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What aspects of TB culture is worth preserving and why?

a-TB

Well-known member
A while ago Mr vgane did an informal survey about the kind of weddings that involved at least one party to be classified as a TB. I do not remember the conclusions but it appeared that many of the TBs seem to marry outside their cultural heritage.

In the last decade or so I have attended one wedding that is between two TBs. Let us consider these facts

a. A large percentage of middle and upper middle class TB families have migrated to other countries most notably to USA. Many of the next generation childrenare not marrying within their community

b. Most of the families of TB origin do not have large families anymore. Many have at most two children and often 1 or none.

c. Most TB children and adults in India and outside India do not know what it means to be a TB. Even I cannot answer conclusively.

d. Recently in another thread (of Mr Krishnan) I did a Google search to provide references to a definition of what a Brahmin is. I got surprising answers. I am copying and pasting two links I presented in that thread

1. https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/brahminical-qualities
2. Scriptures declare that only a realized soul can claim to be a brahmin. Here is a reference that translates a vedic text
https://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1496

I am not sure if I have come across a true Brahmin by the above definition and it certainly does not emphasize birth based connection.

e. Many of the next generation children that are middle and upper middle class hardly seem to know much Tamil. Certainly of late TBs have not produced great literary experts of Tamil When we consider those born after say 1980.

In other words, next generation children born say after 2000 neither know T nor know what it means to be a B ( I suppose most of their parents are in the same boat as well).

I am putting down some questions for thoughtful input

1. With dwindling TB families due to reasons cited above, will the TB culture survive in the next 100 years. Why do you think it will survive?

2. What aspect of the TB culture are worth focusing on now so we do something to preserve them/ How do we do that? And why?
 

krish44

Well-known member
1 Interaction of Tbs with other castes , community ,religions, race , social mixing up and marrying with others

will give raise to hybrid community retaining a few aspects of TB culture.It will definitely survive.Many ritualistic

aspects will be given a go bye, some may compromise on vegetarianism and many will adopt dress and habits

of other s if they are attractive and easier to put up with.

2. On what aspects of culture to focus on can at best be an academic exercise. and what survives is anybody"s

guess.We can leave our next generation alone. They will make the right choices suiting them.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
I am copying and pasting two links I presented in that thread
Wow!!!!!!!!!



I am putting down some questions for thoughtful input

1. With dwindling TB families due to reasons cited above, will the TB culture survive in the next 100 years. Why do you think it will survive?

2. What aspect of the TB culture are worth focusing on now so we do something to preserve them/ How do we do that? And why?

Non TB members and/or those that do not care about the above set of issues need not respond. That is a request.

Why?
It is unnecessary, censoring practice.
I care about the issue but who else cares about them?
Why can we not accept opposing views? after all, this is an open forum.
What is TB Culture?
I think Culture is an individual specific. No two person's definition of culture and their practice will be the same. In olden days it used to vary from village to village. Now that we have spread across the globe it is scattered.

Culture is also time-bound, it evolves and changes. What our parents practiced is different from what we did, and of course, it is going to be different for our children.

A combination of factors has resulted in an exclusive culture- Indian culture.

Indian culture is a composite mixture of varying styles and influences.

In the matter of cuisine, for instance, the North and the South are totally different.

Festivals in India are characterized by color, gaiety, enthusiasm, prayers and rituals. In the realm of music, there are varieties of folk, popular, pop, and classical music.

For extream dichotomy of various TB-culture, it is to see the difference between Iyer and Iyengar.

Their customs in clothing, food, religion, etc are drastically different.

A Custom becomes Culture over time.
Customs change and so does the culture.
If we do not change with the culture, we have no future.
 
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Jaykay767

Well-known member
First off, TB culture is already very well documented, books written about the various detailed aspects of the culture, videos produced and published on youtube and others. So this will survive as long as humanity survives. So anyone wants to know about TB culture or for that matter any other culture, can do so in future.

Now will this TB culture which is already preserved, continue to be a "living and practicised culture" is to be seen and anybody's guess as the above 2 posts have pointed out.

