the irony of caste

[Though there are specifics here, my guess is that similar ideas are applicable to any caste]

Going through the” trauma” 😉 of arranged marriage reveals many things, among others, the role of caste in our modern urban highly developed Bangalore society. It is just unbelievable how many highly educated families are so closed knit about caste that they never ever want to venture to anybody outside their own community. “Why marry someone of some other caste when there are so many good boys/girls of our own caste?”

So let’s take a closer look at the Lingayat caste. Everyone belonging to this community puts up the photo of Basavanna in their houses, as he’s the founder. So his opinion should be worth considering here…

Basavanna provides a very simple, succinct checklist for any human being:

ಕಳಬೇಡ ಕೊಲಬೇಡ kalabeDa (don’t steal) kolabeDa Don’t kill,
ಹುಸಿಯ ನುಡಿಯಲು ಬೇಡ husiya nuDiyalubEDa Don’t lie,
ಮುನಿಯ ಬೇಡ muniya bEDa Don’t be angry,
ಅನ್ಯರಿಗೆ ಅಸಹ್ಯ ಪಡಬೇಡ anyarige asahya paDabEDa Don’t be averse to others,
ತನ್ನ ಬಣ್ಣಿಸಬೇಡ tanna baNNisabEDa Don’t praise yourself
ಇದಿರ ಹಳಿಯಬೇಡ itara haLiyabEDa Don’t condemn others
ಇದೇ ಅಂತರಂಗ ಶುಧ್ಧಿ! ide antaranga shuDDi This is internal purification
ಇದೇ ಬಹಿರಂಗ ಶುಧ್ಧಿ! ide bahiranga shuDDi This is external purification
ಇದೇ ನಮ್ಮ ಕೂಡಲ ಸಂಗಮನೊಲಿಸುವ ಪರಿ. ide namma kUDala sangamanolisuva pari This is the way we approach God

This by itself contains volumes and volumes of literature in a nutshell.

And nowhere it mentions about caste here. He does not talk about which family the person must be born in, etc. If any person is to be measured, it must be by these parameters alone, not by any caste at birth!

But another major justification for caste – that causes a lot of insecurity is that “ದೊಡ್ಡವರು ಯೇನೊ ಮಾಡಿರುವಾಗ ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಯೇನೊ ಕಾರಣವಿರುತ್ತದೆ, ಸುಮ್ನೆ ಅದನ್ನ ಬಿಡಬಾರದು” – doDDavaru yeno maaDiruvaaga adakke yeno karaNa irutte, sumne adanna biDabaaradu – that elder learned people (of previous generations) have decided something based on what they know, and since we don’t know as much as they knew, we must never abandon them, even if we don’t understand them.

In the future, the current generation – the current elders – will be considered as the “elders” by subsequent generations! So what they decide now is important. But that dosen’t convince them. Not even this classic song from a Raj Kumar movie, where surely its learned people who have written the song!

But now the most important point. Let’s look at Basavanna’s background. The wiki page is good because it has simple unbiased writing instead of conventional religious biographies that are usually dramatised to make sure they convey the point.

Born into a brahmin family residing in the small town of Bagewadi in the area that is present day northern Karnataka, India in 1134, Basava grew up in a strict, religious household where he was made to wear a sacred thread known as the Janivara. In childhood, he was also able to perform many complex religious rites.

He was born in a Brahmin family, which according to most people’s beliefs, makes him a Brahmin. Yet why do Lingayats of today hesitate to marry their children to a Brahmin, that caste being the very caste of the founder? Is it not a great paradox?

After the death of his parents soon after, he rejected Upanayana ceremony and ritualism, claiming those who performed the rituals had no “true insight.”

This would’ve required tremendous courage from him.

Now, this is the great irony…

He preached equality among humankind and condemned all barriers of caste, creed and sex, fighting against the caste system.

Basava created much controversy by actively ignoring the societal rules associated with the caste system, which he wished to abolish. By allowing untouchables to have lunch at his residence and praising the historic marriage of a Brahmin woman and an Untouchable man… Basava believed that man becomes great, not by his birth but by his worth to the society.

This is what this great man stood for! It was not easy for any man to live with so much of controversy, actively ignoring societal rules is no joke! This what he dedicated his entire life for… equality!!

