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Re: Tirumangai Alwar and the Brahmins

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Wed Jan 15 1997 - 11:19:47 PST

I only have one comment on Sri Anbil Ramaswamy's
otherwise erudite comments on Thirumangai aazhvaar.
I have already made my opinions on respect for
bhaagavatas irrespective of caste so I will not
go into that.

However, Sri Ramaswamy is skeptical about the
authority of Divya Suri Charita, the hagiography
of the aazhvaars and acharyas that I quoted.

Historians of Sri Vaishnavism such as B.V. Ramanujam,
N. Jagadeesan, K.K.A. Venkatachari, and others opine
that the two oldest traditional biographies are
Garuda Vahana Pandita's Divya Suri Charita (Sanskrit)
and Pinpazhagiya PerumaaL Jiyar's Guru Parampara
Prabhaavam (maNipravaaLa). The former is listed
in some accounts as a direct disciple of Ramanuja
or descendant thereof.  The latter was a direct
disciple of Periya Vaaccaan PiLLai.  These two
biographies are very similar, though the GPP is 
a much longer work and is more detailed.  There is
some doubt as to which was based on the other.

I am not aware of any controversy over the general
antiquity of the DSC as an authentic biography of
the aazhvaars and acharyas.  Those who have access
to Sri Vaishnava acharyas in India may wish to 
consult them to confirm this.