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FW: Digest bhakti.v004.n219

From: Santhanam, Venkatesan (MED, Wipro Infotech ESD) (
Date: Wed Feb 09 2000 - 09:00:06 PST

Dear Mani

Can you please post this question for me. I am experiencing difficulty
in doing this.?


Venkatesa Dasan

:Dear Sampath Kumar and other bhaghavathas
:Here is my question. 
:I can come back with answers from HH Andavan (Sri Rangaramanuja
:Mahadesikan) if you can supply answers to these questions.
:Venkatesa Dasan
:>Dear friends,
:>Over the weekend adiyen and a few friendly neighours
:>were casually discussing vast advances that are
:>presently being made in the science of genetics.
:>Ever since 1997 when scientists in UK first created
:>"Dolly", the clone of a cow, further strides have been
:>made in the capability of genetically turning out even
:>human babies! People are saying that today there is

-----Original Message-----
From: []

Sent: Monday, February 07, 2000 10:01 PM
Subject: Digest bhakti.v004.n219

+                           SrI:
+                  SrI SrInivAsa parabrahmaNE nama:
+   AzhvAr tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam; emberumAnAr tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam
+     dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam; jIyar tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

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-------------- BEGIN bhakti.v004.n219 --------------

    001 - narayanan.k.m@in.pwcgloba - Mumookshapadi -Thirumantra
Prakaranam Part-XII
    002 - Ramakrishnan Kazhiyur-Man - Seeming Contradiction
    003 - sampath kumar <sampathkum - Re: A Question Related to The
Notion of Karma Mukti
    004 - "A.Bharat" <kbharat@giasb - Re Life of Kuresan
    005 - sampath kumar <sampathkum - "genetic engineering" and religion
    006 - "Lakshmi N. Srinivasa" <l - Appeal from Pon Vilainda Kalathur
- Chaturbujam Ramar
    007 - "Venkatesh Elayavalli" <e - Re: Seeming Contradiction

--------------- MESSAGE bhakti.v004.n219.1 ---------------

Subject: Mumookshapadi -Thirumantra Prakaranam Part-XII
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 14:38:49 +0530
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Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:
Sri Venkata Gurave Nama:

Respected Members of the Bakthi List,

Till the  the previous posts on Thirumantra Prakaranam part of
Mumookshapadi, we

   Importance of Thirumantram
   Meaning of Pranavam OM,
   Meaning of word Nama:

In this post, we are discussing the meaning of the word "NarayanAya"

This word consists of Narayana+Aya.
we can derive two meaning out of this:
a. Nara:+ayana..... Where all the Nara:'s resides.
b. Nara:+Ayanam+Yasya sa:, Narayana:, i.e. one who acts as a shelter for
all the

what are these Nara:'s?

The word Nara: consists again of  two words. 'Nara' and 'ra'

consists of all  the permanent entities( Nitya vasthus)

ra consists of all matter which are subject to decay and destruction.

Nitya vasthus are(Nara), they are,

1.Lord's important six gunas(attributes) which helps one to understand
Gyana( Knowledge sakthi, Bhalam( strength aiswaryam( richness veeryam
and tejas.

2. After understanding the Lord through above mentioned attributes, one
across his other
subtle attributes like vasthalyam,sausheelyam and swaminthvam(Lordship)
3. Bhagvan's thirumeni(His Body)
4. His Kanthi and Saukumaryam(beauty )
5. divya Bhushanam(Lord's ornaments)
6. Divya ayuthas(Lord's weaponry)
7.Periapiratti(Mahalakshmi),Bhudevi and Nila devi.
8. Nitya soories Like ananda(Holy serpent),Garuda and Visvaksena.
9. Things which are used for Kaimkarayam
10.Watch and ward of Sri Vaikuntam like Jaya, Vijaya, Kumudha,
Chanda-prasanda Badra and subhadra.
11. Ganathipas , head of all ghanas.
12. Sri Vaikuntam itself(Parama Akasam)

the above listed are permanent Nitya vasthus(Nara's)

Things which are subject to decay and destruction( ra are:
1. Prakriti-the world which consists of satva, raja and tamasic gunas.
2. Badda Atmas.
3. Time(day, year, month hour , etc..)
4. Mahat tatvam
5.planets which are innumerable
6. All devas, Man,animals ,flora and Fauna.

All the above mentioned Nara and ra(Nara: in totality) seek a shelter
for itself
which is Narayana.
in can also be inferred that except for His kalyana gunas, He resides in
everything which is said above.

Note: the essence of Visistadvaita philosophy is clear from the above
of Narayana. the siddantham takes a
holistic approach towards entire universe which are as per sastras. On
contrary, Advaita considers the existence of universe as a
mere imaginary and Maya.

By the meaning of word Narayana, it is clear that he is the primordial
Similarly we can also infer his saulabyam
(his humility to identify himself with everything in the world)

As he is resident in all the chetana(Living) and achetana(non living)
he acts as an antharyamain of everything.

H remains our Bhanthu(relative) in all ways.

hence for an Atma, he remains as the One which is sought after(Upeyam)
and He
remains the only way(Upayam)

Meaning of "Aya",
This meaning was already discussed in detail when we explained the
meaning of
"Aya" represents the servitude( seshatvam nature of an Atma towards
the servitude is like Sri Lakshmana who told Sri.Rama when they prepare
to go
for an  exile,"Aham sarvam karishyamai" i.e. I will do everything for

In the same vein, the Holy Serpent (Ananda) takes a form of umbrella
when Lord
walks, seat(Simhasanam) wile the Lord is sitting
and as a mat while standing and as a Bed while reclining. It tries to
serve the
lord in every possible way.

Hence a jeevan or Atma should pray for such a service for the Lord.

While discussing the meaning of the word Nama:, it was said that one
leave the thought that one is for oneself( I am for myself, I am
If that is so, how justified is that one can ask for kaimkaryam form
Lord for

Swami answers this question saying that it is justified to pray for a
role in

We will discuss that in the next post.



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--------------- MESSAGE bhakti.v004.n219.2 ---------------

From: Ramakrishnan Kazhiyur-Mannar <>
Subject: Seeming Contradiction
Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2000 12:50:35 -0500
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Dear Members,
    This question has been nagging me for quite some time now.
    Our religion is one which allows a lot of individualism in approach
to the Lord and in the method of worship. In fact, to my knowledge,
there is no mandatory worship at all in the religion. Any method of
worship that is there, was given only as a suggestion and there is
always your own way of worshipping or considering the Lord.
    However, in our Vaishnava sampradayam, the role of the Acharyan is
one of a guide to Lord. There is a no contradiction here. But going a
bit further, our sampradayam says that the Acharyan is the ONLY way to
His feet. There, in my view, comes the contradiction. How can there be a
total dependency on another person's advice in a religion that
emphasises so much individualism?

    I would like to have your learned comments on this question.

Best regards
Ramakrishnan Kazhiyur-Mannar

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--------------- MESSAGE bhakti.v004.n219.3 ---------------

From: sampath kumar <>
Subject: Re: A Question Related to The Notion of Karma Mukti
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 05:17:32 -0800 (PST)
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Dear Venkat,
You wrote:
> Dear Bhagavatas,
> 1.mukti as related to suguna Brahman or nirguna
> Brahman is real only in an illusory sense; i.e. both
> are impermanent.
> 2. The individual who has attained mukti, with
> respect to suguna Brahman, is in a state of bliss,
> but is still under the influence of avidya. 
> Whereas, the individual who has attained mukti, with
> respect to the nirguna Brahman, is in a state of
> bliss, but is also free from the influence of avidya
> (except for the trace.)   
> Venkat

Pardon what may sound to you as rather naive questions
which adiyen however can't help asking: 

(1) When one has attained "mukti" one is said (by
definition) to have have attained "liberation" from
all infirmities of mortal existence which includes
"avidya". Is it conceivable that a soul can attain
"mukti" and still labour under "avidya"? Doesn't it
appear to be a contradiction in terms?

