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Status of Women in Brahmin Community

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hariharan1972

Active member
What better day than today, Woman's Day, to initiate a discussion on the status of women in Brahmin community.

The status of women, generally speaking, in any community, at best could be said to be in 'perpetual evolution'.

Our community, deemed to be 'knowledge repository' of the society, perhaps is 'more guilty' of not taking a 'lead role' in womens lib. Or so i think.

I invite the members to share their views on :

a) Whether the womenfolk in Brahmin households were treated any better than their counterparts in other communities ?

b) Whether Brahmins did enough for the cause of womens lib ?

c) How far are we as a society and as a community from achieving "real equality"

d) Did Brahmins unwittingly 'invent' some of the heinous social practices which ostracized women ?

As a safe harbour, i am not making any 'value judgement' of the practices that existed. While i can never bring myself to accepting that those practices were justified for the circumstances/times that existed, i refrain from making any insinuation against the practice itself (except to the extent of calling some of them heinous) or the 'creators' of the practice.

As the second safe harbour, addressing especially across the gender divide, by "equality" i am "not necessarily" restricting women to be only "as good" as the men.

Coz i only know too well that "such low levels" arent acceptable to women :)

So here goes
 

lotus_quartz

Active member
a) Whether the womenfolk in Brahmin households were treated any better than their counterparts in other communities ?
Certainly, yes.

b) Whether Brahmins did enough for the cause of womens lib ?
Hardcore, tough elements with passionate adherence to ritualistic religious life did nothing special to achieve gender equality. The more sober ones , especially the post-50's parents were more favourably inclined to give fair and equal chance to girls to come up in life, in terms of educational opportunities, food, parental indulgences etc.

c) How far are we as a society and as a community from achieving "real equality"
Well, almost there, if not exactly there !

d) Did Brahmins unwittingly 'invent' some of the heinous social practices which ostracized women ?
If you are referring to practices like 'Sati', 'Child Marriages', 'disallow-Window remarriages' ,'Purdah' etc., you will agree that Brahmins were not exactly innocent bystanders. Sometimes, acts of omission are as grave as acts of commission. Was it not the 'adharmi' (William Bentinck) from across the seven seas, who was the first person to proclaim that the practice of 'Sati' is not exactly civilized ?
So far as widow-remarriage is concerned, instances of 'widow-patis' with shorn head and going around with the sole intention of making the life miserable for daughter-in-law were more common than instances of 'remarried-patis'.
 
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Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Status of Women in Brahmin Community.

1)The questions are interesting, but generalised. To begin with I can tell that compared to others, the women folk in Brahmin household are always treated with respect. My mother and wife may not be heading the family, but they always enjoy the respect of the family. Families cannot be run on "democratic way" like a Government. Ours is a Patriarchial Society where the Father takes the responsibilities of running the family. But the Mother enjoys equal respect. She is called "saha dharmini". Husband cannot perform any religious duty without the company of his wife.

2)I do not understand the western concept of the word "Woman's lib". In west it seems to refer more to Political and economic freedom to Women. These "liberations" were conditioned by the social regulations in which we live. During the Independence movement many ladies from Brahmin household were in the forefront. Women in our Country enjoy Political freedom at par with the men from the day one. Brahmins are no exception. Regarding the personal freedom, without hurting feelings of any one I wish to draw the attention to the state of widows today as compared to my grand mother's days. Again the Community has accepted the reality of Divorce and remarriage much better than others.

3)Brahmins have always shown readiness for the advancement of Women. If you go through any field of activity you will find many firsts from Brahmin Community. These could not have been achieved with out full freedom.

4)For the last query I wish to say that Brahmins as a limb of the Society in which they lived, cannot escape their share of the responsibility to the happenings in that Society. But there were and are many Brahmins who took the lead to abolish the decadent practices where ever possible.

Regards,
Brahmanyan.
 

meenakshi

Member
plight of brahmin women

Divorce is a disaster and remarriages may not be acceptable,but the present day status of a brahmin woman deserves emphasis.Women clubbed under our caste banner are harressed to the maximum by bosses belonging to the very same caste.Brahmins are disarmed at work spots.Rights accessible to everyone else are denied to the brahmins especially when confronted by another brahmin.
With a strong caste bias on one side Tamil Nadu society has retained the long confronted ideology of brahmin supremacy to suit to its convinence whenever needed setting of unscroupless members of our community on some soft target.Brahmins have no voice politically,which turns to benefit some of those whitin our caste also.Members of this forum after reading this piece please reflect.While a brahmin gorl is unjustly harressed by a brahmin boss ,to whom can she turn to?Is the alternative to resign?Is this the alternative resorted to by others?Does complaing turn to her favour While it sounds appriorate for an OBC,SC or anyone else to pass unparlimentery,unjust remark against brahmins,must we pay a humble meek response bearing humiliations sielently falling a prey to tricks played by the other communities.
 

meenakshi

Member
plight of brahmin women

Divorce is a disaster and remarriages may not be acceptable,but the present day status of a brahmin woman deserves emphasis.Women clubbed under our caste banner are harressed to the maximum by bosses belonging to the very same caste.Brahmins are disarmed at work spots.Rights accessible to everyone else are denied to the brahmins especially when confronted by another brahmin.
With a strong caste bias on one side Tamil Nadu society has retained the long confronted ideology of brahmin supremacy to suit to its convinence whenever needed setting of unscroupless members of our community on some soft target.Brahmins have no voice politically,which turns to benefit some of those whitin our caste also.Members of this forum after reading this piece please reflect.While a brahmin gorl is unjustly harressed by a brahmin boss ,to whom can she turn to?Is the alternative to resign?Is this the alternative resorted to by others?Does complaing turn to her favour While it sounds appriorate for an OBC,SC or anyone else to pass unparlimentery,unjust remark against brahmins,must we pay a humble meek response bearing humiliations sielently falling a prey to tricks played by the other communities.
 

lotus_quartz

Active member
It is surprising that such obscurantist views could color your judgement.

Divorce is not necessarily a disaster and it could be the safer outcome of the circumstances causing it. And who says remarriages are not acceptable ?

Rights available at workplace are equally available to all and I do not think anyone prevents brahmins from exercising them.

Lecherous brahmin boss harassing brahmin girl at work place ? Unbeleivable ! I thought our pandit bros are far too well bred to indulge in such acts. How about administering the time tested 'Royal kick in the pants' strategy ?



Divorce is a disaster and remarriages may not be acceptable,but the present day status of a brahmin woman deserves emphasis.Women clubbed under our caste banner are harressed to the maximum by bosses belonging to the very same caste.Brahmins are disarmed at work spots.Rights accessible to everyone else are denied to the brahmins especially when confronted by another brahmin.
With a strong caste bias on one side Tamil Nadu society has retained the long confronted ideology of brahmin supremacy to suit to its convinence whenever needed setting of unscroupless members of our community on some soft target.Brahmins have no voice politically,which turns to benefit some of those whitin our caste also.Members of this forum after reading this piece please reflect.While a brahmin gorl is unjustly harressed by a brahmin boss ,to whom can she turn to?Is the alternative to resign?Is this the alternative resorted to by others?Does complaing turn to her favour While it sounds appriorate for an OBC,SC or anyone else to pass unparlimentery,unjust remark against brahmins,must we pay a humble meek response bearing humiliations sielently falling a prey to tricks played by the other communities.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Plight of Brahmin Women.

This seems to be a specific incident relating to a particular person. To generalise this incident is not fair, but such happenings need the attention of the members of the forum. There is always a danger of harassment of women unprotected not necessarily a divorcee from Brahmin community. There are a number of Government and Non Government Organisations like State commissions for women and NCW available for taking action against such culprits. If need be the affected person should seek legal intervention through the Womens' welfare Organisations.

Regards,
Brahmanyan.

Divorce is a disaster and remarriages may not be acceptable,but the present day status of a brahmin woman deserves emphasis.Women clubbed under our caste banner are harressed to the maximum by bosses belonging to the very same caste.Brahmins are disarmed at work spots.Rights accessible to everyone else are denied to the brahmins especially when confronted by another brahmin.
With a strong caste bias on one side Tamil Nadu society has retained the long confronted ideology of brahmin supremacy to suit to its convinence whenever needed setting of unscroupless members of our community on some soft target.Brahmins have no voice politically,which turns to benefit some of those whitin our caste also.Members of this forum after reading this piece please reflect.While a brahmin gorl is unjustly harressed by a brahmin boss ,to whom can she turn to?Is the alternative to resign?Is this the alternative resorted to by others?Does complaing turn to her favour While it sounds appriorate for an OBC,SC or anyone else to pass unparlimentery,unjust remark against brahmins,must we pay a humble meek response bearing humiliations sielently falling a prey to tricks played by the other communities.
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri Hari,

I think when people misunderstand religion and start applying all sorts of illogical practices, then some sections of the society pay a price. In our religion, which by and far has the best foundation to treat every human being with love and consideration, now we see some misinterpretations regarding how we treat some segments of our Hindu society. Over time, some of these practices definitely affected our women folks in a bad way. My mother was widowed and I saw how some folks mistreated her. As recently as ten years ago, a divored woman I know was not invited to her own cousin's wedding because the parents did not want any 'bad' luck visited upon the newly married. Many such examples abound, including brilliant girls being married off at a young age, against their wishes, breaking their wish to continue their studies.

