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From: krish (
Date: Fri Nov 10 1995 - 09:57:11 PST

I am disturbed by the stress on orthodoxy. One
wrote about accumulating sins by ignoring the
Sandhyanvandanma writes. Or for that matter
Tharpanam, honoring of the ancestors.
Are theythe requirements of a Vaishanvite? 
Some great people like Ramanujam were ex-
communicated from the community since they
stepped out of the orthodxy bounds.
Does one stick to it out of fear, especially
when one is away from the strict environment
he was in?
Some of these are strange. I recall attending
 aprayer group, where I took a Shaligram. It
was an usually nice piece, splt in to halves
showing the ammoite fossil. An American
friend had brought it form Nepal from a Hindu
family, who parted with it because it went to
Hindu in the US. He was on peace corps and I had
specifically asked him to fetch me one if 
possible. When I sowed this unusual piece
( millionyears old ) the man who conducted 
the prayer was upset that the women in the
group toched it and that I who did not
provide daily aradhanas was possessing it.
One can forego all such beliefs and still
be a bhakta.