[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Pūjāri by Birth (Jāti), or by Qualification (Guṇa)?

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Fri May 6 12:33:35 EDT 2022

Namaste Prashantji,

On Fri, May 6, 2022 at 9:09 PM Prashant Parikh <prashantparikh at gmail.com>

> A question I do have is with the absconding of the traditional brahmana
> duties, and with fewer and fewer takers for the ordained jAti roles, how do
> we see this niche being filled unless we (for lack of a better word) induct
> those genuinely interested who may be qualified or may attain that
> qualification in due course?
The absconding is for survival. You are surely aware of specific targeting
of brAhmaNas in some states in India across decades. There has been no
state support for varNAshrama vyavasthA due to invaders' interest, votebank
politics, etc. For over a couple of decades, brAhmaNa purohitas don't even
get brides in many parts of India! These are facts and this is only the
beginning of Kaliyuga. Nonetheless, there is no solution for this, unless
there is mass-movement, funded by the rich and righteous and without
political opposition at the very least, if not pushed politically. In other
words, it is not going to happen. Now, trying to get someone else to fill
in the gap may be possible, but IMHO, the same motivations to induce the
genuinely interested would suffice to induce the ones having adhikAra too!
There is simply no support in that direction though, due to aforementioned

> I'd also appreciate if you could weigh in on the following thoughts that I
> had shared on a different forum. Please see below:
> *Also, in answer to my question on this subject, my Guru did convey that
> Jati takes Praadhaanya in Karma Kānḍa and Guna takes Prādhānya in Jñāna
> Kānḍa. I take the Guru Upadeśa as Prasādam, even if it means overriding
> some of our tendencies that may flow in the opposite direction*

I agree with almost everything you said, with a rider that although guNa
takes prAdhAnya in jnAnakANDa, the approach to jnAnakANDa itself has rules
extending from karmakANDa. Yes, the adhikAritva varies, but still the
adhikAritva for jnAnakANDa is built over the adhikAritva of karmakANDa in
the earlier part of life. At least, on Shankarajayanti, I would stress
this point as mentioned in the bhAShyas. Everyone has adhikAra for mokSha
but not necessarily in any part of Vedas, be it jnAnakANDa. There are
prakaraNagranthas based on jnAnakANDa to avoid the pitfalls of
misinterpreting jnAnakANDa proper as completely independent of rules of
karmakANDa. That said, I prefer not to discuss this further since it can be
a very specific exemption in some cases by the Guru, but I have seen such
instructions treated by many as a rule that extends to everyone!


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