[Advaita-l] mleccha-s not eligible to take Hinduism??

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 14 08:18:51 CDT 2012

Dear Sri lalitaalaalita, 
When I say "competent sampradAyavit guru," I intend to emphasize the point that the
conduct (AcAra) of learned people (SishTa) is a guide for us in thinking about dharma.
What an incompetent, half-baked person does after setting himself up as a guru or by
having a guru status imposed upon him by others is not to be accepted. That is all. If
you agree that what I am saying is correct for the competent sampradAyavit, then I 
have no desire to keep mentioning the general rules, which is known to all here.
Dear Sri Praveen, 
I think you have completely misunderstood my point if you conclude that I am arguing 
for breaking the rules of dharma. All I am saying is this,
a. In principle, exceptions exist;
b. In practice, such exceptions may be recognized by competent authorities;
c. The mere fact of having recognized and validated an exception brings no demerit to 
    the authoritative person; and
d. It is not the place of anybody else to tell such an exception what to do and what not
    to do. It is a private matter between the guru and the Sishya.
Saying that an exception to a rule is possible in a specific case is a far cry from arguing
for breaking the rule in the general case. In my view, the very fact that a small number
of exceptions are possible itself upholds the validity of the general rule. However, by the
same token, the general rule should not be perpetually held against these exceptions.
I have also stated that perhaps if one still wants to indicate a level of displeasure and
disagreement with the above, in a specific instance, then one is always free not to
have social interactions with the said exception and the corresponding guru. If we see
the history of how dharmaSAstra has been applied in the past, we will realize that time
has its own way of taking care of these things. However, waiting for time to right all
things is merely a way of avoiding having an open discussion about dharma.
jnAneSvara is remembered and worshipped as a great saint. The strict brAhmaNa-s
who excommunicated his family for something his father did and initially refused to
conduct jnAneSvara's upanayana are not known today. Sivaji Bhonsale is remembered
as a great ruler. The sons and grandsons of the strict brAhmaNa-s who resisted his
coronation benefited from his rule and some of them even became the Peshvas, who
became the de facto rulers after his grandson's time.
Like you, I too have great respect for the extent of Jaldhar's knowledge, but I am also
brutally honest, with myself and others. If you remember my first words on this thread,
they were to agree with most of what he said. My take, as always, is on the principles,
not about political correctness or tact and it is certainly not in support of the "other side"
of dharma.
If living in the USA (or even visiting it) is intrinsically adhArmika, then I would like to 
point out that Jaldhar and I are both in the same boat there, along with numerous
others, both on this list and elsewhere. And in our company are hundreds of vaidika
trained people, who have traveled abroad for temple kumbhAbhishekas, mahArudra
and atirudra ceremonies, etc, including as recently as three years ago at the Sringeri
temple close to where I live and two weeks ago to a Guruvayurappan temple in New
Jersey. These vaidika-s are traveling to the US for the sake of a dhArmika duty, not
for money.
I am not holding up the actions of some purohita-s here who may officiate in rituals
involving questionable elements and practices as something to emulate. I am bringing
up those examples to point out that if we wish to take strong positions about people
like Sri Shivashankar who is a Scandinavian by birth, then we should shine an equally
bright light on ourselves, our friends and our relatives. I fall in the camp that says that
what has the sanction of the competent sampradAyavit guru is good for me to emulate. 
Best regards,

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