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Providing alms for beggars

From: Pattangi (
Date: Tue Jan 23 2001 - 16:57:18 PST

Dear Rajesh:

I am sure you have received the standard periyavas answers by now
(in case you have not let me know I will send it to you)

But you are right about the fact, Karma theory is the only one that 
can & will explain all the actions reaction that happen to us in this
material world
(All the ans. from Periyavas have included Karma as the main source and 
built their answers on it.)

I will try to explain this as I would to a non-vedic person, as that would
make the 
most sense to the scientific mind.

I will try to explain with the answer that made the most sense to me:

=== Rajesh Wrote=====
Message: 2
   Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 13:29:20 -0800 (PST)
   From: Rajesh Elayavalli <>
Subject: Providing alms for beggars

1.  When all are created equal - why is that some
suffer and other's don't.  I have difficulty
understanding "poorva janma" theories - and feel that
opportunites have not been presented in the current
life for them to redeem them.

======This is along winded story but please read it with patience=====

Here is a story that throws some interesting light on this subject?

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a
small opening appeared. He sat and watched
the butterfly for several hours as it struggled
to force its body through that little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress.
It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could,
and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took
a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining
bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had
a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because
he expected that, at any moment, the wings would

enlarge and expand to be able to support the
body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the
rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body
and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not
understand was that the restricting cocoon and the
struggle required for the butterfly to get through the
tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the
body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be
ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need
in our lives. If God allowed us to go through
our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.

We would not be as strong as what we could have been.
We could never fly!

I asked for Strength.........
And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for Wisdom.........
And God gave me Problems to solve.

I asked for Prosperity.........
And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.

I asked for Courage.........
And God gave me Danger to overcome.

I asked for Love.........
And God gave me Troubled people to help.

I asked for Favors.........
And God gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted ........
I received everything I needed!

May God Bless you with unspeakable joy, not only
in the world to come, but in this world also.

May your path be bright and full of light everywhere you go.

And, I pray your feet will never stumble out of God's plan.

May the desires of your heart come true,
And may you experience Peace in everything you do.

"The Lord did not promise that life would be easy,
but He did promise to go with you every step of the way."


Pain and suffering that we see is just the journey the soul needs to take
(in the physical body) to get to understand the true nature of
the soul. (Involves eternal bliss, selfless service & total surrender to Lord)

The suffering we see in this life is just a miniscule of the journey the
soul has been through.
People under hypnosis have revealed the reason for rebirth is spiritual
(for more info: just search at with reincarnation & hypnosis)

2.  What is our role from a religious and vedic
perspective.  I do provide alms, but where do we stop
or are we supposed to?
Sri Vaishnava prespective: We are automatically supposed to feel the pain
and suffering
when we see others in pain and do whatever we can to help. (Not be dictated
to do so by a book
or other periyavas)

Here comes the catch: We are all probably attached to our
hence we have the problem letting go of what we have. - If we have the
money to give? Which I am sure
we all have living in the US, we have some to give.

Some people will say I will only give to SriVaishnavas, (some more will say
only to Kancheepuram etc
etc, some more say only to this sect or that sect.)
"As a Sri Vaishnava we are automatically supoosed to feel the pain and
suffering of every Jeevan
and do all that we can to help right then and there." - If not we cannot
honestly say we are trying to 
be Sri Vaishnavas.

Practically: We do not let go of our wealth easily (There is always that
bigger house, & better car
etc etc that you need your money for.) - And we dwell in the samsara.
We can at least try to give a set percentage of our earnings (say 25%, at
the minimum)
and try to live within the rest 75%. Even the other 75% we are supposed to
beleive in our hearts
as to be the wealth of the LORD, Acharyan and his devotees. And should be
ready for their use in anyway they want. (Our needs are automcatically
taken care of by HIM, Infact all that we have is because HE gave it to us.)

(Again long Q. .......... Perhaps this has been addresses in the list,
please search archives)
who really is LORD is he only Sriman Narayan? 
who is the Acharyan: Is he only your direct Acharyan? 
who is the real devotee of the Lord & Acharyan?)

There is so much more to this, please reply to me at and we can
take it off-line. 

AzhwAr EmberumAnAr Jeeyar ThiruvadigalE saranam

adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
Mukundan Vankipuram Pattangi

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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