m. (of doubtful derivation) a śūdra-, a man of the fourth or lowest of the four original classes or castes (whose only business according to to ,was to serve the three higher classes;in ,the śūdra- is said to have been born from the feet of puruṣa-q.v;in he is fabled to have sprung from the same part of the body of brahmā-, and he is regarded as of higher rank than the present low and mixed castes so numerous throughout India; kevala-ś-,a pure śūdra-) etc. ()
शूद्रः [शुच्-रक् पृषो˚ चस्य दः दीर्घः Uṇ.2.19] A man of the fourth or the last of the four principal tribes of the Hindus; he is said to have been born from the feet of Puruṣa; पद्भ्यां शूद्रो अजायत Ṛv.1.9.12; or of Brahman; Ms.1.87; and his principal business was to serve the three higher castes; एकमेव तु शूद्रस्य प्रभुः कर्म समादिशत् । एतेषामेव वर्णानां शुश्रुषामनसूयया ॥ Ms.1.9. -Comp. -आर्ता the Priyaṅgu plant. -आह्निकम् the daily ceremonies or observances of a Śūdra. -उदकम् water polluted by the touch of a Śūdra. -कृत्यम्, -धर्मः the duties of a Śūdra. -घ्न, -हन् a. 1 killing a Śūdra. -2 the slayer of a Śūdra; एतदेव व्रतं कृत्स्नं षण्मासान् शूद्रहा चरेत् Ms.11.13. -प्रियः an onion. -प्रेष्यः a man of any of the three higher castes who has become a servant to a Śūdra. -भूयिष्ठ a. consisting mostly of Śūdra; यद्राष्ट्रं शूद्रभूयिष्ठम् (विनश्यति) Ms.8.22. -याजकः one who conducts a sacrifice for a Śūdra. -राज्यम् a country of which a Śūdra is a king; न शूद्रराज्ये निवसेत् Ms.4.61. -वर्गः the Śūdra or servile class. -वृत्तिः the occupation of a Śūdra; वैश्यो$जीवन् स्वधर्मेण शूद्रवृत्त्यापि वर्तयेत् Ms.1.98,
-शासनम् 1 dominion of a Śūdra. -2 a written bond of a Śūdra; L. D. B. -3 an edict addressed to Śūdras. -संस्पर्शः the touch of a Śūdra; अस्वर्ग्या ह्याहुतिः सा स्याच्छूद्रसंस्पर्शदूषिता Ms.5.14. -सेवनम् serving a Śūdra, being the servant of a Śūdra; Ms.11.69.
m. man of the fourth or servile class: -ka, m. N. of a king, the reputed au thor of the Mrikkhakatikâ; N. of a soldier; -gana, m. Sûdra; -ganman, a. descended from a Sûdra; m. Sûdra; -tâ, f., -tva,n. condition of a Sûdra; -dharma, m. duty of a Sûdra; -yâgaka, a. sacrificing for a Sûdra.
