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Is the caste system weakness of Hinduism?

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I read an article about cast system. It high lighted advantage and disadvantage of caste system and concluded caste system is the weakness of Hinduism. It says ‘Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam thrived in India on the weakness of Hinduism rather their own merits’ . I love Hinduism, but I am not able to convince myself caste system will do any good to the humanity.


I cut and pasted some part of the article below.

Hinduism is a universal religion. Its primary emphasis is on universal brotherhood. I views the world as one family. It believes that man is divine in nature and realization of that supreme truth as the primary aim of all human activity. It is therefore unfortunate that for a very long time this religion of great antiquity has been in the clutches of few privileged castes.

A great service it would be to Hinduism, if the present day Vedic teachers identify bright children from the lower castes and star teaching them the Vedas and the Upanishads and allow them to serve God in the temples of India. The strength of Christianity stems from dedicated missionaries who come from all sections of society. The weakness of Hinduism and of India is caste system, which divides the Hindu society into divergent and bickering groups and keeps them apart.

Perhaps there is no other nation in the world that is openly and shamelessly as racial as some of the nations in the Indian subcontinent. A number of Indians who visit foreign countries often complain about being treated condescendingly on account of their skin color or accent, without acknowledging the fact that a vast majority of people in their own country exhibit a far greater obsession with accent, the color of ones skin and ones family (caste) background.

And there are countless scholars who justify the caste system quoting chapter and verse from the Hindu scriptures, ignoring the fact that they were convenient interpolations in an otherwise sacred lore to justify a cruel and unjust system theological using the very authority of God.

The Rigvedic society probably had a caste system that was flexible and allowed an individual to change his caste if he so desired. But during the later vedic period it became very rigid. The caste system was responsible for the weakness of Hindu society and for the invasion and subjugation of Hindus by several foreign forces. The physically strong shudras were condemned to pure agricultural labor and menial jobs. They would have been more useful as fighters and soldiers and defended the land well against foreign invasions.

Hinduism does not support caste system. The focus of Hinduism is on the individual and his salvation not on his caste or its privileges. Scholars tend to quote the Purushasukta as the basis for the emergence of caste system. There are also references to caste system in the Bhagavad gita. But for a serious student of History, it becomes obvious that these references appear to be deliberate manipulations and later day interjection intended to justify a system that was otherwise fully unjustified. The Manusmriti, in the form that is available today did more damage to Hinduism and the self esteem of many Hindus than Islam and Christianity.

Hindus should be clearly aware of the distinction between a sacred scripture (shruti) and a book written by an individual (smriti) such as Manusmriti. Manusmriti was probably edited and reedited a hundred or thousand times by different scholars during different periods. It is time Hindus realize this and stop castigating Hinduism on the basis of this grotesquely tampered scripture. It is time they examine their thinking and take some positive steps to create a more equitable and dignified human society based on a new manava dharma shastra based on present day values and ideals.


The caste system might have served its purpose in ancient times, but does not fit into the values and principles of modern times, such as democracy, fundamental rights, individual freedom, equality and non-discrimination. It does not uphold the values of modern Hinduism either, such as tolerance and universal brotherhood. It does not validate the concept that all life is a sacred expression of divine will and energy. Followers and upholders of Hinduism can not and should not rationalize caste system if they want to maintain the credibility of Hinduism as world religion that can not accommodate people of all nations, races and backgrounds.
I am just giving my personal opinion on this with no intention of blaming anyone.
The caste system could have started out based on gunas.
Brahmanas from the head(intellect), kshatriyas from arms(strength),Vaisyas from abdomen(agriculture/trade) and shudras from feet(service/support).
Untouchability is not mentioned in the above explanation.
We are all enveloped by ether,sustained by air,warmth by fire,nourished by water and bourned by earth.
When the five elements caress us in our daily existence, who is really an untouchable?
This division of society was for the whole of humanity i feel because the race of the individuals were not mentioned.
But once division is done no matter on what grounds the division stays and later on rigidity sets in.
Other religions take pride that they do not differentiate humans and categorize them but in reality thats not true.
Humans overall categorize everything especially into pairs of opposite.
Rich and poor, black and white, beautiful and plain.
So even if the caste system wasn’t there humans would have found some other category of division.
The only difference is in other religions anyone with the requirements and qualifications can become a priest.
Maybe not so or not yet in Hinduism.
Its almost hereditary but to a certain extent all of us also practise “hereditary” concept.
Many doctors for example prefer their children to become doctors too.
Traders prefer their children to take over trade.
We see so many children of actors becoming actors these days too.
So if we accept priesthood as an occupation,wont it be just a natural transition from father to son?
Other religions have a hidden agenda to propagate their teachings and finding faults have become their middle name.
But don’t we realize that no qualification is needed to realise God?
Didnt Lord Krishna mention that anyone can reach Him whether vaisya, women, shudra, etc.
He mentioned all categories not to differentiate but to make sure no one is left out knowing the human minds of the future.
Didnt Lord Krishna’s idol turn towards Kanakadas?
May be we should concentrate more on God realization and practise “Love All & Serve All”.
We need not lose our identity but need to see unity in diversity.
From time immemorial, the so called `brahmins' have created problems for themselves.

