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Re: Golden Chariot for Lord Ranganatha

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Mon Jun 12 2000 - 10:20:55 PDT

[from varadha@vsnl.com]

  I am not sure how many  are aware that Sh Sudararajan Swami of Srirangam
was  asked by the Devasthanam  Authorities to write  a small book in English
about SriRangam Koil for the benefit of the then visiting President of
India. The book  which was  published  bears a stamp of authenticity and it
is heartening to  note that the Swami has taken up the issue  with regard to
the Offer made for Golden Chariot. To me there are two basic issues which
are to be addressed to. One  the offer made by  a devotee  and two the
contemplated action or attitude of the temple authorities. in trying to
accept it . On the first issue,  I salute the  devotee , must be a true
bhaktha of Lord Ranganatha, who must be dreaming to take is beloved Lord in
a golden chariot as according to him the Lord has  given him all the wealth
and also the desire to do Kainkaryam in the form of offering a golden
chariot.All perceptors  and Azhwars have sung in praise of Lord  and the
Aabharanams adorning Him  .We learn from  various   commentaries ,teachings,
the Lord   readily accepts  the unpolluted ,pure, offerings  however small
it may be  if the  devotee  offers it with  Bhakthi To the Lord  if this
offering was made with pure love and Bhakthi  he is bound to be happy.It is
possible the  Hosur devotee  may not be aware of the customs and practces of
the Great Temple.I continue to read with pain  a sense of controversy being
built around this  issue. If only any one of the  bhakthas  had  approached
and explain ed the matter to the Hosur devotee  I am sure he would have
reaDILY UNDERSTOOD THE SENTIMENTS  and in all  probability  agreed to do
kainkaryam to the Lord in a different form. My concern is , by our action we
should not distance devotees like the Hosur BHaktha.  Eventhough  i am not a
scholar nor a learned srivaishnavan,  I am seeing a number of persons
desiring to come into the fold of srivaishnavism and do service to Lord
Sriman Narayana. Let all our action  invite more and  more people into the
fold  and not get frightened .
The real issue  is the action on the part of the temple authorities in
proposing to accept the Golden chariot .There cant be  any two opinon on
this Their action is condemnable  as  administrators of the Great Temple
they do not have any right to alter the customs  and procedures.Recently  a
similair action by the Thirupathi Devasthanam  officials  got into avoidable
cotroversy.The best way to avoid these  controversies is by  having  two
bodies. One to  have administration of the temple and the other to
supervise and oversee the  ritual/customary practice  part.. The second body
should  consisit  of only learned  true  practising Srivaishnavan.All the
temple functions, rituals  should have the approval of the second body.To
day we see   persons  professing faith in differnt  philosophy  manning the
administration of  the Temple to which he  does not belong.To him ,change of
the customary  practice is not a serious  flaw.A time has therfore come for
all to rally around  and impress on the Govt the need to  have two committes
in all the temples  and lay down the  fuctions of each of the committes.An
assurance should also be sought from the govt that  the Govt will not
interfere with the rituals/practices.Is it difficult to acheive it.?  I have
my apprehensions  as  experiece shows we  talk and write and act very
little. I am prepared to  gather like minded Srivaishnavas .Will  the
Learned ,Respected ,Knowledgeable  Scholars   take the lead and  show us the
way.
Jaya Sriman Narayana
Mudaliandan Swami  shiya  Sampaths

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