Lessons From History!

“How can a nation progress when most of its people are fighting to be called as backward
I read this post on a social media long time back, this small post demanded attention, and it did have our minds on it!

In recent times, we Indians were very enthusiast to raise our voices and cast our opinions on numerous ideological wars (yes, they weren’t limited to debates) , thanks to our democracy and the freedom of speech which our constitution allows us to exercise; otherwise people shouting the slogans of nation’s downfall don’t even deserve a trial.
Amidst all these chaos and violence, it was very disappointing to see the JATS of haryana and PATIDARS of gujarat fighting for reservation.

Indian History has always been inspiring, the civilization contributed greatly in scientific political and cultural principles. Indians achieved great success in the fields of technology, medicine, surgery, maths, astronomy and what not. We all still feel proud on the discovery of zero!! In the land of great knowledge and preachers like Mahavira I wonder how and when the caste system took its root?

The caste system divided the human race into 4 classes;The  Brahamins, The kshatriyas , The vaishya and the shudras. It is said in the VEDAS that the brahamins were appeared from the head of the virat purush(GOD), kshatriyas from arms, vaishyas from thighs and the shudras from the feet.
The brahamins had the responsibility to teach and spread knowledge ,they were the learned men and knew the vedas. It was the responsibility of kshatriya to protect the society and people. The vaishyas looked after farming, animals and trading ethics. Occupations  like cleaning and that of a cobbler etc were expected from shudras. This was the caste system or varna vyavastha, mentioned in the vedas
The caste of a person became the deciding factor of ones profession. A person born in a shudra family could only do the work of cobbler or barber, he wasn’t given the rights to choose his profession.  It was believed that the work of shudras was of lower esteem and they were treated miserably in the society.  An hierarchy of castes was created, in which the shudras were kept at the lowest position. Untouchability, slavery and humiliation were the things the shudras had to deal with.
The birth based caste system didn’t give an opportunity to the shudra child to rise up the hierarchy and was hence treated in the same manner against his will and wish.

But was this mentioned in the great vedas?

The same vedas that mention shudras came from the feet, also mention that the planet earth appeared from the feet. No shloka no line in vedas discriminate among occupation. The fact that the earth itself is originated from feet proves that shudra are no lower than other castes and hence no job is big or small.
At the same time the vedas never supported caste system based on birth:
नानानं वा उ नो धियो वि वरतानि जनानाम | तक्षा रिष्टं रुतं भिषग बरह्मा सुन्वन्तमिछतीन्द्रायेन्दो परि सरव ||
जरतीभिरोषधीभिः पर्णेभिः शकुनानाम | कार्मारो अश्मभिर्द्युभिर्हिरण्यवन्तमिछतीन्द्रायेन्दो परि सरव ||
कारुरहं ततो भिषगुपलप्रक्षिणी नना | नानाधियोवसूयवो.अनु गा इव तस्थिमेन्द्रायेन्दो परि सरव ||
अश्वो वोळ्हा सुखं रथं हसनामुपमन्त्रिणः |शेपो रोमण्वन्तौ भेदौ वारिन मण्डूक इछतीन्द्रायेन्दो परि सरव ||

-RIGVED chapter 9 hymm 112

WE all have various thoughts and plans, and diverse are the ways of men.The Brahmin seeks the worshiper, wright seeks the cracked, and leech the maimed.The smith with ripe and seasoned plants, with feathers of the birds of air,With stones, and with enkindled flames, seeks him who hath a store of gold.
A bard am I, my dad’s a leech, mammy lays corn upon the stones.
thriving for wealth, with varied plans, we follow our desires like kine.The horse would draw an easy car, gay hosts attract the laugh and jest.The male desires his mate’s approach, the frog is eager for the flood, Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.

The poet (BARD) says my father and mom are of lower caste (indicated by leech), the creators of veda thus himself pointed that he did not belong to brahamins class, trying to point out that caste system should not be based on birth.
There are various shlokas which mention that caste should be assigned only by karma and guna, work and qualities and not birth. The veda advocated that the identity of a person ie. his caste should be his work and qualities and not his family background

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ | guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ | tasya kartāram api māṁ| viddhy akartāram avyayam||
“the four division of human were created by me according to the differences in quality, activities and aptitude”

The knowledge of vedas were in the hand of the brahamins, it was them who the people trusted blindly,  the people followed them and made them leaders. Society was misled by some handful of these influential leaders .Which then was followed blindly by the society.
Time and again some brahmins stood against this injustice, when channakya promoted a lower caste chandragupta to take the throne and unite the nation, when great saint parshuram picked up the swords like a kshatriya, The greates poet valmiki was a robber in early stages of life! all defied the then established system and society.
But the structure was well established and nurtured, Following such leaders left stains on our culture, such stains which are not cleaned till date, even after 7 thousand years!

Seeing the recent headlines and newspaper I believe we need to understand this one point not to make heroes out of people easily, to choose our leader carefully! and not to follow other’s opinion blindly. THINK and then react. The nation will be at peace.
This caste system still prevails maybe in another form where the then lower caste are getting more privilege. In either ways equality is compromised. Lets establish a system where actually people are recognized by their karma and guuna. and not by their family background.


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