m

NOTES ON VARNA-JAATI AKA CASTE SYSTEM History of Hindu Religion

1 points | Post submitted by suyash95164 days ago |11 comments | viewed203 times

Some thoughts


  • suyash95164 days ago | +0 points

    Caste as we know it is a colonial construct, no scholar worth their salt today would disagree. Varna and Jati go back thousands of years but have been different things at different times. To make absurd claims its the same as found 4000 years ago as today is fantasy land

    Varna-Jati system is probably the world's oldest running Eugenics programme. Why was it required, you might ask. The answer is that the national characteristics of a people are primarily decided by their geographical surroundings. Since the geographical terrain of India is primarily a "sub-tropical land of abundance" it is difficult to hope for nature to select for positive traits that you want. Thus, artificial selection is required so you have significant numbers of elite warriors, and signficant numbers of elite priests/academics, and significant numbers of elite merchants/traders and significant numbers of elite craftsmen. Without the Varna-Jati system of social organisation, this country's population would have wholly represented some sub-saharan country where people would eat, fuck and kill as they pleased. Not really the building blocks of civilisation, you know? The reality is that today we neglect the ancient wisdom of our forebears who saw the necessity of applying Eugenics to our lands. If we deviate too much from the way things were meant to be, we will end up in a very very nasty place. Mark my words. 

    Indus Valley Civilization represented one major cluster of cities. Before that time people probably lived in small groups. Based on current evidence it was likely that rest of India was either farming or hunting/gathering, but in small groups at around the time of Indus Valley Civilization. Rice and wheat had already been domesticated and so were water buffalo and cows. Thus, it is likely that the life of India at that time was probably not much different from the life in some of the most interior villages of present India

    The jaati system and the Varna system is/was the most inclusive and empowering system ever developed. Christian colonialists ranted against it since it wouldn't allow colonial exploitation, chaddis rant against it because they are brainless. Thejaati/varna system guaranteed zero unemployment, made monopolies impossible, and made everyone an entrepreneur at a proper young age.

    Nobody was allowed to intrude into the occupation of somebody else, everyone was given a profession. Imagine a situation where amazon types are not allowed to get into retail. Expand that a million times. It also guaranteed excellence of the kind that ITI diplomas can't achieve

    Marxist sociologists explain the evolution of caste as a result of growing division of labour with the rise of agriculture and private property. They blame Brahmins for providing the legitimacy to this system by justifying it using religious concepts.

    The peculiar feature of Indian society in which Jati (caste) system was the fundamental modal of socioeconomic organisation, its sustenance in the rural areas could only be ensured by Yajmani (also spelled Jajmani) system which was intricately intertwined with Jati system. In Yajmani system, the Jatis which were engaged in providing different services and products were integrated with the Jatis which were primarily agriculture producers or performed administrative activities. The discussion in subsequent paragraphs of Yajmani system will be restricted to rural areas where it is still in existence to some extent.

    To understand the Yajmani system, we will start with the most common example of how the system works for someone who belongs to a Jati engaged in agriculture. A person engaged in agriculture needs different kind of services for religious and secular activities – iron ploughs for ploughing the land, bullock cart for carrying loads, leather straps for tying oxen to specific wooden implants during ploughing, service of Brahmans for conducting a wedding or any another samskara, pitchers for storing water in summer, service of barbers for regular and specific events such as death or wedding etc. In the Jati system, each of these products and services were provided by specific Jatis who specialized in their own domains.

    In Yajmani system, each of the required products and services to a household was provided by the designated members of different Jatis. For example, if A needs iron ploughs, B from Luhar (blacksmith) Jati will provide the required product. The interesting thing to note here is that B has traditionally inherited A as his patron, which he is not allowed to change nor A has the option of going to a different vendor. When B passes away, his offsprings will inherit the same business relationship with the offsprings of A. It was a patron-client model in which the relationship was transmitted across generations where both the parties had guarantee of the relationship.

    In this model, the mode of payment for the services and products varied on multiple factors. It was dependent on the geography, occupation of the patron and the nature of service. If the patron belonged to agricultural Jati, the payment was made after the main season of harvest in form of grains. In Eastern India, the payment was usually done using rice as it was the main cereal for the region. The amount of payment varied on the basis of nature of services rendered. Jatis which provided products used to calculate their expected payment on the basis of kind of products which they had delivered in a specific year while Jatis which provided services had a fixed payment and additional payments for specific activities. For example, a barber was given fixed amount of grains every year irrespective of the volume of services provided, but if he had also provided his services for a wedding during the year, he received an additional payment for that service.

    The Yajmani system which we have described above differs greatly from the employer-employee model of the industrial world. Unlike employer-employee model, Yajmani system adopted a hereditary model in which the business relationship was carried forward across generations. In this system, if a patron was not happy with the quality of services or products rendered, he didn’t have the easier option of changing the vendor. If he wished to change the vendor, no other vendor would be ready to provide him the services as it will create a conflict amongst the members of their own Jati and violate the fundamental norm of not encroaching in the territory of fellow members of the community.

    In the employer-employee model, the employer is free to terminate the employment of the employees based on the terms and conditions associated with the employment as opposed to the Yajmani system. While in pre-industrial world, the system ensured stability of the socioeconomic order as economic transactions were intimately connected with the social relationships, it took away the incentive to be entrepreneurial and innovative. As the producers or service providers were assured of definite base of patrons, they had no incentive to innovate as there was no additional reward associated with it. The chances of gaining an additional patron were slim owing to the social norms and the potential patron already having their own service providers. Having said that, Yajmani system was a functional social institution in a world where there was no clear difference between economic and social relationships and they often converged.

    Dr J K Bajaj, India’s foremost demographer and scholar in his research, offers some conclusions which he shared with this author. In the same Ganga-Yamuna belt (or North India, broadly speaking) there is not a single village or town that has remained in the same place for more than four hundred years. In his study travels, Dr Bajaj found only one village near Hissar, Haryana, which remained intact for more than six hundred or so years. He also found that this village almost exactly resembled a typical South Indian village in terms of its plan and layout: for example, where and how the temple, water bodies, burial grounds, fields and farmland, boundaries, etc should be located. This was completely unlike any typical North Indian village falling in the entire stretch between Punjab to Bihar to Bengal.

    To understand the impact of temple destructions which played a key role in shaping today's Caste system, it is important to understand what’s known as the Rooted Indian psyche. This can be more accurately called the attitude of the Hindu soul: an inseparability from Sampradaya. An honest study of Hindu history and culture shows that this psyche is a deep attachment to said Sampradaya and the intimacy that their immediate physical surrounding provides them. Unless violently forced, Hindus typically never moved out of their villages for generations. Of course, the jaundiced critic may call this attitude as frog-in-the-well but that discussion is beyond the scope of this essay.

    The caste system as it exists today is the result of developments during the collapse of the Mughal era and the rise of the British colonial government in India. The British Raj furthered this development, making RIGID caste organisation a central mechanism of administration. Between 1860 and 1920, the British formulated the caste system into their system of governance, granting administrative jobs and senior appointments only to Christians and people belonging to certain castes.

    The caste system is one of the main expressions of the traditional sociopolitical order, a “form" victorious over chaos and the embodiment of the metaphysical ideas of stability and justice."

    This continuous seething over caste system is nothing but acknowledgement of their defeat by votaries of egalitarianism as differences between classes have only increased in last century and they show their desperation by insulting or abusing hindu caste system wh

    the purest form of a hierarchy based system. And these maniacs consider Brahmins who stand at the top of this system as their mortal enemy.

    Traditional baniya businessman: Profit > scale, builds business from saving, हरि भक्ति and doing charity for Dharma.Modern start-up founders: Thrives on VC money, can't make profits so scale > profit, gives retarded hot takes about Indian society and people.

    The worst thing which you could do to a kid coming from poor economic background is to reduce the standard of education for him. You're ensuring that he will fail where it matters because his standard was kept below compared to his peers for compassion.

    In 1950-51, the percentage of workers engaged in agriculture was 82%. What does it essentially say? That majority of Indians including LC Hindus were living on agriculture by the time British left.

    Around 30% of the rural households in 1950-51 came in the category of agriculture labour and further 15% of it were landless labourers. An agriculture labour household meant that it received more than 50% of its income from agriculture labour.

    So, not only majority of Hindu LCs were dependent on agriculture but a significant number of them didn't produce enough to sustain themselves due to which agriculture labour was their prime vocation. The ones who didn't own land had no other options anyway.

    The manufacturing sector had mix presence of both bigger and SME firms. But even there, the owners were from business class as they had started modernization within their capacity to boost their production and productivity.

    The manufacturing sector had mix presence of both bigger and SME firms. But even there, the owners were from business class as they had started modernization within their capacity to boost their production and productivity.

    The service castes were in even more pitiable condition because the wage in service sector was low as a consequence of lower economic development. If he remained there, he couldn't progress as everyone else was poor. So, whenever he got the opportunity, he took up another job.

