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Hindu Varna Order --Equal freedom to all

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I start this thread because I believe in the infallibility of Ved. The Ramayan, the Mahabharat and Bhagavad Gita stand by the 4 Ved. Any other text that are not in accordance with Ved are to be rejected.

Vedas consider all the four Varnas including Shudra as Arya and gives them utmost respect.

It is unfortunate that in this country of ours, where Vedas were the foundation of our culture, we forgot these original lessons of Vedas and got trapped in a variety of misconceptions regarding birth-based caste system and discrimination of people born in certain castes collectively known as Shudras.

Unfortunately, nothing could be far from truth. In this post, we would provide evidence from Vedas and related texts to establish the following:

a. The meaning of four Varnas and Shudra in particular is completely different from what the Macaulay inspired intellectuals would want us to believe.
b. There is absolutely no element of birth-based discrimination or denial of opportunity for any human being in Vedic way of life.
c. If there is one text that provides evidence of highest level of meritocracy and equal-opportunity, it is the Vedas. Even the most contemporary texts on human rights cannot come closer.

Before we begin our journey of solving the caste-puzzle through Vedas, let us start with certain worship mantras from Vedas that mention Shudras:

Yajurved 18.48:
O Lord! Provide enlightenment/ compassion to our Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Provide me also with the same enlightenment so that I can see the truth.

Yajurved 20.17:
Whatever crime we have committed against my village, forest or committee; whatever crime we have committed through our organs, whatever crime we have committed against Shudras and Vaishyas, whatever crime we have done in matters of Dharma, kindly forgive us relieve us from the tendency of the same.

Yajurved 26.2:
The way I gave this knowledge of Vedas for benefit of all humans, similarly you all also propagate the same for benefit of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Shudras, Vaishyas, Women and even most downtrodden. The scholars and the wealthy people should ensure that they not deviate from this message of mine.

From the above point, it is prudent that there is no restriction on learning the Ved. Everyone has a right to learn and propagate the Ved. So we must hint this to the Dharam Acharyas, because they are the first people to inculcate the caste based thinking into our minds.

Atharav ved 19.32.8:
O Lord! May I be loved by everyone – Brahmin, Kshatriya, Shudra or Vaishya. May I be admired by everyone.

Atharav ved 19.62.1:
May all noble people admire me. May kings and Kshatriyas admire me. May all look at me with admiration. May the Shudras and Vaishyas admire me.

It is clear from these mantras that a Vedic person:
- seeks to be forgiven for crimes against all including Shudras
- seeks to propagate Vedas to all including Shudras
- considers all Varnas – Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra to be equal and respects them equally.

An analysis of Purh Sukt

Often mantras of Purush Sukta are cited to prove that Brahmins originated from Mouth, Kshatriya from hands, Vaishya from thighs and Shudras from legs of God.

Thus these varnas are birth-based. However nothing could be more deceptive. Let us see why:

a. Vedas describe God to be shapeless and unchangeable. How can such a God take shape of a gigantic person if He is shapeless. Refer Yajurved 40.8.

b. If indeed this were true, this would defy the theory of Karma of Vedas. Because as per Theory of Karma, one’s family of birth can change as per his or her deeds. So one born in Shudra family can take birth as king’s son in next birth. But if Shudras are born from feet of God, how can same Shudra again take birth from hands of God?

c. Soul is timeless and never born. So soul can have no Varna. It is only when it takes birth as human that it has a chance to opt a Varna. Then what is meant by a Varna coming from one part of God’s body? If Soul did not take birth from God’s body, then does it mean body of soul is prepared from God’s body parts? But as per Vedas, even nature is eternal. And same atoms recycle among various humans. So it is technically impossible for any one taking birth from God’s body, even if we assume God to be having a body.

d. The said Purush Sukta is in 31st Chapter of Yajurved, apart from Rigved and Atharvaved with some variations. In Yajurved it is 31.11. To see what it actually means, let us look at the previous mantra 31.10.
It asks a question – Who is mouth? Who is hand? Who is thigh and who is leg?

The next mantra gives the answer – Brahmin is mouth. Kshatriya is hand. Vaishya is thigh and Shudra becomes the legs.

Brahmana Mukham Aaseet -- Look at the Sanskrit. it is Aaseet meaning became or had
become [aseet is derived from Sanskrit root verb 'as' (pronounced as us) meaning to be].
It is not "Brahmano Mukham Jaatah". This only means "Brahman is born from face/mouth". So it is clear that the Ideal Man (the Purusha) had Brahman as mouth. [The Hindus perceived the human society as a Divine Ordeal. So the society/God is described as Purusha -- The Primordial man] Because if the mantra would mean “takes birth” it would not answer the question in previous mantra “Who is mouth?"

