My name is Saurav.....I am from Bangalore city. I consider myself to be a follower of the Advaita vedanta philosophy but one thing which is really irritating me a lot is the Caste System phenomenon.
I used to read a lot of Adi Sankaracharya and I see in his commentary of the Smritis mainly the Brahmasmriti that manu smriti quotes saying that a Shudra should be poured molten metal in the ears to those who hear the vedas etc......
About Adi Sankaracharya it is not clear if he approved the Caste System by birth......Wikipedia says that Sankaracharya only asked those BORN as Brahmins to be his followers......
Now I would like to make a few points clear. I did study Hinduism and also Buddhism and Jainism and their histories.
Few points are very clear:
1. There did exist as today in the majority of history of Hinduism the period of Brahmanism where Brahmins abused and subjugated the lower caste and atrocities did take place against them quite frequently .
2. Jainism and Buddhism essentially were born to get rid the society of Caste System.
We do know that the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads do mention that Caste System should be followed by MERIT and MERIT alone and no question of BIRTH comes into picture.
I wanted clarification with regards to these:
a. Did Adi Shankaracharya Approve the Caste System by birth ?
Any up-date on this would be helpful.