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Enge Brahmanana?

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Nara

Well-known member
I condemn such an indirect reference to me. I mean what my tag line says. Good thoughts are totally different from "empty arguments".
Siva, I did not even know you had changed your tag line when I wrote this. I had an old nemesis in mind -- he used this tag line even though, IMO, he had an airtight mind. He is no longer participating, but may be browsing. So, honestly, I didn't have you in my mind when I wrote this comment.

Your second line is certainly true. It seems your "empty argument" comment is directed at my arguments. When people run out of reasonable counter arguments they start throwing accusations like this -- empty arguments, vidandavadam, etc. I am used to this.

Siva, I don't want to be on your enemies list.

Cheers!
 

Nara

Well-known member
....You have nothing to offer except vitaNDAvAdam
Saidevo, this seems to be the favorite response when people are unable to present a cogent and concise rebuttal.

[..]

Nara, I cannot care less for what you think about my credentials from my posts. I have said all that I have wanted, so, I am not going to indulge in replying to your vitaNDAvAdam any further.
Of course that is alright, but let everyone note, Saidevo is once again only commenting on side issues and not answering the basic question about Sankarachariyar's comment on அறுதொழில்.

Cheers!
 

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste shrI Sarma and others.

Here is my take on the informative points you have made in post 138:

• The article on the Ajivika Sect makes interesting reading, but I don't think the rulers of the KaLapirar/Kalabhras age would have been Ajivikas for the simple reason that for the practitioners of this sect 'strict nakedness' was required!

• According to most scholars, the Kalabhras were a clan of many tribal groups as I have already pointed out. Many scholars are also of the opinion that it was during their period that the Jaina-Bauddha religions took root in Tamizhagam. Among the authors of the 18 texts composed during this period, many are Jain poets.

• It seems that the culture of these poets, which probably influenced their Kalabhra rulers as you said, was in many ways different from the Tamizh culture of the Sangham period.

VidvAn M.NArAyaNa VeluppiLLai, in his brief work of introducing these 18 texts says that practices such as eating the flesh of animals, consumption of toddy, and enjoying the company of prostitutes, which are abundantly talked about in the Sangham literature, are criticised in the nIti-nUlgaL, which is obvious, so, there is the possiblity that these dharma texts were written to influence the people towards the Jaina religion.

• As for the probability that the period of the Kalabhras described as the dark age is only a ploy to advance 'the Tamil antiquity', I think this may not be the case, mainly because the Sangham period is generally accepted to be much earlier to the age of Christ, whereas the Kalabhras period is only between 300 CE and 600 CE or so.

*****

Here are some points to ponder as to the time of the Sangham and post Sangham literature:

BrahmashrI GaNeshaiyar, whose commentary on TolkAppiyam is based on NachchinArkkiniyar's commentary, was published by shrI NA.Ponnaiah in 1952. In that work he says, showing literary evidences, that TolkAppiyam was written at KapATapuram during the time of the IDaichchangam, which would advance TolkAppiyar's time well before the time of the MahAbhArata, at least by 12,000 years from now (*1).

• I said earlier that of the 18 post Sangham texts, 12 were nIti-nULgaL, following Mu.Va.'s statement in his book on the History of Tamizh literature. A glance at VeluppiLLai's brief work mentioned above, however, shows that only 11 were dharma texts and the remaining seven were exposition of the aham-puRam life after the style of the Sangham literature, albeit in shorter verses.

• Unlike many of the Sangham texts, however, only two of these seven texts give some hints at kings who ruled during that time: KaLavazhi nARpadu speaks about the victory of Chozhan ChenkaNAn over the Chera king KaNaikkAl IrumpoRai. Pazhamozhi nAnURu is said to have references about the kings KarikAl chozhan, Chembian, KezhukuTTuvan, Manu-nIti chozhan, PAri, Beghan, and the ItihAsa/PurANa personalities BalarAman, PANDavas, Dharman, KaNNapirAn, MahAbali, and the god Shiva.

• The historical periods of these two kings are (*2): Chozhan ChenkaNAn (150-180 CE), ChEramAn KaNaikkAl IrumpoRai (160-180 CE). This means that the text KaLavazhi nARpadu by poet PoigaiyAr should have been written during this time.