    As a consequence of industrialization and British colonialism, by 1947, India was essentially a country of landless poor who sustained on agriculture somehow. It was just enough to keep oneself alive.

    In such dire situation, people left their villages and families behind to find something better. Many found, many didn't. But had they not tried something, nothing better would have come. Giving a haircut in Bangalore is profitable today, it's still peanuts in villages.

    Another thing which people need to understand is that a skilled worker is not necessarily a good entrepreneur. Hindu LCs traditionally had skills, but didn't venture into running business. Modern economy is different. Running the business is the most important skill today.

    Compare the jaati system of Hindu India where everyone had a profession guaranteed from birth into which no one else could encroach, where everyone became an entrepreneur at puberty with the current system.

    Everyone had their duties & responsibilities pretty well defined. The transfer of knowledge via generations led to prosperity & expansion of boundaries in every field.

    Buddhism ended up creating a previously never existed class called "chandalas" aka "panchama varna" also known as "Dalit". Buddhist punishments were too harsh .. such as social expulsion for "crimes" as simple as having a glass of alcohol or a taking bite of meat.

    After 1857 War of Independence, the British demonised the various communities of people who could prove obstacles to their rule in future, through institutional mechanisms. As long as we continue using those mechanisms & associated propaganda, we aren't truly decolonised!

    Industrial revolution took away the traditional artisan, etc. jobs, which traditionally Shudras did. To exploit this disenfranchisement further, missionaries exaggerated anti-Shudra things in the Smritis & sought to encourage conversions.

    Industrial revolution took away the traditional artisan, etc. jobs, which traditionally Shudras did. To exploit this disenfranchisement further, missionaries exaggerated anti-Shudra things in the Smritis & sought to encourage conversions.

    Automation is repeating the process of obscuring traditional occupations.

    Caste diversity was there in pre modern India too, in fact the diversity was greater but it didn't lead to so much conflict as it does in our times. What changed ??

    Because the avenues of competition as well as rewards were limited except for extremely motivated ones who were ready to pay the heavy price of conflict. That always happened at individual or small group level. Things have radically change now for good.

    The old time mindset was completely different. Most of the people were happy doing what their ancestors did because they didn't know how to do something else, nor they thought they were capable of doing. Even if someone was in misery, he accepted it as fate.

    Caste system has nothing to do with racism and if you are probably not aware, both Indian and Western liberals are obsessed with caste system to take it down. What you are saying is not unpopular, but completely incorrect.

     

    Jāti — as social caste based on occupation is already redundant because most people don’t follow their designated occupations and with the open education system people have free choice in matters of career.

    Social caste is, as many writers have already remarked, a ‘class’ delusion based on a sense of identity and shared values - whatever than means. So the battle is to change the psyche of people who still subscribe to discrimination based on surnames.

    Today,Varna and jāti have no relevance whatsoever to Hindus growing up in Modern World and they have fully imbibed

    [reply]

  • suyash95164 days ago | +0 points

    Varna and jati have more complex roots than such pillars.

    Let us consider Tamil Nadu.There are three SC communities: Paraiar, so-called Pallar and Arundathiyar.

    Pariar also have the name Sambavar or Siva Sambavar and they relate themselves to Shiva. In fact, the Sri Lalita Sahasranama has the name Sambhavi and traditional commentary explains that as the mother of Sambavas.

    The so-called Pallar name became dominant and fixed mostlyduring the colonial times. Their own traditional name is Devendrar.

    Today, they have started demanding, based on pre-colonialhistorical documents, that they be taken out of the SC list. They have firstrights in ceremonies of some of the major Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu. Thatsuch a people were made SC because of colonial interventions, shows thecomplexities involved here.

    Chakliyar is a derogatory name but their traditional name is Arundathiyar- a name associated with one of the most venerated women in the Hindu tradition.

    the religious texts of India which have been popular among Hindus, unlike the Smritis which mostly belonged to the legal scholars and were not religious texts as such, repeatedly insisted that social stratification should be given up.

    The Mahabharata repeatedly speaks of Brahmin nature as arising not from birth but from one’s conduct and character. The Bhagavad Gita yet again reinforces the same. In the case ofthe so-called divine sanction, for every Smriti statement allowing birth-baseddivision, there are literally thousand other references which reject suchdivisions and insist on inherent oneness of humanity and all existence.

    In the case of heritability, we have entire communities moving out of one occupation to become another. For example, Shudras have become Kshatriyas; similarly, Brahmin communities had become Scheduled Communities. So here is actually a paradoxical twist: In the West, the parallelcaste structure estate was more secularly rooted than the Hindu jati-varna system. But historically, this provided an advantage to Hindu jatis in social mobility – particularly during the pre-colonial period.

    [reply]

  • suyash95133 days ago | +0 points

    EVOLUTION OF SHUDRAS - 

    EARLY VEDIC TIMES -

    Human Society was primitive and Population was very less

    Varna comes in case of those people who have taken Upanayana initiation through which they became Dwija . These people were following

    Jñāna-Yoga – which is the study of philosophy and the development of right-view (dṛṣṭhi) and the practice and cultivation of a meditation practice.. According to the Upaṇiṣads there are 32 Brahmā-vidyas or meditation techniques . The requirement for learning and practicing these techniques required Upanayana (Initiation) and Nitya-karma - daily obligatory rituals like sandhya-vandana and rules and regulations restricting and regulating every aspect of one’s daily life. These strict observances purify the mind and establishes the discipline required for meditation.

    Those people who have not taken Upanayana initiation and its rules and regulations - were obstructed from the practice of the Brahmā-vidyas. But people were free to take Upanayana initiation whenver they desired as such. For this, a person would has to approach any Guru who has practiced all the 32 Brahmā-vidyas or is authorised to teach them.

    Such People would have opted

    Karma-yoga - which is disinterested service and engagement with the world, the dutiful performance of all social and profession obligations and working for the upliftment and benefit of others. This produces merit which then accelerates one’s spiritual evolution by producing Karmic circumstances which foster and nourish spiritual growth. This is also the spiritual base camp for everyone today.

    According to the Hindu Dharma Shastras the Universal Dharma or LOKA-DHARMA is the code of ethics which applies to all humans irrespective of their theological or philosophical or ideological belief systems.

    · striving for contentment

    · practicing forgiveness and compassion

    · exerting self-control

    · truthfulness

    · abstention from anger and violence

    · abstention from stealing and cheating

    · observing physical and mental purity

    · monogamy

    · constant pursuit of knowledge [concerning the world]

    · pursuit of wisdom[concerning the Ultimate Reality]

    This is the highest moral code applicable to every society and all humankind. One is assured of spiritual progress and the Divine Grace if one follows this code (Manu 7;92)regardless of one's theological or philosophical convictions or lack thereof.

    There is a saying in Sanskrit that underpins all teaching in Indian culture — na pṛcchataḥ kaśyacit bruyāt — “without being asked do not say anything.” In all the Upanishads, Puranas and Tantra the teaching begins with the disciple approaching the guru in humility and requesting the teachings. Even in the Bhagavad Gita - Krishna does not start the teaching until Arjuna in dejection, surrendered to him and begged his instruction.

    So ,we get

    During Early Vedic Times(Modern Estimates 5000 BC or Hindu Estimates 10000 BC) when Society was very primitive (as is indicative by Fire Worship) ,Human Society consisted of very small population with no concept of Cities,villages. The primary medium of worship was the fire (Population consisted of 4–5 thousand people),there were no “Vedic” temples , there were only fire-sheds (yāgaśālas) erected when needed. In the oldest archeological sites found - IVC - there were no temples ,only fire altars.Varnas were than relevant ,becoz worship was based on sandhya vandana,n Dwija,savarnas concept were valid based on that.

    A person became a DWIJA(trivarnika) through Upanayan initiation and he was formally initiated into Vedic studies. He was taught the gāyatri mantra and promises to protect the Spiritual treasure of the brahmins i.e. the Vedas. During this ceremony the youth will take vows - to observe strict discipline, to study the Vedas, to perform daily Sandhya vandana and worship of the fire (samidhā-dānam), to serve his guru, observe chastity, beg for his food.

    This is also supported by Manusmriti .Manusmriti(which is considered to be oldest among DharmaShastras n Smritis) also states that one’s birth as Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya (traivarnika) do not confer automatic privilege and status. That has to be confirmed by four things:–

    Upanayana - initiation

    Veda-adhyayana - study of the Vedas

    Sandhya-vandana performed daily.

    Ācāram - fulfilling all the rules and regulations incumbent on a traivarnika.

