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  • 1 year later...

It is a fact that more than 70 per cent of the ancient Hindu Rishis, or enlightened masters of India, belonged to the lower castes. Valmiki and Vyasa , who wrote the epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha respectively, belonged to the lower castes.

In ancient times , one's caste was determined by one's temperament, talents and inclinations. Caste was not a barrier to the lower caste people, who rose to the level of the upper castes through their talents.

This was the reason why Kshatriyas like the Buddha and Vishwamitra , became Brahmins or men of spiritual nature and why a Brahmin like Parashurama became a Kshatriya.

This is also the reason why shudras or low caste people like Valmiki , Vyasa, Vasishtha, Narada, Drona, Karna ,Thiruvalluvar were raised to the position of a Brahmin or Kshatriya , in virtue or their superior learning or valour.

Much more of this information can be found in Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's book "Heritage of the dalits".

Shankaracharya and others , were the great caste-makers. They would sometimes get hordes of Baluchis and at once make them Kshatriyas, and also get hordes of fishermen and make them Brahmins forthwith.

It was with the advent of the foreign invasions in India, that the caste system became rigid, and migration of people to different castes were stopped.

Even then, enlightened masters from the lower castes such as Kabir, Ravi Das, Sri Narayana guru were revered by the upper castes as well.

When India gained independence due to the efforts of Hindus like Gandhi, perfect equality was thrust upon the masses of India , no matter to what caste one belonged to, thus reestablishing and continuing the ancient tradition of India.

Even the constitution of independent India , was created by a Dalit called B.R.Ambedkar.

It will take some time for the deadweight of tradition of the rigid caste system to be removed from India. But as enlightened Hinduism and Buddhism, as preached by Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and others are reaching the masses, slowly these shackles are being dissolved .

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In the manu smriti , when it comes to stance of hereditary caste system, the verse below is believed to sanction support for vocational non-hereditary caste system.


"As the son of Shudra can attain the rank of a Brahmin, the son of Brahmin can attain rank of a shudra. Even so with him who is born of a Vaishya or a Kshatriya" (X: 65)



Paramahansa Yogananda also opposed what he called to the un-Vedic caste system as we know it today. He taught that the caste system originated in a higher age, but became degraded through ignorance and self-interest. Yogananda said:



"These were (originally) symbolic designations of the stages of spiritual refinement. They were not intended as social categories. And they were not intended to be hereditary. Things changed as the yugas [cycles of time] descended toward mental darkness. People in the higher castes wanted to make sure their children were accepted as members of their own caste. Thus, ego-identification caused them to freeze the ancient classifications into what is called the ‘caste system.’ Such was not the original intention. In obvious fact, however, the offspring of a brahmin may be a sudra by nature. And a peasant, sometimes, is a real saint.”"

—from Conversations with Yogananda, Crystal Clarity Publishers, 2003.


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Vedas, the proud possession of mankind, are the foundation of Hinduism. Vedas are all-embracing, and treat the entire humanity with the same respect and dignity. Vedas speak of nobility of entire humanity (krinvanto vishvam aryam), and do not sanction any caste system or birth-based caste system. Mantra, numbered 10-13-1 in Rig Veda, addresses the entire humanity as divine children (shrunvantu vishve amrutsya putraha). Innumerable mantras in Vedas emphasise oneness, universal brotherhood, harmony, happiness, affection, unity and commonality of entire humanity. A few illustrations are given here. Vide Mantra numbered 5-60-5 in Rig Veda, the divine poet declares, “All men are brothers; no one is big, no one is small. All are equal.” Mantra numbered 16.15 in Yajur Veda reiterates that all men are brothers; no one is superior or inferior. Mantra numbered 10-191-2 in Rig Veda calls upon humanity to be united to have a common speech and a common mind. Mantra numbered 3-30-1 in Atharva Veda enjoins upon all humans to be affectionate and to love one another as the cow loves her newly-born calf. Underlining unity and harmony still further, Mantra numbered 3-30-6 in Atharva Veda commands humankind to dine together, and be as firmly united as the spokes attached to the hub of a chariot wheel.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very interesting thread.

The basic issue is how does one determine one's correct occupation and train him accordingly. There is a saying in Hindi "Manushya karm isliye karta hai taki use apni pehchaan se pehchaan ho" or "In work, we have the possibility of discovering ourselves". Correct occupation can certainly not be determined by birth but many times even degrees and qualifications prove deceptive. One maybe qualified for something but when one works practically, it may turn out that he has "functional skill" or "Operative talent"(as defined by Harvard business review) to be something else. These days. all American management literature talks of "Passion for work" and a few Indian books have also started talking about it.

So much so that I have named my latest article on the subject "Heart v/s Mind" in choosing one's career. The other articles written before are there on my blog Make your passion your profession(mypyp.wordpress)(Url not allowed currently) which has quotes both by intellectual/ spiritual people and other celebrities on the subject. Occupation and spouse are the two biggest decisions of one's life but in my view, the former is more critical as a majority of waking hours go in that. As seen from the practical examples in my blog, there are so many people who are miserable because of being work misfits and saying that one should have a detached mind is trying to avoid the problem or missing the wood for the trees. Many people get stuck in the wrong occupation as career transition even in a country like the fulfilling one's full potential; life is only the means of bringing forth an inner

sense of "be-ness" or "self"". She says that the work one selects is very important as it always helps the soul to go to another level of maturity and our souls must feel that they have done the best work possible, whether as Senators or clerks. She said that dying with feelings of worthlessness can carry forward in subsequent lifetimes if not corrected.

