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Re: Some food for thought...

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Mon Mar 11 1996 - 10:01:25 PST

On Sat, 9 Mar 1996 12:41:06 -0800 Mani said:
>Here is a paragraph that is worth thinking about.
>It is from a private email sent to me from someone
>who shall remain unnamed.
>> In my understanding, any discussion however speculative,
>> if it will trigger sincere aspiration to see for oneself
>> the Truth and even a glimpse of it, is more important
>> than a thousand pages of verbatim quoting of poorvacharyas,
>> forgeting to focus on the essence and latching on to
>> the outmoded forms.

Quoting verbatim to impose blind faith upon others is not
good.  I am sure that was not meant by the author.

While we may be technologically advanced compared to
the days of our poorvaacharyaas, when it comes to the
question of faith, the arguments for and against have not
changed fundamentally, IMO.  Mahathma Gandhi was
criticized for his view that natural calamities are
punishments from God.  MG's view on this matter does
look rather ridiculous.  But upon closer examination it does not
look that crazy, at least to me.  I am not convinced that
suspending logic is absolutely an illogical thing to do.
Sincerity of aspiration may very well lead to suspension
of logic for some of us.  Truth may very well be illogical.
Outmoded forms, however out of fashion, may very well
be the essence upon which we must focus.

Let me narrate a story from Sri Ramanuja's life
illustrative of blind acharya bhakthi.  Needless to say, I
am not advocating acharya bhakthi to be an universal
panacea for all.

This story involves Vaduga Nambi and his unebbing
devotion for his acharya, Sri Ramanuja.  Whenever
Vaduga Nambi was in the presence of Sri Ramanuja,
nambi would not take his eyes away from his achraya,
even in the presence of our Lord's archa moorthy.  One
day in the presence of our Lord Ranganatha Sri
Ramanuja quoted ThoNdaradippodi "pavaLa vaay
kamalach sengaN" and directed Vaduga Nambi to look
upon our Lord and appreciate our Lord's beautiful lotus
eyes.  To this, Nambi quoted ThirppaaNaazhvaar "en
amudhinaik kaNda kaNNgaL maRRonrinaik kaaNaavE"
and fixed his gaze firmly at the feet of Sri Ramanuja.

In today's increasingly doubting world stories of such
devotion brings to mind the specter of misplaced faith in
false gurus, not just in the Christian faith.  Whether our
Sri Ramanuja dharsanam will spawn a false guru, there
are no 100% guarantees, but I am willing to bet it won't.

-- dhaasan Parthasarati Dileepan