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Egypt had 8 levels pyramid organization

It didn’t develop in one shot and evolved over time by merging many different social groups. The caste system is not a well-defined entity, but an amorphous grouping of people with different origins that all got mixed over time.

Humans, like many other mammals, live in various social groups. We often build a web of relationship known as the Kinship. Initially we were all in small bands or tribes & we were not in close contact with other groups. As we kept coming together to form more complex societies, some wanted to organize & formalize the group.

Band – Bands are the smallest units. It is an informal group of a few dozen people who work together. It might not have a leader.

Clan
– This is a slightly more matured group with a belief in a common origin & descent. In India, this roughly translates to Gotra. For instance, my family believes that we are descent of the 3 saints of Viswamitra-Ahamarshana-Koushika. Such clans were in most ancient human societies. The clans formed a strong kinship & bonding among themselves. Also, most clans thought of others in the clan as brothers/sisters & thus would not marry within the clan. The Khaps in Haryana take to this the extreme & can even give death sentences to those who marry within the clan.

Tribe – Mulitiple clans can come together to form a tribe & tribes can often be quite well structured. They can have their own leaders & build common cultural practices. In many ancient societies, people married within the same tribe. In short, you marry out of a clan and within a tribe. In India, this roughly corresponds to Jati.

Nations – Tribes formed even bigger groups named the nation. For instance, in the Battle of the Ten Kings the tribal groups formed the nation of Bhāratas that won over the confederation of 10 tribes in north India. Thus, we call our nation Bharat.

Division of labour – As we started forming civilizations, we also found it quite useful to divide work. Thus, some would produce milk, some would farm, others would weave etc. Like in other civilizations, India had this division of labor too. These divisions then got superimposed over the much older clan & tribal divisions.

Some of the tribes/jatis are as big as most nations. For instance, the peasant caste of Jats numbers about 83 million people – a little bigger than Germany & Mongolia combined. Other castes like Yadavs, Minas and Rajputs also have millions of people have built a formidable political force.

Building Social Hierarchies
Almost all societies eventually turned into building hierarchies in a pyramid system. The tribes had no ranking system before this & somehow people felt that there needs to be a rank. Such rankings are somewhat present in our mind always.

For instance, if you ask a kid to rank the professions of plumber, soldier, doctor and shopkeeper in terms of attractiveness/usefulness, he/she might instinctively say doctor > soldier > shopkeeper > plumber. We have some universal notions of the relative worth of different professions & this bias reflected in the social hierarchy.

Around 3500 years ago, the various tribes that were creating the Rig Veda was grappling with a way to organize all the different systems – since there were 100s of tribal groups & occupation groups. Rig Veda did it this way.

Brahmins (with all the different clans who were in priest related occupations)
Kshatriyas (the warriors)
Vaishyas (merchants)
Shudras (workers)

Such a pyramid organization was not unique to the Rig Vedis. Plenty of societies around the world had stratified their society. Europe had Estates of the realm.

Egypt had 8 levels with more fine grained.

Egypt had 8 levels pyramid organization
Egypt had 8 levels pyramid organization

Japan also had 8.

Japanese had 8 levels pyramid organization
Japanese had 8 levels pyramid organization

Mesopotamia had 6.

Mesopotamia had 6 levels pyramid organization
Mesopotamia had 6 levels pyramid organization

While north India had a more formalized social stratification systems, south India didn’t get as formalized. It turned out to be quite binary – brahmins and non-brahmins. Only recently many jatis like Reddys, Thevars and Lingayats started grappling with where they fit into the varna system.

In short, there was no single system and people often made up the rules on the go. Many also used obscure texts like a 2000 year old Manu Smriti to define their position in the outdated hierarchy.

There are two major elements which were used for caste classifications

1. Varna – the mental state of an individual
2. Jati – the social segregation of an individual based on profession.

Jati is a derivative of Varna but the reverse is not true. Varna is supreme, Jati is just an indicator of the profession of a family branch, it has nothing to do with Karma. Varna is Karma, Jati is just a social classification which evolved later. Varna is more of a state of mind.

What is Varna?
Varna is simply the mental state of a subject. Varna is the “Why?”

