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Sahasranama
27 July 2011, 02:25 PM
Diksha in vaishnavism is not meant for westerners. Here is pramanam from shashtra.

अथातः संप्रवक्ष्यामि वर्णाचारविधिक्रमम्।
ब्राह्मणः क्षत्रियो वैश्यः शूद्रश्चेति चतुर्विधाः॥
विष्णोः शरीरजाता वै मुखबाहूरुपादतः।
अत्रानुलोमजाः श्रेष्ठाः वर्ज्याश्च प्रतिलोमजाः॥
प्रतिलोमेषु सर्वेषु सूत एकस्तु गृह्यते।
न दातव्याः परे दीक्षां सर्वे च प्रतिलोमजाः।
न च संस्कारमर्हन्ति वर्णाश्रमबहिष्कृताः॥

Sanat Kumara Samhita.

Westerners who are interested in Hinduism should not seek diksha in vaishnavism, they may seek their path in Shaivism or Shaktims or can become unititated bhaktas who do nama parayana, but not the rituals of vaishnava agama or smarta/ shrauta.

Eastern Mind
27 July 2011, 02:45 PM
Diksha in vaishnavism is not meant for westerners. Here is pramanam from shashtra.

अथातः संप्रवक्ष्यामि वर्णाचारविधिक्रमम्।
ब्राह्मणः क्षत्रियो वैश्यः शूद्रश्चेति चतुर्विधाः॥
विष्णोः शरीरजाता वै मुखबाहूरुपादतः।
अत्रानुलोमजाः श्रेष्ठाः वर्ज्याश्च प्रतिलोमजाः॥
प्रतिलोमेषु सर्वेषु सूत एकस्तु गृह्यते।
न दातव्याः परे दीक्षां सर्वे च प्रतिलोमजाः।
न च संस्कारमर्हन्ति वर्णाश्रमबहिष्कृताः॥

Sanat Kumara Samhita.

Westerners who are interested in Hinduism should not seek diksha in vaishnavism, they may seek their path in Shaivism or Shaktims or can become unititated bhaktas who do nama parayana, but not the rituals of vaishnava agama or smarta/ shrauta.

Vannakkam: Does ISKCON know this?

Aum Namasivaya

Sahasranama
27 July 2011, 02:53 PM
I don't think they do, otherwise they wouldn't be so arrogantly boasting about their sampradaya. Chanting the names of Bhagavan is the main path in kali yuga and this is open to everyone, but vaishnava diksha is not for everyone. I have found that most western initiates in vaishnavism are arrogant anyway. A lot of them think they have more right to interpretate shastra than born Hindus. Even though they are not born in varnashrama dharma, they act like they are the highest brahmins. They even start quoting manu smriti, well if manu smriti was still valid I'd have to pour melted iron in their ears for listening to the vedas.

charitra
27 July 2011, 05:22 PM
Again one should not generalize.
The founder of Himalayan academy had lived for years in SriLanka, similarly David Frawley and more recently Frank Morales have gone through the proper route and acharya status was conferred on them by the highest seats of Hinduism. Once having become ‘proper’ acharyas they now can start missions and train others on their own. Prabhupada led the way initiating and later confirming acharyahood or equivalents to many western vaishnavas. God bless him. Having accomplished once gurudom westerners can claim adhikhara just like deshi gurus. There is no difference whatsoever. Even vivekanada took a few sishyas under his wings in Chicago in 1890s.

Recently the shankaracharya of sringerimath had made a trip to kerala ‘hugging amma’s ashram by himself and gave her his blessings and praised her work. The pontiff had recognized her religious status as a saint in public view. She was not specifically trained in any ashram, this iam not so sure though. Recently passed Puttaparthy saibaba didn’t go through the process of initiation. Some self realized individuals will make an exception to the prescribed path to transform in to a guru/swami and can bypass it altogether, although they are very rare. Iam sure others have more info on how one can become an acharya, guru or swami. Namaste.

