Friday, August 12, 2005

The Caste System - Inner Significance

The ignorant and arrogant Karunanidhi, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, claimed Bhagwat Gita preaches the caste system that leads to classification of humans by birth and the Gita is not acceptable to the Dravidian tradition. He ridiculed Bhagwat Gita for his stupid political ambitions. What does Karunanidhi know about Hinduism? What does the DK founder Periyar know about Hinduism? These so called aethist politicians dont understand the inner significance of Hinduism and try to potray themselves as the saviours of mankind by ridiculing our religion, saying Hinduism preaches the caste system. When I read the news about Karunanidhi making his idiotic comments last September, I immediately sent an email to Sujatha explaining him the inner significance of the caste system and asked him to write in his "Katrathum Petrathum" section in Anandha Vikatan about it. Sujatha then came up with his own version of the caste system concept the following week.

I wanted to write about the inner significance of the caste system for a long time and I take this opportunity to explain to you what the caste system means according to the Hindu scriptures.

I am reproducing the following para from the famous book "Man's Eternal Quest" by Paramahansa Yogananda.

"Caste in its original conception was not a hereditary status, but a classification based on man's natural capacities. In his evolution, man passes through four distinct grades, designated by ancient Hindu sages as Sudra, Vaisya, Kshatriya and Brahmin. The Sudra is interested primarily in satisfying his bodily needs and desires; the work that best suits his state of development is bodily labour. The Vaisya is ambitious for worldly gain as well as for satisfaction of the senses; he has more creative ability than the Sudra and seeks occupation as a farmer, a businessman, an artist, or wherever his mental energy finds fullfillment. The Kshatriya, having through many lives fulfilled the desires of the Sudra and Vaisya states, begins to seek the meaning of life; he tries to overcome his bad habits, to control his senses, and to do what is right. Kshatriya by occupation are noble rulers, statesmen, warriors. The Brahmin has overcome his lower nature, has a natural affinity for spiritual pursuits, and is God knowing, able therefore to teach and help liberate others."

Thus the caste system is the classification based on the mental state of man's mind rather than birth. It is sad to know that our fellow Hindus didnt understand the inner significance of the caste system which lead to severe ill treatment of the so called lower class people! This has given a reason for these morons to ridicule our great religion that preaches the Eternal Truth. Its high time we study our religious scriptures comprehending its inner significances!

Note: I want to be a Brahmin!

60 Comments:

At August 13, 2005 2:06 AM, Blogger krishna said...

Well Said..

People often forget the divine truth that

"We are all the children on the great Paramaathma"..

Am sure that this very thot will obliterate the difference the arises out of the caste system..

Am also sure that u will be born as a brahmin if u have 2 be reborn again..:)

 
At August 13, 2005 2:25 AM, Blogger Venky Krishnamoorthy said...

Great post Arjuna. It is a pity that there people who do not understand "GOD"...What is more depressing is, they take upon themselves to propogate such ill-concieved thougths.

 
At August 13, 2005 6:54 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Krishna - Thanks a lot :)..Even though I am not a brahmin, my mind is always towards Brahminism! I love Brahmins! A Brahmin is one who is always with the Brahman! :)..He symbolises Purity in Thoughts and Actions.

I always pray Lord Arunachala that I must be born as a Brahmin in Tiruvanamalai and do poojas to Lord Shiva WITHOUT ANY EXPECTATIONS!! I want to be a Brahmin whose thoughts are Pure and is always in a state of Bliss!

 
At August 13, 2005 6:59 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Venky - Thanks a lot for your comments :)

Yes, infact many of these so called aethists belive God - but to the outer world they portray as if they dont believe God! Else why is this Karunanidhi wearing a Yellow shawl? :)) - Ellam "Sevai" utchathula irukirathala! I know many astrologers visited by Karunanidhi!

"Padikirathu Ramayanam, Idikirathu Perumal Koyil" - applies to him..and last but not the least - it applies to Jayalalitha too!

