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Re: [No Subject]

From: Mohana Ramanujam (
Date: Mon Dec 11 1995 - 15:26:30 PST

skaushik@MIT.EDU wrote:
> This "section of Sri Vaishanavas" could also be viewed as including
> Sri Vedanta Desikar himself. In Rahasya Traya Sara, he clearly
> argues why even the most devout non-Brahmin bhaktas can nver
> "become" Brahmins. He argues that the para-Bhaktas ought to
> be respected, but they cannot and should not be considered as Brahmins.
> He argues both from teh viewpoint of scriptures as well as 
> "practicality" (importance of maintaining social order).
The samAsrayanam is more
for equalization in the eyes of the lord, but not at the exclusion of duties
required of a brahmin and so the sacred thread was still relavant. The impact of
the reverence paid  to lower  caste alwars was probably dramtic enough to suggest that
Sri Ramanuja was not merely trying to do a toned down change .
Therefore, you are probably right in  that the functions of the  brahmins was
considered to be necessary, as the maintenance of knowledge, customs  and attitudes
would otherwise  be difficult if not impossible. 

There are  statments made that 
suggest that the greatness of a few alwars of  a lower caste should not be taken
as suggesting that there was ample qualification all around to disband the social order.
On the other  hand there is also a notion of artha brahmana and so the responsibility
of the brahmin to be weary of becoming complacent and arrogant. 
Is it not  possibly to say that social order has not a heirarchical interpretation
but a functional one.   
> >From a "naive" reading of our scriptures, it seems to me that
> though the scriptures speak of EQUAL accessibility of God to all members
> of society, it NOT imply that the MODES of which God can be attained are
> the same for all members. Though our 21rst century ideals may wish 
> otherwise, many of the most eminent Sri Vaishnava scholars in history
> have not believed in an egalitarian society of the sort that people
> wish today.
In todays society, the temperment of individuals who likely involve themselves
in temple afairs and shastras  for the most part within the brahmin groups suggesting
that it might require generations of involvement to build an inherent
attachement to such affairs.  

How do we change with times, how do we rekon with  outside forces, how do we
extrapolate our beloved teachings to the current times ?


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