सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Varna"







In General

1.The society is divided into four varna or class according to the work each person perform. Brahmin , Ksatriya , Vaisya , and Sudra are the four Varnas with each have their own particular duty to perform. Varna is sometimes called as caste but in actual practice caste is subdivision of four Varnas.

the B.G. Says, the four Varna is created by the Lord Himself according to the qualities and work (guna karma) of each person. Vedic and puranic period saw aristocratic rule with Ksatriyas at the rulers and Brahmins as advisers. Vaisyas have the duty of trade and agriculture. Sudras are the working class who support the three other Varnas.

The Varna system prevailed in India even during Vedic age. But the membership in cast was not according to birth even during Puranic age. The Sarasvati - Sindu excavation gives evidences that the four Varna lived separately but used all the common facilities. The ugly turn of event like untouchability, restriction in using public facilities was prevalent only during the last 8 centuries where foreigners were ruling the country. The ruler only promoted higher caste prejudices against lower caste and lower caste’s hatred against higher caste. It is by the effort of the Bhakti cult sages this evil was brought down to some extent. During 20th century great movement lead by Gandhiji, Dr. Ambedkar, and many other regional leadership started against the evil practice and that brought revolutionary changes in Hindu society.

It is true that there some references which denigrate the status of Sudras and consider them as third class people exist in Puranas and Darmasastras. But the general attitude of Veda, Purana and Darmasastra is not in support of this attitude. So we can only say, those stray verses can be either interpolated or unfortunate references and thus we should not consider them as authentic or worth to follow.

2. Varna also means colour or appearance


During the Vedic period the four Varnas were recognized, but hierarchy was not established. The R.V. says the knowledge in it should be spread to all human kind without any reservation. In Chandogya Upanishads we can see many kings who were also great scholars and they boast that brahmavidya was first practiced by Ksatriyas.

The Purushasuktam says the Brahmana was created from the face of the Purusha, Ksatriyas (Rajanyam) from the hands, Vaisya from the body and Sudra from the legs.

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Word Sanskrit IAST In General Veda Purana