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Seeming Contradiction

From: Ramakrishnan Kazhiyur-Mannar (
Date: Sun Feb 06 2000 - 09:50:35 PST

Dear Members,
    This question has been nagging me for quite some time now.
    Our religion is one which allows a lot of individualism in approach
to the Lord and in the method of worship. In fact, to my knowledge,
there is no mandatory worship at all in the religion. Any method of
worship that is there, was given only as a suggestion and there is
always your own way of worshipping or considering the Lord.
    However, in our Vaishnava sampradayam, the role of the Acharyan is
one of a guide to Lord. There is a no contradiction here. But going a
bit further, our sampradayam says that the Acharyan is the ONLY way to
His feet. There, in my view, comes the contradiction. How can there be a
total dependency on another person's advice in a religion that
emphasises so much individualism?

    I would like to have your learned comments on this question.

Best regards
Ramakrishnan Kazhiyur-Mannar