Rights & Duties of Hindu Society
By Anil Kumar Srivastava
Hinduism is regarded as the oldest of world's major religious and Hindu mythology and philosophy has had a profound impact in many parts of the world, especially southern and South East Asia. With more than a billion adherents, Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Vast majority of Hindu's approximately 1 billion, live in India. Other countries with large Hindu populations can be found in various parts of the world. Hindu customs and ceremonies fall under the category of sacraments viz. personality, material and spiritual development.
Varnashrama-dharma defines duties for the individual, classified according to four divisions of labour and four stages in life. These specific duties charge, for example as one passes through the different ashrams. Varnashrama-dharma is the basis fpr acommodating diversity, and attributing different social and spiritual standards to various sections of society. Although varnashrama-dharma relates largely to social matters, it is not divorced from sanatana-dharma but is a means of recognising a common goal approached from different starting points. Some Hindu thinkers consider that the current, rigid caste system is a result of neglecting the principle of spiritual euality inherent in sanatana=dharma.
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