Hindui s m d o e s n ot p er mit caste s y st e m, By J.G. Arora h t t p: / / w ww.hin d u n e t.co m / f o r u m / p ri n t t h rea d. p h p?

Cat =&Boar d =i n dia n m e dia&main = 5 2 5 7 5&type = t h r ea d Febr u a ry 2 7, 0 5, Ope n Foru m, Orga niser Hin d uis m d o e s n o t p e r mi t cas te sys te m, By J.G. Arora There is a mi sco nce p tio n in s o m e mi n d s t h a t Hin d u sc rip t u re s s a nc tio n t h e cas te sy s te m. Veda s, t h e p r o u d p o s se s sio n of m a n ki n d, are t he fo u n d a tio n of Hin d uis m. Vedas a re all - e m b r acing, a n d t rea t t he e n tire h u m a nity wit h t he s a m e re s pect a n d dig nity. Vedas s p e ak of n o bility of e n tire h u m a nity (krinva n t o vis hva m a rya m), a n d d o n o t s a nctio n a ny cas te sys te m o r birt h - b a s e d cas te sys te m. Mant ra, n u m b e r e d 1 0 - 1 3 - 1 in Rig Veda, a d d re s s e s t h e e n tire h u m a nity a s divine childre n (sh r u nva n t u vis hve a m r u t sya p u t r a h a). Inn u m e ra ble m a n t ra s in Veda s e m p h a sise o n e n e s s, u niver s al b r o t he r h o o d, h a r m o ny, h a p pi nes s, affectio n, u ni ty a n d co m m o n ality of e n tire h u m a nity. A few illu s t r a tio n s are given h e re. Vide Mant ra n u m b e re d 5 - 6 0 - 5 in Rig Veda, t h e divine p o e t d eclare s, All m e n are b r o t he r s; n o o n e is big, n o o ne is s m all. All a re eq u al. Man t ra n u m b e re d 1 6.15 in Yajur Veda reiterate s t h a t all m e n a re b r o t h e r s; n o o n e is s u p e rior or inferior. Mant ra n u m b e re d 1 0 - 1 9 1 - 2 in Rig Veda calls u p o n h u m a nity t o be u nite d t o h ave a co m m o n s p eec h a n d a co m m o n mi n d. Mant ra n u m b e r e d 3 - 3 0 - 1 in Atha rva Veda e njoins u p o n all h u m a n s t o be affectio na te a n d t o love o ne a n o t he r a s t he cow loves h e r n ewly - b o r n calf. Unde rlining u nity a n d h a r m o ny s till fu r t he r, Mant ra n u m b e re d 3 - 3 0 - 6 in At ha rva Veda co m m a n d s h u m a n ki n d t o di ne t oget her, a n d be a s fir mly u nite d a s t he s p o kes a t t ac he d t o t h e h u b of a ch ariot w heel. The Bhagava d Gita, w hich co n t ai n s t he es s e nce of Veda s a n d Upa nis ha d s, h a s m a ny s hlok as t h a t ec ho t he Vedic d oc t rine of o ne ne s s of h u m a nity. In s hloka n u m b e r e d V (29), Lor d Kris h n a d eclare s t h a t He is t h e frien d of all crea t u re s (su h rid a m s a rva b h u t a n a m) w hereas s hloka n u m b e re d IX (29) reiterate s t h a t t h e Lor d h a s t h e s a m e affectio n for all crea t u re s, a n d w ho s oever re m e m b e r s t he Lor d, re si d e s in t h e Lord, a n d t he Lord r esi de s in hi m. Shloka n u m b e re d XVIII (61) d eclares t h a t God re si des in every h e a r t (ishwa r s a rva b h u t a n a m h r u dyes he Arj u n tis h t h ti). Gu n a (Aptit u d e) a n d Kar m a (Action s) Hin d u scri p t u re s s pe ak o nly ab o u t var na w hic h m e a n s t o select (one s p r ofe s sio n, etc.) a n d w hich is n o t cas te or birt h - ba se d. As p e r s hloka n u m b e re d IV (13) of t he Bhagava d Gita, d e p e n di ng u p o n a p e r s o n s g u n a (ap tit u d e) a n d kar m a (action s), t h e re are fo u r var n a s. As p e r t his s hloka, a p e r s o n s var n a is d e t e r mi ne d by his gu n a a n d kar m a, a n d n o t by his birt h. Cha p t er XIV of t h e Bhagava d Gita s p ecifies t h ree gu n a s viz. s a tva (purity), raja s (pas sio n a n d a t t ac h m e n t) a n d t a m a s (ignora nce). The se t h ree gu n a s are p re se n t in every h u m a n in differe n t p r o p o r tio n s, a n d d e te r mi ne t he var na of every p e r s o n. Accor di ngly, d e p e n di ng o n o ne s gu n a a n d ka r m a, every in divid u al is free t o select

