Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India






Chapter 5: The Decline and Fall of Buddhism
Chapter 6: The Literature of Brahminism
Chapter 7: The Triumph of Brahminism



The Decline and Fall of Buddhism.


Dr. B. R. Ambedkar had written "The Decline and Fall of Buddhism", as a part of the treatise,  `Revolution and Counter-Revolution '. We have found only 5 pages in our papers which were not even corrected. Copy of this essay has been received from Shri S. S. Rege, which shows some corrections in Dr. Ambedkar's handwriting. This essay is of 18 typed pages which is included here.—' Editors.



The disappearance of Buddhism from India has been a matter of great surprize to everybody who cares to think about the subject and is also a matter of regret. But it lives in China, Japan, Burma, Siam, Annam, Indo-China, Ceylon and parts of Malaya-Archipalego. In India alone, it has ceased to exist. Not only it has ceased to live in India but even the name of Buddha has gone out of memory of most Hindus. How could such a thing have happened ? This is an important question for which there has been no satisfactory answer. Not only there is no satisfactory answer, nobody has made an attempt to arrive at a satisfactory answer. In dealing with this subject people fail to make a very important distinction. It is a distinction between the fall of Buddhism and the decline of Buddhism. It is necessary to make this distinction because the fall of Buddhism is one, the reasons for which are very different from those which brought about its downfall. For the fall is due to quite obvious causes while the reasons for its decline are not quite so obvious.

There can be no doubt that the fall of Buddhism in India was due to the invasions of the Musalmans. Islam came out as the enemy of the 'But'. The word 'But' as everybody knows is an Arabic word and means an idol. Not many people however know what the derivation of the word 'But' is 'But' is the Arabic corruption of Buddha. Thus the origin of the word indicates that in the Moslem mind idol worship had come to be identified with the Religion of the Buddha. To the Muslims, they were one and the same thing. The mission to break the idols thus became the mission to destroy Buddhism. Islam destroyed Buddhism not only in India but wherever it went.

Before Islam came into being Buddhism was the religion of Bactria, Parthia, Afghanistan, Gandhar and Chinese Turkestan, as it was of the whole of Asia. [f1]  In all these countries Islam destroyed Buddhism. As Vicent Smith [f2] points out :

"The furious massacre perpetrated in many places by Musalman invaders were more efficacious than Orthodox Hindu persecutions, and had a great deal to do with the disapperance of Buddhism in several provinces (of India),"

Not all will be satisfied with this explanation. It does seem inadequate. Islam attacked both, Bramhanism and Buddhism. It will be asked why should one survive and the other perish. The argument is plausible but not destructive of the validity of the thesis. To admit that Bramhanism survived, it does not mean that the fall of Buddhism was not due to the sword of Islam. All that it means is that, there were circumstances which made it possible for Bramhanism and impossible for Buddhism to survive the onslaught of Islam. Fortunately for Bramhanism and unfortunately for Buddhism that was the fact.

Those who will pursue the matter will find that there were three special circumstances which made it possible for Bramhanism and impossible for Buddhism to survive the calamity of Muslim invasions. In the first place Bramhanism at the time of the Muslim invasions had the support of the State. Buddhism had no such support. What is however more important is the fact that this State support to Bramhanism lasted till Islam had become a quiet religion and the flames of its original fury as a mission against idolatory had died out. Secondly the Buddhist priesthood perished by the sword of Islam and could not be resusciated. On the other hand it was not possible for Islam to annihilate the Bramhanic priesthood. In the third place the Buddhist laity was persecuted by the Bramhanic rulers of India and to escape this tyranny the mass of the Buddhist population of India embraced Islam and renounced Buddhism.

Of these circumstances there is not one which is not supported by history.

Among the Provinces of India which came under Muslim domination, Sind was the first. It was ruled by a Shudra king. But the throne was usurped by a Bramhin who established his own dynasty which naturally supported the Bramhanic religion a.t the time of the invasion of Sind by Ibne Kassim in 712 A.D. The ruler of Sind was Dahir. This Dahir belonged to the dynasty of Brahmin rulers.

Heuen Tsang had noticed that the Punjab was in his time ruled by a Kshatriya Buddhist dynasty. This dynasty ruled Punjab till about 880 A.D. In that year the throne was usurped by a Brahmin army commander by name Lalliya who founded the Brahmin Shahi dynasty. This dynasty ruled the Punjab from 880 A.D. to 1021 A.D. It will thus be seen that at the time when the invasions of the Punjab were commenced by Sabuktagin and Mohammad, the native rulers belonged to the Bramhanic religion and Jayapala (960-980 A.D.) Anandpal (980-1000 A.D.) and Trilochanpal (1000-21 A.D.) of whose struggles with Sabuktagin and Mahammad we read so much were rulers belonging to the Bramhanic faith.

Central India began to be infested by Muslim invasions which commenced from the time of Mohammad and continued under the leadership of Shahabuddin Ghori. At that time Central India consisted of different kingdoms. Mewad (now known as Udepur) ruled by the Gulohits, Sambhar (now divided into Bundi, Kota and Sirohi) ruled by the Chauhans, Kanauj[f3]  ruled by the Pratihars, Dhar ruled by the Parmars, Bundelkhand ruled by Chandellas, Anhilwad ruled by the Chavdas, Chedi ruled by the Kalachuris. Now the rulers of all these kingdoms were Rajputs and the Rajputs for reasons which are mysterious and which I will discuss later on had become the staunchest supporters of the Bramhanic religion.

About the time of these invasions Bengal had fallen into two kingdoms, Eastern and Western. West Bengal was ruled by the Kings of the Pal dynasty and East Bengal was ruled by the Kings of the Sena dynasty.

The Palas were Kshatriyas. They were Buddhist but as Mr. Vadiya says[f4]  "probably only in the beginning or in name". As to the Sena kings there is a difference of opinion. Dr. Bhandarkar says they were Brahmins who had taken to the military profession of the Kshatriyas. Mr. Vaidya insists that the Sena Kings were Aryan Kshatriyas or Rajputs belonging to the Lunar race. In any case there is no doubt that the Senas like the Rajputs were supporters of the orthodox faith. [f5] 

"South of the river Nerbudda, then existed about the time of the Muslim invasions four kingdoms (1) The Deccan Kingdom of Western Chalukyas, (2) The Southern Kingdom of the Cholas (3) The Silahara Kingdom in Konkan on the West Coast and (4) The Ganga Kingdom of Trikalinga on the East Coast. These Kingdoms flourished during 1000-1200 A.D. which is the period of the Muslim invasions. There were under them, certain feudatory Kingdons which rose to power in the 12th Century A.D. and which became independent and powerful in the 13 the Century. They are (1) Devagiri ruled by the Yadavas, (2) Warangal ruled by Kakatiyas (3) Halebid ruled by Hoyasalas (4) Madura ruled by the Pandyas and (5) Travancore ruled by the Cheras. All these ruling dynasties were followers of orthodox Brahmanism. The Muslim invasions of India commenced in the year 1001 A.D. The last wave of these invasions reached Southern India in 1296 A.D. when Allauddin Khilji subjugated the Kingdom of Devagiri. The Muslim conquest of India was really not completed by 1296. The wars of subjugation went on between the Muslim conquerors and the local rulers who though defeated were not reduced. But the point which requires to bear in mind is that during this period of 300 years of Muslim Wars of conquests, India was governed all over by princes who professed the orthodox faith of Bramhanism. Bramhanism beaten and battered by the Muslim Invaders could look to the rulers for support and sustenance and did get it. Buddhism beaten and battered by the Muslim invaders had no such hope. It was an uneared for orphan and it withered in the cold blast of the native rulers and was consumed in the fire lit up by the conquerors.

The Musalman invaders sacked the Buddhist Universities of Nalanda, Vikramasila, Jagaddala, Odantapuri to name only a few. They raised to the ground Buddhist monasteries with which the country was studded. The Monks fled away in thousands to Napal, Tibet and other places outside India. A very large number were killed outright by the Muslim commanders. How the Buddhist priesthood perished by the sword of the Muslim invaders has been recorded by the Muslim historians themselves. Summarizing the evidence relating to the slaughter of the Budhist Monks perpetrated by the Musalman General in the course of his invasion of Bihar in 1197 A.D. Mr. Vincent Smith says[f6]  :

"The Musalman General, who had already made his name a terror by repeated plundering expeditions in Bihar, seized the capital by a daring stroke. The almost contemporary historian met one of the survivors of the attacking party in A.D. 1243, and learned from him that the Fort of Bihar was seized by a party of only two hundred horsemen, who boldly rushed the postern gate and gained possession of the place. Great quantities of plunder were obtained, and the slaughter of the 'shaven headed Brahmans', that is to say the Buddhist monks, was so thoroughly completed, that when the victor sought for some one capable of explaining the contents of the books in the libraries of the monasteries, not a living man could be found who was able to read them. 'It was discovered', we are told, 'that the whole of that fortress and city was a college, and in the Hindi tongue they call a college Bihar."

Such was the slaughter of the Buddhist priesthood perpetrated by the Islamic invaders. The axe was struck at the very root. For by killing the Buddhist priesthood Islam killed Buddhism. This was the greatest disaster that befell the religion of Buddha in India. Religion like any other ideololgy can be attained only by propaganda. If propoganda fails, religion must disappear. The priestly class, however detestable it may be, is necessary to the sustenance of religion. For it is by its propoganda that religion is kept up. Without the priestly class religion must disappear. The sword of Islam fell heavily upon the priestly class. It perished or it fled outside India. Nobody remained to keep the flame of Buddhism burning.

It may be said that the same thing must have happened to the Brahmanic priesthood. It is possible, though not to the same extent. But there is this difference between the constitution of the two religions and the difference is so great that it contains the whole reason why Brahmanism survived the attack of Islam and why Buddhism did not. This difference relates to the constitution of the clergy.

The Bramhanic priesthood has a most elaborate organization. A clear and succinct account of it has been given by the late Sir Ramkrishna Bhandarkar in the pages of the Indian Antiquary. [f7] 

'Every Brahmanic family, ' he writes, ' is devoted to the study of a particular Veda, and a particular Sakha (recension) of a Veda ; and the domestic rites of the family are performed according to the ritual described in the Sutra connected with that Veda. The study consists in getting by heart the books forming the particular Veda. In Northern India, where the predominant Veda is the White Yagush and the Sakha that of the Madhyandinas, this study has almost died out, except at Banaras, where Brahmanic families from all parts of India are settled. It prevails to some extent in Gujarat, but to a much greater extent in the Maratha country; and in Tailangana there is a large number of Brahmans who still devote their life to this study. Numbers of these go about to all parts of the country in search of dakshina (fee, alms), and all well-to-do natives patronize them according to their means, by getting them to repeat portions of their Veda, which is mostly the Black Yagush, with Apastamba for their Sutra. Hardly a week passes here in Bombay in which no Tailangana Brahman comes to me to ask for dakshina. On each occasion I get the men to repeat what they have learned, and compare it with the printed texts in my possession.

'With reference to their occupation, Brahmans of each Veda are generally divided into two classes, Grihasthas and Bhikshukas. The former devote themselves to a worldly avocation, while the latter spend their time in the study of their sacred books and the practice of their religious rites.

'Both these classes have to repeat daily the Sandhya-vandana or twilight-prayers, the forms of which are somewhat different for the different Vedas. But the repetition of the Gayatri-mantra 'Tat Savitur Vareynam' etc., five, then twenty eight, or a hundred and eight times, which forms the principal portion of the ceremony, is common to all.

'Besides this, a great many perform daily what is called Brahmayagna, which on certain occasions is incumbent on all. This for the Rig-Veda consists of the first hymn of the first mandal, and the opening sentences of the Aitareya Brahmana, the five parts of the Aitereya Aranyaka, the Yagus-samhita, the Sama-samhita, the Atharva-samhita, Asvalayana Kalpa Sutra, Nirukta, Khandas, Nighantu,  Jyotisha,   Siksha,   Panini,  Yagnavalkya  Smriti, Mahabharata, and the Sutras of Kanada, Jaimini, and Badarayan.' The point to be remembered is that in the matter of officiation there is no distinction between a Bhikshuka[f8]  and a Grahastha. In Brahmanism both are priest and the Grahastha is no less entitled to officiate as a priest than a Bhikshu is. If a Grahastha does not choose to officiate as a priest, it is because he has not mastered the mantras and the ceremonies or because he follows some more lucrative vocation. Under Brahmanic dispensation every Brahmin who is not an outcast has the capacity to be a priest. The Bhikshuka is an actual priest, a Grahastha is a potential priest. All Brahmins can be recruited to form the army of Bramhanic priesthood. Further no particular training or initiation ceremony is necessary for a Brahmin to act as a priest. His will to officiate is enough to make him function as a priest. In Brahmanism the priesthood can never become extinct. Every Brahmin is a potential priest of Brahmanism and be drafted in service when the need be. There is nothing to stop the rake's life and progress. This is not possible in Buddhism. A person must be ordained in accordance with established rites by priests already ordained, before he can act as a priest. After the massacre of the Buddhist priests, ordination became impossible so that the priesthood almost ceased to exist. Some attempt was made to fill the depleted ranks of the Buddhist priests. New recruits for the priesthood had to be drawn from all available sources. They certainly were not the best. According to Haraprasad Shastri, [f9] 

"The paucity of Bhiksus brought about a great change in the composition of the Buddhist priesthood. It was the married clergy with families, who were called Aryas, that took the place of the Bhiksus proper, and began to cater to the religious needs of the Buddhists generally. They commenced attaining the normal status of Bhiksus  through  the   performance  of some  sacraments. (lntro.pp.l9.7, quoting Tatakara Guptas' Adikarmaracana : 149, pp. 1207-1208). They officiated at the religious ceremonies but at the same time, in addition to their profession of priesthood, earned their livelihood through such avocations as those of a mason, painter, sculptor, goldsmith, and carpenter. These artisan priests who were in later times larger in numbers than the Bhiksus proper became the religious guides of the people. Their avocations left them little time and desire for the acquisition of learning, for deep thinking, or for devotion to Dhyana and other spiritual exercises. They could not be expected to raise the declining Buddhism to a higher position through their endeavours nor could they check its course towards its ruin through the introduction of salutary reforms." It is obvious that this new Buddhist priesthood had neither dignity nor learning and were a poor match for the rival, the Brahmins whose cunning was not unequal to their learning. [f10] 

The reason why Brahmanism rose from the ashes and Buddhism did not, is to be accounted for, not by any inherent superiority of Brahmanism over Buddhism. It is to be found in the peculiar character of their priesthood. Buddhism died because its army of priests died and it was not possible to create. Though beaten it was never completely broken. Every Brahmin alive became priest and took the place of every Brahmin priest who died.

As to the conversion to the faith of Islam by the Buddhist population as a cause of the fall of Buddhism, there can hardly be much doubt.

In his Presidential address to the early Medieval and Rajput section of the Indian History Congress held at Allahabad in 1938, Prof. Surendra Nath Sen very rightly observed that there were two problems relating to the Medieval History of India for which no satisfactory answers were forthcoming as yet. He mentiond two : one connected with the origin of the Rajputs and the other to the distribution of the Muslim population in India. Referring to the second, he said :

"But I may be permitted to deal with one question that is not wholly of antiquarian interest today. The distribution of Muslim population in India demands some explanation. It is commonly believed that Islam followed the route of conquest and the subjugated people were forced to accept the faith of their rulers. The predominance of the Muslims in the Frontier Province and the Punjab lends some colour to this contention. But this theory cannot explain an overwhelming Muslim majority in Eastern Bengal. It is quite likely that the North-Western Frontier Province was peopled by Turkish folks during the Kushan days, and their easy conversion to Islam may be explained by racial affinity with the new conquerors; but the Muslims of Eastern Bengal are certainly not racially akin to the Turks and the Afghans, and the conversion of the Hindus of that region must have been due to other reasons." [f11]  What are these other reasons ? Prof. Sen then proceeds to lay bare these reasons which are found in Muslim Chronicles. He takes the case of Sind for which there is direct testimony and says : [f12] 

"According to the Chachnama, the Buddhists of Sind suffered all sorts of indignities and humiliations under their Brahman rulers, and when the Arabs invaded their country, the Buddhists lent their whole hearted suport to them. Later on, when Dahir was slain and a Muslim Government was firmly established in his country, the Buddhists found to their dismay that, so far as their rights and privileges were concerned, the Arabs were prapared to restore status quo ante bellum and even under the new order the Hindus received a preferential treatment. The only way out of this difficulty was to accept Islam because the converts were entitled to all the privileges reserved for the ruling classes. So the Buddhists of Sind joined the Muslim fold in large numbers." Prof. Sen then adds this significant passage :

"It cannot be an accident that the Punjab, Kashmir, the district around Behar Sharif, North-East Bengal where Muslims now predominate, were all strong Buddhist Centres in the pre-Muslim days. It will not be fair to suggest that the Buddhists succumbed more easily to political temptations than the Hindus and the change of religion was due to the prospects of the improvement of their political status."

Unfortunately the causes that have forced the Buddhist population of India to abandon Buddhism in favour of Islam have not been investigated and it is therefore impossible to say how far the persecution of the Brahmanic Kings was responsible for the result. But there are not wanting indications which suggest that this was the principal cause. We have positive evidence of two Kings engaged in the campaign of persecuting the Buddhist population.

The first to be mentioned is Mihirkula. He belonged to the Huns who invaded India about 455 A.D. and established their kingdom in Northern India with Sakala, the modern Sialkot in the Punjab as the capital. Mihirkula ruled about 528 A.D. As Vincent Smith says : [f13]  "All Indian traditions agree in representing Mihirkula as a blood thirsty tyrant. `The Attila of India', stained to a more than ordinary degree with 'implicable cruelty' noted by historians as characteristic of the Hun temperament."

Mihirkula, to use the language of Smith, [f14]  :-"exhibited ferocious hostility against the peaceful Buddhist cult, and remorselessly overthrew the stupas and monasteries, which he plundered of their treasures".

The other is Sasanka, the King of Eastern India. He ruled about the first decade of the seventh century and was defeated in a conflict with Harsha. In the words of Vincent Smith3[f15] 

"Sansanka, who has been mentioned as the treacherous murderer of Harsha's brother, and probably was a scion of the Gupta dynasty, was a worshipper of Shiva, hating Buddhism, which he did his best to extirpate. He dug up and burnt the holy Bodhi tree at Buddha Gaya, on which, according to legend, Asoka had lavished inordinate devotion; broke the stone marked with the footprints of Buddha at Pataliputra; destroyed the convents, scattered the monks, carrying his persecutions to the foot of the Nepalese hills ". The seventh century seems to be a century of religious persecution in India. As Smith points out :  [f16] 

"A terrible persecution of the cognate religion Jainism occurred in Southern India in the seventh century".

Coming nearer to the time of the Muslim invasions, we have the instance of Sindh where presecution was undoutedly the cause. That these persecutions continued upto the time of the Muslim invasions may be presumed by the fact that in Northern India the Kings were either Brahmins or Rajputs both of whom were anti Buddhists. That the Jains were persecuted even in the 12th century is amply supported by history. Smith refers to Ajayadeva, a Saiva King of Gujarat who came to the throne in A.D. 1174-6 and began his reign by a merciless persecution of the Jains, torturing their leader to death. Smith adds, "Several other well-established instances of severe persecution might be cited."

There is therefore nothing to vitiate the conclusion that the fall of Buddhism was due to the Buddhist becoming coverts to Islam as a way of escaping the tyranny of Brahmanism. The evidence, if it does not support the conclusion, at least makes it probable. If it has been a disaster, it is a disaster for which Brahmanism must thank itself.



Literature of Brahminism


We have come across scattered pages of this essay, numbering from 6 to 14 and 17 to 39. These pages seem to be a continuation of the subject dealt with under the title 'The Decline and Fall of Buddhism'. Some of the pages are the first copies while the rest are the carbon copies. There are 14 more pages dealing with the Vedanta Sutras and Bhagvat Gita. The size and quality of the paper on which 3 chapters i.e. (1) The Decline and Fall of Buddhism, (2) The Literature of Brahminism and (3) Vedanta Sutras and Bhagvat Gita are typed, appear to be similar but distinct from the size and quality of other Chapters in this part.—Editors.



The facts which supply the reasons must be gleaned from the literature of Brahmanism which grew up after its political trimuph under Pushyamitra.

The literature falls under six categories (1) Manu Smriti (2) Gita. (3) Shankaracharya's Vedant (4) Mahabharat (5) Ramayana and (6) the Puranas. In analysing this literature, I propose to bring out only such facts as are capable of being suggested by inference, the reason or reasons for the decline of Buddhism.

There is nothing unusual or unfair in this. For literature is the mirror in which the life of a people can be said to be reflected.

There is one point which I feel I must clear up. It relates to the period when this literature came into existence. Not all will agree that the literature referred to came into being after the revolution of Pushyamitra. On the contrary most Hindus, whether orthodox or not, learned or not, have an inerradicable belief that their sacred literature is a very old one in point of time. Indeed it seems to be an article of faith with every Hindu which necessitates a belief in a very high antiquity of their sacred literature

As to the age of Manu I have given references to show that Manu Smriti was written by Sumati Bharagava after 185 B.C. i.e. after the Revolution of Pushyamitra. I need say nothing more on the subject.

The date of the Bhagavat Gita is a subject about which there has been a difference of opinion.

Mr. Telang was of opinion that the Geeta must be older than the third century B.C. though he was not able to say how much. Mr. Tilak. .........

In the opinion of Prof. Garbe, [f17]  the Geeta as we have it, is different from what it originally was. He agrees that the conviction that the Bhagwat Geeta has not reached us in its original form but has undergone essential transformations, is now, however, shared by many Indologists outside India. According to Prof. Garbe, one hundred and forty-six verses in the Bhagwat Geeta are new and do not belong to the original Geeta. As to the date of its composition Prof. Garbe says that it "cannot possibly be placed before the second Century A.D."

Prof. Kausambi insists that the Geeta was composed in the reign of King Baladitya. Baladitya belonged to the Gupta Dynasty which supplanted the Andhra Dynasty in the year. ........ Baladitya came to the throne in the year 467 A.D. His reasons for so late a date are two. Before Shankaracharya—who was born in 788 A.D. and who died in 820 A.D.—wrote his commentary on the Bhagwat Geeta, it was an unknown composition. It was certainly not mentioned in the Tatvasangraha by Shantarakshit who wrote his treatise only 50 years before the advent of Shankaracharya. His second reason is this. Vasubandhu was the originator of a school of thought known as 'Vijnyan Vad'. The Bramha- Sutra- Bhashya contains a criticism of the Vijnyan Vad of Vasubandu. The Geeta contains a reference[f18] to the Bramha-Sutra-Bhashya. The Geeta must therefore be after Vasubandu and after the Bramha-Sutra-Bhashya. Vasubandhu was the preceptor of the Gupta King Baladitya. That being so, the Geeta must have been composed during or after the reign of Baladitya.

Nothing more need be said about the date of Shankaracharya. The age in which he lived and wrote is now generally accepted. Something about his life needs to be said. But I will reserve that for another place.

The question of determining the date of the composition of the Mahabharata is next to impossible. Only an attempt to fix the period of its composition can be made. The Mahabharat has undergone three editions and with each editor the title and subject matter has changed. In its original form it was known as 'Jaya', Triumph.

This original name occurs even in the third edition both in the beginning as well as in the end. The original edition of the book known as 'Jaya' was composed by one Vyas. In its second edition it was known as Bharat. The Editor of this second edition was one Vaishampayana. Vaishampayan's edition was not the only second edition of the Bharata. Vyas had many pupils besides Vaishampayana ; Sumantu, Jaimini, Paila and Shuka were his other four pupils. They all had learned at the feet of Vyas. Each one of them produced his own. Thus there were four other editions of Bharata. Vaishampayana recast the whole and brought out his own version. The third editor is Sauti. He recast Vaishampayana's version of Bharata. Sauti's version ultimately came to have the name of Mahabharata. The book has grown both in size and in the subject matter aswell. The 'Jaya' of Vyas was amall work having not more than 8800 Shlokas. In the hands of Vaishampayana it grew into 24000 verses. Sauti expanded it to contain 96836 Shlokas. As to subject matter the original as composed by Vyas was only a story of the war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. In the hands of Vaishyampayana the subject became two-fold. To the original story there was added the sermon. From a purely historical work, it became a diadactic work aiming to teach a right code of social, moral and religious duties. Sauti the last Editor made it an all-embracing repository of legendary lore. All the smaller floating legends and historical stories which existed independently of the Bharata were brought together by Sauti so that they might not be lost or that they may be found togeher. Sauti had another ambition, that was to make the Bharata a storehouse of learning and knowledge. This is the reason why he added sections on all branches of knowledge, such as politics, geography, archary etc. Taking into account Sauti's habit of repetition, it is no wonder that the Bharata in his hand became Mahabharata.

Now as to the date of its composition. There is no doubt that the war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas is a very ancient event. But that does not mean that the composition of Vyas is as old as the event or contemporaneous with the event. It is difficult to assign specific dates to the different editions. Taking it as a whole Prof. Hopkins says : [f19] 

"The time of the whole Mahabharata generally speaking may then be from 200-400 A.D. This, however, takes into account neither subsequent additions, such as we know to have been made in later times, nor the various recasting in verbal form, which may safely be assumed to have occurred at the hands of successive copyists."

But there are other circumstances which definitely point to a later date.

The Mahabharat contains a reference to the Huns. It was Skandagupta who fought the Huns and defeated them in or about the year 455 A.D.. Notwithstanding this the invasions of the Huns continued till 528 A.D. It is obvious that the Mahabharat was being written about his time or therefter.

There are other indications which suggest a much later date. The Mahabharat refers to the Mlenchhas or the Muslims. In the 190th Adhyaya of the Vana Parva of the Mahabharat there is a verse 29 wherein the author says that "the whole world will be Islamic. All Yadnas, rites and ceremonies and religious celebrations will cease". This is a direct reference to the Muslims and although the verse speaks of what is to happen in the future, the Mahabharat being a Purana must as in the case of the Purana be taken to speak of the event that has happened. This verse so interpreted show that the Mahabharat was being written after the date of the Muslim invasions of India. There are other references which point to the same conclusion. In the same Adhyaya verse 59, it is said that "Oppressed by the Vrashalas, the Brahmins struck with fear and finding no one to protect them, will roam all over the world groaning and crying in agony".

The Vrashalas referred to in this verse cannot be the Buddhists. There is no particle of evidence that the Brahmins were ever oppressed. On the contrary the evidence is that the Brahmins, during the Buddhists regime, were treated with the same liberality as the Buddhist Bhikshus. The reference to the Vrashalas means the uncultured must be to the Islamic invaders.

There occur other verses in the same Adhyaya of the Vanaparva. They are 65, 66 and 67. In these verses it is said that, "Society will become disarranged. People will worship Yedukas. They will boycott Gods. The Shudras will not serve the twice-born. The whole world will be covered with Yedukas. The Yug will come to an end."