Sahasranama
27 July 2011, 05:54 PM
I don't think you understand me, I am not against westerners practicing Sanatana Dharma, but there are certain limitations when it comes to initiation and rituals. Pancharatra initiation is only meant for people who are born brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya or shudra. Anuloma is when the father is of higher caste than the mother, in this case the child takes the caste of the father like Vyasa etc. Suta is when the father is kshatriya and the mother a brahmin. Sutas traditionally were narrators of the itihasas and puranas. These are all allowed to get initiated in pancharatra agama. Pratiloma (when the mother is higher caste than the father) and mlecchas are not allowed to get initiated in pancaratra. This is said in the verses I have posted above from the Sanatkumara Samhita, an important pancaratra text. Pancharatra initiation itself is a system that is meant for people who are born in varnashrama dharma, but have fallen from it as is stated in the Shiva Purana (Suta Samhita). But as is stated in the pancharatra agamas themselves, they are not meant for people outside the varnashrama dharma like the "hare krishnas" and some other white vaishnavas. Dvijas in the past followed Vaishnava systems like vaikhanas, sattvata which were completely vedic and not agamic, but this tradition has become scarce just like the shrauta tradition of the south Indian brahmins.

The founder of himalayan foundation is a Shaiva, certain sects of Shaivism are open to all people. But pancharatra initiation is not, therefore people like Frank Morales should have never been initiated in them. David Frawley is different, because he is not a vaishnava. He is more a yoga, ayurveda practicioner with a scholarly interest in the vedas. Western vaishnavas can chant Hare Krishna and live pious devoted lives, but when they start practicing pancaratra initiation and shrauta/smarta rituals, they are stepping outside their boundaries. They should also not pretend to be the highest brahmins who are above Hindus, because of their self styled sampradayas. They did not have the adhikara to get initiated in pancharatra in the first place.

charitra
27 July 2011, 06:15 PM
The founder of himalayan foundation is a Shaiva, certain sects of Shaivism are open to all people. But pancharatra is not, therefore people like Frank Morales should have never been initiated in them. .

by your own admission shaivites are more generous and inclusive whereas vaishnavites aren't. Hmmm. As a venkateswara disciple, you dont sound right to me. But Acharya Frank Morales will make a great disciple and acharya of all avatars.

NayaSurya
27 July 2011, 06:31 PM
You say this is SanatKumara Samhita.

Then could you please show me this phrase you posted in the text, or is this site nepharious and I should no longer use to get documents?

http://www.bvml.org/VS/SSK_sss.html

and if this site is not correct, please show me online this text if you have one?

Sahasranama
27 July 2011, 06:41 PM
You say this is SanatKumara Samhita.

Then could you please show me this phrase you posted in the text, or is this site nepharious and I should no longer use to get documents?

http://www.bvml.org/VS/SSK_sss.html

and if this site is not correct, please show me online this text if you have one?


These come from kamakoti mandala:
http://www.kamakotimandali.com/blog/index.php?p=610&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

NayaSurya
27 July 2011, 07:19 PM
These words within the blog, are no where inside the translated text which I found online at the website I posted. Are there two such texts named the same thing?

You know my favorite verses from Sri SanatKumara Samhita from the site I post?

37
na purascaranapeksha
nasya nyasa-vidhi-kramah
na desa-kala-niyamo
nari-mitradi-sodhanam


In chanting these mantras there is no need of purscarana, nyasa, ari-suddhi, mitra-suddhi, or other kinds of purification. In chanting these mantras there is no restriction of time or place.
38
sarve 'dhikarinas catra
candalanta munisvarah
striyah sudradayas capi
jada-mukandha-pungavah
All, from the lowest outcaste to the greatest sage, are eligible to chant this mantra. Women, sudras, and all others are eligible. The paralyzed, mute, blind, and lame are eligible.

39
andhra hunah kiratas ca
pulindah pukkasas tatha
abhira yavanah kankah
khasadyah papa-yonayah

The Andhras, Hunas, Kiratas, Pulindas, Pukkasas, Abhiras, Yavanas, Kankas, Khasas, and all others born from sinful wombs are also eligible.

40
dambhahankara-paramah
papa-paisunya-tat-parah
go-brahmananam hantaro
mahopapatakanvitah

They who are overcome with pride and ego, who are intent on committing sins, who are killers of cows and brahmanas, and who are the greatest of sinners, are also eligible.

41
jnana-vairagya-rahitah
sravanadi-vivarjitah
ete canye ca sarve syur
asyadhikarino mune

They who have neither knowledge nor renunciation, they who have never studied the sruti-sastra and other scriptures, and all others, whoever they may be, are also all eligible to chant these mantras.

42
yadi bhaktir bhaved esham
krishne sarvesvaresvare
tadadhikarinah sarve
nanyatha muni-sattamah
Anyone who has devotion for Lord Krishna, the master of all masters, is eligible to chant these mantras, but they who have no devotion, even they may be the greatest of sages, are not eligible.

