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Need for revival of Brahminical code of Conduct

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A lot of time has gone into this forum in discussing about brahmin rituals, forms of performing puja and may be even the rules laid out in the scriptures.

Let us re examine our current state.
A few examples to awaken us to the reality.

1. AN was a proud Vadama Iyer. He did sandhyavandanam every day and prayed to God with great respect to procedure, knew vedas and even preached on conduct and life. He often made fun of other subcastes and even relatives whom we felt did not perform rituals properly. He felt that he and his family had come from some heavenly abode and have come to this world to change the world. I admired this man. Then discovered some facts. This man for all his boastfullness , I came to know was not always truthful - He spoke per his convenience . He took to occassional alcohol when it came to his corporate dealings.
2. PK was a proud Iyengar, boasting all about the facts that many of his ancestors had become jeers of some famous mutts. For all his boasting , came to discover this man felt that drinking wine(not merely felt but practiced also) and alcohol was absolutely fine and went well with his jeer family status. So much for this man who did not want to hear the name of Lord Shiva- Greater crime than even drinking.
3. ABC was a Sastrigal who performed some of the most important rituals. A client of his accidently slipped in a few thousand more money than requested. This man had no sincerity to return back the extra money that he took from his client or even reveal it. So much for his so-called eligibility and pureness which is required for performing such holy ceremonies.
4. PQ Talks and gives lectures to everyone about why one should be a good brahmin, follow traditions, why intercaste marriage is bad and so on and on. He admonishes his relative whose son married outside the caste. Apart from this one flaw , I have never seen this son do anything dishonest or bad in his life. Now for all this vain boasting and pride, PQ could have helped a close relation of his during his life and death illness- Being the closest relative of that man near his deathbed. On the contrary instead of helping this death bed ridden man, PQ admonishes this man. He said- "This relative of mine did not lead a ritualistic life, he deserves to die. I will not help him. Let him die"
So what was this person's fault- The death ridden person neglected certain essential rituals but otherwise lead a good and clean life. So PQ who was one of the few who could have helped a dying elder, ignored and had only bad things to say. This so called self righteous PQ, had no problems taking financial help from the dying person , when the person was doing well.
5. XYZ is an Iyengar who goes on and on about the merits of Sri Vaishnavism and the greatness of Sri Vaishnava Lineages. I wouldnt be surprised if he has a family tree hidden in his pocket, so whenever he meets a relative he can update his great family tree. For all this big talk on Vaishnavism and why Sri Vaishnavas are genetically, intellectually and spiritually superior to Smarthas- I have never seen this man do a single puja with pure bhakti. His mind always delves on the peripherals, whether the time of puja is right, whether it is done according to the laid out srivaishnava procedure or not, whether madi is followed by people around him. When he chants the mantras - One is certain of the following thought that must be resonating in his mind- "I the great Sri Vaishanava descendant of xyz, having studied and obtained ... degree from the great ... universities , still respect tradition inspite of acquiring modern degrees and being academically brilliant. I follow the rituals of Ramanuja in the best possible manner. I therefore pay homage to you, O Lord Vishnu. Considering the excellant way I have worshipped inspite of being in modern society- please accept my prayers", People might ask how I know what this man thought in his mind. It does not matter, I am not sure we have all met such people.

The list of such hypocrites (ourselves included) goes on................

So I am not sure whether I look like a brahmin basher. I am not one. But it irritates me that we all talk about great brahmin rituals, keeping away from intercaste marriages, but we dont follow the essential requirement as laid out in Bhagawat Gita.
Lord Krishna clearly says that he values internal purity more than all the external karma and show.

There are many of us who follow certain rules and whatever is inconvenient we reinterpret or forget them.

Let me remind us all that Brahmins were respected in ancient time for their conduct as well as their knowledge. I do not remember any brahmin being considered only because of his knowledge alone. When we speak of conduct , it is not just following vegetarianism or the rituals. It is also about leading a life of truthfullness, purity of mind, having affection towards one and all etc.

