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ShivaFan
05 August 2013, 04:01 AM
Namaste

The statements, which are based on inference and not Vedas, that "Hence, it is clear that those who are not qualified to study the veda are indeed qualified to hear the vedic message through other means, i.e. the itihAsa/purAnas" and "Smritis, purANas and itihAs give the same knowledge of Shrutis in a way they can be understood and digested by common man" seem insulting to countless Hindus if you really look at it.

It is like saying "Vedas" (the learning of, quoting the Vedas, grammer and memorizing them) is only for "uncommon man" (viz smarter and higher birth then the riff raff) and histories such as the Ramayana are for the "common" (viz low birth, stupid people who cannot digest anything like the Vedas).

So the Ramayana is for the stupid people (viz a "way they can be understood and digested by common man" viz stupid people). It is like saying the Ramayana, which is the life of Rama, and the purpose of Ram "is for those other, low birth people who cannot understand, you know, the stupid low castes who are not able to digest the Vedas like us high caste smart people".

Sort of insulting to Lord Rama as well.

Can someone give me the exact and explicite quote from one of the four Vedas that explicitly states memorizing the Vedas and it's grammer and Sanskrit, is only birth based? Not some commentary that came millions of years after the Vedas from a modern saint of the last 500 years, but from the Vedas?

And when some commentary of some Saint is used, why is it the same four or so saints named, as if all Hindus follow them? Why isn't, for example, Lord Caitanya and His life and associates quoted for example. He doesn't count?

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
05 August 2013, 05:09 AM
Namaste ShivaFan ji,

Paramacharya is been widely accepted figure. Of course Veda-s are final authority. But the interpretation has to be done by someone.

If anyone has access to sAyanAcharya's commentary on veda-s, it would be better. We have already seen from Gita bhasya that one verse can be interpreted in many ways and that one sanskrit word has many meaning. What i am trying to say is that just quote is not enough, though quote from veda-s is necessary, as they are final authority.

Also note that Paramachrya does not say that one varna is higher than other. they are only separated upon work distribution. Each varna has it's own pride and a sense on contentment. Since Brahmins are given the task of protecting veda-s and they dedicate their entire life for this purpose, not even allowed to earn money, but live on donations, they live or are supposed to live pious life. Jati- (vaste) ar subset of varna

Please do not take it as insult.

I have read it in Shankar Vigvijay by Madhav VidyAranya Swami that Bhagavan Veda Vyas appreciated Adi Shankaracharya ji on his comments on Brahma Sutra. He acknowledged that he rightly said that Brahmin-s are qualified to learn veda-s. I will try to get exact verse. I have not read Brahma Sutra-s hence I cannot quote the same.

Regarding Sanskrit, I am not aware if learning sanskrit and rules of grammar are also restricted to Brahmin-s. Since Veda-s are in Sanskrit, and they are to be protected in it's original form, hence sanskrit and chandas are also needed to be preserved.

Even diacritical marks cannot fully convey the meaning of veda-s, as to what extend the pitch has to be extended and right methods of chanting to preserve veda-s like natural way of chanting and some reverse method of chanting. This is not easy and one needs to dedicate entire life to preserve. Veda-s cannot preserved just by writing them down.

Please read

Vedas in their original form (http://kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part2/chap5.htm)

Methods of Chanting (http://kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part5/chap10.htm)

Sound and Creation (http://kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part5/chap7.htm)

Unity in diversity (http://kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part3/chap3.htm)

Please understand there is no intention to insult.

Aum

Amrut

Amrut
05 August 2013, 05:47 AM
Namaste,

A quick googling landed me on this verse.


This is proved by Sruti and Smriti as well. The Sruti says Those whose conduct, during the previous life, has been good, presently obtain good birth, such as the birth of a Brahmin, a Kshatriya or a Vaisya; those whose conduct has been bad presently obtain some evil birth such as that of a dog or a pig (Chh. Up. V.10.7).

http://www.sivanandaonline.org/public_html/?cmd=displaysection&section_id=599&parent=578&format=html

Why is it that a birth if Brahmin is obtained after many meritious karma?

Does this not mean that Brahmin is pure by birth. Is it not purity an important criteria to learn shastra-s?


Another view is that after death the entire store of Karmas about to bear fruit fructifies. Therefore the souls come to the earth without any Anusaya or residue of Karma. This is wrong. This is untenable. Some of those Karmas can be enjoyed only in one kind of birth and some in another. They cannot com bine in one birth. It cannot be said that one portion ceases to bear fruit. There is no such cessation save by Prayaschitta or expiation. If all Karmas bear fruit after death, there will be no cause for rebirth after life in heaven or hell or in animal bodies, because in these there is no means of virtue or vice. Moreover some capital sins like the killing of a Brahmin involve many births.

http://www.sivanandaonline.org/public_html/?cmd=displaysection&section_id=599&parent=578&format=html

Ram had to perform a yagna / puja because he had killed a brahmin, Ravana. If you consider varna by guna, then why did he had to perform this puja to wipe of his sins. Also note that in some versions of Ramayana, when Rama wanted to do Shiva Puja in Lanka, Ravan came as a priest and did puja for Rama.

Obviously direct quote from Veda-s is needed, but upanishads and itihasa and purana-s also have e.g. in support of Varna by birth. I also agree that there are quotes which say that varna is by guna, but as said above, guna is developed by training and some guna-s are present by birth. God gives birth in family in which one can have overall progress and finish off his prarabhdha karma.

I humbly request you to please do not think that there is any hidden motive to hurt anyone.

Aum

Amrut

ShivaFan
05 August 2013, 09:42 AM
Namaste Indiaspirituality Amrut

Thank you for your kind comments, but actually I am being misunderstood. I am trying to say that there are many Hindus who consider the four Vedas as the corner stones to Hinduism, therefore I am not asking for quotes from Ithihasa or Purana or Smritis to support an argument for jati as vocation by birth or to support varna by birth only, I am asking for an exact quote from the four vedas that explicitly uses such terms (i.e. “the four varnas are only birth based and only the son of a Brahmin can be a Brahmin” and such – if this is the intent of the vedas it would clearly state this, so I am asking for that very specific verse, not some verses from Ramayana or Srimad Bhagavatam which some are implying are as if “watered down for the common man to understand vedas” and which are “ok to teach the common low class people”. This strikes many as an irony to claim some by birth only claim to use arguments or some sort of “fifth veda” from such scriptures (which in specific to the Ramayana I admire) while at the same moment putting them in a class for “the rest of the low classes”. No, the argument must come directly from the vedas themselves, and not from Ithihasa’s for example. If that is the stipulation of the vedas, then it would directly and explicitly be said so in the vedas. I am asking for that exact and explicit verse from one of the four Vedas, not from the Ithihasa or Purana. I am not saying Ramayana is “less than”, though it may be some others imply that the Ramayana is “less than”. I am simply looking for what is often termed a common, foundational, source across Hinduism which is the Four Vedas.

Not everyone, e.g. not all Hindus, have Ramayana or Srimad Bhagavatam as part of their tradition. Also, quotes from certain Saints of the modern era (e.g. of the last 500 or so years) isn’t very impressive, the names that seem to be coming up are very endowed but they are not the only Saints of Hinduism, there are Hindus who really do not follow these one’s quoted at all but totally different Saints some of which come from a time much older than the modern era or were present at the very same moment as these others.

Regarding Ravana, three are Hindus who say actually he was never killed at all, but is in a coma state and in a crypt and actually can and will come among humans again once Ganga Jal touches his body - that there is a future history of Ravana still to come, and not necessarily of dark intent. Also, while he was a very, very dark personality, there were also qualities to his original nature (and potentially future natue) that are, should I say? Admirable. I am not so sure if penance for his demise is as much because of who he was born from as far as parents or what “caste” he was, or it could be rather what he truly was in other aspects such as a great devotee of Shiva and author of some Sanskrit scripture himself.

Specific to the subject, where is this exact and explicit Vedic quote?

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
05 August 2013, 10:22 AM
Namaste ShivaFan ji,

I fully agree with your consent. Veda-s are supreme authority.

Aum

Viraja
05 August 2013, 12:02 PM
Namaste ShivaFanji,

You might think from OP's posts that in India, higher (Brahmin) castes are somehow declaring their supremacy and reserving rights over vedas. While it is true that to this day, Brahmins are the ones that have the rights to learn vedas and practice them, one should also know that there are varying degrees of superiority among lower castes as well (who knows how they cropped up) - for example, Vanniyar and Mukkulatthor, etc, and they are the ones causing communal riots in a grand scale characterized by extreme violence even to this day. They still practice some form of 'untouchability' between themselves - such as one belonging to a lower sect should not enter the streets belonging to the higher sect and so forth. Brahmins these days are very much subdued, after much battering from various governments that ruled India in the past 60+ yrs after independence.

Saint Avvayyar on 'Jaathi' :


சாதி இரண்டொழிய வேறில்லை சாற்றுங்கால்
நீதி வழுவா நெறிமுறையின் மேதனியில்
இட்டார் பெரியோர் இடாதார் இழிகுலத்தோர்
பட்டாங்கில் உள்ள படி


Saadhi Irandozhiya Verillai Saatrungaal
Needhi Vazhuvaa Nerimuraiyin Maedhaniyil
Ittar Periyor Idadhaar Izhikulathor
Pattaangil Ulla Padi


meaning, If people should be classified based on caste, the truth is to say that there are only two such classfications. The one who does not go off the path of ethical values, ethical behaviour, generosity called as Noble (Periyor) and the ones that don’t - Ignoble (Izhikulathor). Other than than there are no other castes.

Sorry to the OP for this short post, hopefully it will not be seen as derailing, if it does, I apologize in advance.

Thank you.

Ganeshprasad
05 August 2013, 12:05 PM
Pranam ShivaFan

The direct quote you are looking for perhaps you want find, we know very well the Vedas are codified with layers of knowledge that is hidden in it.
The Puranas and Ithihas helps us understand it, i don't see what your objections are, while you are happy to believe some off it yet others you want proof from the samhitas.
i am afraid no one will oblige you it. No matter how unpalatable it looks to western eye, Varna by birth is the status quo and that is how it has been. So many logical arguments has been put forward, if that is not going to satisfy you what good an explicit verse in Vedas will prove to you.
Hindu Dharma is based on Varnashram with Sixteen Sanskars that begins with conceptions, now ask your self how is that going to work when there are specific sanskaras for different Varnas? Birth is the only criteria by which the Varna is recognised that again (birth) is determined by Guna and Karma, Who is more apt then Dharmadev to decide that?

Jai Shree Krishna

ShivaFan
05 August 2013, 03:08 PM
Namaste Ganeshprashad

You know I respect you the most among traditional Hindus. Especially becatse you are and admirer of Tulsidas.

And yes you are correct, the crux of the matter is Western Hindus are going to find this unpalatable. Which goes right to the heart of the matter. There are Indian Hindus who think Western Hindus are new age thinkers, liberals. My personal observation is otherwise, while there are embarrassing examples of Western Hindus, I have noticed that most however are even more conservative than many Indian Hindus.

It is sort of like the "ex-smoker" who is the most strict about anti-smoking.

The long term reality is, Western Hindus which have no caste will never acknowledge caste by birth because intinctively they know that means they are not Hindus because of birth. I know that is not your position, I hope so anyway, but it is just as obvious to a Western Hindu that the Vedas are the authority as to Eastern Hindus. Thus a Western Hindu will want to be told the exact verse, there is no way around it. A Westerner has no caste, not even the lowest varna if it is by birth. So unless this dilemma is give an answer by Brahma. Shiva and Vishnu directly, then I think karma is going to not have a good resolve for any non Divine on Bhuloka no matter what varna. In addition, truthfully Western Hindus seldom fret over these matters, that is until some others for some reason insist on continuously bring this up over and over again in everyone's face. The will of the Devas and Devi will be no matter what one thinks is the rule of karma, so why have such fear as to constantly bring this subject up which will take a natrural course without such? If Brahmanas are given a responsibility they must give a better answer and better solution than some of what I am reading.

Om Namah Sivaya

philosoraptor
05 August 2013, 04:30 PM
Unfortunately, some individuals simply cannot discuss varNAshrama without relying on heavily stereotyped criticisms. These include such ideas as "varNa by birth means you want to exploit someone" or "varNa by birth means you are just trying to glorify your own little caste." These ugly stereotypes have little to do with varNAshrama, but they continue to constitute an acceptable standard of anti-Hindu chauvinism previously inherited from left-wing thinkers. The irony is that many people who espouse these views these days will self-identify as Hindus, which seems to lend some credibility to the stereotypes.

I have been stressing in these presentations that varNAshrama as it is found in the itihAsa/purANa-s is an hierarchical but inclusive institution with a basis in the very theology which Sri Krishna delivers to Arjuna in the bhagavad-gItA. It is illogical to profess respect for the gItA, and then simultaneously condemn birth-based varNAsharma, when Sri Krishna's arguments about "doing your duty" and "not doing another's duty" are predicated on an objective standard of knowing what your duty is, i.e. because of birth-based varNa-s. It is also illogical to suggest that hierarchy implies exploitation, when each of the varNa-s are said to have their divine origin in one of the divine body parts of the puruSha. Does the head exploit the arms? Or the feet? Would anyone wish to live without their feet?

To understand another person's culture requires the ability to free one's self, at least for the sake of argument, from the burden of one's pre-conceived notions, and to try and think according to the standards of the culture one is trying to understand. This includes understanding that culture's extremely non-materialistic assumptions about reality, and about one's place in it. Sadly, not everyone can be expected to do that. But Hinduism forums are still the only place where we can discuss these things, and discuss them we must. As I see it, there are several good reasons why varNAsharma-dharma must be clarified and explained as it is:

- To distinguish scripturally permitted varNa-s and their duties from man-made castes
- To emphasize the ultimate point of varNAshrama, which is work free from materialistic desire which should lead to brahman (this is in contrast to mundane work where sense-gratification is the unstated goal)
- To pre-empt left-wing critics and heretical missionaries who would use "caste system" to denounce Hinduism
- To tell the truth about Vaidika Hinduism's view on this matter, which is always a desirable thing to do in any context, especially when ideology has made people so hostile to it

It would be helpful if those who have nothing constructive to add could simply read and try to understand, rather than interjecting their typical strawman attacks and stereotyped objections. Sadly, at least one of these individuals has now taken to the low-class strategy of attacking HDF and its moderation on another forum. The moderators do not deserve this treatment simply for allowing a dispassionate discussion on the subject here.

Whether we like it or not, varNAsharma is very much at the root of our vaidika culture, and it behooves us to explain it properly, as it was, and not merely according to today's standards of political correctness.

ShivaFan
05 August 2013, 04:52 PM
Namaste Philosoraptor

I assume this is some sort of personal attack on me, which is always resorted to when there are traditional Hindus such as myself who address the subject from the teachings given to them from authorized Acharyas.

You have already stated these attacks, which seem off subject to the question. It is again the same attacks using words "strawman" and "our culture" (as if millions of Indians in India who do not share your sects perspective on varna are some "other culture") and which does not answer the question directly pertinent to the subject of this thread, please give the specific quote in the four Vedas that states "varna is only birth based, only the son of a Brahmin can be a Brahmin". Not inference, not commentary. Not "fifth Veda".

What is so difficult about this?

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
06 August 2013, 03:40 AM
Namaste Respected Members,

I cannot quote from Veda-s due to my limited study, but as it has been pointed out, words of wise men, which were authority during their days is also of utmost importance, as they have digested teachings of veda-s and other shastra-s like dharma shastra-s, etc.

I have found out that Shankara and Ramajuna bhasya on Bhagavad Gita 18.41 gives logical explanation why Varna is by birth

Translations provided by the authors are only posted out of mere convenience, as they are easily available on net, so that anyone can cross verify. I have taken matter from Gita Super site (link in my signature)

ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां शूद्राणां च परंतप।
कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि स्वभावप्रभवैर्गुणैः।।18.41।।

brāhmaṇakṣatriyaviśāṅ śūdrāṇāṅ ca paraṅtapa.
karmāṇi pravibhaktāni svabhāvaprabhavairguṇaiḥ..18.41..

English translation by Swami Gambhirananda

18.41 O scorcher of enemies, the duties of the Brahmanas, the Ksatriyas and the Vaisyas, as also of the Sudras have been fully classified according to the gunas born from Nature.

English translation by Swami Sivananda

18.41 Of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, as also of Sudras, O Arjuna, the duties are distributed according to the qualities born of their own nature.

Sanskrit commentary by Sri Sankaracharya

-- ब्राह्मणाश्च क्षत्रियाश्च विशश्च ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशः, तेषां ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां शूद्राणां च -- शूद्राणाम् असमासकरणम् एकजातित्वे सति वेदानधिकारात् -- हे परंतप, कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि इतरेतरविभागेन व्यवस्थापितानि। केन? स्वभावप्रभवैः गुणैः, स्वभावः ईश्वरस्य प्रकृतिः त्रिगुणात्मिका माया सा प्रभवः येषां गुणानां ते स्वभावप्रभवाः, तैः, शमादीनि कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि ब्राह्मणादीनाम्। अथवा ब्राह्मणस्वभावस्य सत्त्वगुणः प्रभवः कारणम्, तथा क्षत्रियस्वभावस्य सत्त्वोपसर्जनं रजः प्रभवः, वैश्यस्वभावस्य तमउपसर्जनं रजः प्रभवः, शूद्रस्वभावस्य रजउपसर्जनं तमः प्रभवः, प्रशान्त्यैश्वर्येहामूढतास्वभावदर्शनात् चतुर्णाम्। अथवा, जन्मान्तरकृतसंस्कारः प्राणिनां वर्तमानजन्मनि स्वकार्याभिमुखत्वेन अभिव्यक्तः स्वभावः, सः प्रभवो येषां गुणानां ते स्वभावप्रभवाः गुणाः; गुणप्रादुर्भावस्य निष्कारणत्वानुपपत्तेः। 'स्वभावः कारणम्' इति च कारणविशेषोपादानम्। एवं स्वभावप्रभवैः प्रकृतिभवैः सत्त्वरजस्तमोभिः गुणैः स्वकार्यानुरूपेण शमादीनि कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि।।ननु शास्त्रप्रविभक्तानि शास्त्रेण विहितानि ब्राह्मणादीनां शमादीनि कर्माणि; कथम् उच्यते सत्त्वादिगुणप्रविभक्तानि इति? नैष दोषः; शास्त्रेणापि ब्राह्मणादीनां सत्त्वादिगुणविशेषापेक्षयैव शमादीनि कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि, न गुणानपेक्षया, इति शास्त्रप्रविभक्तान्यपि कर्माणि गुणप्रविभक्तानि इति उच्यते।।कानि पुनः तानि कर्माणि इति, उच्यते -- ।।18.41।।


Hindi translation by Sri Harikrishandas Goenka (on Sri Sankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary)

तथा सम्पूर्ण गीताशास्त्रका इस प्रकार उपसंहार भी किया जाना चाहिये कि 'परम पुरुषार्थकी सिद्धि चाहनेवालोंके द्वारा अनुष्ठान किये जानेयोग्य यह इतना ही समस्त वेद और स्मृतियोंका अभिप्राय है' अतः इस अभिप्रायसे ये 'ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशाम्' इत्यादि श्लोक आरम्भ किये जाते हैं -- हे परन्तप ! ब्राह्मण, क्षत्रिय और वैश्य -- इन तीनोंके और शूद्रोंके भी कर्म विभक्त किये हुए हैं अर्थात् परस्पर विभागपूर्वक निश्चित किये हुए हैं। ब्राह्मणादिके साथ शूद्रोंको मिलाकर-समास करके न कहनेका अभिप्राय यह है कि शूद्र द्विज न होनेके कारण वेद-पठनमें उनका अधिकार नहीं है। किसके द्वारा विभक्त किये गये हैं? स्वभावसे उत्पन्न हुए गुणोंके द्वारा। स्वभाव यानी ईश्वरकी प्रकृति -- त्रिगुणात्मिका माया, वह माया जिन गुणोंके प्रभवका यानी उत्पत्तिका कारण है, ऐसे स्वभावप्रभव गुणोंके द्वारा ब्राह्मणादिके, शम आदि कर्म विभक्त किये गये हैं। अथवा यों समझो कि ब्राह्मणस्वभावका कारण सत्त्वगुण है, वैसे ही क्षत्रियस्वभावका कारण सत्त्वमिश्रित रजोगुण है, वैश्यस्वभावका कारण तमोमिश्रित रजोगुण है और शूद्रस्वभावका कारण रजोमिश्रित तमोगुण है। क्योंकि उपर्युक्त चारों वर्णोंमें ( गुणोंके अनुसार ) क्रमसे शान्ति, ऐश्वर्य, चेष्टा और मूढ़ता -- ये अलग-अलग स्वभाव देखे जाते हैं। अथवा यों समझो कि प्राणियोंके जन्मान्तरमें किये हुए कर्मोंके संस्कार, जो वर्तमान जन्ममें अपने कार्यके अभिमुख होकर व्यक्त हुए हैं, उनका नाम स्वभाव है। ऐसा स्वभाव जिन गुणोंकी उत्पत्तिका कारण है, वे स्वभावप्रभव गुण हैं। गुणोंका प्रादुर्भाव बिना कारणके नहीं बन सकता। इसलिये 'स्वभाव उनकी उत्पत्तिका कारण है' यह कहकर कारणविशेषका प्रतिपादन किया गया है। इस प्रकार स्वभावसे उत्पन्न हुए अर्थात् प्रकृतिसे उत्पन्न हुए सत्त्व, रज और तम -- इन तीनों गुणोंद्वारा अपने-अपने कार्यके अनुरूप शमादि कर्म विभक्त किये गये हैं। पू0 -- ब्राह्मणादि वर्णोंके शम आदि कर्म तो शास्त्रद्वारा विभक्त हैं, अर्थात् शास्त्रद्वारा निश्चित किये गये हैं; फिर यह कैसे कहा जाता है, कि सत्त्व आदि तीनों गुणोंद्वारा विभक्त किये गये हैं? उ0 -- यह दोष नहीं है, क्योंकि शास्त्रद्वारा भी ब्राह्मणादिके शमादि कर्म सत्त्वादि गुण-भेदोंकी अपेक्षासे ही विभक्त किये गये हैं, बिना गुणोंकी अपेक्षासे नहीं। अतः शास्त्रद्वारा विभक्त किये हुए भी कर्म, गुणोंद्वारा विभक्त किये गये हैं, ऐसा कहा जाता है ।।18.41।।

English translation by Swami Gambhirananda (on Sri Sankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary)

18.41 Parantapa, O scorcher of enemies; karmani, the duties; brahmana-ksatriya-visam, of the Brahmanas, the Ksatriyas and the Vaisyas; ca, as also; sudranam, of the Surdras-the Sudras have not been included with the others (in the compund word) because, owing to their having a single birth, Sudras have no right to be invested with the sacred thread which, in the case of the other three castes, symbolizes a second birth. they have no right to (the study of) the Vedas; pravibhaktani, have been fully classified, have been prescribed by making distinctions among them;-according to what?-gunahi, according to the gunas; svabhava-prabhavaih, born from Nature.Nature means the Praktrti of God, His Maya consisting of the three gunas. 'Born from Nature' means 'born of these three gunas. In accordnace with these the duties such as control of the internal organs, etc. of the Brahmanas and others have been classified. Or (the meaning is): The source of the nature of the Brahmanas is the quality of sattva. Similarly, the source of the nature of the Ksatriyas is rajas, with sattva as a subordinate (quality); the source of the nature of the Vaisyas is rajas, with tamas as the subordinate (quality); the source of the nature of the Sudras is tamas, with rajas as the subordinate (quality); for the natures of the four are seen to be tranquillity. lordliness, industriousness and dullness respectively. Or, svabhava (nature) means the (individual) tendencies of creatures earned in their past lives, which have become manifest in the present life for yielding their own results. The gunas which have that svabhava as their source (prabhava) are svabhava-prabhavah gunah.Since the manifestation of the gunas cannot logically be uncaused, therefore a specific cause i.e. the tendencies are the efficient cause, and Nature is the material cause. has been posited by saying that Nature is the cause.Thus, the duties such as control of the internal organs etc. have been classified in keeping with the effects of the gunas, sattva, rajas and tamas, which are born of Nature, born of Prakrti.Objection: Well, are not the duties like controlling the internal organs etc. of the Brahmanas and others classified and enjoined by the scriptures? Why is it said that they are classified according to the gunas sattva etc.?Reply: This objection is not valid. For, the duties like controlling the internal organs etc. of the Brahmanas and others have been classified even by the scriptures verily in keeping with the specific qualities sattva etc.; certainly, not without reference to the gunas. Hence, though the duties have been divided by the scriputres, they are said to have been classified according to the gunas.Which, again, are those duties? They are being spoken of:

Sanskrit commentary by Sri Ramanuja

ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां स्वकीयो भावः स्वभावः; ब्रह्मणादिजन्महेतुभूतं प्राचीनं कर्म इत्यर्थः। तत्प्रभवाः सत्त्वादयो गुणाः; ब्राह्मणस्य स्वभावप्रभवो रजस्तमोऽभिभवेन उद्भूतः सत्त्वगुणः, क्षत्रियस्य स्वभावप्रभवः सत्त्वतमसोः अभिभवेन उद्भूतो रजोगुणः, वैश्यस्य स्वभावप्रभवः सत्त्वरजोऽभिभवेन अल्पोद्रिक्तः तमोगुणः, शूद्रस्य स्वभावप्रभवः तु रजःसत्त्वाभिभवेन अत्युद्रिक्तः तमोगुणः। एभिः स्वभावप्रभवैः गुणैः सह प्रविभक्तानि कर्माणि शास्त्रैः प्रतिपादितानि। ब्राह्मणादय एवंगुणकाः तेषां च तानि कर्माणि वृत्तयः च एता इति हि विभज्य प्रतिपादयन्ति शास्त्राणि ।।18.41।।

English translation by Swami Adidevananda (on Sri Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary)

18.41 The nature of Brahmanas, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras are due to their respective inherent dispositions. The meaning is that their past Karma has been the cause of determining births as Brahmanas etc. The Sattva and other Gunas are the result of such Karma. The Sattva-guna is born from the inherent nature of the Brahmana becoming dominant by suppressing the qualities of Rajas and Tamas. The quality of Rajas originates from the inherent nature of the Ksatriyas becoming dominant by suppressing qualities of Sattva and Tamas. Tamoguna arises from the inherent nature of the Vaisya, becoming dominant in a little way by suppressing Sattva and Rajas. The duties and works assigned to them according to the Gunas constituting their inherent nature, are expounded and allotted by the Sastras in the order described. For the Sastras analyse that the Brahmanas etc., possess such and such attributes and such and such are their duties and occupations.

Please os chintan on guna, svabhava, svadharma, which is explained in later verses in same chapter.

I hope this helps shed some light on this issue.

All is been done in good spirit.

On a personal note, brahmins have been imposed much more restrictions like they are not allowed to take any job

Brahmins have to dedicate upto 40 years of life to master veda-s

Vaidika: One how knows one veda. Dedicates 100 years for one veda
Dvivedi / Dave: One who dedicates 20 years for learning 2 veda-s
Trivedi: One who dedicates 30 years for learning 3 veda-s
Chaturvedi: One who dedicates 40 years for learning 4 veda-s

To add to complication, as mentioned in one of the articles which I have given link in earlier post, there are many methods of chanting, natural and reverse. To master all of them is extremely difficult.

In olden days, everything was learned verbally. Veda-s were not written in palm leaves.

Hence it takes time to learn all.

Now you see why there are gradations among brahmins too. The respect they get epends upon their knowledge of veda-s.

Ofcourse, to retain brahminhood, one must follow and practice i.e. life the life as commanded by veda-s.

For everything right from waking up, to taking sip of water to going for urinating, to eating to sleeping etc, Brahmins have to follow customs and chant mantra-s.

While according to Swami Ramsukhdas ji, an uncontroversial recognised saint, for spiritual purpose, emotions are given more importance, as said in Gita.

This is to raise the level of brahmins that mere parroting will not help one progress beyond a point. Also all varna-s are free to chant God's name.

Aum

Amrut

Amrut
06 August 2013, 04:12 AM
Sridhara Swami's Commentary

Now Lord Krishna commences a new theme with this verse explaining that the duties of the different classes of Vedic society such as brahmana or priestly class, ksatriya or royal and warrior class, vaisya or agricultural and mercantile class as well as sudra or menial worker class which is the only one not qualified to take part in any Vedic activity as they serve the other three classes. The duties enjoined for all the classes are clearly delineated and itemised with distinct divisions. The typical duties of all the four classes will be described according to the predominating influence of the three gunas which manifest the corresponding nature determined by the tendencies acquired in past lives and the impressions from the attendant karma or reactions to actions. The brahmins have a predominance of sattva guna, the ksatriya's a predominance of raja guna with a little sattva guna, the vaisyas with raja guna mixed with tama guna and the sudras with a predominance tama guna and a little raja guna.

source: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-18-39.html

Aum

Amrut
06 August 2013, 04:48 AM
And yes you are correct, the crux of the matter is Western Hindus are going to find this unpalatable. Which goes right to the heart of the matter. There are Indian Hindus who think Western Hindus are new age thinkers, liberals. My personal observation is otherwise, while there are embarrassing examples of Western Hindus, I have noticed that most however are even more conservative than many Indian Hindus.


Namaste ShivaFan ji,

As I understand, Westerners mostly are attracted to the spiritual side of Hinduism and not to become priest or to fight for our country or grow vegetables or carry a dead body to cremation ground (shudra-s) [1]

AS of many popular Hindu guru-s or representatives like Swami vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, Srila Prabhupada and others like Maharshi Mahesh Yogi attracted large crowds because they were talking about spiritual aspect like becoming one with God or enjoying leela [2].

No one, to my knowledge, went there for the sole purpose of converting westerners to Hindu-s to perform rites and duties ascribed to each varna.

Though there is no traditional method to convert anyone to Hindu, all are welcome to adapt spiritual approach or spiritual teaching. We also find e.g. in shastra-s that some of them though not were born brahmins were given initiation.

[1] This e.g. is given in a commentary by Keshav Kashmiri on B.G. 18.41, where he says there are many verses that says


To study the Vedic scriptures and perform yagna the prerequisite of initiation essential and required. A sudra is a fourth class citizen who may perform unauthorised activities without sin because they are only once born from the womb not twice born by the spiritual master. It is prohibited in the Vedic scripture to initiate a sudra. If done it will bring calamity upon the spiritual master, his dynasty and the whole kingdom. There are direct references in the Vedic scriptures prohibiting sudras from initiation. Such passages as: The sudra carries the dead body to the cremation ground that is a sudra and if a sudra hears a mantra his ears should be filled with wax, if he recites a mantra his tongue should be cut out and if he memorises a mantra his life should be taken. So it can be understood that in ancient times the prohibitions of a sudra were strictly enforced.

But examples are cited in Vedic scriptures attesting to the fact that if it is discered that a sudra possesses the innate qualities of sattva guna then even he can be eligible to receive initiation if this has been ascertained by the bonafide spiritual master.

My question is why such strict restrictions? Should not each sudra be given an opportunity to transform themselves. Is it not possible that shudra-s after listening to veda-s decide to live a pure and pious life as that of Brahmin?

If at all varna was not based on birth, why impose such restriction? Makes no sense.

The reason of other verses may be that brahmins were cautioned as to not to take their birthright casually. They have to retain their brahminhood, else they are as good as sudra-s

Also on spiritual matters inner purity if found in non-brahmins or shudra-s, they can be given initiation, but from commentaries of B.G. 18.41 it is clear that such cases will be very rare, as else God must have given them birth in Brahmin family.

[2] Please keep controversies like non-traditional, neo, etc, away from this thread. It can be discussed in Jalpa ;)

Aum

Amrut

Amrut
06 August 2013, 05:48 AM
Namaste,

On a quick note

Varnashrama includes two things

varNa and Ashrama

4 varNa-s: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra

Ashrama: Brahmacharya, grihasta, vAnaprastha, sanyAsa.

As upadesha-s are given on adhikAra bheda, when proper time comes the jinx is broken

e.g. Initially, young students in Brahmacharya ashram are told to by-heart veda-s.

Later on they are said that this is not complete reality. The meaning has to be understood. According to Nirukta, a brahmin comes under the curse if he does not know the meaning of what he is chanting.

But if this is said in the beginning, then who will make an attempt to read veda-s

Grihasta is the for good of all. This ashrama takes all the burden and helps other 3 ashramas by supporting them physically or financially.

When time comes to retire, vAnaprastha ashrama is introduced, which depends upon age of person.

Since the person is 75 years old, he has done enough work. Now he must turn towards spiritual aspect and concentrate on moksha. thi sis preparation for last ashrama sanyAsa ashram

Here, one has to forget about varNa and rise above it. Only in sanyas ashram, it is said that drop your association with varnA and they are given a new name indicating a new identity. Here instructions may be quite contrary to that given to a grahasthi.

If you have an appetite for 5 roti-s then you will have to eat all 5. Will you satisfy your hunger just by eating the last i.e. 5th roti?

One has to pass through this phase. Both varNa and Ashrama and do duties according to them.

Infact Brahmins now-a-days get no concession in any field, be it politics, education or govt job, while minorities, dalits, or other varna-s do have their own reservation quota.

Aum

Amrut

satay
06 August 2013, 12:13 PM
Admin Note

Namaste,
Please posts all your misunderstandings/questions/comments/thoughts regarding VAD threads on this thread.

Thanks,

satay
06 August 2013, 02:01 PM
Namaste ShivaFan,
Generally, I did not want to get involved in this discussion but I could not stop myself after reading your post.

Ved Vyasa compiled the itihasa and puranas for the people of kaliyug. It should not be taken as an insult. We the common people of kaliyug are to study the ramanaya and gita.

Vedas are for the Brahmins to learn.

This is the way things are and we (you and I) cannot change our tradition simply because we may not like it.

That said, I do not have a quote for you that will satisfy, personally I do not need a quote. This 'requiring proof' from quoting this and that is also a western thing in general and a Christian thing in particular.

I hope you have not taken any offence from my post as none as meant.

It is NOT an insult to know that Vedas are for the Brahmin and the itihasa is for us.

To learn the Vedas carry a huge burden/karmic debt and I feel lucky that you and I do not have to carry that burden.

Take care,

Namaste

The statements, which are based on inference and not Vedas, that "Hence, it is clear that those who are not qualified to study the veda are indeed qualified to hear the vedic message through other means, i.e. the itihAsa/purAnas" and "Smritis, purANas and itihAs give the same knowledge of Shrutis in a way they can be understood and digested by common man" seem insulting to countless Hindus if you really look at it.

It is like saying "Vedas" (the learning of, quoting the Vedas, grammer and memorizing them) is only for "uncommon man" (viz smarter and higher birth then the riff raff) and histories such as the Ramayana are for the "common" (viz low birth, stupid people who cannot digest anything like the Vedas).

So the Ramayana is for the stupid people (viz a "way they can be understood and digested by common man" viz stupid people). It is like saying the Ramayana, which is the life of Rama, and the purpose of Ram "is for those other, low birth people who cannot understand, you know, the stupid low castes who are not able to digest the Vedas like us high caste smart people".

Sort of insulting to Lord Rama as well.

Can someone give me the exact and explicite quote from one of the four Vedas that explicitly states memorizing the Vedas and it's grammer and Sanskrit, is only birth based? Not some commentary that came millions of years after the Vedas from a modern saint of the last 500 years, but from the Vedas?

And when some commentary of some Saint is used, why is it the same four or so saints named, as if all Hindus follow them? Why isn't, for example, Lord Caitanya and His life and associates quoted for example. He doesn't count?

Om Namah Sivaya

Sudas Paijavana
06 August 2013, 04:55 PM
delete

Ganeshprasad
06 August 2013, 05:05 PM
Pranam ShivaFan


Namaste Ganeshprashad

You know I respect you the most among traditional Hindus. Especially becatse you are and admirer of Tulsidas.

Thank you the respect is mutual.

If you are a fan of Goswami Tulsidas then i suggest you read up on his stand on Varna, you will find it is no different from birth base.




And yes you are correct, the crux of the matter is Western Hindus are going to find this unpalatable. Which goes right to the heart of the matter.

Which it should not be, why should an outsider who gets interested in Hindu way of life try dictate how it should be, why when the tradition that has survived all kind off invasion and atrocity become a subject of ridicule by someone who wants to join it.
why not just accept the spiritual side of the dharma. In the end all designation has to fall when one accept Sanyas, work towards it, no effort is ever lost.



There are Indian Hindus who think Western Hindus are new age thinkers, liberals. My personal observation is otherwise, while there are embarrassing examples of Western Hindus, I have noticed that most however are even more conservative than many Indian Hindus.

It is sort of like the "ex-smoker" who is the most strict about anti-smoking.

i will not go into the sort comings, because there are genuine seekers too.



The long term reality is, Western Hindus which have no caste will never acknowledge caste by birth because intinctively they know that means they are not Hindus because of birth. I know that is not your position, I hope so anyway, but it is just as obvious to a Western Hindu that the Vedas are the authority as to Eastern Hindus. Thus a Western Hindu will want to be told the exact verse, there is no way around it. A Westerner has no caste, not even the lowest varna if it is by birth. So unless this dilemma is give an answer by Brahma. Shiva and Vishnu directly, then I think karma is going to not have a good resolve for any non Divine on Bhuloka no matter what varna.

In other words what you are saying is our ancestors who followed these tradition were all wrong, that we should now conform to western way of thinking because they have a dilemma.



In addition, truthfully Western Hindus seldom fret over these matters, that is until some others for some reason insist on continuously bring this up over and over again in everyone's face. The will of the Devas and Devi will be no matter what one thinks is the rule of karma, so why have such fear as to constantly bring this subject up which will take a natrural course without such? If Brahmanas are given a responsibility they must give a better answer and better solution than some of what I am reading.

Om Namah Sivaya

To tell you the truth, number of times i have had indignation of hearing this from many such devotees, who would be happy to take a pot at birth base varna system, the standard dig would be '' would you trust a son of a doctor to treat you'' sounds very convincing to an audience and slowly the trust and the respect that was there for the Brahmanas are waning.
So yes let us tell the truth and abide in it.



The statements, which are based on inference and not Vedas, that "Hence, it is clear that those who are not qualified to study the veda are indeed qualified to hear the vedic message through other means, i.e. the itihAsa/purAnas" and "Smritis, purANas and itihAs give the same knowledge of Shrutis in a way they can be understood and digested by common man" seem insulting to countless Hindus if you really look at it.

It is like saying "Vedas" (the learning of, quoting the Vedas, grammer and memorizing them) is only for "uncommon man" (viz smarter and higher birth then the riff raff) and histories such as the Ramayana are for the "common" (viz low birth, stupid people who cannot digest anything like the Vedas).

So the Ramayana is for the stupid people (viz a "way they can be understood and digested by common man" viz stupid people). It is like saying the Ramayana, which is the life of Rama, and the purpose of Ram "is for those other, low birth people who cannot understand, you know, the stupid low castes who are not able to digest the Vedas like us high caste smart people"

I am afraid you are blowing this out of all promotion, Hindus have never looked upon Brahmins as elitist who lords over rest of the varnas, this was the sad lies perpetrated by the British and i am sorry to say you are spinning the same yarn, i feel sad.

Jai Shree Krishna

Jetavan
06 August 2013, 06:41 PM
Hindu Dharma is based on Varnashram with Sixteen Sanskars that begins with conceptions, now ask your self how is that going to work when there are specific sanskaras for different Varnas?

Greetings,

Perhaps another question would be: are the sixteen Sanskars (beginning with conception) explicated in sufficient detail in the four Vedas?

philosoraptor
06 August 2013, 06:49 PM
Pranams,

A few small corrections if I may:

It appears that learning of veda was for brahmins, kShatriya-s, and possibly vaishya-s as well, the three varNa-s collectively known as dvija-s. As pramANa for this, I would point out that Sri Krishna, after being reunited with devakI and vasudeva, was sent by them to learn veda-s from guru sAndIpani muni along with His brahmin friend sudAma.

The dharma-shAstra-s quoted by Adi shankara, rAmAnuja, et. al. in their respective vedAnta commentaries indicate only that shUdra-s are not to learn veda-s. Nevertheless, these commentators are in agreement that shUdra-s can study itihAsa-s and purANa-s. This does not mean that itihAsa/purANa is not for dvija-s. On the contrary, they are also to be studied by dvija-s in addition to veda.

The idea that itihAsa-s and purANa-s are somehow "lesser" scriptures is a crassly non-vedANtic idea. The mahAbhArata compares itself to an upaniShad (MB 1.1.251), states that it contains the essence of the veda-s (MB 1.1.266, MB 1.2.41) and even states that it is superior in a sense to the veda-s (MB 1.1.268-271). There is a statement that when mahAbhArata was placed on a scale against the four veda-s, it was the bhArata that weighed more heavily. The restriction on studying the veda is related to the way in which it was meant to be studied, by people of highly purified intellect and through a rigorous program of austerity beginning in childhood and lasting 12 years or more. The itihAsa/purANa on the other hand do not require such a rigid education, as they are written in story form to convey the essence of the veda.

The bhAgavata purANa 1.7.10 states that all sorts of AtmArAma-s relish hearing the bhAgavatam - this means even those who are learned vedAntists, naturally. So it is not correct to downplay the importance of the itihAsa/purANa in this fashion.

shrI jIva gosvAmI quoted a pramANa in his tattva-sandarbha explaining the difference. According to him, the veda-s speak to one like a father, while the purANa-s speak to one sweetly, like a lover. But they both uphold the same message.

philosoraptor
06 August 2013, 07:03 PM
Also, satay hit the nail on the head when he mentioned the huge karmic burden that brahmins have in learning and teaching the veda.

In Hinduism, it's not exactly the case that "rank has its privileges." The "higher" up one goes on the varNa ladder, the greater is the responsibility, the greater are the expectations by society, and the greater are the consequences for failing to carry out one's prescribed duties.

In viShNu purANa, sage vyAsa states that in kali-yuga, it is the women and the shUdra-s who have the greatest advantage in going after mokSha, since their duties are simpler and do not have the exacting requirements of those required of brahmin males. For example, brahmins have to rise before sunrise, chant their sandhya prayers, study shruti, follow all kinds of vrata-s etc, and if they fail to do those things, they are incurring sinful reactions by their failure. It's quite accurate to say that the deck is actually stacked *against* brahmins, especially in this day and age.

The central problem of explaining these things to Westerners, in my observation, is that the latter are completely fixated on an "equal opportunity" kind of mentality. If one group is not allowed to study veda, they see it as "discrimination." In their view, everyone should be able to do whatever he or she wants.

This kind of thinking is alien to the traditional Hindu mindset. Traditional Hindus saw their jAti-varNa as synonymous with the community to which they belonged, and the more educated among them correctly saw their prescribed duties not as an imposition, but as the particular service to bhagavAn that is assigned to them. When you are given the opportunity to serve The Lord of the universe, and told that this is the service by which He will be pleased, you do not whine that someone else's service is better and that you want that, instead. This kind of mentality is not bhagavAn-centered, it is self-centered.

There are many statements in shAstra to effect that brahmins are very dear to Lord Krishna. There are also statements to the effect that Lord Krishna is very attracted to the simple bhakti of the women of Vraja or the prayers of the damsels dwelling in Dwaaraka, preferring their praises over the Vedic mantras of the brahmins. How everyone can simultaneously be Sri Krishna's favorite is something that can only be appreciated when one first understands the conventions of the varNa system. It makes it that much sweeter when one sees The Lord of the Universe chasing after a simple, uneducated, but highly devoted soul who happens to be of "low" varNa.

Sudas Paijavana
06 August 2013, 07:22 PM
delete

ShivaFan
07 August 2013, 01:18 AM
Namaste

What a pleasant surprise. I thought for sure my posts would have been removed, I was very reluctant to even look at HDF to see, yet when I looked they were still there (typos and all).

You know, I have to tell you all a story which willl explain why I have decided to accept in peace for those we (yes "we" as in Western Hindus my friends who always bug me with questions and demands) love and that is all Indian Hindus, and will tell my friends of the West the following concession:

* The Vedas are for Brahmin priests

So now the story. One of the great religious leaders beloved by Americans and an historical figure to American history is A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Oddly, He appeared briefly in the late afternoon in a short dream when I took a nap yesterday. He gave a smile and said a confusing thing, the words "... read to me my translation of the Rig Veda". I was totally confused, but very happy to see Prabhupad, and I said something that was "But Prabhupad, you never translated the Rig Veda". Then He smiled and opened a door to leave but looked back and smiled again, "No I didn't"...

It occured to me later, that was very true. Prabhupad never did translate that Veda, nor any other Veda. And He wasn't the only one famed in America among Americans as great religious Gurus and teachers.

Then it occurred to me, that's very true. Yet look at the amazing success and Hindu Renaissance they brought to America and the world!

So perhaps it is true. After all, Western Hindu laymen have no interest in being priests. They just want to have bhajans, go to temple, read Ramayana and life of the Saints and such. Actually, they are not interested at all in Vedas, even if they also love Indra and Kubera and Vayu and Agni. So, maybe Prabhupad had a true sense and endowment.

So I will leave it at that, peace to all and have a wonderful evening. I have a huge collection of Ramayanas, commentaries on Ramayana and books on Hanuman. Believe me, it is a lot of books. I have a lot of Saiva and Hindu books, too. About a year or more ago, I got a translation of the Rig Veda. I said I would study it. That study lasted 2 days. I could not go two days without that call from the Ramayana and the vast history and I guess I am a Ramayana fanatic. But that's ok. So I will leave it at that. But just one word of warning. About 15 or more years ago, I started authoring a book. It was a "baby in progress". It was called "The New World Ramayana". Only a few chapters were completed, the first chapter was "Mount Meru". It included notes from India from very good sources, very good. Then I lent it to a Shakta to brief and give an opinnion. He stole it, and he was a liar saying he burned it because he said "Gandhi wouldn't approve it since it is too intriguing". Then he died. In one way, it was a compliment, he thought it was very good. But it is still in my head. And probably if I write it, some are going to be mad at me. But it will be an ultimate Action and Adventure. So be forewarned.

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
07 August 2013, 01:33 AM
Namaste,

This is related to the discussions on this thread, but is in the inquisitive approach (meaning questionary):

What about Vaishyas that are instituted into tutelage under well knowledgeable Brahmin priests who teach the Vaishyas Mantra recitation and the studying of the Vedas?

Is it okay? It is a very exclusive number of Vaishyas that are under such tutelage, though. Which makes sense. Because, not everyone can go through such hardcore tutelage. And, the Brahmins that have invited these students are Smarthas and even Shrautas of high Brahmin castes (Shukla's, Pandey's, Agnihotri's, Trivedi's, and Suryapuri)...

Just asking; please ignore my post if you do not have an answer.

ps - The Brahmins in this case are not motivated by monetary means (they aren't asking a lot of money or materialistic things of that nature); they are intrigued by the flagrant interest the Non-Brahmins have in learning the Vedas and they have even exemplified their interests by recitations and memorizations of Shruti scriptures....

ps#2 - This happened in Baroda, Gujarat with a few cousins of mine who were initiated into the Brahmin Jati after the completion of their tutelage by Shrautas ....

Namaste,

Please do not expect an answer of this question from HDF members. This requires judgement, which only an authority can give. One must take this issue and approach Shankaracharya-s or Gaudapadacharya Mathadhipati or other mathadhipati-s of various other sampradaya like Vaishnava, Shaiva, etc.

As said by Philosoraptor ji, the idea is to reach Bhagavan. The means are different. Some varNa-s are given tough routes, some easy.

On another note,


I have read somewhere that even Shri Madhavacharya ji also mentioned that itihAsa purANa-s convey the same meaning as said by veda-s. they are also an authority. The only difference is their way of expression of truth. They may be written in different chanda-s, but convey the same meaning, needless to say that Bhagavan Veda Vyas has authored them.

To simplify things does not mean that it is watered down.


---

It should also be mentioned that without smoke there is no fire. So it is quite possible that *some* Brahmins may have or may take undue advantage of the respect given by them.

Lastly, only 1 % veda-s are extant. Hence much info might be lost that would give more clarity on varNa-Ashrama.

Hari OM

Sudas Paijavana
07 August 2013, 02:23 AM
delete

philosoraptor
07 August 2013, 09:23 AM
Pranam,

You make valid points in this post. And, if you can, may you please help me out with my earlier post about a select few number of Vaishyas getting tutelage by Brahmins for Mantra recitation?

I honestly did not see what the issue was here. As far as I was aware, brahmins, kShatriya-s, and vaishya-s were all eligible to have instruction in vedic mantras.

satay
07 August 2013, 10:04 AM
Namaste,


This kind of mentality is not bhagavAn-centered, it is self-centered.



This statement is at the heart of the matter. Sadly, the self centered virus has infected all in this yuga.

I have to say again for the readers that being born in a specific varna actually carries a lot of obligation and I am glad that I am not born into a Brahmin family. Considering the state of brahimins around me I have to say surely it is not a privilege to be born as such in this yuga.

And considering the number of people who actually study the ithihas and puranas, I don't know how anyone could think that it is an insult instead of a great privilege and honor to be able to do that.

Regarding Prabhupada, he said many times that one need to worry about the Vedas in this age, that study the Gita is sufficient. In my opinion, studying the gita itself may take several life-times for me.

Enough for today.

smaranam
07 August 2013, 10:28 AM
and will tell my friends of the West the following concession:

* The Vedas are for Brahmin priests

So now the story. One of the great religious leaders beloved by Americans and an historical figure to American history is A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Oddly, He appeared briefly in the late afternoon in a short dream when I took a nap yesterday. He gave a smile and said a confusing thing, the words "... read to me my translation of the Rig Veda". I was totally confused, but very happy to see Prabhupad, and I said something that was "But Prabhupad, you never translated the Rig Veda". Then He smiled and opened a door to leave but looked back and smiled again, "No I didn't"...

It occured to me later, that was very true. Prabhupad never did translate that Veda, nor any other Veda. And He wasn't the only one famed in America among Americans as great religious Gurus and teachers.

Then it occurred to me, that's very true. Yet look at the amazing success and Hindu Renaissance they brought to America and the world!

Om Namah Sivaya

Haribol!
Yes, that's PrabhupAd, and yes, those are PrabhupAd dreams or PrabhupAd hints.

om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya ~
Your True Self

Ganeshprasad
07 August 2013, 10:33 AM
Pranam


Namaste,



------Considering the state of brahimins around me I have to say surely it is a curse to be born as such in this yuga.

------

Enough for today.

If i can read your context correctly, i assume you mean their sorry state of the material condition, or the insult they have to endure getting blamed (perhaps with some justification) for the bad state the Dharma stands today, but it is never a curse to be born a Brahmin no matter which yuga.

Jai Shree Krishna

Amrut
07 August 2013, 10:38 AM
Regarding Prabhupada, he said many times that one need to worry about the Vedas in this age, that study the Gita is sufficient. In my opinion, studying the gita itself may take several life-times for me.

Enough for today.

Namaste,

This is the reason why Gita was written. It is the essence of Upanishads, which are essence or Jnana Kand of Veda-s.

In Gita it is said, leave every dharma and surrender to me.

How do you surrender if you do not know who Krishna is. How can mind give importance to Krishna or Ishvara if one does not know him? How can this instruction cultivate bhAva for Ishvara?

purANa-s help create a life sketch of Bhagavan. With the help of both purANa-s and itihAsa, we come to know something about Krishna, as a person, his deeds, his glory, etc. After reading both, mind can easily be fixed on Krishna.

Instruction was given in Gita, but bhAva was generated after reading purANa-s and mahAbhArata, which are associated with life of Krishna.

purANa-s are important.

Jai Sri Krishna

satay
07 August 2013, 11:07 AM
namaskar,

In hindsight, I used a very strong word. Curse is NOT the correct word. My apologies for that.


Pranam



If i can read your context correctly, i assume you mean their sorry state of the material condition, or the insult they have to endure getting blamed (perhaps with some justification) for the bad state the Dharma stands today, but it is never a curse to be born a Brahmin no matter which yuga.

Jai Shree Krishna

philosoraptor
07 August 2013, 01:18 PM
In Gita it is said, leave every dharma and surrender to me.

How do you surrender if you do not know who Krishna is. How can mind give importance to Krishna or Ishvara if one does not know him? How can this instruction cultivate bhAva for Ishvara?

purANa-s help create a life sketch of Bhagavan. With the help of both purANa-s and itihAsa, we come to know something about Krishna, as a person, his deeds, his glory, etc. After reading both, mind can easily be fixed on Krishna.

Instruction was given in Gita, but bhAva was generated after reading purANa-s and mahAbhArata, which are associated with life of Krishna.

purANa-s are important.

Jai Sri Krishna

Pranams,

All good points.

Another point to consider is that when The Lord says "surrender unto Me," where is the question of our mentality of surrender if we are not willing to accept that path that He has laid out for us? Am I truly a surrendered devotee if, for example, I am born a kShatriya but I do not want to fight in a righteous battle. Am I truly a surrendered devotee if, for example, I am a brahmin but I do not want to wake up early in the morning to do my sandhya prayers? Am I truly a surrendered devotee if, for example, I am a shUdra but I want to follow a brahmin's dharma instead? This is an important point. When we do what is prescribed for us, there is no independence there. We are taking the first step in making ourselves dependent on Him. Whether it is wife depending on husband, husband depending on guru, brahmins depending on shUdra-s (and vice-verse), ultimately we are dependent on The Lord of everything who created this arrangement for us. We don't want to be independent or have a self-centered, independence-seeking mentality. Our business is to make the Lord's instructions our whole life, including His instructions for our ordinary, wordly dealings. Without this, there is no question of sharaNAgati.

