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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.