Who were the shudras ?



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I


The question why the Brahmins, because of their quarrels with a few kings, should proceed to degrade the whole community of Shudras is not only relevant but is also very pertinent. There would, however, be no difficulty to answer this question if two things are borne in mind.

In the first place, the conflicts described in Chapter 9 between the Brahmins and the Shudra kings were not individual conflicts though they appear to be so. On the side of the Brahmins there is no doubt that the whole class was involved. Barring the episode relating to Vasishtha, all other episodes relate to Brahmins in general. On the side of the kings, it is true that the episodes mention individual kings as being involved in this conflict with the Brahmins. But it must not be forgotten that they all belonged to the same line to which Sudas belonged.

In so far as Sudas is concerned, the conflict was between the Brahmins and the Shudra clan of Kshatriyas. Of this, there can be no doubt. We have no direct evidence to say that the other offending kings also belonged to the Shudra clan of Kshatriyas. But we have other evidence which leads to the conclusion that they belonged to the same line of descent as Sudas.

Attention is invited to the following genealogical tree appearing overleaf which is taken from the Adi Parvan of the Mahabharata.*[f55]

The inter-relationship of the Kshatriya kings who came in conflict with the Brahmins throws some interesting light On the subject, Pururavas[f56] is the son of Ila and the grandson of Manu Vaivasvata. Nahusha[f57] is the grandson of Pururavas. Nimi [f58] is one of the sons of Ikshvaku, who is the son of Manu Vivasvat. Trishanku [f59] is 28th in descent from lkshvaku. Sudas [f60] is descended from lkshvaku and is 50th in descent from him. Vena [f61] is the son of Manu Vaivasvata. All of them claimed descent from Manu, some from him and some from lkshvaku. Being descendants of Manu and lkshvaku, it is possible to argue that they were all kindred of Sudas. Given the fact that Sudas is a Shudra, it follows logically that all these kings belonged to the Shudra group.

We have no direct evidence, but there would be nothing unnatural in supposing that in these conflicts with the Brahmins, the whole Shudra community, not merely a few Shudra kings, was involved. This conflict, it must be remembered, has taken place in the ancient past when life was tribal in thought and in action, and when the rule was that what was done by one individual belonging to the tribe was deemed to be done by the whole tribe. In all ancient societies the unit was the tribe or the community and not the individual, with the result that the guilt of the individual was the guilt of the community and the guilt of the community was the guilt of every individual belonging to it. If this fact is borne in mind, then it would be quite natural to say that the Brahmins did not confine their hatred to the offending kings, but extended it to the whole of the Shudra community and applied the ban against Upanayana to all the Shudras.



 

 

 

 

 

MARICHI

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

KASYAPA=Dakshayani (one of the daughters of Daksha Prajapati)




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

Adityas

Vivasvat

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

MANU

YAMA

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

( had 10 sons)

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vena Dhrishnu Naushyauta Nabhaga Ikshvaku Karusha Saryati ila Prishadra Nabhagaushla











































































































































 
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