Richard Stallman's personal site.

For current political commentary, see the daily political notes.

RMS' Bio | The GNU Project

Toggle Dark Theme

How the Ramayana endorses caste bias


How the Ramayana endorses caste bias — from the translation by Hari Prasad Shastri, a brahmin, page 1585. (Sent to me by Shiva Shankar.)

Asked by Lord Rama why was he performing religious rituals, Shambuka, the one described as of lower caste said:

"Oh Rama, I was born of a Shudra alliance and I am performingthis rigorous penance in order to acquire the status of a God in this body. I am not telling a lie, O Rama, I wish to attain the Celestial Region. Know that I am a Shudra and my name is Shambuka."

As he was yet speaking, Raghava, drawing his brilliant and stainless sword from its scabbard, cut off his head. The Shudra being slain, all the Gods and their leaders with Agni's followers, cried out, "Well done! Well done!" overwhelming Rama with praise, and a rain of celestial flowers of divine fragrance fell on all sides, scattered by Vayu. In their supreme satisfaction, the Gods said to that hero, Rama "Thou hast protected the interests of the Gods, O Highly Intelligent Prince, now ask a boon, O Beloved Offspring of Raghu, Destroyer of Thy Foes. By thy grace, this Shudra will not be able to attain heaven!"

Raghava is another name for Rama.

Copyright (c) 2018 Richard Stallman Released under Creative Commons Attribution Noderivatives 4.0