Varna and one more, Question by Ravi Chandrasekhara MD
vadhula at YAHOO.COM
Sun Oct 21 18:24:19 CDT 2001
Dear All: Namaskar !
This is in response to Shri Sadananda's posting about
the situation in the Mahabharata:
1) A Brahmin is someone whose parents are both
Brahmins or whose father is a Brahmin and mother is a
non-Brahmin but a Dvija (Kshatriya or Vaisya)
Jamadagni's, a Brahmin, parents are Richika (Father -
Brahmin) and Vishwamitra's sister (Mother-Kshatriya)
2)Parashurama and Drona are Brahmins and took to arms
during certain situations, Brahmins could teach
warfare and during times of Aapat-Kaal could
participate in warfare, plus Parashurama is an avatar
of Bhagawan Vishnu.
3)Vishwamitra was entitled to vedic rights as he was a
Kshatriya by birth and through tapas became a Brahmin,
which isn't easy and quite rare; once he became a
Brahmin, his subsequent descendents were Brahmin by
birth, e.g, members belonging to Kaushik gotra, etc.
4)Veetahavya was a Haiheya King belonging to Atri
gotra and Chandravamshi lineage. He was one of the
losing parties in the Battle of Ten Kings. He took
refuge in Brighu's ashram and "became a Brahmin" He
then founded a Brahminical gotra called Vadhula gotra
whose pravara is: Bhargava, Veetahavya, and Savetsa.
By the way I belong to Vadhula gotra. Now he became a
Brahmin to either rebirth or through tapas. Simple
adoption by Brighu doesnt seem plausible as
"genetically" he would be of Atri gotra, and as far as
I know, there is no bar to marriage between members of
Atri gotra and Vadhula gotra.
5)Now Kshatriyas belong to Suryavamshi lineage
(Kashyapa-Surya-Vaiwasvata Manu-Ikshvaku) or
Chandravamshi lineage (Atri-Soma-Budha who married
Vaiwasvata Manu's daughter ILa- Pururvas) or
Agnivamsha (e.g. Chauhan and Pramara/Parmar clans,
created by Vashista's sacrificial fire). Brahmins
belonging to 40+ gotras are actually descendents of
the following progenitors:
Vaisyas supposedly are descended from the same
6)NIYOGA- this is a situation when a Brahmin rsi
maintains the line of the king. e.g. Many evil kings
were killed by Parashurama and left heirless. The
Brahmin rsis continued the lineage with the widowed
queens; the subsequent offspring were Kshatriyas
belonging to the vamsha of the "slain king", but
different gotra as per their natural father. Hence
that is why many Kshatriyas have similar gotras as
Brahmins. According to Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswati
Swamigal of Kanchi Mutt (in Hindu Dharma section at
www.kamakoti.org); niyoga was self-less service and is
banned in Kaliyuga, as this quality of being selfless
is rare. Note this is different than anuloma vivaha
as Niyoga wasnt a marriage. This is how Dhrtarashtra,
Pandu, and Vidura were sired by Veda-Vyasa and
explains their varna.
7)Sambhandam- was a relationship, not marriage between
a male of a higher caste and female of a lower caste
and the offspring were of the maternal caste. e.g.; in
Kerala, many Nambudiri Brahmin males had sambandham
relationships with Sudra Nayar women.
8)The birth of Veda-Vyasa was very unique and
extra-ordinary and it doesnt mean that the offspring
of Brahmin males and fisherwomen would be Brahmins,
infact they would be Sudras. Besides satyavati was
genetically a Kshatriya adopted by a fisherman.
9)Other species also are apparently also have Brahmin
varnas, e.g. Ravana (Rakshasha) and Astika (son of
Brahmin male and Naga < serpentine tail and a "human
10)King Bharata (not Shri Ramachandra's brother)
subjected all of his evil sons to the death penalty.
He adopted a descendent of Bhradvaj gotra (progenitor
is Angirasa), done through a special yagna - not mere
adoption, to continue the succession. His son in turn
was Bhuvamanyu. Bhuvamanyu's eldest son Brhatksatra
continued as a Kshatriya and the line of succession.
The other sons were Brahmins and founded Brahminical
gotras of which Angirasa is the progenitor:
a. Mahavirya whose son Urukasya had a son
b. Mahavirya's other sons: Trayyaruna and Puskarin --
c. Nara whose son Sankrit -- Sankriti Gotra
d. Garg --- Garg gotra.
Looking forward to responses and comments.
Pranam, Ravi Chandrasekhara
--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Oct 2001, K. Sadananda wrote:
> > I would like to separate the practice of casteism
> (I am not sure the
> > spelling is right!) versus the fundamental basis
> for casteism.
> If you knew the fundamental basis for the caste
> system, why didn't you
> tell us earlier? It would have saved a lot of
> typing! :-)
> Without facts, any assertions of what is fundamental
> is just one persons
> word against another and will get us nowhere. How
> can we determine the
> facts in this situation? Certainly we can look at
> the texts themselves.
> But as I've mentioned before, this is not
> necessarily enough. I maintain
> we also need to take a phenomonological approach and
> look at what our
> ancestors actually did as well as what they said.
> > We
> > have discussed this so many times in this list
> that it pretty soon
> > gets muddled with emotional aspects associated
> with the caste since
> > there are social implications and practice of
> discrimination on the
> > basis of caste. From the point of practice point,
> most of the rules
> > of who is Brahman, etc., I gather, is laid down by
> Manu dharma
> > shaastra.
> There are 18 principal smrtikaras as well as
> sections on Dharma in the
> kalpasutras of Apastambha, Bodhayana etc. as well
> sections in the Puranas.
> As well as commentaries on these texts, there are
> the nibandhas or
> compendia which collect all the quotes from
> dharmashastras and organize
> them by topic.
