[Advaita-l] Re: janmana jaayate shUdraH

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 14 15:30:05 CST 2005

--- Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:


> We are wandering far afield from this list's
> main focus,

For that reason, I'll keep this posting brief.


> >It's a tricky thing to preserve our traditional teachings
> that
> >uphold the shAstras as being the sole means of knowing
> dharma,
> >in a democratic nation where the "vote-taking method" is the
> >primary way of arriving at ethical decisions. In such a
> >contrast, the majority opinion will *always* overrule the
> >shAstra!
> Sorry, even in a democratic nation, a significant number of
> decisions, 
> especially ethical ones, are not decided by majority vote.
> That is why there 
> are such institutions as the judiciary, which are not beholden
> to vote-bank 
> politics. And there are constitutional freedoms ensured too.

The laws of any democratic nation are framed by the Legislature
-- based on voting.

The constitution of a democratic nation can be amended -- again
by voting.

The judiciary merely ensures that the laws are interpreted in
the right manner. In other words, the judiciary passes its
ruling based on the laws that have already been framed by the
majority opinion.

Therefore, the apt parallel to the dharma shAstras in today's
India is Legislative Law --

Judiciary System : rAjA :: Legislative Law : dharma shAstras

For example, the law permitting meat-eating at restaurants is
based on vote. Even though it may be *unethical* for a Brahmin
who is versed in the Vedas to eat unconsecrated meat, no judge
in any modern Indian court can enforce such a rule. The
judiciary cannot operate independent of the "Law passed by
vote", so the judges are also really only protecting the
majority opinion in their decisions.

Hence my statement: "the majority opinion will *always* overrule
the shAstra."


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