Seeing the Acharya as Bhagavan’s Avataram

Updated on October 20, 2020 in Acharyas
34 on October 10, 2020

Namaskaram Swami!

Sri Velukkudi Krishnan swami has said in one enpani audio that the acharya is considered as Bhagavan’s avataram. My question is, should the bhakta see the acharya who initiated him as Bhagavan’s avataram, or all acharyas of all sampradayas as Bhagavan’s avatarams? 

Please forgive adiyen’s ignorance…

 
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My understanding of this is as follows; (if others have answers directly heard from acharyas please do share).

While all elderly women are respected as mothers, one’s own mother is special.

While all acharyas have Perumal’s special empowerment to represent His karunai (in an amplified manner…. more than what one can access directly from Him), one’s own acharyan is very very special because he is the source of Perumal’s karunai for us.

adiyen dasan.

 

Thank you for expressing your thoughts swami. As you said let’s wait for few more thoughts by other bhaktas on this subject. Actually, there is a reason I asked this question, which will be revealed a little later, after some bhaktas share their thoughts.

adiyen.

on October 11, 2020

Srimate Ramanujaye Namaha,

Swamy, the intent of the question is not clear.

If it is in the matter of giving respect, all acharayas must be given high regard for their service in correcting our character and behavior. (Without empowerment of Lord , no one change anybody’s heart and character, so whoever is doing it to must be empowered, they may not be direct incarnation but shakti Avesha avatar, meaning Lord has invested them with powers)

If it is in the matter of asking for specific personal instructions/guidance for our personal lives, it is  best to stick to one’s own acharya ( when possible)  on how to handle our life so that it can be steered toward Perumaal safely, as he may know us better.

May be the context of the question can be explained in detail to understand better.

Dhanyosmi

Adiyen

 

 

 

Swami, I’ll put it this way.

What if the acharya does not accept Sriman Narayana as Paramatma? What if the acharya is not a Vaisnava, and says that every deity is one and the same(i.e., equal)? 

Should we consider him as Shaktyavesha avataram,

or just appreciate and respect his good qualities, but not consider him as an avataram?

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Sravan swamy (I am translating ‘hearer’ as ‘Sravan’ 🙂  )

namaskaram. So, your question is, the teachers of advaitam are also referred as ‘acharyas’. Are we to see them as personalities empowered by Perumal. Well, the fact is they are also empowered by Perumal to represent THAT philosophy and elevate the followers so that later in this life or atleast in one of the near future lives the followers can eventually turn towards Vaishnavam. In this sense we can acknowledge they are empowered personalities. 

At the same time, there are cheaters who claim themselves to be God by misusing their hard-gained sidhdhis. They are not to be regarded as Perumal’s empwerment. Although nobody can have any  power without Perumal’s approval, those who are ill-willfully misusing the power are not be accorded special respect.

adiyen dasan.

 

on October 12, 2020

Srimate Ramanujaye Namaha,

True.i agree with the above views..but it is a risky thing to find who is cheating and who is not..so best is to have respect from far away and if they are sanyaasis appreciate that as we are not..thats it..beyond that if we go too close it will complicate the situation..summary is have a neutral feeling of respect in such cases. No judgement or no worship but respect.( we are supposed to respect every living entity in relation to their being part and parcel of the Lord)
Adiyen

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Thank you very much swamis, for your views. Actually I asked this question, because I saw a few Vaishnavas, worship an Advaita Acharya( the name of whom I am not willing to post in this forum due to certain terms and conditions) as God, and I got confused…

Also I thank Kambandasan Swamy to name me as Sravan 🙂

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“Vaishnavas” be definition are those who have realised Lord Narayana as the Supreme most. If someone considers His subordinates as Supreme or equal to Him, they are not Vaishnavas. They may be born in a vaishnava-tradition family; but just the tradition does not make one a vaishnava. Whereas, someone born in a family with other belief system but has come to understand that Lord Narayana is the Supreme most, is indeed a vaishnava irrespective of family background or tradition.

adiyen dasan

Yes swami, you are correct
I have made a mistake, they might be of a Vaishnava tradition family.

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2 on October 12, 2020

Srimad Narayanaya Namaha.
Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha.

Namaskaram கம்பன்தாசன் swamy.

