Another View of Brahmins

I believe this view of Brahmins is actually correct. I think Judith Mirville talked about this in some of her posts.

AB writes:

As a Brahmin, I can assure you we don’t care about money that much. One of our ancient practices (which isn’t followed anymore as you can imagine) is to give away our wealth every 5 years and start over.

Our pursuits are mostly intellectual and spiritual. I think it’s rubbed into our culture. Samples from my family – my uncle spends his time learning Quantum Mechanics (even I think that’s a crazy hobby), I spend my time with my piano, history and computers (for work), my dad is a businessman who likes to experiment with automobile prototypes, while my mom is traditional and spends her time cooking and with her scriptures. We’re well off but in a middle-class sense.

I can’t really understand my northern Marwari (merchant) friends or my southern Mudhaliar/Chettiar (traditionally landowner) friends – who’re more clannish and obsessed with money and success. Many Brahmins are money minded, esp. overseas, but that’s because of our materialistic culture.

13 Comments

Filed under Asia, Culture, East Indians, India, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Sociology, South Asia, South Asians

13 responses to “Another View of Brahmins

  1. SHI

    The only thing wrong with this picture: Brahmins in India are not a monolith. While 5% of the population, they do not necessarily see themselves as one people but local to the region they originate from.

    There’s nothing in common between Brahmins from say, Uttar Pradesh, W. Bengal, Gujarat and Maharashtra. And all of them see themselves as very different from the ones living in down south who tend to be more conservative, religious and a bit, superstitious.

    The Brahmins from Bengal and Assam tend to be highly liberal and least religious. This is because they don’t care about religion much and even eat ‘beef’ which is taboo not only for Brahmins but all Hindus. This is a fairly progressive community for India’s standard. Some of the most important reformers in the 19th century hailed from the community of Bengali Brahmins: Without these famous individuals, India would have been a much more backward place than it is now.

    Dr. Raja Rammohan Roy — He was a 19th century reformer from Bengal who freely engaged in the nefarious practice of beef-eating, spoke against child marriage and worked with British East India company officers to abolish suttee (the practice of chucking widows into the funeral pyre of their dead husbands).

    Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar – Another 19th century reformer who tirelessly worked for the emancipation of women especially on widow remarriage.He was a highly gifted intellectual who is credited with RECONSTRUCTING the entire Bengali alphabet.

    Rabindranath Tagore: He was the first Asian to win a Nobel Prize in Literature. He broke the barrier way back in 1913 when white supremacy was the norm

    Satyajit Ray – He was the first Indian film-maker to win a lifetime Oscar. He is known in America for the “Apu triology” of movies. His style of film-making has influenced many Hollywood contemporaries. For example, E.T. by Steven Spielberg (1977) was influenced by Satyajit Ray’s similar script much earlier. Martin Scorcese acknowledges Ray as one of his primary infliences.

    In the 19th century, Bengal witnessed a phenomenon called Bengal Renaisance and a lot of famous individuals were born in this era
    — they were giants among men — and many women too –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_renaissance

    The City of Calcutta was in fact, the capital of British India till 1911 when there was a shift to New Delhi. Unfortunately, it’s been over a CENTURY of perennial decline for that eastern region. Right from the 1960s, Calcutta has gone to hell. All the best and brightest left that place to start a new life in other states of India and overseas.

    • Bengali Brahmins eat beef:What kind of a moron are you?

      Yes I knew few of my own friends who did,but they are only 0.01% moron like you.
      You say that Rammohan Roy encouraged beef eating:typical low IQ primitive comment with full of lies.
      Also Satyajit Ray is not Brahmin(he is Kayastha.)
      Test tube baby pioneer Dr.Mukherjee is Kulin Brahmin though,Amartya sen is baidya Brahmin too.

      Ravishankar,Nora & many famous inventors in USA are Bengali Brahmin & Ashoke Sen who won $3M Milner prize working in India is a Baidya Brahmin too.

      But I agree that Kolkata is going downhill & tiny Bengali Brahmin can not pull up rest of the population.
      That’s why I think we should migrate more in number to US/UK/Canada etc.

  2. Jason Y

    I wouldn’t be so hard on Brahimins calling them assholes and such. Actually, I hate to say it but santo-culto had a point on this one. Basically he was saying the Brahmins were an elite class, just like an elite class would be in the USA. If you look at the intellectual elite class in the USA, they are indeed snobby and all those negative things associated with Brahmins.

    A few American brahmins who have brought destruction on the world might be Robert MacNamara, Henry Kissinger etc.. and then you got less well known Brahmins who might be your, say, family doctor or something.

    • Jason Y

      US college professors are definitely arrogant motherfuckers, and Brahmins all the way. Who wants to debate and say they are not ???

    • Jason Y

      It would be cool to be a Brahmin, cause you don’t have to work, but only lay around think about quantam mechanics, or if you did have to work, then it would be some really easy college professor job.

