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Buddhist View

Caste System

Ven. Soeurng Vutthy

M.A. B.Dh. (CAM.116)

Department of Suttanta,
Faculty of Pariyatti

International Theravda Buddhist
Missionary University

Table of Contents
Abstract ........................................................................................... i
Abbreviation ................................................................................... iii
Acknowledgement ......................................................................... iv
Introduction .................................................................................... vi
Chapter I: Historical background of caste
1.1 Definitions of caste and explanation ................................................. 1
1.2 The origin of caste from social aspects ............................................. 4
1.3 The origin of caste from religious aspects ....................................... 7
1.4 The restricted rules of castes and its blind belief .............................. 10
1.5 Dilemma of caste system in the changing world ............................. 16
Chapter II: The exposition of four broad social classes
2.1 Khattiya- the royal caste .................................................................. 28
2.2 Brahmaa- the Brahmin caste .......................................................... 33
2.3 Vessa- the merchant caste ................................................................. 40
2.4 Sudda- the labour caste ..................................................................... 41
2.5 Castes, their roles and duties ............................................................. 42
Chapter III: the problems of castes in human society
3.1 caste and inequality ......................................................................... 55
3.2 caste system, religious conflict, conversion and social reformers .. 63
3.3 Buddhism and equality in human society ....................................... 69
3.4 Caste system, conversion and missionary from Buddhist view ...... 77
3.5 Buddhist rationalistic views about caste system ............................. 83
Chapter IV: Buddhist attitude towards castes
4.1 The condemnation of Buddha to caste and service of slaves ........... 86
4.2 Caste, virtue and human dignity ...................................................... 92
4.3 Caste, knowledge and moral conducts ............................................. 96
4.4 A dispute of caste based on birth and lineage .................................. 103
4.5 Caste and Buddhist-kammic theory ................................................. 109
Chapter V: Buddhist approaches to solve caste problem
5.1 Castes and the Order ......................................................................... 121
5.2 The Buddha-dhammas is for people from all walks of life ............... 130
5.3 Purification in Buddhism is for all castes ......................................... 134
5.4 Castes and emancipation of oneself from suffering .......................... 143
5.5 Truth is open to attainment by all castes alike equal in degree ........ 148
Conclusion ...................................................................................... 157
Endnotes .......................................................................................... 161
Bibliography ................................................................................... 168


The Buddha appear in the world is not only for the benefit of Buddhists, but also for
all mankind without discrimination of nation, race, colour, creeds, any social
condition or castes whether one is born of rich or poor family. He has compassion
towards all living beings. He said all lives are worth to be maintained. He was born in
royal family, but he never introduces his lineage and power into his teachings. The
ordination and purification in his dispensation is for all castes. Buddhism plays the
essential role in society from the ancient time up to the modern epoch of the twenty
first century and it will stand for important role forever. Throughout history,
Buddhism ever stands for the development of global peace, love and harmony in the
name of human dignity, and the way to emancipation in Buddhism is open to all
people from all walks of life. As ordinary persons born into this world must have
suffering no matter where in the world they live. Suffering is non-sectarian or non-
caste. It is not proper to say that this suffering monopolistically belong to Buddhists,
Brahmins or Hindu, Muslims and Christians or people of any nation.
Buddhism is one of religions of freedom and social justice in which it gives everyone
the opportunity to liberate from the suffering by following the right method, viz. the
eightfold noble path as taught by Lord Buddha.
There is no caste restriction in Buddhism. Caste system is just an artificial
barrier erected by society in terms of superior or inferior, noble or ignoble. The
Buddha said one is inferior or superior not by birth but by his own action. The
Buddha Dhamma is universal laws opening to one and all to study and practice to get
liberation. It gives special privilege, equality and justice to human in society to
achieve ones aims based on individual effort.
Buddhism encourages all men to have education and spiritual development to
obtain wisdom and positive mental attitude for the well-being of their day to day
lives. It also gives uniquely right value to humanity through knowledge and moral
conduct, but not through birth, clan or any caste system. As the Buddha said one who
is endowed with knowledge and moral conduct is the highest among men and gods.
According to Buddha to say that one superior or inferior because of birth is just empty
sound which brings no benignity and prosperity to human society at all.
The Buddha welcomes people from all castes to enter into the Order (sagha
community) in his Ssan either men or women according to their wish and
willingness, but except for some persons of disability are not allowed to be ordained.
Anyhow, through the Four Noble truths, the door of Nibbna is open to all. The
Middle way (Majjhima Paipad) is allowed to tread on without mentioning caste
names and by following the very way objectively we can gain knowledge and
spiritual attainment in our hearts. The aim of life is to free from suffering and get
happiness. Therefore, we all should walk on the Middle way to get it. It is easy but
just practise.


List of Abbreviation
A. Aguttara Nikya
D. Dgha Nikya
Dh. Dhammapada
DhA. Dhammapada Ahakath
Dpp. Dictionary of Pi Proper Names
J. Jtaka
Mil. Milinda Pah
Mn. Majjhima Nikya
Ps. Paisambhid Magga
Sn. Sutta Nipta
S. Sayutta Nikya
Ud. Uddna


I am very glad to come to study Buddhism in the Union of Myanmar. So, firstly I
would like to express my special thanks to Myanmar government for establishing
International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University to propagate Buddhism and
support vigorously.
Secondly ,I would like to express my thank to rector, pro-rector and all
professors and teachers in all generations who teach at the International Theravda
Buddhist Missionary University, Yangon, Myanmar and have instructed and guided
me the right way in accordance with the teaching of the Buddha.
Actually, when I come to study here I have new experience in my life. I have
found that Buddhism in Myanmar is strongly flourished throughout the country and
has many great Buddhist scholars who are expert in both Gandhadhura and Vipassan
dhura or pariyatti and paipatti. Moreover, when I study at International Theravada
Buddhist Missionary University I have gained more knowledge from teachers and
professors. I not study pariyatti but also have chance to practise meditation at this
University on every Thursday for two hours to mix theoretical knowledge of
vipassan together with practical knowledge. Besides this, I have opportunity to
practise meditation during vacation at some meditation centres as well. These open
my new eyes to see things as they really are. That is the most interesting thing I have
ever met in my country. I am really impressed by mindfulness meditation method. I
think that to apply constant mindfulness in daily life. is the best way to overcome
covetousness, sorrow, lamentation, to overcome pain and grief. I believe that it is the
effective method as taught by the Buddha in Satipahna sutta. A part from study and
practise Buddhism, I also like social work, especially engaged in teaching to share
knowledge with others on behalf of Buddhism.
Therefore, thirdly, I also would like to express my gratitude to all male and
female teachers, especially to rector Sayadaw, Dr. Nandamlabhivasa, pro-rector
Sayadaw, Dr. U Kumra, Sayadaw, Dr. U Adicca and the late Sayadaw U Kosala, Dr.
U Hla Myint and Dr. Mehm Tin Mon, B. Sc (Ygn), MSc., Ph.D. (Illinois, USA).
Professor, Mahsaddhama Jotikadhaja, all of whom tirelessly and compassionately
impart Dhamma-knowledge to me as well as all students.
Fourthly, I express my thanks to Dr. Myint kyi, and Dr. Myint Myint Aye,
M.A., Ph.D. (LEIZIG), and professor, Department of Religion of ITBM University,
who has taught me research methodology. Without her guiding, it is difficult for me to
know how to write properly the term paper and thesis.
Fifthly, I would like to express my thanks to all staffs and workers of
I.T.B.M.U who work hard to accomplish the job for the purpose of protection,
promotion and propagation of Buddha-dhamma.
Finally, through the achievement of this wholesome work in writing thesis, I
respectably would like to share merits equally with all of you as in above description,
who have joined hand together to teach, support and work for our beloved Ssan.


The Middle Country of India in which the Buddha lived and taught in the fifth century
B.C. teemed with a luxuriant variety of religious and philosophical beliefs propagated
by teachers equally varied in their ways of life. The main division was into the
Brahmins and non-Brahminic ascetics, the samaas or recluses. The Brahmins were
the hereditary priesthood of India, the custodians of the ancient orthodoxy. They
accepted the authority of the Vedas, which they studied, chanted at countless rituals,
sacrifices, and ceremonies, and turned to as the source of their philosophical
speculations. Thus they are characterized in the suttas as traditionalists, who teach
their doctrine on the basis of oral tradition. The pal Canon generally depicts them as
living a comfortably settled life, as marrying and begetting progeny, and in some
cases as enjoying some royal patronage. The more learned among them and gathered
accompany of studentsall necessarily of Brahmin birthto whom they taught the
Vedic hymns. The Samaas, on the other hand, did not accept the authority of the
Vedas, for which reason from the perspective of Brahmins they stood in the ranks of
heterodoxy. They were usually celibate, lived a life of mendicancy, and acquired their
status by voluntary renunciation rather than by birth. The Samaas roamed the Indian
countryside sometimes in company, sometimes as solitaries, preaching their doctrines
to the populace, debating with other ascetic, engaging in their spiritual practices,
which often involved severe austerities. Some teachers in the samaa camp taught
entirely on the basis reasoning and speculation, while other taught on the basis of their
experiences in meditation. The Buddha placed himself among the later, as one who
teaches a Dhamma that he has directly known for himself.
The Buddhas encounters with Brahmins were usually friendly, their
conversation marked by courtesy and mutual regard. Several suttas in the Majjhima
Nikya concern the Brahmins claim to superiority over those in other social classes.
In the Buddhas age the caste system was only beginning to take shape in northeast
India and had not yet spawned the countless subdivisions and rigid regulations that
were to manacle Indian society through the centuries. Society was divided into broad
social classes: the Brahmins, who performed the priestly functions; the khattiyas, the
nobles, warriors, and administrators; the vessas, the merchants and agriculturalists;
and the suddas, the menials and serfs. From Pal suttas it appears that Brahmins, while
vested with authority in religious matters, had not yet risen to the position of
unchangeable hegemony they were to gain after the promulgation of the Law of
Manu. They had, however, already embarked on their drive for domination and did so
by propagating the thesis that Brahmins are highest caste, the fairest caste, and the
divinely blessed offspring of Brahma who are alone capable of purification. Anxiety
that this claim of the Brahmins might actually be true seems to have spread among the
royalty, who must have been fearful of the threat it posed to their own power.
Contrary to certain popular notions, the Buddha did not explicitly repudiate
the class divisions of Indian society or appeal for the abolition of this social system.
Within the sagha, however, all castes distinction, were abrogated from the moment
of ordination. Thus people from any of the four castes who went forth under the
Buddha renounced their class titles and prerogatives and instead became known
simply as disciples of the Sakyan son. Whenever the Buddha or his disciples were
confronted with the Brahmins claim to superiority, they argued vigorously against
them, maintaining that all such claims were groundless. Purification, they contended,
was the result of conduct, not of birth, and was thus accessible to those of all four
The Buddha even the term Brahmin of its hereditary accretions, and hearkening
back to its original connotation of holy man, he defined the true Brahmin as the
Arahant. Those among the Brahmins who were not yet hampered by class prejudice
responded appreciatively to the Buddhas teaching. Some of the most eminent
Brahmins of the time, in whom, there still burned the ancient Vedic yearning for light,
knowledge, and truth, recognized in the Buddha the All-Enlightened One for whom
they longed and declared themselves his disciples. Several even renounced their class
privileges and with their retinues entered the Sagha.

When deeply observing, it is seen that caste system has been adopted not only
in the Buddhas life time in India, but also in some other countries of the modern time
today. This is the nature of human beings whose minds are firmly rooted in such
ideas in which everybody want to be superior to others when they were born into this
world. It is really difficult to get rid of such things in their min for not doing so, even
our Lord Buddha.
The adoption of caste system brings about many problems and obstacles to
material and spiritual developments of humankind in society and the whole world as
well. Throughout historical background in Buddhism, the Buddha never praises any
one of the castes that it is superior to one another. Buddhism takes important role in
development of human world without discrimination of caste.
By seeing the obviously current events of the modern age in this way, it must be
important and useful to write the thesis pertinent to caste system. Even though this
thesis is entitled, Buddhist View On Caste System, it is still used various views of
other scholars who are Buddhists and non-Buddhists in both the East and west rather
than using Buddhists view alone. However, this thesis is written mainly based on the
fundamental principles of teachings of the Buddha. Despite caste system exists in
other countries in many parts of the world, an attempt of writing emphasizes strongly
on castes in India.
To use others view comparing with Buddhist view in this writing is like
putting more ingredients into a soup to make its taste more delicious than usual.
Researcher, therefore, would like to ask for forgiveness in advanced from supervisor,
internal examiners and external examiners for if there is any errors unintentionally in
writing this thesis. Concerning the main topic of this thesis, the chapters are divided
into five chapters: The first chapter explains about the historical background of caste.
The second chapter deals with the four broad social classes. The third chapter shows
the problems of castes. The fourth chapter investigates Buddhist attitude towards
castes and the fifth chapter points out proper approaches to solve caste problems. The
sub-chapters are systematically arranged under each chapter and especially their
meanings corresponding to the main ones.
In this thesis, the synonyms of Pli and Sanskrit languages are used both
especially the terms related to caste, namely, kattiya in Pli and kshatriya in Sanskrit,
vessa in Pli or vaisya in Sanskrit ,sudda in Pli and sudra in Sanskrit. These words
are synonymously used to mean equally to one another for maintaining and enhancing
the ancient languages which are important and beneficial for Buddhism in all
generations. Also, some scholars prefer to use Pli to Sanskrit and vice versa.
Therefore, to use Pli and Sanskrit terms in writing this thesis is to serve both

Chapter I: Historical background of caste
Every thing occurred in this world must have its cause or its historical background, in
the same way caste system has.

1.1 Definitions of caste
The word caste or social class in pi means vaa and Sanskrit vara in
which is generally referred to birth or colour of mankind. It is also defined into
various meanings according to etymology of certain languages that has equal
meanings to it.
In Khmer Dictionary by supreme patriarch Chuon Nath page 1155, the word
vaa is translated into many meanings and when using as compound nouns it
consists of meaning quite different from the original one. But it is also used to mean
colour, complexion, light, ray, sex, class or lineage of human.
According to Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics page 234, the word caste is
not of Indian origin. It derived from the Portuguese casta, which means breed,
race, or class. The word in common use amongst the Hindu themselves is jt or
jti, which means birth or descent. Owing to the confusion which often exists in
the popular mind between a caste and its traditional occupation, it is not always easy
to say whether a given term really indicate a caste, i.e. a separate social group, or is
simply a designation applicable to all persons following some particular occupation. It
may perhaps be defined as an endogamous group, or collection of such groups,
bearing a common name, having the same traditional occupation, claiming descent
from the same source, and commonly regarded as forming a single homogeneous

According to Websters New International Dictionary of the English
language, page 418 caste is defined as race, lineage, unmixed race, pure, chaste,
etc., It also means a race, stock, or breed of men or animal. The other meaning is one
of the hereditary classes into which the society of India is divided. The caste system is
fundamental in Hinduism, referring to, for its origin at least, to the time of the Aryan
invasion of India. Orthodox Hinduism ascribes to the invaders for castes: the
Brahmana, or priestly; kshatriya, warrior or kingly; the vaisya, mercantile and
agricultural; the Sudra, mainly artisan and labouring. The first three of these are
known as the twice-born castes. Their token is the sacred thread; they are considered
as the original Ariyan castes, and they have religious rites and privileges denied to the
sudra, mainly composed of the conquered natives. Gradually a vast number of castes
have been formed; as, on the basis of the occupation of the persons forming them; by
the conversion of foreign tribes to Hinduism, the whole tribe forming a distinct caste;
by religious sectarianism; by intermarriage and crossbreeding; by migration, etc. all
castes are theoretically classified according to the original scheme of the four and
intermarriage and social intercourse, in so far as these exist, are subject to rigid
restrictions. Many of the religious reforms of India have started as protests against
caste restrictions, yet even among the Indian Mohammed class distinctions similar to
the caste system are maintained. The native name for caste, vara signifies
colour, and system seem to have originated in the endeavour of the light hued
Aryans to preserve their racial purity.

But according to Websters Encyclopedic Unabriged Dictionary of the English
Language page 323 caste is known in the following: a) an endogamous and hereditary
social group limited to person of the same rank, occupation, economic position, etc..;
and having more distinguishing it from other such groups. b) Any rigid system of
social distinction.
Any of the social divisions into which Hindu society is traditionally divided,
each having its own privileges and limitations, transferred by inheritance from one
generation to the next. Any class or group of society sharing common cultural
features: low caste; high caste.

In the Concise Universal Encyclopedia (Vol.2), page 370, social system under which
every Hindu is deemed to be born into an endogamous group with a common name
and traditional occupation. These ties are often conjoined with a tradition common
origin and the possession of the same tutelary deity, social status and ceremonial
Modern Indian caste is the outcome of a gradual social development, one
impelling force of which is the communal as apposed to the individualist element in
the Indian mind. Most existing castes are occupational and many the result of
economic factors.

According to The New Websters International Encyclopedia, page 201 caste
system is explained as division of society into closed groups, primarily by birth, but
usually also involving religion and occupation. The most caste-bound society today is
that of Hindu India, its caste system, dating from 3000 B.C, was not discouraged until

Moreover, Vara (vaa) is a Sanskrit term derived from the root v meaning
"to enclose" or "colour".

The term, which also means letter, paint, cover, coat, class
and caste, has been used in various contexts in the Hindu scriptures.
In historical Indic traditions the vara and caste systems are not the same system,
although they are related. Vara and caste systems are believed to have become
related to mean the same thing, as caste, after the Vedic period when the puraas and
dharmashastras were written.

1.2 The origin of the caste from social aspects
In the beginning, it seems the Aryans were very proud of their conquest and fair
complex and were adamant to have any intercourse with the original habitants of
At the time the Aryan society was divided mainly into three groups, i.e.
priests, (Brahmins), warriors (kshatriyas), and farmers and traders (Vaishyas). Later
on as the years rolled by, the intermingling of the Aryans and non-Aryans increased;
the process of give and take commenced with the result that Aryan society absorbed
many beliefs and customs which were prevalent among the Non-Aryans. Aryans
were, however, very shrewd. They christened the Non-Aryans as Shudras and gave
them the low status in the society. Later on to this fourth group of the Vedic society
were added poorer and fallen sections of the Aryans as well. Thus the Vedic period
roughly from 1500 BC to 800 BC not only gave birth to caste-system but it
encouraged untouchability also.
In the earliest writings of the so-called Aryans, who brought to the India
Sanskrit languages and the religious beliefs of which Hinduism is the development;
we find no trace of caste. When they entered India from the North-west, these
invaders were divided into a number of tribes, each under its own chief. Every
householder was a soldier as well as a husbandman, and even the sacerdotal office
was not hereditary. Later on, as society became more complex, the community was
divided, much in the same way as in ancient Persia, into four classes, viz. Brahmans,
or priests, ksatryas , or warriors, vaisya, or merchants and sudras, or cultivators and
servants, the last-mentioned consisting partly of half-breeds and partly of the black
aborigines who had been conquered and brought into servitudes. These classes were
designated vara(colour), and the term jti (caste) was never applied to them. The
distinctions involved by them, or at least by the first three, were neither so well
marked nor so rigid as those of the modern caste system. A ksatriya could become a
Brahman, or a Brahman a ksatriya ; and although a man was supposed to take his first
wife from his own class, there was no binding rule to this effect, while in any case he
was free to a second wife from a lower class. Amongst Hindus, however, these four
classes are regarded as the original caste. In the institutes of Manu a separate origin is
assigned to each, and all the better known castes existing at that time and place of the
compilation of this great work are traced to various kinds of cross-breeding. we have
already seen that most of them owe their origin to function, but that some are racial,
being composed of tribes that have entered the fold of Hinduism , while others are
descended from the adherents of various sects , and others are due to cross-breeding.
This is, however, merely the sources from which the existing castes have been
derived. It is not easy to say what gave rise to the caste system, or why social
distinctions and observances have acquired in India a rigidity to which there no
parallel anywhere else in the world.
In the first place, there was the prejudice, common to Aryans and various
aboriginal tribes, against giving the daughter in marriage outside the tribal limits.
There was also, after a time, amongst the Aryans, a strong that it was desirable , so far
as possible, to avoid intermarrying or eating with persons of lower social rank. There
was a still stronger feeling amongst this fair race against any sort of social intercourse
with the despised black aboriginesa feeling which finds its counterpart at the
present day in the attitude of the Boers towards the Kafirs . Some sections of Aryans
came to India with comparatively few women, and these were, perforce, compelled to
take wives from amongst the aborigines. The children of such mixed unions held a
lower position than those of pure race, and were, no doubt, divided amongst
themselves, like the quadroons and octoroons of America. The rivalry of amongst
these half-breeds accentuated the already strong sense of racial cleavage. With the
progress of Hinduism, social distinctions based on colour and pride of race were
complicated by further distinctions based on ceremonial practices, such as observance
or non-observance of certain rules of conducts and of certain restrictions in the matter
of food and drink, while some pursuits were regarded as less reputable than others.

The origin of the caste system as it is today is still obscure. A 2001 genetic study, led
by Michael Bamshad of the University of Utah, found that the genetic affinity of
Indians to Europeans is proportionate to caste rank, the upper castes being most
similar to Europeans, whereas lower castes are more like Asians. The researchers
believe that the Indo-European speakers entered India from the Northwest, admixing
with or displacing the proto-Dravidian speakers. Subsequently they may have
established a caste system and placed themselves primarily in higher castes. The study
concludes that the Indian castes "are most likely to be of proto-Asian origin with West
Eurasian admixture resulting in rank-related and sex-specific differences in the
genetic affinities of castes to Asians and Europeans." Because the Indian samples for
this study were taken from a single geographical area, it remains to be investigated
whether its findings can be safely generalized.
An earlier 1995 study by Joanna L. Mountain of Stanford University had
concluded that there was "no clear separation into three genetically distinct groups
along caste lines", although "an inferred tree revealed some clustering according to
caste affiliation".

A 2002-2003 study by T. Kivisild concluded that the "Indian tribal and caste
populations derive largely from the same genetic heritage of Pleistocene southern and
western Asians and have received limited gene flow from external regions since the
Holocene. A 2006 genetic study by the National Institute of Biological in India,
testing a sample of men from 32 tribal and 45 caste groups, concluded that the Indians
have acquired very few genes from Indo-European speakers.
According to a 2006 study by Ismail Thanseem of Centre for Cellular and
Molecular Biology (India) "the vast majority 98% of the Indian maternal gene pool,
consisting of Indo-European and Dravidian speakers, is genetically more or less
uniform", while the invasions after the late Pleistocene settlement might have been
mostly male-mediated. The study concluded that the "lower caste groups might have
originated with the hierarchical divisions that arose within the tribal groups with the
spread of Neolithic agriculturalists, much earlier than the arrival of Aryan speakers",
and "the Indo-Europeans established themselves as upper castes among this already
developed caste-like class structure within the tribes." The study indicated that the
Indian caste system may have its roots much before the arrival of the Indo-Aryan
immigrants; a rudimentary version of the caste system may have emerged with the
shift towards cultivation and settlements, and the divisions may have become more
well-defined and intensified with the arrival of Indo-Aryan.

1.3 The origin of castes from religious aspect.
A certain Buddhist scholar said, Caste system is originated from the very religion,
especially the religion which has belief in divine Gods.
Here one should know that religion creates human beings or human beings
create religion. The Aryans said, four castes were created by their divine gods
according to Brahmanism. But actually, the very Aryans were the creator of
Therefore, Buddhist theory of the origin of social classes is different from
social aspects or Brahmanism. For the origin of social classes is proved through the
earlier history of tribes who were former inhabitants of India and the Indo-Aryans
who came to invade them and settled to live therein. The origin of social classes by
divine creation was, of course, rejected by the Buddha. This fact was shown by the
Him through his discourses to Brahmins who were proud of their caste and blindly
addicted to the belief in divine gods for their creation and division of mankind into
social classes.
The earlier ideas of the Buddhists on the problem of the origin of social
classes are found in Aggaa sutta of Dgha Nikya. In the sutta two young
Brhmaas, who had become Buddhist monks tell the Buddha that they were being
condemned by their fellow Brhmaas for they had left the the best class, the
genuine children of Brahm, born of his mouth, to join a low class, the descendent
of the Brahms feet.
Thereupon, in order to prove the hollowness of the Brahmans claim to
descend from the Brahms mouth, the Buddha traced the whole history of evolution
in the present kappa (aeon) from the beginning. He explained how after a long, long
period the world is dissolved; the beings are reborn in the world of the gods of
brilliance (bhassara Brahmas). Then the world begins to evolve again. The beings
descended from the world of brilliance are reborn with the same qualities as before.
They are made of mind, self-luminous, traversing the air, continuing in glory. As the
earth emerges out of the water like rice-scum odorous and sweet, the beings taste it
through greed and lose their self-luminosity; their bodies acquire solidity and
differences of comeliness. Then appears vegetation, at first of a low and afterwards of
a high order, and ultimately the huskless self-ripening rice makes it appearance. The
beings feast upon it and acquire greater solidity in their bodies. The differences of sex
arise with resulting passion among men and the women. The beings filled with lust
build households and begin to store rice and thus create the institution of private
As this leads to the disappearance of the self-ripening rice, the beings gather
together and decide to divide and demarcate their rice-fields. Gradually, the four evils
of theft, censure lying and violence come to be known. Thereupon the beings decide
to select a person who should be wrathful when indignation is right, who should
censure that which should rightly be censured and should banish him who deserves to
be banished, and they agree to give him in return a portion of their rice. They select
the most handsome and able person among themselves. He is called by three standing
phrases of Mahsamata, (one who is chosen by the multitude), khattitya
(Kshatriya), (one who is lord of the fields), and rj (one who gratifies the others in
accordance with the dhamma). This becomes the signal for the division of social
classes. The election of Mahsamata was the origin of the class (madala) of
Again, as certain beings distressed at the sins of men retired to forest of
meditate while others lived in the outskirts of villages and towns, making book, they
were known by the standing phrase, brhmaas (those who put away evil), jhyaka
(those who meditate) and ajjhyakas (those who teach the Vedas): this was the
origin of the class (madala) of brhmaas.
Others who adopted the married state and became proficient in the trades were
known by the standing phrase of Vessas, and this is the origin of the class of Vessas.
Still others living by hunting and such low craft were called Suddas. Again as men of
the above classes misprizing their own duties (dhammas) left their homes for the
homeless life, they were known as recluses.
Explaining the origin of each of these of these classes, the Master adds at the
end the refrains, their origin was from those very beings and no others, like unto
themselves and not unlike, and it took place according to the dharma and not
according to its reverse. Finally, the Master says that whoever among these four
classes as a monk has destroyed all moral taint and has attained perfect knowledge is
declared to be the chief of men in virtue of dharma: for Dhamma is deemed as the
highest by men both in this world and the next.
Concerning the origin of the social classes a Buddhist writer wrote that the
Buddha did not reject the notion of the caste system. He merely gave a new twist to it.
As noted above, in the Aggaa sutta he rejects the divine origin theory of the caste
system and instead ties it up with the evolutionary process. In this sutta, he opines that
all castes arose because of laziness and greed of men. This is really reasonable and
reliable source because in Aggaa sutta shows us that the beings that descended
from the world of gods of brilliance whose merits were exhausted and came to human
world at first they are pure with the same qualities. But later on because of their
corrupted mind through the four eatable things that appeared on earth, indolence,
greed and evil deeds arose in their community, the ideas of castes also arose among
them from that time onward one by one gradually, and the caste discrimination
become stronger and stronger. There are also strict rules between the castes as well.

1.4 The restricted rules of caste and blind belief
According to Brahman or Hindu tradition, in each caste there are rules to be observed.
The marriage is arranged only within their respective castes, for example, the khattiya
is married with khattiya, brahmaa with brahmaa, and the other lower castes are not
allowed to marry the higher ones at all.
Brahmins neither eat food together with the other castes nor the food of the
low caste. But if it happened to eat, they feel remorseful like they had committed
wicked deed and disgraced their birth, clan and family. In Satadhamma jtaka,
relevant fact.
The Bodhisatta was as the son of a man of the lowest caste. When he grew up,
he took the road for some purpose, taking for his provision some rice grains in a
basket. At that time there was a young fellow in Benares, named Satadhamma. He
was a son of magnificent, a northern Brahmin. He also took the road for some
purpose, but neither rice grains nor basket had he. The two met upon the high way.
Said the young Brahmin to the other, What caste are you of? He replied, Of the
lowest. And what are you? Oh, I am a northern Brahmin. All right, let us journey
together; and so together they far along. Breakfast time came. The Bodhisatta sat
down where there was some nice water, and washed his hands, and opened his basket.
Will you have some? said he. Tut, tut, says the other, I want none, you low
fellow. All right, says the Bodhisatta. Careful to waste none, he put as much as he
wanted in a leaf apart from the rest, fastened his basket, and ate. Then he took a drink
of water, washed his hands and foot, and picked up the rest of his rice and food.
Come along, young Sir, says he, and they started off again on their journey.
All day they tramped along; and at evening they both had a bath in some nice
water. When they came out, the Bodhisatta sat down in a nice place, undid his parcel,
and began to eat. This time he did not offer the other a share. The young gentleman
was tired with walking all day and hungry to the bottom of his soul; there he stood,
looking on, and thinking, If he offers me any, Ill take it. But the other ate away
without a word. This low fellow, thought the young man eats every scrap without a
word. Well, Ill beg a piece, I can throw away the outside, which is defiled, and eat
the rest. And so he did; he ate what was left. As soon as he had eaten, he thought
How I have disgraced my birth, my clan, my family! Why I have eaten the leaving of
the low born churl! Keen indeed was his remorse; he threw up the food, and blood
came with it. What a wicked deed I have done, he wept, all for the sake of trifle!
and he went on in the words of the first stanza: What a trifle! And his leavings!
Given to against his will! And I am a highborn Brahmin! And the stuff has made me
Thus did the young gentleman make his lamentation; adding, Why did I do
such a wicked thing just for lifes sake? he plunged into the jungle, and never let any
eye see him again, but there he died forlorn.
Moreover, they are on diet for eating food cooked or served by the low castes
and they do not eat even certain food which is touched by them.
If a Brahmin saw any lower caste person such as sudra or candla took water
from any well, he would not go take the water from the well for consuming because
they are afraid of being polluted by the other lower caste. When they go out side
somewhere else they avoid seeing persons in the untouchable castes. If they have seen
them by chance they considered the day on their travelling as an inauspicious day for
them. They were not happy to meet such kind of situation. Some times they even
order their men to beat the untouchable person who they have seen along the way.
In the Mtaga Jtaka of the Vsati-Nipta,
shows this evidence that during
the reign of King Brahmadatta of Baraas, the Bodhisatta was born into a lowly caste
of Candla and named Mtaga. The daughter of a wealthy man of Baraas was
named Diha magalik because she believed in auspiciousness of pleasant sights.
One day she went to a garden to amuse herself with her maids. On the way she saw
Mtaga. who came into the city. Though he kept himself aside as he was of a low
birth, the sight of his person aroused displeasure in Diha magalik, who therefore
returned home thinking that it was not an auspicious day for her. Her followers were
also annoyed. Saying, "Because of you, we will have no fun today," they beat him
until he became unconscious; thereafter they departed. When Mtaga regained
consciousness after a while he said to himself, "These people of Diha magalik
have tortured an innocent man like me." Then he went to the house of Diha
magalik 's father and lay at the entrance with a resolution, "I will not get up until I
win Diha magalik 's hand." This resolution of Mtaga made to humble Diha
magalik's pride.
The story is commented thus: the reason for Mtaga decided to do so because
there is a traditional belief that if any outcaste person lays down at the entrance of any
ones house with the determination to kill himself by either refusing to eat food or not
drinking water or commit suicide by any means, those who has house around counting
from that house to seven houses will all fall prey to become outcaste persons. When
they asked him why he lays there, his reply was, All I want is Diha magalik.
One day passed, then a second, a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. The resolve of the
Buddha is immovable. Diha magalik's father entice him by giving many
kahapaas (ancient coins), but at that time, Mtaga did not agree with him. So, by
seeing that many rich Brahmin families around Diha magaliks house forced her
father to give him the daughter; therefore on the seven day they brought out the girl
and gave her to him.
Furthermore, some Brahmins do not allow other lower caste persons to step on
even their shadow because they are afraid of being polluted and bring about the
impurity to their lives. According to this story Diha magalik believe in
auspiciousness through auspiciousness of pleasant sights in Brahmanism if any day
she sees pleasant sight that will be auspicious day for her. But according to Buddhism
believe that if any person did good deed bodily, verbally and mentally in any day that
very day would be an auspicious day for him. If any person did good deed bodily,
verbally and mentally in any time that very time would be prosperous time for him.
So, in whatever day one does good deed, and then it is good day or good time for him.
Therefore, auspicious day occurred through good deed and for good deed one can do
any day or any time. Similarly, if any one did bad deed bodily, verbally and mentally
in whatever day, then in that very day it would be inauspicious day for him or her.
There is no prosperous time for one who does bad deed. Good or bad generally
depending on the action of man not depends on day, time or place.
One more thing, according to Buddhism, the three canonical texts known as
Tipiakas can be studied and practised by everyone without differentiating of castes if
he exerts his effort to get it. Understanding or wisdom is not a reward dropping from
heaven and given by any Almighty God. It is gained by one who develops desire to
know and practise accordingly. Any one can achieve it if he has willingness to do
However, in Brahmanism, now known as Hinduism, the Brahmins believe that
knowledge (buddhi ), the state (bhva) and happiness (sukha) are created and given by
gods, the Brahmas. It is said these three things can be attained by Brahmaa caste
only; no any other castes are possible.
In the ancient time when any untouchable caste person heard the Vedas recited
by Brahmin and the Brahmin knew about that he was tortured by putting boiling
cooking oil into his mouth because Brahmins believe that Vedas is a sacred text are
not to be studied, touched, heard or recited by any low caste man. Actually, in some
points of Vedas lead man to ignorance and wrong view and only ignorant man believe
The belief in such a way is irrational, lack of commonsense and does not give
the values to the human effort. It does not encourage people want to do anything that
actually all human have the potentiality to do everything for the tenets of their lives.
According to this belief if those who do not belong to Brahmin caste, it means they
get nothing even they do something. Of course, if so they will not want to do
anything. They are hopeless and very disappointed and just sleep waiting to get
something given by the gods.
One should understand in a reasonable way that if all eatable things and
everything including knowledge, etc., would be created and given by the divine
beings; therefore, all human beings could not know the ray of science now in this
modern day and all humans intelligences would be useless as well. Mahtma
Ghandh said, Belief is not something that we necessarily need to embrace, but it is
something that we should cultivate in our mind. But further more they should
understand that wrong belief should not be cultivated in even our mind. Wrong belief
leads to wrong view, and wrong view is the root cause of all evil deeds in the world.
Some people after doing evil deed, they pray to gods for forgiveness, while some
others overwhelmed by greed, fear and ignorance like to seek mantra teachers who
know magic to make waist belt to protect them from danger or sometimes they seek
holy water from a person or certain monk who know mantras (magic) to pour that
water on them. They spend a lot of money on such persons. But it is often seen in
societies that even the persons who know mantras and when they commit bad actions
they, too, die of their bad kamma the same as every one. So, they should spend money
for education. When they have a lot of money they should support the poor or monks,
nuns to study for their education is better. By doing so, it can bring much merit and
good benefits both to themselves and the whole society.
Moreover, some men are handsome and some women are beautiful. Some are
rich, born of high social class family. So they have conceit and pride of their
handsomeness, beauty, wealth and high lineage. But according to venerable Sayadaw
U. Uttamasara in his book, The Buddhist way of Daily Life, explained about the
nature of impermanence in our lives for us to think that, He is a being which is
impermanent; I am also a being which is impermanent. One day, both of us must die;
we are the corpses-to-be; we both are just alive for a while in this human world. He
is a corpse-to-be; I am also a corpse-to-be, there should not arise anger or conceit
between the two corpses. Each one in each caste is born to die. Therefore, no one
wants caste and corpse. And they should also know the impermanent of the caste and
the corpse-to-be.