As an aside, I remember having read in my school days that when this Chera king IrumpoRai was in the Chozha prison, he wanted to drink some water one day. The guard brought water in a kuvaLai--tumbler, and kept it near the king noisily, some water spilling onto the floor. The King being a mAnasthan--a man of dignity, did not drink the water offered to him with disrespect, and gave up his life.

• The author of Pazhamozhi nAnURu, named MunRuRai AraiyanAr, is himself believed to be a king or atleast a chieftain (and believed by some scholars to be a Jain). In verse 21, he refers to how the ancient Chozha king KarikAl PeruvaLatthAn (450-380 BCE) disguised, who ascended to the throne in young age, disguised himself as an old man to give verdict to a dispute.

In this verse, the author highlights the proverb: "குலவிச்சை கல்லாமல் பாகம் படும்--kulavichchai kallAmal bhAgam paDum--the family occupation is sure to come naturally to a member of the family".

• The chieftains adored in Sangham classics--PAri known for donating his chariot to a creeper and Bhegan known for covering a dancing peacock with his shawl are referred to in the verse 361:

"முல்லைக்குத்தேரும் மயிலுக்குப் போர்வையும் ... அறிமடமும் சான்றோர்க்கு அணி--mullaikkutthErum mayilukkup pOrvaiyum ... aRimaDamum chAnROrkku aNi".

• The king PoRkai PANDiyan (between 300-475 CE) is referred to in verse 102 by the epithet "தவற்றை நினைத்துத்தன் கைகுறைத்தான் தென்னவன்--tavaRRai ~ninaitthutthan kaikuRaitthAn tennavan".

This righteous king was in habit of going round disguised in the streets of his city at night-time. One day, he heard a a man and woman talking in a low tone inside a closed door. He knew that the man of the house was away, so on suspicion he knocked the door. When the male voice from within called, "Who's that?", the king understood that it was after all the husband, so he knocked the door of all houses in the street and ran away.

The next morning, people of the street complained to him in his court that a thief had knocked the door of their houses the previous night. When the King asked them about the punishment that could be given if the thief was caught, they said the right hand of the thief that knocked the doors should be severed. Forthwith the King drew his sword and severed his right hand, to the shock of the people, and explained the incident. The people arranged for a golden hand to be fixed to the stump of the right hand, and thus the King came to be known as 'Porkai PANDiyan'.

Chozha king Chembian or Sibi chakravarti is referred to in verse 49 as "வீங்குதொள் செம்பியன்--vI~gguthoL chembiyan". This King is referred to BrahmANDa PurANam as having campaigned against RAvaNa to help the Devas.

• The legendary king Manu-nIti chozhan (2nd century BCE) is referred to in verse 93 in the words "கறவைக்கன்று ஊர்ந்தானைத் தன்தையும் ஊர்ந்தான்--kaRavaikkanRu Ur~ndAnait thandaiyum Ur~ndAn".

• Verse 316 in the words, "தொடுத்த பெரும்புலவன் சொற்குறை தீர--toDuttha perumpulavan choRkuRai thIra", refers to the Chera King Chelkezhu kuTTuvan (270-245 BCE), who fulfilled the wish of his poet PAlai GautamanAr to perform a Veda yajna which would fetch suvargam--heavens, for him and his relatives, after death.

All such historical references must be researched properly to arrive at the correct period of the Sangham and post Sangham literature.

Ref:
1. Tholkappiam - Ezhuthathikaram
2. List of Tamil kings
List of Tamil kings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
OP
OP
Haridasa Siva

Haridasa Siva

New member
Siva, I did not even know you had changed your tag line when I wrote this. I had an old nemesis in mind -- he used this tag line even though, IMO, he had an airtight mind. He is no longer participating, but may be browsing. So, honestly, I didn't have you in my mind when I wrote this comment.

Your second line is certainly true. It seems your "empty argument" comment is directed at my arguments. When people run out of reasonable counter arguments they start throwing accusations like this -- empty arguments, vidandavadam, etc. I am used to this.

Siva, I don't want to be on your enemies list.

Cheers!

Thanks for the clarification. I am glad you don't want to be on my enemy list. I intrepret it as "I want to be in your friends' list". Then as a friend, I would like to suggest two things. 1. Please don't keep on harping on any issue to the point that the other person finds you adamant/vidandaavaatham. 2. Please do not think that the reason for people making such a statement is becasue they don't have valid counter-arguments. They perhaps feel it is better to ignore the original arguments for they do not see any substance in it and at the same time are convinced that you would not accept whatever explanation they give.

