Monday, February 22, 2010

Indian Caste System : Know your history

When i see educated people getting together/ignoring others on the name of caste

Students fighting for their movie heroes in the name of caste

NRIs who have seen the world , splitting in to organizations in the name of caste

People being offered jobs even with out an interview in the name of caste

Parents in todays society still looks out for matches in the name of caste

Politicians while trying to be demigods exploiting people in the name of caste

Have the people who dismiss caste as an inhuman and nazi system, ever attempted to understand its original purpose and genius? Is it really worse than the huge class differences you can see nowadays in Europe? At any rate, we should not allow it to be exploited shamelessly against us, as it has been in the last two centuries, by missionnaries, "secular" historians, Moghuls, and by pre and post-independance Indian politicians - each for their own purpose.

The Beautiful Beginning

The original social system was divided in four "varnas", or four castes, which corresponded to each one's inner capacities.Brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras.
“Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness–these are the natural qualities by which the brahmanas work.

Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the ksatriyas.

Farming, cow protection and business are the natural work for the vaisyas, and for the sudras there is labor and service to others.

By following his qualities of work, every man can become perfect.So the Vedas recognize different people have different skills and qualifications, but it is not by birth, it is by guna (qualification) and karma (work). So if someone born of a sudra (worker) father becomes qualified (guna) and works as (karma) a brahmana he should be accepted as a brahmana. In the same way if the son of a brahmana doesn’t have the qualifications of a brahmana or work as a brahmana then he is not a brahmana. There are so many examples of this in the Vedic scriptures.

It is this system which allowed India to flower in an unprecedented way, to excel perhaps as no other nation had done before her, in all fields, be it literature, architecture, sculpture, or painting and develop great civilisations, one upon the other and one upon the other, each one more more glittering than the previous one.

In the last stages of the pre-Muslim period, the whole Indian system was founded upon a close participation of all the classes; even the Shudra had his share in the civic life. Thus the Council had a fixed number of Brahmin, Kshatrya, Vaishya and Shudra representatives, with the Vaishya having a greater preponderance. And in turn, each town, each village, had its own Metropolitan Civic Assembly allowing a great amount of autonomy. Even the great Ashoka was defeated in his power tussle with his Council and he had practically to abdicate.

Is the current Indian system something like accepting the sons of  IAS officer as IAS ?.They have to be qualified, they have to attend the entrance and pass the course and get the practical training.So there is actually nothing stopping anyone from bettering his position in the Indian system in the scriptures.Anyone, from any social position can be liberated by performing his own work.You have the same system in America. You have intellectuals [brahmanas], you have administrators and military men [ksatriyas], you have businessmen and farmers [vaisyas] and you have workers. The Vedic system just recognizes these groups, that’s all. It’s quite natural.

For example:

How much time did it take for a so called developed nation to crawl on its knees when a succesfull business man like Geroge W Bush won the elections twice.He might have been a good fit to be a Vaisya and not a Kshatriya or Brahmin.

The Degeneration began

The Moghuls have always projected it as a gradual take-over of India by an arrogant Brahmin and kshatriya society. What used to be a natural arrangement - a Kshatriya became a warrior to express heroic tendencies in him developed from countless births on earth- turned-out to be an inherited legacy, which was not merited by chivalrous deeds. A Brahmin who used to deserve his status by his scholarship and piety, and was twice-born in the spiritual sense, just inherited the charge from his father. And the shudras were relegated to a low status, doing the menial chores, when in their heyday, they fulfilled an indispensable role, which granted them recognition from the king himself. Thus Hindu religion lost its immense plasticity, which allowed her to constantly renew herself - and India became ripe for invasions.

It is the nature of human institutions to degenerate, there is no doubt that the institution of caste degenerated. It ceased to be determined by spiritual qualifications which, once essential, have now come to be subordinate and even immaterial and is determined by the purely material tests of occupation and birth.By this change it has set itself against the fundamental tendency of Hinduism which is to insist on the spiritual and subordinate the material and thus lost most of its meaning. The spirit of caste arrogance, exclusiveness and superiority came to dominate it instead of the spirit of duty, and the change weakened the nation and helped to reduce us to our present condition.This sowed the seeds of an explosive conflict which is ready to blow-up today in every state where the caste conflict is exploited politically by politicians who went further and catergorized them as BC,SC,ST etc.

Human brain needs theories and proofs to accept something and so here is just one example of what the English did.

The Master Stroke by the British..

The theory of the Aryan invasion is still taken as the foundation stone of the History of India. According to this theory, which was actually devised in the 18th and 19th century by British linguists and archaeologists, the first inhabitants of India were good-natured, peaceful, dark-skinned shepherds, called the Dravidians, who had founded what is called the Harappan - or Valley of the Indus civilisation. They were supposedly remarkable builders, witness the city of Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistani Sind, but had no culture to speak-off, no litterature, no proper script even. Then, around 1500 B.C., India is said to have been invaded by tribes called the Aryans : white- skinned, nomadic people, who originated somewhere in Western Russia and imposed upon the Dravidians the hateful caste system. To the Aryans, are attributed Sanskrit, the Vedic - or Hindu religion, India’s greatest spiritual texts, the Vedas, as well as a host of subsequent writings, the Upanishads, the Mahabharata, the Ramanaya, etc...

Thanks to the Aryan theory, they showed on the one hand that Indian civilisation was not that ancient and that it was posterior to the cultures which influenced the western world - Mesopotamia, Sumeria, or Babylon - and that whatever good things India had developed - Sanskrit, literature, or even its architecture, had been influenced by the West. Thus, Sanskrit, instead of being the mother of all Indo-European languages, became just a branch of their huge family; thus, the religion of Zarathustra is said to have influenced Hinduism, and not vice versa. And on the other hand, it divided India and pitted against each other the low caste dark-skinned Dravidians and the high caste light-skinned Aryans, a rift which is till enduring.

What a comment about a nation that gave the world the Vedas and the Upanishads, at a time when Europeans were still sleeping in their caves!

History should be rewritten so that Indian children learn to be proud of their ancient and INDIGENOUS civilization - and the consequences of this new theory applied not only to Asia, but also to the entire history of the whole world.Talk proud about our Caste System.We need not rewrite the whole caste system of today to go back to the beautiful past but fill our minds with the truth that we are no superior or inferior than any human being by Birth or Caste.
The next time you come across caste fanatics explain them the truth or worst case just smile off...:)

Jai Hind!

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