1.5 Dilemma of caste system in the changing world
Every thing is changing in this world. Whatever is not truth it is changeable according
to time, place, climate and social condition. Likewise caste system is also subject to
change under the influence of the above conditions from time to time.
Caste prejudice, before the Buddha time, was based on colour and race
between the Aryans and the former inhabitants in India. The Aryans were white-
skinned people and the former inhabitants in India were mostly black-skinned people.
So, the arrival of Aryans in India for earlier time led to the discrimination of the fair
skin and the dark skin between them. At that time, the Aryan people were proud of
their white skin, so they did not want the other groups to mix blood with them in
marriage or family tie. They do not like the dark-skinned people and treat them like
servants or even slaves. They think the dark-skinned persons are dirty and ugly. They
hate and ridicule the black-skinned people. Mostly the white-skinned people like to
look down on the dark-skinned people by nature. Therefore, some scholars have a
concept on nature that nature is not only good but also bad, dark, dirty and ugly.
Actually, every one has his or her own beauty: inside beauty and outside
beauty. The outside beauty is the beauty of skin, and inside beauty is knowledge and
moral character. Most people like outside beauty. In this sense, beauty is skin in deep.
It is nothing more than this. Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it, said
From Buddhist point of view understand that if anyone is jealous of the
beauty of others and if anyone is proud of his or her own beauty and looks down on
those who are ugly. Such a thing should be avoided. If one does not love someone,
one should not hate or look down on him or her, but instead should show loving-
kindness and compassion is good enough or else the bad effect might have reflection
or reaction on the owner of the doer. There is a Khmer song says, Oh darling! Dont
hate me lest kammic-energy makes me become your husband. Aggaa sutta tells us
clearly that because of their ignorance, conceit and immoral actions those who were
beautiful look down on the ugly and so their beautiful complexion was also vanished.
This is a living example that should be taken into account by every one in this very
life. A person should get rid of pride, conceit and anger. A Chinese philosophy says,
Proud man has no heaven; the envious man has no neighbour; an angry man has not
even himself.
It is possible to say that because of pride and conceit lead to
discrimination between man and man in society. Through the evolution of long period
of human society, caste system also develops.
And so caste system is adopted in many forms through the development of the
world. Caste system before the Buddha time was on colour and race, and later on
in the Buddhas lifetime, caste was based on birth, that is, high-born and low-born.
This fact was shown in those days that many Brahmins were proud of themselves and
claimed to be superior to others by birth. This fact is to be found in many suttas of
Suttanta Piaka or Jtaka stories. There maybe in the Buddhas time, Brahmins (now
called, Hindus), who followers of Brahmanism (Hinduism) were also black skin
because of racial mix up. That was why; caste was focused on birth, not on colour
anymore. On the other hand, in these days some Hindus are also found to have black
skin at many Hindu temples. However, those days when the Brahmins made the
theory of inferiority or superiority based on birth was denied by the Buddha.
Actually, the Buddha was from the Aryan race and born in Sakyas clan that had very
strong caste prejudice racial discrimination, but except for the Buddha himself he did
not have such idea of caste or racial discrimination.
According to Buddha he emphasized that those who were born in high lineage
look down on the low born persons, so their high birth was degraded. Because of love
and respect the Buddha too much, King Pasenadi of Kosala, wishing to marry into the
clan of the Sakyans, sent some emissaries to Kapilavatthu with a request for the hand
of one of the Sakyan princesses. Not wishing to offend King Pasenadi, the Sakyan
princes replied that they would comply with his request, but instead of a Sakyan
pricess they sent a beautiful girl born of King Mahnma and a slave woman.
King Pasenadi made that girl one of his chief consorts and subsequently she
gave birth to a son. This son was named Viddabha. When the prince was sixteen
years old, he was sent on a visit to King Mahnma and the Sakyan princes. There he
was received with some hospitality but all the Sakyan princes who were younger than
Vidudabha had been sent away to a village; so that they would not have to pay
respects to him.
After staying a few days in Kapilavatthu, Viddabha and his company left for
home. Soon after they left, a maid servant was given the task of washing with milk the
place where Vidudabha had sat. As she did so she remarked, This is the place where
that son of a slave woman had sat. At that moment, a member of Viddabhas
entourage who had stayed overheard the remark. She reported to Viddabha that his
mother, vasabh Khattiy, had been the daughter of a slave girl. When Viddabha was
told about the incident, he became wild with rage and declared that one day he would
wipe out the whole clan of the Sakyans.
True to his word, when he became king, he marched on the Sakyan clan and
massacred them all, with the exception of a few who were with Mahnma and some
others. Viddabha killed seventy seven thousand Sakyans and stole eighty thousands
boys and girls. The girls were rude to him, and he ordered their death. Such was the
case of story happened in the Buddhas time concerning extreme caste and racial
Instead, Buddhists believe that he who has no anger, so he has good
complexion. He was born in high family because he respects the elder or moral
person. So no one is high or low because of his birth. No one is high because of
looking down on others, but by his good or bad action make him high or low.
Therefore, we come to know that caste system before was based on colour
and race and in the Buddhas time caste was based on birth all are changed
through the changing world. After the Buddhas time caste system again was seen
based on both race and colour because of the influence of thought in the old day.
For example, Negro, before there were serious discrimination between the Negro race
and the white race in Western countries. This discrimination can be said based on
both race and colour because Negro is black-skinned race. Normally they use the
word Negro to humiliate this race. Black-skinned people do not have rights and
privileges like white- skinned people, however, as long as caste system or racial
discrimination still exist, hate and dislike still remain in human mind in this world.
Nelson Mandela struggled against the racial discrimination practiced in South Africa.
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), as a young boy he was treated badly and heinously by Jews
because of racial discrimination. When growing up and become Germany leader, he
took revenge on them. His ambition was very strong and high which brought about
World War II in1939.
He hoped to conquer the entire world, and for a time dominated most of
Europe and much of North Africa. He instituted sterilization and
euthanasia measures to enforce his idea of racial purity among German
people and caused the slaughter of millions of Jews, Sinti and Roma
(Gypsies), Slavic peoples, and many others, all of whom he considered
In 1933 Hitler initiated policies to rid the Aryan race of undesirable
elements and eliminate other races that he considered inferior and
dangerous to the Germans. First, the government approved marriage loans
to the right kind of Germansthose ancestors and appearance measured
up to the Nazis standard of Aryan purity.
Adolf Hitler preached to the assembled German soldiers and Nazi party
faithful that they were a superior race that deserved more than they had,
including additional Lebensraum, or living space, and a higher standard of

In this case, when Hitler came into high power he was also proud, barbarous and
looked down on others nations and races. He assumed the conquest of the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics would be simple. His assumption was based on his belief
that the Soviets, many of whom were of Slavic descent, were an inferior race
controlled by the Jews under the guise of socialism. But unfortunately he lost war in
Russia in 1945.
In the past, American hired Negro people to work for them. They think Negro
race is stupid. They treated them as slaves. Therefore there is a saying, creating
white job with black labour. The following story is a true fact that should be known.
Frederick Douglass suffered severe physical and mental abuse during his
many years as a slave. He dreamed of one day learning to read and being
free. He believed knowledge would lead the way to freedom. Douglass
wrote several books about his life as a slave. In eighteen forty-five he
wrote "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave."
It became an immediate best seller and remains popular today.
Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born around eighteen eighteen
in Tuckahoe, Maryland, near the Chesapeake Bay. Many slaves lived on
large farms owned by white people. Each plantation was like a small
village owned by one family who lived in a large house on the property.
Frederick and his mother, Harriet Bailey, were slaves on a huge plantation
owned by Colonel Edward Lloyd. Their slave owner was a white man
named Captain Aaron Anthony. Frederick knew very little about his
father, except that he was a white man. Many believed Captain Anthony
was his father.
Frederick did not know his mother well. Harriet Bailey was sent to work
on another plantation when Frederick was very young. She was able to
visit him only a few times. She died when Frederick was about seven
years old.
Frederick then lived with his grandparents, Betsey and Isaac Bailey. He
said that his grandparents had a loving home and were respected by other
slaves in the area. Because of this, he did not realize at first that someone
owned him and the others---that they were slaves.
It was not unusual for African-American families to be separated, often
never seeing each other again. Slaves were not treated as human beings.
Slave owners bought and traded them as if they were animals or property.
Frederick had to leave his grandparents home when he was six years old.
He later wrote about that day. He said being forced to leave was one of the
most painful experiences in his life. He said he began to understand the
evil and oppressive system of slavery.
In eighteen twenty-six, Frederick was sent to work for Hugh Auld, in
Baltimore, Maryland. Mister Aulds wife, Sophia, was very kind to
Frederick. She treated him as if he were a member of her family. Missus
Auld soon began to teach Frederick to read. Her husband became
extremely angry and ordered her to stop immediately. Slaves were denied
education. Mister Auld said if slaves could read they would rebel and run
Sophia Auld stopped teaching Frederick to read. But he learned to read
from white boys he met in the city. The boys also told Frederick he had
the right to be free.
Mister Auld sent Frederick to work for a poor farmer, Edward Covey, who
beat him often. In eighteen thirty-six, Frederick made an attempt to
escape. But he failed and was arrested. He was sent back to the home of
Hugh and Sophia Auld home in Baltimore.
He met and fell in love with a free black woman named Anna Murray.
Miz Murray had a job cleaning other peoples homes. She gave Frederick
money to help him escape by getting on a train to New York City.
"My free life began on the third of September, eighteen thirty-eight. On
the morning of the fourth of that month, I found myself in the big city of
New York, a free man. For the moment the dreams of my youth and the
hopes of my manhood where completely fulfilled. The bonds that held me
to old master were broken. No man now had the right to call me his
slave or try to control me."
When Frederick Bailey reached New York he changed his name to
Frederick Douglass to hide his identity from slave capturers. Anna
Murray joined him and they were married. They settled in New Bedford,
Massachusetts and had five children.
Frederick Douglass became one of the most important leaders of the
abolitionist movement to end slavery in the United States.
In eighteen forty-one, he attended the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society
meeting in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Douglass was unexpectedly asked
to give a speech to describe his experiences as a slave. He had not
prepared a speech but he spoke to the huge gathering of people anyway.
Most of the supporters were white. He spoke with great emotion in a deep
and powerful voice. The crowd praised him.
After that speech, The Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society asked
Douglass to travel to cities throughout the North. He continued to tell
about his cruel and oppressive life as a slave. He told how slave owners
beat slaves everyday. How slaves were given very little food to eat. How
they worked all day in the fields during dangerously hot weather. How
they slept on cold floors and had very little clothing.
Many who heard his story challenged its truthfulness. They refused to
believe that Frederick Douglass was ever a slave. Instead, they thought he
was an educated man who created the entire story.
In eighteen forty-four, Douglass began writing his lifes story. "Narrative
of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave" was published the
following year. He later published expanded versions of his book.
Frederick Douglass wrote his first book partly to prove that he had lived
through the horrible situations he described in his speeches. He was asked
to speak at the Independence Day celebration in Rochester, New York in
eighteen fifty-two. He noted the differences of how blacks and whites
considered Independence Day.
The purpose of this celebration is the Fourth of July. It is the birthday of
your National Independence, and of your political freedom This Fourth
of July is yours, not mine. You may celebrate. I must mournWhat, to
the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals
to him more than all other days in the year, the horrible discrimination and
punishment to which he is the everyday victimThere is not a nation on
the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the
people of these United States at this very hour.
In eighteen sixty-one the American Civil War began. Frederick Douglass
and many others saw slavery as the cause of the war. Douglass wanted
blacks to be permitted to join the Union Army. However, Northern
whites, including President Abraham Lincoln, were against it. They said
black soldiers would harm the spirit of white soldiers. They believed
black soldiers were not intelligent.
Two years later, blacks were permitted to join the Union Army, but they
were not treated as soldiers. Although they showed bravery they were
given less important jobs. Douglass met with President Lincoln in
Washington to discuss the issue. Douglass urge that black soldiers be
treated equal to white soldiers. Although President Lincoln agreed, he said
there could be no immediate change.
In eighteen sixty-five, the Civil War ended. The Union forces had
defeated the South. A few months later President Lincoln was killed. And
later that year, slavery was ended.
Frederick Douglass went on to hold several positions in the government,
including United States Marshall of the District of Columbia. He also
became one of Americas greatest leaders. He was an activist, a writer, a
powerful speaker and an advisor to President Abraham Lincoln.
He never stopped his efforts to gain equality for all people. Historians say
Douglass gave two thousand speeches and wrote thousands of articles and
letters. His work as an activist also included womens rights. On February
twentieth, eighteen ninety-five, he gave a speech at the National Council
of Women. Later that day, he returned to his home in Washington and
died of heart failure at the age of seventy-eight.
Frederick Douglass ended his "book My Bondage, My Freedom" with
these words:
I shall labor in the future as I have labored in the past, to work for the
honorable, social, religious, and intellectual position of the free colored
people; while Heaven lends me ability, to use my voice, my pen or my
vote to support the great and most important work of the complete and
unconditional freedom of my entire race.

Again latter, because of the above similar reason there was also a struggle for civil
right to find racial justice for black-skinned people. One of them was Martin Luther
King, Jr. (1929-1968), helped convince many white Americans to support the cause of
civil rights in the United State. Finally, he achieved his goal for the demanding racial
justice. He said he got victory over injustice, not victory over the white-skinned
people. In his view, he thinks that all human beings in all nations should not be judged
by the colour of the black skin, but should be judged by their characters. Again,
before the white-skinned people of America used to look down on the black-skinned
races and also treated them altraciously like animals. But, on the contrary, the Negro
becomes American citizen and they are now called African-American and can enjoy
the equal right to the American people.
Mr. Barack Obama, African-American could even be elected as the 44

president of the United States. Here it is just the point that a slogan says, a cat is
either white or black; it is not important, but the importance is that whether the cat
knows how to catch the mouse or not. No need to say nothing of colour if the cat can
catch the mouse, he is needed. In other words, it is said, the cow or the ox black or
white is no problem if he or she can be used for ploughing the field. When the black
cow produces the white milk like the white cow, so both black and white cows are
important and equally needed. In the same manner, there should be no discrimination
between black and white-skinned people in human society. We should meet each
other in the name of human being and should not cling strongly or extremely to his
race, colour, creed or status in life. It is said even though people have different castes,
and yet still some of them have the same blood groups. Black people also have brain
the same as the white ones.
To promote peace and happiness of the world, there should be no
discrimination between colour and race in any religion or any nation. The world
belongs to no one but all. The whole world is like a garden full of flowers with
different kinds of colours. If all flowers in the world have only one white colour, then
it is difficult to give meaning to the beauty of the world. Different people have
different favours. Some may like black and some others may like white. In human
world, material things, for example, cars are produced with different colours to
meet humans need for their different choices. For some people like black car, while
others like the white one. Likewise people in this world some are in black-skinned
race, some are in white-skinned race and some others are in yellow-skinned race. But
all races should be treated equally as human. There should be no hate in colours of the
race because the choices depending on every one desire. We should have such an
idea in order to lead the ship of the world toward harmony, love, peace, development,
glory and happiness in our time. That is why the Buddha said there is no one who is
not our relative in this long round of rebirth (sasra).
We need to reflect that all human beings are the same kind, descended
from the same ancestors, but, having multiplied and wandered far and
wide, we have split into groups. Now the world is getting smaller, and we
are forced to once again live on close terms. We are one community and
we must relate to each other as such. With such an understanding we will
be able to do away with discrimination and dissension and become more
harmonious, to unify into one world community of diversity within unity.

There is one rule which lies at the heart of every religionwe do unto others as we
would have them do unto us. Daresay in true element of human race, no one wants to
be done a bad thing toward one another. Caste discrimination is not a laughing matter.
It is one of problems in the world. Even up to now it is unable to solve this problem
completely yet. And because of caste (vaa) take form in different ways, it is also
difficult to give meanings to it. The word caste is, therefore, interpreted into
different meanings according to time and socially religious conditions.
The word vara means colournot, as was previously thought, to refer
to race but rather in the sense of characteristic or attribute. The
best translation is probably class. As applied to the realm of society, it
refers to four social classes that epitomized Vedic (and Aryan) India: the
brahmaas or priests, the kshatriyas (warriors and rulers), the vaiyas
(commoners; merchants and agriculturalists), and the sdras (servants).
These four classes, while separate in terms of function and given
hierarchically different values, are also quite obviously interdependent.
Taken together, they constitute a complete and well-ordered society
according to a religiously and ideologically imbued indigenous social

According to the above description it can be summed up that caste system if it is
applied in the field of race of mankind it is based on colour. If it is applied in the
domain of Hindu religion and its ideology it is based on birth. If it is applied in the
sphere of society it is based on lineage concerning high family status or low family
status. Not only that, the meaning of caste can be given more than this, and no one
knows clearly that caste in our modern time in the twenty-first century is based on
what because when asking concerning caste prejudice in this present time, different
persons give different answers and all are obscure. Some said caste is now based on
two factors: (1) arrogance and (2) money. As it is usually seen in society the
arrogance lies in persons who are in high authority or power behave to others
arrogantly and clumsily in both bodily action and verbal ones that might lead to caste
prejudice. On the other hand, persons born in rich family with highly economical
standard and have a lot of money also act in similar way. Mostly such persons have
Vaa machariya and Kula machariya. Some other said caste nowadays is based on
position. But actually, position of man here should not be deemed as caste adoption.
Man must respect each other according to high or low positions respectively. This is
the role of man that needs to be abided by because all men in one country cannot be
equally in rank. If one snake has one head but ten tails it can creep forward easily.
Instead, if one snake has ten heads and the only one tail, it cannot creep well. In the
same way, it is impossible for all men to become leaders together in one country. If all
men became leaders in a country, the society would not run well. If in a society, there
was no leader, no followers, and all are equally in position or rank, the society would
not move forward to the prosperous development. In this case, it is not different from
the snake that has a tail but ten heads. So, position of man in society should not be
viewed as a caste problem because any position is not rigid. It can be changed or
transferred to one another according to mandate or any circumstances.
Even though caste system has developed and changed its form in many ways,
it is, however, caste adoption, like a chronic disease of mankind from generation to
generation. It is said that caste system will exist in the future as long as people in the
world practise it. Caste still exists if people follow some aspects of Hinduism. This
fact shows us that the belief of divine creation in Hinduism seems to be the first root
cause of having idea leading to caste adoption and dividing social classes in human

Chapter II: Exposition of Four Broad Social Classes
There are more sub-castes; however four main castes are mentioned here in this
chapter two.

2.1 Khattiya the royal caste
The word khattiya is Pli word. It is synonymous with Kshatriya in Sanskrit
language. From Brahman points of view, Brahmins said Khattiyas were born from the
arms of Brahma and so Khattiya caste is lower than Brahmins.
For Brahmanism, Brahmins believe that Brahmin caste is the highest, born from
the mouth of Brahma. The Brahmin caste is pure, heir of Brahma and the other castes
are low and impure. That is why usually it is seen that Brahmin caste, in some books
traditionally written by some scholars, is placed in the first order; khattiya caste is
second and the other castes each ones are placed in the following order. But this does
not appeal to reasons yet. From the robust stance of Buddhist view, the Khattiya caste
is the highest one and it is in the first order or position. This seems appeal to reason
because in Suttanta Piaka there is a proof of the Ambattha sutta in which the Buddha
said, whether one compares women with women, or men with men, the Khattiyas are
higher and the Brahmans are inferior. The Kshatriya is the best of those among this
folk who put their truth in lineage. In this sutta, Pokkharast learnt that the Buddha is
staying in the Icchnankala Wood, so he sent his pupil named Ambaha to check
whether Gotama was a genuine Buddha endowed with the thirty-two physical traits of
a "great man". When Ambaha met the Buddha, his insolent behavior (towards the
Buddha) resulted in reprimand from the Buddha. Ambaha got upset with the
remarks, and accused the Sakyas as being menials with three allegations:
1. the Sakyas are rough and rude, they are touchy and violent;
2. the Sakyas joked about Ambaha when he was once at Kapilavatthu, and not
offered him seat;
3. Like everyone else, the Sakyas should wait upon the Brahmins, who are the most
superior of all.
Concerning this case, the Buddha rebutted all the allegations, and recounted the origin
of the Kahyanas, the clan to which Ambaha belonged. The story of the king
Okkaka and Kah served to remind Ambaha that even Brahmins can have very
humble beginnings.
The Buddha moved on to contrast the contemporary social status of the
khattiyas and Brahmins. The Buddha started by discussing about mixed marriages.
The discussion applies to both a Brahmin man marrying a Khattiya woman, and a
Khattiya man marrying a Brahmin woman. The Buddha pointed out that the offspring
of a khattiya and a Brahmin would be well-received by the Brahmins since one of his
parents is a Brahmin. However, the child would not be equally treated by the khattiyas
because of his mixed parentage. The Buddha continued to mention that a khattiya,
even if he is an outlaw, would be well-regarded by the Brahmins, so much so that they
may even offer him a Brahmin bride. The above discussions also show that the
khattiyas are more rigorous than the Brahmins in ensuring a pure lineage.
Even so, the Buddha continued, the best of gods and men is not the one who is
pure in lineage, but the one who is perfect in wisdom and righteousness. Bondage to
the notions of birth or lineage, or pride of social position or connection by marriage, is
far from perfection in wisdom and righteousness. The Buddha continued to discuss
the perfection in wisdom and righteousness, and the four "leakages" (nonfulfillments)
to perfection. Ambaha confessed that he had received training in neither the
perfection of wisdom and conduct, nor the four "leakages" from his teacher
Pokkharast. The Buddha asserted that not only has Pokkharast failed as a teacher,
he does not live the way of the ancient sages, and he is also not well-received by the
king, even though the king granted him a royal garden.
At the end of the dialog, the Buddha took the opportunity to reveal the thirty-
two physical traits on his body to Ambattha. Ambattha was pleased and departed. On
his way back, Ambattha met Pokkharast with a retinue of Brahmins. He reported to
Pokkharasadi his encounter and conversation with the Buddha. Knowing Ambaha
was rude to the Buddha; Pokkharast became furious and gave him a good beating.
The next morning, Pokkharasadi went to Icchnankala Wood, without Ambaha, to
meet the Buddha. As before, the Buddha revealed his thirty-two marks to
Pokkharasadi, who was pleased and invited the Buddha to a meal the following day.
After the meal the following day, the Buddha gave a discourse to Ambaha. Upon
hearing the Four Noble Truths, Pokkharast became a Sotpanna. Thereafter, he
became a lay Buddhist follower by taking refuge in the Triple Gems.
Thus in the Kannakathla Sutta of the Majjhima Nikya, the Buddha is
represented as saying "There are these four castes: kshatriyas, Brahmins, vaiyas,
and .sdras. Of these four castes, twothe kshatriyas and the Brahmins are given
precedence, to wit, in salutation, homage, obeisance, and due ministry."
It is important at this point to note that the Pli Piakas, in specifying the four
castes as above, invariably give precedence to the kshatriyas--the rjanyas of the
Vedic hymns. As it may be taken for certain that, when this 'kingly class' first arose, it
was supreme in Indian society, the Piakas preserve the ancient tradition in their
championship of the established precedence of the kshatriyas against the
presumptuous usurpation of the Brahmins, and mark the transitional epoch when the
Brahmins claim to pre-eminence, though urged with growing arrogance, had not yet
extorted universal recognition--more particularly from the kshatriyas. There is an
excellent illustration of this in the Ambaha sutta, where the young Brahmin
Ambaha denounces the Sakyan kshatriyas as follows:--"The Sakyan race is fierce,
violent, hasty, and long-tongued. Though they are naught but men of substance, yet
they pay no respect, honour, or reverence to Brahmins." And the young Brahmin goes
on to complain that he himself had not been treated by them in Kapilatthu with the
respect which he expected. Without attempting to deny the allegation, the Buddha
urges that the Sakyans were at home in their own city, and that Ambaha had no right
to be so angry because no notice was taken of him. Far more important for our present
purpose are the points in Ambaha Sutta, which deal with the treatment accorded by
kshatriyas and Brahmins respectively to the son (1) of a Kshatriya youth by a
Brahmin girl, and (2) of Brahmin youth by a Kshatriya girl. In reply to the Buddha's
series of questions, the young Brahmin is forced to admit that in both cases alike the
Brahmins will recognize the hybrid offspring as a full Brahmin, whereas the
kshatriyas will not admit to Kshatriya rank anyone who is not the child of Kshatriya
parents on both sides. "So it is clear," triumphantly argues the Buddha, "whether you
regard it from the male or from the female side, that it is the kshatriyas who are the
best people, and the Brahmins their inferiors." Similarly, the young Brahmin is forced
to admit that, if a Kshatriya is expelled by his fellows, the Brahmins will welcome
him as one of themselves, and he will rank as a full Brahmin; whereas an expelled
Brahmin is never received by the Kshatriyas. Hence, even when a Kshatriya is in the
depths of degradation, still it is true that the kshatriyas are the best people, and the
Brahmins their inferiors. But some Buddhists still opine that Brahmins are higher
than khattiyas because they are teacher with virtue, while khattiyas are proud of their
caste and also have conceit about their lineage. But one cannot say exactly that all
Brahmins are good and all khattiyas are bad because some khattiyas also have virtue
and become great patrons of Buddhism with deep devotion in India such as king
Pasenadi kosala, king Bimbisra and King Asoka were all supporters of Buddhism. In
Sri lanka king Dhammacet and king Vaddhagmin were good Buddhists who paid
much interest in reforming Buddhism. King Jayavaraman VII of Cambodia and his
queen were also good Buddhists and had built many religious shrines, schools, resting
halls, hospitals for monks and lay people throughout country which could be said
similarly to king Asokas achievements of India. King Mindon was one of kings in
Myanmar who could be said the greatest one had done many benefits for Buddhism,
and one of his achievements is the world biggest books pagoda where all Tipiakas
scriptures and commentaries were engraved on marble slabs at Kothadaw Phaya in
Mandalay division. That placed was held the fifth Buddhist synod of Myanmar in the
reign of King Mindon and it has been a crucial point of tourist site up to now for
many tourists and Buddhist pilgrims both inside and outside the country come to visit
there nearly every month of the year.
In this context, it is not attempted to exaggerate and be partial about khattiya
clans who just constructed monasteries, temples, pagodas and shrines for the sake of
religious or secular fields and glorify them as the highest caste, superior to Brahmin.
But what is said here is the fact that can be found by every one with proofs mentioned
in Theravda canonical texts as taught by the Buddha. As a matter of fact, Buddha
was born to highest caste; possess the best features, acquired perfect wisdom that
support to attain supremacy of all. But, for the caste, he neither praises nor likes it.
The Buddha never considers any one nobler or higher than the Dhamma. So he
respects Dhamma to be the highest thing and in the Dhamma there is no label of caste.

2.2 Brahmaathe Brahmin Caste
Brahmanism is an ancient religion in India which exists for time immemorial. It
seems the oldest religion of religions in the world.
For many scholars argued about the occurrence of Brahmanism. They said that
Brahmanism occurred before other religions, especially before Buddhism. Some said,
Brahmanism occurred before Buddhism only in the mandate of Gotamas religion, but
not before the religions of the formerly ancient Buddha who was millions of Buddha
appeared in the world earlier, while some others made comment that even many
Buddhas appeared in the long past period, but all Bodhisattas before becoming any
Buddha they, customary, had gone forth and learned some knowledge from Brahmins.
So they traditionally assumed that Brahmanism occurred before Buddhism in all
Maybe by this reason, just the Brahmins were proud to say that Brahmaa
caste is the highest one, born of Brahmas mouth, and they are immediate children of
Brahma. They say their gods are spontaneously born and live permanently in heaven.
They believe that their gods created the world and every thing as well.
Any way, whether which religions occurred first or after is not important. The
important thing is whether the religion talks about the truth or not. Truth must be
supported by proof. Truth has inference and perception as its cause. So if Brahmanism
talks about the truth with rationality no matter how it can be accepted without
However, according to Brahmanism or Hinduism, it is believed that the
whole world was created by Mahbrahma. This Mahbrahma has many
names such as, Isvra, Paramatma and Prajpati. Pati means creator or
master. Praj means creatures or living beings. So he is the master of
living beings because he created them. Paramatma is a Sanskrit or Hindu
term. In Pli it is Paramatta. When we divide this Paramatma into two
words, it is Parama and atma. Here parama means the noblest; the
holiest, atma means soul or self. So paramatma means the holiest
soul. Some translate this word as the big self or big soul. This soul is big
enough to create the world and living beings. When the condition of the
world was good enough for living beings to live in, he created all living
beingsmen, devas, Brahmas, and animals. He even created tigers, lions
and poisonous snakes, which are a great danger to man.

There is one more case for us to take into account concerning creator of the world.
Once, Anhapindika expressed a desire to hear a discourse on some religious subject.
The Blessed Lord responding to his wishes raised the question, who is
it that shapes our lives? Is it Ishvara, a personal creator? If Ishvara be
the maker, all living things should have silently to submit to their
makers power. They would be like vessels formed by potters hand. If
the world had been made by Ishvara there should be no such things as
sorrow, or calamity, or sin; for both pure and impure deeds must come
from him. If not, there would be another cause beside him, and he
would not be the self-existent one. Thus, you see, the thought of
Ishvara is overthrown.

Therefore, the acclamation of Brahmins based on this reason is not logical because
there is not enough proof so that it can be accepted by Buddha, cosmographers,
anthropologist, philosophers and many scientists in the world. One should find out
that if there is creator gods there must be another creator of gods. Nothing occurred
without cause and condition. There are no children without mother and father. Life
must be born of life. Man is generally born of man. Man must be able to see man face
to face.
In the same way, it should be reconsidered that Brahmas must be born of
Brahmas and must give birth to Brahmas, not man or any thing else. The effect must
go together with its cause. But Brahmins have wrong views about path to live in union
with their Brahma. They have confusion of their practice to attain the way to live with
Brahm. In Tevijja Sutta of Dgha Nikya, the Brahmins considered the threefold
knowledge as the way to Brahm. The story is as follows:
When our lord Buddha touring Kosala with a large company of some five
hundred monks. He came to a Kosalan Brahmin village called maasakaa, and stayed
to the north of the village in a mango-grove on the bank of River Acivarat.
At that time many very well-known and prosperous Brahmins were staying at
maasakaa, including Cank, Trukkha, Pokkharasat, jausson, and Toteyya. Their
two pupils named Vseha and Bhradvajja went strolling along the road, and as they
did so, and an argument broke out between them on the subject of right and wrong
paths. They said three Vedas are means to practice for going to the Brahm.
The young Brahmin Vseha said: This is the only straight path; this is the
direct path, the path of salvation that leads one who follows it to union with Brahma,
as taught by the Brahmin Pokkharast!, while the young Brahmin Bhradvja said:
This is the only straight path; this is the direct path, the path of salvation that leads
one who follows it to union with Brahma, as taught by the Brahmin Trukkha,!
In this argument, Vseha could not convince Bhradvja, nor could
Bhradvja convince Vseha. So they went to ask the Buddha in order to find
satisfactory resolution for them. Having exchanged courtesies with him, they sat
down to one side, and Vseha said: Reverend Gotama, as we were strolling along
the road, we got to discussing right and wrong paths. I said: this is the only straight
pathas is taught by the Brahmin Pokkharast, and Bhradvja said: this is the
only straight pathas is taught by the Brahmin Trukkha. This is our dispute, our
quarrel, our difference.
So, Vseha , you say that the way to union with Brahma is that taught by the
Brahmin Pokkharast, and Bhradvja says it is taught by the Brahmin Trukkha.
What is the dispute, the quarrel, the difference all about?
Right and wrong paths, Reverend Gotama. There are so many kinds of
Brahmins who teach different paths: the Addhariya, the Titthiriya, the Chandoka, the
Chandva, the Brahmachariya Brahminsdo all these ways lead to union with
Brahm? Just as if there were near a town or village many different pathsdo all
these come together at that place? And likewise, do the ways of the various
Brahmins lead the one who follows them to union with Brahma?
At that time, the Buddha asked, you say: they lead, Vseha? I say: they
lead, Reverend Gotama.
But, Vseha , is there then a single one of these Brahmins learned in the three
Vedas who has seen Brahma face to face? No, Reverend Gotama.
Then has the teachers teacher of any one of them seen Brahm face to face?
No, Reverend Gotama.
Then has the ancestor seven generations back of the teacher of one of them
seen Brahm face to face? No, Reverend Gotama.
Well then, Vseha, what about the early sages of those Brahmins learned in
the three Vedas, the makers of the mantras, the expounders of the mantras, whose
ancient verses are chanted, pronounced and collected by the Brahmins of today, and
sung and spoken about-such as Ahaka, Vmaka, Vmadeva, Vessmitta, Yamataggi,
Angirasa, Bhradvja, Vseha, Kassapa, Bhagudid they ever say we know and
see when, how and where Brahm appear? No, Reverend Gotama.
So, Vseha, not one of these Brahmins learned in the three Vedas has seen
Brahma face to face, nor has one of their teachers, or teachers teachers, nor even the
ancestor seven generations back of one of their teachers. Nor could any of the early
sages say: We know and see when, how and where Brahma appears. So what these
Brahmins learned in the three Vedas are saying is: We teach this path to union with
Brahma that we do not know or see, this is the only straight path.leading to union
with Brahma. What do you think, Vseha? Such being the case, does not what these
Brahmins declare turn out to be ill-founded? Yes indeed, Reverend Gotama.
In this case, Brahmins are in obscure opinions about their Brahma just as blind
men walk consecutively in queue the first persons never see Brahma, the persons who
walk in the middle never see the Brahma and the persons who walk last never see
Brahma same to each other, so too, the talks of Brahmins with three Vedas as the way
practice to Brahm are useless. So the Buddha said:
Well, Vseha , when these Brahmins learned in the three Vedas teach a
path that they do not know or see, saying: This is the only straight
path this cannot possibly be right. Just as a file of blind man go on,
clinging to each other, and the first one sees nothing, the middle one sees
nothing, and the last one sees nothing- so it is with the talk of these
Brahmins learned in the three Vedas: the first one sees nothing, the middle
one sees nothing, and the last one sees nothing. The talk of these Brahmins
learned in the three Vedas turns out to be laughable, mere words, empty
and vain.

