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  1. #1
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    Reservations in Temples


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    Folks,

    Let me ask some dumb questions.

    1.When bhramins ask for scrapping of reservations,what they actually are asking is permission to do the jobs earmarked for other varnas.So essentially bhramins fighting against reservations means that they are moving away from vedic dharma and are fighting against the teachings of our vedas.

    2.I can understand this,because we cannot force people to follow vedic dharma.But while bhramins want to do jobs earmarked for other varnas,why dont they allow other varnas into the job which was reserved for them,that is temple priests?

    3.If it is fair for bhramins to do jobs of other varnas,it is equally fair for other varnas to do jobs earmarked for bhramins.100% jobs in a field reserved for one single caste.That's not fair,isnt it?
    Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.
  2. #2
    atharvan Guest

    Goundamani Vs Senthil


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    Dear Goundamani,

    Priesthood is not reserved for brahmins. Any brahmin like you and me cannot aspire for it. It is a birth right. The same is true for non-brahmin priests of Devata temples in villages. Any non-brahmin cannot aspire for it. The status is reserved for the descendents of the particular family.

    You may want to know how it came about. Temples came into existence when kings were rulers; they were themselves holding hereditary positions; Kula thozhil was the order of the day. With the constructions of every temple, a family was given the right for performing pooja. It was more a duty than a right. Some safety mechanisms were built in. Since it was a wholetime duty, the King had to provide for the upkeep of the pujari's family. similarly in temples where animal sacrifice is done, non-brahmin priests were identified and their family given the exclusive right to perform pooja.

    A country called India and a constitution called Indian Republic Constitution and all that came much later (after hundreds of years such families were given the rights and duties by the original owners of the temples, namely the kings). It is not acceptable that any government born out of these later day documents can interfere in such hereditary rights. The best option open to such governments is to build new secular temples as per E.V.Ramasamy Naicker's prescription and allot the pooja duties to the atheists of their choice.

    About your next question:

    As per varna dharma, brahmins were engaged in studyig scripture and worshipping deities for the welfare of the whole universe. Their material needs were taken care of by people of other varna. If the Indian constitution is amended to include a provsion that my needs will be taken care of, I am ready to return to my root and resume the duties of my varna. similarly, let the constitution be amended to say that henceforth dalits will wear poonool and engage in scriptural reading; I have no objection. As long as such things are not happening, I will definitely demand that I get what is my due. There is no discrimination in the demand.

    Senthil.

    I mean,

    Atharvan.
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  4. #3
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    Dear Adharvan,

    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    The heriditary rights for bhramins to do poojas doesnt come from order of any king,but it comes directly from our vedas and shastras.Kings of olden days who upheld our vedas and shastras gave the rights of temple poojas to bhramins only to uphold vedic dharma.

    Legally the king who gave that order could have taken back that order.Legally nothing prevents it.But generations after generation,no king did any such thing.

    IF we talk legal rights that come from king's orders,then by applying the same law zamindars can argue that they should get back their zamins because it was their hereditary right given by raja raja chola.They canot ask that because legally that right has been taken away by passing of a law.

    I would say that bhramins right to do poojas in temples is not based upon any king's order , but is based upon hindu vedas and shastras and scriptures.

    Bhramins who ask for scrapping of reservations are going against our vedic dharma and teachings of paramacharya.They are asking what rightfully belongs to other varnas.By studying vedas they have a bright knolwedge.But they use it as an advantage to take away rightfully what belongs to other varnas.This is total injustice and adharma.This is entirely against the teachings of our scriptures.

    A bhramins who desires wealth,money and jobs and enters the jobs reserved for shatriyas,vaisyas and sudhras is no longer a bhramana.He is doing an adharmic deed by using his knolwedge acquired by chanting vedas.

    The current revolts against reservations are actually a revolt against hindu vedas,shastras and dharmas.It is saddening to see bhramins themselves leading these protests.

    You said that you were willing to go back to temple if constitution is amended to ensure that you get a decent life.If bhramins quit their government jobs and MNC jobs and returned to temples I would say that people of other varnas will be moved and will defenitely help them.Even if they dont do so,according to our scriptures bhramins should happily embrace starvation than leave vedas.

