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 Meaning Behind the Caste System

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Posted on 04-06-11 6:03 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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The Bhagvad Geeta says that there are four different types of human beings, viz. Brahman, Kshetriya, Vaisya and Sudra. These castes, as said by lord Krishna, cannot be endowed upon an individual by the society; rather, they are simply a reflection of his intrinsic characteristics. It is one’s purpose/goal/aim/sankalpa in life that determines his caste. Each individual dwelling in this world belongs to a caste. Let us start out by briefly describing each caste:
Sudra- A Sudra is one whose only purpose in life is to eat and procreate. He has no higher goals. He works only to feed himself and his family. He turns a blind eye to the agonies of the society. He lives in a very narrow boundary of “digestion and procreation”, i.e. eating, sleeping and producing babies.
Vaisya- One whose primary purpose in life is to amass wealth is a Vaisya. He invests his brain, time, power and resources for accumulating wealth. He, while eating/sleeping/procreating, limits himself to his office, shop, factory, industry or business. His boundary, though greater than a Sudra, doesn’t encompass people other than his immediate family and relatives. Today’s world seems to be predominantly full of Vaisyas.
Kshetriya – One who fights against social evil, malpractices, social injustice, corruption and bad “viruses” that engulf the society is a Kshetriya. A Kshetriya is superior to a Sudra and a Vaisya in the sense that he is service-oriented. He challenges the evil in a society. A Kshetriya cannot tolerate malpractices: bribes, giving/taking dowries, exploitation of the poor, obscenities in media that inspires rape, murder, drugs, alcohol and other crimes. A Kshetriya can be, but not limited to, an army personnel, a policeman, a news reporter or a social worker who boldly fights and voices his/her opinion against uprooting bad elements from the society. His primary goal/sankalpa in life is to protect his society from evil elements and malpractices.
Brahman- A Brahman is one whose primary goal in life is to strive for one’s soul awakening. He spreads the true knowledge of Dharma, and while elevating himself, also works for the elevation of others. A Brahman has no boundaries. For him, the entire world is his family (वसुदैबकुटुम्बकम ) and all living beings (whether plants or animals) are his own. He sees the same God residing in everyone. (आत्मवत सर्वभूतेषु ) A Brahman carries no possessions for himself. Whatever wealth or resources (his time, thought, mind, body and intellect) he has, he uses it for the welfare of the society. Human beings, having evolved through lower levels of existence, carry negative imprints (kusanskaras, कुसंस्कार - negative, inferior, undesirable imprints on the subconscious mind as a result of earlier births) which work as gravity to pull him down into low ambitions, lowly desires and negative thinking. Hence, a Brahman constantly indulges himself in Japa (mantra recitation), dhyana (meditation), satsang (company of holy men, lectures, or reading holy books), etc to constantly cleanse/wash/rinse his subtle body (his mind and intellect = chitta) from these negativities. These practices serve as a projectile that provide him the escape velocity to transcend the gravitational pull of his kusanskaras; ultimately, he settles in the infinite space of Brahma/Godhood/divinity and merges into him.
On analyzing the above castes, it is seen that only the Kshetriya and the Brahman live a serviceful life. A Kshetriya serves his society selflessly; he fights for her protection. Similarly, a Brahman also lives for the welfare of others. He constantly spreads “satgyan” (true knowledge of the self, as opposed to the school education). Hence, both live a “Yagyia” lifestyle (यज्ञियाजीवन= sacrificial lifestyle; derived from the word yagya which means sacrifice/offering), which fulfils the purpose of human life.
 
