26 December 2013

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Caste And Casteism

    In this page we'll make a collection of Swami Vivekananda's quotes, comments and opinions on caste and casteism
     
    The caste system is opposed to the religion of the Vedanta.
    Caste is a social custom,
    and all our great preachers have tried to break it down.
    —Swami Vivekananda
    Image source:  Wikimedia Commons 

    How the caste system began?

    In 1897, Vivekananda told in a lecture at Kumbakonam—[Source]
    We read in the Mahâbhârata that the whole world was in the beginning peopled with Brahmins, and that as they began to degenerate, they became divided into different castes, and that when the cycle turns round, they will all go back to that Brahminical origin. This cycle is turning round now, and I draw your attention to this fact. Therefore our solution of the caste question is not degrading those who are already high up, is not running amuck through food and drink, is not jumping out of our own limits in order to have more enjoyment, but it comes by every one of us, fulfilling the dictates of our Vedantic religion, by our attaining spirituality, and by our becoming the ideal Brahmin. There is a law laid on each one of you in this land by your ancestors, whether you are Aryans or non-Aryans, Rishis or Brahmins, or the very lowest outcasts. The command is the same to you all, that you must make progress without stopping, and that from the highest man to the lowest Pariah, every one in this country has to try and become the ideal Brahmin. This Vedantic idea is applicable not only here but over the whole world. Such is our ideal of caste as meant for raising all humanity slowly and gently towards the realisation of that great ideal of the spiritual man who is non-resisting, calm, steady, worshipful, pure, and meditative. In that ideal there is God.

    Swami Vivekananda on Caste and Casteism

    Swami Vivekananda told—
    • According to the Hindu Shastras, the three Hindu castes, Brahmana, Kshatriya, and Vaishya, and the several nations outside India, to wit, Cheen, Hun, Darad, Pahlava, Yavana, and Khâsh are all Aryas.[Source]
    • Ay, Brâhmins, if the Brahmin has more aptitude for learning on the ground of heredity than the Pariah, spend no more money on the Brahmin's education, but spend all on the Pariah. Give to the weak, for there all the gift is needed. If the Brahmin is born clever, he can educate himself without help. If the others are not born clever, let them have all the teaching and the teachers they want. This is justice and reason as I understand it. Our poor people, these downtrodden masses of India, therefore, require to hear and to know what they really are. Ay, let every man and woman and child, without respect of caste or birth, weakness or strength, hear and learn that behind the strong and the weak, behind the high and the low, behind every one, there is that Infinite Soul, assuring the infinite possibility and the infinite capacity of all to become great and good. Let us proclaim to every soul: उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत — Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached. Arise, awake! Awake from this hypnotism of weakness. None is really weak; the soul is infinite, omnipotent, and omniscient. Stand up, assert yourself, proclaim the God within you, do not deny Him! Too much of inactivity, too much of weakness, too much of hypnotism has been and is upon our race. O ye modern Hindus, de-hypnotise yourselves. The way to do that is found in your own sacred books. Teach yourselves, teach every one his real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity. Ay, if there is anything in the Gita that I like, it is these two verses, coming out strong as the very gist, the very essence, of Krishna's teaching — "He who sees the Supreme Lord dwelling alike in all beings, the Imperishable in things that perish, he sees indeed. For seeing the Lord as the same, everywhere present, he does not destroy the Self by the Self, and thus he goes to the highest goal."[Source]
    • I have seen castes in almost every country in the world, but nowhere is their plan and purpose so glorious as here. If caste is thus unavoidable, I would rather have a caste of purity and culture and self-sacrifice, than a caste of dollars. Therefore utter no words of condemnation. Close your lips and let your hearts open. Work out the salvation of this land and of the whole world, each of you thinking that the entire burden is on your shoulders. Carry the light and the life of the Vedanta to every door, and rouse up the divinity that is hidden within every soul. Then, whatever may be the measure of your success, you will have this satisfaction that you have lived, worked, and died for a great cause. In the success of this cause, howsoever brought about, is centred the salvation of humanity here and hereafter.[Source]
    • Modern caste distinction is a barrier to India's progress. It narrows, restricts, separates. It will crumble before the advance of ideas.[Source]
    • Our law is caste — the breaking of competition, checking its forces, mitigating its cruelties, smoothing the passage of the human soul through this mystery of life.[Source]
    • The caste system is opposed to the religion of the Vedanta. Caste is a social custom, and all our great preachers have tried to break it down. From Buddhism downwards, every sect has preached against caste, and every time it has only riveted the chains. Caste is simply the outgrowth of the political institutions of India; it is a hereditary trade guild. Trade competition with Europe has broken caste more than any teaching.[Source]
    • There is neither existence nor non-existence, all is Atman. Shake off all ideas of relativity; shake off all superstitions; let caste and birth and Devas and all else vanish. Why talk of being and becoming? Give up talking of dualism and Advaitism! When were you two, that you talk of two or one? The universe is this Holy One and He alone. Talk not of Yoga to make you pure; you are pure by your very nature. None can teach you.[Source]
    • This caste system had grown by the practice of the son always following the business of the father.[Source]
    • We believe that nowhere throughout the Vedas, Darshanas, or Purânas, or Tantras, is it ever said that the soul has any sex, creed, or caste. Therefore we agree with those who say, "What has religion to do with social reforms?" But they must also agree with us when we tell them that religion has no business to formulate social laws and insist on the difference between beings, because its aim and end is to obliterate all such fictions and monstrosities.[Source]
    • You say we are heathens, we are uneducated, uncultivated, but we laugh in our sleeves at your want of refinement in telling us such things. With us, quality and birth make caste, not money. No amount of money can do anything for you in India. In caste the poorest is as good as the richest, and that is one of the most beautiful things about it. (here "we" means "Indians")[Source]