    Failure to comply with these four conditions forthwith renders one an OUTCASTE (vrātya) - which is lower in status than a Sudra! .It was like a club membership where you would join and have to ensure certain obligations to remain a member.If you failed in that, you would be outcasted and you would have to take membership again . Here we need to understand that Varnas were mere descriptions ,eg -a person only busy in enjoying material life is technically a Shudra but one day he suddenly changes his mind and goes to a guru for a Upanayan initiation will become a Dwija.These things were so organic and in constant motion that no one paid attention about varna. During this Time ,people in any Varna could in principle would have performed any Varna profession. Anyone, of any birth, would have performed the priestly function and that the People lived in close cooperation. The first three varnas are described in the Dharmashastras as "twice born" and they are allowed to study the Vedas. Such a restriction of who can study Vedas is not found in the Vedic era literature.The Word DWIJA is not found in Vedas,Upanishads,Tantras etc..It is mentioned in later DharmaShastras.

    Those people who have taken Upanayana initiation became Dwija and were following

    At this time ,there were Vedic Brahmins (ahitagnis)

    POST VEDIC TIMES -

    Humans Progressed. Due to increasing Population ,A new Agamic Layer emerged apart from Vedic system . It came after Vedic layer and opened up for all .As the Vedic yajñas declined, temple building filled the gap and the Agamas took over from the Vedas. The Vedic Yajñas were restricted to the traivarnikas .i.e.those who have taken Upanayan initiation.With the decay of Vedic fire worship-i.e.Vedic religion .Agamas emerged,temples became the focus for religious life and the ICON took the place of the Vedic AGNI as a focal point of worship.

    In the Vedic period, the yajña or sacrifice was the central motif of the Vedic religious experience, this being so, two major issues arose:—

    The Vedas are considered to be the utterances of individual perfected sages (Rishis), they are not at all narrative or systematic, so there are many apparently conflicting statements in them. In relation to the sacrificial injunctions many controversies arose among the theologians as to the correct method of celebrating the yajñas.

    The need arose for the systematic arrangement of the entire sacrificial paradigm and the allocation of specific functions to the various priests and other individuals involved.

    These two forces gave rise to the creation of the body of literature known as the 'Brāhmaṇas' which aimed at systematizing the ritual and interpreting it in a cogent manner.

    When the sacrificial paradigm had degenerated and the circumstances of time and place had changed further — people had become more urban and societies had become more complex, the need arose for a clearer and more comprehensive explanation of the Vedic texts and the ritual and also the need to contemporize it in order to give it relevance. The focus shifted from Yajña to Dharma. This gave rise to the compilation of the 'Smṛti' literature — with all its rules and regulations regarding the daily life of the people — including social and criminal laws. This brought about the necessity also of regular study of these matters as bearing upon 'Dharma' or the duty of the people. It was at this junction that the Mīmāṃsa literature appeared with it's 1000 odd rules of Hermeneutics for the interpretation and correct understanding of what is stated in the Vedas as regards Dharma.

    These rules were first formulated in a systematic manner by the sage Jaimini, in what is known as the Jaimini Sūtras (Mimāṃsa Sūtras). Jaimini did not invent the teachings, but for the first time reduced to writing the traditional interpretations that had for centuries been handed down orally through disciplic successions. Very little is known of his life aside from the tradition that he was a pupil of Bādarāyaṇa, founder of the Vedanta System. His actual date is quite unknown; however, the style of his writings assigns him to the Sūtra period

    Once the Vedic yajñas had fallen into disuse and had become increasingly irrelevant in the lives of the people, the Vedas gave way to the study of the Tantras. But the principles of exegesis evolved by the Mīmāṃsa continued to influence all of the vast body of Tantric literature. Whenever any dispute arose regarding the interpretation of a certain text, the Mīmāṃsa principles were always applied.

    Vedas come from NIGAMA — ascent of human aspiration towards the divine i.e. Vedas — they are the insights of Rishis in deep states of meditation and the articulation of those realizations in the form of poetry.

    But Āgama is the descent of knowledge from above — all the Agama texts are in the form of dialogues in which Shiva, Vishnu or Shakti deliver discourses on four topics or pādas:.They are not developed by Brahmins

    Jñāna-pāda — philosophy, theology, evolution and involution of the universe, Time etc.

    Yoga-pāda — spiritual techniques, meditation, yoga, mantras, yantras etc.

    Carya-pāda — one’s personal conduct in daily life — ethics morals etc.

    Kriya-pāda — Temple building and consecrations, daily rituals to be performed, consecration of priests, festivals, offerings etc.

    So, Vaishnavism ,Shaivism ,Shaktism are not developed by Brahmins.The concept of Moksha which is popular in Vedic Hinduism also changed -

    In AGAMAS , the God to whom the devotee is attached and to whom he/she surrenders “saves” the devotee from repeated birth and suffering.This is known as concept of prapatti/śaraṇāgati through which a person obtains Moksha .The concept of Varna is completely irrelevant,But over the time,this was introduced in them . One Eg

    śūdrā vā bhagavad bhaktā niṣādā śvapacā tathā | dvija jāti samā manyu na yāti narakāṃ naraḥ ||

    I consider a Sudra, Nishada (tribal), Chandala (“untouchable”) or a brahmin equal to one another if they are devotees of the Lord. None of these ever enter purgatory. (Garuda Purana khanda 1. adhyaya 230;49).

    From Vedic point of view - They may be Shudras but in Agamas- that is inapplicable . The concepts got introduced when Vedas and Agamas got blended through frequent interactions and People practiced both.

    The origin and chronology of Agamas is unclear. Some are Vedic and others non-Vedic. Agama traditions include Yoga and Self Realization concepts, asceticism, and philosophies ranging from Dvaita (dualism) to Advaita.We can say the ancient state of affairs 10000 + years ago in India was two parallel systems known as Nigama — Vedic System as described in the Smritis and various Brahminical texts — this system is also known as Brahmanism by scholars; and the Āgama — the matriarchal popular system of the masses.Tantra and Agama are basically the same but the term "Tantra" is specifically Shaiva/shakta and the Agama usually refers to the Vaishnava Tantra.Agama is more aligned with Vedic system. Agama is still left of centre when compared to the Nigama. At one time the difference was stark and demarcation clear. But like with all things Indian, through the ages the edges became successively blurred and cross-pollination was vigorous, fertile and rife.

    The Agama literature is voluminous, and includes 28 Shaiva Agamas, 77 Shakta Agamas (also called Tantras), and 108 Vaishnava Agamas (also called Pancharatra Samhitas), and numerous Upa-Agamas, most of which are still untranslated.

    Theology of Sharanagati in brief -

    Sharanagati is “Taking refuge in God” and it consists of 6 components as described in the following verse:-

    ānukūlasya saṁkalpaḥ pratikūlasya varjanam

    rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso goptṛtve varaṇaṁ tathā |

    ātma-nikṣepa kārpaṇye ṣaḍ vidhā śaraṇāgatiḥ ||

    1. A prior conviction that one is helpless in achieving liberation from samsāra, and cannot effectively employ the means to achieve it that are taught in the Scriptures (Bhakti, Jñāna and Karma yogas as per Bhagavad Gita).

    2. Having faith in the saving Grace of the Supreme Being - Sriman Nārāyaṇa (as promised in the Gita 18:66).

    3. Invoking that saving Grace into one’s life.

    4. Resolving to abandon all those acts which are contrary to the Divine Nature i.e. to abstain from wrong doing - causing harm to others, criminal activity etc

    5. and harmonise one’s will with the Divine Nature - resolving to practice kindness, compassion and charity to all sentient beings etc.

    6. surrendering completely to God. This can be illustrated by the simile of a drowning person who is struggling to save themselves and keep above water. The lifesaver swims out to save you. What do you do? You simply relax and allow the life-saver to do his job - if you continue to struggle than you risk drowning yourself and the saver as well. So once you have surrendered to God you need to stop struggling.

    OK - so you have now surrendered and have stopped struggling to save and defend yourself and you are doing all the right things - loving kindness, compassion, generosity etc. Can you expect that all will go well?

    No - there is still undischarged KARMA that you will need to requite - so after sharanagati, one accepts whatever positive and negative things happen to one with completely equanimity - one welcomes both the good and the bad like paying the bill for the use of services and utilities.

    So in summary -

    1. you accept and welcome everything that happens to you as recondite fruit of your own past actions.

    2. Acknowledge that God is the Supreme Being and controller and conserver of the Universe and he has no need of your help in managing the world.

    Having said that it doesn’t mean you remain indifferent to suffering around you - #5 requires us to practice Dharma for the welfare of others - loka-sangraha.

    But everything you do must be done in a spirit of service to the Divine (Bhagavad kainkaryam) and without attachment to the outcomes (karma-phala-tyāga).

    This is a huge subject which I have tried to simplify - in practical terms it means rejecting all fasts, pilgrimages, chanting mantras and religious activities with the aim of obtaining either grace of God or moksha.

    Cessation of all reliance on astrology for divination or setting auspicious dates etc.