Avyaydya
07 August 2013, 05:02 PM
It is like saying "Vedas" (the learning of, quoting the Vedas, grammer and memorizing them) is only for "uncommon man" (viz smarter and higher birth then the riff raff) and histories such as the Ramayana are for the "common" (viz low birth, stupid people who cannot digest anything like the Vedas).
You accept the wisdom of the Sages to hand down and interpret the Veda's, but not their judgement to want to keep the Veda's secret and only teach them to initiated? So already you have surpassed the Sages in wisdom. Congratulations!

The Veda's were only written down to prevent them from becoming totally lost. They used the same oral tradition as the Druids, whose knowledge got lost because the Romans purposely murdered that caste, making it impossible to revive Celtic culture.

The Varna system is a perfectly logical consequence of Hindu philosophy that you do not seem to understand. In China, India and Egypt caste systems were stable systems that lasted for thousands of years. They did not prevent exceptionally talented people from entering castes. Look at Leonardo da Vinchi who was born out of wedlock and therefore could not follow classical education, or Karna who was refused by Sage Drona as the son of charioteer. Some can become a bit spiteful though:


So the Ramayana is for the stupid people (viz a "way they can be understood and digested by common man" viz stupid people). It is like saying the Ramayana, which is the life of Rama, and the purpose of Ram "is for those other, low birth people who cannot understand, you know, the stupid low castes who are not able to digest the Vedas like us high caste smart people".
I am sorry, but it is only you that is stating Ramayana is for stupid people, I never heard a Hindu say such disgraceful thing. It is you that is suggesting that something that is for the common man must be inferior. I regard the Ramayana and Mahabharata the greatest writings of all time.

But you use these insults as a sort of emotional blackmail to change Hindu tradition to Western taste. If they don't give in you will smear them with your allegations.



You know, I have to tell you all a story which willl explain why I have decided to accept in peace for those we (yes "we" as in Western Hindus my friends who always bug me with questions and demands) love and that is all Indian Hindus, and will tell my friends of the West the following concession:

* The Vedas are for Brahmin priests
A concession? I guess most Hindus here weren't even aware they were negotiating their heritage. Thanks for informing us!

And about "we westerners". I am a Westerner. I have been a Hindu from the day I was born. I am no convert. Hinduism does not convert, and I don't believe it is possible. You are either a Hindu or not. Some souls recognize themselves to be Hindu's. Even now I find it a strange predicament to be in, not something I would choose.

I wish we would stop giving people the impression you can convert to Hinduism. Hinduism is no belief system like Christianity that was created by an empire to destroy peoples own traditions and make them subservient. Westerners do not need full conversion to Indian traditions to profit from Hinduism. They can revive their own Pagan traditions, create new dharmic traditions or simply live according to Dharm.

I still find westerners being completely transformed to Indian culture a remarkable phenomenon. Like training Indians to dress in German lederhosen (http://www.thejrexperiment.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/lederhosen.jpg) drink beer and eat bratwurst, sing shlagers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmjHuIBzoOA) and walk in processions to fit in the German Christian tradition so they can tell German engineers how to best manufacture a BMW. I mean you can overdo it. Reminds me a bit about this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on7lFICOnqE&list=UU5qG9wUJNISCbVF8AVp7-xw&index=3&feature=plcp).


So now the story. One of the great religious leaders beloved by Americans and an historical figure to American history is A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Yes, the beloved Prabhupada, greatly admired by Shaivites these days. I was surprised to learn his movement had taken a U-turn and was now converting Hindu's in India to universalism. Is the compass broken? Last thing I read about Iskcon is they were now openly cooperating with the Jesuits (http://content.iskcon.org/icj/5_1/5_1jesuit.html) (the CIA of the RCC). I think they will be dining with the pope soon. Dharm and aDharm, Asuras and Devas, for the open-minded it is all comes together in the Divine essence. Or are they preparing new black ops?


Om Namah Sivaya
Shiva is said to be extremely forgiving. Still, it is a pity people desecrate his name by putting it under such writings. With such friends, who needs enemies?

When the Varna system is attacked and the positions of the Brahmins, both Indians and Westerners would do good to remember the recent past (https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/p480x480/600904_652623164753481_864426169_n.jpg).

brahma jijnasa
07 August 2013, 10:30 PM
Namaste Philosoraptor

Before I continue, here I'll reproduce a passage from Chandogya Upanishad which is located in post #2 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=105544#post105544) :


IV-iv-1: Once upon a time Satyakama Jabala addressed his mother Jabala, 'Mother, I desire to live the life of a celibate student of sacred knowledge in the teacher's house. Of what lineage am I?'

IV-iv-2: She said to him, 'My child, I do not know of what lineage you are. I, who was engaged in many works and in attending on others, got you in my youth. Having been such I could not know of what lineage you are. However, I am Jabala by name and you are named Satyakama. So you speak of yourself only as Satyakama Jabala.'

IV-iv-3: He went to Haridrumata Gautama and said, 'I desire to live under you, revered sir, as a Brahmacharin; may I approach your venerable self (for the same)?'

IV-iv-4: Gautama asked him, 'Dear boy, of what lineage are you?' He replied, 'Sir, I do not know of what lineage I am. I asked my mother; she replied, "I, who was engaged in many works and in attending on others, got you in my youth. Having been such, I could not know of what lineage you are. However, I am Jabala by name and you are named Satyakama". So, sir, I am Satyakama Jabala.'

IV-iv-5: The teacher said to him, 'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel, I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin, for you have not deviated from truth'. Having initiated him, he sorted out four hundred lean and weak cows and said, 'Dear boy, follow them.' While he was driving them towards the forest Satyakama said, 'I shall not return till it is one thousand.' He lived away for a long time, till they had increased to one thousand.

Now, a brief analysis of the most important part of the text follows:

After Satyakama approached Gautama with the desire to be initiated ...


IV-iv-4: Gautama asked him, 'Dear boy, of what lineage are you?'

Essence of Satyakama's short reply:


Sir, I do not know of what lineage I am.

Now, what is important to note here is that this is the only piece of information that Gautama learns about Satyakama's lineage!
From this we can clearly see that Gautama did not know of what lineage Satyakama was, so obviously he could not ascertain what was Satyakama's varna by birth!

Also note here that Gautama had no one else to ask about Satyakama's lineage. No revisionists, nor a followers of a modern group (such as supposedly brahma jijnasa), nor anyone of Hindu diaspora, were there to inform Gautama about Satyakama's lineage. Nor has he read Adi Shankara's commentary. :)

Then there is the most important part:


IV-iv-5: The teacher said to him, 'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel, I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin, for you have not deviated from truth'.

We are sure that Satyakama was initiated because the text says:


Having initiated him ...

Again note that no revisionists, etc, were there advise Gautama to initiate Satyakama. It was Gautama's decision.


As mentioned previously, the revisionist view is that sayakAma was of unknown ancestry ...

I think it's both Satyakama's and Gautama's view.


... and that he was deemed to be a brahmin by virtue of the fact that he told the truth about his unknown ancestry. From this, the revisionist concludes that one's varNa is determined by one's conduct, and not by one's birth.

That was Gautama's view. He personally came to this conclusion! Just read the text:


IV-iv-5: The teacher said to him, 'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel, I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin, for you have not deviated from truth'.


3) The idea that satyakAma was deemed to be a brahmin based on his truth-telling leads to the illogical conclusion that people who tell truth are brahmins, and people who lie are non-brahmins. The absurdity of this conclusion becomes even more obvious when we consider two great kshatriyas - mahArAja yudhishthira and harishchandra - both famed for their honesty, yet neither were known as brahmins!

So according to you, it turns out that Gautama was illogical and absurd because he said "No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus ... for you have not deviated from truth"!?

It seems that Gautama estimated Satyakama's character according to Bhagavad-gītā 18.41-42 (http://vedabase.net/bg/18/41/en) :


"Brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes, O chastiser of the enemy.

Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness — these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."

Here in verse 18.42 we have the expression ārjava "honesty, frankness, truthfulness".
Thus truthfulness (ārjava) seems to be one of the prominent qualities of a brāhmaṇa.
Based on that Gautama came to the conclusion that Satyakama was a brāhmaṇa.

-------
P.S.
This is a very mysterious thread. Posts disappear like anything. :)
Even the posters themselves are deleting their own posts.

regards

Amrut
08 August 2013, 06:19 AM
Pranams,

All good points.

Another point to consider is that when The Lord says "surrender unto Me," where is the question of our mentality of surrender if we are not willing to accept that path that He has laid out for us? Am I truly a surrendered devotee if, for example, I am born a kShatriya but I do not want to fight in a righteous battle. Am I truly a surrendered devotee if, for example, I am a brahmin but I do not want to wake up early in the morning to do my sandhya prayers? Am I truly a surrendered devotee if, for example, I am a shUdra but I want to follow a brahmin's dharma instead? This is an important point. When we do what is prescribed for us, there is no independence there. We are taking the first step in making ourselves dependent on Him. Whether it is wife depending on husband, husband depending on guru, brahmins depending on shUdra-s (and vice-verse), ultimately we are dependent on The Lord of everything who created this arrangement for us. We don't want to be independent or have a self-centered, independence-seeking mentality. Our business is to make the Lord's instructions our whole life, including His instructions for our ordinary, wordly dealings. Without this, there is no question of sharaNAgati.

Pranams,

In single line, 'I Surrender my will to the will of God'

Here there is no free will, as at times it is the culprit. If we think that being given the task is command of God then we will do all work for God. Faith is more important than work itself.

In whichever varna one is born, if one performs prescribed duty with full faith and with understanding that this is the work given by God and that God, who is all compassionate and merciful, always gives work that suits me and will help me move towards God, then one can live a contented life.

As PrArabhdha extinguishes by bhoga (enjoying / suffering), mind calms down. But it is this free will that analyses, reacts, produces emotions positive or negative, rAga-dveSa, anger, disapointment, etc follow. This piles up karma. Not that we will not have any problems, but if we follow as bhagavan in Gita says, then mentally we will be very steady and our faith will be unshakable.

In spirituality, one has to adjust, in practical life, mostly the concepts borrowed from western thinking are to adjust others and nature.

e.g. when temperature rises i.e. heat rises, install A.C. Westerners think for convenience of physical body and they do good job, while ours is a dharma which teaches us to stay tuned with nature and live a life of contentment and renunciation.

That is why we are not even given authority to name our children and biggest dAna for grihasthi is kanyA dAna.

Hari OM

Amrut
08 August 2013, 06:29 AM
Namaste,

In another post Brahma jijnasa wrote long post (http://hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=107048&postcount=27) which talks about satyakAma jAbAla.

No point copying whole post, hence I am just giving my reply below

Please understand that taking sanyas is a different issue, as after sanyas, one leaves his varna dharma and his old identity. Hence for this priority is inner purity.

But if we see that converting from say Shudra to Vaishya or Vaishya to Kshatriya or Vaishya to Brahmin and then performing their duties.

All e.g. like Vishwamitra, SatyakAma JAbAla, VAlmiki, etc of giving sanyas and not promoting themselves to the above varNa. All took sanyas. Valmiki as the name suggests got the name after intense tapas. If he did not had quality of holding to the name of Lord Rama, with proper bhava, then Narada would not have given him advise to chant Rama Nama. Hence it is clear that bhAva is of extreme importance, but at the same time remaining fixed, one pointed in Lord is also equally important.

Please understand in sanyas, instructions given are completely different to that given in 4 varNa-s.

If promoting, demoting was a routine common procedure, it should have been mentioned many times in dharma shastras, veda-s.

Aum

Amrut

ShivaFan
08 August 2013, 10:34 AM
Namaste Sudas Paijavana

Sorry I didn't get back, I have been busy getting ready for travel to Pittsburg.

The Rig Veda that I started to study was the edition "The Rig Veda (Sacred Writings: Hinduism, Vol. 5) " with translation by Ralph Griffith. Hardback, it is as thick as the New York phone directory, and lots of content but probably not the best resource.

Yes, a few days ago I renewed authoring "The New World Ramayana" and located my handwritten notes from India which are not the content of the book but notes of various discussions, sketches and also some envelopes containing items from dust, plants and such.

Actually, I understand the concern of some responders to the thread for the need of sages to keep rites, formulas, mantras, weapons, holy gateways and details of the Vedas restricted to the initiated (not the same as saying "birth based only", initiation is broader in candidacy), this was so very true during the time of Muslim incursion or prior to that under Rakshasa threat, just as it is true for Tantra and Siddhars and such, but it did occur to me I will be time to time cross referencing items to Vedas for validation of terms or words used so I will need to be reading the Vedas and getting instruction from authorized teachers on Vedas and in particular Atharva Ved. And yes, some things should probably be kept unsaid. For example, there is no doubt to me that sages in India know the true sanjivani medicine and location to find it, a medicine which is very powerful but if revealed even despite the ability of it to revive and cure could actually become dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands.

I hope the book will be published one day before I am dead, Western Hindus I think will find it a "keeper".

Om Namah Sivaya


Namaste,



Can you please give me the name of the translation? I would like to look into this translation out of curiosity.



Can you please re-write it so I could read it also? I am much interested with what you have to say.



]

Jetavan
08 August 2013, 11:46 AM
This is a very mysterious thread. Posts disappear like anything. :)
Even the posters themselves are deleting their own posts.

It's the kali yuga.

Amrut
08 August 2013, 11:48 AM
Namaste,

If we think the other way i.e. varNa is not birth based, then there are some doubts.

Everything is made from mAyA, which is triguNAtmikA i.e. has three guNA-s, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

We also have 3 guNa-s.

One may be predominant.

Now the question is does the % of guNa-s remain permanent throughout life.?

If not than there must be instances in veda-s, shruti-s and smriti-s that one person was Vaishya for 'x' years, then he became a Kshatriya. After 'y' years he became a Brahmin.

Now we go in reverse way.

Just as there is promotion, there is demotion.

From the definition of varna based on karma, and a quote from Mahabharata which says a person is born as sudra, etc

Is there an e.g. of demotion of a person in 'lower'[1] varNa?

Is there an e.g that a Brahmin became a sudra and then he did not had right to learn veda-s any further or even listen it?

Again if we take varNa by guNa-s, then we will notice that guNa-s change even in 24 hours. i.e, predominant guNa-s is only one at a time.

In Brahma Muhurata, Sattva Guna predominates
During day time i.e. between sun rise and sun set, Rajas Guna predominates
During night, Tamas Guna predominates

It is also well known that environment has a definite impact upon us, else it would not have been prescribed to meditate in Brahma Muhurata

If we agree than this means that one person changes his / her varNa daily. Is this acceptable?

If we say that one guNa stays predominant permanently, then it would mean that

A Brahmin will always remain a Brahmin, and so will people belonging to other varNa-s

Hence a Brahmin will not commit any sin.

This makes the above quote from Mahabharata that says about everyone being born as shudra as not actually meaning it i.e. literal meaning cannot be taken. So one must understand that either it is a statement of encouragement for all varNa-s or it is a caution for Brahmins that they should not take their Brahminhood casually or there is some symbolic meaning (which I am yet to decode)

Also one has to study in-depth such statements by reading some passages before and after them.

What I have understood that mostly these type of conversations are of spiritual nature i.e. about Brahma-vidya.

I am yet to find a convincing way as to how to interpret this statements as twisting of words can be done by either one of us i.e. one believing in varNa by birth and vice versa.

Hence I had earlier, one has to take refuge in Great Acharya-s respected by all and considered as an authority during their days and even after their passing.

Again, what we are talking is about general rule. There will be exceptions. Exceptions should not be taken as rule.

We cannot live the life of Valmiki, Vishvamitra, Vyasa and we cannot achieve what they have achieved.

There are always exceptions that show that one should not rigidly strict to one view and that God is not bound by any rules and hence there are exceptions. Our rishis were seers, knowers of past, present and future. They has divya-drisTi. They could see the guNa and the exact capacity of any person. This is why they were respected. Hence if they see that someone of lower varNa has some sattvik guNa-s he would initiate him. But probability of such person is rare and hence this lapproach, I personally feel, should not be applied to all.

It only states that afterall it is the inner purity that is important and it can be a deciding factor to override general rules.

But to point out the fact that both Adi Shankara and Jnan Sambandhar, who both were believed to be avatars of Shiva and Skanda also respected the customs and they underwent upnayana sanskar.

Both of them were proficient in learning and they knew much before they were actually initiated. Both would remember everything they listen in first time. Jnana Sambandhar was already composing hymms and poems before he was officially initiated.

Both had ability to learn by themselves and decode shastras, but they respected customs most of time.[2] i.e. performed upanayana sanskara

[1] Please do not take literal meaning of lower.
[2] Extracted from Hindu Dharma

Aum

Avyaydya
08 August 2013, 12:05 PM
Namaste Philosoraptor

Before I continue, here I'll reproduce a passage from Chandogya Upanishad which is located in post #2 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=105544#post105544) :

IV-iv-1: Once upon a time Satyakama Jabala addressed his mother Jabala, 'Mother, I desire to live the life of a celibate student of sacred knowledge in the teacher's house. Of what lineage am I?'

IV-iv-2: She said to him, 'My child, I do not know of what lineage you are. I, who was engaged in many works and in attending on others, got you in my youth. Having been such I could not know of what lineage you are. However, I am Jabala by name and you are named Satyakama. So you speak of yourself only as Satyakama Jabala.'

IV-iv-3: He went to Haridrumata Gautama and said, 'I desire to live under you, revered sir, as a Brahmacharin; may I approach your venerable self (for the same)?'

IV-iv-4: Gautama asked him, 'Dear boy, of what lineage are you?' He replied, 'Sir, I do not know of what lineage I am. I asked my mother; she replied, "I, who was engaged in many works and in attending on others, got you in my youth. Having been such, I could not know of what lineage you are. However, I am Jabala by name and you are named Satyakama". So, sir, I am Satyakama Jabala.'

IV-iv-5: The teacher said to him, 'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel, I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin, for you have not deviated from truth'. Having initiated him, he sorted out four hundred lean and weak cows and said, 'Dear boy, follow them.' While he was driving them towards the forest Satyakama said, 'I shall not return till it is one thousand.' He lived away for a long time, till they had increased to one thousand.Now, a brief analysis of the most important part of the text follows:

After Satyakama approached Gautama with the desire to be initiated ...

IV-iv-4: Gautama asked him, 'Dear boy, of what lineage are you?'Essence of Satyakama's short reply:

Sir, I do not know of what lineage I am.Now, what is important to note here is that this is the only piece of information that Gautama learns about Satyakama's lineage!
From this we can clearly see that Gautama did not know of what lineage Satyakama was, so obviously he could not ascertain what was Satyakama's varna by birth!

Also note here that Gautama had no one else to ask about Satyakama's lineage. No revisionists, nor a followers of a modern group (such as supposedly brahma jijnasa), nor anyone of Hindu diaspora, were there to inform Gautama about Satyakama's lineage. Nor has he read Adi Shankara's commentary. :)

Then there is the most important part:

IV-iv-5: The teacher said to him, 'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel, I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin, for you have not deviated from truth'. We are sure that Satyakama was initiated because the text says:

Having initiated him ...Again note that no revisionists, etc, were there advise Gautama to initiate Satyakama. It was Gautama's decision.



I think it's both Satyakama's and Gautama's view.



That was Gautama's view. He personally came to this conclusion! Just read the text:

IV-iv-5: The teacher said to him, 'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel, I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin, for you have not deviated from truth'.

So according to you, it turns out that Gautama was illogical and absurd because he said "No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus ... for you have not deviated from truth"!?

It seems that Gautama estimated Satyakama's character according to Bhagavad-gītā 18.41-42 (http://vedabase.net/bg/18/41/en) :

"Brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes, O chastiser of the enemy.

Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness — these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."Here in verse 18.42 we have the expression ārjava "honesty, frankness, truthfulness".
Thus truthfulness (ārjava) seems to be one of the prominent qualities of a brāhmaṇa.
Based on that Gautama came to the conclusion that Satyakama was a brāhmaṇa.

-------
P.S.
This is a very mysterious thread. Posts disappear like anything. :)
Even the posters themselves are deleting their own posts.

regards

You are missing a few points:

Satyakama could have been from Brahmana descent. It was unknown, but a real possibility. He was not known to be of other descent.
Satyakama spoke this way without any kind of training. This is important because it points to an inborn nature.
To determine truth we use more senses than just our ears.You can not analyse texts as if they are mathematical true/false propositions. for instance: "'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus." is clearly untrue if taken literal. You could easily make someone say this. And after having read this text all of us could have said it. So it is clear that these words do not tell the whole story. There is more to it.

In stead of drawing the conclusion Gautama is illogical or untrue, one can say his words are not the whole story, he was incomplete. Besides the conclusion still is that Satyakama is initiated because he is Brahmana, and not because is he is not. This still underlines the necessity of being a Brahmana.

Avyaydya
08 August 2013, 02:17 PM
Namaste,

a quote from Mahabharata which says a person is born as sudra, etc

I understand that this way: The babies mind is busy with their direct wants, it wants to eat, drink, sleep, be with its mother. This is similar to the state of sudra's as they primarily focus on direct wants. And this too is the reason that people are not initiated at birth but later.

But at the same time it is a powerful reminder for Brahmanas to remember that for some time they were like a sudra too.

philosoraptor
08 August 2013, 05:59 PM
brahma-jijnasa,

Have you ever actually studied the chAndogya upaniShad? If so, may I ask whose commentary you studied?

thanks,

Sudas Paijavana
08 August 2013, 06:08 PM
brahma-jijnasa,

Have you ever actually studied the chAndogya upaniShad? If so, may I ask whose commentary you studied?

thanks,

Philosoraptor,

Please pardon my intrusion but:

Can you please give me a good commentary that I should order and study? I would like to get a good commentary recommendation. Please help me out.

philosoraptor
08 August 2013, 06:56 PM
Philosoraptor,

Please pardon my intrusion but:

Can you please give me a good commentary that I should order and study? I would like to get a good commentary recommendation. Please help me out.

This will be the subject of one of my upcoming book reviews. You'll just have to wait until then. :-) In the meantime, I await with interest, brahma-jijnasa's answer to my question.

Sudas Paijavana
08 August 2013, 07:44 PM
This will be the subject of one of my upcoming book reviews. You'll just have to wait until then. :-)

Greetings,

Okay, but please inform me as soon as the book review is done and if you can please PM the book review as well; that would be really helpful. Thank you.

Jaskaran Singh
08 August 2013, 10:17 PM
Greetings,

Okay, but please inform me as soon as the book review is done and if you can please PM the book review as well; that would be really helpful. Thank you.


I'm not sure if you want my opinion or not, but are you only looking for bhāṣya-s on the Upaniṣad-s, or are you looking for views on Vedānta in general? If it's the latter, then one of the books I recommend you read is the vedānta-pārijāta-saurabha (Nimbārkācārya's "commentary" on the brahmasūtra-s, so to speak), as it serves as a general overview of the views of the kumāra-sampradāya (one of the four main vaiṣṇava sampradāya-s). In addition, a translation is easily accessible and can be read online :) : http://goo.gl/VoDqrK

ShivaFan
08 August 2013, 11:29 PM
Namaste

The question of twice born might go to the crux of the matter.

The four Vedas are traditional, not later interpretations.

In Vedic Dharma, for the One who learns the Vedas, this Vedic student is called Brahmacharin, and as the Atharva Veda outlines the rite, the parents of this student who learns the Vedas is not one's birth parents and learning the Vedas has nothing to do with birth, rather for such a student his father is his Acharya or teacher, not birth father, his mother is Savitri of the Sun, not his birth mother. This is the stipulation of the Vedas and as the Atharva Veda says (11.5.3) the Acharya upon taking the student to learn the Vedas then spiritually takes the student within the Acharya's own self making the Vedic student an embryo within, this Acharya holds the student within for three nights upon which the Devas gather to see this student born in transformation from the Archarya, who is now the student's father. This is the true Vedic second birth, the traditional act.

The Acharya was not a priest who simply performs a ceremony as what became later under caste centric sects, He was endowed in Vedic times to give a second birth from His own in actual transformation of the student to His own new brahmacharin Son. Now with his Mother as Savitri of the Sun and Acharya as Father, the Vedic student is twice born.

The Atharva Ved then clarifies (11.5.6) the Vedic student clothes himself in the black antelopeskin (as we see Lord Rudra), and does not shave but grows a long beard, much like the Acharya. The Vedic student who was first brought alms (11.5.9) to the Acharya now is One who carries also the name and reputation of his new Father the Acharya.

Here is the beauty of Vedic Dharma. This is the traditional Hindu second birth. Not caste. This is the best way to protect the Vedas from interlopers, it is too dangerous to rely on birth. Here we now have as in this Veda the Upanayana which means sheltering the student in the womb of the Acharya, and from which comes the word Upanishad or sitting near the teacher.

This is traditional Hinduism. By the way, a Brahmin who is Tamil pointed out that the Vedic Upanayana had no investiture of a Yajnopavitam or sacred thread as performed today. This might be an interesting subject of a future thread among Hindu gentlemen.

Reverence be to Rudra, reverence to the takman, reverence to the luminous king Varuna! (Atharva Ved)

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
09 August 2013, 12:42 AM
Thank you for good explanation ShivaFan ji,

Namaste

As vedic Rishis were seers with divine eyes, they could judge inner purity. Also note that not all were accepted as disciples. Today, are there any such rishi-s or acharya-s who have divine visions? In older days, this was common. Again if we think of Gurukula type of learning, then I doubt if there is such a person here on HDF. If such divine saints are not common, then who is going to decide who is fit for taking sanyas or fit for promoting to another varNa?

I do not strickly stick to varNa by birth, but conversions were not common. Even in times of Vidura, taking e.g. of Sanat sujAtiya, he had divinity and power to involve SAnat SujAta (Sanata KumAra), but he respected the general feeling of varNa by birth.

There are ways one can override it, but common trend at least from Mahabharat days is VarNa by birth. Eklavya and karNa are another e.g. of not being taught even though they were capable (which they proved)

Thank you Avyaydya ji. Welcome

Aum

Sudas Paijavana
09 August 2013, 10:34 AM
I'm not sure if you want my opinion or not, but are you only looking for bhāṣya-s on the Upaniṣad-s, or are you looking for views on Vedānta in general? If it's the latter, then one of the books I recommend you read is the vedānta-pārijāta-saurabha (Nimbārkācārya's "commentary" on the brahmasūtra-s, so to speak), as it serves as a general overview of the views of the kumāra-sampradāya (one of the four main vaiṣṇava sampradāya-s). In addition, a translation is easily accessible and can be read online :) : http://goo.gl/VoDqrK


Namaste Jaskaran-ji,

Your opinion matters to me. Thank you for your helpful link. It has already been bookmarked. :) And, I would be much obliged if you could provide bhāṣya-s on the Upanishads as well and even books that are bhāṣya-s too. Thank you.

philosoraptor
09 August 2013, 10:37 AM
Pranams,

So far, in my readings, which I admit are not exhaustive, I have seen very few examples of individuals "converting" from the varNa of their birth to another varNa. And in those examples, every single one was a case of a kShatriya becoming a brahmin.

vALmIki is often heralded as a case where one can convert to the position of a brahmin from a non-dvija birth, but vALmIki's jAti is not made clear in anything I have read to date. Of note, if anyone can point me in the right direction to find this information (I believe Jaskaran said it was somewhere in the skandha purANa), I would appreciate it.

The varAha purANa contains the story of satyatapas, a sinful hunter who "became" a brahmin after he was reformed by the process of devotional service. However, later in the story, it is mentioned that satyatapas was in fact a brahmin by birth, but was orphaned and raised as a hunter.

Again, it should be stressed that the desire to do another person's duty is not very devotional and is against the spirit of the instructions given by Sri Krishna to Arjuna. That one has free will to do what he or she wants is not the issue. The issue is whether we get the Lord's grace by exercising our free will to satisfy our personal desires, or subvert our will to satisfy His desires. This is why I find the egocentric approach, i.e. "your caste is whatever you are by quality" is problematic to say the least, because it misses the whole point.

Avyaydya
09 August 2013, 12:29 PM
Here is the beauty of Vedic Dharma. This is the traditional Hindu second birth. Not caste. This is the best way to protect the Vedas from interlopers, it is too dangerous to rely on birth. Here we now have as in this Veda the Upanayana which means sheltering the student in the womb of the Acharya, and from which comes the word Upanishad or sitting near the teacher.

This is traditional Hinduism. By the way, a Brahmin who is Tamil pointed out that the Vedic Upanayana had no investiture of a Yajnopavitam or sacred thread as performed today. This might be an interesting subject of a future thread among Hindu gentlemen.

Reverence be to Rudra, reverence to the takman, reverence to the luminous king Varuna! (Atharva Ved)

Shivafan-ji, this is my view:

You reason well, but reasoning is goal directed thinking. The goal behind your reasoning is desire. The desire to make the highest positions available to people like you. And here comes the most important point: All that have this desire are unfit. All those who want to to be in the highest positions are unfit. Only those who have no want to be in these positions are fit. Because only those understand the heavy burden of responsibility these positions carry and danger they hold.

Great power is the axe made white hot in the fire that burns all but the purest souls. To allow someone in such a position that is unfit, will not only bring harm to society, but will bring great harm to the person himself. He will self-mutilate, even self-destruct. Ambition is the fire that burns ones good qualities.

People born in the Brahmana caste, believing it is their birthright to be Brahmanas, are unfit as well. The Mahabharata tells us about people driven by ambition to acquire positions of power. We have the blind king Dhritirashtra who thinks he is the rightful King because he is the first born son, we have Duryodhana who thinks he is the rightful successor because he is the first son of the first son. They are driven by ambition.

Then we have Karna, who is actually the oldest Pandava and a noble person that is fit to be King. Krishna offers him to take his rightful place as King of Indraprasth, but because he is indeed noble, he refuses. We have grandsire Bhishma who holds more rights than anyone else and is fit, but chooses to be a servant to the throne in stead because he regards the happiness of his father more important than his personal ambition.

Then we have the children made in the image of a jealous God. They claim to love another tradition so much that they offer themselves as stepchildren, though they are no orphans. When they are lovingly accepted, they start demanding rights to positions not even their new parents can give them. Then they become spiteful and threaten with their discontent if the traditions are not changed in their favour. They start arguing they know better, because they already took the liberty to study the highest scriptures and create interpretations that serve their ambitions.

To me this is a clear warning to Hindus. Stop giving people the impression they can convert to Hinduism. Conversion whether to or from Hinduism is the same crime. A tradition that converts is no part of Sanatan Dharm by its own action, no matter what it believes or teaches. Wrong should not be accepted because it looks advantageous.

Because of soul migration people can be born outside of the fold, their soul remains Hindu and connected to Dharm and Devas. They are casteless, but no “outcasts”. If they are true Hindus they easily accept that they are casteless. Then they understand they are in this position by their own actions, either by desire or by fate. They have no reason to feel spiteful.

If they are true Hindu's they also understand that they are not barred from other castes. In next lives they can be born within the fold again. A true Hindu does not live in the perspective of this life, he lives in the perspective of all his lives, past, present and future. That is why he can accept fate and at same time work hard to change it.

Yes, it is possible that a person very young and without education meets a Sage on his path that recognises him as Brahmana even though he is not born in that caste. Hindu's too are born in the image of their Gods. And the Deva's too father children or incarnate, but they would only take such a route for a special reason as they support Dharm. The Varna-system is part of Dharm.

But it is not so that people by arduously studying the scriptures, meticulously performing religious duties can claim the position of Brahmana. Even if you do tapas to the Gods to acquire this, you have to wait to for the next life. If this were not so, Dharm would easily be destroyed by aDharm. Than intelligent adharmic people can strive to be Brahmana's and destroy Hinduism and Dharm from the inside out.

They will become teachers that lead people astray by saying Deva's and Asura's are all the same, and that those who are no monotheists are no Hindu's, and they will quote carefully selected texts to prove their point. They will use their positions to subtly bend the truth. They will bend and bend until truth and untruth are so intertwined common people lose confidence in the Devas and start believing these things.

There is no reason at all why people should want to be Brahmana's. Hinduism offers the finest teachers of all to the Bhakts: The Deva's. They will help people reach any goal without the pitfall of arrogance so dangerously present in studying all of the highest scriptures.

Those who reject this only invite the discontent of the Gods. True Hindu's pay their respect to the Devas as they are related and feel the connection in their heart. Children of the jealous God claiming to be Hindus will incur his wrath if they do this, but the anger of the Deva's if they withhold their respect. Let them return to their own traditions. Hindus will not recognize a tradition without respect for Deva's and the Varna-system. Why should they?

If these people want to follow Dharm without the Varna-system and Deva's they can turn to Buddhism, if they also want to hold the Veda's authoritative, there is Arya Samaj. Plenty of room for such ideas outside of Sanatan Dharm. No reason to change the main branch, as there are enough side-branches that water these fields.

Westerners are free to create a monotheist Vedic religion without having to leave their culture and having to change Hindu tradition. There is no mother church that will try to exterminate them for leaving the true path. Why not call it Western Vedism. Than they can worship Mahajesus as supreme, and anyone can become a member of the pastor-caste and lead the flock-caste to Moksha. At home and in the temple with the cross they can read from the Veda's and Mahabible and happily sing the Mahamantra: "Hare Christus, Hare Christus, Hare Jesus, Hare Jesus". They can do yoga and meditate on the holy trinity Varuna, Jesus, and the holy ghost. As long as they do not insist on calling it Hinduism or Sanatan Dharm I see no problem with it.

And Indeed: Asura-worship also finds its origin in Vedic tradition with Luminous King Varuna.

brahma jijnasa
10 August 2013, 03:44 PM
Namaste

Please understand that taking sanyas is a different issue, as after sanyas, one leaves his varna dharma and his old identity. Hence for this priority is inner purity.
...
All e.g. like Vishwamitra, SatyakAma JAbAla, VAlmiki, etc of giving sanyas ...


I discussed passage on Satyakama in Chandogya Upanishad.
There it was not said that he has become a sannyasi. It just said that he has become Brahmacharin:


IV-iv-5: The teacher said to him, 'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel, I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin ...

regards

brahma jijnasa
10 August 2013, 04:17 PM
It's the kali yuga.

Yes, it is fallen age of Kali.
You know, in my country ISKCON devotees would say "pali u dobu Kali" which sounds like a rhyme in my language (pali -- Kali).
I'm not sure if it also sounds in English as a rhyme, but in translation it would be "fallen in the age of Kali". :)
This refers to us, the people in the age of Kali who are "fallen in the age of Kali".

regards

brahma jijnasa
10 August 2013, 05:41 PM
You are missing a few points:
Satyakama could have been from Brahmana descent. It was unknown, but a real possibility. He was not known to be of other descent.

I am not missing anything here. Satyakama could have been from Brahmana descent. Yes, indeed, he could. But he could also be of any other origin too! He could also be of shudra descent or even mleccha "man of an outcast race" origin. :)
That is exactly my point! Does not matter which descent he was. It does not even matter at all!!!
Why it does not matter?
It does not matter because nobody could ascertain what was Satyakama's varna by birth (Satyakama's descent)! That's the point!
How can it be important something that can not be determined?
Satyakama's descent could not be determined, so it is quite irrelevant.

Now, the question is: What does it matter then?
The answer is: Only his character is important.
We can see this from the text of Chandogya Upanishad.


Satyakama spoke this way without any kind of training. This is important because it points to an inborn nature.

Of course that it is an inborn nature or his character.


You can not analyse texts as if they are mathematical true/false propositions. for instance: "'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus." is clearly untrue if taken literal. You could easily make someone say this. And after having read this text all of us could have said it. So it is clear that these words do not tell the whole story. There is more to it.

In stead of drawing the conclusion Gautama is illogical or untrue, one can say his words are not the whole story ...

There is nothing more to it. It is the whole story because the text says only so much.

regards

brahma jijnasa
10 August 2013, 07:52 PM
brahma-jijnasa,

Have you ever actually studied the chAndogya upaniShad? If so, may I ask whose commentary you studied

I have not studied the entire Chandogya Upanishad, nor a commentary on it. But I have studied the topic we discuss, ie how to determine one's varna. I have studied the topic from Gaudiya vaishnavas and from the scriptures and their respective comments by Gaudiyas. So if you want to defeat me, you will have to defeat them actually because what I am presenting here are their views.

To understand the story about Satyakama in Chandogya Upanishad you do not need neo-Hindu diaspora, nor revisionists, nor "a followers of a modern group" etc, but what you need to I would call "some brains" and an explanation of learned acaryas such as Baladeva Vidyabhushana, Jiva Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami and other knowledgeable Gaudiya vaishnavas.

Is it really difficult to understand this:


Sir, I do not know of what lineage I am.

and then:


No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel, I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin, for you have not deviated from truth

Does it requires a lot of brains?


I have seen very few examples of individuals "converting" from the varNa of their birth to another varNa.

You know what? Maybe you'll be surprised when I tell you that I have seen thousands of such examples. :)
I have seen thousands of Lord Krishna's devotees born in western countries such as Europe and America. It is a well known fact that practically all of these devotees are in fact mleccha-s by birth.
The term mleccha refers to a foreigner, barbarian, non-Aryan, man of an outcast race, any person who does not speak Sanskrit and does not conform to the usual Hindu institutions. Primarily mleccha refers to an outcast (who is untouchable) who is even lower than shudra, who is not even a part of Vedic culture or civilization, who is abominable barbarian and sinner, who is far from being worthy of any process of purification, let alone is worthy to receive Vedic knowledge, or God forbid :), the initiation (or diksha) from a guru.
These great devotees or vaishnavas of The Lord are completely transcendental to any notion of varna. They do not belong to any varna. They are beyond any concept of varnas. In fact, they are at the position that is higher than the brahmanas!
This is the point.

Their shudra descent or even mleccha "man of an outcast race" origin does not matter at all.
Why it does not matter?
It does not matter because they do not belong to any varna. They are beyond any concept of varnas. In fact, they are at the position that is higher than the brahmanas!


This is why I find the egocentric approach, i.e. "your caste is whatever you are by quality" is problematic to say the least, because it misses the whole point.

It seems to me that you are the one who misses the whole point.

regards

philosoraptor
10 August 2013, 10:09 PM
I have not studied the entire Chandogya Upanishad, nor a commentary on it.

In other words, you have never studied the chAndogya upaniShad, but somehow you know exactly what it has to say.

Thank you. This is all I wanted to establish.

philosoraptor
10 August 2013, 11:46 PM
In response to my statement, "So far, in my readings, which I admit are not exhaustive, I have seen very few examples of individuals "converting" from the varNa of their birth to another varNa," brahma jijnasa, ever ready to evade the argument by changing the subject, wrote:



You know what? Maybe you'll be surprised when I tell you that I have seen thousands of such examples. :)
I have seen thousands of Lord Krishna's devotees born in western countries such as Europe and America. It is a well known fact that practically all of these devotees are in fact mleccha-s by birth.


In other words, he did not challenge my point about the absence of scriptural examples showing mlecchas-by-birth and/or shudras-by-birth becoming brahmins. Instead, he pointed to the example of ISKCON as proof that the practice of converting non-dvijas to brahmins is genuine. Essentially, his argument is that because so many Western people are mlecchas-by-birth (not disputed here), and they became "brahmins by quality" (by taking second initiation in ISKCON), this is proof that you can indeed convert mlecchas or shudras into brahmins. This "proof," of course, requires that you accept that these second-initiated, sacred-thread-wearing devotees are indeed "brahmins by quality."

Now, let me preface my next few comments by saying that I am favorably-disposed to ISKCON. I like their high standard of Deity worship, their insistence on pure devotional service as the means and the end, and their uncompromising view on Vishnu sarvottamatva. I have had the pleasure of meeting a few ISKCON devotees from Western backgrounds who became very sweet devotees. Emphasis on few. I never questioned the varNa status of these individuals, because I felt it was between them, their guru, and Lord Krishna, and that it was none of my business.

That being said, I am hard-pressed to accept brahma jijnasa's claim that most of the 2nd-initiated ISKCON devotees I have met over the years are indeed "brahmins by quality." Bear in mind that it was brahma jijnasa who brought this up, not I. Because he did bring it up, I have to now address the falseness of his claim as it is a major pillar of his argument.

Let me limit myself only to those 2nd-initiated ISKCON devotees who are "devotees in good standing," i.e. who are members of the organization in one capacity or another (management, temple worship, giving classes, leading kirtans, etc). I have been in multiple ISKCON temples in the West, have corresponded with ISKCON gurus/leaders on multiple occasions, and have even been privy to private discussions held by ISKCON gurus on various internet forums through the years. I can honestly say my perspective on ISKCON is a well-informed one.

On the subject of many of ISKCON's "brahmins by quality," I have found that I frankly cannot relate to most of them, as with few exceptions, they tend to indulge in one or more of the following non-brahminical activities or attitudes:

1) watching television
2) talking prajalpa, up to and including the latest football game or serial on television
3) making derisive and immature remarks about homosexuals, Jews, women, etc - this appears to be based on an insecurity these people have about such people and their incompatibility with conservative, Vedic, social standards (I have no problem with conservative Vedic social standards, but I see no rasa in bringing up the sinful habits of other people as a conversation topic).
3a) In fact, on the above subject, I recall hearing a "senior devotee" in ISKCON giving Bhagavatam class on the day of Jagannatha-ratha-yatra, in which he reminisced about his childhood days when he and his boyhood friends used to beat up a Jewish kid in their old grade school back in Germany. I never really figured out why he thought this was relevant to the Bhagavatam.
4) cultish adherence to ISKCON's democratically-based decision-making system about what does, and does not, constitute authentic gaudiya vaishnava siddhanta. Since the knowledge base of ISKCON's leaders is limited, this leads to ISKCON devotees adopting non-vedantic ideas like "fall from Vaikuntha" and becoming very hostile to any scripturally-based discussion which contradicts their "siddhanta." Siddhanta in ISKCON is determined by majority vote among its leaders, and not by study of shAstra.
5) On the subject of ISKCON leaders not knowing shAstra, I was made aware from the minutes of its governing body council that they have a "Sastra Advisory Council" to advise the leaders on the scriptural basis of some views. When I asked a Sri Prabhupada disciple why ISKCON leaders who are gurus and giving classes on shAstra, and who would be expected to know shAstra themselves ("brahmins by quality" remember?) must have a separate council to research shAstric matters, the disciple merely shrugged and gave me that "I don't bother questioning these things anymore" look.
6) I have repeatedly been told by several senior ISKCON devotees that they knew of other senior ISKCON devotees in leadership and managerial positions who were not maintaining the ISKCON standard of 16 rounds (about 2 hours) of harinAma-japa per day, and not maintaining the standard of waking up before sunrise. These are supposed to be brahmins, right?
7) #6 was found out by me in the context of several high-level discussions being had between various ISKCON leaders about cultural standards in ISKCON. It seems that while ISKCON's founder-acharya wanted a standard of Vedic culture for his disciples (i.e. dhoti for men, saris for women, restrained male-female interactions, traditional marriages, no divorces, etc), many ISKCON devotees want official recognition of homosexual marriage, encouragement of dating, forgiving attitude towards illicit sexual relations, Westernization of clothing and habits, etc. This is a major point of contention between conservative and liberal elements in ISKCON, the former being the minority.
8) One high-level ISKCON leader, a well-regarded scholar who did part of their bhAgavatam translation, has many disciples, and is highly influential in ISKCON, has privately opined that ancient Hindus were very forgiving of casual sexual relations. He has endorsed homosexual monogamy (http://www.chakra.org/announcements/persFeb01_09.html) and argued (on the private ISKCON mailing list I was once subscribed to) that ancient Hindu women, including Sita and Radha, walked around bare-breasted, and that the custom of women covering their breasts only came when British people with their prudish Victorian sensibilities came to India. When another list member showed him evidence to the contrary of his position, he acknowledged the evidence but did not recant his views.
9) Another ISKCON leader, also an initiating guru, has published books about UFOs and traveling to other dimensions. He actually claimed he could access other dimensions. After he died of cancer, devotees in the local ISKCON temple deified him as another "Jesus Christ." Needless to say, the conservatives in ISKCON do not like this about him, but they appear to be a vocal minority at best.
10) There is a large contingent of people in ISKCON who like feminism, and consequently, they dislike Lord Rama because of their perception that He tormented Sita. How they can like Lord Krishna but dislike Lord Rama is, needless to say, unclear to me.
11) Some years ago, there was a debate in ISKCON's leadership about allowing women gurus. It seems that the feminists wanted female gurus and felt it was discrimination that women were not allowed to be initiating gurus. Unfortunately, ISKCON preaches that it is following "vedic" culture, and in "vedic" culture, women did not serve as initiating gurus. But never mind that, the feminists had their way, and ISKCON started having female gurus (and still claims to be "vedic"). Ironically, the "Sastric Advisory Council," which provided no examples from "vedic culture" to support the practice, supported the practice anyway. Thus, it appears that ISKCON's "brahmins" tend to make decisions based on political consequences rather than on shAstric or historical precedent.
12) Not exactly related to #11, but I was told by some ISKCON leaders that they were very troubled by a temple president who ran an ISKCON temple in Canada. Specifically, they said that she had embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the ISKCON temple, but that she could not be replaced because of the lack of qualified leadership there. I was also told in that same context that this was not the first time an ISKCON president had been caught misusing temple funds.
13) The "brahmin" in a local ISKCON temple I once attended (it was the only Vaishnava temple in that city at the time) who led kirtans every week during their Sunday feast, was exposed as a child sexual abuser who, early in his "devotional" career, had raped a minor. Apparently, this was known about him, but he just moved to this temple and quietly became the bhajan/kirtan leader there. When it was discovered that a known sexual abuser was occupying a position of responsibility and that the leadership was looking the other way, it became a huge scandal. The leaders decided to defuse the tension caused by the scandal by transferring the devotee to another temple - where he became its new president.
14) There is a noticeable tendency among ISKCON "brahmins" to present themselves as authorities on almost any religious subject despite their lack of familiarity with the primary texts. Brahma-jijnasa feels he knows what chAndogya upaniShad has to say about varNa and heredity despite admitting that he never studied the chAndogya upaniShad in its entirety. He similarly tried to argue about baladeva vidyAbhUShaNa's views on anAdi-karma despite not ever having studied baladeva's vedAnta commentary. I see this over and over again among ISKCON devotees who never want to admit when they do not know something, and will always insist on the rightness of what they perceive to be their acharya's views.
15) ISKCON brahmins also believe that Jesus is a "shaktyavesha avatar."
16) ISKCON brahmins also say that Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, who practiced slavery, murder of surrendered prisoners, and preached unprovoked aggression against "idol worshipers."

I could go on and on, but frankly I find this a very distasteful subject, and I feel dirty just for bringing this up. I am sure all religious mathas have their problems, and I never really wanted to pick on ISKCON specifically. But if the ISKCON argument is that "varNa conversion is ok, because ISKCON converts mlecchas to brahmins all the time," then is it not reasonable to question the legitimacy of these so-called "brahmins by quality?" Please note here that I am not claiming that birth makes one a pious person. But if the ISKCON argument is that brahmins should be brahmins by quality only, and then they just produce degraded brahmins who are no better than the fallen hereditary brahmins of Hinduism, then how is that an improvement over the hereditary system?

Please note that I have not even discussed the ISKCON "brahmins" who became degraded and left the organization. I have not mentioned the gurus who abused children in gurukulas, became sexual addicts, involved in criminal activity, etc. My whole point here is simply that ISKCON's "brahmins by quality" are not exactly poster children for the "varNa by quality, not by birth" concept. Now, this is not to say that they cannot become initiated into devotional service. On the contrary, I think it is a great thing that ISKCON wants to bring Krishna-bhakti to mlecchas. But I remain unmoved by their examples as to what constitutes "brahmin by quality."

EDIT: I want to clarify that by no means am I implying that all ISKCON devotees are like this. This is just what I have observed over many years of watching and interacting with them, never as a member, but always in a spirit of a friendly and (casually) supportive observer.

Ramakrishna
11 August 2013, 12:34 AM
Sita Ram,



On the subject of many of ISKCON's "brahmins by quality," I have found that I frankly cannot relate to most of them, as with few exceptions, they tend to indulge in one or more of the following non-brahminical activities or attitudes:

1) watching television


What is the shastric basis of watching television as a "non-brahminical" activity?

Jai Sri Ram

Jaskaran Singh
11 August 2013, 03:09 AM
4) cultish adherence to ISKCON's democratically-based decision-making system about what does, and does not, constitute authentic gaudiya vaishnava siddhanta. Since the knowledge base of ISKCON's leaders is limited, this leads to ISKCON devotees adopting non-vedantic ideas like "fall from Vaikuntha" and becoming very hostile to any scripturally-based discussion which contradicts their "siddhanta." Siddhanta in ISKCON is determined by majority vote among its leaders, and not by study of shAstra.

Praṇām,

After reading your post, I noticed that this "fall from Vaikuṇṭha" idea seemed vaguely familiar, as if I had previously heard it before from an ISKCON "devotee." :rolleyes: I started to do some research and it seems that this anucita concept does seem to come from ISKCON leaders, as is evident in the following lecture by Jayadvaita Swami: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24apWagHe94

Jai Jai Śrī Vṛṣabhānu Dulāri

Amrut
11 August 2013, 03:21 AM
Namaste


I discussed passage on Satyakama in Chandogya Upanishad.
There it was not said that he has become a sannyasi. It just said that he has become Brahmacharin:
IV-iv-5: The teacher said to him, 'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel, I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin ...regards


Namaste,

Thank you for taking time to study Chandogya Upanishad, though up to the point related to varNAshrama dharma and giving your inputs.

I appreciate your honestly.

There are 2 types of Brahmachari-s,

1. Learn and then go back to live family life and life of dharma
2. Never go back home.

If you read the entire upanishad, then you will know that Satyakama Jabala never went home. He became knower of Brahman. He also had many disciples, one among them was Upakosala.

Please read Part 4, Chapters 4 to 10.


IV-iv-5: The teacher said to him, 'No one who is not a Brahmana can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel, I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin ...This means that he was a sanyasin. He was a Brahma Jnani and received Jnana. The very statement to ask (Birth) gotra or varNa means that there was a normal custom of asking gotra and having a priority on basis of varNa. Else no point asking about varNa.

To read in short, in story form, kindly visit here (http://www.hindu-blog.com/2010/12/satyakama-jabala-story-of-satyakama.html)

Again, if you see no conflict in varNa based on birth and guNa, if you are of opinion that guNa are inherited by birth, then things will be more clear.

Since laymen and morons like me cannot decode veda-s, we common men, take refuge in Great acharya-s, listen to them with reverential attitude and take their words with full faith.

In post #11 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=106959&postcount=11), #12 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=106960&postcount=12), #13 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=106962&postcount=13) of this thread, I hav egiven the opinion of Shri Adi Shankara, Shri Ramajunacharya and Shri Sridhara Swami. As I understand they re of opinion that varNa-s is based on guNa and guNa is inherited by birth.

In VAD part 2 thread, in posts #38 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=106881&postcount=38) and #39 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=106885&postcount=39) I have views of Paramacharya and my own.

Since Satay ji wants us to discuss all misunderstandings related to VAD threads and has split thread (which was reason behind disappearing posts :) ), we are all replying here.

EDIT:

Links for Chandogya Upanishad

Swami Nikhilananda of Ramakrishna Mission

http://www.swamij.com/upanishad-chandogya.htm

Chandogya Upanishad by Swami Krishnananda

http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/vaishv_0.html

Chandogya Upanishad with Shankara Bhashya translated to English by Ganganath Jha

http://archive.org/details/Shankara.Bhashya-Chandogya.Upanishad-Ganganath.Jha.1942.English

Sacred-texts

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe01/sbe01022.htm

Astrojyoti

http://www.astrojyoti.com/chandogyaupanishad.htm

-------

I only want to say that varNa is by birth.

This is a general rule and it can be override. But everytime we do not put a * and at the footer, in small fonts, we do not write

*conditions apply

:)

Hari OM

Amrut
11 August 2013, 03:26 AM
Sita Ram,



What is the shastric basis of watching television as a "non-brahminical" activity?

Jai Sri Ram

Jai Shri Ram,

There was no T.V. in olden days :)

Not all can live 100 % pure life. Not all can meditate for 12 years without moving (like Valmiki). Mind is not pure and prepared for spiritual journey.

Mind needs change. Hence it is said that anything in excess is poison. Stressing too much does more harm than help.

You need break, some refreshment, some relaxation, some enjoyment. It is upto us which activity we take. It is not compulsory to watch T.V.

Actually psychologists advice, to their patients, not to watch TV or read new papers, as they are all filled with negative news.

If you can live without TV better, if not restrict the duration.

Jai Shri Ram

Amrut
11 August 2013, 03:37 AM
Namaste,

Sorry for a little off topic discussion about ISKCON.

It is commonly observed that once the founder passes away, his foundation begins to fall down (gradually).

After founder leaves his physical body, can he be held responsible for what is going on in his foundation?

Before a decade, since my uncle had given donation, I had received an invitation pamphlet about 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna Rock Concert'.

No wonder if in coming days newer revisions of his Gita commentary or other commentary on shastras gets adulterate as new authors insert their own thoughts.

If one wants to spread 'his' teachings and attract youth, compromise is a common factor that is observed. One cannot have a total control of huge organization. There are 24 hours and as foundation expands grip of founder loosens and hence like in corporate culture, one has to give power and authority to other members / disciples / trusties. IT si not necessary that founder likes everything that is going in his foundation. Time factor :(

Hari OM

Sudas Paijavana
11 August 2013, 04:09 AM
delete

brahma jijnasa
11 August 2013, 04:32 AM
In other words, you have never studied the chAndogya upaniShad, but somehow you know exactly what it has to say.

