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Freedom of expression/Inflaming religious senti's (Page 28)

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return_to_hades

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return_to_hades

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 6:34pm | IP Logged
Le sigh.

I'm guessing you have concerns with the practice of untouchability. It really is a shame to Hinduism and India. Especially the thought that well educated modern day Indians are still so discriminatory and cruel is utterly revolting.

However, the rigid discriminatory practice of caste system is not prescribed by Hinduism. The original varna system dating back to the time of the Rig Veda was not a discriminatory caste system. It was more of an organizational structure in society. Just like how a business is organized into units that have specific functions, society was divided into units so it could function efficiently. No one group was superior or inferior to another. Everyone was an equally valuable pillar to society. The varna one belonged to gave guidelines to ones duty and role in society. Society was mobile as well. Marriage between varnas or upward mobility was not frowned on or discouraged.

Problems arose due to the corruption and hunger for power in the Brahmin class. The Brahmin's were religious and spiritual leaders. They were the ones versed in the Vedas and scripture. They were responsible for rituals and guiding people. Most other groups were not well versed with the scriptures. In order to preserve their powers and extract more income and favors from society, over time Brahmins started making the varna system rigid - prohibiting and preventing social mobility, inter-socialization and eventually introducing the horrific practice of untouchability.

Probably most notorious for most of the archaic Hindu laws is Manusmriti. However, Manu is not a religious authority nor the Manusmriti a religious text. Manu is merely a character in Hindu mythology. He is the Hindu equivalent of Noah. The first man after the great floods. The Manusmriti is his code of conduct and laws that he prescribed when he establishes society. Most Hindu scholars will agree that the Manusmriti is not an authenticated resourced.

There is a myriad of religious texts in Hinduism Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads etc. So unlike many other religions there is no central authority source. However,  The Gita which is Krishna's narrative to Arjuna about dharma and karma is probably the highest authority in Hinduism. Most Hindu scholars and practicing Hindus will agree that the Gita is probably the most salient scripture that captures the essence of Hinduism.

Upon reading the Gita (and also some other texts) you realize that Hinduism is neither theistic nor atheistic. It is neither polytheistic or monotheistic. It is neither monism, dualism or theism. A person subscribes to whatever philosophy they reasonably come to. Karma is the central focus of Hinduism. That acts and deeds alone are of importance in a person's life. There is no permanent hell or heaven. Everyone will simply get the consequences of they do. At the same time Krishna cautions Arjuna against acting for a set fruit. Actions must be done because one's core wills it, not because one desires heaven or hell. He also cautions Arjuna that Krishna is merely an advisor. His word is not absolute. Ultimately Arjuna is responsible for himself and has to make his choices. And Krishna never urges Arjuna to fight the war. He gives Arjuna the freedom to decide whether it is right of him to wage a war against his cousins.

That is why Hinduism as practiced by the majority is the most corrupted religion in the world. When they tell you so and so is impure, don't eat this, keep this fast, worship this God, follow these rules, this is the mark of a good person - these all violate Krishna's emphasis on 'karma' and the necessity of a human to think and make their own choices. At best a Hindu priest or similar leader has the right to give advice. But for them to dictate sin, dictate behavior or even demand behavior is completely against Hindu tenets.

Following the Gita, I would say Vedanta philosophy is central to Hinduism - not the pantheon of gods they bombard us with.

Eh sorry for rambling on Hinduism. LOL

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Rehanism

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Rehanism

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 8:09pm | IP Logged
return_to_hades - Ok, I see you have been fed the same lie that Hindu nationalists have been feeding to all critics of caste system...I am going to PM a link to you..For some reason I am not able to post the link or the text over here..Its showing error..

Edited by Rehanism - 05 October 2012 at 8:18pm

Rehanism

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 8:13pm | IP Logged
...

Edited by Rehanism - 05 October 2012 at 8:16pm

return_to_hades

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 9:47pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by Rehanism

return_to_hades - Ok, I see you have been fed the same lie that Hindu nationalists have been feeding to all critics of caste system...I am going to PM a link to you..For some reason I am not able to post the link or the text over here..Its showing error..


This is the link you post: http://***urlremoved***/8ejlpyd

It is not any lie, nor has it been fed to me by anyone. There was a point in my teens that I was disillusioned by Hinduism. I did not like the holier than thou attitude of many Hindus. I did not like how certain people felt superior to the others. As a member of the Brahmin community, I hated how they bragged about their higher stature, asserted their dominance and looked down on others. Because of things like caste system, inexplicable rituals, I could not subscribe to Hinduism. I wanted to convert to Catholicism. My parents said I could, but only after I could explain what Hinduism was and why I would be better off without it.