 
At August 13, 2005 9:19 AM, Anonymous Jacky said...

Arjuna, you say you aren't a Brahmin, can you do pooja to Arunachala in this Janma as a priest? Why wait for a rebirth? It reiterates the stand that Varna system is not practiced in true sense today and will never be!
From a pragmatic point, Why understand something better when it's never going to be practiced? Many Nayanmars and Alwars weren't Brahmins by birth.
I'm a Brahmin by birth and I've no inclinations to dedicate my life to only serve GOD unlike you. There you become a Brahmin but our society will not accept no matter what your chaste desires are but will tag me as a Brahmin until I die. What an irony!
Need of the day is to tell kids about the goodness of Hinduism in simple words omitting anything that is inappropriate to our times. That's the only way to curtail these pseudo Dogmas by politicians in future.

 
At August 13, 2005 1:59 PM, Blogger ram said...

It's a great post and I endorse the fantastic reply of Jacky.

ram
IISc

 
At August 13, 2005 5:07 PM, Blogger B said...

Though I dont agree with Karunanidhi's views, one should appreciate Periyar for brining an end to brahmin dominance (atleast to some extent). Also one need not know Hinduism to oppose the ridiculous rules imposed by brahmins on lower caste peoples. Who are these brahmins to prevent people from other caste visiting temples and impose other restrictions? They are one of the most selfish group in the society. In my view, everyone is gods creation and all are equal. There shouldnt be any discrimination based on caste. How many brahmins are pure as they claim to be? I know many brahmins who smoke, drink, eat NV and see what happened to Jayendrar? Though many of his charges are exagarated, I believe that 'nerupillaama pugaiyathu'. My apologies if my words had hurt anyone.

 
At August 13, 2005 6:29 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Bala, if you read my last para clearly - you would know what I was trying to say! All Hindus regardless of whether they are Brahmins or whatever caste misunderstood the concept of the caste system in Hinduism! This lead to severe ill treatment of the so called lower caste people as you have mentioned in your post. But how can you say Brahmins are selfish? If you know some Brahmins who are selfish, I know many Brahmins who do selfless service!

In every caste, there are good and bad people. My caste is considered to be the highest caste in Srilanka after the Brahmins!! That means we are lower than the Brahmins..But still during the olden days, our caste people didnt even let the lower caste people into our houses. We used to give water only in "kotankuchis". Every caste did the same thing to their respective lower castes!

Take the example of what Dr.Ramadoss is trying to do? He wants a seperate state for his caste!!

So it is totally unfair to say all the Brahmins were atrocious since all castes degraded their respective lower castes!! Can you give me one example of any caste that didnt degrade their lower caste in India?

The point of my blog was to let you all know that Hinduism DID NOT seperate the people by birth but by the mind set of the people. So it is totally unfair and ridiculous to find fault with our great religion!

There is no justification whatsoever to put the blame on the entire Brahmin community. Because every caste behaves the same way as its higher counterpart!!

 
At August 13, 2005 6:31 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Again to reiterate what I was trying to say - one cannot call himself to be a Brahmin just because he was born in a Brahmin family or wears his sacred thread. He is a Brahmin only when his mind is pure and conquered all his inner foes to reach the highest state.
sure

 
At August 13, 2005 6:33 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Jacky , I completely agree with you. But again as I said before - the reason why I wrote this blog was to tell people not to find fault with Hinduism. Its the PEOPLE who do the mistakes! Not the religion! This applies to all religions! Never tell bad about the religion - because every religion preaches the Truth and its only us who interpret things wrongly and commit mistakes!

 
At August 13, 2005 6:34 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Ram - thanks :)

 
At August 13, 2005 6:38 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Bala - Periyar went against the Brahmins just to reiterate his stand as an aethist and not to support the lower caste people!

Then why the hell did this moron put slippers on Lord Ganesha's statue who is worshipped by the lower caste people too? If I was there at that time, this moron would not have had a natural death! These blood sucking leaches should be stoned to death!

