The Cyber-Cave

Reflections on the political, technological, cultural and economic trends of the world

India

“Unripe in mind, in spirit undiscerning, I ask of these the Gods’ established places….

….What thing I truly am I know not clearly: mysterious, fettered in my mind I wander.
When the first-born of holy Law approached me, then of this speech I first obtain a portion.” (Rig Veda Hymn 1) [1]

‘Varna’: sanskrit for ‘type’, ‘order’, ‘class’ though literally meaning ‘colour’. There were four main castes: the Brahmins, the warriors, the merchants/farmers, the artisans/servants. The four castes had the respective symbolic colours of white, red, yellow and black. Members of the three higher castes are generally called “twice-born,” because of a ritual for adolescent males which is considered as a new spiritual birth.
Artisans/servants are generally forbidden from studying the Sanskrit scripture.
The “dalits” (‘untouchables’) do not belong to any caste and are considered to be the lowest ranking citizens in the social hierarchy.

Within the castes there are numerous hereditary occupational groups (jati). Memembers of these groups are encouraged to marry among each other, stay in their location and keep the same occupation. A family or a Jati has a specific Deity to which is devoted (the two most popular being Shiva and Visnu). The caste system became more rigid in the Classical Sanskrit period than in the Vedic era- Hindu writings started emphasising the importance of caste purity due to the dharma (religious law).

BJP party wants Indian life to be more ‘swadeshi’. Commercial products should be ‘ayurvedic’ (rooted in the ancient Hindu tradition).
One of the biggest supporters of Modi is businessman and yoga guru Baba Ramdev.
Senior BJP members were shown in a youtube video with the signature “Shapath Patra” (‘oath’).

SOURCES:
-[1] Rig Veda, tr. by Ralph T.H. Griffith, [1896]

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