Is society and religion different or Same ? Should I blame the society
or religion for the ills we see ?
Found some e-mails going across in a yahoo group.
Prahalad Appaji wrote:
<< Anil's mail can be seen at the bottom >>
I will try answering your questions…
But before answering each I took a peek and realized that you are
blurring the lines between societal ills with tenets of Hinduism, thus
confusing the former with the latter. In fact naive Hindus often do,
born into Hinduism does not make one automatically a Hindu though that’s
how it is normally considered. But a real Hindu, meaning a practicing
Hindu has to live the life of a “sanathana dharma”, you must have heard
of the term “Hinduism is not a religion, but a way of life”. Our
religion is not just another “ism” but is so purely for discussion sake
a Eurocentric perspective.
What is Hinduism? “Acceptance of the Vedas with reverence; recognition
of the fact that the means or ways to salvation are diverse; and the
realization of the truth that the number of gods to be worshiped is
large, that indeed is the distinguishing feature of the Hindu religion.”
This definition by B.G. Tilak was accepted to be satisfactory as a
definition of “Hinduism” by the Supreme Court of India. Simply put it
it is a very open faith of hundreds or thousands of traditions and the
unifying factor is that appreciation and reverence for diversity. Way
of life, indeed. It’s not another “ism” because we don’t have set of
dogmatic beliefs like Abrahamic faiths ( Xtinity, Islam, Judaism ) have.
We don’t say – Allah is the only GOD or Jesus is the ONLY GOD, that’s so
nonsensical and exclusivist causing so much hatred and bloodshed around
the world. Look at Islamic terrorists, look at Christian missionaries
and you will realize the dangers coming from exclusivist faiths. On the
other hand eastern religions including Hinduism are inclusive in the
belief God is one referred by numerous names and there are multiple ways
to reach him if you want to.
>> 1.The Same Hinduism did not leave me to educate
I don’t understand this question. Can you please elaborate. Exactly
how? If you are blaming a societal ill ( like caste issue ) to have
hindered your path in educating yourself then Hinduism is not to blame
you think Hinduism sanctions caste system; that’s false statement. I do
know that low caste folks have trouble or face discrimination at in
education but that’s a societal issue and should not be confused with
religion. And societal issue pervades across religious spectrum in
caste is found among muslims and christians too. In fact blaming caste
as a Hindu problem is a cunning move by missionaries to increase the
harvest count of souls. Educated Hindus like you should not fall prey
victims to their bag of tricks. Anyway, coming back to caste issue,
governments since Independence have put in affirmative action programs
place so that lower castes get the education they deserve at subsidised
prices and after that they get into jobs through reservation quota and
In summary, there is nothing in Hinduism that stops anyone from
getting educated in fact Hinduism encourages one to widen your horizons
become a “jnaani”. Compare this to Islam where madrasa education is
preferred, there is no real education for a productive life but rote
learning of “Allah is the only God, Hindus are infidels/kafirs, They
be killed, Jehad is noble etc.,” and after that they become candidates
for IT ( International Terrorism I mean ).
>> 2.Din’t Allow inside temples
Same answer as above. This is again a social problem not to be confused
with Hinduism. There is nothing in Hinduism that prohibits lower castes
from entering temples though there are cheap priests and temple boards
that still do that. This is where reformation is necessary. Kanchi
Sankaracharya has already taken bold steps in this direction. You have
take the fight to the other camp. Hindu society is still not perfect,
but blaming our religion is not going to help. Our religion lets us
reform continuously, it’s a way of life and there is always scope to
it. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dayanand Saraswathi, Periyar, MK Gandhi have
strived hard in the past and have made tremendous difference. And
hundreds of reformers are doing that as we speak. Getting rid of social
is a continuous process and each one of us have to become a reformer in
any way we can. If you have a situation that you find discriminatory
bring it to the attention of govt, talk to learned swamijis, talk to
social reformers in your area, write to newspapers etc., It took 250
years in the USA for slavery to get abolished, I am sure caste as being
a discriminating factor will clear up much sooner.
>> 3.Burnt widow mothers/made to shave their Head and live worst then
Why are you bringing up the past? Is this a relevant question now?
Anyway, same answer as above. This is again a social problem not to be
confused with Hinduism. But there is no point in discussing this as it’s
not current. If you apply this logic then imagine the case for
christians/muslims.. they have slavery, world wars, native american
hutu/tutsi clashes, kosovo, darfur, religious crusades, destruction of
mayan/incan civilizations, colonization of countries with
looting/pillage, missionary expeditions.. a very long list that they
should be asahmed
of. This is not about shaving heads or living like an animal, it’s
BRUTAL SLAUGHTER OF BILLIONS OF HUMANS spanning centuries which
even today. Compared to that we have a better record, don’t you think?
Think of the alternatives and choose the lesser evil.
>> 4.In the name of work (cast) i was theated like slave(animal)
I think I answered this above. Societal issue is not the same as
>> 5.Women are inferior (mean they should be inside house)
True in Islam. Not so in our case. It’s more of a custom where in the
name of modesty women are inside homes, not because they are inferior.
