Thursday, April 27, 2006

[Fwd: Koenraad's question on Dalit priests in RISA]

apr 27th

here's a response from a reader.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Koenraad's question on Dalit priests in RISA
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 18:48:43 -0700 (PDT)
From:
To: rajeev.srinivasan

Rajeev,

1. Hindus have organised themselves for centuries around a loose
structure of duties that are maintained through descent. Being a priest
may be very prestigious in other faiths but in Hinduism it is an onerous
responsibility. It is not a particularly attractive position that
someone would aspire to. The austerities and discipline required is
beyond the reach of most people

2. Brahmanas are by no means the only priestly jati. In TN there are
many groups of non-brahmin priests - the pandarams (who run temples all
over suoth TN and in Malaysia and Sri Lanka perform vedic rituals but do
not wear a sacred thread. and then there are sivacharis, and several
otrher classes of non-vedic priests officiating at sakthi/amman temples.
sometimes the same temple that has a sivachari performing regular
rituals may invite a brahmin priest once a year for a vedic ritual.

3. In the Jagannath temple at Puri */the brahmin priests are not allowed
inside the garba griha of Sri Jagannatha. /*The privilege is restricted
to the tradtional guardian tribe whose priests are called the /badus/.

4. In TN there are many temples among the smaller 'specialised' shrines
where people of all castes worship. These could be a local deity like
the village protecting Ayyanar or Muniswaran, or Karuppannaswami or many
otehr Ammans. Sri Jayendra Sarasvati has gone out of his way to frequent
these shrines and participate in the local ritual taking prasadam from
the hands of Adi-Dravidar priests.

5. The VHP has gone out of its way to train priests from the tibes and
dalit communities and has the lal langots (red breechcloutwalas) in
twists because of this. Because caste while a minor facet of Hindu
practice is the bedrock upon which Hinduhaters have built their
theories. Take away caste (by no means an easy task) and the entire
rationale for hating Hindus collapses

Of course these crooks will find something new to criticise within Hinduism.

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12 comments:

san said...

Off-topic:

Will global wealth distribution in the year 2050 look more like it was in the year 1820?

http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/apr2006/pi20060426_157496.htm

Sounds plausible to me.

iamfordemocracy said...

First thing, I would like to record my displeasure over the off-topic comment. San, will you please desist from such distracting comments?

Now to add to the reader's response. Check about Lingayats in Karnataka and Maharashtra. They too have some special rights in temple premises. For that matter, in village communities, every caste has some special rights at some or other time... And I have a sense they cherished their rights! perhaps, some other readers will be able to corroborate this.

In North India, the Brahmins have been more dominant, but then, because of frequent attacks and oppressions, the systems got much more distorted in North India.

yoda the nizhal said...

yeah, you morons, keeep pontificatinig about how tolerant hinduism is and how caste is a "minor facet" of hinduism. "Minor facet" is it? well if you belong to the privileged castes obviously it would be minor facte I guess.

But caste has defined identity and existence for millions of people in the sub-continent for over a couple of millenia. It is a civilizational blot on hinduism, and your trying to eface it now with these patronising nonsense about how "Sri Jayendra Sarasvati has gone out of his way to frequent these shrines and participate in the local ritual taking prasadam from the hands of Adi-Dravidar priests".. is pathetic and sick.

Sri Jayandra Saraswathi can kiss my ass, for all I care.. how condescending can you get. Even that very line defines how you guys feel about adi-dravidars/ dalits etc.. more eloquent than anything I can write about. Wake up and smell the shit, you morons. Its coming out of your own mouths. The crap.

Oh, yeah, the VHP has "Gone out of its way" is it? to train priests from dalit communities? Yeah right, and before that, they have to perform a "Shuddi" ceremony I guess to they don't get polluted while they are training them. Get you head out of you arse, man. You guys are so steeped in "upper" caste attitudes you don't even read what you write.

Such condescion, patronising.. even while in the same breath claiming this whole generosity of spirit and tolerance for hinduism.

Anyway, who gave you the right to "incorporate" dalits into preisthood, ot to "frequent" dalit shrines.. ? what, you are afraid that you don't have enough numbers to battle the muslims? since you can't do the dirty job yourselves.. ?

All this vain nonsense about hindu-glory-from-vedic-ages, the unbecoming efforts to claim vedic/hindu origins for everything under the sun, the carping efforts to deny any other contribution into indian civilization, the grabbing delusional we-were-first attitude.. and the newly discovered need to incorporate/sublimate every other stream of religious/spiritual thought/pracice ( viz., dalit/tribal which have proliferated in a separate way over a couple of millenia, given your practice of alienation for fears of "pollutions") all smacks off a civilizational insecurity and immaturity.

Grow up..

