दोग्ध्री धेनुर्वोढानड्वानाशुः सप्तिः
The next part of the mantra asks for milch giving cattle, and cattle which can lift heavy weights. It also asks for fast running horses. Both are very important for an agro-based economy. Indians have very well recognised the importance of these animals long back.
This task of Animal Husbandry and Farming was entrusted to a class of people known as the Vaishyas. As Shreemad Bhagwadgeeta says, “कृषिगौरक्ष्यवाणिज्यं वैश्यकर्म स्वभावजम्” (Agriculture, Cattle farming and business are the actions, karma that a Vaishya has to perform).
Rishi Kashyap with the help of such God loving and God centric Vaishyas has taken care of this mother Earth, when Brahmins and Kshatriya’s failed to do so. It is a long story which needs multiple blogs to be told, so if anyone is interested to know about it should read characters of Rishi Kashyap and Parshuram as explained by Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale in his lectures summarised in a book called Rishi Smaran and Dashavataar. Due to the huge work of the Rishi Kashyap and the Vaishyas, our mother Earth is also named as ‘KAASHYAPI’ and ‘URVI’.
‘Kaashyapi’ due to the efforts of Rishi Kashyap. He is the Father of the Indian soil. He holds a special place in our lives. During our rituals, Gotra-uccharan (repeating the name of the Gotra one is born in) is of utmost importance. Gotra means lineage or blood line as we call it nowadays. We Indians believe that we all have our common roots and we belong from the lineage of Sapt Rishis, the seven sages, who made a huge contribution towards buildings our civilisation, culture and society. During these many years many of us have forgotten our Gotra’s. Now being an integral part of our life it is a must to know our Gotra. Shouldn’t we know our ancestors and our lineage? Yet if someone forgets, he/she is considered from the Kashyap Gotra and made to say so ‘Kashyap Gotrotapannoham” (कश्यप गोत्रोत्पन्नोहम् – I belong to the lineage of Kashyap) in all the rituals whenever and wherever required. Today, there has been a huge scientific research related to DNA and Chromosomes, and if anyone is interested can research and find it out from the many information already available on the internet.
‘Urvi’ as She has been uplifted by the Vaishyas. In the Purush Sukta, where the Almighty has been described as creator of the Universe, one of the verses describes thus. “राजन्य: कृत: ब्राह्मणोऽस्य मुखामासीद्वाहू। ऊरू तदस्य यद्वैश्यः पद्भ्यां शूद्रो अजायत॥” (“The Brahmins originate from His Mukha (mouth), the Kshatriya’s from His Bahu (shoulder), the Vaishyas from His URU (thighs) and the Shudras from His PAADA (Feet)”. The Vaishyas come from His Uru and thus the name URVI.
While quoting this above shloka there has been a lot of misunderstanding that the caste system originates from this. And the Brahmins have put themselves at the topmost ladder in the hierarchy. But the thing is that while equating every Varna with the different body parts of the Almighty, the important thing is that they belong to the same Almighty.
At this point, the question I like to ask my readers is that whether your mouth is more important than your shoulders or legs? I think it is these different organs that make us an individual. Every part of the body has its own role and significance. Every part is as important as the other. In the same way, every Varna (caste) is distinct and equally important. No one is big or small, more pious or less. Every Varna (caste) is equal.
The fourth pillar of our society is as important as the first. Shudra’s (and not Kshudra) are the people who provide the basic necessities to the whole human race. In today’s world we call them the service providers. And today we all know and accept their importance in our lives. Yes, during the course of our history, the Shudra’s have been trampled upon and subjugated to different types of tortures from the other 3 Varna’s. And the 3 Varna’s need to correct themselves and apologise to them and take due care of each others sentiments.
But, can we imagine a society without cloth makers, shoe makers, jewellers and all such people who not only provide us our basic necessities but also take care of our needs? And if they are so important to us, how can they be outcastes or untouchables? People living in cities, can you imagine your plight when the regular waste/garbage picker does not come to collect your house waste or society waste. We all start cribbing. Then how can he/she be small? Work doesn’t make anyone small or big, does it? Rather I would say that they are the first people, whom we should be grateful to, as they are the ones who clean our houses by taking away the wastes/garbage and helping us create a pollution free environment in our houses and society at large.
After reading my last 3 blogs, my reader might find my writings as a thing of the past or too conservative. But I appeal to you to apply your minds and brain to the things I have shared. We all agree that we don’t want the caste system as it exists today which discriminates amongst humans. But the whole society is made up by its Intelligentsia (Brahmins), Army (Kshatriyas), Economists (Vaishyas) and Service Providers (Shudras). It exists and maybe known to us by different names but it does exist. At the same time, let us understand that every new born has / should have the right to decide, regarding what he/she wants to do.
These four pillars make our country and I bow to each of them for their contributions towards the society.
Next the Rishi asks for पुरन्धिर् .
What does this mean?
A very integral part of our society, the women who can administer, rule and run a kingdom.
Coming up next week…