Re: Bharathvarsh, Sanaatana Dharma and Slavery
No need to be afraid of Manu smriti, if read in the correct context.
Originally Posted by Anirudh
Yes, and No.
So what is our scriptures position on Human slaves? Did it support Human slavery? Did we had sex slaves, supported by our scriptures?
There are basically two classes: Arya and Dasyu.
What is the exact meaning of Daas or Daasi in the context of human slavery.
Dasyu is the original state. That is, those people who were not "trained" into Arya fold were considered Dasyu. Even the as born state of a child was considered that of Dasyu until Sacred Thread ceremony was performed which implied a formal entry into the Rsis' Varna-Ashrama training.
Even in the Satyuga, Arya-s were greatly outflanked by the Dasyu. Let us understand it in yet another way:--
Vedic culture was an innovation of the time (and perhaps the single most important innovation of all time), so the tribe who found this way suddenly transformed into the Arya-s.
But they didnt stop at that, and thought it necessary to bring higher consciousness to all mankind. Thus, by "Dasyu" they meant those people who were yet ignorant of the Vedic ways. So, Dasyu can be a normal, peaceful person (not necessarily terrorist type).
So, the Arya limits were ever expanding, but at its boundaries there always remained an interface with the Dasyus.
This "interface" could also be seen as the "buffer people": those who were undergoing the transformation.
The exact method as to how the Arya-s went about this is not very well documented, but there clearly seem to be more than a few solutions, e.g., war, education, marriage, etc.
Some of the "buffer people" were called "dAsa" and "dAsi". Dasyu>>Das>>Arya.
Many of the Arya tribes, who were into the Arya-ways for many generations, protested against this intermingling and "diluting" and parted ways with the mainland Arya-s. This was perhaps near the end of Satyuga.
In Rama's period, we already see that the Arya-s had given up largely, and the Rsis also were finding it extremely difficult to maintain their Varna-Ashrama-s operating safe along the Arya-boundaries.
Many Vedic Rsis and Heroes were aware and glad of their Dasyu and Das origins, and had names such as "DivoDasa" etc. That is, "Dasa" itself became an Arya name, in time.
P.S.: 1. Dasyu males, however, had to likely go through a difficult training before getting accepted into the fold. In the Ashrama, it was the udgAtR priest and position - a representative of the Shudra-Arya-Varna - the force that played key role in the transformative process.
2. The lesson for me is this: If I am a Dasyu, no amount of victim-playing, terrorism, excuses, manipulation, rape, loot is going to improve me, make me better. Reincarnation and Karma will further ensure that I be damned. And yes, Dharma believes that no two men are born equal; but most important of all, Dharma also knows that potentiality is also infinite within each of us.
Things to remember:
1. Life = yajña
2. Depth of Āstika knowledge is directly proportional
to the richness of Sanskrit it is written in
3. Āstika = Bhārata ("east") / Ārya ("west")
4. Varṇa = tripartite division of Vedic polity
5. r = c. x²
r = realisation
constant c = intelligence
variable x = bhakti