During Mahabharath war, both Kripachariar and Dronachariar were suppose to be brahmins.

Bhima Sena tells Dronachariar during the war that he is not suppose to fight the war as per his kula dharma and can only teach.

Dronachariar's son Aswathama goes one step further and misuses his powers and is condemned by Lord Krishna.

Deviating from one's kula dharma is the root cause of the problem. If they were sticking to the profession, there would not have been any problem.

Now all the communities are doing all the professions. But instead of varna, caste system prevails.

There is a possibility that caste system differentiation will reduce over a period of time but I doubt it will not go. Our politicians & beneficiary groups will not allow it to die.

The so called `Brahmins' have withdrawn from electoral politics, Government jobs etc. They have almost vacated agriculture. They have almost vocated accounting, auditing & secretarial jobs. They have withdrawn from medical and legal profession to a great extent. Now mostly software, financial services, engineering jobs are the focus and it may change in the future also.

If at all they are uniting as a group, it is because of `brahmin bashing' by the politicians and certain groups within India and Tamilnadu.

Brahmin community has withstood onslaught to a great extent. Now the community is least bothered about others and would like to focus only on development of the community.

Things are happening due to circumstances and no body can take either credit or criticism of the whole thing

All the best
Things are happening due to circumstances and no body can take either credit or criticism of the whole thing

Brahmins and the upper caste ruled all these eons and now we have this -- and the brahmins won't take any responsibility, it is all the politician's fault. Is it really?

Didnt Lord Krishna mention that anyone can reach Him whether vaisya, women, shudra, etc.

Yes, he said they were of sinful birth and yet they can reach him. Why are they of sinful birth, nobody wants to get into that.

Sri RVR ji,

Hats off to your clear, valid and practical feedback.

I believe the near future generation of we Hindus would not have cast system. The present generation is very clear as how to lead a flexible and comfortable life. I believe inter-cast marriages are not so bothered by NB communities. It's only we Brahmins who all are worried about our boys and girls marrying NB's. But that also seems to be fading away in due course of time.

"Live & Let Live", "Love All & Serve All", "Where There Is A Will There Is A Way" etc...all would seem to become the only Mantras of we all Hindus, giving liberty to the style of worship, eating habits, principles, belief, and life style.

I believe majority of people are least bothered about their cast. They would like to partner with some one educated with whom one's frequency matches well (Obviously it is valid & logical). If some one is taking a decision to marry from the same cast, bearing the strain to find the perfect match within would be doing so just to make his/her parents happy and to convince the society. I believe this mindset would be changed completely in near future and the society would not be astonishing to find a Brahmin girl marrying a NB Boy, A Devar girl marrying a Chettiar boy, A Tribal girl marrying a Nadaar boy...etc...just as a regular marriage system.

