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On crossing oceans
Date: Sat Dec 16 2000 - 23:13:42 PST

Thiruvengada Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Saranam

Sri Varavara munayE namah.

Dear Bhagavatottamas,

My humble pranamas to you all.

I have read mails from learned members like Sriman Anbil swami on whether
it is right for a vaidika to cross oceans. I would like to share my
opinions with you all on this.

I have seen parama vaidikas in AP, who are doing a lot of
bhagavad-bhagavata-Acharya kaiknaryams at the cost of their lowkikam. Some
of them have even resigned their jobs.

Such personalities are mahatmas. Acoording to Sriman U.Ve.Parthasarathi
swami, they are very rare (sa maAtmA sudurlabhah). We can always wish to be
like them, and do them whatever small kainkaryams we can by Perumal's

In my opinion, whether or not it is right to cross the ocean is not a
serious issue, when we are knowingly violating many things. For instance:

1. We all know we have to study vedas. But neither we are learned in Vedas
nor we have sent/ will send our children to a Vedic school. At the same
time, we speak very much about promoting Vedic education in Bharata Desam,
thus putting the responsibility of safeguarding the vedic knowledge on the
poor and underprevileged sections of Brahmins.

2. Whenever we fall ill (I pray for a very good health for all of us), we
take some allopathic medicine, while we have remedies prescribed in Sastras
i.e. Ayurveda.

There are many such things. perumal's creation is very dynamic.
One and only one thing which is important is Perumal's efficacy to deliver
us from all kinds of sins and our faith in Acharya and Perumal should never

I am very sure that atleast one Bhagavatottama has gone there for doing
kainkaryam to Divya desas in Tamil Nadu. We all can pray to perumal for his
grand success. 
In my opinion, whatever we do, if done in the mood of loving service to
perumal, is not a sin. As an example, I will quote the following incident
recorded in thirumalai Olugu:

to honour Sri koil KeLvi Thiruvengada Ramanuja Jeeyar of Tirupati mutt,
disciple of Sri Manavala mamunigal, Vijayanagara King Sadasiva Rayalu made
it a rule to bring him daily in a palanquin to perumal's sannidhi. 
swami was very much hesitating to accept this as in those days, the belief

vAhanastha yatiSSIghram patatyEva nasamSayah
 which means a sannyAsI aboard a vehicle will undoubtedly fall (from his
exalted postion).

in the sannidhi, Perumal Himslef convinces the jeeyar to come in a
palanquin, by speaking through an archakar:

mannimittam krutam pApam chApi dharmAya kalpatE
mAm anAdrutya dharmOpi pApam syAn matprabhAvatah

rough translation:
Even if you do something for My sake which is (otherwise) sinful, it is
considered to be right. Even if you do something according to dharma but
without any regard for Me, it ultimately turns out to be a sin by My

Then the Acharya immediately agrees to come in a palanquin.
 Another thing is association of Bhagavatottamas. Sri Alawanadar says in
stotra ratna:

tava dAsya sukhaika sanginAm 
bhavaneshvastvapi kIta janma mE
itarAvasathEshu mAsmabhU
-dapi mE brahma chaturmukhAtmanA

in this sloka, the Acharya wishes to be born as even a small insect in the
households of ParamaikAntins and does not want even the post of Brahma in
avaishnava sthalams.

In Hinduism, the concept of Bharat mAtA is of recent origins. We have BhU
devi in vedas and puranas, Who is the presiding deity of entire globe.

However, while Perumal is omnipresent and the Master of every place, Bharat
is the most sacred place on the earth justlike Thirumalai, Srirangam and
Badari in India and ThiruppArkadal in leelA vibhUti.   

Sri Thirumalai AnanthAlwAn, in one of his last upadEsams before leaving for

ThirunAdu, stresses very much on satsAngatyam.

He tells is disciples that those in the association of great Bhagavatas
will be uninterruptedly enjoying His kalyana gunas, true to the Vedic
statement "sadA paSyanti sUrayah." 

As an example, Alwan tells a story in which Saunaka and a few other rushis
travel thru a forest. when they enter a colony of hunters and butchers, a
parrot comes to them and uses very harsh and foul language. They get
irritated and leave the place. then they reach an Asramam, where another
parrot comes and invites them to the Ashram. In its sweet voice, it offers
them arghyam, pAdyam etc. and also requests them to eat fruits of the trees
in the Ashram. They ask this parrot why and how the parrot in the nearby
has got a bad tongue. then they come to know that both the parrots are born
to the same parents. Only diff is the first parrot is under the noursihment
of a beef-eater while the second one has taken shelter in a sage's Asramam.

After telling this story, Alwan, Who served ThiruvengadamudaiyAn true to
the vedic statement "SenRAl kudaiyAm..", repeats that those who are in the
association of great BhAgavatas will be experiencing His kalyana Gunas
without any interruption, true to te Vedic statement "sadA paSyanti

In my humble opinion, even if we are in US or some other country, there is
no need to wory if we are in the association of somebody like Sriman Venkat
Kanumalla. In fact, we should all cross the ocean to visit the temple with
which he is associated (Thirumangai Alwar's description of Thennarangan as
"kudapAlAnai" is "more true" in case of Perumal in this temple).

Kindly forgive me for my mistakes.
Vishnu : An Extraordinary place for Extraordinary people

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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