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Re: SRI MANI'S REQUEST

From: Govind Rengarajan (govind_at_isc.tamu.edu)
Date: Sun Jul 27 1997 - 21:38:55 PDT

This turned out to be a long mail - so please excuse me.

Dear Sri Keshava Prasad,

I am not sure what age group you refer to by "youth members", but I
am in my late twenties, and I believe I am on the younger side of
this wonderful forum dedicated to discussions on our sampradayam.
Being almost an "illiterate" in Sri Vaishnavam and Vedanta, I prefer
to keep silent and listen to some of the great teachers on this
list. However, your e-mail has prompted me to write this, and I hope
you will take this in the right spirit.

I went back and checked Sri Mani's first mail announcing the
creation of this bhakti-list (17 May 1994 -
http://www.best.com/~mani/sv/bhakti/archives/all94/0000.html), and
to quote him

	""...discussing items relevant to Sri Vaishnavism, Alvars,
	and our Acharyas."

This objective has clearly remained in focus throughout these last
three years. Occasional discussions on *sensitive* topics, 
are bound to crop up, and these, in mho, tend only to improve one's 
clarity in the long run.

I am not sure if this forum or any other forum that discusses
profound issues such as bhakti and philosophy can take up the
exclusive task of trying to "convert" uninterested people (youth or
otherwise) into bhakti mArgA. However, if one has even a 
"seed" of interest, the discussions on this list provide ample
opportunities for one to begin to understand the bhakti mArgA, and
more *importantly*, give one the courage (to a youth for e.g.) to
to pursue such a path - there are numerous teachers on this list,
old and young, who provide these by their erudition, humility,
sincerity, and above all, bhakti. 

I did not intend to write this - but to provide you with a concrete
example - until a few years back, I was agnostic in my views of
religion and such (due to my bad karma, I am sure!), and fortunately
for me, by Lord's grace, things turned around in these last few
years. Now, the entire bhakti list is like a University for me, with
unpaid teachers sharing their wealth of knowledge, experience, and
above all their wisdom, and I for one, would be a loser if not for
the current level of articles from SrimAns Sadagopan, Sudarshan,
Anbil Ramaswamy, K. Kalale, S. Rengarajan, M. Rangaswamy, T.S. 
Sundararajan, N. Krishnamachari, Mani Varadarajan, S. Vidyasankar,
Ramakrishnan, and Smts. Prof. Vasudha Narayanan, 
K. Krishnamachari, and several others. My sincere thanks goes to 
all of them.

The issues discussed here have far more relevance than anything
contemporary  - however, if you suggest that the style of writing
should include contemporary examples - several of the people above
indeed keep this in mind - for example, Sri Sudarshan's
articles on PPS and bhishma-stuthi are stellar examples.

To conclude, I think this group is growing stronger day by day, and
some of the "younger" members I know throroughly enjoy the current
level of postings, and indeed feel blessed to be part of such a
group.

adiyEn,
---
govind rengarajan

On 27 Jul 1997, KESHAVA  PRASAD wrote:

> Frankly, when I joined the group, I was very enthusiastic about being able to
> participate productively and felt being privileged to be in the good company of
> so many erudite people. Now and then, I was able to express my voice about a
> topic under discussion. The enthusiasm has now worn off however,  partly because
> time and again I have felt out of place with the group's objectivity. If there
> was one, I think the group  has lost it. I have tried but unsuccessfully,  to
> get some of the youth members of our society to subscribe to the group. They
> came forward but backed off after a short while. The reason given to me was that
> the postings were too lengthy, repetitive, too abstract and at times too
> outdated in some ways. Though I do not totally agree with this point of view, I
> surely think that there is more truth to it than meets the eye.
> 
> The discussions and parables that figure in the discussions do  not seem to have
> a message for them. It might be argued that only if one is interested and stays
> long enough will appreciate the depth of information being put out. The purpose
> of the discussions does not seem to focus on  winning new followers but for some
> of us to savor and regurgitate the information that we already have or come to
> grow with. There is no emphasis on  how and when one can actually adopt the
> moral, philosophical or religious import that a story or an event in the life of
> an Alwar or Acharya, in our own lives on this earth and how the same can be
> passed on to the progeny. It may also be claimed that the information is out
> there for anyone to take advantage  of but it is not the responsibility of the
> information giver to find out if it has an effect if any on the receiver. The
> information being put out however, will have to deserve attention before anybody
> can really take advantage of it. If the format  or the material is the same as
> or similar to what can be found in any book,  we do not need a mailing list such
> as this. On the other hand, if the postings can focus on showing how the ways of
> our religion can carry us through our lives as mortals, it will be not only of
> practical help but more interest can perhaps be generated and we can expect more
> lively discussions of contemporary relevance from many more members than now.
> 
> Adiyen.
> 
> Keshava Prasad
> 
>