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What makes one a Tamil Brahmin these days?

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tks

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All -

I am a new member, have lived outside India for most of my life. Both my parents and wife's parents have been Tamil Brahmins for generations. My children though born outside India can speak Tamil fluently, are vegetarians, and have had many years of teaching of Hindu Heritage, vedanta concepts and Gita as applicable to teenage lives. With this backdrop let me ask a general question as to what makes one a Tamil Brahmin these days.

1. Is it by birth? is birth a necessary condition? It cannot be a sufficient condition? What if only one parent is Tamil Brahmin?
2. Being able to speak Tamil? What if they cannot read or write Tamil?
3. Do they have to have knowledge of Vedas to some small extent? At a minmimum how many people truly understand Vedas as a Pramana and how many know and practice Dharma as a Purushartha? Do they have to understand these aspects to be considered a Tambrahmins?
4. What if they are non vegetarians?
5. What rituals are they expected to follow at a minimum to be considered a Tamil Brahmin?

I can go on - my point is not about what qualifies one to be a member of this great forum. Rather I am curious as to what attributes people in the forum think that are important and those attributes that have qualified them as a Tamil Brahmin

TKS
 
Dear Mr. TKS,

Welcome to the Forum. :welcome:

The tag "tamilbrahmins" is there only in the name of this forum.

All are welcome here. :bump2:

Please read the forum rules before you go deeper into your pondering

about the qualification to be member here!

As for as I know the only thing a person certainly requires is

the access to a computer :D

looking forward to your posts, :typing:

with best wishes and regards,
Mrs. V.R.
 
Mrs VR -


I pointed out specifically in the last paragraph of my post that 'this is NOT about membership of this forum. Perhaps you missed seeing this. I hope that if this is not about forum membership the topic is appropriate as a general point of discussion

TKS
 
All -

I am a new member, have lived outside India for most of my life. Both my parents and wife's parents have been Tamil Brahmins for generations. My children though born outside India can speak Tamil fluently, are vegetarians, and have had many years of teaching of Hindu Heritage, vedanta concepts and Gita as applicable to teenage lives. With this backdrop let me ask a general question as to what makes one a Tamil Brahmin these days.

1. Is it by birth? is birth a necessary condition? It cannot be a sufficient condition? What if only one parent is Tamil Brahmin?
2. Being able to speak Tamil? What if they cannot read or write Tamil?
3. Do they have to have knowledge of Vedas to some small extent? At a minmimum how many people truly understand Vedas as a Pramana and how many know and practice Dharma as a Purushartha? Do they have to understand these aspects to be considered a Tambrahmins?
4. What if they are non vegetarians?
5. What rituals are they expected to follow at a minimum to be considered a Tamil Brahmin?

I can go on - my point is not about what qualifies one to be a member of this great forum. Rather I am curious as to what attributes people in the forum think that are important and those attributes that have qualified them as a Tamil Brahmin

TKS

I also joined this forum newly like you. Dont worry so much if we are fair, simple,hardworking,honest it is good. If we can pass this to our children then we have passed down tamil brahmin heritage.
 
Sri.TKS, Greetings. Welcome to the forum, please.

I can go on - my point is not about what qualifies one to be a member of this great forum. Rather I am curious as to what attributes people in the forum think that are important and those attributes that have qualified them as a Tamil Brahmin
In my opinion, important attributes required are - one should have humane feelings towards others, be broad-minded, be able to express one's views without offending others. That's all. By the way, these attributes are expected from the memb ers in this forum; not to be Tamil Brahmins.

To be a Brahmin, Tamil or otherwise, one should be born to Brahmin parents. Strictly speaking, just one of the parents from Brahmin caste is not enough. Non-vegetarian diet doe not enter the equation at all; at least, officially, should follow vegetarian diet. Knowledge in Tamil language, knowledge in vedic sciptures etc or added qualities; not compulsory though, in my opinion.

Minimum expected rituals are performing pitru karmas. There are much more knowledgable members here who would provide you with more detailed answers. By the way, my details are just as I see them; they are not sarcastic in anyway.

