Do Brahmins feel guilty for what they have done and doing to India?

This was a question on Quora to which I replied in August 2017. It got over 237,800 views and 16,000 upvotes, yet on 18. July 2019 I got a message that it violates their “Be nice, be respectful” policy. I appealed and today was told that my appeal is rejected.

Please check for yourself if it is disrespectful. Or is being truthful disrespectful and not being nice??

Here is my reply which is now not available on Quora any longer.

Why should Brahmins feel guilty? They should feel proud. It is because of them that India and the world still has at least a part of this most precious wisdom that is contained in the Vedas, because they painstakingly memorised them and passed them on over many thousands of years.

I guess the questioner has the caste system in mind. I am aware that the whole world knows about the caste system. I also knew already in primary school about it but knew nothing about what Nazi Germany had done only a few years earlier or about the atrocities of slavery, colonialism, but about the Indian caste system, and about untouchables, we children in Germany and surely elsewhere, too, were taught. Pictures were shown of poor, miserable looking untouchables. The impression was given that nothing was worse than that, and it left this impression on us children. This impression is not only wrong but has a mischievous agenda.

I know I tread dangerous ground now, as even some people with Brahmin names may attack me for not knowing anything about the ground realities in India, being a foreigner. The atmosphere is vitiated with ‘anti-Brahmanism’ especially in the Left all over the world.

Yes, caste system exists, and untouchables, too. And it exists all over the world. I won’t go into it that originally, in the Vedas, the caste (varna) was not necessarily hereditary. Fact is that Brahmins have to stick to many more rules for purity than any other caste. I knew a Brahmin lady who would not enter her kitchen before having taken a bath. Brahmins were the guardians of the purity of the Vedas. So it is understandable that they would not touch those who for example remove the dead bodies of animals or clean the sewers, though a society needs people, who do these jobs, too. In the west, too, not everyone would shake hands with them. But no issue is made out of it.

So why is there such hue and cry worldwide over the structure of the society in India, when nobody accuses for example the royalty, the highest caste in Europe that it does not mingle with workers? More so, since independent India has done so much affirmative action in favour of the lower castes, so that today, it is often the Brahmins who suffer, and who are unfairly treated?

Why nobody is upset that the British had signs of “Only for Whites” in the club of Madikeri town in Karnataka, as an old Indian gentleman told me, and probably all over the country?

Why is nobody upset that the agriculture policy of the British starved some 25 MILLION Indians to death? There are absolutely terrible pictures on the net of Indians only being skin and bones, barely alive. Each one dying a slow death.

Why is nobody upset that the British, after the slave system was abolished, sent indented labour from India all over the world in cramped vessels, where a big number died during the journey already (and were spared the torture in the sugarcane estates)?

Why nobody talks about what the Muslim invasions did to Hindus and especially to Brahmins? How cruel they were? How many Hindus were killed or made slaves? How many Hindu women committed mass suicide by jumping into fire so that they won’t fall into the hands of the Muslim troops?

Today, ‘thanks’ to ISIS we can well imagine what happened then, yet the Left ‘activists’ and even ‘respectable’ British Parliamentarians are not concerned with all this, only with the ‘terrible, most inhuman caste system’ of India. Caste is not even an Indian, but a Portuguese word, and it can be safely assumed that the colonial masters tried their best to drive a wedge between the castes – successfully, it turns out.

My point is: what Brahmins did by segregating from others or even snubbing others is negligible in comparison what Christian colonialists and Muslim invaders did. How many people from lower castes were killed or tortured by Brahmins? And if a Brahmin did it, he surely did not have the sanction from the Vedas.

So why are the so-called atrocities of the caste-system so hyped? My guess is to divert the attention from those who really should feel guilty what they did and still do to India. It’s not the Brahmins. They suffer today, mainly due to reservation and, though poor in many cases, by being excluded from benefits which are given to religious minorities or lower castes.

But this is not the only reason. Another important reason is to make Brahmins feel guilty and to make them reluctant to follow their original Dharma of memorising and teaching the Vedas. The goal is to make Vedic knowledge disappear in India, because it poses a danger for Christianity and Islam. It can challenge their so called “revealed truths”. Vedic knowledge makes sense and is therefore the greatest obstacles for Christianity and Islam to expand over the whole world.

It is about time to stop this Brahmin bashing. It sounds fake, especially, when ISIS gets neutral treatment by just mentioning facts, like, “ISIL burns 19 Yazidi women to death in iron cages because they refused to have sex with fighters” without any emotional colour or condemnation.

