"Hindu Ethics and the West," by Dota

An excellent essay by Dota on Hindu ethics and how they are incomprehensible to the Westerner.

Hindu Ethics and the West

By Dota

Dedication: This essay is dedicated to all the valiant peoples of European ancestry who stand against the modern currents of our time in defense of Western Civilization. You are not alone.
Before we jump right into the thick of things, I’d like to explicitly state that I am not an expert in Hinduism or Philosophy. I have no doubt that after reading this essay some of you are going to challenge the arguments presented here, and I encourage you to do so. Some of you might have questions, and I might not have answers to them all. I do however encourage all of you to research this fascinating subject and formulate your own opinions.
The purpose of this essay is to introduce you to the basics of Hindu ethical thought in light of Arthur Danto’s argument of why they are not compatible with Western ethics. This essay will first introduce the reader to Danto’s argument followed by an application of Hindu ethics in the context of certain stories from the Mahabharat and Ramayan; stories I grew up reading in Hindi class as a child. I will then attempt to draw a comparison between western morality and Dharma.
The scope of this essay is purely introductory and despite the mind-boggling diversity of the Hindu tradition, I will try and focus on mainstream Hindu practices and beliefs.
In his monumental book Mysticism and Morality (1972), Arthur Coleman Danto argues that the Indian ethical systems present within the Hindu and Buddhist traditions are not accessible to most Westerners. I would like to confess that I have not personally read Mysticism and Morality since I have not been able to find a copy of the book in Saskatoon. It is available in the University Library which I unfortunately have no access to.
For the purpose of this essay, we shall focus exclusively on the Hindu tradition and leave Buddhism out.  An excellent breakdown of the contents of this book can be accessed at Ralf Dumain’s blog here.
Danto’s major overarching argument is that the factual beliefs upon which Hindu ethics are constructed are not accessible to westerners, and hence the ethical systems themselves are of little value in the west. What are some of these factual beliefs? Many Hindu apologists will attempt to render Hinduism immune to critique by insisting that Hinduism has no doctrines or central creed. That Hindu beliefs cannot be homogenized.
However said apologists will also do everything in their power to link any Indian influences on outside cultures to the great monolithic Hinduism. I refer to this tactic as the shape-shifting apology. Thus Hinduism is rendered a monolith or a phantom depending on the apologist’s agenda.
However as Meera Nanda points out, Hinduism certainly possesses beliefs that are core and non negotiable (caste, Karma, Dharma) which we shall examine. In Hindu tradition, one’s caste is a function of one’s Karma, which in turn is a function of one’s Dharma. If a person’s karma (actions) fulfills his dharma (obligations/duties), he is rewarded in the next life and may find himself born in a higher caste.
Let us assume that a Brahmin sins by committing murder and is reincarnated as a Dalit in his next life. He is barred from accessing the village well and is forcefully segregated with a host of untouchability laws. On the face of it, it seems that justice has been served. However all of this depends on the existence of the interlocking forces of Karma and Dharma. To my knowledge, the Hindu texts do not attempt to prove their existence, but simply assume that their existence is a fact.
If one were to encounter a Dalit enduring social oppression, would it be moral to assist him/her? If Karma exists, then the answer is no, as that Dalit is reaping what was sowed in a previous lifetime. If Karma does not exist, then ignoring the plight of a suffering soul would be rightly regarded as callous indifference in Western ethical thought. Danto points out:

“…that if the factual beliefs of India to which I refer are false, there is very little point in Indian philosophy, and very little room for serious application of Indian moral beliefs. . .” (21)

In the context of caste, Ralph Dumain summarizes Danto’s position as thus:

 “Danto argues, as did Max Weber, that the caste system of Hinduism resists universality, as members of different castes are regarded as members of different species. This leads to a peculiar kind of toleration, just as we tolerate animals because they can’t be like us.
Hindus will tolerate the actions of others so long as their behavior is defined as licit for their caste. Therefore, the morality operant in this scenario stands or falls on the presupposed factual beliefs about caste.” (34-5)“

When one studies the Mahabharat, one is immediately struck by two things: The enormous literary value of this monumental epic and the shocking conduct of the amoral trickster god Krishna. In his paper Maximizing Dharma: Krsna’s Consequentialism in the Mahabharata, Joseph Dowd points out:

“For example, consider Krsna’s treatment of Bhisma, a warrior for the Kauravas. Bhisma knows that Sikhandi, a warrior for the Pandavas, was a woman in his previous life. Krsna tells the Pandavas to set Sikhandi on Bhisma. Bhisma refuses to fight Sikhandi, who deals Bhisma a mortal wound. Another example concerns Karna, another warrior for the Kauravas.
When Arjuna fights Karna, Karna’s chariot wheel gets stuck. Karna asks Arjuna to let him get his chariot unstuck before continuing with the battle. But Krsna reminds Arjuna of Karna’s misdeeds and tells him to kill Karna immediately. During a mace fight between Bhima and Duryodhana, Krsna tells Bhima to violate the warrior code by using a low blow.”

Joseph Dowd argues that Dharma (now referring to the Cosmic order) needs to be maintained and can only be done so if the Pandava faction triumphs over the evil Kaurava faction in the war. Krishna himself justifies his shocking actions as thus:

“Ye could never have slain them in battle by fighting fairly! King Duryodhana also could never be slain in a fair encounter! The same is the case with all those mighty car-warriors headed by [Bhisma]! From desire of doing good to you, I repeatedly applied my powers of illusion and caused them to be slain by diverse means in battle.
If I had not adopted such deceitful ways in battle, victory would never have been yours […] You should not take it to heart that this foe of yours hath been slain deceitfully.”

Let us once again apply Arthur Danto’s principle in determining the moral validity of Krishna’s actions. It would seem that the morality of Krishna’s actions rest heavily on the existence of Dharma. If Dharma exists, and if its existence is threatened, then agents must do everything in their power to prevent this catastrophe. It would seem that Krishna’s actions would then be moral. However if Dharma does not exist, Krishna’s actions are clearly opportunistic.
Let us now examine another feature of Hindu morality: The lack of intent. Ralph again explains Danto’s point of view:

“The infamous story of Arjuna is the key, the sophistical argument that Arjuna fight and kill with detachment. (88) One must perform one’s actions according to one’s calling, to be true to it without extraneous motivation. (91) This attitude is enabled by the detachment of self from body, so that one does not identify with the necessary actions of one’s body.
Danto finds this to be bone-chilling, Nietzschean and inhuman. The factual beliefs postulated are radically at odds with morality. (94-5) Danto ponders possible points of comparison of this notion of detachment with Kant, but insists that morality has no meaning without systems of rules. (96) Intention is decisive; it ties the agent to the action. The Gita robs actions of their moral qualities by detaching them from their agents. (98) This has some resemblance to Nietzsche’s position. (99)”

A look at the Ramayan story of Shravan Kumar should illustrate this point clearly. I had read this story in Hindi class when I was in grade 5 and the chapter was aptly named: आज्ञाकारी पुत्र (The Obedient Son). The protagonist Shravan Kumar embarks upon a pilgrimage with his blind aged parents who are unable to make the journey alone. En route they grow weary from thirst and request a drink of water from their son.
Shravan wanders over to a nearby stream and begins to draw water. Unfortunately, King Dashratha (Ram’s father) happens to be hunting nearby, mistakes Shravan for a deer, and fires. A wounded Shravan requests that the horrified king complete Sharavan’s task and bring water to the blind parents.
The king complies but is recognized by the blind parents as an impostor; whereupon the king sadly confesses his accidental misdeed. Distraught beyond measure, the parents curse the king that he too would die a lonely death pining for his son. The parents then perish. The curse comes to pass as the king lies on his deathbed longing for his son who is in exile. Thus the king is punished for his action (karma) without his intention even being considered.
The moral maxim of letting the punishment fit the crime cannot be applied if intention is divorced from action. In Western morality, intention is a key variable and the Bible confirms this in numerous places:

“Then the Lord said to Joshua: “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.” Joshua 20:1-3

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus adds an additional dimension of intent when proclaiming:

“But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:28

Also consider the following story from the Mahabharat which is included in Dowd’s paper:

“In one passage, the Pandavas trick Drona, a warrior for the Kauravas, into thinking that his son Asvatthaman is dead. At Krsna’s suggestion, they kill an elephant named Asvatthaman and then tell Drona, “Aswatthaman hath been slain” (Ganguli, 1883-1896a).
As a result, Drona withdraws from the war to grieve. Now, whether or not the Pandavas had killed the elephant, the outcome would have been the same: Drona would have been tricked into thinking that Asvatthaman was dead.
However, truthfulness is a supreme norm in Hindu thought (Buitenen, 1975, p. 177; Goldman, 1997, p. 189; Khan, 1965, p. 204). By killing the elephant, the Pandavas ensure that they are technically speaking the truth when they say, “Aswatthaman hath been slain.”

From a Hindu perspective, the actions of the Pandavas are moral, however from a western point of view, this still amounts to lying as the intent was to deceive.

Morals Versus Dharma

In his brilliant and succinct article Anatomy of an Indian, Aakar Patel states:

“Is Shri Ram’s murder of Vali and his treatment of Sita moral? Is Shri Krishna’s advice to Arjun on Karna moral? Is his action on Jayadrath moral? Is Acharya Drona’s behavior with Eklavya moral? Our texts say: “Yes.” They are right according to dharma (if the question is asked in an Indian language). But they are wrong morally. Dharma is opportunistic, while morals are not.”

Lets expand upon this point with the Ramayan story of Ram’s murder of Vali. At the behest of Vali’s younger brother Sugriva, Ram agrees to murder the latter’s older brother Vali, who has threatened the younger brother’s life. Ram executes a ruse where Sugriva issues a challenge to Vali, whereupon Vali accepts and emerges forward to participate in the duel. Ram ambushes Vali from behind and kills him with an arrow.
A dying Vali questions Ram’s morality, and the latter responds that Vali failed in his obligation of forgiving his younger brother’s past transgressions. This was evil, and Ram was tasked with eradicating evil.
Clearly Vali did violate his dharma as an older brother by not making amends with Sugriva, and the significance of brotherly duties are clearly illustrated in the Mahabharat story of Arjun’s wow and Yuddistira. So dharma was satisfied, but what about morality? Indeed, from a western point of view this murder was indeed cowardly and immoral; and what further compounds Ram’s duplicity is that he had committed this deed in exchange for Sugriva’s troops which were needed for the siege of Lanka.
Dharma is concerned with duty and not morality where the emphasis is on fulfilling obligations or risking misfortune. Dharma is radically at odds with Western morality.

Conclusion

The purpose of this essay was not to prove the inherent superiority of the western moral system over the Indian one, but to alert Westerners of the folly of imitating a foreign set of beliefs without understanding them. Western morality is a highly developed and universal code which is adaptable, humane and has evolved beyond the Bible from which it originates. Upon it the modern world stands, and it cannot be replaced by any code of the Orient.
For the purpose of fair discourse I would also like to recommend Hindu Ethics: A Philosophical Study by Roy Perret, who challenges many of Danto’s interpretations and his central argument.

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125 thoughts on “"Hindu Ethics and the West," by Dota”

  1. Thank you very much for uploading this Robert.
    I just wanted to point something else out which I did not include in the essay. Western ethical systems are based on a system of rules that are applied universally. In the Bible this is based on the do unto others rule in addition to an emphasis on social justice. Recall that King David was punished for his unjust treatment of Uriah the Hittite in the book of second Samuel; despite Uriah not being an Israelite. Kantian ethics is based on universally respecting the rationality of other people. Hindu ethics are based on factual beliefs as the essay argues. Furthermore since Indian thought does away with intention as a variable in morality, one can only conclude that Dharma is thus concerned primarily with conformity and not ethics in the traditional western sense. I argue that Hindu ethics are thus only fully comprehensible and accessible to Hindus who were raised on these beliefs. They are also accessible to non Hindu Indians.

