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Penance and Caste

Penance and Caste

सुक्खं खु दीसइ तवोविसेसो,
न दीसई जाइविसेस कोई

Penance – special is seen directly, but caste-special is not seen

Loss of body strength due to penance is seen directly; by observing one we can find out whether a particular person has done penance or not. Due to penance, one’s body may be depleted but not the mind. His face shines like moonlight. A man of austerity is good-natured – practitioner of virtues. Thus, specialties born out of penance are seen by all.

However, in the human beings imagination of differences based on caste for strengthening the ego or for maintaining social order depending on different vocations or income is not seen in any man. If a Harijana, after taking bath and dressed in clean and costly clothes, with long hair all tied on the head and a mark on his fore-head, were to say that he is Brahmin, then who can tell whether he is a harijana or not. None. Because, human beings belong to one family only.

- Uttaradhyayana Sutra 12/37

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