By now, I am sure that if there is a Brahmin here who sincerely wants to progress in spiritual life, he will agree with me on all these points, that I have mentioned. I am also sure that the rest of people (who really dont want to progress in spiritual life) will not care to go beyond this point.

In the early days or perhaps even a century ago, there were brahmins who sincerely followed all the rules laid out in shastras and tried to follow all the great recommendations on conduct - such as being always truthfull, not being affected by greed, genuinely liking all living beings and so on.

Today we have come to really bad state- almost all of us, have left out certain important rules on the code of conduct of brahmins.

We all like to say- The ancient law books cannot be applied in the modern context. Let us take this statement to be true.

I then have this to propose- Let us all agree to a code of conduct which can be followed today. Let us list the codes and draw a circle around us. There are certain mahans who have already done that. But many mortals like me, have not yet fully defined a circle around us. These rules cannot be arbitary. It cannot be something that suits our whims and fancies. Because in that case we would continue to be bad brahmins and only bring more disrepute to our ancestors. Unless we follow a clear code of conduct , the monkey mind of ours will get tempted to the materialism that surrounds us.

The purpose of the thread should now be clear, What are the rules that ordinary brahmins should follow. Let us think and define these rules clearly. Let us then live by them. That is the point- Live by a code of conduct like our ancestors did and never ever break them.

Let us define all the rules and let this be exhaustive and let us all agree on them. I am sure that even if 10% of brahmins live by this code, we will certainly make a big difference to our society.

Let us please start- Start from rules reagrding food , to the kind of language we should be using, to the way we behave with others, to the kind of books and movies we should be watching and so on.

I dont want to start, because I am just hoping that a more worthy and wise member may help us out.

PK
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
....

I dont want to start, because I am just hoping that a more worthy and wise member may help us out.

PK

harish,

i think you should start.

to me it appears, that you have dug hole and watered it. but not seeded it.

so we have no clue what type of tree will come out.

in order to get an idea of the crop, the farmer should also plant the seed.

atleast i think so.

thanks.
 
Ok,

If this is not considered arrogance here are a few. I am starting with some simple to follow stuff

1. Never abuse or use vulgar language against anybody even if it is our enemy-Bastard, "kamanati" (Tamil), thevidiya magain or any other abusive words are to be eliminated from our verbal dictionary.
2. Be thankful to God for being born in a good family- Never allow ourselves to think that we are intellectually or spiritually superior to some one because of our birth. We have certain responsibilities owing to our birth , these responsibilities do not make us superior. We can do certain things because we are lucky, let us remember that like Arjuna we might forget all our acquired knowledge if that is our destiny. Arjuna could not remember his archery skills when he was rescuing the yadava women. This should remind us that all our achievements are completely dependant on god's grace. Let us hereafter pledge that we will not entertain any thought of superiority when we deal with any body no matter whom or at any time, no matter when!
3. Never provoke or make fun of others in a way that the other individual can feel hurt , unless the intention is to reform the individual.
4. Some people are good enough to follow certain rituals. But they dont follow all the rules related to them. Example before a puja it may be required that a person fast the night before. Or it may be required that mantra should be pronounced properly. The typical excuse given by these folks is that God is bothered about devotion only and not how these external elements are followed. Now for such people - I have this question! God may excuse a certain ritual even if it is imperfectly followed. But how can there be pure devotion - If a person knows the right procedure to follow a ritual, but does not follow certain aspects because someone is watching him , or because they dont want to appear too traditional, or because of laziness or lack of will power. If some one does not know the procedure but does the ritual, he can be excused. But how can an Individual who knows the procedue and has the physical ability to follow it. Same thing I have seen especially in the case of fasts like Vaikunta Ekadasi. People dont fast because they say- Modern science says fasting is not good for health. But dear- No where and in no religion is it mentioned that fasting is easy to follow and keeps the body in perfect shape. Fasting causes weakness and even pain. It is therefore a sacrifice - a kind of yagna. Without sacrifice, there is no reward. Without sacrifice mind cannot be purified- we can go on. The reverse statement also applies- There are people who follow all ritual elements but leave the key element- devotion.
So the ideal thing for all of us is to give up our ego- Follow rituals sincerely to best of our knowledge and ability, best of our devotion and then let us recite the kayenavacha mantra and ask god to forgive for mistakes inadvertently commited owing to our ignorance. Let us do rituals for the sake of their purpose and dont let our mind wander towards its fruits
5. Make a list of people- you will never lie to. Make a pledge that you will not lie especially if it can harm an individual- No matter what. People in business and marketing positions have to indeed walk a right rope.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
6. please add this to your list - charity. start with 1% of net income. send it as a monthly cheque to a charity, so that you know for sure that money is not considered part of your spending budget.