My personal view - it will most likely continue, as more and more TBs will turn towards religion and culture after they have got the basics of food, water and shelter, and money. I mean, what will people do, once they have established well in life ?, other than turn towards religion and philosophy ?
 
We Tamil Brahmins need a common point of connection, like the Mecca for Muslims or Vatican for the xtians. We do not have any such common point of connection. We need to create a separate identity for ourselves which is spiritual, desirable, social and intellectual.
Not sure how but that must be the starting point, once this is achieved we can build on it and build the various rituals, practices etc.
 
unlike the other religions we dont have any kind of restriction of rules & regulations with regard to practices of religious ways. it is good. the very fact that the existence of our Sanathana Dharma is only because of this.
 

MEJV

New member
We Tamil Brahmins need a common point of connection, like the Mecca for Muslims or Vatican for the xtians. We do not have any such common point of connection. We need to create a separate identity for ourselves which is spiritual, desirable, social and intellectual.
Not sure how but that must be the starting point, once this is achieved we can build on it and build the various rituals, practices etc.
You've got the right idea. There are many social avenues through which we're all "connected". Personally, I've been fortunate my family have been devotees of Kanchi Periyavals for 5 generations - which has provided us fantastic networking opportunities besides the spiritual benefits and the blessings of the periyavals. Going to the Kanchi mutt regularly and also staying connected with our kuladeivam village have been huge in keeping our traditions alive. To me what is core to being a brahmin is the knowledge of vedas, and thus we need to protect and promote vedic learning. This is the quintessence of being a brahmin, and will ensure this life style thrives.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
It is my view that, basically Tamil Brahmins are individuals. That is the same with all "free thinking communities". For instance, Jewish community in Israel have about 15 active political outfits out of total members of 120 in the Knesset, (the Parliament).
Tamil Brahmins are united only in Vedic Chanting and other major religious and cultural gatherings. Otherwise very difficult to unite Tamil Brahmins under one umbrella.

Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
 

tbs

Well-known member
hi

i think ..we unite on AVANI AVITTAM ONCE IN A YEAR.....this is prior to internet age...mostly in agraharams...

other wise....we generally individuals...
 
It is important we Brahmins aim to be spiritual and intellectual rather than religious. We must shun discrimination within ourselves of Iyer vs Iyengar or Vadakalai vs Thengalai. Our aim must be to attain Gyaana with Bhakti i.e. Knowledge with Devotion. It is also important to be politically active as well, if we leave our ancestral homes and villages then we become politically weak and these places will get occupied by Non-Brahmins and they will enforce their way of life on us as they become politically strong. Hence we TamBrahms have to unite for a common cause which has a Spiritual, Intellectual, Social and Political aim/goal. This is the only way to keep our traditions and our genetic qualities intact. I have observed that Brahmin genes have something special about them, 1000s of years of Mantra japam and rituals have given a special strength to the genes which help us survive and succeed even under very unfavorable circumstances. This is evident from the fact that even when there is no govt support in terms of reservation, health, education, housing or any such govt schemes we Tambrahms have reached the highest positions across the world, top US institutions have brahmins leading them and succeeding. If we dilute our genetic quality by marrying into communities which do not match with our genetic makeup then Brahmin as an identity will diminish in its power and impact. So to ensure a powerful and successful Brahmins community lets start a movement to remove all obstacles that diminish our genetic superiority.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Non TB members and/or those that do not care about the above set of issues need not respond. That is a request.
This quote is a highly insulting and insensitive post to many very qualified participating members.
I wish the original poster who claims to be very progressive understands the depth of his folly.
And gets this rectified, and apologizes to these members.

The original poster is well aware of the composition of this forum.
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
This quote is a highly insulting and insensitive post to many very qualified participating members.
I wish the original poster who claims to be very progressive understands the depth of his folly.
And gets this rectified, and apologizes to these members.

The original poster is well aware of the composition of this forum.
Absolutely agree.

