinue. After hunting
for some time, the king became tired. He discovered a small cottage nearby,
and he went there to have a glass of water.<br>
<br>
The cottage was occupied by a sage named Jamadagni. This sage said to the
king, ?You have asked me only for some water. But you are the king. If you
and your soldiers would like to eat also, I will be able to feed you all.?<br>
<br>
The king was simply amazed. ?You are so poor! How can you provide food for
all of us? Do you not see how many soldiers are accompanying me??<br>
<br>
The sage was adamant. ?I shall definitely be able to feed you,? he said.
?Please invite all your soldiers to come.?<br>
<br>
At the king?s command, the soldiers came and sat down, and Jamadagni served
them a sumptuous meal. Meanwhile, the king was curious as to how the sage
had been able to feed so many people. The king saw that the sage owned nothing
save one cow. The name of this particular cow was Kamadhenu. ?Dhenu? means
?cow? and ?kama? means ?desire.? This cow was able to grant any desire.<br>
<br>
The sage had asked the cow to provide a feast for the king?s army, and she
had brought forth food and drinks in abundance. The king said to the sage,
?A cow such as this should belong only to a king. Please give her to me.?<br>
<br>
?Even though you are the king, I cannot part with this cow,? proclaimed the
sage.<br>
<br>
The king was stunned by the sage?s refusal. He implored the sage to hand
over the cow, but the sage would not give her up. Finally, the king, who
was a Kshatriya, decided to use force and seize the cow. He and his soldiers
all fought with the sage, but the sage was very, very powerful. With his
divine weapons, he killed many of the king?s soldiers and defeated the king.<br>
<br>
Burning with anger, the king returned to his kingdom and assembled a more
powerful army. A few months later, he returned to attack the sage and capture
the cow. This time, unfortunately, the sage was killed during the ensuing
fight and the cow was stolen.<br>
<br>
It happened that Jamadagni?s son, Parashuram, had been absent from his father?s
home when this fighting took place. When he returned and found that his father
had been killed and the cow taken away, Parashuram was furious. He took a
vow that he would kill all the Kshatriyas. ?Whomever I see belonging to that
caste, I will kill,? he said.<br>
<br>
According to our Indian mythology, all the Kshatriyas were killed twenty-one
times over by Parashuram because the king had killed his father. After wiping
out the entire Kshatriya line, Parashuram said, ?Now it is time for me to
meditate.? He started meditating and he gave up his life-breath in a state
of trance. Somehow, though, our Kshatriya line was revived and it came to
pass that even the highest spiritual Masters were born into Kshatriya families.<br>
<br>
Sri Chinmoy&nbsp;