    There is also so much more - but this will suffice to disorientate

    The Way of Resignation(Shadanga yoga or Saranagati)

    The Gita is consideredto be the Yoga Shastra par excellence. Lord Krishna gives clear and explicitinstructions regarding the three paths of Yoga. After expounding upon them ingreat detail, and acknowledging their difficulties, in the 18th Chapter Verse66 the Lord makes the Ultimate Statement (carama shloka);

    “Abandoning all othermeans (dharmas) take refuge in me alone; I will liberate thee from the effectof all sins, grieve not.”

    It is not merit (punya)which is the operative cause of Grace (daya) but the sense of one'sunworthiness (akincina), and the inability to follow the threeconventional Yogas and to liberate oneself. The Lord Himself is the way, themeans (upāya) as well as the goal (upeya) andPrapatti is the act of self-surrender to His grace. There is an intimaterelationship between the act of self-surrender to the Saviour and the flow ofDivine Grace.

    The Three Componentsof Saranagati

    1. Phala-samarpana — Abandonment of the hedonistic motive that self-satisfaction in some heavenly realm is the supreme end of religious practice, and the rejection of the concept that self-surrender to God is ameans to achieve this end. One should renounce the ideas of agency (kartrtva),proprietorship (mamata) and self-interest (svartha).

    2. Bhāra-samarpana — Renunciation of the sense of personal responsibility in the act of salvation. Salvation comes from the Saviour Himself who is the Way and the Goal. It does not come by the will or desire of the individual. Prapatti obviates the burden of guilt, self-effort and the consequences of error.

    3. Svarūpa-samarpanam — The surrender of oneself to God who isthe real owner of the soul. This act of surrender brings about a radical changein one's life from an egocentric view point to the Theocentric view that everything belongs to God, exists for His pleasure alone and is to be offered back to Him.

    The Agamic layer became the populist religion of the masses which disregarded or even challenged the status quo and adopted and adapted Vedic rituals and practices and opened then up to all and sundry. The 3 major schools of Agamas are Shākta (of the Goddess), Shaiva (of Shiva) and Vaishnava (of Vishnu).So now the earlier qualification of Varnas which composed of Sandhya Vandana n taking Upanayana initiation etc. collapsed.

    It is not they become extinct but they were significantly reduced.Still there would have been significant Ashrams where common public could approach since everybody started to visit temples.The Āgamas also opened the way for the reception of the sacraments by all members of the Hindu community with the use of Tantric mantras in place of the Vedic ones making them DWIJA.The Sacraments have generally being administered to all communities with non-Vedic mantras. Over the centuries many local observances and customs were adopted — hence the remarkable variation noticed today in marriage ceremonies for example.

    TANTRA was specifically developed by Shudras.There are hundreds of Tantric texts most of which remain untranslated and even unresearched . In the Tantra tradition, there is no varna for the sadhakas. They are classified as Pashu, Veeras and Siddhas, depending on the merits of their sadhana. The Tantric literature is no less vast than the Vedic one. Many great men in this tradition were born into non-Brahmin(Shudra) family. The tentacles of this tradition is widespread in many parts of India. In these communities, the Varnasharama is absent .

    Over the time ,The Vedic and Agamic streams blended and became interwoven through constant interactions with Tantric Siddha equivalent to Vedic Brahmin(One who knows ultimate reality Brahman)

    So ,The Question is Do People who have not taken Vedic initiation and practising Agamas-Tantra can be considered Sudras ? If yes ,than we can be sure Shudras were never opressed,.So we get to this point-Shudras were never oppressed as is indicative by DharmaShastras.Hinduism is like a complex Jungle.There was nothing Black/white here.For everything there was an exception

    During British Rule in India ,British Officials Nelson also remarks that the groups considered to be Shudra may have their own scriptures propounded by their own Gurus and priests and may not avail of Brahmanic assistance in performing ceremonies and religious services.

    [See: G Srikantan (2014), Entanglements in Legal History (Editor: Thomas Duve), Max Planck Institute: Germany, page 121–22]

    The Tantras emerged and filled the gap and provided meditation techniques for all and sundry without any requirement. So those who were not inclined in taking Upanayana Initiation and were therefore barred from the Brahmā-vidyas could take up the Tantric practices instead.

    Now, In this time, the SHUDRAS were the class of people in Indian society who were involved in various occupations such as:

    · Engineering (nagaravAstushilpi) — civil works such building roads, bridges, dams, reservoirs, wells, etc

    · Metal works (karmakAra or karmAra) — ore-smelting, smithy, forging, manufacturing of weapons, agricultural implements, vessels, etc

    · Pottery (kumbhakAra or kulAla) — all kinds of vessels and containers as well as other public monuments

    · Carpentry (takShaka, sthapati)

    · Weaving (paTakAra or sUtrakAra or tantuvAya) — all kinds of clothing manufacture

    · Construction (gRhavAstushilpi) — houses, temples, and other buildings

    · Cart-building & chariot-building (rathakAra)

    Still ,They were free to take Upanayan Initiation whenever they wanted.

    New groups based on shaiva,shakta tantras emerged like Aghoris,Nagas,Kaapilaks,Pashupaalikas.Lingayats,Veershaivas,Nath Sampradays(It existed before gorakhnath) n several other Tanric movements throughout India.
    Similar Shakta sects emerged with creation of yogini temples throughout India such as the Eight Matrikas, the Sixty-four Yoginis etc.
    Several Vaishnava Sects also emerged throughout India.
    These had their own temples with their own Preists who were named as Archakas each having distinct practises.

    Vaishnavism:

    1. Pancharatra — anyone could train to become priests. But during Vijayanagar period, the rulers created heredity temple appointments. Priests of Pancharatra are called Koil Bhattars, Bhattars.

    2. Vaikhanasa — anyone could train to become priests. But during Pallava period, the rulers created heredity temple appointments.. It was re-instituted during the Vijayanagar period, after a gap when the Thirumala temple was closed for 12 years. Vaikhanasa is Vaishnava Siddhanta actually. Siddhanta cultures were always open to all.Priests of Vaikhanasa were called Nambimars all through Vijayanagar inscriptions. Today they are called Vaikhanasa brahmins.

    Shaivism:

    1. Shaiva Siddhanta — Within this, different agamas have different entry requirements. For training in some agamas, adheenams take in boys who are orphans / with families but show inclination for spiritual life. For some agamas, there are strict requirements and only Vellalars by birth are trained into priests.. Even in chola period, there was no bar on upward social mobility. Strong men were promoted thru the ranks, could own land, and become part of the military ethos. Essentially, this is a classic case of priest-kings, in a society which permitted criteria-based entrants-exiters.

    a. Priests of Shaiva Siddhanta are called Shivachariers (Sivacharyas), because they train in SiddhantAchara. Some become Gurukkals.

    2. Siddha — open to all.

    3. Lingayatism — open to all.

    Shaktism

    Folk religions — village goddesses like Mariamman have become full-fledged folk religions by themselves.they were always open to all. Rituals have become formalized and prayers have been composed. Anyone can become a priest. They are called Poosari (Pujari).Many of such variants would have been present in North India whch became extinct during Islamic Invasions.Different cults existed n still exist like Sri kula (sri sampradayam) and/or the Mahavidyas. Each have had their entry requirements. It was always open to anyone irrespective of any Jaati or Varna. Traditionally, these cultures came under the Vratya (non-vedic) classification. Some are/were also Vamachara. They are called Acharyas (note that Vama is also an achara as in VamAchara). Some of these merged into the cults of Shaivism and Vaishnavism because over time cults of some goddesses dwindled, or they were married off to Vishnu or Shiva paving way for mergers.

    The archaka is an agamic priest who performs archana. An archaka who specializes in the ritual texts of one god does not officiate for another god. He trains in agamas or tantras specific to one deity. In addition to archanas, he performs the ceremonial bath (abishekham / thirumanjanam) and daily rituals required as per the agamas for the given deity.

    The human body is thetemple for the Indwelling Spirit of God (Antaryāmin). So the temple as the bodyof God on earth is a similitude to the human body.

    All the various partsof the temple structure correspond to various parts of the human body. Thetemple is the physical body which houses the presence of God. So the actualbuilding of the temple itself is a symbol of the presence of God in the world.

    The temple with allits intricate imagery represents the universe in all its variety and just as onthe macrocosmic scale the universe is the body of the Lord so on amicrocosmic scale when the icon represents the manifested Lord; the temple isHis Body.

    In the Āgamic(Tantric) practice, each and every temple is built to serve as a tīrtha, aplace to commune with the Devas and experience the niṣkala realm.Hence specific temples like Srirangam, Tirupati are called bhūr-lokavaikuṇṭham — “heaven on earth”. Wherever Hindus migrate in the world theycreate these fords or sacred places, they sacralise the land and through thecomplex rituals replicate the sacred landscape of India in America, Australia,Europe, England, Africa etc.

    So ,People were still free to do whatever they want - whether to

    adopt Jnana Yoga -take Upanayana Initiation for practising Brahma-Vidya

    or to take Tantra-Vidya

    or adopt Bhakti Yoga - engage in Bhakti with AGAMAS taking approach of Sharanagati

    or simply practise Karma Yoga.

