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Re: Guru Parampara

Jay.Bharadwaj_at_nrecatao.nreca.org
Date: Thu Dec 07 1995 - 16:15:48 PST

Sriman Venkatanatharya Kavitarkikka Kesari Vedantacharya Varyome
Sannidhattam Sadaa Hridi.

In His treatise Sampradaya Parisuddhih: (Purity of tradition), Sri
Vedanta Desikar states:
"It is well known from the Upanishads and their explanatory treatises
that the specific import of the Spiritual Literature should be
determined only with the help of the traditionla instruction which
has been handed down by the hierarchy of learned Acharyas.  In the
matter of the investigation of the import of the Sastras, even the
traditional interpretation coming from those who are well versed in
the Sastras will be helpful for people who are not competent in
determining by themselves that import sought after.
"In regard to matters that are entirely beyond the region of the
senses the tradition that has not its roots in Sastras and the
tradition that is against the commonly accepted Sastras should not be
relied upon since there is the possibility of the existence of
misapprehension or deceit in them as a result of which they are equal
to that which is outside the Vedas and is therefore not valid."

In the RTS Vedanta Desikar states:
"It is stated in the Smritis that Kshatrabandhu who was the worst of
sinners, and Pundarika the virtuous, both obtained Moksha by virtue
of their having Acharyas.  It is thus declared that in the case of
every one, the only means of securing moksha is to have an Acharya.
To the man desirous of Moksha, the line of Acharyas is stated in the
SHRUTI to extend upward even to the Supreme Bhagavan for the purpose
of medition."
In the explanatory notes the translator states:"The Sruti referred to
here means:- This line of Acharyas extends upto Bhagavan thus:  This
is his Acharya; his acharya is so and so and so on upto the Lord.

Vedanta Desikar goes on to say in the RTS: "With the utterance of
Dvaya Mantra, preceded by obeisances to the SUCCESSION OF GURUS..."

In His Tattva Padavi Sri Vedanta Desikar states that Nityas and
Muktas have Suddha Sattva bodies.  (This would be true of a mukta
jivatma even if he or she were to be on this earth.)  In the RTS
Vedanta Desikar states ignorance is only due to the jivatma's contact
with Prakriti or a body made up of the three gunas."

Ramanujacharya explains elaborately in the Vedartha Sangraha that
Anumana Pramana (or evidence by conclusion e.g. that Lakshmi may
never have had Upadesam from Narayana) is prone to errors and only
Sabda Pramana or the authority of Vedas coming down in Guru Parampara
is error free.

In the error free tradition of the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya all the
Acharyas that do Samashrayam give Upadesam starting with :
Asmat Gurubhyo Namah: etc upto Sriyaih: Namah: and Sridharaya Namah:
 Note here that obeisances here is paid to Sri as Acharya and then to
Her Acharya Sridhar or the One who has Sri with Him.  Please note
that paying respects to a line of Acharyas extending upto Bhagavan is
a Shruti requirement and not just a traditional practice.

None of this answers the original question why Sri should get
Upadesam.  Perhaps the question can be answered by one who can answer
this question.  Why should Sri Krishna who is stated in Srimad
Bhagavatam to be Bhagavan Swayam and who appeared in all his glory to
Devaki and Vasudeva at the time of His birth as SRIMAN NARAYANA full
grown with 4 hands Shankha Chakra etc, and who was prayed to by all
the Devas, who was able to argue using, logic and philosophy with His
father, as to why Indra should not be worshipped, all this when
Krishna was only 7 years old; why should this Krishna go to the
gurukula of Sandipani Muni at the age of 11 and learn all shastras
that took 12 -18 years for the average student of that yuga, in 64
days?  Please note here that while Sri Rama acted like a human being
and even denied any knowledge that He was Bhagavan, Sri Krishna
accepted worship from the beginning just as He does in Vaikuntham.

This only goes to show that the conclusion that a guru is required
only for baddha atmas or even just jivatmas is not borne out sastric
evidence.

Jaganath.