 
At August 13, 2005 6:39 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Why talk about the Brahmins - I have many Roman Catholic friends who will never marry anyone except a roman catholic!! Putting the blame on Brahmins is totally unfair!

 
At August 13, 2005 7:10 PM, Blogger B said...

Yeah, agreed all caste discriminates people and not specific to Brahmin community. Of course there are many brahmins who render selfless service and there are many many exceptions as well. My point is not to hurt Brahmin community but to discredit the theory of them being clean, pure and messengers of god. How can brahmins alone take credit for performing pooja in temples? Why not a dalit be allowed to perform pooja?

I dont buy your arguments against Periyar. Periyar ideologies are not same as Karunanidhi who is just doing politics. Whatever be the way in which Periyar protested, he helped to reclaim the rights for dalits and other lower caste people who are all suppressed by brahmins. I feel ashamed to hear that even today caste discrimination is widely prelevant in many parts of India. Hell with casteism!!!

p.s: I am not an atheist.

 
At August 13, 2005 7:36 PM, Blogger Aatma said...

Calm down Arjun, U know one thing there is no need to tag people. Yes it is true that no one is born as any particular caste person, but unfortunately this segregation has caused this problem. How can i be spirtually advanced if i am born in a family which is tagged as a Sudras and never let to touch the scriptures or best not even be able to listen to them. Thats what segregation does to you.

As Bala said u have to see the injustice meted out against the lower caste people, to understand the pain. Standing outside and trying to sympathize is very easy. Brahmins had a very important duty to dispel this notion, but they were the reason for this wide spread. According to the system u defined, as a teacher aren't u responsible to correct the people under you.

But anyways bygones are bygones, I believe every person if given the right oppurtunity goes through all the 4 phases - he is born as a sudra, and he attains gyan becomes a vysa, then a kshtriya and finally a brahmin.

You can also become a brahmin in this jnama, for that u don't have to go to a temple to perfom a puja, with your love and knowledge u can do it in your home itself.

And what people around you tell about u will not bother u - u will surpass all that. We are lucky to be born in this age, wherein no one can stop us from learning.

Thanks for writing about this article, but to be frank it won't cause a dent, a person who is born as a brahmin will not change - come on who wants give up his superior status.

Even you after all that talk told u want to be born as a Brahmin, why? If you are born in a sudra family, can't u become a brahmin by your want for knowledge.

 
At August 13, 2005 7:44 PM, Blogger Escape.... Great Escape said...

Brahminism is a state of mind. So is Shoodraism... politicising the caste system is the worst thing anyone could have done... I wish Hinduism had remained an Idea.. and not become a Belief.

 
At August 13, 2005 7:54 PM, Anonymous Jacky said...

"a person who is born as a brahmin will not change - come on who wants give up his superior status."


I don't think this generalization is fair. At least with people in their 20's. They are not a chip from the old block.

 
At August 13, 2005 8:33 PM, Blogger Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

I guess there is no use in blaming the castes or varnas. They are quite natural in any society. It is just that we have to make sure not to politicize them. We have to try spreading the message of Vedanta and make sure it reaches people in proper spirit. Regarding making dalits as priests, I guess being a priest needs some qualification and if gets satisfied (like knowing mantras and stuffs)caste should not be a barrier. But, which dalit wants to become a priest, given the option of earning handfuls by going into other professions ?

 
At August 13, 2005 9:47 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Bala - I was going to comment what Kasthuri said. I guess he has answered your question :)..Caste (by birth) is never a barrier for performing poojas..Its only when the Shasthras are not properly understood you start putting barriers to things like this..

 
At August 13, 2005 9:55 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Aatma - I completely agree to your point. Again, I never meant that what 'some' Brahmins did in the past was right! It was their fault not to have understood the Shasthras properly. That is why I reiterate that man should see in him and everyone, the omnipresence of God! The Advaitic mind is necessary to dispel the darkness surrounding you - the mind should be broad. It is a pity that even within castes there are different sects who fight with each other!

