studies of sandhyopAsana

Bharat Gupt abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN
Sat Jul 3 11:52:58 UTC 1999

Nikhil Rao wrote:
> While this is not a direct answer to your question. Acharis
> (Goldsmiths, Carpenters ) do wear the sacred thread. What veda/sutra is
> followed by them I dont know. Also a few amongst the Vaisya community
> also undergo the Upanayana. The arasu(s) in Karnataka may have a
> tradition of upanayana.
> In Maharashtra, some of the CKPs (chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhus)
> undergo upanayana.
> Nikhil
> --- Prasad Velusamy <prasad_velusamy at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> > Claude Setzer writes:
> > >Sandhya is not only for Brahmans, but "should" be
> > done by anyone who has
> > >had upanayana which is prescribed for "all three"
> > castes. In practice, I
> > >know many Brahmans who have not had upanayana, and
> > some non-Brahmans who
> > >have.
> >
> > Are there any studies about non-brahmin castes
> > having upanayana
> > ceremony. In the South, what would be the percentage
> > of
> > population doing upanayana and sandhyopAsana
> > rituals.
> > Any non-brahmin Tamil castes having these rituals?
> >
> > Thanks.
> >
> >
> >
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The wearing of the sacred thread today cannot be taken as a mark of
original high caste status. In fact, as in the past, acquiring upanayana
and the thread is often a mark of upward mobility that a particular jati
may have achieved. I have seen many "barahee" (furniture makers) in the
neighbourhood who have taken up in the last generation the caste name
Sharma and also the sacred thread . They call themselves pure brahmins
and but the "pure" brahmins call these neobrahmins as bahrahee brahmins.
To sum up, the thread and names in times of high displacement and
migration of populations within India now are no longer a  sure mark of
caste features.  Micro studies on caste are now largely deceptive as
questionnaires in this matter are never answered truthfully.

Bharat Gupt
Assoc Prof Delhi Univ.

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