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Date: Fri Jul 31 1998 - 06:57:57 PDT
Dear Sri Sadagopan, May I at the very outset say how touched I am with your detailed response to my poem written on impulse? I am extremely grateful to you for highlighting the difference between Advaita and Sri Vaishnava philosophy, which I found very enlightening.But it is not true that Pt5. The Buddhists believe in becoming and not being. Zen Buddhism in particular emphasizes on BEing, since when you Become, you really get back to the state of Being.., quite like Advaita. All I can say is my own experience has shown me that it is only when you get out of your own cloistered and conditioned beliefs, shake off the cobwebs that grow with time and taste a whiff of fresh air of other belief systems that you come back to your own fold more rejuvenated, more enlightened, without the need for paramada khandana. .. my excursions into the Buddhist Path has taught me that Buddhism has a lot to offer us devotees in its ethical simplicity, ie. the 8fold path. We Hindus tend to lead our lives in compartments, turn very devout at the sannadhi, talk complexly exciting philosophy during satsangs and practice questionable ways in our personal lives.. no judgment here, only a prodding so we think...this has helped me to integrate practice with my Path. While, when I deal with the heights of philosophy, I find Buddhism very wanting, not being able to match the philosophical cogencies of Advaita as propounded by Adi Sankara and Sri Ramana. Yet, when it comes to bhakti and saranagati, I see Sri Ramanuja's way so appealing that words, acts, thoughts all melt into tears, esplly when I sing Periyaalvaar's pasurams... Integration of all these have not been problematic for me, although I know for many, it may pose serious contradictions. My own question however, regarding Unconditional Love is more at practical level rather than philosophical. Is unconditional love blind? Can we differentiate between the act and the person committing the act in unconditional love? Thank you..