Sahasranama
27 July 2011, 07:35 PM
That is only a translation of one chapter. ISCKON often translates only one chapter of a text. They have also only published one chapter of the Brahma Samhita, an important text in gaudiya vaishnavism. Nama parayana (chanting names) and bhakti are not limited to varnashrama dharma. That's not what I wanted to say. I am specifically talking about initiation (diksha) into pancharatra agama with pancha sanskara (tapa, pundram, dasya nama, mantra upadesha and yaga) which is only reserved for people who are born within the matrix of varnashrama dharma.

NayaSurya
27 July 2011, 07:40 PM
Thank you for the information, it is always good to know about rules. I would love to read the full text of this if anyone can provide it? If not, I know it will probably pop up sometime when I am uploading/downloading on Scribd. The vastness of the information there is endless.

Sahasranama
27 July 2011, 08:43 PM
The problem is that these people will continue to pose as brahmins and pretend to be bonafide and above all that is Hindu. Hindus should know that these people are only pretenders who are trying to build financial empires and large followings of disciples. ISCKON mandirs in India are recieving a lot of money from Indian people, but they take that money and ship it to America where they'll continue to say bad things about Hindus and Hinduism. There are Sri Vaishnava groups of white initiatees in Australia who set up online business scams for purohit courses with copy-paste material from wikipedia and plagiarism of other books. Hindus beware!

devotee
27 July 2011, 10:59 PM
Namaste,

The worst that can happen to any society is adopting the ugliness of racism. Unfortunately, succumbing to the greed of transferring power to their progeny and subjugate others, the people who were Sudras by their karma but born to Brahmins manipulated many sacred texts to cater to their nefarious designs. The issue of Varna-ashram and jaati has been discussed on this forum earlier too. Those who have any doubts can read only one Upanishad which rips apart the Varna by birth theory : "VajrashUchikaa Upanishad". The question is if manusmriti in today's form is really untainted then why Hindus accepted Huns, Kushans etc. invading tribes as Kshatriyas ... whose blood is still flowing among uncountable number of Hindus. Were they not mlecchas ? Is our blood not already "tainted" with mleccha blood ? Who knows which mleccha was the forefather of which Kshatriya ? So, what is this all hue & cry ?

The fact that something is written in Sanskrit verse doesn't make it an authentic Shastra version. Sanskrit as as good or bad a language as English or french. Anyone can write anytthing in any language. So beware of such quotes. Smriti enjoys a much lower status as compared to Shruti. The propaganda with some malicious intent towards western Hindus that is being spread with this thread is deplorable in no uncertain terms.

The irony is that such tendency is seen among Hindus who are residing in western countries. Some, perhaps, have no intention to come back to India. Some were born in the so-called mleccha country. They have no problem in eating mleccha food, earning mleccha money, breathing in mleccha country, drinking mleccha water ... they won't survive if this mleccha support is withdrawn from them. However, they don't think even twice before writing something hurting towards the so-called mleccha people.

My dear friends, who are interested in spiritual upliftment and not indulging in this worst kind of discrimination against fellow Hindus, please denounce this tendency in one united voice of the all Hindus irrespective of their place of birth or lineage.

I solicit your support as this forum has been able to come to a highly commendable position on the internet a very healthy spiritual place for Satsanga & it pains to see that it is being used for such self-fulfilling propaganda of hatred.

OM

wundermonk
27 July 2011, 11:55 PM
http://www.4to40.com/images/bhagavad_gita/2_shaloka_046.gif

"To the knower of Brahman (Spirit), all the Vedas are of no more utility than is a reservoir when there is a flood from all directions": BG 2:46

न त्वं विप्रादिको वर्ण: नाश्रमी नाक्षगोचर: ।
असङगोऽसि निराकारो विश्वसाक्षी सुखी भव ।। १-५ ।।

"You are not a brahmin, or of any caste, or of any ashram (stage of life), nor are you anything the eye can see. You are unattached, formless, the witness of all, so be happy.": Ashtavakra Gita 1:5.

Divine Kala
28 July 2011, 12:13 AM
That is only a translation of one chapter. ISCKON often translates only one chapter of a text. They have also only published one chapter of the Brahma Samhita, an important text in gaudiya vaishnavism. Nama parayana (chanting names) and bhakti are not limited to varnashrama dharma. That's not what I wanted to say. I am specifically talking about initiation (diksha) into pancharatra agama with pancha sanskara (tapa, pundram, dasya nama, mantra upadesha and yaga) which is only reserved for people who are born within the matrix of varnashrama dharma.


