DECLINE AND FALL OF BUDDHISM
(A tragedy in Ancient India)


Chapter 10
USE OF SEX BY BRAHMINS TO GAIN SUPREMACY

At least two very obvious instances are seen in Indian society where Brahmins used Sex as tool to create and maintain their supremacy over other castes. One case is in Bengal where during rule of Pala Kings public had virtually ceased to follow the Brahmanic religion and the Sena kings who followed the Palas imported a few Brahmin families from Brahmanic centres and gave them facilities to establish huge families by a system of what came to be called "Kulinism", which was discussed in earlier Chapter. The other case is of Kerala where they established what is known as "Sambandham" type of marriages, which having persisted for centuries, just recently have become the events of the past.

Main stream was not Vedic

Contrary to modern propaganda, that main stream is "Hindu / Aryan / Brahmanic", it must be emphasized that in ancient India it was the Naga Culture that predominated. Shri H. L. Kosare quotes the opinions of Datta Ray Chaudhari and Majumdar that, the main basis of Indian social cultural system is presumed to be Vedic Culture. This presumption is baseless, and this opinion can not be accepted. There is no doubt that, the Indus valley culture played a great role in the development and preservation of Indian culture. [Kosare: 1989: 263] Similar views are expressed by Gail Omvedt also.

India was a Naaga Bhumi

Dr. Ambedkar has shown that India was a "Naga Bhumi" and Dravidian culture the main Culture. Kosare's views on Rajwade based on Rajtarangini, and Mahabharata and story of Sarpa Yajnya and marriage of Arjuna with Ulupi are already discussed previously. Similarly Views of Prof. T.A Gopinath Rao, who has agreed that majority of Buddhists were Nagas, but refuted that Nayars were Nagas and who calls "The hypothesis is more fictitious and fanciful than real and tenable." [T. A. Gopinath Rao: 1985: 554], was also discussed previously. Prof. Rao, who does not forget to categorically mention that Nayars were Shudras, finds the theory untenable, without assigning any reasons. Is it prejudice of caste or arrogance of culture?

Certainly, the Nayars were the original inhabitants of the region, they did not come from outside. Before the Brahmins came from the North and establish 'sambamdhams' with the Kerala maidens, and thus dominate the Nayar community, the original people inhabiting the region were definitely the Nagas. From 'Naga' they could have become 'Nayar'. Anyway, the fact remains that the Nagas became Buddhist in great numbers, and certainly todays Indian society is made up of and is developed from the erstwhile aboriginal tribal people, is a fact recognized by all the scholars, whether one accepts that the word 'Nayar' might have come from 'Naga' or not.

As already mentioned, the relations of Nayars with low caste Pullayas, who were undoubtably Buddhists and Nagas originally, can also be judged by a well known, custom of so called "Pullaya scare", where a Nayar woman had to go with a Pullaya man, if touched by him outside the house while alone, during one month in a year after Makar Sankrati. This custom was banned by the British, and is recorded by a Portuguese traveler Barbodosa.

There was a casteless society among the Naga culture

The non-Aryan Naga people were believers in Buddhistic social culture. During their rule, there was a society based on social equality in India, because their cultural values were influenced by the Buddhist traditions. This social system of Nagas, even in those early days, is noteworthy in contrast to Brahmanical social system of inequality. It is unfortunate that the modern high caste scholars, while narrating the greatness of ancient Indian culture, ignore this fact. Shri H. L. Kosare has shown as the Naga society was based on equal status, casteless social order was the main basis of social system of Nagas. As the Naga culture was based on Buddha's principles of equality, it received the status of Buddha's religion. Thus, Naga culture played the greatest role in the process of establishing a casteless egalitarian and integrated society in Indian cultural life. [Kosare: 1989: 256]

"A. L. Basham has shown that there is no mention of caste anywhere in ancient Tamil literature. But after Aryan influence increased, and political and social system became more complex, caste system which was somewhat more severe than in north, evolved even here. ('The wonder that was India', Rupa & Co., 1975, p.151) The period of Sangam literature is third century A.D., This shows that during the Satavahana rule there was no caste system." [Kosare: 1989: 251]

