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Re: neo-Sadhus

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Jul 04 2001 - 06:39:35 PDT

Dear Sri Mani Varadarajan :

After a great deal of sorrow & anguish arising from 
Your recent note on "neo-Saadhus" that included
passages from Sankalpa SooryOdhayam to develop
Your untenable position , I am writing to you 
to stay away from the temptation of penning such
misleading notes as responses . I do not relish 
public display of emotions. When one's AchAryan
is attacked however , one does not have much of 
a choice.Your AchAryan will take the same position , 
when it comes to putting up with AchArya Nindhanai
intended or otherwise. 

Here are the points:
At 08:43 PM 7/2/01 -0700, you wrote:

>Second, the acharya or guru should exhibit true and
>consistent values, as the messages of Sri Madhavakkannan
>and Sri Sadagopan Maama have demonstrated. I would like
>to build upon their contribution.

What I commented on , has no bearing on the points that 
You are developing below. You are giving an unfortunately
distorted and almost malicious account of some of 
the present day AchAryAs of Sri VaishNavite SampradhAyam 
in general and my AchAryan in particular . Your comments 
are distasteful to say the least and does not sit well
with many people , who have called me and expressed
their anger . I would like to distance myself 
from your remarks on how to calibrate an AchAryan ,
since I do not agree with them.I would rather celebrate 
MY ACHAARYAN  with all "emotions" rather than 
calibrate Him . He is nadamAdum dhaivam for me
AND ALL HIS SISHYA KOTIS . Please do not enter 
into these areas with impunity.  
Your quotation of Swamy Desikan's Sri Sookthi passage
from Sankalpa SuryOdhayam is not at all relevant and
is most unfortunate . You are mouthing the quotation
of another curent day AchAryan . I am not happy over 
your remarks.

FYI , a SadAchAryans does not "chase after money " for their
personal gratification or advancemnet . They are not like 
the different Maharishis who have a staple of Rolls Royce 
and travel first class and have their headquarters 
in Cozy Swizerland . They are not like the members of 
the pop musical groups , who go to air conditioned
villas of "neo-sadhus" in HimAlayAs to cram
in one week the intricacies of raaja yOgam 
and return "fulfilled" . A sadAchAryan has 
devoted years of his life under another SadAchAryan 
studying SaasthrAs and practises rigorous 
anushtAnam and instructs others on the lofty
standards that he has inherited .They spurn
wealth for its own sake. They deflect the samarpaNams
for Bhagaavth-BhAgavatha, Grantha-nirmANa ,
Vedha PaatasAlA , anna dhAnam and other
adhyAthmic kaimkaryams . 

At an advanced age , my own revered AchAryan 
puts up with an immoral government stealing the
lands donated for Bhagavath kaimkaryam ; Inspite of 
His physical fraility , demanding anushtAnam ,
He travels  tirelessly from village to village
throughout  the entire length of Bhaaratha Desam 
as commanded by Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan some six hundred
years ago.He has no choice. He has immense responsibilities
as the head of a Matam with 12 devasthAnams and 50
branches and hosts of kainkarya parALs , who depend
on Him for their livelihood. Sitting here and making
frivolous coments is repugnant to me.Few matAdhipathis
have similar awesome rsponsibilities that my AchAryan has .  

It is not fair to judge them without any understanding
of their complex responsibilities. This is not a subject
for Bhakthi List . We can certainly talk about 
the qualifications of a SadAchAryan but not in this 
casual , cavalier and insensitive manner. 

>You wrote further:

>In my opinion one of the chief means of distinguishing 
>a true guru from one who is not is how much they chase
>after money, either directly or indirectly.  We find
>so many people who are in the position of acharya/guru
>these days who ask for money every chance they get. Often,
>followers rationalize that because the omniscient guru
>simply *must* have some noble purpose in mind, everything
>is okay.

>In this regard, we may heed Swami Desika's words of seven
>centuries ago, which ring remarkably prophetic:
>     Alas! Observe the "renunciation" of the kali-yuga sannyasis 
>     who bear the saffron robes and holy staff in name only:
>        "For bhiksha, and for taking care of my disciples,", they say;
>        "Merely for my robes, and for erecting a permanent roof over my
>          monastery," they say;
>        "To pay for the purchase of books," they say;
>        though sannyasis, they are possessed by their desire 
>        for money.
>Now Swami Desika would be the first to argue that guru-dakshiNa
>is of vital importance and that one should give to one's guru
>as much as possible; for no payment can be equal the value of
>a guru-sishya relationship. But the question is -- does the guru 
>himself demand money early and often? If so, watch out.

These words are like NaarAsam for my ears and 
that of all fellow sishyAs of our matam. We can not
accept any innuendo directed at our AchAryan , whose
Vaathsalyam and MahOpakAram is limitless. Please cease
and desist from such poor remarks , which are totally

Please desubscribe me form the Bhakthi List , if
you feel that my remarks are not just. 

July 4, 2001.

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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