Anshuman Pandey apandey at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Wed Feb 12 15:56:58 CST 1997

On Mon, 10 Feb 1997, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> I prefer the spelling Brahman.  although it isn't perfect either it is
> closer to the proper pronounciation of the word than Brahmin, the
> mispronounciation of idiotic Englishmen.

More accurately, the spelling should be braahmaaNa. But that's just a
transliterary technicality, entirely dependent on convention!

> Secondly, the vajrasuchi "upanishad" is probably a late forgery.  It
> certainly isn't quoted as an authority by any of the shastris or
> mimamsakas I know of.  The definition Shruti gives of a Brahman is the one
> every single person in India except a few stupid socialists is aware of.
> A Brahman is the son of two Brahman parents.

The vajrasuci upaniShad is counted as one of the "official" 112
upaniShad-s. Are you confusing shruti and smR^iti? There is no shruti
that states that braahmaNa-hood is attainable through birth only. If I am
mistaken, please correct me by providing the references. In verse 4.13 of
the bhagavadgiitaa, kR^iShNa states:

"caaturvarNyaM mayaa sR^iShTaM guNakarmavibhaagashaH"
These four orders were created by me according to quality and work.

Unless you consider the bhagavadgiitaa to be a forgery, the above points
to the caste system as having been established upon duty rather than by
birth. It is most likely the case that the caste-by-birth "standard"
evolved out of this.

Anshuman Pandey

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