Nagas had their Republics

We have already discussed how their social system was public oriented, and unlike the Brahmanical system, their political system also was designed to give social justice to all sections of people. Kosare observes that during first four centuries of Christian era, the central regions in India comprised of strong Republics of Nagas. It was Samudragupta, who destroyed these republics. About the system of administration of Bharshiv Nagas, Dr. K. P. Jaiswal has observed that their social system was based on the principles of equality. There was no place for any caste system in them. They all belonged to one and the same caste. [Kosare: 1989: 251] Kosare further explains that, the independent kingdoms of Nagas in South India came together and formed an independent federal republic, which was termed as Fanimandal or Nagamandal. This Cheromandal republic of Nagas of South India was very powerful and indivisible at the time of Periplus, i.e. in 80 A.D. Later during Ptolemy's times, i.e. 150 A.D., north eastern part of Tondemandalam became separate. (Dr. J. P. Jain, bharatiya itihas, p. 239). This Cheromandal or Fanimandal was a federation of separate kingdoms of Nagas coming together to form a united national federation. "In reality, it was a united Naga Nation of South India", avers Kosare! [Kosare: 1989:179]

Satavahanas were Buddhists and not of Brahmanic faith

Because Goutamiputra Satkarni performed the ?yajnyas? , some scholars tend to think that he belonged to Brahmanic faith. This is a wrong interpretation. They were in fact Buddhists. The nature of yadnyas performed by him was political. Shri Kosare avers:

"Satvahanas were not Brahmanic, they were Kshatriyas of Naga race. Nanaghat inscription of Naganika (Journal of Bombay Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 13, 1870, p.311) mentions yadnyas being performed by Goutamiputra Satkarni. The nature of these Vedic yadnyas must be considered as a political act of a Kshatriya to raise ones own political prestige, status and glory as an Emperor. These yadnyas had absolutely no Brahmanic effect on the republican style of their social culture in Satvahana times. Similarly, there are no records to show that any other king of Satvahana dynasty performed any Vedic sacrifices. On the contrary, it appears that Buddhism flourished and developed to a great extent during the Satvahana period only." [Kosare: 1989: 167]

Panch Dravidas

The word Dravida or Dramida of Sanskrit was originally in Pali "Damila", from which Tamil has come, applies to a family of languages including various minor dialects, and loosely applied to five "Pancha-dravidas", as per ancient Tamil tradition, to comprise along with Tamil including Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, also Marathi and Gujarathi. [p.537, (Cambridge history of India vol. I - CHI)]

In South India various aboriginal people lived long before Aryans came. Among them were the "Nagas", a term applied by Tamil classical poets to "war like race armed with bows and nooses and famous as free booters". Many tribes belonged to this race, like Aruvalar, Eyinar, Maravar, Oliyar and Paradavar. [CHI, p.539]

Prior to arrival of Brahmins to Kerala, along with the rest of South India, the land of Kerala was predominantly a Buddhist country. Famous sociologist, Balkrishna Nair avers in these terms:

"There are, however, strong evidences to prove that Buddhism prevailed over the entire length and breadth of Kerala and that Brahmanism began to take root in the soil only with the growth in prestige of the Nambudri Brahmins - the representatives of the pure Rig Vedic Brahmins. The colonisation of Kerala by these Rig Vedic Brahmins must have in all probability taken place during the Vedic age. But all evidences go to prove that they became a social force in ancient Kerala society only about the eighth century A.D." [Nair: 1959: 8]

Nayars were Nagas

Nair further expounds the theory which was found "untenable" by Prof. Rao, in these words:

"Present day Kerala formed part of the ancient Cherai country. "Cherai" is the Tamil word for the Sanskrit word "Naga". There are far too many references in Sanskrit literature to prove that the Nagas were the oldest tribes in India before the Aryans retained friendly contact. A subsect of the "Nagars" or members of the "Naga" tribe who lived in Malabar may well have been called "Nayars" just as their confrers in the Nepal valley came to be called "Newars" Mahabharata (Karnaparva 2, XIV) speaks of the Newars among whom property descended in the female line as it once did among the Arattas, Bahika or Takhas of the Punjab whose sister' sons and not their own were their heirs." [Nair: 1959: 8]

L. D. Barnet confirms that Buddhism and Jainism in South India kept Brahmanic culture away from the South Indian regions quite late, when he avers:

"... south seems to have felt little influence from the Aryan culture of Northern India. A few colonies had made their way into the south, ... but on the whole they counted for little in the life of the people, especially as their teachings were counter balanced by the influence of the powerful Buddhist and Jain churches, and Dravidian society was still free from the yoke of the Brahman caste system. (f.n.) The tradition that the Brahman sage Agastya led the first Aryan colony to Podiya Hill and created Tamil literature probably arose in a later age, after Brahman influence had gained the ascendant in the south, on the basis of the legends in the Sanskrit epics." [CHI, p.540]

