Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Is Hindu Dharma merely a legal or cultural usage?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    India
    Posts
    4,193
    Rep Power
    362

    Is Hindu Dharma merely a legal or cultural usage?

    I often come across people, active in internet, who while opposing all tenets and practices of Hindu Dharma however, act as if they are integral part of Hindu Dharma, by employing a subtle confusion. This thread is to discuss this issue.

    Reportedly, the ‘Hindu’ term was first used by Persians to denote the people living in the sub-continental peninsula, bordered by the river Sindhu (whose distortion gave rise to the term ‘Hindu’). Today, it is a cultural-Legal term, and includes most Indians, except some, as explained in the blog below.


    India's Constitution does not give a definition of the term Hindu, but it does define to whom the Hindu Law applies. It has to do this because in spite of its pretence to secularism, the Indian Constitution allows Muslims, Christians and Parsis a separate Personal Law. In a way, this separate treatment of different communities merely continues the communal autonomy of castes and sects accepted in pre-modern Hindu states, but it exposes the credibility deficit of Indian secularism. At any rate, the situation is that Personal Law is divided on the basis of religion, and that one of the legal subsystems is called Hindu Law.

    The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 goes in greater detail to define this legal Hindu, by stipulating in Section 2 that the Act applies:
    (a) to any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms and developments, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj,
    (b) to any person who is a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh by religion, and
    (c) to any other person domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion.

    On the other hand, Hindu Dharma (a term which undoubtedly has come in common use) actually refers to Sanatana Dharma or Vaidika Dharma. It is not merely a cultural or a legal usage.

    http://veda.wikidot.com/hinduism

    This is the standard understanding of what Hindu Dharma is. Brahman, Ishwara, Atman, Karma, Purusartha, Moksha, Shruti etc. are standard terms derived from Vedas and subsequent scriptures.
    .....
    So, when we refer to a dharma called Hinduism are we referring to dharma called Sanatana Dharma, which has Vedas as the root or not? Can Lokayata or Charvaka darsana-s, which deny Ishwara, Brahman, consciousness beyond body, Karma, re-incarnation, testimony of Vedas as proof, be counted as Vaidika or Sanatana Dharma?
    Last edited by atanu; 18 August 2016 at 10:03 AM. Reason: To correct.
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    September 2006
    Age
    68
    Posts
    7,705
    Rep Power
    216

    Re: Is Hindu Dharma merely a legal or cultural usage?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté atanu-ji

    It is to our benefit at HDF that you have chosen to post again. I have always enjoyed your questions and knowledge you bring to this community.

    Your question is a good one, and asks ( as I see it) : what fits under the umbrella of sanātana dharma & what fits and complies to being an extension of hinduism.
    For me, and me only
    sanātana dharma has no enemies. This takes some explaining, but will wait till other members weigh-in on their views before pursuing this reasoning.

    The other observation is this ( for me): If you are born in India, that 'audit trail' of clinically being a hindu is quite simple. What is less so, is one practicing sanātana dharma. That too can be a matter of choice.

    Yet for those that deny īśvara, paramaśiva and the like could not utter one word without this Being residing at their core. Even if they say 'no, this
    Supreme cannot be' do it with His will. The simplest and most profound realization is that existence (sattā) itself is rooted firmly in this Being. One cannot even deny the existence of the Supreme without existing themselves to say, 'he does not exist!'. This is how well the Supreme has hidden Himself from Himself. Only a Being of this infinite knowledge and freedom could do such a thing. It is like you saying ' I do not exist!', yet you still do it with lips, air, and voice.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    Last edited by yajvan; 18 August 2016 at 10:19 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3
    Join Date
    October 2012
    Location
    Bhaarath
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,113
    Rep Power
    1495

    Re: Is Hindu Dharma merely a legal or cultural usage?

    Quote Originally Posted by atanu View Post
    I often come across people, active in internet, who while opposing all tenets and practices of Hindu Dharma however, act as if they are integral part of Hindu Dharma, by employing a subtle confusion. This thread is to discuss this issue.

    Reportedly, the ‘Hindu’ term was first used by Persians to denote the people living in the sub-continental peninsula, bordered by the river Sindhu (whose distortion gave rise to the term ‘Hindu’). Today, it is a cultural-Legal term, and includes most Indians, except some, as explained in the blog below.



