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Cho's Enge Brahmanan serial - Does it project the brahmins cause?

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All avathars are not Brahmins!

Parasurama and Vaamana are the only Brahmin avathars. Tama is a true Kshatriyaa. In Kaliyuga the Avathar should be a Vaisya., that is a business community. Is it Cho?
My guru sri chandrasekara bharathi swamigal of sringeri has said there will be a true brahmin existing in this world and we have to search for him. He has said that since there is one more avatar of Mahavishnu to take place and hence a true brahmin will be there and we need to search for him.
As it is the serial had flaws, a brahmin should not have side burns at all and our hero in the serial did have it and they chose a wrong person.
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
Parasurama and Vaamana are the only Brahmin avathars. Tama is a true Kshatriyaa. In Kaliyuga the Avathar should be a Vaisya., that is a business community. Is it Cho?

after lord krishna avataram the 8,we are yet to get 9 and 10.becoz the yuga cycles does not corroborate at all.some say its buddha some say its mahaveera,some say its chaitanya,some say balaraman was twin avatram ......428000 years still to go anyways even if its kalki to come...sringeri acharya must have predicted shivas next avatram,imho not visnus.:love:

maybe cho will give another spin on this too.engayoom brahmananay.
 

suraju06

Well-known member
Dear Mr. Nara,
I will be answering your post no.65 dated 4.7.2010 by the end of this week as I am busy with some other work.
Cheers.
 

suraju06

Well-known member
Dear Kunjuppu,

I may be excused for this interjection. As all of us are aware, the brahmins kept the sole monopoly of religion and scriptures to themselves. The other three castes were not allowed the freedom to interpret the scriptures. (There are one or two exceptions to this of course.) This zealously coveted monopoly is what we now regard as our tradition and inheritance.

It is because of the hard work, good work ethics, simplicity, et al, of the other three castes, and most importantly their naivete in believing that the brahmin has a superiority by birth itself, plus their helplessness (till modern times) to revolt against the perceived superiority of brahmins (in my view this is the most appropriate meaning of the term "brahminism") that sustained our society. (Nandanar may be a solitary exception). If the farmers (many of which class was demoted from the vaisya to sudra category over the centuries) had been less hardworking even under below-subsistence levels, less simple, and had a fraction of the ambition and drive which you refer to, the brahmins would have faced acute starvation and decimation long ago. If there had been a level playing field for all perhaps the other castes would have excelled in the brahminic specialisation also. We have the example of one of the backward castes in Kerala some of whom have been traditionally sanskrit scholars, ayurvedic physicians, astrologers etc. Their grasp of Sanskrit was much superior to that of many of the barhmins who could only parrot mantras without understanding their meaning.

I therefore feel that we should not view the above qualities of good work ethics, hard work, and simplicity as something unique to brahmins. Incidentally drive and ambition usually do not go hand-in-hand with simplicity, I think.

Dear Sangom sir,

, I am not able to make out what you mean by tradition and inheritance here. The scriptures are not our tradition and they are not the inheritance of Brahmins alone. There was absolutely no enforced monopoly at any time. If it were there the innate human nature would have demolished all barriers long back to remove that monopoly. I do not think our ancestors were so naïve, self-effacing and generous as you think. If it was just a Brahmins’ religion and a Brahmins’ scripture there can never be a dispute and we wont be posting our arguments here. The large mass of other communities would have just left it to the Brahmins to bother about their religion and their scriptures. It was just convenient for every one to leave the scriptures to the Brahmins in order to pursue their other interests like making money, winning wars, cultivating lands, enjoying life etc. Moreover scriptures are not such treasure troves for an ordinary man to delve deep into them and find their secrets to live a comfortable material life on this earth. Unless you have an inclination to inquire into the so called higher truths you will find them terribly boring. So Brahmins were assigned that particular role because they were willing to sacrifice everything else to acquire that particular knowledge. They built great schools where the Vedas were taught, researched into, debated, interpreted, written down and new insights acquired. All these (teaching, researching, debating, interpreting, writing Sutras and bhashyams etc) requires life long devotion and focused effort to that single purpose and leave little room for other pursuits. There were no restriction imposed on Kshatriyas and Vysyas as far as learning the scriptures was concerned. But majority of the population did not want, did not have the time and inclination to follow this regimen. So in order to continue the tradition and to preserve the knowledge gained the system had to look inward and we had Brahmins teaching Brahmins to the exclusion of others. We are now in different times, at a different place and at a different context. Looking back we can easily accuse Brahmins of monopolizing the scriptures but it will be only a travesty of truth. Human spirit is such that a determined individual will get what he/she wants, however hard the required effort may be. The few exceptions you have mentioned are such determined individuals making it. It is a different matter that there are people who would brand Brahmins as scheming scoundrels from time immemorial and invent conspiracy theories to support their pet hypotheses. I believe I am not arguing with them here.
Moreover Your argument is fundamentally wrong because Vysyas and Kshatriyas were never barred from mastering the scriptures. Please verify your source.