[Sorry for my poor Sanskrit knowledge. Pandits please do apologize and forgive me for my poor Sanskrit.]

For example, if I ask “Who is Dashrath?”, an answer like “Rama is born from Dashrath” would be meaningless!

The actual meaning is:
In society, Brahmins or intellectuals form the brain or head or mouth that think and speak. Kshatriya or defense personnel form the hands that protect. Vaishya or producers and businessmen form the thigh that support and nurture (note that thigh bone or femur produces blood and is strongest bone). In Atharvaveda, instead of Uru or Thigh, the word “Madhya” is used meaning that it denotes also the stomach and central part of body.
Shudra or Labor force form the legs that lay the foundation and make the body run.

The next mantras talk of other parts of this body like mind, eyes etc. The Purush Sukta describes the origin and continuation of creation including human society and states ingredients of a meaningful society.

Thus, its a pity that such a beautiful allegorical description of society and creation is distorted to mean something that is completely contrary to Vedic ethos.

Even the Texts, Manusmriti, Mahabharat, Ramayan and Bhagvat do not state anything even close to crazy hypothesis of God creating Brahmins by tearing of flesh from his mouth, Kshatriya from flesh of hands and so on.

It is thus obvious why Brahmins are accorded high respect in Vedas. This is same as what happens even in modern society. Scholars and experts get our respect because they form the direction-providers for entire humanity. However, as we have discussed in the start, dignity of labor is equally emphasized in Vedas and hence there is no element of discrimination.

Many examples exist of change of Varnas in Vedic history.

a. Aitareya Rishi was son of a Daasy (persion tribe Daahyu) but became a Brahmin of highest order and wrote Aitareya Brahman and Aitareyopanishad. Aitareya Brahmaan is considered critical to understand Rigveda.

b. Ailush Rishi was son of a Daasi, gambler and of low character. However he researched on Rigveda and made several discoveries. Not only was he invited by Rishis but also made an Acharya. (Aitareya Brahmaan 2.19)

c. Satyakaam Jaabaal was son of a prostitute but became a Brahman.

d. Prishadh was son of King Daksha (Kshatriya) but became a Shudra. Further he did Tapasya to achieve salvation after repenting.
(Vishnu Puran 4.1.14)

Had Tapasya been banned for Shudra as per the fake story from Uttar Ramayan, how could Prishadh do so?

e. Nabhag, son of King Nedishtha became Vaishya. Many of his sons again became Kshatriya. (Vishnu Puran 4.1.13)

f. Dhrist was son of Nabhag (Vaishya) but became Brahmin and his son became Kshatriya (VP 4.2.2)
g. Further in his generation, some became Brahmin again (VP 9.2.23)

h. As per Bhagvat, Agniveshya became Brahmin though born to a king.

i. Rathotar born in Kshatriya family became a Brahmin as per Vishnu Puran and Bhagvat.

j. Haarit became Brahmin though born to Kshatriya (VP 4.3.5)

k. Shaunak became Brahmin though born in Kshatriya family. (VP 4.8.1). In fact, as per Vayu Puran, Vishnu Puran and Harivansh Puran, sons of Shaunak Rishi belonged to all four Varnas.

Similar examples exist of Gritsamad, Veethavya and Vritsamati.

l. Matanga was son of Chandal but became a Brahmin.
m. Raavan was born from Pulatsya Rishi but became a Rakshas.
n. Pravriddha was son of Raghu King but became a Rakshas.
o. Trishanku was a king but became a Chandal
p. Sons of Vishwamitra became Chandals. Vishwamitra himself was a Kshatriya who later became a Brahmin.

q. Vidur was son of a servant but became a Brahmin and minister of Hastinapur empire.

The word “Shudra” has come in Vedas around 20 times. Nowhere has it been used in a derogatory manner. Nowhere it mentions that Shudras are untouchable, birth-based, disallowed from study of Vedas, lesser in status than other Varnas, disallowed in Yajnas.

In Vedas, Shudra means a hard-working person. (Tapase Shudram – Yajurved 30.5). And that is why Purush Sukta calls them as foundation of entire human society.

