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

Re: Seervarisai

From: Badrinarayanan Seshadri (
Date: Wed Jan 17 1996 - 15:08:30 PST

Lakshmi N. Srinivasa wrote:

* Infact our acharyas should also take up the social reform part. Like if 
* some jeer passes a rule that one should not or give dowry or some sort of 
* tat rule, atleast the mutt followers will fear for the leader to some 
* extent. This might not actually destroy the problem but might alleviate 
* the problem to some extent.

There are far more important social problems to be tackled
than this dowry problem where our Acharyas can do a lot.
Of course, I have no right to suggest to our Acharyas what
they can and should do.

Let us look at some of the numbers here. If you consider
the Sri Vaishnava Acharyas (the 3 VK and all the TK
jeeyars put together), their followers are primarily the
Vaishnava Brahmins (the rest are a few Chettiyars and
other castes), mainly from Tamil Nadu and a few from
Karnataka and Andhra. This perhaps numbers at best about
50,000. The population of India is approximately

(Sri K.Srinivasan once posted an estimated number of
Iyengars (who should constitute about 90% of the Sri
Vaishnavas). That figure, I guess, was of the same order
as the one I have quoted above.)

Unlike the Kanchi Shankaracharya (for example), the Sri
Vaishnava Acharyas do not command mass following from
among the other sections of the society. In fact, outside
of Sri Rangam and Kanchipuram, non-brahmins (who must
constitute about 95-97% of the Hindus of TN) would have
hardly even heard of the Sri Vaishnava Acharyas. None of
my neighbours in Nagapattinam knows about the Sri
Vaishnava Acharyas. Some could recognize the azhagiya
singar immediately after the completion of the Sri Rangam
South Raja Gopuram. But that was it.

Of course, what fraction of this 50,000 will listen to our
Acharyas when it comes to the lowkika aspects of the life,
is itself questionable.


Graduate Student
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Cornell University