//It is because of the hard work, good work ethics, simplicity, et al, of the other three castes, and most importantly their naivete in believing that the brahmin has a superiority by birth itself, plus their helplessness (till modern times) to revolt against the perceived superiority of brahmins (in my view this is the most appropriate meaning of the term "brahminism") that sustained our society.//

The facts and history do not support your conclusion. The Brahmins were always poor economically and were dependent on others for their livelihood because they pursued knowledge and not wealth. If our ancestors thought Brahmins were superior it was because of their knowledge and sacrifice. Who was helpless? Certainly not the other castes. They controlled the land, wealth and economy and were not helpless as you say. They could have easily used their numerical and economic power to wipe out Brahmins to free the scriptures from their clutches. They did not bother to do that because they did not want the sciptures. So where is your definition of brahminism?
// If the farmers (many of which class was demoted from the vaisya to sudra category over the centuries) had been less hardworking even under below-subsistence levels, less simple, and had a fraction of the ambition and drive which you refer to, the brahmins would have faced acute starvation and decimation long ago. If there had been a level playing field for all perhaps the other castes would have excelled in the brahminic specialisation also.//

I have already answered to this above.

// We have the example of one of the backward castes in Kerala some of whom have been traditionally sanskrit scholars, ayurvedic physicians, astrologers etc. Their grasp of Sanskrit was much superior to that of many of the barhmins who could only parrot mantras without understanding their meaning.//
You are now talking about the Ezhavas of modern times. In these times the rules of the game are very different. So if we have to argue we have to argue on different grounds and on different parameters.
//I therefore feel that we should not view the above qualities of good work ethics, hard work, and simplicity as something unique to brahmins. Incidentally drive and ambition usually do not go I therefore hand-in-hand with simplicity, I think.//
These are besides the matter for discussion in hand. Cheers.
 

kameshratnam

Active member
How will the society respect us? We have people who are proud to announce that they eat non veg food and they also consume alcohol.
I dont want to mention names here. A popular television host comes in the advt for suguna chicken and also in a popular cookery show she appears for cooking prawns fish etc
Great way to go
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
Parasurama and Vaamana are the only Brahmin avathars. Tama is a true Kshatriyaa. In Kaliyuga the Avathar should be a Vaisya., that is a business community. Is it Cho?

gana,

from what i know, rama was a kshathriya prince. he had no poonul and ate meat, as is evidenced by instances of deer hunting in the forest.

please clarify. thanks..
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
eating meat was done by all in tretha yuga like brahmana kshtriya vaishya shudras.sacrificing eating meat as also known as fasting.if today brahmins indulge in eating nv,its not a bad karma,as long as the animal was not slaughtred for food for human beings.a naturally dead animal is ok for consumptions.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
if today brahmins indulge in eating nv,its not a bad karma,as long as the animal was not slaughtred for food for human beings.a naturally dead animal is ok for consumptions.


nachi,

i think it is better to kill a healthy animal and eat it. naturally dead animals may die of all causes of sickness, and one does not need to get those diseases.

overall, i think, veggie is safe. but the temptations of the palate, one can sometimes find difficulty in resisting eh!
 
OP
OP
sangom

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Sangom sir,

, I am not able to make out what you mean by tradition and inheritance here. The scriptures are not our tradition and they are not the inheritance of Brahmins alone. There was absolutely no enforced monopoly at any time. If it were there the innate human nature would have demolished all barriers long back to remove that monopoly. I do not think our ancestors were so naïve, self-effacing and generous as you think. If it was just a Brahmins’ religion and a Brahmins’ scripture there can never be a dispute and we wont be posting our arguments here. The large mass of other communities would have just left it to the Brahmins to bother about their religion and their scriptures. It was just convenient for every one to leave the scriptures to the Brahmins in order to pursue their other interests like making money, winning wars, cultivating lands, enjoying life etc.
Dear Suraju,

Since you are not citing any references to support your statements and want me to accept them as they are, I think I can also reply in the same fashion and that you will not ask me to give references. (If you ask for these it will become an unequal discussion.)

The problem here is the brahmin as compared to the largest section of Hindus, viz., Sudras. Kshatriyas and Vaisyas were not precluded from studying the Vedas but they were asked to concentrate on warfare and agriculture/trade respectively and hence their study was just ordinary. We find some Kshatriyas like janaka, aSvapati, and pravAhana jaivali, to whom brAhmaNas went seeking knowledge, but they have not made any sutras or texts incorporating their knowledge and views. Why? It would have been easy for them in view of their higher living standards but either they were not allowed to do so, or, such texts were obliterated.

I don't think the kshatriyas would have found it interesting to take up a fighting career, and face death in the battlefield. vaiSyas would, of course, have preferred trade because it was comparatively less arduous than agriculture; it was mainly the vaiSyas who welcomed buddhism and jainism which shows their weak linkages with the hinduism of those times.

Coming to intterpretation of even the itihasas, let alone vedas and upanishads, even as late as the 17th. century, there were no bhashyas by any one other than brahmanas and baladEva vidyAbhUshana's gOvinda bhAshya is considered to be the only work by a vaiSya in the entire corpus of bhAshyas. This also happened because
one day, in Jaipur, in the royal court, the rAmAnuja sampradAya people began arguing a case in connection with the gauDeeya sampradAya (GS). They informed the king that GS had no commentary on the most important revealed scripture of vEdic religion—vEdAnta; therefore they had no siddhanta and no real sampradaya, or school. As a consequence they should give up their service of the deities of gOvinda and gOpinAtha, and entrust with those who were bona fide members of a genuine sampradaya. This happened in the 18th. century.

Hence, it was not like kshatriyas and vaiSyas did not take interest in the scriptures but they were not allowed beyond mere observances unquestioningly. All rules of /for the hindus was the monopoly of the brAhmaNas and this is amply borne out by our numerous dhaRma sutRas, manu being the pre-eminent among them.
Moreover scriptures are not such treasure troves for an ordinary man to delve deep into them and find their secrets to live a comfortable material life on this earth. Unless you have an inclination to inquire into the so called higher truths you will find them terribly boring. So Brahmins were assigned that particular role because they were willing to sacrifice everything else to acquire that particular knowledge.
I have to agree that the scriptures are not treasure troves in the ordinary sense. But the people who delved deep into them and found their secrets, were not far removed from the materialistic way of life. Our puranas give many accounts of rishis asking for huge riches for performing yagas and most of this wealth was distributed to the brahmins and rishis only as dakshiNa, at the end of the sacrifice. Actually, it is stated that the priests could even demand the king's consorts as gift, at the end of an aSwamEdha.


Thus it was very much in the interests of the brAhmaNas to keep the job of delving deep into the higher truths and they had monopolized it as is amply borne out by the dhaRmaSAstRas.



They built great schools where the Vedas were taught, researched into, debated, interpreted, written down and new insights acquired.
I don't know what you mean by 'great schools'; if you are referring to schools of thought we had 5 of them, but if you are thinking of Nalanda, Takshasila etc., these were post-buddhistic, and probably post-Asokan in their origin.



All these (teaching, researching, debating, interpreting, writing Sutras and bhashyams etc) requires life long devotion and focused effort to that single purpose and leave little room for other pursuits.
As regards teaching I agree. But in the case of the rest, viz., researching, debating, interpreting and writing sUtRas and bhAshyas, we see that only a small number of people ventured to do so. It shows that either the others were content to learn, recite and teach the vEdas and did not go further, or they were not capable of it.


There were no restriction imposed on Kshatriyas and Vysyas as far as learning the scriptures was concerned. But majority of the population did not want, did not have the time and inclination to follow this regimen.
I have already dealt with this point above.



So in order to continue the tradition and to preserve the knowledge gained the system had to look inward and we had Brahmins teaching Brahmins to the exclusion of others. We are now in different times, at a different place and at a different context. Looking back we can easily accuse Brahmins of monopolizing the scriptures but it will be only a travesty of truth.
That brAhmaNas wanted monopoly over the interpretation of scriptures has been explained by me above.


Human spirit is such that a determined individual will get what he/she wants, however hard the required effort may be. The few exceptions you have mentioned are such determined individuals making it. It is a different matter that there are people who would brand Brahmins as scheming scoundrels from time immemorial and invent conspiracy theories to support their pet hypotheses. I believe I am not arguing with them here.

Moreover Your argument is fundamentally wrong because Vysyas and Kshatriyas were never barred from mastering the scriptures. Please verify your source.
I have already explained the position above. I did not say anything to the same effect that you seem to be trying to make out of my post, but the truth is that brAhmanas did enforce, with the help of the rulers, their rigid caste-based rules which was always favourable to the bRahmaNa (gods on the earth or bhUdEva as they claimed) and heavily weighted against the SUdras.

//It is because of the hard work, good work ethics, simplicity, et al, of the other three castes, and most importantly their naivete in believing that the brahmin has a superiority by birth itself, plus their helplessness (till modern times) to revolt against the perceived superiority of brahmins (in my view this is the most appropriate meaning of the term "brahminism") that sustained our society.//

The facts and history do not support your conclusion. The Brahmins were always poor economically and were dependent on others for their livelihood because they pursued knowledge and not wealth
The practice of kings giving lands and villages as 'brahmadEyam' is very ancient and while there would have been some poor brahmins at all points of time, most were provided for well, considering the necessities of the respective times. If you have any reliable record to show that the brAhmaNas were mostly poor in any era before the advent of Mughals, I will correct my view.