his ow n var n a. Con se q u e n tly, if t h eir gu n a s a n d ka r m a s a re differe n t, eve n m e m b e r s of t he s a m e fa mily ca n belo ng t o differe n t var n a s. Notwit h s t a n di ng t h e differe nces in gu n a a n d ka r m a of differe n t in divid u als, Veda s t rea t t he e n tire h u m a nity wit h t he s a m e re s p ect a n d d o n o t s a nc tio n a ny ca s te sys te m or birt h b a se d cas te sys te m. Veda is t h e Fou n d a tio n Hin d uis m is all - e m b r acing a n d gra n t s t he s a m e re s pect t o all h u m a n s, a n d a ny t hi ng t o t h e co n t ra ry a nyw here is n o t s a nctio ne d by t h e Veda s. Being divine revelatio n, t he s h r u tis (Veda s) a re t he ulti m a te a u t h o rity o n Dha r m a, a n d re p r e se n t its eter n al p ri nciples w hereas being h u m a n reca pit ulatio n s, s m ritis (recollectio n s) ca n play o nly a s u b o r di na te r ole. As p e r s hloka n u m b e re d (6) of Cha p t er 2 in Man u Smriti, Veda is t h e fo u n d a tio n of e n tire Dhar m a. Shloka n u m b e r e d 2(13) of Man u Smriti s p ecifies t h a t w he never s h r u ti (veda s) a n d s m ritis differ, s ti p ulatio n of Vedas will p revail over s m ritis. In view of t his p o sitio n, a ny t hi ng discri mina t o ry in Man u Smriti o r a nyw here else is a n ti - Veda, a n d t h e refo re, is n o t s a nc tio ne d by Hin d uis m a n d h a s s u b se q u e n tly bee n inser te d wit h u n h oly inte n tio n s, a n d d e s erves t o be wee de d o u t. Beside s, p r ecise co dificatio n of Hin d uis m in o ne b o ok is in dis pe n s a ble t o m a ke Hin d uis m ea sier t o be u n d e r s t o o d by a lay m a n. For t his co dificatio n, a p p r o p riate m a n t r a s of Veda s a n d Upa nis h a d s, a n d s electe d s hloka s in t h e Ra m aya na a n d t h e Maha b h a r a t a (which also inclu d e s t he Bhagava d Gita), etc. will p r ovide t h e b a sic m a t erial. Role of Media In o r d e r t o u s h e r in a cas teles s a n d h a r m o nio u s s ociety, t he all - e m b r acing a n d u niver s al m e s s age of Veda s h a s t o be followe d a n d s p rea d. Both t h e p ri n t a n d elect ro nic m e dia play a n im p o r t a n t role in a co u n t ry s life. They s h o ul d co n t rib u te t h eir mi te t o u nite vario u s s ectio n s of t he s ociety. But in In dia, m o s t of t he m e dia a re u nwittingly s t re ngt he ni ng ca s te a n d co m m u n al divisio n s. By p u blis hing divisive a r ticles a n d d e scribing p olitical lea de r s a n d electo r a te s, ac hiever s a n d s p o r t s p e r s o n s, a n d eve n wro ng - d o er s a n d t heir victi m s a s m e m b e r s of a p a r tic ular cas te o r co m m u ni ty, t h e m e dia is s t r e ng t h e ni ng t he division s ins tea d of u nifying t h e s ociety. The m e dia s h o ul d play a p o sitive r ole s o t h a t t he re is a mity all ar o u n d. Let Your Heart s be One Anyo n e b elieving in t h e ca s te sys te m is violating t he Vedic co m m a n d of o ne ne s s of e n tire h u m a nity. Alt ho ug h t he firs t k n ow n p o e m in t he worl d a p p e are d a s t h e firs t m a n t r a in Rig Veda, a n d t h o ug h t he Veda s a n d Upa nis h a d s co n t ain t h e s u bli me s t t h o ug h t s in t h e s u bli me s t lang u age, beca u s e of a fa ulty e d uca tio n sy s te m, m o s t of t he e d uca te d India n s are igno ra n t of t heir rich h e ritage co n t aine d in t h e Veda s a n d Upa nis ha d s. Most India n s d o n o t k n ow Sansk rit, t he lang uage of Vedic liter a t u re. Many p e r s o n s d o n o t k n ow even t he m e a ni ng of t heir Sans krit n a m e s. By lear ning Sans k rit o ne ca n rea d t he Vedas, t h o ug h eve n t ra n slate d Vedic litera t u r e ca n be s t u die d.

We h ave t o e n s u re t h a t we d o n o t lose o u r rich Vedic h e ritage a s it wo ul d a m o u n t o t losing o u r ide n tity. To e n s u re t he s u rvival of o u r Vedic h e ritage, a n d t o b ring a b o u t u nity a n d h a r m o ny in s ociety, it is im pe ra tive t h a t t he all - e m b r acing m e s s age of t h e Vedes is p r ac tise d a n d p r o p aga te d. (The a u t h o r is a for m e r Chief Co m mi s sio ne r of Inco m e Tax. His e - m ail a d d re s s is: jgar o r a@vs nl.ne t)

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