Varna - mental state of a subject
Varna – mental state of a subject

Shudra – Unconditional Follower.
Vaishya – Conditional Follower
Kshatriya – Conditional Leader
Brahmana – Unconditional Leader.

A person of Shudra Varna always follows whatever is given. He never questions, he never argues, he never thinks on his own, he just “obeys” the master (Karta). He doesn’t see the big picture and is always keen on following.

Hanuman is of Shudra varna. He never questions Ram. He just does whatever is said. That is it. He can kill the whole Lanka army alone but he never does it. When his mother asked “Why?” he said – Because nobody told me to do so.

A person of Vaishya varna is a conditional follower which means, he will follow his master only on a given condition. He will not take initiative, but when ordered to do something, he will evaluate the orders and carry out actions only if it fits the condition.

Sugriva is of Vaishya varna. He agrees to help Ram only if Ram helps him first. If Ram did not kill Vali, Sugriva would’t have given his army to Ram.

Kshatriya Varna is someone who leads but again has conditions attached to why he is leading. He leads just for the sake of leading, not upholding the cause of leadership. He carries out action because he is more into the “Power” and “Glory” and not for the action alone.

Ravana and Duryodhana, both belong to Kshatriya varna. They are conditional leaders. Ravana leads just for the sake of preserving his ego and avenging the insult of Surpnakha. Duryodhana leads just for the sake of his personal enmity and abandons the greater cause of the kingdom. They are both “Conditional leaders”.

Brahmana varna is someone who lives for the greater objective and his leadership or action is focussed on “Dharma” and not personal goals. Rama and Krishna are both Unconditional leaders, who go above and beyond the call of duty to accomplish Dharma and attain the bigger goal. Rama abandons his Kingdom for his father, abandons his wife for the kingdom. Krishna is sharp focussed on establishing his goal and introduces “Adharmik principles” to restore Dharma. This is unconditional leadership, do whatever it takes to meet the end result and establish Dharma.

How Varna Shifts in One’s Life

When a man grows up, he is mostly of Shudra varna, unconditionally following whatever is told by parents, teachers and others.

Then he graduates to Vaishya varna wherein, he follows only when a condition is met (I want to do enginerring only if …..).

Then he graduates to Khastriya Varna wherein he takes up Karma just for the sake of Karma alone, without knowing what he is doing (a job or some trade to make ends meet).
Finally he is able to realize his true worth and do things he really wants to do in life (Brahmana varna).

Is Varna related to Birth?

No. Not at all.
A person of lowerly caste may very well be of “Brahmana” varna while a person of “higher” caste may be of Shudra varna.

Example – Consider a person from shudra Jati, who cleans people’s toilets. He is extremely devoted to his duty and performs every task with utmost perfection. He is an unconditional leader and his mission in life is to clean every single toilet in his area. So although he is “Shudra” by Jati, he is of “Brahmana” varna.

Example – Consider a person who is from “Brahmana” jati. He is a professor in a reputed institute but never performs his duty well. He just comes, gives lectures and notes, takes exams and passes every student. He is not concerned about the knowledge his students are getting, he is just following some “System”.

So despite being from the “Brahmana” jati, he is of “Shudra varna” – unconditional follower. He will simply do whatever is told to him, without caring about the consequences.

How Jati Comes from Varna?  >> Behavior of the mind

Jati was introduced so that a person of specific Varna gets the profession he is most suited for. It is not the other way around.

A person of “Brahmana” varna was given a “Jati” of “Brahmana” so that society benefits from his behavior. An unconditional leader is best suited in institutes, so that people can learn from someone who knows the bigger objective and is determined to achieve it.

A person of “Khastriya” varna was given a “Jati” of “Khatriya” so that society benefits from that behavior. A conditional leader is better suited for administrative tasks, kingship, ruler..who can lead and protect the nation from foreigners and be advised by unconditional leaders (“brahmanas”)

A person of “Vaishya” varna was given a “Jati” of “Vaishya” so that societry benefits from the behavior. A conditional follower is better suited for trade and commerce and can help build the economy faster and provide goods and services, since he is more keen on “Following” the system.

