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Re: Sri Vaishnava tradition

From: a c (ac_at_ampsc.com)
Date: Wed Aug 04 1999 - 18:10:03 PDT

Dear Sir,

>First of all, please tell us your name so we can address you properly.
>

Please call me Al if you feel uncomfortable with "Dear Sir" or 
"Mr. C." as the very proper British often address each other ...

>The issue is who is described as the Ultimate Reality in the Vedas, and
>whether anything else can compare to this Highest Power.  Repeatedly,
>the shastras and our acharyas tell us that Sriman Narayana (Vishnu) is 
>the Ultimate Reality, and that only Narayana, being the source of all bliss,
>can confer the bliss of  moksha to the aspirant.
>

I am currently reading books on basic Hinduism.  Is there anything like
"Dancing With Siva"  for westerners from a Vaishnavite perspective?  

I'm dismayed you think Siva is just a second rate "tosser" ,  incapable of
conferring moksha -- what good is Siva to me if he can't do that?  I'm
dismayed the Hindu religion might not agree with itself on fundamental
issues like whether God (by any other name) is capable of granting moksha.
Didn't the Saivites, Sankara, etc. all read the same Vedas too?   How, I
wonder, did all those brilliant pious souls miss something as important as
this?   If the Vedic tradition is so ambiguous it leads to such entirely
different conclusions (ie. Siva is or isn't equal to Visnu) then what kind
of infallible guide can it be to me?  

Please don't think I'm complaining about you or your tradition because I'm
not.  I'm complaining about my difficulty trying to assess what is and
isn't essential and I know that's my problem not anyone else.  Just try to
imagine how this all might seem to someone encountering it for the first
time and don't loose patience -- I'm trying my best.  

P.S.
I have only limited internet access so it's hard for me to read your
archives but i have enquired about Ramanuja's commentary on the Gita from a
cheaper source than Amazon.com