[Advaita-l] RE: janmana jaayate shUdraH

sri parasukhananda nadha sriparasukhanandanadha at rediffmail.com
Sat Feb 19 04:18:10 CST 2005

  Dear Sir,

          The word Sudra should not be translated as a slave.
In Purusha Suuktam it is said " Braahmano asya mukhamaaseet".(aaseet)
It means that the face of the society was Braahmana in the beginning.  
"Baahoo raajanyah Krithah" Its shoulders (Power) was made Kshatriya.
"Ooroo thadasya yad vysyah" The transportation of it has been made vysya community.  Finally it says that "Padbhyaagm Suudro ajaayatha"
It means a new community has emerged (took birth) from all the above three communities for several reasons.  they were out casted for their misbehaviours.  That is why we find Gothra naamaas of Sudras similar to brahmins, kshatriyas,and some to the vysya gotras also.  These sudras were asked to do other laborious jobs like tilling the lands, washing clothes,barbers proffession, cleaning roads etc., They used to help the upper three classes taking some remuniration. They were never any slaves.  The system of slavery was never there in our nation.


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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