Brahmano asya mukhamaseet | Bahoo rajanya krta |
Ooru tadasya yad vaishya | Padbhyam shoodro ajayata ||
From His mouth came forth the Brahmana (Spiritual Wisdom and Splendour);
And of His arms were Rajan (Administrative and Military Prowess) created;
From His stomach came the Vaishya (Commercial and Business Enterprise);
And His feet gave birth to Shudra (Productive and Sustaining Force)…. Purusha Suktam hymn 13.
This is Varna segregation according to Purusha Suktam which appears in the Tenth Mandala of Rig Veda. Here the Purusha is (Cosmic Being) and the hymn describes the evolution of the Cosmos and holds that the entire Cosmos is nothing but the projection of that Cosmic Being. Since it is accepted that everything has emanated from the same source one has to agree that same divinity pervades in all of them.
Now if every single manifestation is sprung out of the same source, why does it appear as though the Purusha Suktam hymn sanctioned a hierarchical discrimination???
The answer to this is in the previous hymn the 12th. There are many questions asked like what came out of the face of the Purusha? What came of His arms? What came of His stomach and feet?
As an answer to these questions the subsequent hymn (13th) uses the metaphor of the Cosmic Being envisioned as the human body to explain the various parts of the vast Cosmos. The various parts of the human body are likewise, compared with the different classes of the society namely scholars, kings, traders and workers.
When knowledge and wisdom manifest in an individual he is Brahmana. When the power of courage and physical strength is manifested he is a Kshatriya. The authority over economics and finance manifests in a Vaisya. And finally most important the power of skill and workmanship manifests in a Shudra. There is no hierarchical discrimination at all if one ponders on that particular hymn.
Brahmanas are preaching class hence for them mouth and speech is very important. Hence the hymn relates them to be born from His mouth. Kshatriyas represent physical strength and muscle power. It is so obvious that we judge a person whether he is strong or not, by looking at his muscles particularly in the arms and the shoulders. No wonder why the hymn linked the warriors to be born from His shoulders. The merchants and traders store both their inventory and cash and stomach is the place where the consumed food is stored. So Vaishyas are said to be born from His stomach. Finally the service and workforce, without whom the other three sections cannot stand on their own, hence Shudras are said to be born from the Purusha's legs.
This stupid claiming that because the Shudras came from the feet, they have been “doomed to endless pariah status” in society is a distortion of the meaning and spirit of the hymn. It also violates reason. When every organ of the body has emanated from the whole cosmic Purusha, how can any one part be singled out and said to be inferior to the rest? It is as absurd as claiming that the feet are less important than the head? Moreover to me my head is as important as my shoulder, my stomach and my feet.
Those Brahmin-bashers known only this 13th hymn of Purusha Suktam further if they continue they can find in hymn 15 that even our planet earth is said to have born out of His feet. Is earth inferior planet then according to those Brahmin-bashers???
Purusha Suktam has 24 hymns but the most talked about and most popular is that 13th hymn. The entire 24 hymn if read and understood properly one can transcend above all these shortcomings and comprehend the vastness and from their experience the oneness with that Infinite Absolute called PURUSHA…..what say???