Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lets Unlock the Vedas: Class or Caste System(Part 1)


The most contentious and the controversial thing is 'Caste system' in the present day society. Often we are mistaking the words Brahman, Khyatryia, Vaisya and Sudra as 'Caste'.While these are the status/rank assigned by the Kings according to our work/duty in ancient times.Now we rechristened the words as Brahmin as Intellectual, Khyatriya as a military officer/ Administrative officer, Vaisya as Businessman, Sudra as labourers/Worker.Even today we respect an Intellectual/Administrative officer/ Army officer/Wealthy man irrespective of his Caste.

IAS officer/Army Officer/ Business Man searches for equal status family for matrimonial alliance.They are hesitant to marry their children to a lower status family, even if he would be from a higher caste. How to bridge this gap ? isn't this caste system of the modern day society?Can we abolish this from our so called civilized society ?

Many people complain that, Sanskrit and the Vedas has divided the society along caste lines or In Ancient times Education was only allowed for Brahmins and the Upper class of the society etc. It’s a wrong perception, it’s like repeat a lie hundred times and it ll become truth.Actually the Vedas segregated the society according to the duty of a person in the society. But later it has evolved as Jati(Caste) and  attached with the mainstream Hinduism. 

People of ancient times used symbols/crypts/glyphs to represent something which is of high philosophical and scientific importance. It was a Herculean task to make people learn about the mysteries of the universe who lived in the deep jungles and who has no idea about civilization. So to pass the knowledge from one generation to next, they codified the knowledge into pictures/symbols/crypts/glyphs and kept hidden in the most secret chambers of temples and depicted in monuments to keep it away from the wrong hands. When any natural calamity occurred or the war raged among the nations (like the battle of Kurukhetra in Mahabharatha) the urban settlements has been targeted by some sophisticated nuclear weapons which caused wide spread destruction and wiped out most of the urban settlements(Indus Vally,Egypt,Mesopotamia,Inkas,Mayan etc.) from earth. The people who lived in the deep Jungle can only felt the devastation and heard the heart throbbing sounds caused by the deadliest bombs. They termed it as the war between the Gods and Demons. Some intelligent people (Gods) survived the bloodiest wars and they rewritten or compiled the history as treatise/sacred books in a codified manner in stories and fables. Which explained the historical events and ancient societal life in a ciphered but in the most acceptable and understandable way to the generation who were living in the deep Jungles. This is how the greatest Epics Mahabharata, Ramayana, Genesis etc has been materialized and helped to shape our ancient or modern society. The worlds eminent Religions formed in the base of such beliefs/stories. Gradually it became a crucial part of the human society. All of such religions speak about some stories of fantasy which we often think is impossible for a prehistoric world. But it’s needless to say that even though the ancient civilizations have less urban settlements than of the modern world, they have tremendous knowledge about the universe. They were very much advanced to tame the powerful elements like fire, water and wind. They had advanced knowledge in engineering to build gigantic temples, cities, ports, pyramids etc. They have incredible knowledge about transition of planets, stars and constellations. They have superb understanding about life and the environment. They excelled in diverse fields of knowledge in geology, geography, botany, metallurgy, medicine, astronomy, engineering etc. Which is a wonder for us even today.



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They depicted many things in human/animal/hybrid form. So that the naive/uncivilized people could keep it preserved until the day they became worth intelligent to derive the actual meanings out of it. When gradually the time passed; we started searching for our existence, our origin and the environment we live in .We started exploring our surroundings with utmost devotion. We started searching for eternal truth of the universe. We discovered the micro organism in water to the macro planets in the space. We started walking on the same path on which once our ancestors left their foot prints. We moved living from villages to the urban settlements. We discovered and invented many things to aid our needs. Some day we reached on the ruined and devastated temples/pyramids/cities which have been submerged under the deep oceans and some of which covered by the jungles and some of which we found digging underground which has been once devastated by the horrible wars. Some of us termed it as the settlements of Gods and some said it was the dwelling place of our ancestors .We tried to unlock the mystery behind it. We only found out the tip of the ice berg while a much larger part is lying under the ocean and underground. From some Glyphs/Symbols/Sculptures we succeeded to decipher the actual meanings and some of which we couldn’t. Many things have helped us to know our universe properly and some of which aided in our discoveries and inventions.

