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Re: Mani Varadarajan's comments

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani)
Date: Tue Oct 03 1995 - 11:24:05 PDT

I would like to clarify the purpose of this mailing list.
It is not merely for repeating the statements of previous
teachers or simply extolling the virtues of one saint or
another.  Rather, I have always planned that this mailing
list will help in the process of religious and philosophical
inquiry, particularly when it comes to personal devotions.

Now, I do understand that respect and bhakti to acharyas 
is a fundamental part of many Sri Vaishnavas' personal
devotions, and I do not mean to dissuade them from this.
However, it must be understood as to who a true acharya
is.  Badri's comments are most apropos in this respect.
An Acharya is worthy of respect primarily by setting 
the right example for his or her sishyas.  Sri Pillai
Lokacharya and Sri Vedanta Desika explain in detail the
qualities of a true acharya, emphasizing calmness, devotion,
and kindness as the principal attributes -- but never 
do they *equate* the random acharya with the Paramaatma,
or even an Azhvaar.

So, I don't think that Krish's statements were meant
to insult the Azhagiya Singar.  He was just writing his
opinions, though perhaps he was a bit carefree in his usage
of words. That in and of itself is not a sin. I don't think
it anything to get too bothered about. In addition, if Krish
had never spoken up, this topic of who is a real acharya
would not have come up.

I believe this topic is seriously worth discussing.

Krish writes:
* Badri's comments are interesting. When I look at the enormous output
* on Sri Vaishanvism, the commonality is BELIEF. There is no rational 
* explanantion, and many of us work in fileds where proof is arequisite.

I think you are mistaken here. There are many Sri Vaishnavas
who do not know the innards of the system, and rely on pure
belief. Not everyone can be experts in philosophy. However,
even a skim of the Ramanuja's Sribhashya should convince one
of the intellectual and rational depth of the man.  Azhvaar
says, ``Don't accept it just because I say it; think about
it deeply, and you too will realize that Narayana is all this.''

Mani