harish,

a possible approach, is to tally all the suggestions at the end of a set period of time, collate them into wants, wishes and would likes.

another way of grouping is to get people to vote on the 3 most popular suggestions, keeping in mind, the practicality aspect ie what use of a suggestion if it cannot fall within our day to day norms.

best wishes young man :)
 

RVR

Well-known member
Sri Harishpsubramanyam ji,

I like your views. Let us not bother about rituals which I feel are personal affair. Can we classify your other thoughts broadly in to the following three

1. Simplicity - Simple life with noble thoughts
2. Honesty- Includes integrity and truthfulness
3. Service to society- includes charity earmarking atleast one percent of the earnings.

If you agree, let us elaborate, discuss further and evolve a code of conduct.

All the best
 
Last edited:

suvarchas

Active member
A lot of time has gone into this forum in discussing about brahmin rituals, forms of performing puja and may be even the rules laid out in the scriptures.

Let us re examine our current state.
A few examples to awaken us to the reality.

1. AN was a proud Vadama Iyer. He did sandhyavandanam every day and prayed to God with great respect to procedure, knew vedas and even preached on conduct and life. He often made fun of other subcastes and even relatives whom we felt did not perform rituals properly. He felt that he and his family had come from some heavenly abode and have come to this world to change the world. I admired this man. Then discovered some facts. This man for all his boastfullness , I came to know was not always truthful - He spoke per his convenience . He took to occassional alcohol when it came to his corporate dealings.
2. PK was a proud Iyengar, boasting all about the facts that many of his ancestors had become jeers of some famous mutts. For all his boasting , came to discover this man felt that drinking wine(not merely felt but practiced also) and alcohol was absolutely fine and went well with his jeer family status. So much for this man who did not want to hear the name of Lord Shiva- Greater crime than even drinking.
3. ABC was a Sastrigal who performed some of the most important rituals. A client of his accidently slipped in a few thousand more money than requested. This man had no sincerity to return back the extra money that he took from his client or even reveal it. So much for his so-called eligibility and pureness which is required for performing such holy ceremonies.
4. PQ Talks and gives lectures to everyone about why one should be a good brahmin, follow traditions, why intercaste marriage is bad and so on and on. He admonishes his relative whose son married outside the caste. Apart from this one flaw , I have never seen this son do anything dishonest or bad in his life. Now for all this vain boasting and pride, PQ could have helped a close relation of his during his life and death illness- Being the closest relative of that man near his deathbed. On the contrary instead of helping this death bed ridden man, PQ admonishes this man. He said- "This relative of mine did not lead a ritualistic life, he deserves to die. I will not help him. Let him die"
So what was this person's fault- The death ridden person neglected certain essential rituals but otherwise lead a good and clean life. So PQ who was one of the few who could have helped a dying elder, ignored and had only bad things to say. This so called self righteous PQ, had no problems taking financial help from the dying person , when the person was doing well.
5. XYZ is an Iyengar who goes on and on about the merits of Sri Vaishnavism and the greatness of Sri Vaishnava Lineages. I wouldnt be surprised if he has a family tree hidden in his pocket, so whenever he meets a relative he can update his great family tree. For all this big talk on Vaishnavism and why Sri Vaishnavas are genetically, intellectually and spiritually superior to Smarthas- I have never seen this man do a single puja with pure bhakti. His mind always delves on the peripherals, whether the time of puja is right, whether it is done according to the laid out srivaishnava procedure or not, whether madi is followed by people around him. When he chants the mantras - One is certain of the following thought that must be resonating in his mind- "I the great Sri Vaishanava descendant of xyz, having studied and obtained ... degree from the great ... universities , still respect tradition inspite of acquiring modern degrees and being academically brilliant. I follow the rituals of Ramanuja in the best possible manner. I therefore pay homage to you, O Lord Vishnu. Considering the excellant way I have worshipped inspite of being in modern society- please accept my prayers", People might ask how I know what this man thought in his mind. It does not matter, I am not sure we have all met such people.

The list of such hypocrites (ourselves included) goes on................

So I am not sure whether I look like a brahmin basher. I am not one. But it irritates me that we all talk about great brahmin rituals, keeping away from intercaste marriages, but we dont follow the essential requirement as laid out in Bhagawat Gita.
Lord Krishna clearly says that he values internal purity more than all the external karma and show.

There are many of us who follow certain rules and whatever is inconvenient we reinterpret or forget them.

Let me remind us all that Brahmins were respected in ancient time for their conduct as well as their knowledge. I do not remember any brahmin being considered only because of his knowledge alone. When we speak of conduct , it is not just following vegetarianism or the rituals. It is also about leading a life of truthfullness, purity of mind, having affection towards one and all etc.

By now, I am sure that if there is a Brahmin here who sincerely wants to progress in spiritual life, he will agree with me on all these points, that I have mentioned. I am also sure that the rest of people (who really dont want to progress in spiritual life) will not care to go beyond this point.

In the early days or perhaps even a century ago, there were brahmins who sincerely followed all the rules laid out in shastras and tried to follow all the great recommendations on conduct - such as being always truthfull, not being affected by greed, genuinely liking all living beings and so on.

Today we have come to really bad state- almost all of us, have left out certain important rules on the code of conduct of brahmins.

We all like to say- The ancient law books cannot be applied in the modern context. Let us take this statement to be true.

I then have this to propose- Let us all agree to a code of conduct which can be followed today. Let us list the codes and draw a circle around us. There are certain mahans who have already done that. But many mortals like me, have not yet fully defined a circle around us. These rules cannot be arbitary. It cannot be something that suits our whims and fancies. Because in that case we would continue to be bad brahmins and only bring more disrepute to our ancestors. Unless we follow a clear code of conduct , the monkey mind of ours will get tempted to the materialism that surrounds us.

The purpose of the thread should now be clear, What are the rules that ordinary brahmins should follow. Let us think and define these rules clearly. Let us then live by them. That is the point- Live by a code of conduct like our ancestors did and never ever break them.

Let us define all the rules and let this be exhaustive and let us all agree on them. I am sure that even if 10% of brahmins live by this code, we will certainly make a big difference to our society.

Let us please start- Start from rules reagrding food , to the kind of language we should be using, to the way we behave with others, to the kind of books and movies we should be watching and so on.

I dont want to start, because I am just hoping that a more worthy and wise member may help us out.

PK

While I agree with you on many aspects,I feel people follow only the externals without attaching importance to the underlying principle.They neither have understood the import nor have the idea of what it is.,It is even said in shastras that cultivating the eight atma gunas are far more important than following the forty essential rituals.One who does not do the rituals but has the atma gunas is a fit case to have deliverance than the one who only does the rituals without cultivating the atma gunas
 

Nara

Well-known member
Athma Gunas

One who does not do the rituals but has the atma gunas is a fit case to have deliverance than the one who only does the rituals without cultivating the atma gunas

Lord Sri Krishna lists some of these Athma Gunas to Arjuna in verses 13.7 and 13.8:

அமாநித்வம் அதம்பித்வம் அஹிம்ஸா க்ஷாந்தி ஆர்ஜவம்
ஆசார்யோபாசநம் செளசம் ஸ்தைர்யம் ஆத்ம விநிக்ரஹ: 13.7

