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What aspects of TB culture is worth preserving and why?

a-TB

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.
Dear Mr Brahmanyan,

As an elderly and thoughtful statesman who is highly respected in this forum I wanted to respond to your post above.

All human beings are individuals. Yet many carry an identity about their heritage, cultaral associations, national identity etc.

My question was addressed to those that call themselves a Tamil Brahmins. This forum is titled 'Tamil Brahmins Community'. So what makes someone feel an association with forums (online or otherwise) beyond just to shoot the breeze?

If it is purely based on birth caste there is nothing to preserve. Nature will take care of preserving what is worth preserving.

In this forum itself many have lamented about the issues faced by the TB community but if we cannot even name what makes this a community, what is worth preserving? For all the reasons outlined in Post 1, the next generation has very little to look towards the current generation.

Many do not care for their caste identities which is a great thing, but is there any merit to a cultural idenity.

There are very few that do Vedic chanting. I cannot even remember the Sandhyavandam mantras anymore. Most TB priests do not want their children to follow their profession. All Upanayanam functions that I have attended are nothing but Photo-ops. I am sure there are few that will attend Veda Patshalas but those are very few in numbers. Many that attended such schools ended up doing other things in life.

Do you take yourself to be a TB other than reason of birth?
Are there any cultural elements worth preserving in your view?

Thanks and Regards
 

a-TB

Well-known 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.
None of us make any rules. Only the forum owner makes the rules. Obviously anyone can respond to any posts. But my questions were directed only to those who carry a TB identity in their persona.

Only they can answer what makes them a TB. It was intended to be answered from a personal experience that is useful.
 

a-TB

Well-known member
In Post 1, what I said has to be amplified thus -
"I am putting down some questions for thoughtful input based on your personal experience and sense of identity as a TB"

If someone feels they do not have any identity as a TB (regardless of their birth in a TB family or not ) they cannot contribute. To say there is no such thing as a TB culture means that the same arguments can be used to show there cannot be any culture of any kind in the world. Let us not digress and derail with irrelevant messages, please.

If we cannot list a few items (even if there is not agreements across the board) to say why I call myself a TB then whatever we refer to as TB will be extinct in a few decades.

If culture is a refinement, then there is something worth preserving.

I did not focus on Tamil Brahmin as a caste but on the cultural aspects only.
 

tbs

Well-known member
hi

first question....WHO IS BRAHMIN?

SECOND QUESTION......BRAHMINS BASED ON KARMA OR DHARMA?


THIRD QUESTION.....CULTURE DIFFERENT FROM TANJORE BRAHMINS TO THIRUNELVELI BRAHMINS?
FOURTH QUESTION......SMRITHI BASED OR SRUTHI BASED BRAHMINS?

in above all...i just born in brahmin parents....so am i brahmin?

FINALLY...BRAHMMANI YAHA CHARATI SA HA BRAHMANAHA....many doesn't know about BRAHMAN...
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Dear Mr Brahmanyan,

As an elderly and thoughtful statesman who is highly respected in this forum I wanted to respond to your post above.

All human beings are individuals. Yet many carry an identity about their heritage, cultaral associations, national identity etc.

My question was addressed to those that call themselves a Tamil Brahmins. This forum is titled 'Tamil Brahmins Community'. So what makes someone feel an association with forums (online or otherwise) beyond just to shoot the breeze?

If it is purely based on birth caste there is nothing to preserve. Nature will take care of preserving what is worth preserving.

In this forum itself many have lamented about the issues faced by the TB community but if we cannot even name what makes this a community, what is worth preserving? For all the reasons outlined in Post 1, the next generation has very little to look towards the current generation.

Many do not care for their caste identities which is a great thing, but is there any merit to a cultural idenity.

There are very few that do Vedic chanting. I cannot even remember the Sandhyavandam mantras anymore. Most TB priests do not want their children to follow their profession. All Upanayanam functions that I have attended are nothing but Photo-ops. I am sure there are few that will attend Veda Patshalas but those are very few in numbers. Many that attended such schools ended up doing other things in life.

