What is adhikAra? (fwd)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Jun 1 14:09:00 CDT 1998

On Tue, 19 May 1998, sadananda wrote:

> There is still a question in my mind - Was caste ever intended to be based
> on birth?

Given our lack of time machines how can anyone hope to answer this

> Obviously, I am not questioning the practice.  Is there any
> sRitipramaana (assuming smRiti is secondary) for this.

But why assume that?  Smriti is only secondary if it contradicts Shruti.

  Purushasuuktam only
> uses the word birth for the sudras but not for other castes.

But it says Brahmans "came" from His mouth, Kshatriyas were "made" from
His arms.  Given this is a poem isn't more plausible to assume the words
are being used as synonyms for birth.  From the poetic point of view it
isn't too good to keep repeating the same word.

>  Hence one can
> interpret that by birth everyone is sudra, and by guna or vidya one ascends
> to the Brahmin-hood to sit at the face.   I do not have Vajrasuchi
> Upanishad here with me to quote readily.  I have to go back and read the
> slokas.

It doesn't say "sit at the face" it says "came from the mouth"  (Atleast
in the Shukla Yajurveda.)

> a full discussion of this.  I am asking the necessory and/ or sufficient
> qualifications for one to be a Brahamana

sufficent is birth in a Brahman family.  To be a "good" Brahman requires
Upanayana, vedic study and practice of shatkarmas.

> - as per the ShRities,


> separating
> from what has been practiced


> or what different acharyaas interpreted.


As a scientist I'm sure you're awary of biasing an experiment.  If you ask
a loaded question, can you hope to get an objective answer?
> Vidya's post reconfirms my own understanding that caste prevails in
> relation to the dharma - pertaining to purvamiimaamsa involving rituals and
> not uttara miimamsa relating to Vedanta.

Did you see the quote from the Brahmasutra and Bhashya I posted.  less
relation I can agree with.  No relation I can't.

> I am happy to hear that one who speaks truth or one who does not hurt
> anybody - manasaa, vaacha, karmana is Brahmin - is also perfectly
> acceptable since he has the requisite mental frame to be a Brahmana.

It isn't acceptable.

> It is
> logical and universal.

I may be sounding like a broken record here but why?

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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