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Enge Brahmanana?

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Nara

Well-known member
....
அறவாழி அந்தணன் தாள் சேர்ந்தார்க் கல்லால்
பிறவாழி நீந்தல் அரிது
Even though this word "அந்தணர்" has been successfully hijacked to mean Brahmin, Thirvaluuvar did not use it to mean Brahmin. In Kural #30 he gives a definition of who an அந்தணர் is, and that is not a Brahmin at all. Further, it is not even any kind of god, அறவாழி அந்தணன் is nothing more than one who is an embodiment of righteousness. So, there is no basis to conclude that அறவாழி அந்தணன் is "அறக்கடலான அந்தணன் இறைவன்". A more direct meaning of this Kural is, to cross the ocean of life samsara (பிறவாழி நீந்தல்), one needs to take refuge in the feet of an அந்தணர் who is an அறவோர் who treats all lives with compassion.

Thiruvalluvar never uses the word அந்தணன் for a Brahmin, the word he uses is பார்ப்பான். To Thiruvalluvar, a Brahmin is nothing more than somebody who chants the Vedas. In Kural #134, which appears in the section that deals with good conduct, Thioruvalluvar draws a contrast between loss of high moral status that often is conferred upon people of high birth, and the status of Brahminhood. The loss of Brahminhood due to lapse in chanting Vedas can be restored by learning to chant again -- மறப்பினும் ஒத்துக் கொளலாகும் பார்ப்பான், but bad conduct will result in loss of status that cannot be restored -- high birth (பிறப்பு) will be lost due to bad conduct (ஒழுக்கம் குன்றக்கெடும்). Thiruvalluvar is not talking about பார்ப்பான்'s பிறப்பு ஒழுக்கம் like you are suggesting. To be a பார்ப்பான் one needs only to follow the rituals, but birth does not confer a seal of good conduct on anyone.

குறள் - 413
செவிஉணவின் கேள்வி உடையார் அவி உணவின்
ஆன்றோரொடு ஒப்பர் நிலத்து.
செவிஉணவு - ஸ்ருதி என்கிற வேதம்
அவி உணவு - ஹவிஸ் என்பதன் தமிழாக்கம்
ஆன்றோர் - தேவர்கள்
இங்கே பார்ப்பனர்கள் தேவர்களுக்கு ஒப்பானவர் என்று வள்ளுவர் கூறுகிறார்.
Seeing such மொட்டைத்தலை/முழங்கால் connections TBs routinely make, is it any wonder that educated NBs uniformly have very low opinion of TBs? For செவி உணவின் கேள்வி உடையார் to be a Brahmin, we must interpret செவி உணவின் கேள்வி as nothing more than the Vedas, and, that only Brahmins possess that knowledge. In another thread tnkesavan was lamenting that the Dravidians ignored the Kshatriyas and Vaisyas to isolate B from NBs. Who is segregating themselves to be the keepers of Vedas now?

But, more broadly, this Kural is part of the section called கேள்வி in which the subject of knowledge is dealt with. In kural #412, Thiruvalluvar talks about food for the hunger of stomach will be provided only when there is pause in food for hunger for knowledge.
செவிக்கு உணவுஇல்லா போழ்து சிறிது
வயிற்றுக்கும் ஈயப் படும்.
So, செவி உணவின் கேள்வி is not just Vedas, it is knowledge in general, and those who posses this knowledge are not Brahmins, but scholars/சான்றோர், and they are the ones who will be considered as gods to whom அவி is offered. To say that Thirvalluvar has equated Brahmins with gods is either a complete misunderstanding of Thiruvalluvar or a malicious attempt to enroll Thiruvalluvar as a Brahminist.

குறள் - 560
ஆபயன் குன்றும் அறுதொழிலோர் நூல் மறப்பர்
காவலன் காவான் எனின்.
அறுதொழிலோர் - ப்ராஹ்மணர்கள்
ப்ராஹ்மணர்களின் ஆறுதொழில்களாவன:
அத்யயனம் - ஒதுதல்
அத்யாபனம் - ஒதுவித்தல்
யஜனம் - வேள்வி செய்தல்
யாஜனம் - வேள்வி செய்வித்தல்
தானம் - ஈதல்
ப்ரதிக்ரஹம் - எற்றல்
Parimelazhagar gives this interpretation and that is why educated NB scholars view Parimelazhagar urai as simply poison. Let us say, for the sake of argument, that Thiruvalluvar was indeed referring to the six tasks of Brahmins, and if these tasks diminish, the yield of cow will also diminish. Please friends, does this make any sense at all? What is the connection between these six tasks and yield of a cow?

