Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Quick take on Fundamental Concepts

KMS has asked a few questions of fundamental importance here. Here are my answers on the fly. I am printing the questions and answers both. The answers are in bold.

1. Are truth, Justice, equality relative? Or absolute?

1. The question of absoluteness or relativeness is within the scope of truth and not beyond it. And since any Justice worth its name must derive from Truth, it too is not necessarily bound by the qualifications like absolute or relative. Equality, except in a purely technical sense, could be considered as absolute or relative depending upon perspectives.

2. Is religion and Dharma same? Or different?

2. Different.

3. Is religion/Dharma one? Or many

3. Dharma is One. (Counter Question: Is Science one or many?)

4. Are all religions same? Are the eseence of their teaching same?

4. No. No.

5. What are Dharma Shasta’s? Could we consider Quran, Bible, Manusmrithi as Dharmashastras?

5. We could as in exercising our freedom, but we would be wrong in doing so.

6. Could/should we change Dharmashastras over time?

6. Could we? Dharmashastras? Possibly yes. Dharma? NO.
Should we? Dahrmashastras? No. Dharma? Not Possible! So the question is moot.

7. Could we change Vedas? In accordance with our times?

7. No. (Counter Question: Can we change the record of Michelson and Morley's Experiment?). But we may attain seemingly new understanding. (Like we may re-interpret the results of Michelson and Morley's Experiment).

8. If Varna is birth based, is it impossible to justify?

8. No. (Examples: Vishwamitra changed from Kshatriya to Brahmin. Jabala became a Rishi. Narada became Devarshi.) Even gender is not necessarily birth-based. (Example: Shikhandi was born a woman and became a man.)

But there may be some argument in seriously considering birth as a significant factor in determination of Varna.

9. Is it not possible to prove that Hinduism as a just system with Varnashrama as its integral part?

9. It may not be possible to prove it as a certain effect. But it may surely be possible to prove it as an intended effect, and may be experienced as such.