You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : August 1999

Re: Sri. Vaishnava tradition (Attention Sri. AC)

From: Venkat Nagarajan (NAGARAVE_at_fin.gov.on.ca)
Date: Thu Aug 05 1999 - 11:51:54 PDT

Dear Sri. AC.
NamO nArAyaNA.

You Wrote:

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.

In order to be able to fully digest the answer to your query, you must first
learn to distinguish between religion and philosophy.  A pertinent
question would be as follows.  Does my (AC's) query deal with a
philosophic issue or a religious issue?

Here are some comments first; the answer can be found at the end:

 - It is important to recognize the distinction between the religion of
Vis'istAdvaita and the philosophy of Vis'istAdvaita.  In what follows, I will
quote, Sri. S.M.S. Chari, who is an accomplished Vedantin, but most
importantly a practising vedantin.  Because he has addressed this topic
in a most terse and precise manner (that is, it cannot be stated in a better
manner), I am resorting to exact quotes.

Strat Quote:

"No system of Indian Philosophy including the orthodox Advaita and
atheistic Buddhisim excludes religion.  Philosophy and religion are treated
in all Indian schools of thought.  The former represents the theoretical
side of the system dealing primarily with an enquiry into the nature of the
ultimate reality while the latter covers the practical side of the system
concerned with the ways and means of realisation of the ultimate
Reality."

The Vednata Sutras on which the different systems of VedAnta are
developed emphasize both (i.e., philosophy and religion.)"  

Likewise Vis'istAdvaita Vedanta, which explains (in a detailed manner)
the philosophy and religion eluded to in the Vedanta Sutras,  emphasizes
both religion and philosophy.

 - **"The religion propounded by Vis'istAdvaita is known as S'ri
-vaisnavism"

-Your original query can be restated as : Is the issue of who the para
Brahman is, a Philosophic or religious issue?

The Answer:  I  think it is a philosophic issue.  I can provide
reasoning, but I think it is best if one of the more learned members of the
group, such as Sri. Krishna Kalale, Sri. Sadagopan, or Sri. Anbil
Ramaswamy elaborate on this.

In my opinion, it is prudent to start by learning the fundamentals of 
Vis'istAdvaita before moving on to advanced works like the Gita Bhasya,
which presume the reader has some working knowledge of terminology
and concepts.

A good place to start :
1.  Electronic journal named  SARANAAGATHI
http://srivaishnava.org/sgati/
It is comphrehensive.
 
Hope what I have said is helpful

adiyEn ramanuja dasan,
Venkat
krishNArpaNam