What is the meaning of the term ' Yedukas '? By some it has been taken to mean a Buddhist Chaitya. But according to Mr. Kausambi[f20]  this is wrong. Nowhere either in the Buddhist literature or in the Vedic literature is the word Yeduka used in the sense of `Chaitya'. On the contrary according to the Amarkosh as commented upon by Maheshwar Bhatt the word Yeduka means a wall which contains a wooden structure to give it strength. So understood Kausambi contends that the word Yeduka must mean `Idgaha' of the Musalmans before which they say their prayers. If this is a correct interpretation then it is obvious that parts of the Mahabharata were written after the invasion of Mohammad Ghori. The first Muslim invasion took place in 712 A.D. under lbne Kassim. He captured some of the towns in Northern India but did not cause much destruction. He was followed by Mohammad of Gazni. He caused great destruction of Temples and Viharas and massacred priests of both religions. But he did not engage himself in building Mosques or Idgahas. That was done by Mohammad Ghori. From this it can be said that the writing of the Mahabharata was not complete till 1200 A.D.

It seems that like the Mahabharata, the Ramayana has also gone through three editions. There are two sort of references to the Ramayana in the Mahabharata. In one case the reference is to 'Ramayana' without any mention of the author. In other the reference is to the Ramayana of Valmilki. But the present Ramayana is not the Ramayana of Valmiki. [f21]    In the opinion of Mr. C. V. Vaidya[f22]  :

"That the present Ramayana, even as it is approved and adopted by the searching and all-respected commentator Kataka, is not the Ramayana originally written by Valmiki, not even the most orthodox thinker will be disposed to doubt. Whoever even cursorily reads the poem cannot but be struck with the inconsistencies, the severances of connections, juxta-positions of new and old ideas which abound so greatly in the present Ramayana, whether we take the Bengal or the Bombay text of it. And one cannot but come to the conclusion that the Ramayana of Valmiki was substantially reconstructed at some subsequent date."

As in the case of the Mahabharata there has been an accretion to the subject matter of the Ramayana. Originally it was just a story of the war between Rama and Ravana over the abduction of Rama's wife Sita by Ravana. In the second edition it became a story with a sermon. From a purely historical work it also became a didactic work aiming to teach a right code of Social, Moral and religious duties. When it assumed the form of a third edition it was, again, like the Mahabharat, made a repository of legends, knowledge, learning, philosophy and other arts and sciences.

With regard to the date of the composition of the Ramayana one proposition is well established namely that the episode of Rama is older than the episode of the Pandus. But that the composition of the Ramayana has gone on paripassu along with the composition of the Mahabharata. Portions of Ramayana may be earlier than the Mahabharata. But there can be no doubt that a great part of the Ramayana was composed after a great part of the Mahabharata had already been composed. [f23] 



The literature from which I propose to draw upon consists of (1) The Bhagwat Geeta (2) The Vedant Sutras (3) The Mahabharat (4) The Ramayana and (5) The Puranas. In analysing this literature I propose to bring out only such facts as are capable of being suggested by inference a reason or reasons for the decline of Buddhism.

Before proceeding to examine the subject matter of this lirerature I must deal with the question of the period when this literature came into existence. Not all will agree that the literature referred to came into being after the revolution of Pushyamitra. On the contrary most Hindus whether orthodox or not, learned or not, have an in-eradicable belief that their sacred literature is a very old one in point of time. Indeed it seems to be an article of faith with every Hindu which necessitates a belief in a very high antiquity of their sacred literature.


Beginning with the Bhagwat Gita, the date of its composition has been a matter of controversy. Mr. Telang[f24]  was of opinion that we should "take the second century B.C. as a terminous before which the Gita must have been composed". The late Mr. Tilak[f25]  was convinced that the date of the present Gita must be taken as not later than 500 years before the Saka era" which means that the present Gita was composed somewhere about. . . .. According to Prof. Garbe [f26] the date of the composition of the Bhagwat Gita must be placed somewhere between 200 and 400 A.D. There is another view propounded by Mr. Kausambi and is based on quite indisputable data.

Prof. Kausambi insists that the Gita was composed in the reign of Gupta King Baladitya. Baladitya belonged to the Gupta dynasty which supplanted the Andhra Dynasty in the year..... Baladitya came to the throne in the year 467 A.D. His reasons for so late a date for the composition of the Gita are two. Before Sankaracharya—who was

born in 788 A.D. and who died in 820 A.D.—wrote his commentary on the Bhagwat Gita, it was an unknown composition. It was certainly not mentioned in the Tatvasangraha by Shantarakshit who wrote his treatise only 50 years before the advent of Sankaracharya. His second reason is this. Vasubandhu was the originator of a school of thought known as 'Vijnan Vad". The Brahma-Sutra-Bhashya contains a criticism of the Vijnan Vad of Vasubandhu. The Gita contains a reference[f27]  to the Brahma-Sutra-Bhashya. The Gita must therefore be after Vasubandhu and after the Brahma-Sutra-Bhashya. Vasubandhu was the preceptor of the Gupta King Baladitya. That being so the Bhagwat Gita must have been composed or at any rate portions of Gita must have been added to the original edition during or after the reign of Baladitya i.e. about 467 A.D.

While there is a difference of opinion regarding the date of the composition of the Bhagwat Gita, there is no difference of opinion that the Bhagwat Gita has gone through many editions. All share the conviction that the Bhagwat Gita has not reached us in its original form but has undergone essential transformations at the hands of different editors who have added to it from time to time. It is equally clear that the editors through whose hands it has gone were not of equal calibre. As Prof. Garbe points out[f28] 

"The Gita is certainly `no artistic work which the all comprehending vision of a genious has created.' The pla.y of inspiration is indeed often times perceptible; not seldom, however, there are merely high-sounding, empty words with which an idea that has been already quite often explained, is repeated: and occasionally the literary expression is exceedingly faulty. Verses are bodily taken over from the Upanishad literature, and this is certainly what a poet filled with inspiration would never have done. The workings of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are systematized with a truly Indian pedantry, and much indeed besides this could be brought forward to prove that the Gita is not the product of a genuinely poetic creative impulse..."

Hopkins speaks of the Bhagwat Gita as characteristic in its sublimity as in its puerilities, in its logic as in its want of it. . . .Despite its occasional power and mystic exaltation, the Divine Song in its present state as a poetical production is unsatisfactory. The same thing is said over and over again, and the contradictions in phraseology and meaning are as numnerous as the repetitions, so that one is not surprised to find it described as "the wonderful song, which causes the hair to stand on end".

This is not to be rejected as the view of foreigners. It is fully supported by Prof. Rajwade[f29]  who goes to show that some of those who had a hand in the composition of the Bhagwat Gita were ignorant of the rules of grammar.

While all are agreed that there have been different editions of the Gita under different editors, they are not agreed as to what parts of the Gita are original and what parts of the Gita are additions subsequently made. In the opinion of the late Rajaram Shastri Bhagwat the original Gita consisted only of 60 Shlokas. Humboldt was inclined to the view that originally the Gita consisted of only the first eleven Adhyayas (chapters) and that 12 to 18 Adhyayas were subsequent additions made to the original. Hopkins" view is that the first fourteen Adhyayas constitute the heart of the poem. Prof. Rajwade thinks that Adhyayas 10 and II are spurious.  Prof. Garbe says that 146 verses in the Bhagwat Gita are new and do not belong to the original Gita which means that more than one-fifth of the Gita is new.

Regarding the author of the Gita there is none mentioned. The Gita is a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna which took place on the battle field, in which Krishna propounds his philosophy to Arjuna. The conversation is reported by Sanjaya to Dhritarashtra, the father of the Kauravas. The Gita should have been a part of the Mahabharata, for, the incident which formed the occasion for it, is natural to it, but it does not find a place there. It is a seperate indepenent work. Yet there is no author to whom it is attributed. All that we know, is that Vyas asks Sanjaya to report to Dhritarashtra the conversation that took place between Arjuna and Krishna. One may therefore say that Vyas is the author of the Gita.


As has already been said, the Vedic lirerature consists of the Vedas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, and the Upanishadas. From the point of their subject matter, this literature falls into two classes (1) literature which deals with religious observances and rites and ceremonies technically called Karma Kanda and (2) literature which deals with the knowledge about God to use the Vedic equivalent; the Bramhanas, technically called 'Gnanakanda'. The Vedas and the Bramhanas fall under the first category of literature, while the Aranyakas and the Upanishadas fall under the second.

This Vedic literature had grown to enormous proportions and what is important is that, it had grown in a wild manner. Some system, some coordination was necessary to bring order out of this chaos. As a result of the necessity for this coordination, there grew up a branch of inquiry called "Mimansa" i.e. an inquiry into the connected meaning of sacred texts i.e. the Vedic literature. Those who thought it necessary to undertake such a task of systematization and coordination divided themselves into two schools, those who systematized the 'Karmakand" portion and these who systematized the ''Gnanakand' portion of the Vedic literature. The result was that there grew up two branches of the Mimansa Shastra, one called Purva Mimansa and the other Ultara Mimansa. As the names suggest, the Purva Mimansa deals with the early portion of the Vedic literature namely the Vedas and the Bramhanas. That is why it is called Purva (early) Mimansa. The Uttara Mimansa deals with the later portions of the Vedic literature namely the Aranyakas and Upanishads. That is why it is called Uttara (later) Mimansa.

The literature connected with the two branches of the Mimansa Shastra is immense. Of this, two collections of Sutras stand out as the principal and leading works in this field of Mimansa. The authorship of one is attributed to Jaimini and that of the other is ascribed to Badarayana. Jaimini's Sutras deal with 'Karmakanda"[f30]  and Badarayan's deal with 'Gnanakand'.There is no doubt that there were prior to Jaimini and Badarayana, other authors who had written treatises on these subjects. Nonetheless the sutras of Jaimini and Badarayana are taken as the standard works on the two Branches of the Mimansa Shastra.

Although the Sutras of both relate to that branch of inquiry called Mimansa, Jaimini's sutras are called Mimansa Sutras[f31]  while those of Badarayana are called Vedanta Sutras. The term 'Vedanta' is taken to mean "the end of the Veda", or the doctrines set forth in the closing chapter of the Vedas which comprise the Upanishads and as the Upanishads constitute "the final aim of the Vedas." The Sutras of Badarayana which go to systematize and coordinate them have come to be called Vedanta Sutras, [f32] or the doctrines set forth in the closing chapter of the Vedas which asked Sanjaya to report to. This is the origin of the Vedanta Sutras.

Who is this Badarayana? Why did he compose these Sutras, and when did he compose them? Beyond the name nothing is known about Badarayana. [f33]  It is not even certain that it is the real name of the author. There is a considerable uncertainty regarding the authorship of these Sutras even among his chief commentators.

Some say that the author is Badarayana. Others say that the author of the Sutra is Vyas. The rest say that Badarayana and Vyas are one and the same person. Such is the bewildering conflict of opinion regarding the author of the Sutras.

Why did he compose these Sutras? That the Brahmins should undertake to systematize the Karmakand portion of the Vedic literature one can quite understand. The Bramhins were deeply concerned with the Karmakand. Their very existence, their livelihood depended upon the systematization of the Karmakand portion of the Vedic literature.

The Brahmins on the other hand had no interest in the 'Gnankand' portion of the Vedic literature. Why should they have made an attempt to systematize it ? The question has not even been raised. But it is an important question and the answer to that must also be very important. Why the question is important and what the answer is I shall discuss later on.

There are two other questions with regard to the Vedanta Sutras. First is this. Is this work theological in character or is it purely philosophical in its nature? Or is it an attempt to tie down pure philosophy to the apron strings of established theology and thereby to make it innocuous and harmless. The other question relates to the commentaries on the Vedanta Sutras.

There have been altogether five commentaries on the Vedanta Sutras by five eminent men all of whom are called Acharyas (doctors of learning) by reason of their intellectual eminence.

They are (1) Shankaracharya (788 A.D. to 820 A.D.), (2) Ramanujacharya (1017 A.D. to 1137 A.D.), (3) Nimbarkacharya (died about 1162 A.D.), (4) Madhavacharya (1197-1276 A.D.) and (5) Vallabhacharya (born 1417 A.D.).

The commentaries of these Acharyas on the Vedanta Sutras have become far more important than the Vedanta Sutras.

The point of some significance is that on the text of one and the same collection of the Vedanta Sutras, an attempt has been made by those five Acharyas to found five different systems of thought.

According to Shankara, the Vedanta Sutras teach absolute monism. According to Ramanuja, qualified monism. According to Nirnbarka, monodualism. According to Madhava, dualism and according to Vallabha, pure monism. I will not discuss here what these terms mean. All I want to say is why should five different schools should have arisen as a result of five different interpretation of the same collection of Sutras. Is it a mere matter of grammar ? Or is there any other purpose behind these several interpretations. There is also another question which arises out of the plurality of commentaries. While there are five different commentaries each propounding five different ways of looking at God and the individual soul really speaking there are only two, the view taken by Shankaracharya and the view taken by the other four. For though the four differ among themselves, they are all united in their opposition to Shankaracharya on two points (1) The complete oneness between God and individual soul and (2) the world is an illusion. Here comes the third question. Why did Shankaracharya propound so unique a view of the Vedanta Sutras of Badarayana? Is it the result of a critical study of the Sutras? Or is it a wishful interpretation designed to support a preconceived purpose?

I am only raising this question. I don't propose to deal with them here. Here I am concerned with the age of this literature, is it Pre-Buddhist or Post-Buddhist.

As to the date of the composition of the Vedanta Sutras the initial difficulty is that like the Bhagwat Gita it has also gone through several recensions. According to some[f34]  there have been three recensions of the Vedanta Sutras. That being so nothing definite can be said regarding the date of its composition. [f35]   The views expressed are only approximations. There can be no doubt that the Vedanta Sutras are composed after the rise of Buddhism for the Sutras do allude to Buddhism. They must not be after Manu for Manu refers to them in his Smriti. Prof. Keith holds that they must have been written about 200 A.D. and Prof. Jacobi believes that the Sutras must have been composed between 200 A.D. and 450 A.D.



The question of determining the date of the composition of the Mahabharata is next to impossible. Only an attempt to fix the period of its composition can be made. The Mahabharata has undergone three editions and with each editor the title and subject matter has changed. In its original form it was known as 'Jaya' Triumph. This original name occurs even in the third edition, both in the beginning as well as in the end. The original edition of the book known as 'Jaya' was composed by one Vyas. In its second edition it was known as Bharat. The editor of this second edition was one Vaishampayana. Vaishampayana's Edition was not the only second edition of the Bharata. Vyas had many pupils besides Vaishampayana; Sumantu, Jaimini, Paila and Shuka were his other four pupils. They all had learned at the feet of Vyas. Each one of them produced his own edition. Thus there were four other editions of Bharata. Vaishampayana recast the whole and brought out his own version. The third Editor is Sauti. He recast Vaishampayana's version of Bharata. Sauti's version ultimately came to have the name of Mahabharata.

The book has grown both in size and in the subject matter as well. The 'Jaya' of Vyas was a small work having not more than 8,800 Shlokas. In the hands of Vaishampayana it grew into 24,000 verses. Sauti expanded it to contain 96,836 Shlokas. As to subject matter, the original as composed by Vyas was only a story of the war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. In the hands of Vaishampayana the subject became two-fold. To the original story there was added the sermon. From a purely historical work it became a diadactic work aiming to teach a right code of social, moral and religious duties. Sauti the last Editor made it an all embracing repository of legendary lore. All the smaller floating legends and historical stories which existed independently of the Bharata were brought together by Sauti so that they might not be lost or that they may be found together. Sauti had another ambition, that was to make the Bharata a storehouse of learning and knowledge. This is the reason why he added sections on all branches of knowledge, such as politics, geography, archary etc. Taking into account Sauti's habit of repetition it is no wonder that the Bharata in his hand became Mahabharata.

Now as to the date of its composition. There is no doubt that the war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas is a very ancient event. But that does not mean that the composition of Vyas is as old as the event or contempraneous with the event. It is difficult to assign specific dates to the different editions. Taking it as a whole Prof. Hopkins says : [f36] 

"The time of the whole Mahabharata generally speaking may then be from 200-400 A.D. This, however, takes into account neither subsequent additions, such as we know, to have been made in later times, nor the various recasting in verbal form, which may safely be assumed to have occurred at the hands of successive copyists."

But there are other circumstances which definitely point to a later date.

The Mahabharata contains a reference to the Huns. It was Skandagupta who fought the Huns and defeated them in or about the year 455. Notwithstanding this, the invasions of the Huns continued till 528 A.D. It is obvious that the Mahabharata was being written about this time or thereafter.

There are other indications pointed out by Mr. Kausarnbi [f37]  which suggest a much later date. The Mahabharata refers to the Mlenchhas or the Muslims. In the 190th Adhyaya of the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata, there is a verse 29 wherein the author says that "the whole world will be Islamic. All Aryan rites and ceremonies and religious celebrations will cease". This is a direct reference to the Muslims and although the verse speaks of what is to happen in the future, the Mahabharata being a Purana must as in the case of the Purana be taken to speak of the event has happened. This verse so interpreted show that the Mahabharata was being written after the date of the Muslim invasions of India. There are other references which point to the same conclusion. In the same Adhyaya verse 59 it is said that "Oppressed by the Vrashalas, the Brahmins struck with fear, and finding no one to protect them will roam all over the world groaning and crying in agony ".

The Vrashalas referred to in this verse cannot be the Buddhists. There is no particle of evidence that the Brahmins were ever oppressed. On the contrary the evidence is that the Brahmins during the Buddhist regimes were treated with the same liberality as the Buddhist Bhikshus. The reference to the Vrashalas which means the uncultured must be to the Islamic invaders. If that is so, then part of the Mahabharata was certainly composed after the Muslim invasions of India began.

There occur other verses in the same Adhyaya of the Vanaparva which points to the same conclusion. They are 65, 66 and 67. In these verses it is said that "Society will become disarranged. People will worship Yedukas. They will boycott Gods. The Shudras will not serve the twice born. The whole world will be covered with Yedukas. The Yug will come to an end".

Great significance attaches to the term 'Yedukas'. By some it has been taken to mean a Buddhist Chaitya, on the ground that Yeduka means bone and particularly the bones of Buddha and subsequently Chaitya because a Chaitya contains the bones of the Buddha. But according to Mr. Kausambi2  this is wrong. Nowhere either in the Buddhist lirerature or in the Vedic literature is the word Yeduka used in the sense of 'Chaitya'. On the contrary, according to Amarkosh as commented upon by Maheshwar Bhatt, the word Yeduka means a wall which contains a wooden structure to give it strength. So understood Kausambi contends that the word Yeduka must mean 'Idgaha' of the Musalmans before which they say their prayers. If this is a correct interpretation then it is obvious that part of the Mahabharata was written after the Muslim invasions, particularly after those of Mahamad Ghori. The first Muslim invasion took place in 721 A.D. under Ibne Kassim. He captured some of the towns in Northern India but did not cause much destruction of Temples and Viharas and massacred priests of both the religions. But he did not engage himself in building Mosques or Idgahas. That was done by Mahamad Ghori. So that, it can well be said, that the writing of the Mahabharata was going on till 1200 A.D.



It is a fact that like Mahabharata, the Ramayana has also gone through three editions. There are two sorts of references to the Ramayana in the Mahabharata. In one case the reference is to Ramayana without any mention of the author. The other reference is to the Ramayana of Valmiki. But the present Ramayana is not the Ramayana of Valmiki. [f38]  In the opinion of Mr. C. V. Vaidya[f39]  :

" That the present Ramayana, even as it is approved and adopted by the searching and all-respected commentator Kataka, is not the Ramayana originally written by Valmiki, not even the most orthodox thinker will be disposed to doubt. Whoever even cursorily reads the poem, cannot but be struck with the inconsistencies, the severances of connections, juxtapositions of new and old ideas which abound so greatly in the present Ramayana, whether we take the Bengal or the Bombay text of it. And one cannot but come to the conclusion that the Ramayana of Valmiki was substantially reconstructed at some subsequent date."

As in the case of the Mahabharata, there has been an accretion to the subject matter of the Ramayana. Originally it was just a story of the war between Rama and Ravana over the abduction of Rama's wife Sita by Ravana. In the second edition it became a story with a sermon. From a purely historical work, it also became a didactic work aiming to teach a right code of Social, Moral and religious duties. When it

assumed the form of a third edition, it was again, like the Mahabharata, made a repository of legends, knowledge, learning, philosophy and other arts and sciences.

With regard to the date of the composition of the Ramayana, one proposition is well established namely that the episode of Rama is older than the episode of the Pandus. But that the composition of the Ramayana has gone on peripassu along with the composition of the Mahabharata. Portions of Ramayana may be earlier than the Mahabharata. But there can be no doubt that a great part of the Ramayana was composed after a great part of the Mahabharata had already been composed. [f40] 



The Puranas[f41] today number 18. This is however not the original number. According to traditions, there is no reason to doubt, there was only one Purana to start with. Tradition alleges that this Purana was older than the Vedas. The Atharva Veda refers to this Purana and the Bramhanda Puran says that it is more ancient than the Vedas. It was a lore which the King was expected to know for the Satapada. Brarnhana says the Adhvaryu was required to recite the Purana to the King on the 10th day of the Yajna.

The origin of the 18 Puranas is attributed to Vyas who it is said recast the original single Purana and by additions and substractions made 18 out of one. The making of the 18 Puranas is thus the second stage in the evolution of the Puranas. The edition of each of these 18 Puranas as published or uttered by Vyas is called the Adi[f42]  Purana i.e. the original edition as brought out by Vyas. After Vyas composed these 18 Puranas, he taught them to his disciple Romaharsana. Romaharsana prepared his own edition of the Puranas and taught it to his six disciples. Romaharsana's edition of the Puranas thus became the third edition of the Puranas. Of the six disciples of Romaharsana, three: Kasyapa, Savarni and Vaisampayana, made three separate editions which may be called the fourth edition of the Puranas which we call by their names. According to the Bhavishya Purana, the Puranas came to be revised sometime during the reign of King Vikramaditya. [f43] 

As to the subject matter of the Puranas. The Purana from the oldest time is a recognised department of knowledge. For instance it was distinguished from Itihas or history. By Itihas what was understood was past occurances connected with a ruling king. By Akhyana was meant the recital of an event the occurance of which one had witnessed. By Upakhyana was meant the recital of something one has heard. Gat has meant songs about dead ancestors and about nature and universe.

Kalpashudi[f44]  are ancient ways of acting regarding Shraddha and Kalpa. [f45]  The Purana was distinguished from all these branches of knowledge. The Purana was concerned with five subjects. (1) Sarga (2) Prati Sarga (3) Vamsha (4) Manvantar and (5) Vamshacharitra. Sarga means creation of the universe, Pratisarga means the dissolution of the Universe. Vamsha means Geneology, Manvantar means the Ages of the different Manus, particularly the fourteen successive Manus who were the progenitors or sovereigns of the Earth. Vamshacharitra means the account of royal dynasties.

There has been a considerable addition made in the scope and subject matter of the Puranas. For the Puranas which we have are no longer confined to these subjects. In addition to these subjects they contain other subjects which fall entirely outside their prescribed scope. Indeed there has been such a change in the fundamental notion regarding the scope of the Puranas so that some of them do not contain any treatment of the regular subjects but deal wholly with the new or extra subjects. The extra subjects include the following main topics :

(I) Smriti Dharma which include discussion of:

(1) Varnashrama-dharma, (2) Achara, (3) Ahnika, (4) Bhashyabhasya, (5) Vivaha, (6) Asaucha, (7) Shradha (8) Dravya-Suddhi (9) Pataka, (10) Prayaschitta, (II) Naraka, (12) Karma Vipaka and (13) Yuga Dharma.

(II) Vrata Dharma—Observance of holy vows and holy days

(III) Kshetra Dharma—Pilgrimages to holy places and

(IV) Dana Dharma—Gifts to holy persons. In addition to this, there are two other topics the new subject matter with which one finds the Puranas to be deeply concerned.

The first of these two topics relates to sectarian worship. The Puranas are votaries of a particular deity and advocate the cause of a particular deity and the sect devoted to his worship. Five[f46]  Puranas advocate worship of Vishnu, Eight[f47]  worship of Shiva, One[f48]  worship of Brahma, One[f49]  worship of Surya, Two worship of Devi and One worship of Genesh.

The second topic which the Puranas have made a part of their subject matter is the history of the Avatars of the God. The Puranas make a distinction between identification of two Gods and the incarnation of a God. In the case of identification, the theory is that the God is one although he has two names. In the case of an incarnation, God becomes another being of the man or brute and does something miraculous. In reading this history of incarnations the fruitful source is Vishnu. For it is only Vishnu who has taken Avatars from time to time and done miraculous deeds and we find in the Puranas this new topic discussed in all its elaborate details.

It is no wonder if by the addition of these new subjects, the Puranas have been transformed out of recognition.

There is one other matter regarding the authorship of the Puranas which is noteworthy. It relates to the change in the authorship of the Puranas. Among the ancient Hindus, there were two separate sections among the literary class. One section consisted of the Brahmins and another section called Sutas who were non-Bramhins. Each was in charge of a separate department of literature. The Sutas had the monopoly of the Puranas. The Brahmins had nothing to do with the composition or the reciting of the Puranas. It was exclusively reserved for the Sutas and the Brahmins had nothing to do with it. Though the Sutas had specialized themselves in the making and the reciting of the Puranas, although they had acquired a hereditary and a prescriptive right to compose and recite the Puranas, there came a time when the Sutas were ousted from this profession by Brahmins who took it into their own hands and made a monopoly of it in their own favour. Thus there was a change in the authorship of the Puranas. Instead of the Sutas, it is the Brahmins who became their authors[f50] .

It is probably when the Puranas fell into the hands of the Brahmins that the Puranas have been finally edited and recast to make room for the new subjects. The editing and recasting has been of a very daring character. For in doing so they have added fresh chapters, substituted new chapters for old chapters and written new chapters with old names. So that by this process some Puranas retained their earlier materials, some lost their early materials, some gained new materials and some became totally new works.

The determination of the date of the composition of the Puranas is a problem which has hardly been tackled.All history written by the Brahmins is history without dates and the Puranas are no exception. The date of the Puranas has to be determined by circumstantial evidence co-related with events the dates of which are well settled. The dates of the composition of the different Puranas have not been examined as closely as those of the other parts of the Brahminic literature. Indeed scholars have paid no attention to the Puranas at all certainly nothing like what they have done in the matter of the Vedic literature. Mr. Hazara's is the only work I know of in which an attempt is made in the matter of determining the date of the composition of the Puranas. I give below the dates of the Puranas as found by him.



Date of Composition

1. Markendeya

Between 200 and 600 A. D.

2. Vayu

Between 200 and 500 A. D.

3. Bramhanda

Between 200 and 500 A. D.