Sometimes, someone loves somebody in some ways, but Love is impossible if
without understanding. One cannot love someone if one does not understand him or
her. If one does not understand and one loves, that is not love; it is something else.
The same thing, the Buddha went on to compare the case of Brahmin man who seeks
for love without knowing personal background of a girl he loves. To make this
clearer, he said to Vseha thus:
Vseha , it is just as if a man were to say: I am going to seek out and love
the most beautiful girl in the country. They might say to him: Do you
know what caste she belongs to? No. Well, do you know her name, her
clan, whether she is tall or short, dark or light-complexioned, or where
she comes from? No. And they might say: Well then, you dont know or
see the one you seek for and desire? and he would say No. Does not the
talk of that man turn out to be stupid? Certainly, Reverend Gotama.
Then, Vseha, it is like this: not one of these Brahminshas seen
Brahma face to face, nor has one their teachers Yes indeed, Reverend
That is right, Vseha . When these Brahmins learned in the three Vedas
teach a path that they do not know and see, this cannot be possibly be right.


Buddhism shows the way how one can become devas or Brahmas reasonably by
following Dhammas as taught by The Buddha and every one can practice those
Dhammas to attain such states. There is no discrimination of caste for if any one
wants to have good destination after death he can choose the way to practice by
In common words, it is said kings born of deity are called deities children.
Brahmins born of Brahmas are called Brahmas children. However, the Buddha
denied that in human world, they have never seen any deities, the kings of deities or
the Brahmas created human. He said, they see only human created human, having
their parents as human, suck their mothers bust, and eat human food, live in human
world and die as human. In medium words, the Buddha explained that if any man
endowed with Deva-dhamma, viz. saddh(conviction), sla(morality),cga (charity),
sutta (knowledge) and pa (wisdom) in his mind, he is changed from human into
deva and after death he will be reborn in deva world. If any man endowed with four
sublime states Dhammas: mett (loving-kindness), karun( compassion), mudit(
appreciated joy) and upekkh ( equanimity) in his mind he is changed from human
into Brahma. After death, he will be reborn in Brahma world.
In this sense, the Buddha said human must be created by human, not created
by any Brahma. But the consciousness (via) of Deva, Indra or Brahma can come
to take conception in human because the births of beings depending on three factors:
(1) mother and father have sexual intercourse, (2) mother has menstruation or menses
and (3) the energy of consciousness comes to take rebirth. In these ways, beings are
born from one existence to another with conditions of kamma and volitions as they
desire and perform accordingly According to the above evidences, they can say that
man can also become Brahmas like the Buddha say parents are the Brahmas of their
children because they have four sublime Dhammas upon their children. Parents are
former deities(pubba devas) of their children.... and man can even become king of
gods (indras) if he or she develops the mind up to maximum level by practicing the
Dhammas as shown by the Buddha. No caste distinction is concern. Many things in
this world are transposable or changeable. Depending on situation and circumstances
or certain factors, something can become something else, and somebody can become
somebody else. As it is seen in history of the world, for instance, farmers became
prime ministers or presidents. Vaiya or Sdra man became good leader of a country.
Furthermore, man became gods and gods became man and vice versa. That is
why; professor White Head, a well-known American philosopher affirmed that first
man created gods, and then gods created man. It means man first created gods in his
mind in accordance with his way of thinking. After that, man formed the personalized
features as gods and gave those personifications to mans personalities. Similarly,
when seeing many Buddhas relics enshrined in many places a common question was
asked are they real Buddhas relics? some ordinary Buddhists may say, if we
believe in Buddha, then the Buddha will come to exist in our mind. Some westerners
and also some members of other religions said, if we do not believe in gods, there is
nothing to believe. We will never go to hell because of not believing in God. To
believe God without using our common sense is not good. Some religious members
are afraid of going to hell if they do not believe in God. A philosopher says, God
maybe dead, because when I pray for blessing and happiness, he never answers me.
So, we should try to see things as they truly are; because we have eyes to see and have
mind to think.
A well known American rationalist, who lived a long time ago, once said
that to his observation, he would prefer to go to hell rather than heaven,
because of the concept maintained by some religionists that, all
intellectuals, scholars, scientists, psychologists, free-thinkers, rationalists,
including the Buddha, were all in hell as they did not believe in their God.
He said that in that case, if he happened to go to Heaven, he would feel out
of place there without any intellectuals, and heaven would be a very dull

So, we common Buddhists believe many things even gods, but Buddhist concept on
gods is different from other religions. However, true Buddhists believe nothing but
cause and effect, kamma and its result, etc., with rationality. They believe or accept
what is truth. They disagree to accept blind belief. Buddhists understand that to hold
wrong view or superstitious belief is very dangerous to the world and invite a lot of
troubles to human society including caste prejudice is one of them which are termed
as high or low respectively.

2.3 Vessathe merchant caste
Vessa is Pli word, in Sanskrit is Vaiya. Vessa caste is viewed as the third caste. It
was also an important caste in India.
Obviously, khattiya caste, Brahmaa- caste, and one more of the four castes is
Chandla-the outcaste which is considered as untouchable or out of touch by society.
These castesmany sources are available in sutta Piaka and Jtaka stories, while
vessa-the merchant caste and Sudda-the labour castes are not easily found in major
canonical Theravda texts.
For merchant caste is the third highest in ritual status of the four varas, or
social classes, of Hindu India, is traditionally described as commoners. Legend states
that the varas (or colours) sprang from Prajpati, a creator godin order of status,
the Kshatriya (red) from his arms, the Brahman (white) from his head, the , the
Vaishya (yellow) from his thighs, and the Sdra (black) from his feet. The yellow
colour associated with the Vaishya, according to one theory, links them with the south
point of the compass. The Vaishya were commoners, not servile groups. Their role lay
in productive labour, in agricultural and pastoral tasks, and in trading. Their way of
life demanded study, sacrifice, and the giving of alms. Early scriptures show that
Vaishya could and did rise even to the rank of Brahman.
The Vaishya shares with the two higher classes, the priestly Brahman and the
authoritative Kshatriya, the distinction of being dvija, or twice-born, achieving their
spiritual rebirth when they assume the sacred wool thread at the Upanayana
ceremony. The Vaishya are credited in history with favouring the rise of the reformist
religious beliefs of Buddhism and Jainism. In modern times, the Vaishya class has
become a symbol of middle-class respectability and prestige; it is a stepping-stone
used by people to raise their status in the system through modified behaviour and the
adoption of more prestigious caste names.

2.4 Sudda- the labour or servant caste
Sudda caste, generally from viewpoints of some people in some other countries in the
world, is considered as low one.
For people belong to this caste are normally not in friendly associated by
others. Through actual aspects of human society, many persons like to look down on
people belonging to this caste so much because they think that those persons do dirty
and vulgar jobs.
According to Brahmanism, sudda caste is the fourth and lowest of the
traditional varas, or social classes, of Hindu India, traditionally artisans and
labourers. The term does not appear in the earliest Vedic literature. In its first
application it probably included all conquered peoples of the Indus civilization as they
were assimilated as menials to the three-class society of the Kshatriyas (nobles and
warriors)Brahmans (priests and teachers), and Vaishya (merchants). Sdras are not
permitted to perform the upanayana initiatory rite, which introduces members of the
three upper classes to the study of the Vedas (earliest sacred literature) and gives them
their status as dvija (twice-born). Sdra are the members of which were segregated
as ritually unclean by the other castes because they performed tasks that were
regarded as polluting.
The Sdra vara includes a wide spectrum of endogamous status groups with
dominant, landowning groups at one end of the scale and near-untouchables at the
other. These variations derive from the Hindu belief that certain behaviour patterns
and occupations are polluting, a concept that gave rise to a distinction between
clean and unclean Sdra groups; for example, washers, tanners, shoemakers,
sweepers, and scavengers were once relegated to untouchability . As evidence of
group mobility in the caste system, some observers have pointed out that many castes
claiming Kshatriya and Vaishya status gradually emerged from the Sdra class.

2.5 Castes, their roles and duties in society
Nothing is wrong for roles and duties of human beings in service for prosperous life.
A) The role and duty of Khattiya caste
The explanation of roles and duties of each caste could be different in opinions from
one to another according to the views of Hinduism and Buddhism as relevant to
situations and the facts in the ancient time and nowadays are also different.
So the determination of roles and duties of khattiya caste are explained in such
way. From Hindu point of view, the system of the four varas was said to have been
created by Krishn or called Vishnu. The works of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas,
and Shudras are different, in harmony with the three powers of their born nature.

The Khattiyas were born of his arms and the meanings of being born in this way were
determined by Krishna as follows.
Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity
and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the kshatriyas.
The kshatriyas are the warriors and administrators of society. Their role is
illustrated by the Rig Veda description of their origin in the arms of the Purusha,
indicating a propensity towards action. Far from a mindless warrior or soldier of
fortune, the kshatriya was a fighter whose martial skills were tempered by his
education in the Vedas. His duty was for the protection of all people and the
enforcement of justice as stated in Manu Dharma Shastra, (The law of Manu).
The protection of all should be just and lawfully made by a Kshatriya (king),
initiated with all the initiatory rites inculcated in the Vedas, according to the laws of
his own realm and in the exercise of the functions peculiar to his own order.
The king is considered respectable even as an infant, and his wrath is
compared to an all consuming fire. His inability to enforce the law and inflict
punishment where it is due is said to lead to an anarchy in which the strong will
torment the weak. The Kshatriya who is acting in concordance with the teachings of
sstra is alone capable of properly exercising the rod of punishment. Still, in spite of
all these praises, even the noble and powerful Kshatriya must respect and obey the
Brahmanas. His power must be put in check by humility, and he must learn from the
Brahmanas about the Vedas, law, logic, and economic disciplines. The Kshatriya was
required to be a master of his senses and avoid vices that originate from lust lest he
risk his doom.

From Buddhist point of view, the khattiyas (kings) also has moral laws to
abide by and practice them for his duty in the name of king or ruler. The Buddha had
given ten rules for good rulers, known as Dasa Raja Dharma. These ten rules can be
applied even today by king or any government which wishes to rule the country
peacefully. They are of ten as follows:
1. be liberal and avoid selfishness,
2. maintain a high moral character,
3. be prepared to sacrifice ones own pleasure for the well-being of the subjects,
4. be honest and maintain absolute integrity,
5. be kind and gentle,
6. lead a simple life for the subjects to emulate,
7. be free from hatred of any kind,
8. exercise non violence,
9. practice patience, and
10. Respect public opinion to promote peace and harmony.

So if one analyzes what was taught in the Law of Manu seems encourage cruelty or
violence towards man and man for it required the kshatriya must learn to fight to
protect all people in his kingdom, and he is educated in Veda. According to this law
mentioned that the protection done by Kshatriya must be just and lawfully. But
throughout history of mankind, the justices in wars are rarely seen. Like
Socrates (469-399BC), Greek philosopher says if you want to find justice, look into
the sky. In this sense, he wanted to mean that no justice at all. It is justice for one
group, but injustice for another one else. It can be said, for justices, are not found
everywhere not even in the fighting or the wars. Generally, justices are not easily seen
in the laws made by ordinary men whose minds still overwhelmed by defilements
(kilesas). Even though many countries in the world have ministry of justice, but
sometimes justices are not found there.
Mahatma Gandhi said, Truth never takes side with injustice. He also said
Truth is God, but God is not the truth. However, our Lord Buddha had found the
truths, called Four Noble Truths whose mind was free from all defilements. Whatever
laws or rules laid down by him are never out of date. Those laws or rules are
effectively put into practice all the times. One of examples, Dasa Raja Dhammas as
aforesaid is really good laws that should be followed by king or any ruler to lead
country righteously or by means of real justice.
In Buddhism, cruelty, violence, killing or any injury are not encouraged but
love and compassion. As said in a certain Buddhist text that Buddha is a real
superman. He is very strong and powerful. Nobody in this world can harm or kill him.
Although he is very good at martial arts for fighting, but he never wants to fight any
one or even kill animals.
Buddha was born in royal family. In the old time, kings or princes were
traditionally taught in accordance with Veda in Brahmin tradition. Once Buddha was
prince Siddhatha, questions on duty of kshatriya was put to him by friends, his step
mother, pajpati gotam and Senpat. But all were rejected by him because the reason
explained on duty of king did not appeal to his mind. One can realize the true nature
of Buddha by his high consideration as follows:
He belongs to a warrior class and had been taught archery and the use of
weapons. But he did not like causing unnecessary injury. He refused to
join hunting parties. His friends used to say: Are you afraid of tigers?
He used to retort by saying, I know you are not going to kill tigers, you
are going to kill harmless animals such as deer and rabbits.
If not for hunting, come to witness how accurate is the aim of your
friends, they said. Even such invitations Siddharth refused, saying; I do
not like to see the killing of innocent animals.
Prajpati Gautam was deeply worried over this attitude of Siddharth. She
used to argue with him saying: You have forgotten that you are a
Kshatriya and fighting is your duty. The art of fighting can be learned only
through hunting for only by hunting can you learn how to aim accurately.
Hunting is a training ground for the warrior class.
Siddharth often used to ask Gautam: But, mother, why should a
Kshatriya fight? And Gautam used to reply: Because it is his duty.
Siddharth was never satisfied by her answer. He used to ask Gautam:
Tell me, how it can be the duty of man to kill man? Gautam argued,
Such an attitude is good for an ascetic. But Kshatriya must fight. If they
do not, who will protect the kingdom?
But, mother! If all Kshatriyas loved one another, would they not be able
to protect their kingdom without resort to killing? Gautam had to leave
him to his own opinion.

Again, the same case was not convinced, Mr. Senpat also helps to remind
Siddharttha Gautama of the duty of the king that must be abided by that is to fight for
the sake of protecting the kingdom. According to him in the time of war, the king
must fight using whatever means either good or bad is possible. It is like the tactic
which popularly used by politicians in political affairs. They think only about the win-
win policy. They do no care about what is right, what is wrong or what is good or
what is bad.
The Senpat encountered the plea urged by Sitharttha Gautama.
He stressed that in war the kshatriyas cannot make a distinction
between relations and strangers. They must fight even against
brothers for the sake of their kingdom.
Performing sacrifices is the duty of the Brahmins, fighting is the
duty of the Kshatriyas, trading is the duty of the Vaishas and
service is the duty of the Sdras. There is merit in each class
forming its duty. Such is the injunction of our Shastras. Siddhartha
replied: Dharma, as I understand it, consists in recognizing that
enmity does not disappear by enmity. It can be conquered by love

Problems in society are generally solved in many ways as possibly can. Sometimes it
is solved by means of law, and sometimes by force, need not be considered of
friendship. Napoleon said friendship is just a word; I do not care about it. But the
Buddhas way in solving the problems is not like this. He solves problems by peaceful
means based on laws, disciplines to maintain friendship and fraternity.

B) The role and duty of Brahmaa caste
Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom
and religiousness these are the natural qualities by which the Brhmaas work.
The Brahmaas are said to have been created from the face of the original
Purusha. As the spiritual teachers of society, the Brahmins enjoyed the highest
degree of respect from the other three classes of society. In the Bhagavata Purana, Sri
Vishnu, the deity identified as Supreme Godhead in the Vaishnava traditions of
Hinduism, says that the Brahmaas are the most beloved, that he enjoys the eating
through the mouths of the Brahmaas who are devoted to him, and that the
Brahmaas are his very body. He is captivated by those who show respect to the
Brahmaas, even when the Brahmaas utter harsh words, trying to pacify them with
the thinking that Brahmaas are the Lord's very Self.

Brahman (social class), also spelled Brahmin, name of the sacerdotal, or
highest, class (vara) in the system of Hinduism. Brahman is the masculine form of
the neuter noun Brahman, cosmic revelation. This revelation is the responsibility of
the Brahman priest and, by extension, of the entire priestly class. According to the
Rig-Veda, the task of the Brahman is to relate knowledge (vidy). The primary
activities of these priestly elite are the study and teaching of the Veda and the

C) The role and duty of Vessa caste

Vessa caste is the third of the four Hindu castes, the members of which were
traditionally merchants and farmers.
Not only in India, but every country in the world have merchants or traders
and farmers. The merchant and traders are synonymously used words in meaning,
but different in function and scale. The word merchant is explained as commercial
dealer or somebody who buys and sells goods, especially as a wholesaler or
internationally, while trader is somebody trading in goods who buys and sells retail
goods or in other words, somebody who deals in stocks or securities, especially
somebody who tries to profit by making frequent deals, each netting a small profit.
Agriculture is the monitor of undeveloped country depending on farmers. For
developed countries are involved in industrial power. However, merchandizing and
agriculture are still essential factors in developing the economy of the countries. Some
countries foreign trade is the mainstay of economy. So, the role of merchants or
traders is to do business and they must study to acquire knowledge and skill or
positive attitude concerning it or else they cannot run their business or trade
successfully on both local and international scene.
To be merchants or traders must have capacity. It means they must have
capital to do it. They must also be qualified, brave and clever while they are
merchandizing or trading. For example, if one is a vendor one should prepare well
both physical and mental attitude. He or she should learn how to speak and how to
smile. Chinese people are good at doing business or trading. Therefore, there is a
Chinese proverb says if you do not know how to smile, please do not open shop to sell
goods yet. In the Buddhas life time, Tapossa and Bhallika, two merchant brothers
and were also good devoted Buddhists.
Some persons say that most of people in Buddhist countries are poor. But
actually, people are not poor because of professing Buddhism. If they are poor
because of Buddhism, why people who are Buddhists in Thailand, China, Korea and
Japan are rich? In this case, some people are poor because of their laziness in doing
business or earning their livelihood or the other reason maybe, but not because of
Buddhism. Generally, in Buddhism, Buddha also encouraged lay people regardless of
caste system to earn their livings by merchandizing, trading or doing business to lead
happily and economically family lives.

The Buddha pointed out that professions should not be regarded as hight
or low as long as they do not damage the society. He also pointed out that
no profession should be kept or monopolised by a particular group of
people. If someone was qualified and trained for a particular job they
should be employed regardless of their caste or position in society.

However, some trades are considered illegally according to social laws such as trade
in addicted drugs; trade in human beings and so on. For religious laws in Buddhism,
also, the Buddha expounded to avoid five kinds of trade. He said: Monks, these five
trades ought not to be practised by a lay disciple. What five? Trade in weapons, trade
in human beings, trade in flesh, trade in spirits and trade in poison.

Besides these five kinds of trade, Buddha encouraged lay people to acquire
knowledge and skills and to be energetic by working hard and apply themselves to
their duties and making an honest living in earn their wealth called uhna sampad
in P. He also taught us how to keep the earned wealth properly (in P, called
rakkha sampad). He advises lay people not to spend on unnecessary things, not to
gamble, not to indulge in women. Buddha preached in Parbhava sutta,
that if any
man, being a rogue with women, drink, and dice, squanders whatever he has received,
that is the cause of the unsuccessful man. He taught how to associate with good
friends, called kalyamittat. He wants ones to know how to discern which people
are worth associating with and which not, and does not associate with or emulate
those who would lead him downward, but associate with, studies and emumulates
people who are learned, worthy, capable, honourable and endowed with qualities that
are helpful to his livelihood. He expounded that lay people should know how to live
with balanced life, called sama jvit. They should try to work, try to earn wealth and
try to improve their living standard. The expenditures should not be used more than
the incomes. They should try to regain whatever wealth that lost by any danger. They
should repair the broken property, instruments and material things. By doing so, they
can manage to live with balanced life.
Some people said that doing business or trade if they do not cheat others they
cannot become rich man quickly. Of course to earn living they must get profits from
their profession because they also spend their capitals and the working force. If they
do not gain any profit; so what the use of doing business is. But in this case the
merchants or businessmen should not overcharge the prices from the customers. For
example, if they bought a good at the price of one dollar they should sell out to others
at the price of one dollar and half. For that half dollar is a profit gained by the strength
of their sweat and blood.
A monk in Cambodia gave Dhamma talk that an old woman observes eight
precepts besides Buddhist Sabbath day she sells cigarettes. One day a man came to
buy her cigarette. He asked how much a cigarette is. At that time, the old woman
replied it is three hundred Riel. Actually, she knows that one cigarette is only two
hundred Riel, but she said three hundred. The man was surprised at her and said,
ouch! It is very expensive. Then the old woman said the price of cigarette is now
In his Dhamma talk the monk explained that the old woman broke one of her
precepts according to musvda sikkhpada because she cheated the customer
Buddhism teaches people to do business or to trade by righteous means, not by
cheating or lying others, especially those who observe the precepts. Similarly,
ordinary person or those who does not observe the precepts also should not lie or
cheat a monk, a Brahmin or even a beggar if he or she wants to become a successful
merchant, trader or businessman in this very life as well as the life to come. In
Aguttara Nikya, Venerable Srputta wondered why some person is successful in
trading, while some is in a failure, and so he asked the Buddha four questions
concerning trade. The four questions are:
Pray, lord, what is the reason, what is the cause why such and such a trade
practised by some person turns out a failure? Again, lord, what is the
reason, what is the cause why such and such a trade practised by some
person does not turn out as he intended? Pray, lord, what is the reason why
such and such a tradeturn out as he intended? Again, lord, what is the
reason, what is the cause why such and such a trade practised by some
person prospers beyond his intention?

Relevant to the above questions which were asked by Venerable Srputta
immediately the Buddha gave him beautiful answers with good and reliable reasons
about the past action done by some person related with the present result that should
be considered by merchants or traders even in our modern day. He answered thus:
In this matter, Srputta, (suppose) someone comes to a recluse or
brhmin and make him an offer, saying: Sir, say what you want by way
of support. But he does not give him what he offered. If this man
deceases from that life and returns to this sort of life, whatever trade he
may practise, it turns out a failure.
Again, in this matter, Srputta , suppose someone comes to a recluse or
brhmin and makes him an offerre, saying: Sir, say what you want by
way of support. But he does not give him what he intended to give. Then,
if this man deceases from that life and returns to this sort of life, whatever
trade he may practise, it does not turn out as he intended.
Then, again, Srputta, suppose someone comes to a recluse or brhmin
and makes him a similar offerand gives him what he intended to give.
Then, if this man deceases whatever trade he may practise turns out as
he intended.
Once more, Srputta, suppose someone comes to a recluse or brhmin
and makes him a similar offerand gives him more than he intended to
give. Then, if this man deceases from that life and returns to this sort of
life, whatever trade he may practise, it prospers beyond his intention.
This, Srputta , is the reason, this is the cause why such and such a trade
practised by some person turns out a failuredoes not turn out as he
intendeddoes turn out as he intendedprospers beyond his intention.

A real business success should be acted in moral way. It is not dependent on cheating,
lying or gaining much profit from others without consideration. Concerning doing
business, Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the kingdom of Cambodia once said, take
little, but take a lot. It means when doing business one should not take too high price
from the clients if he or she wants them to come and buy a lot of goods or things from
his or her place.
People in business should also know what real success is. Success in
business or economics is not merely satisfying the desires of people but to
bring about well-being of mankind. The issue is a challenge to the
business community. Highest gain in profit does not equate to a success;
true success is the increase of well-being of humanity.

So, businessmen should adopt proper policy in doing business. They should do it by
righteous means between the businessmen and the customers to make both sides
profitable and able to live happy life in this human world.
D) The role and duty of Sudda caste
Generally it is said labor and service to others are the role and duty of Sudra caste.
In India anciently people belonging to Sdra groups were considered as the
lowest caste. They worked hard as a slave, but got little salary. Mostly their works
were not given value by society. Some worked as servants cleaning the soles of the
people in other higher castes. Sometimes, they were scolded like animals and such
thing exists in some parts of India even today.
Even though Hindu belief that certain behaviour patterns and occupations are
polluting, a concept that gave rise to a distinction between clean and unclean
Sdra groups; for example, washers, tanners, shoemakers, sweepers, and scavengers
were once relegated to untouchability. Hindu, however, should think that there is no
work that is not needed in this world. All works should be given values and salaries in
accordance with the capability of the workers.
One should not be crippled even one still has legs and arms. To be a person with job
to do is better than a person with nothing to do. To be a person with low- salary job to
do is better than to be a beggar. So Hindu or whosoever that belong to any caste
whether high or low, rich or poor should not look down on any kind of work.
Voltaire, (1694-1778), French writer and philosopher wrote, work is the life of
human or life is work, work is life. Work or job should not be considered as
vulgar. In some countries, for instance, street workers get high-paid salary from
government. Many people miss the chance to get such kind of job to do.
In this modern time, people work hard to promote their lifestyle from the poor
to the rich. By exerting strong effort, one cans change even the label of ones caste
from sdra to Vaishya or from Vaishya to the Kshatriya or the ruler. As it has been
obviously seen in human history many world greatest leaders are from low caste.
They can say that work is the fate of human, but the fate is sometimes impermanent.
So they should not forget the poor when they became rich. They should not forget the
subjects when they became the world famous rulers. The poor as well as the subjects
also have hearts as every one. Man is not an abstract individual. Whatever work done
by individual is functionally important. All men in society are dependently related to
one another. Therefore, they should not look down on each other. In stead, they
should pity and help each other rather than hate. Like a phrase of Cambodian poem
The rich protect the poor,
Like the clothes protect the body.
The wise protect the foolish,
Like the junk protected by the sampan.
Anyway, if they all practise well according to their role and duty there will be
problems in society whether khattiya, brahmana, Vaishya or sdra or not.
Furthermore, not only that should be. Men are social beings. So they have to follow
the law, role and duty respectively. For example, the teacher ought to practise the role
and duty of the teacher, the students ought to practise the role and duty of the
students, the children ought to practise the role and duty of children, the master ought
to practise the role and the duty of the master and the servants ought to practise the
role and duty of the servants, etc. All these roles and duties were instructed by
Buddha in Siglaka Sutta, in which one of them, that is, the role and duty of master
and the role and duty of servants are mentioned here. According to Buddha, there are
five ways in which a master should minister to his servants and workpeople as

By arranging their work according to their strength, by supplying them
with food and wages, by looking after them when they are ill, by sharing
special delicacies with them, and by letting them of work at the right time.
And there are five ways in which servants and workpeople, thus
ministered to by their master:
They will get up before him, go to bed after him, take only what they are
given, do their work properly, and be bearers of praise and good repute.

Truly speaking, the roles or duties that the Buddha had instructed in Siglaka Sutta
are not only useful for people in his time, but also they are still valid for people in this
modern day to follow. Today, garment factories, companies and many institutions
both state and private sectors of some countries in the world, mostly in Buddhist
countries or even non-Buddhist ones still apply the method of role and duty in the five
ways as advised by Buddha to Sigla youth in the very Siglaka Sutta.

Chapter III: The Problems of Castes in Human Society
The world has a lot of problems if the world has not problems it is not called the
world. Caste is one of problems in this world. The adoption of caste system brings
about many problems and obstacles to prosperity both material and spiritual
developments of humankind in society and the whole world as well.

3.1 caste and inequality
Wherever there is caste, there is inequality and wherever there is inequality there is
conflict and the pursuit of equality.
In Hinduism claim that Mahbrahma, Mahprajpati created all living
beingshuman, animals and so forth. First when he created all living beings have no
soul, no lives. They are like corpse able to move, walk, sit or stand, and then the
Mahbrahma put his soul into them. So they have lives and can move, walk, sit, stand.
By this reason, some scholars criticized that if Mahbrahma put his soul into all
living beings, why he discriminated the beings he created in terms of superiority and
inferiority based on inequality like this. If so, it means that he looks down on his own
soul for it is from him and if inside the body of all beings consist of his soul, why all
living beings are not equally important to him.
This is one reason to be considered about the five rules in Brahmin caste:
The Brahmin had not only a theory of an ideal religion as contained in the Vedas but
they also had a theory for an ideal society.
The pattern of this ideal society they named chaturvarna, or catu vanna. It is
imbedded in the Vedas and as the Vedas are infallible and as their authority cannot be
questioned so also Charturvarna as a pattern of society was binding and
unquestionable. This pattern of society was based upon certain rules. The first rule
was that society should be divided into four classes: (1) Brahmin; (2) Kshatriya; (3)
Vaishya; and (4) Shudras. The second rule was that there cannot be social equality
among these four classes. They must be bound together by the rule of graded
inequality. The Brahmin is to be at the top, the kshatriyas to be kept below the
Brahmins, but above the Vaishya, the Vaishya to be below the kshatriyas but above
the Shudra and Shudras to be the lowest of all.
These four classes were not to be equal to one another in the matter of rights
and privileges. The rule of graded inequality governed the question of rights and
The Brahmins had all the rights and privileges which he wished to claim. But
a Kshatriya could not claim the rights and privileges which a Brahmin could. He had
more rights and privileges than a Vaishya could claim. The Vaishya had more rights
and privileges than a Shudra. But he could not claim the rights and the privileges
which a Kshatriya could. And the Shudra was not entitled to any right, much less any
privileges. His privilege was to subsist without offending the three superior classes.
The third rule of Charturvarna related to the division of occupations. The
occupation of the Brahmin was learning and teaching and performance of religious
observances. The occupation of the Kshatriya was fighting. Trade was assigned to the
vaishyas. The occupations of the Shudras were service of the three superior classes.
These occupations assigned to different classes were exclusive. One class could not
trespass upon the occupation of the other.
The fourth rule of Charturvarna related to the right to education. The pattern
of Charturvarna gave the right to education to the first three classes, the Brahmins,
the kshatriyas and vaishyas. The Shudras were denied the right to education. This rule
of Charturvarna did not deny the right to education to the Shudras only. It denied the
right to education to all women including those belonging to the class of Brahmins,
kshatriyas and vaishyas.
There was a fifth rule. According to it, mans life was divided into four stages.
The first stage was called brahmacharya; the second stage was called
Grahastashram; the third stage was called Vanaprasta and the fourth stage was called
Sannayasa. The object of the first stage was study and education. The object of the
second stage was to live a married life. The object of the third stage was to familiarise
a man with a life of a hermit, i.e., severing family ties, but without deserting his home.
The object of the fourth stage was to enable a man to go in search of God and seek
union with him.
The benefits of these stages were open only to the male member of the three
superior classes. The first stage was not open to the Shudras and women. Equally the
last stage was not open to the Shudras and women.
Such was the divine pattern of an ideal society called Chatturvarna. The
Brahmins had idealised the rule and had realised the ideal without leaving any cracks
or loopholes. The fourth thesis of Brahminic philosophy was the doctrine of Karma. It
was part of the thesis of transmigration of the soul. The Karma of the Brahmins was
an answer to the question: Where did the soul land on transmigration with his new
body on new birth? The answer of the Brahminic Philosophy was that it depended on
a mans deeds in his past life. In other words, it depended on his Karma.
The Buddha was strongly opposed to the first tenet of Brahmanism. He
repudiated their thesis that the Vedas are infallible and their authority could never be
questioned. In his opinion, nothing was infallible and nothing could be final.
Everything must be open to re-examination and reconsideration whenever grounds for
re-examination and reconsideration arise.
Man must know the truth and real truth. To him freedom of thought was the
most essential thing. And he was sure that freedom of thought was the only way to the
discovery of truth. Infallibility of the Vedas meant complete denial of freedom of
thought. For these reasons this thesis of the Brahmanic Philosophy was not abnoxious
to him. He was an equally an opponent of the second thesis of the Brahmnic
Philosophy. The Buddha did admit that there was any virtue in a sacrifice. But he mad
a distinction between true sacrifice and false sacrifice. Sacrifice in the sense of self-
denial for the good of others he called true sacrifice. Sacrifice in the sense of killing
an animal as an offering to God for personal benefit he regarded as a false sacrifice.
The Brahmanic sacrifices ware mostly sacrifices of animals to please their gods. He
condemned them as false sacrifices. He would not allow them even though they are
performed with the object of getting salvation for the soul.
The opponents of sacrifices used to ridicule the Brahmins by saying: If one
can go to heaven by sacrificing an animal why should not one sacrifice ones own
father. That would be a quicker way of going to heaven. The Buddha wholeheartedly
agreed with this view. The theory of Chaturvarna was as repugnant to the Buddha as
the theory of sacrifices was repulsive to him. The organisation of society set up by
Brahmanism in the name of Chaturvarna did not appear to him a natural organisation.
Its class composition was compulsory and arbitrary. It was a society made to order.
He preferred an open society and a free society. The Chaturvarna of the Brahmins
was a fixed order never to be changed. Once, a Brahmin is always a Brahmin. Once, a
Kshatriya always a Kshatriya, Once, a Vaishya is always a Vaishya and once a
Shudra always a Shudra. Society was based on status conferred upon an individual by
the accident of his birth. Vice, however heinous, was no ground for degrading a man
from his status, and virtue, however great, had not value to raise him above it. There
was no room for worth nor for growth.
Inequality exists in every society. But it was different with Brahmanism. The
inequality preached by Brahmins was its official doctrine. It was not a mere growth.
Brahmanism did not believe in equality. In fact, it was opposed to equality.
Brahmanism was not content with inequality. The soul of Brahmanism lay in graded
inequality. Far from producing harmony, graded inequality, the Buddha thought,
might produced in society an ascending scale of hatred and a descending scale of
contempt, and might be a source of perpetual conflict.
The occupations of the four classes were also fixed. There was no freedom of
choice. Besides, they were fixed not in accordance with skill but in accordance with
birth. On a careful review of the rules of Chaturvarna the Buddha had no difficulty in
coming to the conclusion that the philosophic foundations on which the social order
was reared by the Brahmanism were wrong if not selfish. It was clear to him that it
did not serve the interests of all; much less did it advance the welfare of all. Indeed, it
was deliberately designed to make many serve the interests of the few. In it man was
made to serve a class of self-styled supermen. It was calculated to suppress and
exploit the weak and to keep them in a state of complete subjugation.
The law of Karma as formulated by the Brahmins, thought the Buddha, was
calculated to sap the spirit of revolt completely. No one was responsible for the
suffering of man except he himself. Revolt could not alter the state of suffering; for
suffering was fixed by his past Karma as his lot in this life. The Shudras and women-
the two classes whose humanity was most mutilated by Brahmanism had no power to
rebel against the system. They were denied the right to knowledge with the result that
by reason of their enforced ignorance they could realize what had made their
condition so degraded. They could not know that Brahmanism had robbed them
completely of the significance of their life. Instead of rebelling against Brahmanism
they had become the devotees and upholders of Brahmanism.

