Talk:Hinduism/Archive 2

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Terminologies and Caste

The edits by user Sam Spade have two problems

1. Hinduism does not constitute an ethnic group. There are lots of ethnic groups among Hindus. Even if one holds with a broad concept that ethnic group refers to shared culture, it is incorrect to use the term ethnic group because culture refers to it better. The comparison to Jews is not parallel to the situation. Indian culture and society are heterogenous. Maybe in today's context the word 'Indian' can refer to ethnicity, however Hindu and Hinduism cannot refer to ethnicity. I hope the difference can be understood.

2. Caste(varna) and race are contentious issues and there is no final word on this subject. What is written about this constitutes POV because it assumes that Hindus accept the caste system as final. If one is familiar with current India related issues then one would be aware that caste issues cause more political and social unrest than religious community issues. So when this still an open-ended situation - in terms of how it evolved, whether it is right or wrong, the motors for changes, and so on, it is not correct to state categorically that Hindus accept everything in a fatalistic manner- that implies an underlying assumption that everything about Hinduism is status quo, which is not the case.

I will wait for the counter for a day before I make any change.KRS 12:12, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

You may look here for the solutions to said problems ;) [1]. Sam Spade 19:19, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I already looked into the dictionary link you provided- out of the 4 dictionaries only one mentions ethnicity and that too not in the context you have used. Moreover it refers to Hindostan meaning historical India, so such terminlogies are not generally valid. And if you notice carefully, you will see that it is mentioned As an ethnical term it is confined to the Dravidian and Aryan races and as a religious name it is restricted to followers of the Veda. In the context of your usage, 'ethnic' refers to the religious context and so is incorerct. I have looked into lots of other dictionaries and none refer to Hinduism as 'etnic'. So in any case, you have to go by general acceptance.
Regarding caste, it is just that you have used it very early in the article and also that your sentence formation seems to suggest that caste is taken for granted. Without even having introduced Hinduism properly, its not appropriate to plunge into this.
Also, in my opinion, the flow of the article kind of gets broken by these two edits. I think we need to get more people into the discussionKRS
I'm fine with rewordings and restructuring that doesn't reduce the amount of information, or the quality of it. Citations are great too :) Sam Spade 02:34, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
1. Hinduism is not an ethnicity, it is a religion.If you go to the Wikipedia entry for "Jew", the first line says "Jew is a term used to denote both followers of a religion and members of an ethnicity". Hindu is a term used to denote the followers of Hinduism, and WAS used as an ethnic label by OUTSIDERS. Further, this article is only concerned about religion.
2. Caste is a social organization of Hindu society, which is not intrinsic to Hinduism. Why should it be brought in before even defining Hinduism?
I would like the additions about ethnicity and caste by user Sam Spade, in the definition para, to be deleted.
Any responses?
--SV 04:35, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
If you look at the dictionary definition of Hinduism, there is no reference to ethnicity. And since dictionaries try to give as many meanings of a word as possible, the entry for Hindu does have some ethnic interpretations, which are minor and of very old usage. And since a minor meaning in a dictionary(which, moreover, is of the term "Hindu", and not "Hinduism") is not a very good source, can user Sam Spade give some other source to support his labelling of Hinduism as ethnicity? --SV 04:52, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I went ahead and restored the old definition. My simple anwer to user Sam Spade is that if the dictionary definition of Hinduism does not mention ethnicity, it should not be a part of this article. For a detailed answer see my posts above. We can discuss this further if he gives some sources to back his claim.--SV 07:20, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Your dictionary may be wrong though. The religious chauvinists often used to claim some superior things in their religion. For example, the Hindu chauvinists often used to claim their religion is the oldest and out of caste system; similarly the argument goes for Christians and Muslims, etc. Obviously there is no right answer. As usual in this type of articles, you may not expect NPOV as these will be written by chauvinists and edited by anti people. AFAIK, Hinduism was invented by invaded Aryans aka Brahmins to divide and rule the native Indians. But, no Brahmins or Iyers won't accept this; instead they will give many other theories and doctrines. Nowadays, some Hindu Brahmins spread their religion in other countries too. So, they seems to hide some of their rituals. To conclude: don't expect a perfect error-free aka NPOV article in this subject; there won't be any consensus (IMHO, but YMMV).