I would request the moderators to remove such statements that contravene the forum rules.. How can any member change forum rules for their specific threads ?, even if in the forum of a request ?
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
You've got the right idea. There are many social avenues through which we're all "connected". Personally, I've been fortunate my family have been devotees of Kanchi Periyavals for 5 generations - which has provided us fantastic networking opportunities besides the spiritual benefits and the blessings of the periyavals. Going to the Kanchi mutt regularly and also staying connected with our kuladeivam village have been huge in keeping our traditions alive. To me what is core to being a brahmin is the knowledge of vedas, and thus we need to protect and promote vedic learning. This is the quintessence of being a brahmin, and will ensure this life style thrives.
Agreed in toto. To add, core to being Brahmin includes knowledge of Vedas, Upanishads, Vendantas, - basically understand our philosophy and follow moral law - Dharmam.

No point in doing all rituals and committing sin directly or indirectly by supporting Adharmic people and actions !!
 

MEJV

New member
Agreed in toto. To add, core to being Brahmin includes knowledge of Vedas, Upanishads, Vendantas, - basically understand our philosophy and follow moral law - Dharmam.

No point in doing all rituals and committing sin directly or indirectly by supporting Adharmic people and actions !!
It would be wonderful if vedas, upanishads, vedantas were all available as optional learning classes in our traditional schools. I'm not sure if many folks would be interested though, considering this will not seen as being remunerative. Unless majority of the Hindus (not just Brahmins) see the value and consider this worthwhile, this won't happen.
 

renuka

Well-known member
A while ago Mr vgane did an informal survey about the kind of weddings that involved at least one party to be classified as a TB. I do not remember the conclusions but it appeared that many of the TBs seem to marry outside their cultural heritage.

In the last decade or so I have attended one wedding that is between two TBs. Let us consider these facts

a. A large percentage of middle and upper middle class TB families have migrated to other countries most notably to USA. Many of the next generation childrenare not marrying within their community

b. Most of the families of TB origin do not have large families anymore. Many have at most two children and often 1 or none.

c. Most TB children and adults in India and outside India do not know what it means to be a TB. Even I cannot answer conclusively.

d. Recently in another thread (of Mr Krishnan) I did a Google search to provide references to a definition of what a Brahmin is. I got surprising answers. I am copying and pasting two links I presented in that thread

1. https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/brahminical-qualities
2. Scriptures declare that only a realized soul can claim to be a brahmin. Here is a reference that translates a vedic text
https://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1496

I am not sure if I have come across a true Brahmin by the above definition and it certainly does not emphasize birth based connection.

e. Many of the next generation children that are middle and upper middle class hardly seem to know much Tamil. Certainly of late TBs have not produced great literary experts of Tamil When we consider those born after say 1980.

In other words, next generation children born say after 2000 neither know T nor know what it means to be a B ( I suppose most of their parents are in the same boat as well).

I am putting down some questions for thoughtful input

1. With dwindling TB families due to reasons cited above, will the TB culture survive in the next 100 years. Why do you think it will survive?

2. What aspect of the TB culture are worth focusing on now so we do something to preserve them/ How do we do that? And why?

Non TB members and/or those that do not care about the above set of issues need not respond. That is a request.


Initially I did not want to break rules and write in this thread cos it clearly states that "Non TB members and/or those that do not care about the above set of issues need not respond. That is a request"


But I changed my mind today cos I didnt know the forum had rules that a Non TB can't reply to some threads?

I have read most responses to this thread and it all seems the usual stuff discussed in forum.

As a Non TB I would like to share my thought on culture of any community.


Personally I am not into too much bodily identification even though I just wrote I am not a TB(no choice..cos this thread does not allow a Non TB to write his/her opinion).

But anyway here are my points.

1) Its perfectly fine to call for continuation of culture.
The Universe functions in a continuation format from birds to bees to bacteria to viruses and humans..everything is a chain to continue its existence.

The problem is culture is always presented in a superstitious format instead of getting to the science behind it.
A lot of so called superstitions actually have a scientific basis if only people take the trouble to learn about the logic behind it.

When the logic behind anything is presented well..the youngsters would not scoff it off as mere mumbo jumbo.

