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Ekadashi

From: a.prathivadi-bhayankaram-a (cbp95183_at_ccsun.strath.ac.uk)
Date: Sun Mar 10 1996 - 13:12:48 PST

Bhagavathas,

I could not come to the net on friday and saturday and today I notice 
that discussions have advanced very much. I enjoyed reading the various 
discussions specially the discussions by Mani, Partasarathi Dileepan, 
Raghu Seshadri, Jagannath....and Vijay Srinivasan and Krish's views. As I 
missed the discussions by two days, it takes me a while to sum it up. The 
following tensions seem to exist :

(a) To some, Prapatti and bhakti margas are different, though the 
destination is same. Others feel that these are essentially similar.

(b) There is no need to worry about "pleasing" the lord : yet, as per 
some authorities, there is scope for his being pleased or not pleased;

(c) Rituals are important : some seem to suggest that they are mandatory, 
and other opinion is that they are important and relevant but not mandatory.

(d) when we find two contradicting views expressed in two different 
authorities or sources, how to resolve i.e, is there a clear hierarchy? 
>From Ramaswamy's posting (regarding "Oh My God" not on Ekadashi) one can 
see the interpretations of different sources -- sometimes they can differ 
as well. 

(e) Sin and not sinning raised the question of the 
existence of "naraka" : To some, such concept of naraka is unnecessary 
while for others, it was relatable.

I am not responding to some of the direct questions to me : like to my 
saying that "Our Acharyas always point out.." someone has taken 
exception. 

At the end of the day we seem to be a divided house and no clear view has 
emerged. 

I wonder if discussion can focus on each of the five strands and others 
which I may have failed to bring up. 

I would only add a little bit of my feelings. Can we distinguish between 
god and 
godliness. In our loukika (i.e, iha loka) existence, sometimes I feel 
that we come very close to feeling godliness. A beautiful landscape of 
pristine nature; or the joy of watching a rainbow; or the continuous 
sound of rolling water or the waves in a sea; the gentle swaying of trees 
in a rain; the smile of a baby; the blossoming of a flower; a friend's 
letter; the voice of mother (on telephone), the joy of knowing that India 
has won a match etc.,, what is this joy? Is it what we get because of the 
satiation of what economists would like to call utility. If there is 
utility in a rainbow why not use prisms and create rainbows indoors? From 
what little I have heard and understood, the beauty of god is expressed 
in a myriad but that is only a fraction of the true beauty of 
Srimannarayana. It is unfathomable, ineffable. To me, the practices, like 
sandhya vandanam, vishnu sahasra namam, ekadashi etc., these have been 
kept for helping our journey in this continuum like while time is 
continuous, its measurement is always discrete. It is either today or 
tomorrow, there is no such thing is "partly today and partly tomorrow". 
There are different milestones or signposts if you like, for use by those 
at different stages in our discovery of this unfathomable beauty of lord. 
When I as a pedestrian see that you in your car are focusing on some kind 
of signposts, shall I discord my own signposts and start following yours 
because apparently you are in a stage which seems to me to be better than 
mine? As long as I stick to the path suggested to me by my acharya and 
use the signposts he has given me, I should not have such self-doubts. 
Eventually I will reach a stage where I may have to use some other 
signposts and I am sure my acharya will give me those at that time.

Hope this makes some sense.

Adiyen, Anand