The future society may than just be convinced that a Religion called Hinduism is still having its existence and is proud to express to the world that Hinduism in not just a religion but "A way of Life"
Ramansrini...asks whether caste is a weakness of Hinduism.
In today's world it is made out to be a curse.
Those in Hinduism who curse Brahmins for establishing the caste system, dont bless Brahmins when they go to their own caste associations. Baby men go about giving new respectable names to their castes rather than improving the lot of their kinsmen.
The Christian missionaries secretly bless the Brahmins for caste...a good baton to beat them with and also earn in dollars for conversions...
Let us not confuse ourselves about the past. You can argue this way and that...for and against...you can quote this book...you can curse that saint...Where will it take us? Everything is dependent on the standpoint of the person arguing...and his motives for saying what he does...
There is a beautiful word the Kural uses...Naduvu-nilamai...non-partisan thinking...It is non-existent today...and cannot be expected from petty people.
So don't worry whether caste is good or bad....
It was there as an institution....
It is still there in our minds and in society...
But is that our Purushaarthaa...aim? What is the aim of Hinduism....The very purpose is ordering the life of man and taking him to higher levels of Spirit....This is the compass you must use for every issue. Respect men not for their caste but for their values and character.
Kondraad Elst.....the clear-eyed scholar on Hinduism (De-colonising the Hindu mind) says...''Yes..caste system was there in Hinduism...but Hinduism can live even without it...''. (My own paraphrasing - Refer to his website)
Kindly dont internalise the abuse poured on you for the caste system. Live above caste...Love people for what they are..
''Needhi...Uyarndha Madhi...Kalvi....--Anbu...
Niraiya Udaiyavargal Meloar Paappa''........(Bharati)
Koodi Vilaiyaadu Paappa..Anbu
Kondu Vilaiyaadu Paappa...
Thedu Paramporulai Nidhamum - Adhil
Thella Thelindhuvidu Paappa (Vamanan)

Every religion, every nation has many many crimes to live down...
Is the slate of other religions clean? But I won't indulge in mudslinging...
When men commit so many follies, will not a society, evovling over hundreds and hundreds of years, one of the oldest civilisations, have made mistakes...
We may, or may not have committed sins in the past...the caste system may or may not be what it is made out to be by Hinduism's enemies and those who suffered because of past injustices....

But Hindus are part of a living religion...Bathe in the pure waters of this flowing Ganga...Immerse yourself in the invigorating springs of its spirituality...You are spirit playing in matter...Don't allow anybody to restrict you to the body. Amritasya Puthraa - children of immortality...
You are Vivekananda's children...You are the children of numberless sages who gave love not just to men and women from every clan and caste...but even to animals and birds...
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Yes, he said they were of sinful birth and yet they can reach him. Why are they of sinful birth, nobody wants to get into that.

I think you could ascribe the 'sin' to mean 'material desires' of the athma...
Caste system is a bane to the country

It originally started based on the kind of work people were doing e.g Priests, Warriors, Traders . Others etc.Such a sustem was there in all the ancient civilisations.But in India it gor systemsed into Jaato from Varns
And throught out the history of medival India Brahmins do not come out in good light
Brahmins and the upper caste ruled all these eons and now we have this -- and the brahmins won't take any responsibility, it is all the politician's fault. Is it really?


Prof Nara Sir,

Our forefathers would have committed some excesses. Is it justified crucifying the present generation for that?

Our community played a leading role in the Independent struggle.

I think most of us are born after India became independent and became a true democratic republic.

Even in western world such as UK and USA voting rights were extended to all only in instalments unlike in India where everybody attaining a particular age got voting right from day one of our republic.

Practically the agraharams have vanished. In the city all communities are living together in mostly apartment type environment.

Our community members are migrating outside Tamilnadu on a continuous basis and we are not at all fighting for anything. But politicians are still crucifying the residual people staying back. Is it justified?

It is pure vote bank politics of Dravidian parties and let them do it. We have no problem. Personally I have faced the onslaught on our community throughout my career staying back in Tamilnadu. During this period, our community members have done an excellent job, focussing on developement only and not playing into the hands of these politicians. Let us hope this will continue in the future till the voices of our politicians stop talking about us.

All the best
Brahmins and the upper caste ruled all these eons and now we have this -- and the brahmins won't take any responsibility, it is all the politician's fault. Is it really?


