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Re: Preaching

From: Mohan Sagar (msagar_at_USWEST.NET)
Date: Wed Mar 08 2000 - 18:10:14 PST

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Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2000 2:00 AM
Subject: Preaching

Dear Bhagavathas,

My understanding is that Sri
Ramanuja was interested in spreading the holy name. If that is
so, what
efforts are being taken to consolidate and expand srivaishnavism

Rajaram V.

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Dear Sri Rajaram,

If you are suggesting that Sri Ramanuja was spreading the holy
name as the Gaudiya Vaishnavas do, I would have to say that this
is not quite correct.   The way I understand it is that Sri
Ramanuja was spreading the philosophy of Visistadvaita and the
religious traditions of SriVaishnavam.   The propogation of this
message was achieved through the publication of his 9 famous
works, the re-establishment of a standardized methodology of
practice in divya dEshams, the founding of temples and the
setting up of muthams and the achArya purusha paramaparai that
consisted of his 74 closest disciples.

In the present day, the work of spreading Ramanuja's vision is
still very prevalent, but it is still keeping in line with what
is a fairly conservative approach compared to the Gaudiya/ISKCON
traditions, what to speak of the the western religious systems.
Instrumental in the continuation of the message are the Jeears,
who travel around India (one is also making regular visits to the
USA) to spread the traditional doctrine of SriVaishnavam,
initiate interested and devout individuals into the tradition,
and in some cases, serve as the intercessors and mentors for the
pinnacle of SriVaishnava practices, prapatti or complete
surrender to the Lord.  While there are still a few AchArya
purusha paramaparai (a.k.a. Svayamacharya) families continuing to
uphold the tradition, they appear to be few and far between.  So,
for the most part, most present day SriVaishnavas approach a
Jeear to receive the formal initiation into the faith.

Augmenting the work of the Jeears and the SvayamAchAryas, there
are a number of very learned scholars in India who give regular
discourses on SriVaishnava philosophy and AzhwAr poetry.  One of
the more well known among them, Sri Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy, is
a regular contributor to this discussion group.

I am also of the opinion that this forum and the web sites and
associations that have formed as a result of it are also doing
their part, albeit more informally, to spread the message about
SriVaishnavam and its rich cultural and philosophical ideals.

But, please note that despite the above, and for better or for
worse, SriVaishnavam, like all Vedic traditions, is far less
zealous in its belief in proselytization, preferring instead to
rely on the principle that the path that leads one to the Divine
is in reality not the result of human efforts, but due solely to
His Grace.

I hope this helps.



- aazhvaar, emberumaanaar, desikan, jeeyar tiruvadigale saranam -
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