Things hopefully will get better. But, I do not think there will be 'equality'. In real life, as you know, between a husband and wife, it is never equal 50:50 on a given day. Sometimes it is 10:90 and at other times, it is 90:10. Over the long haul however, this usually comes towards 50:50.

Pranams,
KRS
 
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hariharan1972

Active member
Divorce is a disaster and remarriages may not be acceptable,but the present day status of a brahmin woman deserves emphasis.

<snip>

While a brahmin gorl is unjustly harressed by a brahmin boss ,to whom can she turn to?Is the alternative to resign?Is this the alternative resorted to by others?Does complaing turn to her favour

While it sounds appriorate for an OBC,SC or anyone else to pass unparlimentery,unjust remark against brahmins,must we pay a humble meek response bearing humiliations sielently falling a prey to tricks played by the other communities.

Madam Meenakshi,

As brother LQ wrote, i am extremely distressed and appalled that Brahmins of all the people engage in harassment against women. Having said that, i think we have to reconcile to the fact we cannot expect ALL Brahmins to be virtuous.

As cliched as it may be, i have to repeat, It takes all kinds of people to people this world.

As a 'general' and purely personal observation, i have often found Brahmin bosses to be 'very tough' on subordinates from our own community. Haughty behaviour is perhaps a strong USP of Brahmins and it is no wonder that they carry it into their professional interactions too. However i believe that, Brahmins generally being 'Thayir Sadams' would refrain from promiscuous behaviour. As Mr Brahmanyan wrote, may be it is a one-off case and i hope it is so.

More distressing though is your last line. You seem to be taking a condescending approach to insinuations from other communities against Brahmin women or generally Brahmins. I dont think i quite agree with that.

Regarding what the woman should do, i think she should fight back. There are lot of avenues (media, women forums, self help groups) for the woman to voice her issue and get justice. The first thing though is for the woman to 'shed' the feeling of 'helplessness'. The concept (???) of 'Abalai' (for the lack of any other word!) is dead and buried. Stop feeling like a victim.

Most often than not the people who indulge in such harassment tend to be pussilanimous guys. Many a time, all it may take to put him in place is a stare or a tight slap on the face. What better use for 'high heels', i wonder ? :)

Regarding your first point on Divorce and Remarriage, here again, i agree with LQ Sahab.

It is not worth continuing a relationship under duress. It may be better, for both persons concerned, to terminate the relationship rather than germinate more misery.

As regards remarriage it is a matter of individual perspectives ; I cant put it down in 'right or wrong' terms. A parting thought, on this would be to say that 'Past performance need not necessarily be indicative of the future'. I am not sure, quitting the game altogether for one failure is the right way to play any game.
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
Divorces are increasing in the Brahmin community. From the days when it was almost unheard of, it is now fairly common. Remarriages are taking place. Widow remarriages are also taking place. But with better medical facilities, young widows are rare. Remarriages of divorcees and widows with children are still rare.

But this is more common among the upper middle class Brahmins.

Many of the older people are worried about the state of marriages in the community.

Middle aged Brahmin men have long been notorious for their lecherous attitude. You may not like it. But it is well known. This is one of the problems faced by the community due its attitude toward marital relationship. The younger people have better moral values.

The general attitude of the men in offices in India towards divorced women is bad. They face a lot of problems. This is not restricted to any community.

Leaving alone what happened in the old days, among the Tamil Brahmins there is a noticeable difference in the attitude toward women based on the origins. The Brahmins of Pandiya Nadu are more liberal towards their women than the Brahmins from Chola Nadu. This used to be a joke in the earlier days. They used to say that women rule in Pandiya Nadu. This is attributed to Madurai Meenakshi Amman and Gomathi Amman of Sankarankoil.
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
The position of women India and role of Hinduism has been debated so often. But it is shocking that we continue to deny some of the basic rights to women.

Right too cremate a parent or husband. Hinduism places so much emphasis on sons. Even among the sons the eldest son only has the right. When a man who has no sons dies, the rule is some male in his line ie in the same gotra has to do it. This is leading to pitiable situations.

An acquaintance of mine died in Madras. He had no son. Only one daughter. The daughter who was in the U.S could not come. The wife was asked to get some relations on his side to perform the funeral. Since he had fallen out with his family, they refused. Later they put a condition that 50% of the property should be given to the performer. The wife was driven to dire straights. When she wanted to perform the right the Sasthirigal refused to officiate for a woman. He was ultimately persuaded to accept the wife's brother for doing the cremation. This he had refused initially.