I would be glad if you just note my suggestions. It is up to you to follow it or ignore it.
 

Nara

Well-known member
Thanks for the clarification. I am glad you don't want to be on my enemy list. I intrepret it as "I want to be in your friends' list".
This is even better, I welcome it.

Then as a friend, I would like to suggest two things.
Ah, so soon we dish out our wisdom :), but, I welcome this too as it is given as a friend.

1. Please don't keep on harping on any issue to the point that the other person finds you adamant/vidandaavaatham.
I get this only from people who just can't bring themselves to answer the questions posed, but kick up a great big dust storm. Accusing the other side of vidandavadam may feel nice, but it does not do anything else.


2. Please do not think that the reason for people making such a statement is becasue they don't have valid counter-arguments. They perhaps feel it is better to ignore the original arguments for they do not see any substance in it and at the same time are convinced that you would not accept whatever explanation they give.
This is a cop out. I expect people to present their arguments if they have any. If holes in the explanation are pointed out one must address them. If not, one must have the intellectual honesty to concede. Not doing either and smearing me with "vidandavadam" complaint is childish.

Here is what I would suggest, when you say something, be ready to defend what you say if challenged. Do not expect your explanations to be accepted just because they were given. If an argument is found wanting, there is no shame in conceding.

Cheers!
 
K

kkumar29

Guest
This is a cop out. I expect people to present their arguments if they have any. If holes in the explanation are pointed out one must address them. If not, one must have the intellectual honesty to concede. Not doing either and smearing me with "vidandavadam" complaint is childish.

Here is what I would suggest, when you say something, be ready to defend what you say if challenged. Do not expect your explanations to be accepted just because they were given. If an argument is found wanting, there is no shame in conceding.

Cheers!

Sri Nara,

I am a relatively new comer to this forum but have been around newsgroups and discussion forums since its inception.

I enjoy your postings and the logical development of your arguments. However I would like to make an observation.

It is generally accepted that when people post an opinion it is just that. They don't have to explain their opinions or answer/justify or do anything at all. If I state that it is my opinion that eating garlic is distasteful, I don't have to justify this statement to you or to anyone else. If you keep demanding that I explain myself in every post, question my intellectual integrity/intellectual honesty then the discussion turns emotional and argumentative. It is my experience most people participate to exchange information, get exposed to other points of views and form their own opinions. I don't really think people participate in forums to win a debate.

Now please don't ask to me justify my post:bounce:

K. Kumar
 

Nara

Well-known member
... They don't have to explain their opinions or answer/justify or do anything at all.
Thanks K. Kumar for your observation.

I agree, everyone has the right for their own opinion, but they don't have the right to their own facts. The only opinions I challenge are ones that are blatantly Brahmin supremacist and laced with hypocrisy. Even in these cases I have never insisted that they be justified, I am content with exposing the hypocrisy.

I really don't know why others participate in this forum, I can only speak about myself. I do as a time pass.

BTW, why all this meta analysis, let us stick to the topic.

Cheers!
 
K

kkumar29

Guest
Shri Nara,

Thanks for your candid post. I agree that there is ample evidence in history and a number of posts in this forum that reek of Brahmin superiority and hypocrisy.

You had quoted in earlier posts a number of kurals that described who should be called an andaNar. My question is, in your view, can a person born as Brahmin ever become an andanar because of this hypocrisy even if that person possesses all the qualities prescribed in those kurals.

Regards,
K. Kumar.
 

ShivKC

Active member
. If I state that it is my opinion that eating garlic is distasteful, I don't have to justify this statement to you or to anyone else. If you keep demanding that I explain myself in every post, question my intellectual integrity/intellectual honesty then the discussion turns emotional and argumentative.

It is my experience most people participate to exchange information, get exposed to other points of views and form their own opinions. I don't really think people participate in forums to win a debate.

