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What aspects of TB culture is worth preserving and why?

The title of the thread "what aspects of tb culture is worth preserving" itself suggests some flexibility and not rigidity - the same thing that has come out in the last few posts. In light of this, were the many harsh interludes by usual suspects necessary?

We understand the future generation will retain only things that they deem rational and useful to them. But how we determine if something is rational? Based on data. Our ancestors' life experience is data to us. Therefore propagation of culture is rational and this is how societies make progress. Evolving culture does not mean that everything that our ancestors did is discarded.
 

a-TB

Well-known member
Dear forum friends,

Let us not get distracted. There are a few who like to filibuster, and bring in extraneous items to somehow kill the flow of discussions.

You have to only guess the motivations behind such actions especially when done repeatedly (in other such threads though the focus here is diffferent) . On second thought trying to guess the motivations is not worthwhile since it may reveal an ugliness that is not worth dwelling upon.

It is one thing to show inability to comprehend what is being discussed which is all about broadmindedness aspects of the culture. It is another to come here to throw mud and try to sidetrack and kill the discussions.

Let us please get back to the topic

Thank you
 

a-TB

Well-known member
Getting back to the topic:

We are not talking about religious coversions, issuing fatwas or any violent things.

TB culture is based on time honored practices to uphold the following teachings of Gita.

As mentioned earlier the essence of Brahmin life style per Gita is "Austerity, purity, patience, integrity, knowledge, wisdom, and belief in a hereafter—these are the intrinsic qualities of work for Brahmins. "

Now the cultural aspects of celebrating festivals or even daily living (like offering food to God first and then eat as Prasadam) or praying for welfare of all is really rooted in a broadminded thinking. It is not exclusionary

Today with the influence of glitter of western culture and due to being spread across the globe it is harder to keep these values intact via cultural elements.

I wanted to know if members have concrete suggestions for the above issues.

Now books that are excellent reading could be useful but for many living in cities in various countries how do they keep the best aspects of the culture intact so the values mentioned above are maintained.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Dear forum friends,

Let us not get distracted. There are a few who like to filibuster, and bring in extraneous items to somehow kill the flow of discussions.

You have to only guess the motivations behind such actions especially when done repeatedly (in other such threads though the focus here is diffferent) . On second thought trying to guess the motivations is not worthwhile since it may reveal an ugliness that is not worth dwelling upon.

It is one thing to show inability to comprehend what is being discussed which is all about broadmindedness aspects of the culture. It is another to come here to throw mud and try to sidetrack and kill the discussions.

Let us please get back to the topic

Thank you
My guru always used to say that "when you point finger at others, remember three fingers are pointing at you".

If you present your point clearly and are open to counterpoint the discussion can continue.
But if you single out people by caste or individual, there will be a protest.
Brahmanyanji and Renukaji made this thread little more interesting by substantiating because the original poster could not.

Going by the OP (not the moderated version), the thread was obnoxious and bigoted.
When I asked for an explanation, all I got was insults and personal attacks.
For getting back to the thread the OP still has not mentioned one special exclusive Tamil Brahmin Trait that he wants us to maintain.
We all want and try to inculcate our children with all the best values we know. But that is universal.
I lead by example, and not by decree.
I am vegetarian, my children are vegetarian.
I go to Temple weekly, my children go to Temple off and on.

One of my nephews is Vegan, so I bring my own Milk.
He is married to a White American, so I know my limits.
I would rather compromise with whatever they decide, and however, they decide to lead their life.
Am I worried that he married outside the TB group? Yes and No.
A friend of mine has broken off all relationships with his daughter because she married somebody from outside the group. I am still trying to mediate between the father and daughter.
The relationship is more important than any "Culture".

In our temple, we have incorporated every aspect of Hinduism.
We have navagraham and Puri Jugganath. In addition to Traditional Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Durga, Ganesh, and Hanuman.
Yes some vert strong TB family refuse to join, I think it is their loss.

