Faith

Acharyas show the path

We keep hearing that one should not fill one’s mind with unnecessary thoughts, but should think only of God. But we do not know how to meditate on God. We need guidance to keep away from the wrong path, and it is an Acharya, who shows us the path we have to take to attain moksha. A good Acharya is one who not only has jnana, but also observes all the prescribed anushtanas. We must go to such an Acharya, said Kidambi Narayanan in a discourse. Otherwise our minds will keep wandering, never dwelling on anything for long.

A cow grazing on the banks of the Cauvery sees a patch of grass some distance away, and wanders to that place. It then sees another patch of grass somewhere else, and goes there. In the same way, the human mind jumps from one thing to another. That is why we need the guiding hand of an Acharya. Pillai Lokacharya, in his Srivachana Bhushanam, gives the example of a thirsty man, to emphasise the importance of guidance from an Acharya. The thirsty man approaches another with a request for some water to quench his thirst. The man says, “Dig up to hundred feet. You are sure to find water.” Another says, “Go to the milky ocean on which Vishnu reclines.” Yet another says, “Now we are in the midst of summer. Wait for three more months. The monsoon rains will begin, and then you will have plenty of water to drink.” Finally one man gives a sensible reply. He says, “In a pool on the banks of the Cauvery, there is water.”

Only the reply of the last man was useful to the thirsty man. Likewise, only a good Acharya can lead us to Bhagavan. Samsara is like a desert. To escape, a man must approach God, as the thirsty man went to pool. The Acharya is like the man who showed the way to the pool.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 8:03:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/acharyas-show-the-path/article33233582.ece

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