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The differnet dates for the UpakarmA for Differnet Veda SaakhAs

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Thu Jun 18 1998 - 19:26:51 PDT

Dear VedAbimAnis :

Sri Anand 's question is a very legitimate one that 
has troubled Sri VaishNavAs some five and half 
centuries ago  and Sri Mani"s response touches on 
the points cited by our PurvAchAryAs starting
from Thozhappar , one of the key disciples 
of the First Jeeyar of Ahobila Mutt .

These differneces are based on the different ways 
of defining the months as one of the five kinds :
Soura , ChAndra Maasams , BhArhaspathyam ,
sAvAnam and Naakshathrikam .

The length of the year ( the number of the days in 
the year ) , the Number of New Moons and Full Moons
per month in each of the five kinds of months  differ .

The Soura Maasam calculations are made based on the entry 
of Sooryan in the twelve Raasis such as Mesham . 
SourA tadition is a Vaidheehic tradition .The Soura 
year has 365 days .

In the ChAndhrA tradition of naming months , 
calculations are made based on the time period 
from Sukla Prathamai to AmAvAsyai ( new Moon ) 
and the month is counted to encompass this time period .
Chaandhra Tradiiton is also a Vaidheehic tradition .
The chAndhra year has 354 days.

In the Saavanam tradition , the month has 30 days 
in contrast to the above two traditions .This is for
Vaisyas and is used to compute monthly interest
based on 30 days time intervals .This is also
used for payroll and accounting purposes .This 
tradition has 360 days in its count of the year .
This is not a strictly Vaidheehic tradition .  

In the BrAhaspathya tradition , the movement (gathi )
of Bruhaspathi is used to compute the length of the month .
This tradition is used by those residing on the north
side of the VindhyA mountain . This tradiiton has 361
days in its count for the year . 

In the Naakshathrikam tradition , the month is 27 days 
long and coincides with the number (27) of constellations .
This type of count is of limited use . KshathriyAs 
use it . This one has 324 (12x27 )days for each of 
its year .

As you can readily see , among the 5 ways of dividing the 
calendar on a Monthly pattern , the SourA and ChAndhrA 
tradition is relevant for Vaidhika and VrathAnushtAnams .

Among the two , Soura count is preferred for KarmAs
prescribed by Smruthis ( Pithru Kaaryams )and the 
ChAndhrA methodology is considered appropriate for 
VrahtAnushtAnams ( Sri Rama Navami , JanmAshtami ,
SravaNa dwAdhasi observance et al ) .There is a group of people
who accept both the SourA and ChaandhrA as being fit for
the observance of Pithru Kaaryams . 

Then comes the complications of where you live in India 
and what kind of Veda SaakhA you are heir to . According
to tradition , it matters whether you are on the north
side of VindhyA mountains or on the West side of NarmadhA
river . The Veda SaakhA followed varied depending on 
that specific location.For instance , the Yaju: sAkhA 
adhyAyis dominated in DakshiN adesam (AndhrA , Tamil Naadu 
and karnAtakA . Atharva Vedam was prevalent in Kashmir 
and some parts of Northern India.It was either Rg Vedam 
or Saama Vedam depending on the particular bank of 
the NarmadhA river ( riparian boundary ) .
All of these led to differnet dates for observance 
of the UpAkarmA as well .That is why the sampradhAyam
of the family and AchArya Paramparai becomes THE guiding
factor  .The way pointed out by the poorvAchAryAs of 
a particular tradition is hence followed faithfully . 

Our PurvAchAryAs determined according to the Smruthis 
and sruthis , the dates for observances and blessed us
with NirNaya GranthAs . One of the great AchAryAs 
for Yajur vedam  is one , who had the name of Sri Venaktanaathan ,
who was  a direct disciple of the famous First Jeeyar of
Ahobila Mutt revered as Adhi VaNN SatakOpa Yatheendhra
MahA Desikan .Sri VenaktanAthan was also known as
MaNaRpAkkam Thozhappar . The time was 14th Century . 

H.H. Adhi VaNN SatakOpa Jeeyar had Thozappar 
as his devout disciple hailing from the Haaritha 
Vamsam known for its strict observance of 
AchAram and anushTaanam .Thozappar was well versed in 
VedAs , Smruthis , VedAnthams and SadAchArams as he 
inherited the sath sampradhAyam from his father , 
Sri RanganAtha sUri and his grandfather , 
Sri SarasvathI Vallabhar . Thus , their inheritance 
was a kula dhanam for Thozhappar .They all belonged 
to Yajur Vedam and Aapasthampa Soothram .

While Thozhappar peformed grantha chathushtya kAlakshEpam 
under the sacred feet of the First Jeeyar , he demonstrated
his medhA vilAsam ( acute intelleigence in grasping 
the grand doctrines of Sri VaishNavism ) .The  AchAryA 
was so pleased to have Thozhappar as his disciple that he
instructed him to create granthams that could help 
Sri VaishNavAs understand and practise dharma sAsthrams
thru nithya , Naimitthika KarmAnushtAnams .Thozhappar 
placed the AchAryA's command on his head (sirasA vahitthu )
and composed 8 granthams and placed the fruits of his
scholarship at the sacred feet of Adhi VaNN SatakOpa Jeeyar .
These 8 granthams are :

1&2 . Asoucha sathakam and its commenatary known as
Asoucha  NirNayam .They deal with the theetu ( days
to stay away from some sacred observances following 
the death of a member of the family ). MaNavALa maamuni 
took sanyAsam to be rid of these limitations that 
would have interfered with his worship of Sri RanganAthA 
at the temple . 

3&4 . Pithrumetha Saaram and its commentary known as
sudhIvilOchanam .These two granthams deal with anthyEshti 
and the Agni kaaryam after some one shakes their mortal
coils ( dahanna SamskAram  and AparakriyAs ).
  
5.Smruthi RathnAkaram: Daily observances ( Nithya KarmAs )

6.Dasa NirNayam : Deals with UPAAKARMAM and Sri Jayanthi
celebration day et al.

7 and 8 . Gruhya Rathnam and KantabhUshaNam : Deals
with samskArams like GarbhAdhAnam and Pumsavanam .

The AchArya SaarvabhoumA , H.H . the First Jeeyar was so 
pleased with his disciples' granthams that he honored
latter with the title of Vaidhika Saarvabhoumar . 

These 8 are known as Aahnika Granthams and serve as
the lighthouse for Sri VaishNava SadAchAra NirNayam .
The great commentaries and clarifications that 
followed came from the triad of Azhagiya Singars 
( 25th  , 26th and the 27th ) .The 26th Azhagiya Singar's
( Sri Rangaantha Yatheendhra MahA Desikan ) granthams 
were protected and elaborated on by the 42nd Azhagiyasingar
( InjimEttu Azhagiyasingar ) and passed on to his successors
( the DEvanaarviLAgam , MukkUr and the Current Azhagiyasingar ).

The present Azhagiyasinghar , a great scholar and student
of the 42nd Jeeyar has released a superb Ahnika grantham ,
which houses the teachings of his PurvAchAryAs .This was 
released in the year 1989 for the benefit of the Sri VaishNavA
community . This is the grantham that one has to look to
for addressing the queries of Sri Anand , who has received
BharanyAsam from this mahAN . I will cover this subject 
on " AvaNi avittam " and its appearance outside the month of
AvaNi occasionally in terms of the differences in the lunar
and solar counts of the months as touched by Sri Mani in
my next posting .

Sri NaarAyaNa Yatheendhra MahA DesikAya Nama:
Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan