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In Uttarakhand of Ramayana, Narada tells Rama:

“O Great King, in the Dvapara Yuga, untruth and evil increased, unrightousness having placed a second foot on the earth, and then the Vaishyas began to practice penance, so that dharma, in the form of asceticism, was performed by the three castes, but the Shudras were not permitted to undertake it during that time, O Foremost of Men.

“O Prince, a man of the lowest caste may not give himself up to penance in the Dvapara Yuga; it is only in the Kali Yuga that the practice of asceticism is permitted to the Shudra caste. During the Dvapara Yuga it is a great crime for one of Shudra birth to perform such practices.

Shudras are not allowed to recite mantra, and can only listed to Puranas (not read).

Is the penance mentioned here in Ramayana is like some sort of vratas like fasting?

Any other scriptures explain what is allowed?

Note: cast here is Varna. Translation error.

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    This is an interpolated part... Uttarakaand of Ramayana is heavily interpolated or added later... Its not a part of Valmiki Ramayana!!! Ramayana ended with return of Sri Ram....
    – Singh S1
    Jan 13 at 18:03
  • I always hear that Uttara Kanda is interpolated. If it is, don't anyone want to know who interpolated it? Or why was it interpolated? Who was the fraud to interpolate it? And how is it that this interpolated form has been revered for so many centuries? I think the interpolated part shows that strict caste system was practiced in medieval ages when this part was incorporated Jan 14 at 3:27

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         GOD RAAMA

Giving identity to humans based on VARNA is ethical but giving identity to a person based on casted duties cant be under classification.

GOD RAAMA to make humans realise Varnashrama Dharma

  1. Ruled Ayodhya as young Prince with bravery of Kshatriya
  2. Undertook Vanavaasa where He, His holiness had to advertise his acquired fighting skills to SUGREEVA as an Arya-Vaishya
  3. He undertook assignments of cleaning, doctoring animals & healing their wounds, guarding hermitage from scavangers, fruit picking, plate making, pottery and wheel chariot making as a Shudra
  4. He undertook penance to acquire PARAMAATMA shakthi from celestial sphere and performed SOORYA NAMASKAARAM as a Braahmana. He also performed Saaligraama abhishekam of MAHAVISHNU and Lingaabhishekam as an ASCETIC(saint Brahmana).

THUS HOW YOU SEE AN ASSIGNMENT TO YOU CLASSIFIES YOURSELF AS ANYONE within four Varna.

       AASHRAMA GNYAANAM

But, Degraded works or bad works can never be described and humans in KaliYuga must upgrade their knowledge on AASHRAMA instead of just thinking their modernised duties towards the 4 VARNAs.

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  • Personal views are not acceptable as answers here.
    – Kanthri
    Dec 15, 2023 at 13:15

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