Forgive me, Sahasranama, for my ignorance but what is pancaratra?

Sahasranama
28 July 2011, 12:16 AM
Forgive me, Sahasranama, for my ignorance but what is pancaratra?http://lmgtfy.com/?q=pancaratra

TatTvamAsi
28 July 2011, 02:54 AM
Namaste,

This thread has quickly become very unsavory. I am quite sure it was not Sahasranama's intent for the thread to devolve into petty arguments.

Guys, come on. I've been in Sahasranama's situation many times before on this forum. He is stating what we already know to be true. He is NOT saying non-Indians cannot be Hindu. He is stating, as I've stated, that non-Indian Hindus, who don't have the right jan, birth/lineage, cannot circumvent VarnASramA.

It is really sad to see Devotee and Sahasranama argue with each other. Both of you are knowledgeable Hindus. There is no point behaving like this towards each other.

Sahasranama, I do have to say you have really gone overboard with your disdain for Sai Baba. I don't know what reasons you have for that, but it is really bad to denigrate a Hindu gurU like that, especially one who is revered by many on HDF. Just leave Sai Baba out of these discussions. This is about convert VaiSnavAs and their air of superiorty.

This Varna debate has MANY threads devoted to it on HDF. I suggest all newcomers read those threads; especially the one that "Nara" started and is about 15 pages or so in length. There are good points on both sides of the issue.

One thing is certain, however. There can be in no way, shape, or form, a non-Indian Hindu to become an AcharyA; they simply do NOT have the adhIkArA for it. There is no "interpretation" or discussion about it. End of story.

This thread was about that issue; that many so-called VaiSnavAs pretend to be Brahmins and ill-treat other Hindus, ones who are born Hindu even. That is what Sahasranama was talking about.

Let bygones be bygones. Let's talk about philosophy. How about we all have a nice, warm samosa and some buttermilk to calm our nerves? :)

devotee
28 July 2011, 04:07 AM
Namaste all those who may be interested,


Diksha in vaishnavism is not meant for westerners. Here is pramanam from shashtra.

अथातः संप्रवक्ष्यामि वर्णाचारविधिक्रमम्।
ब्राह्मणः क्षत्रियो वैश्यः शूद्रश्चेति चतुर्विधाः॥
विष्णोः शरीरजाता वै मुखबाहूरुपादतः।
अत्रानुलोमजाः श्रेष्ठाः वर्ज्याश्च प्रतिलोमजाः॥
प्रतिलोमेषु सर्वेषु सूत एकस्तु गृह्यते।
न दातव्याः परे दीक्षां सर्वे च प्रतिलोमजाः।
न च संस्कारमर्हन्ति वर्णाश्रमबहिष्कृताः॥

Sanat Kumara Samhita.

Westerners who are interested in Hinduism should not seek diksha in vaishnavism, they may seek their path in Shaivism or Shaktims or can become unititated bhaktas who do nama parayana, but not the rituals of vaishnava agama or smarta/ shrauta.

First of all, the shloka mentioned above doesn't talk anything about Westerners. It talks about "VarNasharambahishkritah" which means who have been thrown out of VarNashram. A person can be thrown out of a society only when he is allowed to join it. This is not the case with "Westerners".

It is surprising how this has been translated as "Westerners" !

OM

devotee
28 July 2011, 04:12 AM
Again, where is it written that a Westerner has no right to go through "pancharatra" ? Is this what Ramanuja taught ??

OM

Sahasranama
28 July 2011, 04:15 AM
I have not even claimed to have provided a translation. But it is clear from the use of anuloma, suta and pratiloma that birth is the deciding factor here.

Ganeshprasad
28 July 2011, 05:35 AM
Pranam

Wow
I must say adhikar or eligibility, to exercise that, should not be construed as racists or what ever.

No one takes issue when certain criteria is applied to gain entry in to a university .

Vernashram (I hope this does not turn in to another debate) is the very fabric on which the whole hindu dharma has and will be maintained. There were constrained within each varna, rules and regulation so what to speak of those who are outside of it, what adhikar do they have? Who can judge their criteria?