If our ancestors thought Brahmins were superior it was because of their knowledge and sacrifice.
This answers all my points succinctly, I think. Our ancestors (not others) thought that we, the brAhmaNas were superior, to the others, that much you have accepted; it is not relevant what made us think so. We had a sense of superiority above all others, based on our own evaluation of our own capability or knowledge or something else. There is no shred of evidence that it was the others who thought so and held us in high esteem. That is enough, sir. I think no further discussion is needed. Thank you.
 
OP
OP
sangom

sangom

Well-known member
gana,

from what i know, rama was a kshathriya prince. he had no poonul and ate meat, as is evidenced by instances of deer hunting in the forest.

please clarify. thanks..

Here are some points about non-veg. in Ramayana:


Sa ashTacha ashTau cha varshhANi vatsyAmi vijanE vanE
AsEvamAnO vanyAni phalamUlaiScha kartayan. VR 2-20-31

Before going to the forest, Rama promised Kausalya, that he would live like a sage, eating roots and fruits.
The SlOka above translates somewhat like, "Satisfying myself with the roots and the fruits of the forest, I shall spend fourteen years in the uninhabited forest".

As there is nothing wrong for a person of warrior/king caste to eat non-vegetarian food, Rama ought to have remained silent. Unnecessarily he made a declaration and broke it on entering the forest.

Rama was proceeding to the forests. He was the guest of Guha, the King of the Nishadas. Guha in reverence to Rama, arranged food and bed for Rama, Lakshmana and Sita.

2-50-39
bhakshyam bhOjyam ca peyam ca
lEhyam ca idam upasthitam
SayanAni ca mukhyAni
vAjinAm khAdanam ca tE.

Guha tells Rama that he had brought different types of succulent food and requests Rama to take it.

Rama replies:
Know me (mAm viddhi) as an ascetic living in forests, wearing deer skin and having fruits and roots as food.

Next day they crossed river Ganga with the help of Guha. The three (Rama, Lakshmana and Sita) were very hungry. They hunted four deer and took them as dinner. (2-52-102). The vow of asceticism proclaimed to Guha was broken in just one day!
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
nachi,

i think it is better to kill a healthy animal and eat it. naturally dead animals may die of all causes of sickness, and one does not need to get those diseases.

overall, i think, veggie is safe. but the temptations of the palate, one can sometimes find difficulty in resisting eh!

kunjuppu,

eating is a function,that every being does.regardless of the species or size of the species.if eating cows,bulls,calves,sheeps,lambs,goATs,pigs,fish,birds,cocks,hens,chickens,whales,sharks,human milk,milks from animals,......etc some find satisfaction,why would i or anybody create a hullaballo.but when you kill a species,the species will be born again and will kill you,and this cycle will go on endlessly,untill 428000 years later a pralayam will occur or maybe a numbskull will capture a nuclear bomb and eliminate humanity again,for it to regenerate all over again.

whle your point is valid,regarding unhealthy dead bodies being eaten by humans,when we consume any dead body,your body mind soul do get affected one way or the other.since not many ppl remember their previous birth cycles,we with absolute delight,kill beings wantonly,for our self-consumption.

in this day and age of farming,slaughtering beings as food for belly,does not make sense,even though i do relish a tandoori kabab once in a while or a tad prik :love:
 

suraju06

Well-known member
//Since you are not citing any references to support your statements and want me to accept them as they are, I think I can also reply in the same fashion and that you will not ask me to give references. (If you ask for these it will become an unequal discussion.)//

If you have any specific statement of me which requires the support of reference, you can mention that. If I am not able to provide the reference, you can still go ahead and provide your references in support of your counter argument so that the reading public can get enlightened. I think we can make the discussion more interesting and useful that way. Now what you say in effect means that you will go your way with your views and i may go my way with my views and that is not the purpose of this dialogue. I may be corrected if my understanding is wrong.
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
gana,

from what i know, rama was a kshathriya prince. he had no poonul and ate meat, as is evidenced by instances of deer hunting in the forest.

please clarify. thanks..

kunjuppu

120% correct you are.deer hunting or venison was eaten with relish and amma sita devi cooked it lovingly for lord rama in the forest.maybe that was also one reason for her to covet the golden colored deer,which was rare sight for her.poor laxmana,had to listen to the aspersions cast by her.women,bah !:happy:
 
OP
OP
sangom

sangom

Well-known member
//If you have any specific statement of me which requires the support of reference, you can mention that. If I am not able to provide the reference, you can still go ahead and provide your references in support of your counter argument so that the reading public can get enlightened. I think we can make the discussion more interesting and useful that way. Now what you say in effect means that you will go your way with your views and i may go my way with my views and that is not the purpose of this dialogue. I may be corrected if my understanding is wrong.
Since you yourself have admitted that our ancestor brAhmaNas had a sense of superiority as they thought they were the only ones with knowledge, I don't think there is any need for further discussion. My view is also the same and all my statements depend on this one truth.