(2) Secondly, attaining "Brahmam" (the ultimate,
unitive and non-differentiated experience), adiyen has
learnt, is a typically advaitic concept. Making a fine
distinction now, as you have done, between the
experience of "Brahmam" in its "nirguna" state and in
its "suguna" state falls right into the advaitin's
trap. It amounts to trying to "differentiate the
un-differentiated One". Don't you think the advaitin
is likely to turn around and argue that the "suguna
brahman" (the experience of "qualities")is not the
ultimate "Brahman" in his scheme of things since such
a state of "brahmic" experience is less than truly


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--------------- MESSAGE bhakti.v004.n219.4 ---------------

From: "A.Bharat" <>
Subject: Re Life of Kuresan
Date: Sat, 05 Feb 2000 15:42:17 +0530
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Dear BhAgavatOttamas,

ADiyEn had the good fortune to learn Bhagavadvishayam
through kAlakshEpa under the feet of Sri BhoovarAhAchAriAr
SwAmin,and there was never even a hint of a doubt about
the seniority in years of SrI KUrattAzhvAn.The incident
refered to below by SrI sampathkumAran refers obviously
to the Seniority due to Guru-Sishya relashionship in respect
of EmberumAnAr.

That aside- 

the passage quoted in English by Sri Sampathkumaran
occurs on page 228 of The Life of Ramanujacharya by Sri
Alkondaville Govindacharya (1906).There, while the rest of it
is in the author's own words,the actual quotation from Sri
Bhagavadvishayam is mentioned thus:

(On page 2527,Vol.V of the Telugu edition of the Bhagavadvishaya,
the conversation is thus recorded:- "While I am yet here,son,how
wert thou anxious for Heaven?" "Sire" said Kuresa,"in the depth
of my thoughts for the miseries of earthly existence,I forgot
this point.Pray forgive me." etc)

This is actually an accurate translation of the Arumbada-urai
of Eedu 5:10.PravESam, EXCEPT THAT in the original text the
word "son"   does NOT occur.The word used there is "AzhvAn!"
The use of the word "son" throughout this passage is done by
the author of that book (which actually is an outstanding one
with many valuable quotations from inscriptions)who probably
never visualised a controversy such as this.Or maybe he also really
thought Sri KUrattAzhvAn was younger to Udaiyavar!

Sri EmberumAnAr TiruvaDigaLE SaraNam!

>To this Ramanuja is reported to have replied,"Dearson, my beloved
azhwAn, thou art my soul, how can I
part with thee? While I am yet here, son, how can you
be anxious for heaven?". (Page 2527 of Vol 5 of

In the above passages, Ramanuja clearly addresses
Kuresan as "son". And Kuresan too clearly talks of
younger brothers preceding "elders" to heaven.

--------------- MESSAGE bhakti.v004.n219.5 ---------------

From: sampath kumar <>
Subject: "genetic engineering" and religion
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 01:28:03 -0800 (PST)
MIME-Version: 1.0
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Dear friends,

Over the weekend adiyen and a few friendly neighours
were casually discussing vast advances that are
presently being made in the science of genetics. 

Ever since 1997 when scientists in UK first created
"Dolly", the clone of a cow, further strides have been
made in the capability of genetically turning out even
human babies! People are saying that today there is
enough knowledge and competence to enable scientists
to clone a full-fledged human being. All that holds
the genetic scientist back are ethical considerations
and legal hurdles. Once these hurdles are overcome
genetic manufacturing of human beings is likely in the
first decade of the new millenium itself.

In the course of the discussion the following
questions also figured which adiyen is, out of a sense
of curiosity and academic interest, putting out on the
bhakti-list to elicit comments and views of members:

(1) What is stand of the Vedic religion to human
cloning? Is the clone also a "baddha-jeeva"?