Cheers!
 
dear Mr. TKS,

Umpteen threads have discussed and (of course) ended also

without defining a Brahmin - no necessarily Tamil!
icon3.png


So I never thought you will bring up the same topic again. :high5:

I read your post completely but did not know that the last line had in it

what
you really wanted to know
icon4.png


So back to square one and heated discussion about who IS a brahmin and

who
ISN'T!
icon2.png


with best wishes and regards,
Mrs. V.R.
 
All -

I am a new member, have lived outside India for most of my life. Both my parents and wife's parents have been Tamil Brahmins for generations. My children though born outside India can speak Tamil fluently, are vegetarians, and have had many years of teaching of Hindu Heritage, vedanta concepts and Gita as applicable to teenage lives. With this backdrop let me ask a general question as to what makes one a Tamil Brahmin these days.

1. Is it by birth? is birth a necessary condition? It cannot be a sufficient condition? What if only one parent is Tamil Brahmin?
2. Being able to speak Tamil? What if they cannot read or write Tamil?
3. Do they have to have knowledge of Vedas to some small extent? At a minmimum how many people truly understand Vedas as a Pramana and how many know and practice Dharma as a Purushartha? Do they have to understand these aspects to be considered a Tambrahmins?
4. What if they are non vegetarians?
5. What rituals are they expected to follow at a minimum to be considered a Tamil Brahmin?

I can go on - my point is not about what qualifies one to be a member of this great forum. Rather I am curious as to what attributes people in the forum think that are important and those attributes that have qualified them as a Tamil Brahmin

TKS

Shri TKS,

To the extent my limited world experience goes, today any one born to Tamil brahmin parents is a tamil brahmin. This is the general social perception. Exceptions like people with one parent tabra and the other non-brahmin hindu, also being considered tabra are there too. All the rest of the attributes in the list given in your post, are "optional" or "extra-fittings" IMO.
 
Dear Shri TKS,

What attributes constitute a brahmin, a kshatriya etc do not change. But the question I think is, how does a brahmin fit those attributes to the times? For example, if earlier brahmins earned a living by teaching vedas, now they do so or need to do so by teaching science and technology. The thing is they are concerned with knowledge acquisition and dissemination. Similarly there are professions that they need to avoid. The point here is that they should not force themselves to a state where they need to compromise values. Any activity that is not a threat to that is ok according to me. So, not giving up values is the other most important factor that makes anyone a brahmin other than the ability to acquire and disseminate knowledge.
 
"The Knower of Brahman is a Brahmana" so work on those lines..tough but not impossible to obtain..not this birth may be for most mortals but as the saying goes keep trying.
 
Anybody engrossed in "Brahmam" always is Brahman. Coming to times of 2011, those who criticize themselves, those who do Brahmin caste, those who indulge in self-ridicule, those who pooh-pooh all the past including the parents, ancestors, those who appear to be sane but laugh at themselves, and at last those that are like cat on the wall are all 'unadulterated' Brahmins. As time is progressing Brahmins also have developed multifaceted traits and habits to give truth to the saying "do in Rome as Romans do".
 
"The Knower of Brahman is a Brahmana" so work on those lines..tough but not impossible to obtain..not this birth may be for most mortals but as the saying goes keep trying.

Sowbagyavathy Renuka, Greetings.

பிரம்மம் அறிந்தவர்க்கு ஜாதி ஏது, மதம்தான் ஏது? One has to think outside the caste, outside the religion to learn Brahmam.

Cheers!
 
This topic has 10,000 lives or more. I don't understand this fascination with Brahminhood as if it is some sort of a wonder to behold. I don't see a "shudra" wasting time pondering over what qualities make a Shudra, with some saying both parents must be shudra then only a child will be shudra, and others saying, no no, it is not by birth alone, one has to show such qualities as sloth, ignorance, etc., then only one can be considered a shudra.

Well well, go on, waste your time reveling in your identity, it will amount to zilch in the end.

Cheers!
 
