--> Skip to main content

Equality in Vedas – Equality In Ancient Hindu Scriptures In India

The oldest scripture in the world, Vedas, spread the teachings of equality. Vedas did not spread forced equality but by making each being realize the divine in all animate and inanimate.

It is important to note that the people of the Vedic age, in contrary to other later ages, didn’t reject life in fact, They enjoyed life immensely. The Upanishads does advocate human philosophy where there is no renunciation.

The spiritual sense of equality was equally important to achieve the goal of universal brotherhood. It is noteworthy that most of the vedic prayer was for collective happiness and goodness. The Yajur Veda says that the entire universe is like a nest. (yathra viswam bhavatheyka needam). So, one should realize the feeling of equality among different persons.

It further says that a man should protect the other man from all sides (puman pumaag sam paripaathu viswathaha).

To avoid disunity caused by difference of opinions, the Vedas give emphasis to the collective thinking. It is called Samvana or Samajnana. The well known Smajnana-Sukta of the Rigveda describes the fundamental strands of the Socialist ideology and principles of unity.

The Mantra Says-
Sangachadhwam samvadadhwam
sam vo manamsi janathaam
Deva bhagam yathapurve
sajyanana upasthe

It means – Go together, Speak together, let your mind be of one accord as the ancient gods with one accord accept the sacrificial share. Thus, going together, specking together and thinking together are the principles to establish unity among the people of different opinions.

A feeling of Oneness is the base of Equality in the Vedic view. When a man feels that the soul lying in his body is the same as that lying in others bodies, then he would have no enmity with others. The concept of spiritual unity has been illustrated by many stories occurring in Upanishads. This attitude develops the notion that all persons are alike.

The Isavasyopanishad says-
Yasthu sarvaani boothani
atmanyevanu pasyathi
Sarvabootheshu chathmanam
tato na vigupsathe

And he, who uniformly sees all beings even in his self and his own self in all beings, does not feel repelled there from (i.e. from beings). The Vedic references illustrate that actually nobody is higher or lower. Society evolves when everybody strives together like brothers for glory and progress.

Source – excerpt from an article ‘A light on the society during Vedic period’ by Dr. K E Sri Venkatanathan published in June 2016 edition of English Sapthagiri Magazine.