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From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Mon Nov 14 1994 - 08:14:30 PST

I think dileepan's posting was excellent.  There is a book called " the lives
of Alwars" (I am not exactly sure of the title). This is in english by
Alkondavilli acharya (Ananthachar indological institute).  Even though the
author has unnecessarily compared christianism vs. alwar's bhakti, he has done a good job for the benefit of people who are not fluent in tamil language,(like me).  

Every time I hear of the tales of our alwars it fills my eyes with tears.  I wonder what went wrong and why I can't have even a minute fraction of bhakti what those alwars had.  When my mind is disgusted, I stop looking at myself in a mirror (a protective mechanism I guess).  

Anyway, a social point of view.  Eventhough it is true that discrimination is utterly wrong, there are some truths regarding how one should deal with the caste
issue.  This is given in rahasyatraya sara, in I think prabhava raksha adhikaara
and a complementary chapter. There Sri vedanta desika goes into details of how one should deal with caste issues.  what is true about it and what is erroneous. Then he explains birth based caste system and guna (or nature) based caste system.  There are two types of castes - ie. birth based and guna based.  One should be of a higher caste essentially in the guna based caste system.  In that sense all alwars are bramhins (in the guna based caste system!).  Bramha anati iti braamhanaha.  One who goes or reaches bramhan is bramhana (irrespective of birth).  But there is some special significance to birth based caste system! I did not agree with this for a long time.  Since Vedanta desika writes about this, I am learning to agree with this.