Dear Shri TKS,

What attributes constitute a brahmin, a kshatriya etc do not change. But the question I think is, how does a brahmin fit those attributes to the times? For example, if earlier brahmins earned a living by teaching vedas, now they do so or need to do so by teaching science and technology. The thing is they are concerned with knowledge acquisition and dissemination. Similarly there are professions that they need to avoid. The point here is that they should not force themselves to a state where they need to compromise values. Any activity that is not a threat to that is ok according to me. So, not giving up values is the other most important factor that makes anyone a brahmin other than the ability to acquire and disseminate knowledge.
குணமா செல்வமா பிராமணனுக்கு என்ன வேணும் ? மகாபாரத்தில் அதற்கு தர்மபுடிரர் ஒரே பதில் குடுத்தார் - என்ன பெரிய பிச்டவாக இருந்தாலும் எவலவவு சாஸ்திரங்கள் வேதங்கள் படித்திருந்தாலும் நட வடிக்கை ஒழுங்காக இருந்தால் தான் அவன் பிராமணன் .

நடவடிக்கை வெச்சுண்டு தான் அவன் ப்ராஹ்மான் என்று சொல்ல முடியும் - தர்மபுடிரர் சொன்னார்.
 
This topic has 10,000 lives or more. I don't understand this fascination with Brahminhood as if it is some sort of a wonder to behold. I don't see a "shudra" wasting time pondering over what qualities make a Shudra, with some saying both parents must be shudra then only a child will be shudra, and others saying, no no, it is not by birth alone, one has to show such qualities as sloth, ignorance, etc., then only one can be considered a shudra.

Well well, go on, waste your time reveling in your identity, it will amount to zilch in the end.

Cheers!

Dear nara,

Do I detect a sense of disgust in your post?

Is it not better to discuss and expose the phantoms, so that they do not indulge in fear mongering anymore? Don’t we all have ghosts that hover around us at night and make us scream with fright at the thought of the unknown and the ultimate curtain drop?

At least I do.

For many like TKS, I think this introspection is born out of a sense of loss? Or a world that they grew up in and cannot relate to anymore? Who knows.

All I know, is that if my father were alive today, he would disapprove of everything that I do. but hopefully, he would have acknowledged the level of honesty and simplicity in my relationship to my children. maybe all of us try to aim for this, but personally i have found it difficult, and always at error, but hopeful.

all I hope, is that when my children reach their 60s and 70s, their values would be some what relatable to what is mine today. To that extent, I hope to have practised what I preached, in terms of not only sincerity but consistency.

My dad is long gone, and I do not wish to discuss his value system. But the very fact that I did so, the minute I left home early 20s, is a good indication of my evaluation of the same.

Maybe folks here are worried, not just what they practised, but how it will be viewed by their children, and whether there is enough strength and honesty passed on, for the children to emulate their fathers.

A futile exercise?

Maybe. But we never tire of discussing it. :) don't we?
 
Sowbagyavathy Renuka, Greetings.

பிரம்மம் அறிந்தவர்க்கு ஜாதி ஏது, மதம்தான் ஏது? One has to think outside the caste, outside the religion to learn Brahmam.

Cheers!

Dear Raghy,

Adi Sankara has himself disproved the above statement. So what to talk about lesser mortals who might have realized Brahman (பிரம்மம் அறிந்தவர்) and of course, those who claim to be such!
 
This topic has 10,000 lives or more. I don't understand this fascination with Brahminhood as if it is some sort of a wonder to behold. I don't see a "shudra" wasting time pondering over what qualities make a Shudra, with some saying both parents must be shudra then only a child will be shudra, and others saying, no no, it is not by birth alone, one has to show such qualities as sloth, ignorance, etc., then only one can be considered a shudra.

Well well, go on, waste your time reveling in your identity, it will amount to zilch in the end.

Cheers!

Dear Nara,

My reading is quite contrarian. The more such discussions about Brahamana-hood, religion, brahmajnaanam, advaita, etc., the more the younger generation will get repelled by this sort of topics and yearn to get out of all these and escape, in case they happen to read any of this stuff by chance. So, in my opinion, such discussions help promote IRM/ICM in an indirect way, and will ultimately wipe out "the boast that is braahmanyam". Don't you agree?
 
Dear nara,

Do I detect a sense of disgust in your post?

Is it not better to discuss and expose the phantoms, so that they do not indulge in fear mongering anymore? Don’t we all have ghosts that hover around us at night and make us scream with fright at the thought of the unknown and the ultimate curtain drop?

