By-Two Kaapi in an oilfield

The weblog of Abhilash Ravishankar, India.

Here I blog about my personal experiences [posting rarely]

At my tumblelog Intoxicated by possibility I blog about my opinions/likes/dislikes [posting heavily]


Given my earlier post, I might appear as a flagrant hypocrite. Nay. Read on.

I was just browsing through some communities on Orkut and landed at one such community called 'Brahmins'. I was intrigued by the posts on that community and inspired to deal with a issue not mentioned there.

I was born a Brahmin. In the ancient times, Brahmins have been the upper strata of the society - the intellectuals and the worshippers of God. And, now that is long gone. We ought to be grateful to the rulers of India who slowly abolished the system as it makes absolutely no sense to regard a certain bunch of people as intellectuals just because of their birth in a certain family. It is the thought process that make a individual and not birth.

It is popular belief that Brahmins were the propogators of discrimination by caste and they are responsible for the pathetic state of Dalits/SC/ST/Harijans now. I do not intend to contend that belief in this post, for I have not been a witness to that and I am just a student of History. I also believe that History is written by winners and it is never the complete picture. All that i can say on this issue is that if it was actually a fault by my(our) ancestors then so be it. They have committed a sin against humanity. But am I to pay for it? That would be equivalent to saying that jsut because Hitler was a German, all Germans now are liable for the spate of Jews worldwide. How preposterosus ! Now, everywhere Brahmins are considered as pot-bellied proud peacocks who just know how to eat and disregard others. I am disgusted at this viewpoint for that age is long gone and Brahmins are now found in all strata of the society. They are no longer the elite. The world has woken up. Religionism, casteism are on the downturn, but why still the hatred for something that has happened way back in the past. After all the reservations given to the SC/ST people for 50 long years, we have forgotten meritocracy in this nation (More on this reserved for a future post), and now Brahmins in Rajasthan are demanding to be included in the backward classes. They have a logical premise saying that most Brahmins now in Rajasthan are now economically backward - for they have been totally negelected for 50 years. But it is totally stupid on their behalf to claim reservations (which are actually totally absurd) and that too vie to be called 'backward'. Guess self-esteem is going for a toss in this country as well !

On what the Gita says on a Brahmin

Arjuna asked: Who is a Brahmin? What is Self-knowledge? What is action, O Purushottama?

Krishna said: Brahman is the Imperishable, the Supreme; His essential nature is called self-knowledge; the offering to Gods which causes the origin, existence and manifestation of beings and also sustains them is called action.

As is said by Lord Krishna, one becomes a brahmin by his thoughts and not by his birth. It only depends how matured one's mindset is. How understanding one is about an issue. How efficiently one can deal with people around - with love and care.That determines one's brahminism and not birth.

So, the bigger picture is to grow out of one's caste and become a universal soul - indifferent to all such petty indignant issues - and that in Hinduism is what is described as a Brahmin


  1. Aravind said...
    I completely agree with you about the absurd division of our society on the basis of religion. According to my philosophy,
    religion was born because of man's submissiveness to a supernatural power after failing to nullify the insecurity in life. Naturally, there were different beliefs about the supernatural, His form(no offence to the fairer sex!) etc. So, there is absolutely no reason for someone's religion being better than others'. The division of the society into Brahmins, Kshathriyas, Vaishyas & Shudras, was probably conceived to channelize human resource in different occupational paths, and was probably one of the brightest ideas of ancient India. However, the sinister manifestations assumed by the classification, the creeping of superiority and inferiority in the system, have been pulling down the Indian society for a long time now. Add to this, the deeds of some self-centred politicians, who raised the system to the height of absurdity by making reservations based on class a long term practice. This has become a part of the political vendetta today, a last ditch effort to garner some support from a few sections of the society, facilitating the divide, infact, accelerating it. Its high time that people brought an end to this. I see the only way this ending - the people belonging to the 'backward' sections must start to see the privileges they have as something that symbolizes sympathy(Note the irony in the previous statement - "backward sections" enjoying "privileges"!)
    Do you remember - Standard 8, Marimallappa's high school. Our english teacher had just completed a poem and was asking questions.
    I was asked "What will be your response when you meet someone disabled?".
    Without much thought, I blurted out - "I'd be kind, offer my help, be sympathetic."
    The teacher immediately replied - "Sympathy is the last thing a disabled person wants. You may be sympathetic when you are helping him, but you shouldn't make it apparent." I pondered over this and realised that it was absolutely true!
    Now, the reservation prevalent in our system is the way 'other' people are sympathetic, and it's very apparent, right there in front of everyone's eyes. But, I'm now doubting the truth in our teacher's statement. Don't you see that the 'backward' sections are happily accepting the privileges they have been offered. I don't think any class is 'backward' in today's India, apart from a few events here and there. Its high time the 'backward' classes, who are so short-sighted in worshipping Ambedkar, shun their 'privileges' and join the mainstream.
    So, I'm hoping this happens very soon.
    Abhilash Ravishankar said...
    I too am keeping my fingers crossed, but I am very pessimistic about it happening in the near future. Or for that matter during our lifetimes.

    About your philosophy, I am in total agreement. I shall be posting about Vedantas soon. I believe that it stands above all religions on this planet.
    Aravind said...
    Yeah. Even I'm pessimistic. It's like dropping off with a parachute 20000 ft above the ground and landing on your house!
    It's hard to get the notion across too...
    The Ignoramus said...
    chaturvarnyam mayA srishtam guNa karma vibhAgasah.

    -Gita, 4.13

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