I would like to address the issue of the less-talked about , most-abused area of Santana Dharma - the caste system.
I have being trying to rationalise the importance and the sanctity of the caste system which is and has been an important part of our society.
The abuse of the caste system has been the root cause of various oppressive activities in the past. The Manu's laws, the Bhagvat Gita and various other scriptures reiterate the importance of the the cast system. The caste system has been one of the pivotal reasons why many people left for other religions like the Buddhism, Christanity and Islam.
If someone could help me with my doubts it would great.
Does birth determine one's caste?
If so then it would mean a person of high-birth would still remain a Brahmin despite his/her heinous activites.
Isn't it a fact that no one can determine one's parents?
Even though one's birth could be attributed to previous birth's karma it isn't sufficient enough to account for the suffering of the lower caste.
Does it mean man's greatest achievement is being born to a high birth than being born to parents of the spiritual nature. Doesn't it take away the emphasis away from good deeds to high-birth. Tolerance a key element in our religion just seems to fail within ourselves.
When Shri Krishna asserted in the Bhagvad Gita that the caste system was dear to him and he created them. How could God himself create a system that would cause a systematic oppression of humans. Why is there a distinction? Aren't all equal. Doesn't all humans have equal rights? The untouchability, prevention of worship to the lower caste people etc. aren't they the greatest means of human hatred.Wasn't Vidura a man of less calibre. Is the rationale that argues that if this form of caste system exists that they need not follow this religion. Does it mean that in the olden days only higher caste people went to Ashrams for education and lower castes were denied education.
Or is it Deeds that determine one's caste?
Does it mean that a Shudra who is learned and virtuous is a Brahmin. Does it mean anyone despite his/her background(or birth)a person take to learning, yagna disciplines etc.Does it mean a Brahmin who takes to heinous activities no longer remains a Brahmin and becomes a Shudra. Isn't there a great loophole in the religion.
Manu's laws and Chanakya niti cite various examples of what a Brahmin should and shouldn't do. In Mahabharata Karna was ridiculed because of his birth. Wasn't that the time when Shri Krishna was there - how was it permitted? Wasn't he skilled enough as Arjuna.Why isn't Vedic learning made available to those who earn for it?
Forgotten are the various strict disciplines of Brahmins.Why isn't scriptures made available to everyone.
Shouldn't we the higher caste people feel guilty for the various atrocities done to the lower castes. Doesn't it require a public apology by us. Shouldn't we take active steps to clear off this stigma and bring about the true nature of the caste system and society. Shouldn't we get our priorities right. In times where there is racism in the West and deliberate attempts made to prevent spread of Sanatana Dharma, shouldn't steps be made to fight this menace on philosophical grounds.
People in the west regard ( are/were made to regard ) SD or Hinduism as a cult wherein lots of strange looking gods, tribal ceremonies, sex, untouchability, and oppression of women exist. Its very difficult for people in western countries to preserve our culture.
Thanks and Regards,