--Rrjanbiah 05:01, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This is in reply to User Rrjanbiah. It would be a good idea to cite where you "Got to know", that Hinduism was invented by invaded Aryans aka Brahmins to divide and rule the native Indians, and that "Invaded Aryans" are the "Brahmins". Secondly, "You STATE", which means , "You SAY ASSERTIVELY", that "some Hindu Brahmins spread their religion in other countries too", please explain how an indivudual's act becomes the doctrine followed in that religion and also please explain why you chose to bring up that particular topic of "Conversion" at in this page. Last but not the least, apply the conclusion you have given to yourself, and you will find yourself not filling up any more articles.).--Whoami 03:30, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'm not here to spout with you. Incase, if my understanding/perception is wrong, where is your counter-proof? As said, there won't be any consensus on religious theories --Rrjanbiah 15:10, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I am really surprised!!Could you please tell me where I said u were wrong? I just asked for some tangible proof. Also, I never offered any proof/ statement/theorems/axioms/allegations/assertions etc etc to give u a counter-proof. So apart from providing proof for whatever you have already asserted, could you also clarify what counter proof you need from me? .).--Whoami 21:00, 26 Mar 2004
I'm not surprised. As you confessed that you're a Iyer in the other thread, now people with functioning brain could have concluded why such a theory is denied or totally buried. --Rrjanbiah 05:37, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Watch it, mate. Let us drop this topic okay? Nobody confesses to be a member of the community (when you say that - it is obvious that you want to enforce a guilt psychosis on to this user) . He just happens to be a member of the community. If you are implying here that some notion/idea which you consider offensive is inherent to a particular community, that would make it seem to many people here that you are being racist. I do not want this page to become a see-saw battle on such a trivial issue. Let us agree to disagree. But, this is just a gentle reminder to you to watch your limits. Chancemill 07:47, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)
Well. At least, let us try, (without wild alleagations, if you please). I wish to know why the word 'ethnicity' deserves a mention considering the following facts:
  • The only Hindu country in the world is Nepal, and the country is predominantly populated with people of the Mongoloid race, who have a unique mix of Hindu (as practiced in India, according to Aryan/Dravidian traditions) Buddhist and animist traditions. If the word Hindu is indeed 'ethnic' to Aryans or Dravidians, we would be leaving out the Nepalis from the context described by the word, which is not quite sensible.
  • Hinduism today is also practiced in Bali, Surinam, South Africa and Fiji where where the practicers have intermingled with the native culture to produce a rich cross-cultural pot-pourri. Would they or wouldn't they be ethnic Hindus?
If indeed one asserts that Nepalis/Surinamese/Balinese Hindus or the Hare Krishna sect are not 'ethnic Hindus' what would stop any one from calling only those Christians - who are still living around the Palestinian region - as 'ethnic Christians'? Or should we dismiss Roman Catholics as a cult, simply because it is (at least 'was' for a sustained period of time in history) a strict hierarchy satisfying many points in the Cult test[2]? A good wiki article is a confluence of opinions, but only learned , measured, widely accepted and contextually significant opinions deserve to stand its ground - is my feeling. I hope everybody agrees to this.
The term 'Jew' is ethnically significant (or was held as significant) because of the importance and a prophesised mission associated in that religion with the 'Promised Land'/Palestine. This strong belief led to the Zionist movement - leading to the formation of Israel. In other words, the ethnic identity was not something which was bestowed upon the Jewish people, but inherent to their beliefs. I have a serious doubt if Hindus share this trait. And I wish to know, why should Wikipedia take ONE article or a dictionary reference as the Bible? Are'nt we trying to be more Christian than the Pope ? Many of these dictionary references arise from age-old definitions arising from the colonial era, when the world was barely discovering India and the rest of the Third World(albeit in unflattering terms). There are hundreds of references in at least two of the dictionaries I use, which relate to the Hindu/Indian society which are grossly outdated and misinformed, and seemingly present, for the sole reason that they have gone unnoticed by a learned scholar in this field. I am waiting for a response from people who have any further objections, before reverting the contentious passage Chancemill 11:41, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)

compliment/question

I just read this article, because it was nominated to be a featured article. I very much enjoyed it.  :) I did notice this sentence which needs fixing though: "God, or Brahman as is commonly referred to, exists in every living being." (I would have done it myself, but I didn't know if I could say "God, or Brahaman as he is commonly referred to, ..." or if it should be rephrased to avoid the pronoun, "God, commonly referred to as Brahamam, ..."). fabiform | talk 03:51, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I fixed it I think, what do you think? Sam Spade 02:42, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Brahman is gender neutral, so I put in user Fabiform's suggestion.
--SV 04:42, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Ideas For Major Changes

