Faith

Seeking Acharya’s help to attain liberation

We are helpless in the matter of resisting the pulls of worldly life and it is not easy for us to take any of the prescribed paths that will eventually lead us to liberation from the cycle of births and deaths, said Kidambi Narayanan in a discourse.

Vedanta Desika, in his Rahasyatraya Sara, says that we are akin to a worm on a hill that wants to cross over to another hill some distance away.

Now to do this, the worm will have to climb down one hill and then slowly make its way to the foot of the other hill and then climb again. Given a worm’s lifespan, it is certainly not going to be able to accomplish this in one birth.

Now imagine a worm in such a predicament. A lion happens to come to the hill, where the worm resides. The worm climbs on to the back of the lion.

The lion then moves to the opposite hill and, once there, it shakes its mane and the worm falls off. Now without any effort on its part, the worm has moved to the hill it wanted to reach.

Likewise is the position of the man who has sought the help of Ramanujacharya to attain moksha. He cannot do it through his own efforts. But once he casts the burden onto the shoulders of the Acharya, he easily attains moksha because it is the Acharya who sees him through.

That is why karpanya, that is one’s complete helplessness in the matter of redemption, is stressed in Visishtadvaita. Keeping in mind our weaknesses, we should seek the help of an Acharya to attain liberation.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 1:45:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/Seeking-Acharya%E2%80%99s-help-to-attain-liberation/article16442899.ece

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