In the 1995 ruling of the case, “Bramchari Sidheswar Shai and others Versus State of West Bengal” the court identified seven defining characteristics of Hinduism but people are still confused to what exactly defines being a Hindu in the 21st century. It’s staggering how uninformed individuals can be about their own religion; according to a speech by Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya there are various common notions we carry about who a Hindu is:
Anyone born in India is automatically a Hindu
If your parents are Hindu, you’re are also inevitably a Hindu
If you believe in reincarnation, you’re a Hindu
If you follow any religion practiced in India, you’re a Hindu
And lastly, if you are born in a certain caste, you’re a Hindu
After answering these statements some fail to remove their doubts on who a Hindu is.
The question arises when someone is unsure on how to portray themselves in the society, many people follow a set of notions which might/might not be the essence of Hinduism and upon asked why they perform a particular ritual they are clueless. The problem is that the teachings are passed on for generations and the source has been long forgotten, for the source is exactly where the answer lies.
Religion corresponds to scriptural texts The world is home to many religions and each religion has its own uniqueness portrayed out of the scriptures and teachings which are universally accepted. So to simplify the dilemma one can say that determining whether someone belongs to a particular religion is directly related to whether he/she follows the religious scriptures of the particular religion, and also whether they abide to live by the authority of the scriptural texts.
Christianity emerges from the guidance of the Gospels and Islam from the Quran where Christians believe Jesus died for their sins and Muslims believe there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet.
Similarly, Hinduism emerges from a set of scriptures known as the Vedas and a Hindu is one who lives according to Dharma which is implicated in the divine laws in the Vedic scriptures.By default, the person who follows these set of religious texts is a Hindu.
The above is from Newsgram, a newletter I receive from Dr. Raizada, from Chicago.
I do not accept the view that you are born into a caste.
This is the result of defiling the original caste system which was started by our ancient Rishis.
The original caste system was that you are not born into a caste but become of a particular caste because of your innate qualities or "Gunas", they called it.
Every human being has the three Gunas, Satvik, Rajas and Tamas, in varying proportions.
Depending upon the proportion of each, you became a Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Shudra. This was not to put down any caste but to given an occupation to each person, according according to his qualifications.
In modern days, does the son/daughter of a doctor, necessarily become a doctor or the son/daughter of an engineer necessarily become and engineer or the son/dughter of an IT professional necessarily become an IT professional? If they do not follow their father's profession are they still called doctor, engineer or IT professional? If not, then why are the sons/daughters of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras have to be called by those castes?
It is because the Brahmins of the time destroyed the original caste system for their own selfish ends.
Since Brahmins enjoyed certain privileges given them by society, they wanted their children to continue to enjoy those privileges and made the necessary changes. Thus the son of a Brahmin may be a sweeper in Municipality of Railway, but he will continue to be called a Brahmin.
Can a doctor's son, who is not a qualified doctor, add that title to his name and start practising. He will be hauled up by the government and cases filed against him.
Instead of wasting time of inane matters like cows and love-jehad and Bullet Trains, Modi would do well to remove this distortion which has crept into our social life so that India can once again become one.
But will Mohan Bhagwat and the Sangh parivar allow him to do so, even if he agrees?
I doubt it for it is in the genes of the present day upper caste people to torture the Dalits.