सत्यमेव जयते Scientific Hinduism



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सत्यमेव जयते

Scientific Hinduism

Book 2

Brahminical (caste) Hinduism: a system of institutionalised oppression


Sanjeev Sabhlok

Draft 19 August 2013

The effects of caste discrimination on India’s almost 200 million Dalits are strikingly similar to that of race discrimination: social stigmatization, physical segregation, lack of access to education and social advancement, under-representation at all levels in government, business and the organized labor market.  [Source]

In Hinduism, ‘the type of birth you take in this world, and the conditions of your existence here are all determined by what you did in your earlier existences. You may even be born as an animal, says the Upanishad, if the karma is very bad’ (Vivekananda)

* * *

I once met a Mahar, who, fearing that I was going near him and that my purity might then be defiled in case I touched him, and that he might incur the sin of defiling my purity, cried out at once and made his caste known to me. I got into conversation with him. I found that Mahar, though illiterate, could repeat many verses of Tukaram, Namdeo and Chokhamela. He appeared to be well acquainted with the theories of Karma and Bhakti, and of transmigration of soul. He believed that though he was a Mahar in that birth, by some misdoings in his past life, he was going to become a Brahmana in the next birth, as he felt the desire for learning Sanskrit, and reading Gita and Puranas. He conceived that these desires were clear indications of the better birth which he was going to get in his next life.



I do not know how far such sentiments exist in other members of the tribe. Bid it is not improbable that very many of the low castes believe, or are made to believe, that they justly suffer in this condition as a retribution for the sins which they did in the past life. [THE HISTORY OF CASTE IN INDIA by SHRIDHAR V. KETKAR (1909)]

