The Dual Nature of Hinduism - Research Paper Example

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The paper “The Dual Nature of Hinduism” will focus on Hinduism, which is more a socio-cultural phenomenon than a hierarchical religious orthodoxy governed by a regulatory, ecclesiastical body. Hinduism is directly influential in the social life of its adherents…
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The Dual Nature of Hinduism
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Download file to see previous pages There is probably no more pertinent example of Hinduism’s singular nature than its well-known caste system. The four levels of Indian society, which have their origins in ancient Vedic literature, have often been regarded as a written manifestation of the enforced stratification of Indian society by the Aryans, the theocratic invaders whose military prowess enabled them to conquer the subcontinent about 1500 B.C. “One fourth of the Supreme Being constitutes all beings, while three fourths of Him are immortal and stand above. With the one-fourth (He)
arms were made into the Kshatriya. His thighs became the Vaisya. From his feet the Sudra was born” (Rig Veda, 90). Historians generally concur that the strict social regimentation described in the Vedas was not actually created or introduced by the Aryan invaders but had existed in a somewhat less formal version prior to the conquest. Hinduism as we know it today, with its concepts of karma and samsara, grew up against this socio-cultural backdrop, with which it was suffused and which it in turn influenced.
Social norms and the means whereby they are passed on are pervasive and give form to the Hindu caste system. Each caste, or varna, is sub-divided into jatis, which divide each varna into specific occupations. Social interaction among the jatis of a particular caste is regulated “through an elaborate ritual system,” which governs social behavior (Deshpande, 2010). The Vedic texts offer a rationale for classifications and rituals, “rules that are laid down concerning appropriate occupational pursuit, appropriate behavior within and between castes. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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