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Re: Prapathi and Adhikaris

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale_at_qualcomm.com)
Date: Sat Oct 12 1996 - 16:51:49 PDT

At 10:00 PM 10/10/96 -0500, Sri Sridhar Srinivasan wrote:

 At some point such discussions
>become moot when some prapannas in this group do not accept pramaaNa from
>such authoritative sources as Sri Vachana BhushaNam or Sri MaNavALa
>MaamunigaL. 

I would like to state my view on this just to make it clear.  I have not
read Sri Vachana Bhusana (I have a copy of it (kannada) from I think Jaggu
swamigal of Bangalore).  Neither have I read the commentary by Sri MaNavaLa
Maamunigal. I think, as Sri Vedantadesika puts it, there is a minor issue of
controversy between the two schools.  I, many a time, feel that there is a
minor controversy between Sri Sankaracharya and Sri Ramanujacharya
themselves : ie. Mayavada and Nirguna Brahmavada which also could be
explained away as two ways of viewing the prasthana trayas. Compared to the
controversy between Advaita and visistadvaita, the controversy between
vadagalai and tengalai traditions and thought are insignificant.  Personally
I will not be able to digest the powerful works such as  Rahasyatraya Sara
and Mumukshuppadi in this lifetime to my satisfaction. The truths therein
are difficult to understand, let alone to evaluate. Like many others, I have
been brought up in a tradition and instinctively, have acquired attachment
to it; However, I respect both traditions and in fact, have trouble
isolating the real difference between them in concept. Having said this,
whatever ideas or arguments I put forth regarding these traditions or
Advaita or Dwaita, basically have to be considered as the signs of my effort
in understanding them rather then evaluating any of these systems. In fact,
I would love to sit down under gurus like Bhuvarahar Swamy of Bangalore or
any other tengalai stawart and learn the view points of Sri Pillai
Lokarcharyar and Sri Manavala maamunigal.  In fact my favorite God is "Sri
LakshmiNrisimha" and one of my favorite stotras on Nrisimhar is 

"Sri mada kalanka paripoorna shashikoti
 shreedhara manohara satapatala kaanta
paalaya kripaalaya bhavaambudi nimagnam
daitya varakala Narasimha Narasimha

...... and eight other wonderful rhythmic octets by Sri Sundara Jaamaathru
Muni who is I think, Sri Manavala maamuni himself.  

I should add that I still have doubts that whether it is true that the
tengalai acharyas support unlimited and un-controlled dissemination of
rahasyamantras on all possible media like the hare krishna mantra (which, by
the way, is a different issue, since the chaitanya school's viewpoint itself
is very different).

>1.  There can't be and ought not be any restriction in simply chanting the
>Thirumantram or dwayam or any of the sacred mantras, let alone representing
>on the net within this group of bhAgavathAs (It would be wrong to even
>surmise that some of the prapannas on this list have evil designs or are
>insincere; such guesswork clearly falls outside the scope of this forum; we
>are not here to wonder or examine credintials of the prapannas assembled
>here.)  In any case, as Sri Mohan Sagar points out, it would be callow to
>restrict mere usage here whilst people elsewhere will utilize the
>thirumantram for chanting or meditation (and no one can/should stop this).

There is no real restriction for any caste, creed or gender in reciting
these mantras. These mantras if taught by an acharya can be repeated /
meditated on in whatever form that was given. But to publish them on the
network is a different issue altogether, which,  I will comment on in the
next section of this email.


>2.  The rahasyArthas (deeper meanings) are available only through a
>qualified Acharya.  In any case, this discussion is not about the
>rahasyArthas.  They are about simply stating the lords name, such as
>Srimathe nArAyaNAya namahA.  In any case, no ShishyA privy to the
>rahasyartha (e.g., the fact that the thirumantram contains an exposition of
>the jivathma/paramAthma sambhandham) would want to discuss it here since it
>would be of little relevance to an audience of varied levels of
>learning/understanding of several critical philosophical issues required for
>comprehending the rahasyArthas.  So, while Sri Kalale's statement that the
>rahasyArthas have to be protected is correct, by their very nature, they
>are.  These are not issues that can be comprehended unless an ardent shisya
>with shraddha and vishayAsakthi can perform kainkaryA at the feet of an
>AchArya. 

