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    Legends distorting Spirituality,
    Krishna and Castes

        Disciple: Before we stop, may it please the Guru to clarify just one point. Krishna you said, was the avatar -highly evolved soul sent by God's Will- to guide a Yuga.

        Guru: That is right. His birth marked the end of one Yuga -era- and the beginning of another. To discuss Krishna, one needs to know a few things. Many great men had taken birth before Krishna and had lived according to the dictates of the particular Yuga in which they were born. Before Krishna was born, certain errors had been committed. This matter has been made clear to us.

        Consider for example the times of Rama. A Sudra sanyasi -renouncer from the lower of the castes in India- was performing austerities. Rama punished him with death, for taking the path to God! With this killing the royal seal was put on caste oppression. One section of society within the same polity and under the same king, were free to pursue the forbidden path of learning. Another section was not. How did this happen? This incident points to an error that existed before.

        That the subjects were divided so under one king, was the result of power intrigues. One group of people maneuvered to drive away some others and established their hold on power. They were generous to their own clan and

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    routed out the others. Even today this tendency can be seen in governments the World over.

        We are a free people now and we claim to be proud of our freedom fighters. Yet many leaders who played vital roles in the freedom struggle, are consigned to historical neglect. If such is the practice fostered by even present-day administrations, we can imagine what would have happened under ancient administrations. By some logic or the other, they had established an edict forbidding the Sudras, lowest of the casts in India, from even hearing the Vedas, books of spiritual knowledge. That is why the Sudra adept was not allowed to pursue his quest for knowledge. If a king denies some of his subjects the right to penance and worship, those subjects so denied would lose all perspective of their growth and liberation.

        The Puranas, Hindu sacred literature of an historical and prophetic character, proclaim that a country becomes decadent without its sadhus -persons dedicated to the search of God-, renunciates and seekers of truth. It is the adherents of the same scriptures who denied the Sudra the right to do penance. One does not know what evil intent these so-called religious men had put into action! We are all aware of incidents in recent history. We have witnessed the creation of Pakistan. Why go that far? Take our Travancore, situated in South India, for example. What did Marthanda Varma do when he became the ruler of Travancore? He captured his rivals and exterminated them. He killed the men folk and gave the women away to fishermen. In the wake of this onslaught

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    some of them fled. Among other places, they found shelter in Karunagappally, Karthikappally and Vaikom. The descendants of these women have retained their hereditary good looks and bearing. An example is the Chembil Aryan family, who were renowned builders of race boats. They still maintain a certain dignity. Even Brahmins, used to eat in their house during feasts, though they sit in a separate row. These are indications that the divisions in society have been deliberately created. In this distorted state, Sudras were denied the right to study the Veda -knowledge. They imbibed a decadent culture and their life slid into abjectness.

        The two earlier eras, Treta and Dwapara, were periods of the saints and devas. In these eras, worship could only be channeled through the medium of saints and devas. In the scheme of saint and deva worship, the Brahmin -higher of the castes- elite kept the Sudras away. But in Kali, the fourth era, this changed. If we believe that the earlier three eras have run their course according to the respective Yugadharma -Spiritual Law that has to be followed in a certain era- is it not certain that the fourth era would have a Dharma of its own to be followed? According to the Dharma -Spiritual Law- of this era, so the scriptures enjoin, the saints and devas lose their authority. If so, is it not imperative that we understand this and act accordingly? It is said Kali Age witnesses the Sudra's right to rule. Further if the Sudra, is said to have the right even over the Vedas -Hindu philosophical scriptures-, we will have to concede it.

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        Apart from the denial by the King and the Brahmins, there is yet another reason for the backwardness of the Sudras. Take Kerala for example. The Brahmin elite, apart from preventing the Sudras from gaining knowledge or holding authority, also had sambandham -cohabitation without marriage- with Sudra women, disregarding the injurious repercussions this had on the pitrus, ancestors. The Brahmins thus tampered with progeny, and destroyed the role of the child in striving for the spiritual redemption of his ancestors, since the ancestor itself became illegitimate. The Brahmins refused to share vital knowledge, and degraded the people so denied into subject status.

        The birth of Krishna, as said earlier, heralded a change in this country. Krishna came at the end of one Yuga -era- and at the beginning of another. He was a Sudra Guru whom the Brahmins tried to reclaim for the Trimurti. Likewise we have the story of Mahabali, the Sudra King of Kerala who was destroyed by Brahminism.

        We are told of this exemplary king who was just and was loved by all his subjects. A deity, in the guise of a Brahmin was supposed to have stamped him down in to the nether World. It is a classic myth made up of sages, deities and kings for mass consumption. These are idle stories fed to us. We might even have enjoyed them. The king's rule was excellent. People were happy with him. He was eliminated, so says the outrageous legend, because the ‘gods’ were jealous of his excessive righteousness. The truth must have been that some clever conspirators got the king murdered and grabbed

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    power. To cover up this disappearance they would have spun a story. The bard of the court handed it down to posterity. This is the legend behind the Onam festival in Kerala. Is it not evident that there is trickery? The king as the legend has it expressed one last wish. He wanted to visit his beloved subjects once in a year. Onam is the day when he is supposed to come up from the nether World to visit Kerala.

