KAUNDINYA said:As far as I am concerned, I am NOT AN ADVOCATE OF MEAT-EATING. In fact I myself am a strict vgetarian. I only said that it is generations of vegetarianism combined with lack of physical labour/exercise that is responsible for the timidity of south Indian brahmins. This timidity can also be called SATTVA GUNA. In fact a brahmin must be "sattva guna-sampanna".Even the Bible says that timid people will inherit the earth. But mere sattva guna without spirituality is of no use. Brahmins should revive at least elementary practices like sandhya vandanam & gayatri-japa. Otherwise we will be brahmins in name only.
Mr.Ashgene jumps to conclusions. A person who says that timidity is the result of vegetarianism DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY BECOME AN ADVOCATE OF MEAT-EATING. Moreover I have not so far come across a vegetarian Sikh.The only known exception perhaps is Ms.Maneka Gandhi. I know that Baba Amte is a Maharashtrian but I don't know whether he is a brahmin or not. But most Maharashtrian brahmins (like Chitpavan Brahmins, Saraswat Brahmins & Gowda Saraswat Brahmins) are non-vegetarians.
Not only brahmins but non-brahmin communities like Vellala Mudaliars of North T.N., Tirunelveli Saiva Vellala Pillais, Kanakkars(Karuneegars) of T.N., Marwari & Gujarati Jains who are vegetarians are more timid than non.veg. non-brahmins. Aggressiveness often lands a community in trouble, the classic example being the Muslims. The aggressiveness of Muslims is due to their heavy consumption of meat.
There is another theory that the more evolved ones among the non-brahmins are born as brahmins in their next birth. So sattvic people among non-brahmins are born as brahmins. Naturally Brahmins are sattvic or timid!!!
Chintana said:Hello everyone,
This is a very interesting discussion.
I have a comment about the couple of points that Shuddi raised, i.e., that Brahmins, because they were not aggressors, they are not as well equipped to meet the world as others who might have had 'aggression' in their genes.
The second point was that they were 'merely' intellectuals, implying that they were effete and weak.
First of all I think we must recognize that we have had a very long history and that Brahmins have changed over its long course.
Brahmins were never aggressors because they never had to be. Why? Because they were self-realized masters. When one has the power of Atma-Gnana (spiritual strength) which guides Buddhi (intellect) there is no need for aggression. Case in point - when Vishwamitra (when he was still a King) tried to capture Nandhini from Vashishta's ashram, failed miserably. I mean, the King along with his entire army was no match for the spiritual strength of the sage. In fact it is this spiritual strength that attracted Vishwamitra so much that he gave up his kingdom to become a muni.
It was people like Vashishta who were advisors to kings like Dhasharata.
In other words, when one has spiritual strength one needs nothing else.
In the 20th century our grandparents witnessed what a towering personality of strength that Gandhi could be. A cursory acquaintance with his life will tell us that he had great spiritual strength. Our country won independence through our spiritual strength, not through aggression.
So Brahmins were not mere intellectuals who could be crushed like mosquitoes at the whim of anybody who chose to harm them. They were spiritual pillars. When intelligence emanates out of such spiritual souls, there is no need for nuclear weapons.
Brahmins lost their power because they lost their engagement with spirituality. They forgot who they were and what they were meant to do and did not respect the ways of living and code of conduct laid out for them. Karna was killed because he gave up his kavasam. Brahmins became vulnerable because they forgot their spirituality.
If anyone would care to try using some spiritual methods of uplifting oneself I can guarantee that that person will see positive, fulfilling results.
Thanks for sharing your views. I thought it important to respond to something like this because we labor under the false notion that we are weak. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
iam_not_a_tambrahm said:Hello folks,
I But if you look at many intellectuals from other countries, most of them are meat eaters , including Einstein. Jews , who have several intellectuals to their credit, eat meat.
tri_vikrama said:What about cow, rabbit? hang on minute! what about dog in a vegetarian diet?
I know a rascal who is unfortunately my cousin (such an evil person) but he is a vegetarian, so he will be born again as a brahmana?
what about vegans? would they be born again highest among the highest.
ovolactovegetarian? will they born has a chabindi or kadai brahmana
Polovegetarian? Bengali Brahmins who includes seafoods in thier diet considered as Samudra Puspam
Hey! what about those who lives in Dessert, siberia, tundra, north pole, south pole or perhaps the Eskimo's. u r expecting them to consume vada, payasam, pongal, puliyodarai????
What were Lord Rama, Narasimha, Krishna and Matsya consuming?
If u non-vegetarian it is alright, if u r vegetarian it is better.
Kollaan Pullal maruthaaney.
In Sri Suktham...cow, goat, elephant.....were wished?
what is goat for? milk?
So all the present technologies were invented by Vegetarian brahmins?
Newton, Avogadro, Charles, Boyles, Bernoulli, Wright Brothers, Graham Bell....Bill gates......are they vegetarian brahmins.
rubbish!!utterly rubbish!! vegetarian's are blessed and intelligent... bunkum.!!..
non vegetarians.. violent..aggressive.., counting approximately 90% of the world populations.
