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THANKS & STHALA PURANA

From: KESHAVA PRASAD (103020.541_at_CompuServe.COM)
Date: Fri Apr 12 1996 - 20:34:30 PDT

Greetings to fellow Bhaktas / Prapannas:
		In response to my call for help, Manjula Vangipuram, a young
woman, wrote to me reiterating the feelings expressed in my posting. Mr.
Tatachar wrote seeking clarification and and also recommended a book "Hindu
Mind" by Mr. Bansi Pandit as a good reference on Hinduism. Krishna Praba also
recommended a book "Introduction to Hinduism" by Hermann. Jagannath Bharadwaj
graciously offered to volunteer time teaching principles of Srivaishnavism to
interested teen-agers. I want to thank these fine individuals from the bottom of
my heart for the expression of their support. 					I
think starting a refresher course in Srivaishnavism is an excellent idea. If the
curriculum can also include clarifications explaining its place within the
framework of Hinduism and its relation to other popular religions, it should
prove to be valuable to our youth and can potentially alleviate some of the
perceived confusion among them. Hence, I suggest that we work on a format and a
schedule of topics for such a refresher course. It goes without saying that we
need all the help we can get and I am sure other learned people in this group
will help. once such a format is established and curriculum set, postings can
start. I may be too ambitious but I can visualize starting of a series called "A
Refresher Course in Srivaishnavism" on this forum ! In the mean time, I will do
the best I can to get us some pupils and request the same of you all. 
		And now, following the lead of Sadagopan, Vasudha and others, I
would like to bring to your kind attention a holy town in Karnataka which also
happens to be a centrer of higher learning for the Visishtadvaitis, and has a
Srivaishnava connection. The name of the town is "Cheluvanarayanapuri" also
known as Melukote in Kannada. Melukote is in Mandya district of Karnataka
state.The Sthalapurana as narrated by one of the well known literary poets of
the Kannada language Sri P.T. Narasimhachar, goes like this:
		The system of Visishtadvaita derives its vitality from the
Sanskrit scriptures as well as Tamil compositions and flows like a river. In
Karnataka, it used to flow in the form of streams and only at the time of
Ramanuja, it flowed like a river in spate. It was the Hoysala king
Vishnuvardhana or Bittideva (1104-1141A.D.) who got adopted into the
Srivaishnava faith, helped establish it on a firm footing by giving shelter to
Ramanuja.  Ramanuja got this royal help almost unexpectedly. Ramanuja's was an
extra-ordinary personality, handsome, free and lustrous. His speech was lucid
and informed by genius. His contact with the royal family proved miraculous and
the king accepted Ramanuja as his Guru and promoted the propagation of the new
found religion. Ramanuja came along the banks of Kaveri and entered Karnataka at
Satyamangala. By a short-cut he came to Ramanathapura on the bank of Kaveri and
from that point came to Thondanuru through Mirale and Saligrama. Thondanuru was
the northern capital of the Hoysala kingdom. It was here that Ramanuja saw king
Vishnuvardhana, healed his daughter who was suffering from a nervous breakdown,
accepted the king as his disciple and then went to Melukote. There he restored
the dilapidated temple of Cheluva Narayana Swamy (1100 A.D.). With the help of
some of his Harijan followers, he brought the image of Cheluvaraya to the temple
and lived there for twelve years preaching the Sri Bhasya. After making
arrangements for the worship of God according to Pancharatra Agama and
entrusting this responsibility to his fifty-six disciples he left the place.
Since then, Melukote became one of the holiest of centers of pilgrimage to the
Srivaishnavas along with Srirangam, Kanchipuram and Tirupati.

Respectfully submitted.

Keshava Prasad

P.S. Krishna Praba wanted the NAMA web page address. Here it is:
			http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/chari