Now please don't ask to me justify my post:bounce:

K. Kumar

sh.kumar, look at the contradictions between your own statements underlined above . one hand u want no one to question, and another hand u want others point of view also.

there is a difference between blog & forum. Blog is you post on the wall, and every one read it. but in forum, every one discusses,critics, dissects your point. if you dont want some one to question/criticise you, then, taken this eg. tomorrow someone write here, saying, ' All tamil brahmins are cheats', will you just read it and go silently, or question him to prove his point.

note;, being a new member , thought of sharing this info to you. sh.nara is a very learned and esteemed member.
 

Nara

Well-known member
.....You had quoted in earlier posts a number of kurals that described who should be called an andaNar. My question is, in your view, can a person born as Brahmin ever become an andanar because of this hypocrisy even if that person possesses all the qualities prescribed in those kurals.
Dear kkumar29, the term அந்தணர் has long been used as a proper noun to mean people born to Brahmin parents. But, IMO, when Thiruvalluvar defined this term, he did not have Brahmins in mind at all.

Your question is, can a person born to Brahmin parents have qualities consistent with Thiruvalluvar's anthaNar? Why not? Of course he/she can. The ideology that prescribes what one can be or can't be, based on birth parents, is Brahminism, and Thiruvalluvam is the complete antithesis of Brahminism.

Cheers!
 
K

kkumar29

Guest
sh.kumar, look at the contradictions between your own statements underlined above . one hand u want no one to question, and another hand u want others point of view also.

there is a difference between blog & forum. Blog is you post on the wall, and every one read it. but in forum, every one discusses,critics, dissects your point. if you dont want some one to question/criticise you, then, taken this eg. tomorrow someone write here, saying, ' All tamil brahmins are cheats', will you just read it and go silently, or question him to prove his point.

note;, being a new member , thought of sharing this info to you. sh.nara is a very learned and esteemed member.

I don't see any contradiction. When I make a post I post either in a forum or on a wall it is my opinion that I am expressing. You are entitled to disagree with my opinion, criticize it and even tear it apart. But it doesn't mean that I will get into a prolonged argument to defend my opinion. I simply asked for Shri Nara's opinion because I find his posts very logical and sometimes very educative.

Now you have assumed that since I am a new member I am naive and I have somehow disrespected Shri Nara by questioning him. You are entitled to your opinion and I will ignore it.

Cheers,
K. Kumar.
 

pannvalan

Well-known member
Being junior or new in a forum does not place one at a lower pedestal; similarly, being a senior member does entitle one to undue privileges.

Valluvam is not an anti-thesis of Brahminism, as it is understood here.

I agree with the observation that this is not a battle field to enable one to score a victory over another. Opinions are for exchange of views; not to establish supremacy over one another. It is a bad attitude and wrong objective.
 
S

SwamiTaBra

Guest
Let us pause and look what
Tagore (a Brahmo) was to say in one of his letters,(1933)

"I do not quite agree when you make the Brahmins responsible for all the evils existing in our society and run them down from Manu's days to ours. ... The Brahmins in the middle ages reflected the times as much others did, and often associated themselves with movements we would not support now not because they diabolically wanted to injure society but simply because they had to represent their own age.
As a matter of truth, they belonged to the aristocracy of intellect, and maintained a purity of ideals and an austerity of habit which have done great benefit to our people for generations"

Regards,
Swami

 

Nara

Well-known member
...."I do not quite agree when you make the Brahmins responsible for all the evils existing in our society and run them down from Manu's days to ours. ...
This is the tragedy of great reformers like Tagore and Bharathi, they were fervently opposed to the caste/jati system, but still couldn't go far enough to reject the ideology outright.

Tagore did not mince words when it came to rejecting Brahmins and Brahmin practices. Read this wonderful short story called "The Renunciation" in which he brings out Brahminical conceit and his rejection of it through the lead character of the story.

