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FW: Sri Ranganatha temple

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale1_at_san.rr.com)
Date: Tue Sep 21 1999 - 09:54:36 PDT

Sri Dileepan did not ask me to post this;  However I thought it would be 
relevant for the list members here to read this article.  Hence, with Sri 
Dileepan's permission,  I am posting this article to this list.

adiyen Krishna Kalale

-----Original Message-----
From:	Parthasarati Dileepan [SMTP:dileepan@utc.edu]
Sent:	Tuesday, September 21, 1999 9:16 AM
To:	Malolan Net
Subject:	Sri Ranganatha temple

Sri:
Sri Lakshmi nrisimha parabrahmaNE nama:
Srimate Ramanujaya nama:
Srimate Sri Nigamantha mahadesikaaya nama:
Sri Lakshmi nrisimha divya paduka sevaka
   srivan satakopa sri narayana yatindra mahadesikaya nama:


Dear bhagavathas:

On this auspicious day adiyEn would like to add a few words about Sri
Ranganatha temple with the feet of the AchArya bhakthAs of this divine net
firmly planted upon my head.  The purpose of this note is to once again 
urge
the devotees to consider supporting the temple with money.  Money is the
most urgent need of the temple right now.

Sri Ranganatha temple is indeed the one and only Sri Vaishnava temple in 
all
of U.S.  This does not mean we denigrate the other temples such as the ones
in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Los Angeles or San Jose.  These other temples cater
to the needs of a wide range of public, Sri Vaishnavas also being one among
the many.  For instance at Chicago genuine and devout Sri Vaishnavas face
the dilemma of having to either walk out or sit in a bhajan gOshti where
anya devetha songs are sung.  At one time since the main hall was occupied
by another group the Sri Vaishnava gOshti had to sit in piLLaiyaar sannithi
and recite Sri Vishnu Sahasranaamam.  Please understand, adiyEn is not
criticizing anyone in Chicago, such things cannot be avoided in temples 
that
include anya devathaas.  Sri Vaishnavas will never face such predicaments 
at
Sri Ranganatha temple.  This is why Sri Ranganatha temple is unique and
needs your support from all across the U.S.

Another question that we have to deal with is the price tag.  Why spend
millions of dollars on temples here in the U.S. while many of the divya
desams in India are in disrepair.  For a fraction of the cost of building
one temple here we can maintain many temples in India.  On the surface 
these
seem to be legitimate questions.

Well, how many of our children will ever go back and live in India?  For
that matter, how many of us are going to go back to India for good?  The
answers are obvious.  So, we have no choice but to build temples here in 
the
U.S., and building anything here in the U.S. costs a lot more money than in
India.

It is not just for us but for the future generations of Sri Vaishnavas as
well.  At present there is a steady exodus of Sri Vaishnavas away from
villages to cities in India and from cities in India to other countries,
particularly the U.S.  This phenomenon has two implications, (i) the 
village
temples slowly and steadily lose patronage and (ii) new temples get built 
in
the cities and other foreign countries.  This trend is not going to be
reversed how ever hard we may wish.  Only perumaaL has to come with ways of
protecting the old temples, and perumaaL has.  Five years ago when adiyEn
was in nava thiruppati most of the temples were in pathetic condition.  Two
years ago there was a lot of renovation activity.  This summer when adiyEn
was there all the temples were completely renovated with even new living
quarters for archakaas.  PerumaaL got all this done through Venu Srinivasan
of TVS.  Similarly, five/six years ago ViLakkoLi perumaaL at Thooppul was
full of thorny bushes.  We could not even get into the temple without
getting pricked.  This time, the whole place is cleaned up with nithya
araadhanai being performed without interruption.  Even ThirumaNdangudi, the
birth place of Thondaradippodi Azhvaar, which was in pathetic shape six
years ago is now in pristine condition with new paint and mostly paved
praakaaram.  But, not many sEvaarthIs in any of these temples.  Even in 
nava
thiruppati only a few temples have regular devotees.  In any case,
renovations are happening and we may support these activities as much as we
can.  But let us not make this out into a competition between building Sri
Ranganatha temple and renovation of temples in India.

One problem about sending money to temple in India is who are you going to
send it to.  Even if we have responsible people in cities to send it to how
many times are they going to visit these temples to oversee the proper
utilization of the funds.  Venu Srinivasan has appointed a manager from TVS
to oversee the nine temples of nava thiruppathi.  His only job is to
maintain these temples.  At least for the near future these nine temples
will be maintained properly.  What about the other temples such as
Thirumandangudi?  Unless there is constant maintenance, sooner or later all
the new paint is going to peel off with no one to care.  The only solution
is for the locals to lead in these efforts.  If there is a committee of
local devotees who will take up the job of renovation and maintenance of
their temple, then we can send money to them and hope that it is spent 
well.
Otherwise, it is just like pouring money into a blackhole.

Further, there is also the question of daily visitors.  Of the 11 temples 
of
Thirunaangoor 8 of them have no regular visitors, only occasional visitors
such as the tour operators taking Sri Vasihnavas to Chola Naattu divya
desams.  Practically, there is not a single devotee visiting these temples
regularly.  Even the utsava moorthees have been moved to one location where
aradhanai can be conveniently done because there is no one visiting the
other temples.  Unless the locals take more interest this problem will
continue.

Now, about cost, of course things are expensive here.  For the cost of a 
cup
of coffee we can feed a family for a whole day.  For the cost of eating out
one evening we can feed travelling sEvArthIs for a whole month in any one 
of
the dhivya desams like thirukkaNNamangai where adiyEn had the bhagyam of
having prasaadham.  Forgive me for being so direct, but why don't we stop
drinking coffee or stop going out to eat?  Well, even if we did, it is not
proper to compare costs between India and the U.S.

Anyway, Sri Ranganatha temple is the one and only Sri Vaishnava temple in
the U.S. where you can worship without any mental reservations.  It is our
duty now to see to it that it gets built.

It is not an exaggeration to say that without Swami Sri Desikan Sri 
Ramanuja
darsanam would be extinct today.  Even the opposition has conceded this,
viz. Appaya Dheekshitar.  Yet even during his own time there were people 
who
opposed him bitterly driven by dvEsham.  Therefore, opposition to Sri
Ranaganatha temple which stands for the most basic principle for Sri
Vaishnavas, is not something that must surprise us.  But perumaaL has
brought together a lot of devotees under the leadership of Sri Venkat 
Swami.
Let us not feel discouraged by the criticisms.  If we work together with
full faith in our AchAryAs we shall succeed.

Please give as much as you can, give a dollar if that is what you can
afford.  But show your support for Sri Ranganatha.

srimad azhagiya singar thiruvadigaLE saraNam

-- adiyEn ramanuja dasan


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