Megasthenese mentions about rumours that Heracles (i.e. god Siva) put south under rule of his daughter 'Pandaia'. Epics mention them as 'foreign lands'. Ashoka's edicts mention them as "foreign nations who have accepted the teachings of Buddhism". [Barnet, CHI, p. 541]

This should be enough to show that Buddhism was a living faith in south before the Brahmins came there. Our purpose here is to show how they succeeded in establishing Brahmin supremacy in a Buddhist land during the days of general decline of Buddhism and after the fall of Buddhism became masters of whole population making them slaves.

Nayars in historical times

Mahadev Shastri Joshi, (ed) in "Bharatiya Sanskriti Kosh", (Marathi) vol. V, (MSK) gives details of Nayars, their manners, customs and culture. The following is the summery.

Since early history, Nayars are known as warrior caste and in their childhood, Nayar boys are trained in martial arts in institutions called "Kalari". They played very important role in military history of Kerala. They are supposed to be original inhabitants of Kerala. When legendary Parashurama reached Kerala annihilating the Kshatriyas, he met Nayars and looking at their bravery, repented having fought with them even though they were not Kshatriyas. He ordered them to remove their sacred thread. This is the story in "Keralotpatti" [MSK, p.48]

Some scholars believe that these are same people, who are mentioned in Puranas as "Nagas" [MSK, p.48]

Their social system was matriarchal and not patriarchal. Mother is the central figure in the family, and her progeny is known by her "gotra". Daughter, even after her marriage, remains in the mother's house and her husband comes every night to her house for sleeping. Authority of maternal uncle is greater than the paternal uncle. The heirs to property are matrilineal, the legacy going to his sisters' sons and not his own. This system is called "Maru-makka-tayam". Even the kingship or priesthood devolves in this fashion. Kingship of Trivankur-Kochin is the same. [MSK, p.49]

Tarwad

The family is called a Tarwad. Their residences are fort like huge houses having hundred to two hundred inhabitants, living for generations. All men and women have a common right to the property, and partition does not take place. Each Tarwad is an independent and self contained colony. It has a big house in the centre surrounded by flower and fruit garden. There is a barn house and a lake. Remarkably, on the north west corner there is a place for serpents called "Sarpa kavu". The trees, hedges and shrubs there are never cut. Occasionally there is a small shrine for Kuldaivata there. There is also a cremation ground in the south east corner. Rooms on the north side in the house are for unmarried girls and newly delivered women and rooms on south are meant for elderly women. Every girls gets an independent bed room after marriage. Men and women live separately. [MSK, p.49]

Their dress

Except on festivals, men use "muntu" around waist, and an under garment and a "pancha", garment on shoulder. Women wear a delicate and clean white garment called "puduva" from waist to knees. Part above waist is uncovered. On festival days every one gets new clothes. Previously, Nayar women, even in royal families, considered it lowly to cover the chest. Then they started using "urovastra" and after a time even the "choli". Now a days there is a great change in their dress. [MSK, p.49] Thanks to the British education.

Important sanskaras in Nayar girl's life

There are three important events in the life of Nayar girls. They are Tali-kettu-kalyanam, Terundukuli and Sambandham.

Tali-kettu-kalyanam: Before she attains puberty, this is celebrated. The main function is tying a "tali" by a selected groom boy called "manwalan", who ties it around the neck of the girl ceremoniously with pomp and show. Then the couple is taken to a decorated room. For three days they are not to leave the house. Fourth day they are taken in a precession to lake for a bath. When they return, they eat in the same leaf. Afterwards their one garment is cut into two and they exchange the pieces. This signifies the end of their relationship. [MSK, p.50]

One manwalan can tie tali to many girls. Some times Brahmin boys are selected to tie the tali. Some times mother of the girl ties the tali. After this ceremony, the girl can have "sambandham" with any boy or even manwalan himself. Sometimes his consent to marry others is necessary. If manwalan dies, she has to observe 15 days mourning, but not if he is a Brahmin. [MSK, p. 51]

Terundukuli: Is a ceremony celebrated when the girl attains puberty and gets her first menstrual period. [MSK, p.51]

Sambandham: is the main function in the life of a Nayar woman. On an auspicious evening, the groom coming in procession is welcomed by the brides' relatives. Under great pomp and show and merry making, the groom presents nine, eleven, seventeen or twenty one garments to the bride and everyone sprinkles akshata over the couple. The bride and the groom spend the night in a decorated room. The next morning the groom goes back to his own house. After Sambandham, the girl stays in her own tarwad, and her husband comes every night to her and returns back to his house every morning.