4. Vishnu

Between 100 and 350 A. D.

5. Matsya

Part about 325 A. D. Part about 1100 A. D.

6. Bhagwat

Between 500 and 600 A. D

7. Kurma

Between 550 and 1000 A. D.

8. Vamana

Between 700 and 1000 A. D.

9. Linga

Between 600 and 1000 A. D.

10. Varaha

Between 800 and 1500 A. D.

11. Padma

Between 600 and 950 A. D.

12. Brahanaradiya

Between 875 and 1000 A. D.

13. Agni

Between 800 and 900 A. D.

14. Garuda

Between 850 and 1000 A. D.

15. Bramha

Between 900 and 1000 A. D.

16. Skanda

After 700 A. D.

17. Bramha Vaivrata

After 700 A. D.

18. Bhavishya

After 500 A. D.


No more. precise date can be fixed for the Puranas at any rate for the         present. New research in the field may narrow the higher and lower         limits of their composition. The difference will only be a difference of degree. It will not be one of subversion of Eras.

This short survey is enough to remove any doubt as to the age of this literature that it is post-Buddhistic. The survey establishes one more point of great significance. This literature arose during the period subsequent to the triumph of Brahmins under the leadership of Pushyamitra. The survey brings out one other point. Vyas writes Mahabharata. Vyas tells Bhagwat Gita, and Vyas also writes the Puranas. Mahabharata contains 18 Parvas, the Gita has 18 Adhyayas and the Puranas number 18. Is all this an Accident? Or is it the result of a design planned and worked out in concert ? We must wait and see.




The vedanta Sutras of Badarayana as has been pointed out already constitute a department of study on the same line as the Karma Sutras of Jaimini. It is natural to ask how the founders of these two schools of thought comfort themselves towards each other. When one begins to inquire into the matter one comes across facts which are revealing. In the first place as Prof. Belvalkar [f51] points out, 'the Vedanta Sutras are very closely modelled upon the Karma Sutras' In the matter of methodology and terminology, Badarayana almost slavishly follows Jaimini. He accepts Jaimini rules of interpreting the text of the Shruti. He uses Jaimini's technical terms in the sense in which they have been used by Jaimini. He uses the very illustrations which are employed by Jaimini.

This is a matter for small wonder. But what is not a matter for small wonder is the attitude of the two schools towards each other in the matter of doctrine. Let me give an illustration.

Badarayana gives the following Sutras[f52]  as illustrative of the position of Jaimini towards the Vedanta.

2. Because (the Self) is supplementary (to sacrificial acts), (the fruits of the knowledge of the Self) are mere praise of the agent, even as in other cases; thus says Jaimini.

"According to Jaimini the Vedas merely prescribe acts to attain certain purposes including Liberation, and nothing more. He argues that the knowledge of the Self does not yield any independent results, as Vedanta holds, but is connected with the acts through the agent. No one undertakes a sacrificial act unless he is conscious of the fact that he is different from the body and that after death he will go to heaven, where he will enjoy the results of his sacrifices. The Text dealing with Self-knowledge serve merely to enlighten the agent and so are subordinate to sacrificial acts. The fruits, however, which the Vedanta texts declare with regard to Self-knowledge, are merely praise, even as texts declare such results by way of praise, with respect to other matters. In short, Jaimini holds that by the knowledge that his Self will outlive the body, the agent becomes qualified for sacrificial actions, even as other things become fit in sacrifices through purificatory ceremonies. 3. Because we find (from the scriptures such) conduct (of men of realization).

"Janaka, emperor of Videha performed a sacrifice in which gifts were freely distributed" (Brih. 3.1.1.); "I am going to perform a sacrifice, Sirs" (Chh. 5.11.5.). Now both Janaka and Asvapati were knowers of the Self. If by this knowledge of the Self they had attained Liberation, there was no need for them to perform sacrifices. But the two texts quoted show that they did perform sacrifices. This proves that it is through sacrificial acts alone that one attains Liberation, and not through the knowledge of the Self, as the Vedantians hold. 4. That (viz, that knowledge of the Self stands in a subordinate relation to sacrificial acts) the scriptures directly declare, "That alone which is performed with knowledge, faith and meditation becomes more powerful" (Chh. 1.1.10); This text clearly shows that knowledge is a part of the sacrificial act. 5. Because the two (knowledge and work) go together (with the departing soul to produce the results).

"It is followed by knowledge, work, and past experience "(Brih. 4.4.2.). This text shows that knowledge and work go together with the soul and produce the effect which it is destined to enjoy. Knowledge independently is not able to produce any such effect." 6. Because (the scriptures) enjoin (work) for such (as know the purport of the Vedas).

"The scriptures enjoin work only for those who have a knowledge of the Vedas, which includes the knowledge of the Self. Hence knowledge does not independently produce any result." 7. And on account of prescribed rules.

"Performing works here let a man wish to live a hundred years" (Is. 2.); "Agnihotra is a sacrifice lasting up to old age and death:, for through old age one is freed from it or through death" (Sat. Br. From such prescribed rules also we find that Knowledge stands in a subordinate relation ro work.

What is the position of Badarayana towards Jaimini and Karma Kanda Shastras?

This is best illustrated by the reply which Badarayana gives to the attack by Jaimini on Vedanta as formulated by Badarayana in the Sutras quoted above. The reply is contained in the following Sutras : [f53] 

8. But because (the scriptures) teach (the Supreme Self to be) other (than the agent), Badarayana's (view is) correct; for that is seen (from the scriptures).

"Sutras 2-7 give the view of the Mimamsakas, which is refuted by Sutras 8-17.

The Vedanta texts do not teach the limited self, which is the agent, but the Supreme Self, which is different from the agent. Thus the knowledge of the Self which the Vedanta texts declare is different from that knowledge of the self which an agent possesses. The knowledge of such a Self, which is free from all limiting adjuncts, not only does not help, but puts an end to all actions. That the Vedanta texts teach the Supreme Self is clear from such texts as the following; "He who perceives all and knows all" (Mu. 1.1.9.); "Under the mighty rule of this immutable, O Gargi" etc. (Brih. 3.8.9.).

9. But the declarations of the Shruti equally support both views.

"This Sutra refutes the view expressed in Sutra 3. There it was shown that Janaka and others even after attaining Knowledge were engaged in work. This Sutra says the scriptural authority equally supports the view that for one who attained Knowledge there is no work. "Knowing this very Self the Brahmanas renounce the desire for sons, for wealth, and for the worlds, and lead a mendicant life" (Brih. 3.5.1.). "We also see from the scriptures that knowers of the Self like Yajnavalkya gave up work." 'This much indeed is (the means of) immortality, my dear'. Saying this Yajnavlkya left home" (Brih. 4.5.15). The work of Janaka and others was characterized by non-attachment, and as such it was practically no work; so the Mimarnsa argument is weak.

10. (The declaration of the scripture referred to in Sutra 4) is not universally true.

The declaration of the Shruti that knowledge enhances the fruit of the sacrifice does not refer to all knowledge, as it is connected only with the Udgitha, which is the topic of the section. (There is) division of knowledge and work, as in the case of a hundred (divided between two persons).

"This Sutra refutes Sutra 5. "It is followed by knowledge, work, and past experiences" (Brih. 4.4.2.). Here we have to take knowledge and work in a distributive sense, meaning that knowledge follows one and work another. Just as when we say a hundred be given to these two persons, we divide it into two halves and give each man fifty. There is no combination of the two. Even without this explanation Sutra 5 can be refuted. For the text quoted refers only to knowledge and work, which concern the transmigrating soul, and not an emancipated soul. For the passage, "Thus does the man who desires (transmigrate)" (Brih. 4.4.6.) shows that the previous text refers to the transmigrating self. And of the emancipated soul Shruti says, "But the man who never desires (never transmigrates)" etc. (Brih. 4.4.6.). 12. (The scriptures enjoin work) only on those who have read the Vedas.

"This Sutra refutes Sutra 6. Those who have read the Vedas and known about the sacrifices are entitled to perform work. No work is prescribed for those who have knowledge of the Self from the Upanishads. Such a knowledge is incompatible with work. 13. Because there is no special mention (of the Jaimini it does not (apply to him).

"This Sutra refutes Sutra 7. The text quoted there from the Isa Upanishad is a general statement, and there is no special mention in it that it is applicable to a Jnani also. In the absence of such a specification it is not binding on him.

14. Or rather the permission (to do work) is for praising (Knowledge).

"The injunction to do work for the knowers of the Self is for the glorification of this Knowledge. The praise involved in it is this : A knower of the Self may work all his life, but on account of this Knowledge he will not be bound by its effects. 15. And some according to their choice (have refrained from all work).

"In Sutra 3 it was said that Janaka and others were engaged in work even after Knowledge. This Sutra says that some have of their own accord given up all work. The point is that after Knowledge some may choose to work to set an example to others, while others may give up all work. There is no binding on the knowers of the Self as regards work.

16. And (the scriptures say that the) destruction (of all qualifications for work results from Knowledge).

Knowledge destroys all ignorance and its products like agent, act, and result. "But when to the knower of Brahman everything has become the Self, then what should one see and through what" etc., (Brih. 4.5.15). The knowledge of the Self is antagonistic to all work and so cannot possibly be subsidiary to work. 17. And (Knowledge belongs) to those who observe continence (i.e. to Sannyasis); because (this fourth Ashrarna is mentioned) in the scriptures.

"The scriptures declare that Knowledge is gained in that stage of life in which continence is prescribed, i.e. the fourth stage or Sannyasa Asrama. To a Sannayasin there is no work prescribed except discrimination. So how can Knowledge be subservient to work? That there is a stage of life called Sannyasa we find from the scriputures themselves in texts like : "There are three branches of duty; sacrifice, study and charity are the first;. . . . All these attain to the worlds of the virtuous; but only one who is firmly established in Brahman attains immortality" (Chh. 2.33.1-2); "Desiring this world (the Self) alone monks renounce their homes" (Brih. 4..4.22). See also Mu. 1.2.11 and Chh. 5.10.1. Everyone can take to this life without being a householder etc. which shows the independence of Knowledge".

Many such Sutras can be found in Badarayana indicating the attitude of the two schools of thought towards each other. But one is enough as it is so very typical. If one stops to consider the matter the position becomes absolutely clear. Jaimini denounces Vedanta as a false Shastra a snare and a delusion, something superficial, unnecessary and insubstantial. What does Badarayana do in the face of this attack? He defends his own Vedanta Shastra. What one would expect from Badrayana is denunciation of the Karmakanda of Jaimini as a false religion. Badarayana shows no such courage. On the contrary he is very apologetic. He concedes that Jaimini's Karmakanda is based on the Scriptures and cannot be repudiated. All that he insists is that his Vedanta doctrine is also true because it has also the support of the Scriptures. Some explanation is necessary for this attitude of Badarayana.


The Bhagwat Gita forms part of the Bhishmaparvan of the great epic known as the Mahabharat. The epic is mainly concerned with the struggle for sovereignty between cousins, the Kauravas the sons of Dhritarashtra and the Pandavas the sons of Pandu. Pandu was the younger brother of Dhritarashtra. But as Dhritarashtra was blind the throne went to Pandu. After Pandu's death there arises a dispute between his sons and the sons of Dhritarashtra regarding the right of succession. The struggle for sovereignty culminated in the battle of Kurukshetra (near modern Panipat). In this battle Krishna sides with the Pandavas and acts as their guide, friend and philohopher,--nay acts as the charioteer of Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers and who plays the part of the chief warrior in the battle on the side of the Pandavas.

The two armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas were arrayed for battle on the field. Arjuna in his chariot with Krishna as a driver comes and takes his place in front of the Pandava army. Strong and valiant he gazes at the opposing army of the Kauravas and is struck by the horror of the dreadful fratricidal war in which he will have to kill his cousins and slay those whom he himself revers and to whom he is greatly attached and indebted, He becomes dejected, lays down his weapons and refuses to fight. Krishna begins to argue with him and provoke him to fight. This argument takes the form of a question and answer of a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna at the end of which Arjuna agrees to fight.

At the opening of the Bhagwat Gita we find old Dhritarashtra questioning Sanjaya about the battle. This is because Dhritarashtra the father of the Kauravas who though alive at the time when the battle was fought was a blind man and could not see and know things for himself. For the knowledge of the happenings he had to depend upon the reports of others. Anticipating the difficulty of getting someone to tell Dhritarashtra the authentic story, Vyas the author of the Mahabharata, it is said, bestowed on Sanjaya, the charioteer of Dhritrashtra, the power of knowing all that takes place on the battlefield— even the thoughts in men's minds- that he may make a faithful report to Dhritarashtra. That is why we find the episode of Bhagwat Gita related as a reply by Sanjaya to questions by Dhritarashtra. But the Gita is really a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna and is rightly called Krishana Arjuna Samvad.

In this Krishna-Arjuna-Samvad—which is the real name of the Bhagwat Gita— the main question over which there was disagreement was to fight or not to fight. There was no other question. This was the one and the only question which was the subject matter of discussion and argument between the two. Starting from this point of view it is obvious that the Gita could never have been intended by Krishna to be the occasion for moral instruction for the general public or the doctrinal exposition of any religious system or the catechism attached to any creed. Yet this is just what the Gita has come to be. Although the occasion was to decide to fight or not to fight, the Gita is said to contain what his religious doctrine Krishna is said to have preached to Arjuna.

The first question that crops up is who is this Krishna. To this one gets quite surprizingly a variety of answers from the Gita itself. At the start Krishna appears as a mere man with a completely human personality. He is a warrior by profession. He is a great warrior though he had chosen[f54]  the humble duty of driving the chariot of Arjuna. From man he grows into superman directing and controlling the war and its frotunes. From superman he grows into a demigod and dictator. When all his arguments fail to move Arjuna to fight, he simply orders him to fight and the frightened Arjuna gets up and does his biddings. From demigod he rises to the position of God and is spoken of as Ishwara.

This shows the growth of the personality of Krishna. But what is important is that in the very same Gita, Krishna stands out a.s a representative of other forms of God. Four such representative characters in which Krishna appears are clear to any one who happens to read the Gita even casually.

Krishna is Vasudeo : Bhagwat Gita :

Ch.X.37. Of the Vrishnis I am Vasudeva; of the Pandavas, Dhananjaya; and also for the Munis, I am Vyasa; of the sages, Ushanas the sage. Krishna as Bhagwan :

Ch.X.12. The Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Abode, the Supreme Purifier, art Thou. Krishna is an Avtar of Vishnu :

Ch.X.21. Of the Adityas, I am Vishnu; of luminaries, the radiant Sun; of the winds, I am Marichi; of the asterisms, the Moon.

Ch.X1.24. On seeing Thee touching the sky, shining in many a colour, with mouths wide open, with large fiery eyes, I am terrified at heart, and find no courage nor peace, 0 Vishnu.

XI.30. Swallowing all the worlds on every side with Thy flaming mouths, Thou art licking Thy lips. Thy fierce rays, filling the whole world with radiance, are burning, 0 Vishnu. Krishna is also an Avtar of Shankara :

X.23. And of the Rudras I am Shankara; of the Yakshas and Rakshasas the Lord of wealth (Kuvera); of the Vasus I am Pavaka; and of mountains, Meru am 1.


Krishna is Bramhan :

XV. 15. I am centered in the hearts of all; memory and perception as well as their loss come from Me. I am verily that which has to be known by all the Vedas, I indeed am the Author of the Vedanta, and the Knower of the Veda am 1.

XV. 16. There are two Purushas in the world,—The Perishable and the Imperishable. All beings are the Perishable, and the Kutastha is called Imperishable.

XV. 17. But (there is) another, the Supreme Purusha, called the Highest Self, the immutable Lord, who pervading the three worlds, sustains them.

XV. 18. As I transcend the Perishable and am above even the Imperishable, therefore am I in the world and in the Veda celebrated as the Purushottama, (the Highest Purusha).

XV. 19. He who free from delusion thus knows Me, the Highest Spirit, he knowing all, worships Me with all his heart, 0 descendant of Bharata.

Ask the next question, What is the doctrine that Krishna preaches to Arjuna? The doctrine preached by Krishna to Arjuna is said to be the doctrine of salvation for the human soul. While the question dealt with by Krishna is one relating to Salvation, Krishna teaches three different doctrines of Salvation.

Salvation is possible by Dnyanmarg as propounded by Samkhya Yog.

11.39. The wisdom of Self-realisation has been declared unto thee. Hearken thou now to the wisdom of Yoga, endued with which, 0 son of Pritha, thou shalt break through the bonds of Karma. Thus is the concluding verse of the discourse on Samkhya Yoga discussed in Chapter II, verses 11-16 and 18-30.

(2) Salvation is possible by Karma marg,

V.2. Both renunciation and performance of action lead to freedom : of these performance of action is superior to the renunciation of action.

(3) Salvation is possible by Bhakti Marg.

IX. 13. But the great souled ones, 0 son of Pritha, possessed of the Divine Prakriti, knowing Me to be the origin of beings, and immutable, worship Me with a single mind.

IX. 14. Glorifying Me always and striving with firm resolve, bowing down to Me in devotion, always steadfast, they worship Me. IX. 15. Others, too, sacrificing by the Yajna of knowledge (i.e. seeing the Self in all), worship Me the All Formed, as one, as distnct, as manifold.

IX. 17. I am the Father of this world, the Mother, the Sustainer, the Grandfather; the Purifier, the (one) thing to be known, (the syllable) 0m, and also the Rik Saman and Yajus.

IX.22. Persons who, meditating on Me as non-separate, worship Me in all beings, to them thus ever jealously engaged, I carry what they lack and preserve what they already have. There are two other features of the Bhagwat Gita which arrests one's attention.

(i) There is a sentiment of depreciation of the Vedas and Vedic rituals and sacrifices.

11.42-44. 0 Partha, no set determination is formed in the minds of those that are deeply attached to pleasure and power, and whose disctimination is stolen away by the flowery words of the unwise, who are full of desires and look upon heaven as their highest goal and who, taking pleasure in the panegyric words of the Vedas, declare that there is nothing else. Their (flowery) words are exuberant with various specific rites as the means to pleasure and power and are the causes of (new) births as the result of their works (performed with desire).

11.45 The Vedas deal with the three Gunas, Be thou free, 0 Arjun, from the triad of the Gunas, free from the apirs of opposites, ever balanced, free from (the thought of) getting and keeping, and established in the Self.

11.46. To the Brahmana who has known the Self, all the Vedas are of so much use, as a reservoir is, when there is a flood everywhere.

IX.21. Having enjoyed the vast Swarga-world, they enter the mortal world, on the exhaustion of their merit; Thus, abiding by the injunctions of the three (Vedas), desiring desires, they (constantly) come and go.





The Triumph of Brahmanism : Regicide or the birth of Counter-Revolution


We have found only 3 typed pages under this title. Fortunately, a copy of the essay has been spared by Shri S. S. Rege for being included in this hook. While examining the pages we have noticed that the copy given by Mr. Rege also lacks page nos 3 to 7 and 9 to 17. The total typed pages of this essay have been numbered 92 inclusive of the missing pages. The title on the copy of Mr. Rege is the 'Triumph of Brahmanism'; whereas the first page of the script in our papers is also entitled as ' Regicide or the Birth of Counter-Revolution '. The classification of the subject into IX Chapters is noted in our copy whereas it is missing from the copy of Mr. Rege. Both the titles and the classification are recorded in the handwriting of Dr. Ambedkar. Hence, they are retained in this print. Incidentaly, the page nos 91017 were found fagged in other file. All those papers have now been introduced at proper place. Thus except page Nos. 4 to 7, the script is complete.—Editors.

I The Brahmanic Revolt against Buddhism. II Manu the apostle of Brahmanism. Ill Brahmanism and the Brahmin's Right to rule and regicide. IV Brahmanism and the privileges of Brahmins. V Brahmanism and the Creation of Caste. VI Brahmanism and the degradation of the Non-Brahmins. VII Brahmnism and the Suppression of the Shudra. VIII Brahmanism and the Subjection of Women. IX Brahmanism and the legalization of the social system.

Speaking about India, Prof. Bloomfield opens his lectures on the Religion of the Veda by reminding his audience that "India is the land of religions in more than one sense. It has produced out of its own resources, a number of distinctive systems and sects....

In another sense India is a land of religions. Nowhere else is the texture of life so much impregnated with religious convictions and practices... "[f55] 

These observations contain profound truth. He would have given utterance to truth far more profound and arresting if he had said that India is a land of warring religions. For indeed there is no country in which Religion has played so great a part in its history as it has in the history of India. The history of India is nothing but a history of a mortal conflict between— Buddhism and Brahmanism. So neglected is this truth that no one will be found to give it his ready acceptance. Indeed there may not be wanting persons who would repudiate any such suggestion.

Let me therefore briefly recount the salient facts of Indian history. For it is important that everyone who was able to understand the history of India must know that it is nothing but the history of the struggle for supremacy between Brahmanism and Buddhism.

The history of India is said to begin with the Aryans who invaded India, made it their home and established their culture. Whatever may be the virtues of the Aryans, their culture, their religion and their social system, we know very little about their political history. Indeed notwithstanding the superiority that is claimed for the Aryans as against the Non-Aryans, the Aryans have left very little their political achievements for history to speak of. The political history of India begins with the rise of a non-Aryan people called Nagas, who were a powerful people, whom the Aryans were unable to conquer, with whom the Aryans had to make peace, and whom the Aryans were compelled to recognize as their equals. Whatever fame and glory India achieved in ancient times in the political field, the credit for it goes entirely to the Non-Aryan Nagas. It is they who made India great and glorious in the annals of the world.

The first land mark in India's political history is the emergence of the Kingdom of Magadha in Bihar in the year 642 B.C. The founder of this kingdom of Magadha is known by the name of Sisunag2[f56]  and belonged to the non-Aryan race of Nagas.

From the small beginning made by Sisunag, this Kingdom of Magadha grew in its extent under the capable rulers of this Sisunag dynasty. Under Bimbisara the fifth ruler of this dynasty the kingdom grew into an Empire and came to be known as the Empire of Magadha. The Sisunag dynasty continued to rule the kingdom till 413 B.C. In that year the reigning Emperor of the Sisunag Dyansty Mahananda was killed by an adventurer called Nanda. Nanda usurped the throne of Magadha and founded the Nanda Dynasty.

This Nanda Dynasty ruled over the Empire of Magadha upto 322 B.C. The last Nanda king was deposed by Chandragupta who founded the Maurya Dynasty. Chandragupta was related[f57]  to the family of the last ruling emperor of the Sisunag Dynasty so that it may be said that the revolution effected by Chandragupta was really a restoration of the Naga Empire of Magadha.

The Mauryas by their conquests enormously extended the boundaries of this Empire of Magadha which they inherited. So vast became the growth of this Empire under Ashoka, the Empire began to be known by another name. It was called the Maurya Empire or the Empire of Ashoka. (From here onwards page Nos. 4 to 7 of the MS are missing.)

It did not remain as one of the many diverse religions then in vogue. Ashoka made it the religion of the state. This of course was the greatest blow to Brahmanism. The Brahmins lost all state partonage and were neglected to a secondary and subsidiary position in the Empire of Ashoka.

Indeed it may be said to have been suppressed for the simple reason that Ashoka prohibited all animal sacrifices which constituted the very essence of Brahmanic Religion.

The Brahmins had not only lost state partonage but they lost their occupation which mainly consisted in performing sacrifices for a fee which often times was very substantial and which constituted their chief source of living. The Brahmins therefore lived as the suppressed and Depressed Classes2 [f58] for nearly 140 years during which the Maurya Empire lasted.

A rebellion against the Buddhist state was the only way of escape left to the suffering Brahmins and there is special reason why Pushyamitra should raise the banner of revolt against the rule of the Mauryas. Pushyamitra was a Sung by Gotra.

The Sungas were Samvedi Brahmins,3[f59]  who believed in animal sacrifices and soma sacrifices. The Sungas were therefore quite naturally smarting under the prohibition on animal sacrifices throughout the Maurya Empire proclaimed in the very Rock Edict by Ashoka.

No wonder if Pushyamitra who as a Samvedi Brahmin was the first to conceive the passion to end the degradation of the Brahmin by destroying the Buddhist state which was the cause of it and to free them to practise their Brahmanic religion.

That the object of the Regicide by Pushyamitra was to destroy Buddhism as a state religion and to make the Brahmins the sovereign rulers of India so that with the political power of the state behind it Brahmanism may triumph over Buddhism is borne out by two other circumstances.

The first circumstance relates to the conduct of Pushyamitra himself. There is evidence that Pushyamitra after he ascended the throne performed the Ashvamedha Yajna or the horse sacrifice, the vedic rite which could only be performed by a paramount sovereign. As Vincent Smith observes :

"The exaggerated regard for the sanctity of animal life, which was one of the most cherished features of Buddhism, and the motive of Ashoka's most characterisitic legislation, had necessarily involved the prohibition of bloody sacrifices, which are essential to certain forms of Brahmanical worship, and were believed by the orthodox to possess the highest saving efficacy. The memorable horse sacrifices of Pushyamitra marked an early stage in the Brahmanical reaction, which was fully developed five centuries later in the time of Samudragupta and his successors."

Then there is evidence that Pushyamitra after his accession launched a violent and virulent campaign of persecution against Buddhists and Buddhism.

How pitiless was the persecution of Buddhism by Pushyamitra can be gauged from the Proclamation which he issued against the Buddhist monks. By this proclamation Pushyamitra set a price of 100 gold pieces on the head of every Buddhist monk. [f60] 

Dr. Haraprasad Shastri speaking about the persecution of Buddhists under Pushyamitra says[f61]  :

"The condition of the Buddhists under the imperial sway of the Sungas, orthodox and bigotted, can be more easily imagined than described. From Chinese authorities it is known that many Buddhists still do not pronounce the name of Pushyamitra without a curse."


If the Revolution of Pushyamitra was a purely political revolution there was no need for him to have launched a compaign of persecution against Buddhism which was not very different to the compaign of persecution launched by the Mahamad of Gazni against Hinduism. This is one piece of circumatantial evidence which proves that the aim of Pushyamitra was to overthrow Buddhism and establish Brahmanism in its place.

Another piece of evidence which shows that the origin and purpose of the revolution by Pushyamitra against the Mauryas was to destroy Buddhism and establish Brahmanism is evidenced by the promulgation of Manu Smriti as a code of laws.

The Manu Smriti is said to be divine in its origin. It is said to be revealed to man by Manu to whom it was revealed by the Swayambhu (i.e. the Creator). This claim, as will be seen from the reference already made to it, is set out in the Code itself. It is surprizing that nobody has cared to examine the grounds of such a claim. The result is that there is a complete failure to realise the significance, place and position of the Manu Smriti in the history of India. This is true even of the historians of India although the Manu Smriti is a record of the greatest social revolution that Hindu society has undergone. There can however be no doubt that the claim made in the Manu Smriti regarding its authorship is an utter fraud and the beliefs arising out of this false claim are quite untenable.

