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Re: doubt on abivaadhanam..

From: sampath kumar (
Date: Sat Jan 29 2000 - 02:01:56 PST

--- Madhavakkannan V <>
> My son's question on abivaadhanam:
> 1. Is abivaadhanam an inroduction of who we are with
> regard to  gothram, > vEdam etc.. (I said- yes)
> 2. Is that the reason why it is done for PerumAL and
> sanyaasis. because they > know everything.. (I had
to say.. yes.)
> 3. If that is only irnducing yourself humbly, why do
> we do everytime to the > same person, since he
already knows who we are. (I> kept silent)
> 4. If it is only introduction, why do we do to  our
> own parents? They know > about us already.
> 5. If there is no requirement for PerumAL, why do we
> do at the end of > sandhyavandhanam..?
> learned members, please throw more light..

Dear Sri.madhavan,
It is very nice to read that your son is grilling you
with tough questions! My 12 year old son too puts me
on the mat many times! Not until our children quiz us
on so many matters do we really get to discover our
own monumental ignorance about so many things in life!

My humble advice to you in how you should answer your
son is as follows:

Do not begin quoting some rare passage out of some
arcane scripture to your child in support of yourself.

Tell the boy that the practice of "abhivandanam" is
standard "protocol" that one must observe when one
encounters learned or aged personalities of our
hallowed "sampradAyam".

Give the analogy of a diplomat, like an ambassador
going to a new country, who first presents his
diplomatic credentials to the head of state of that
nation before taking up office. It is obligatory

There is no need for a diplomat to present his
credentials to his own Head of State or Foreign
Minister. Similarly there is no need for us to do
"abhivandanam" to our own God or AchAryA.

Everytime a diplomat takes up an ambassadorial post in
another country, even if he has already been there
before, he has to again present his credentials in the
proper manner. He cannot say that he has already
observed the protocol in his previous assignment and
hence there is no need to go through the protocol once
again. The protocol must be gone through everytime.

Adiyen is not so sure about "abhivandanam" to one's
mother. But adiyen has it on good authority that there
is no bar to one performing "abhivandanam" to one's
parents.... both father and mother.

Tell your son that both in the world of high diplomacy
as well as in that of religion there is such a thing
as gracious behaviour which must be scrupulously
observed at all times, again and again. "Abhivandanam"
is only one such example of gracious behaviour that
has been mandatory in the society of learned elders.

May God grant long life and happiness to your most
intelligent son.

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