The Vedas for all – The Casteless society
- The Sanatana Dharma during Vedic era had never endorsed caste system. Thus restoration of true Sanatana Dharma alone would create a casteless society in India.
- The caste is always a British invention which enumerated based on occupation. But true definition of ‘Jaati’ as per Veda is completely different from what British defined as caste!
- ‘Jaati’ as defined by Veda is ‘Samaana prasava atmika Jaatih’ which means those who have similar birth source form a Jaati.
Classification of Jatti
Four broad classification of ‘Prajaati’ (different groups of Jaati) as envisaged by Rishis are Udbhija,Andaja, Pindaja and Ushmaja.
- Udbhija: are the Jaati or group that are coming out of ground like plants, crops etc.
- Andaja: Jaati or group takes birth from eggs, like birds, reptiles etc.
- Pindaja: Jaati or group are those which are born from womb or say mammals.
- Ushmaja: are those Jaati or group that are reproduced due to temperature and ambient condition like bacteria, virus etc.
- This Prajati (Jaati group) is further classified as jaati based on similar physical characteristic of a Jaati. This is the Jaati created by God (or nature) and can’t cross breed across the Jaati. Now on mammals there are many varieties of Jaati like tiger, dog, cat, human etc. All forms a special Jaati.
- Thus human belongs to one jaati that’s called manav Jaati (or human race). Thus jaati is immobile but doesn’t divide humans! Forget about Indian population, in fact humans of the World in fact belongs to one Jaati. That’s why Vedas say ‘Vasudhyava Kutumbakam’.
However for convenience usage this jaati too referred as to a population of a country or nation. That’s why national address sometimes described as a speech (Bhashan) to Jaati (nation). The term of united nation is also called as Jaati-Sangh.
Vedic Sanatan Dharma
- Vedic Sanatan Dharma also called as ‘Varnashram Dharma’. There are four basic Varnas called as ‘Bramhin, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Shudra. Also during Vedic era there were other Varnas like Rakshyasa, Dasyu, Chandal etc. However as those are considered criminals hence not included in mainstream civilization!
- Now Varna again is based on the occupation and merit. It’s mobile and not at all based on birth. As per Vedic Sanatana Dharma all are born as Shudras. Then based on one’s education and occupation (which are purely on merit and choice) are upgraded to Bramhin, Kshyatriya and Vaishya varna. All these three Varna’s called as Dwija (means twice born).
- This proves that first biological birth made all Shudras and then due to individual capacity one is again born to a Varna. People who are involved in intellectual activities are classified as Bramhin Varna, those have profession of defense and warfare are classified as Kshatriya and those have profession of trade, economy, animal rearing agriculture (owning lands) are classified as Vaishya Varna. The remaining who due to lack of education, talent or merit have to do labor work to support all the above Varnas remain as Shudras.
- Again here it must be noted that Shudras are not untouchable in Vedic culture. ‘Tapase Shudram’ (Yajurveda 30.5) proves that Shudras are hard working class. Also Shudras can do Tapasya!’
- Thus the present caste system is no way same to Varnashrama Dharma nor does the today’s Jaati (caste) have any relation with Jaati of Vedic culture. Jaati is always immobile as it’s depends on birth as discussed earlier. But Varna is always mobile, as it’s always a choice of profession and ability to do a certain type of work!
Let me give some examples how Varna is mobile as below.
- Aitareya Rishi was a son of Chandal/criminal (even lower than Shudra Varna) became Bramhin of highest order because of his merit and education. He wrote Aitaray Bramhan and Aitoreyopanishad!
- Ailush Rishi belonged to a Shudra parent but because of his individual excellence he not only became a Bramhin but also got the title of ‘Acharya’.
- Satyakaam Jaabal became a Brahmin despite son of prostitute!
- King Dakshya’s son Prisadha became a shudra. Later on he did hard Tapasya to achieve salvation! (This also proves that Shudras were equally allowed to do Tapasya, a work of Brmahin.)
- Kshatriya Nedhistha’s son Nabhag became Vaishya where as many of Nabhag’s son became Kshatriya again and one son Dhrista became Bramhin! Dhrista’s son became Kshatriya where as the next generation again became Brahmin!
- Agnivesya, Rathotar, Haaritand Shaunak became Bramhin despite born to Kshatriya parents. Shaunak rishi’s sons were of all four Varnas.
- Matanga who was born to Shudra family became Bramhin.
- Ravana born to Brmahin family but became Khatriya.
- Viswamitra became Bramhin despite being born to Kshatriya family. Viswamitra’s sons became Shudra.
- The above proves how Vedas never endorsed birth based caste system rather opted for Varna Vyavastha depending on one’s choice, success and merit. Further Shudras weren’t untouchable.
- Thus I reiterate that caste based system is an invention by British and western intellectuals link to Varna Vyvastha. At the same time I would say that untouchable term started doing round not during Vedic era rather during 200 BC to 600 AD, a period when Sanatan Dharma was really directionless due to domination of Buddhism and Jain religion which were too declining during that period.
- TSPSC Mains Tests and Notes Program
- TSPSC Group I Prelims Exam 2020- Test Series and Notes Program
- TSPSC Prelims and Mains Tests Series and Notes Program
- TSPSC Detailed Complete Prelims Notes