Friendships and relationships can survive only if the parties are on equal footing. By equality, I am not referring to material well being. The sense of equality and justice has to be in the mind. The wrong sense of entitlement some nurture harms friendships how much ever back by years that may go. The gods must be equal, the rights and birth privileges must be equal, the trust has to be mutual and matched. Simply nobody is born with a silver spoon. May be some unjustly have had a headstart but the remorse or repentance in the bargain in current times can go a long way in correcting the imbalance in holistic ways. The historical injustice first has to be acknowledged for if social justice has any hope at all. I can’t think of spirituality without the embedded element of empathy in it. Any thing removed from it can be mere religiosity that can have nothing to do with enlightenment. Fellow Hindus seem to have reduced everything to jargons like Advaita, Vaishnavism, Mantra, Tantra, Yantra etc. The raw and basic truth is that, a Vettiyan or a cremation ground worker needs none of this or has no use to any of these for his afterlife. As simple as that. I wonder how and when some numbskulls will get it into their heads. Plus if you chestbeat that you have access to Veda and Upanishad by privilege of your birth, you have to factor in that this was achieved by suppressing sections of humanity from progress by your forefathers. This genetic advantage garnered over centuries did not come free. It cost millions of Hindus their DIGNITY. Never can I dismiss the thought from my mind that prevents me from embracing all that these so-called wise-asses seem to lecture on Dharma. I am far removed from the philosophical ways of these smart-asses who ‘know all’ seemingly. Well, I don’t have to know anything at all. Over the rituals, I am a seeker, becoming more of a seeker, who wouldn’t even have to become a monk or saint for self realization. I can just nurture my sense of empathy, lend a sympathetic ear, identify with others pains, acknowledge others disadvantages because some stood to gain at every front, understand their anguish and rage at the injustice. I find my peace in hugging their sense of loss bred over generations as they watched others march past them. Any talk on Hindu renaissance has to aim at stemming the rot from within. The cancer is in the mind when you pit yourself above a section of humanity and self congratulate yourself for what you stood to gain. No Hindu group or study is willing to give a consideration to the question of equality and social justice in the first place. I would request anyone to place themselves as a vettiyan’s son confined to a hut with mud walls within the cremation ground tending to burning bodies not for an year or a century but for a continuous two millennium. Well, it is for instance at the cost of the man’s dignity that you are where you are. Stop lecturing if you cannot empathize with fellow humans especially if you are from the creamy section who have contributed to the miseries of mankind directly. In no other part of the world or in no other religion is a burial grounds person in his profession by birth like we have in Hinduism. Where is mention of service in Hindu Dharma. We have had to wait for the Christians to teach us what humanity is and how through service we can seek spirituality. Which Hindu seer impressed upon anyone to serve humanity. Where in the Vedas is stress laid on service to humanity. We have our flaws and we need the correction. Not even reservations can give back the dignity these people were denied. Who knows whether there is a nether world. Making the world we live in today a happy place for everyone is all divinity about. If you cannot do it, don’t resort to damaging humanity even further. My heart goes out to all of human race who have been vanquished, suppressed, downtrodden and stripped of their sense of dignity, denied their equal social justice. My heart goes out to the wild life of the world and even domesticated pets some of which had to be genetically mutated for vanity to pander to man’s whims. The kind of world and the kind of faith I envision can never match up most of my friends. To me their hollowness of rituality is disappointing. I think we all pursue our own paths after a point. Mine is not the same as most Hindus I know or i am friends with or related to.