    On the other hand, Hindu Dharma (a term which undoubtedly has come in common use) actually refers to Sanatana Dharma or Vaidika Dharma. It is not merely a cultural or a legal usage.

    http://veda.wikidot.com/hinduism

    This is the standard understanding of what Hindu Dharma is. Brahman, Ishwara, Atman, Karma, Purusartha, Moksha, Shruti etc. are standard terms derived from Vedas and subsequent scriptures.
    .....
    So, when we refer to a dharma called Hinduism are we referring to dharma called Sanatana Dharma, which has Vedas as the root or not? Can Lokayata or Charvaka darsana-s, which deny Ishwara, Brahman, consciousness beyond body, Karma, re-incarnation, testimony of Vedas as proof, be counted as Vaidika or Sanatana Dharma?

    Namaste

    Believers in India can be broadly classified into three sects. Pseudo secular forces and Saffron terrorists (pun intended) constitute the majority. The non believers in turn fall into pseudo secular forces, so they aren't accounted separately. The third sect are those who live in central left or right.

    Reportedly, the ‘Hindu’ term was first used by Persians to denote the people living in the sub-continental peninsula, bordered by the river Sindhu (whose distortion gave rise to the term ‘Hindu’).
    I don't think it is Persian. I was also thinking that the word Hindu is derived from Persian language. One member from HDF gave a wonderful explanation. If i can find the link will share, how ever, his point is the word Hindu is derived from the word Indu. Indu means a juice which probably made Devata what they are ie immortal. So Hinduism leads to immortality ie attaining Moksha, self realization, re merge with Brahman etc...
    Anirudh...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    India
    Posts
    4,193
    Rep Power
    362

    Re: Is Hindu Dharma merely a legal or cultural usage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Namaste

    Believers in India can be broadly classified into three sects. Pseudo secular forces and Saffron terrorists (pun intended) constitute the majority. The non believers in turn fall into pseudo secular forces, so they aren't accounted separately. The third sect are those who live in central left or right.



    I don't think it is Persian. I was also thinking that the word Hindu is derived from Persian language. One member from HDF gave a wonderful explanation. If i can find the link will share, how ever, his point is the word Hindu is derived from the word Indu. Indu means a juice which probably made Devata what they are ie immortal. So Hinduism leads to immortality ie attaining Moksha, self realization, re merge with Brahman etc...
    Why should Indu become Hindu?
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    India
    Posts
    4,193
    Rep Power
    362

    Re: Is Hindu Dharma merely a legal or cultural usage?

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté atanu-ji

    It is to our benefit at HDF that you have chosen to post again. I have always enjoyed your questions and knowledge you bring to this community.

    Your question is a good one, and asks ( as I see it) : what fits under the umbrella of sanātana dharma & what fits and complies to being an extension of hinduism.
    For me, and me only
    sanātana dharma has no enemies. This takes some explaining, but will wait till other members weigh-in on their views before pursuing this reasoning.

    The other observation is this ( for me): If you are born in India, that 'audit trail' of clinically being a hindu is quite simple. What is less so, is one practicing sanātana dharma. That too can be a matter of choice.

    Yet for those that deny īśvara, paramaśiva and the like could not utter one word without this Being residing at their core. Even if they say 'no, this
    Supreme cannot be' do it with His will. The simplest and most profound realization is that existence (sattā) itself is rooted firmly in this Being. One cannot even deny the existence of the Supreme without existing themselves to say, 'he does not exist!'. This is how well the Supreme has hidden Himself from Himself. Only a Being of this infinite knowledge and freedom could do such a thing. It is like you saying ' I do not exist!', yet you still do it with lips, air, and voice.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    Namaste and Thank you Yajvan ji

    I have always cherished your calm, peaceful, and wise presence. I was delighted to find you still the same here. I feel good.

    The current post was prompted by a few jarring experiences. I have encountered some so called advaitins who however reject Ishwara, who reject outright that Brahman's intrinsic nature is consciousness, Karma, Rebirth .... and all other key tenets of Hinduism. They consider Soma an intoxicant which Indra uses to get drunk often. They hold that the current Deities of Hinduism are indigenous and not Vedic. Shiva is not Rudra. And that Vedas do not constitute the core of Hinduism.

    On closer inspection, I find that actually they are atheists, Lokyatas, who also claim to be advaitins.

    I have two concerns. First, there is no common point between Lokyata and Advaita Vedanta . So, by parading as advaitins, they are misleading people. Second, if we agree that Hindu Dharma includes Lokyata etc, then what actually remains of Hindu Dharma? Lokyata, atheism, on one hand, and Veda Vedanta on the other are poles apart, the former represented by culture of Virochana-s and the latter by Indra.

