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Manusmriti and Kurukshetra: Discrimination or just Dharma

Manusmriti and Kurukshetra: Discrimination or just Dharma

Today in this Mahabharata saga, we will talk about a thing which we face still and maybe not but it is a question. What happened in Kurukshetra we all are aware of now. The fight and the dice play, not everything but we have the zest of it. But while writing this saga and reading articles on it. I found the old caste system which was during Mahabharata too. Let’s surf a little about the Manusmriti.

Manusmriti or Manu Dharma is an ancient legal text of Hinduism. And some interesting fact, it was one of the first Sanskrit texts to have been translated into English in 1776, by Sir William Jones,] and was used to formulate the Hindu law by the British colonial government. It can be considered as the world’s first constitution as it contains laws regarding society, taxes, warfare, etc.

One can read the whole text if interested, you just need the Internet. But the main thing which I want to highlight is “Dharma of the four Varans” which further give the concept of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras describing the dharma of the parties. No doubt the old caste system is broken down today but we can’t say completely and we have the term “Class” introduced to it.

Let’s move further to the land of Kurukshetra where the most epic saga happened. Why did the MAHABHARATA happen? No doubt we get the moral from it but it is believed that it happened because of corruption. Krishna was trying to uphold the dharma only. The era was full of corrupted Kshatriyas so to end it and have the climax Kurukshetra thing happened.

न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूय: |
अजो नित्य: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ||

“ The soul is neither born nor does it ever die, nor having once existed, does it ever cease to be. The soul is without birth, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.”

Why this verse? To give some clarity that energy can be transferred only. So maybe Krishna was up to something like this as this verse is from Bhagavad Gita words of Lord Krishna himself. At one point, Krishna speaks about the Kshatriyas, saying that

you have to either transform them or put an end to their clan.

The philosophy behind was that Kshatriyas were rising with so much power at that point and it wasn’t good for Mother Earth. To bring the balance the fight was necessary. Let’s understand it with this famous example;

Mother Earth is like a cow. If someone wanted to milk the cow, first he would let the calf drink something. Then he would milk the cow, and in the end, he left some milk for the calf, so that it could again go and drink after the milking was over. Today, you have a machine that sucks everything out of the cow. And if the calf is male, it is killed instantly; if it is female, it is raised somewhere else. We are definitely milking the cow to the extent that it hurts not just the cow but Mother Earth too.

Krishna spoke like an environmentalist five thousand years ago. According to him “They are milking it too hard. If they get the opportunity, they would like to have more and more. Either we must transform them and they should turn spiritual, or they must be killed.”

Hope you get the idea now. That was the thing which happened somewhat five thousand years ago. The Dharma one can say. The world was clearly divided by Dharma then which we today call the caste system.

But what about today in this era? Still a Dharma or just discrimination? Maybe yes or maybe not. But we are still divided.

The division was made according to dharma that time to access the possibilities and for convenience and for effective usage of human talent. But over time, it is becoming ugly and we can’t deny that, above I said maybe yes or maybe not about the discrimination. Because some of us understand this system that was made some thousand years ago and accept it and don’t get bothered about this so we don’t discriminate. But some of us accept it as an opportunity to show the power of first-class which is ugly and surely an ugly event of discrimination.

This ugly event is nothing but the same evilness within us which is hurting the Mother Earth. But here’s some quote.

“Either you transform yourself or you will be killed – not by a Krishna, by nature”

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About The Author

Aanchal Sharma

PG student at IIRS,ISRO Dehradun | Space Enthusiast | Engineer | Writer | Sci-fi fan

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