So I started my own study. No one suggested where to go or what to do. I definitely did not turn to any religious organization or religious head because I did not trust them. I didn't have Google as a resource either. I loathed Shiv Sena, BJP, Ram Sevaks and all the Hindutva people. My main catalyst to hate the religion I was born into was what they did with Babri masjid and the riots that ensued in Bombay.

I went out and found books on my own. I would go through stores peruse and picked up my versions of the Gita I liked. A full anthology and some children's versions. I bought the Mahabharata. I would go to the library and read history books, especially those with history of Hinduism and offshoot religions. After moving to the United Stats I decided to study my religion further from western perspectives. Not from converts or the weird breed of Hindu evangelicals but through courses and people whose job is to objectively study faiths. Only after thorough research on my own volition, of my own accord, without any third party telling me what to do or what is a good research - I have come to this conclusion.

The article you post is nothing shockingly new or different. A lot of is a factual critique of Hinduism. But I don't think it actually proves that the caste system is necessary to Hinduism or ought to be ingrained in Hinduism.

Does the caste system exist in Hinduism?
Yes. It is a sad and disgusting truth that in the past and in the present Hindus do practice the caste system and treat it as an inseparable part of religion.

Is the cast system justified?
Absolutely not. An explanation of why the caste system came to being and how it disintegrated is not a justification. Any form of discrimination against any human is wrong.

How did the caste system become the brutal discriminatory system today?
Practicing Hindus used it to discriminate against each other. It was not to protect against Islam. It was not distorted by western colonialists. It was done by Hindus.

Does Hinduism prescribe the caste system?
That depends on what you consider to be the texts of Hinduism. Manusmriti does prescribe it and there are some others. The Bhagvad Gita does not prescribe or encourage it. It has been a very long time since I read the Gita and I will have to refer to the cited phrase in the article and see what the context is. That being said there are many things in the Gita I do not agree with.

Does Hinduism mandate the caste system?
No absolutely not. While some texts may prescribe it - there is no mandate or doctrine in Hinduism that makes it compulsory. In fact it is not necessary to follow any text or code of conduct. They are all guidelines should one so choose. None of them are divine text or revelations of truth. They were codes of conduct written by men in power. The only divine revelation is The Gita as Krishna the 8th avatar of Vishnu narrated it to Arjuna. And as i said in my previous post the gist of the Gita is karma. Beyond focusing on karma, there really is no rule Hinduism prescribes. You may choose a path of worship, a path of knowledge or whatever path you so desire. In fact there is no real code of conduct written by anyone for the Kalyuga. 

Are there other evils practiced/were practiced within Hinduism?
Of course the list is endless
- religious prostitution
- slavery
- sati
- child marriage
- harassment of widows
- dowry

just to name a few

I'm not going to say that Hinduism is a flawless religion and has no problems. I'm not going to deny that people who practice these things are not Hindus. Unfortunately, assholes like the Hindutva Brigade, people like Baba Ramdev, and a slew of corrupt and sleazy priests, the discriminating and abusing upper classes in rural India are Hindus. That is the karma they have chosen for themselves. Of all the multitude of choices and ways to live life that Hinduism offers they have chosen to hate, discriminate, abuse and divide. And we have to stand up to them because what they do is not just morally unconscionable, often times it is illegal as well.

Edit: To access Rehan's link which I tried posting put ***urlremoved*** in the place it says url removed.




Edited by return_to_hades - 05 October 2012 at 9:47pm

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Freethinker112

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Posted: 06 October 2012 at 1:03am | IP Logged
@RTH

Post the URL with space between the characters. Or use a URL shortner.

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return_to_hades

return_to_hades

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return_to_hades

Joined: 18 January 2006

Posts: 20450

Posted: 06 October 2012 at 7:14am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Freethinker112

@RTH

Post the URL with space between the characters. Or use a URL shortner.


I tried using T-I-N-Y-U-R-L-D-O-T-C-O-M

But seems like it gets blocked too.


Edit 1:  www.***urlremoved***

Edit 2: It is not censorship. Rehaan's url has words that are too long. But t i n y u r l  seems to be blocked by IF. Fuck you IF


Edited by return_to_hades - 06 October 2012 at 7:33am

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zorrro

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zorrro

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Posts: 2141

Posted: 06 October 2012 at 7:28am | IP Logged
 ^^  Is that some sort of censorship ? Censorship creeping in the thread on  freedom of expression LOL

Freethinker112

IF-Sizzlerz

Freethinker112

Joined: 16 May 2012

Posts: 13810

Posted: 06 October 2012 at 12:04pm | IP Logged
Well, don't start swearing. LOL

I figured out the URL by plugging the redirect string and now have shortened using Google. Let's hope it works.

Link

Edit : Yes, the link is working. Will read and reply tomorrow. Smile

Edited by Freethinker112 - 06 October 2012 at 12:08pm

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