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Comments on TK and et al

From: Satyan, Nagu (Nagu.Satyan_at_den.mmc.com)
Date: Fri Jan 12 1996 - 20:20:26 PST

Mani,

Thanks for the EMAIL re Thondar Kuzham et al.  In general, I agree 
with most of Kaushik's statements.  My immediate reaction on various
 
subjects is as follows;

1) Let us not reinvent the wheel.  We ought to influence our 
respective SV matams to ensure the information and messages are 
reaching the masses.  One problem is that the matam magazines are 
geared towards individuals conversant with Tamil and Sanskrit.  There 

is a large subset of SV's whose ancestors migrated within India to 

Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, etc. because of political and 

financial situations hundreds of years back.  Granted there are some 
who may be actively involved in local matams.  However, I believe the 

SV matams and organizations in India have not adequately addressed the 

needs of these people.  To give you an idea of the communication 
problem, in the Colorado SV group of 40 members, we have about 30% 
conversant with Tamil (not all able to read) and an even split of SVs 

from Karnataka and AP.  Of course the children instinctively become 
mostly English speaking, since they do not have a common Indian 
language.  We have had to adjust and compensate to fulfill the needs 
of all interested individuals.  A few individuals have volunteered to 

teach non-tamil speaking SVs to read, recite and understand 
Thirupallaandu. There is a craving in most individuals to seek 
knowledge. 

2) One of my biggest concerns as a parent of a 19 year old son is now 

that we are residents/citizens of USA, how are we going to maintain 
those traditions with the next generation SV children predominately 
conversing in English only?  I think the challenge is to present the 
greatness of our religion in a succinct way to ensure that these 
children will experience and continue the SV-ism.  The matam magazines 

in their current format do not address the needs of these children.  
With so much of knowledge and talent in your Bhakthi/TK group, 
wouldn't it be beneficial to assist these youngsters who may be 
deprived of understanding their heritage?  TK could potentially 
address the needs of the first generation SVs as well as those adults 

who are eager to learn now what they missed out when they were young 
for various reasons.  The proposal to create a Newsletter and have 
copies available at Temples is an excellent idea.  For those areas not 

near temples, maybe local coordinators/volunteers could be identified 

to distribute these newsletters.

3) Last summer our family visited Srirangam, Kumbakonam, Madurai, 
Madura, Brindavan, Upilli etc.  My observation is that some temples 
like Srirangam, Thirupathi still attract large masses and are 
reasonably able to maintain these ancient temples.  At the time of our 

visit to Utthamar and Thiruvellarai (Pundareekaakshar) temples 
(outskirts of Srirangam), there were less than ten individuals total 
and you can see that these temples are not that well maintained.  That 

has been my biggest gripe about the temples that are being constructed 

all over USA.  I love to visit temples, but I do not see the need for 

so many.  How are we going to sustain these temples in the future in 
this environment?  I would rather each family adopt their native 
village/town temple in India and preserve the structure.  You may be 
aware of the pitiful status of the sannidhi built for Periya Nambi 
(Mahapurna) near Pasupathi Koyil and Koorathaalwar (Kuresa) which were 

in a bad state.  I understand that due to efforts of a few individuals 

they have been repaired.  Why is that we cannot as a community be 
cognizant of these situations, provide a SV community service and 
propagate the message re these issues?  My suggestion is we should 
focus on getting the message and not worry about the responses. 

4) I definitely agree that we do not need to duplicate existing 
organizations.  These SV organizations undoubtedly have the knowledge 

and some adequate resources, however TK could complement and/or 
supplement the efforts to suit the local USA needs.  Re 108 divya 
sthalams, TTD has published books by M. A. Ramesh in English.  Could 
these documents be transported to a CD format to facilitate 
portability?  I was unable to procure them during my recent visit.  
May be someone in your group may have a copy which, with TTD 
permission could be scanned.  I will be willing to donate towards the 

cost.  

5) What is lacking is a rudimentary book in simple English which 
defines the various terminology used in SV discussions, rituals, 
stories, history of SV survival/revival, stories and greatness of  our 

Alwars and Acharyas etc..  A book with pictures and puzzles similar to 

other educational books is long due.  May be I am not exposed to these 

type of references.  Maybe TK could ID these type of starter series?  

Please do not think that I am expecting too much from the TK group.  I 

am new to this correspondence and quite possible that I have not 
understood the intent of TK.  All these are my FIRST set of 
observations in which this group could provide a valuable service.  My 

point is that there is a lot of valuable inf. stored in your minds and 

hearts that I am eager to tap into these sources to benefit the USA SV 

population and to ensure that that this knowledge base is captured.  
One of you may argue or express a concern that we lose the Tamil works.

  Are we really? We should stand back and assess that question keeping 

in mind the two different aspects of literature and intent/essence.  
Part of our heritage is accommodating the needs of the people.

6)  Since my initial exposure in 1970s to the news about the summer 
sessions for children at Sharada or Rajeswari peetam in New Jersey, I 

have had this dream of a similar session to share and learn about 
SV-ism.  Here is where the matams can package a session for people 
visiting India.  I realize that my major focus is towards the needs of 

the younger generation.  My response is that they are the future 
messengers of SV-ism and my responsibility as a parent is to 
facilitate that process by soliciting groups like the Bhakthi Group to 

allocate their energy and thoughts.  I cannot predict how responsive 
the adults will be.  I am willing to try within my areas of influence. 

 The question that may arise is Why should we take responsibilty of 
the parents?  It is a legitimate question.  But bear in mind that not 

all parents have been lucky to have been exposed to our traditions and 

are struggling to pass it on to their children.  Many parents 
themselves are willing to be students along with their children.

7) May I ask you to pass this note to your group till I establish my 
private residential link?  Also, I would appreciate any information on 

the origin and history of  "Nallan Chakravarthy" which my father 
belonged to?  I had heard originally they were from Srirangam but 
migrated to Karnataka and AP hundreds of years back.  Here is an adult 

who passed all her youth not taking time to ask that question.  But 
now in the path of self discovery is hungry to learn from any one who 

is willing to share.

NAGU SATYAN (AKA ChoodiKodutthaNacheeyar Rangamannar)


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