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

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sangom

sangom

Well-known member
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.
Is it that you consider all the three "dvija" castes as your ancestors in some contexts whereas you segregate brahmins alone in some other contexts? If so according to your own premises your ancestors should have consisted of poor kshatriyas, poor vaisyas, etc., also. Otherwise the logic of such a grouping could be that you want to maintain a distinct segregation of the Sudras as against the three other castes. Anyway, it is not consistent.
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.
I don't know what you are trying to drive at. Some immediate doubts which come to my mind are:-

1. Do you consider that brahmins all over India, i.e., bharatavarsha, did such petty poets' job or something similar, in order to eke out a living?

2. Since you are talking about bundles and bundles of such தனிப்பாடல்கள் in respect of Tamil speaking area, can you give any assessment as to which historical period these belong to, how many poets are there in the collection, and are they all such paeans (whether சிலேடை or not, that is not relevant to the point) of kings and other rulers?

3. If, as you seem to infer, the brahmins were mostly doing such petty jobs, how can we conclude that the brahmins did justice to the responsibility entrusted to them by the "society" (according to you) of studying, teaching, researching and writing sutras and bhashyas on the higher truths of life? How can the statement, " So Brahmins were assigned that particular role because they were willing to sacrifice everything else to acquire that particular knowledge" hold good because this example of yours shows that the brahmins were after royal favour and had to do an entirely different job, than the one entrusted to them?
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.
Once again you are bringing in an incident of the last century to prove the state of affairs over all these past centuries when it suits you. If this is to be admitted then my contention about Ezhavas is far more tenable since (1) it is not an isolated instance and (2) it has at least two centuries of history to back it.

Secondly, what did Mammen Mappillai's father or his Christian people do or what did the other people of Travancore do to him/them? What the Maharaja did was on account of the monarchical power enshrined in him by historical reasons, not because the majority community wanted him to do something. If you can prove that any of the native kings were elected/ selected by people, please do so. I have not heard that Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma was brought in as king of Travancore by general consensus but I have learnt that he did so by his own volition and good luck favouring him, particularly in the form of his Dalavai Ramayyan, a brahmin.
 

Nara

Well-known member
.... 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.

Raju, I don't automatically reject something just because it is published outside India. Neither do I assume they all come with a hidden agenda. You need to assess each research by the rigor of their analysis, references cited, peer reviewed or not, and their own standing in the field.

Now you cited தனிப்பாடல் and gave a rough translation of one poem that had nothing to do with the topic that proves nothing. I feel the paper I quoted is much more relevant than these padal.

You say you have read lots of papers like the one I cited. If so, please cite them in support of the point you are arguing, or else, it is just your opinion, to which you are of course entitled to.

You cited your family's difficulties in getting water from other forward caste land owners. But, this personal experience is not a proof of anything. I have relatives from Thirunelveli district and Thamaraparani delta. I am aware of Brahmin land ownership in that part of Tamilnadu also. I have visited agraharams there. My experience is their lives were not significantly different from that of Thanjavur district, or North Arcot district.

What is so sweeping about my observation about rich brahmins of olden times? From the guru parampara stories we know when Aththuzai, daughter of Swami Periya Nambi, got married, her in-laws demanded a servant be sent with her. Is this a practice to be found among poor brahmins living hand-to-mouth at the mercy of others? Please provide references like this when you make statements.

Cheers!
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
raju,

those who are NOT living in TN,will never understand the plight of Tambrahms.

i empathise with you and your emotions in this regard.

cho is a very nice person.sharp in intellect and above all a very decent human being.he is an asset to tamizh community,wish more tamizh ppl like him exist to make life more enjoyable.
 

Dr.T.N.Jambunathan

Active member
IMO, whatever adversely affects our conditions of living or our image in other community's eyes will be against the Brahmin's cause; those which are of the opposite category will be for the Brahmin's cause. We need not go into the identification of brahmin, let it be by birth alone.

It is interesting as I was reading the Story of Satyakama. Satyakama was accepted as Brahmin and was taught Vedas by Rishis. What do you say for this action of the Rishi Jambu:nod:
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
The qualification may not be birth only then? correct? Jambu:embarassed:

In Kali Yugam,it's both ie by birth concept as well as not by birth concept :) harer naam harer naam, harer naamiva kevalam;
kalau nasty eva nasty eva, nasty eva gatir anyatha.For spiritual progress in this Kali Yugam which is full of quarrel and hypocrisy, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.The Lord Can be any "ishta Devata".
 

Nara

Well-known member
Dear TNJ, Greetings!

