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Re: Re: Thiruman Issue
Date: Sat Sep 15 2001 - 17:59:13 PDT

srImathE rAmAnujAya namaha
srImadh varavara munayE namaha

Dear Members

What Sri Narayanan says is absolutely right. As per the records
as we have it, there is no evidence that Swamy emberumAnAr was 
adorned with a vadagalai thirumaN at SriperumpudhUr. While there
is nothing wrong with having a vadagalai thirumaN on a given image
of Swami emberumAnAr, if we are presenting a photo of a
particular mUrti, in the interests of historical accuracy and
sanctity of the representation we should present it *as it is*.
Doctoring such holy images should not be considered acceptable.
Imagine how many of you would feel if the doctoring were done
the other way, from vadagalai to thengalai?

Also, why should one feel the need to change the thirumaN
on an existing photo? Are we not agreed that philosophically
they mean the same thing?

There was a book published a few years back that had 
a cover photo of SriperumpudhUr emberumAnAr with a thirumaN
doctored to be a vadagalai thirumaN. Immediately a legal
notice was served to the publisher by the then jeeyar of
SriperupudhUr and the photo was withdrawn.  What I have
learnt is that the photo has however come into circulation
in many people's houses, giving people an inaccurate idea
of what the SriperumpudhUr mUrti looks like. In all probability,
this is the photo that Sri Madhavakkannan has in his house,
because as far as I know, there is no record that SriperumbudhUr
Swamy emberumAnAr ever had a vadagalai thirumaN, and certainly
not in modern days since photography of the mUrtis became
a common occurrence.

Some people are unfortunately spreading rumours that the 
Sriperumbudhur temple was vadagalai until about 50 years ago. 
One need only ask the many Srivaishnavas of both kalais who were 
alive over 50 years ago. This is simply not true.   These kinds
of rumors do no good but seed dissension among the kalais.
Yes, there are temples such as Thirumeyyam where it is well-known
that due to financial reasons the temple converted from Thengalai
to Vadagalai recently.  This is accepted by everyone. But for 
all other temples rumors simply generate bad feeling among
our people and are counterproductive in the long run.

I think all of us are agreed that further fights over the
'kalai' status of temples are the last thing our tradition
needs. In this regard, I very much appreciate the points brought 
forward by Sri Narayanan. When emberumAnAr Himself left temples
along to follow their existing traditions, what rights, do we, 
the less mortals have to do the same forcibly. In the recently held 
Sammelanam under the banner of Swami Nammazhwar foundation, a 
consensus was brought to maintain the status quo of the temples as on 
date.  Unfortunately, not everyone is living up to this agreement
and some people have actually increased their political
manoeuvring since then. This is an unfortunate occurrence and
with Swamy emberumAnAr's grace perhaps we can put an end to it.

In any case, I would like to express my gratitude to 
Sri Madhavakkannan for demonstrating great patience and
charity in this regard. He has once again revealed the 
spirit of a true Vaishnava by not getting angry in the
midst of this discussion. I am also glad that we can all
discuss and come to a conclusion about the accuracy of
Swamy emberumAnAr's mUrti without dissension and conflict.

AzhwAr emberumAnAr jeeyar thiruvadigaLE saraNam
adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
Thirumalai Vinjamoor Venkatesh

Enjoy being an Indyan at

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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