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Q&A: Where one who practices Hinduism stands on Socialism

Emily, a reader of Hindu Blog, wanted to know about Hinduism's views on Socialism. Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines Socialism as the set of beliefs which states that all people are equal and should share equally in the wealth of the country, or the political systems based on these beliefs. Thousands of years before modern man thought about Socialism, the great sages of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) taught the lessons of equality of not only of humans but animals and all that is in Nature.

The opening stanza of Isa Upanishad (Ishavasya Upanishad) reads like this:

Ishavasyam Idam Sarvam Yat Kim Cha Jagatyam Jagat
Tena Tyaktena bhunjitha, ma gradha kasyasvid dhanam

Know that all this whatever moves in this moving world is enveloped by God. Therefore find your enjoyment in renunciation, do not covet what belongs to others.

The same idea is echoed in numerous other ancient Hindu scriptures. Gandhiji found in this mantra not just universal brotherhood of all human beings but of all living beings.

But this does not mean that majority of the Hindus are socialists.

Socialism in its true sense was never practiced in those countries that elected political parties that believed in Socialist ideology.

Similarly, the world would have been a better place had people followed the true teachings of their religion found in Bhagavad Gita, Bible and Quran.

Change has to happen in one’s heart and this can only happen when the individual realizes his/her individuality and starts to think independently by taking inspiration from religious texts.

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