Statements in our shastras

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at YAHOO.COM
Mon Feb 10 18:36:39 CST 2003

To Ravi Chandrasekhara: "A Brahmin who has drunk
liquor shall drink boiling hot liquor till he dies"
according to the Apastamba/Gautama/Bodhayana dharma
sutra. If that's followed/enforced to the letter, the
"Brahmin" population would decrease by quite a bit ;-)
Therefore statements such as you've quoted (those that
could be interpreted as denigrating non-dvijas) do
exist in the dharma shAstras. But the moral standards
demanded of the dvijas are very high also.

To Vaidya: Both the Bhagavatam and the Vishnu Puranam
have very graphic descriptions of the various kinds of
hell that one enters as a result of one's sins. But
the Vishnu Puranam ends by saying, "Heaven (svarga)
and hell (naraka) are only states of the mind." And
the Bhagavatam's recommendation for escaping all the
various kinds of hell is to simply chant the names of
the Lord.

It is interesting that Ramana Maharshi *demanded* all
of his close disciples, including so-called
non-dvijas, to listen to the daily Vedic recitation at
Ramanasramam. In case someone missed it and later gave
an excuse that he had to attend to some work, RM would
ask him, "What work can be so important?"

I have heard that RM chided one of his disciples
(Devaraja Mudaliar) by asking him not to chant the
Vedas along with the Brahmins, but I do not if it is

To a certain devotee who was raising objections to the
caste system, RM said, "Kavyakantha Ganapathi Muni
once wanted to convert outcastes to Brahmins by means
of mantras, but no one came forward. It is obviously
due to an inferiority complex, so first work to remove
that complex." (Talks, # 507)

--- Vaidya Sundaram <vaidya_sundaram at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Namaskaram.
>  At a more personal level, I would like to think
> that the one who enforces
> any of these (if at all they were true) is an all
> forbearing God. The
> fundamental tenet of the shastras of an all knowing
> and all merciful God
> guarantees that such descriptions of cruel
> punishment are not carried out
> unjustly.
>  If at all you want to look at what punishments are
> given for what actions
> deemed as sin, then you would be interested in
> reading more of sections of
> bhagavatam which describe the levels of narakam, and
> the actions of men
> which lead them there. Are you a kleptomaniac? You
> would be surprised to see
> how badly one would suffer for being so ... the
> quotes you have given are
> not the only wierd punishments that do not seem to
> fit the nature of the
> actions seen as sin ... if you want to see how you
> may escape those, read
> the bhagavatam :) - the very act of reading the
> bhagavatam is a remedy!
>  Whilst so, it is our responsibility to look at the
> exhortations out of each
> of us, and proceed accordingly, trying to satisfy
> the minimums we can, and
> leave the rest off to the dispensation of God, after
> our best attempts have
> failed.
> bhava shankara desikame sharaNam.
> Vaidya.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "ravi chandrasekhara" <vadhula at YAHOO.COM>
> Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2003 10:41 PM
> Subject: Statements in our shastras
> > Dear members,
> >
> > I picked up some English translations of quotes
> from
> > our shastras; do they actualy say this or are
> these
> > mistranslations:
> >
> > Apastamba DharmaSutra (2:8)
> >
> > "As it is a sin to touch a Candala, so is it to
> > speak to or to look at one"
> >
> >
> >
> >  Gautama DharmaSutra (12: 1-6)
> > "If a Sudra uses abusive language or physical
> > violence against twice  born people, the part of
> his
> > body used for the
> > crime should be chopped off. If he has sex with an
> > Arya woman, his penis should be cut off and all
> his
> > property confiscated, if the women had a guardian,
> > then, in addition to the above, he shall be
> > executed. And if he listens in on a Vedic
> > recitation, his ears shall be filled with molten
> tin
> > or lac, if he repeats it, his tongue shall be cut
> off,
> > if he commits it to memory, his body
> > shall be split asunder."
> >
> >
> > Vasista DharmaSutra (3:1)
> >
> > "Brahmins who are not learned, do not teach, or
> who
> > do not maintain the sacred fires become equal to
> > sudras."
> >
> > Pranam, Ravi Chandrasekhara MD
> >
> >
> > __________________________________________________
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> >

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