Thank you. This is all I wanted to establish.

Although I have not studied the entire Chandogya Upanishad it does not mean that I do not know exactly what it has to say.
I can tell you how I do know exactly what it has to say about concept of varnas. I have learned about it from Gaudiya vaishnava acaryas who have studied it more than you can imagine.

I already told you in my last post that if you want to defeat me, you will have to defeat these acaryas actually because what I am presenting here are their views.

regards

Sudas Paijavana
11 August 2013, 04:36 AM
delete

brahma jijnasa
11 August 2013, 05:16 AM
Greetings,

The Gaudiya Vaishnavas do not have the monopoly on the definition of varna nor the implications of varna. They do not and will never speak for all Hindus, especially for Vaishnavas that are not Gaudiya.

Gaudiya Vaishnavism =/= Vaishnavism
Gaudiya = a sect of Vaishnavism
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Another point: a boy named Kanva heard so many things from his teachers, but one day he decided to read about the stuff the teachers were teaching. It turned out that many things the teachers were teaching were incorrect and fraudulent. He learned that day that it is better to also learn by oneself.

I really do not understand the point of your objections. The post in which you expressed some accusations against Iskcon is deleted / modified.
It seems that you are not thoroughly informed about the teachings by this Gaudiya vaishnava movement. Their teachings are not adharmic, nor are they against Lord Rama.
First learn at least the basics of the Vedic philosophy, and then judge.

For starters Gaudiya vaishnava understanding of varna is entirely founded on scriptures such as the Upanishads, Mahabharata, Puranas, etc. Since you do not understand that you'd be wise to learn first and then you'll realize that your own understanding in this current point is "incorrect and fraudulent".

regards

Sudas Paijavana
11 August 2013, 05:31 AM
delete

Amrut
11 August 2013, 05:42 AM
Namaste Respected Members,

Please keep this thread on track. Why Satay ji always have to put an axe???

Both views varNa based on birth and guNa are welcome, as this thread is about misunderstandings ...

Hari OM

Sudas Paijavana
11 August 2013, 05:45 AM
delete

brahma jijnasa
11 August 2013, 05:46 AM
On the subject of many of ISKCON's "brahmins by quality," I have found that I frankly cannot relate to most of them, as with few exceptions, they tend to indulge in one or more of the following non-brahminical activities or attitudes:

1) watching television
What is the shastric basis of watching television as a "non-brahminical" activity?

It seems that our friend Philosoraptor saw somewhere in the Dharma sastras some statement like "Brahmana shall not eat garlic, facing the sun he shall not eject urine, and he shall not watching TV". :)

regards

Amrut
11 August 2013, 06:04 AM
Namaste,

But, you gotta admit. Philosoraptor did give an awesome response which has yet to be answered by the people he was debating against....

Namaste,

As far as this thread is concerned, I and Philosoraptor ji (and Ganesh ji and may be some others :) ) have similar opinion. Of course he is very intelligent, has good memory and has done extensive study then me.

Even ShivaFan ji gave good explanation from veda-s, which I appreciate, but then I have raised doubts over practical difficulty of its application.

As far as I am concerned, I am open minded.

No one is stopping anyone from reading veda-s. I only want to say that a separate varNa is dedicated to protect it, who have more restrictions and are not even allowed to adapt job.

Again, varNa is based on guNa, but guNa is predominantly inherited by birth, else why would Bhagavan give birth to a soul in Brahmin family.

Also Philosoraptor ji has raised important point by pointing that one has to stick to svadharma and take on heredity work of his forefather, which gives contentment and is good for society. It does not produces excessive competition. Hence one can focus more on spirituality (Brahma-vidya). But when one has option to freely select any occupation, all will go for best, hence the competition.

Again, no where it is said that people belonging to other varNa-s are dumb or less intelligent.

Also note that After one has realized Brahman, then things are altogether different, as everything is created so that one can reach this destination. After reaching this destination, nothing technically binds us. (Refer Ashtavakra Gita).

Actually, for the breather, I do have a quote from Uddhava Gita, where Bhagavan says that in case of adversity, Brahmins can take another job, and at last can take up sword. Again it is said that all 4 varNa-s are dear to Bhagavan.

I know about superiority of shruti-s and smriti-s and I know that not all revere Uddhava Gita as much as Bhagavad Gita. Unfortunately I have a copy at my office. So wont be able to quote exact verse.

There is also another verse which talks about 5th varNa, which is actually not a varNa, but a separation from other 4 varNa. It comprises of people who are doing negative deeds like robbing, raping, murder (aatataayi). It's after 11th chapter of Uddhav Gita (and not 11th chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam).

If I can hunt it, I will quote the same.

Hari OM

Jai Shri Krishna

brahma jijnasa
11 August 2013, 06:17 AM
The only people that have a right to say that they are Vedic are these guys:

The Nambudiri Brahmins are pure Vedic. The Gaudiyas are not Vedic. You think you are higher than the Nambudiri Brahmins?!?!

About who has the right to be considered Vedic please consider the following: Chandogya Upanishad says that Puranas and Itihasas represent the fifth Veda.
So there are four Vedas Rig, Sama, Yajur, Atharva and Puranas and Itihasas as the fifth.
Teachings and practice of the Vaishnava traditions such as Gaudiya vaishnava and others are largely based upon Puranas and Itihasas.
So all the Vaishnava traditions with full right can claim to be Vedic.

regards

Sudas Paijavana
11 August 2013, 06:36 AM
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philosoraptor
11 August 2013, 06:51 AM
[FONT="Times New Roman"][SIZE="2"]

Although I have not studied the entire Chandogya Upanishad it does not mean that I do not know exactly what it has to say.
I can tell you how I do know exactly what it has to say about concept of varnas. I have learned about it from Gaudiya vaishnava acaryas who have studied it more than you can imagine.

Pranams,

Your claim that you have "learned about it [chAndogya upaniShad] from Gaudiya vaishnava acaryas who have studied it" is false. The reality is, there was no Gaudiya commentary on the chAndogya upaniShad until the last century when one of the Gaudiya Matha sannyasis wrote one. Since you are an ISKCON devotee, it is unlikely that you or your gurus would have read that commentary, considering the sectarian rivalries between your two organizations. In any case, if you had read it, you would likely have had the same problems I had with it, given the very difficult English of the translations and commentaries. I have a copy of it in my library, by the way.



I already told you in my last post that if you want to defeat me, you will have to defeat these acaryas actually because what I am presenting here are their views.

No one here is interested in "defeating" anyone, as you seem to have trouble digesting. What would be desirable, is if we could raise the standard of discussion here and make intellectual honesty a requirement for participation in it. This includes things like not trying to speak on the basis of scriptures you have clearly never studied.

You have a tendency to offer up your "acaryas" as an excuse for the kinds of things you say and the very pushy way that you say them. I could easily show how your comments are actually contradicted by the acharyas you claim to represent. But that would again require that I quote from Gaudiya texts that are not part of ISKCON's relatively exclusive canon, which you would react to either by presuming to know what they "really" say (despite never having read them), or denouncing them altogether (which I have also seen ISKCON devotees do, strangely, despite professing fidelity to their paramparA).

Also, I regret that I had to air out ISKCON's dirty laundry in order to make my point, but your arguments, implicitly based as they were on the purity of ISKCON's "brahmins by quality, not by birth," simply left me with no choice. There is a tendency among many new converts to a religious organization to subscribe uncritically to the mythology built up by that organization about its ideals, its purity, its history, etc. I can see that you are either still at the stage of believing the ISKCON mythos, or you simply offer it as an argument in the hopes that no one else here knows the truth. In any case, I am glad that you have chosen not to press this argument about ISKCON's practices as proof of their own legitimacy.

In the meantime, I will reiterate my previous position that I have never seen any shAstra describing the conversion of a shUdra or mleccha to the status of a brAhmaNa. This is not to say that there might not be a reference, but so far, I am unaware of one. I am always prepared to change my position in the light of new evidence, as I am not really attached to any specific viewpoint here. However, it is pretty clear from chAndogya upaniShad that the idea of converting a shUdra to a brahmin is contradicted by the requirement of the disciple to first give his gOtra. Now, you may not like that, but great vedic scholars like Adi shankara, madhva, rAmAnuja, and your own baladeva vidyAbhUShaNa all agree on this point.

philosoraptor
11 August 2013, 06:57 AM
Pranams,

Gentlemen, the tension appears to be building. It would be unfortunate if the moderators reacted by closing the thread and stopping the discussion. If I may be so bold, let me remind the esteemed members here that the subject is varNAshrama-dharma. The failings of specific religious organizations is really not the point here, and I regret having to bring that up in response to brahma-jijnasa's disingenuous claims. Again, varNAshrama-dharma and the misunderstandings surrounding it is the subject here. Please take other discussions elsewhere.

brahma jijnasa
11 August 2013, 07:13 AM
Using that logic, I can say that the Twilight series and the Harry Potter series are Vedic too. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

How about we make Justin Bieber a Vedic Rishi as well? We should make Lil Wayne a Vedic Rishi too, using your logic. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I still stand by my word. The only people that have the authentic right to say that they are Vedic are the Nambudiris in that video I linked in a post earlier.

Iskconites do not ever engage in yagyas like the Nambudiris. Iskconites don't even know how to utter Vedic mantras correctly with the proper enunciations.

"Hare Krishna hare krishna krishna krishna".........it's a powerful mantra, but let's face it, it is not a Vedic mantra - it is nowhere to be found in any of the four Vedas yet alone the Brahmanas or Aranyakas or even the Upanishads.........

How in the world, then, are you calling Iskconites.. Vedic?!?!! What type of madness is this? Sorry to be frank, but you need to understand it doesn't work like that.

Now I see what it means to be a newbie. My answer may seem like a patronizing but what else can I say.
It's not my logic, but it is logic of Chandogya Upanishad.
I really do not see how Harry Potter, Justin Bieber, etc, fit into this logic.

Regarding yagyas (yajnas).
To devote oneself to Lord Krishna is the best yajna or sacrifice!
Just see Philosoraptor's signature. It is a verse from Bhāgavatam 1.2.28-29 (http://vedabase.net/sb/1/2/28-29/en) "In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him."
So Iskconites are more Vedic than you may think.

Regarding Hare Krishna maha mantra. It is in the Kalisantarana Upanishad. Search it on Google.

Large are depths of ignorance. ;)

regards

philosoraptor
11 August 2013, 07:59 AM
In light of his view that varNa was not based on birth and shudras (by birth) were permitted to learn vedas, perhaps brahma jijnasa could explain why gautama asked satyakAma for his "gOtra," when everyone knows that gOtra is a hereditary designation. I am sure many of us are unclear on why, in a system that supposedly ignored familial lines, any guru would ask about one's lineage before intiation.

Also, if it never mattered what his lineage was, then I think many of us are unclear as to why satyakAma telling the truth about not knowing it was so praise-worthy.

Please try to stay focused. Do not change the subject in order to evade the questions.

Sudas Paijavana
11 August 2013, 03:39 PM
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brahma jijnasa
12 August 2013, 01:26 AM
Namaste

Well, that is your belief and I can't really say otherwise. My point was that Gaudiyas do not speak for all Hindus. What would be considered as Vedic to Gaudiyas would not be considered as Vedic to other Hindus.

Certainly that Gaudiyas do not speak for all Hindus. Also I do not say what you should believe in. Some people who consider themselves Hindus think that Vaishnava belief and practice that is practiced in several vaishnava traditions such as Gaudiya vaishnava, Sri vaishnava and others, is somehow non-Vedic. As if they want to say that Vaishnava belief and practice are not based on the teachings of the Vedas. Their logic is contrary to numerous statements of the shruti scriptures such as this one from Chandogya Upanishad that says Puranas and Itihasas represent the fifth Veda. You should know that Vaishnava practice is based even on Rig Veda and other Vedas.
To be a Vaishnava means to be dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Worship of Lord Vishnu is described even in Rig Veda. Some time ago I talked about it here: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=100824#post100824

Chanting Hare Krishna maha mantra is not something non-Vedic.
Rig Veda 7.100.5:
"Today I praise This Name of yours, O Vishnu"
Lord Krishna is none other than Lord Vishnu. Even a newbie should know this.

Rig Veda 1.156.2:
"He who brings gifts to him the Ancient and the Last, to Visnu who
ordains, together with his Spouse, Who tells the lofty birth of him the Lofty One, shall verily surpass in glory e'en his peer."

This "He who brings gifts to him" sounds to me like Bhagavad-gītā 9.26 (http://vedabase.net/bg/9/26/) "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it."

This "Who tells the lofty birth of him the Lofty One" seems refers to description of The Lord's birth which is found in Puranas. So one of the four Vedas, in this case Rig Veda, says that we should glorify the lofty birth of The Lord described in the Puranas, the fifth Veda. :)
Is this non-Vedic logic?


Also, you still have yet to answer about the explanations of Satyakama's origins.....persistently saying that Gaudiya teachers know more about this than anyone else is a horrible argument. You have to provide scripture and a foundation to your arguments. What makes Satyakama's origins not about gotra as you claim? When, the word gotra itself is designatory of hereditary lineage...what makes you think otherwise?


I am not saying that only Gaudiya vaishnava teachers know about this. In each vaishnava tradition they know about this.
I am preparing a response to Philosoraptor about this. Wait until then.

For starters think about this question: Why did Gautama gave initiation to Satyakama although he could not determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage?
It seems that Philosoraptor does not agree with me. He thinks that Gautama somehow managed to determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage. He even refers to Adi Shankara's comments in VAD 3 thread.
I'd really like to see in the text of Chandogya Upanishad where it is stated that Gautama managed to determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage. Can you or Philosoraptor help me with this?
Can anyone show me there in the text of Chandogya Upanishad where it is stated that Gautama managed to determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage?

So we have one of the following:
1) if you think that Gautama managed to determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage, show me this in the text of Chandogya Upanishad

or another possibility

2) if you admit that Gautama could not determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage, answer this question: Why did Gautama gave initiation to Satyakama although he could not determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage?

I am not denying that Gautama asked Satyakama about his hereditary lineage. But despite that we need to answer two questions above, 1) and 2).

regards

Amrut
12 August 2013, 02:30 AM
Namaste,

Please keep vedic and non-vedic discussions elsewhere, else sooner or later this thread is going to be derailed and ultimately blocked.

Please directly quote from shastra-s or present proper logic. Bot hviews are welcome.

As far as Satyakama is concerned, as I have told you

1. Asking about gotra or varNa means that it is a common, general custom. Else why would one bother asking gotra?

2. There are exceptions. If you have read the full story of satyakama, he was realized. He did not get promoted to become a priest. Nowhere it is said that he practiced priesthood (when he was sAdhaka). In sanyas, varNa is dropped. Not given importance.

3. The fact that Guru initiated disciple to become a brahmachari, and so he became brahmin, does not fully reflect the situation. In the ned, Satyakama did not practice priesthood, lived a life of isolation and then was given brahma-vidya by Bull, agni, etc i.e. mystical ways. When he returned to his guru, his guru knew that he knew brahman (face shining bright).

4. This shows that his Guru was far sighted, and knew satyakama could hold on to guru's instructions and that satyakama had great faith in Guru and hence he did not argue when his Guru picked 4 weaker cows / bulls, and ordered him to stay isolated in forest and take care of them and return when they multiply to 1000 in number.

I request you to please fully read chandogya upanishad.

Even Valmiki had great faith in words of Narada muni and so hold on to Rama with one-pointed devotion for 12 years. Narada does not come to common man and instruct all thieves to chant Rama nama. He must have seen certain quality in one thief, and decided to transform him.

Yes quality or guNa is of utmost importance, infact even in brahmins, quality is seen. At times general rule has to be override, but not always, else everyone will go for best.

What you are giving e.g. is for spiritual upliftment, and not promoting one's varNa (BG 9.26). That is devotion. bhagavan in Udhava Gita also says that all 4 varNa are dear to me.

there are two types of bhakti

Vaidhi Vidhi: Step by Step procedure, which we see in karma kand, where even pronunciation is important

I do not exactly remember the name of other vidhi it is mostly prem bhakti

Prem Bhakti: Where one is not concerned about rituals, havan-s etc.

Please remember that all Upanishads and Gita talk about renunciation and worthyness of disciple.

We have not passed through the chapter 1, i.e. do not have vishada (dispassion), yet we pickup what is convenient for us.

It should be noted that vaidhi vidhi gives rise to prem vidhi. Prem for Bhagavan does not arise in worldly minded people, hence simple devotion from das bhava is, according to me, fist step, except you get grace of great acharya like Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or Meera Bai.

Giving this excuse that only bhava is important would mean that vedic rituals are of no importance which would mean that all the vidhi-s we do is of no or little use. Only when a person is regularly practising devotional activities like doing puja, japa, certain qualities are sowed and they blossom in beautiful flower with divine fragrance.

In general, one has to pass through this vidhi.

when time comes, contradictory instruction is given e.g. bhava is more important. We see in upanishads that havan, etc only give limited results or a place in svarga (heaven).

Why is this contradiction?
At what time these upadesha is given?
Is this applicable to all?
What is the qualification for deserving to learn brahma-vidya?

Are the instructions of brahma-vidya be given to all?

If yes, then why not go for best. Worship Bhagavan, forget vedic rituals, as bhava is important. No need to protect the whole of veda-s.
At one time, we say, veda-s are supreme authority, another time we do not wish to follow their injunctions, and feel no compelling reason to perform vedic rituals, why, because Bhagavan in Gita has said, bhava is important.

If we understand that upadesha-s are given on adhikara-bheda, problem of contradictions will be solved. i.e. veda-s ask us to perform rituals, upanishads do not give importance.

Not all are uttama adhikAri.

Now even if we consider that varNa is by guNa and not birth, then who is going to decide which one has what guNa-s. GuNa-s are invisible. So one had to observe actions, which takes time. Again, guru should have divine vision and far sightedness like that of Gautam Rishi. Do we have these rishi-s today, that too active in society? If no, then in that case we fall back to varNa by birth and upgradation of varNa as an exception.

The fact that exception may have inborn qualities hence they are selected by far sighted Guru-s has to be taken. this means that in past lives they have done may good karma-s, but due to some reason, curse, etc, they have to be born in the family of lower varNa. Such souls, i think are very rare.

We are talking about common man, general rules applied to common public.

Aum

Amrut

brahma jijnasa
13 August 2013, 04:27 AM
4) cultish adherence to ISKCON's democratically-based decision-making system about what does, and does not, constitute authentic gaudiya vaishnava siddhanta. Since the knowledge base of ISKCON's leaders is limited, this leads to ISKCON devotees adopting non-vedantic ideas like "fall from Vaikuntha" and becoming very hostile to any scripturally-based discussion which contradicts their "siddhanta." Siddhanta in ISKCON is determined by majority vote among its leaders, and not by study of shAstra.
Praṇām,

After reading your post, I noticed that this "fall from Vaikuṇṭha" idea seemed vaguely familiar, as if I had previously heard it before from an ISKCON "devotee." :rolleyes: I started to do some research and it seems that this anucita concept does seem to come from ISKCON leaders, as is evident in the following lecture by Jayadvaita Swami: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24apWagHe94

Jai Jai Śrī Vṛṣabhānu Dulāri

Philosoraptor and I had a lengthy discussion on this issue in the thread Start of the 'Atma'/Soul, see here: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=103028#post103028

There I tried to explain to Philosoraptor that this idea is not strange nor is it non-vedantic or not grounded in shastra. It seems that he still thinks that it's non-vedantic.

Those who think that this idea is strange should answer the question: How we get ourselves in this material world? Where did we come from?
Philosoraptor's idea was that we jiva souls have always been here in this material world in a miserable bondage of beginningless saṃsāra. I think that people who adhere to such ideas did not have much benefit of studying scriptures, their knowledge is limited and they are the ones who adhere to non-vedantic ideas.

regards

brahma jijnasa
13 August 2013, 11:17 AM
Namaste

Regarding Iskcon I just want to say that their problems are not the topic of our discussion here. I think they are not on trial here, and I do not need to be their attorney. By the way I am not a member of ISKCON.


However, it is pretty clear from chAndogya upaniShad that the idea of converting a shUdra to a brahmin is contradicted by the requirement of the disciple to first give his gOtra. Now, you may not like that, but great vedic scholars like Adi shankara, madhva, rAmAnuja, and your own baladeva vidyAbhUShaNa all agree on this point.

If you persist on the idea that Satyakama had been initiated on account of his varna by birth, then please answer the two questions 1) and 2) that I asked Sudas Paijavana, see here: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=107230#post107230


In light of his view that varna was not based on birth and shudras (by birth) were permitted to learn vedas, perhaps brahma jijnasa could explain why gautama asked satyakAma for his "gOtra," when everyone knows that gOtra is a hereditary designation. I am sure many of us are unclear on why, in a system that supposedly ignored familial lines, any guru would ask about one's lineage before intiation.

Also, if it never mattered what his lineage was, then I think many of us are unclear as to why satyakAma telling the truth about not knowing it was so praise-worthy.

It seems to me that you missed my point.

1) I do not deny that the Scriptures teach about varna by birth! I also do not deny that a guru, Gautama, attempted to determine Satyakama's varna by birth.
Long ago I already told that to Sudas Paijavana, see here: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=105249#post105249

That's what I also said to jignyAsu, see here: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=106562#post106562

2) Shudras and mleccha-s by birth were permitted to learn Vedas only if they have the aspiration (strong desire, longing) towards the spiritual life, and if guru estimates that their qualities (character, nature) are superior to the qualities of shudra.

When a guru wants to determine which varna candidate who approached him with a desire to be initiated belongs to, he will follow the procedure I have explained to Sudas Paijavana and jignyAsu, see above links under point 1).

This is the procedure that Gautama followed when Satyakama approached him with a desire to be initiated.
This procedure can be universally applied to all candidates who aspire towards the spiritual life, even if they are shudras or mleccha-s by birth, even if they were born in western countries such as Europe and America.

It seems to me that some of our HDF members do not understand what is meant by "varna by birth"!
When we say "varna by birth" it means to be born into a family that belongs to that varna. For example when someone is born in a family where the parents are shudras, he is a shudra by birth. When someone is born in a family where the parents are brahmanas, he is a brahmana by birth. This is one's "varna by birth"! Thus the term "varna by birth" is just a hereditary designation and has nothing to do with one's qualities (character, nature).


perhaps brahma jijnasa could explain why gautama asked satyakAma for his "gOtra," when everyone knows that gOtra is a hereditary designation. I am sure many of us are unclear on why, in a system that supposedly ignored familial lines, any guru would ask about one's lineage before intiation.

I am not saying that Gautama ignored Satyakama's familial lines. But what could he do when he saw that it was impossible to determine what was Satyakama by birth?!
Satyakama has said:


Sir, I do not know of what lineage I am.

Now, one may wonder why did Gautama even wanted to determine Satyakama's varna by birth if, ultimately speaking, it was not crucial or final?
If one's qualities (character, nature) is crucial, then why did he even wanted to determine Satyakama's varna by birth?
The answer is because such is the procedure. He just wanted to see if the Satyakama's qualities (character, nature) match to his varna by birth. However when he failed with attempt to determine Satyakama's varna by birth, he just continued to estimate his qualities (character, nature). I have explained this procedure to Sudas Paijavana: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=105249#post105249

and also to jignyAsu, see here: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=106562#post106562


Also, if it never mattered what his lineage was, then I think many of us are unclear as to why satyakAma telling the truth about not knowing it was so praise-worthy.

Satyakama's qualities are praise-worthy. Based on these qualities only he get initiation. It seems that Gautama estimated Satyakama's character according to Bhagavad-gītā. How he did it I have already explained here: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=107048#post107048


In other words, he (brahma jijnasa) did not challenge my point about the absence of scriptural examples showing mlecchas-by-birth and/or shudras-by-birth becoming brahmins.

Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/35/) :


"If one shows the symptoms of being a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra, as described above, even if he has appeared in a different class, he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification."

So one can be born in a varna of shudras but if he shows the symptoms (qualities, character, nature) of being a brāhmaṇa, he should be accepted as brāhmaṇa.

regards

philosoraptor
13 August 2013, 12:48 PM
Philosoraptor's idea was that we jiva souls have always been here in this material world in a miserable bondage of beginningless saṃsāra. I think that people who adhere to such ideas did not have much benefit of studying scriptures, their knowledge is limited and they are the ones who adhere to non-vedantic ideas.

This is an example of the kind of arrogance I frequently see in Western Hare Krishna devotees.

Every vedAnta commentator that I know of, including the gauDIya vaiShNava commentator, accepts the idea of beginningless samsAra.

Every one.

Brahma-jijnasa continues to disagree with this, despite not having studied any vedAnta-sUtras, which is fine. Yet, he has been unable to find even one commentator on the vedAnta who supports his "fall from Vaikuntha" view, and then goes on to claim that those who believe in beginningless karma are non-vedAntic.

I just cannot respect people who continue arguing the truth of their unfounded beliefs when presented with evidence contrary to them.

philosoraptor
13 August 2013, 01:02 PM
Regarding Iskcon I just want to say that their problems are not the topic of our discussion here. I think they are not on trial here, and I do not need to be their attorney. By the way I am not a member of ISKCON.

You were the one who brought up Western converts in ISKCON as evidence for your position that non-dvijas can become brahmins. If you were not prepared to stand on that evidence, you should not have brought it up. I'm fine with not discussing the widespread degradation of ISKCON's so-called "brahmins by quality, not by birth," if you are fine with being honest and not misrepresenting their success to promote your non-shAstric ideas.



If you persist on the idea that Satyakama had been initiated on account of his varna by birth,

I persist in my acknowledgement of Adi Shankara's, Ramanuja's, Baladeva's, and Madhva's comments on these mantras - Satyakama was initiated because he was deemed by Gautama to be a brahmin by birth. Dharma-shastras were quoted by all four commentators to establish that a shUdra cannot undergo samskaaras to become a brahmin and learn veda. In fact, this very episode was cited by all four commentators to explain that King Janashruti was not a shUdra, that the term "shUdra" by which he was addressed is more correctly understood in a secondary sense, and that shUdras do not have eligibility to learn vedas.

It is you who profess "caste by quality, not by birth" but are still unable to explain why Gautama bothered to ask Satyakama about his birth, and why Satyakama's truth-telling about his ignorance of his familial lineage was so significant. If birth did not matter, then there would be no need to ask Satyakama's gotra, and no great feat in Satyakama refusing to lie about not knowing his gotra. The obvious reason for Satyakama being praised is that, had he been unable to furnish his gotra, he would have been unable to prove his lineage, and thus unable to take initiation.

The highest aspiration of bhAgvata-dharma is to serve The Lord, in any capacity which is authorized for us, not to aspire for this or that varNa status. The latter is mundane.



2) Shudras and mleccha-s by birth were permitted to learn Vedas only if they have the aspiration (strong desire, longing) towards the spiritual life, and if guru estimates that their qualities (character, nature) are superior to the qualities of shudra.

No they were not. That was why the commentators quoted dharma-shAstra-s which explicitly refuted this point. Merely repeating the same falsehood over and over again will not make it true.

brahma jijnasa
13 August 2013, 01:56 PM
I persist in my acknowledgement of Adi Shankara's, Ramanuja's, Baladeva's, and Madhva's comments on these mantras - Satyakama was initiated because he was deemed by Gautama to be a brahmin by birth. Dharma-shastras were quoted by all four commentators to establish that a shUdra cannot undergo samskaaras to become a brahmin and learn veda. In fact, this very episode was cited by all four commentators to explain that King Janashruti was not a shUdra, that the term "shUdra" by which he was addressed is more correctly understood in a secondary sense, and that shUdras do not have eligibility to learn vedas.

I see that you did not understand much of it, although as you say you've read their comments.


It is you who profess "caste by quality, not by birth" but are still unable to explain why Gautama bothered to ask Satyakama about his birth, and why Satyakama's truth-telling about his ignorance of his familial lineage was so significant. If birth did not matter, then there would be no need to ask Satyakama's gotra, and no great feat in Satyakama refusing to lie about not knowing his gotra. The obvious reason for Satyakama being praised is that, had he been unable to furnish his gotra, he would have been unable to prove his lineage, and thus unable to take initiation.

As I can see you did not read my posts, not at all, yet you comment on them. I have explained everything in great detail!


No they were not. That was why the commentators quoted dharma-shAstra-s which explicitly refuted this point. Merely repeating the same falsehood over and over again will not make it true.

I have to repeat, you did not understand much of what commentators have said.
Whatever commentators have said is not contrary to Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 which I have quoted. Since you do not understand that, your knowledge is one big, big "falsehood".

regards

brahma jijnasa
13 August 2013, 03:11 PM
This is an example of the kind of arrogance I frequently see in Western Hare Krishna devotees.

Every vedAnta commentator that I know of, including the gauDIya vaiShNava commentator, accepts the idea of beginningless samsAra.

Every one.

We have already discussed this, but you did not give a single example that says "beginningless saṃsāra"!
Not a single example either from a scripture or a commentator! Who are these "Every one"?


Brahma-jijnasa continues to disagree with this, despite not having studied any vedAnta-sUtras, which is fine. Yet, he has been unable to find even one commentator on the vedAnta who supports his "fall from Vaikuntha" view, and then goes on to claim that those who believe in beginningless karma are non-vedAntic.

Yes, I have studied Vedanta-sutra, but although you have studied it, you have not understood it.


I just cannot respect people who continue arguing the truth of their unfounded beliefs when presented with evidence contrary to them.

What "evidence" did you gave? All that you gave was your misunderstanding of some commentators.
I have even gave you an example of Jaya and Vijaya, but you have ignored it completely!
In my last post I even gave 1st and 2nd reason of why the idea of bondage of the jiva soul in beginningless saṃsāra is wrong. That you have ignored completely too!
Ignoring of my arguments I would call "Cat got your tongue" kind of evidence.

regards

philosoraptor
13 August 2013, 03:34 PM
I specifically addressed the case of Jaya and Vijaya in a previous response to you. More to the point, so did Sri Prabhupada, who wrote in his bhagavatam purport, "Aside from Jaya and Vijaya, no one falls from Vaikuntha."

I quoted that, too, but apparently you had no use for it, since it contradicted your thesis.

And I suppose you have no plans to even acknowledge the opinions of Madhva, Ramanuja, Adi Shankara, and Baladeva on the relevant sutra-s.

Just out of curiosity, what was the varNa of Ashvatthama when he murdered the 5 sleeping sons of the Pandavas? Please answer with explicit quotes from the shrImad bhAgavatam.

brahma jijnasa
13 August 2013, 04:01 PM
I specifically addressed the case of Jaya and Vijaya in a previous response to you. More to the point, so did Sri Prabhupada, who wrote in his bhagavatam purport, "Aside from Jaya and Vijaya, no one falls from Vaikuntha."

I quoted that, too, but apparently you had no use for it, since it contradicted your thesis.

And I suppose you have no plans to even acknowledge the opinions of Madhva, Ramanuja, Adi Shankara, and Baladeva on the relevant sutra-s.

Had you actually read what Srila Prabhupada said, you would have seen that example of Jaya and Vijaya he gave as proof that anyone can come to this material world, although he lives in Vaikuntha.

Just show me which commentator among them Madhva, Ramanuja ... said something like "beginningless saṃsāra"?

And what about my 1st and 2nd reason of why the idea of bondage of the jiva soul in beginningless saṃsāra is wrong?


You can have the last word here. I understand that there is a need by many Hare Krishna devotees to always seem like the most knowledgable one, independent of actual cognizance of factual information.

Yes we are "the most knowledgable one". You do realize that, you just do not want to admit it. :)

regards

philosoraptor
13 August 2013, 04:04 PM
And the varNa of Ashvatthaama when he decided to become a murderer was?

brahma jijnasa
13 August 2013, 04:14 PM
Just out of curiosity, what was the varNa of Ashvatthama when he murdered the 5 sleeping sons of the Pandavas? Please answer with explicit quotes from the shrImad bhAgavatam.

I don't see the point. What are you alluding to?

regards

Sudas Paijavana
13 August 2013, 04:29 PM
delete

brahma jijnasa
13 August 2013, 05:10 PM
Namaste

Greetings,

You should know exactly what he is "alluding to". After all, aren't Hare Krishnas (Iskconites) the most knowledgeable out of all Hindus? Aren't they the most Vedic? Even more Vedic than Nambudiri Brahmins (who actually are authentic Brahmins)? Lol. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Yeah, you're right. :) Hare Krishnas (Iskconites and other Gaudiya vaishnavas) are the most knowledgeable out of all Hindus.
Over time you will realize that being dedicated to Lord Krishna really means to be the most Vedic, even more Vedic than all Brahmins!
In Bhagavad-gītā 15.15 Lord Krishna says (http://vedabase.net/bg/15/15/) "By all the Vedas, I am to be known." This means that those Brahmins who do not know Lord Krishna are not of great benefit. On the other hand, even simple devotee of Lord Krishna even if illiterate, not much learned, does not know to pronounce Vedic mantras, is greater than all the brahmanas if he is dedicated to Lord Krishna!

However I do not know what he is alluding to.

regards

Sudas Paijavana
13 August 2013, 06:38 PM
delete

brahma jijnasa
13 August 2013, 07:03 PM
Sudas Paijavana

Read Rig Veda and Bhagavad gita (http://vedabase.net/bg/en) ... chant Hare Krishna ... and ... live long and prosper. :)

http://cdn-static.zdnet.com/i/story/60/34/004020/6308375-380-275.jpg

regards

Sudas Paijavana
13 August 2013, 08:17 PM
delete

Avyaydya
13 August 2013, 08:20 PM
I am not missing anything here. Satyakama could have been from Brahmana descent. Yes, indeed, he could. But he could also be of any other origin too! He could also be of shudra descent or even mleccha "man of an outcast race" origin. :)
That is exactly my point! Does not matter which descent he was. It does not even matter at all!!!
Why it does not matter?
It does not matter because nobody could ascertain what was Satyakama's varna by birth (Satyakama's descent)! That's the point!
How can it be important something that can not be determined?
Satyakama's descent could not be determined, so it is quite irrelevant.

Now, the question is: What does it matter then?
The answer is: Only his character is important.
We can see this from the text of Chandogya Upanishad.

If Gautama had not thought varna important he would not have asked the boy in the first place. It is only after the boy did not know that he used his divine sight to determine the boys original varna. He had to establish that before he could initiate the boy. Nowhere in the text does it say that the boy was initiated though he was not born a Brahmana.

If we leave the concept of varna by birth, it becomes impossible to establish an objective measure to establish if someone is Brahmana. The result will be that people will be allowed in that may have a lot of acquired knowledge but miss the inner knowledge. It will also help Iskconites in their crime to convert Hindus to their universalism. Lets not create this wrong impression.

Avyaydya
13 August 2013, 08:43 PM
Namaste


Yeah, you're right. :) Hare Krishnas (Iskconites and other Gaudiya vaishnavas) are the most knowledgeable out of all Hindus.
Over time you will realize that being dedicated to Lord Krishna really means to be the most Vedic, even more Vedic than all Brahmins!
In Bhagavad-gītā 15.15 Lord Krishna says (http://vedabase.net/bg/15/15/) "By all the Vedas, I am to be known." This means that those Brahmins who do not know Lord Krishna are not of great benefit. On the other hand, even simple devotee of Lord Krishna even if illiterate, not much learned, does not know to pronounce Vedic mantras, is greater than all the brahmanas if he is dedicated to Lord Krishna!

However I do not know what he is alluding to.

regards

And as Lord Krishna is equated to Jesus, what have we here? It all sounds too familiar.

I think Iskconites are so special they have outgrown Hinduism and it is time to say goodbye.

Omkara
14 August 2013, 01:53 AM
deleted

Amrut
14 August 2013, 06:23 AM
Namaste,

8:15 (http://vedabase.net/bg/8/15/) After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.

From this verse, we cannot conclude what happened in past or how jiva-s were deluded and fell down, but after reaching to Bhagavan's adobe, Bhagavan says jiva-s will never return back to this (material) world :)

It is left to individual to which verse one should stick to - from Gita or from Bhagavatam.

As a general rule, in case of conflict, ... :)

Gita is an essence of Upanishads.

I did not find a verse supporting 'fall from Vaikuntha' from 10 principle upanishads, perhaps someone can shed some light on it.

Where there is karma, there is samsara. Both goes side-by-side. If one is witness, one cannot enjoy (kartA), if one enjoys, one is not witness. Jiva cannot be both, witness and enjoyer. akartA and kartA cannot be found in one person. Please correct me if I am wrong.

There is a verse in Br. Up (1.4.10) where it is said that in the beginning there was nothing but Brahman... It does not talk about 'fall from Vaikuntha'

------

Please do not mix verses which talk about brahma-vidya. One can achieve brahma-vidya or reach to Bhagavan's adobe by following what is written in purANa-s.

The question here is about promotion

Shudra --> Vaishya --> Kshatriya --> Brahmin

After promotion, perform new varNa's duties throughout your life leaving old profession.

All e.g.s given in this thread are sooner or later Self-realized. Please someone give e.g. from veda-s, shruti-s, smriti-s or purANa-s, in which there is shift of varNa and that this shift in varNa is applicable to common man.

From e.g.s so far provided, we can conclude that for realizing Brahman, one can skip duties of brahmin (Valmiki, Druv, SatyakAma jAbAla).

In other words, it is not correct to say that, only by performing rituals and havan-s as performed by brahmins, one can realize brahman. It can also be concluded that to realize Brahman, it is not compulsory to pass through the duties of Brahmin-s (havan-s, yagna-s, etc).

Karma kand is not end of spirituality. SAttvik Karma does chitta shuddhi if done in spirit of detachment, purified chitta makes one qualify for Jnana. (Statement from Advaita POV)

Spiritual definition of Brahmin is - the one who knows Brahman.

EDIT:

If varNa is not by birth, then does it mean that in general, Bhagavan gives us birth randomly in any family, as we can shift to any varNa depending upon guNa. Of what use is of varNa then, if it is not important? Not all want Self Realization. For them, what is applicable.

I hope all are aware of verses from Gita, which says that, one who has burning desire for liberation is indeed rare.

Hence such conversions would be indeed rare. No one is denying exceptions. Exception is not rule.

Hari OM

brahma jijnasa
14 August 2013, 06:35 AM
Namaste

Continued from my post #82.

Further scriptural examples showing mlecchas by birth and/or shudras by birth becoming brahmanas:

The Mahabharata, Book 3: Vana Parva: Markandeya-Samasya Parva: Section CCXV (Ganguli translation)
See here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03215.htm

"For the Brahmana who is vain and haughty, who is addicted to vices and wedded to evil and degrading practices,
is like a Sudra. On the other hand, I consider a Sudra who is always adorned with these virtues,--righteousness, self-restraint,
and truthfulness,--as a Brahmana. A man becomes a Brahmana by his character"

As we can see this verse from the Mahabharata is consistent with Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/35/), see my post #82.

regards

brahma jijnasa
14 August 2013, 07:09 AM
Namaste Indiaspirituality Amrut

Regarding varnas.
Yes, my friend exceptions are rule. We can see that clearly in the Bhāgavatam 7.11.35, see my post #82.
Please read my posts more carefully. There I have explained how varna is determined. Varna is important. Birth is not random, it is according to our qualities that we developed in a previous life.

Regarding fall from Vaikuntha.
Word Vaikuntha is very rarely seen in the Upanishads. Probably not in any of the main Upanishads.
Philosoraptor and I had a lengthy discussion on this issue in the thread Start of the 'Atma'/Soul, see here: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=103028#post103028

There, I mentioned one example from the most famous Upanishads. It is Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (2.5) where says (translation by Hrdayananda dasa Goswami):


śṛṇvantu viśve amṛtasya putrā
ā ye dhāmāni divyāni tasthuḥ

"All you sons of immortality, hear, you who once resided in the divine kingdom!"

It seems that this verse is also located in Rig Veda 10.13.1.

Gaudiya vaishnavas consider that this verse refers to divine kingdom or Vaikuntha.

regards

jignyAsu
14 August 2013, 08:00 AM
Namaste

Continued from my post #82.

Further scriptural examples showing mlecchas by birth and/or shudras by birth becoming brahmanas:

The Mahabharata, Book 3: Vana Parva: Markandeya-Samasya Parva: Section CCXV (Ganguli translation)
See here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03215.htm

"For the Brahmana who is vain and haughty, who is addicted to vices and wedded to evil and degrading practices,
is like a Sudra. On the other hand, I consider a Sudra who is always adorned with these virtues,--righteousness, self-restraint,
and truthfulness,--as a Brahmana. A man becomes a Brahmana by his character"


If a Brahmana who is vain and haughty has become a sudra, then how do we look at him and say - this Brahmana is a sudra? Isn't that contradiction if we deem the varna to be based on quality only? When Yudhistra and Duryodhana both became 8, their respective qualities became apparent. Why weren't they both appointed as Brahmana and Mleccha respectively?

Why not refer to Ashwattama and Kripa as sudras from the day after they killed all Pandavas in sleep?

The purport of all this is therefore to say that Brahmana doesn't have the brahminical qualities, then he is a Brahmana by title (namesake) only.

Amrut
14 August 2013, 08:08 AM
Namaste, Thank you for your contribution.

Thank you for providing the link. If we read the full article, we can shed some light on it.


"The fowler continued, 'Thus cursed by that rishi, I sought to propitiate him with these words: 'Pardon me, O muni, I have done this wicked deed unwittingly. It behooves thee to pardon all that. Do thou, worshipful sir, soothe yourself.' The rishi replied, 'The curse that I have pronounced can never be falsified, this is certain. But from kindness towards thee, I shall do thee a favour. Though born in the Sudra class thou shalt remain a pious man and thou shalt undoubtedly honour thy parents; and by honouring them thou shalt attain great spiritual perfection; thou shalt also remember the events of thy past life and shalt go to heaven; and on the expiation of this curse, thou shalt again become a Brahmana. O best of men, thus, of old was I cursed by that rishi of severe power, and thus was he propitiated by me. Then, O good Brahmana, I extricated the arrow from his body, and took him into the hermitage, but he was not deprived of his life (recovered). O good Brahmana, I have thus described to thee what happened to me of old, and also how I can go to heaven hereafter.' The Brahmana said, 'O thou of great intelligence, all men are thus subject to happiness or misery, thou shouldst not therefore grieve for that. In obedience to the customs of thy (present) race, thou hast pursued these wicked ways, but thou art always devoted to virtue and versed in the ways and mysteries of the world. And, O learned man, these being the duties of thy profession, the stain of evil karma will not attach to thee.And after dwelling here for some little time, thou shalt again become a Brahmana; and even now, I consider thee to be a Brahmana, there is no doubt about this. For the Brahmana who is vain and haughty, who is addicted to vices and wedded to evil and degrading practices, is like a Sudra. On the other hand, I consider a Sudra who is always adorned with these virtues,--righteousness, self-restraint, and truthfulness,--as a Brahmana. A man becomes a Brahmana by his character; by his own evil karma a man attains an evil and terrible doom. O good man. I believe that sin in thee has now died out. Thou must not grieve for this, for men, like thee who art so virtuous and learned in the ways and mysteries of the world, can have no cause for grief.'This shows that
The person was of good character, but did a mistake and got cursed for mistake / misbehaving
Due to good behaviour, Rishi gave boon that though he is a sudra, he will remain pious and shall attain wisdom
After expiation of this curse, he shall again become Brahmana (Brahmin)
Note the word used is 'I consider'
Though must not grieve: this means that next words are for encouragement.Please, I am not trying to defend any view. This is just an observation

Conclusion:

We conclude that the person was pious, a but due to some mistake, mis-deed, he/she was cursed.

This is descend and not ascend from animal kingdom to human race. So say, that from Dog one becomes human in next birth is evolution. Here it is not evolution but devolution due to bad karma and curse of a rishi.

But since he has done many good deeds other than one mistake (for which he was cursed), after expiation of curse, the original guNa, which was of brahmin, will become active and effective.

First there was curse and then scolding that brahmin is brahmin not just by birth thereby condemning the action, referring that brahminhood has to be maintained.

Then due to humble behaviour, recognizing and accepting mistake, compassionate rishi also have boon and decreased the effect of curse.

Then followed encouragement to the 'embarrassed' and 'guilty' but pious person as guNa is determined by karma. It did not say that you will become brahmana before curse is expiated.

I hope you are getting my point.

---------

Sv. Up. translation of moola sloka says something different.

नमोभिर्विश्लोक एतु पथ्येव सुरेः ।
शृण्वन्तु विश्वे अमृतस्य पुत्रा आ ये धामानि दिव्यानि तस्थुः ॥ २.५ ॥


2.5: (http://www.sankaracharya.org/svetasvatara_upanishad.php) O senses and O deities who favour them! Through salutations I unite myself with the eternal Brahman, who is your source. Let this prayer sung by me, who follow the right path of the Sun, go forth in all directions. May the sons of the Immortal, who occupy celestial positions, hear it!

2.5: (http://www.vidyavrikshah.org/scripture/upanishads/sveta2.html) Hear, O children of immortality and residents of heaven !
Follow only in the foot-steps of the wise, by continuous
meditation merge both mind and intellect in the eternal
Brahman. The glorious Lord will be revealed to you.

Note: You need to install font to read devanagari font.

since it is disputed about authorship of commentary on Sv. Up. by Adi Shankara, I have not referred to it.

We need other views.

-----------

Regarding reference from veda-s knowledgeable members can shed light on this issue. I have not read veda-s. Simply reading few verses is not going to help me in giving correct picture.

I humbly request you to please read full story to get correct picture.

Thank you for your opinion :)

Hari OM

brahma jijnasa
14 August 2013, 10:41 AM
Namaste Indiaspirituality Amrut

Regarding my quoting of Mahabharata.
I think these words are very clear and does not need any interpretation:


"I consider a Sudra who is always adorned with these virtues,--righteousness, self-restraint,
and truthfulness,--as a Brahmana. A man becomes a Brahmana by his character"

Besides the statement is entirely consistent with Bhāgavatam 7.11.35.


Sv. Up. translation of moola sloka says something different.

Although it may be that no other translator translated this verse like Hrdayananda dasa Goswami has translated it, this does not mean that it can not be translated like that. Sanskrit verses in the scriptures can often be translated in several ways.

regards

Amrut
14 August 2013, 11:27 AM
Although it may be that no other translator translated this verse like Hrdayananda dasa Goswami has translated it, this does not mean that it can not be translated like that. Sanskrit verses in the scriptures can often be translated in several ways.

regards


Pranams,

I agree. This is why I asked for more views :)

Hari OM

philosoraptor
14 August 2013, 01:05 PM
I don't see the point. What are you alluding to?

regards


What was Ashvatthaama's varNa before he murdered the sleeping sons of the Paandavas, and what was it after he murdered the sons of the Paandavas, as per shAstra?

Of course you don't see what I'm "alluding" to, since the answer contradicts your theory.

philosoraptor
14 August 2013, 01:24 PM
There, I mentioned one example from the most famous Upanishads. It is Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (2.5) where says (translation by Hrdayananda dasa Goswami):


śṛṇvantu viśve amṛtasya putrā
ā ye dhāmāni divyāni tasthuḥ

"All you sons of immortality, hear, you who once resided in the divine kingdom!"

It seems that this verse is also located in Rig Veda 10.13.1.

Gaudiya vaishnavas consider that this verse refers to divine kingdom or Vaikuntha.


Pardon me for butting in here, but which "Gaudiya vaishnavas" say that? I hope by "Gaudiya vaishnavas," you aren't referring to the one "Gaudiya Vaishnava" who also thinks that homosexual monogamy should be officially recognized, that ancient Hindu women liked Radha and Sita walked around bare-breasted, and that Sri Prabhupada was wrong for insisting on an orthodox standard of morality for his followers.

philosoraptor
14 August 2013, 01:56 PM
Further scriptural examples showing mlecchas by birth and/or shudras by birth becoming brahmanas:

The Mahabharata, Book 3: Vana Parva: Markandeya-Samasya Parva: Section CCXV (Ganguli translation)
See here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03215.htm

"For the Brahmana who is vain and haughty, who is addicted to vices and wedded to evil and degrading practices,
is like a Sudra. On the other hand, I consider a Sudra who is always adorned with these virtues,--righteousness, self-restraint,
and truthfulness,--as a Brahmana. A man becomes a Brahmana by his character"


If I say, "My guru is like a father," it is implicitly understood from the sentence that my guru is not my father, and that this is a metaphor. Furthermore, saying "I consider" that a shUdra with all brahminical qualities is "as a brahmana," also implies a metaphor rather than a statement of identity. A man becomes a brahmaNa by his character - that is true - when one has good character, one can become a brahmin (in sense of who knows brahman) in this very life, or be born again as a brahmin (in the conventional hereditary sense) in his next life. The verse is not saying that the shUdra is a brahmin. That this is so is obvious from the preceding context which brahma-jijnasa rather conveniently left out:



The Brahmana said, 'O thou of great intelligence, all men are thus subject to happiness or misery, thou shouldst not therefore grieve for that. In obedience to the customs of thy (present) race, thou hast pursued these wicked ways, but thou art always devoted to virtue and versed in the ways and mysteries of the world. And, O learned man, these being the duties of thy profession, the stain of evil karma will not attach to thee. And after dwelling here for some little time, thou shalt again become a Brahmana; and even now, I consider thee to be a Brahmana, there is no doubt about this. For the Brahmana who is vain and haughty.... etc

Some understanding of context is necessary here before we proceed. Merely taking isolated statements out of context will not lead to an understanding of the text, though it may be useful for some opportunistic persons who are looking to bolster their ideological beliefs. The brahmin in this story was referred to the fowler because the fowler, despite his lowly duties, was a perfect servant of his parents. The fowler teaches the brahmin that, despite his ascetism and learning, he had committed a sin by leaving his parents without their permission. The brahmin remarks that the fowler seems like a brahmin himself, and asks him how he came to be a fowler. The fowler then tells the story of how he was indeed a brahmin in his previous life, and how, in association with a king, he went hunting and accidentally slew a Rishi. The Rishi cursed him to become a shudra in his next life, but modified the curse that, as a shudra, he would remain a faithful servant of his parents, and thus reap great merit.

Now, when the brahmin says that the fowler will again become a brahmin, he is referring to his next life. This is obvious from the context of him having been a brahmin in his previous life, as well as from the statement that he (the brahmin) now considers the fowler to be just like a brahmin. Saying that the follower will again become a brahmin, and then saying that he considers him a brahmin now, implies that he is not a brahmin now, despite having the qualities of a brahmin now. Otherwise, he would have said, "You are now a brahmin" instead of "You will again become a brahmin." Saying that he considers him "as a brahmin" is in keeping the view of smRiti that a knowledgeable and devoted non-brahmin should be given equal respect as a brahmin; it does not mean that the non-brahmin is a brahmin.

Moreover, the idea of quality determining the varNa in the present birth does not tally with how this subject is addressed later in the Mahabharata. For example, in the Gita, Arjuna displays compassion for his relatives and says he wants to renounce war and take to begging. But where was the allowance for this? Why was he not promoted to the status of a brahmin when he displayed these brahminical qualities?

Vidura was the son of a servant woman, but had indisputable devotion and shAstra-jnAna. Where is the verse calling Vidura a brahmin? Where?

Ashvatthaama and Drona were brahmins, but they took to the profession of kShatriyas. Neither in Mahabharata nor in Bhagavata are they ever referred to as kShatriyas. Moreover, Ashvatthaama murdered the 5 sleeping sons of the Paandavas and irreparably disgraced himself. What do the shAstras say about his varNa before and after this heinous act? In the bhagavatam 1st canto, it is stated that he is a brahmin and that his life was spared because a brahmin should not be killed. It is specifically stated that Sri Krishna approved of this punishment (of only symbolically killing him instead of actually killing him).

The revisionist cannot explain how a brahmin who performed such a non-brahminical act, can still get the benefit of being a brahmin when being judged for his performance of a capital offense

Verses like bhAgavata 7.11.35 indicate that we should give respect to people independent of their jAti-varNa if they have demonstrated exceptional shAstra-jnAna and devotion. For example, Duryodhana should have respected Vidura's wisdom instead of denouncing him as a servant woman's son. Nowhere in the bhAgavatam do we see shUdras being initiated as brahmins.

Avyaydya
14 August 2013, 04:47 PM
Namaste
See here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03215.htm

On the other hand, I consider a Sudra who is always adorned with these virtues,--righteousness, self-restraint, and truthfulness,--as a Brahmana. A man becomes a Brahmana by his character"

How good is you English? The words "as" tells that he is NOT a Brahmana, but equal to one. Yes a man becomes a Brahmana by improving his character, so he can be reborn a Brahmana.

Amrut
15 August 2013, 04:45 AM
Namaste,

Since Bhagavat is quoted, I attempt to quote Uddhava Gita, which is a part of Bhagavat. Note that the chapter numbers are not that of Bhagavat but of Uddhava Gita. Engkish Translation by Swami Madhavananda of Ramakrishna mission is provided out of mere convenience.

NOTE: Instructions to Uddhava by Lord Krishna known as "The Uddhava Gita" starts from verse 40, Chapter 6, Book 11 of Shrimad Bhagavatam

Chapter 5, Real Nature of World

Varna and Kula by birth

ष्रीभगवानुवाच ।
मयोदितेष्ववहितःस्वधर्मेषुमदाश्रयः।
वर्णाश्रमकुलाचारमकामात्मासमाचरेत्* ॥१॥

The Lord said:

5.1 The man who has taken refuge in Me will attend to his particular duties as inculcated (in the scriptures) by Me and perform the rites of his (varNa) caste, (Ashrama) order of life, or family, with an unattached mind.

