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RE: the ultimate sharanagathi and personal beliefs

From: Mohan Sagar (
Date: Sun Jul 27 1997 - 13:24:32 PDT

I have been learning much from the discussion of this past week on
Visistadvaita Vedanta and SriVaishnava views on the worship of other
deities.  My compliments to all of you on the enlightening discussion.

I am too much the novice to participate in this, but I would like to share a
few thoughts just for the purpose of clarifying some issues in my own mind:

Mr. Raja Krishnasamy writes:

>If we indeed as srI
>VaishNavAs are to pray to Lord srIman nArAyaNA only,
>and according to some people not even worship other
>dieties (so far the discussion in this group has
>limited itself to Lord Shiva as the "anya dEvathA"),
>why is it that after baraNyAsam, some people pay
>their respects to other Sri Vaishnava forms of Sriman
>nArAyaNA, such as srI rAmA, or sudarshana AzhvAr,
>In fact even the various madams have different
>presiding dieties.  All the 106 divya dEsams have
>different purANams associated with them, but then so
>too are the dieties of anya religions.

It is my understanding that one should not make the distinction that the
various forms of the Lord are only "parts" or "reflections" of certain
characteristics of the Lord.  His appearance in His vibhava or archavathara
forms is through His supreme autonomy, motivated by His Saulabhyam such that
He can reveal His wondrous form to us and Bestow His Grace.  Based on this,
I would contend that we really should not attribute different
characteristics or see specific gunas within Rama, Krishna, Narasimha,
Srinivasa, and Ranganatha, but recognize all of these as Sriman Narayana in
all His Fullness, possessing and revealing all His Kalyana Gunas.

>Is not some amount of karma attached to these
>>dieties as well ?

While the puranas about the avatharas and archas do have their place, I
would like to suggest that the incidents presented in these were merely used
as pretexts by Perumal to descend to earth out of His Compassion.
Consequently, I feel that we should not attribute any karma based reasons to


I have a related question on this topic, as well.  I cannot recall the
source for this, but I read somewhere that one who has taken baraNyAsam
should really only solely worship and prostrate before Sriman Narayana and
Thayar, and should only pay simple respects to the adiyArs; i.e., in temples
and homes aradhanai (or archana) should be performed only to Perumal with
Thayar.  The devotee should not perform aradhanai directly to Hanuman,
Garudan, etc., but should respect them in the spirit of Bhagavatha Kainkarya.  

Consequently, when visiting a temple, the devotee should only prostrate
before the Lord and perform archana and other kainkaryas to Perumal and
Thayar only, taking only darshanam of the adiyArs.

Is this correct, or am I mistaken on this?

Daasanu Daasan,