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RE: Accusations and Charadu Pandige

From: Mohan Sagar (
Date: Mon Mar 24 1997 - 17:11:23 PST

Mr. Keshava Prasad writes:

>The concept though
>simplistic in nature, stands tall among some petty quabbles that have persisted
>over the years such as the "Vadagalai" - "Thengalai" arguments.

My thanks to Mr. Prasad for his interesting explanation of the traditions
and significance of Charadu Pandige.  Its message of the sacredness of
marriage is certainly a universal principle that makes this holiday duly
important in the SriVaishnava Calendar.

It is interesting to note, however, that this holiday is generally not
prevalent among SriVaishnavas in Andhra, with the exception of the most
orthodox.  There is no clear explanation as to why this is so, but I do have
some ideas which I perhaps can share in a later posting.

The purpose of this posting, though, is to express some concern for the
above mentioned, albeit justifiable comments.  As confirmed by Mrs. Satyan,
the infamous Vadakalai - Thenkalai debate has been more or less settled by
generations of acculturation among our families in Andhra and Karnataka (as
I stated in a previous posting, in my own family, Vadakalais and Thenkalais
have been inter-marrying for generations).  However, in my personal opinion,
this harmony should not provide us with cause to just throw aside the
distinctions between the two schools as passe and petty.  There a number of
philosophical and epistemological issues in this debate that, at times, are
crucial to the understanding of our Sampradayam.  Included in these is how
the two schools view prapatti, which all would agree is the essence of our
religion0.  While neither school should (or would) proclaim supremacy over
the other, I would concur with Mr. Sudarshan that a certain level of healthy
conversation would be helpful in furthering our understanding of the
teachings of our poorvacharyas.

So, while we all may have our views on the importance of the subject of this
past week, I do not think that it would be wise to use this one topic as a
model to judge the Vadakalai - Thenkalai discussion as a whole.

Daasanu Daasan,