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Re: Universal Prayer
Date: Mon Apr 29 1996 - 06:05:45 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,

Sri Keshava Prasad's note on the above subject seems to 
suggest that in this day and age in Kraunchadwipa, Sri Vaishnavas
must modify their ways of worship at the expense of possibly compromising on
our sampradayam. I very strongly disagree with this position. 

If one wants to be a practising Sri Vaishnava, the path has been very 
clearly laid down by our Acharyas and Purvacharyas. It has been 
established that the prescribed norm for Sri Vaishnavas is worship of 
Narayana (in Para, Vyuha, Vibhava, Archa or Antaryamitva form) alone and 
none else. He is the one who holds sway over the 3 varieties (Baddha,Mukta
and Nitya) varieites of sentinent and insentinet ones and is unaffected by the
evils of Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya since he is above
the laws of Karma. Lord Narayana is the only one who is unaffected by 
Vishnu-Maya and is therefore the only one capable of granting Moksham
(release from the cycle of birth and death and constantly engaged in service 
to the Lord thereafter). All other deities are subject to Vishnu-Maya and 
are consequently, incapable of granting Moksham. Therefore, no other 
deity can be equated with him. 

Lord Narayana is the abode of the four vedas 
as can be seen from "Chaturvedatmane Namaha" which is one of the names 
of the Lord uttered while performing Pushparchana to the Lord. He is 
the performer of several extraordinary deeds: For example, as Trivikrama, he 
covered in two steps the entire universe. As Hayagriva he restored the 
Vedas to Brahma. In the Matsyavataram he conferred true knowledge to 
Satyavrata while in the Kurmavataram he not only ensured the mount Madara 
was adequately supported but also took part in the churning process. 
Another significant thing demonstrated in the Matsyavataram is that Lord 
Narayana is the one who causes the mighty pralaya as well as the one who
knows how to come out of Pralaya. The following passage from the Narayana
Upanishad clearly establishes this: "Narayane Pravartante. Narayane Praleeyante
". In the Varahavataram he brought back Bhudevi from the depths of the ocean 
while destroying the evil Hiranyaksha. In the Narasimhavataram, he 
destroyed Hiranyakashipu in the form of Jwala Nrisimhar while conferring
Sharanagati to Prahlada. As Bhargava-Rama (Parashurama), he decimated 
21 generations of Kshatriyas around the world singlehandedly to establish
Dharma on the earth. All of us are familiar with the Lord's actions as 
Rama, Krishna and Balarama. Therefore, I need not say anymore in support 
of the claim that Lord Narayana is incomparable.

In conclusion, I would like to point out that for Sri Vaishnavas, Lord
Narayana is supreme. Our Acharyas have stated that after becoming a 
Srivaishnava if one engages in worship of any other God, the individual is
condemned. Therefore, I reiterate that as a Sri Vaishnava one must not 
and should not adapt, change or modify the rules of worship to Lord 
Narayana established by our Acharyas and Purvacharyas. Swami Desikan too 
has spoken out very strongly against such practices (modifying or 
changing our ways of worship). Surrendering to the Lord, I submit the 
following line.

Eka Mantram: Omithyekaksharam
Eka Namam: Devaki Putro Namam
Eka Seva: Devaki Putro Seva

Sri Ranganayaki Sametha Sri Ranganatha Swami Parabrahmane Namaha,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy