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Old September 9th, 2017, 04:04 AM   #1
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why Brahmins are placed above Kshatriyas in Indian Civilization ?


when almost every civilization in the world puts kings and warriors above scholars and priests. even in India Rajputs(modern name of kshatriyas) dominates all the regions where they live. they consider themeselves above all other Indian castes and Tribes. historically, Brahmins only worked as kings Advisers and Pujaris. but why they gave themselves top spot in caste system ?
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Old September 9th, 2017, 01:58 PM   #2

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when almost every civilization in the world puts kings and warriors above scholars and priests. even in India Rajputs(modern name of kshatriyas) dominates all the regions where they live. they consider themeselves above all other Indian castes and Tribes. historically, Brahmins only worked as kings Advisers and Pujaris. but why they gave themselves top spot in caste system ?
Chachaji,

Indian civilization is the longest continuous surviving civilization in the world as far as I know.

The above fact and supremacy of Brahmins over kings are linked. When the holders of knowledge (like scientists today) are respected in society more than the wielders of power, then is the ideal situation.

I remember a quote from Chanakya Niti: 'Brahmin is reverse of a boat. Whoever sits above it [=Brahmin] sinks. Whoever sits below it [= Brahmin] crosses the sea of life.' - Chanakya Neeti, 15.13.A

Disclosure: I am not a Brahmin.

Regards

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Old September 9th, 2017, 04:58 PM   #3

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I am inclined to think Asian civilization is the longest continous running civilization in the world.
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Old September 9th, 2017, 05:58 PM   #4

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Brain over brawn.

Disclosure: I am a brahmin by birth, but that does not mean anything. One should be brahmin in deed. I only had a clerical job. So, according to the 'varna' system, I am a 'shudra'.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 01:23 AM   #5

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I am inclined to think Asian civilization is the longest continous running civilization in the world.
Yes that is correct. A more detailed picture is like this:

India:

Today Hindu civilization (present-day India) still preserves Rig Vedic culture which is dated to c. 1500 BCE and before. Those hymns are still recited. There is continuity since then. Present day India includes some features from the Indus Valley Civilization which I mention below under 'Pakistan'.

China:

Today's Chinese civilization has memories from Confucius & Taoism, which are dated to 6th century BCE and 4th century BCE. So there is continuity.

Pakistan:

Pakistan also has continuity from Indus Valley Civilization. Pakistan's continuity is found material aspects - like design of houses, design of toilets, design of ox-carts - which were same till about 50 years back as they were in Indus Valley Civilization. There is a cultural continuity of Indo-Aryan culture because Sindhis & Punjabis of Pakistan are very similar to these people on the Indian side. Common Indo-Aryan languages are an obvious example.

There is continuity in genetics, which many tend to deny as they are conditioned to desire an Arabic or Turkish descent.

There is discontinuity only in religious terms because of coming of Islam. Here too, today's Islam is different from Islam of 100 years back. The Islam of 100 years back was more mixed and had local / Hindu methods of worship (forget the technical name for this phenomena).

Last edited by Rajeev; September 10th, 2017 at 01:29 AM.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 02:01 AM   #6

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Originally Posted by Rajeev View Post
Yes that is correct. A more detailed picture is like this:

India:

Today Hindu civilization (present-day India) still preserves Rig Vedic culture which is dated to c. 1500 BCE and before. Those hymns are still recited. There is continuity since then. Present day India includes some features from the Indus Valley Civilization which I mention below under 'Pakistan'.

China:

Today's Chinese civilization has memories from Confucius & Taoism, which are dated to 6th century BCE and 4th century BCE. So there is continuity.

Pakistan:

Pakistan also has continuity from Indus Valley Civilization. Pakistan's continuity is found material aspects - like design of houses, design of toilets, design of ox-carts - which were same till about 50 years back as they were in Indus Valley Civilization. There is a cultural continuity of Indo-Aryan culture because Sindhis & Punjabis of Pakistan are very similar to these people on the Indian side. Common Indo-Aryan languages are an obvious example.

There is continuity in genetics, which many tend to deny as they are conditioned to desire an Arabic or Turkish descent.

There is discontinuity only in religious terms because of coming of Islam. Here too, today's Islam is different from Islam of 100 years back. The Islam of 100 years back was more mixed and had local / Hindu methods of worship (forget the technical name for this phenomena).
Good post. Thanks. I think they call it "syncretic Islam or folk Islam" which is Islam imbued with sufficient local traditions to have created unique amalgams such as "Sufi Islam" before the rise of the aggressive Islam over the last century - in particularly over the preceding 50 years these traditions have been eroded. This rise of Salafi [dogmatic Islam] came on the increasing influenc/wealth of the oil kingdoms of the Gulf. And btw very few people claim Arabic or Turkish heritage - probably below 5%. Ethnic/tribal/bradari identities are far stronger.

Use the present crop of politicians in Pakistan as examples. The Sharif family stress their Kashmiri roots, the Bhutto/Zardari their Sindhi/Baloch roots, Imran Khan his Pakhtun [Niazi] tribal roots.

I just wonder should we include Mesopotamian civilization within the definition of "Asia"? We know Indus traded with Mesopotamia. We know Mesopotamia is in West Asia. We know thee was significant connect between Meso-Indus and the region betwixt. Therefore why can't we include Mesopotamia in "Asia"? I think it is a Eurocentric view of history which carves up rest of the world into bitesizes that suit it's narative?

Last edited by Bullit; September 10th, 2017 at 02:06 AM.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 02:44 AM   #7

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Iran is OK, Mesopotamia a little too farther away from India in spite of Hittites and Mittani. Perhaps Mittani kept to the coast of Caspian and were different from Indo-Iranian. They don't really gel with this group, or do they?

Washukanni was headwaters of the Khabur River, so fr away. Did they call it Kubha?
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Old September 10th, 2017, 03:16 AM   #8

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It's not that unusual surely. The supremacy of the Brahmin reflects the supremacy of the spiritual over the temporal - in other words, the authority of the priesthood over the worldly rulers. Even in Europe, the Pope and religious leaders had certain authority over Christian kings.

In other cultures, the spiritual and temporal powers were united in a single figure, with the evolution of the divine sovereign, but the two remained divided in south Asian culture.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 03:35 AM   #9

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Iran is OK, Mesopotamia a little too farther away from India in spite of Hittites and Mittani. Perhaps Mittani kept to the coast of Caspian and were different from Indo-Iranian.
No. With respect I disagree. We have become conditioned to look at the world in a certain way. Mesopotamia is not that far from Indus. Indeed via the sea route this is equivalent of Greece/Carthage if not closer. To make this point look at this map below. I have drawn two red lines which are 1,200 miles distant. Mohenjo Daro, Pakistan[Indus River] in centre is same distance from Kolkata, India as Basra, Iraq [Tigris/Euphrates]. This places everything in context.


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Old September 10th, 2017, 03:46 AM   #10

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Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
It's not that unusual surely. The supremacy of the Brahmin reflects the supremacy of the spiritual over the temporal - in other words, the authority of the priesthood over the worldly rulers. Even in Europe, the Pope and religious leaders had certain authority over Christian kings.

In other cultures, the spiritual and temporal powers were united in a single figure, with the evolution of the divine sovereign, but the two remained divided in south Asian culture.
While there is some point to what you say but Brahmin supremacy is very conspiciously differant from other "spiritual elites" as this was position inheritated by birth. A priestly class that were qualified by their birth is quite unlike Christian religious leaders.
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