SwamiTaBra has cited one little passage from Tagore's letters to make a narrow casteist point. But, there is no denying that Tagore opposed Brahmins and the casteism they practiced. I have attached the text of just one letter he wrote to Gandhi in March 1933 emphasizing the need for social reform and breaking of Brahminical control over temple worship. It is instructive to read the whole letter, but let me excerpt just one passage to illustrate the contempt Tagore had for Brahmins -- note the use of the pronoun "they".
"There is a tradition of religion connected with temple worship, [...] (F)from the point of view of the trustees of traditions they are acting according to an inherent sense of property in preserving them as they are, in keeping the enjoyment of idol worship in temples for exclusive groups of people. They not only deny the right of such worship to Christians and Mohammedans but to sections of their own community. Particular temples and deities are their own property and they keep them locked up in an iron chest. In this they are acting according to traditional religion which allows them such freedom, rather enjoins them to act in this manner. A reformer in dealing with such morally wrong traditions cannot adopt coercion and yet as in fighting with other wrong and harmful customs he must exert moral force and constantly seek to rectify them. This fight is necessary."
Revolutionary fervor of Bharathiyar is no less, but is not well known outside Tamil speaking people. Even within Tamils, it is not properly understood. Bharathi expressed his utter contempt for Brahmins. Take a look at the following.
பேராசைக் காரனடா பார்ப்பான் - ஆனால்
பெரியதுரை என்னிலுடல் வேர்ப்பான்.
But he also gave support to the Varna system. Look at this verse from Murasu:
நாலு வகுப்புமிங் கொன்றே; இந்த
நான்கினி லொன்று குறைந்தால்
வேலை தவறிச் சிதைந்தே - செத்து
வீழ்ந்திடும் மானிட சாதி
Thus, even though Tagore and Bharathiyar were fiercely critical of Brahmincal hypocrisy, they could not bring themselves to go that extra mile and reject Brahminism and its hallmark Vrana/Jati system completely, like Basavanna or Ambedkar.

Here it is important to note that Ambedkar's arguments for the annihilation of Varna system and his rebuttal to Ghandhi's feeble response remain unanswered till date.

If great reformers like Tagor and Bharathiyar had joined hands with B.R. Ambedkar and totally rejected Brahminism, India would be a much greater country today.

Cheers!

=====The full text of Tagore's letter to Gandhi======
Dear Mahatmaji,
It is needless to say that I do not at all relish the idea of divinity being enclosed in a brick and mortar temple for the special purpose of exploitation by a particular group of people. I strongly believe that it is possible for simple-hearted people to realise the presence of God in the open air, in a surrounding free from all artificial obstruction. We know a sect in Bengal, illiterate and not dominated by Brahminical tradition who enjoy a perfect freedom of worship profoundly universal in character. It was the prohibition for them to enter temples that has helped them in their purity of realisation.'

The traditional idea of Godhead and conventional forms of worship hardly lay emphasis upon the moral worth of religious practices; their essential value lies in the conformity to custom which creates in the minds of the worshippers an abstract sense of sanctity and sanction. When we argue with them in the name of justice and humanity, it is contemptuously ignored for as I have said the moral appeal of the cause has no meaning for them and you know that there are practices and legends connected with a number of our sectarian creeds and practices which are ignoble and irrational.

There is a tradition of religion connected with temple worship, and though such traditions can be morally wrong and harmful, yet they cannot merely be ignored. There the question comes of changing them of widening their range and character. There can be differences of opinion with regard to the methods to be adopted. From the point of view of the trustees of traditions they are acting according to an inherent sense of property in preserving them as they are, in keeping the enjoyment of idol worship in temples for exclusive groups of people. They not only deny the right of such worship to Christians and Mohammedans but to sections of their own community. Particular temples and deities are their own property and they keep them locked up in an iron chest. In this they are acting according to traditional religion which allows them such freedom, rather enjoins them to act in this manner. A reformer in dealing with such morally wrong traditions cannot adopt coercion and yet as in fighting with other wrong and harmful customs he must exert moral force and constantly seek to rectify them. This fight is necessary. I do not think Tucker makes this point clear.

As to the Santiniketan prayer hall it is open to all peoples of every faith. Just as its doors do not shut out anybody so there is nothing in the simple form of worship which excludes people of different religions. Our religious service could as well take place under the trees, its truth and sacredness would not at all be affected but perhaps enhanced by such a natural environment. Difficulties of climate and season intervene, otherwise I do not think separate buildings are really necessary for prayer and communion with the divine.

I have sent a poem for the Harijan - translating it from one of my recent Bengali writings. I do hope it is one in spirit with the ideal of the Harijan which I read with much pleasure and interest. There can be no more hopeful sign for India than the fact that her repressed humanity is waking up as a result of the great fast.

