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Re: neo-sadhus
Date: Thu Jun 28 2001 - 17:00:00 PDT

Dear Sri Pradeep,

You wrote:

It is my opinion that "Guru" :
1) is NOT a Profession -> like I was a lawyer/doctor/engineer and now
I am a guru from tomorrow and get paid for my services / discourses/

2) is NOT a Post -> like I was a vice-chancellor and now I became a
Chancellor by some process say experience or recommendation,
seniority whatever.

To me it seems logical that "Guru" is a state that someone attains to
by the grace of god and is sent by God and is God himself in a human
form. Please correct my views if I am wrong.

But when such glory is to be attributed to a does one
distinguish the true one from the rest.

Its a thought that I have been having and request opinions & feedback
from the other Bhagavathas of the group who might from their
experience and knowledge can shed some light on this for the benefit
of those who are in search of a true Guru for spiritual guidance.

-- pradeep
Gu+ru- one who dispells darkness; ignorance.

Swamy Desikan describes the greatest qualities of AchArya in nyAsavimsati
slOkA 1:

1.Sound philosophical jnAnam obtained (learnt) through the greatest lineage
of his AchAryAs
2.Having an undisputed clear knowledge on sAsthrAs;
3.Free from any sins and attachments;
4.Complete knowledge of Vedas, its subsidiaries and ithihAsAs
5.Deep unshakable faith in Brahman (Almighty- unsurpassed unparalleled
Sriya: Pathi Sriman Narayanan)
6.possesses sAtvic guNA;
7.Always speaks truth
8.lives in accordance with the manner laid down in sAsthrAs; from jealousy, show etc..
10. having control over sense organs
11.friendly and affectionate towards all;
12.Compassionate towards all;
13.helps the disciples who err, correct them and make them follow right
track as laid down in sAsthrAs
14.wishes for everyones welfare at all times.

The greatness of our Srivaishnavam is that we not only show respect and pay
obeisance to our prakritam (present) AchArya, also to the entire lineage of
AchAryas, right upto the Lord. The thaniyan (dedicatory verse) of our
AchArya and thaose of his predecessors, are to be recited by every
srivaishnava. It is not only in paying respect to the glory of these
AchAryAs, also to show our gratitude for what GREAT service rendered by
to our srivaishnava sampradAyam, by way of disseminating through granthas
and kAlakshEbams.

Swamy Desikan describes this very movingly:

yERRi manatthu yezhil jnAna viLakkai iruLanaitthum-
mARRinavarkku oru kaimmARu mAyanum kANagillAn
pORRiugappathum pundhiyiR koLvadhum, pongupugazh-
sARRivaLarppathum saRRallavOmunnam peRRadhaRkkE.

To the One who has lit the lamp of jnAnam (knowledge) (in us) and dispelled
the darkness from our minds, there is nothing (no way ) even the Lord can
to repay (for what the AChArya has done). Praising such AchAryan and
about his greatness to others, spreading his name, glories, continuously
will be like an infinitesimal portion for what He has done. (saRRu - iota)
(since it is only so small, why should I do? should not be our comment

Sri maNavALa mAmunigaL in his upadEsaratthinamAlai says

"jnAnam anuttAnam ivai nanRAgavE udaiya
nAna, guruvai adaindhakkAl - mAnilatthIr!
thEnAr kamalatth thirumAmagaL kozhunan
thAnE vaikuntham tharum."

When one takes refuge at an AchAryan (Guru), who is the great
personification of jnAnam and anshtAnam, oh folks! the Lord Sriya: Pathi
Sriman Narayanan will grant mOksham.

He also stresses that if one wishes to get saved, place your mind (and
yourself) at the feet of your AchAryan.

Swamy Vedanta Desikan concludes the Nyasa vimsati with a gist of how he was
led to
prapatti, and how he lives his life as a prapanna after performing
This concluding Slokam is included as part of the nitya-anushandhAnam at
end of the nyAsa daSakam which is recited during the nitya

samSArAvarta vega praSamana Subha-dr*k deSika prekshito'ham
samtyakto'nyairupAyair-anucita cariteshvadya SAntAbhisabshih     |
niS-Sankhah tatvat-dr*shtyA niravadhika dayam prArthya samrakshakam
tvAm nysya tat-pAda padme varada nija-bharam nir-bharo nir-bhayo'smi  ||

"I chose a good AcArya who could instruct me on how to get out of the whirl
of samsAra, and had his divya kaTAksha.  Because of the AcArya's teachings,
I obtained the knowledge that could help me analyze and understand the
difficulty of bhakti yoga and the realization that prapatti is the only
recourse open to me, which I could perform easily, and attain the desired
moksham by performing it once and only once.  I learnt the facts about
prapatti and so had no doubt whatsoever about its efficacy.  I sought
of peraruLALan with pirATTi as the sole refuge who could protect me.  I
surrendered all responsibility for my protection at the feet of peraruLALan
and performed prapatti at His feet.  Since I am now living the life of a
prapanna, I feel completely relieved of all responsibility for my self from
that point.  Since all my acts from that point on have been directed to
kaimkaryam for bhagavAn, there is nothing more to fear about any
accumulation of karma.  So I continue to lead a life of nishkAmya
to bhagavAn while spending the rest of my life in this world, and deriving
infinite happiness from it".

Trust it answers your queryas to how and where to find the Acharya (Guru)..
what are his qualities..
Narayana Narayana
adiyEn Narayana dAsan madhavakkannan

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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