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RE: Keeping our traditions alive

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Wed Sep 20 2000 - 18:03:07 PDT

[ From Sri Sampath Kumar of India ]


Emperumanar Dharshnam


Srivaishnava religion acknowledges our Lord as Emperumanar.  The
name of the Lord himself, Emperumanar, was rightly conferred as
honorofic on Sri Ramanuja by his Acharya, Sri Tiru-k-kottiyur
Nambi, and this is the blessed name that connects the Srivashnava
community to the divine source and majesty of the religion.  The
religion, in turn, was granted the fragrant name, Em-perumanar
dharsanam, by the Lord of Srirangam, Namperumal Himself.

This is the precious heritage and living message of the Sri
Vasihanava milieu which receives sustenance from the religion
which, in turn, must be protected by its followers.

In order to examine how far we have organised as individual
seekers and the blessed milieu, towards preserving and
transmitting to prosperity, our unique heritage, a brain-storming
session was organised on 20th August, 2000, at YGP Auditorium,
Chennai.

Sri U.Ve.Velukkudi Krishnan guided and co-ordinated the entire
session.

Even though invitations were sent to about 130 Sri Vaishnavites,
about 80 participated in the brain-storming session representing
student community/youth, Nachiyar goshty, Sri Vaishnava Journal
editors, educationists, professionals etc.  The session commenced
at 0930 hours with a prayer.  Thereafter, Sri Velukkudi Krishnan
briefed the participants the purpose and intent of the
brain-storming session and requested them to have a free and
frank discussion.  The participants were grouped into 5 groups
and advised to discuss among themselves.  After discussing among
themselves for about two hours, each group through a leader
presented their findings/conclusions.  Dr. Srirama Bharathy of
Jalladampet and Sri A Krishnamachari of Sri Vaishnava Sri
distributed to the participants printed material enumerating
their suggestions.

The programme concluded with the summing up of the conclusions by
Sri U.Ve.  Velukkudi Krishnan.  He reiterated that we should not
only feel that we are Vaishnavites but should be proud to be a
Srivaishnavite.  He requested that every one should endeavour and
put all efforts so that Srivaishnavism grows as beautifully
propounded by Emperumanar in his Darshanam.

The various suggestions which were put forth in the
brain-storming session may be seen in the Annexure.



A) 1.  Evolving a system for  making the Vaishnavite temples, especially the
   Divya Desams, self-supportive

   2.  Ways and means to be worked out to redeem the temple lands and
arrangements to be made for
regular/stable income for Nithya pooja/festivals.   Till this assignment,
administration of temples by individuals can be thought of.
   3.      Due supervision on the activities of Govt. on temple activities, the
     secular approach of the
Govt. should be made extended to the Hindu temples also.
   4.      Avoidance of political intervention
   5.      People should be made to be present in temple during pooja/ festivals
     etc.
   6.      A temple/village can be adopted to improve/renovate it to the minimum
     survival level.  This can be done in stages
   7.      Avoidance of socialization with persons who swindle temple properties
   8.      Vaishnavites to donate to Divya desams in the  name of their
     children.  While naming the children efforts to be made to find out through
     internet to
which Divya desam his/her name belongs and donations to be given to such Divya
Desams.
9. Local participation is important
10.  Institutes to conduct orientation courses to Archakas with emphasis on
   practical Tiruvaradhanam and Agama knowledge.
11.  A worshippers forum to be formed at various centres with an Apex body.
12.  Whenever there is violation of established customs and traditions in a
   temple, it should be protested in a firm manner

   B)      1.  The Math-atipathis should shed their difference and come close

     2. They should move and be available for the common man by avoiding
        middlemen.   They must secure a base .
     3. They should be requested to propagate Narayana Parathathvam
     4. They should concentrate on doing away with our sub-sects, and  between
        the
        Srivaishnavas and Bhagavathas

   5.      They should maintain close tie with the families of the Sishyas and
     communicate with them especially during their family functions
     Acharya-Sishya sambhandam to be given prominance
   6.      The Sishyas of each Mutt should ascertain the number of persons
     following the system of the respective Acharya.
   7.      Acharyas and Sishyas should consolidate the institution of
     Samarshrayanam
   8.      Statistics on the number of Acharyas and Sishyas attached to them
     should be prepared.
   9.      A data bank of the 74 Simmasanathipathis to be created.
   10.     During the festival days and Utsavams at various Divya desams and
     temples, the Acharyas residing at nearby places should be invited.



C) 1.   Parents should demonstrate the commitments to the children.

