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Date: Fri Jan 05 1996 - 12:22:49 PST
Dear Sri Sampath, Thanks for the clarification. Much that I would like to avoid replying and extending the discussion, I am giving in to the pressing need for a clarification from my end. I still am not going back on the opinion about how hot the contents of your mail were. I was pissed off that a mere mention in the passing about another deity can create so much controversy. I thought discussions were just discussions - not a vivaadha stage. The fact that a person becomes a prapanna and worships Divya DampathIs alone, does not automatically confer the right to criticize or evaluate in rational terms other moorthIs. This is what I meant by groupism. We can avoid such parochial exercises by resorting to the following (this is my personal opinion): 1. Discuss the kalyaana gunaas of para, vyooha, vibhava or archaavathaara forms of interest to Sri Vaishnavism or indulge in philosophical musings about the greatness of our sampradhaayam (of course, without resorting to any bigotry or scandalous remarks about other belief systems or philosophies). Discuss about Azhwaraachaaryaas. 2. Discuss all literature and fine arts (music in particular) relevant or could possibly become relevant to our sampradhaayam. This is neat fun. Also because it is said "Kaavya Shaasthra VinOdhEna KaalO Gachchathi Dheemathaam". 3. Discuss other issues of general interest to the group such as the Thondar Kuzhaam charter and activities, 108CD project, contributing articles and photos etc. 4. Discuss about how members living in geographical proximity can find some time to meet each other on special vaishnavaite occasions. Nothing else can make the clock slower. It is such a treat. Trust me. 5. Provide information about Jayanthi celebrations, traditional festivals, pravachanams, or seminars on our sampradhaayam here in the U.S or elsewhere in the world and the participation and experiences of our group members. It is one thing to bring new and interesting topics for general debate. But it is another thing to do it at the cost of disinformation about the topic in question. For example, a person cannot be devoted to Lord Krishna like Bhaktha Meera and also discuss the rationale behind the avathaaram like a dhraavida kazhagam enthusiast. In these cases atleast, it must be "Vachchaa kudumi sarachchaa mottai". It is better to take a stand, even if it is wrong. But again, taking a stand does not mean being unreasonable or prejudiced. If my writing, now or earlier, has offended anyone, I apologize for it unconditionally. Henceforth, I will correspond only on topics I promised I will be committed to. Gnaanasyaabharanam Kshamaa (Forgiveness is the ornament of Wisdom). Daasasya DaasyOham, Dilipan.