With loving regards

Yours sincerely Rabindranath Tagore
 
S

SwamiTaBra

Guest
I have found in common Harijans/Dalits the worst victims of caste oppressions, a sort of sub-conscious respect for brahminical practices. Sri Nara, as is his wont, conveniently ignores the final para of the passage of Tagore that I quoted. (the passage I quoted was excerpted from a letter which was a reply to a lady who launched a diatribe on Brahmins similar to what Sri Nara and Happy Hindu are indulging in this forum on brahmins and brahminism).

While media was having a field day when Jayendra Saraswathi was arrested, D.Raja, a Harijan, a CPI leader from Tamil Nadu appearing in a TV channel was to describe Sankararaman, the person killed in the precincts of Sri Varadarajaswami temple as an “innocent Brahmin”.

Asoke Sen, a barrister and a former union minister was once asked by fellow advocates in the car park of Supreme Court, on his compulsion for using a run-down car when he could afford new luxury models in keeping with his status. His reply was that there is a saying in Bangla that “ a known Brahmin does not need the sacred thread”.

Sri. Nara would remember the passage of Sri. Aurobindo I quoted, in which he was critical of Brahmins for not passing on learning and culture to rest of the society. Implicit is that they were custodians of learning and culture. There is an unanimity on that.

The respect for brahminism is so deep-rooted that all attempts like those of Basavanna and Narayana guru has met with only limited success. In fact all that happened was that Basavanna’s followers were transformed into a cult. Lingayats are now the torch-bearers of loosely knit Veera –Saivism groupings in south India.


As for conceit, it is not just the Brahmins had. Parasurama was determined to quell the pride of Kshratriyas by annihilating them. We have to have a clear distinction between the role and the personalities (or even a group) engaged in roles. A particular person can either enhance the prestige of a role by flawless execution, or can diminish the same by his/her ineptitude and corruption. If Brahmins are corrupted, they ought to be punished.

The constructive way of looking at all these is whether it is possible for Brahmins to transmit any of their legacy to rest of the Hindu population. If not possible, it is the larger Hindu population that has to lose much. We have go look beyond symbolic achievements of equality. Throwing baby with the bathwater is not what the larger Hindu population wants – it will just suit the anti-Hindu forces.


P.S.: Vaidyanatha Iyer led the entry of Harijans into the famous Meenakshi Temple at Madurai.
 
Last edited:

happyhindu

Well-known member
...diatribe on Brahmins similar to what Sri Nara and Happy Hindu are indulging in this forum on brahmins and brahminism.
Am opposed to 2 things in hinduism:
1) Birth-based labour laws propagated in the guise of "shastras".
2) Corruption (including obfuscation) in the name of religion.

To me, reverence need not act as a barrier in speaking up against the above two points.

Am also of opinion that priests should be paid an income relevant to the present times. They and their children must find the profession worth it, to continue within it. Quitting is not the solution.

Regards.
 

Nara

Well-known member
....P.S.: Vaidyanatha Iyer led the entry of Harijans into the famous Meenakshi Temple at Madurai.
When people of Brahmin birth fight for progressive causes, they are making a powerful statement against Brahminism. The statue of VI in Madurai represents this fight against one of the core principles of Brahminism, it does not represent that VI was a Brahmin. The "true" Brahmins of the day were quite upset with Vaidyanatha Iyer's diatribe too, I know this from his own grandson who is a good friend of mine.

I think Varna/Jati system is an albatross around the Brahmin neck. I think they should get rid of this albatross for their own good. Reject MDS unequivocally, say it is not valid for Kali Yuga or something. Open up Upanayanam to anyone interested. Encourage everyone to study your Veda and Vedanta. Make all this completely voluntary. Stop having this B and NB feeling, that is destructive to your own humanness. I am saying all this not because I hate Brahmins -- how can I hate Brahmins when most of people close to me are Brahmins? Once you are an ex-Brahmin it will feel good, real good :).

Cheers!
 

sangom

Well-known member
...
The constructive way of looking at all these is whether it is possible for Brahmins to transmit any of their legacy to rest of the Hindu population.

Shri Swami,

According to me the crux of the matter is what is highlighted (by me) above. Firstly, what, in your view, are the "brahmin legacies" which deserve such transmission, and whether, it will be practically feasible - in this day and age - to separate the "caste-by-birth credo" from whatever we intend to transmit. As all of us know, due to the efforts of progressive reformers, the Governments' actions etc., today temple entry, right to worship on an equal footing with all other castes etc., are available in many parts of the country to every Hindu, though exceptions are still there. Religious books, including veda books can be purchased by any one irrespective of caste. Most religious discourses are also public and the TV has made it available to one and all who like to view/hear those.

