You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : September 1997

Practice as we preach

vraghuna_at_CALFED.COM
Date: Wed Sep 10 1997 - 08:51:54 PDT

Revered Prapatti groupmembers:

I have recently joined this group, and had had every intention of only=20
listening quietly and humbly to all the learned people in this forum. I hav=
e=20
no doubt that i'm one of the least erudite, and had heard about the=20
extraordinary level of 'Jnana' and 'Bhakti' that come across in these=20
postings. I have certainly found that to be true. I thank sri mani for=20
making this possible, and i thank the various authors for expounding so=20
beautifully on a range of topics. Sri dileepan's account so far of his=20
pilgrimage has been particularly moving, and can remind each of us of an=20
arduous journey (unique to india), at the end of which, there we stand, wit=
h=20
the beautiful temple lamps shedding gentle light on the Lord's smile, with=20
which He seems to say to us: "Yaamirukka Bhayamen?".....I wonder sometimes=20
if a comfortable plane-trip and smooth cab-ride can result in as rich and=20
blessed and heart-pounding a feeling....

What's also interesting is how mr. keshava prasad's (kp) young relative's=20
question, mr mohan sagar's (ms) questions prior to the panel discussion, an=
d=20
the recent spate of emails, can be connected:

In one sense, both  ms and kp are asking, "how can we impart this knowledge=
=20
to others? (children in u.s., young man, etc)". The point is, life cannot b=
e=20
taught, life is lived. Self-(and God) Awareness is not understood=20
rationally, it is experienced. It could happen when one recognizes the=20
extraordinary blissfulness one feels at a temple, or the way the beauty of=20=
a=20
shloka/song moves one to tears. So at best, one can create opportunities fo=
r=20
another to experience it. Obviously, a father's goading in India had less=20
effect on some than one's own recognized need for linkage with one's roots.=
=20
The call will come from within.

While it is true that spiritual education of young children is our Karma,=20
and better minds than mine appear to have discussed it at the sdds=20
conference, youth is a time for soul-searching. Some go deeper into vedanta=
=20
and seek to understand more for themselves, and some question what they hav=
e=20
been taught so far. There is no intellectual argument that will appeal (or=20
cannot rationally be refuted) unless one is oneself ready to recieve the=20
Grace and become self-aware. Recognizing that readiness, if one kindly=20
points to a guru/scripture/satsang, it's as if a door opened, and the seeke=
r=20
has become aware of the search. (I submit that all are on this search. Some=
=20
may have recognized the hunger, some ignore it, and some actively deny it.
But it does not mean the need for communion with the Lord does not exist.)

How does this relate to the recent spate of emails? What we would like to=20
communicate to the young is the gentle beauty of our philosophy, its=20
inclusiveness and its magnanimity. If we are unable to tolerate the mildest=
=20
aberrations/transgressions of others, and must talk of "Bhagawan speaking
through ar" on one side, and "core vs non-core sdds members" on the other,=20
the sweet lectures (about all of us being equal and Perfect Atmas, etc)=20
accompanying such proud or divisive communication are lost in all the noise.=
=20
As i said before, my religious education is not vast, but this much i=20
believe: "Mrudubhashyam (soft speech) and Madurabhashyam (sweet speech) are=
=20
the essence of Hinduism."

I would also recommend one's looking at everything with a sense of humor. I=
=20
was amused by mr. sudarshan's starting off at a tangent to mr. sagar's=20
question, and then getting faster and more furious in his arguments (like a=
=20
presidential candidate making his own points regardless of the question). I=
=20
was pretty sure that all readers were at least as intelligent as i, and had=
=20
recognized it for what it was.  I applauded mr. sagar's initial calm=20
reaction and invitation to go off-line. Equally amusing was the highly
learned and truly respected sri. ar's starting out with " I could refute=20
every point, my friend, but I will not" and then taking about 22 issues and=
=20
dashing them to the ground. It's all become funnier since. Hopefully we can=
=20
all move on...

(This email is already too long, but i hope to go back to silence once this=
=20
is sent).

Once Guru Nanak was being heckled mercilessly by a section of his audience.=
=20
He continued to calmly proceed with his "bhashan". One of his disciples,=20
deeply hurt by the hot words he'd heard, asked, "Nanakji, how can you bear=20
such insults?" The guru said, "If someone tries to give you a valuable gift=
,=20
and you calmly say "No, thank you", and refuse to accept it, do you get the=
=20
gift? So it is with insults. It may be offered, but if one refuses to take=20
it, it's not received."

I have another (somewhat quirky) recommendation to make. I suggest that onl=
y=20
the Lord, Thayar, Alwars, their Works, Ithihasas, Puranas, etc be words=20
started with or continued in capital letters. Perhaps seeing other entities=
=20
as naama, sdds, ar, etc will bring in a humility as to who we are and what=20
we are all collectively about.

email vidhim na jaanami, kshamasthva Parameshwara.
namaskaram,
viji raghunathan