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Reinforcement Of The Caste System In The Bhagavad Gita

968 words - 4 pages

In The Bhagavad Gita there are many references to the caste system, or Varnas. It explains the way men and women of ancient India should act and behave according to Hinduism. Throughout the book there are many examples of the things Hindus are expected to do. These pieces of advice range from anything to the jobs certain people have to the way they are allowed to dress.
The Varna is one of the earliest known mentions of a caste system, where the human body is used to depict the structure of Indian society. This caste system not only stresses social hierarchy but also interdependence within each separate caste. The four castes in this system are the Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and the Sudra. The Brahman, or priestly caste, is represented by the head; the Kshatriya, the warrior caste, are the arms; the Vaishya, the traders and landowners, are the legs; and the Sudra caste, the servants of the other castes, are the feet. Along with these different castes come different responsibilities. The Brahmin is giving the highest class, but also has to live by very strict laws and orders. The Brahmin are not allowed to gather their own food, or use violence as a means of self-defense. This is only one example of how the Varnas are interdependent, without the other castes the Brahmins could not survive. Aside from the Brahman the Kshatriya also live by different standards. This caste includes warriors and kings that are expected to be brave and level headed. This caste is expected to defend the society and keep everyone safe. While the Vaishya are known to raise cattle, do trading, and are involved in agriculture. Finally, there is the Sudra caste. They were only given the task of serving the other castes by cleaning, leather working, removal of garbage, and any other tasks that needed to be done.
Throughout The Bhagavad Gita, Krishna gives examples of the reinforced caste system. One verse explains, “There is no being on earth or in heaven, or among the gods – no being who is free from these three gunas born of nature” . This verse clearly states that the caste system applied to everyone in the society. No matter how much money, property, or popularity one had they were all included in the caste system. It was these things that determined ones places and how high up in society they would be. “Scorchers of the Enemy, the actions of the Brahmin priests, Kyshatriya warriors and Vaishya merchant are portioned out by the gunas, sources of each innate nature” . As the eighteenth disclosure continues it begins to explain the traits the duties performed by each of the castes.
After discussing the different aspects of each caste, Krishna explains that by doing...

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