I believe Perumal is Bhagavan’s avataram. 

acharya is considered as Bhagavan’s avataramFrom Hearer Of Swami's Upanyasams

In this context,

If someone considers His subordinates as Supreme or equal to Him, they are not Vaishnavas. From கம்பன்தாசன்

Is this statement applicable universally to all?.

adiyen

ஜயராம் ஸ்வாமி, நமஸ்காரம். அடியேன் நுனிபுல் மேய்ந்து பெற்ற சிற்றறிவு அறிந்ததை இங்கு பகிர்கிறேன். தவறு இருப்பின் சான்றோர்கள் திருத்தும்மாறு பிரார்திக்கிறேன்.

in brief:

  1. The words Bhagavan and Perumal both refer to Sriman Narayana. So, it is not clear to me what you mean by ‘Perumal is Bhagavan’s avataram’.
  2. When acharyas are considered Bhagavan’s avataram, it is in the sense they represent the கருணை quality of Perumal in full. It is with the clear understanding that they are elevated Jeevatmas who have been empowered with such quality; they are not mistaken to be Pramatma; i.e. they are not mistaken to be equal to Perumal.

in detail:

சரணாகதி கத்யம் முதலாவது சூர்ணிகை, பிராட்டியை சரணம் புகுவதாக அமைந்திருக்கிறது:

பகவந் நாராயண அபிமத அநுமத அநுரூப ஸ்வரூப ரூப குணவிபவ

ஐஸ்வர்ய சீலாத்ய அநவதிக அஸங்க்யேய கல்யாணகுணகணாம்….

என்று தொடங்குகிறது.

ஸ்ரீ செண்பகாப பதிப்பகம் வெளியிட்டுள்ள “மகான் இராமானுசர் அருளிய கத்யத்ரயம் – எளிய விளக்க உரை” நூலில், பெரியவாச்சான் பிள்ளையின் கத்யத்திரய வ்யாக்யானத்தை பின்பற்றி உரை அருளியுள்ள உரை ஆசிரியர் உ வே சடகோப முத்து ஸ்ரீநிவாசன் ஸ்வாமி, இங்கு ‘பகவந்’ என்ற சொல்லுக்கு அருளியுள்ள பத உரை வருமாறு:

<‘பகவந்’ என்ற சொல்லாலே ‘தீக்குணங்களற்ற’ ஆறு குணங்களை உடைமை காட்டப்படுகிறது; ‘பகவந்’ என்ற சொல் ஞானம் (முற்றறிவு), சக்தி (திறன்), பலம் (வலிமை), ஐச்வர்யம் (செல்வம், உடைமை), வீர்யம் (நிலைகுலையாமை), தேஜஸ் (ஒளியுடைமை) என்ற ஆறு பண்புகள் யாரிடம் நீங்காது நிலை பெற்றீடுக்குமோ அவரையே குறிக்கும். இந்நிலை பரப்பிரம்ம்மான நாராயணன் ஒருவனுக்கே முற்றிலும் பொருந்தும். வேறு சிலருக்கும், ‘பகவான் வ்யாஸர்’ என்பது போல், இவற்றில் ஓரோர் குணங்களில் சிறப்புடைமையால் வழங்கப்பட்டது; எனினும் இவ்விடத்தில் நாராயணனையே குறிக்கிறது>

இந்த நூலுக்கு ஆசியுரை அருளியுள்ள  ஸ்ரீ உ வே அப்பு சடகோபாச்சாரியர் (ஆத்தான் மேலத் திருமாளிகை), “பகவான் என்ற சொல் ஆறு பண்புகளையுடைய இறைவனைக் குறிக்கும். அவையானவன: ஞானம், பலம், உக்தி, ஐஸ்வர்யம், வீர்யம், தேஜஸ் என்பன. இந்த ஆறு பண்புகளை உடையவன் பாகவான் நாராயணன் …. ” என்று விளக்கியுள்ளார்.

மேலும், விஷ்ணு புராணத்தில் (வ்யாசரின் தந்தையான) பராசரர் ” ‘பகவான்’ என்ற சொல் ஐஸ்வர்யம், வீர்யம், புகழ், அழகு, ஞானம், மற்றும் வைராக்யம் ஆகிய ஆறு குணங்களை நீங்காது சாஷ்வதாமாக நிறையுடன் இருப்பவரை குறிக்கிறது” என்று விளக்குகிறாராம்.

இவ்வாறு ‘பகவான்’ என்ற சொல் ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணனையே குறிப்பிடுவதாக யான் அறிகிறேன். 

