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re: mani's mail

From: Krishna Kalale (krishna_at_nynexst.com)
Date: Fri Mar 10 1995 - 08:43:12 PST

included is mani's mail regarding "bramhins only institutions" etc.
mani's intent is quite correct.  One should support organizations without
a bias. But there are some practical considerations to be evaluated.

mani writes
>  When I visited Tirupati last December, it was implicit but clear
>that only brahmins were welcome to stay at the Sri Vaishnava choultries.
>In fact, at the Andavan Asramam choultry, the proprietor apologized
>o us because his facility was full for the day, but asked us to
>try some of the other mutts, where "only brahmins are admitted."

Mani, I do agree that there is certain amount of discrimination.  but
do remember that the discrimination is both ways. Understand that when
they say "go and try some mutts where brahmins only are admitted" you
have to take it understanding certain cultural background.  discrimination
is wrong. but there could be some unavoidable stereotyping which could
happen regarding habbits - meat eating, smoking at auspiscous places etc.
these issues might have been indicated in implicit words like these. Of course
bramhmins are not pure by any measure. but you have to take it with a
more deeper outlook.


>If we choose to be donors, we should make sure our money works in
>humane ways. I would be very much bothered if money that I give
>to the Ahobila Mutt goes toward constructing a facility that 
>discriminates on the basis of caste. 

I don't think philosophically they discriminate.  I have personal direct
knowledge wherein Ahobila mutt acharyas have initiated and given Bharanyasam
to many sudras, and non brahmins.  Many people from US have witnessed
those occasions and they were potential occasions for discrimination. But
it did not happen.  But physically, they do discriminate. this is
due to stereotyping.  One of the acharyas questioned my steadfastness
in the sreevaishnava way of living just because I visited from US.
This is because of stereotyping. The reverse discrimination 
also occurs in india :

I met srivatsankachar in madras.  he was telling me that the moment he
goes out with his "shikha" he gets to face stones being thrown at him.
he was demoted at madras sanskrit college for just writing a edited version of
  "satadushani".  what do you call this - fair treatment?

On the other hand look at a mirror and see who you and I are!! for a change!!
we just are opportunists settling in different countries for food water
and shelter. But we talk talk talk and write write and write on the email
network and dont do anything valuable for our philosophers, our acharyas.
what have we done to our acharyas and rishis?  have we read vedas and
concentrated on dharmic ways of life? --  you answer it. We are supposed to
be the ones who have something.  Those in India like those acharyas who
dont have much are trying very hard leaving their families for the upliftment
of others. furthermore, have you forgotten - the three "debts" - deva, pitru
and rishi?.  dont think all the knowledge we have got regarding philosophy
came from heaven and landed in our brains. OUr acharyas gave us that
coming from   various traditions.
it is our duty to be grateful for that gift of "jnana".

I have personal knowledge of 45th azhagia singar, who said " do you know
how difficult it is to come and work for the society leaving an ailing
family with so much monetary and other problems? " - we dont. Azhgia singar
continued - "I could have stayed away from being a guru and said some one
will do it if I don't". 

All I am trying to say is that many people are doing a lot of sacrifice.
The system is not perfect. There are a lot of problems with all the mutts.
and organizations.  It will be erroneous on our part to ignore and let those
organizations go to hell.  

If you and I dont contribute someone will do so. and try to renovate
thiruvarangan temple or help mutts for some establishment etc. One could
argue - will the money I donate to thiruvarangan temple be properly utilized.
there has to be certain trust. if one wants to be sure they have to 
contact authorities and demand the explanations of how the money got used. 

In addition to all this I do understand that people have their own preferences
in funding some organizations and not funding some.  But the organization
established in US - " Sri Ahobila Muth" is an independent vehicle to
channel funds which ever vaishnava - organization or purpose in India.

I personally feel that one should not bring discimination issue. Let that
issue be mute. that's better. it is useless to argue about it.


Krishna