Do you take yourself to be a TB other than reason of birth?
Are there any cultural elements worth preserving in your view?

Thanks and Regards
Dear friend,
Your post has very valid points. You have summed up my views in a different language. Apart being born to a Brahmin Couple I do not have anything to define myself as a " Brahmin" as defined in Scriptures. Neither I follow Apasthamba Sutra, nor practice (or learn) the Branch of Yajur Veda as I state while introducing my self to elders. But I try to uphold and follow Brahminical qualities as enshrined in our scriptures. Here is one from Bhagvad Gita :

Gita (18.42)
शमो दमस्तप: शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च |
ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् || 42||

Austerity, purity, patience, integrity, knowledge, wisdom, and belief in a hereafter—these are the intrinsic qualities of work for Brahmins.

These are not difficult to follow. Above all we are just a part of whole world as explained in Maha Upanishad :
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam ( वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम)
In the changed circumstances of Modern world any one can change and follow these Brahminical qualities.
Among Africans there is a beautiful concept called "Ubuntu" akin to Brahminical qualities. Philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".
"Ubuntu means love, truth, peace, happiness, eternal optimism, inner goodness, etc. Ubuntu is the essence of a human being, the divine spark of goodness inherent within each being. From the beginning of time the divine principles of Ubuntu have guided African societies."
Warm regards,
Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
 
Last edited:

renuka

Well-known member
None of us make any rules. Only the forum owner makes the rules. Obviously anyone can respond to any posts. But my questions were directed only to those who carry a TB identity in their persona.

Only they can answer what makes them a TB. It was intended to be answered from a personal experience that is useful.
That's not what you wrote.

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


But the strange thing is..your post has been edited.
Is the edit option valid for some many days if one isnt the moderator?

Anyway even if you are a co-moderator by not open about it..so for all practical purposes you are also just member like anyone of us here.
 
Life has many dimensions On one side its Atala, Vitala, Sutala...Patala. On the other side its Bhu, Bhuvaha, Suvaha, Mahaha, Janaha, Tapaha and Satyam.
In each of these there are different dimensions again the Materialistic, Social, Spiritual.
A Brahmin aims for the Spiritual dimension he/she is not affected by the Materialistic or Social dimensions.
A Brahmin can go without materialistic needs (Food, Water, Air, etc) for days together/infinity, can live without any social interactions for days together/infinity. He is one with Nature, his Mind and Body are in sync with Brahmandam/Universe.
1000s of years ago our Rishis were able to identify planets without any instruments siting with their eyes closed, how? Its because of their attainment of Spiritual enlightenment.
Chanting Vedas, Performing rituals etc are just one aspect of trying to be a Brahmin. For e.g. to be a master in Maths you need to know Arithmetics, but only Arithmetics will not be sufficient to be a master in that subject.
A Brahmin's aim must be to attain the Spiritual enlightenment at the Satyam Dimension of life, i.e. at the highest dimension of life.
For this there are Yogas, Rituals, Mantras various subjects in which you need to gain mastery in.
Search and learn all these aspects to become a true Brahmin.
 

a-TB

Well-known member
That's not what you wrote.

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


But the strange thing is..your post has been edited.
Is the edit option valid for some many days if one isnt the moderator?

Anyway even if you are a co-moderator by not open about it..so for all practical purposes you are also just member like anyone of us here.
This kind of posts hijacks the topic area.
I did not edit Post 1 since it was first posted. There has been no alterations.

If you make statements like the above how can anyone take your posts seriously. Most of the people know where you stand on this topic area. Hence I am not interested in your views in this topic area, in any case.

Anyway, I hope we can get back to the topic area of the thread.

