You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : March 2000

Re: sampradayam

From: sampath kumar (
Date: Wed Mar 08 2000 - 00:05:50 PST

--- Geetha Ramaswami <> wrote:
> vanakkam,
what is widely happening (IMO) is that> sambradyams
have> lost their appeal because most people are not
able> to explain> either the logic behind those
traditions or their> significance
> to the younger ones.

Very good point. The question to ask is why have we
all lost the ability to appreciate and explain the
"logic" of our religious tradition to younger ones.
Because there are not enough good teachers/tutors
around. When I was a very young boy back in my native
town our community "vAdhyAr" himself was a fairly
erudite man who besides carrying out his usual
"vAdhyAr" duties was also perfectly competent to hold
discourses on "purAna", "vedanta" and Srisookthis. He
could explain some basics fairly well in a simple,
arresting and effective way even if not with the
eloquent aplomb of a regular "veda-vid". 

Today there is none within our immediate
neighbourhoods who can offer us such sage counsel and
education on matters of religion, tradition and
philosophy. All our "vAdhyAr-s" are so heavily
over-committed to duties of performing rituals,
marriages, punyAvachanam, seemanthams and tarpaNams
etc. that they hardly have time to sit and explain to
young community members about the beauties and wonders
of "sampradAyam". Thus we all are forced to either buy
heavy books on the subject, or to listen to
'upanyAsam' lectures or tapes of famous scholars or go
in search of some vedic scholar who lives somewhere
else and is willing to individually spend some time
with us in explaining what you call the "logic" of our
religious traditions. 
Unfortunately, the situation (in India at least) today
is that acquiring even primary understanding and
awareness of our "sampradAyam" has become a scholarly
pursuit in its own right. Having acquired the most
basic knowledge and understanding of your relgious
tradition today you become not so much a good
SriVaishnavan as a "scholar in Vaishnavism"!

> I completely agree that we should find a way that
> these valuable teachings are not completely lost
> and I have a suggestion for it. How about making
> the life history of acharyas as amar chitra kathas?
> These still appeal a lot to kids and when I go to
> buy> them for my nieces and nephews I've to search
hard> to find> one which they haven't read! Even the
teachings can> be> imparted to kids in the way of

Good idea. Perhaps publishers of "Nrsimha-priya",
"pAduka" and "hayagriva-priya" and other will take
note of your idea and give it a try. But you know the
problem is that there is not enough circulation going
around for existing publications even.... but that's a
different story...

Secondly, not many people (adults and children alike)
have patience for long-winded stories these days. They
want you to get to the point immediately! And, alas,
the best of "purAnic" stories are invariably long and

> On a tangential note, my cousin couldn't complete
> his> 8 years in the vedic school at Madurantakam
because> of economic situations. I'm sure there are
similar> circumstances in which pupils drop out of
> school.

The late Kanchi paramAchArya once told his disciples, 
"None of you needs to worry about funding and finance
for my veda-patashAlA-s. I will somehow take care of
it. But will you all ensure that at least one of your
children or your immediate family will pursure his
mission lifelong in Vedic pursuit? Can you all promise
to send me one of your children? If you can do that,
then let me tell you this: don't worry about the
economics or management of this... leave it all to me
and I will handle it all myself." 

The moral of the story is : funding for a
Veda-pATashAla poses a problem only when you want
other people's children going to it. If your own child
happened to be going to one such school funding will
take care of itself!

The ParamachAryA always had an uncanny ability to get
to the heart of a matter in a cold-blooded, clinical,
no-nonsense sort of way! 

All disciples gathered there that day .... and there
were many high-ranking IAS officers, doctors and
lawyers there amongst the gathering.... all of them
simply remained  silent and shame-faced!

> Among other things how about setting up a fund so
> that> these people get some stipend atleast in their
last> two years?> Its really hard to attract pupils to
such schools (i> know of only
> this one - may be there are others).

As the Kanchi-AchAryA pointed out, again, funding is
not really the major problem here! Our value-system

> hope members don't mind my casual language!
> Geetha.
Not all, Madam, I rather like your style! I wish more
members like you on the list would switch to normal
conversational style of writing!


Do You Yahoo!?
Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

- aazhvaar, emberumaanaar, desikan, jeeyar tiruvadigale saranam -
To Post a message, send it to:
Visit for more information

Get one email address for all your friends!  
Start a free email group on eGroups! home: - Simplifying group communications