Is this human? This is cruelty and discrimination of the highest order.

Sorry Sir, I am not bothered about what our scriptures say and any justification for this wanton cruel treatment meted to women by denying the right of even give a final send off to a loved one.

Are we doing anything about it. No. Sir. We are like the three monkeys deaf, dumb and blind.

Oh! I almost forgot. The women should not come to the smashan. When my mother died we asked the sasthirigal to keep the advice to himself and went to the samasdhan with my sisters and the grown up children (another prohibited category).

I will be listing more of such inhumanities which are being perpetrated on women in the name of religion and tradition.

Right now I am too angry to continue.
 
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anandr91

Member
women's rights

I feel your passion sir, yes take ur time to cool down. we benefit so much from ur wealth of knowledge and would luv to hear from you. keep the good work up.
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
The holiest of the Hindu mantras is the Gayatri Mantra. The Brahmins claim that women can not recite this Mantra. The reason is given that they have not gone through Upanayanam. The same reason is given for not allowing them to recite the Vedas.

Is this fair or just? Though we recite the hymns in the Rig Veda written by Vak Ambirini a woman Rishi, we deny this right to women. The Arya Samaj which claims to be a true Vedic religion allows women to recite the Gayatri Mantra.

Again women can not do Puja. When my father died my mother was heartbroken. We thought she could get some mental peace if she continues the Puja which my father was doing. But the Sasthirigal said she could not do it. He suggested either one of the sons or their sons could continue the Puja.

Tell me a woman who has been involved every day in the Puja with her husband for more than 50 years can not do it because of her sex. And persons who are not inclined to do it and who know very little about it are qualified.

Even Karunanidhi never thought of making women as priests of temples when he brought the rule that any caste could be priests.

This rank discrimination against women undermines Hinduism. Women are generally more sincere in their worship. They make better priests.

But are we doing anything about it? Of course women have become purohits in Maharashtra and they are preferred.

Tell me how many hundred years does the Tamil Brahmin need before they think of making their mothers and sisters equal not only in law, but in all respects.

We educate our women so that they can earn money and give it to the parents. The employed women are expected to give their entire pay to the father/husband. This is not liberation, but exploitation.

More Tamil Brahmin girls are employed today than in any other community, because they do better than the Tamil Brahmin boys in education and they have more commitment. They support the parents who exploit them.

India is the land where we still kill our female babies. After they are born in Rajastan and some other states and right after conceptions thanks to modern scanning techniques. It needed a BBC reporter to discover the female infanticide going on in Salem district which has produced some of our great leaders. Did they not know it? Or may be shut their eyes to it like the govt. denial when the story broke out first.
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri Nacchinarkiniyan Ji,

I appreciate your heartfelt narrations, especially regarding your relative and your mother. My mother was in the same position, but by God's grace, our Vaddhiyar told her that she can recite Gayathri and she constantly does. She also does elaborate puja everyday.

I think, it is high time that leaders and swamijis in our community start preaching the infusion of humanism in the practice of our religion.

It always amuses me when I come across a son (and there are many), who did not take care of his old father in any way, only rushing to perform the last rites because he would get punya! Such is the level to which our Dharma has sunk!

Pranams,
KRS
 

anandr91

Member
women in vedic times.

I came across this interesting article when i was looking for how women were during the vedic times. i am attaching the link here for everyone to read.

http://mailerindia.com/hindu/veda/index.php?hinduwomen

some of you, who are well versed in all these can either concur or critique the views expressed in this link.

If the hindu women were put in such high esteem in our day to day life and also in our religion through the vedas and the other religious discourses, where and how did things go wrong? what could be considered as the "dark ages" on hinduism when things started to change from the original vedic way of living?
 

malgova.mango

Active member
My sincere suggestion....

I think we male should all do Tapas towards "Brahma" and should ask him that why only female is endowed with the act of giving birth.

We should also want to get the punya. Why he discriminates man in this regard...This is cruel. All the punyams they get, we get nothing. Not at all Fair.

I cry foul..Booh booh ..... Please console me....


MM
 
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hariharan1972

Active member
I have this comment to offer, worth about one and a half paise !

I have this feeling that any system should or does comprise of certain basic components which are non-negotiable and there are other parts which have to move with times.

I am no whiz in numbers, but my own sense is that the split between the non-negotiable and moving with time aspects has to be something like 20 : 80.

