Religion, Poverty and Wealth Essay examples

Religion, Poverty and Wealth Essay examples

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Religion, Poverty and Wealth

Poverty is now a problem on a global scale, and Hinduism has needed,
and will continue to need, to undertake an ongoing state of change and
adaptation. Many of the beliefs Hindus held only a couple of centuries
ago have been altered or even removed altogether. The globalisation of
Hinduism, bringing it into contact with a wide range of other cultures
and religions, has influenced this a lot. Hinduism, however, is full
of variations itself, so what is said of Hinduism may be true for some
Hindus, and false for others. Hinduism is less a religion, than a
culture, and way of life. This way of life affects how they view
poverty and wealth, and what there reactions to it are, as outlined
below.

Unlike many other societies, where the caste system is based on power
or wealth, thus giving the poorest the least power, Hinduism has four
set castes, which a member belongs to by birth. These groups are
called varnas, and each has its own set of rules and duties to live
by, known as dharma. Too much inter-varna mixing, especially
intermarriage, is strongly disapproved of. The first, and highest
varna is that of a Brahmin-priests, teachers, and wisemen. The next is
Kshatriya-warriors, rulers, and leaders. The third is Vaishya-traders,
merchants, agriculture, and other work involved with commerce. The
final, and lowest varna is Sudra-manual labour and service. In many
societies, the difference between the high and the low, in terms of
social status, has caused great troubles, due to discontentment of the
poor and weak to continue living like they are. In Hinduism, however,
this problem is avoided, by the promise o...


... middle of paper ...


... many Hindus to make a small donation
to the poor, and will give old clothes or shoes away, rather than
throwing them out.

MK Gandhi changed many old Hindu beliefs with his teachings. He taught
that it is wrong to think that a poor person is only getting what they
deserve. He believed that everyone was a part of God, and people
should recognise that they share the same world and should care for
one another. He taught that service to others was the best way to find
God and comprehend fully the human condition. This had a profound
effect on the treatment of the poor in India today. There are many
charities set up for helping the poor in India, such as the Hindu
Mission Hospital and Prison Fellowship India. These receive many
donations from many Hindus-even those overseas will often send back
money to help the poor.

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