You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : November 1998

Re: Immortality....

sriram.ranganathan_at_funb.com
Date: Fri Nov 13 1998 - 08:27:43 PST

Thanks to Bhagavathas for their opinions and comments on the subject I
raised.

I agree with both Sri. Madhavakannan, and Sri. S V Raghavan's view points.
In fact I received some insightful comments from others as well.

I find their views are akin to what I expressed  to the original
inquirer, before taking a shot at it from a different perspective. 

But there is one small correction. The note I posted
as my reply, was in fact to a more (thought) provoking sub-query that the
inquirer raised.
Here  it is:

" The  Puranic characters, (Asuras, Devas, Sages and Kshatrias )
specifically asked
a boon for physical immortality after virtuously striving for it
through penance and yagnyas etc., so that they can fight and
win over their enemies in battle. Some did get it
whereas others were denied on basis of  merit. 
 how do we justify for their boon if they are not among us?"

It is to this that I had to reply the way I did. 

And I did include the concept of an eternal world beyond our (mortals)
perception to justify - just as 'all' of us dont 'see' Perumal ( I believe
some qualified seers do ) 
 but everyone of us do perceive Him thru more than  one way.
  
The more off-beat addition to my reply was that  there is the temporal
limiting factor - the 'yuga'
which of course I believe many (including me) arent comfortable due to the
fact
that there are instances were the said characters transcend a particular
'yugam' and interact with characters in other 'yugam'.

And my quest in this respect is, is there any other way of providing a
substantial argument to the question apart from what I ( and others in our
group) 
 had expressed ?

 I do acknowledge the inherent differences in 'expression', among
Vedas, Upanishads and subsequent mythologies / puranas and
the social and moral compulsions that existed during the time when they were
written.

 But in saying so, it would mean that we accept some important
concepts in our epics are not necessary justifiable   and would also mean
we are compromising on those ideas. 

I personally did not want to tow that line and I know none of us would want
to either,
which might give a uninformed questioner the false joy of ' proving 
the Epics/Vedas as mere fairy-tale stories with no basis'.  And it is becos
of this, that
I had to repeatedly seek an improvisation in my replies to such queries, to
make it justifiable on all
fronts as much as possible. Because tomorrow, our children will ask us
similar questions  and we need to give them a very effective reply, failing
which we would be doing a great dis-service to the Epics / Vedas, their
proponent, our Acharyas, our principles and practises, Sri Vaishnavism and
above all to Sriman Narayana. A recent note from Krishna Susarala calling to
counter the 'glorification of villanious characters' is very much inline
with 
the above view, albeit in a different perspective.


Regards
Sriram Ranganathan