    Bhramins cant have the best of both worlds.Currently they are fighting to take away what rightfully belongs to other varnas.They are going in search of wealth and money,forgetting scriptures.If they have such a right,then legally and morally other varnas have all rights to enter into temple archakar jobs.
    Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.
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  6. #4
    atharvan Guest

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    Dear Goundamani,

    I think that my earlier post has all the answers for your new post. However, to make matters clear, I will write more.

    Vedas do not talk about temples. Temples are of a later origin in comparison to Vedas. You do not find mention of any temples in Sri Ramayanam and Mahabharatham. Thus your claim that hereditary rights for poojaris come directly from Vedas cannot be sustained.

    When a political nation called India was formed by destroying monarchies, the kings, princes or their descendents were suitably compensated for foregoing their right to the throne.

    Priests are not owners of temples. Zamindars were not holding huge landed property for purposes of community worship. Hence, zamindarhood cannot be compared with priesthood. They both are chalk and cheese.

    There is a lot of difference between order and appointment. One cannot be ordered to be a priest. A deserving person was chosen by a qualified sabha and invited to accept such an offer; then an appointment is made with attendent safety mechanisms. Since qualified brahmins were available those days, some among them were given this appointment/right/duty.

    You have, in this context, omitted my mention about non-brahmin priests of the same appointment terms. Do they derive it from Vedhas too?

    In ancient times, Kings ruled according to dharma and not according to a comedy called republican constitution. This comedy called constitution can be amended and rewritten any number of times by any kind of jokers, say 500 in number, out of a population of 100 crore. This comedy cannot be compared with the strength of dharmashastras. Oranges and apples, you know. There were instances where faltering priests were divested of their duties by kings. It is a matter of faith in dharmasastra and not an ever changing legal sheet.

    There is no bar on other varnites embracing brahminism and taking to purohitham or studying scripture or conducting yagyams. They are welcome to do it. Likewise I am entitled to study modern subjects and choose my profession. Again, please understand that priests attached to a particular temple derive their right from a settlement dating back to hundreds of years, when paper records were not in vogue. Any group of jokers can join together, get numerically strong and declare that they have founded a country called Kindia and that they will decide the faith, rights, etc. of others subsisting for centuries. It need not necessarily work. Religion, worship, etc. are matters of faith; not to be dealt in terms of politics and secularism.

    Goundamani cannot offer on others' behalf that other varnites will look after my needs if I return to my roots. If Goundamni himself offers to do it, I can show any number of poor Vedha patasalas crying for attention. Goundamani can well divert a part of his wealth to such patasalas. Your next alternative of embracing starvation provides the catch. Please, lead by example. We will build a temple in your honour and appoint a dalit priest.

    You are further confusing brahminhood with sanyasam. You are surreptitiously trying to impose the sacrifice of Sanyasam on brahminhood. Again, they are both different, oil and water.

    I have already said that there is no bar on other varnites becoming archakars of temples. What is objected to is about usurping the rights of the existing priests. The government can amend their comeditution to compulsorily build one temple in each street and make non-brahmins the priests. Fine! No brahmin will complain. New temples, new priests! and a new comeditution!

    Need say anythin more?
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  8. #5
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    Dear Senthil ...Oops!! Atharvan! and Goundamani!
    Good exchange!
    The way I understand it from an old Indian gentleman, it goes like this.
    Temples were built by our kings not only to propagate the religious faith, but also a way of providing jobs to sculptors, masons, and countless others. The kings also, in their infinite wisdom, allotted enough resources such as agricultural fields so the temples can sustain themselves for upkeep, paying the priests and other workers connected with the temple; it was self-sustaining.

    I have a question: I understand in Tamil Nadu, all the Hindu temples come under the Government and that the government takes money collected at several temples and also income from these temple sources and spends them on other things.
    If the government claims to be 'secular' why should it involve itself in the Hindu religious activities by administering the temples? If they are to administer the Hindu temples, how about administering the Christian churches and Islamic mosques? Shouldn't they also come under the TN govt? Also, if Mr. Karunanidhi claims to be an athiest and a 'secularist', how come the TN government seal has a Hindu temple seal?
    SILVER FOX
    "செந்தமிழ் நாடெனும் போதினிலே -இன்பத் தேன்வந்து பாயுது காதினிலே"
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  10. #6
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    Dear Adharvan and Silver fox,

    Silver fox raised a valid question.Why should a secular government involve itself in temples?I would say that this is because disunity among hindus.Our saints should unite and form an association or sathsangh of some sorts and should ask for handing over of temples.I would recommend that different adhinams and kanchi acharyas and jeeyars should unite to form a dharma rakshan saba for this purpose.

    Adharvan claims that since kings handed over hereditary rights to bhramins based upon their qualification,it should not be touched.He says that the rights for bhramins to do poojas in temples doesnt come from vedas but just from the order of a king who is no more.

    This actually simplifies the task.So according to adharvan,the rights to do poojas in temples granted to bhramins is only legal and not spiritual .What was granted legally can also be taken away legally.According to our constitution the highest law making authority is parliment and court.So their decision is final,isnt it?

    To whom do the temples belong?

    The temples in our country,built by kings and others were built for the welfare of people.So these temples belong to the society and public.Any temple belongs who all hindus in the country.Since all of us cannot manage the temple the governing authority takes care of it.

    It is mistake to say temples belong to the king who built it.The king is dead,his kingdom is gone.When this happens the natural governing authority should be the next king.

    Can Indian union be a governing authority?I dont see why not.When pandyas can capture tanjore and be the governing authority of tanjore temple,why not lawfully elected Indian government be the governing authority?

    What gives bhramins right to do poojas in temples?King's order.Legally this is teneble until the next king changes the law.The state assembly of tamilnadu exactly did this.Supreme court upheld this.End of matter.

    Why did this happen now and not earlier?

    It was because the public,the common man did not want to change the temple archakas.He did so because bhramins of those days were pious,followed the varna dharma and remained in temples.

    But today bhramins have entered jobs earmarked for other varnas.So it is naturally fair for other varnas to enter into temple archaka jobs.

    Is this morally fair?

    Yes.The king who appointed a bhramana as a priest did so because he was qualified.But who tested the qualification of the current priest?Nobody.It just comes on hereditarily.Morally we cannot argue for hereditary appointments of jobs unless we talk about varna dharma which is based on caste.

    So I dont see any legal,moral or ethical reason as of why people,who own the temples cannot cancel their earlier hereditary appointment order and appoint a new priest from any caste.This applies to temples where other castes are priests too.

    Can a government enter into religious affairs?

    I will discuss this in some other thread,so that we dont debate multiple things at the same time.
    Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.
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  12. #7
    atharvan Guest

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    Dear Silver,

    The origin of temple problems date back to invasion by aliens, both muslim and christian.

    As Goundamani says, any one assuming political power at any time was able to lay his hands on temples in the name of law. The onslaught to temples were coming from all sides in all shapes. Muslims, Christians, Plunderers, Hoolingans, Evangelists, home grown atheists, Hate mongers, neo hindus, and the list is endless. All these were happening one by one or sometimes together for a few centuries. It is a wonder that still something is left of our temples and the priests.

    The revenue of temples are now utilised in many ways by the government. Temple funds are diverted to mosques and churches too. Do you know that the Haj subsidy in crores given by the Indian Government to muslims are temple funds? These affronts are accepted by majority hindus in the name of legality, constitution, democracy, majority, minority, etc. Dharma has no place in such a society.

    There is also a theory that due to illegitimate mixing with invaders, both voluntary and otherwise, many hindu lineages became genetically alien. They do not hold Hindu dharma as sacred unlike original hindus. Once the DNA science matures, the theory says, and genetic code becomes common and transparent like blood groups, such fake hindus will be identified. Similarly, many non-hindus may be genetically proved to be of hindu lineage.

    In such a scenario, temples became the casualty. The present situation is still more complicated. Even if the secular government of the day decides to take its hands off temples, who will get their control? Hindu castes are so divided that none trusts the other. Where are the safeguards against plundering by hindu leaders? Hindu Dharmacharyars have more enemies than followers within the hindu fold. Those who are crying hoarse that government should hand over the temples to hindus, have no answer for such questions. They simply say that hindu acharyas will form committees and look after them. Easier said than done.

    The seal of TN government having the Gopuram of Srivilliputtur was conceived by earlier congress government when secularism was not a phrase found anywhere in the Indian Comeditution. Sooner than later, as Goundamani says, legally any Kazhagam government may replace the seal with the face of EVR Naicker.



