Birth and Caste (was Re: [Advaita-l] RE: Vedic Shakhas ...)
sjayana at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 2 12:01:27 CST 2005
--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 20 Jan 2005, S Jayanarayanan wrote:
> > Modern genetics has *proven* that Native Americans,
> > Asian-Indians (such as ourselves), and East-Asians (Chinese,
> > etc.) -- all had a common MALE ancestor about 2000
> generations ago!
> > This has been *established* by genetic research using the
> DNA obtained
> > from humans living in various parts of the world.
> Why stop at humans? Genetics research often uses the nematode
> (a species
> of worm) because its genes are largely the same as humans. So
> a human
> should be considered equal to a worm?
You are bringing a straw man into the argument. Just because
genetics uses the nematode *sometimes* in genetic research does
not mean that "All Genetics is useless."
In fact, the exact opposite is true in the case of parenthood
and ancestry, which can be determined to a *very high* degree of
accuracy (99.9% or higher) using the DNA from a parent and
child. The DNA testing for parenthood is accepted by all courts
within the USA, for good reasons.
> Those who think science can solve "arbitrary" human conditions
> are in for
> a disappointment because all science can do is show a vast new
> range of
> arbitrary conditions.
So ALL science is false and wrong?!
You are confusing between Evolutionary Biology and Genetics. The
former is hand-waving and tentative, the latter is HARD SCIENCE
with 99.9% (or higher) certitude.
Genetics has achieved a level of sophistication by which they
can say with virtual certitude as to whether or not a person is
a parent of another person. See the link from the NATURE
magazine, one of the most respected science magazines, at
"A Y-chromosome haplotype can help to identify an offender or
determine fatherhood with a probability of 99.9% or more, says
Lutz Roewer, one of the database's founders. The results can be
used in court as additional evidence, although they are less
conclusive than conventional DNA analysis of markers on
> > YudhishhThira's dialog with the Yaksha, etc.
> I believe we looked at that one too.
And the conclusion was ...? In any case, there should be no
problem having the discussion again if there are any doubts in
Yama is regarded as "dharmarAja", so if Yama HIMSELF thinks
Brahmanahood is not by birth, what hope is there for the
"Brahmanahood by birth" theory at all? The dialog *refutes* the
idea that Brahmanahood has anything to do with birth. I got the
dialog from an online translation of the MahAbhArata, and
included CAPITALS when required.
The Yaksha asked,--'BY WHAT, O KING, BIRTH, BEHAVIOUR, STUDY, OR
LEARNING DOTH A PERSON BECOME A BRAHMANA? Tell us with
certitude!' Yudhishthira answered,-'Listen, O Yaksha! IT IS
NEITHER BIRTH, NOR STUDY, NOR LEARNING, THAT IS THE CAUSE OF
BRAHMANAHOOD, WITHOUT DOUBT, IT IS BEHAVIOUR THAT CONSTITURES
IT. One's behaviour should always be well-guarded, especially by
a Brahmana. He who maintaineth his conduct unimpaired, is never
impaired himself. Professors and pupils, in fact, all who study
the scriptures, if addicted to wicked habits, are to be regarded
as illiterate wretches. He only is learned who performeth his
religious duties. He even that hath studied the four Vedas is to
be regarded as a wicked wretch scarcely distinguishable from a
Sudra (if his conduct be not correct). He only who performeth
the Agnihotra and hath his senses under control, is called a
> > The MahAbhArata is replete
> > with examples of people whose birth is dubious, but whose
> > is certain. One example is Veda VyAsa himself, who is said
> to be the
> > son of ParAshara and a fisherwoman. There was a discussion
> about this a
> > long time ago with the subject line "brahman by birth or
> guna and
> > karma",
> Apart from the utter lack of historical evidence,
I thought the MahAbhArata *was* historical evidence ("itihAsa"),
at least as per our tradition!
> factor that
> militates against the guna theory is the numerous examples of
> Brahmanas in the shastras. Ashvatthama for instance
> slaughtered the
> children of the Pandavas out of revenge. Yet he avoided the
> penalty because the Pandavas respected him as a Brahmana. (He
> was the
> son of Drona.) How do you justify killing children by guna and
Maybe Ashvatthama was performing the agnihotra and other duties
of a Brahmin? Maybe his conduct outside of that one incident was
befitting that of a Brahmin? There are many other reasons I can
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