‘Brahmins need a deeksha to awaken empathy’

As the caste and communal cauldron gets nicely stirred up in Karnataka by the competitive padayatras of Hindu and Dalit seers, the noted Kannada writer, Devanoor Mahadeva, turns the mirror on Brahmins, in an important intervention at a seminar held under the auspices of the University of Mysore on Saturday.

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By DEVANOOR MAHADEVA

I vividly remember an interview that Alanahalli Krishna did with Kuvempu many years ago.

Alanahalli asked Kuvempu: “Do you really believe that the Madhwa philosophy is a mean one?”

Kuvempu replied: “Mean? Most mean.”

Alanahalli had a hearty laugh over that, and the waves of that laughter still reverberate in my ear.

Kuvempu’s impatience with the Madhwa philosophy can be understood in the context of his broad humanist position. The “Nithya muktha, nithya samsaari, nithya naraki” (“One who is forever free, forever involved in worldly affairs and forever goes through the torments of hell”) philosophy of Madhwacharya holds that the human being and the world do not change.

It renders society static, devoid of dynamism, and makes a philosophy of hellish hierarchies.

Vishvesha Teertha is born in this context and is the head of a mut that propagates this philosophy. He seems to be trying to move out of the inertia, struggling to break the confines of the philosophy. It strikes me as the struggle of a little sparrow caught in a net and desperately fluttering its wings.

There are times that I feel that he ought to be with us, not out there. But when I ask myself if his struggle is truly from the heart and born out of a deep religiosity, I cannot confidently answer in the affirmative.

We begin to wonder if Vishvesha Teertha’s padayatra is a matter of religious faith or religious politicking when we juxtapose him with the vachanakaras who said “Keelingallade hayanu kareyadu”, implying that there is no redemption without defeating the ego, and moved closer to the lower castes with this deeply felt faith.

When asked if a man from the Kuruba community would ever be made the head of his mutt, Vishwesha Teertha lost patience and retorted: “You ask this only to Brahmins. Would you ask the same question to a Christian or a Buddhist institution?”

In fact, any man belonging to the Christian or Buddhist faith can ask his religious institution why he cannot head it. Those religions allow it. But is such a thing possible in a Hindu caste-religion? Did a Kanaka Dasa, who stood outside the door of the temple, not belong to your religion? Or is each caste a religion by itself?

What then is dharma or religion? It is, in fact, the hierarchy of higher and lower castes and practices associated with it. This is why we do not think it is petty when Vishwesha Teertha is not allowed to perform puja in Tirupati.

This is also why we fail to see the hypocrisy of a man who will command people not to convert to other religions without a hint of moral dilemma, but will never declare: “Do not covert to other faiths, I am willing to make you the head of my mutt.”

We are never struck by the cruelty of a system that has accepted exclusion as a tradition.

Vishwesha Theertha is all set to give “Vaishnava deekshe” (initiation) to Dalits. There are already several Dalit cult traditions which have long ago been initiated into the Vaishnava tradition. They follow the purificatory rituals of “madi” and treat their shankha-jagates (conch and cymbals) with reverence and do not allow others to enter places where they are kept. They look for brides and grooms within their own small community.

This has led to greater divisions rather than any coming together.

The seer’s padayatra might increase the population of such dasas among dalits, more people might blow conches and strike cymbals. People who have done this have never moved from their position as untouchables.

When such is the case, the Pejavar seer would do well to re-think his plans of giving “Vaishnava deekshe”.

Instead, giving “thrija” (third birth) deekshe to the twice-born Brahmins might be good for the unity, balance and health of our society. The present dwija initiation is intellect-centric. The Gayatri mantra that is central to dwija deekshe speaks of awakening the intellect.

Intellectual activities could also lead to deceptions, discriminations and a sense of superiority and inferiority. What the Indian society today needs urgently is an awakening of a sense of compassion and camaraderie. I request the seer to give this (the thrija deekshe), especially to the Brahmins, to awaken empathy.

My request should not be mistaken for arrogance. (I am sure U.R. Anantha Murthy would ask me to give him “thrija deekshe” if he were to hear of this new concept!)

India has given birth to many things. In fact we are masters in the business of giving births. We are people who have made rowdies of gods to keep the hierarchies of the four varnas, and the discriminations that come with it, intact. I am asking the Pejavar seer to inspire yet another birth and awakening.

We are, after all, a nation that believes in births and re-births.

Let me add to this logic with another theory: Those who practiced untouchability in their previous births are born untouchables in this birth, in order to experience it first hand. Those who practice it now will be born untouchables in the next birth. If there is any truth in re-births, this could as well be happening.

The Indian mind which has killed itself thinking up logical arguments to justify hierarchies, might as well indulge this logical argument for once to bring about unity.

I am getting tired and weary, but there is no end to this. I am living from time immemorial in the hope of finding love and equality. My dream is that the Pejavara seer’s padayatra would inspire at least a few young dwijas to turn trijas, marry outside their castes, and inspire the birth of a new humanity.

I hope my dream comes true.

