Q: Manu on Pouring Lead in Sudra Ears

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at BIGFOOT.DE
Wed Feb 2 19:44:16 UTC 2000

On 1 Feb 00, at 0:31, Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan wrote:

> In a message dated 1/31/00 6:33:47 PM Central Standard Time,
> zydenbos at BIGFOOT.DE writes:
> > The issue becomes interesting in view of repeated brahmin-
> >  Virasaiva polemics about whether the Virasaivas have
> >  vedaadhikaara or not. The Virasaivas redefined what brahminhood
> >  means, and this meant that according to the (more) orthodox
> >  brahmins, the Virasaivas cannot have such authority, whereas the
> >  Virasaivas claimed the contrary.
> Didn't Virazaivism have many vizvakarma-brAhmaNa followers who were
> anti-brahminical unlike the Tamil zaivism where brahmins and vellALas were
> amicable?

Not that I know of. The Viswakarmas are another interesting group
of unclear position in the caste system: while they are thought of
plainly as a collective of five groups of craftsmen by other
communities, they claim brahmin status for themselves and at
times call themselves "Viswakarmabrahmana's" or
"Viswabrahmana's". But I knew a Viswakarma lady in Mysore who,
when my wife enquired about her ancestral village and the kinds of
people who lived there, answered that besides themselves there
were gowdas, untouchables, brahmins and ayyangars -- i.e., she
considered neither her own group nor ayyangars brahmins. In any
case the Viswakarmas are ritually independent of ('other') brahmins.


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