Varna and one more

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Oct 16 16:07:51 CDT 2001

On Mon, 15 Oct 2001, miinalochanii paashamochanii wrote:

> Current conditions may not truly represent the truth. For instance, if
> one looks at the current life style of brahmaNa-s (both in India and
> elsewhere) and understand what brahmaNa dharma is about, it will be
> disaster.

This is one of those situations where the glass can appear half-empty or
half-full.  A scant 30 years ago, intellectuals were predicting the death
of religion (particularly in its' orthodox forms.)  Could they have
guessed in 2001 we would discussing the most ancient of texts on the

> I agree with Sadanandaji. One has to look at authoritative texts.

I agree but not *only* at them.  Their meaning will be quite opaque unless
we also place them in their proper historical and conceptual context.
For a start which are the authoritative texts?  Certain shlokas of the
Bhagavadgita are bandied about as evidence for an "ethical" view of caste.
Why is it that the smrti nibandhakaras never quote them?  Yet they
frequently refer to Devala Smrti etc?  Mine is not the only answer which
can be given, maybe that particular section is lost, maybe it was some
vast Brahman conspiracy, or any number of things.  But you cannot find out
from just the text alone.


> I do not know who this devala is. But MW dictionary lists him as a
> descendant of kAshyapa and a seer in rig veda.

Asita Devala is indeed a Vedic Rshi and a smrtikara.  Sometimes Asita and
Devala are considered as two seperate names.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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