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Re: bhakti-list digest

From: Lakshmi Srinivas (
Date: Sun Mar 12 2000 - 05:28:50 PST


  I do not want to enter this debate for want of adhikaara re aagama etc.But
I want to point out a reference to those interested in this subject.

The History of Tirupati by TKT Viraraghavacharya, publ by TTD. in 1953,
second edition 1977, reprint 1997. This remarkable 3 volume work costs
exactly Rs. 77 i.e., less than $2. So the discussants may want to go thru
this book too.  

The author was a retired executive engineer in the (then) Madras State and
exhibits deep knowledge in Sanskrit (the epics, puranas, aagamas) and Tamil
esp Divyaprabandham, Silappadhikaaram etc.. In the foreword to the first
edition, this is what the Executive Officer of the TTD says "The author who
was basically an engineer by profession combines his scientific spirit of
enquiry with his traditional theistic approach to present a *lucid and
fairly accurate* History of Tirumala Temple". (emphasis mine)

>  With the "brighu-samhita" the author says:
>  Quote:
>  "The 33rd adhyAya of the brighu-samhita shows that
>  Vishnu has 4 hands invested with 5 weapons or
>  aayudhA-s; the 2 halves of the body are symmetrical
>  and beautifully shaped; that he wears all the
>  divya-aabharanA-s; SriDevi ever abides in his form and
>  that he is full of kalyana-gunA-s and wanting in none
>  and he shines with his 6 gunA-s (shadguna).

These lines seem to be taken verbatim from TKT.(Vol 1 p 179 in the chapter
entitled Murti Swarupam of Sri Venkateswara). 

It is perhaps significant that immediately following TKT also says, " The
mention of the Shadgunas is worth noting. We will refer to it later". 
>  "But this description is not a detailed one for
>  Venkateshwara. The divya-aayudhA-s, not all the
>  weapons are in SriVenkaeshwara's hands."
>  (Unquote)

These lines also seem to be taken from TKT. (already cited. TKT also adds
that "the Pancharatra Agamas describe Para Vasudeva in different terms,
mostly as being seated on Anantha, the Divine Serpent. They are all out of
place for our purpose". 

It is perhaps worthwhile here to state that TKT's poistion on this issue is
his section heading "The Murti (Sri Venkateswara)not a man-made one". (Vol
1, p 176)

I may add in passing that he also dismisses the (in-)famous debate of the
naagaabharanam. He quotes Poykaiyaalvaar pasuram cenRARkutaiyAm (mutal. 53)
in this connection. 

Equally relevant here is his discussion of "Some Crude and Incorrect
Notions" (section heading in Vol I, p 197) wherein he traces the history of
some other facets usually pointed out by detractors of Srinivasa viz., simha
lalaatam, sandal paste, jata etc and points out the insignificance or lack
of antiquity of many of these facets. 

On the other hand for the aayudhas and aabharanas themselves, he quotes
ancient sources such as silappadikaaram (kAtukANkAtai, tiruvAymozi (6.10.10

Finally, TKT has a chapter titled "Temples and the Agamas",a 5 section
chapter going over 70 pages complete with fold in diagrams of temple
architecture, discussion of aavaranas, epigraphic evidence, Sanskrit slokas,
Tamil ceyyuL's etc. It is more complex than electrical engineering, my bane
during my student days :-). 

I urge the scholars in this list to go thru this, digest it and explain it
in simple terms for laymen like me. 

Thanks and Warm Regards, 

Lakshmi Srinivas

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