Further, what about the tasks of Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras, can the Brahmins perform their six tasks without the other three groups performing the tasks assigned to them? If these Varna based tasks is what Thiruvalluvar had in mind, then, given the constraint of brevity of Kural, he must refer to the bottom rung activities that support everything else, like ஔவையார்'s greeting, "வரப்புயர்க". In other words, அறுதொழிலோர் நூல் must be the knowledge of the six tasks of Shudras, no?

Anyway, it is a case of complete obfuscation to bring in concepts from Brahminism into Thirvalluvar's Kural.

Here is a more direct, and much more sensible interpretation. ஆபயன் refers to fruits of labor. This will diminish if the knowledge about six essential tasks are allowed to diminish without proper protection. This makes much more sense than yield of cow and chanting of Vedas.

One question still lingers, and that is, what are these six essential tasks? Thiruvalluvar does not elaborate and Brahminists quickly moved into this space to peddle their theory. மாத்தளை சோமு, in his Thirukkural commentary, offers a satisfactory explanation by quoting the following verse from Diwakaram.
உழவு, தொழிலே, வரைவு, வாணிகம்
விச்சை, சிற்பம் என்றித் திறத்தறு
தொழில் கற்ப நடையது கரும பூமி
The six tasks mentioned here are, farming, craft, art, commerce, scholarship, and sculpting.

We may argue what the six tasks essential are for the well being of a nation, but one thing is certain, Thiruvalluvar was not taking about yield of a cow and that it is related to the six tasks assigned to a Brahmin by their dharmasasthras.


"பிறப்பொக்கும் எல்லா உயிர்க்கும்" என்பதினால், காட்டப்பட்டது யாதெனில்,
எல்லா மனிதர்களும் பிறக்கும் போது ஸம்ஸ்காரம் இன்றி பிறக்கிறார்கள்.
உபநயன ஸம்ஸ்காரத்தினால் இரு பிறப்பாளர்கள் ஆகிறார்கள்.
ஆகவே உயர் குடி பிறப்போ, செல்வமோ, மற்றும் அனைத்தும், பூர்வ கர்ம வினை
பயனே. ஏனெனில், இறைவன் வேண்டுதல் வேண்டாமை இலான்.
Does this make any sense at all? If இறைவன் is one who is வேண்டுதல் வேண்டாமை இலான், then why would these samskaras bring greatness to anyone? Some unconnected phrases from Thiruvalluvar are thrown in with religious dogma to assert Brahminism.

To understand this kural, as always, we must first look at the context. This kural is part of the ten that defines what brings greatness to people. So, when Thiruvalluvar says பிறப்பொக்கும் எல்லா உயிர்க்கும், he is not taking about some silly samskaras, but the fact that all are equal at that stage. Differences among people arise from differences in the works they perform (சிறப்பு ஒவ்வா செய் தொழில் வேற்றுமை யான்).

Thank you ....
 

Nara

Well-known member
Really Fantastic Shri Nara.....

Regards
Revathi
Thank you Revathi, a complement is always a boost, it makes me feel good.

I don't agree with the notion that wise view praise and criticism with equal disdain. Criticism from worthy opponents must be taken seriously, otherwise we lose an opportunity for self-reflection. Praise gives us the validation we all need from time to time. I think what is wise is to keep these things in perspective, not to let praise get to my head, and not let criticisms devastate me.

Revathi, I appreciate your encouragement, thank you again.... best regards .....
 
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Raji Ram

Gold Member
Gold Member
Thank you Revathi, a complement is always a boost, it makes me feel good.

I don't agree with the notion that wise view praise and criticism with equal disdain. Criticism from worthy opponents must be taken seriously, otherwise we lose an opportunity for self-reflection. Praise gives us the validation we all need from time to time. I think what is wise is to keep these things in perspective, not to let praise get to my head, and not let criticisms devastate me.