Similarly, we have a separate community hall, where even a shoke Shaba (meeting and prayers after death in the family) is allowed.
Because North Indian Hindus do not observe a taboo on visiting the temple after death in the family.

Compromise is the word, and it is unique to the individual, it may or may not work for all.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Getting back to the topic:

We are not talking about religious coversions, issuing fatwas or any violent things.

TB culture is based on time honored practices to uphold the following teachings of Gita.

As mentioned earlier the essence of Brahmin life style per Gita is "Austerity, purity, patience, integrity, knowledge, wisdom, and belief in a hereafter—these are the intrinsic qualities of work for Brahmins. "

Now the cultural aspects of celebrating festivals or even daily living (like offering food to God first and then eat as Prasadam) or praying for welfare of all is really rooted in a broadminded thinking. It is not exclusionary

Today with the influence of glitter of western culture and due to being spread across the globe it is harder to keep these values intact via cultural elements.

I wanted to know if members have concrete suggestions for the above issues.

Now books that are excellent reading could be useful but for many living in cities in various countries how do they keep the best aspects of the culture intact so the values mentioned above are maintained.
Agreed my friend.
Again I wish to stress that human life is precious gift of God. Let us try this opportunity to live as a good human being. Which is easy if we radiate Compassion, love and companionship with others.

I am not interested giving a sermon, but wish to think aloud.

Each day is a new beginning in life. No one can anticipate what is in store for us on that day. All living beings , trees, animals, or humans are part of the creation. All religions and religious leaders try to help us to lead a happy life in the society. Let us not waste our life and energy quarreling on petty issues. We understand this truth at the fag end of our existence when we face the gate of no return.
Culture is "refinement". Changes are inevitable, no one can stop it. We cannot reverse it either.
It is my understanding that Caste is a generic name for a group of people who follow and discharge a particular "karma" . Incidentally they follow a particular way of life. No one is high or low in birth, all are same.

If we shed the blinkers that we put in the name of Caste, community, high or low and come out of the cucoon of false thinking, we will see the real world of happiness.
Regards,

Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
 

zebra16

Well-known member
Getting back to the topic:

but for many living in cities in various countries how do they keep the best aspects of the culture intact so the values mentioned above are maintained.
In my very limited understanding (and I could be quite erroneous) what we intend to pass on to the future generations is what we think are the "Values" of our culture.

It is quite likely the same "values" are valued in all religions and is also very possible that some or many TBs may have given up on those values or they may be only mentally giving impact to those values (a sort of mAnasa pujA) without showing any outward actions.

I am not entering into any dialogue on inter-faith comparison as to how our culture and practices and values are comparing or contrasting with other religions, nor trying to give cooked up (and mostly after-thoughts after centuries) scientific rationale.

Per my very limited intellect, Hinduism believes that each birth is due to (rUN - sanskrit word pronounced as ruuN) meaning "debt" accumulated in previous janmAs and we clear out as much accumulated debt as possible in this janmA (also having enjoyment when others who owe it to us in the previous janmAs return their debts).

We owe our debt basically to our mAtA, pitA (combinedly called as pitRs - without offending the anti-patriarchy activists), guru (teacher or preceptor) and deivam (God or Almighty or Brahman or whatever name is assigned). It is not difficult to know why we owe to these four entities, as parents bring us into this world, the unknown God or Brahman or whatever gives us food, water, sunlight etc. for us to sustain and the Guru or teacher or preceptor who teaches us from his experience as also from the experiences shared with him by his Gurus etc (possibly extending to many many generations called Guru parampara). Most ideally he teaches us 'viveka "discrimination/discretion" of mind showing us the limitations of our capacity and capability to create, modify or change the things we can and also the things we can not conceivably change. His teachings enable us to cut short time wastage on those things we cant possibly change without going into numerous trial and error methods.

