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Acharya Abhimana In Hindu Religion

Acharya Abhimana, in Hindu religion, is holding the preceptor in high esteem. Acharyabhimana implies implicit obedience to the guru, i.e., one who has initiated the disciple by panchasamskara (namely, five rituals):

  1. Tapa – stamping of Shankha and Chakra on arms
  2. Pundra – twelve marks of name on specified parts of the body
  3. Dasyanama – naming in recognition of surrender to God
  4. Mantra – initiation of ashtakshara, dvaya and caramashloka mantras
  5. Yaga – teaching of worship of God

This upaya (path) of god-realization suggests that karma yoga will end in kainkarya (service); jnana yoga will build up svarupa seshatva adiyen (obedience); and bhakti yoga will end in prapya-ruchi and gunanubhava (enjoying the attributes of God).

Implicit obedience to an acharya (preceptor) is absolutely necessary for the emancipation of the individual self. Every individual has two yatras (journeys) to perform: one is deha yatra (for food, clothing, and shelter) and the other is atma yatra (journey of the ‘self’ for emancipation). Deha yatra is marked by dutifulness and discipline and atma yatra by acharya-adhina (dependence on the preceptor). The acharya always thinks of his preceptor while teaching his disciples. He considers to be an instrument of God as he is also acharya paratantra (obedient to his preceptor).

Acharya Abhimana is considered to be a fifth path for obtaining his grace. Bhakti, karma, jnana, and prapatti (surrender) are the other paths suggested for atmoddhara (enlightenment of the individual self). The easiest and the quickest path for this is acharya abhimana. A preceptor does not expect any return and does not attribute the mental development of his disciples to his efforts, even though he is fully responsible for it. Nearness, service and living with God are attributed to this grace. The gratitude of the disciple brings all these objectives to fruition. Remembering God brings ujjivana (development and improvement). Remembrance of the preceptor ensures kainkarya (service)