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Date: Mon Dec 07 1998 - 09:29:31 PST


Dear Bhagavatas,
Presented below is Part 7 on the above subject being excerpts from my talk
during the 600th Anniversary Celebrations of Ahobila Matam held at New York
during the first week of September 1998.
The last posting was nored as Part 7 in the heading. It should be Part 6. This
one is Part 7. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Anbil Ramaswamy

*   It is well known that in the beginning Bhagavan appeared at Badrikasramam
as both "Nara" and "Narayana". "Narayana" is understandable. But, why as
"Nara"? To show to the world how a Sishya should conduct himself towards his
Jayakhya Samhita brings this out -

Saakshaath Naaraayano Devah Kritvaa Martyamayeem Thanum /
Magnaan Udhvarathe Lokaan Karunayaa Saastra Paaninaa /
Tasmaath Bhaktih Gurou Kaaryam Samsaara Bhaya Bheerunaa //

Out of extreme compassion, the Lord concealing his Paratvam appeared in human
form as Acharya and Sishya wielding Saastra Upadesa as the weapon to lift
spiritually the Jeevas enmeshed in the deep mire of Samsara. 

Our Swami exemplified the role of a Sishya when he served his three
predecessors and today shines in his role as an Acharya for all of us. It,
therefore, behoves us to be devoted to our Acharya as our 'Seshi', 'Saranya'
and 'Praapya'.

Svetaswatara Upanishad answers this question: -

Yasya Deve Paraa Bhaktih Yathaa Deve Tathaa Gurou /
Tasyaite Kathithaa Hiyarthah Prakaasanthe Mahaatmanah //

The mystic truths reveal themselves to only one who ha supreme devotion
towards God and who has intense devotion towards his Guru in the same way.

There is also a saying-

Yathaa Mantre Yathaa Vaidye Yathaa Deve Yathaa Gurou /
Yaadrisee Bhaavanaa Yasya Siddhir Bhavati Taadrisee //

The extent of benefit one derives depends on the extent of faith one has -
whether it is Mantra or Doctor or God or Acharya. Therefore, when approaching
the Acharya, one should do so with utmost faith and devotion.

Lord Krishna makes it clear that those who do not develop this faith are fools
since even in his own case, they mistake him to be ordinary human seeing his
physical appearance being very much like their own.
"Avajaananthi Maam Moodaah Maanusheem Tanum Aasritham"

Also, Sastras declare - 

Yo Vishnuor Prathimaakaare Loha Bhaavam Karothi Cha /
Yo Gurou Maanusham Bhaavam Ubhou Naraka Paathinah //

One who considers the Archa Murthi of Lord Vishnu with reference to the
material it is made of and the one who considers the Acharya as a mere human
being like himself- Both of them are sure to fall into the worst hells.

When our Swami visited my humble hut for Dolai, he noticed a Sumangali lady
wearing a 6 yards saree. He called her up and advised that at least when
attending religious functions like this, Grihasta gents should wear the
traditional Panchakatcham and Angavastram and the Sumangalis should wear 9
yards saree in the traditional way.

Assuming that you are a Cadet in the military and also personal friend of the
President, you cannot insist that because of your closeness with the President
you would wear say a Panchakatcham while partaking in the military parade. You
have to respect the dress code prescribed for the occasion. 

The same holds good also for those wishing to participate in the Saatrumurai
Seva along with the Jeeyar early in the morning at Tirumalai, when they check
not only the dress code but also if you do not sport the proscribed sideburns
before allowing you to enter the temple.

Those desiring to derive warmth in the cold winter light a campfire. One has
to be near enough to feel the warmth; One who is far away cannot enjoy the
benefit. One cannot go too near the fire, lest it should burn and scald. 

Similarly, when approaching the Acharya, one has to maintain the right
distance. Going too near, one might commit Apacharams; Remaining too far, one
may not derive the benefit of his Upadesam.

(To Continue)