Originally posted by varaaliReshma
Our Puranic stories are loaded with layers and layers of meaning. It would be unfair, even foolhardy to take a narrow, single-angled interpretation of them.
To answer your first argument-
The varnashrama (caste wise distinction of the society) was extremely fluid in the Treta Yuga. A person's caste was determined by the kind of work he did- it was not necessarily determined by his birth. Hence technically. a person, by the choice of his occupation, could move up and down the social ladder. Though admittedly, it was rare for a higher caste person to sink to a lower level, it was not impossible for a lower ranked person to move to a higher level. This was how the society functioned theoretically.
Since Vedas- shrutis- were considered the bedrock of the society, their learning and chanting was strictly regulated. This aspect is easily misinterpreted when it is said that the Vedas were in the sole custody of the Brahmins. What is often overlooked, is that, the Brahmins had to abide by far more stricter rule of conduct than the others.
If a shudra was inspired to learn and chant the Vedas, nothing prevented him from approaching a guru and commence his education-promising to abide by the rules laid down in the Smritis. A shudra however, could not chant the Vedas without proper initiation or without regard to its sanctity.
Now coming to your question- I am not too familiar with the finer details of this particular story- I believe he wanted to conquer the Devaloka or something like that, but what ever it may be, the main reason was more than just the fact that a shudra happened to chant the vedas.
Very wonderfully explained!
We cannot just read the puranas as a story and judge the characters like we do humans. Gods did things we humans would never do, but they did it for a purpose and we cannot find fault with that.