Saturday, 20 August 2011

Kayasthas: In the holy Smriti and Sruti

by Chitragupt Pariwar (Hum Kayasth) on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 12:29pm
Kayasthas as described in the ancient holy Hindu religious scriptures of Smriti and Sruti:
  • In the Smritis, Vishnu in Chap. VII, verse 3, says that a document attested by the King is one which is written or prepared by a Kayastha and stamped with the finger prints of the head of the department.
  • The words are Virihat Parasara in Chap. X, Sloka 10 says. Kayasthas should be appointed as writers, they being expert in writing.
  • Again in Chap. I, Sloka 235, he says that Danda−dhrita the Magistrates and Judges of the Courts should be (dharmagya), persons versed in laws and good administration, Kayasthas, who are versed in the art of writing.
  • Vyas says that the writer and the accountant should be that is versed in Mimansa (Srutis) and Vedas (Adhyayana) as explained by Mitakshara in commenting upon Yajnavalkya, Chap. II, Sloka 2, which says that the King’s Councillors should be versed in the sacred books of Mimansa and Vedas, expert in law, truthful and impartial.
  • Similarly, Shukraaiti in Chap. XXXII, Sloka 420, describes Kayasthas as lekhaks, and in Chap. II, versa 178, says that the accountant and lekhak knew the Vedas, Smritis and Puranas.
  • Yajnavalkya in Slokas 317 to 320 describes how the edicts of the king should be written, sealed and promulgated. Apararka in his commentary upon these Slokas quotes from Vyas and shows that these edicts should be written by lekhaks, the ministers of war and peace (sandhi vigraha kari), and that they should be promulgated to the gentry and officials among whom Kayasthas have been mentioned.
  • Similarly, Vijnanesvara in his Mitakshara commenting upon these Slokas says:
He (King) should cause it to be recorded by that officer of his, who is in charge of war and peace (i.e. by a Kayastha), and not by anybody else.
  • As says a Shruti: That officer of his, who is sandhi vigraha kari or the officer in charge of peace and war should be its writer (lekhak).
  • Yajnavalkya uses the word "Kayastha" in Slokas 335 36, Chap. I. Commenting upon this, Mitakshara says that Kayasthas are accountants and writers. He makes the word "Kayasthas synonymous with accountants and writers. Similarly, Apararka says that Kayasthas were revenue−collectors (kar−adhi−krita).
  • The accountants and scribes constitute one of the ten parts of a judicial proceeding.
  • Brihaspati says the same thing, as quoted in Prasara Madhava, Vyavahara Kanda.
  • According to the Smritis, the officers of the realm, such as, ministers of peace and war, courtesans and Councillors, Governors and headmen of villages should be men versed in the Sastras, valorous and born of noble family, pure, intelligent, affluent in wealth and of tested virtue and comprehension: Manu, Chap. VII, Verses 54 to 121 Yajnavalkya, Chap. I, Verse 312.

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