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The vedic civilization and evolution of society in India

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posted on Oct, 22 2011 @ 09:18 PM
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Shri Rama fasts for three days to appease 'god of sea'

Hanuman and Sugriv asks Vibhishan for advice on how to cross the sea to reach Lanka. This seems very logical as Vibhishan knew the topography of the area, as well as defences of Lanka, so he was in the best position to tell.

Vibhishan says 'Shri Rama should go to protection of the Sea' - basically means 'sea can give way'. I take it that Ravann had the capability to sink the boats from undersea submarines. So Vibhishan advises against building boats.

Shri Rama fasts for three days to appease the god of the sea, but nothing happens. Then on the fourth day Shri Rama get angry and says I shall dry the sea by my arrow, so that Vanars can cross by walking on the sea floor. Then Sugriv intervenes saying that Nal and Neel will build a bridge to cross the sea.

Nal and Neel must have taken this time to find the shortest route to Lanka, and to find the depth of the sea channel etc., as they were engineers and would do a proper survey before taking a decision on construction method.

Why did Shri Rama fast? Every Arya knows that sea cannot respond to a human, as sea is non-living. So Shri Rama's fast seems in vain.

Three day fasting in Vedic society is done to cement a 'Dridh pratigya' or a steadfast vow, that Shri Rama took to kill Ravann whatever may come. Three day fast is done before starting 'Brahmcharya', and starting 'Vanprastha' as these are very difficult stages to accomplish.

The fast is a way to show Vanars the commitment of Shri Rama to accomplish his goal. This energized the Vanar army to find a way to cross the sea.




posted on Oct, 22 2011 @ 09:28 PM
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Is there a god of the sea

The material powers of God (which uses matter or what is made of Prakriti) is called a 'jad devta' or inanimate god in Vedic system. The power of water, wind, earth, sun etc are inanimate gods. Inanimate gods are never worshipped. There is only one God who uses the powers of nature to accomplish his acts - He can use such powers to help or kill a person.

Wind, water etc are called 'devta' due to immense power hidden in them. 'Devta' means great or powerful.



posted on Oct, 22 2011 @ 10:08 PM
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The many names of God in Veda

People are confused that Vedic people worship many gods. The confusion arises as offering is given to holy-fire in the name of many devtas - like Agni, Indra, Surya, Varun, Prajapati etc.

These are all names of the same God. Each verse describes a property or quality of God that is connected to a manifested power of God.

Agni - Heat or power to burn, melt, vaporize
Indra - Electricity
Surya - Light
Varun - power of water
Prajapati - power to give food to 'jeev' by creating a system of day/night, weather, seasons etc.
Chandrama - The pull and pleasing light of moon creates and circulates juices in plants (in fact in animals as well, as body growth occurs at night). The magnetic power of God is 'chandrama'.

Shri Rama calls God "Ishwar" in Ramayan which is correct as it denotes a combination of all different qualities of God.



posted on Oct, 23 2011 @ 02:14 AM
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The 'varnn' or class system with Sanskrit quotations and explanations

Brahmin

"Adhyaapanam adhyanam yajanam yaajanam thatha|
Daanam pratigrahshchaiv brahmana-naam-akalpyat|| (Manu)

a. To teach Veda, Vedanga, Shastra
b. To learn and study Veda, Vedanga, Shastra
c. To do 'yajna'
d. To conduct 'yajna'
e. To donate
f. To receive donation in return of teaching or conducting 'yajna'

Notes:

A king should provide land to a Brahmin to establish Gurukul etc. King should build the Gurukul and provide assistance to run the Gurukul (like provide cows, money to pay salaries of teachers etc) as needed. If King supports Gurukuls, Brahmins can take in as many students as available without rejecting students due to lack of resources. As explained by Shri Rama to Bharat, King should spend tax-money on education.

Vedic system does not charge money (tuition etc.) from students. Parents can donate to Acharya of Gurukul to help the Gurukul. This system ensures that poor students have equal opportunity as rich ones.

The specialized schools like medicine, and engineering were also run by Brahmins. It is not clear if these schools were supported by the King. Since Brahmin can only accept a voluntary donation for services rendered, it is logical that such schools were also State supported.