Having thus explained, it is quite clear that one cannot claim to be a Brahman by birth or lineage. Every individual is born a Sudra; the status of a Brahman or a Kshetriya has to be earned. Mere calling oneself Brahman doesn’t make one a Brahman; it will instead pollute the meaning behind the caste system itself. It is very unfortunate that, today, street vendors reading ancient Purana or even the priests we summon in our homes for Karmakand call themselves Brahmin. They are mere money-mongers who have adopted the profession of reading some holy books. A Brahmin is one who takes no money for himself; he serves selflessly. He holds true knowledge and is on the path to God-realization. Some recognize the importance of this human life and strive for a higher goal, while others don’t. This is what determines the caste of an individual; one’s caste is what his purpose is, and what he strives for.
The above castes represent four categories of people living righteously. Those who live against the norms of one’s duty/dharma/righteousness are even worse. These people have been categorized in the following castes:
Narkitak (नरकीटक) – These people have been compared to insects/worms living in a human form. They raise no voice against social injustice, corruption, and other bad practices in the society. Like helpless insects, they just keep watching, getting exploited and trampled over. They run away from their duty towards their family and society.
Nar Pashu (नरपशु) – These people, because of their immaturity in thinking, ignorance of right / wrong / ethics / morality, have been considered equivalent to animals. They like to live and acquire comfort at the cost of others. Like animals, they earn their bread by hurting, harming or killing others. Corrupt officials, thieves, robbers, misled youths, and those who spread evil / bad influence, etc. fall into this category.
Nar Pisach (नरपिसाच) – These people, like ghosts and evil spirits, enjoy to see others suffer. They like to scare others, give pain and suffering.
 
Since human life is constantly evolving towards higher goals, it is possible that an individual who is a Sudra today becomes a Brahmin tomorrow. Likewise, a Nar Pashu can become a Sudra tomorrow or vice versa. In absence of proper guidance and knowledge about the ultimate meaning/aim/purpose of life, it is not uncommon for even a Brahmin to fall down to the level of a Sudra. Hence, the meaning and purpose of life should always be sought for, so that we do not lose our tracks and evolve backwards into lower levels of existence.
-compiled from the works of Shri Ram Sharma
 

 
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Posted on 04-12-11 2:18 PM     [Snapshot: 900]     Reply [Subscribe]
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This shit dun hold water.  IF YOU START TAKING WORDS LITERALLY AS THEY WERE WRITTEN A THOUSAND YEARS AGO THAN YO ARE NOT ANY DIFFERENT THAN THOSE BELTWAY BIBLE THUMPERS ON THE EXTREME RIGHT HERE IN THE US.  OR THAT IDIOTIC REDNECK PASTOR WHO BURNT KORANS IN FLORIDA.

Caste system does not  work, it is a discriminating system.  This is the 21st century Shit like dun float no more.  Just like Animal sacrifice.  Do you really think beheading a goat, sheep or a chicken will rid you of all the problems in life ? he he Keep on dreaming.  Or the water becomes impure because someboby crossed your path.  It is kind of oxymoron for these educated people to think this way.   
 
Posted on 04-12-11 2:45 PM     [Snapshot: 947]     Reply [Subscribe]
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It just Irks me when ppl try to categorize other ppl with such limited and ideological characters based out of religious texts of one particular group of people. Sorry Raslia i just skimmed thru your post as the first some paragraph is just completely limited and doesnt celebrate the diverse nature of human evolution.


PLEASE watch a documentary called THE HUMAN TREE made by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHY......whattever the interpretation of religion and philosoply that ppl base their theory on has just developer over the past few centuries. It doesnt explain the scientific explanation and the driving force behind the reason of US being the way we are. I hope it will help ppl see the bigger picture that race, caste ETC doesnt exist. It was amazing to know that the DNA of all the humans dwelling this planet can be traced to one woman in africa who lived about hundred thousand years ago.
 
Posted on 04-12-11 4:15 PM     [Snapshot: 986]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 @Riten 

Bhagvad Geeta 4:13 (Chapter 4 Sloka 13)

 
Posted on 04-12-11 6:13 PM     [Snapshot: 1030]     Reply [Subscribe]
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According to Caste System, those who are exhibiting sheer foolishness are Sudra.

Caste is nothing but what you do.  Touchable and Untouchable idea was created by Dhoti Bahun.  No vedic text mentions about untouchabilty anywhere.

Yes, if you are dirty, you are untouchable.  Why the heck would I like to shake your dirty hand? Why the hell would I eat your stale food?  If you stink, you are untouchable.

