Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by duendy, Apr 15, 2006.
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Affirmitive action suffers from a dualistic approach - in otherwords to combat one ridiculous extreme you introduce another ridiculous extreme to getback on track - its like a car that almost slams into the left but it is saved by violently slamming into the right - the sane solution is to take the middle path, which means to actually what is the qualification for an occupation or in "scriptural" terms, to match the varna with the guna.
Don't know why people are terrified that scripture may line up with notions of common sense - lol
i see many apologists for the hindu caste system here. its a typical response of caste hindus to straight away lie that caste does not exist any more or its just a division of labor. Caste system was not a thing of the past, its as alive and racist as it had ever been. Untouchables who are now called dalits (about quarter of india's population which means 250 million) still live a distance away from caste villages. In many villages their women are not allowed to wear sarees below their ankles (only caste hindus can), there are separate tumblers for dalits at tea shops, they are not allowed to draw water from village wells, they are not allowed to walk through the village roads (they have to take a deroute), they are not allowe to vote in elections (so much for indian democracy), their women are raped and killed on a regular basis, any resistance by the dalits would result in social boycotts, destruction of property and burning of houses and murder. Brahminism or Hinduism (the term british used) is the philosophical basis for all this oppression perpetuated against the dalits and other lower castes. Hindus cant help themselves, castiesm is the core of hinduism, to be castiest is to be a hindu. Brahmanical texts like manusmrithi (the laws of Manu the brahmin law giver), bhagavatgita etc. prescribe, perpetuate and justify hindu racism by invoking doctrines like karma and samsara (rebirth). Without caste hinduism would implode like the twin towers. Caste system is essentially a hindu thing and castiesm is nothing but the hindu version of racism. I am a dalit, i lived in england and america, i can say without hesitation hindus are the worst racists and hinduism is the worst form of racism.
please read Kancha Ilaiah book, 'Why i am not a hindu' and his interview 'Challenging Brahminical Fascism' http://www.countercurrents.org/dalit-ilaiah050304.htm
I am posting some links as a primer to caste.
www.ambedkar.org (Dr. Ambedkar was a dalit hero who differed with the hindu nationalist gandhi on many issues)
www.dalitvoice.org (news and views about dalits)
www.dalitstan.org (for books and views about dalits and brahminism)
www.countercurrents.org/dalit.htm (very good articles on dalit issues)
www.outlookindia.com (search for articles about dalits and check out the forum)
casteism is a corruption of its original counterpart, varnasrama - Varnasram recognises that there are certain persons who are suited for certain positions - the process for recognising those distinctions is recognising the quality (guna) and activity (karma) of the performer - Castism however recognises birth (janma) - there is no scriptural indication that janma is a suitable means for determining varna (occupation) - accordingto bhagavad gita the means is guna and karma - this is what makes varnasram distinct from casteism
-and varnasram is a god given paradigm so it exists in all societies, even though it may go under different names - for instance in the bhagavad gita it gives the qualities that martial leaders and administrators work by (heroism, determination etc) and it also gives other relevant indications for those that work by an intellectual basis, mercantile basis or labouring basis - and lo and behold if you go to other places outside of hinduism you can see that all societies function by having these four classes - intellectual, martial, mercantile and labour. It is completely ridiculous to attempt to bring everytone on to the same platform unless you have huge resources for such an artificial endeavour - if, materially speaking, we are all equal , what is the test that you will give to us all that we will all give the same result?
There is no doubt the caste system has been badly abused. But I find nothing in the Hindu Scriptures to support it.
Here is description of the varna system described by the Sage Narada in the Bhagavad Purana (the highest, most important Purana):
The symptoms of a brahmana are control of the mind, control of the senses, austerity and penance,
cleanliness, satisfaction, forgiveness, simplicity, knowledge, mercy, truthfulness, and complete
surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
To be influential in battle, unconquerable, patient, challenging and charitable, to control the bodily
necessities, to be forgiving, to be attached to the brahminical nature and to be always jolly and truthful--
these are the symptoms of the ksatriya.
