Friday, July 09, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 38 (Vol #4) Dated 09 July 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 38 (Vol #4) Dated 09 July 2010.

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. Today we are proceeding from the second para on page number 221 of Vol 4 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)

276. Though the clash between Brahmin’s power of Mantra, Tapasya and Brains were pitted against the Brawn power and intense industry of the Kshatriya very rarely only, it did happen on occasions leading to quantum changes in the very fabric of the society! For Drupada what started as a case of looking down on DroNa developed in to total hatred. For Kartavirya Arjuna it started as a case of jealousy against Jamadagni! “This recluse pathetically under clothed Brahmin sitting under a tree in this forest, just by his power of Tapasya is able to feed my whole army”, he thought! “Because of his Tapasya, he has been able to get as his own, this celestial cow Surabhi! Just the ownership of that cow makes the difference between poverty and plenty, for his wife to be able to host my entire army!” This jealousy became self destructing hatred, resulting in his doing the heinous crime of killing Rishi Jamadagni! Similarly, the envy and jealousy that Viswamitra felt looking at Vasishta, led to an epic struggle on the part of Viswamitra! But in this case it became a motivating force of super human proportions! Viswamitra’s final aim was that Vasishta, by his own volition should address him as the “Brhma Rishi”! This he did achieve!
278. When we analyse these occasions of Brahmin versus Kshatriya confrontations that I have quoted in the previous few paragraphs, at least one of the arguments against “Varna Ashrama Dharma” that has been conveniently called ‘casteism’ as put forward by the so called reformers of Hinduism will fall by the wayside! What they say is that, this sub-continent of India was brought under the rule of Muslims for good 400 years and then under the foreign yoke of the British for another four centuries because, the society was not strong enough due to its being weakened by the ills of ‘Casteism’!
279. What they mean is that, these Brahmins were having the Kshatriyas under their control, virtually eating out of their hands, so to say! The rest of the society they claim was so subjugated that they were just dispassionate about who is their boss! Only when attacked by outside forces, either they did not co-operate with their king or actively supported the foreigners! In this canard being painted so as to make the Brahmins look like a culprit, it is the other castes which are shown in much poorer light!
280. Just because they were feeling let down, does this not show the other caste people to have committed the heinous crime of being ‘enemies of the state’ totally lacking in nationalism? There is just no proof of their being such Brahmin / Kshatriya haters historically! The trouble was that such picture painting without proof, has been the work of Britishers as historians mostly and our own English speaking Brown Sahibs! Their spurious claim was that there was no cohesion between the parts of the Hindu society that it fell to pieces at the slightest opportunity! The truth was that between the Kings of various states, there was no sense of cohesion and or any felt need for that as an Indian Nation! With the trusting complacent attitude of, ‘atiti devo bhava’, which means that every visitor was God in human form, by the time they woke up to the threat of foreign invasion, it was anyhow too late!
281. But the point to note is that, there was never any clash between the four castes, not to be thought of even in fiction! If there were any such clashes between people of the four castes, it was between individual Kshatriya-s and Individual Brahmin-s. Even then such events were so rare as to become part of legendary stories to be talked about for eons to come!
282. The Respect that People Had For the Brahmins! Till as recently as a hundred years back, nobody of the Vysya-s or Sudra-s ever hated Brahmins so much that they wished to do away with them! Even then, it was the Kshatriyas who first rebelled against their assumed domination by the Brahmins. But just before that, I would say, that the caste of Brahmins had gone astray from their appointed role of practicing, protecting and propagating the Vedas! The Brahmins were the first to take up the English based education. Thus they started filling all the vacancies as available for jobs from the highest to the lowest level of babudom of all government services at the state, district, tehsil and blocks level of civil administration! That is the time when all the powers had gone out of the hands of regional kings, samasthana adhipathi-s and jamindars and what have you, to the hands of the Britishers! So at every level, it was the Kshatriya-s as a community who were badly affected!
283. This was further emphasised when the powers changed from the East India Company to the British Empire! Not only that the erstwhile ruler community had lost their power and glory, it was the Brahmin who was cornering all the glory in education and bureaucracy! It was the Brahmins who were supporting the Kshatriya-s as the erstwhile ministers and members of the bureaucracy, now having changed the loyalty were, supporting the British rule as Indian Civil and Allied Service officers, down to the lowest levels of officialdom! As it is the Brahmins were known to be brainy and brilliant! Now they were exploiting this natural advantage to the fullest. That is how the erstwhile local lords, land owners, small and big industrialists and traders of all types went on to form the Justice Party! Whatever their other professed aims, the one theme under which they all rallied was “Paarpaan Ozhiga”, meaning, ‘Down with the Brahmins’! This became the main thrust of their political and social philosophy!
284. Before I proceed further, let me first tell you about how deep was the respect in which the whole of Indian society held the Brahmins prior to the formation of this Justice Party! In Kannada speaking areas of what is now known as Karnataka, there was a Basava community who were devotees of Siva. Popularly known as ‘Veera Saivam’, this though started by a Brahmin, was against the division of the society into four castes. In the next hundred years, from the agricultural community of ‘VeLaaLars’, one Meikandaar formed what is known as ‘Saiva Siddhantam’. The point to note here is that, both these two movements are made up of devotees of Siva. But, while the Karnataka one started by a Brahmin went against the division of the society in to four castes as per the Vedas, the latter movement in the Tamil speaking land, though started by a non-brahmin, was fully accepting whatever is said in the Veda-s! That is how the ‘Saiva Siddhantam’ evolved clearly indicating the closeness and co-operation between the Brahmins and the Farmers!
285. Brahmin Vs Kshatriya confrontation was also very rare indeed. Mostly they have been pulling along together only. Even on occasions when there was some difference of opinion, never has it happened that, Brahmins have been disloyal or treacherously unfaithful ever to their Kings or local Chieftains! There is virtually no evidence whatsoever of their being renegades! Whether at village level or at the regional local governmental level, Brahmin has always been a man of justice and Dharma, whose words had social acceptance in all forums! It was an irony of fate that the political party that came into being for downsizing the Brahmin’s influence in the society came to be known as the ‘Justice Party’!
(To be continued.)



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