The sources of authority in Advaita Vedanta
vaidix at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 25 00:15:48 CST 2003
>>Recently there was an article by Mr Gupta, Indian ambassador to >>Finland,
>>which stated our shatras prohibit casteism which has led to >>debates on
>>many discussion groups.
>In general I am in favor of secularism because history has shown that >on
>the whole it is good for religion to keep out of politics. But for >the
>same reason, I demand that politics stay out of religious matters.
The so called caste system was originally called varNaaSharadharma. This
word must be split up into three parts, only then it makes sense.
1. It is about varNa, the secular work people do. Even the purohita's work
in king's court is a secular work - that of strategy making - in such a way
that the political systems also achieve the non-duality, in other words the
political systems also work with non-duality in view. There is ample
evidence in Rajasuya portions of Ai.Br to support this view. No work is
religious, including that of a purohita of a temple. Every thing was
secular. Hinduism or any of its paths are not religions. They are a set of
time tested ideas concerning every subject of life.
2. Ashrama: Any social status is ashrama. Ashrama is about how to make sure
people don't get shocks and crises for any number of reasons: while growing
up from babies to old age, or while joining dharmic life on first conversion
of foreigners to what we now call Hindu life style to the time they become
adepts, or any other social evolutions, study, marriage, etc. Each of the
thousands of batches of people who entered India over the ages were given a
caste/jaati along with a gotra, a trade by which they can make a living.
They were allowed to keep their own customs & laws, instead of being forced
to lose their identity. Is it wrong to preserve ancient diversity? Now even
American society is not insisting on unifying everybody as anglo-saxon any
more (no more Be a Roman when you are in Rome), and Pat Buchanans are
3. Dharma: This is the most important thing. There must be the principle of
keeping people united. Varna can get corrupted, ashrama can get corrupted,
Varnashrama can also always get corrupted, but varnashramadharma can never
be corrupted because we added the word dharma to it. Without dharma, why
only caste problem every thing becomes a problem.
In the ancient days the kings used to go around the town in the nights to
see what people are thinking. If they notice a problem with dharma they used
to correct it, so the caste like problems were never there, or they were
removed as soon as they were noticed, or the problem were used for
productive purposes e.g., the conflict between Vishvamitra & Vashishta which
led to discovery of Gayatri chandas.
Today we forgot dharma, and without that even the noblest systems can get
The ultiamte word on dharms is, without dharma, even a secular constitution
of any country gets corrupted. And the secular constitutions will evolve as
dharmas over the long term, if they are well managed.
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