Link: courtesy Mahamed Ismail

Translation: courtesy B & B

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News library

Also read: For one good turn deserves another and another

What’s in a name? The key to a casteless society

What to do after ravaging our natural resources

External reading: Untouchability: a sin and a crime

Dinesh Amin Mattoo: Open letter to Visvesha Teertha swamiji

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52 Responses to “‘Brahmins need a deeksha to awaken empathy’”

  1. PC Says:

    Manual scavenging is rampant and exists in Karnataka. The political parties are *not* welcome to live in denial any longer.

    The Government is in Denial but files contemptuous Affadivits in the Supreme Court denying the existance of manual scavengers across Karnataka. Savanur is a specific case in point.

    Upper caste domination is being challenged. But this is not easy. A simple question to a government official attracts trumped cases which get the person asking the question jailed.

    Let’s also not get carried away with just the Brahmins. Do not forget Reddy domination and their contribution to the caste divide in areas like Kolar (in some taluks Dalits are still not allowed to enter temples and in Kolar town – scavengers are not allowed to use Autos).

  2. T Azeez Luthfullah Says:

    Embrace Islam to eradicate caste and establish a casteless society.

  3. ramu Says:

    I am a brahmin; but does not mean anything to me …
    – I studied hard, not becuase I am brahmin, just wanted to
    – I am honest, non-corrupt – not because brahmin, just wanted to be..
    – I dont eat meat, no-alchohal – not because brahmin, just wanted to
    – I work for private co…I was laid off, I again found new job…not because I am brahmin, just wanted to take care of myself and people around me
    – I continue to work hard (as hard as 20 years back)- not becuase I am brahmin, just want to work
    – I have given part of my earning as donation to under prevliged – not because I am brahmin, I like that way..
    – I try to tell less-fortunate whenever I get chance – “Please take care of urself & people around thru hard-work, taking care of your health, not-to-take-loan…..etc. – not because brahmin, just belive in that
    – I listen to music, watch movie – not because I am brahmin or artist is brahmin…just love the form of art..

    I can go on-and-on…….

    Anyone who blames others for his/her state of affairs, can’t move.. this is my philosophy…don’t Madhwa..or anything else….for that matter

    If a brahmin sits doing nothing in life, he will only be brahmin (will not have proper food, proper work, proper health, proper family……….)..and there are lot of them..what that brahmin means to them, only ….knows…

  4. VALALE SUBBANNA Says:

    Hypocrites like Pejavara should be banned from entering dalit keri.His paadayatra is just a gimmick.If he is really willing to accept dalits as equals
    let them be served food in Pejavara Mutt,Chowki and Badagumalige.Let him take dalit students to the hostels run by Pejavara Mutt.

  5. karihaida Says:

    Hard to understand what the author is trying to say… In my cult I make my decisions.. why should someone else dictate terms in my cult? If the other person wants he can start his own cult. I personally don’t like the madhva philosophy and the way their temples are run and so I don’t visit them. QED. This argument of them allowing dalits to head their mutts is just plain BS.

    Discrimination will end when you hit the god business where it hurts the most, i.e the money. These so called dalit voices should discourage people from visiting brahmin run temples if they feel so strongly about it. Afterall they are in large numbers than the evil brahmins and so stopping the money flow should stop the bad service :)

  6. div Says:

    People belonging to all castes, sub-castes – keep fighting. There will be a day when India’s largest minority community will be more than 50% slowly but surely. then you will realize the importance of unity. FYI, majority religion in INdia is growing at 20% where as they are growing at 29%. I am confident they will get there (half of the population), may be not in our lifetime, may be not in our kids lifetime, may be in 200 years, but this is definitely be the “eventual” fate of India.

  7. tksbhat Says:

    “In fact, any man belonging to the Christian or Buddhist faith can ask his religious institution why he cannot head it. Those religions allow it. But is such a thing possible in a Hindu caste-religion? Did a Kanaka Dasa, who stood outside the door of the temple, not belong to your religion? Or is each caste a religion by itself?”

    None of the comment veeras answered this question.

  8. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    The ashtamathas, all Hindu temples including Tirupathi should have qualified Dalit archaks and mathaadipathis. All jaathi based student hostels should go.

    Shri Mahadeva might have tried to read Dinesh Aminmattu’s elegantly written reasonable epistle to the pontiff of Pejavara.

    I have read Shri Puttappa’s magesterial comments on Madhwa philosophy in “Vishwakranthige Aahwaana,” but I am far from convinced that his knowledge of Madhwaism went beyond glancing at a footnote in an article by the eminent Kannada philosopher Hiriyannayya. It sure is a strange thing to say that Madhwacharya’s espouses a philosophy that insists on seeing life as a curse rather than a gift. Dwaitha doctrine speaks of making the best of this world in preparation for the one beyond. Whether the doctrine is practised by all Madhwas is a different issue.

    I want to say more, but for now I just note that Shri Devanuru, however facetiously, cannot help referring to a Brahmana by birth, Shri Ananthamurthy, as a person who might be eager to receive “thrija” deekshe from him.

    Let’s work on freeing ourselves from the self-imposed need of having our lives validated by Brahminism or Buddhism. Then there won’t be any need to talk of seeking deekshe from anybody.

  9. Anonymous Guy Says:

    div,

    You want to think 200 years ahead! I can predict a whole host of things in 200 years, which will make all your predictions irrelevant.