I have heard many say, oh yes are they not doing a great job spreading the truth? To them I say what is there to spread? Is truth something one can purchase in the street ? No, it is for imbibing in one self, it is not some thing one can distribute like the Muslims and Christians do.

Prabhupad made thousands of devotees whom he even never met, yet gave them diksa made them Brahmins by way of tape recoding mantra diksa!!! what was the result, Americans devotees had to declare them self bankrupt due to litigation they faced for abuse.

I have witness few Gurus fall from grace in the UK, now they donít have a picture of current guru in the temple simply because they have seen all those were there before, disgraced themselves.

Having said all this, this is Kali yug, yug dharma is to chant the holy names, for that there is no bar to any one. What does Krishna says;

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 perish. (9.31)



Note, he is saying they soon become righteous, nothing about becoming Brahmins or Acharya, why would they want this status? Having not studied the Vedas, (it requires dedication discipline from very young age) yet this guys have goal to denigrate Hindu gurus, as not authentic this does disturb me.

Jai Shree Krishna

devotee
28 July 2011, 06:38 AM
I have not even claimed to have provided a translation.

Because you didn't know the translation, you found it convenient to interpret in your own way ! That is a good way of interpreting Shastras !! :)

OM

wundermonk
28 July 2011, 06:43 AM
But they should not cross boundries and start doing the work of brahmins.

Who exactly decides what and where the boundaries are? Who exactly decides the "work of Brahmins"? Is there a list of approved professions somewhere on the web that I can look up and figure out which caste I am in?

NayaSurya
28 July 2011, 07:02 AM
If the written laws say we are not eligible then this would be something I deeply concede to.

I think this issue is often lost in our specific cultures of birth. When others do not understand that in India, very young children begin training to learn verses very very precisely in order to become Acharya and other high places?

But, the thing which made me go look to Shiva Purana was the fact the word "westerner" was used. This somehow didn't settle with what I have read in Shastra.

There are two things mixing in this thread...one...varna less beings? and if converts can become higher ones?

But, despite these two being very different, I believe the words used in this thread made them, once again unite...because there is this underlying discrimination going on...not with Beloved Brahmins...but with ones ignorant and born in the wrong place, such as myself.

If this thread could begin again, throw out the anger and racial terms?

Then have a truly informative thread on what convert should expect...would this not be good for everyone?

Speaking as not a convert, but one truly born in a body which from the moment it became developed enough to seek...began to find this way home. I will tell you...very few upon this arduous path would seek to make waves...we are sincerely trying to find our place in Beloved's Dream. We want to follow every rule!

When I became to know the name of what it was I was doing all these years....and it was Dharma...I felt the sky was no limit!

Then hit the ceiling when I found out what I truly was in the eyes of many....some cursed being.

But, I leave you with something I kept on a crumpled paper when I became sad about bringing my children up in this religious philosophy and knowing there would come some distant day in their future when they saw the ceiling created by such threads and knew they hit it. This thread and the wisdom contained, would make them feel better as it always does for me.

http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=14070&postcount=15


---------------------------

"catur-varnyam maya srstam
guna-karma-vibhagasah
tasya kartaram api mam
viddhy akartaram avyayam

The four Varna or divisions of human society, based on aptitude and vocation, were created by Me. Though I am the author of this system, one should know that I do nothing and I am eternal. (See also 18.41) (4.13)

brahmana-ksatriya-visam
sudranam ca parantapa
karmani pravibhaktani
svabhava-prabhavair gunaih


The division of labor into the four cate-goies -- Braahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra -- is also based on the Gunas inherent in peoples' nature (or the natural propensities, and not necessarily as one's birth right), O Arjuna. (See also 4.13) (18.41)

It is quite clear guna and karma plays an important part in establishing this system. So where does birth fit in all this?
The varna system today is in dire state, but still plays an important part in the society weather we like it or not.

It has become fashionable to blame the Varna system especially the birth based, the chaos that we see, this inequality (exists in every society) has made the cast system the main target of blame not without some justification, also an easy target for those forces who conspire to malign Hindu dharma.

