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  1. #1
    rsridhar Guest

    about brahmins

    Can any one pls tell me about the divisions in our community( Vadama & vathima) and major diff. between the vedam followers. i just ask these to get enough knowledge and i strongly believe in unity. so pls don't mind.

  2. #2
    RVenkatraman is offline Junior Member
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    http://www.vedah.net/manasanskriti/Brahmins.html

    Hello Sridhar

    The following ling might give you some ideas:
    http://www.vedah.net/manasanskriti/Brahmins.html

    This is indeed a immense topic and many scholarly people commented on this
    Here some of my thoughts based on that:

    1. For a Bramana, Vedam and Gothram comes as first grouping:

    According to many scholars, the Vedam and Gothram been formulated by Sri Vedavyasa (Krishnadvaipayana) to protect the Vedas. As it was said "Grantha Kotipi" meaning Vedas were innumerable. But owing to the diminishing utility of memory by human beings due to the age of Kali, Vedas were grouped into 4 (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Athrvana) and handed over to group of people with an instruction that at least keep this compiled form of Veda intact and hand over to generations next. In that view some group were given instructions to keep Rig and others Yajur etc., and to share the knowledge of the Veda to the human community as a whole. Following to that, now we call ourselves belonging to any one Vedam. A point to be noted here is Each Veda has its own rituals/formulas/practices as described in that Veda and Vedaanga.

    'Gothra' is an identity carried by male lineage in India from time immemorial. Most people have gothra chain names traceable to Rig Vedic Rishis like 'Gowthama', 'Vasishta' 'Viswamithra' and to first sons of Vaivaswatha Manu like Angirasa & Bhrigu. Purana such as Vishnu Purana refer to individual identity through 'Gothra'. Listings of more than 250 Gothra chains have been explicitly listed. I have heard of instances of Muslims converted from Hinduism still keeping track of their 'Gothra'. For example we know that Buddha, named Siddhartha was of 'Gowthama Gothra'. It means that his Y-chromosomes were probably from Rig-Vedic Rishi 'Gowthama Rahoogana'.


    2. Divisions such as (Vadama, Vaathima or Brihadhcharanam etc.,)
    This is just to identify a group based on their settlements. It is believed that Brahmins do and did existed globally and they migrated from one place to another place on invitation from Kings of other region. Thus the relocated or migrated group of Vedic People been given a special status, place to stay to conduct the Vedic rituals etc., such group viz., Vadama (those who moved from North), Brihacharanam [Brihath – this world or the country, Charanam – circumambulate] Those who moved from distant places. Like this the divisions.


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  4. #3
    Anbu is offline Member
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    A good posting from Sri R.Venkatraman. May I prod Sri RV to post his thoughts on why cross-Gothra marriage is an ancient wisdom that we should preserve and pass on to posterity.
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  6. #4
    RVenkatraman is offline Junior Member
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    Gothram - Pravaram

    Dear Anbu

    Gothram - Pravaram

    Marriages within Pravaras, and according to some scriptures, that within gotras, were not permitted. The reasoning is that marrying within one's gotra would be akin to marrying one's sister and would be akin to incest

    Gothram: There are many definitions for this but i am sharing very commonly known definition. Gotra A term applied to a clan, a group of families, or a lineage - exogamous and patrilineal - whose members trace their descent to a common ancestor, usually a Sage/Rishi of ancient times.

    Consider the term exogamy: The custom of marrying outside the tribe, family, clan, or other social unit. This will help in the fusion of two gametes that are not closely related. Hence will preserve the Y-Chromosome which is carried from generations to generations.

    Genetically:
    Geneticists used a scientific fact, that most of the male Y-chromosome is passed intact from father to son. Females do not carry the Y-chromosome. Genetically there was transference of some unique characteristics only from father to son (in the form of Y-chromosomes)

    My thought!

