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Re: What is a billion dollars anyway?

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Fri Sep 17 1999 - 11:37:12 PDT

This is not to pass any judgment on the worthy cause
of building a Ranganatha temple in the USA, but
this following statement, raises my eyebrows:

> 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.

a) During my last trip to Melkote, I was told by a knowledgable
   Melkote local that both saaRRumuRais are recited there.
   I don't know if this is the case all the time, but there is 
   precedent for such a practice.

b) Is it good to continue propagating divisive practices,
   even if they are practiced in India? In other words, is
   there anything fundamentally wrong in honoring both 
   Swami Sri Desika and Sri Maanmunigal during 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.

Then we should not bring this up.  Politics exists in all
places, it seems, especially when Iyengars are involved. 
Its existence neither justifies its propagation, nor does it
mean that we should not discourage it and promote unity when 
we can.

On this specific point: I have never been to a divya desam
where members of one kalai was "not permitted" to join the gOshti.
In Srirangam specifically, while wearing Vadagalai thirumaN
in 1996, I was invited by a gOshti-kArar to sit and join them
during nityAnusandhAnam recitation in front of Emberumaanaar's
sannidhi.  In Tiruvallikkeni, which is as stauch a Thengalai
kOvil as exists in India, I regularly participate in the gOshti
with my Vadagalai thirumaN, and no one has taken any issue.
Problems, if any, only occur when aggressive members of one kalai 
or the other try to go to the head of the gOshti, which is usually 
reserved for hereditary sthalattaars.

I think we should be very careful in avoiding the spread
of misinformation.

Mani