Western Perspective on Western Biases in Hinduism Essay

Western Perspective on Western Biases in Hinduism Essay

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In many ways Rita Gross’ stance on Western bias on Hinduism, which creates an andocentric stance on three primary deities of Vishnu, Siva, and Devi, worshipped in Hindu tradition, is valid. As argued by Gross, within texts of Hinduism there appears an inclination towards an andocentric classification of the primary deities. This classification which is continually purported, truly does, resembles a group created with a patriarchy in mind. The list consistently is, as provided, Vishnu, Siva, and Devi. According to Gross’ theory, the male oriented Hindu representation of the primary three deities was not questioned by Western scholarship. As well as the fact, that Western traditions primary “favour of texts” would have hindered any further advancement of Hindu religion (Gross, p. 320). By excluding the rituals and symbols of the deities there would only be a partial understanding of Hinduism. In my opinion, I agree with Gross on the aspect of Western tradition biasing the actual representation of goddesses. But I believe it may be important to illustrate the fact that other factors could have enabled an increase of Western biases.
Among the unquantifiable number of civilizations which have come and dissipated into time, religion has been variably andocentric. Take the Greek and Roman religious tradition, both held above all the patriarchic tradition of rule under a man: Zeus and Jupiter. Further on in monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, there are also aspects which can be determined to be andocentric. All three religions validated, over time, through dogma and tradition of a male god. Even though Judaism contains a matriarchic tradition of governance, there remains an ideology, which the old and new testa...

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...n are subordinate to the male deity, in example Mary the mother of Christ became one of her son’s chief followers. Mary is still held in high regard but not in the same esteem as her son, Christ. In this suggests an andocentric tendency by Westerns who place more importance on men than women. When faced by a polytheistic system of deities which includes goddesses as not subordinate to the gods but sometimes more powerful and fearful characters could also increase the bias held by Westerns.

Works Cited
Fuller, C. J. The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2004. Print.
Gross, Rita M. "Toward a New Model of the Hindu Pantheon: A Report on Twenty-some Years of Feminist Reflection." Academic Press 28 (1998): 319-27.
Klostermaier, Klaus K. Hinduism: Beginners Guides. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2007. Print.

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