    Caste and religion

    Swami Vivekananda told "caste" is a social custom and is not a part of Hindu religion. He told—
    • Do I believe in caste? Caste is a social custom; religion has nothing to do with it.[Source]
    • The religion of the Hindus is divided into two parts: the ceremonial and the spiritual. The spiritual portion is specially studied by the monks. In that there is no caste. A man from the highest caste and a man from the lowest may become a monk in India, and the two castes become equal. In religion there is no caste; caste is simply a social institution. Shâkya Muni himself was a monk, and it was his glory that he had the large-heartedness to bring out the truths from the hidden Vedas and through them broadcast all over the world. He was the first being in the world who brought missionarising into practice — nay, he was the first to conceive the idea of proselytising.[Source]



    Ancient old caste system is useless now

    Swami Vivekananda opined that the ancient strict caste system is "useless" in our society. He told—
    Caste is a social organization and not a religious one. It was the outcome of the natural evolution of our society. It was found necessary and convenient at one time. It has served its purpose. But for it, we would long ago have become Mahomedans [sic]. It is useless now. It may be dispensed with. Hindu religion no longer requires the prop of the caste system. A Brahmin may interdine with anybody, even a Pariah. He won't thereby lose his spirituality.[Source]


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    This page was last updated on: 28 April 2014, 3:52 pm IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
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    27 comments:

    1. We always talk about religion and castesim but in reality there is no any caste and religion. We all are same our blood are same.then why we believe in discrimination. God never created any caste they made simple human being.. Mentally sick people take the path of fundamentalism and spread casteism and communism. They suffer from inferiority complex and divide the society into “we” and “they”. They (belonging either to higher or lower ranked caste) have a fear in their heart that if they do not get a higher place for themselves in society, “other” people are going to exploit them and going to put them down.They don’t have believe on themselves and their own work. They have doubt own their capability. People with negative mindset suffer from inferiority complex and divide society into compartments like higher castes or lower castes.and can’t tolerate “others” progress or well-being. They cannot work hard and cannot tolerate anybody else’s achievements. These are the people with negative mindset who believe in ranking some belonging to higher castes and/or some to lower castes. They are coward and they are unable to protect themselves…