அதே போல், “பெருமைகள் நிறைந்தவர் ‘பெருமான்’ என்று அகராதி விளக்குகிறது. ‘சிவ பெருமான்’, ‘முருக பெருமான்’ என்று அவர்கள்தம் குறிப்பிட்ட பெருமைகளை போற்றும் வண்ணம் அழைத்தாலும், பொதுவாக ‘பெருமாள்’ என்றால் அது அனைத்து  பெருமைகளும் நிறைந்தவரான ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணனையே குறிக்கிறது.

எனவே தாங்கள் பெருமாளையும் பகவானையும் ஸ்ரீமன் நாரயணனையும் வேறு படுத்திப்பார்ப்பது அடியேனுக்கு விளங்கவில்லை.

 

அடியேன் தாசன்.

on October 13, 2020

Namaskaram கம்பன்தாசன் swamy.

Thank you for your response.

I was bit hesitant to put it very directly. With due respect to all the acharyas, I mention it now:

Perumal is Bhagavan’s avataram. I meant Perumal & Bhagavan as Lord Narayanan only here. Hence, I picked up the statement from the first post and queried whether it is appropriate to compare and mention “acharya is considered as Bhagavan’s avataram”.

The interpretation from your statement : “If someone considers His subordinates as Supreme or equal to Him, they are not Vaishnavas”. Then, If someone consider acharya as Bhagavan’s avataram, whether they are vaishnavas?.

This is the point I wanted to bring in.

However, I feel you have understood  and replied accordingly in para (2). As mentioned by you, I feel the qualities possessed by the acharyas are to be emphasized.

I thank you for bringing additional points.

I am by no mean a knowledgeable person. I read some vaishnavite texts, directly started sadhana and read texts on sadhana, guru etc., Had I studied the vaishnavite texts in the last 30 years, it may be a different situation. I do not regret. If you call yourself நுனிபுல் மேய்ந்து பெற்ற சிற்றறிவு, then I am only looking at  the grass, yet to start even grazing. I have been trying to read / listen and digest the essence. My intention is to selectively study / listen the details of my interest, since I have missed the bus.

adiyen

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Jayaram swamy,

I declared that I am ‘நுனிபுல் மேய்ந்து பெற்ற சிற்றறிவு’ because quoting from different sources is likely to give the impression as if I am learned in all these scriptures. The fact is, I know only this much from these scriptures; not even little bit more. 

It is very difficult for us to start learning at older age. Fortuantely for us, such learning is not essential to go back to Vaikuntam. No where Perumal states vast learning as a prerequsite to get back to Him. He expects only a heart filled with devotion and submission.

In our case to even have such deep devotion is next to impossible. Fortunately for us, we have received shelter at Udaiyavar thiruvadi and that is our only assurance to go to Vaikunta.

adiyen dasan.

on October 13, 2020

கம்பன்தாசன் swamy,

Regarding reading of sacred texts, I posted earlier.

Reading sacred texts

Sri. Velukkudi swamy graced by replying in enpani audio #1804 (in youtube) mentioned that the knowledge gained by reading will mend the quality of the aspirant and will not be carried by the atman.

Pray to get the anugraham of Udaiyavar.

adiyen

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Jayaram swamy,

Thank you for sharing the en pani reference that reinforces that it is devotion that matters; academic knowledge of scriptures is likely to help us in grow our devotion, but not a prerequisite.

 

Regarding seeing acharya as avarthram, the following two en pani audio had given me clear understanding on this:

#1403

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0DY3uB-4UU&list=PLhrdHlkOIj-W8D_Rj76-4Z0J9d0cjoIuI&index=398

#1743

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33HT_vgatos&list=PLhrdHlkOIj-W8D_Rj76-4Z0J9d0cjoIuI&index=166

adiyen dasan.

on October 14, 2020

Namaskaram கம்பன்தாசன் swamy.

I listened to those audios. Based on these audios, I think the conclusion will now be different for the initial post of this thread.

My comment : My understanding is that according to the Vishishtadvaita, Brahman and the individual souls are different. The atmas are distinct at vaikuntam (after motcham), even the nithyasuris, from Narayanan. Then how acharya can be considered as Bhagavan’s avataram. Moreover, ‘considering’ need not be ‘same’.

