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Poonal/Guru Nanak/BasavaNNaa

From: K. Srinivasan (
Date: Thu Jul 20 1995 - 10:03:06 PDT

>        RS quoted
>        >Guru Nanak satirized the thread of the dvija
>        >as an outward show, empty of meaning, when the
>        >real thread is the thread of bhakti etc. 

Following are noteworthy to "murky up" this issue.

Ramanuja as a child is believed to have put pooNool around
untouchable children and this was one of the reasons the people
of Sri perumbudoor turned against his family. He might be the one
who put pooNool on all the aazhvaars including paaNa in temples.

Incidentally Srivaishnava Sanyasi's have the option of wearing
or not wearing the pooNal. Advaitic Sanyasi's remove the pooNal.
{Sankaracharyas do not have pooNal. Jeeyar's have it.)

BasavaNNa (who lived towards to end of Ramanuja's time) cut his
pooNool in public and declared it un-necsaary. He called his
philosaphy "saiva visistadvaitham" borrowing on the philosophy
of Ramanuja. Ramanuja's followers avoided the Saivite temples because
they did not respect Ramanuja's words. BasavaNNa's followers on
the other hand boycotted all temples. They had their own personal
lingam worn on their neck.

The two people might have met. There is no mention in
Srivaishanava histories. I do not know from the other sources.

So there have been other people before Guru Nanak.
Anyway Guru Nanak's existance was quite unknown outside his region,
until recently.

Srinivasan K

[BasavaNNa's followers call themselves veera saiva and are a
powerful community in Karnataka. There are few in bordering
Tamil areas as well. The north American Veera Saivas hold an
annual meet in Eastern US.]