The Story of the Good Brahman

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Precious Khay Hipolito
March 19, 2012
The Story of the Good Brahman

Based on my basic knowledge about Indian society, Brahmans hold the highest status in India’s caste system. I perceive that the story will be similar to bible stories like, the good shepherd. However, what I encountered in reading the selection is a Brahman, specifically, a confused Brahman who is not happy with his life. The Brahman who is a philosopher himself, constantly questions his existence, his essence, and his wit. He had all the luxuries, the wealth, and three beautiful wives but he is not happy with all of those. On the first look, he is much blessed compared to his neighbour who is very poor and imprudent. But his neighbour, the old woman is happy with her life. There goes the story of the old woman, who has nothing. She has no wealth, no knowledge, and no problem. She just had enough faith in Vishnu and the Ganges River to wash herself every day. It seems that the old woman is contented with her life even though she can see the glamorous living of her Brahman neighbour. When the Brahman was asked if he wanted to give up his wealth and knowledge for him to be happy, he refused as he doesn’t want to be in the same condition as the old woman. He thought and believes that being means one has to be imbecile. After hours of reflection and re-reading of the selection, I realized that the story doesn’t go around the story of the Brahman but of both him and the old lady. I think that the title of the story is inappropriate because it is not all about the Brahman himself. He is not even a “good” Brahman for me. I don’t see any reason why the author should call him a good Brahman. Yes, he is honest with himself and does not deceive anyone. But with all the blessings in his life, he doesn’t know how to be contented. In the class discussion, the real reason why the old woman is much happier than the Brahman was revealed. The reason was ignorance. It served as a prison, a box for the...
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