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Have you seen your Acharyas lately? - part I

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale_at_qualcomm.com)
Date: Fri Jan 17 1997 - 10:31:31 PST

Dear Bhagawatas,

It was a pleasure reading the recent emails and the summary of events that
took place in Buffalo NY- Srivaishnava Meet.  While you were all enjoying
yourselves, I had the best time of my life in India. I met a few Acharyas
and had a long talk regarding a number of issues.  In the next few postings
I will summarize their message to all of us.  If you are planning to go to
India, reserve a few full days to see your acharyas. I cannot put it in
words how they can influence our lives in just a short meeting of few
minutes or hours. It is said, that one should go to "teertha stalas" ie.
sacred places several times to get some punya; but just the sight of sadhus
(sages/acharyas) is enough to burn all of our sins. (darshanaat eva
sadhavaha).  

It was just a few weeks back, Vijay Srinivasan & Anbil Ramaswamy called me
to show up at Buffalo. I would have definitely made it to Buffalo, if I was
not planning a trip to India. The reason was that I wanted to see my aging
grandfather who really meant a lot to me. In addition, I spent about 3 days
in Nanganallur with 45th Jeer of Ahobila Muth,  a few visits to Andavan
Swamy Ashramam in Mylapore, and a visit to Sri Rangapriya Swamy in
Bangalore.  I could not make it to (previously planned places such
as)Srirangam, Parakalamutt and Melkote this time, since I got sick.

I feel that keeping in touch with our acharyas is so important that it
cannot be stressed enough. I think if any one of us meets our acharyas we
should share our experiences and teachings given to us. In the next few
postings I will share my experiences and thoughts.

A day in the life of an Acharya :  

It was about 5AM in Nanganallur on 26th of Dec 1996. I took an auto early
and was ready to see the aradhanam at Ahobilamuth from the beginning. The
aradhanam had already begun and well underway. I was told that our jeer gets
up at 3AM everyday (absolutely no exceptions).  HH. Jeer is 65+ years and I
cannot imagine his tenacity and regularity in doing kainkaryam to Lord
Malola Narasimha.  So many paricharakas help him but he is the one who can
really do the kainkaryam.  I have taken pictures of this puja. I really wish
I could put them on the AhobilaMuth Web page. If someone can help, I really
appreciate that. I will have to somehow do it anyway, since Acharya
specifically asked me to do so.

It was about 8AM  when the puja was coming to an end. During the puja, I was
transformed by the devotion and steadfastness by which the puja is done. The
vigrahas are gorgeous. I have taken a picture of all the archa murthy's and
Saligramas.  Since I also perform "Aradhana" most of the days, I can
understand the thrill one can get by doing such puja.  I have not even been
given proper upadesham of "bhuta suddhi kramas" - special processes in Puja,
but still manage to do a puja (reduced version) and get a rich and rewarding
experience for just that. How will it feel for an acharya - who has written
a big book on "Ahnika Grantha", to perform a puja, knowing and feeling every
word of the puja process!. There is no comparison regarding experience. The
important point is the mental training, shastraic backround and pure life,
acharyas have lead in their purva ashramas, which give them the divine
experience while they do puja to the one and only Malola Narasimha. Just the
sight of the vishwaroopa puja was enough for a poor soul like me!

About a good 1000 to 2000 people show up at Ahobila muth many days of the
week. I hardly can imagine how so many turn up on weekdays. Every one gets
shatari and akshata from Acharya, in addition to a sumptious meal
(prasadam). I just dont know how they manage all that. Feeding so many
bhagawathas itself should be pretty expensive undertaking.

I had a good talk with Azhagiasingar, Andavan Swamy and Rangapriya Swamy. In
the next few mails I will try to summarize the messages of these acharyas. 

Krishna Kalale
619-658-5612 (phone)
619-658-2115 (fax)