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Date: Thu Jun 25 1998 - 20:27:26 PDT

>From MK Krishnaswamy,

Dear Bhakthi Group Members, 

I have been reading the large number of postings on who can or cannot
utter a mantra or a portion of the mantra. I would like to submit for
your consideration an aspect of this discussion which goes to the root
of our organization.

Man thraayathe ithi manthrah. The Mantra helps us to attain release from
the grip of the ego-oriented mind.  The wordings and sound of all
mantras are public property.  Yet the Mantra is considered as rahasya or
secret. The nearest example:- an idol can be seen or even be possessed
by us; but, we can realize the deity represented by the idol only if we
associate certain sanctity, divine characteristics with it.  The mind,
which is to be controlled and overcome, must itself first crave a need
for such release, and accept the Mantra as an effective aid to the
necessary process.  It is to develop such implicit acceptance that one
approaches a Guru and received from him with faith, devotion and love
the Mantra as a precious gift, to be treasured and practised.  In this
sense, the devotee's Mantra becomes personal and a rahasya to him.

Such a mantra per se cannot be reduced in its efficacy or be corrupted
in any manner because it is handled differently by others.  A truly
humble Bhakta who keeps the Mantra's divinity in himself and treasures
it and practises it will not be concerned with how the mere words of the
Mantra are used/abused by third parties.  Perhaps, Sri Ramanujacharya,
our Paramacharya, was in great ecstasy when he decided to share the
knowledge of his precious possession of the Ashtakshara Mantra and
declared the Mantra to an assembly of all persons without reference to
caste or sex.

Viewed in this light, it would appear that the continuing discussion on
this subject needs to be moderated. The members of the Bhakthi Group
have interest in :

the literary aspects of the scriptures, pasurams etc., 
the practices which one should individually follow to evolve spiritually
the theoretical aspects of the philosophy of Visishtaadvaitham etc.

This itself is an ocean to be covered to attain our spiritual goals. 
Should we engage in discussions concerning others as to whether a
person, other than us, should or should not do certain things or in a
certain way?  It is such a difficult task to control our own minds and
change our ways of living, thinking.  This task relating to ourselves it
self will itself take many many janmas and we need all the time
available to apply ourselves diligently to this task.  My humble appeal
is that we may focus on this task and engage in discussions to receive
assistance and clarification for our own conduct.  

The late Rajaji once defined Culture as Restraint.  It is in this sense
that I appeal for restraint in discussing matters relating to the
conduct of others.  The fact that our discussions are held over a global
network is relevant in this limited context of the need to exercise

Adiyen Dasan, Krishnaswamy MK