yes. It is really. If the father commit a crime, one can not punish the son, even if the son is enjoying the fruits of father's crime if it can not be proven. I have not seen my 'paattanaar' leave alone my 'muppaattanaar'. I have to pay for their mistakes legally? Bull!! The politicians want to line their pockets and keep such sentiments alive.
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I am able to understand RVR's pain and anguish...But where is the leadership of the community?
In today's cynical system of money power, even so-called leaders of the community
play the populist game
I don't know what to do in a mundane sense...But the only real protecton, not only to Brahmins but to every person, is values...
As Kausalya told her dear Rama...Yam Paalayasi Dharmam Thvam...Dhrityaa Cha Niyamena Cha,
Sa Vai Raaghavashaardhoola, Dharmaha Thvaam Abhirakshathu...
Let that Dharma that you protect with so much determination...Let that Dharma, O Tiger Among the Raghu clan, Protect You...
If Dharma can protect Rama, the Emperor of Dharma, cannot it protect weaklings like me...
Dharma is Powerful....It is not restricted to just Dharba...which is only an accessory
It is love, friendship, selflessness in action...It will work...It is that Dharma which is still protecting us...
The Brahmin should not become just another community competing for his share of the pie (though there is nothing wrong in doing so and anybody is free to do so..)
What was the bank balance of Rajaji, who even as a small time lawyer charged a thousand bucks in Salem, when he passed away? How many houses did he have? What was he recommending for his family? Let those who live for money die by it...Let those who can live for Dharma do so...They will reap more than they sow..Kausalyaiyin Vaakkumoolam Thorkaadhu..

Brahmin faced lots of problem in Tamil Nadu for the past 40 years. I know, around 80 percent of people in TN see discrimination against lower caste. They don’t even offer water to thirsty low caste people (Sakkli), but the same people blame Brahmin for discrimination.

I wanted all Hindus stay united. Blaming each other develop only hatred. It will not solve the problem.

The situation is improving now, but some political parties now strengthening the castes for vote banks.
Dear All,

I endorse the view of Smt Renuka Ji.



For a harmonious functioning society, all the jobs pertaining to the 4 Varnas are to be performed. But, who will take up the job is to be decided based on what? That's important. There should be some automatic system to choose by education and job offering. To make all the jobs equally attractive, the remuneration should also be equal. Now, it would be easy in this materialistic world, like high charges for manual jobs, will eradicate all the difference. (I heard the amount he paid for the painter to repaint his house (in US), i wished to be a painter). All the lowly jobs shall be assigned to machines, if not possible the job should be auctioned open for a good sum. The Varana based Karma should be replaced with Universal Karma. (Without Karma, we may be back to stone age). When the difference based on job goes, we can hope for a matured society.

Though many in society do not have hatred towards brahmin, only the people who is benefited by the action, still hanging around that like DK group (thats their financial lifeline - and newly some of Srilankan tamils - Why? I see a reason.). Similarly all the brahmins are not rigid, only few, It will be there in any caste. [when you read the stories, how the north indian untouchables are treated, its horrible.]

IMHO,the british colonial rule made more damage to Brahmins (than the mohammadian), by employing them so that, hatred can be created which inturn CREATE EASY PATH TO THEIR MISSIONARIES for conversion. The effect is still there. Please see Robert Caldwell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. These people effectively poisoned others.

When Hinduism offered so many scriptures for the formation of society (many good and bad in between), others offered just criticism & Translations. May be, they wont let us have the honor. So they keep all the theory burning (like AIT & Cast-ism by Brahmanas).

Now many religions are very aggressive to fish out the Hindus to their fold, starting from tribes (if we consider them as Hindus!). In other period, it was not successful, but now there is a great chance as the political establishment indirectly supports it & many people condemns whatever Hindu does in India, and soon there will be no more place for Hindus.

Undoubtedly there are lot of things to boast for a Hindu, comparing the Vedic Civi_n, Islamic Civi_n, British Era, Now post independence. The need of the hour is to go about very aggressively to free the people from the clutches of other religion converters. They are more poisoned from other missionaries than the hatred towards brahmin.

I would suggest to all temple management to Write the Sanskrit Mantras that would be recited by the archagar, in Sanskrit & English & Tamil. If possible a person can be given a job to tell the meaning of mantras before a group of asking people in specific interval.

2. Open the padashalas and teach them Yoga, Sanskrit and the real eduction moral and conduct, purity in living, advocate simplicity in living.

3. Reservations - My Personal Opinion only - very strictly.

I dont want to ask or fight for reservation as long as there is open quota. There are many many opportunities out there. It all matters one who really wants to be a Doctor or Engineer to make more money. More over the fighting (spirit) for the open quoto will always help in any field we choose afterward. I am sure once we show our willingness to merge, those things will vanish slowly.

