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Re: On the nature of our faith...

From: Jagan Mohan Naidu (
Date: Mon Jan 18 1999 - 13:00:42 PST

Namaskaram Bhagavataas,
I a freshman student of SriVaishnavism and therefore I wish to be
enlightened on my mistakes and short comings. 

I would like to express my views on Thiru Srinath's article. 

On Fri, 15 Jan 1999 20:37:09 PST
"Srinath Chakravarty" <> wrote:

Srinath:-)the kalai split represented 
Srinath:-)disagreements between scholars, which did not surprise her at all since 
Srinath:-)she didn't know of a single vAdhyAr or vaidEkan who saw eye to eye with 
Srinath:-)The kalai split according to me, is a function of 
Srinath:-)human behavior manifesting itself in our AchAryas, 
I personally feel that this split was not the result of human behavior
manifesting in our acharyas. Pride, a Human nature is one single reason
that always cause splits in many and any organisation. When Two teachers
or leaders don't see eye to eye with each other, it eventually results
in a split in the organisation. BUT... Here this is not the case. Sri
Vedanta Desikar and Sr Pillai Lokacharya might have differed in their
views but pride would have never touched their hearts. If it were that
both the personalities had held their differences due to egoism, It
automatically disqualifies them to be Acaryas who are supposed to have
crossed over these mundane feelings. 
Therefore to say that the split happened due to the opposing views of
Sri Vedanta Desikar and Sri Pillai Lokacharya would be improper. Instead
it may be said that both tried to intepret the Vedanta through Vishistadwaita
thought with uttermost care and dedication but differences arose by
themselves as they always do in all societies and schools of thought. 

Srinath:-)these matters.  Firstly, is this or has this [Srivaishnavism] faith 
Srinath:-)always been a non-proselytizing one, open only to the ranks of the 
Srinath:-)Brahmin community?  It brings to my mind the much-debated gopuram 
Srinath:-)episode in rAmAnujar's life, when he supposedly uttered the sacred 
Srinath:-)asHTAksHara mantra in public.   But were 
Srinath:-)there any converts to Srivaishnavism?  I say this specifically because 
Srinath:-)such a "conversion" [perhaps facilitated by the administration of 
Srinath:-)pancha-samskAra by an AchAryan] would entail becoming a bRAhmana which 
Srinath:-)was traditionally not possible for a non-bRAhmana.  If this is the case 
Srinath:-)[i.e., that cross-varNa conversion to Srivaishnavism is not possible by 
Srinath:-)definition of varNa] then does that make Srivaishnavism a faith that one 
Srinath:-)may only be born into? 
I, along with Thiru Srinath harbour this doubt about the proselytizing
issue. But it should be remembered that the process of converting a
person of another faith or parampara or school of Philsophy was done
through debates where the opponent who fails in the argument accepts the
philosophy/parampara of the victor 

Proselytization as introduced by Christian Missionaries or Muslim
invaders was almost unknown and unpractised in Ancient India. 
I am ignorant about the position of a person accepted into
Srivaishnavism through a proper Guru and initiation in respect to his
caste position but I think he naturally becomes a Brahmin. After all a
Brahmin is determined by the nature of this state of mind and Gunas as
explained in the Bhagavad Gita. I would like to hear from fellow
Bhagavatas on this matter. 

A Hindu is born or anyone can become a Hindu- which one is right?
If a Hindu means a person, born in India, you can only be born as a
If a Hindu means a person believing in the Vedas, God, Karma, Dharma,
Moksha, Samsara, Anyone can become a Hindu as well as a SriVaishnavite. 
What opinions do Bhaktas hold in this matter?

Thanking you,
Adiyen Jagan Mohan Naidu