Any way some of the statements made in your post, which need substantiation are, in my view, the following:

1. The scriptures are not our tradition and they are not the inheritance of Brahmins alone. There was absolutely no enforced monopoly at any time. If it were there the innate human nature would have demolished all barriers long back to remove that monopoly. I do not think our ancestors were so naïve, self-effacing and generous as you think. (Here there is a doubt; do you refer to brAhmaNas as our ancestors? If so, I agree.)

2. It was just convenient for every one to leave the scriptures to the Brahmins in order to pursue their other interests like making money, winning wars, cultivating lands, enjoying life etc.

3. So Brahmins were assigned that particular role because they were willing to sacrifice everything else to acquire that particular knowledge. (My additional question - who assigned the role to brAhmaNas? When?)

4. They built great schools where the Vedas were taught, researched into, debated, interpreted, written down and new insights acquired.

5. The Brahmins were always poor economically and were dependent on others for their livelihood because they pursued knowledge and not wealth.

6. They (the non-brahmins) controlled the land, wealth and economy and were not helpless as you say.

7. They could have easily used their numerical and economic power to wipe out Brahmins to free the scriptures from their clutches. They did not bother to do that because they did not want the sciptures.
(My query: Numerical and economic power can be used in a democratic set up where elections decide the ruler/s. Did we have such system in the past? If so pl. cite some authority in support thereof.)
 
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suraju06

Well-known member
Dear Sangom sir,

//The problem here is the brahmin as compared to the largest section of Hindus, viz., Sudras. Kshatriyas and Vaisyas were not precluded from studying the Vedas but they were asked to concentrate on warfare and agriculture/trade respectively and hence their study was just ordinary.//
My contention is only that it was their own choice and they were not asked by any one to concentrate on warfare etc… If you are comparing the Sudras with any one it should be with the entire bulk of higher castes and not with Brahmins alone. I do not get the logic or reason for singling out the Brahmins alone. What was convenient for the upper crust of the society became a code. The code was implemented ruthlessly by the powerful sections in the society and they were Vysyas-because of their control of economy and Kshatriyas – because of their power. Brahmins just played along though they were not comfortable with the kind of discriminations and atrocities. The available evidences show that this was the case. More than any other powerful castes Brahmins had categorically said that castes are not instruments for suppression or domination. One who is satvic in nature can not but say that and Brahmins were satvic in nature.

//We find some Kshatriyas like janaka, aSvapati, and pravAhana jaivali, to whom brAhmaNas went seeking knowledge, but they have not made any sutras or texts incorporating their knowledge and views. Why? It would have been easy for them in view of their higher living standards but either they were not allowed to do so, or, such texts were obliterated.//

There are several other names also in addition to what u have mentioned. You have raised a question and then have answered it. I am unable to agree with your reasoning. You appear to say that only those who made sutras and other texts qualify as knowledgeable in Vedas.

//I don't think the kshatriyas would have found it interesting to take up a fighting career, and face death in the battlefield.//

Many of the kshatriyas would have found it to be their interesting and natural duty. I have many friends who are from the so called kshatriya families serving in the military. For them military service is a passion. Their father and grandfathers were soldiers and they are also soldiers. Their sons are also soldiers. It is not that they are dull headed or less endowed. But it was a conscious choice and it was a matter of deep belief and pride. I do not think the kshatriyas of vedic times could have been any different. And it is a fact that the chances of survival in a single combat or in a war in those days was much brighter than today when a sniper’s single bullet can send your body spinning and nail it to the wall. Moreover the society which held the kshatriyas in high esteem for their valour expected that they should fight and protect the citizens and for that reason only they were allowed all the extravagant lifestyle in peacetimes.

//vaiSyas would, of course, have preferred trade because it was comparatively less arduous than agriculture; it was mainly the vaiSyas who welcomed buddhism and jainism which shows their weak linkages with the hinduism of those times.//

Well I do not know any basis for such a contention. In another forum there are people who are arguing vehemently that it was Kshatriyas , in their anxiety to fight Brahmins influence, who founded and promoted other religious faiths in India. I do not know what is the basis for that either though Gautama Budhdha and Mahavir were both Kshatriyas. I think we only interpret the way we want.

