Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Responses to Dr. Zakir Naik: Part 2: Gita references

This is part 2 in response to Dr. Zakir Naik's references to Bhagawad Gita.

1)  "chAturvarNyam mayA srishTaM": Hinduism creates "Caste System"
No. It does not. The current distorted 'caste system' is a 'jAti' system, which is a major deviation from the actual 'varNa' system mentioned in the Bhagawad Gita and the vedas. 

Dr. Naik only partially quotes what Sri Krishna clearly states in the Gita. Dr. Naik quotes the first part, which is "chAturvarNyam mayA srishTam" (the four varnas are created by me), however deliberately ignores the second half, which is key - "guNa karma vibhAgashaH". The 'classification' is based on two key factors - GUNA (qualities, attitudes, attributes, inclinations) and KARMA (actions, activities, professions). There is no mention of "jAti" (birth) here, which is unlike the current jAti based caste system. 

Everyone is said to be born a "shudra" and can evolve in the varNa system depending on the qualities and professions one possesses, acquires, nurtures and develops. There are many examples of born 'shudras' becoming celebrated 'brahmaNas', and born 'brAhmaNas' becoming 'shudras' etc. Example, Lord Parashurama was a brahmaNa by birth and became a kshatriya later, so did Drona. Valmiki was a shudra who later became a Brahmana. There are many examples for all possible cases. Most of the so called 'brahmins' these days are nothing more than 'shudras' (by guNa and karma). There is NO "CONVERSION" here, but a subjective system of self-elevation. Each individual is responsible for his own varna; he can evolve or devolve.
Following is a very simplistic view of how the Varna system falls in place. 
  • A 'brahmaNa' is anyone who is inclined towards cleanliness, austerities, neatness, discipline, non-violence, God realization, self-realization, broad mindedness, education, educating way of life etc; the scholarly category
  • A 'kshatriya' is anyone who is inclined towards protecting people, seeking challenges, being in action,  being passionate etc; the soldier / fighter category
  • A 'vaishya' is anyone who is inclined towards money making, business, buying-selling things, profit making, creating wealth, finances etc; a banker, shopkeeper etc
  • A 'shudra' is anyone who is inclined towards serving others, has inclinations towards intoxication and unclean activities etc; those in the service category, the maid sevants etc
None of the above qualities come with birth. Irrespective of whether one is a Muslim or a Hindu or a Christian or a Sikh or a Jew or a Buddhist or a Jain or whatever, they all fall into one or more of the above categories. Birth may have an influence on some of the qualities but one has inclinations irrespective of birth. So, 'jAti' may contribute but not complete in itself, because genes matter. One is said to choose a family according to past karma, so jAti has a place via 'karma'.

2) Dr. Naik also quotes Purusha Sookta phrase "brAhmaNOsya mukhamAseet, bAhoo rajanyaH kRutaH, ooru tadasya yad vaishyaH, padmbhyAguM shoodro ajAyata". He interprets this shloka to argue that Hinduism creates caste system - that the brahmaNas are superior and the shudras the inferior. 

Dr. Naik misleads again, probably due to ignorance. What is discussed here is again NOT A JAATI SYSTEM. It talks about the LORD, and how can the Lord, who is complete in all respects - "poorNamadaH poorNamidaM poorNAt poorNamudhachate poorNasya poorNamAdAya poorNamEva avasiShyate", be subject to higher and lower parts? It is a human tendency (the koopa maNduka nyAya) to equate the human aspects to those of the Lord; for a less intelligent human the feet might be the lowest but this logic does not apply to God. Also note how the moon, the Sun, the creatures etc are all said to be emanating out of the Lord. How then can that be equated on human terms? 

And, Dr. Naik should know that MOST LEARNED SCHOLARS ASPIRE TO PROSTRATE AT THE SACRED FEET OF THE LORD. Most scholars have sung praises of the foot of the Lord - padAravindam - the Lotus Feet of the sweet Lord. So, it is nothing but foolishness to even propose that shudras are designated to menial status by comparing with the feet! Each person, each category has a role to play and 'Hindu' scriptures / system does not degrade anyone. This is also a proof for the unbaked nature of Dr. Naik's analysis and (mis)understanding of 'Hindu' ideology and scriptures. 

3) Chapter 7, verses 20-23 - "The fools worship Demigods": 
Yes, Sri Krishna does say that whoever worships whatever forms will attain those levels according to one's intelligence, and that He Himself delivers the fruits of those actions. Sri Krishna does call those who worship other 'gods' (demigods) as 'alpa medhasAH" - the less intelligent ones, and that the fruits of their actions are temporary - short-lived. Dr. Naik uses this as an argument that this is why people should worship ONE GOD - ALLAH. If that is so, then in the same verses Krishna says that He is that ONE GOD, the SUPREME LORD (maheshvara), that He is the God of all 'gods', that there is no one above Him, that EVERYTHING comes from Him, and that all the 'gods' get their powers from Him alone. So, if Dr. Naik were to argue on this point, then he has no choice but to accept Sri Krishna as the Lord Himself by his own logic. One has the take texts in its entirety and not bits and pieces of it to distort to one's own logic. 

This concludes Part 2 of response to Dr. Zakir Naik.

Part 3 is here: http://gita-god-hinduism.blogspot.ca/2013/05/responses-to-dr-zakir-naik-part-3-vedas.html

No comments:

Post a Comment