At what point varna would best be decided.How would a varna system function, who would decide what varna one belong to? Just as in school we get graded according to our ability and final result at the end of a term so in my understanding the birth plays a significant role in deciding the varna of a person. . After all if we believe in karma then it is at the end of ones life time we have to accept our new beginning.
Of course in an exceptional circumstance a student may be promoted to higher class so there always remains a scope to change ones varna in the same lifetime

yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
sada tad-bhava-habitat

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail. (8.06)

Such a yogi is born in a family of wise transcendentalists. A birth like this is very difficult, indeed, to obtain in this world. (6.42)

After taking such a birth, O Arjuna, one regains the knowledge acquired in the previous life, and strives again to achieve perfection. (6.43)

Jai Shree Krishna"


Jai Shree Krishna, Beloved<3

I wanted to say that by crumpled, I mean that I do read it so much that it is very worn. Because it is Beloved Krishna's Divine Prescription for us to follow and it is very precious to me.

devotee
28 July 2011, 07:11 AM
Who exactly decides what and where the boundaries are? Who exactly decides the "work of Brahmins"? Is there a list of approved professions somewhere on the web that I can look up and figure out which caste I am in?

Who is a Brahmin ? Is Brahmin a caste ? Is it gained by being born to a couple of Brahmin caste ?

VajraShUchika Upanishad tells us that Brahmin is not by birth. A Brahmin by caste need not be a Brahmin by Varna.

See, Caste and Varna are two different things. Caste is decided by your occupation and varna is decided by your Guna and karma as explained by Lord Krishna in BG. There were many lower castes in India who were taken in Kshatriya Varna and also the Kshatriyas who once were ruling clan when defeated were assimilated into lower castes (mostly in vaishya varna) as per the occupations they took. This is based on actual History of Hindus.

There is only one caste who has remained untainted is Brahmins. There was no caste which was upgraded to this caste or they were also not denigrated to lower castes unless there was a case of Anulom - Pratilom.

Therefore, all Hindus by default are either in one Varna or the other whether they are part of caste system or otherwise. However, there is no caste system for non-Indian Hindus as the caste system is peculiar only to India where not only Hindus but Muslims are too divided into various castes.

OM

wundermonk
28 July 2011, 07:30 AM
VajraShUchika Upanishad tells us that Brahmin is not by birth. A Brahmin by caste need not be a Brahmin by Varna. There were many lower castes in India who were taken in Kshatriya Varna and also the Kshatriyas who once were ruling clan when defeated were assimilated into lower castes (mostly in vaishya varna) as per the occupations they took.

OK. So, this tells me that Brahmins (B), Vaishyas (V), Kshatriyas (K) and Shudras (S) could be either a caste (profession over which one has control) OR varna (guna over which one has no control as some of it is based on past Karma). In the same life, I can be in K caste and B varna, S caste and V varna etc. I assume Varna is decided by birth but not caste. Is a Tamil "Iyer" or "Iyengar" a Brahmin by caste or varna or neither?


There is only one caste who has remained untainted is Brahmins.

Could you expand on this?


Therefore, all Hindus by default are either in one Varna or the other whether they are part of caste system or otherwise.

As I see it BG is applicable to the entire world. So, whatever is mentioned in the BG by Krishna is not applicable to Hindus alone. It ought to apply to EVERYONE. So, would it be fair to rephrase your statement as follows:


Therefore, all Humans by default are either in one Varna or the other whether they are part of caste system or otherwise.

My question from before still remains. When someone says something like


But they should not cross boundries and start doing the work of brahmins.

it seems what is being referred to here is caste and not varna.

Who exactly decides what and where the boundaries are? Who exactly decides the "work of Brahmins"? Is there a list of approved professions somewhere on the web that I can look up and figure out which caste I am in?

wundermonk
28 July 2011, 07:45 AM
Teaching, study (svādhyāya), performing Yajna, make performing Yajna, accept Daana, and give Daana are the six duties of a Brahmin.

So you see, it isn't professions it is holy things.

Thanks Naya...The question STILL remains though. Is someone born in a "Brahmin" family a Brahmin? If yes, the question still remains unresolved because now we need to define what is a "Brahmin" family, and so on, ad infinitum.

If a Muslim teaches, studies, performs a Muslim equivalent of Yajna and is philanthropic, is he a Brahmin by varna since he would fall outside the caste system?

devotee
28 July 2011, 08:05 AM
OK. So, this tells me that Brahmins (B), Vaishyas (V), Kshatriyas (K) and Shudras (S) could be either a caste (profession over which one has control) OR varna (guna over which one has no control as some of it is based on past Karma). In the same life, I can be in K caste and B varna, S caste and V varna etc. I assume Varna is decided by birth but not caste. Is a Tamil "Iyer" or "Iyengar" a Brahmin by caste or varna?