A person of “Shudra” varna was given a “Jati” of “Shudra” so that society benefits from the behavior. An unconditional follower is better suited in the service of others and hence the person of “Shudra” varna is better utilized as clerks, officers and other day to day “Jobs”.

Alas, for the human race tweaked this concept and started abusing it. They abused it to that extent that now it is the exact opposite. A person with great thought and vision but born into a lower caste family is mostly neglected while a person born into a “Brahmin” family but no character or vision is given respect.

This is what Kaliyug has done to the vedic system of segregating talent in the society.

The oldest “Secret Society” on earth, The NINE UNKNOWN MEN also known as NUM, founded by King Ashoka the Greatest of all Emperors, an old Indian ruler ca. 269 BCE to 232 BCE..

The Nine Unknown Men
The Nine Unknown Men

Unknown Men of King Ashoka a secret society of India dating back to two millennium is the greatest Mystery in India which is believed to be the Indian version of Atlantis dating back to 273 BC to the regime of the King Ashoka indian emperor the grandson of Chandragupta who was the first person attempted to unify India..

Emperor Ashoka
Emperor Ashoka

King Ashoka was hindu by birth and converted to Buddhism after the battle of kalinga which claimed around one lakh (hundred thousand) men…..when war was over King Ashoka ventured out to roam the eastern city and all he could see were burnt houses and scattered corpses. This sight made him sick and he cried the famous quotation, “What have I done?” Upon his return to Pataliputra, he could get no sleep and was constantly haunted by his deeds in Kalinga. The brutality of the conquest led him to adopt Buddhism under the guidance of the Brahmin Buddhist sages Radhaswami and Manjushri and he used his position to propagate the relatively new philosophy to new heights, as far as ancient Rome and Egypt.

battle of kalinga
Battle of kalinga

According to the legend, upon his conversion to Buddhism after a massacre during one of his wars, the Emperor founded he society of the Nine to preserve and develop knowledge that would be dangerous to humanity if it fell into the wrong hands. Some versions of the story include an additional motivation for the Emperor to conceal scientific knowledge: remnants of the Rama Empire, an Indian version of Atlantis, which according to Hindu scripture was destroyed by
advanced weaponry 15,000 years ago.
King Asoka founded the most powerful secret society on earth: that of the Nine Unknown Men. It is still thought that the great men responsible for the destiny of modern India, and scientists like Bose and Ram believe in the existence of the Nine, and even receive advice and messages from them. One can imagine the extraordinary importance of secret knowledge in the hands of nine men benefiting directly from experiments, studies and documents accumulated over a period of more than 2,000 years. What can have been the aim of these men? Not to allow methods of destruction to fall into the hands of unqualified persons and to pursue knowledge which would benefit mankind. Their numbers would be renewed by co-option, so as to preserve the secrecy of techniques handed down from ancient times.

One of the palm leaf manuscripts they intend to decipher is the Amsu Bodhini, which, according to an anonymous text of 1931, contains information about the planets; the different kinds of light, heat, color, and electromagnetic fields; the methods used to construct machines capable of attracting solar rays and, in turn, of analysing and separating their energy components; the possibility of conversing with people in remote places and sending messages by cable; and the manufacture of machines to transport people to other planets!

