Vivekananda’s empowerment of women and liberation of hindus jatis (castes) from unjust hindus social and religious practices in nineteenth Century Bengal

Dr. Nosheen Zaheer

This paper aims to explore the endeavors of Vivekananda in empowering women and liberating Hindus from caste prejudice that were prevailing in Nineteenth Century Bengali society. Vivekananda tries to elevate women by adopting the equality of women to men through the equal sharing of divine soul (atman). He highlights those Hindu sacred texts that revered women and adopted a skeptical approach towards those Hindu holy texts that bitterly criticize women. Similarly, he rejects the superiority and inferiority of caste by bringing the metaphysical equality of Advaita Vedanta to the physical world. He further incorporates the gunna theory to reinterpret Hindu caste system on the basis of the qualities with which one born than tom the caste he inherits. He considers many prevailing socio-religious practices the innovations of the priestly class among those he was not ready to accept the practice of sati (widow burning) and caste system.

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