It is quite possible for one to live out without being under the aforesaid debt or thanking by treating the God as non-existant (charavaka and pUrva meemAmsa philosophies), treating Him as non-interfering Brahman entity (advaita philosophy) or an active paripUrNam entity capable and interceding on behalf of BhaktAs, sAdhus (more appropriately for "innocents" (Vishist-advaitin, dwaitin philosophies) etc. Also it is possible to think of no obligation to parents taking the line that we did not come out into this world with our express willingness or the nourishment they provided was a parental obligation etc.). Also it is possible to dismiss the role of a Guru having made the obligatory payment of his fees or substituting a Guru with books and other modes knowledge.

Traditional TB values as per my understanding finds the compensation or thought process enumerated in the aforesaid para (beginning with "It is quite possible......") as inadequate to discharge the debt owed by us to pitRs or devAs.

I will contribute further if there is more interest...
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Thank you Zebraji,
Your post#66 makes sense. And please continue with it either here or in a separate thread.
Value is very individualistic.
No two person will have identical value.
There is a value difference between my wife and me.
So when we share it with our children, they notice it.
So then we have to resolve it.
I studied in India and my methods of solving a problem clashes with what is taught here in The USA.
So the next generation gets mixed messages.

Ultimately they too have to synthesis their own value system.
I am active in the Indian community here in the USA.
When we celebrate Indian Independence or Indian republic day here In the USA, American born children do not share our passion.
When we get excited about Cricket, it is not the same to them.
Do we feel a little nostalgic? YES.

But that does not mean that I can enforce my views.
So we have to learn to live with the changes, we can lament on the loss of OUR value, but it is not universal value or group value.
 
Last edited:
In my very limited understanding (and I could be quite erroneous) what we intend to pass on to the future generations is what we think are the "Values" of our culture.

It is quite likely the same "values" are valued in all religions and is also very possible that some or many TBs may have given up on those values or they may be only mentally giving impact to those values (a sort of mAnasa pujA) without showing any outward actions.

I am not entering into any dialogue on inter-faith comparison as to how our culture and practices and values are comparing or contrasting with other religions, nor trying to give cooked up (and mostly after-thoughts after centuries) scientific rationale.

Per my very limited intellect, Hinduism believes that each birth is due to (rUN - sanskrit word pronounced as ruuN) meaning "debt" accumulated in previous janmAs and we clear out as much accumulated debt as possible in this janmA (also having enjoyment when others who owe it to us in the previous janmAs return their debts).

We owe our debt basically to our mAtA, pitA (combinedly called as pitRs - without offending the anti-patriarchy activists), guru (teacher or preceptor) and deivam (God or Almighty or Brahman or whatever name is assigned). It is not difficult to know why we owe to these four entities, as parents bring us into this world, the unknown God or Brahman or whatever gives us food, water, sunlight etc. for us to sustain and the Guru or teacher or preceptor who teaches us from his experience as also from the experiences shared with him by his Gurus etc (possibly extending to many many generations called Guru parampara). Most ideally he teaches us 'viveka "discrimination/discretion" of mind showing us the limitations of our capacity and capability to create, modify or change the things we can and also the things we can not conceivably change. His teachings enable us to cut short time wastage on those things we cant possibly change without going into numerous trial and error methods.

It is quite possible for one to live out without being under the aforesaid debt or thanking by treating the God as non-existant (charavaka and pUrva meemAmsa philosophies), treating Him as non-interfering Brahman entity (advaita philosophy) or an active paripUrNam entity capable and interceding on behalf of BhaktAs, sAdhus (more appropriately for "innocents" (Vishist-advaitin, dwaitin philosophies) etc. Also it is possible to think of no obligation to parents taking the line that we did not come out into this world with our express willingness or the nourishment they provided was a parental obligation etc.). Also it is possible to dismiss the role of a Guru having made the obligatory payment of his fees or substituting a Guru with books and other modes knowledge.

Traditional TB values as per my understanding finds the compensation or thought process enumerated in the aforesaid para (beginning with "It is quite possible......") as inadequate to discharge the debt owed by us to pitRs or devAs.

I will contribute further if there is more interest...
Please continue with your post.