Some Brahmins would have been practicing doctors and engineers, and some may have been employed in State service in such roles. Some would have independent practice, for example, some engineers would have workshops to build vehicles, machines etc.



posted on Oct, 23 2011 @ 02:42 AM
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Kshatriya

"Prajanam rakshnam daanam-ijya-adhyanev cha|
Vishayeshva-aprasktishcha kshatriyasya samasatah|| (Manu)

a. To protect citizens (work in army, police, or be a king, administrator etc.)
b. To donate money, food etc. to the worthy
c. To do agnihotra, yajna etc.
d. To study Veda, Vedanga, Shashtra
e. To keep away from bad habits, control over Indriya

Notes:

1. Kshatriya owned agricultural land and used servants to till it, and rear animals like cow, horse, elephants etc.
2. The land was given by King to the Kshatriya families. The land was given for a defined time period, so it is different from feudal system. Land ownership cannot be hereditary in Vedic system, as King owns all land.
3. The Kshatriya families had to provide soldiers for war, when needed by the King, even if not in State employment (draft system).
4. Kshatriya may have controlled industries that produce weapons and ammunition.



posted on Oct, 23 2011 @ 03:15 AM
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Vaishya

"Pashunam rakshnam daanam-ijya-adhyayanmev cha|
vanik-patham kusidam cha vaishwasya krishimev cha||

a. Farming and rearing animals (rear cows to sell cow milk, ghee; rear horses for selling etc.)
b. To donate to the worthy
c. To do agnihotra and yajna
d. To study Veda, Vedanga, Shashtra
e. To trade (after learning foreign languages, accounting, trade practices, business etc.)
f. To lend money for interest

Notes:

1. Vaishya are mostly farmers. so must have been given land on long leases.
2. Vaishya are traders, shopkeepers etc. They may have owned industries producing consumer goods like cloth, utensils, jewellery, bricks, construction materials, etc.
3. Kshatriya and Vaishya, both are given land though only Vaishya are agriculturists. Kshatriya receive a salary in State service in addition to benefit from the land. So in a way, Kshatriya farm and rear animals indirectly, as landholders.



posted on Oct, 23 2011 @ 03:52 AM
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Shudra

"Ekamev hi Shudrasya prabhuh karm samadishatam|
Eteshamev varnanam shushrunamansuyaya||" (Manu)

God has given only one responsibility to shudra - that is to serve other 'varnn' without malice.



posted on Oct, 23 2011 @ 08:20 AM
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Is shudra a slave

No. A shudra is free to switch jobs from one master to another.

The heavy burden of religious study on Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya actually means that they will always need help for tilling the land, rearing the cows and horses, and other household work, in addition to factory work and construction work. So there must be good number of jobs available for shudra.

There were always traditional family occupations like shoemaking, pottery, weaving etc. for the shudra in addition.



posted on Oct, 23 2011 @ 08:40 AM
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There is nothing wrong with Vedic 'Varnn' System

In fact Vedic 'varnn' system is the most logical and most humane structure of any human society. Shri Rama says - feed and pay your servants on time. Vedic people treated servants very well compared to many societies even in the modern world.

The society can be productive and stable only if there is order. Veda establishes a meritocracy where people rich, and poor, powerful and powerless, feel a sense of belonging and duty. There were no strikes in Vedic India. There were no insurrections. People of all classes were satisfied.

The problems started when people of India started getting influenced by foreign thought, and the elite became greedy and lustful. Our kings lived a simple life compared to kings of Egypt. Our people had a say in the Government compared to Egypt where king was purely hereditary. The tributes to king and powerful were non-existent in Indian society, until Vedic culture was strong.

The caste system is not due to Vedic thought, but it is just the opposite. The fact is the caste system has come after the decline of Vedic culture. Veda is totally against inbreeding, so caste marriage is illogical.


edit on 23-10-2011 by vedatruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 23 2011 @ 08:31 PM
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Labour rights - the serving class in Vedic system

a. There is no untouchability or segregation of Shudra. Servants lived in outhouses of a Master's property typically. Some categories of workers called 'shilpi' or artisans were highly paid and lived well. There is a reason to believe separate areas of a town or a city were designed 'class-wise' (opposed to caste-wise), though no such instructions are available in Veda. Housing is a master's responsibility in addition to food etc. for the servants.

b. Forcing servants to live in subhuman conditions, not paying wages, or not providing food, not providing proper living quarters, not providing medical treatment in case of injury etc. are sins committed by the master.

c. Master even gave money for marriage and funeral if the servant was without means.

d. A graduate of Gurukul who has gone through rigorous life will expect others to work hard, but be kind and considerate at the same time. The labour conditions worsened AFTER decline of Vedic education, when illiterate masters mis-understood Vedic rules.



posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 12:11 AM
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The structure of society, land use and taxes

1. Knowledge (gyan) is the most important object in Vedic thought. The person who gives knowledge is the most powerful - can demote King to Shudra status, the worst that can happen to a person in Vedic society.