(2) Will present day religious leaders like
Sankaracharya, Azhagiyasingar and others support human
cloning or condemn it? Why and on what theological
grounds? (The Christian Church has come out against
human cloning, by the way. But then the Church was
also against the heliocentric view of the universe
when Copernicus first came out with that theory!) 

(3) A human clone represents an exact biological
replica of the original. Is it a "spiritual-replica"
too? Does it have the "same" atomic soul ("aatmA")
too? Or is the clone to be treated as insentient... a

(4) If the human soul can be said to be 'cloned' then
isn't such cloning a bit like "srushti" or creation
itself? Has Man finally become God?

(5) If the original soul (aatmA) has a load of "karma"
upon it, then, does the soul of the cloned human also
have similar "karma"? Or does the clone start its
"kArmic" journey afresh from the first moment of its
cloned creation and existence?

(6) Do the "punya" and "pApa"... sin and good deed...
of the original human attach to the clone? And vice
versa? Are the cloned and the clone mutually
responsible for each other's actions in a moral sense?

(7) If the original human attains 'liberation' or
'mOksha' will the clone also similarly attain it? If
not why not?
These are all questions which may sound
"hypothetical", "far-fetched" or even whimsical. But
let it be known that profound changes are taking place
in the world of genetic science which are sooner than
later bound to have enormous impact on our age-old
notions and concepts of religion and morality.

Religion must wake up to these new realities and begin
to formulate its own responses to such difficult
questions of faith and moral conundrums.

Any views, thoughts or comments?

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--------------- MESSAGE bhakti.v004.n219.6 ---------------

From: "Lakshmi N. Srinivasa" <>
Subject: Appeal from Pon Vilainda Kalathur - Chaturbujam Ramar
Date: Sat, 05 Feb 2000 16:29:48 PST
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Adiyen is forwarding an email from my friend on an appeal to bhakti


                              Sri :
                          Sri Ramajayam
        Sri Seetha Lakshmana Bharatha Shatrugna Hanumath Sametha
             Sri Raghunandana Parabrahmane Namaha

        Appeal for Sri. Kothanda Ramar Koil, PonVilantha Kalathur

Appeal in Tamizh (appeal in english and more information follows)

                              Sri :
                          Sri Ramajayam
        Sri Seetha Lakshmana Bharatha Shatrugna Hanumath Sametha
             Sri Raghunandana Parabrahmane Namaha

Sri Kothandaramar & Sri Dharbhasayana Sethuramar Kainkarya Sabha

Pon Vilaintha Kalathur Sri Parankusapura Agraharathil Thirukkoil kondu
ezuntharuliyirukkum Sri Kothanda  ( Paatbhi ) Raman  Sannidhi, Giramam
erpatta   Athi   kalathileye Ayirakkanakkaana   varushangalunku mun  "
Giramathuku  merke Vishnu  Koyilum,  Vadakizakil  Sivabiranin  Koyilum
irukkavendum "  engira Girama   lakshanathirku ettra muraiyil  merpadi
giramathil  avatharitha   mahan- galal   kattpattu  Vishnu Koilil  Sri
Pattabhi (Kothand) Ramarum,    Sivan Koilil  Sri    Munkudumeeswararum
prathistai seyvikkappattanar.

