Faith

Essence of Acharya bhakti

It is held that during his last days, Ramanuja had advised his disciples that even if he was not with them, they should engage in debates and discussions on his works. This kind of preoccupation with Vedanta sastra that makes us ponder over the eternal relationship of the jivatma with the Lord alone can give relief from the sorrows of samsara, pointed out Sri Asuri Madhavachariar in a discourse. Vedanta Desika points out that it is the prime duty of each one to often contemplate on the life and teachings of the azhwars and acharyas who constitute the illustrious guru parampara of the Vaishnava tradition. They are held to be the representatives of the Lord as they have grasped the inner essence of the sastras and are gifted to explain the same in simpler terms.

For instance, Madhurakavi Azhwar seeks Nammazhwar as his acharya in preference to Krishna. He feels that the esoteric truths in the scriptures are very clear in the pasurams of Nammazhwar. Azhwar’s poetry flows with ease and grace even as the deep eternal truths are unfolded in simple Tamil language. The Vedas that are difficult to understand are now accessible to a wide range of people from all walks of life. It is held that Ramanuja’s in-depth involvement with Nammazhwar’s pasurams gave him the clarity of thought and conviction to interpret many cryptic Upanishad statements that were difficult to decipher when he was engaged in writing his brilliant Sri Bashya and other works.

In the Gita, Krishna speaks highly of acharya bhakti when He clearly states that it is not easy to imbibe the teachings of the Upanishads as an inner experience. One needs to seek a preceptor who is knowledgeable and who can explain these lucidly leaving no room for any doubt. Faith in the teachings of the acharya along with the spirit of humility is the essence of acharya bhakti.


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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 12:39:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/essence-of-acharya-bhakti/article34574147.ece

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