> Though atleast theoretically all the texts can be
> reconciled, different
> dharmashastras have been more influential in various
> parts of India. In
> the west the Yajnavalkyasmrti with the Mitakshara
> commentary of
> Vijnaneshwar, in Bengal the works of Raghunandana
> Bhattacharya, in South
> India the Parasharasmrti with Madhaviyam of
> Madhavacharya. The
> Vaidyanathadikshitiyam, Dharmasindhu, Nirnayasindhu
> have also been
> mentioned. The Manvarthamuktavali of Kulluka Bhatta
> on Manusmrti,
> Chaturavargachintamani of Hemadri, the works of
> Abhinava Vachaspati
> Mishra, Kamalakara Bhatta, and Tryambaka Yajvan have
> also been
> been considered authoritative.
> The point is there is a voluminous literature on
> ("History of Dharmashastra" by P.V. Kane contains
> the most thorough
> research on this subject.) All this must be
> considered when forming an
> opinion on the subject.
> > On a fundamental basis- I consider the
> classification is universal
> > (independent of time and place) and scientific.
> It is the
> > classification of human behavior based on the
> texture of vaasana-s -
> > that reflect in terms of satva rajo tamo guNa-s.
> Four combinations
> > are predominately the classification intended for
> ones evolution. It
> > is intended for self-evaluation and self-evolution
> since evolution
> > progresses from tamas to rajas to saatvic nature.
> Hence spiritual
> > practices will be more successful if one evaluates
> oneself correctly
> > and subscribes to appropriate saadhana-s that is
> in tune with his
> > tendencies - this is part of swadharma that by
> following one dharma
> > one can evolve more rapidly. It is not intended
> to judge others
> > whether the other one is a Brahmin or not.
> > Ones birth is related to ones vaasana-s. Basis of
> caste on the basis
> > of birth is putting cart before the horse. The
> root cause is
> > vaasana-s and one knows his own vaasana-s more
> than other people's
> > vaasana-s.
> This cannot be because shastras mention both wicked
> Brahmans like Ajamila
> or Ravana, and virtuous Shudras like Vidura or
> Ekalavya. If the varnas
> were defined "ethically" and a matter of vaasanas or
> tendencies, a wicked
> Brahman would be an oxymoron. Rather what the
> shastras put forth is an
> ideal. A Brahman should be truthful, learned etc.
> Throughout history,
> the best of them have met the ideal. Those that
> fall short of the mark
> should at least try.to meet them.
> > I am not disagreeing with Jaldhar. He emphasizes
> certain aspects
> > that cannot be denied either. The example of
> satyakaama he mentioned
> > if one examines, the teacher concludes that the
> boy must be Brahmin
> > because he is not afraid of telling the truth.
> Telling the truth is
> > a necessary condition of being a Brahman (as Ravi
> pointed out that it
> > is dharma) but not a sufficient condition - in
> that case everybody
> > who tells the truth is a Brahmin. We have
> several questions in the
> > scriptures that declares that one is Brahman not
> by birth but by guNa
> > and Karma -
> Or rather birth is only one of the conditions.
> > In Mahabhaarata - YudhishhTara answers questions
> > Nahishaa to that effect. This is different from
> what was being
> > practiced at that time- Dronaachaarya is one
> example - Vyasasa was
> > born of Brahmin father and fisher-woman.
> Vishvamitra was born of
> > kshatriya. Valmiiki himself was an example-
> People say previously
> > he was a Brahmin. DR^itaraashhTra. PanDu and
> Vidura -The first two
> > are considered as Kshatriya-s and the third one
> suudra since their
> > mothers were of those castes while father for all
> the three was Vyasa
> > himself. The Vijrasuuchi upanishad provides a
> classification of
> > castes not on the basis of birth but on the basis
> of guNa and karma.
> > Jaldhar does not consider that as an authentic
> Upanishad and I am not
> > qualified to judge its authenticity either way.
> If one wants to use a "scientific" approach than any
> evidence which is
> dubious or open to question must be held invalid.
> > But the fact is it
> > says so very clearly. Hence I refuse to get into
> any arguments on
> > these other than to learn besides the quoted
> upanishads and smR^it
> > pramaaNa is there any other direct statements in
> shruti-s in terms of
> > classification. Manudharma shaastra is not
> pramaaNa it is law-book
> > to laid down for smooth operation of society at
> that time.
> Which time? And as for smrtis not being pramana,
> our sampradaya is not
> called Smarta for nothing. Also if Yajnavalkyas
> words in Yajnavalkya
> smrti are only for a certain time, why are the same
> persons words in
> Brhadaranyakopanishad not only valid for a certain
> > Now having said all these, I must confess
> something. I may sound
> > like a hypocrite, but I am quite sensitive to the
> > discrimination in the name of caste.
=== message truncated ===
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>From ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG Tue Oct 23 17:37:03 2001
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Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 17:37:03 +0900
Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
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To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
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From: "vaidya_sundaram at i2.com" <Vaidya_Sundaram at I2.COM>
Subject: any online sources/references for shata bhushani?
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I was wondering if list members are aware of any online material for
shata bhushani as well as the other work shata dushani ... your pointers
are appreciated. I have tried the usual google and alta vista searches.
bhava shankara desikame sharaNam
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<br><font size=2 face="sans-serif">namaskaram.</font>
<br><font size=2 face="sans-serif"> I was wondering if list members are aware of any online material for shata bhushani as well as the other work shata dushani ... your pointers are appreciated. I have tried the usual google and alta vista searches. </font>
<br><font size=2 face="sans-serif">bhava shankara desikame sharaNam</font>
<br><font size=2 face="sans-serif">Vaidya.</font>
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