Understanding the Perspective of Caste in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Raja Yoga Centers
The views on caste in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Raja Yoga Centers are distinct and based on their respective ideologies. Let's delve into each organization's perspective on the matter.
1. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS):
The RSS, a prominent Hindu nationalist organization in India, adopts a unique approach towards the concept of caste. In RSS ideology, there is a strong emphasis on the idea of a united Hindu society. They believe that every citizen of Hindustan (India) is fundamentally a Hindu, not necessarily in the religious sense, but as part of the larger cultural and civilizational heritage known as "Sanathana Dharma." According to RSS, Hinduism is not just a religion but a way of life that encompasses diverse practices, beliefs, and traditions.
In line with their goal of fostering a sense of national unity, the RSS discourages discussions or divisions based on caste within their organization. They promote a vision where all individuals, regardless of their caste background, are considered equal citizens of the nation. The RSS focuses on cultural nationalism, social service, and character development among its members, without making caste a defining characteristic.
Raja Yoga Centers, also known as Brahma Kumaris, is a spiritual organization that focuses on meditation and self-realization. In their teachings, they refer to historical epochs or "yugas" as periods of time characterized by different levels of human consciousness and values. These yugas are Sathya Yuga (Age of Truth), Thretha Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga.
It is essential to clarify that in the context of Raja Yoga, these terms represent different eras of human development and are not directly related to the modern caste system prevalent in India. The reference to Devatha, Shatriyan, Vaisya, and Suthran in the Raja Yoga teachings pertains to the collective spiritual consciousness of people during those epochs.
For instance, in Sathya Yuga, people are seen as embodiments of truth (Devatha); in Thretha Yuga, there is a focus on valiant and righteous qualities (Shatriyan); in Dvapara Yuga, commerce and trade-based virtues are prominent (Vaisya); and in Kali Yuga, the qualities of service and humility are highlighted (Suthran).