When rahasyarthas are to be left to an acharya-sishya's privacy, why not
leave the rahasya mantras themselves, which are closely associated with the
mantra-arthas, like how sri M.K sudarshan clearly explains in his email, to
the privacy of such a relationship or in daily anusandhanams of initiated
individuals?  By the way our Lord narayana has thousands of names; choose
those 997 or more of them which are different from rahasya mantras and still
gain the bliss of chanting the names of the lord on email. Even among the
three, there is no harm if just parts of them are isolated and published;
but why not spare the whole mantras and their arthas to the acharya sishya
relationship.  In fact our acharyas before they take up sannyasa, under go a
mantropadesham called "preshya mantopadesam" to get qualified to teach
others the rahasya mantras. To my knowledge, none of us have this preshya
mantropadesa.   Moreover, why insist on these mantras when even according to
your own posting, in the very same granthas (Mumukshuppadi) the "mantram
yatnena gopayet" rule is mentioned? In fact this security will help to
protect the tradition of people taking the trouble to fly back to India and
resort to an acharya to get samashrayana & Bharanyasa.  Professor Vasudha
Narayan's views are well taken.  There is no harm in encouraging and
enlightening each of us on the network with ideas pertaining to our
traditions and shastras;  In fact, If I remember well, long time back, when
Mani started the group, this essentially was the basis for it. Even if
anyone asks about seriously knowing the rahasyarthas, others in the network
who know, can give out the meanings of the rahasyas personally on an
one-to-one basis with the suggestion that "I can tell you as much as I know;
it may be incomplete or even  erroneous; Please confirm these issues with an
acharya back home when you get a chance". 

Coming to the point of prof. Vasudha Narayan's view quoted in my words : "
Why is there this question today, when  great people like Uttamoor Swamy and
many others published rahasyas as well as their meanings in books,  and the
vedas were written down long time back", I feel that without written books
from those authoritative folks, nowadays it is difficult for many people to
understand our idealogies.  If those scholars did not write the books it
would have been  impossible for layfolk like me to know that these mantras
existed.  These books, however should be used as reference material and
studied under an acharya, preferably face to face.  The issue of people on
the network writing "rahasya mantras" in lieu of their signature is carrying
this a bit too far. 
**********************
>Sri Kalale writes
>> in short, he did all he could to wipe out my mahavishwasa in prapatti
>> Thanks to our Acharyas he did not succeed.  In short, it is better not to get
>> entangled with such folks  and not to discuss issues such as this with such 
>> folks
>
>Sri VaishNava siddhantam has drawn people from all walks and hues of life
>because of its inherent simplicity and beauty, with a strong foundation
>built on rationale.  It is those who doubt their own convictions that will
>fear interaction with others on such issues.  

 It is not really correct to deduce that the only possibility is that a
person is afraid to lose allegiance to or trust in his tradition and hence
does not want to interact with others on controversial issues. It can also
be due to one's restraint not to interact or rather waste their time with
folks knowingly, who may have lukewarm interest in the subject or who may
never agree with the ideas however hard one may try.  Moreover, our shastras
state "na aprishtaha kasya chit bruyaat".  One should not start saying
scriptural truths when nobody asked for it. In fact in my experience I have
seen that  people who anxiously engage in inter-scholastic battles (for
example me!) are the ones who are not mature enough to gain the restraint to
stop messing around when unnecessary.


Finally, coming to Sri Mohan Sagar's view on an Advaitic person's meditation
congregation with thirumantra, the situation and context of it is different
than the importance given by visistadvaita tradition. 

As Vidya Sankar mentioned a while back, in North India Women learn and
preach vedas. This is sort of against dharmashastras, even though the
Janaka-Women Saint's Upanishadic story cites an exception.  If one wants to
abide by dharmashastras one have to accept its rules and regulations. If one
wants to defy them, well, what can be said,  Go ahead and make your day!.  I
personally, would not like to transgress dharmashastras, even though I do it
unwillingly everyday (in many ways).  Lord Narayana's words state ; shruti
smrithir mamaivajna yastaam ullanghya tishtate. ajnachedi mama drohi
madbhaktopi na vaishnava - which means, the shrutis and smritis are my
(narayana's) own
orders. Who defies them is not a vaishnava even though he is a devotee of mine!

Why get into deeper trouble, when I am  already neck deep in it?.

Shrimathe Srivan Satagopa Sri Vedanta Desika Yatindra Mahadesikaya Namaha.

Dasan Krishna Kalale
Krishna Kalale
619-658-5612 (phone)
619-658-2115 (fax)