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praying other deities...

From: Vijay Triplicane (vijayt_at_acuson.com)
Date: Wed Jan 21 1998 - 12:51:25 PST

Hello,
	Kalyani krishnamachari has raised an important issue. I just wish
to remind that there was one such similar discussion sometime in Jan '97
- "recite mantras and get results". It was more along the lines of reciting 
mantras for some materialistic objective (kAmyArtham ?). Whether these 
mantras praise sriman nArAyaNA or some other deity is a different issue, 
an important one though. Thanks to Mani and Dileepan, the archives are back
so that you could check it out.

	mahA visvAsam (Great faith) on sriman narayana is definitely the 
most important aspect of a srivaishnava. But how practical is it? How mahA
should this visvAsam be? This question of faith is very subjective. One has
to feel this mahAvisvAsam at heart. A mother wouldn't consider, praying to 
say karumAri amman for her ailing son, a sin. It could be a strong local 
belief. Her immediate concern is her dear child. But she should not be 
branded a sinner right away. She hasn't realized her relationship with the
narayana. ("un thannOdu uRavEl n^amakku iN^gu ozhikka ozhiyAdhu"). Our dear
PerumAL would realize this and try to induce the 'ruchi' in her someway or
other. BTW I am not saying that she is right (before somebody pounces on
me :) ).

	What did draupathi do when duchchAthana attempted to divest her.
She tried to protect herself by holding on to her clothes. Then she 
realized her relationship with Krishna, that He alone is the protector 
and let go her clothes and did prapatti to Him throwing up her hands 
in despair. This realization of our eternal relationship (n^amakku 
ozhikka ozhiyAdhu - that which cannot be destroyed by us or Him) is what 
we lack when we pray the other dEvatAs. 

***********************Start Quote*******************
But, is it wrong if you say slokams for hanumAn or sani if you are 
afflicted by sani (even though in your heart of hearts, you have pledged
allegiance to perumal)? 
***********************End Quote**********************

	I don't consider saying any slokams for hanumAn wrong. He is one 
of the best adiyArs and perumAl would definitely be pleased if we pray 
hanumAN. But one cannot pray hanumAn for mOksham. (Even hanumAn would 
feel bad if u ask him for mOksham :) ). Donno about sani. I personally 
have stopped saying those sani stOtrAs. He prob'ly is also an adiyAr 
of narayana. (who is not? )

	So, i think praying somebody else, keeping him as your means 
and goal is wrong. Only sriman narayana is the means and the goal. 

	While I am at it, let me quote the relevant lines from siRiya 
thirumadal by our dearest thirumaN^gai mannan. He assumes the nAyaki 
bhAvam here. She(AzhvAr) is mad about kaNNan and falls sick. 

kArAr maNi n^iRamum kaivaLaiyum kANEn n^An *
ArAnum solliRRum koLLEn *- aRivazhin^dhu  
thIrA udambodu pEdhuRuvEn kaNdiraN^gi * 
ErAr kiLikkiLavi emmanai thAn van^dhennai *
sIrAr sezhum puzhudhik kAppittu *- seN^kuRiNYchi
thArAr n^aRumAlai sAththaRku * thAn pinnum 
n^ErAthana onRu n^Ern^dhAL *- adhanAlum 
thIrAdhu en sin^dhai n^Oy thIrAdhu en pEdhuRavu *
vArAdhu mAmai adhu kaNdu maRRAN^gE *
[...]

	On seeing her dear daughter suffering, the mother, being a 
srivaishNava, applied the dust from the bhAgavathAs  for protection 
(sIrAr sezhum puzhudhik kAppittu). Then out of desperation, she did 
something that she would never do (thAn pinnum n^ErAdhana onRu 
n^Ern^dhALaL). She prayed to this 'other' god who wears a garland made 
of red kuRiNYchi flowers (sen^ kuRiNYchi thArAr n^aRumAlai sAththaRku). 
Even then the daughter was still suffering from her 'mental illness' 
(thIrAdhu en sin^dhai n^Oy, thIrAdhu en pEdhuRavu) - her obsession for
kaNNan is what is meant here. 

	Thats how the story goes. Later an astrolger woman is summoned 
and she finds out that the daughter is possessed by kaNNan which is 
explained beautifully and musically by our kaliyan. 

	Ok... I know ... I digressed a lil bit... Anyway, its for a good 
cause - thirumaN^gai AzhvAr pAsuram!  

adiyEn
-Viji
(Vijay Triplicane)