At least I do.

For many like TKS, I think this introspection is born out of a sense of loss? Or a world that they grew up in and cannot relate to anymore? Who knows.

All I know, is that if my father were alive today, he would disapprove of everything that I do. but hopefully, he would have acknowledged the level of honesty and simplicity in my relationship to my children. maybe all of us try to aim for this, but personally i have found it difficult, and always at error, but hopeful.

all I hope, is that when my children reach their 60s and 70s, their values would be some what relatable to what is mine today. To that extent, I hope to have practised what I preached, in terms of not only sincerity but consistency.

My dad is long gone, and I do not wish to discuss his value system. But the very fact that I did so, the minute I left home early 20s, is a good indication of my evaluation of the same.

Maybe folks here are worried, not just what they practised, but how it will be viewed by their children, and whether there is enough strength and honesty passed on, for the children to emulate their fathers.

A futile exercise?

Maybe. But we never tire of discussing it. :) don't we?

Dear Kunjuppu,

There is a "sa se mi raa" story which probably you might have heard in your childhood. To put it shortly, king bhoja exiles Kalidasa, prince goes hunting, invites some savage's curse as a result of which he could utter only the four alphabets "sa se mi raa". After a long period of agony for the king, a seer comes to the palace, diagnoses the prince's condition as Kali's curse and Her punishment for exiling Kalidasa. Sage recites on everse starting with sa, then the prince starts saying "se mi raa" and so on till, after the fourth verse he becomes able to speak normally. King finds out Kalidasa and all ends well.

This "sa se mi raa" story is cited in exemplifying anything which reduces inexorably. The "brahmanyam" is one such. The present day brahmins, not people like me, but who claim to be upholding "braahmanyam" are themselves in the "raa" stage of the full "sa se mi raa" of braahmanyam, IMHO. that also will vanish, eventually. Till then why not people discuss how the "raa" could be prolonged a little further? I think there is no harm.
 
குணமா செல்வமா பிராமணனுக்கு என்ன வேணும் ? மகாபாரத்தில் அதற்கு தர்மபுடிரர் ஒரே பதில் குடுத்தார் - என்ன பெரிய பிச்டவாக இருந்தாலும் எவலவவு சாஸ்திரங்கள் வேதங்கள் படித்திருந்தாலும் நட வடிக்கை ஒழுங்காக இருந்தால் தான் அவன் பிராமணன் .

நடவடிக்கை வெச்சுண்டு தான் அவன் ப்ராஹ்மான் என்று சொல்ல முடியும் - தர்மபுடிரர் சொன்னார்.

subbudu1 என்று பெயர் வைத்துக் கொண்டு
இது போன்ற தமிழில் எழுதலாமா? :rolleyes:
தேவை மீண்டும் ஒரு real சுப்புடுவின் சேவை! :help:
 
கண்டவர் விண்டிலர்;
விண்டவர் கண்டிலர்!

பிரமத்தை அறிந்தவன்
ஒருபோதும் கூறமாட்டான்!

Trust those who seek the truth.

Trust not those who 'claim'

to have actually discovered it!
 
Dear Shri Sangom and K,

I agree with both of you, it is better to openly discuss than to sweep under the rug.

I find it strange that there is no cognizance of the fact that when one wonders about who a brahmin is and claims it is all the sublime qualities that make a brahmin, they are blind to how vile this statement is, implying that Shudras are ones with despicable qualities. Ironically, those who criticize this line of thinking get criticized as blind.

And then there are those others who criticize that we have nothing else to talk about but criticize their desire to preserve the wonderful brahmin heritage. They remind me of southern rednecks in the U.S. wanting to preserve their tradition with the display of the hateful symbols of Confederacy.

The bright light of knowledge is supposed to clear out these cobwebs, but these are well educated and that indeed is cause for despondence.

Cheers!
 
Dear Shri Sangom and K,

I agree with both of you, it is better to openly discuss than to sweep under the rug.

I find it strange that there is no cognizance of the fact that when one wonders about who a brahmin is and claims it is all the sublime qualities that make a brahmin, they are blind to how vile this statement is, implying that Shudras are ones with despicable qualities. Ironically, those who criticize this line of thinking get criticized as blind.