Let peace be with you!
 

a-TB

Well-known member
Dear friend,
Your post has very valid points. You have summed up my views in a different language. Apart being born to a Brahmin Couple I do not have anything to define myself as a " Brahmin" as defined in Scriptures. Neither I follow Apasthamba Sutra, nor practice (or learn) the Branch of Yajur Veda as I state while introducing my self to elders. But I try to uphold and follow Brahminical qualities as enshrined in our scriptures. Here is one from Bhagvad Gita :

Gita (18.42)
शमो दमस्तप: शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च |
ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् || 42||

Austerity, purity, patience, integrity, knowledge, wisdom, and belief in a hereafter—these are the intrinsic qualities of work for Brahmins.

These are not difficult to follow. Above all we are just a part of whole world as explained in Maha Upanishad :
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam ( वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम)
In the changed circumstances of Modern world any one can change and follow these Brahminical qualities.
Among Africans there is a beautiful concept called "Ubuntu" akin to Brahminical qualities. Philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".
"Ubuntu means love, truth, peace, happiness, eternal optimism, inner goodness, etc. Ubuntu is the essence of a human being, the divine spark of goodness inherent within each being. From the beginning of time the divine principles of Ubuntu have guided African societies."
Warm regards,
Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
Thank you, Mr Brahmanyan

Those are excellent qualities to aspire for and to preserve as a society

Regards
 

tbs

Well-known member
hi

according to manusmriti......the rules for brahmins are mentioned....it has rules for all 4 varnas and women too...

ADHYANAM ADHYAAPANAM BRAHMANANAAM......means learning and teaching of VEDAS....are we really do

in real world in modern days?......culture will change periodically...
 

a-TB

Well-known member
hi

according to manusmriti......the rules for brahmins are mentioned....it has rules for all 4 varnas and women too...

ADHYANAM ADHYAAPANAM BRAHMANANAAM......means learning and teaching of VEDAS....are we really do

in real world in modern days?......culture will change periodically...
I thought Smriti are not always applicable. Manusmriti is outdated and we cannot listen to whatever it says anymore. What is the point in memorizing and teaching others to memorize Sanskrit verses for a lot of rituals that have no relevance anymore?

I think Mr Brahmanyan's reference to Bhagavad Gita is more applicable for today;s world
 

prasad1

Well-known member
This kind of posts hijacks the topic area.
I did not edit Post 1 since it was first posted. There has been no alterations.

If you make statements like the above how can anyone take your posts seriously. Most of the people know where you stand on this topic area. Hence I am not interested in your views in this topic area, in any case.

Anyway, I hope we can get back to the topic area of the thread.

Let peace be with you!
Again insult in the apology.
How do you determine who is qualified? When you apologise be sincere about it.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Again insult in the apology.
How do you determine who is qualified? When you apologise be sincere about it.
Initially I thought that is something wrong with my lap top where I could not find the earlier written lines by a- TB.

I looked again...i cant find the what he wrote earlier.
But since I had quoted his post i have it in my post where he clearly says that Non TB members need not comment etc.

So I was wondering how come the post is edited after so many days?? Strange? Unless someone is a moderator incognito hence the ability to edit after so long and the attitude too?

The 1st post by a-TB was on 31st Aug
I wrote my post on 2nd Sep and quoted his post and the line was still there on 2nd sep.
Then when he replies me all of a sudden the line is not in his original post.

I thought the time frame to edit a post is 60 mins.
How did he manage to edit after so many days?

This itself is clear..only a co moderator would have access to do this.




But anyway whatever a-TB wrote reminded me of Zakir Naik's recent video of his so called "apology" to Msian Hindus and Chinese here.

It was an insulting so called apology but at least Zakir Naik had less of a blame game in his video.

Don't waste your time Prasad Ji...some cant change.
 
Last edited:

renuka

Well-known member
This kind of posts hijacks the topic area.
I did not edit Post 1 since it was first posted. There has been no alterations.

If you make statements like the above how can anyone take your posts seriously. Most of the people know where you stand on this topic area. Hence I am not interested in your views in this topic area, in any case.

