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The sub sects in brahmins divide the communityh

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Dear Sri Kunjuppu Ji,

Like you I grew up in a mixed neighbourhood. As I said I grew up in a Tanjore Vadama household. My exact opposite home was a devout christian one. My right side neighbour was a devout muslim with two sons about my age. My left side household contained Chozhia Brahmins and the house opposite to that was an Iyengar whose daughter slightly older than me was married to a then movie actor. The house lefet of them was a muslim household and two houses right to mine were mudaliars, whose son also played with us.

So, like you, I saw them all as human beings first and their religions never mattered. Even though my uncle was orthodox, we freely mingled, exchanged holiday greetings and attended each other's special occassions such as weddings etc., but with one exception. None of the non Brahmins were ever invited for casual dining and we were never invited so either (including the Iyengar's household). Looking back, I think that this occurred mainly as much as because of our own limits of orthodoxy but as well because of the other's respect for such a way of life.

So, I agree with your stance. I, even after all these years in the USA, do follow certain things that I have always followed, taking a page out of my living in an orthodox home. So, I think that while progress will come and inter sect and inter caste marriages will happen more and more within the TB community (as well in NB community), a common culture among these households will emerge. Like you say, I am sure because of the very strong bond of 'culture' in our households, the newcomers will apt to adapt to that culture.



i do not how long the concept of subcastes will last.

i come from a palghat vadama with roots in malabar myself. from both my parents' side. i remember the identity to this group very strong in my mother.

we had an iyengar neighbour, whose neice, married an iyer out of lovvu, in the early 60s. my mother was so upset, and to my query, her wonderment mattered to the level, of how this girl would know how to tie the 18 yards the iyer style, at weddings and thevasams.

i grew up in a mixed neighbourhood, with christians and non brahmins. i had only good experience growing up there. my elder brother like mentor was a hindu nadar. so, i guess, my attitude is tempered by my childhood.

much of what i read re mixing of castes etc. i am familiar with in my own family. what i have found, that with each aberration from the norm, it only makes it easier for the next one. till finally, it becomes a non issue.

one issue always comes to the fore is the matter of food. i think this is the easiest to resolve. cooking can be learnt. that too easily, these days.
i speak from experience, ie not knowing how to boil water stage, to making a half decent sambhar/poriyal/pickle myself.

thayir saadham is my comfort food. if the partner has some other preference, so be it. i do not have to partake it, if i wish.

i think the key is the amount of accommodation that we are willing to give (or take). it is easier in the west. in india, i am not so sure. india is changing, but i still see the silliness in conversions and forceful attendance to the spouse's faith, and the children's faith, etc being petty, and involves one partner denying his/her complete heritage.

i would have problem with that myself. if that be the situation, i would rather assert my faith, and insist that the resultant union, becomes a hindu brahmin household.

radical, you think?

thank you krs.

thank you for your posting to me.

one little thing that i have observed atleast here in toronto:

- one in three jews marry outside their community per local statistics

- about 50% in my opinion insist that their partner convert, especially the male jews

- the jews who preserved their culture when under attack all these milleniums under the gentiles, now face losing their identity in canada, just because there is no more threat or discrimination over the jews

- the jewish community centre in downtown toronto is as much a haunt for gentile youngsters who use the facilities at a cost (same fee as the jews)

as i have said, i have three children, all in various levels of late teens and post teens. teenage romance is a treat to watch. in a way, i indirectly enjoy the process of love and affection, and heartaches, through watching them. sometimes, we live our lives through our children.

i am happy that my children can go about unfettered in their teen years with the bloom of first love, before reality sets in. to me it appears cruel, to set rules which are unrealistic, whatever that may mean.

i for one, did not have the opportunity to luvv. no opportunity for romance later either. just married the girl mom wanted me to. no regrets absolutely. marriage is a reality and an organizing process of an household. teenage or college romance is the thing of romeo and juliet.

my sister was woo-ed and married an iyer boy. romance still overwhelming there after 28 years, after two grownup children, when they look or speak to each other. it is in a different class by itself.

i am happy to say that things are changing in my family too, also at a different level. a relative of mine, widowed, was visited by the parents of her daughter's classmate, asking for marriage. my relative suspected something was afoot between the boy and her daughter, but was not sure. the boy took the initiative to set matters right..

