[Advaita-l] Castes and definitions

Raghavendra N Kalyan kalyan7429 at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Feb 10 12:01:21 CST 2005

Currently there is a lot of talk about whether or not a person is brAhmaNa or a shUdra by birth or by quality. My question is - how do you define the term shUdra? 
Do you say shUdra means
1. a son/daughter of a shUdra  (this is the social reality)
2. a person of *bad* conduct (whatever bad may mean)
The first definition is no definition as it is uses the term shUdra to define a shUdra. If you adopt the seond definition, then who is to declare who is a shUdra and who is not. If you declare I am a shUdra then I can easily declare you to be a shUdra. (An example only, not to be taken literally).
Somebody said that by birth all are shUdra-s (or like shUdra-s) only. Here, obviously we cant use either definition 1 or definition 2 for a shUdra. I think a lot of confusion can be avoided if we define our terms properly. Can someone define the term shUdra first? 

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