Since I teach Sanskrit too now I have spent a considerable time doing research on the Varnamala from the Tantra point of view and its actually 100% scientific on how each Svara came about in creation and how it arranges itself totally with science of phonology.

even an अ आ इ ई उ ऊ has a different interpretation in Kashmiri Shaivaism point of view too.

Really interesting to note all these.

Even the word Svara which we call vowel stands for Svayam Rajate Iti Svara(That which is self established in sound is a svara).

I am not typing this to show off but just to give an example that if we go by rules of logic we would know the science behind culture and would not want to lose this heritage.

So work on that! Make culture logic again.
Mostly work on the fear factor and the shame factor if culture is not followed but very few work on the logic factors.


2) Now coming to genetic theory..well lots of unproven data about genetic superiority.

Let's me use more scientific words here...using the word superiority does nothing to prove a point.

Let's get scientific again.

Some types of genes that denote bodily or mental function have express themselves in a polymorphic format which can lead to a different expression of the function of the gene a.k.a abnormality.

Ok..going by logic if a gene can have an abnormal expression nothing stops it from having a supranormal expression too.

Note: Supranormal does not mean Superior. Its just a different mode of expression.

As humans we do have the "free will" to alter thoughts, words and deeds and in a long run these expressions can be passed down genetically coded.

So if one wants to maintain his/her genetic expressions which he/she feels is conducive..go ahead..by all means plan marriages after some genetic counselling.

Now whatever I wrote is for the physical body.

Per Sanathana Dharma or any religion for the matter..eventually the emphasis is on the Atma/Soul/Ruh etc..becos the story is the same everywhere..that is "I am not the body"

Besides maintaining culture of the bodily identification one should also maintain the culture of the Atma that is best captured in this shloka:

अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् ।

उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ॥


ayaṃ nijaḥ paro veti gaṇanā laghucetasām ।

udāracaritānāṃ tuvasudhaiva kuṭumbakam ॥



Let's not forget culture isnt just the body alone.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
When I read the messages on this thread, I feel I live in a different wavelength. I have seen the world in its various facets. I have moved with people of various races, religions and economic levels. I have experienced hard times as well as good times. Life has taught me an important lesson, that is from birth (to death) nothing is in our Control. All that we experience happens or predestined. I have no idea why I am born to a particular set of mother and father. What is in reserve for me tomorrow ?
When that be the case, why we should fight for something which is not in our control. I mean the exclusiveness of Caste and Community. If we allow and develop our inborn character of Compassion and lead a contented life, we will see a new world of real happiness. This is what all religious reformers try to tell for ages.

Culture is refinement of living. Human race has passed through many stages and continue to grow still. But the basic needs of life never changes. Hunger, sleep, happiness, sorrow, urge to multiply its species will never change. Let us think more by ourselves. Let us not fritter away this wonderful opportunity of human birth on wasteful arguments.
Brahmanyan,
Bangalore.
 

MEJV

New member
Initially I did not want to break rules and write in this thread cos it clearly states that "Non TB members and/or those that do not care about the above set of issues need not respond. That is a request"


But I changed my mind today cos I didnt know the forum had rules that a Non TB can't reply to some threads?

I have read most responses to this thread and it all seems the usual stuff discussed in forum.

As a Non TB I would like to share my thought on culture of any community.


Personally I am not into too much bodily identification even though I just wrote I am not a TB(no choice..cos this thread does not allow a Non TB to write his/her opinion).

But anyway here are my points.

1) Its perfectly fine to call for continuation of culture.
The Universe functions in a continuation format from birds to bees to bacteria to viruses and humans..everything is a chain to continue its existence.

The problem is culture is always presented in a superstitious format instead of getting to the science behind it.
A lot of so called superstitions actually have a scientific basis if only people take the trouble to learn about the logic behind it.

When the logic behind anything is presented well..the youngsters would not scoff it off as mere mumbo jumbo.

Since I teach Sanskrit too now I have spent a considerable time doing research on the Varnamala from the Tantra point of view and its actually 100% scientific on how each Svara came about in creation and how it arranges itself totally with science of phonology.

even an अ आ इ ई उ ऊ has a different interpretation in Kashmiri Shaivaism point of view too.

Really interesting to note all these.