Aatma - the reason why I said I want to be born as a Brahmin is that I am fascinated by their way of life! I mean Brahmins who behave like a true Brahmin! I can in this birth be promoted to the Brahmin nature - but its very difficult to me since I am still in the Kshatriya state as your friend Popcornchutney - there is an internal war between the mind and the buddhi!!

 
At August 13, 2005 9:59 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Kasthuri - I would like to recall an incident in Tiruvanaika temple in Trichy. One priest in the temple works for Intel! I was quite shocked to know this :) - this shows that there are pure Brahmins who would do their religious duties properly!!

 
At August 13, 2005 10:01 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

escape - thanks for your comments :)..

"I wish Hinduism had remained an Idea.. and not become a Belief."

does that apply to other religions as well ? :)

 
At August 13, 2005 10:03 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Jacky - infact I know many old brahmins who are moderate and mix with all castes!!

 
At August 13, 2005 10:22 PM, Blogger Aatma said...

"But, which dalit wants to become a priest, given the option of earning handfuls by going into other professions ? " So there you go Jacky - notice the question - what does this question mean ?

the same way some Brahmins would like to become

Jacky there are only few people like you, the majority question in this fashion - I believe very few brahmins can understand the plight of lower caste people - I was seeing this english movie - don't know the name - The english guy says i am fighting hard to make u people equal - Samuel Jackson replies back "So u mean that we are not equal, u are fighthing to make us equal not to give our rights that was snatched by you people"

If you can understand the meaning of this conversation -- the pain that people still endure is something u can never understand.

 
At August 13, 2005 10:25 PM, Blogger Aatma said...

Arjun, I understand and i share the same feelings. Wish i could have learned the scriptures, wish i was born in an environment which facilitated this process

But on the other hand even this way i am good :)

 
At August 13, 2005 10:28 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

aatma - I am quite happy with the surroundings I was born with :)..Thanks to my mother who is my God that I was able to know divinity from my young age! :)..

One more secret - one main reason why I like being born as a Brahmin is that I like their Pongal, Sambar etc - yum yum! lol!!

 
At August 13, 2005 11:47 PM, Blogger Aatma said...

Arjun, I didn't think that angle only ;) -- But my mom can make excellent Pongal, sambar, chakkra pongal - so no complaints there too

:)

 
At August 14, 2005 12:01 AM, Blogger TJ said...

Very valid post!!
Most of us know it, and only that, if this post has been put by any of the guys born in the class who are supposed to be brahmins, they would have been branded as casteist!! That is the reason most of us are delicate in expressing opinions.
Since you have put it,[honest views] the level of acceptence of the views and inreased manifolds and keep up the great work!!

 
At August 14, 2005 12:11 AM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

I am a combination of all Sudra,vysa,kshatriya and brahmin.
I have all the tendencies and I am not ashamed of it.

Don't know where we lost it..but it is sad that we have ended up where we are today.

FYI - Karunanidhi / Ambedhar had Brahmin wives.! ( Am I correct).
Karunanidhi has a few wives and lives in a country where Polygamy is the law.

Politicians are jokers to put it lightly. They know what is what Yet they preach to win elections. Bottom line money.!

Nice post.! And what is Sujatha's email id please?

 
At August 14, 2005 2:00 AM, Anonymous Sundaresan said...

Arjun,

First time in your blog and you had a nice blog. By the way, nice post and more than the post, the comments were too good.

 
At August 14, 2005 4:17 AM, Anonymous Jacky said...

Aatma,
There's a pragmatic angle to that question by Kasthuri. It's a free world and we can interpret anything we like! The person who commented will be the best to clarify.

"I believe very few Brahmins can understand the plight of lower caste people"

It varies from person to person with their experiences. I haven't seen a single Brahmin (my friends or co-workers) having reservations to make friends with guys of other caste. Infact the word caste never crosses our minds. But if your experiences are different – I feel sad.
History is quite nasty, it took less than 50 years for us to forget everything and now we're happy to work under white skinned people in the States and UK. We don't brood on the ill-treatment that was forced on us few generations back. Recalling history and getting into boomerang mode (not a specific complaint on anyone but from what I see in common) will only irk fair minded people who just bear the tag of being born in once-oppressing-community.

