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Re: Vaikanasa srivaishnava

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Thu Aug 02 2001 - 10:15:32 PDT

Dear Suderson,

Your argument is a good one, but it appears we are disputing
the definition of "SrI vaishnava". "SrI vaishNava"
typically means one who belongs to the acharya-paramparA
of Bhagavad Ramanuja -- lakshminAtha samArambhAm, nAtha-yAmuna
madhyamAm, etc. The followers of this tradition are 
known as Ubhaya Vedanta pravartakas, since they 
believe in the unity in meaning of the Sanskrit Vedanta
as well as the Dravida or Tamil Vedanta.

Based on this definition, vaikhAnasa VaishNavas cannot
be called "SrI vaishNavas" since they neither have
Sri Ramanuja in their acharya-paramparA nor do they
rever the Alvars and the Divya Prabandham.

Periya Thirumalai Nambi was a pAncarAtra vaishNava of the
tradition of Sri Yamunacharya. This community is what 
is now known as SrI vaishNava. He was not a vaikhAnasa.  
His role in Tirumalai was distinctly not that of a temple 
priest. Rather, if I recall correctly, he performed pushpa
and tIrtha kainkaryam to Lord Srinivasa on his own volition.

aDiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,
Mani

suderson writes:
> Thanx for the lucid expression. I have a humble
> submission.
> I differ from your views on one issue. How can we not
> call the Vaikhanasa as "strictly speaking, they are
> not sri vaishnavas"? They are 100% sri vaishnavas!!
> May not be ramAnusanadiyAr.
> The ritual of panchasamskara started later,as some
> construe. Though, there is reference to samashrayanam
> in Thiruppallandu of PeriyAlwar, there seem not to be
> evidence of this in the older epics.
> Thirumalai Nambi - Was he a Vaikhanasa or not? If no,
> then how did he live as the priest at Thirumalai. Or
> was he a smArtha, since he is the maternal uncleof
> Swami Ramanuja (who was born in Smartha lineage as we
> allknow).
> Can anyone please clarify?

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