Hey... I am the unknown user whose new additions/deletions have peppered much of Wikipedia Hindu-related pages recently. My id (ip) was 66.207.39.62, just for reference. Regarding the changes: First off, when we ask "What is Hinduism," Is it fair to represent it first off by caste system? It almost looks like: What is Hinduism: it is said to be a way of life and is largely defined by caste. Wrong. It is a way of life, system of six Vedic philosophies and a variety of practices. One unfortunate offshoot was a communal system created based on largely deliberate misreadings of varna-ashram concepts (that advocated social mobility). This has become caste, but is not a defining factor of Hinduism, but rather a defining factor of Hindu Society. There's a big difference. Rather, we should define it based on the broader theology and belief system and later move on to societal norms. I have addressed caste system later, but the prelude to Hinduism seems to paint it solely as caste system. Equivalent treatment of Christianity would start out with mention of its often overzealous missionary ideas that have resulted in centuries of slavery, adverse colonialism and then a quick reminder of how the desire to spread God's word was the motive force for this. For the moment, I have moved the caste system quotation to the bottom of the section "What is Hinduism," so as to allow for readers to first appraise the RELIGION itself and then perhaps learn of one of its societal ramifications.

Next: I object strongly to this passage "While the Brahman Hindus focus mainly on Brahman, and different sects have their own particular patron (such as Krishna), most Hindus worship many Gods, largely through murtis (idols)." This is awful. FIrst of all, Brahman Hindus do not focus mainly on Brahman! What is being meant here are Brahmins. Brahmins are just priests, or of the priestly caste. That means they administer to religious rites, and this mainly follows from Vedic practices. Thus, while many can and often are monist, there are others who are pure Vaishnavs or Shaivaites, believing not in a monad principle of Brahman, but in a monotheist conception of God as Vishnu or Shiva. Second, the use of the word 'idol' to speak about murtis is really insulting and unfair: completely incorrect, in other words. Hindus view murtis as figures/images that are points of focus on God. The dictionary definition of idol includes 'object of worship,' 'false god' and a 'representative symbol without substance.' The word idol puts the weight of centuries of Christian and Muslim bias on a very powerful and symbolic Hindu practice. The word idol immediately brings to mind an idea that one worships the object as reality, and that no greater conception of divinity exists. It should not be used as a reference point for Hindu murtis. Hindus have for millenia stressed differentiating between nirguna (attributeless) and saguna (with attributes) brahman, and levels of worship of God. Never has there been an idea that the statue itself is God and God alone... it may be sacred, and especially potent, but just as God is in the murti, God is in everything. They are used as conduits for focus and meditation and love. Also, most Hindus, while worshipping many Gods, worship them as manifestations. As I have written above, while some believe in an ultimately attributeless brahman, others believe in One Shiva, or One Vishnu: all other Gods are manifestations or different sides of the same object. This is clearly not polytheist or 'idol-worshipping' and so should be clarified. The way it's painted here is that some sects are monotheist/monist but most are polytheist. This is a great misleading of uninformed or biased readers. I'll await your responses.
Lastly, I think it's very important to include a section on Puja, or worship. It is so fundamental and yet glossed over. This includes private altars at homes, use of murtis, and how people worship in temples. There are important uniformities but also many regional variations that are not only interesting but serve to emphasize differences in philosophy and the great diversity of Hindu thought. A page on Hinduism is crippled without it. I hope others can supply their thoughts on Puja. --LordSuryaofShropshire 17:14, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)

I agree, with NPOV conditions. First and foremost caste must not be covered up, and must be explained from differeing POV's, but I do agree it is not necessary to include it in 'what is Hinduism', so long as we can find another way to explain how sometimes the word Hindu is used to refer to a race, and how the word originally was used to describe a certain ethnicity (those on the other side of a river). As for the murtis, you are correct, but there must also be mention of how other religions have viewed these as idols, with clear and unfavorable results. I welcome your additions and changes, be bold!. Sam Spade 18:44, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Comparisons

As for the comparisons: when you compare the different systems of religions, using analagous ideas or trends, to explain the other, that's fine. For instance, I have mentioned that Hinduism is what is known as a "Dharma" religion, and is related to Buddhism and Jainism not only as their forebearer but also since all three are Dharma-based. They all believe in varying ideas regarding dharma, or universal harmony in consciousness and being. This RELATIONSHIP is just like that among Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which are all based on the Abrahaminic tradition of obeying the will of God under a certain lineage of teachings.

