The Gift of Kali Yuga, Hindu Caste System

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by garry420, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    The varna-model has produced a wrong and distorted image of caste. We need to know the two words Varna and Jaati to know how it is implemented in the society.

    Varna: It is a Sanskrit term derived from the root vr, meaning to cover, to envelop (compare vrtra). Derived meanings include “coat, mantle; outward appearance, exterior from” and hence color, more generally “kind, sort, character, quality”. All the derived meanings of the term Varna - "kind, sort, character, quality" - are already present in the Rigveda's use of the word. The earliest application to the formal division into four social classes appears in the late Rigvedic Purusha Sukta (RV 10.90.11–12), which has the Brahman, Rajanya ( Kshatriya), Vaishya and Shudra classes emerging from the mouth, arms, thighs and feet of the cosmic being, Purusha, respectively.

    Jāti the word literally means 'birth', a classification based on source of origin. Nyaya Sutra states “Samaanaprasavaatmika Jaatih” or those having similar birth source form a Jaati.
    An initial broad classification made by Rishis is 4-fold: Udbhija (coming out of ground like plants), Andaja (coming out of eggs like birds and reptiles), Pindaja (mammals) and Ushmaj (reproducing due to temperature and ambient conditions like virus, bacteria etc).

    Similarly, various animals like elephant, lion, rabbits etc form different ‘Jaati’. In same manner, entire humanity forms one ‘Jaati’. A particular Jaati will have similar physical characteristics, cannot change from one Jaati to another and cannot cross-breed. Thus Jaati is creation of Ishwar or God.

    Hence the Varna and the Jaati are two different things. Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra are no way different Jaati because there is no difference in source of birth or even physical characteristics to differentiate between them.

    The four varnas are:

    ~ A follower of a "Knowledge based" profession is called a "Brahmin";
    ~ A follower of a "Justice / state administration based" profession is called a "Kshatriya";
    ~ and a follower of an "finance / economics based" profession is called a "Vaishya".
    ~ Anyone who is not following any profession is called a "Shudra".

    The story of Satyakarma in the Chhandogya Upanishad shows that Varna does not depend on birth rather it depends on gunas. Satyakarma wanted to become a brahmacarin but from his conversation with his mother he could not trace his family roots. He went to Gautama and said he wanted to become a brahmacarin but was not sure to which family he belonged. To this Gautama replied, only a true Brahmin would not swerve from the truth and was ready to initiate Satyakarma.

    Atreya smriti 141-142 says:

    "janmana jayate shudrah, samskarad dvija ucyate
    vedapathi bhaved viprah, brahma janati brahmanah
    One is a Shudra by birth By observing Samskaras one becomes a
    Dvija By studying the Vedas one becomes a Vipra One who knows Brahman is a Brahmana

    Manu sums up their relative status and functions in society in the following verse:

    “The Brahman acquires his status by his knowledge, the Kshatriya by his martial vigor; the Vaishya by wealth; and the Shudra by birth alone.” 2.155

    In Mahabharata, the famous dialogue between Yudhishthira and the Yaksha says:

    “A man does not become a Brahman by the mere fact of his birth, not even by the acquisition of Vedic scholarship; it is good character alone that can make one a Brahman. He will be worse than a Shudra if his conduct is not in conformity with the rules of good behavior.”

    There are many more references in our scripture but to keep the article in reasonable length we concluded that the Humans are sudra by varna or choice, not a different jati or cast.

    The following example illustrate that the Varna System of the Vedas was based upon one's aptitude and natural capabilities.

    Sage Vyasa, a Brahmin sage and the most revered author of the Mahabharata and Brahmasutras, was the son of Satyavati, a low caste woman. Vyasa's deep knowledge of the Vedas later determined the caste of Vyasa as Brahmin sage, and not his birth to a low caste-woman.

    Sage Valmiki, author of the epic, Ramayana, was a low caste hunter. He came to be known as a Brahmin sage on the basis of his profound knowledge of the scriptures and his authorship of the Ramayana.

    Sage Aitareya, who wrote the Aitareya Upanishad and was born of a Shudra woman.

    Rishi Parashar, the famous law-giver was the son of a Chandala, the lowest of the Sudras.

    Sage Vidura, a Brahmin sage who gave religious instruction to Kind Dhritarashtra, was born of a sudra woman (servant of the palace).

    The Kauravas and Pandavas were the descendants of Satyavati, a low caste fisher-woman, and the sons of Sage Vyasa. Vyasa's father was the Brahmin Sage Parasara, the grandson of Sage Vasishtha. In spite of this mixed heredity, the Kauravas and Pandavas were known as Kshatriyas on the basis of their occupation.

    Chandragupta Maurya was from the Muria tribe, which used to collect peacock (mor) feathers; Samrat Ashok was the son of a daasi.

    Aitareya Rishi was son of a Daasa or criminal but became a Brahmin of highest order and wrote Aitareya Brahman and Aitareyopanishad. Aitareya Brahman is considered critical to understand Rigveda.

    As the Kali yuga shows its magic the word ‘Jaati’ started being used to imply any kind of classification. Thus in common usage, we call even different communities as different ‘Jaati’. However that is merely convenience of usage. In reality, all humans form one single Jaati. The cast system is also a gift from the Arabic and European innovation over last few thousand years. Some of our greedy ancestors are also responsible to enforce the caste system in the society for their personal benefit. It is high time to remove these superstitions with the advancement of consciousness.

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