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    2. Some stupid people living in India that's why this country cant be develop anymore as the other countries are well developed. Bcoz indian people live in caste-ism and egoist by nature especially who belong to upper class which is created by themselves not created by God.God only created human being..He didnt put any human in high and low category..This cheap things only created by some mad people itself who live in India..and they be proud by called themselves hindu..I am also hindu but I feel bad when every person who proudly said they are hindu but their thinking is so narrow minded..now its depend on human what they want to become Devil or Angel..Nobody is lower and higher by caste or religion..they become high and low by their behavior..Reservation should be stop itself when you all leave this stupid casteism..Say no caste and no community..All are hindu who live in hindustaan understood..

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      Replies
      1. I Like your Opinion.Me to feel same like you..May God Bless you my dear Friend.

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    3. Whole world think that India has many castes which are main reason of discrimination of people but its very very big misconception of caste system spread around the world to defame culture of India because it was the biggest systematically designed system for people from thousands of years. Now let me tell you what is meaning of varna and caste system in India and how its was started. In Ancient India there were two great saints, one was saint Bhrigu and other was saint Bhardwaj. They met to discuss how to structure a stable society for human being to live proper life, First they recognized the four sources which are:
      1. Knowledge 2. Weapons 3. Wealth 4. Land
      They decided to make system where nobody has more than one of that. These should not be in one hand, not even two should be in one hand. So those who has knowledge will not have wealth, will not have weapons and will not have lands. Those who will have weapons will rule the country but they will not make policy. They need to go to people having knowledge to seek their permission and advice. Those who are having wealth, their social status will be decided by the how much philanthropy they do not by their wealth. Those who has lands have to produce for the society. In fact none of these four category or “varna” was based on by birth.

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    4. A man is great by deeds, not by birth..

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    5. All human-beings are equal in the eyes of God.The human-beings have only created the caste system.There are good and bad people in both high caste as well as low caste.
      Ultimately,what matters to God is, whether one is a good person or striving to become one, or not.

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    6. One who thinks himself to be of a high caste is actually low. While one who thinks himself/herself to be of low caste is said to be high caste.As per the scriptures, people are known by their nature and the quality of work they perform..

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    7. God doesn't need Brahmin priest, god isn't so narrow minded. god accept everyone. actually Brahmin priest needs god to make money.

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    8. The brahmin community has been one of the dirty communities which has planned strategically to fool people in the name of god by generating the highest donations in the temple, doing business to fool and loot money in the name of puja, death, marriage, new home… For any occasion, there’s one puja. They charge very high prices and take away all the items after the puja. They have created prostitution in the name of devadasis. They suppress jobs and employment and welfare and equality are destroyed. they have destroyed the Indian medical system. They have killed Indian medical science like siddha vaidhyam and created ayurveda and carnatic music by destroying dravidian music. Even today they have the temples under their control. They say they don’t like untouchables, but they have always been sexually harassing low caste women.

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    9. Im not saying that brhamins are dirty community. or sikh, punjabi, crists, n all. all peoples are same we have same blood colour and also same blood groups. but ....im saying in hindi........ ku log jaat-paat pe itna vishwas karte h , ku itna mante hain?? jo log mera comment padh rahe hain unko mai challange karta hoon ki kis pura kis geeta kis ramayan,mahabharat,bible mai likha hua ki pandit ki shadi pandit se hogi ya sikh ki sikh se???? are yaar hum apne dharam k bhagwan k baare mai likhi har kitaab padhte h, yaha tak skuls mai bhi baccho ko bhed bhav ya rich, poor mai fark rakhna nhi sikhate. fir bhi lage hue hai ki nhi hum to pandit h, 'are mai to sikh hoon' , 'are jesus to sirf christians ki help karenge ' what is this yaar??? bhai log kabhi apne andar jaak kar socho ki agar tum paida hote hi apne family se bichad jate ya koi tumhe tab kidnap kar k le jata tab tum kya kahte ki 'mai to pandit k ghar paida hua' but naam kisi or ne diya.nhi na kuki hum jaha pale badhte h. vahi hum apna dhram decide karlete h. to as a surname ye thik h but in friendshipping,marriges, ya love life k bich mai bhed bhav mat rakho kuki is subka result bhut kharab nikalta h...

