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Re: Regarding silk

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Thu Jul 30 1998 - 08:53:33 PDT

Dileepan wrote:
:I am sorry to ask a pointed question, but this needs
:to be asked for the sake of consistency.
:
:Those who oppose the use of silk for bhagavatharadhanai
:on Ahimsa grounds, would they also oppose the use of 
:allopathic medicine and treatment, and cosmetic products ...

Speaking only for myself, I avoid anything which contain animal
byproducts and which are tested on animals, to the extent
possible. When at all possible I buy leather-free shoes and I never
wear silk. I slip up now and then; this is my fault and I bear the
blame, not the principles behind which I operate.

As far as medicine is concerned: the brahma-sUtras specifically
say that non-sAttvic food such as meat may be consumed only
when one's life is in danger. I apply the same principle as
far as possible to medicine.

[The next paragraph is not referring to Dileepan's views.] 
I find it surprising when people on the one hand strive scrupulously 
to be vegetarian, claiming it a high religious and moral value,
and then, even when there are viable alternatives, use and wear
silk.  As far as I know, we are never _commanded_ to offer silk
to perumaaL.  The fact that he wears silk in his divya-desams 
also does not justify this practice.  After all, in many divya-desams
the priests are rude and can't pronounce Sanskrit. But those
practices can hardly be endorsed by the devout!

Mani