In that sense, i identify strongly with Sri Nacchinarkiniyan's posts about some of the 'rigidities' of our system which need to be flexed. Since Sri Nacchinarkiniyan has interspersed his posts with personal anecdotes, it ill behooves for anyone to pass a personal comment on it or even take potshots at it.

How inclusive the system has to be is a matter of perspective and we can always have varying views. But to extend the argument (ill-argument i should be saying) to certain biological responsibilities of genders to buttress a point of view is not something i identify with.

Especially i find the argument extremely uncharitable towards women. Child birth is not something i would dare joke about. Just my personal view.
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
The problem is that women's liberation is taken nowadays to be a modern thought whereas it is not. There have been many social reformers in India who have devoted their entire life towards the social upliftment of women.

But in the last few decades women's movement have come to be associated with the leftists. Since the leftists reject all religions they have never bothered about the issue of the place of women in religion.

We have created two classes in women. The modern who do not bother about religion and the traditional who blindly follow the religious practices.

But this stereotyping is totally wrong and is harmful for Hindu religion. Our religion and culture are nourished by the women and we endanger that if we ignore the women.

What we are seeing today is the educated /employed career women. The ideal women should be one who feels at home in the office being an executive, but who is also religious and is committed to Hinduism. She does Pujas, goes to temples and takes an equal part in the religious functions.

The days of the புல்லு பிடிக்கிற women are over. The women are not only sahadharminis and dharmapathnis but also individuals in their own right.

The questions I have raised should catch the attention of all the Hindus. We can only remember the great days of Hinduism, when Gargi a woman Rishi decided in one of the greatest debates that Yagnavalkya has won the debate. She married him later. The debate was decided with Gargi's declaration.

These were the golden days of Hinduism. Now we find the women rarely participating in religious discussions. Ask your mother and sisters what any religious festival or function means to them. Only more work in the kitchen preparing the Naivedya. Whenever a festival comes on we find the husband and the children enjoying it whereas the wife is busy in the kitchen preparing பலகாரம்.

Awake and arise. Think about these inequities. That is the first step.
 

malgova.mango

Active member
Dear Sri Hari!

I didn't wrote in Jest , I wrote in a mood of pain...

Everybody has a duty, they do that then only they mature. If they don't do that they will never mature and will incur only papas.

There is no benefit even if they go to moon and come back if they don't do their duty.

Nursing there own child is there duty, infact a fundamental right of any baby. To respond to cry of the infant from the birth till atleast 4-5 years is there duty. Nowadays what do they do? Please answer.....

A human personality is shaped at this critical stage , Neglect by there own mother at this tender stage will create havoc to the society.

What is great in they being somebody in the society at the cost of neglecting there own kids? I don't understand this madness.

If they go out and work they may earn and be a somebody in society but who will look after their kids? Who can replace a mother.? From 9-6 the chid is like an orphan. Can't you guys see the realities of what's happening.

So I suggested we do tapas and share the responsibilities. What's wrong with that? We also can get the punyams. See it is there punyam that makes you see that , I'm treading the sacrament of a women.

I tell with all you Utopian views will wreck the society. Will do no good. Mark my words

Good Bye
MM

PS For Sri N - What's wrong with "PULLA PIDUNGARATHU" ? Why you put down that act. If it is done for the sake of feeding cow , then it is "GORAKSHANAM" with lots of punyams. if for the sake of removing weed then it is "Jeevkarunyam" with load of punyams. If one become even the PM of a country for the sake of satiisfying the "ego" then it carries a lot of papam.

The wise judge an action by its intention.
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
The term is புல்லு பிடிக்கிற and not PULLA PIDUNGARATHU is the name for the action of the Sahadharmini (wife) is holding a blade of Dharba grass to the shoulder of the husband in the performance of any Samskara, Puja or any other dharmic act. That is why I used the terms Sahadharmini and Dharmapatni. I thought all brahmins are aware of this term.

My wording was wrong. I had said later
The women are not only sahadharminis and dharmapathnis but also individuals in their own right.
This is not reflected in the first sentence. There is nothing wrong in புல்லு பிடிக்கிற ritual. My sahadharmini has done it and will do it. But she does many things in her individual capacity also like performing pujas, yagnas, delivering lectures in Sanskrit, teaching Sanskrit, and reciting the Vedas.

MM the mothers who neglected the child did do so even in the old days. In some families the sister or the widowed aunt took so much care of the child that the child even started thinking that she is the mother. It was the practice to leave the children with the grandparents in the village when the parents went off to Delhi, Bombay, and Kolkata. Almost all the children in my village were staying with their Grand parents. Here the problem was with the fathers and not mothers.

