[Advaita-l] Temple Worship by Gurukkals/Sivacharyas

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Feb 4 10:50:23 CST 2010

On Mon, 1 Feb 2010, S.N. Sastri wrote:

> In Srimad Bhagavatam, Skandha VI, Chapter 7, the gods go to VishvarUpa and
> request him to be their purohit. He agrees, because he cannot refuse when
> the gods ask him, but says:
> vigarhitam dharmashIlaiH brahmavarca upavyayam |
> Meaning—The occupation of a priest is looked down upon by men of righteous
> disposition, and it is calculated to diminish one’s Brahmic lustre
> (Brahmavarcas).
> This may be the reason why Brahmins who take up the performance of worship
> as a means of livelihood are looked down upon.

A purohit is not the same as pujari.  The very first rk of the rgveda asks 
Agni to become the purohit as he is the purohit of the Gods.  The Devas 
themselves have only the highest regard for Vishvarupa as the rest of that 
conversation shows.  So why does he say that paurohityam reduces 
brahmavarchas?  I think it is because the purohit participates in the 
dharma -- and adharma -- of his patron.  And Indra as befits the thunder 
and storm, is not the most stable of personalities.  In fact the very need 
for Vishvarupa is because the previous purohit, Brhaspati, has left after 
being insulted.  Vishvarupa cannot refuse the request because as a 
Brahmana it is his duty, but he is not very enthusiastic about it (for 
good reasons as we see later in the story.)

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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