Mleccha is an abusive term given to the people who did not conform to the ethical and religious rule of the Indo-Aryan society. They were deprived of the usages and the study of the Vedas
It is believed that Mleccha is related to Meluhha, the name of a trading partner of Bronze Age. In the later Vedic manuscript, Shatapatha Brahmana mentioned the name Mleccha. Baudhayana, the law maker describes a Mleccha as a person who eats meat or indulges in self-opposing declarations or is devoid of virtue and purity of conduct and also who do not speak the sacred language Sanskrit.
In Hindu philosophy, Mleccha is considered as a being who had different teachings than Hinduism and does not follow the Vedas. In the Indian history many Buddhists from the Pala dynasty were known as Mlechhas.
In the Mahabharata
, some Mleccha combatants are described as having heads completely shaved or half-shaved or covered with knotted locks. They were impure in habits, and had crooked faces. They used to live in mountains and denizens of mountain-caves.
Mleccha in ancient India was also used by the Aryan kingdoms to foreigners. In the Bhagavata Purana
the term is used in the context of meat eaters, outcastes, Christians and Muslims. Medieval religious literature, such as that of Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu, also uses the term to refer to those of larger groups of other religions, especially Christians and Muslims.
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