It is interesting as I was reading the Story of Satyakama. Satyakama was accepted as Brahmin and was taught Vedas by Rishis. What do you say for this action of the Rishi Jambu

The story of Satyakama Jabala is a perfect illustration of the profound cognitive dissonance TBs suffer from, at least the present day secular TBs. On the one hand we see absolute adherence to varna/caste by birth, no NB allowed to study Vedas even today, no icm and those who even suggest it are bad influence, etc., and at the same time the secular TBs try to cite this story as evidence of Brahmin teaching Vedas to someone like Satyakama. The orthodox are at least consistent, they say Gautama first ascertained Satyakama was indeed a Brahmin by birth and then only taught him the Vedas. See
Sankara Bhashyam I.3.37 and Sri Bhashyam I.3.37

The story of Satyakama the son of Jabala and Gautama rishi is intriguing and at the same time very illustrative. Driven by a desire to learn, Satyakama asks his poor mother for his gotram. She replies that as a servant maid in a rich man's house she had to serve many people in her youth. Therefore, she says, she does not know who his father was and consequently she doesn’t know what his gotra was. Jabala then says to him that he is to call himself simply Satyakama, son of Jabala.

Satyakama approaches Gautama rishi and asks to be his pupil. Gautama inquires what gotram he belongs to. Satyakama tells him exactly what his mother told him. Gautama declares only a Brahmana can be so truthful and accepts him as a pupil.

This story is fascinating because it is illustrative of the prevailing ethos in several levels.

First, what is the reason for enquiring about gotra if not for establishing Brahmin birth? Second,
Gautama concludes that only a Brahmin would be truthful -- is he Brahmin because he spoke the truth, or did he speak the truth because he is Brahmin? If we are to go by Adi Sankara and Bhagavat Ramanuja, it is the later, i.e. Satyakama's truthfulness revealed his Brahmin birth.

What was going through Gautama's mind is anyone's guess, but this clearly shows that it is a normal practice to ascertain one's gotra before initiating a pupil. A lesser Brahmin guru than Gautama may have turned Satyakama away for not knowing who his father was.

Some may argue Gotra is not birth based. But there is internal evidence in the Upanishad itself that it is. When Satyakama asked about his gotra, his mother Jabala's reply was she did not know who his father was. This shows that even at that time Gotra came from the father. If this is not proof that Gotra was based on birth, then what is?

At another level, this story also illustrates how a poor woman is treated in a rich man’s house in the ancient society, one that is supposed to have been a perfect society when Dharma prevailed. Apparently, in that yuga of perfect Dharma harmony, part of a young servant maid's duties is to service the rich man's many guests in bed. Further, since Satyakama was later adjudged to have been of a Brahmin father, at least one Brahmin availed of her services.

In all, I think three people come out of this story smelling great, Jabala for telling her son the truth, Satyakama for telling that truth openly to Gautama, and of course Gautama for seeing Satyakama's innate character and accepting him as his pupil. But, going by the story, the system that prevailed smells bad indeed. Even more tragic is, that system continues to this day, albeit in a more rigid fashion -- can a Satyakama be accepted in any Veda patashala today? The answer must make us all hang our heads in shame.

Cheers!
 
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nachi naga

Well-known member
Dear TNJ, Greetings!


The story of Satyakama Jabala is a perfect illustration of the profound cognitive dissonance TBs.....etc
Cheers!
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at least,we here in the website http://www.tamilbrahmins.com call ourselves as "brahmins and tamizhs" ,in your case,may i know what you are?as from a dwija as you claim,have become a agnostic first now an atheist :( ,so sort of confused as to what you are doing amongst a pious disciplined knowledgeable practical successful positive thinking attitude Tambrahms and that too from all corners of the globe with all ages and both sexes thrown in?Dunno about any same sex chaps/lassies also hang with us,but hey they too are welcome :)
 
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Dr.T.N.Jambunathan

Active member
Why Hang our heads down in case of Satyakamas admission in Patasala alone? Why not do that to admission in Medical and engineering colleges or for that matter any educational institution also in Tamil Nadu. Don't you see you are treated like Satyakama in these places. Jambu:Cry:
 
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nachi naga

Well-known member
Why Hang our heads down in case of Satyakamas admission in Patasala alone? Why not do that to admission in Medical and engineering colleges or for that matter any educational institution also in Tamil Nadu. Don't you see you are treated like Satyakama in these places. Jambu:Cry:

Touche Jambu :)
 

suraju06

Well-known member
Dear Mr. Nara,

I have been closely following your line of arguments through your posts in this community. I had earlier presented my counter points and views to what you had been posting in எங்கே ஸ்ரீவைஷ்ணவம் Your thrust in that particular thread was to say that Alwars had no room in their minds for the Castes and that the subsequent acharyas who have interpreted the works of Alwars were not that forthcoming in their views about the castes. Your arguments that Thondaradippodi Alwars தொழுமினீர் கொள்மின் கொடுமின் meant only taking and giving girls in marriage with the non Brahmin bhagavathas was countered by me adequately to show that there was no scope for such a specious interpretation of Alwars பாசுரம் and finally we agreed to disagree and closed our arguments in that thread. Now as you are again raising the same issue in many other threads in different forms and wants me to give my views about that I am writing this.

