The true meaning of the word has been mangled and transformed (as to put it in my opinion) in the course of time. Let’s have a 21 century opinion, as the passing of millenniums; the Brahmin community too has undergone a massive and dramatic change. Leaving the 4 divisions and its numerous sub-divisions untouched, let me just tackle the 3 categories, categorized rightly and justly by me, but I am pretty sure you all can synthesize with me and even with these divided class.
a) The rigid classc) Well! I have not a specific name for this class-Let’s just put is as ….. The confused bommans.Now unfolds the detailed definition:-
Now to their attitude, I do not mean their demeanor-it is highly polished, it glares so garishly it becomes difficult to penetrate through the glare to get to the root. It is the beliefs of ‘karma’ they follow ,they have numerous ways to salvation, the easiest one is to chant the sahasranama,the shobane, or ashtotra .Don’t be offended, I don’t find this wrong as any of you wouldn’t too. But there is a serious flaw It is that-the’number’of the chant always becomes important than the chant itself .As each god is assigned a day of duty, adhering to the day and right god is of paramount importance. Starting the pooja at the auspicious time, ending it at the appropriate moment is what counts rather than devotion itself; again the right dress code too is a matter of concern.
A highly uncomfy expensive silk saree is most suited per contra to a friendly cotton salwar-kameez wherein you can breathe better and concentrate on the puja better. Starving yourself and waiting for the puja to finish and almost rushing through it by thinking of nothing else but food, is also the most suited and easy path to heaven. These are the very basic ones leaving out the various rigid customs like certain diet food in a certain month and the likes (chatur masa for eg) skipping which an enormous cauldron of boiling oil in inferno is a guarantee.Oh! I almost forgot, these are the people who are ;not to be left behind, they claim all that they follow is proven’ scientifically’ –only god bless them if they do it the right way.
· Indulge in good acts or deeds· Non-violence, loyalty
Let me try to conclude on a non offensive note. Whatever maybe the category as already mentioned –a person true to himself is a true Brahmin. The rigid practices of the puritans were formulated to enhance and spread the theory of cleanliness, concentration of mind, control of the body and thought in action and speech. But again, over the centuries the theory has been neglected or probably not been passed on at all¸ habits remain and are performed only to be rid of a heavy heart, practices too have reformed in accordance to false notion of dharma, but a true Brahmin is a self made man emancipated of falsehood, greed and selfish motives and this the only dharma the lord or the inner eye of knowledge recognizes and accepts.
- .Let me make it clear this is not a figment of my liberated fancy, but this is what the holy book’ bhagavat gita ‘ imparts, I stumbled upon it while teaching my son the 15 chapter “Purushothama yoga” my cousin who is a member of ISKON and an ardent follower of the sermons helped me rid my compunction of not being able to read the already mentioned sahasranamas or indulge in elaborate poojas, the frequency has lessened due to time constraints and let me accept it sometimes because I did not have the right mood to do it. There seems to be nothing to worry about, when the action and attitude is right, I do not proclaim I am a great sadvi (in the right sense) but I am not guilt ridden as I remember god for what I am today, I believe he lies inside me directing me in every move, let me clear myself, I am sounding like an angel, I am as human as anyone, only liberated of the wrong notions of the rigid caste.
A Brahmin is who has complete control over his five senses and mind- I am nowhere near this- I give in to fits of temptation be it food or a new dress, I believe I am born for what I have done in my previous birth maybe my life is a reward or a punishment. Only time will show , but I thank him and pray to him – whenever I feel it, only do not count the number of times nor do I keep track of the matching gods and days and visit the respective temples on respective days. I do not consider someone inferior because of their birth or caste or social status, ‘this’ I believe is the sure shot way to Satan’s abode.
We abide by the virtues of Brahmin and let god be (by not tormenting him by false prayers and false notions) will certainly help us cope better with the mortal fellow beings, as the holy scripture says, we are all born with a motive, a meaning, a karma to fulfill, doing this with happiness and selflessness is what the almighty expects not I’m sure a convenient one to follow too, a lot of the confused group might surely introspect. Shifting attention to the confused bommans.