Examples of the Nine Unknown Men making contact with the outer world are rare. There was, however, the extraordinary case of one of the most mysterious figures in Western history: the Pope Sylvester II, known also by the name of Gerbert d’Aurillac. Born in the Auvergne in 920 (d. 1003) Gerbert was a Benedictine monk, professor at the University of Rheims, Archbishop of Ravenna and Pope by the grace of Ortho III. He is supposed to have spent some time in Spain, after which a mysterious voyage brought him to India where he is reputed to have acquired various kinds of skills which stupefied his entourage. For example, he possessed in his palace a bronze head which answered YES or NO to questions put to it on politics or the general position of Christianity. According to Sylvester II this was a perfectly simple operation corresponding to a two-figure calculation, and was performed by an automaton similar to our modern binary machines. This “magic” head was destroyed when Sylvester died, and all the information it imparted carefully concealed. No doubt an authorized research worker would come across some interesting things in the Vatican Library. In the cybernetics journal, _Computers and Automation_ of October 1954, the following comment appeared: “We must suppose that he (Sylvester) was possessed of extraordinary knowledge and the most remarkable mechanical skill and inventiveness. This speaking head must have been fashioned ‘under a certain conjunction of stars occurring at the exact moment when all the planets were starting on their courses.’ Neither the past, nor the present nor the future entered into it, since this invention apparently far exceeded in its scope its rival, the perverse ‘mirror on the wall’ of the Queen, the precursor of our modern electronic brain. Naturally it was widely asserted that Gerbert was only able to produce such a machine head because he was in league with the Devil and had sworn eternal allegiance to him.” Had other Europeans any contact with the society of the Nine Unknown Men? It was not until the nineteenth century that this mystery was referred to again in the works of the French writer Jacolliot. Jacolliot was French Consul at Calcutta under the Second Empire. He wrote some quite important prophetic works, comparable, if not superior to those of Jules Verne. He also left several books dealing with the great secrets of the human race. A great many occult writers, prophets and miracle-workers have borrowed from his writings which, completely neglected in France, are well known in Russia.

Jacolliot states categorically that the Society of Nine did actually exist. And, to make it all the more intriguing, he refers in this connection to certain techniques, unimaginable in 1860, such as, for example, the liberation of energy, sterilization by radiation and psychological warfare. Yersin, one of Pasteur and de Roux’s closest collaborators, was entrusted, it seems, with certain biological secrets when he visited Madras in 1890, and following the instructions he received was able to prepare a serum against cholera and the plague. The story of the Nine Unknown Men was popularized for the first time in 1927 in a book by Talbot Mundy who for twenty-five years was a member of the British police force in India. His book is half-fiction, half scientific inquiry. The Nine apparently employed a synthetic language, and each of them was in possession of a book that was constantly being rewritten and containing a detailed account of some science.

Each of the Nine is supposedly responsible for guarding and improving a single book. These books each deal with a different branch of potentially hazardous knowledge. Traditionally, the books are said to cover the following subjects:

Propaganda and Psychological warfare: is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviour of large numbers of people. Instead of impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. It is the most dangerous of all sciences, as it is capable of moulding mass opinion. It would enable anyone to govern the whole world.
Physiology: Including study of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of living organisms. Also included instructions on how to perform the “touch of death (death being caused by a reversal of the nerve-impulse).” One account has Judo being a product of material leaked from this book.
Microbiology: According to more recent speculation, Biotechnology. In some versions of the myth, the waters of the Ganges are purified with special microbes designed by the Nine and released into the river at a secret base in the Himalayas.
Alchemy: Including the transmutation of metals. In India, there is a persistent rumour that during times of drought or other natural disasters temples and religious organizations receive large quantities of gold from an unknown source. The mystery is further deepened with the fact that the sheer quantity of gold throughout the country in temples and with kings cannot be properly accounted for, seeing that India has few gold mines.
Communication: Including communication with extraterrestrials.
Gravitation: Contain the instructions necessary to build a Vimana, sometimes referred to as the “ancient UFOs of India.”
Cosmology: The capacity to travel at enormous speeds through spacetime fabric, and time-travel; including intra- and inter-universal trips.
Light: The capacity to increase and decrease the speed of light, to use it as a weapon by concentrating it in a certain direction etc.
Sociology: Including rules concerning the evolution of societies and how to predict their downfall.

Well I would like to add a quote here.

A perfect myth is one which has just enough historical context to make it credible but takes care to be vague enough to become unfalsifiable. Most of it is filled with grandiose ideas to make it awe-inspiring. Many myths are but exaggeration of facts, lost in labyrinths of ancient times. (e.g.Opus Dei, Templars, Atlantis)

So its upto you to decide whether this is just a myth or reality.

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Please do read our previous post “What are the similarities between Hinduism and Greek mythology? Part 1

So lets continue……
The next Similarity is between-

Jatayu And Icarus :In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a master inventor and craftsman who designed wings that could be worn by humans so they can fly. His son Icarus was fitted with wings, and Daedalus instructed him to fly low as the wax wings would melt in proximity to the sun. After he starts flying, Icarus forgets himself in the ecstasy of flight, wanders too close to the sun and with the wings failing him, falls to his death.

