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some teachings of svami manavala mamuni
Date: Sun Oct 28 2001 - 08:07:49 PST

srImathE saTakOpAya namah
srImathE rAmAnujAya namah
srImathE anantArya mahAguravE namah
srImathE vara vara munayE namah

dear bhagavathas,

i would like to paraphrase a few incidents in svami's
life that are so filled with teachings for the rest of
us -

There were two srivaishnavas that were known to svami.
They were learned in the teachings of azhvar acharyas,
but they had not gotten rid of their ego (ahambavam).
One day, they were arguing with each other, and their
arguments were filled with ego. Svami happened to pass

by that way. Two dogs happened to be barking at each 
other. svami, wanted to point out the mistake of 
the srivaishnavas, but did not desire to confront 
them directly and give them the lesson. Instead, he 
turned towards the dogs, and said "Are you two also 
learned in srivacanabhooshanam, as these two
that you are arguing with each other with such ego" -
On hearing this, the srivaishnavas understood their
mistake, and it is said that they changed their
ways. This incident in instructive not just in
to us, but also instructive of the character and grace
of svami - he did not want to hurt even the people
that deserve some lessons.

One day, a vaishnava from the north came to svami and
requested him thus - "Please teach me the essence of
all the sastras and rahasyas, something that i can
follow". svami replied thus - "For the person that 
knows that the ultimate goal is the kainkaryam 
towards perumal, just surrendering to the Lord is
not the goal; following the sastras and performing
aradhana to the Lord is not the goal; just being
the complete devotee of the acharya is not enough;
being respectful towards other devotess is not
ehough; what is needed is for the person to be
such that all the devotees of the Lord can come
to his house without any hesitation, and command 
him to do whatever service he can do for them, and
for this person to be in the state where the devotees
of the Lord can even sell him if they desire so" -
further, he says "If someone who is so, all the
anushtanam and the knowledge of the sastras and
the teachings of acharyas and azhvars will come
automatically. For someone who allows him to be
a tool of service for other devotees, there is no
compusion for him to know about the sastras and
the deep meanings of them" - He adds "anushtanam
and knowledge of the sastras without following
the above is like the teaching of pativrata dharma
by a prostitute, and will go waste"!

What a lesson by the greatest AchArya for all of
us! - Many of us certainly do cheat ourselves and
everyone by saying the right thing "adiyen,
adiyen ramanuja dasan, adiyen places my humble
self in service to you" etc.., but how many of us
really have the bhAvam that svami manavala mamuni

Another incident - There was a srivaishnava called
bhattar perumal that had the position of an acharya
in those days. But many of his sishyas did not
prostrate before him, and he was disturbed by it.
Feeling that it was disrepect for him, he went 
to svami manavala mamunigal and told him about his
concern.  svami, when he returned to his matam,
invited the sishyas of bhattar perumal and asked
them why they were doing so. The sishyas replied 
that they did not have the mind to surrender to
bhattar perumal, implying that they were not
satisfied with their teacher. svami manavala mamuni
told them - "Think that it is perumal and thayar,
sitting in the divya simhasanam before you, and
you prostrate before bhattar perumal" - We can
see the kindness that svami had even for people
that had drawbacks.

I will continue in the next post..

azhvar emperumanar jiyar thiruvadigale saranam,
adiyen madhurakavi dasan,

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