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murli_at_mtgbcs.mt.att.com
Date: Tue Dec 05 1995 - 22:20:17 PST

Hello once again to all you Lakshmi Narayana devotees.

I had posted a small query yesterday, regarding the position of Lakshmi
according to the position of a Visishtadwaitin. Thanks to Mani for
generalizing this problem to include Nithya Suris like Vishvaksena,
who happen to receive upadesham inspite of being all-knowing. That was
a good generalization and added a new dimension to the problem.

Couple of things. Mani writes further:
 I surmise that these stories about Lord Narayana
> teaching Lakshmi, etc., are told just to arouse
> devotion in the aspirant, and are not to be taken
> as literal facts. ...

Well, I would tend to disagree with taming the problem so lightly, more
because the upadesham from Narayana to Lakshmi, passed on through the
guru parampara to our present acharya has been mentioned in no less an
authoritative reference as Rahasya Traya Saara (RTS), which is my opinion
as the old timers say, is the magnum opus of Vedanta Desika. The RTS grantha
is meant to reveal the essence of the triad of secrets (rahasya traya),
which is the essence of the four vedas and the six shastras. So there is
no room for emotional, heart-moving, devotion-arousing statements in a
text like the RTS. Or, for all one knows, such statements in the RTS, may
have some deep meaning which can be understood only in some yogic plane
of thought. I would really apprepriate if anybody can comment more on this
also stressing the stance of Lakshmi.

The other thing I would like to comment on was an off-shoot of the above
topic. Sumanth Kaushik writes:
> However, I am curious to know a bit more on the
> nature of Nitya Suris. The notion of "eternal" gets used quite loosely
> in philosophy, so it would be nice to hear a discussion on
> the visistadvoitic notion of time.

IMHO, the word "eternal" has to back-traced to the word "anaadi" that is
found in the granthas, for which a loose meaning like "eternal" has been
given in English. I have received various kinds of feedback on this word
from different scholars, since the word is so prolifically used to refer
to various things like "anaadi karma", "atman is anaadi", etc. Some scholars
feel that the word "anaadi" does mean eternal, in the sense of time. Yet,
some others feel that "anaadi" is used to refer to something which cannot
be measured in terms of time. In other words time has no bearing or effect
on that quantity. There is a third opinion, which IMHO is pretty naive and
not convincing, and that is, "anaadi" means some time in the distant past,
we cannot tell when. Well, I think if we are seeking answers to these
questions and many others like the eternality of moksha, we need to go
to a proper acharya and learn it the guru-kulam way. Even then I think,
the acharya will answer in much the same cryptic language used in vedic
statements, and will leave the student to contemplate and understand.

Oops, too long a comment. Thanks, Adiyen, Murali.