        Just like the appearance of the deity in the Onam legend, there is another legend of a deity materializing in a royal household in Kerala. This is Ayyappan, the son of Shiva and Vishnu in a strange union. Around this deity a very strong cult has sprung up all over south of India. Actually he was the son of a carpenter in Palghat, in North Kerala. He lost his parents when he was three. As an orphan he was adopted successively by many households. Eventually he learned Kalarippayatu, the martial arts.
       
        He achieved considerable spiritual advancement and became an adept. As a part of his spiritual learning, he traveled as an avadhoota, a renunciate, wandering in search of knowledge. It was during this travel that he visited the royal household and eventually found a retreat on Sabari Hill.

        As you can see the legend about Ayyappan is a distortion. Last year around sixty million people went on pilgrimage to Sabari Hill in South India, because they conceive Ayyappan as a fully realized or liberated soul, though this is a great mistake.

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        The illiterate masses were thoroughly ignorant of these happenings. Are not these stories examples of distortion by caste interests?

        Disciple: Kindly tell us from where you have got this history.

        Guru: What I have told is not the complete story.

        There is a great deal more to say; it is not to be revealed yet. What I have just said is only to make people aware of certain general undercurrents. We have, as already indicated, received a vast amount of information through darshanam -spiritual revelations. It is not yet time to reveal everything. I have already said that if there are people who believe in this belief tradition, they will document it after my time.

        Disciple: You began to say something about Krishna earlier but stopped in between. What is it that you had wanted to say?

        Guru: The law of Manu says five Gurus, spiritual masters, will come in one Yuga -era. In two Yugas there are eleven Gurus. Krishna is the eleventh Guru at the end of two Yugas, Treta and Dwapara. He was born in Dwapara Yuga and died in Kali Yuga.

        Disciple: Krishna is popularly known as a deva. Is it not so?

        Guru: In the preceding ages, Treta and Dwapara, it was the authority of the devas that prevailed. Besides the Brahmins, highest of the castes in India, needed to present Krishna as a deva for their own survival. They always kept a separate mode of worship for themselves. Even though they have been priests in all the temples, they observed a specific worship at

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    home. Let us consider Venkateswara Prabhu who is the object of worship of Vainkinis, (community of people believed to have existed here with the Dravidians long before the arrival of the Aryans), the Gauda Saraswata sect of Brahmins. The deity has neither nose nor eyes. The rituals of decking it with sacred ornaments, differ from the practice in other temples. The deity is given ceremonial markings covering the entire face.

        Krishna belonged to a low caste family, though his mother's brother, Kamsa, was a king. They were of Sudra origin. However the Brahmins with the passage of time accepted Krishna as their own. Thus no matter what the origin of a spiritually endowed seeker is, depressed class or caste or even outcasts, the Brahmins appropriate him in due course. This tendency is reflected in extra-religious activities too. Take political parties and other organizations. The Brahmins will be at the top everywhere. They will conduct themselves in such a way that the others will invite them to such positions.

        The Sudra origins of the ‘Twelve sons of the Pariah Women’ were played down, when these wise men were no more, by the Brahmins. This was done by making them acceptable through suitable writings. While these Gurus were still living, the Brahmins were too hesitant to mingle with them or to recognize their work and vision.

        It is well known that Krishna's birth was prophesied. There was an attempt to prevent his arrival too. After he came into the World, however, people were convinced that he was indeed a perfect soul. It was clear that

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    he was a jnani -wise soul enlightened by darshans (spiritual visions) with the power to see past, present and future. When the birth and growth proved Krishna’s greatness, the Brahmins became uncritical and even began to write about certain aspects of his life. Krishna was recognized to be a great man, who had conducted his life in a manner which showed how moral order was to be established in the society of those days. Krishna had achieved this by accepting and respecting values in such a way as to strengthen them. Thus through his life he fulfilled the purpose of his birth. This is well borne out by the way Krishna stood up for truth in the eighteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita -sacred text of Hinduism. It proves that he knew well why he had taken birth. Krishna, in the battle of Kurukshetra, gave away his army and weaponry to the hundred Kauravas and himself stood with Arjuna. Remaining only as a guide, a mere charioteer, he prompted the action of the battle. This is the sign of a Guru. If it were a deva, the deva would have come forward to engage in the battle himself. For a Guru all are equal. But wishing for the triumph of Truth he would stand with the just.