      Merchants though, like in any place in the world, are struggling to survive and must focus on the here and now.

    • The Brahmins are much more than an intellectual class of scholars. If that was all they were, nobody would give two fucks about them. Their history is much darker and more evil than that, and it is all bound up in the Hindu religion. If you do not understand why the Brahmins might be so hated (and it has nothing to do with being intellectuals) then there is no point talking to you.

      The intellectual class is typically not hated in most countries. Show me one country on the face of the Earth where intellectuals are despised as a class.

      And the US elite is not made up of intellectuals. Hell, I am an intellectual. I am practically a public intellectual at this point. Do you think I am a member of the US elite.

      The elite is the 1%, the ruling class. The Brahmins were the 1% type ruling class of India economically, socially and religiously and they were worse in this way than even the Latin American elite.

      You just don’t get it.

      • Jason Y

        So bascially your saying the Brahmins are so arrogant they believe they are a master race in the fashion of Nazi thinking.

      • SHI

        Jason isn’t off the mark, maybe you’re being a bit too harsh on the poor Brahmin suckers. I’m not trying to defend anything related to the caste system. I was born a Brahmin but I have seriously nothing to do with any of that crappola today. Hell, they probably consider me an untouchable in Hindu religious circles nowadays. I was probably 12 when I first realized what a scam organized religion is, and haven’t looked back ever since. I have studied all religious belief systems and find a common thread of goodness in all except weird shit like scientology. I believe in a God/higher force and that’s the only thing what separates me from the atheists/agnostics/free-thinkers. Hell, most of my life is about being LUCKY — so belief in a creator God kinda helps me get through day-to-day problems. That’s about it. I wish I could be more open-minded like G.H. Hardy, and Stephen Hawking.

        Coming back to Brahmins, it’s true once upon a time they had unparalleled privilege like the whites in Apartheid South Africa. Many of them were nasty people who practiced discrimination against everyone else. Many still do. But they really don’t have that much influence today as they once did. Except probably in the South of India where the Brahmins tend to be very orthodox and religious nutcases. But even that is changing now.

        A majority of Brahmins are poor people. They often don’t have any land or wealth worth talking about. India is a material-obsessed country today and noone gives a damn about Brahmins anymore, not even they themselves.

        The last Brahmin prime minister of India was Atal Bihari Vajpayee. And that’s not saying much really. They are hardly represented among top business groups or anything of influence.

        • Jason Y

          Religious based elitism isn’t limited to India. For instance, in the Jim Crow south USA, most people used the Bible to back white supremacy. They believed in stuff like the curse of ham. They thought interracial marriage was forbidden by God etc..

      • Ksytria.Khalsa

        The DharmaShastra say that the poorer a Brahmin is, the higher his status.

        Even in our North Indian Villages, Brahmins have traditionally been poor & pious; basically beggars.

        The brahmins who collaborated with foreigners, indeed became rich but those are traitors.

        Socially Ksytrias dominate, economiycally Vaishya & Shudra.

        Religiously none can dominate as it is split.

        I understand on one side you have a christian hatred for heathens,

        On the other, you may be misinformed.

        The consensus is that the Indian beauracracy is evil & reducing it ie reducing the size of gov & increasing the power of military ie Sikhs to dispense justice would be best.

        Many of these gov babus have large egos & untouchability must be rooted out.

        That’s All

        Vaheguru||

      • Robert,best thing would have happened if Brahmins had a separate country for themselves.All these conflicts would have stopped.

  3. pepperroncini

    Brahmins not caring about money is hogwash. Sure they may not be soo overt about it and they care more about prestige, power and above all influencing the historical and contemporary narrative about society but they do care about money/wealth .

    They use religion to extort material goods/ money/ land from people. They invented numeours Hindu rituals so as to extract money from Hindus . What other religion requires you give a priest money so that he can chant a prayer on your behalf?

    There are soo many dam rituals in Hindusim one has to pay money for to get done. Brahmins have been earning fortunes from brainwashed Hindus who through fear feel obligated to pay the Brahmin priest to conduct all sorts of Hindu ceremonies. They have ceremonies for every conceivable occassion , from birth to death and beyond. Even after a person dies, the in-laws are religiously obligated to engage a Brahmin priest to conduct yearly ceremonies on behalf of the deceased (for a certain period).

    Rich Hindu merchants are extorted to provide material gifts by Brahmin priests , and this practice happens here in North America too. In Canada many Brahmin priests have become filthny rich off the back of hardworking Hindus. Rich religious Hindus even bestow houses, property and subsidize the college education of Brahmins , including paying for Western education.

    Compare to Brahmins, the Televangelists in America are rank amateurs in fleecing the faithfull.

  4. TRASH

    Upper-caste Indians long abandoned genuine spirituality but they have adapted to Western culture better (Even then Christians in the south who converted to escape their low status in the caste system)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s