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RE: Social Aspects - Part I

From: Mohan Sagar (msagar_at_worldnet.att.net)
Date: Thu May 22 1997 - 21:59:36 PDT

Mrs. Manjula Sriram writes:

>Not only SriVaishnavism, but the   
>purpose of our
>religion(Hinduism) is to attain Moksha. Our priests are trained in the
Vedas, to take us closer to attaining our   
goal of
Salvation....>our scriptures state that worldly things are useless, what we
need is   
>faith and bhakti,
>this is the primary cause when we are sad because of the materialistic   
>things of this world,
>they explain to us that materialistic things are not so important....

My compliments to Mrs. Sriram on her interesting analysis of the contrasts
between eastern and western ways of thinking.  I concur that most of the
religions that make up Hinduism have the common goal of teaching a path to
moksha, and that our priests are attempting to support us in these efforts.
However, it takes a great deal of spiritual and emotional maturity to
recognize the importance of faith and bhakti and the temporal nature of this
world.  Most of us, especially as teenagers or young adults in the US, have
a number of other thoughts in our naive minds that can take us onto all
different kinds of tangents, which are not only contradistinctive to our
spiritual nature but indeed can be dangerous from a worldy perspective, as well.

Parents often try talking with their children about these matters, but such
discussions can only lead to arguement.  In my view, what is needed is some
sort of objective mediary who can present ideas based on our spiritual
teachings that can re-direct an individual back to the correct path by
showing him/her that our strength and purpose are in Perumal alone. 

While it is true that priests are dedicated to Bhagavad Kainkarya, we should
also recognize that they too have spouses, children and probably also
undergo wome of the ups and downs of life that we do.  Be that as it may,
however, their priestly duties and training justifiably keep them away from
taking on the added burden of serving as counselors.  That is the reason I
suggested that some of the veterans in our community serve in such a
capacity, being mentors and role models for the younger generation.  I am
sure that many of them are doing just that in a spiritual/sampraday-yic
sense, but I think that sometimes providing simple common sense advice and
solace could also be a big help to many people, both young and old, in
dealing with the struggles of life in the modern world.

Daasanu Daasan,

Mohan