Buddhists and others, wasRe: RAJARAM EPISODE

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 12 04:33:48 UTC 2000

S Madhuresan writes :

>Buddha himself is a not a brahmin!

When we talk about intelligensia, if you look at the history of Indian
philosophy, the bulk of the philosophers have either come from the
ranks of the ruling or the priestly class. Even the formers contribution
seems to have waned with the passage of time - though kshatriyas have
strong presence in the Upanishads, early Jainism and Buddhism, but after
the Common Era, philosophy whether Astika or nAstika, seems to have
become an exclusive brAhmanic enterprise. Even the common mistake that
the Upanishads represent the rebellion of the kshatriyas against the
brahmins - for the development of the Upanishadic doctrines to their
full maturity as represented by the various schools of VedAnta was only
at the hands of the brahmins.

So it is in this sense that I said that the cessation of the flow of
new brahmin blood in to bauddha ranks would have severely depleted their

P Chandrasekaran writes :

>You persist in making wild claims that that neither care to cite any
>previously published studies nor respect the bounds of discussions
>prescribed for this group.
>I have not seen a single reference in any of your postings over the last
>year or so.
>I wonder whether I am in the Indology group or some chat club.

Does citing from a previously published source gaurantee truth? No
Indologist who's reasearching the subject - whether the Vedic or the
Tamil civlization - has ever been physically present in any of these
environments to come out with full authority and say,"this is the way
it was and this is the truth". They read texts and TRY to understand
and determine the way things were during those times. This implicitly
involves a lot of speculation. So to assume that these people are the
"absolute authorities" on the subject itself is a flawed perception.
There's always room for mistakes and improvement.

So in the same way I too have read texts and produce my arguments based
on my perception of these texts. If you've any problem with my arguments
please go ahead and point them out and we can evaluate the strength of
the argument themselves. But it would a lame duck argument to merely
complain that I'm not "citing" any previously published sources.

Since you've brought it up, let me also make an observation here : why
are the bulk of the authors cited by "Dravidologists" of non-Indian
origin? Apart from a few of Indian scholars, the majority of those who
endorse the "Dravidian" seem to be foreigners. What is their qualification
to judge and ascertain whether Tamils are Dravidians? Sure, they might have
formidable textual knowledge. But can mere textual or linguistic knowledge
be enough to judge the racial/cultural basis of peoples? Have these people
come and lived amongst the Tamils? Or even more important : have they lived
life the Tamil way - have they eaten, slept, loved, fought, studied, died -
the Tamil way? If not, how could they really understand the intricacies of
Tamil culture? Have they lived with the Tamil brahmins to judge whether they
are truly different from the other Tamils? Have they lived amongst North
Indians to judge whether they are different from the Tamils? Unless they've
done *all* this upon what base will they judge whether there truly is a
dravidian race/culture? Even if they have done so, can it be really possible
for them, who belong to other races, cultures and traditions which shapes
and moulds their psychology and the way
they view the world, with their own preconceptions - to truly comprehend
Indian culture?

Translating/interpreting philosophical/ethical works is one thing and
Western Indologists have contributed phenomenally in this field. But to
try to ascertain racial basis of cultures is a wholly different cup of
tea and with a civilization as ancient and complex as the Indian, it is
all the more difficult for non-Indians to understand them. Unless this
realization sinks in we're still going to be talking about "Dravidian
civilization", "panzer invasion" etc for the next few years!

Dominic, please do not view this as some "nationalistic jingoism" and
even here I confirm that my intention is not to offend. This is a
genuine concern that I'm raising and so please view the issue
objectively and if possible let's have a discussion on it.

>To quote George Hart from "Poems of Ancient Tamil: Their Milieu and their
>Sanskrit Counterparts", page 118 when he describes how the concept of
>chastity spread from Tamil society.

>"...before a group was assimilated, Brahmins would come into it and adopt
>those values most admired by that group in order to gain respect. Thus the
>custom would have gained a foothold in the Brahmanic religion and would be
>perpetuated when descendants of the Brahmins wrote lawbooks or copied texts
>with the appropriate insertions..."So instead of the Brahmins granting
>recognition to Tamil elements it has been them acting to save themselves
>from being swept aside by the Tamil movement.

You don't seem to have grasped the fundamental implication behind the
"assimilation" process. Who assmiliates and who's assimilated?
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