Contents

1. We, the self-respecting humans, are born free. 1

1.1 Equal status in Charvaka Hinduism 3

1.2 Equal status in Islam and Christianity 3

1.3 Alleged equal consciousness in Vedanta 3

1.3.1.1 Shankara learnt Advaita from a “low caste” Chandala, but he never really got the point, did he? 3

1.4 Say no to caste 4

2. Caste is immoral from first principles 6

2.1 Violation of basic ethical principles 6

2.1.1 Denial of equal status 6

2.1.1.1 Lower castes called foul names 6

2.1.1.2 Sudras treated like children 6

2.1.2 Denial of equal liberty 6

2.1.2.1 Subtle model of race domination, not race extermination 7

2.1.3 Destruction of self-respect 7

2.1.4 Different justice for different castes 8

2.2 What’s wrong with eugenics, scientific racism, Hindutva and Hindu caste system? 8

2.2.1 A worldview that groups disparate people together on GENETIC (birth based) criteria is collectivist: 8

2.2.2 These worldviews violate the basic principle of equality of status of mankind: 8

2.3 Hypothesis: India’s caste system contributed a CRITICAL justification for global racism 9

3. Not just destruction of liberty but oppression and VIOLENCE 12

3.1 Control over key life events 12

3.2 Careful ‘domestication’ (victim-consent) of the oppressed 12

3.3 Obnoxious suggestion that others ‘pollute’ us 13

3.4 Possible link of ‘pollution’ with beef eating 13

3.5 Blaming victims for their plight 14

3.5.1 Vivekananda chastised non-Brahmins 14

3.6 Economic discrimination 15

3.6.1 Lower castes not likely to be given jobs 15

3.6.2 Lower castes regularly cheated in economic trasactions 15

3.7 Mistreatment and humiliation of lower castes/ outcastes 16

3.7.1 Shivaji’s humiliation 16

3.8 Untouchability, and violence against the outcastes 22

3.8.1 GK Gokhale’s comment on untouchability 22

3.8.2 Extract from Gandhi 22

3.8.3 Oppression of Dalits 23

3.8.4 Jagjivan Ram humiliated 23

3.8.5 Ambedkar humiliated 24

3.9 Violence 24

3.9.1 Killing Dalits who removed a dead cow’s hide 24

3.9.2 Some illustrations of violence 24

3.9.3 Dalit literature shows the magnitude of oppression 25

3.9.3.1 Dalit journals 25

3.10 Mistreatment and humiliation of women 25

4. Deliberate lowering of intelligence of the oppressed? 26

4.1 Indian average national IQ is extremely low 26

4.2 How can we explain the superior (on average) intellectual performance of the Brahmin ‘caste’? 30

4.3 Self-perception of the Dalits 33

4.4 My revised model of IQ that includes pre-birth IQ factors and links with freedom, to explain GDP 33

4.5 Increase in IQ expected among the Dalits once oppressions is eliminated 34

4.6 Narrowing the IQ gap with China 35

4.7 Disproving the myth of race will require abolishing caste 35

5. Do the oppressed make the rules? Of course not. 36

5.1 Summary 36

5.2 Vedas 38

5.2.1 Rig Veda 38

5.3 Dharmashastras 38

5.3.1 Manu’s laws 38

5.3.2 Taittiriya Brahmana 39

5.3.3 Vishnu Smriti 40

5.3.4 Apastamba Dharma Sutra 40

5.3.5 Vishnusmriti 40

5.3.6 Vashishtha Dharma Sutra 40

5.4 Ramayana 41

5.4.1 Beheading of Sudra Sambook 41

5.5 Support from Vivekananda and other leaders 41

5.6 Ambedkar, however, denied that Brahmins created caste 42

6. Do the oppressed defend caste? Of course not. 44

6.1 Vivekananda glorified Brahmins 44

6.2 Har Bilas Sarda thought caste was efficient 45

6.3 Bhai Parmanand thought caste is required for social duties 46

6.4 Hindu Council: “The Caste System” by Raj Pandit Sharma 46

7. The hereditary and biological (racist) underpinning of caste 47

7.1 The give away is in its name: Varna Vyavastha 47

7.2 Further, caste is 100 per cent biological (hereditary) 47

7.3 The leakage in ‘colour’ through marrying “lower caste” women 47

7.4 Foolish arguments denying the biological (‘race’) basis of caste 48

7.4.1 “But there is no real difference in skin colour!” 48

7.4.2 Ambedkar did not think skin colour underpinned caste 48

7.4.3 Soli Sorabjee, Andre Beteille and the Government of India 48

7.4.4 Anthropologist Dipankar Gupta of Jawaharlal Nehru University 49

7.5 Learned Hindus have clearly expouned the race basis of caste 51

7.5.1 Through caste “our forefathers protected themselves from interfusion with an inferior race” (Harendranath Maitra) 51

7.5.2 “Why has the white complexion of our forefathers now become black?” (Vivekananda) 51

7.5.3 The original “Aryans” were from Abyssinia, the people with “frightful shapes” (Dayanand Saraswati) GET THE RIGHT ONE 52

7.5.4 Analytical perspective confirms perceived biological difference (Badri Raina) 54

7.6 Buddhist literature clearly refers to the common perception of caste being linked with birth 56

7.7 Top Indian experts see clear links with race, at origin of the concept 57

7.7.1 Ghurye thought that caste started with ‘race’ 57

7.7.2 The original migrations into India 59

7.8 Caste and eugenics: further proof of its strong links with race 59

7.8.1 The Caste System: “a Great Eugenic Movement in the truest sense of the word”. Btw, if you are a girl, avoid marrying a hairy man. 59