A king and everybody else bowed to the priests, as the most respected and powerful component of the society. Priests did have power to remove a king. Priests were not servants of the King. A King had to be mindful of the priests.

Brahmins did not own much land, except Acharya of Gurukul who was given agricultural land by the King, to feed residents of the Gurukul. The primary source of income was salary for 'Adhyapak' (teacher) and donations for the Acharya. Acharya was the owner of the Gurukul.

Yajak received donations from conducting yajna (like Sanskar) for householders.

A Brahmin family could easily become poor, if the income from donations fell, or a Gurukul fell in repute etc, as Brahmins were not owners of land.

2. The Kshatriya (warriors) get the bounty of the land. So they are the primary land-holders. Land is awarded as a 'reward' to soldiers. So it is quite logical that land could be taken back as well by the King. The system is a cash-less lease ('patta') system where land is given by State to a soldier's family for a certain time period. The senior officers of the army must have been given fairly large estates like given to Shri Rama which must be his primary source of income. It seems that salary must have been rather modest, and the attraction for State service must be land.

3. The Vaishya farmers are given land by the King as well. It must be the same system of awarding land as in the case of Kshatriya, but the land holding may be smaller. The criteria was 'snatak' or a degree attained in Gurukul. So Vedic education was the basis of attaining material wealth through land.

4. Shudra did not own any land at all. They could not purchase land as well, as agricultural land was always awarded by the King. They would have been given land for residential purposes by the King or other administrators. Potters, weavers etc. would have used their house to carry out their professions.

5. It is clear from this system that available land was almost in hands of the families of Kshatriya and Vaishya. The landholdings were large, so collection of annual revenue and account keeping would have been easy. Since family of King were landholders as well, any change in crop yield etc. would have been well known to the King, so fooling the King by hiding the crop would have been difficult. The tax was 1/6th part of the crop, either in monetary value (coins) or kind. Each landholder had to pay proper share to the King.

6. The allocation and dis-allocation of land to Dwij would have been a substantial work for the King's administration. State would have kept proper written records of such deeds. State's officers would have ensured smooth functioning of this system.

7. A Vedic king becomes very powerful due to control of all productive land in the country. Even residential land would have been at the discretion of the king, as there is no permanent ownership of land in Vedic system.

8. It is clear from Ramayan that forests were outside King's jurisdiction of allotting land and getting taxes. Only agricultural and industrial land was. So while a person cannot convert forest to agricultural use without king's permission, he can use resources of forests for a living like harvesting wood, tubers, flowers, herbs etc. The ingredients for wood-working - wood and natural resins came from the forests.

9. Taxes on mines and industrial goods is not clear from Ramayan. One sixth of the output of the mine could be tax.

I believe goods produced by artisans were free from tax. Food items like milk, ghee, honey etc. did not attract tax. Industrial goods produced domestically would have attracted some tax - though the percentage is not clear. Customs or commerce tax was charged on imported goods. The taxes on industrial or imported goods would have been nominal, in the order of a few percentage points.

10. Tax base of a King is based on good agriculture, good industry, and good commerce. This is true capitalist system.



posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 01:14 AM
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Working hours of Shudra

Typical working hours must have been 9 hours or three 'prahar' for most people including shudra.

If somebody was expected to do extra hours or night duty etc., he must get extra money, just like today.

The shopkeepers, restaurants etc. that use servants for 12 hours or even more without paying extra wages are committing a sin.

Not paying appropriate wages is 'stealing' and an infringement of 'asteya', the five basic rules of 'dharm'.


edit on 24-10-2011 by vedatruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 01:49 AM
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The reasons of decline of Vedic System

Vedic system makes King very powerful due to all land vested with the State. The King has unquestionable authority over who uses land (well, as long as King follows dharm).

So nobody can be prosperous if King is unhappy.

If the royal Priests and the King get corrupted, the entire system can fall like a house of cards. Although educated people have say in appointing a King, removing an existing King requires a strong Priest.

We have kings like Kans and Drithrashtra in Mahabharat epic who have fallen from virtue. There were many other kings as well in the story of Mahabharat who sided with Duryodhan because of decline in virtue. Eleven janapada out of eighteen supported Duryodhan, so that pretty much tells the state of Kings before the war.

