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Buddha and Caste System

Booklet: Buddha and Caste System
Author: Bhikkhu U. Dhammaratna
Publication: Jeevan Mahavihar, Shrawasti, Bahraich
Fourth Impression: 1995
Price: Rs. 15/-
Pages: 71

The booklet deals with the preaching and contribution of Buddha to Indian society. Caste system, peculiar to India, is nothing but class system based on hereditary. Buddha’s greatest contribution was towards the solution of the problem of caste based on Vedas, hereditary and inherent superiority. Buddha demolished the very foundation of the caste system and refuted claims of Brahmans to any superiority to the rest of the people.The Caste system manifests itself in complexes of superiority and inferiority, raising a few as masters and degrading the rest as serfs. Buddha preached that all were equal in the eye of the compassionate one. Unfortunately, Buddha could not last long enough to bring about the liquidation of caste. In the post-Buddhist period, Brahmans launched anti-Buddhist propaganda. Except in India, Buddha’s message of humanity and equality modified social relations in all the Buddhist countries to the extent that the nobles and the commoners mutually accepted one another on equal footing. One’s position in society should be determined according to one’s vocation, rather than birth.


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