I am a Brahmin
(I am by birth a Brahmin and I introduce myself to my Brahmin elders as the follower of Yajurveda, who follows the rituals as codified by Apasthamba , belonging to the Kaundinya Gothra , with Vasishta , Maithravaruna and Kanudinya lineage. I am by profession a scientist and wanted to know , what is it all about ? I have been reading and searching and I have adopted the philosophical method of “No this is not it”, and eliminating it. Here are my scrambled thoughts which I have learnt .)
Once all the truths of Vedas were floating in the atmosphere,
And some great sages could hear parts of it ,
And since they had still not developed alphabets to their language .
Each sage learned by heart what he heard and wanted to teach it to some one interested
There were many great sages like him who knew what they have heard ,
And they chose disciplined intelligent human beings ,
Who were prepared to give up all the pleasures of the world ,
To learn by heart , these chapters of That Knowledge( Vedas) so that posterity would have it.
Since these sages chose to call their concept of godhead “Brahmam”.
They chose to call those intelligent self sacrificing students as Brahmanas,
And from reading the Vedas it looks as if they were nomadic people ,
Whose only wealth was cows and bulls as no where land is mentioned as wealth.
No one is clear whether all children of Brahmanas were also called as Brahmanas.
Because there are several instances in Vedas where this fact is not true ,
But soon they found that, apart from study of Vedas , they could undertake other jobs,
Many of them were engaged in study of stars and medicinal properties of Plants.
Then they started living in permanent homes and so they needed to formulate,
Rules governing domestic lives and their sages wrote Gruhya suthras for this purpose,
And though they had started using copper , they had only knives and not scissors,
And also needle and art of stitching was still not invented though weaving was known to them.
Because of this they never wore any stitched cloths and they did not cut their hair,
And by this time very many seekers of spiritual knowledge grew up among them,
And these seekers composed one hundred eight Upanishads,
Which were all discussion on spiritual matters among very wise people.
It was at this time the first epic of the world was written about life of Rama,
And interestingly it was not written by a Brahmin sage but a hunter sage.
This great epic also mentions about a vysya(merchant) sage whom a king killed by mistake.
And it is a matter of interest that most of the characters of this epic were not Brahmins.
Except for the sages who were Gurus of Royal families , there was a Brahmin called Rishya Sringa ,
The son in law of a king , there was the son of Ahalya and Gauthama who was minister of Janaka,
And there was sage Visravas who married a Yaksha lady and then a Rakshasa lady.
Lord Rama is mentioned to have given his wealth to citizens including Brahmins
Most probably it looks as if even this epic was not written down and it was,
Taught to Lava And Kucha, who sang it in all places and made it popular,
It is interesting to note that a monkey called Vali did sandhyavandhana ,
And Hanuman waited near a river expecting Sita would come there to do Sandhyavandana.
The next big epic Mahabharatha says that sage Vyasa who was born to a fisherwoman,
Dictated it and Lord Ganesa , who wrote it down on the stones of Himalaya mountains,
And this clearly shows that people had started writing down what they composed,
And the fact that Balarama carried a plough goes on to prove that cultivation has begun.
It is also clear from the epic that Brahmanas always were not parents of Brahmanas,
But many stories leads us to believe that children of Brahmin couple were Brahmins.
Pepople like Kuchela, Daumya , Uthunga , Akroora and the Brahmin messenger of Rugmani ,
Are mentioned as householder Brahmins apart from Drona, Kripa and other sages.
Vyasa also called as Krishna Dvaipayana , the black one born in an island ,
Who is an important character as well as author of the story of Maha Bharatha,
Is stated to have collected all the spiritual knowledge with very many sages ,
And it is known that he codified it and divided in to four Vedas, Yajur, Rig, Sama and Ahrvana.
For some reason even these classified and edited books were not written down,
And was taught in Guru Kulas , probably due to importance in pronunciation,
Which would change the meaning and implication of their great inheritance ,
Somehow Atharva Veda dealing with magic had no followers and was almost neglected.
After the end of Mahabharata , the Kali age started possibly around 5000 years back ,
The major literature in Sanskrit which were not necessarily religious were produced ,
And this was again the period when great religious thought processes ,
Which did not agree with Vedic principles like Budhism and Jainism were established.
It was again the period when great Brahmin interpreters of Veds like ,
Adhi Sankara ,Ramanuja , Madhwa , Vallabhacharya ,Nayanmars , Azhvars,
And many more saints were born and started vehemently opposing ,
The new founders of new religion and also started the Bhakthi marga
It was after this that great scientists , mathematicians ,
Doctors as well as surgons came in to the fore India,
And the most interesting aspect was that ,
All of them without exceptions were Brahmins.
This was followed by wave of great intellectuals,
Majority of whom were Brahmins but very many of them,
Were not Brahmins and at this time our country ,
Was conquered by rulers from middle east and west.
They all waned intelligent local people to help them,
And when they searched that they could employ Brahmins,
Who would be extremely intelligent as well as,
Sincere , truthful as well as very honest,
(From then on the history of Brahmin migration is not at all clear . Adhi SAnkara born in Kerala travelled in the length and breadth of the country for reforming and reestablishing Hindu religion. Indications are that he did not give much importance of the Non Brahmin religious thought which had reached its acme in Tamil Nadu as well as Kashmir. He is supposed to have established four Mutts in four corners of India and made it a rule that only a Brahmin Sanyasi can head .Great religious leaders like Ramanuja who felt that Vedas and religion can be learnt by people who are not Brahmins also . travelled throughout India,)
I am a Brahmin , I used to tell it loudly ,
Not only to you but to the entire world.
There were kings and the rich who used to ,
Look after me royally , so that I can continue to learn.
To all those who are Brahmins , you are telling an axiom,
Then you give us several great lectures about it.
If we learn Agama you say it is injustice,
If we learn Vedas , you say I do it for selling it.
Suppose I leave my caste’s profession and become a clerk,
You are introducing reservation and pushing us in darkness,
Suppose we learn law so that we can achieve something,
You are announcing our caste and lashing us with a whip.
Suppose we say we do not want anything and go abroad,
You term us as the slaves of White men,
Even though we study day and night ,
All our efforts are needlessly wasted.
The government which is not bothered about intelligence,
Is embracing all others and saying to them, “bad marks are enough”
But if we then decide that we would ring the bell in temples,
And fill half our belly , They say ,” All castes can become priests.”
We can accept our fate but do cancel your concept of “reservation”,
If we do a crime the punishment is seven times than the others,
Says the great Veda , but in spite of that,I only tell the name of God ,
I have forsaken everything , Come and tell me what more I can forsake in this life