Hinduism need to shift gear from defensive to offensive and start spreading its value. I am finding some of the Srilankan tamils (who is hosting websites) are angry with India because they think India does not help them. So they may join with any religious outfit to condemn Hindus so that try to establish the view that TN tamilians are not Indians (for a separate tamil country). So, like the British people, they target brahmins who is the symbol of Hinduism. So they may try to keep the caste oppression candle burning, entirely for a different purpose.

Jai Hind(U)...
I see that all and sundry are toeing in line to see varna and jathi as related to occupation and hence the conclusion that varna by lineage does not exist. The further inference is that, if at all it exists, it is to be considered only as a discrimination.

IMO, the term jathi refers to smaller denominations within a varna, and hence, does not qualify to be a varna. Eg., Gounder/Thevar are sub-denominations of kshatriya varna.

Varna is the natural inclination of the athma. It is not by accident that we are born in a particular family.

If we agree that our birth is a devolvement of prarabdha karma, then it is but a natural inference that the guna of the athma is decided by the current nature of the karma being burned in the current birth. In such a case, birth alone decides the varna.

Analogy: A student aspiring for medical profession would naturally attend a medical college. It makes no sense for him to attend an engineering college to further his pursuits.

Similarly, an athma, depending on the nature of the karma (sathwic, rajasic or tamasic) to be burned, takes birth in a family of similar moulds.

I think we need to accept that a varna by birth is not at all discriminatory. It explains the reason for this birth, and hence, is an indicator to the path we should choose. This is the same reason why marriages take place in the same varna.

We should not be hasty in condemning varna because today the majority seem to think it as a bane. It is all a matter of perception and practice. We need to think with an open mind so that our thoughts are clear.

Varna is a natural and a wonderful concept, which structures the society materially and spiritually.
.....Bathe in the pure waters of this flowing Ganga...Immerse yourself in the invigorating springs of its spirituality...You are spirit playing in matter......

you kidding vamanan!!

maybe in 10 years the waters of ganga will be pure. right now it is probably among the dirtiest waters in india.

it is one huge receptacle of industrial and human wastes. there are no sewer purification systems in cities like varanasi. so all the human execrement from the millions of households is flushed into this river.

the leather tanners, paper mills, sugar mills all pour out their efluents into ganga. in any place in the west these factories would have been shut long ago.

till recently half burned humans were just slipped into the river. so big was the problem created downstream at seeing half burned human bodies, that the government introduced a species of carnivorous turtles to feed on these partially burnt hindus.

i think, if we had the same population as what we had at independence ie 425 million, we now have a good chance for rapid development. at the rate we are multiplying, there is no place in the cities even to walk among people, let alone use cars.

in new delhi i have seen 4 lane roads converted to 10 lanes or more, and the whole road is one huge parking lot. same goes in bangalore.
there is no water underneath delhi and environs, as all these have been pumped for these grand apartment buildings. .. and they are building more of it.

are all these deliberate neglect and 'each man for himself' attitude, plus the humungous corruption of a magnitude never before seen in the history of mankind - all these are they a result of casteism? or hinduism?

i don't know.

but i have read somewhere that castes actually preserved hinduism against the onslaught of islam. all other religions which faced islam were either fully conquered or pushed back islam (like xtianity in europe). we were the only ones who surived islam, because apparently of castes.

the islamic rulers did not ever understand this society, and used the caste as a convenient way to extract money. though i don't know how many people actually paid. whether the dalits were considered hindus? or the tribals?

on a vain note narrated by a friend: a north indian colleague boasted that the hindu culture and temples of tamil nadu remained intact over the milleniums, mainly because the northerners 'protected' the south from invasion.

my retorted that the northerners did such a bad job of it too!! the feuding princes of north were no match for the small but determined onslaught of the afghans. the afghans were, i think, the descendents of kushans are other tribes of the likes of harsha vardhana etc. except they followed islam.

considering that islam is absolutely egalitarian in its faith, it is surprising barring the vast east bengal dalit serfs no one else converted en masse. i don't know the history behind islamization of sind or western punjab, as i would imagine, islam's sharpest swords were reserved for central india ie u.p.

nowadays, with the unbelievable progress of communication, it is possible to pass on ideas through the various mediums such as the written word, TV and internet, in an instant and that too around the world.

