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Sri VaishNavan- How,Who&When?

From: Madhavakkannan V (srivaishnavan_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Feb 12 1998 - 04:28:01 PST

SRI:

Dearest Sisters and Brothers,

Sri Vijay Srinaivasan's compilation kaimkaryam is very good. I felt 
elated to read that. 
Following is my blabbering (with the little knowledge I gathered over 
the years)

We must have accumulated lot of puNyams and be greatly blessed by 
AchAryaLs and Divya Dampatis for us to be Sri VaishNavAs. 
For Sri VaishNavAs, ONLY Sriya: pathih Sriman NARAYANAN is the Deivam 
(GOD). He is the only one who is the Primordial Chief. Vedhas proclaim 
only Sriman Narayana as the ALMIGHT and the ParamAthman, paramporuL, 
ParanjyOthi. All others including Sivan, Brahmaa and Indran have been 
created by HIM. We, Sri vaishnavAs SHOULD worship only NARAYNAN along 
with His consort Sri Mahalakshmi.

For us, only vEdhAs are the moola pramANam. They were created by HIM. 
They talk only about the glory of Sriman NaryanaNA as the SUPREME DEITY.  
SrivaishNavAs shall NOT worship other dEvathAs; When we are related to 
the king Himself, why beg the army-general, Gate keeper, ministers, et 
al.?

Based on Sri VaishNava traditions established by the lineage of SRI 
RAMANUJACHARYA ( Divya Dampatis- Vishvaksenar- NammAzhwAr- 
Nathamuni-ALavandhAr- RamanujAchAryA), (1017-1137 A.D), Brahman also 
stands in relation to the universe and the individual souls as the Self 
of each, providing the basis for their reality. As such, Brahman has 
matter and individual souls as His body, and is therefore the Supreme 
Being in whom all reality is comprehended. All that we see is but a 
spilling from the plenitude of His glorious, all-pervasive essence. This 
is why the favorite devotional name for God among Sri Vaishnavas is 
Narayana-He in whom all beings rest. The philosophy of Sri Vaishnavism 
is known in Sanskrit as Visistadvaita. The term literally means 
"non-duality of Reality as characterized by attributes." As a classical 
expression of Vedanta (the philosophical basis for much of Hinduism), 
the goal of Visistadvaita philosophy is to understand and experience 
Brahman, the One Blissful Reality who is the all-pervasive ground and 
sustenance of the universe- the string upon whom all pearls are 
threaded. The "pearls", individual beings and matter, are inseparable 
attributes of the Supreme Person, modes of Its existence. (courtesy: Sri 
vaishnava Home page- by Mani Varadarajan)

Now What should a Sri Vaishnavan do?

First He shall choose a Sri VaishNava AchArya and learn from him, the 
sampradhayam and the traditions. Then he shall undergo samAsrayaNam 
(please refer to Sri Anand's series of posts on this - excellent!). With 
the symbols of shanghu and chakram on his shoulders (obtained during 
samAsryaNam), he becomes a Full fledged vaishNavan. He shall carryout 
Pancha samskArams
1.	Having sanghu, chakram symbols on his shoulders
2.	Wearing 12 ThirumaN (on his forehead and his body)
3.	Having a name given by AchArya (e.g: Naryana dAsan)
4.	getting upadEsam from AchAryA (ahtAkshara manthram, Dvayam, sarama 
slOkam)
5.	UpadEsam from AchArya to perform ArAdhanam for Emperumaan
 AshtAksharam- After the snAnam, thirumaN and sandhyavandhanam, this is 
to be uttered with proper niyamam.
Dvayam- can be uttered at any situation; even when you are walking;
ANYWHERE; In fact, a srivaishNavan shall always utter (till it becomes 
the second nature like breathing) Dvayam. No particular time for that. 
(Now, at srirangam temple, Dvayam is always heard through speakers and 
reverberate the whole place)- 
Sarama slOkam- sarva dharmaan.... (Bhagavadh GitA slokam. (Let me 
explain all these more elaborately when I send my post on my
AchAryA's upadEsam which is already overdue) After one's pancha 
samskAra, srivaishnavan shall study (kAlakshEpam) under
his achArya (at least one of) the following:
1.	RamAnujA's Sri Bhashyam
2.	GitA bAshyam (by Sri ramanjua)
3.	Srimad Rahasya traya saaram (by Desikan)
4.	Thiruvaaimozhi vyAkhyAnam by Thirukkurugaip piLLAn                 
(disciple of RamAnujA)
 Srivaishnavan shall consider his AchArya as the GOD himself ; he is the 
one who has enlightened us; We should be grateful to him and always talk 
about him (as far as possible). Any kaimkaryam done by srivaishnavan to 
his achArya shall not be considered as a favour to him; THERE IS NOTHING 
THAT CAN EQAUL WHAT the Acharya has done to us; He has SAVED US FROM THE 
CYCLE OF HORRIBLE BIRTHS! He has shown the Absolute Bliss to us! (One 
can even die for what they have done!)
One should always (at least try to) stick to achAryA's advice 
/instructions.  Especially, with respect to "Not eating Onions, Garlic, 
Drum sticks (Murungai), etc.,  Not eating at Hotels (Try to avoid, not 
hygienic too), eating /drinking anything in the morning only after 
prayer and offer to the Lord (after bath/sandhyAvandhanm)- Wives also 
shall follow this (but for sandhyAvandhnam, all others shall be followed 
by them); AchAryA's words are Sriman NarayaNan's words; Imagine the 
AchArya gets up at 4.00 am and eats the meal only at after his 
madhyaanikam (may be 1.00 pm) - at that age, if he does that, can we not 
wait till we pray for at least a minute and then drink coffee or tea! 
(But please do not force anybody including your wife-start with yourself 
and let them take the cue!) Perform prapatti at achAryA's feet; that 
ensures mOksham. Then onwards it is like being wedded to Sriman 
NarAyaNan. It is only an enjoyment with His communion then onwards; 
SrivaishNavan shall continue to do his nitya karmAnushtAngaL (Prapatti 
does not absolve us from the responsibility ofdoing sandhyAvandhanam); 

