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Reformation in Hindu Society is the need of the hour

It is high time that Hindus thought about reformation in Hindu society and religion. There is widespread inequality and there is a lack of concern for impoverished Hindus and this is damaging Hinduism. A section of Hindu society has progressed economically in the last couple of decades, primarily due to their hard work and willingness to adapt to the modern needs. But majority of Hindus are still fighting in the name of caste and they are being exploited by politicians, fundamentalists and Christian missionaries.

Untouchability and caste discrimination – Indian constitution has done all that is possible to stop this heinous practice. But sadly Untouchability and caste discrimination still persists in Hindu society. Laws are not going to change the situation; change should happen in the mindset of the people.

Know that all this, whatever moves in this moving world, is enveloped by Brahman. Therefore find your enjoyment in renunciation; do not covet what belongs to others – this first stanza in Isa Upanishad contains the core teaching of Hinduism.

But sadly majority of Hindus follow what some cunning Brahmin priests had written for their selfish needs.

Don’t blame Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) for the present situation, the fault lies in all those Hindus that practice caste and Untouchability. Those Hindus that can’t change dig up scriptures to find solace for their heinous practice in some verses.

How can we keep someone outside when Hindu religion teaches Tat Tvam Asi – Thou art that.

Hindus should openly come out and condemn such practices.

Also all Hindus should be given the opportunity to perform pujas. If a Hindu is qualified to do the pujas then his caste should not be a problem.

Women empowerment through economic freedom – Hindu women should play a greater role in Hindu society and in religious activities. This can only happen through education and economic freedom. Economic freedom is will only happen through small neighborhood co-operative movements. Forget the jobs in companies. Women should gather together and find an economic source.

Women should start administrating temples and should form organizations to help the needy in their neighborhood. They should raise their voice against female feticide and caste discrimination. They should stress on the need for education, the need for economic freedom and equality. Several women are taking up the job of priests in India and abroad. The need of the hour is more women Hindu Priestesses.

Female feticide: Only sons can perform rituals like Shradh or Tarpan (Death rituals) is sheer ignorance of Hinduism. Hindus blindly follow cunning priests. And sadly most of these practices are defended by quoting Puranas, which are of very late origin and some of them written by various sects. There is nothing called scriptural sanction in Hinduism. Sanatana Dharma believes in self realization and should not go into the past to get realized. Realization should happen in the present.

Pray to Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Durga but kill the Goddess that is arriving at home. This is hypocrisy.

The mother should stand up and fight for her girl child. For this she needs economic freedom and Hindu society should form co-operative societies to help women.

What is even more bewildering is that it is educated middle class Hindus that practice Female feticide. Killing girl child should be publicly condemned and such people should have no space in Hindu society.

Dowry: Female feticide and dowry are closely related. To fight this, Hindu women should have economic freedom and society should accept single women who stand up against dowry. Worshipping Lakshmi is not enough that any person can do. What is needed is respecting living Lakshmis.

Widows: Widows are still mistreated in some sections of Hindu society. Economic freedom is the main solution and the Hindu society should give more emphasis of re-marriage. Stop blaming widows – stop saying that they are ‘Abshakun’ etc.

Dowry, female feticide and mistreatment of widows stem from lack of economic freedom. Hindu women should show collective power. Each woman should use media to fight her cause. She should speak out. Her tale should reach other women and the general public.

Cleanliness: Sadly, some of the Hindu temples in North India are dirty. There is a huge difference in South India; the temples there are well maintained. Such things can only change when people’s attitude changes.

Rituals: A large section of Hindus are engrossed in rituals and practices to please deities in Hindu pantheon. They want to always be sure that they are doing it the correct way. They feel God is sitting on the top and watching all the rituals and looking for mistakes. There is no God in Hinduism who sits with a remote control on the top. The god in Hinduism is present in all animate and inanimate and That Brahman is not going to be pleased by a perfect ritual or mistakes made in a ritual.

Because rituals involve material objects and because there is a system as well as a defined goal, a person's expectations grow and become vivid. When someone performs a ritual and the expected results don't occur, as is usually the case, that person becomes disappointed.

In order to cope with the disappointment, the person tries to discover the mistake in the ritual. Then the interpreter, who is usually the priest, takes advantage of the subtle tendencies of the mind of the person performing the ritual and puts the entire blame on the performer:

"You didn't do it with the right attitude of mind; you did not follow the exhortations correctly; you did not give the appropriate love offering to the officiating priests"; and so on.

Such explanations create and perpetuate guilt.

As the ancient portions of the revealed scriptures state, the original rituals were a simple means of channeling one's devotion toward the divine. They did not require help from priests and clergy. However due to ignorance, laziness, or the tendency to lean on others, aspirants want their rituals to be done by someone else, namely a priest. In order to display their expertise and impress their clients, priests elaborate the rituals, causing them to become riddled by dogma and superstition. – Adi Shankaracharya

Reformation in Hindu society can happen only when individuals start learning the true teaching of Hinduism themselves – that is by reading the scriptures and contemplating on them. Stop blindly following priests and Godmen.

Change should happen in the heart of the individuals. That change will reflect in homes. Change in a home will reflect in the neighborhood and it continues….

But all this will happen only when an individual decides to change for good.