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kkumar29

Guest
I don't know. My wife (who is a non brahmin) was allowed to participate in srardam ceremonies after our marriage. They told me that by virtue of marrying me she has become a brahmin.

I assumed that adoption would bestow a similar brahmin status on the adoptee.

K. Kumar.
 
I don't know. My wife (who is a non brahmin) was allowed to participate in srardam ceremonies after our marriage. They told me that by virtue of marrying me she has become a brahmin.

I assumed that adoption would bestow a similar brahmin status on the adoptee.

K. Kumar.

Shri Kumar,

Your family looks very broad-minded. But that is not the position with many (why, most) tabra houses even today. I know one tabra boy (now, man) who married a girl belonging to lower caste. Though his parents allowed the marriage, after much resistance, after the boy's maternal uncle adopted the girl as his daughter. But, for a number of years after marriage, the parents were wary of allowing the dil to take part in sraaddham, sumangali praarthanai, etc. May be they have also undergone a change of mind by now.
 
I don't know. My wife (who is a non brahmin) was allowed to participate in srardam ceremonies after our marriage. They told me that by virtue of marrying me she has become a brahmin.

I assumed that adoption would bestow a similar brahmin status on the adoptee.

K. Kumar.

A NB girl getting married and becoming wife of a Brahmin man and becoming a Brahmin herself by leading samsaram, delivering babies and extending her husband's lineage, I think, can not be equal to the grant of Brahmin status to any other grown up adoptee, for any other sort of relationship, in terms of performing karma kaaryams.
 

kunjuppu

Active member
Shri Kumar,

. May be they have also undergone a change of mind by now.

sangom,

for the sake of our children and their feelings, i hope we as a community change our minds soon. we keep on sticking to stuff in the name of tradition, and drive away our children from the best of our traditions.

how long can we continue to drive away the best of us away from us, all in the name of conventions!! shame on us!!
 
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sangom,

for the sake of our children and their feelings, i hope we as a community change our minds soon. we keep on sticking to stuff in the name of tradition, and drive away our children from the best of our traditions.

how long can we continue to drive away the best of us away from us, all in the name of conventions!! shame on us!!

Shri Kunjuppu,

I feel there can be a thread to discuss "the relevance of the brahman way of life in the 21st. century". I would requset you to start it, for, your language has the necessary ability to bring the points very clearly.
 
@ All (quoting Nara) - Superstitions continue to exist because people keep them, not just tradition.

"This is the legacy of Brahminism. When it comes down to it, superstition rules, "what if" matters more than "what is". "

Typical of Nara.

Regarding rites, if we make our own decision on it, there is no opposition anyone can give. I would say we should go that way - go ahead with what rite you feel is right.

But if this thread, like many others is used as a tool to say "oh brahmins are like this or that..how bad" etc, its not a genuine thread for discussion.

Puzhavai, can I tell that the brahmins preists who insist on such rites are one part of the fault, those who conform to it by agreeing to it are also at fault. Now lets go to the concern of the wife:

"and the faithful wife was scared that his athma would not attain moksha if a nair performed the rites on her brahmin husband.so,the'pure brahmin' send..off was performed by a person who has very minimal contact with the family."

Did this woman then not take this adopted boy for her son? Or believe that if he did the rites nothing bad will happen? We see where the issue is.

Either one doesn't get offended by such rites (in which they insist a brahmin should be there), or one dares to defy it. Don't be in between to blame others with our partial faults.

All these rites, rituals for disposing the dead etc. change by generations. While things by the name of brahmin tradition or custom exist today, its no doubt its been changed. Thereby, we can use our sense of judgement to change it too (today). Its all about what one considers right/correct.

Lastly, this is typical of this forum, that anything to do with negativity and casteism is branded as "brahminism". For all the beliefs and all the ritualist preists insist on, which btw is not the (only) "legacy of brahminism", we have people following it - that is why it exists.

