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use of silk etc.,

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.