    1. this reply is to everyone,i don’t want to post below and being the last,i want everyone to read this quickly:
      as i wrote in other post= Smriti refers to a specific body of Hindu religious scripture, it differs from Sruti in that Smriti does NOT HAVE DIVINE ORIGINS! Smriti consists of the memories of “wisdom” that SAGES have passed on to their disciples! they are the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and the Puranas!
      -the sages who FABRICATED the smritis were brahmins who corrupted the real hinduism (the vedic and upanishadic) ,those sages/ brahmins even didn’t dare to claim their texts were divinely revealed on par with the VEDAS and UPANISHADS,i doubt they were pure atheists so they should have though their gods will be angry with them,so they had a little respect and less insolence to the gods admiting their texts were of of human origin
      -so of course their texts contain contradictions,figures like rama or krishna should be left out,as the things they are claimed to say are way different from the real and uncorrupted hinduism like= the big acceptance of casteism in those texts,suspicious..obviously made by brahmins taking out of context the vedas…just like catholicts created the vatican taking out of context certain biblical sentences
      -krishna implying he is the true god? that is the total opposite of the acceptance of the vedas of all gods as one,is interesting how the SMRITI ARE THE TEXTS WHICH REALLY SUPPORT THE CASTEISM

    1. You mean the dedication? There’s a prevailing trend in the west about the Abrahamic traditions being violent, reactionary, and intolerant (all true to some extent no doubt) and the proposed antidote is eastern spirituality, chiefly Hinduism. I’m arguing that while Yoga, meditation, asceticism (to some degree) are all fine and beneficial, the underlying beliefs that underpin them are not accessible to Westerners. Since whites cannot openly defend their heritage nowadays I’ve dedicated this essay to their efforts. I’ve been meaning to write this essay for a long time anyway.

      1. “Since whites cannot openly defend their heritage nowadays I’ve dedicated this essay to their efforts.”
        Certainly not to the extent that some claim. WNs have nailed the victimhood mentality down to a tee. They are funny to watch, so I don’t really regard them as a long term threat, (except for a few crazies, who choose to act on their convictions) since their movement will never go anywhere until they form a coherent mission statement stick to it.

        1. Dota,
          its worthwhile that you point out the strengths (including moral strengths) of western civilisation and the positive role of Christianity in its development. You also did well to point out the moral failings and shortcomings of Hinduism.

        2. oh my! look at this comment section, even the indian posters don’t make a clear distinction between shruti texts and shriti texts,sad…MY VIEWS ARE THE SAME AS ARYA SAMAJ, SCREW THOSE SHRITI TEXTS AND FOLLOW ONLY THE SHRUTI VEDAS (AND UPANISHADS)
          WE NEED TO HELP GROW BIGGER THE ARYA SAMAJ, I THOUGH THE PRINCIPLES OF HARE KRISHNA WERE GOOD BUT NOW THAT I SEE HOW FLAWED IS THEIR MAIN SACRED BOOK,I TAKE IT BACK AND IT SEEMS THERE IS NO BIGGER HINDU REFORM MOVEMENT THAN ARYA SAMAJ
          ARYA SAMAJ IS THE LAST HOPE TO HINDUISM, THEY NEED FINANCIAL HELP FROM THE EAST ASIA OR THE WEST TO FIGHT AGAINST THE MAINSTREAM HINDUISM OF THIS TIME,I GUESS BRAHMINS ARE THE RICHEST INDIANS AND THEIR WITH THEIR MONEY STOP THE ARYA SAMAJ ='(
          LIKE MANY PRINCES HELPED LUTHER WITH MONEY,SOMEONE DO THE SAME TO HELP THE PROPAGANDA OF ARYA SAMAJ AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF THEIR TEMPLES WHERE THE TRUE MESSAGE OF THE VEDAS IS SPREAD INSTEAD OF THE FAKE BRAHMIN INTERPRETATION
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf9A_hhDZ0I

      2. “There’s a prevailing trend in the west about the Abrahamic traditions being violent, reactionary, and intolerant (all true to some extent no doubt) and the proposed antidote is eastern spirituality, chiefly Hinduism.”
        Proposed by whom? It seems to me that by far the most popular proposed antidote is secular humanism.
        Among the westerners who are interested eastern spirituality, isn’t it true that Buddhism is more popular? I don’t think you can count yoga practitioners as adherents of eastern spirituality, since for many/most people it is purely an exercise system.
        I would argue that westerners who are interested in Hinduism are interested in Hindu metaphysics and Hindu spiritual practicers while maintaining their western morality. They will add to their normal moral system the bits of Hinduism which they like and which seems ‘spiritual’ and like an advancement, such as vegetarianism and ahimsa, but they will otherwise disregard the rest. Westerners are simply not adopting convictions about the unimportance of intention*, nor is caste relevant to them.
        There’s no wholesale adoption of Hinduism.
        *note: in Buddhism, karma depends upon intention.

        1. What are the consequences of importing millions of folks who believe in this incomprehensible and frankly poisonous ethical system to the West though? Who says that is a good idea? Are they ever going to assimilate?

        2. Good question Robert.
          In my opinion, the key evil of Hinduism is the caste system and the way it is justified by Hindu scriptures and doctrines. It is this which militates against universalism, inclusion and compassionate action in India. It is this which leads to the exclusion and horrible mistreatment of Dalits because of superstitions about purity.
          During my sociology degree I did a small a study in which I investigated caste in Britain.
          First of all, from the literature and my own research, its pretty clear that the first generation Indian immigrants maintained caste in Britain. Caste organisations were formed which provided support and advocacy for members of the caste, as well as providing communal meeting places and activities. Endogamy was assiduously maintained. When they had children, many of them tried to get their children to marry within the caste, going as far as importing spouses from India.
          However, its surprising how much difference one generation and being brought up in Britain makes. I interviewed an Indian friend of mine (I still have the tape but I told him I wouldn’t release it) who basically said that he judges people on their individual merits, not their caste, and that he mixes with other young British Indians from a range of castes. He gave me the impression that he and his friends did not take caste very seriously at all. He wasn’t even really aware of it until he was about 10, despite having conservative parents in relation to marriage. He was in a relationship with a girl from a different caste, which he had no qualms about whatsoever, but which he kept secret from his parents.
          Okay, my sample size was tiny and consisted of a few young British Indians but they were from Indian communities in the north of England and I believe their attitudes reflected those of their peers.
          My view is that Indians assimilate well. The first generation maintain their home culture as much as possible but subsequent generations drop a lot of it. Most of them aren’t even religious. Heck, a lot of them don’t even know how to make curry.
          Can anybody provide contradictory accounts? I’m sure major studies must have been done on this.

        3. Also, the casteism of the first generation is fairly irrelevant to anybody but Indians. They have proved that they work hard to get ahead and abide by the law so I don’t have a problem with them. So many Indians came here poor, had kids and churned out doctors, lawyers and engineers by the truck load.

        4. I said ‘Westerners are simply not adopting convictions about the unimportance of intention’. I ‘ll take that back since I don’t actually know if this is true. Are they? What are the main Hindu sects that have western converts and what do they teach about this?
          I’ll maintain though that there isn’t a wholesale adoption of Hinduism. There is no adoption of caste (the worst thing about Hinduism). And if there is no adoption of caste, there can’t be an adoption of performing caste duties over morality (which granted the Bhagavad Gita is a good example of), which is one of Dota’s main criticisms of Hinduism. Plus all the other problems that come with caste- believing low castes deserve it and that its a natural order that shouldn’t be changed and dividing society etc.
          How many western converts to a Hindu sect are there? There’s are a lot of western converts to Buddhism, in a wide range of sects and traditions, but the only western converts to Hinduism I know of are the Hare Krishna people. Maybe we should focus in on what they believe.
          Dota,
          I will say that this is a good essay and you did well to point out the moral shortfalls and failings of Hinduism.

        5. Steve and GSG
          This essay isn’t about Hindus and anybody who uses this essay to attack Hindus is grossly misreading my intent and committing a grave injustice against my endeavour. Christianity in particular is generally unfairly targeted in the mainstream media whereas eastern religions, particularly the south Asian traditions, receive a charitable hearing. I’m arguing that the West is built upon a very solid foundation that has served it well and should not be eroded. For some reason the media portrays the Abrahamic traditions as being vile, primitive, and intolerant whereas the south asian traditions are seen as being benevolent, spiritually deep (which they are I’ll grant) and even chic.

        6. Car guy,
          no I haven’t but there’s quite a bit of ethnographic literature on them.
          ‘Ethnography (from Greek ἔθνος ethnos = folk/people and γράφω grapho = to write) is a qualitative research design aimed at exploring cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnography

        7. I know too well, but you have no criticism for the far east.
          It’s a stretch to say Hindus are not responsible for the demonization of the West.

        8. Thanks Steve, I’m just tired of this constant demonization of Christianity. People just take it for granted.
          GSG
          but you have no criticism for the far east.
          Because I don’t know anything about it. I know a little Chinese history and Philosophy and a little about Japanese culture and history from reading Musashi’s book of five rings. The only people here who could critique the far east traditions are Huax and Hacienda, if they feel inclined to do so.

        9. Haux and Hacienda can’t comment on shit since they are both jokes and would rather resort to screaming and shouting of East Asians being the most superior beings on the planet; while their overall frustration of their lack and lack of countrymen having the ability to get higher caliber girls of the White race and other race girls impairs any logical ability on their parts as well.

        10. Dota,
          the critics of religion like Christopher Hitchens (‘how religion poisons everything’) don’t seem to acknowledge any positive role of Christianity in European history. Its so one sided. They think all the strengths of the modern west come from rejecting and moving beyond Christian dogma and religious authority. To them, its just a regressive, ignorant, barbaric force that did nothing but harm. That’s the impression I get from listening to them anyway.

        11. Why would East Asian men want “high caliber” white girls? Do camel jockeys want high caliber apes? No race of men is capable of getting high caliber East Asian women save East Asians, and that’s fine with me.
          To reply to Dota, Chinese civilization is better if you are the typical person or a 1%er that isn’t a sadist. The West is nice for people who are relatively intelligent, well-connected, and most importantly derives pleasure from the misery of others.

        12. Huax no one wants East Asian women, and the ones that do, like White men, get free picks and a list of how they get to choose like in a buffet. Don’t tell me that’s false, because just recently I hear Chinese women want a “blonde blue eyed” husband lol. Also no one wants East Asian men, and Levantine girls (top caliber) are the hardest to get in the world and there has never been a record of them being successful.

        13. Yeah, you recently heard a low tier Chinese women say she wanted a blond man to elevate her status. Translation, white men get to pick any women they want.
          And second, Levantine girls sure are easy for Jew men to get. Admit it, you’re a small-dicked pathetic little sand nigger who got rejected by an East Asian woman who knew about your terrorist ways.

        14. According to Xera, what every high IQ East Asian man wants is a lumpy-headed, hook-nose Levantine girl with three teeth covered in mashed chickpeas, too much make-up and freakish looking fish lips. Those sexy ankles and that ring of dynamite around her waist just drives men (and male goats) crazy. They’d certainly prefer these to 110+ IQ North Chinese women with perfect facial profiles, teeth, bite, skin tone and color, good hair, etc.
          Meanwhile the fact that white models/celebrities and Jew billionaires can only get women as hideous as Patricia Chan, Maxine Hong and Amy Chua proves that they get their pick of women out of East Asians.
          Also the fact that 95%+ of North Chinese y-DNA is exclusively North Chinese proves how much they love to mix with the Araboid goatfuckers they lived next to for thousands of years. On the flip side a huge minority of “Levantine” porkers have white, black, Jew etc DNA.

        15. Ok maybe I have a vested interest in this debate because this is my post so lets not get side tracked with racial bashing and looks please. Xera, taking a shot at east asians was completely uncalled for in a thread pertaining to South Asian tradition. Lets stop this here please.

        16. “I think Priscilla Chen and Amy Chua are cute. Maxine Hong is just old, that’s all.”
          If you think they’re cute, you’d think 95% of Chinese women are cute and I’m being extremely generous to both Chan and Chua.
          They’re also absolute dregs and bottom of the totem pole in terms of looks by Chinese standards – though both are undoubtedly quite smart.

        17. Huax, all the white men get the best of your women easily, just look at Vince from entourage and how easily it was for him to bang your “Chinese” celebrities. Also George Clooney and how easily he banged Lucy Liu, all your women are self-hating and want to come to Hollywood to prove your worth, like that bitch coco lee. Also remember how easy it was for a Jew Arab to bang Gong Li in Miami Vice and the shitty Hannibal prequel lol. All your magazines and media show Asian guys trying to get “abs” to look sexy, like Western men but can’t cuz they are Asians. Meanwhile there are high level politicians who are using that hard earned Chinese money to PAY FOR SEX from actresses such as Zhang Ziyi while all the Caucasian guys are shooting and banging away your women like leaves on a sidewalk. Don’t get me started man, you will lose this argument.
          Also since when was it easy for Jews ROFL to get Levantine women, dude you don’t know shit about Lebanese or Egyptian girls, they would probably walk over you like walking over a bunch of dead flowers in a field and reject the best of your Asians regardless of how tall/built he was. Levantine women are some of the best looking, desired and highly protected in the world, their is a reason why they are “mixed” and not mixed with any East Asian blood.

