Q: intervocalic -k- preserved as intervocalic -g-

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 1 18:09:26 UTC 1999

>You indeed seem to be cocksure about what orthodox brahmins will or will
>not do... of course you can wallow in your opinions,  but if you don't want
>to drown,  I suggest that you read a little bit of Frits Staal,  Agehananda
>Bharati,  Wayne Howard,  and various others to see the type of interactions
>they have had with all sorts of gloriously exclusive and orthodox brahmins,
>including the Namboodiris of Kerala,  vaDamaa/dOsamaa etc etc of TN,
>vaiDikis of Andhra, etc and the S'ankaraacaaryas of the various directions.
>  It seems like a good number of these orthodox brahmins aren't as
>hidebound as you would have them,  particularly in their interaction with
>people who have a genuine scholarly interest.

I generally avoid replying to abusive posts, as there's no point in
having a discussion with somebody who's unable to discuss an issue
objectively. But since this post raised a point, which but
reflects a misinterpretation of the point I raised, I'll make an
exception here.

India of today is very different from India even twenty years back
and even more so of India a century back. Brahmins who were to a
great deal involved only with preserving the dharma, have of late
increasingly started taking up secular professions. Infact today,
brahmins who adhere to their dharma are only a miniscule.

In the post where I raised the issue of the lack of interaction between
brahmins and foreigners, we were talking about two hundred years of Indology
and understanding the caste system. When the foundations were laid for the
subject - Aryan theory et al - which I think dates back atlease 150 years -
I doubt if there was any interaction with brahmins - not westernized
brahmins - but the traditional brahmins who preserved the dharma in the
villages. I think this would have still held good till even 30-40 years

Any interaction in the last twenty years or so, might not even be worth it,
as modern brahmins themselves have very little clue as to what their
traditional dharma is! And the few brahmins who still hold on to their
heritage are generally found only in remote villages and are not too keen on
interaction with strangers. Here, by interaction, I don't mean a half hour
conversation, but living with them for a considerable period of time to
understand their way of life.

But again there's been a lot of interaction between brahmin samnyAsins
like the shankarachAryas and Westerners. I doubt even if this would've
been possible a hundred years back. I've read that Max Mueller had to
use the influence of some MahArAja to have an audience with the
Shringeri ShankarAchArya. But of late, as their own flock (modern brahmins)
have become increasingly westernized, the poor AchAryas too have opened up
their audience to keep with the changing times.

But again the samnyAsin is generally considered beyond the pale of the
caste system. So any interaction between them and foreigners doesn't
truly affect this discussion.

And it's a Western misconception which has made a great hallaballoo about
scholarship. This so called scholarship - all this sanskrit philosophy -
isn't worth a damn, if it is not supplemented by the traditional way of life
as set forth in the dharma shAstrams - and this was my point - that
Westerners have very little awareness of the true brahmanic way of life, the
implications of which can only be understood if one lives that way. And
without an understanding of it you cannot understand the caste system

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