You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : October 1995

Re: acharyas

From: Srini Kuthalam (
Date: Tue Oct 03 1995 - 20:00:12 PDT

On following the thread on respect for the acharya etc. I feel compelled to
make the following points:

I do not think it is wrong to inquire humbly from learned acharyas. However, 
asking questions to either discomfit them or in order to demonstrate learning
is not appropriate.

Here is one translation from Sri Ramanuja's Gita Bhashya (Verse 4:34) that I 
have come across:

......So engaged in appropriate actions, you can learn, according to the 
of your competence, this wisdom from the wise, who will explain it to you, 
if you
attend on them through prostrating and questioning and by serving them. The
wise are those who have immediate apprehension (or vision) of the true nature
of the self. Having been honored by you through prostration (etc) and observing
your mental disposition characterized by desire for knowledge which you have
evinced by your questions, they will teach you this knowledge.

I have also known a person who was chastised by Azhagiya Shingar for getting
too close to him during the performance of Samasrayanam. The person accepted 
this thinking it was justified because he was indeed not worthy. That
very afternoon on going back to meet the Jeer, he got the privilege of close 
association with the Jeer. The persons understanding of these two incidents 
was that Lord Narayana had tested the strength of his desire on his first visit.

Of course, time and again I have been reminded of how difficult a virtue 
is, to practice :)

srini kuthalam