Since I want to put this behind and move forward to other matters, before proceeding further I would like to state your case as I have understood. I think this would help in our focusing better on a few issues and avoiding repetitive arguments. For saving time, redundancy and overkill this is essential. It is given below:

1. There are no reasons for the existence of castes. If they are there in the society it is at least partly because of the intellectual justification provided by the Brahmins through institutionalized brahminism and their monopoly over the scriptures and their interpretations.

2. Castes do not serve any useful purpose. Noble souls like Alwars were against castes. This can be seen from Alwar’s பாசுரங்கள் and even interpreting Acharyas’ words like கொடுமின் கொள்மின், உங்களுடைய வித்யாவ்ருத்தங்க்களும் ஜன்மொத்கர்ஷங்க்களும் மத ஹெதுவாகையன்றியே தம ஹெதுவேன்றிருக்கும் நீங்கள் அவர்கள் காலிலே விழுங்கோல். This being so why is it that present day srivaishnavas and acharyas do not follow the திருவுள்ளம் of Alwars and Acharyas? You have asked “ At least answer this one question my friend, what earthly purpose does caste serve that cannot be had otherwise."


3. If some one wants to say there are castes and they are an indispensable part of the culture/society , he/she should give proof for that for subjecting it to scientific scrutiny. Otherwise that view should be treated like the hair clippings on the floor of the barber’s shop.

4. What is said in Vedas is not the ultimate truth because Vedas are not infallible. Those who think Vedas speak infallible truth are people who refuse to think outside the box. They are in a groove and are not willing to come out of it as there are infallible truths from science outside the box.

For the present these four points can be taken up. I dispute your other views about God , your having been to the top and finding nothing there etc. I think we can take them up later. Now I have a request. Will you please either confirm my understanding of the issues as stated above or rephrase them in your way and post them? After getting your reply I would proceed further. Though Cho’s serial and the issues which we are debating have nothing much in common, I will continue to post here as long as you have no objection to that. Cheers.
 
Cho is the ultimate Brahmin. He is taking serious efforts in bringing our Sruthi, Smithi and Upanishad which are closely conected to upliftment of Brahmins. He has handled the subject very effectively for this troubled times for Brahmins in Tamilnadu
 

Nara

Well-known member
... Now as you are again raising the same issue in many other threads in different forms and wants me to give my views about that I am writing this.

Dear Raju,

I know where you stand. I rather not get into the same issues again with you. All I wanted to do was to point out the fact that it has been more than five months since the time you promised to address the following point:
How come the present day orthodox brahmin Sri Vasihnavas and Acharyas refuse to adopt even the narrow way in which commentators like Swami Sri Periyavachchan Pillai have interpreted Azhvar's revolutionary words?
For more context, please refer to this post.

If you like, please address this one single question, that will do.

Cheers!
 

Iyyarooraan

Well-known member
Yes, caste has no base. No division. Are we right in calling ourselves Tamil Brahmins? No. Why then this association except for airing defeatists opinions or blabbing scriptures or trying to empty out the teachings of the yore. The writers are all pretending to be what they are not. The different castes are as different as an ordinary engineer from Electrical Engineer, Mechanical engineer, Chemical Engineer or software engineer. And so on. Indirectly all the writers are so obsessed with their fragile eminence in the community that I am afraid nobody talks about casteism as much as we ourselves do, except Karunanidhi, Nara and the like. Brahmins are still brahmins who identify themselves as such but not to divide the humanity nor distance the others.
 

suraju06

Well-known member
Dear Nara,
//How come the present day orthodox brahmin Sri Vasihnavas and Acharyas refuse to adopt even the narrow way in which commentators like Swami Sri Periyavachchan Pillai have interpreted Azhvar's revolutionary words?//