And now what do his followers do? Make his sect another closed group, favoring and preferring only each other, and having prejudices against any other. Apart from the issue of marriage, caste in general is also a way of discrimination in other situations – nothing short of racisim – in social circles, cultural or religious organisations, and even work places such as government offices as well.

Caste seems to be a significant cultural and ethnographical aspect of Indian society. (Atleast that’s what I found out once I got into the arranged marriage thing, because I hardly remember ever asking anyone what caste they belonged to (and very rarely I’d been asked myself)). But it must not end up being yet another brick in the wall. We must question whether it deserves the amount of significance we are giving to it in important decisions, when there are so many other vital factors like human values or strength of character to be considered.

——

On a more personal note, as far as choosing a life partner was concerned, I wasn’t interested in rejecting someone I liked who was from the same caste, just to be an “example to society” or anything of that sort. But it so happened that the girl, introduced by a mutual friend, and whom my Mom and me finalised upon, happened to be from a different caste.

My family was slightly reluctant but eventually very supportive, but from her side there were some conflicts and difficult situations. It led to even suggestions to discretely elope, etc. I have not much inhibhition in being an outright rebel – but I personally prefer to coexist in harmony with society. This, in my opinion, is generally happens to be more difficult. But anyway, due to all kinds of factors – mainly our shared beliefs in openness, clear communication, patience, and belief that an optimal solution for all exists – somehow seemed to end up in things falling in place. The engagement went very well, there was no sense of seperation as our two families mingled together very freely and happily, and everything in the inter-caste social event went very well.

Yes, there’s still a good chance that what we might in the future still face what most people fear about inter-caste aliances : conflicts in the future, unhealthy remarks from other people from the community, etc. Though hopefully all that is quite unlikely in the current and future generations. Nevertheless, its a risk we are taking, and will face whatever the consequences over time. After all, its not that life for a couple within the same caste is a bed of roses 😉

103 Responses to “the irony of caste”

  1. msanjay Says:

    Caste is one of the bricks, language etc could be another one as well. Here’s a related excerpt from H2G2

    ———
    The Universe, as has been observed before, is an unsettlingly big
    place, a fact which for the sake of a quiet life most people tend
    to ignore.

    Many would happily move to somewhere rather smaller of their own
    devising, and this is what most beings in fact do.

    For instance, in one corner of the Eastern Galactic Arm lies the
    large forest planet Oglaroon, the entire ”intelligent” population
    of which lives permanently in one fairly small and crowded nut
    tree. In which tree they are born, live, fall in love, carve tiny
    speculative articles in the bark on the meaning of life, the
    futility of death and the importance of birth control, fight a
    few extremely minor wars, and eventually die strapped to the
    underside of some of the less accessible outer branches.
    In fact the only Oglaroonians who ever leave their tree are those
    who are hurled out of it for the heinous crime of wondering
    whether any of the other trees might be capable of supporting
    life at all, or indeed whether the other trees are anything other
    than illusions brought on by eating too many Oglanuts.

    Exotic though this behaviour may seem, there is no life form in
    the Galaxy which is not in some way guilty of the same thing…

    ———

  2. Shruthi Says:

    Lovely writeup. Kaleyabeda… is a beautiful vachana – as you says, sums up reams of literature. I have always admired this particular vachana. I had a story book about Basavanna’s life and I learnt about him from that. – and of course, I have heard a lot of his vachanas.

    Casteism is probably too deep rooted in our psyche. So, even though Basavanna was against casteism, his followers wre probably automatically branded as a caste of their own, and it continued over the centuries.

    And “In the future the current generation the current elders will be considered as the “elders” by consecutive generations!” — this is so true!

  3. Anitha Says:

    Here I am commenting on intercaste marriage only and not on casteism..

    In India there is still an expectation that people have to stay with their parents even after marriage . (Which is not so in other countries). So, when you choose your partner it becomes that much more difficult for the girl to adjust because she has to adjust not just to her husband , but also to her in-laws.

    Modern day girls/boys might have different ideaologies, they may care least to the caste.. but what will happen when other people in the house start thrusting them with their own principles… thats when the break appears . To avoid such things people choose to be on the safer side . i.e by marrying somebody of your own caste atleast that much tension is reduced. (Problems exist even if you belong to a different sub-sect within the same caste.)

