05 February 2008

Assimilation of Religion

After shunning the pagan approaches of Indus Valley culture, the subcontinent has followed eras of religious fundamentalism. The same stubbornness caused many romantic revolutions, like the French Revolution. This document is not a biased account of one religion's history, but an assimilation of what thoughts conspired after an afternoon lecture. Vedic Brahminism roots itself as the first institutionalized religion, in the subcontinent. It draws its parallels to Persian culture, focusing on the existence of a Fire God. Zaratustra becomes the linking stone. This Brahminism laid the foundations for the caste systems thus, dividing the society into Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras. Initially, this occupation based definition brought about the problems of hierarchy*. The Kshatriyas could not tolerate the subjugation. The Kings became the people with the divine right to rule. From 600 B.C. to 400 B.C. Jainism and Buddhism, owing their origin to two thinkers of Kshatriyan caste, emerged and brought about a new thinking. Daringly, the Kshatriyas, both at different times and with different methods, brought the concept of ahimsa. The religions spread far and wide. However, Jainism died slowly because of not using a vernacular language and avoiding the missionary approach. Buddhism was spreading fast, becoming the religion of South-East Asia. Hinduism could no longer take this blow and retaliated with its famous strategy – the spinning of mythology. Buddha became an avatar of Vishnu! “Hinduism is like English. It has a tremendorous capability to assimilate.” *post on Kingdom of God awaited.. **to be continued… courtesy: Value Education Prof. (S.S stream)

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