deepbluehum wrote:Let me try to sew up a point here so that this might get back on topic. What's happening on this board with Western dharma is imagining a dharma that isn't real, a Pollyanna dharma. Vedic dharma has always been about heredity. The idea that from the primordial sound AUM emanated all the Vedas, the rishis the brahmans and all the castes is the basis for this millennial aged Eugenics program. Make no mistake, it is about racism. It's not good. It is a mind numbing evil. Shame on India for it. If you want to go get involved with that, you can't, you are barred by birth. You can go be an outcaste; see how you like it.
An analsys of the role of Varna in pre-5th century AD India shows that jati and varna were not so hard and fast. In fact the ossification of jati in India really is a function first of Mughal interference and secondly, British interference.
Incidentally, there really is no caste system in South India -- the area most free from colonial influence.
Then, you look at Malcolm's new fetish for all things Vedic, I think it arises from the similarity of the Dzogchen tantras to the Vedas with respect to their "primordial origin" in the sound of "A."
You obviously have not been paying attention to my writing for many years. I have observed that Vedic ideas are important in Buddhism in a postive sense rather than the commonly assumed negative sense for the entire 17 years I have participated online in any fashion. I have always been interested in and felt positive regard for the Vedas.
Dzogchen, Tantra, and the Vedas, as well as some trends in Mahāyāna Sutra, all share common assumptions about śabda based on ancient Indian grammatical science.
Here's a reason why India is so F'd up, it's the caste system. It makes people crazy. It makes the country crazy.
As noted above, the ossification of the caste system (in North India primarily) is largely a result of eight hundred years of external colonialism by first the Mughals and then the Brits-- imposing caste as a method of social control. It is not intrinsic to the Indian culural idea of Varna or Jati. Any quick read of the Pali suttas proves this.
Further, the Dalit identity was largely created by Colonial Brits.
The idea that Sanskrit itself encodes the primordial sounds of divinity is stupid bullshit.
It's not about Sanskrit per se --though for some Indians it may very well be. Nevetheless, no one can argue that Sanskrit is not a brilliant language system, and in fact modern linguistics up to Chomsky is based on it.