    At this time,The Brahmins were divided into Vedic Brahmins (ahitagnis) and temple priests (devalaka)

    GUPTA PERIOD -

    Other Civilizations started flourishing and Indian Society underwent a drastic change.There was an expansion of temple building which required huge investment, labour and workers as well as the congregants to supply the services and income. Commerce and international trade also flourished and expanded.The international spice trade was one of the major ventures as well as commodity markets and trade in luxury goods ,domestic wealth indicators rose so did the demand for infrastructure projects, luxury goods and services and fine arts . As society became more complex and more sophisticated jātis started developing to master specific skills required-We now have the proliferation of jātis — thousands of new professional guilds emerging in keeping with the ever increasing of goods and services.

    The priesthood started diminishing with the decline in the Vedic religion and Brahmins (5% of the population) moved upward into administrative roles in the growing bureaucracy, education, law and some moved downwards into trade.

    The Vaishyas moved from farming into shopkeeping and commerce, and many became the bankers and investors in the entrepreneurial ventures that were blossoming from the 3rd century onwards. The international spice trade was one of the major ventures as well as commodity markets and trade in luxury goods.

    The Sudras began an upward mobility and moved into the previous Vaishya professional monopolies of agriculture and stock-breeding. Some became very wealthy landlords and merged with the Vaishyas that had remained in those occupations.

    Gupta Dynasty saw the inauguration of social and class-mobility of the Shudras through the development and expansion of the cities and trade — the Shudras left off service and became the farmers, the skilled builders, architects, tradesmen, craftsmen, artists, navigators, ship-builders, temple builders, gold and silver-smiths and producers of fine goods etc. the Vaishya and the Shudra castes merged and became one homogenous population. Many Shudras became wealthy land-owners and merchants and exceeded the vaishyas in opulence. This is collaborated by Foreign travellers as well as by the High GDP of India , Gupta age was the Golden Age of India.

    Since the 5rd century BC during GUPTA Dynasties when India began expanding international trade the most powerful and economically influential Jaatis were Vishvakarma Jaatis:– Goldsmiths, silversmiths, blacksmiths,CopperSmiths,zinc metal workers and other Jaatis like stone- masons, architects ,skilled builders, surgeons, doctors(vaidyas),temple builders,carpenters,artisans,craftsmen,sweet confectioners,grocery owners,Cloth makers,handloom weavers,handicraft makers,Ayurvedic HERB sellers, producers of fine goods n services etc were theoretically Sudras but became new Vaishyas , these also employed Brahmins,for conducting yajnas n paid money to them through which Brahmins maintained their families.Cattle rearers n Famers were Vaishyas,n together these Jaatis controlled the means of power n production.Power in ever society in invested in the economy and in those who control the means of production.The brahmins, although theoretically the “head” of the society were actually economically powerless as they were dependent upon the largess and patronage of the Sudras and vaishyas and thus were, and still are in their thrall.

    We can correlate with Modern World - One of the most unbelievable examples of extreme social mobility is the medical profession! According to the Dharma Shastras Doctors, Physicians and Surgeons are SUDRAS. Nowadays every “high caste” Hindu family crave a doctor or two in the family! The other most desired professions which were also traditionally, “low-caste” are pharmacy and accountancy. Here’s an excellent example of caste-mobility.

    With the rapid increase of population , There was introduction of“left-handed” professions such as scavenging, sanitation workers, meat-processing, tanning, leather-workers, sweepers, poor peasants et al. became the Panchama Varna. Even the brahmins were categorised , Not all brahmins were "pure" - those who deal with the rituals of death and dying and post-mortem memorial ceremonies (mahāpātras) are considered as "impure" and are shunned by other brahmins as well as all the other Jaatis.

    At this time ,There were Vedic Brahmins (ahitagnis), temple priests (devalaka) and funeral priests (apara-prayogis - mahāpātras)

    The Puranas also emerged wrt to Temples to quench the drive of Spiritual Materialism and gave ways and methods of devotion to deities for the gratification of the consumer needs of the common people. Along with Bhakti (devotion) and with the ultimate goal of engendering disenchantment with Spiritual Materialism they also prescribed the way of surrender to God and disengagement (vairāgya).The knowledge contained in Vedas was also passed through Puranas as Population was very huge to impart Vedas to each n every person.(This was a pre industrial world, an agragarian society when there were no printing press.Texts were written on palm leaves through hand.)

    So , To Summarize

    With massive increase of population and emergence of Cities, Most People shifted towards Bhakti Yoga which was easy n simpler than Jnana and Karma Yogas especially the Major production and land owning power - Vaishyas and Sudras.The Vaishya-sudra class also emerged as one single socio Economic bloc.

    Bhakti-yoga – which is the path of devotion and surrender to God - a path open to all even animals, without prejudice or discrimination. This is considered by the later texts to be the easiest, highest and the most glorious of all spiritual paths.

    the vast majority of people simply follow custom and tradition to the degree that they can negotiate the complexities of daily life to their satisfaction. Those rare individual that were dissatisfied by their academic condition would seek out a guru and humbly request teaching. The gurus would invariably test the prospective disciple to assess their worthiness and readiness to receive the teaching and then would do the needful.

    I have written this to demonstrate How Things were going and keeping in mind status quo of Shudras.


    [reply]

  • suyash95133 days ago | +0 points

    Humans evolved as social animals many centuries ago. We started off as nomadic creatures who hunted, farmed and reared animals. We were the simple folks who did manual labour and hardwork and found happiness in the mundane life. That was the foundation of civilisations.

    Slowly when tribes formed, people started trading with each other to obtain necessary items. Barter system was established first and people gave what they had in excess in exchange for what they needed. Thus came to be the concept of traders who helped the society progress .

    As trades grew and resources in some places depleted, some rogue people decided to steal and loot. To protect themselves from such harms, some of the people fought. They provided protection to their tribes and helped the workers and traders live peacefully and safely. Warriors came to be so.

    When societies became more complex, they needed leaders and guides. Philosophies were created and preached by some. They became teachers. Since the teachers were wise, they had the power to command respect and decide on who would lead the people. Often the strong, the warriors, would be the leaders while the wise would be the king makers. Thereby came to be the political masterminds and teachers. The men of ancient times had learned to worship the nature. Some of the wise regularised and arranged methods of worship which slowly and over the centuries evolved into religions.

    Why I wrote down this long lesson of history is to show that the physical labourers, the farmers, artisans and the ones who do the day to day activities are the foundation of the society. If you see the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you can see that the most basic needs of everyone are fulfilled by these people. That’s why they are the base of every society.

    Humans, like many other mammals, live in various social groups. We often build a web of relationship known as the Kinship. Initially we were all in small bands or tribes & we were not in close contact with other groups. As we kept coming together to form more complex societies, some wanted to organize & formalize the group.

    Band — Bands are the smallest units. It is an informal group of a few dozen people who work together. It might not have a leader.

    Clan — This is a slightly more matured group with a belief in a common origin & descent. In India, this roughly translates to Gotra.clans were in most ancient human societies. The clans formed a strong kinship & bonding among themselves. Also, most clans thought of others in the clan as brothers/sisters & thus would not marry within the clan. The Khaps in Haryana take to this the extreme & can even give death sentences to those who marry within the clan.

    Tribe — Mulitiple clans can come together to form a tribe & tribes can often be quite well structured. They can have their own leaders & build common cultural practices. In many ancient societies, people married within the same tribe. In short, you marry out of a clan and within a tribe. In India, this roughly corresponds to Jati.

    Nations — Tribes formed even bigger groups named the nation. For instance, in the Battle of the Ten Kings the tribal groups formed the nation of Bhāratas that won over the confederation of 10 tribes in north India. Thus, we call our nation Bharat.

    Division of labour — As we started forming civilizations, we also found it quite useful to divide work. Thus, some would produce milk, some would farm, others would weave etc. Like in other civilizations, India had this division of labor too. These divisions then got superimposed over the much older clan & tribal divisions.

    These are Equivalents of Jaatis as Community groups in INDIA.

    It is the evolution from hunter-gatherer to nomadic stock-herding to agriculture based society. In ALL early civilisations there were four divisions of society — kings, priests, herders and farmers.

    Ancient Hindu society was very primitive and there were four sections to society, the nobility (Kshatriyas) the priests (Brahmins) the farmers and stock-breeders (Vaishyas) and all the rest — skilled and unskilled labourers and servants (Sudras.)

    By around 3102 BCE or the 4th Millennium BCE, humans figured a few awesome things that propelled us into an era of technological advancements - we are still to witness since. During this time, we figured the following:

    How to write - Which finally lead to the birth to ‘History’ - anything that happened or is inferred before this time is considered pre-history (for all those getting confused about Indian epics pre-dating this timeline, remember, they are known as Shrutis or books transferred through hearing and memory).

