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A few observations.....

srinivasa.goplan_at_gmio.com
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.