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RE: Brahminism (2 types)

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale_at_qualcomm.com)
Date: Mon Sep 30 1996 - 12:15:03 PDT

I see arguments from Sri Tatatchar, Sri Dileepan etc. regarding Brahminism.
Let me summarize my thoughts on this:

Note that there are two types of Brahminism : Guna based Brahminism and
Birth (jati) based brahminism.  Bhagawadgita is not detailed enough on this
subject. Please refer to Srimadbhagawatam (final section) re: duties of
varnashrama dharmas. This provides a conclusive picture on this issue.

The idea is this: Guna based brahmin is the one to be respected irrespective
of his/her birth.  Even a birth based Brahmin should cultivate proper gunas
and become a guna based brahmin.  In essence guna basis is the proper basis.
However, birth basis provides certain responsibilities and sins if such
responsibilities are not fulfilled.  For example: yajana-yaajana (doing
yagas and participating in others' yagas and making them happen), patana-
paatana (reading scriptures and teaching them), daana-parigraha (charity: be
the giver and receiver as per the circumstance and occasion)... These are
the duties for a brahmin.  If a brahmin (or trivarnika..ie. brahmana,
kshatria, vaishya by birth) does not do the duty (ie. sandhya and veda
studies) assigned, he will incur sin. On the other hand if a sudra or 5th
category does not do sandhyavandana it does not matter. no sin is incurred.
Similarly, an animal like a tiger does not incur sin by killing while a
human being will incur sin; since a human is sastravasya (bound by
scriptures) and an animal is not bound by the rules of shastra.  So beware
brahmins... if (you) do not do daily duties sin will definitely incur and
take effect in your lives causing unhappiness and miseries (now and in
future).  The bottom line is that being a birth brahmin is not great. It is
a license and responsibility when misused will be a detriment.  That is why
I wish, if someone is born as a trivarnika (brahmin, vaishya or Kshatria),
let that person be a "woman"; because a woman does not have "rules" such as
sandhya vandana.  So she will not incur sin if sandhya or "agni karya" is
not done.  But, of course a sthri (woman) has dharmas too as Sri Sadagopan
wrote in his recent mail. In short, being a birth based brahmin is more a
pain then credit!

Note a jati brasta, like AJAMILA (prior to his reformation), was never
eulogised. He was verily shunned though was born as a brahmin. I do not
claim to be a brahmin, since I do not do the duties assigned to a brahmin
correctly. So, there is nothing wrong if someone criticises me.

So the essence is that one should not give credence or importance to birth
based brahminism and honor guna based brahminism irrespective of the
person's birth. However, one cannot eliminate the truth behind birth based
brahminism since our shastras are filled with such issues. Sri Tatachar's
views of only supporting guna based brahminism is laudable but the extreme
view of annihilating the significance(I said significance not importance) of
birth basis is not as per scriptures. One might ask what if it is not per
scriptures?  then it does not matter,you can have whatever opinion you want,
it will not become "valid testimony".

Hope this clarifies the issue.

I would REQUEST the group members to Sort of put an end to this BRAHMIN /
CASTE issue on this group and move on to other topics.  This topic is an
eternal subject with very little tattva. Others who are still interested may
want to look into archives and read all the stuff regarding this previously
written.  

I am pained by mine and other' mistakes regarding this jati issue.  We learn
about these subjects and hardly try to do our duties such as study of
scriptures. Hope Lord Krishna  with all our acharyas show us a way to carry
out our duties properly.

Dasan Krishna Prasad Kalale
Krishna Kalale
619-658-5612 (phone)
619-658-2115 (fax)