whereas in the previous centuries the awareness of inequalities and discriminations were confined to the literati, of which there were few in number. nowadays, within one generation, the amazing experience of a chakkili's son becoming a governor of reserve bank, being a reality, it is inevitable that the knowledge of ancient wrongs, are not only being brought to light, but treated with a vengeance on the part of the descendent of the victims.

to the best of my knowledge, we TBs, no matter what the character of our grand parents and beyond may be, once they are dead, we elevate them to pithurs, and venerate them. so, i think, we cannot easily dismiss our heritage to those crimes, by saying that the sins of the ancestors cannot descend on their children.

in the very same breath, many of us, i think, harbour resentment towards the english. seriously speaking, i think, TBs prospered under the tutelage of the british. we picked up english and that was the key to our upward mobility, to such an extent, that it invoked the jealousy of other tamil groups, who tillthem, tolerated us, because we did not challenge them materially or politically.

this political ascendancy was a brief bloom during the indian independence movement, after which it has been quickly extinguished by the erstwhile ruling classes of tamildom. but the upward material mobility has not only marched on, but marched on at a speed, to such an extent, that i think, it is almost impossible to get brahmin cooks, live-in caretakers or increasingly priests :)

we all enjoy emanating a lot of hot air over the discriminations against us by the dravidian parties. like the british, these too have been blessings in disguise. first of all, it sensitized the younger generation to a large extent i think - i mean my generation which came of age in the 1950s through 70s.

like all sensible people with a broad middle class attitude and morals, we have moved on. not all communities have been so lucky. it might be surprising for many, that the muslims had a highly educated and entrepreneurial critical mass in the north. all of these migrated to pakistan, and left their muslim brethren here without leadership and role models, from which the community is, i think, yet to recover.

what happens when a community has no relevant leadership in any particular field? look at us now. many here, pay obeiscience to the kanchi mutt. with all the scandals revolving around it, we do not have any guidance re our current predicament of the lack of girls to match our boy population, who are wasting away their prime of their life yearning for a partner.

everything is interconnected, i believe. hence this rather long ramble. hope you enjoyed it :)


I am not clear about your view. You said we need to accept that a Varna by birth and also you mentioned a student can take a profession as per his nature.

I believe the later. I like mathematics, but my daughter hats mathematics. I do yoga and meditation everyday, but my daughter does only Puja. I can not force what I am doing.

As Pvraman mentioned, we need to open the padashalas and teach them Yoga, Sanskrit and the real education moral and conduct, purity in living, advocate simplicity in living.

If any student go further on any of the system, we should allow freely to go as per his/her nature(varna). I wanted student to choose the job and spiritual path as per his/her nature. We only need to guide them. I believe father nature may be different than child.
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Dear Shri Sapthajihva,

hmm,,, While, everybody see this as a fathers job to sons job, your opinion is that the fathers athma & sons athma. Sons athma comes to the particular family because of its previous birth's karma palan, instead of seeing the biological bond between father and son, one has to see the spritual reason.

In the case of intercast marriage, , what type of karma palan, the jivas which enter into that female, brought from its previous birth?

Is there any chance of this theory getting corrupted and twisted by external invasive religion? because these logics will make sense only the ardent Hindu practitioner. There would be a great sort of confusion, mistrust if any of the varnas do not understand correctly or faithfully follow Hinduism.

Like we argue with other religions, what, if some of the people do not accept Hinduism and don't follow this concept?

IMHO, therefore, the difference will only matter in the case of after death, so in the normal living, one's life, everybody, logically, should have same chance (suga--thukkangal or difficulty - easiness) to lead the life. The servants though they do service, they will not be having difficulty in day to day life....

Otherwise, human has the natural tendency to compare, and the differences will arise and confusion will start.

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Dear Shri Sapthajihva,

I am feeling here, the clash of interest human vs Jiva. When Jiva which has no emotion, no feelings when enters into human has all the pain, pleasure and associated feelings and actions.

Sri PVRaman ji,

All of your previous post were very impressive and I found them as that of my opinion on the cast/religion/inter-cast marriage systems.

But your above statement about Human and jiva (When Jiva which has no emotion, no feelings when enters into human has all the pain, pleasure and associated feelings and actions) is in contradiction to the existing believe.

Though this particular subject has no relevancy to the subject of the thread, I could not resist myself from passing on my views on your post.