    If people get a chance to live on their own (without the interference of elders) , I am sure the current generation will live more by ideologies and common areas of interest rather than attaching too much importance to caste…

    My 2 cents … I am very much interested to hear your(and also others who are reading this blog) comments.

  4. msanjay Says:

    Thanks Shruti, btw I just corrected a bit of grammer there. I think the root cause for a seperate sect is misinterpretation down the line. The same thing is true for religions as well, I don’t think any truly enlightened founder of any religion would’ve ever wanted to form any seperate sect that groups some people together and alienates the rest! If you can dig it up, pls let me know the name of the book and the author.

    Anitha, this is definitely a common situation and valid deterrent to an inter-caste marriage:

    but what will happen when other people in the house start thrusting them with their own principles

    But if other people in the house are narrow minded not giving a person personal space for her own beliefs, then its my guess that a different caste is merely one excuse. Even if the caste is the same, then some other difference in opinion or upbringing is sure to cause conflicts. The root cause for conflicts then would not be the different caste, but the lack of personal space.

    Living on their own is not a choice everybody might have. Either due to deep attachment of a man with his parents, or obligation to take care of them, or simply lack of financial abilities, or dependency that his parents will take care of his children, a lot of reasons.

    Somehow I think living in first floor and ground floor or in houses close by, seperate and independent, yet closely knit, would be the optimal solution.

  5. Anitha Says:

    Don’t you think “intercaste” will be an extra dimension to already existing difference of opinions … (If the problem exists , if the people in the house is broadminded enough to give personal space then it is fine … but in more than 50% of the houses , in the case of a joint family , the clash of principles(way of doing things) bound to exist) …
    ……………

    Somehow I think living in first floor and ground floor or in houses close by, seperate and independent, yet closely knit, would be the optimal solution.

    I 100% agree with your words … (but, I doubt if our elder generation takes it in the same spirit as you have suggested it)..

  6. Shruthi Says:

    Sanjay, it was an Amar Chitra Katha that I was talking about!

    I agree with this Ground floor – 1st floor thing — it is the best arrangement possible!

    About inter-caste marriages, usually the reasons given are lifestyles – for example, one may be veg, and the other non-veg. Or one family might not eat onion and garlic, the other might live on it. Actually there are definitely practical problems, but nothing that cannot be surmounted. As Anitha said, the problem comes in when other people start thrusting their beliefs on you. But at the same time, in my own family, I have seen successful intercaste marriages, where the girl stays with the in-laws and they are doing fine for the past 20 years or so. Both the older and the younger generation have to join hands to make it happen.
    But when the couple is living separately, there should be no such problems. For that matter, even in our same-caste marriages, there might be hundreds of problems. For example, the living or cooking or praying style might be different in the two families. Then there is less of tolerance for the difference, because both the families are supposed to be from the same caste.
    Even if you remove lifestyle difference problems also, there are hundreds of adjustment problems, when two different, independent people decide to live together.
    Anyway, whatever the differences, anything can be overcome by mutual understanding and respect.

  7. bellur ramakrishna Says:

    hi sanjay,
    excellent and thought-provoking article. the last paragraph says it all. after i read ur article, i remembered this vachana:

    ivanArava ivanArava ivanAravaneMdu enisadirayya.
    iva nammava iva nammava, iva nammavaneMdu enisayya.
    kUDala saMgamadEvA nimma maneya maganeMdu enisayya.

    meaning:
    Don’t make (me) think, “Whose is this man ? Whose is this man ? Whose is this man ?”
    Make (me) think, “This is our man. This is our man. This is our man.”
    Oh the Deity of kUDala saMgama, make (me) think that “I am a son of
    Your house.”

    shruthi, u have rightly said that “whatever the differences, anything can be overcome by mutual understanding and respect.”
    mutual understanding and respect is absolutely necessary in a relationship.