  10. prajwal Says:

    @tksbhat,

    after condoning the discriminations in our country, let me answer this question for you. The day a “dalit”(u decide the definition) converts to christianity and then is made the pope, or for that matter, the day any person is allowed to wear caps/hats/headgear inside the vatican, i suppose that will be the day when “dalits” will be made heads of a mutt.

    Don’t just criticise the brahmins without any idea for reality. I speak from experience of being a brahmin with a brother who is a brahmin who is trying to marry a dalit with no conditions from his side, and with all the caste based nonsense and restricitions coming from the kuruba side. This is happening everywhere. Brahmins are being hunted down despite trying to tear down the caste barriers, and here are the champions of our dali8ts n lower castes, making discrimination a worse problem rather than trying to help curb it!

  11. Bengalooru Haida Says:

    Et Tu ‘div’?

    You who lustily herald the ‘new’ type of politics in every single post? Is this part of the LokaSatta doctrine? Then there is no hope. I don’t think the original JP who fought against the Turkmengate atrocities during Emergency would be too happy.

  12. Pulikesh the Last Says:

    tks–

    Good point. Can anybody name one dalit Roman Catholic Cardinal or a Dalit Protestant Provost, a Brahmin swami at Chunchanagiri Matha, a former lingayath at a Jaina matha? Veerendra Hegde owns the Dharmasthala empire. Why are the archaks of Manjunatha Brahmins? Kanaka said, “Kula, kulavendu Hodedadadiri.” Will the Kaginele Matha have a Madhwa for Jagadguru? Make an SC or ST Commissioner of the Kaginele Pradhikara? Has the crazed mind of Yediyurappa been granting taxpayer money to Muslim religious organisations?

  13. Hogli Bidi Says:

    Had Kanakadasa not renounced and stayed as a Nayaka, he would have been received with Gowrava, Maryade in the temple.

    In Tirupati, an orthodox baDa Brahmana well versed in Veda Shastra etc. also has to wait for n hours to get the Darshana which a VIP or a rich man can easily get irrespective of one’s jaati.

    These are mere protocols which people follow according the changing times for their convenience.

  14. Hogli Bidi Says:

    What div says may not be 200 years far, at least according to the CM of a CPM-ruled state.

    http://expressbuzz.com/states/kerala/pfi-wants-kerala-to-be-muslim-majority-state-vs/192566.html

    Even though the theertha came out from the shankha, the mainstream media is neglecting this threat. On of my friends told me that it is ok even if he doesn’t get to eat beef as long as he has his foreskin.

  15. Amar. b. karanth Says:

    1st of all, just like how the dalit concept was started by the brahmins, the eradication of untouchability and discrimination in the society was also started by the brahmins. But no brahmin can really feel the pain of a dalit because he has never been dalit! Then why is he supporting dalits? Simple. To show the world the he is “intellectual” or “new generation thinker”! U.R.Ananthmurthy, no matter how harshly he portays the plight of dalits, its the thoughts and feelings of a brahmin that is more effectively portrayed in his works than the actual feelings of dalits. So in short, brahmins(including me and pejavara swami) can only fight for equality to portray ourselves as intellects rather than actual love for dalits.
    2ndly, I m still proud that I m brahmin. Because we perhaps are the only people in the world who can speak about the richest philosophical essense of Vedas and the dirtiest thoughts spread by the Vedas; both at the same time. We have accepted our mistakes of the past, accepted modern science and thoughts, speak against brahmins, vedas and show that we are “buddijeevigalu”.. But at the end of the day, when “amrutoma jyotirgamaya” chanting falls on our ears, we somewhere deep down in our hearts feel proud of contributing such magical meaningful chanting to the world. Heegu Unte!

  16. Oceanfifty Says:

    All this “Jaati Vyavasthe” will be blown to dust as India embraces the Jaati of Money. As the great Subhashita says

    Yasyaasti Vittam Sa Narah Kuleenaha, Sa Panditaha, Sa Gunajna
    Sa Eva Vakta, Sacha Darshaneeyaha,
    Sarve Gunah Kaanchanam Aashrayanti

    Who possesses wealth (automatically) hails from the best of families, he is an undisputed scholar, He has the best of qualities, he is a great speaker, the most beautiful….. all qualities take refuge in wealth.

    History has seen dime a dozen persons like Devanooru, URN, Kuvempu and the like. They all fell like pins on a wayward street. Shallow observations on hoary traditions and philosophies will only make Devanuru et al more rebuked and condemned .

    Just because we have the luxury of time to reflect, should not mean we have to dissect history with our narrow minded approach. What took place in Kanaka’s time is all dependent on heresy stories and narrations.

    History will take its turns and twists when its wants at its wont. None can influence it.

    Kaaalaaya Tasmai Namaha

  17. Nagendra Bhatta Says:

    More of the same junk from ‘intellectuals’ like Devanur. Brahmanas are always an easy target though they form a small percentage of the population with almost no political clout or money. Those who are demanding a dalit in Udupi matha, should also demand a dalit guy at Sutturu Matha OR Aadi chunchanagiri Matha. Tribalistic nature of human beings will always have an influence. If a ‘kannada’ family tries to get their daughter married to another ‘kannada’ family, it doesn’t mean that they hate ‘tamil’ families. If a vegitarian Brahmana family tries to get their daughter married to another brahmana family, it doesn’t mean that they hate gowdas or shettys. It all comes down to similar cultures, lifestyles and values.
    Having said that – I am not promoting any discrimination here. At the same time, I don’t think that Brahmanas need to go out of their way to marry girls from Dalit families to “prove” their secular credentials.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Amidst all the comments, the only one which stands the test of logic and which might be a plausible solution is the one offered by Karihaida! The downside to all of it though is if everybody continues to build cults, shrines and what not of their own, where is the damn thing going to end? The current set of good for nothing idiots like ravishankar-idiot par excellence, Amritanandhamayi- bear hugging bandicoot, kalki-notoriety personified, Saibaba-first criminal among equals etc. are just the modern version of divisions. I think there really is no means of stemming the rot.

    We could, as a nation, see a better day if we care to concentrate on morality based on modern rational foundations rather than deriving our morality from religions. Seriously, do we need religion to dictate morality to us? isn’t it evident to a rational mind what is moral and otherwise. In contemporary scientific education lies the solution, in everything else lies just the doom of civilization!

  19. Narayana Says:

    I liked the sentence
    Those who practiced untouchability in their previous births are born untouchables in this birth, in order to experience it first hand. Those who practice it now will be born untouchables in the next birth.

    Wa Wa.

    Now I understand why Chacha was reborn as dog in Sweden. He treated others like dogs.. Wait for Chachawadis to pounce on Hare Krishna organization now !!!!

    http://krishna.org/prabhupada-and-nehrus-incarnation/

  20. sunil Says:

    The author completely lacks even a basic understanding of “public” and “private” spaces! A public domain is something that is owned by the public (maybe through the Government) and everybody has a “right” to it. Ex. water, stateparks etc. Now is Madhwaism private or public? The lasttime i checked it is a private space and NO ONE has the right to demand anybody to be given access to it. Its like asking entry into my house, it is i who decides who enters into my space! thats common sense.

  21. Kumarpushp Says:

    Pejwara muth chief should be booted out from dalit basti,such type of hindu priest should not be allowed to enter the dalit basti,these mutha people are barbric who are making dalits slave.165 million dalits should embrace the Islam,Buddhism or chrsitinity ,conversion is the best defence against the barbaric hindus.

  22. Complex Says:

    @tksbhat:

    “In fact, any man belonging to the Christian or Buddhist faith can ask his religious institution why he cannot head it. Those religions allow it. But is such a thing possible in a Hindu caste-religion? Did a Kanaka Dasa, who stood outside the door of the temple, not belong to your religion? Or is each caste a religion by itself?”

    None of the comment veeras answered this question.

    Why do the dalits want to head an organisation they hate? They should boycott such temples, and build magnificient temples of their own and invite ecerybody to their temples. I am an atheist(parents are Hindu), and make it a point to never visit the temples because I don’t want to remove my shirt to go inside, because I don’t want archakas to tell me to hurry(It is insulting)

  23. div Says:

    @ Bengalooru Haida

    It is my personal view. The gist of my mail was that only if there was an “outside fear” (or such a perceived fear) might the castes stop fighting each other. This only showed the pessimism I have about how deeply entrenched some of these problems are. Of course, I do hope that the Indian identity will be much stronger than any caste, sub-caste or the religion, but we are way far from achieving that. So, the question becomes, can a very strong Indian identity be forged before any other identity (religious or language or regional or anything else) becomes much stronger?

  24. D P SATISH Says:

    A superb piece by Devanooru. I fully agree with him.

  25. Satyadhyana Theertha Says:

    With all due respect Kuvempu, he had no clue about the philosophy of Madvacharya and neither did he understand the context. Madhva’s philosophy dvaitha or tatvavada as it is called tries to negate the philosophy of advaitha as propounded by Shankara by positing the unchangeable and permanent nature of tatwas in the universe (prapancha). He accepted the classification of tatvas as in the sankhya philosophy and mentioned that there is no such unified consciousness in the world as propounded by shankara’s advaitha (or similar neo-platonic schools of philosophy). Among other things Madhva refuted the Mayavada belief of the world as illusion of Advaitists and the mind-only madyamika buddists. He maintained that ever changing does not mean that it is not real. Overall it is quite a complex treatise and you can understand the depth of his thinking if you can read and understand his 37 odd original works. I am sure Kuvempu has never even ventured to go into it but has simply used the superficial appraisals of Madhva’s works through Marxist historians like D D kosambi and others. They just use the too simplistic dialectical materialism of Marx and extrapolate it on irrelevant frameworks.
    That apart if you look at the sociological aspect of Madva’s philosophy, it was one of the foundation stones of the vaishnava bhakti movements unlike the other worldly shankara or buddha’s movement which spawned the asceticism of the sangha and dashanami sanyasi order. Chaitanya, Purandaradasa, kanakadasa and many many others are from the Madhva tradition and have clearly eulogized him in their works. The vedantic dharma became more personalized because of Madhva with personal gods in the form of Krishna unlike impersonalized philosophies of Shankara and Buddha.
    Kanakadasa, who is used by people like Devanoor mahadeva and Kuvempu to beat up the Madhvas is one of the primary saints in the madhva tradition. Kanakadasa’s legacy and teachings has been preserved, promoted and widey propogated by the madhvas. The Kuruba community has no oral or written record of kanaka at all. It is a strange phenomenon that you use a saint of a tradition who himself owns allegiance to it used as an anti thesis of the same tradition. This is just warped logic and mixing of irrelevant contexts.
    We should understand that the Madva, Shankara or jaina traditions are not religions like islam and Christianity. They were never intended that way and were induced to become when european indologists of the 18th century started classifying them as such. I am also against the Pehavar swami doing all this drama of dalits and so on. He is no religious thinker or philosopher but rather a politician. As a matter of fact Kuvempu and his disciples like Devanoor mahadeva, Ananthamurthy and Pejavar Swami all have a common bond. They believe in the false European narrative of so called Hinduism as a religion which should stick to the standards of protestant Christianity and its reformation.
    Untouchability, inequality and discrimination are matters of the civic law and should be enforced through them. Attacking only certain communities for prevailing social practices is a ridiculous act. The reality is the so called lower castes and dalits also practice graded inequality. It does not start from anywhere but is present throughout the society. This inequality is being morphed and transformed as the society progresses and is there in ever changing forms. Instead of looking at real issues objectively people like Devanur mahadeva try to blame a section of society for all the wrongs. The title ‘Brahmins need Deeksha to awaken Empathy’ is highly sectarian and racist (if you consider all Brahmins belonging to one race which they are not). The so called thinkers like Devanoor Mahadeva substitute thinking for stereotyping and profiling communities.

  26. karihaida Says:

    @Anonymous,
    Why should the cult business end? The more the merrier isn’t it ? More choice for the consumer. Eventually the free market principle determines which cult succeeds and which fails. Being bitter at S2R in being successful is just plain jealousy. They are enough dumb people to go around …
    In fact the idea of starting your own temple is being practiced by brahmins themselves. I know a couple of such temples. People get pissed off at bad service/no privileges at the existing big temples, suddenly discover some old broken down temple in their great great muttajji’s village, organize amongst themselves,raise funds and revive the temple. Ergo they are kings at their own temple ;) Plus they attract the local clientele from nearby villages/towns and soon its a pretty successful operation :)

  27. Kennedy Says:

    Past has to be given a break and we need to look at things ahead of us. If someone is doing a good deed there will be thousands of opposing forces. Devanur Mahadeva is one. As somebody has said, it is the easiest to say words against Brahmins and get away because of the small population but also most do not care.
    In a country infested with lakhs of swamijis and thousands of them being powerful, how many have walked into a Dalit home? What is their contribution to undo the past? Someone has said the seer’s padayaatre is politics. Give me a break! He is the most powerful seer today in the country and has remained apolitical. He has criticised Governments earlier and he has done it now – the present BJP Govt for handling the SEZ issue where many Christian families have been affected (remember Gregory Patrao) – see this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj5RGLjF-tM and this http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=80841&n_tit=Mangalore+%3A+Gregory's+Plight+Height+of+Injustice%3A+Pejawar+Seer . To call this a political move, one really has to be out of his mind
    His following is as strong in Bombay or Delhi as it is at Mangalore or Udupi. Do not forget he had antagonised many within the Brahmin community for this. Now some junkies wanted Dalit archakas. Why not? Can they learn what is required to be one? Before that, can they unlearn? Give up meat, drinking, etc?
    As a Brahmin, it gives me great pride in advocating what Shri Visvesha Threetharu is doing. No one has even thought about going beyond their usual small coterie. People calling names will do no harm to him. It is his attempt to bring sanity to Hinduthva. Devanur Mahadeva’s frustration is understandable. Will Mahadeva keep quiet if a Dalit is made a priest? No, he will find some other reason. I agree with one thing what he has said – many Brahmins too need ‘Dheekshe’. He anyway has a bias, as did Kuvempu. For all the greatness, Kuvempu became very small when he kept Sri Madhwacharya out of his rendition on Karnataka. Will that do any harm to the great saint or his followers? Zilch!!

  28. Simple Says:

    olle kelasakke nooru vighnagalu( many obstacles for good deeds). our lerned scholor Mr. devanoor has become a true example for such vighnas. Truly agree with prajwal and sathyadhyana. When Seer strives to bring harmony and unity in the society dont know why people make a big negative issue out of it. Intellectuals do not respond so quickly to the major political issues but always try to pull down people who are trying to do good to the mankind. I am pround what the seer is doing

  29. Kitapati Says:

    “In fact, any man belonging to the Christian or Buddhist faith can ask his religious institution why he cannot head it.”
    You ask but ye shall not receive.I do no think europeans will let go of the papal position so easily. All reincarnated dalai lamas till date are tibetians. The only people who can become reincarnated rinpoches are tulukus are moneyd hollywood stars. I do not think as a kannadiga brahmin I can become an anglican christian and become the archbishop of cantebury.
    In the Isckon temple in London I have seen black african-british brahmin priests. Yes brahmin, i have seen them recite the vedas. Maybe thats a good start for madva sampradaya as they claim isckon to be part of it.

    If devanoor mahadeva is true to his word, I would have converted myself to the ismaili sect of islam and become the next aga khan. I would certainly love his $35 million jet. Or even convert myself to Sunni islam and get into the royal family of saud, which controls the whole of UAE including the pilgrim hotspots of mecca and medina.

  30. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Time for brahmins to proclaim they understand the difference between the vedas and the upanishads and Manu. Manu’s edicts are followed by those who are not brahmins also Without the help of those so called lower castes the brahmins could not have kept the hierarchy business alive. They have nothing that the disenfranchised covet.

    Why doesn’t shri Devanuru say anything about shoodras helping maintain the inequity that he condemns? How about all those dalits in BJP, Congress, or JDS approved legislative positions? Our shining leader from Haradanahalli says he wants to be a Muslim in his next life, not a dalit.

  31. Somebody Says:

    Despite all his intellect, intelligence, concern for humanity, desire for equality etc. Devanoor appears to be living still in 19th century. Does he not know that times have changed and are continuously changing. Again, like Karihaida says, it is difficult to understand what exactly Devanoor sir states. Quoting a stalwart what he said 50 odd years ago is totally irrelevant in today’s context and sociological conditions. Of course casteism is bad – very bad. So, what do you do? go on blaming a small minority (most of them who have no economic or political power today)! What would happen?! Does the society transform itself with such pointless arguments, blaming for whatever happened 2-3 centuries ago. It is nothing but beating around the bush and whining without doing anything constructively for reforming the society. At the most, with such arguments, one may become a chota ‘leader’, thats all, that too for a particularly community and get the photos published in newspapers.

  32. VALALE SUBBANNA Says:

    @Nagendra Bhatta:Those who are demanding a dalit in Udupi matha, should also demand a dalit guy at Sutturu Matha OR Aadi chunchanagiri Matha.
    Let me ask you a hypothitycal qstn-tomorrow if the above said mutts appoint dalit successors would Pejavara ready to do the same?

    @T Azeez Luthfullah:what are those Sunnis,shiyas,sayyads,byaris etc……………?

    @Simple:What concerns DM and other intellectuals is integrity of the very people.

  33. Mysore Peshva Says:

    Well said, Satyadhyana Teertha.

    Well said, Simple.

    Discrimination based on caste is practiced way more by OBC communities than by Brahmins. The evidence is all around us. Yet, Devanooru and his fellow cunning politicians will not talk in any manner that will upset a vote bank or cause a riot. It is, after all, easy to needle the Brahmins, who are usually too small a community, and too decent, and too educated, to respond violently. I dare Devanooru to try saying what he did with the Yadavs, Jats, or even Vokkaligas or Veerashaivas or Kurubas.

    Brahmins, anyway, are so only if they are Brahmagnyanis — shrotriyaru or brahmanishtharu — or actively pursuing Brahmagnyana. Regardless, the positive social contribution of — and inspiration provided by — Brahmin communities is immeasurable. As everyone admits, Brahmins represent excellence in many areas.

  34. Gaby Says:

    Are people getting confused between the Brahminical traditions- patriarchal and the fountainhead of the caste system – practiced more by the erstwhile Shudras ( OBCs et al) and the current Brahmins who are as rich/por/stupid/good as anybody else in the community.

  35. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    One cannot be a Brahmin by birth alone. As MP says, Brahmanya requires continual tapas.

  36. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Right on, Gaby. Now some famous names:

    Y. S. V. Datta
    Winiwink Shastri
    NRN
    C.V.L. Shastri
    Brahmin ministers in Yed’s cabinet
    Brahmin ministers in SMK’s cabinet
    Corrupt Brahmin officials.
    The VHP folk

    I would not have the time nor you the patience to read if we were to list adhamas from other castes. An idea to ponder is why it is that Brahmins come to be demonised whereas members of other castes whose attachment to their own origins is not negligible go scot free. I do wonder what Professor Devanuru has to say about the Dinakaran affair, the Sampangi affair, the K. Shivaramu conclave and all the righteous people who can have anybody arrested without bail on a jatinindane charge. Why is the excecrable BJP supported by so many dalit intellectuals like Siddalingayya of the book outfit? Why do the gurus of dalit maths accept money from the BJP?

  37. VALALE SUBBANNA Says:

    @ PTL-I do wonder what Professor Devanuru has to say about the Dinakaran affair, the Sampangi affair, the K. Shivaramu ….

    I dont think ever DM defended the adventures of these guys.

    Why do the gurus of dalit maths accept money from the BJP?

    We can just equate this to Pejavara accepting offerings(Paada pooja/daxina) from the likes of Sonia Gandhi/Rahul G ETC.(eventhough he hates them)

  38. Prakash Tumkur Says:

    Mr Mahadeva, Brahmin bashing seems to be more important for you than anything else. It is time you re-invented yourself. Mr K V Putappa apart from writing some great literature tried to discriminate against the brahmins when he was the vice-chancellor of the Mysore University. We all know what happened to the career of Mr Gopalakrishna Adiga because of his anti-brahmin stance. And we called him a `vishwa manava.’

    Enough of such postures. Let us move on in life. You became `famous’ by carrying out campaigns against the Brahmins. Try to find another vocation which will make you `famous’ again.

  39. Simple Says:

    Very well said Kennedy and Sathyadhyana. To understand the real intention of the seer Kennedy’ s comments covers the same. Our friend Sathyadhyana has portrayed the madhwa philosophy. Our friend Prakash’s comment is rightly reflecting the DM’s campaign of ‘become famous through anti brahmin campaign

  40. vindy Says:

    sigh…another member of the BBC ..( Bomman Bashing Club) …pls ignore and move on ….

  41. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    P. Tumkur–

    What kinds of roadblocks did Puttappa put on Adiga’s path?

  42. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Just a little curious about who gave English roopa to Devanuru avara musings.

  43. suresh Says:

    Alas,

    We seem to have not moved even by an inch since 1000 or more years. The numerous deities, sub-deities, castes, sub-castes in hinduism is proving to be its worst enemy.
    It is this severe lack of unity among hindus that paved way for all religions of the world to rule over India, dominate and weaken us.

    The freedom to be a ‘naastika’, to question God’s authority, to go against traditions is allowed maximum only in hinduism.

    I read a post by a reader asking everyone to convert to Islam and thus establish a caste-less society!! Convert to Islam and you become a muslim not caste-less….

    The truth is even if the whole world follows only one religion, even then all the hatred, miseries, atrocities would continue unabated…because man is selfish and insecure by nature.

    See if a Govt. employee does your job without bribe just because he belongs to your caste or a person marries without dowry because bride-groom are from the same caste.

    Man will do anything for heNNu, hoNNu, maNNu

    One day in future there will be not much left of Hinduism…all the buddhi jeevigaLu of today would smile at that thought….end of hinduism will not be the end of caste divisions….remember the last scene of 1947 Earth…

  44. Dr Anand Says:

    “He who knows not, and knows not he knows not,
    Is a fool. Discard him and move on”

    so said a great scholar of yesteryear.

    Having said so about our great DM, I have the following to offer:

    Lord Krishna told Arjuna during Geetopadesha in the great Srimad Bhagavad Gita,

    “Chaaturvarnyam Mayaa Srishtam, Guna Karma Vibhagashaha,
    Tasya Kartaaramapi Maam, Viddhya Akartaaram Avyayam” meaning,

    “The four divisions of human order were created by me according to differences in quality, activities and aptitude; although the creator of this, know me as the non-doer being immutable”.

    Pl note that He never created any caste system. Those with menial thinking in quality, activities and aptitude (like for eg DM) automatically went down in the hierarchy. Those with superior thinking ascended to higher states.

    Take for eg, Srivaishnava Philosophy where the twelve Alvars were all inspired and ardent devotees who transmitted their divine infatuation to millions. The revered alvars came from all castes, a symbolic notion in Vaishnavism to show that devotion to God transcends ABOVE CASTE. Nammalvar, or Satakopan, belonged to the Vellala caste. Tirumangai Alvar belonged to the Kallara tribe. Thirumalisai Alvar belonged to Paraiyar untouchable caste. Tiruppani Alvar belonged to Panar untouchable caste, Kulashekhara was a King from Kerala. Vishnu Chitta, or Periyalvar, was a Brahmin.

    The happenings in the post independent India is good enough to see as to where we have reached. Before independence the reservation system was not as rabid as it is now. Merit had some place as for as admissions and appointments were concerned. Corruption was virtually unknown among the gazetted officers who were people of impeccable integrity. The administration was excellent and most lived peacefully since everyone knew his/her limitations.

    Come independence, within a decade everything went haywire. The intelligent amongst the lower classes made fools of their fellows thereby making themselves rich in the process. They could initially buy these fellows for half a bottle of country liquor. With inflation rising rapidly, their prices have also gone up and current market rate for a vote is anything from 5 k upwards in some constituencies. Men of no character rule the roost and have corrupted the entire system. Not for nothing some wise person said that the Dog will not stop eating offal despite being put on a throne. That is the story of the so called privileged people enjoying the benefits of reservation where the merit has been given a go by. The entire society has gone to dogs (Sorry, the dog may feel offended). People like DM who are cowards are only capable of flogging the poor Brahmins. If ever he has even an iota of courage (which I doubt), let him make similar remarks about cast-ism that is widely prevalent in other religions as well. Do not forget, a Christian professor lost his hand for having made a remark about the Prophet Mohamed in his question paper.

    Ultimately who is the loser? The society itself! Remember the poor Brahmins of Tamil Nadu who were hounded out by the wicked Annadurai and his successors one of whom is a high class Brahmin herself! Most of them went to other states and countries and have prospered, so much so, NASA declares holiday on the Upaakarma day when the Brahmins change the sacred thread, since the majority of their employees are Brahmins!

    All I want to tell people like DM is not to attempt to spit at the Sun at noon. You may not reach him but at least make an attempt to travel. Or else, your saliva will fall on your face only; or should I tell people like myself that we should refrain ourselves from throwing a stone at the slush? Or should I advise them to learn to lead a principled life based on merit and hard work, sincerity and integrity instead of indulging in such mudslinging?

  45. Bengalooru Haida Says:

    Dr. Anand,

    I experienced true Ananda by reading your comment that’s so free of all prejudice, generalization, stereotyping and bigotry – so unlike that ignoramus DM.

    Only a small point I implore you to clarify – you said ‘NASA declares holiday on the Upaakarma day when the Brahmins change the sacred thread, since the majority of their employees are Brahmins!’.

    Here is a link to the list of holidays at NASA.

    http://nasapeople.nasa.gov/employeebenefits/pay/2010Calendar.pdf

    Due to some western conspiracy it doesn’t list the holiday that you have mentioned. So it would be good if you can provide the source of your information.

  46. Mysore Peshva Says:

    Shabash, Dr. Anand… Thavu bahala sogasagi vyaktapadisidiri.

  47. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Bengaluru Haida–

    Anand anthaha pandithavarenyarannu thegaluvadu thappu. Every Walmart store within ten miles of a NASA outfit has a shelfful of janivaaras. Sears will be next.

  48. Dr Y N I Anand Says:

    Dear Bengalooru Haida and Mysore Peshva,

    Thanks for your remarks!

    I had received the info about holiday on the Upakarma day some months ago through one of the e mails. Probably it has been deleted. I shall post further information as and when I get the same.

    Thanks,

  49. Srinivas Mitra Says:

    Brahman. He is not Brahmin from his birth. Only by practice he becomes Brahmin. Brahmin is not cast or religion, it’s a way of life. For the question by a guy from kuruba community cannot head Krishna mutt, here is the answer, if that guy fallow the brahman way of living from his birth he can head Krishna mutt. For a week let one guy from any non Brahmin way of life follow and stay in the environment what Brahmins have. I bet he can’t survive. Enough is enough…. I think even reservations starts for the head of mutts.

  50. Wizened_Vipra Says:

    Hey friends,
    Every individual is driven first and foremost by selfish needs and no man is an exception to this. Swamijis etc can forego the need for money, family, progeny and material things for the larger good but some of them are not an exception to the fact that an Individual craves for attention, recognition and fame. Our Visvesvarateertha sreepaadangalu is one of them. But the moot point here is not our Swamiji’s need for fame but the great DM espousing the cause of Dalits by stating that the Brahmin swamijis have to allow someone from the Dalit background to ascend to the seat that they adorn and thus prove that what they say is true.

    Here the great DM is a pamphleteer for Dalit causes and his kitchen fires are kept burning by his espousal of these causes and concepts. He is able to sell his books and writings all because he poses as the only saviour of all the so called oppressed people of society. He is able to earn some money by posing as the master of this platform.

    Why do you all deny the poor fellow of his share of two minutes in the limelight and his share of the money which his followers allow him to make, happy in the illusion that he is born as their great redeemer.

    If you want to expose him as just another selfish guy out to make his thousands at the cost of his gullible followers, just challenge him to accept the pithadhipathi sthana of any Brahmin mutt but after one small change in the circumstances. Divest the position of that Pithadhipathi of all the real & symbolic powers held by it.
    Ensure that no one(neither brahmin, or any other person of other castes and religions prostrates at the feet of the pithadhipathi). Ensure that the pithadhipathi position doesn’t have control over and single piece of land, educational institution, political party or politicians, rich men and is devoid of all other material benefits that are directly or indirectly associated with it.
    Only then offer it to the great DM or any person he designates for the position.

    Lo and behold they will not touch it even with a bargepole.

    By this they can easily be exposed of all the tomfoolery they have been subjecting their hapless followers to, all thes days. It is as simple as that, my dear friends

  51. Practical Man Says:

    The author of the article is definitely retrogressive and hateful towards the Seer in my opinion.
    I say that because instead of appreciating the approach that the Seer has taken to include all people the author is asking only questions which will put the Seer in bad light like why not we can head the mutt?
    With such an attitude he can only quench his hatred for Brahmins and do no good to any one.

  52. A.R.Ramachandran Says:

    Kuvempu is no authority on Philosophy and so his views on Sri Madhvacharya’s philosophy need not be taken seriously at all. In the first place, he was a wrong person to be asked such a question in the first place.

    Philosophy is a dispassionate examination of questions about reality. Truth or reality cannot be modified or adopted to changing realities of the day. Sri Madhvacharya claims his works to truly follow the Vedas. So, that and worldly reality is the touchstone to determine the authenticity of his work and not the changing political opinions of the day.

    The triple classification of souls that Madhva offers is a broad hypothesis to explain human nature. Yes, evil is very much present in human beings. No amount of pious hopes can explain away the fact that human beings were roasted alive in gas chambers, that wives get raped before husbands, that society sees instances of fathers raping their own daughters among several examples that we find every day. So, the philosophical question arises from where does evil originate? It cannot come from matter or space or time.It cannot come from God as he is fount of all that is pure and nobel. It cannot come into existence all of a sudden without any antecedents. Therefore, it has to be located in the ‘nature’ of the soul. Similarly, the other two categories as well. This is a logical explanation for reality and also supported by scriptures. This is a broad hypothesis. Spirituality is an activity of the person. He gets it into it on his volition and based on his self confidence. There is no reason to believe that he is a soul destined for damnation. .

    In fact, despite all its philosophical strength, Madhva’s followers today are miniscule. Most of the people believe that they are good and noble. Then, why has society not improved? False views do not inspire society. It is better to understand the truth, however unpalatable it is, and act accordingly than propagate falsehood for sake for imposing harmony.

    So, I urge people to study philosophy to shed light on truth rather than as a cheap means to gain political points. Political attitudes and fashions keep changing but truth is eternal. . .

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