My opinion is that by culture we mean the values and also the means with which we can adhere to the values. The activities we talk about - the rituals, the nityakarmas, learning of art, participation in festivities etc are the means. Over time, people tend to focus on the means without fully understanding the underlying value system. This is because values may be hard to grasp or focus on but activities can be made "fun". However without understanding of the underlying values, the activities erode over time. Our values also come in clash with values of other civilisations - not necessarily physical clash but also clash of ideas. This is what is happening to our culture. For the sustenance of a culture, may be both the values and means are important.

I will say your post is a very good summary of the value part of our traditional culture. My humble request for you to is touch upon the "means" as well if you will - although here i agree that there could be some differences among different sects of brahmins etc

There were a series of posts on Vedas by another member Vikrama long time back. People had some differences with it but it was one of the most useful threads in this forum. I hope your posts here are equally enlightening.

Thank you for the very thoughtful post.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Agreed my friend.
Again I wish to stress that human life is precious gift of God. Let us try this opportunity to live as a good human being. Which is easy if we radiate Compassion, love and companionship with others.

I am not interested giving a sermon, but wish to think aloud.

Each day is a new beginning in life. No one can anticipate what is in store for us on that day. All living beings , trees, animals, or humans are part of the creation. All religions and religious leaders try to help us to lead a happy life in the society. Let us not waste our life and energy quarreling on petty issues. We understand this truth at the fag end of our existence when we face the gate of no return.
Culture is "refinement". Changes are inevitable, no one can stop it. We cannot reverse it either.
It is my understanding that Caste is a generic name for a group of people who follow and discharge a particular "karma" . Incidentally they follow a particular way of life. No one is high or low in birth, all are same.

If we shed the blinkers that we put in the name of Caste, community, high or low and come out of the cucoon of false thinking, we will see the real world of happiness.
Regards,

Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
Excellent post.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
The Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version (1611), “The Gospel According to John”, chapter 8, verses 3–7
  And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
  They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
  Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
 

a-TB

Well-known member
Agreed my friend.
Again I wish to stress that human life is precious gift of God. Let us try this opportunity to live as a good human being. Which is easy if we radiate Compassion, love and companionship with others.

I am not interested giving a sermon, but wish to think aloud.

Each day is a new beginning in life. No one can anticipate what is in store for us on that day. All living beings , trees, animals, or humans are part of the creation. All religions and religious leaders try to help us to lead a happy life in the society. Let us not waste our life and energy quarreling on petty issues. We understand this truth at the fag end of our existence when we face the gate of no return.
Culture is "refinement". Changes are inevitable, no one can stop it. We cannot reverse it either.
It is my understanding that Caste is a generic name for a group of people who follow and discharge a particular "karma" . Incidentally they follow a particular way of life. No one is high or low in birth, all are same.

If we shed the blinkers that we put in the name of Caste, community, high or low and come out of the cucoon of false thinking, we will see the real world of happiness.
Regards,

Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
Dear Mr Brahmanyan,

As always thank you for sharing your thoughts.

There are no quarrels. There will be always some noise in any discussion forum but the aim of the discussion here is really one based on broadness of mind. Let us not even get drawn into who is low or high because they do not apply here in my understanding. Those are not part of the subject of the thread. The real issue is the practices that have led to the upkeep of the values you helped articulate using the Gita verse.

Now if you were to reflect on your own life, my assumption is that you evolved to be a wise person and was not born that way. You can correct me if my assumption is wrong. This evolution is based on three distinct factors - Nature like genese etc, Nurture like family values and cutural norms, and life experience.

The focus here is on the nurture aspects. Are there cultural norms that is found in TB families that contributed to upkeep of the values and promote wisdom? If so what are they?

Thanks and Regards
 

a-TB

Well-known member
In my very limited understanding (and I could be quite erroneous) what we intend to pass on to the future generations is what we think are the "Values" of our culture.

It is quite likely the same "values" are valued in all religions and is also very possible that some or many TBs may have given up on those values or they may be only mentally giving impact to those values (a sort of mAnasa pujA) without showing any outward actions.

