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Within An analysis of the religion of hinduism of these classes there were further sub divisions.
Megasthanese identified two distinct divisions with in the philosophers group, the priests and the ascetics. In the Satavahana empire, society was organized into four classes The first class consisted of high ranking officials and feudatory chieftains such as Maharathis, Mahabhojas and Mahasenapatis.
The second class consisted of officials such as ministers and treasurers Amatyas, Mahamatras and Bhandagarikas and non-officials such as merchants, traders and heads of guilds Naigama, Sarthvaha and Sreshtin. The third class consisted of professionals such as scribes lekhakasphysicians vaidyascultivators halakiyasgoldsmiths suvarnakaras and chemists gandhikas.
The fourth class consisted of carpenters vardhakigarderners malakarasblacksmiths lohavanija and fishermen dasakas. The Guptas patronized Hinduism and revived many ancient Vedic traditions.
They enforced the caste system throughout their empire with religious zeal.
They implemented many traditions of Vedic religion as a part of the king's duty to uphold and protect religious laws dharma and safeguard the caste system from the unlawful inter mixture of castes. The Brahmins, who enjoyed many privileges under their patronage, were known for their austere lives.
There were many groups within the priestly class, each performing specific duties. They studied the scriptures, practiced contemplation, devotional worship and observed austerities such as tapas and penance.
They received lavish gifts and land grants from kings, often entire villages in return for their services. People venerated the saints and regarded the places where they lived as sacred places.
The kings employed royal priests whom they consulted frequently. Brahmins of this period belonged to many lineages or gotras. The Guptas brought peace and prosperity to the Indian subcontinent and contributed to the emergence of new classes of aristocracy.
Their period witnessed the development new elite groups, as in the Roman empire, in the form of urban bourgeoisie consisting of wealthy traders and merchants and landed gentry owning vast tracts of agricultural lands, which precipitated a new power struggle requiring compromises within the social structure.
While the priestly classes had their religious authority over the sudras or the landless peasants, the landed gentry assumed feudal and administrative authority over them. The assimilation of foreign groups such as the Hunas in the declining phase of the Gupta rule resulted in some social unrest and imbalances within society.
According to Havell, the infusion of Huna blood lowered the high ethical standards of Indo-Aryan traditions and caused the growth of many vulgar superstitions which were never contradicted by the great teachers of India. The intolerance of the Hunans only added to the rigidity of the caste system in the subsequent period as a defensive reaction, just as the intolerant attitude of Muslim rulers contributed to rigid caste system during the medieval period.
Hiuen Tsang who visited India during the reign of Harshavardhana noticed that the caste system dominated the Hindu society. He described the four distinct classes as described in the Hindu law books.
The Brahmins and the Kshatriyas observed decency and decorum in their dress and eating habits. The higher castes were very particular about cleanliness. After eating food they destroyed the wooden and stone vessels in which they ate food and cleaned the metal ones thoroughly.
They lived upright and honest lives and dreaded the retribution of bad karma. There were no inter-caste marriages and marriages with in the same caste among close relations. The caste distinctions and restrictions in food and marriage, however, did not prevent various castes from interacting socially with people from different castes.
Despite its universal appeal and emphasis on Muslim brotherhood, Islam could neither destroy the caste system nor the Vedic religion nor the related beliefs and practices.
Caste system actually helped Hinduism to maintain its integrity and inner strength during this turbulent period. Some Muslim rulers made attempts to humiliate higher caste Hindus by forcing them to work in Muslim households as servants after reducing them to penury through unjust taxation.
They also managed to convert to Islam some low caste and a few high caste Hindus. Some Muslim rulers made it a policy to kill a certain number of Hindus each year to humiliate and destroy followers of native faiths. These developments made the caste system even more rigid and uncompromising.
Those who switched their loyalties to the new religion usually the lower castes became despicable and loathsome in the eyes of those who suffered silently. Interestingly the newly converted Muslims maintained some sort of caste system among themselves based on their old caste affiliations and added a new social dimension to the community of Muslims in the country.
The British respected the Indian caste system in formulating their civil and criminal laws and in enforcing their military and government policies regarding governance, military administration, civil services, trade and commerce, education and employment.
They did not attempt to abolish the caste system as they saw in it a great opportunity to maintain their hold upon people by keeping them divided on caste and religious lines. The Christian missionaries who enjoyed their covert patronage found in it a convenient means to convert people to Christianity and keep the Hindu organizations on the defensive.
Educated Indian middle classes sensed the threat the missionaries posed to the integrity of Hinduism and felt the need to reform the caste system and some outdated practices in the interests of preserving and safeguarding Hinduism and Hindu community. Indian scholars used religious themes and ancient legends to instill feelings of pride and nationalism in people.Hinduism is the term used to describe the diverse forms of religious expression native to the Indian subcontinent.
Despite their vast diversity, these spiritual traditions are linked by a number of similarities, including the recognition of many different gods, great value placed on becoming a sannyasi or rishi (holy ascetic living in the forest), meditation, complex rituals, and a belief in reincarnation.
The Comparative study between Hinduism and Buddhism *1G. B. Nandan and 2Nasir Ahmed M. Jangubhai The religion of Hinduism teaches us that each living body, including animals, is filled with an eternal religion, a philosophy, a psychological system, an ethico-moral code, a socio-economic blue-print, and so on.
Hinduism Birth is the ritual that sets up a Hindu person for the rest of their life. This ritual means to the community that they are accepting and welcoming a new spiritual life into their lives.
Why is this ritual being held? This ritual is held because it is blessing for the rest of a Hindu’s life. Attempt a comparative analysis of Hinduism, and Buddhism with reference to their origins, beliefs, and practices Hinduism is an ancient religion whose origin and founder are not known.
Hinduism is a combination of all types of different religious beliefs and philosophies that . - Hindu Rituals The model worshiper for the Hindu religion would be one that expresses one's devotion in every action that they take.
Though the this is true in most religion's the Hindu religion is different in that rituals, festivals and other such type of practice are not the same as worship in the Hindu religion.
The comparative analysis presented here is focused on Christianity and the major Eastern religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism, because they play a major role in defining today's world spirituality.