The name Manu had a great prestige in the ancient history of India and it is with the object to invest the code with this ancient prestige that its authorship was attributed to Manu. That this was a fraud to deceive people is beyond question. The code itself is signed[f62]  in the family name of Bhrigu as was the ancient custom. "The Text Composed by Bhrigu (entitled) "The Dharma Code of Manu" is the real title of the work. The name Bhrigu is subscribed to the end of every chapter of the Code itself. We have therefore the family name of the author of the Code. His personal name is not disclosed in the Book. All the same it was known to many. The Author of Narada Smriti writing in about the 4th Century A.D. knew the name of the author of the Manu Smriti and gives out the secret. According to Narada it was one Sumati Bhargava who composed the Code of Manu. Sumati Bhargava is not a legendary name, and must have been historical person for even Medhatithe[f63]  the great commentator on the Code of Manu held the view that this Manu was 'a certain individual'. Manu therefore is the assumed name of Sumati Bhargava who is the real author of Manu Smriti.

When did this Sumati Bhargava compose this Code? It is not possible to give any precise date for its composition. But quite a precise period during which it was composed can be given. According to scholars whose authority cannot be questioned Sumati Bhargava must have composed the Code which he deliberately called Munu Smriti between 170 B.C. and 150 B.C. Now if one bears in mind the fact that the Brahmanic Revolution by Pushyamitra took place in 185 B.C. there remains no doubt that the code known as Manu Smriti was promulgated by Pushyamitra as embodying the principles of Brahmanic Revolution against the Buddhist state of the Mauryas. That the Manu Smriti forms the Institutes of Brahmanism and are a proof that Pushyamitra Revolution was not a purely personal adventure will be clear to any one who cares to note the following peculiarities relating to the Manu Smriti.

First thing to be noted is that the Manu Smriti is a new Code of law promulgated for the first time during the reign of Pushyamitra. There was a view once prevalent that there existed a code known as the Manava-Dharma-Sutra and that what is known as Manu Smriti is an adaptation of the old Manava Dharma Sutra. This view has been abandoned as there has been no trace of any such work. Two other works existed prior to the present Manu Smriti. One was known as Manava Artha Sastra, or Manava-Raja-Sastra or Manava-Raja-Dharma-Sastra. The other work was known as Manava-Grihya-Sutra. Scholars have compared the Manu Smriti. On important points the provisions of one are not only dissimilar but are in every way contrary to the provisions contained in the other. This is enough to show that Manu Smriti contains the new law of the new regime.

That the new regime of Pushyamitra was anti-Buddhist is betrayed by the open provisions enacted in the Manu Smriti against the Buddhists and Buddhism. Note the following provisions in Manu Smriti :

IX. 225. ". . .. Men who abide in heresy . . . the king should banish from his realm."

IX. 226. "These robbers in disguise, living in the king's realm constantly injure the worthy subject by the performance of their misdeeds."

V. 89. "Libations of water shall not be offered to (the souls of) those who (neglect the prescribed rites and may be said to) have been born in vain, to those born in consequence of an illegal mixture of the castes, to those who are ascetics (of heretical sects) and to those who have committed suicide."

V.90. (Libations of water shall not be offered to the souls of) women who have joined a heretical sect.....

IV. 30. Let him (the householder) not honour, even by a greeting heretics.... logicians, (arguing against the Veda).

XII. 95. "All those traditions and all those despicable systems of Philosophy, which are not based on the Veda produce no reward after death, for they are declared to be founded on Darkness.

XII. 96. "All those (doctrines), differing from the (Veda), which spring up and (soon) perish, are worthless and false, because of modern date."

Who are the heretics to whom Manu refers and whom he wants the new king to banish from his realm and the Householder not to honour in life as well as after death? What is this worthless philosophy of modern date, differing from the Vedas, based on darkness and bound to perish? There can be no doubt that the heretic of Manu is the Buddhist and the worthless philosophy of modern date differing from the Vedas is Buddhism. Kalluck Bhutt another commentator on Manu Smriti expressly states that the references to heretics in these Shlokas in Manu are to the Buddhists and Buddhism.

The third circumstance is the position assigned to the Brahmins in the Manu Smriti. Note the following provisions in Manu :

I. 93. As the Brahmana sprang from (Bramha's) mouth, as he was the first born,and as he possesses the Veda, he is by right the lord of this whole creation.

I. 96. Of created beings the most excellent are said to be those which are animated; of the animated, those which subsist by intelligence; of the intelligent, mankind; and of men, the Brahmans.

I. 100. Whatever exists in the world is the property of the Bramhans ; on account of the excellence of his origin the Brahmana is, indeed, entitled to it all.

I. 101. The Brahmana eats but his own food, wears but his. own apparel, bestows but his own in alms; other mortals subsist through the benevolence of the Brahmana.

X. 3. On account of his pre-eminance, on account of the superiority of his origin, on account of his observance of (particular) restrictive rules, and on account of his particular sanctification, the Brahmana is the lord of (all) castes.

XI. 35. The Bramhana is declared to be the creator of the world, the punisher, the teacher, and hence a benefactor of all created beings; to him let no man say anything unpropitious, nor use any harsh words.

Manu warns the King against displeasing the Bramhans in the following terms:—

IX. 313. Let him (the King) not, though fallen unto the deepest distress, provoke Bramhans to anger; for they, when angered, could instantly destroy him together with his army and his vehicles. Manu further proclaims,

XI. 31. A Bramhana who knows the law need not bring any (offence) to the notice of the king; by his own power alone he can punish those men who injure him.

XI. 32. His own power is greater than the power of the king; The Bramhana, therefore, may punish his foes by his own power alone.

This deification of the Brahmins, placing them even above the King would have been impossible unless the King himself was a Brahmin and in sympathy with the view expressed by Manu. Pushyamitra and his successors could not have tolerated these exaggerated claims of the Brahmins unless they themselves were Brahmins interested in the establishment of Bramhanism. Indeed it is quite possible that the Manu Smriti was composed at the command of Pushyamitra himself and forms the book of the philosophy of Bramhanism.

Taking all these facts into considerations there can remain no doubt; the one and only object of Pushyamitra's revolution was to destroy Buddhism and re-establish Bramhanism.

The foregoing summary of the political history of India would have been quite unnecessary for the immediate purpose of this chapter if I was satisfied with the way in which the history of India is written. But frankly I am not satisfied. For too much emphasis is laid on the Muslim conquest of India. Reels and reels have been written to show how wave after wave of Muslim invasions came down like avalanche and enveloped the people and overthrew their rulers. The whole history of India is made to appear as though the only important thing in it is a catalogue of Muslim invasions. But even from this narrow point of view it is clear that the Muslim invasions are not the only invasions worth study. There have been other invasions equally if not of greater importance. If Hindu India was invaded by the Muslim invaders so was Buddhist India invaded by Bramhanic invaders. The Muslim invasions of Hindu India and the Bramhanic invasions of Buddhist India have many similarities. The Musalman invaders of Hindu India fought among themselves for their dynastic ambitions. The Arabs, Turks, Mongols and Afghans fought for supremacy among themselves. But they had one thing in common—namely the mission to destroy idolatory. Similarly the Bramhanic invadars of Buddhist India fought among themselves for their dynastic ambitions. The Sungas, Kanvas and the Andhras fought for supremacy among themselves. But they, like the Muslim invaders of Hindu India, had one object in common that was to destroy Buddhism and the Buddhist Empire of the Mauryas. Surely if Muslim invasions of Hindu India are worthy of study at the hands of the historians, the invasions of Buddhist India by Bramhanic invaders are equally deserving of study. The ways and methods employed by the Bramhanic invaders of Buddhist India to suppress Buddhism were not less violent and less virulent than the ways and means adopted by Muslim invaders to suppress Hinduism. From the point of view of the permanent effect on the socia.l and spiritual life of the people, the Bramhanic invasions of Buddhist India have been so profound in their effect that compared to them, the effect of Muslim invasions on Hindu India have been really superficial and ephemeral. The Muslim invaders destroyed only the outward symbols of Hindu religion such as temples and Maths etc. They did not extirpate Hinduism nor did they cause any subversion of the principles or doctrines which governed the spiritual life of the people. The effects of the Bramhanic invasions were a thorough-going change in the principles which Buddhism had preached for a century as true and eternal principles of spiritual life and which had been accepted and followed by the masses as the way of life. To alter the metaphor the Muslim invaders only stirred the waters in the bath and that too only for a while. Thereafter they got tired of stirring and left the waters with the sediments to settle. They never threw the baby—if one can speak of the principles of Hinduism as a baby—out of the bath. Bramhanism in its conflict with Buddhism made a clean sweep. It emptied the bath with the Buddhist Baby in it and filled the bath with its own waters and placed in it its own baby. Bramhanism did not care to stop how filthy and dirty was its water as compared with the clean and fragrant water which flowed from the noble source of Buddhism. Bramhanism did not care to stop how hideous and ugly was its own baby as compared with the Buddhist baby. Bramhanism acquired by its invasions political power to annihilate Buddhism and it did annihilate

Buddhism. Islam did not supplant Hinduism. Islam never made a thorough job of its mission. Bramhanism did. It drove out Buddhism as a religion and occupied its place.

These facts show that Brahmanic invasions of Buddhist India have a far greater significance to the Historian of India than the Muslim invasions of Hindu India can be said to have produced. Yet very little space is devoted by historians to the vissicitudes which befell Buddhist India built up by the Mauryas and even where that is done they have not cared to deal in a pointed manner with questions that quite naturally arise : questions such as, who were the Sungas, Kanavas and Andhras ; why did they destroy the Buddhist India which was built up by the Mauryas, nor has any attempt been made to study the changes that Brahmanism after its triumph over Buddhism brought about in the political and social structure.

Failure to appreciate this aspect of India's history is due to the prevalence of some very wrong notions. It has been commonly supposed that the culture of India has been one and the same all throughout history; that Brahmanism, Buddhism, Jainism are simply diffeent phases and that there has never been any fundamental antagonism between them. Secondly it has been assumed that whatever conflicts have taken place in Indian politics were purely political and dynastic and that they had no social and spiritual significance. It is because of these wrong notions that Indian history has become a purely mechanical thing, a record of one dynasty succeeding another and one ruler succeeding another ruler. A corrective to such an attitude and to such a method of writing history lies in recognition of two facts which are indisputable.

In the first place it must be recognized that there has never been such as a common Indian culture, that historically there have been three Indias, Brahmanic India, Buddhist India and Hindu India, each with its own culture. Secondly it must be recognized that the history of India before the Muslim invasions is the history of a mortal conflict between Bramhanism and Buddhism. Any one who does not recognize these two facts will never be able to write a true history of India, a history which will disclose the meaning and purpose running through it. It is a corrective to Indian history written as it is and to disclose the meaning and purposes running through it that I was obliged to re-cast the history of the Brahmanic invasions of Buddhist India and the political triumph of Brahmanism over Buddhism.

We must therefore begin with the recognition of the fact : Pushyamitra's revolution was a political revolution engineered by the Brahmins to overthrow Buddhism.

The curious will naturally ask what did this triumphant Brahmanism do? It is to this question that I will now turn. The deeds or misdeeds of this triumphant Brahmanism may be catalogued under seven heads (1) It established the right of the Brahmin to rule and commit regicide. (2) It made the Bramhins a class of privileged persons. (3) It converted the Varna into caste. (4) It brought about a conflict and anti-social feeling between the different castes. (5) It degraded the Shudras and the women (6) It forged the system of graded inequality and (7) It made legal and rigid the social system which was conventional and flexible.

To begin with the first.

The revolution brought about by Pushyamitra created an initial difficulty in the way of the Brahmins. People could not be easily reconciled to this revolution. The resentment of the public was well expressed by the poet Bana1[f64]  when in referring to this revolution reviles Pushyamitra as being base born and calls his act of regicide as Anarva. The act of Pushyamitra was properly described by Bana as Anarya i.e. contrary to Aryan law. For on three points the Aryan law at the date of Pushyamitra's revolution was well settled. The then Aryan law declared (1) That Kingship is the right of the Kshatriya only. A Brahmin could never be a king. (2) That no Brahmin shall take to the profession of Arms2[f65]  and (3) That rebellion against the King's authority was a sin. Pushyamitra in fostering the rebellion had committed a crime against each of these three laws. He was Brahmin, and although a Brahmin he rebelled against the King, took to the profession of Arms and became a King. People were not reconciled to this usurption which constituted so flagrant a breach of the law that the Brahmins had to regularize the position created by Pushyamitra. This the Brahmins did by taking the bold step of changing the law. This change of law is quite manifest from the Manu Smriti. I will quote the appropriate shlokas from the Code :

XII. 100. "The post of the Commander-in-Chief of the Kingdom, the very Headship of Government, the complete empire over every one are deserved by the Brahmin." Here we have one change in the law. This new law declares that the Brahmin has a right to become Senapati (Commander of forces), to

conquer a kingdom, and to be the ruler and the Emperor of it.

XI. 31. A Brahmin, who well knows the laws, need not complain to the king of any grievous injury; since, even by his own power, he may chastise those, who injure him.

XI. 32. His (Brahmin's) own power, which depends on himself alone is mightier than the royal power, which depends on other men ; by his own might, therefore may a Brahmin coerce his foes.

XI. 261-62. A Brahmin who has killed even the peoples of the three worlds, is completely freed from all sins on reciting three times the Rig, Yajur or Sama.-Veda with the Upanishadas." Here is the second change in the law. It authorized the Brahmin to kill not only the king but to engage in a general massacre of men if they seek to do injury to his power and position.

VIII. 348. "The twice born man may take arms, when the rightful occupation assigned to each by Dharma is obstructed by force ; and when, in some evil time, a disaster has befallen the twice-born classes."

IX. 320. Of a Kshatriya (Military man or king), who raise his arm violently on all occasions against the Brahmins, Brahmin himself shall be the chastiser; since the soldier originally proceeded from the Brahmin."

This is the third legal change. It recognized the right to rebellion and the right to regicide. The new law is very delicately framed. It gives the right of rebellion to three higher classes. But it is also given to the Brahmins singly by way of providing for a situation when the Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas may not be prepared to join the Brahmin in bringing about a rebellion. The right of rebellion is well circumscribed. It can be exercised only when the king is guilty of upsetting the occupations assigned by Manu to the different Varnas.

These legal changes were as necessary as they were revolutionary. Their object was to legalize and regularize the position created by Pushyamitra by killing the last Maurya King. By virtue of these legal changes, a Brahmin could lawfully become a king, could lawfully take arms, could lawfully depose or murder a king who was opposed to Chaturvarna and could lawfully kill any subject that opposed the authority of the Brahmin. Manu gave the Brahmins a right to commit Barthalomeu if it became necessary to safeguard their interests.

In this way Brahmanism established the right of Brahmana to rule and set at rest whatever doubt and dispute there was regarding the same. But that could hardly be enough for the Brahmins as a whole. It may be a matter of pride but not of any advantage. There can be no special virtue in Brahmin rule if the Brahmin was treated as common man along with the Non-Brahmins having the same rights and same duties. Brahmin rule if it is to justify itself, it must do so by conferring special privileges and immunities on the Brahmins as a class. Indeed Pushyamitra's Revolution would have been an ill wind blowing no good if it had not recognized the superior position of the Brahmins and conferred upon them special advantages. Manu was alive to this and accordingly proceeds to create monopolies for Brahmins and grant them certain immunities and privileges as may be seen from the Code.

First as to monopolies :

1. 88. To Brahmanas he assigned teaching and studying (the Veda) sacrificing for their own benefit and for others, giving and accepting (of alms).

X. 1. Let the three twice-born castes (Varna), discharging their (prescribed) duties, study (the Veda) ; but among them the Brahmana (alone) shall teach it, not the other two; that is an established rule.

X. 2. The Brahmana must know the means of subsistence (prescribed) by law for all, instruct others, and himself live according to (the law).

X. 3. On account of his pre-eminence, on account of the superiority of his origin, on account of his observance of (particular) restrictive rules, and on account of his particular sanctification, the Brahmana is the lord of (all) castes (varna).

X. 74. Brahmanas who are intent on the means (of gaining union with) Brahman and firm in (discharging) their duties, shall live by duly performing the following six acts, (which are enumerated) in their (proper) order.

X. 75. Teaching, studying, sacrificing for himself, sacrificing for others, making gifts and receiving them are the six acts (prescribed) for a Brahamana.

X. 76. But among the six acts (ordained) for him three are his means of subsistence, (viz.) sacrificing for others, teaching, and accepting gifts from pure men.

X. 77. (Passing) from the Brahmana to the Kshatriya, three acts (incumbent) (on the former) are forbidden, (viz.) teaching, sacrificing for others, and, thirdly, the acceptance of gifts.

X. 78. The same are likewise forbidden to a Vaisya, that is a settled rule; for Manu, the lord of creatures (Prajapati), has not prescribed them for (men of) those two (castes).

X. 79. To carry arms for striking and for throwing (is prescribed) for Kshatriyas as a means of subsistence ; to trade, (to rear) cattle, and agriculture for Vaisyas; but their duties are liberality, the study of the Veda, and the performance of sacrifices. Here are three things which Manu made the monopoly of the Brahmin : teaching Vedas, performing Sacrifices and receiving gifts.

The following are the immunities that were granted to the Brahmins. They fall into two classes ; freedom from taxation and exemption from certain forms of punishment for crimes.

VII. 133. Though dying (with want), a king must not levy a tax on  Srotriyas, and no Srotriya residing in his kingdom, must perish from hunger.

VIII. 122. They declare that the wise have prescribed these fines for perjury, in order to prevent a failure of justice, and in order to restrain injustice.

VIII. 123. But a just king shall fine and banish (men of) the three (lower) castes (varna) who have given false evidence, but a Brahmana he shall (only) banish.

VIII. 124. Manu, the son of the Self-existent (Svayambhu), has named ten places on which punishment may be (made to fall) in the cases of the three (lower) castes (varna); but a Brahmana shall depart unhurt (from the country).

VIII. 379. Tonsure (of the head) is ordained for a Brahmana (instead of) capital punishment; but (men of) other castes shall suffer capital punishment.

VIII. 380. Let him never slay a Brahmana, though he have committed all (possible) crimes; let him banish such an (offender), leaving all his property (to him) and (his body) unhurt. Thus Manu places the Brahmin above the ordinary penal law for felony. He is to be allowed to leave the country withdraw a wound on him and with all property in proved offences of capital punishment. He is not to suffer forfeiture of fine nor capital punishment. He suffered only banishment which in the words of Hobbes was only a "Change of air" after having committed the most heinous crimes. Manu gave him also certain privileges. A Judge must be a Brahmin.

VIII. 9. But if the king does not personally investigate the suits, then let him appoint a learned Brahmana to try them.

VIII. 10. That (man) shall enter that most excellent court, accompanied by three assessors, and fully consider (all) causes (brought) before the (king), either sitting down or standing. The other privileges were financial

VIII. 37. When a learned Brahmana has found treasure, deposited in former (times), he may take even the whole (of it) ; for he is master of everything.

VIII. 38. When the king finds treasure of old concealed in the ground, let him give one half to Brahmanas and place the (other) half in his treasury.

IX. 323. But (a king who feels his end drawing nigh) shall bestow all his wealth, accumulated from fines, on Brahmanas, make over his kingdom to his son, and then seek death in battle.

IX. 187. Always to that (relative within three degrees) who is nearest to the (deceased) Sapinda the estate shall belong ; afterwards a Sakulya shall be (the heir, then) the spiritual teacher or the pupil.

IX. 188. But on failure of all (heirs) Brahmanas (shall) share the estate, (who are) versed in the three Vedas, pure and self-controlled ; thus the law is not violated.

IX. 189. The property of a Brahmana must never be taken by the King, that is a settled rule ; but (the property of men) of other castes the king may take on failure of all (heirs).

These are some of the advantages, immunities and privileges which Manu conferred upon the Brahmins. This was a token of a Brahmin having become a king.

Supporters of Brahmanism—so strong is the belief in the excellence of Brahmanism that there are no appologists for it as yet—never fail to point to the disabilities which Manu has imposed upon the Brahmins. Their object in doing so is to show that the ideal placed by Manu before the Brahmin is poverty and service. That Manu has placed certain disabilities upon the Brahmins is a fact. But to conclude from it that Manu's ideal for a Brahmin is poverty and service is a gross and deliberate concoction for which there is no foundation in Manu.

To understand the real purpose which Manu had in imposing these disabilities, two things must be borne in mind. Firstly the place Manu has assigned to the Brahmins in the general scheme of society and secondly the nature of the disabilities. The place assigned by Manu to the Brahmins is enunciated by him in unequivocal terms. The matter being important I must quote again the Verses already quoted.

1. 93. As the Brahmana sprang from (Brahman's) mouth, as he was the first born, and as he possesses the Veda, he is by right the lord of this whole creation. Consider the nature of the disabilities.

IV. 2. A Brahamana must seek a means of subsistence which either causes no, or at least little pain (to others), and live (by that) except in times of distress.

IV. 3. For the purpose of gaining bare subsistence, let him accumulate   property   by   (following   those)   irreproachable occupations (which are prescribed for) his (caste), without (unduly) fatiguing his body.

VIII. 337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Sudra sha.ll be eightfold, that of a Vaishya sixteenfold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirty fold.

VIII. 338. That of a Brahamana sixty-four-fold, or quite a hundred-fold or (even) twice four-and-sixty-fold; (each of them) knowing the nature of the offence.

VIII. 383. A Brahamana shall be compelled to pay a fine of one thousand (panas) if he has intercourse with guarded (females of) those two (castes) ; for (offending with) a (guarded) Sudra female a fine of one thousand (panas) (shall be inflicted) on a Kshatriya or a Vaishya.

VIII. 384. For (intercourse with) an unguarded Kshatriya a fine of five hundred (panas shall fall) on a Vaisya ; but (for the same offence) a Kshatriya shall be shaved with the urine (of a donkey) or (pay) the same fine.

VIII. 385. A Brahamana who approaches unguarded females (of the) Kshatriya or Vaisya (castes), or a Sudra female, shall be fined five hundred (panas); but (for intercourse with) a female (of the) lowest (castes), one thousand.

Examining these disabilities against the background furnished by the place assigned to him by Manu, it is obvious that the object of these disabilities was not to make the Brahmin suffer. On the other hand it becomes clear that the object of Manu was to save the Brahmin from falling from the high pennacle on which he had placed him and incurring the disgrace of the non-Brahmins.

That the object of Manu was not to subject the Brahmins to poverty and destitute is clear from other provisions from Manu-Smriti. In this connection reference should be made to the rule contained in the Manu Smriti regarding the course of conduct a Brahmin should pursue when he is in distres.

X. 80. Among the several occupations the most commendable are, teaching the Veda for a Brahmana, protecting (the people) for a Kshatriya, and trade for a Vaisya.

X. 81. But a Brahmana, unable to subsist by his peculiar occupations just mentioned, may live according to the law applicable to Kshatriyas ; for the latter is next to him in rank.

X. 82. If it be asked, 'How shall it be, if he cannot maintain himself by either (of these occupations?' the answer is), he may adopt a Vaisya's mode of life, employing himself in agriculture and rearing cattle.

X. 83. But a Brahamana, or a Kshatriya, living by a Vaisya's mode of subsistence, shall carefully avoid (the pursuit of) agriculture, (which causes) injury to many beings and depends on others.

X. 84. (Some) declare that agriculture is something excellent, (but) that means of subsistence is blamed by the virtuous ; (for) the wooden (implement) with iron point injures the earth and (the beings) living in the earth.

X. 85. But he who, through a want of means of subsistence, gives up the strictness with respect to his duties, may sell, in order to increase his wealth, the commodities sold by Vaisyas, making (however) the (following) exceptions.

It will be seen that the disabilities imposed upon a Brahmin last as long as he is prospering by the occupations which belong to him as of right. As soon as he is in distress and his disabilities vanish and he is free to do anything that he likes to do in addition to the occupations reserved to him and without ceasing to be a Brahmin. Further whether he is in distress or not is a matter which is left to the Brahmin to be decided in his own discretion. There is therefore no bar to prevent even a prosperous Brahmin to supplement his earnings by following any of the professions open to him in distress by satisfying his conscience.

There are other provisions in Manu Smriti intended to materially benefit the Brahmanas. They are Dakshina and Dana. Dakshina is the fee which the Brahmin is entitled to charge when he is called to perform a religious ceremony. Brahmanism is full of rites and ceremonies. It is not very difficult to imagine how great must this source of income be to every Brahmin: There was no chance of a priest being cheated of his fees. The religious sense attached to Dakshina was a sufficient sanction for regular payment. But Manu wanted to give the Brahmins the right to recover his fees.

XI. 38. A Brahamana who, though wealthy, does not give, as fee for the performance of an Agnyadheya, a horse sacred to Prajapati, becomes (equal to one) who has not kindled the sacred fires.

XI. 39. Let him who has faith and controls his senses, perform other meritorious acts, but let him on no acount offer sacrifices at which he gives smaller fees (than those prescribed).

XI. 40. The organs (of sense and action), honour, (bliss in) heaven, longevity, fame, offspring, and cattle are destroyed by a sacrifice at which (too) small sacrificial fees are given ; hence a man of small means should not offer a (Srauta) sacrifice. He even goes to the length of excusing a Brahmin by declaring that anything done by him to recover his fees shall not be an offence under the law.

VIII. 349. In their own defence, in a strife for the fees of officiating priests and in order to protect women and Brahmanas ; he who (under such circumstances kills in the cause of right, commits no sin.

But it is the provision of Dana which makes a fruitful source of income to the Brahmins. Manu exhorts the King to make Dana to Brahmins.

VII. 79. A King shall offer various (Srauta) sacrifices at which liberal fees (are distributed), and in order to acquire merit, he shall give to Brahmanas enjoyments and wealth.

VII. 82. Let him honour those Brahmanas who have returned from their teacher's house (after studying the Veda) ; for that (money which is given) to Brahmanas is declared to be an imperishable treasure for kings.

VII. 83. Neither thieves nor foes can take it, nor can it be lost; hence an imperishable store must be deposited by kings with Brahmanas.

XI. 4. But a king shall bestow, as is proper, jewels of all sorts, and presents for the sake of sacrifices on Brahmanas learned in the Vedas.

This admonition by Manu to the King did not remain a mere hope for the Brahmin. For as history shows that this exhortation was fully exploited by the Brahmins as the number of dana patras discovered by Archialogists indicate. It is astounding how the kings were befooled by the Brahmins to transfer village after village to crafty, lazy and indolent Brahmins. Indeed a large part of the wealth of the present day Brahmins lies in this swindle practised by wily Brahmins upon pious but foolish kings. Manu was not content to let the Brahmin prey upon the King for dana. He also allowed the Brahmin to prey upon the public in the mattter of dana. This Manu does in three different ways. In the first place he exhorts people to make gifts as a part of the duty owed by the pious to himself at the same time pointing out that the highest dana to a Brahmin.:

VII. 85. A gift to one who is not a Brahmana (yields) the ordinary (reward); a gift to one who calls himself a Brahmana, a double (reward); a gift to a well-read Brahmana, a hundred thousandfold (reward); (a gift) to one who knows the Veda and the Angas (Vedaparanga), (a reward) without end.

