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Swayam Acharyas

From: krish (krish_at_ew.lmms.lmco.com)
Date: Thu Oct 24 1996 - 04:50:52 PDT

It is interesting to note the discussion on swayam Acaryas. mr. Jagannath
traces it to certification by Ramanuja to hold the position of
Acharya.  Mrs. Satyam comment on the sexual aspect of it is
worth noting. 
I feel the word "Swayam" means self, or by one's own boots-strap. 
At least in Triplicane, I was brought up to disregard the
Matathipathi's rights over the rituals. My uncle, who was in
the vedha-ghosti in Ramar Koil at Cantonment, Bangalore 
did the samshrayanam for my siste-in-law for qualifying her
cooking to be acceptable. He was chosen since he was the oldest
member of the family. Some of our other relatives did get it
done in the matams. 
My querry would be whether it did mean a rejection of
the Matams and its oligopaly over religious rites.
This does not in anyway reflect disrespect for the Acaryas.
I think the mentorship and its acceptance has a great role
in the progress of one either in his career or his religious
awakening. In many ways it is far easier and more fruitful. 
Egoism in some might have lead to the Swayam-acharya trend.
You see it in other aspects of life around us, the rejection of
pronounced authority. Swayam-acharya families pass it on to the
family!
Krishna Praba