कुपुत्रो जायेत क्वचिदपि कुमाता न बवति ।

is good only for Jaganmatha.

I take your views seriously becuse I have heard such views from many people especially in the older generation.
 
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KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri malgova.mango Ji,

Your comments about motherhood above are, in my experience, very true. Research has shown that children need the care of a mother (including mother's milk) early in life for at least the first three years to flourish later in life. When we had our boys my wife and I decided that she would take care of them full time till they started kindergarten, and I must say, this probably contributed for them being well adjusted successful men today.

I think, here is the philosophical difference between us. I think good mothers always understand this (this is their inherent svabha as mothers and hence understand their motherly dharma) and will provide the necessary nurturing. On the other hand, I agree with Sri Nacchinarkiniyan Ji, that bad mothers, even spending time with the children will not adequately nurture.

In USA at least, in recent times, tide has turned and more and more mothers by themselves opt for motherhood during the early years for the children, taking temporarily off from their careers. This is a growing phnomenon here.

I think, because of our svabhava, human beings (majority at least) will act in ways to protect their self interest, both as individuals and as citizens.

Pranams,
KRS
 

malgova.mango

Active member
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Dear Sri N and KRS,[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]My apologies to Sri N, I didn't read it properly.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]I deeply appreciate your sense of respect for the opposite sex. I also share this same sense of respect. But that doesn't mean I endorse whatever they do.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]It is not only feeding and taking care of kids, a lot of other responsibilities lies in her hand in preserving our Vedic culture. As we all know “Aavathum pennale , Azhivathum pennale”. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Without doing these by going to work outside she may preserve some other culture but nothing directly to Vedic culture. I'm not saying whether it is right or wrong to go outside for work, it depends on individual family situations. But just to keep the social status, to go out for work while neglecting/comprimising her duties as house maker is not going to benefit the society in any way. On the contrary it will only harm the society. Infant neglection is just one of the issues.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]So I coudn't understand your jeering of women success in career as something very desired.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Other Musings...[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]I read from the book Veda's by “Maha Periyava”[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Vedas- Shrutis are “Prabhu Samhitas” - More like commandments.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Smritis closely follow Shruti to give a day to day method of life prescribing all the Nithya , Naimithika and Nishidha Karmas – Both Shrutis and Smritis are from Seers who did exterme austerities in search of truth and blessed by Ishvara himself they revealed to the benefit of humanities. Great Kavi Kalidasa who are not bounded to any cult or views gave his full support to Smritis.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Shastrigals follow the Veda's and Smritis to advise the common public what to be practised and what not to be done. It is not according to their own will and wish, but what is prescribed in the Smritis and Shrutis. So to blame a Shastrigal is not justifiable. They already are bewildered by the discpline of the community they serve. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Any human being is endowed with choice. He/she can respect the above and bind himself to the Shastras [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]or[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]He/she can act as per his/her likes and dislikes. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]If one chooses the first – he is willingly exercising his choice to restrain his likes and dislikes to follow the shastra to become “Samskrita Purusha” - A refined person.- A Brahmin.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]If one chooses the second - to act with what his mind dictates then he is “Prakritha purusha” - An unrefined person , irreligious person. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Any individual has certain freedom in exercising the choice. But,if he/she choose the second one, then he/she shouldn't expect scriptures approval.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]In general the term Brahmin denotes only for the person who choose the first choice. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Ofcourse there are various degrees in following the above, which is also very dynamic and it changes with time. Whatever discpilines followed by our elders couldn't be followed by our generations. But atleast we should clearly know our degree of following the scriptures, where we compromise, where we are rigid and what is the norm said in the scriptures. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Now on reform....[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]If you want to bring fundamental reformation to our religion, you should do tapas to the Seers and ask them to re-write the Smritis. But they may tell you we just followed Shruti . So you may have to do tapas to the “ God” and ask him to re-write the scriptures as you find them very cruel in certain areas especially to the opposite sex. This is my logical suggestion. Please don't read it as jest or sarcasm but a very sincere approach to resolve the conflicts you face. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]By asking the folks to think on pyre rites, visiting mashanam or reading mantras is not going to help. Because we folks are followers of the scriptures and have no rights in editing it. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Logical right? Please feedback.[/FONT]



[FONT=Times New Roman, serif][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Now just my preceptions....[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Regards your personal anecdotes on Mashanam, may be seers thought women are too delicate to go to mashanam to see the realities . Poor Seers they underestimated the women folks. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]On your personal experience of your friend, I can't help but to think....[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Your friend is born to this culture and your friend should be well aware of the do's and dont's and also he should have known there will be funeral rites after his demise and his wife has to face it. He could have dealt with it when he is alive. He could have adopted a son or he could take trouble to amend the broken ties. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]If they ask half of the property , why don't they give after all , they are going to do the Shrardams for his lineage. It is not only to demised, but to his father and fore-fathers..... Still with his brother-in law , a solution has been found right? [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Hope I didn't hurt anybodys sentiments.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Etho ennakku threinja 4 varthai.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Malgova.mango[/FONT]
 
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KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri malgova.mango Ji,

I respectfully disagree with your coclusions above, especially on Vedas.