VII. 86. For according to the particular qualities of the recipient and according to the faith (of the giver) a small or a great reward will be obtained for a gift in the next world. In the next place Manu declares that in certain circumstances dana to a Brahmin is compulsory.

XI. 1. Him who wishes (to marry for the sake of having) offspring, him who wishes to perform a sacrifice, a traveller, him who has given away all his property, him who begs for the sake of his teacher, his father, or his mother, a student of the Veda, and a sick man.

XI. 2 These nine Brahmanas one should consider as Snatakas, begging in order to fulfill the sacred law; to such poor men gifts must be given in proportion to their learning.

XI. 3. To these most excellent among the twice-born, food and presents (of money) must be given ; it is declared that food must be given to others outside the sacrificial enclosure.

XI. 6. One should give, according to one's ability, wealth to Brahmanas learned in the Veda and living alone ; (thus) one obtains after death heavenly bliss.

The third method adopted by Manu to make the rule of Dana become a source of secure and steady income is beyond question the most ingenuous one. Manu linked up dana with penance. In the Scheme of Manu, an improper act may be a sin although not an offence or it may be both a sin as well as an offence. As a sin its punishment is a matter for canonical law. As an offence its punishment is a matter of secular law. As sin, the improper act is called Pataka and the punishment for it is called Penance. In the Scheme of Manu every Pataka must be expunged by the performance of a penance.

XI. 44. A man who omits a prescribed act, or performs a blameable act, or cleaves to sensual enjoyments, must perform a penance.

XI. 45. (All) sages prescribe a penance for a sin unintentionally committed ; some declare, on the evidence of the revealed texts, (that it may be performed) even for an intentional (offences).

XI. 46. A sin unintentionally committed is expiated by the recitation of Vedic texts, but that which (men) in their folly commit intentionally, by various (special) penances.

XI. 53. Thus in consequence of a remnant of (the guilt of former) crimes, are born idiots, dumb, blind, deaf and deformed men, who are (all) despised by the virtuous.

XI. 54. Penances, therefore, must always be performed for the sake of purification, because those whose sins have not been expiated, are born (again) with disgraceful marks.

The penances prescribed by Manu are many and the curious may refer to the Manu Smriti itself for a knowledge of what they are. What is worthy of note is these penances are calculated to materially benefit the Brahmin. Some penances take the form of a simple dana to the Brahmin. Others prescribe the performance of some religious rites. But as religious rites cannot be performed by anybody except by a Brahmin and that the performance of religious rite requires the payment of fees the Brahmin alone can be the beneficiary of the dana system.

It is therefore absurd to suggest that Manu wanted to place before the Brahmins the ideal of humility, poverty and service. The Brahmins certainly did not understand Manu that way. Indeed they believed that they were made a privileged class. Not only they believed in it but they sought to extend their privileges in other directions a matter which will be discussed later on. They were perfectly justified, in their view. Manu called the Brahmins the 'lords of the earth' and he framed (the law) with such care that they shall remain so.

Having made full provision for Brahmin Rule and Brahmin dominance Manu next launches out to transform society to suit his purposes.

The transformation of Varna into Caste is the most stupendous and selfish task in which Brahmanism after its triumph became primarily engaged. We have no explicit record of the steps that Brahmanism took to bring about this change. On the contrary we have a lot of confused thinking on the relation between Varna and Caste. Some think that Varna and Caste are the same. Those who think that they are different seem to believe that Varna became caste when prohibition on intermarriage became part of the social order. All this, of course, is erroneous and the error is due to the fact that Manu in transforming the Varna into Caste has nowhere explained his ends and how his means are related to those ends. Oscar Wilde has said that to be intelligible is to be found out. Manu did not wish to be found out. He is therefore silent about his ends and means, leaving people to imagine them. For Hindus the subject is important beyond measure. An attempt at clarification is absolutely essential so that the confusion due to different people imagining differently the design of Manu may be removed and light thrown on the way how Brahmanism proceeded to give a wrong and pernicious turn to the original idea of Varna as the basis of society.

As I said Manu's ways are silent and subterranean and we cannot give the detailed and chronological history of this conversion of Varna into Caste. But fortunately there are landmarks which are clear enough to indicate how the change was brought about.

Before proceeding to describe how this change was brought about let me clear the confusion between Varna and Caste. This can best be done by noting the similarities and differences between the two. Varna and Caste are identical in their de jure connotation. Both connote status and occupation. Status and occupation are the two concepts which are implied both in the notion Varna as well as in the notion of Caste. Varna and Caste however differ in one important particular. Varna is not hereditary either in status or occupation. On the other hand Caste implies a system in which status and occupation are hereditary and descend from father to son.

When I say that Brahmanism converted Varna into Caste what I mean is that it made status and occupation hereditary.

How was this transformation effected? As I said there are no foot prints left of the steps taken by Brahmanism to accomplish this change but there are landmarks which serve to give us a clear view of how the deed came to be done.

The change was accomplished by stages. In the transformation of Varna into Caste three stages are quite well marked. The first stage was the stage in which the duration of Varna i.e. of status and occupation of a person was for a prescrbied period of time only. The second stage was a stage in which the status and occupation involved the Varna of a person ensured during lifetime only. The third stage was a stage in which the status and occupation of the Varna became hereditary. To use legal language the Estate conferred by Varna was at the beginning an Estate for a term only. Thereafter it became a life Estate and finally it became an Estate of inheritance which is tantamount to saying that Varna became Caste. That these are the stages by which Varna was converted into Caste seems to have ample support from tradition as recorded in the religious literature. [f66]  There is no reason why this tradition should not be accepted as embodying some thing that is quite genuine. According to this tradition, the task of determining Varna of a person was effected by a body of officers called Manu and Sapta Rishis. From the mass of people Manu selected those who were fit to be Kshatriyas and Vaishas and the Sapta Rishis selected those who were fit to be Brahmanas. After this selection was made by Manu and Sapta Rishis for being Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishas, the rest that were not selected were called Shudras. The Varna arrangement so determined lasts for one Yug i.e. a period of four years. Every fourth year a new body of officers known by the same designation Manu and Sapta Rishi were appointed for making a new selection. It happened that last time some of those who were left to be fit only for being Shudras were selected for being Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas while some of those who were, elected last time for being Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas were left as being fit only of being Shudras. Thus the personnel of the Varna changed. It was a sort of a periodical shuffling and selection of men to take up according to their mental and physical aptitudes and occupations which were essential to the life of the community. The time when the reshuffling of the Varnas took place was called Manwantar which etymologically means change of Varna made by Manu. The word Manwantar also means the period for which the Varna of an individual was fixed. The word Manwantar is very rich in its contents and expresses the essential elements of the Varna system which were two. First it shows that Varna was determined by an independent body of people called Manu and Saptarshi. Secondly it shows that the Varna was for a period after which a change was made by Manu[f67] . According to ancient tradition as embodied in the Puranas the period for which the Varna of a person was fixed by Manu and Saptarshi was a period of four years and was called Yug. At the end of the period of four years there occured the Manwantar whereby every fourth year the list was revised. Under the revision some changed their old Varna, some retained it, some lost it and some gained it. [f68] 

The original system seems to have in contemplation the determination of the Varna of adults. It was not based on prior training or close scrutiny of bias and aptitude. Manu and Saptarshi was a sort of a Board of Interview which determined the Varna of a person from how he struck them at the interview. The determination of the Varna was done in a rough and tumble manner. This system seems to have gone into abeyance. A new system grew up in its place. It was known as the Gurukul system. The Gurukul was a school maintained by a Guru (teacher) also called Acharya (learned man). All children went to this Gurukul for their education. The period of education extended for twelve years. The child while at Gurukul was known as Bramhachari. After the period of education was over there was the Upanayan ceremony performed at the Gurukul by the Acharya. The Upanayan ceremony was the most important ceremony. It was a ceremony at which the Acharya determined the Varna of the student and sent him out in the world to perform the duties of that Varna. Upanayan by the Acharyas was the new method of determining Varna which came into vogue in place of method of determination by Manu and Saptarshi. The new method was undoubtedly superior to the old method. It retained the true feature of the old method namely that the Varna should be determined by a disinterested and independent body. But it added a new feature namely training as a pre-requisite for assignment of Varna. On the ground that training alone developes individual in the make up of a person and the only safe way to determine the Varna of a person is to know his individuality, the addition of this new feature was undoubtedly a great improvement.

With the introduction of the Acharya Gurukul system, the duration of the Varna came to be altered. Varna instead of being Varna for a period became Varna for life. But it was not hereditary.

Evidently Brahmanism was dissatisfied with this system. The reason for dissatisfaction was quite obvious. Under the system as prevalent there was every chance of the Acharya declaring the child of a Brahmin as fit only to be a Shudra. Brahmanism was naturally most anxious to avoid this result. It wanted the Varna to be hereditary. Only by making the Varna hereditary could it save the children of the Brahmins from being declared Shudra. To achieve this Brahmanism proceeded in the most audacious manner one can think of.


Brahmanism made three most radical changes in the system of determing the Varna of the child. In the first place the system of Gurukul as the place where training to the child was given and its Varna was determined by the Guru at the end of the period of training was abolished. Manu is quite aware of the Gurukul and refers to Guruvas[f69]  i.e. training and residence in the Gurukul under the Guru. But does not refer to it at all in connection with the Upanayan. He abolishes the Guru as an authority competent to perform Upanayan by omitting to make even the remotest reference to him in connection with Upanayan. In place of the Guru Manu allows the Upanayan of the child to be performed by its father at home. [f70]   Secondly Upanayan was made into a Sanskara i.e. a sacrament. In olden times Upanayan was like a convocation ceremony[f71]  held by the Guru to confer degrees obtained by students in his Gurukul in which certificates of proficiency in the duties of a particular Varna were granted. In Manu's law that Upanayan was a complete change in the meaning and purpose of this most important institution. Thirdly the relation of training to Upanayan was totally reversed. In the olden system training came before Upanayan.

Under the Brahmanism Upanayan came before training. Manu directs that a child be sent to the Guru for training but that is after Upanayan i.e. after[f72]  his Varna is determined by his father.

The principal change made by Brahmanism wa.s the transfer of authority from the Guru to the father in the matter of performing Upanayan. The result was that the father having the right to perform the Upanayan of his child gave his own Varna to the child and thus made it hereditory. It is by divesting the Guru of his authority to determine the Varna and vesting it in the father that Brahmanism ultimately converted Varna into Caste.

Such is the story of the transformation of Varna into Caste. The story of the transition from one to the other is of course reconstructed. For the reasons already given it may not be quite as accurate as one would wish it to be in all its details. But I have no doubt that the stages and the ways by which Varna ceased to exist and caste came into being must be some such as have been suggested in the foregoing discussion of the subject.

What object Brahmanism could have had in converting Varna into caste it is not difficult to imagine. The object was to make the high status enjoyed by the Brahmins from ancient times the privilege of every Brahmin and his progeny without reference to merits or to qualifications. To put it differently the object was to elevate and ennoble every Brahmin, however mean and worthless he may be, to the high status occupied by some of them on account of the virtue. It was an attempt to ennoble the whole of the Brahmin Community without exception.

That this was the object of Brahmanism is clear from Manu's ordinances. Manu knew that making Varna hereditary, the most ignorant Brahmin[f73]  will be elevated to the status occupied by the most learned Brahmin. He feared that the former may not be respected as much as the most learned, which was the object of this attempt at the ennoblement of the whole class of Brahmins. Manu is very much concerned about the ignorant Brahmin—a new thing and warns people against being disrespectful to an ignorant and mean Brahmin.

IX. 317. A Brahmin, whether learned or ignornt, is a powerful divinity ; even as fire is powerful divinity, whether consecrated or popular.

IX. 319. Thus although Brahmins employ themselves in all sorts of mean ocupations, they must invariably be honoured ; for they are something transcendently divine.

 Such a warning was unnecessary if the object was to ennoble the whole Brahmin class. Here is a case where vice refuses to pay to virtue even the homage of hypocracy. Can there be greater moral degeneracy than what is shown by Manu in insisting upon the worship of the Brahmin even if he is mean and ignorant?

So much for the object of change from Varna to caste. What have been the consequences of this change?

From the spiritual point of view the consequences have been too harmful to be contemplated with equanimity. The harm done may perhaps be better realized by comparing the position of the Brahmin as a priest resulting from the law of Manu with that of the law of the clergy under the Church of England. There the clergy is subject to the criminal law as every citizen is. But in addition to that he is always subject to Church Descipline Act. Under the Criminal Law he would be punished if he officiated as a clergy without being qualified for it. Under the Church Discipline Act he would be lia.ble to be disqualified as a clergy for conduct which would be deemed to be morally wrong although it did not amount to a crime. This double check on the clergy is held justifiable because learning and morality are deemed to be quite essential for the profession of the clergy who are supposed to administer to the spiritual needs of the people. Under Brahmanism the Brahmin who alone can be the clergy need not possess learning or morality. Yet he is in sole charge of the spiritual affairs of the people!! On the value of a creed which permits this, comment is unnecessary.

From the secular point of view, the consequences of this transformation of Varna into Caste has to introduce a most pernicious mentality among the Hindus. It is to disregard merit and have regard only to birth. If one is descended from the high he has respect although he may be utterly devoid of merit or worth. One who is of high birth will be superior to the one who is of low birth although the latter may be superior to the former in point of worth. Under Brahmanism it is birth that always wins, whether it is against birth or against worth. Merit by itself can win no meads. This is entirely due to the dissociation of merits from status which is the work of Brahmanism. Nothing could be better calculated to produce an unprogressive society which sacrifices the rights of intelligence on the altar of aristocratic privilege.

Now the third deed in the catalogue of deeds done by Brahmanism after its triumph over Buddhism. It was to separate the Brahmins from the result of the Non-Brahmin population and to sever the different social strata of the Non-Brahmin population.

Pushyamitra's Brahmanic Revolution was undertaken for the purposes of restoring the ancient social system of Chaturvarna which under the Buddhist regime was put into the melting pot. But when Brahmanism triumphed over Buddhism it did not content itself with merely restoring Charutvarna as it was in its original form. The system of Chaturvarna of the Pre-Buddhist days was a flexible system and was an open to system. This was because the Varna system had no connection with the marriage system. While Chaturvarna recognized the existence of four different classes, it did not prohibit inter-marriage between them. A male of one Varna could lawfully marry a female of another Varna. There are numerous illustrations in support of this view. I give below some instances which refer to well known and respectable individuals which have acquired a name and fame in the sacred lore of the Hindus.

1. Shantanu             Kshatriya            Ganga                   Shudra Anamik

2. Shantanu             Kshatriya            Matsyagandha      Shudra Fisher woman

3. Parashara           Brahmin               Matsyagandha       Shudra Fisher woman

4. Vishwamitra        Kshatriya             Menaka                  Apsara

5. Yayati                  Kshatriya             Devayani                Brahmin

6. Yayati                  Kshatriya             Sharmishta             Asuri- Non-Aryan

7. Jaratkaru             Brahmin              Jaratkari                  Nag Non-Aryan

Husband                  His Varna            Wife                        Her Varna


Should anybody retain doubt on the question that the division of the society into classes did not prohibit intermarriages between the four Varnas let him consider the geneology of the family of the great Brahmin sage Vyas.



Varuna Mitra = Urvashi

Vashishtha = Akshamala

Shakti =

Parashara = Matsyagandha

       = Vyas

Brahminism with the ferocity of an outraged brute proceeded to put a stop to these intermarriage between the different Varnas. A new law is proclaimed by Manu. It is in the following terms :—

III. 12. For the first marriage of twice born men (wives) of equal caste are recommended.

III. 13. It is declared that a Sudra woman alone can be the wife of a Shudra.

III. 14. A Shudra woman is not mentioned even in any (ancient) story as the (first) wife of a Brahmana or of a Kshatriya, though they lived in the (greatest) distress.

III. 15. Twice-born men who, in their folly, wed wives of the low (Sudra) caste, soon degrade their families and their children to the state of Sudras.

111.16. According to Atri and to (Gautama) the son of Utathya. he who weds a Sudra woman becomes an outcast, according to Saunaka on the birth of a son, and according to Bhrigu he who has (male) offspring from a (Sudra female, alone).

III. 17. A Brahmana who takes a Sudra wife to his bed, will (after death) sink into hell ; if he begets a child by her, he will lose the rank of a Brahmana.

III. 18. The manes and the gods will not eat the (offerings) of that man who performs the rites in honour of the gods, of the manes, and of guests chiefly with a (Sudra wife's) assistance, and such (a man) will not go to heaven.

III. 19. For him who drinks the moisture of a Sudra's lips, who is tainted by her breath, and who begets a son on her. no expiation is prescribed.

Brahmanism was not satisfied with the prohibition of intermarriage. Brahmanism went further and prohibited interdining.

Manu lays down certain interdicts on food. Some are hygenic. Some are social. Of the social the following are worthy of attention :

IV. 218. Food given by a king, impairs his manly vigour; by one of the servile class, his divine light : by goldsmiths, his life ; by leathercutters, his good name.

IV. 219. Given by cooks and the like mean artizans, it destroys his offsprings : by a washerman, his muscular strength ;

IV. 221. That of all others, mentioned in order, whose food must never be tasted, is held equal by the wise to the skin, bones, and hair of the head.

IV. 222. Having unknowingly swallowed the food of any such persons, he must fast during three days; but having eaten it knowingly, he must perform the same harsh penance, as if he had tasted any seminal impurity, ordure, or urine. I said that Brahmanism acted with the ferocity of an outranged brute in undertaking the task of prohibiting intermarriage and interdining. Those who have doubts in this matter ponder over the language of Manu.

Mark the disguest Manu shows with regard to the Shudra woman. Mark what Manu says about the food of the Shudra. He says it is as impure as semen or urine.

These two laws have produced the caste system. Prohibition of intermarriage and prohibition against interdining, are two pillars on which it rests. The caste system and the rules relating to intermarriage and interdining are related to each other as ends to means. Indeed by no other means could the end be realized.

The forging of these means shows that the creation of the caste system was end and aim of Brahmanism. Brahmanism enacted the prohibitions against intemarriage and interdining. But Brahmanism introduced other changes in the social system and if the purposes underlying these changes are those which I suggest them to be, then it must be admitted that Brahmanism was so keen in sustaining the caste system that it did not mind whether ways and means employed were fair or unfair, moral or immoral. I refer to the laws contained in the Code of Manu regarding marriage of girls and the life of widows.

See the law that Manu promulgates regarding the marriage of females.

IX. 4. Reprehensible is the father who gives not (his daughter) in marriage at the proper time.

IX. 88. To a distinguished, handsome suitor of equal caste should a father give his daughter in accordance with the prescribed rule, though she have not attained (the proper age), i.e. although she may not have reached puberty.

By this rule Manu enjoins that a girl should be married even though she may not have reached the age of puberty i.e. even when she is a child. Now with regard to widows Manu promulgates the following rule.

V. 157. At her pleasure let her (i.e. widow) emaciate her body, by living voluntarily on pure flowers, roots and fruits ; but let her not, when her lord is deceased, even pronounce the name of another man.

V. 161. But a widow, who from a wish to bear children, slights her deceased husband by marrying again, brings disgrace on herself here below, and shall be excluded from the seat of her lord (in heaven).

V. 162. Offspring begotten on a woman by any other than her husband, is here declared to be no progeny of hers ; no more than a child, begotten on the wife of another man belongs to the begetter; nor is a second husband any where prescribed for a virtuous woman.

This is the rule of enforced widowhood for a woman. A reference may also be made to Sati or a widow who burns herself on the funeral pyre of her husband and thus puts an end to her life. Manu is silent about it.

Yajnavalkya[f74]  an authority nearly as great as Manu says, she must not live separately or alone.

86. When deprived of her husband, she must not remain away from her father, mother, son, brother, mother-in-law or from her maternal uncle; otherwise she might become liable to censure. Here again Yajnavalkya does not suggest that a widow become a Sati. But Vijnaneshwar, the author of Mitakshara a commentary on Yajnavalkya Smriti makes the following observation in commenting on the above Sloka.

"This is in the case of the alternative of leading a celibate life vide the text of Vishnu[f75]  : "After the death of the husband, either celibacy or ascending the (cremation) pile after him."

Vijnaneshwar3 adds as his opinion that 'There is great merit in ascending the funeral pyre after him.'

From this one can very easily and clearly see how the rule of Sati came to be forged. Manu's rule was that a widow was not to remarry. But it appears from the statement by Vijnaneshwar that from the time of the Vishnu Smriti a different interpretation began to put on the ordinance of Manu. According to this new interpretation Manu's rule was explained to be offering to the widow a choice between two alternatives: (1) Either burn yourself on your husband's funeral pyre or (2) If you don't, remain unmarried. This of course is totally false interpretation quite unwarranted by the clear words of Manu. Somehow it came to be accepted. The date of the Vishnu Smriti is somewhere about the 3rd or 4th Century. It can therefore be said that rule of Sati dates from this period.

One thing is certain, these were new rules. The rule of Manu that girl should be married before she has reached puberty is a new rule. In Pre-Buddhistic Brahmanism4 marriages were performed not only after puberty but they were performed when girls had reached an age when they could be called grown up. Of this there is ample evidence. Similarly the rule that a woman once she had lost her husband must not remarry is a new rule. In the Pre-Buddhist Brahmanism there was no prohibition on widow remarriage. The fact that the Sanskrit language contains words such as Punarbhu (woman who has undergone a second marriage ceremony) and punarhhav (second husband) show that such marriages were quite common under the Pre-Buddhist Brahmanism. [f76] With regard to Sati the position as to when it arose, [f77]  there is evidence to suggest that it existed in ancient times. But there is evidence that it had died out and it was revived after Brahmanism under Pushyamitra obtained its victory over Buddhism although it was some time later than Manu.

Question is this, why these changes were made by the triumphant Brahmanism? What did Brahmanism want to achieve by having girls married before they had become pubert, by denying the widow to the right to marry again and by telling her to put herself to death by immolating herself in the funeral pyre of her deceased husband? No explainations are forthcoming for these changes. Mr. C. V. Vaidya who offers an explanation for girl marriage says[f78]  that girl marriage was introduced to prevent girls from joining the Buddhist order of nuns. This explanation does not satisfy me. Mr. Vaidya omits to take into consideration another rule laid down by Manu—namely the rule relating to suitable age for marriage. According to that rule.

IX. 94. A man. aged thirty, shall marry a maiden of twelve who pleases him, or a man of twenty-four a girl eight years of age. The question is not why girl marriage was introduced. The question is why Manu allowed so much discrepancy in the ages of the bride and the bridegroom.

Mr. Kane[f79]  has attempted an explanation of Sati. His explanation is that there is nothing new in it. It existed in India in ancient times as it did in other parts of the world. This again does not satisfy the world. If it existed outside India, it has not been practised on so enormous a scale as in India. Secondly if traces of it are found in Ancient India in the Kshatriyas, why was it revived, why was it not universalized? There is no satisfactory explanation. Mr. Kane's explanation that the prevalence of Sati by reference to laws of inheritance does not appear to me very convincing. It may be that because under the Hindu Law of inheritance as it prevailed in Bengal, women got a share in property. The relations of the husband of the widow pressed her to be a Sati in order to get rid of a share may explain why Sati wa.s practised on so large a scale in Bengal. But it does not explain how it arose nor how it came to be practised in other parts of India.

Again with regard to the prohibition of widow remarriage, there is no explanation whatsoever. Why was the widow, contrary to established practice, prohibited from marrying? Why was she required to lead a life of misery? Why was she disfigured?

My explanation for girl marriage, enforced widowhood and Sati is quite different and I offer it for what it is worth. [f80] 

"Thus the superposition of endogamy over exogamy means the creation of Caste. But this is not an easy affair. Let us take an imaginary group that desire to make itself into a caste and analyse what means it will have to adopt to make itself endogamous. If a group desires to make itself endogamous, a formal injunction against intermarriage with outside groups will be of no avail, especially if prior to the introduction of endogamy, exogamy were to be the rule in all matrimonial relations. Again there is a tendency in all groups living in close contact with one another to assimilate and amalgamate, and thus consolidate into a homogeneous society. If this tendency be strongly counteracted in the interest of Caste formation, it is absolutely necessary to circumscribe a circle without which people should not contract marriages."

"Nevertheless this encircling to prevent marriages from without creates problems from within which are not very easy of solution. Roughly speaking in a normal group the two sexes are more or less evenly distributed, and generally speaking there is an equality between those of the same age. But this equality is never quite realised in actual societies. While to the group that is desirous of making itself into a caste the maintenance of this equality between the sexes becomes the ultimate goal, for without this endogamy can no longer subsist. In other words, if endogamy is to be preserved, conjugal rights from within have to be provided for, else members of the group will be driven out of the circle to take care of themselves in any way they please. But in order that the conjugal rights be provided for from within, it is absolutely necessary to maintain a numerical equality between the marriageable units of the two sexes within the group desirous of making itself into a Caste. It is only through the maintenance of this equality that the necessary endogamy of the group could be kept intact, and a very large disparity is sure to break it."

"The problem of Caste then ultimately resolves itself into one of repairing the disparity between the marriageable units of the two sexes within it. The much needed parity between the units could be realized only when a couple dies simultaneously. But this is a rare contingency. The husband may die before the wife and create a surplus woman who must be disposed of, else through intermarriage she will violate the endogamy of the group. In like manner the husband may survive his wife and be a surplus man whom the group, while it may sympathise with him for the sad bereavement, has to dispose of, else he will marry outside the Caste and will break the endogamy. Thus both the surplus man and the surplus woman constitute a menace to the Caste if not taken care of, for, not finding suitable partners inside their prescribed circle (and they cannot find any, for there are just enough pairs to go round) very likely they will transgress the boundary, marry outside and import population that is foreign to the Caste. Let us see what our imaginary group is likely to do with this surplus man and surplus woman. We will first take up the case of the surplus woman.She can be disposed of in two different ways so as to preserve the endogamy of the Caste."

"First : burn her on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband and get rid of her. This, however, is rather an impracticable way of solving the problem of sex disparity. In some cases it may work, in others it may not. Consequently every surplus woman cannot thus be disposed of, because it is an easy solution but a hard realization. However, the surplus woman (widow) if not disposed of, remains in the group: but in her very existence lies a double danger. She may marry outside the Caste and violate to endogamy or she may marry within the Caste and through competition encroach upon the chances of marriage that must be reserved for the potential brides in the Caste. She therefore is a menace in any case and something must be done to her if she cannot be burned along with her deceased husband."

