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On Sri Sudrsan's queries...

From: Mohan Sagar (
Date: Wed Aug 27 1997 - 18:47:17 PDT

I would like to add a few additional unqualified thoughts on:

>3. The Tenkaalai  position on "Prapatti' vis-a-vis that of Vadakali
>appears to me so much like the Pre-Reformation Christian doctrine of
>"indulgences" as compared to the Luteren emphasis on the doctrine of
>"justification'. Are there, in your, opinion, any real parallels between
>the movements in Christianity and our own Srivaishnavism? I am intrigued
>by what seems to me as a great historical coincidence !. To think that
>Luther was just a mere 100-125 years behind Swami Desikan !!"

Several western authors, including Patricia Mumme, have used the analogy of
Catholic vs. Lutheran to describe the differences between Vadagalai and
Tengalai views on prapatti.  However, Mumme stresses that this only an
analogy and cannot be construed as suggesting some sort of parellels or
connections between Christianity and SriVaishnavism.  On the contrary, Mumme
states, at the time of Pillai Lokacharya and Swami Desikan, there seems to
have been little if any contact between the two religions.  One wonders
whether either of these two religions even knew the other existed.

I have attempted to discuss the concept of prapatti with some of my more
interested Christian friends.  They all have indicated to me that such a
concept, although similar in its level of ardent faith, would be completely
foreign to a practicing Christian, Catholic or Protestant.