        18. LOL at the inferior sand nigger bragging about Jews spending millions of dollars to simulate a sex scene with Gong Li in a movie, idolizing some sand nigger named Vince in some show I’ve never heard of, implying Coco Lee isn’t a mediocre looking gold digger and that Lucy Liu is not in fact homely.
          Meanwhile the Mongols fucked your Arab sluts so hard they got abortions and then decapitated them when better looking women were available.
          Most East Asian men would not even look at a filthy sand nigger whore even though they’re loose after getting trained on by their fathers and uncles and imams. East Asian men are powerful and sand nigger sluts can only spread their legs and breed like cockroaches.
          But durka, durka, mohammed jihad.

        19. I propose to pair up the 50 million single Asian males with sub saharan African women. It’s a win win situation.

        20. and lol at the low IQ inferior sand nigger talking about six-pack abs, even the whites whose cocks you suck for money openly admit that East Asian men that work out are more cut than other races of men.
          It’s because of low estrogen and high testosterone which is typical of East Asian males:
          The proportion of men with total testosterone levels suggestive of hypogonadism, defined as less than 230 ng/dL, differed between populations: 5% to 6% among U.S. white and Swedish men compared with 3% in Hong Kong and Japanese men.
          According to the results, Asian men who live in Hong Kong and Japan had total testosterone levels that were about 20% higher than other groups

        21. @ Huax
          No race of men is capable of getting high caliber East Asian women save East Asians, and that’s fine with me.
          LOL, really? The various East Asian American men who complain about “yellow fever” might disagree with you on that one.

        22. neurotic disclaimer: when I say ‘the key evil of Hinduism’ is caste, I don’t mean to imply that it is a thoroughly evil religion. I think there are valuable and good parts of Hinduism, including some profound spirituality, but the ‘Hindu caste system’ stinks and India would be better off without it. Hindu morality, especially as it pertains to caste, certainly leaves something to be desired! Buddhism > Hinduism imo.

        23. Christianity is open to demonisation because thanks to the secular values of post-Reformation Christendom, Christians are far more apt to tolerate criticism and apostasy than other religions. A lot of the anti-religious intellectuals belonged to the Christian world and hence, Christianity was the foundation on which their criticism of religion came from.
           
          Jews and Muslims are some of the strongest demonisers of Christianity and Christian values, as one would gather from their literature, but a similar move by Christians critiquing Judaism or Islam gets banned/attacked for being anti-Semitic/Islamophobic.
           
          The Hindutwavadi critics of Christianity simply jump into this bandwagon, since there is already a lot of established literature criticising Christianity. Bhabiji, one of the pop-Hindu commenters here was a good example, who was quite peeved when she found that most NE Indians weren’t Dharmic peoples (as she hoped), but Abrahamics.
           
          For the record, morality IS relative in the context of religions. Most of my earliest experience of religious morality came from Islam, which I personally found quite dishonest and disconcerting. For instance, Muhammad’s justification looting the caravans of Meccans, his massacre of the Banu Qurayza Jews or or the time-relative justifications of a fifty year old marrying and sleeping with a 9 year old girl. The kind of secular humanist values that exist in today’s world couldn’t have come into existence without their Christian foundation.

        24. Steve:
          “no I haven’t but there’s quite a bit of ethnographic literature on them”
          I once met a Romanian guy from Transylvania, a bully of guy I didn’t like all too much. For one reason or another, we got to talking about cars. We started debating on the reliability of global automakers and their cars; when I mentioned Indian automakers, the look on his face was as if he saw a ghost. Having worked with several Indians, he didn’t like them one bit. “Anyone but Indians,” he said. This coming from a troublesome individual…
          Now being the naive goody two shoe that I was back then, I took the guy’s experience for nonsense, praising Indians in the process. I went on with my life and forgot everything he had said. But my experience with Indians in graduate school really put things into perspective. The school I attended had a rather robust exchange/ transfer program with India; as a result, it was flooded with first-gen Indian “professionals”. There was no way I could have avoided them even if I wanted to. So I had the misturtune of working with plenty of them and noticed a few things about their personality:
          Responsibility Avoidance
          They did everything in their power to avoid taking on reponsibility. They’d rather talk than actually do work. As a result, they sought out and relished in courses that involved a lot of group work. In most of my groups, you had at least two of them seek out the easiest tasks. When these tasks turned out to be some of the most difficult, that’s when you had them wanting to exchange it for something else. Frustrated by this constant flip flop behavior, I lost my mind in several group settings, but not because I was actually pissed off to the point of wanting to explode; rather, I was mad because no one else wanted to say anything, and I didn’t want these fools to get away with their sick and childish “games”. My workmates clearly saw what was going on but did nothing. The Chinese exchange students were the worst.
          Incompetence
          I soon found out why they didn’t like responsiblity. A significant portion of them were downright incompetent, at least with regards to what was required of them at the graduate level. Their work often had to be completed by the rest of the group or redone completely.
          There was this one rotten guy that came across as “smart” because he was confident and seemed to get good grades. Then I saw his work, which made me think he was illiterate, even when considering that English wasn’t his first language. One of my Chinese group members informed me that the guy had been paying essay writers to do most of his school work. I wasn’t surprised one bit. How he got into the program is still a mystry to me.
          Nonsense Talk
          These guys truly believed they could talk their way out of anything. “Don’t know anything? Just fake it to these fools” was probably their mindset. “Fake everything.” Every guy, girl and dog in that country is an engineer.
          I couldn’t believe how nieve they thought we were, that we bought into the nonsense they spewed. I can imagine that in India, people told them to shut up all the time. I can also imagine that this is one of the reasons why they can’t seem to get anything done in the South Asian country. When they make their way to the west, where people are more polite and probably more naive, it’s as if they are in heaven — they can let loose. The East Asians are polite, too, but their extreme xenophobia makes them more cautious and is a natural guard against such behaviour.
          Now Steve, I couldn’t have imagined that Indians behaved like this until working with them. It is worth mentioning that these were mostly first-gen Indian males (there women had better heads) and that my experience with second-gen indviduals have been relatively better. But despite the ethnography studies you pointed out, there is more to these Indian immigrants than meets the eye. You might find out for yourself sooner or later.

        25. Car Guy
          There is an explanation for everything you’ve encountered. “Face saving” is a huge part of Indian culture and is the modus operandi of the honour system prevalent in south Asia. Honour is serious business across all castes and regions but it is most prized amoung the Warrior and Peasant castes as I’ve previously pointed out. Most Indians will try and preserve personal honour by saving face, as communication in India has evolved around group harmony as opposed to exchanging information as it is in the west. These students you worked with must have been trying to save face rather than revealing their ignorance. It does not necessarily imply that they were lazy (or they might have been, I wasn’t there). Conversation in India is very indirect even when it is intrusive and Indians traditionally regard direct conversation as rather invasive. This naturally applies to FOBs as opposed to second and third gen desis.

        26. Dota,
          Aside from the one guy that was paying people to do his work, and several others — people I deem unqualified to be in graduate school — I’d say many of the rest were just downright lazy. There were a few very exceptional individuals, though.
          School aside, I was actually close to quite a few Indians, but my experience in the program made me reassess these relationships. I noticed the same thing — first-gen individuals gave me more trouble than I bargained for, while the second-gens were more “normal”.
          I recently had to break-off relationships with two Indians, but mainly because I suspected they were malignant narcissists.

  2. Deep and well researched, Dota. Since this is the norm in India, could you elaborate more how this affects minority religions like Islam, Christianity and Sikhism in India today?
    I’ll ask a few questions later this week.

  3. Reading through your essay, the first impression I got was that there is no fucking way there are people on this planet living by these rules. In fact, such behavior sounds so ridiculousness and so childish that I still find it hard to believe.
    How can grown people live according to something so blatantly rotten as this system? It’s scary.

  4. I support every attempt to defend Western morality against unfair criticism, and I support as well every warning against exaggerated prise of non-Western morality.
    That said, I think this paper is completely over the edge. The central problems of life are the same in West and East. and thus the basic solutions are often the same, too.
    For eample, Dota maintains that involuntary misdeeds are not punished in the West. But that’s wrong. Abaelard defended punishment of involuntary misdeeds with the argument, that it makes people be more careful in the future, and that argument is often used until now. So where’s the East-West divide?
    Also, the question if evildoers shall be treated worse than others or equal as others is open in both continents. The actual difference is that a Hindu seess a poor man as an evildoer in pre-life, but that doesn’t mean that he’s oliged to treat him bad.

    1. It goes beyond that. Hinduism goes beyond what any esteemed intellectual can examine. It can only be understood on a spiritual level. It’s a religion of love, kindness, and these metaphorical stories are about overcoming adversity within oneself.
      On facebook, there is an icon in the profile section where you are to list your religion. Mine says “Most people do not understand their own religions”. Hinduism is not to be measured by the upholders of the Caste System any more than Christianity is to be measured by the mass patronage of Chic fi La bigots on Wed. or the zombies at Joel Osteen’s church on any Sunday. We too here are also coming along nicely with our own (economic) caste system, but I don’t think our first targets in discrediting Christianity are the players on Wall Street and the military industrial complex.
      The world’s great religions and spiritual traditions are given to us by its masters and not its subjects. There have been men and women throughout the ages who have followed the examples of these masters and, by doing so, in turn liberated themselves. We are to judge Islam by Hazrat Inayat Khan, not Osama bin Laden. We are to judge Christianity by Francis of Assisi, John the Baptist, and the likes of Mother Teresa, not tea baggers and Wal-mart America. We should judge Hinduism by men like Neem Karoli Baba and women like Anandamayi Ma, not by India’s loathsome culture. Robert’s Christian readers know very well that Jesus is not a conservative Republican who hates gays and loves war, or a hypocritical Democrat for that matter, nor is he an ignoramus popping antidepressants and watching the Kardashians either. So it goes to follow that you don’t stick a middle finger at a religion because of a corrupt many. And of course we’ll leave our hands of off Buddhism, because when you start to criticize the Buddhists, then you’re a real dick.
      We are to judge religion by its great men and not its weak men, because they are authoritative on their respective paths, not us. They show us that it is possible to fill your heart and spirit with happiness and become free – from personal issues, indeed, from karma itself. You can choose not to see that if you want. Like most everyone else you can be “your own kind of Christian” or whatever. You can be an atheist. But don’t tell the monks of Dharamsala or the monks of Mount Athos who they are. When the Mormons learned of and met Native Americans, they concluded the Natives were Israelites made dark by a curse God put on them.
      And now, I shall share an email from my uncle. No words would suffice for an introduction, so I’ll just say he’s a better judge of Hinduism, not just – in my opinion – of anyone who will ever visit this page, but of almost all Hindus … as follows:
      I am not really drawn into intellectual articles; I don’t see that they ever really effect positive change in the world. I did glance over the article, and the part that jumped out at me as incredibly ignorant is this:
      If one were to encounter a Dalit enduring social oppression, would it be moral to assist him/her? If Karma exists, then the answer is no, as that Dalit is reaping what was sowed in a previous lifetime. If Karma does not exist, then ignoring the plight of a suffering soul would be rightly regarded as callous indifference in Western ethical thought.
      That is a ridiculous misunderstanding of all spiritual belief, not just Hindu. We are here to serve God through serving others. It doesn’t matter the least bit whether the other person’s karma created the terrible conditions he is in; we are supposed to try to help, to relieve suffering, to assist in any way we can. That is also part of that person’s karma — our compassion! Gandhi certainly believed in karma, and he spent his life dedicated to helping the poorest of the poor. “ignoring the plight of a suffering soul would be rightly regarded as callous indifference” in ALL civilized thought, not just Western! Of course there are Hindus who misunderstand this and have no compassion for the poor, and there are an equal number of Westerners who consider themselves Christians who blame the poor for their lot too. This guy is indeed hostile to his own tradition, and he is just pretending to be intellectualizing.
      Anyway, I don’t feel a need to enter into this fray. You can if you like.