Vedas are not like 'Commandments'. Thay are more like what Swami Vivekananda calls as 'the perfect union of Jnana and Bhakthi'. Karma Kanda is but one part of them.

A person living in Vedic times would not have had the knowledge propounded by Upanishads and much later the Gita. Knowledge was constantly added throughout and still is being added.

Rishis live in any age. Problem is we do not recognize them as Rishis, thinking that only what the original Rishis said count. When a Rishi like Maha Periaval says that one should follow the Shastras completely, He said it in terms of the original Varnashrama Dharma reappearing and the Brahmins fulfilling their dharma 100%. He did not say that one can pick and choose what one likes from these Shastras and ignore the rest. There are various laws in the country currently that are contrary to what the Shastras say.

Even though Maha Periaval said that He did not have the authority to rewrite the Shastras as He was a Head of an Order, He did not say that others, who are qualified could not do it. In fact, some Shastras were specifically made to be evergreen and the varied social lives of Hindus have been changing tremendously over the years and the relevant Shastras changed with them.

Shastras aay that a Brahmin coming in to contact with a foreigner must not live any more (so happened when Alexander invaded). Is this in practice today? How about going abroad? So, how does one choose?

This thinking that one should not think and apply logic to daily life is not correct. Maha Periaval said that, instead of following 'conscience' one must follow the Shastras. But if one thinks about it, this is correct. Because it fits in to the Varna dharma He was advocating.

So, without contradicting Him, let me ask: Rishis did not agree with each other. We have different branches of devotion and philosophy. If everyone followed the Shastras, how come there are so many different schools of philosophy in our religion? How come at one time, even the idea of not believing in Vedas was practiced? I thought 'commandments' are not given to interpretations!

As Swamy Vivekanada Ji says, and Shastras that do not contribute to the lives of people today are no good. Any religion is given by God for a reason. It is for the people live in dharma in current times. If this fact is lost and if some people keep on insisting on the time frozen ethos of a life eons ago, then one of two things will happen. Either the people who practice the religion that way will be left behind or the religion itself will be discarded.

Pranams,
KRS
 

malgova.mango

Active member
Dear Sri KRS!

If you have read properly - It is not just my conclusion only, I've given the source book - this is a quotation by "Maha Periava" himself.

If you care to look at the Mantras - it says - Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara, Matru devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Athithi Devo Bhava... etc... It comes to us as commandment.

The kalpa sutra , which deals with karma kanda is the vedanga. Shastrigals simply follow that. They don't have any authority to break the laws as stated, but if the kartha is adamant that he wants to do in certain ways they choose to warn him that this is not advocated but if he insists they couldn't do anything. This tension between the Prakrita Svabhava and the discipline indicated in the scripture is always there from time immemorial.

Puranas are Suhrit Samhita

Kavyas are Kanthal Samhita

The purpose of the entire corpus of scripture is to refine the prakrita svabhava of a jiva. Of course it will never happen without the initiation of a jiva.

Shastra don't accept anybody has SEERS. The mantra that said to have appeared from a particular Rishi - should pass all the test as set by the Veda, then only it is accepted. Before the onset of Kali -Yuga - Sage Vyasa compiled the Vedas from the approved Seers and that corpus is only Veda.

And for Kali Yuga - Parashara Smriti defines the social norms. In that smriti there is no such thing as stated by you on "Brahmin could not live etc..." But if it is so could you quote the source.

Your understanding that Seers appear every now and then is puzzling to me.

There may be some very matured souls who would have sing the glory of "GOD" and would have made some advice but no body have written scriptures that is included in Vedas.

On time element, Vedas are beyond time, if one is seriously seeking to get rid of the limitation of Samsara then he has no other choice but to follow the Dharma as said in the Vedas , and to gradually purify himself. But if one doesn't see the likes and dislikes as a source of problem, then that is entirely different

As far as I know ,Ishvara didn't reveal himself as Mantra especially on Karma kanda to Sri Ramakrishna or his disciple Vivekananda or Sri Ramana. Neverthless they are great devotees, advaitins and jnanis . They don't need any iota of advise on Karmakanda.