The war rooted out the bad and stopped the decline for some time. But the dam has broken, and the water could not be controlled anymore. The fall in virtue has been steady since, and Vedic thought was in serious decline 2000 years after the Mahabharat war.

While Bharat was in decline, civilizations in the East and West were rising. Great civilizations arose in Egypt, China and Mesapotamia, that were non-Vedic civilizations. Trade brought ideas and people from these lands to India. As is often the case with travellers - they tell great stories about their country of origin. Travellers tell the good with hyperbole, while hide the bad. The stories would have reached the courts of our kings, and made our kings jealous of the magnificence that kings of these lands lived with.

Increasing taxes was not possible in Vedic system, so the Kings would have tried to increase revenue in other ways, to pay for their newfound taste for luxuries. They would have favoured imports - to get higher customs duty, and would have favoured foreigners who brought tributes (bribes) for the kings. Over time a lot of foreigners settled in this country, which upset the delicate balance set up for millions of years.

I think it was time out for Bharat. Even the virtuous meet their end. This is the law of God. Nothing lasts, even good, on this mortal planet.

People of this planet will eventually get thoroughly tired of the evil as well. Only the eternal Vedic religion lasts, nothing else. There is no option but to get back to it.


edit on 24-10-2011 by vedatruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 08:27 PM
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The Vedic education

The base of Vedic education is knowledge of Sanskrit language, and Veda that precedes the Shastras or the sciences. The last stage is the specialization meant for different professions.

The features of Vedic education are as follows:

1. Strict discipline
2. Life away from family
3. Hard work - rigorous routine
4. Simple life - kids sleep on the floor, live with bare essentials, have to work in addition to study.
5. Isolated life. No contact with society. No fallback. No entertainment.

Manu Bhagwan has given the age of Brahmcharya as 6-25. It seems that student got admitted at higher age in Krsna's time, maybe kids not able to live away from the family at the young age of 6 as society developed. The age of admission advanced to 8 for Brahmin kids, 10 for Kshatriya kids, and 12 for Vaishya kids.

The ability of children to grasp Veda and remember Veda mantra also declined. The great Yogi tells that Veda stayed in oral form for 1.9 billion years before it was written by Vyaas Muni in Shri Krsna's time. Vyaas Muni felt the need to write down due to falling memory of kids.

The student is not asked to buy any books, stationary or pen in Gurukul. The practice of writing Sanskrit is done on 'takhti' or wood slate. The pen is made of reed or peacock feather. Ink is natural indigo (neel) dye. The wood slate can be washed to erase previous contents, or lime solution is applied to the slate before writing, which can be dusted off with the ink. So the same slate is used repeatedly eliminating the use of paper. Student is expected to remember daily lessons - throughout life - after being taught once.

There were specialized schools in Krsna's time and may have been in Rama's time as well. These schools were for military training, medicine, and engineering (building vehicles, machines, civil construction etc). As these schools were run by different Acharya and were fewer, there must be a system of transfer of a student from one school to the other. However student becomes 'snatak' or graduate only once in life. So the education was complete only at age 25, when all components of education were mastered.

Becoming a 'snatak' or graduation is a big event in the life of a person, and is celebrated when the graduate comes back home with a big ceremony. As wealth in Vedic society is linked to education, there is no doubt about the importance of it. Every parent must be as anxious as today to get the child admitted into a Gurukul.



posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 09:21 PM
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Decline of Vedic Civilization- Reason 1 - Neglect of Education System

Education required significant State support. The kings built the Gurukuls, and provided resources to run the Gurukuls. The neglect of education began much before Krsna's time, so the number of students passing through Gurukuls must have been declining.

There were two distinct parts of Bharat in the time of Krsna - the conservative core of dominant 'janapada' that maintained the traditions, and the peripheral 'janapada' that were weak in following traditions. The rot that set in the West and North-West of Bharat reached the central seat of the emperor at Hastinapur in the reign of Drithrashtra. The anti-Vedic practices of Gandhar started to take root in the central part of the empire. Duryodhan and gang started diverting resources from education etc. to amassing military power and luxuries.

The four most important responsibilities of King in Veda is - 1. Education, 2. Protection of citizens, 3. Establishing and protecting 'dharm', 4. Punishing the guilty

If a King uses taxes only for army and police, and amassing luxuries, but ignores education, 'dharm' and justice, then the country ruled by that king is sure to get destroyed. It is just a matter of time.

