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RE: regarding casteism

From: Sriram Ranganathan (srirangan_at_earthlink.net)
Date: Thu Jan 17 2002 - 20:58:42 PST

Dear bhAgavatAs,

With all due respects, I would like to add a few words in spite of my
extremely limited experience / knowledge.

First, the use of adjectives "high" and "low" to qualitatively distinguish
one's caste or varnA is a human proclivity than bhagavAn's will. Regardless
of the varnA, there is no "high" and "low" per se when it comes to one's
occupation. The concept of "high" and "low" is just our skewed perception.
Fallible as we are, we (conveniently) characterize a priest "high" and a
janitor "low" - by vocation and therefore their nature. What is to be
understood is that, though one is advised to take-up a duty based on one's
caste/disposition, there is absolutely no doubt as to if at all it is
possible to change that "disposition by birth" through conduct. Whichever
way one approaches this - vEdAs or modern behavioral science - the results
are clearly in the affirmative. A person regardless of birth can turn out to
be a great soul. And therefore it goes without saying that in spite of one's
birth, if he or she deviates from the path of dharma there will be
consequences.

"In Bhagavad GItA , Sri KrishnA says " Woman , VaishyAs & SUdrAs  -those
who are of sinful birth ,  whoever they might be - they obtain , O pArthA!
the highest state (moksham) , if they seek My protection " (9.32)"

The above verse according to achArya srI rAmAnuja's gIta bhAsyA is
translated as follows by Swami AdidevAnanda:
"By taking refuge in Me even men of evil birth, women, VaisyAs and also
sUdrAs attain the supreme state"

Sri Krishna excludes brahmanAs and kshatriyAs deliberately to explicitly
emphasize that the rest of them will also attain mOksham upon surrendering
to Him. His emphasis leaves no room for doubt whatsoever.

Therefore, it is indeed a sin to discriminate or disrespect a being based on
caste. Sri Vaishnava sampradAyam's history and our purAnAs illustrate this
very convincingly.

 -adiyEn,
Sriram




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