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bhaagavathaas...

From: Vijay Triplicane (vijayt_at_acuson.com)
Date: Thu Jan 09 1997 - 17:15:24 PST

Mani wrote:
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Most responses have disagreed with my position
that equal respect should be given to all bhagavatas.

One of us has said, ``Brahmins by virtue of their
nature are pure.'' 
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If we have this feeling that brahmins are pure and that too by nature, then
it once again leads us to the question of 'is a person a brahmin, by birth?'
or is he a brahmin by the way he lives?  whatever it is, the concept of
these jaathis and therby the varNaasrama dharma is for proper functioning of
the society not for discrimination in front of Lord. 

In front of the LORD, who is said to be parama kaaruNigan,
sulabhan, most gracious and what not by our saasthraas, aren't all of us
ONE. Does He discriminate among us. In front of HIM there is not even sexual
difference. All of us are women and HE is the purushOththaman. 
("aaNallan peNNallan allaa aliyumallan"....what a gripping description about
his qualities as a purushOththaman)

This being the case, how can the jaathi be a discriminating factor among us.
Just because we think we are brahmins and we have special previlges/powers
or something like that, don't we develop some kinda ahankaaram within us. 
All the aazhwaars and poorvaachaaryaaLs have been repeatedly teaching us
that it is this ahankaaram which is the evil factor which stops us from
reaching the Lord.

One reason that the bhaagavathaas are said to be women is
that by nature women are more dependent and men 'think' that they can take
care of themselves which is in effect some level of ahankaaram. 
Swami piLLai lOkaachaar says that it is easier for a person born in the
fourth caste to reach the Lord as by nature (i stress) he considers himself
a slave and sEshithvam comes quite naturally to him. (I don't have any text
to quote verbatim, i recollect that this is the gist ..)

Without committing about the rights and wrongs of the thirumazhisai aazhvaar
Vs brahmans episode, i wish to state that we bhaagavathaas should shed away
any attribute attained through our birth and consider fellow bhaagavathaas
as equals. After all we are all slaves to Him and within us i don't think
there are any categories like low-quality slaves and high-quality slaves!!
If we keep appreciating the differences among us, then it amounts to finding
fault to His quality of treating all His bhakthaas as equals. 
Can one ever think of a father showing more affection towards one son and
finding fault with the other one just because of a petty difference, say
colour? Lets try to emulate Him.

I am just writing what i personally feel. This is just connected to the
topic that Mani wrote. This is Not in response to any particular posting...

-Viji
(Vijay Triplicane)