The social organization in ancient India was based on scientific principles. It was designed in such a manner that there was no accumulation of wealth or power in one section of the community. Every section had equal rights on the national wealth. There was no exploitation of one section by the other to increase its power, wealth and influence. All sections followed their respective Dharma, which acted as a glue that held the society together.
“The keynote of the system, however, was national service. It afforded to every member of the social body, opportunities and means to develop fully his powers and capacities, and to use them for the advancement of the commonwealth. Everyone was to serve the nation in the sphere in which he was best fitted to act, which, being congenial to his individual genius, was conducive to the highest development of his faculties and powers. There was thus a wise and statesmanlike classification which procured a general distribution of wealth, expelled misery and want from the land, promoted mental and moral progress, ensured national efficiency, and, above all, made tranquility compatible with advancement; in one word, dropped manna all round and made life doubly sweet by securing external peace with national efficiency and social happiness—a condition of affairs nowhere else so fully realized,” writes Har Bilas Sarda in Hindu Superiority.
The society was divided on the basis of varnashrama dharma. This division was according to the occupation and there was no hierarchy initially. The mankind was divided into two classes: the Aryas (the noble ones) and Dasyus (uncivilized). This didn’t have any race connotation. The Aryas were sub- divided into:
Brahmanas, who devoted themselves to learning and acquiring knowledge in all fields
Kshatriyas: they used their physical prowess to protect the society
Vaishyas: They devoted their time in trade and commerce
Sudras: (men of low capacities), who served and helped the other three classes.
Sarda writes: “The Varndshrama was not the same as the caste system of the present day—a travesty of its ancient original. No one was a Brahman by blood nor a Shudra by birth, but everyone was such as his merits fitted him to be.”
Says Col. Olcott, “The people were not, as now, irrevocably walled in by castes, but they were free to rise to the highest social dignities or sink to the lowest positions, according to the inherent qualities they might possess.”
The Skanda Purana says:
Janmana Jayate Shudra, Samskarat dwija uchayate
Sapanugraha samardhya, thatha krothah prasannatha
(All men are Shudra by birth. He becomes a dwija (twice born) after his consecration. The Brahmin has the ability to curse and to bless. The state of being angry and pleased and the status of being the foremost in all three worlds occur only in Brahmana.)