   2.      They should inculcate the spirit of “feeling proud” about being a
     “Vaishnavite”, in children
   3.      Children should be induced to perform daily rituals and to wear
     Samaya Chinnam like Thiruman Kappu
   4.      Parents should  show interest in knowing  more and more about our
     “Sampradhayam”  so that they can answer the “ Why, What and How “
     questions of children
   5.      Joint prayer by the whole family daily atleast for 15 minutes.
     Chanting of Thirupallandu,

Nithanusandanam should be made  as a daily routine.
   6.      Elders to arrange for one or two day festival for their and relatives
     and tell them on the richness of our rich cultural heritage and the mission
     of our perceptors.
   7.      A minimum programme to be made to be followed by youngsters like the
     chanting of the
Thirupallandu, Thirupalliyezhuchi and Nithyanusandhanam
   8.      Parents should guide the children whenever the children are
     inquisitive to know more about our values.  Customs, conventions and
     developments to be made known to the children
   9.      Youngsters to be induced to perform the rituals like Sandhyavandhanam
   10.     Women folk to be brought into the scene and utilised as a force for
     propagation
   11.     Male domination in Sri vaishnavism   to be reduced
   12.     Ladies to be encouraged to sing during the time of Sathumurai in
     temples
   13.     Elders should teach the children repeatedly without hurting their
     feelings.
   14.     Youngsters should be taught the dress-code while going to temple etc.

D) 1.   Traditional  learning to be stopped and  Vaishnavism to be simplified in
   tune with the modern times

   2.      Formal education on vaishnavism to be given recognition .
     Organisations like “The Hindu” , “TVS groups” to consider atleast four
     persons with Diploma/degree on Vaishnavism in
     addition to their academic qualification, for placement
   3.      Vernacular/English edition of our literature to be made available.
     Also the existing literature should be readily and easily  reach the common
     man
   4.      Principles of Vaishnavism should be included in structural education
     like that of Ahobilam Mutt Oriental School.
   5.      Compulsory syllabus in school about Alwars/Acharyas
   6.      B.A. Vaishnavism to be offered as a correspondence course
   7.      Study materials to spread the message for kindergarten level upwards
     to be prepared.
   8.      Booklets written in simple language in mother tongue and in English
     to be distributed at cost price.
   9.      Life history or Alwars and Acharyas with suitable pictures to be
     distributed at cost price.

   10.     Establishment of a College in the name of Sri Ramanuja as As a
     nucleas for Sri Ramanuja University before 2017.
   11.     A research institute for development of Upayavedanta literature
   12.     To establish a college of Vishishtavaita similar to BA, MA, MBA, MCA.
   13.     To undertake research on different aspects of Vishistavaita
     philosophy.
   14.     To collect all available material from different sources and prepare
     a good monograph
   15.     To undertake a study of the origin and development of various maths
     and institutions.
   16.     To conduct an historical and cultural study of Sri Vasihanava Shrines
   17.     Translation of publications into different languages
   18.     To create a world wide web (internet) for spreading the message of
     Sri Ramanuja’s philosophy.
   19.     The message of Ramanuja to be spread through music, drama and dance.
   20.     Educating the adult through audio cassettes and books


E) 1.    To use the Cassettes/CDs in creating awareness

2.    Volunteers to be identified in each locality to undertake preaching.
People in each area to be made to assemble for exchange of views.
   3.      Mass propaganda meetings relating to Alwars/Acharyas to be conducted
     in common place at regular intervals.
   4.      Discourses to be arranged to focus on Vaishnavism and Ramanuja and
     the  rationale behind Vaishnavism to be explained to the common man in
     lucid language
   5.      On occasions like marriage booklets on “Nalayira Divya Prabandham”
     to be given as gift.
   6.      Communcation channel  to be established and a data-base to be created
   7.      Hinduism and Vaishnavism to be segregated
   8.      Establishing an exclusive TV channel to propagate
     Vaishnavism

9.    Tours to be organised   to such places where  Shri Ramanuja visited/stayed
during his
holy mission of spreading Vaishnavism

10.  A documentary film on Shri Ramanuja’s teachings to be shown  in schools
11.  Shri Ramanuja’s preachings incribed  on the walls in the prakarams of
   temples to be translated into Tamil so that the message goes into the minds
   of many who visit Sriperumbudur more so, with the sudden upsurge in the
   number of devotees who visit the place for
   Sarpadosha Nivaranam

12.  Establishment of Health centres & Patashalas  in Nava Thirupathis and at
   other Divya desams.
13.  Registration of all Vaishna Sabhas under one head.
14.  Dramas to be enacted, depicting the life of
   Alwars/Acharyas.

15.  Class barriers should be removed and also should be encouraged to
   participate in Sathumurai etc.
16.  Spreading of Nalayiradivyaprabhantham throughout the
   Universe.

17.  Formation of a central body to co-ordinate the activities of various
   institutions/foundations/sabhas etc.



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           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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