And then there are those others who criticize that we have nothing else to talk about but criticize their desire to preserve the wonderful brahmin heritage. They remind me of southern rednecks in the U.S. wanting to preserve their tradition with the display of the hateful symbols of Confederacy.

The bright light of knowledge is supposed to clear out these cobwebs, but these are well educated and that indeed is cause for despondence.

Cheers!

Dear Nara,

I suggest, even recommend the Malayalam movie "Guru" (1997) by Rajiv Anchal. If you can get it in US it is good. I don't get it in youtube. That gives a good answer to the "blind" criticism.

I will also recommend the alternative movie "Deeksha" based on Jnanpith award winning novel "Ghatasraddha" by U.R. Ananthamoorthy. It is in Hindi with tolerably good English sub-titling. Nana Patekar's acting stands out, though every actor does very well IMO.

As for brahmanas having some superior qualities, it will be relevant to know that in a bank with a large % of (mostly tamil) brahmans the bank frauds perpetrated by brahmans were also correspondingly high; thus, the the tabras seem to be just like any other community/caste when it comes to temptation of lucre.
 
nara,

re 'The bright light of knowledge is supposed to clear out these cobwebs, but these are well educated and that indeed is cause for despondence.'

i find that there is no relationship between book knowledge and wisdom. some of my most book qualified friends are among those who have the least morals, or who have screwed up their lives the most.
 
Dear Raghy,

Adi Sankara has himself disproved the above statement. So what to talk about lesser mortals who might have realized Brahman (பிரம்மம் அறிந்தவர்) and of course, those who claim to be such!

Sri.Sangom Sir, Greetings.

I did not know about Sri.Adi Sankara's stand about learning Brahmam. I am not qualified to discuss about anybody, since my learning is way too limited.

My learning is limited to discussions of Srimad Baghavat Gita with my wife; That's all. It may sound quite silly, but that is the truth. Neither of us have any learning to write home about.

But, both of us have concluded long back, we have to think without caste and without religion. அண்டம் நிறைந்து நிற்பது பிரம்மம். அதில் பூலோகம் ஒரு துகள். When we look at the whole concept, religion, caste and other seperations amoung human beings stands out as silly things.

I could be wrong, but lessons learned from hunger and poverty stays for ever. As young couples, we were very fortunate to have come across nice persons from many different castes, couple of Muslims and many Christians. We also came across an Irish athiest, about 70 years old, who spent hours discussing with us. I strongly believe, realising Brahmam may not be achieved while attached to a partiicular religion.

Cheers!
 
Sri.Sangom Sir, Greetings.

I did not know about Sri.Adi Sankara's stand about learning Brahmam. I am not qualified to discuss about anybody, since my learning is way too limited.

My learning is limited to discussions of Srimad Baghavat Gita with my wife; That's all. It may sound quite silly, but that is the truth. Neither of us have any learning to write home about.

But, both of us have concluded long back, we have to think without caste and without religion. அண்டம் நிறைந்து நிற்பது பிரம்மம். அதில் பூலோகம் ஒரு துகள். When we look at the whole concept, religion, caste and other seperations amoung human beings stands out as silly things.

I could be wrong, but lessons learned from hunger and poverty stays for ever. As young couples, we were very fortunate to have come across nice persons from many different castes, couple of Muslims and many Christians. We also came across an Irish athiest, about 70 years old, who spent hours discussing with us. I strongly believe, realising Brahmam may not be achieved while attached to a partiicular religion.

Cheers!

Dear Raghy,

Perhaps you have come out with a very profound statement (highlighted above). Thank you for that.

What I referred to was that even AdiSankara who is supposed to have had brahmajnaana, asked th Chandaala to go away from his path. This shows that even such great Brahmajnanis can harbour caste notions in their minds.
 
Sri Nara,

Why do you use the term Shudra which has disappeared from our vocabulary? It was used by our grand parents. Even at that time it was banned in my family. Non-Brahmin is the right word. Nothing personal. But I am deeply hurt that some one should use the term which is the equivalent of Nigger in U.S.

Thank you.
 
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