Doesn't attain moksha by the actions performed by others, or rituals done on their dead
body? :)

This again should have been taken care of by the previous generations, and unfortunately we have to come till today.

Regards,
Vivek.
 

kunjuppu

Active member
Shri Kunjuppu,

I feel there can be a thread to discuss "the relevance of the brahman way of life in the 21st. century". I would requset you to start it, for, your language has the necessary ability to bring the points very clearly.

thanks sangom. i will start one, though not sure about 'ability of my language'. :)
 

kunjuppu

Active member
[B...
This again should have been taken care of by the previous generations, and unfortunately we have to come till today.

Regards,
Vivek.

vivek,

i feel, that we are currently now 'the previous generation of tomorrow'. let us say that we agree on the failings of the previous generation, it does not behoove well of us, to sit flat and lament on the same, while doing nothing for the next generation.

so, why cannot all of us, while pointing the fingers at generations past, (the only difference between you and me, is my fingers point to a more extended period back in time, whereas yours is confined to those from the post 19th century generations..atleast that is the way i see it from mile high), come up with our suggestions for the future.

for example: you have indicated in your post number thirtyone, 'All these rites, rituals for disposing the dead etc. change by generations. While things by the name of brahmin tradition or custom exist today, its no doubt its been changed. Thereby, we can use our sense of judgement to change it too (today). Its all about what one considers right/correct.'

to me, this puts you right in sync with my way of thinking, that when it is appropriate, our common sense should rule over the strictures of any religious dogma. which perplexes me further, because why should we not use the same common 'relpolitik' sense to come to working terms with the dravidian rulers of tamil nadu? instead of butting heads with them constantly. again, i am speaking of the 'rank and file image'. the smarter ones in our community continue to serve the dravidian parties and their honchos with their services and marriage alliances, and appear to be prospering.

common sense!!
 
P

pviyer

Guest
"Using common sense to decide right and wrong". Firstly that is what is mostly happening more so with every new generation.
If everybody starts using their common sense no rituals will be left and nothing will be followed. So the whole purpose of a community called brahmins disappears and ultimately the descendants will become like another set of westerners.
That is not how it should work. There is a need for changes, but a decision reached by the entire community using guidance from the holy people. Normally that is what used to happen in the past.
Now there is neither unity in the community or even among relatives( half of one's relatives seem to be wary ,jealous or angry with each other) nor is there a consensus on who is a holy man. This is an important reason why this is community is going in a directionless manner and everybody comes up with his or her own rule.
 

KRS

Active member
I was out of town yesterday, and today I find Sri Vivek-v-Ji back. I did ban him permanently from the Forum, but there seems to be a glitch in the s/w. I have brought this to Sri Praveen Ji's notice.

In the meanwhile I thought about letting Sri vivek-v Ji to continue. But he still has posted the same sentence that got him banned.

Sri vivek-v ji, if you post again in this forum, your posts will be deleted, till we fix the s/w, which, when fixed will not allow you to post.

Regards,
KRS
 
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kunjuppu

Active member
"Using common sense to decide right and wrong". Firstly that is what is mostly happening more so with every new generation.
If everybody starts using their common sense no rituals will be left and nothing will be followed. So the whole purpose of a community called brahmins disappears and ultimately the descendants will become like another set of westerners.
That is not how it should work. There is a need for changes, but a decision reached by the entire community using guidance from the holy people. Normally that is what used to happen in the past.
Now there is neither unity in the community or even among relatives( half of one's relatives seem to be wary ,jealous or angry with each other) nor is there a consensus on who is a holy man. This is an important reason why this is community is going in a directionless manner and everybody comes up with his or her own rule.

pv,

thank you for your post. i find this a broad based generalization which cannot be quantified, atleast by me. it is much akin to saying that the 'world has gone to dogs and i cannot do anything about it'. except that the 'wrold' in question, is our own tambram community.

our ancestors may have had more inclination to live by the book or the edicts issued from the mutts. chances are they lived in isolated communities, where even the spread of the message took months if not years.