The hierarchy of caste imposed by the Brahmins on society divided humans
into mutually exclusive units as if generally determined. Intermarriage between any
two castes were taboo and heavy penalties were imposed on both partners.
Exploitation and discrimination against the lower caste therefore resulted in denying
many ways:

1) the denial of political opportunities
2) the denial of economic opportunities
3) the denial of social opportunities
4) the denial of educational opportunities
5) the denial of religious freedom
6) the denial of justice and equality before the law.

The practical outcome of such beliefs and attitudes was, in the case of racism,
discrimination against and the exploitation of the lower castes. If we may follow the
items we listed under racism we can speak of:

1. The denial of equality of political opportunity. It was unthinkable, in the
opinion of the higher castes, that the members of the lower castes
should be considered fit to govern and administer the country (the duty of
the ksatriyas) or to render the rulers advice (the duty of the Brahmins).
Even if a Sudra mentions the name and class of the twice-born arrogantly,
an iron nail ten fingers long shall be thrust red hot into his mouth. If he
proudly teaches Brahmins (priests) their duty the king shall cause hot oil
to be poured into his mouth and into his ears. But no reciprocal
punishments are prescribed for Brahmins who follow mean occupations.

2. The denial of equality of economic opportunity. In ancient India,
especially in those regions where Brahminism most strongly prevailed, the
Sudra was not only considered the serant of another but also regarded as
one who could be expelled at will and slain at will, thus showing that he
had no rights to property or even life against the king. The laws of Manu
says a Sudra, whether bought or unbought, maybe compelled to do
servile work; for he was created by Self-Existent to be the slave of a
Brahmin. Servitude was regarded as an innate quality of the Sudra who is
incapable of altering his genetic constitution, which makes him so. A
Sudra, though emancipated by his master is not released from servitude;
since that is innate in him, who can set him free from it?

3. The denial of equality of social opportunity. A man born to be a slave
and a servant of another cannot expect to receive any social opportunities
for self-advancement and amelioration. Education was denied him. A
Brahmin who instructs Sudra pupils was penalized. Brahmins should not
even recite the texts in the presence of Sudras. There is no objection to
Sudra imitating the practice of virtuous men, but they should do so
without reciting sacred texts. The rules of untouchability prevented the
Sudra from being at ease in his social environment; free access to wells
and sometimes even the use of roads was denied to him.

4. The denial of religious freedom. A Brahmin who explains the sacred
law to a Sudra or dictates to him a penance will sink together with that
man into the hell called Asamvrta. Not only was the Sudra (outcast)
denied access to religious instruction, he had no right, unlike the superior
castes (i.e., Brahmins, Ksatriyas and Vaisyas), to be anitiated or to have
religious seremonies performed for him. Denied access to sacred
knowledge and the right to perform religious seremonies for himself, it
was, according to some of the Early Brahmanical accounts, unimaginable
that a Sudra should attain salvation. The refusal of temple entry to Sudras
is a mong the consequences of a restrictive policy which denied religious
participation to the Sudras.

5. the denial of equality before the law. Both in the criminal and civil
procedures there was unequal treatment meted out to the Sudra, who had
to undergo greater disabilities than his fellow men of the higher castes. A
Sudra committing homicide or theft sufferred confiscation of his property
and capital punishment, but a Brahmin was only blinded for such crimes.
Even in matters outside the criminal law, we find, for instance, that the
rate of interest charged was disproportionately high for a Sudra, although
he was a poorest in the social scale. Vasistha states that two, three, four,
five, in the hundred is declared in the Smrti to be monthly interest
according to castes.
If we compare the beliefs, attitudes and modes of discrimination and
exploitation embodies of racism with the corresponding beliefs, attitudes
and practices of caste prejudice and discrimination, it will thus be seen
that the analogy between the two is a particularly close one.

For Buddhism states that ignorance is the root of all evils. In Buddhism, the Buddha
did not want all human either men or women to become his disciples blindly without
questioning or investigating his teachings. They can study and observe carefully
before they believe in Buddhism. No one is deprived of right and privilege to do so.
Some persons said what the use of demanding right is if one cannot know and
maintain the right. The rules of Brahmanism towards shudras and women are injustice
and women or people belong to this caste are lost freedom of capacity. Capacity
without freedom is meaningless, and such society will become puppet because men
have no right of choice to do any work as they wish.
Buddhism is a religion of choice, a religion of freedom of thought and justice.
The right to belief, education and equality, etc., in Buddhism is open to all mankind
both men and women in the world. For men and women are equally important to
Buddhism. Caste system is not a main target of Buddhism. Mindfulness, wisdom and
also effort are neither men nor women.
the essence of life is not based on caste or
any gender.

Needless to mention of caste, colour, race or creed, all men and women have
equal right to spiritual growth according to Buddhism. Like human right claims all
human are equally in front of law. It means all men both genders equal right for
intellectual force, not physical force. For physical forces men and women can be
different from one to another. Men are mostly stronger than women in the province
of physical force. But for intellectual force both men and women are equally in
quality. For example, a man is able to be prime minister in a country. A woman also
can become a prime minister if she is qualified for that position in the sense of
intellectual force. Therefore, Buddhism and human right encourage equality and
upgrade moral and spiritual development. Caste prejudice and inequality bring about
nothing but suffering to human kind.

3.2 caste system, religious conflict, conversion and social reformers
Caste system must be socially influenced and it can lead to religious and socio-
political conflicts and cause disharmony in society. The caste system has also been
criticized by many Indian social reformers both in the past as well as today.
Some reformers, such as Jyotirao Phule and Iyothee Thass argued that the
lower caste people were the original inhabitants of India, and were conquered in the
ancient past by "Brahmin invaders." Mahatma Gandhi called the term "Harijan", a
euphemistic word for untouchable, literally meaning Sons of God. Bhimrao Ramji
Ambedkar, born in Hindu Dalit community, was a heavy critic of the caste system. He
pioneered the Dalit Buddhist movement in India, and asked his followers to leave
Hinduism, and convert to Buddhism. Indias first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru,
based on his own relationship with Dalit reformer Ambedkar, also spread information
about the dire need to eradicate untouchability for the benefit of the Dalit community.
Another example was the Temple Entry Proclamation issued by the last Maharaja of
Travancore in the Indian state of Kerala in the year 1936. The Maharaja proclaimed
that "outcastes should not be denied the consolations and the solace of the Hindu
faith". Even today, the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple that first welcomed Dalits in
the state of Kerala is revered by the Dalit Hindu community.

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (April 14, 1891 December 6, 1956), also known
as Babasaheb, was an Indian nationalist, jurist, Dalit, political leader, activist,
philosopher, thinker, anthropologist, historian, orator, prolific writer, economist,
scholar, editor, revolutionary and the revivalist of Buddhism in India. He was also the
chief architect of the Indian Constitution. Born into a poor Untouchable family,
Ambedkar spent his whole life fighting against social discrimination, the system of
Chaturvarna the Hindu categorization of human society into four varnas and
the Indian caste system. He is also credited with having sparked the Dalit Buddhist
movement. Ambedkar has been honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest
civilian award.
Overcoming numerous social and financial obstacles, Ambedkar became one
of the first "untouchables" to obtain a college education in India. Eventually earning
law degrees and multiple doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and
political science from Columbia University and the London School of Economics,
Ambedkar returned home a famous scholar and practiced law for a few years before
publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for India's
untouchables. He has been given the degree of Bodhisattva by Indian Buddhist
Upon India's independence on August 15, 1947, the new Congress-led
government invited Ambedkar to serve as the nation's first law minister, which he
accepted. On August 29, Ambedkar was appointed chairman of the Constitution
Drafting Committee, charged by the Assembly to write free India's new Constitution.
Ambedkar won great praise from his colleagues and contemporary observers for his
drafting work. In this task Ambedkar's study of Sagha practice among early
Buddhists and his extensive reading in Buddhist scriptures was to come to his aid.
Sangha practice incorporated voting by ballot, rules of debate and precedence and the
use of agendas, committees and proposals to conduct business. Sangha practice itself
was modelled on the oligarchic system of governance followed by tribal republics of
ancient India such as the Shakyas and the Lichchavis. Thus, although Ambedkar used
Western models to give his Constitution shape, its spirit was Indian and, indeed,
The text prepared by Ambedkar provided constitutional guarantees and
protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including
freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability and the outlawing of all forms of
discrimination Ambedkar argued for extensive economic and social rights for women,
and also won the Assembly's support for introducing a system of reservations of jobs
in the civil services, schools and colleges for members of scheduled castes and
scheduled tribes, a system akin to affirmative action. India's lawmakers hoped to
eradicate the socio-economic inequalities and lack of opportunities for India's
depressed classes through this measure, which had been originally envisioned as
temporary on a need basis. The Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949 by
the Constituent Assembly. Speaking after the completion of his work, Ambedkar said:
Ambedkar resigned from the cabinet in 1951 following the stalling in parliament of
his draft of the Hindu Code Bill, which sought to expound gender equality in the laws
of inheritance, marriage and the economy. Although supported by Prime Minister
Nehru, the cabinet and many other Congress leaders, it received criticism from a large
number of members of parliament. Ambedkar independently contested an election in
1952 to the lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha but was defeated. He was
appointed to the upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha in March 1952 and
would remain a member until his death.
In the 1950s, Ambedkar turned his attention to Buddhism and travelled to Sri
Lanka (then Ceylon) to attend a convention of Buddhist scholars and monks. While
dedicating a new Buddhist vihara near Pune, Ambedkar announced that he was
writing a book on Buddhism and that as soon as it was finished, he planned to make a
formal conversion to Buddhism. Ambedkar twice visited Burma in 1954; the second
time in order to attend the third conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in
Rangoon. In 1955, he founded the Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasabha, or the Buddhist
Society of India. He completed his final work, The Buddha and His Dhamma, in
1956. It was published posthumously.
After meetings with the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Hammalawa Saddhatissa,

Ambedkar organised a formal public ceremony for himself and his supporters in
Nagpur on October 14, 1956. Accepting the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from a
Buddhist monk in the traditional manner, Ambedkar completed his own conversion.
He then proceeded to convert an estimated 500,000 of his supporters who were
gathered around him, taking the 22 Vows to become Buddhists.

As long as racial discrimination and religious conflicts still prevail now and
then we see protest and conversion being staged around the world. Obviously, such
case happens many times in India even in the present time. According to The
Associated Press 10
September 2001 released the news that thousands of Hindus
convert to Buddhism in India racism protest. We know according to it that,
India's failure to address caste issues at the World Conference Against
Racism, thousands of Dalits - often segregated as "untouchables" in the
Hindu caste hierarchy - converted to Buddhism in a northern Indian city.
Leaders of the late-Saturday ritual by some 6,000 Dalits said they were
protesting discrimination by upper caste people and their government's
failure to raise caste issues at the racism conference in Durban, South
Africa that concluded over the weekend.
In Kanpur, 240 miles southeast of India's capital, New Delhi, hundreds of
monks in flowing robes arrived from Nepal, Japan and other countries to
witness the ceremony, which was presided by a Japanese Buddhist priest.
Participants were distributed posters condemning Hinduism, the religion
of India's overwhelming majority.
Several Dalit groups had met in the South African city to press for
inclusion of caste-based discrimination in the United Nation World
Conference on Racism. They said caste-based discrimination in India was
as bad as racial discrimination in other parts of the world.
But Indian officials lobbied, and succeeded, in keeping it off the
conference declaration. The New Delhi government said equating the
caste system with racism would make India a racist country - a
categorization it denies.
"The Government of India misguided all at the Durban meet," Dalit leader
Ram Prasad Rashik told The Associated Press after the conversion
ceremony in Kanpur.
Dalits occupy the lowest rank in India's 3,000-year-old caste system that
discriminates against nearly a fourth of the country's billion-plus
Though India's Constitution, adopted in 1950, bars discrimination based
on caste, the practice still pervades society.
Although the caste system is supposed to have been abolished in India and
discrimination on the grounds of caste is illegal, it continues in thousands
of Indian villages and small villages. In some parts of India, Brahmins,
members of the top caste, have used private armies to terrorise peasants
who have risen up against the caste order. A man said Hindu
fundamentalists in Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajapayees government
had tried to scuttle the mass conversion ceremony because they did not
want to see Dalits enjoy equality.

Whereas, the United Kingdom News 5
November 2001 also released the news about
the same case that caste slaves seeking salvation in India. The news was issued as
The man who promised to lead one million Indian "untouchables" out of
caste slavery showed the way yesterday at a mass meeting in Delhi,
having his head and moustache shaved off by a Buddist priest to initiate
him into Buddhism.
His name was Ram Raj at the start of the ceremony; at the end he was Udit
Raj, "the Reign of the Rising Sun". Mr Raj is an assistant commissioner
for income tax in Delhi. He is also a leader of the All-India Confederation
of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and, as such, claims to
represent a good chunk of the 250 million-odd Indians whose status is so
low that caste Hindus have traditionally regarded their presence as
virtually polluting.
These days, they usually call themselves "Dalits" (the word means simply
"the Oppressed"). According to India's Constitution, they are equal to all
other Indians. After more than 50 years of theoretical emancipation they
have reserved places in universities and reserved jobs in government
bureaucracies; there are also Dalit political parties, there have been Dalit
chief ministers and even a Dalit president (the present incumbent is K R
Narayanan). But, according to Mr Raj: "We are no better off than we were
50 years ago."
The great mass of Dalits remains stuck in the primordial caste mud. They
do the most degrading jobs, get the least education, have the worst health
care and the lowest life expectancy. Mr Raj and his supporters say their
plight is becoming worse rather than better.
The party that dominates India's ruling coalition, the Hindu nationalist
Bharatiya Janata Party , was founded and is still dominated by members of
the Hindu priestly caste, the Brahmins, of whom Atal Behari Vajpayee,
the Prime Minister, is an example. This Brahminical dominance, some
say, has brought a reassertion of the traditional Hindu caste hierarchy. "In
the past four years," said Philip d'Souza, president of the All India
Christian Council, which has strongly supported Mr Raj's conversion
programme, "right-wing Hindus have recruited hundreds of thousands of
members and trained them in the use of weapons ... Every day, there are
new atrocities committed against Dalits."
But now the Dalits are fighting back: without weapons, and in a way that
is both new and very old. In 1956, the Dalits' great champion, the LSE-
educated Dr Bheem Rao Ambedkar, organised the conversion of millions
of Dalits to Buddhism, the religion that sprang from Indian soil and had its
roots in Hinduism but which has unequivocally rejected the iniquities of
caste discrimination.
Now Ram Udit Raj has revived the idea. In mid-October he announced, as
founder of the Lord Buddha Club, his intention of bringing one million of
his fellow Dalits to Buddhism.
Banned at the last minute by the police from meeting at Ram Lila Ground,
tens of thousands flocked at 10 am yesterday to the grounds of Ambedkar
Bhawan, a hall in Delhi dedicated to Dr Ambedkar. They heard speeches,
chanted sutras, then Mr Raj read out a 22-point oath sworn by Dr
Ambedkar in the Fifties beginning with a solemn renunciation of
Hinduism and Hindu gods and ending with a promise to abstain from
alcohol. Then the huge crowd recited the three vows that made Buddhists
of them.
Mr Raj has rediscovered Ambedkar's old idea. "As long as you are part of
the caste system," he said recently, "you cannot do anything. You cannot
be part of it and then abuse it. If you dislike it, leave it. That's the best
"We have given a call to the entire Dalit community to leave the
tyrannical Brahminical social order." Caste is our main problem, says a
Dalit leader, Mr Ram Raj, who will be among those converted. It
pervades all aspects of life in India, though it is not visible. This is our
way of escaping of living on the margins of society. We are not against
any particular community. We just want to destroy the caste system, he
added. Ive converted to Buddhism for social equality and to escape
Hinduism,s caste, Ram Shankar, a social worker from the northern state
of Uttar Pradesh, told Reuters.
The message of Buddhism is that all human beings are equal, said
Harish Khar, a 36 year-old governments employees who travelled the
western state of Maharastra to participate in the ceremony, while Buddhist
leader Sudhir Kumar said the faith was attractive to Dalits because it was
also Indian-born but did not have a caste system. It is a religion for
common people and not for God. It teaches humility and appreciation for
mankind, said Kumar.

These are the reasons that they converted to Buddhism. Many scholars, however,
said, Buddhism is flexible and does not force others to believe without rationality and
investigation. Of course, Buddhism is a religion of freedom and justice, a religion of
cause and condition, a religion of action and its result. Buddhism also accepts quality
and equality of mankind according to natural law.

3.3 Caste system, conversion and missionary from Buddhist view
There are many reasons of the conversion from one religion to another. It can be the
reason of the truth of one religion, extreme caste prejudice and political tendency.
Sometimes it is concerned with both personal political problem and the caste
In the Buddhas life time many persons from Brahmins families, other sects
and other castes became Buddhas disciples because the teachings of the Buddha
appeal to reason and throw the light of truth on them. The facts were shown by
several suttas as mentioned in suttanta pitakas. Some disciples: Venerable Srputta,
venerable Moggalna and venerable Upl , etc., are proved there in the canonical
Rhys David, British writer and Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British
philosopher, mathematician, were born in Christian family, but when they studied and
researched many religions they had found that Buddhism has many good aspects. So,
became Buddhists not because of any coercion by converting. They chose the right to
belief according to their will by themselves. Buddhists never try to convert any one
from any member of other religions into his own by frightening, threatening or
forcing. Buddhists also have Buddhist missionary, but it is different from other
religions missionary. According to Stagu Sayadaw, Dr nisra on his lecture
Buddhism and Social Work or Buddhist Missionary,
he pointed outed that, In this
world there are two kinds of poor: materially poor and spiritually poor. So Buddhist
monks and nuns should do certain things to help society. Missionary is important, he
said. Self-forgetness is a pivotal point of missionary. He added, other religions
missionary is a work or an activity travelling from one place to another to convert
others. But Buddhist missionary is different; it is a work or an activity travelling from
one place to another in order to teach the Dhammas, to show the true nature of life
and to spiritually develop. Furthermore, he emphasized that, there are four essential
requirements for protection, promotion, propagation of the Buddhas teaching. They
are as follows: (1) man power; (2) money power; (3) material power, and (4) mind
When we talk about manpower, we need to mobilize the power of monks,
government, educate person, technicians and people from all walks of life
for the promotion of Buddhism. All schools of Buddhism should unite
with the spirit of friendship, understanding, forgiveness, patience, virtue
and wisdom. Just as different nations with different political outlooks
united in forming the United Nations, we Buddhists should try to unite our
Buddhist nations and form Buddhist nations. He believed to hold Buddhist
conference will contribute a great deal to friendship and mutual
understanding among Buddhist leaders.
Money power also is another important requisite in protecting, promoting,
and propagating of the teaching. Without money power, we cannot
undertake religious project effectively. Throughout the history of
Buddhism, there were people like the Emperor Asoka who supported
Buddhist propagation with money power. Due to their generosity, the
teaching was well promoted and propagated throughout the world.
The same is true to material power. Modern technology is of a great use in
this aspect. Audio-visual system, computers, internet facilities, mobile
phones, transmission equipments, electrical appliances and printing press
have to be installed and use.
Perhaps, the most important prerequisite for the protection, promotion and
propagation of Buddhism is mind power. However much money, material
and man- power we have, without character, moral and virtue, we cannot
implement any plan effectively. Virtue means disciplining of mind, body
and speech. We should store virtue of patience, loving-kindness and
compassion and spirit of universal brotherhood in our heart.
By using these four essential powers judiciously, Emperor Asoka had
done a great service to Buddhism. Since his time in history, these four
powers were not combined well and usedthe Indian continent, the land
of the birth of the Dhamma became the land of the death of the Dhamma.
Temple and monasteries donated by Emperor Asoka and other generous
people became heaps of broken bricks. Therefore, he would like to urge
our brothers and sisters to safeguard maintain and disseminate Buddhism
to the best of their ability.

So, in the very way, we do missionary work but Buddhist missionaries do not try to
convert any one to ones own religion though we have the concept of conversion.
Buddhist concept on conversion is, however, to convert from evil to the
good, from ignorance to knowledge, from delusion to enlightenment, from suffering
to happiness and from the poor to the rich. These are works that should be done.
The similar thing, on 4
, February, 2009 there was a group meeting between
Christian westerners, teachers and students of the International Theravda Buddhist
Missionary in the central building. In the meeting, many questions were raised. A
Christian man asked, what is your supreme goal of Buddhismsomething like
heaven? This question was answered by our professor thus: the supreme goal of
Buddhism is Nibbna. He said Nibbna is not nothingness. It is something, we can
understand only by relative terms such as hot and cold and so on. We can understand
Nibbna clearly only through the experiential level by the practice of Vipassan
meditation. Then, another Christian man asked why this university is named as
International Theravda Buddhist Missionary University. That man said,
Missionary according to Christianity means, to convert the members of other
religions into its own religion. That is correct from Christian point of view. But at
that time, Dr.Hla Myint one of professors, replied to him, We do not convert any
one, but just share the treasures with others. Just as when we have treasures such as
money and gold and we want to share them with others, so we Buddhists have the
teachings of the Buddha as treasures and we want to share with other people in the
world to know and to experience that.
That is why when possessing the knowledge of Dhammas, the teachings of the
Buddha we do not keep those Dhammas secretly in one place. We propagate
Buddhism with loving-kindness and compassion by bringing those Dhammas to our
home, radio station or to put in internet so that people all over the world have
opportunity to study and practise to realise those Dhammas and the taste of those
Dhammas as well. So we do not convert any one from any religion, but we need
missionary. Another teacher laughed and said, No problem you can come and study
here, you are welcome. We discussed face to face between Christians and Buddhists.
Also, when a question was put towards Christian groups by a student, what is the
main point of Christian Missionary? A man replied, quite simple and not to force
others. He said some sects and organizations in Christian community are also not
agreed all for doing missionary. Soon after one hour, the meeting was ended under a
happy atmosphere and the Christian westerners offered us drink and other material
things as well. This is to show the fact that Buddhism has a compassionate and
considerate attitude toward people from other creeds without discrimination of caste
or colour either black or white. That is why many people both in the East and the
West pay much interest now on Buddhism.
Another similar case, a student from Africa, once he said, in his country caste
and racial discrimination is still strongly rooted and majority people are Christians.
But when he came to study Buddhism in Myanmar at International Theravda
Buddhist Missionary University he was much interested in Ambaha sutta, because
this sutta gives value to people not by high or low caste or skin colour, but by
knowledge and moral conducts as the highest thing. So he likes Buddhism and
become a Buddhist. These facts of conversion should be regarded by ways of logical
view and the truth of one religion.
So Buddhist missionary is also quite simple and not by force but by his own
choice through his understanding level in Buddhism. Throughout long history,
Buddhism does not encourage bad or corrupt action when doing missionary. We do
not have intention to criticize others in the name of religion concerning religious
missionary, but there is a truth that should be considered.
As it is seen in Cambodia some Christians from other countries come to do
their missionary works by means of being doctors to cure disease or being teachers
teaching English language free of charge at private schools or institutes and some by
working for Non Governmental Organization using material things through the
actions of some humanitarian organizations to help the poor people mostly in the
countryside and they take the opportunity to use Christian ideology to attract some
members of people to believe and convert them into Christianity. This is one reason
that we Buddhist should understand concerning conversion.
The other conversions can be derived from both caste discrimination of one
religion and personal political problem like in the case of Dr. Ambadkar.
On 2 October 1956, two months before his death, the former Law Minister Dr.
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar led several hundreds of thousands of followers; mostly
belonging to his own ex-untouchable Mahar caste, into conversion to Buddhism. He
extracted twenty-two promises from his followers. We will list them here with their
original numbers but regrouped in two categories. The first category consists of
positive expressions of commitment to the Buddhist way:
1. I will never act against the tenets of Buddhism;
2. I will follow the Eight-fold Path of Lord Buddha;
3. I will follow the ten Paramitas of the Dhamma;
4. I will have compassion on all living beings and will try to look after them;
5. I will not lie;
6. I will not commit theft;
7. I will not indulge in lust or sexual transgression;
8. I will never take any liquor or drink that causes intoxication;
9. I will try to mould my life in accordance with the Buddhist preaching based on
Enlightenment, precept and compassion;
10. I firmly believe that the Buddha Dhamma is the best religion;
11. I believe that today I am taking a new birth;
12. I solemnly take the oath that from today onwards I will act according to the
Buddha Dhamma.
It is debatable whether the firm belief that the Buddha Dhamma is the best religion
was ever part of the formal resolutions taken by the Buddhas disciples, but let us not
picks on this; we may accept that these promises by Ambedkars followers are just an
emphatic expression of their entry into Buddhism. It is a different story with those
promises which articulate Ambedkars own social and anti-Hindu agenda:
13. I will not regard Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh as gods nor will I worship them;
14. I will not regard Rama and Krishna as gods nor will I worship them;
15. I will not accept Hindu deities like Gauri, Ganapati, etc., nor will I worship
16. I do not believe that God has taken birth or incarnation in any form;
17. I do not believe that Lord Buddha was the incarnation of Vishnu; I believe this
propaganda is mischievous and false;
18. I will never perform any Shraddha nor will I offer any Pinda [i.e. Brahminical
funeral and post-funeral rites];
19. I will not have any Samskara ritual performed by Brahmins;
20. I believe in the principle that all are equal;
21. I will try to establish equality;
22. I embrace today the Buddha Dhamma, discarding the Hindu religion which is
detrimental to the emancipation of human beings and which believes in
inequality and regards human beings other than Brahmins as low-born.
This list of promises is unique in the history of Buddhism, in that it not only professes
to follow the Buddhist way, but also attacks a non-Buddhist tradition and rejects the
devotion to a number of Gods whose worship was propagated outside India by
Buddhism itself.
When Dr. Ambadkar led the members of his Sudra caste converted into
Buddhism it turned the Brahmas world into turmoil situation. Many members of
Hinduism and non-Hindus jealous and criticized him seriously. They said Ambadkar
converted from Hinduism into Buddhism because of his hatred not by having
conviction in Buddhism. Some called him Buddhist Ambadker was Hindu Ambadkar
or a combative Buddhist. Some said that Ambadkar was unsuccessful man in his
political career.
Arun Shourie (a pro-Hindu man) had highlighted the fact that Dr. Ambedkar
never won an election, not even when he stood for a seat reserved for Scheduled Caste
members. On top of his individual defeat, his Scheduled Castes Federation in 1945-
46, and his Republican Party in 1952, was utterly routed at the polls. In the 1937
elections, Ambedkars British sponsors were gravely disappointed to see the landslide
victory of Congress in the reserved constituencies. Ambedkars electoral record
certainly belies the routine description of him as the leader of the Untouchables:
during his lifetime, most Harijans looked to Mahatma Gandhi as their benefactor in
spite of Ambedkars scathing criticism of the Mahatmas paternalistic approach. In
respect of religion, Scheduled Caste people often venerated their own Hindu Saints
rather than awaiting Ambedkars directives on conversion.
Some persons who have positive ideas they praised Ambedkar for his hard
work and the achievement of social reform for equality. One reason for his embracing
Buddhism was that he wanted a rational and humanist religion, for which he thought
Christianity and Islam did not qualify. Ambedkar had studied Buddhism thoroughly
before he become a Buddhist Therefore; Buddhists welcome him and his members to
enter into Buddhist members.

When some 500.000 people in sdra caste became Buddhists led by Ambedkar
in India at that time there were both good and bad points: the good point was that the
members of Buddhist were more and more increased and the bad one was that sdra
groups belong to lowest caste and poor so because of reason the Brahmins thought
Buddhism is a religion of low caste people. So they did not volunteer to become
Buddhist with sdra.
Actually, if the Brahmins in that time as well as this time opine in this way is
not reasonable because in the Buddhas time many Brahmins, kings and also sdra
people were his disciples. They could practise Buddhism together in harmonious way.
Nothing is wrong.
No matter how Ambadkar and his followers became Buddhist are still better.
Because he and people belong to sdra caste living in caste discriminated society of
Hinduism with no justice and freedom. People in Brahmaa caste hate and look down
on them. So they had better became Buddhists rather than living in the darkness of
one religious and social injustice.
If one looks back to Cambodia and investigate about laws in this country, he
will see one of the laws, which is stated about the right to choose their own belief.
According to the constitutional law of Cambodia in Article 31 is mentioned about the
Rights and Obligations of Khmer Citizens that every citizen has the right to choose
their own belief. Here is one of 139 articles in Cambodian constitutional law which is
concerned as below:

Article 31:The Kingdom of Cambodia shall recognize and respect human
rights as stipulated in the United Nations Charter, the Universal
Declaration of human Rights, the covenants and conventions related to
human rights, women's and children's rights.
Every Khmer citizen shall be equal before the law, enjoying the same
rights, freedom and fulfilling the same obligations regardless of race,
colour, sex, language, religious belief, political tendency, birth origin,
social status, wealth or other status.
The exercise of personal rights and freedom by any individual shall not
adversely affect the rights and freedom of others. The exercise of such
rights and freedom shall be in accordance with law.

Even people have freedom of religious beliefs like this; however, Cambodian culture,
custom and tradition are mixed with Buddhism. Buddhism is like the soul of
Cambodian culture, and only Buddhism is most suitable with Cambodian culture.
That is why majority of Cambodians are Buddhist born-mind people. So, traditional
Buddhists-blood religion in Cambodia is more, while true Buddhist-religious blood is
lesser. Cambodian people become Buddhists not by any conversion or any caste
discrimination, but by their own understanding and the right of choice.

3.4 Buddhism and equality in human society
Equality is one of human right laws which are recognised by international community
as well as in Buddhism. That is why to understand Buddhism and human right is
It is generally believed that the Buddha was a great social reformer, a believer
in the equality of all human beings, a democrat and that his efforts for the
emancipation of women and lower castes created a sort of social revolution in society.
In order to evaluate this belief and find out whether or not the Buddha was a social
revolutionary we should (i) not only analyse his stand on the various social problems
of his time dispassionately, but also (ii) compare his ideas with the contemporary
thinkers and religious leaders, and (iii) also compare them with the ideas of the
thinkers of the preceding age. Without undertaking the last two exercises it will not be
possible to determine whether or not he possess something revolutionary in his
social life.
A proof generally advanced in support of the view that the Buddha was a
social revolutionary is based on the assumption that he attacked the caste system as it
existed at that time. According to Ambadker, No caste, no inequality, no superiority:
all are equal. That is what he (that is the Buddha) stood for. Rhys Davids has stressed
that Buddhism ignores completely and absolutely all advantages arising from birth,
occupation or social status and sweep a way all barriers and disabilities arising from
the arbitrary rules of mere ceremonial or social impurity. According to some recent
historian Buddhism produced the only consciously egalitarian social philosophy in
ancient India and Buddha professed commitment to human equality was nothing short
of a revolution. We, however, feel that this assumption is only marginally correct. The
belief that Buddha believed in social equality of men is as much untrue as the theory
that he believed in the social equality of both sexes.

These ideas are just derived from analytical study and explanation of some
worldly scholars related with the concept of equality in Buddhism and Human
Right. Concerning this case, some persons do not place confidence on human right
organisation at all. They said, in human right there is also human wrong. So, they do
not believe in it. They said human right is very funny. It is like big fish eat the small
fish. However, this is one of the declarations of human right in Article seven which is
applicable and accepted by almost societies. It is stated thus:
All are equal before the law and are entitled without discrimination to
equal protection of the law. All are entitled equal protection against any
discrimination in violation of this declaration and against any
incitement to such discrimination.

Concerning Equality in human right, a novelist also wrote metaphorically to the
Equality in animal right thus: all animals are equal, but some animals are more
equal than others. Whatsoever, to have law is better than not having law. The concept
of Equality should be understood by two meanings, that is, (1) equality in secular
way which is applied for right, freedom, equality and justice of a society. And (2)
equality in religious or righteous way ,which is referred to equality in accordance
with natural law such as the law of kamma and so on. Here is the explanation of what
equality really means from both secular and religious views of law which is
reasonable and helpful for all of living beings in society.

