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Re: Two querries and Lord Shiva worship

From: Sampath Rengarajan (srengara_at_ford.com)
Date: Wed Jul 23 1997 - 06:27:21 PDT

note : I have been differing to post this though I continuing to
write this everyday. Hence this is long and  please forgive me.
I am also following the foot steps of stalwarts to make a maximum
of  only one post per day.  Splitting this post may not
effectively answer the questions raised by our bAgawathALs.

> 2. There is a sculpture called "vaishnava Ganapathi". I am wondering
> if there is any "vaishnava siva" also. The aazhvaars mention siva
> scores of times as being a prime bhaktha of thirumaal.
>

I have seen the Lord vinAyakar with thiruman addressed as thumbikkai
azhwAr.  Lord Shiva is seen at the feet of Sri AnanthapadmanAbhan in
thiru anantha puram.

Note: Please take extreme care to address any questions or doubts that
may araise out of this post. The following has quotes from an AchAryAL
and I am writing this in this net so that everyone may benefit from
this.  I donot want to particiapte in a discussion if it becomes
deragatory on our achAryALs and incur bAgawatha apachAram.

	In response to Sri Raja and Sri Viji's queries, I have an
interesting observation to make here in connection with this
from my recent visit to India. This may be of some value to those who
steadfastly follow our achAryALs and yet unaware of some finelines.
When I asked about the temples of North America and their cosmopolitan
nature (I am sorry for the term cosmopolitan as I am unable to quickly
come up with some other term for this ie.. having all deities under one
roof) Sri Poundrika Puram Andavan clarified to me that We should not
goto a temple where deities other than Sriman nArAyaA is installed
(meaning prathista) as a dominant deivam. However, when I explained the
nature of North American Temples and asked him that if We cannot go,
how will our children will ever get to know of what a temple is etc and
asked him if it is ok to go only to those sannidhis only, where sriman
nArAyana is installed. He agreed (by nodding mostly) with some
hesitation to that and said we can do visit those sannidhis of sriman
nArAyana in cases of NA and other similar places where there is not
many exclusice temples of Sriman NarAyana is available. Sri Anbil
Ramaswamy may explain this in an excellent way.

	I drew His holiness's attention to Thiruch chithrak koodam
(Chidambaram) and thiru anantha puram and a temple near kAnchi that has
Lord Shiva in it as an archA moorthy as well. Our Jeer visits
thiruchchithrak koodam and when he does he visits the temple through
the special enatrance just opposite to Sri Govindarajan sannidhi. I
also drew his attention keeping in mind the the recent discussion in
the group on why worship garuda when paramArthikan must only worship
sriman nArAyana and where to draw a line when we have to worship
SriGarudan or Sri AnchanEya as adiyArkku adiyAr? Even though the answer
was taught to (me) us, we however wanted it from HIS mouth once again
so that it is a message for many of us who are still questioning this
fine line. He said "anyone including Shiva can be worshipped if they
are installed (prathistA) as a worshipper or bAgawathAL or adiyAr of
Lord Sriman nArAyanA in Lord's temple or elsewhere even in their own
temple as similar to Sri Hanuman.


	I brought to my own attention in a split second that I can see
this "elsewhere in their own temple" very true even in their
appearance. I have written this in a private mail to some friends
during the discussion in March. In Sri Hanuman's temple he is often
seen worshipping Lord Rama with his hands folded in worshipping posture
or serving Lord Rama as an adiyAr by carrying the siranjeevi malai.
Same is true for Sri Garudan who always poses with his hands ready to
carry Lord and as well support Lords feet as Lord sits on him and use
him as his vehicle.

	Though we can worship all his adiyArs, the final giver of
mOksham is Sriman nArAyanA only and hence one has to be blessed
by Sriman nArAyanA inorder to get mOksham".  For Lord Shiva the example
is, Thiru anathapuram. However, if some devathAs or deity is installed
as the GOD of all devathAs including GOD of Sriman nArAyan (eg., some
shaivite temples) then we (Srivaishnavas) are not supposed to go there
(as it contradicts the truth our vedam and achAryALS has taught us".