today is the day of instant communication. not nationwide but world wide. in the scenario, when the mutthead issues proclaimations which are jarring and at cross purposes to our daily livelihood and lifestyle, it is not surprising that we chose to ignore it.

in that we are not the only groups. the vast majority of the catholics, including the educated ones in india practise family planning, which goes directly against the prime doctrines of the roman catholic church. that the pope does not marry, adds more incredulity to any sex oriented doctrines from the same church.

during my school days, i had a neighbour whose son was a senior to me by a few years. i followed the same schooling path of her son, and she used to openly 'pity' me. for, according to her, each school system, immediately on her son's graduation, was not 'the same anymore' and 'had gone to dogs'.

btw, pviyer, how many people do you know did 1008 gayathris during the last avani avittam. my count of toronto tambrahms = zero. not sure, how many of us even bothered to change the poonal, from those who are still wearing it. perhaps it is only a tenuous link, thanks to the definition of 'brahmin' in the indian constitution that binds the disparate community that we have become?
 

kunjuppu

Active member
"Using common sense to decide right and wrong". Firstly that is what is mostly happening more so with every new generation.
If everybody starts using their common sense no rituals will be left and nothing will be followed. So the whole purpose of a community called brahmins disappears and ultimately the descendants will become like another set of westerners.
That is not how it should work. There is a need for changes, but a decision reached by the entire community using guidance from the holy people. Normally that is what used to happen in the past.
Now there is neither unity in the community or even among relatives( half of one's relatives seem to be wary ,jealous or angry with each other) nor is there a consensus on who is a holy man. This is an important reason why this is community is going in a directionless manner and everybody comes up with his or her own rule.

pv,

thank you for your post. i find this a broad based generalization which cannot be quantified, atleast by me. it is much akin to saying that the 'world has gone to dogs and i cannot do anything about it'. except that the 'wrold' in question, is our own tambram community.

our ancestors may have had more inclination to live by the book or the edicts issued from the mutts. chances are they lived in isolated communities, where even the spread of the message took months if not years.

today is the day of instant communication. not nationwide but world wide. in the scenario, when the mutthead issues proclaimations which are jarring and at cross purposes to our daily livelihood and lifestyle, it is not surprising that we chose to ignore it.

in that we are not the only groups. the vast majority of the catholics, including the educated ones in india practise family planning, which goes directly against the prime doctrines of the roman catholic church. that the pope does not marry, adds more incredulity to any sex oriented doctrines from the same church.

during my school days, i had a neighbour whose son was a senior to me by a few years. i followed the same schooling path of her son, and she used to openly 'pity' me. for, according to her, each school system, immediately on her son's graduation, was not 'the same anymore' and 'had gone to dogs'.

btw, pviyer, how many people do you know did 1008 gayathris during the last avani avittam. my count of toronto tambrahms = zero. not sure, how many of us even bothered to change the poonal, from those who are still wearing it. perhaps it is only a tenuous link, thanks to the definition of 'brahmin' in the indian constitution that binds the disparate community that we have become?

ps. one of the most ridiculous definition of vinaykar or hanuman, by my local english literate vaathiyar - bang on announcing during a wedding function about the elephant-god or monkey-god generates more twitters than veneration. maybe common sense would be of use here atleast!!
 
"Using common sense to decide right and wrong". Firstly that is what is mostly happening more so with every new generation.
If everybody starts using their common sense no rituals will be left and nothing will be followed. So the whole purpose of a community called brahmins disappears and ultimately the descendants will become like another set of westerners.
That is not how it should work. There is a need for changes, but a decision reached by the entire community using guidance from the holy people. Normally that is what used to happen in the past.
Now there is neither unity in the community or even among relatives( half of one's relatives seem to be wary ,jealous or angry with each other) nor is there a consensus on who is a holy man. This is an important reason why this is community is going in a directionless manner and everybody comes up with his or her own rule.

