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Monotheism in Today's Climate

From: Vijay Srinivasan (Vijay_Srinivasan_at_praxair.com)
Date: Tue Mar 19 1996 - 09:18:25 PST

Dear Prapatti Group Members:

The discussions, connected with Narayana as Paratatva, during the past few days 
plunged me somewhat into deeper contemplation on related issues.  Some of the 
comments raised in the discussions were questions after my own heart and only 
Vasudeva in his infinite mercy can answer them.

If I am not such a hopeless reader of things around me I see a growing trend 
where the principle of monotheism is challenged to its very core.  Today, it is 
not only unpopular to denigrade any deity but even to extoll a deity to any 
kind of supremacy is not viewed favorably.  Any such views are considered 
narrow-minded and people think that we haven't evolved.  To summarize today's 
thinking among the Asthikas (including many Sri-Vaishnavas, For eg.: see 
Anand's posting Vol 59?),(1) the supreme being is generally conceived as a 
formless (though most of them are willing to concede attributes such as love, 
Daya etc., to that formless Brahman) (2)The same Brahman expresses itself in 
various forms (3) It does not matter which form one chooses to worship or name t
hat one selects to address it (it all amounts to the same and reaches the same 
supreme being).  (4)  Generally, people are tolerant to concede a favorite 
diety but without any superiority attached to it.

I do not know whether Sri Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Vedanta Desika or 
Manavala Mamunigal would let this trend go unchallenged.  What are the reasons 
for this trend.  A lack of scriptural knowledge?  or is it a right trend.  Is 
it worth for this group to do anything about this.  I leave these broader 
questions for all of our member's consideration.  Please forgive me if I have 
written anything that is not correct.


Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan