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Re: Service

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Wed Nov 08 1995 - 08:08:06 PST

On Tue, 7 Nov 1995 14:10:32 -0500 bhashyam said:

>Ramanuja and several other religious leaders have stressed service.
>What are the duties of a Vaishnavite in terms of social service?
>Has any of the Acharyas or ALvars said anything specific about
>this issue?
>I would like to hear from all of you as to how you percieve the
>connection between the Sampradayam and social service.

    From my limited exposure to the prabhadams it
    seems to me that the aahzvaars envisioned a
    community of sri vaishnavaas serving each other
    and our Lord Sriman Narayana.  I think periyaazhvaar's
    "thoNdar kulam" is this community of sri vaishnavaas.
    The passion with which ThoNdaradippodi aazhvaar,
    kulasEkaraazhvaar, and Nammaazhvaar convey this
    message is inspiring.

    Sri Ramaanujaa's 82 golden sayings also support this.
    His life story is a testament to these.  Wherever
    he went he tried to dismantle restrictions placed
    on the oppressed.  Practising Sri Vaishnavas have a
    solemn duty to continue this legacy in today's context.
    In his time Sri Ramanuja secured temple entry as a
    right to the "untouchables".  He called them
    "thirukkulaththOr" (those belonging to the Lord).

    In today's context nothing short of complete
    social equality to the extent of obliterating caste
    differences in the spirit of thoNdaradippodi aazhvaar's
    "kodumin koLmin" can even come close to the bold
    revolutionary spirit of our beloved acharya.  This
    is just one example.  How one chooses to serve the
    Lord's devotees is a personal choice.  I am not
    aware of any prescribed set of social service duties.

-- Dileepan