Brahmins in Nepal

“If Brahmins kept strictly to the letter of the rules of their caste, they would live in isolated places far from the haunts of men, where their whole lives would be spent in religious exercises…. But the poverty of many of their number and the avarice and ambition which are the ruling passions of each and all, preclude the possibility of such a philosophical mode of existence.

“Naturally cunning, wily, double-tongued, and servile, they turn these most undesirable qualities to account by insinuating themselves everywhere; their main object upon which they expend the greatest ingenuity, being to gain access to the courts of princes or other people of high rank. This end achieved, they quickly gain by their hypocritical conduct the affection and confidence of those who have received them and very soon the best and most lucrative posts are the reward of their pressing attention…….

“….Indeed they usually divide the most lucrative of the subordinate posts among them. Thus surrounded by creatures upon whom they can rely and who can also rely upon them, a tacit collusion is established, by means of which each one can, in his own department enrich himself with remarkable rapidity by carrying on unchecked a system of injustice, fraud, dishonesty and oppression — qualities in which most individuals of this caste have been thoroughly well trained.

“The Brahmins have also been clever enough to work their way into favour with the great European Power that now govern India“.

A French Missionary named Abbe J.A. DuBois (January 1765-February 1848) had travelled extensively through India during the first half of the nineteenth century and has left behind an eye-witness account in his book, “Moeurs, Institutions et Ceremonies des Peuples de l’Inde” which was translated into English by Henry K. Beauchamp as Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies.

(Note: The Abbe spent his entire Missionary Years from 1792 and 1823 in Southern India and although he never entered Nepal, his observations fits perfectly well to the Nepalese scene.)

Quoted with permission.

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