Birth and Caste (was Re: [Advaita-l] RE: Vedic Shakhas ...)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at
Wed Feb 2 00:18:46 CST 2005

On Thu, 20 Jan 2005, S Jayanarayanan wrote:

> Modern genetics has *proven* that Native Americans, Europeans,
> Asian-Indians (such as ourselves), and East-Asians (Chinese, Japanese,
> 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?

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.

> 2) There are a whole set of texts that say that a BrAhmaNa is one by
> character and not by birth. e.g. VajrasUchika upanishhad,

I believe we discussed on the list a long time ago that this likely to be
a fake.  Just because a work has upanishad in the title doesn't make it

> YudhishhThira's dialog with the Yaksha, etc.

I believe we looked at that one too.

> The MahAbhArata is replete
> with examples of people whose birth is dubious, but whose BrAhmaNahood
> 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, another factor that
militates against the guna theory is the numerous examples of bad
Brahmanas in the shastras.  Ashvatthama for instance slaughtered the
children of the Pandavas out of revenge.  Yet he avoided the death
penalty because the Pandavas respected him as a Brahmana.  (He was the
son of Drona.) How do you justify killing children by guna and karma?

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
It's a boy! See the pictures -

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