Though Rama grows under the tutelage of Vasishta, He also had the good fortune to be guided by Vishwamitra. Vishwamitra’s greatness as a king and sage is well known. Endowed with sharp intellect and known for his valour and dharma, this austere rishi is a skilled archer as well.

As a young boy, when Rama accompanies Vishwamitra to the forest to protect his yagna, the sage taught Rama and Lakshmana the powerful mantras Bala and Atibala, and initiated them into the finer aspects of archery. Vishwamitra narrates his antecedents to Rama, because it is an acharya’s duty to impart the information about the guru who taught him, and of his predecessors in the tradition of Guru Parampara, pointed out Aasuri Sri Madhavachariar in a lecture. Only then the sishya will be aware of each acharya’s individual excellence and of the value of austerities and righteous living in the path of spiritual enlightenment.

All systems of Vedanta — Dvaita, Advaita or Visishtadvaita — honour Guru Parampara. The tradition is to venerate the acharya who imparts the Brahma Vidya and from him the line of preceptors is traced upwards to the Supreme Brahman. The Lord is revered as Adi Guru because He gave the Vedas to Brahma and also enlightened him about them.

The Upanishads are eternal and it is only through the grace of good acharyas that one is able to gain access to them. Such preceptors will explain the eternal truths in a convincing way and that is how the Upanishads have been protected from the onslaughts of misinterpretations.

An acharya’s effulgence that reflects his enlightened state dispels the darkness of ignorance in the sishyas and a good disciple always remains grateful to his preceptor for this grace.

Time and again the Lord incarnates to protect the dharma which is the basis of the entire creation and to teach us the way to salvation.

To this end He inspires excellent acharyas and equally dedicated sishyas through whom the tradition continues in an unbroken manner.

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