இந்த்ரிய அர்த்தேஷு வைராக்யம் அநஹங்கார ஏவ ச
ஜந்ம ம்ருத்யு ஜரா வ்யாதி து:க்க தோஷ அநுதர்சநம் 13.8

Verse 13.7:
அமாநித்வம் = not disrespecting the wise, due to pride in one's own erudition, birth, and wealth
அதம்பித்வம் = not being ostentatious and slef-promoting in charity
அஹிம்ஸா = not harming any living being even in one's thoughts
க்ஷாந்தி = not getting provoked even when harmed by others
ஆர்ஜவம் = consistency among thought, speech, and action (மனோ, வாக்கு, காயம்)
ஆசார்யோபாசநம் = respect for Acharya
செளசம் = purity of thought, speech, and action (மனோ, வாக்கு, காயம்)
ஸ்தைர்யம் = steadfastness in the above
ஆத்ம விநிக்ரஹ: = Single minded devotion to liberation (moksham)

The words of verse 13.8 are easy to understand. One is encouraged to show detachment towards wealth and enjoyments that come from senses, practice humility, and be constantly cognizant of the fleeting nature and hardship of life.

These Atma Gunas are universally extolled. These are common to everyone, from the exalted Brahmins to the lowly scavenger. This is why the title of this thread makes me sad. There is nothing "Brahmnical" about these, they are human values, common to all.

Cheers!

p.s.

ஆத்ம விநிக்ரஹ: is the only one that may not be universally accepted as a virtue.
 

Infin

Member
An interesting thread which seems to have ended abruptly?!

Shouldn't we add:

(i) Community Service: Helping out the needy in our community in whichever way we can.
(ii) Fighting against the evil menace of dowry system so prevalent among our community. (?)
 

RVR

Well-known member
An interesting thread which seems to have ended abruptly?!

Shouldn't we add:

(i) Community Service: Helping out the needy in our community in whichever way we can.
(ii) Fighting against the evil menace of dowry system so prevalent among our community. (?)

I have already included Service to society in my list.

Dowry system is not prevalent in TB community. However marriage expenses are becoming very high. We have to evolve a code to simplify marriages.
 

[email protected]

Active member
To All: Todays life become fast, so we must change ourselves,every one wants to do rituals,pooja and other methodto get some thing from GOD. Nobody is thing about the SOUL.So one should think about soul he will thing about the real path and the Guru,he never speak about any thing he will always thing about his soul upliftment,inthis junction he will not think about rituals and poojas. every thing is personal. s.r.k.
 

vijisesh

Active member
Dear Harish ..............

Good Day !

Having a quick browse of your msg , I can understand that you find the world a " Showy place " and nothing really is true as it is seen .
People put up different faces , one for the external world and another for their personal living !

At this juncture , i am just reminded of one great quote ;

Ideals are like stars...
anstar2.gif

You will not succeed in touching them with your hands...
anstar2.gif

...but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides...
anstar2.gif

...and following them you reach your destiny.

Carl Schurz

It is very difficult to find an IDEAL Brahmin in real life - Most of the perusus have their own problems , some have bucket full of ego's , some sport up looks of anger , frustration , some simply complain till their last breath ........

Believe me , it will take one complete LIFE for a Man to decipher what Life is all about and by the time some one claims that he can guide the rest of the world in mastering the doctrine , his reservation gets confirmed and he's out of the world . His soul too has to start from scratch in his next janma !

So My opinion is not something new , Although one gets inputs from a wide variety of resources , he should , by the process of Growth inculcate in him , self decision making by logic , rather than get carried away by some external influences .

You are your best judge , choose when to follow your heart and when your brain !

i will tell you a secret , No-one has ever attempted to even 'Draft-rules for a contemporary brahmin living " because most of them want to live life their own way !

A lot of time has gone into this forum in discussing about brahmin rituals, forms of performing puja and may be even the rules laid out in the scriptures.
.............

