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Reader comment on item: Something Rotten in Denmark?
in response to reader comment: The Two-Edged Sword of Islam

Submitted by Sarah (Sweden), Feb 28, 2006 at 09:57


Thanks for sending 5270 words on Islam. I really appreciate your enthusiasm and endeavours to find out truth.

You asked me to send some quotation from Hindu scriptures encouraging killing of innocents. If I want to quote such verses from the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, Manu Sanghita, Veda, Gita then it would take a great amount of space and time. So I am just sending some quotes on 'Sati Daha' ( Widow burning). If you want more, then I can post here information about Hindu Caste system, about ‘Untouchables', about Hindu ‘Dharmayudh'(holy war), about Hindu practice 'human sacrifices', about worshipping of monkeys and snakes, about the system of Devadasis (keeping temple prostitutes for satisfying the lust of the priests), about modern day Shivsenas and so on. But first, lets see what your religion says about buring of widows:

(According to Hindu scriptures, a widow is required to mount the funeral of her dead husband and be cremated along with his corpse. If the husband dies at a distant place, the widow is nonetheless to be burned alive on a pyre by herself. A widow who burns herself to death this way is called ‘sat'. The guiding force to motivate Hindus to practice sati is the instructions given in their scriptures. Some of these are as given below: [If you think I have made them up, or taken from some Muslim author, you're wrong. Please see Wilkins: Modern Hinduism, published from London in 1975, pages 186 and 223]:

- "It is proper for a woman, after her husband's death to burn herself in the fire with his copse; every woman who thus burns herself shall remain in paradise with her husband 35,000,000 years by destiny."

- "The wife who commits herself to fames with her husband's copse shall equal Arundathi and reside in Swarga (heaven)."

- "Accompanying her husband, she shall reside so long in Swarga as the 35,000,000 of hairs on the human body.

- "As the snake-catcher forcibly drags the serpent from his earth, so bearing her husband [from hell] with him she enjoys heavenly bliss."

- "Dying with her husband, she sanctifies her maternal and paternal ancestors and the ancestors of him to whom she gave her virginity."

- "Such a wife adorning her husband, in celestial felicity with him, greatest and most admired, shall enjoy the delights of heaven while fourteen Indras reign."

- "Though a husband had killed a Brahman, broken the ties of gratitude, or murdered a friend she expiates the crime."

Thus after having been practiced in Hindu societies for over two thousand years, the institution of widow-burning became illegal by the law enacted by a foreign power. (Thanks to colonialism).
Until the practice of widow-burning was made a punishable offence, the number of widows sacrificed every year was appalling. (About 1200 reported cases in one province only). Long after the date of enactment of the ordinance, the rite was freely practiced in Hindu States outside the jurisdiction of the British power. The sati which accompanied the cremation of the body of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Punjab is a case in point. Four of his wives and seven female slaves were burnt to death on the funeral pyre with his corpse when it was cremated . Sati continued to be practiced in some parts of Hindu societies even in modern days. (Example, the modern day sati Rup Kanwar).

Apparently, the institution of sati highlights the chastity of women. However, when one considers the institution of devdasi (i.e., the system of keeping temple prostitutes) to satisfy the lust of the priests and enable them to earn handsome income through engaging these girls in immoral activities with rich pilgrims, one fails to understand what is the real purpose of sati, upholding the chastity of women or torturing them to death.

Dear Arvind, I believe that all religion has its bad side and good side. All religion, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. As someone pointed out somewhere, these religions were born thousands of years ago, so what was acceptable in those days may not be acceptable today. If you only dig out the dirt, and forget about the good aspects of someone else's religion, it will only encourage others to do the same about your faith.

Choice is yours.

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