You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : January 1996


From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Wed Jan 03 1996 - 11:30:14 PST

It is my understanding that of the many avathaarams 10
are given special status and called Dasaavathaaram.
Buddha is one of this ten among the north Indians, but
not in the south.  But, Buddha is considered, even by Sri
Vaishnavaas, as an avathaaram, albeit, one in which the
Lord preached lies to the asuraas.  This is not a
very broad minded acceptance of Buddha, but consistent
with our view of Buddism.  I am not sure how the north
Indians accept Buddha as one of the avatharams without
prejudice to the vEdhaas.

Among the south Indian 10, I am more puzzled with
Parasu Raamar than some of the others.  Is the concept of
implicit obedience to father the main contribution of this
avatharam?  Was he an avaathaaram only until his
encounter with Sri Raamar?  This must be so as he was
unable to defeat Bheeshmar later.  Would that not make
him less than the other avathaarams?

To me, Vyaasar, aazhvaars, and great aachaaryaas evoke
a great deal of reverence, equal to or even more than
some of the Dasavatharas.  Next to, or even equal to, the
moolavar sannithi, it is Udayavar sannithi in Sri Rangam
that is poignant.  Similarly, ThirukkOshtiyoor is more
emotional than say ThirumaalirunchOlai.  Swami Sri
DhEsikar's thiru maaLigai and thirukkiNaRu are the most
inspirational things at Thiruvaheendhrapuram.  The
imagery of thirukkachchi nambi doing Thiru Alavattam
(fanning) for pEraruLaaLar and conversing with Him,
that makes a visit to Kaanchi aththigiri perumaaL kOvil
most gratifying.  In my childhood, my grandfather used to
tell bedtime stories of Ramayanam, Bhagavatham, and
Mahabaharatham, but I never heard him say anything
about aazhvaars or Sri Ramanuja, Sriman naadhamunigaL or Sri
ALavandhaar, let alone MaNakkaal nambi, Periya nambi,
or Thirukkachchi nambigaL, etc., etc.  I hope our
grandchildren will learn of these achchaaryaas along with
the dasaavathaarams.

-- Parthasarati Dileepan