Mathhiyil kalapakalathil chinnabinnamakkappatta merpadi Ramar  Koyilai
sumar  500  varushangalukku   munbu  Sri   Ahobhilamadathil Munravathu
pattathai  alangaritha      Sri     Parankusa Yatheendra   Mahadesikan
Jeernotharanam  seyvithu Kancheepuram  Thoopul  Sir  Vethantha Desikan
avathara sthalathil thirukkoil kondu ezuntharuli- yirukkum thivya desa
emberumanagiya "   vilakkoli perumal  " enum Deepaprakasarin  theertha
parigrahathudan " puna : Prathistai  " seytharulinar.  Piragu  merpadi
madathil Aravathu  pattathil  moorthabhishiktharai ezuntharuliyiruntha
Sri Sashta   Parankusa    Yatheendra  Mahadesikan  intha    sannidiyai
marupadiyum  Jeernotharanam  seyvithu   tham  prathistai  seyvitha Aru
agraharangalil  Ivvagraharathaiyum  onraga   brahmavasthu     muraiyil
manthira poorvakamaga prathistai seyvithu thamathu Acharyan thretheeya
parankusa  yatheedra mahadesikanudaiyavum, thammudaiyathu- magiya podu
thirunamathiye  manathe  kondu    "   Parankusapuram "    enru   intha
agraharathirku  peyaritta  vishayam  migavum prasitthamanathuminri Sri
Ahobhila madathu  dasthavejukalilum   nalthu thethiyilum   kankoodagak
kanbathrkuriyathu.      thavira        Mamallpuramenum      Kadalmalai
Thalsayanathemberuman theertha parigrahamum undu.  Thaviravum, Ivvoril
Nalavenba   ezuthiya   pugazh   pettra       kavichakravarthy      Sir
Pugazenthipulavarum,  Koothuva Nayanarum,  Anthakakavi    Veerararagha
mudaliyarum Arumugappavalarum Padikkasutthampiranum avatharithullanar.
Melum  Sri Ahobhila  Madathil 35   vathu pattathai alngarithavarum   "
Kalikarnan"  enap  pugazhpettravarumana  Sri Kalathur Azagiya  Singar,
Srivan Satakopa    Sri Ranganatha Yatheendra   Maha  Desikanum thamizh
nattuth thatha ena  azaikapatta  pettravarum Congress Maha  Sabhhaiyai
arambithu   namathu  thai   nattin   viduthalaikku adikkolittavargaili
oruvarumana desiyavathi Desiyavathi  Selam Dr C  Vijayaraghavachariyar
avargalum ivvooril athilum parankusa agraharathil avatharitha mahangal
enbathu pattri nam migavum perumaipadakoodiaya vishayam.

Enave,   merkurippitta   vidhathil  migavum  prasiddipettra nam  ooril
adhiyil thonriya Sri Kothanda  (Pattabhi) raman  sanndihiyin melthalam
pazuthadainthu   mazaikallangalil  nirkasivu erpadukirathu.    Angangu
pazuthu erpattullana.    Melum 09-10-1989 anru  Sri  Seethai Anjaneyar
silaikal  kalavadappattu  acchilaigal   meendum kidaithu   acchilaigal
sithilamadainthapadiyal meendum   pudiya silaigal ithuvarai prathistai
seyyapadavillai.   Agave    merpadi silaigali   pudidhaga   nirmanithu
prathisthtai   seythal,   koyilin   thalathai    seersaythal   ulpakka
suvargalukku   vannam  poosudhal suttru prakarangalin tharaipaguthiyai
seer    seythal,   Angangu  erpattulla   pazhuthugalai   seer  seythal
agiyavaigali Sri Kothandaram  & Sri Dharbhasayana Sethuramar Kainkarya
Sabha moolam niraivera vendum ena theermanikkapattullathu.

Enave  ithai kannurum  bhaktargal intha  kainkaryangalil pangettru Sri
Chakravarthy   thirumaganin poorana  katakshathirku   pathiraragumpadi
anbudan kettukolgirom.

                      Sri Kothandaramar & Sri Dharbhasayana Sethuramar
                                 Kainkarya Sabha
                                P V Kalthur  - 603 405.
Appeal in English (not an exact translation)
                            Sri :
                        Sri  Ramajayam

             NEW STREET, P.V.KALATHUR - 603 405.