    How to grow crops - which lead to the advent of the first human settlements. Leading to development of languages and even music - this is the time when humans get their first pets as well.

    How to make pottery on potter’s wheel - Which helped humans store produce and water. The knowledge earned while making pottery was applied in metallurgy as well.

    How to build sail boats - which lead to the first cross country voyages and the advent of trade and exchange of ideas.

    How to smelt Bronze from Copper and Tin - This was such a huge technological leap in human evolution that historians named this era as the Bronze Age (3000 BCE to 1200 BCE).

    The Indian caste-system started in an unsophisticated agrarian society of 5000 years ago in which there were basically four possible vocations - (1) priest/scholar, (2) chieftain/warrior, (3) farmer/stockman or (4) labourer/craftsmen.

    Leaving aside the first 2 vocations as being non-productive, we take a peek at the other two. The economy of such an agrarian society was static and consisted of internal barter and exchange of goods and services. Trade did not develop until farmers began producing surplus. With a surplus of food they could began trading with other communities, villages, towns, kingdoms etc.

    Trade then required traders and brokers who received payment and thus wealth gradually accumulated. With the accumulation of surplus wealth an interest arose in fine goods. So the fourth estate rose to the challenge and started producing fine goods:– textiles, jewellery, pottery, tools and utensils - pots, pans, cups, plates etc.

    The erstwhile farmers (vaishyas) abandoned farming and took to trading, shopkeeping, banking and to expanding foreign markets – exporting and importing goods.

    The former labours (sūdras) took up the farming and stock-breeding as well as all the crafts and construction.

    This economic expansion atomised the previous simple “varna-system” into hundreds of different jātis - which were highly skilled and professional guilds. Each and every craft, and vocation was managed by a single community that had a monopoly on production. For example there were the weavers and their guilds which at one time in the 1700’s had a virtual monopoly on the world’s textile production. Only the caste-weavers and no one else was employed in the textile manufacture.

    Goldsmiths and silversmiths had their own guilds and would only employ and train men of their own caste, likewise for the sculptors, engineers, builders, carpenters, blacksmiths, ship-builders, tanners, cobblers, mechanics etc. name any vocation or profession and they had their caste-guilds. And this is how the “caste-by-birth” meme was entrenched in Indian society, because you would learn the trade of your father and become a member of the guild. There was no vocational choice or mobility between guilds.

    This structure and division resulted in highly skilled and specialist craftsmanship requiring cooperation and partnership with other guilds. For example a cart-builder would require the cooperation of the woodsmen, carpenters, wheel-makers, blacksmiths and leather-workers.

    So there was an extensive network of cooperation and exchange of goods and services across society - and ancient India was renowned for the quality of the goods produced.

    Needless to say the former unemployed and economically unproductive warriors and priests fitted themselves into the emerging complex economy by taking to farming, stock-breeding, security work, or in the case of the priests under the British- found employment in the expanding educational system and the extensive and complex bureaucracy.

    As society developed and commerce and international trade flourished and expanded, mainly under the Guptas in the 3rd century, society underwent a drastic change. We now have the proliferation of jātis — thousands of new professional guilds emerging in keeping with the ever increasing of goods and services.there was an expansion of temple building which required huge investment, labour and workers as well as the congregants to supply the services and income — all these projects relied on the work and financial support of Sudra-vaishya majority.

    GUPTA PERIOD was the major SHIFT -In the Vedic period 5000 years ago, the yajña or sacrifice was the central motif of the Vedic religious experience,When the sacrificial paradigm had degenerated and the circumstances of time and place had changed further — people had become more urban and societies had become more complex, the need arose for a clearer and more comprehensive explanation .Due to increasing Population ,A new Agamic Layer emerged apart from Vedic system . It came after Vedic layer and opened up for all .As the Vedic yajñas declined, temple building filled the gap and the Agamas took over from the Vedas. With the decay of Vedic fire worship-i.e.Vedic religion , Agamas emerged and temples became the focus for religious life and the ICON took the place of the Vedic AGNI as a focal point of worship.

    In AGAMAS , the God to whom the devotee is attached and to whom he/she surrenders “saves” the devotee from repeated birth and suffering.This is known as concept of prapatti/śaraṇāgati through which a person obtains Moksha . The concept of VARNA is completely irrelevant and not applicable.

    Other Civilizations started flourishing and Indian Society underwent a drastic change.There was an expansion of temple building which required huge investment, labour and workers as well as the congregants to supply the services and income. Commerce and international trade also flourished and expanded.The international spice trade was one of the major ventures as well as commodity markets and trade in luxury goods ,domestic wealth indicators rose so did the demand for infrastructure projects, luxury goods and services and fine arts . As society became more complex and more sophisticated jātis started developing to master specific skills required-We now have the proliferation of jātis — thousands of new professional guilds emerging in keeping with the ever increasing of goods and services.

    The priesthood started diminishing with the decline in the Vedic religion and Brahmins (5% of the population) moved upward into administrative roles in the growing bureaucracy, education, law and some moved downwards into trade.

    The Vaishyas moved from farming into shopkeeping and commerce, and many became the bankers and investors in the entrepreneurial ventures that were blossoming from the 3rd century onwards. The international spice trade was one of the major ventures as well as commodity markets and trade in luxury goods.

    The Sudras began an upward mobility and moved into the previous Vaishya professional monopolies of agriculture and stock-breeding. Some became very wealthy landlords and merged with the Vaishyas that had remained in those occupations.

    Gupta Dynasty saw the inauguration of social and class-mobility of the Shudras through the development and expansion of the cities and trade — the Shudras left off service and became the farmers, the skilled builders, architects, tradesmen, craftsmen, artists, navigators, ship-builders, temple builders, gold and silver-smiths and producers of fine goods etc. the Vaishya and the Shudra castes merged and became one homogenous population. Many Shudras became wealthy land-owners and merchants and exceeded the vaishyas in opulence. This is collaborated by Foreign travellers as well as by the High GDP of India , Gupta age was the Golden Age of India.

    Since the 5rd century BC during GUPTA Dynasties when India began expanding international trade the most powerful and economically influential Jaatis were Vishvakarma Jaatis:– Goldsmiths, silversmiths, blacksmiths,CopperSmiths,zinc metal workers and other Jaatis like stone- masons, architects ,skilled builders, surgeons, doctors(vaidyas),temple builders,carpenters,artisans,craftsmen,sweet confectioners,grocery owners,Cloth makers,handloom weavers,handicraft makers,Ayurvedic HERB sellers, producers of fine goods n services etc were theoretically Sudras but became new Vaishyas , these also employed Brahmins,for conducting yajnas n paid money to them through which Brahmins maintained their families.Cattle rearers n Famers were Vaishyas,n together these Jaatis controlled the means of power n production.Power in ever society in invested in the economy and in those who control the means of production.The brahmins, although theoretically the “head” of the society were actually economically powerless as they were dependent upon the largess and patronage of the Sudras and vaishyas and thus were, and still are in their thrall.

    We can correlate with Modern World - One of the most unbelievable examples of extreme social mobility is the medical profession! According to the Dharma Shastras Doctors, Physicians and Surgeons are SUDRAS. Nowadays every “high caste” Hindu family crave a doctor or two in the family! The other most desired professions which were also traditionally, “low-caste” are pharmacy and accountancy. Here’s an excellent example of caste-mobility.

    With the rapid increase of population , There was introduction of“left-handed” professions such as scavenging, sanitation workers, meat-processing, tanning, leather-workers, sweepers, poor peasants et al. became the Panchama Varna. Even the brahmins were categorised , Not all brahmins were "pure" - those who deal with the rituals of death and dying and post-mortem memorial ceremonies (mahāpātras) are considered as "impure" and are shunned by other brahmins as well as all the other Jaatis.

    GUPTA PERIOD was the Major Turning point for Indian Civilization.

    Coming back to subject matter

    For a Society to function,u need different people who have different abilities,aptitudes,skills to contribute in society..Hinduism is the oldest religion on earth that is min. 5000 years old. Origins of Varna system. Compare old world with todays modern world n u will get why at that point of time Varna system maked Sense .It was made when then there were no formal training centers for any particular profession in India,In Ancient times,There was no car,train,or any such modern equipment that we use today.I am talking about a time when there was no car,planes,trains,electricity,Internet etc

    Suppose your father was a blacksmith, so at the age of 6, the moment you were ready, you started playing around with the hammer and anvil. By the time you were 8, your father saw that you anyway wanted to hit it, so it was better to hit it with some purpose. By the time you were 12, you were on the ,the time you were 18 or 20, you had some craft and expertise on your hand to make your own living. So if your father was a blacksmith, you became a blacksmith; if your father was a goldsmith, you became a goldsmith. Each profession developed its own training centers within the family structure because that was the only training center; all the craft, professionalism and skills in the society could only evolve like this. If you are a blacksmith, you do not try to go and do a goldsmith's job, you just do a blacksmith's job because we need a blacksmith in the society. When people multiplied and became a thousand blacksmiths, naturally they had their own way of eating, their own way of marriage and their own way of doing things, so they formed a caste. There is really nothing wrong with it if you look at it on one level. It was just a certain arrangement of convenience for the society. Between a blacksmith and a goldsmith, the kind of hammer they use, how they work, how they look what and how they eat, everything was naturally distinctly different because the type of work was very different. It is over a period of time that it became a means for exploitation. We started saying that a man who runs the temple is better than a man who runs the school. A man who runs the school is better than a man who runs the blacksmith shop. These are differences,everybody has to do something. But we established differences as discriminations over a period of time. If we had just maintained the difference, we would have been a nice, colorful culture; but we made it discriminatory. These kind of discriminations existed in every Society n Civilization n Culture at that times.Anybody can look this from China,Japan,Korea,To European Societies.

    Caste system develops, when the worth difference within a society sharpens to such a point that the social superior shuns fellowship and intermarriage with the inferior, thus creating a society made up of closed hereditary classes. This happened in European history for centuries. For example, among the Saxons of the eighth century social divisions were cast-iron, and the law punished with death the man who should presume to marry a woman of rank higher than his own. The Lombards, claims Ross, killed the serf who ventured to marry a free woman, while the Visigoths and Burgundians scourged and burned them both. Among the early Germans a freedman remained under the taint of ancestral servitude until the third generation, i.e., until he could show four free-born ancestors.

    As class lines harden, the upper class becomes more jealous of its status and resists or retards the admission of commoners, however great their merit or wealth. This was the motivation of observed caste lines in the Roman Empire. Castes become a means to block social mobility. Over time, it does not matter if an individual has merit or talent or creative energy. The birth or purity of blood becomes more decisive for social status than the differences of occupation or wealth which raised up the original social inequalities. Look for more details on global perspectives and for “The last untouchable in Europe”.

    The caste system was just a way of organising society and establishing hierarchy - it is common to all biological systems and every society on earth - even the Communists have a caste/class system with advantages and disadvantages for the elect.Many classical societies of the world had pre-modern social systems worse than India. When transformed into modern states they dealt with unequal social systems by banning such official lists &registers. If you want equal society you should stop using unequal measures-

    What is deplorable is not the structure, its the oppression, exploitation, suppression, discrimination etc. that humans engage in when given the opportunity - again common to all societies. How was the medieval Christian society with its caste-system? How were the peasants treated? The system itself is not bad as long as there are possibilities of human flourishing and access to health and education and social services. The ultimate form of spiritual discrimination is posited by Christianity and Islam - eternal sadistic torture for all unbelievers - for ETERNITY and the exaltation and bliss for the believers. In Hinduism there is a human hierarchy based on many conditioning factors but the Self(atman) is the same in all beings and all Selves will ultimately be reunited in the Godhead.

    Since ages, there has been a constant evolution in the way people make money. Times change, technology changes & incomes have only increased in the past decades. Those who moved with the time & upgraded themselves, they flourished. Those who didn't, perished. Subjective or objective division will always be there in the basis of Money , Muscle , Intellect , Religion , Caste , Job , Profession etc . It's a worldwide phenomenon. Political establishment will always create their base either by mutuality of interest or by division.

    Simple fact is that medieval geopolitical and sociopolitical dynamics can not be judged by 21st century standards.

    Hindu society as if it is a monolith that has existed unchanged since the beginning. There are innumerable examples from ancient times when birth-based caste did not exist, and people chose their vocation freely. Please read more about the history of birth-based caste. It started only in the early centuries AD, and only progressively became stricter. Even so, there are countless examples from medieval times where “caste” was never a barrier for occupations. For example, most kings of medieval kingdoms were Shudras. The founders of the great Vijayanagara empire were shepherds.The communities in traditional India each specialized in an occupation useful to society. Each of those communities as a unit wielded sufficient power proportionate to their expertise, that they were self-governing units. There was no organized state machinery so vast and pervasive that it could enforce any of those laws outlined in the Dharmashastras, which were merely theoretical textbooks..No culture or civilization in the past had social equality, and no modern democracy or nation has social equality. This comparative perspective is essential to get an unbiased and sincere view.

    [reply]

  • suyash95132 days ago | +0 points

    the religious texts of India which have been popular among Hindus, unlike the Smritis which mostly belonged to the legal scholars and were not religious texts as such, repeatedly insisted that social stratification should be given up.

    The Mahabharata repeatedly speaks of Brahmin nature asarising not from birth but from one’s conduct and character. The Bhagavad Gita yet again reinforces the same. In the case ofthe so-called divine sanction, for every Smriti statement allowing birth-baseddivision, there are literally thousand other references which reject suchdivisions and insist on inherent oneness of humanity and all existence.

    In the case of heritability, we have entire communities moving out of one occupation to become another. For example, Shudras have become Kshatriyas; similarly, Brahmin communities had become Scheduled Communities. So here is actually a paradoxical twist: In the West, the parallelcaste structure estate was more secularly rooted than the Hindu jati-varna system. But historically, this provided an advantage to Hindu jatis in social mobility – particularly during the pre-colonial period.

    [reply]

  • suyash95132 days ago | +0 points

    Jamaican poet andsocial anthropologist Michael Garfield Smith (1921-1993) had pointed out thisaspect of Hindu jati and it needs tobe quoted at some length:

    The feudalorganization of medieval Europe and Japan also rested on fairly generalconsensus and habituation. ... None the less, these estate systems differsharply from caste. Ritual heredity differentiates castes but in estatesystems, hereditary differences are secular in base and referents. While castecan accommodate secular ranking as a secondary local stratification, inmedieval Europe, ritual stratification was itself indirectly dependent on birthdifferences of a secular nature. Under caste, secular relations among rankedcastes are rather variable; and instances of Sudras acquiring Kshatriya statusby virtue of their territorial and military dominance are well known. In thesecular estate system, the political bases are correlates of stratification arefixed and clear. Members of superior strata exercise jurisdiction over membersof inferior ones, individually and collectively. ... In Europe, besides stratadifferentiated by birth and political status, the nobility was also dividedbetween church and state. In the secular sphere, nobles competed for titles,land and power against rivals also qualified for this competition by birth; inthe ritual sphere, birth status was qualified by secondary emphasis on learnedclerical skills.

    ‘Corporations and Society: Social Anthropology of CollectiveAction‘, Transaction Publishers, 2017, 1974:2009, p.156)

    The goal of Amvedkarites is not to uplift the lower classes..The goal is to maintain a permanent state of conflict so the lower classes become dependent on them.

    The problem of caste and exclusion. I have my own misgivings with that itself. Population density and diversity determines everything.China has density but not diversity. Diversity keeps people from mixing too much

    Why do u think?Saudi is near Africa. If they let down endogamy/consanguinity, they fear that African genes will enter their system in no time!Diversity determines the ease with which we mix.More than 90% of Chinese are ethnically similar. Han Chinese. They don't have this

    problem.Diversity keeps people from mixing.What makes you think caste is a choice? You enlightened people want people to make different choices.What if it's not a choice? What if it's an inevitability?So....there is the real issue of caste, which I'm not refuting.

    Caste system itself is not the problem here.Chettiar+Mudaliar+Pillai have been blaming Brahmins for creating caste system and inequality and untouchability and practically every evil in their society!!!

    They took this word, 'brahminism' and gave it a definition. Its defined as "the feeling that my caste is superior to that caste"They said that this feeling originated from the Brahmins, and was passed on to all others in

    the society, and this was how eventually the whole society became casteistDo you agree w/ that too?People just get stuck discussing the actual problems, failing to see the malice in #drav

    Dravidianism is defined as "the counter to brahminism/Aryanism, which is characterized by dividing people into castes at birth, and as oppression of lowers castes and women".

    Criminal Tribes Act. A group of people can be arbitrarily tagged as a criminal tribe, they can be moved to a reservation, their children can be forcibly snatched from them and they have no right to question. Were there mass graves? Who knows?

    Now, some details over the same. It is legally sanctioned to establish reservations and your presence there is mandatory just because someone declared that you are born a criminal. And to cure you, they can snatch your children and reform them.

    Image

    Though the 1924 Criminal Tribes Act says you can be snatched from your parents when you are as young as 8 years, it's even worse before.

    Image

    What do they do with your children? They will be reformed and they will be sent as bonded labour once they turn 14.

    Image

    Now, what is reformation, you may ask. I will come to that later, but reformation is repentance of your life as being born as a criminal. You get the hang, right?

    Image

    Now, who are these criminal tribes? In simplest terms, those who resisted the British occupation/those who suffered because of the British dominance in India. Let me give you some examples.

    Erukala is a Telugu tribe which lived on transporting goods. Railways came and their donkeys lost prominence. British blocked access to forests, they can't make mats and brooms. Street acrobatics not allowed because they can foment rebellions. What should they do for a living?