The difference between this comparison and that which you have drawn between the Hindu trinity and the Christian trinity is that using one to explain the other shows nothing but the coincidental use of the number three. Whereas the relationship of mutually connective ideas of philosophy among Dharma religions and Abrahamnic religions is similar, Christian and Hindu trilogies are entirely different.

Let me explain why - The Hindu trinity is based on a group of three equal manifestations of a Supreme ONE. Thus, three is subsumed into one. This is represented by AUM (which also represents other trinities at the same time). The roles of creator, preserver and destroyer are all interlinked and dependent on another, each leading to the other and cycling around. When the One subsuming factor is known, these three are transcended. This has little in common with the Christian trinity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. One is the True and Only God. The second is the representative or issuing of God on earth. The third is the all-pervasive essence of that God. Thus, the latter two are ultimately subservient or, in more neutral terms, reliant on the first, the Father, while the Father is the source of the other two.

In the Hindu trinity, we see that such reliance is not existent. Shaivaite or Vaishnav sects have often used stories to intimate that one God arose from the other, but these are motivated by sectarian ideologies. It is accepted that the Hindu trinity is a level plane of three from One.

Thus, if someone only versed in Christian scriptures, or who knows something about the Christian trinity, were to see your comparison left unexplained, he/she would come away with a wrong-headed understanding of the Hindu trinity dynamic. Your comparison is unfortunately rather random, since unlike the common flood stories of Hinduism and the Abrahaminic traditions, the two trinities don't share anything meaningful or show ANY signs of having arisen from a common root. The Hindu trinity predated that of Christianity by many a century, and its philosophical and theological significance is based on an entirely different framework of thought than the Christian one. I suggest that if Comparative studies be explored, they a) should be put at the end of the page as non-central issues and b) be explained more thoroughly to dispell any potential misconceptions, misreadings or misunderstandings. --LordSuryaofShropshire 17:29, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)

I agree with the last sentance and its points, if not those preceeding :) Sam Spade 18:48, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Vegetarianism/Ahimsa

We need something on this.--LordSuryaofShropshire 17:36, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)

Non-scriptural Hindu literature and art

Works of art, literature and the whole system of Indian music (which is derived entirely from Vedic / Hindu conceptions of sound and philosophy) should be, at least somewhat, mentioned. Like Dante's Inferno and Milton's Paradise Lost, the spin-off epic poetry of Tulsidas' "Ramcharitmanas" (which is every bit Milton's equal in highfalutin Sanskritized Bengali) and Michael Madhusudan Dutta's "Meghnadh Bodh Kabbo" (The Slaying of Meghnadh) have had great influence on modern conceptions of God. Then, of course, there are classes of devotional songs that are worth exploring, like Krishna Bhajans, Shakta songs (like Ramprasad Sen songs) and others that really capture the Bhakti ethos of Hinduism, which is truly unique and beautiful.

Vedic conceptions of sound have governed everything about what is today called Indian classical music (Hindustani and Carnatic). While the former was certainly influenced by Mughals, the whole system of Sa-Re-Ga, the raagaa and taal conceptions, are all Vedic philosophy. They should be mentioned as they bear heavily on Hindu life.

Brahmins, Brahman, Murtis and Idols

You removed some writing regarding Brahmans who supposedly focus on Brahman. That is not true. Brahmans do not worship Brahman. Brahmins are PRIESTS or members of the priest caste. It is not a term for their belief. That is why Brahmin, meaning the people, is spelled with an -in to avoid confusion with the formless concept of Divine Truth which is spelled with -an.

Secondly, as for the idol thing, you just went ahead and removed everything I wrote. The representation of murti worship is horribly biased and insulting, moreover WRONG. Unfortunately, you insist that Western views of Hinduism have to be included in the main body, whereas I feel they should be put in a comparative section in the end. It is clearly biased and in addition gives an incorrect view of Hindu beliefs. I have tried to address Western views of HIndu murti worship with NPOV.

