In vedas the word arya appears may be it is addressed to indra too but i have listened that "ARYAS belong to no race" those are aryas who read vedas and those who not are called shudra. So do manusmriti or vedas give the real meanibg of arya.

(note:— please give some verse related to vedas too.)


1 Answer 1


So do manusmriti or vedas give the real meanibg of arya [?]

Depends on what you mean by "real meaning".

The Manusmriti and the Vedas are from different periods, different cultural contexts and have different audiences/purposes. They accordingly have differing understanding ("meaning") of 'ārya' (note the long-a. This is not the same word as short-a 'arya' or even 'árya' for that matter).

those are aryas who read vedas

In the RigVeda, which is a collection of hymns to the gods, 'ārya' is used of those that worship the gods that the Vedas are singing the praises of. So, yes, in that context, the 'ārya' essentially denotes the group of the composers/listeners of the Vedas. The ethnic group it is referring to is what we would today call "Indo-Aryans".

The link posted by Rickross (Which Hindu scriptures use the word Ārya and in what sense?) is good. But it is missing some key information: Old Indic Sarasvati == Old Iranian Harauvatis/Haetumant == modern-day Helmand river. This is not the same river as the one now called Sarasvati. "East of the [Old] Sarasvati" is therefore probably referring to the Iranians, who have the same word (but in Avestan pronounced ''ariia'' with a short-a and glide-i) and with the same "name of my own religio-ethnic group" meaning.

So do manusmriti or vedas give the real meanibg of arya [?]

Words do not necessarily keep their old meaning over time. This is particularly true for Sanskrit 'ārya'. The word 'ārya' has positive connotations, and so naturally people associate positive attributes to it. For example, "hospitable", "friendly", "wealthy" and so on. In time, 'ārya' received many, many meanings.

The Manusmriti has one of those later meanings. Apart from some mythological tales (e.g. of Manu and his sons), the Manusmriti is primarily a "legal" text - kind of a "best practices" guide for various social and religious customs such as purification rites, marriage rites, funerary rites and so on. In the Manusmriti, 'ārya' appears primarily in the context of its discussion of the varnas/caste system. In that context, 'ārya' is contrasted with 'dasa', which in turn is the basis of master-vs-slave/noble-vs-worthless dichotomy of the caste system.

those who not are called shudra

Yes, that meaning is the one found in the Manusmriti.

  • what do you want to explain are you saying something against indegeniousness of vedas,manusmriti or even saraswati river? "Old Indic Sarasvati == Old Iranian Harauvatis/Haetumant == modern- day Helmand river." what do you mean by that? Dec 15, 2017 at 4:46
  • What.....are you talking arya-dasa don't you have read vedas you will understand its real meaning — hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/22453/… and this too— en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasa dasas doesn't mean slaves of aryas. Dec 15, 2017 at 4:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .