[Advaita-l] RE: janmana jaayate shUdraH

sri parasukhananda nadha sriparasukhanandanadha at rediffmail.com
Sat Feb 19 02:47:56 CST 2005

  Dear sri vidyasankarji,

   "the mahAbhArata has verses detailing freeing of slaves" 

Do you take the meaning of 'Dasa and Dasi' as slaves?  In that case I differ with you sir,  the system of slavery was never there in our country as I know.  Mandhara and similar others were not treated as slaves as in the western countries.  I may be wrong, but request you to please take some pains to search once again and quote the correct place where it was mentioned.


On Sat, 19 Feb 2005 Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote :
>>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 possessions.
>>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 belong.
>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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