        Among Hinduism's ten avatars -highly evolved souls sent by God's Will-, are Krishna and Kalki Janardana, warrior figure supposed to be the last of ten avatars wearing an armor and sword and riding a white horse. It is not made clear who this Kalki Janardana is. The Buddha has been made out to be an avatar. It has become a peculiar Hindu habit to attribute avatar hood to all who become illustrious. Attempts are being made to describe Ramakrishna,

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    Narayana Guru and Chattampi Swamikal as avatars. We can assume that the Kalki avatar has already taken place. In Guru Nanak's tradition there is such use of the sword and shield. Next to the Christian and Islamic traditions it is the Sikhs who follow a Guru or Prophet. Hindus may not accept this view of Kalki. They would think of Sikhism as a separate religion. Be that as it may this incarnation has taken place in India itself.

        India has seen the rise of several religions like Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. The Hindu priesthood cannot conceive of all this as part of a single larger movement. They do not acknowledge great seekers born of different ethnic origin or in a different faith.

        The story of Krishna has been variously written according to different conceptions of Krishna, as a deva and so on. The story given to the lower folk was of a Krishna who had sixteen thousand and eight wives. How would these poor people view the individual presented to them through such a story! Even if they become more evolved they would not know what to make of such a story. They would have no alternative, except to fall into this trap and stagnate. For the elite there is the Bhagavad Gita, Hindu book describing a conversation between Krishna and his disciple Arjuna, on the brink of the great battle at Kurukshetra, containing great spiritual wisdom. It was forbidden for others to even see it. In a like manner they have kept away the Vedas -Hindu philosophical scriptures- too.

        Disciple: But the reading of the Gita is not forbidden?

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        Guru: No, it is not. But you know the lower castes at one time were barred even from learning to read and write. Many of the higher communities also, who were free to be educated, could not really read great literature. In short one in a million could have read works like the Mahabharata and Ramayana, epic poems of ancient India considered to be holly books.

        Today it is assumed that most people are familiar with the contents of the Bhagavad Gita. Actually how many people read it? Some attend lectures on the Gita. That is all. The book is in Sanskrit. It is worth considering how much influence a book in Sanskrit would have on Malayalis, Tamilians, Telugus, Tulus and others. Among Hindi-speaking people, it has been fairly widely read. This is due to Devanagari, the script common to both Hindi and Sanskrit. If you check closely, you can see that the popularity the book enjoys, is a recent phenomenon within the last sixty years or so.

        In Kerala, people had been familiar till recently, with works like the Narayaneeyam. That is not the situation at present. Gita has taken precedence over them. A person who could have expressed the truths found in the Gita, could only be a very great man. Why did the elite present such a great man through a profane legend among the lower rungs of people? We must not overlook this as an act of ignorance. It is the biggest among many travesties committed through a cunning manipulation of knowledge.

        Krishna, it is said, married eight wives. May be in those days unmarried

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    girls were not allowed to be close to a male. Likewise Mohammed married ten wives.

        It is men such as these, who are being described as great souls who influence the course of an era. Such men do not hesitate to do whatever is necessary, good and bad, for the era. That is why Krishna and Mohammed married. Nature directs them to do certain things as though wanting to achieve certain ends through them.

        Krishna was a person who had evolved up to the eighth stage of spiritual evolution. It was at a similar stage that Mohammed was directed to marry. Muslims allow polygamy for males. Even the man who rolls beedies in the pavement and the fishmonger marry ten wives, comparing themselves with Mohammed! South Travancore follows Panchali's example and the women there can be seen to marry up to five husbands. People imitate the great only in such respects without trying to emulate their higher action. They do not show even an inclination to reflect on the reasons underlying such actions of the great seekers.

        King or avatar, his truth would be revealed only through the distorting Brahmin filter. The Mahabali story, we have seen is an example for such deceit. In other instances Brahmins have tried to make non-Kshatriya kings into Kshatriyas, social class regarding the rulers. All kinds of intrigues are found in history. The Brahmin elite was interested in perpetuating the deva worship. Language itself became an unconscious tool in their hands. Texts

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    like the Amarakosam, the Sanskrit Thesaurus, and Siddharoopam, had the idea of the devas worked into them. ‘Amara, nirjara, deva,’ is how the Amarakosam begins. Thus whoever dealt with language, invariably got involved with the idea of the devas. Brahmins were always holding on to the rights over Vedas -Hindu philosophical scriptures- and worship, in some way or the other. Continuity of the Varnas, the castes, was essential for this end.

        The Gita indicates that Kali is the age of heterogeneity. If it is so, why are the caste separations still upheld? Today poetry reflects varied influences. The saplings we plant in our homes are often hybrid. We are thus encountering heterogeneity in practically everything. What do we gain from caste divisions? Five thousand and two hundred years of Kali Age have already passed. Kali has a long span. In Kali, it is clear from the signs, the human race will go through a radical transformation. The race will have only two strains, one channeled for liberation and the other for attaining to the state of the devas.

        Disciple: Why do you say that?

    Next Chapter: Gurumargam, Love, Prophecies (End of Times)

    Any Questions?