Faith

Useful exchanges

We have a tradition of revering Acharyas who have an abundance of knowledge. In fact, a sishya will not ask his Acharya any question, for he knows that if something is ambiguous, his Acharya will give him clarifications. And yet, there have been occasions when sishyas have asked their Acharyas questions. Their Acharyas too have been magnanimous enough to answer them. These fruitful exchanges between teacher and taught have been useful to later generations of devotees in understanding many things, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi in a discourse.

Nanjeeyar used to ask his Acharya Parasara Bhatta questions which the latter answered patiently. One day Nanjeeyar asked Bhatta why the Sastras forbid the offering of Kantakari flowers to Vishnu. Bhatta replied that the Kantakari plant has plenty of thorns, and the Lord is concerned that His devotees, while plucking the flowers, will hurt themselves. The ban on this flower is not because it is unacceptable to Him. It is His concern for His bhakthas that is responsible for the ban on the Kantakari flowers. If Nanjeeyar had not asked his Acharya the question about these flowers, we would not have known why they are not used in worship.

During Ramanujacharya’s discourses on Gadya Traya, his disciple Embar asked him how the Lord could have spoken to him. Embar had no doubts that the Lord would have spoken to Ramanuja. His question was in case future generations had any doubts on this score. Ramanuja gave him a crisp reply. He said that he would not say anything that the Lord had not told him. Whatever he said came from the Lord Himself. Thus we have Ramanujacharya’s assurance on the source of his teachings. They come directly from the Supreme One.


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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 4:17:35 am | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/useful-exchanges/article65579244.ece