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Re: a ? on vaishnavism

From: K. Sadananda (
Date: Tue Jun 12 2001 - 05:12:15 PDT

>The third and perhaps easiest form of developing such a devotion, and this one
>is my personal favorite, is to observe our AchAryas.  Here we are in the
>beginning of the 21st century, when technology and material comforts are
>readily available to anyone.  And yet, for some reason that is greater than
>themselves, our AchAryas, despite their education and erudition, are living
>simple, solemn lives of devotion and service in an effort to bring 
>this Supreme
>God to all people.  Some are at very late stages of earthly life, and yet they
>are continuing to travel on long and sometimes arduous journeys.  Some come
>from very educated backgrounds and could have used their knowledge to make
>themselves very successful.   And, yet they give up everything, name, fame,
>wealth, family, all  for our benefit, to serve as simple instruments to
>Ramanuja's Vision.  If such a person tells us to worship Sriman Narayana
>exclusively, how we can help but do otherwise.
>adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan

Mohan -if you excuse me for  budding in  - Faith in the teacher is 
very important- there is no question about it - but that faith should 
be supported by logic too.

  Bhagavaan Ramanuja says whatever he says is supported by proper 
logic and scriptures- otherwise it becomes blind faith.  I personally 
do not think Bhagavaan Ramanuja want us to follow him blindly.

The emphasis of Lord Naaraayana is established by Ramanuja in his 
Shree Bhaashya  as the parabrahma in his Shree Bhaashya who is sarva 
shatik maan and sarva vyaapakatva and the sarva sR^ishhTitva.  There 
is only one paramaatma - hence all others are exhualted jiiva-s.  The 
maaya is his shakti and - daiviim yeshaa guNa mayi mama maayas 
duratyayaa, maamevaye prapadyante maayam etam tarantite - is a 
declaration that only surrendering to Him  one can cross the ocean of 
samsaara.  The goal of life is to do exactly that.  Hence if moksha 
is the goal - it is useless to approach other gods who have no 
capacity to give if that is what one is seeking.  The capacity of 
other gods comes from NaraayaNa since as per vishishhTa adviata - the 
organic relationship between the sesha-seshi -  parmaatma and jiiva-s 
pervades through the entire cosmos that includes the other Gods as 
well.  Hence

1. It is useless to approach other Gods since they cannot give moksha

2. Second what they can give are only material gains - which again 
will entangle one more and more to aj~naana.  The problem gets more 

3. That capacity to give for them also comes from NaaraayaNa only.

- therefore what is the need?.

At the same time One should not disrespect other gods , not hate 
other gods.  Because they are also his bhakta-s.  In the Vaishanavism 
Bhagavata seeva is as important as bhagavat sava - provided one 
understands that what is being worshipped through them is NaarayaNa 
only - tat bR^itya bR^itya parichaaraka bR^itya b^ityasya iti maam 
smaraloka naatha - says Kulasekhara alwar.  As long as one understand 
that through bhaagavata, what one is  worshipping is only the 

Hence what is discouraged is the worship of other gods to gain 
material benefits since that is all they can give.  But bhaagavata 
seva is very important and they are His bR^itya-s too if there is 
only one paramaatma.  It is important to understand the nature of 
parabrahman then the logic of do-s and don't become very clear.

Hari Om!

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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