Is the designation of the fourth caste in the Vedic state (see Varṇa). It is quite unknown in the Rigveda except in the Purusasūkta (‘hymn of man’) in the tenth Maṇdala, where in the earliest version of the origin of the castes the śūdra for the first time appears. The Rigveda, on the other hand, knows Dasyu and Dāsa, both as aborigines independent of Aryan control and as subjugated slaves: it is reasonable to reckon the śūdra of the later texts as belonging to the aborigines who had been reduced to subjection by the Aryans. Strictly speaking, the defeated aborigines must have been regarded as slaves, but it is obvious that, except on occasions when most of the men were slain, which may have occurred quite often, there must have remained too many of them to be used as slaves of individual owners. The villages of the aborigines must have continued to subsist, but under Aryan lordship and control: there may be this amount of truth in Baden Powell’s theory, which practically traced all the early cultivating villages in India to Dravidian origin. On the other hand, the term śūdra would also cover the wild hill tribes which lived by hunting and fishing, and many of which would acknowledge the superiority of their Aryan neighbours: it could, in fact, be applied to all beyond the pale of the Aryan state. This view of the śūdra suits adequately the Vedic references to his condition, which would not apply adequately to domestic slaves only. The śūdra is continually opposed to the Aryan, and the colour of the śūdra is compared with that of the Aryan, just as his ways are so contrasted. The Aitareya Brāhmaṇa, in its account of the castes, declares that the śūdra is anyasya presya, ‘the servant of another’; kāmotthāpya, ‘to be expelled at will’; andyathākāmaυadhya, ‘to be slain at will.’ All these terms well enough describe the position of the serf as the result of a conquest: the epithets might have been applied to the English serf after the Norman Conquest with but slight inaccuracy, especially if his master had received a grant of jurisdiction from the Crown. The Pañcavimśa Brāh- mapa explains that even if prosperous (bahu-paśu, having many cows’) a śūdra could not be other than a servant: his business was pādāvanejya, ‘ the washing of the feet ’ of his superiors. The Mahābhārata says out and out that a śūdra has no property (a hi svam asti śūdrasya, ‘ the śūdra has nothing he can call his own’). On the other hand, just as in England the royal justice would protect the serf in life and limb,8 so it appears that the slaying of a śūdra involved a wergeld of ten cows according to both Baudhāyana and Ápastamba. It may, indeed, be held that this wergeld was only due in case of murder by another than the master, but such limitation is nowhere stated. In sacred matters the distinction between Aryan and śūdra was, of course, specially marked. The texts do not hesitate to declare that the upper castes were ‘all,’ ignoring the śūdras; the śūdra is prohibited from milking the cow for the milk required at the Agnihotra (‘oblation to Agni ’); and the śatapatha Brāhmana forbids a man who has been consecrated (1dlksita) for a sacrifice to speak to a śūdra at all for the time, though the śāṭyāyanaka seems to have relaxed this rule by confining it to cases in which the śūdra was guilty of some sin. At the sacrifice itself the śūdra could not be present in the śālā, ‘hall’; he is definitely classed in the śatapatha Brāh¬mana and the Pañcavimśa Brāhmana10 as unfit for ‘ sacrifice ’ (ayajñtya); and declared in the Kāçhaka Samhitā not to be admitted to drink Soma. At the Pravargya (introductory Soma) rite the performer is not allowed to come in contact with a śūdra, who here, as in the Kāthaka Samhitā,17 is reckoned as excluded from a share in the Soma-draught. On the other hand, the śūdra is one of the victims at the Puruṣa- medha (‘ human sacrifice ’) in the Yaj’urveda, and a fight between an Aryan and a śūdra, in which, of course, the former wins, forms a part of the Mahāvrata rite, being perhaps a precursor of the Indian drama. Other indications, however, exist, showing that it would be undesirable to ignore the real importance of the śūdra, which again reminds us of the condition of the serf, who, though legally restrained, still gradually won his way to the rank of a free man. Rich śūdras are mentioned in the early texts, just as śūdra gahapatis, ‘householders,’ occur in the Buddhist texts, and śūdra kings in the legal literature. Sin against śūdra and Aryan is mentioned; prayers for glory on behalf of śūdras, as well as of the other castes occur; and the desire to be dear to śūdra as well as to Aryan is expressed. The Sūtras also, while they emphasize as general rules points earlier not insisted on, such as their inferiority in sitting, etc., their exclusion from the study of the Vedas, the danger of contact with them or their food, still recognize that śūdras can be merchants, or even exercise any trade.Moreover, the Sūtras permit the marriage of a śūdrā woman with members of all castes. Though it was a reproach to Vatsa and to Kavaṣa that they were the sons of a śūdrā and a Dāsī respectively, still the possibility of such a reproach shows that marriages of this kind did take place. Moreover, illicit unions of Arya and śūdrā, or śūdra and Aryā, are referred to in the Samhitās of the Yajurveda. The origin of the term śūdra is quite obscure, but Zimmer points out that Ptolemy mentions tvBpoi as a people, and he thinks that the Brāhui may be meant. Without laying any stress on this identification, it is reasonable to accept the view that the term was originally the name of a large tribe opposed to the Aryan invasion. See also Niṣāda.
noun (masculine) a man of mixed origin (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
a man of the fourth or lowest of the four original classes or castes (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
a Śūdra (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
name of a Brāhman (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
name of a people (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
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