"The second remedy is to enforce widowhood on her for the rest of her life. So far as the objective results are concerned burning is a better solution than enforcing widowhood. Burning the widow eliminates all the three evils that a surplus woman is fraught with. Being dead and gone she creates no problem of remarriage either inside or outside the Caste. But compulsory widowhood is superior to burning because it is more practicable. Besides being comparatively humane it also guards against the evils of remarriage as does burning ; but it fails to guard the morals of the group. No doubt under compulsory widowhood the woman remains and, just because she is deprived of her natural right of being a legitimate wife in future, the incentive to bad moral conduct is increased. But this is by no means an insuperable difficulty. She can be degraded to a condition where she could no longer be a source of allurement."

"The problem of surplus man (—widower) is much more important and much more difficult than that of the surplus woman in a group that desires to make itself into a Caste. From time immemorial man as compared with woman has had the upper hand. He is a dominant figure in every group and of the two sexes has greater prestige. With this traditional superiority of man over woman his wishes have always been consulted. Woman on the other hand has been an easy prey to all kinds of iniquitous injunctions, religious, social or economic. But man as a maker of injunctions is most often above them all. Such being the case you cannot accord the same kind of treatment to a surplus man as you can to a surplus woman in a Caste."

"The project of burning him with his deceased wife is hazardous in two ways : first of all it cannot be done, simply because he is a man. Secondly, if done, a sturdy soul is lost to the Caste. There remain then only two solutions which can conveniently dispose of him. I say conveniently because he is an asset to the group."

"Important as he is to the group, endogamy is still more important, and the solution must assure both these ends. Under these circumstances he may be forced, or I should say induced, after the manner of the widow to remain a widower for the rest of his life. This solution is not altogether difficult, for without there being any compulsion some are so disposed as to enjoy self-imposed celibacy or may even take a further step of their own accord to renounce the world and its joys. But, given human nature as it is, this solution can hardly be expected to be realized. On the other hand, as is very likely to be the case, if he remains in the group as an active participator in group activities, he is a danger to the morals of the group. Looked at from a different viewpoint, ceilibacy though easy in cases where it succeeds, is not so advantageous even then to the material prospects of the Caste. If he observes genuine celibacy and renounces the world, he would not be a menace to the preservation of Caste endogamy or Caste morals as undoubtedly would be, if he remained a secular person. But as an ascetic celibate he is as good as burned, so far as the material well being of his Caste is concerned. A Caste, in order that it may be large enough to afford a vigorous communal life, must be maintained at a certain numerical strength. But to hope for this and to proclaim celibacy is the same as trying to cure atrophy by bleeding.

"Imposing celibacy on the surplus man in the group therefore fails, both theoretically and practically. It is in the interest of the Caste to keep him as a Grahastha (one who raises a family) to use a Sanskrit technicality. But the problem is to provide him with a wife from within the Caste. At the outset this is not possible, for the ruling ratio in a caste has to be one man to one woman and none can have two chances of marriage, for in a Caste thoroughly self enclosed there are always just enough marriageable women to go round for the marriageable men. Under these circumstances the surplus man can only be provided with a wife by recruiting a bride from the ranks of those not yet marriageable in order to tie him down to the group. This is certainly the best of the possible solutions in the case of the surplus man. By this, he is kept within the Caste. By this, this numerical depletion through constant outflow is guarded against, and by this endogamy and morals are preserved.

"It will now be seen that the four means by which numerical disparity between the two sexes is conveniently maintained are : (1) Burning the widow with her deceased husband ; (2) Compulsory widowhood—a milder form of burning ; (3) Imposing celibacy on the widower ; (4) Wedding him to a girl not yet marriageable. Though as I said above, burning the widow and imposing celibacy on the widower are of doubtful service to the group in its endeavour to preserve its endogamy, all of them operate as means. But means as forces, when liberated or set in motion create an end. What then is the end that these means create? They create and perpetuate endogamy, while caste and endogamy, according to our analysis of the various definitions of caste, are one and the same thing. Thus the existence of these means means caste and caste involves these means."

"This, in my opinion, is the general mechanism of a caste in a system of castes. Let us now turn to the castes in the Hindu Society and inquire into their mechanism. I need hardly promise that there are a great many pitfalls in the path of those who try to unfold the past, and caste in India to be sure is a very ancient institutiion. This is especially true where there exist no authentic or written history or records or where the people, like the Hindus are so constituted that to them Writing history is a folly, for the world is an illusion. But institutions do live, though for a long time they may remain unrecorded and as often as not customs and morals are like fossils that tell their own history. If this is true, our task will be amply rewarded if we scrutinize the solution the Hindus arrived at to meet the problems of the surplus man and surplus woman."

"Complex though it be in its general working the Hindu Society, even to a superficial observer, presents three singular uxorial customs, namely :—

(i) Sati or the burning of the widow on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband.

(ii) Enforced widowhood by which a widow is not allowed to remarry. (iii) Girl marriage.

In addition to these, one also notes a great hankering after Sannyasa (renunciation) on the part of the widower, but it may in some cases be due purely lo psychic disposition.

"So far as I know, no scientific explanation of the origin of these customs is forth coming even today. We have plenty of philosophy to tell  us  why  these  customs  were  honoured.  (Cf.  A. K. Coomaraswamy"Sati : a Defence of the Eastern Woman" in the British Sociological Review Vol. VI 1913) Because it is a"proof of the perfect unity of body and soul" between husband and wife and of "devotion beyond the grave", because it embodied the ideal of wifehood which is well expressed by Uma when she said "Devotion to her Lord is woman's honour, it is her eternal heaven : and O Maheshwara", she adds with a most touching human cry, "I desire not paradise itself if thou art not satisfied with me! " Why compulsory widowhood is honoured I know not nor have I yet met with anyone who sang in praise of it, though there are a great many who adhere to it. The eulogy in honour of girl marriage is reported by Dr. Ketkar to be as follows : "A really faithful man or woman ought not to feel affection for a woman or a man other than the one with whom he or she is united. Such purity is compulsory not only after marriage, but even before marriage, for that is the only correct ideal of chastity. No maiden could be considered pure if she feels love for a man other than to whom she might get married. As she does not know whom she is going to get married to, she must not feel affection for any man at all before marriage. If she does so, it is a sin. So it is better for a girl to know whom she has to love, before any sexual consciousness has been awakened in her". Hence girl marriage.

"This high-flown and ingenious sophistry indicates why these institutions were honoured, but does not tell us why they were practised. My own interpretation is that they were honoured because they were practised. Any one slightly -quainted with rise of individualism in the 18th century will appreciate my remark. At all times, it is the movement that is most important ; and the philosophies grow around it long afterwards to justify it and give it a moral support. In like manner I urge that the very fact that these customs were so highly eulogized proves that they needed eulogy for their prevalence. Regarding the question as to why they arose, I submit that they were needed to create the structure of caste and the philosophies in honour of them were intended to popularize them or to gild the pill, as we might say, for they must have been so abominable and shocking to the sense of the unsophisticated that they needed a great deal of sweetening. These customs are essentially of the nature of means, though they are represented as ideals. But this should not blind us from understanding the results that flow from them. One might safely say that idealization of means is necessary and in this particular case was perhaps motivated to endow them with greater efficacy. Calling means an end does not harm except that it disguises its real character, but it does not deprive it of its real nature, that of a means. You may pass a law that all cats are dogs, just as you can call a means an end. But you can no more change the nature of means thereby than you can turn cats into dogs ; consequently I am justified in holding that, regard them as ends or as means. Sati, enforced widowhood and girl marriage are customs that were primarily intended to solve the problem of the surplus man and surplus woman in a caste and to maintain its endogamy. Strict endogamy could not be preserved without these customs, while caste without endogamy is fake." According to my view girl marriage, enforced widowhood and Sati had no other purpose than that of supporting the Caste System which Brahmanism was seeking to establish by prohibiting intermarriage. It is difficult to stop intermarriage. Members of different castes are likely to go out of their Caste either for love or for necessity. It is to provide against necessity that Brahmanism made these rules. This is my explanation of these new rules, made by Brahmanism. That explanation may not be acceptable to all. But there can be no doubt that Brahmanism was taking all means possible to prevent intermarriages between the different classes taking place.

Another illustration of this desire on the part of Brahmanism is to be found in the rule regarding excommunication promulgated by Manu.

Manu says that a person who is excommunicated by his Caste is an outcast. [f81]  According to Manu an outcast is to be treated as though he was actually dead. Manu ordains that his obsequies should be performed and lays down the mode and manner of performing these obsequies of the outcast.

XI. 183. The Sapindas and Samanodakas of an outcast must offer (a libation of) water (to him, as if he were dead), outside (the village), on an inauspicious day, in the evening and in the presence of the relatives, officiating priests, and teachers.

XI. 184. A female slave shall upset with her foot a pot filled with water, as if it were for a dead person ; (his Sapindas) as well as the Samanodakas shall be impure for a day and a night. Manu however allows the outcast to return to Caste on performing penance as will be seen from the following rules:

XI. 187. But when he has performed his penance, they shall bathe with him in a holy pool and throw down a new pot, filled with water.

XI. 188. But he shall throw that pot into water, enter his house and perform, as before, all the duties incumbent on a relative.

XI. 189. Let him follow the same rule in the case of female outcasts; but clothes, food, and drink shall be given to them, and they shall live close to the (family-) house.

But if the outcast was recalcitrant and impenitent Manu provides for his punishment.

Manu will not allow the outcast to live in the family house. Manu enjoins that

XI. 189. .....Clothes, food, and drink shall be given to them (i.e. the outcast members of the family), and they shall live close to the (family) house.

III. 92. Let him (i.e. the householder) gently place on the ground (some food) for dogs, outcasts, chandals, those aflicted with diseases that are punishments of former sins, crows and insects. Manu declares that having social intercourse with an outcast is a sin. He warns the Snataka

IV. 79. .....not (to) stay together with outcasts. IV. 213. .....Not (to eat food given) by outcasts. To the householder Manu says :

III. 151. Let him (i.e. the householder) not entertain at a Shradha.

III. 157. (A person) who forsakes his mother, his father, or a teacher without (sufficient) reason, he who has contracted an alliance with outcasts either through the Veda or through a marriage.

Manu ordains a social boycott of the outcast by penalizing those who associate with him.

XI. 181. He who associates himself for one year with an outcast himself becomes an outcast ; not by sacrificing, reading the Veda, or contracting affinity with him, since by those acts he loses his class immediately, but even by using the same carriage or seat, or by taking his food at the same board.

XI. 182. He who associates with any one of those outcasts, must perform, in order to atone for (such) intercourse, the penance prescribed for that (sinner).

Then there are penalties against an outcast who defies his caste and choses to remain an outcast. Manu tells him what will be his penalty in the next world.

XII. 60. He who has associated with outcasts (will) become Brahmarakshas (i.e. an evil spirit). Manu however was not prepared to leave the outcast with this. He proceeds to enact penalty the severity of which cannot be doubted. The following are the penal sections of Manu Smriti against an outcast.

III. 150. .....Those   Brahmins   who   are   .....outcasts .... .Athesists are unworthy (to partake) of oblations to the gods and manes.

IX. 201. .....Outcast receive(s) no share (in inheritance). XI. 185. But thenceforward (i.e. after the obsequies of the outcast have been performed) it shall be forbidden to converse with him, to sit with him, to give him a share of the inheritance, and to hold with him such intercourse as is usual among men;

XI. 186. And (if the outcast be the eldest) his right of primogeniture shall be withheld and the additional share, due to the eldest son; and in his stead a younger brother, excelling in virtue (i.e. who observes the rule of caste) shall obtain the share of the eldest.

Such is the law of Manu against an outcast. The severity of the penalties prescribed against him is quite obvious. Its effect is to exclude him from all social intercourse, to suspend him from every civil function, to disqualify him for all offices and to disable him from inheriting any property. Under these pains and penalties the outcaste might as well be dead which indeed Manu considers him to be, directing libations to be offered to the manes as though he was naturally so. This system of privations and mortifications was enforced by prescribing a similar fate to anyone who endeavoured to associate with an outcast. The penalty was not confined to the: outcast. Nor was it restricted to males. Males and females were both subject to the law of the outcast. Even their progeny was subject to penalty. The law was extended to the son of the outcast. Born befo son was entitled to inherit immediately, as though his father was dead. Born after excommunication he lost his right to inherit, i.e. he became an outcast along with his father.

The laws of Manu regarding the outcast are of course devoid of justice and humanity. Some might think that there is nothing very strange about them. That is because these laws are very similar to the laws against apostacy and heresy to be found in all religious codes. It is unfortunately a fact All religions—Except Buddhism— have used or misued the laws of inheritance for enforcing adhesion and conformity to their codes. The conversion of a Christian to Judaism or paganism or any other religion was punished by the Emperors Constantines and Jul Emperors Theodosius and Valentiniaus added capital punishment, In case the apostle endeavoured to pervert others to the same inequity. This was borrowed by all the European countries' who maintained a similar system of penalities to enforce the Christian faith.

Such a view of the law of the outcast would be quite superficial. First of all the outcast is a creation of Brahmanism. It is a necessary coeffieient of caste. Indeed once Brahmanism was determined to create the caste system the law against the outcast was absolutely essential. For only by punishing the outcast can the caste system be maintained. Secondly there is a difference between the Christian or Mahomedan Law of Apostacy and the Brahmanic law of caste. The disqualification under the Christian or Mahomedan law of apostacy was restricted to want of religious belief or the profession of wrong religious belief. Under the Brahmanic law the disqualification had no connection with belief or want of belief. It was connected with the sanctity of a certain form of social organization namely Caste. It is the act of going out of one's caste that was made punishable. This is a very important difference.

The Brahmanic law of the outcast as compared with the law of apostacy in other religions shows that a belief in God is not essential to Brahmanism; that a belief in life after death is not essential to Brahmanism ; that a belief in salvation either by good deeds or by a belief in a prophet is not essential to Brahmanism; that a belief in the sacredness of the Vedas is essential to Brahmanism. This is only one thing that is essential to Brahmanism. For it is only breach of caste which is penalized. All else is left to violation.

Those who are not blind to these forces of integration will admit that this act of Brahmanism in prohibiting intermarriage and interdining is nothing short of a complete dismemberment of society. It is a deathknell to unity, an effective bar to united action. As will be shown hereafter Brahmanism was keen on preventing united action by Non-Brahmins to overthrow Brahmanism and that is why Brahmanism brought about this segmentation of Indian Society. But the fatal effects of a poison can never be confined to the limits of the original intention of the perpetrator. The same thing has happened in the case of Caste. Brahmanism intended to paralyse the Non-Brahmans for action against Brahmins, it did not design that they as a nation should be paralysed for action against a foreign nation. But the result of the poison of Caste has been they have become stricken for action aga.inst Brahmanism as well as against foreigners. In other words Brahmanism in instituting Caste system has put the greatest impediment against the growth of nationalism.                                                    

In spite of what others say the Hindu will not admit that there is any thing evil in the Caste system., and from one point of view he is right. There is love, unity and mutual aid among members of a family. There is honour among thieves. A band of robbers have common interests as respects to its members. Gangs are marked by fraternal feelings and intense loyalty to their own ends however opposed they may be to the other gangs. Following this up one can say that a Caste has got all the praiseworthy characteristics which a society is supposed to have.

It has got the virtues of a family inasmuch as there is love unity and mutual aid. It has got the honour known to prevail among thieves. It has got the loyalty and fraternal feeling we meet with in gangs and it also possesses that sense of common interests which is found among robbers.

A Hindu may take satisfaction in these praiseworthy characteristics of the Caste and deny that there is anything evil in it. But he forgets that his thesis that Caste is an ideal form of social organization is supportable on the supposition that each caste is entitled to regard himself as an independent society, as an end in itself as nations do. But the theory breaks down when the consideration pertains to Hindu Society and to the Caste-System which goes with it.

Even in such a consideration of the subject the Hindu will not admit that the Caste system is an evil. Charge Hinduism with the responsibility for the evils of the Caste-system and the Hindu will at once retort. "What about the Class System in Europe?" Upto a point the retort is good if it means that there exists nowhere that ideal society of the philosophers marked by organic unity, accompanied by praiseworthy community of purpose, mutuality of sympathy, loyalty to public ends and concern for general welfare. Nobody can have much quarrel if the Hindu by way of analogy were to say that in every Society there are families and classes marked by exclusiveness. suspicion, and jealousy as to those without: bands of robbers, gangs. narrow cliques, trade unions. Employees' Associations. Kartels. Chambers of Commerce and political parties. Some of these are held together by the interest and plunder and others while aspiring to serve the public do not hesitate to prey upon it.

It may be conceded that everywhere de facto society whether in the past or in the present is not a single whole but a collection of small groups devoted to diverse purposes as their immediate and particular objectives. But the Hindu cannot take shelter under this analogy between the Hindu caste system and the Non-Hindu Class system and rest there as though there is nothing more to he said about the subject. The fact is there is a far bigger question which the Hindu has still lo face. He must take note of the fact that although every society consists of groups there are societies in which the groups are only non-social while there are societies in which the groups are anti-social. The difference between a society with the class system and a society with the caste system lies just in this namely the class system is merely nonsocial but the caste system is positively anti-soicial.

It may be important to realize why in some societies the g,roup system produces only non-social feeling and in some societies the group system produces anti-social feeling. No better explanation of this difference can be given than the one given by professor John Dewey. According to him every thing depends upon whether the groups are isolated or associated, whether there is reciprocity of interest between them or whether there is lack of reciprocity of interest. If the groups are associated, if there is a reciprocity of interest between them the feeling between them will be only non-social. If the groups are isolated, if there is no reciprocity between them the feeling between them will be anti-social. To quote Professor Dewey[f82] :

"The isolation and exclusiveness of a gang or clique brings its anti-social spirit into relief. But this same spirit is found wherever one group has interests 'of its own' which shut it out from full interaction with other groups, so that its prevailing purpose is the protection of what it has got, instead of reorganization and progress through wider relationships. It marks nations in their isolation from one another; families which seclude their domestic concerns as if they had no connection with a larger life; schools when sepa.rated from the interest of home and community; the divisions of rich and poor; learned and unlearned. The essential point is that isolation makes for rigidity and formal institutionalizing of life, for static and selfish ideals within the group."

The question to be asked is not whether there are groups in a Society or whether the Society is one single whole. The question to be asked is what degree of association, cooperative intercourse and interaction exists among the different groups : how numerous and varied are the interests which are consciously shared by them : how full and free is the interplay with other forms of Association? A society is not to be condemned as body because there are groups in it. It is to be condemned if the groups are isolated, each leading an exclusive life of its own. Because it is this isolation which produces the anti-social spirit which makes co-operative effort so impossible of achievement.

I his isolation among the classes is the work of Brahmanism. The principal steps taken by it was to abrogate the system of intermarriage and interdining that was prevalent among the four Varnas in olden times. This has already been discussed in an earlier section of this chapter. There is however one part of the story that remains to be told. I have said the Varna system had nothing to do with marriage. That males and females belonging to the different Varnas could marry and did marry. Law did not come in the way of inter-varna marriage. Social morality was not opposed to such marriages. Savarna marriage was neither required by law nor demanded by Society. All marriages between different Varnas irrespective of the question whether the bride was of a higher Varna than the bride-groom or whether the bride-groom was of the higher Varna and the bride of the lower Varna were valid. Indeed as Prof. Kane says the distinction between Anuloma and Pratiloma marriage was quite unknown and even the terms Anuloma and Pratiloma were not in existence. They are the creation of Brahmanism. Brahmanism put a stop to Pratiloma marriages i.e. marriages between women of a higher Varna and men of lower Varna. That was a step in the direction of closing the connection between the Varnas and creating in them an exclusive and anti-social spirit regarding one another. But while the inter-connecting gate of the Pratiloma marriage was closed the inter-connecting gate of Anuloma marriage had remained open. That was not closed. As pointed out in the section on graded inequality Anuloma marriage i.e. marriage between a male of the higher Varna and the female of the lower Varna was allowed by Brahmanism to continue. The gate of Anuloma marriage was not very respectable and was a one way gate only. still it was an interconnecting gate by which it was possible to prevent a complete isolation of the Varnas. But even here Brahmanism played what cannot but be called a dirty trick. To show how dirty the trick was it is necessary first to state the rules which prevailed for determining the status of the child. Under the rule existing from very ancient times the status of the child was determined by the Varna of the father. I he Varna of the mother was quite unimportant. I he following illustrations will place the point beyond doubt:


Father's            Varna of              Mother's            Varna of          Child's                 Varna of      Name              father                 Name                mother             name                    child

1. Shantanu         Kshatriya              Ganga               Shudra             Bhishma               Kshatriya


2. Shantanu        Kshatriya           Matsyagandha       Shudra            Vichitra Virya        Kshatriya


3. Parashar        Brahmin              Matsyagandha       Shudra              Krishna-              Brahmin

                                                             (Fisher)            Dwaipayana

4. Vishwamitra     Kshtriya              Menaka                (Apsara)             Shakuntala         Kshatriya

5. Yayati              Kshatriya            Devayani               Brahmin             Yadu                 Kshatriya

6. Yayati               Kshatriya           Sharmishta           Asuri                Druhya               Kshatriya


7. Jaratkaru           Brahmin            Jaratkari              Nag.                   Asita                  Brahmin



The rule was known as the rule of Pitra Savarnya. It would he interesting to consider the effect of this rule of Pitra Savarnya on the Anuloma and Pratiloma systems of marriage.

The effect on Pratiloma marriage would be that the children of mothers of the higher Varnas would be dragged down to the level of the lower Varnas represented by their fathers. Its effect on Anuloma marriage would be just the contrary. The children of mothers of the lower Varnas would be raised up and absorbed in the higher Varnas of their fathers.

Manu stopped Pratiloma marriages and thereby prevented the higher from being dragged to the status of the lower. However regrettable, not much damage was done by it so long as the Anuloma marriage and the rule of Pitra Savarnya continued in operation. The two together formed a very useful system. The Anuloma marriage maintained the inter-connection and the Pitra Savarnya rule made the higher classes quite composite in their make up. For they could not but help to he drawn from mothers of different Varnas. Brahmanism did not want to keep this gate of intercommunication between the Varnas open. It was bent on closing it. But it did it in a manner which is disreputable.

The straight and honourable way was to stop Anuloma marriage. But Brahmanism did not do that. It allowed the system of Anuloma marriage to continue. What it did was to alter the rule of determining the status of the child. It replaced the rule of Pitra Savarnya by the rule of Matra Savarnya by which the status of the child came to be determined by the status of the mother. By this change marriage ceased to be that means of intersocial communication which it principally is. It relieved men of the higher Varna from the responsibility to their children simply because they were born of a mother of lower Varna. It made Anuloma marriage mere matter of sex. a humiliation and insult to the lower Varnas and a privilege to the higher classes to lawfully commit prostitution with women of the lower classes. And from a larger social point of view it brought the complete isolation among the Varnas which has been the bane of Hindu Society. Notwithstanding all this the Orthodox Hindu still believes that the caste system is an ideal system.

But why talk about the orthodox Hindus. There are among enlightened politicians and historians. There are of course Indians both politicians and historians who vehemently deny that the Caste system comes in the way of nationalism. They presume that India is a nation and feel very much offended if anybody instead of speaking of  the Indian Nation speaks of the people of India. This attitude is quite understandable. Most of the politicians and historians are Brahmins and cannot be expected to have the courage to expose the misdeeds of their ancestors or admit the evils perpetrated by them. Ask any one the question, is India a nation, and all in a chorus say, 'yes.' Ask for reasons, they will say that India is a nation firstly because India has a geographical unity of the country and secondly because of the fundamental unity of the culture. All this may be admitted for the sake of argument and yet it is true to say that to draw an inference from these facts that India is a nation is really to cherish a delusion. For what is a nation? A nation is not a country in the physical sense of the country whatever degree of geographical unity it may posses. A nation is not people synthesized by a common culture derived from common language, common religion or common race.

To recall what I have said in another place "Nationality is a subjective psychological feeling. It is a feeling of a corporate sentiment of oneness which makes those who are charged with it feel that they are kith and kin. This national feeling is a double edged feeling. It is at once a feeling of fellowship for one's own kith and an anti-fellowship feeling for those who are not one's own kith. It is a feeling of "consciousness of kind" which binds together those who are within the limits of the kindred and severs them from those who are outside the limits of the kindred. It is a longing to belong to one's own group and a longing not to belong to any other group. This is the essence of what is called a nationality and national feeling. This longing to belong to one's own kindred as I said is a subjective psychological feeling and what is important to bear in mind is that the longing to belong to one's own kindred is quite independent of geography, culture or economic or social conflict.

There may be geographical unity and yet there may be no "longing to belong". There may be no geographical unity and yet the feeling of longing to belong may be very intense. There may be cultural unity and yet there may be no longing to belong. There may be economical conflicts and class divisions and yet there may be an intense feeling of longing to belong. The point is that nationality is not primarily a matter of geography culture or"..........

In the declinging[f83]  days of the Vedic Regime, the Shudras as well as women had come to occupy a very low position. The rising tide of Buddhism had brought about a great change in the status of both. To put it briefly a Shudra under the Buddhist regime could acquire property, learning and could even become a king. Nay he could even rise to the highest rung of the social ladder occupied by the Brahmin in the Vedic Regime. The Buddhist order of Bhikshus was counterpart of the Vedic order of Brahmins. The two orders, each within its own religious system were on a par in the matter of status and dignity. The Shudra could never aspire to be a Brahmin in the Vedic regime but he could become a Bhikshu and occupy the same status and dignity as did the Brahmin. For. while the Vedic order of Bramhins was closed to the Shudra, the Buddhist order of Bhikshus was open to him and many Shudras who could not become Brahmins under the Vedic Regime had become their peers by becoming Bhikshus under Buddhism. Similar change is noticeable in the case of women. Under the Buddhist regime she became a free person. Marriage did not make her a slave. For marriage under the Buddhist rule was a contract. Under the Buddhist Regime she could acquire property, she could acquire learning and what was unique, she could become a member of the Buddhist order of Nuns and reach the same status and dignity as a Brahmin. The elevation of the status of the Shudras and women was so much the result of the gospel of Buddhism that Buddhism was called by its enemies as the Shudra religion (i.e. the religion of the low classes).

All this of course must have been very galling to the Brahmins. How very galling it must have been to them is shown by the vandallic fury with which Bramhanism after its triumph over Buddhism proceeded to bring about a complete demolition of the high status to which the Shudras and women had been elevated by the revolutionary changes effected by the vivifying gospel of Buddhism.

Starting with this background one shudders at the inhumanity and cruelty of the laws made by Manu against the Shudras. I quote a few of them assembling them under certain general heads.