PV Iyer,

I can understand your anguish. But the rituals will not disappear. They may be modified by some people to suit modern thinking. All my children studied in Public schools which are totally western oriented. But now that they have reached their 30s I find them following many of the rituals. They are religious. One of them even wears a Panchakaccham and does Puja every day. I was not doing this.

Vasanas will not disppear. We are the progeny of great Rishis. Our community will retain our traditions.

It is possible that the future generation may not follow the Rituals to the letter. But they will be followed in Spirit. They will do better because they will be doing them after understanding them and not just because it has to be done or to please some one.
 
P

pviyer

Guest
Kunjuppu and Nacchinarkiniyan talked about individuals making decisions(relating to modifications in customs) without spiritual guidance
Today we have each family left alone as an island. The problem with coming to decisions without consulting elders and spiritual gurus is that most normal people make impulsive decisions. I can explain with an example. I used to read Bhagwat Gita without the invocation mantras. Nobody said this was mandatory as it was left to "indvidual common sense". Take the common RK Mutt publication of BHAGWAT GITA . When they publish a thousand verses cant they publish 10 more. No they dont. Similarly with most other publications of Gita. There are a few traditional ones though.Anyway, so I got hold of 70 year old copy of Bhagwat Gita which included the invocation mantras. I decided one fine day, to read it with the invocation mantras, including some special ones, performing the instructions( hand gestures et all) . I found something unusual. I suddenly was filled with the powerful physical presence of something which I could not describe. Then the reading of Gita took a different turn as my mind was tuned on to a more powerful plane and when I referred in the end to sections on fruits of reading gita, I was thrilled. This was because it made more sense that these sanskrit syllables had a spiritual potency. I could connect with the hare krishna concept which I read recently that the words themselves are the bhagwan. But if something as simple as invocation was not paid attention to, what went wrong?Nothing for the past few decades people seen these invocations as ornamentations and jumped straight to the main subject. But if they had made it mandatory to study as per traditional recommendations this would have not arised. Most people of those times may have neglected it or used their common sense .It is possible they found no benefit in its recitation due to their own specific mental states at the time of reading. However if people who even read Gita once in their life,had consulted a traditional spiritual counsel on the right way to read to Gita, he would have told them that invocation mantras are necessary. In this particular case, I could revive a not so common practice because I looked at a traditional book. But extend this logic to all our customs. If you make a change in a custom, how much faith your son will have in it. How much confidence you yourself will have in it,that itself I am not sure. Some customs will never again be revisited even though a particular descendant would have certainly benefitted from it. A lucky descendant might be reinspired by the practice surviving somewhere in the globe. But that is a rare incidence. More rare a particular custom becomes more difficult to revive it. Nacchinarkiniyan talked about one of his son wearing panchagacham but how common is it? Then imagine the situation of his other grandson whose father never wore a panchagacham.
Kunjuppu sir, pointed out that the teaching of a particular tradition guru does not inspire him.The first question which I have in my mind, is how much he felt a need to have a guru? A guru is required because there are things beyond our common sense.In the example of invocation mantras to Gita, even I would have found it not so important before I practiced them. I was lucky to experience power because of some luck or because of my mind state at that time. Not everybody is lucky at first attempt. That is where a guru is needed to show us the way. We sincerely follow his views. Now the problem here is really that we dont feel inspired by certain gurus. Okay then look for a guru who can satisfy our needs.
Coming back to change of practices, I feel
1. arrive at some kind of mutual consensus within community. If opinions are divided , let them form concrete opinions after getting all facts on the subject available. Note down the different opinions
2. Arrive at a consensus on who will be the right guru to decide on the view, he may not be a know all, but he may have deep knowledge and experience in this. Selecting a teacher to arrive at a decision is also a discussion process/.There are many who will not have confidence in anyone. Then ask them if they have personally met all the gurus in question or are they basing opinion based on rumours and news reports. If they say they have then the best thing that the rest can do is advice .I am sure that the rest may not come to a conclusion that one Guru alone fits the bill, so lets have different groups each with its own guide.
3. Approach the Guru with faith, seek his opinion on the matter at hand, and then discuss back in the community if a surprising verdict is reached and then iterate within the group till some decision is reached. In other cases pursue the Guru's advice.
This is a better approach as far as I am concerned. If there are valid scriptural answers to the questions we have , then we may first consult if this is exactly what the scripture traditionally means and follow it as per our common sense. we may reach 10 types of decisions for the community based on a proper discussion. But because of the ellaborate process and approval of valid authorities, it will inspire confidence in the next generation. Just letting each individual pursue his own way , applying his own common sense, without going through a rigorous process of examination and consensus will be self defeating. The decison may not only be not right, it may be broken easily, thus paving the way for younger generation to question more on the practices handed to them by their elders.
 
Kunjuppu and Nacchinarkiniyan talked about individuals making decisions(relating to modifications in customs) without spiritual guidance

No. You are wrong. We did have spiritual guidance. I have a Deeksha Guru and a jnana Guru who have given me spiritual guidance. My son also has a Guru who is both a Deekasha Guru and a Jnana Guru.

When Tamil Brahmins in general talk about Guru, they means the Kula Guru like Paramacharya or Bharati Teertha. They are Matathipathis and Kula Gurus. Only for a very few they are personal Gurus.

Today we have each family left alone as an island. The problem with coming to decisions without consulting elders and spiritual gurus is that most normal people make impulsive decisions. I can explain with an example. I used to read Bhagwat Gita without the invocation mantras. Nobody said this was mandatory as it was left to "indvidual common sense". Take the common RK Mutt publication of BHAGWAT GITA . When they publish a thousand verses cant they publish 10 more. No they dont. Similarly with most other publications of Gita. There are a few traditional ones though.Anyway, so I got hold of 70 year old copy of Bhagwat Gita which included the invocation mantras. I decided one fine day, to read it with the invocation mantras, including some special ones, performing the instructions( hand gestures et all) . I found something unusual. I suddenly was filled with the powerful physical presence of something which I could not describe. Then the reading of Gita took a different turn as my mind was tuned on to a more powerful plane and when I referred in the end to sections on fruits of reading gita, I was thrilled. This was because it made more sense that these sanskrit syllables had a spiritual potency. I could connect with the hare krishna concept which I read recently that the words themselves are the bhagwan. But if something as simple as invocation was not paid attention to, what went wrong?Nothing for the past few decades people seen these invocations as ornamentations and jumped straight to the main subject. But if they had made it mandatory to study as per traditional recommendations this would have not arised. Most people of those times may have neglected it or used their common sense .It is possible they found no benefit in its recitation due to their own specific mental states at the time of reading. However if people who even read Gita once in their life,had consulted a traditional spiritual counsel on the right way to read to Gita, he would have told them that invocation mantras are necessary. In this particular case, I could revive a not so common practice because I looked at a traditional book. But extend this logic to all our customs. If you make a change in a custom, how much faith your son will have in it. How much confidence you yourself will have in it,that itself I am not sure. Some customs will never again be revisited even though a particular descendant would have certainly benefitted from it. A lucky descendant might be reinspired by the practice surviving somewhere in the globe. But that is a rare incidence. More rare a particular custom becomes more difficult to revive it. Nacchinarkiniyan talked about one of his son wearing panchagacham but how common is it? Then imagine the situation of his other grandson whose father never wore a panchagacham.
Kunjuppu sir, pointed out that the teaching of a particular tradition guru does not inspire him.The first question which I have in my mind, is how much he felt a need to have a guru? A guru is required because there are things beyond our common sense.In the example of invocation mantras to Gita, even I would have found it not so important before I practiced them. I was lucky to experience power because of some luck or because of my mind state at that time. Not everybody is lucky at first attempt. That is where a guru is needed to show us the way. We sincerely follow his views. Now the problem here is really that we dont feel inspired by certain gurus. Okay then look for a guru who can satisfy our needs.
As I said it is wrong to assume that people do not have spiritual guidance. Many of them do.