Refer 5.21: limited results from havan-s

23 – 26 : explain karma with desire, going to heaven
29-79: negative karma – go to lower worlds

Jnana is permanent

Chapter 8: Knowledge through the destruction of gunas, the lord teaches as a swan

दृष्टिततःप्रतिनिवर्त्य निवृत्ततृष्ण –
स्तूष्णीभवेन्निजसुखाउभवोनिरीहः।
सदृश्यतेक च यदीदमवस्तुद्धया
त्यत्कंब्रमाय न भवेत्स्मृतिरानिपातात्* ॥८॥

8.35 Withdrawing the organs from the universe one should be immersed in one’s own Bliss; one should give up desires, be silent and free from action. If ever the universe is experienced, it will not lead to error, being one discarded as unreal, but will linger as a memory only, till death (videhi mukti)

Chapter 12: Castes and orders of life.

उद्धव उवाच ।

यस्त्वयाबिह्हितःपूर्व धर्मस्त्वभ्दक्तिलक्षणः।
वर्णाक्षमाचारवतांसर्वेषांद्विपदामपि॥१॥
यथानुष्ठीयमानेन त्वयिभक्तिर्नृणांभवेन्* ।
स्वधर्मेणारविन्दाक्ष तत्समाख्यातुमहर्सि॥२॥

Uddhava said:
12.1-2: Thou hast already (in chapter 5) spoken of religion which makes for devotion to Thee, and is meant for all human beings, with or without the observances of varNAshrama and order of life; please tell me, O Lotus-eyes One, how by practicing that religion for himself a man may attain to devotion to Thee.

आदौकृतयुगेवर्णोहंस इतिस्मृतः।
कृतकृत्याःप्रज्ञागात्यातस्मात्कृतयुगंविदुः॥१०॥

12.10: In the beginning, in the Krita or satya yuga, men had but one varNa which was known as Hamsa. People attained the consummation of their desires from their very birth, and hence the age was called Krita (achieved)

वेदःप्रणव एवाग्रेधर्मोऽहंवृष्रुपधृक्* ।
उपासतेपतोनिष्ठांहंसंमांमुक्तकिल्बिषाः॥११॥

12.11: In that primeval age, OM was the Veda and I was religion in the form of a Bull. The people of that age, who were pure and given to contemplation, used to reflect [1] on Me, the Pure One

[1]. Reflect: Internal worship, no external worship)

त्रेतामुखेमहाभाग प्राणान्मेहृदयात्तयी।
विध्याप्रादुरभूत्तस्याअहमासंत्रिवृन्मखः॥१२॥

12.12: At the beginning of the Treta Yuga, O noble soul, the science of the Veda appeared from My [1] heart, through the agency of the Prana. Out of that I became the sacrifice with it’s threefold adjunct [2].

[1] My – Virat Swarupa
[2] Threefold adjunct – Three priests – Hota, Adhvaryu and Udgita, who perform the different fuctions in connection with a Vedic sacrifice.

विप्रक्षत्रियविट्*शूद्रामुखबाहूरुपादजाः।
वैराजात्पुरुषाज्जाताय आत्मावारलक्षणाः॥१३॥

12.13: From the Virat sprang the Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra, from the mouth, arms, thighs and feet respectively. They were distinguished by their specialized duties.

गृहाश्रमोजघनतोब्रह्मचर्य हृदोमम ।
वक्षःस्थानाद्वनेवासोन्यासःशीर्ष्णिसंस्थितः॥१४॥

12.14: The householder’s life sprang from My thighs, the student life [1] from My heart, the life of retirement into the woods from my chest, and monasticism was on My head

[1] Student life: Chastity as it’s chief element.

वर्णामाश्रमाणांच जन्मभूम्यनुसारिणीः।
आसन्प्रकृतयोनृणांनीचैर्नीचोत्तमोत्तमाः॥१५॥

12.15: The tendencies of the different varNAshrama (caste and order of life) among men were according to the place [1] of the origin: Inferior positions produced inferior tendencies and superior positions superior ones.

[1] Place in Virat svarupa

Next sloka-s talk about qualities of all 4 varNa-s

12.22 explains dvija: two types of brahmachari-s – UpaurvAna (who enter house hold life after completion of study) and Naishthika ( maintain life long celibacy)

Marriage in Other varNa

गृहार्थीसद्दर्शीभार्यामुद्वहेदजुगुप्सिताम्* ।
यवीयसींतुवयसायांसवर्णामनुक्रमात्* ॥३९॥

12.39: A person wishing to lead a householder’s life, should marry an unblemished girl of the same varNa, who must be younger in age, and if he wishes to marry any other, he should do so after the above marriage, and even then, in the succeeding order [1’

[1] Brahmin was allowed to marry in the three lower varNa also, a kshatriya in the two lower and a VAishya in the Shudra varNa also, the last being confined ot his own varNa. But not in the reverse order. First one should marry in same varNa, then to other varNa.

सीदन्विप्रोवणीग्वृत्त्यापण्यैरेवापदंतरेत्* ।
खड्*गेन वाऽऽपदाक्रान्तोन श्र्वृत्त्याकथ, न्वन ॥४७॥

12.47: A helpless Brahmana should get over his trouble by setting up as a merchant [1], selling only things allowable [2]. If he is still overtaken by misfortune, he should have recourse to the sword, but never resort to animal-like [3] servility

[1] Merchant: This is in contravention of GAutama’s injunction that the occupation of a next lower varNa should be adopted in time of danger.

[2] Allowable: not wine, etc

[3] original translation: dog-like

Similarly next 2 verses talk about adopted work of immiediate lower varNa of other 2 varNA-s (kshatriya and Vishya)

There are 58 verses in this chapter, I did not find any verse that say that one can change varNa.

Aum

EDIT: Link for Uddhava Gita

http://www.gita-society.com/scriptures/THEUDDHAVAGITA.IGS.pdf

Amrut
15 August 2013, 04:50 AM
Pardon me for butting in here, but which "Gaudiya vaishnavas" say that? I hope by "Gaudiya vaishnavas," you aren't referring to the one "Gaudiya Vaishnava" who also thinks that homosexual monogamy should be officially recognized, that ancient Hindu women liked Radha and Sita walked around bare-breasted, and that Sri Prabhupada was wrong for insisting on an orthodox standard of morality for his followers.

:( - Not happy to know this.

ShivaFan
15 August 2013, 08:14 AM
Namaste

If one's caste, varna, jati "only by birth" was the most critcal fixation of importance to everything, why didn't the Divine make it easy for everyone by putting some brand right on the nose of everyone born, not some attire someone puts on later, but branded right on their nose or forehead like a big letter "B" for brahmin, "U" for untouchable? If by birth is the end all of be all, it certainly would have made things easier.

Or perhaps the Divine doesn't believe in branding.

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
15 August 2013, 08:47 AM
Namaste

If one's caste, varna, jati "only by birth" was the most critcal fixation of importance to everything, why didn't the Divine make it easy for everyone by putting some brand right on the nose of everyone born, not some attire someone puts on later, but branded right on their nose or forehead like a big letter "B" for brahmin, "U" for untouchable? If by birth is the end all of be all, it certainly would have made things easier.

Or perhaps the Divine doesn't believe in branding.

Om Namah Sivaya

Namaste,

When I asked Bhagavan, he replied: Opps ;) :p

By birth is not an end. Have you heard or read anywhere that a Brahmin because of evil karma is officially demoted and then his surname changes.

If it is varNa by guNa, and guNa is not inherent by birth, then why only talk about promotion, why not about demotion? It has to be positive and negative.

If there are e.g.s of promotions in shastra-s, there has to be e.g. of demotion, as there are e.g.s of both good and bad karma.

This is no branding, it is distribution of work for universal well being.

In either case of varNa based or birth or guNa, all agree that there is varNa and ashrama dharma in Hindu Dharma.

If there was no varNa dharma or was of trivial importance, then it should have been 4 padvi-s (honorific titles), that are given to highly qualified personal, as an honour to their achievement in a particular field

e.g. Phd, Dr., Engineer, noble price winner, padma bhushan, etc

108, 1008, mahamahopadhyaaya, mahaa mandaleshawar, Shankaracharya, Gaudpadacharya (yes, like shankara lineage, there is Gaudpadacharya lineage and there are 4 maths, whose successors hold the name of Gaudpadacharya).

If Bhagavan does not care about branding, then why at all give birth in a particular varNa or why at all say about varNa in Bhagavad Gita and in Uddhava Gita. Infact Uddhava Gita talks in details about duties of all 4 varNa-s.

It also says that all 4 varna-s, by sincerely dedicating themselves to the duties assigned to their varNa, they are progressing spirituality (chitta shuddhi), all are dear to Me (Krishna) and all deserve to be one with Bhagavan. Now the question is, we are given tough path or easier path.

We are all concerned about passing exams with good marks. It does not matter if the question paper is though or easy? Right.

Where it is said that Shudra-s do not deserve grace of Bhagavan or that Bhagavan do not like Shudra-s?

Why obsession about walking on tough path. We all like to go for best, but not all can crack entrance exam for getting admission in IITs.

I purposefully did not give my own comments on verses provided by me in last post. I leave it to the discretion of readers.

It is not insulting to be of any varNa. Please ignore evils produced by 'civil' society :)

Matured ones should show compassion and give right direction but not make fun of those whom they consider inferior, as they have better understanding by grace of Bhagavan, even good memory is a natural gift (God's gift).

Om Namah Shivaya

Amrut
15 August 2013, 09:31 AM
Btw, guNa-s / desires / vAsanA-s are invisible. Karma (action) is grossest form of vAsanA. So one has to study actions, which take time. Again ,the intention or motive or triggering force behind any action is more important that action itself.

As on today, how are we to know the motives. Husband betrays wife and vice versa. Business partner stabs from back.

I will give an e.g. It is a case of Asaram Bapu (Please do not question about authentity, it is just an e.g.)

One person, would daily come to Asharam Bapu, tough his feet, offer Rs. 10,000/- or more and leave. No explanation.

This goes on for days, so curious Bapu asks him, why, to which he replies, 'I have a good business and it is because of your grace'. No more explanation.

This went on daily for more than a month and now he had already given more than 3 - 4 lakhs-s. One day Bapu called him to his room and asked about his business. He replied that he runs a money laundering business and earns on commission, all by his grace.

In a few days, Bapu called this new devotee and gave him Rs. 5,00,00,000 (5 crores). Bapu and or his close devotees ;) asked this guy to invest, to which he agreed and committed to give good returns. No documents were signed. No questions asked.

Do you know what happened next, any guesses?

Bapu may be a good psychologist, as he manages to attract good crowd and may have good management skills and skilled man power, but ... :D

It is difficult to judge the actual guNa by karma. This is the practical difficulty, at least today. There are very few saints who may have divine eyes and far sightedness (like that of upanishadic and vedic rishi-s)

So who is going to decide who gets promotion?

Hari OM

philosoraptor
15 August 2013, 12:45 PM
Originally Posted by philosoraptor Pardon me for butting in here, but which "Gaudiya vaishnavas" say that? I hope by "Gaudiya vaishnavas," you aren't referring to the one "Gaudiya Vaishnava" who also thinks that homosexual monogamy should be officially recognized, that ancient Hindu women liked Radha and Sita walked around bare-breasted, and that Sri Prabhupada was wrong for insisting on an orthodox standard of morality for his followers.

:( - Not happy to know this.

The individual in question would be considered a "brahmin by quality, not by birth," as per the standards which brahma-jijnasa preaches. In fact, it appears brahma-jijnasa is quoting this individual specifically when he references what "Gaudiya Vaishnavas" believe in regards to the meaning of certain mantras from the Rig Veda.

The individual in question is also a guru in ISKCON, and he has disciples who share his condescending views of traditional culture as well. I guess they would also be "brahmins by quality, not by birth."

brahma jijnasa
15 August 2013, 12:59 PM
Pardon me for butting in here, but which "Gaudiya vaishnavas" say that? I hope by "Gaudiya vaishnavas," you aren't referring to the one "Gaudiya Vaishnava" who also thinks that homosexual monogamy should be officially recognized, that ancient Hindu women liked Radha and Sita walked around bare-breasted, and that Sri Prabhupada was wrong for insisting on an orthodox standard of morality for his followers.

Are we disingenuous here? Are you trying to discredit a translator here?
I don't know about homosexual monogamy, etc, and I do not care, but I know that mentioned translator is a professor of Sanskrit at Harvard.


which "Gaudiya vaishnavas" say that?
Guess who they were. A. C. Bhaktivedanta .... Bhaktivinoda Thakur ...
You know, once in the past Jaya and Vijaya were also those ones "who once resided in the divine kingdom". ;)

regards

philosoraptor
15 August 2013, 05:09 PM
Are we disingenuous here?

How is it being disingenuous to say that the Gaudiya Vaishnava whose views you are representing here, held views (like officially recognizing homosexual marriages) that went against his own guru's views? It's all over the internet, and hardly a secret. I knew one of his disciples who rejected him after he realized he would not change his views on this subject. Apparently, the disciple had some idea that a guru should be faithful to his own guru's words. Strange idea that, eh?



Are you trying to discredit a translator here?

He already discredited himself. I am just pointing out his differences vis-a-vis the rest of the sampradaya.



I don't know about homosexual monogamy, etc, and I do not care, but I know that mentioned translator is a professor of Sanskrit at Harvard.

Wow. And here I thought that fidelity to the paramparA was the marker of one's authority, not a PhD from Harvard.



Guess who they were. A. C. Bhaktivedanta .... Bhaktivinoda Thakur ...


I have all of their writings in my library. Please show me where either of them quoted Rig Veda 10.13.1 and stated that it refers to Vaikuntha. I would just like to be convinced that when you say "Gaudiya Vaishnavas," you aren't basing that on the single, ISKCON, "brahmin by quality" who, along with his disciples, thinks that ancient Hindu women were used to running around in public with their breasts exposed.



You know, once in the past Jaya and Vijaya were also those ones "who once resided in the divine kingdom". ;)


Yeah, funny thing about that. Because I couldn't find any more examples of fallen people who "once resided in the divine kingdom," despite all this about "fall from Vaikuntha." Good thing to, since Bhaktivedanta Swami says that, aside from special cases like Jaya and Vijay, no one falls from Vaikuntha.

SB 3.16.29 purport:

"As explained in connection with text 26, all the incidents that took place had the approval of the Lord. Ordinarily, there is no possibility that the four sages could be so angry with the doorkeepers, nor could the Supreme Lord neglect His two doorkeepers, nor can one come back from Vaikuṇṭha after once taking birth there. All these incidents, therefore, were designed by the Lord Himself for the sake of His pastimes in the material world. Thus He plainly says that it was done with His approval. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for inhabitants of Vaikuṇṭha to come back to this material world simply because of a brahminical curse."

SB 7.1.35 purport

"This very significant question would be difficult for an ordinary person to answer, but Nārada Muni, being an authority, could answer it. Therefore Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira inquired from him, saying, etad ākhyātum arhasi: "only you can explain the reason." From authoritative sources it can be discerned that associates of Lord Viṣṇu who descend from Vaikuṇṭha do not actually fall. They come with the purpose of fulfilling the desire of the Lord, and their descent to this material world is comparable to that of the Lord. The Lord comes to this material world through the agency of His internal potency, and similarly, when a devotee or associate of the Lord descends to this material world, he does so through the action of the spiritual energy. Any pastime conducted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is an arrangement by yogamāyā, not mahāmāyā. Therefore it is to be understood that when Jaya and Vijaya descended to this material world, they came because there was something to be done for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise it is a fact that no one falls from Vaikuṇṭha."

As an aside, you are welcome to answer my question about Ashvathama's caste, anytime.

brahma jijnasa
15 August 2013, 08:17 PM
How is it being disingenuous ....
Wow. And here I thought that fidelity to the paramparA was the marker of one's authority, not a PhD from Harvard. ...
I have all of their writings in my library. Please show me where either of them quoted Rig Veda 10.13.1 and stated that it refers to Vaikuntha.

YOU are disingenuous because you are turning the conversation to something that is not the topic.
He translated the verse according to how he learned from his guru, ie Srila Prabhupada who has said we all came from Vaikuntha.


Yeah, funny thing about that. Because I couldn't find any more examples of fallen people who "once resided in the divine kingdom," despite all this about "fall from Vaikuntha." Good thing to, since Bhaktivedanta Swami says that, aside from special cases like Jaya and Vijay, no one falls from Vaikuntha.

It seems to me that you do not understand something here. Srila Prabhupada said that fall of Jaya and Vijaya was a special case, ie it was a part of Lord's lila, but nevertheless he took this example universally applicable to all living beings in this material world, ie we all came down from Vaikuntha.
Since you're very good at quoting his purports, find one. I know it exists.


As an aside, you are welcome to answer my question about Ashvathama's caste, anytime.
About that in my reply as regards varnas. Wait until then.

regards

brahma jijnasa
15 August 2013, 08:40 PM
Namaste
Namaste

If one's caste, varna, jati "only by birth" was the most critcal fixation of importance to everything, why didn't the Divine make it easy for everyone by putting some brand right on the nose of everyone born, not some attire someone puts on later, but branded right on their nose or forehead like a big letter "B" for brahmin, "U" for untouchable? If by birth is the end all of be all, it certainly would have made things easier.

Or perhaps the Divine doesn't believe in branding.

Om Namah Sivaya

Good point, and very funny. :goodpost: :laugh:

regards

philosoraptor
15 August 2013, 10:26 PM
YOU are disingenuous because you are turning the conversation to something that is not the topic.

Evidently, English is not your first language, since you obviously don't know what "disingenuous" means. It means to misrepresent things, to be less than forthcoming or sincere, etc. For example:



He translated the verse according to how he learned from his guru, ie Srila Prabhupada who has said we all came from Vaikuntha.

This is an example of a disingenuous remark on your part. It is unlikely that HDG learned Rg Veda 10.13.1 from Sri Prabhupada. We know this because Sri Prabhupada never quoted RV 10.13.1 in any of his writings (feel free to search vedabase if you don't believe me), because there is no Gaudiya commentary on the RV, and because Prabhupada repeatedly told his disciples to focus on the books which he published (which did not include RV). Thus, you have no proof that HDG learned this from Sri Prabhupada, as opposed to, say, his Indology friends at Harvard.

Another example of your disingenuous behavior was when you referred to ISKCON's conversion of mlecchas to "brahmins" as evidence that such a practice was genuine and efficacious. But, you totally neglected to mention the widespread degradation in ISKCON's "brahmin" community, which would naturally nullify that argument.

Similarly, you have never hesitated to rush in to discussions about the interpretations of scriptures which you have obviously never read. Common sense would hold that you ought to be familiar with a book before you can begin talking about it in any meaningful way. But ignorance never stopped you before. You've given verbose explanations of Baladeva's interpretation of the anAdi-karma sUtra despite the fact that you have not studied Baladeva's Vedanta commentary, and obviously did not understand the context of the sutras (not that you were ready to volunteer that information). You profess to know what chAndogya upaniShad has to say about varNa in the satyakAma episode, despite never having read that, either. Do you even understand what a gotra is? And then there was the time you subjected us to your personal explanation of how to translate "hiraNmayena pAtrena...." from IshopaniShad, when you don't even know Sanskrit.

So, all in all, you've clearly shown yourself as one who wants to win the argument at all costs, even if it means advancing arguments for which you have no footing in reality. This particular thread appears to be no different, as you haven't bothered responding to my other quotes from the chAndogya showing clear hereditary basis for varNa, have not responded to the other examples I brought up from the mahAbhArata/bhAgavata, and have yet to answer the basic question "how does one tell a brahmin by quality, when many such people identified as such by Prabhupada ultimately failed the litmus test of brahminical quality?"



It seems to me that you do not understand something here. Srila Prabhupada said that fall of Jaya and Vijaya was a special case, ie it was a part of Lord's lila, but nevertheless he took this example universally applicable to all living beings in this material world, ie we all came down from Vaikuntha.

"Therefore it is to be understood that when Jaya and Vijaya descended to this material world, they came because there was something to be done for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise it is a fact that no one falls from Vaikuṇṭha."

That's what he said, brahma-jijnasa. Have your own views if you wish, but acknowledge the fact that he disagrees with you, at least in this instance.

Amrut
16 August 2013, 03:24 AM
Namaste B.J. ji

Several quotes are showed which says none can fall back from vaikuntha / brahmi sthiti

Bh. G. 8.15, Ud. G. 8.35 and from SB 3.16.29, SB 7.1.35 by Philosoraptor.

Also many quotes are about varNa dharma are provided from Ud. G.

Let us agree that one falls from Vaikuntha. the period of stay in Vaikuntha is not fixed, then is there any compelling reason to leave everything that we thought is ours and only live for Bhagavan?

I also request you to please read Uddhava Gita, which is a part of SB, it talks in detail about varNa dharma.

We cannot ignore words of Bhagavan Krishna.

Arguments provided by jignyAsu ji and Philosoraptor ji are also to be thought.

As I have said, Brahmin may lose his status and respect, but still he is Brahmin, though embarrassed. Never heard of Brahmin like Ravan, performing negative karma being stripped of his birth varNa.

Aum

Avyaydya
16 August 2013, 08:07 AM
Namaste

If one's caste, varna, jati "only by birth" was the most critcal fixation of importance to everything, why didn't the Divine make it easy for everyone by putting some brand right on the nose of everyone born, not some attire someone puts on later, but branded right on their nose or forehead like a big letter "B" for brahmin, "U" for untouchable? If by birth is the end all of be all, it certainly would have made things easier.

Or perhaps the Divine doesn't believe in branding.

Om Namah Sivaya
Why did the Divine not give us wings?

Same kind of invalid reasoning I see with fundamental Christians. Like God is somehow controlling this world by a remote control, in stead of being the world. It is typically Abramic thinking to place God outside of the world.

More interesting question is why people like you are trying to undermine Hindu traditions. Who are you really, what is your agenda? Is can't be good for Hinduism that is for sure.

If you guys want chosen bramanas, why don't you do that within Iskcon? That would be a great improvement over the not transparant, all-white power structure you have now.

brahma jijnasa
16 August 2013, 10:22 AM
He translated the verse according to how he learned from his guru, ie Srila Prabhupada who has said we all came from Vaikuntha.
This is an example of a disingenuous remark on your part. It is unlikely that HDG learned Rg Veda 10.13.1 from Sri Prabhupada. We know this because Sri Prabhupada never quoted RV 10.13.1 in any of his writings (feel free to search vedabase if you don't believe me), because there is no Gaudiya commentary on the RV, and because Prabhupada repeatedly told his disciples to focus on the books which he published (which did not include RV). Thus, you have no proof that HDG learned this from Sri Prabhupada, as opposed to, say, his Indology friends at Harvard.


I am not saying that HDG learned Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (2.5) and Rig Veda 10.13.1 from Srila Prabhupada. All I'm saying is that HDG learned from Srila Prabhupada that we all came from Vaikuntha. Keeping this in mind, he translated verse from Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (2.5).

By the way other Gaudiya vaishnava organizations such as Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math seems to interpret this verse the same way.
Their guru Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj
writes, see here (http://www.dokagergely.hu/spiritual-text-search/index.php?q=&blc=0&m=0&p=5054) :
Inner Fulfilment > The Land of Beauty

Why do you suffer? Amṛtasya-putra: you are a child of that soil, and you are suffering so much as though you are in a desert? Your home is so full of resources, so sweet, and you are running in the desert?
...
Come along with Me! I shall take you to your home which is so sweet! In general, this is the call of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu.
...
You are wandering in a foreign land, but here is your home. You'll get home comfort here, and you won't be able to deny that. So, back to God, back to home, back to Godhead.

"Therefore it is to be understood that when Jaya and Vijaya descended to this material world, they came because there was something to be done for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise it is a fact that no one falls from Vaikuṇṭha."

That's what he said, brahma-jijnasa. Have your own views if you wish, but acknowledge the fact that he disagrees with you, at least in this instance.


It seems that you missed the numerous examples where Srila Prabhupada says:

Bhāgavatam 4.12.37 (http://vedabase.net/sb/4/12/37/en) :

"they alone can very easily achieve the perfection of going back home, back to Godhead."Here "back home" refers to the Lord's abode where one is supposed to return.

Bhāgavatam 5.4.5 (http://vedabase.net/sb/5/4/5/en) :

"Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī points out that the word mahimā means returning to the spiritual world, back home, back to Vaikuṇṭha."Bhagavatam 4.23.31 (http://vedabase.net/sb/4/23/31/en1) :

"such a person also returns home to the Vaikuntha planets, back to Godhead."Bhāgavatam 4.29.48 (http://vedabase.net/sb/4/29/48/) :

"Generally people are not aware of their interest in life -- to return home, back to Godhead. People do not know about their real home in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world there are many Vaikuṇṭha planets, and the topmost planet is Kṛṣṇaloka, Goloka Vṛndāvana."

Similarly, you have never hesitated to rush in to discussions about the interpretations of scriptures which you have obviously never read. Common sense would hold that you ought to be familiar with a book before you can begin talking about it in any meaningful way. But ignorance never stopped you before.


You again and again repeat that I have not studied or understood something. And yet you're overlooking when I tell you that despite you have studied commentaries, you have not understand much of it.



You've given verbose explanations of Baladeva's interpretation of the anAdi-karma sUtra despite the fact that you have not studied Baladeva's Vedanta commentary, and obviously did not understand the context of the sutras (not that you were ready to volunteer that information).


Yes, I have studied Vedanta-sutra, and especially Baladeva's interpretation of the anAdi-karma sUtra!
There is no mention of "beginningless saṃsāra"!
I even gave 1st and 2nd reason of why the idea of bondage of the jiva soul in beginningless saṃsāra is wrong. That you have ignored completely. If you have anything smart to say on the matter I look forward. :)



You profess to know what chAndogya upaniShad has to say about varNa in the satyakAma episode, despite never having read that, either. Do you even understand what a gotra is?


If you understand what gotra is, then I look forward your response to the questions 1) and 2) I asked Sudas Paijavana, see here: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=107230#post107230



you haven't bothered responding to my other quotes from the chAndogya showing clear hereditary basis for varNa


See, you do not even read my posts!!!
Where have I denied hereditary basis for varna? :cool1:
Do you actually read my posts? Did not you see this: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=107299#post107299


1) I do not deny that the Scriptures teach about varna by birth! I also do not deny that a guru, Gautama, attempted to determine Satyakama's varna by birth.



and have yet to answer the basic question "how does one tell a brahmin by quality, when many such people identified as such by Prabhupada ultimately failed the litmus test of brahminical quality?"


What did they failed? "litmus test of brahminical quality"?

regards

brahma jijnasa
16 August 2013, 10:53 AM
Namaste

Namaste B.J. ji

Let us agree that one falls from Vaikuntha. the period of stay in Vaikuntha is not fixed, then is there any compelling reason to leave everything that we thought is ours and only live for Bhagavan?

Aum

Good question.
Why would anyone want to leave the Lord and come down from Vaikuntha?
Srila Prabhupada basically explained that we lived together with God in the spiritual world called Vaikuntha. There is no explanation as to how exactly it happened, but we have somehow forgotten our relationship with God. We have forgotten that we need to serve God, and we have tried to imitate God, we have tried to become enjoyers separated from God. Then God has put us in this material world in which we can try to enjoy separate from God.

regards

Amrut
16 August 2013, 11:47 AM
Namaste


Good question.
Why would anyone want to leave the Lord and come down from Vaikuntha?
Srila Prabhupada basically explained that we lived together with God in the spiritual world called Vaikuntha. There is no explanation as to how exactly it happened, but we have somehow forgotten our relationship with God. We have forgotten that we need to serve God, and we have tried to imitate God, we have tried to become enjoyers separated from God. Then God has put us in this material world in which we can try to enjoy separate from God.

regards


Namaste,

It takes so many years and even more than one life time to actually cultivate Krishna prem. After our sadhana reaches maturity, Bhagavan ascends us to his adobe Vaikuntha. But here there is no garrentee that I am going to stay with him for eternity or for long duration. There is risk of falling from Vaikuntha within minutes, within few hours, years or kalpa.

Keeping this insecurity in mind, why would I make efforts to reach Vaikumtha for temporary bliss. Why would not I leave in this world? Is there a fixed time frame for stay in Vaikuntha given? We all know that only a select few can actually gain Krishna Prem. So again ,my probability is very low. couple it with a feeling of insecurity of falling down back to this world.

Bhagavan, siddha-s and devata-s (vaishnava acharya-s) take avatar just to ascend us temporarily !!!

In this context, even siddha-s can fall down at any time.

I am not feeling good about it. These are questions that I think as a layman.

I think the first fall, if at all it has actually happened, is just given for explanation purpose. jiva-s got deluded due to his mAyA and descended to this world. It is also known from Uddhava Gita (verses quoted earlier) that the spiritual level and purity gradually and continuously decreased (from yuga to yuga) as time passed.

Jai Shri Krishna

Amrut

brahma jijnasa
16 August 2013, 12:57 PM
Namaste

Bhagavan, siddha-s and devata-s (vaishnava acharya-s) take avatar just to ascend us temporarily !!!

In this context, even siddha-s can fall down at any time.

I am not feeling good about it. These are questions that I think as a layman.
...
It takes so many years and even more than one life time to actually cultivate Krishna prem. After our sadhana reaches maturity, Bhagavan ascends us to his adobe Vaikuntha. But here there is no garrentee that I am going to stay with him for eternity or for long duration. There is risk of falling from Vaikuntha within minutes, within few hours, years or kalpa.

No, it is not like that.
When we reach liberation (mukti, moksha) it is permanent, eternal. Liberation is not temporary. There is no possibility of falling due to some kind of chance, accident, bad luck, or karma, or even because of maya because such things do not exist in Vaikuntha.
For this reason it is said that "no one falls from Vaikuntha". So we did not fall from Vaikuntha in this sense. Srila Prabhupada explained that we fell because of our own choice. We have tried to imitate God, we have tried to become enjoyers separated from God, then we have forgotten that we need to serve God. Then God has put us in this material world in which we can try to enjoy separate from God.
So it is not about accident. There is no risk of falling!


Keeping this insecurity in mind, why would I make efforts to reach Vaikumtha for temporary bliss. Why would not I leave in this world? Is there a fixed time frame for stay in Vaikuntha given? We all know that only a select few can actually gain Krishna Prem. So again ,my probability is very low. couple it with a feeling of insecurity of falling down back to this world.

Yes indeed, it would be pointless to make an effort to stay on Vaikuntha temporary. If liberation has been achieved, stay on Vaikuntha is eternal.

regards

Jaskaran Singh
16 August 2013, 05:40 PM
Namaste
We have tried to imitate God, we have tried to become enjoyers separated from God, then we have forgotten that we need to serve God. Then God has put us in this material world in which we can try to enjoy separate from God.
So it is not about accident. There is no risk of falling!


Namaskāra,

I don't seem to follow you; you state that "there is no risk of falling [from Vaikuṇṭha]" (which makes sense, as most proponents of acintya bhedābheda are of the view that when the jīvātmā is in Vaikuṇṭha, it becomes completely dependent on Bhagavān due to Śrī Kṛṣṇa's taṭastha śakti). How then, would they presumably have the free-will to "fall" from Vaikuṇṭha [as you state]? It seems a bit contradictory to me (although I realize that you're merely reiterating Prabhupāda's views):
http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b612/jaskaransingh3/prabhupada_zpse11112ee.png
Jai Śrī Kṛṣṇa

philosoraptor
16 August 2013, 06:12 PM
The Ashvatthaama issue, from the ISKCON translation:

SB 1.7.41 — After reaching his own camp, Arjuna, along with his dear friend and charioteer [Śrī Kṛṣṇa], entrusted the murderer unto his dear wife, who was lamenting for her murdered sons.
SB 1.7.42 — Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: Draupadī then saw Aśvatthāmā, who was bound with ropes like an animal and silent for having enacted the most inglorious murder. Due to her female nature, and due to her being naturally good and well-behaved, she showed him due respects as a brāhmaṇa.
SB 1.7.43 — She could not tolerate Aśvatthāmā’s being bound by ropes, and being a devoted lady, she said: Release him, release him, for he is a brāhmaṇa, our spiritual master.
SB 1.7.44 — It was by Droṇācārya’s mercy that you learned the military art of throwing arrows and the confidential art of controlling weapons.
SB 1.7.45 — He [Droṇācārya] is certainly still existing, being represented by his son. His wife Kṛpī did not undergo a satī with him because she had a son.
SB 1.7.46 — O most fortunate one who know the principles of religion, it is not good for you to cause grief to glorious family members who are always respectable and worshipful.
SB 1.7.47 — My lord, do not make the wife of Droṇācārya cry like me. I am aggrieved for the death of my sons. She need not cry constantly like me.
SB 1.7.48 — If the kingly administrative order, being unrestricted in sense control, offends the brāhmaṇa order and enrages them, then the fire of that rage burns up the whole body of the royal family and brings grief upon them all.
SB 1.7.49 — Sūta Gosvāmī said: O brāhmaṇas, King Yudhiṣṭhira fully supported the statements of the Queen, which were in accordance with the principles of religion and were justified, glorious, full of mercy and equity, and without duplicity.
SB 1.7.50 — Nakula and Sahadeva [the younger brothers of the King] and also Sātyaki, Arjuna, the Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa, son of Devakī, and the ladies and others all unanimously agreed with the King.
SB 1.7.51 — Bhīma, however, angrily disagreed with them and recommended killing this culprit, who had murdered sleeping children for no purpose and for neither his nor his master’s interest.
SB 1.7.52 — Caturbhuja [the four-armed one], or the Personality of Godhead, after hearing the words of Bhīma, Draupadī and others, saw the face of His dear friend Arjuna, and He began to speak as if smiling.
SB 1.7.53-54 — The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: A friend of a brāhmaṇa is not to be killed, but if he is an aggressor he must be killed. All these rulings are in the scriptures, and you should act accordingly. You have to fulfill your promise to your wife, and you must also act to the satisfaction of Bhīmasena and Me.
SB 1.7.55 — Sūta Gosvāmī said: Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā.
SB 1.7.56 — He [Aśvatthāmā] had already lost his bodily luster due to infanticide, and now, moreover, having lost the jewel from his head, he lost even more strength. Thus he was unbound and driven out of the camp.
SB 1.7.57 — Cutting the hair from his head, depriving him of his wealth and driving him from his residence are the prescribed punishments for the relative of a brāhmaṇa. There is no injunction for killing the body.



So this is clear to everyone, right? A man is a brahmin by quality, not by birth. Ashvatthaama was by birth a brahmin, but he was not a brahmin because he was a murderer. And yet, being a relative of a brahmin, he was spared, despite the purva-pakshin's view that heredity is not a determining factor, only one's conduct. So in other words, heredity does not make him a brahmin, but it gives him the privileges of being a brahmin, whereby he escapes a death sentence after murdering 5 sleeping men.

Avyaydya
16 August 2013, 08:00 PM
Namaste


Good question.
Why would anyone want to leave the Lord and come down from Vaikuntha?
Srila Prabhupada basically explained that we lived together with God in the spiritual world called Vaikuntha. There is no explanation as to how exactly it happened, but we have somehow forgotten our relationship with God. We have forgotten that we need to serve God, and we have tried to imitate God, we have tried to become enjoyers separated from God. Then God has put us in this material world in which we can try to enjoy separate from God.

regards

We should not quote Prabhupada as an accepted reliable Hindu authority. Scholars outside Iskcon have great doubts about his interpretations.

If we start discussing Prabhupada's ideas all the time it is no longer about Hinduism but Iskconism, then this thread may better be moved to the subforum of Hare Krishna to prevent the forum being spammed by Iskcon ideas presented as main stream Hinduism as Iskconites are so dominating discussions.

I would appreciate it if Isconites would bring their ideas as Iskcon theology and not some universal Hindu truth because they happen to be taught these ideas as true.

Many Prabhupada ideas smell Abramistic to me. Like this fall from Vaikuntha smells like "the fall from Paradise". Who can proof we fell? The whole idea of "fall of man" breathes with negativity. From this come negative ideas like the "original sin" as the cause of man's fall. Which translates in a whole lot of negative ideas about man's nature and earthly existence that define Abramism.

Much of Prabhupada ideas seem to have been developed to bridge the gap with Abramist religions. But as the movement initially tried to convert non-Hindu's to Hindu consciousness, it now shows a different face trying to convert Hindu's to Abramist consciousness. The Krishna consciousness seems to have been turned in a Christ consciousness. Maybe this was the purpose all along, who can tell? Or maybe after Prabhupada died and his all-white disciples took over.

I think we should make a clear distinction between the fairly narrow world view of Iskconism and the broad spectrum of ideas within Hinduism, that do not at all resemble the sort of theology Iskconites present over and over again. That is Iskconism, that is what they are taught to accept.

I do not believe Hinduism has a such negative ideas as Iskconism which seems to be preoccupied with Moksha as if it is the same escape hatch that Jesus offers to this world. The Christian idea of this world is equally inherently negative.

That is not Hinduism. Moskha is not the Hindu escape exit for desperate people. That is what westerners make of it. Moksha is simply is the natural goal for people that have fulfilled all their longings and start to direct their desire at returning to God. These ripened souls are the Brahmana's and that is why you can not enter this caste by any virtue alone.

If we are here on this world, it is not by a fall, not by a punishment of God, but simply by our desire. The same way we accept it is our desire that makes us return to this world life after life again. It is our desire that makes us produce Karma. Or simply put: we are here because we want to be here.

But after we create negative Karma and meet the consequences we feel unhappy. But Hinduism does not like Christianity teach to look for the first exit. No, it teaches to walk the path of Dharm instead. Walking the path of Dharm life becomes satisfying and overall agreeable. Sure there still is suffering but it does not define our life any more. It is wrong teaching that if you feel bad about this world Moksha is the solution. That is Christian escapism in disguise.

It creates self-centred people busy with their own salvation. Not people that love this world, but hate it, like Jesus hates it. If you feel bad about this world, this simply means you have a long long path ahead of you. First you have to learn to love this world before you can leave it, love all of it.

We did not fall, we embraced this world for its true splendour. As God is in all, the logical consequence is that this world is as Divine as anything else. That we do not experience it in that way is not the blame of the world but our ignorance.

So there is no fall to this world to begin with. The Divine is perfect, how can even any part of it "fall". It makes no sense. And if we fell once, how can anyone say we will not can fall again? If we once forgot God in his presence, how can he say we will not again? This too smells like the Christian ideas of eternal life in heaven.

And how can there even be an I in Moksha? There is no I in Moskha (that is Christian again), so neither is there anyone to fall to begin with. This I only is formed as we take on a body. The core of the I is the unfulfilled desire. And this idea that we stay with God for a long time even forever? There is no time or place with God. There is a state of happiness that timeless, dimensionless and I-less. Time only starts with this world. Even modern science says that time only started at the beginning of the universe. There is no before the universe, each universe contains its own time.

And what is the use in thinking about these things for all but the Brahmanas? None. Only the Brahmanas reached a state that they largely fulfilled their desires so they can become detached and can work on Mosksha. None of the people here on this forum are anywhere near to that point. All they want is to end suffering which is something else. Suffering we end by walking the path of Dharm, not by Moksha.

Prabhupada's escapist ideology is simply Christian core ideas translated to Hinduism. The question is: Did he do that to make Hinduism appeal to Westerners, or is it a "Trojan Horse" to allow Abramists to infiltrate Hinduism under the pretext of being Hindu's? Especially the way Iskconism presents itself as the final word on Hinduism is very circumspect.

Lets be real, this is Iskconism, even if many of the views can be correlated to a passage in scripture or something a Hindu said that does not make Hindu theology, nor does it even prove that such a Hindu theology exists. All we hear in these discussions is the endless repeated dogmatic views of Iskconists. Their desire to push their ideas on the rest of Hindus.

As soon as the discussion becomes one with Iskonites, whose presence are abundant on any Hindu forum, it should be moved in the section of Hare Krishna, to prevent it being perceived as dominant thinking in Hinduism. I respect the ideas of Iskcon, but let it be understood as just that, the ideology of Iskcon. They should keep their ideas to themselves. They are not interested in real discussion as they are only allowed to parrot Prabhupada.

Amrut
17 August 2013, 12:14 AM
Namaste Avyayda ji,

I an an advaitin, but have not presented or given any advaita POV in this thread.

Two Reasons:

1. Avoid unnecessary and futile Vaishnav v/s Advaita verbal fight that derails this thread

2. varNa is not sampradaya specific. So all Hindus (*or better hindu acharya-s) must unanimously agree.

At times we have to forget commentaries and simply have a look at translation. Since we are laymen and may not understand full meaning of translation, hence views of different acharya-s has to be given.

I have presented verse Bh. G. 18.41 with commentaries of Adi Shankara, Ramanuja, Shridhara Swami and Keshav Kashmiri, who agree with varNa is by guNa, but guNa is inherited by birth and hence there is no conflict. Refer Post #11 (page 2)

Promoting one's varNa is not common. Vedic rishi-s were far sighted, gifted with divine eyes, that make them fit to override general rules.

So promoting to higher varNa might be an exception. In most cases atleast in this thread, Guru has initiated a disciple who sooner or later became knower of brahman. If he had not, then he would not appear in upanishad-s which teach brahma-vidya. I have also not seen any disciple who is mentioned in upanishad who betrayed his Guru, did not followed his orders and failed to know Brahman.

Satyakama did not question his guru when his Guru asked him to stay in forest taking care of cows till they multiplied to 1000. He simply followed his Guru's instructions. What has sheltering and feeding of cows to do with brahma-vidya or brahminhood?

Again, I have not seen anyone being promoted to Kshatriya. All are promoted to Brahmin, as they are the most deserving of brahma-vidya. I have also not seen from the evidences provided, atleast in this thread, that no one had taken up the duty of a priest.

* Please understand that after Brahma-Jnana, one is a free bird. All customs, rituals, rules, shastra-s, etc are created so that ultimately one can become knower of Brahman. After the purpose is fulfilled, one can do whatever one wants. This can be found in Gita, when Bhagavan in last chapter 18, says, 'Do what you want to do'.

* Further, one must be aware that no one is denied of Brahma-vidya, though the means of imparting may be different.

Hari OM

Amrut
17 August 2013, 12:22 AM
Namaste,

Some thoughts

I think it is time to gather our evidences and conclude. Do we want to continue this thread for ever. More evidences from shastra-s, samhita-s, brahmana-s, arakakya-s, are welcome.

Eklavya was not given status of kshatriya.
Yudhisthira, nakul, sahadev were not given status of brahmin
Ashvasthama was not demoted to shudra for his crime.
Ravan remained brahmin until death. Rama had to perform puja to wash away his sin of killing a brahmin.
Raja Janak remain kshatriya, even though he was a rajarshi (Raja-rishi), knower of Brahman
Raja Janak's guru, maid servant SulabhA remained maid servant
Kabir became Jnani, but he did not quit his occupation

Anyone can gain tatva jnana, but to perform duty of a brahmin i.e. karma kand is full time job of Brahmin.

I think we also need to separate tatva Jnana from job of Brahmin.

Also note that exceptions has to be accepted, but not to be taken as a common rule

Hari OM

Amrut

Amrut
17 August 2013, 01:23 AM
Namaste BJ, SF and others

As said, one has to be open to interpretation of other acharya-s. Earlier I was of the opinion that varNa is by karma and so guNa and the thread from Philosoraptor ji and quoted Paramacharya was not convincing. I already had that book and had began to read, but did not reach to topic related by varNa. An entire chapter is missing online, hence PR could not post it. When I read it, and then studied B.G. with Shankara Bhasya, I came to know the truth and that there is no conflict between varNa by guNa and guNa inherited by birth.

I had to change my opinion. I am not saying that others too should change their opinion. But words of great saints and their interpretation should be given weightage and that they have to be studied with open mind.

Also please understand that when in conflict, and there are there are sub-commentaries, commentary is to be considered as authentic.e.g. what Srila Prabhupada says is more important that what other acharya interprets from his commentary.

Pranams

Hari OM

ShivaFan
17 August 2013, 01:56 AM
Namaste Avyaydya

Quote Avyaydya, "Why did the Divine not give us wings?" ...

What a foolish statement, God didn't have to give us wings, intelligent humans made airplanes and now we fly. Those who did so were not born to a particular caste, do you believe there is a "by birth only" caste of aviation scientists and engineers?

Perhaps Netherlands is not the best home for you, as you think you or others are suffering from "white power structure" (another foolish statement).

You cannot even see the irony of your own choices, and how many of them simply by living in the Netherlands would invalidate whatever caste you think you are. The fact is caste and branding is not the nature of the Divine and that is exactly why you were not born with a big fat B on your forehead, because if caste and jati and vocation "by birth only" were as important as a fixation some have (which sounds like includes yourself) then that is what the Divine would have done, but it is not important as you imagine, certainly not to the Divine.

In fact, you cannot claim with certainty even your own "caste", certainly not by birth because if it is by birth and not quality and character then there isn't even one brahmin left in a human body on this earth.

Not all Hindus believe in or follow your sect. You are just going to have to get used to that.

By the way, I may not be ISKCON, but they are a Hindu tradition too, get used to it.

Om Namah Sivaya

brahma jijnasa
17 August 2013, 07:56 AM
I am not saying that the views of Srila Prabhupada represent a dominant thinking in Hinduism nor main stream Hinduism. Actually there is no "main stream Hinduism" because Hinduism is the sum of diverse traditions and ideas.
There is no question about pushing one's ideas on the rest of Hindus.


How good is you English? The words "as" tells that he is NOT a Brahmana, but equal to one. Yes a man becomes a Brahmana by improving his character, so he can be reborn a Brahmana.

The point is that one who is established in the qualities of brahmanas should be accepted as a brahmana even if he has appeared in a different varna. There is no need to wait for the next birth. Besides the statement is entirely consistent with Bhāgavatam 7.11.35.




I am not missing anything here. Satyakama could have been from Brahmana descent. Yes, indeed, he could. But he could also be of any other origin too! He could also be of shudra descent or even mleccha "man of an outcast race" origin.
That is exactly my point! Does not matter which descent he was. It does not even matter at all!!!
Why it does not matter?
It does not matter because nobody could ascertain what was Satyakama's varna by birth (Satyakama's descent)! That's the point!
How can it be important something that can not be determined?
Satyakama's descent could not be determined, so it is quite irrelevant.

Now, the question is: What does it matter then?
The answer is: Only his character is important.
We can see this from the text of Chandogya Upanishad.
If Gautama had not thought varna important he would not have asked the boy in the first place. It is only after the boy did not know that he used his divine sight to determine the boys original varna. He had to establish that before he could initiate the boy. Nowhere in the text does it say that the boy was initiated though he was not born a Brahmana.


I do not deny that a guru, Gautama, attempted to determine Satyakama's varna by birth. But he failed in the attempt!
There in the text "he used his divine sight" is not mentioned anywhere.

I asked Philosoraptor and everyone who thinks that Gautama somehow managed to determine Satyakama's varna by birth to show me this in the text:


For starters think about this question: Why did Gautama gave initiation to Satyakama although he could not determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage?
It seems that Philosoraptor does not agree with me. He thinks that Gautama somehow managed to determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage. He even refers to Adi Shankara's comments in VAD 3 thread.
I'd really like to see in the text of Chandogya Upanishad where it is stated that Gautama managed to determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage. Can you or Philosoraptor help me with this?
Can anyone show me there in the text of Chandogya Upanishad where it is stated that Gautama managed to determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage?

So we have one of the following:
1) if you think that Gautama managed to determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage, show me this in the text of Chandogya Upanishad

or another possibility

2) if you admit that Gautama could not determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage, answer this question: Why did Gautama gave initiation to Satyakama although he could not determine Satyakama's hereditary lineage?

I am not denying that Gautama asked Satyakama about his hereditary lineage. But despite that we need to answer two questions above, 1) and 2).

It seems that I'll have to wait forever until someone answers these questions. :)
Actually I can see why no one wants to answer. They use a type of argument I would call Cat got your tongue.

regards

brahma jijnasa
17 August 2013, 09:24 AM
Now, when the brahmin says that the fowler will again become a brahmin, he is referring to his next life. This is obvious from the context of him having been a brahmin in his previous life, as well as from the statement that he (the brahmin) now considers the fowler to be just like a brahmin. Saying that the follower will again become a brahmin, and then saying that he considers him a brahmin now, implies that he is not a brahmin now, despite having the qualities of a brahmin now. Otherwise, he would have said, "You are now a brahmin" instead of "You will again become a brahmin." Saying that he considers him "as a brahmin" is in keeping the view of smRiti that a knowledgeable and devoted non-brahmin should be given equal respect as a brahmin; it does not mean that the non-brahmin is a brahmin.

Let we assume that your theory is correct in this context, in the context of this story in the Mahabharata.
Since he says he considers as a Brahmana one "who is always adorned with these virtues,--righteousness, self-restraint, and truthfulness", if we look at it in light of what Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 says, then your theory collapses if we take this statement applies generally, even in cases that have nothing to do with this story. At least I see it that way. Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 says nothing like "he is not a brahmin now, despite having the qualities of a brahmin now".


Moreover, the idea of quality determining the varNa in the present birth does not tally with how this subject is addressed later in the Mahabharata. For example, in the Gita, Arjuna displays compassion for his relatives and says he wants to renounce war and take to begging. But where was the allowance for this? Why was he not promoted to the status of a brahmin when he displayed these brahminical qualities?

Good question.
Perhaps his brahminical qualities were not so strongly prominent. Maybe he was not completely established in these qualities as a brahmana should be. His kshatriya qualities were more prominent!

In Bhagavad-gītā 4.13 (http://vedabase.net/bg/4/13/) the four varnas are defined only in terms of guṇa (quality) and karma (work). Birth is not even mentioned. Vaishnavas such as Srila Prabhupada were emphasizing this.


Vidura was the son of a servant woman, but had indisputable devotion and shAstra-jnAna. Where is the verse calling Vidura a brahmin? Where?

Where? Here:
Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/35/) :)


Verses like bhAgavata 7.11.35 indicate that we should give respect to people independent of their jAti-varNa if they have demonstrated exceptional shAstra-jnAna and devotion. For example, Duryodhana should have respected Vidura's wisdom instead of denouncing him as a servant woman's son. Nowhere in the bhAgavatam do we see shUdras being initiated as brahmins.

Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 does not speak about respect at all.

regards

brahma jijnasa
17 August 2013, 10:15 AM
So this is clear to everyone, right? A man is a brahmin by quality, not by birth. Ashvatthaama was by birth a brahmin, but he was not a brahmin because he was a murderer. And yet, being a relative of a brahmin, he was spared, despite the purva-pakshin's view that heredity is not a determining factor, only one's conduct. So in other words, heredity does not make him a brahmin, but it gives him the privileges of being a brahmin, whereby he escapes a death sentence after murdering 5 sleeping men.



Moreover, Ashvatthaama murdered the 5 sleeping sons of the Paandavas and irreparably disgraced himself. What do the shAstras say about his varNa before and after this heinous act? In the bhagavatam 1st canto, it is stated that he is a brahmin and that his life was spared because a brahmin should not be killed. It is specifically stated that Sri Krishna approved of this punishment (of only symbolically killing him instead of actually killing him).

The revisionist cannot explain how a brahmin who performed such a non-brahminical act, can still get the benefit of being a brahmin when being judged for his performance of a capital offense


Ashvatthaama's varna remained the same as it was before.
As if you want to say to be a murderer is an act typical for some other varna?

regards

ShivaFan
17 August 2013, 03:58 PM
Namaste

Before this thread gets closed, I hope to state clearly my understanding of varna, jati, the effective role of brahmins, the significance of Vedas to Western Hindus, and most importantly of all my passion for the Ramayana.

Actually, my true "positions" on all these matters is very clear to all, even to those who want pigeon hole my character to "divide and rule" Hinduism because not all Hindus follow their particular sect. I put "positions" in quotes, because as often is used by those who refuse to see the larger family of Hinduism, such always claim those Hindus who do not follow the traditions of their sect are thus only expressing "personsl opinion" rather than what was taught to them by authorized Hindus and ancient lineages (often older than the others lineage, though that certainly isn't the end all to be all either).

But I am at the same moment trying to rush to get ready for a trip to another state on business, but before that I just want to state to other Hindus who some want to misled such good Hindus that I am part of some sort of "Christian (or other) conspiracy" to secretly destroy Hinduism. I do not, and keep in mind there are lunitics out there in the faceless world of electronic bits of 0 and 1, of off and on.

Directly to the point, there are some who say my position is that the Ramayana is for "stupid people". My "position" is exactly the opposite, I am saying there are in fact some Hindus who have this attitude, they have said it to me, that Upanishads for example are the true and final doctrine of Dharma and Ramayana is for stupid people. I condemn this.

The Ramayana is an actual history. It is not fairy tale. All the Vedas and the Gayatri Mantra itself is alive in everything that composits this History. I am a student of history.

I have just concluded a reading of the Chandogya Upanishad. It was my own reading, not intructed to me, so naturaly it is flawed, and Saivism does not really stress this Upanishad as perhaps other traditions. I did so based on the claim that it implies "by birth only". I do not claim any authority on this Upanishad, but I do know the verse involved which uses the word "chandala", and I came away with a completely different impression of the overall message of the commentary on the Sama Veda, and not a conclusion of "birth based" at all. Yes, my impression is worth nothing, but the assumption that the Upanishads are too complicated for most to understand is largely overblown. They are very beautiful and understandable. I may share my understanding of this Upanishad after I return from Pittsburg despite the objection of some, hopefully the thread is still open at that juncture.

