|You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : May 1999|
Date: Thu May 20 1999 - 08:48:59 PDT
Dear BhagavatottamAs, I have been following the articles in this forum for some time now, and while most of the articles are interesting, I recently found an article in which the language used by the member was quite strong. I feel that such articles/replies need to be strongly discouraged, as it brings down the decorum of this forum. Our learned and most devoted Acharyas, inspite of their selfless and ‘antharanga’ kainkaryam to the Lord, always wondered if they would be accepted by HIM. All their life was spent in Kainkaryam to HIM. Inspite of all their commitment and devotion, they always considered themselves amongst the lowest of the Bhaktas. Such has been the nobility and greatness of our PurvAcharyas and our Sampradayam. But today, it hurt me to note that one of the respected members of the forum took the liberty of commenting on the Bhakti and religious understanding of another Bhagavatha with such strong words.... NammAzhwAr in his Periya TiruvandAdi pasuram "enn^inainthu pOkkuvarip pOthu?" wonders how one can ever spend time without ‘Bhagavath Anubhavam’. Today, we observe people who fancy spending time in ‘horse-riding’ and such, talk of the Bhakti and the importance of our traditions and Sampradaya practices. I agree with Sri Sudarshan when he says " if we too had that "pride" in our sartorial traditions we would never have to enter into a debate at all... AND It is impossible however for many of us to take pride in a tradition if, in the first place, we are for some reason or other unable to "live" it. And how can we "live" a tradition unless we are intimately acquainted with it? " I think the forum would do better in trying to spread the importance and need to maintain one’s traditions and values, and not make it sound trivial. Every practice that has been laid down in our tradition always has a reason and logic behind it. One of the fundamental concepts of our Sampradayam is to follow the practices and teachings of our PurvAcharyas without putting forward one’s own interpretations and theories. This has been wonderfully brought out in Manavala Mamunigal’s pasuram in UpadesaRathinaMalai "munnor mozhinda murai tappAmal Kettu, Pinnorndu tAmadanai PesAde". I think Sri. Balaji’s comments on dress culture was intended to highlight the deterioration in cultural and traditional values in our society. However, Sri. Mani’s reply seems to indicate that SriVaishnava Lakshanam (such as dress) are not of much importance to a SriVaishnavaite, and it is sufficient that Bhaktas wear the TirumaN and Veshti only on religious occasions. I find it difficult to accept this statement. Specifically, I would like to know what Sri Mani intended to convey by the word ‘whenever possible’ in his statement "agree with recommendation that Sri Vaishnavas wear thirumaN and SrIchUrNam (women included) whenever possible"?? Though I am a resident of India, I have never found anything to concern me or prevent me from wearing ‘TirumaN/Srichurnam’ daily, even when I have visited countries such as USA/UK for months together... and I cannot understand what should prevent one from these basic daily practices... I agree with Sri Mani that women may not be the only cause for the deterioration in the importance given to traditional values, but I do feel that women have an important role. All are aware of how Kumudhavalli turned Tirumangai Mannan into a SriVaishnavaite...One possibly cannot expect every woman in this world to be ‘Kumudavalli Thayar’.. But the importance of the role of the women in our Sri Vaishnavaite society, in maintaining and promoting our traditional values and practices cannot be under-stated. I have another point to make about this forum. I do agree and appreciate that this forum is helping to spread the thoughts and messages of our PurvAcharyas. But I am very sceptical of this forum being used to clarify doubts and for any debates. I think our Sampradayam has always emphasized that the religious concepts should always be learnt from our PurvAcharyas only. One might immediately argue that it may not be possible for people who stay away from their homeland. But why does one stay away? Why do people settle in places other than their Divya Desams? I feel it is not sufficient for people to just talk of Divya Desams as places where the Lord has chosen to be.. Is it not required for us (we Bhaktas) to live in those places and spend our time in doing Kainkaryam? Should we be so concerned about our livelihood staying in all these ‘DesAntharams’ and not think of doing Nitya Kainkaryams in our divyadesams? Will our Ranga not take care of us if we stay close to HIM? What is the use of seeing our Divya Desams deserted and Is it proud to have Srivaishnavas just scattered across the world? Sorry... I might have sounded impetuous Or more like a narrow-minded devotee in my observations... I know that all the respected members of this forum are more knowledgeable than me. Please Please forgive me if I have committed any Bhagavatha apacharam. Azhwar Emberumanar Jiyar Tiruvadigale Saranam.