Do you think that because Hinduism was used by the ruling classes in Southeast Asia for political reasons that this proves that people, in general, did not believe in Hinduism as a religion?The Political Weaponization of Hinduism

Do you think that because Hinduism was used by the ruling classes in Southeast Asia for political reasons that this proves that people, in general, did not believe in Hinduism as a religion?

The Political Weaponization of Hinduism

Historically, the relationship between politics and religion has always been ambivalent. Sometimes people would experience their total separation, while other times, the interconnectedness would become even more apparent (Menon 12). However, religious beliefs have always accounted for the political decisions people make since time immemorial. Though there are occasions when political outfits control religious entities or spiritual leaders own political figures, society thrives when there is a symbiotic relationship between the two. Owing to the dualistic understanding of reality, Hinduism is only valid for governing people’s spiritual beliefs and loses its authority when spiritual leaders exploit it to govern the physical body.

The Dual Nature of Human Existence

    The dualistic nature of reality significantly contributes to the separation between politics and religion. People are inherently created matter, yet they embody the dual characteristic of being part spirit and part matter. Therefore, their physical bodies are directly connected to another spiritual dimension. According to Plato, the body belongs to the planet by virtue of being both spirit and matter, whereas the soul or spirit lives in a new dimension (Schultz 177). For Socrates, Plato’s postulations infer that the body is inferior to the soul. The spirit is ascribed more worth because matter lacks intrinsic value — it constantly derives value from all the materials consumed to sustain the body. Consequently, religious organizations like Hinduism downgrade themselves by associating with material and earthly existence instead of spiritual activities. Since Socrates first posited the material sphere as inferior to the spiritual dimension, politicians can exploit corrupt religious leaders to dominate religion and govern without their veil of control…………………….

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