 
At August 14, 2005 5:05 AM, Blogger Neha said...

Waaah!!!

 
At August 14, 2005 5:47 AM, Blogger Aatma said...

Well said Jacky you did catch me there, kinda have this habit to get emotional about this topic.

My best friend, who is like a brother to me is a brahmin, we both have talked a lot about this, and I have pointed out the simple day to day places where we have seen the differences. Yes luckily we live in a age where these differences don't matter anymore in big cities, but still can be seen in villages.

I am lucky that way, i have never faced a problem. But anywhere i see the ugly head of castesim come up, I sure will try to squash it

 
At August 14, 2005 9:49 AM, Blogger Sriram V Iyer said...

Dear Arjuna
Really nice post. There are somethings I cannot digest - To insult Hindu Gods. These so called rationalists will do these things only to Hindu Gods. If they even say anything about Christ or Allah, they will be roasted next day.

We do not have a unified front from Hindus. Casteism was misused and caused a rot in society - agreed. It was really a mistake.

But, I HATE these pseudo secular people who bash only Hindus. If they are rationalists why do they go against everybody who believe in God.

TamilNadu is the only place where you will see "People who believe in God are fools" written down in Govt installed Periyar statues and painted by Government in buses and bus stops.

We should do something - Inaction when action is required is a sin.

Regards
Sriram V Iyer

 
At August 14, 2005 9:56 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 14, 2005 9:58 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 14, 2005 9:59 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Sriram - Yes - that's what I am trying to say - there is no unity within the Hindus..Take the case of Brahmins, the Vaishnavites are against the Shaivaites! I read Subha's post the other day where she says she saw an Iyengar turning his head and saying "Narayana" when he was passing the Tiruvanaika Temple in Trichy! Atrocious!! If there is no unity within the Brahmin community how can we expect others to appreciate the Brahmin values!

All Hindus should unite and I see that Advaitam is the only solution - until you are attached to one form of the Lord - you will degrade the others who follow a different aspect of Divinity!

Hindus should unite - else you cannot stop people converting to other religions. It is a shame to see people converting to other religions by accepting biscuit packets!! But Hinduism has the power to withstand anything in this world!!

To stop these things - we should tell to this world the true essence of Hinduism - and that's what I meant to say in this blog! Hinduism does not differentiate people by birth!!

 
At August 14, 2005 10:02 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Narayanan sir - thanks for your comments :) - I was anticipating your reply :)..I guess all of us have all the four tendencies.

I shall check out my mail and let you know the email id..

 
At August 14, 2005 10:02 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

TJ - thanks boss :)..

 
At August 14, 2005 10:02 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Sundaresan - thanks for visiting and leaving your comments :)

 
At August 14, 2005 10:03 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

neha - did u mean "what" or "wow" ? :)) - anyway thanks for leaving your comment :)..

 
At August 14, 2005 10:04 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

"History is quite nasty, it took less than 50 years for us to forget everything and now we're happy to work under white skinned people in the States and UK."

Jacky - well said! We dont even mind going and working in Arabian countries forgetting what the Moghuls have done to us!!

 
At August 14, 2005 12:45 PM, Blogger Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

Hello Aatma,
Jakie was right in interpreting my question. I was looking things in a practical point of view. It was never intended to downplay anything. It is infact out of sad reality that the spirit of hinduism is not reaching dalits.

 
At August 14, 2005 1:31 PM, Blogger Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

"I read Subha's post the other day where she says she saw an Iyengar turning his head and saying "Narayana" when he was passing the Tiruvanaika Temple in Trichy! Atrocious!! "

Probably he saw Narayana everywhere. Actually, all great vedantins including Sri Adi Sankara, Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhvacharya didn't have any iota of doubt in accepting Narayana as Para Brahman. Only their philosophies differed.The divisions came later-400 hundred years back or so.