      1. Nominay
        I respect your uncle’s interpretation but that is not the common interpretation of India. Thanks to the internet/TV/Globalization Indians are increasingly coming in contact with western ethics so things are getting a bit better. However this is what John P Jones observed over a 100 years ago:
        Among the common people of India it is held that a man’s duties to his caste embrace his whole obligation. When a fellow-being is in difficulty and his condition strongly appeals for sympathy, the first, and often the last, question asked is, “Is he a member of my caste?” If not, like the priest and the Levite of old, his conscience allows him to “pass by on the other side.” Recently a woman perished in the streets of a town near Madura. She was a resident of a village some[133] twenty-five miles away, and was, therefore, a stranger in this town, where she sickened and was carried to a public rest-house. But when her condition became serious and no relatives or caste friends came to her support, she was put out into the street, where she lay helpless for three days in the rain and sunshine. Hundreds of people saw her dying agonies as they passed by during those days; but no heart of sympathy went out to her; for was she not a stranger? And it was left to an American, who happened to pass that way on the third day, to demand of the town officer that she be put back in the rest-house, where she shortly afterward died. Let it not be thought that this is an isolated case.
        Full text here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/28117/28117-h/28117-h.htm

        1. Hinduism is a sickening way to control people.
          Can you explain why Hinduism is so sturdy compared to other religions?
          Islam, Christianity, Buddhism all came to or were from India, but people reverted back to Hinduism. Many of these religions have become bastardized as well in India, oftentimes incorporating Hindu elements, like Muslim castes.
          I’m guessing the Mughal emperor had the same mindset as the British did. Use Hinduism to gain control of the people. This code of ethics just proves it. It keeps the downtrodden downtrodden, it keeps certain segments of the population in bubbles, and allows the elite to rule.

        2. Ishmael
          Hinduism is for all intents and purposes an ethnic religion, so it’s difficult to draw the line between the religion and the practiced culture. This is easier to do with religions like Islam and Christianity which were imposed from the outside. Culture always supersedes religion in any society. A society will embrace a religion and remake it in its own cultural image. And besides, I actually want India to remain a Hindu country, why shouldn’t it? Hinduism has a continuous tradition which is in dire need of some democratic reform (as Aakash pointed out) and it is India’s soul just as Christianity is the soul of the West.

        3. Common interpretation be damned. Look, you’re not going to get an argument out of me on John P Jones because he is right. A lot of India was and still is backwards; some of it wasn’t and isn’t. My point is, it’s a mistake, and hardly a unique one at that, to judge a religion by its so-called followers. People have free will to interpret in any way they see fit, and they do in all faiths. They are also destroying the planet. Faith and religion, be it Hindu, Christian or any other, was never about redeeming the world and saving mankind. It was and is to provide us with a blueprint, and show us a way on how to live as though it were ending.

  5. Half Knowledge is dangerous. I can argue point to point of Dota’s exposition here.
    In any case We are the Gods; anything we do is right even if it is immoral or injust.
    Here is a three sins in Hierarchy.
    1 Go Hathay Maha Papa.
    2. Brahman Hathya Maha Papa.
    3. Srithi Hatya Maha Papa.
    [ Cow, Brahmana, Chaste Woman] Not that all Hindus or for that matter all Brahmins are angles.
    I am the Lion that roams vast expanse of Space and Cow is my God.
    Remember that. You people are leading a dangerous life.
    You want me to strip Dota’s arguments word for word I am ready.

    1. See AlanJ demonstrates the point I make in this essay perfectly. To some vegens in the west it is immoral to breed animals that are capable of enduring suffering merely for our selfish appetites. Hence one should refrain from meat eating including beef. To AlanJ, one should refrain from beef eating because “Cow is atman and atman is Cow.” So while the western vegan’s position and that of AlanJ’s converge on this moral issue, they approach it from very different angles. The Vegen’s ethics are based on a system of rules which have led him here whereas AlanJ’s position is based on the factual belief that “Cow is atman and atman is Cow” (whatever that means). One of these systems is universal, the other is not.

      1. I present to a irrational, nonsense statement, which in reality is valid and true. I cannot offer direct proof, Will offer proof from physics.
        “God is not necessarily Cow, but Cow is God”
        The above statement is illogical in its construct but true and valid.
        Only explanation is “Great Godhead Parab-Brahman instructed that Cow be worshipped as God”, There is immense diversity in this Universe right from the Soul level.
        Now for more scientific explanation. “GodHead”[Parab-Brahman] actually no one knows what it is [ except for Maha-Visnu and Lord Shiva who can max hold GodHead’s metaphoric feet]. It is that great.
        Parab-Brahman is called Purna[Complete] from a modern scientific parlance [State-Space-Matrix] State-Space also means Purna [ Complete] Nothing is outside of it, although in a latent form.
        There is a saying “A tree hides in its Seed”. You can visualize a mighty Banyan Tree when you see a Banyan Tree seed.
        Universe is called a Causal Ocean, an infinite Spirtiual energy that can do anything unimaginable.
        Down to you explanation with ambiguity within Hinduism like Werner Heisenburg, Tesla who were influenced by vedanta. Universe functions at the Quantum Mechanical level. That All states can exist simultaneously. True-True, True-False, False-True, False-False are all valid answers.
        In Spirtiual matters Logic does not work.
        I am only stating the truth, killing Cows is sucide.
        I am instructed by God to end life planet Earth into distant future. My Gurus on Earth “Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy, and Guru Shridhara Swamy who are all in Parab-Brahman] call me the “German-Brahman”
        I will devise a well designed Death Process which will end life on Earth, this is all part of the process of life.

  6. Last thing:
    “If one were to encounter a Dalit enduring social oppression, would it be moral to assist him/her? If Karma exists, then the answer is no, as that Dalit is reaping what was sowed in a previous lifetime.”
    If Karma linked to dharma and caste is true, then the answer is no. That’s just the way life is. Membership of a low caste is a life sentence. Plus everybody must follow their caste duties. Its very conservative.
    However, if you believe only in Karma and reject caste and caste dharma then the answer is yes. If something makes somebody’s life better, its obviously a good action, a moral action. There is incentive to help the poor as it is a good action which produces a happy result. And there’s no reason not to. Just because somebody is in a bad situation due to bad karma doesn’t mean they should not be helped. They may have the karma to be helped. There’s no reason why a bad situation or membership of a social strata must last a lifetime unless you believe in caste.

    1. Here’s how I look at it Steve. I firmly believe that the literary value of the Indian epics are far superior to the Greek ones. While Dharma => Karma makes for a problematic ethical base, they do make terrific plot devices and motifs that make the epics truly unique and indigenous.
      The Gita baffles me because I can’t figure out how to read it. It’s philosophy of the detached agent is highly problematic to say the least but some people have pointed out that this extreme philosophy should be judged in the context of war. Fair enough. So is the Gita then a war treatise? It’s so heavily invested in metaphysics that I’m not sure it makes a very good war treatise either, unlike the Chinese art of war.

  7. Thank you, Dota, that was a brilliantly-constructed, fascinating and incredibly informative essay. Prior to reading it, I knew next-to-nothing about the actual tenets of karma and dharma, as opposed to the utterly miscontextualized and malappropriated concepts that white, Anglo North Americans such as myself have feebly absorbed through fatuous, new-agey sources and popular media. I concur with you whole-heartedly, modern civilization would and could not exist had eastern traditions been dominant. Thank you again.

    1. “I concur with you whole-heartedly, modern civilization would and could not exist had *eastern traditions* been dominant.”
      So you’ve read one short essay and made up your mind? Never mind that Roy Perret disagrees, you don’t need to read that. Or that this is about Hinduism, not Buddhism. I don’t see how these criticisms apply to Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Indian is a very different place to China.

      1. Can you site examples of any Eastern progressive cultures which endured and spread that were based upon eastern philosophical tenets? China’s is based on a european political ideology, the great Khanate was utterly secular and encouraged the proliferation of all religions, South Korea is utterly westernized, North Korea is communist, the Japanese Empire, with its belief that the Emperor is a god on earth, adopted the Western model of government and its principals (no more feudal system, last time I checked), India’s already been discussed rather extensively here. Where is this culture which has influenced and provided the foundation of any existing, progressive societies? Cambodia? Sorry if my previous comment allowed you to think me more ingenuous than I actually am, I am somewhat aware of the world around me; while I may not have understood precisely how Hindu ethical tenets work prior to reading Dota’s essay, I was able to determine for myself quite some time ago that Hindu and eatsern cultures are not terribly progressive, nor influential as far as global culture, and thankfully so.

  8. Look you guys. This is Dota’s thread. Don’t hijack it to engage in your racial which chicks are hottest, which guys are the biggest losers arguments.
    I just set up a special post where you all can go at it WRT to which chicks are hottest, which guys are the best, which guys are the biggest tools, which chicks won’t touch guys of other races or whatever it is you all fight about.
    Take it over there. I am going to be deleting this OT comments on this thread from now on so Dota can have this thread for his post.

    1. I might mention that Dota is a big fan of wax. I don’t think Dota will mind. As long as it brings him that out of the woods.

  9. Since morality is about the rules of right conduct, maybe you shouldn’t say that for the Hindu dharma > morality. For the Hindu, adherence to dharma rules and caste duties IS what is right conduct. So dharma isn’t greater than morality but the basis of morality. Its just a different version of morality.

  10. Dear Dota
    From what you wrote, we would have to conclude that Hinduism is also incompatible with Islam. In Islam there is noo hereditary damnation because of supposed actions in a previous life. It isn’t Hinduism versus Christianity but Hinduism versus most of the rest of the world. People in Japan and China don’t belong to any Abrahamic religion, but I doubt very much that they accept that some people are despicable and impure simply because they have been born in a certain caste.
    I’m inclined to agree with Steve on the assimilability of caste-ridden Hindus. The grandchildren of Indian immigrants may well be completely free from caste-thinking. Let’s hope so. It would be better for everybody concerned.
    Regards. James

    1. People in Japan and China don’t belong to any Abrahamic religion, but I doubt very much that they accept that some people are despicable and impure simply because they have been born in a certain caste.
      In the case of the Japanese, just don’t tell that to the Zainichi Koreans.

    2. Lol James, Dota is “done” with responding to those addressing him on his provoking commentary. Time to accept it as fact and give up argument/debate … I think my uncle is right – it’s a pointless exercise. And that my friend, is wiser than any “interpretation” on big, bad Hinduism. To all you filthy, Hindu scum, convert to something else immediately and move to another country – but seriously folks, do leave your caste system behind or shove it up yo ass … one or the other.

  11. Dear Car Guy
    You made a good point. The Japanese regard some people who are really as Japanese as they are as foreigners because they descend from Koreans or Ainu. They still see them as foreigners even though they only speak Japanese and only know Japanese culture. However, do they see these “foreigners” as unclean, as people to be avoided or simply as un-Japanese? There is a difference between rejecting people who are not your kind and rejecting people because contact with them would pollute you.
    Regards. James

    1. However, do they see these “foreigners” as unclean, as people to be avoided or simply as un-Japanese?
      Yes. To the Japanese, foreigners, regardless of their race or whether they are first-gen citizens or otherwise, will always be seen as non-Japanese. You have instances were parents insist that their children avoid them.
      This is a cold hard fact that these foreigners have to live with.I blame this on the Japanese people’s warped sense of superiority towards others (uncalled for really) and their extreme xenophobia. I agree with you that it has nothing to do with their religious beliefs.

        1. They have a lot to be proud of: a well-run society and economy and powerful international companies.
          When people think about technology, they usually think about Japan. Frankly, I think the country is a bit overrated in that regard.

  12. I think your assessment of Hindu ethics is very generic and some non-Indian may take this as the truth. India is a country but the region itself is more like a continent. For example, a Hindu Indian Punjabi has more in common with a Muslim Pakistani Punjabi than a Tamil Indian Hindu. Your article about Hindu ethics is like saying Anglo-Saxon Christian culture is European culture. I’m sure the protestant Germans and Norse and catholic Italians will disagree with that and maybe get offended too. Categorizing Hindu ethics and India in general as a homogenous set of rules is plain absurd. I for one have never read the Vedas or Gita even though Im an Hindu. My values were handed to me by my parents and me or my parents wouldn’t turn away anyone’s call for help regardless of their “caste” or religious background. I wouldn’t think some Dalit deserves ill treatment because he may have sinned in the past life (which no one can ever check). Moreover my part of India is where Dalit rights activism first started. So lot of Brahmin BS doesnt fly here. People who read your article will assume that this is how majority of Hindus think. Most Hindus I know have never read any of the religious books mentioned here. The oral tradition from ancestors is still prevalent.
    “Dedication: This essay is dedicated to all the valiant peoples of European ancestry who stand against the modern currents of our time in defense of Western Civilization. You are not alone.”
    How is this relevant. How is an article on Hindu ethics relevant to defense of Western Civilization. Get rid of your paranoia and xenophobia that everyone’s out to get you. India comes under far greater attack from the west than vice versa and for a long time too.
    And about the Ramayana, Vali takes his brother Sugriv’s wife forcibly. It can only be termed as rape and sexual slavery. You think Vali’s questioning of Ram;s morality is valid but fail to see that Vali committed immoral acts against a woman and his brother.
    I agree that Ram used trickery but this is never encouraged among the common people. The reasoning given is that Ram is divine and gods work in their own mysterious ways.
    Similarly in Mahabaratha, you ignore what led the two factions to war in the first place. You say Krishna used trickery to kill Karna but the 100 cousins of Pandavas committed far more vile acts.
    You can take any religious book and take things out of context. Im not saying Gita is the all encompassing truth but sometimes you see what you want to see.

