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Re: Free spirit and respect

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (
Date: Tue Nov 25 1997 - 15:26:33 PST

Hopefully this shall be my last post on this subject.
The intention is to clarify, not to prolong.

First, my protestation was strictly about the phrases
that were used in the course of debate.  It really does
not matter all that much to me whether the Azhvaars 
are Nithyasoorees or not.  The respect and adoration of 
the aazhvaars is no less in either POV.

Sri Jagan presented Sri Srivatsangachar's view thus:
   "He told me that in the Vadagalai tradition, Swami Desikan
    made it very clear that the Azhwars are incarnations of 
    the Shankhu etc and are Nitya Suris.  He also mentioned 
    that in the Tengalai tradition the Azhwars are considered
    baddha jivatmas who got moksham at the end of that life."

Sri Mani expressed surprise and wished to discuss with 
Sri Srivatsangachar personally.  But later after doing
more research he added:

[1] ... Swami Desika's intention in quoting this particular sloka 
    while discussing the advent of the Alvars should be apparent
    to the discerning reader. 

[2] ... This conclusion, in my opinion, is the easy way out, 
    since it requires little intellectual effort and research. 

[3] ... it wiser to use their writings as a basis and come to
    a common agreement as to what makes sense, rather than 
    dogmatically sticking to what one things are "Thengalai"
    or "Vadagalai."

[4] ... It seems that our acharyas wrote and thought with more
    subtlety and touching humanity than we sometimes give them

Even though I am confident that Sri Mani did not mean any
disrespect to Sri Srivatsangachar, it was equally clear to me
that the implications of the above flow to Sri Srivatsangachar
as well.  The implications being,

[1] = not a discerning reader,
[2] intellectually lazy,
[3] = dogmatic, and
[4] = not recognizing subtleties.

Perhaps it is my ego that makes me see all these.  But, in as much
as Sri Jagan was only acting as a "postman", simply conveying to us
what Sri Srivatsangachar had told him, the above implications do not
stop with Jagan, but reach Sri Srivatsangachar as well.

I agree with Sri Vijay Triplicane's recent post about personal
comparisons.  It pains me to see respected scholars taken lightly.
It pains me equally to see Sri Srivatsangachar's views 
characterized, even unintentionally, as in [1] to [4] above.

I am not advocating unanimity of views.  But when we disagree
why can't we put some effort to make sure that we don't characterize
the other side as dogmatic, intellectually lazy, etc.  It is far
better to be intentionally respectful than unintentionally disrespectful.

Sri Mani is a good friend and we often have long phone conversations.
I think it is safe to say that our disagreements are easily dwarfed
by the points on which we agree.

I seek the forbearance and forgiveness of everyone in this group,
particularly of Sri Mani, for any and all of my aparadhams.

-- adiyEn