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What is a billion dollars anyway?

From: Sampath Rengarajan (
Date: Fri Sep 17 1999 - 08:54:26 PDT

Dear bAgwathAs, The following is an appeal
made by Sri P. Dileepan that appered in
the other net. As requested by
Sri P. Dileepan and Sri V. Sadagopan
I am forwarding this to you in this net.
Sampath Rengarajan

From: "Parthasarati Dileepan" <>
Reply-To: <>
To: "Sampath Rengarajan" <>
Subject: RE: FW: What is a billion dollars anyway?
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 09:39:04 -0400

Sri Lakshmi nrisimha parabrahmaNE nama:
Sri Lakshmi nrisimha divya paduka sevaka
     srivan satakopa sri narayana yatindra mahadesikaya nama:

Sri Ranganatha wants you!!!

These are crucial times for Sri Ranganatha temple.
Construction is proceeding at a slow pace for want
of funds.  Right now the main structure is complete.
The sthapathees are working around the clock seven
days a week.  The praNavakaara vimaanam is now complete.
What remains is the completion of mechanical, plumbing,
electrical, internal dry walls, etc., landscaping, and
more.  Additional funds in the range of at least $700k
to $800k is required, Sri. Venkat may confirm this.
Several people are taking second mortgages on their
homes to provide much needed funds for the completion
of the temple.  Unless we come up with funds in a timely
fashion samprOkhanam next summer may once again be
an unfulfilled dream.

Everyone will hear (or may have already heard) about
the 1 billion dollar gift by Bill Gates today.  What
is a billion dollars to Bill Gates anyway, just over
1% of his net worth.  Is it more valuable than a small
sack full of KuchElar's "avul"?  Let us not be as
generous as KuchElar and give all we possess.  Just
give only as little as Bill Gates.  If all of us
contribute just 1% of our net worth to Sri Ranganatha
temple, adhyayana utsavam in the year 2000 can be done
right under the praNavakAra vimaanam.

Sri Rangam is not just one divya dEsam, it is the
center of ubhaya vibhoothi.  All the 108 lords take
refuge with Lord Ranganatha every night.  They will
all be at our Sri Ranganatha temple also in essence.
Thus, your participation in the completion of Sri
Rangam of USA will please all the 108 lords in one go.

Just imagine, you will be leaving behind Sri Rangam for
our children and their children.  How many of them will
visit India and visit Sri Rangam, let alone the other
temples that are in bad shape.  No doubt many of these
temples need funding even for nithya ArAdhanai.  But,
is it not those who are from these villages and the
locals who must take the primary responsibility for
this?  Similarly, Sri Rangam of USA is our village.
It is our responsibility to see that funding is
available at this crucial stage.  A completed Sri
Rangam of USA will probably be the only authentic
Sri Vaishnava temple our grand children may ever visit.

Further, Sri Ranganatha temple is not another regional
temple.  We may live in Florida, or California, or
Minnesota, or Texas, but for all of us Sri Vaishnavas,
there is only one true Sri Vaishnava temple.  It is our
responsibility to make sure it remains that way.  There
is tremendous pressure upon Sri Venkat to relax this
cardinal principle.  Many have even challenged that Sri
Venkat will never complete the temple.  We cannot
continue to sit idle and just watch Sri Venkat hold the
line all on his own.  Only if all of us take interest
and participate will the temple truly become a national
temple like Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh is often equated to
Thiruppathi.  But, due to the presence of anya devatha
in that temple such a comparison is not valid.  Our
Sri Ranganatha temple is truly the Sri Rangam of USA.
It is now up to us to support this truly national temple
for all Sri Vaishnavas.

There is an impression among the Sri Vaishnava public
that our temple does not welcome Thenkalai Sri Vaishnavas.
Nothing can be farther from the truth.  In fact it is
a Thenkalai bhAgavadhA who helps Sri Venkat with
thirumanjanam every Saturday.  There is absolutely no
kalai bhEdham when it comes to participating in every
aspect of the temple worship.  Since the temple was
established upon the command of Sri Mukkoor Azhagiya
Singar, Sri Ahobla Matham tradition is followed for
worship.  In particular, the saaRRumuRai recited is
of Sri Sannithi tradition.  It seems at one time
somebody wanted to recite Thenkalai saaRRumurai, but
was not allowed.  But one must consider, no temple in
India recites both saaRRumuRais.  All Vadakalai temples
(handful though they may be) recite only vadakalai
saaRRumuRai and all the thenkalai temples recite only
thenkalai saaRRumuRai.  In fact, in many temples including
Sri Rangam, vadakalais are not permitted even to join
the gOshti and recite even prabhandham, let alone
saaRumuRai.  Let us not get into the politics of these
issues.  adiyEn's point is that the temple follows Sri
Sanithi tradition for worship and this includes Sri
Sannithi saaRRumuRai.  This is in line with the
traditional Sri Vaishnava practices of both kalais.
However, unlike many temples in India, both kalais
equally participate in all aspects of ArAdhanai.  No
one is asked to stand aside just because of kalai.
As noted earlier, outside Sri Venkat and Sri Krishna,
it is only a young thenkalai couple who participates
in all aspects of the big thirumanjanam on Saturdays.
This includes, cooking, handling perumaaL thirumEni,
thirumanjanam, alankaaram, thIrtha viniyOgam, prasadam,
etc.  The extent of participation is strictly up to the
individual.  No one is stopped based on kalai and
everyone is encouraged without regard to kalai.
adiyEn fully expects this to continue into the future.

Let us not get side tracked with misleading information.
Let us all get together and build this one and only true
Sri Vaishnava temple.  Sri Ranganatha wants you.  Come
and help.  Give only as little as Bill Gates.  The hour
is urgent, act now.

srimad azhagiya singar thiruvadigaLE saraNam

-- adiyEn ramanuja dasan

Srimate Sri Laksminrisimha Divya Paduka Sevaka
Srivan Satakopa Sri Narayana Yatindra Mahadesikaya Nama

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