Likely they brought the artifact of  Lord Brahma(The Creator of the worlds and life ) in a human look.They told us that the Human race originated from the eternal and promodian giant 'Purusha' (lord Brahma).And the people of different  color  has originated from his different parts of body which gives rise to the caste/class/status system .Now who is lord Brahma lets explore ...

Its said to be as, he is clad in red clothes. 'Brahma' is traditionally depicted with four heads, four faces, and four arms. With each head, He continually recites one of the four Vedas. He is often depicted with a white beard , indicating the nearly eternal nature of his existence.

Symbolism

The Four Faces – The four Vedas (Rig, Sāma, Yajur and Atharva)
The Four Hands – Brahmā's four arms represent the four cardinal directions: east, south, west, and north. The back right hand represents mind, the back left hand represents intellect, the front right hand is ego, and the front left hand is self-confidence.
The Prayer beads – Symbolize the substances used in the process of creation.
The Book – The book symbolizes knowledge.
The Golden Kamandalu – Gold symbolizes activity; the sacred water in the Kamadalu represents the eternal mystery of the universe and also depicts the power to create/inhibit/resurrect the Universe.
The Swan – The swan is the symbol of grace and discernment. Brahmā uses the swan as his vahana, or his carrier or vehicle.
The Crown – Brahmā's crown indicates His supreme authority.
The Lotus – The lotus symbolizes nature and the living essence of all things and beings in the Universe.
The Beard – Brahmā's black or white beard denotes wisdom and the eternal process of creation.



The earliest application to the formal division into four social classes (without using the term varna) appears in the late Rigvedic Purusha Sukta (RV 10.90.11–12), which has the Brahman, Rajanya (instead of Kshatriya), Vaishya and Shudra classes emerging from the mouth, arms, thighs and feet of the primordial giant, Purusha, respectively:

It was during the later vedic period the varna system became more rigid and took a cankered shape in the Indian society. In the post-Vedic period, the division is described explicitly and in great detail in the Dharmashastra literature, later also in the Puranas and other texts. The Manusmriti is the oldest of the Dharmashastra(constitution) texts, reflecting the laws and society of Gupta period India.It was a set of rules by the King Manu.It mentioned about the Classy system.It was exaggerated and interpolated by some selfish people. The law made my Manu was quite prevalent for that time.But we couldn't follow all the rules. We should take the one which is relevant today and leave the rest.  it  It has been said that the four Varnas has originated from Lord Brahma.Our physical body is a replica of Lord Brahma( Genesis 1-26,27 the Holy Bible Christianity ).The above picture depicts how class system originated from lord Brahma and how the laws said by Manusmriti has been misrepresented the meaning of Varna(Class ) to the people.

Another Dharmasastra Known as Atreya Smriti stated that Every Child is Born in the Shudra-varna and can be rise to the brahman-varna through learning. 

“Janmnath jayate sudra, Sanskarat dwija muchyate ,Vedabhayse Jayate Bipra , Bramha Janati Bramhana”

From the above two Dharmastastras we can conclude that Atri was proposing the path of wisdom while Manu was proposing the path of domination.

for more detail about Manusmriti plz find the link .http://www.sanskritimagazine.com/indian-religions/hinduism/manusmriti-todays-world/#

1. Mouth/Head:  Mouth Plays a vital role for an Intellectual and the thought function its regulated by head.
2. Hand : Hand plays a vital role for a warrior and warriors valor is regarded how he swings is sword with his enemy, you can take is the small example that in the Hand Game decides to strength of the players.
3.Thigh : In Human body, thigh is more important to uphold the body in proper shape and provides strength. Similarly  money/wealth provides strength to an Economy /Nation.
4. Foot: Foot is the most laborious organ in our body, yet never been praised by any one .Often we give importance to the head for contribution in any work.

So now its understandable that the Manu smriti has been misinterpreted by something of different meaning and which given fuel to create the Jati(caste) system.And the later brahmins passed a prejudicial view about the human birth according to their whims and wishes.

Varna literlly means 'color'. But according to the Vedas Varna means the color of mind and duty. Varna is the term for the four broad ranks into which traditional Hindu society is divided. In fact it was the classification of the society in the ancient times . The four varnas are:
  •  The Brahmins : priests, teachers and preachers,ministers
  •  The Rajanyas(Rig Veda)/ Kshatriyas(Manusmriti): kings, governors, warriors and soldiers,   administrators
  •  The Vaishyas  :  Businessms,Merchants, Wealthy Elites.
  •  The Shudras   : labourers, artisans, working class or who serve the above all class/                                                who are the backbone of any country's progress.
Each Varnas also further sub divided according to their duty in the society.