//Coming to intterpretation of even the itihasas, let alone vedas and upanishads, even as late as the 17th. century, there were no bhashyas by any one other than brahmanas and baladEva vidyAbhUshana's gOvinda bhAshya is considered to be the only work by a vaiSya in the entire corpus of bhAshyas. This also happened because one day, in Jaipur, in the royal court, the rAmAnuja sampradAya people began arguing a case in connection with the gauDeeya sampradAya (GS). They informed the king that GS had no commentary on the most important revealed scripture of vEdic religion—vEdAnta; therefore they had no siddhanta and no real sampradaya, or school. As a consequence they should give up their service of the deities of gOvinda and gOpinAtha, and entrust with those who were bona fide members of a genuine sampradaya. This happened in the 18th. century.//

Vedas, Upanishads, Sutras and then bhashyas. As far as I know this is the chronological order of these scriptures/texts. By the time the civilization came to the stage where it needed bhashyas to understand the Sutras, the education system had already taken the familiar form of schools of thought and there were Rishis who were the heads of these schools of thought. And for reasons I have already stated in my previous posting, Brahmins were the students as well as teachers in these schools.Hence the bhashyas could be written by Brahmins only.

//Hence, it was not like kshatriyas and vaiSyas did not take interest in the scriptures but they were not allowed beyond mere observances unquestioningly. All rules of /for the hindus was the monopoly of the brAhmaNas and this is amply borne out by our numerous dhaRma sutRas, manu being the pre-eminent among them.//

Manu was himself a kshatriya. Who prevented the kshatriyas and vysyas from learning the scriptures? And that too such powerful communities in the society? And who implemented these edicts of the Brahmins? Brahmins authored the Dharmashastras as dictated by the powerful Kshatriyas and Vysyas. All the discriminatory rules against the sudras were brought into these shastras at the instance of these powerful communities as they wanted to keep the panchamans and sudras permenantly under their thumb.

//I have to agree that the scriptures are not treasure troves in the ordinary sense. But the people who delved deep into them and found their secrets, were not far removed from the materialistic way of life. Our puranas give many accounts of rishis asking for huge riches for performing yagas and most of this wealth was distributed to the brahmins and rishis only as dakshiNa, at the end of the sacrifice. Actually, it is stated that the priests could even demand the king's consorts as gift, at the end of an aSwamEdha.//
Exceptions do not become rules. Dakshina was given voluntarily for services rendered.

//I don't know what you mean by 'great schools'; if you are referring to schools of thought we had 5 of them, but if you are thinking of Nalanda, Takshasila etc., these were post-buddhistic, and probably post-Asokan in their origin.//
I mean the schools of thought or ‘sampradhayas’ as you call it.

//As regards teaching I agree. But in the case of the rest, viz., researching, debating, interpreting and writing sUtRas and bhAshyas, we see that only a small number of people ventured to do so. It shows that either the others were content to learn, recite and teach the vEdas and did not go further, or they were not capable of it.//
I have no dispute about your interpretation.

//I have already explained the position above. I did not say anything to the same effect that you seem to be trying to make out of my post, but the truth is that brAhmanas did enforce, with the help of the rulers, their rigid caste-based rules which was always favourable to the bRahmaNa (gods on the earth or bhUdEva as they claimed) and heavily weighted against the SUdras.//
I repeat my point. The powerful Kshatriyas and Vysyas did enforce their rigid caste based discriminatory rules (they needed the hard labour of the panchamans for their survival and pleasures) and used the Brahmins cleverly for that purpose. Brahmins were the instruments used by these scheming , clever communities. Later when the matter became unsustainable due to information explosion and passage of time, these same communities cried foul and turned the Brahmins into whipping boys. This was the truth in those times and this is the truth today also.

//This answers all my points succinctly, I think. Our ancestors (not others) thought that we, the brAhmaNas were superior, to the others, that much you have accepted; it is not relevant what made us think so. We had a sense of superiority above all others, based on our own evaluation of our own capability or knowledge or something else. There is no shred of evidence that it was the others who thought so and held us in high esteem. That is enough, sir. I think no further discussion is needed. Thank you.//

When I said ancestors it was not about Brahmins alone. I meant all the communities together.
Cheers.
 
OP
OP
sangom

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Suraju,

I have mentioned the points on which some authoritative findings may be furnished by you in support of some of your earlier observations. From your latest post I find that the following theory is something which I have not read so far:-

"..I repeat my point. The powerful Kshatriyas and Vysyas did enforce their rigid caste based discriminatory rules (they needed the hard labour of the panchamans for their survival and pleasures) and used the Brahmins cleverly for that purpose. Brahmins were the instruments used by these scheming , clever communities. Later when the matter became unsustainable due to information explosion and passage of time, these same communities cried foul and turned the Brahmins into whipping boys. This was the truth in those times and this is the truth today also..."

I would like to know whether it is just your viewpoint or whether such a conclusion has been arrived at by any one based on historical research and interpretation of our various scriptures including the puranas. If there is any such material please cite.

That will enlighten me and perhaps after considering it I may agree with you. But it is not possible for me to just accept your statement on this matter, since such a view has not been voiced by any one, as far as I know.
 

Nara

Well-known member
....5. The Brahmins were always poor economically and were dependent on others for their livelihood because they pursued knowledge and not wealth.

Dear Raju,

Of all the unsubstantiated claims this is the most plainly egregious.

