The Indian Brahmin is a much maligned person. He is blamed for all the ills that exist in this country, the modern India. In fact, Brahminism and Brahminical Patriarchy is a term which is used to show disgust towards practically everything, right from “untouchability” to “feminism” to “exploitation”. Is the Indian Brahmin really that bad? I have no doubt that he is … after all as per “knowledgeable” politicians, journalists, Professors and lawyers, he is the one who controls everything in this country right from Services to Judiciary and more. And also, don’t forget he is the “Sanghi”, that is, he runs the most maligned RSS.
To my mind, a Brahmin is like a pot made of clay/mud. The cheapest pot you could ever have; made by a rural potter without any embellishments. It is found all over the country and is used by the rich and the poor … mainly by the poor and used by the rich usually only when they face health problems. The beauty of the mud pot is two-fold:
- It is very eco-friendly. When it breaks, it melts into the water if disposed in a water body or becomes mud again and mixes with the ground soil very easily. And why not? As per the Shastras, leading a life of simplicity helps one to merge with the Brahmn more easily. Most Brahmins still lead a life of simplicity and shaucha (cleanliness) as much as possible.
- It is all-weather friendly. The coolness of the water remains the same irrespective of the weather. Similarly, the position of the Brahmin remains the same in society irrespective of whether he becomes rich or poor, educated or illiterate. He has to remain cool-headed even when reviled; else he’ll have to cool his heels in jail, as per the law.
Another unique feature of the mud pot is that it has to be put in fire to make it strong, but when you knock it hard, it breaks. It needs stress to become stronger; when not baked well, it breaks easily! See the similarity with the Brahmin … The Brahmin Temple Priests in Tamil Nadu get less than Rs.1,000/- as salary per month (in some cases it is less than even Rs.500/-). Still their faith in their Devata and their profession remains strong. Poverty makes Brahmins do menial jobs such as cleaning toilets and becoming watchmen, but they still keep their tuft of hair, wear their janeu and some even do Sandhyavandan daily. Kashmiri Pandits were made refugees in their own country when the hateful terrorists and Muslim locals threw them out of their own homeland, but they did not give up on life. They adjusted, made a living and educated themselves without any doles. They did not choose the path of beating their chests crying “victim”. But after studying modern education in schools and colleges, when Brahmins do not get jobs of their choice due to hateful biases and reservations, they sell their brains (services) to their highest bidder. They break when removed from their tradition and then knocked down by ‘modernity’. They break easily when they don’t face adversities in life and go on to become beef-eating Brahmins, secular Brahmins, Communist Brahmins and so on… Such rich, decorated mud pots are useless.
Ever seen a tired, thirsty traveller? If he sees a matka (mud pot) he will rush to it to drink water from it. The water in the mud pot is cooling, sweet and soothing. It is also very good for health. Given a choice, the traveller will drink from the mud pot and not from any metal container. Similarly when any Hindu finds himself in deep trouble or disturbed, he remembers Bhagwan and decides to do various Pujas to obtain blessings from the Devatas. During such times, during death and during weddings too, it is the Brahmin who is remembered. Given a choice even the staunchest ‘secular’ will look for the services of only a Brahmin, not a non-Brahmin even if he too holds water, uh, knows the Vedas.
Have you seen anyone haggle over the cost of a silver or golden pot or even a steel pot? No. But people will haggle over the cost of the cheap mud pot. Just like how they will haggle over the cost of the services of the Brahmin for the Puja to be conducted. Or complain about the dakshina to be given to the Temple Panda / Priest.
Finally, even if it is so good for health, gives cooling, soothing water, why is the mud pot so cheap? Why is it that the Brahmin is reviled even if he ignores all taunts and insults and still gives service? Why is his contribution to saving the scriptures, rituals and traditions not valued? That is because like the mud gives itself up to the potter completely to fashion it to a pot, the true Brahmin by his very nature has given himself up to Bhagwan to fashion his place in society. The true Brahmin is today a dejected person, but still hopeful of a future where he not be viewed with hatred. He trusts the Divine Potter.
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