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Thirimazhisai Azwar

From: Vijay Srinivasan (
Date: Wed Jan 08 1997 - 10:55:57 PST

Dear Prapatti Group Members:

In connection with the above topic Mani wrote:

"........At any rate, this story serves to illustrate that spiritual
greatness is in no way determined by jAti.  We, the 
Sri Vaishnavas community, no matter how many stories and how much
proof our own tradition has offered, fail to practice
and perceive this truth to this day...."

I think it is a very spirited comment and indeed the greatness of 
Ramanujacharya's philosophy lies in its hospitality to include everyone in its 
fold.  However, conflict often arises when one tries to reconcile Bhaghavata 
Dharma with Vaidika Dharma (with the injunctions of Shastras etc.).  We are 
often required to achieve a tender balance between the two.  While love and 
kindness are to be extended to every one this cannot be done at the cost of 
transgressing sastraic injunctions.

In my own life time (seeing my grand father, my father and the present 
generation) I have seen such a psychological rotation in our values with regard 
to jAti that I can confidently say that it is no more a consideration in our 
perception of things around us.  We dine with all, mix with all without any 
reservations of jAti and as such we perceive no barriers.  Arranged marriages 
are still based on jAtis and it is also slowly giving way to non-tradition.  On 
the whole I would have agreed more with Mani if his comments were made say 10 
or 15 years back.