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once more on "cleanliness" in temples/dd/mutts

From: sampath kumar (
Date: Thu Nov 04 1999 - 12:09:39 PST

Dear members,

To adiyen's pleasant surprise some members are writing
privately to me giving comments about adiyen's
thoughts on "cleanliness in temples/dd/mutts" and
about CITTA-SHUDDHI project. Many members are writing
to me really many interesting things.

Some member's thoughts which adiyen is thinking is
relevant adiyen is continuing to share with you and
hope it will be of interest to you all. Please read
and also kindly give your constructive suggestions and
ideas to develop this matter further as adiyen is
slowly beginning to think that, if all bhagavathas
take it seriously and if our acharyAs and pontiffs are
slowly persuaded to give wholehearted blessings to it,
CITTA-SHUDDHI project (CITTA : "Cleanliness in Temples
and Temple-Areas" project) one day has potential of
becoming reality and not just some madman's dream like

One member writes:

"Dear Sampathkumar, While commending your concern for
cleanliness in temples, let me also caution you that
your ideas may not receive anything more than lukewarm
response from influential quarters because anything
warmer will mean admitting that our temples etc. are
actually in various states of uncleanliness and hence
badly in need of something like your "CITTA-SHUDDHI"
project. Such an admission nobody in the present
Vaishnavite Order or Establishment will ever accept.
Thus your ideas at the most will be received with
polite endorsement and then quietly dismissed as one
man's fervour for a cliche masquerading as a great

Another members writes:

"Dear Sampath, Your thoughts on "cleanliness in DD
etc" are very good but don't you think you are
over=stressing the obvious? After all what are you
really stating? That temples etc. must be kept clean?
So be it. What is there to debate about it? All our
acharyas and pontiffs would welcome it and encourage
it no doubt. But do you seriously expect them to make
a great movement or revolution out of it? "Shuddhi" is
important yes but how do you expect any of our
acharyas to make it out to be a great canon of our
religiont? You are trying to make a great 'siddhAntam"
out of  "shuddhi" in temples etc! You may next give
brushing one's teeth in the morning the status of holy
gospel...." (adiyen really enjoyed this one!).

Another member wrote to adiyen very nicely:

"Sri.Sampathkumar, I have been reading your thoughts
on "cleanliness in temples etc." and appreciate your
concern for the subject. Please tell me at a time when
people feel powerless and are unable to bring
cleanliness to their own streets and neighbourhood in
Madras how they can be empowered or "incentivised" to
bring cleanliness to temples, dd etc.? So what are you
really saying? When you say our temples are unclean
you are being no different from someone saying that
our cities and towns and villages are unclean, that
our streets are filthy, and that our roads are bad.
You are being just one more of the millions who go on
complaining about this state of civic affairs or that
and yet are  powerless or too lazy to do anything ...
Sri.Sampath, you also wrote the following :
  "Write about the progress of CITTA-SHUDDHi work in
"nrisimha-priya", "paduka", Bhakti-archives, i-net
groups etc. and popularize the concept of "shuddhi" in
temples as one of cardinal principles of Srivaishnava
"(13) Pontiff should show extra kindness and give
extra-blessings to those who have done outstanding
work in bringing cleanliness to even one temple or
temple-area in a year.
"(!4) Create a "sat-sangham" of CITTA-SHUDDHI workers
who will not only perfrom kainkaryam by reciting
pasurams and vedas during temple utsavams but also
show they have brought cleanliness to the temple. Give
them separate identity and "maryAdhai" such as given
to "veda-parayanam goshti" and "prbhandam-goshti". "

Sri.Sampath, all the above ideas sound good but do you
seriously believe they are practical? Do you think
they fit into the scheme of our age-old "sampradAyam"?
Do you think it will all be acceptable? You are sadly

You have good intentions, Sri.Sampath, but you are not
being realistic. You must understand that
"cleanliness" is a "given" in the scheme of things..
like what Sri.Anbil wrote on the list in response to
you.. it is like saying "satyam vada, dharmam chara"
(speak  the truth, do the right thing). You don;t need
the inspiration of great philosophy to drive home such
basic points. It would be belabouring the obvious and
exaggerating the commonplace. People are generally
inspired by lofty doctrines of "mOksham", "prappatti",
by stories of "bhakti", by ideals of spiritual
achievement etc. ... it would be naive to expect them
to be similarly inspired by an idea such as yours ...
which as far as I can see is some kind of clarion call
for "shuddhi" but has as much significance as a
roadside public-notice put up by the muncipality and
which reads: "DO NOT LITTER".
Dear members, adiyEn really liked all the above
messages.  Adiyen also responded to them which will be
shared in another post.




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