    Anyway. This is a petty irritation, fit to be smoothened by meditation, as you mentioned, nothing happens without Shiva's knowledge.
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    October 2012
    Location
    Bhaarath
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,113
    Rep Power
    1495

    Re: Is Hindu Dharma merely a legal or cultural usage?

    Quote Originally Posted by atanu View Post
    Why should Indu become Hindu?

    Namaste,

    I have no idea how the word indu turned into Hindu or why the word 'Hindu' is considered Persian. There were days I did not want myself to be called a Hindu or Indian because of the misunderstanding. Member Kalicharan Tuvij gave a nice explanation. I am unable to locate that thread, it must be at least a year ago.

    Many members just disappeared... I mean Sudas, Kalicharan, Jaskaran Singh, Greams, Philosoraptor, Jignayasu.... Sad!!
    Anirudh...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    mrityuloka
    Age
    48
    Posts
    3,726
    Rep Power
    330

    Re: Is Hindu Dharma merely a legal or cultural usage?

    Namaste Atanu,

    Thanks for post and it was a sweet surprise to see your post on HDF. Yajvan has already answered the query, however, here are my 2 cents.

    It is commonly understood that when we speak of sanatana dharma it refers to the religion of the ‘hindus’ and that Vedas are the authoritative texts supporting the religion. (The fact that most ‘hindus’ don’t know much about the Vedas is a point for another discussion.) Looking purely from historical point of view, we know that asktika as well as nastika darsanas are part of the Indian philosophical system. This is confirmed by S. N. Dasgupta (Dasgupta 1922) in his volumes of ‘A History of Indian Philosophy’. While I knew this already and I think you did to, your question ‘can lokyata or carvaka be counted as Vadika dharma’ prompted me to look deeply for a reference.

    In Volume III S. N. Dasgupta (Dasgupta 1922) states that Haribhadra and Madhava have counted the Lokyata or Carvak philosophy as a darsana or system of philosophy. The reason for that is that it had a kind of a new logic, in that it presented a destructive criticism of most of the cherished and well accepted views of other systems of Indian philosophy. It is a sort of antithesis or the opposite pole as you put it, denying morality, moral responsibility and religion of any kind.

    That being said, according to Chandradar Sharma (Sharma 2003), no original work of this school is available, therefore, it is difficult to understand its original teachings and intent. Sharma suggests that because of the absence of original source of teachings of this school, the tenets of materialism are possibly misrepresented often by exaggerating its weak points and possibly omitting strong points.

    If you are running into Lokyatas who are causing grief and confusion, that’s normal as according to Buddhagoso Lokayata is ‘vitanda vada-sattham’. Nyaya-sutra defines Vitanda as tricky disputation or a sort of tricky logical discussion I.e. Jalpa which is only intended to criticize the opponent without establishing a fair counter-thesis. According to S. N. Dasgupta Vol. III (Dasgupta 1922), Vitanda which is a kind of jalpa, seeks to impose defeat on the opponent by willfully giving a wrong interpretation of his words and arguments. It is not a surprise then that when we chat with people who seem to be of lokyata background that their views seem confusing as they are confused themselves due to lack of source of original teachings of their darsana.

    With respect to connection with Advaita, Lokyata does not seem to have any and this seems another point of confusion on their part. Carvaka basic argument is that there is nothing else other than what is perceived by the five senses and that there is no existence after death since there is no permanent entity that survives after death. Advaitin views are quite different than these as you know. To me, Lokyata’s connection seems closer to Buddhism or Jainism. Even the western atheists on the Internet seem to relate easier to Buddhists thought of nihilism better than say any of the astika darsanas.

    From spiritual point of view, their denial of all human values makes them much closer to pasus (not meant in a derogatory way), as life without values can be equated to an animal life where we live only to satisfy the senses. Agreed that man is a biological animal like any other but he has additional dimensions such as psychological, moral, rational and self-consciousness/awareness. Denying those dimensions is just not that simple and dishonest in my opinion.

    Dasgupta, S.N., 1922. A History of Indian Philosophy Volume I 1st Edition., Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
    Sharma, C., 2003. A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
    Last edited by satay; 22 August 2016 at 09:54 AM.
    satay

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. USA Parents considering legal action over school yoga
    By wundermonk in forum Politics - Current Issues
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 26 October 2012, 09:24 AM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11 March 2012, 04:42 AM
  3. Replies: 109
    Last Post: 20 August 2009, 05:27 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •