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introduction

Jay.Bharadwaj_at_nrecatao.nreca.org
Date: Mon Sep 25 1995 - 15:00:38 PDT

                                   SRI:

My name is Jaganath Bharadwaj.  I was born in New Delhi in August 58.  I
grew up in Bombay where I lived till 1976.  I went to college in Calcutta.
 I then joined State Bank of India and worked as an officer in
Assam/Nagaland till 84 and in London till 86.  I then migrated to
washington where I have been ever since.  My uncle had a Lakshmi Nrsimha
salagrama and a Tulasi plant.  He used to read the Ramayana and do
Aradhana but I knew little or nothing about SriVaishnavism except that my
ancestors used to worship Narayana exclusively which my other relatives
considered to be fanatical.

I read the translation of the Geeta in 1983 which changed my life.  I went
on to read Kamala Subramanium's Ramayana, Bhagavatam and Mahabharata after
reading which I began to worship Narayana exclusively.  But it was only
after coming into contact with Iskcon in London and reading Srila
Prabhupada's books that I read about Ramanujacharya and Vedanta Deshikar.
 I also met the person who introduced me to Ahobila Mutt in the Washington
Iskcon temple.  After I was given the 44th Jeer's picture and His
Dhaniyan, He used to grace me periodically by appearing in my dreams.  (He
still does on rare occasions).  He gave me Prappati and Samashrayam on
July 1st 1991.  I met the 45th Jeer for the 1st time in Jan 95 when He
instructed me to start Sri Ahobila Muth as a non profit trust for tax
exemption purposes and raise money for construction of Sri Ahobila Muth's
facilities in Tirupati.  The trust has been established and in Washington
we have been holding pujas on special occasions at various people's houses
to celebrate Sri Vaishnavite events.  Anybody wishing to contribute to HH
the 45th Jeer's project in Tirupati may send their tax deductible
contributions to Sri Ahobila Muth.  5539 Columbia Pike #808 Arlington Va
22204.

I have a question for the group.  The 45th Jeer is reported to have
mentioned to a disciple that Nitya Suris do not take birth (on earth I
guess).  He may have based this statement from Ramanuja's Vedartha
Sangraha where Ramanuja says that two types of souls take part in
Bhagavan's leela vibhutis (temporary manifestations in the world
controlled by Brahma)- the baddha and the mukta jivatmas.  But Vedanta
Deshikar mentions Adi Sesha and Garuda as examples of Nitya suris in one
of His Chinna Rahasyangal.  Adi Sesha has however descended to earth many
times most recently as Ramanujacharya.  Garuda according to one of the
Puranas took birth in one of the 14 lokas and is still suppposed to reside
in one of them.  How does one reconcile the two seemingly contradictory
statements?  Also why would Nitya Suris want to shun a place where
Bhagavan Himself descends to perform leelas?  The 44th Jeer often quoted
the Padma Purana (I believe) verse " I am not in Vaikuntha or in Yogis'
hearts, but where my devotees are singing my praises Oh Narada]"  This
changes the definition of Sri Vaikuntha from a strict geographical sense
to a state of mind and body that is condusive to spiritual bliss.  This
also seems to be the case from Vedanta Deshikar's definition of Moksha as
one who is able to serve Narayana in all places, at all times and under
all circumstances.  Vedanta Deshikar would not have emphasized "in all
places if one stayed in Sri Vaikuntha as the Loka without ever going out
of it.  Please let me know if you agree that the answer lies somewhere
here or if not please enlighten me on this issue.

Thank you,

Jaganath