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Re: Cleanliness...

From: sampath kumar (sampathkumar_2000_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Thu Oct 14 1999 - 15:09:37 PDT

Sri.P.B.Anand,> wrote:
> Dear Sriman Sampathkumaran :
> 
> Your feelings and genuine concern about cleanliness>
in > temples is well-placed. 
> If I have spoken too much, adiyen may kindly be
> forgiven.
> > Dasan
> Anand

First of all, I request Sri.Anand not to use the
honorific "sriman" for me. I am very ordinary person
and feel uncomfortable being addressed like that. Just
"Sampath" or "Sri.Sampath" (for sake of politeness) is
OK.

You have written well on the subject of cleanliness.
Exnora is doing good work in Madras in some areas but
not in all. Also I am not well read so I have not
heard of authors you mention like Naipaul and others.

My point was different. Why Vaishnava sampradyam
cannot specifically articulate or stipulate
cleanliness like it does other things like importance
of wearing "urdhvapundram" or "samAshrayanam" or
reading "sri-bashyam" or going on 108 DD tour once in
lifetime? Why can't our "achAryA-s" make it a point to
say that everyone comes to seek their 'diksha' must
also show proof that their "kainkaryam" includes
certain hours of cleaning or rubbish clearing they did
in temples or mutts or in some religious spot?

In Sikh religion devotees are held very dear and
special if they show that they have done some cleaning
duty at the Golden Temple... like scrubbing the floor,
cleaing the Golden Temple toilets, watching over
chappals of pilgrims etc. Similarly why some of our
"achAryA-s" like even HH Azhagiyasingar and Jeeyar
also cannot insist that those who come to ashram must
compulsorily show that they have spent so many hours
cleaning the surroundings of some DD or some
madapalli, or sweeping mutt rooms, removing cobwebs,
washing clothes of vaideeka-bhagavatha-s etc? When
such people come to him for 'danda-samarpanam' and
getting 'mantra-akshada' acharya should show same
extra pleasure and happiness in meeting them like when
he meets some one who says he has mastered 'tarka' or
'mimamsa' or 4000 prabandam-s?

Why "achAryA-s" are not in the habit of specifically
talking about "cleanliness" of temple, mutt, ashram
surroundings? Why always preoccupation with building
tall gopurams, more sannidhi-s, or making jewellery
etc. If "achAryA-s" become strict and campaign about
outward "shuddhi" as much as they do about inward
"suchi" and go on non-stop giving messages about
cleanliness surely all disciples will have some fear
and then begin to follow strictures.

Please don't take this as criticism of any acharya or
any particular temple. I am very,very sorry if I gave
you that feeling. I have great respect for all
achAryA-s. 

I am talking in generality only. I am only sad because
of uncleanliness some of our temples do not present a
good sight. One of my good Hindu friend used to  joke
that cleanliness at places of worship may be Christian
ethic not Hindu one but if cleanliness is next to
godliness then we should not be surprised if God puts
a healthy distance between Himself and some of our
great temples. I get very angry at his remark but
sometimes it makes me wonder.

I hope I too have not spoken too much and out of turn.
I am new member in this group and I am very sorry if
I'm coming across as offensive. Sorry, very sorry.
Please pardon.

Sampath   

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