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

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at
Wed Feb 9 21:34:13 CST 2005

On Wed, 9 Feb 2005, S Jayanarayanan wrote:

> You are saying that the first verse that speaks of conduct being
> decisive of a BrAhmaNa is talking about BrAhmaNa-G, and the
> latter verses on saMskAra, GAyatrI mantra speak of BrAhmaNa-K?!

Well shloka 17 explicitly mentions param brahma nirdukhamasakham etc. It
is difficult to see how you could interpret that any other way.

> I can understand contextual interpretation, but YudhishhThira
> would be deliberately misleading us if he were to switch gears
> in interpreting the word "BrAhmaNa" differently within 10
> verses, especially when a definition of the word is sought for,
> and without giving us any warning that he is going to do so!

I really don't understand why you persist in obfuscating a perfectly
simple concept.   Good deeds lead to the condition in which jnana occurs.
This is Vedanta 101.  Yudhisthira only mentions Brahmana-G at the
beginning to show that being a Brahmana-K is not an end to itself but is a
preparatory stage for being a Brahmana-G.  Again this is not anything that
Shankaracharya hasn't said a million times over.

> The less contrived interpretation is:
> YudhishhThira is talking only about BrAhmaNa-K throughout.
> Otherwise the saMskAra and GAyatrI mantra don't make sense,
> since the BrAhmaNa-G has no use for it. The verses on
> BrAhmaNa-hood not stemming from birth are clear that BrAhmaNa-K
> is not derived by birth.
> The final conclusion is:
> For being a BrAhmaNa-K, the requirements are conduct, saMskAra,
> the GAyatrI mantra, and not birth.

For being a professor the requirement is a Ph.D not a high school diploma.
So people without high school diplomas can also be professors.  Do you see how
absurd such reasoning is?  Birth is one of the particular requirements for
upanayana samskara  and therefore initiation into the Gayatri mantra.
Conduct in part depends on birth.  But there is some manner of good
conduct for everyone, even a giant talking snake.

> Recounting this incident to another disciple, RM said, "The
> problem is the low self-esteem of the other castes. First remove
> this."

Yeah a condescending and patronizing attitude like forget everything you
inherited and copy the Brahmanas is really going to increase anyones

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

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