Some time ago, I saw an old Brahmin couple in a temple in south India. They had dignity, but were very thin. When Prasad (sacred food) was distributed, they were in the queue before me. Later I saw them again in the queue…. It was due to poverty.

No, Brahmins don’t need to feel guilty. Others need to, but those others are brazen and probably won’t. And the leftist activists won’t remind them.

By Maria Wirth

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36 comments

  1. Hi Maria, I feel guilty that as a Brahmin I am forbidden from taking up arms to fight against the murderers of my fellow Hindu brothers, mothers and sisters. Apart from that I am proud that my Karma over so many Yugs has made me take birth as a Brahmin.

  2. lakshmi jayan · · Reply

    thank you for knowing, understanding and liking india, hindu and hinduism despite not being an indian. you know more about india and its culture than any indian. thank you for standing up for us.

  3. Pranams!

  4. I WISH WORLD LEADERS SHOULD ASK QUESTIONS TO HISTORIANS ,WHO TALK ABOUT HUMAN HISTORY OF LAST 2500 TO 5000 YRS.
    BUT WHO EXISTED BEFORE CHRISTIANS AND ISLAM.
    TODAY WE HAVE 200 NATIONS. NO ONE EVER ALKS ABOUT THEIR PAST HISTORY .
    LOOKS LIKE ISLAM AND CHRISTIANS DESTROYED ALL BEFORE THEM ,
    SO NO ONE TALKS AND REMEMBERS, EVEN IN USA AS IF NO ONE LIVED IN USA BEFORE BRITISH TOOK OVER THIS BIG LAND ON NORTH AMERICA.
    WHAT A SHAME FOR HISTORIANS .
    ITS TIME TO SEE REAL FACTS HOW THESE TWO RELIGIONS RESPONSIBLE TO DESTROY DIVERSITY AND KNOWLEDGE OF PAST LOST .
    DIVERSITY DESTROYED BY TWO CULTURES ,NOW UN REPLACEABLE.
    PYRAMIDS WERE MADE AND LIFE OF RED INDIANS AND TRUE MAYA CIVILIZATION STILL NOT KNOWN.
    IN LAST 10 YRS MIDDLE EAST IS ON DEATH BED.
    AFTER ALL LOCALS WERE CONVERTED TO ISLAM. CAUSE OF DEATH OF 100 MILLIONS AND MORE LIVES AND BILLIONS LIVING NOW LOW LIFE .

  5. Prabhakara K S · · Reply

    Your article is dumb one sided and paternalistic crap. You have not faced brahmin discrimination and how the Varna system treated the downtrodden. Any system anywhere where humans are treated like doormats is condemnable. And cruel. Don’t bring in world history here it won’t appease the victims here Shame on you

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    1. Paternalistic? How? What an occidental word, what a westernised perspective. Paternalistic are the western religions that want to correct all the others as they consider them mistaken.

      Read again, please. Without so much prejudice in your mind that blinds you to read what is written but what you want to read.

      Why not to bring world history? When the western minds are pointing out one finger towards other´s culture, they should review first the other four pointing at them.
      A western mind can be hidden even in an indian body. An indian body that pays much respect to colonial ideas alien to the indian soil instead of making efforts to learn and understand their own ethos.

  6. I LOVE this perspective you have given. As a fellow cultural enthusiast I totally agree with your thoughts and I also wrote a post on how the Catur Varna’s are COMPLETELY misinterpreted!

  7. Well said. Someone has the guts to speak the truth.

  8. Ashish Moyade · · Reply

    Awesome lines, love you 💐

  9. Ankit Sharma · · Reply

    Namsate 🙏
    I’m by hearted very thankful to you for the article about our community, we survived 800years of mugals physical toucher, killings, conversation and next 200 years of destruction of thoughts, ideology, ethos, dominance by British. Further to it in last 70years disgraced, low graded by left liberals and so called intellectuals with support of government too, government makes such policies that we always get the remains of others. I’m having engineering degree yet im jobless and surviving anyhow as I compromised with my respect.

  10. Ajay Kumar · · Reply

    Excellent!

  11. What a load of crap, must be written by some Brahmin cock sucker from abroad

    1. You do not have any decency!!! Shame on you, who hidden in internet says things which would not dare to say face to face. This only speaks of how uncultured you are if you are not able to disagree with manners.

    2. Shaas A. Ruzicka · · Reply

      “Dev”, you are a christian cocksucker of the padres and priests yourself. That might be the reason why you are ashamed to reveal your christian name!

