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An Appeal

From: sudarshan madabushi (sudarshanm_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Mon May 31 1999 - 07:50:50 PDT

Dear friends on the bhakti-list,

I am writing this only to join SrimAn Sempath Rengarajan in his appeal for 
contributions from all bhAgavatOttamA-s towards Sri Sarangapani temple 
renovation at Kumbakonam.

Sri.Rengajan requested me to post on the list a piece on Lord ArAmudan. We 
have all been reading about the glory of this great divya-kshEtram in the 
most informative postings of both Sri.Rengarajan and SrimAn Sadagopan. What 
more is there to add? And whatever little I may have to share with you all, 
I am afraid is really not worth adding ...

But I will say this: Our Lord ArA-amudan is a Great One and the proper 
upkeep of His great temple in Kumbakonam is our inalienable and common duty.

Some of us tend to look upon our temples as simply staid relics of religion. 
Others regard them merely as the legacy of our bygone forebears.

If you think deeply about it, our temples are actually the wellsprings of 
living inspiration.

Why?

If we are able to draw any spiritual sustenance or strength from Vedic 
literature and philosophy, from the "pUrANa-itihAsA-s", or from 
"AchArya-sri-sookthis" and "darsanam-s", from the "divya-prabhandams", 
"stotra-granthA-s", "anusandAnam-s"… if all those today give us, either 
individually or as community, whether in our homes or in our social 
congregations, through direct or vicarious experience… if they all give us 
any sense of self-worth in being Indian, or more essentially, in being 
descendants of the glorious Vedantic tradition of the land of India, we must 
remember it is only our great temples that have enabled them all.

Our enjoyment of reciting a stanza from the holy "prabhandhams" is 
infinitely enhanced if, at the same time, we recall also to our mind the 
deity, the landscape and the temple environs of the particular "kshetram" 
the "pAsuram" relates to. If we find ourselves transported to the 'sannidhi' 
of Ranganathan at Srirangam every time we begin to recite:  
"AlamA-marathinn-illai-mEl oru bAlagan-Ay…!" it because, within our "inward 
eye", we are moved to imagine the 'tirumEni' of the majestic "murthy" there.

The sonorous strain of Vedic chant… "sahasrasheerUshA pUrUsha-ha, 
sahasrAksha sahasrapaath…"…  those strains, if you have noticed, ring more 
vibrantly in our ears than tolling bells each time we are also able to 
recall to mind the sylvan ambience of Vrushagiri, the magnificent temple 
atop its mound and "tiruvEngadamudaiyAn" preparing Himself for a 
"shukra-vAra-tirumanjanam".

Every time we silently close our eyes and savour the deep and mystic 
lyricism of Swami Desikan's "gopala-vimshati", we also behold the dusty 
hamlet of Tiruvaheendrapuram, and witness the shrine of Krishna there slowly 
emerging out of some misty vision inside our mind.

aDharA-hita chAru-vamshanAlA-ha
makooTAlambi mayoora pinchhamAlA-ha
harineela-shila viBhanga-neeLa-ha
pratiBhasantu mamAntima prayANE  II

If our lives are but hapless rafts, bobbing violently without direction or 
purpose on the turbulent seas of the present times, we all badly need 
anchors of faith to root us firmly into the bedrock of native, Vedic 
civilisation.

Our temples, indeed, are those anchors.

**********           *************             ************

Please do contribute your might to the cause of renovating the great temple 
of our ArAmudan.

adiyEn dAsAnu-dAsan,
Sudarshan



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