Om Namah Sivaya

philosoraptor
17 August 2013, 08:33 PM
Namaste,

Some thoughts

I think it is time to gather our evidences and conclude. Do we want to continue this thread for ever. More evidences from shastra-s, samhita-s, brahmana-s, arakakya-s, are welcome.

Eklavya was not given status of kshatriya.
Yudhisthira, nakul, sahadev were not given status of brahmin
Ashvasthama was not demoted to shudra for his crime.
Ravan remained brahmin until death. Rama had to perform puja to wash away his sin of killing a brahmin.
Raja Janak remain kshatriya, even though he was a rajarshi (Raja-rishi), knower of Brahman
Raja Janak's guru, maid servant SulabhA remained maid servant
Kabir became Jnani, but he did not quit his occupation


Pranams,

And this is the crux of the issue. For all the claims about varNa being independent of birth, our shAstra-s contain numerous examples which refute that claim, while exceptions are few and far between (and are usually about kshatriyas becoming brahmins). There is as of yet, no evidence presented by the modernists demonstrating a shUdra or a mleccha becoming a brahmin within one lifetime. More to the point, there is no need for someone to become a brahmin to serve the Lord, and the surrendered devotee does not quibble that his service is "less" than someone else's service. Those who think like this are completely missing the point.

It seems to me that this discussion will never progress, because the other party's views about varNAshrama are colored by centuries of prejudiced, Western scholarship with all its attendant stereotypes.

ShivaFan
18 August 2013, 01:49 AM
Namaste

In one place you'll find the Vedic injunction that if you touch stool, you have to take a bath immediately. But in another place it is said that the stool of a cow is pure.

You will be told from whom you are born dictates who you are. Then the same person will say a women is not to learn the Vedas, they are inferior. These same words come from a person who was born from a women and who also says from whom you are born dictates what you are. They were born from that which they say cannot learn the Veda.

The Veda is the original source. There is a Purusha mentioned in the Veda. Can you say for certain the Purusha mentioned in the Veda is a man or a woman? Or neither? The Vedas are considered to be the mother, and Brahma is called the grandfather, the forefather, because he was the first to be instructed in the Vedic knowledge. But a mother is said to not be qualified to be instructed in the Veda, because she is a women. But the Mother is the Veda, and Brahma received instruction of this very mother, Who is Savitri

Some will say, the Veda says the feet of the Purusha is the Sudra, who cannot hear the Veda. Then they touch another's feet to show respect, and they touch the Sudra.

The Purusha is all the world. The Purusha is not reborn. Priests, warriors, hawkers and workers. I desire to be none of these. There was not one verse from the Veda given that said only a priest can be born from a priest, only a warrior can be born from a warrior, only a hawker can be born from a hawker, only a worker can be born from a worker. All that was given, were from those born from women. But thank God for women.

Om Namah Sivaya

Anirudh
18 August 2013, 03:46 AM
After reading through fourteen pages I am lost.

So Shivafanji and philosoraptorji could you guys sum up your views in one single post.

I understand that Shivafanji* says Varna is not birth specific and philosoraptorji* doesn't agree. As per my understanding Varna means the prevailing caste system.

If I were to believe that our birth is based on our past Karma then I completely agree that Varna is birth specific. A soul decide the womb based on its past Karma.

If I am born to a Shudhra, it is because my soul decided to do so. But the real question is whether a Shudhra is inferior to Brahmin by any means and he is not entitled to certain things which Brahmins can?

That disturbs the equation that God resides every where. If God reside everywhere then why Shudra is inferior?

*I have used two handles names just to say there are two group of people in this argument*

Amrut
18 August 2013, 04:41 AM
Pranams,

And this is the crux of the issue. For all the claims about varNa being independent of birth, our shAstra-s contain numerous examples which refute that claim, while exceptions are few and far between (and are usually about kshatriyas becoming brahmins). There is as of yet, no evidence presented by the modernists demonstrating a shUdra or a mleccha becoming a brahmin within one lifetime. More to the point, there is no need for someone to become a brahmin to serve the Lord, and the surrendered devotee does not quibble that his service is "less" than someone else's service. Those who think like this are completely missing the point.

It seems to me that this discussion will never progress, because the other party's views about varNAshrama are colored by centuries of prejudiced, Western scholarship with all its attendant stereotypes.


Pranams,

Very good points :)

My thoughts:

In this post, answers to ShivaFan ji's contradictions, Anirudha ji's request and BJ ji's objections about satyakama and vidura are attempted. B.J. jis' objections we answered by me in earlier posts also. Anyways lets begin.

1. Full context has to be understood. For that, reading of full upanishad is fruitful. Isolated verses would not help.

2. Life and Duties of Brahmin are to be separated from life of Saint (RiShi) Brahmins are not saints. Every single e.g. is that of one given tatva-gyana. None mention to give knowledge of veda-s and live the typical life of Brahmin. None of the e.g.s who are technically given sanyas, if they return after knowing brahman, they did not left their original occupation.

4. Sanyas is above varNa. But it is customary that Brahmins are the most qualified for giving sanyas, because the life they (are supposed to) live. Hence to honour this custom, deserving non-brahmins, who have purified themselves through the duties prescribed to their varNa by shastra-s, are called Brahmins. They are not taught how to life the life of Brahmin, but are directly taught brahm-avidya which is the birth right of every human. Ways to reach supreme reality may be different.

5. Contradictions are actually not contradictions. It is a traditional teaching called adhyAropa apavAda. When maturity comes, conventional custom or general rule can be broken or overridden in order to impart the knowledge of Brahma-vidya. This is done because after faithfully following the duties of his birth varNa, as prescribed by shastra-s, one is purified, hence now it is time to impart brahma-vidya.

e.g When one takes sanyas, does he not break his duty as son, brother, father, husband? What about aging parents who need you the most?

We find both references, varNa by birth and guNa. What I think is that the general custom is the follow conventional rule, that Brahmins are by birth. From my quotes from Uddhava Gita and from explanation of Bh. G. 18.41 in light of bhashya-s of Shankara, Ramanuja, Shreedhar Swami and Keshav Kashmiri, it is clear that varNa is inherited by guNa, but guNa is inherited by birth. Else it would mean that Bhagavan gives us birth randomly in any varNa and jati. Even if we closely read Shankara Bhasya of 4.13, it is clear that the intent of writing is that Brahmana-s who arise from head, have sattvik qualities by birth.

And, just to be complete, one's birth is inherited based on one's guNa/karma from a previous life. pramANa for this:

chAndogya upaniShad:
V-x-7: Among them, those who have good residual results of action here (earned in this world and left as residue after the enjoyment in the region of the moon), quickly reach a good womb, the womb of a Brahmana, or of a Kshatriya or of a Vaisya. But those who have bad residual results of action quickly reach an evil womb, the womb of a dog or of a hog or of a Chandala.

Credits: Philosoraptor, Post #152 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=107577&postcount=152)


4.13 Catur-varnyam-meaning the same as catvarah varnah, the four castes; srstam, have been created; maya, by Me who am God, which accords with such Vedic texts as, 'The Brahmanas were His face...' (Rg. 10.90.12); guna-karma-vibhagasah, through a classification of the gunas and duties. A.G. writes: guna-vibhagena karma-vibhagah, classification of the duties, determined by the classification of the gunas.-Tr By the gunas are meant sattva, rajas and tamas (see note under 2.45; also see Chapter 14). As to that, the control of the mind and body, austerity, etc. are the duties of the Brahmanas, who are sattvika, i.e. have a predominance of the quality of sattva (purity, goodness, etc.)...
EDIT: Here if we think that varNa is just by guNa, then it would mean that even though brahmins are created from Head, and they contain sattva guNa as predominent guNa, still they are not brahmins are by birth. This would mean that Bhagavan is wrong.

Shankaracharya-s are always Brahmins. Even GauDapAdacharya-s are GAuDa SAraswata Brahmins in all four matha-s.

If we accept varNa based on guNa, then, in present times, who is going to decide that a particular person has satvik guNa and fit for brahminhood.

6. Conflict does not exist of we accept varNa is by guNa, but guNa is inherited by birth.

7. No varNa is inferior. It is just work distribution. Bhagavan is not biased. But in Uddhava Gita, he says that even he respects Rishi-s. This is reflected in Gita, when he says that this (upadesha-s what i am going to give in Gita) is not my creation, but it is the essence of upanidhad-s. Bhagavan though he is Bhagavan, makes this statement.

8. No demotion of varNa is seen. No e.g. is provided.

9. In Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad, even though the role of Guru and sishya is reversed i.e. BAlAki who was eariler teaching kshatriya king AjAtshatru, who honoured Brahmin, after the guru becoming disciple, king mentions that eventhough you are a brahmin and I am a kshatriya ... . Again, King refers to BAlAki as 'Noble Brahmin'. This means that it is general custom that varNa is by birth.

If this general rule of varNa by birth is not observed, then our saints will have advanced booking for years to individually test each and every Hindu to decide varNa by guNa :) - will there be any peace??? -- Cases of varNa promotion are few, hence exceptions.

All are intelligent. Even a potter may be a great artist, that his name will spread in neighboring villages and even farther about his uniquely designed pots, which only and only he can make.

No one says that shudra is not intelligent. Here it is a question of mental purity. Mind and intelligence are not connected. An intelligent person may not be good natured and vice versa.


--------

SatyakAma: His varNa or gotra could not be decided. It is possible that he is born of brahmin father. Again not knowing varNa is actually a 'benefit of doubt'. Still he is tested by his guru. Remember that he was asked to shelter & breed cows and come back after they multiply to 1000. What has this to do with Brahma-vidya or with Brahminhood? Why waste so much time. Infact this is an occupation of a vaishya or may be a shudra.

e.g of Satyakama shows that, if we follow the words of Guru with full faith and and no doubts, then there will be mental purity, which makes one suitable / qualified for Jnana. Then he got Jnana in mystical ways from Bull, Agni deva, etc. Still he asked his Guru to impart Brahma-vidya. This shows importance of Guru.

MahAtmA Vidura: The birth of Vidura was not a natural one. He was not born out of intercourse, but by mystical ways. Vyasa is Bhagavan. Now connect it with those Gita verse, 4.13, 18.41. I create this 4 varNa-s.

Here, Bhagvan just be dristhi pAta, transferred his energy in women's womb. There was no physical contact.

This means that vidura was not born as a result of past karma. Hence he was pure by birth and had knowledge that Vyasa had. So this is not a normal birth, hence general rule is not applicable.

Hence one can say that SB 7.11.35 that e is brahmin, by definition that Brahmin is the one who is the knower of Brahman.

Now if we take e.g. of SanatsujAtiyA i.e. SAnasujAtA / Sanat Kumara, Vidura said that I cannot answer as I am a sudra by birth. But at the same time he had purity and power to invoke Sanat Kumara, who appeared upon Mahatma Vidura's invocation. Then Sanata Kumara taught tatva-Jnana to King Dritrashtra. Vidura did not teach, though he was well-versed. Why is this custom followed? Why did not Vidura teach king Dritrashtra.

Again if we see, Vidura did not take part in Mahabharata was. Since he was Jnani, hence only 2 people Krishna and VIdura never took active part in war. They cannot be bound by laws, as Adi Shankara when performing last rites of his mother, said, rules are there for bhogi-s and not yogi-s. This does not mean that every sanyasin has to do what Adi Shankara did, but a Realized Saint can break general rule. That rule of not meeting parents and relatives is mentioned for the good of sAdhaka sanyasin. A Siddha is not bound by this rule.

Not all want moksha. Only a few people out of lakh are attracted towards Brahma-vidya. Hence they form a minority. Only these people are promoted, actually they are called as Brahmins and hence given sanyas or taught Brahma-vidya.

Request: Please ignore evils produced by 'civil' society

NOTE: While explaining Upanishads, Brahma-vidya is in center and not varNa. Hence acharya-s do not stress on this issue everywhere.

Hari OM

Amrut
18 August 2013, 05:07 AM
Namaste,

This thread is not going anywhere, unless and until new, fresh evidences are provided, else we are getting repetitive :)

Hari OM

Ganeshprasad
18 August 2013, 05:19 AM
Pranam


Namaste

In one place you'll find the Vedic injunction that if you touch stool, you have to take a bath immediately. But in another place it is said that the stool of a cow is pure.

Yes this is well understood within Hindus not only this, its Mutra is used in purification process. All this may seem strange and bizarre for someone new to dharma, if we try apply mundane logic to all this apparent strange practice we will never understand how and why a Hindu accepts Guna Karma and the birth associated with it.

there is no point to justify anyone off the tradition that stood the test of time. enough has been said if that is not going to satisfy you, nothing will, there is no point of going over and over again.



Jai Shree Krishna

Anirudh
18 August 2013, 05:58 AM
Thank you Amrutji

Your post cleared many of my doubts.

In text the system is very good but in practice as people have misused it for centuries lost the real value. That pops up a question whether Varna system is good in this era, but that's a different question altogether.

The thread has created curiosity to learn more on the Varna system. If it is already discussed here and if it is not difficult to pinpoint the thread, kindly give me the link(s).

When I Googled found some interesting discussions at Agniveer.com regarding the science behind the Varna system.

http://agniveer.com/caste-i-dont-care/
http://agniveer.com/category/society/caste-system/
http://agniveer.com/vedas-caste-discrimination/

May be these links will be of use to people who want to know more about Varna system.

Amrut
18 August 2013, 06:05 AM
Let we assume that your theory is correct in this context, in the context of this story in the Mahabharata.
Since he says he considers as a Brahmana one "who is always adorned with these virtues,--righteousness, self-restraint, and truthfulness", if we look at it in light of what Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 says, then your theory collapses if we take this statement applies generally, even in cases that have nothing to do with this story. At least I see it that way. Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 says nothing like "he is not a brahmin now, despite having the qualities of a brahmin now".

Where? Here:
Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/35/) :)

Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 does not speak about respect at all.

regards


Namaste,

This part is called as Uddhava Gita. Please have a look at earlier chapters. I have earlier quoted here (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=107384&postcount=110) about these verses. You seem to miss the point that we have to study from the beginning.

Kindly have a look at other verses (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/),

Few quotes

SB 7.11.7 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/7/en): The Supreme Being, the Personality of Godhead, is the essence of all Vedic knowledge, the root of all religious principles, and the memory of great authorities. O King Yudhiṣṭhira (http://vedabase.net/y/yudhisthira), this principle of religion is to be understood as evidence. On the basis of this religious principle, everything is satisfied, including one's mind, soul and even one's body.


SB 7.11.8-12 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/8-12/en): These are the general principles to be followed by all human beings: truthfulness, mercy, austerity (observing fasts on certain days of the month), bathing twice a day, tolerance, discrimination between right and wrong, control of the mind, control of the senses, nonviolence, celibacy, charity, reading of scripture, simplicity, satisfaction, rendering service to saintly persons, gradually taking leave of unnecessary engagements, observing the futility of the unnecessary activities of human society, remaining silent and grave and avoiding unnecessary talk, considering whether one is the body or the soul, distributing food equally to all living entities (both men and animals), seeing every soul (especially in the human form) as a part of the Supreme Lord, hearing about the activities and instructions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead (who is the shelter of the saintly persons), chanting about these activities and instructions, always remembering these activities and instructions, trying to render service, performing worship, offering obeisances, becoming a servant, becoming a friend, and surrendering one's whole self. O King Yudhiṣṭhira (http://vedabase.net/y/yudhisthira), these thirty qualifications must be acquired in the human form of life. Simply by acquiring these qualifications, one can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


SB 7.11.13 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/13/en): Those who have been reformed by the garbhādhāna ceremony and other prescribed reformatory methods, performed with Vedic mantras and without interruption, and who have been approved by Lord Brahmā (http://vedabase.net/b/brahma), are dvijas, or twice-born. Such brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas, purified by their family traditions and by their behavior, should worship the Lord, study the Vedas and give charity. In this system, they should follow the principles of the four āśramas .

SB 7.11.14 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/14/en): For a brāhmaṇa (http://vedabase.net/b/brahmana) there are six occupational duties. A kṣatriya (http://vedabase.net/k/ksatriya) should not accept charity, but he may perform the other five of these duties. A king or kṣatriya (http://vedabase.net/k/ksatriya) is not allowed to levy taxes on brāhmaṇas, but he may make his livelihood by levying minimal taxes, customs duties, and penalty fines upon his other subjects.

SB 7.11.30 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/30/en): Among the mixed classes known as sańkara (http://vedabase.net/s/sankara), those who are not thieves are known as antevasāyī or caṇḍālas [dog-eaters], and they also have their [B]hereditary customs. :)


SB 7.11.31 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/31/en): My dear King, brāhmaṇas well conversant in Vedic knowledge have given their verdict that in every age [yuga (http://vedabase.net/y/yuga)] the conduct of different sections of people according to their material modes of nature is auspicious both in this life and after death.


SB 7.11.32 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/32/en): If one acts in his profession according to his position in the modes of nature and gradually gives up these activities, he attains the niṣkāma (http://vedabase.net/n/niskama) stage.

The contradiction and personal inputs

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase (http://vedabase.net/en): Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (http://vedabase.net/sb/en) 7.11 Summary


This chapter describes the general principles by following which a human being, and specifically one who is interested in advancing in spiritual life, can become perfect.


By hearing about the characteristics of Prahlāda (http://vedabase.net/p/prahlada) Mahārāja (http://vedabase.net/m/maharaja), Mahārāja (http://vedabase.net/m/maharaja) Yudhiṣṭhira (http://vedabase.net/y/yudhisthira) became extremely pleased. Now he inquired from Nārada (http://vedabase.net/n/narada) Muni (http://vedabase.net/m/muni) about the actual religion of a human being and about special characteristics of varṇāśrama (http://vedabase.net/v/varnasrama)-dharma (http://vedabase.net/d/dharma), which marks the highest status of human civilization. When Mahārāja (http://vedabase.net/m/maharaja) Yudhiṣṭhira (http://vedabase.net/y/yudhisthira) asked Nārada (http://vedabase.net/n/narada) Muni (http://vedabase.net/m/muni) about these matters, Nārada (http://vedabase.net/n/narada) Muni (http://vedabase.net/m/muni) stopped giving his own statements and quoted statements by Lord Nārāyaṇa (http://vedabase.net/n/narayana), for He is the supreme authority for giving religious codes (dharmaḿ (http://vedabase.net/d/dharmam) tu (http://vedabase.net/t/tu) sākṣād bhagavat (http://vedabase.net/b/bhagavat)-praṇītam (http://vedabase.net/p/pranitam) [SB 6.3.19 (http://vedabase.net/sb/6/3/19/en)]). Every human being is expected to acquire thirty qualities, such as truthfulness, mercy and austerity. The process of following the priniples of religion is known as sanātana (http://vedabase.net/s/sanatana)-dharma (http://vedabase.net/d/dharma), the eternal religious system.


The varṇāśrama (http://vedabase.net/v/varnasrama) system delineates the divisions of brāhmaṇa (http://vedabase.net/b/brahmana), kṣatriya (http://vedabase.net/k/ksatriya), vaiśya (http://vedabase.net/v/vaisya) and śūdra (http://vedabase.net/s/sudra). It also sets forth the system of saḿskāras. The garbhādhāna saḿskāra (http://vedabase.net/s/samskara), the ceremony for begetting a child, must be observed by the higher section of people, namely the dvijas. One who follows the garbhādhāna saḿskāra (http://vedabase.net/s/samskara) system is actually twice-born, but those who do not, who deviate from the principles of varṇāśrama (http://vedabase.net/v/varnasrama)-dharma (http://vedabase.net/d/dharma), are called dvija (http://vedabase.net/d/dvija)-bandhus. The principal occupations for a brāhmaṇa (http://vedabase.net/b/brahmana) are worshiping the Deity, teaching others how to worship the Deity, studying the Vedic literatures, teaching the Vedic literatures, accepting charity from others and again giving charity to others. A brāhmaṇa (http://vedabase.net/b/brahmana) should make his livelihood from these six occupational duties. The duty of a kṣatriya (http://vedabase.net/k/ksatriya) is to give protection to the citizens and levy taxes upon them, but he is forbidden to tax the brāhmaṇas. The members of the Kṛṣṇa (http://vedabase.net/k/krsna) consciousness movement should therefore be exempt from government taxation. Kṣatriyas may tax everyone but the brāhmaṇas. Vaiśyas should cultivate the land, produce food grains and protect the cows, whereas the śūdras, who by quality never become brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas or vaiśyas, should serve the three higher classes and be satisfied. Other means of livelihood are also prescribed for the brāhmaṇas, and these are four — śālīna (http://vedabase.net/s/salina), yāyāvara (http://vedabase.net/y/yayavara), śila (http://vedabase.net/s/sila), and uñchana. Each of these occupational duties is successively better.


One who is in a lower grade of social life cannot accept the profession of a higher class unless necessary. In times of emergency, all the classes but the kṣatriyas may accept professional duties of others. The means of livelihood known as ṛta (http://vedabase.net/r/rta) (śiloñchana), amṛta (http://vedabase.net/a/amrta) (ayācita (http://vedabase.net/a/ayacita)), mṛta (http://vedabase.net/m/mrta) (yācñā (http://vedabase.net/y/yacna)), pramṛta (karṣaṇa (http://vedabase.net/k/karsana)), and satyānṛta (vāṇijya (http://vedabase.net/v/vanijya)) may be accepted by everyone but the kṣatriyas. For a brāhmaṇa (http://vedabase.net/b/brahmana) or a kṣatriya (http://vedabase.net/k/ksatriya), engaging in the service of the vaiśyas or śūdras is considered the profession of dogs.


Nārada (http://vedabase.net/n/narada) Muni (http://vedabase.net/m/muni) also described that the symptom of a brāhmaṇa (http://vedabase.net/b/brahmana) is controlled senses, the symptoms of a kṣatriya (http://vedabase.net/k/ksatriya) are power and fame, the symptom of a vaiśya (http://vedabase.net/v/vaisya) is service to the brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas, and the symptom of a śūdra (http://vedabase.net/s/sudra) is service to the three higher classes. The qualification for a woman is to be a very faithful and chaste wife. In this way, Nārada (http://vedabase.net/n/narada) Muni (http://vedabase.net/m/muni) described the characteristics of higher and lower grades of people and recommended that one follow the principles of his caste (http://vedabase.net/c/caste) or his hereditary occupation. One cannot suddenly give up a profession to which he is accustomed, and therefore it is recommended that one gradually be awakened. The symptoms of brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, and śūdras are very important, and therefore one should be designated only by these symptoms, and not by birth. Designation by birth is strictly forbidden by Nārada (http://vedabase.net/n/narada) Muni (http://vedabase.net/m/muni) and all great personalities.
Personal Inputs



The members of the Kṛṣṇa (http://vedabase.net/k/krsna) consciousness movement should therefore be exempt from government taxation. :)

The contradictory part


The symptoms of brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, and śūdras are very important, and therefore one should be designated only by these symptoms, and not by birth. Designation by birth is strictly forbidden by Nārada (http://vedabase.net/n/narada) Muni (http://vedabase.net/m/muni) and all great personalities.

Amrut
18 August 2013, 06:32 AM
Thank you Amrutji

Your post cleared many of my doubts.

In text the system is very good but in practice as people have misused it for centuries lost the real value. That pops up a question whether Varna system is good in this era, but that's a different question altogether.

The thread has created curiosity to learn more on the Varna system. If it is already discussed here and if it is not difficult to pinpoint the thread, kindly give me the link(s).

When I Googled found some interesting discussions at Agniveer.com regarding the science behind the Varna system.

http://agniveer.com/caste-i-dont-care/
http://agniveer.com/category/society/caste-system/
http://agniveer.com/vedas-caste-discrimination/

May be these links will be of use to people who want to know more about Varna system.

Namaste Anirudh ji,

I am happy that my effort is helpful to you.

I can understand that it is very tedious to read 145 posts.



If you wish to read varNa about varNa or in general Hindu Dharma, I humbly request you to please read the book Hindu Dharma (Link in my signature)

Also read
Chapter 2: Caste according to the Vedas and the Gita (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=106881&postcount=38) (not available online)
Chapter 3: Character and Vocation by Birth (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=104790&postcount=1) (continuation of chapter 2) - Online Link
(http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part20/chap3.htm)
Please refer to my posts on page 2 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=11868&page=2)

Links on post #2 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=106921&postcount=2)

Please read

Vedas in their original form (http://kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part2/chap5.htm)

Methods of Chanting (http://kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part5/chap10.htm)

Sound and Creation (http://kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part5/chap7.htm)

Unity in diversity (http://kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part3/chap3.htm)

I have submitted the article i.e. chapter 2 to kamakoti webmaster, but I do not see it online

The Book, Hindu Dharma, is written in very lucid language. Views of Paramacharya are traditional yet modern.


Book Details:

Though Online version is good for searching, better have a hard copy of such a Gem.

Book Title : Hindu Dharma - The Universal Way Of Life
Published by : Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan (Bhavan's Book University)
Type : Hard Bound
Pages : 828
Language : English
Cost(in India): Rs. 700.00 i.e. Rupees Seven Hundred Only (as on May 2013)
Edition : 2008

I request you, to please read from beginning.

I am ready to make an attempt to write summary of this and related VAD thread, with arguments from both sides, but I cannot do this alone. The idea is to present logical reasoning and leave both views 'as it is' to the discretion of readers. This requires collaboration and later on a pdf can be published.

This is certainly not my cup of tea and is too much time consuming.

Aum

Amrut
18 August 2013, 06:36 AM
I have not read much about agniveer, but their website says that they have spilt from Arya Samaj. Splitting generally occurs due to Ego. Both cannot be correct.

Hari OM

Amrut
18 August 2013, 06:51 AM
Namaste Anirudh ji,

Bhagavan in Gita has said that this yoga (of Knowledge) has been (almost) destroyed. This was said (approx) 5400 years ago. After that Kali Yuga descended.

Our system is Knowledge Oriented and not Action Oriented (like that of West). Even simple day-2-day tasks has spiritual significance and each karma is connected to dharma. Hence this is an important topic of all of us.

Later, to add to the misfortune, India came under foreign rule for centuries. Our culture, tradition and religion were attacked. Our religious places were destroyed and converted by force into their like Tejo Mahalaya into Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan had many wives and Mumtaz died when giving birth to 14 th child. This is love love but Lust. In cambodia, there is a similar temple, build in similar way to Taj Mahal. It is called Angkor Wat. Sanatana Dharma was prevalent throughout this world. This was the only dharma, hence it is dharma without any name.

Brahmins were attacked. Protector Kshatriyas were defeated by hook or crook.

In short, we were attacked for centuries and due to effect of Kaliyuga, dharma reduced. This double hammering has put us in the situation they we are today. We know the History that we are taught, which is not the truth.

Since varNa dharma is the core of our dharma, I am interested to discuss and even changed my view from varNa by guNa to varNa by birth --> varNa by guNa, guNa inherited by birth. Brahminhood to be maintained. This rule can be override in special cases.

Aum

Anirudh
18 August 2013, 07:15 AM
Namaste Amrutji,

I once again thank you for the explanation and the links. I am gathering information regarding Sanatana Dharma through various sources. After reading them I leave it to my friend Shree Raama Chandra Prabhu to guide me to the correct path.

I realized that getting back to your roots make you more confident and you invariably take the world head on. And that is exactly happening these days in life. Problems are no more problems to me as I know for sure solution is round the corner.

I don't know where did I gain so much of confidence, in fact, these days every
aspect of my life is under attack. In spite I feel very confident. I must attribute my present attitude to my friend Shree Raama Chandra Prabhu who is silently guiding me.

I was not active in HDF for few months. Those days had taught me many lessons. Some day when I am able to disassociate the lessons I learnt from my personal details, shall post them over here.

Before I end would like to share with HDF that in these few months I learnt that irrespective of ones resources (ie knowledge, wealth, health etc etc) a person grows when he surrenders himself to Bhagwaan unconditionally. The state of surrender gives us the strength to take the world head on in spite of all unknown elements.

philosoraptor
18 August 2013, 07:23 AM
Thank you Amrutji

Your post cleared many of my doubts.

In text the system is very good but in practice as people have misused it for centuries lost the real value. That pops up a question whether Varna system is good in this era, but that's a different question altogether.

The thread has created curiosity to learn more on the Varna system. If it is already discussed here and if it is not difficult to pinpoint the thread, kindly give me the link(s).

When I Googled found some interesting discussions at Agniveer.com regarding the science behind the Varna system.

http://agniveer.com/caste-i-dont-care/
http://agniveer.com/category/society/caste-system/
http://agniveer.com/vedas-caste-discrimination/

May be these links will be of use to people who want to know more about Varna system.

Pranams,

I would recommend not bothering with agniveer.com if you want an authentic presentation of sanAtana-dharma, which I assume most people would want if they were planning to invest any significant amount of time reading. Agniveer has many revisionist ideas, and frankly they are so brazen about it that they lack intellectual credibility.

philosoraptor
18 August 2013, 07:26 AM
Before I end would like to share with HDF that in these few months I learnt that irrespective of ones resources (ie knowledge, wealth, health etc etc) a person grows when he surrenders himself to Bhagwaan unconditionally. The state of surrender gives us the strength to take the world head on in spite of all unknown elements.

Anirudh has learned a valuable lesson about life and sanAtana-dharma. Would that we were all so fortunate.

jai shrIman nArAyaNa!

philosoraptor
18 August 2013, 08:04 AM
Pranams,

Amrut's review is very thorough and I have little to add. However, just a few comments.



2. Life and Duties of Brahmin are to be separated from life of Saint. Brahmins are not saints. Every single e.g. is that of one given tatva-gyana. None mention to give knowledge of veda-s and live the typical life of Brahmin. None of the e.g.s who are technically given sanyas, if they return after knowing brahman, they did not left their original occupation.

I assume that by the term "saints," you are referring to a "RiShi" which, depending on context, appears to refer either to an isolated forest-dweller practicing austerities and/or a mantra-draShtaR who sees the truth of the eternal shruti. In which case, I would agree with that statement.



4. Sanyas is above varNa. But it is customary that Brahmins are the most deserving for giving sanyas, because the life they (are supposed to) live. Hence to honour this custom, deserving non-brahmins, who have purified themselves through the duties prescribed to their varNa by shastra-s, are called Brahmins. They are not taught how to life the life of Brahmin, but are directly taught brahm-avidya which is the birth right of every human. Ways to reach supreme reality may be different.

Maybe "deserving" is not the right word here. I would say that traditional brahmins are most qualified to take sannyAsa since their lifestyle prior to that is all about regulated renunciation.



We find both references, varNa by birth and guNa. What I think is that the general custom is the follow conventional rule, that Brahmins are by birth. From my quotes from Uddhava Gita and from explanation of Bh. G. 18.41 in light of bhashya-s of Shankara, Ramanuja, Shreedhar Swami and Keshav Kashmiri, it is clear that varNa is inherited by guNa, but guNa is inherited by birth.

And, just to be complete, one's birth is inherited based on one's guNa/karma from a previous life. pramANa for this:

chAndogya upaniShad:
V-x-7: Among them, those who have good residual results of action here (earned in this world and left as residue after the enjoyment in the region of the moon), quickly reach a good womb, the womb of a Brahmana, or of a Kshatriya or of a Vaisya. But those who have bad residual results of action quickly reach an evil womb, the womb of a dog or of a hog or of a Chandala.



7. [COLOR=Navy][U][B]No varNa is inferior. It is just work distribution. Bhagavan is not biased. But in Uddhava Gita, he says that even he respects Rishi-s. This is reflected in Gita, when he says that this (upadesha-s what i am going to give in Gita) is not my creation, but it is the essence of upanidhad-s. Bhagavan though he is Bhagavan, makes this statement.

This is also crucial to accept. For while the puruSha-sukta describes the origin of varNa-s in a hierarchical way, and while ordinary dharma prescribes that one should respect the brahmin-s, this conventional thinking should also be tempered with the mature, theistic view that all varNa-s are part of His creation, all represent a different aspect of His body, and all are integral to the functioning of society. Moreover, the wise man sees the same nature of each person regardless of his birth:

vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini |
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ || gItA 5.18 ||

This isn't just because the jIvAtmA within each body, divested of its guNa/karma, is of the same nature, but also because paramAtmA dwells within every jIvAtmA, including the jIvAtmA who today is in a male body, a female body, a brahmin's body, or even a mleccha's body. From this, one can derive the general principle that one should be compassionate to all as a general principle, and indeed, the shAstra-s say that equanimity and being pleasing to all make one easily qualified to go to the abode of the Lord:

śāntāḥ sama-dṛśaḥ śuddhāḥ sarva-bhūtānurañjanāḥ |
yānty añjasācyuta-padam acyuta-priya-bāndhavāḥ || bhA 4.12.37 ||

Note that this is why the criticism of herditary varNAshrama by opportunistic, left-wing "scholars," their lackeys, and those "Hindus" who have consciously or subconsciously subscribed to their biases, is mediocre and one-sided at best. Without at least theoretically understanding the theological basis of the (qualified) oneness of the Lord with His creation, and the standard of equanimity that such understanding requires, one cannot understand or practice varNAshrama-dharma properly.

Amrut
18 August 2013, 09:28 AM
Thank you Philosoraptor ji for given better words that suit my explanation and Thank you for taking my words in right context.

I have carefully put right words and your quote from Chandogya Upanishad to my post #141 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=107562&postcount=141)

Just a quick note on Gita verse

samadarshina means to have equal vision. Kindly note that it is not samavartina meaning to behave equally with all.

Lets take e.g. of a male member of family

Note: Here, you, does not mean 'YOU' :)

To sister, he is brother
To Wife, he is husband
To Mother, he is son
To daughter, he is FAther

All are ladies (Females). But do you behave in a same way to all. There is love, but do you look to your mother with the same eye (intention) with which you look at your wife.

In he same way,

You offer grass to Cow-Narayana

You cannot offer grass to

Dog-Narayana
Elephant-Narayana
Lion-Nayarana

So it is samadarshina and not samavartina, else, you can sit in your boss's chair and order him ;) ---> all are equal.

It is samadarshina and not samavartina.

So here there is no superiority complex. We play or are given to play different roles, which we should be honest. Everybody in a drama cannot be hero. A villain has to do justice to his role and his compliment is that people emotionally attached to drama hate him. But this is not his real nature, outside stage, he is a gentleman. Likewise, we are not we think to be or what role we are told by our director (Bhagavan) to play. The error arises when we think 'I am Playing'. Our real nature is not body or mind. actually by playing or acting in this world drama, we are actually serving Bhagavan, as all roles are important. Hero is not a hero if he does not save heroin ;), and if there is no villain, then no one will kidnap heroin. So hero cannot be a hero. Extras are equally important and so are those who are involved in drama behind curtain.

Always remember, we are actors, or should I say, puppets whose chord is in the hands of Bhagavan, who is director. Error occurs when we begin to think that we are what our role is :)

Vasudeva Kutumba

Hari OM

Amrut
18 August 2013, 09:35 AM
Namaste Amrutji,

I once again thank you for the explanation and the links. I am gathering information regarding Sanatana Dharma through various sources. After reading them I leave it to my friend Shree Raama Chandra Prabhu to guide me to the correct path.

I realized that getting back to your roots make you more confident and you invariably take the world head on. And that is exactly happening these days in life. Problems are no more problems to me as I know for sure solution is round the corner.

I don't know where did I gain so much of confidence, in fact, these days every
aspect of my life is under attack. In spite I feel very confident. I must attribute my present attitude to my friend Shree Raama Chandra Prabhu who is silently guiding me.

I was not active in HDF for few months. Those days had taught me many lessons. Some day when I am able to disassociate the lessons I learnt from my personal details, shall post them over here.

Before I end would like to share with HDF that in these few months I learnt that irrespective of ones resources (ie knowledge, wealth, health etc etc) a person grows when he surrenders himself to Bhagwaan unconditionally. The state of surrender gives us the strength to take the world head on in spite of all unknown elements.

Namaste Anirudh bhai,

Bulls eye, you have hit the nail. This is what Shastra-s teach, surrender, surrender and surrender. I would also request you to keep a positive attitude. Kindly read Sri Guru Charitra (Guru Datta. Emphasis is on his 24 Guru-s. This will teach us to be 'guNa grAhi' - extracting postive from all situation. Faith in God and strong surrender helps us think in this way. Half battle is already won.

The most important word is 'Unconditional Surrender' __/ \__ :)

You can find about 24 Guru-s in Bhagavat, specifically in the beginning of Uddhava Gita. Chinmaya Mission also has a book in Hindi that is dedicated to 24 Guru-s of Dattatraya, titled, 'Shri Avadhoot ke 24 guru - Ek Chintan'. Kindly note that reading a book of any Swami does not mean you are his disciple or a follower. A book dedicated to Shri Guru Charitra is available, but the layout is not friendly. It is written for continuous singing. Hence no line or para breaks. even verses starts immediately on same line.

Jai Shri Rama

ShivaFan
18 August 2013, 10:31 AM
Namaste Anirudh

Language is a very limited thing, words are formed from the breath, but the Sages say the Vedas are the breath of the Supreme Atma. They lived, and live in forests traditionally, and from the forest dwellers as well as from the pure devotees and from the Divities, including Ram, came the Upanishads. There are the principle Upanishads which you are familiar with from a child (at least in name) and there are sometimes said as many as 1,180 (sometimes some say 1,108 since 108 is the sacred number) to give commentary on the one Veda that became four to make it easier for others because ultimately the Veda is not a book at all.

I gave the example of cow stool, which by the way nothing is "my position" these come from different Gurus (all authorized) not to state that contridictions invalidate anything, we only see contradictions because we are limited by our physical body, which is full of imperfections.

The Veda in the current form speaks of many Devas and Suras which exist today, including Indra, Surya forms, and others (Whom I treasure) and rites and rituals, some are not meant for everyone being too powerful, thus later after the Sages gave Upanishads came the more "modern" Guru system in anticipation of the end of Ages of light and coming of Ages of humans all over the planet when even great Demons are not seen because even they see a greater demon in us.

There are some famous Gurus, and now we see in this Age a period of time of certain renown Gurus going about and telling others of what is the spirit of the Vedas, but you will notice while they speak of the glory and foundational nature of the Vedas in words or commentary, they do not directly translate the Vedas from Sanskrit to other languages. Instead, they bring other scriptures, and they teach the Yogas by these means. Tremendous success has been made, as exampled in Bhakti, Karma Yoga. There are those who follow a Jnana path.

The fact that there are different Yogas seems contradictory, but in the end they are not. What seems as contradictions in the Upanishads is only that one is from a Rishi in Jnana, another a Rishi who is also a pure Devotee, one is of Seva and so on, commentaries. But ultimately, what might appear as contradictions to us are not relevant to the Knower of the Brahman. Today we see many who will say the Brahman is this or that, but one thing for sure is there is no "caste" for the Knower. They are Brahmanas. Four classes in society of humans are commonly know not just in Veda, but all over the world. The Veda will say there is lightning, but all over the world most know there is lightning. But the nature of your vision of lightning varies by your eye. So we are presented wjth what at times seems contradiction, such as stool, but you are to benefit from what you think contradicts.

Brahman may be the plane where you only want to be a devotee of the Lord. The teachers acknowledge, this is also correct and not a contradiction of those who say the Brahman is something else. But if you become a pure devotee, then you belong only to your Lord, you are no longer anything else nor any designation others may try and impose on you, nor do you have any obligation to your "employer" or even your own parents anymore. And there are some who become the Brahman, and once they become that they no longer have any obligation to any "employer" nor even your own parents. All "contradictions" become irrelevant, you do not care about caste or 6000 jati.

My "position" is 6000 jati are not in the Veda. We are facing many struggles, which seem to become worse. This is because man is vile. But you do not have to be, nor I. Once you "give up", oddly that is when everything comes to you. You look to yourself to see, you do not always know the intentions of other, even those most close to you including your wife.

But you are not alone in the Kali Yuga. That is why Ram is your Best One that will not leave you alone.

Om Namah Sivaya

Anirudh
18 August 2013, 10:34 AM
Thank you Philosoraptorji and Amrutji for your kind words.

Anirudh
18 August 2013, 11:04 AM
Namaste Shivafanji,

My "position" is 6000 jati are not in the Veda.

Thank you very much for giving an explanation. To me at the moment both you and (Amrutji + Philosoraptorji) seem to talk the same thing. I am a student and hence would require some time to understand your post and compare that with what Amrutji and Philosoraptorji have said.

Our Dharma according to me revolves around Karma and our willingness to liberate ourselves from this endless cycle of births.

I am not FOR the caste system but nature hasn't created all of us in an exactly same way. Few are highly intelligent, few are good orator and so on. So logically people different by birth but among ourselves one can not be superior or inferior because Bhagwaan reside in all of us. This is what I have understood at the moment.

I assume that there must be a great scientific reasons behind our Varna system which we are reluctant to understand because of the way Varna system has been misused by society.

I am just a student and will keep myself open for learning.

ShivaFan
18 August 2013, 12:10 PM
Indeed Anirudh! Actually, you teach me so much, and having the advantage of actually living in Bharat gives you the special observation that those such as myself do not always have.

Yes Karma will reap it's results, there is also instant Karma, good Karma, and even direct intervention from the Devas which can happen this very moment.

Ganga Maa can wash away crores of illusion and results, She speaks an ongoing mantra of embrace as She rushes over the rocks, from the feet of Shiva and carries the Energy of the sadhus. It is actually very easy in this age even in the midst of so much inhumanity, Mother is there easily too.

Today I think of Mother Ganga, She is very close to Shiva and does not leave Kashi. She is a Mother to us, a Wife and Sister to the Gods. She is so beautiful. She stays close to the City Never Foresaken. Anyone can put Her jal upon them, and go to Her embrace, some say even Ravan is waiting for Her now. But we do not have to wait.

(excuse any typos, I am on the road and only have this little cell phone in my hand... Hopefully I will visit a temple or two there!)

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
18 August 2013, 12:14 PM
Namaste Shivafanji,


Thank you very much for giving an explanation. To me at the moment both you and (Amrutji + Philosoraptorji) seem to talk the same thing. I am a student and hence would require some time to understand your post and compare that with what Amrutji and Philosoraptorji have said.

Our Dharma according to me revolves around Karma and our willingness to liberate ourselves from this endless cycle of births.

I am not FOR the caste system but nature hasn't created all of us in an exactly same way. Few are highly intelligent, few are good orator and so on. So logically people different by birth but among ourselves one can not be superior or inferior because Bhagwaan reside in all of us. This is what I have understood at the moment.

I assume that there must be a great scientific reasons behind our Varna system which we are reluctant to understand because of the way Varna system has been misused by society.

I am just a student and will keep myself open for learning.

Namaste Anirudh ji,

Not all want moksha or moksha is not their only goal of life. They can live religious life as per varNa dharma and duties prescribed by veda-s and can naturally progress in spirituality.

For a selected few, those who have moksha as the only goal, who are rare, as earlier quoted, form a minority, (one out of lakh). They are instructed to override general varNa dharma. Bhagavan in Gita says that leave every dharma and surrender to me.

Here dharma can be interpreted as

Jati Dharma
varNa dharma
svadharma
para dharma,
Ashrama dharma.

Sva dharma would mean I am Atman, be it soul or Brahman (according to path) and para dharma would mean, one which is not 'I' i.e. body, mind, intellect, ego, etc.

In the same way, sva dharma would also mean jati dharma.

If renunciation is the path that is chosen for you, then, one has to even forget that 'I am Brahmin' as rituals would not give moksha. In case of bhakta, all varNa-s are free to surrender themselves, karma, and fruits of karma to Bhagavan. Here bhAva is considered as important and type of work is not as important as bhAva.

This is my personal opinion.

I pray for spiritual progress of all.
May the grace of Bhagavan descend upon us.
May we all walk on the path as prescribed by him.
May he show us the correct path, correct way to live.
May he compassionate enough to teach us bhakti, way to serve him and be at his lotus feet. We are totally and helplessly dependent upon grace of God. OM

Jai Shri Rama

philosoraptor
18 August 2013, 12:24 PM
No one here is arguing a position on the basis of "six thousand jatis." It seems that someone is trying to save face after unsuccessfully vilifying those who have successfully proven the shAstric basis for the familial varNa system.

If I had it "my way," I would not design a system based on familial lines, either.

But it isn't "my way" or anyone else's way. We have to follow Sri Krishna's way (dharma) if we want to get anywhere with our spiritual life.

There is no such thing as a classless system, and societies without divinely ordained classes merely degenerate into man-made classes where power and wealth determine who is on "top" and who is exploited, virtues being meaningless in such a system. The United States is a perfect example of that. It's a place where money and power are everything, while being poor and virtuous gets you nowhere.

That varNa system can be corrupted is a natural consequence of people following their varNa-s while neglecting nArAyaNa-smaraNam. In that case, it becomes like any other class system where exclusivity, independence, and selfishness are the rule. Except for the one difference that those who reject varNa claim that everyone is equal, even as they tacitly accept the reality of sociopolitical differentiation based on meaningless distinctions like the size of one's bank balance, the kind of car one drives, the size of one's house, etc.

I have been stressing on this point that varNAshrama needs to be understood in the greater context of the theistic devotionalism of Vaidika and Pauranic Hinduism, without which the underlying significance is lost.

ShivaFan
18 August 2013, 12:56 PM
Namaste IA

Quote IA " Not all want moksha or moksha is not their only goal of life."

Indeed, and I am one of those in this life. Why it is so, is not an explanation that is easily guven to another, that is my adventure, my relation, for now. I have no need for jati. I have no jati. Someone told me my varna once, very auhtorized this person. But jati?

Some say I have a very beautiful face. But I am liking to be friends with devotees, I am not looking at their face othed than to politely look at them, or in their eyes if they are not blind. Some say I have a lucky life, too easy. But I am only looking for adventure, not luck. But I will not turn away gifts that take me to where there is Divine. You are right, we are all different, but we can be the same with each other.

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
19 August 2013, 01:54 AM
Namaste IA

Quote IA " Not all want moksha or moksha is not their only goal of life."

Indeed, and I am one of those in this life.

Namaste SF ji,

You are very humble and have courage to speak the truth. It is fine that you do not have moksha as the only goal.

Dharma --> artha --> kama --> moksha

One generally passes through that order.

Learn dharma, earn in dharmic way, free to spend money to fulfil our desires (that's one reason we have taken birth), finally after tiring of all 3 purushartha-s, one wants peace and goes for 4th purushartha-s.

Following dharma one can have natural spiritual progress :)

Just surrender to Shiva and pray to him to show you correct way. I do the same and pray to him that I should not deviate from my goal :)

Om Namah Shiyava

Avyaydya
19 August 2013, 06:49 AM
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Namaste Shivafanji,
Our Dharma according to me revolves around Karma and our willingness to liberate ourselves from this endless cycle of births.

That would be a rather egocentric concept of Dharm. I think Dharm does not revolve around a duty to liberate oneself. What a strange idea, how can that be a duty? Is that what the hero's of the Ramayana and Mahabharata show us as an example? No, Dharm is about acting in according to the Laws of Nature instated by God thus creating harmony and steady growth.

One of the problems nowadays is that modern people are living in a consumer society based on instant satisfaction. They see it, they want it, they take it. And they want it now, in this life, preferably to today. If the end goal is Moksha than that is what they want. That is the essence of modern rational thinking, going towards goals in a straight line, without any delay. This is the fastest way to fulfil your desires. But this is not how things grow in Nature. Nature does not move in straight lines. In Nature everything moves in circles. In Hinduism the attention is not so much at the goal as on the path itself, Dharm is a path, not a goal.

In Abramic religion all attention is directed at the goal. That is why they move totally ruthless to achieve these goals. For they reason: "the end justifies the means". As God is the highest end, any means becomes justified to bring this end nearer. This the essence of aDharm, trying to achieve the results without walking the proper path. We see the same blindness with Hindu's who are totally fixated on Mosksha. Mosksha becomes their only goal. But Moksha is not really a goal, Mossha is simply the end of the path.

We are voyagers undertaking a long journey. During that journey we will see amazing things, we will meet many obstacles to we have to overcome and we will learn from that. This journey is not a curse but a blessing. But when during the journey we deviate from the right path, the path of Dharm, it can become quite unpleasant because we start creating negative results for ourselves. Then people can become disillusioned and as they are steered by desires, their reaction is to want to break off the journey and go home.

But that is the ignorance of the aDharmic religions of the west and the ignorance Prabhupada built his movement on. The movement of Prabhupada was not built on Brahmanas, evolved souls, but people stranded after the hippy-movement that went down in drug abuse. These people sought a new place to flee society and found that Iskcon. They are not evolved souls but escapists. Many were picked off the streets like evangelist do too. These people are scared of society that is why they flee in a slavish kind of Krishna worship. The movement is full of abuse, but they do not have the strength to uphold Dharm, because the are afraid of being expelled as they are afraid of society.


That is why they close there eyes and are totally fixated on Moksha like Christians are totally fixated on salvation. They hate this world and want to return to God. If you hate the world, the world will hate you in return. It is always mutual. But that is not Dharm, that is aDharm. Dharm puts all the attention on the path, not the result. Lets not forget that Mosksha is a result too. LIKE ANY GOAL, MOKSHA SHOULD NOT BE PURSUED FOR ITS OWN SAKE. That is the blindness that desire strikes people with.

The books that were written for the vast majority of people are not the Veda's, Purana's etc, these people like to quote for us, like they are Brahmanas. The books for us are the Ramayana and Mahabharata. And what examples do these book show us? Do we see the hero's all busy in self-centred pursuit of Moksha? No not at all, we see people that are totally focussed on their actions, not their goals. All awareness should be with the actions themselves. The actions should be dharmic, that is how the path must be walked. The end of the path is of no concern, in the end we will come home again.

If the hero's were most concerned about the goals then their actions become incomprehensible. If preventing the war was a bigger concern than than the right action, than Yudhisthira would have acted differently. For instance when Duryodhana was captured and convicted to death for harassing a woman, he only had to let justice take his course to solve all his problems. Duryodhana was rightfully convicted, why would he even want to interfere? It seems ridiculous not to accept this solution to their problems. But Yudhisthira attention is not with the outcome, his focus is on Dharm only. His Dharm as a brother is to save his brother. He simply can not waver his duty, because it is a political convenient way to get rid of Duryodhana. Not even after Duryodhana tried to poison Bhima and burn them in the House of Wax, and all the other evil things he did. None of these things can relieve Yudhisthira from his Dharm to his brother.

Did Krishna come to help Arjuna receive Moksha? Did he come to tell him that he could abandon his duties to the world if he would wholly surrender to him? Not at all. He rather came to remind Arjuna of his duties. Arjuna was concerned with the results, he wanted to prevent the bloody war by neglecting Dharm, but Krishna tells him to put his attention on his actions, his Dharm and leave the results to God.

The false teaching we read here are created by people who started interpreting scripture though they were not Brahmanas, Prabhupada was no Brahmana. His father was a cloth merchant and he did not receive the upbringing and education of a Brahmana, in stead he was put on a Christian school where Hindu boys were heavily indoctrinated, the Scottish Church College (http://www.banglapedia.org/HT/C_0256.HTM).


With the arrival of Alexander Duff (1806-1878), the great Scottish missionary, in Calcutta (May 1830), Anglicanism cornered Orientalism in mission work. With a true Anglicist spirit he wanted to fulfil the yearning of a section of Bengali youth of possessing Western knowledge by opening the Scottish Church College on 13 July 1830. This English medium school (later turned into a college) was frankly Christian in character. It was meant for the middle class Calcutta boys, who, Duff believed, would help to disseminate Christian knowledge down to the mass. Duff's college became the main agency of conversion of 'high caste' Hindu youth. Duff stayed in Calcutta in three different periods, 1830-34, 1840-49 and 1856-63. Impressed by his teaching and persuasion, a group of young Calcutta boys became Christians between 1832 and 1849 (Mahesh Chandra Ghose, Krishna Mohan Banerjee, Lal Behari Dey being most notable among them). These conversions created a stir in Calcutta society.

So is it a wonder that Prabhupada whose young brains were being corrupted created false teachings mixed with Christian ideas and created a Jesus-like personality cult around himself in which nobody can contradict him. He says that it is the guru who determines someone's varna. It is all about him, Prabhupada the great, and his closest disciples use that to legitimize their own authority. But Prabhupada did not have the Divine vision to see that some of his close disciples were paedophiles, drug addicts and murderers, so how could he and these disciples determine the varna of people?

Every system has its limitations, there is no perfect system as there are no perfect people. Even the sages admit their shortcomings. In fact good systems are developed in this recognition. Good systems have strong mechanisms to self-cleanse themselves. Class systems have proved to be the best systems to do that, especially if they are hereditary and committed to uphold class values. Precisely because they are hereditary children are imbued with the right values and sense of duty from young age. This is very important. Precisely because it is a closed system all the members become and feel representatives of the system. There is tremendous awareness and self-pressure not to shame their own class. This same awareness is also present in the other varna's. And the jatti's too. Even the humble workers feel great pride in doing the manual work to perfection, which is nicely demonstrated by the miners that dig a tunnel out of the House of Wax for the Pandava's. Varna provides pride for all people, contrary to the egalitarian society in which people become winners or losers in the pursuit of wealth and fame.

In the west there are still remnants of the class system too. For instance in Europe doctors, lawyers, notaries, pharmacists still have their own professional ethics controlled by themselves, a more or less exclusive society, a remnant of the medieval guilds. And this makes them behave more ethical than businesses that lack such a system. Of course there is critique from people who accuse them of monopolising and avoiding competition, but those are the people that want to make profit without being bothered with all kinds of restrictions and ethics.

If in India Hinduism still exists after centuries of attacks by Muslims and Christians that continue with the same vigour to this day, it is because of the education from the Brahmana caste. That is why the varna-system and the Brahmanas are the prime target of Christian groups and other groups trying to spread a universalist belief with a authoritarian power structure.