I am not a scholar and I consider that the belief about souls/spirits among the believers is still prevailing. Whether we personally believe or not is totally different. But I just would like to highlight something that we believe in general -

1) We believe that their are wandering souls as well
2) As per the fate of a soul, a soul keeps wandering for specific time period as Prethatma
3) This period of wandering as Prethatma are considered to be the fate of a soul and in this stage the soul suffers lots of pain and yearns to attain a body/janma or moksham.
4) If we believe in previous birth, we claim that some of the basic qualities and attributes of the Atma continues to prevail in the present Janma.

Based on above points, I would like to know as how your claim - "When Jiva which has no emotion, no feelings when enters into human has all the pain, pleasure and associated feelings and actions" can be substantiated?

Or, are you pointing out about a very fresh Jeeva who would be experiencing human life for the fist time? If so, than why a specific Fresh Jeeva to be offered with Human life by Paramatma to bear the pain and pleasure of human life?
If we agree that our birth is a devolvement of prarabdha karma, then it is but a natural inference that the guna of the athma is decided by the current nature of the karma being burned in the current birth. In such a case, birth alone decides the varna.


I cannot agree more with what Sapthajihva is saying. He is absolutely correct. HH may have a point historically in terms of what actually happened or how this system actually evolved. But from a religious and theoretical POV there is no escaping, Sapthajihva is correct.

Of course I don't agree with Sapthajihva when he says:

Varna is a natural and a wonderful concept, which structures the society materially and spiritually.
Varna system is one of the most insidious systems designed by man for controlling and dominating the masses.

There are a lot of people here who conflate the meaning of the word brahmana. On the one hand they say things like, brahmana is one who is good, honest, truthful, virtuous, has bhakthi, pursues spirituality, etc. etc. and quote Yudhisthra's answers to Yaksha and so on (even here Yudishtra did not say a NB can become a B through good conduct), and yet most B's here in this forum and in Tamilnadu, consider themselves B's only because they were born one.

In theory, all the above noble qualities are simply attributed to the word brahmana. And then, in practice, a B is a B only by birth. Then all the B's are surprised that there is so much animus towards B's from NB's.
[...] I have not seen my 'paattanaar' leave alone my 'muppaattanaar'. I have to pay for their mistakes legally? Bull!! The politicians want to line their pockets and keep such sentiments alive.

:) Dear Raghy, you are angry with the politicians, and yes who wouldn't be?

But I did not say anything about anyone being legally made to pay anything. I think the upper castes, and B's in particular, should bear moral responsibility for the Varna/jati system. But the present day B's carry a big chip of victimhood on their shoulders. What an irony!
Our forefathers would have committed some excesses. Is it justified crucifying the present generation for that?

Dear Shri. RVR, Certainly not. But I wonder why you think the present day B's are being crucified. TB's are free to practice their religion and culture, without any interference from the government. They even can practice discriminatory practice like Brahmin only policy in Veda patashalas even with government subsidies.

Please see Kunjuppu's post on the thread earlier. He says it was a long ramble, but I say a very perceptive, gentle and engaging commentary.

TB's may have played a leading role in the independence struggle, but they also benefited from both the colonialism of the British, and the independence that came afterward. Further, due to oppressive practices of over eons, they predominated the intelligentsia. Further, they were fighting for independence from British so that they can rule. For a dalit it did not matter much whether they were dominated by the British or by the Brahmins and upper castes. For them, at least the British did not practice untouchability.

Indeed Agraharams are getting thinned out of TB's. But nobody forced them to move. They were living on the patronage of kings and the labor of dalits for centuries. When that changed, they moved to places that offered more lucrative opportunities. Now they lament -- the Muslims are moving into Agraharam. All these TB's who have moved to greener pastures come once a year for the Brhamotsavam and these Muslim terrorist sympathizers actually welcome them, offer not to cook NV during those days, and also contribute financially for the festivals.

India was indeed conceived as a democracy. At that time there was no need to start from where other democracies started, by giving votes only to property owners. By this time the idea of universal franchise was the prevailing norm.