Manu asks the householders of the Brahmana, Kshatriya and Vaishya Class:

IV. 61. Let him not dwell in a country where the rulers are Shudra.....

This cannot mean that Brarnhana. Kashtriya and Vaishya should leave the country where Shudra is a ruler. It can only mean that if a Shudra becomes a king he should be killed. Not only a Shudra is not to be recognized as fit to be a king, he is not to be deemed as a respectable person. For Manu enacts that:-

XI. 24. A Bramhin shall never beg from a Shudra property for (performing) a sacrifice i.e. for religious purposes. All marriage ties with the Shudra were proscribed. A marriage with a woman belonging to any of the three higher classes was forbidden. A Shudra was not to have any connection with a woman of the higher classes and an act of adultery committed by a Shudra with her was declared   by   Manu   to   be   an   offence   involving capital punishment.

VIII. 374. A Shudra who has an intercourse with a woman of the higher caste guarded[f84]  or unguarded, shall be punished in the following manner if she was unguarded, he loses the offending part. If she was guarded then he should be put to death and his property confiscated.

Manu insists that a Shudra shall be servile, unfit for office, without education, without property and as a contemptible person, his person and property shall always be liable to be conscripted. As to office Manu prescribes.

VIII. 20. A Bramhana who is only a Brahmana by descent i.e. one has neither studied nor performed any other act required by the Vedas may. at the king's pleasure, interpret the law to him i.e. act as the judge, but never a Shudra (however learned he may be).

VIII. 21. The Kingdom of that monarch who looks on while a Shudra settles the law will sink low like a cow in a morass.

VIII. 272. If a Shudra arrogantly presumes to preach religion to Bramhins the King shall have poured burning oil in his mouth and ears.

In olden times the study of the Vedas stood for education. Manu declare that the study of the Vedas was not a matter of right but that it was a matter of privilege. Manu deprived the Shudra of the right to study Veda. He made it a privilege of the three higher classes. Not only did he debar the Shudra from the study of the Vedas but he enacted penalties against those who might help the Shudra to acquire knowledge of the Veda. To a person who is previleged to study the Vedas. Manu ordains that :

IV. 99. He must never read the the presence of the Shudras. and prescribes that :-

III. 156. He who instructs Shudra pupils and he whose teacher is a Shudra shall become disqualified tor being invited to Shradha. Manu's successor went much beyond him in the cruelty of their punishment of the Shudra for studying the Veda. For instance Katyayana lays down that if a Shudra overheard the Veda or ventured to utter a word of the Veda. the King shall cut his tongue in twain and put hot molten lead in his cars.

As to property Manu is both ruthless and shameless. According to the Code of Manu :

X. 129. No superfluous collection of wealth must be made by a Shudra, even though he has power to make it, since a servile man. who has amassed riches, becomes proud, and, by his insolence or neglect, gives pain to Bramhans.

The reason for the rule is more revolting than the rule itself. Manu was of course not sure that the prohibitory injunction will be enough to prevent the Shudra from acquiring wealth. To leave no room for the Shudra to give offence to the Bramhins by his accumulation of wealth Manu added another section to his code whereby he declared that :

VIII. 417. A Bramhana may seize without hesitation if he be in distress for his subsistence, the goods of his Shudra. Not only is the property of a Shudra liable to conscription but the labour of the Shudra. Manu declares, is liable to conscription. Compare the following provision in Manu :

VIII. 413. A Bramhana may compel a Shudra, whether bought or unbought to do servile work; for he is created by the creator to be the slave of a Bramhana.

A Shudra was required by Manu to be servile in his speech. How very servile he must be can be seen from the following provisions in Manu :

VIII. 270. A Shudra who insults a twiceborn man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin.

VIII. 271. If he mentions the names and castes of the (twiceborn) with contumely, an iron nail, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red hot into his mouth.

Manu's object was to make the Shudra not merely a servile person but an altogether contemptible person. Manu will not allow a Shudra the comfort of having a high sounding name. Had Manu not been there to furnish incontrovertible proof it would be difficult to believe that Bramanism could have been so relentless and pitiless in its persecution of the Shudra. Observe Manu's law as to the names that the different classes can give to their children.

II. 31. Let the first part of a Brahman's name denote something auspicious, a Kshatriya's be connected with power, and a Vaishya's with wealth, but a Shudra's express something contemptible.

II. 32. The second part of a Bramhan's name shall be a word implying happiness, of a Kshatrya's a word implying protection, of a Vaisya's a term expressive of thriving and of a Shudra's an expression denoting service.

The basis of all these inhuman laws is the theory enunciated by Manu regarding the Shudra. At the outset of his Code, Manu takes care to assert it emphatically and without blushing. He says :

I. 91. One occupation only, the Lord prescribed to the Shudra, to serve meekly these other three castes (namely Bramhin, Kshatriya and Vaishya).

Holding that the Shudra was born to be servile, Manu made his laws accordingly so as to compel him to remain servile. In the Buddhist regime a Shudra could aspire to be ajudge, a priest and even a King, the highest status that he could ever aspire to. Compare with This the ideal that Manu places before the Shudra and one can get an idea of what fate was to be under Brahmanism :

X. 121. If a Shudra, (unable to subsist by serving Brahmanas), seeks a livelihood, he may serve Kshartiyas, or he may also seek to maintain himself by attending on a wealthy Vaishya.

X. 122. But let a (Shudra) serve Brahmanas, either for the sake of heaven, or with a view to both (this life and the next); for he who is called the servant of a Brahmana thereby gains all his ends.

X. 123. The service of Brahmanas alone is declared (to be) an excellent occupation for a Shudra: for whatever else besides this he may perform will bear him no fruit.

X. 124. They must allot to him out of their own family (property) a suitable maintenance, after considering his ability, his industry, and the number of those whom he is bound to support.

X. 125. The remnants of their food must be given to him, as well as their old household furniture.

Manu can hardly be said to be more tender to women than he was to the Shudra. He starts with a low opinion of women. Manu proclaims :

11.213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (world); for that reason the wise are never unguarded in (the company of) females.

II. 214. For women are able to lead astray in (this) world not only a fool, but even a learned man, and (to make) him a slave of desire and anger.

II. 215. One should not sit in a lonely place with one's mother sister or daughter; for the senses are powerful, and master even a learned man.

IX. 14. Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention fixed on age; (thinking), '(It is enough that) he is a man', they give themselves to the handsome and to the ugly.

IX. 15. Through their passion for men, through their mutable temper, through their natural heartlessness, they become disloyal towards their husbands, however carefully they may be guarded in this (world).

IX. 16. Knowing their disposition, which the Lord of creatures laid in them at the creation, to be such, (every) man should most strenuously exert himself to guard them.

IX. 17. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed. (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.

The laws of Manu against women are of a piece with this view. Women are not to be free under any circumstances. In the opinion of Manu :—

IX. 2. Day and night women must be kept in dependence by the males (of) their (families), and, if they attach themselves to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one's control.

IX. 3. Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age: a woman is never fit for independence.

IX. 5. Women must particularly be gurded against evil inclinations, however trifling (they may appear); for, if they are not guarded, they will bring sorrow on two families,             

IX. 6. Considering that the highest duty of all castes, even weak husbands (must) strive to guard their wives.

V. 147. By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house.

V. 148. In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons: a woman must never be independent.

V. 149. She must not seek to separate herself from her father, husband, or sons; by leaving them she would make both (her own and her husband's) families contemptible. Woman is not to have a right to divorce.

IX. 45. The husband is declared to be one with the wife, which means that there could be no separation once a woman is married. Many Hindus stop here as though this is the whole story regarding Manu's law of divorce and keep on idolizing it by comforting their conscience by holding out the view that Manu regarded marriage as sacrament and therefore did not allow divorce. This of course is far from the truth. His law against divorce had a very different motive. It was not to tie up a man to a woman but it was to tie up the woman to a man and to leave the man free. For Manu does not prevent a man for giving up his wife. Indeed he not only allows him to abandon his wife but he also permits him to sell her. But what he does is to prevent the wife from becoming free. See what Manu Says :

IX. 46. Neither by sale nor by repudiation is a wife released from her husband.

The meaning is that a wife, sold or repudiated by her husband, can never become the legitimate wife of another who may have bought or received her after she was repudiated. If this is not monstrous nothing can be. But Manu was not worried by considerations of justice or injustice of his laws. He wanted to deprive women of the freedom she had under the Buddhistic regime. He knew, by her misuse of her liberty, by her willingness to marry the Shudra that the system of the gradation of the Varna had been destroyed. Manu wa.s outraged by her license and in putting a stop to it he deprived her of her liberty.

A wife was reduced by Manu to the level of a slave in the matter of property.

IX. 146. A wife, a son, and a slave, these three are declared to have no property, the wealth which they earn is (acquired) for him to whom they belong.

When she becomes a widow Manu allows her maintenance if her husband was joint and a widow's estate in the property of her husband if he was separate from his family. But Manu never allows her to have any dominion over property.

A woman under the laws of Manu is subject to corporal punishment and Manu allows the husband the right to beat his wife.

VIII. 299. A wife, a son, a slave, a pupil, and a younger brother of the full blood, who have committed faults, may be beaten with a rope or a split bamboo.

In other matters woman was reduced by Manu to the same position as the Shudra.

The study of the Veda was forbidden to her by Manu as it was to the Shudra.

II. 66. Even for a woman the performance of the Sanskaras are necessary and they should be performed. But they should be performed without uttering the Veda Mantras.

IX. 18. Women have no right to study the Vedas. That is why their Sanskars are performed without Veda Mantras. Women have no knowledge of religion because they have no right to know the Vedas. The uttering of the Veda Mantras is useful for removing sin. As women cannot utter the Veda Mantras they are as unclean as untruth is.

Offering sacrifices according to Bramhanism formed the very soul of religion. Yet Manu will not allow women to perform them. Manu ordains that:—

XI. 36. A woman shall not perform the daily sacrifices prescribed by the Vedas. XI. 37. If she does it she will go to hell.

To disable her from performing such sacrifices Manu prevents her from getting the aid and services of a Bramhin priest.

IV. 205. A Bramhan must never eat food given at a sacrifice performed by a woman.

IV. 206. Sacrifices performed by women are inauspicious and not acceptable to God. They should therefore be avoided. Woman was not to have any intellectual persuits and nor free will nor freedom of thought. She was not to join any heretical sect such as Buddhism. If she continues to adhere to it, till death she is not to be given the libation of water as is done in the case of all dead.

Finally a word regarding the ideal of life, Manu has sought to place before a woman. It had better be stated in his own words :

V. 151. Him to whom her father may give her, or her brother with the father's permission, she shall obey as long as he lives and when he is dead, she must not insult his memory.

V. 154. Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure elsewhere, or devoid of good qualities, yet a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.

V. 155. No sacrifice, no vow, no fast must be performed by women, apart from their husbands; if a wife obeys her husband, she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven. Then comes the choicest texts which forms the pith and the marrow of this ideal which Manu prescribes for the women :

V. 153. The husband who wedded her with sacred Mantras, is always a source of happiness to his wife, both in season and out of season, in this world and in the next.

V. 150. She must always be cheerful, clever in the management of her household affairs, careful in cleaning her utensils, and economical in expenditure.

This the Hindus regard as a very lofty ideal for a woman!!! The severity of these laws against Shudras and women show that the phenomenal rise of these classes during the Buddhist regime had not only offended the Brahmins but had become intolerable to them. It was a complete reversal of their sacred social order from top to bottom. The first had become last and the last had become first. The laws of Manu also explain, the determined way in which the Brahmins proceeded to use their political power to degrade the Shudras and the women to their old status. The triumphant Bramhanism bega.n its onslaught on both the Shudras and the women in pursuit of the old ideal namely servility and Bramhanism did succeed in making the Shudras and women the servile classes, Shudras the serfs to the three higher classes and women the serfs to their husbands. Of the black deeds committed by Brahmanism after its triumph over Buddhism this one is the blackest. There is no parallel in history for so foul deeds of degradation committed by a class of usurpers in the interest of class domination. The collosal character of this deed of degradation perpetrated by Barahmanism is unfortunately not fully realized. It is concealed by those small monosyllablic words, Stri and Shudra. Let those who wish to get an idea of the enormity of their deed think of the numbers that lie behind these two terms. What part of the population do they apply to? The woman represents one half of the population. Of the balance the Shudra represents not less than two third. The two together make up about 7590 of the total population. It is this huge mass of people that has been doomed by Brahmanism to eternal servility and eternal degradation. It is because of the collosal scale of degradation whereby 75% of her people were deprived of their right to life. liberty and persuit of happiness that India became a decaying if not a dead nation.

The principle of graded inequality runs through the whole of the Manu Smriti. There is no department of life in which he has not introduced his principle of graded inequality. For a complete and thorough exposition of it, it would be necessary to reproduce the whole of Manu Smriti. I will take only a few departments to illustrate how in the hands of Manu the principle of graded inequality became imbedded in the social life. Take the field of marriage. Observe the rule of Manu :—

III. 13. It is declared that a Shudra woman alone (can be) the wife of a Shudra, she and one of his own caste (the wives) of a Vaishya, those two and one of his own caste the wives of a Kshatriya, those three and one of his own caste (the wives of a Bramhan). Take the rules of Manu regarding the treatment of guests:—

III. 110. But a Kshatriya (who comes) to the house of a Brahmana is not called a guest (atithi), nor a Vaisya, nor a Shudra, nor a personal friend, nor a relative, nor the teacher.

III. 111. But if Kshatriya comes to the house of a Brahmana in the manner of a guest, (the house-holder) may feed him according to his desire, after the above mentioned Brahmanas have eaten.

III. 1 12. Even a Vaisya and a Shudra who have approached his house in the manner of guests, he may allow to eat with his servants, showing (thereby) his compassionate disposition. In the house of a Brahmana. nobody except a Brahmin is to have the honour of being a guest. [f85]  If the Kshatriya comes in the manner of a guest to the house of a Brahmin he is to be fed after all the Brahmins are fed and if the Vaishyas and Shudras come in the manner of guests they are to be fed after everybody is fed and only in the company of servants.

Take the rules of Manu regarding Sanskaras : X. 126. A Shudra has no right to receive the sacraments. X. 68. The law prescribes that neither of the two (that is those who belong to mixed castes) shall receive the sacraments the first being excluded on account of lowness of his origin of his parents was against the order of the castes.

II. 66. The whole series[f86]  of sacraments must be performed for females also in order to sanctify the body at the proper time and in the proper order, but without the recitaion of sacred Vedic Mantras. Manu further lays down that :

VI. 1. A twice born Snataka, who has thus lived according to the law in the order of householders, may, taking a firm resolution and keeping his organs in subjection, dwell in the forest, duly (observing the rules given below).

VI. 33. But having thus passed the third part of (a man's natural term of) life in the forest, he may live as an ascetic during the fourth part of his existence, after abandoning all attanchment to worldly objects.

Even in law Manu introduces the principle of graded inequality. To take only two illustrations, the law of defamation, abuse and the law of assault :

VIII. 267. A Kshatriya having defamed a Brahmana, shall be fined one hundred (panas); A Vaisya one hundred and fifty or two hundred ; a Shudra shall suffer corporal punishment.

VIII. 268. A Brahamna shall be fined fifty (panas) for defaming a Kshatriya ; in (the case of) a Vaisya the fine shall be twenty five (panas), in (the case of) a Shudra twelve.

VIII. 269. For offences of twice born men against those of equal caste (varna, the fine shall be) also twelve (panas) for speeches which ought not to be uttered, that (and every fine shall be) double.

VIII. 276. (For mutual abuse) by a Brahmana and a Kshatriya a fine must be imposed by a discerning (king), on the Brahmana the lowest amercement, but on the Kshatriya the middlemost.

VIII. 277. A Vaisya and a Shudra must be punished exactly in the same manner according to their respective castes, but the tongue (of the Shudra) shall not be cut out: that is the decision.

VIII. 279. With whatever limb a man of a low caste does hurt to (a man of the three) highest (castes), even that limb shall be cut off: that is the teaching of Manu.

VIII. 280. He who raises his hand or a stick, shall have his hand cut off; he who in anger kicks with his foot, shall have his foot cut off. Everywhere is the principle of graded inequality. So ingrained it had become in the social system that the successors of Manu were careful to introduce it where he had failed to give effect to it. For instance Manu had had recognized the system of slavery. But had failed to prescribe whether the system of slavery was or was not subject to the principle of graded order of insubordination.

Lest it should be understood that the law of graded inequality did not apply to slavery and that a Brahmin may be a slave of the Shudra, Yajnavalkya at once proceeds to clear the doubt. He expressly laid down that :-

"Slavery is in the descending order of the Varnas and not in the ascending order" (XIV. 183).

Vijnaneshwar in his commentary on Yajnavalkya makes it concrete by his illustrations when he says :

"Of the Varnas such as the Brahmana and the rest, a state of slavery shall exist Anulomyena, in the descending order. Thus, of a Brahmana, a Kshatriya and the rest may become a slave; of a Kshatriya, the Vaishya and the Shudra; and of a Vaishya, Shudra, thus the state of slavery shall operate in the descending order." Stated in the language of equality and inequality, this means that the Brahmin is the highest because he can be the slave of nobody but is entitled to keep a person of any class as his slave. The Shudra is the lowest because everybody can keep him as his slave but he can keep no one as his slave except a Shudra. The place assigned to the Kshatriya and the Vaishya introduces the system of graded inequality. A Kshatriya while he is inferior to the Brahmin he can be the slave of the Brahmin. While he is yet superior to the Vaishyas and the Shudras because he can keep them as his slaves; the Vaishyas and the Shudras have no right to keep a Kshartiya as his slave. Similarly a Vaishya while he is inferior to the Bramhins and the Kshatriyas, because they can keep him as their slave and he cannot keep any one of them as his slave, he is proud that he is at least superior to the Shudra because he can keep the Shudra as his slave while Shudra cannot keep the Vaishya as his slave.

Such is the principle of graded inequality which Bramhanism injected into the bone and the marrow of the people. Nothing worse to paralyze society to overthrow inequity could have been done.

Although its effects have not been clearly noticed there can be no doubt that because of it the Hindus have been stricken with palsy. Students of social organization have been content with noting the difference between equality and inequality. None have realized that in addition to equality and inequality there is such a thing as graded inequality. Yet inequality is not half so dangerous as graded inequality. Inequality carried within itself the seeds of its own destruction. Inequality does not last long. Under pure and simple inequality two things happen. It creates general discontent which forms the seed of revolution. Secondly it makes the sufferers combine against a common foe and on a common grievance. But the nature and circumstances of the system of graded inequality leave no room for either of these two things to happen. The system of graded inequality prevents the rise of general discontent against inequity. It cannot therefore become the storm centre of revolution. Secondly the sufferers under inequality becoming unequal both in terms of the benefit and the burden there is no possibility of a general combination of all classes to overthrow the inequity. To make the thing concrete the Brahmanic law of marriage is full of inequity. The right of Brahmana to take a woman from the classes below him but not to give a woman to them is in inequity. But the Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra will not combine to destroy it. The Kshatriya resents this right of the Brahmana. But he will not combine with Vaishya or the Shudra and that for two reasons. Firstly because he is satisfied that if the Brahman has the right to take the right of three communities, the Kshatriya has the right to appropriate the women of two communities. He does not suffer so much as the other two. Secondly if he joins in a general revolution against this marriage-inequity in one way he will rise to the level of the Bramhins but in another way all will be equal which to him means that the Vaishyas and the Shudras will rise to his level i.e. they will claim Kshatriya women-which means he will fall to their level. Take any other inequity and think of a revolt against it. The same social psychology will show that a general rebellion against it is impossible.

One of the reasons why there has been no revolution against Brahmanism and its inequities is due entirely to the principle of graded inequality. If is a system of permitting a share in the spoils with a view to enlist them to support the spoils system. It is a system full of low cunning which man could have invented to perpetuate inequity and to profit by it. For it is nothing else but inviting people to share in inequity in order that they may all be supporters of inequity.

There now remains to lift the curtain from the last act of this drama of Bramhanism.

Bramhanism inherited from the Vedic past that system of Chaturvarna. The system of Chaturvarna which the Hindus regard as the unique creation of their Aryan ancestors is in no sense unique. There is nothing original about it. The whole ancient world had stumbled into it. The Egyptians had it and the ancient Persians had it. Plato was so convinced about its excellence that he presented it as ideal form of social organization. The ideal of the Chaturvarna is faulty. The lumping together of individuals into a few sharply marked off classes is a very superficial view of man and his powers. The Ancient Aryans as well as Plato had no conception of the uniqueness of every individual, of his incommensurability with others and of each individual forming a class of his own. They had no recognition of the infinite diversity of active tendencies and combination of tendencies of which an individual is capable. To them there were types offaculties or powers in the individual constitution and all that is necessary for social organization is to classify them. All this is demonstrably wrong. Modern science has shown that lumping together of individuals into a few sharply marked off classes each confined to one particular sphere does injustice both to the individual and to Socicty. The stratification of Society by classes and occupations is incompatible with the fullest utilization of the qualities which is so necessary for social advancement and is also incompatible with the safety and security of the individual as well as of Society in general. [f87] 

There is another mistake which the Ancient Hindus including Plato made. There is probably some truth in saying that there is among human beings a dimorphism or polyformism in human beings as, there is among insects, though in the former it is only psychological while in the latter it is both physical as well as psychlolgical. But assuming that there is a thing psychological dimorphism or polyformism among human beings, it is wrong to separate them into those who are born to do one thing and others to do another, some born to command i.e. to be masters and some born to obey i.e. to be slaves. It is wrong to suppose that in a given person some qualities are present and others are absent. On the contrary the truth is that all qualities are present in every person and this truth is not diminished in any way by that, some tendency predominates to the extent of being the only one that is apparent. So well established is this truth that a tendency which may be dominant in a man at one time may be quite different from and even the direct opposite of the tendency that may be dominant at another time. As Prof. Bergson[f88]  in speaking of the Nietsche's false antithesis of 'men' and 'slaves' observes :

"We have a clear vision of this (falsity) in times of revolution. Unassuming citizens, upto that moment humble and obedient, wake up one fine day with pretentions to be leaders of men". The cases of Mussolini and Hitler are a complete disproof of the theory of the Aryans and of Plato.

This Vedic system of Chaturvarna, far from being an ideal system was made positively worse by the changes which Bramhanism made and which have already been described. Every one of them was mischievous in character is beyond question. The Buddhist order of Bhikshus and the Vedic order of Brahmins were designed to serve the same purpose. They formed the elite of their society whose function was to lead and guide society along the right road. Although designed to discharge the same function the Budhist Bhikshu was better placed to discharged it was the Bramhin. That is because Buddha recognized which nobody either before him or after him has done. Buddna  realized that tor a person to give a true lead to Society and he its trustworthy guide he must be intellectually free and further, which is more important, to be intellectually free he must not have private property. An elite charged with the care of his private property must fail to discharge his duty of leading and guiding Society along the right road. Buddha therefore took care to include in the Code of discipline for the Bhikshus a rule prohibiting a Bhikshu from holding private property. In the Vedic order of Bramhins there was no such prohibition. A Bramhin was free to hold property. This difference produced a profound difference on the character and outlook of the Buddhist Bhikshu and the Vedic Bramhin. The Bhikshus formed an intellectual class. The Bramhins formed on the other hand merely an educated class. There is a great difference between an intellectual class and an ducated class. An intellectual class has no limitations arising out of any affiliations to any class or to any interest. An educated Class on the other hand is not an intellectual class although it has cultivated its intellect. The reason is that its range of vision and its sympathy to a new ideology is circumscribed by its being identified with the interest of the class with which it is affiliated.

The Bramhins from the very beginning therefore were inclined to be a purely educated class, enlightened but selfish. This evil in the Vedic order of Bramhins was extreme by the changes made in the old Vedic System. The right of the Brahmins to rule and the grant of special privileges and immunities made them more selfish, and induced in them the desire to use their education not for the advancement of learning but for the use of their community and against the advancement of society.                                                 

All their energy and their education has been spent in maintaining their own privileges against the good of the public. It has been the boast of many Hindu authors that the civilization of India is the most ancient civilization in the world. They will insist that there was no branch of knowledge in which their ancestors were not the pioneers. Open a book like "The Positive Background of Hindu Sociology" by Prof. Benoy Kumar Sarkar, or a book like "The Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus" by Dr. Brajendranath Seal one is overwhelmed with data touching upon the knowledge their ancestors had about various scientific subjects. From these books it would appear that the ancient Indians knew astronomy, astrology, biology, chemistry, mathematics, Medicine, minerology. Physics and in the view of the mass of people even aviation. All this may be very true. The important question is now how the ancient Indians discovered these positive sciences. The important question is why did the ancient Indians cease to make any progress in the sciences in which they were the pioneers? This sudden arrest in the progress of science in ancient India is as astounding as it is deplorable. In the scientific world India occupies a position which even if it be first among the primitive is certainly last among the civilized nation. How did it happen that a people who began the work of scientific progress stopped, halted on the way, left in its incohate and incomplete condition? This is a question that needs to be considered and answered, not what the ancient Indians knew.

There is only one answer to the question and it is a very simple answer. In ancient India the Bramhins were the only educated class. They were also the Class which was claiming to be above all others. Buddha disputed their claim for supremacy and declared a war on the Brahmins. The Brahmins acted as an Educated Class—as distinguished from an intellectual class—would act under the circumstances. It abandoned all pursuits and engaged itself in defending the claim of supremacy and the social, economic and political interests of its class. Instead of writing books on Science, the Brahmins undertook to write Smritis. Here is an explanation why the progress of science in India became arrested. Brahmins found it more important and more imperative to write Smritis to repel the Buddhist doctrine of social equality.

How many Smritis did the Brahmins write? Mr. Kane a great authority on the Smriti literature has computed their number to be 128. And what for? The Smritis are called lawbooks which of course hide their nature. They are really treatises expounding the supremacy of the Brahmins and their rights to special privileges. The defence of Bramhanism was more important than the progress of science. Bramhanism not only defended its previlege:s but set about extending them in a manner that would cover every descent man with shame. The Brahmins started particularly to expand the meaning of certain privileges granted to them by Manu.

Manu had given the Bramhins the right to dana, gift. The dana was always intended to be money or chattel. But in course of time the concept of dana was expanded so as to include the gift of a woman which a Brahmin could keep as his mistress or who could be released by the Bramhin on commutation[f89]  of money payment.

Manu designated the Bramhins as Bhu-devas, lords of the Earth. The Bramhins enlarged the scope of this statement and began to claim the right to sexual intercourse with women of other classes. Even queens were not exempt from this claim. Ludovico Di Varthema who came to India as a traveller in about 1502 A.D. records the following about the Brahmins of Calicut :

"It is a proper, and the same time pleasant thing to know who these Brahmins are. You must know that they are the chief persons of the faith, as priests are among us. And when the King takes a wife, he selects the most worthy and the most honoured of these Brahamins and makes him sleep the first night with his wife, in order that he may deflower her. "[f90]  Similarly Hamilton[f91] another writer says:

"When the Samorin marries, he must not cohabit with his bride till the Nambourie (Nambudari Brahmin), or chief priest, has enjoyed her, and if he pleases, he may have three nights of her company, because the first fruits of her nuptials must be an holy oblation to the god she worships."