Ask yourself this: Would we really want Iskcon guru's to determine peoples caste? Do we really believe this is better system? Or should we let the Christians determine the caste? They never attacked their own class system. Their colonial caste system was based on pure racism. Whites only on top, various half-bloods in between, and natives on the bottom. Iskcon too favours a white only leadership. It seems to produce the same scandals as in the RCC. These people let them selves be portrayed as enlightened guru's. The personality cult is so strong nobody can touch them. No one in the organisation is willing or able to expunge the rotten apples. Like the RCC they leave that to the justice system and they offer no help to them. These organisations have no self-cleansing mechanism, no professional ethics and values that helps prevent and correct these things. They do not uphold Dharm.

All I read from Iskcon is a constant self-glorification of their leaders. And where the Brahmanas train people to be self-aware people with a high individuality and conscience. The Iskconites constantly parrot their leaders in everything. The Iskconite that says, I am a free thinking person that follows another route than Prabhupada, still has to be born. There is no room for that in this movement. It demands the same blind obedience as in Christian movements. They justify everything by pointing to scripture and things some Hindu guru may have said. But this cherry-picking is not truth seeking, but simply seeking arguments for Prabhupada's dogmas.



Yes, I understand that for a disciple his guru is God, but it should not lead to slavish acceptance. No good guru would ever want that. But even if one wants to follow ones leader like a blind horse and believe in his teachings unconditionally that is strictly a personal affair. If you say: I love Krishna above all else, and my guru is God, and my father is God, and my mother is God. I say: I admire your love. But if you say: My father is God to you too, My guru is God to you too, My God is best for you, it is clear to me this person is brainwashed, and does not really understand his own words. He is a proselyter, brainwashed to spread the same brainwash. He was not allowed or encouraged to think free. If he was a free thinking person he respect others to think differently and stop pushing his masters ideas.

I love Krishna too, but he is not my Ishtdeva, and Prabhupada for me is someone who teaches questionable ideas and his proselyting I find adharmic and unforgivable. If this movement also wants to undermine the varna system together with the Christian brotherhood whose god they are so fond off, that only provokes alarm bells with me. I again want to remind Hindus that Abrahamics are still bend on destroying Hindu Dharm. That is a fact of life. The Ramayana and Mahabharata were specifically written to make us aware of this existential conflict. We can not turn away from this world and let it be ruled by aDharm. Dharm has to be defended. That is what Rama and Krishna are telling us again and again. Dharm is most guarded by the Deva's and Brahmanas. that is why both Rama and Krishna bring constant respect to both Brahmanas and Devas. Any teaching that undermines this is aDharmic, if it does under pretence of serving the true God it becomes even more venomous.

Brahmanas have an elevated position in society. They are the highest teachers, not the many self-appointed gurus and their personality cults. If we want Hinduism to continue we not only accept that, we defend that. This idea is very strong is the Ramayana and Mahabharata, people from all the varna's work together to uphold dharm by protecting the societal system. From the King to the lowest manual worker, they are all servants to each other and a system of society meant to uphold Dharm and thus create harmony and well-being for all. But the system is also under attack from outside forces (Ramayana) and inside corruption (Mahabharata). In our days this even more so.

It is not about quantity but quality. Even is Hinduism would decrease but stay pure and uphold Dharm that is better than grow in numbers by corrupting values. Krishna offered Duryudhan the whole of Indraprasth if he would only allow the Pandava's five villages to live. It is not about the numbers. The idea that conversion, which in itself is adharm, would be beneficial to Hinduism is a lie. On one lie grows another and we see how such movements corrupt Hinduism inside out.

Amrut
20 August 2013, 03:15 AM
Namaste,

Some more info from the book, Hindu Dharma

(Note, Not the whole chapter is copy pasted)

Part 19: Grhasthasrama, Chapter 2: Aupasana (http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part19/chap2.htm)

Panigrahana, mangalya-dharana, saptapadi and other rites are performed on the day of the wedding. Aupasana begins with marriage and is performed every day until one becomes a sannyasin or until one's death. The sacred fire that is witness to the marriage is preserved throughout and aupasana performed in it every day.

The sacred fire has an important place in the Vedic religion. The student-bachelor performs samidadhana twice a day offering samidhs (sticks of the flame of the forest or palasa ) in the fire. This rite is not continued after his marriage. When a person becomes a householder he has a number of rites to perform in the sacred fire. In place of samidadhana he now has the aupasana. The latter word is derived from "upasana" which term is used in the sense of puja, chanting of mantras, meditation, etc. But, according to the Vedas, aupasana is a rite performed in the sacred fire by all Hindus.

Though members of the fourth varna do not wear the sacred thread they have the marriage samskara and, along with it, aupasana. Dharmasastras like the Vaidyanatha-Diksitiyam describe how sudras are to go through the jatakarma and namakarana ceremonies. The work deals with how the fourth varna should perform puja, the sraddha ceremony and apara-karma (obsequies). Reformers ignore all these and allege that members of the fourth varna have no "right" to any rituals. Instead they must try to persuade people of this varna to perform the rites they are enjoined upon. Aupasana is one of the "rights" of this caste and it is to be conducted every day with the recitation of certain verses.

Part 19: Grhasthasrama, Chapter 2: Can a new Brahmin Caste be Created ? (http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part19/chap3.htm)

The fact that aupasana is to performed by all castes gives rise to the questions : "Why only aupasana? Why should not all castes have the right to learn the Vedas, chant the Gayatri and perform sacrifices?". On the other hand, we have atheists who want the Vedas to be consigned to the flames and the idols of Gods like Ganesa to be broken and, on the other, we have people calling themselves reformist who want to extend to all the right to perform Vedic rites.

Do I not lamblaste Brahmins for having become a degenerated class? Taking a cue from this the reformers argue: "After all, it is the Brahmin who has become debased and it is he who has debased others also. Now, when new life is being breathed into the Vedic dharma, why should Brahmins alone be given the right to it, Brahmins who have failed in their duty? All those castes that believe that the Vedas and Vedic works are essential to the well-being of mankind must be enabled to learn the Vedas and perform Vedic rites. All of them must have the right to wear the sacred thread and learn the scriptures."

Organisations like the Arya Samaj have accepted the right of all to learn the Vedas and perform sacrifices. Here and there a Subramanya Bharati or someone like him imparts Brahmopadesa to a Pancama. The reformists ask why the Vedas cannot be made common to all.

This is not acceptable in the least. I am a representative and spokesman of the sastras. It is my duty to state that this (making Vedic dharma common to all castes) is not permitted by the sages who created the sastras and assigned the duties special to each caste. They (the sages) were known for their spirit of sacrifices and impartiality and they had no interest other than the happiness of mankind.

A man sins in two ways. If he forsakes his hereditary karma, he commits one kind of sin-such a man is called a "karma-bhrasta". But if he forsakes his karma and takes up the karma of another (that is if he practices the religious customs and duties of another caste) he becomes a "karmantara-pravista". According to the sastras he is guilty of a greater offence than the karma-bhrasta.

Why? There are two reasons.

An individual who forsakes his karma because he believes that varna dharma itself is meaningless may be said to act out of conviction and he may be said to be obeying his conscience. In his action we may find some justification. But, in the matter of the sastras, the question is not one of conscience. The question is: what about the man opts for the customs and rites of others? He does so because he believes that the customs and rites to which he is born are not as good those of the latter. To think that one vocation or one type of work is inferior to another, or superior to it, is not in keeping with modern ideas of socialism and the principle of dignity of labour. At the same time, it is not also in accord with the sastras. The karma-bhrasta who discards all varna dharma believes that the sages created a system not suitable to the times. He does not, however, think that they were partial to some castes. But not so the karmantara-pravista who thinks that the sages were partial. He chooses another man's dharma because he believes that it is better for his inner advancement than his hereditary calling and dharma. His action implies that the sages practised deception by creation the division of varnas. So his offence is greater.

It is true that Brahmins have gone astray. But what is the meaning of creating a new class of Brahmins? It amounts to saying, "He (the Brahmin) has forsaken his dharma. Now I will take it over." To take up another man's dharma, apart from forsaking one's own dharma is a grave offence, worse than nearly giving up one's own dharma. I have stated repeatedly that all karma has only one purpose, that of destroying one's ego-sense, ahamkara. What is the foundation of varna dharma? It is one's willingness to follow the vocation and dharma that belong to one by hereditary without any consideration of one's likes and dislikes.

Such willingness is based on the realisation that the vocation and dharma that have come to us are according to the will of Isvara, that they are manifested through the Vedas and sastras and that to practise them is to destroy our ego.

Amrut
20 August 2013, 03:35 AM
More info about husband and women, their roles and their status in family

Part 19: Grhasthasrama, Chapter 1: Grhastha and Grhini (http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part19/chap1.htm)

The Brahmin is born with three debts: he owes a debts to the sages, to the celestials and to the fathers. He repays the first by learning the Vedas as a student-bachelor; the second by taking a wife and performing sacrifices; and the third by begetting a son. So without marriage he cannot repay the second and third debts.

Sons are primarily intended for the repayment of the debts to the fathers. Performing the sraddha ceremony is not enough. Forefathers of the past three generations are to be made to ascend from the manes. So even after a man dies, for two generations the daily libations must be offered to him. That is why the birth of a son is considered important. (The case of the naisthika brahmacarin and the sannyasin is different. Because of their inner purity and enlightenment, they can liberate, not just two generations, but twenty-one generations fathers without performing any sraddha ceremony).

Status of Husband and Wife in Family

Grhasthasrama is called illaram in Tamil and it is extolled by the wise in the Tamil country also. "Grha" means a house. A young man who returns to his house from the guru's and practises dharma is a "grhastha". One who resides in a house, a grha, is a grhastha. The Tamil wife calls her husband "ahamudayan", "ahattukaran", "vittukaran": these terms have to do with the house or the home. Only the wife can refer to her husband thus, not others. She herself is called "grhini", not "grhastha". The latter would mean no more than "one who resides in a house". But "grhini" means the house belongs to her (the wife), that she manages the household. The husband is the illaratan in Tamil and it means one performs the dharmic rites in the house, "il-arattan". The wife is "illal", one who owns the house.

The husband is not called illan (illan, as it happens, means one who does not possess anything or one who is indigent). The wife is also called illattarasi (queen of the house), "manaivi"(owner of the house), or "manaiyal"; but the husband does not have similar appellations like "illattarasan"(king of the house), "manaivan" or "manaiyan"(owner of the house). In Telugu the wife is called "illu" (corresponding to the illal of Tamil).

Part 19: Grhasthasrama, Chapter 4: Aupasana and Women (http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part19/chap4.htm)

I said [in an earlier talk ] that members of all castes must perform aupasana. The husband and the wife must do it together. Even when the husband is away the wife must perform it by offering unbroken rice grains in the sacrificial fire. The Vedas themselves have given women such a right.

Aupasana is the only Vedic right that a woman is entitled to perform on her own. Of course, there are so many pauranic vratas and pujas that she can perform according to the sastras, but these belong to a different category. Besides, she has naturally a share in all the works of her husband. Apart from caring for the household, she does not have to perform any rite (other than aupasana). Even if she does, it will not yield any fruit, for such is the rule according to the Vedic dharmasastras

We hear people talk of "rights". It is my wish to create an awareness among women about their right, the right to aupasana. I should like every home to become bright with the sacred aupasana fire. Women should fight for this right of theirs and impress upon their husbands the importance of performing aupasana. "Even though you have given up all scriptural karma, you at least do the Gayatrijapa to retain your tenuous connection with the Vedic dharma. If you do not do this japa or even forget the mantra, one day you will feel repentant over it thinking of the upanayana samskara you had", women should tell their husband. "As for me I have had no upanayana, nor am I entitled to mutter the Gayatri. If at all I have any right according to the Vedas, which are the source not only of our religion but of this world and of creation itself, it is this aupasana. If you refuse to perform it I will be denied my Vedic right. " In this manner women must fight for this sacred right of theirs and make their husbands perform aupasana. Aupasana is indeed their one great Vedic "property".

Women must bear in mind the importance of aupasana and agnihotra (like aupasana, agnihotra must also be performed twice a day). "So many fires are burning in the home", they must tell themselves. "We make coffee on the fire and cook food or make the water warm to bathe. By not performing aupasana we will be extinguishing that fire which was witness to our marriage."

The sacred fire must be kept burning by adding rice husk to it now and then. In many ways it is advantageous to pound rice at home for, apart from the husk, we will have nutritious hand-pounded rice to eat. Also the poor labourer who does the pounding will get a little cash or a few handfuls of rice for his or her sustenance. (For the unbroken rice grains offered in the fire the housewife must pound the rice herself. This is a piece of work done to the accompaniment of mantras).


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I hope this helps solve the puzzle.

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Our Rama Bhakta friend has helped study the life of Bhagavan Rama.

Rama and Yudhisthira were noble men and had shown symptoms of Brahmins from birth. Both of them were peace loving. But they obeyed their varNa by birth and never promoted themselves to higher varNa, neither did Bhagavan Krishna.

On the other hand, Bhagavan Parshurama did not got demoted by himself or sages to lower varNa.

The life of Rama and Krishna teach us to adhere to our varNa, whether we like it or not. Rama did not liked to fight with any one. He also wanted to become a sanyasin and was given Brahma-vidya by Guru Vasistha (Yog VAsistha). He still remained a Kshatriya and carried out his duties of his birth varNa. Bhagavan Rama never started any fight, he was forced to fight, and as a duty, he never stepped back. Bhagavan Rama, maryAdA purusshottam, who never crossed his maryAdA, is an ideal e.g. adhering to birth varNa.

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@SivaFan ji and others, no intention to hit you back. I just came across the info while reading this Book. Never specifically hunted for such info

Hari OM

brahma jijnasa
20 August 2013, 11:55 AM
Namaste


SatyakAma: His varNa or gotra could not be decided. It is possible that he is born of brahmin father. Again not knowing varNa is actually a 'benefit of doubt'. Still he is tested by his guru. Remember that he was asked to shelter & breed cows and come back after they multiply to 1000. What has this to do with Brahma-vidya or with Brahminhood? Why waste so much time. Infact this is an occupation of a vaishya or may be a shudra.

e.g of Satyakama shows that, if we follow the words of Guru with full faith and and no doubts, then there will be mental purity, which makes one suitable / qualified for Jnana.

Good observation.
It seems to me that some of our members should be sent to wait until 10000 cows appears. Not just 1000 cows . :)

Bhagavad-gītā 18.42 (http://vedabase.net/bg/18/42/en) :


"Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness — these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."

regards

brahma jijnasa
20 August 2013, 12:05 PM
Namaste

Namaskāra,

I don't seem to follow you; you state that "there is no risk of falling [from Vaikuṇṭha]" (which makes sense, as most proponents of acintya bhedābheda are of the view that when the jīvātmā is in Vaikuṇṭha, it becomes completely dependent on Bhagavān due to Śrī Kṛṣṇa's taṭastha śakti). How then, would they presumably have the free-will to "fall" from Vaikuṇṭha [as you state]? It seems a bit contradictory to me (although I realize that you're merely reiterating Prabhupāda's views)

In Vaikuntha souls are protected by the Lord, but the souls always have the ability to choose what they want to do. If they want to separate from the Lord and leave Him, The Lord will enable them to do this.
Technically speaking it is not called "fall from Vaikuntha". You could call it a "decision to abandon the Lord".

regards

brahma jijnasa
20 August 2013, 01:03 PM
Further scriptural examples showing mlecchas by birth and/or shudras by birth becoming brahmanas:

One verse from the Gaudiya vaishnava sources.
In the Garuḍa Purāṇa it is said:


bhaktir aṣṭa-vidhā hy eṣā yasmin mlecche 'pi vartate
sa viprendro muni-śreṣṭhaḥ sa jñānī sa ca paṇḍitaḥ

"Even if one is born a mleccha, if he becomes a devotee he is to be considered the best of the brāhmaṇas and a learned paṇḍita."

Some sources give slightly different form of this verse:


bhaktir ashta vidhaa hi yeshaa yasmin mlechchEpi vartatE/
sa viprendro:, muni; sreemaan; sa Yati; sa cha pandita;//

Such a one is “Muni” (a saint, sage) who is greatest among all Bhaktas. Even if he be an outcaste (mleccha), he should be considered knowledgeable, Bhakta, chief among Brahmins, an ascetic and learned person.

It seems that this is a verse from Garuda Purana 1.227.9. See here: http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gretil/1_sanskr/3_purana/garup1_u.htm


bhaktiraṣṭavidhā hyeṣā yasminmleccho 'pi vartate /
sa viprendro muniḥ śrīmānsa yāti paramāṃ gatim // GarP_1,227.9

This is not to say that "he is to be considered the best of the brāhmaṇas even though he is still a mleccha". Someone may be one or the other, he can not be both a mleccha and a brahmana at the same time. Obviously, it makes no sense to say "he is a mleccha brahmana". :)

regards

brahma jijnasa
20 August 2013, 02:34 PM
Further scriptural examples showing mlecchas by birth and/or shudras by birth becoming brahmanas (or even higher than brahmanas):

Mahabharata, Book 13, Chapter 131 in a conversation between Uma and Mahesvara, verse 45 and forward (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/mbs/mbs13131.htm) :


śūdro 'py āgamasaṃpanno dvijo bhavati saṃskṛtaḥ

“by becoming an adherent of the agama scriptures, (or in other words, by taking initiation through the pancaratrika system),
then a low-born sudra also becomes a brahmana.
...

In my opinion, if pious activities and good character are found in a sudra, it should be understood that he is better than a brahmana.
Birth, purificatory processes, study of the Vedas, and good birth are not the criterion for being a brahmana. The only criterion is one's behavior.
A person is born as a brahmana in this world simply as a result of his nature."

Here Lord Mahesvara says that birth is not the criterion for being a brahmana! “by becoming an adherent of the agama scriptures, (or in other words, by taking initiation through the pancaratrika system), then a low-born sudra also becomes a brahmana" such a person is even better than a brahmana.

regards

philosoraptor
20 August 2013, 10:00 PM
So once again, in summary, no specific examples of a specific shudra or mleccha becoming a brahmin. Just general statements that some highly elevated shudras or mlecchas should be considered just like the best of brahmins.

Similarly, I sometimes say that my college professor, who mentored me through my science classes, is someone I consider to be just like my father. By Hare Krishna logic, that obviously implies that he became my father.

brahma jijnasa
20 August 2013, 10:45 PM
I think this statement is quite clear:


"then a low-born sudra also becomes a brahmana"

"Birth, purificatory processes, study of the Vedas, and good birth are not the criterion for being a brahmana. The only criterion is one's behavior."

Here it does not say "just like".

regards

Amrut
21 August 2013, 01:26 AM
Further scriptural examples showing mlecchas by birth and/or shudras by birth becoming brahmanas (or even higher than brahmanas):

Mahabharata, Book 13, Chapter 131 in a conversation between Uma and Mahesvara, verse 45 and forward (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/mbs/mbs13131.htm) :


śūdro 'py āgamasaṃpanno dvijo bhavati saṃskṛtaḥ

“by becoming an adherent of the agama scriptures, (or in other words, by taking initiation through the pancaratrika system),
then a low-born sudra also becomes a brahmana.
...

In my opinion, if pious activities and good character are found in a sudra, it should be understood that he is better than a brahmana.
Birth, purificatory processes, study of the Vedas, and good birth are not the criterion for being a brahmana. The only criterion is one's behavior.
A person is born as a brahmana in this world simply as a result of his nature."

Here Lord Mahesvara says that birth is not the criterion for being a brahmana! “by becoming an adherent of the agama scriptures, (or in other words, by taking initiation through the pancaratrika system), then a low-born sudra also becomes a brahmana" such a person is even better than a brahmana.

regards


Namaste,

What you have given is a personal interpretation.

It contains the word 'In my opinion' and then the commentary.

Again, please have a look at the verse

एतैः कर्मफलैर देवि नयून जातिकुलॊद्भवः
शूद्रॊ ऽपय आगमसंपन्नॊ दविजॊ भवति संस्कृतः

etaiḥ karmaphalair devi nyūna jātikulodbhavaḥ
śūdro 'py āgamasaṃpanno dvijo bhavati saṃskṛtaḥ

I do not know sanskrit, but I can figure out, that this verse do not contain the word 'brahmin' or 'brahmana'

You have a neck of selectively picking up verses, but not studying fully. Again, in case of conflict, it is well known that Shruti is considered as authority. Some verses are for encouragement.

Please refer later verses. Also note that word Jati and Kula is used and not varNa.

I had already provided B.G. 18.41 with commentaries of 4 acharya-s belonging to advaita and different Vaishnava sampradaya-s on page 2. In this context later verses are to be understood.

The words - Consider, like, has to be, etc should not be ommited. It would mean that though he is a shudra, he has to be given respect equal to x varNa / jati / kula.

Again, I have shown concern that if it is varNa by guNa and guNa not by birth

Who is going to decide who fits in which verNa. guNa is invisible, so actions has to be studied. It takes so much time to understand a person. Life partners / business partners brothers, all betray each other in this yuga.

At times we need to have a look at more than one interpretation or only translation and no commentary.

I am getting too repetitive.

Hari OM

philosoraptor
21 August 2013, 12:40 PM
etaiḥ karmaphalair devi nyūna jātikulodbhavaḥ
śūdro 'py āgamasaṃpanno dvijo bhavati saṃskṛtaḥ

I do not know sanskrit, but I can figure out, that this verse do not contain the word 'brahmin' or 'brahmana'

The word "dvija" is there which sometimes is interpreted to mean a brahmin, but more technically refers to anyone in the twice-born classes: brahmins, kshatriyas, vaishyas.

That being said, it's not clear to me from looking at the verse that it refers to becoming a dvija in the very same life. Furthermore, the phrase "etaiH karmaphalaiH" would seem to imply that this is due to the fruits of one's previous karmas by conventional standards of interpretation.

And again, what specific examples are there of a mleccha or shUdra becoming a dvija in the same lifetime?

None. Nada. Nowhere.

On the contary, we have examples like nArada, who, in his previous birth as a servant's son, got blessed by Rishis and attained paramAtmA-darshana, but with no explicit change in his varNa. Why no mention of him becoming a brahmin in that very birth? If history is any indication, brahma-jijnasa will once again either ignore that question, or allege that he became a brahmin in that very birth also, because the contrary is nowhere stated. This would be another example of Hare Krishna logic.



You have a neck of selectively picking up verses, but not studying fully.

Yes he does. Whether it is vedAnta-sUtra-s, chAndogya upaniShad, baladeva vidyAbhUShaNa's bhAShya, or now apparently even mahAbhArata, he likes to pick up translations of those outside his tradition and copy-cut-paste isolated verses which seem to support what he is saying when one ignores context. Meanwhile, too many unanswered questions persist, like why ajAmila and ashvatthAma were never regarded as a shUdra-s despite their respective falldowns, why drona was referred to as a bramhin even when was engaged in warfare, why mucukunda was not promoted from kshatriya to brahmin status in that very birth instead of being told he had to be born as brahmin next janma, why arjuna was not promoted to brahmin status when he decided to renounce the battlefield, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.


I had already provided B.G. 18.41 with commentaries of 4 acharya-s belonging to advaita and different Vaishnava sampradaya-s on page 2. In this context later verses are to be understood.

That was pointless. Hare Krishnas have their own philosophy, which is better than other Vaishnavas, and even the least well-read among them knows more than the Vaishnava vedanta commentators of yore



The words - Consider, like, has to be, etc should not be ommited. It would mean that though he is a shudra, he has to be given respect equal to x varNa / jati / kula.

And that would in fact be consistent with other statements and examples on this subject.



Again, I have shown concern that if it is varNa by guNa and guNa not by birth

Who is going to decide who fits in which verNa. guNa is invisible, so actions has to be studied. It takes so much time to understand a person. Life partners / business partners brothers, all betray each other in this yuga.

Brahma-jijnasa, Hare Krishna devotees, and other proponents of "varNa not by birth, but only by quality" will never answer this question. We've put this question many times on this forum, and they just aren't interested in answering. I've also asked about the varNa of Hare Krishna devotees who got sacred thread and became gurus, only to later promote heretical doctrines and/or become degraded - are they brahmins by quality? Were they brahmins by quality at one time, and just not later? No answers forthcoming on that either, except for BJ to declare that he is not an ISKCON devotee. However, he does still follow Sri Prabhupada's commentaries, so he can explain to us, if he is willing, how if Prabhupada could be so wrong about making some of his Western disciples into brahmins, then how can ordinary people tell who is and is not a brahmin?

Amrut
22 August 2013, 03:51 AM
The word "dvija" is there which sometimes is interpreted to mean a brahmin, but more technically refers to anyone in the twice-born classes: brahmins, kshatriyas, vaishyas.

That being said, it's not clear to me from looking at the verse that it refers to becoming a dvija in the very same life. Furthermore, the phrase "etaiH karmaphalaiH" would seem to imply that this is due to the fruits of one's previous karmas by conventional standards of interpretation.

And again, what specific examples are there of a mleccha or shUdra becoming a dvija in the same lifetime?

None. Nada. Nowhere.

On the contary, we have examples like nArada, who, in his previous birth as a servant's son, got blessed by Rishis and attained paramAtmA-darshana, but with no explicit change in his varNa.

Namaste,

Thank you for clarification.


And again, what specific examples are there of a mleccha or shUdra becoming a dvija in the same lifetime?

This point has also been stressed by you more than one time :)

Anyways, Jai Shri Krishna

ShivaFan
22 August 2013, 04:01 PM
Namaste

“The bird is also called twice-born. Why? The bird birth is first of all in the egg. The egg is fermented. Then the real bird comes out. Therefore bird is called in Sanskrit language also dvija, twice-born. Similarly, a man, unless he is twice-born, he is a sudra. Twice-born. How is that twice-born? Because by birth anyone, everyone has got some father and mother because without father and mother, there is no question of birth. So the beast has also got father and mother, and the bird has also father and mother. Similarly, a human being has also got father and mother. So this birth, by father and mother, is not sufficient for becoming a dvija. He has to take his birth again.”

That second birth is the process described in the Arthava Veda, where the Acharya becomes your new Father and Savitri your new Mother. Now you are twice born. Those who become the true student of the Acharya or teacher of the Veda are very few. Very few will take this course. So yes, it is very rare that it happens. To be twice born, this is better than being a priest in a temple. Those truly twice born, are few in this world.
But there those such as Vishwamitra. He became higher than a temple priest. He became a Brahmarishi, which is not a caste and higher than any caste. He was a warrior by clan, and came from this family of Kshatriya. But then he obtained Brahmavidya and composed the Gayatri mantra. That is why his Name, “Friend of the World”, is so appropriate. His original name was Kaushika, and with his army he entered into the wild and came upon the hermitage of the sage Vasishta. Here upon finding the surroundings so peaceful, his army received a feast and Kaushika asked Sage Vasishta, “how can it be that you feed such a large army?”.

The Sage had feed them all, those warriors of the army considered lower than the Sage in hierarchy. It was by the calf Nandini given to him by Indra that they could all be feed. The holy calf given by Indra feed those warriors. Upon this, Kaushika wanted to buy this cafe from Vasishta for a large amount of wealth. The Sage denied this request, so Kaushika ordered his army to steal the calf forcefully.

The Sage brought forth a spiritual army that defeated his soldiers.
And so, Kaushika gave up his throne and became an ascetic which is a true “great hero”. Over time, Vasishta himself became an Acharya to this warrior ascetic. So great was his meditation and qualities, Brahma then gave him the title Brahmarishi and a NEW NAME, “Vishwamitra”. He was now twice born, and given a title higher than a brahmin.

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
23 August 2013, 06:54 AM
Namaste,

Brother you must also be aware that Vishwamitra initially did penance for the sole intention to defeat Vasistha. Even later on he killed Vasistha's Sons. His Tapas was broken and he married to menaka and our country BhArata is in the name of their son. He also helped trishanku and raised him to heaven and later on went to create another heaven. Are all these deeds of a Brahmin? So much time was spent. After may years finally he was given title of Brahmarshi and is said to fully know the secret of creation.

----------

Until now Manusmriti is not quoted. Admittedly, I have not fully studied it and nor did I study Kurma Purana in full. I studied only some selected stories. Manusmriti is called as Dharma Shastra. There are chances of interpolations as some say, but most them are related to Shudra-s and women.

I request other members to cross verify the statements from original sanskrit sources. In translation, at times instead of Brahma it's written Brahman

Why I am quoting Manusmriti is because, Upanishads teach Brahma Vidya. We find quotes like vedas are just words and that sacrifices (rituals) do not grant moksha, hence here just being brahmin is not enough, one has to be pure mind and step further ahead to gain Brahma-vidya. So shruti-s and smriti-s teach brahma-vidya and not karma kand or priestly duties or duty to protect veda-s. Since itihasa-purAna-s teach us the same, same logic applies to them too. that is why we find in purana-s that the chosen deity is the supreme and hence no need to worship all Gods, which sound contrary to karma kand, as this would mean hymms and sacrifices to Agni dev, Indra dev, etc as unnecessary.

Upanishad-s, Gita are moksha shastras, while Manusmriti is a dharma shastra

Manusmriti says that Veda-s (karma kand) makes body fit to attain brahman

Chapter 2


28. By the study of the Veda, by vows, by burnt oblations, by (the recitation of) sacred texts, by the (acquisition of the) threefold sacred science, by offering (to the gods, Rishis, and manes), by (the procreation of) sons, by the great sacrifices, and by (Srauta) rites this (human) body is made fit for (union with) Brahman.

it also teach us that 4 varNa-s are born from Bhagavan Brahma and that varNa is by birth is sited from the below verses.

Varna by Birth

Chapter 1

87. But in order to protect this universe He, the most resplendent one, assigned separate (duties and) occupations to those who sprang from his mouth, arms, thighs, and feet.

88. To Brahmanas he assigned teaching and studying (the Veda), sacrificing for their own benefit and for others, giving and accepting (of alms).

89. The Kshatriya he commanded to protect the people, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Veda), and to abstain from attaching himself to sensual pleasures;

90. The Vaisya to tend cattle, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Veda), to trade, to lend money, and to cultivate land.

91. One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudra, to serve meekly even these (other) three castes.

92. Man is stated to be purer above the navel (than below); hence the Self-existent (Svayambhu) has declared the purest (part) of him (to be) his mouth.

93. As the Brahmana sprang from (Brahman's) mouth, as he was the first-born, and as he possesses the Veda, he is by right the lord of this whole creation.

94. For the Self-existent (Svayambhu), having performed austerities, produced him first from his own mouth, in order that the offerings might be conveyed to the gods and manes and that this universe might be preserved.

95. What created being can surpass him, through whose mouth the gods continually consume the sacrificial viands and the manes the offerings to the dead?

96. Of created beings the most excellent are said to be those which are animated; of the animated, those which subsist by intelligence; of the intelligent, mankind; and of men, the Brahmanas;

97. Of Brahmanas, those learned (in the Veda); of the learned, those who recognise (the necessity and the manner of performing the prescribed duties); of those who possess this knowledge, those who perform them; of the performers, those who know the Brahman.

98. The very birth of a Brahmana is an eternal incarnation of the sacred law; for he is born to (fulfil) the sacred law, and becomes one with Brahman.

99. A Brahmana, coming into existence, is born as the highest on earth, the lord of all created beings, for the protection of the treasury of the law.

100. Whatever exists in the world is, the property of the Brahmana; on account of the excellence of his origin The Brahmana is, indeed, entitled to all.

Source: http://hinduism.about.com/library/weekly/extra/bl-lawsofmanu1.htm


Kurma Purana

12.2 Indradyumna

Many years ago, there was a king named Indradyumna. He ruled the world well and, when he died, was reborn as a brahmana, (The brahmanas constitute the first of the four classes, their primary duties are to study the Vedas and perform sacrifices.)

Source: http://www.astrojyoti.com/kurmapurana.htm

Hari OM

philosoraptor
24 August 2013, 07:11 AM
The only reason this entire discussion is taking place is because of the obsession many modern Hindus have with trying to prove the compatibility of Hinduism with Western egalitarian views. People in India still follow hereditary caste lines, which is not to say that their following is in line with shAstra. Rather, my point is that they use hereditary designations instinctively and don't reclassify themselves or each other based on subjective determinations of "quality."

A system that requires your to reclassify someone based on his/her/your perception of his/her quality is not pragmatic to say the least. I cannot look at a person and tell that they know brahman. Only Brahman Himself can know that. My duty should be to follow the path that is laid out for me, and the only way I can know that is if an objectively verifiable system exists to classify myself. In vedic cultures, gOtra-s, lineage, culture, and name-identification all serve to identify a person's jAti-varNa. If paramAtmA had intended for us to classify people based on their "quality," then why did He not provide a rubber-stamp on their bodies for us to see? The puerile logic of the modernist becomes evident when he argues that no objective means exists to classify a person's jAti-varNa, and yet supports the idea of classifying one's varNa based on his "quality" or conduct. How did this system work out for organizations, like, for example, ISKCON? With a new story every year of another "brahmin by conduct" falling down from his lofty position, one has to wonder: were these "brahmins" really "brahmins" at one point, or merely misclassified as such? If the former, then varNa becomes a meaningless, dynamic classification. It begs the question of why Arjuna could not simply become a brahmin instead of having to stay and fight the battle. If the latter, then one has to ask: if a great guru cannot tell who is and is not a brahmin, then how can the common people know?

At the end of the day, there are those who claim to believe in multiculturalism and diversity, and then there are those who actually practice it. The implicit idea that Western standards of social relations should be the metric by which one decides what is right and wrong is ethnocentric and abominable. The idea that we must feel apologetic about varNAsharma because of the way it is misrepresented and caricatured in left-wing media, or because of the way it has been misunderstood, is not rational or consistent with an ethos of preserving and propagating Hinduism.

If anything, we need to have discussions like this to explain what varNAsharma really is. It is sad that some people can only see birth-based hierarchy and exploitation when they are told about varNAsharma. Clearly, there are centuries of prejudice that we have to overcome. There is so much more to it, and none of that can be understood by detractors who refuse to put aside their preconceived notions.

Jeffery D. Long
24 August 2013, 10:16 AM
Namaste All,

I am curious to know what various members think, specifically for those of us not born into the varṇāśrama system but identifying with Hindu belief and practice, of the idea of svadharma based on personal talent and inclination. This is different from guṇa in the sense of "moral quality" (with its implication that persons of one varṇa are morally superior to others), but would be more like guṇa in the sense of the specific talents that our karmas and saṃskāras manifest in this life. So persons with a strong inclination toward scriptural study, philosophy, and teaching would be Brahmins; administrators and "born leaders" would be Kshatriyas; people with business acumen or interest in a particular trade would be Vaishyas; and those drawn to service professions would be Shudras (again, with no implication of superiority or inferiority amongst any of these, but with all seen as essential to the healthy running of society).

I'd like to avoid controversy, and have no strong attachment to this idea, but just want to know what people think about it (and it seems appropriate in this thread).

Omkara
24 August 2013, 10:49 AM
Namaste All,

I am curious to know what various members think, specifically for those of us not born into the varṇāśrama system but identifying with Hindu belief and practice, of the idea of svadharma based on personal talent and inclination.

There is no clarity about the place of non-Indians within the varna system. This is a question that needs to be addressed by Hindus.
This is something that needs to be discussed calmly and dispassionately. If we claim our faith is Sanatana- eternal and universal, then there has to be place for non-Indians in its organization.

Amrut
24 August 2013, 11:37 AM
Namaste,

This is very complicated issue and needs to be discussed calmly without any prejudice. I understand that reading over 170 posts is indeed difficult.

Practical life and Spiritual Life

There are two aspects of life - Practical and Spiritual. Most people do not live 100 % spiritual life. Only monks and few householders live spiritual life.

Reading scriptures is one thing and living life according to the injunctions is another.

Most westerners are attracted to the spiritual aspect where guNa is stressed more. Why guNA? Because guNa, samskAra, vAsanA, icchA, desires, etc, are all inside our mind. Spirituality is direct dealing with our mind. Hence Bhagavan in Gita says that bhAva (behind offering to me) is more important than the offering itself.

In spirituality, one has to forget his/her varNa, no matter one takes sanyas or not. This means that one can contemplate directly on paramatman than doing rituals. But this is only for those few who live 100 % spiritual life and has moksha as the only goal of life. They are ready to live home, business, etc if situation demands or if Guru instructs. Their prime goal is moksha. Their mind do not demand anything else. There are vrey few desires left ot be fulfilled, and most of them can be burned or uprooted by the grace of God / Guru and SAdhanA.

Faith and Practical Living - Importance of varNa dharma by birth for universal well being

I will give one e.g.

I have seen people having faith in one particular deity and they do not even take prasad of another deity. But when they get sick, they take medicine and visit doctor. They can wait for 2-3 hours in the clinic. When I ask them for not leaving to God, they would reply, we have to be practical. I do not say, that we do not have to take medicine. What am I saying is that the first instinctive or natural reaction is to pick up phone and take an appointment with doctor or instinctive thought is to take a medicine. Not many think of God first. So it is doctor first and God later. But they would not chant veda-s or do any thing other than worshiping God. If one lives practical life, then one has to be a part of 'doing something for universal harmony in one way or the another'. Not all can meet King, but can get their favours done via the officials appointed by King. In the same way, Paramatman cannot be accessed by impure minds. So one has to purify mind by doing duties like offering food to celestials, who are like officials appointed by God. Celestials take our bhAva to God. If a person is inwardly pure or Self Realized, then one can directly worship Paramatman. If everyone will think that they are purified by naama japa, and do not do any duty for universal well being, then what will happen to this world. Our shastra-s think of well being of celestials, ancestors, our own kind (humans), animals, plants, everything. Even rivers are worshipped.

Power of Sound

The power of sound produced by chanting of veda-s is such that it opens nadis and theryby purifies the one chanting. Mantra-s when chanted loudly also travel long distance and clean nadis of all those who listen to them. On other hand this pleases celestials who bless us and by their grace, entire ecosystem works as it should.

Practical Life

In this context, when the life is not 100 % spiritual and we depend upon others, have to keep family and social relations, attend social functions and have accepted various responsibilities and duties, then we have to think of 'universal well being'. Hindu Dharma has this attitude. All 4 varNa-s have their duties. Celestials and mortals help each other. If we examine the system, then all 4 varNa-s are important and following varNa of birth according to the injunctions of scriptures maintains harmony, peace, universal well being. Along with outward benefits, one also progresses spiritually, ego is reduced, likes and dislikes are neutralized, there is compromise and hence mind control. There is also contentment. Our shastra-s think of our atmic well being.

Foreigners attracted towards spiritual aspect of Hindu Dharma

Now the question about foreigners who are attracted towards Hindu Dharma, I personally think that they are attracted towards spiritual aspect, which is one part of Hindu Dharma. Hence they may continue their work by birth or by occupation and apply spiritual aspect of Hindu Dharma.

They may or may not be able to associate with any varNa, but it is not the varNa system that they are attracted too. Who converts to Hindu to do duty of any of the varNa-s? Since Hindu Dharma was the only dharma before other religions came into existence, hence it does not have any formal procedure to convert from other faith.

Spirituality is not varNa specific - No need to leave our present occupation to live a spiritual life

Idol worship or Arch Puja (both are different), or Yog or Advaita are not varNa specific. Inner purity is of prime importance. All varNa-s are entitled to do worship or practice spirituality and progress spiritual. Chanting veda-s with dual aim to progress spiritually and to protect it is a different issue.

Even if one shows great interest in spirituality and is highly intelligent, one may not have a pure mind. So the idea is to not leave our work (occupation) and run away in forest, but to continue our work but become inwardly pure by chanting God's name or any other way prescribed by Shastra-s. In this way, I think, without being associated with any varNa (by birth) one can be progress spiritually the Hindu way.

Hindu Dharma should have place for all

Hindu Dharma being of universal nature, should have a way to give place to Non-Hindus by birth. May be in this case, varNa may be decided by occupation of your forefathers or maybe by guNa. God knows but there has to be a way.

Svadharma and Practicing any one sampradaya

Now the critical issue of svadharma and attaching to one of the varNa. It is not clear whether a particular sect or sampradaya worshiping only one deity falls under one and only one varNa. Like a vaishnava can be Brahmin or a kshatriya or a Vaishya or may be a shudra. Though, by chanting name of God, one can become pure, one is not advised to leave svadharma (occupational duties entrusted by birth) and adopt para-dharma. This is necessary for peaceful and harmonious living. But it is also true that pure Hindu, to whatever varNa he may belong, is respected by all.

So, a non-Hindu by Birth can worship Shiva or Krishna or Maa Kali / Durga, Amba, etc and practice Yog or Advaita or Bhakti or Karma (social service), as prescribed by Shastra-s.

Conclusion

In a nut shell, though spiritual and practical aspects are intertwined, can be separated from each other in terms of priority or Goal of Life. If goal is 100 % spiritual and not just curiosity, then one do not need to leave his occupation but make efforts to become inwardly pure by following any one sampradaya and live according to the injunctions of shastra-s.

I hope I have not strayed on this topic.

Amrut
24 August 2013, 11:41 AM
Namaste


There is no clarity about the place of non-Indians within the varna system. This is a question that needs to be addressed by Hindus.
This is something that needs to be discussed calmly and dispassionately. If we claim our faith is Sanatana- eternal and universal, then there has to be place for non-Indians in its organization.

I agree :)

philosoraptor
24 August 2013, 11:53 AM
I am curious to know what various members think, specifically for those of us not born into the varṇāśrama system but identifying with Hindu belief and practice, of the idea of svadharma based on personal talent and inclination. This is different from guṇa in the sense of "moral quality" (with its implication that persons of one varṇa are morally superior to others), but would be more like guṇa in the sense of the specific talents that our karmas and saṃskāras manifest in this life. So persons with a strong inclination toward scriptural study, philosophy, and teaching would be Brahmins; administrators and "born leaders" would be Kshatriyas; people with business acumen or interest in a particular trade would be Vaishyas; and those drawn to service professions would be Shudras (again, with no implication of superiority or inferiority amongst any of these, but with all seen as essential to the healthy running of society).


There is no clarity about the place of non-Indians within the varna system. This is a question that needs to be addressed by Hindus.
This is something that needs to be discussed calmly and dispassionately. If we claim our faith is Sanatana- eternal and universal, then there has to be place for non-Indians in its organization.

This is indeed an important question to discuss. Without knowledge of one's lineage tracing back one of the progenitor Rishi-s, I think it would not be correct for a Western convert to claim the status of a twice-born varNa, as per the shAstric principles we have been discussing. At the same time, shAstra-s like bhAgavata purANa are very clear that even persons from outside civilizations can be redeemed by the path of bhakti, and that great devotees even from sinful backgrounds should be given comparable respect as would be given to brahmins. This does not mean that they are brahmins, just that they should not be disrespected based on the expectation that they would be of sinful conduct based on their birth.

I'm not convinced that one must necessarily have a varNa in order to have a place in traditional Hindu society. I'm only convinced that if one has a varNa, then he or she is obligated to follow the regulations meant for people of that varNa.

Jeffery D. Long
24 August 2013, 01:08 PM
All very helpful responses thus far. Thank you!

It is indeed the spiritual practices and the larger vision of reality that it presents that I believe draw westerners to Hindu Dharma, as well as a strongly felt bond with a particular deity or deities, or a particular guru or gurus. Varṇa is poorly, if at all, understood by most of us. When it is presented in textbooks as intrinsic to Hinduism, it becomes a stumbling block for many, who may then gravitate to a system such as Buddhism, Neo-Paganism, or the 'New Age,' in order to get what they want from Hindu traditions without having to take on a millennia-old social system that has been presented as oppressive, violent, patriarchal, and so on. The availability to all of practices and systems such as Bhakti, Yoga, and Tantra alleviates the issue somewhat. But one still runs into people with a high school textbook knowledge of Hinduism who say, "What is your caste?" or "I thought you had to have a caste to be Hindu." This is perhaps simply a matter of education: informing the wider public that there are Hindus (mostly of Indian origin) who have varṇa by birth and there are Hindus (or practitioners of Hindu paths, or whatever label we want to use) who do not, and whose sādhana is informed by Hindu traditions that are not varṇa specific.

My question is also informed, though, by a larger interest in whether the concept of varṇa might be in some meaningful way "exportable," by way of analogy, even if it is not the shastric concept of varṇa by birth. I see strong similarities between the ideal of varṇa that I described in my question and the model of an ideal society given by Plato in his Republic (a model shaped, I suspect, by Indian influences, as well as much else found in Platonic thought).

Thank you once again, and I'll be happy to hear from others as well.

ShivaFan
24 August 2013, 01:13 PM
Namaste Philosoraptor

Your quote " The only reason this entire discussion is taking place is because of the obsession many modern Hindus have with trying to prove the compatibility of Hinduism with Western egalitarian views. "

This is not the reason for these discussions, and has nothing to do with western egalitarian views. It has to do with the fact that millions of Hindus from authorized lineages do not believe in the "by birth only" views of your sect nor of dubious organizations of kamakoti and it's disproven self-created historical origins.

It has nothing to do with multiculturalism and diversity beyond the fact that both do exist in Hinduism but you or your sect cannot accept and deal with that.

It is not my fault that you are a minority in "caste" or beliefs, do not tell me what I can or cannot be, just try to improve yourself.

Om Namah Shivaya

Hello All

I have just returned from Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and look forward to re-engaging this fascinating subject which will never be clarified to some, but important to discuss so that Hindus all over the world will not reject the body of Hinduism due to the sectarian views of a few.

Om Namah Sivaya

Ganeshprasad
24 August 2013, 03:02 PM
Pranam


I agree this is a very important question to address. I think it is one off the main reason why a lot of modern gurus wanting to swell the numbers, has found this an easy escape to stress the guna karma and thus we have this question that is a cause of a lot of anguish.

Such a question would not have been subject of debate in ancient time, as most would accept their position of life due to their past karma.

Having said that what now? Well the rambling will continue, there really is no authority to decide the true nature of varna of a person neither it is dynamic that it would change like a season.

Sorry to bring Iskcon as an example, there was a great desire of its leader to bring about varna system in the society, I didn't see anyone becoming a Sudra. Many who did get their second initiation, call themselves Brahmins in fact did not last very long and fell wayside.
Some of them who are sincere are still around I don't question their Bhakti but I do wonder, one or two who make their living doing Hindu marriage ceremony, what they lack in proper Sanskrit pronunciation or the Vedic karma kand they make it up by telling jokes which goes very well with audience, what a joke!

I do not see any need to adopt any varna as there is no real scope of knowing it for sure by human agency.
as it has been mentioned Bhakti or spirituality demands no such classification. Lord Krishna says;
TEXT 30

api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah
samyag vyavasito hi sah

Even if the most sinful person resolves to worship Me with single-minded loving devotion, such a person must be regarded as a saint because of making the right resolution. (9.30)
Such a person soon becomes righteous and attains everlasting peace. Be aware, O Arjuna, that My devotee never falls down. (9.31)

Jai Shree Krishna

ShivaFan
24 August 2013, 03:32 PM
Namaste IA

Let me ask a question, how many true Brahmanas are there out there participating on this forum? Not those who say they are, but those who actually practice the true benevolence, detachment and renunciation, Vedic rites and communion? Who demonstrate the character and qualities of a Knower of the Brahman, in actions and life?

There are some, ISKCON is often attacked by some extremists - and no doubt every sect has it's characters and moments - yet there was one Brahmana I knew who was from that sect, sadly the saint is now gone. It is very, very rare, and very difficult in this age.

No one can give me a quote from the Vedas proving "by birth only", one may say it is not required, but asking for a quote from Veda such as "Only one born from a Brahmana father and a Brahmana mother can be a Brahmana, no other can ever aspire or become in their mortal life unless born so by birth ", asking for this which no one seems to be able to provide is more logical than to ask for a quote from the Veda proving that a "shudra" became a "Brahmana" such as "Vishnu then said to the ascetic, lo! You are born a Shudra, but due to your renunciation I declare you a Brahmana!". To Vishnu, who doesn't say in the Veda that a Varna is "only by birth" and to Vishnu who doesn't name any jati in Veda, it seems "caste" isn't very important to Vishnu, why would He even use such terms if He doesn't subscribe to this position? In fact, even such a clear statement would be counterproductive, you would then have castist saying "see! Vishnu said the words Shudra and Brahmana, which means He says it is the most important thing of all, and this Shudra was always a Brahmana by birth but others didn't know until Vishnu said so!"...

Everyone knows my "position", that I am taught varna is not "by birth only", and certainly jat or vocation is not. Yet, I may ask, and have done so to someone who takes a "caste", "What caste are you?".

Does that mean I believe it is "by birth only". You can find such a quote from me in my life, does that prove anything?

I gave an example of a warrior by vocation who due to events in His life, changed his character in a single life, and was declared a Brahmarishi in the same life by Lord Brahma.

That was his duty. He did not do another's duty by leaving his mandate as a warrior and King, he perfomed his duty by becoming a Brahmarishi. Had he been in a battlefield at that time, perhaps he would have remained a warrior at that time, because it might have been a different situation in duty. Sometimes a medic becomes a soldier because duty to the world in face of evil calls him. He may be a doctor by vocation, and could and would help those in battle who have been unjured, but he will then be a soldier, and that is his duty at that time, he will not do the duty of another in that time when death is dancing in the field of battle, his duty as a soldier will be there and a moment may come when he will put that medic bag down and pick up an M16 and fire.

There was no need to go into every aspect of the life of Visvamitra. That can become a book, or worse just trivia. He changed. I can give many examples of this, but yet it is very rare. Each is a gem. More so today.

Om Namah Sivaya

Namaste Ganeshprashad



All your points are very strong in truth. I am not advanced enough to counter you posts, so I do not. Yes, there are those Gurus who just want to increase their numbers and so will placate others especially if they have money.

Gurus need to have and exhibit the qualities of Guru, in thier daily life. Those who give half truths to Westerners, really it is less then the fact that they are WESTERN but more to the fact that they have WEALTH or money. This is thus Guru business, not Guru. It is Guru vocation to feed his family and for cars and houses, not Guru but Guru husiness.

I don't like to be very, very critcal. Don't get me wrong. Even when a Guru has been found to have slept with a prostitute, I may still honor him, in a sense forgive him, when the good character comes forward. I am not extreme in that way.

But there are fake Gurus, yes.

Om Namah Sivaya

ShivaFan
24 August 2013, 04:05 PM
Namaste

A valid example was given of cases where a Brahmana, Rishi, Guru has a violation during his life, and yet remains a Brahmana, Rishi, Guru,

Yes, and I don't have a "personal issue" with that. I gave the example of a Guru who slept with a prostitute. But should I then tear the heart out of such a Guru, who did good work, who did this fallen act, but who comes and then continues good work? If there is a fake Guru who is in the money business for cars and houses, that Guru should be condemned even if he did not sleep with a prostitute. But if the Guru was not in that guna, yet falls down, who am I to be vicious and never end at pointing a finger? For such a Guru, who then comes again and does good work, let us move on and give back fellowship and give respect. May the prostitute go away, may the Guru come back into the temple and home!

And in regards to cars and home, the fake Guru who seeks this from day one and runs a Guru business, yes it should be condemned. But there is nothing wrong with a true Guru given a ride in a Rolls-Royce. To cross the sky in a 747 Boeing airplane. And to one truly detached, it is what is to be done that matters, not caste nor how one gets there from New Delhi to New York in a material world.

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
25 August 2013, 04:13 AM
Namaste



Namaste IA

Let me ask a question, how many true Brahmanas are there out there participating on this forum? Not those who say they are, but those who actually practice the true benevolence, detachment and renunciation, Vedic rites and communion? Who demonstrate the character and qualities of a Knower of the Brahman, in actions and life?


Calm down SihvaFan ji :) - thats a (peaceful) smile and not a laugh

I do not know. I am Brahmin by birth. But we do not chant veda-s. As far as I am concerned, I will PM you about myself. Then it is left to you to decide whether I live a spiritual life or not. Your asking - is any one in HDF considered as an authority. In this context, if I continue, then entire forum will collapse, as none of the answers given by anyone of us to newcomers or to anyone would be worth consideration.

I am not running away from this situation. Please do not mix spirituality with varNa. Brahmana is not a saint and even in olden times not all brahmanas were knowers of Brahman.

You may be right in saying that no one here is an authority on Hinduism. But in this case are we not supposed to follow the teachings of great saints who are considered as an authority on spirituality?

You may discredit Kamakoti math, but I have also given e.g. of Gita Shankara Bhashya in which Adi Shankara has explained verse 18.41. If I call myself as an advaitin, then I *must* accept what Adi Shankara has said, infact I have changed my opinion from varNa by guNa to varNa by guNa, but guNa inherited by birth after reading Shankara Bhasya on B.G. 18.41 and reading the book Hindu Dharma.


After you asked for quote from any saint who was present before 500 years, I have give opinion of 4 acharya-s – Adi Shankara, Ramanuja, Sridhara Swami and Keshavv Kashmiri representing Kumar / Nimbarka Sampradaya via their bhasya-s on BG 18.41.

If you would have accepted them and hence their words, their interpretation of shastra-s as authentic, then this discussion would not have been dragged to this extend. When I quoted them, you asked for direct quote from veda-s. Now you imply that none here on HDF truly live as Brahmanas. So what are we supposed to do in this case?

On the other hand you have not given quote from any saint or acharya who lived before 500 years (since no one in this forum is an authority) that concurs what you say or in other words you present their views.

If you visit ChaNoda, GayA, KAshi, HaridwAra, Rishikesha and some holy places in South, there are some Brahmins who still keep the ancient tradition alive. Our dharma is not dead.


