MISCELLANEOUS

Desirable traits of a man

CHENNAI OCT. 29 . One of the apparent paradoxes of life is that a man's biggest strength often proves to be his undoing. A person of very high intelligence is often entrapped in very complicated situations of his own making. While a wiser mind can see problems clearly and provide a simple and righteous way out, the ego, fed by high intellect, blinds the person. Like inflated sense of self-worth, wealth also proves to be burdensome when it is allowed to dominate one's thinking to the extent that it stops being a means to worthy ends. In such instances, ignorance of one kind or another prevents a person from perceiving the ultimate goal of life.

The youth of today are troubled by a need to know the true meaning and purpose of life so that they can rise above the randomness and chaos at the ground level to the plane of true values. The urge to know the correct trail and the quest to conquer ignorance, often manifested in irreverent forms, are understandable. Knowing the correct practices of one's own religion is the remedy. The need to be addressed therefore is to present them a way of life where devotion and piety have their due place in a spontaneously appealing manner.

In palpable humility, Saint Nammazhwar says, "not possessing the admirable qualities that others have, I am reduced to the state of a man forced to taste unripe fruit since the ripe one is unavailable". The desirable traits as evinced by Vaishnavism offer a true course to a devotee. Even though individual variants are present in human physiques the spirit is the same and all accept the Omniscience of the Lord. Despite hailing from different schools of thought Vaishnavites hold everything as His form and as such any guideline is taken as emanating from God. The cornerstone of this creed is based on a broad and all-encompassing view that is so pristine in nature, said Srimad Andavan in his discourse. All of them are devoted to Ramanuja though certain practices may vary.

The old are often too set in their ways but the pliant young can be guided in the right direction, in the service of the Lord, which is well within their means. Vedanta Desika desired to be a vessel in the hands of the Lord, as a tool to upholding virtuous conduct. To hold aloft the torch of tradition, the recommended practices are: taking on the holy sacraments, listening and reading the holy texts and living in a sacred place. As a socially acceptable more, the speciality of the sect lies in the fact that it is mutually exclusive and not a one-way experience.

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