Why there is so much confusion regarding Varna n Caste?Are Both these same ?How to understand it? Varna

5 points | Post submitted by suyash95 259 days ago | 3 comments | viewed 111 times

Why there is so much confusion regarding Varna n Caste?Are Both these same ?How to understand it?


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  • suyash95 259 days ago | +0 points

    VARNA were merely conventional designations signifying occupational differences and, since men were free to change their occupations, these diffe-rences had no hereditary or genetical basis.The distinctions between Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras are founded merely on the observance of diverse rites and the practice of different professions. One who engages in trade comes to be known as a merchant, one who indulges in military pursuits is known as a soldier, and one who administers the country a king. It was not by birth that one becomes merchant, soldier or king but by the actions that one performs or the job one does.*These r purely THEORETICAL Descriptions


    Thus it is noticeable that with the passage of time, any ideology is also bound to create diversity since it is the very human nature to differ among them selves. This leads to strong irreconcilable differing subgroups that depend upon the mass appeal and acceptance. It assumes more materialistic outlook than spiritual one over the passage of time and then the things start going wrong. Another human weakness that leads to disaster is its faltering weaknesses like ego, anger, greed, passion, jealousy, hatred and etc which sway the opinions of various individuals and create differing strong subgroups; whether in castes, classes or races. Ultimately all lead to the same divisions and diversity.


    there is a confusion about Varna versus Jati.Varna is a theoretical division of society according to inherent characteristics and occupations.Jati is the complex social organization of hundreds of different autonomic economic units, and their structured social interactions and commercial transactions which was more horizontal than vertical.


    Varṇa - which means the “colour” of one’s personality is determined by one’s inherent qualities (guṇas) with which one is born - which are:₄


    sattva (balance/goodness/spirituality/peace/compassion etc.),


    rajas (passion/greed/aggression/control/domination etc.),


    tamas (ignorance/dullness/laziness/maliciousness etc.)


    And Karma — which is the work and activities to which one is naturally attracted due to one’s guṇas.



    VARNA (character) was the natural propensities and talents with which an individual is born. (Discussed in Gita 18:42 - 43)


    The brahminical qualities are: Serenity and restraint, self-discipline, purity, forbearance, integrity, wisdom, insight and faith in the Vedas.


    The kshatriya qualities are: Valor, power, determination, proficiency and courage in battle, generosity and leadership.


    The vaishya qualities are business acumen, proficiency in agriculture, cattle-breeding and trade.


    The sudra qualities are those of the general public - self-interest, food and entertainment.


    These qualities are specific to individuals and not groups per se .These r 4 metaphysical Qualities present in every Human Being


    SAPTRISHI ATRI described this beautifully when he classified Brahmins acc to these - 


     He described a Brahmin engaged in fighting as KSHATRIYA


    He described a Brahmin engaged in  agriculture,trade n rearing cattle as VAISHYA


    He described a Brahmin engaged in selling lac,salt,dyes like Kusumbha,milk ,ghee,honey,meat as SHUDRA


    He described a Brahmin engaged who is a THIEF,Robber , a backbiter n one who is fond of meat n fish as NISHADA


    He described a Brahmin engaged who obstructs,destroys wells,gardens,tanks,without any qualm as  ASURIC


    He described a Brahmin engaged who is devoid o RITES,doe not know anyhthing abt DHARMA as CANDALA


    So this clearly means that VARNA was aa theoretical construct.


    If a person who was selling materials was SHUDRA at one epoint than at another point,the same person when he was enaged in cattle rearing was VAISHYA


    This was just a reminder to a person.To Understand this We must take eg of DIVORCE in HINDUISM -


    Why is there not concept of “divorce” but there is a provision for “remarriage”

    Because most western educated Indians are confused between Hindu cultural values and those of Europe.


    “Divorce” as a formal dissolution of marriage by courts is a western thing. Courts did not authorise marriages in Ancient India and so they had no mandate for authorising divorce.

    The priest who performs a Hindu marriages is also not an authorising agent - he has no right to declare the couple “married” as the clergy does in western weddings - speaking on behalf of God and the King. The couple declare themselves to be married with the participation of their family, friends and communities, and therefore only they have the authority to separate themselves with or without the consent of their social network.