There are two separate things which are being mixed here. I will tell you again :

a) Varna is decided by Guna and Karma & not by birth --- This is what Lord Krishna says in BG, this is what VajrashUchika Upanishad says & that is what Shanti-parva of Mahabharata says. However, the "birth" part cannot be altogether negated here because birth is too based on Guna and Karma.

You are right. This Varna system applies to the whole mankind and not only to Hindus.

b) Caste is decided by birth and your occupation :

Caste system is based on inheritance of occupation of father by son. So, the son takes the caste of his father. However, there have been cases where the son has though belonging to a lower caste has upgraded himself to a higher caste and also Varna. For example, Chandragupta Mourya belonged to Mura tribe which came in Shudra Varna. However, after becoming King, he was counted among Kshatriyas. Similarly, there were many Kshatriyas who were defeated in war and lost their status in society and were reverted to castes of either Vaishya or the Shudra Varna.

When we talk in normal language & use the word as Brahmin we actual talk about the caste and not the Varna. For being elligible to be of Brahmin Varna, one has to possess the Guna & Karma of a Brahmin which is narrated in Chapter 18 of BG.


Could you expand on this?

History tells us that Hindu society didn't accept upgradation of any person of lower caste to Brahmin caste. It was always based on birth to a Brahmin couple. So, the Brahmins are respected by all Hindus in general & they alone are accepted as Pooja-performers etc.

My question from before still remains. When someone says something like


But they should not cross boundries and start doing the work of brahmins.

Every caste is delegated with some work in the Hindu society and so all works related to worship are entrusted to Brahmins (Please refer to Naya Surya's post where the work of Brahmins are written). No Hindu, in general wants to violate this rule ... that includes me too. However, the question arises what happens when there is no eligible Brahmin around or readily available ? Will the Sun not rise if the Cock will not say "Cock a doodle do" ? It is not so.

There has been objection on Non-Brahmins giving Diksha. People can't be so naive ! Diksha is given only by the Sannyaasis and Sannyasis are out of the caste-system. Once a person takes Sannyaasa, he is beyond all Varnas.caste-system. There have been many saints who were Sudras by caste before taking Sannyaas. So, there can be no objection if a western Sannyaasi gives diksha to anyone. There is a saying in Hindi :

"Never ask the caste of a Sadhu" .... Jaat na poochho Sadhu ki.


Who exactly decides what and where the boundaries are? Who exactly decides the "work of Brahmins"? Is there a list of approved professions somewhere on the web that I can look up and figure out which caste I am in?

Dear friend, you cannot impose upon you what you should do or what not. That will be decided by your Guna and Karma. Your nature would force you to get engaged in the work according to your Varna. A person should do the work of Varna to which he belongs (mind it ... I am not talking of caste). This is what Lord Krishna says in BG. The work which naturally attracts you & you are able to do it with your inherent Gunas is your work & that decides your caste too

OM

Onkara
28 July 2011, 08:10 AM
Because you didn't know the translation, you found it convenient to interpret in your own way ! That is a good way of interpreting Shastras !! :)

OM

Yes, I think this is where the issue of western discrimination lies. Otherwise it would contradict the Upanishads:

Isavasya Upanishad: (http://www.celextel.org/108upanishads/isavasya.html)

6. He who perceives all beings in the Self alone, and the Self in all beings, does not entertain any hatred on account of that perception.

7. When a man realises that all beings are but the Self, what delusion is there, what grief, to that perceiver of oneness?

wundermonk
28 July 2011, 08:33 AM
b) Caste is decided by birth and your occupation :
Caste system is based on inheritance of occupation of father by son.

These days, it is pretty rare [IMO] that a son/daughter does the work done by his/her parents. As far as I am concerned caste is meaningless in today's globalized and educated economy. With more and more people getting educated I would say the number of Brahmins (by Varna) is growing in the world, if education is related to "Brahmins".


For being elligible to be of Brahmin Varna, one has to possess the Guna & Karma of a Brahmin which is narrated in Chapter 18 of BG.

Thanks for the chapter number. I am going to be reading it tonight.

Ganeshprasad
28 July 2011, 09:29 AM
Pranam Devotee ji

Jati and varna is interchangeable insert caste and we have a cocktail no one understands.

if birth has nothing to do with guna and karma i can understand your position, to each to their own, unfortunately birth is not an accident thus we will always have this argument. the position you hold will pose a lot of question as to how and what authority will decide the varna of an individual? bearing in mind it is not something that one can change at the whim of someone desires. nor it is the modern day education that decides varna, it only adds to the confusion.

i was hoping we do not go the route of debating varna unfortunately it where it has headed.

i just leave one example, those who train the race horses knows what it means to mate with through bread.

