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On Being A Brahmin


Well-known member
The entire discussion on being Brahmin has always been a polarised debate and hence needs a balanced perspective.

My limited point is, feeling superior perse is not an issue (in response to OP, so definitely not suggesting that we should all now feel superior either due to birth or accomplishments) many communities do...Parsees, mudaliyars, etc..but that should NOT lead to boasting or insulting or being insensitive or putting down other communities directly or indirectly.

Going to the other extreme, of Brahmins giving up the culture and traditions to merge with the larger group is not correct, it will lead to loss of historic heritage and traditions.

On the other hand, my view has been that everyone should adopt TB culture which is part of Hinduism anyways, and this will surely eliminate the casteism, superiority complex, etc.. in due course. Sanskrit should be taught in all school in india etc..

If the larger Tamil or Indian community say, learns Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam, the exclusivity will go away, and the perceived or otherwise, superiority complex. Same with Sanskrit language, Advaitam, Upanishads, vedantam, etc.

On a lighter note, renukaji's strong opposition led me to postpone the discussion, that too in this charged political environment. LOL.

Intact, Renukaji is an excellent example, she is a Sanskrit teacher and knows better than most Brahmins !!!!


Well-known member
How do we become who we are? Traditionally, people’s answers have placed them in one of two camps: nature or nurture. The one says genes determine an individual while the other claims the environment is the linchpin for development. Since the 16th century, when the terms “nature” and “nurture” first came into use, many people have spent ample time debating which is more important, but these discussions have more often led to ideological cul-de-sacs rather than pinnacles of insight.

New research into epigenetics—the science of how the environment influences genetic expression—is changing the conversation. As psychologist David S. Moore explains in his newest book, The Developing Genome, this burgeoning field reveals that what counts is not what genes you have so much as what your genes are doing. And what your genes are doing is influenced by the ever-changing environment they’re in. Factors like stress, nutrition, and exposure to toxins all play a role in how genes are expressed—essentially which genes are turned on or off. Unlike the static conception of nature or nurture, epigenetic research demonstrates how genes and environments continuously interact to produce characteristics throughout a lifetime.

Evan Nesterak: How does the science of epigenetics change the seemingly age-old nature versus nurture debate?
David Moore:
For the longest time, the nature-nurture debate has been cast as a kind of contest between genes and experiences. The thought was that we might have some characteristics that are caused primarily by genetic factors and other characteristics that are caused primarily by experiential factors. What epigenetics is making clear is that’s a faulty way to think about the situation, because it’s not true that genes do things independently of their contexts. Instead, genes do what they do because of the contexts that they’re in. Nature and nurture are always working together to produce all of our traits.

It’s not true that genes do things independently of their contexts…genes do what they do because of the contexts that they’re in.



Mine was a liberal upbringing and I was not even aware that Iyers are also Brahmins. My father (also, my closest friend) was cosmopolitan in his outlook.

I had friends from all communities (TamBrams and TamNonBrams) including fair number of Gujaratis and Sindhis.

It was in the 9th standard or so that I found "Paappaan" being hurled at me and I did not immediately know what it meant. Later (in college), I came across books on the social history of many "Pachchai Thamizhar" communities - among other things the punishment for abuse of a caste girl was severe but if the victim happened to be a Dalit a small pot of rice sufficed! Kettle calling the pot black!!!

I do not feel I am superior by birth but at the same time I do feel Tamil non Brahmins are not my people!


Active member
I claim to be a secular brahmin. I have no faith in religeous rituals practised nor I have a thread. I did not have a thread


Yet Internally I have a feeling of superiority as I belong to this class due to birth in a brahmin family.

The deep rooted feelings of superiority makes me rate people based on their caste .

I am not in any profession associated with my caste.Then there are many who go to veda pathshalaas and engage in


of God in temples besides helping other folks to perform rituals.But if one engages them one would discover that they

would not like their children to take up their profession.

When any of my extended family children marry out of caste or religion , I may not hotly oppose but I would not

encourage either.The response is likely to be muted . Internally I would thank my stars that my children did not do the


It is paradoxical. - Claiming to be secular, saying that we believe in equality of caste and religion . Yet internally secular

brahmins are as much casteist as the traditional brahmins. I presume that other caste girls when they get into our families

through marriage , They are treated as outsiders barging in and they have to perform extra hard learning our way of life


fit into our families.

Secular brahmins are more difficult to deal with than conventional ones as they have a dual personality. They pose as

those believing in caste and religion equality and their actions show them to be the exact opposite. Lol
Janmana Jagate sudrah karmana Jayate dvijah.

From a traditional perspective, if a person hasnt had his upanayanam and does not do his nitya karmas, he cannot be called a Brahmin. But he can be called a "brahma-bandhu" or "Brahmana bandhu"

Every religious or caste group lives with a sense of superiority over others. The muslims and Christians believe they are the chosen people and pagans will go to perdition. The non Brahmin castes like Yadavs for example owe their superiority to Lord Krishna etc. Every caste will claim it in some way or the other. It is natural.

Brahmins are at the top of the hierarchy but that's coz Hindus place learning at a high pedestal, over and above physical prowess. But the learned man is not bothered about such man made superiority or inferiority. Pandithaah samadarsinah. So there is no need to feel superior merely because of birth in a Brahmin caste. Everyone, Brahmin or otherwise, needs to go to the toilet from time to time and dump her shit and to clean herself afterwards.

If one makes the most of the good things in his caste / religion, and constantly strives to uplift himself as well as unselfishly helping others, he can feel luckier than others.

Paradoxically, I believe that, one person who is entitled to a sense of superiority is the person who has attained equanimity in all circumstances, which Krishna refers to as "Sthitha Prajna" in the Gita. Such a person is always calm and contented, equal to praise and censure. Such a person, who is immune to any sense of differentiation in this crazy world, is truly superior, imo..


Well-known member
I dont understand the purpose of this thread.
One can be Brahmin or Non Brahmin and just go about life without feeling superior or inferior.

The feeling of superiority is felt in many situations by different people..
Some feel superior due to:

1) lineage

The list can go on and on.

But honestly what is the need to feel superior?
Isnt that strong outward identification..being proud of something so so physical?

Dont we humans have a built in mechanism that tells us " hey dont feel too proud of anything..everything is subject to change?"

I am sure all of us have this but may be we dont hear ourselves enough.

I think for anyone its about doing out Dharma of their Varna and living up to it.

Read any sahasranamam..in the 1000 expressions of God..Pride is not one of them.


Well-known member
Dont we humans have a built in mechanism that tells us " hey dont feel too proud of anything..everything is subject to change?"
In the animal world, it is a dog-eat-dog world, humans are no different.
It is the culture and upbringing that brings in the Value system.
It is the knowledge that makes us humble.


Well-known member
In the animal world, it is a dog-eat-dog world, humans are no different.
It is the culture and upbringing that brings in the Value system.
It is the knowledge that makes us humble.

I feel everyone has humbleness within ourselves but it takes great courage to be reveal it.