Downward swing of the civilization pendulum? Part 1
Well, I am a thinker, to be precise I think a lot, I think about a thing till my mind becomes clear about it, these days I am lucky, I can discuss it with others, who share their views and I can assess mine. Earlier my friends wanted to talk about movies, dresses, recipes and I wanted to talk about bizarre things like can a butterfly see things just the way I do! So i trained myself to become a listener, I listened to them without talking much.
I often mull over the forbidden “whys” that teachers utterly detest, I learnt my lesson in a very early age that generally teachers don’t respond to whys and they really don’t like students thinking out of sandbox, so I headed for books to quench my thirst, lucky me! Just as I was sharing my thoughts with a blogger friend of mine, just like him, I too used to pass time reading encyclopedias and thoroughly enjoyed that too. These days I use internet as it’s substitute, the only problem is sifting though, a lot of “authentic” sites are not authentic at all!
Well, courtesy Agnishatdal I am studying history books, texts again and am remembering old things, things that I once have studied and then forgotten. Will love to share them with you!
These are about India, mostly about Hindus, because honestly I am not an expert of religions, Hinduism is in my blood so I know about it, because I grew up in it, in cases of other religions all I can cite are history book excerpts, which sadly are sometimes monitored, censored and sometimes distorted too! That is the trend of current (?) phase of human civilization, distort history for your political benefits!
Now comes the notorious “caste system” the system that has given Hinduism a really bad name, it certainly is quite as ugly as slave system, holocaust, shia – sunni enmity…
But, when it originated it was harmless- nomad Aryans became settlers in India, they started building villages and towns, so naturally the earlier two divisions the warriors and the shepherds were to be further diversified, thus came four classes- Brahmins the scholars, Kshatriya the warriors, Baishya the business men and Shudra the slaves.
The first three were called dwijas twice born, once when they were actually born and second time when they started wearing the holy thread that is called paita in Bengali and janeu in Hindi, though these days only Brahmins (or fake Brahmins) can wear them. Shudras were not allowed to participate in Hindu rituals.
Now, before you become really aghast with the system let me drop the bombshell ;p Shudras were not allowed to participate in Hindu rituals not because of hatred, but because they were not Hindus, they were slaves, Dravidians! So most probably they were not interested either, and in place of forcing their religion on them Hindus did what is fair, they allowed them to practice their own religion.
When it was initiated it was not forced upon anyone, anyone could take up any of the four classes, and inter-marrying was possible, son could pick up another class (vocation) than his father’s and so on. So it was all about lifestyle, vocation- no whipping or shackles! We have read about sons of Kshatriya Kings who were demoted to shudras, later by own deeds uplifted themselves to Rishis, sages! So… you can see it was nothing like the thing it became in middle ages, the disease from which Mahatma Gandhi saved us! By using his immense influence on people he changed their mindset about these tortured, abused people.
Though things have improved a lot, hopefully as the government mostly does not encourages atrocities against dalits things may change back to vedic age, or close to it.
I will say that we did corrupted a very intelligent system that our ancestors at vedic time created. So this is first instance of downward swing of Hinduism pendulum I will say.