Caste System : A re-look

Indo-Aryan

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Rig Vedic Time

Tribal chief was called Rajana.
(Not to be confused with king)

Tribal priest was called Purohit.
(Not to be confused with Brahmins)

During the Rig Vedic Age the family was part of a larger grouping which was called vis or clan. One or more than one clans made jana or tribe. The largest social unit was known as jana.

Quite different from what came later.

Here is the Pursha Suktam which was probably added into the Rig Veda by whom? No one knows.

Here is the Sanskrit version.

ōm sahasraśīrṣā puruṣaḥ sahasrākṣaḥ sahasrapāt,
sa bhūmiṁ viśvato vṛtvātyatiṣṭad daśāgulam.


puruṣa evedaṁ sarvaṁ yad bhūtaṁ yacca bhavyam,
utāmṛtattvasyeśāno yadannenātirohati.
etāvānasya mahimāto jyāyāṁśca pūruṣaḥ,
pādo'sya viśvā bhūtāni tripādasyā'mṛtaṁ divi.

tripādūrdhva udaitpuruṣaḥ pādo'syehābhavātpunaḥ,
tato viśvaṅ vyakrāmatsāśanānaśane abhi.
tasmādvirāḍajāyata virājo adhipūruṣaḥ,
sa jāto atyaricyata paścādbhūmimatho puraḥ.

yatpuruṣeṇa haviṣā devā yajñamatanvata,
vasanto asyāsīdājyam grīṣma idhmaḥ śaraddhaviḥ.
taṁ yajaṁ barhiṣi praukśan puruṣaṁ jātamagrataḥ,
tena devā ayajanta sādhyā ṛṣayaśca ye.

tasmādyajñātsarvahutaḥ saṁbhṛtaṁ pṛṣadājyam,
paśūgïstāgïścakre vāyavyānāraṇyān grāmyāścaye.
tasmādyajñātsarvahutaḥ ṛcaḥ sāmāni jajñire,
chandāgïsi jajñire tasmātyajustasmādajāyata.

tasmādaśvā ajāyanta ye ke cobhayādataḥ,
gāvo ha jajñire tasmāt tasmād jātā ajāvayaḥ.
yatpuruṣaṁ vyadhadhuḥ katidhā vyakalpayan,
mukhaṁ kimasya kau bāhū kā vūrū pādā vucyete.

brāhmaṇo'sya mukhamāsīd bāhū rājanyaḥ kṛtaḥ,
ūrū tadasya yad vaiśyaḥ padbhyāgï śūdro ajāyata.

candramā manaso jātaḥcakśoḥ sūryo ajāyata,
mukhādindraścāgniśca prāṇādvāyurajāyata.

nābhyā āsīdantarikśam śīrṣṇo dyauḥ samavartata,
padbhyāṁ bhūmirdiśaḥ śrotrātathā lokāṁ akalpayan.
saptāsyāsṇ paridhyasṛitaḥsapta samidḥa kṛtaḥ,
devā yadyajñam tanvānā abaḍhnaṇ purūṣaṁ paśum.

yajñena yajñamayajanta devāḥtāni dharmāṇi prathamānyāsan,
te ha nākaṁ mahimānaḥ sacante yatra pūrve sādhyāḥ santi devāḥ.

vedāhametaṁ puruṣaṁ mahāntamādityavarṇaṁ tamasaḥ parastāt,
tameva viditva'timṛtyumeti nānyaḥ panthā vidyate'yanāya.

ōṁ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ.
 

Indo-Aryan

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English version

1. A THOUSAND heads hath Puruṣa, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet.
On every side pervading earth he fills a space ten fingers wide.

2 This Puruṣa is all that yet hath been and all that is to be;
The Lord of Immortality which waxes greater still by food.

3 So mighty is his greatness; yea, greater than this is Puruṣa.
All creatures are one-fourth of him, three-fourths eternal life in heaven.

4 With three-fourths Puruṣa went up: one-fourth of him again was here.
Thence he strode out to every side over what cats not and what cats.

5 From him Virāj was born; again Puruṣa from Virāj was born.
As soon as he was born he spread eastward and westward o’er the earth.

6 When Gods prepared the sacrifice with Puruṣa as their offering,
Its oil was spring, the holy gift was autumn; summer was the wood.

7 They balmed as victim on the grass Puruṣa born in earliest time.
With him the Deities and all Sādhyas and Ṛṣis sacrificed.

