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From: V. Chandrasekaran (vcs_at_wipinfo.soft.net)
Date: Fri Jul 24 1998 - 06:12:07 PDT
Dear members, My Namaskarams. This is with regard to the recent mail from Smt. Shobha Srinivasan with regard to use of silk,turmeric. I have read somewhere a note from Kanchi Paramacharya saying we should avoid using silk always and also in any functions (including marriages) since it is a product of the death pangs of millions of innocent creatures. If we violate this I feel it is as bad as being a flesh eater. [ I have seen on the contrary offerings of silk saris etc in yag~na fire. ] I have always personally wondered and admired the conduct of Jains in this regard who sweep their pathway with a broom made of peacock's feather (probably shed by peacocks and not plucked for this purpose which would otherwise defeat their very principle) as they tread, to avoid unintentional trampling of insects on the ground. What do bhagavathas have to say in this regard? Why do we sanathana- darma followers not have these principles? [ Every darma has its own principles and justifications for its not following a good principle of some other darma ]. Also, we have some justification for drinking milk which is again exploitation of an innocent creature. The milk after all is for an innocent chid (calf). God ofcourse didn't create humans to offload the cow's excess milk. Some places the milk-vendor doesn't let the calf have its quota till he milks enough for his business. Why do we do this? How can we do this? We worship cows as God and try to get away with the sin... [ Conduct of Sage Vashishta as a caretaker of Holy Kamadhenu Cow may be an example of how other living beings should be treated when they are helpful to us ]. Shouldn't the human species, after evolving to this stage, realise spiritually that it no longer is a mere beast living with cut-out doctrines of survival for which it would exploit the other beings by some means or the other? This is a very tricky, subtle argument, I feel. Some more loud thoughts: We are living in a society with totally shuffled up priorities. We also talk about spiritualism and speak that desire is root cause of misery and quote many many verses from our ancient holy scriptures. But we continue to use the products of this society where desire has become the backbone for its development (for good or bad). Without desire and greed in the hearts of so many men and women of yester-centuries and now, I would think, the world that it is now wouldn't have been possible. We may choose to call them positive desires. But still it came out of discontent. I tend, at times, to feel that this is like going and feasting in a robber's house and at the same time criticising robbery. Bhagavathas please bear these; these are some basic doubts I have about my own way of life. This is probably what is the different levels of spiritual growth about and hence various ashramas. A sanyasi lives eating only the fruits shed by trees themselves. Others live as is and fall at the feet of the Infinite Brahman to forgive them for their inability to rise to the higher levels of spiritual plane and surrender everything at His feet without any karma bandam. [ this is not to mean that a sanyasi doesn't surrender. But this is a subset of his spiritual conducts ]. When we seek forgiveness from that infinite Brahman (Vishnu or Shiva or any deity) I feel the forgiveness comes from within, from our Supreme immutable inner consciousness and our realising, that we are but a dust particle exhibiting 'Brownian motion' in the eternal cosmos, gets rid of our ego and makes us pure and bondless and reach our liberation. Sorry, I digressed a bit here. Bhagavathas pls. do respond with your opinions. adiyArkku adiyEn, chandrasekaran.