[Advaita-l] Adwaita and and caste.

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 31 11:10:22 CDT 2010

Dear Srikantaji,

May I add the proper chronological perspective to this writeup. Vedavyasa definitely believed in the importance of chronology. He has given astronomical data from which we know that the Mahabharata war was fought in 3139 BCE. Similar milestones are there throughout our ancient literature. Vaivasvat Manu composed the Manu Smriti in the Satyayuga and rightly Vedavyasa was telling Parashara that Manu smriti was meant for the Satya yuga. The Gautama and the Yajnavalkya Smriti were for the Treta yuga. this chronology has to be reflected in discussions when we consider the evolution of society in the ancient past. The Yajnavalkya Smriti came after the Manu Smriti. 


Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Sun, 10/31/10, srikanta at nie.ac.in <srikanta at nie.ac.in> wrote:

From: srikanta at nie.ac.in <srikanta at nie.ac.in>
Subject: [Advaita-l] Adwaita and and caste.
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Date: Sunday, October 31, 2010, 3:10 AM

With reference to the above discussion,we come to the crucial point,How
caste was created."Guna'and "karma" which is basically the deciding
factors must have emerged at a later stage of societal development.In the
Bhagawadgita,SriKrishna says,"Chaturvarnyam maya srstam Guna karma
vibhagashah!"echoing the "Guna karma vibhaga of the
Sankhyas."satwika,Rajasika,Tamasika"are the elementary temperaments one
can possess.A Brahmana has Satwika on the surface,but rajas as the
upasarjana(inwardly).A kshatriya has Rajas as the top with satwika as
upasarjana.A vaishya has rajas at the surface with tamas as upasarjana.A
sudra has tamas with rajas also mixed.
In the beginning,accepting creation,we see that only Rockage man
existed.As days progressed,the rock age man learnt to eat and started
hunting.He needed a companian to satisfy his biological urge.Naturally he
started fighting.There were no societal norms.He started coveting other
man's wife.This we see from Ramayana and Mahabharatha.This led to
barbarism.A semblance of order had to be brought.Here we see the seeds of
first society.A woman is said to belong to one person and not to
another.We donot see this in other animals and species.Some how in man
this selfconciousness has become as an interloper as far as the Morality
is concerned.Even in the Gods we see that a God like Krihna and Muruga
have two wives,whereas,a Goddess is supposed to have only one husband!.We
see here a pariarchal order of the society.So,Manu smrithi came into
existence.It removed all other smrthis like Yagnavalkya smrithi which
allowed a widow to have a progeny from the brother of her deceased
husband!.This is prohibited in Manu dharma sastra.So all the activities of
the family,religious worships centred around woman maitaining her chastity
as a "Pativrata".In Bhagaadgita we see the line,:strishu dushtasu jayate
varna sankarah".In course of time as the society progressed,this factor of
morality became associated with woman.Bhrahaspati's wife was coveted by
Chandra,we see  no less a person than Krishna molesting Tulasi in a
concealed fashion.We see in the Brahma vaivarta Purana and other
Puranas,this stories.As the Society progressed this became more rigid,and
tradition became a deadweight along with various Gods and Goddesses.A
woman is glorified for her chastity.She is glorified as
"Shakthi".Saudaryalahari says,:Shivah sakthyayuktah yadi bhavati
shaktah",Rudra says,"Shivaa rudrasya Bheshaji,tena vina mrda jivase,Shiva
is jada without shakthi.Lalitha sahasranama and
Lalithatrishati,declare,sriVidya or Lalltha as,:sarva prapanca
nirmatri,and as sarva vedanta tatparya
bhumi,sakala,sacchidananda,sadhvi,sanakadi munirvedya
sadhashivakutumbini,".Naturally Shakthi is placed as the highest,in "Matru
devo bhava"as the first in Taithreyopanishath.For the society to be
maintained with honour,stri or woman has to be placed as its pivot and
accorded greater respect.
As society progressed the varnashrama dharma was accorded a place.with
varna sankara the various castes emerged.This we learn from the puranas as
how the various castes were created.
Bhava Shankara Desika me sharanam.                      N.Srikanta.

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