these people are filthy rich, and my widowed relative lives under normal circumstances with a limited income. they wanted a gala gala wedding, and.... they offered to pay the entire expense. which i think will probably run to about 50 lakhs or more, judging from what i hear of the arrangements. hey, this is the very very first time, that i have heard of a boy's family, come calling, and offering to foot the bill.

what a welcome change in attitude! if only more of our boys' families did that! or atleast foot 50% of the total expense, including jewellery, saris etc. i am sure it will come eventually.

the widowed relative, her response to al this? 'i am relieved, that my daughter is marrying an iyer boy!!!'

krs, it takes all sorts to make up this world. i thoroughly enjoy the scenes as they appear, and some of which i share here just is an icing on the cake.

thank you for putting up with me :)
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the subs sects in brahmins divdie the community


My views were not on whether sub sect should exist or not. They might have come in to forece on a particular time for the need of that time.

Almost every religion has the concept of subsects. Mulisms have shia and sunni sect. Christians have catholic and protestants. Wehave iyers and iyengars. Advaitgham and vishitathvaidam.

But my view was the Brahmins community is already under atack.and we still divide ourself under various subsects and restrict mariage prposal only within that sub sect.

in the interst of Brahmins it is threfore necesary that we should stop the fight amongst us as to which subsect is superior to whom.

All the spokes in a wheel are attached to the central axis. If one spoke brakes the wheel looses its balance. tht is the moral we have to folllow.

I am not an expert on varilous brahminical scrilpturs or quortes.

I just only voiced my feelings in the interst of Brahmin community.


i can understand and appreciate your goodwill towards the brahmin community. i think everyone in this forum has similar goals in mind.

re your postings....re division among brahmin subsects and its subsequent fallout...

once we marry across subsects, the concept of subsect is no longer valid, as the offsprings of those cross marriages will technically be part of each subsect. unless they end adopting one or the other parents' subset.

the way i read the notes in this thread, i think, we were all agreeing that brahmins should open their minds to marry within subsects, especially in the current situation of dearth of brides for many of our grooms.

i think, the point of contention started, when some of us, including me, felt that we could be inclusive to form a more akhand hindu fold, which is but an extension of the caste system to a broader group of people who worship together.

i do not know if the shias and sunnis worship together. i know for a fact that the catholics and the protestants do not worship together. but we as hindus, including dalits, go to the same temples and by doing so, we are in accepting that before God we are all equal.

whether we think so in real life is a different matter altogether, and much can be argued about that, and which is beyond the scope of this brief post. the concept of predestination of our fate defines many of the posts here, and i respect that.

prabha, i do not understand still about your comments re brahmins under attack. we are here as tamil brahmins. i have asked before to another member here, about the incidents and types of attacks. why is this feeling of siege?

if you look around at the tamil brahmin community, you might find, as i do, that we have never been materially so prosperous in our history, and that too across a broad spectrum.

we, as every other community, have never welcomed poverty as our pre destination. we have gone through all the loops to climb out of this dharidhram, and while we should be rejoicing at our good fortunes, i find it a paradox, that we are going through this intense self search, about the perceived loss of our moral standing and way of life!!

no matter how the political winds in tamil nadu blows, we still occupy high positions in the government, and still have the highest percent of south indians occupying the corporate boards.

ofcourse we have our poor, but not many as a percent of our population. we are the best poster group for an ideal middle class in any part of the world.

but no matter how much ignoring of sub castes we advocate, i do not think anyone in this forum, will agree to give their son or daughter in marriage to a brahmin subsect called chavundis. there maybe indeed other subsects in brahmin caste, who may be condemned to a subservient role, and against whom deep prejudices by our own, will exist but not be expressed.

i think, we find it convenient, to ignore the soft underbellies of our community, as they give us the discomfort, that we are best avoiding, and pretend not to exist. but we cannot wish them away to oblivion, can we?

i do not understand your statements re spokes/hub and fighting among ourselves. i do not perceive any fights even amongst iyers and iyengars.

separate but equals? maybe? but in the annals of community relations, the separate but equal phrase is loaded with double talk.

i wish you well re finding your spouse, per your own standards and terms. but for the well being of the community, that is not within the burden of a single person or group. we are now being swept away by forces, over which we have very little control.

we will find our balance and swim and win. such has been our track record. but how, what, when and where, i do not know.

thank you.
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Dear Sri KRS-ji,

Your idea of youth groups is fantastic. Perhaps such groups can be encouraged to meet one another when still young, say 14-15 (??); just before the hormones actually begin their work. Even then, there is no guarantee love will not happen with someone else in school or work….
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happy, nice post.

