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Re: regarding casteism

From: g_prabhu_srinivas (g_prabhu_srinivas_at_yahoo.co.in)
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 13:11:33 PST

please refer to the rig-veda 10.90.1-16 (purusha). more specifically 
(i quote from ralph griffith's translation) verses 11-14 -

--->
11 When they divided Purusa 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 Rajanya made.
His thighs became the Vaisya, from his feet the Sudra 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 Vayu 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.
<---

("rajanya" is the original name given to the race of kshatriyas.)

thus, according to the most ancient hindu text, it is evident that 
there is absolutely *no* mention of the superiority or inferiority of 
the various varnas and so there can be no possibility of 
discrimination. if one says that being created from the feet of the 
lord reeks of inferiority, then i'm afraid it is the divinity of the 
lord that is being questioned. if there is casteism, it is due to 
human foibles. i hope the discussion ends here.

regards,
prabhu.

--- In bhakti-list@y..., "Sriram Ranganathan" <srirangan@e...> wrote:
> Dear bhAgavatAs,
> 
> With all due respects, I would like to add a few words in spite of 
my
> extremely limited experience / knowledge.
> 
> First, the use of adjectives "high" and "low" to qualitatively 
distinguish
> one's caste or varnA is a human proclivity than bhagavAn's will. 
Regardless
> of the varnA, there is no "high" and "low" per se when it comes to 
one's
> occupation. The concept of "high" and "low" is just our skewed 
perception.
> Fallible as we are, we (conveniently) characterize a priest "high" 
and a
> janitor "low" - by vocation and therefore their nature. What is to 
be
> understood is that, though one is advised to take-up a duty based 
on one's
> caste/disposition, there is absolutely no doubt as to if at all it 
is
> possible to change that "disposition by birth" through conduct. 
Whichever
> way one approaches this - vEdAs or modern behavioral science - the 
results
> are clearly in the affirmative. A person regardless of birth can 
turn out to
> be a great soul. And therefore it goes without saying that in spite 
of one's
> birth, if he or she deviates from the path of dharma there will be
> consequences.
> 
> "In Bhagavad GItA , Sri KrishnA says " Woman , VaishyAs & SUdrAs  -
those
> who are of sinful birth ,  whoever they might be - they obtain , O 
pArthA!
> the highest state (moksham) , if they seek My protection " (9.32)"
> 
> The above verse according to achArya srI rAmAnuja's gIta bhAsyA is
> translated as follows by Swami AdidevAnanda:
> "By taking refuge in Me even men of evil birth, women, VaisyAs and 
also
> sUdrAs attain the supreme state"
> 
> Sri Krishna excludes brahmanAs and kshatriyAs deliberately to 
explicitly
> emphasize that the rest of them will also attain mOksham upon 
surrendering
> to Him. His emphasis leaves no room for doubt whatsoever.
> 
> Therefore, it is indeed a sin to discriminate or disrespect a being 
based on
> caste. Sri Vaishnava sampradAyam's history and our purAnAs 
illustrate this
> very convincingly.
> 
>  -adiyEn,
> Sriram



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