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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    How much correct it is to call Hinduism as Brahmanism?

    I have done Masters in History and opted for many subjects which question the sanctity of many religions and also opted for one of the subjects about Dalit History. During most of the classroom debates, and among my friends, I heard the term called Brahmanism rather than Hinduism to refer to the Hindu religion. Initially, I felt it is wrong to say that but when I read on the subject a bit deeper, I realised it is to some extent correct to call it Brahmanism from the point of the Dalits, because most of the rituals after all were the creation of Brahmans, as also the most of the temple practices and rituals.

    If we read works like "Jhootan" by Omprakash Valmiki, Gulamgiri by Jyotiba Phule, Annihilation of caste by Dr. B.R Ambedkar, and words like untouchable you realise, that yes, it was basically Brahmanism.

    Whenever we talk about it, though, we have a discussion about the glory and a good part of Hinduism but what about this negative aspect and this form of negativity? Why do we tend to ignore those?

    To what extent do you think it is correct to call it Brahmanism? Should we consider it from the perspective of Dalits, who have been always oppressed and use it under the garb of Hinduism?
  • #745673
    The author has confused herself and even confused the members through this thread by bringing Hinduism as told or referred as Brahmanism which is totally wrong. Hindus are the cult who hails from different region of the country and they practice worship of idols and follow the rich custom and traditions associated with the festivals. Whereas the Brahmans are the religion in which there are sub-sects to which some belong, practice their own customs and rituals. Normally for Brahmans, connecting with God is their main profession and that is why we are called for good and bad occasion of any event or deaths. By bringing the word Dalit the author has completely bringing in confrontation attitude to this thread which is uncalled for. Brahmanism and untouchable were the thing of past and today even in Agraharam or four main streets of temple, many religions starts existing.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #745677
    Sir, you have commented without understanding the gist of the topic. This is not confusion this is genuine thought and is a burning question. And caste had not at all ended in India. It is as much true as it was when it was conceptualised it is just that now it is hidden. And Brahmanism vs Hinduism as always been part of the debate in the academic circles of students from humanities. And here I am not at all referring to brahmin as a caste which you might be thinking. Because all the major and important texts and rule books through which Hinduism is followed and conceived are basically written down by the brahmins that's why it is referred as Brahmanism. And I am totally expecting aggressive reactions from members but this topic is as relevant as anything else. Hinduism was never a religion in that sense it was just the way of living. It got a form of religion because of Brahmanical notions and ideas which they made more rigid with the coming of Islam in India to counter its influence.
    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #745679
    For that matter Brahmins are the most sober lots and they never interfered nor sought anybodies suggestion to their life. The way each brahmin starts the life early in the morning at 3 am and connects with his God and work shows he does not have time for any gossip or interfering with others. If the books says that Brahmins were responsible for the untouchable and casting a spell on Hinduism, that is totally false and misleading. Never ever in the past, the brahmins raised their oppression by the society and even today no government reach out to Brahmins or uplift their welfare of family. They have been struggling to live and yet never shown their hatred or anger on any one as they have faith in their profession and thus live the living without disturbing the fabric of good faith. For that matter Brahmans never resisted any religion.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #745680
    No offence, but this is one of the most ignorant I have heard in defence of brahmins. Today brahmin as a caste can not be said as the oppressor in generalise terms but saying that brahmins never did is complete ignorance. The fact that texts like manusmriti, dharmasutras and nyayashutras in which some of the most illogical sorts of justice rules are written were propagated by brahmins. Even Al beruni when came to India wrote that brahmins do have knowledge but they are so upright they think they are superior then everyone else. And you can still find such examples of superiority complex. They revere and glorify thr relegion without even getting a good glance of that. How many hindus today can say that they have read any of the 4 vedas, 108 upnishadas among which only 13 are available, 18 puranas( which are mostly changed time to time).
    I don't think so any one can. All I am saying here is do reas the negative aspect of the relegion you follow as well.
    If brahmanism had no fault lines than what is Sati-pratha? Who made shudras untouchables? Who banned their temple entries? Who prevented widow remarriage? Who were the people behind child marriages? And if not brahmins who were performing rituals in all these practices?
    I don't think shudras themselves liked to be called at the lowest rung of the society or liked to be outcasted.
    Why do people tend to shy away from the negative aspect of the relegion?