Since the four Varnas refer to 4 kinds of activities by choice, as per Vedas, the same person exhibits characteristics of the 4 varnas in different situations. Thus everyone belongs to all the 4 varnas. However, for simplicity sake, we refer to the predominant profession to be the representative Varna.
And hence, all humans should strive to be all the 4 Varnas to best of their capabilities, as per Vedic wisdom. This is the essence of Purush Sukta.
The Rishis like Vasisth, Vishwamitra, Angira, Gautam, Vaamdeva and Kanva exhibited traits of all the four Varnas. They discovered meanings of Vedic mantras, destroyed Dasyus, did manual labor and indulged in wealth management for social welfare.

We should also emulate the same.

In summary, we see that the Vedic society considers all humans to be one single Jaati or race, upholds the dignity of labor and provides equal opportunity for all humans to adopt the Varna of their choice.
There is no element of birth-based discrimination of any manner in the Vedas.
May we all unite together as one integrated family, reject the last element of birth-based discrimination of any manner and embrace each other as brothers and sisters.
May we also thwart the designs of those who want to mislead us by making baseless claims of casteism in Vedas and destroy the criminals aka Rakshas, Nishichars (night walkers because most of the thieves operate at night), etc.

May we all come under the shelter of Vedas and work together to strengthen the humanity as one single family.

There is no caste-system in Vedas.

I shall also post about the Vedas and dignity of Labour. But I am eager to see the responses.

Is there any proof for Brahmins being discriminated? Why are Brahmins not getting fair treatment now?

You are speaking of the vedas and the vedic period. It was too primitive for a caste system to exist then.

Birth-based rigid caste system started from the dharmashastra period. But even in dharmashastras, expulsion / dislodegement / mobility across varnas existed.

Therefore i chose:
Alterations or Intrepolations of Epics by people to satisfy their own needs.

hi srikrish,

welcome to the forum. i have seen you elsewhere in cyberworld and probably read some of your postings. it is nice to see someone of your calibre here. :) definitely the bar has been raised.

sri, not sure, why we are talking of ancient varnas. in the long gone age, anything could have happened. while this may warped our minds to our intransigent caste barriers, why don't we look to the future?

i presume you are living in india and a fine young man at that. how do you see us evolving as hindus.

to give you a hint as to where i am coming from - i have lived in canada for the past 37 years. the next generation of tambram children are marrying here. no one has chosen a spouse from india, but most are married to hindus, without giving any credence to caste or state or language. same is happening in the u.s.a. i believe.

to me, it is an incredible discovery, that even though brahmin caste has been rubbed into the psyche of many of these youngsters, it did not penetrate deep enough for them to confine themselves to select a spouse (probably the one most important decisions in one's life)!!

i am only too well aware of the caste baste political society that is evolving in india. i am also aware that for a very large percent of tambrams in tamil nadu, this is a matter of concern. particularly, i would imagine those from the lower middle classes and further down.

apprciating the limitations of the community, how can we suggest some possible paths of accommodation in order to ensure upward mobility for such folks (how many of these as a percentage is still a wild guess).

there have been (and continuing) never ending discussions here re the original intention of the varnas, how they metamorphed into current caste rigidity and what not. things have been rehashed, but what folks seem to be studiously avoiding is to look forward and project a vision for the next 50 years, when youngsters like you would come of ripe and we would be long gone.

looking forward to you guiding this thread firmly and friendly in a positive manner. best wishes.
Nameste Sri Kunjuppuji.

Thanks for the advice. I am also glad to here the news that our brethren in Canada are ignoring caste.
But, most of the Brahmans in Tamil Land are not. Only a few are coming out of the caste dogma. As I always say caste is not bad. Caste exists in one form or the other. The discriminations and atrocities based on caste is bad.

But, in India, we (most) Tambrams have a hard time. Most of them are not well educated and they have a hand to mouth existence. But for the benefit of the society, we have to come up with a new strategy.
We brahmans must unite (which is an impossible task).

1) An earning Tambram must contribute a small amount to the community, every year.

2) With the help of the money we must educate the tambram children.

3) The richness of our culture must be inculcated into the minds of our would be generations.

4) We must tell them about the greatness of Hindu Dharam because, modern day youngsters in Hindustan try to emulate the west.

5) Although the colonization had long been disappeared, the colonial mindset has not. So the decolonizing of our minds are necessary.

6) We must stress the importance of simple living to our younger generation.

7) The central body help our would be generations to educate and also in their first and second employments.

8) Negation-ism, that has been growing with us (rather fed to us) must be stopped. So we must pass on the true history of our land to our progenies.

9) Love all serve all

10) Let us teach the Ved to all irrespective of Caste and Gender.

