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Thread: Does Hinduism justify providing a living wage?

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    Does Hinduism justify providing a living wage?

    The living wage, or a wage that allows one to live their basic life, is a policy that is being implemented in many regions. The Pope has recently declared that the living wage is supported by the Christian religion. Would Hinduism support the living wage?

  2. #2

    Re: Does Hinduism justify providing a living wage?

    Quote Originally Posted by faze2 View Post
    The living wage, or a wage that allows one to live their basic life, is a policy that is being implemented in many regions. The Pope has recently declared that the living wage is supported by the Christian religion. Would Hinduism support the living wage?
    Namaste faze,

    Dharmically speaking, a Hindu household is under obligation to never return a beggar - it could be a sadhu - empty handed. This tradition is still followed in India. I think India has - since time immemorial - the largest number of such individuals who lived on begging door to door. All great sages, acharya-s of Hinduism are known to have adopted this life-style.

    As a state structure and policy, well, it depends on times and place. Historically, the major power centres in India vacillated between socialist and capitalist norms. Even Lord Vishnu's incarnations - Sri Ram and Sri Krishna - favoured one of the two during their own rules, in order. Mortals have only followed suite.
    Things to remember:

    1. Life = yajña
    2. Depth of Āstika knowledge is directly proportional
    to the richness of Sanskrit it is written in
    3. Āstika = Bhārata ("east") / Ārya ("west")
    4. Varṇa = tripartite division of Vedic polity
    5. r = c. x²
    where,
    r = realisation
    constant c = intelligence
    variable x = bhakti

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    Re: Does Hinduism justify providing a living wage?

    Namaste Faze and Kalicharan Tuvij,

    Maybe it's because I'm relatively new to Hinduism (compared to the supposed "old-timers" on this forum), but I've never encountered any Hindu text that actually took a position on this topic one way or the other. I don't think at the time these scriptures were written, the issue of a living wage was the same kind of issue that it's considered now.

    Of course, if anyone cares about my personal opinion, I think having a minimum wage be a living wage is the dharmic thing to do...but again, since I don't know of any Hindu scriptures that even touched this topic, I have no scriptural evidence to back me up. Sorry.

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    Re: Does Hinduism justify providing a living wage?

    Vannakkam faze2: Welcome to these forums. Of course Hinduism is against poverty. Many scriptures point to charitable acts as being of high virtue.

    But as you know, poverty is complicated. It's difficult to assess, especially when the local economy operates somewhat independently from the global economy. We can't compare everything in US dollars, for example, because local buying power may be vastly different.

    This is just one factor that complicates it. Exploitation, labour laws, food production, rich-poor gaps and much more complicate it, so much that anyone would have a hard time defining a living wage.

    But I have a question of you ... why would you ask this?

    Regardless, I hope you're satisfied with our answers.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Does Hinduism justify providing a living wage?

    Namaste Faze2,

    KT has rightly pointed out. Not everything is written. We follow a lot of oral tradition handed down from older generations to us.

    What I personally feel is that instead of feeding a beggar, it is better to create a job opportunity for those poor who work hard for their livelihood. It is better to earn your bread then to get it 'Free'. Once you get a habit of borrowing things, your conscience no more raises any objection. Your mind allows you to borrow things and then you may never return it back.

    Laziness is not a good thing. A quality (guNa) representing laziness, inertia, revengeful attitude, etc is called as 'tamas guNa'

    I have noticed one common thing in the horoscope of great saints. Be it Mahavir of Jain Dharma or Buddha of Bauddha dharma or the recent saint like Swami Vivekananda. Their horoscopes (kundli) or palmistry readings point to two extreme options - (1), either this kid will become a very popular and powerful king whose glory will spread far and wide or (2) this kid will renounce everything and become a monk and will be respected by all.

    So they are all very capable people, if they had choosen to become a king, they would be very popular. PM Narendra Modi ji's kundli also says same thing.

    Yet, there are some unfortunate people, who even though wish to work and earn their bread do not get job or enough money to sustain their life. In this case, both society and king are responsible for their well being. Lord Rama and other Kings like Harish Chandra and even Karna used to donate their wealth generously to the poor. Dharma Smritis like Manu Smriti also say that when one is getting married, one can ask for money from the king so that he can start his family.

    'Service' is an important part of Hindu living, but in dharma shastras it is mostly donating food (anna dAna) to poor and to cows.

    OM
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: Does Hinduism justify providing a living wage?

    Namaste Faze,

    Quote Originally Posted by faze2 View Post
    Would Hinduism support the living wage?
    Are you a Muslim ? In Islam answers to all questions are searched in scriptures. In Hindus it is not so. It depends upon your social values and the situations and the answers would vary. Scriptures are meant to answer spiritual questions and not such mundane questions which you can very well answer.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  7. #7

    Re: Does Hinduism justify providing a living wage?

    Hello

    When i was studying in Udupi Karnataka, there were no beggars in a span of 50 miles. I then found out that Udupi Krishna temple provides free food(Annadanam) twice daily and no one can possibly go hungry. Most temples serve food to the poor and the idea is no one should be rejected basic amenity based on caste creed or religion. Yes even muslims eat in Udupi temple!!

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