    When Women or Men live with each other without any Marriage of their own accord,Than this is called GANDHARVA VIVAHA

    Now Imp thing is This is just a description.Not a certificate of certainty n definiteness


    Similar VARNA is a theoretical description of an Indiviudal

    90% of people labelled as SHUDRAS were also involved in agricultural activities n kept Weapons for protection of their families.

    So they were also Vaishya n Kshatriya acc to VARNA.

    There was no Central Org. giving certificates of Varna status to people.



    The overlaying of the Varna categories over the Jati system occurred when the British in 1901 commissioned a census based on caste and overseen by Sir Herbert Risley. The castes were categorised, stratified then gazetted, causing extreme confusion and conflict and social division - the ramifications of which are still felt today.

    In reality, the social division was between brahmins on the one hand and all the rest of the population were termed Non-brahmins on the other.



    Remember it was the British that conducted a census on caste in 1865 for the purpose of social engineering. After gathering all the caste data, they then gazetted the castes according to a hierarchy so they could then more efficiently recruit staff to manage the empire. For example soldiers were recruited from the warrior castes, scribes and clerks from the Kayastha caste, teachers and advisors from the Brahmins, economic management recruits were Vaishyas and servants and foot soldiers came from the Sudras. etc. There were hundreds of legal challenges to the hierarchical gazetting at the time, because of the complexity of the system which the administrators wanted to simplify and had unjustifiably elevated and demoted some castes.Under the notorious census, the jatis of 

    Yadavs,Kushwahas,Lodhi,Jats,Jatavs,Mangs,Mahars,Charamkars,Pasis,Kurmis,Lodhis,Patel,Vellalar, Bant, Kamma along with Bedars, Idaiyans, Kalians, Kapus, Reddis and Telagas - etc n many other JAATIS were categorised under Sudra var?a all of whom combined military work along with agriculture, carpentry, animal husbandry and other professions.



    In the 17th century India had a 25% of the world GDP and was rich, diverse and producing many fine goods in demand all over the world - the producers of these fine goods such as textiles, pottery, wood-work, stone-carving, metal-work, gold and silver and especially the spice trade were all technically Sudras, but were the affluent middle class.



    The merchant class (vaishya-var?a) and the service-providers and the skilled artisans and craftsmen (sudra-var?a) - had merged to form the major socio-economic bloc. And the warrior class would only take to arms when they were needed, the rest of the time they took to agriculture and other crafts such as leather-work, carpentry, blacksmith etc. Remember this was a time of mercenary armies and soldiers were paid through loot and booty, after the war was over they did not receive a retaining salary and so returned to their villages to maintain themselves by other means of service and trade.



    The domestic Purohits under different JATIS were categorised as under category as BRAHMIN varna creating a false dichotomy.The Vedic Brahmins selected some Person from every JAATIS for training n learning Vedas.The post Independence Government kept the egregious Risley Gazetted system and never bothered to update it I think.



    The caste system has continued because concepts such as Martial races and racial theories of Aryan/Dravidian were deeply ingrained over the 200 years of Colonial rule. That is why you have fools today who cry about being Dravidians and people used to take pride in being ‘Aryans’ because it meant they shared origins with the White Masters.


    Today, fewer people follow this and this trend will continue.Once a practice is ingrained in society it takes a few generations to come out of it.Things are quite different now compared to 1947 and that will hold true again 20 years from now.



    In TANTRIC Hinduism , Varna is classified differently than VEDIC System -

    1. The pashus — or vast majority of common people who are basically insecure, fearful and undisciplined who crave the fulfilment of desires and assurances of safety and security. They are easily manipulated and controlled by secular as well as religious authority figures.



    2. The viras — the heroic, pathfinders, explorers and adventurers. People who are intelligent, self assured and have a burning desire to find out and to achieve goals for themselves. They are the intelligentsia, the scientists and the explorers.


