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Sri Kottamangalam Varadacharya

From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Mon Mar 06 2000 - 20:18:46 PST

I thank Sri Sadagopan for the description of his experiences on such a 
momentous trip involving his "prapatti".  I just wanted to mention Sri U Ve 
Kottamangalam Varadacharya is held in great esteem by even reknowned 
pundits such as SMS Chari (author of several books on Vedanta in English). 
 Adiyen had the good fortune of meeting Kottamangalam Varadacharya few 
times since he used to visit his daughter in Bangalore who was our neighbor 
for a few years.

At this juncture, I would like to request all of you and particularly Sri 
Sadagopan, who is so capable, to start a new project to somehow collect and 
protect the writings of great pundits who are back there.

 I bought several great works from parakala mutt in mysore long time back. 
 They are of course products of the students of the great Abhinava parakala 
mutt jeer who wrote gudartha dipika. THose books are almost lost since they 
are out of print.  They have to be re-printed.  About 20 or 30 books of Sri 
Uttamoor viraraghavacharya have to be re printed.  I was going through VKNS 
Raghavan's visistadvaita literature bibliography.  Most of these works are 
not in print.

I personally feel that the single most significant failure of our community 
to date is :  "that we have some how not doing enough to protect the 
knowledge offered by our acharyas and obviously our own children will lose 
all that knowledge".  Personally,  I agree that temples have to built. 
 Archamurthis have to be honoured and decorated with ornaments to express 
our love and devotion.  Archa form is obviously the nearest form of that 
divine lord which is accessible to us right here on earth.   However, the 
most important duty for all of us is protection of vedas, mantras, 
shastras, bhasyas, vyakhyanams and translating them to a language and 
medium ( books in different languages, cassettes,  CDs, video cassettes 
etc.).  With so much technology available I dont want to even think of the 
idea that 3 generations after us,  one young person might say aloud " my 
ancestors screwed up reall bad!  they were so stupid that with all the 
technology available to them they did not protect and preserve the eternal 
knowledge offered to them by acharyas".

I want to see the age wherein "distance learning classes" are offered to 
anyone even on a part time basis so that people can just dial in on the 
internet or on some medium and listen to our shastras.  We should educate 
our next generation in a suitable way with appropriate depth and language 
so that they dont think that is boring.  There are several thousand people 
who are not even near temples.  Those people should also have the benefit 
of learning about our rich tradition by getting pundits to visit and teach 
these shastras.  There should be no book in our system of philosophy which 
is out of print!

It is so clear that every 30 years a new generation is born and the old 
generation departs from this earth.  The thoughts are in human brains and 
they have to be transmitted before such brains become dust or ashes.  Most 
of these brains are in India and some master plan has to be undertaken to 
record such divine thoughts of these luminaries.  While I am writing this, 
 I feel devastated by that thought that as time passes we may never recover 
such divine thoughts of our older pundits.

We should build temples.  in fact these temples are the places where people 
come for solace and knowledge.  Where does the knowledge comes from?  it 
has to be imparted from another human being unless someone is so lucky as 
to get an instruction straight from an archa murthy!

As these thoughts rush to my mind, statements from shastras " na hi jnanena 
sadrisham pavitram iha vidyate"  ..( there is nothing more sacred than 
knowledge here in this world" ( bhagavadgita)...  shreyo hi dravya mayat 
yajnat jnana yajnah parantapa... ( greater is the merit of offering of 
knowledge than the offering of material things".  " marva menba dor koil 
amaitthu.. madhavan ennum daivatthai naatti  arvam enbador poovida 
vallaarkkarava dandattil uyyalumaame - Perialwar pasuram" ( in the temple 
namely our heart  establish that God namely Madhavan and offer the flowers 
of devotion.   Shraddha nadi vimala chitta jalabhisekhaih nityam samadhi 
kusumaih apunarbhavaya - ( The water is our pure mind.  Shraddha or 
devotion is the river.  Take that water, namely pure mind and offer it to 
God everyday in addition to the flowers which is samadhi (or deep continous 
unmixed meditation on God).

All these indicate that devotion and knowledge is real stuff needed. How 
can the next generation or anyone of us here get devotion or knowledge? 
  There is only one way.  Learn under an Acharya and attain knowledge from 
books written by them. Tranmission of knowledge is the key for survival of 
our system of thought.  Such a transmission can only be done by instruction 
of appropriate information.  How many temples are there?  There are some 
temples.  How many Visistadvaita Universities or Centers of Study are 
there?  just a few.  There should be an center of Visistadvaita study in 
every city so that next generation benefitted.  Once bhakti cannot be 
imparted to the next generation what is the use of temples?  If a person 
does not have bhakti he cannot help considering temples as only material 
buildings and things made of metals, concrete and stones rather than our 
 Great Divine God who is the fountainhead of all life in this universe.

Hence dear atmabandhus,  please let us undertake a large project to reprint 
all the great books and let us invite great thinkers and pundits to come 
and help us.  "A no bhadraha krathavo yantu vishvataha - let noble thoughts 
come to us from all directions".

I request all of you not to mistake me for my request.  I am not condemning 
or criticizing anyone here.  I feel that our generation should avoid some 
great mistakes. It hurts me when I think about the disaster that can befall 
on all of us and future generations. One might think after reading this 
email :  " this guy (adiyen) is thinking too much of himself and trying to 
advise all the rest.  There are much more intelligent and educated people 
than this guy who is trying to point out mistakes in others.  In fact he is 
the guy caught in the quagmire of material pursuits and it is funny that he 
is giving advice to others like a devil quoting from the scriptures!".

 All I can say is that we have to work together.

adiyen Krishna Kalale

- aazhvaar, emberumaanaar, desikan, jeeyar tiruvadigale saranam -
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