 
Posted on 04-13-11 10:20 AM     [Snapshot: 1115]     Reply [Subscribe]
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@nagarikreport
i have read your several posting and you have been caling bauns dothi. i dont how did you get that and i dont know what you are. but, if you think that bauns look like dothi and then yu are calling them dothi, then half of the nepalese population look like mexicans, why dont you call them mexaicns as well. you pice of shitttteeee. ignorant prick. if you don not have anyrespect for nepalese citizen then go burn you pasport and never call yourself a nepali. because you also might look like one of the several people on this world.

And if you are calling bauns dhoti because of the religious morales then you might call a german a polish and they have similar religion and bot of them look alike and are white. if you say them- i bet they will shove up their dickendra up your assendra
you are a racist prick and if some one ask you who are amerian you belong to those category of people who'd say- if you aint white you aint american.

nepal is many ways is like america- people settled in US first to escape the religious conflict in england, and then people started to settle here. same in nepal- we all came from different part of that region went up the hills to get away from the religious conflict with others. what i am saying is -nepal is as diverse as the US and so please have respect for the people. i bet you wouldnt call an american -an irish or an engish or a german. and you wouldnt say them to go to their country would you? i bet this time it'd be their dickendra and your mukendra

so mind what you say.

 
Posted on 04-13-11 11:06 AM     [Snapshot: 1126]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Eternal Sunshine,

American from Irish descent--> Irish American
American from German descent--> German American
American from Iranian descent-->  Iranian American

They still retain their heritage after migrating to US, like St. Patricks Day and Octoberfest.  And their religious beliefs as well, Irish are generally Catholics, Germans genrally Lutheran, and Iranians generally Shi'ite.

Comparing US with Nepal is like talking apples and oranges.


 
Posted on 04-13-11 11:48 AM     [Snapshot: 1147]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Last edited: 13-Apr-11 11:48 AM
Last edited: 13-Apr-11 11:49 AM

 
Posted on 04-13-11 12:39 PM     [Snapshot: 1177]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 @bathroom coffee- i dont think you got the gist of what i was trying to say. i think i am here quite while to know what an irish american is.
 
Posted on 04-13-11 1:27 PM     [Snapshot: 1187]     Reply [Subscribe]
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EternalSunshine,"So ! Wots your point ?"
 
Posted on 04-13-11 3:10 PM     [Snapshot: 1216]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I am not a religous person but I have immense respect for my religion.

I have ignored this thread so far, but reading the first post I am drawn to it. Maybe because I find a vindication in our religion, thinking the caste system by inheritance was not preached by our religion after all.

But what I read is the translation of a pundit, not what the Geeta says. I'd appreciate if anybody can show me which shloka/grantha or veda preaches what is written in the first posting (Shri Ram Sharma).

Amitraja, I looked at the Chapter/Sloka you quoted (4:13) and did find the mentioning about 4 caste system, but it says the God created them. Nothing says that you don't inherit but earn a particular caste.

4:13
cātur-varṇyaḿ mayā sṛṣṭaḿ

guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ

tasya kartāram api māḿ

viddhy akartāram avyayam

Translation:
cātur-varṇyaḿ mayā sṛṣṭaḿ

guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ

tasya kartāram api māḿ

viddhy akartāram avyayam

Source: http://vedabase.net/bg/4/13/
 
Posted on 04-13-11 3:10 PM     [Snapshot: 1219]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Translation was:
According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable
 
Posted on 04-13-11 3:45 PM     [Snapshot: 1235]     Reply [Subscribe]
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@Stiffler: Thanks for taking the effort to bring that up ! If you read your very post, you can see that the cast system was created by the Supreme Consciousness (which lord Krishna claims to be) on the basis of "Guna", "Karma" and Swavabh" of an individual. This is exactly what the article is saying. Caste system is not based by birth or lineage. The article says that it has to be earned. What one's caste is depends entirely on his intrinsic qualities (his guna and swavabh), and what he strives for in life (his Karma). People with high morals, high ethics and values who aim for higher goals belong to higher castes; on the contrary, those with selfish motives and narrow boundaries belong to lower castes. This in accordance to the Guna, Karma and swavabh; and this is what the article is saying.
 