E.g.The Utkala Brahmins are of three classes 1) Shrautiya (vaidika), 2) Sevayata(clerks/workers of temple) and 3) Halua Brahmins(farmers).



Note:In Hinduism we often worship the foot, Do Paduka Puja, Touch the foot of the elders to seek their blessings .Which clearly shows that Hinduism preached to respect the Sudra/ Working class.

Modern Perspective to  Class System :

1. Brahmins:  Learned Elites or Intellectuals (Politicians , Intellectuals who has the Degree of a foreign University  etc) who manipulate things for their own good and their unworthy descendants also claim as Intellectuals just because once their fathers or forefathers held a higher position in the society (E.g. Biju Patnaik was an intellectual and he proved his ability as a good administrator during his Chief Ministerial tenure in Odisha but now just because his father posses such quality his unworthy son holds the seat of Chief Minister . Same with Robert Vadra/Gandhi Nehru Family and Others ).

2. Khyatriyas: Soldiers and Police,and the Administrators who are being corrupted for some money /power. For their greed they sacrifice and compromising the security and integrity of the country.

3. Vaisyas : Wealthy Elites ...(Ambani, Adani, Anil Agarwal, Robert Vadra, Etc) who are only busy earning money and they gather money by any means.

4. Sudras : The servants  who serve the above three sects and yet their effort could not come to notice and often exploited by the above three class.(Tribals/Farmers others who are being displaced from their home to establish an Industry/ The indentured laborers who are being exploited by the Industrialization )

These are the four Varnas (Sects) which has been depicted in the Vedas not as per Birth but as their Nature of duty/ Color of mind.The concept of dharma deals mainly with the duties of the different varṇas and ashramas (life cycles).


In Mahabharatha the story of Ekalavya and Drona tells us about the class system. Though Ekalavya hailed from a village and belonged to a tribal clan, he has not been allowed to learn the Sastra Vidya(the education of weaponry).Which is quite evident in the modern world where , its too difficult for a person with poor background to get the education of the renowned university or colleges.They often been neglected/recognized to get the proper education and bared to enter the top Universities of the world .Only those are being allowed who has wealth and has higher status in the society .However , we can drag another meaning from it, that Ekalavya was the son of a tribal king and learned as much knowledge he should know to protect his Kingdom . But he wanted something more which can be a threat to the security of the state, so Guru Drona (State) asked for his Thumb.We never allow a person to  work in the country's Defense/Intelligence sector whoever has the finest mind. Particularly who has acquired the knowledge from illegal means.


The fables and stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata works on different contexts .Because it was not only the dispute/story about two family but it represent the whole world as a family and how a Nation /Family falls in the course of time with Adharma. The whole epic has been narrated according to the ancient social life of that time.Which we can see the same picture even after thousand years later.Every character and incidents can be found in the present day society across the world.


Mahabharata and Hindu mythology show that great people of wisdom even among butchers like Dhrmavyadha and Tuladhara. We have a saint Vyasa from the fishermen community and a Valmiki from the hunter community.

According to Artreya Smriti ,every person at the time of birth ll be a Sudra(he ll defecate in his bed, couldn't distinguish between right or wrong etc) , he ll get ‘Sanskara’ from his family up to 5 years (i .e. he ll remain in the supervision of his parents who ll make him know about the right and wrong , good and evil) , later he ll be lft in Gurukul under the Supervision of Guru to learn Veda-Knowledge ( the  time in which he ll be regarded as Vipra) , 'Brahma Janati Brahmanat' which means only those persons who got the actual or complete knowledge will be regarded as 'Brahmana' but not according to their Birth...: Brahmins were never rich in the past neither they ruled any kingdom in history.They have to live their life by teaching and on alms .We have a misconception that Education was limited to the higher class; if teaching/education was only confined with the upper class (Brahmans/Khyatriyas), then how do Valmiki composed Ramayana, Thiruvalur composed Thirukural, Maharshi Vedavyasa who edited four Vedas and narrated Mahabharata(Jaya)....even you can see Vasista , Valmiki , Krishna, Rama , Mahaveera, Tulsidas, Kabir , Vivekananda.. None of them are Brahmins. All of them came from a humble root .Are these ppl's teachings not considered valuable?? Brahmins (who cultivate highest wisdom and Intellect) are placed in a higher position in the society because for their contribution to mankind.We can say Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar is a Brahmin according to the knowledge he possessed because Brahmin is the word has been assigned who has knowledge and intellectual ability.World has forgotten those Brahmins(Intellectuals) whose contributions are immense to our society ,it was not just learning Vedas , Maths, Astronomy , Political science , but the sacrifice they have done for entire mankind developing Ayurveda , Pranayama, Kamasutra, Natyasastra and Yoga....


