Friday, December 16, 2016

Ammu Deepa writes

Face Wash

Since it was dripped
Drop by drop
Untouching and
The four varna system
Could be implemented

Varna: Relates to the Four social classes system of Hinduism. The ones outside this system are called Avarna. Varna also refers to colour or skin tone. 

 --tr Ra Sh


1 comment:

  1. The "caste system" in India is a system of social stratification based on two different concepts, "jati" and "varna." Jati refers to birth. The thousands of jatis developed in post-Vedic times, possibly from crystallisation of feudal guilds; their names are usually derived from occupations and are generally considered to be hereditary and endogamous (marrriage being restricted to members of the same social unit). Varna refers to the four social classes (Brahmins [priests, scholars, teachers], Kshatriyas [rulers, warriors, administrators], Vaishyas [cattle herders, farmers, artisans, merchants], and Shudras [laborers, service providers]) of Vedic society. Other groups, now known as Dalits ("oppressed, divided, split, broken, scattered" in Sanskrit), were historically excluded from the varna system ("due to their grievous sins") and are still ostracised as untouchables; the Dharma-sastras also included barbarians and unrighteous, unethical people as "patita" (outcastes). The collapse of Mughal power in the 18th century led to the rise of powerful men who associated themselves with kings, priests, and ascetics, thus affirming the regal and martial form of the caste ideal, and it also reshaped many apparently casteless social groups into differentiated caste communities. In 1794 Sir William Jones translated the "Manava Dharmasastra" (the "Manusmriti," Laws of Manu), a legal text among the many Dharma-sastras, dating from the 2nd century BCE to to 3rd century CE. The British used it to formulate their Hindu laws, and in consolidating their control between 1860 and 1920, the British codified rigid caste organization, segragting the population by caste, and granting administrative jobs and senior appointments only to the upper castes. "Varna" is from the Sanskrit root "vṛ," (to cover, envelop, count, classify consider, describe, choose) and in the "Rig Veda" (ca. 1000 BCE) meant color, outward appearance, exterior, form, figure, or shape, while in the 4th-century "Mahabharata" it meant color, tint, dye, or pigment; one of the characters, Bhrigu, described Brahmins as white, Kshtriyas as red, Vaishyas as yellow, and Shudras as black, but Bharadvaja pointed out that bile and blood flow from all human bodies. In some Vedic and medieval texts "varna" meant race, tribe, species, kind, sort, nature, character, quality, or property of an object or person. The concept of the varna system originated in the "Purusha Sukta" section of the "Rig Veda," though the term "varna" was not used. The primordial deity Purusha had thousands of heads, eyes, and feet; 1/4 of him was everthing that exists, and 3/4 of him was all that was immortal in the sky. He sacrificed himself to himself, and the ghee he used became the spring), the fuel became summer, and the other sacrificial offerings became autumn; from the sacrifice came the Vedas, poetry and ritual, birds, and wild and domestic animals. His dismemberment led to the Brahman emerging from his mouth, the Rajanya (rather than the Kshatriya) from his arms, the Vishya from his thighs, and the Shudra from is feet. (In the Dharma-sastras, only the first three groups were "dvija" (twice born) and allowed to study the Vedas.) In addition, the moon sprang from his mind, the sun from his eyes, thunder and fire from his mouth, wind from his breath, the Antariksha (the intermediate space between Heaven and Earth) from his navel, the sky from his head, the earth from his feet, and the four directions from his ear.


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