    How did the people of 3000-4000 years ago realize that genetically there was transference of some unique characteristics only from father to son (in the form of Y-chromosomes)? In recent past when it was fashionable to condemn all Indian traditional systems as of no value, non-believers have referred to 'Gothra' as archaic, unscientific, irrelevant and male chauvinistic! -
    I think it has many very deep scientific reasons. Even I believe that is the reason why in periodic intervals there is a 'Mahaan' a ‘Rishi’ like personalities are born (Sri Adhi Shankara, RamanaMaharishi, Swami Dhayanandha Saraswathi, Sri Arobhindo and many more)...which is possible because the ancient Rishi's genes were passed to generations to generation and genetic mutations would bring back such ability and personality to reincarnate the Rishi of our origin again!!! (This is purely my perception based on what I have so heard and red)

    More research on Genetics will bring out more findings on this.

    I have a chart of a Pravaram for 'Sri Vathsa Gothram' it pictures the clan and the descendant Rishis in an inverted tree structure, let me find it and if possible share it with you all.
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  8. #5
    rsridhar Guest
    Great explanations Venkataraman, Thanx.
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  10. #6
    Anbu is offline Member
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    Thanks Sri Venkatraman for well researched reply. Many parents as I came across have been ingorant of these things. Hope they read these and pass on to the youngsters.

    Narayanasmrithi
    Anbu
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  12. #7
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    Good posting, Mr. Venkatraman. I am surprised many of our members did not know the reason that we don't marry within Gothras is to prevent in-breeding. Haven't they heard the term 'gotra daayathi'? (I believe that is how it is said! - been a long time!)

    Now how about Iyengars vs. Iyers? They share almost everything including Gotras, except the 'Advaita' vs. Vashitadvaita' philosophy.
    When and how did this come about?
    Thanks
    Last edited by silverfox; 04-07-2006 at 05:01 AM.
    SILVER FOX
    "செந்தமிழ் நாடெனும் போதினிலே -இன்பத் தேன்வந்து பாயுது காதினிலே"
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  14. #8
    RVenkatraman is offline Junior Member
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    Dear All

    As a Vedic person I would say the authority is only the ‘Prasthana Thrayam’ (somebody will say Prasthana Thrayam as Vedas, Upanishads and Srimad Bhagavath Geetha, also there is one more saying, as Vedas are mainly divided as 3 parts, Samhitha, Brahmana and Aranyaka, hence Prasthana Thrayam). Anyhow, let us see what is there in our Shastra (Shastra means teaching, so If I refer to Shastra which means what is been taught by the Prasthana Thrayam). I am trying to brief my thoughts for the discussion “how about Iyengars vs. Iyers – by SILVERFOX [cool name!!!….]” with the context of marriage, for that I request you to bear with some additional briefs I have to make for a flow!

    Before Jagathguru Sri Adi Shankara, there were huge confusion and misconception in ‘Bharatha desha’ (India) on worshipping, it is said that the worshiping was in one extent as holy as and in other extreme as horrible as and thousands and thousands of branches. Hence, Sri Adi Shankara taken the Shastra as means and formulated 6 ways to reach or realize the reality. Sri Adi Shankara thence called ‘Shanmdha sThapaka’ viz (Saivam, Vainavam, Shaktam, Ganapathyam, Gaumaram and Sowram). We know this very well. This is only the path recommended to attain the oneness, path of Bakthi yoga to realize the reality.

    Philosophy - “Advaita, Vasistadhvaitha, Dvaita etc”, all can fit into this path. Say a Vainavite can be philosophically an Advaithic! A Saivite can philosophically a Dvaitic!

    A Brahmana or any other Varna person can fit into or follow any path mentioned above and can have any philosophy as well. (Note: For a Vedic person the worship is different, it is only nature and the elements, fire, water, ether, air and the earth, for a Vedic person every thing in nature is a ‘Devatha’ and all the rituals are for Devathas only).

    Now a Brahmana can be an Iyer or Iyengar or given any name as he holds and assumes he belong to, but for the matter of fact, Iyer or Iyengar belong to Brahmana Varna. I would like to quote a brief from Manu, a Brahmana male can marry even other Varna women, in case of a ‘Dharmic’ necessity and this is permitted because of the Y-Chromosome factor! (remember as I said in my earlier thread about Y-Chromosome, so for a Brahmana male only a Brahmana progeny would born, but this is not true if a Brahmana women marry other Varna men, because She does not carry Y-C and could not procreate a Y-C of Brahmana). So it is evident that there is no such reference made in Shastra that an Iyengar vs. Iyer is not allowed! In fact these terminologies came only few centuries before. So simply a Brahmana vs. Brahmana is perfect!

