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What is a billion dollars anyway

From: Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan (
Date: Sat Sep 25 1999 - 13:20:49 PDT

Dear Mani and fellow BhaghavatAs:

I would seek the forgiveness of Shri Sadagopan and other bhaghavatAs who 
wish to place this issue behind and concentrate on more positive aspects of 
Sri Vaishnavism.  However, I would like to bring my part of the discussion 
to a closure by responding to Shri Mani (whose intention like most others is 
to see unity among all of us).

These are my questions to Mani:

I don't get you quite correctly on the above issue.

Are you saying that we should encourage and allow to flourish in India the 
very same traditions...
that we wish to break away from, in the USA.  My question is simple - Why 
can't the Melkote model be followed in all divya dEsams in India  and why 
not we make a concerted effort to stop encouraging
those divya dEsams that resist this change.  Most divya desams are in dire 
need of funds and it is a opportune time now to bring about a change by 
making the donations conditional. Eventhough nothing of this sort may happen 
in the foreseeable future, I see Shri Narayanan already drawing a cold feet 
by the very mention of two Sattrumurais.  I was also surprized that the 
spirited reply of Vijay (of Triplicane) and that of Varadan (?) on this 
issue has totally ignored what Shri Narayanan had to say.

People who have visited the divya desams feel that kalai issues are more 
prominent in those places than say taking care of perumal or the archakAls.  
  After my recent visit to the Srirangam temple I felt
that the temple is spending more money on glossy paintings of the nAmams 
than on other essentials.  I equally find the practice of 'mudal' theertham 
etc. undesirable.

I sincerely feel we have to do something about reversing this trend in 
India. I personally feel that we should fund a scheme where two or three 
bus-loads of well trained sattrumurai reciters should go around all 
divyadesams and 'shout' both sattrumurais to their hearts' content and that 
such voice of 'unity' should reverberate through the ears of people like 
Shri Narayanan who still want to cling onto a divisive tradition.

Whether we are in the US or in India we are all products of the same
tradition.  A disease cannot be cured if we are afraid of getting to its 
source.  People who now want Ranganatha temple in the US to follow both 
Sattrumurais, what have they done to forge equal representation of kalais 
back in India.  What have they done to institute recitations of 'both' 
sattrumurai back in our divya dEsams.  The defect with equality is that we 
desire it with our superiors.  When the divya-dEsams are obviously in favor 
of one kalai in India, the voice of reason and fairness that is so prominent 
here to have equal 'kalai' representation - is unfortunately silent when it 
comes to advocating the same in India.

I think we lose our 'sense of fairness' if we insist that we allow 
traditions to flourish in India and then in the same breath we say that we 
break-away from it in the USA. Being power-less to do anything about it in 
India doesn't provide us a license to acquiesce
to it (if we sincerely think it is wrong).


Buffalo, NY

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