Written by Sri Swami Chandrashekarendra
To speak on the other hand of the glory of Tamil culture, constantly
recalling the words of Tiruvalluvar and others who extol love and divine
grace, and to raise on the other hand the cry of hatred against a
community - with the display of posters everywhere proclaiming such
hatred - does not seem to me right. It goes against the very spirit of
land and causes me great anguish. If you cry "Grow", instead of crying
"Perish", all the hatred and all the quarrels will vanish. Instead of
agitating the abolition of the caste system, people must star a movement
to build more and more temples and spread devotion.
If everybody joins in this endeavour, the devotion that brought all of
together in the past as one family will again become a powerful source
reunite us and create a sense of universal wellbeing.
If there is devotion,
there will be no caste hatred. Such was the case during all these
centuries. There was caste in the old days but it did not cause
amongst the communities. It is not caste itself that is to be faulted
the hatred arising from it. So to attempt to destroy this institution is
burning a house to kill a rat. The movement to put an end to the caste
system has disrupted the old division of labour and together with it
caused discontent, disquiet and jealousy among people. Hatred among
the different communities has grown like a big tree with many branches.
It is time that we opened our eyes to the evil and started making effort
substitute the campaign with its cry of destruction with a movement to
bring all classes and castes together so as to promote devotion to
and service to humanity. It will be one way of ignoring caste hatred.
Countering caste hatred as such might have the effect of refuelling it.
we ignore it and turn our minds to other matters - other noble matters -
bitterness due to caste will cease by itself. Suppose you are admonished
not to think of the monkey while taking medicine, you will perhaps be
tempted to do the opposite (that is to think of the monkey). Similarly,
when we keep all the while speaking against the caste hatred, the effect
will be the opposite, that of reminding people of caste differences and
arousing feelings of inferiority among some sections and of superiority
It is important for all to become involved in a good cause, like the
construction of a temple, or some public welfare scheme. Good feelings
like love will surely spring in the hearts of people; at the same time
good will be done to society in general. Today, it is because people are
not involved together in such [constructive] work that they turn their
minds to destructive ideas, to argumentativeness and to gossip and
quarrels. Unfortunately, some people think that if they inflame hatred
between the communities or instigate quarrels or disputes, they will be
able to gather a crowd of admirers round them. If we are all the time
engaged in constructive work there will be fewer opportunities for
trouble-making; indeed people will not find the time to do evil.
People go in procession until their legs ache, raising cries against
that. Would there not be all-round growth and prosperity if all this
manpower were employed to good work, if all the energy of people were
turned to some constructive task? There is one type of "growth" that is
higher than all others; it is the love that springs in the hearts of
think there must be a "tight" time-table for all: performing religious
worshipping at temples; listening to religious discourses; all castes
working together for a divine cause or being engaged in social service.
Adhering to such a time-table would mean universal happiness and
prosperity. Besides, it would obviate the necessity of raising the cry
hatred against any caste.
There are certainly no differences between one jati and another so far
"status" is considered; that is one jati is not inferior to another or
superior to it. All jatis have produced great men -Appar, Nammazhvar,
Sekkizar, Nandanar and Kannapar to name a few. The Acarya himself has
sung the praises of Kannappar in his Sivanandalahari. The sastras
that it is a sin for anybody to regard himself as superior to others.
men have shown us the way in this matter. They have spoken, abasing
themselves, "Nayinum kadaiyen"; "nayadiyen". People don't share this
kind of humility in the present age of freedom - and that indeed is the
cause of much of our trouble. We must regain the old sense of humility
and modesty. If so, Jati will be confined to work, functions, and will
the least be a cause of any feelings of differences. If all people adopt
same style of living that is simple and virtuous, there will be no cause
jealousy or heart-burning.
Whether or not we have the courage or the spirit of sacrifice to work
towards this ideal, a way will open out for us if we at least recognise
ideal. May we have success in achieving this ideal with the blessings of