[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 28, Issue 5

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Aug 9 14:49:17 CDT 2005

On Tue, 9 Aug 2005, hemang Chamakuzhi Subramanian wrote:

> Can someone say where in the Vedas, Upanishads, Samkhyas, UpaVedas, 
> Puranas, Mahabharatha, Ramayana, Yoga-Vasistha, Tripura Rahasya, is it 
> said the following ">have to cast away their yagnopaveethas even if they 
> were brahmins by
>> birth.Caste of a person went by his birth."

There are two different issues.  Whether a sannyasi should give up 
yajnopavita or not is a matter of sampradaya.  As we have discussed, Dandis 
and Tridandis differ on this issue and they both developed in post-vedic 

As for the second issue.  I could mention some evidence (and it has been 
extensively discussed in the past on this list, see the archives) but 
would it really convince anyone?  You can go into any place in any 
corner of India and observe that caste is determined by birth.  If people 
are willing to disregard the evidence right in front of their faces will 
even a 1000 quotes from dusty ancient books convince them?

> Is there any discussion in today's world about who are the "Brahmins"?

Not from me.  I find the entire topic tedious in the extreme and will just 
refer you back to the archives if you are really interested.

>    Do these concepts hold, or are we still fighting on some ancient 
> concepts of castes..of which our country may have a few million....

Which concepts?  That only some people wear yajnopavita and have worn it 
in the past is a documented fact.  Or are you refering to something else?

>  If we go by the defenition from the "Bhagavad Gita" of Varnashrama, All 
> the worlds software engineers or hi-tech workers are Shudras.

1.  The Bhagavadgita is the wrong place to be looking for a definition of

2. Speak for yourself sir!  I for one practice all my obligatory duties as 
specified by Shruti, Smrti, and Shishtachara.  As do many others often at 
great personal cost.  If there are Brahmanas who don't, that is a matter 
for their consciences to deal with.

> The only 
> defenition of a Brahmin that I've seen in all the epics is from the 
> Mahabharatha where the Yaksha asks Dharmaraja "What are the 
> characterstics of a Brahmin?"

That episode has also been discussed and does not mean what you think it 
means.  Again, please check the archives.

> One more doubt "Is it necessary to wear the Yagnopaveetam before 
> chanting the Rudram or chamakam?".

It is always necessary to wear yajnopavita for any vedic karma.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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