Revathi, I appreciate your encouragement, thank you again.... best regards .....
Respected Prof. Sir,

Your views are right.

ஒரு புகழ்ச்சி தரும் மகிழ்ச்சி நிறைவானது!

But do you mean to say compliment or complement?

You like to play with words!

Regards,
Raji Ram
 

Nara

Well-known member
....But do you mean to say compliment or complement?
Your are of course right, it is compliment that we all need to complement our lives with. I went to a school where English was taught in Tamil. What little English I am able to muster these days, I owe it to my mentor and friend Tapan Sen.

The spelling thing is one among my many Achilles heels (or is it heal, no that makes one whole, is it hole?). Spell check comes in handy except in cases like these that involve very close homonyms, then I am stumped.

Thank you for letting me know, ever so gently, I do appreciate it. Such civility, so foreign to we men!

best regards .....
 

Raji Ram

Gold Member
Gold Member
I have to tell one secret now, Prof. Sir!

When I wanted to thank a friend for his compliment, I got stuck with the spelling. ( may be two days ago!)

Had to refer the dictionary! (I was a Math student!!)

Regards,
Raji Ram
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
Now it has become crystal clear no one is making use of my thread

"Pairs of look alike / sound alike words."

I had spent hours in locating these words and yet my dear friends do not find time

to spare a few minutes in reading them and making use of them, so that my pain

does not go entirely in vain!
:welcome:

I studied in a village Panchaayat school, where everything was taught in Tamil.

Does this fact enhance or diminish the value of my threads?
:juggle:
 
OP
OP
Haridasa Siva

Haridasa Siva

New member
I am thankful to members for their very valuable contribution on the subject. I am impressed with the deep knowledge of our members. While it was extremely useful and important to have a clarification of who a brahmin is, it is more important to follow brahminism. From various quotes and intrepretations in this thread, it is clear that a brahmin has to follow high moral standards and also has to perform religious duties (like doing nityakarma, reading vedas, spreading the message of vedas and other sacred texts, etc.). Let us now conclude on the defenition of the term 'brahmin' and instead focus our energy to follow these high principles in our daily life. Let us resolve that we would do our elders proud and hand over a rich tradition and sense of pride to our future generations. It is time at least people born as brahmins live as brahmins.

Loka samasta sukhino bavantu.
 

Raji Ram

Gold Member
Gold Member
Now it has become crystal clear no one is making use of my thread

"Pairs of look alike / sound alike words."

I had spent hours in locating these words and yet my dear friends do not find time

to spare a few minutes in reading them and making use of them, so that my pain

does not go entirely in vain!
:welcome:

I studied in a village Panchaayat school, where everything was taught in Tamil.

Does this fact enhance or diminish the value of my threads?
:juggle:
Dear sister,

Though we read all the words, it is difficult to remember everything we read!

The dictionary comes in handy, when we wish to refer to a particular word.

The Tamil medium during school days does not affect the proficiency one gets later on in one's life. Don't you think so?

Best wishes...........
 

Raji Ram

Gold Member
Gold Member
I am thankful to members for their very valuable contribution on the subject. I am impressed with the deep knowledge of our members. While it was extremely useful and important to have a clarification of who a brahmin is, it is more important to follow brahminism. From various quotes and intrepretations in this thread, it is clear that a brahmin has to follow high moral standards and also has to perform religious duties (like doing nityakarma, reading vedas, spreading the message of vedas and other sacred texts, etc.). Let us now conclude on the defenition of the term 'brahmin' and instead focus our energy to follow these high principles in our daily life. Let us resolve that we would do our elders proud and hand over a rich tradition and sense of pride to our future generations. It is time at least people born as brahmins live as brahmins.

Loka samasta sukhino bavantu.

Dear friend,

Once again, I wish to tell you that living a life of a brahmin, as defined by elders, is very difficult these days.

If a brahmin is able to live at least like the 'அந்தணன்', defined by TiruvaLLuvar, doing good deeds, refusing meat, leading his live in the righteous path and do the 'sandhya vandhanam' at least once a day, we should all be happy about it!