No one can give me a quote from the Vedas proving "by birth only", one may say it is not required, but asking for a quote from Veda such as "Only one born from a Brahmana father and a Brahmana mother can be a Brahmana, no other can ever aspire or become in their mortal life unless born so by birth "This is an extreme statement. I have never said in this context, in the tone you are implying. No one is denying exception. Infact I have given quote that only high souled ones can grasp truth and that such person is very rare. There are quotes form upanishad-s and Gita. Vivek Chudamani says same thing. The ones attracted towards spirituality and live a spiritual life are indeed rare. Being curious about spirituality or reading too many books does not mean that one lives spiritual life. This makes the conversion a minority. Infact, such rare souls often cross the borders of varNa. Many times I have said that please do not mix spiritual and practical dharmic instructions. Havans yajna-s do not grant moksha, but make you qualify for Jnana. They cleanse you inwardly and benefit all.

I have raised one question over and over again what happens if varNa is by guNa.

Who is going to decide who fits in which varNa. guNa is invisible, so actions has to be studied. It takes so much time to understand a person. Life partners / business partners, brothers all betray each other in this yuga.

How are you going to know the intention behind any karma? I may serve you for 10 years. But I may have an eye on your 10 Crore (100 million) property.

Yet you or others have not been able to answer it.


There was no need to go into every aspect of the life of Visvamitra. That can become a book, or worse just trivia. He changed. I disagree. How is it possible to understand the context if we do not know the full story and think over all points?

--------


Just Believing in one philosophy is not good enough. The philosophy must be practically applicable. Following it should bring universal wellbeing, peace, harmony, brotherhood and must be beneficial to different races, plant, animal, human, devata, etc. I invite you or anyone who has similar view to step up and show the benefits of varNa by guNa. Also note that please do not mix spirituality (in which renunciation is given importance and is not varNa specific) and dharmic instructions. As I have said earlier, purANa-s also teach brahma-vidya, but in much easier way, hence they give spiritual instructions.

Like you have asked about purity of brahmanas, I can ask you similar questions and about the life that saint live today, but that will make things dirty.

Om Namah Shivaya

Amrut
25 August 2013, 04:25 AM
Pranam


I agree this is a very important question to address. I think it is one off the main reason why a lot of modern gurus wanting to swell the numbers, has found this an easy escape to stress the guna karma and thus we have this question that is a cause of a lot of anguish.

Such a question would not have been subject of debate in ancient time, as most would accept their position of life due to their past karma.



Namaste,

I concur. As foundation expands, founder looses it's grip over it.

Shri Ganeshaya Namah


But one still runs into people with a high school textbook knowledge of Hinduism who say, "What is your caste?" or "I thought you had to have a caste to be Hindu."

Namaste,

Certain questions are better not answered. Take maun. In reply, just give a smile :)

philosoraptor
25 August 2013, 07:50 AM
It is indeed the spiritual practices and the larger vision of reality that it presents that I believe draw westerners to Hindu Dharma, as well as a strongly felt bond with a particular deity or deities, or a particular guru or gurus. Varṇa is poorly, if at all, understood by most of us. When it is presented in textbooks as intrinsic to Hinduism, it becomes a stumbling block for many, who may then gravitate to a system such as Buddhism, Neo-Paganism, or the 'New Age,' in order to get what they want from Hindu traditions without having to take on a millennia-old social system that has been presented as oppressive, violent, patriarchal, and so on.

Dr. Long hit the nail on the head with this one.

Hereditary varNAshrama is deplorable to most, free-thinking, individualistic people, especially in the West. And without explaining the theological underpinnings of it, they are likely to simply leave aside Hinduism and look at something else. This is not to say that we must avoid telling the truth. It just means that, we have to have a correct understanding of what varNAshrama is, and be able to explain why the stereotypes are inaccurate. Now, even with a correct explanation, people may still not be interested in Hinduism. That is fine. They have to explore and find their way to the correct path. We cannot bring them to the correct path by changing what that path is. Sometimes, all you can do is smile, be a gentleman, and give them prasAdam.



The availability to all of practices and systems such as Bhakti, Yoga, and Tantra alleviates the issue somewhat. But one still runs into people with a high school textbook knowledge of Hinduism who say, "What is your caste?" or "I thought you had to have a caste to be Hindu." This is perhaps simply a matter of education: informing the wider public that there are Hindus (mostly of Indian origin) who have varṇa by birth and there are Hindus (or practitioners of Hindu paths, or whatever label we want to use) who do not, and whose sādhana is informed by Hindu traditions that are not varṇa specific.

I can confidently answer these questions by saying that one does not have to have "caste" in order to be Hindu ("Hindu" in this context meaning a follower of shAstric sanAtana-dharma or vedAnta), but those Hindus who do have "caste" (meaning, in this context, one of the divinely ordained jAti-varNas) have additional duties that are caste-specific which they are to perform as a part of their service to the Lord.

When you break apart the question, what the person is really trying to do is to begin understanding the concept by classifying things. This is normal and not necessarily a problem. But perhaps before delving into varNAsharma-dharma, which is itself a closely aligned concept with the idea of submission to the Lord's will and subordination of one's individualistic tendencies, probably one might need to discuss the tattva-s, the difference between matter and spirit, and the problem for which one should turn to religion in the first place, namely, the ephemeral nature of life and the cyclical propensity for enjoyment and suffering. When you can get them on board with these concepts, which are fairly non-sectarian, you may then move on to the idea of bringing one's self into alignment with the Lord's wishes for us, and perhaps from there discuss why varNAshrama is relevant and binding for those of us born into the Hindu tradition.



My question is also informed, though, by a larger interest in whether the concept of varṇa might be in some meaningful way "exportable," by way of analogy, even if it is not the shastric concept of varṇa by birth. I see strong similarities between the ideal of varṇa that I described in my question and the model of an ideal society given by Plato in his Republic (a model shaped, I suspect, by Indian influences, as well as much else found in Platonic thought).

Thank you once again, and I'll be happy to hear from others as well.

Plato had a point regarding his views on the qualified, "philosopher-king" and the limitations of democracy (though, in all honesty, I think his teacher Socrates was the more enlightened one, and Socrates was reportedly a vegetarian). Certainly, the ideal kShatriya was supposed to be a "philosopher-king" who studied and understood the veda-s, and applied them to his governance. Where Plato failed in his analysis is his attachment to a decidedly non-theistic worldview. He glorified the State as a virtuous institution on its own, and thus what he really wanted was an early form of socialism in which the individual's will was subordinated to that of the State. This is in sharp contrast to the Vedic worldview, in which the State is merely an institution that exists by the will of bhagavAn for the protection of the people and for encouraging them to take up their dharma-s including upAsana without fear or interruption. It is not subordination to the State that is virtuous, but rather subordination to Him, via His guru or other devotee, that is most glorious.

On the subject of "varNa-equivalence" outside of Hindu society, I am hesitant to endorse such a concept because such a thing is not spoken of in any shAstra-s with which I am familiar. This is not to say that there may not be something about it, just that I am unaware of it. The only thing I have repeatedly seen are statements that people from outside of bhArata-desha (i.e. outside vedic culture) can be redeemed by following bhAgavata-dharma. From this, it follows that one need not have a certain lineage in order to be a "Hindu." It is also certainly logical to assume that people outside the vedic sphere of influence may display various combinations of qualities that predispose them to to certain activities. However, one again runs into the same problem of determining what one's quality is, which aside from being invisible, can also be quite dynamic. Thus, I would take the conservative approach and say that a foreigner's duties are whatever his guru has approved for him based on his individual situation, and not necessarily those of a specific varNa.

Amrut
25 August 2013, 11:55 AM
Namaste,

If we proud ourselves as Hindus and believe in universal wellbeing, then we should not make such statements like you cannot be Hindu unless you are born in Hindu family .

If that was the case then why would so many saints from India would travel to USA and other western countries. Did they not knew our dharma? No. They just wanted to uplift humanity irrespective of caste and creed.

Since so many saints have traveled to the west and with immortal saints like Mahavatar Babaji instructing Paramhansa Yogananda and others to go to west would mean that this step could not be wrong. So the idea was to uplift them without dragging them to our dharma.

So for westerners, they can be Hindus without attaching or caring about varNa. They can all lift spiritually the Hindu way, as all is happening by the wish of Shiva.

Please be assured that there is no intention to out-caste anyone. We are just discussing about varNa dharma. In the end, there can be mata-bheda (difference of opinion), but not mana-bheda (superiority complex, or any negative emotions like hatred, etc).

No one is an out-caste nor there should be any attempt to call one out-caste just because one is not Hindu by birth. If one does then he / she should be politely corrected and the one who is feeling out-caste should be compassionately and calmly consoled, and given shastric evidence.

I think, the reason behind some saints saying not to leave own dharma would mean that they should not run away from the situation. They do not say they are forbidden to practice our dharma. All can apply our Dharma's instructions and can progress spiritually. If God has given them birth in a dharma then that dharma must suit them. But maybe there is no one to guide them in their dharma so they take help of our dharma specially the spiritual aspect and sincerely try to uplift them.

There are some unique features of our dharma like doctrine of karma and reincarnation, universal well being via varNa-Ashrama dharma. Meditation or nama japa is also stressed along with philosophical enquiry. Simply reading is not enough, one has to have direct experience or intuitive experience of what shastra-s say. One has to dive deep within. As mind becomes subtle and pure, one gets broader vision and clarity.

Aum

Amrut

Ganeshprasad
25 August 2013, 12:43 PM
Pranam Amrutji

I second that.

If I may add, for far too long we have been subject to ridicule by our subjugators.if lies get told enough time one may be forgiven to adjust the view to only guna and karma and drop the birth (the subject of ridicule), I can understand such sentiment but in the end truth must always prevail, it is up to us not to feel apologetic for the tradition that has stood the test of time that the birth,guna and karma go hand in hand, there can never be injustice in the court of all mighty.

Pranam ShivaFan

I do feel for your stand, one day I hope you will understand where we all coming from.
As for the exceptional circumstance of Vishvamitra you mention, you forget one thing, no mundane authority confirmed his status as BrahmRishi, his was a extraordinary tapas which resulted in Devine authority to confirm his new status, the irony still is that when his birth is mention it is always Kashtriya birth.

Jai Shree Krishna

Avyaydya
25 August 2013, 06:52 PM
Namaste,

If we proud ourselves as Hindus and believe in universal wellbeing, then we should not make such statements like you cannot be Hindu unless you are born in Hindu family .

If that was the case then why would so many saints from India would travel to USA and other western countries. Did they not knew our dharma? No. They just wanted to uplift humanity irrespective of caste and creed.

Since so many saints have traveled to the west and with immortal saints like Mahavatar Babaji instructing Paramhansa Yogananda and others to go to west would mean that this step could not be wrong. So the idea was to uplift them without dragging them to our dharma.

So for westerners, they can be Hindus without attaching or caring about varNa. They can all lift spiritually the Hindu way, as all is happening by the wish of Shiva.

Please be assured that there is no intention to out-caste anyone. We are just discussing about varNa dharma. In the end, there can be mata-bheda (difference of opinion), but not mana-bheda (superiority complex, or any negative emotions like hatred, etc).

I think this whole discussion only exists because Iskcon created a movement in which westerners try to mimic Indians in every way so they can call themselves Hindus.

Does the make them Hindus? No, only superficially. Like Judaism Hinduism consists of traditions you need to be born into. Culture is not something that can be copied. If a Westerner would live in India and marry a Hindu woman, his children can become Hindus, because they pick up the subtle aspects of the culture unconsciously.

But what converters copy is not the subtle aspects but the gross ones we perceive with our mind. That is why Western Hindus are so concerned with buying Indian clothes, eat Indian meals, quote texts Brahmanas seldom read, do Hindu rituals and exercises, all to look Hindu. The end result is something like a dog trying to behave like cat. It is a travesty.

It was not the intention of most Hindu teachers going to the west to turn westerners into Hindu's. They wanted to help westerners improve their own consciousness by teaching them techniques and open their mind to new ways to look at existence. They did not want to change westerners in Hindus.

The mentality of an Iskconite has nothing in common with that of a traditional Hindu. Many these white "Hindus" look like a circus attraction with their street processions. But they bribe, they lie, they extort, even murder, whatever. If people have any doubt that Iskcon is aDharm than they better inform themselves quickly. here (http://www.harekrsna.org/guru-photos.htm), here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFa6UQmEn98), here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tu8oTSe8Eo&feature=related), here (http://krishna1008.blogspot.nl/2013/05/jvalamukhi-devi-speaks-about-gurukula.html).

The good of Hinduism is not customs, not techniques, not philosophy, it is a mentality. A loving mentality in which love is expressed for every being in the universe because of its Divine essence. That is at the heart of it. That is what people like Vivekananda and many others spread.

But Prabhupada created a personality cult which copies the attributes but lacks the essence: true love. People are being abused. The worst is the abuse of the Children which creates more abusers in turn. It is known that 50% of children sexually abused become paedophiles themselves. It it is also known to trigger psychopathy. That is what Iskcon is: a breeding ground for sexual predators and psychopaths. That is why they so easily lie and deceive.

Really, if Iskonites are to be considered Hindus then I prefer to call myself a Pagan. I want nothing to do with Iskcon. Whenever I met them in the streets they gave me the creeps. It is all so over the top and unreal. There is nothing natural about them. This movement is so corrupt it makes Duryodhan and his brothers look like schoolboys. Here one of the many absurd stories (http://www.harekrsna.org/gbc/black/immel.htm).

You say there is no intention to outcast anyone. I suggest sincere Hindus distance criminal organisations from Sanatan Dharm, otherwise Hinduism becomes as sad a joke as Iskcon. The Ramayana and Mahabharata set a superb ethical standard for humanity, Iskcon does the opposite. But whatever you do, their self-appointed corrupt leaders will go on to give "brahmana diskha" to their pupils, which invariably leads to new power struggles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISKCON_guru_system) and new corrupt "Brahmanas".

I think the whole emphasis is put on the wrong place. Sanatan Dharm is about Dharm. the eternal Divine rules of Nature. Because these rules are Divine rules of Nature you do not need to be of any tradition or creed to follow them, nor does turning people into "Hindus" make them any better. That is only a cover for abusers who like to pursue their crimes behind new identities.

They use the same ingenious system as other cults. Make members totally submissive. Let them study and work so hard they have no time to look after their children. And then take the children under your control and abuse them. If parents object you use their beliefs about God against them. There is nothing more evil than evil disguised as good and holy.

You will not hear Iskonites discus about Dharm, no like in Christian sects they are told to focus on salvation. The promise of Moksha is what the leaders use to keep them submissive and keep their attention away what happens around them. They do not teach them Dharm, for then they would soon revolt seeing how corrupt their leaders are.

Having so many philosophies I always understood Hinduism to be Sanatan Dharm, to follow Dharm. To be free thinking but to follow Dharm, a dharmic way of life. But as Iskcon with her repressive doctrine and adharmic behaviour is also considered "Hinduism" that can not be the case.

Well then I rather be a Western Pagan following Dharm.

Avyaydya
25 August 2013, 06:59 PM
Namaste,

If we proud ourselves as Hindus and believe in universal wellbeing, then we should not make such statements like you cannot be Hindu unless you are born in Hindu family .


Why not? I would say that is normal for a non-proselyting tradition.
Do you think Dharm allows proselyting?

I would rather say: You do not need to be a Hindu to follow Sanatan Dharm. Sanatan Dharm is not a tradition. It is respecting the Divine laws of Nature. Westerners can do that individually or create their own traditions devoted to Dharm. No need at all to mimic Indians like Iskconites do.

Only proselyting religions like Christianity want to be universal

Amrut
26 August 2013, 01:57 AM
Pranam Amrutji

I second that.

If I may add, for far too long we have been subject to ridicule by our subjugators.if lies get told enough time one may be forgiven to adjust the view to only guna and karma and drop the birth (the subject of ridicule), I can understand such sentiment but in the end truth must always prevail, it is up to us not to feel apologetic for the tradition that has stood the test of time that the birth,guna and karma go hand in hand, there can never be injustice in the court of all mighty.


Jai Shree Krishna

Pranam Ganesh ji,

I third that :)

Jai Shree Krishna

charitra
26 August 2013, 07:49 AM
Shivafanji,
I just returned from Hyderabad after spending just 2 short weeks there. And whilst there among other things I did, I also attended an intercaste and interlingusitic marriage of my very close relative! Great news for Hinduism, don’t you think. In my extended family and friends circle there are many such matrimonial unions that took place and I must say these marriages have built bridges across the caste divide.
The youth will bring down the caste walls that were erected by a few ill-informed individuals who were persistent with their menacing self-centric designs that became part of their persona and wont go away all their miserable lives.
Varna is nonexistent in Kaliyuga, for that matter it got diluted right in Dwapara yuga itself and hence Sri Krishna had to define it for all the humanity standing among 18 akshounis (millions? Not sure) of soldiers on the first day of Kurukshetra war. In our era only divisive caste is left and this jati/kula is equated to varna by the caste lunatics and fanatics. But then help is on the way. Once again caste will be separated by varna and the emphasis is laid on guna in this janma. Namaste.

charitra
26 August 2013, 07:53 AM
Here is one such example that will make us gain insights as to how the caste and varna got manipulated by one or two caste people (only) in recent times. Marriage of convenience can convert one catse or non caste person into another person’s caste?!
Read below news paper article. I must say the young man’s family adopted a new progressive trend which is good for Hinduism. I would like to invite the comments of esteemed members of HDF on this laudable intercaste union-

Brahmin boy from Hornad married an orphan
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/when-push-comes-to-shove-caste-gives-way/article5039274.ece?homepage=true

When push comes to shove, caste gives way

If a marriage in Bangalore on Monday is any indication, a section of Brahmins of interior Malnad region appear to be shunning caste and endogamy.
On Monday, an educated Shivalli Brahmin boy from Hornad married an orphan brought up in a government shelter without bothering about her lineage, horoscope, caste or gotra and without seeking the counsel of a priest.
In a simple religious ceremony organised by the Department of Women and Child Development, Roopa, who entered the government orphanage as a six year old, was united with B.P. Satish, who was raised in a highly traditional Shivalli Brahmin family. “There hasn’t been a single inter-caste marriage in my family for centuries. I changed all that,” beamed Satish who works in a college at Sringeri.
What brought about this remarkable revolution?

“We are not the first. A relative too married a girl raised in a government orphanage,” said Satish’s mother M.A. Mahalakshmi. But what happened to caste? “There are more marriageable boys in our community than girls,” explains B.S. Padmanabha, the father.
Then, why not marry somebody from another caste? Why only an orphan? Mr. Padmanabha said that because an orphan has no caste. “Once an orphan marries into our caste, she becomes one of us,” said the mother. What about orphaned boys? Mother: “We are short of girls not boys.” Father: “The girl’s caste is not as important as the boy’s.”
“The problem,” according to R. Shankar, “is that educated and beautiful girls from good families only want to marry software engineers living in America. Brahmin boys from rural areas stand no chance.” Shankar and his friends T.N. Prasad and N.R. Sudhir are the new-age matchmakers within the Shivalli community.

Scouting for marriageable girls at orphanages across the State is fast becoming their fulltime occupation.
They say that the worsening farm crisis and dipping education indices among boys in the community are rendering them ineligible for marriage.
Shankar and Prasad are all for inter-caste marriages as well, but Sudhir is against the concept. “Marrying orphans and converting them as Shivallis is controversial in itself,” said Sudhir.
The groom’s younger brother B.P. Madhusudan, a shy man in his late 20s, is preparing to follow suit. “I too want to get married here,” are the only words The Hindu could coax out of him.

Keywords: inter-caste marriage (http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/when-push-comes-to-shove-caste-gives-way/article5039274.ece?homepage=true), Malnad region (http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/when-push-comes-to-shove-caste-gives-way/article5039274.ece?homepage=true)

Viraja
26 August 2013, 08:39 AM
To give my opinion on the marriage issue presented here, I would like to honestly state that i) I would not mind a different caste, even one that is socially considered 'lower' in status to that of a Brahmana but ii) I would like my son or daughter to marry someone from a well-established, decent family -- it is ok if the family has things in it like intercaste marriage, etc. But I would like a well-educated, well-settled partner for my son and my daughter.

ShivaFan
26 August 2013, 12:48 PM
Namaste

As some, e.g. Ganeshprashad, point out with strong sanction from traditions, that birth, guna and karma go hand in hand. This is where the confusion comes in regarding the position of some Saiva traditions by other traditions such as “by birth only” Vaishnav traditions for example (I am using this as an example only, and not characterizing all as having one or another tradition). There are Saiva traditions that do not follow “caste”, but they do not deny that due to good karma one can be born into a good family, or due to bad karma one can be born into a bad family. There is no denying that karma can manifest in this manner. Therefore, yes, one can say birth, guna and karma all go hand in hand. The distinction lies in that, some traditions teach that a particular birth to a particular family is thus a “life sentence” (subject to that entire, single life) and that one’s vocation is dictated by the vocation of one’s parents. I do not follow this tradition of “castism”, I believe that while varna is obviously Vedic, jati or caste based vocation is not. Varna is obvious to almost all cultures, since the beginning of “modern” times (viz the establishments of states when humans ceased to be simply hunters/gatherers), most every society has recognized that there is a stratification in society based on priests (who conduct or protect religion), warriors (who are protecting the state), farmers and business classes, and (“blue-collar” in modern Western terms) workers who are the labor class. However, one can, with the combination of good character that is intrinsic or developed (and obviously those who are born in a “good” family often have an advantage to learn such good character from their parents), good boons and accumulated good works, one can become anything in a single life, even a Brahmarishi. Obviously the state of Brahmarishi is so rare, one can say it is unheard of, but successfully changing vocation by study and proving oneself to society and/or employer is common as the changing of seasons. Also, do not discount even direct intervention by Devas or Devi in a particular devotee’s life. However, true Brahmanas are also so rare today, they are practically nil in this age, but there are some who master Vedic rites or become exceptional in knowledge. And confusion is rampant in this age due to those who may have been a Brahmana but then lost this status, they even teach false and bad character to their offspring, they hurt others in society, they have no standing as a Knower of the Brahman, yet due to the “caste” (by birth) claims, their offspring claim they are brahmins just because their parents were such but actually their parents were demons. In fact, such would be an example of being born into a bad Brahmin family, even a Rakshasa, which could be attributed to bad karma. A Brahmana is more than just a priest in a temple (brahmin). A demon is not just a Rakshasa for example, but one who claims Brahmana status but turns this into only a “name” (or title) and betrays all the expectations of such responsibilities and commitments to society. I was told by an authorized savant, that I am a “Vaishya”, but I do not care about that. To tell the truth, it would have been a “wish” that this savant would have said, “ShivaFan, I tell you, you are a Kshatriya!”. Now THAT I would have liked, but being told the claim that I am a Vaishya is as “disappointing” to me as if I were told I am a “Brahmin” which would have also disappointed me since, frankly, the idea of being a “priest” and chanting Vedic mantras is not for me. In general, that description as a “farmer or business person” may match my character, I am in the IT industry, and while that pays well, in fact I make notably more every year from my investments than I do in salary (among the Ramayana and Saivism, investing is sort of a “passion” and actually I am very good at it). I also happen to love the “hard stone” fruit industry (cherries, peaches, plums, etc.). Yet, I live simply, and hope to again start travel as I did often when I was younger, which I plan on doing after I retire at 59 ½ years old. At that point, I have no idea what would best describe me, since the best description is "an adventurer" but even the claim that I am “Vaishya” is not relevant to me, in that I openly admit I am not “twice born” (e.g. reborn by an Acharya).

By the way, once again let me emphasize, I nor anyone in the tradition I respect, will or would tell anyone else they must "give up their caste". No. Nor would I try to tell someone else, "you must be this or that" (caste, or untouchable, etc.).


Namaste Charitra and Viraja

What an interesting read, thanks for that! I wish all the best for your very close relative, and congratulations! Even though my own daughter’s matrimony is many years away, I have been studying the works by author Dr. Sheenu Srinivasan to prepare for it (Jeffery Long introduced this author to me). To me, caste means nothing, but I am with Viraja in the perspective that whoever she marries, I want it to be from a good family as possible, where alliances of families can benefit all because we cannot be isolated from each other, especially in Kali Yuga where there are so many dangers.

Anyway, I am on a break right now, and have to get back to "work", but I really enjoyed your post Charitra, and also I agree with Viraja!

Om Namah Sivaya

Avyaydya
26 August 2013, 04:02 PM
Shivafanji,
I just returned from Hyderabad after spending just 2 short weeks there. And whilst there among other things I did, I also attended an intercaste and interlingusitic marriage of my very close relative! Great news for Hinduism, don’t you think.
With a bit of luck you children will marry Christians and Muslims and they will be free of Hindu ties altogether. Or they may marry into Iskcon and your grandchildren become the favourite of a guru and given Brahmana dicksha.

You may be right that cast boundaries are coming down. But it still has to be proven that the so-called egalitarian society is any better. When traditional class boundaries disappear they are replaced with new ones. It simply means that prestige that families built over many generations is replaced with wealth and fame. But you will see that the new wealthy then use their capital to marry into old impoverished families of reputation. What you end up with is something more corrupt, something more power and money hungry.

There will always be classes because that is simply a logical product of Nature. Classes are not instated on people from above. They are naturally formed. They can be perceived as negative for obstructing change or as positive for creating stability in society. The poorest in society are most served with stability and the first victims of change.

It is a bit early to embrace the new era as one of bounty. Change is so rapid that everything becomes unstable. No one can say if we are going to land in paradise or in a nightmare. Maybe in half a century the rich will say: we do not need the underclass anymore, we have robots now. Lets kill them off so we have less pressure on the ecosystem. Who is going to stop them if the people that defend ethics no longer have any power?

It is not whether classes will exist, it is rather which classes we allow to rule. Is it military or money that will rule or do we want to give power to people that have higher ethics. Positions of power are actively strived for by ruthless power hungry people, that is why it is good to have barriers.

People are seldom better off with a power change because it simply means that a new group of people will fill their pockets at the costs of the rest. If they are replaced with yet another group, the process is repeated further impoverishing people. Then people realise they were much better of with the old guard. Because only when secure power positions are achieved the leaders start to become interested in the needs of others to create stability to maintain their position.

What we are now moving to is an cosmopolitan money elite owning big corporations and banks that have no affiliation with people of any nation. The local elite they buy and bribe to do their bidding. The more local power systems are based on the rationality of economics the easier this is. Countries that still have strong socials structures have a better defence.

They idea of one big happy world without class boundaries where everyone is rewarded for his abilities only is not so ethical as it seems either. It means that those that are less competitive go under having no niches to survive. It means older workers get ditched, it means workers suddenly get laid off because somewhere else in the world production now is cheaper.

The new global elite wants to get rid of all cultural boundaries within and between countries. They want a world market. But be sure that they will take good care of their own family and a new feudal system will arise. The rich of this world now have 32 trillion stashed on secret bank accounts on which the never pay taxes. Multinationals now pay no more than 1% tax. This new colonialism is simply a continuation of the old one but at an even bigger scale.

Countries will only be able to steer their own destiny if they have an local elite that is firmly grounded in their society and feel connected to this society. What creates the strongest ties? It is family, tribes, race, traditions, all the things modernists so detest. But break down these borders and nations will be sold out by an elite only interested in their own luxury.

Modernists are utopians, they believe modernity is always something better. We will have to see that, human nature tells me differently. Caste barriers were not imposed, people created them themselves to protect their income for their family. Burn them down and you will feel the annihilating force of capitalism and some people will get tremendously rich but the hundreds of millions will die having no more protection. Inefficiency and corruption is seen as evil. But maximum efficiently simply means that the capital provider can produce with sharing the least of income with others. Inefficiency means that more money leaks into the local system.

That is why Dutch colonialists forbid their employees to marry with natives. Then money would bleed away. Why did the colonialist spread Christianity in their colonies? Well simple, because it served their system. A slave system is served with a slave ideology that forbids people to rise against injustice and teaches them to accept hardship. That tells them to put their hope on the afterlife instead. Just like Iskcon leaders teach their servants to concentrate on Moksha while they take care of their children.

Varna by guna is utopian. Who is going to determine that? In reality it is will simply mean varna is determined by people in power. Like Iskons self-appointed rulers now give brahmana dicksha to who serve their needs best. It is much better to try to uphold a wall against the forces of power and greed.

ShivaFan
26 August 2013, 04:31 PM
Namaste

Yudhisthira was the eldest son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti, the King of Indraprastha and Hastinapura, and was known as a Dharmaraja or King of Dharma.

What is one's caste, if born in the body of a dog? And what birth is higher than Dharma itself?

After Krishna left the world, the Pandavas, accompanied by a dog, made their final journey of pilgrimage to the Himalayas, including Yudhisthira the Dharmaraja. Eventually the Pandavas, including Arjuna, found themselves in hell to atone for karmic wrongs as each died along the path into the snowy Mountains.

But not Yudhisthira and his companion, the dog. The Dharmaraja reached the highest peak.

It was then that Indra offered Yudhisthira a chariot to heaven, but said it was not proper for a dog to step into the chariot. So Yudhisthira said, then he would stay on that snowy peak, for that loyal dog was dharma in quality.

It was then, that dog changed before all. The body born as a dog became the embodiment of Dharma itself in that very life.

I think it is best, do not judge others who follow you by the body they are born in, but by their character. Dharma always followed Yudhisthira. That dog was declared his Father, for Dharma is his Father, this dog was thus his second Father, and the source of peace. Both went on to heaven.

Om Namah Sivaya

brahma jijnasa
26 August 2013, 10:00 PM
Namaste all

Regarding Philosoraptor's objections to my posts I want to say that they are ridiculous at least. Yes, I'm calling it "ridiculous". Whatever the argument or an answer I give, he either ignores or he even challenges tradition that represents the argument. Then he repeats the same questions and objections over and over again although I had already answered them. I really do not see the point in such a discussion. The discussion becomes pointless.

Amrut's objections are slowly going towards Philosoraptor's.
So here I will only answer the question that he repeated several times although it seems that he himself has already given the answer to this question.

I have raised one question over and over again what happens if varNa is by guNa.

Who is going to decide who fits in which varNa. guNa is invisible, so actions has to be studied. It takes so much time to understand a person. Life partners / business partners, brothers all betray each other in this yuga.

How are you going to know the intention behind any karma? I may serve you for 10 years. But I may have an eye on your 10 Crore (100 million) property.

Yet you or others have not been able to answer it.

See, you said "so actions has to be studied". In fact works and qualities.
We have that in Bhagavad-gītā 18.41 and forward (http://vedabase.net/bg/18/en) :


"Brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes, O chastiser of the enemy."

"these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."
"are the natural qualities of work for the kṣatriyas."
...
"By following his qualities of work ..."
"Duties prescribed according to one's nature ..."
"one should not give up the work born of his nature"

See also Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/35/) :


"If one shows the symptoms of being a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra, as described above, even if he has appeared in a different class, he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification."

So we have "Brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures", "natural qualities" or "work born of his nature" and "symptoms". What are symptoms? See Bhāgavatam 7.11.21 and forward (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/en) :


"The symptoms of a brāhmaṇa are control of the mind, control of the senses, austerity and penance, cleanliness, satisfaction, forgiveness, simplicity, knowledge, mercy, truthfulness, and complete surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
...
...

All this should be taken into account.
"Who is going to decide who fits in which varna"?
The person himself, his parents, guru, Brahmins, sages, society, ...

I'm not saying that this can work today. It worked once in the Vedic civilization.

regards

philosoraptor
26 August 2013, 10:36 PM
Here is one such example that will make us gain insights as to how the caste and varna got manipulated by one or two caste people (only) in recent times. Marriage of convenience can convert one catse or non caste person into another person’s caste?!
Read below news paper article. I must say the young man’s family adopted a new progressive trend which is good for Hinduism. I would like to invite the comments of esteemed members of HDF on this laudable intercaste union-

Brahmin boy from Hornad married an orphan
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/when-push-comes-to-shove-caste-gives-way/article5039274.ece?homepage=true

When push comes to shove, caste gives way

If a marriage in Bangalore on Monday is any indication, a section of Brahmins of interior Malnad region appear to be shunning caste and endogamy.
On Monday, an educated Shivalli Brahmin boy from Hornad married an orphan brought up in a government shelter without bothering about her lineage, horoscope, caste or gotra and without seeking the counsel of a priest.
In a simple religious ceremony organised by the Department of Women and Child Development, Roopa, who entered the government orphanage as a six year old, was united with B.P. Satish, who was raised in a highly traditional Shivalli Brahmin family. “There hasn’t been a single inter-caste marriage in my family for centuries. I changed all that,” beamed Satish who works in a college at Sringeri.
What brought about this remarkable revolution?

“We are not the first. A relative too married a girl raised in a government orphanage,” said Satish’s mother M.A. Mahalakshmi. But what happened to caste? “There are more marriageable boys in our community than girls,” explains B.S. Padmanabha, the father.
Then, why not marry somebody from another caste? Why only an orphan? Mr. Padmanabha said that because an orphan has no caste. “Once an orphan marries into our caste, she becomes one of us,” said the mother. What about orphaned boys? Mother: “We are short of girls not boys.” Father: “The girl’s caste is not as important as the boy’s.”
“The problem,” according to R. Shankar, “is that educated and beautiful girls from good families only want to marry software engineers living in America. Brahmin boys from rural areas stand no chance.” Shankar and his friends T.N. Prasad and N.R. Sudhir are the new-age matchmakers within the Shivalli community.

Scouting for marriageable girls at orphanages across the State is fast becoming their fulltime occupation.
They say that the worsening farm crisis and dipping education indices among boys in the community are rendering them ineligible for marriage.
Shankar and Prasad are all for inter-caste marriages as well, but Sudhir is against the concept. “Marrying orphans and converting them as Shivallis is controversial in itself,” said Sudhir.
The groom’s younger brother B.P. Madhusudan, a shy man in his late 20s, is preparing to follow suit. “I too want to get married here,” are the only words The Hindu could coax out of him.

Keywords: inter-caste marriage (http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/when-push-comes-to-shove-caste-gives-way/article5039274.ece?homepage=true), Malnad region (http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/when-push-comes-to-shove-caste-gives-way/article5039274.ece?homepage=true)


Pranams,

I don't understand how the above example "will make us gain insights as to how the caste and varna got manipulated by one or two caste people (only) in recent times."

It seems that charitra is arguing that because this brahmin married an orphan girl of unknown caste, that it is therefore a standard in Hinduism and those who follow different practices have somehow "manipulated" things. I am not clear on why charitra arbitrarily assumes this Hindu's practices to be compatible with the revisionist view of non-hereditary varNa. How does he know that it isn't this Hindu who is "manipulating" standards?

Moreover, and this is a bit of a digression, but I am a little disturbed at the idea of men (of any caste) cruising orphanages to look for marriagable girls. This is not to say that orphan girls should not get married. My grandmother was an orphan, so obviously I have nothing against that. I just can't help but question whether the girls who are being given up to marriages will have any family member to advocate for them, should the boy or his family turn out to be abusive or exploitive. In fact, I wonder if that isn't the real reason why some boys go looking for girls from orphanages. I certainly hope I am wrong on that.

Also, in response to Viraja's comment earlier, I am unclear on why wanting a same-caste marriage is a bad thing, while wanting a "highly educated" spouse for marriage is not a bad thing. What if a person is virtuous but does not have the benefit of a university education due to poverty or other factors? Isn't that discrimination also?

Viraja
27 August 2013, 07:40 AM
Also, in response to Viraja's comment earlier, I am unclear on why wanting a same-caste marriage is a bad thing, while wanting a "highly educated" spouse for marriage is not a bad thing. What if a person is virtuous but does not have the benefit of a university education due to poverty or other factors? Isn't that discrimination also?

1. I never said same caste marriage "is a bad thing", I only said, "I am open to intercaste marriage".

2. I never said I want "highly educated partner" for my children, I said, "I want well-educated and well-settled partner for my children". (because a marriage works out better that way).

If you feel you are beyond all forms of expectation w.r.t the marriage of your children, say so but don't challenge everybody for their preference, this is normal forum-decorum which any average-Joe should know.

philosoraptor
27 August 2013, 02:01 PM
1. I never said same caste marriage "is a bad thing", I only said, "I am open to intercaste marriage".

2. I never said I want "highly educated partner" for my children, I said, "I want well-educated and well-settled partner for my children". (because a marriage works out better that way).

Thank you for the clarification. I will restate my question to be more clear. For those of you who feel that insisting on same-caste marriage is bad (which does not include Viraja), why would you not be similarly critical of someone who wants a "well-educated and well-settled partner" for her children? What if someone is not "well-educated" because of his poverty? That person would be out of the running for someone looking for "well-educated and well-settled" even though he might otherwise be a dharmic person. Is that not a form of discrimination? If not, then why not? If so, then why is that acceptable, but wanting same-caste marriage is not acceptable? This question is not addressed to Viraja. Perhaps charitra can answer it, since he/she first brought up the issue of intercaste marriages here, going so far as to imply that wanting same-caste marriage amounts to some kind of manipulation of the system in recent times.

Viraja
27 August 2013, 02:29 PM
FYI - By well educated and well-settled, I mean 'accomplished' on the part of the individual, with decent education and a means for living that is self-earned. He might have risen in his life having been a pizza-delivery person too, (not that pizza-delivery is derogatory) but having risen to a good position where he/she can be considered a 'contributing' member.

I never said he cannot be from a poor family background.. 'cause that includes me. I was basically from a not-so-well-to-do-family and got my upliftment in life after marriage. I wouldn't discriminate anybody for their poverty.

Please don't use me for your example.

(ps: Why don't you confirm and praise Charitra if he really would seek alliance for someone from an Orphanage without a caste for his son or daughter?)

philosoraptor
27 August 2013, 03:49 PM
FYI - By well educated and well-settled, I mean 'accomplished' on the part of the individual, with decent education and a means for living that is self-earned. He might have risen in his life having been a pizza-delivery person too, (not that pizza-delivery is derogatory) but having risen to a good position where he/she can be considered a 'contributing' member.

I never said he cannot be from a poor family background.. 'cause that includes me. I was basically from a not-so-well-to-do-family and got my upliftment in life after marriage. I wouldn't discriminate anybody for their poverty.

Please don't use me for your example.

(ps: Why don't you confirm and praise Charitra if he really would seek alliance for someone from an Orphanage without a caste for his son or daughter?)

Pranams,

The reality is, many Indians want a "well-educated, well-settled" daughter-in-law or son-in-law for their son or daughter's marriage, even when they are otherwise uninterested in intra-caste marriage. More power to them. I have no issues with this per se.

I am just trying to understand the double-standard that is exhibited when some of them criticize intra-caste marriage, as charitra was implicitly doing. Let us come up with an example of someone who would not meet your (or any other typical Hindu middle-class parent's) criteria of "well-educated, well-settled," just for the sake of illustration. Let's say that the prospective son-in-law is a traditional brahmin who studied in gurukula, does his sandhya-vandana three times a day, studies shruti, knows mantras and is skilled in performing all kinds of pujas, expects to be a full-time pujAri and/or brahmin scholar, marry, perform garbodhana-samskAra before begetting children, etc. He will never be wealthy or even middle-class. In fact, the best he can hope to be is a temple pujari, or maybe a free-lance pujari. That person would not meet your criteria of being "well-educated, well-settled," and thus would be discriminated against.

Now, let us consider another example just by way of illustration. Let's just say we have a poor Hindu boy who grew up poor in the United States, went to public school, did ok in that school, but did not have money to go to college. Father lost his job and both parents were too poor and had many health problems so they could not come up with the money to send their son to any college. But, the boy is honest, pious, worships his deity every day, and eats only prasAdam after it is offered to his deity. He is a vegetarian, does not drink, does not smoke, and respects his elders. At age 30 years, he is marriageable, but he is still working two jobs just to support himself, one as a pizza delivery boy and the other as private security guard. He is making enough to support a wife and son provided that they are willing to live simply, i.e. in an apartment down the street from the local Hindu temple, which he frequents almost every other day. Now, again, that kind of person would also be discriminated against in the "well-educated, well-settled" criteria put forth previously.

The reason this is interesting is because, after professing a desire for a "well-educated, well-settled" groom for your daughter (which, again, I personally have no problem with), there was nary an outcry from any of the arbiters of Hindu morality on this forum. Not from charitra, nor from shivafan, nor from brahma-jijnasa, nor wundermonk, nor Eriko, etc, even though all these individuals have previously verbalized hostility and even derogatory sentiments towards those persons/cultures/scriptures which classify Hindus based on their familial ties. In other words, they don't like caste discrimination, but they are perfectly ok with class discrimination. Why is that?

This would seem to be a good illustration of the latent attitude of materialism tacitly endorsed by those Hindus who criticize birth-based, varNAshrama. Certainly I have made the point repeatedly that when you caste out (pun intended) varNAsharma system based on birth, you will be left with a class system based on more materialistic parameters (i.e. "well-educated" and "well-settled") for differentiation. How is this system, which easily discriminates against the pious and the virtuous, an improvement over traditional varNAshrama-dharma?

EDIT: I ask the reader not to respond to the question just yet, but to simply ponder over the point and let it sink in first.

Viraja
27 August 2013, 04:24 PM
Pranams,

The reality is, many Indians want a "well-educated, well-settled" daughter-in-law or son-in-law for their son or daughter's marriage, even when they are otherwise uninterested in intra-caste marriage. More power to them. I have no issues with this per se.

I am just trying to understand the double-standard that is exhibited when some of them criticize intra-caste marriage, as charitra was implicitly doing. Let us come up with an example of someone who would not meet your (or any other typical Hindu middle-class parent's) criteria of "well-educated, well-settled," just for the sake of illustration. Let's say that the prospective son-in-law is a traditional brahmin who studied in gurukula, does his sandhya-vandana three times a day, studies shruti, knows mantras and is skilled in performing all kinds of pujas, expects to be a full-time pujAri and/or brahmin scholar, marry, perform garbodhana-samskAra before begetting children, etc. He will never be wealthy or even middle-class. In fact, the best he can hope to be is a temple pujari, or maybe a free-lance pujari. That person would not meet your criteria of being "well-educated, well-settled," and thus would be discriminated against.

Now, let us consider another example just by way of illustration. Let's just say we have a poor Hindu boy who grew up poor in the United States, went to public school, did ok in that school, but did not have money to go to college. Father lost his job and both parents were too poor and had many health problems so they could not come up with the money to send their son to any college. But, the boy is honest, pious, worships his deity every day, and eats only prasAdam after it is offered to his deity. He is a vegetarian, does not drink, does not smoke, and respects his elders. At age 30 years, he is marriageable, but he is still working two jobs just to support himself, one as a pizza delivery boy and the other as private security guard. He is making enough to support a wife and son provided that they are willing to live simply, i.e. in an apartment down the street from the local Hindu temple, which he frequents almost every other day. Now, again, that kind of person would also be discriminated against in the "well-educated, well-settled" criteria put forth previously.

The reason this is interesting is because, after professing a desire for a "well-educated, well-settled" groom for your daughter (which, again, I personally have no problem with), there was nary an outcry from any of the arbiters of Hindu morality on this forum. Not from charitra, nor from shivafan, nor from brahma-jijnasa, nor wundermonk, nor Eriko, etc, even though all these individuals have previously verbalized hostility and even derogatory sentiments towards those persons/cultures/scriptures which classify Hindus based on their familial ties. In other words, they don't like caste discrimination, but they are perfectly ok with class discrimination. Why is that?

This would seem to be a good illustration of the latent attitude of materialism tacitly endorsed by those Hindus who criticize birth-based, varNAshrama. Certainly I have made the point repeatedly that when you caste out (pun intended) varNAsharma system based on birth, you will be left with a class system based on more materialistic parameters (i.e. "well-educated" and "well-settled") for differentiation. How is this system, which easily discriminates against the pious and the virtuous, an improvement over traditional varNAshrama-dharma?

Namaste,

You will not find answer for your question because when it comes to one's character or his/her placement in life, varna becomes secondary. To both your examples, one of being a brahmana priest of ordinary means, other being a Blue-collar worker of ordinary means, but both good in character, I would definitely not say no, I would say a yes, and leave it upto the prarabdha and sound judgement of my son or daughter. The reason being that as parents, everyone wishes 'the best' for their child(ren) but when it comes to the circumstances, many will be able to accept something no so best from their standard but good from other but relatively important standards. I have sentimental reasons for choosing to word as 'well-educated' and 'well-settled' partner for child, too, (such as 'tatastu devas' blessing my children have marriages accordingly) but I've also given a good explanation of what it is meant by 'well-educated and well-settled too'. Anyone can see that i) I do not see caste as barrier, ii) I do not see poverty as barrier. When it comes to the actual decision, it is only the hearts that will win but as parents, everyone wants to wish the best for their child(ren).

Please do not blame others as if you are the only person capable of goodness and charitable thinking, that is the reason people have been behind you always, and that's the reason they are not behind me now.

philosoraptor
27 August 2013, 04:32 PM
Please do not blame others as if you are the only person capable of goodness and charitable thinking, that is the reason people have been behind you always, and that's the reason they are not behind me now.

Please do not divert the discussion by making unwarranted, unoriginal, strawman attacks against my character. We can start a thread elsewhere if you want to vilify me, and I'll even join in and show you how to insult me in a wittier fashion. But for now, I am mostly interested in hearing from those, as I previously indicated, who don't like caste discrimination but seem ok with class discrimination.

Viraja
27 August 2013, 05:34 PM
Please do not divert the discussion by making unwarranted, unoriginal, strawman attacks against my character. We can start a thread elsewhere if you want to vilify me, and I'll even join in and show you how to insult me in a wittier fashion. But for now, I am mostly interested in hearing from those, as I previously indicated, who don't like caste discrimination but seem ok with class discrimination.

I'll do that when you stop vilifying me by setting me an "example for class discrimination" by using the terminologies I used as an example for what I might prefer in my childrens' marriages. Every parent has the right to wish for the best for their children and secodly, the society never has and never will operate in the mode of "Hey! my children are getting married, get the best groom or bride, the one who is most devout and goes to temple everyday and has no bad habits, all the way from the minister's (or king's) family upto that orphanage around the street". Everybody is going to wish for the best for their children and will settle down for the good in character, if they are good enough. Mine was said in that spirit and you totally vilified me based on your strawmen.

philosoraptor
27 August 2013, 08:38 PM
I'll do that when you stop vilifying me by setting me an "example for class discrimination" by using the terminologies I used as an example for what I might prefer in my childrens' marriages. Every parent has the right to wish for the best for their children and secodly, the society never has and never will operate in the mode of "Hey! my children are getting married, get the best groom or bride, the one who is most devout and goes to temple everyday and has no bad habits, all the way from the minister's (or king's) family upto that orphanage around the street". Everybody is going to wish for the best for their children and will settle down for the good in character, if they are good enough. Mine was said in that spirit and you totally vilified me based on your strawmen.

*sigh*

It's just not possible to have an intelligent conversation with you if you chose to misinterpret my words. I have no interest in "vilifying" you or anyone else, nor have I questioned your "right" to raise your children as you choose.

I am simply pointing out that the socially acceptable class discrimination which people habitually engage in when it comes to match-making (e.g. wanting an "educated" or "settled" son-in-law or daughter-in-law), is not criticized by those who would criticize caste discrimination in the same context of match-making. I was very clear in addressing my question to charitra et. al.

After calling me inhumane, intolerant, and all sorts of unsavory adjectives, I'm surprised that we are still at this level of discourse. Since I am clearly an Evil person in your mind, can we just stipulate that this how you will always view me, that you will always interpret my statements in the worst possible light, and that there is therefore no need for you to respond to anything I say further? Please just add me to your ignore list and save the forum from this endless, irrelevant banter.

In the meantime, charitra, brahma-jijnasa, shivafan, and other opponents of the "vile" culture of determining varNa-by-birth, my question still stands: why do you oppose caste discrimination in marital match-making, which is a traditional feature of ancient Hindu culture, but have no objections to class discrimination in the same context?

In a pious, traditional Hindu family, it is quite possible, and indeed not infrequent, for two people belonging to same/similar "caste," yet on opposite ends of the socio-political-economic spectrum, to marry and have children despite differences in earning power and level of secular education. A perfect example of this is the marriage of the Pandavas to Draupadi. At the time of the svayamvara, King Drupada thought the Pandavas were merely brahmin Rishis. How many people do you know of who would voluntarily approve of their child marrying a materially poor but spiritually rich person? This would not be possible in modern Hindu culture, for reasons already pointed out earlier, and for which you seem to have no real issue with.

Just help me understand the double-standard. That's all I am asking.


thanks,

charitra
27 August 2013, 09:39 PM
First of all, the readers of this thread and other similar caste threads must n’t get concerned about the seeming caste divide plaguing the religious landscape. Caste is NOT the cancer ravaging Hinduism, please be advised. Caste doesn’t have any overbearing presence amongst us, it is just is one of the many irksome entities like language , region etc, and even skin color becomes much more of an important issue for match hunters if you will. So therefore relax, read and remain curious about the caste wars, but certainly don’t get worked up anymore than you should. As one mother above reflects, the contemporary surging trends are unmistakable on those very same lines: ‘if boy/girl is otherwise good, then caste takes a backseat’. That’s not just the (current) hindu way, as you all know, that is the universal way parents opine on all over the planet about the marital partners for their offspring.

The family in my newspaper article did good. As I said, the family has adopted a practical solution to resolve a difficult problem, which in this case is to find a suitable girl! All hindus must applaud and encourage these intercaste unions. As for as my perception goes the winds of change are already here and intercaste marriages have become a very common place of occurrence nowadays. The unmarried men and women must crossover and marry intercaste to establish a one large hindu undivided family. Whilst at it, lets not leave aside the new hindus, our prized possession, those who have joined us voluntarily. We should remind ourselves that just because they belong to another race they aren’t any less hindus than us, they are one of us, marry them without any hesitation whatsoever. For Hinduism belongs to all humanity.

The manipulation connotation is apparently causing some confusion here. Whilst I have my wholehearted blessings for the newly wed couple in the above newspaper article, I must say I was bit puzzled as to the ways the family was trying to rationalize the wedding in the realm of caste dynamics ( marrying off their son to an orphan). “since she grew up casteless she can be our caste from here forwards”. Funny, the girl acquires a caste after birth, I thought caste is by birth and Varna is by Gunas acquired after birth, clearly there is a reversal of the concept per the family, a good development on the whole anyways. Again I am all for the girl to take up the caste of the husband without any fuss, a namesake attribute she may paint herself with would serve a defense mechanism just so to fit in with the in-laws. I go a step further. The couple must be encouraged in many ways. The progeny of this couple should be allowed to train and become Pujaris and also they may follow other pouro.hithyam ( exclusive hindu religious work) related services without facing any obstacles.

For the record, Iam not against same caste marriages, I energetically encourage intercaste matrimony to erase some kinks that have appeared that have been bothering this great faith in the Kaliyuga..

My children are not yet of marriageable age, in future I will tell them to marry any hindu they like; Purple, blue, white, black, yellow or brown doesn't matter or Bus driver or CEO etc etc doesn’t matter either.
Namaste.

Sudas Paijavana
27 August 2013, 09:46 PM
Namaste,

Someone explain the following from the GItA to me, I think it relates with Varna:

26[4].12-117(????)

"I have created the society of the four classes with due regard for the various distribution of the guNas and the range of their workings: know that I am its author, and that I am forever without karman. Actions do not stick to me, for I have no yearning for the fruits of my actions: he who understands me in this way is himself no longer bound by his own actions. The ancient aspirants to release also performed their acts in this same spirit; therefore you too (Arjuna) must perform the same act which the ancients performed long ago."

brahma jijnasa
28 August 2013, 04:30 AM
Namaste

Namaste,

Someone explain the following from the GItA to me, I think it relates with Varna:

26[4].12-117(????)

"I have created the society of the four classes with due regard for the various distribution of the guNas and the range of their workings: know that I am its author, and that I am forever without karman. Actions do not stick to me, for I have no yearning for the fruits of my actions: he who understands me in this way is himself no longer bound by his own actions. The ancient aspirants to release also performed their acts in this same spirit; therefore you too (Arjuna) must perform the same act which the ancients performed long ago."

These are the verses from the Bhagavad-gītā 4.13-15.
Lines marked in blue are verse 4.13. It describes that The Lord has made four varnas. See also Bhagavad-gītā 18.41 and forward.

Lines marked in red are verse 4.14.
"Actions do not stick to me" means that whatever The Lord does He will not suffer the consequences for His actions.
"I have no yearning for the fruits of my actions" means that whatever The Lord does He does without expecting any fruits He thinks He will enjoy in the future. This is quite contrary to commiting acts of karma.
"he who understands me in this way is himself no longer bound by his own actions" means that one who knows this truth about The Lord will not become entangled in the fruitive reactions of work, ie his work will not be karma, he will not be bound by his own actions.
The Lord encourages Arjuna to perform his acts in this same spirit.
If you want a more detailed explanation see purport here: http://vedabase.net/bg/4/14/en

regards

Viraja
28 August 2013, 06:10 AM
*sigh*

It's just not possible to have an intelligent conversation with you if you chose to misinterpret my words. I have no interest in "vilifying" you or anyone else, nor have I questioned your "right" to raise your children as you choose.

I am simply pointing out that the socially acceptable class discrimination which people habitually engage in when it comes to match-making (e.g. wanting an "educated" or "settled" son-in-law or daughter-in-law), is not criticized by those who would criticize caste discrimination in the same context of match-making. I was very clear in addressing my question to charitra et. al.