She explains vividly how the person remains restless unless he gets the work of his inclination and how much the families and friends have to adjust if he has to go back to school. These days there are so many articles on "Talent Management" which state that companies are devising tailor made programs to ensure that they get the customized talent suited to their requirements. Last year, another article stated that only 20% of the students coming out of institutes were talented enough for corporate <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region>.

Being in the wrong occupation is bad both from the perspective of individual happiness and society's productivity.

Our Shastras say a lot of things but one wonders how much of it is practically followed. I read in a blog that somebody who had been staying in the <st1:country-region><st1:place>United states</st1:place></st1:country-region> for six years was very impressed with one thing - in his own words "In the United States, a professor can be seen sitting with a Janitor on the same table and chatting with each other on a one-to-one basis" . This kind of thing is more an exception than the rule in <st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region> despite all its "spiritual knowledge".

In science, the innovator is often given more importance than the inventor because he makes it possible to practically implement on a mass scale whatever the inventor invents. We need to follow this in spirituality as well. It's easy to say that if you are born a Brahman but have the talent of a Shudra, you should do it with a detached mind becasue the scriptures say so. If everybody had been following the scriptures like good boys, the caste system would never have been distorted by vested interests in the first place. How does one achieve this practically?

To my mind, the book "First, break all the rules" has the answer. It reveals a survey or an overall study involving 105680 employee responses spread over 2528 business units- an average of 42 business employees per business unit and 90 business units per company. It gives examples of what happens in business when people are promoted to the wrong jobs. Building on the basic example of Sachin Tendulkar/ Saurav Ganguly, it gives several examples of how the best performer(Sachin) does not necessarily become the best man manager( Saurav-captain). The best example I liked was that of a police officer(performer) getting paid more than his sergeant(boss) because he was a better performer than that person a man manager and there were different compensations for different roles by a process called broadbanding.

Distinguishing between talent and non-talents, it gives examples of waiters, bar tenders, housekeepers, nurses, data entry operators etc as to how the best were different from the rest even in minor jobs and were compensated highly without necessarily being promoted. The best bartender was someone who remembered names of 3000 guests and their drinks and the champion data entry operator was four times faster than the rest. They gave prestige and money to these best performers without necessarily promoting them if they did not have talent for man management.

This is the way to do it practically- to offer good money and prestige to people having low-profile occupations. In addition to this the person should be encouraged into serious spirituality by following acceptance or surrender to his life's work with a detached mind. If somebody has to move from a higher to a lower caste, doing the latter without the former is like putting the cart before the horse and can work only with genuine satwiks or those who are intellectually and spiritually inclined but they don't have this problem.

In addition to this eminent people like Einstein should freely admit their shortcomings. Einstein once said that "The hardest thing in the world to follow is income tax". He also mentioned that he refused the Presidency of Israel because he had no experience of working with human beings. In another context, he said that in his next life, he wanted to become a plumber. All this shows what International lateral thinking expert , Edward De Bono says " Just because you have solved a complicated problem is no guarantee that you will be able to solve a simple problem". Such efforts will make some of the exalted occupations less exalted and will add more respectability to low profile jobs.Just as prohibition has never ever succeeded the world over, tp give someobody who has to be demoted, a lecture on the virtues of Nishkam krama while focussing on the word and consider his work divine is not likely to work.

Just as applied science is more important than pure science, it is applied spirituality that matters. We can do endless verbal gymnastics on our “spiritual legacy”- how great the caste system used to be, how great <st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region> used to be, how divine we and our occupations are etc. Unless pragmatic ways are thought to apply whatever is written in the scriptures to the requirements of modern times, the so called spiritual knowledge is just theory.

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  • 3 weeks later...


not so from what reading ive done on the subject of the varna system.was more like a recist pyramid scheme.

what have you been reading? brit propaganda from the 19th century.


there is no evidence what so ever that it was based on race or skin color. most modern scholars reject it.

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In older times professions were handed down from father to son.Also society ,religion and way of living were closely looped. Hence the evolution of caste system. The religion had nothing to do with it but merely absorbed it from society. That is the irony.

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not so from what reading ive done on the subject of the varna system.was more like a recist pyramid scheme.



It is all western racist propaganda , in order to justify their own excesses and conceal them and to pursue their gross materialistic and imperialistic agendas. :mad2:



If you care to study the hindu scriptures and epics you will find that Rama, Krishna ,Arjuna, Abhimanyu , Draupadi, Drona ,Nakula , Damayanti were all described

by the scriptures to be black-skinned. Same too with Lord Vishnu.

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  • 8 months later...

Group Tendency can not be eliminated.

For identity purpose different groups are formed.

Even a homogeneous group gets split in course of time for further distinct identity.

So formation of groups and split of groups are inevitable.

The present modern Caste system is narrow minded. They praise, they celebrate the birday or tithi [death] if that person belongs to their community. Otherwise they are least bothered.

Are Brahmin Associations celebrate Ambedkar's Jayanthi?

Similarly whether Scedule Caste people celebrate the jayanthi of a Brahmin leader?


Peaceful co-existence is the only solution. Give respect and take respect.

We cannot compel anybody to celebrate a particular leader's Jayanthi.

It is their choice. But, if they care and celebrate only their leader's jeyanti,

it only shows that they are not above casteism.


Abolishing caste system is not a solution. Political parties form a new

caste ! Peaceful co-existence is the only solution.

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