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Re: varNASrama dharma & bhAgavata dharma

From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Tue Oct 01 1996 - 07:43:16 PDT

Mani wrote

At 10:34 PM 9/30/96 -0700, you wrote:

>One of our members has cited an episode from the life
>of Thirumazhisai Azhvar, where the saint came across
>a group of brahmins who were chanting the Vedas.  
>The brahmins suddenly stopped, seeing that the Azhvar
>was a non-dvija and in their opinion barred from any 
>contact with the Vedas.  We are told further that the 
>fact that the brahmins stopped chanting was 
>bhAgavata-apacAram, a great insult to a devotee of the 
>Lord, and that they felt very embarrassed upon realizing 
>the greatness of the Azhvar.

You are wrongly quoting the story.  The brahmins did not stop chanting but
they forgot how to continue the chanting.

>But what were the brahmins to do? According to Gautama
>Dharma Sastra, in a passage quoted by both Sankara and Ramanuja,
>severe punishments are to be meted out to the Sudra who
>perchance hears the Vedas.  The text says that the Sudra's 
>ears are to be filled with molten lead, lest he hear any more, 
>and that his tongue be cut off, lest he repeat what he heard.
>Where did the brahmins go wrong, then? Were they not doing
>what the SAstras taught?  How are we to reconcile such
>a conflict of dharma?

Again a mis-perception of the dharma smritis.  A trivarnika cannot teach a
NOn-trivarnika vedas. IT does not mean that a non-trivarnika should not hear

I am not saying that it is difficult to follow smritis. But they are clear
regarding this. The practice is not very difficult to follow, what is
difficult is to keep up with one's dharmas

Dasan Krishna Kalale
Krishna Kalale
619-658-5612 (phone)
619-658-2115 (fax)