	The second possibility is  in thiruch chithrakkodam, where it
was sriman nArAyan who presided first a dance competition at the *request* of
Lord Shiva and also stayed there in nityAvasasm as per lord Shiva and
hence we can visit thiruch chithrak koodam though we cannot worship non
srivaishnava deities there (this is similar to North american
temples).  Sriman nArAyan is prevailing as an antharyamim in
everything. Then are we considered disregarding Sriman nArAyanA if we
avoid doing arAdhanA to those annya dEvathAs ? To explain this in a
simple way, HIS holiness expressed that the supremacy of Sriman
NArAyanA over other devathAs is the key to understanding this and
ascertained the stand taken by SrivaishnavALs is the straight path to
mOksham. To prove the supremacy of Sriman nArAyana HIS Holiness
explained the "gajEndra mOksham" episode in a splendid manner. I will
write separately about it later in connection with one of the thala
purAnams!


	To address "tolerance" issue, When one says tolerance must be
practiced, then one must also accept that such tolerance is itself
"defined" only with respect to an "absolute and perfect solution" and
that "there" exists an absolute and perfect solution.  Only when we
donot have a way and means to arrive at this "perfect and absolute
solution", we must resort to near perfect solution.  Can we take here
that Sriman nArAyanA and surrendering to HIM absolutely is the perfect
and absolute solution?  When such solution is available through
achAryALs why must one think of arriving at this near perfect solution
ie. worshipping other deities who have sriman nArAyanA as their
antharyAmim? Once we take this tolerance as the solution in our
salvation or solution procedure we will be made to iterate (several
further births) to arrive at this perfect and absolute solution . Thus
this "tolerance" may not be taking us to the final truth directly in
this birth when we are aware that there is a final truth which is the
absolute and perfect solution that can be reached in this birth
itself.

	It is ok to question it this way and learn these in our path to
absolute truth.  The very fact that one is able to know that there is a
perfect and absolute solution, will itself take him or her there if not
now at least at a later birth. Hence, it is important to note that it
is not tolerance that matters but it is the absolute truth that matters
most. It is not out of hatred (or here termed as "lack of tolerance")
that Srivaishnavas donot worship other sillarai dEvathAs. It is due to
the truth that Srivaishnavas donot need to adopt this tolerance as they
are aware of the absolute and perfect solution based on which this
tolerance itself is derived.

	Sri Krishna says one who can see HIM in everything is the
absolute nYani. The first step for this, is seeing HIS own antharyAmim
and seeking union with it (kaivalyam). The stage of seeing HIM
everywhere is similar to some azhwArs experienced (thirup pAN azwar)
and is known as a state of "kritha krithyan". See Sillarai rahsyam
published by Sri PP ahsram for more details. Sri krishna KalalE may be
able to explain this. Can we merely achieve these state of existance in
this birth itself that many yogis are struggling to arrive at even
after performing severe penances for yugAs? or can we take the simple
solution of surrendering and waiting for his deliverance with
mahAviswAsam ?


	When completed Sri RanganAtha swami temple at NewYork paMona
may be one of the first one to be in NA that has exclusive Sriman
nArAyana worshipping. I notice that some NA Srivaishnava temples have a
pillaiyAr sannithi in it and temple worshipping is offered to this
sannithi as well. Well one may say that even in India there are
pillaiyAr sannidhis in some srivaishnavA temples.  To the best of the
knowledge of some battars of those sannidhis of non-srivaishnava
deities that are present inside Srivaishnava temple in India mentions
that these deities have been installed as the bAgawathAL or adiyArs of
sriman nArAyana and those pillaiyArs even has urdhva pundaram (thiruman)
and archanais perfomed as per Sri sampradhAyam. However *many*
Sirvaishnavas I know agree (and as well practice) that we must worship
Lord Srinivasan sannithi in pittsburgh and sannidhis of Sriman nArAyana
in other temples in lines with what Srimad aNdavan had mentioned.
Pittsburgh temple is currently the largest visited Srivaishnava temple
in NA. I was told by some that Sri "Hare krishna" temples in many
centres may also be visited as they have exclusive Sri KrishnA (Sriman
nArAyana) worship. Sri Jagan may clarify this.

Sri Poundrika puram Srimad Andavan paravAkkOttaiGopala mahA Desikan
thiruvadikaLE charaNam
Sampath Rengarajan