 
At August 14, 2005 3:58 PM, Blogger Aatma said...

I am sorry Kasthuri that i misinterpreted your intentions, but just the way the question was put forth seemed taunting to me. In such cases i think anyone giving their comment need to be a little careful, for unlike other cases the wounds are still fresh as u can see we still have riots based on castesim.

We are not working for the west, we are working in the west, there is a subtle difference. What we have here is a pure give and take relationship, they respect us we respect them, they need us, we need them. Next u will say that working for Landlord means that u have forgotten the attrocities they have commited. The key difference is the respect.

 
At August 14, 2005 8:59 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Kasthuri - but Subha's post didnt mean that way :)..that y I commented like that :)

 
At August 15, 2005 7:51 AM, Blogger WA said...

hmmmmmmmm

 
At August 15, 2005 9:44 AM, Blogger Prabu Karthik said...

i think the comunity which is dominant at one point tries to oppress the less dominant.
(brahmins of the past, and other communities wherever they are dominant)

the community which gets heard tries to shout louder just to attract a larger audience, to gain even more in the bargain...
this phenomenon goes on.

what u say abt Karunanidhi is absolutely true.

i was not born during periyar's time. but i too think its one philosophy(anti-brahminism,atheism)whoes time has come and gone but people do not want to realise this...

i have had more brahmin friends than friends of any other community. am a non-brahmins. and i have seen all kinds of them. the 'holier than thou', the liberal, the rebels.. u name it.
just like any other community....

nothing bad nore great abt them...

am not an athiest but kind of an agnost...

 
At August 15, 2005 1:04 PM, Blogger keerthi said...

Whoopa !
I agree to what Jacky says. I dont even see a single Brahmin think about caste when it comes to interacting with society. It would be obvious only when you travel with a brahmin into a Non-Veg Hotel.

I personally belive the caste system should exist as such. Not because of any discrimination, but because of the culture every caste has grown up with. Every caste has their own formalities, celebrations, wedding cultures, food habits and other traditions. For known or unknown reasons, rules have been formulated caste specific. We dont want to screw up in the name of enlightment of secrets.

arjuna tell me if you dont mind bad words on your comments, i have a lot for Karunanidhi. High-valued immature person. I dare him to talk against Islam. He possibly cannot.

and about "50 years.. we forgot what Moghals and Whites did to us".. i put up this question on venkittu sir's blog and few others.. same question, that my friend asked me, goes here.

"british ruled us more than 300 years. they tortured us beyond imagination. now that we are free, we are more friendly with UK. But what was once part of us, Pakisthan, is shown complete enemity. why ?"

 
At August 15, 2005 7:42 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Prabhu - well said :)

 
At August 15, 2005 7:48 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Keerthi - you are right..Karunanidhi doesnt have the guts to speak about Islam..Why Islam, he cant even speak about Christians!!Just for the sake of getting the votes of people from other religions, he says stupid things about Hinduism!

He told "Chithambaram Natrajan and Srirangam Ranganathan should be bombed by cannons" - Will he be able to tell that with the Muslims??

How can he say that Advani was an extremist since he was instrumental in demolishing the Babri masjid, when Karunanidhi himself gave open statements of demolishing hindu temples?

Karunanidhi is a disgrace and I feel that majority of our politicians are a disgrace!

 
At August 15, 2005 9:52 PM, Blogger Aatma said...

Arjun, u know karunanidhi, do u think he is passionate about what he says, no he is just a politician who tells things to get votes, or to increase his popularity. Most of our politicians, why just ours, around the world people are trying to exploit others with things they know can get them instant recognition.

And Keerthi, these are same politicians who by their talks are trying to create enemity with Pakistan, not that Pakistan is a Saint either.

Time is a great healer, and new generation since not seen the old attrocites, forgive and forget them. Thats the reason why we are friendly with UK, thats the reason why we have forgotten about the Moghuls

 
At August 16, 2005 12:23 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Aatma - yeah I agree that Karunanidhi is the greatest actor around :) - but I guess all politicians are like him now :( - which is a sad plight!