  8. msanjay Says:

    beautiful vachana Bellur, thanks

  9. ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸ Says:

    ಈ ಜಗತ್ತಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಇರುವುದೆರಡೇ ಜಾತಿ. ಉತ್ತಮ – ಅಧಮ. ಜಾತಿ ಮತ ಹುಟ್ಟಿನಿಂದ ಬರುವುದಲ್ಲ. ಕೃತಿಯಿಂದ ಅವರವರ ಜಾತಿಯನ್ನು ಗುರುತಿಸಬಹುದು. ಬಸವಣ್ಣನವರು ಹೇಳಿದಂತೆ ಹೊಲಸ ತಿಂಬುವನೇ ಹೊಲೆಯ. ತಿನ್ನುವುದು ಎಂದರೆ ಹೊಟ್ಟೆಗೆ ಹಾಕಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದಲ್ಲ. ಕೆಟ್ಟದ್ದನ್ನು ಯೋಚಿಸಿದರೂ ಅದನ್ನು ತಿಂದಂತೆಯೇ.
    ಸದ್ವಿಚಾರ, ಸಚ್ಚಾರಿತ್ರೆ, ಸಗುಣವಿರುವನೇ ಉತ್ತಮ. ದುರ್ವಿಚಾರಿ, ದುರ್ಗುಣಿಯೇ ಅಧಮ.

    ಈ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಜಾತಿ ವಿಂಗಡನೆ ಮಾಡಿದರೆ, ಎಷ್ಟು ಮಂದಿ ಉತ್ತಮರು ಸಿಗಬಹುದು? ಕೇವಲ ಬೆರಳೆಣಿಕೆಯಷ್ಟು!

    ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದಾಗಲಿ.

  10. ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸ Says:

    I jagattinalli iruvuderaDE jAti. uttama – adhama. jAti mata huTTiniMda baruvudalla. kRutiyiMda avaravara jAtiyannu gurutisabahudu. basavaNNanavaru hELidaMte holasa tiMbuvanE holeya. tinnuvudu eMdare hoTTege hAkikoLLuvudalla. keTTaddannu yOcisidarU adannu tiMdaMteyE.
    sadvicAra, saccAritre, saguNaviruvanE uttama. durvicAri, durguNiyE adhama.

    I dRuShTiyalli jAti viMgaDane mADidare, eShTu maMdi uttamaru sigabahudu? kEvala beraLeNikeyaShTu!

    oLLeyadAgali.

  11. anoop Says:

    hmmm.. nice article there.. It looks like everyoe had their say in this topic and I’m commenting on a stale, maybe dead topic. But, I only comment when I think i like the post.
    Whatever you have written looks like its been written from first hand experience.. Im sure this caste system will be non-existent in our generation, atleast when our kids are getting married…

  12. bellur ramakrishna Says:

    Anoop,
    You are right. In the future, when our kids are getting married, you must be elated if a boy marries a girl. Period.

  13. bellur ramakrishna Says:

    Sanjay,
    You have quoted the verse ‘Kalabeda kolabeda…’ in your post.

    Read this version of the verse in ‘Sudha'(Yugadhi Visheshanka) y’day:

    Kalabeda kolabeda
    Call maadade irabeda
    Miss call kodabeda
    SMS kalisalu maribeda
    Ide nanna antarangada suddi
    barali ninage phone maduva buddhi.

  14. msanjay Says:

    heh heh that’s a funny variation Ramakrishna – somehow lacked the punchline.

    Anoop thanks for your comment – and you’re right in your observation, in general I try to keep my writing as much as possible extent based on first hand experience 🙂

    srinivasavare, uttamavaru madhyamavaru antha nu jaati illa – naavyellaru eradu gumpige ommomme sErutteve… antha nanna abhipraaya 🙂

  15. msanjay Says:

    One is not low because of birth
    nor does birth make one holy.
    Deeds alone make one low,
    deeds alone make one holy.

    Sutta Nipata 136

  16. Vinod Says:

    Another reason why elders dont easily accept this is because of there status in society and they don’t want to be talk of the town.And they have think abt the family as whole rather than from individual point of view ,as our bros/sis may not be lucky in finding one for them like us :-), they have to get them settled in life.
    I don’t seem to completely agree with first and ground floor concept.I still remember as kids how much we used to hate to stay in hostels even though we knew our parents are just a call away. When they are old they are like kid to us. They need tht Caring,love and affection more than before.
    Caste is not only part our society but is a universal phenomenon, and things are changing slowly. we are part of this change. Atleast we can discuss this topic now and which was taboo few years back….and still in some places. I am not supporting casteism. Only trying to feel it by begin in seniors shoes. Even they have a point….as they say “All that is OLD is not always BAD”.