Even the word Svara which we call vowel stands for Svayam Rajate Iti Svara(That which is self established in sound is a svara).

I am not typing this to show off but just to give an example that if we go by rules of logic we would know the science behind culture and would not want to lose this heritage.

So work on that! Make culture logic again.
Mostly work on the fear factor and the shame factor if culture is not followed but very few work on the logic factors.


2) Now coming to genetic theory..well lots of unproven data about genetic superiority.

Let's me use more scientific words here...using the word superiority does nothing to prove a point.

Let's get scientific again.

Some types of genes that denote bodily or mental function have express themselves in a polymorphic format which can lead to a different expression of the function of the gene a.k.a abnormality.

Ok..going by logic if a gene can have an abnormal expression nothing stops it from having a supranormal expression too.

Note: Supranormal does not mean Superior. Its just a different mode of expression.

As humans we do have the "free will" to alter thoughts, words and deeds and in a long run these expressions can be passed down genetically coded.

So if one wants to maintain his/her genetic expressions which he/she feels is conducive..go ahead..by all means plan marriages after some genetic counselling.

Now whatever I wrote is for the physical body.

Per Sanathana Dharma or any religion for the matter..eventually the emphasis is on the Atma/Soul/Ruh etc..becos the story is the same everywhere..that is "I am not the body"

Besides maintaining culture of the bodily identification one should also maintain the culture of the Atma that is best captured in this shloka:

अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् ।

उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ॥


ayaṃ nijaḥ paro veti gaṇanā laghucetasām ।

udāracaritānāṃ tuvasudhaiva kuṭumbakam ॥



Let's not forget culture isnt just the body alone.
Good and very valid points. I personally don't feel superior as a Brahmin in anyway - none whatsoever to any other person. I'm probably more blessed and fortunate than many i.e. lucky, but that's not because of me. I absolutely admire many Christians and Muslims, across the world for their accomplishments and contributions to society and mankind. Technology as we have today has to be attributed largely to the contributions of Christians living in North America and Europe. We have benefited from their learnings, and have also contributed in recent times, but can't claim superiotity in anyway.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Birth based Brahmins:

Interestingly, the Brahmins only show up in the historical record around the time of the Gupta Empire, which ruled from the 4th to the 6th century CE. The early Vedic writings do not provide much by way of historical detail.

According to our ancient scriptures, a Brahmin is one who knows the ultimate truth of existence. A Brahmin is one who has understood and realized the purpose of human life. A Brahmin is one who is beyond such human compulsions like hunger, thirst, desire, grief, attachment, wealth, social status, birth, death, etc. A Brahmin lives his life without any such expectations and survives on alms given by others.

The original post accepts that by this qualification most of us can not call ourselves ar Brahmins.

However, a Brahmin has come to mean anyone who is born into a family(read father) that belongs to the Brahmin caste. Considerations like interest in scriptures, wisdom, and spirituality are no longer the criteria that would lead to recognizing and acknowledging one as a Brahmin.

Most of us are Brahmins by birth, so we are accidental brahmins.

Our mother tongue happens to be Tamil.

So we assume we are Tamil-Brahmins. Of course, there are exceptions.

My parents left the present land of Tamil Nadu, more than 100 years ago. So we followed culturally or traditionally what was prevalent in the 1900s. Our Tamil was "sarcastically" called Brahmin Tamil by friends from TN. So there was a cultural divide even in those days.

My mother wore Madisara sari, no one else in the family did that. then 9-yard sari became a rarity.
 
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prasad1

Well-known member
Tamil Brahmins are united only in Vedic Chanting and other major religious and cultural gatherings. Otherwise very difficult to unite Tamil Brahmins under one umbrella.

Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
Even that is doubtful.
A friend of mine a devout Iyyangar from New Jersey moved to New York in the USA.
He went to Ranganatha Temple in NY, but the congregation there stopped him from participating, as he was deemed "impure" as he had been going to NJ Balajee Temple where they also have Shiva Linga.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Tell me one thing that is common and universal to so-called Tamil Brahmins (?), I will show 100 things that are different and individual in our community.
 

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