Every vaishnavan shall NEVER commit bhAgavath apachAram. BhAgavathAls 
are His devotees. BhagawAn likes us to peform kaimkaryam to them more 
than to Him. He gets immensely pleased with our kaimkaryam to 
bhAgavathAls. Hence, it is esential NOT to commit any kind of apachArams 
to them. We shall NEVER talk ill about their kulam(lineage), selvam, 
etc.. some bhAgavathAls may be forced to do some work to carry on with 
their materialistic lives and to protect and take care of their 
families. Sri Vaishnavan shall NEVER talk bad about them. Any Narayana 
devotee is His bhAgavathA. 
Important: With Divya dampatis' grace, we are blessed with this life, 
thinking, facilities, and inclination to talk/discuss about Him. But, we 
SHALL never talk ill/think bad about them (any person) who does not have 
knowledge,  exposure to scriptures. WE SHALL NEVER BE PROUD ("garvam") 
of our kulam, wealth, education. It is His grace for us to be what we 
are. Let us not think LOW of someone who does not think like what we do. 
(FOR US, HE IS IN EVERYONE. And EVERYTHING IS IN HIM- then, why we are 
looking at their outwardly things? If we are His sincere devotees, a 
criminal and a good person are the same for us. 

1. Srivaishnavan shall not hurt others with his words/actions.
2. He shall try to avoid losing his temper. Whatever happens, is for the 
good. It is His play.
3. There is nothing wrong in enjoyment of what saastrAs do not prohibit. 
But let us not be slaves for those enjoyment. We shall not crave for any 
sensual pleasure; materialistic benefits.
4. If we get some money/wealth unexpectedly, let us fell elated about 
His mercy/grace on us; and feel His presence again.
5. If we have done kAlakshEpam and studied scriptures/vEdhas, we should 
not think ourselves high and boast. Nor we shall look down the 
bhAgavathAls who did not have an opportunity do so for various 
reasons/commitments. 
6. We should have mercy on all beings (including insects). We shall 
never abuse animals/birds. We should always have at the back of our 
minds that He exists in EVERYONE & EVERYTHING.
7. We shall always eat sAthvik food. Think good; Do good; Hear good; 
Read good books (Holy books)
8. We shall try to fast on ekAdasi days.
9. We shall NEVER cheat and deceive and earn money through unfair means.
10. We shall offer pushpam, sandal, lighting viLakku kaimkaryam at 
temples.
11. When we see Sri VaishnavAs, we should feel as if we have seen Most 
beautiful moon, flowers, kids and feel happy to the fullest extent.
12. We shall never feel JEALOUS of our fellow beings for their success 
NOR feel thrilled about someone's failures.
13. When we someone who is an athiest / indifferent to Sriman Narayanan, 
we should ignore them as if they are grass/stones. (non-living beings)

I am very sorry for making it more PERSONAL. I just jotted what I felt I 
shoul do. Nothing else. If someone can get an iotA of what I wish to 
convey, it is my success.
Let us all always think of SRIYA: PATHI SRIMAN NARAYANAN

 Best Regards

 Ram Ram

Narayana dAsan madhavakkannan


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