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Re:Intra-religious discussions and related postings

From: Sridhar Srinivasan (ss_at_clihouston.com)
Date: Sat Apr 06 1996 - 06:26:52 PST

Sri Dileepan writes
>Sridhar, your article showed scant respect for an elderly and knowledgable
>person......I hope you are less strident when you express your
disagreements >with any member of this group, let alone a person like Sri
Ramaswamy.  
>BTW, would you please highlight view of Sri Ramaswamy that you found to 
>be bigoted etc. that were his own and not shared by our Acharyas.

Dear Sri Dileepan,

At the outset, I would like to apologize for any offense taken or
communicated by my rather excoriatory (and on hind sight, quite
inappropriate) comments  on the O-My-God series and intra-religious
distinctions pieces.  My stridency is necessarily with the virulent tone of
some sections of Mr. Ramaswamy's articles posted here and not with Mr.
Ramaswamy, i.e., my difficulties are with the VIEWS, not the person.  I
would like to thank him for the extent and the breadth of his effort and his
generosity in sharing his thoughts with us.  Further, anything I say here is
only to refute some view points, and not to hurt or belittle anyone or
anything.  I would beg other learned prapannas in this group to construe my
comments as such and that if I perpertrate any bhaagavatha apacharam, that
you find the kindness in yourselves to forgive the ignorance of one still
trying to learn.

It would be superfluous to say that often Mr. Ramaswamy's representations on
Advaitha and dwaitha are simply incorrect and sometimes over-simplified.  By
accepting  some myopic view points as representative of Visishtadwaitic
philosophy as laid down by our Acharyas, I believe we would be doing a great
disservice to Sri Vaishnavism and our claims of tolerance.  I quote Mr.
Ramaswamy,

"The only REAL thing in the process was the SNAFU (Nirguna Brahman) they
(Advaithins) had created for themselves".  

To claim Sri Shankara's description of  the Supreme Brahman as a SNAFU is
mean-spirited and belittling a great thinker's logical brilliance.  If the
real meaning had been given here that the notion of attributes (subjective)
in the real world sense is representative of materialistic transience which
necessarily cannot be associated with the ABSOLUTE AND ALL PERVASIVE,
PERMANENT notion of Brahman as laid down in the SHRUTI, then it would form
the ideal backdrop to introduce the attractiveness and the basis for a
Saguna Brahman (As Emberumaanaar proves in his Sri Bhashya that Sakala
KalyaaNaGuNa paripoorNa UpanishathPrathipaadya paramaatmaswaroopi is
SriManNarayaNa)  (If you would like a point by point refutation of some of
Sri Ramaswamy's VIEWS, I think we can puruse it by email) .  

Further, I was surprised and pained by Sri Kaushik's comparison of
Emberumaanaar's Sri Bhashya in the same breath as Sri Ramaswamy's VIEWS.
Sri Bhashya is considered the pinnacle piece amongst Emberumaanaaar's
Navaratna Divya krithis.  To see a similarity between Emberumaanaaar's
expositions and Mr. Ramaswamy's VIEWS ignores the parvatha-paramaaNu
difference that exists between us (whose nescience is often the source of
our prapatti) and our Acharyas.
 
Sri Pillai Lokacharyar in Sri VachanaBhushaNam (43rd sutram) says

AGNYAANATHAALE PRAPANNAR ASMADAADIGAL
Gnyanaadhikyathaale prapannar poorvaachaaryargaL
bhakthi-paaravasyathaale prapannar AazhwargaL

Emberumaanar in Sharanagathi gadyam asks forgiveness for all our follies thus:

ManoVakkayai AnaadikaalaPravrIthaanantha
krithyakaraNa krithyaakaraNa bhagavadapachaara
BHAAGAVATHAPACHAARA ASAHYAAPACHAARAROOPA
naanaavidhananthaapachaaraan
Aarabdhakaaryaan anaarabdhakaaryaan
krithaan kriyamaaNaan karishyaMaaNamscha
sarvaan aseshathaha kshamaswa.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that I have little desire to hurt
anyone's feelings or pull anyone down.  I do feel that this forum would be
better served by exchanges (as has been the norm) that provide us an
opportunity to discuss the Lord's glory as Sung by our pooravacharyas ( Mat
chittaa MadgathaPraaNaa bodhayantha parasparam, Kathayanthi cha maam nithyam
thushyanthi cha ramanthi cha).  Anything else simply would appear to be
glorification of one's own ego and outside the notions of Sri Vaishnavism as
laid down by our Acharyas.  

Emberumaanaar thiruvadigaLe SharNam
Azhwaar thivadigaLe SharaNam

Sridhar