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Re: sampradayam

From: Mohan Sagar (msagar_at_uswest.net)
Date: Wed Mar 08 2000 - 08:49:50 PST

I apologize in advance if the following is offensive in any way,
but here is my unqualified but well meaning thoughts on this
issue:

During my recent visit to India, I had the good fortune to meet
with several SriVaishnava scholars and ardent followers of the
tradition, and with some, had the opportunity to discuss this
very topic of why interest in SriVaishnavam has been sparse at
best.  All of the ones I spoke with came back with a very similar
reply, what seems to be lacking among both SVs and non-SVs alike
is the "rucchi" for Perumal, that simple inclination and love
towards the Divine that inspires us to want to serve Him.

Now, we in Bhakti and its offshoot activities spend a great deal
of time and effort discussing difficult vedAntic concepts and
sampradAyic nuances, and among ourselves recognize the value and
importance of these.  And, when we stop to think about it, we are
clearly aware that the very reason for such interests is because
of this simple love for Him that inspires us to want to serve
Him, talk about Him, and share in the wonders of the sampradAyam
that centers itself around Him.   It is this same ruchhi that
glowed in the eyes and smiles of every SriVaishnava I met during
my travels.  But, for some reason, newcomers and outsiders to the
tradition are unable to pick up this rucchi and instead see only
the external, the high level philosophy, the elaborate rituals,
the orthodox principles, and as a result, feel somewhat
overwhelmed or taken aback to want to support this cause.

Such a rucchi, however, is clearly visible among followers of
less traditional schools of thought.  When one speaks to a Sai
Baba devotee, for example, one is almost immediately brought into
the wonder of Baba, the greatness of his teachings, the aura that
surrounds him, and of course, the inexplicable miracles that he
is said to be able to perform.  There is almost a child-like
excitement about the way this devotee speaks to you that seems to
touch one's heart, pulling people hailingfrom good SriVaishnava
families into the fold.

Now, I am not suggesting that we go out as marketing agents,
turning our Perumal into the next miracle provider or quick fix
nirvana agent.  But,  what I am suggesting is that when speaking
with others, and perhaps even among ourselves, we make a little
stronger effort to share that simple heartfelt faith, that faith
that has been planted only by Him out of His anugraham, the faith
that has done miracles in our hearts and lives.   I picked up on
such heartfelt faith in Sri Sadagopan's postings on his recent
visit to India.   One quote from AlavandAr's outpourings to Sri
Varadaraja stands out in my mind:

yasya prasAdha kalayA Bhadira; sruNOthi
panghu: pradhAvathi javanEcha vakthi mooka: I
andha: prapasyathi sutham labhathE cha
vandhyA thamm dEvamEva Varadham saraNam gathOsmi II

(meaning ): By whose slightest grace ,the deaf one hears,
the lame one runs , the dumb one speaks , the blind person
sees perfectly , the infertile lady gives birth to a son ,
adiyEn seeks that VaradarAjan of Hasthigiri as
my sole  refuge .

I feel that if such an optimistic and heartfelt sense of joyous
faith, mahAviswAsam, could be cultivated and shared with our
children and all others to whom we come in contact with, then the
other aspects of our sampradAyam, the sacred texts, the rich
traditions, the profound philosophies, would naturally gain
strong support.

dAsan

Mohan



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