Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat spoke at an event at the Ravindra Natya Mandir to commemorate the 647th birth anniversary of Saint Shiromani Rohidas. During his address, Bhagwat emphasized the idea that all people are equal before God, regardless of their name, ability, or honor.
Bhagwat stated that the notion of caste superiority is a false illusion perpetuated by pandits based on the shaastras and urged people to set aside these beliefs. He asserted that people’s consciences and consciousness are the same across the country, but their opinions may differ.
The RSS Chief described Saint Rohidas as having a stature greater than that of Tulsidas, Kabir, and Surdas, which is why he is considered the Saint Shiromani. He explained that although Saint Rohidas was not able to win over the Brahmins in shastrath, he still managed to touch many hearts and inspire belief in God.
RSS प्रमुख मोहन भागवत का बड़ा बयान
— India TV (@indiatvnews) February 6, 2023
Bhagwat emphasized that religion is not simply about filling one’s stomach, but about doing one’s work in accordance with their beliefs, uniting society, and working for its progress. He highlighted that Saint Rohidas gave four mantras to society: truth, compassion, inner purity, and continuous hard work and effort.
Finally, Bhagwat emphasized the importance of paying attention to the world around us while not abandoning our religion. He stated that while the methods of conveying religious messages may differ, the messages themselves are one and the same, and people should practice their religion without ill will towards other faiths.
Exploring the Caste System in Hindu Shastras
Shastras are ancient Hindu scriptures that discuss various aspects of Hinduism, including social customs and traditions. Regarding caste, the Shastras suggest a caste system where people are divided into different social classes based on their birth and occupation. This caste system assigns different levels of prestige and duties to individuals based on their caste. However, many people believe that this caste system has led to social inequality and discrimination, and some have rejected it as being at odds with the principles of equality and universal brotherhood.
The caste system in Hinduism is believed to have been developed over many centuries, with its origins rooted in ancient Indian society. The concept of caste can be traced back to the texts of the Vedas, ancient Hindu scriptures. Over time, the caste system became more rigid, with people being assigned to different castes based on their birth, occupation, and social status. The caste system was further solidified during the British colonial rule in India, when the British created a census system that categorized people into different castes. While the caste system has been criticized for promoting social inequality and discrimination, it still continues to exist in some form in modern India.
The Hindu scriptures, including the Vedas, Puranas, and Manusmriti, have various references to the caste system and the role of the Shudra caste. According to these texts, the Shudras were traditionally considered to be the lowest caste and were limited in the occupations they were allowed to pursue and the rights they were accorded. The Manusmriti, an ancient Hindu law text, describes the Shudras as having limited access to education and spiritual pursuits, and being relegated to manual labor and serving the higher castes.
However, it’s important to note that the caste system as described in the Hindu scriptures has evolved over time and its interpretation and implementation vary widely across different regions and communities. The caste system has been widely criticized for promoting inequality and discrimination, and many modern Hindu leaders and organizations reject the idea of caste-based discrimination and advocate for social equality.
The caste system in India is an ancient social hierarchy that has been present for thousands of years and has deeply influenced the social and cultural fabric of the country. The caste system is based on the belief that individuals are born into certain castes and are expected to perform certain tasks and follow certain professions associated with their caste. This system has been criticized for perpetuating discrimination and inequality, as individuals belonging to lower castes are often subjected to social, economic, and political disadvantages.
According to Hindu scriptures, the caste system was created by the divine being Brahma, with the four main castes being the Brahmins (priests and scholars), Kshatriyas (warriors and rulers), Vaishyas (merchants and traders), and Shudras (servants and laborers). However, there are several theories that suggest that the caste system may have evolved from the ancient Indian social structure, where individuals were divided into different professions based on their skills and abilities.
The caste system in India has undergone several changes and reforms over the years. During the British colonial rule, the caste system was codified and perpetuated through laws and regulations, which further entrenched the social hierarchy and perpetuated discrimination. The Indian constitution, which was adopted in 1950, abolished untouchability and provided for affirmative action for individuals belonging to lower castes, known as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Despite these reforms, the caste system continues to be a pervasive influence in Indian society and is often associated with discrimination and unequal treatment. Lower castes are often subjected to economic, social, and political disadvantages, including limited access to education, employment opportunities, and political representation. Moreover, the caste system has been used as a tool of oppression by individuals and groups in power, who use it to maintain their dominance and control over society.
In conclusion, the caste system in India is a complex and controversial issue that has deeply influenced the country’s social and cultural fabric. While it has undergone significant reforms and changes over the years, it continues to be a source of discrimination and inequality for individuals belonging to lower castes. Efforts must be made to address this issue and promote equality and social justice in India.
- Ilaiah, K. (1996). The caste question: Dalits and the politics of modern India. University of California Press.
- Jaffrelot, C. (1996). India’s silent revolution: The rise of the lower castes in North India. Permanent Black.
- Thapar, R. (1966). A history of India. Penguin UK.