    Now there may raise a doubt, “if a Brahmana men can procreate a Brahmana, then what is wrong if inter Varna marriage is done!"?
    Our Shastra says, Men carry the Jeeva (Sookshma Shareera), vitality, personality and characteristics of the progeny in him in the form of Sukla (semen), Women carry the influencing factor (genetical material) to grow limbs such us, spinal card, skull, hair etc., of the progeny. Which means we carry the Jeeva and the Y-C which is given by our Father and our Limbs (mostly all the main limbs) which was given by our Mother.
    [Recently: I heard this from my wife: (She is a bio-chemist and a researcher) Men do develop their nipples even though there is no use of it as men won’t feed! Why is that necessary for men? Because initially during conception every embryo is designed as Female template physically, then due to some genetical influence the fetus will start growing as male or female, since the embryo started as female, male carry many physical structures of a female, once such is development of nipple and Male embryo keeps carrying this till fully develop.].

    Consider the below char based on what i have understood by comparing the Shastras and some medical/biological data and with my perception:
    Sookshma Shareea (causal body)
    Sthoola Shareea (physical body)

    A. Brahmana Male + Brahmana Female = Sookshma Shareea of Brahmana men + Sthoola Shareea of Brahmana women = Sthoola, Sukshma Brahmana progeny

    B. Brahmana Male + Other Varna Female = Sookshma Shareea of Brahmana men + Sthoola Shareea of Other Varna women = Sukshma Brahmana and Sthoola of Other varna, progeny

    C. Other Varna Male + Brahmana Female = Sookshma Shareea of Other Varna men + Sthoola Shareea of Brahmana women = Sthoola Brahmana, Sukshma of Other Varna progeny

    A. Optimum choice
    B. (Left to you to comment)
    C. (Left to you to comment)
    J

    I would say everyone have choices, everyone have the option to choose the optimum choices.

    Our Shastra says a progeny should be a Brahmana in attitude as well as in physic that is why we give much importance to our daily practices of pooja, rituals and samprathaya to be in Brahmana attitude and eat sathvic food to be in Brahmana physic J mind you food influence our attitude as well!

    Philosophical aspect:

    All the above is only for the ‘vyavahara’ means the worldly presence. As long as you have a connection with the world and considering world as reality and materialistic. For a Jnani, Turavi this Varna classification won’t fit!

    Our Shastra also says: Janmana Jayathe Sudhraha: Karmana Jayathe Twijaha: Brahme idhi vidhihi Brahmanaha:
    Which means, by birth all are Sudhra, by doing what is prescribed for you in this world, you become a Twija (Twice Born), when you are in aware of reality by only meditating on that ultimate and supreme reality the Brahman, then only you are a Brahmana!

    For Vyavahara, we need to consider all the above said A, B, C and other factors, For pure philosophy there is No Jathi, No Madham, No Vrnam.

    I have tried to brief what is said in oceans of our sacred scripts, with a little knowledge what I had inferred form great men and Periyava. If my understanding on this is wrong in any way, you have all the rights to correct me.

    RV
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  16. #9
    Anbu is offline Member
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    Aum

    Dear Sri Venkatraman,

    Pranaams. I agree with the first part of your posting. While Brahmana as a varna is of the Prakrthi, the subcastes such as Iyer, Iyengar etc. are of Vikrthi and therefore not saasvatham. Therefore one should not stand in the way of marriage between subcastes if it is the liking of the couple as it is not violative of Varna Dharma.

    On second part, I have the following comments. We actually have three bodies viz. Sthoola Sariram, Sookshma Sariram and KARANA SARIRAM. While Sthoola Sariram is physical the other two are metaphysical. They cannot be combined for the sake of argument. On waking state all the three sarirams are present in us, while in dream state the sthoola sariram is absent and in deep sleep only the karana sariram is present. I shall be posting more on the bodies in my Musings on the Fundamentals of Hinduism in due course.

    With Narayana Smrithi,
    Anbu
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    No one has answered my question on Kanchi Sankarachcharya (periyaval) not seeing widows. Why is everybody silent? Look, guys, unless we self-examine ourselves and talk about our faults and short-comings, nothing good is going to come out. I would like to know if this was true.
    SILVER FOX
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