      1. That’s not a substantive rebuttal on your part. In fact, it only reinforces Dota’s idea that Indians are uncivilized, and on here, nothing more than belligerent trolls. It’s a shame when white Americans like me have to stand up to your fucking faith that you yourself misuse.

  13. Question for everyone: How is the situation in Trinidad Tobago. To my knowledge, it is the only country in the world outside of India where people with Indian ancestry are the majority. Is Trinidad caste-ridden? Granted, a lot of Trinidadians are Muslims.
    Thanks. James

    1. Guyana also has a majority East Indian population.
      I believe Dota (or was it Atheist Indian?) posted an interesting article highlight how Indian indentured servants had to do away with their cast differences partly as a means of survival and partly because their overseers — whitey — didn’t provide an environment where casteism could thrive. As result, the caste system in the country is more superficial and less functional than it is in India.
      The same thing might be true for Trinidad Tobago.

      1. AI had mentioned it and I had posted an article as a reference. The indentured period robbed those Indians of an environment where caste could survive by doing away with segregation and forcing the high castes into ‘degrading’ physical labour. Caste barriers eventually broke down as untouchability was gradually done away with. White made all the slaves eat from the same pot and so the Hindus could either eat with the lower castes or starve.

  14. Dota
    This is a well written article and while its salient points are quite superficial (in comparison to the literary texts mentioned), it nevertheless introduces a few core concepts of Hinduism to the masses here who may be completely ignorant of them. However, the analysis itself based on the salient points is more than a trifle one-sided as I will explain below.
    The primary argument is that if the “facts” on which Hindu concepts rest are false, then Hindu philosophy is of little use to the west. I don’t disagree with this statement but the key word is “IF”. For all we know the “core facts” cannot be proven or disproved one way or the other. They just explain the unequal abilities, conditions and in general, comfort level of human beings consistently. Similarly, if the “fact” of virgin birth is found to be false (why am I even using the word “if” but oh well), most of christian philosophy, especially related to the holy spirit, its impregnation, gifts etc. can be reduced to baloney. The same holds true for any religion in general. However, Islam and Christianity would be a step more unethical in this regard due to the aggressive, violent proselytization, exterminating local religion etc IF their underlying facts were found to be false.
    Now lets analyze a few statements in the article:
    “To my knowledge, the Hindu texts do not attempt to prove their existence, but simply assume that their existence is a fact.”
    Prove based on what? Could you give examples where christian texts try to “prove” the virgin birth? Even if they endeavor to and utilize some illogical arguments, how does that make this obviously useless effort worthwhile to anyone? If I try to prove the existence of the spaghetti monster, will my belief be more valid than yours? Have Muslims ever proven the existence of Gabriel? About Muhammad receiving “divine guidance”? You are entering an untenable position here when you start talking about proofs. Religions in general accept events as occurred (no matter how fantastic) and move on from there.
    “This leads to a peculiar kind of toleration, just as we tolerate animals because they can’t be like us. Hindus will tolerate the actions of others so long as their behavior is defined as licit for their caste. Therefore, the morality operant in this scenario stands or falls on the presupposed factual beliefs about caste.” (34-5)“
    A true statement in general. However these are not only due to the “presupposed factual caste beliefs” but in a lot of cases, observable traits too. For example: Brahmins will avoid eating at non-Brahmin homes due to the consumption of meat there. Heck, I had a Brahmin friend who would not eat at my place as I grew up in a meat eating family.
    “Joseph Dowd argues that Dharma (now referring to the Cosmic order) needs to be maintained and can only be done so if the Pandava faction triumphs over the evil Kaurava faction in the war. Krishna himself justifies his shocking actions as thus:”
    A few points here to illustrate the history:
    1) According to Dharma laws, the kingdom rightfully belonged to the Pandavas. The father of the Kauravas Dhritirashtra was blind and therefore was rendered incapable of running a kingdom. So Pandu (Dhritirashtra’s younger brother) took over and his children the Pandavas were next in line.
    2) They got cheated out of the throne due to the trickery of the Kauravas: especially Duryodhana and Shakuni in a gambling match played with loaded dice. Yudhishtir (the eldest Pandava) was warned not to accept the gambling challenge pitched by Duryodhana but as as his Dharma called him he accepted it reasoning that a true Kshatriya never backs down from a challenge. He was a dumbass but whatever.
    3) Once the Pandavas lost everything, their wife Draupadi was humiliated and her clothing was stripped only for lord Krishna to save her by offering an unending stream of clothing that the Kauravas got tired of pulling.
    4) They were sent to exile after that and were not allowed to return and take charge. The lord Krishna wanted to broker a last minute peace agreement but he was tried to be arrested by the Kauravas. He laughed it off and warned that the Kauravas’ end was near.
    So see, while, at a smaller scale, Krishna violates Dharma by encouraging the Pandavas to act in an Adharmic manner, the ultimate goal is two fold:
    a) Maintain the supreme laws of Dharma at the very highest level.
    b) Deliver the Kauravas their comeuppance.
    In this case, his Adharmic actions act as a balancing effect to restore Dharma. A “greater good” argument.
    As for his actions being “amoral”, based on what would be “morality” be defined in this case? How were the following actions amoral? What is your frame of reference?
    a) Taking advantage of Bhishma not fighting Shikandi b)Taking advantage of Karna’s chariot being stuck
    “However if Dharma does not exist, Krishna’s actions are clearly opportunistic.”
    Moot point as I explained above.
    “The king complies but is recognized by the blind parents as an impostor; whereupon the king sadly confesses his accidental misdeed. Distraught beyond measure, the parents curse the king that he too would die a lonely death pining for his son. The parents then perish. The curse comes to pass as the king lies on his deathbed longing for his son who is in exile. Thus the king is punished for his action (karma) without his intention even being considered.”
    Not really. It was just a curse and that is it. Was any justification given as to why it was his Karma? Also, this punishment is pretty lenient if you think about it. He kills a guy and when his death comes, he is without his children at his bedside. I’d take that in a heartbeat: especially in those times when the norm in the old testament was “eye for eye”. Even in modern times, I’ll take that. If I accidentally kill a pedestrian while speeding (Lord Krishna forbid), I’d gladly take a curse from the court that when my time comes, I’d be without my children: even if it comes out to be true. This example is a very weak one trying to illustrate your point about intention.
    “From a Hindu perspective, the actions of the Pandavas are moral, however from a western point of view, this still amounts to lying as the intent was to deceive.”
    If the facts were true and it was indeed a fight between good and evil, resorting to such a tactic is perfectly legit. It has no relation to the “intent” example that you gave (looking at a woman sexually) as in this case, the intent to deceive is against “evil” or preventing evil from taking over as compared to ogling over an innocent woman.
    Suppose you were alive during partition and hid a few Hindus at your
    home. Now a bunch of Muslims come to you and ask you if you’ve seen any? Wouldn’t you deceive them? (I sure hope so). If you intended to, you either tell a lie (amoral) or tell a true statement which will divert them. Like “I’ve seen them but not today” which may technically be true as you could have been hiding them for a week. Again, your argument is extremely weak in this point and more importantly, even western morality is not fixed. It does not have a static frame of reference.
    “Is Shri Ram’s murder of Vali and his treatment of Sita moral? Is Shri Krishna’s advice to Arjun on Karna moral? Is his action on Jayadrath moral? Is Acharya Drona’s behavior with Eklavya moral? Our texts say: “Yes.” They are right according to dharma (if the question is asked in an Indian language). But they are wrong morally. Dharma is opportunistic, while morals are not.””
    Again, what is your reference frame? All the above actions were Adharmic but the primary point Aakar Patel misses is that it is ultimately a battle of “Good” against “Evil” where according to Dharma, Vali, Kauravas,Karna etc were either evil or fighting with Evil. So the justification is that to fight “evil” and restore Dharma balance at a large scale, Dharma violations have to be performed at a smaller one.
    Can you point out based on your agreement with Aakar Patel that these acts primarily against fighting evil were amoral? How would you even do that?
    As for Drona’s behavior against Eklavya, it was amoral for sure. But it was Drona who initiated it and was not divinely revealed. Drona was not god. This is just an act of pure jealousy.
    As for Karma and Caste, there is nothing that says that you SHOULD NOT help a Dalit in trouble. All Karma does is explain why a person is living a life of misery. However, even if a Brahmin wants to help a Dalit, it is not explicitly forbidden in the Gita, Upanishads or Vedanta.
    Also, if were indeed forbidden to help a dalit or uplift a backward community according to Dharma, we can always invoke Lord Krishna. He broke Dharma fighting for greater good. In modern times, greater good is when Karma is normalized somehow. So yes, Dharma or duty can be broken to achieve that.
    So in both ways, Dharma can be applied to break caste barriers, uplift the disadvantaged and normalize society.

    1. I read your entire post and now my ass hurts; happy?
      Jokes aside, it was a very well thought out response but my response will have to wait until I get back from work tomorrow. I’ve saved part of my response and I’ll complete it tomorrow evening. I will say that it was a pleasure reading your post as you seem to be one of those rare Hindus that actually understands his tradition. Then you got Bhabi with the om shanti om gig. sigh.

    2. Aakash
      Similarly, if the “fact” of virgin birth is found to be false (why am I even using the word “if” but oh well), most of christian philosophy, especially related to the holy spirit, its impregnation, gifts etc. can be reduced to baloney. The same holds true for any religion in general.
      I disagree. You’re confusing ethics with theology. One can disprove Christian theology but not necessarily Christian ethics because it is based on a set of rules. I do not believe in the biblical myths of the Bible and the Quran (same stories anyway) but that does not invalidate the ethical base of Christianity. So Jesus never walked on water and Muhammad never took an escalator to heaven, makes no difference. If you read the sermon on the mount, chapters 5-7 in the Gospel of Matthew you will clearly see Jesus elaborate on this set of rules. With regards to Murder Jesus said: ““You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” Killing is bad, but anger could lead to killing, so don’t get angry either.
      Likewise the Quran states: “Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” (5:32)
      The prohibition of murder is seen as being good in itself since Life, or the right to life, is seen as an intrinsic good. Right and wrong actions in Hinduism are linked to dharma, which makes these actions a means to an end. Somebody once pointed out that an action that is a means to an end is not ethical, but an action that is a means in itself is. I know what you are going to say now, you’ll bring up heaven and hell as drivers of good behavior for Muslims and Christians hence proving that good actions in Christianity/Islam are a means to an end (heaven). But this isn’t so because Matthew’s Gospel insists that Christians must strive for goodness as they imitate God, who embodies the best of humanity: “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The Caliphs and Popes have used Heaven/Hell as means of controlling people, but that is not the fundamental message of both faiths. The Hindus actions are graded according to Dharma, and so its existence must be proved. Both Christianity and Hinduism stress the importance of order, but go about accomplishing it in radically different ways. For Hinduism order is accomplished via conformity through dharma (every human has a place), however in Christianity its based on a universally applicable moral code (every human has a choice). The dharmic model makes sense for a culture that emphasizes collectivism whereas the Christian model makes sense in the context of a culture that prizes individualism. So while both models stress order, the Hindu one isn’t accessible to westerners. That’s all I’m arguing.
      If the facts were true and it was indeed a fight between good and evil, resorting to such a tactic is perfectly legit.
      So the ends justify the means? Even if they do, one can understand the underdog resorting to such tactics against a superior enemy. Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t the Pandavas and Kauravas evenly matched? Why then the treachery?
      In this case, his Adharmic actions act as a balancing effect to restore Dharma. A “greater good” argument.
      and you said this to support the above:
      Suppose you were alive during partition and hid a few Hindus at your
      home. Now a bunch of Muslims come to you and ask you if you’ve seen any? Wouldn’t you deceive them? (I sure hope so).