-Yoda

daisies said...

yoda the nizhal,

i am intrigued by some of your
remarks. one of themt on jayendra
saraswati.

the man in all humility has tried
to show his regard for people who
have been alienated for centuries.

yet he is branded as patronising
and condescending. this is
something i dont understand.

assuming that your labelling of
him is the right one, may i ask,
what should any jayendra saraswati
do, if he wants to show respect to
people who were hitherto not given
proper respect ?

i am asking a sincere question
and i look forward to a sincere
answer.

also, that fact is that ancient
india had a wealth of knowledge of
"first origin". there is enough
evidence.so why label the claims as
"grabbing delusional we-were-first
attitude" ? are we supposed to say
we were not the first, out of
characteristic deference to
western imperialiast civilizations ?


-

daisies said...

a couple of days back when IamforD
posted his comment on lingayats,
etc, a very good friend of mine
who is a lingayat, happened to
drop by.

she was telling me that although
lingayats were a "break-away" sect
from hinduism, and although the
founder basaveswara was anti-caste
and anti-hinduism, the fact is that
linagyats ended up with more
castes in their community than
there are castes in hinduism.

this is straight from a lingayat,
not from me.

so it appears to me that caste is
an intrinsic mentality of people.
a flocking together of people with
similar temeperaments, way of
living, food habits and so on.
...natural micro-organizations
based on propensities....

somewhere on the way, it became
tight and rigid. and afterwards it
again started getting undone.
it started loosening up.

case in point is brahmin subsects
themselves. for a long-time, these
would not inter-marry. but it has
all changed last so many years.
subsects have been pretty much
been forgotten.


_

daisies said...

re. yoda's:
"Yeah right, and before that, they have to perform a "Shuddi" ceremony I guess to they don't get polluted while they are training them."

-- the concept of shuddhi must
have first started out as a sane
scientific principle, and later on
went on to become blind, rigid
belief and rule.

i am happy to inform you that
this rule is binding in temples for
women during periods - women cannot
go to the temple, period. they are
considered "not clean" during that
time. in a way this is right,
because of the physiological
condition of the body, the "prana"
or "etheric energy body" around a
person at that time, is in a state
of "unhealth". So in order not to
pollute the good prana in the
temple, women in menstruation are
asked not to enter.

in brahmin homes, traditionally,
they would not even be allowed to
enter the kitchen at that time.
why kitchen, they usually had to
stay put in some corner of the
house, as much as possible.
(i have not mentioned other castes,
because i dont know about them).

with our scientific understanding
at least we may know enough not to
enter the kitchen except right
after a bath. those who dont give
a damn nowadays will enter the
kitchen anyway and lounge around
everywhere in the house.

other things about temples - a
bath before entering temple was
mandatory, otherwise one is just
polluting the temple.

i am pretty sure it was to protect the purity of the temple that many were disallowed from entering, since there was no guarantee they would adhere to the high standards
of cleanliness, given that people
had all kinds of occupations and
varying degrees of cleanliness
(of the body).


_

iamfordemocracy said...

Yoda, have you been near a person with AIDS? or near a bird where bird flue is prevalent? If not, just think about the crazy ideas that can capture one's brain when there is no scientific view about sanitation, or when science is simply inadequate. Whatever was the situation 100 years ago, or whatever its hangovers are today, I suggest to you that the ignorance is harmful to ALL parties, including birds with bird flue. Imagine if they could talk..I am sure people of all castes and religions have killed birds on sucpicions of bird flue; killed cows because they were afraid of mad cow disease. Unfair, wasn't it?

Caste or no caste, the poors were oppressed, exploited, and maltreated all over the world, in every society. You youreself must be having a lineage that goes down to some oppressor. Are you being punished for that?

You cannot justify current unfairness on the basis of yesterday's social order. Full point.

habc said...

I yoda the yadda is a westerner

habc said...

sorry for the type - I think yoda the yadda is a westerner - anybody who grew up in India would not spout garbage like this

virat0 said...

The'other contribution' part is gentle rebuke, when sepoys get together among they don't think of hindu contribution at all, they can't think of, for long they have accepted being a sepoy is their birth right, even if it required suppoting Jehad.

The 'unbecoming efforts to claim' is the opposite, the one who is prohibited from talking of his own shouldn't think contribution to others.

Beyond such stuff, the Jodi mayn't have much more in these matters.



unbecoming efforts to claim vedic/hindu origins for everything under the sun, the carping efforts to deny any other contribution into indian civilization,

virat0 said...

Joda may be an westernerm, or may be a sepoy, but he knows how to use limitted feelings to make his enemies dumb, thats how alone he has a bleeding heart, rest all got their jobs by collecting a jijia tax.

well if you belong to the privileged castes obviously it would be minor facte I guess.

But caste has defined identity and existence for millions of people in the sub-continent for over a couple of millenia.

The identity Joda knows of is in crisis ( all macaulyian identities will go for crisis), Joda thinks this leads to a crisis of existance. Pray God to help Joda for an existance.

DarkStorm said...

Hey IamForDemocracy,

San marks his comments has off-topic most of the times, in case they are off topic. So just dont click them, if you are not interested.

I must say San comes up with good points of view and interesting links. Hey San, keep them coming.