Posted on 04-13-11 4:21 PM     [Snapshot: 1242]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 @bathroomcoffee
th point is that nepal is as rich and as diverse as america (well out migration may be several thousand yrs and american may be few hundred) and people should have respect too for other ethinic classes as they do in the US (well there may be some exceptions)
the point also is we are all nepalese no matter what ethnic class we belong to.

i was upset and pissed with nagarikreprot so i gave him my opinion

 
Posted on 04-13-11 5:40 PM     [Snapshot: 1255]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 @ stiffer 

I was just giving refrence to the Chapters in Geeta. I was not trying to advocate what  risalsa  mentioned in the original post was exact interpretation of Geeta (4:13)

For me I don't beleive in caste system. But I beleive how a person brought up (grown), family values and home environments can turn bramins to sudra and vice versa. Unfortunately we beleive that disregarding hindu culture and embracing western culture is cool, Please try to observe and learn good things from all cultures no matter its Hindu, Christian, Islamic or even ethiest. 


Last edited: 13-Apr-11 05:41 PM

 
Posted on 04-14-11 12:01 AM     [Snapshot: 1307]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Well, if Brahmans wear Dhoti, why are they ashamed of their Dhoti?  Dhoti and Brahman goes together.

 
Posted on 04-14-11 12:03 AM     [Snapshot: 1309]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Modern Brahmans are practicing Sudra.  Although they may be born Brahman, they typically represent the Sudra Quality.  All Hindus are Dhotis but Brahmans are ahead in the line.  They were born with Dhoti attached.  Wouldn't it be fun to pull Brahman's Dhoti?

 
Posted on 04-14-11 8:13 AM     [Snapshot: 1348]     Reply [Subscribe]
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@mero_desh
I think I wasn't clear on my last post. I totally agree with the article but the article is merely an opinion, a translation. What I want to see is something written in our sculpture that says Caste system doesn't follow any heritage or lineage. The shlokas I have found so far, only acknolwedge the presence of the caste system, nothing disassociates it from lineage.

I want to be a proud hindu and point to our shlokas/vedas that caste system isn't suppose to follow a particular surname.

I actually believe that caste system was inserted in our sculptures to enforce a labor division, a political move from the powerfuls, back in those area. They held a meaning back then (who would clean sewer otherwise) but are irrelevant now.
 
Posted on 04-14-11 9:24 AM     [Snapshot: 1353]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Meros Desh,"Caste system is not based by birth or lineage. The article says that it has to be earned. What one's caste is depends entirely on his intrinsic qualities (his guna and swavabh), and what he strives for in life (his Karma). People with high morals, high ethics and values who aim for higher goals belong to higher castes; on the contrary, those with selfish motives and narrow boundaries belong to lower castes. This in accordance to the Guna, Karma and swavabh; and this is what the article is saying."

It all looks good in paper but the reality is something else.  I have never seen a chyamey become a pujari(brahmins will never let that happen, they look at it as their birth right).  People did not even let their servants in their kitchen regardless of how much guna or swabhav they had until recently.  Achuts were not let into temples(there are countless jatak tales about it). Regardles of how you put it caste system is DICRIMINATIVE. 

 
Posted on 04-14-11 11:37 AM     [Snapshot: 1397]     Reply [Subscribe]
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जात पात त्यो हण्डी हो , पाखन्डीले बुनेको चक्रब्युह हो ,
अहिलेका नेताले राजनीतिलाई आफ्नो पेवा जागिर जस्ताइ हो .
कलान्तरमा यो सन्स्कार  अनी तेसपछी धर्म मा परिवर्तन हुन्छ ,
कसैले बिरोधमा लेखेको खन्डमा भात्मारा को एउटै स्वर हुन्छ ।


 
Posted on 04-14-11 11:55 AM     [Snapshot: 1402]     Reply [Subscribe]
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The theory of Society evolved since then. Every existence in the planet is vulnerable to its extinction slowly but surely.
And those were the thoughts which were great and right then.
Also Sociology says that every culture, religion, thoughts, beliefs has to be changed according to the time.
So keep changing...


 



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