Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at GMX.LI
Mon Oct 2 08:59:38 UTC 2000

Since the message referred to below was directed at me
personally, I will write some brief comments.

Am 2 Oct 2000, um 3:42 schrieb nanda chandran:

> schrieb RZ :
> [...]
> Yes, there was rivalry and OCCASIONALLY it went
> beyond the boundaries of civility - but the JainAs were no means the
> only people on the receiving end. When the king was a JainA, Hindus
> too were persecuted.

I would very much like to see examples of such cases. I have never
come across any (despite my repeated requests in various forums,
no one has provided any), and such information would be a
genuinely interesting contribution that could lead to further
investigation. (I am thinking of something like a text by a Jaina
theoretician who advocates hatred and persecution against other
religious communities, or justifies war for the spread of the religion.)

> And why is there this attempt to identify JainAs and Buddhists as
> entities apart from the Hindus.

It is not an attempt, but a fact, unless one is not so strict in the
use of one's terminology and states, e.g.,

> It was Hindus who created both religions  - it was Hindus who
> became followers of these religions - it was Hindus

which implies that 'Hindus' are not the followers of a religion. Or are
you talking about a religion within a religion? One must make up
one's minds whether Hindus are a religious community or not, and
then speak consistently.

> and JainAs even today use brahmins for certain ceremonies

Only in certain parts of northern India. In your native southern India,
the Digambaras have no use of brahmins for anything but are
totally autonomous and have their own priesthood.

> and also inter-marry with Hindus.

This is not relevant. I know of Hindus who have married Muslims:
does this mean that Islam is Hindu?

> Without Hindus, especially brahmins who brought
> in their moral, spiritual and intellectual background into these
> religions and sustained them after the demise of the founders, it is
> doubtful whether both the religions would have survived, developed and
> matured into the force that they are today.
> This is common knowledge, for anybody with even a decent bit of
> knowledge about the history of the Indian religions.

This is not at all "common knowledge", but a theological view of
things that is not supported by historical research that is not a
priori committed to such a theological view.

> And even in today's political scenario, the affluent JainA merchant
> class is amongst the most generous contributors to the BJP kitty.

This is not relevant, even if it were completely true (which it is not).

> For along with the Hindus, they too identify with the BJPs ideals
> of a resurgent India, knowing fully well that "Hindu" includes them
> too.

This sweeping generalisation is not supported by reality.

> So why is a JainA scholar ignoring all these facts and taking
> pot-shots at Hinduism? What is his agenda?

"Truth and integrity." Na j;naanena sad.r;sam, as the motto of
Mysore University goes. Advancement of knowledge, as is the
motto of Calcutta University. Your "facts" are not facts, hence there
can be no question here of "pot-shots at Hinduism".

> Well, if numbers be the judge, the BJP is the single biggest political
> party in the country.

(1) This is not relevant to the discussion, unless you believe that
there is an intrinsic connection between Hinduism and the BJP
(which is not). (2) Furthermore, the British Westminster system,
which India adopted, is not the same as an opinion poll: you should
know that it is possible in that system to capture 100% of the
seats with 51% of the vote. (3) People vote for parties for a variety
of reasons.

It seems that there are too many fundamental differences of opinion
between us for further discussion. I do not know your qualifications
for participating in discussions here, but your writing suggests that
you are not in touch with current research, nor with methods of
scholarly enquiry. I am also disappointed to note that apparently
you are not aware that there are Hindus and Hindus, just as there
are Jainas and Jainas (etc.), and that this lack of awareness
apparently motivates you to make vehement irresponsible
statements in this forum.



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