                        A   HUMBLE    APPEAL

Ponvilaintha Kalathur Village  is  situated  10  Kms  beyond  south of
Chengalpattu   town and is connected   by frequent  buses from Chengal
pattu.  Lord Narayana casts HIS divinely shadow here form HIS abode of
Sri  Kothanda   Ramar with  Sri  Seetha  Devi,  Sri Lakshmana  and Sri
Anjaneya.  One 09-10-1989, some thieves  burgled into the Sannidhi and
took away the idol of  goddess Sri Seetha Devi and  Sri Anjaneya.  The
idols were traced and handed over to the temple later.  However it was
found unsuitable for reinstallation as they were damaged.

Thanks to the  philanthrophy of a  local devotee, who has consented to
bear the cost of  new idols of Sri  Seetha Devi and Sri Anjaneya which
have been  arranged to cast at Swamimalai  and will be ready  for holy
installation ( Prathishta  ). It is desired by  the Sri Kothanda Ramar
and Sri Darbhasayana Sethuramar Kainkarya Sabha. Ponvilaintha Kalathur
to undertake the work of long felt  renovations in the temple now like
(i)   weathering course   over the   ceiling  of Ardha   Mantapam (ii)
replastering  the Vimanam over  'Gabagraha'  (iii)  Covering the  open
space within  the temple with  Cement mortar in  order  to ensure safe
movement  of devotees (iv)  painting the Vimanam  and other places (v)
erection   of idols of   Sri Rama  Sri   Seetha Sri Lakshmana and  Sri
Anjaneya in Cement mortar atop the entrance of the Ardha Mantapam (vi)
and then to install the new idols of  Sri Seetha Devi and Sri Anjeneya
in the  Kothanda Ramar Temple  along with  the existing  idols of  Sri
Kothanda Ramar and Sri Lakshmana.

A fairly  large fund is required  to undertake and complete  the above
items of renovation works.   The Maha Samprokshanam ( Kumbhabhishekam)
of  Sri Kothanda Ramar  Temple after the renovation  is proposed to be
performed on  16th  March, 2000   (Thursday).    The members  of   the
Kainkarya Sabha / Asthikas who  are desirous to contribute their  mite
to this divinely venture are requested to  contribute liberally and be
the receipient to the benevolent  blessings of Sri Rama.  All payments
may be  made by crossed Cheque/Demand Draft  in favour of  Sri Kothnda
Ramar  &    Sri Dharbasayana  Sethuramar Kainkarya   Sabha  payable at
Ponvilanintha Kalathur and sent to

            Sri.   S.  Sampath
            Sri Kothanda Ramar & Sri Dharbasayana Sethu Ramar
                Kainkarya Sabha,
            New Street, P.V.Kalathur - 603 405.
            (via ) Chengalpattu, Tamilnadu.

                Thanking you,
                                  SRI KOTHANDARAMAR & SRI DHARBASAYANA
                                  SETHURAMAR KAINKARYA SABHA ,
                                  P.V. KALATHUR - 603 405.         "

More Information

Some information not mentioned in the appeals :

*  The   Dharbhasayana  Sethuramar Sannidhi    was   installed  rather
recently, only in the 20th century.  The  Urchava Vigraham - Sri Ramar
was  found in the well  within the temple  precincts and the same fact
was revealed in  the dreams of one  of the devotees  in kalathur.  The
vigraham has insription - "Danushkoti Ramar" in the kireetam.

*  The Moolavar  of Dharbhasayana  Sethuramar   was installed by   the
grandsons of Selam   vijayaraghavachariyar and the   samprokshanam was
performed by His Holiness The 44th Jeeyar of Ahobila Mutt.

*  The  Pattabhi Ramar koil contains  sannidhis  for Sri Pattabhiramar
(main  sannidhi),  Sri Srinivasar with  Sridevi  and  Boodhevi, Thayar
Sannidhi, Alwargal Sannidhi.

*  The BAALAALAYAM for the temple has been recently  done. By this the
original vigrahamoorthys' Aavahanam is  done on paintings and Puja  is
done only for  the paintings so that  repair works etc  can be done at
the original garbhagrahams etc.

*   Very near to PVK, there is another village Ponpatharkoodam, where
the deity Charthur Buja Ramar is also very famous.