    3. The siddhas — the enlightened beings. For each of these a different form of spiritual practice is prescribed.



    For the pashus there are rituals, pilgrimages, disciplines, gifts, and a host of other methods of supplicating higher powers to achieve their goals — all are forms of positive self-affirmation.


     For the viras no celestial help is required as they achieve their goals through their own efforts, and deal with their failures themselves. 


    The siddhas have no need for prayer but are engaged only in contemplation of the Divine nature and the chanting of the holy names. They have no personal desires to fulfil as they have realised the futility and impermanence of all material aspirations and goals


    There was no Central Org. giving certificates of Varna status to People.

    Proof for my statement - 


    I will Quote the statements from British Colonial Officials themselves which will make things crystal clear 

    “WR Cornish, who supervised census operations in the Madras Presidency in 1871, wrote that "… regarding the origin of caste we can place no reliance upon the statements made in the Hindu sacred writings. Whether there was ever a period in which the Hindus were composed of four classes is exceedingly doubtful".


    Similarly, CF Magrath, leader and author of a monograph on the 1871 Bihar census, wrote, "that the now meaningless division into the four castes alleged to have been made by Manu should be put aside".


    Anthropologist Susan Bayly writes that "until well into the colonial period, much of the subcontinent was still populated by people for whom the formal distinctions of caste were of only limited importance, even in parts of the so-called Hindu heartland… The institutions and beliefs which are now often described as the elements of traditional caste were only just taking shape as recently as the early 18th Century".


    In fact, it is doubtful that caste had much significance or virulence in society before the British made it India's defining social feature.”

    [reply]
    • suyash95 241 days ago | +0 points

      We will look at MAHABHARATA

      The Mahabharata,discusses the Varna system,The Epic offers two models on Varna. 

      The first model describes Varna as colour-coded system, through a sage named Bhrigu,"Brahmins Varna was white, Kshtriyas was red, Vaishyas was yellow, and the Shudras' black". 

      This description is questioned by another prominent sage Bharadvaja who says that colours are seen among all the Varnas, that desire, anger, fear, greed, grief, anxiety, hunger and toil prevails over all human beings, that bile and blood flow from all human bodies, so what distinguishes the Varnas, he asks? 

      The Mahabharata then declares,"There is no distinction of Varnas.This whole universe is Brahman. It was created formerly by Brahma, came to be classified by acts.

      "The Mahabharata thereafter recites a behavioural model for Varna, that

      those who were inclined to anger, pleasures and boldness attained the Kshatriya Varna; 

      those who were inclined to cattle rearing and living off the plough attained the Vaishyas; 

      those who were fond of violence, covetousness and impurity attained the Shudras. 

      The Brahmin class is modelled in the epic, as the archetype default state of man dedicated to truth,austerity and pure conduct. Indeed, it goes on to assert that all men are children of Brahmins, which does not make sense, unless understood this way. 

      In the Mahabharata and pre-medieval era Hindu texts,"it is important to recognize, in theory, Varna is non genealogical.The four Varnas are not lineages, but categories

      ."The BhagavadGita describe the professions, duties and qualities of members of different varnas.

      There is no entity on earth, or again in heaven among the Devas, that is devoid of these three Gunas, born of Prakriti.Of Brâhmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, as also of Sudras, O scorcher of foes, the duties are distributed according to the Gunas born of their own nature.

      The control of the mind and the senses, austerity, purity, forbearance, and also uprightness,knowledge, realisation, belief in a hereafter– these are the duties of the Brâhmanas,

      born of (their own)nature.Prowess, boldness, fortitude, dexterity, and also not flying from battle, generosity and sovereignty are the duties of the Kshatriyas,

       born of (their own) nature.Agriculture,cattle-rearing and trade are the duties of the Vaishyas, born of (their own)nature;

      and action consisting of service is the duty of the Sudras, born of (their own) nature.

      [reply]
  • veddev 259 days ago | +0 points

    There is no word for Caste in Sanskrit.

    Varna means Gradations of Temperament. 

    Jati means tribe.  There is simply was no caste in Hinduism - it's all bogus overlay by pseudo-intellectuals to confuse us.

    [reply]

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