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Date: Tue Nov 05 1996 - 05:39:07 PST
Conversion to Srivaishnava tradition is as old as the Azhwars themselves. The process of Prapatti is open to any living entity whether man, animal, god or insect. I have been told of at least one instance where Andavan Swamigal performed Prapatti to a grasshopper. Temple cows and elephants are routinely given Prapatti. Anyone outside the faith of Hinduism can covert to Srivaishnavism by getting the same SamAshrayam and Prapatti process in the case of Vadagalai or SamAshrayam in the case of Tengalais. Upanayanam is not done in the case of Vadagalais unless one is born in a family that traditionally has upanayanams. In the case of Tengalais I have known at least two instances where Upanayanams have been done to people converted to Srivaishnavism. After Prapatti one can do service to Sriman Narayana as instructed by one's Acharya. Even though Jnana is not a requirement for Moksha, the only two things one is allowed to pray for, and is in fact encouraged to pray for, is Jnana and Bhakti. Moksha is a state where one renders service to Sriman Narayana at all times, in all places and under all circumstances. This service begins here and now. But until the time of Moksha, there could be interruptions in service because of maturation of past sins. Srimate Srivan Satakopa Sri Vedanta Desika Yateendra Mahadesikaya Namah: Jaganath.