Village after village we have Agraharams populated with Brahmins living off of the toil of others. Most owned at least small pieces of land, some were large land owners. Except a few, most did nothing useful. I am old enough to have witnessed how they lived in these village agraharams.

Some of the smaller land owners didn't even bother to live near their land. They let it out on குத்தகை to tenant farmers and moved to towns like Kumbakonam. Their daily vocation was to sit in the front திண்ணை and play cards.

All this changed after land reform legislation.

Indeed there were upper caste NB land owner, but TB's were also land owners some even owning large pieces in the order of several வேலி.

They all exploited Dalits and other most backward caste NBs. TBs not only participated in this exploitation with no less vigor than their land owning NB counterparts, but they also provided the moral justification via karma/reincarnation and Dharma Shashthras.

Everything was stable, Dalits and other MBCs knew their place, village life was indeed peaceful and idyllic, the nexus between TB and rich TNB was beneficial for both groups. ஐயர்வாள், பிள்ளைவாள், முதலியார்வாள், and all other வாள் வாள்s had it great, life was divine.

Then came the British rule and their laws and court system. The Brahmins took to it like fish to water. This disturbed the equilibrium among the upper castes. Pamela G. Price provides an account of these changing times in her article, "Ideology and Ethnicity under British Imperial Rule: 'Brahmans' Lawyers and Kin-Caste Rules in Madras Presidency, Modern Asian Studies, 23, I (1989), pp. I5I-I77.

In this article, Price gives a glimpse of the fissures that developed between TB and landowning rich TNB that ultimately resulted in the formation of the Justice Party and the rest is known history.

I am sure there were poor Brahmins all along, but, Brahmins as a caste group were never poor. Even 1000 years ago, Bhagavat Ramnuja was from a rich land owning family, so was Koorathazvan. They gave up their wealth, but they were aberrations.

Cheers!
 

suraju06

Well-known member
//Since you yourself have admitted that our ancestor brAhmaNas had a sense of superiority as they thought they were the only ones with knowledge, I don't think there is any need for further discussion. My view is also the same and all my statements depend on this one truth.//
This is not my view and I did not say this.

//Any way some of the statements made in your post, which need substantiation are, in my view, the following:
1. The scriptures are not our tradition and they are not the inheritance of Brahmins alone. There was absolutely no enforced monopoly at any time. If it were there the innate human nature would have demolished all barriers long back to remove that monopoly. I do not think our ancestors were so naïve, self-effacing and generous as you think. Here there is a doubt; do you refer to brAhmaNas as our ancestors? If so, I agree.//
I refer generally to our ancestors and not to brahmins. Particularly here I have referred to the other castes only. They were not naive as you said.
//2. It was just convenient for every one to leave the scriptures to the Brahmins in order to pursue their other interests like making money, winning wars, cultivating lands, enjoying life etc.//
I do not understand what you require here. Any way please visit the Madras University Library's manuscripts section and ask for some of the palm leaf manuscripts( from many budles of them) containing the "தனிப்பாடல்கள்". These kavithais give one necessary insight into the kind of licentious life that was led by the kings, generals, chieftains and the other rich people(all of them NBs) in those times begone. The fact that these were written mostly by poor poets ( a few of them brahmins) for rewards, speaks volumes for the comparative levels of prosperity. I give you just one example. Being a vulgar kavithai I am only giving you the gist. It is a சிலேடை in which the poet has used his splendid abilities with the language to allude the sexual act to the act of climbing up a palmirah tree. And what more he speaks in that kavithai about the glory of his mentor, a local chieftain (குறுநில மன்னன்) Venkatesu Retta Bhoopathy. There are volumes and volumes of such poetry available in Tamil. If this is not proof what else is? May be you, like some other members here, may be satisfied only if I give the reference of a European authored "Paper" published in a European or American Journal.

//3. So Brahmins were assigned that particular role because they were willing to sacrifice everything else to acquire that particular knowledge. (My additional question - who assigned the role to brAhmaNas? When?)//
The same society which assigned the role of ruling the country to the kings of that time.
//4. They built great schools where the Vedas were taught, researched into, debated, interpreted, written down and new insights acquired.
5. The Brahmins were always poor economically and were dependent on others for their livelihood because they pursued knowledge and not wealth. . They the non-brahmins controlled the land, wealth and economy and were not helpless as you say.
7. They could have easily used their numerical and economic power to wipe out Brahmins to free the scriptures from their clutches. They did not bother to do that because they did not want the sciptures.
My query: Numerical and economic power can be used in a democratic set up where elections decide the ruler/s. Did we have such system in the past? If so pl. cite some authority in support thereof.//
Numerical and economic power"s use has been in vogue since time immemorial. Whether it is a democracy or not money power was always sought after. You may be aware of the Travancore Maharaja"s Diwan asking for the financial help of Mammen Mappillai" father when the treasury was almost empty and the consequences that followed when the request was refused. That is what is money power and the arrogance of numerical superiority's derivative in display simultaneously.
Cheers.
 