      Now we have a problem. In the partition scenario you outlined above lying would certainly be justifiable according to consequentialist ethics since life is an intrinsic good and consequentialists seek to maximize intrinsic goods. In the partition case, lying would avoid some very bad consequences chiefly, the death of innocent Hindus. The greater good argument in relation to dharma was also made by Joseph Dowd in his paper. The difference in both scenarios is that in the partition case, the negitive consequences are very real and should be avoided at all costs. In the Mahabharat context Dharma is clearly the intrinsic good which Krishna was trying to maximize. So the suspension of Krishna’s morality can only be deemed moral IF Dharma exists. And if it can be proven that threatening this Dharma, this cosmic order, will lead to bad consequences, then the Pandavas actions can clearly be justified through consequentialist ethics.
      Not really. It was just a curse and that is it. Was any justification given as to why it was his Karma? Also, this punishment is pretty lenient if you think about it. He kills a guy and when his death comes, he is without his children at his bedside. I’d take that in a heartbeat
      If an outsider unfamiliar with Hinduism was reading this story, he would clearly conclude that the King was being punished for a crime he unintentionally committed. What about the story of Karan killing the poor Brahmin’s cow by accident? The Brahmin cursed Karan and this curse was instrumental in his downfall at Kurukshetra. Danto mentions that the Gita’s detachment does away with intention completely and you can see this play out in the epics. Unlike you Aakash, my parents never read these stories out to me, but I read them in Hindi class around my fellow Indians. For the first time ever I’m actually paying close attention to them.
      As for Drona’s behavior against Eklavya, it was amoral for sure. But it was Drona who initiated it and was not divinely revealed. Drona was not god. This is just an act of pure jealousy.
      It wasn’t just jealousy, there was a political reason behind why Drona wanted Eklavya neutralized (which I can’t remember right now). And was Drona punished for his action? And if he was, did the gods make it clear to him that he was being punished for this specific crime? For in the Bible, God punishes wrong doers for specific crimes. Cain was punished specifically for murdering Abel, David for murdering Uriah, Zachariah for questioning God ect… I’ve actually seen Hindu websites that praise Drona for turning the situation to his advantage.
      “Also, if were indeed forbidden to help a dalit or uplift a backward community according to Dharma, we can always invoke Lord Krishna. He broke Dharma fighting for greater good. In modern times, greater good is when Karma is normalized somehow. So yes, Dharma or duty can be broken to achieve that. “
      An interesting and humane interpretation. But this is sadly not how our ancestors did things. Read the quote in my post: http://robertlindsay.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/hindu-ethics-and-the-west-by-dota/#comment-103489

      1. Dota
        “The prohibition of murder is seen as being good in itself since Life, or the right to life, is seen as an intrinsic good.”
        Let me present to you some biblical texts that oppose this. Presenting some old testament quotes below.
        Numbers 31:7; Numbers 31:17-18 : “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man”.
        Deuteronomy 20:16: “However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.”
        Hosea 13:16: The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God.They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.
        Now the new testament here:
        Revelation 2:22-23: “So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds”
        You may argue above that it is god who does that. But does that mean god himself is unethical? Killing children no matter what is unethical.
        Matthew 10:14-15: “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city”
        I could go on with more but hope this suffices. All this proves is that your interpretation of “life being good” etc. is blatantly contradicted in bible verses again and again. I could dig up even more verses in the Koran: especially against “infidels” which again would be contradictory to the rosy picture that you have painted above. Modern western ethics, if anything, repulses these violent tendencies. Considering that slavery was legal and pervasive until last century, current day, modern ethics flat out contradict “Christian Ethics” as you put it.
        “Right and wrong actions in Hinduism are linked to dharma, which makes these actions a means to an end. ”
        Not every right and wrong action. Only escalated situations such as the Mahabharata war (and the tirade of injustices that preceded it) demand such strong decisions. Your everyday actions based on common sense in no way contradict Dharma or vice versa. Common sense related to respect for life dictates that you don’t kill unless the circumstances are extraordinary and you receive divine guidance then.
        “But this isn’t so because Matthew’s Gospel insists that Christians must strive for goodness as they imitate God, who embodies the best of humanity”
        This is a flat out, amoral contradiction where a) you are not supposed to kill b) god kills, and kills a lot c) you are supposed to follow god. What kind of ethics would even come out of looking at these statements collectively? You are just cherry picking a few statements here and there that are positive but when I look at it as a whole, I see blatant amorality and inconsistencies. At least this explains how Christians mass slaughtered “pagans” who resisted conversion as they were embodying the character of god.
        On a side note, does the Christian god really really embody the best of humanity? From the verses above, he rather seems to be intolerant, vengeful and a megalomaniac.
        “So while both models stress order, the Hindu one isn’t accessible to westerners. That’s all I’m arguing.”
        Judging by the devotees at the local Hare Krishna Temple, they do have their fair numbers showing up. Next time I’m there, I’ll ask them how they access these concepts. Also, yoga studios are full of them. It is up to them to select what kind of morality they would want to derive out of Karma. Also, the practice of yoga in general seems to have made the Christians extremely uneasy. Half of them are denouncing it and the other half are practicing their version of “christian yoga”. The argument being that yoga is not related to “Hinduism”. Your favorite idiot author Meera Nanda seems to have the same opinion too.
        http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/not-as-old-as-you-think
        500 years back, Christians would probably have stoned the yogis like they burned witches.
        “Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t the Pandavas and Kauravas evenly matched? Why then the treachery?”
        Nope. The Kauravas were much stronger. They had arguably the more invincible warriors (explained below). The Pandavas were also in exile for 13 years and were just coming back. Bhishma (the grand daddy of all) was fighting for the Kauravas. Drona (the guy who taught all of them how to fight) was also fighting for the Kauravas. The hands were heavy AGAINST the Pandavas and so they needed all the divine help they could.
        Another point to note (and people like Dowd forget conveniently) is that the Kauravas liberally broke Dharma when they needed too. Case with Abhimanyu here:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhimanyu#Abhimanyu.E2.80.99s_Dilemma
        you really should read the whole book. I’m getting back to reading it (and sharpening my Sanskrit again).
        Another example: You yourself gave the example of Bhima’s “low blow” against Duryodhana as being amoral. However Duryodhana had attained invincibility in his upper body (another long story on that) and that was the ONLY way to defeat him. So to defeat evil opponent and use a low blow (especially when the opponent has been doing it to your guys): Dharmic and not anti-ethical.
        Same with Karna: He had an inpregnable “kavacha” or armor. A bit of trickery was utilized to take it away from him. He took the side of evil (even though he was himself a great man) so what needed to be done was done to him.
        “The difference in both scenarios is that in the partition case, the negitive consequences are very real and should be avoided at all costs”
        “In the Mahabharat context Dharma is clearly the intrinsic good which Krishna was trying to maximize.”
        But maximizing the good in Dharma did correspond to the Kauravas being routed and peace and harmony being restored: as opposed to debauchery during the Kaurava rule.
        You are looking at Dharma purely from an isolated standpoint but it does show up in real cases too. It is not an abstract entity. Dharma is synonymous with greater good according to the Gita war and IS very real. For a believer, there is no requirement to prove its existence because its effects can be seen day to day. It is a circular argument which is not different from Christian and Muslim ones: the main difference being humans have a lot more on their hands in “Hinduism” than the aforementioned religions where it is God that does most of the work (good and bad) and you just follow him (as has been done in both good and bad ways).
        “If an outsider unfamiliar with Hinduism was reading this story, he would clearly conclude that the King was being punished for a crime he unintentionally committed”
        No, an outsider would think that it was a just punishment for his carelessness. At least, I hope thats what they would.
        “What about the story of Karan killing the poor Brahmin’s cow by accident? ”
        More punishment for carelessness. It was not instant but manifested itself later. However it was not the ONLY cause for his downfall. It probably played only a minuscule part in his upending.
        “It wasn’t just jealousy, there was a political reason behind why Drona wanted Eklavya neutralized (which I can’t remember right now).”
        No. All he wanted was to preserve his ego and his student Arjuna’s status as the best archer in the world even though Eklavya was clearly superior. Just an act of jealousy. A fascinating thought is that he should have been detached from his emotions and accepted Eklavya who would have fought for the Kauravas later on. Karna and Eklavya on the same side: even lord Krishna would have had his hands full.
        ” And was Drona punished for his action? And if he was, did the gods make it clear to him that he was being punished for this specific crime”
        Not that I know of. But asking a religion to give out every detail is just too much don’t you think? Characters appear and disappear in the Bible. Does each one have a judgement delivered? I hope not. It would be an atrociously long read.
        “But this is sadly not how our ancestors did things. Read the quote in my post:”
        So the Christians had slaves, burnt witches, killed philosophers or anyone who challenged their religion. They still have segregated churches all over. Native Americans were slaughtered and churches built on top of their lands. That is why people revolt. Christians and Muslims do it openly. For the Hindus, it is through movements such as the following:
        1) Hare Krishna:
        2) Arya Samaj:
        3) New age guru followers: Sai baba, neem karoli baba etc.
        See? Not every movement has to be advertised openly. Hare Krishna movement is a revolution. Sure there are some dopeheads amongst them but you can read a few of their reviews here:
        http://www.yelp.com/biz/hare-krishna-san-diego
        http://www.yelp.com/biz/hare-krishna-temple-new-orleans
        http://www.yelp.com/biz/hare-krishna-temple-pacific-beach
        Steve Jobs may agree with a lot of them too.

        1. Aakash
          This debate is getting messy because we’re not defining the boundaries of theology. My argument is that the ethics of Western civilization have clearly transcended the scripture upon which they are founded. This was possible because as I’ve stated numerous times, western ethics are based on a system of universally applicable rules. Kantian ethics emphasizes a respect for the other’s reason and this rule is applied universally. So is the categorical imperative which is essentially a rule; one which does not require holding any factual beliefs prior to implementing it. Utilitarian ethics emphasize conseqentialism over Kantian deontology and the focus is not on the others ability to reason, but the others ability to endure suffering. Animal rights is an extension of this ethical rule which in turn is an extension of the biblical ‘do unto others’ rule. However the Bible doesn’t explicitly endorse humane treatment towards animals yet the ethical base of western civilization has evolved beyond the Bible, but is yet based on it. I’ve yet to see this happen with the Hindu tradition. The factual belief of Dharma has kept the caste status quo in effect for thousands of years. You mention slavery and yet you fail to account for the fact that the ethics of slavery were challenged and the institution was done away with. We’re talking advanced ethics here for it did not even occur to the Arabs to question the practice of slavery despite their humane treatment of slaves. Yet the ethical base of western civilization enabled Western peoples to engage their culture and spur its evolution through participation at even the lowest levels.
          You have quoted a lot of problematic verses from the Old testament without realizing that the OT was a collection of Israelite Tribal tales and that Christianity is based on a certain interpretation of the Bible. Most Christians today are appalled by the genocidal campaigns of Joshua and the murderous rampages of Sampson. Not even the heroes of the OT are above the rules of ethics. So can Hindu ethics evolve beyond theology? It’s hard to say but I’m inclined to believe that it is possible given the popularity of Yoga. Yoga clearly has its roots in Hinduism (contrary to Nanda’s nonsense in this particular case) but it consists of Hindu concepts that have a universal appeal and hence the tradition has transcended the narrow theological base form whence it originated. I don’t see anything wrong in acknowledging the Hindu roots of Yoga as even I begin my day by chanting OM instead of performing the Islamic Fajr prayer. I do it to honour my Aryan Hindu ancestors, though their worldviews cannot be mine, I owe them that much.