7.9 Strong skin colour preference in India 68

7.10 The mistreatment of foreign ‘white’ women tourists in India 69

8. Rationalisation for oppression through hierarchies of the soul 70

8.1 The soul is (re)born into a caste based on its karma 70

8.1.1 Gandhi’s view 71

8.1.2 Vivekananda’s logic for reincarnation of the “soul” is very good, but DNA and evolution explains much better 72

8.1.3 J.N. Farquhar’s findings 75

8.2 Charvakas rejected reincarnation 75

8.3 Buddhists rejected reincarnation of soul?? 75

9. Lots of red herrings thrown in to confound the truth 76

9.1 Red herring: Caste is not determined at birth 76

9.2 Red herring: Caste is not intrinsic to Hinduism 76

9.3 Red herring: Caste is a professional association 77

9.4 Red herring: Caste is class 78

9.5 Red herring: there was never any discrimination, anyway 82

9.6 Red herring: Caste is cultural 83

9.7 Red herring: Other countries have a caste system, too 84

9.8 Red herring: Many reform movements opposed caste so it is not an issue 84

9.9 Red herring: Caste is dying, hence irrelevant 105

10. The escape from oppression 107

10.1 Reform that (at least partially) worked 107

10.1.1 Brahmo Samaj 107

10.1.1.1 Raja Ram Mohun Roy (India’s first classical liberal) was also the first MAJOR opponent of caste 107

10.1.1.2 Some of India’s major Brahmo Samajis 107

10.1.2 Aryan (noble) Brahmins discarded their sacred thread 180 years ago. Any Aryan Hindus found today? 108

10.2 Reform that failed 109

10.2.1 Buddha 109

10.2.2 Shankara 111

10.2.3 Bhakti movements 111

10.2.4 Dayanand Saraswati and Arya Samaj 112

10.2.5 Ramakrishna Mission 113

10.2.6 Gandhi – a reformer but great racist and believer in caste 114

10.2.7 Periyar 116

10.2.8 Rajiv Malhotra’s advice 117

10.3 Net effect of the challenge of Christianity: Hinduism split into four 117

10.4 Conversion to other religions cannot help 117

10.4.1 To Christianity 117

10.4.2 To Islam 118

10.5 Why going to another organised religion is like going from the frying pan into the fire 118

10.5.1 Organised religions SYSTEMATICALLY shuts out critical thinking 118

10.6 Five methods to end the oppressiveness of the caste system 119

10.7 No role for government in removal of caste 122

10.8 Are Dalits not interested in removal of caste? 122

10.9 Escape into reason: Scientific Hinduism 122

10.10 Only higher castes oppose the abolition of caste 122

10.10.1 A Hindu writing in Mahratta in favour of caste 123

11. Economic explantion for the persistence of caste 124

11.1 Lohia’s explanation 124

11.2 Kaivan Munshi’s explanation 124

11.3 Free markets and social minimum 125

12. An outline of Scientific Hinduism 126

12.1 Scientific Hinduism rejects the concept of caste 126

12.1.1 There is no soul, or at least no proof of soul/God that I can personally confirm 126

12.1.2 Even if there is a soul, it visits the earth only once 127

12.1.3 Classical liberalism and caste are polar opposites 128

12.2 Scientific Hinduism the plausibility of Vedanta 129

12.2.1 The need to ask for proof: Vivekanda’s pre-vedanta days 129

12.2.2 But Vedanta still represents the best in Hinduism 129

13. References 130

Appendix: India’s official position regarding caste discrimination 133

GOI position regarding caste 133

In 1965 GOI agreed that caste groups were downtrodden 133

In 1996 GOI linked caste to class 133

In 2001 GOI said caste is not anyone else’s business to discuss 133

International position on caste 134

In 2002 CERD confirmed opposition to caste discrimination 134

In 2009 CERD re-confirmed opposition to caste discrimination 134




  1. We, the self-respecting humans, are born free.


Classical liberalism rejects inequality of stautus and demands equal freedom for all humans (within their own nation, i.e. a place where they pay relevant tax). While much of Hinduism (particularly Advaita) is compatible with science, reason and liberty, and has been, on average, the most tolerant religion on this planet, it is fundamentally incompatible witih key aspects of equality of status and liberty.

The key problem with Hinduism is the caste system. This system of differentiation amongst Hindus (and others) on basis of their birth, without regard to their work in real life, is both immoral in itself, and leads to significant immorality among Hindus during their life.

That doesn’t mean Hinduism is particularly immoral. All religions have institutionalised immorality. None is free of this basic charge. All organised religion smacks of an attempt by priests and ‘intermediaries’ to control the rest of their ‘flock’.

This book is based on some research I’ve conducted over the past few weeks.

Why have I picked Hinduism for such detailed analysis?