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #745688
    My knowledge about Hinduism is very little and so I can't make any contributions on this topic. But I will say one thing that Hinduism is not a religion but it is a way of life. This Hinduism tells us how we should live on this earth and how we should make the best use of the life given by God to us. But many people waste their time without understanding the value of this life.
    always confident

  • #745694
    People who were originally living in the Indian sub-continent were called Hindu by the outsiders who saw them from the other side of Indus river. So at that time everyone living in this land was Hindu. Only after the invasion of India by external forces from the Asian countries or European sources, other tribes started to dwell here. Whatever culture the original people residing here followed at that time was known as Hinduism and it is well mentioned in our History as well other scriptures that some Hindu privileged top position holding people divided the society in few parts based on the jobs they do and that was the start of sects like Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Shudra. This was not a very logical system but as it was forced from the top it was abided by most of the population. Unfortunately, it made the life of upper class comfortable but the lower class was losing in getting higher education and higher positions as they were forced to do the menial jobs. So, mainly the Brahmans dominated the society and the words Hinduism and Brahmanism became almost synonyms. The lower class though belonged to the Hindus only started to fight against the upper class and by the time we got independence in the modern times there was a need felt for giving them protection under reservation system.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #745718
    The citizens from India are basically Hindus following Hinduism which means way of life on earth. Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Shudra are the sub-sects we created with their profession. Brahmans are made to learn Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas to chant, teach and preach and practice.
    A brahman cannot go to the battlefield like the Kshatriya,
    A Brahman and Kshatriya cannot do business like Vaisya.
    A Vaisya cannot chant mantras and fight on the battlefield.
    None can do the job of a Shudra.

    If we try to call Hinduism as Brahmanism, we can also call it Kshatriyanism, Vaisyanism and Shudranism. Thus, Hinduism is a combination of all the above-quoted four isms.

    No life without Sun

  • #745743
    I liked the response given by SuN. It is the most simple and apt answer in the present context.

    What we learn as 'History' now is the result of clever manipulation by the foreign invaders of this Great Bharat. They very clearly knew that the way to weaken the spirit of Bharat is to divide the people in many ways. While most foreign invaders could not completely conquer and enslave this country with their physical and armed force, it was done and achieved almost by the clever British without much bloodshed. They injected their aim by way of English education. With the combined efforts of looting of our heritage books and damaging heritage structures of those time shining universities and temples which formed the basic of our culture and civilization, they could destroy the physical bases of our unifying culture and education.

    The remaining unity spirit was in human minds as their traditions. By sawing the seeds of division among the new generations the British and the versed religious missionaries could create mutual suspicion and hate among the different sections of our population.

    Even today the world is scared of the might and potential of the great nation India. So every moment the inimical interest are spending time and huge money in creating hate and confusion among the people of India. But now they are seeing that the Indian people are aware of foreign machinations and are forming solid unity against the anti-national interests. So now they are trying an additional way of pumping in foreign people by various illegal ways to change the demography.
    The enemy will always try to attack and destroy the weakest part. As Brahmins are generally less aggressive and less in number and scattered and do not stay as a vote bank, it is easy to attack and destroy them first. As they had traditionally the role of teachers, the inimical interests targeted them first so that the rest of the population do not learn things correctly so that the inimical interests can feed the wrong things as they intended.
    Hence the inimical interests always kept the formula of Brahmin baiting and wrongly making believe that Hinduism is only Brahminism. With this they can achieve two in one stroke- that of eliminating the people who can teach about Hinduism and then destroying Hinduism totally.
    But thanks to the sincere efforts of well indented citizen from all sections of the nation, these nefarious efforts are now exposed and Indian people clearly know who are the real enemies of our nation, culture and unity.
    The social media has come as a blessing in disguise in this regard.
    Even today I saw a WhatsApp clip that showed how the innocent students in the North East are brainwashed and ant-Brahminism injected into their innocent naïve minds.