In middle ages, the sambandham in royal families was conducted without much fanfare. The girls from royal families could have sambandham only with Nambudiri Brahmin youth, who were usually maintained by the kings only. [MSK, p.52]

The husband and wife live together as long as they wish. Woman can get divorce any time she likes, and man too can stop coming to her if he gets tired of her. Both of them can remarry again. Woman can marry again if husband dies. [MSK, p.52] If a woman is staying in her husband's house in patriarchal tarwad and the man dies, the widow is first sent back to her own Tarwad before funeral. [MSK, p.53]

Previously, the system of polyandry prevailed. After "talikettu kalyanam" a Nayar girl was free to live with a man of her choice. In north Malabar, to have relation with one man at a time was the customary rule, but in south Malabar, woman got more respect if she had more lovers, however, it was customary that this number should not exceed more than ten or twelve. The men used to arrange their turns and also divide the expenses. Men also were free to have relationship with many women. When a woman returned the clothes given to her, he understood the relationship is finished. Many times, a number of Nayar brothers had only one common wife among themselves. [MSK, p. 53]

Recent changes

With the advent of western civilization, Nayars disliked the Tarwad system and they inclined towards patriarchal system. They started the struggle to have legal sanction to each traditionally married individual couple. Ultimately, in 1912, Travancore Ruler had to pass a new Act. According to this Law, all marriages of Nayars were considered legal in all respects, everyone got a right to share the income of the Tarwads, the responsibility of maintenance of wife fell on the husband. Polygamy and polyandry were both declared illegal. Revolutionary changes took place among the Nayar society. Within five years of passing the Law, about forty thousand Tarwads divided their property. The sons started becoming the heirs instead of sisters' sons. After some times, there was a slight movement, which could not succeed, to abolish this law as they thought it was not beneficial to them and has caused dissensions. Though there are remnants of the system in a few villages, practically the system has disappeared from the cities. Today, as per the Constitution of India, women got equal rights as men, the thinkers consider matriarchal system unnecessary. [MSK, p.54]

Nayars accept Brahmin supremacy

The Nayars being warrior people fighting in Chera, Chola and Pandya armies, the petty chieftains fought among themselves for petty aggrandizement causing mortality and maiming and consequent discontentment. They were ordinary tribal people having a premitive religion of serpent worship. They were like any other tribe like Vellalas. Their language was an ill formed dialect of Tamil. Nayars showed open hostility to culture of Sangam literature. Nayars of south Travencore showed arrogance towards Nanchinad Vellalas. The Pillais among the Nanchinad Vellalas had influence of Tamil Brahmins and Kannada 'Pottis' and merged with Nayars. [Nair: 1959: 11 ff.]

The reasons how a section of Nayars accepted Nambudiri Brahmins are given by Bal Krishna Nair [Nair: 1959: 13 ff.]

"... the Brahmins could only influence the marginal section of the Nayars and that their social control became complete only through stages across the long years of Kerala history and consolidated through the Kshatriya rulers and chieftains, whom the Brahmins raised in exceptional cases to Brahmanical status. Status or rank in the social structure of caste was conferred on a group by the Brahmins only in proportion to which the group voluntarily assimilated Brahmanical cultural influences. [Nair: 1959: 13]