Management Perspective :

There has been many management theory evolved to classify the societal system .The western intellectuals (Fredrick angels, Krl Mrx, Feyol, D Mc Grgr etc) classified the society with two class
1. Proletariat
2. Bourgeoisie 


But 3000 years ago the Vedas has classified it as four classes
1. Brahmana(the intellectuals or Learned Elite)
2.  Kshatriya ( Warriors/Administrators )
3. Vaisya(Wealthy Elites or Businessman)
4. Sudra (the indentured labor class who lives on daily wage)

And more interestingly it has also narrated how to resolve the difference among these classes ...what are their duties, what they should do and what they shouldn't ...and even How to ameliorate the social standard and condition of the workers.

Unfortunately we misinterpreted the Vedas. We couldn't carry out the proper values out of it . We had been kept detached from our culture and morals by some draconian rulers who ruled this country .In the outcome many adulterated and prejudicial customs and rituals had taken part in our society.The customs and culture which preached the highest human values has been buried under a pile of lies.T
he English Education buried our ancient Management system of doing business/living i.e The Rangabhumi concept(the business place is a happy playground) and replaced with Draconian laws and Management style i.e Ranabhumi concept (The business place is a war zone, do whatever to achieve your goal) and we accepted it just because the  modern Brahmins(Intellectuals) are directing our present generation. 

In the India lower strata of the society was never neglected .We can infer it from the Indian Mythology.

  • Lord Rama ate the sipped,tasted and bitten wild berries from a Tribal lady's(Sabari): (Ramayana)
  • Lord Rama had deep Friendship with the Tribal Kings/leaders during his exile .(Ramayana)
  • Laxmi(the godess of wealth and prosperity) Entering a Dalit's house ( Odia Purana)
  • Bhima Married to a Lower caste Lady Hidimbi(Mahabharatha)
  • Arjuna married to a lower caste women Ullupi(Mahabharatha)
  • Eating Mahaprasad at Jagannath temple PURI 
  • The friendship of Krushna and Sridama (Mahabharatha)

There are many stories,fables and folklores tells that, untouchability and caste system  is new phenomena and was not prevalent/and practiced by the Noble Men. Whenever it came to notice they tried to resolve it  an amicable way.Later in the course of time when we moved away from our culture, a wrong and lunatics version of culture has taken its part in the place of the previous one which preached the highest human/social values.Gradually our beliefs and culture has been contaminated and adulterated by our whims/wishes/prejudice.Which ultimately taken its place in our mainstream belief system and now became a cancer in the modern day society.


 Its a bitter truth that we could never detach a faith/belief from all the section of Human society .Its quite natural that when someone's  faiths/culture has been shacked or snatched, a demonic version of culture ll take its place on the previous one .

The concept of Dharma deals mainly with the duties of the different Varṇas and Ashramas (life cycles).so Dharma is not to be confused with Religion.


For more clarification about Dharma please follow the link :(Dharma)


"There were no untouchables among the Hindus until the Islamic invasions began. The Hindu society comprised four varnas - based on occupations - and this division of labour was in no way hierarchical. All were treated as equals," 

Class System and Racial Discrimination in other Nations :

In fact The racial discrimination was more prevalent in the western countries, especially with the British Crown. British Empire was the worlds biggest tyrant in the history of mankind.They intentionaly created a huge difference between the rich and poor. They created slaves to serve them and exploited them in the most inhuman way.They created artificial femine and draught to make people starve, so that they can rule them. They are responssible for the present day misery across the globe.When the English colony spread all over the world the racial discrimination touched its zenith with (Black and White, Poor and Rich) which clearly reflects in the Parliamentary system of UK.

