Arya means a Free man, Dasa means a Slave (Post No.8787)

Aborigines were dubbed as thieves and hunted in Australia


Post No. 8787

Date uploaded in London – –7 OCTOBER 2020   

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‘Arya’ meant a cultured or a civilised person in Vedic literature. Arya meant saints in the northern Himalayan region or those who speak Sanskrit in Sangam Tamil literature. In other words, those who speak a cultured language or a language by cultured people. Nowhere we find a racial connotation or a negative connotation. But Max Muller and Caldwell Company used it with a racial connotation because of their ‘barbarian knowledge’ in Greek.

in Greece

Kautilya who wrote Arthashastra 2400 years ago gives some interesting new definition.

Panini applies the epithet ‘Aarya’ to a Brahmana to denote the king’s chief counsellor-  Aarya brahmana and Aarya kumara to denote the crown prince 6-2-58

The use of the term Aarya in the expression  Aarya-krita in sutra 4-1-30 ( feminine Aarya-kriti , terms which were also Vedic words ) had a specific meaning in current speech. The meaning of these terms is best explained by Kautilya ( daasa kalpa chapter). Kautilya takes Aarya to mean a free man  as opposed to Daasa who had lost his freedom.

e.g. the offspring who has sold himself off as a slave shall be an Aarya on paying the value – for which one is enslaved. A slave shall regain his ‘Aaryahood’. The regulations contained in that chapter aims at humanising the institution of Daasya and restoring to the Daasas the privileges of an Aarya or free citizen.

The linguistic form of ‘aaryakrita ‘– i.e Aarya with root kri is also implied in Kautilya’s expression ,

 ‘daasamanurupena  nishryen – aaryamakurvato dvaadasa pano dandah ‘

Meaning is ‘12 panas is the fine for not making a slave a free man  (Aarya)  even after receiving the proper ransom ‘ .

The feminine form Aaryakritii would denote the woman similarly made free or her daughter who had obtained the status of an ‘adaasa’ or either through payment of ransom or birth.

Panini uses ‘dhaasi-bhaara’ in sutra 6-2-42 as a word with specific meaning.  The Kaasikaa explains it as daasya bhaarah i.e. the burden of a Dhaasi to be borne by her master.

Kautilya states , if a pregnant female slave is sold or pledged without any provision for her confinement ,  her master is punishable .  This probably explains the nature of the burden implied in the term daasi – dhaasi bhaara of Panini

Source book – India as known to Panini by V S Agrawala, 1953,University of Lucknow


in Rome

My comments: –

All the ancient cultures had slavery as an institution. In Greece they were treated as low class people. In Modern America, they were treated as animals. Abraham Lincoln and others had to fight for their freedom. In Egypt, Moses revolted against the slavery and led them out of Egypt. In Rome, they were thrown to animals and they had to fight them till one of them dies. Huge crowd watched the cruel gladiators. But in India even before 2400 years,  they were treated as humans. They can be liberated by paying back the amount to which the persons were bought.


In Tamil Nadu

Sundaramurthy Swamikal story in Periya Puranam and other literatures shows that  the slavery was in Tamil country 1200 years ago. A Brahmin came running saying that Sundarar cannot get married without his permission because he was the son of a slave. It shows that slavery existed even among high class Hindus in Tamil Nadu and they need permission from their masters to get married.

 tags – slavery, Arya, free man, Dasa, slave

in Egypt


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