[Advaita-l] saMnyAsa and brAhmaNas (was RE: Fw: Re: waking, dreaming, sleeping as mutually supportive)

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Fri Oct 30 06:37:27 CDT 2009

Dear Friends,

As has been mentioned recently on this list, Professor Ram Sharma is an
outstanding scholar and has done huge and unique research on documentation
of such matters as varna -- but his conclusions, while impeccably sourced
from the evidence, are very much his own and open to further questioning.

His view, briefly, is that at the time of the assembly of the Atharva Veda,
the sudra/dasa did not need naming as a caste or job-description. Further,
he supposes that such varna names come about in the first place through
denigration of others in society, for essentially economic reasons. (One
might designate this in human character as the mixture of truth with untruth
!) He goes on say that the RgVeda society, as portrayed in the AtharvaVeda,
also had not identified the need for varna classification i.e. anyone could
recognise a priest, a scholar, or a warrior...

I hope I present Professor Sharma's views correctly.

At the least, it does make one remember that recorded recoverable fragmented
history is one thing; while the discoveries of the wise (e.g. that society
functions best if all the varna are filled, and by those to whom that varna
is innate and appreciated as such) are something at a different level of

 I wouldn't want to dismiss Professor Sharma's long life of ground-breaking
and intense scholarship with a perfunctory damning dismissal and a wave of
the hand, as crypto-Marxism !


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
Vidyasankar Sundaresan
Sent: 29 October 2009 15:59
To: Advaita List
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] saMnyAsa and brAhmaNas (was RE: Fw: Re:
waking,dreaming, sleeping as mutually supportive)

> Dear Vidyasankarji,
> We know that there are four Varnas and Lord Krishna also showed how  the
different Varnas have thir separate occupations. Yet the Atharva veda
appears to equate the Shudras with Vaishya, as Vish, the third Varna(AV
3.12)? Vajasneyi is not far behind in this (YV 18.48). Any comment?
> Regards,
> Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

Dear Sri Bhattacharjya,

I am not an expert on atharvaveda or the Sukla yajurveda, so I'm not

equipped to comment on it! I'm sure the references have not escaped

the notice of numerous writers, especially over the last two centuries,

so there may be a lot of literature out there on it already.



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