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suraju06

Well-known member
Dear Nara,
I will be posting my reply to your " மத ஹேது , தம ஹேது ..." posting later. Now this is a reply to your latest posting addressed to me.

//of all the unsubstantiated claims this is the most plainly egregious.//
I am not going to deride or dismiss your views straighaway. I would rather deal with them at a higher level. Please read further.

//Village after village we have Agraharams populated with Brahmins living off of the toil of others. Most owned at least small pieces of land, some were large land owners. Except a few, most did nothing useful. I am old enough to have witnessed how they lived in these village agraharams.
Some of the smaller land owners didn't even bother to live near their land. They let it out on குத்தகை to tenant farmers and moved to towns like Kumbakonam. Their daily vocation was to sit in the front திண்ணை and play cards. All this changed after land reform legislation. Indeed there were upper caste NB land owner, but TB's were also land owners some even owning large pieces in the order of several வேலி.//

Your experience appears to be limited to the fertile Tanjore delta alone. Some of the tamil words like வேலி etc that you have used here are pure Latin to us from down south. Apart from the delta there were many agraharams in the rest of Tamilnadu. Tanjore alone was not Tamilnadu. It was much bigger. I too lived for many years in one such agraharam in the southern Tamilnadu. May be in the delta the land was very fertile and water was available in plenty and the people lived a leisurely life. But in our area water was scarce and the landholdings even if they were big in size were poor in yield. It was always a hand to mouth existence. The sheer compulsions of urbanization and the explosion of opportunities forced my people to move to cities. But my statement that there were rich landlords who owned disproportionately large stretches of land and who lorded over others is a fact. They were all the middle caste people. Coming back to your posting, urbanization made Brahmins move to cities and made them absentee landlords for some time. Later their lands were all appropriated by their tenants in the name of protection of the tiller. About the land reforms I have my own views. We can discuss it if you want separately. Suffice it to say, the sham land reforms only created new landlords and never did any good the landless agricultural labour.

//They all exploited Dalits and other most backward caste NBs. TBs not only participated in this exploitation with no less vigor than their land owning NB counterparts, but they also provided the moral justification via karma/reincarnation and Dharma Shashthras.//

Dear Nara, here I have first hand experience. TBs did not participate in the exploitation with any vigour. Just as the dalits were denied irrigation water when the crop needed it most, we were also denied water by the powerful, numerically large middle castes. I know how my father struggled to get water for the crops and how he used to feel helpless. Moreover the powerful castes did not need any moral justification for their atrocities.

//Everything was stable, Dalits and other MBCs knew their place, village life was indeed peaceful and idyllic, the nexus between TB and rich TNB was beneficial for both groups. ஐயர்வாள், பிள்ளைவாள், முதலியார்வாள், and all other வாள் வாள்s had it great, life was divine.Then came the British rule and their laws and court system. The Brahmins took to it like fish to water. This disturbed the equilibrium among the upper castes.//

Why should this have disturbed the equilibrium? I would rather think that this should have helped the 'scheming Brahmins' along with their many other “vaals” because they had now in addition to the centuries old social system the new legal system also on their side.
// Pamela G. Price provides an account of these changing times in her article, "Ideology and Ethnicity under British Imperial Rule: 'Brahmans' Lawyers and Kin-Caste Rules in Madras Presidency, Modern Asian Studies, 23, I (1989)In this article, Price gives a glimpse of the fissures that developed between TB and landowning rich TNB that ultimately resulted in the formation of the Justice Party and the rest is known history.//
I have read this and many other such articles. My humble opinion is that they were all written by people who came with prejudices, people who did not understand in depth the caste system in India.

//I am sure there were poor Brahmins all along, but, Brahmins as a caste group were never poor. Even 1000 years ago, Bhagavat Ramnuja was from a rich land owning family, so was Koorathazvan. They gave up their wealth, but they were aberrations.//

This is a sweeping statement. I leave it at that.
 
OP
OP
sangom

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Nara, here I have first hand experience. TBs did not participate in the exploitation with any vigour. Just as the dalits were denied irrigation water when the crop needed it most, we were also denied water by the powerful, numerically large middle castes. I know how my father struggled to get water for the crops and how he used to feel helpless. Moreover the powerful castes did not need any moral justification for their atrocities.

In an earlier post you had dismissed a reference of mine to Ezhavas saying that it does not represent ancient society set-up and hence not valid for rebutting your statements. Ezhavas enjoy the privileges for at least 200 years or so, Now you cite just the example of your father's generation to prove a sweeping generalisation of yours.

Sorry to say that this does not seem to me to be a balanced approach but one of a world view with blinkers on, trying to prove itself as correct.
 
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