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Friday, October 26, 2012

The Great Sages of India - Brahmins Vs Kshatriyas - Part 10

Throughout the history we can notice that the Brahmins and Kshatriyas have always shared a Love / Hate relationship with each other. 
  • Brahmins have always been under the protective cover of the rulers and even Lord Krishna says (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.16.10), “The brahmanas, the cows, are defenseless creatures and they are my own body.
  • Kshatriyas have largely been patronizing the Brahmins for their wisdom, knowledge and austerity. But there are many instances where Brahmins and Kshatriyas have been at loggerheads like cats and dogs and when you read few stories filled with vengeance and violence it would send shivers through your spine.
  • Barring the story of Parasurama who belongs to the same Bhargava Clan, Brahmins have always been at the receiving end.
  • We read many instances of inter-caste marriages between Brahmins and Kshatriyas that were very prevalent those days and it should be noted that Brahmin men were allowed to marry ladies from the 3 castes (lowest class excluded) but Kshatirya men were not allowed to marry Brahmin ladies but can marry ladies from other 3 castes. I don't know the logic for this but this was the rule.
  • When Ravana's sister Soorpanaka asks Rama to marry her, Lord Rama rejects her saying, she is the daughter of grand son of Brahma who is a Brahmin and hence he cannot marry her. Poet Kambar uses a fantastic term to describe her "பூவிலோன் புதல்வன் மைந்தன் புதல்வன் புதல்வி..."
  • Sage Chavanar married Sukanya who is the daughter of King Saryathi. The kings were also very much happy in most of the instances to marry their daughter off to Sages like Chyavanar.
  • In Ramayana Seeta tells Lord Rama "Sukanya Chyavanam Yatha" meaning i shall be as dedicated Sukanya who was a loyal and dedicated wife to Sage Chyavana.
  • As i said in my introduction we need to recollect the sage and his wife together since the tapas, austerity and spiritual powers were shared by both and it was not a male dominated society. There are multiple stories about Sage Chyavanar and Sukanya which highlights Sukanya's loyalty and dedication to her husband.
Sage Chyavanar could foresee that this inter-caste marriage arrangement would lead to extreme hostilities between Brahmins and Kshatriyas and he tried his level best to avert this but he could not.

We will see this story in the next part.

Happy reading!