First, India’s low ‘national’ IQ. Why would this be so? Because of low nutrition (which I’ve covered in Book 1) but also because of the caste system. India performs very poorly, with the lower castes performing far worse than even the national average. This can only be explained by the great harm caused by caste. I’ll discuss this in detail later.

Second, given my close association with Hinduism (being what I was born and brought up as, being what I’m married into, and being what many of my friends and colleagues belong to), I explore the immorality of Hinduism more sternly than I explore the immorality of other religions.

Third, being born as an Indian, I remain particularly keen that India revert to its ancient status as a sone ki chidiya, a great prosperous nation. I care for India’s largest religion more than I care for other religions.

In the end the world will be better off by getting rid of all religion, and escaping into reason. Only reason can save mankind from its own follies.

I don’t “belong” to anyone, to any religion or “civilisation”. I belong to me, and I’m an ordinary human being. That’s all I need to be. I ask questions, and recommend the best ways forward for India and for the world – based on answers derived from these questions. My contribution is to offer ideas and leave it to others to consider, on the test of reason.



Ambedkar’s summary of Brahminical Hinduism

Dr. Ambedkar came to the conclusion that, “A religion which glorifies ignorance and impudently preached inequality, hatred, divided human beings into multitudinous Castes and sub Castes, sanctioned poverty and adopted economic measures to keep the majority of its followers poor, illiterate, ignorant, disunited and divided was nothing short of infamy.”1

In this regard it will be invaluable to read Ambedkar’s essay Annihilation of Caste, before reading the rest of this book.

Regardless of how it started, the problem of the immorality of caste has became bigger over the centuries. No doubt there were attempts to fix it, such as through Brahmo Samaj and others. But Vedantic Hinduism – which in many way mimicks key elements of Buddhism managed to not only get back those who deserted Hinduism in favour of Buddhism, but imprisoned those who returned into the same caste hierarchies from which they had fled.

But the time the British arrived in India, caste was already a huge blot on mankind, on par with slavery. It took British scholars a century or more to even remotely understand the matter, but their understanding remained incomplete.

Enter Raja Ram Mohun Roy

It needed an Indian scholar to understand the problem and realise that caste was entirely incompatible with liberty and equality of status – two revolutionary ideas introduced in Great Britain by the liberals in the 17th century.

And once he realised that caste was immoral, he had no option but to start a new religion, called Brahmo Samaj, a religion without caste.

But given the challenges of communication and hidebound attitudes within the Indian society, this religion didn’t go far. And I belive it did not stand as much for reason as it should have.



Abolishing caste is an urgent necessity

Regardless of the action people may choose to undertake after they personally reject their caste, the fact remains that caste must be abolished.

Just like slavery continued across the world till classical liberals challenged it repeatedly, for a century or more, so also caste must be challenged.

Caset is far more subtle than slavery, being a form of ‘self-slavery’ – in which the slave (victim/lower caste) accepts the FAKE rationalisation provided by higher castes, and believes he has to obey the higher castes lest his ‘next life’ be adversely affected.

Slavery was relatively easy to abolish. Caste will take much more effort and determination.

It must begin with an understanding of the problem and alternatives at hand. This booklet is a compilation of my initial research. It documents the harm caused by caste and how it can be brought to and end.

Like all my work, this draft will remain in the public domain and I will work on it as time permits. It should be treated as work in progress.

    1. Equal status in Charvaka Hinduism


Charvaka was a revolutionary critical thinker and rejected the idea of soul and hence caste. Total equality of all humans was a mandatory requirem ent in this model.
    1. Equal status in Islam and Christianity


Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains are EQUAL within their religion. Why not Hindus?

Islam and Christianity are known for their insistence on equality. But only Christian takes this to the next level: of looking after the oppressed. In many ways, the idea of looking after the oppressed is missing from Hinduism.

NOTE: It is true that if an Indian converts from Hinduism to any other religion, he is likely to carry his ‘caste’ along with him. That is much to do with the deep inroads into the mind made by the caste system, not a requirement of these other religions.

