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ABSURDITY OF BHAGVAD-GITA’S CASTE BIASES
To the uninitiated, Bhagvad-Gita was a discourse between Prince Arjuna and his charioteer Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, on the eve of the battle of Mahabharata, chronicled by Vyāsa through the medium of Sanjaya. In order to appreciate the Gita's caste component, as opposed to its philosophical content, we must realize that whereas Arjuna was a Kshatriyā, perceived to be the second highest rung of the Hindu caste-ladder (below Brahmins but above Vaisyās), Krishna, Vyāsa as well as Sanjaya were Shudras, the supposedly low end of it.
Given his belief in and concern for his caste purity, Arjuna could be expected to have voiced his fears to Krishna over the impending death of multitudes of his caste-men at the very outset in ch1 -
Die aged en masse dharma's votaries
Won't that let go youth ours haywire?
Sex ratio adverse that war ensues
Turns women soft on caste barriers.
Fallen women all go to hell
What is more their bastards rob
Posthumous rites of forebearers.
Liaisons low of women wanton
Set our race on ruinous course.
However, Krishna being a Shudrā, would he have deprecated his own community in v32, ch9 in which it is stated that 'women, Vaisyās and Shudrās could win the Lord's favor through devotion', sounding as if they are all in an inferior league. Doubtful, isn't it?
Moreover, having earmarked the caste duty of Shudrās as menial work (v44 ch18), how come then Krishna would have assumed the role of a philosopher? Not only that, Vyāsa, the transmitter of the Gita to the world was a seer nonpareil credited with the compilation of the Vedas, which is no mean a task leave alone a menial work!
That brings into question the veracity as well as the credibility of v41 thru v46 of ch18 that describe the mundane duties of man on the basis of his caste (never mind Brahmin Dronācharya and his valorous son Ashwathāma were donning the role of Kshatriyās in the very battlefield at that time) besides the foundational caste-oriented v13ch4 in the Gita - chātur varnyam mayā srustam, the plain reading of which would have us believe that the Lord Himself created the four-caste system to suit the inclinations of a given soul towards certain earmarked calling of social and spiritual life in this world. And then, as a rider that is vague at the very best; Krishna supposedly said that though He is the author of it all, He should not be deemed as the doer.
In view of the above, it is absurd that Krishna in the Bhagvad-Gita would have formulated these caste biases and erected their functional barriers in ch18 through -
V47. It is better to do one's own dharma, even though imperfectly, than to do another's dharma, even though perfectly. By doing one's innate duties, a person does not incur sin.
V48. One should not abandon duties born of one's nature, even if one sees defects in them, O son of Kunti. Indeed, all endeavors are veiled by some evil, as fire is by smoke.
To the observant mind, it would be apparent that 110 inane verses listed below could be nothing but mischievous interpolations by the priestly class to subserve its mundane interests.
Ch. 3: s9 –s18, s24 and s35 (12 slokas); Ch.4: s11 - s 13, s24- s32 and s34 (13 slokas); Ch.5: s18 and s27 -29 (4 slokas) ; Ch. 6: s10-s17 and s41 -s42 (10 slokas) ; Ch.7: s20 –s23 (4 slokas) ; ch.8: s5, s9- s14 and s23-s28 ( 13 slokas) ; Ch.9: s7,s15-s21, s23-s25, and s32-s34 (14 slokas) ; Ch.11: s9- s14 and s29 (7 slokas) ; Ch.13: s10, s22 and s30 (3 slokas) ;Ch.14: s3 -s4 and s19(3 slokas) ; Ch.15: s9 and s12- s15 (5 slokas ); Ch.16: s19 (1 sloka) ; Ch.17: s11- s14 and s23- 28 (10 slokas) and Ch.18: s12, s41-48, s56 and s61(11 slokas )
Now it's time for all to follow Krishna's advice to Arjuna in
That thee heard of this wisdom
For task on hand now apply mind.
So, it is for the Shudras to realize that in reality, the Bhagvad-Gita was the pristine work of their progenitors, Krishna 'n Vyasa that in time got polluted by the others, and it is time for them to reclaim it by ridding those as done in my 'Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of Self-help', and the ebook and audio rendition of which is available at Write Spike
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