Ever since the dawn of Hindu civilization till the invasion of the Arabs in the 8th Century, the Indian polity and society had total egalitarian parity, equanimity and equality; free from any kind of ethnic discrimination or evils like untouchability. There was no place for ethnic or caste discrimination, societal stratification or social superiority-inferiority. Our ancient scriptures are replete with unambiguous instructions for total equality and egalitarian equanimity, not only towards humans, but towards all living beings. It is evident from the Shrimad Bhagwadgita shloka that only those people shall achieve salvation and realise God, who are engaged in the total welfare of all living beings.
The common and often-repeated allegation on Hindu traditions has been that the Shudras were always treated contemptuously and were deprived of dignity. It was not so in the ancient past. The Brahmin auxillaries like Gopath Brahmin of Atharv Veda speaks that Shudras are the producers of valuable goods from the sweat of their labour.
The common and often-repeated allegation on Hindu traditions has been that the Shudras were always treated contemptuously and were deprived of dignity. It was not so in the ancient past. The Brahmin auxillaries like Gopath Brahmin of Atharv Veda speaks that Shudras are the producers of valuable goods from the sweat of their labour
This means that the shudras produced valuable products to be traded at a price with profit, by the Vaishya (oS';) to pay tax to the king.
In pursuance of this doctrine, the ‘Kamandak Neetisaar’ recommends that while setting up a township, the king should ensure that it is inhabited by a large number of Shudras, who produce valuable products, and equally large number of Vaishyas who indulge in trading and commerce of these goods produced by Shudras and to pay higher amount of taxes from such a higher level of trade. The Neetisaar emphatically states that number of Brahmins and Kshatriyas should the relatively less, as they are dependent upon the state exchequer for their livelihood. This system had been prevalent till the invasion of Arabs and beyond that even till the eighteenth century, when the European goods under the British rule flooded to erode the Shudra, the productive entrepreneurial-class, engaged in production of valuable goods. This has been testified by Angus Maddison, the renowned British Economic historian in his book, entitled ‘World Economic History - A millennium perspective”, wherein he has stated that India had 33 per cent contribution in world GDP in 1 AD, 30 per cent in 1000 AD, 25 per cent in 1500 AD and 22 per cent in 1700 AD
Europe, Russia, US, Latin America, Japan and China were not anywhere near India in their contribution to the world GDP, till the Shudras had been the productive entrepreneurs of ancient MSME (Micro, small and Medium scale Industrial Enterprise) sector. In the In Mahabharat era, the Shudras had probably been most affluent people in the country to be given the responsibility for extending hospitality to the state guests. In the Anushasan Parv of the Mahabharat, one of the major role for Shudras has been stated to provide hospitality, including lodging and boarding to the state guests. The Shloka reads
To corroborate this fact of hyper affluence of Shudras as the MSME entrepreneurs in that era, several Puranas state that in the ancient past the measuring tape for construction of housing unit of Shudras was embedded with golden fabric. A shloka from Vishwakarma Prakash reads as under
It means that the house measuring tape or the lining and sizing thread of Brahmins was of Kusha or Darbh category grass, for Kshatriya it was made of Munj category grass, for Vaishaya it used to be of cotton thread and for Shudra it was a golden thread in the era. There are lot of misgivings about the access of Shudras to Vedas, which is not true. The Yajurveda in its chapter 26 mantra 2 clearly states asks Rishis to teach Veda to all the four Varnas. The mantra reads as under
It means that “Just as I am speaking these blessed words of Vedas to you people, these words are for the men and women, the Brahmins, Kshtriyas, Vaishyas , Shudras tribes and all others irrespective of the are our own people or aliens.”
Even 442 years back when Tulsidasji composed Ramcharitmanas, he stated that Rajghaat on Sarayu was equally accessible for water to all the four Varnas. This Choupai reads as under
Likewise, Atharva Veda directs all the people i.e. human beings to have equal access to water and food together in its shlok 3.30.06
Thus our tradition before the foreign invasion from 8th century had been egalitarian and of benevolent equanimity and parity to all. In this regard the Mantra rom an Upanishad reads as under:
It means “May every being be happy, May every being free from all diseases, May every being be feel appear blissful, May there not be any trace of sorrow anywhere. Indeed, the evils like untouchability, caste discrimination etc. entered in our society after the Jehadi persecution, the British Colonialism, and consequent Urban stratification in British era which led to destabilisation and erosion of ‘decentralised production, being pursued by Shudras’. In light of this there should be no caste discrimination and all Hindus should behave with each other with equanimity and parity, to build the strong and Samras Bharat.