    The author's noting in this thread also proves it clearly that such conscious efforts of injecting Brahminism and obliquely so Anti-Hinduism) are still very widely prevalent in our country.

    I seek the thread author to read and know about all the non-Brahmin gods, Kings, Sanyasis, Rishis, reformers who have truly followed Hindu way of life. Lord Rama or Lord Krishna are Hindu Gods .They were not Brahmins but Kshatriya and Yadava respectively. A very recent example I can suggest is Sree Narayana Guru of Kerala- who was a Hindu Sanyasi and great reformer but never an anti-Brahmin.

    I seek the author to have a broad minded approach and try to learn more about Hinduism and Indian culture by reading books by real knowledgeable Indian authors without any vested interests and also listening to the speeches and of knowledgeable Acharyas.

  • #745760
    Venkiteswaran sir, as you have mentioned in the response that there was not just the brahmin god and I agree with it because I also did not at any point mention that there were brahmin gods. But Brahmins were just the authors. And earliest manipulators of facts and history, as there was no one else who could read and write.
    And later tradition of sanyasi comes under the Bhakti movement which basically was running parallel to the line of Brahmanism later on and got legitimacy. These parallel movements provided an avenue for many other caste people to worship their gods in a simpler manner than ritualistic Brahmanical ways.
    The earlier branch of history writing was of the Nationalist historiographers who tried to glorify the Indian past and Indian deity in opposition to imperial and colonial historians.
    But today is the period of subaltern historians - who try to write the history from below, history of marginalised communities who never had a voice in history. So when such voices speak against the earlier established and set norms of written record it often seems like an anti-Brahmanical or anti-Hindu stand.
    But in the true sense, they are just speaking the reality which is different from what was written earlier.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #745831
    Standing at this point of time -may be after many thousands and many hundreds of years will not be a justifiable evaluation of the past. A lot has changed. Even the meanings of words have taken different meaning. So interpreting things which were of very early times by reading writing s of later humans, that also after many hundred years later after receiving English (foreign ruled) education - will simply suffer from bias and misinterpretation. That evaluation will be one sided as per the mind and bias of the writer. This thread and the responses also suffer from that.

    If someone rewrites history now it will be a different history altogether.

    The historic explanation and interpretation and inference about the Vedic times and ancient Indian times is a serious victim of such bias and anti- truth stand. The intention was of creating disunity among the newly emergent Independent India. There are many quotes from now public secret correspondences of the British rulers which show that people including Macaulay had a clear target and aim to use English education and distorting history to suit their imperial aims and sow the seed of disunity in Indian people especially the Sanatana Dharma followers.

    Brahmins of any time during the ancient India or Bharat were never rulers. Rulers were mostly Kshatriyas and also from many other sections following Sanatana Dharma. These dynasties were also from those communities which now for political vote bank reasons are termed as OBC.

    In contrast, many puranic stories portray Brahmins as mendicants living on the Biksha(daily doles of sustenance). The one clear example was of Kuchela or Sudama who was classmate of Lord Krishna. Krishna was the ruler, but his Brahmin classmate Sudama was a poor mendicant who ultimately had to seek hlp fro the King classmate for his living.

    When the Brahmins were not having any political, economical, financial, physical, or organizational power, any of the other sections including the ruling tribe could have changed the systems or rituals if they felt those were purely one-sided Brahmanical systems and rituals. It is this amply clear that the Brahmins were ordered and just entrusted to formulate systems and rituals for the people and include them in their teachings as they were the traditional teachers.