Being always devoted to the demigods, the spiritual master and the Supreme Lord, Visnu;
endeavoring for advancement in religious principles, economic development and sense gratification
[dharma, artha and kama]; believing in the words of the spiritual master and scripture; and always
endeavoring with expertise in earning money--these are the symptoms of the vaisya.
Offering obeisances to the higher sections of society [the brahmanas, ksatriyas and vaisyas], being
always very clean, being free from duplicity, serving one's master, performing sacrifices without uttering
mantras, not stealing, always speaking the truth and giving all protection to the cows and brahmanas--
these are the symptoms of the sudra.
Here's the clear statement about how you determine the varna:
"If one shows the symptoms of being a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra, as described above, even if he has appeared in a different class, he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification."
when I die I'd like to come back as a blue whale and live my life in the seas
i once saw a brahmin and dalit fornicating
it was kinda hot
How did you know he was a brahmin?
just a quick post to reference some info on the Aryan Invasion theory.
I've seen more and more evidence over the past couple of years that suggest that a massive invasion by caucosoid peoples changing the face of India is not likely. Certainly, there was trade of goods, peoples and ideas between the areas, but it doesn't appear, from the information I have seen, that a single large invation altered the direction and culture of India overnight.
Well put. It has been abused.
Sadly, the notion of rebirth being directly effected by the karmic debt of past-life actions is an idea that is easily bent and abused. To think that a person's suffering is due to thier own past actions too easily allows one to assign guilt for that suffering, and thus avoid compassion.
I simply don't think the theory of karmic rebirth is *useful*. I make no claims about it's accuracy.
Caste is race. Second, there is not one "new age" sect, but many. Some believe in race, some believe in cast, some don't. In general if you are enlightened for real then you can see through or feel through the BS.
Affirmative Action would not have been needed if there were no slavery and Blacks were given the 40 acres. I'm not really in favor as Affirmative Action being an eternal solution, at least not race based affirmative action, because the concept of race keeps changing. I do think minorities on the other hand, and this includes women, deserve equal oppurtunity.
Then you have to establish on what grounds things are equal and in what ways they are diferent - for instance is it equality to get a woman to work and behave like a man?
Actually the only grounds on which we are equal is spiritually - in other words we are all parts and parcels of god - if you want to say we are equal materially then you have to establish by what means we are equal materially - what test will you apply that everyone can do and give the same result?
How is it bent and abused - who does the bending and abusing? A person who actually understands that ther material elevation is due to past karma becomes very cautious in their dealings - there is one conversation between yddhistira and bhisma on the bed of arows - yuiddhistira is asking al sorts of q's regarding wisdom etc , and he poses the q "What is the most powerful thing in the world that grants strength" and bhisma replies "the weak" - and goes on to explain how one goes to hell by mistreating persons who are under one's care or protection (ie are inferior) and gains elevation by treating them properly
And what is the problem with feeling guilt? Actually I see many people in india who acept that the difficulties they are due to their past karma, but their view is that this life is not the be all and end all so if they do their duty things will improve (inother words they are obedient to moral laws etc,) - I wouldn't describe them as being overwhelmed by grief or shame - in fact its often the case that the rich have more mental anxieties -lol
gustav, hatred breeds hatred, your not a true muslim if you are intolerant of other religions and theories, qoran says it very clearly that actions of jihad should be in defence, but hey muslim fanatics dont really care do they? all they care about is feeling cool after killing innocent women and children...
i do propose however that by pointing out your mistakes or those condescending beings who do such things as a muslim religion error would be a mistake; Tolerance and freedom of speaking and examination of ideas without bias, prejudice and pride or any sort of emotion forms the basis of gita, so yeah, go ahead do what ever you want to do; but in the end you know that you are wrong when you support evil of any sort, just we hindus or christians or any other sect does.
in reply to your first post on b.r.ambedkar's book.
