[Advaita-l] Chanting gayatri overseas

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Oct 9 23:51:28 EDT 2017

Dear Sri Ravi ji,

In this post, a Ramanuja follower says that the reason for other caste
people not being allowed to mingle with Brahmins - all Srivaishnavas - is
the reason that the latter are not prepared to give up the idea of their
being 'higher':


//Now, the natural question is, if our AchAryAs

have shown so much open mindedness and so much
reforms, why does the current religion have so
much "brahminical" tendencies (like many
non-brahmin bhagavathas not allowed into the
gOshti, many people not dining with them etc.),
then the simple answer, though however
difficult it is to digest, is that most of
the community (in both the sects) is reluctant
to let go of the assumed "superiority" of a
brahmin birth. This "brahminisation" of
srIvaishNavam is not new - It has been happening
for centuries, and in fact is a major cause of
difference in opinion among many people (not
among vEdAnta dEsika and piLLai lOkAchAr as
many would immediately assume) of far lower

stature than our great AchAryAs.//

The talk of 'reforms' in the Ramanuja system is also noteworthy.  Why would
there be 'reform' by either Ramanuja or any other of that system, if there
was something that was not already there, now introduced? Thus there is the
perception even among the followers of Ramanuja that there indeed has been
a 'reform' with regard to the caste idea.

There is also the famous instance of Sri Vadiraja Tirtha of the Madhva
school admitting a community of goldsmiths into the Madhva fold:


Also in the above post: //4. Of course, we all know that Sri Ramanujacharya
inducted many non-brahmins including dhobis (or washermen) into his fold.
Now hardly anyone can tell who were the descendents of Smarthas who came to
Vishishtadwaita fold and who were the descendents of non-brahmins who came
to the Vishishtadwaita fold.//


On Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 8:43 PM, Ravi Chandrasekhara via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Saturday, April 18, 2015
>  SrI RAmAnujAcArya, the greatest AcArya of SrIvaishNavism has clearly
> upheld the sanctity of varNASrama dharma in his SrI BhAshya, the exalted
> commentary on Brahma sUtra. All the 74 AcAryas established by him uphold
> the  Vedic tradition  and are conforming to sAstras even today.
> SrI RAmAnujAcArya at the same time strongly believed that we have to
> respect the great Saints and devotees belonging to other castes as well, as
> many AzhvArs are non-BrAhmaNas. While it is the duty of one person to
> follow his own varNASrama dharma, it does not make him automatically
> superior to others. In the considered view of SrI RAmAnujAcArya all
> VaishNavaites (tirumAl adiyArs) are one and the same in the eyes of the
> Supreme BhagavAn. Hence one has to be always polite and humble in spite of
> his caste.
> The jIyars of SrI RAmAnujAcArya tradition wear yajnopavitam and perform
> nitya karma. SrI RAmAnujAcAyra fully knows what is varNASrama dharma and
> what is devotion (bhakti yoga) and Surrender (Prapatti).
> Those vaishnavites who are not brAhmaNas do not wear yajnopavitam but are
> engaged in the service of BhagavAn are called as "sAttANi" . They render
> "pushpa kainkaryam" in a selfless manner. SrI RAmAnujAcAyra welcomed all
> for doing unconditional and selfless service to the Supreme irrespective of
> caste.
> Vaishnavites never claim that they are superior based on birth. For them,
> it is the loving  devotion to the Supreme which is important. All devotees
> are verily equals. At the same time, Vaishnavites fully adhere to
> varNaSrama dharma.
> SrI RAmAnujAcArya never advocated the supremacy of BrAhmaNas over others.
> One of his respected AcAryas was Swami Tirukkacchi Nambigal, who was a
> non-BrAhmaNa. Therefore, if only SrI RAmAnujAcAyra had considered BrAhmaNas
> as superior, there is some meaning in alleging that he could have converted
> non-BrAhmaNas into BrAhmaNas. For him, all SrI Vaishnavaites are indeed
> equals. At the same time  he also emphasized that the SAstras have to be
> duly complied with based on one's VarNASrama dharma as determined by one's
> birth.
> SrI RAmAnujAcArya brought many people into the fold of Sri VaishNavism
> without any change in their status of varNa. As they were disillusioned
> with the non-Vedic philsophies, mAyA vAdametc, they voluntarily came into
> the fold of Sri VaishNavism.
> All the sAtthAda mudalis of heritage temples like SrIrangam, still remain
> to date as sAtthAda mudalis only. Nobody was ever converted into the
> BrAhmaNa fold. Pillai UrangAvalli Dasarbecame a very close disciple of SrI
> RAmAnujAcArya at SrIrangam and he remained as a non-BrAhmaNa only.
> SrI RAmAnujAcArya firmly believed in the supremacy of Vedic Scriptures.
> According to the SAstras, there are no rituals for converting the caste of
> the person into BrAhmaNa VarNa. Hence as a strong upholder of SAstras, SrI
> RAmAnujAcArya would not have even dreamt of changing the VarNas just like
> that.
> SrI RAmAnujAcArya is far beyond the mAyA of caste supremacy and there is
> no need for him to convert non-BrAhmaNas into BrAhmaNa VarNa. He only
> openly welcomed all people with love and affection  irrespective of their
> castes into the fold of SrI VaishNavism  to cross the ocean of samsAra and
> reach the abode of the Supreme.
> श्रीमते रामानुजाय नमः।
> जयजय श्रीराधे।
> VEDVIKAS at 9:52 PM
> Sent from my iPhone
> > On Oct 8, 2017, at 23:52, Kalyan via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-
> vedanta.org> wrote:
> >
> > Sri Sujalji
> >
> > I dont know how to respond to your posts.From what you say below, you
> seem to intend to deny a direct connection between the guru and SVBF. I
> find your view unconvincing. Pardon me if I am wrong about your views.
> >
> > Thanks for the discussion.
> >
> > Regards
> > Kalyan
> >
> >
> > //Direct guidance does not mean he is
> > actively involved in day-2-day activities. No I am not
> > chanigng sides :) He may be involved in setting up a matha,
> > but that's it.//
> >
> > //I personally think that Sringeri Jagadguru remains aloof to many
> things. This does not mean he is unaware. He may or may not be aware. it
> depends if the issue is minor or major one. I would prefer to use the word
> 'unconcerned'. I also feel that the website or any activity like
> Newsletter, etc is not directly managed by him, meaning that he is not
> actively involved in these kind of activities. //
> >
> > --------------------------------------------
> > On Mon, 10/9/17, Sujal Upadhyay <sujal.u at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Subject: Re: Chanting gayatri overseas
> > To: "Kalyan" <kalyan_kg at yahoo.com>
> > Cc: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-
> vedanta.org>
> > Date: Monday, October 9, 2017, 6:22 AM
> >
> > Namsate Sri Kalyan
> > ji,
> > Regarding link of
> > Sringeri website, you must be aware that I posted video link
> >
> >
> >
> >
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