In the Bombay Presidency the priests of the Vaishnava sect claimed the right to deflower the women of their sect. This gave rise to the famous Maharaja Libel case brought by the chief priest of the Sect against one Karosondas Mulji in the High Court of Bombay in the year 1869 which shows that the right to claim the benefit of the first night was certainly effective till then.

When such a right to sexual cohabitation for the first night could be extended against the generality of the lower classes the Brahmins did not hesitate to extend it. This they did particularly in Malabar. There, Manu designated the Brahmins as Bhu-devas, lords of the earth. The Brahmins enlarged the scope of this statement and began to claim the right of promiscuous sexual intercourse with the women folk of the other Classes. This happened particularly in Malabar. There[f92] 

" The Brahman castes follow the Makatyam System that is the system by which the child belongs to its father's family. They contract within their own caste regular marriages, with all the ordinary legal and religious sanctions and incidents. But the Brahmin men are also in the habit of entering into Sambandhan-Unions with women of the lower castes." This is not all. Observe further what the writer has to say:

"Neither party to a Sambadhan Unions becomes thereby a member of the other family; and the offspring of the Union belong to their mothers tharwad (family) and have no sort of claim, so far as the law goes, to a share of their father's property or to maintenance therefrom."

Speaking of the origin of this practice the author of the Gazetteer observes that the origin of this institution :

"Is found in the claim of the Bhu-devas" or "Earth Gods" (that the Brahmanas) and on a lower plain of the Kshatriyas or the ruling classes, to the first fruits of lower Caste Womanhood, a right akin to the medieval droit de Seigneurie."

It is an understatement to say that it is only a right to first fruits as the 'right to the first night' was called in the middle ages in Europe. It is more than that. It is a general right of the Brahmin against the lower caste to claim any woman of that class for mere prostitution, for the mere satisfaction of sexual appetite, without burdening the Brahmin to any of the obligations of marriage.

Such were the rights which the Brahmins the spiritual precepts claimed against the laity!! The Borgese Popes have been run down in history as the most debauched race of spiritual preceptors who ascended the throne of Peter. One wonders whether they were really worse than the Brahmins of India.

A purely intellectual Class, free to consider general good and having no interest of a class to consider, such as the one contemplated by Buddha is not to be had anywhere. For the limitations resulting from property on the freedom of intellect of the elite have not been generally recognized until very recently. But this want of an intellectual class has been made good in other countries by the fact that in those countries each Strata of Society has its educated class. There is safety, if no definite guidance, in the multiplicity of views expressed by different educated classes drawn from different strata of society. In such a multiplicity of views there is no danger of Society being misguided or misdirected by the views of one single educated class drawn from one single class of society and which is naturally bound to place the interest of its class before the interests of the country. By the change made by Brahmanism India ceased to have safe and sure guidance of an intellectual class. But what is worse is that the Hindus lost the safety and security which other peoples have and which arises from the multiplicity of views expressed by various educated classes drawn from different strata of Society.

By the denial of education to the Shudras, by diverting the Kshatriyas to military persuits, and the Vaishyas to trade and by reserving education to themselves the Brahmins alone could become the educated class—free to misdirect and misguide the whole society. By converting Varna into Caste they declared that mere birth was a real and final measure of the worth of a man. Caste and Graded inequality made disunity and discord a matter of course.

All this disfigurement of the original Varna system would have been tolerable if it had remained a mere matter of social practice. But Brahmanism was not content to leave the matter there. It wanted to give the Chaturvarna in its changed and perverted form the force of law. This new Chaturvarna the making of Brahmanism occupies in the Manu Smriti as the Law of Persons and the Law of Family. Nobody can make a mistake about it. Manu made it an offence for a person of a lower Caste to arrogate to himself the status of a higher Caste or to pass off as a member of the higher Caste.

X. 96. A man of low caste who through covetousness lives by the occupations of a higher one, the king shall deprive of his property and banish.

XI. 56. Falsely attributing to oneself high birth, giving information to the king (regarding a crime), and falsely accusing one's teacher, (are offences) equal to slaying a Brahmana. Here there are two offences, General Impersonation (X. 96) and impersonation by the Shudra (XI. 56). Note also the punishments how severe they are. For the first the punishment is confiscation of property and banishment. For the second the punishment is the same as the punishment for causing the death of a Brahmin.

The offence of personation is not unknown in modern jurisprudence and the Indian Penal Code recognizes it in section 419. But what is the punishment the Indian Penal Code prescribes for cheating by personation? Fine, and if imprisonment, then 3 years or both. Manu must be turning in his grave to find the British Government make so light of his law of Caste.

Manu next proceeds to direct the king that he should execute this law. In the first place he appeals to the King in the name of his pious duty :

VIII. 172. By preventing the confusion of Castes . . .. .the power of the King grows, and he prospers in this world and after death. Manu perhaps knows that the law relating to the confusion of Varna may not be quite agreeable to the conscience of the king and he avoids enforcement. Consequently Manu tells the King how in the matter of the execution of the laws the King should act :

VIII. 177. Therefore let the King not heeding his own likes and dislikes behave exactly like Yama. i.e. he should be as impartial as Yama the Judge of the Dead.

Manu however does not wish to leave the matter to the King as a mere matter of pious duty. Manu makes it a matter of obligation upon the King. Accordingly Manu lays down as a matter of obligation that :

VIII. 410. The King should order a Vaishya to trade to lend money, to cultivate the land, or to lend cattle, and the Shudra to serve the twice born Caste. Again Manu reverts to the subject and say:

VIII. 418. The King should carefully compel Vaishyas and Sudras to perform the work (prescribed) for them ; for if these two castes swerved from their duties they would throw this whole world into confusion.

What if the Kings do not act up to this obligation. This law of Chaturvarna is so supreme in the eyes of Manu that Manu will not allow himself to be thwarted by a King who will not keep his obligation to maintain this law. Boldly Manu forges a new law that such a king shall be disposed. One can imagine how dear Chaturvarna was lo Manu and to Brahmanism.

As I have said the Chaturvarna of the Vedic system was better than caste system was not very favourable to the creation of a Society which could be regarded as one single whole possessing the Unity of the ideal society. By its very theory the Chaturvarna has given birth to four classes. These four classes were far from friendly. Often they were quarreling and their quarrels were so bitter that they cannot but be designated as Class wars. All the same this old Chaturvarna had two saving features which Brahminism most selfishly removed. Firstly there was no isolation among the Varnas. Intermarriage and interdining the two strongest bonds for unity had full play. There was no room for the different Varnas to develop that anti-social feeling which destroys the very basis of Society. While the Kshatriyas fought against the Brahmins and the Brahmins fought against the Kshatriyas there were not wanting Kshatriyas who fought against the Kshatriyas[f93]  for the sake of Brahmins and there were not wanting Brahmins[f94]  who joined hands with Kshatriyas to put down the Brahmins.

Secondly this old Chaturvarna was conventional. It was the ideal of the Society but it was not the law of the State. Brahmanism isolated the Varnas and sowed the seed of antagonism. Brahmanism made legal what was only conventional. By giving it a legal basis it perpetrated the mischief. The Vedic Chaturvarna if it was an evil would have died out by force of time and circumstances. By giving it the force of Law Brahmanism has made it eternal. This is probably the greatest mischief that Brahmanism has done to Hindu Society.

In considering this question one cannot fail to notice that the obligation imposed upon the King for the maintenance of the law of Chaturvarna which is another name for the system of graded inequality does not require the King to enforce it against the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas. The obligation is limited to the enforcement of the law against the Vaishyas and the Shudras. Having regard to the fact that Brahmanism was so intent on giving the system the force of law the result has been very awkward to say the least about it. Notwithstanding this attempt at legalization the system remained half legal and half conventional, legal as to the Vaishyas and the Shudras and merely conventional as to Brahmins and Kshatriyas.

This difference needs to be accounted for. Was Brahmanism honest in its attempt to give the system the force of law? Did it wish that each of the four Varnas be bound by it? The fact that Brahmanism would not bind the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas by the law it made, shows that in this business Brahmainsm was far from honest. If it believed in the system as ideal it could not have failed to make it an universal binding force.

But there is more than dishonesty in this foul game. One can quite understand why the Brahmins were left free and untramelled by the shackles of the law. Manu called them Gods on earth and Gods must be above the law. But why were the Kshatriyas left free in the same way as the Brahmins. He knows that the Kshatriyas will not humble themselves before the Brahmins. He then proceeds to warn them, how the Brahmins can punish them if the Kshatriyas show arrogance and plan rebellion.

IX. 320 When the Kshatriyas become in any way overbearing towards the Brahmanas, the Brahmanas themselves shall duly restrain them; for the Kshatriyas sprang from the Brahmanas.

IX. 321. Fire sprang from water, Kshatriya from Brahmanas, iron from stone ; the all-penetrating force of those (three) has no effect on that whence they were produced.

One might think that the reason why Manu does not impose a.n obligation upon the King to enforce the law against the Kshatriya was because the Brahmins felt themselves quite capable of dealing with Kshatriyas by their own prowess and without the aid of the King and that they meant to put their sanctions against the Kshatriyas when the time came and without fear of consequences. All this could not have been meant by Manu. For after uttering this vows of vengeance, and threats and imprecations Manu suddenly come down and begins to plead with the Kshatriyas for cooperation and common front with the Brahmins. In a verse next after the verse in which he utters the threats and imprecations against the Kshatriyas Manu pleads :

IX. 323. But (a king who feels his end drawing nigh) shall bestow all his wealth, accumulated from fines on Brahmanas, make over his kingdom to his son and then seek death in battle. From imprecations to supplication is a very queer cry. What is the explanation of this anti-climax in the attitude of this strange behaviour of Manu towards the Kshatriyas? What is the object of this cooperation between Brahmins and Kshatriyas? Against whom is this common front to be? Manu does not explain. A whole history of a thousand years must be told before this puzzle is solved and the questions satisfactorily answered.

The history which furnishes the clue to the solution of this puzzle is the history of the class wars between the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas.

Most of the orthdox Hindus are repelled by the doctrine of Class war which was propounded by Karl Marx and would be certainly shocked if they were told that the history of their own ancestors probably furnishes the most cogent evidence that Marx was searching for support of his theory. Indeed there have been numerous class wars between Brahmins and the Kshatriyas and only the most important of them have been recorded[f95]  in the ancient Hindu literature. We have record of the conflict between the Brahmins and the Kings who were all Kshatriyas. The first of these conflicts was a conflict with King Vena, the second with Pururavas, the third with Nahusha, fourth with Nimi and fifth with Sumukha. There is a record of a conflict between Vashishtha a Brahmin and Vishvamitra an ordinary Kshatriya and not a king. Then we have the record of the wholesale massacre of the Brahmins of Bhrigu clan by the Kshatriya decendants of Kratavirya and then we have the record of the whole class of Kshatriyas exterminated by Parashuram acting on behalf of the Brahmanas. The issues that brought them in conflict extended over a wide range and show how bitter and strained must have been the feelings between Brahmins and Kshatriyas. There were conflicts over the question whether the Kshatriya had a right to become a Brahmana. There were conflicts over the question, whether the Brahmins were subject to the authority or not. There were conflicts on the question who should salute first and who should give way to whom. The wars were wars[f96]  of authority, status and dignity.

The results of these wars could not but be obvious to the Brahmins. Notwithstanding their boastful utterances they must have realized that it was not possible for them to crush the Kshatriyas and that notwithstanding the wars of extermination the Kshatriyas survived in sufficient numbers to plague the Brahmins. One need not pay any attention to the filthy story told by the Brahmins and alluded to by Manu that the Kshatriyas of the Manu's day were not the original Kshatriyas but a race of new Kshatriyas begotten by the Brahmins upon the widows of the old Kshatriyas who were massacred by Parashuram. Blackmailing is one of the means which Brahmanism is never ashamed of using to advance its own purposes. The fight of Brahmanism against the Kshatriyas was from the very beginning a fight between a fool and a bully. Brahmanas were fighting against the Kshatriyas for the maintenance of the Chaturvarna. Now it is this very Chaturvarna which allowed bayonets to the Kshatriyas and denied them to the Brahmins. How under this theory could the Brahmin fight with the Kshatriya with any hope of success? It could not have taken long for the Brahmins to realise the truth—which Tallyrand told Napoleon—that it is easy to give bayonets but it is very difficult to sit on them and that as Kshatriyas had bayonets and Brahmins none, war with the Kshatriya was the way to ruin. These were the direct consequences of these wars between the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas. But there were others which could not have escaped the attention of the Brahmins. While the Brahmins and Kshatriyas were fighting among themselves nobody was left to check and keep the Vaishyas and the Shudras under control. They were on the road of social equality almost nearing to the status of the Brahmins and Kshatriyas. To Brahmanism the possibility of suppressing the Kshatriya was very remote and the danger of being overtaken by Vaishyas and Shudras were real and very real. Should the Brahmana continue to fight the Kshatriya and ignore the danger of the Vaishyas and the Shudras? Or Should the Brahmana give up the hopeless struggle against the Kshatriya and befriend him and make with him a common cause and suppress the growing menace of the Vaishyas and Shudras? Brahmanism after it was exhausted in the wars with the Kshatriyas chose the second alternative. It sought to befriend their worthwhile enemies the Kshatriyas to work for a new ideal namely to enslave and exploit the two classes below them namely the Vaishyas and the Shudras. This new ideal must have taken shape some time when the Satpatha Brahmana came to be composed. It is in the Satpatha Brahmana we find the new ideal expressed it was well established. The language in which it is expressed, and the subject to which it is applied are so telling that I feel it should be quoted in its original terms. Says the author of the Satpatha[f97]  :

"They then make the beast return (to the Ahavaniya[f98] ) the he-goat goes first of them, then the ass, then the horse. Now in going away from this (Ahavaniya) the horse goes first, then the ass, then the he-goat—for the horse corresponds to the Kshatra (nobility), the ass to the Vaishya and Shudra, the he-goat to the Brahman and in-as-much as, in going from here, the horse goes first, therefore the Kshatriya, going first, is followed by the three others castes ; and in-as-much as, in returning from here, the he-goat goes first, therefore the Brahman, going first, is followed by the three other castes. And in-as-rnuch as the ass does not go first, either in going back from here, or in coming back from there, therefore the Brahmana and Kshatriya never go behind the Vaishya and Sudra ; hence they walk thus in order to avoid a confusion between good and bad. And, moreover, he thus encloses those two castes (the Vaishyas and Sudra) on both sides by the priesthood and the nobility and makes them submissive."

Here is the explanation of the puzzling attitude of Manu towards the Kshatriyas, attitude of willing to wound but afraid to strike, of wishing to dictate but preferring to befriend.

It is these wars and the compromise that had taught Manu that it was no use trying to coerce the Kshatriyas to submit to the domination of the Brahmin. It may be an ideal to be kept up. But as practical politics it was an impossible ideal. Like Bismark.. Manu knew that politics was the game of the possible. What was possible was to make a common cause and to build up a common front between the Brhamins and the Kshatriyas against the Vaishyas and the Shudras and this is what Manu did. The pity of it is that it was done in the name of religion. This need not shock anybody who has studied the soul and spirit of Brahmanism. With Brahmanism religion is a cloak to cover and hide its acquisitive politics.


   Contents                                                                              Part III

 [f1] Modern researches go to show that Buddhism had spread over Europe and that the Celts in Britain were Buddhist- See "Buddhism in pre-Christian Britain" by Donald A. Mackenzie.

 [f2]Early History of India (1924) pages.

 [f3]Nothing remains of Kanauj. It was completely destroyed by Mohammad although it was most gallantly defended by Prithviraj.

 [f4]2 History of Medieval Hindu India Vol. II. p. 142.

 [f5]Ibid Vol. III. Chap. x.

 [f6]1 Early History of India (1924) pp. 419-420.

 [f7]Indian Antiquary 1874, p. 132 quoted by Max Muller, Hibbert Lectures (1878) pp. 162-164.

The Bhikshuks (under Bramhanism) are further sub-divided into (1) Vaidikas (2) Yajniks (3) Srotriyas and (4) Agnihotris. Vaidikas are those who learn the Vedas by heart and repeat them without a mistake. Yajnikas are those who perform Yajnas and other religious rites and ceremonies. Srortiyas are those who specialize in the art of performing great sacrifices. Agnihotris are those who maintain the three sacrificial fires and perform the Ishtis (fortnightly sacrifices) and Chaturmasyas (sacrifices to be performed every four months).


 [f9]1 Summary of his views by Narendra Nath law in Harprasad Shastri Memorial Valume pp. 363-64.

 [f10]The reason why the new Buddhist priest could not leave their avocations and devote themselves wholly lo the propogation of religion is because as Harprasad Shastri points out. "The decrease in the number of Buddhist laity also resulted in the difficulty of Buddhist monks to receive alms. As a monk could not take alms from more than three householders and could not visit the same household within a month for the same purpose. ninety household are necessary to maintain a monk". Harprasad Shastri Memorial Volume, p.362.

 [f11]'Early Career of Kanhoji Angria and other papers. pp. 188-89.

 [f12]Ibid,. PP.188-89.

 [f13]Early History of India (1924) p. 336.

 [f14]Ibid p. 337.

 [f15]Ibid p. 360.

 [f16]Ibid F. N. p. 214.

 [f17]See his "Introduction to the Bhagvatgeeta" English Translation by Prof.. Utgikar

 [f18]Geeta Adhya XIII. Shloka 4.

 [f19]Prof. Hopkins, "The Great Epic of India", p. 389.

 [f20]Hindi Sanskriti Ani Ahimsa. p. 156.

 [f21]Hopkins "The Great Epic of India", p. 62.

 [f22]The Riddle of the Ramayana Chap. II. p. 6.

 [f23]See the Appendix A to Hopkins "The Great Epic of India" for Parallel phrases in the two epics

 [f24]Introduction to his translation ol the Bhagwat Gita in the "Sacred Books, of the Fast" Series.

 [f25]Gita-Rahasya (Eng. Translation) Vol.II p.800. According to Mr. Tilak the original Gita must have been some centuries earlier.

 [f26]1 Introduction to the Bhagwat Gita English translation by Prof. Utgikar.

 [f27]Gita Adhayaya XIII. Shloka. 4

 [f28]Ibid p. 3.

 [f29]Bhandarkar Memorial Volume

 [f30]As a matter of fact the systematization of the Karmakand portion of the Vedic literature gave rise to two kinds of works (1) Kalpa Sutras and (2) Purva Mimansa Sutras. The former give only a ahort and concise description of the rituals enjoined in the Brahamanas; while the latter enunciate and support the general principle which the author of the Kalpa Sutra must follow, if he wishes to render his rules strictly conformable to the teaching of the Vadas.

 [f31]They are also called Purva Mimansa or Karma Mimansa.

 [f32]They also go by various other names such as Uttara Mimansa Sutras. Brahma Sutras or Saririka Sutras or Saririka Mimansa Sutras.

 [f33]The same is true of Jaimini. As Kane says "Hardly anything is known about Jaimini. There is a Brahmana Srauta Sutra and a Grihyasutra ascribed to Jaimini. But it is hardly likely that they are the works of the founder of the Purvamimansa. In the tarpana in the Asvalayan Grihya Sutra Jaimini occurs along with Sumantu. Vaishyampayana. In the Bhagwat Purana Jaimini is said to be the teacher of Sumantu and a promulgator of Samaveda. The Panchatantra tells us that an elephant crushed to death Jaimini-the author of the Mimansa. "A brief sketch of the Purva Mimansa System", p. 12.

 [f34]See Belvalkar, Basu Mallick Lectures on Vedanta Lecture IV.

 [f35]See Radhakrishnan—Indian Philosophy Vol. II p. 430 where the relevant evidence is collected together

 [f36]Prof. Hopkins, "The Great Epic of India". p. 389.

 [f37]Hindi Sanskriti Ani Ahimsa (Marathi)

 [f38]Hopkins "The Great Epic of India", p. 62.

 [f39]The Riddle of the Ramayana Chap. II. p. 6.

 [f40]See the Appendix A to Hopkins "The Great Epic of India" for Parallel phrases in the two epics.

 [f41]For the account of the Puranas which follows I have drawn upon Kale's Purananirikshana (Marathi) and Partigar's Ancient Indian Historical Tradition.

 [f42]Adi Purana does not mean a separate Purana of that name It means the first edition of each of the 18 Puranas.

 [f43]Who is Vikramaditya? No one can say.

 [f44]Mr. Hazara speaks of Kalpajokti (instead of Kalpashudhi) which means lore that has come down through ages—see chronology of Puranas p. 4.

 [f45]The word Kalpa is used in various senses. (1) Practicable. (2) Proper (3) Able. Competent. The word Kalpa is else used in various senses (1) A Sacred rule (2) A prescribed alternative (3) Made of performing religious rites (4) End of the world. Universal destruction. (5) A day of the Brahma Yuga (6) Medical treatment of the sick and (7) One of the six Vedangas: that which lays down the ritual and prescribes rules for ceremonies and sacrificial acts.

 [f46](l) Vishnu (2) Bhagwat (3) Narada (4) Vaman and (5) Garuda. 2'(1) Shiva

 [f47]Brahma (3) Linga (4) Varaha (5) Skanda (6) Matsya (7) Kurma (8) Bramhanda.




 [f51]Basu Mallick Lectures. p. 152

 [f52]Swami Vireswarananda— Brahma Sutras (Advaita Ashram Edition 1936). pp. 408-411.

 [f53]Swami Vireswaranand, Brahma Sutras, 411-416.

 [f54]This is the result of an arrangement between him and Duryodhan leader of the Kauravas. Before the war actually started Duryodhan apprroached Krishna to fight on the side of the Kauravas. Krishna gave him a choice, have him or have his men the Yadavas. Duryodhan chose the Army of Yadavas. That is why Krishna and the Yadavas fought on opposite sides.

 [f55]The Religion of the Veda p. 1.

 [f56]His name is also spelt as Sisunak.

 [f57]Mr. Hari Krishna Deb: quoted by Smith. Early History of India (1924) p.44. F.N. 1.

 [f58]The inferiority complex of the Brahmins under the Maurya Rule becomes apparent from the privileges asked for them by Manu in the Manu Smriti. This inferiority complex must be due to their depressed condition.

 [f59]See Harprasad Shastri in Buddhistic Studies (Ed. Law) Chapter XXXIV p. 819

 [f60]Burnouf—L'introduction a L'Historie on Buddhisme Indien (2nd.Ed.) p. 388

 [f61]Buddhistic Studies (Ed. by Law) Chapter XXXIV p. 820.

 [f62]On this point see Jaiswal's Volume on Manu & Yajnavalkya

 [f63]Commentary on Manu I.I.

 [f64] 1 Harsha Charita. quoted by Smith (1924) p. 208.

 [f65]  2 The rule was so strict that according to the Apastamba Dharmasutra 'A Brahman shall not take up a weapon in his hand though he be only desirous of examining it.'It may be matter of some surprize how Pushyamitra who was a Brahmin could have done a deed which could under the circumstances be expected only from a member of the martial race. This difficulty is well explained by Harprasad Shastri. According to him the Sungas though Brahmins were a martial race. Among the fighting Brahmans, two were distinguished among the rest. the Vishwamitras and the Bharadvajas. The wife of Vishvamitra Brahmin proving barren, a Bharadvaj was requested by the ancient custom of 'Niyoga' to beget a son on Vishvamitra's. The issue was Sung. He was the progenitor of a Gotra and that Gotra took up the Samveda for their study. The Sungas were called a Dvayamushyam gotra i.e. a gotra issuing from the two gotras. Vishvamitra and Bharadvaj both of which had taken to military occupation— See Buddhistic Studies (Ed. by Law) Ch. XXXIV, p. 820.

 [f66] I am here following the clues supplied by the investigations of Mr. Daphtary and Pradnayneshwar Yati. The former's Dharma Rahasya and the latter's Chaturvarnya are very valuable as they are quite original in their point of view. The subject of course needs to be further investigated along the lines suggested by them.

 [f67] One can now sec why Sumati Bhargava called his code as the Code of Manu. He wanted to invest it with the dignity and authority of the ancient law-giver Manu.

 [f68]This is the only theory which can explain how some of the Mantras ol the Vedas are admitted to have been made by Shudras, a question which in view of the statement ol Manu that the Shudras must not recite the Vedas, nor hear them recited becomes a very puzzling question.

 [f69]Manu II. 67 Where Manu.

 [f70]Manu II. 36-37.

 [f71]On this point see Pradnaneshwar Yati's booklet on Upnayan.

 [f72]Manu II. 69.

 [f73]Under the Varna there could be no ignorant Brahmin. The possibility of an ignorant Brahmin can arise only when Varna becomes Caste i.e. when one becomes a Brahmin only by reason of birth.

 [f74]The date of the Yajnavalkya Smriti is betwen 150-200 A.D.

 [f75]Vishnu Smriti Ch. XXV 14.

 [f76]See Kane-History of Dharmashastra. Vol. II. Part II Chapt.

 [f77]The available evidence on Sati has been collected by Kane in his History of Dharmashastra Vol. II Part I pp. 617-636.

 [f78]3 History of India Vol. II.  4 History of Dharmashastra.

 [f79]History of Dharmashastra.

 [f80]They will be found in my paper on "Castes in India" which appeared in The Indian Antiquarry  for May. 1917.

 [f81]The outcast is quite different from un Untouchable as will be shown later

 [f82]1Democrasy and Function p.99

 [f83]By declining days I mean the period since when the Brahmins started disturbing the balance of Chaturvaryna system by asserting their supremacy.

 [f84]1Guarded means under the protection of relation, Unquarded means living  alone

 [f85]The word guest  is used by Manu in a technical sense and means a Bramhana. who stays one night only see III. 102

 [f86]Except Upanayan which is forbidden for women.

 [f87]1 For further  consideration of this subject see my tract on "Annibilation of Caste

 [f88]Two sources of Morality" (Holt). p. 267.

 [f89]I remember reading the report of case in which a Brahmin who had taken a married wife as Dana refused to release her even though commut tion was offered by her husband.

 [f90]The Travels of Ludovico Di Varthema" (Pub. Hakyt Society) Page 141. Varthema adds "Do not imagine that the Brahmin goes willingly to perform this operation. The King is even obliged to pay him four hundred or five hudndred ducats.

 [f91]3A New Account of the East Indies (1744) Vol. 1. page 310.

 [f92]1Gazetteer of Malahar and Anjengo District by Mr.C. A. Innes Vol. 1. p. 95

 [f93]This is how I interpret the story of Parashuram's war against the Kshatriyas.

 [f94]Buddhism was a revolt against Brahmins and Brhminism. Yet many of the early followers of Buddha & Buddhism were Brahmins.

 [f95]All this record has been collected by Prof. Muir in his Original Sanskrit Texts. Vo. 1.

 [f96]See Hopkins History of the Ruling Races.

 [f97]Eggeling Sathapatha Brahmana. Part III. pp. 226-27