In fact the place of Woman in Hindu society is high and they are held in
high regard. Your equating of staying at home meaning inferior is
downright flawed logic. Anyway, Hindu women have equal opportunities
men. Just see the number of women working. They are shedding
inhibitions they had. Economics will be always the driving factor, women
just come out and work if they need to supplement their husband’s income
or if the husband is a drunkard or unproductive whatever. It’s all
choice of how a family is going to operate. My wife is a stay-at-home
because she wants to focus on her kids than going to work and that’s her
choice, not because she is inferior. And don’t think women going to
work is easy, it has terrible effect on society sometimes as the west
realized. More and more women are opting out of work to focus better on
kids. There are stay-at-home dads also with their wives going to work!
What do you say then – That men are infereior to women ? 🙂
>> 6.Killing animals in name of GOD
Animal sacrifice? yes, that needs to stop. But compred to Islamic
beheadings that you see in Iraq, J&K, Beslan atleast we are not killing
Humans. It’s funny they say “Allahu Akbar” when they do that in the name
their God. Same thing with Christian missionaries when they killed
millions in the process of converting them. It happens in north east
even today. Atleast we are not killing humans in the name of religion,
but we do animals sometimes. That needs to stop. In my native place
they have switched from pigs to chickens. Atleast the size of the animal
is getting smaller! I hope it will eventually disappear with enough
persuasion and awareness. Remember that illiteracy, blind beliefs,
superstition all adds to this. See being educated what you can do to
>> 7.Why did buddism & sikism evlove ?
Read this link for Buddhism ->
I personally don’t consider Buddhism as too different from Hinduism as
there is very little divergence in views to affect a common Hindu like
me. At the theological level there might be more and you can read in
that link what those are. Sikhism on the other hand grew out of Hinduism
as a reaction to extremist Islamic invasions. Sikhs thus weaned
themselves away from “peaceful” Hinduism for a valid reason. No wonder
sardarjis are known for their valor and courage. Generally speaking –
Buddhism, Sikhism are all off-shoots of Hinduism with little divergent
views. Followers of these religions can still be broadly classified as
Hindu if you go by the term that Hinduism is indeed a way of life.
There are seveal thousand sects in addition to these also –
ISKON etc., The point is Hinduism is not “strict” but with scope for
refinement and more offshoots. Indic religions have more in common and
diverge little in practice.
>> 8.Today Budhism is more than Hinduism , what’s the reason ?
I don’t think so though it’s more popular in the west. There are 2
reasons that I know of. One, it was exported to the west much sooner and
Second, it does not have “idolatry” that makes it palatable to the west.
I hope you know that Christianity ( and Islam ) condemn Hindu worship
of Gods through idols. Hinduism is also growing in the west ( including
ISKON ) though not at the same rate as Buddhism. I don’t care as we are
not a evangelizing religion. People will seek it on their own.
>> I don’t think we are following real Hinduism(vivakananda’s) ,
>> we are misleads and following pesudo Hinduism by some class of
You are absolutely right. Our leaders are partly to blame. Today,
Gandhism is practiced as Hinduism making Hindus weaker and weaker as
by. In the name of Gandhism we are expected to show our other cheek
when we are slapped. That’s not Hinduism. Hinduism is what Krishna
preached Arjuna as in Gita – “Inaction is NOT a choice and to fight
adharma”. Good has to prevail against Evil at all costs. In the face of
terrorism India is becoming weak as it’s majority ( Hindus ) are NOT
taking Krishna’s advice seriously. Same thing when missionaries usurp
traditions and convert Hindus by hook and crook through allurement,
inducement and fraud. In NE they are killing and threatening Hindus to
convert. We don’t fight back, we don’t rise up against injustices and
hesitate to voice the same. That’s why you see Islamic terrorists,
Christian missionaries, pseudo-seculars, communists having a field day
day in and day out. Especially after the present CONgress govt. lead by
Italian waittress has installed a mafia to rule the country.
Check out these sites for Hinduism references:
I wrote this in a hurry, if you have further questions please let me
know. But make sure you don’t confuse societal problems to that arising
out of religion. In the case of Islam that’s true, to some extent in
Christianity also but almost nil for Hinduism. In case of Islam there is
no scope for reform as it is set in stone, Christianity has reformed in
the west though missionary terrorism is affecting third word like India
and talking of Hinduism there is nothing per tenets that says we can’t
reform ourselves. Thanks to that we are continuously reforming, it’s
all in our hands. Let’s work towards that goal. Thanks for reading.
PS: If you are interested you can join a web group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kakc-public/ where I post about pro-India
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 05:09:52 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: [ellaKAVI] MUST READ – A modern day Vivekananda speaks
please give me answers for this
1.The Same Hinduism did not leave me to educate
2.Din’t Allow inside temples
3.Burnt widow mothers / made to shave their Head and live worst then
4.In the name of work (cast) i was theated like slave(animal)
5.Women are inferior (mean they should be inside house)
6.Killing animals in name of GOD
7.Why did buddism & sikism evlove ?
8.Today Budhism is more than Hinduism , what’s the reason ?
I don’t think we are following real Hinduism(vivakananda’s) ,
we are misleads and following pesudo Hinduism by some class of people
So it’s high time to rectify some flaws in us
I don’t think we should blame others for flaws in us , Yes
they are dominating with their views but instead of blaming them .
we should correct our selves
This is my personal view
anil t halli
Reply from anil.
The clarifications you have given are your just trying to find Fault in
Then Correction in our selves
Most of time your blaming Society for all our ills , if today i am
Ethics or life style it’s because of my relegion or society
Even though i am Hindu , but i don’t want to accept things blindly
IF today there is a society religion is binding them together
So please don’t make society and relegion different