Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies

By J. A. Dubois; Henry King Beauchamp | Go to book overview

PART II
THE FOUR STATES OF BRAHMINICAL LIFE

CHAPTER I

The Brahmachari.—Ceremony of the Upanayana, or Investiture of the Triple Cord.

In this Second Part I will bring to notice the most remarkable peculiarities of the Brahmin caste, the one of all others which clings most tenaciously to long established customs. Europeans have possessed up to the present time but very imperfect information on this subject, and what little information has been obtained has been taken as it were by stealth from the Brahmins, whose constant endeavour it is to veil their customs in mystery. I think that the details I am about to give will in consequence be found of considerable interest. These customs, however, do not belong exclusively to the Brahmin caste; some of them are common to other castes as well.

The life of a Brahmin has to be considered under four important aspects. The first is that of the young Brahmin who has been invested with the triple cord, and who is from that time called Brahmachari. The second is that of the Brahmin who has married, and who is thenceforward, but especially after he has become a father, called Grahastha. The third is that of the Brahmin who, renouncing the world, retires into the jungles with his wife, and who is then known as Vana-prastha (or dweller in the jungle). The fourth, and last, is the state of Sannyasi, or that of the Brahmin who decides to live entirely in solitude, apart even from his wife, a mode of life considered even more edifying than Vana-prastha.

It is well known that all Brahmins wear a thin cord1, hung from the left shoulder and falling on to the right hip. It is composed of three strands of cotton, each strand

____________________
1
This cord is called yaguopavilam in Sanskrit, jandemu in Telugu punul in Tamil, jenivara in Canarese.—Dubois.

-160-

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Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Editor's Preface to Third Edition iii
  • Prefatory Note v
  • Editor's Introduction viii
  • Contents xxix
  • Author's Preface 1
  • General View of Society in India, and General Remarks on the Caste System 14
  • Chapter I 14
  • Chapter II 27
  • Chapter III 38
  • Chapter IV 44
  • Chapter V 48
  • Chapter VI 80
  • Chapter VII 97
  • Chapter VIII 108
  • Chapter IX 111
  • Chapter X 123
  • Chapter XI 134
  • Chapter XII 138
  • Chapter XIII 143
  • Chapter XIV 155
  • The Four States of Brahminical Life 160
  • Chapter I 160
  • Chapter II 170
  • Chapter III 178
  • Chapter IV 186
  • Chapter V 194
  • Chapter VI 205
  • Chapter VII 235
  • Chapter VIII 269
  • Chapter IX 282
  • Chapter X 288
  • Chapter XI 295
  • Chapter XII 306
  • Chapter XIII 316
  • Chapter XIV 326
  • Chapter XV 332
  • Chapter XVI 336
  • Chapter XVII 343
  • Chapter XVIII 350
  • Chapter XIX 355
  • Chapter XX 368
  • Chapter XXI 376
  • Chapter XXII 392
  • Chapter XXIII 401
  • Chapter XXIV 415
  • Chapter XXV 420
  • Chapter XXVI 433
  • Chapter XXVII 450
  • Chapter XXVIII 474
  • Chapter XXIX 482
  • Chapter XXX 489
  • Chapter XXXI 500
  • Chapter XXXII 509
  • Chapter XXXIII 517
  • Chapter XXXIV 522
  • Chapter XXXV 528
  • Chapter XXXVI 538
  • Religion 542
  • Chapter I 542
  • Chapter II 556
  • Chapter III 567
  • Chapter IV 577
  • Chapter V 612
  • Chapter VI 636
  • Chapter VII 648
  • Chapter VIII 654
  • Chapter IX 667
  • Appendix I 685
  • Appendix II 701
  • Appendix III 706
  • Appendix IV 708
  • Appendix Vi. 717
  • Index 723
  • Some Opinions of the Press *
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