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Has any Hindu scholar who upheld birth based Varna system refuted Assalayana Sutta? Yes, the medieval Sri Vaishnava scholar Yamunacharya, who lived a hundred years before the time of Ramanujacharya, has refuted these arguments in his work called Agama Pramanya, or "Proof of the validity of the Pancharatra Agamas." In it, the opponent claims that the ...


7

Yes, Thenkalai Iyengars are really brahmins. Thenkalai or Tenkalai is one of the traditions in Sri Vaishnava tradition which subscribes to teachings of Pillai Lokacharya and Manavala Mahamuni. The other being Vadakalai follows Vedanta Desikan. There are mainly 18 differences between these two sects in matters like Kaivalya Moksha, how to wear the namam etc....


5

This concept that only Kshatriyas are allowed to eat meat where as others are not is not supported in the scriptures like Manu Smriti. The rules of meat eating are the same for all the twice-born (Dvija) castes. The lawful consumption of meat is recommended but the opposite is discouraged. That's about it. Manu Smriti 5.33. A twice-born man who knows the ...


5

What type of caste-system (varṇāśrama) does ISKCON advocate? Birth-based or guṇa-based? It seems ISKCON advocates guna based caste-system as mentioned in this commentary: Herein it is clearly stated by Nārada Muni that one should not be accepted as a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra according to birth, for although this is going on now, it is not ...


4

In Manu Smriti, and other similar scriptures, both the words - Varna and Jati - are used to mean the same thing. There are many verses in the text which will prove my point. First of all, see the following verse which defines which are the four Varnas: 10.4 ब्राह्मणः क्षत्रियो वैश्यस्त्रयो वर्णा द्विजातयः । चतुर्थ एकजातिस्तु शूद्रो नास्ति तु पञ्चमः ॥...


3

What does the Bhagavad Gita mean when it says caste is based on Gunas? Does it mean trained, external behavior, or genetic predisposition? According to the various Smritis, Vedas, and ancient Vedic scholars and commentators, the word Guna in the Gita verse means genetic predisposition. For reference, Gita verse 18.41 says: The duties of the Brāhmaṇas, ...


3

To answer your first question, here's the full story from Viṣṇu Parva of Harivaṃśa. According to this, Kṛṣṇa and Yādavas did occupy an area called Dvāravatī/Dvārakā where Ekalavya already resided and built a city there. Chapter 84 Vaishampayana said, After some time, in the assembly of the Yadus, Pundarikaksha spoke excellent words that ...


3

Has any ancient or medieval Vedic scholar refuted the guna-based varna theory? Yes, medieval Sri Vaishnava scholar Vedanta Desikan has refuted the guna-based theory in his work called the Rahasyatraya Sara. In the section titled "Does prapatti (surrendering to Lord Vishnu) entitle a shudra to be considered a brahmin?" he says: It is said: "Those ...


3

Is there any writing in the scriptures that tell us how the caste system went from fluid to rigid? No, the caste system never went from fluid to rigid. In fact, only in modern times is it going from rigid to fluid. I will cite from ancient scriptures like the dharmashastras of Manu, Apastamba, and Itihasas like the Mahabharata to show that the consensus ...


3

Was there really a caste system in vedic period as it is perceived today by many? Yes, there was a birth based caste system in the Vedic period. This section of the Yajur Veda talks about it: From the breast and arms he meted out the Pañcadaça Stoma. After it the god Indra was created, the Tristubh metre, the Brhat Saman, of men the Rajanya, of cattle ...


3

Śruti scriptures i.e., Vedas and Upanishads doesn't have any verses supporting either birth-based or guna-based varna. In Smriti scriptures, there are lots of verses that support guna-based varna such as one from Brahma Purana (Chapter 115 - 53-65) where Mahadeva says: Even a Śūdra who is richly endowed with the knowledge of the Vedas shall become a ...


3

In this chapter of the Shanti Parva the solar dynasty king Mandhata asks Vishnu, who has taken the form of Indra, what Dharmas kings should force Mlecchas like Yavanas, Sakas, etc. to perform. Here is how Vishnu answers it: Mandhatri said, ‘What duties should be performed by the Yavanas, the Kiratas, the Gandharvas, the Chinas, the Savaras, the Barbaras, ...


3

That verse doesn't belong to the Bhagavad-gītā but is taken from the Aśvamedha Parva of the Southern Recension of the Mahābhārata (Kumbakonam Edition): Ashvamedhikaparva - adhyAya 116 14.116. adhyAyaH 116 Mahabharata - Ashvamedhika Parva - Chapter Topics kR^iShNena yudhiShThiraMprati bhakagavadbhaktisaushIlyAdyabhAve brAhmaNAnAmapi ...


2

Why is killing a brahmin considered sin while killing other caste people is not? This presupposition is wrong; killing people of other castes is also a sin: Manusmriti 11.126: One fourth of the expiation for the killing of a Brāhmaṇa has been prescribed for the killing of a Kṣatriya, one eighth for that of a Vaiśya, and one sixteenth for that of a ...


2

Well, Vidura who is considered to be a Shudra, is considered an incarnation of Yama: And there was a Rishi of the name of Animandavya of great fame. And he was conversant with the interpretations of the Vedas, was illustrious, gifted with great energy, and of great reputation. And, accused of theft, though innocent, the old Rishi was impaled. He ...


2

Which Śruti texts explicitly state that varna is based on birth? There are several Sruti texts that state Varna is based on birth. I've listed a few below: Chhandogya Upanishad 5.10.7 - Those whose conduct has been good here will shortly get birth such as a Brahmana (brahmana yonim), a kshatriya, or a vaishya. But those whose conduct has been evil will ...


2

Why is intercaste marriage bad? Intercaste marriages are bad because the offspring produced are genetically inferior. This is especially the case for Pratiloma marriages. Even when the husband is a higher caste than the wife, the wife should ideally be just one caste lower. The best form of marriage is same-caste marriage because it produces children with ...


2

It is very difficult to term a person as Hindu, under a single method. 1. Accepting the Vedas as the authority The earliest spiritual texts in India are Vedas. So if anyone says that a person shall be a called as Hindu, if he accepts the authority of the Vedas, then that claim is questionable. In order to accept the above claim, the foremost requirement ...


1

The question is What does the word guna mean in this verse? Does guna mean external, trained behavior that people see, or does it mean genetic, inherent, natural predisposition? It is well known that different people have different natures. Does guna here mean nature or nurture (trained, controlled behavior)? In my opinion, Guna indicates only ...


1

Yes, the Srivaishnava Guruparamparas (both on Thenkalai side and Vadakalai side) mention intermarriage between the two groups which wouldn't happen if they weren't both Brahmin. Keep in mind, Vedanta Desika and Periyavachan Pillai both disallowed intermarriage between Srivaishnavas if they were not both from the same varNa. There certainly are non-...


1

The closest description of the brāhmaṇa types I could find is from Śānti-parva of Mahābhārata: SECTION LXXVI $ Yudhishthira said, 'O grandsire, amongst Brahmanas some are engaged in the duties proper to their order, while others are engaged in other duties. Tell me the difference between these two classes!' Bhishma said, 'Those Brahmanas, O king,...


1

Earliest mention of 4 classes of humans was made in Purusha Sukta from Rig Veda X.90.12. The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rājanya made. His thighs became the Vaiśya, from his feet the Śūdra was produced. We have to remember that this division was based on guna and karma , but not based on birth based. This was reiterated by Sri ...


1

About Vishvakarma being a brahmin by caste and community , I have come across authentic granth 'Bhagwadpuran' " Shri Bhagwat -Sudha- Sagar{Shuk-Sagar} " Shrimadbhagavat Maha Puran in hindi. Published by Geeta Press Gorakhpur. In this context kindly go through : 1.Shasth skandh - saatwaan Adhyay(page 346) to terehwaanadhyay(page 362). After having gone ...


1

The question is specifically asking for counter arguments within scriptures that preaches against following a birth based system. The strongest proof is provided in Manusmriti 3.109 A Brāhmaṇa should not advertise his family and Gotra for the purpose of obtaining a meal. Bragging about these, for the purpose of obtaining a meal, he comes to be called a “...


1

This is in continuation of my answer where inter-caste marriage is discussed based on Smritis i.e. Puranas. In the beginning of Satyuga, there were only 4 Varnas as mentioned in Geeta and Mahabharata 13: Anusasana Parva SECTION XLVIII and only 4 kind of occupations. Thus to these mixed castes spring up from improper and sinful union of fathers and ...


1

Was Chatur-ashram applicable for all the different castes? No, Shudras are considered life-long grihasthas. Shudras only belong in one Ashrama as per Gautama Smriti: Live with his wife (only) 'Another commentator explains the Sûtra to mean that he shall live with his wife only, and never enter another order (i.e. never become a student, ...


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