The Aryan Civilization And The Classification Of Society Under The Varna Scheme

1290 Words Nov 15th, 2016 6 Pages
Social stratification, which is the categorization of people based on their income, social status and derived power is one of the most common topics researched by sociologists. Because of its vast population and extraordinarily rich mythologies and the classification of its society along the Varna system, India has been highly researched by sociologists and historians. In this paper, we will be comparing and contrasting the understanding of the Aryan Civilization and the classification of society under the Varna scheme with the interpretation of Hindu mythology through the lens of Indo-European studies and the views of the Hindu nationalists and the concurrency between them.

Before we proceed further with the analysis of the construction of the Aryan civilization, it is important for us to understand the sources of Hindu Myths and the very texts from which history is gleaned.

The sources of Hindu civilization are a series of texts written in Sanskrit. These Vedic texts are generally classified under two heads- Sruti and Smriti. They are considered to be divinely composed texts but recorded by humans. They were transmitted from a teacher to student orally for centuries, hence it is also known as Sruti- something that is heard. Srutis are defined as revealed texts and include the Vedas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads. Smritis known as the remembered texts, comprise the Sutras and Sastras. They explain scriptures and prescribe family rituals and social norms. Apart from…
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