sAmAnya dharma

S. V. Subrahmanian svs_shankara at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 26 16:56:23 CDT 2000

Responses to Shri Vivekji and Shri Anandji (from Women in Vedanta):

Shri Vivekji wrote:

 >  Men ( especially Indian ) have always subjected their
 >counterparts to exacting standards in faith, learning,
 >courage and culture.

What was wrong there, was that they expected from women what they themselves
in most situations could not deliver.  Also they expected that women will
not expect it from them.  Expectation of high standards by itself is not
wrong.  Not reciprocating or being accountable is what is wrong.

>And, the women have met and exceeded such standards.

And men who have them as wives, mothers and sisters are indeed proud of

Note it is the same BharatIya Samskriti that said:

"yatra nAryestu pUjyante, tatra ramante devatAhA
yatra yetAstu na pUjyante, tatra aphalA kriyAhA"

Where the women are worhsipped/respected there the Gods rejoice.
Where the women are not respected their actions/worship do not yeild

Shri Anandji wrote:

are really, in my opinion, part of a bigger problem of dharma
in India. Dharma is dying a slow but horrible death as time progresses.
Even the basic sAmAnya-dharma (I tried to start a discussion on this
but there was lack of interest) is not being followed in India even
though such sAmAnya dharma is being followed to a relatively higher
degree in other countries.

If you are saying this is because of Kali, then it should affect the entire
Bhuloka, not just India.  But you also say that it is being followed to a
better degree elsehwere.  Could this be attributed to Kali ?  In which case
should we not see an overall decline ?

Also, you mentioned that members did not evince interest in your initiating
a discussion on sAmAnya dharma.  Could you atleast write what you had in
mind (I read your articles quite seriously) ?

Also I don't believe that dharma is totally on the downside.  There are some
very good improvements that have happened.

I will quote one or two.  Take the case of punishments.  Can you imagine how
cruel punishment was in those days.  People were asked to sit upon a pointed
needle and were dragged into it, by pulling both legs.  This is just one
case.  Today we have govts discussing about banning capital punishment

Second.  The very notion of democratic governance is an improvement over the
aristocratic governance.

I am not trying to turn this to a socialogical discussion, but if we look at
different vyavahArAs, there are downturns agreed (licentious relationships,
speech not backed by action etc), but there are upward trends too.  So are
we right in accusing ourselves that we have let the sAmAnya dharma go down ?
  Or are we just saying yes to Shri vyAsa maharshi (we can certainly do that
out of SraddhA towards him), but we have to be clear in our minds as to
whether it is observed or believed.

Just a question, if you have time.
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