    1. Alleged equal consciousness in Vedanta


In some ways, Vedanta is close to Buddhism by considering the common consciousness in all humans. Through revival of Vedanta, Sankara was able to revive Hinduism. But he did not reject caste outright. And there lies the problem.
        1. Shankara learnt Advaita from a “low caste” Chandala, but he never really got the point, did he?


I wasn't aware of this story but after I chanced upon it twice in a single day, I researched this further and found that is it is quite well known and widely discussed. Well, if there's ANYTHING useful we can get from this story, it is that caste is wrong. It is a FALSE idea and must be discarded.

VERSION OF STORY IN DALIT LITERATURE

The great Sankaracharya of Kaldi, famous for his ideologue Advaita once came across a Chandala who was on his way to Harighat. He, being aghast of the presence of an untouchable told the latter to stay away from his sight. To Shankara’s utter dismay, the Chandala raised some pertinent questions from the same Advaita. “Whom are you telling to keep away, Acharya the fountainhead of all knowledge of Vedas and Upanishads! This body or the atman which resides in this body? Your body and mine are made of the same substance, as pots of varying sizes and colours are made of the same clay. So one such body cannot ask the other of the same to stay away. Are they not part of the same illusion?”

Source: Swaminathan Venkat, The Dalit in Tamil Literature-Past and Present. Indian Literature Sahitya Akademi, Delhi P.17 (as cited in VOICE OF DALIT IN SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE by Aswini Kumar Mishra)



HOW BRAHMINS APPROPRIATED THIS AND CONVERTED THE CHANDALA INTO SHIVA

Sankara, the great Hindu philosopher and reformer, was one day coming from his bath in the Ganges when a drunken outcast accidentally touched him. “How dare you touch me?” he exclaimed. The outcast replied that since the same Supreme Spirit is in all, how could his touch contaminate, and proceeded to expound the philosophy of Oneness. Sankara listened in wonderment and humbly acknowledged that he was right. Whereupon the outcast stood revealed as Shiva Himself, and Sankara fell at His feet.

Source:  HINDUISM: The World-Ideal by Harendranath Maitra (1916)



Also: http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-blogs/seekers/philosophy/shankaracharya-and-the-chandala

http://belurmath.org/kids_section/06-lord-siva-as-chandala/

Instead of Sankara REJECTING CASTE he continued to teach caste, so that his future disciple Vivekananda continued to teach caste, even though he was teaching advaita.

In my view ADVAITA AND CASTE ARE FUNDAMENTALLY INCOMPATIBLE.

I totally deny this nonsense about the Chandala being "Shiva". The ONLY evidence we have is that Shankara was caught out by his HUGE EGO and Brahminical arrogance. He didn't get the message of TOTAL EQUALITY which is the key message of advaita.



The ONLY way Advaita can make sense is through total equality of all humans, of all human consciousness. Anything less is utter nonsense.
    1. Say no to caste


Caste is fundamentally EVIL. It might appear harmless on the surface but its approach must necessarily lead to evil consequences.

There is NO redeeming feature in the caste system. There were arguably some economic “advantages” of caste in an agricultural society but these came at great cost: of lowering the self-respect of the people. In the end, that has DESTROYED their potential.

I have no doubt that feudal serfs in Europe would have tested very poorly on intelligence (IQ), just like the Dalits do (on average). But the moment feudalism was abolished, others started marrying the erstwhile serfs, and through education and the industrial revolution EVERYONE got an equal chance to develop.

But I’m afraid the situation in India is so dire that even if the caste system were abolished tomorrow, there would be very few inter-caste marriages. And so the progeny of the Dalits and Sudras will remain handicapped as they don’t get the environment necessary for their children to develop.

Swami Ramdev runs the Bharat Swabhiman movement today, but that would not have been necessary if there was no caste system. The caste system is destroying the sense of self-worth of billions of people.

The best swabhiman movement in India will be to DESTROY the caste system, lock stock and barrel. I encourage you to SAY NO TO CASTE.



Anyway, that is the BASIC PRECEPT of Scientific Hinduism.




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