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
- child marriage
- harassment of widows
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