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From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_best.com)
Date: Wed Jan 06 1999 - 09:46:37 PST
Before we continue this discussion, I think we should pause for a moment. Sri Agnihotram Ramanuja Tatachariar (ART) Swami's words of blessing (srimukham) were sent to a different forum, and were reposted here merely for the sake of disagreeing with them. Do we want to publicly argue with the Swami, when he is not here to defend himself? Furthermore, several respected members of this List have vociferously argued in the past that an Acharya's words should be given utmost respect, especially in a forum for Sri Vaishnavism. Sri Agnihotram Ramanuja Tatachariar is an outstanding Vedic scholar with impeccable credentials. Even more important, Sri ART comes from a distinguished acharya-purusha lineage that can be traced back to Sri Ramanujacharya's uncle, and has several disciples among Bhakti List members. Sri ART continues to administer the sacraments of panca-samskAram and bhara-nyAsam to his disciples today, and lives a very pure, orthodox lifestyle. I have personally no problem with anyone taking issue with what an acharya says. But those who are presently arguing publicly with what Sri ART has written have severely criticized anyone who has publicly disagreed with their own acharya in the past. I want to make sure that they are adhering to the same standard. Now, I don't agree with most of what Sri ART says; but I also think it is okay to disagree now and then with what an acharya says on some issues, whether that acharya be Sri ART, Srimad Azhagiya Singar, or Sri Kanchi P.B. Annangarachariar Swami. Are those who are presently arguing with Sri ART Swami prepared to set such a precedent? Mani P.S. There is also no need for us to rehash what is already part of the public record. For those interested in the controversy over Sri ART Swami's opinions, they should read his book "varalaaRRil piRandha vaiNavam", published in the early 1970s, and the response of Puttur S. Krishnaswamy Iyengar, published almost immediately after it as "agnihotramum vaiNavamum".