I am not entering into any dialogue on inter-faith comparison as to how our culture and practices and values are comparing or contrasting with other religions, nor trying to give cooked up (and mostly after-thoughts after centuries) scientific rationale.

Per my very limited intellect, Hinduism believes that each birth is due to (rUN - sanskrit word pronounced as ruuN) meaning "debt" accumulated in previous janmAs and we clear out as much accumulated debt as possible in this janmA (also having enjoyment when others who owe it to us in the previous janmAs return their debts).

We owe our debt basically to our mAtA, pitA (combinedly called as pitRs - without offending the anti-patriarchy activists), guru (teacher or preceptor) and deivam (God or Almighty or Brahman or whatever name is assigned). It is not difficult to know why we owe to these four entities, as parents bring us into this world, the unknown God or Brahman or whatever gives us food, water, sunlight etc. for us to sustain and the Guru or teacher or preceptor who teaches us from his experience as also from the experiences shared with him by his Gurus etc (possibly extending to many many generations called Guru parampara). Most ideally he teaches us 'viveka "discrimination/discretion" of mind showing us the limitations of our capacity and capability to create, modify or change the things we can and also the things we can not conceivably change. His teachings enable us to cut short time wastage on those things we cant possibly change without going into numerous trial and error methods.

It is quite possible for one to live out without being under the aforesaid debt or thanking by treating the God as non-existant (charavaka and pUrva meemAmsa philosophies), treating Him as non-interfering Brahman entity (advaita philosophy) or an active paripUrNam entity capable and interceding on behalf of BhaktAs, sAdhus (more appropriately for "innocents" (Vishist-advaitin, dwaitin philosophies) etc. Also it is possible to think of no obligation to parents taking the line that we did not come out into this world with our express willingness or the nourishment they provided was a parental obligation etc.). Also it is possible to dismiss the role of a Guru having made the obligatory payment of his fees or substituting a Guru with books and other modes knowledge.

Traditional TB values as per my understanding finds the compensation or thought process enumerated in the aforesaid para (beginning with "It is quite possible......") as inadequate to discharge the debt owed by us to pitRs or devAs.

I will contribute further if there is more interest...
Dear Mr Zebra,

Nice flowing post and waiting for Part 2

I remember seeing this word ruuN as you write it elsewhere. I think it was used at least once earlier in the Sandhyavandanam thread in the Philosophy section. In fact the case for doing Srardham is to discharge those debts.

Is it true doing Pitru Srardham the way it is done is one of the aspects of TB culture? It may not be limited to only TB world but it is considered important the way it is done.

Looking forward to the continuation along the lines suggested by Mr KB
 

a-TB

Well-known member
Please continue with your post.

My opinion is that by culture we mean the values and also the means with which we can adhere to the values. The activities we talk about - the rituals, the nityakarmas, learning of art, participation in festivities etc are the means. Over time, people tend to focus on the means without fully understanding the underlying value system. This is because values may be hard to grasp or focus on but activities can be made "fun". However without understanding of the underlying values, the activities erode over time. Our values also come in clash with values of other civilisations - not necessarily physical clash but also clash of ideas. This is what is happening to our culture. For the sustenance of a culture, may be both the values and means are important.

I will say your post is a very good summary of the value part of our traditional culture. My humble request for you to is touch upon the "means" as well if you will - although here i agree that there could be some differences among different sects of brahmins etc

There were a series of posts on Vedas by another member Vikrama long time back. People had some differences with it but it was one of the most useful threads in this forum. I hope your posts here are equally enlightening.

Thank you for the very thoughtful post.
Thank you Mr KB for providing the right interpretations and keeping the thread from going astray with your thoughtful comments.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
This one member is too new to the forum that this kind of group-ism was voted and banned by the community.
Please read the post by Zebraji in the following thread.


and a post by Renukaji and Sangomji.

The present-day group, in particular, the original poster implied as such before it was moderated.

The OP never mentioned one single trait that is unique to all TB, and exclusive only to TBs. In addition, OP conveniently broke every one of the "commandment" that would be desirable in any civilized society (he admitted to some).

