[Advaita-l] RE: janmana jaayate shUdraH

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 12 15:14:23 CST 2005

--- Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:


> We live in a world where one bastardized set
> of values is 
> being imposed upon and adopted by everybody in the world due
> to so-called 
> globalization. The vibrant variety of local traditions is
> being slowly 
> destroyed all over and we don't even seem to have the backbone
> to stand up 
> for our own tradition. It has come to a sorry pass.

India is now a democratic nation, and there is hardly any way to
separate children according to caste when it comes to High
School or College education. Simultaneously, there is a need to
preserve our hoary tradition that preaches caste as being
fundamental to a dhArmic society. Now what is the "correct" way
to be caste-free when it comes to one kind of education
(college), but be stubbornly casteist when it comes to another
(shruti)? It is here that disagreements abound, there may be no
consensus, and a middle ground may never be reached.

It's a tricky thing to preserve our traditional teachings that
uphold the shAstras as being the sole means of knowing dharma,
in a democratic nation where the "vote-taking method" is the
primary way of arriving at ethical decisions. In such a
contrast, the majority opinion will *always* overrule the

Consider this sad story:

About 15-20 years ago, during the period of my Vedic studies, a
Brahmin Pandit arrived at my Guruji's house. Observing even my
Guruji prostrating before him, I naturally did the same. During
the conversations that followed, the Pandit revealed that he was
well-versed in mImAmsA and VedAnta in the most orthodox schools.
He had been adjudged the best scholar in the debates held in
Sringeri. Obviously, he was a very learned person. He wished to
stick to his traditional scholarship, and did not want to be a
purohit, since that would take up much time away from his
studies. So he approached person after person to see if anyone
would be willing to support him while he discoursed to them on
mImAmsA and VedAnta. 
Those who were keen on learning from him were unable to fund
him, and those who could fund him were not interested in what he
had to teach. He said with a heavy heart, "One rich man
specifically told me that the traditional teachings did not
concern ViGYAna (science), and that was all that was necessary
in this world."

I believe he finally had to support himself as a purohit only.
This being the case several years ago, imagine the situation 20
or even 50 years from now! 

Sringeri and other Maths do well when it comes to schooling
students or in supporting purohits, but it's tough for someone
in present-day India who wants to be a *traditional pandit* with
alternate means of financial support.


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