8 From that great general sacrifice the dripping fat was gathered up.
He formed the creatures of-the air, and animals both wild and tame.

9 From that great general sacrifice Ṛcas and Sāma-hymns were born:
Therefrom were spells and charms produced; the Yajus had its birth from it.

10 From it were horses born, from it all cattle with two rows of teeth:
From it were generated kine, from it the goats and sheep were born.

11 When they divided Puruṣa how many portions did they make?
What do they call his mouth, his arms? What do they call his thighs and feet?

12 The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rājanya made.
His thighs became the Vaiśya, from his feet the Śūdra was produced.

13 The Moon was gendered from his mind, and from his eye the Sun had birth;
Indra and Agni from his mouth were born, and Vāyu from his breath.

14 Forth from his navel came mid-air the sky was fashioned from his head
Earth from his feet, and from his car the regions. Thus they formed the worlds.


15 Seven fencing-sticks had he, thrice seven layers of fuel were prepared,
When the Gods, offering sacrifice, bound, as their victim, Puruṣa.

16 Gods, sacrificing, sacrificed the victim these were the earliest holy ordinances.
The Mighty Ones attained the height of heaven, there where the Sādhyas, Gods of old, are dwelling.
 

Indo-Aryan

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Suktam doesn't mention Kshatrya.

So how did Kshatrya became a Varna when a) Suktam has not made any mention to Varna and b) Kshatrya is absent from the Suktam.

Kshatrya looks to be have been derived from Greek Strapy or Straps and all those who descended from them were included in an entirely new Varna called Kshatrya.

Interestingly Kshatrya/Warriors class wasn't a feature of Harappan society. Only drawing parallels nothing else 😉
 

Indo-Aryan

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Interesting thing is from sacrifice of divine Pursha came many things but we were never told that.

From Divine Purusha came Brahman, Rajana, Vaishya, Shudra, Sun, Moon, Sky among other things.

But as per internet in Yajurveda it is said :

The Yajur-veda mentions their degradation from the varṇa classes, mentioning the Chandala group in particular, who were said to be the untouchable class of people born of the union between a Shudra male and a Brahmin female.

How Ironic!

One thing to remember is that India's best and skilled artisans came from the so called lower castes. Who as per Yajurveda seems to have Brahmin ancestors from maternal side.

Dalits are moolnivase and Brahmins videshi 😂

Though this mention from Yajurveda holds true now. As recent genetic analysis have revealed common ancestries among all castes. With exception of some super isolated tribes.
 

Indo-Aryan

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The Western Satraps, or Western Kshatrapas were sakas from 45ce-400ce in and around the malwa Gujarat and Sindh regions.
 

Indo-Aryan

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Another interesting thing to note is :

hotṛi adhvaryu udgātṛi dont get mentioned in the Suktam. while their 4th companion brahman whose job was only to recite atharvaveda during the Yajna gets to have an entire Varna named after him.
 

Indo-Aryan

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During Rig-Vedic era, the basic unit of power lied within a patriarchal family (Kula). The head of the family was a Kulapa. A group of such families called grama, which was controlled by a village headman Gramini. The groups of the villages belonged to a clan (Vis) and many clans made a community called Jana.
 

Indo-Aryan

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Will we ever see in our life time reintegration of atleast the creamy layer OBC and well off SC/STs with General into a new FORWARD class.

How can a IAS be labelled Backward?
How can a IPS be labelled Dalit?
How can a IFS be labelled Tribal?

😐 We are only Institutionalizing and Internalizing Caste system 😐
 

Covfefe

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The caste issue can only be solved by an ample number of intercaste marriages. In a populist democracy and a constitution that has put people into different schedules, it is practically impossible to reach a solution through law or constitutional means; it's a race to the bottom. Even among OBCs some 8 castes take up 97% of the seats under the category. Creamy layer for OBC but not for SC and ST? Only salaried fellas with a pakka payslip get evaluated for creamy layer and not the others? There are a lot of inconvenient questions that will not be asked. Just hope that enough people screw each other and take away this "pure blood" syndrome.
 

hit&run

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Sorry for not reading the thread or OP.

There is no need to re-look at something ugly as caste system. Please move on. Embrace every Hindu and unify. Better work on your habbits now before reaching to a point where traction becomes unavoidable.
 

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