I have already answered this. But I repeat.
1. There was nothing revolutionary in Alwar's words. It is all how you choose to interpret it. If you are looking for revolution in everything you will see revolutionary sentiments in Alwar's words too. In their revolutionary fervour people want to turn every thing upside down which may not yield anything good to the society. I have already said there is no scope to interpret that Alwars were against castes. The interpreters like PV Pillai were also not against the castes. Present day orthodox Srivaishnavas and Acharyas agree fully with the Alwars and the interpreters like PV Pillai that castes do exist and should not be tampered with. As I have repeatedly said, caste discrimination is an entirely different matter. Present day Srivaishnavas and Acharyas as well as the Alwars and Interpreters like PVP are unanimous in their view that there is nothing good or bad, nothing superior or inferior about being a brahmin or a kshatriya or vysya or sudra or panchaman. They believe that there is very wide variety in creation and it is not for us to homogenise it. If your complaint is about the present day srivaishnavas and Acharyas refusing to give up their வித்யா வ்ருத்தங்கள் and ஜன்மோத்கர்ஷங்கள் or about their not falling at the feet of NB பாகவத உத்தமர்கள் they may have their own earthly reasons for that. It is just their right to accept or reject some one as a பாகவத உத்தமன் and it is not for any one else to question that. I am sure it would be difficult for you to accept that there can not be a birth right to demand that some one be accepted as such. But then that is the way the world is. If you bring one such uththaman it may be possible to determine why he is not accepted as such by these people. You can try that. But to presume that it is only because of such a uththaman's NB origin he is not treated the way PV Pillai has commented is , to put it mildly, stretching one's imagination beyond its elastic limit. So, my dear friend, this is the reason which you have been searching for. I think I have answered you. I thought you would crystallise your argument in the 4 points which I had suggested so that I can take up each one and give the views of "orthodox" srivaishnavas. But it appears that was not to be. No problem. Cheers.
 

Dr.T.N.Jambunathan

Active member
I think Cho"s original serial in TV should have been interesting though I did not see that . But having seen Cho in my Madras days I am sure he is definitely the Narada type to create controversial knotty situation but he creates that in such a funny way the issue is forgotten and you laugh it out happily! Pure comedy, throws no light on any issue and leaves it for for your imaginations and interpretations. But the fall out of his series in this forum seems to generate only heat with no light or laughter The ideas so polarized and hence looks that no scope for furtherance of knowledge by dialogue, pure high decibel clash, few hanging their head down low being a Brahmin, some high headed and the rest being level headed Jambu:fencing:
 
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Nara

Well-known member
.... If your complaint is about the present day srivaishnavas and Acharyas refusing to give up their வித்யா வ்ருத்தங்கள் and ஜன்மோத்கர்ஷங்கள் or about their not falling at the feet of NB பாகவத உத்தமர்கள் they may have their own earthly reasons for that.

[...]

I think I have answered you.

So Raju, your answer is, you don't know. That is what I was getting at, SVs reverence for Azhvars and poorvacharyars is laced with duplicity, double standards, and pure convenience.

Cheers!
 

Nara

Well-known member
...The ideas so polarized and hence looks that no scope for furtherance of knowledge by dialogue, pure high decibel clash, few hanging their head down low being a Brahmin, some high headed and the rest being level headed Jambu

Dear TNJ, the basis on which you people were having a lot of fun with Karunanidhi ashtothram etc., is, I think, exposing what in your opinion was hypocrisy. That is good, I welcome it.

You guys had a lot of fun with it within the adoring confines of TBs.

I am also trying to do the same thing, i.e. exposing hypocrisy, but without mocking but sticking only to irrefutable facts -- so far nobody has refuted anything I have said only personal comments come my way. Like you guys, if I do this among the DK/DMK crowd I will also get lots of accolades and will be treated as a hero, which is even worse than the brickbats I get here.

But, at least I am doing, what I am doing, here to the people who are part of the hypocrisy. I suggest you try to do your exposing of hypocrisy where it may count, in a forum populated by TNB and DK/DMK sympathizers. Let me suggest a couple of sites, (i) TamilnaduTalk.com, (ii) Karuthu. Try to do it where you have to stand up and defend your views.

Cheers!
 

suraju06

Well-known member
So Raju, your answer is, you don't know. That is what I was getting at, SVs reverence for Azhvars and poorvacharyars is laced with duplicity, double standards, and pure convenience.

Cheers!

Nara,
You are free to draw your conclusions. Did I say that? But I would say only those who are deeply immersed in ignorance would say such things about SVs reverence for Alwars and Acharyas. You have not countered any of my arguments with logic. Instead you have been only repeating whatever you think is correct.When I once gave you evidence about the other middle castes being solely responsible for the atrocities against the panchamans and questioned the hypocracy in not talking about it ( while lecturing eloquently about the Brahmins' so called intellectual justification(?) etc)you took offence but you could not say why you did that.Cheers.
 
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