Q: Manu on Pouring Lead in Sudra Ears

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 5 00:38:17 UTC 2000

Re: ArAdhya brAhmaNas and vizvakarmas - the former group is expressly
associated with the vIrazaivas, but they intermarry with other brAhmaNa
groups. The ArAdhyas do not intermarry with other vIrazaivas.  Perhaps their
origins lie among the brAhmaNa relatives of Basava himself. The vizvakarmas,
on the other hand, are not all of them vIrazaiva, and they do not intermarry
with other brAhmaNas. Nor do others consider them to be brAhmaNas. It is
perhaps understandable that among vIrazaiva authors, the vizvakarmas have a
high representation, but one must account for the fact that members of these
skilled artisan castes were also the most likely to be literate.

One must distinguish between caste identity, mostly guaranteed by birth, and
a religious identity, adopted by considering oneself a follower of Basava.
Take the case of the kOmaTis in Andhra, another skilled artisan and trader
group. There are ordinary zaivas, vIrazaivas, zrIvaishNavas and mAdhvas
among them, but they all have a fairly coherent caste identity as kOmaTis.

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