I purposely choose the politicians and the priests. There are many other things to be remembered. The priest knows perfectly well that there is no God. In this world the priest is the only person who knows there is no God, but his whole profession depends on this non-existential God. He cannot say the truth because all his vested interests will be lost – not only his, but for generations to come he will be spoiling the whole game. He knows the rituals are just hocus-pocus, that the mantras carry no power, that his theology is just a cover-up. Nobody else knows it better; he has studied the scriptures and he knows there is no evidence of God anywhere. He interprets the scriptures in such a way that they help his profession. He goes on making commentaries on the ancient scriptures, adding more and more things that are helpful for his profession.
As times change he has to make new additions. For example, Manu, a five thousand year old thinker, priest, the father of priesthood, in his Manusmriti – the memoirs of Manu which Hindus follow word by word – he created the caste system, one of the ugliest things in existence.
Because of it, one-fourth of Hindus have suffered a long slavery, exploitation and humiliation. They have been turned almost into subhuman beings – they are called achhoot, untouchables. They have fallen so much that you cannot touch them; otherwise you have to take a bath immediately. Even their shadow touching you is enough to make you impure. Manu reduced one-fourth of the Hindus to eternal slavery it seems.
He managed the highest position in the society for the priesthood, but he was really cunning and clever: he has given all the superiority to brahmins, but he has not given them riches, nor material, temporal power. He has divided the castes so there is no conflict. Temporal power he has given to the second highest caste: the warriors, kshatriyas. They are going to be the kings, they are going to be the generals, the soldiers, the fighters, and they will be the second highest class. And money he has given to the third: the businessmen, the vaishyas. To the fourth he has given nothing – except slavery.
You can see the cunningness…he divides. He does not give money or temporal power to brahmins, because then three-fourths of the society will be against them, and it will not be possible to control. And if they have also spiritual power with material power, money, then there will be resentment, anger, violence – there will be riots. So to brahmins he gives the holy power – they are the highest, the holiest – but he does not give anything temporal to them.
He gives the temporal power to the warriors. It is satisfying, because they are going to be the kings; brahmins cannot be the kings. And who cares about spiritual power? So let them have spiritual power; it is almost like having nothing, just a nominal quality of being superior, so the warriors are not angry about it. On the contrary, they are happy that one-fourth of the society will never be in conflict with them – they are already higher, they have nothing more to gain. And the warriors are the most powerful people.
To the third he gives money and all other worldly things. These are the people who cannot fight, who are not warriors – but they can earn money, they can produce wealth.