"...The practice of thalikettu, and sambandham unions if not introduced by the Nambudiri Brahmin, was certainly made popular by him and he enjoyed the jus primae noctis with the young Nayar bride and initiated her in her sexual life to come. Further the system of polyandry and "Marumakkathayam" must have afforded easy opportunities for the Nambudiri Brahmin to enter the social hierarchy with the self-assumed role of the uppermost class. He was in many respect uniquely fit to play this role. He had knowledge of the Vedas and Shastras. He was physically attractive to the Nayar women. His notions of mantra, tantra and knowledge of Ayurveda endowed him with the classic qualities of a cultural conqueror. The Nambudiri was naturally sympathetic in the extreme with those dissident groups of Nayars who were amenable to their cultural fertilisation. They would have gone to any extent in conferring on them higher status in the caste hierarchy except of course "status among their own kind." Thus the dissident groups of the marginal class spoken of above were given varying status by the Nambudiris as Brahmanical sub- castes, upper class Shudras etc. When the Brahmanical mythology was codified by the astute Nambudiris in "Keralotpathi", these castes were listed in the order of their precedence and a social structure of caste was introduced with hierarchical gradation. All these were done in an effort to break up a socially integrated community and establish their Brahmanical social control. In this way the social disequilibrium of Kerala was completed by the Brahmins by the creation of marginal and sub-marginal groups within the fold of an erstwhile socially integrated community. The fragmentation of social feeling that it led to in subsequent centuries with the multiplication of castes and sub-castes is too well-known and too common a characteristic of the other region of the country, as to require any special mention. Reformist leaders such as Swami Vivekananda found Kerala a mad house full of castes and sub- caste of an endless variety." [Nair: 1959: 13]

"What was originally a cultural fertilisation with the malcontents of a socially integrated community had thus eventually developed into a cultural conquest over the entire community. It is, however wrong to think that the Brahmins through contact with non-Brahmin were unduly influenced by the latter to any extent in respect of cultural traits. In fact it never happened anywhere in India with the conscious acquiescence of the Brahmins themselves. It was the non-Brahmin who was influenced most by the Sanskritic modes of thought and mythology. ..." [Nair: 1959: 15]

Position of Nayars vis a vis Brahmins

Prof. G. S. Ghurye explains it as:

"Among the people of Kerala, a Nayar may approach a Nambudiri Brahmin but must not touch him; while a Tiyan must keep himself at a distance of thirty-six steps from the Brahmin, a Pulayan may not approach him within ninety-six paces. ..." [Ghurye: 1969: 10]

Restrictions on marriage

Prof. G.S.Ghurye observes that only there are two exceptions to marrying within the subcaste. One is in Punjab and other in Malabar, about which he says:

"... while in Malabar, the younger sons of the Nambudiri and other Brahmins consort with the Kshatriya and Nayar women, among whom mother rights prevails. ..." [Ghurye: 1969: 18]

It is noteworthy that only the younger sons are allowed to have 'sambandham' with Nayar brides, and the eldest of the family has to marry within the caste. Prof Ghurye quotes Kathleen Gough who also states that among the Nambudiris only the eldest son was ordinarily allowed to marry within the caste. [Ghurye:1969:340]

Reasons for breakdown of System of Sambandham

M. S. A. Rao, one of research students of Prof Ghurye, gave three reasons: Social malaise of the traditional Malabar society had begun about A.D. 1743. Around 1800 A.D. there was disbanding of Nayar militia by the British, as mentioned by Gough. Kochin ruler's restrictions coming later hastened the breakdown. But the main reason, he thinks was the unrest among the Brahmins. About the unrest among the Nambudiris, Ghurye says:

"The unrest among the Nambudiris, too, must have counted for a bit. The strain of keeping away the younger males of the caste from the Nambudiri females combined with the problem of the aging spinsters did count for something, for some atmosphere of needed change!" [Ghurye: 1969:340]

It is noteworthy, that none of them think that the rise of sense of pride among the Nayars, the real sufferers of the system, had any bearing on the causes of abolition. On the contrary, these Brahmanic scholars allude that the Brahmins were the sufferers of this System. It is forgotten that the Brahmin youths did have their own Brahmin wives, the Nayar girls being their additional wives. As a matter of fact, history proves that the yoke of slavery is thrown away by the sufferers only when slaves get the realization of their slavery.

Difference between Christian and Brahmin Conquest

Christians also came later but could only convert a few untouchables. Claim of St. Thomas converting Nambudiris is not believed by Shri Nair, who labels it as Missionaries' gimmick 'in the same way as the Nambudiris themselves had played up the Parsurama traditions and had succeeded.' He further avers:

"But unlike the Christian efforts at proselytisation, the cultural conquest of the Brahmin was peculiarly intimate process in Kerala. It was in fact such wherever it took place in India. It required that not only the Brahmin to "understand and adjust himself to the values and sentiments of those that he wanted to conquer but also that he participated in many of their activities on a level as near as possible to equality". This was essential for the status-value without which success was impossible. Nambudiri Brahmins not only married Nayar women but also kept only Nayar servants at home and Nayar women in company of their women. The relation thus established in the domestic sphere was not quite that of master and servant but that of inter-dependence based on status-value in order to enforce social control over the leading Nayar communities." [Nair:1959: 16]

Why they could not retain their hold even today?