11) Just as Rahim Das (Rahim a Krishan Bhakta form Islam... He is a jewel among Akbar's Nine Jewels) says... "One must be kind and gentle to others, because no one knows, in which form he/she will meet Bhagwan Mukund Manohar Lakhmi Narain
The above said points are not possible to be acheived by our dharam acharyas because they do not want to shun the differences. Even a new young Dharam Acharya of present generation also upholds the differences.

And finally I belong to Srimad Andavan Ashram, and even my ashram is no exception.

May Ram, Krishan and Durga Devu bless you all in your future endeavors.

Gobind Gobind Gobind Gopal Kripa
--Shree Guru Granth Sahib
thanks sri.

please excuse me as i am not capable of giving any 'advice'. i do not have either the werewithal or the depth of content in me, to dish out advices.

just some suggestions on a new thread, and perhaps to avoid rehashing the justification (or not) of caste in current india.

it is news to be that majority of tambrams in india are poor. i do have constant contact with india, and what i have seen is a sharp upward mobility, ever since the advent of the IT industry. i see several young men and women from chennai, who come here on short assignments, and to me, they are a source of pride. the girls especially are living symbols of bharathiar's pudhumai penn.

do you have a business plan as to how this endeavour of yours gets a kick start? i am definitely curious as to the direction this thread would take, especially in the light of your recent reply to me.

more later .. as we go on..thanks.
Nameste Sri Kunjuppuji,

As it goes, any good sayings (Subhashita) given by the elders is advice. One must heed to their words.
I have a vague idea. but we must plan. think this may mature... for now bye.

Satgur Fateh

Jin maat pita ki seva karin... tin teerath vrath kiya na kiya.
--Goswami Tulsidas
Dear Srikrish85 Ji,

I am struck by the title of the thread: Hindu Varna Order --Equal freedom to all

May I ask you to clarify what you mean by 'Equal freedom for all'? What do you mean by 'freedom'? Freedom to do anything one wants (as long as it is legal) to pursue happiness? Freedom to listen to our own sense of morality (conscience) as long as it is within the bounds of widely accepted morality based on humanism?

Much obliged. Thanks.

The idea for community wealth is... 2.5% of their annual income must go to the well being of the community. See... for eg I earn Rs. 5000 per month, then I can contribute 1500/- to the community yearly.
If 10 people contribute it will be 15000/- of course if others who earn more say 14000/- per month then he/she can contibute 4200/- per annum... thus our people can grow. The toughest part is, we must find volunteers.???
Nameste KRSji.
Happy to see you. Hope you are doing fine. yes freedom is the freedom to choose one's profession as endorsed by Ved. Freedom to pursue knowledge as endorsed by Ved.

Thanks a lot for spending some of your time in my thread.

Satguru Fateh
Dear Sri srikrish85 Ji,
Thank you for your felicitation. Yes, I am doing okay.

So, anyone can pursue any profession per his/her wish, with the freedom to acquire the underlying knowledge for that profession?

I am asking this, to clarify whether the profession or knowledge are restricted to certain varnas (not castes).


Nameste KRSji.
Happy to see you. Hope you are doing fine. yes freedom is the freedom to choose one's profession as endorsed by Ved. Freedom to pursue knowledge as endorsed by Ved.

Thanks a lot for spending some of your time in my thread.

Satguru Fateh
To misinterpret ved u must first spread vedic knowledge. tell me how many in young generation know about ved. They r only concerned abt scoring more marks in some missionery school and go for an engineering degree followed by MBA in finance.
if i take only north in govt schools they only teach abt ramayana, mahabharata, gita, some yoga, etc etc. thats it.

In north at least in urban and semi urban the culture is gone. thank god atleast people send their children to vedic schools in young age in south or make them learn carnic music which is best way to worship god by singing praises to them.
Thats why most intellectuals, scientists, come from south.
Plus south was not that much effected by mughal carnage as compared to north. So islamic culture is still very much strong in northern region.
Missioneries succeeded in south coz of castism.
decline WAS?????
Its continuing.
not past tense.
Why not scrap out the outdated and not practicable things in vedas like sati pratha to prevent misinterpretation.
Sikhs keep on amending and they have brought a new calender called nanakshahi.
Why not amend vedas and strike out the totally worthless practices which were practicable at those times but not today.

Infact most of the hindus in orissa were converted using this very tool.
One of the radical christians is on the run. he got a pamplet printed misquoting these very verses in vedas. A case has been booked on him.
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