The term Varna means Color in Sanskrit.
The deeper meanings are Hues, Dispositions.
Sanskrit is rich language with words meaning different concepts based on the subject that is dealt with and the context in which words are used.
While discussing mundane subjects like Physics, Varna means Color and when dealing with aspects of color, it denotes Hues, refinement of colors.
While dealing with philosophy, Varna means disposition.
Human beings have various Feelings, emotions, drives and dispositions.
Dispositions are those which impel one to Act or Feel.
These Dispositions are both Genetic and Acquired.
In the case of Acquired Disposition, it is called Vaasana , a general term meaning Olfactory Sensation.
In this context, it denotes the acquired tendencies/dispositions which are the results of Actions performed by the Individual.
In Hinduism both Free Will and Determinism are accepted.
So these Dispositions make one act and feel
Some actions are the result of Dispositions or Vasana, which are the outcome of actions performed in this birth and some due to actions performed in earlier births.
This factor is called Varna.
Human beings are impelled to Act.
This action springs from Dispositions.
Disposition is the tendency to lean towards something or some action.
Some tend to act emotionally, some rationally.
Some like certain things, are disposed to certain disciplines, be it Arts or Science.
Some are kind, gentle.
Some, aggressive, passionate and
This forms the basis of Character, Disposition.
These qualities are not present wholly present in one.
One quality is dominant.
In some The quality of being gentle is present predominantly and the other qualities remain dormant and present to a lesser extent.
And this admixture of Qualities change during one’s lifetime and changes even from minute to minute.
This change is due to factors like Food, the Environment and the social group in which one mo ves.
I shall be writing on this in another article.
These dispositions, called as Varna determine one’s natural tendencies.
These form the basis for one’s Nature, Swabhava.
These are the Three Gunas of individual.
Please read my articles on these for details.
As these three gunas form the basis for human actions, the term Varna is used to denote Human Tendencies.
As tendencies are the basis for actions, vocations, society was based on this principle of Varna.
And this is the meaning of the term Varna used in Indian texts, including the Vedas and The Bhagavad Gita.