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From: krish (
Date: Tue Mar 19 1996 - 09:24:16 PST

I took the last few bhakti reports home to read
more leisurely and was abashed at he vitriolic 
comments on Shiva. I was brought up in an environment
where interdining among vadagalais and thengalais 
was prohibited and recall many thengalais not stepping
into Ahobila-matams. May be that is the reason, I did
not come across  Sri Vedanta Desikachariar's works. I
grew up to discern and reject such thoughts. Similarly,
I learnt to visit Siva temples with my close
Iyengar classmate, who grew in up in an Iyer
community. So it is a surprise to me to see such 
antagonism. Of course one can quote the GITA,
"Sarva-deva Namskaram Keshavam Prathigachhati"
or "Ananyh-chintanatomam, yo janah Paryupasate".
The comment on Ardha-nari really was in bad taste.
It had made me proud that Hinduism accepted 
Brahman as sexless. I think the origin of the 
idol is traced to 7th century, if not earlier.
Ghandiji, much quoted here and compared to 
Ramanuja, had extended the "Sarv-deva" concept
to Islam and Christianity in his daily prayers.
The fact we Hindus did not proseletize, was based
on the principle, that there are many paths to
salvation. Born in a Vaishanvite family, one can
easily adopt Narayana as the para-brahman.
Among the idols, both Krishna with the flute and
Nataraja as a cosmic dancer stand out, because they
manifest themselves without weapons.
Krishna Praba