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Re: varNASrama dharma & bhAgavata dharma

From: Badrinarayanan Seshadri (
Date: Tue Oct 01 1996 - 08:29:32 PDT

Sri Krishna Kalale ( wrote 

* 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.

Mani is right. The brahmins STOPPED chanting because
they didn't want the low caste aazhvaar to listen to
them. Then they couldn't pick up from that place as the
flow had stopped. At least this is what is found in the
books that I have.


* 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
* vedas!

Sri Shankara emphatically quotes from the Manu Smriti(?)
in his Brahma Sutra Bhashya that if a sudra HEARS the
vedas, molten lead should be poured into the ears. I
can't provide them offhand, but can quote the relevent
passage when I get my hands on the bhashya again.


Badri Seshadri 
Graduate Student
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Cornell University