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"Neo-Sadhus"

From: Ram Anbil (Ramanbil_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Jul 05 2001 - 17:03:28 PDT

Dear friends:
I hasten to clear some confusion which my posting on "Neo-Sadhus" seems to have created in the minds of a few Sishyas of Ahobila Matam.
At the outset, I wish to point out that this discussion is all about "Neo-Sadhus" about whom our Sri Sadagopan Swami has described so effectively in his rejoinder to Sri Mani.  
I did not see any hidden agenda against our Acharyas in Sri Mani's posting. If this has appeared so to you or anyone else, I am sorry for an unintended wrong impression. IF, and there is a big IF there, IF his remarks were directed against any of our Acharyas, I would be the first person to emphatically disassociate myself from such opinions and join Sri Sadagopan in his rejoinder.
The whole write- up on "Oh! My God!" series (from which the excerpts was taken and presented) is to highlight how to avoid the numerous psuedo neo-Sadhus who strut about the world calling themselves Gurus and Paramagurus, Acharyas and Paramacharyas, misrepresenting and distorting Sastras and who have nothing but the sole intention of making money for themselves

Our Acharyas DO NOT belong to this category of "Neo-Sadhus". They are "Muktajivas" (not Jeevan muktas!) who having reached Paramapadam and have come back to us only to take us to our permanent abode of Srivaikuntam.  
In this connection, I would like to reproduce an excerpt from my book "Hinduism Rediscovered". After discussing how Nityas and Muktas will have no occasion to return to earth except for carrying out Lord’s Sankalpam ,  
I have observed-
" When he (nitya or mukta) incarnates he will retain his Sudda Satva quality. During such descents, his being, his knowledge and his bliss never get contracted because he is 'on deputation' by God's will. For this reason, he can do nothing contrary to Bhagavamn's Sankalpam. Therefore, results of his deeds done during such sojourn in terrestrial life do not affect him at all because everything is done in dedication to Bhagavan. Great spiritual Acharyas who lead the lay folk on the right path are, therefore, considered as such incarnations and should not be viewed as ordinary human beings. They are the ' alter ego' of the Lord himself and deserve respect and devotion as shown to the Lord.
The great Azhwars and the Prakritam Acharyas like the H.H.Jeeyar of Ahobila mutt, H.H. Paundarikapuam Srimad Andavan, H.H. Srirangam Srimad Andavan of Periyashramam, H.H. Sri Parakala Matam Jeeyar, H.H. Sri Rangapriya Yathi and many such others who are luckily with us right now belong to this category"  
(Please note the words "and many such others belong to this category". I have mentioned the above Acharyas only because I happen to know them intimately and not because others of Sri Ramanuja Sampradayam are not of this category. The only reason for not mentioning others is that I do not have personal contact with them)
My posting has nothing to do with our own Acharyas who are the real ones guiding us through. My reverence to other Acharyas of our Bhagavad Ramanuja Sampradayam (Mutts and Ashramams) is never the less than that for my own Acharya Sri H.H. Poundarikapuram Andavan Swami.  
In fact, H.H. Azhagiyasingar and H.H Poundarikapuram Andavan are like my two eyes, one in having educated me extensively on Grantha Chatushtayams and the other in performing my Bharanyasam and I am deeply indebted to them both. I would not even imagine doing any apachaaram to them or to other Acharyas of our Sampradayam.
I have already made this clear in my series on our Azhagiyasinghar published on the net in connection with the 6ooth Anniversary of Ahobila Mutt and now being serialized in Nrisimhapriya of Hyderabad. I give below an excerpt from this for your information:
" WHAT AN ACHARYA !
·If one needs to know how an ideal Acharya would be , one needs to look at our Acharya. He is a *living example of the ideal Acharya* as defined in Nyasa Vimsati and Acharyakritya Adhikaram of Swami Desikan.
In a sense, our Swami is greater than Bhagavan himself. Do you know why? Bhagavan knows both Anugraham (Reward) and Nigraham (Punishment). But, our Acharya (like Thaayaar) is "Agnaatha Nigraha". Like Koorathalwan who recommended Moksham for Naaloor Aachan though the latter was responsible for the loss of his eyesight, our Swami knows only Anugraham.
What qualities differentiate an Acharya from the rest? They are Gnaanam + Aachaaram + Anushtanam  + Bhakti + Vairaghyam. *Our Swami is a personification of all these and more*.
Our Swami is special in another sense viz., He takes the 8 lettered Ashtakshara name of Narayana as the 8th Acharya out of the 45 pontiffs adorning the Peetam of Azhagiyasinghars so far.  
*He is Lord Narayana Himself*"

Regarding collection of moneys, it is reprehensible, if sought for lining one’s own pockets as is done by the "Neo-Sadhus" but it is totally different when it is for genuine Kainkaryams to Bhagavan and Bhagavatas., like the monumental Rajagopuram at Srirangam, running Schools, Annadanam, publishing books and numerous other projects undertaken by all our Acharyas.
AS WE ALL KNOW, if our Acharyas call for donations, it is for various such Kainkaryams they have undertaken for Perumal and there can be no doubt or exception to this.  
AS WE ALL ALSO KNOW, their inimitable rectitude in administering the funds for the Kainkaryams for which they were intended. Therefore, it is our duty to stand by them at all times. Even if they do not ask for or expect, it is our duty to provide funds for the causes dear to them.
I have addressed the very same issue and present below excerpts from the same series on "Prakritam Azhagiyasinghar" as follows:
"CAN A YATHI BE INTERESTED IN MONEY / WEALTH?
No. Why Yathi alone? None should be. Of course, more so in the case of a Sannyasi. It is not the acquisition itself but the way it is earned and more importantly how it is expended that makes or mars the exercise. Sastras permit both acquisition and expending, if they are done on dharmic lines. This is especially so in the case of a Rajarishi who has to administer a veritable empire.  
Mahakavi Kalidasa glorifies King Dileepan as a just and fair ruler because like the Sun, which absorbs water from the ocean and showers on parched earth, he levied taxes from 'each according to his capacity' and distributed the wealth to 'each according to his needs'. Similarly, our Swami raises funds from those who can afford and spends on Narasimha Aradhana, Maintenance of Parijanas, Tadheeya Aradhanas, Development of Veda Patasalas, Celebration of the Tirunakshatrams of Alwars and Acharyas, Conduct of Utsavams, Renovation of Temples and Matam premises for the benefit of Sevaarthis and helping those in dire distress who come to him for help - both spiritual and material and in general welfare of the community"
This is true of every one of our Acharyas of Sri Ramanuja Sampradayam, so far as my knowledge goes.
I have been receiving a large number of appeals for funds from various organizations and individulas in India for some kainkaryam or other. I used to direct them to approach our Acharyas who are deeply interested in these kainkaryams and who can be trusted to monitor the execution with utmost rectitude.
If one had followed these postings carefully, one would not rush to  any hasty and wrong interpretations.  

The excerpts have to be read with reference to the context of someone asking for guidelines in locating a proper Acharya. Sri Sadagopan, Sri Madhavakannan and Sri Mani have answered precisely with reference to this context. I have also tried to do this only.

All that I did was to act in consonance with "Gurum Prakaasayeth Dheemaan" as done by Sri Sadagopan in his note about his Bharasamarpanam Acharya, The second excerpt was, in fact, from my tribute for H.H.Poundarikapuram Andavan (my Bharasamarpanam Acharya) on the occasion of his Sathabishekam, *and NOT meant as adverse comment on other Acharyas*.

Hope you will understand my posting in the proper context and perspective and clear any misapprehensions in your mind in this regard.
Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy Get more from the Web.  FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com


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