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Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 13:59:37 PDT

Dear friends, 

Regarding the reported offer of having a 'golden ratham' for Sri Rangaraja, 
Sri Sampath svami has succinctly placed before us two short-term issues
and two long-term issues.

To consider the short-term ones.  Sampat svami is quite right when he 
says, "If only any one of the bhakthas  had  approached and explained 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."

This is well-taken but since I am on a visit away from Srirangam, I am
not in a position to join a deputation to the Hosur devotee.   I had
nevertheless proposed (in my earlier posting) that without causing him
alienation, he could be persuaded to "have the fulfilment of his votive 
offering ('nErtti') in a much better way.   He could perhaps get the 
'gO-ratham' chariot of Sri rangarAja renovated and refurbished 
in time for the next Adi-brahmOtsavam (April 7, 2001) of the month 
of pankuni ('meena') mAsam.   The gO-ratham is the smallest in size 
of the three chariots of Sri rangarAja, and is the only one which is 
fully built up as a veritable gallery of wooden sculptures.  It has not 
for years been cleaned and sprayed with wood-preservative and 
painted. This is the chariot in which the Lord rides out pleasurably 
on the day following the pankuni-uttiram.   It is well-known that the 
'uttiram' marks the day when Lord Sri-rangarAja and 
Sriranga nAcchiAr get together in the year in order to receive the 
recital of Sri rAmAnuja's moving 'gadya-trayam' submissions.    
The name gO-ratham symbolises the corpus of the vEda as the 
Lord's vehicle, and signifies that He is the core meaning of the vEda."

I do entirely share Sampath svami's concern when he observes, 
"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."
I am one with him on this and I believe I have said anything in my posting
to offend this beautiful sentiment.

Sampath svami's second short-term point:  "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....
As administrators of the Great Temple they do not have any right to alter 
the customs  and procedures."

His other long-term issues are (i) to restructure the system of the
Great Temple administration so that the classical position prevails
in respect of the worship, festivals etc and (ii) mobilising into 
effective action for the purpose. "...we  talk and write and act very
little. I am prepared to gather like minded Srivaishnavas," he says
poignantly.      I gladly offer my services for their humble worth 
and shall wait for his message on my eventual return to Srirangam.

AS OF NOW, I REQUEST for more postings from the friends of the
bhakti-list on this specific topical issue.   Also, can someone
please move to place the matter with the English-language and 
Tamil press of Chennai ?

aDiyEn rAmAnuja-dAsan, tirumanjanam Sundara Rajan.

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