In the Buddhist context the notion of equality before the law springs from
two considerations. The first is the fundamental assumption of the basic
equality of all human beings in respect of their essential nature as a
consequence of which they are equal regarding their dignity and rights.
The second is based on the legal argument that all individuals, whatever
be their caste or social position, are punishable with the same kind and
degree of punishment, if held liable for an infringement of the law.
Equality before the law implies equal protection by the law which in turn
connotes the total absence of any form of discrimination. The entire
concept of equal protection under the law is covered by the Buddhist
expression dhammika rakkhvaraagutti (meaning "righteous care and
protection') which is expected of the "world ruler" and spelt out in
Buddhist social thought by the terms dhammacariy and samacariy.
Literally these words imply "righteous conduct" and "impartial conduct"
on the part of the ruler or the State towards citizens or subjects. While the
first of these terms can be said to mean equal protection under the law
dispensed by righteous conduct on the part of those in power, the second
conveys the concept of the absence of all discrimination in view of the
claim to equal protection under the law.
This Article has a similar objective, in this case related specifically to the
"Rule of Law". Therefore the denial in theory, or in practice, of the
principle of equality before the law and equal protection not only under the
law but also against any discrimination in the dispensation of the law, will
not be countenanced by Buddhism.

Moreover, there are a lot of books explain about equality written by Buddhist and
non-Buddhist scholars. Paddmasiri de Sila in her book, Buddhism, Ethics and
Society is explained more about equality in the following way:
The Buddha was not concerned about the transformation of society; it only
means that his approach to social concerns had logic of its own, as does
the analysis of concepts such as freedom, equality and justice.
In a very deep sense, the need to be respected as a human person and the
ability to respond to others provides the most basic moral and
psychological foundations for Buddhist reflections on equality.
Men and woman are considered as equal in having these potentialities, and
in the case of compassion, a mothers feeling towards a child are taken as
the paradigmatic expression of human compassion.
Egalitarianism, of course, does not always assert equality but rather denies
the justice of some inequality in treatment based on irrelevant traits. In this
context, the dimensions of equality in relation to race, caste, sex, and so on
are important.
The Buddhist concept of equality has a strong link with the notion of
righteousness (dhamma), which may be rendered for the Western student
as justice, but yet in a narrow sense it is a Buddhist concept of justice or,
in a broader sense, a notion of justice embedded in the Hindu-Buddhist
world view.
The interlocking relations between justice and equality have been a subject
of great interest in studies of equality in the West. In early Greek thought,
for instance, the world dike (which came to mean a persons due share)
contained the concept of equality, thus showing an interesting link
between justice and equality. In the Buddhist context we have shown the
strong link between righteousness and equality in relation to the way a
sovereign should govern; dhammena and samena are used to describe the
qualifications of an ideal ruler.
The Buddhist perspective on equality is basically orientated towards the
person as a free and rational moral agent. Treating persons as equals in
this respect indicates that we value common human potentialities. The
moral imperative to treat others in the same way as one would wish
oneself to be treated assumes that we are in certain ways equal. This
perspective is rooted in our deep capacity for benevolence and
A similar argument is found in the Madhura sutta, where it is said that
wealthy people, irrespective of caste, will find members of other castes
willing to wait upon them and serve them. It is interesting to find the
Buddha using this kind of argument. He is not saying that wealth should
be the norm that divides people, but merely that in actual situations, birth
and colour (vaa) recede to the background in the face of wealth.
The example that wealth influences social relations is strengthened by
three other arguments: a wicked person (whatever his or her vaa), in
accordance with the law of kamma, will be born in a bad place and a good
person in a state of bliss; criminals, regardless of vanna, will be equally
subject to punishment; and whatever a mans vaa, if he joins the order,
he will receive equal respect and honour from people.

Once again, Cambodia in the former time also had castes owing to the influence of
Brahmanism, and yet the different point is that it had no caste prejudices among the
Cambodian society is not a caste discrimination society like India at all
because in ancient Indian society there was no relationship through one
caste to another. A proof for equal social class as in example was in the
reign of King Jayavaraman VII (in 12
century), a stone scription
mentioned about the construction of a hospital in which people of the four
caste could come to be cured disease.
Moreover, through the story of Cambodian literature such as Kolab Pailin
(Pailin rose) and Vessantara story was also shown that there was no caste
discrimination because the rich and the poor could be mixed relationship
with each other in marriage. For the charity of King Vessantara was also
of no caste discrimination, and it is specially seen in religious ceremony
such as Pchum Ben ceremony (ceremony performed for the departed ones
usually fall on 18
, 19
and 20
September every year), Kathina ceremony
and New Year was also the same. All people whether the rich or the poor
can go to perform meritorious deeds in monastery together according to
their faiths (saddh) respectively without being forced or discriminated
between them.
Furthermore it is seen that, the monks or chief monk of monastery also
accept all students who come to study under his guidance without
prejudice of rich or poor family or any race.

Another fact in the former time is that, Cambodias elite class centres around the
king, the royal family, and the royal court. In addition to the nobility it includes
families whose members, though commoners, hold high-ranking positions in the
government, and in the arm forces. Although a distinction between noble and
commoner is made within the civil service, at this upper level there is a display of
considerable social equality.
So we can assimilate this case by comparing with the example in the following
way, If one has four sons by one wife, the four sons, having one father and mother,
must all be essentially alike. Among quadrupeds, births, trees, we see differences of
conformation and organization whereby we can separate them into distinct species.
But all men are formed a like without and within, except in such non-essential
differences as are observed in the children of one and the same parents. It is therefore
evidence that all men belong to one species. Further in a jack- tree the fruit is
produced from the stem, the joints and roots as well as the branches. Is one fruit
therefore different from another so that we may call that produced from the roots the
Sdra fruit? Surely not; nor can men be of four distinct species, because, as the
Brahmins assert, they sprang from four different parts of one body. Besides, a
Brahmans sense of pleasure and pain is not different from that of Chandla. Both are
born in the same way, both sustain life in the same manner, and both suffer death
from the same causes. They differ neither in intellectual faculties nor in their actions,
nor in the aims they pursue, nor in their subjection to fear and hope. Accordingly the
talk of four castes is fatuous. All men are of one caste.

And another thing, biological scientists corroborate that, the modern
upholders of Hinduism attempt buttress caste by scientific props. Caste, they contend,
has an ethnological basis. The Sanskrit word for caste being vara , which literally
means colour it is urged that between the higher caste , the so-called Aryans, and the
lower castes, there is a racial opposition more or less absolute arising from a
difference in colour does not represent any essential difference in quality. The
microscope reveals no difference between the blond and the black. The human skin,
whether it be the skin of the darkest Negro or of the whitest European, always
contains only dark pigment. The colour of the white European is not produced by
milk or the ichors of the gods of antiquity. The pigment is everywhere the same, and it
is always dark. If differ not in quality, but only in quantity. In some cases the quantity
of pigment is so large that it makes appearance on the surface, while in other cases it
lies hidden in the deeper layers. But the pigment is never absent. The new-born
children of all people are of the same colour and equally fair. The children of the
same father and mother are not always of the same colour. The colour of the skin
changes with the climate. A long stay in the tropic turns the skin of the European
brown, while the skin of the Negro becomes perceptibly bleached by long residence in
the temperate zone. All attempts to classify mankind into races (or caste based on
colour) have proved a signal failure.

Furthermore, we should know in deeper sense on equality of human beings
from Buddhist point of view. When one studies Abhidhamma in Buddhism, one will
find it that, everybody has already had wrong view (dihi) since his or her birth and
wisdom (amoha) is also included in every one except Dvihetuka puggala who has two
roots: Alobha (non-greed; generosity) and Adosa (non-hatred; good will; loving-
kindness. This is the equality of human beings of (different castes) and different faiths
such as Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. Based on understanding of this
quality, we can find the real peace in our mentality and materiality.
So, all human
beings by nature are equal.

3.5 Buddhist rationalistic views about caste system
Buddhist rationalistic view about caste system is neither pessimistic nor optimistic,
but to give complete right nor freedom to humans in both genders from all castes,
creeds and colours to seek the truth.
Buddhas rationalistic spirit is evident not only in his philosophical
discussions but also in his examinations of the popular beliefs and customs, e.g. his
attitude towards the caste system and the discrimination based on caste as giving a
right to the knowledge of the truth. Buddha held that a person irrespective of caste or
age is entitled to search for the truth and follow the path prescribed leading to the
same and that the pride of caste is baseless as men, whether Kshatriya, Brahmana,
vaiya or sdra, are born in the same way, are composed of the same earthly materials
and subject to the common frailties of the human beings (such as birth, decay, disease
and death). What distinguishes one man from another is his quality, and not the
accident of his birth (na jacca hoti brahmao). Hence a person, whether a brahman or
sdra, is equally entitled to practise brahmacariya and other disciplinary rules at any
stage of his life and realize the truth.
In Buddhism, there many truths, however, to understand four Noble truths is
important. The four Noble truths are: (1) the truth of suffering, that is, the five
aggregates, (2) the truth of the origin of suffering, that is, craving, (3) the truth of the
cessation of suffering, that is, the cessation of craving, and (4) the truth of the path
leading to the cessation of the suffering, that is, the Eightfold Noble path. In this case,
if one is ignorant of the four Noble truths, one cannot become an Angm or an
Arahanta. Moreover, if one just knows the four Noble truths with merely theories, he
also cannot attain the state of being Angm or Arahanta. Only when one realized the
four Noble Truths through experiential level in the practice of insight meditation, then
he can become such Noble states and free from many kinds of troubles and suffering
in this world even in social life. The Buddha shows us the way to release ourselves
from slavery of craving within the very four Noble Truths. According to Buddha,
human beings are suffered from slavery of others only in this life, but if he is a slave
of craving, he will suffer endlessly again and again in the round of rebirth. So, the five
aggregates are the truth of suffering that should be known. Craving (tah) is the true
cause of suffering that should be abandoned. The extinction of craving is the true
cause of the cessation of suffering that should be realised, and Eightfold Noble path is
the truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering that should be practised or
followed. Therefore, those who want to free from slavery in this world should practise
insight meditation to realise the four Noble Truths and become Arahants. For in
stance, Punna Ther was born in Anathapindikas household, as the daughter of a
domestic slave. She was called Punna because, with her birth, the number of children
in the household reached one hundred. On the day, on which she heard the Sihanda
sutta preached by the Buddha, she became a Sotapanna, and thereby won the esteem
of Anathapindika, so that he freed her. Thereupon, she entered the Order and in due
course (of her realising the truth) became an Arahant. So here we can say that Punna
Theri could free herself from the slave of craving as well as slave of other in her
social life.

Chapter IV: Buddhist attitude towards castes and slavery
Concerning Buddhist attitude to caste, Venerable Asvaghosa says that as far as
feelings, likes and dislikes, expectations and physical limbs are concerned they are
common to all the castes. The whole mankind belongs to one caste and that caste is
human race. And slaves should not be like property. They should be counted with
everyone else.

4.1 The condemnation of Buddha to caste and service of slave
Buddhism does not encourage slavery in whatever case. Though slaves had in the
Buddhas time, but their masters were Buddhists and so they were mainly virtuous
and tolerant of them.
Normally worldlings who are mostly ignorant of the five aggregates, the four
elements, the three characteristics , the six bases, the twelve laws of dependent
origination, the eightfold noble path and the four noble truth. These kinds of persons
attached strongly to many things such birth; lineage, colour, wealth and beauty and
inferiority, superiority, and when they have all these luxurious things, then they think
that they are better than others and so on. They have a lot of conceits without
understanding what white Dhamma and what black Dhamma are. According to
Buddha, he neither praises nor ridicules any one or he neither sees anyone in high
birth better than the low one. No one is better than another, and no one is worse than
another one else. For him only the Dhamma and Vinaya are the better things and
capable for people of the four castes. According to Esukar sutta,
in Majjhima
Nikya, the Buddhas answers and questions removed all doubts that one has
concerning these matters. This sutta condemned the kind of service which becomes
slavery of caste. The whole theme of the sutta is thus occurred:
1. On one occasion the Blessed one was living at Svah in Jetas grove,
Anathapindikas park.
2. The Brahmin Esukar went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings
with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side
and said:
3. Master Gotama, the Brahmins prescribe four levels of service. They
prescribe the level of service towards a Brahmin, the level of service towards a noble,
the level of service towards a merchant, and the level of service towards a worker.
Therein, Master Gotama, the Brahmins prescribe this as the level of service towards a
Brahmin: a Brahmin may serve a Brahmin, a noble may serve a Brahmin, a merchant
may serve a Brahmin, and a worker may serve a Brahmin. That is the level of service
towards a Brahmin that the Brahmins prescribe.
Master Gotama, the Brahmins prescribe this as the level of service towards a
A noble may serve a noble, a merchant may serve a noble, and a worker may
serve a noble. That is the level of service towards a noble that the Brahmins prescribe.
Master Gotama, the Brahmins prescribe this as the level of service towards a
merchant: a merchant may serve a merchant and a worker may serve a merchant. That
is the level of service towards a merchant that the Brahmins prescribe. Master
Gotama, the Brahmins prescribe this as the level of service towards a worker: only a
worker may serve a worker; for who else could serve a worker? That is the level of
service towards a worker that the Brahmins prescribe. What does Master Gotama say
about this?
4. well, Brahmin, has all the world authorised the Brahmins to prescribe these
four levels of service? No, Master Gotama-Suppose, brahmin, they were to force a
cut of meat upon a poor, penniless, destitute man and tell him: Good man, you must
eat this meat and pay for it; so too, without the consent of other recluses and
Brahmins, the Brahmins nevertheless prescribe those four levels of service.
5. I do not say, Brahmin, that all are to be served, nor do I say that none are
to be served. For if, when serving someone, one becomes worse and not better
because of that service, then I say that he should be served. And if, when serving
someone, one becomes better and not worse because of that service, then I say that he
should be served.
6. if they were to ask a noble thus: which of these should you serveone in
whose service you become worse and not better when serving him, or one in whose
service you become better and not worse when serving him: answering rightly, a
noble would answer thus: I should not serve the one in whose service I become
worse and not better when serving him; I should serve the one in whose service I
become better and not worse when serving him.
if they were to ask a Brahminto ask a merchantto ask a
workeranswering rightly, a worker would answer thus: I should not serve the one
in whose service I become worse and not better when serving him; I should serve the
one in whose service I become better and not worse when serving him.
7. I do not say, Brahmin, that one is better because one is not from an
aristocratic family, nor do I say that one is worse because one is from an aristocratic
family. I do not say that one better because is of great beauty, nor do I say that one is
worse because one is great beauty. I do not say that one is better because one is not of
great wealth, nor do I say that one is worse because one is of great wealth.
8. for here, Brahmin, one from an aristocratic family may kill living beings ,
take what is not given, misconduct himself in sensual pleasures, speak falsely , speak
maliciously , speak harshly , gossip, be covetous , have a mind of ill will, and hold
wrong view. Therefore I do not say that one is better because one is from an
aristocratic family. But also, Brahmin, one from an aristocratic family may abstain
from killing beings, from taking what is not given, from misconduct himself in
sensual pleasures, from false speech, from malicious speech, from harsh speech, and
from, gossip, and he may be uncovetous, have a mind without ill will, and hold right
view. Therefore I do not say that one is worse because one is from an aristocratic
family. Here, Brahmin, one of great beauty one of great wealth may kill living
beingsand hold wrong view. Therefore I do not say that one is better because is of
great beauty of great wealth. But also, Brahmin, one of great beauty one of great
wealth may abstain from killing beingsand hold right view. Therefore I do not say
that one is worse because one is of great beauty one of great wealth.
9. I do not say, Brahmin, that all are to be served, nor do I say that none are
to be served. For if, when serving someone, ones faith, virtue, learning, generosity,
and wisdom increase in his service, then I say that he should be served.
10. When this was said, the Brahmin Esukar said to the Blessed One: Master
Gotama, the Brahmins, prescribe four types of wealth. They prescribe the wealth of a
Brahmin, the wealth of a noble, the wealth of a merchant, and the wealth of a worker.
Therein, Master Gotama, the Brahmins prescribe this as the wealth of a Brahmin
wandering for alms; a Brahmin who spurns his own wealth, wandering for alms,
abuses his duty like a guard who takes what has not been given. That is the wealth of
a Brahmin which a Brahmin prescribes. Master Gotama the Brahmins prescribe this
as the wealth of a noble-the bow and the quiver; a noble who spurns his own wealth,
the bow and the quiver, abuses his duty like a guard who takes what has not been
given. That is the wealth of a Brahmin which a Brahmin prescribes. Master Gotama
the Brahmins prescribe this as the wealth of a merchant-farming and cattle-breeding; a
merchant who spurns his own wealth, farming and cattle-breeding, abuses his duty
like a guard who takes what has not been given. That is the wealth of a merchant
which Brahmin prescribes. Master Gotama the Brahmins prescribe this as the wealth
of a worker-the sickle and carrying-pole; a worker who spurns his own wealth, the
sickle and carrying-pole, abuses his duty like a guard who takes what has not been
given. That is the wealth of a worker which Brahmin prescribes.
What does Master Gotama say about this?
11. well, Brahmin, has all the world authorised the Brahmins to prescribe the
four types of wealth? No, Master Gotama.-suppose, Brahmin, they were to force
a cut of meat upon a poor, penniless, destitute and tell him: Good man, you must eat
this meat and pay for it; so too, without the consent of those other recluses and
Brahmin, the Brahmin nevertheless prescribe the four types of wealth.
12. I, Brahmin, declare the noble supramundane Dhamma as a persons own
wealth. But recollecting his ancient maternal and paternal family lineage, he is
reckoned according to wherever he is reborn. If he is born in a clan of nobles, he is
reckoned as a noble; if he is reborn in a clan of Brahmins, he is reckoned as a
Brahmin; if he is reborn in a clan of merchants, he is reckoned as a merchant; if he is
reborn in a clan of worker, he is reckoned as a worker. Just as fire by the particular
condition depend on which it burns-when the fire burns dependent on logs, it is
reckoned as a log fire; when fire burns dependent on faggots, it is reckoned as a
faggot fire; when fire burns dependent on grass, it is reckoned as a grass fire; when
fire burns dependent on cow-dung, it is reckoned as a cow-dung fire-so too, Brahmin,
I declare the noble supramundane Dhamma as a persons wealth. But recollecting his
ancient maternal and paternal family lineage, he is reckoned according to wherever he
is reborn. If he is born in a clan of nobles, he is reckoned as a noble, and so on.
13. if, Brahmin, anyone from a clan of noble goes forth from the home life
into homelessness, and after encountering the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by
Tathgata, he abstains from killing living beings, from taking what is not given, from
incelibacy, from false speech, from malicious speech, from harsh speech, and from
gossip, and is uncovetous, has a mind without ill will, and hold right view, he is one
who is accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome.
if, Brahmin, anyone from a clan of a Brahmins goes forthif anyone from a clan of
merchants goes forthif anyone from a clan of workers goes forth from the home life
into homelessness, and after encountering the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by
Tathgata, he abstains from killing living beings and hold right view, he is one who
is accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome.
14. What do you think, Brahmin? Is only a Brahmin capable of developing a
mind of loving-kindness towards a certain region, without hostility and without ill
will, and not a noble, or a merchant, or a worker?
No, Master Gotama. Whether it be a noble, or a Brahmin, or a merchant, or a
worker-those of all castes are capable of developing a mind of loving-kindness
towards a certain region, without hostility and without ill will.
So too, Brahmin, if anyone from a clan of nobles goes forthhe is one who is
accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome.
15. What do you think, Brahmin? Is only a Brahmin capable of taking a
loofah and bath powder going to the river, and washing off dust and dirt, and not a
noble, or a merchant, or a worker?
No, Master Gotama. Whether it be a noble, or a Brahmin, or a Brahmin, or a
merchant, or a worker- those of all castes are capable of taking a loofah and bath
powder, going to the river, and washing of dust and dirt.
So too, Brahmin, if anyone from a clan of nobles goes forth he is one who is
accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome.
16. What do you think, Brahmin? Suppose a head-anointed noble king were
to assemble here a hundred men of different birthfor all fire has a flame, a
colour, and radiance, and it is possible to use all fires for the purposes of fires.
so to , Brahmin, if anyone from a clan of nobles goes forth is one who is
accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome.
17. When this was said, the Brahmin Esukar said to the Blessed One:
Magnificent, Master Gotama!.. From today let Master Gotama remember me as a lay
follower who has gone to him for refuge for life.
According to this sutta it is not caste which decides who is better or worse,
ones spiritual quality which determines who is high or low. So one should serve
others wisely, do not forget spiritual development while serving others.

4.2 Caste, virtue and human dignity
As mentioned above, there are four castes according to Brahmanism or Hinduism, but
according to Buddhism only two castes was known.

The lands of Yonas and Kampujas were other outland countries known to
Indians in the sixth century B.C. as is evidenced by Assalyana Suttanta of
Majjhima Nikya which states that the people of these regions had only
two Varas or social grades, viz., the riya(masters) and Dsa(slaves)
instead of the classes of Indian society.

The two castes, masters and slaves are flexible sometimes the masters become slaves
and the slaves become masters. So, these two castes are not rigid like Hindu caste
system. Anyway, no matter how many castes exist in this world is not important.
Castes bring no value and virtue to human at all. Virtue brings dignity to man. Virtue
is the best ornament of the people in all castes. Man without virtue is really an ugly
man. Wealth and beauty plus virtue upgrade human up to superior level. Virtue is one
kinds of essence of human life. Confucius said, "The determined scholar and the man
of virtue will not seek to live at the expense of injuring their virtue. They will even
sacrifice their lives to preserve their virtue complete." In Buddhism also said that a
Bhikkhu must fight to spread virtue. He must be ready to sacrifice even his life to
save virtue when it is in danger situation. Where virtue is in danger do not avoid
fighting, do not mealy-mouthed. Virtue is the best ingredient of all goodness.
Virtue makes wisdom grow. Venerable Ngasena addressed the king Milinda
thus: For it has been said, Sire, by the Blessed One:

Virtues the base on which the man whos wise can train his heart, and
make his wisdom grow. Thus shall the strenuous Bhikkhu, undeceived,
unravel all the tangled skein of life? this is the baselike the great earth
to menand this the root of all increase in goodness, the starting-point of
all the Buddhas teachings, virtue, to wit, true bliss depends.

On the other hand, a person endowed with virtue is always taken care by Devas, and
also paid respect and honoured by all men.
There is a story in Sla Vimagsa Jtaka concerning virtuethis story the
Master, while residing at Jetavana, told concerning a Brahmin who would test the
power of virtue. The king, they say owing to his reputation for virtue, regarded him
with special honour, beyond what was paid to other Brahmins. He thought, Can it be
that the king regards me with special honour, because I am endowed with virtue, or as
one devoted to the acquisition of learning? I will just test the comparative importance
of virtue and learning.
So one day he abstracted a coin from the royal treasury board. The treasurer,
such was his respect for him, did not say a word. It occurred a second time, and the
treasurer said nothing. But on the third occasion he had him arrested as one lived by
robbery, and brought him before the king. And when the king asked what his offence
was, he charged him with stealing the kings property.
Is this true, Brahmin? said the king.
I am not in the habit of stealing your property, sire, he said, but I had my
doubts as to the relative important of virtue and learning, and in testing which was the
greater of the two, I thrice abstracted a coin, and then I was given into custody and
brought before you. Now that I know the greater efficacy of virtue compared with
learning, I no longer wish to live a lay man life. I will become an ascetic.
On obtaining leave to do so, without so much as looking back on his house
door, he went straight to Jetavana and begged the Master to ordain him. The Master
granted him both deacons and priests orders. And he had been no long time in
orders, before he attained to spiritual insight and reached the highest fruition. The
incident was discussed in the Hall of truth, how that a certain Brahmin, after proving
the power of virtue, took orders and obtaining spiritual insight reached the Sainthood.
When the Master came and enquired the Brethren what was the nature of the topic
they were sitting to discuss, on hearing what it was, he said, not this man now only,
but sages of old also put virtue to the proof, and by becoming ascetics worked out
their own salvation. And herewith he told a story of the past.
Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta
was born in a Brahmin family. And when he came of age, he acquired every liberal at
Takkasil, and on his return to Benares he went to see the king. The king offered him
the post of family priest, and as he kept the five moral precepts, the king looked upon
him with respect as a virtuous man. Can it be, he thought, the king regards me with
respect as a virtuous man, or as one devoted to the acquisition of learning? And the
whole story corresponds exactly with the modern instance, but in this case the
Brahmin said, Now I know the great importance of virtue compared with learning.
And hereupon he spoke these five stanzas:

Virtue and learning I was fain to test; Henceforth I doubt not virtue is the
best. Virtue excels vain gifts of form and birth, Apart from virtue learning
has no worth. A prince or peasant, if to sin enslave, In neither world from
misery in saved. Men of high caste with those of base degree, If virtuous
here, in heaven will equal be. Not birth, no lore, nor friendship aught avails,
pure virtue only future bliss entails.

According to Buddhism in some positions, the priority should be given to one who
has virtue first because that person can maintain whatever position is appointed to and
please others with his righteousness and honesty which bring good result. In
Assalyana sutta, the Buddha stated that if there were two Brahmin students who were
brothers, born of the same mother, one studious and acute, but immoral and of bad
character, and one neither studious nor acute, but virtuous and of good character. In
this case, at a funeral feast or at a ceremonial milk-rice offering, or at a sacrificial
feast, or at feast for guests, on such occasions, the Brahmin would also feed first the
one who was neither studious nor acute, but virtuous and of good character for it
brings great fruit. So a person should be high in virtue which he possesses. The wise
man who is virtuous man places himself lower than others, and pushes his virtue
forwards higher than others always. That is why he is respected by all men from high
or low castes or it is liken to the water from rivers and valleys in all directions flow,
bowing down into the ocean in low surface. Naturally, the ocean can receive the water
from all places in the same manner as to the wise person has virtue who can receive
the respect from all men even thought he is born in low caste. True dignity and peace
cannot occur to men unless men in all castes have virtue. Confucius said, "If the will
be set on virtue, there will be no practice of wickedness.

4.3 Caste, knowledge and moral conducts
Caste, knowledge and morality are related matters to be discussed here.
Caste is the best thing for people. The best is the enemy of the good. The
highest is the enemy of the low. So, which one is better than. People respect caste or
respect knowledge or respect morality.
A Brahmin thought that he was born in the highest caste. So he did not respect
others who were not a Brahmin. Like in the case of the Ambaha, a Brahmin youth
who had conceit of his birth and did not respect the Lord Buddha. He thought that
Buddha was born in lower lineage than him. The story is thus: Pokkharast had a
pupil, the youth Ambaha, who was a student of the Vedas, a skilled expounder of the
rules and rituals, the lores of sounds and meanings and fifthy, oral tradition, complete
in philosophy and in the marks of the Great Man, admitted and accepted by his master
in the three Vedas with the words: what I know. You know; what you know, I know.
The Buddha was said to be an Arahant, fully-enlighten One, endowed with wisdom
and conduct, Well-farer, knower of the worlds, incomparable Trainer of men to be
tamed, the teacher of gods and humans.
When Pokkharast heard like this, he assigned Ambaha to find out whether
the Buddha possesses the thirty two marks or not. Ambaha went to meet the Buddha.
When meeting, he exchanged courtesies with him and sat down to one side. But
Ambaha walked up and down while the Lord sat there, utter some vague words of
politeness, and then stood so speaking before the seated Lord. The Lord Buddha
asked him whether he behaves like this when he talks to the venerable and learned
Brahmins, teachers of teachers, as he did with him, walking and standing while he
was sitting. Ambaha replied, No, a Brahmin should walk with a walking Brahmin,
stand with a standing Brahmin, sit with a sitting Brahmin, and lie down with a
Brahmin who is lying down. But as for those shaven little ascetics, menials, black
scourings from Brhms foot, with them it is fitting to speak just I do with the
reverend Gotama.
By seeing that, Buddha said, Ambaha, you have not perfected your training.
Your conceit of being trained is due to nothing but inexperience. At that time,
Ambaha was angry with the Buddha when Buddha said that to him. And he accused
the Sakyans of being menial three times till the Buddha traced back to the former day
knowing that king Okkka, ancestor of Sakyans had a slave-girl called Dis and
Ambaha was a son of her. So the Buddha said that is how in the former daysthe
Sakyans were the masters, and you are descended from a slave-girl and so on.
Then, the Buddha continued to say this: Ambaha, this verse was pronounced
by Brahm Sanankumra:
Khattiyas the best among those who value clan; He with knowledge and
conduct is best of gods and men.
This verse was rightly sung, not wrongly, rightly spoken, not wrongly,
connected with profit, not unconnected. And, Ambaha, I too say this:
khattiyas best among those who value clan: He with knowledge and
conduct is best of gods and men.
But reverend, Gotama, what is this conduct, what is this knowledge?
Ambaha , it is not from the standpoint of the attainment unexcelled
knowledge-and-conduct that reputation based on birth and clan is
declared, nor on the conceit which say: you are worthy of me , you are
not worthy of me! for wherever there is a giving , a taking, or a giving
and taking in marriage, there is always this talk and this conceitbut
those who are enslaved by such things are far from the attainment of the
unexcelled knowledge-and-conduct, which is attained by abandoning all
such things!.
But, Reverend Gotama, what is this conduct, what is this knowledge?
Ambaha, a Tathgata arises in this world an Arahant, fully-enlighten
Buddha, endowed with wisdom and conduct, Well-farer, knower of the
worlds, incomparable Trainer of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and
humans, enlightened and blessed. He, having realized it by his own super-
knowledge, proclaims this world with its Devas, mras and Brahms, its
princes and people. He preaches the Dhamma which is lovely in its
beginning, lovely in its middle, lovely in its ending, in the spirit and in the
letter, and displays the fully-perfected and purified holy life. A disciple
goes forth and practices the moralities; he guards the sense-doors, etc;
attain the four Jhnathus he develops conduct. He attains various
insights, and the cessation of the corruptionsAnd beyond this there is no
further development of knowledge and conduct that is higher or more

According to this story Pokkharast just sent Ambaha to find out whether the
Buddha was endowed with thirty two marks as a Great Man or not, but when meeting
the Buddha, Ambaha did not asked him politely. Instead he was insolent and looked
on Buddha and reproached the Sakyan clan. His behaviour lacked of morality even
though he was the master of knowledge in three Vedas. That was why when
Pokkharast asked Ambaha about his conversation with the Buddha, so Ambaha
told Pokkharast all that had passed between the Lord and him.
At this, Pokkharast exclaimed: well, youre a fine little scholar, a fine wise
man, a fine expert in the three Vedas! Anyone going about his business like that ought
when he dies, at the breaking-up of the body, to go the downfall, to the evil path, to
ruin, to hell! You have heaped insults on the Reverend Gotama, as a result of which
he has brought up more and more things against us! Youre a fine scholar! He was
so angry and enraged that he kicked Ambaha over, and wanted to start out at once to
see the Lordwhen he met the Buddha he asked him about Ambaha. At that time,
the Buddha replied as the cases had occurred. At this, Pokkharast said to the Lord:
Reverend Gotama, Ambaha is a young fool. May the Reverend Gotama pardon
him. Brahmin, may Ambaha be happy, said the Buddha.
Then Pokkharast looked out for the thirty two marks of a Great Man on the
Lords body and he could see all of them except for two: the sheathed genitals and the
large tongue. But the lord set his mind at rest about these. By knowing that, the
Brahmin, Pokkharast was happy and so he requested the Buddha to accept his meal
together with members of monks. And the lord consented by silence.
In offering dna day, Pokkharast served the Buddha with choice hard and
soft food and the young men served monks. And when the lord Buddha had taken his
hand from the bowl, Pokkharast sat down on one side on a low stool.
On that day, the Buddha also delivered a graduated discourse on generosity,
on morality, etc. The Brahmin, Pokkharast, having seen, attained, experienced and
penetrated the Dhamma and kindly became devoted to the Buddha from that day
It is really difficult to say that a person is superior by birth because the person
who is born in the high or lineage may do bad actions and commit bad things such as
drinking wine, having sexual misconduct with women, commit a crime for he may
become a gangster, robber or kidnapper fighting, robbing and oppressing others in
society. Such kind of person is not liked and respected by others because his action is
In other words, even man was born in high lineage or he may be in high
position but if his morality is low he would be classed as a low man. A man with a
low morality would not be highly regarded by the higher company. Knowledge and
morality are the two important factors. But according to ethical rules, morality is more
important than knowledge. Like Ambaha, the Brahmin youth who was highly
educated person, but his moral conduct was low. He did not use diplomatic speech in
conversation with Buddha. So he could not accomplish his task, and his teacher was
angry and kicked him because of his bad behaviour towards Buddha and the
unsuccessful task. This case show us that morality is very important, however, if a
person possesses only morality without knowledge may has good looking, but is
liken to a kind of flower has no smell but just beauty. So knowledge and moral
conduct are both needed.

Even among Brahmins, the skilled and the educated Brahmin stands above
others and the morally superior one above even the skilled and the
educated. This shows that the value of a human being lies not in birth but
in the attainment of skills, knowledge, and moral habit etc.

The conceit about caste, high lineage, wealth or beauty is not good for every one. In
Buddhism, a person is advised to avoid or remove conceit (mna), craving (tah) and
wrong view (micch dihi). These three Dhammas can obstruct ones spiritual
development, bring a lot of troubles to society and prolong the life-cycle as well.
Especially, one of them is conceit if any one has conceit it lead him to have the ideas
or imaginations of (1) Superiority, (2) Equality and (3) Inferiority.

" ... Samo visesi athava nihino He who builds up such imaginations,
Yo mannati so vivadetha tena He is equal, he is superior, he is inferior to me.
tisu vidhasu avikampamano Such imaginations will lead to quarrels!
samo visesiti na tassa hoti .. . ". He who is unshaken by these three fancies,
To him, there will be no equality, no

Everybody can avoid these three words and surely can obtain certain benefit by the
following methods:

You can avoid having unnecessary worry and trouble if you refrain from
comparing yourself with others. By itself the act of comparison may not be
wrong if it inspires you to become wiser in thought and nobler in deeds.
But, too often, comparing yourself with others to see who is a superior
lead to conceit and unnecessary worry. If you thing you are equal to others,
you may become complacent and stagnate. If you think you are inferior to
others, you may become timid and helpless. Therefore to avoid having such
negative mental states, refrain from making comparisons. It may be useful
to remember that superiority, equality, and inferiority are relative states
which change constantly with time, place and circumstances. In endless
rounds within the ocean of life and death (sasra), we have all been
superior, equal and inferior to one another at different times. At one time
you may be a beggar, while at another a millionaire.
According to Buddhism human beings' status is promoted by morality. Therefore,
Buddhists build their lives on morality as far as they possibly can. Some Buddhists,
who think that in the worldly life, there is not enough time to practise higher morality,
higher concentration and higher wisdom or knowledge, become bhikkhus (monks)
with the intention of getting rid of conceit, greed, anger and delusion.

