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Date: Thu Jan 18 1996 - 04:15:17 PST

This is based on what Krish and Mani wrote about Seervarisai.
Krish has raised a very fundamental issue
>" But I have personally paid a dowry to my
>sister long ago when I found that the groom's father had
>to find money for his daughters' marriages. But when will 
>this stop?"

Having born in a Vaishnava family and lived throughout in the North 
India(where I feel the problem of dowry assumes even more serious 
proportion), I would want to make the following comments.

1. All these years dowry was camouflaged as the part of the marriage 
tradition, and no one questioned it. I would blame the younger generation 
for having succumbed to the pressures of elders in this regard. If Young men 
vehemently opposed to the idea of taking any "marital bribes", and stand by 
it strongly, I see no reason why this horrible practice cannot be given up. 
It is my very strong conviction that if  men stop treating women as a 
commodity and this entire exercise as a trade, we can easily abolish this 
during the time of present generation itself. Unfortunately we still have 
not been able to give women due status, and very few women would openly 
campaign against it.So the men of this age have to take the initiative. But 
if the young men and women join hands, to overcome this problem, it would 
soon cease to exist.

2. Many of you might say, "that's easier said than done", and this is where 
I want to turn to point made by Krish 

"There are many young men and women
>in our group. From the mailings one notes they plan
>to go home and get married. I am sure most of them
>are able to support themselves. Will they undertake
>an oath for themselves not to demand dowry and even go
>further to assist in the marriage expenses? "

Why is it not possible? Its not the question of oath taking. There is lot 
more to it. If I am well off(and even if I am not), WHY SHOULD THE GIRL'S 
giving their most prized possesion(their daughter) to me? 

3. I am sure many of you would shoot back to me, about what I would do. I 
think whatever little Vaishnava sampradaya that I know off, my parents have 
always taught to give respect to women, and to treat them equally.  I am 
very confident that I would be able to very well stick to what I have just 

Hope I shall have some supporting mails from  YOUNG PEOPLE out there...

Thank you