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Re: Part 2- Kumudavalli--T

From: M. Srinivasan (m_srinivasan_at_qmgate.anl.gov)
Date: Mon Dec 11 1995 - 13:40:49 PST

        Reply to:   RE>> Part 2: Kumudavalli--Thirumangai"s Vaidhika Vivaham

Sri Mani:

I agree with you completely. During the early part of this century there was a
debate between a non-brahmin bhagavata, Sri Bhuvanagiri Azhagiya ManavaaLa
Ekangi, and a learned Sri Vaishnava brahmin Swami at Tiruvaheendrapuram on the
troubling question of caste distinctions within the Sri Vaishanva community.
(The arguments of the former have been published as a book by some of his
followers.) In my opinion, this episode exemplifies the back sliding within
the vaishnava community since the times of the great acharyas.

One who is even superficially familiar with Tenkalai works would know how the
acharyas considered birth in a caste of lower status to be even an advantage
for aspiring prapannas.
(Like flowing water, the Lord's Grace seeks the lowest place.) For those who
accept this notion, being born in the fourth varna or panchama kula has
nothing to be ashamed of at all. But the world at large has come to abhor the
notion of higher and lower birth-based castes, in principle at least. I think
it is up to modern Sri Vaishnavas, especially the pontiffs, to re-interpret
the sastras in consonance with the writings of acharyas and re-establish the
norms observed by such persons as Emperumaanaar, Periya Nambi etc. Of course,
in our own lives we could set examples by our conduct.

If you deem fit, you may send this message to the bhakti/prapatti group.
Srinivasan