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Few points to be made urgently!

Date: Tue Jan 02 1996 - 11:32:49 PST

     Asmath gurubhyO namaha!
     Asmath parama gurubhyO namaha!
     Asmath sarva gurubhyO namaha!

     Dear bhaktaas and prapannaas,

     I have been observing the kind of discussions that go on in this group
     for the past few weeks after I was welcomed into the group by Sri
     Mani. I think it is high time I dared to air (mail?) my views.

     1. Please avoid bringing in discussion of topics that are not very
     relevant to the group - like the lengthy tete-a-tete on Murugan. I
     happen to express this concern of mine to other bhaagavathOthama
     friends of this group with whom I spent lively and joyous days this
     Vaikuntha Ekaadasi (thru Divya DampathIs kripai). We unanimously
     accepted that taking cue from Sri V. Sadagopan's mail (which did not
     extrapolate on this issue any further, but was tacit and informative),
     such topics should be gently referred to those further interested in
     it, giving more room for topics essentially Vaishnavaite in nature.
     I hope others would also welcome this idea.

     2. Sri Vijayaraghavan writes...

     Writing about Thirumangai Alwar, historians like Bishop Caldwell held that
     Thirumangai Alwar was a disciple of Ramanujacharya!. This fact was accepted
     by some Indian historians too, (For eg. Gopinath)  as it was not without
     any basis.  However, the conclusion was proved to be entirely wrong.  It
     was one of those instances  where the secondary evidence  was allowed to
     preponderate over the primary. It appears to me that while scientific
     approach to historical research could be very useful in unveiling the
     truth, the tools used are still subject to interpretation (which is highly
     subjective) and therefore there is nothing definite or conclusive about
     most of these findings.  <<< Thus, there appears to be as much uncertainty
     in the modern findings, as we would assume in the traditional

     <<<<I always reconcile the differences between the traditional account and
     the "scientific" account in the following way: For a long time in India,
     information  was transmitted orally.  At some point in time these facts
     (possibly distorted and further amalgamated with fiction) got recorded in
     writing or entered into some kind of inscriptions.  Modern historians may
     be able to reckon only the recorded event.  I do not think they are able to
     get to the bottom of things which alone can give a satisfactory answer to
     the two fundamental questions:  What actually happened and when did it
     really happen. Notwithstanding the uncertainty in either accounts
     (traditional vs. modern), I think our purpose is better served if we focus
     on the spirit behind those scriptural texts which alone can elevate us to a
     higher order of living.>>>>2.2

     <<<<The system of acharam evolved by our great acharyas- Does it
     continue to have any relevance today.  If you say we can only accept a
     small part of it, how would one decide what to accept and what to
     reject.  Please do not forget to remind yourself of what Vyasa
     Bhagawan had said: " Achara Prathamo Dharma: dharmasya prabhu

     I look forward to a lively discussion, which hopefully could sow the
     seeds for evolving a neo-vaishnavitic system of acharam.>>>>2.3

     2.1) The uncertainty that appears in the case of traditional accounts
     is only apparent and is due to the misunderstanding of the truths
     expounded by azhwaars and the great aachaaryaas of our sampradaayam,
     by some self-professed scholars due to their wilful neglect (Could
     also be due to their egos obstructing clarity of thinking and
     intellect). There are definitely NO uncertainties. Please refer to
     appropriate treatises on our sampradaayam by our learned aachaaryaas,
     before making blanket statements. Referring to knowledgeable senior
     members of our group also will sort things out.

     2.2) There is no need for reconciliation of any kind. The pramaanaas
     stand out clearly by themselves. Please refer to 2.1.

     2.3) Definitely yes. Except in the case of what are clearly laid out
     as desaachaarams, the niyamams and anushtaanams are very relevant even
     today because of their universal and perennial (because they are well
     experimented truths) content. There is no need for evolving a
     neo-vaishnavaitic system. We are not here to re-engineer anything. The
     best sEva and bhakti to our aachaaryaas that we can perform comes from
     fulfilling our duties by putting into practice their noble teachings
     and the code of conduct that they have painstakingly prescribed to
     make our lives Saartham(meaningful).

     Let us make a pledge today to put an end to useless controversies and
     re-dedicate ourselves to the task of upholding the treasured values of
     our great sampradaayam in our day-to-day living in whatever way
     Thaayaar and PerumaaL ordain us to.

     As is said - An ounce of practice is better than a ton of words.

     I have written a ton of them. I surrender at the lotus feet of Divya
     DampathIs and at the feet of our aachaaryaas seeking strength to put
     atleast a few into practice.

     Vaachaka dOshaha Kshandavyaha.