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Re: Am Namo Narayanaya

From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Mon Jun 22 1998 - 14:28:12 PDT

At 07:05 PM 6/21/98 -1000, Greg Jay wrote:
>statement. I mean no disrespect of Sri Vedanta Desika or his followers by
>pointing this out. I would also like to point out that Ashtakshara means
>eight letters (syllables) and it is not correct to call a mantra of only
>seven letters (syllables) Ashtakshara. I believe that Vadakalai Acharyas
>have tried to compensate for this lack of one letter by giving the letter
>"Am" to ladies and non-brahmins in place of the Pranava. I would humbly
>request where the shastra pramanam for such a substitution can be found.


In Rahasyatrayasaram,  Sri vedanta desika goes into details in chapeter
"prabhava vyastadhikara" (chp 25).
I will not go into real details here due to lack of time.  But the shastra
pramanam is :

in sesha samhita, for dvijas : 

bramhe muhurte cha utthaya gacchet cha atha nadim prati, satchitrani urdhva
pundrani pavitram cha dvijottama.....

for others :

sthri shudranam vidhim vakshya .... (for women, and sudras and others )


Pranavam varjayet samyak vidhi syat sarva karmasu
mula mantrena virajam smritva snanam vidhiyate
evam niyama yuktanam stri shudranam tadhiva cha
bhagawat bhakti yuktanam stri sudranam chaturmukha

This says : stri sudras who are bhagavatas they should avoid pranava and
say moola mantra.  Then one can say just stick with namo narayanaya.  THen
it will become 7 syllable and hence I guess, Sri Vedanta Desika has
suggested am instead of pranava.  I would be surprised if Sri Vedanta
Desika writes something without backing himself up with tonnes of other
pramanas.  This is amply evident in his works such as tatparya chandrika
etc. in which it is tough to say whether Sri Ramanuja has written bhasya
better or Tatparya Chandrika which is a tika on this bhasya is better than
the bhasya !! 

Just to point out Sri Vedanta Desika did show tremendous respect in life
and even in his works to SEveral great bhagavatas of non-bramhanic origin :
Nammalvar, Tiruppan Alwar etc.  This makes it clear that he had enough
backing behind his clear cut views on this varnashrama dharma issues.  So
did  Sri Madhvacharya, Sri Ramanujacharya & Sri Shankaracharya which is
evident from their bhasyas on "chaturvarnyam ... and several other
statements of prastana trayas.

adiyen Krishna Kalale