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Questions on Ramadas and a hearty feeling of gratitude

From: Rajiv Madabhushi (madabhus_at_eng.umd.edu)
Date: Fri Apr 05 1996 - 14:50:57 PST

Dear Revered Members of the group,

	I am a novice when it comes to relating to ViSishtaadvaita,
and so I really enjoy the discussions on the comparisons of the three
different Vedantic schools.  But moreover, I have been deeply affected
by some, if not all, of the Alwar paasurams and slokas of Swami
Desikan and Sri Ramanujacarya presented by the group.  Although I am
very much interested in the ViSishtaadvaitic view of the Vedanta, I
too agree with Sri Mani, Sri Sadagopan and others when I state that
these paasurams and slokas are the things that excite me every morning
when I check my e-mail.

To all the learned members of this group I humbly submit a few
questions.

1. Does the word "Bhagavan" mean "man of many (auspicious) parts or
qualities"?  I heard this definition somewhere and was never able to
follow up on it.

2. Does anyone have any additional information on Bhadrachala Ramadas?
I am always captivated by his songs, as sung by Balamuralikrishna,
esp. the one that starts off with "IkshvAku kula Thilaka,...."  I have
heard that he was a tax collector or a clerk of some sort working for
the Muslim government in Andhra and that he "redirected" some of the
money to build a temple for Sri Rama.  Also he performs Sri Sita-Rama
Kalyanam on a grand scale with the revenue.  This song was composed by
him when he was (inevitably) exposed and imprisoned.  In the song he
chastises Rama for not taking care of him, although Ramadas was
"solely" responsible for Sri Rama's marriage.  One heart-wrenching
stanza in the song contains the questions "Oh Rama!  Who do you think
paid for your marriage?  Your father Dasaratha was to have put up
great funds... but where are they?  And your Mama Janaka?  A great
supplier of wealth!  (hardly)."  And this followed by how he (Ramadas)
provided great presents for Sitamma, Bharata, Lakshmana, and an
"Arana-kayeru" for Shatrughna!  His stand as Sri Rama's provider is,
although not unique, still greatly appealing.  Of course, BMK's
delivery helps as well.  Almost everytime I hear that song my eyes
start their waterfall.

Unfortunately, the same thing happens when I read some of the postings
of this group!  Maybe it is the cathartic joy, and maybe it is the
increase in intensity of Godly devotion, but reading some of your
posts has become the highpoint of my days.  I just thank Sriman
Naaraayana that people have not yet seen me abuse the facial tissue!

Sriman Naaraayana Charanam, Sharanam Prapadye; Srimathe Naaraayanaaya
Namah

-Rajiv