[Advaita-l] Pratyavaaya paapam

Ramanathan P p_ramanathan at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 30 11:22:32 CDT 2008

Thank you once again for this detailed and candid reply. I agree.

Some thoughts: I think that we must always keep the standard strict and orthodox as the acharyas direct. Otherwise we will have new jatis within the Brahmana varna, say "true Brahmanas", "modern Brahmana" (not Brahmana life but yes for nityakarmas within four walls of home), "modern Brahmin" (only in name or sacred-thread unseen under shirt), etc. They are already there but only implicitly as yet. So long as our ideal is exactly as it was prescribed, and we don't justify our non-conforming to the ideal, at least internally we remain true, committed and striving for the ideal. This is important; when the time comes we (all prescribing to the traditional ways) will break out of our shells and with mutual support can reconstruct the ideal into practical life.

What you said about saree, etc is true. We (all sanatana dharmis) should strive consciously to represent our native culture; every bit we do in public is hard-religion. This is where we need to make new ground.

To Sri K. Ramakrishna:

" It is NOT Ishvara's wish that the person selectively chosen for the Order
abides by that, following the rules to the letter; it is the other way
around. It is by following the prescribed dharma, that Ihswara selects him
for His grace. It may not even be necessary to follow the dharma to the
letter always, if it is offered as a service to the Lord, for He says"

I agree; as I said, I use the word "wish" based on the fact that He responds with grace to our following the svadharma, some may say "Isvara's injunction". I don't know the way the Lord works. That is why we have the sampradaya and acharyas to properly interpret and guide. However we should be careful not to start feeling 'ok' about not following the prescribed duties; that crystallizes the dilution: it may be ok but perhaps not if we start thinking so! (Again His grace for our happiness in laxity may only mean we don't get the difficult job next time around ... or perhaps it is His "will" that the varnas are broken up like in above-mentioned jatis, to help in the survival in the kali yuga -- many of us are Brahmana-friends who help the mathas with money more than anything else).


--- On Thu, 10/30/08, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:

> From: Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Pratyavaaya paapam
> To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
> Date: Thursday, October 30, 2008, 1:02 AM
> On Tue, 28 Oct 2008, Ramanathan P wrote:
> An aside on saris.  My parents immigrated to the UK where I
> was born and 
> then to the US where they and I now reside.  For many years
> my mother was 
> a schoolteacher and wore a sari to work whenever possible. 
> This impressed 
> me more than a thousand lectures on "our glorious
> heritage" that our 
> culture was nothing to be embarrased about and could be
> followed even in a 
> foreign land.  If I am an astika today, it is because of
> such seemingly 
> small gestures.
> But note I said "whenever possible"  I too have
> been known to wear pitambara 
> etc. to work too but clothes made for balmy Indian climes
> are simply 
> impractical for more northerly countries.  Actually even in
> parts of 
> Northern India you cannot dress the same way as in, say,
> TN.  So this 
> seems to be an area where shastras prescribe an ideal but
> Dharma in 
> practice seems to grant more leeway to personal judgement
> and forgives 
> deviation from the ideal as an unfortunate but unavoidable
> circumstance.
> Or take another example, crossing the waters.  History
> shows that 
> Brahmanas did migrate to other lands.  However the trend
> became 
> increasingly towards disallowing it.  By 1857 the
> resentment of the sepoys 
> towards the prospect of being sent overseas was a big
> factor in their 
> rebellion.  Later the historical trend turned again.  An
> example is when 
> Gandhiji decided to study in England.  As related in his
> autobiography, he 
> was outcasted by his Modh Vaishya community for this and
> the arguments pro 
> and con are interesting to note.  The people who prompted
> the action felt 
> that by going to a foreign country, one would not be able
> to maintain 
> vegetarianism and standards of purity.  (And they were
> quite right to be 
> skeptical judging by the typical conduct of the
> "modern" youth who 
> returned from there.)  Gandhiji replies with the solemn
> promise he had 
> made to his mother to refrain from meat and liquor and that
> the learned 
> Brahmana advisor of the family had approved of the venture
> and eventually 
> his view won out.  Nowadays as you know there are many
> quite orthodox 
> people who live outside of Bharat though it must be
> acknowledged that the 
> Shankaracharyas amongst others still preach against it.
> So what does this mean for the progress of Dharma in
> general and this 
> question in particular?  There is a lot in Dharma which is
> settled.  (No 
> shastra suggests Brahmanas should not wear yajnopavita for
> instance.) 
> However there are issues on the edge which are in flux and
> where men of 
> piety and sincerity can agree to disagree.  The goal of the
> karmayogi 
> should be to do his duty with diligence.  Bhagavan promises
> us that if we 
> but offer a flower or some water with the correct bhava, He
> will will 
> accept it.  This not an invitation to stop trying to get
> things right but 
> assurance that irregularities, if committed without malice,
> will be sorted 
> out in the end.
> -- 
> Jaldhar H. Vyas
> <jaldhar at braincells.com>_______________________________________________
> Archives:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list