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    10. Please try to avoid "anonymous comments". You may use Name/URL option.

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    11. All Hindu communities in the country follow the varnashram system of Aryans and have divided the society in four castes – Kshatryas, Brahmins, Vaishyas and Shudras. Sindhis do not have such division in their society. They never followed a rigid caste system. That is why Sindhis are considered to be only businessmen. All members of the society inter-mingle with one another without any consideration of four castes of Aryans. There are no untouchables in Sindhis…..These religion and caste set up by mad and stupid people to control others not by god…who are still mentally sick they are following this castesim blindly..i must say be like all sindhi..leave these castesim and make only one hindu religion like sindhi religion dont create any caste,community and class…bcs its only give you tension and create problems for your own self..

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    12. Who divided society in caste line……only stupid and mentally sick hindu..first change your thinking that all people as a human being so the system ll be change itself understood..be like sindhi religion, make one religion and killed the bloody varan system n caste system…you ll b more happiest person in this world if you all mad hindu change ur narrow minded thinking about these caste n class…Because “I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being–neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there’s no question of integration or intermarriage. It’s just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.”……..if you mad n psycho fanatic hindu people dont divided the hindu religion into four castes then we dont ever faced reservation at all…..if you accepted that hindu religion divided into four category like this; brahmin hindu,kashtriya hindu,vaishya hindu,shudra hindu…..but your cheap n small brain always misbehaved with shudra people ( shudra means pure from heart n soul) they r fourth category..they got fourth rank so they r belong to lower caste n brahmin got first rank so they r belong to upper….for all fanatic ( kattar ) hindu they r other.they r not part of hindu religion..if they r not part of hindu religion then why u said that hindu religion has divided into four castes.. just accepted n say hindu religion divided into three caste okh……now shut your bloody mouth abt reservation..first change your cheapo thinking about the people because god never made any religion n caste.god just made simple human being n this world okh..

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    13. The Almighty Brahmin! by Khushwant Singh

      Whatever be the sphere of curiosity – literary, scientific, bureaucratic, or whatever, the Brahmin remains the top dog. Before I give details, we should bear in mind that Brahmins form no more than 3.5% of the population of our country. My statistics come from a pen friend, Brother Stanny, of St. Anne’s Church of Dhule in Maharashtra.They hold as much as 70% of government jobs. In the senior echelons of the civil service from the rank of deputy secretaries upward, out of 500 there are 310 Brahmins, i.e. 63%. Of the 26 state chief secretaries, 19 are Brahmins; of the 27 Governors and Lt. Governors 13 are Brahmins; of the 16 Supreme Court Judges, 9 are Brahmins; of the 330 judges of High Courts, 166 are Brahmins; of 140 ambassadors, 58 are Brahmins; of the total 3,300 IAS officers, 76 [per cent?] are Brahmins. Of the 508 Lok Sabha members, 190 were Brahmins; of 244 in the Rajya Sabha, 89 are Brahmins.This 3.5% of Brahmin community of India holds between 36% to 63% of all the plum jobs available in the country.

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    14. My this comment to katar hindu and coward brahmin who haven’t gut to fight for their own love but strange thing is they easily fell in love with other caste girls but dont have got for fight back..

      What you are doing now is not fair.You are not giving any importance to your gal’s feelings.How can you avoid a gal whom you loved for past 4 years at this stage of your life where you need to take serious decisions?If you lack the courage to introduce the matter before your parents,then i can say you are a coward.If you are that much concerned about your parents,you could have think it earlier before you started your love.At least that gal is saved from you.But you gave her all hope,she loved you sincerly as her man and now you want your parents only.