Let us define all the rules and let this be exhaustive and let us all agree on them. I am sure that even if 10% of brahmins live by this code, we will certainly make a big difference to our society.



PK
 
Last edited:

RVR

Well-known member
i will tell you a secret , No-one has ever attempted to even 'Draft-rules for a contemporary brahmin living " because most of them want to live life their way !


You are correct. Let us not interfere in personal life of any individual. However as a society we can thing of some new things.

Dowry system which was prevalent in our community is abolished now. But marriage expenses has become very high. We have to make sincere attempts to reduce it.

Marriage halls are very very costly. Catering expenses are very high.

Can we think of a simple marriage probably at home itself and a single evening reception. It is high time, we reduce marriage expenses
 

drsundaram

Well-known member
A great and profound subject. How many of brahmins will be really live up to the decided codes in these hectic days. The world around is full of fierce, racing to maintain sustenance. I am not discourging such a giagantic move. I fully endorse and abide by decisions taken. On watching the serial, CHO's "Enge brahmanan" can we reflect the move over all?
kind regards
 

ssaidass

Member
Agree with all his thoughts and expressed it bold and beautiful..
This is present state of Brahmins in the world and the way projecting themselves and their code of conduct is root cause of all.
 

iyerponnu

Member
What defines a brahmin? Just because I was born to brahmin parents does not make me a brahmin...being a brahmin is not just by birth, but it is because of certain virtues..No one can set down rules to follow for 'brahminical ways of life'. We need to follow our heart in doing what is right following the dharma.

And by the way, people say dowry system is not prevelant in our community...who says so? It is highly prevelant, though in different forms. 'Engaluku ore pullai...so neenga kalyanam nanna grand a pannanum' ; 'ponnuku kandipa vaira thodum, mookuthiyum podanum'; 'pin thali mudiyarathuku nanna periya pattu pudavaya vangidungo'; 'koorai pudavai la nanna getti jarigai irukanum'; 'enga athu pazhakam rendu velli kuthi vilaku, sombu kandipa kudukanum'; 'thirumangalyam kandipa oru poun irukanum'... these are all the variations..Oh it is not just the groom's side, the bride's families are also to blame..'engaluku ore ponnu, avaluku seiyama yaaruku seiya porom'; 'enga gauravam nu onnu iruke'; 'enga manushal lam engala pathu siripa'; 'enga kita enna onnum illaya'.. honest I ve heard all of this from the bride's parents and the groom's parents. As long as the culture of 'grand ceremonies' prevail, nothing will change. No importance is given these days to the 'vaideeha aspect' of the wedding, but more to the 'laukeeka aspect' of weddings..There was a suggestion that the wedding be done in a simple manner and a good reception later on..this will be good. But how many people actually attempt it? There is always this 'ellarum enna solluvalo'?
 

Nara

Well-known member
It is very difficult to find an IDEAL Brahmin in real life - Most of the perusus have their own problems , some have bucket full of ego's , some sport up looks of anger , frustration , some simply complain till their last breath ........


What do you think an ideal Paraiah's life should be like? Do you think that would be very difficult like that of an IDEAL brahmin?

Alternatively, how about thinking of what an ideal human being's life should be like -- all inclusive, brahmins and pariahs alike?


சண்டையிட்டாலும் சகோதரர் அன்றோ?

Just a thought....
 

amala

Well-known member
What do you think an ideal Paraiah's life should be like? Do you think that would be very difficult like that of an IDEAL brahmin?

Alternatively, how about thinking of what an ideal human being's life should be like -- all inclusive, brahmins and pariahs alike?

Truly these should be the last words for this thread. Anything else added would be just plain mediocre because what is said above is spot on, in my opinion.

Everytime I have even the slightest delusions of grandeur about being Brahmin, about being in someway "different" from a NB or even think of someone in terms of their caste (which I don't do that often anyway!), I just have to think of Nara mama and I'm brought back somewhat reluctantly to reality with a thud.
 
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