If this is wrong, it can be corrected.

adiyen

I think the confusion is with how we understand the word ‘avataram’. ‘Amsam’ (or ‘Shakthi avesha avatara’ as Enpanifan swamy explained earlier) is also avataram. In amsam, a highly qualified jivatma is empowered with specific quality of Perumal (or one of the nityasuris). For example, Swamy Ramanujacharya is an amsam of Anantha. 

they may not be direct incarnation but shakti Avesha avatar, meaning Lord has invested them with powers)From enpanifan

 

on October 14, 2020

Yes. Ramanujacharya is referred as an amsam of Anantha and not referred as an amsam of Perumal. Then how acharyas can be referred as Bhagavan’s avataram.

adiyen

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0 on October 15, 2020

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha,

Namaskaram Swami’s,

 

With Acharya ThiruvAdi Bhalam and Velukkudi Sri Krishnan Swami’s Aasirvadham, Adiyen has heard in Swami’s couple of upanyasams about Swami Ramanujar as:

 

1) Adhisheshan (Nithyasoori) avataram,

plus

2) Sriman NarayanAn ordered Adhisheshan and gave HIS Pancha Ayudham Avataram
a) Shangham,
b) Chakkaram,
c) Vil,
d) Gadhai,
e) Vaal,

plus

3) PaarthaSaarathy Perumal (SrKrishna) Himself decided to take Avatar as Swami Ramanujar, since Smt. Kanthi maami and Sri. Somayaji asked Perumal for a child same as HIM. So Perumal had no choice except to take avatar as Himself, since there is no one Equal as Him and no one Above as Him.

*************

 

Hence, its being said in “Yathiraja Mangalam” slokam 19 as:

ஷெஷோவா ஸைந்ய நாதோவா ஸ்ரீபதிர்வேதி சாத்விக்கைஹி,

Means, Is Swami Ramanujar:

 *Adhisheshan (nithyasoori)? ஷெஷோவா Or

*Vishvaksenar (nithyasoori and senapathi of Perumal)?  ஸைந்ய நாதோவா Or

*SriyaPathi (Perumal)  himself taken avatar?  ஸ்ரீபதிர்.

No one still knows, so Who is Swami Ramanujar? It Is still the question all poorvacharyas are wondering in this slokam and they can only keep singing  “Appadipatta Swami Ramanujarukku Mangalam”.

 

Hence Poorvargal say, இப்படிப்பட்ட கலவை (all above 1), 2) 3) mixed together) is Our Swami Ramanujar and Hence Unique Acharyan “Jagadhacharyan” as in Yahiraja Mangalam slokam 19 as Swami is ALL-IN-ALL for us to Cherish, who has come to help Samasaris like us and get Moksham ‘SriVaikuntam’ in SAME birth with Swami Ramanujar “NirHedukai Krupai (Causeless Mercy)”. 

 

Adiyen did post this in one of past threads.

 

Adiyen (ElayaAlwar) Srinivasa (DhoddayAcharyar) Dasan.

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5 on October 19, 2020

Yes, Each and Every real Guru, regardless of initiation, should be seen as Bagavan’s avatar

But one should be very very careful. Guru is Bagavan Avatar means “not” directly bagavan. Guru is not Sri Krishna himself. Guru is not Sri Rama himself. Guru is not Naryana himself.

It simply means, Guru is channel from where Bagavan’s “Mercy” is flowing. Guru is like socket. Bagawan is like electricity. Jiva is like appliance.

By principle, Guru is not just who initiated you. Guru is everyone who made your relationship with Bagawan more strong. It can be anyone, even nature, animals and just anything which takes you near and to Bagawan can be seen as Guru.

Guru is very vast. Guru shouldn’t be limited to 1 person who initiated you. One should see every person and every thing which made your relationship with Bagawan more strong as Bagawan’s avatar

Ramunja Dasan

It can be anyone, even nature, animals and just anything which takes you near and to Bagawan can be seen as Guru. Guru is very vast. Guru shouldn’t be limited to 1 person who initiated you. One should see every person and every thing which made your relationship with Bagawan more strong as Bagawan’s avatar Ramunja Dasan From Rukminidwarkadeesh

RukminiDwarakasesh swamy, namaskaram. I have a different perpective / understanding of this.

Until my jnana-acharyan instructed me about purpose of life, about my relationship with Perumal and the path towards that goal, or my panchasamskara-acharyan formally gave the connection to the parampara, everything about this world (people, animals, plants, things, events) gave me only my karmic reactions. But ever since I am fortunate to receive their blessings, everything in this world helps me connect to Perumal. So, I see only those who are connected purely to the parampara and help me connect myself with the parampara as my gurus (acharyans), and I see everything else gratefully because they help me see the world in light of my acharyans’ instructions and thus they remind me of my relationship with my gurus acharyans. But these ‘everything else’ are not guru on their own merit.

adiyen dasan.