      I am not making you sad.I know that parents are important and they are like God.But this is not at a good solution.You are keeping things hidden from everyone.You are the only son of your parents – that means their only asset for future.So cant they understand your feelings towards that gal?Initially they may be against.But you can convince them slowly.How can you close your true affair even without a single try?Go man,get ready to take some risk for your loved one.Pls dont ignore her.Its like killing her.She made her family ready for you,its your turn now.I hope things will be fine at last.

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    15. Inter caste marriage should be encourage..bcoz if people take this step then castesim and religion based discrimination should be stop itself..we all are human being..God never created any caste and religion..even God dnt has any caste and religion…did you know that God belong to which caste and religion..then keep shut your mouth about this stupid varan system and caste system okh.. In ancient times, caste system had the seeds of liberalism. It provided the right and opportunity to get to the top from the humblest origin and earn the respect of the whole society. For example, Vashishtha, the principal of the conservative school of Brahmanism, was the son of Uravshi, a prostitute. Vishwamitra, the maker of the very Gayatri Mantra, the quintessence of the Vedic Brahmanism, was a Kshatriya. Aitreya, after whom the sacramental part of Rig-Veda is named as Aitreya Brahamana, was the son from a non-Aryan wife of a Brahman sage. Vyasa of Mahabharata fame was the son of a fish-woman and he was not ashamed of his origin. Balmiki, an untouchable according to present standards, the original author of Ramayana, is highly respected all over India..And only you can make it good or bad this inter caste marriage. Depends upon how much importance u give to these meaningless and stupid values. And how much importance u give to other people who value these meaningless things. U have to see how much u urself r attached to other people opinions. And since u r asking for opinion, it means u r attached to these meaningless things.

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    16. Whenever someone’s ask you about your caste then your answer should be to them is:I am a Brahmin in knowledge,I am kshatriya in valor,I am vaishya in business,I m shudra in service.

      In the end I am just sanatam dharmi hindu and nothing else..Then say you proud to be a hindu..can u tell me onething kya knowledge sirf brahmino ke paas hi hoti hai kshritya,vaishya,shudra or other religion duffer hote hai..or valor kya kshtriya hi hote hai jb log danger mein hote hai toh kya brahmin vaishya,shudra or other religion apni raksha nhi kr skta..or business sirf vaishya hi kr sakte hai kya brahmin kshtriya shudra business nhi kr skte..or shurda hi ko servant or labour kyun kre jb work ki zarurat hoti hai toh kya brahmin kshtriya vaishya servant ban jayenge toh unko muath aa jayegyi or other religion ko kaam ki zarurat hoti hai toh har chota bada kaam kr lete hai family ko palne ke liye…or who the hell we r yeh category banane wale…kisi ko uske religion caste se judge krne wale…or forcibly kisi ko work thopne wale…insaan wohi kaam krega jis mein uska interest ho or jo kaam krne ki capabilty uss mein ho….we r the one idiot katar hindu…kill the caste system before it kill u all..

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    17. Always remember one thing in ur life when u abuse any lower caste by saying dalit n chamaar then u abusing yourself n ur own religion..bcoz if u accepted that hindu religion is one n hindu religion devided into four community like:brahmin,kshatriya,vaishya,shudra…shudra means pure (pure from soul n heart)..then let me remind u fourth community also come under hindu religion they are also hindu to whom u abuse as dalit n chamaar…so you are not abusing them but abusing yourself n your own religion too..

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    18. Let me tell u the fact..only hindu religion started this drama n stupidity that put people into rank according to their condition n other religion like christian,sikh n islam blindly following this madness……only Buddhist n sindhi people have saved themselves from this madness bcs divide religion into caste n sub caste only create problems,jealousy n differences among your own people…i hope you all can understand my point of view..i m also hindu but i ll say whenever i find anything wrong in any religion..

