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From: Vijay Srinivasan (
Date: Wed Mar 12 1997 - 06:51:43 PST

Response to Mani's comments on worship of Garuda:

In one of Srimad Andavan's upanyasams (Poorvashramam Kannan Swamigal), I heard 
the following story.

It seems, originally all of Nammazhwar's pasurams ended with phrases like 
"Vaikuntam Eruvar" etc. etc..  As a result, his pasurams became somewhat 
unpopular, so much so that people were afraid of even reciting them, lest they 
should reach vaikuntam immediately. As the narration went, it appears 
Nammazhwar did modify his pasurams to suit the popular demand for prayers that 
gurantee "Iha Loka Sugam".  One can argue that this is just to induce one to 
the path of Godliness and gradually the aspirant will be lead to higher 
truths.  The passage of truth leads one from the lower to the higher.

>From a purely philosophical stand point, this might appear as an inconsistency 
in our religion viz. doing something to suit the popular demand rather than 
being brutally frank in stating that moksha is our only goal.  Everything else 
is an impediment to that goal.  This being the case, unless, this inconsistency 
is resolved we are bound to go through some kind of an intellectual irritation 
of seeing our actions not conforming to the highest standards of philosophical 

However, in my own way (in a small way) I have tried to reconcile this in the 
following manner. Eventhough moksha is the ultimate aim, what is moksha.  It is 
performing eternal Kamikaryam to Sriman Narayana or participating in His Nitya 
Vibhuthy.  However, this does not preclude us from participating with zeal and 
zest in his Lila Vibhuthy.  We must pray for wealth, health and prosperity and 
utilize those assets in the service of Leela Vibhuthy.  However, try not to 
fall into the trap of the old maxim which says:

"Charity begins at home and usually stays there!".