  15. “The Gita baffles me because I can’t figure out how to read it. It’s philosophy of the detached agent is highly problematic to say the least but some people have pointed out that this extreme philosophy should be judged in the context of war. Fair enough. So is the Gita then a war treatise? It’s so heavily invested in metaphysics that I’m not sure it makes a very good war treatise either, unlike the Chinese art of war.”
    It is like a war to kill one’s ego, for it to dissolve, to cease individuation, and become one with the universe – enlightened, as the Buddhists say. To become free of karmic bondage is the hardest task in life. That’s why Indian’s sages do it and the rest don’t. That’s why it’s called the Baghavad Gita (“Song of the Lord”). It is a text for mystics, not intellectuals. It’s written in a way that’s impossible for most Indians to adequately digest, let alone westerners of a separate lineage. If you don’t read William Buck’s version of the Mahabharata, you can forget it Dota. You’ll be like (in my Uncle’s words) an ant studying a carburetor – like the rest of us. It’s that silly, and it’s no wonder that Dharma has long since taken on a perverse meaning. Even then Krisha had other meanings for Dharma which had nothing to do with the caste system. This much at least is decipherable; enough to where I wonder if, like my Uncle Bo said, you are pretending to be an intellectual. Are you a serious intellectual? If you’re going to give us a line on Dharma and dharma, would you mind explaining why Ramana Maharishi, born a Brahmin, didn’t abide by the caste system? Neem Karoli Baba was born a Brahmin too. Do you even know who they are? The latter often said “Love everyone, serve everyone, and remember God.” Paramahansa Yogananda and all the gurus insisted that the poor and lowly must be tended to. All these men were highly revered, and in their homeland, famous. Even India’s politicians sought their blessings. They never renounced the caste system but made clear its misrepresentation.
    The whole purpose of Hinduism is to achieve “self-realization”. Everything else within Hinduism is to support this overarching goal. There would be little essentiality for Holy Men in their society were the masses, in many ways, not wholly ignorant.
    We have our own sordid history as a Christian nation, having traded one evil for another. The descendents of Europeans attempted to convert Native Americans to Christianity before massacring them as heathens. We committed genocide! We imported Africans as slaves. Talk about caste – we saw men as property! Half the country waged war on the other in defense of slavery. For a hundred years following, blacks were treated worse than lower caste Indians. In WW 2 we firebombed 50 to 90% of 67 cities in Japan before dropping two atomic bombs. Not only did we send 58,000 of our young men to their deaths in Vietnam for no reason, we killed 3 million of their population! From Korea to the Reagan years of American-fueled, 3rd world terrorism, we’ve had tragic wars of choice, not of necessity. In Iraq we presided over the deaths of well over 100,000 civilians, documented. CIA constructed the overthrow of their govt for the Bathists who ruled for decades. Saddam Hussein played a part in that revolution, so we can thank the CIA for him. CIA also propped up the Muhjaideen, so ultimately we can thank them for 9-11. These are just two of their countless abuses abroad. And let’s not forget that we have a peer in India in opposition to the International Criminal Court. In this and other ways we have left a colossal vacuum of leadership on the globe.
    And you have the nerve to speak of Hinduism’s inferiority to Christianity? You don’t even know what you’re talking about. You relish in your snobbery of India as inferior to the US? Well let me tell you something, infrastructure is not everything, and that we take ours for granted is something we’ll pay for. No amount of military intimidation will save us from that.

    1. Bottomline is that analyzing religions without experiencing them or interacting with their deep practitioners is useless. It is easy sitting on the fence and being an expert than pitch on the field. I’ve learnt that I can’t pitch well but at least can hit the strike zone once in a while. Hope everybody feels the same around here.

        1. You could read the texts fully.
          Example:
          http://www.asitis.com/1/10.html
          “Our strength is immeasurable, and we are perfectly protected by Grandfather Bhisma, whereas the strength of the Pandavas, carefully protected by Bhima, is limited.”
          Your original post is a well written one and is quite valid. I did write another response last night but see it only now. Feel free to comment on it.
          I’d say that applying intellect to religion is useful only for its betterment. When it is used to compare between religions, no amount of intellect can be useful. What is the point? For every negative in one, there are bound to be negatives in the other and vice versa.

      1. I should hope you’re not responding to me aakash. Experiencing them and interacting with their deep practitioners is precisely what I did throughout the 1990’s. That doesn’t make me more wise than others interested in the subject, but it does give me a basic understanding of those religions in a way that often escapes the very people you describe. It makes intellectuals like Dota at odds with debating me, because I’m simply the messenger.

        1. I’m at odds debating with you because I frankly see no value in mysticism and the solipsistic ecstasy which it promises. Intellectuals engage the world whereas mystics withdraw from it. Pick your path, I’ve already picked mine.

        2. Nominay
          You probably know more about Hinduism that I do. I haven’t practiced anything but hope to at least learn more of the texts and try applying them to real life situations. We’ll see.
          I liked you both defending the practice and shooing off the idiot Rajat below. We are kindred souls brother. I’m heavy Libra. Balancing is key.

  16. You peices of white trash, who are you to question such subtle aryan classics such as the Gita and the concept of karma. Now I know that Kali yuga is really in full force when I see a bunch of white pork and beef eaters debate Indian philosophy, dharma and ethics,like they are experts, something that other superior pork eaters such as oppenheimer and Einstein studied and wrestled with. It takes transcendence, perfectly balanced nadis, yogic control over the Bhuta Agni and jathara Agni to even start to comprehend what the rishis communicated in the Vedas and aranyakas. You fucks are a bunch of pussies. Eat your pork blt sandwich and debate about whether Lindsay Lohan is straight, a dyke, or bottoming lesbian first. Structure the arguments and present a careful analysis. Start with this and work you way up slowly.You bastards need hooked on phonics, not the tripos.

    1. As us Christians would say Rajat, don’t throw stones from a glass house. I can defend my Christian brethen while taking issue with a misguided way or two about them. And I don’t appreciate you sucking the spirit out of my comment with your 5th grade, potty mouth. Why do I defend you jerks? Oh yeah, because you guys, like my guys, often miss the central tenet of Hinduism – acheiving God-hood – which is not possible without possessing the qualities of love, kindness, respect and service. You can start by building a civilized country … and taking a bath.

    2. mahabharata is an epic that describes an ancient war fought at Kurukshetra India it is not a religious book (shruti) anyways and it shouldn’t be worshipped anywhere; its excerpts should be taught as lessons to hindus not just for war but for living peacefully, hindus should read it but just as a textbook
      mahabharata and ramayana are not holy scriptures, they are epic texts (smriti) You can say that the vedas and upanishads as the religious texts (shruti)

  17. “I’m at odds debating with you because I frankly see no value in mysticism and the solipsistic ecstasy which it promises.”
    And yet you to try to read and understand the Gita anyway …
    I discussed a bit more than the mysticism – enough to discredit your dedication – but hey, suit yourself.
    “Intellectuals engage the world whereas mystics withdraw from it. Pick your path, I’ve already picked mine.”
    Ah, but you see Dota, you don’t have to pick one or the other.
    I can’t think of anyone who’s been more engaged on the world stage than the Dalai Lama. Maybe you’re not familiar with the kind of schedule he’s kept for decades, or with the rigid discipline he takes daily in the forms spiritual practices meditation and prayer. Paramahansa Yogananda and Krishnamurti were famously engaged, the latter who Joseph Campbell claimed as his mentor. Thomas Merton was the very personification of a mystic as well, a Christian monk who was very pro-engagement. Mother Teresa, ever revered, spent her time out in the field serving God’s children. Then there’s this little, Indian guy named Ghandi – hardly one to withdraw from the world.
    The last word that could be used to characterized these individuals is solipsistic! It’s the other way around – the promise of ecstasy, Dota, is to free us from ignorance. It’s like a Mastercard tag line: “The number of mystic, world leaders Jesus, Buddha and Krishna can create? Countless.”

  18. Aakash … I just think it’s foolish to be a biased westerner who pretends to wield a saber of authority on the subject. Hinduism doesn’t need to be redefined. It is what it is. A few get it, most don’t, and it’s like that for most religions, east and west. So I disagree that Dota has something special to say about it. I give him credit for reading the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavad Gita is a harder read. He’s put a lot of thought and words into an analysis that’s well written, but at the end of the day, it’s as if he were to describe the shell of an exoskeleton that’s shed as the insect itself.

    1. Nominay
      Thank you for your kind words regarding my efforts but I sense your distress and believe it to be misplaced. I’m not interested in any secret mystical meaning of the texts I’ve written about, that is the job of mystics and theologians. Believers read their texts with the hope of gaining some penetrating insight, but that is beyond my purview. I prefer the detached tools of the deconstructionist scholar (textual criticism, redaction criticism ect) in analyzing the structures of various beliefs. My essay tries to contrast the way in which Hindus and westerns bifurcate right from wrong actions and behaviours. The methods utilized by both of these diverse traditions are incompatible with one another, that is all I’m arguing. I’m actually quite humbled by the effort that you and Aakash have put into your responses. However the two of you are now taking this debate in a direction that I had not previously intended. If you continue down this path I will be at a loss as to how to further respond. I’ve applied these very same techniques to the Quran and the Bible. Every believer has his/her own interpretation of the scriptures they hold most dear, and that is not what I’m challenging here.

      1. Dota,
        You might want to read the comment I left above the one you just responded to. Thanks.
        I can’t speak to my distress, although I do like a good debate with someone when I more than sense that they are in the wrong.
        I think you’ve done a good job following up on the points you made regarding mystics and mysticism, but I addressed those on the aforementioned comment that I believe you missed.
        You have to admit, to take on Hinduism – perhaps the most, revealingly mysterious of the major religions – leaves you, as a scholar, in tricky waters.

        1. You have to admit, to take on Hinduism – perhaps the most, revealingly mysterious of the major religions – leaves you, as a scholar, in tricky waters.
          But I’m not trying to be that type of scholar. Secular deconstructionists are not interested in the mysteries of religion, merely the structure of their beliefs put in their historical perspectives. I also read your above post and I’m a bit confused about how people like Gandhi and Mother T are mystics. Anyhow I am not going to debate mysticism and mysteries with you since I’m ill equipped to do so.

  19. I think much of Indian cultural problems ties in with their genetics and racial characteristics (not so good really).

    1. in this occasion i agree with you; i think this is more a cultural thing than a religious thing
      an example of what actually a religion really says and what actually the followers really do
      like the sexist sikhs in punjab,worse sexists that the rest of indians,even hindus
      -i am reading an upanishad that i bought in austin,texas and i have seen some references to brahmins,kshatriyas and reincarnation; however i haven’t seen the word caste
      from what i am reading i got the idea that brahmin in upanishads is just the name of the priests (not a caste) kshatriya the name of warriors (not the name of a caste) and the reincarnation i see in upanishads says that you are reborn again in this world until you reach the brahman but it never specifies that you are reborn into a certain caste!
      all the obscure references to a possible justification of castes in vedas and upanishads are that,obscure references,that were taken out of context,
      the smritis are the texts that are blatantly evident about casteism

    2. Yes, that’s why we have the caste system.. we relegate the ones with low genetics and low racial characterisitcs as untouchables…who then go on to become desi christians and desi muslims for the most paert. 😛

      1. Caste is supposed to relegate people with low Karma, you claim to not believe in Hindu God, you aren’t a very legit Hindu to give opinions about Hinduism, Caste do suffering, it seems in United States Indians have an ok image, but i am pretty sure that Brazil is aware of Caste bad ways on a mainstream level, because they made a Soap opera about India and love between castes and was a success there, and it was exported to some countries, no better way to discover caste bad ways than with popular culture; United states did a remake of Colombian Soap Opera “Betty la fea” as “Ugly Betty”, to more mainstream American audiences, they need to do the same with this Brazilian Soap Opera.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG3DT1Y5Kzo

  20. Dota,
    You stated that mystics are not relevant to the case you make because they retreat, or in your words, withdraw from the world. Whatever you think a mystic is, it’s clear that you don’t know what one is. Some of our greatest mystics have been activists on the world stage. They’ve influenced society more than intellectuals. A mystic is a broad term that applies to sages, Saints, monks like Father Matthew Kelty (a disciple of Thomas Merton), Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh of Vietnam, sadhus and yogis in your favorite place, India, and others who gain a credible reputation as Holy men and women. My point is, you ought to know what it is you’re disregarding, otherwise there can be less for you to dismiss than there is.
    Your essay also suggests a supremacy in western values and philosophy, but this argument doesn’t stand up to the actions of history. Whites and and Americans, collectively, have a poor, track record as followers of Christ – this decade, the last decade, the last century and the one before it, and back to our fore bearers in the UK a millenia ago. This much I outlined in compelling detail the post before last you responded to (I think you missed that). What India in the east lacks that the west doesn’t, is leveled out by the legacy of American and British imperialism. The United States violent rise as the sole superpower has dealt its own karmic blow; now thinkers like you are defensive over its fall from grace. Here we are now preaching Christian and western values with more bluster than ever, when we’re in a phase of self destruction, and the amount of countries turning against us are stacking up.