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    19. Already in India there are many religions people living together like: Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, christian, Buddhist n Sindhi……only hindu people started this madness n stupidity to divided hindu religion into caste n sub caste and then other religion did the same like hindu did it…….just tell me one thing what all you got to did that only stress,jealosuy, hateness violence n differences..i would rather say proud to be good human being than rather say proud to be hindu..

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    20. Hindu (body) four community: brahmin (head) kshatriya (arm) vaishya (belly) shudra (feet) All these four community called as hindu. We all are parts of one body. Without each part our body is not complete. If we lost one part of our body then we become handicap. The human body is the entire structure of a human being. Human Body is considered so loving that God even wants to have it. Spiritual Yogis have found that after going through the 84 millions species this souls get the most dignified human body. So it is the last step to explore the God or to get the view of almighty father god. We know that the soul never dies it takes birth again and again just like as we take new clothes to wear the soul as it takes new body and it is an infinite process. But the body what we get in next birth depend on our karma that thas been cited in Gita by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. We all here to perform our duties. Our action makes our destiny and nothing else. The result is in the hand of supreme power. Karma is the seed of plant and if the seed is genuine it must be fruitful.

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    21. Many a time, man has taken birth in high caste and low caste; but this does not make him great or lowHaving been born in high caste man thinks himself to be great and being born in low caste thinks himself to be low and pitiable; both of these states of mind are wrong because many times man has been born in high and low castes. Hence, one should not be proud of having been born in high caste and not feel low if born in low caste family.

      Greatness has nothing to do with high caste. Man becomes great because of his noble work, exemplary character and becomes loathsome because of his immorality and evil conduct. Thus, it is his conduct only that decides his greatness or lowliness. Who does not know that high family born Ravana, Kansa, Duryodhana and others are censurable; whereas Metarya muni, Harikeshi muni and others, though born in low family, are venerable.

      Then, what is the importance of high or low caste?

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    22. “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

      Be a nice human being is important not to have a good or high religion and caste.We need to work towards uniting the nation instead of splitting it. Work towards a society in which there will be no lower castes and no upper castes. We need to respect the way people live instead of looking at where they were born.

      Here is only two caste in the world that is BOY & GIRL

      Someone said change yourself world will change automatically .

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    23. Caste is meaningless in today's world

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    24. My heart has become so weak and dying every single second,It has been pierced with so many knives at a time that I cannot tolerate this pain anymore.Just by loving somebody who may be low or high as per your caste does not mean that you will forget all your love to that person and move on in life.I never want to hurt somebody by any means then how can I hurt her so badly that too whom I loved from the core of my generous and loving heart which only belongs to her. The reason I am here is to know WHY? WHY? WHY? Our parents does not understand the meaning of love? I got to know why people die in love because they cannot bear the emotional torture by their parents. Thanks to Swamyji for his valuable and lovable teachings to the Mankind.

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    25. What happened to the fourth varna when Vivekananda mentioned the other three as descendants of Aryans?

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    26. You have taken selected views of Swamiji.
      Swami Vivekananda said - "it cannot also be doubted that sometimes the Shudras used to be oppressed more than the helots among the Spartans and the negroes among the Americans!"

      Letter date: 10th July 1893:

      "Come, be men! Kick out the priests who are always against progress, because they would never mend, their hearts would never become big. They are the offspring of centuries of superstition and tyranny. Root out priest craft first. [CW-5]"

      Letter date: 6th July 1890:

      He writes “Priests, those idiots are beast. Don’t believe them at any cost”

      Letter date: 22 August, 1892:

      "Poor fellows! Whatever the rascally and wily priests teach them — all sorts of mummery and tomfoolery as the very gist of the Vedas and Hinduism (mind you, neither these rascals of priests nor their forefathers have so much as seen a volume of the Vedas for the last 400 generations) — they follow and degrade themselves. Lord help them from the Râkshasas in the shape of the Brahmins of the Kaliyuga. [CW-8]"

      More details in my blog link - (http://muktipada.blogspot.in/2015/12/swami-vivekananda-on-caste.html)

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