Regards,
Raji Ram
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
I am sure most of the people, even if not all the people, in our age group

had their Primary, Secondary and High School education in Non-English

medium.

So obviously we have all evolved satisfactorily
and successfully
:cool:

- after we left the school and on our own hard work and efforts!
:mod:
 
OP
OP
Haridasa Siva

Haridasa Siva

New member
I studied standard 1 to 5 in a Corporation school, std 6-12 in a board school both in Tamil medium. Thanks to my English teacher Mr.K.Krishnamurthy in std 10, I learnt English grammar. Developed love for the language and went on to even teach English grammar on a part time basis to professional students (CAs) and employed people. I have written poems in English and have got them published in our office magazine when I was working in India. I am not boasting. What I want to say is that everything is possible. Past is necessarily not an indication for future.

Loka samasta sukhino bavantu.
 

kahanam

Active member
As Sri Haridasa Siva has pointed out it is not necessary to study in English medium schools only to succeed in life. Hard work and dedication to the cause will bring success with God's Grace, added as a bonus!
 

Raghy

Well-known member
I studied in the village Panchayat school between years 1 and 5. From year 6, I went to Don Bosco High School; it was Tamil medium. I learned English in year 10 from Mr.P.Sambandham. His teaching was so good, I used to share my grammer notes with year 11 students from other schools. I did not study any Bachelor's degree (I completed my first bachelor's degree, last year,after a full time 3 years study).

Cheers!
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
Dear Mr. Raghy (another Mr. R.R. :)?!)

Obviously you are planning to secure more degrees,

since you have spoken of your first degree.

All the best for the future degrees!

with warm regards,
V.R.
 
S

sudeshwer

Guest
referring various letters, I too studied in a municipal school from 1st to 4th, 5th to 11th in a secondary high school in Kumbakonam. there was a separate subject englishto study. honestly I couldnt grasp the language. after leaving the school I could not even speak one sentence properly in english. so, I improved my english knowledge skills only through reading english newspapaers and reading books- novels, fictions, poem etc by author-wise. what I mean to say is everything is achievable if you have will.
 

tbs

Well-known member
hi all,
i studied in veda patasala with sanskrit is main language.....i did four masters and a ph.d through english medium.....even i tried six masters...

i was only student in ph.d in sanskrit department....even i had problem to get a guide in ph.d to do in english.....everybody does in hindi/

sanskrit medium for research in sanskrit....but i tried and published in english....by god's grace i got a nice guide in university of delhi...

its based on interest and god's grace.....now im in USA ...purely a english based country.....just info....i did masters in sanskrit/

education/library and computer science/MBA and philosophy.....

regards
tbs
 
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Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
Dear Mr. tbs,
Nice to know of one more professor in the Forum!
:welcome:

You must give us more info of Sanskrit origin!

with warm regards,
V.R.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
hi all,
i studied in veda patasala with sanskrit is main language.....i did four masters and a ph.d through english medium.....even i tried six masters...

i was only student in ph.d in sanskrit department....even i had problem to get a guide in ph.d to do in english.....everybody does in hindi/

sanskrit medium for research in sanskrit....but i tried and published in english....by god's grace i got a nice guide in university of delhi...

its based on interest and god's grace.....now im in USA ...purely a english based country.....just info....i did masters in sanskrit/

education/library and computer science/MBA and philosophy.....

regards
tbs

Dear Sri tbs,

Wonderful achievement for an individual.
God Bless you with long life of good health and prosperity to continue in your journey of seeking knowledge.
Wishing you all the Best,

Regards,
Brahmanyan,
Bangalore.
 
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kgpal

Member
Great Tbs. You are an inspiration for all of us. That great things are possible by us, homo sapiens. Your great educational achievements make me feel that I should also emulate you in some way, ...get another degree soon, though I am yet to decide what it should be. I hope I would be able to accomplish this as soon as I could possibly can. I am already on the wrong side of my 50s.

By the way, I also graduated from Delhi University. It is one of India's good universities.

Best wishes to you, Tbs. And all the Contributors on this thread. I enjoyed going through it. Thank you all.

Kgpal
 
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