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Re: Ramanuja's Golden Rules

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Mon Oct 30 1995 - 07:43:07 PST

On Monday, 30 October 1995 9:27am ET Jaganath said:
>Can someone post on email the 72 rules that Ramanujacharya laid down
>for Srivaishnava conduct?
>


Here is an article I posted in Soc.Culture.Tamil
a long time ago in response to a statement from
a learned individual that all religion are evil
organized religion is organized evil.
I got into trouble on a couple
of points.  (1) should we blindly accept what our
acharyaas say, (2) why respect only sri vasihnavaas,
what about others.  We have discussed these two points
here in this forum as well.  Therefore I will not
go into them.  I simply reproduce my earlier artcle
here.

-- Dileepan


=========Start of article==============
This is about whether or not religion is
evil. I wish to submit what I consider
the essence of my religion, Sri
Vaishnavam.  The principles put forth
here are not unique just to Sri
Vaishnavam.  After reading this I hope
you will agree that religion is not
necessarily evil.

In his death bed Sri Raamanuja is said
to have articulated 82 statements to his
disciples.  It is not an exaggeration to
present these statements as the essence
of Sri Vaishnavam.  I give below
excerpts of these, translated from \bt
"Sri Raamaanujar," pi. sri,
sudhEsamitthiran, pp. 250 - 259, aagaStu
1964 \et.  I apologize for the lack of
lucidity of my translation.


---------------
1.  Serve God and God's devotees.  Serve
all devotees without regard to their
status.

2.  Have faith in the teachings of
acchaaryaas.

3.  Do not succumb to sensual pleasures.

4 & 5.  Do not put your conviction on
trivial saasthraas, have conviction on
the saasthraas that deal with God.

6 - 8.  Protect yourself from the five
senses.

9 & 10.  Praise the name of the Lord and
aachaaryaas.

11. All the knowledge you may have will
not protect you if you choose sensual
pleasures.

12 & 13. It is not enough to control
your sensual desires, you must surrender
to the Lord.

14 - 17.  Do not be disrespectful of sri
vaishnavaas for any reason, including
age, caste, etc.  You must show respect
to them all.

18.  When you rise from your bed
meditate upon your ancestral line of
aahaaryas.

19. In front of the sanctum of our Lord,
amongst sri vaishnavaas utter the words
of thiru manthiram and dvayam.

20. Praise the auspicious qualities of
our Lord and aachaaryaas.

21 and 22. Welcome sri vaishnavas with
open arms and praise.  Do not praise
ordinary people for the sake of material
gain.

23. Pay respect when you see the gOpuram
of a temple.

24 - 25.  Have undying faith in Lord
Vishnu.

26. Do not find fault with praise of the
Lord or devotees.

27 - 29. Pay at most respect to sri
vaishnavaas.

30 & 31. Among sri vaishnavaas do not
discriminate between poor and rich.

32. Ignore the faults and praise the
virtues of sri vasihnavaas.

33 - 35. Consume Sri paadha theertham
with respect.

36. Do not consider yourself as equal to
other devotees.  Think of yourself as
their servant.

37 - 39. To purify your sins consume the
sri paatha theertham of great saints.
For this, do not consider the caste of
those saints.

40 & 41. Duties of families. (Not
described in the text)

42 - 44. Visiting temples and securing
prasaadam is important.

45. Do not boast about your virtues.

46. Do not scorn a devotee.

47. Do not ignore serving devotees.

48. Praise the auspicious qualities of
the Lord daily.

49. Recite prabhandams like thiruvaay
mozhi daily.

50 - 58. Do not associate with the ones
who only pretend to be sri vaihnvaas.
Do not associate with the ones who find
faults with others.  Do not even look
upon those who belittle devotees.
Associate with those who wish to
surrender to the Lord.

59 & 60. Ignore the harsh words of other
sri vaishnvaas.  Always do good to them.

(From this point onwards I am unable to
give numerical listing as the original
text does not give the numerical
ordering.)

Do not think of the Lord's idols as just
stone or wood.

Do not think of your guru as just an
ordinary person.

Even simply saying out loud the caste of
a sri vasihnavaas is a sin.

Do not consider anything related to our
Lord as ordinary.

There is nothing greater than making our
Lord and his devotees happy.

Insulting a devotee is a greater sin
than not praying to the Lord.

Your duty is to surrender to our Lord.

Try to live in thiru naaraayanapuram at
least for some time.  If you are unable
to, where ever you are, live with dvyam
in your tongue.  If you are unable to do
even this, serve other sri vaihnavaas.

--------------

These ideas and principles make up my
religion.  For the life of me I am
unable to see even an iota of evil in
this religion.
==================End of article================