After calling me inhumane, intolerant, and all sorts of unsavory adjectives, I'm surprised that we are still at this level of discourse. Since I am clearly an Evil person in your mind, can we just stipulate that this how you will always view me, that you will always interpret my statements in the worst possible light, and that there is therefore no need for you to respond to anything I say further? Please just add me to your ignore list and save the forum from this endless, irrelevant banter.



I'm sorry, Philosoraptor. I just did not plain like the idea of what I said being turned into an example of sorts for 'describing class discrimination'. Like you feel w.r.t the other issues, I feel I have been misinterpreted in this one circumstance, because when I said that, I did not alongside say that there are considerations taken into account and provisions and sanctions definitely will be made to those not in the category. :)

I guess we are still in talking terms because I respect your scholarship and devotion, despite numerous differences of opinions. Besides we do not know how a person is in real life and cannot judge that from forum writing.

brahma jijnasa
28 August 2013, 06:27 AM
Namaste



I am curious to know what various members think, specifically for those of us not born into the varṇāśrama system but identifying with Hindu belief and practice, of the idea of svadharma based on personal talent and inclination.
There is no clarity about the place of non-Indians within the varna system. This is a question that needs to be addressed by Hindus.
This is something that needs to be discussed calmly and dispassionately. If we claim our faith is Sanatana- eternal and universal, then there has to be place for non-Indians in its organization.

Gaudiya vaishnavas have given a proposal how to solve this issue. This can be illustrated with verses such as this one from Garuḍa Purāṇa (I have quoted in one of my previous posts):


bhaktir aṣṭa-vidhā hy eṣā yasmin mlecche 'pi vartate
sa viprendro muni-śreṣṭhaḥ sa jñānī sa ca paṇḍitaḥ

"Even if one is born a mleccha, if he becomes a devotee he is to be considered the best of the brāhmaṇas and a learned paṇḍita."

According to Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary the term mleccha refers to a foreigner, barbarian, non-Aryan, man of an outcast race, any person who does not speak Sanskrit and does not conform to the usual Hindu institutions.
Primarily mleccha refers to an outcast (who is untouchable) who is even lower than shudra, who is not even a part of Vedic culture or civilization, who is abominable barbarian and sinner, who is far from being worthy of any process of purification, let alone is worthy to receive Vedic knowledge, and the initiation (or diksha) from a guru.

It is a well known fact that practically all of the devotees of The Lord (vaishnava and shaiva devoted to any form of Lord Vishnu including Lord Sadāśiva) born in western countries such as Europe and America are in fact mleccha-s by birth.
Although they were born as mlecchas or shudras yet they are "the best of the brāhmaṇas" or even "better than a brahmana" like Lord Mahesvara says in Mahabharata (I have quoted in one of my previous posts in this thread):


"In my opinion, if pious activities and good character are found in a sudra, it should be understood that he is better than a brahmana.
Birth, purificatory processes, study of the Vedas, and good birth are not the criterion for being a brahmana. The only criterion is one's behavior."

Śukadeva Gosvāmī says in Bhāgavatam 2.4.18 that even lowborn persons can be purified:


"Kirāta, Hūṇa, Āndhra, Pulinda, Pulkaśa, Ābhīra, Śumbha, Yavana, members of the Khasa races and even others addicted to sinful acts can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him."

The explanation for Kirāta, Hūṇa, etc is seen here: http://vedabase.net/sb/2/4/18/

So even non-Aryans, barbarians, mleccha-s and Yavanas, etc can become better than a brahmana.

regards

Sudas Paijavana
28 August 2013, 07:15 AM
Namaste,

Can we please stop with mleccha this, mleccha that, mleccha that that this this???

In the Shri Rig Veda, it is written that those that offer the proper prayers and those that conduct the proper yagyas are protected by the Shri Gods - and not only protected, but adored, admired, and assured a place in Dyo/DyAm (if you would like verses from Shri Rig Veda attesting this, please let me know and I will post them). In addition, the word Mleccha is not even found in the Shri Rig Veda, and rightly so.

The main divisions are simply: Agnitra (those that keep the sacred fire who offer the proper yagyas and prayers through the veneration of that sacred fire) and Anagnitra (those that do not keep the sacred, Vedic fire).

You also have the division of Yajavāna and a-yajavāna. I hope Yajvan will be more than kind enough to help you all out with what those two words mean as well as what they imply.

brahma jijnasa
28 August 2013, 07:51 AM
Namaste

Sudas Paijavana

The name of this forums is "Hindu Dharma Forums".
People who are interested in Hindu Dharma usually read a lot more texts beside Rig Veda.
The word mleccha can be found in many other Hindu scriptures. This thread has a title Misunderstandings - VAD Threads where we discuss about varnashrama in Hindu scriptures.

If you want you can specify verses from the Rig Veda about this.

regards

Sudas Paijavana
28 August 2013, 11:26 AM
Namaste

Sudas Paijavana

The name of this forums is "Hindu Dharma Forums".
People who are interested in Hindu Dharma usually read a lot more texts beside Rig Veda.
The word mleccha can be found in many other Hindu scriptures. This thread has a title Misunderstandings - VAD Threads where we discuss about varnashrama in Hindu scriptures.

If you want you can specify verses from the Rig Veda about this.

regards


Namaste,

You misunderstood me. I was simply trying to help you out. What I meant was that whoever is of "mleccha origins" isn't so "mleccha" anymore if he/she goes from anagnitra to agnitra.

I am sure you do aarti with diya-bati. Then, how in the world must you, a Hindu yourself, be applied the horrid designation of "mleccha" anymore? You are Hindu, to me. And, give me some time, I will upload a few verses from the Shri Rig Veda later this evening.

Best regards,

brahma jijnasa
28 August 2013, 01:03 PM
Namaste

What I meant was that whoever is of "mleccha origins" isn't so "mleccha" anymore if he/she goes from anagnitra to agnitra. ...

Then, how in the world must you, a Hindu yourself, be applied the horrid designation of "mleccha" anymore? You are Hindu, to me.

You know, that statement you've spoken in the form of a question you should address to some of our members such as philosoraptor. ;)

Your participation in this thread is welcome. Share your knowledge.

regards

Avyaydya
28 August 2013, 02:15 PM
First of all, the readers of this thread and other similar caste threads must n’t get concerned about the seeming caste divide plaguing the religious landscape. Caste is NOT the cancer ravaging Hinduism, please be advised. Caste doesn’t have any overbearing presence amongst us, it is just is one of the many irksome entities like language , region etc, and even skin color becomes much more of an important issue for match hunters if you will. So therefore relax, read and remain curious about the caste wars, but certainly don’t get worked up anymore than you should.

That is why you wrote these respectful, peaceful, and loving words (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=107984&postcount=196):


In our era only divisive caste is left and this jati/kula is equated to varna by the caste lunatics and fanatics.


For the record, Iam not against same caste marriages, I energetically encourage intercaste matrimony to erase some kinks that have appeared that have been bothering this great faith in the Kaliyuga..What a relief, you still allow the fanatics to intermarry.

Avyaydya
28 August 2013, 02:35 PM
I never said he cannot be from a poor family background.. 'cause that includes me. I was basically from a not-so-well-to-do-family and got my upliftment in life after marriage. I wouldn't discriminate anybody for their poverty.
I agree, it is a bit silly to discriminate against yourself.


Namaste,
Please do not blame others as if you are the only person capable of goodness and charitable thinking, that is the reason people have been behind you always, and that's the reason they are not behind me now.
Pretty low blow.
It is the "Namaste", I do not understand.

Avyaydya
28 August 2013, 06:41 PM
Gaudiya vaishnavas have given a proposal how to solve this issue. This can be illustrated with verses such as this one from Garuḍa Purāṇa (I have quoted in one of my previous posts):
bhaktir aṣṭa-vidhā hy eṣā yasmin mlecche 'pi vartate
sa viprendro muni-śreṣṭhaḥ sa jñānī sa ca paṇḍitaḥ

"Even if one is born a mleccha, if he becomes a devotee he is to be considered the best of the brāhmaṇas and a learned paṇḍita."According to Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary the term mleccha refers to a foreigner, barbarian, non-Aryan, man of an outcast race, any person who does not speak Sanskrit and does not conform to the usual Hindu institutions.
Primarily mleccha refers to an outcast (who is untouchable) who is even lower than shudra, who is not even a part of Vedic culture or civilization, who is abominable barbarian and sinner, who is far from being worthy of any process of purification, let alone is worthy to receive Vedic knowledge, and the initiation (or diksha) from a guru.

It is a well known fact that practically all of the devotees of The Lord (vaishnava and shaiva devoted to any form of Lord Vishnu including Lord Sadāśiva) born in western countries such as Europe and America are in fact mleccha-s by birth.
Although they were born as mlecchas or shudras yet they are "the best of the brāhmaṇas" or even "better than a brahmana" like Lord Mahesvara says in Mahabharata (I have quoted in one of my previous posts in this thread):
"In my opinion, if pious activities and good character are found in a sudra, it should be understood that he is better than a brahmana.
Birth, purificatory processes, study of the Vedas, and good birth are not the criterion for being a brahmana. The only criterion is one's behavior."Śukadeva Gosvāmī says in Bhāgavatam 2.4.18 that even lowborn persons can be purified:
"Kirāta, Hūṇa, Āndhra, Pulinda, Pulkaśa, Ābhīra, Śumbha, Yavana, members of the Khasa races and even others addicted to sinful acts can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him."The explanation for Kirāta, Hūṇa, etc is seen here: http://vedabase.net/sb/2/4/18/

So even non-Aryans, barbarians, mleccha-s and Yavanas, etc can become better than a brahmana.

regards

You seem to want to create two extremes so we will take your bait. A manipulative technique the English call: the carrot and the stick. Show them the stick and then show them the carrot, the stick and then the carrot again. What you offer the "mlecchas" is choosing between either total humiliation or being better than Brahmanas. How can we refuse to take your point of view?

I am a mleccha and I shall tell you why this is nonsense. Yes in the Hindu Varna system I have no place, I am casteless, but who cares, I have no place in the Jewish order, the Japanese order, or any order outside my own society either. In all those systems I am a nobody.

Is that a problem? No, not at all, I am born in a long line of very respectable ancestors of which I feel very proud. Contrary to what you try to paint I am not an orphan trying to find a new home. Even if I feel I was a Hindu in previous lives, I chose my new family with care, and I feel proud of them. The same way the Deva's and even Ram was very proud to serve his earthly ancestors.

It is you who does not understand his own words. I do not have to acquire any caste to be Hindu. I do not have to be a Brahmana. You are a nice example of what Vivekananda called the: The beggars that sell out the treasures of the world.

Because what you are selling does not belong to you. Iskcon and its founder Prabhupada are selling people brahmana membership, while not even being brahmanas themselves. They call that "Brahmana diskha". That is a con-job. That is like the people that are selling a piece of the moon to others. Even worse it selling things that belong to others. It is like the oil-companies that that divided Iraqi oil contracts amongst themselves one year before country was even invaded (The have discovered the minutes of their meetings).

Like Prabhupada you appropriate something that does not belong to you, that is stealing. And then you sell it, and if I we mlecchas buy it, you can kid yourself it is all legitimate. It is not! And I do not need it. I have my own ancestry I can be proud of. I was not picked up off the streets after the hippy movement ended in drug-abuse. I am not a street dog seeking a new home.

All those Westerners that want to enter Hindu-varnas are simply western outcasts seeking a new home. They start studying high Hindu scripture and do Hindu rituals, follow Hindu customs and then fantasize that this gives them entrance into Hindu varnas. It is based on wishful thinking. It is in total disrespect for the system they want to enter.

I am Westerner, though my heart feels like a Hindu, I have to accept that this my Karma, at least in this life. If I hate that and I want to become a Hindu I do that in exactly the same way as how I became a Westerner: By being reborn in a different culture. Just like Vidur who was a sage before being cursed accepted being a sudra in this life. If you do not like that, you do not like Hinduism. Because that is the logical consequence of the system of samsara, dharma and karma.

Logic dictates that western Hindus are outside the Hindu fold by karma, either by curse or by own longing. Here you can see that westerners simply do not understand the concept of Karma. Karma is not something you change by changing the results. We can only change the results indirectly by our actions. If my actions are the right ones and such is my desire, than in my next life I will be born a Hindu again.

The essence of the path of Dharm is the right action. The right action is not claiming the results. That is aDharm. Wanting to be rich without producing wealth yourself is aDharm, wanting to acquire wisdom by copying words from wise without walking the path that goes with it, that is aDharm. Claiming to belong to a Hindu varna, even a Brahmana, while being a mleccha, that is aDharm.

These mlecchas seek status, as they are indeed outcasts and have no self-respect. They are what Prabhupada's picked from the streets of the West. The people in the West regard them as beggars as they always wander the streets. They are not seen in the west as having any status so they want to get their status elsewhere.

That is not how it works. If an Indian from a high caste comes to my country he loses all his status as well. I know of a Brahmana Hindu doctor from India who came to work in my country. It was a shock for him, he could not understand why people did not bring him a chair when he was waiting for the bus. How rude these people are! Well sorry for you, but here a Hindu is the mleccha. If your are not from here, and people do not know you to be important, you are a nobody. That is how things are.

So stop all this nonsense, a westerner gets his status in the west. If he chooses to live in another country, he will have to built up his position from zero like all the casteless people.

These white Iskconites do not even belong in India. The movement of Prabhupada was never supposed to import westerners to India. It was to bring "Krishna-consciousness" to the west. Now it has become an all-white-led corrupt organisation trying to redefine Hinduism to western standards. And it has all that corrupt smell found in the church throughout the ages, the physical abuse, the sexual abuse, the total mind control over the people, the power games and murder of the leaders.

Its aim is to undermine the brahmana caste with all means possible, by creating a lot of bogus brahmanas to create confusion. Even more if you see what these "brahmanas" are teaching, which is more a Christ-consciousness than anything else. People that find that hard to believe simply have no idea to what length evil has gone and will go to achieve total world domination. If you have the stomach for it watch this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx8PdvOELvY) and read here (http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm).

Read the Ramayana, read the Mahabharata, they were written to make people aware of the continuing existential conflict between the people that follow Dharm and those the follow aDharm. Watch the video, learn from history, the adharmic people do not care if they are of their own kind or not, if they follow Dharm they are their enemy, and they root them out.

Hinduism will survive if Hindus keep following Dharm and uphold their traditions that served them for thousands of years. If these go down, then it will be everyone on its own.

ShivaFan
28 August 2013, 11:48 PM
Namaste Avyaydya

Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma, does not belong to one country, nor even one planet Earth, but spans the Lokas and the universes and is in the field of all things where Nataraj dances.

You are a mleecha to all those other places. But you can be a Hindu because it is the eternal Dharma across all those places you were not born. Good luck, mleecha, one day even you may be a citizen of the Universe.

I am a Hindu.

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
29 August 2013, 06:08 AM
To give my opinion on the marriage issue presented here, I would like to honestly state that i) I would not mind a different caste, even one that is socially considered 'lower' in status to that of a Brahmana but ii) I would like my son or daughter to marry someone from a well-established, decent family -- it is ok if the family has things in it like intercaste marriage, etc. But I would like a well-educated, well-settled partner for my son and my daughter.

Namaste,

You have given very practical approach. Indeed it is the nature of a person along with qualifications. I think if the word 'well-educated' might bring some confusion, we can add, 'good natured', 'of helping type' and 'civil'. Since marriage is extremely important and decides the future of our kids, we have to take adequate measures. Hence we would further inquire about the status of family of bride / groom in society. To add to it, we also think that our daughter should have least trouble adjusting with family of in-laws. So a better option would be to look into our own caste or sampradaya. A Vaishnava can marry a Shaiva, and both can be inwardly pure, but their approach to life would be different. So if we have a choice to select between a pure Vaishnava or a pure Shaiva, with all other parameters similar, a Vaishnava will select a Vaishnava partner. In other words, if I am a Brahmin then my first choice will be a good natured Brahmin, who is inwardly pure. However, it is unfortunate that now-a-days money is the first criteria and so does educational qualifications.

In the same way, we have to look at the nature of parents and other family members. Some often go on to hear about deeds of forefathers. It is a common saying that, 'He wont do such a thing. It is not in his blood'. We all know that genes and hormones are transferred from parents. But we do not have just physical body. Surroundings i.e. vibrations or sound waves, and presence of other people also have an influence on each other. So the vibrations of energy body of family members influence the growth of a child. Hence the entire family should be good, and some typical nature is hereditary. This nature is nothing but guna or samskara.

A person is born with particular guna. Guna is like a seed. A mango seed has entire mango tree inside it. But a mango seed cannot grow anywhere. It needs suitable fertile land and climate. So a mango may grow in warm climate but not in Himalayas and an apple can grow in Himalayas and not in warm climate like Maharashtra / Nagpur, Gujarat, etc

A mango seed upon getting adequate nutrition will get transformed into a big tree and will yield many mangoes. Mango fruit contain mango seed. When detached from tree and then seed is sown it yield another mango tree. It cannot transform or grow into apple tree. In other words a mango seed as samskara-s of mango and not apple. So it is not environment that decide the type of fruits, but it is the suitable environment that help cultivate a proper seed and transformation into a tree, which gives shade from sun to birds, animals and Brahmins alike. Seed, which was a part of mango fruit already contain samskara or guna of mango before it was sown. Similarly a person already has guna prior to taking birth. We can say that guna was carry-forwarded from previous life. It is also true that new sanskaras can be cultivated.

Just like to grow a mango tree, suitable land and climate are necessary, in order to develop guna-s further, God gives birth in a family and varNa which helps one to further develop guna-s and take them to another level. It is not to say that people belonging to other varNa-s are not noble. All I am trying to say is that a Brahmin by birth has a suitable surrounding, proper guidance and resources to further cultivate his guna-s, which could later be used fro universal well-being. For others, say nomads and labourers, it is difficult to live train a person the Brahmin way.

Please understand that intelligence and mind (nature) has no connection. An intelligent person can be rude and arrogant or selfish while an average Joe can be good natured and help others without any selfish motives. It is intelligence they we sharpen as we grow old, but what about mind? People select a philosophy because it convince them logically and are impressed by it. But what about mind? Can you apply it in your practical life. Advaita may seem the most logical, but to a person of emotional temperament, chanting God's name and singing Bhajans will produce better results. While to some, it is not their nature to sing and dance in joy, but stay in peace. They would like advaita more, some may like path of karma. Hence Hindu Dharma has food for all, else there would be just one God and one way of worship.

Everyone smoking reads the instructions on cigarette packet 'Smoking is injurious to health', then why they smoke? Mind bypasses it and does not give importance. Mind is more important. A person lives by mind, even though he can be highly intelligent and a merit rank holder. Still he will smoke :)

To quote our friend 'guna and varNa go hand in hand'.

Also if we ourselves can decide everything for ourselves, then there would not have been any Guru-Shishya Parampara. After going to doctor, we surrender to him. Do we instruct him to prescribe a particular medicine? In the same way, we have to surrender to to Saints and God.

OM

hinduism♥krishna
29 August 2013, 09:37 AM
Namaste to all f you! !
Happy janmashtami! jai shri krishna ♥

I want to share something on varna. According to me, varna is by birth , karma and guna. Because these three are interrelated with each other. I understood this with the help of vedic astrology. It describes all about karma and their effects on next lives.

Btw, i m giving here couple of proofs which support varna is by birth.

Lord Krishna says:


vipram krtagasam api naiva druhyata mamakah
ghnantam bahusapantam va namaskuruta nityasah
yathaham praname vipran anukalam samahitah
tatha namata yuyam ca ye 'nyatha me sa danda-bhak

"O My relatives! Do not harm a brahmana, even if he mistreats you!
Even if he is a sinner, you should still bow down to him.
Even I bow down to the brahmanas. Whoever acts otherwise is punishable by Me!" [ these confirms varna by birth. Even if a bramhan is sinner one should respect him same as lord.
So judging varna by guna is completely out of any logic. This is our eternal laws of sanatana vedic dharma.]

The Lord further tells Srideva in Srimad Bhagavata (10.86.53):

brahmano janmana sreyan sarvesam praninam iha
tapasa vidyaya tustya kim u mat kalaya yutah

"The brahmana is superior to all living beings by birth, let alone when he is austere, learned, content and devoted to Me."

dusprajña aviditvaivam avajananty asuyavah
gurum mam vipram atmanam arccadavijyadrstayah (S.Bhag. 10.86.55)

"Men of crooked understanding, who do not know this, disrespect a brahmana and are envious of him, who is identical with Me and their very self."

Regards.

philosoraptor
29 August 2013, 11:25 PM
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]First of all, the readers of this thread and other similar caste threads must n’t get concerned about the seeming caste divide plaguing the religious landscape. Caste is NOT the cancer ravaging Hinduism, please be advised. Caste doesn’t have any overbearing presence amongst us, it is just is one of the many irksome entities like language , region etc, and even skin color becomes much more of an important issue for match hunters if you will.

Charitra is quite mistaken. Varna is not "one of the many irksome entities" like language, region, skin color, etc. Varna is a scripturally-based designation, and the varNa system was created by Sri Krishna as He states in gItA 4.13 (http://vedabase.com/en/bg/4/13). By contrast, language, skin-color, and regional affiliation are non-entities as far as shAstra is concerned.



So therefore relax, read and remain curious about the caste wars, but certainly don’t get worked up anymore than you should.

In direct contradiction to the above, the same Charitra earlier wrote:



The youth will bring down the caste walls that were erected by a few ill-informed individuals who were persistent with their menacing self-centric designs that became part of their persona and wont go away all their miserable lives.


It sure sounds to me like he is quite worked up over it.



As one mother above reflects, the contemporary surging trends are unmistakable on those very same lines: ‘if boy/girl is otherwise good, then caste takes a backseat’. That’s not just the (current) hindu way, as you all know, that is the universal way parents opine on all over the planet about the marital partners for their offspring.

While that may be a nice sentiment to share with your egalitarian-minded American friends (who, in my observation, only preach equality but don't actually practice it themselves when they look for marriage - how many rich American doctors do you know who marry garbage-collectors, for example?), the reality is that Hindu marriages have traditionally been intra-varNa, with inter-varNa marriages being fewer and generally exceptions. Here is what manu-dharma-shAstra has to say on this subject:


3.12. For the first marriage of twice-born men (wives) of equal caste are recommended; but for those who through desire proceed (to marry again) the following females, (chosen) according to the (direct) order (of the castes), are most approved.
3.13. It is declared that a Sudra woman alone (can be) the wife of a Sudra, she and one of his own caste (the wives) of a Vaisya, those two and one of his own caste (the wives) of a Kshatriya, those three and one of his own caste (the wives) of a Brahmana.
3.14. A Sudra woman is not mentioned even in any (ancient) story as the (first) wife of a Brahmana or of a Kshatriya, though they lived in the (greatest) distress.
3.15. Twice-born men who, in their folly, wed wives of the low (Sudra) caste, soon degrade their families and their children to the state of Sudras.

Now you and I can disagree with that, but that's what it says, and it is indisputable that this has been the general Hindu practice. You can certainly find a few historical examples of inter-caste marriages from time to time. Just the other day I found a reference in the mahAbhArata to a brahmin who married a nishAda woman, for example. But by and large, the vast majority of marriages that are described in the itihAsa/purANa are between people of same varNa (or at least, the first marriage in any case). Please note in this regard that the authority of manu-dharma-shAstra has been alluded to in the viShNu purANa, the bhAgavata purANa, the mahAbhArata, and the rAmAyaNa, so I don't think we can denounce it as a later text and appear intellectually honest.


The family in my newspaper article did good. As I said, the family has adopted a practical solution to resolve a difficult problem, which in this case is to find a suitable girl! All hindus must applaud and encourage these intercaste unions. As for as my perception goes the winds of change are already here and intercaste marriages have become a very common place of occurrence nowadays. The unmarried men and women must crossover and marry intercaste to establish a one large hindu undivided family. Whilst at it, lets not leave aside the new hindus, our prized possession, those who have joined us voluntarily. We should remind ourselves that just because they belong to another race they aren’t any less hindus than us, they are one of us, marry them without any hesitation whatsoever. For Hinduism belongs to all humanity.

Charitra's posting above reveals his lack of objectivity. He is praising the marriage solely because it was an inter-caste marriage. But he does not actually know anything about the boy involved. What if the real reason the boy selected an orphan of unknown caste was because he was known in his own community to be a person of bad character, and no one would allow their daughter to marry him? Similar things have happened and continue to happen in India, where morality-consciousness goes hand-in-hand with caste-consciousness, and where people frequently take advantage of "love marriages" across caste lines to avoid having the skeletons in their closets exposed.

It appears that charitra and others presuming to speak on behalf of "Hinduism," are quite taken with modern, Western concepts of romantic love, and are trying to argue that these customs are also intrinsically Hindu in some sense. Let's try to remember a basic fact: Western marriage customs are dysfunctional. Western "love marriages" do nothing to prevent the greater than 55% divorce rate that they suffer from. Chastity and sense-control are not valued in the West, because the Western marriage is basically a license for sense-gratification (called by them euphemistically as "love"). All you have to do is stroll down any street in the United States to see the enormous amount of pressure Americans suffer in order to appear slim, youthful, sexy, etc.

By contrast, the traditional Hindu wedding is a samskAra. It is a divinely ordained arrangement in which boy and girl unite to perform yagna together. There is some sense gratification allowed certainly, with the end result being progeny who should be brought up to propagate the family traditions that are centered around bhagavAn and yagna. But, and this is critical - the traditional Hindu wedding is a spiritual affair, not just a license for sense-gratification.

The recommendation to select a spouse within the same varNa is logical in a culture in which each varNa has its own duties, based on the guNa and karma (i.e. the unmanifest psyche) that led to that birth. From division of duties comes a natural division of culture, such that marriage across varNa lines becomes a marriage of two different cultures. I will give you an example from my own community just to illustrate. In our smArtha community, it is a common tradition to perform satyanArAyaNa puja, venkateshwara kalyANam, and ganesha puja. But many youngsters who married outside their community no longer perform these pujas, because they are not practiced in the culture of their spouses. Now, this wouldn't be a bad thing if the decision not to perform was based on a change in religious conviction, i.e. a conversion to Shaivism so they decided not to do #1 and #2, or a conversion to Vaishnavism so they decided not to do #1 and #3 as a matter of philosophical choice. But that is never the case. They cease to do them because there is no pre-existing culture of doing them in the spouse's family, and the end result is that the performance of these pujas, and the culture accompanying them, is completely lost.

This then, is the point. Inter-varNa (and even "inter-caste") marriage means destruction of culture. There is simply no way around that. Specifically, these kinds of marriages lead to the abandonment of familial traditions as well as the diverse spectrum of diverse socio-cultural identities within the Hinduism umbrella. In its place, is being created a more generic and amorphous "Hinduism" identity that officially respects all of these cultural institutions, but in practice is apathetic towards all of them, and will not pass on knowledge about them to future generations.

ShivaFan
30 August 2013, 12:39 AM
Namaste to all f you! !
Happy janmashtami! jai shri krishna ♥

I want to share something on varna. According to me, varna is by birth , karma and guna. Because these three are interrelated with each other. I understood this with the help of vedic astrology. It describes all about karma and their effects on next lives. I already described about how karma works and how one acheives birth in vedic family but unfortunately moderator deleted them. I dunt knw y.

Btw, i m giving here couple of proofs which support varna is by birth.

Lord Krishna says:


vipram krtagasam api naiva druhyata mamakah
ghnantam bahusapantam va namaskuruta nityasah
yathaham praname vipran anukalam samahitah
tatha namata yuyam ca ye 'nyatha me sa danda-bhak

"O My relatives! Do not harm a brahmana, even if he mistreats you!
Even if he is a sinner, you should still bow down to him.
Even I bow down to the brahmanas. Whoever acts otherwise is punishable by Me!" [ these confirms varna by birth. Even if a bramhan is sinner one should respect him same as lord.
So judging varna by guna is completely out of any logic. This is our eternal laws of sanatana vedic dharma.]

The Lord further tells Srideva in Srimad Bhagavata (10.86.53):

brahmano janmana sreyan sarvesam praninam iha
tapasa vidyaya tustya kim u mat kalaya yutah

"The brahmana is superior to all living beings by birth, let alone when he is austere, learned, content and devoted to Me."

dusprajña aviditvaivam avajananty asuyavah
gurum mam vipram atmanam arccadavijyadrstayah (S.Bhag. 10.86.55)

"Men of crooked understanding, who do not know this, disrespect a brahmana and are envious of him, who is identical with Me and their very self."

Regards.

Namaste

This quote (Bhagavata (10.64.41-42)) is from the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is not a Saiva scripture. Nor does it say "birth" at all. The word is not there. Yes, a Knower of the Brahman should be respected, also there is no "sin" in Hinduism so that is a very bad translation. Better is "transgression". Of course I would still honor a true Brahmana, even if I think there is a mundane transgression. For example, the great Saint and mystic Trailinga Swami of Kashi offered His own urine to the Murti. Some then declared him as doing a "sin". Others saw this as a transgression. But we do not understand the true devotion of this Saint, unless we look at His entire life and engagements. So I do not care if He offered His own urine, this was not a transgression, He is still a Knower of the Brahman.

As far as your "second birth", if you are a true Vaishnava you will know Initiation into Krsna Mantra is part of a separate initiation which is only given to proven Vaisnavas and for a Brahmana it is known as the Brahmana's Third Birth (daiksa janma).

As far as "who you are born to", what about "where you are born"? As a Vaishnava devoted to Krishna, you should know very well that those who are born in Vrindavana are given a special birth and as long as they remain living in Vrindavan then they are to be respected even if they do a transgression, before I visit Vrindavan I am always reminded to show all respects and verily worship to the citizens of Vrindavan dham. They all can be considered higher than a brahmin.

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
30 August 2013, 12:48 AM
Namaste HLK,

Thank you for sharing quotes from SB

-----

The problem we face today is that in our education system, no importance of traditional values is given AND importance to things of western origin are given. Even illiterates wish to make their child a doctor or an engineer and they are proud if their son / daughter becomes. Even in match-matching, no questions related to spirituality are asked. In kundli, spiritual aspects are not compared, only planetary positions, money $, and civil behaviour is looked. But being civil (good boy ;) ) is not enough. It is not the end of road.

So kids do not have any impression of our dharma. Infact other religions like ains have pAthshAlA in their temple (derasara) which has benches and each parent sends their kids to study their dharma. There is a lot of volunteering. Islam has madrAsA. Only our dharma does not have such a setup.

Day before yesterday, my nephew asked some info about veda-s and shastra-s. He later concluded, what do they do after writing and singing?, upload it to Youtube :D . When we all laughed, he was surprised, as he did not joked. This is the mentality of kids. He got curious to know more as he listens stories from SB as bed time stories.

the thing is we do not value our own culture and our parents do not try to impress upon the importance of tradition. Thanks to revisionists and media, only evils of society are marketed to bring down caste barriers.

No value education in our dharma, negative info from media about evils spread by caste-division and evil practices like sati, killing female child by drowning her in pool of milk, etc are so much repeatedly focused AND taught in schools, that it is natural for young kids to ignore tradition. Hence we see that Tradition, orthodoxy and superstition are interchangeably used. People find our philosophy outdated and parents are not able to answer WHY of their children. Only reply they get in most cases is that 'we just follow' no in-depth reasoning is given.

Dharma - Artha - Kama - Moksha are 4 purushArtha-s. Today, majority are not interested in dharma, no one wants moksha. So what is left is just artha and kama.

Without dharmic base, one earns money in anyway one does and spends like the way one wants. Does it not sound like western philosophy? - Eat, drink and enjoy. Earn and spend

Hari OM

Sudas Paijavana
30 August 2013, 12:54 AM
Phil,

You write way too much. This isn't a race, nor are you on trial. Quantity does not correlate with quality. I learned that the hard way. Succinctness is a gift, sometimes. He, who does too much, usually has something to prove. He, who gets straight to the point without dwelling too much on one thing, goes quite far in life.

ShivaFan
30 August 2013, 01:51 AM
Namaste IA

Eat, drink and enjoy. Earn and spend - I see that all over the world, including India and even among those with spiritual powers and in the likes of Kumbakarna. There are many who claim brahmin and that is all they do, disgusting actually. And there are those in India who are so-called untouchable who do not eat and spend, there are some who simply renounce the world, and there are some especially children who starve. What does any this "eating, sleeping, mating, enjoying" have to do with caste? As far as illiterates and illiteracy, the number one cause of this is denying others an education due to discrimination, due to suppression of knowledge to them, not birth. You think learning is so difficult for humans, but simple things like reading and writing are within the capability of most any human, and also the conveyance of the Brahman is within each of us if given the chance.

6000 jati is man-made. Rejection of it has nothing to do with Western anything, it is the very spirit of all humans.

Every society is dealing with rebellious youth. I wouldn't be surprised if you might have been one perhaps. Yes the best thing is to teach the Vedas, and in my opinion Bhakti and Karma yoga. But too many waste time and their life with who is dirty to touch.

By the way, my offspring are of the highest moral character. She not only dreams of becoming a practitioner of the medical field, she is achieving it.

Om Namah Sivaya

Amrut
30 August 2013, 02:35 AM
Namaste,

All I was pointing out was

1. Give education of our dharma from childhood.
2. Impress upon mind that dharma and our tradition is not outdated and is not full of superstitions.
3. Being morally good does not mean you live a spiritual life.

I do not mean that

1. New system is useless
2. There should be no ambition of becoming doctor / engineer
3. Teach only to brahmins.
4. No need to uproot anything that is man-made
5. No need to uproot evils created by society (this includes all varNa-s)

This was the most general statement not involving caste. Just give basic info about our shastra-s and tradition.

Focusing on one part does not automatically refute other part.

Bhagavan Ved Vyas wrote 18 purana-s. So all 18 are authentic. Krishna bhakta will revere Bhagavatam and will say that, according to Bhagavatam, Krishna is supreme, while a Shiva Bhakta may revere Shiva Purana and say that according to Shiva Purana, Shiva is supreme. Who is right? or did Ved Vyas wrote to generate a controversy? did he want us to fight? In Bhagavatam, Bhagavan is just focusing on Krishna, while in other purana-s he is focusing on other deities :) .

To impress upon mind that Traditional teaching is good, it is natural to show ill effects modern teaching, else how are you going to survive our tradition? Revisionists did the same. Dr. Ambedkar burnt copies of Manusmriti.

btw, varNa and jati are different.

I hope that clears out things.

Aum

Amrut
30 August 2013, 03:05 AM
Had there been no dalit caste, which is created by humans. Had all people been given respect which they deserve, would then be the copies of manusmriti burned?

What is the problem, the root cause? Is it varNa or the evils produced by men in the name of varNa?

Is chopping off head a solution to headache?

Does anyone say that the evils produced by society are not to be eradicated. Certain things are not found in shastra-s yet they are practiced. They can be eradicated by giving representing our dharma in correct way taking support of veda-s. But for that we should have faith in veda-s.

It is good to save a drowning person. But in an attempt to save drowning person, one should not drown himself.

If western philosophy or technology is better, then adopt it, but not at the cost of our dharma.

Will a revisionist, who does not believe in dharma and varNa, say anything good about our dharma, like gurukuls that teach veda-s (they are still present today in haridwar and other cities). They will keep bombarding us with all that is negative, which is actually not a mistake or shortcoming of veda-s and Hindu Dharma, but the evils created by men. They have actually not touched our shastra-s, but the evils produced by men in the name of shastra-s.

So actually they are creating a strawmen and then knocking it out, thereby creating a false impression that our Dharma is useless, full of evils and is not practical in today's life, which is ofcourse not true.

EDIT: Some info about strawman:

Strawman is a false identity. In the farm, a false human dummy made of straws and bamboos is created to keep away birds and animals.

By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone's argument, it's much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.

EDIT 2: I am not attacking you. This tactics are used by many including some western scholars who in the name of unbiased representation try to prove our system as inferior and theirs as superior ... and they have succeeded to a large extend.

Aum

Amrut
30 August 2013, 03:19 AM
Namaste,

Much has been said on this subject. I think it is time to either agree or peacefully agree to disagree.

Let there be mata-bheda, but not mana-bheda

Aum

ShivaFan
30 August 2013, 09:13 AM
Namaste IA

I don't know about Dr. Ambedkar, I know about actual Brahmanas such as H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and his educational efforts for all children in Dharma, runs and sponsors free schools, women's vocational training programs, a medical clinic, orphanages and gurukuls, frequent free medical health camps, Cow-Care programs, an extensive rural development program, and innumerable other humanitarian projects including the first ever Encyclopedia of Hinduism as well as ashrams and medical clinics in the sacred land of Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash in Tibet.

I am now giving to good organizations (as I always have) such as that, I discovered the Swami's India Heritage Research Foundation just recently and happily so. But I suppose there are some who do not like His good works, that will not stop Him as He is famed both in the East and West, North and South. Thank "God" I was given the opportunity to seek and be successful in my vocation, for I have the money to give to such. Others can limit yourself to the vocation of some "by birth only" jati, which is not the varna of the Vedas, but do not try to force some false jati on another.

The few "quotes of scriiture" about janmana have been far and few between and are not very impressive next to the eminence and broad sentiment of the Vedas and the Shri Devatas Themselves, what to speak of Mother Ganga and Her embrace. The case for "by birth only" caste is poorly made, the case for the seeds of Hinduism everywhere Kali Yuga reeks dreath and discrimination and selfishness all over the world is clearly made.

This has nothing to do with dividing Hinduism between status of birth, or adherence to ansect be Vaishnav or Shakta or Saurian or Saiva, nor Who is Supreme, very soon all Hindus all over the world will see how important it is for all Hindus to be united, not divided, the worst is soon yet to come.

Om Namah Sivaya

philosoraptor
30 August 2013, 03:23 PM
Bhagavan Ved Vyas wrote 18 purana-s. So all 18 are authentic. Krishna bhakta will revere Bhagavatam and will say that, according to Bhagavatam, Krishna is supreme, while a Shiva Bhakta may revere Shiva Purana and say that according to Shiva Purana, Shiva is supreme. Who is right? or did Ved Vyas wrote to generate a controversy? did he want us to fight? In Bhagavatam, Bhagavan is just focusing on Krishna, while in other purana-s he is focusing on other deities :) .

Actually, according to Omkar, Shaivites don't accept the authority of any of the Puranas.

As far as deciding which parts of the Purana to accept and which to reject, the overriding principle is that Puranas are only authoritative to the extent that they agree with shruti. This of course, requires that shruti be studied, which in turn requires a class of people who are identified from a very early age in childhood to study and know the shrutis.

Hmmm, what would such a system look like? Hmmm.....

Ganeshprasad
30 August 2013, 04:36 PM
Pranam



Actually, according to Omkar, Shaivites don't accept the authority of any of the Puranas.


Not wishing to be insulting to Omkar in any form but is he an authority on Shaivites or is this just his opinion?



As far as deciding which parts of the Purana to accept and which to reject, the overriding principle is that Puranas are only authoritative to the extent that they agree with shruti. This of course, requires that shruti be studied, which in turn requires a class of people who are identified from a very early age in childhood to study and know the shrutis.

Hmmm, what would such a system look like? Hmmm.....

Hmmm, by whose standard this is an overriding principle?

Which begs another question, Vyasdev in his immense wisdom did he fail to know the shrutis, that he should take trouble to compile all those Puranas only for us to either reject or accept them based on study of shrutis.

Now this begs another question and very fundamental as well, you would agree that certain people are precluded from studying the shrutis but not the Puranas and ithihas, how are they to reconcile them, how will they apply the standard to the extent that they agree with shrutis?

I know we have had our differences and it will remain for obvious reasons, off course you are free not to answer these questions I have asked them before.

Jai Shree Krishna

philosoraptor
30 August 2013, 04:55 PM
Not wishing to be insulting to Omkar in any form but is he an authority on Shaivites or is this just his opinion?

From what I have seen, Omkar has done his homework and has read up on the various Shaivite traditions in question. If someone else has information to the contrary and can refer to primary sources in support of it, then I am all ears.



Hmmm, by whose standard this is an overriding principle?

By Vedantic standards as has been discussed previously, many times.



Which begs another question, Vyasdev in his immense wisdom did he fail to know the shrutis, that he should take trouble to compile all those Puranas only for us to either reject or accept them based on study of shrutis.

This question has been answered before, and if you did not like the answer then, it is unlikely that you will like the answer now. If you want to claim that everything in the Puranas is the authored composition of Vyasa, even when there are differences from one recension to another of almost any given Purana, as well as internal contradictions within a given recension of the same Purana, then be my guest.




Now this begs another question and very fundamental as well, you would agree that certain people are precluded from studying the shrutis but not the Puranas and ithihas, how are they to reconcile them, how will they apply the standard to the extent that they agree with shrutis?

I can only see one way, and that is that they should eventually seek out a brahmin guru who knows the shruti and can help them with that. But in the beginning, lacking such a guru, they can get preliminary information by studying the Puranas, which in spite of their man-made interpolations, still contain many gems of wisdom that do uphold the message of the shruti.

Omkara
30 August 2013, 09:38 PM
Not wishing to be insulting to Omkar in any form but is he an authority on Shaivites or is this just his opinion?


I am not an 'authority' on anything, but this is the conclusion I came to after reading works by Shaiva theologians. Please note that I do not necessarily agree with all that follows.

It is important to note that this 'rejection' of the puranas is only by Agamic/Tantric/Non-Vedantic Shaivas who form the majority of Shaivas. There is a small minority of 'Shaivas' wiho try to reconcile Shaivism with the Gita and the Puranas, but they do not represent the views of the majority.

In Shaivism, Vishnu and Uma are regarded as the Upadana and Nimitta Shaktis of Shiva.
So Shakti is the Efficient cause and Vishnu is the material Cause. Thus Shaivas can easily explain statements which equate Narayana with Brahman. Vedantic Shaivas, &of course have different explanations for these verses.

In addition, the seven worlds are mapped out as the seven chakras. Thus Bhuloka is Muladhara Chakra, for example.

Shiva and the devas are held to be formless in the sense of having no physical form, but they have Mantric forms.(I can't explain what this means without writing pages upon pages. You will have to read a treatise on Purva Mimamsa if you want to understand.)

This means that Shaivas cannot accept Puranic stories which depict the devas as having physical forms. Stories of Shiva from the Puranas are interpreted as alkegories-

For example, from the Tirumantiram-

343: The Lord Burnt the Cities Three
The Primal Lord,
Who on His matted crimson locks
Wears Ganga's water sacred,
He destroyed the Cities Three
--Thus say the ignorant;
The Three Cities are the Triple Impurities
It is them He burnt
Who knows this truth thereof?


345: The Lord Scorched the God of Death
The Kundalini Fire coiled in Muladhara
Upward He coursed it to Hollow on top;
That Fiery Yoga Way He scorched the God of Death
That was at Kadavoor, the holy shrine here below.

On the other hand, I have seen some traces of acceptance of the Puranas and Puranic literalism in some Shaiva texts, and I am not sure what to make of that.

Amrut
31 August 2013, 12:15 AM
Namaste,

With due respect to all members and their opinions, I do not intend to start another controversy, specially not in this thread. This is the reason why I wrote 'Shiva Bhakta' and not a 'Shaivite' and wrote 'krishna bhakta' and not 'Vaishnav' to tone down things. Also had also typed down that Rudra is ved purush ..., but realized that this will derail the thread, so before submitting the post, I deleted it. This would include Adi shankara's Panchayatna puja / Panch dev puja, which is a standard practice in Brahmins. I have seen a lot of Brahmins adhering to this type of puja. *A Shiva bhakta will continue to worship only Shiva but without disrespecting or downgrading status of Vishnu and vice versa. *Everything will work same way, but without any fight :) .* I personally respect Omkara for his knowledge and respect opinions of other members like Philosoraptor ji and Ganeshprasad ji

I am aware that in case of conflict Shruti is considered as authority. To me, as an advaitin, I do not need to discard any parts of shruti / smriti. This in itself a big discussion and I do not intend to derail this thread. *Now I am no more worried about inconsistency, contradictions or why a shruti or a purana first says something and then later on contradicts it or retracts back.

I am aware of the happening of past and do not intend to raise the dead. The above was for explanatory purpose only :)

If it is creating confusion, I take back my words. I humbly request you to please do not discuss this issue in this thread.

Aum

Amrut

philosoraptor
31 August 2013, 06:11 AM
Agreed. My point was merely to highlight the importance of having a class of people who studied and knew how to interpret the shruti. This would logically mean a hereditary system of designating who does and does not do this, given the many years of study vedas require.

Amrut
31 August 2013, 06:50 AM
Agreed. My point was merely to highlight the importance of having a class of people who studied and knew how to interpret the shruti. This would logically mean a hereditary system of designating who does and does not do this, given the many years of study vedas require.

:) Keeping our differences aside, on the point of hereditary system and varNAshrama dharma we both have common POV :) Here by saying I agree it is not my personal opinion, but my interpretation and your interpretation of shruti and it's verses relating to current topic leads to similar conclusion about 'varNa by birth' [1][2]

Hari OM

Note:

[1] It is varNa by birth and not 'varNa by birth only'
[2] 'VarNa by birth' is a short form of 'varNa by guNa, but guNa is inherited by birth'

philosoraptor
31 August 2013, 09:37 AM
[1] It is varNa by birth and not 'varNa by birth only'
[2] 'VarNa by birth' is a short form of 'varNa by guNa, but guNa is inherited by birth'

I would actually say it likes this:

guNa & karma from previous life leads to the next birth in a certain jAti-varNa. With that birth, one has the necessary guNa in latent form (I liked this point that you made) baesd on the guNa developed in the previous birth. But... one has to develop it as per the dharma prescribed for that varNa.

This explains how, for example, a shUdra can be born a shUdra, but develop exceptional levels of sattva guNa in that lifetime, thus earning a birth as a brahmin in his next life with the sattva guNa latent in his psyche with which he earned that birth in the first place. However, if this is not cultivated, and instead he is taught to only learn materialistic subjects and associate with materialistic people, he will again fall donw.

Amrut
31 August 2013, 10:31 AM
Namaste,


I would actually say it like this:

guNa & karma from previous life leads to the next birth in a certain jAti-varNa. With that birth, one has the necessary guNa in latent form (I liked this point that you made) based on the guNa developed in the previous birth. But... one has to develop it as per the dharma prescribed for that varNa.

This explains how, for example, a shUdra can be born a shUdra, but develop exceptional levels of sattva guNa in that lifetime, thus earning a birth as a brahmin in his next life with the sattva guNa latent in his psyche with which he earned that birth in the first place. However, if this is not cultivated, and instead he is taught to only learn materialistic subjects and associate with materialistic people, he will again fall down.

True, very true. This was much needed. It is an essence of my mango post :)

*If I have understood anything correctly it is because of my Guru and God, any misunderstanding or negative reaction is my own.

Thanks

Hari OM

Ganeshprasad
31 August 2013, 10:38 AM
Pranam



Namaste,

---

I am aware that in case of conflict Shruti is considered as authority. To me, as an advaitin, I do not need to discard any parts of shruti / smriti. This in itself a big discussion and I do not intend to derail this thread. ----

---

If it is creating confusion, I take back my words. I humbly request you to please do not discuss this issue in this thread.

Aum

AmrutPranam

Agreed, in view of that I would not respond to Phil or Omkara here as it requires a new thread if we are to follow that line of enquiry. But would like to keep part of this subject open as it is directly relevant to subject matter. We all agree, that all Varnas, should they choose, have an equal right to study hear and learn smiriti text, interpolation therein not withstanding, I hope we can also agree that the core message would have remain intact.
those who have no access to sruti, will never know if what they are reading contradict sruti or not in such circumstance there remains uncertainty of them approaching a Brahmana to raise a query. Such constraints about smriti sruti are not a Vedic rule but man made and subject to abuse.

Jai Shree Krishna

Amrut
31 August 2013, 10:52 AM
Pranam,


Pranam

Agreed, in view of that I would not respond to Phil or Omkara here as it requires a new thread if we are to follow that line of enquiry.

Thank you


But would like to keep part of this subject open as it is directly relevant to subject matter. We all agree, that all Varnas, should they choose, have an equal right to study hear and learn smiriti text, interpolation therein not withstanding, I hope we can also agree that the core message would have remain intact.

those who have no access to sruti, will never know if what they are reading contradict sruti or not in such circumstance there remains uncertainty of them approaching a Brahmana to raise a query. Such constraints about smriti sruti are not a Vedic rule but man made and subject to abuse.

Jai Shree KrishnaJust for sake of e.g.:

I have many neighbours who are Vaishnavas. Some young people are not even aware to what sampradaya they belong (Sri, Kumar, etc). Only one has read Upanishads.

Of all Vaishnava-s I have interacted, they have a copy of Srimad Bhagavat (full or Brief). I have not found even one among 10 who have read Vishnu Purana, forget other Vaishnava purana-s like Kurma purana.

I feel that they get what they want it from SB. One neighbour has sunder kand by-heart.

Very few read Gita either in full or in part. Same is true for Brahmins. Very few read upanishads.

In this context, for laymen, who do not read Shruti, it is difficult for them to know the truth. Though we agree of interpolation in purana-s no one knows which part is corrupt or interpolated. Laymen is certainly not in position to judge and come to a valid conclusion.

It is true that everyone must be given knowledge of smriti-s.

Jai Shri Krishna

ShivaFan
31 August 2013, 01:00 PM
Namaste

I agree 1000% with IA, no one wants this to turn into some sect verse sect verse Sampradaya verse (fill in the blank) controvesy, I get criticized for saying so and false claims that I do not want to allow "debate", which is not really true, but I am sick of this stuff and that is my opinion since I see things in terms of age to age to cycle to cycle and it is my strong feeling in spirit and from instruction that we are entering a cycle where all Hindus must now be united and not divided (and yes, this is in context with a great material and spiritual battle with demons from the worse elements of Islam, I will not shy away from saying so due to political correctness or forum edict, I am sorry).

I know that is probably not the perspective of IA on raising such distracting controversy from the theme of the discussion, but I share the sentiment, and just to be clear I strongly respect and admire (and yes envy) all Bhaktas and devotees, Siva Bhakt, Krsna Bhakt, Guru Bhakt, Hanuman Bhakt, Ram Bhakt, Devi Bhakt, Narayana Bhakt, Surya Bhakt, Muruga Bhakt, Indra Bhakt, All Shree Devas Bhaktas, on and on. I understand IA's example in terms of language used.

I will say, as a Saiva, I think actually Omkara is very much an elevated and savant regarding Saivism, yes I consider him an "expert". I will also say, however, I do not discount the Puranas, I read the Lingam Purana for example. However, Saiva Siddhantas stress for example Agamas and the examples of Saints.

Again, in regards to "caste" I am arguing that varna is much more complicated than "by birth only", liars try to propagandize that I am saying that karma is falsr, but those who know me know I always speak of karma to "Westerners". I am constantly busy lately, and all forum activities both here and in public discourse etc reduce me to always using my cell phone to type these brief responses to forgive typos.

Om Namah Sivaya

ShivaFan
31 August 2013, 01:08 PM
typo again!

iA is not raising distraction, he is raisiny CONCERN about such distractions...

Avyaydya
01 September 2013, 01:36 PM
Namaste IA

Eat, drink and enjoy. Earn and spend - I see that all over the world, including India and even among those with spiritual powers and in the likes of Kumbakarna. There are many who claim brahmin and that is all they do, disgusting actually. And there are those in India who are so-called untouchable who do not eat and spend, there are some who simply renounce the world, and there are some especially children who starve. What does any this "eating, sleeping, mating, enjoying" have to do with caste? As far as illiterates and illiteracy, the number one cause of this is denying others an education due to discrimination, due to suppression of knowledge to them, not birth. You think learning is so difficult for humans, but simple things like reading and writing are within the capability of most any human, and also the conveyance of the Brahman is within each of us if given the chance.
Talking about disgusting, look at the alternatives.

Why do you even care? It is part of Indian tradition and Indian traditions of Hinduism do not tell each other what to do or believe. That is the Christian way: Telling each other what the holy truth is.

You are a Prabhupada fan, but look at the totally corrupt system (http://www.harekrsna.org/guru-photos.htm) his movement is. It did not even take one generation to go sour. With no barriers of birth, power hungry persons easily rise to high positions. They are like wolfs among sheep. As the RCC proves (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=r544ZRSbKw0#t=58), once it is corrupt it will stay corrupt for thousands of years.

That level of corruption we will not easily see that among Brahmanas as most of these people really do represent higher consciousness and carry the blood of the Deva's.

For people with a Western (Christian) background many Hindu ideas are hard to swallow. So they want to Christianize Hinduism to something more palatable (as you described it). But the solution is not destroying Indian traditions in Hinduism but creating your own western Vedic traditions in which Brahman is Jesus, and priests are pastors, and Deva's are not worshipped. Sanatan Dharm gives plenty room for that as long as you do not proselyte your ideas (like Iskcon does). Make it a nice western dharmic tradition. Then you can also slap the Veda-believing flock with your Veda quotes like a protestant pastor does with the Bible.



6000 jati is man-made.
Really? what is the name of the person that made it?

Avyaydya
01 September 2013, 02:14 PM
Phil,

You write way too much. This isn't a race, nor are you on trial. Quantity does not correlate with quality. I learned that the hard way. Succinctness is a gift, sometimes. He, who does too much, usually has something to prove. He, who gets straight to the point without dwelling too much on one thing, goes quite far in life.

Well in his case it is quality, and I find his posts very interesting. But none of us write for everyone. We write for the ones that can appreciate it, even if it is only one person. Discussions seldom convince people, they only make them dig in deeper and seek new arguments to throw at each other. Discussions are never won as the ego simply refuses defeat. I find people that can throw a new and more subtle light on things refreshing.