Someone told me Gurus would teach only the worthy ones (meaning upper caste) and not the ‘crooked ones’ meaning others. That really got me thinking. I felt a pity for the one who said this.
Because in one of the stories we read for a Vratha, there is something for exactly those like these:
Someone who refuses to teach and someone who refuses to feed people at home are reborn as a fruitless mango tree and a ‘malattu’ (barren) cow that does not breed. The mango tree does not flower and yield a single nectarlike mango fruit to make anyone happy and the cow cannot be milked. Both attain despair in frustration that is unspeakable and live a life of uselessness in their next janam that shatters their heart. Karma is unique and different. If this story cannot pass on a message to anyone, what can. Well this is how Sanatana Dharma deals with the sin of holding back knowledge you ought to share with everyone. This gem always is my favourite even if it may be a myth.
Of course we don’t have to dive deep into the Dharmic ocean to find a solution to everything.
‘Annaparavaiyai pola’ – the mythical swan that could separate milk from water for consumption, that is how we must mold ourselves. We must imbibe what is best for us and discard what is junk.
All the scriptures and academic degrees cannot bring in realization to some which is sad. The hypocrisy of sticking to discrimination arguing in favour of social injustice is appalling. Much more disturbing is the tendency to underestimate others. This kind of mindset is already breeding mediocrity all around us. Some of us can take insults in our stride and move on. If we are going to talk back to every barking dog, we cannot reach our destination. Some of us have not come this far in life if we are to be perturbed by every single barb that is thrown at us.
Some of us have faced racial slurs at work, discriminations and favoritisms valiantly in life and survived. We have lived the toughest way not relying for support on softening cushions.
As for me, I have always lived life in hostile territory with no fallback option. I think that has made me strong, and into whatever confused mass that I am. At least I am clear on some basics.
Mostly I have observed that, in life, it is those who have never stepped out of their comfort zones who judge people. If you live as minority in an alien terrain even for a short while, you will know you don’t matter, and none of that you think important may actually be relevant. Nothing about you could make sense and you are but a tiny atom in this universe, so insignificant and unnoticeable.
I am now convinced of why and how India remains stagnant. Lacking empathy and neutrality and sense of justice can never bring in progress. You suppress potential talent pool. How do you know without even giving a chance for 2-3 generations to prosper, for those who are not even having their first time graduates in their families. Had the Americans thought so, an Obama would not have been there. That is the mark of a literate, mature, truly democratic society. Whereas in India, the privileged kids going to posh schools want to vie for reservations on par with Panchayat school kids who walk to taluk schools on bare foot for kilometers.
I am glad I do not come from a family that attaches itself to a cultivated Guru. I am happy for my freethinking ways. After reading Narayaneeyam and Lalitha Sahasranamam and having your kids work as chefs butchering and skinning sheep and cow and tasting liquor for serving in five star hotels, you still think that Maths must teach only the privileged by caste, then I have no sympathy for anti-conversion lobbies. Wherever dignity is promised, masses move over to there.
But the mango tree and cow story is on my mind now for over 24 hours. It is almost time for the Vratha. Unlike other girls I did not have my parents tell me what to read or how to treat people. I have my Devi guiding my every step. To Her face let the casteists have the honesty and courage to declare how Gurus will not teach the lesser privileged (by virtue of birth) in Hindu Dharma. And how everyone IS and MUST and HAVE TO BE different. And that only they are the best.
Or probably the seers are right. Which is why they have not come up with a successor for Kanchi Mutt until now.