    1. Humans behave very differently on the collective level. Individuals are moral whereas groups are amoral since they are juggling the interests of the many. I don’t deny that western nations have committed some horrible atrocities historically, but so have many other non white societies. The propensity of groups to exert their dominance over other groups is universal and not exclusively limited to whites. However on a micro level I find the average White person (Western European/North American) to be reasonably more honest, compassionate, and less opportunistic than your average Indian raised and living in India. Outside of family values and loyalty, Indian values are garbage. Most of what I am today, my values, my intellectualism, my morals, I owe to the west.
      Whatever you think a mystic is, it’s clear that you don’t know what one is. Some of our greatest mystics have been activists on the world stage. They’ve influenced society more than intellectuals. A mystic is a broad term that applies to sages, Saints, monks like Father Matthew Kelty (a disciple of Thomas Merton), Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh of Vietnam, sadhus and yogis in your favorite place, India, and others who gain a credible reputation as Holy men and women.
      Funny, because what you wrote above is is exactly what I had in mind; I just thought there was something more to it. Mystics also seek a rather personal spiritual encounter with the divine and their experience is solipsistic. And while you’ve quoted a list of some very accomplished people, I’d rather take the average Church goer who volunteers at the soup kitchen than the begging holy man who contributes nothing. His behavior as VS Naipaul observes: “”“is parasitic. It depends on the continued activity of others, the trains running, the presses printing… It needs the world but surrenders the organisation of the world to others”””

      1. It’s convenient for you (or for anyone) to hold opinions about things which you know little to nothing about. That’s not impressive. Assumptions are not knowledge. It also lacks intellectual curiosity to think that you get the gist of something which you’re uninformed about. You admit to not caring much about the “Holy thing” and not wanting to know much about it. So that’s it. Because you have preconceived notions, many which are false. But again, it’s convenient to write off my pointing this out to you as mere opinion. None of the men I mentioned above are beggars who contribute nothing. They are not Sadhus, and they have regularly been of service to others. Even so, many Sadhus do perform functions of service to people, and do not beg either!
        Dota, have you ever admitted that you were wrong and ignorant about anything? On any subject?

  21. Dota
    My last few thoughts on the whole article are as follows:
    “Western Ethics” are based, to a large extent, on iterations by generations as each successive generation adds to the “observe, reason and apply” loop from a humanitarian perspective . I disagree with you that the “western ethical code” has its roots in Christianity. If anything, it has existed before Christianity and will continue to exist in the future as each new generation will add to its vast volume. I give credit to Christianity to the extent that it is a great unifying religion: for better and worse as has been observed through history. Kantian ethics are as contradictory to Christianity as they are aligned with it. Any atrocity committed, both in biblical literature or by Christians invoking biblical literature, is contrary to modern ethics. I already have raised points on witch burning, killing polytheists, slavery, segregation, murder, rape etc. found liberally in biblical literature and actions of Christians. You have raised the case with “good verses” from the Bible which confirm to Kantian ethics such as “do not kill” or “do not judge” etc. One major observation with the evolutionary nature of western ethics (and laws) is that the time dependence causes a few inconsistencies between generations. From my perspective, universality includes time independence. Is there a thing as time and space independent morality? Would that be the ultimate goal of ethics progression?
    “Hindu Ethics” is an oxymoron in the sense that nobody has put pen to paper to even come up with a prototype. However, as in your case, you can definitely take some major works such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Upanishads and Vedanta and try to come up with a few generalizations. You quoted Joseph Dowd liberally and after reading his paper, the one thing strikes me is that he tries to form his version of “Dharma Consequentialism” based solely on a few isolated verses from lord Krishna. He completely ignores any history behind the Gita (Gita is part of the epic Mahabharata which he has not read obviously). He is also oblivious to the fact that “Dharma” in this case was broken repeatedly by the Kauravas to begin with which is one reason (according to me) why lord Krishna commanded Arjuna to break it himself. It is obviously contradictory to Kantian ethics but it is a case of war and not your everyday situation as I pointed before. Indians invoke this solely to preserve their Jati traditions and if any universal code of ethics would ever be formed out of this, now would be a great time. I for one would not completely go with a westerner who has read a few quotes here and there and starts writing his own story. If anything, I have found that opinions coming out of westerners reverberate the most and that may be a bad thing if the reasoning and data behind the opinion are inadequate. Indians should read their texts. I am doing so again.
    On the whole, this article is a very well written one which has opened up a few thought strains in my own brain. I will pursue them in the near future.

  22. in conclusion hindus should stop take seriosuly the smriti texts, i know they are supposed to come from “wise sages” but a good way to reform hinduism is to get rid of them, since the hinduism don’t consider those texts as divine, just talking about the way the contradict the really divine and older shrutis will help hindus to convince them,the problem is many hindus don’t know how to read sanskrit and their brahmins priests tell them that all the texts have the same message, they don’t read the vedas so they don’t know the differences between them, that what the arya samaj realized =) so hinduism isn’t as evil as all of you thought long time 😉

  23. i feel like a protestant trying to convert a catholic, saying that “venerating” virgin mary is not biblical or in a better analogy,trying to convert a mormon saying that his additional sacred book is fake and contradictory to the bible;
    but i am an irreligious trying to convince a mainstream hindu? saying that he should realize that the smriti texts not only contradict many shruti principles,but the smriti also have a morality incompatible with this current time, man you need to stop being a mainstream hindu and convert to arya samaj,they are one of the few hindu denomminations that follow exclusively the shrutis,i understand you have been believing in mainstream hinduism many time,but you need to realize it; no karma,no dharma,no casteism,just vedas and upanishads,moksha and the supreme brahman
    that mentality is not appropiate,how can you validate non divine smriti books? the manu texts which was the strongest supporter of casteism was smriti as well,it was dismissed by many maistream hindus,why not the rest of the smritis? any of them are divine (of course it matters)
    bible and quran are validated by its followers because it supposed divine origin!
    castes,dharma,karma any of it is vedic,all of them are man made traditions

    1. not trying to be judgemental too soon but i hope you aren’t a brahmin,you seem to support too much the theory of karma and dharma,but lets assume you are a honest hindu that lack proper information,from my resources i fond:
      yes,effectively Sruti literally means what is heard, and Smriti means what is remembered
      but explaining further…
      Sruti is REVELATION and Smriti is TRADITION
      Sruti is ETERNAL and Smriti is MAN-MADE
      Sruti is PRIMARY authority and the Smriti is SECONDARY
      Sruti is the final authority. If there is anything in a Smriti which CONTRADICTS the Sruti, the Smriti is to be REJECTED
      ( so dismiss the caste system,dharma and karma since those concepts are absent in the vedas and the issue is not only if they are absent,is that they directly are opposite of the vedic morality,therefore contradicting per se the vedas!!! instead you see an equal society in the vedas, and only the concept of RTA which is not like dharma or karma at all, the RTA is more like a natural order or morality,not a system of punishment or rewards through reincarnation!)
      Sruti NEVER becomes OBSOLETE but a part of Smriti MAY become OBSOLETE and require modification or amendment
      Sruti is never changing and thus PERMANENT, Smriti followed at a given time has necessary CHANGES as required. Smriti is thus DYNAMIC in nature
      Srutis are the 4 VEDAS and 108 UPANISHADS
      Smritis are the Bhagavad-gita ,the Puranas and the Epics Ramayana and Mahabharata
      maybe you were educated by your brahmins like that and are a victim,man by any logic there is no way the shrutis and smritis are compatible,maybe your brahmins just told you that “Smrithi= What is remembered, Sruthi= What is heard” the differences are much bigger than that

    2. There is no revelation in Hinduism… In fact anyone who claims revelation they are liars… IT comes from lying culture..a culture that is devoid of ethic and morality.
      “No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication, if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believe it”

  24. chill,don’t worry and don’t over think,what a long post to validate the mahabharata, but you need to realize that= krishna and rama aren’t part of the supreme brahman accoring to shruti texts (vedas and upanishads) those false forms of brahman were created by “sages” (brahmins) to justify casteism and dharma and karma; you need to stop worshipping them,you can worship tons of other forms of brahman like: the vedic agni,varuna,indra or the more modern devi,shiva,vishnu (except his supposed avatars rama and krishna) or my favorite!… ganesha! today i discovered a form of ganesha is worshipped in japan!!!! my favorite culture,what a great connection between 2 cultures that i love!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangiten

    1. you are welcome = D your user name is interesting as well 😉 the false forms of brahman= krishna and rama won’t take you to moksha,hindus should STOP WORSHIPPING KRISHNA and RAMA

  25. according to my resources
    Sruti )vedas, upanishads)commands nothing. It gives direction only. Smriti commands and give punishments if not followed in the form of prayachits.
    however that would mean that every command of the smriti should be based on the shruti morality, so still current hindus dont have excuse for the caste system
    i guess giving direction instead of orders would make the shruti less likely to be spoiled,as a bad interpretation shouldn’t be necessarily followed
    glad to see you are starting to see the truth of your own religion!
    i am surprised but after all millions of catholics believe in anti biblical doctrines like the vatican and veneration of virgin mary; not that i am protestant, but every human being who reads the bible for the first time never would get the idea that something like the vatican should exists
    likewise VEDA is the base of smriti so If there is a contradiction between sruti and smriti, sruti should be taken
    i am so happy that apparently the shrutis don’t have any imperfection on them ,every possible counterargument have been replied with success with the shruti,smriti distinction system

  26. Did Allah come before u and asked you to write this filthy rubbish. Every religion has stories that is unacceptable by any means. These are blindly followed by people of theirs. Miracles done by other gods obviously is easily forgettable by the poster. What could he say about Islam which justifies killing if one someone opposes or questions and their bad treatment of women?

    1. HAUX China is good for rural people living in Guangdong province?
      Aren’t you a brainwashed Confucius simpleton whose leaders have harnessed your silly religion to rule you like human cattle?
      Granted in Southeast Asia you can sometimes eat fish and drink tapwater for two generations and run hardware store in Manila selling your second-rate goods but in the main you are no great shakes outside the “hermit kingdom”.
      You have to pay great amounts of money to hire Russian call girls whom you cannot perform with unless you are drunk on some sort of liquor.
      The West is a good place for Chinese to gamble all their money away and sell your women in human trafficking from their villages.

  27. Christianity is based on fear
    Christianity preys on the innocent
    Christianity is based on dishonesty
    Christianity is extremely egocentric
    Christianity breeds arrogance, a chosen-people mentality
    Christianity breeds authoritarianism
    Christianity is cruel
    Christianity is anti-intellectual, anti-scientific
    Christianity has a morbid, unhealthy preoccupation with sex
    Christianity produces sexual misery
    Christianity has an exceedingly narrow, legalistic view of morality
    Christianity encourages acceptance of real evils while focusing on imaginary evils
    Christianity depreciates the natural world
    Christianity models hierarchical, authoritarian organization
    Christianity sanctions slavery
    Christianity is misogynistic
    Christianity is homophobic
    The Bible is riddled with contradictions
    Christianity borrowed its central myths and ceremonies from other ancient religions

  28. In the origina article I see a discussion the Mahabharatha.
    “From a Hindu perspective, the actions of the Pandavas are moral, however from a western point of view, this still amounts to lying as the intent was to deceive.”
    Really? I don’t think so. Even from the western point ov view it is moral
    Take WW II.
    There were so many deceptions done to defeat evil? What is immoral about defeating evil and hold righteousness? (Dharma)?
    Hinduism is a sophisticated philosophy not one from the goat herders (The 10 commands,,, thou shall not lie and throw shall not kill…pffffft!)
    Everything we do has a context, its not all black and white..good and evil…All thought a specific action may be right and wrong on itself, but if you put it within context the right and wrong is better illuminated.
    Although Karna was a moral and good characthere he choise the side of evil. Krishna’s advice to Arjuna to break the rules of engagement to kill Karna was the right thing to do in that context. What was the context, the eviI Kurawas were promoting Karna to use the ultimate weapons (Think nuclear) that would wipe out Humanity. (the willingness to wipe out Humanity by Kawravas make them evil). So committing small sins (lies etc) to defeat this bigger evil is OK. Its moral..its righteousness.
    In fact if you apply everything in the Mahabharata with the WW II, it would all make sense.
    This is why people with low IQ and low character who cannot appreciate Hinduism is relegated to untouchable category who go on to become christians where a simpletons grotesque philosophy like “someone else was punished/scarified for our sins” is so appealing..

    1. You are dismissed as a Hindu, you don’t believe in the God of the Vedas, then what are you? some sect out of mainstream Hinduism , like in Christianity there are little sects that have contrasting beliefs with mainstream Christianity, we anti caste need to do everything we can, to convince a Hollywood Director to remake “India a love story”.

      1. BTW..I have actually seen that Brazilian Soap “India a love story”… It was actually shown here in the US dubbed in Spanish.. I had a good laugh at the whole thing.. The English subtitle as well. . I found it amusing why Brazilians were so obsessed with the Indians caste system when Indians themselves are not.
        But to be honest, I was not that offended at all unlike many other portrails of Hindus by bu the Anti Hinduis. In this soap, I did not see a ostile intent although I laughed at so many portrail. But in the absense of hostile Intent I I was not offended.. this is not unlike clueless Indians opinion on christians.. Many of them feel christians cannibals for eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking his blood. Ha Ha! So in that kind of way it was innocent.
        .About me not being a Hindu.. That’s what you have not figured out about Hinduism. Its not one single ideology..its liberty of faith for an individual .. Hinduism of India is to religion and spiritual quest for an individual, what the US political (Greek western..not christian) system is to liberty.of Man in the political context.

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