Showing posts with label varnas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label varnas. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is Varnashrama Dharma?

 




What Is Varnashrama Dharma?

In the dharma literature, varnashrama dharma is the ordering of dharma or religious duty based on the hierarchical social ordering of the four major social groups (varnas) and the four successive stages of life (ashramas).



According to this theory, all people would be able to discern their social status and appropriate function based on their social class and stage of life.


The interrelationship between these two sets of categories is often used to denote traditional Hindu society, in theory if not always in fact.


The term survives in modern times, but because the doctrine of the ashramas is now largely ignored, those who uphold varnashrama dharma are primarily defending the hierarchical social divisions commonly known as thecaste system.


What are the four fundamental varnas and what do they do?

The Varna system is a system of social stratification based on caste. 

According to this system, there are four major groups: 

  1. Brahmins (priests, educators, and intellectuals), 
  2. Kshatriyas (warriors, monarchs, and administrators), 
  3. Vaishyas (agriculturalists, merchants, and farmers), 
  4. and Shudras (workers, labourers, artisans).


~Kiran Atma


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Hinduism - What Is Purusha Sukta In The Rig Veda?


("Hymn to Primitive Man") The hymn in the Rig Veda (10.90) that recounts the formation of the material and social universe as the outcome of a primal sacrifice is known by this name.

According to the book, there was once a primal man who was sacrificed and mutilated.

The brahmins originated from the primeval man's lips, the kshatriyas from his shoulders, the vaishyas from his thighs (a popular euphemism for the genitals), and the shudras from his feet, as did the four traditional main social groupings (varnas).

This poem is thought to be one of the most recent hymns in the Rig Veda, since it clearly represents the sacrificial paradigm that was so fundamental to subsequent Brahmana literature.

It is also notable for articulating the four varnas for the first time, as well as the symbolic functions associated with each: speech and the authority of the sacred word for brahmins; protection and military valor for kshatriyas; generation and production for vaishyas; and service to others for shudras.


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Hinduism - Who Are The Kshatriya In A Hindu Society?

 


The kshatriyas were the second most powerful of the four main social groupings in ancient Hindu social philosophy (varnas).

The kshatriyas' role was to rule, defend, and maintain social order in order for the other varnas to carry out their duties.

This picture is represented in the Purusha Sukta, a creation narrative.

The kshatriyas are said to have been produced from the shoulders of the Primeval Man and are associated with strength and power.

In actuality, the kshatriya varna may have been the most permeable of all, since anybody with the authority to govern was sometimes granted de facto kshatriya rank, which could be maintained in subsequent generations by a fictional genealogy.

The Rajputs (“king's sons”), who governed wide swaths of northern and western India at various periods, but whose roots are hazy and ambiguous, are perhaps the clearest illustration of this phenomenon.

 


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.