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Thread: Caste System Debate

  1. #1
    Quote Originally Posted by Singhi Kaya
    I was born a hindu brhamin
    Nobody is "born" a Brahmin. I would prefer to see this bogus caste system nonsense kept outside of the forum. ~BYS~

  2. #2
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    Exclamation

    Anyone who is born into a Brahmana Gotra is a Brahmana by birth; and it is only "bogus" when the appropriate Brahmana Samskaras are not followed !

    Varna is intrinsic to traditional Hindu Dharma; and sects that have completely rejected Varna are commonly considered as "heterodox" !

    Is this a forum for the discussion of Hindu Dharma generally, or would anyone prefer to set more exclusive sectarian guidelines?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarabhanga

    Is this a forum for the discussion of Hindu Dharma generally,
    yes!

    BYS,
    gotra is a big part of the hindu culture and we can not just drop it overnight...I know that's not what you meant but just wanted to say that...gotra or jati is a big part of indian hindus and I for one am not willing to give it up for anything...

    obviously, in practice i am not kashatriya and only a shudra but by jati I am a kashatriya and it is a big part of my personality!
    satay

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    Anyone who is born into a Brahmana Gotra is a Brahmana by birth; and it is only "bogus" when the appropriate Brahmana Samskaras are not followed !
    However, even a person who is not a brahman by birth can be equivalent to brahman by practise

    At the same time, brahman by birth but not by practise is not a brahman at all. As Shri Sharabhanga suggested, such persons are worth addressing Bogus

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jalasayanan
    However, even a person who is not a brahman by birth can be equivalent to brahman by practise

    At the same time, brahman by birth but not by practise is not a brahman at all. As Shri Sharabhanga suggested, such persons are worth addressing Bogus
    By practice of what?

    Sage Viswamitra became a Brahmin (infact a Brahmarishi, the highest form of Brahmanhood) from a kshatriya by performing tapasya. So it is obvious that varna system is a spiritual classification. They are not watertight and anyone can become a Brahmin through penance.

    Which obviously means that one cannot be Brahmin by virtue of birth, though it is the custom from an immemorable past.

    Everyone is an avarna by default. When one becomes interested in spirituality and learns(hears) about it, he is a shudra( sushrUsha means desire to hear about Yoga). When he starts practicing the Yoga, he is a Vaishiya( vishati iti vaishya:, one who enters Yoga). When he is advanced in the Yoga, he is a kshatriya (kshatat trAyate iti, protected from danger which happens for a Yogi). Knowledge of Atma(Brahman) results in Brahminhood.

    Birth based classification of caste is racial in character, though it has become an inevitable part of Hindu culture.

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    Everyone is an avarna by default
    Every ATMA is avarna to be very precise

    This view if further corroborated by Vaishnav and Shaiva Siddantins. Both feel devotion makes one a member of their clan

  7. #7
    This is getting off-topic so this discussion on varna/caste should probably move to another thread. Anyway, for those presenting their opinions on varna/caste, I would expect scriptural references. In my comment, I was referring to Hindu religion and not Hindu culture. Hindu religion certainly has varna and I can provide scriptural evidence (in a relevant thread, not here) that implies that varna is based on action and not on birth. It sounded like the rebuttals to my post here were indicating that varna/caste is certainly legitimate in Hindu culture. I am not denying that. I am referring to Hindu religion not Hindu culture and I think most of us can agree that those two are not always the same. Namaskaar. ~BYS~

    P.S. Even though I am a mod, my statements are only my opinions unless they have a "mod note" near them. So if I say, "I'd prefer not to have such and such on the forum" but there is no 'mod note' it only means that those are my personal opinions. It doesn't mean you have done anything wrong. Anyway, I guess it was my fault for kind of getting this off-topic but the varna/caste shouldn't have been mentioned in the first place. The OP had nothing about caste/varna and mentioning it in response had nothing to do with answering the user's question. It seemed almost as out of place as saying "I am a white male and..." when it had nothing to do with anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BYS
    Varna is based on action and not on birth.
    Since no action can be performed without birth, and one’s birth has traditionally determined (not through any obligatory rule, but in practice) one’s social and spiritual education, and thus one’s likely actions, I would say that Varna has always been based on birth.

    Birth is just the beginning, however, and the final status of any individual depends ONLY on action.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jalasayanan
    Every ATMA is avarna to be very precise

    This view if further corroborated by Vaishnav and Shaiva Siddantins. Both feel devotion makes one a member of their clan
    I am only taking the meanings of the words themselves in support of my view. We know that anything other than a spiritual classification would be meaningless. A person born to a Brahmin is a Brahmin. See how absurd it is? His father maybe a thief, and thus not even a shudra. So how does this birth give him Brahminhood by itself?

    In Bhagavad Gita, it is mentioned that casteism is based on social order. Again, it is questionable. Why should a son born to a shudra be a shudra even if he has the qualities of a Brahmin or has a deep desire for God?

    That is why, we need to directly look for the meaning of caste in the word meanings of various castes:

    Shudra is associated with sushrUsha which in common language means to serve others, which is what was usually followed even in he olden times. But sushrUsha( shrotum iccha) also means the desire to hear, and not just service. Since knowledge was transmitted orally in olden times, the desire to hear means to be interested in hearing the vedas and generally showing interest for spirituality. Thus a shudra means a person interested in spirituality.

    Vaishiya means a person who enters.( vishati iti vaishya. What has "entering" to do with being a merchant? It simply means a person who has learnt the vedas and the theory of Yoga as a shudra and ready to move with practice of Yoga. This is a Vaishiya.

    Kshatriya means a person protected from danger. ( kshatat trAyate iti kshatriya). This could mean the normal kshatriya who is brave and robust in health, but it also means an accomplished Yogi who has conquered all dangers through Yoga.

    Brahmin needs no explanation, a person related to Brahman or knower of Brahman is called a Brahmin.

    If a person is born to a true Brahmin desribed above( a Yogi putra), then he is really an evolved soul, and hence the birth based classification is not wrong. However, the passage of time has ensured that classification of caste based on birth is almost meaningless as sufficient degeneration has happened. If this son of Brahmin does not realize the Brahman, his generation still carry the Brahmin tag for ever! That is the flaw with this order of castes.

    Again, spiritual classification ensures that all human beings, irespective of religion will have a caste associated with them depending on their spiritual inclinations and status. Why should it apply only to people belonging to a particular land called India and a particular set of people? Were vedas so short sighted?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bhakti Yoga Seeker
    Nobody is "born" a Brahmin. I would prefer to see this bogus caste system nonsense kept outside of the forum. ~BYS~
    I find many things which I don't agree to, if I have points I try to refute them and not lebel something as bogus or delete out stuff when it doesn't agree to my ideas~it's another thing I don't have a mod previledge like you.

    Also noteworthy is that you pick up a word from a full senetnce, remove the context in which it was said and start attacking. Which one is out of context? My sentence or your direct attack on a hindu system without any provocation? I used the word only in the context of OP that it is easy to get confused in hinduism. It was an innocent reference~but I had no idea we have so much bigoted people here who will pick word from sentence and start attacking because they have hatred for it. Because of it we now have 4 posts on caste system in this thread, whereas I never mentioned it to start with.

    Thanks to Sarabhanga for putting it up in right words.
    Last edited by Singhi Kaya; 14 May 2006 at 04:50 AM.

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