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Re: Biographies of Sri Ramanuja

From: Sampath Rengarajan (
Date: Tue Apr 30 1996 - 10:06:43 PDT

> I pay my respects to Sriman NArAyanA, and his divine consort Sri.
> I pay my respects to SadagOpA, Naathamuni, YamunA, and Ramanuja.
> I pay my respects to all the vaishnavAs in this mailing list.


ARe you suggesting that you wrote these lines simply becasue you
are paying respect to all the persons listed in the 3 lines due to their
*age* (or they appeared on this earth prior to you)
or respect them becuase you believe what they say with faith ?
if you say it is mere respect out of age then you are not even
accepting that Sriman Naaryaana and his divine consort Sri are the GOD.
In that case please donot read the follwoing.

> ======
> It appears like a few people in this mailing list find Mani's
> objections to certain postings from elder Bhakthas distasteful.
> I have myself found a few postings from Mani to be harsh,
> especially the ones in response to Sri Ramaswamy's postings.

Sri Ramaswamy had learnt saasthraas under the jeer's of two respected
mutts. So if Ramaswamy is not elaborating on certain things please say so.
Noone can justify by commenting that his posts are to be evaluated for merits ?
Due to his gurupaarampariyam (ie learning directly from jeers) If he is even an
young kid by age, his postings are to be respected and we are *not qualified*
to rate them.

> I
> respectfully submit that age of the poster be not considered in
> evaluating the merits of a posting.

is there any merit in this and other such statements
when they are appeared to
have stumbled and look confused  in the usage of terminology
*respect* several times above ? If we understand what is respect
then we *will not* attempt to *find merit* on some posts which are
way above our perception and the available, already acquired
*limited* knowledge.

>I only have to mention
> Bhattar and Nanjeeyar, in this connection.

> The lighthearted comments by Mani quoted above, in fact makes a
> very important point. It cautions us not to compare any of our
> AcharyAs with the traditional western view of the prophets,
> papacy etc. I myself do not like using the words 'Pontiff' to
> refer to the matAdhipathis in India.

If it is convenient for us can we use western philosphy and
compare jesus in this forum (there was a discussion several days back
on this) and rule out such comparison now as it doesnot somehow suit
our impulses now ? Are we consistent in our approach when we say this
(as said by you above) ?

> VedAntA does not ask us to believe something merely because it
> has been brought to us by the "claimed messengers" of IsvarA. Sri
> Ramanuja did not ask us to believe his words blindly nor did he
> ever claim that he was a prophet or even an avatArA of AdisEsha.
> I find it disturbing that several hagiographies, and in
> particular the sectarian portions of the guruparampara
> prabhAvam(s) trying to upstage one another by projecting one
> person as an amsA of Parabrahman or one of His attendents, in a
> bid to legitimise one set of views over the other.

Totally wrong assumption. No one seek to *legitimise* anything
over the other simply by saying they are avathaarams of such and such.
As I have suggested  when *complete* faith is lacking one will get
confusions such as this.

> In particular, the efforts to show Sri manNavaaLa maamuni as
> another avatArA of AdisEsha and hence his views as that of Sri
> RamAnujA himself - who is thought to be an avatArA of AdisEsha -
> and therefore the "right" one as opposed to that of, say,
> Desikar. Where is the pramANA for all this?
> It is perfectly possible that all the AzhvAr and AchAryA were
> mere jeevAtmA like us who through the grace of IsvarA and
> brahmagyAnA attained their mukti.

It is a very *attractive* logical argument and avoids the truth told by
lineage of achaaryaaLS.

Swami Desikan HIMself had delivered *directly* in one slOkam and
hinted in few others on *part* of
his avathaara rahasyam. I am not authorised to say those
but however if you wish you may ask any of the achaaryaaLS
in his gurupaarampariyam, *after* you pay your *respects*
(once you resolve and observe this terminology *respect*)
in line with the *protocols* of such mutt and ask them for this

>If they all were one or the
> other amsA of the Brahman Himself, and only such people attained
> mukti, is there any point at all in us, mere mortals, in trying
> to understand vedAntA and aspire to attain mukti?
> If that may be the case, why would other jeevanmuktAs like the
> succeding AchAryAs wrote and claimed that the AzhvArs & AchAryAs
> before them were in fact nityasUris?
> It has to be noted that beliefs of this kind stay only within a
> sampradAya. Naturally so! Because, the pramANA for all this does
> not come from texts that are commonly accepted by all the
> sampradAyAs,

Lack of faithful knowledge and the extraordinary confidence on one's own
knowledge as complete makes one beleive that they know
all the texts. For example the slOkam on swami desikan's avathaara
rahasyam delivered by Swami HIMself is not known to you yet. For many reasons
some of the holy slOkams are not available to us in the form of
a book store literature. However these are known to our achaaryaaLS
and are conveyed in their paarampariyam to their successors and as well
*faithful* bakthaaLS. So without knowing these,
it is not wise to question or
even conclude avathaara rahasyaam of our achaaryaaLS and azhwaars
on the basis of some *logical inquisition* alone which was
in anyway developed by the *some of the
(not even all) book store literatures*.
Untill one get the upadEsam from a guru or achaaryaaL in the lineage
of such philosphy, their knowledge is considered insufficient to question
or rate others who are especially trained by achaaryaaLS.
The only praMANA is such that it is preached by a guru or achaaryaaL
and that such praMANA *can not* be obtained from a
literature from a book store.
Becuase achaaryaaLS preach only truth and nothing else.