  17. msanjay Says:

    An informative post on Rambling with Bellur

    Sri Basavana: An effulgent light of life

  18. tkn Says:

    Dear Sanjay,
    Happened to see Ur kaLabEda……
    It isa very nice that today people have patience to hit such letters.
    I thought I can share a few of my “thoughts” with people who have concern for safe gaurding old, but eternal,universal truths.
    Here it is..KaraagrE vasathE lakshmi….
    Please interact Slow and steady wins the race (Wiser is a conformist OR
    ‘ThaaLidavanu baaLeyaanu’* ):

    Traditions, customs, or rituals have been followed by our people since ages, often without raising objections or questions by most of us. It is also observed that ever since they were started there have been people who contradicted or defied or at least were indifferent and turned a deaf ear to them. Let us now, with a little more patience try to take a fresh look and inquire with an open and try unraveling the mystery or hidden meanings of these traditions or beliefs and try to see if they served any purpose at all. Let us just light a lamp and throw a little light on these shaded areas using our scientific mind. We shall start with the basic tenet that nothing, so far, was discovered or invented without a need, reason or purpose. Let us examine as to what was the need to formulate and implement these traditional or ritualistic concepts however strong their foothold has been. We will discard, for the time being at least, if they are simply meaningless and absurd. We shall ask a common query to all of them and seek truth just like any scientist or a philosopher.

    Another reason for indifference is too much of commercialization of fitness exercises, fitness equipment, training courses, health food and medication. When people are attracted to such advertising world, ordinary looking simple concepts which do not require much expenditure of time and money, and are least cumbersome, do not mean any thing to them. Fads only are appreciated.

    I, as a physician and a teacher of Medicine for over three decades, have taught hundreds of medical students and young physicians and trained dozens of trainers. It was my inquiring mind, from the beginning of my college career, which kept me interested in these traditions, although as school children we did not like them much, and made me choose a different angle as I learnt the basics of Medical science. It was the doctors’ logic, philosophy and a problem solving mind which helped me to see the truth in many, if not all, of the traditions that I have observed in my life. I thought it is time that I shared with you, my explanations, concepts, and analytical conclusions, for the so-called false or blind beliefs and attribute a meaning to some of the traditions in our rich culture and heritage. I also feel that there is an imperative need for more and more people to come out with scientific explanations and tell the scientific world the importance of looking at the old with open mind instead of sidelining the treasure that we have on our hand.

    In all the daily activities starting from driving your vehicle, transacting all the work whether at office, hospital, school or shop floor of workshop, you are required to participate with a responsive body and spirits and take every decision with highest accuracy and efficiency. Just like you pay attention, first thing in the morning, when you are starting to go to your workplace, you start the car engine and do check all the parameters like fuel levels, charge of the battery etc., bring up the temperature of the engine to an optimum, see if any thing is in the way or any body is coming from sides, you have to prepare your senses and body reflexes to face and perform all the daily activities in near perfect way. Just like you have check list for a vehicle or a machine you need to have one for yourselves. In many religions they have a set rules or rituals to be performed early in the morning, often without knowing that they have an inbuilt purpose or a hidden agenda which prepares our body ready to face the life activities. Let us take look at what is in store in Hinduism, ( let us not mistake this for any ‘ism’) to bring up all the senses, sharpen all the reflexes to an optimum level and keep the body respond in a safe and steady manner.

    A goodnights sleep will have relaxed all the muscle reflexes. All our sensations including special senses like vision, hearing etc are at lower ebb. Performing any function with an unprepared body is likely to be inaccurate and we tend to land up in trouble. So we need to have preparedness before we intend to do any function. We have a mantra and a few exercises for this purpose.

    The mantra goes like this;
    “KaraagrE vasatE lakshmiiH karamadhyE saraswati,
    KaramoolE tu govindaH prabhaatE karadarshanaM
    Samudravasane devi parvatastanamaNDale.
    VishhNupatni namastubhyaaM paadasparshaM kshamasva me”.

    OR
    “KaraagrE vasathE lakshmi karamoolE saraswathi,
    KaramadhyE sthithougowri prabhathE karadarshanaM.

    (The open palms are ascribed to Goddess Lakshmi, seated on a lotus flower, the Goddess of wealth.
    The middle of the palm to Godess Saraswati-the Goddess of knowledge, and power.
    Near the wrist to Govinda (the Vishnu).
    Thank the gods for having given you the gift of hands. Thank Vishnupathni, the wife of Lord Vishnu, the Mother Earth,
    by touching her feet)”

    EXERCISE:
    #Sit in your bed cross legged ( like in Padmaasanam or Lotus posture).
    #Rub your hands together a few times and look at the lines on your palms
    #Say this mantra either in the form of a whisper or only in your mind.
    #Lightly rub the palms and move them on your face.
    All this may be done by taking one or two minutes.

    You can chant the following mantra thanking god (Heaven, Stars)
    for having given you the rivers of life looking at the branching curved palmar creases.
    You can continue this prayer during bathing also.

    GangE cha YamunEchai’va Godavari Saraswati
    NarmadE Sindhu Kaveri JalEsmin Sannidhim Kuru

    It is a common experience that when we get up after a good night sleep we feel low, groggy and will not be in a position to do anything as accurately as after a little while. This is because of many changes which take place in our body during sleep. In the horizontal position, with our limbs outstretched, all the skeletal muscles are relaxed, the propriocptive (deep) sense of joint position and joint movement sense will be less efficient, and the cerebellar as well as cerebral functions including the autonomic nervous system also dip. The blood pressure and the heart rate go down because the sympathetic system also goes to sleep (except during the REM stages).

    The prolonged closure of eye balls during sleep brings darkness inside the eyes and they get adapted to darkness. Long hours of sleep makes the visual axes of the eyeballs become parallel and hence the focus on the objects will be inaccurate, thus creating a blurred image, until the axes converge again to a nearer focal point, on waking. You get a clear image on the fovea, the focal point of the retina.

    When we wake up in the morning we need to have all these functions to be restored to normalcy, other wise we tend to go out of balance, cannot see properly and feel giddy, and so stumble and have a fall. This some what reminds me of the feeling that we get when we come out of a theater after seeing a movie. All things get back to normal in a matter of 30 to 90seconds in most normal persons. As we age up, the time taken to regain the senses may get prolonged to even 2 to 3 minutes. In certain individuals who are otherwise normal, because of defect or disorder of sympathetic system, they may have delayed reflex time and tend to fall even when they are young. Many diabetics tend to develop abnormalities in autonomic nervous system and the neuromuscular functions and as a result of this are bound to develop peripheral neuropathy and orthostatic hypotension and experience a fall if they try to walk as soon as they get out of the bed, like when they have to attend to a door bell or a phone call.

    Immediately on standing, the pooling of blood in the lower parts of the body causes drop in BP, but standing for some time, reestablishes the vascular tone thus preventing an episode of fall. When you sit in the bed cross-legged (may be for 30 to 60 seconds) the vessels bend and improve the peripheral resistance, and then if you stand on the ground for a while (for another 20 to 30 seconds), you are giving some time for the reflexes to be regained and improve the sympathetic tone in the vascular tree by surging of quickening hormones like adrenaline (epinephrine) and nor-adrenaline (nor-epinephrine). They cause constriction of arteries and arterioles and the veins and venules and stimulate the heart and thus increasing the beating rate, and the blood pressure is brought back to normal as the blood in the lower limbs and the lower portion of the body gets pumped towards the heart more efficiently.

    By the time you are able to see the curvaceous and branching palmar creases, while you are saying the mantras, your eyeball muscles will have got back the convergence reflex to normal and the images fall on the focal point of the retina where the high concentration of cones gives very clear images. The dark adapted retina will have sufficient time to reestablish the rodopsin function. Now you are able to see clearly. By this time the proprioception and other sensations also will have regained. Cerebellum and the cerebral functions come to normal. So you will not feel imbalance and can walk steadily and also converse with your head on your shoulder.

