“outlining perspectives on caste and gender that emerged in both Hinduism and Islam”
From the late 19th century, a number of European and Indian scholars started the study of ancient India’s history, philosophy, science, religious and literature. This growing knowledge of India’s past glory provided to the Indian people a sense of pride in their civilization. It also helped the reforms in their work of religious and social reform for their struggle against all type of inhuman practices, superstitions, etc. Since, they had become associated with religious beliefs. Therefore most of the movements of social reforms were of a religious character.
These social and religious reform movements arose among all communities of the Indian people. They attacked bigotry. Superstition and the hold of the priestly class. They worked for abolition of castes and untouchability, purdah system, sati, child marriage, social inequalities and illiteracy. Some of the reformers were supported directly or indirectly by the British officials and some of the reformers were supported reformative stops and regulations framed by the British Government. Read More…
Swami Vivekananda was a pioneer of rational thought, in ethics and religion, in modern India. He tried to reconciliate Sankara’s concept of Advaita in Ramakrishna Paramhansa’s teachings. He tried to give a rational, concrete and scientific account of practical Vedanta. He viewed the central point of Vedanta as the unity in diversity. His ideas synthesize the philosophical and material aspects. He worked to bring out the philosophical ideas in the Hindu religion out for the common man. His version of Vedanta is called Practical Vedanta. Vivekananda’s teachings are full of ideas of humanism.
Ethics in Hinduism
Doctrine of Karma
This doctrine asserts that whatever a person suffers/enjoys is a fruit of his own deeds. This doctrine introduces the concept of cycles of births, in which, an individual take rebirth after living a life. Through his karma of the previous birth, his fate is determined for the present birth. Karma can be of four types- Sanchit karma, which means the accumulated past actions; Prarabdha karma, which means the part of karma which has been done in the present birth; Kriyamana karma, which means the present voluntary actions of the free will; and Agami karma, which means the immediate result caused by our present actions. Read More…
Ethics can be differentiated from Morality, as the latter is a set of beliefs and practices concerned with what is understood as good and evil. While ethics are philosophical deliberations that come up with the moral justifications and principles that guide our moral values. Thus, ethics has a wider scope than morality. However, still, the terms- ethics and morality are often used interchangeably.
While Morality can limit the scope of human deliberation, in determining the goals and means towards the human ends, Ethics lays faith in the free will of the individual, and gives enough room for the individual to deliberate upon different means to an end, while also providing a moral justification for the same. The obligatory character of ethical norms is derived from the very fact that they are derived on the basis of experience of the ages, based upon human free will.