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Re: Vedic deities

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_best.com)
Date: Tue Jun 08 1999 - 16:52:20 PDT

Smt. Praveena asked a very good question, reproduced below.

She writes:
> As mentioned above, ParamaikAntins/mumukshus do not pray (even)
> to our lord seeking  certain materialistic fruits. This being the case, in
> our wedding ceremonies why is it that we ask our lord for so many things?
> Should this be adopted even by a paramaikAntin/mumukshu?

> I read the wedsite " The Vedic Wedding ceremony" by Shri Sadagopan swami.
> This also mentions that during wedding we pray to Sriman Narayana manifested
> in the form of anya devatas for different fruits like health, longevity,
> prosperity, happiness ...

> My question is should a prapanna who surrenders every thing to the lord and
> accepts life as it is, chant these Veda mantras during marriage?

You are correct that the paramaikAnti does not ask for 
any personal benefit. Nadadur Ammal, the great acharya 
of the 13th century, writes that the prapanna should only
ask the Lord for wisdom (jnAna) and devotion (bhakti).

What then about our wedding tradition? My take on it is
that we take on this stage of life only to further bhagavat-
kainkaryam.  Recall that the householder is the bedrock of
society, as traditionally only the married couple earns and 
"makes the society go round".  So, requests for health, 
longevity, and prosperity, are only done to further one's
bhakti and jnAna, and consequently bhagavat-kainkaryam.
Can someone comfortably perform service if they have an
uncooperative spouse, or if they are sick, or if they are
constantly struggling to make ends meet? (Interesting 
question given the past few posts!)

Mani

P.S. We do not worship Sriman Narayana manifested as
"anya devatAs" -- we worship Sriman Narayana. Period.
In such worship I feel we should not use the words
"anya devatA", since it the Lord alone we are addressing.