OLD While the Brahman Hindus focus mainly on Brahman, and different sects have their own particular patron (such as Krishna), most Hindus worship many Gods, largely through murtis (idols). Hindus see these Gods as being various manifestations of the one true Brahman (principle, Divine Ground). Thus, Hinduism is alike kabalistic Judaism in being pantheistic. They differ however in that Judaism is seen to be monotheistic, rejecting other gods, while Hinduism interprets its many lesser deities as aspects of God. Note that this is quite different from how Hinduism is general viewed by other faiths, which have traditionally viewed Hinduism as polytheistic.

NEW Hindus who worship the attributeless Brahman are known as nondualists, or Advaitists. Different sects, especially devotional ones, have their own particular supreme godhead (such as Vishnu or [[Shiva, Krishna or Devi). Most Hindus, based on belief of many as one, will often worship many Gods and Goddesses. They are seen as different aspects of the same manifested reality. This worship is largely done through the use of murtis. Murtis are statues or images used as windows or points of devotional and meditational focus. They are sometimes abstract, but more often representations of Gods and Goddesses like Shiva or Ganesh, Ram or Krishna, Saraswati or Kali. The idea that deities are powerful conduits of faith and representations of Truth is known as ishta-devata, or chosen deity. Since the mind is in turbulence (vritti) and unable to focus on the formless God, God is seen in form. Hindus see these Gods as either being various manifestations of the one true formless Brahman (principle, Divine Ground) or ultimate personality of god (seen as Vishnu or Shiva, etc.). Devotional (Bhakti) practices are very centered on cultivating a deep and personal bond of love with god through one of his or her forms, and often makes use of murtis. Thus, Hinduism is alike kabalistic Judaism in being pantheistic. They differ however in that Judaism is seen to be purely monotheistic, rejecting other gods or multiple manifestations of the same God, while Hinduism interprets its many deities as many aspects of the one God. Note that this is quite different from how Hinduism is general viewed by other faiths, which have traditionally viewed Hinduism as polytheistic. Often, murti worship has been construed by Abrahaminic faiths, namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as idolatrous. This view of murtis' being idols implies many erroneous ideas about Hinduism, chiefly that Hindus view the physical statues themselves as being God and thus limit God to a gross, physical format. This is not the case, as Hindus see murtis, like the human body, to be very much material and limited, and understand that they are pathways to finding God, not God him/her/itself. The charge of idolism by largely Western critics has been rebutted with citations of the predominant Hindu belief that world and universe are ultimately finite and limited, and that everything is pervaded by God. Murtis are but one aspect of Hindu modes of worship that see God as everything, whether living or inanimate.

caste

I don't mind your edits at all on first inspection, it looks like you did rather well, but we will need to NPOV the section on caste, which is a bit exaggerated in its renounciation of caste, which is clearly still a powerful force in hindu society. Sam Spade 21:00, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Some Changes as of 03/22/2004

I have removed the reference to Caste under 'nomenclature' since caste has nothing to do with the term Hindu. I have instead added a section that discusses the nature of caste and its relation to Hinduism as a corruption of varnashram. If people disagree with it, let us discuss before removing or destroying chunks of it, as I am very much in favor of NPOV. Also, I have tried to enhance NPOV by giving a much more representative introduction to Hindu thought, including a range of views from dualist to monotheist.
Also, along with that, I have given a more thorough explanation of the Bhagavad Gita which was earlier quite undernourished and rather inaccurate. I gave it a lot of 'air-time' since the Bhagavad Gita is accepted by practically all Hindus, regardless of sect, as a major and defining text that summarizes much of Hindu philosophy (ranging from Bhakti to Yoga to Vedanta etc.).

