How do ordinary people of India adapt themselves to the Hindu theory of karma and rebirth? It is said that these concepts justify and reconcile Hindus to the inequalities of the caste system and that they result in fatalism and “other-worldiness.” These, in turn, are said to obstruct interest in modernization and progress. Although hypotheses such as these have been formulated by students of Hindu texts (Singer, 1961; Weber, 1958; Schweitzer, 1936), there have been few investigations of the living contexts within which Hindu philosophical ideas operate.

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