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Re: SANKARA'S POETRY

From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian (ramakris_at_erols.com)
Date: Sun Mar 21 1999 - 12:25:00 PST

V.Srimahavishnu <vsri@iitk.ac.in> wrote:

>  I do not want to hurt the sentiments of fellow Sri VaishNavas.At
the
>same time,facts can't be suppressed.After all, soundaryalaharI is not
a
>grantham that can't be found in the market.
>  The stOtra I found objectionable to  VaishNavas starts like this:
>  "sarasvatyA lakshmyA vidhi hari sapatnO viharatE, ratEh
pAtivratyam...."
> i am avoiding translation for two reasons:


This is the 99th verse in the saundaryalaharI. I agree with
Srimahavishnu that this verse will be offensive to *most*
vaishhNava-s, whether shrIvaishhNava or not. I am an advaitin myself,
but can recognize this fact. But if I may, I'd like to point out that
the lakshmi in this verse metaphorically refers to wealth and the
verse is a poetic exaggeration. The work saundaryalaharI is full of
poetic exaggerations, especially combined with the shR^i.ngAra rasa. I
have seen that whether these kinds of exaggerations are considered
offensive or not depends on the background philosophy of the reader.
But again, I agree with Srimahavishnu's sentiments that poetic
exaggerations like these are offensive to general vaishhNava
principles, and the offensiveness is not due to the philosophy
expounded in the poem.

Srimahavishnu writes in another mail:

> I strongly believe that this is not the forum where things like
>soundaryalaharI, lakshmI gaNapati stOtramAlA, ayyappa mAhAtmyam,
>rAvaNAsura's exploits are to be discussed/appreciated.

I have been reading this list for a long time now and as far as I can
remeber I am the only person who posted anything which seemed
"appreciative" of rAvaNa. If the above para refers to me, I suggest
that Srimahavishnu read that mail again. It was connected with some
philosophical point and I quoted straight from the vishhNu mahApurANa,
which is considered an authoritative text by Sri Ramanuja. But, I do
agree with Srimahavishnu that the other things like ayyappamahAtmyam,
etc are quite tangential to this list and go against the fundamental
premises of Srivaishhnavism.

Ramakrishnan.