  12. Pravin Bambhania · · Reply

    Actually by birth all are Sudra….
    After studies in Gurukul for vedas and based on study. Aarya got degree of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Veshya …
    Sudra is equally respected…that time farmers, works are category in Sudra.
    Somehow due to Mughal attack on Mandir and Gurukul…The system is stopped and disturbed…
    Then cast system started….
    Today all are Sudra…last Brahmin was Dayanand Saraswati…

  13. Gurudom has destroyed the true concept of the caste system.

    “Slavery and thralldom of the worst kind ever follow in the train of gurudom (prophethood), it utterly enfeebles men morally, intellectually and spiritually.” Swami Dayanand

    http://www.vjsingh.info/index.html

    1. Shaas A. Ruzicka · · Reply

      A strange theory, Vijai. According to your theory, also the followers of their Guru, Sw. Dayanand, even he himself who had a guru, too… they propagate “slavery and thralldom of the worst kind”. See how strange such an attitude is? It was the Shankaracharyas and Madhvacharyas and other masters and gurus who have upheld the Vedic knowledge and Vedic experience!!! JAI GURU DEV

  14. Well researched. Well written. Kudos, and Thanks for bringing into light a different angle to an issue which is talked upon only from one hypocritic side.

  15. Swami Shyamendra Maharaj · · Reply

    What to speak of Leftists , Christians , Muslims they will never understand the Chaturvarna system but even India’s great leaders as Gandhi all the way to Modi with so call intellectuals of these 70 years have been totally idiotic understanding Chaturvarna system . This is the cause of all causes of downfall of this beautiful country . As long as Chaturvarna – understanding PM is not elected all PMs will keep doing blunder after blunders .

    1. Shaas A. Ruzicka · · Reply

      Yes, completely right. Under the influence of christian and leftist theories, the whole understanding of Chaturvarna was destroyed.

  16. Shaas A. Ruzicka · · Reply

    the “anti-Brahmanism” started by the christian colonizators not because they were concerned for the untouchables but because it was the Brahmins who stuck to the tradition of Vedic knowledge and have resisted and led resistance for the christian conversion efforts. The church hated the brahmins for this, and the christian “indologists” invented the “brahmanism” theory.

    1. Wow! Crystal clear in few words. Thank you!

  17. Krishna · · Reply

    In Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna, Varna depends upon the inclination of the individual and not by birth alone.
    Unfortunately, as corrupt practices crept in, some saw the advantage of claiming varna by birth so their progeny can gain advantage over others.
    Without question, many “Brahmins” contributed to the cause of Sanatana Dharma, but there some bad apples too who were not pious and took advantage of their position. In the final analysis, few bad apples doesn’t make all apples bad.

  18. Shaas A. Ruzicka · · Reply

    Great, Maria! Your clear vision is refreshing to read. Everyone – the India bashers and the India lovers – should read your articles.

    One of the problems with the India and Veda lovers is that they do not follow and realize one of the main precepts of Vedic wisdom, ie.reach Self-realization, ATMA, Samadhi. This we have to highlight, too!

    „Self-Realization is the first step to God-Realization. For centuries in the past the principle of Self-Realization as the first step to God-Realization was not given due importance with the result that the seeker of God and the lover of God, without being concerned about himself, he was lost in the concern about God.

    And when the seeker was lost, God, always willing to present Himself, found no one to whom He could reveal [Himself]. When the seeker was lost, God, always willing to present Himself to the seeker, found no one to witness Him. Very simple! That’s why even though God was there all the time, there was no one to realize Him. God is there, but because the seeker is not there to whom the God will be revealed?

    That’s why, even though God was always there all the time, there was no one to realize Him. The God is there… [but] because the Seeker is not there to whom the God will be revealed.”

    With best wishes!

  19. Maria ji you never been injustice to Sanatana Dharma that includes all Varnas, not Brahmin alone!

    The bitter fact is that today Brahmins are not behaving (practicing) like Brahmins of those days. Whatever the evils prevail today, Brahmins are indirectly responsible since they lack their prime duty- Veda Adhyayanam and Parayanam – learning and practicing. When others make mistakes, they seek Brahmins to resolve it, what if Brahmin himself does so? To bring back our Hindu society in the track, Brahmins need to check themselves and stick to Brahminism at the maximum extend. Being born in a Brahmin family, I realized this and I am stick to remain to best possible way as a Brahmin as on today and will remain do so. I want every Brahmin in this country to realize this to bring back the glory of this country. I am a proud Brahmin and never felt guilty.

