Cultural diversity is celebrated all over the world as the inclusion of all regardless of race,
gender,religion etc.But in almost all the countries cultural diversity causes bitterness
and hostility between various races and ethnic groups.
The Apartheid in South Africa,the caste system in India,the class system in capitalist countries etc.resulted in the acceptance of a permanent state of inferiority by a group of people who were silenced because of any of these discrimination’s.
As the race and class discrimination prevailed in Western countries,caste system was deep rooted in India as part of the Vedic culture.Though the Vedic texts teach the higher wisdom,common people followed the path of Karma or riteous living which is of lower and relativistic nature.
The path of Jnana(Wisdom) was chosen by only a few enlightened people.Following rituals without understanding its wisdom significance gradually led to a cultural trend of narrow vision and lesser value.
Unlike the class system which is based on factors like wealth,income,education and occupation, the racism and caste system are based on heredity with a fixed ritual status.
Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to physical appearance and can be divided based on the superiority of one race over another.
The caste system in India divides Hindus into four main categories-Brahmins,Kshatriyas,Vaishyas and the Shudras.Brahmins are on the top of this hierarchy and the Shudras or the untouchables are placed at the bottom.
It is usually believed that the groups originated from Brahma, the Hindu God of Creation.The Upanishads and the Bhagavat Gita consider Self I realization,a state which can beattained through the brilliance of a higher understanding,higher value and broader vision of life as the goal of man.
We should realize that terms like Brahmin and Pariah are ideas superimposed on the reality,that is human nature which is essentially one.
In his book The Word of the Guru,Nataraja Guru explains the real definition of caste as follows:
“The Upanishads speak of Brahman(Brahminhood) and Kshatram(Kshatriyahood) as attitudes of the personality which are superimposed as secondary conditionings on the self”.
The basic ego is characterless and neutral but becomes specialized with character as Brahmin and Kshatriya which finally attains culmination in the extinction of death.The numinous self is the neutral basis for all the secondary conditionings,social,psychological or religious added on to it. Such is the attitude of the highest Upanishads with regard to Brahminhood”.
Narayana Guru,without using any ambiguous explanations,denies castes such as Brahmin and Pariah.In his ‘A Critique of Caste’ Guru says:
” Man’s Humanity marks out the Humankind
Even as Bovinity proclaims a cow
Brahminhood and such are not thus-wise
None do see this truth, Alas!”
We treat Jati(Caste) almost like a difference in species.Even people like Mahatma Gandhi believed in Varnashrama system.Though Gandhiji was against untouchability,he believed in caste division by birth. like intercaste dining,intercaste marriage, sociological experiments for the improvement of man etc are possible to a certain extent,but it will be like an Utopian model which we can never see in reality.
Even today caste- based discrimination can be seen in some places. The historical,sociological,economic or even dialectical circumstances may have caused the complex configuration of caste. To get rid of the prejudices about caste, we should revalue and restate the principles on caste.
All caste prejudices based on heredity, dynasty and blind tradition must be dispelled. For this, we should attain higher wisdom through contemplation. The discipline of contemplation complements the discipline of science.
Let us have a wholehearted intellectual sympathy which will firmly establish an intuitive
understanding about ourselves.