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From: Parthasarati Dileepan (Dileepan_at_utc.edu)
Date: Mon Nov 24 1997 - 14:28:25 PST
It is difficult or even downright impossible to disagree with statements that extol spirit of free enquiry, that caution us not to be superficial, etc. Who in their right mind will want to be superficial? Who will deny the virtue of free spirited enquiry? Who can object that this enquiry must be done in a respectful way. All this is well and good, but what is the standard for showing respect? Here I am reminded of Sri Ramanuja's expression of disagreement with Yadhavaprakasa. To my knowledge Sri Ramanuja did not even speak up until he was told to do so. (BTW, it is not my intention or place to propose any standard, let alone this high a standard for this forum.) At 01:00 PM 11/24/97 -0500, Vijay_Srinivasan@praxair.com wrote: >If I were given a choice to lead a life where I can think >with a free spirit of enquiry and at the same time being >respectful to our traditional institution and on the otherhand leading a >life of fear (constant fear of Bhaghavat/Bhaghavata Apacharam) as a prize >for moksha, I would prefer the former. Personally, such a goal has no >value. If I may say so, Sri vaishnava life is not a choice between these two extremes. For a Sri Vaishnava respect to bhagavathas comes naturally and with willingness, not out of fear, let alone constant fear. Further, what is mOksha but constant service to the Lord and Bhagavthaas. Service to bhagavathaas is sweeter than the service to the Lord Himself. Service to bhavathaas is the very pinnacle of bhakthi for the Lord. Is our bhakthi for the Lord predicated upon fear? Obviously not. Then, there is no question of we avoiding "bhagavatha apachara" out of fear. Please allow me to present a different dichotomy; if the choice is between free spirit of enquiry which includes characterizing learned scholars as intellectually lazy, not digging deep, and studying superficially, etc. on the one hand, and on the other, service to bhagavthaas even at the expense of brahmma jnyana, I will choose the later without a moment of hesitation. Fortunately, we don't have to choose between such stark contrasts. I think we can vigorously debate with our present day acharyas and scholars, and even disagree if you must, without telling them that their understanding fails to give credit to our poorvacharyas and azhvaars. Restraining oneself in this manner will not diminish any free spirit. -- adiyEn p.s. I may have missed some posts, when did bhagavatha apacharam enter this discussion?