But I'm talking about common folks.

Hope I make it clear.

Regards
MM
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri malgova.mango Ji,

My responses are in 'Blue', below.
Dear Sri KRS!

If you have read properly - It is not just my conclusion only, I've given the source book - this is a quotation by "Maha Periava" himself.

Yes, I know. If you have read my response carefully, you would have seen where I have addressed this.

If you care to look at the Mantras - it says - Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara, Matru devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Athithi Devo Bhava... etc... It comes to us as commandment.

But Sri malgova.mango Ji, Rg Veda has a stanza that says that 'who knows whether there is an ultimate spirit - even the Gods only came after' (I am Paraphrasing). You can, according to your belief can use any stanza. Again, if this was a commandment, why so many interpretations?

The kalpa sutra , which deals with karma kanda is the vedanga. Shastrigals simply follow that. They don't have any authority to break the laws as stated, but if the kartha is adamant that he wants to do in certain ways they choose to warn him that this is not advocated but if he insists they couldn't do anything. This tension between the Prakrita Svabhava and the discipline indicated in the scripture is always there from time immemorial.

Do you mean to say that the Karma Kanda is the ONLY way to Truth? So, if I followSri Ramanuja who brought in Bhakthi (as an answer to Nayanmars), do you think then He was wrong? Obviously He did not follow the edicts os the Sutra fully. What gives?

Puranas are Suhrit Samhita

Kavyas are Kanthal Samhita

The purpose of the entire corpus of scripture is to refine the prakrita svabhava of a jiva. Of course it will never happen without the initiation of a jiva.

Shastra don't accept anybody has SEERS. The mantra that said to have appeared from a particular Rishi - should pass all the test as set by the Veda, then only it is accepted. Before the onset of Kali -Yuga - Sage Vyasa compiled the Vedas from the approved Seers and that corpus is only Veda.

Agreed. But then this is not the ONLY WAY. I think your confusion comes from the fact that there are other ways to Him and to purify a Jiva that are laid out. This reminds me of the Christians saying that Christ is the ONLY way to salvation. The question then arises what about the rest of the world who do not know about Christ? What about their salvation? Maha Periaval, Himself answers that an ever loving God would not so abandon His children even if they do not know about Christ's teachings. Same holds true here. Mantras are effective to safeguard the humanity, but I am afraid they do not hold exclusivity to Truth. If it is that simple, our religion would not have four different paths to liberation. I think, as the Vedas state, even if one does not know Veda, if one 'experieces' Him, one will attain mukthi.

And for Kali Yuga - Parashara Smriti defines the social norms. In that smriti there is no such thing as stated by you on "Brahmin could not live etc..." But if it is so could you quote the source.

I do not understand your comment here. Can you elaborate?

Your understanding that Seers appear every now and then is puzzling to me.

There may be some very matured souls who would have sing the glory of "GOD" and would have made some advice but no body have written scriptures that is included in Vedas.

So, you are putting value judgement on the original seers as greater than, let us say, Adi Shankars, Sri Ramanuja, Sri Chaitanya, Sri Ramana etc. What makes you think that any of them would not have come up with the same concepts enunciated in the Vedas? In fact, Sri Ramana Maharishi has said that He came up with everything in our scriptures by Himself (by Grace) and only afterwards He realized that His experience validated our scriptures.

On time element, Vedas are beyond time, if one is seriously seeking to get rid of the limitation of Samsara then he has no other choice but to follow the Dharma as said in the Vedas , and to gradually purify himself. But if one doesn't see the likes and dislikes as a source of problem, then that is entirely different

I agree, but how does this relate to our discussion? Vedas, again, do not invalidate different paths to purify oneself. Even a butcher was a teacher for Kaushika.

As far as I know ,Ishvara didn't reveal himself as Mantra especially on Karma kanda to Sri Ramakrishna or his disciple Vivekananda or Sri Ramana. Neverthless they are great devotees, advaitins and jnanis . They don't need any iota of advise on Karmakanda.

You prove my point. Karma Kanda is but one way to pursue Him. It is not the be all and end all. There are no 'Commandments' (thank God), in our religion. Our religion is not rigid. And I am sorry to say that your remarks about the personal situations described by Sri N. are devoid of humanity. I do not think that our religion fosters such an attitude. Again, Shastras are there to cater to our needs today. If they do not do that, in my humble opinion, they belong in the dustbin of history. I am sorry.

But I'm talking about common folks.

Exactly! I am talking about common folks only.

Hope I make it clear.

Regards
MM
 
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