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Preservation of sampradayam
Date: Tue Mar 07 2000 - 16:10:34 PST

Many thanks to Sri. Krishna Kalale, Sri. SampathKumar, Sri. MadhavaKannan
and Sri. VijayaRaghavan for their views re: arguably the biggest problem
facing Srivaishnava sampradayam (and for that matter, many other
denominations of Hinduism) today.  Everyone is concerned that, with the
demise of traditional systems of learning such as vedadhayanam,
gurukulavasam, acharya-sambandham, vaideeka-vritti, etc. we will lose
both the baby and the bathwater.  I mention this adage, because the
"mother country" India, in an attempt to reform itself, amidst increasing
poverty/overpopulation and under pressure to catch up with the developed
world, seems to be throwing out the baby itself.  There is only one way
out, IMHO - a two pronged approach: (a) Publicize the universal, non-
sectarian portions of Srivaishnavism and hope to accrue mass appeal [much
in the manner of Carnatic music which has made a massive comeback] and
(b) Develop a zen-like focus and throw your weight [and money] behind
supporting individuals that can learn in gurukulavasam and thus preserve
the revelations of our purvacharyas.

Multimedia, Telecom, Mobile IP and the like notwithstanding, individual
lives will have to be dedicated to forming a "clergy" of sorts.  This is
nothing new; monasteries and clerics exist in every religion including
ours - just that neither we nor our children are interested in paying
money to "sponsor" individuals for full-time learning and teaching.
This is certainly a double-whammy; the kings, chieftans and even
dharmic-minded common folk who were patrons of our sampradayam for more
than a millennium are long gone while we and our descendants don't even
give 10 percent of our earnings to its cause.

The need is for a solid showing of unquestioned economic support.  Can
we all say with confidence, that Srivaishnavism continues to be endangered 
despite an overwhelming amount of funding??

-Srinath Chakravarty

- aazhvaar, emberumaanaar, desikan, jeeyar tiruvadigale saranam -
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