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Re: a ? on vaishnavism
Date: Tue Jun 12 2001 - 19:58:28 PDT

Srimathe Ramanujaya namaha

Sri Sadananda wrote :
                         <Start Quote>

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. .....

.......... 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?.
                    <End Quote>

This point is well taken, but if I can rephrase it for Sri Mohan Sagar's
statement, it should be conceived as follows:

In upadEsa ratnamAlai, Sri maNavALa mAmunigaL says,
"gnAnam anuTTAnam ivai nanRAgavE udayanAna guruvai adainthakkAl,
mAnilatheer, thEnar kamalath thirumAmagaL kozhunan, thAnE vaikuntham

Here he says that one has to surrender at the feet of a guru who has
complete jnana and performs the anushTAnams correctly. The jnani, is one
who realises the nature of this jeevAtmA with respect to the paramAtmA,
which the sesha-seshi relationship. So it goes without saying that, such a
guru will only teach his sishya about the correct nature of performing
prapatti and hence whatever he says will be right. It is upto the sishya to
examine whether his guru is the right one before becoming his sishya, just
like Sri Madurakavi AzhwAr became a sishyA of Sri NammAzhwAr. Once he
becomes his sishyA, he has to have the same level of trust in his AchAryA
just like in Sriman Narayana. However, there can always be some exceptions
to this like Sri KoorathAzhwAn correcting Sri EmberumAnAr while writing the
Sri BhAshyAms, and Sri EmberumAnAr himself correct, ThirumAlaiAndAn during
his thiruvAimozhi kAlakshEpam. So just like Sri Mohan says, if you have
utter faith in your achAryA and do the things as told by him, Sriman
Narayanan will HIMSELF grant mOksham. Here this is one glorious example
that it is Narayanan in association with Sri who gives the moksham, unlike
the arguments of EkAyanAs, who do not consider Sri as equal to Narayana.

                              <Start Quote>

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.

                              <End Quote>

Very correct. What is discouraged is the worship of other gods, with NO
DISRESPECT meant to them. But first of all why should one worship others
and say, I have worshipped only their AntaryAmi who is Sriman Narayanan,
when He Himself is readily available anywhere and everywhere as told Sri
PrahalAdha. Which is why Srivaishnavas say we should not worship anybody
other than Sriman Narayanan.

AzhwAr emberumAnAr jeeyar thiruvadigaLE saraNam

adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,

Thirumalai Vinjamoor Venkatesh

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

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