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Re: regarding casteism Is there historic support ?

From: Madhavakkannan V (
Date: Fri Jan 18 2002 - 00:33:44 PST

SrImathE GopaladEsika Mahadesikaya namah:
Dear Sri Rajaram,

Thanks for your response.
Not all AzhwArs were non brahmins. (I do not know about nAyanmArs). And 
AzhwArs were "mayarvaRa mathinalam arULap peRRavargaL"; They are the 
incarnations of the most merciful Lord Sriya: Pathi Sriman Narayanan's 
paraphrenelia (sent as delgates by the Lord) to rectify and correct the 
baddha jIvAthmAs (us). we refuse to get done is another issue:-(

the pramAnAs are both sruthi and smruthi. Sruthis (Vedas) and smruthis 
(ithihAsas, purANAs) have declared as described in the earlier posting. If 
any text contradcits Vedas, it is to be rejected as Vedas are apourushEyam 
(authorless). EmperumAn does not violate His own command and instructions 
(i.e. Vedas as they are His breath).

All pramANAs eulogize the devotees from all castes are valid as long as it 
doesn't violate other pramAnAs.

In short, summary of the previous posting:

1. varNAs are based on body and fixed by birth.
2. Though the nature of jIvAtmA are essentially same, the type of body it 
gets according to its karmA determines the varNA and therefore its dharmAs / 
duties / type of kainkaryams.
3. varNAs and the related karmAs associated with it as a way of performing 
ArAdhanA(worship) to Sriman nArAyaNA are only for baddha jIvAtmAs, and is 
irrelevant for muktAs and nitya soorIs. As long as one is in this leelA 
vibhUti, one has to follow the varNAshrama dharmA.
4. Irrespective of the varNA, everyone can perform kainkaryam to SrIman 
nArAyaNA. This doesn't mean that one can do whatever one likes to. SAstrAs 
as the divine commmands of Sriman nArAyaNA specifies it for the welfare of 
everyone / society as a whole .
5. The eligibility to perform intimate kainkaryams to PerumAL arises after 
undergoing samAsrayanam and anyone irrespective of the caste can undergo it.
6. Anyone irrespective of the caste can attain moksham through prapatti 
wherein the Divya dampati are themselves the upAyam(means)to attain them.
7. All prapannAs / bAgavathAs irrespective of varNA are glorifiable and 
should be highly respected with heart and mind.
8. Ardent devotion to Sriman nArAyaNA doesn't change varNA since varNA is 
based on the body one acquires at the time of birth.
9. The code of conduct among prapannAs / bhAgavathAs are to be in accordance 
with varNAshrama dharmAs and not according to one's own whims and fancies.

Are varNas based on birth ?

This is an already well-settled issue in PUrva-MImAmsa. All the possible 
objections (including that of one being a brAhmaNa based upon only his 
qualities) are taken into account and is decisively, the siddhAnta is made 
that only "Birth" fixes the varNa. Smrutis etc ofcourse re-states the same 
view. For instance, Sage Aapasthambha, in his very starting (SUtras 4-8) of 
his most-famous DharmaSAstra Sutras says

"chatvArO varNA brAmhaNa-kshatriya-vaiSya-sUdrAH |
tEshAm pUrvaH pUrvO janmataH SrEyAn |
aSoodrANAm-adushTakarmaNAm-upAyanam vEdAdhyayanam-agnyAdhEyam
phalavanti cha karmANi |
SuSrUshA SUdrasyEtarEshAm vaRNAnAm |
pUrvasminpUrvasminvarNE ni:SrEyasam bhUyaH | "

ie. "There are four varNas : BrAhmaNa, Kshatriya, VaiSya and SUdra. Among 
these, each preceding varNa is superior by birth to each subsequent. Those 
who are not SUdras and are not guilty of evil deeds may undergo upanayanam, 
perform vEda-adhyayanam and agni-related rites; These rites yield the 
results/fruits. SUdras are to serve the other varNas ; The higher the varNa 
they serve, the greater is their prosperity".

Those who say that one becomes a brAhmaNa only due to their qualities, don't 
accept ladies with very good qualities as a brAhmaNa and be eligible for 
performing yAgam, as archakas in temples, recite Vedas etc !!
(Extracted from Sri Anand Karalapakkam's article)
Thus, one becomes a Srivaishnavan by pancha samskaram (and the qualities); 
but brahmin is by birth.
Namo Narayana

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