Caste, India and the BKs

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fluffy bunny
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Caste, India and the BKs

Post by fluffy bunny » 05 Sep 2012

From: Brahmakumaris and Bhagavadgita
satyaprakash wrote:People of all castes were always happy. Nowhere in the religious literature are instances of inter caste conflict.

Note on caste system: Why do you assume it is bad? Is it not your bias by repeated reading of anti- caste writings? The caste system was the strength behind India's glory.
Why are the lower castes unhappy with discrimination now? Are you suggesting it is a new thing, or is it because society has evolved greater human rights and legal processes to defend them?

I cannot believe that you could have honestly written such a thing. It is no wonder that you run away and refuse to discuss such a serious issue. See: Hidden Apartheid Caste Discrimination against India's "Untouchables", Volume 19 by Human Rights Watch.
When these recorded some defects of Rama or Krishna themselves, why will they not record anti Brahmin conflicts? Because none was there!
The simple answer is, "because they were written by Brahmins for Brahmins and to sustain the caste system".

Whilst "religious literature" may not have mentioned any, historical and sociological records certainly do. Obviously, the lowest castes had no way to record their history and experience, and were bound by fear not to express them.

The "people of all castes were always happy" ... are we sure the families condemned to live by cleaning up human excreta, whose very shadows are considered impure, were just as happy as the Brahmin's growing fat from donations and enjoying young temple sex slaves?

OK, please excuse me for using such an extreme example to illustrate the ridiculousness of such a statement. Why did so many convert to Buddhism or Christianity, and why do the Dalits not suffer until this day?

Whilst you are correct to bring up Buddhist reformers like Dr Ambedkar, are you then going to accuse Mahatma Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Kabir Saheb and others, and their anti-caste sentiments. were negative Western influences?

And what is the BKs/PBKs position on caste? We have noted before that the BKs seem to mainly target lower-middle classes and don't seem to be very interested or active in the upliftment of lower castes.

I would be interested to read *anything* from the BKs on this issue. Having read much of their 70 years worth of literature, I cannot remember them or their God saying anything about caste.

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Re: Caste, India and the BKs

Post by satyaprakash » 06 Sep 2012

fluffy bunny wrote:The simple answer is, "because they were written by Brahmins for Brahmins and to sustain the caste system".
Standard quote without any basis as used by caste bashers, anti-Hindu activists. There are a huge amount of religious literature originating from non-Brahmins. In fact more from nb than brahmins! Why they do not talk about it? Do you mean to say the 'brahmins' censored everything?
But what you say represent the majority view even among elite Hindus. So you are not telling anything new. This is the most easy thing to say! To think otherwise needs insight and deep thinking.
The society was functioning perfectly till there was foreign occupation which upset the social order. Add looting of the country, impoverisation, increase in population, collapse of river management and agricultural abundance] etc. So the conflicts started.
India was a country where give, give, give was the philosophy. Now it has become grab, grab, grab society.
fluffy bunny wrote:The "people of all castes were always happy" ... are we sure the families condemned to live by cleaning up human excreta, whose very shadows are considered impure, were just as happy as the Brahmin's growing fat from donations and enjoying young temple sex slaves?
Attractive sentence, but not true.
As per scriptures, the Brahmins were supposed to lead utterly simple lives. Vaisyas were much richer and Ksatriyas were ruling. So brahmins came third and imposed voluntary simple living on themselves. This was the situation till a hundred years ago. (after that it became much worse as all their support was taken away by anti-brahmin movement.). But brahmins were the most respected in society. This was the problem...
Brahmins were not supposed to take up any earning profession. Their job was to learn the vedas and teach it and teach other sciences to other castes also. So the kings and nobles paid for their minimum upkeep.
So many miles to go before you will realise that you are wrong....
Satya.

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fluffy bunny
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Re: Caste, India and the BKs

Post by fluffy bunny » 06 Sep 2012

In truth, it was a very bad sentence/example ... and entire based on fact ... but it was an equal opposite exaggeration to counter balance your own statement that "everyone was happy".

Of course, there is a great divide between *should (in theory)* and *reality*, however, the examples I gave referred to real examples, e.g. the Devdasi of Karnataka and Maharashtra, the Deuki, the Brahmins of Varnasi etc. And we should not accuse the brahmins alone ... except perhaps for their sanctioning of the abusive land owning and ruling classes. All the upper class abuse the lower castes and untouchables.

Yes, I know in modern India discrimination is theoretically illegal, the caste system is waning and young people in the cities are far more free, however, I am most interested in how and where the Brahma Kumaris fit into the system.
  • Does anyone else in India believe and accept they are "brahmins"?
    What do Indians think of them claiming to be?
    What do real brahmins think of them?
    Are there ex-lower castes amongst them?
    How do they relate to lower castes?
    Is it easy for low castes to come to their centers for courses etc? Do they look down upon them "(it's their karma").
    Are they involved in any social/caste upliftment? etc etc etc
To a degree, I apologise to you Satya. Caste abuses are too easy a target ... read Periyar ... and there is not enough space here to go into them in detail. India is not unique for having a rigid caste or class system. It seems to be universal during the feudal period in agrarian societies, and with industrialisation and then modernisation it wains, but I wonder how much your vision is tainted by the idea of a mythic, "heavenly" Bharat of the past? Most cultures also have the same myth of a wonderful past and India a victim mentality to blame others.

I know another view of the varnashrama dharma is that it was meant to be an ordering of society my individuals' tendencies or abilities (guna) ... and not rigidly defined by birth. In theory, the child of a Brahmin could become a Shudra and vice versa ... but in reality that did not happen. Along with the fatalistic idea of karma the system was a prison used to lock the poor into their place and keep them downtrodden.

Today, with many Untouchables even making it high within society, it makes us ask again whether it is "Nature or Nurture" which counts most, i.e. education and social pressures playing the most important roles.

Education beats karma theory.

Thank you.

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