Originally posted by Akash005
1. Is it just me, or has Vishnu always been partial to devas unlike Shiva?
What do you mean by 'partial' here?
If you are saying that Lord Vishnu has stopped asuras' plans so many times so that makes him partial to devas as compared to Lord Shiv, you need to go and read the entire Shiv Puran. You'll get tired counting the number of asuras Lord Shiv or Maa Parvati has vanquished.
As for Lord Vishnu, Vibhishan, Prahlad, Bali grandson of Prahlad, none of them is a devta, yet all of them are among the most beloved of Lord Vishnu. So...
Fact is, Lord is not partial to anyone. He has declared, "everyone is dear to me, for everyone is an eternal part of me."
But there's the task of making sure that Dharma is not annihiliated completely, because if Dharma is annihiliated completely, then large scale terror, destruction and misery is the one and only result. And for that, the Taamsic component of "Trigunatmika Prakriti" needs to be checked before it completely overpowers the other two components.
Search for a Vedic master who can explain to you concepts like "Prakriti", its three components, "MaayaBadh Jeev" and what asuras usually represent. You'll get the answers.
2. Is it just me, or the whole caste system in Hinduism originated from Vaishnavism? ( as in superiority of bhrahmins n other caste over some other caste)
Neither vaishnavs nor Shaivs nor Shakta nor whatever "originated" the caste system.
Vaishnavism or Shaivism are misnomers. Lord Shiva is the foremost Vaishnav, so that makes all his followers i.e. "Shaivites" vaishnavs. if you feel like it, you can state it vice-versa too, terming all vaishnavs Shaivs, because Lord Krishna has said again and again that Lord SHiva is His "AtmaRoop."
About caste system. "Varnashram" is a very imp component of Vedas' "Karm Marg." There are two more paths in Vedas but in those, there's no concept of 'varna' or 'ashram'. A 'Gyaani' is a gyaani, a 'bhakt' is a bhakt.
So 'Varna' + 'Ashram' is supposed to help all humans lead a Sattvic life and lead them towards the final goal of every jeevatma, i.e. God realisation.
A comprehensive butchering of this "varnashram" system in the recent past, (by recent I mean last two thousand years or so) due to extraneous factors gave rise to discrimination of the basis of castes, though the term caste and the Vedic term Varna are not the same, mind you. There is certainly no justification for this discrimination, and what's more the discrimination has no basis in Vedanta, so if we are going to pass judgements on a society of the past, justice demands that the external conditions in which that society was trying to survive are given due weightage too.
3. Why is Ram regarded as maryada 'purushottam' when in fact what he did with( abandoning pregnant wife in forest) and demanded from(agni pareeksha) his chaste wife under societal pressures instead of standing by her was quite appalling n anything but 'purushottum'?
Ok, seriously, very seriously, as you said, "abandoning wife in forest" first asking the person taking his wife to forest to make sure that his wife reaches valmiki's ashram safely, then refusing to ever remarry saying that only Sita can be his wife, even going to the extent of making a gold idol of his wife for the purpose of a fire ritual, all this in a day an age where having many wives was a given for kings, don't you think that's a very unique way of abandoning one's wife?
Further, if you know concepts like "Dharma-Aarurdh" King and "Dharma-Rakshan", then simply read Ramayan from start to finish, and not just "relevant passages", your confusion will be over.
If not, you need to read relevant passages form texts like Mahabharat's Shanti Parv or Agni Puran's Shri Raamoktani or Shukra Niti Saar etc, where these texts talk about what it means to be a king AND ALSO A QUEEN, and you'll get the answers.
finally, it's the nature of Shri Raam that he gladly accepts all criticisms and unfavourable judgements upon himself and makes sure that His beloved ones are eulogized. That's how He is, can't be helped.
a god's superiority over other.
There is no superior and no inferior God.
God is one and only, though He is free to appear in as many forms as he feels like, and not only that, he may have as many avatars, anshavatars, parshads, parikars, etc as he feels like. And that's because he is infinitely powerful, infinitely capable, beyond any constraints of time, place, rules, and beyond everyone's intellect and imagination.
This is one of the very first things Dharma tell us, so we can't get any more basic than this. You probably heard people say that after describing God, vedas end that discussion by declaring, "Na Iti." (there's no end to Him.)