UK Parliament:
House of Lords(Upper House) 
House of Commons(Lower House)

Which clearly shows how good the foundation stone of the Parliamentary Democracy has been laid on the basis Class System in Great Britain.

The highest body of the State is Not their democratically elected president but a Queen (Elizabeth II) who enjoys the highest status just because she born to a Royal family , whose family is sole responsible for all the bloodiest wars, poverty, hunger and sufferings and misery of Human race across the Globe.Despite of all such ills, they succeeded to brainwash all of us that they are Secular and Non racist and we have been vindicated as Non Secular and Racist despite of having such a rich culture of high moral and humanitarian values . Is it because we are Poor Nation ( Sudra) and they are Rich Nations (Brahmana)?

Conclusion:

When the culture/custom/belief which preaches highest human values will be snatched from people ,then its quite natural that a lunatics version of culture/belief ll take its place.With the change of time its the duty of a society/individual to pass the actual/proper meaning from its culture/tradition/belief values to the next generation. otherwise the belief/culture will be adulterated with human prejudice.We can take an example as Dipawali and Holi. Dipawali was meant to lit up only 'Diyas' with Ghee or Castor oil to purify the environment, but now what happened ? We are using crackers,explosives etc. which is polluting our environment disastrously. Some thing happened with celebrating Holi ?It was meant to build brotherhood ,friendship,love among the people and told to be used the natural colors like Turmeric,Alata,Besan etc in contrast now we use chemicals and animal excreta instead Haldi /Besan. Its not only with Hinduism but also it happened with other religions too. Now Terrorism and Violence became synonym of Islam just because they couldn't carry out the proper values from the sermon of  Prophet Mohammad and their society has been dragged to underdevelopment , women are been neglected and Youth are been misdirected.

Questions ..
  1. We always talk about to abolish caste system but can we ever end up the difference between poor-rich, villager-cosmopolitan , tribal-urban  ???
  2. Can we ever End up exploitation by the Industries /Rich Nations/ Wealthy Peoples on the poor people ???
  3. Can the Air travel /luxury travels ll be allowed to the poor in a affordable price ??
We can learn many lessons from the nature itself, how a  tiny creatures like 'Honey bee' lives their life in a exemplary way , often we neglect them due to our pride(human is most intelligent being ).These honey bees live in a hive creating a colony .A colony generally consists of one Queen Bee(a fertile female) which never works;a few thousand Drone Bees( fertile males); and tens of thousands of sterile female Worker Bees and Defense Bees(the workers sting intruders as a form of defense). They work hard to Keep their hive/home/colony united. They work together in large group; if an individual or a part of the group fails, other members make up of for it.Despite of different hierarchy in work they assume the roles given to them without a grouse and fulfill them with aplomb.They know very well that every task is important.They neither complain about their status, nor do they have any feeling of class difference .They have a flawless understanding between them.They respects each other’s importance in their colony. Without the presence Worker Bees(Sudra Bee) the hive couldn't be build; without the Defense Bees(Khyatriya Bees), an intruder can break their hive and can steal  honey. Without the Queen(Brahmana Bee) they could never reproduce and could not spread their colony. The same thing applies for the Human Society.Without the farmers/artisans/workers ,  the Upper Class people could never be happy.Someone is working hard in the bottom line ,so the people above are living joyously. Very likely there are so many creatures around us from we can learn many things how to live in a society.


On these circumstances practically we couldn't end-up class system as long as the Human civilization exist or the words rich/wealthy/civilized exists.We can only respect each others importance and we can try to ameliorate the standard of living of the lower class.We can bridge the gap between people who are living in different strata of a society.But we could never make everyone equal but we can allow to flow the highest humanitarian values/ethics to the society so that there ll be no hatred within the minds of the people. If we try to abolish the class system then it ll create more difference in the society.Rather abolishing the class system we can create better environment for bonhomie within all the sections of the society and make each other realize everyone's need and importance .Class system shall be there but there must not be any Class Feelings.Then only that day we could proudly say we have abolished the caste/class system from our mind and society and then we can say ourselves worth civilized.


Bibliography:Illustrated Retelling of Mahabharata, Retelling of Ramayana by Devdutt patnaik, Srimad Bhagwat Geeta ,Wikipedia, other sources.

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