Soon, when I am not as tired, I will start adding sections about the major works of Hinduism, which is important. Works like the Gita Govinda (which as had a huge impact all over India), the Brahma Sutras, the Ramayana and Mahabharata should at least have their own abbreviated section. Major figures are important too, and need more work. People like Adi Shankaracharya, Shri Chaitanya Mahabprabhu, Shri Ramakrishna (and Swami Vivekananda), Mahatma Gandhi, Shri Aurobindo Ghosh, S. Radhakrishnan, etc. have molded modern Hinduism, fleshed it out and reexamined its philosophies, put them into action, in ways that have really affected the faith. They are as central to Hinduism as St. Augustine and Martin Luther were to Christianity. If others could contribute succinct (one fat paragraph?) on these people it would help greatly. Tantric, Shaiva-Shakta traditions. The whole South Indian tradition! We need to have a lot more on these. And need I mention the deeper philosophical and narrative depth of the Puranas? Could someone (I will start slowly) work on talking about THE HUGE importance of Puranic stories and Hindu mythology and how it plays into the faith of Hindus today? Hinduism is a massive faith. It needs more than what we have, which is an excellent but still lacking beginning. I am not a member of Wikipedia, per se, but I have written extensively for it. I can be e-mailed at writetosurya@email.com.

Comparison of Hindu Trinity

I have removed the comparison of the Hindu trinity to the Christian Trinity. This is not a comparative religion page, nor does Christianity have any connection to Hinduism. Moreover, one does not find references to this parallel in the Christianity page, and it thus seems like a biased, Western-centric view.

As I have told you before, I very much appreciate your additions to the article, but I ask you not to remove content without discussion. I find your reasoning for removing info about the Hindu "trinity" inadaquate, we have plenty of room for different veiws of Hinduism, western and otherwise here. On the other hand I think it is acceptable to create some spin off articles to deal with a number of the subjects adressed (caste, western views, relationship to spin off religions etc...) so long as a reasonable amount of condensed information is available here on the main article. Again, I thank you for your hard work, ask to to create an account, and assure you that I am agreeable to NPOV rewordings of difficult material, altho I clearly will not accept removal of valid content. Thanks again, Sam Spade 00:42, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'm the one who wrote that paragraph, and I'm most certainly not biased toward Christianity. I simply believe it is useful to draw comparisons between the subject of the article and the religion most readers are most familiar with. Mkweise 07:29, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Fine... that's great... but rather than delete everything I did and just revert back, change what you don't like and leave the rest in. I have also redone the organization of the "What is Hinduism" section, culling it without taking out anything you wrote but adding alternative views. If you revert to previous formats, could you retain new text and edit gradually?

Also, explain yourself about caste: what would you have? Could you write it here as well and say what you think is exaggerated?

--LordSuryaofShropshire 21:34, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I don't understand you very well. I have not reverted you, nor deleted your text. I have no intention of reverting your additions, they are clearly not vandalism. What I will do is NPOV some of what you have written (regarding race and caste in particular), but outside of some small excesses of POV I see no problems, and over all your additions have been tremendously valuable. An example of an exaggeration is to say:

"generally not used today except as a racial slur since classing all South Asians, whose faiths include Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism, as Hindoo is baseless stereotyping. Needless to say, the usage of Hindoo as any one of South Asian ancestry is non-existent in the subcontinent itself."

This is a bit innaccurate and exaggerated. Many people use the term without any knowledge of the diversity within India, and with no intent to offend whatsoever. Also I cannot believe it is accurate to say that the term is non-existent within the sub-continent itself, I can pretty much guarentee it is used by tourists and travelling businessmen if not by locals. Anyways you have done fine work, thank you, and I have no intent to revert you or anything of the sort. Please do continue to make your fine aditions, and I will continue to review them and make my minor edits where I feel necessary (always open to discussion of course). Cheers and thanks, Sam Spade 22:16, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I appreciate your thoughts and you are very right about being vigilant to keep the article objective. New ideas are a small section on the cow and its significance, which I guess would be included in the Vegetarianism section. I would note that among other changes today i have altered the Hindu Philosophy to represent the Vedic Schools as Six, as they are traditionally numbered by scholars, and the Vedanta section to include within it the three Vedanta branches.
I instituted a change in the Buddhism / Jainism comparison because it did not seem to fit in the middle of Hindu scripture section, and instead placed under 'Related Faiths.' Also, in the interests of the all-important NPOV, I spoke about the BUddha's rejection of much of Hinduism while also referring to the important role that Hinduism had in the birth and growth of Buddhism. Buddhism and Jainism took most of their terminology, base philosophy and symbolism from the Vedic religious systems and that debt cannot be ignored.
--LordSuryaofShropshire 23:03, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)