Anyway, I hope we can get back to the topic area of the thread.

Let peace be with you!
Ok let's talk about the hijack now.

This was your original post on 31st aug
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.



I replied to that on 2nd sep and quoted it and your infamous last line was still there on 2nd sep.

Then you reply me on my 3rd sep and suddenly the last line is missing and you say you did not edit it.

This is your current post after "editing" where the infamous line is missing..."Non TB members and/or those that do not care about the above set of issues need not respond. That is a request"



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?




Now coming to the hijack you accuse me of..before that can you explain how were you able to edit your post sometime between 2nd and 3rd september(depending which part of the universe you were in)?

The time limit for editing is 60 mins...so how did you "hijack" the edit option of forum?
So are you a hijacker or a co moderator?
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Let me explain: a possible scenario.
The moderator may have edited it, without chastising the poster.

So maybe a-TB did not edit it, it was edited by the moderator.


I am not the moderator. So please do not blame me. I just want us to get back to the topic of the thread.

I asked the poster the following questions. Which has been ignored:

Who is a Brahmin?
Who is a Tamilian?
What is culture?
What portion of that culture the original poster wanted to keep?

None were answered.

The original poster did not want my comments, but he could not eliminate me on any of the conditions unless he names by as a person he can not keep me off, and if I was named as a person not to respond, then I will protest.
 
Whole threads sometime disappear without the author being notified. So this is nothing. I think a mountain is being made out of a molehill. The OP stated it was a request. It was not necessary for anyone to accede to the request. Case closed. Having said that Doc's first post in this thread was interesting. The pretend saviors continue to muddy things.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
None of us make any rules. Only the forum owner makes the rules. Obviously anyone can respond to any posts. But my questions were directed only to those who carry a TB identity in their persona.

Only they can answer what makes them a TB. It was intended to be answered from a personal experience that is useful.

Obviously there is a misunderstanding of the term Guest.
We are all Guests in TB Forum. We do not get to make the rules.
If anyone does not like the rules laid down, they are free to leave or request a change of rule.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Whole threads sometime disappear without the author being notified. So this is nothing. I think a mountain is being made out of a molehill. The OP stated it was a request. It was not necessary for anyone to accede to the request. Case closed. Having said that Doc's first post in this thread was interesting. The pretend saviors continue to muddy things.

Oh mahamedivy sir, Please explain what Culture the opening post was referring and to whom?
Let us see how you tie yourself in a knot.
I will watch and enjoy it.
 
Oh mahamedivy sir, Please explain what Culture the opening post was referring and to whom?
Let us see how you tie yourself in a knot.
I will watch and enjoy it.
Perhaps for a fool, even a person who states simple truths will appear as mahamedhaavi only.

What is this person's contribution exactly to this thread other than repeating his usual bunch of silly questions? If he believes there is no such thing as a brahmin community, Why is he here? This is an honest question he should ask himself. Instead he will go on and on on a rant about rules of the forum etc Does he realize that it is exactly this type of response that the OP wanted to minimize and hence the request was originally made.

Even if a membership in a community is largely determined based on birth, it still does not preclude the members from having a set of rules or principles to adhere to or having a set of activities to indulge in as a community etc. That is the purpose of the thread.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
There have been discussions about TB culture in this site multiple times.

People at that time did participate in the discussion, unlike this thread where the original poster and chamchas refuse to identify even one Universal Cultural Practice.

Rajiji wrote eloquently:

Any culture is bound to change as years pass by!

Just an example of dress code of three generations of tambram ladies:

In the 50s:

MadisAr - Six yards saree - pAvadai dhAvaNi

In the 70s:

MadisAr / six yards saree - Six yards saree - salwAr kameez

In the 90s:

Six yards saree - chudidhAr - half skirt

In 2010:

Six yards saree / Chudidhar - Chudidhar / jeans pants - Jeans pants / micro mini !!
 

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