Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Jan 20 12:29:36 CST 1998

On Tue, 20 Jan 1998, Chandran, Nanda (NBC) wrote:

> Anybody who's read the text is aware of the level of discrimination
> expounded against castes, women in the text.

And stages of life, and amount of wealth, and geographic location etc.

> And as equality and
> egalitarianism is observed in the current world and definitely on this list,

One can find many examples of inequality in the current world and not just
in "primitive" places either.  California, the most populous state, has
exactly the same representation in the senate as a sparsely populated one
like North Dakota.  In sports, there is a seperate womens NBA, and the
players in the mens NBA make a lot more money.  Not to mention all sports
discriminate against the slow and fat even though a substantial number of
americans are overweight.  In the economic sphere, pay scales are vastly
different for different jobs and in the same job for different locations.

And on this list, people definitely pick and choose about what they want
to consider equal.

> my question was that, then can the Manusmriti be considered as a valid
> source of knowledge?

Given that equality is hardly the norm, a better question might be why
should egalitarianism be considered a valid criteria to judge?

> Ram Chandran replied something to the effect that since the text has been
> written ages ago and since we're not really aware of the scenario then,
> there's no point questioning it.
> Doesn't seem like a strong argument to me. For if we're following texts
> which are millennia old, we should follow them as they've been expounded. Is
> it correct if we follow parts which suits us and abandon others which don't?
> If it's correct, then shouldn't we be outright in classifying texts which
> expound otherwise as worthless?
> Personally it's none of my business who learns Vedanta or not, and I
> sincerely feel sincerity is all that's needed. But in a school of thought
> where TRUTH is the thumb rule, this kind of hypocrisy stinks!

This is why Hinduism will survive the present crop of critics as it has
survived all others.  Hypocrisy will always eventually collapse under the
weight of its own contradictions.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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