 

To be emphatic, please let me state clearly. The specific person who has instructed me, guided me or given my shelter through pancasamskaram is very very special. “GURU” or “ACHARYAN” is applicable to the specific individuals. It is not an abstract term to refer to anything and everything.

To the extent ‘everthing else’ reminds us of our Gurus’ instructions and our relationahsip (servitude) to our Guru, to that extent those things are important; but the things are not guru by their own right.

adiyen dasan.  

 

 

on October 20, 2020

No problem, it’s upto individual if one don’t want to consider other Guru as Bagavan mercy Avatar and consider only who initiated them.

Every real Guru should be honoured and not just 1 Guru who gave initiations. That’s the point.

No problem, it’s upto individual if one don’t want to consider other Guru as Bagavan mercy Avatar and consider only who initiated them. Every real Guru should be honoured and not just 1 Guru who gave initiations. That’s the point. From Rukminidwarkadeesh

I agree with this part. real Guru is the person who connects us to Perumal through the parampara, either in the form of his instructions (jnana-acharyan) or in the form of pancasamskara (‘initiation’ in your parlance). Our devotion is to this PERSON, whose teachings are are pure and whose life is pure… as laid out by the previous acharyas. 

Many things and persons around us may remind us of our Guru’s instructions; but these things and persons can not be given the same importance and respect as our ‘real’ Gurus. If we get into saying “everything is Guru; every thing around is guru’, that will lead to an abstract concept of ‘Guru’ and eventually the society may not know the difference between real guru and pseudo-guru. They may see things in their surrounding, come up with their own interpretation of that, and claim ‘Nature is my guru and it inspired me to do like this’.

In this forum different people have different pancasamskara acharya. In addition, almost everyone sees our Velukkudi Swamy as their jnana-acharyan. So, you point that “every real Guru should be honoured” is already evident in this forum.

So, I am glad we both agree on the same conclusion.

Thank you very much.

adiyen dasan.

 

on October 20, 2020

I remembered to have read in ‘Deivathin kural’ by Kanchi Chandrasekhara saraswati swamigal about the object of meditation. I do not remember the exact wording. It was mentioned that one can meditate on goat.

adiyen

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Jayaram swamy, namaskaram.

MahaPeriyava is such a great saint of our age!! I am no one to contradict him. 

But we should keep in mind that his service was to represent adwaita philosophy and guide those who are inclined towards that philosophy.

So, those of us who are fortunate to receive the ultimate philosophy of vishta-adwaitam, need not step down to the incomplete philosophy.

For those souls who want an object to fix their ever disturbing, unsteady, wavering mind, they may choose any object – a spot of light, candle flame, black dot on a white wall, ringing sound of a bell, some lotus shaped design on the wall, their breathing pattern, that spot on the chest / region of heart where the soul resides in the body…. or even a goat!

But those of us who have been fortunate to receive guidance in Vishta adwaita philosophy, fixing the mind upon Perumal through any of the infite number of devotional activities is the best way of meditation. 

In Bhagavad Gita 12 chapter Arjuna asks “கிருஷ்ண! உம்மை அடைய விரும்புகிறவர்களில், உம்மிடம் பக்தி செய்பவர்கள் மேம்பட்டவர்களா அல்லது (நீர் முதல் ஷட்கத்தில் சொன்ன) புலங்களை விஷயங்களில் செல்லாமல் அடக்கி ஜீவாத்ம சிந்தனம் செய்து, ஆத்ம சாஷாத்காரம் பெற்று பிறகு உம்மை அடைபவர்கள் சிறந்தவர்களா? இவ்விரு உபாயங்களில் எது சிறந்தது?” 

In reply to this Krishna tells Arjuna that those who fix their mind upon HIm and engage in devotion are better off compared to those who are trying to fix their mind upon meditation on the qualities of the soul.

So, if fixing the mind upon the soul itself is not the best way, then what to speak of fixing the mind upon a goat!!!

adiyen dasan. 

Very nice answer, swami. This was also one of the confusions I had and you cleared it.

So, I guess in the 12th Chapter, Bhagavan mentions more about Devotional service to His personal form…

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