The Betrayal : Truth of Origin of Caste system in India
There were no castes in Hinduism, but Job trades which were chosen by people suited to what they could achieve.
The word caste comes from Europe not India, in fact the word CASTE comes from the Portuguese word “CASTAS” and the Portuguese got it from the Latin word “CASTUS” which meant RACE.
The words “CASTE” and “DALIT”, were the creation of European Christian Missionaries in Europe. The term “DALIT” was created in Scottish Christian Missionary school in around 1835 AD, and their number were made to grow more, under the exploitations by Britishers via colonialism.
Hindu scriptures were written in Sanskrit & not English, Portuguese or Latin, and the word used in scriptures is VARNA. The word VARNA translated into English loosely means “sort into natural quality’s”. As one is to one translation of Sanskrit to English language is almost impossible, So the chances of erring are high. Hence the distortions of the translated Scriptures from Sanskrit to English were high some on FOUL Purpose, some due to lack of words while some due to lack of understanding.
“Rishi Bhrigu” and “Rishi Bhardwaj” played the pioneer work of framing the VARNASHRAM / VARNA SYSTEM.
The main idea for creation of VARNA System was to use the NATURAL division of Labour, Human Psyche, Human Nature & Spiritual Evolution (Gunas) for the division of Labour & Power in a society so that POWER should not be concentrated in the hands of few people or a particular community but equally spread among all the people of the society. The Ultimate AIM of all Humans was Liberation / Salvation / Perfection & every one must strive for it no matter to which VARNA he or she belongs. Moral Code of Conduct were laid for all the VARNAS as per the Laws of DHARMA (Truth). SO in Short everything revolved around DHARMA & Salvation.
Unlike Modern times Money or Wealth or Fame was never the center of Ambition of Human Consciousness & people have become money minded, mean & selfish there by falling in DHARMA.
The VARNASHRAMS broadly were divided as follows –
1. BRAHMANA – Knowledge seekers – The Sole purpose of Brahmana was to gain higher spiritual levels by knowledge & practice. They were the ones responsible for educating & guiding the society on the path of DHARMA (Truth). (Similar to Scientists & teachers in modern times)
2. KSHATRIYAS – Power Seekers – They were responsible for protecting the society from foreign aggression & maintain harmony in the society. They were supposed to rule the land as per the guidance from Brahmanas (Gurus) in accordance with the laws of DHARMA (Truth). (Similar to Armed forces in modern times)
3. VAISHYAS – Wealth seekers – They were supposed to serve the society by practicing fair trade means as per the principles of DHARMA (Truth). They were the wealth owners & were supposed to help the Brahmanas & the Kshatriyas Financially in times of crisis. Thus they maintained the Economy of the land. (Similar to Entrepreneurs & Business men in modern times)
4. SHUDRAS – Labourers – People not skilled in the above three but who loved helping & serving others were supposed to work for them as per the principles of DHARMA (Truth). Shudras were meant to act as a support system to all the above three at all levels from farms to Shoe making to Pottery to rearing cattle etc. (Similar like a Job or a Service class working people in modern times)
Below are the excerpts from OSHO’s lecture about VARNA System – Ref – Krishna the Man & his Philosophy.
“India has made four broad divisions or categories on the basis of individuality. What is popularly known as VARNA is nothing but broad categorizations of human beings on the basis of their own individualities. These categories are not specific and exclusive. Not that two brahmins or intellectuals are the same; they are not. Not even
two kshatriyas or warriors are the same. But there is certainly a similarity between those known as kshatriyas. These categorizations were made after in depth study of man’s nature. There is someone who derives his life’s joy only through work – he is a workman, a shudra. Not that he is a lowly being because of his being a shudra – it is grievously wrong to think so – but unfortunately this mistaken interpretation did receive wide acceptance, for which the wise people who originally conceived it are not responsible. The responsibility should lie with those ignorant people who imposed their wrong interpretations of VARNA on society. The wise ones said only this much, that there are people who can find their joy only through work, through service. If they are deprived of their work they will be unhappy, they will lose their souls.
