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From: Ravisankar S. Mayavaram (
Date: Fri May 03 1996 - 12:26:01 PDT

vaNakkam / namaami

	I recently joined the bhakti list. I am posting a brief bio to
this group based on the suggestion of shrii Mani Varadarajan.

	My intention behind joining the bhakti list is to learn about
the philosophy of shrii raamanujaacharyaa ( vishisTaadvaitaM) and to
intensify my love towards God.

	At the outset, I should admit I know very little about the
three major schools of vedanta ( advaita, vishishtadvaita and dvaita).
At present I am making sincere efforts to learn the basics tenets of
these schools through books and other forms.  I should also admit that
I have leanings towards advaita ( as I understand it).

	My complete faith in God and bhakti really happened to me only
in 1992. Till then I used to lead an agnostic life, but I used pray
once in while when I needed something ( kind of double standards).
Only after 1992, I got into this wonderful thing called bhakti. Since
my conversion happened in the Madurai temple, my ishTa deivam became
shrii miinaakshi amman. Rather she took control of me when the moment
was right. But I do worship God in other forms [ for instance
I meditate quite frequently listening to vishhNu sahasranaamam ( in
the background)] and beleive that all of them point to the same
underlying reality (paramporuL as they say in thamizh) in line with
the prayer "aakashatu patitam toyaM yatha gachchhati saagaraM sarva
deva namaskaaraH keshavaM pratigachchhati".

	I am a student of shrii Yoganandaa's self-realization
fellowship and have completed one year of their lessons. They
essentially teach a variant of raaja yogaa. But I have not received
initiation yet. A great emphasis is placed on bhakti his teachings.

	I hope to listen and learn from the list about the theistic
philosophy of raamanujaa with reverence.

Thank you.
kaarpNyadoshhopahata svabhaavaH 
pR^ichchhaami tvaaM dharmasammuuDhachetaH |
yat.h shreyaH syat.h nishchitaM bruuhi tanme
shishhyaH te ahaM shaadhi maaM tvaaM prapannaM || 2-7 ||
					     shriimad bhagavad giitaa