    Image

    Kallar is a Tamil tribe. They were traditional soldiers. When the kingdoms fell, what should they do for a living? And because they supported the Palayakkars, they were tagged as a criminal tribe.

    Image

    Even the Palayakkars were tagged under a single tribe and tagged as a Criminal Tribe!!

    Image

    This is a curious case. I feel this is more about a particular influential person whose house is burgled than about a whole tribe being criminal. Whole of Andhra knows how hardworking Malas and Madigas are. By the way, Madigas are also tagged as a criminal tribe.

    Image

    Religious hatred. Because you refused conversions and attacked missionaries, you are a Criminal Tribe.

    Image

    Now, one may ask, these are just paper laws. Where is the proof they are implemented? It looks like Criminal Tribes Act stopped the British from ratifying the Convention on Forced or Compulsory Labour!!\

    Image

    There are both urban penal colonies for them and rural reservations for them. Note the comments “In this State there are about 55 more villages in which Criminal Tribes members are settled ”

    ImageImage

    Even as late as 1949, the need for settlements is discussed.

    Image

    So, what does Church say on this? Criminocurology, a book published by Salvation Army on this topic notes,

    Image

    They did extensive operations inside these reservations. Any parent refusing his child to be converted, the child will be forcibly taken away - they have the legal backing to do that.

    Image

    These are some hard truths we Indians need to focus on - not much literature is present on this topic and there should be dedicated works dealing with each and every caste - how they were before the Criminal Tribes Act, what they had to go through, and how they are now.

    It is shameful that a person is converted by saying you are born a criminal and only god can redeem you. I am sure many will be offended when you say that to them. But, that's the hard truth our ancestors had to go through. They were violently uprooted from their homes and taken

    away to some faraway settlement with which they had no connect whatsoever - cultural, linguistic or lifestyle-related. The children they loved were snatched from them for conversions and slave labour and they weren't able to do anything. Just think of the pain they went throug.

    The stigma still stays because these words enter regular parlance. Dommari is a caste. Dommari is a cuss word in Telugu. Why did it become a cuss word in Telugu? Can you ever undo it?

    Another example is the village of Stuartpuram near Guntur which became legendary for criminals. Why? Because that's were a Criminal Tribe is herded to and left without any resources for decades.

    Image

    Frankly to speak, Erukala were nothing more than cheap labour. Ignore the Brown Coolie narrative that it's the Indian upper castes which pioneered this. The fact lies that these people were herded just because they don't cost.

    It's immaterial whether what Macaulay said is real or fake. But the truth is, the same was done to India - by picking anyone who resisted the British and calling them as born criminals. What best way than to convert the children of their toughest opponents to christianity?

    Image

    [reply]

  • suyash95101 days ago | +0 points

    In the royal coronation ritual described in Samhita and Brahmana texts, there is an important pre-coronation ritual in which the prospective king has to provide रत्न-हवि to 11 different individuals who were known as रत्नी. Let's look at the list of these individuals.

    1. सेनानी - The army chief

    2. पुरोहित/ब्राह्मण - The priest

    3. The prospective king himself

    4. Wife of the prospective king because coronation ritual required the presence of queen.

    5. सूत - The one who looked after royal historical documents. Different from सूत in Purana-s.

    6. ग्रामणी - The head of village/city

    7. क्षत्री/कंचुकी - The one who took care of the management of queens' residence

    8. संगृहिता - The head of Treasury

    9. The tax collector

    10. The accountant general

    11. Head of forest

    Each day, king was to provide रत्न-हवि to one.


    A careful reading of the list reveals the following

    :1. It represented each organ of the state necessary for the smooth functioning of the government including military and revenue administration.

    2. Popular representation was also recognized through ग्रामणी.


    From social perspective, it included people from all the four varna-s of the society. By design, it sought to ensure that each major section of the society is represented and the kingship acquires a popular character.

    it underlines the cetral place of grihastha ashram in polity

    What is missed is that the varna system is symbiotic and each part contributes to and strengthens the whole.In the colonial-Marxist retelling it was turned into an oppression narrative on the model of European history, and each part made antagonistic to the other.

    [reply]

  • suyash95100 days ago | +0 points

    Inclusion of people of different castes in imp ceremonies and decisions, which is described in the Smritis, was active in parts rel untouched by !slam as late as 17th centuryA 1673 Panchayat judgement from Maharashtra was signed, among others, even by the so-called untouchables

    Image




    Source pls - "A History of Village Communities in Western India" by AS Altekar


    Mahars were a community that helped Patil (head of the village) as guards of the village. The lands given to them were tax free. Plus they were also given a share in grain from the farmers of the village as token for their service.


    Image

    The patil or mokadam was usually a Maratha. But, any person regardless of caste would go on to become a patil. The Supe Pargana (group of villages) was divided between Maratha,Brahmin & Dhangar. The Patil of Nangewadi village of Wai was a Mahar.

    Image

    These were the 12 balutedars. The pillars of villages in Maharashtra on which the system worked smoothly. Each of the person had to perform their occupation specific duties. Entering others occupation in a village was seen as transgression & hijacking ones mode of living.

    Image


    It was general consensus among the villagers that for the smooth sailing of the society each person had to perform their duties. Here you may clearly see inam land (the land where tax is not levied) was also gifted by the govt to the Mahars for their services or heroics.

    Image

    Like I mentioned in last thread Ambedkar had claimed Mahars were treated inhumanely but in various papers of daftar such things are not found. Here you can see बाळाजी बाजीराव (Nanasaheb) रोजनिशी भाग १- गणेश चिमणाजी वाड) mahars getting exempted from all type of tax on their demand

    Image


    Here you can see strict orders to Badves that not to interfere with rights of Mahars and takeaway the privilege of digging up for game called 'राडीचा खेळ' & the honour of 1st puja during Holi in Pandharpur.(1778-79 AD)

    Image

    Mahars & Mangs had their own separate colonies. As both acted like guards they were stationed outside of the main village.Mangs were also involved in making ropes & brooms. Chamars also lived in separate colonies as they dealt with animal flesh for leather

    Image


    Above you may see 251 rs & free timber given to build houses of Mahars,Mangs & Chamar colonies from the Huzrat (govt) .(1789-90 AD)

    Letter by Huzrat for making arrangement for drinking water (पाणपोई) to each and every devotee be it a Brahman or Sudra who comes into Diveghat (Pune) for the darshan of Vithoba (Vitthal).

    Image

    Mali (gardener) by jaati. Jyoti Phule's uncle Ranoji getting 45 acre land as inaam (gift) near Swargate for his excellent skill in making floral dresses for Shrimant (Peshwa).Source : सत्यशोडक कां क्रिस्टीसेवक written by G M Nalavade with preface by Phule's grandson Vishwanath.

    Image


    Nanasaheb Peshwa's last note to Raghunathrao 'Hindus & Muslims of Maharashtra should not have hate towards any jaatis. Whatever be the dharma and daivat of any jati, the state should treat it's subjects equally'

    Image

    Source for first 4 tweets : Shivaji His Life & times by Gajanan Bhakar Mehendale.Rest other sources are given below the images.Note : I'm not saying any discrimination did not happen. Where there is a society there is a hierarchy.Where there is hierarchy there is discrimination


    Be it successfull societies or businesses both work on hierarchy, but blowing up things out of proportion and creating tooth stories as historical events is what Ambedkar (in the case of Mahar,Matki) & Phule did in his writings.

    [reply]

  • suyash9570 days ago | +0 points

    People think that outside India everyone was living like angels and fairies? Every part of the world had its own way of social organisation where one community dominated other, u just have a name for it when it comes to india called “caste”. It was there all over the world.

    What you’re calling “caste” or “jathi” are feudal age urban tribes/ clans. Such groupings of people existed all over the world. Every “caste” has its own history. They have their own identity, will not trust outsiders and hence not marry outside.

    [reply]

  • suyash9569 days ago | +0 points

    All tribe/groups allover the world have Endogamy! Hinduism never had a patent on it! Endogamy has been common among extant and historical aristocracies, religious groups, ethnic groups, and social classes. Endogamy is legal and is practiced by many groups.

    [reply]

  • suyash9534 days ago | +0 points

    Is it a requirement that a convert to Hinduism join 1 of the 4 varnas? What are the rules in India, Indonesia, Nepal, the USA, etc.?

    The system of 4 Varnas is a feudal socio-political structure.

    Most of us now live in social-democracies with an open-market system and free choice of professions and careers.

    There is no “conversion” to Hinduism there is “adoption” - one who wishes to adopt Hindu metaphysics and values and to identify as a Hindu is free to choose their own profession and to live their life pursuing the four goals of human existence, duty (dharma), prosperity (artha) pleasure (kāma) and liberation (mokṣa).

    There is no Hindu managing body which dictates rules and regulations and no thought-police or punishment for wrong-think.

    Hindus have complete freedom of thought and expression.

    [reply]

Please Login or Signup to leaveAnswer