Saturday, July 13, 2024

“Manu’s Symbols”

Rajendra Singh Baisthakur

Saint Manu wrote a Dharma Sastra (Code of Conduct) in which he said that social structure is made of four types of people viz Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra. He said Brahmins are born from the head of God, Kshatriyas from shoulders, Vaisyas from thighs and Sudras from feet.

Brahmins are knowledgeable and guide society. So they are compared to head. Kshatriyas are kings who protect people and maintain order. They are like shoulders, symbol of strength. Vaisyas are agriculturists who create wealth and support society financially. They are symbolized as thighs. Sudras are all other professionals who are necessary for the functioning of society. They are represented as feet.

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Ignoring the symbolic nature of body parts mentioned lead to the confusion of high and low in the society. God Krishna said in Gita that he created all the four types of people and that the division is based on qualities and professions. (Chatur varnam mayaa srustam, guna karma vibhagaha). It is important to note that this division is not based on birth. As all are children of God, if anyone feels high or low it is only misunderstanding Saint Manu and God Krishna.

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Rajendra Singh Baisthakur
Rajendra Singh Baisthakur
Rajendra Singh Baisthakur had been a Lecturer in English. He is a poet, critic and translator. His interests are Literature, Philosophy and social media.



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