 
At August 16, 2005 2:58 PM, Blogger Ganesh said...

arujna
very interesting post.
Caste system is outdated and misused.
They have to go period.

 
At August 16, 2005 9:42 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

ganesh - thanks for ur comments :)

 
At August 17, 2005 9:09 PM, Blogger Phoenix said...

Interesting perspective...but that is not practised in India..Maybe it is good for a speech but reality is not rosy..
So if I am a sudra and want to become a brahmin did the society support it? I dont think so..

I would like to cite an example from my life...
I went to a temple which ancestors in my lineage constructed..One of my grandfather's cousin is the preist there...He did not let some people inside the temple (it is in year 2005) My grandfather told him to let them in but the priest was adamant and did nto allow them in..Such being the case now (though sparse) I dont see this "mental" thingy about caste being practised in old ages...

 
At August 18, 2005 5:41 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

phoneix - I am quite surprised to hear that..which temple was it?

 
At August 18, 2005 2:02 PM, Blogger Phoenix said...

TamilNadu in a very remote area...
what i am trying to say is such a distinction of caste was not practised by anyone in old times !

 
At October 26, 2005 8:59 AM, Blogger kitchenette soul said...

“Brahmini charati eti brahmanah”

The one who is moving towards the Brahman (The Cosmic Universal Spirit) is a brahmin. That makes you one definitely. The one in search of the Ultimate. In short one who is a spiritual seeker in search of the Truth is a Brahmin

Its not a birthright.
Being born in a family of 'brahmins' gives one a greater opportunity. But how many use it?


The various varnas(castes as interpreted by the above mentioned people like KK)refer to various states of mind of an individual which everyone goes through.

There is a cassette on this by Swami Akshara should you be interested. I was lucky to attend this discourse in Bangalore(it was at the request of a few people for him to explain the how and why of caste system)

 
At July 22, 2007 2:04 AM, Blogger lokakshemam said...

I read the first few comments here and wanted to contribute my thoughts to your blog. Please check my blogsite: lokakshemam.blogspot.com

In Bhagavat Gita chapter 4 verse 13, Sri Krishna says

"chA-tu-rva-Nyam ma-yA sR-SHTam
gu-Na-ka-rma-vi-bhA-ga-shah |"

This means - "I have brought forth the four (basic) traits
- a division based on gu-Na
(aptitude/attitude/attribute/skill set) and karma (work befitting to gu-Na)."

In other words, four major traits are observed and these are created by God for the sake of the good of the world. It is not necessary for it to be hereditary - i.e. a teachers son need not be a teacher even though in the old agrarian world it was easier for him to learn teaching from his father early on and hence gave him a headstart. But it does not mean he cannot be a farmer. Guna hear means aptitude or the inborn instinctive guna. Karma means the actions associated with this aptitude. In general aptitudes can be classified as intellectual aptitudes, aggressive aptitudes, financial aptitudes and service-based aptitudes. In the same family it is possible for 4 children to be born with these 4 aptitudes. And this does not preclude one from shifting his vocation either - it is recommended best practice to pick a vocation that suits once aptitude.

In a later chapter, Sri Krishna does say that based on past good karma, one might be born in a highly spiritual family or a rich family so they can continue their spiritual progress. This is a head start for the person. However, Sri Krishna did not use the word Brahmin and Vaishya here - he said highly spiritual family or rich family!

Gita is the only hope of Hinduism... and I am in close touch with a scholar who is translating it to be as unbiased as possible; with multiple meanings for all the words and with just a 2 line translation; no detailed purport. This way the Gita will talk back to the reader.

I do agree and do not discount the power of association. I.e. a person's mind is shaped by association with other people, books read etc. That is why sat sangam is recommended for one aspiring to be spiritual.

Also in chapter 9, Krishna clearly says that all can achieve liberation if they want to and set their mind on him.

 

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