    So the present day anti Brahmin tirade is a conscious one with intentions and for political and other selfish interests. It is an inheritance by present day ruling and political class of what was practiced as Divide and Rule policy by the British. In short it is just a shadow boxing. Those who want to keep the vote bank flock, keep these sections of people in blatant ignorance injected by distorted history. Both find it in their favour.

    Thankfully the over play of such a drama has now helped to bring out the truth and now the unbiased people in our country have found the clever machinations behind the anti-national theme in this and people have started researching sincerely and unearthing frauds perpetrated on us all these years. Now we are seeing the real shining Gem India of ancient times and also present day.

  • #745854
    I fully endorse the views of Venkiteswaran. The history we are reading today is not a factual representation and many manipulations are carried out. The books written by foreigners will always show things from a different angle. In a democratic country, we all can choose the way we like. Nobody will question that. But blaming others is not the correct way. When religions feel that Brahmins are standing in their way from making their religion popular and hence they started negative writings about these people. But the truth can't be hidden forever. It will come out and people will know the actual facts. British regime has introduced the tactics of rule and divide and the present-day politicians are encouraging the same for their selfish interests.
    always confident

  • #745864
    #745831 Quoting the examples of Sudama and Shri Krishna which is not at all a part of researched history but myths and literature is a kind of distortion of facts too. And if you go by traditional roles of brahmin I agree they were not the rulers in that sense but they were the rulers behind the curtains and biggest manipulators, as well because basically, they were the providers of legitimacy to the rulers. They were the authors of genealogies of rulers how the myths of the origin of the sun and moon dynasty emerged. How the eulogies about the rulers were written?
    I never said that they were direct rulers. But because the whole education system was in their hands in the old times and they never let anyone else be a part of that education system thus they had the real power.
    The quotes like if a shudra tries to listen to Vedas put hot oil in his ears you will find such things in the later Brahmanical literature. The biggest power that Brahmins had was the control of education whom to be provided education, how much education, and in what manner?
    They denied other people any form of avenue to acquire education, deliberately placed shlokas of injunctions on women and lower castes.
    And here I am not talking about Rigvedic society where the Varna system was occupation-based. But later Vedic age where Varna got eliminated and castes raised.
    I agree Britishers were definitely the ones to divide and rule but they in their selfishness raised the caste consciousness among these castes who never knew the value of education because they were never given that privilege. Through their surveys and documentation, they did make the caste structure but they were not the ones who made it part of Indian society.
    So blaming everything on the foreign rulers is not at all a correct way to judge the past as well.
    Sanatana Dharma that people often talk about is not at all the present-day Hinduism it basically derives its present nature from Brahmanism, and it is a very difficult thing to digest for the upper strata of the society because they believe society has equality and they have never lived with the experiences of inequality.
    People think caste is eliminated in India but very few are ready to accept that caste is still a privilege in India and
    for this, the credit goes to Brahmanism.
    Will you ever find a person with brahmin caste working in a leather factory as a worker no matter how poor he is?
    will you ever find a person with brahmin caste working as a sweeper on the road no matter how much he is dying of hunger?
    Or will you ever find a person with a scheduled caste working as a priest in a big temple?

    These are the hard fact that the glorification of the Hindu religion will never accept. ANd who will you find in the root of this is a brahmin author of rule books and mythical literature.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #745882
    #745854 that is the thing sir truth can not be hidden for so long and more you read about things more you will realise how much biased our literature was earlier not just historical but mythical as well.
    And fact that history writing keeps on changing with the change of government in the institution is also one of the big reasons for distortions. Every faction wants to be shown in good light. And that is what happened with our old and ancient text as well written by powerful people they are all written in the glorification of kings and brahmins. In these text voices of lowers starts is not to be found anywhere, so How can one claim about the inclusivity of Hinduism if no one else was involved in the process of knowledge formation? but only brahmins.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

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