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Date: Thu Jan 04 1996 - 20:06:18 PST
In one of His books His Holiness the 45th Jeer of Sri Ahobila Mutt says that Jnana and Acharam are "like two wings of a bird and that both are necessary for the bird to take to the air" (and reach Bhagavan). An acharya is one who follows all acharams and sets an example to His disciples. Yet the same Acharya, when asked about a particular acharam which says that one cannot eat and drink at the same time without washing both hands said "even your own Acharya does not follow this so you do not have to worry about it." This goes to show that there are some acharam practices that are fundamental and others that have to be adopted according to time, place and circumstances. The fundamental acharam is understanding that body as well as the soul exists only to fulfil Narayana's purposes and that we exist to serve Him while He takes care of all our needs. Therefore having come into this world of suffering due to our past sins, one does saranagathi (or usually gets an acharya to do this on behalf of oneself) at the feet of Sriman Narayana. Having done this one becomes a Kritakritjna or one who has done what one ought to do. At this point Krishna's promise in the Geeta "For one who wishes to attain Me, I give him the intelligence by which he can come to Me" takes effect and one practices other acharam rituals according to time place and circumstance. Jaganath.