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Saturday, April 19, 2008
Grieve not Mr Karunanidhi, you are not a Shudra!
Not a day passes without our Chief minister entertaining us with his pearls of wisdom.
The most recent one is that the people are deliberately spreading falsehood
to black-out the “excellent achievements” scored everyday by his government.
Why do people spread falsehood?
Here is his explanation for this..
“What to do, this chief minister does not wear the sacred thread.
And he was not born in the caste represented by God’s face.
He was born in the caste identified with his feet.”
What a finding!!
The provocation for this finding is an editorial in Ananda Vikatan
which was critical of the handling of the phone-tapping episode by the government.
Strangely Deccan Chronicle which initially reported the scam
was spared by him which he must have targeted vociferously,
probably because its editor happens to be a Muslim.
But what intrigues observers like me
is why no one questioned the propriety of a Chief secretary of a state
giving guidelines on how to proceed in a case against the former chief minister.
In what way was it connected with his job?
Was this not more serious than phone-tapping itself?
But none seemed to think in these lines.
Coming to the issue on shudra, which I thought I have something to say,
this is not the first time he has raked up an accusation like this on Brahmin vs Shudra.
He has done it in the past too.
If we know the way he acts and reacts,
we can easily predict when he will take up this accusation.
If the opponent happens to be his arch rival, Jayalalitha,
his reaction will be
“you too did it when you were the Chief minister. Why then accuse me now?”
If it is his alliance rival, say Ramdoss (father of Anbumani Ramdoss of AIIMS (in)fame),
his reply will be
“you can probe it in 2011 when you say you will come to power”
If it is common man
he will not bother to reply.
If that common man happens to be a Brahmin by caste,
his reply will be how he has given in the present scenario!
“I am a shudra. I don’t wear the sacred thread. That is why you say like this”
That is all. Matter over. Everyone will keep quiet.
The ultimate blame has now fallen on the poor (really poor many of them are) Brahmin
who is not clever like him in talking!
Karunanidhi is clever – definitely clever in replies like this.
He can even be called as a tri-kaala gyani,
one who knows
all the three states of time - the past, present and future!!
Look at his replies.
He connects to the past in his reply to Jayalalitha,
to the future in his reply to Ramdoss
and to the present in denouncing anything or anyone of Brahmin.
Can such person be shudra??
If by shudra, he means to say that he is not intelligent enough as a Brahmin,
he is proved wrong.
Because for any issue he has not less than three clever answers
which will put his detractors in a spot.
He IS clever,
so he can not be a shudra!!
If by shudra, he means a lowly caste, then he need not worry,
for caste has not put him in any disadvantage whatsoever.
On the contrary
he is the best example to show that status
is not connected to caste
and that one can rise to become the ruler of the land
irrespective of the caste he belongs to.
If by shudra he means the weak and the meek,
then he is not a shudra.
Recalling the words of Bheeshma
when Draupadi wanted him to spell his view on
how she could be dragged into the court after the dice game,
“the words of strong men will be the law”.
It is not caste nor intelligence
but brute power of might
that is the rule of the land.
Karunanidhi too knows this.
But because that power is challenged he gets irked
and lashes these accusations
depending on kala, desa, varthamana and persons who are involved.
His brute power does not spare even gods.
It is by this brute power he changed the calendar year for Tamils.
It is by this brute power he stopped the New year festivities in temple.
Such a person can not be a shudra!
Even by his own words comparing himself with those supposedly born of God’s feet,
he is not a shudra!
For one who does not even believe in the existence of GOD,
where is the chance to consider himself as being born of God’s feet?
So he can not be a shudra!
Why lament that he does not have sacred thread?
There is no bar on anyone to wear the sacred thread,
provided they are willing to learn Hindu thoughts.
Karunanidhi is already doing Yoga and is worshipping Suryanarayana.
It is just a formality for him to wear the sacred thread.
If he is ready,
many will be ready to initiate him with a sacred thread.
Such a person who is qualified to wear the sacred thread
says that he is shudra.
He is not a shudra!
Yet he is often found talking like this.
There can be only one reason for this.
It is about the true meaning of Shudra
or the meaning in which this name was coined and used.
Etymologically, the word shudra means ‘one who grieves’.
The grief is because of not knowing the Truth.
The opposite of shudra is not Brahmin.
It is vipra.
Vipra is one who is ecstatic,
The vipra knows and enjoys God,
whereas the shudra is one who grieves
because he does not know or enjoy god.
Anyone who grieves on account of this is a shudra.
Narada was one at one time.
Narada once told sage Sanatkumara
that he was in a state of grief.
Though he had known all Vedas, Ithihasas and puranas,
he could not understand the Truth of Brahman. (Chandogya VII.i.2-3)
Sanatkumara taught him Bhumavidya (Bhuman = Brahman)
That made him gain knowledge of the Brahman
thereby shedding shudra-hood.
Similarly the mighty king, who was the greatgrand son of Jaanashruthi was a shudra for sometime.
(chandogya chapter IV)
He was known for his good works as a king -
like how our Chief minister, Karunanidhi is.
He was very proud of his works like our Chief minister.
But two sages did not accept this.
They approached him in the guise of swans.
While one of them was praising him,
the other spoke contemptuously of him
that he did not possess the knowledge of the Brahman.
On hearing this the king was grief-stricken,
but did not react like our Karunanidhi
that he was after all a kshathriya, not a Brahmin.
He listened to them and wanted to know what he must do.
They advised him to approach a sage, Raikva for help.
This sage addressed the king as shudra twice in his dialogue
It was because the king was grief-smitten.
The king wiped off his grief after receiving the knowledge of Truth of Brahman.
Anyone who is grieving is a shudra.
Once the grief is gone, the shudra-hood also is gone.
This is how the term shudra was defined.
But why should Karunanidhi crop up this talk time and again?
I have an answer to this which I share here.
He is more like an Ati-vadin, than like a shudra.
The power of arguments of the Chief-minister is
comparable to Ati-vadin in Vedantic parlance.
His power of arguments or vaadam is supreme.
He will argue in such a way to make people believe that he is more right.
But he is a shred below the ati-vadin in the application of this term.
The ati-vadin is one who makes a statement surpassing previous statements
and the statements of others,
in establishing that his statement is far truer than others’ statements.
But this statement will be about Atma vidya or the object of worship.
But Karunanidhi’s statements as Ati-vadin are not about Atma vidya.
That is why he is naturally grief-stricken.
In this sense
and in the truer sense of the term,
Karunanidhi IS a shudra.
He need not worry about not wearing the sacred thread.
If he wants to wear the sacred thread,
he must first give up material quests,
know and accept that good deeds give good results
and bad deeds give bad results and
accept that God is the Ultimate Reality
controlling this system of good and bad
and that as a ruler he has to treat all the citizens equal
(not as backward or forward).
I don’t say this from any so-called Arya vedam.
The sage Raikva I recommend to him are
Tholkappiyam PoruLiyal sutra 53
and PuranaanUru 29.
His long innings in public life which has revealed him threadbare
to observers like me steeped in sanatana ways,
the assessment is that
he is neither a shudra (absolutely no grief),
nor a Brahmin ( he can not give up material quest)