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Re: Need to know: Temple worship

From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (elayavalli_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Wed Aug 09 2000 - 08:56:14 PDT

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha:

Dear Smt/Sow Priya

The same question use to nag me for some time. following is what I 
have come to understand about temple worship.

Temple worship was one of the main contributions of Sri Ramanuja.  He 
put in elaborate management structure and procedures for various 
functions at 4 major temples: Srirangam, Thirumala, Kanchi and 
Melkote. It is believed that he was responsible for building the town 
that is now known as Keezh thiruppathi, surrounding Sri Govindaraja 
Perumal kovil (previously known as Sri Parthasarathy perumal kovil). 
His contributions to temple worship at Srirangam and Melkote seems to 
be well documented, when compared to thirumala and Kanchi.

It turns out that Sri Ramanuja had a special revernce to thiruppavai 
and Sri Andal, in particular, and entire 4000 in general. On going 
through the verses of thiruppavai, Andal always insists on visting a 
temple in large groups. Sri ramanuja, when he disclosed the sacred 
mantra, did so to a large group of people assembled in a temple. For 
him the goal was not just one or two realising HIM, but the entire 
world. Given his love for thiruppavai and the fact that bhakti is one 
of the two core tools for salvation, I suspect, he developed and put 
in place a complex administrative system at these 4 temples that 
inluded men and women of all caste. He wanted the community living 
near a temple to understand the greatness of service to God, thereby, 
developing their religious affliation. Thus the temple worship be 
came a core foundation of Sri Vaishnavam.

Sure, these temples existed before the Sangam period. Silappadhikaram 
has references to Vengadam, Arangam and thirumaliruncholai. However, 
they did not seem to be well organized and administered. It was Sri 
Ramanuja who successfully integrated the temple worship and religious 
development within a phoilosophical system. 

Adiyen

Venkatesh K Elayavilli

http://www.srivaishnava.org

--- In bhakti-list@egroups.com, priya5050@y... wrote:
> Why do we all go to a temple....it is said ..the heart is the place 
> of god...then why temple...


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