[Advaita-l] mleccha-s not eligible to take Hinduism??

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon Jul 16 16:15:01 CDT 2012

On Sun, 15 Jul 2012, Rajaram Venkataramani wrote:

> RV: I have repeatedly said that varna is by birth and that jati is an
> indicator of varna. But they are not the same.

You're right in the sense that jati is the sociological fact in Hindu 
society and varna isn't.

  If you dont distinguish
> between them, then you start on a wrong premise or have to state why. As
> you know, historically jatis have changed varna. Paraya, Ezhava, Kayastha,
> Kumbi, Ahom etc. striking examples. If they are the same, then there is no
> question of such as hrough change. We cannot regard these as mere historic
> events. We see the seven generation rule in Manu Smrti for change of varna
> through matrimony.

This actually proves my point.  A Kayastha for example may well be a 
Shudra one day and a Kshatriya the next (relatively speaking) but 
throughout, he is still a Kayastha and the rest of society views him as a 

In the course of this discussion we have been saying Shudras are this or 
Shudras do that but that is a very loose shorthand way of talking.  In 
practice there is a huge amount of variety whose only common denominator 
is they don't undergo yajnopavita. Same for Kshatriyas and Vaishyas 
really.  Brahmanas are the only ones (ever?) whose varna and jati 

> RV: The theory propounded by the sastras are valid in the relative
> reality. If you say it is not so, then you have to explain why.

Valid for what?  Todays Hindus do not see their social networks as being 
combinations and blends of four varnas.

> Before we go there, I would like to draw
> your attention to the fact that the sastras gives rathakaras, who are not
> brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya or sudra, right to maintain fire during rainy
> season allocating spring, summer and autumn to brahmana, kshatriya and
> vaishya. It directly conflicts the position that an a-Varni (neither dwija
> nor sudra) cannot have right to any vaidhika karma.

This was addressed in the first sutra of the adhikarana.  The adhikara of 
the Rathakara is established by an explicit Vedic vakya and is an 
exception to a general rule.  It is no more of a conflict than saying 
vegetarianism is the general rule but animals may be sacrificed in a 

> it opens some of the doors to those who are neither dwijas nor
> sudras. But does the existence of rathakaras punch a hole in to the four
> varna system that the Lord says He created? NO. Varna is the characteristic
> of the sukshuma sarira.

You keep saying that.  It's an ingenious idea  but where is the evidence 
that anyone thought varna is the characteristic of sukshma shariras?

> RV: Yes. If they are genuine sudras, they will be characterised by tamas.

Nonsense.  There are many people who have not undergone upanayana and have 
no intention of doing so who are sattvika to the core.  And you have just 
slandered them.

> RV: I think it is your theory. I asked why Sringeri Acharya gave award to
> Swami Dayananda, if he grossly violated dharma and say same-minded.

I don't know.  If I had to venture a guess, it is more to do with the 
politics of religion in South India.

> RV: If you go to Chennai, please let me know. Sri V.S. Sundaram (Retd. IAS)
> has the evidence. I have checked it with my own eyes.

As it will be some time before I can make it that far, describe it to me 
otherwise it contributes little to this discussion.

> By your logic, there
> are no brahmana women and I dont have to worry about getting my daughter
> married off as a kanya to protect her varna status.

????  If I say a dolphin has fins like a fish, do I imply that a dolphin 
is a fish and not a mammal?  Women are like Shudras in that they do not 
have vedadhikara.  Brahmana women are unlike Shudra women, in that the 
former have Brahmana parents, and the latter have Shudra parents.  That's 
my logic.

On Sun, 15 Jul 2012, sriram wrote:

> How exceptions can be regarded as subsidiary rules?Susidiary rules 
> cannot overrule the main rule.Exceptions will remain as exceptions 
> only.What Sri Vidhyasankar says is that exceptions are inevitable but 
> exceptions should not beome rules.

Consider this analogy.  In civilized societies, you cannot go round 
killing people.  But an exception is made for the soldier who is allowed 
to do what the rest of the public cannot.  But even he cannot just kill 
willy-nilly.  He has to be ordered by his officers, can only kill 
designated enemies etc. And a member of the public cannot simply declare 
himself a soldier and start shooting.  He has to enlist, wear a uniform 
etc.  In other words the exception still has rules albeit a different set 
than the general rules.  Now what I would like to know about these dharmic 
exceptions is that are they really random anomalys or is there some kind 
of principle (= rules) that we can apply to the next case like this?

On Mon, 16 Jul 2012, Ajit Krishnan wrote:

> Veetahavya is an interesting example of the "kevala" lineages. The
> entire "kevala angirasa" and "kevala bhargava" family trees are
> kshatriya branches that were absorbed into the brAhmaNa fold through
> marriage.
> Jaldhar (and other who have a grasp of the history at play) -- can you
> please share your understanding of these events?

Let me preface my remarks by saying they are pure speculation on my part. 
In Gujarat there is a phenomenon of "twin" jatis.  For instance there are 
MoDha Brahmanas, and MoDha Vanias (Vaishyas), NAgar Brahmanas, and NAgar 
Vanias, ShrImaLi Brahmanas, and ShrImaLi Vanias etc.  (Curiously it always 
seems to be Brahmana/Vaishya not involving Kshatriyas.)  One way of 
explaining this is that the Brahmana part of the pair could have been the 
purohits of the Vaishya part who formed their own social circle.  However 
we see that is not often the case.  Those Vaishyas may have purohits of 
completely different Brahmana jatis.  (Sampradaya is much less of a factor 
in more northern parts of India.)  Another explanation could be that there 
was some ancestral population that split into a Brahmana part and a Vania 
part and that seems more plausible to me.  Both traditionalists and 
modernists tend to operate under the assumption that the "caste system" 
sprang into being fully-formed all at once.  But should it be so? 
Bhagavan said chaturvarNya mayA sR^iSTam but did He only do it once? 
Prehistoric man lived in small nomadic tribal units.  As they settled 
down, at differing rates they coalesced into larger units around the 
common culture we call Vedic which they entered into at different 
conceptual places.  From this perspective, Jatis are not the product of 
fissioning varnas.  Varnas are the amalgamation of uniting jatis.

On the whole I don't think you can extract much history from mythology. 
the purpose of the shastras is to illumine dharma and accurate historical 
details are not the priority.  Ongoing DNA and archaeological research is 
likely to be more fruitful.

On Mon, 16 Jul 2012, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> This round started with one specific list-member about whom Jaldhar said it
> would be better if he took up some other sAdhana and disregarded the fact
> of an upanayana that had already happened with the sanction of a guru who
> knew him personally.

I said many (many, many :-) other things than just this so I hope those
that disagree with me on that point do not disregard the other parts.

> My position is that the doors need be neither shut forever nor thrown wide
> open indiscriminately. A door can be carefully opened a little bit, in order to
> let in an exception or two. Once this is done by someone competent to take
> such a decision, other prior residents who are not doorkeepers should not
> throw out the new entrants. That is all.

And my position, if it has not been sufficiently clear by now, is not that 
we should bar one door but make use of the other equally fine doors.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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