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From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Nov 12 1997 - 19:06:33 PST
Dear Bhakthi group members : Coming from a long line of PurOhithAs before that word got a limited meaning and living next to temple priests for many years, I agree fully with the spirit of the observation of Sri KrishNamaachAri .PurohithAs and Bhattars respected each other , but rarely stood in for each other.Here in this country , the clear dearth of PurOhithAs puts a pressure on temple priests. Some times the consequences are sad , since some of the priests are mesmerized by the additional revenue . Others fully understand their prime role and serve the community in other areas out of the acute need for officiating in such functions . There is no simple solution to this problem . Only the availabilty of the two categories in the future will ease this demand as the Indian communities here grow. The situation is somewaht similar to few decades ago , when the village-based people got English education and moved to careers in the cities like Madras , the purohiths of those familes also migrated to Madras to "tend to their flocks " . It is also possible that number of "Scientists, Engineers , Professors " living here now would devote more attention to these Vaidhika karmAs , become knowledgable and extend their services to others just like the volunteering of Sri KrishNa Kalaale recently to handle GrahapravEsam function at Sri Mohan Sagar's new home . The functions and the duties of these two important groups of people ( Purohiths and priests ) are quite distinct and different . My grandfather was a "Bruhaspathi " and was expert in Yajur and Saama Veda PurOHitham . He was revered .He was known as Poundarikapuram Brahaspathi. My father as the first son followed that line. His constituency consisted of people , who would wait for him for days to perform the important functions and bless them .He explained to them the meaning of the ManthrAs and will not let them rush thru any function . They welcomed that . They knew that he had their auspiciousness and hitham in mind and went in front ( puram ) to seek it in the saasthraic way . My next door neighbors were from the illustrious Bhattar families , who were AaradhakAs of Sri Oppiliappan . They were Purohiths to The Lord and performed agni kaaryams and other kaimkaryms to him . Some of them were learned in VedAs. The late Sri Varadaraja bhattar of Oppiliappan Koil learned Yajur Vedam from my grandfather .BTW , Parasara Bhattar , the son of KuratthAzhwAn was the purOhithA to Lord Ranganatha . In summary the training , knowledge , anushtAnams are indeed quite different for the two categories of People such as PurohithAs and Archakaas of the Lord . It is also approriate to remember that in India itself , the old fashioned PurohithAs are hard to find and Purohitham has become like any other profession with revenue generation and market development as key goals .Their scholarship level of suthrAs and ahnika granthams are far from satisfactory . V.Sadagopan ---------- Forwarded Message ---------- From: "Krishnamachari, N.", INTERNET:firstname.lastname@example.org TO: OM, INTERNET:email@example.com DATE: 11/12/97 1:42 PM RE: People to perform religious ceremonies. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Received: from lists1.best.com (lists1.best.com [220.127.116.11]) by dub-img-10.compuserve.com (8.8.6/8.8.6/2.8) with ESMTP id NAA03455 for <email@example.com>; Wed, 12 Nov 1997 13:41:52 -0500 (EST) Received: (from daemon@localhost) by lists1.best.com (8.8.5/8.7.3) id KAA13533 for firstname.lastname@example.org; Wed, 12 Nov 1997 10:25:19 -0800 (PST) Message-Id: <199711121825.KAA13533@lists1.best.com> From: "Krishnamachari, N." <email@example.com> Subject: People to perform religious ceremonies. Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 13:13:19 -0600 BestServHost: lists.best.com MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Errors-To: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org I have followed the correspondence relating to priests for performing some of the religious ceremonies. I hope what I am adding here is viewed in a positive sense. It is not intended to adversely comment on any thoughts expressed so far. In my experience, I feel there is a difference between the purohita function and the priest function. The training for the two functions are distinct and different from each other. Even though in this country because of the limitation in resource availability we have the temple priests essentially also functioning as purohita-s, this does not necessarily mean that they are the also the ones who are trained for the purohita function. When an attempt is made to put together a list of people qualified to perform the different ceremonies, this needs to be kept in mind. Also, when we look for people competent or trained to perform the religious functions, I have found some non-vaishNava priests (smartha priests for instance) have been very good in their knowledge of purohitam as well. -dAsan kr*shNamaAchAryan .