One should also follow some disciplines. Discipline is an important factor.
Discipline leads to morality; morality leads to concentration and concentration leads
to knowledge or wisdom. In other words, the Buddha explains that wisdom is
purified by morality, and morality is purified by wisdom; the moral man is wise, and
the wise man is moral.

However, one cannot establish morality in him without disciplining himself
first. So, first a person trains himself in discipline. Without discipline one cannot
become a good person or successful one because humans are social beings who live in
society or a country, without exception, depending on laws, disciplines, rules and
regulations. If without these pivotal principles, human beings cannot live in peace,
harmony and mutual understanding. They will live and fight or harm each other in
view of the lack of disciplines as well as moral conducts. So they ought to discipline
themselves to have morality and high education. One day, after performing uposatha,
rector sayadaw, Dr. Nandamala admonished monks in Sm hall that monks should be
higher in education, discipline and morality than lay people. Especially when monks
have morality they are revered by lay people.
According to Myanmar tradition they respect monks in speech even when a monk
passed away they also use polite word:

In this case, there is a Myanmar word: Phonegyi byan Phonegyi means
monk and Byan means deceased ,passed away, or flying to the
higher realm. Monk is naturally higher in moral character and thus, he
may reach the higher realms. Therefore, when monk is dead, devotees
said, our venerable monk, is now flying to the higher realms of existence:
they dont say our monk is dead.

In Cambodian language also has polite word to say concerning passing away of monk.
They say a monk is Sugat when the monk is dead. It may mean the monk has gone
to a good destination of the very happy world after death. In other word, they say a
monk is attained Anicca-dhamma, or it means the monk is received impermanent
law in life.
It is seen that in Buddhist countries like Myanmar and Cambodia, people
mostly respect the monks with all their heart. Some persons even dare not to walk
across or step on the shadow of monks on a journey along the road because they are
afraid of sin. Some people who have strong faith in Buddhism even though they see
monks manner are clumsy, but they still respect them. Here it should reasonably be
understood that volition is important in Buddhism. Some Buddhists in the modern day
think that they do not respect individual monk, but the Sanghas. So even though they
pay respect to an immoral monk, but they focus their mind on the Sanghas. Some say
that if one wished to perform meritorious deeds with only the purely moral monks he
would wait for whole life to find them, but he would fail do so as to nowadays it is
hard to find Ariya Sanghas like in the Buddhas time. Some say that they respect the
robe. Of course, according to Dhajagga Sutta mentions that monks robe is likened to
a symbol of the flag of the Arahant. By this understanding, they still pay homage to
the monks. Our lord Buddha for when he was Bodhisatta who had been born as an
elephant. He was about to kill a certain elephant-hunter who had killed other
elephants that were his kinsmen, but when he saw the robe on the body of that hunter,
he stopped killing because he respected the robe used by Arahants and reminded him
of the quality of virtue or morality of the Arahants who wear such robe.
But he advised the elephant-hunter thus:

Whoever being depraved, devoid of self-control and truthfulness, should
don the monk's yellow robe, he surely is not worthy of the robe.
But whoever is purged of depravity, well-established in virtues or morality
and filled with self-control and truthfulness, he indeed is worthy of the
yellow robe.

Actually, to say correctly is to respect virtue or morality of the person who wear the
robe, but not to respect the robe for if they respect the robe why many robes sold in
market place are not respected or paid homage. The important thing here is real
individual volition. For if his volition is good, the action is good, and the result will be
wholesome. Generally a person who leads a way of life in accordance with moral
codes can enjoy real peace and happiness in life better that the one who never knows
what morality is. He is also lucky and free from many social problems and his life is
meaningful both here and hereafter. Persons who practise good conduct of body,
speech, and mind, are mostly long-lived, beautiful, and abound in happiness in life. In
this respect, caste is not concerned with the quality of virtue or morality of man. Most
of people in the world now do not like caste adoption. So they do not respect caste of
the people, but on contrary, they respect the person who has knowledge together with
good moral conduct. The person who has wealth or power he may be respected by
others only when he is in the position of them, but when he become poor or powerless
he may not be respected any more, but the person who has morality generally gain
much respect from others with honest heart all times.

4.4 A dispute of caste based on birth and lineage
The dispute between man and man pertaining to high birth and high lineage occurs in
society in the old day as well as the present one. However, a person cannot be said
high because of birth if his action is bad and immoral.
Obviously, in humans society those who were born in high or rich family
with good birth and good complexion are usually proud of themselves and their
lineage. But some are also good and not proud because they may have high education
or morality. These things had occurred since the Buddhas time up to now.
In the Buddha life time, Vseha and Bhradvja while they were walking and
wandering for exercise, this discussion arose between them. how is one abrahmin?
when Vseha asked like this, the Brahmin student Bhradvja said: when one is
well-born on both sides, of pure maternal and paternal descent seven generations
back, unassailable and impeccable in respect of birth, then one is a Brahmin. In this
case, the Brahmin student Bhradvja could not convince the Brahmin student
Vseha. They could not convince each other.
The two Brahmin students had doubts within their Brahmins community.
They wondered whether they were Brahmin by birth or not. They were in doubts for
what they had learned in religious scriptures from their teachers. So they went to ask
the Buddha to clarify the doubts. Then, a Brahmin student said this to the Buddha: A
dispute has arisen between us, Gotama, concerning the question of birth and class:
Bhradvja says one is a Brahmin by birth, while I hold one is Brahmin by action.
Know this, O seer, as our debate.
When being asked like this, the Buddha replied to the two Brahmin students
thus: I will explain to you as they really are, he said among living beings, grass and
trees, moths and butterflies, quadrupeds, snakes, water-dwelling fish and birds have
different kinds of births and distinctive marks. But humans no differences of birth
make a distinctive mark in them. He continued to explain concerning the
characteristics of human bodies in the following ways:
Nor in the hairs nor in the head
Nor in the ears nor in the eyes
Nor in the mouth nor in the nose
Nor in the lips nor in the brows;
Nor in the shoulders or the neck
Nor in the belly or the back
Nor in the bottucks or the breast
Nor in the anus or genitals;
Nor in the hands nor in the feet
Nor in the fingers or the nails
Nor in the knees nor in the thighs
Nor in their colour or in voice:
Here birth makes no distinctive mark
as with the other kinds of birth.
In human bodies in themselves
Nothing distinctive can be found.
Distinction among human beings
Is purely verbal designation.
The Buddha pointed out that humans are assigned the name and clan according to
their occupations respectively. He said those who makes his living among men by
serving others, is called a servant. Who makes his living among men by agriculture is
called a farmer. Who makes his living by merchandise, is called a merchant.
Whoever governs among men the town and the realm is called a ruler, and
who has cut off all fetters and is no more by anguish shaken, who has overcome all
ties, detached: he is the one I call a Brahmin, etc. The Buddha did not recognise a
person because of his origin and lineage. He did not accept the belief that one is a
king, a Brahmin, a merchant and a servant or a worker by birth. The Buddha
demonstrated that for the name and clan are assigned as mere designation in the
world; origin in conventions, they are assigned here and there. This is obvious fact in
human society for if one accepts the belief that a person becomes such and such
person depending on his origin, clan or birth is wrong because it is seen that that a
son of a farmer may grow up and become a leader but not a farmer any more.
Sometime a person born in common family but when grow up he becomes a king by
chance through his effort in certain circumstances. So a Brahmin is not a Brahmin by
birth from one generation to generation forever. Things are changeable according to
time, action and situation. That is why the Buddha said:
One is not a Brahmin by birth,
Nor by birth a non-brahmin.
By action is one a Brahmin,
By action is one a non-brahmin.

For men are farmers by their acts,
And by their acts are craftsmen too;
And men are merchants by their acts,
And by their acts are servants too.
And men are robbers by their acts,
And by their acts are soldiers too;
And men are chaplain by their acts,
And by their acts are rulers too.
So that is how the truly wise
See action as it really is,
Seers of dependent origination,
Skilled in action and its result.
Action makes the world go round,
Action makes this generation turn.
Living beings are bound by action
Like the chariot wheel by the pin.
Asceticism, the holy life,
Self-control and inner training-
By this one become a Brahmin,
In this supreme Brahmin hood lies.

One more thing, the Buddha said cittena nyati loko it means the world is led by
mind. Every action of man is originated from the mind. If the human mind thinks to
do what is good, the action is good, and if the man thinks to do what is bad, his action
is bad accordingly. They can know a person is good or bad depending on his three
actions, that is, bodily, verbal and mental actions. For bodily and verbal actions are
easily known to others. But the mental action is not easily known because generally
people say that they cannot see the mind. The mind has no form to be seen. So they do
not know the mind. But there is a saying, speech is the picture of the mind. So
mostly they can know peoples mind through the speech that is the outcome from
their thinking mind. What they think sooner or later it will lead to the acts either good
or bad. Therefore, as a result, they become a person from what they thought.
In a social context in which the domination of the Brahmins who claimed
unquestioned superiority because of the reason of birth, the Buddha wrought a
revolution of ideas, that echoes down the corridors of time, even to our day. The
formula of the Buddha's thought revolution is contained in many of his discourses.
But it is Vasala Sutta (The Discourse on outcastes) that the Buddha's challenging
views are unambiguously articulated. Vasala Sutta (The Discourse on outcastes)
derives from the Buddha's response to a caste-proud Brahmin, who insulted the
Buddha, for daring to appear at the site of a fire-ritual he was getting ready to
One day, the Buddha visited the residence of the Aggikabhradvja. He had
kindled a fire and was performing a fire-ritual. The Brahmin became angry at the
sight of the Buddha approaching. He started abusing the Buddha, calling Him
Shaven head-outcast. The Buddha remained unperturbed by the abuse, retaining his
pleasantness. He asked the Brahmin, O Brahmin, do you who an outcast is? Or what
makes an outcast? The Brahmin said, I do now know. If you know could you
explain them to me?
Then the Buddha said, A person does not become an outcast or Brahmin by
birth. He becomes an outcast or a Brahmin only in terms of his deeds. Those who get
angry quickly, those who harbour hatred, those who are evil and ungrateful, those
who cover up their faults, those who kill animals, those who have no love of beings,
terrorists and bandits who destroy villages and market towns, who borrow and do not
return what is borrowed, those who do not after the aged parents even when they can
care for them, those who denigrate the Buddha and religious persons, those who exalt
themselves but demean others, who get angry constantly, those who are extremely
stingy, those who are bereft of shame and fear, those who utter falsehoods, and those
who are seen with the wives of others, however high their caste, their clan, their
family or their community, they are outcast.
As a matter of fact, those Brahmins who had been long classified and
honoured by society were not recognized by the Buddha as true Brahmin. The
reason is that even some Brahmins in their community in that day were not
recognized all like one of them was Vseha, the student of many well-to-do
Brahmins also did not believe that Brahmin is a Brahmin by birth. Even some
Brahmins or Hindus in some countries today also do not accept caste system as true
one. When a Hindu man was asked is there a caste system of Hindu religion? He
answered thus:

The mythology of creation from head (Buddhists are known from mouth),
body (from arms), thighs and feet is mere postulation, but anyhow it has
helped to control the ways of the least learned audience.
There is no exact equivalent word for caste in Hindu religion. In reality
there is only Gotra, Jti and Vanna in Hindu culture. Gotra shows which
theme of Theo-philosophy of devotion the devotee follows; Jti shows his
place of birth or his race in general. Vanna shows what job he does to earn
his bread. It is human nature to have a high opinion of oneself and think
low of the other. People gradually started to set class on people by ones
bread-earning-profession, which gradually changed to what is called

From what he said above is partially in agreement with the Buddhist-theory on action
(kamma) that the Buddha had expounded in Vseha Sutta in which he said a person
is called a Khattiya ( ruler), a Brahmin, a merchant, a worker ,( a servant) or an
outcast(Chandla) according to the action that he performs in his career. That is why
the Buddha said:

Na jacc vasalo hoti Not by birth does one become an outcaste,
Na jacc hoti brahmao not by birth does one become a Brahman.
Kammun vasalo hoti By ones action one becomes an outcaste,
Kammun hoti brahmao by one action one become a Brahman.

Therefore, Buddhists know that kamma create every thing in the world and the result
of kamma good or bad, strong or weak depends on volition that associates with it.

4.5 Caste and Buddhist-kammic theory
Buddhists believe that kamma is a real creator. No gods creates caste, but in reality
the very action of man create it in society. No other theory can be expressed correctly
as the kammic-theory in Buddhism.
Mr. Sor Sa Run, Professor of literature faculty denied kammic-theory in
Theravda Buddhism because when it is applied in society, the result can be different
from the act. In his book Try Studying Khmer Sociology in Khmer language he
wrote that the Buddha understands the problems of society, but he did not understand
the social theory. He said what the Buddha taught do good get good result, do bad
get bad result is not totally correct because a person who does good may get bad
result if he lives in a bad society, or the injustice one. Instead, if a person who does
bad action may get good result if he lives in bad society. Also, a person do good may
get good result if he lives in good society. He stressed that Metteya the future Buddha
has capacity to prepare human society to get peace and happiness. This shows that
Metteya Buddha understands social theory while Gotama Buddha did not. So Gotama
Buddha let Metteya Buddha continue the mandate of his dispensation to add social
theory that he lacked to make society run well with peace and harmony prevalent. He
mentioned that the theory in small vehicle (Hna yna) or (Theravda) is
individualism. That is why he wrote in his book thus:

Do good receive good, do bad receive bad, is individual theory because
some achieved while majority are not achieved:
Good doer if he lives in corrupt society not exactly he can receive good in
Bad doer if he lives in justice society he will receive bad, but if he lives in
corrupt society he can receive much good result this is to show that the
fate of individual is related absolutely with the fate of society. Example, a
thief stole a cow in this case if he lived in justice society he would be
punished, but if he lived in corrupt society, the thief would become the
owner of the cow, and the owner of the cow would be the thief. At this
point, we can see that Gotama Buddha was careless of social theory or did
not understand social theory was also possible. Buddha presumed that to
educate individual to become good in that way society as whole would be
good accordingly. This made us understand that Gotama Buddha confused
society with collectivity. Good or bad deeds of individual really do not
respond in conformity with good or bad deeds of others:
Some seek happiness by earning living in righteous means. Some seek
happiness by earning their living on the pile of suffering of others.

Actually, no one can reject the law of kamma even our lord Buddha. As he sows, so
he reaps. This is the nature of kamma, and the result accords with the deed. The effect
never deviates from the cause. No one can escape from the result of kamma. If any
one does any action, he will get result, and the result is never contrary to the action.
Law made by man in society is influenced by authority of man. Due to the influents of
greed, hatred, delusion and the four partialities, that is, the partiality because of love,
hate, ignorance and fear, man may turn black into white, right into wrong and so on.
Some lawmakers and lawyers take the law into their own hands owing to these
reasons. In such case justice is not found. So a person does good action, but gets bad
result while a person does bad action get good. One should be careful because some
small groups of people who violate the law may be happy through their success by
committing bad action, and they insolently say Do good, receive good, do bad
receive money. It is not like the Buddha said, Do good, beget good, do bad beget
bad. Here one can see that only man judged the result of action wrongly in society.
Therefore, there is a saying, Law is made by man, god is blind, so do not be too
stubborn to believe it. However, the law of kamma is natural law. It is not made by
any one. It is not at any ones command or under any ones influence. And so it is
justice and accepted by Buddha. The law of kamma is concerned not only with the
matter of the present, but also the past and future, and it can give a result both in the
present and in the future as well. So a person who does bad action, but get good result
should not be happy yet. The Buddha said as long as the sin do not bear a result, the
fool still rejoices in his bad action again and again, but one day when the sin gives
result, he will reap it. In the same way, a person who does good action, but receive
bad result should not be disappointed yet, because the wholesome action will have a
chance to give him a result one day.

The nature of kamma is subtle; the power of kamma is very strong. People
think that after they have performed an action, the action dissolves and
disappear, leaving nothing behind. But it is not no so. Although the action
has been completed, the energy of cetan arising at the time of action does
not vanish. It remains dormant in mental stream.
Although the time taken in throwing a stone into a lake is very short, the
ripples caused by the force of the falling stone will continue to rise and fall
for a long time.
Although the rain stops within a few hours, the cooling effect caused by
the rain drops which have permeated into the soil does not vanish
immediately. And again, since the grass growing in the rainy season
disappears in the hot season, one may think that nothing is left behind. But
actually, as seeds are left in the ground grass will grow again in the next
rainy season. Thus, on account of seeds, grass appears season after season
giving rise to an un-ending cycle of seeds and grass.
The power of the seeds of kamma is more subtle than that of the seeds of
grass. It will not decay, dissolve and disappear in hundreds of world
systems and will endure for over. At the opportune moment the seed of
kamma will bear fruit even after a lapse of a number of world systems. In
the Abhidhamma (Pathna, the seventh book), this kamma is called
Nnkkhanika kamma.
All beings will remain heirs to their respective kammas until the time
when the power of the kammas, which they have performed in previous
countless existences (that have no beginning) are eliminated by Four Path
Knowledges (Ariya Maggas). They will have to enjoy or suffer the good
or bad results of their kammas; this is called kammavaa. Therefore, good
Buddhists (or even non-Buddhists) should take great care in their thought,
words and deeds so that they may not commit even the slightest of evil

So, in the above-mentioned quotation elucidate us that the results of the deeds done
by man either good or bad never disappears if have suitable chance they will bear the
result. In this sense, it makes us know further that no one knows all about kamma,
except for the Buddha. However, at least one should know that Kamma itself is a
judge over the doings of beings unbiasedly and morally in accordance with natural

Kamma is not moral justice. If one takes it as moral justice, then one
suggests that someone is sitting in judgement over beings. There is no one
who makes judgements over the doings of beings; there is just the moral
law of kamma. Just as kamma is not moral judgement, so it is not reward
and punishment. According to the law of kamma, if you do good deeds,
you get good results, and if you do bad deeds, you get bad results.
However, these good and bad results are punishment. Kamma is a moral
law which needs no lawgiver, a law which operates naturally.

That is why if one studies Buddhism deeply or thoroughly, one will know not only the
nature of kamma but also one will know that almost every thing is in Buddhism. One
should have studied all Tipiakas before one said Theravda Buddhism lacks such and
such theory.
So, for what Mr. Sor Sa Run said, Gotama Buddha did not understand social
problems as well as social theory, are not accepted by all Buddhist societies because
he may had knowledge in Buddhism superficially and so he also did not understand
Buddhist-sociological theory, too. There is nothing in this world that is known by
others and it is not known by the Buddha. We may be confused with the law of
kamma, but the law of kamma itself never confuses with us.
Buddhists believe in Kamma, but the belief of kamma in Buddhism should be
free from socially unjust action. It should be natural and should not be characterised
by any authority. Buddhist-kammic-theory is different from common social-kammic
theory. These are some more Buddhist-kammic theories approach to social problems
pertaining to caste that one should understand better in the following way:
Political, social, cultural, economic as well as psychological factors promote
ignorance, and thus means of exploitation of individuals or groups by other
individuals or groups. Karma committed by an individual could determine his birth in
rich or poor circumstances. Furthermore, the law of karma works in the same way for
all without any distinction as to one is of high or low caste. According to the law of
karma, reward and punishment are strictly in proportion to good and evil done, and
ones birth or caste has no relevance in this context.
The third argument is based on sociological considerations. When one
examines certain societies, one finds two caste systems. In some other societies there
is no caste system at all. If the almighty God created the four castes, the four-caste
system should be available in all human societies, and as such, there is no logic to
accept the fact that the four caste system was a divine creation.
Once a Brahmin youth questioned the Buddha in this manner: "What is the
reason and the cause for the inequality among human beings, despite their being
human?" the Buddha replied: "Beings inherit their karma; and it is karma which
divides beings in terms of their inequalities."

Although people are by birth equal yet they differ in society in so far as their
personal deeds are concerned.
So the Buddha said kamma satte vibhajjati yadida hinappantatya.
Beings are divided by their deeds, as noble and ignoble. Some people are rich and
some are poor. This kind of distinction is made by kamma. So Kamma is an architect
of our life.
This fact is mentioned clearly and in detail in Cullakammavibhaga Sutta,

of Majjhima Nikya thus: on one occasion the blessed One was living at Savah in
Jetas Grove, Anthapindikas Park.

Then the Brahmin student Subha, Todeyyas son , went to the blessed One and
exchange greetings with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he
sat down at one side and asked the Blessed One:
Master Gotama, what is the cause and condition why human being are seen to
be inferior and superior? For people are seen to be short-lived and long lived, sickly
and healthy, ugly and beautiful, un-influential and influential, poor and wealthy, low-
born and high-born, stupid and wise. What is the course and condition, Master
Gotama, why human beings are seen to be inferior and superior? when being asked
by Subha, the Buddha answered the questions gradually and meaningfully as below:
Student, beings are owners as their actions, heirs of their actions; they
originate from their actions, are bound to their actions, have their actions as their
refuge. It is action that distinguishes beings as inferior and superior.
I do not understand in detail the meaning of Master Gotamas statement,
which he spoke in brief without expounding the meaning in detail. It would be good if
Master Gotama would teach me the Dhamma so that I might understand in detail the
meaning of Master Gotamas statement.
Then, student, listen and attend closely to what I shall say.
Yes, sir, the Brahmin student Subha replied. The Blessed One said this:
Here, student, some man or woman kills living beings and is murderous,
bloody handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. Because of
performing and undertaking such action on the dissolution of the body, after death, he
reappears in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in
hell. But if on the dissolution of the body, after death, he does not reappear in a state
of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition hell, but instead come back to
the human state, the wherever he is reborn he is short-lived. This the way, student,
that leads to short life, namely, one kills living beings and is murderous, bloody-
handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings.
But here, student, some man or woman abandon the killing of living beings,
abstains from killing living beings; with rod and weapon laid aside, gentle and kindly,
he abides compassionate to all living beings. Because of performing and
understanding such action, on the dissolution of the body, after death he reappears in a
happy destination, even in the heavenly world. But if on the dissolution of the body,
after death he does not reappear in a happy destination in the heavenly world, but
instead come back to the human state, then wherever he is reborn he is long lived.
This is the way, student, that leads to long life, namely, abandoning the killing of
human beings, one abstaining from killing living beings; with rod and weapon lead
aside, gentle and kindly, one abides compassionate to all living beings.
Here, student, some man or woman is given to injuring beings with the hand,
with a clod, with a stick, or with a knife. Because of performing and undertaking such
action, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of
deprivation. But if instead he comes back to the human state, then wherever he is
reborn he is sickly. This is the way, student, that leads to sickness, namely, one is
given to injuring beings with hand, with a clod, with a stick or with a knife.
But here, student, some man or woman is not given to injuring beings with
the hand, with the clod, with a stick, or with a knife. Because of performing and
understanding such action, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in
a happy destination..But if instead he comes back to the human state, then wherever
he is reborn he is healthy. This is the way, student, that leads to health, namely, one is
not given to injuring beings with the hand, with a clod, with a stick, or with a knife.
Here, student, some man or woman is of angry and irritable character; even
when criticised a little, he is offended, becomes angry, hostel, and resentful, and
displays anger, hate, and bitterness. Because of performing and undertaking such
actionhe reappears in a state of deprivation but if instead he comes back to the
human state, then wherever he is reborn he is ugly. This is the way, student, that leads
to ugliness, namely, one is of angry and irritable characterand displays anger, hate
and bitterness.
Here, student, some man or woman is of not angry and irritable character;
even when criticised a little, he is not offended, does not become angry, hostel, and
resentful, and does not display anger, hate and bitterness. Because of performing and
undertaking such actionhe reappears in a happy destinationbut if instead he
comes back to the human state, then wherever he is reborn he is beautiful. This is the
way, that leads to being beautiful, namely, one is not of angry and irritable
characterand does not display anger, hate and bitterness.
Here, student, some man or woman is envious, one who envies, resents, and
begrudges the gains, honour, respect, reverence, salutations, and veneration received
by others. Because of performing and undertaking such actionhe reappears in a
state of deprivationbut if instead he comes back to the human state, then wherever
he is reborn he is un-influential. This is the way, student, that leads to un-influential,
namely, one is envious towards the gains, honour, respect, reverence, salutations, and
veneration received by others.
But here, student, some man or woman is not envious, one who does not
envy resents, and begrudges the gains, honour, respect, reverence, salutations, and
veneration received by others. Because of performing and undertaking such action
he reappears in a happy destinationbut if instead he comes back to the human state,
then wherever he is reborn he is influential. This is the way, student, that leads to
being influential, namely, one is not envioustowards the gains, honour, respect,
reverence, salutations, and veneration received by others.
Here, student, some man or woman does not give food, drink, clothing,
carriages, garlands, scents, unguents, beds, dwelling, and lams to recluses or
Brahmins. . Because of performing and undertaking such actionhe reappears in a
state of deprivationbut if instead he comes back to the human state, then wherever
he is reborn he is poor. This is the way, student, that leads to poverty, namely, one
does not give foodand lamps to recluses or Brahmins.
But here, student, some man or woman gives foodand lamps to recluses or
Brahmins. Because of performing and undertaking such actionhe reappears in a
happy destinationbut if instead he comes back to the human state, then wherever he
is reborn he is wealthy. This way, student, that leads to the wealth, namely, one gives
foodsand lamps to the recluses or Brahmins.
Here, student, some man or woman is obstinate and arrogant; he does not pay
homage to one who should receive homage, does not rise up for one in whose
presence he should rise up, does not offer a seat to one who deserve a seat, does not
make a way for one for whom he should make away, and does not honour, respect,
revered and venerate one who should be honoured, respected, revered, and venerated.
Because of performing and undertaking such actionreappears in a deprivationbut
if instead he comes back to the human state, then wherever he is reborn he is low-
born. This is the way, student, that leads to low-birth, namely, one is obstinate and
arrogant... and does not honour, respect, revered and venerate one who should be
honoured, respected, revered, and venerated.
But here, student, some man or woman is not obstinate and arrogant; he pays
homage to one who should receive homage, rise up for one in whose presence he
should rise up, offer a seat to one who deserve a seat, makes away for one for whom
he should makes away, and honours, respects, reveres, and venerates one who should
be honoured, respected, revered, and venerated.
Because of performing and undertaking such actionhe reappears in a happy
destinationbut if in stead he comes to human state, then wherever he is reborn he is
high-born. This is the way, student, that leads to high birth, namely, one is not
obstinate and arrogantand honours, respects, reveres, and venerates one who should
be honoured, respected, revered, and venerated.
Here, student, some man or woman does not visit a recluse or a Brahmin and
ask venerable sir, what is wholesome? What is unwholesome? What is blamable?
What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not be cultivated? What
kind of action will lead to my harm and suffering for a long time? What kind of action
will lead to my welfare and happiness for a long time? Because of performing and
undertaking such actionhe reappears in a state of deprivationbut if in stead he
comes back to the human state, then wherever he is reborn he is stupid. This is the
way, student, that that leads to stupidity, namely, one does not visit a recluse or
Brahmin and ask such questions.
but here, student, some man or woman visit a recluse or a Brahmin and ask:
venerable sir, what is wholesomewhat kind of action will lead to my welfare and
happiness for a long time? Because of performing and undertaking such actionhe
reappears in a happy destinationbut if stead he comes back to the human state, then
wherever he is reborn he is wise. That is the way, student, that leads to wisdom,
namely, one visits a recluse or Brahmin and asks such questions.
Beings are owners of their actions, student, heirs of their actions; they
originate from their actions, are bound to their actions, have their actions as their
refuge. It is action that distinguishes beings as inferior and superior.

When Buddha stated that inequalities in life are caused by karma, one has to
accept the term karma as covering past volitional activities-present ones and also
future ones an individual would do. The past karma has caused the present birth,
inferior or superior, in a rich or poor circumstances, etc. But once we are born, we are
free to determine our own volitional acts, and these become our new karmas although
a past karma committed by me has influenced my present status, it does not mean that
this is my lot which I cannot change. By engaging in positive karmic activity, I could
change my present and future. Karmic laws are tendencies, and not inevitable
determinants that one cannot change.

It is my ignorance that binds me to negative karmic activities. But when this
ignorance is dispelled, the volitional action that I undertake brings better karmic
results. At the same time, in addition to karma, there are the biological, social,
physical and psychological laws in life. Of these, one or more could contribute to the
inequality in combination with karmic influences. All these laws are causal, but not
The central teaching in Buddhism is to strive to change karma, and then,
control over the effects of kamma. For this-spiritual development would be necessary.
But in the world, if good karma could be performed by individuals and groups,
inequalities could be proportionately reduced. The dispelling of knowledge by means
of education would help us to minimize inequalities, nullifying the impact of not only
the karmic tendencies, but also other causal four laws of nature. Dispelling of
ignorance by whatever means at our command is the surest way to free the human
world from the differences caused by social stratification.

Chapter V: Buddhist approaches to solve caste problem
Secular solution of caste problem is to abolish it according to constitutional law in
particular nation and force all men to abide by that law. In Buddhism, the Order is
established and all people from all castes who enter into it must follow the Dhammas
and Vinayas taught by the Buddha and live harmoniously without discrimination
under the same roof.

5.1 Castes and the Order
Many persons may wonder whether there is caste system in Buddhism or not. If it
exists in Buddhist community or in any Buddhist country they think that it is against
the teachings of the Buddha because the Buddha did not accept caste system in the
Order. So caste system should not exist in Buddhism.

The answer to this can be given briefly, since Buddhism tried to establish
a spiritual order, which is not for this world, it does not claim to be
protagonist of social reforms. It is a common error to believe that the
Buddha wished to destroy the caste system in India; he did not interfere
with the social order as it existed, when he laid down that caste differences
should no longer be observed within his order. This was no innovation, for
this principle was observed among other Indian ascetic.

Concerning this case, some argue that Gotamas objectives were not of this world,
and that Buddha was not a social reformer. The theory much trumpeted about the role
of Buddha as a social reformer was discarded by a galaxy of scholars. Most of them
have decidedly proved that Buddha had never discarded caste system. Buddha did
not attack caste directly, yet in his own orders he did not recognize it, and there is no
doubt that his whole attitude and activity weakened caste system.
Carl Jung (1875-
1961), Swiss psychiatrist said we cannot change anything unless we accept it. If one
accepts something, then it means something is changed. That was the Buddhas
The Blessed Ones concerted campaign against caste-system needs no
narration. The doors of his Sagha were open to all irrespective of status in the
society. He said each and every man or woman by dint of his or her endeavor is
capable of attaining Nirvna. Not only that, he took practical steps of eradicate this
evil. This steps were: His emphasis on not to accept any thing unreasonable simply
because it was recorded in the scriptures or was upheld by other authorities, exposing
the myth of hereditary superiority by dining at their houses; and accepting the low and
lowly as equal members of the Sagha. He said, worth not birth should be the
measure of man.

According to the Buddha, the measure of man should be spiritual attainment
through the Dhamma and Discipline. He accepts all people from all caste who come
into Sagha so that they can enjoy the same spiritual development. When the people
from all castes enter into the Orders in his dispensation, the former names and gotras
are lost.

The Buddha founded a community of monks that was non-exclusive,
supraracial, supranational and world-embracing, called the Sagha. Just all
rivers enter the ocean and lose their individual identities; all those who
enter the Sagha lose their caste, racial and national identities and come to
be called recluses who are sons of the Sakyan sage (samaa sakya-

In the Udna vagga, the Buddha expounded thus:

Just as monk, whatever great rivers there be, that is to say, the Ganges, the
Yamun, the Aciravat, the Sarabh and the Mah, upon reaching the Great
Ocean, abandon their former names and gotras(lineage) are reckoned
simply as the Great Ocean, so in that same way, monks, the four classes
,viz. Brahmins, Katriyas, Vaiyas and dras, these upon going forth
from the home into homelessness in the Dhamma and Discipline made
know by the Tathgata, abandon their former names and gotras are
reckoned simply as recluses who are followers of the Sakyansson. That,
monks, the four classes,viz. Brahmins, Katriyas, Vaiyas and dras,
upon going forth from the home into homelessness in the Dhamma and
Discipline made known by the Tathgata, abandon their former names and
gotras are reckoned simply as recluses who are followers of the Sakyans

Myanmar can maintain a good Buddhist tradition because they have seen that monk in
Myanmar is officially used with his newly given name in Pli language when
addressing to each other, and his former family name and personal name is no more
used. People also address the monk with only his name in Pli, while in Cambodia
and Laos; monk is still used family name and his own name for the new name in Pli
given to him by preceptor is used only in Monks Card.
When a person is ordained in Buddhism his family name and personal one are
changed, so his former name or gotra is lost on the day that he became a novice or a
monk, and he is generally respected and paid homage to by the public including his
parents. In this case, it makes one who has little knowledge in Buddhism
misunderstand upon Buddhism.
The late Dr. Keng Vansac, Doctor of Khmer Literature, criticised Buddhism
when he saw the parents pay homage to the monk who happened to be their son. He
said doing like this; it loses Khmers custom or tradition. According to the tradition,
normally the son must respect the parents. This is the duty of the son, he said. But,
actually, he failed to know that the former name and lineage of the monk are no more
used in Buddhist tradition. The monk is no longer the son of his parents. He is given
new name in Buddhism, and he is called Sakyansson. That is why his parents also
pay homage to him. But there are some parents who do not know this tradition calling
the monk, my son! my son! In this case, the monk is still regarded as a son of the
villager, the district dweller or the Towner. Therefore, there is a Khmer saying: To the
Buddha, thinklessness, homage, to Dhamma, thinklessness, homage, to the Sagha,
thinklessless, homage or in simple words, we can say that pay homage to the Buddha
but be careful lest he is the stone, pay homage to the Dhamma, be careful lest it is the
palm leaves and pay homage to the Sagha, be careful lest he is the son of the district
When one pays homage to the Triple Gems, one should not think I pay
homage to my Buddha, my Dhamma and my venerable son because Buddha is
Buddha, Dhamma is Dhamma and Sagha is Sagha. Buddha, Dhamma and Sagha
belong to no one but all. A Muslim scholar said that,

The Buddha is not a property of Buddhists only. He is the property of all
mankind. His teaching is common to everybody. Every religion which
came into existence after the Buddha has borrowed many good ideas from
the Buddha.

