viprataa (was Re: Sadhana)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Jun 1 13:42:10 CDT 1998

On Tue, 12 May 1998, Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:

> NamashkAr,
> ---"ShrI Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:
> >
> > On Mon, 11 May 1998, Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:
> >
> > > But, the crux of this debate
> > > is "who is a brahmin?".  "Brahmin" to ShrI Shankaracharya meant
> > > something vey different than what it means today.  I have trouble
> > > accepting that the BhagavatpAda had somehow ( implicitly and/or
> > > explicitly ) espoused the degenerate caste system of today.
> >
> > Your trouble stems from your lack of knowledge.  I've made a few
> arguments
> > but rather than make more I invite you to see for yourself.  Talk to
> a few
> > degenerates ;-) you might be surprised.
> >
> > --
> > Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
> >
>    I agree that my knowledge is limited and I meant no disrespect to
> any one in particular by my previous post.

The point is this is not the kind of thing which can be known well from
books.  Imagine all you knew about Western civilization came from the
Bible, Shakespeare, and the works of Aristotle.  You might be quite
shocked if you were to observe the discrepancy between that and
the behavior of people on an average American street.  But that doesn't
mean that Western civilization doesn't exist or its' ideals are
non-existent.  The trouble when Indians discuss caste is that even the
supposedly "scientific" ones are overly focused on theory and pay little
attention to actual practice.

>  The "Degeneration"
> mentioned above is the understanding of the system as it stands today
> ( atleast as it was explained to me ).  IMO, current views on the
> caste system make an automatic association between "jati" and "varnam".
>    "jati" is associated with birth but from what I understood from
> ShrI Anand's post, "varnam" is not.  Since our AchArya's views on
> VedAdhikAram mention "varnam" only, how can we exclude people based on
> "jati" alone?

Even in Shankaracharyas time, a neat simple  fourfold division didn't
exist.  The smrtikaras do acknowledge the existence of jatis.
Interestingly enough they do see thme as being a "degeneration" of the 4
Varnas but again that's theory.  In practice they recognize them.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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