Jai Shree Krishna

devotee
28 July 2011, 09:50 AM
Pranam Devotee ji

Jati and varna is interchangeable insert caste and we have a cocktail no one understands.

if birth has nothing to do with guna and karma i can understand your position, to each to their own, unfortunately birth is not an accident thus we will always have this argument. the position you hold will pose a lot of question as to how and what authority will decide the varna of an individual? bearing in mind it is not something that one can change at the whim of someone desires. nor it is the modern day education that decides varna, it only adds to the confusion.

i was hoping we do not go the route of debating varna unfortunately it where it has headed.

i just leave one example, those who train the race horses knows what it means to mate with through bread.

Jai Shree Krishna

Namaste GaneshPrasad ji,

I would better not like to discuss this topic with you, whom I consider a good friend on this forum .... at least not being on opposite sides.

However, as you have raised this issue, I would advise you to go through the history of Hindus and Shastras I referred to & you would find that what I am saying is true. Jaati and varna are not synonyms particularly in jaatis belonging to varnas lower than Brahmins. Historically, Brahmins caste didn't follow the other castes belonging to lower Varnas. So, if you are talking of purity of Vanshanukrama, it can be said so only about Brahmins.

.... and my opposition is not against caste/Varna system in whatever form we have in India. My objection is towards hatred being spread against good souls just because they are not born-Hindus and that will always remain. This is sheer racism and nothing else. Why there is no resident Indian Hindu here who is so much opposed to so-called Westerners ? Why is this tendency seen only in Hindus who have settled in the west ? Eat west, read west & speak only ill of the west ! This is no gentlemanship.

... and the Shastras ar e being twisted to give the meaning to demean the western Hindus --- Manusmriti itself tells us that many invader tribes who won in the wars and became rulers were assimilated into Hindu society as Kshatriyas. We have historical facts that castes were not water-proof and people were accepted in castes depending on their occupations and their status in the society. In fact, there are many Shudra castes even today who claim to be counted as Kshatriyas. This is because at some point of time in the history their ancestors were the rulers and they were considered Kshatriyas due to their status and their being the rulers. The latest in the case was Kshatrapati Shivaji. However, this didn't apply to the Brahmin caste.

OM

Ganeshprasad
28 July 2011, 10:41 AM
Pranam Devotee ji


Namaste GaneshPrasad ji,

I would better not like to discuss this topic with you, whom I consider a good friend on this forum .... at least not being on opposite sides.

Thanks my friend, i see no wrong in discussing anything so long as it is done in mutual respect.



However, as you have raised this issue, I would advise you to go through the history of Hindus and Shastras I referred to & you would find that what I am saying is true. Jaati and varna are not synonyms particularly in jaatis belonging to varnas lower than Brahmins. Historically, Brahmins caste didn't follow the other castes belonging to lower Varnas. So, if you are talking of purity of Vanshanukrama, it can be said so only about Brahmins.

that may very well be true but then we are probably talking about history in this Kali yug perhaps in last 2000 years or so. Tulsidas writes This yug is store house of impurity, sudra will instruct the brahmin etc.

So Saha, when he quotes this thread perhaps what he see is this trend which i have experienced my self also, that this new Gurus look down upon the Hindus.



.... and my opposition is not against caste/Varna system in whatever form we have in India. My objection is towards hatred being spread against good souls just because they are not born-Hindus and that will always remain. This is sheer racism and nothing else. Why there is no resident Indian Hindu here who is so much opposed to so-called Westerners ? Why is this tendency seen only in Hindus who have settled in the west ? Eat west, read west & speak only ill of the west ! This is no gentlemanship.

yes there is no room for hatred, Lord Shree Krishna warns us many times, it is the desires and hate that binds one to this sansra.

Indians in India are too busy either trying to make ends meet or trying to emulate the west. those of us who stay in the west are perhaps becoming aware of the west and their agenda, we can also tell they come with baggage of their own cultures and some times their own superiority complex is clear for us to see. there is no question of hate, in this case to highlight their short comings.

.

Jai Shree Krishna

satay
28 July 2011, 10:49 AM
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