The Dhamma is for all if anyone could strike in his/her full effort by observing the
middle path, he/she may be able to attain the Arahantship in his/her very life. So,
every one can perform wholesome deeds through these three Triple Gems.
Furthermore, it is possible to say that persons who came from all castes to join the
Orders able to enjoy the same taste of liberation from the Dhamma. Just as all the
water with different tastes from all different names of the ponds, the lakes and the
rivers, but when flowing into the Ocean they lost the former name, but remain only
one name called Ocean water with one taste, that is, the salty taste, so also the
Dhamma is. So the Buddha said:

Just as, monks, the Great Ocean is of a single flavour, of the flavour of
salt, so in that same way, monks, is this Dhamma and Discipline of a
single flavour, of the flavour of liberation,
that is, to liberate one from
suffering and attain Nibbna.

It is true that the Buddhist view of caste is different from and more rational than the
religious justification which one finds in Brahmanism. But neither the Buddha
himself, nor any pre-modern Buddhist teacher after him has combated the caste
system. The explanation of the egalitarian attitude which we find in the Sagha, is
simple. Caste is a social distinction, which belongs in the world of the laity, where it
is completely proper and self-evident. As soon as someone becomes a monk, he in
principle steps completely out of the world.
So, caste system should be the matters belong to worldly people, why monks
in Sri Lanka have caste prejudice between monks and lay people. It is said that, caste
exists in Sri Lanka because Buddhist monks believe in caste system, and each of
Buddhist temple inside Hinduism is hiding. Hindu word Kula is for caste. They say
Sri Lankan does not have caste system but among the Buddhist monks they have caste
system. It is the influence of Hinduism. There are three Nikyas of Buddhist monks in
Sri Lanka:
1. Shyma Nikyahigh caste,
2. Amarapura Nikyamedium caste, and
3. Ramannya Nikyalow caste.
The late venerable professor, Sayadaw Bhadanta Kosala also said that there are seven
castes for lay people in Sri Lanka in the present day, namely, (1) farmer caste,(high
caste), (2) merchant caste, (3) goldsmith caste, (4) carpenter caste(medium castes), 5)
fisherman caste, (6) jackery maker caste, and (7) washer man caste (low castes). And
whenever people of these seven castes seek ordination in the Order, they seek it from
different Nikyas of Buddhist monks.
Farmer caste that is considered as high caste seeks ordination in Shyma
Nikya. Merchant caste, gold smith caste and carpenter caste that are considered as
the medium caste seek ordination in Amarapura Nikya. Fisherman caste, jackery
maker caste, and washer man caste that are considered as low caste seek ordination in
Ramannya Nikya. This Ramannya Nikya of Sri Lanka was originated in Myanmar
in Bago Division. According to Dr. Hema Goonatilake, from Sri Lanka in her lecture
on, Myanmar-Sri Lanka Historical Relations, also said the same thing that because
of caste problems, some monks came to be ordained in Myanmar. But she said that
most of educated monks in Sri Lanka are from Amarapura Nikya.

In my opinion, in community of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka should not have
caste discrimination any more because the Buddha had already paved the way to
accept members from all castes into the Orders without caste-discriminating tendency.
Such a kind of discrimination should be eliminated from Buddhist monks community
because it is against the teachings of the Buddha. The Buddhas way which accepts
people from various castes into The Order in dispensation can be said as a proper way
to solve caste controversies in his time. So, all Buddhist monks now must follow the
Buddhas path to lead Buddhist world to live peace and harmony in society.
Buddha created a path that facilitated social mobility in a society where such
movement was almost impossible, primarily because of caste and even class. The
community of monks organized had no caste or class distinction. Anyone hailing from
a rural family or from an ordinary low caste was accepted on equal bases. A new
name replacing the old name was given, and thus, nobility was made easier.
Mobility was facilitated by the emphases on achievement. Education or
gathering of knowledge and development of discipline and cultivation of positive
inner qualities (i.e. virtues) was considered as a factor that promotes mobility.
Skilfullness is thus over and over again praised in Buddhist teachings.

Societys stratification system is caused by human beings. Such divisions
status regarded as high or low in status, weak or strong in power are influenced by
biological, physical. Psychological and karmic factors are pertaining to moral acts and
their consequences and laws pertaining to spiritual phenomena.
Buddhist thinking attempts to understand these influences which, coming
together causes the formulation of a particular stratification system. Primarily it is
mans ignorance which causes the division of society into different levels, either
based on ascription or achievement. The Buddhist approach is to understand the basis
of this ignorance and realize the futility of social stratification in human society.
Buddhist thinking sometimes attempts to understand people in a society by
dividing them into strata based on the internal qualities they possess. The state of
inner development would provide according to Buddhism, a better way of grouping
people into various strata- if at all such a system is necessary. In such a division there
is logical explanation and a moral or ethical base where, as in social stratifications
based on caste, class or ethnicity one cannot find either an ethical or a logical
explanatory process.
Instead, the Buddha contributed his ideas to this interpretation of arranging the
role and the status of an individual based on inner qualities. When some monks in the
order began to exert influence, being conscious of their birth or lineage, the Buddha
condemned such an attitude. These monks believed that the best lodging, best food
etc. should go for those of noble ranks. I.e. Brahmins, kshatriyas." in the religion I
teach, the standard by which precedence in the matter of lodging and the like is to be
settled is not noble birth or having been a Brahmin or having been wealthy before
entry into the order".
Caste was prevalent in India from immemorial times. During the Buddhas
days, caste was a fundamental principle in the social life of the people. A person
belongs to a caste by virtue of his birth, and under no circumstances could this caste
be changed during his lifetime. The Buddhas contribution in this context is his
acceptance of the fact that ones caste could be changed. He put this thinking into
practice by acceptance people from all castes considered high and low-into his
community of monks.
By analysing the Lord Buddha theory the eminent Bangladesh philosopher,
Dr. Govind Chandra Der said, His objective was to ensure social equilibrium in the
spiritual sphere of all who are neglected. Brahmins clan son Srputta, the clans of
Barber Upl and the Kshatriya princes nanda and Anuruddha of the Sakya had no
difference. Queen Mah Pajpati Gotami, courtesan Ambapal, widow without son
Their Chanda, slave Punnika sat in the same seat. Mah Upsik Viskh and outcaste
Mtangi had no difference. Hence, they entered in the same holy order. Through the
Lord Buddha was in the Sakya clans before renouncing home, among His Chief
disciples many were Brahmin clans. His two foremost disciples were Srputta,
prominent in wisdom and Moggalana, prominent in supernatural power. The Brahmin
clans were Nad Kassapa, Gaya Kassapa, Mah Kassapa, Mah Kaccayana and
Punnamanti Putta. The Kshatriya were nanda, Anuruddha, Kimbila, Bighu,
Devadatta, accept Rahula and son of Barber clans Upali entered into holy order
among the Sakya clans. In order to drive out the pride of Sakya princes, the Lord
Buddha gave ordination first the Barber son, Upli, then all the Sakya princes.
According to monastic discipline, if one received first ordination, the late have to
salute the first. Whats a marvellous view right for all!
The Buddha admitted Upli, the barber into the community of monks. Not
only was Upli belonging to one of the despised occupations of the lower castes
admitted to the order of monks, but also was recognized as an expert on Buddhist
monastic law. Sunit, an individual who was a scavenger was also admitted to the
Buddhas order of monks regardless of the fact that he came from the Candla caste-
one of the lowest in the caste hierarchy, virtually an outcast. Sunits experience is
captured in the following manner:
Humble the clan wherein I took my birth and poor was I and scanty was my
lot; mean task was mine, a scavenger of flowers, one for whom no man cared,
despised, abused, my mind I humbled and I bent the head in deference to a goodly tale
of folk. And then I saw the all- enlightened come, begirt and followed by his bhikkhu
train, great champion entering Magadhas chief town, I laid aside my baskets and my
yoke, and came where I might due obeisance make, and of his loving kindness just for
me, the chief of men hated won his way, low at his feet I bent, then standing by, I
begged the masters leave to join the race and follow him, of every creature chief then
he whose tender mercy watcheth all the world, the master pitiful and kind gave me my
answer, come bhikkhu, he said thereby to me was ordination.

According to their practice people are classified like that but when any persons
from these classes become bhikkhus, there is no difference between them. As long as
they follow the monastic rules they are called bhikkhus. People treat them equally
without discrimination on the grounds of caste and class. Any one of these classes,
either bhikkhu or layman, can purify their defilements by practising wholesome deeds.
Because Dhamma, or the performing of wholesome deeds is the best thing for people
in every walk of life.

5.2 The Buddha-dhammas is for people from all walks of life
Buddhism is neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but it is a realistic religion. Buddhism
is not a religion of only theory, but also a religion of practice.
What the Buddha preached from his mouth was not a theoretical knowledge he
obtained by studying from any school or any teacher. Buddha or an Arahant was not
interested in any B.A, M.A or Ph.D degrees of any subject specialization like us in
this modern day, but he was interested in freeing himself from all defilements and got
enlightenment through his experiential level in meditation practice. He preached the
Dhamma surely from his experience. So he practised what he preached and preached
what he practised.
The Buddha spent the vassa28 at the Deer Park at Ispatana, sacred this
day to over 600 million of the human race. During these three months of
rains fifty others headed by Yasa, a young man of wealth, joined the
Order. Now the Buddha had sixty disciples, all arahats who had realized
the Dhamma and were fully competent to teach others. When the rainy
season ended, the Master addressed his immediate disciples in these
words: Released am I, monks, from all ties whether human or divine.
You also are delivered from all fetters whether human or divine. Go now
and wander for the welfare and happiness of many, out of compassion for
the world, for the gain, welfare, and happiness of gods and men. Let not
two of you proceed in the same direction. Proclaim the Dhamma that is
excellent in the beginning, excellent in the middle, and excellent in the
end, possessed of meaning and the letter and utterly perfect. Proclaim the
life of purity, the holy life consummate and pure.
There are beings with little dust in their eyes who will be lost through not
hearing the Dhamma, there are beings who will understand the Dhamma. I
also shall go to Uruvela, to Sennigama, to teach the Dhamma. Thus did
the Buddha commence his sublime mission, which lasted to the end of his
life. With his disciples he walked the highways and by ways of India
enfolding all within the aura of his boundless compassion and wisdom.
Though the Order of Monks began its career with sixty bhikkhus, it
expanded soon into thousands, and, as a result of the increasing number of
monks, many monasteries came into being. In later times monastic Indian
universities like Nland, Vikramasil, Jagaddal, Vikramapuri, and
Odantapuri, became cultural centres which gradually inf luenced the
whole of Asia and through it the mental life of humankind. After a
successful ministry of forty-five years the Buddha passed away at the age
of eighty at the twin Sla Trees of the Mallas at Kusinr (in modern
Uttara Pradesh about 120 miles northeast of Benres).
In this way, the Buddha, for about 45 years, travelled far and wide, preaching the
sublime Dhamma and leading mankind on the path of Righteousness. Wherever he
went and preached He was honoured and respected. Khattiyas (the members of ruling
class), Brahmins (the members of the priestly class), ascetics, philosophers,
millionaires, peasants and even the very poor outcastes followed Him. The very year
He began His noble mission, the number of his converts marvellously increased. No
other religion in the world spread so fast as the Dhamma of the Buddha during the
very lifetime of its promulgator.
How is it that Buddhism appealed so much to the majority of people of that
time? This a question one might well ask. India, certainly, was not in a degraded
condition. There were great thinkers, revered leaders, powerful rulers, and great
exponents of the Law. There was freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and all
teachers were allowed to set forth their views. Many were the deep thinkers who had
renounced the pleasures of the flesh in order to find the way that would lead to
emancipation from all kinds of sufferings. That being the case, like the mushrooms,
after rain, there sprung up various religious teachers and philosophers. Summing up of
all their views and beliefs, the Buddha delivered on various occasions such discourses
as the Brahmajla sutta, Mahtithayatan sutta, Mlapariyya sutta, and the like. The
ground being thus already prepared, only the seeds had to be sown. In such a land and
at such a time, the Law of Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta could easily be comprehended
by the hearers who paid careful attention and listened without any bias or prejudice.
In those days, throughout the whole of India, caste distinction played an
important part in life. The Khattiyas (the members of the ruling class) were proud of
their lineage, and thought little of the members of the so-called inferior classes. The
same was the case with the Brahmins and others. The Vedas, the religious books of
the Brahmins excluded those who were regarded as belonging to the lowest class. The
bowls, the cups, the pots and whatever things were used by the Brahmins were not
allowed even to be touched by the men of inferior castes. Men of inferior classes were
generally regarded as servants or slaves of the men of higher rank.
In such an age the Buddhas sympathy for the poor and the down-trodden was
one thing that moved and won the hearts of the people who had any philanthropic
bent of mind. As, for instance, once the Buddha was going round for alms in the city
of Kapila vatthu, His farther, king Suddhodana, heard of it and considered it an insult
to his Skya race, and being excited, he hurried to the Buddha and exclaimed, Why
do you, my son, thus shame me? And the Buddha replied: It is the custom of my
race. Prompt was the king answered: How can this be? You are a descendant of the
kings of the highest Skya race. None of your forefathers ever begged for food.
Thereupon the Buddha said, But O great king, my descent is from the Buddhas of
old. They, as I now do, lived on alms that were offered on their alms-round. This
event indicates the Buddhas attitude towards men. Further, the Buddha never cared
for distinctions of rank, family or caste, but preached and helped all alike. He severely
attacked the stinking pride which emanated from the greatness of caste, and show
them that the distinctions of caste were meaningless and that they only added to the
confusion of the world. He welcomed as His disciples even the meanest Candla
(outcaste) as well as the prince of the highest rank. His logical discourses were the
strongest blow ever given to the pride of birth of Khattiyas and Brahmins. He pointed
out that it was not by caste that a man might become high or noble but by his moral
character. When he admonished his hearers to lead a righteous life, he did not merely
preach it, but gave living examples from his present and past lives. Hence the
Dhamma that He expounded in this most sympathetic and practical way was quickly
accepted by His hearers.
Moreover, there is one more reason that we should consider clearly about what
the Buddha used Pal language to propagate Dhamma in India at that time.
Concerning this matter, many Buddhist scholars have demonstrated according to
commentary. They said, naturally, when the Buddha used Pal language for preaching
Dhamma so that all beings,viz. animals ,human, deities , brahmas, hell beings and
hungry ghosts could understand his Dhamma , and also the Pal language able to use
to preserve or protect the sacred lines of his words or his teachings in its original
Furthermore, if we observe carefully we can see further than this in Indian
social life at that time. India in the old day was not only introduced caste system to its
own society but also brought the language which was used to differentiate between
high and low class people. For instance, Chandha which is now know as Sanskrit, was
used for high caste , that is, the Brahmin, as for the common people in low caste could
not study or understand that language. This led to the consideration of the Buddha in
which language shall he use in preaching his Dhamma. As a result, he chose Pli
language to use for propagating his Dhamma. This case really has particular reason
and also it is a remarkable event that should be studied to find out the fact which is
credible by society as a whole, especially for our younger generation. Here is the
reason that should be noted by one and all with relevance to the matter why the
Buddha used Pli language.

During the time of the Buddha, Magadh which was called pal in other
name was the language commonly spoken by general people in India. It
was the language spoken by common people as well as the high
intellectuals. Whereas, the Chandhas which was merely used by the
Brahmins alone to perform their rites and rituals and understood by them
alone. Today this language is called Sanskrit after some modification. At
one time, two monks even asked the Buddha to allow them to teach the
Dhamma in Chandha language with the idea that if they were to teach the
Dhamma in that language, it would be highly respected, whereas the
Buddha strongly rejected their request. The Buddha arose in the world for
the sake of many and if the Buddha had allowed his disciples to teach the
Dhamma in Chandha language, then it would have been confined only to
the Brahmins, while other common people would not have benefited.
Therefore, concerning this fact if the Buddha did not use Pali language, his
wish to liberate all beings from suffering through the Dhamma would not
have been completed.

So the statement in the quotation above is more logical and reliable because it shows
the actual fact of Indian society on how Pli language was commonly spoken in
ancient time by all people either in high or low classes rather than to say that the
Buddha used Pli language even deities, Brahmas, hell beings, hungry ghosts and
animals could understand his words because such thing was supernatural for all of us
to believe even though it was in reality. Nevertheless Buddha Dhammas is for all
beings whatever reason maybe.

5.3 The Purification in Buddhism is for all castes
There should be no discrimination between classes and castes from the purification in
any religion. There are many kinds of purification in many religions. But different
religions have different concepts and practices of purification.
In Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, they have their own rituals to please their
Gods and to free themselves from evil deeds. In Hinduism, there are rituals by bathing
in the water to clean sins and to remove the pollutions or performing fire ceremony.
This religion has theory and practice for the removal of pollutions in that way.
Based on the analogy of cleansing outer dirt or stains by means of bathing or
washing in everyday life, purification of man's inner state of being is almost
universally believed to be effected by rituals involving various forms of washing. The
polluted individual might be required to swim or bathe in the sea, a river, a pond, or
special tank. Bathing in swift-flowing streams is often considered especially effective
because the rapidly flowing water not only removes the impurities but carries them
away. A polluted person might wash his entire body with water or only certain parts
of the body that represent the body or person as a wholerinsing or cleaning the
mouth by other means is common. Water may be poured, sprinkled, thrown, or blown
upon a polluted person or object. Simply touching water is a purifying gesture in the
Vedas; gazing at it is considered purificatory in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). In the absence of
water various kinds of moist substances may be usedclay, mud, wet herbs, or
plants. The Quoran (the Islamic sacred scriptures) directs desert dwellers and
travellers to rub themselves with high clean soil because of the scarcity of water. In
cultures in which saliva is not considered polluting, expectorating or breathing on
something may be viewed as purificatory gestures.
Other modes of purification based on the analogy of cleansing outer dirt
include: the use of wind or aeration to blow or carry away the impurities; sweeping a
house or certain area of the ground or brushing the polluted person or object, often
with a brush made of fibres from a symbolically pure source; scraping the surface of a
polluted object or utensil; shaving and cutting the hair and nails; removing clothing
and washing it or destroying it; and putting on clean or new clothes.
In some rites and rituals, they use fire because they believe that fire is the most
effective destruction of pollution. The most common means of destroying pollution is
by burning the polluted objects. Fire is a most efficient destroyer; when the flame no
longer exists there is virtually nothing left of the objects. Fire is generally conceived,
however, as having more positive purifying properties, not only destroying pollution
but creating purity. They believe that fire can transform the pollution into purity.
Fire is perhaps one of the most symbolically complex phenomena in the
history of human culture. It renders raw meats and vegetables into cooked and edible
food, base minerals into useful and durable metals, and porous dirt and clay into
watertight pottery. It destroys the forests and brushlands, but its ashes make the earth
fertile and productive. Fire is thus viewed as a powerful transformer of the negative to
the positive. Because of such properties, fire is commonly found in purification rites
throughout the world. Polluted persons may be required to walk around, jump over, or
jump through fire. Polluted items may be singed, fumigated, or smoked. The
widespread use of incense smoke in purification rites is based on the transforming
powers of fire, as well as on the additional purificatory powers of sweet smells.
Polluted persons or things may be rubbed with ashes or soot, and polluted objects may
be boiled, subject to the double purificatory powers of fire and water. Exposure to sun
and to intense heat, are also regarded as practices falling into this same general
category. The extinguishing of old fires in temples and villages and the kindling of
new ones are common practices after a death or as part of annual renewal and
purification ceremonies. Alchemic experiments, which attempt to purify mineral
substances and turn them into gold, involve boiling or melting down the solution or
elements over pure and intense heat and then recrystallizing them in newer and higher
There are also other purification rites that should be known here. In highly
developed and elaborated systems of thought, purity and pollution meet and merge.
Buddhist monks are considered to be extremely pure, yet they are directed to make
their robes from cemetery cloths, and beds or litters used in funerals may be donated
to their monasteries. Buddhist relics with great purifying power are often composed of
bits of hair, nails, and bones (albeit of the Buddha or other great saints); in Sri Lanka
the word (dhtu) for such relics is the same as the word for semen. Monks and nuns of
Jainism (an Indian religion founded by Mahvra in the 6th century BC) are ordered
not to bathe and under no circumstances to clean their teeth.
In Hinduism, if a Brahmin (a member of the highest caste) enters a street of
the untouchables (outcastes), he is polluted, but the whole street also falls prey to
disease, famine, and sterility.
In a Myanmar folktale, an alchemist became discouraged with his experiments
and threw his alchemic stone into a latrine pit; on contact with the excrement, the
stone achieved puritythus indicating that contacts with pollution may bring about
Cleansing outer dirt or stains on the body or any object by means of bathing or
washing in everyday life is one kinds of important thing according to the rules of
hygiene. Most of people in this modern world now they have already known this very
well through their education at schools and at public places. However, when the inner
state of the human mind is stained or defiled by evil deeds that a person has done
through bodily, verbal and mental doors, the way how to clean by bathing or washing
such thing with water is impossible. According to Buddhism, the way how to clean
sins by bathing in water is not encouraged to practise because it is not a correct
method that one should do.

Anyone, no matter who, may practise the Dhamma; caste and class do not
play an important part in the success of his teachings. According to
Buddhism, whoever, either Brahmins or others, does bad deeds such as
killing, stealing, etc., is not purified and is blame worthy. Caste and class
are man-made. They have nothing to do with purity and nobility. But, they
played an important role before the Buddha appeared on the earth. In those
days Brahmins thought that only their caste was the highest and the most
pure. Therefore, when other heavenly beings requested him to come to the
world of humans so that he might become an Enlightened One, the
Bodhisatta, whose last life but one was in a heavenly abode, considered
his future mother's caste in advance so that he would not be treated with
disdain on the grounds of caste, and so he was conceived by a queen. But
the Buddha did not escape opposition, notably that stirred by the ritualistic
Brahmans anxious to preserve their religious monopoly, for a considerable
number of Brahmans were won over by his teachings and his replies to
questions, for his teachings ignored the caste system.

In Sagrava sutta of Sayutta Nikya, the Buddha told the way to practise properly
to A Brahmin Sagrava. The Buddha was told by nanda about this story. It was,
then, in the morning, Venerable nanda went for alms round in Svatth, and when he
had returned from his arms round, after his meal he went to the Blessed One and told
him that he had seen a Brahmin named Sagrava, a practitioner of water-purification,
one who believes in purification by water, who dwelt devoted to the practice of
immersing himself in water at dusk and at dawn.
Venearable nanda said this, it would be good, venerable sir, if the Blessed
One approached the residence of the Brahmin Sagrava out of compassion. The
Blessed consented by silence. After being told by nanda, on morrow, the Blessed
One took robe and bowl, going to the Brahmins residence and sat down on the
appointed seat. Then the Brahmin Sagrava approached the Blessed One and
exchanged greetings with him, after which he sat down to one side. The Blessed One
said to him: is it true, Brahmin, that you are a practitioner of water-purification, one
who believes in purification by water, devoted to the practice of immersing himself in
water at dusk and at dawn? Yes, Master, Gotama., The Brahmin replied.
Considering what benefit do you do this, Brahmin? The Blessed asked. So, the
Brahmin replied thus:

Here, Master Gotama, whatever evil deed I have done during the day I
wash away by bathing at dusk. Whatever evil deed I have done at night I
wash away by bathing at dawn.

The Blessed One considered that this is not the way to wash away the evil deed by a
person. So he told the Brahmin the true path of the practice in this way;

The Dhamma, Brahmin, is a lake with fords of virtuea limpid lake the
good praise to the goodwhere the knowledge-masters to bathe, and dry-
limed, cross to the far shore.

When this was said the Brahmin Sagrava praised the Buddha with exclamation
word and took refuge in him for life. In this case, The Buddha just speaks the truth
and shows the right path from his personal experience, many humans who were blind
or ignorant could see things as they really are, and many people from bottom up
became his followers. They believe Buddhism because it is a rationalistic religion. In
Buddhists thought all wrong path should be abandoned. Therefore, the Brahmin who
believes in achieving spiritual purity through water is actually not the path to the

Na udakena suci hoti, Bahvetha nhyati jano;
Yamhi saccaca dhammo ca,
So suci so ca brahmaoti.

Not by water is one cleaned, many people bathe in this. In whom is truth
and Dhamma, He is cleaned, he is a Brahmin.

Brahmins believe that by bathing in the Ganges River, they can purify the pollution
and wash away the sins that they had done and by doing so, after death they go to
heaven. But Buddhists believe that no one is purified by bathing in water for the evil
deeds done bodily, verbally and mentally. If one can be purified by just bathing in the
water in that way, many fish, frogs, tortoises and all creatures that live and swim in
the water every day can also clean and will all wash away the sins and go to heaven
after death in the same way. Buddhists do not believe in such kind of practice for the
purification of beings. The way for the purification of beings in Buddhism is different
from Brahmanism or other religions. It is neither simple and nor complicated.
It is really good if one has intimate friend (kalyna mitta). Kalyna mitta here
is referred to the teachers who are competent and virtuous one able to guide the
correct way of practice in ones life. The Buddha is one of the greatest kalyna mittas
for all beings. Any one who had a chance to associate with the Buddha in his lifetime
could get good benefit such as knowledge and experience to liberate from suffering
and so on. Many Brahmins who used to practised in wrong ways before, but when
they met the Buddha and practised under his guidance they became Arahant. Like a
Myanmar saying, in association with the Noble Ones, a person may become a noble
In Vatthpama Sutta,
Buddha explained to Bhikkhus by comparing the
condition of purity and impurity of the cloth with purity and impurity of the mind or
heart when they were defiled and stained and also when they were undefiled and
unstained. The Buddha says that, even as a dirty piece of cloth takes dyes badly, so in
an impure heart bliss is not to be found. He then proceeds to enumerate the heart's
impurities and to show how they can be cleansed. Sundarika Bhradvja, who is
present, asks the Buddha if he has bathed in the Bhuk River. The Buddha then gives
a list of places whose waters are considered holy, and declares that the real cleansing
is the cleansing of the heart "to love all that lives, speak truth, slay not nor steal, no
niggard be but dwell in faith." Bhradvja seeks ordination and becomes an Arahant.

Here is the real way for cleansing of mind from Vipassan point of view as taught by
the Buddha. It is the proper method for the purification of beings.

For the purification of beings, means for the purification of the minds of
beings. Because Buddha is more concerned about the purification of mind
than the purification of the physical body-although it does not mean that
we do not take care of the cleanliness of the physical bodywhat is more
important for us is the cleanliness of our minds. So, the purification here
means purification of minds of beings.
In the commentaries it is said that personal cleanliness or cleanliness of the
body as well as the cleanliness of the place are conducive to concentration
and wisdom. So we also need to keep our bodies clean and keep the place
where we meditate clean. Although we are not to neglect the cleanliness of
the body we should be more concerned about the cleanliness of our minds.
So here the Buddha said that mindfulness is the only way for the
purification of minds of beings.

Therefore; we should develop concentration to make our mind calm, pure, peaceful
and free from all mental bondages and blockages. The Buddha said.

Purity and Impurity Depend on Oneself. By oneself is evil done; by
oneself is one defiled. By oneself is evil left undone; by oneself is one
purified. Purity and impurity depend on oneself. No one purifies another.

In other religions like Hinduism and Christianity they take bath in the river to clean
their sins. They believe that by doing so the sins which are done can be removed in
the present lives and also through doing that they will be reborn in the heaven after
departing from this world to the next. We do not criticize them because they think that
is the way to purify their lives in their religions.
However, according to Buddhism, we have different ways to purify our lives,
especially the mind. We perform wholesome deeds to forget the former sinful objects
that we have already done before to make our mind clean and free from the
unskilfully complicated imaginations and also to curb the mind from the arising of
desire to do more new sins. After dispelling the sinful objects from our minds, soon
we grab the opportunity to do wholesome actions instead in order to purify our mind
free from nuisances such as by giving alms, undertaking morality, and developing
mental culture. In this way, we can make our mind pure and powerful with radiating
of penetrative light as usual. Just that, it is not like the way of cleaning sins by taking
bath as other regions do.
As a matter of fact, meditation is probably like the best technique to clean sins.
Meditation has no religious labels. Or in other words, it is also possible to say that
meditation has no caste or religious label. Every person from any religion or any caste
can practise it, especially mindfulness meditation. Actually, when we sit practising the
meditation for the first time we will experience sleepiness, numbness and also the
painful feeling will arise in our body. But no problem, we should try to overcome
these difficult feelings because soon they will disappear. If they do not disappear, so
we can change our position and make effort again until our practice become
successful. Especially we should be patient with the painful feeling with neutral mind
because this is the chance for us to flow out the bad kamma right here through this
pain. Patience is a key for opening the door to Nibbna. So please do not drop out our
Moreover, our feelings after they are arising soon they disappear naturally.
When we have insight wisdom that feelings cannot have influence on us and so we
can sit in meditation and see perfectly the arising and the disappearing of the feelings
for many hours with our neutral mind.
Reaching this stage, we are required to exert more strenuous effort to extend
our practice gradually from ten minutes to fifteen minutes until we can focus our mind
on the in-breath and the out-breath for one hours or two hours or even more than that
with an indifferent mind, then the bad kamma will also be gradually vanished until
they are totally exhausted. Not only just sitting but we can also practise mindfulness
meditation with any one of the four postures at any time of the day and night. That is
the way of purifying our mind to be free from evil sins that we had already done.
Please try to free ourselves from the sins by training our mind according to
that. By doing so, we can gain strength and strong insight, and happiness befalls us
both day and night.

5.4 Castes and the emancipation of oneself from suffering
There is too much suffering in this world. If one realizes the truth of suffering, one
should find the way to liberate from it.
Some people used to say that we are free thinkers and do not have a religion.
But if any one is a free thinker then certainly he is a Buddhist because the Buddha
encouraged freedom of thoughts. The freedom of thought allowed by the Buddha is
unheard of elsewhere in the history of religions. This freedom is necessary because
according to the Buddha, mans emancipation depends on his own realization of the
Truth and not on the benevolent grace of a god or any external power as a reward for
his obedient behaviour. The Blessed One never said to his disciples, Pray and
believe. He used to say Come and see, come and investigate. Dont believe anything
with blind faith.
In Buddhism blind faith is condemned and it is substituted by saddh
confidence, based on knowledge and understanding. Buddhism believes in mans
potentialities which help him to attain the Buddhahood. All people are endowed with
the same capabilities, whereby they can get transcendental powers. To achieve it or
not, it depends on mans choice. Brhmanical thinkers considered it to be the union
with the Supreme Being i.e Brahmasahavyat. Brhmanical thinkers have propounded
a theory that only the brahmaas have the sole monopoly or authority to attain that
union with the Supreme Being. This is a sort of depraving a man of his freedom of
The Buddha, for the first time, drew His attention to this problem. He
maintained that any man irrespective of his caste, creed or colour, could get
emancipation. No one can enable another person to get purity. From the following
quotation, it becomes evident that the Buddha bestowed complete freedom on man.
He admonished His disciple that they should make effort and the Tathgatas can only
show the way. Whereas the Bhagavad Gta states that he who wants to get liberation,
should give up all other beliefs and seeks refuge in krishn alone.
On the other hand, the Buddha says, Att hi attano ntho, kohi ntho
parosiy. Attan hi sudantena, ntha labhati dullabha. Self is the Lord of Self.
How can others be Lord of Self. By subduing oneself, one can obtain a Refuge (i.e
Arahataphala) which is so difficult to attain.

According to the Buddha, mans emancipation depends on his own
realization of Truth and not on the benevolent grace of a god or any
external power as a reward for his obedient good behaviour. Although a
Buddhist seeks refuge in the Buddha as his moral teacher he makes neither
self surrender nor sacrifices his freedom of thought. Without sacrificing
his freedom of thoughts a Buddhist can exercise his own free will even to
the extent of becoming a Buddha himself. Any one who wishes to attain
Nibbnaemancipation has only to rely on his own understanding
uninfluened by dogmas and blind belief.

After a comparison of both Buddhist ideals and those of Bhagavad Gta, one is
tempted to arrive at the conclusion that Buddhism is more liberal, democratic and
humanitarian than other philosophical thoughts of India. The human society is the
creation of man. Man who lives in such a society has certain primary or basis as well
as secondary requirements. Although these requirements are same for all, yet the ways
and means to fulfil them are wholly different. As far as the needs are concerned, man
is the same. Man is the same in so far as the four types of conditions are concerned.
The four postures are described as sitting, walking, lying and sleeping. These are
common to all, so the man kind is the same. In the same manner, there is the same
path to be trodden on to get the highest goal i.e. emancipation. As the Buddha pointed
out the emancipation can be attained by anybody, by following the path which he
showed. There is no difference in it. It is common to all. Some people in His time
could not get this emancipation, as they followed different paths that were put forth
by Brhmanical thinkers. These thinkers claimed that the path to purity was restricted
to only a particular society. This is quite clear from the questions that were put to the
Buddha by king Pasenadi of Kosala Kingdom. The king asked the Buddha whether
there is any difference in emancipation attained by the four castes.
The Buddha explained that people of the four castes, may get different kinds
of fire woods, such as mango stick, sla stick, etc. and burn it. The fire that is created
from different kinds of firewood does not differ at all. In the same manner, people
aspiring for emancipation can get the spiritual flame in the hearts.

