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Self Introduction (rather long)

From: raghunath govindachari (raghu_at_turing.scs.carleton.ca)
Date: Fri Mar 03 1995 - 16:38:19 PST

VaNakkam,

Thanks to Mani for introducing this group to me. I see that there is already
a Raghu (Seshadri). It may be interesting to see some potential confusions of
authorship :-).

I was born in Srirangam and grew up for 15 yrs there. I used to know every 
sculpture in the (Have even acted as tourist guide) 
"periya koyil". The temple was more of a play ground for me and my friends.
 I also used to learn Desika Stotrams in the uL dEsikar sannadhi for 11 yrs of
 my stay. I never learnt sanskrit formally although learnt how to split complex
 words. So I don't know the meanings for much of those slokams. But, I distinctl
 y remember and still cherish the meter rhythm in swAmi dEsikar's works.
 The other thing I cherish is the perpetual festival atmosphere of Srirangam.

My father was simultaneously practicing the ArAdhanai rituals and his rAjayoga
 meditations. I never learnt which one he preferred - he died when I was too 
young. My mother has always been very devoted to thAyAr and AkilAndEswari ambAL
(ThiruvAnai Koyil). We are followers of ahobila matam. My parents and grand ma
were initiated  by inji mEttu azhagiya singar swami.

During my college years I loved visiting the RK Mutt  Vivekanada Centennial 
Library, Mylapore and  have some exposure to advaita vEdAnta. My understanding
 is clouded, especially about the validity of bhakti under advaita, although, I
 am much convinced by the genuine bhakti of RK paramahamsa. After my college 
 years in Madras, I was working in Central Research Lab of Bharat Electronics
 Bangalore. Since Fall 92, I am doing PhD in CS at Carleton  University, Ottawa 
 Canada.


Few of the visishtAdvaita literature that I read were uninteresting to me since
 they contained mostly logical arguments, analogies and counter analogies.
When I came here, I brought along two books - the nityAnusandhAnam 
(vadakalai sampradhAyam) and the desika stotramAla. Later, I happened to visit 
the local ISKCON temple and was impressed by the emphasis on devotion they place
d although I was (and am still) uncomfortable with some of the literal interpret
ations of the bhagavatham's cosmology and cosmogony. I soon learnt to
 accept what I judge to be the positive aspects of ISKCON. I still take active 
part in it.

My exposure to ISKCON made me turn to vaishnava literature and I "discovered"
 an english translation of "Ramanjua Bhagavath" of Swami Ramakrishnanada.
It was then that I learnt the true personality of Sri Ramanujacharya.
 Recently I got the opportunity to read the n^Achchiyar thirumozhi, thanks to th
e precious effort of many nettors of SCT. I am now trying to comprehend the 
beauty of nammAzhvar's thiruvAymozhi.Otherwise I am not widely read.

On my personal sadhana: I am a follower of Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga.
Its all-inclusive approach and insistence on seeing the Truth in its many faces
integrally, fascinates me. Otherwise, I am  an eternal beginner in terms of 
progress though.

It is futile to hope I have not bored you all. I hope to learn a lot from
 this group. Please forgive me for the length of this intro.

Thanks again Mani.

--Raghu