Under such circumstance, how can this person desire or preach to future generations?
Would that be like the fox guarding the chicken coup?

I sorry to other members, as it may seem personal disagreement, but this member is indulging in subtle personal attack and ignores pointed question about the thread topic.
 

GNANA SUNYAM

Active 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.
Please read my reply to your posts in the other thread titled, "The Tamil Brahmin Culture - One Opinion (Borrowed)".

The only thing common is our capacity to dexterously mingle with people who belong to our state of domicility, with people to whom our state of domicility belongs.
 

GNANA SUNYAM

Active member
Agreed my friend.
Again I wish to stress that human life is precious gift of God. Let us try this opportunity to live as a good human being. Which is easy if we radiate Compassion, love and companionship with others.

I am not interested giving a sermon, but wish to think aloud.

Each day is a new beginning in life. No one can anticipate what is in store for us on that day. All living beings , trees, animals, or humans are part of the creation. All religions and religious leaders try to help us to lead a happy life in the society. Let us not waste our life and energy quarreling on petty issues. We understand this truth at the fag end of our existence when we face the gate of no return.
Culture is "refinement". Changes are inevitable, no one can stop it. We cannot reverse it either.
It is my understanding that Caste is a generic name for a group of people who follow and discharge a particular "karma" . Incidentally they follow a particular way of life. No one is high or low in birth, all are same.

If we shed the blinkers that we put in the name of Caste, community, high or low and come out of the cucoon of false thinking, we will see the real world of happiness.
Regards,

Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
The problem with people is they have confused religion with caste system. especially in india, hindus have mixed hinduism with casteism.

merely because people belonging to 2 or 3 different castes have embraced the same religion, it does not mean that that religion has promoted these castes, that religion contains these caste elements, that the castes are part of the religion.

For instance we have castes viz chettiars, mudaliyars, nadars, gounders, vanniars, devars, mukkulathors, kallars, etc etc in Tamil Nadu. These are Tamil-language based castes. People of these castes chose to follow hinduism, whatever hinduism is. all of them visit palani temple, tirupati temple, chidambaram temple, madurai temple, kancheepuram temple. it is their choice as a group. that does not mean hinduism contains these castes. you will never find mention of any of these castes in any hindu scripture.

castes are language-group based and are not religious. hinduism is not responsible for existence of these castes. hinduism does not promote the cause of these castes.

it is people who made themselves high-caste and low-caste and not any religion. however religion is blamed and bearing the brunt. poor religion.
 

GNANA SUNYAM

Active member
Tamil Brahmins, besides reciting sanskrit slokas and texts, also indiscriminately recite thiruppaavai, thiruvembavai, thiruvaasagam, thiruvaaimozhi, sashti kavacham etc which belong to non-brahmin tamils.

this broad-heartedness of Tamil Brahmins' culture is worth preserving.
 

a-TB

Well-known member
Tamil Brahmins, besides reciting sanskrit slokas and texts, also indiscriminately recite thiruppaavai, thiruvembavai, thiruvaasagam, thiruvaaimozhi, sashti kavacham etc which belong to non-brahmin tamils.

this broad-heartedness of Tamil Brahmins' culture is worth preserving.
Very interesting observation. Some TB families have Kula Daivam that are Dravidian deities like some Amman. I do not what ours is and not sure if that temple is still maintained. It may have been called Katteri Amman.
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
One of the core culture of TBs is "uncompromising integrity, honesty and ability to standup as one community against Adharmic forces" and this is fast disappearing seeing the moral dilemma in this forum.

And totally worth preserving in these times !!
 

GNANA SUNYAM

Active member
Very interesting observation. Some TB families have Kula Daivam that are Dravidian deities like some Amman. I do not what ours is and not sure if that temple is still maintained. It may have been called Katteri Amman.
Kula deivam is an adoption by choice, an individual's choice passed on to the progeny.

Amman, Katteri Amman, and all Ammans are deities worshipped by Tamil speaking people groups. These are unknown among other linguistic-people groups.
 

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