your last line said it all. there are no guarantees in life. even the best and carefully investigated arranged marriage can fail. and we all know of failed love marriages.

what is failure, also depends on the couple, culture and finance. absence of financial security or fear of living alone, in most cases, even in the west, forces many women to stay with abusing husbands.

on the other side, the courts here literally bleed the man to such an extent, that with a divorce, not much is left of his salary to fend for himself. i have a colleague, who lives in a rooming house, after paying alimony, as that is all that is left.

then people stay together for the kids' sake. divorces at 60s are not unheard of. with the emancipation of the indian woman, and increasing financial clout, it may be more common to see divorces in india. it should not be viewed with dismay. i think.

courting is a skill set. it may come naturally, but due to our cultural modes and restrictions, it is often killed in the bud. i think, this happens especially with our boys, whom we eunuchise to book bound nerds, ignoring the physical body. atleast it was like that 40 years ago, with me, and all my male relatives. the expectations from the parents were pretty high and any sign of straying, was viewed with alarm, and more rigour was reimposed.

no such restrictions were imposed on the girls. maybe because expectations were less. so those who shined, were naturals, and hence bloomed to their full potentials without the weight of the parental armour.

community halls for youth, i think, is a must. but try to set it up, and i think, there will be enough opposition from many a members here, for it can be viewed and encouraging licentious behaviour.

i think, we will all eventually adjust per each others' level of comofort or force of circumstance. no matter how we pose ourselves here, rigidly or otherwise.

thank you.
Dear Sri Kunjuppu Ji and Sri happyhindu Ji,

Let me narrate my own experience. I was in the midst of considering several TN Brahmin girls that my mother was lining up for me when lightning did strike. My future wife literally walked in to my life and looking back, I can only say that it was His leela. Either of our backgrounds did not pave for such a meeting and it was love at first sight. My mother at that time was devastated, but somehow consented. After a long marriage and two children when my wife passed away, the most affected was my mother, in my family, not counting me and my sons.

Love is also commitment. I think that as human beings we have the capacity to love anyone if we put our mind to it. But that does not mean, when Manmadhan strikes we should shirk it, as being in true love (not infatuation) is a blessed event. Our religion understood this and has provided for it. But the later shriveled up and not life affirming ideas of our culture have gone haywire to deny such a basic of all human life activity. I have not seen any culture in the entire world which is so against affirming the life that nature and He provides. We put restrictions on our children, almost to the extent of de masculinization. No sports. No extra curricular activities. No talking to girls, because it is licentious. No normal human activities. But vulgarity is okay. This is exactly the climate where a culture goes after some 'immodesty' based on someone wearing something, but encourages the frustrated to furtively engage in vulgarity.

All the vulgar commercialization of arranged marriages nowadays, be it fishing for economical advantage (beyond reason), dowries, skin colour, social status etc., etc., shows the hypocrisy of our current cultural life. It is the most convoluted system anywhere in the world that I have seen, which increasingly demands it's flesh from the victims who are ready to start their lives together.

I have many sad examples already in my family (both close and extended). As a people we have lost sight of what is important - the happiness and the flourishing of our clans. Instead, we are eating our own now.

Sorry for sounding so pessimistic. I do not understand the Sagotra story as told by Sri Prabakaran Ji elsewhere. It breaks my heart.


i think there is hope.

yesterday i found out that another young female relative has found her own partner, albeit an iyer. but her father, even though it was a love marriage for him, is of the type to control and select, and it has been mentioned all along.

he is not talking to her. the mother is ok. he will come around, i think,

our females, are showing the lead. maybe sanity will be restored after all!!

sorry to hear about your wife's demise. i have heard that the passing away of the spouse is the biggest shock that one endures in life. my heartfelt condolences to you.

God Bless.

thank you.
Dear Sri KRS-ji,

Am very sorry to hear about your wife's demise. Hope time heals all and things settle in for your mother as well.
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Dear Sri Kunjuppu Ji and Sri Happyhindu Ji,

Thank you for your postings. I touched on things personal, only to amplify a point.

As they say, when He closes a door, He opens another. But I would not wish on anyone the trauma of losing a spouse. But then, I must have done something very wrong in one of my previous janmas. One has to endure.

Sri Happyhindu Ji, love happens instantly in the mind and has no logic. It has nothing to do with a situation being 'arranged' or 'spontaneous'. It just happens as a miracle. You are lucky.

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