    Rubbing the hands on the face stimulates the trigeminal nerves and helps getting a refreshing feeling and a parasympathetic stimulation. It also helps bring the two sides of the brain start coordinating with each other through the interconnecting corpuscallosum fibers.

    All that you are asked to do as a ritual is to sit patiently for a while and take a good look at a near object, your own palms, and say a mantra which reminds you of the life giving rivers, the power of knowledge and develop an attitude of humble, ready –to-serve human being. You have a GPS (global positioning system) taking care of the driver. But, if the driver himself/herself is not properly disposed how can you escape. Accidents, and also near-accidents which we experience almost every day, cause a lot stress-reaction. So it is better such simple exercises are inculcated in child hood so that it will help one to be more patient, fit and productive and avoid falling or getting involved in an accident/near accident. If you follow this ritual of sitting quietly and say this mantra, it is very beneficial for a nice feeling all through the day.

    Haste always upsets everything. ‘ThaaLidavanu baaleyaanu’ has been popular advice that our elders always give the youngsters. In this ritual you are free to chant the names of your own gods and goddesses, and rivers if you so choose. But remember and appreciate the purpose behind the mantra. See the physiological truth that was understood by those original thinkers and a suitable simple ‘Exercise’ was built in to the morning ‘dos and don’ts’. There is no need for any training course or to shell down money. Sandhyaavandanam, PraaNaayaamam and ‘Gaayathree mantra japam’, if added to this, suffices to keep your body and spirit, in every way, be ready to take on anything through out the day. We should never forget that a sound mind and a sound body always go together. A little bit of waiting, patience and perseverance keeps your body, mind and spirit fit for a long time.

    I have tried to explain only a part of the rituals observed in the morning time in India

    (* Kannada is South Indian language. Nearly 50 million speak this In the State of Karnataka. Bangalore is the Capitol of Karnataka)

    This communication may be freely published in any form, used in any way by any one after a simple short feed back to me E-mail: drtknag@yahoo.com

    Dear Friend,
    It was just my long cherished wish, without finding a way out to tell people.
    I thought of sending this to your address, looking for some creative interaction After seeing U people chatting on Kalabeds……
    Thanking you
    Yours truly,
    Thanks
    TKN

  19. msanjay Says:

    Dear Tkn, thanks for your detailed informative commentry. You could consider publishing it as an article in some newspaper…

  20. Asni Says:

    Dear msanjaya,
    I have a question for you…My best friend is in love with Lingayat guy..but there is caste problem for his familly…his parents are not ready to accept her…and about this guy he says..I wont get married until my sister gets married..second untill my parents says yes..it has been 4 yrs now..and my friends familly even we friends are worried as…this guy even refused to get engaged..so there is nothing offficial abt this relationaship..but he met her parents 3 yrs back and ensurred them that he will marry her only…but after that never contacted my friends familly..even he did not speak with her brother abt it..he says just hang in there…so my question to you is..being Lingayat will his parents accept my friend who is OBC as there daughter in law? Is it ok to wait year or 2 ahead…My friend is allready 29..we r really worried abt her..just wanted to clear my thoughts on Lingayat…as I heard Lingayat are very strict abt Caste…do help…
    Thank you,
    Regards,
    Asni

  21. Sanjay M Says:

    Dear Asni, would suggest you please have a look at the Basavanna’s background.

    He preached equality among humankind and condemned all barriers of caste, creed and sex, fighting against the caste system.

    In my Lingayat circle there indeed are some people who take their caste very seriously (only during time of marriage or social events) and only marry someone within their caste – and sometimes even sub caste.

    From the outside they consider themselves (and are considered so by other like minded peers) as ‘well-settled and respectable’. It goes completely against what Basavanna’s ideas. And after all the grand respectable honoroble appreciated marriage ceremonies are all over, within the family facing the misery of their hypocrisy is inevitable.

    So those who value caste are usually those who value the
    impression of ‘well-settled and respectable’ more than anything else including their own happiness and peace of mind. Its an individual choice really, to know which is more important to a person.

    If I were in her place, I’d probably want to know if this guy is taking any steps to actively help his sister find someone, and also trying to build a relationship between her and his parents, since those are his pre-conditions.