After studying millions of human beings over a long stretch of time we decided to divide mankind into four broad categories. There was nothing hierarchical about this division, no category was higher or lower than the other. But the foolish pundits, the foolish scholars, took no time in reducing it into a hierarchy, which created all the mischief. The categorization of four VARNAS is, in itself, very scientific. but to turn it into a hierarchy was unfortunate and unhealthy. It was not necessary at all.
The division of mankind into VARNAS represents an insight, and a deep insight at that. Therefore Krishna tells Arjuna. ”Know rightly who you are. It is better to die upholding your self-nature than to live as a second-hand man. That is sheer madness.””
As per Swami Chidanand Sarawati Ji – “The VARNA system was based on a person’s characteristics, temperament and their innate “nature.” The Vedas describe one’s nature as being a mixture of the three gunas – tamas, rajas and sattva. Depending on the relative proportions of each of these gunas, one would be classified as a Brahmin, Kshetriya, Vaishya or Shudra. For example, Brahmins who perform much of the intellectual, creative and spiritual work within a community have a high proportion of Sattva and low proportions of Tamas and Rajas. A Kshatriya who is inclined toward political, administrative and military work has a high proportion of Rajas, a medium proportion of Sattva and a low proportion of Tamas. A Vaishya who performs the tasks of businessman, employer and skilled laborer also has a high proportion of Rajas but has relatively equal proportions of Sattva and Tamas, both of which are lower than Rajas. Last, a Shudra who performs the unskilled labor in society has a high proportion of Tamas, a low proportion of Sattva and a medium proportion of Rajas.
These gunas are not inherited. They are based on one’s inherent nature and one’s karma. Therefore one’s VARNA was also not supposed to be based on heredity, and in the past it was not. It is only in relatively modern times that the strict, rigid, heredity-based “caste” system has come into existence.There are many examples in the scriptures and in history of people transcending the “class” or VARNA into which they were born. Everyone was free to choose an occupation according to his/her guna and karma.
Further, according to the scriptures, there is no hierarchy at all inherent in the VARNA system. All parts are of equal importance and equal worth. A good example is to imagine a human body. The brain which thinks, plans and guides represents the Brahmin caste. The hands and arms which fight, protect and work represent the Kshatriya caste. The stomach which serves as the source of energy and “transactions” represents the Vaishya caste, and the legs/feet which do the necessary running around in the service of the rest of the body represent the Shudra caste. No one can say the brain is better than the legs or that hands are superior to feet. Each is equally important for the overall functioning of the body system. They just serve different roles. ”
Thus VARNA system was also based on Spiritual evolution of a person along with other factors & it acted as a support for its further progress.
Maharishi Ved Vyasa who assembled & divided the vast Vedic literature was born to a fisher women. Maharishi Valmiki was considered as child of a Dalit women was a bandit. Kalidasa one of the greatest poet of our country was a Hunter. Maharishi Vishwamitra was born in Kshatriya family & many more examples are present to prove that the VARNAS were not based on BIRTH but by OCCUPATION.
Some of the advantages of VARNA System / Class System were
1. There was clear division of Power in the society
2. There was also clear division of labour.
3. Inter VARNA mobility was allowed based on merit
4. There was no unemployment as people were aware of their jobs & trades to pursue.
5. There was no competition among masses as people were satisfied with their work and money & wealth was not the focus but Salvation/Liberation.
6. Skilled labour was available as generation after generation people mastered their work & passed on the secrtes to their successive future generations.
7. Society was stable in structure hence it could survive thousands of years of Human evolution.
8. There was no such dark ages like Europe because of church extremism resulting in Renaissance in medieval times.
9. Every village was a self sufficient society independent in almost all sectors of life, thereby making INDIA one of the richest lands in all respects in ancient times.
Thus Indian History & Indian Culture has been purposely misinterpreted with malicious intent by the colonizers to show their supremacy & spread their Evangelical activities for conversions.
This point has been further explained by Rajiv Malhotra an Indian Born Historian settled in the US in the following Video