They are baffled completely inside and outside, they conform to the Protestants in their dress – code (outlook) but would rather accept the rigid (puritans) in their ideas of piety. If they have anything to claim their identity it is the “Blame gene” The puritans are facilitated by this blame of the celestial bodies and thereby exists the modern soothsayers a wide variety of them.
This Hamletian race has invented something called “Dressing to the occasion and place” Yea! They have mastered this aspect of presentation skills, the rigid get up when among the pure and the cool guy / gal get up among the libs. But their conscience does a flip when they fail to match the two perchance, thereby entering the fire of sin (this idea is fed by the puritans) Matrimonial ties between a lib female and a confused male is most ill suited. The blame shifts to the weaker sex as they become harbingers of ill luck by the lack of performing the required number of poojas, this is a ridiculous idea under the name of “Pativrata Dharma” (let me not have a perusal of this, as it require months to get even a general idea) To sum up – this lot is neither directed towards the harsh rules and rituals of the rigid nor guilt free like the libs. In this 21 century, this is the group which exists in majority.
- · Abstain from intoxicants or Provo cants
- Now the liberated ones-They are not confused, they are focused about their choices but at the same time have a different, probably better and a holistic view of religion and god. They appear friendly not outlandish or garish, I am happy being one among these. The idea of salvation is not of utmost importance, not to be mistaken we are not aetheists, but we believe that being a Brahmin lies in ones ‘karma’ and not by being born into the caste, nobility of caste is a non-entity, as god himself is believed to have said-everyone is his child, it is what we imbibe that makes us a Brahmin-the overview:-
- The rigid class:- this cult claims itself to be upholding the dharma,karma,punya and paap(even to this era of kali or the kaliyug,right from the tretayug)When I say rigid, it’s rightly said , this rigidity is flaunted with utmost pride, be it their attire or the attitude. The attire being the conspicuous one consists of vermillion or vibuthi smeared across their forehead, it is also not rare to get glimpse of the ‘etchings’ on the face and body (mudras)of sandalwood, nor the ever so prominent fork shaped design extending upwards and downwards, can go unnoticed. This is only the visage, it is highly fashionable for men to grow their hair and sport a ponytail or maybe a “puny tail” The traditional Indian attire ‘dhoti’ completes the male picture. Now to the other gender.
Actually it is highly complicated to explain or justify their outlook. Let’s say they bedeck themselves with vermillion, but it is shape specific-conforms to spherical or elongated hyperbole meeting ends-the tilak,colour specific too-red.Well!Down the ages, the artistic ability to draw a perfect round or an upright tilak has taken a backseat, so people have resorted to bindis(it is still considered rigid)Bangles, a dozen on each hand is the expected number, maybe it has dwindled a bit as it can be highly uncomfortable, and as glass is the only element that completes the rigidity picture, it is damaging too.
Now, to the magical herb or spice-turmeric. This is a well known bleach (can help a bit) an
anti acne –septic, hairgrowth stopper. At times, when machine-made cosmetics weren’t invented it was in vogue for its various advantages. The mystifying question is “How did turmeric stop being just a cosmetic and when was it promoted as one of the significant signs of being a sumangali?”It is definitely mystifying, the other signs are –of course adornments like bangles, vermillion, colored sari and long hair. The misgiving of these people is they are stuck to a fashion which is old, outdated.Change is unwelcome to them, and they have very conveniently labeled it the sadvi Brahmin look.
A 21 century average Indian woman clad in either an elegant salwar kameez or a body covering cool looking jean-top, with a comfy haircut and devoid of all the mentioned decorations would be termed”unchaste”,”Too forward”. They do not realize the difference between basic grooming and being glamorous for a fashion parade, or maybe too close minded to accept the failure of the “Waxing” quality of the magical herb. In short this category mostly dwells by suppressing their inner self.
- b) The liberated class
- The classification is as follows:-
- Let’s begin with what a Brahmin is.-a learned man, a holy man, a man with uncanny abilities, a noble, divine, privileged (upper caste), a man beyond all servile ties and bonds, lastly as “I” would proclaim, a rather insignificant cry-a man who is true to himself.