What remains, perhaps, is the study of vedas, mantras, the various religious rites - which are centred on the 'samakaaras' and temples; these are still preserves of the one community mostly viz., brahmins by birth. Are we prepared to transmit these to all people - irrespective of caste - interested in learning them and are found to have the necessary aptitude? Will the present priesthood connected with temples and outside (our "purohits", I mean) accept such a proposal? Will any of the mutts (Smarta, Srivaishnava, Vaishnava, etc.) welcome such a reform and also endorse them whole heartedly?

These are some of the crucial points which will need in-depth study. If you find no problem in getting such a reform getting under way soon, then I think your complaint against "brahmin-bashing" is correct - finding unfounded faults with brahmins, that is how I understand it; other wise it will prove that brahmins still have that exclusive mentality which was coupled with a superiority complex also in the olden days; it is this mentality that is being criticized.

I request all members to consider and give their views.

If not possible, it is the larger Hindu population that has to lose much. We have go look beyond symbolic achievements of equality. Throwing baby with the bathwater is not what the larger Hindu population wants – it will just suit the anti-Hindu forces
I would differ from your view. The Hindu population as a whole will not, in my considered opinion, lose any of their religious advantages, even if the brahmin legacy is not transmitted, because, today the hindus will be able to practice their religion without any dependence on the brahmin community. Even brahmins today go to temples for "annapraasanam", "vidyaarambham", "choulam", marriage, shashtyabdapoorthy, bheema-ratha saanti, sataabhishekam,etc.,; it will not be difficult at all to incorporate upanayanam, seemantam, and a few more remaining items into temple-based activities. Only funeral rites will remain unsolved, I think.

But since the brahmin community still keeps some parts as its (holy) preserve, the other communities are gracious enough to accept that. This is as much due to the withdrawal of brahmins from their exalted societal pedestal, to the reality today, as the good sense and absense of rancour towards brahmins by the non-brahmins. It is not to be construed immediately as a "respect" for brahmins still existing, etc. You mentioned "sub-conscious" respect. This is what actuated the "sanskritization" of almost every caste/sub-caste historically. Smt. HappyHindu is an authority on this topic. She will be able to furnish details. But this arose, IMO, not out of any genuine, sincere, "respect" - conscious or otherwise - for brahmins and their practices but mainly due to enlarging the castes-list and find a niche somewhat higher than the rest of their original caste-group. Perhaps this phenomenon was at its zenith during the British regime.
 

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste everyone.

A recent news report indicates that the Supreme Court of India has come down heavily on conversion.
Conversion has no justification: SC
The Pioneer :: Home : >> Conversion has no justification SC

A specific observation by the Judges is:

Since secularism, according to the court, contained a guarantee that "the State shall treat all religions and religious groups equally and with equal respect without, in any manner, interfering with their individual right to religion, faith and worship."

Acording to this injunction, the time-old sampradAya of propagation of the Vedas by oral tradition, performance of veda yajnas, and conducting pujas in temples by brahmins exclusively, is NOT to be interfered with by the State. Since as Sangom says, such tradition has the tacit approval of other communities, this tradition that is exclusively managed by brahmins, IMO, SHOULD NOT be delegated to other communities, whatever yogyatAMsham any individual therein might obtain.

This is NOT to say that the other communities should not learn or study the Vedas; only that they cannot chant and perform Vedic rituals, which are in the exclusive realm of the brahmins.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
...Acording to this injunction, the time-old sampradAya of propagation of the Vedas by oral tradition, performance of veda yajnas, and conducting pujas in temples by brahmins exclusively, is NOT to be interfered with by the State. Since as Sangom says, such tradition has the tacit approval of other communities, this tradition that is exclusively managed by brahmins, IMO, SHOULD NOT be delegated to other communities, whatever yogyatAMsham any individual therein might obtain.

