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Re: SriRengarajan's Mail fwd by Sri.Rangaswamy

From: M K Sudarshan (sudarsan_at_batelco.com.bh)
Date: Wed Mar 26 1997 - 04:30:49 PST

Dear friends,
This is in response to Sri.Rengarajan's post below:

>note : I saw the cautiously worded thread of Sri Sudarshan 
>on mantra etc this morning. We are eager to learn from his
>inferences from his maanaseega guru. At the same time i also
>request him to cover the core topic which is "is a paramArthigan
>need to worship and chant mantras of nitua suris for seeking
>material releif". We all dealt this in our exchanges at length
>and more are to come from me on this. Sri Sudarshan's current thread
>is on if mantra chanting will yield results and how one can validate
>is not in serious question.
                    ------------------------------------            
I must inform Sri.Rengarajan and everyone else that I am not picking up any
"thread". I am trying to explain two questions which I think are implied in
Sri.Mani's posts of last week on the Garuda-mantrA and the "pUrAni-c" lore
behind it. The questions described in my last post are as follows:
            
"a) "Why is so much of what is sublime in our ancient faith also accompanied
by as much that seems ridiculous and infantile to 20th-century sensibilities?"

(if this applies to "mantrA-s" on nitya-suri-s" too, so be it!)

b) "What is PROFOUND wisdom doing in the company of fantastic MYTHOLOGY in
our religious literature ?"

           **************************************************

Thanks to Sri.Rengarajan's interjection I have now had the chance to be
doubly "cautious" ! He has forced me to clearly state what is the scope of
my views !! 

Thank you very much, Sir, and I look forward to the continued posts on the
real "thread" you have promised will flow from your side.

Sri.Rengarajan further writes:
 However it is welcome to see the 
>inferences of our learned Sri Sudarshan in his own style of writing.
>I often enjoy it because it resembles the notable tamil writer
>Sujatha. In a private mail i once told him that he is sujatha of
>srivaishnavam. 

I must respond again to this comment of Sri.Rengarajan.

I'm grateful to Sri.Rengarajan for the title he has bestowed on me as
"Srivaishnava Sujatha" !!

Only I must respectfully decline it since I'm not sure if it is meant as
compliment or "dig"?!!

I hasten to add I am not suspecting Sri.Rengarajan's intentions.

The reason for my reluctance to accept the "SujaAtha title" is that I have
never read a word of that Tamil author (of "AnandaVikatan and Kumudam" fame
I think !) in all my life (and I have no plans to do so in future either)
and have simply no idea of his capabilities or worth !! I vaguely remember
having met him once many years ago in Bharath Electronic Ltd. in Bangalore
when I myself was working in WIPRO ! We made no impression, whatsoever, on
each other, I think !

I am not aware I have any particular "style" of writing. 

I write in any way I want to; and in the way I feel subjects dear to my
heart --- like Swami Desikan's poetry --- can be popularised to some extent
and made attractive to lay and young people who, like myself, are not
well-versed in Tamil/Sanskrit but still want to appreciate our ancient
religious-literature in an easy and contemporary sort of way, shorn of
religious jargon.

I am neither vedic nor Tamil scholar. I know my limitations of scholarship.
I don't even qualify to be called a true SriVaishnava. But I try very hard
to appreciate SriVaishnava subjects as a perennial student rather than as a
realized soul or a deep scholar.

I especially love to approach Swami Desikan's poems much like a child grasps
difficult rhymes --- with a sense of childish wonder, curiosity, fun, fancy
and exaggeration.... and with a child's ear for the sounds and rhythms of
that great "AchAryA's" poetry. 

As for Desikan's philosophy, I confess, I sometimes find it too lofty for me
and it eludes my understanding. At such times I resort to one of 2 actions:

A) I learn from/consult with my guru Sri.U.Ve. Mukkur Swami II who is also
one of my best friends in the world. I like to believe he encourages me to
think on my own to arrive at my own conclusions of Faith after properly
grasping what our "pUrvAchAryA-s" have said and thought.
                                OR
B) I try and find parallels and analogies from the 'loukika' world around me
.... which is why, in this "thread", I have found it useful to refer to the
ideas of Dr.Bruno Bettleheim of the Unversity of Chicago -- who may not be a
SriVaishnava "achAryA" by any stretch of imagination but whose ideas too ,
nevertheless, have helped me, in a very small way, to understand myself ...
my faith and my religion ....

My mind does belong completely to the 20th-century and I cannot help it !
"Bruno Bettelheim" is okay with me if it helps me understand
'srisampradAyam' just the way Swami Desikan or Sri.Mukkur Swami II do !!


Lastly Sri.Rengarajan writes:
Sri Sudarshan, please also cover the core topic
>from your inferences from your manaseeka guru. look forward to
>your posts.
>adiyEn
>SR

I must inform Sri.Rengarajan the biggest inspiration in my life has been and
is Sri.U.Ve.Mukkur Lakshminarasimhachariar of Kakinada whose Grace and
Blessings I pray for daily.

Everything that is of any worth or substance in my world is due to my "guru"
alone ..... even that so-called "sujAtha" style of writing of mine if you
truly enjoy it the way you say you do !! 

And lastly, Sri.Rengarajan, the day, a few more members on the list feel I'm
long on "style" and short on "stuff", is the day I will promptly take your cue !

sudarshan