[Advaita-l] RE: janmana jaayate shUdraH

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 18 14:42:56 CST 2005

>Excuse me for my interference sir, but I would like to bring to your 
>attention, the following -
>This is from Manusmriti -
>8.417. A Brahmana may confidently seize the goods of (his) Sudra (slave); 
>for, as that (slave) can have no property, his master may take his 
>8.416. A wife, a son, and a slave, these three are declared to have no 
>property; the wealth which they earn is (acquired) for him to whom they 

Agreed that the manusmRti has all this, although I wouldn't quite agree with 
the translations ... However, we need to put the texts in their proper 
context. It is easy to overestimate the importance of a text like the 
manusmRti. Inspite of what it says, does our society have a significant 
history or tradition of owning slaves? I think not. Were all SUdras slaves? 
Again, no. Finally, note that wife, son and slave are all considered 
dependent upon the adult male. And if I am not mistaken, the mahAbhArata has 
verses detailing freeing of slaves and partition of property upon the death 
of the master. The point is that property ownership rights were not denied 
to SUdras.


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