| I asked about spanking, particularly in schools, on a Hindu discussion board on the Internet. I told them it was for a book I was writing, and that I hoped to get an opinion from a practitioner, even if it did not represent the faith.|
| “VJ” was kind enough to respond thus:|
To start with, hitting children is not any religion's practice. It is the way people live. It all depends on their socio-economic conditions. The Hindu Faith is a very peaceful religion. There is no religious motivation for hitting children in Hinduism. Hitting children in schools is, in fact, now a crime, but of course action is taken only when it comes to notice or when someone complains about it.
The Bhagavad Gita is the main manuscript of Hinduism. It tells you how to live as a human being. It is not a book like the Qu’ran which dictates you to practice a religion in a strict manner. Every Hindu is free regarding his religious practice and his life style.
| I was happy to hear, at least to VJ’s knowledge, that beating children in schools has been eliminated in India. It is difficult now to know what the original Hindu customs in this regard may have evolved into had they done so on their own. At the very time when India and the rest of the world was approaching a more educated period, and where education was becoming more universal worldwide, India was subjugated by Britain, and without a doubt, as in all British colonies, “caning” children’s buttocks was very likely promoted due to the bizarre biblical reasoning we noted in chapter 10, as well as the general dominance and exploitiveness people display when they wish to subjugate a people. But India has officially ended school child beating, if VJ is correct, and that has to be a positive reflection on Hindu thought.|
|There are no direct passages in the Bhagavad Gita on the subject of hitting children in particular, but there are some that, at least to me, apply. I read some time ago “The Living Gita,” which was the complete text of the Bhagavad Gita, along with commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda. His commentary was directed toward western audiences, and he was a delight to read. He had a lot of Christian references and comparisons throughout.|
| A few of the verses that caught my eye in this regard:|
3:42-43. “In flowery discourses, the unwise focus on the letter of scripture and say there is nothing else.
With minds full of desires and heaven as their highest goal, they speak mostly of rites and rituals, which they believe will bring pleasure and power.”