About Bhagavad Gita when Ramakrishna Mission publishes a book, the intended audience is people who are Hindus and also people who are interested in Hinduism. The invocation Mantras, Nyasas etc. differ from region to region and samparadhyas. They are not part of the original text. That is why they are not published.

If you take the Devi Mahatmyam book by Ramakrishna Mission only the original text is published. The texts which precede and which succeed the recitation are not published. Devi Mahatmyam is recited in Bengal by most people. The authors knew about this. But since practices change from region to region they are not included.

Again if you see Vishnu sahasranamam by Lifco, Madras, it gives both Sankara Bhashya and Parasara Bhashya. The namavali changes depending on what bhashya you follow. That is whether you are a Smartha or Vaishnavite.

Here both of them are published because the text is intended for serious recitation of Vishnu Sahasranama.
Coming back to change of practices, I feel
1. arrive at some kind of mutual consensus within community. If opinions are divided , let them form concrete opinions after getting all facts on the subject available. Note down the different opinions
2. Arrive at a consensus on who will be the right guru to decide on the view, he may not be a know all, but he may have deep knowledge and experience in this. Selecting a teacher to arrive at a decision is also a discussion process/.There are many who will not have confidence in anyone. Then ask them if they have personally met all the gurus in question or are they basing opinion based on rumours and news reports. If they say they have then the best thing that the rest can do is advice .I am sure that the rest may not come to a conclusion that one Guru alone fits the bill, so lets have different groups each with its own guide.
3. Approach the Guru with faith, seek his opinion on the matter at hand, and then discuss back in the community if a surprising verdict is reached and then iterate within the group till some decision is reached. In other cases pursue the Guru's advice.
This is a better approach as far as I am concerned. If there are valid scriptural answers to the questions we have , then we may first consult if this is exactly what the scripture traditionally means and follow it as per our common sense. we may reach 10 types of decisions for the community based on a proper discussion. But because of the ellaborate process and approval of valid authorities, it will inspire confidence in the next generation. Just letting each individual pursue his own way , applying his own common sense, without going through a rigorous process of examination and consensus will be self defeating. The decison may not only be not right, it may be broken easily, thus paving the way for younger generation to question more on the practices handed to them by their elders.
It would be difficult for us to arrive at a common Guru. The Guru depends on the system of Philosophy that you follow. The Sri Vaishnavas have individual Gurus. Smarthas follow different systems of Philosophy. Any one of the Shad Dharsana. Ramana Maharishi was a follower of Pure Advaita. Then you know about Sadasiva Brahmendra Avadhuta Swamigal. My sampradhaya is of the Avaduta lineage. The public perception of Sadasiva Brahmendra and our sampradhayic perception differ. He was a Siddhar.

Majority of the Tamil Brahmins are Purva Mimansa followers. Their rituals are Purva Mimansa in origin. But even in these rituals there is lot of difference between regions and sects. What is followed by a Vadama in Tanjore district may not be followed by a Brahcharanam in Thirunelveli district.

About Scriptures, I have taken Vanaprastha Ashrama. Now according to the common belief among the Tamil Brahmins, Vanaprastha Ashrama in Nished in Kali Yuga. But sages like Yagnavalkya and Manu do not agree with this view. The Nished is based on some of the later Dharmasasthras.

Then fundamental changes have taken place in our rituals in the last 100 years.

When and Why did we give up Aupasana which is part of our Nitya karma?