Icarus And Jatayu
Icarus And Jatayu

In Hindu mythology, Sampati and Jatayu were the two sons of Garuda – represented as eagles or vultures. The two sons always competed with each other as to who can fly higher, and at one such time Jatayu flew too close to the sun. Sampati intervened, protecting his little brother from the fiery sun, but gets burnt in the process, loses his wings and falls to the earth.

Theseus And Bhima: In Greek mythology, to prevent Crete from waging war on Athens, a treaty was signed that every nine years, seven young men and seven young women from Athens would be sent to Crete, into the Labyrinth of Minos and ultimately feasted upon by the monster known as the Minotaur. Theseus volunteers as one of the sacrifices, navigates the Labyrinth successfully (with the help of Ariadne) and slays the Minotaur.

Bhima And Theseus
Bhima And Theseus

In Hindu mythology, at the outskirts of the city of Ekachakra lived the monster called Bakasura who threatened to destroy the city. As a compromise, the people agreed to send a cartload of provisions once a month to the demon, who ate not only the food, but also the bulls that pulled the cart and the man who brought it. During this time, the Pandavas were in hiding in one of the houses, and when it was the house’s turn to send the cart, Bhima volunteered to go. As you can guess, Bakasura was killed by Bhima.

Ambrosia and Amrit: The Ambrosia in Greek Mythology, and the Amrita in Hindu Mythology were the food/drink of the gods which conferred immortality on those who consume it. The words even sound alike, and it’s possible that they share an etymology.

Kamadhenu And Cornucopia: In Greek mythology, the newborn Zeus was nursed by many, one of which was the goat Amalthea who was considered sacred. Once, Zeus accidentally breaks off Amalthea’s horn, which became the Cornucopia, the horn of plenty that provided never-ending nourishment.
In Hindu mythology, cows are held sacred as they represent Kamadhenu, usually depicted as a cow with a woman’s head and containing all the deities within her. The Hindu equivalent of the cornucopia, is the Akshaya patra that was provided to the Pandavas,  producing unlimited quantities of food till they were all nourished.

Mt.Olympus and Mt.Kailash : Most major gods in Greek mythology take up residence in Mount Olympus, a real mountain in Greece, believed to be the realm of the gods. One of the different lokas in Hindu mythology where deities resided was called the Shiva loka, represented by Mount Kailash – a real mountain in Tibet with great religious significance.

Aegeus And Drona: This is somewhat of a stretch, as the common theme here is that a father is led to falsely believe that his son is dead, and as a result dies himself.

In Greek mythology, before Theseus left to kill the Minotaur, his father Aegeus asked him to raise white sails in his ship if he returns safely. After Theseus successfully slays the Minotaur in Crete, he returns to Athens but forgets to change his sails from black to white. Aegeus sees Theseus’ ship approaching with black sails, presumes him dead, and in an uncontrollable bout of grief jumps off the battlements into the sea and dies.

Dronacharya And Aegeus
Dronacharya And Aegeus

In Hindu mythology, during the Kurukshetra War, Krishna comes up with a plan to defeat Dronacharya, one of the greatest generals in the enemy camp. Bhima kills an elephant called Ashwattama, and runs around celebrating that he has killed Ashwattama. As it’s the name of his only son, Drona goes to ask Yudhistra if this was true – because he never lies. Yudhistra says that Ashwattama is dead, and as he continued saying that it’s not his son but an elephant,  Krishna blows his conch to muffle Yudhistra’s words. Stunned that his son has been killed, Drona drops his bow and using the opportunity Dhrishtadyumna beheads him.

War on Lanka And War on Troy: A thematic similarity between the War on Troy in the Iliad, and the War on Lanka in the Ramayana. One was incited when a prince abducts a king’s wife with her approval, and another when a king abducts a prince’s wife against her will. Both resulted in a major conflict where an army crossed the sea to fight a battle that destroyed the capital city and the return of the princess. Both wars have been immortalized as epic poetry singing the praises of warriors from both sides for thousands of years.