    One or two bad examples cannot be considred with entire Brahmin community as bad. I know many Brahmins behave cohesive manner with other Varnas. Any impurity happens by others, Brahmins punish themselves by undergoing several purification methods rather than punishing the others. What kind of discrimination these people are talking about?

    1. Shaas A. Ruzicka · · Reply

      We are eternally thankful for the traditions of Brahmin families who have kept the Ved Pâth alive. Without the dedication of the Brahmins to the Vedic Knowledge, we would have since long lost the Veda.

      There is a reason for the hatred towards the Brahmins by the christians and leftists who have invented the “Brahminism” and the reasons to destroy the Brahmins. It was the Brahmins who, with their devotion to knowledge and tradition, resisted the conversion activities of the invadors.

  20. Anand Swaroop Sharma "Shastri " · · Reply

    Extremely intellectual factual and unique observation ———”
    Thanx Mam.

  21. I always wonder how groupism affects individual lives. The rationale in naming all the individuals under a group while blaming and just noting individuals for awards, money and fame has been the art of escape of truth for humanity since ages. If at all anybody needs to be guilty, it’s the whole humanity, for it’s inglorious decisions. Though the decisions and actions were individualistic, when people are ready to group and name as Varnas/caste, etc., Why not consider whole humanity?!!

    Also, by blaming past nothing new can be done to present. But taking what’s best from past, we build a neat future. Most of us are busy in debate while the worthy few are busy in building a future without a squeek. We need to learn to stop blaming irrelevant people and start making amends to our thought process to a better future.

  22. Evid Learner · · Reply

    Great to see your point of view Martha. I will just like to add one more thing to your point. Vedas defined the caste or varnas on the basis of the work and hence a descendant or child of Brahman might not be a Brahman in true sense as per Vedas and hence this question itself needs more thinking before coming to a conclusion. A child definitely inherits the qualities of his parents but is the child qualified to be called a Brahman or for that matter any other higher caste unless he/she under goes through the same learning that his/her parents have gone through to achieve that status. It will be a great revolution in India if Varna system is brought back instead of the British enforced caste system because then people will take up their caste based on the work they perform and not by birth, which is one of the major pain points in today’s India.

    1. Hey Evid Learner

      You dig the right thing! Yeah, Varnashram could solve all problems that present caste systems (Thanks to British Rulers) are facing. However, the present work/jobs scenario, there are jobs that won’t fit into four main category of those time, I think.

      Secondly, bringing back to Varnashram back in India is Himaliyan task. I don’t think you and me would able to see that in our life time. Ha… Ha… Ha…

  23. understand that we have to go to the origin of the caste system. People confuse varan system with caste system. Caste as used first by the Portuguese 9who erroneously though caste-Latin equibavalent of pure descent as applied to jati-) about our Jati system is not a varan system. In fact jati system by nature is mixed rather than of pure descent. We have only 3 varna originally the [philosophers called Brahmins, warrior called kahystiya and ordinary people9 what we call janta today) called vaisya.. Indue to caste sytem nobody monopolised the money , status and power-we in idna did nto have what is called today rich, famous and powerful. The brhamins were famous and repewctable but not rich nor were they powerful in all aspects. Khaytriya were powerful but not rich nor as respectable as Brahmins. The vasiya could eb rich but were not that repectable as upper two varnas. Even a very poor brhamin could ask the hands of a rich kiong;s daughter-because Brahmins qwere repository of hard and iddifuclt to master veda and all knowledge-try imagining having done Phds for pittance just for the satisfaction of having status but not money-another name of Brahmin was vipra syb=anonymous with poverty!
    This sytem of 3 varna was there initially but later foruth varna was add3ed that of those people who used to do dirty -what aryans thought was a dirty work like touching dead animal body, chramkar-leatherman, washerman, hunter, butcher.etc they were supposed to cause pollution for vegetarian Brahmins and ritually pure Brahmins therefore they would be put in shudra. That shudra is what we call today servile class and also working class. Shudra does not mean untouchable-the barber and carpenters are shudra but they very much are not untouchable, untouchables would have been fir trader, meat seller, shoe maker, butcher, liquor seller etc. But later on many nonhindus or nonaryans -that is from aboriginals entered as servants and theat servile calss was accommodated as shudra. We in India bever had slavery we know it itn the west. What we called servant ot=r dasa were group of epople who could even own their own land and property but who for some obilgation were obliged to setrve or work for another person. We never had farming done by slaves as the greeks did.
    What gave rise to caste and to a lot of caste was rise of magadh from before 700 Bc. What happened is that at the time of rise of magadh and mahahjanpada there flourished a great city civilization all over India -all those cities beeing connceted to each other and great merchant men owning 600 cartloads of merchandise at one time would roam from one city like Rajgraiva in Magadh to kambjja in todays Afghanistan. That create d a lot of jobs . And that job opportunity created castes. One group of people started doing on particular job in and in 2 to 3 generations they became member of what is called a new caste. This sort of caste formation has been going on until very recently . But say Brahmin start doing [potter work then in next generation he joins the potter caste and not his original caste-and so on

    1. Those early caste people not fixed at one place they raomed from their village hawking their trade. also the people can move from one caste to another according to profession. The status of caste depended upon the economic opportunity for that trade which the caste practised. One caste may be high in one place but middle to low in another place of India depending on economic and social condition.
      When Lord Budha was entering sangria the last time before his nirvana -at it fell dusk he reposed in a village outside sangria -that village of that of Kumbharkars -potters of 700 houses. Much later on by 900 Ad the castemen would not live together oin one village but in different village s-oin other words potter family would be 5 , wahserman would be 2 in one village and such like. (but that was to cvome much later-from 800 Ad onwards -the start of feudalism.).

      .( ( Today there is no kcgtriya -the last Chatriya (warrior) having been killed or destroyed by the Magadh empire under nandas. . Only a few remnants of Chatriya (warrior) had escaped to north west of India and there we find them as ambaSTha or sibi or Lichavaii in Nepal living by arms but having lost their big kingdoms.
      Today’s rajputs are not Chatriya (warrior) only 10 % of them are Chatriya (warrior) .many foreign non Chatriya (warrior) warriors like Huns, saks, parthians were artificially put into Chatriya (warrior) caste by the Brahmin to please their patrons.))

      The greatest expansion in in the number of caste happened at the time to Marya empire of the Magadh and caste system started becoming rigidly hereditary by the time of Gupta period -that from 400AD onwards.
      What happened at marya empire was one thing more. The marya empire was the first time ever historically that one chakartvarti rajan concelpt was rtelised that is a king of all India. Marya s was the first ever Pan Indian Empire. And that requires administrative set up. The highest post like that of ministers and councillors were reseved for the Brahmins-not because of favouratism but because brhamins really were learned-but there was still lower order of -civil service for which people had to be recruited. We find mention of such gr

  24. Shaas A. Ruzicka · · Reply

    Dear Maria, this is one of the best articles! Thank you for your clear vision!

    You rightly ask: why are the people more upset with the poor brahmins but not so with Muslims or Christians (Britishers, Dutch, Portuguese)?

    Firstly, the victors write the history! And the western, christian powers have financial superiority which is stemming from colonialism. They have a media monopoly, they can make anyone look bad.
    Secondly, the Vedic knowledge that was the greatest obstacle to the conversion activities of the invaders of India. And this Vedic Knowledge was kept alive by the Brahmins. That is why they are so hated by the leftist and christians who invented the stupid and imaginary concept of “Brahmanism”.
    Since 70 yrs the past governments left nothing undone to put Brahmins into disrepute and poverty.

    1. This article was on Quora but taken down…

  25. The entire “demonization” of the “Brahmin” was done purposefully to denigrate the entire structure of Hindu society. Most brahmins in British India who lived in their respective villages (there was a dictat that they will not leave their village or nearby area nor cross the seas)- hence, many of them, steeped in shastras where local “judges” for simple village disputes and matters. They wielded much influence on the rest of society as they also taught all the children in the village- yes- if you look at the statistics of Madras Presidency which still had many brahmins alive during the British times, you will see that village schools educated all the kids irrespective of their “caste”). The Vedic education was only for the boys who chose that path, for the rest, basic Math, reading and writing were taught- also refer to Dharmapal’s book on the Madras school of education that the British took to Britain for their own public schools.

    Anyways, coming back to the brahmins, denigrating them and destroying them was to ensure the weakening of the village economy and self-sufficiency and causing complete desperation/ dependance on the centralized “British administration”. Fanning rumors and “breaking India forces” with political agendas including the Dravidian movement of the South fanned this anti-brahmin sentiment and also breaking of social discipline. “Achara”- the moral code of conduct of every group of individuals were pretty strict and regulated- the goldsmith, the barber, the farmer, the merchant, the brahmin, the carpenter, the sthapati- all of them had their code infused into them through their family and trade. By creating a “bogey man” in the brahmin, the British and the breaking India forces like the Dravidian party and other leftist ideologues succeeded in creating a fissure in society and breaking all ideas of self-imposed code to make individuals dependent on the “government”/ administration to ensure imposition of “law”.

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