This is NOT to say that the other communities should not learn or study the Vedas; only that they cannot chant and perform Vedic rituals, which are in the exclusive realm of the brahmins.

vaNakkam sai.

not too long ago, other communities were specifically barred or did not have the werewithal to study our scriptures. the peshwas, as late as 400 years ago, prescribed molten lead into the ears of any dalit who might even accidentally hear vedic chants.

mercifully, today, anyone, irrespective of caste or nationality can have a peep at the vedas and sink into it as deep as they want, without any fear of punishment.

sometimes, i suspect, that the most ardent vedists are those who are intent on finding the embedded inequalities and racistic ideologies within our scriptures, to undermine the faith in the eyes of many non brahmin hindus, and in the process, veer them towards other religions.

why be second rate hindu, when you can be a first rate mussalman or christian, they ask? do we have any arguements to combat this real or imagined sense of aggrievement?

again, if i understand you correctly, you are ok with other castes learning the vedas, but should not 'chant and perform Vedic rituals, which are in the exclusive realm of the brahmins'.

i am trying to view this statement from the viewpoint of 'other' castes and dalits separately.

not sure if the other castes would care, unless there was some monetary benefit or admin power involved. a good example might be the chettiars, who have no problem building new temples, and let the brahmins do the priestly functions.

but within those nagarathar temples, there are strict rules and hierarchies for the chettiars, which even no brahmin can interfere.it is ok with the brahmins, because it does not directly affect our ecclesiastical functions.

one minor point, that you might not have considered - how to enforce this practice of preventing other castes from publicly performing rituals if they so wish? i am not sure if any policeforce in india will step in to stop a yagna performed by a mudaliar or chettiar, if he or she, so wishes. what do you say?

if we go one step beyond, to the dalits, who form 25% or so of the population, there might be another perspective.

i read somewhere that that within 2 generation in early 1800s, the entire hindu east bengal peasantry which was mostly dalits, was islamized - not by the sword, but by the gentle prodding of sufis, who invited them to an egalitarian faith, which did not differentiate, according to them, between the king and servant.

i just visited chennai, and went to thirupathi. every other mile was a new church, and i was told that these were mainly to attract the dalits.

the preachers too were converted dalits, who did not want anything to do with mainstream hindu casteism anymore. should we as brahmins be bothered about it?

after all, these dalits are doing exactly what you prescribe for them - ie no role in our ecclesiastic rituals. which per you, should be the sole function of those born to the brahmin caste. will we as hindus be able to combat an egalitarian philosophy, with our own stratified and compartmentalized one?

as you prescribe rules, sai, it may be worth your while, also to step through the consequences of each of your mindset edict, particularly in the context of today's world - the reality of mass communication, the sense of entitlement that runs across all castes for their share of the indian pie. and above all, the deadly effect of mass abandonment of the hindu faith and way of life by a sizeable portion of the population.

to sum up, i do not even know, if we have sufficient numbers of brahmins, spread across tamil nadu to bring the best of our traditions to the masses.

would we deny a kripananda warrior to perform a puja because he was a non brahmin?

many a times, i wonder, whether it would do any good to our hindu way of life, ie any good in the long term, by comparmentalizing religious duties as per castes and in the process assume certain functions for the brahmins, even though these are no longer remunerative to sustain a priest's family.

such attitudes appear to me, is going against the grain of today's thinking, which is one of entitlement for all in all. anything else would result, i think, would result only in apathy or antagonism - both of which being inimical to the hindu way of life.

what we need is mass participation and adulation, which i think, can be achieved only through open practice of absolute equality. i suspect the enormous popularity of ayyappan pilgrimage of late, and increasingly spreading to the north, is due to this sense of affinity of ayyappanmars, irrespective of caste or creed. why cannot we extend this to other aspects of hindu faith?

would not broad based opening up of all aspects of hindu religion to those who are interested and have a sense of vocation to dwell deep into the estoricism of our scriptures and assign these to perform public rituals, make sense?

instead of reserving these to a certain caste?

to sum up, i think, as we come up with 'shoulds and musts', it would do good, also to step through the consequences of the same. perhaps the realization of the results of some of our exclusive views, would convince us to abandon the same, and to embrace a more inclusive pan hinduistic approach to life, as opposed to a narrow caste based approach.

my fear, is that otherwise, we brahmins might be left alone, with an empty bag of philosophies with no one else to adhere to. and emtpy temples a phenomenon common enough in east bengal or west punjab.

something to think about seriously.

thank you.
 
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