On the one hand you take pride in India being a true democratic republic. Rightly so. But on the other hand you bemoan vote bank politics. That is what happens in democracies. Politicians appeal to the base instincts. Nixon devised the southern strategy is an example of that. Ronald Regan gave a speech just prior to announcing his candidacy from a place called Philadelphia Mississippi. This was the site of brutal murders of civil rights workers by the law enforcement officials. He did not say one word about the murders, in stead he talked about state rights, a code for racial politics. So, in a democracy the majority gets to rule.

Education is a public good. Democratically elected governments get to make rules that hopefully benefit a large swath of the population. The reservation policy has not stifled the economic progress of the TB's. Look around, most TB's find a way to be successful. I don't see many doing daily wage labor. This is because of the huge cultural capital they have amassed over centuries of privilege. Now, when we have to pay a few thousands or few lakh rupees to get admission we whine and gripe about the unfairness of it all.

Shri RVR ji...I would not say you ramble.
You are right when you say that caste might have had its good points in protecting HInduism...insulating it....
Sir..Naan Gangai endru sonnadhu verum tirthayaathiraikku illai...I meant the inner Ganga...Let us not be literal...That has never been the case with Sanskrit as as well Tamil lliterature. When Hiranyakasipu warns Prahlada that if the said Vishnu does not come out of the said pillar, he will kill the boy.... Kamban makes the brave boy answer..Naan Mun Sonnanavan Thotta Thotta Idam Thorum Thondraanaagil..At every point you touch, He will be there...Don't we have stories that Ganga came to the backyard of the saint...Did it have to travel all the way from Kashi?
And is Islam absolutely egalitarian as you claim...I suggest you do a google on the inequalities in other religions..and that not just in India.
Reading the posts of some persons I feel, Oru Saadhi Thannaiyum Oru Poruttaaga Madhikka Kattrukolla Vendum...Nam Samoohathil Parandha Sindhainai Ullavargal Vendum Thaan...Aanaal Tham Makkalaiye Poattu Midhikkindravargal Iruppadhu Vedhanaikkuthaan Uriyadhu...I feel some Brahmins have lost their identity and self respect!
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I do not think that the Varna system was invented to 'keep down' the masses. Like any idealistic system (Communism, for example), it was devised with all good intentions. Then human nature takes over gradually to use the system for one's own purposes, with the coveting of wealth, power and status. In this respect, just speaking from the Brahmins' perspective alone, we need to admit there were some of our fore fathers who usurped and used some of the Shastras for these purposes.

On a different note, a 'Brahmin' is by birth from a cultural and jathi pov, of course. But to argue that from the Varna perspective, it is so has no undisputed evidence in our Sruthis. Yes, a soul assumes a guna that will be instrumental in the manifestation of one's prarabdha karma in this life. To extend this argument to say that then such a soul will seek out a particular jathi family according to it's guna to be born is not valid. This is why there are people who perform evil deeds as brahmins and there are people who reflect all the sattvic qualities even while being born in a chandala's family. The karma system is very complex and is interconnected with the karmas of people we come in to contact with while living. This is why Easwara decides what part of one's sanchtha karma to be spent as prarabdha in this life.

After having said all this, to argue that Jathi is not by birth is also as meaningless as arguing that it is. The requirements to be a brahmin of the yore is not followed by today's ilk and we can never go back to those times, as we are caught in the strong flow of industrialization/modernization. A brahmin is not a brahmin if other varnas performing their required roles also do not exist, as the roles were devised to be complementary and interdependent. If sudhras do not accept the brahmins, then following all the required brahminical varna dharma has no meaning. Because all the benefits to the mankind can only accrue if all in the system believe in the whole system. To say that if we go back to our brahmin dharma as prescribed, by ourselves alone, even if it can be accomplished (which it can not be), whether other dharmas exist is not a very logical argument to make. One needs all four dharmas to exist and function to make the varna system work.

This issue can never be settled by debates and has no relevance today. I prefer to think of myself as a TB by birth, attached to this culture because of my upbringing in it. I do not think of other jathis to be inferior. I also do not think that the Indian government's, especially the TN government' policy of discriminating against the 'forward' communities is correct anymore. They need to throw out these outdated policies to assis all the poor in general. So, in this respect, I do not think that my children if they are in India need to carry the burdens of their forefathers - it has to end. If there are brahmins today that still practice untouchability and acharam based on religious grounds, then they need to bear the cost of being so in a democratic civic society, as individuals. One can not keep on punishing an entire community for the past actions by a lot and the present actions by a few.

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