The Mahabharat war stopped and reversed the rot in central parts of Bharat for some time. But it restarted after Abhimanyu (grandson of Yudhishtir) became King. It has been downhill since then.

edit on 24-10-2011 by vedatruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 10:32 PM
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Decline of Vedic Civilization

Reason 2 - Increase in population

The balance in population of various classes is needed for efficient functioning of the society.

It is a fact that people with the most economic resources procreate the most. Kshatriya and Vaishya are the people with most economic resources. So logically these classes would form the largest part of the population.

Brahmins are strict followers of Brahmcharya due to the responsibility of lifelong study of Veda. So Brahmin population would stay stable.

Kshatriya population has the hightest possibility of serious increase - as these are landed people, have highest employment in State service, so have the largest pie of economic resources.

Vaishya would also increase in population. Their smaller land holdings mean they will need sons as labour for tilling the land. Each family would want at least one son to become a trader or set up a business, so a Vaishya family would want many sons.

Shudra do not have economic resources, but poor always increase as they have no control over sexual desire, and a poor man would want sons to take care of him in old age.

The above equations are stacked in favour of Kshatriya and against Brahmins. So population increase will automatically put pressure on education - as actually happened before the Mahabharat war. The population increased significantly and so many children of Kshatriya and Vaishya could not go to Gurukul due to low intellectual capacity (and inability of Gurukuls to take them).

The other effect of increase in population is increase in warfare, as more people compete for the same resources. The land area of Bharat did not increase with population. Our kings of Krsna's time did not invade other lands, but rather fought with each other. It is a big mystery why it was so?

The answer lies in geography and culture. Bharat was a society totally dependent on agriculture, and annual cycles of rain, hot and cold that sustains the agriculture. There were natural barriers to the north, to the north-west, and to the west, in the form of high mountains, rocky or barren land, or deserts. The same was true to the east also where high mountains and impassable deep forests segregated Bharat from other lands.

The only growth could take place to the south, and in fact took place. Arya societies migrated southwards from Ramayan time to Mahabharat time, so that the entire central India and some of southern India had Arya communities by Mahabharat time.

But the Arya communities of Tibet, and central Asia no longer existed. Climate changes have forced these people to Afghanistan and then to north-west and west India.

Bharat built boats for river commerce, but never became a maritime nation. There is a tradition in Vaishya community for sons to travel far for trade. but these people stayed within Bharat. Why it is so?

I believe it is due to two major factors - a. food, b. lifestyle.

People of Bharat were vegetarians. Long sea journeys would be difficult without eating fish. Regular bath is not possible on a voyage. The Vedic lifestyle is possible only on land, where vegetarian food and flowing river water or lake water is available. Even travellers are required to take a bath daily, do agnihotra, and eat vegetarian food.



posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 10:51 PM
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Reason 3 - Climate change and decline in agricultural productivity

Post Mahabharat period is a time of rapid climate change in the Indian sub-continent - sea level rise, disappearance of river Saraswati, increase in desert and arid areas, depletion of forests, increase of heat and decrease of rainfall etc., which displaced populations and decreased food production.

The Mahabharat war had an effect on warfare, as there was no serious warfare for a long time. But that did not prevent people from becoming weaker (due to shortage of food). The food production did not increase with the increase in population.



posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 11:06 PM
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Reason 4 - Influx of foreigners

Bharat has seen constant influx of foreigners for a very long time. People who ran away from war and persecution, or immigrants of opportunity, or warriors in search of loot, all arrived in this country.

Most of the people who arrived never went back. The benign nature of the society (specially non-violence) and decay of power of Vedic kings meant that immigrants had a good life here.

The beliefs of immigrants spread in society, slowly eating away at the earlier dominant religion. The ignorance spread by lack of Vedic education, and fall of moral values.


edit on 24-10-2011 by vedatruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 11:47 PM
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reply to post by vedatruth
 


Sorry it is not Abhimanu, it is ParikXit.

ParikXit was the grandson of Arjun who became King.

ParikXit moved the capital from Indraprasth to ParikXitgarh, around 100 km to the north.




edit on 24-10-2011 by vedatruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 25 2011 @ 03:12 AM
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Sins (negative karma)

a. Violence
b. Lying (untruth)
c. Stealing
d. Prostitution (use of sex except as designed by God - for procreation with mutual consent)
e. Collection of physical objects beyond reasonable needs

Good Deeds (positive karma)

a. Cleanliness (body and mind)
b. Satisfaction (Happiness about what one gets from hard work)
c. Worship of God, donation of money and food to the worthy, hosting Learned guests etc.
d. Study of Veda and and related books
e. Blind trust in God - always be happy with God's justice




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