for a hindu from india, such as myself, caste is no big deal for the simple reason that we believe in getting recycled. and all that can happen to the topmost brahmin even. he may take rebirth as the lowest of chandala. so it is all a matter of karma whether one gets a good birth or a bad one. the theory of rebirths, till one is purified of all sins, satisfied my questions regarding why one is born rich, healthy and happy while another is born poor, ill of health and a footpath dweller? the foot path dweller could very well ahve been a rich businessman in his last birth who misused his power and position to acquire all the bad points. he got sent back to balance it out.
i would say 'varnasram' was the first attempt at communism but like communism itself it failed. and so adam smith's law proved right that if you equally distribute the entire wealth in the world among all the people, the very next second there will emerge one richer than the other. varnasram only divided jobs as per capabilities, skills, proficiencies but over a period of time the one communing with god (brahmin) emerged at the top.
you are a dalit and yet you had the opportunity to live in the us and england and also earn good money. u conveniently forget that all this was made possible to you on the sacrifices of people like me, the hindus. we gave you reservation in schools, excellent professional colleges, you got into prime institutes scoring only less than 50% marks that i scored (u got your admission to an engineering or medical or mba school while only at rank 2500 while i lost it to you even being at rank 500...). i subsidised your education and i continue to subsidise your children's education even though you are of the creamy layer amongst dalits. your college education set my country back by a few lakhs of tax payers money (like me) while i went through school and college paying full fees. and what did you do for your country in return? you took the first flight abroad to earn in dollars and then from there you represented a bad picture of your country in international forums. shame on you and the people like kancha illaih that you quote! when we will you and your kind learn to stop crying, complaining and give something in return to your country and help it to uplift the most downtrodden amongst your caste? but no! you want to enjoy further fruits of reservation for your rich children and if you feel threatened that we oppose the creeamy layer, you and your type would go trumpeting across the world about gross injustice? our country does not require citizens like you. better you take citizenship of the US and enjoy AA.
Varnasrama is similar to communism?
Communism only advocates one class - sudra - although in practice it requires an administrative class to operate.
Varnasrama has not only karma (proficencies) but also guna (qualities).
The reason the brahmin is at the top is due to his qualification to understand brahman (eternity) - as such he shouldn't be attached to wealth
(if you read B.gita's definition of a brahmin krishna doesn't even mention the colection of charity as one of the characteristics of a brahmin)
When looking at one's self int he light of karmic rebirth, I will admit to usefullness, and there is a limited window of abuse.
And I also agree that the idea behind it is not bad.
However, I have too often seen people ignore the plight of others because "they deserve it." Smart loving people seeing a frustrated and frightened person acting out, and instead of understanding thier fear, they brush off the entire matter - "that person is getting wwhat they earned for themselves."
I have seen people argue tht the sick, disabled, and drepressed are in those situations because of thier own doing, and are thus not worthy of compassion or help.
That to me killed the usefullness of the concept - the easy with which the idea of karmic guilt can be mutilated into such views means that while it isn't a bad idea, it's not the best idea for practical reasons IMO.
karmic beliefs are karmic beliefs. the life obtained is to be endured with the kind of a philosophy only the hindu beggar will understand. alook at his face will tell you all 'cause there you see no pain or even a complaint but a sweet smile as if ever in wonderment at the strange subterfuge of fate. indian lepers can be always toothy, even when they understand why you stand apart. ask them what is karma and they could teach you much better. therefore, i have no compassions for those who ever complain while being in some goodies themselves.
while watching national geographic and the lion chase the deer cub type of movies, i've often wondered why the photographers do not move in and stop the injustice. to my question, while agmiting that they spend months together in the brush for filming one such event, a photographer remarked : 'that's the course of nature. who are we to interfere?'. that is karma for you!
i am not protected against taking re-birth as that deer cub in my next life. so i am looking at things now as they should be, as they were designed to be by god above. when all have equal chances to be exploited or protected, why change things and thus prolong the absolute agony of the absolute spiritual trip?
Separate names with a comma.