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GarudA "episode "

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_CompuServe.COM)
Date: Thu Mar 13 1997 - 06:40:23 PST

Dear Members of the Bhakthi  group :

I am gratified by  the many illuminating discussions 
that provide a prspective on the prayers for KaamyArthAs .
Especially touching was  the appeal of Srimathi parimaLA 
Rangarajan for "Kshama". 

In this pluralistic society, where the diversity of the workforce
and how to deal with it for peace in the work place 
has been recognized as a major issue at workplace , the need 
for a compassionate understanding of the different points of view
of our members spanning many backgrounds and sampradhAyams
becomes absolutely important .

It is in this context , the postings on the subject of what one asks the Lord
or not from Srimans Mohan Sagar , Kousik , Dileepan , Vijayaraghavan ,
Triplicane , SarangapANi , Rengarajan , Rangaswamy , Mani and 
others I fail to recall are most welcome . 

Sri Sampath Rangarajan's observation that we worship Garuda BhagavAn as
one of the supreme BhagavathAs dear to the Lord is sufficent for me.
The Lord has stated many times about his receiving the salutations
from all but the BhagavathAs at the level of His paadha Kamalam 
and those of BhagavathAs at the level of His Siras . He welcomes the 
celebration of His Bhagavathas even more than adulations of Him .
The ten verses of Thirumangai on Thiruccherai SaranAtha PerumAL
( Periya Thirmozhi 7.5) are very pertinent to our discussions on
BhagavathAs and Nitya Suris like GarudA . It is in this context 
Swami Desikan offered his salutations , recited the manthrAs 
and received the Lord's blessings at Thiruvaheendrapuram .

I appreciate deeply the energy and efforts of Sri Rangaswamy
and Sriman Sudarshan to share the anubhavam of Swami Desikan an
AachArya very dear to me . Sri Mani asked 
some genuine questions that crossed his mind. Lots of 
responses have helped to gain a perspective. The conclusion
is that there si nothing wrong in accumulating wealth(arthA ) and 
using it for the servicce of Lord and to have  some enjoyment (kama )
of life's blessings . One can quote chapter and verse from the VedAs
or other sources on this matter . NandhAma sarada: satham can
be understood in this way also. 

On PurANAs and Ithihaasaas , Let us also remember that not all 
are gifted to understand or appreciate the mind -boggling 
statements of Brahma Sutram et al  . For the simple , but devout
people , there are moral tales that need to be part of their 
approach to understand the right from the wrong .PowrANikAs
dealt with the stories of PurANAs and IthihAsAs often at temple
setting to kindle and grow Bhakthi . This is no different than the creation 
of Cathedrals such as Chartres in France and having fantastic 
stained glass pieces enshrining the stories of the Bible 
for the then largely illiterate populations of Europe. 
My paternal grand mother , who observed Ekaadasi Vratham
all her days could not read or write . My maternal grand mother 
could not either read or write. Even today , many in India and
elsewhere are illiterate and depend on stories and pictures to 
absorb the differences between right and  wrong and lead 
lives , which do not follow the pursuits of  of great intellects 
splitting the hair . Their devotion and "simple faith "  move one .
Infact , too much education can be a hindrance .We have 
to unlearn many things we learned or jettison the 
excess baggage as Sri Sudarshan mentinoed in his series
on " PrapadhyE " .

One can get carried away on this subject . I just wanted to say that 
I will miss very much Sriman Rangaswamy 's devout contributions on
the most "favorite" achArya of mine , Swami Desikan and I would miss 
the genuinely sincere questions of Sri MaNi , if he does not ask them .
I am hopeful that Sri Rangaswamy  will
continue to be a member of this special group and participate 
in the enlightening discussions fully . We just have to avoid
manasthApams and cultivate a language amongst us that is sensitive 
to the feelings of fellow members , while being true to
our convictions . Difficult task , but can be done with the blessings
of our AchAryAs and the Divya Dampathis ! Let us continue to
strive to place our discussions in this perspective !