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Periyavaaccan Pillai

From: Mohan Sagar (msagar_at_worldnet.att.net)
Date: Wed Dec 18 1996 - 19:06:45 PST

Mr. Sadagopan writes:

>PiLLai says :
>" In Ramaavatharam , RamA's father was DasarathA , the destroyer 
>of SambharA . The city was Ayodhya , which could not be conquered 
>by any person . The acharyAs were VasishtA and others well versed in 
>several manthrAs . The sons of DasarathA were virtuous and quite 
>disciplined . In KrishNAvathAram , the parents were innocent cowherds.
>The dwelling place of KrishNA is a hamlet inhabited by the cowherds.
>Besides in BrindhAvan , anything , which sprouted could turn out to be
>a demon . KrishNA was such a naughty child that he would even fall 
>in the mouth of the venemous serpent , if his brother BalaramA was 
>engaged otherwise even for a moment .The calamities that befell 
>KrishNA through PutanA and other swere endless . "  Hence PeriyavacchAn 
>PLLai concluded that except for the blessings of AndAL , there was nothing
>that could protect the Lord .

It is interesting to note just how much of an impact Periyavaaccan Pillai
and his ardent devotion to Ramavathara had during the formative years of
SriVaishnava thought. There is evidence to show that Pillai's teachings
strongly influenced a noted 14th century philosopher, Ramananda, who founded
a sect of SriVaishnavism which I believe is still prevalent in parts of
North India, Ramanandi Vaishnavism.  

Ramananda propogated a form of SriVaishnavism that, in the spirit of Pillai,
is exclusively devoted to the worship of Lord Rama and Sita Pirati.  Mumme
states that Ramananda openly proclaimed himself and his religion to be
SriVaishnava, and promoted a philosophy that bears strong similarity to the
teachings of Periyavaaccan Pillai and Pillai Lokacharya.  Ramananda even
authored a work that discusses three rahasyas called SriVaishnava Mataabja
Bhaaskara. Apparently, the work is similar to Rahasyatrayasaram or
Mumuksupatti in that it discusses three rahasya mantras and their meanings
as they pertain to prapatti.  However, while their form and content are
similar to the ones we learn, these mantras are directly connected to Lord
Rama and promote the worship of Him over the other Avatharas.

Daasanu Daasan,

Mohan