Afterlife and Rebirth: In both mythologies, the souls of the deceased are judged according to their actions and sentenced to different places. Souls judged as wicked were sent to the Fields of Punishment in Greek mythology, or Naraka in Hindu mythology where they were punished as befits their crimes. Souls judged as (exceptionally, in Greek) good were sent to the Elysian Fields in Greek mythology, or Svarga in Hindu mythology. The Greeks also had the Asphodel Meadows for those who lived ordinary lives, neither wicked nor heroic, and Tartarus as the ultimate concept of Hell. Hindu scriptures define various planes of existence as lokas among other things.

The important difference between the two afterlives is that the Greek version is eternal, but the Hindu version is transient. Both Svarga and Naraka last only till the duration of the sentence, after which the person is reborn, for either redemption or improvement. The similarity comes in that consistent attainment of Svarga will result in a soul achieving moksha, the ultimate goal. Greek souls in Elysium have the option to be reborn three times, and once they achieve Elysium all three times, they are sent to the Isles of the Blessed, the Greek version of Paradise.

Also, the entrance to the Greek underworld is guarded by Hades’ three-headed dog Cerberus, and the entrance to Svarga by Indra’s white elephant Airavata.

Demigods and Divinity: Even if the concept of gods being born, living and dying as mortal beings (avatars) is not present in Greek mythology, both sides have gods descending among men for short periods of time for various reasons. There is also the concept of children born to two deities becoming deities (like Ares or Ganesh), and also the idea of demigod children born to a god and a mortal (like Perseus or Arjuna). Instances of demigod heroes raised to the status of gods were also common (like Heracles and Hanuman).

Heracles and Shri Krishna:

Heracles and Shri Krishna
Heracles and Shri Krishna


Heracles Fighting With Serpentine Hydra and Lord Krishna Defeating Serpent Kaliya. Lord Krishna didn’t kill Kalingarayan (Serpent kaliya), instead he asked him to leave the Yamuna river and go away from Brindavan. Simialrly, Heracles did not kill Serpent hydra, he only placed a huge stone over his head.


Killing of Stymphalian And Bakasur: The Stymphalian Birds are man-eating birds with beaks of bronze, sharp metallic feathers they could launch at their victims, and poisonous dung. They were pets of Ares, the god of war. They migrated to a marsh in Arcadia to escape a pack of wolves. There they bred quickly and swarmed over the countryside, destroying crops, fruit trees, and townspeople. They were killed by Heracles.

Killing of Stymphalian And Bakasur
Killing of Bakasur And Stymphalian

Bakasura, the Crane Demon, simply got greedy.  Lured by Kamsa’s promises of rich and swanky rewards, Bakasura “tricked” Krishna to come close – only to betray the boy by swallowing him.  Krishna forced his way out of course and put an end to him.

Killing of Cretan Bull And Arishtasura : Cretan bull had been wreaking havoc on Crete by uprooting crops and leveling orchard walls. Heracles sneaked up behind the bull and then used his hands to strangle it, and then shipped it to Eurystheus in Tiryns.

Killing of Arishtasura And Cretan Bull
Killing of Arishtasura And Cretan Bull

A true bull-y in every sense of the word.  Aristasur the Bull Demon stormed into town and challenged Krishna to a bull fight that all the heavens watched.

Killing of Horses Of Diomedes and keshi : Horses Of Diomedes were four man-eating horses in Greek mythology. Magnificent, wild, and uncontrollable, they belonged to the giant Diomedes, king of Thrace who lived on the shores of the Black Sea. Bucephalus, Alexander the Great’s horse, was said to be descended from these mares. Heracles the Greek hero slays the horses of Diomedes.

Killing of Keshi the demon horse And Horses Of Diomedes
Killing of Keshi the demon horse And Horses Of Diomedes

Keshi the Horse Demon was apparently mourning the loss of so many of his fellow rakshasa friends, so he approached Kamsa to sponsor his battle against Krishna. Shri Krishna Killed him.

Please do read our previous post “What are the similarities between Hinduism and Greek mythology? Part 1

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