srIvaishNava guru paramparai – introduction

srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:
srI vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:

lakshminAtha samArambhAm nAtha yAmuna madhyamAm
asmadhAchArya paryanthAm vandhE guru paramparAm

I worship the glorious guru paramparai which starts with sriman nArAyaNan, has nAthamuni and yAmunAchAriar in the middle and ends with my Acharyan. This divine slOkam was rendered by kUrathAzhwAn to glorify our guru paramparai. According to him, asmadhAchArya means emperumAnAr because emperumAnAr was his AchAryan. But in general, asmadhAchArya will mean the AchArya of the reciter of this slOkam. Our dharisanam is called emperumAnAr dharisanam by NamperumAL as maNavALa mAmunigaL identifies in upadhEsa rathina mAlai. It was emperumAnAr who re-established the sanAthana dharmam (eternal way of life) during his life time. He took the message from his predecessors nAthamuni, ALavandhAr, etc and presented it to everyone in a very simple manner.

guru and AchArya are synonyms. guru means one who clears the ignorance. AchArya means one who has learnt sAsthram, follows it himself and also makes others follow the same. Guru paramparai means unbroken lineage of AchAryas. Our srivaishnava guru paramparai starts with none other than sriman nArAyaNan himself as we see in this lakshminAtha samArambhAm slOkam. It is out of the unbounded mercy of sriman nArAyaNan, he himself takes up the responsibility of clearing the ignorance in the minds of samsAris (jIvAthmAs who are bound in this material world) to rescue them and give them the ever lasting blissful life in paramapadham. So he became the first AchArya in our guru paramparai and taught the valuable meanings in sAsthram.

“thaththva jnAnan mOksha lAbha:” declares sAsthram. By acquiring real knowledge we get liberated. All the real knowledge we have now, has been received through this unbroken chain of spiritual teachers. So, it is very appropriate to know more about our AchAryas and discuss about their lives and instructions all the time.

This is a humble effort from adiyen to discuss our glorious guru paramparai as explained in 6000padi guru paramparA prabhAvam (written by pinbazhAgiya perumAL jeeyar) and yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam (written by piLLai lOkam jeeyar) and other pUrvAchArya granthams.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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