    Without commitment from him, I am really concerned about your best friend who seems to just be used, and being put ‘on hold’ by this guy. Its not really bad to be single if she herself wants to wait. Society sometimes makes it a big issue if someone is single esp for a lady, but its becoming more and more liberal now. But on the other hand, hope that in the name of romantic nonsense labelled as love she is not missing out on good opportunities to find a true partner. Please convey our very best wishes to her (from my wife and me)

  22. msanjay Says:

    I’ve heard of a few cases of marriages that didn’t happen because of the caste issue. The above post re-triggered some old thoughts that I felt are worth writing down.

    How important is caste in an Indian marriage?

    Lets consider the hypothetical case that a girl is the ideal caste, in fact even the perfectly matching sub-caste for the guy. Now after the marriage, the question is – would their life be a bed of roses?

    Dear Reader, you know very well, that the answer is no.

    Because then, after the respectable successful marriage, the issue of caste would no longer count at all – it would merely be taken for granted! Other differences in outlook will start surfacing – maybe differences in her taste in dressing or decor or colors, or her style of cooking, or her affection to her own family members, whatever, would now start becoming MOST VITAL UNCOMPROMISABLE issues.

    So lets say she starts learning the same taste in dressing or colors or decor, or learns to cook exactly the same way.

    Now, would life be a bed of roses?

    You know the answer already: No.

    Because… now, a new list of reasons would come up. Comparisons, for example, with other ‘model’ families who succesfully give out the impression that they are living on a bed of roses.

    Ultimately we need to understand that such ‘perfectly logical’ reasons are never really relevant. Such so-called reasons are only outward projetion of the darkness we carry within our own heart. Even a little bit of clearance makes a lot of difference 🙂

  23. sulochanosho Says:

    Sanjay, you really deserve a a big pat on your back
    for narrating and interwining the caste virus rooted on our rotten society there, relating with your own live and life example.

    “Basava believed that man becomes great, not by his birth but by his worth to the society.”

    With all pain in my heart I tell here: today what the followers of Basava are doing is the exact opposite of what Basava stood and died for. These people are the murderers and killers of beauty and fragrance of life force on this earth. But it is not only with the followers of Basava, but it applies to all the kingdoms and establishments florishing there in the name of many rare jewels or flowers ever walked on this earth: Jesus, Buddha, … endless list there.

  24. sulochanosho Says:

    The “teachings and revelations” however good and bold it is, once it reaches to the hands and minds of the followers and people there, they try to ‘preserve’ and build monuments and establishments on it, in the name of those noble souls. Life force is a conntinuos dynamic flow. You can not store wisdom and use it. Once you preserve the wisdom, it’s dead and rotten. And we tend to live on those dead and rotten paradigm. It’s true with all established religions and sermons. The Existence never goes that way – IT’S ALWAYS HERE AND NOW.

    That’s why the rare kind of rebel U.G.Krishnamurti (UG) debunked all established Guruworld. He debunked himself too.

    By the way our so called Universities are producing so many Researchrs, Researches and Theses on Basavanna’s Philosophy, Vachanas and so on. Just adding profound junks on the dead junks. Why can’t they have some guts or ruts to focus some of these reality aspects thrown on this blog here. They are never interested in such things. Their interest is only to reestablish and revalidate the established lies and agenda. They glorify themselves in the name of Basavanna and Vachanas. In a sense all these so called people are just worth to be mentioned as “vacahnabrashtas”, and nothing else.

  25. msanjay Says:

    ha ha ha I really like your outspoken style of writing sulochanosho… 🙂 thanks for your comments. As you say researching about this might just end up mugging up and reciting every now and then… which is always easier and more convenient than actually doing something more radical and facing the consequences!

    Bellur has put up the most beautiful vachana and knowing him personally I know he is bold enough to really live what he has said:

    ivanArava ivanArava ivanAravaneMdu enisadirayya. iva nammava iva nammava, iva nammavaneMdu enisayya. kUDala saMgamadEvA nimma maneya maganeMdu enisayya.

    meaning: Don’t make (me) think, “Whose is this man ? Whose is this man ? Whose is this man ?” Make (me) think, “This is our man. This is our man. This is our man.” Oh the Deity of kUDala saMgama, make (me) think that “I am a son of Your house.”

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