A few  decades ago, a  seperate Sannidhi for Anjaneyar was constructed
by aDiyEn's grandfather, Sri Neeradi K Srinivasaraghavachariyar (whose
sister's father-in-law is  the  great scholar  - Sri  SWARNAM  SWAMY).
aDiyEn was physically present at that time the vigrahams of Sri Seetha
and Sri Anjaneya were moulded out in Swami Malai.

The total expenses would go to at least around Rs.  4 lakhs.  The only
person active is one Mr. Santhanam who  is employed in T N Electricity
Board,  at  Chengalpattu.   Strangely he   does'nt  belong to PVK  but
however has now   built a house at PVK   in New Street   with plans of
settling down their.  In India, only those belonging to PVK might show
some  interest in this  Appeal and  even so they   may not be  able to
contribute much.  Therefore, your  generous contributions would be  of
great help to re-establish this wonderful temple.



(also, please provide your name and address for the receipts)


Address in India                OR, Address in the US
(of aDiyEn):                    (of aDiyEn's nephew):

Sundar Rangachari               Sriram Govindarajan
F-1, Temple View Apts.,         2920 Scioto Street, Apt. 703
14/15, Thyagaraya Gramani St.,  Cincinnati, OH 45219
T.Nagar, Chennai - 600017       Ph: 513-556-8443
INDIA.                          Email:

OR, you may directly send them to the SABHA in P.V.Kalathur.

Thank you,

Sundar Rangachari
Get Your Private, Free Email at

--------------- MESSAGE bhakti.v004.n219.7 ---------------

From: "Venkatesh Elayavalli" <>
Subject: Re: Seeming Contradiction
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 17:20:11 PST
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed

Dear Sri Ramakrishnan,

>     Our religion is one which allows a lot of individualism in
>to the Lord and in the method of worship. In fact, to my knowledge,
>there is no mandatory worship at all in the religion. Any method of
>worship that is there, was given only as a suggestion and there is
>always your own way of worshipping or considering the Lord.

This, in my opinion, is a generalization based on a corrupted view of
Advaitic traditions, which basically ended up pushing  the idea of 
individualism. I do not want to go into the debate on why I feel so,

However, in Vaishnava traditions, be it Sri Vaishnava or other branches
Vaishnavam,  temple worship is very important. The very fact that all 11
of 12 alwars performed mangalaasaasanam at various temples is a standing

example of the importance of worship and saranagathi.

>     However, in our Vaishnava sampradayam, the role of the Acharyan is
>one of a guide to Lord. There is a no contradiction here. But going a
>bit further, our sampradayam says that the Acharyan is the ONLY way to
>His feet. There, in my view, comes the contradiction. How can there be
>total dependency on another person's advice in a religion that
>emphasises so much individualism?

Again, here I believe you are mixing the two traditions (viz, advaitic
visitadvaitic). That said, YOU DO NEED AN ACHARYA for the advaitic
too, to understand how the individual realization (jivan-mukti) can be 

The distinction is in the word ONLY. we give more importance to the
who has the responsibility to deliver the sishya to the Lord
However, this is not a must with the other system, which gives
importance to 
Gnyana yoga and depends totally on the individual. So the effort by the 
acharya in such a tradition is limited.

In our Sampradhayam, we believe that Lord has some qualities and with
acharya's blessings (and his prapatti on behalf of the Sishya) one can
moksham. there are many works that address this: PVP's Manikka maalai, 
Pillai Lokacharyas Artha panchakam, etc.

These discuss the relationship between the Lord and the jiva and how an 
acharya can make a difference.

the bottom line is the concept of saranagati that differentiates between
tradition and the rest.


Venkatesh K. Elayavalli             Cypress Semiconductor
Data Communications Division        3901 N. First St. MS 4
Phone: (408) 456 1858               San Jose CA 95134
Fax:   (408) 943 2949

email: (external)
Home Page Location:

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--------------- END bhakti.v004.n219 ---------------

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