You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : August 1997

Panel Discussion

mvanamamalai_at_kpmg.com
Date: Thu Aug 21 1997 - 05:51:10 PDT

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha:



This is in reference to Sri M.K. Sudarshan 's views/suggestions  for panel
discussion. 
I would like to draw your attention to Sri Ramanujar arulicheytha   "NITYAM" 
This works deals cleary with mundane day to day activities (and no philospohy) 
and includes prescriptions for everything we do in our any single day. It
directs you how to wake up and, have shower and how to ggo to bed. What ever we
do to this day in terms of vaithika kramam is based on this work. So what I want
to try to bring is that  Srivaishnavism has quick fixes and it is wise for us to
find out about that instead of ruling out the possibility.  About 15 or 20 years
back,  Sri U Ve  PB Annangrachar Swami was interviewed in All India Radio and
one of the questions was how can we follow all the relegious duties in the midst
of modern day's  challlenges. His reply was "Every morning have shower and stand
in front of your God and chant 
'Chittran Chirugale'  and 'Vangat Kadal Kadainthaintha Madhavanai'  (just these
2 pasurams)  that is it " 
This was advocated by the Swami as the bare minimum a Srivaishnavite could do
and still could  be guilt free. Over and above this what you do is kind of
optional.  I thought this was wonderful.  Again this is only a beginning since
we are constantly asking this question "how to adjust or make changes to our
lives ? "  to our Acharyals and they have been addressing these most practical
point of view.  I would also like you to look at how Sri Ramanujar had clearly
broken the previous sampradhayam.  He taught the Thiru Ashtakshara manthiram to
every one who wanted to learn without discrimination. Sri Manavala mamunigal has
praised 
  "EPPuviyil Asai udaiyorkellam Ariyargal Kurumennu  Pesi Varambaruthar Pin" 
 which  means he broke the sampradayam. Ordinary persons are incapable of doing
such an act. 
Varambu Arukka namakku - we need to have somone like Sri Ramamnuja. It is not
easy or simple but an Acharya will be capable and we should be fortunate to have
such one again in this time, Because  CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.  
Please also take a look at how Sri Azhagiya singhar Swami was able to build the
Rajagopuram for Periya Perumal at Koil (Srirangam)  He probably was not the
first to start thinking about this great task. Many great people in the past
could not achieve the feat just because it is like breaking the tradition.   
==   At a purely philosophical level, SriVaishnavism thus can only offer us 
== insights into "bhAgavath-dharma" a subject which only minds of a deeply 
== spiritual or philosophical bent can understand and relish. 

==Ramanuja's SriVaishnavism was not meant for "lOka-dharmA" but for 
=="bhAgavata-dharmA" -- the "dharma" of those who have ceased to search for 
==such things in life as "life-style", "1000 ways to win friends", "how to be 
==a productive manager or great husband" etc. Ramanuja's Vaishnavism was meant 
==for those who have learnt to look beyond the "practicality" of life and have 
==instead begun the long search for the "Life they have all lost in living" ! 

This are simply  not true since in the work "NITYAM"  Sri Ramanujar has clearly
prescribed what an ordinary mind should do and what a spiritual mind could do
different.  

It is really boils down to change and adaptation.  When Sri Ramanuja first
started the practice of chanting Divya prabhandham in the temples it was not
accepted as such and it was considered breaking the laws. So I think it o.k.
make changes to SriVaishnavism  as we know it - (sounds like some one already
said this -- this too "Dont end it -  Mend it"   So by doing this it will not
become "We are only fooling ourselves "  that is also not right.  The next
question is Who is to make changes to Srivaishnavism in order to suit our
lifestyle today. We need a solid Guru "Acharyan"  who has the potential to do
just that.  Of course we have them in plenty and Sri Anbil Swamy had recently
written all about it.   

          "Ethuvethu En Panni Ennathu ?   Athuve Atcheyum EEde "   -  Nammalwar 

          "Nallum Pugaiyal, Vilakkal, Puthu Malaral, Neeral "                 - 
Nammalwar    

          "Therithezhuthi   Vasithum, kettum,  Vannangi Vazhipattum, Poosithum 
Pokkinen Pothu " 
                                                                                
                         - Bakthisaran 

Azhwar Emberumanar Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Charanam 
Adiyen,
Muralli Vanamamalai