The sacred fire has an important place in the Vedic religion. The student-bachelor performs samidadhana twice a day offering samidhs (sticks of the flame of the forest or palasa ) in the fire. This rite is not continued after his marriage. When a person becomes a householder he has a number of rites to perform in the sacred fire. In place of samidadhana he now has the aupasana. The latter word is derived from "upasana" which term is used in the sense of puja, chanting of mantras, meditation, etc. But, according to the Vedas, aupasana is a rite performed in the sacred fire by all Hindus
Aupasana from the Chapter "Grhasthasrama", in Hindu Dharma : kamakoti.org:

How many Brahmins do Surya Namaskaram?

Surya Namaskara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Everyone has heard of Adhitya Hridhayam. But how many know about Aruna Prasna.

Then in daily rituals how many people do Pranayama as it was originally intended? How many people do Dhyana (Meditation) as it was originally intended?

What I am trying to point out is

1. that there are many problems in arriving at a consensus about common practices.

2. Our rituals have changed/have been changing over the years. It is not a process which started now. It started ages back when the Brahmins left Arya Varta thus going against injunction of Manu Smiriti.
 
P

pviyer

Guest
When Tamil Brahmins in general talk about Guru, they means the Kula Guru like Paramacharya or Bharati Teertha. They are Matathipathis and Kula Gurus. Only for a very few they are personal Gurus.
Let me explain the whole purpose of shankaracharya in the past. Shankaracharya was supposed to be a master in all branches of vedas and shastras, and he was also said to have atmic realization so that he could reconcile and present a consistent view of all systems. Though this probably happened rarely, after the time of adi shankaracharya , this was his purpose. No doubt some of the folks here have gurus. But do you visit your guru to ask his opinion on what must be done with regard to a change in a particular ritual?I am sure you dont, if you want to change it , you think that this can be done like this and change it. Forgive me if I am wrong about this. Anyway if you feel that your Guru is knowledgable enough to reply to specific questions on a specific topic then it will be helpful if you share that opinion with all of us. We will be most obliged to you, if you do that. Not all of us may agree but one section of the community will come to a consensus on that subject. I know that many members here have different usages and customs and traditional gurus as well. I said that it is alright. Let us have 10 different sets of opinion on a particular subject because of 10 different gurus?There are 15000 of us!So it is acceptable.
A guru need not always be the same person for all topics. I am sure that for a question on marriage ceremony, people thought that paramacharya was a better person to ask than ramana maharishi. But if it had been a questiom on meditation or control of mind people would have been inspired to ask ramanar. Sometimes certain questions can be answered by a repository on that tradition. For example a question on a ritual on marriage as per sama vedic style, the best person would be the most prominent scholar in that area. That is the whole point of a forum. Not all individuals have knowledge of and access to all kinds of gurus. There are many here , who have never had an opportunity to talk to any guru. How many of us here have the bhagyam of speaking and asking questions to kanchi swamigal even if we feel he is the right one for us. Such people are most affected. They either dont have confidence in a traditional guru nor are they aware of alternate people( in the sense awareness of the greatness of others). But if this section is convinced that this is what an acceptable Guru had to say, they will follow him.Thats where the community plays a role. Also decisions may be divided amongst members of a community but the how many possible sets of final opinions will be arrived, if we make it a practice to consult a guru? Nacchinarkiniyan may be lucky to have a guru to suit his purposes. Many people here may not be followers of his guru. But if he explains the greatness of this guru, and also explains the standpoint of the guru on specific issues, even not so followers ,many of them will be inclined to accept that view. This is what I meant by spiritual guidance. Unfortunately admist more than a 100000 population of tamil brahmins , I am sure we will not locate more than a few hundred eligible guru for any question on hand. This forum is a micro community and so we should have fewer sets of opinions. For most people, it is sufficient for them to know that a Guru who has knowledge of the scriptures has a certain verdict. If the guru comes as part of their own smartha tradition or as part of their own tradition acceptance will be more. As a side remark, regarding tirunelveli brahacharanam and tanjor vadama, the differences in rituals no longer matter today to most of us. A tanjore vadama may be inclined to positively consider what a tirunelveli brahacharanam has to say, if the viewpoint is consistent and has been endorsed by a guru.
 
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