Baring the right shoulder

Srinivasan Pichumani srini at
Thu Oct 3 18:53:13 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

Yes, I too have heard AKR say the same thing about Tenkalai
practice... somewhere in a footnote, in his book "Hymns for the 
drowning", he also quotes a Tenkalai priest from a Madurai temple 
saying equivalent words like "don't work on the Lord's feelings
too hard"... suggesting that 1 and only 1 namaskAram is necessary !  


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