The Buddha left to his followers this suggestion for freedom; "Be, each
one of you, your own island, and your own refuge; do not seek another
refuge. It is the way that you will reach liberation from all suffering." It
means that no one but oneself can free one from suffering. Liberation can
only come from one's own effort. One should not undertake excessively
austere practices or self-indulgence, nor rely on prayers to any deity. One
must liberate oneself from error and folly by following the Noble
Eightfold Path. The Buddha disclosed the way which enables people to
get, not only personal progress and happiness, but also the good order and
prosperity of society. He never sought to make people submit
unconditionally to his own teachings. He regarded man as free, truly
holding his destiny in his own hands.
Once, when the Buddha stayed at a monastery offered to him by Viskh
in Svatth, a Brahmin named Ganaka-Moggallana approached and asked
him, "Do you lay down progressive learning in your teaching as in every
other teaching?" The Buddha said, "I lay down a gradual practice in
respect of my teaching: if I see a person who deserves to be taught, first of
all I teach him to observe precepts as a basis. Secondly, I urge him to
control the enjoyment of all his senses, for, if a person indulges his senses
in everything, his mind may be defiled with greed, lust, anger, ill-will and
so on. Thirdly, I suggest to him to be moderate in eating so as to be able to
practise insight meditation very well. Fourthly, I teach him how to be
constantly vigilant and how to be possessed of mindfulness as regards his
every movement. After that I advise him to practise insight meditation to
get rid of mental defilement. A person has to take these steps to attain
perfect inner peace or Nibbana as long as he has not eradicated the ten
mental defilements; personal ego-belief (Sakkya-dihi), doubt
(Vicikicch), wrong conception of practice (Silabbata-parmsa), ill-will
(Bypda), craving for material existence (Rpa-rga), craving for non-
material existence (Arpa-rga), conceit (Mna), restlessness (Uddhacca)
and illusion (Avijj)."
The Brahmin asked the Buddha, "Do your disciples, taught by you, all
attain perfect inner peace or Nibbna?" "Some of them attain perfect inner
peace but some do not" the Buddha answered. "Even if Nibbna does
exists; the way leading to it exists and you exist as a teacher, why do some
of your disciples not attain Nibbna?" the Brahmin asked. The Buddha
said, "Suppose, two people, who want to go to the city, Rjagaha,
approach and ask you the way leading to the city, you explain in detail
how to get there and what they will pass on the way because you know the
road to the city very well. One of them, having taken your words to heart,
arrives at the city safe and sound but the other does not because he may
take a wrong way or else he may forget his aim, following other business.
What can you do for the latter?" "I can do nothing more for him" the
Brahmin said. The Buddha said, In this way I too can only show the way
to practise to be free from suffering.

Some followers say that in their religion their God is the recipient of sins done by his
followers or others. So, they take refuge in their God for salvation. But this is not
reasonable. For example, if we step on fire, the fire will burn ourself, but not burn the
God. If we eat food by ourself we are surely full by ourself, but not full the God is.
So, the idea that God receives sins of others may encourage human beings to do sins
more and more. So, that is not the way to free oneself from suffering. Actually, sinful
action is hot like burning iron. It is shame or fear for us to touch or do it. Therefore,
the Buddha said he who does action, he will reap the result by himself. Not any others
can receive it instead of him. Generally, in society, if any one does sinful action by
killing other. In this case, no one volunteers to allow himself to be put in jail for him.
On the contrary, if we do good deed we can share with others. They will rejoice to
receive it. It is a power of good action, called kusala dhamma.

The problem remains, however, of bringing together the two faces of the
Dhamma without sidling into self-contradiction. The key, we suggest, to
achieving this reconciliation, and thus to securing the internal consistency
of our own perspective and practice, lies in considering two fundamental
points: first, the guiding purpose of the Dhamma; and second, the strategy
it employs to achieve that purpose. The purpose is the attainment of
deliverance from suffering. The Dhamma does not aim at providing us
with factual information about the world, and thus, despite a compatibility
with science, its goals and concerns are necessarily different from those of
the latter. Primarily and essentially, the Dhamma is a path to spiritual
emancipation, to liberation from the round of repeated birth, death and
suffering. Offered to us as the irreplaceable means of deliverance, the
Dhamma does not seek mere intellectual assent, but commands a response
that is bound to be fully religious. It addresses us at the bedrock of our
being, and there it awakens the faith, devotion and commitment
appropriate when the final goal of our existence is at stake.
But for Buddhism faith and devotion are only spurs which impel us to
enter and persevere along the path; by themselves they cannot ensure
deliverance. The primary cause of bondage and suffering, the Buddha
teaches, is ignorance regarding the true nature of existence; hence in the
Buddhist strategy of liberation the primary instrument must be wisdom,
the knowledge and vision of things as they really are. Investigation and
critical inquiry, cool and uncommitted, constitute the first step towards
wisdom, enabling us to resolve our doubts and gain a conceptual grasp of
the truths upon which our deliverance depends. But doubt and questioning
cannot continue indefinitely. Once we have decided that the Dhamma is to
be our vehicle to spiritual freedom, we have to step on board: we must
leave our hesitancy behind and enter the course of training which will lead
us from faith to liberating vision.
For those who approach the Dhamma in quest of intellectual or emotional
gratification, inevitably it will show two faces, and one will always remain
a puzzle. But if we are prepared to approach the Dhamma on its own
terms, as the way to release from suffering, there will not be two faces at
all. Instead we will see what was there from the start: the single face of
Dhamma which, like any other face, presents two complementary sides.

Actually, the purpose of Dhamma is not for grasping. The Dhamma is like raft for
crossing over the ocean. One who follows the Dhamma will reach the far shore that is
very difficult to cross; it means he will surely attain the Nibbnablissful state not
mingled with any suffering. Take refuge in the Dhamma, then we will have safe
refuge and safe happiness in our lives.
The Dhamma support being from not falling into woeful states, but the
Dhamma helps the person who follows the Dhamma only. After realizing the truths in
this way, one should study and practise the Dhamma.

5.5 Truth was open to attainment by all castes alike equal in degree
People are beginning to accept as common sense that all major religions can teach the
truth and be different.
As we enter the new millennium, it is now becoming common sense that the
paths are many, but they all lead to the same place. We are seeing through illusion
there is only one way, or one superior people, or one superior teaching or religion, for
all people. As we see the wisdom in all religions, we are able to appreciate truths in
our personal paths even better. Anyway, we should know that Buddhism rejects all
esoteric and restricted communication of knowledge and virtue. The Buddha
emphasized that there should be no secrecy in doing good. Secrecy and evil action
which need to be hidden , go together. All instructions should be clearly delineated to
differentiate religious and and spiritual knowledge and practice. Buddhism is a
spiritual path, not a sectarian religious tradition. This distinction needs to be
understood by all genuine seekers of truth.

Of course, In Buddhism, without discrimination, encourages all mankind to
pursue the truth by one own way through his or her experience. This is a freedom of
belief found in Buddhism. In the Buddhas life time, people of Klmas of Kesaputta
were mistaken upon the truth because there were many spiritual leaders came to
express their views in different ways among them. Some said, their views are good
and the others views are bad, while some others said, their views are right and the
others views are wrong. In these cases, they were confused and could not find the
truth, and then as one day the Buddha also came to their district. So, they came to
meet him and asked,

Sir, certain recluses and Brahmins come to Kesaputta. As to their own
view, they proclaim and expound it in full: but as to the view of others,
they abuse it, revile it, depreciate it and cripple it. Moreover, sir, other
recluses and Brahmins, on coming to Kesaputta, do likewise. When we
listen to them, sir, we have doubt and wavering as to which of these
worthies is speaking truth and which speaks falsehood.

At that time, relevant to this question, the Buddha gave the answer to them which is
free from dogmas and superstitious beliefs in his dispensation and it should be taken
into account and tested even by all men , women ,religionists, and free thinkers
today whether the Buddha addressed true words or not. He answered thus,

So then, Klmas, as to my words to you just now: Be ye not misled by
report or tradition or hearsay. Be not misled by proficiency in the
collections (or books), nor by mere logic or inference, nor after
considering reasons, nor after reflection on and approval of some theory,
nor because it fits becoming, nor out of respect for a recluse (who holds
it). But Klmas, when you know for yourself: These things are
unprofitable, these things are blameworthy, these things are censured by
the intelligent, conduce to loss and sorrow,--then indeed do ye reject
them, such was my reason for uttering those words.

We can understand that the Buddhas answer above to Klma clans is really
practical. Of course, all major religions in the world teach the truth. Since there are
many truths in many religions we are difficult to accept. It is, however, truth needs no
label of any religion if we say in the deepest sense. The truth has value by itself and it
can be experienced and realized by every one. The most important thing is to know
oneself by oneself. The Buddha had found the truth in nature, that is, the very four
Noble truths, namely, (1) the truth of suffering, (2) the truth of the cause of suffering,
(3) the truth of the origin of suffering and (4) the truth of the path leading to cessation
of suffering. This four Noble truths, the truth of number (1) and (2) belong to
mundane and (3) and (4) belong to supramundane, and these Four Noble Truths
should be realized by insight knowledge or we need to follow the Middle Path and
avoid two extremes. So, first we need to study the Four Noble Truths, and then we
need to follow the Eightfold Noble Path to experience the Truths.
Perhaps now one can better appreciate why the Buddha said the path was
straight. Crookedness of body, speech and mind are overcome by this threefold
training of sla, samdhi and pa found in the Noble Eightfold Path. Walking
straight along this path, one transcends crookedness and is free from many dangers.
As it has been known by many Buddhists that the Buddha gave the five ascetics the
first sermon (Dhammacaka pavattana sutta), the discourse on Turning the Wheel of
Dhamma which is focused on the two extremes, the wrong ways that should be
avoided, while the Middle Path or right way (the Eightfold Noble Path) should be
followed because it leads to the cessation of suffering and finally to the attainment of
He delivered the Dhamma talk while he was living at Benares in the Deer
Park at Isipatana. There he addressed the bhikkhus of the Group of five thus:

Bhikkhus, there are these two extremes that ought not to be cultivated
by one who has gone forth. What two? There is devotion to pursuit of
sensual desires, which is low, coarse, vulgar, ignoble and harmful; and
there is devotion to self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble and
harmful. The middle way discovered by the Perfect One avoids both
these extremes; it creates an eye, creates knowledge, and leads to peace,
to direct-knowledge, to full-enlightenment, to Nibbna. And what is that
middle way? It is this noble Eightfold Path, that is to say: right view,
right thought, right speaking, right acting, right living, right effort, right
mindfulness, and right concentration. That is the middle way discovered
by the Perfect One, which creates an eye, creates knowledge, and leads
to peace, to direct knowledge, to full-enlightenment, to Nibbna.

Over two thousand five hundred and fifty years ago, the Buddha had pave the way for
all mankind to follow his footstep in order to seek the truth and that truth stands well
for today and will stand forever as the Truth. The Way to Realize the Truth would
lead all to have a clear vision as well as real peace and happiness based on the
foundation of the Dhamma or unique Truth taught by the Buddha. The Dhamma
based on Ultimate Truth is for the weal and welfare of all living beings. By applying
the Dhamma in our daily life, it would give power to convert the mind from ignorance
to Wisdom. It develops a heart of Wisdom, a heart of love, a heart of understanding,
to overcome prevailing vices which have plagued man since the beginning of time, to
get rid of greed, hatred and misunderstanding.
There are two kinds of Right view (Samm-Dihi) viz. Right view based on
conventional Truth, Right view of worldling and Right view based on Ultimate Truth,
Right View of Buddha's teaching, Belief in Kamma (Own action) and Vipka (its
result) is called Right View of worldling. All good worldly persons (Kalya-
puthujana) have this Right View based on Conventional Truth, so they disgust and
dread to do evil. For this belief, they always observe precepts for the welfare of
themselves and others. They are always ready to do or help for the welfare of
themselves and others. So the good worldly persons have the mind of Attahita-
Parahita (the will to do for the benefit of himself and others). Due to their good
conduct of abstaining from evil and cultivating good they live in peace and happily in
this very life; when they die they would go to the blissful world.
Therefore, one who has realized the conventional Truth and possessed himself
Right view of worldling, whatever he does, it is for the gaining of the bliss of human
being, celestial being and Brahma. Moreover' he will gradually fulfil either the
perfection of disciple (Svaka pram) or the perfection of Silent Buddha (Pacceka-
pram) or the perfection of Omniscient Buddha (Sabba-pram). Finally, he will
come to realize the Ultimate Truth of existence and headed by Right view of Buddha's
Teaching. Whatever he does it is for the attaining of either the Enlightenment of
disciple (Svaka Bodhi) or the Enlightenment of Silent Buddha (Pacceka-Bodhi) or
the Enlightenment of Omniscient Buddha (Sabba-Bodhi).
The goal of Buddhism is the attainment of Enlightenment or Realizing the
Truth. The main aim of the Buddha's Teaching is to attain Nibbna, i.e. the cessation
of all kinds of suffering. Buddhism is, in fact, a means for attaining Enlightenment,
Wisdom. In other words, the whole practice of Buddhism may be regarded as process
of gaining the knowledge of Right View of Ultimate Truth. For it is only through
practice of mindfulness or vigilant awareness and contemplate on Khandhas (the five
aggregates) or Mind and Matter that one can realize things as they really are. It is the
way to realize the Truth. Realizing the Truth puts an end to the erroneous views about
self, individuality or personality belief (Sakkya Dihi) which are based upon illusory
conceptions, and this enables one to escape from the world of suffering in worldly life
including caste prejudice and racial discrimination as well as life in the round of
rebirth (Sasra).
Fundamentally, Buddhism teaches that man must rely on himself in working
out his own deliverance and that he can liberate himself away from suffering and
woeful consequence of perpetual existence of birth and death by the perfect
realization of Truth or the Four Noble Truths. There is none that can liberate a man
but oneself. It is our right to work out the way to realize the Truth as well as to walk
along the Middle Way to progress Right View and Wisdom on how to lead a richer
life of real peace and happiness.

We should study the Buddhas experience. As a noble prince named
Siddhattha Gotama, after his happy marriage, he led a luxurious life, blissfully
unaware of the vicissitudes of life outside the palace gates. With the march of time,
Truth gradually dawned upon him. Amidst comfort and prosperity, he began to realize
the universality of suffering. One glorious day, as he went out of the palace, he saw
the four great omens, namely; the old, the sick, the death and the monk. The first three
sights convinced him of the inexorable nature of life and the universal sickness of
humanity. The fourth signified the means to overcome the ills of life and attain calm
and peace.
Realizing the worthlessness of sensual pleasures highly praised by ordinary
men and the value of renunciation in which the wise seek delight, he decided to leave
the world in search of Truth and Peace. When this final decision was made after much
deliberation, the seemingly happy news of the birth of a son was conveyed to him.
However, he was not overjoyed and regarded his first and only offspring as an
impediment to the search of Truth. So the infant son was accordingly named Rhula
by his grandfather. The time was ripe for him to depart the palace of worldly pleasure.
It was in his 29
year, the turning point of his life that Prince Siddhattha made the
Great Renunciation. He grasped the Truth that all without exception were subject to
birth, decay, and death. He made himself as an ascetic and tried to find a way to
realize the Truth.
For six long years, he practised all forms of severe austerity at Uruvela forest.
As a seeker of the Truth and the Peace he got an idea from his view point of own
experience. There was a way to realize the Truth and the Peace, the Majjhima
Paipad or the Middle Path apart from two extremes, self-indulgence and self-
mortification. He sat cross legged beneath a Bodhi-tree on the bank of river Nerajar
in the forest of Uruvela at Bodhagaya in India and meditated with the earnest wish
and firm determination not to rise from his seat until he attained the Truth, the
Buddha-hood by way of Middle Path.
On the full-moon night of Vesak in 588 B.C, while meditating with mind
tranquillized and purified, he developed supernormal knowledge with regard to the
destruction of passions and comprehending all things as they truly are. He realize the
Truth that the cause of suffering lies in a selfish craving for life, and that the way of
escape from suffering lies in treading the eight-fold path. With discernment of this
Truths and their realization in life, the Boddhisatta eradicated all passions and attained
perfect Enlightenment or perfect Wisdom. And then He uttered these words of
Triumph, such works as countless myriads of Buddhas have spoken in the past:

I have run through the journeying-on of numerous births, without respite,
seeking the house-maker; birth again and again is painful.
O house-maker, you are seen. You will not make the house again. All
these rafters are broken, the house-ridge is destroyed. The mind, set on the
destruction (of material things), has attained the termination of the

It means the house is the body; the builder is craving, passions are the rafters and the
house-ridge is ignorance.
By realizing the Truth with Omniscience and great Compassion, the Buddha
expounded the Dhamma cakkapavattana sutta to his friends, the five Ascetics,
namely: Kondaa, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahnma and Assaji which led the five
Ascetics to the attainment of Sotpatti, the first stage of sainthood and a1l became
monks, disciples of the Buddha. Later the Buddha also preached to them the
Anattalakkhaa Sutta or Discourse on Non-Self hearing which all attained
Arahantship or final stage of sainthood. This is also the realizing of the Truth of the
five Ascetics in this world after the Buddha.
Before His passing away (Parinibbna) in 543 BC, which was in His 80
at a place called Kusinr, His famous last message to His disciples was: "Behold, O
disciples, I exhort you. Subject to decay are all component things. Strive on with
In this way the Buddha had spent 45 years wandering and preaching to the
people of all castes and creeds, with only four hours for repose and the remaining
twenty for an indefatigable selfless service to give the way to realize the Truth.
His Dhamma that is summarized as "avoid evil, do good, purify the mind" (Dhp-185)
through Generosity, Morality, and Meditation.
Thus, ended the life of the Buddha the world has ever known. Otherwise the
Buddha leaves the Dhamma, the way to realize the Truth for all.
Therefore, if any one wants to realise the truths should follow the Buddhas
way. As it is known from Vipassan practical point of view taught by the Buddha is
that when a meditator practises insight meditation up to reaching the change-of-
lineage knowledge(gotrabh aa), the thirteenth stage of vipassan a. This
knowledge succeeds the anuloma a, which includes three moments of citta for the
person who realises the Noble Truths more slowly than a person with keen pa.
Change-of-lineage knowledge is mah kusala citta a sampayutta and this citta has
Nibbna as object but not yet eradicate defilements, is called adverting to the path.
Though it is not adverting (vajjana), it occupies the position of adverting; and then,
after, as it were, giving a sign to the path to come into being, it ceases. So only when
the meditator continues to practise to get path knowledge (magga a), the
fourteenth stage of vipassan a, then it is possible to eradicate the defilements. It
should be known in the following:

When gotrabh has fallen away it is succeeded by the path-consciousness
of the sotpanna and this citta transcends the state of the ordinary person
and reaches the state of the noble person, the Aryan. This citta eradicates
defilements in accordance with the stage of enlightenment that has been

Here it is said when any persons even come from different castes but if he practises
insight meditation till the attainment of the path-knowledge in which has path-
consciousness to wipe up defilements, then he is said to become Ariyan and
therefore, even though he is different in quality, but he will be equal in degree with
the other Ariyans. The terms Aryan (ariya) and non-Aryan (anariya) here are
frequently found in the Buddhist texts, but never in a racial sense. The racial sense of
superiority associated with word Aryan is completely eclipsed by the moral and
spiritual sense of superiority, which the word in a Buddhist context connotes, devoid
of any associations of race or birth. So, according to Buddhism, one who is highly in
morality and spirituality even though he was born in low class, but he is called Aryan,
noble person.

In view of the close analogy between race and caste prejudice and their effects, it is
of little consequence for our purposes here whether caste prejudices originated in
whole or part in racial prejudices or not. But it interesting to note that the majority of
scholars who have offered theories or suggestions about the origins of caste had
admitted the important contribution made by the racial contact between the Aryan
invader and the non-Aryan aborigine and the prejudices resulting from iteven
though they were not always willing to trace caste prejudices and practices in their
entirety to the initial racial prejudices of the Aryan invader in his attempt to suppress
and subjugate a different race of people.
Till nowadays caste system is not as strong as it was like centuries backward.
It is weak in many parts but still prevail in many parts of India especially in the places
dominated by the strong belief of Hinduism. As they have known in human history,
caste like systems have been observed in the South Asian subcontinent and beyond (in
Japan, Africa, Iran, and Polynesia). Caste has also been used to describe the systems
of racial stratification in South Africa and the southern United States. Whether the
term caste is applicable to societies outside the South Asian region depends on
how the term is defined. Those who focus on its religious foundations argue that caste
is a particular species of structural organization found only in the Indian world.
Caste system is not yet totally eliminated in India since the majority of Indian
people are Hindu and Hinduism is based on caste system, if one wants to eliminate
caste system, that means it is like eliminating the whole Hindu society which
somewhat is like impossible since India is uprooted with this society from time
immemorial. But we can say this can be reduced becauce most of the younger
generation is now not interested in caste system any more, except the orthodox
Indian society is unique; it could be that the upper class society so called the
Brahmin divided the class to enjoy more social influence and luxuries. If this is the
cause, there are no benefits since there is always injustice, conflict and protest among
the people. There are no peace and harmony in the extremely caste-prejudice society.
As they have known according to Buddhism that the main causes that lead to
the arising of caste prejudice and racial discrimination are greed (lobha), hatred
(dosa), delusion (moha), wrong view (dihi), conceit (mna) and ignorance (avijj) of
man. Generally, people, as long as they are still worldly persons, they have these
unwholesome dhammas. So, to uproot caste system they must uproot these
unwholesome Dhammas within themselves. The castes and racial discrimination exist
as long as one still practises it. The caste still exists if one still follows Hinduism.
Castes exist only in the ignorant persons. Caste does not exist in the well educated
persons who endowed with knowledge and moral conduct and establish themselves
well in morality, concentration and wisdom.
Some persons say we cannot eliminate caste system unless we destroy it. But
that is not the way to eliminate caste system. As it was obviously known in Pol Pots
regime of Cambodia from 1975-1979, one of aspects apart from political tendency
and cultural revolution, was an attempt to eliminate caste system to balance between
the rich and the poor in order to enjoy equal status in social life. People in this regime
were evacuated from the Phnom Penh City to live in the countryside and often they
were moved from one place to another. They were forced to work hard and severely
faced starvation and death. Pol Pots regime lasted for three years, eight months and
twenty days, and over two millions of innocent people in Cambodia were died in this
regime. It was useless and nothing was achieved in this regime but destruction of the
country and the agony of people remain. So, violence is not the way to solve caste
problem. Buddhism does not encourage people to use violence to settle any problem
because by using violence to solve problem it may bring bad results both to us and
others. Thus caste system and racial discrimination should be reduced or eliminated
by means of education, constitutional law, socio-economical development and mental
culture as well. Caste system and racial discrimination would also be minimized or
disappeared through the study and the practice of a proper religion. Buddhism teaches
us to know about equality and to have wisdom, but not to have caste system. It
teaches about the truth, the cause and effect, kamma and its result, the freedom and
the total liberation from suffering through the right method by following Eightfold
Noble Path. Buddhism emphasizes the freedom of the will and that its morality is
autonomy par excellence. Autonomy is a paramount characteristic of this religion.
Many intellectuals in the East as well as the West say Buddhism is proper to
be believed and practised among many religions in the world. There is no
discrimination of castes in Buddhism, the Buddha taught obviously the excellent
Dhammas in the beginning (morality), excellent in the middle (concentration) and
excellent in the end (wisdom). People from all castes and all walks of life either black
or white are welcome to practise Buddhism in order to get purification and
emancipation from suffering and enjoy the same status equally in degree in the eternal
bliss of Nibbna.
The Buddha was the first man, in the history of India, who took up the cause
of the poor outcastes and the downtrodden. It was he who vehemently protested
against the caste system that blocked the progress of mankind, and granted equal
priviledges to all, irrespective of caste, colour, or rank. Lord Buddha made no
distinction between man and man. All were equal in his sight. No life was too
insignificant for his children. He led them all on the path of righteous-ness. From
child to aged man, from begger to king, from man to piety of man of wicked ways, all
received his love and compassion. In the first place he admitted members of all castes
and classes to the order of the monks established by him without any distinction
whatsoever. To the people in general, He explained that a man becomes superior or
inferior according to his good and bad actions and not according to his birth in a
particular family.
During the time of the Buddha, women were not given much recognition. It
was the Buddha Who raised the status of women. He established the Order to the nun
(the Bukkhun Sagha), for the first time in history. For never before this was there an
Order where women had the opportunity of leading a celibate life of renunciation.
Buddhism is a universal religion. One of the Buddhas messages say
Come to me, all of you. I do not care what family you come from, whether
you are rich or poor, whether your class is high or low, whether you are man or
woman, for me you all belong to the same family, my own, whatever your race or
country or social standing. The only thing I want from you is purity of thought which
leads to purity of life, to compassion and universal love.

Endnotes of chapter I
1. M. pp.48-50
2. Supreme Patriarch Samdech Choun Nath, Khmer Dictionary, (Translation into
English is my own work), Vol. I, p.1155
3. James Hastings, M.A., DD. And T. Clark (ed)., Encyclopaedia of religion and
Ethics, volume III, p.234
4. William Allan Nellson, Ph.D., Webster New International Dictionary of the
English Language, p.418
5. Websters Encyclopedic Unabriged Dictionary of the English Language, p. 323
6. M.G Gale, The concise Universal Encyclopaedia, Volume II, p.370
7. Michael D. Harkavy (ed)., The New Websters International Encyclopaedia, p.201
8. Caste, free, access date: 18
9. Nagendra Kr. Singh (ed)., International Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, Vol.22.
10. James Hastings, M.A., DD. And T. Clark (ed)., Encyclopaedia of religion and
Ethics, volume III, pp.234-235
11. The history of the Indian caste system ,, free encyclopedia,
access date: 1
12. Ibid
13. Facts resulted from an interview with Cambodian monk, the most venerable
Ssanamun Jet Din, second Rjgaa, on 4
July, 2010
14. Nagendra Kr. Singh (ed)., International Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, Vol.33.
15. J., Vol. I, II, pp.57-58
16. J. Vol. III, IV, pp.235-236
17. K. Sri Dhammananda , Human life and Problems,p.32
18. Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium DVD 2009
19. Frederick Douglass, People In America, VOA Special English, Lesson 13
20., Buddhist Solution for the 21
century (CD Rom)
21. Gale Encyclopedia of religion (PDF File)
Endnotes of chapter II

1. Sayadaw Janakabhivamsa, Vipassan Meditation and Lectures on Insight
Meditation, p.117
2. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, The Buddha and His Dhamma, p.147
3. D., p.189
4. Ibid
5. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda, The Buddhist Concept of Heaven and Hell, p.16
6. Wendy Doniger and Smith Brian K. (tr)., (Penguin Books) The law of Manu,
Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium DVD 2009
7. Ibid
8. The caste system and the stages of life in Hinduism, Encyclopedia Britannica
9., free encyclopedia, The Kshatriya Vara, access date: 4

October, 2009
10. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda, What Buddhist Believe, p.233
11. Dr. B.R. Ambadkar, The Buddha and His Dhamma, pp.10-11
12. Ibid.,p.25-26
13., free encyclopedia, The Role of Brahmaa Caste, access date:
October, 2009
14. Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium DVD 2009
15. Ven. Pidiville Piyatissa , An Exposition of Buddhism, p.43
16. A. Vol. III, p.153

17. K. R. Norman, (tr),. The Group of Discourses (Sutta-Nipta), p.14
18. A. Vol.2, p.91
19. Ibid
20. Ven. P. A Payutto, Buddhism and the Business World, p17
21. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Various Rules of Poem, pp 56-57
22. D., p.468

Endnotes of chapter III

1. Dr.B.R. Ambadkar, The Buddha and His Dhamma, pp.87, 92
2. Ven. Pategama Gnanarama, An Approach to Buddhist Social Philosophy, p.72
3. G.P Malalasekera and K.N Jayatileke, Buddhism and the Race Question, pp.26-28
4. Buth Savong, Women in Buddhism, Khmer Language, (Translation into English is
my own work), p.57
5. Ibid, p.78
6., free encyclopedia, Caste system social reformers, access
date: 7
October, 2009
7. Ibid
8. Ibid
9. Ibid
10. Associated Press, Thousands of Hindus convert to Buddhism in India racism
protest, 10
September 2001, cited by
11. United Kingdom News, Caste slaves seeking salvation in India, 5
2001, cited by
12. Stagu Sayadaw, Dr nisra, Lecture on Buddhism and Social Work or Buddhist
Missionary, 28
July, 2008, ITBMU, Yangon, Myanmar
13. Stagu Sayadaw, Dr nisra, Lecture on Four Essential Requirement for
Protection Promotion and Propagation of the Buddhas Teaching, pp.168-169,
Quoted from Buddhist Contributions to World Peace and Sustainable
Development, Bangkok, Thailand
14., 22 wows of Ambedkar and his religious view,
access date: 24
October, 2009
15. Ibid
16. Aggatejo Nov Sakorn, History of Buddhism in India, Khmer Language, p.264
17., Constitutional law of Cambodian, access date: 4
18. Nagendra Kr. Singh (ed)., International Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, vol. 33,
19. L.P.N. Perera, Buddhism and Human Right, p.4
20. Ibid, p.44
21. Padmasiri de Silva, Buddhism, Ethics and Society, the Conflicts and dilemmas of our
times, pp.120,127
22. Uk Chuon, Human right through Khmer culture and civilization, Khmer
Language,(Translation into English is my own work), pp.3-4
23. FEROZ Kapadia Mandira Mukherjee, Encyclopedia of Asian culture and society,
vol.4, p.205
24. P Lakshminarasu, The Essence of Buddhism, p.81
25. Ibid, p.84
26. Ma Thein Thuza, Article on Equality of Human Beings, ITBMU Annual
Magazine, p.126
27. Nagendra Kr. Singh (ed)., International Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, vol.21,

Endnotes of chapter IV

1. M., pp.787-788
2. Ven. Dr. K. Sri. Dhammananda, Who is Responsible for Our Problems?, p.11
3. Prof. P.V. BAPAT, (ed), 2500 Years of Buddhism, p.196
4. Mil., p.53
5. J, Vol. III-IV, pp.128-129
6. Confucianism, world religion, CD-ROM
7. D., pp.118-119
8., Social Stratification, access date: 7
November, 2009
9. S. Vol. I., p.12
10. Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda, Gems of Wisdom, pp.268-269
11. Venerable Pyinnythiha, The Way to Social Harmony, 1990 (CD-ROM)
12. The Pa-auk Tawya Sayadaw, The working of Kamma, p.238
13. Ven. Sayadaw U Uttamasara, The Buddhist Way of Daily Life, p.141
14. Dh. I, Yamaka Vagga ( Verse No.9, 10)
15. M., p.801
16. Ibid, pp.806-807
17. Ven. Weragoda Sarada Maha Thero, The Greatest Man Who Has Ever Lied, p.176
18. Ibid, p.74
19. Introduction to Hindu Dharma, p.7
20. Sn., p.18
21. Sor Sa Run, Try Studying Khmer Sociology, Khmer Language, (Translation into
English is my own work), pp.25-26
22. Dr. Mehm Tin Mon, The Teachings of the Buddha, (Higher Level I), pp.232-233.
23. Sayadaw U Slnanda, Volition an Introduction to the law of kamma, pp.1-2
24., Social Stratification, access date: 7
25. M., pp.1053-1057
26., Social Stratification, access date: 7

Endnotes of chapter V

1. Nagendra Kumar Singh, (ed), International Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, Vol.16,
2. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India, p.120
3. Nagendra Kr. Singh,(ed), International Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, Vol.22,
4. Lily de Silva, The Buddha & Christ as Religious Teachers, p.12
5. Ud., p.98
6. Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda, Buddhism in the Eyes of Intellectuals, p.16
7. Ud., p.99
8. Facts resulted from an interview with Nepalese monk Venerable Ram Kumar Rai,
2BBHM (Nep) 1 on 6
January 2010
9. Dr. Hema Goonatilake, Myanmar-Srilanka Historical Relation, lecture on 19

August, 2009
10.,Socialstratification,access date: 9th November,
11. Ibid
12. Ibid
13. Ibid
14. Venerable Pyinnythiha, The Way to Social Harmony, 1990 (CD-ROM)
15. Ven. Piyadassi Thera, The Buddha, His Life and Teachings, (CD-ROM)
16. Nagendra Kumar Singh, (ed), International Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, Vol.6,
17. Facts resulted from an interview with Indian monk Rev. Sujan, 2BBHM (Ina) 1 on
August 2010
18. Purification rite, Encyclopedia Britannica DVD ROM 2009
19. Ibid
20., Buddhist Sociology , Updated: 1-1-2001
21. S., Vol. I, p.278
22. Ibid, pp.279
23. Jaila Sutta, Udna pl, khudakaptha, bodhivagga, chaha sagyan-CD ROM
24. DPP, Vol. II, p.826
25. Sayadaw U Slnanda, The Four Foundation of Mindfulness, p.6
26. Dh., p.24
27. DhA., pp.227-229
28. Venerable Pandit P. Sri Pemaratana Nayaka Mahathera, Buddhas contribution to
mankind, pp.4-5
29. Ven. Dr. Bokandruwe Devananda Thera, Social Aspects of Early Buddhism,
30. M. iii. 1
31. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Two Faces of the Dhamma, (CD-ROM)
32. Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita , Living Legacy of the Buddha, p.19
33. A. vol.I., p.171
34. Ibid
35. Ps. xvi, p.329
36. U Oo Tha Tun, The Way to Realization of the Truth, (M.A Thesis), pp.v-viii
37. Ibid, pp.1-3
38. Dh., p.22
39. Sujin Boriharnwanaket, A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas, p.337
40. G.P Malalasekera and K.N Jayatileke, Buddhism and the Race Question, pp.28-29
41. Tichibana, Ethic of Buddhism, p.92
42. Ven. Dr. Rastrapal Maha Thera, The Vision and Writing of Agga Mah
Saddhamma Jotikadhaja, p.36

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Facts from Interview
1. Facts resulted from an interview with Cambodian monk, the most venerable
Ssanamun Jet Din, second Rjgaa, Jumpouproeksa Monastery, Svay Rieng
Province, Cambodia, on 4
July, 2010
2. Facts resulted from an interview with Nepalese monk Venerable Ram Kumar Rai,
2BBHM (Nep) 1 on 6
January 2010
3. Facts resulted from an interview with Indian monk Rev. Sujan, 2BBHM (Ina) 1 on
August 2010