What is adhikAra? (fwd)

Gregory Goode goode at DPW.COM
Tue May 19 11:57:23 CDT 1998

At 11:21 AM 5/19/98 -0400, sadananda wrote:

>I read with great interest the input from Vidya on the topic.  I wish he
>completes his thesis soon and educates us more about the shastra and
>smRiti's assertions of who is Brahmana.  It is nice of him to take a brake
>and provide his input.


>I also read the related input from Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian.
>There is still a question in my mind - Was caste ever intended to be based
>on birth?  Obviously, I am not questioning the practice.  Is there any
>sRitipramaana (assuming smRiti is secondary) for this.

I'd asked this same question on this list about a year ago.  The answer was
not based on shruti or smRiti, but on traditional oral teachings.  They
went like this:

Caste came to be based on birth because caste is based on the physical,
mental, intellectual guna-makeup in each individual's case.  The strongest
predictor and most important caual influence of a person's guna-makeup is
his psychobiology and early home training.  Therefore, one's parents come
to be the material cause, as it were, of one's guna-makeup.  My respondent
didn't address how exceptions are dealt with (adoptions, or say, a baby
born with totally different guna structure than the parents have), but this
was the explanation of a traditional way of looking at it.


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