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Re: acharyas etc.

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani)
Date: Fri Dec 01 1995 - 09:23:21 PST

Some information that I have heard about svayam-acharya families:

It just means that those families that consider themselves
svayam-acharya do not strictly follow any particular Mutt,
because the svayam-acharya family has had a long history
of scholarship in Sri Vaishnavism and has had no need for
any connection to a Mutt.

Normally, samaaSrayaNam (formal initiation as a Sri Vaishnava)
is done by an elder in the svayam-acharya family, as Krish
pointed out.  However, since these days many elders are not
aware of the details of the initiation ritual, they go outside
the family to some respected swami, either a sannyasi or

Even if they go outside, there is no requirement that they go 
to a sannyasi of a Mutt. My family is svayam-acharya, and my father 
underwent samaaSrayaNam with Sri Ranga Ramanuja Mahadesikan, 
a sannyasi not associated with any Mutt, either formally or
through his own samaaSrayaNam. 

Respect is always paid to Mutt jeeyars because of their
learning and status as sannyasis.  However, generally,
there is no formal connection between any Mutt and a
svayam-acharya family. (Mutts as formal institutions 
developed much later than the Sri Vaishnava sampradaaya).