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Re: Mani Varadarajan's comments

From: Badrinarayanan Seshadri (
Date: Tue Oct 03 1995 - 08:45:24 PDT wrote:

* *  Regarding assumptions made while quoting Acharyas.  For a
* Mumukshu (seeker of salvation) questioning an Acharya's statement can only
* be with the understanding that the Acharya is self realized and that the
* questions are directed towards removing existing dvandva in the Mumukshu's
* mind which have been caused by previous sins.  Questions that by their
* very nature question the motives and integrity of an Acharya does not help
* a Mumukshu in his/her quest for salvation.
* *  As long as we think that the Acharya is just a mere human subject to
* the same fallacies as we are, we will only be like a plane on a taxiway in
* Laguardia airport in the middle of a thunderstorm.  There will be no
* possibility of takeoff.  We should look upon our Acharya at least as
* representing God's instructions and respect the positions of other
* Acharyas.  This becomes easy to understand if we accept the fact that the
* only one rule common to all Jivatmas is we should do whatever the Single
* Almighty God wants us to do.  

<rest deleted>

What I am going to say here may not be acceptable to many.
Elevating the status of the guru/acharya to that of God is
not right. Show me one quote from shruti which says that.
Likewise, equating all acharyas to, say, Sri Ramanuja is not
acceptable to me. It is downright insulting.

I have had the (mis)fortune of seeing Srimad azhagiya singar,
the predecessor of the current one (sorry, don't remember the
number etc.) in his full fury, blasting an innocent devotee
with choice abuses.

This was in Sri Rangam, when I had gone to his ashram at
about 3:00 p.m. on a hot summer day. I had been reasonably
trained in the protocols to be employed but such was not the
case with an young man who was waiting there to see this
godman. This young man was about 25 years old, a native of
Sri Rangam, but had gone to settle down in Bombay as a small
child, and had completely lost his roots.

He had come back to Sri Rangam to rediscover his roots and
perhaps his religion too but little did he expect that he was
in for a rude shock. Sri azhagiya singar woke up and his
assistant let the two of us in. This young man fell at
azhagiya singar's feet and lo and behold, touched his feet -
apparently a sin! That was it! azhagiya singar jumped from
his seat (at that old age of 80+, I guess) and said certain
things which could be roughly translated as

"%$$%$%^*( ^*&^#$&**(& *(&(&*(, he touched me &*^*&(()"

It reminded me of

"angaN NYaalam ancha" of thirumangai aazhvaar except that
this young man was no demon and azhagiya singar was no

That very moment, he was no more my acharya.

A man, who can not control his anger is not fit to be my
acharya. A man who drove away an innocent devotee rather than
leading him to the right path is not fit to carry the mantle
of Sri Ramanuja.

Unless I see some extraordinary qualities in someone, I will
not consider him as my acharya. Sri Ramanuja will be my
acharya. If for my "blasphemy" I will have to rot in hell, so
be it. I would rather enjoy that.


Graduate Student
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Cornell University