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From: Sriram Ranganathan (
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 20:46:13 PST

-----Original Message-----
From: Murali Seshadri []
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2001 6:16 PM
Learned members of the group: I would like to request you to post your
answers on this question to the whole of the group for the benefit of all of
us. I was planning on posting a similar question to the mailing list.
Dear bhAgavtAs,
Recently a lot of queries had come-in regarding what position should a srI
vaishnavA adopt vis-a-vis other deities. A lot had been said earlier, and
readily available in the archives. Please visit for Sri MS Hari's tutorial. I am no subject
expert on this, but would like to share some thoughts.

The most popular metaphor offered is the relationship one has to his/her
spouse. It is a very special and unique one, with no scope for compromise!
While one is a husband or wife, he or she is also a brother, a son, a
sister, a daughter or just a friend.  As a srI vaishnavA, you should have no
doubt whatsoever about your special relationship to srIman nArAyanA and His

It becomes an issue only when you extend the same status to other deities.
The simple logic is when we know our PerumAl can offer us everything we'll
ever need and more, why turn to others?

When one visits places of worship of other faiths, there is a potential to
get into a difficult situation with respect to one's belief. To remain
unswayed requires a strong conviction that comes only with more knowledge
and understanding of one's own faith and others' as well.

References to Siva / other deities in Sri Vishnu-SahasranAma is to drive
home the point that srIman nArAyanA is the antarAtmA or
in-dweller/controller of everything.

"Devotees of gods go to the gods. The manes worshippers go to the manes. The
worshippers of bhUtas go to the bhUtas. And those who worship Me come to
e"  - Lord srI krishnA, Bhagavad gItA, Chapter 9 Verse 25.

PS: manes - pronounced maa-nayz - the venerated spirit of a dead person.

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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