    Dear Goundamani,

    thanks for your rejoinder. Legality has its own limitations. Any legal interference in matters existing prior to its birth has more limitations. Otherwise it would tend to be anarchaic. If you start obeying to comeditutions without genuinely protesting against wrong moves, laws may be passed to deny your and my existence. As long as the lawmakers were the best of the polity, there were no problems in administrations. Once the banana republic came into being, the situation turned topsy turvy and we find a mess all over.

    The strength of law lies in its acceptance by the subjects. Quality of acceptance lies in the make-up of citizens. Make-up of citizens lie in their attributes like courage, patriotism, religion, merit, etc. There is a story about a Vedantin Guru in Varanasi during British rule. He was once arrested and put behind bars by the british royal court. In no minute he was seen walking past the magistrate. Surprised, the Police put more than one lock to his cell. Still, he was seen walking along the verandah of the jail. The laws, jail, lock and every other thing could not restrict his freedom.

    We are not capable of so much spiritual energy. We are not capable of holding up the polity physically. But, we can atleast refuse to be a part of comeditutions and show our resilience.

    But, if God has willed that the temples have outlived their utility in Kaliyugam, none can stop their destruction. It shall happen.

    Atharvan.
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  14. #8
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    Dear Adharvan,

    Religious orthodoxy wont do any good to hindus or hinduism.The first caste to understand the demerits of caste system was bhramins.They were also equally oppressed by caste system,suffering in temples for 300 rs salary per month.It is but natural for them to go in search of jobs outside their caste system.There is nothing wrong in bhramins doing so.They too have a family.We cant expect them to do an unremunerative job because their ancestors did it.

    While this being the case with bhramins themselves,there is no point in talking about poisoned lineages and fake hindus.Nobody practices hinduism in its orthodox format.In that sense everybody is a 'fake hindu'.

    Somehow the talk of fake hindu and true hindu reminds me of muslims who call each other as fake muslims.Sunnis call shias as kafirs,shias call ahmedias as kafirs and finally each sect calls each other as non-muslim.Hinduism doesnt do so.Its an inclusive religion,not an exclusive one.

    Laws should be for the welfare of people.Denying 97% of the population the right to do poojas on basis of caste is not good.In ISKCON temples even caucasian whites and african americans do poojas.Nothing untoward happened there.I believe that such a law will strengthen hinduism.
    Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.
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  16. #9
    atharvan Guest

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    Dear Goundamani,

    I do not understand what prevents the TN government from building new temples and administer them as it pleases. Why not declare Anna and Periyar samadhis government temples? Why is it that they want to meddle with ancient ones? Why the declaration that opening archakarhood of ancient temples to all castes is a tribute to EVR Naicker whose very thesis was atheism? Don't you see that it is not a positive motive on Karunanithi's part to do this; That his intention is just one more attempt of desecration of ancient hindu citadel?

    In Kandadevi temple Utsavam every year, dalits are not even allowed to touch the rope of the temple car. You know who prevents them from doing it? Not any brahmin - but non-brahmins and so called backward caste people are blocking the way of dalits - even to touch the rope of the car. You can imagine what they are going to do if a dalit is appointed to do pooja in the kandadevi temple.

    When Karunanithi could not even ensure that the rope of a temple car be touched by a dalit, what motivates him to appoint dalit poojaris in Kapaleeswarar temple? The answer is simple. His rabid antibrahminism. He will hit two birds with one stone. Hereditary poojaris (read brahmins) can be thrown on the streets; Temples will start losing their significance and hence one more important pillar of Hinduism can be easily destroyed. Law, it is said, is an ass. Indian polity is proving it every day.

    I think temples of yore cannot be compared with ISKCON and Birla mandirs. I have heard grand old persons saying how identified class of stones attract sakthi from the uchchAdanam of mantras over a period of time and how they emit it back to devotees in a spiritual way. Such mysticism are not associated with temples of neo hindus. ISKCON constructions should not be be called temples at all. They are just a different kind of mandapams where devotees meet, sing and dance in the name of God.

    And Goundamani, I am not sure whether what I am writing here are compatible with the mission of this forum. Being a new member and having not much time to read old threads, I wonder whether I am throwing a spanner in the otherwise good work of this forum.

    I request admin to caution me if I am exceeding the limit. He may please remove any of my posts if found incompatible.

    Thanks.
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  18. #10
    swajaexpo Guest

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    hats of - i stand-by you
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