Isoculturalism and Caste

The Brahmin with a heart for the Untouchables.  The Good Samaritan; The Good Hindu.

Have you ever felt like you were different?  Have you ever considered yours

Giving up everything to Care for the Untouchables

elf to be less of a human being than others around you.  This is a common feeling that all of us feel at one time or another, but within each culture, we can find some that have been put into that category without any chance to be more.  In every culture, in every nation, we seem to classify people by our opinion of their worth to society.  But if we are all to be considered equal, this process of labeling others can’t be helpful to the evolution of our moral global reality.

In virtually every people group in the world, we find some sort of caste system.  This system attributes worth to people by their place in society.  We all have different levels of classes, or castes, but no system seems to be quiet as prominent in the heart of it’s people, than in India.  The Indian caste system appears to be the toughest of the caste systems to break.  But the need to help others demands that caste must submit to the system of isoculturalism.  An isocultural system would suggest that while there will always be different roles in society, we are in fact equal in practice, not only in theory.  This can only happen when one submits to the other.  This is a act of isoculturalism.

Narayanan Krishnan, the good Samaratin, or should I say, the good Hindu, desires to push past his own status or caste/class and become truly first class by caring for others.  The greatest part about his submission, is that he is submitting to those that are classified as untouchable.  Worse then, is that he is a Brahman, that actively choses to move past his caste to care for others.  He is truly isocultural and filled with the moral code which values all as equal.

In a recent trip to India, I had the privilege to visit the Vivekananda Institute Of Human Excellence in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.  While meeting with a prominent Swami, who I will leave un-named, he pointed out to us that in Hindu teaching, each member of the caste is crucial to the survival of the system.  God could be found in all caste members, even the untouchables.  He recognized that many Indians don’t desire to look at others as excellent or even worthy of life.  But in his teaching, all were equal with different jobs.  While this theory is great, the practice of it can be appalling.

Just like the Hindu teaching, the teachings of Jesus in the Injil and the Gospels, show that the greatest people in the world will be the ones that become servants to all, no matter what their actual class in society is.  It appears that there is a common thread of humility here.  Narayanan Krishnan understands the need to care.  He understands the need to lose his identity for the another.  He is a hero, but we can all be hero’s too.

The caste system tends to be about controlling the class/caste of those in power, and causing those different, to be outcasts.  This happens in all people groups in the world.  We must actively decide that this is no longer acceptable.  For our world to become more unified in this global community, we must learn to become more humble, and live isoculturally, giving up our own identities for those of the others. We must recognize that our all our created equal in practice, not only in theory.