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Am Namo Narayanaya

From: Greg Jay (
Date: Tue Jun 23 1998 - 22:55:00 PDT


Perhaps I did not make myself clear in my last e-mail. Let me categorically
state that I am not concerned with arguing for or against the Vadakalai or
Tengalai positions on the question of who has the right to chant Pranava. I
have heard both sides and read books on the subject. I believe in the right
of the members of each community to practice what their respective Acharyas
have taught. However what was not apparent in my research into this subject
was the two answers to the two questions that I posed in my last e-mail,
which till now no one has answered.

1. Please state the Shastra Pramanam for substitution of "Am" for Pranava
in Ashtaksharam. (Not just because Vedanta Desika says so, but in the same
way as the quote from agama shastra sesa samhita was given.)

2. Please state the Shastra Pramanam for allowing the chanting of a
"Rahasya" (Secret) mantram in public assembly. (Perhaps someone could also
give Shastra Pramanam that says that this particular mantram (Ashtaksharam)
as opposed to other Veda mantras are not to be chanted in public. It seems
that other veda mantras are regularly chanted at public ceremonies and

It also seems that although the Shastra forbids shudras and women from
hearing the Veda, we are much more interested that they not chant Vedas. If
I am wrong about this please let me know. I have seen women and sudras
attending ceremonies and processions where Vedas were chanted in public. Is
it not also forbidden? (See question 2.)

With regards to the person who felt it neccessary to object to this subject
matter being discussed. I would only say that this subject is certainly
more appropriate to this list than the discussion of India's Nuclear Policy
that I objected to some days ago. Where were you then? In my opinion
avoiding discussion of subjects that are actually part of Sri Vaisnava
lifestyle, practice, culture and/or philosophy is counterproductive to say
the least.


Keshava das