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How I Became A Hindu - My Discovery Of Vedic Dharma
Index 

Foreword

Preface Introduction
Early Years

Spiritual Paths And..

India And Hinduism.. Discovery Of Social And..
Journalistic Work Ancient India And...
Hindu Groups In The West Additional Studies Of..
Return Of The Pagans

Debate With The...

The Debate Goes On... Systems Of Vedic Knowledge
Towards A New Western... Conclusion
The Meaning Of The Term...
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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DISCOVERY OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL HINDUISM

Dealing With Caste

One of the most difficult issues for modern Hinduism is the problem of caste. Hinduism has been stereotyped as a caste religion in which family of birth is more important than any individual merit. This anti-caste sentiment has been the main vehicle of anti-Hindu propaganda. Whether it is leftists, Christians or Muslims when you mention Hinduism, it is not Yoga and Vedanta with their universal spiritual vision that they emphasize but caste, as if there was nothing more to Hinduism.

Caste or varna originally refers to the four divisions of traditional Hindu society as the Brahmin or priestly class, the Kshatriya or noble class, the Vaishya or merchant class and the Shudras or servant class. Originally it was a threefold division of the priests, nobility and common people. The word Vaishya for the merchant class derives from Vish, which means people in general. The Vaishyas were also divided into the merchants proper and the farmers. Apart from these four castes was a fifth or mixed caste. Similar social orders dominated the ancient and medieval worlds, like the European division of the priests, nobility, merchants and common people or peasants. Though in the modern world caste appears backwards it was probably inevitable given the social and material circumstances of these previous eras.

 

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