Baring the right shoulder

vasu at vasu at
Wed Oct 2 21:36:43 UTC 1996

>On Wed, 2 Oct 1996, Girish Beeharry wrote:

>> I would have thought the same too. However, in the case of the deity being
>> too close to the back wall, one has to rotate clockwise (once or thrice
>> etc but never twice; I wonder why)                       ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

>Among the Tamil Srivaishnava community,
>one has to go around, or bow down, an 
>EVEN (never ODD) number of times.  So
>this custom is different among different

 I was waiting for a Tenkalai Sri Vaishnava to speak up, but since no one
has, I shall venture to give their take on this matter.  The Tenkalais
*only* bow down once before the deity; they feel that to repeatedly bow two
or four times (like the Vatakalai Sri Vaishnavas) smacks of not having faith
the first time (sounds Calvinistic/Shinran-ish to me).  If you bow down more
than once, you are nagging Vishnu to give you protection.  They cite
Ramayana Yuddha Kanda 18:33 in support of this practice; Rama, after
Vibhisana's saranagati, says that if anyone surrenders to him just once, he
will award him fearlessness ("sakrdeva prapannaya ...").  I've heard
Professor A.K. Ramanujan cite his old aunt on this issue-- she would
apparently quote this line and say firmly: "Once, bow down just once; don't
hurt his [Rama's] heart."
>Vasudha Narayanan

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