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Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition Sanatana Dharma
Index

Preface 

Perennial Wisdom 

Sanatana Dharma

Religion And Spirituality...

Religion Or Dharma

The Eternal View Of Hinduism

Idolatary And Dogmatism

Religion And Spirituality..

Religious And Spiritual Practices

Civilization And Social Issues

Hinduism And Sanatana Dharma

Hinduism And Other Religions

Appendices

       

Major Sections
Books By David Frawley
Arjuna

Awaken Bharata

From The River Of Heaven How I Became A Hindu
The Myth Of Aryan Invasion Of India

Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition, Sanatana Dharma

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HINDUISM AND SANATANA DHARMA

What is the Basis of the Caste System?

Caste is the most embarrassing part of Hinduism and the most difficult to explain to the modern mind. It appears as a religiously reinforced form of social oppression. Yet if we look deeply into the matter we see that caste is not something unique to Hindus, nor is caste as it exists in India today truly reflective of the great teachings of Hinduism as to how society should be structured.

Caste arose as part of the ancient world order, a division of society into priests (ritualists), nobility (warriors), merchants (and farmers), and servants, such as occurred throughout the ancient world. It has persisted more so in India and other parts of Asia because of conservative social attitudes. Yet it is no more essential to Hinduism today than it has been the other religions, including Christianity, that were once represented by the same type of social system.

Most modern Hindu religious leaders have spoken against its limitations and many older teachers did as well. Traditional Hindu texts like the Vedas also portray a much more open society than what the caste system has become. So it is wrong to think that caste represents the original Hindu social order.

 

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