I am sorry I am going to have to disagree with you on Einstein. Einstein was not a Veggie at all until his last years. Only when he was very sick did he adopt a veggie diet based on the advice of his doctors. It is a popular misconception that he was life long vegetarian...
...I am not doing this because of ancient sages or because of our ancient scriptures.
When I say I believe in reason and science, you assumed that I was referring to western science and to white man. Any scientific study , regardless of where it comes from, will be accepted by me. Including India. I believe objectivism and scientific enquiry are independent of cultures and white man or indians, both can use reason for betterment of human life.
I am not a Hindu scripture basher, all I was saying is that let us not get carried away by our love of our religion and attribute all good things in life to scriptures. The reason is the scriptures contain a lot of good things ( like vegetarianism etc. ) and they also contain a lot of nonsense. The nonsense may have been necessary at some point in history , but probably not now in this modern age.
By the way I really like veggie food. Not the traditional food we have like rice, sambar. Healthy veggie food with a lot of whole wheat based chapathis, plenty of dhal, fresh vegetables, soybean, legumes is as nourishing to the body as meat based food.
Dear Aditya,aditya said:I never implied that you necessarily seek the white man's approval. But you seemed to imply, from my understanding of your posting, that many of the writings in the vedas are 'unscientific.'
From one of your previous posting:
So perhaps there is a lesson in it after all - the next time some good social message has to be brought to an Indian's notice, just get some white men in suits to do it - because that would go well with many modern Indians than similar advise given by someone in a saffron robe, or found in the ancient texts. Well, all I can say is, good luck in waiting for the next white man's 'scientific discovery' to come along before you make any positive changes to your life!
Silicon Valley-an said:This is for the information of those who have not been exposed to the culture of all of India. Vegetarianism is popular among 2 castes: Brahmins and Vaishyas - since their vocations do not involve too much physical exercise or aggression. Kshatrias and the other castes have to exert themselves more physically and therefore our shastras fo not objecy to their eating meat.
This does not mean that Brahmins foreswore meat completely. Historically, though Brahmins were advised to eschew meat since their vocation was saatvik, they were allowed to and often did eat meat especially after helping Kshatriyas do yagnas like Ashwamegh yagna when at the end of conquering all the lands the Aswa roamed through, the Kshatriya king would cermoniously kill the horse and the flesh would be consumed by all the participants of the yagna.
To this day only 50% of all Brahmins are vegetarian in India. These Brahmins are Vaishnavite Brahmins throughout India as well as most Brahmins in the South of India who came under the banner of the 3 Acharyas - Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhava who insisted that in order reclaim Hindus from Jainism and other faiths Hindus had staeyed to, Brahmins need to embrace their strict vegetarian habits thereby presenting a higher standard for others to emulate.
All Brahmins from Maharashtra (Except the Uccha Brahmins from Pune with names like Gokhale, Sahasrabuddhe, Agashe and Bhandarkar who are vegetarians), Konkan, Bihar (Maithili Brahmins with names like Mishra and Jha), Bengal (Mukherjee, Das Gupta, Banerjee etc.), Uttaranchal ( Names like Tiwari, Pande, Pant) and Kashmiri and Punjabi Brahmins (With names like Kak, Kaul, Sharma, Kher etc..) - all eat meat. Brahmins from the Jain influenced states like MP, Rajasthan and Gujerat are vegetarians. On the other hand a greater percentage of north Indian Vaishyas like Baniyas and Marwaris are vegetarians as are Komti Shetty's from Karnataka and Andhra anf Gujerat Vaishyas with names like Vora, Mafatlal.Shah etc. I am not sure about Chettiars who are TN's version of Shetty's.
Also Vaishnavite Brahmins from states like Bengal. Bihar, Orissa and UP are also vegetarians. Bengal Vaishnavites are followers of Chaitanya Mahaprahu whose descendents established the Hare Krishna movement.
So though we as Tamil Brahmins tend to associate vegetarianism with Brahminism, if you look at India as a whole, it is not true at all. Vegetarianism is probably universally a trait of Vaishnavas around the country and also Jains and a significant percentage of Vaishyas. Non Brahmins like Lingayats in Karnataka are vegetarians! Among Saivite Brahmins it prevails only in the South and in the North, Saivite Brahmins seem to be predominantly meat eating.
Again, meat eating does not automatically connote anything unpleasant other than they eat meat. Kashmiri Pandits are closer to Iyengars and Iyers in their daily habits and thinking than many in TN. One of my employees, a Kaul, lived with me for a few months. All the stotras he chanted in the morning were exactly the ones I learned in childhood. remember Kashmiri Pandits were all disciples of Shankaracharya and to this day there is a Shankaracharya temple atop a hill in Srinagar.
kudumi said:Hi SV,
An excellent write up. I was also told Konkanasta Rig vedi Brahmans ( marathis ) eat meat where as Deshastha Rig vedi Brahmans are vegetarians.
Saiva Pillais are veggies too and are highly ritualistic...once I had a saiva pillai visitor when I was abroad, he used to get up at 4:30 in the morning and do poojas to a shiva statue he always carries.
Actually...I did hear about the shankaracharya temple from lot of friends. Did he ascend the himalayas in Kashmir or somewhere else? Any idea?
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