Hinduism is riddled with several ills. One which has been most often held against is casteism. We have had Sati Pratha as a bane and several such other blots.
The invigorating thing is that there have been several saints or thinkers who have revolted against centuries of sacred beliefs, challenged them and got the same eradicated or at substantially curbed. Best thing is nearly all such saints were venerated and held in high esteem.
Obviously they did have to face resistance from the established system, yet they were seldom persecuted or hounded by established system such as church in the case of Galileo or Darwin.
Most of them became famous and honourable in their life time alone. When in 8th Century Adi Shankaracharya spoke against blind faith and professed questioning Brahma himself, no one tried to hound him into silence. He was as much a revolutionary as Jesus Christ yet he was held sacred and not crucified. For his questioning of Brahma’s existence he could had been declared a heretic and hanged. No, he was able to establish FOUR Peeths or four centres of excellence where people could go and study his concept of Vedantic Hinduism.
Yet Hinduism is portrayed as an obscurantist religion and Islam and Christianity egalitarian and youthful or modern religion.
Islam was founded about Fourteen Centuries back. It is certainly the latest version of an inspiration, which is the principal objective of a religion. Yet the society has changed a lot in last fifty years let aside Fourteen Hundred Years. Any dead institution or book should not be allowed to remain an authority upon human behavior for such a long period, unless open to reinterpretation, continuous subjected to intensive questioning, and suitable amendment. A stagnant society/Religion can not claim MODERNHOOD.
I have been wondering as to why there have been no Raja Ram Mohan Rais in Islam. Why no Dayanand Saraswati.
The answer is that Hinduism is a progressive religion which has no qualms about admitting its mistakes and making amends. Sati pratha was wrong, society accepted law that no one can even worship any diety as Sati. The concept was declared Impious and the person who was responsible for obtaining such declaration was a Hindu alone.
While Gandhi was fighting against Casteism, he became a very respected figure. No Hindu saints or thinkers issued any FATWA against him.
A person like Charvak who refused to cognize God was accepted as a RISHI.
A Religion is nothing but a process of thought to inspire oneself to manifest his best self. An individual’s intellect is the only valid prism to refract the inspiration and define one’s Dharma. No dead institution can have privy over his consciousness.
Sadly Islam is a religion which has a central edict “Not to question”. No research’s permissible. Any fresh interpretation or diagnosis is beyond the permitted liberties. An unquestionable doctrine is nothing but a blindfold. No one ever has become a Reformer with blindfolded eyes.
The Reformers or the people who tried to bring about change became Pariahs. The founder of Sufi sect was butchered mercilessly. Ahmediyas have been declared heretics and are subject to regular large scale assassination in Pakistan. Wahabis the so called reformers are speaking the language of terrorism.
Church hounded Galileo for his heliocentric theory. Charles Darwin was a persecuted man. The only incident of stoning of a saint in Hinduism was that of Charvak for his Godlessness. And he said not respecting opposite views would cause decline of ones religion. Ultimately he was declared a Rishi.
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