Nair gives the main reason that under the influence of western education, property relations underwent rapid changes and they could not keep their enormous estates. Also there were social changes. He observes:

"The closed upper-class family system with its undue emphasis on primogeniture and contemptuous negligence of the sexual rights of female members by condemning them to life- long maidenhood if the Nambudiri husbands were not forthcoming to marry them, accelerated their degeneration." [Nair: 1959: 17]

Shri Nair quotes Prof. Arthur W. Lewis's view that "A healthy upper class biologically is one which allows its weaker members to fall into lower classes and which in each generation recruits the more successful members of the lower classes into its own ranks." and observes:

"... There have been instances in some other parts of India chiefly the Tamilanad where under the leadership of Ramanujacharya the Brahmins accepted vertical mobility as an article of faith for purposes of sheer survival. It was this more than the inherent strength of the group the permitted it to survive economic changes and adapt itself in some measure at least to altered modes of earning livelihood, different at any rate form their traditional mode of life as the priesthood. But the Nambudiri Brahmin of Kerala lacked the imaginative adaptability of his confrere in Tamilnad and consequently his days were numbered even during the first decade of the present century." [Nair: 1959: 18]

"The truth of this observation will be amply borne out by a study of the circumstances that led to the Nayar Regulation Act in Travancore and the Marumakkathyam Act of Malabar 1933 and its subsequent development and also by a study of the emigration of educated Malayalis beyond the borders of their homeland and also beyond the frontiers of India to Iran, Iraq, South Africa, East Africa, Burma, Ceylon, Malaya and even to far off Sarawak and Borneo. In fact the circumstances were identical when the Nayars were recruited in large numbers to the Vijayanagar army.The wives of these soldiers may not have accompanied them in large numbers so that when they finally settled down in the empire they must have taken to local wives and forgotten their matriarchal tradition. This explains why the Nayars and Naidus, though of identical stock, have different social traditions today." [Nair: 1959: 20]

"Theoretically then we might ask why the Brahmins could not achieve a military conquest and achieve ethnoexpanisionism on the lines of the Romans in the Colonies, or the Spaniards in Latin America or on the basis of something similar to the modern notion of the "white man's burden" in the Colonies? The answer is the Brahmins in the initial stages of their cultural conquest had only an intense apostolic motivation unaccompanied by the resources to organise themselves into armed bands. Indeed it is much later history when they were finally successful in entrenching themselves as a religious oligarchy within the kingdom of a "Kshatriyas" prince and goading him to undertake religious wars and expansion through "Aswamedhayagas". Similarly the Nambudiri Brahmin in ancient Malabar could have only attempted a peaceful cultural conquest through astute ways and not through force as he was himself bereft of the means to compel the Nayars to follow his ways except that of persuasion through example and precept." [Nair: 1959: 10]

Interpretation of story of Parashurama

The story of Parsurama has a strong bearing on Brahmin - non Brahmin struggle in India and needs further research by sufferers. Some legends are also mentioned in chapter of Devadasis. Here we quote from Nair two views, those of Ghurye and D. D. Kosambi:

"The story of Parashurama is worth recalling in this context. He is supposed to have avenged his father's murder by overpowering the Kshatriyas by their own military weapon. Dr. G. S. Ghurye reads into the story the desire of the Brahmins to show that the Brahmin's wrong would not go unavenged. Second, to impress the fact that the Brahmins if they took to arms, would prove themselves immensely superior to the Kshatriyas in warfare and last to humiliate the Kshatriyas." See Caste and Class in India, Bombay, 1957, p.70.

Dr. D. D. Kosambi's interpretation is equally interesting:

"The excessive and self contradictory annihilation (of Kshatriyas) is clearly psychological overcompensation for Brahmin helplessness in the face of Kshatriya dominance. Parsurama is promoted in the Bhrugu inflated Mahabharata to the status of a Vishnu incarnation. The tension between priest and chief is an undercurrent in Vedic literature thereafter, though both combined against the other two castes." [Dr.D.D. Kosambi in An introduction to the Study of Indian History, (Bombay, 1956), p.113 - Nair: 1959: 11]

This is the story how Nayars, who at one time were the Buddhist Nagas and the most famous warrior race of South India, were subdued by the Brahmins.

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