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Re: Caste difference in Sr Vaishnavas

From: Rajeev Karamchedu (rkaramchedu_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Oct 10 2000 - 19:48:55 PDT

Sri:
Sri Gurubhyo Nama:

Recently, there were some questions regarding caste
differences among SriVaishnavas and a followup email
about certain incidents at the Mathams in India. I would like
to share my understanding about both the emails (and possibly
correct it, with your help, if wrong) and hope that you receive
my comments in a very objective manner.

I believe that while any human being after having
received the anugraham of a sadAchArya becomes a SriVaishnava,
the "varna" of the person stays the same throughout this
janma. Our sacred Vedas and Smritis have allocated various
forms of work to various "varnas" of the society:

1) Brahmin - One who's dharma is to gain and later impart knowledge
             about the Lord Almighty
2) Kshatriya - One who's dharma is to protect the land and the people.
3) Vaishya/Dwija - Conduct trade and commerce for the progress of the
             land.
There may be other varnas with their appropriate dharmas associated with
them.

All these varnas are various cogs of the same wheel. My personal opinion is 
that neither is a superior to the other but when all of them are supposed to 
work together in sync (May be this was the case in Kruta Yuga where Dharma 
was in all 4 paadams).

All of these individuals (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Dwija) all have different
dharmas, so all of them need different qualities. Therefore our Vedas
have different mantras for these different types of people. I believe
this is the reason for our beloved achAryAs (WHO ARE NEVER WRONG) to give
different upadeshams to different people. I believe that a common
ritual like Sandhyavandanam is to be performed by all of the varnas,
but the mantras differ. However, I stand corrected.

While this being my understanding, I am concerned about Sri Suresh's
followup email regarding the treatment of non-brahmins at the Mathams.
I hope that these are the cases where few ignorant employees of the Matham 
are responsible for these actions are DO NOT represent the
moral and ethical values that the Monasteries themselves represent. If
such incidents persists, I believe that one should seek the clarification
of our achAryAs regarding the protocols and sAmpradAyams before
making any assumptions and judgements against the Mathams. We are "dAsAs"
of the Lord and our achAryAs and therefore at their mercy. We Must seek
their counsel and act accordingly since our achAryA knows best what is
appropriate. Absolute surrender includes shedding our ego and concern
about how this body is being treated. Sarvam KrishNArpaNamastu


I reiterate my request to kindly take my comments in an positive manner.

Rajeev






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