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Re: Accusations

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (
Date: Fri Mar 21 1997 - 21:22:18 PST

At 01:18 PM 3/21/97 -0700, Sri Varadhan wrote:
>Here are the actual tamizh words of PBA:
>'srivaishnavaachaaryakaLin sampradaayaththiRkE thennaachaarya
>sampradaayamenRu peyar.

How is the above interpreted?  With due respects to Sri. PBA,
is he including both Vadakalai and Thenkalai in 'thennaachaarya
sampradaayam'?  Do vadakalai acharyaas agree with Sri PBA
in this regard?

> srutikaL paanYcharaatra samhithaikaL,
>smrithikaL, ithihaasa puraaNankaL, aazhwaar aruLichcheyalkaL
>enRa palavakaippatta pramaaNankaLuL aazhwaar aruLicheyaLkaLaana
>divyap prabhandhankaLukkE adhisayiththa praamaaNyamuLLathenRu
>koLLupavarkaLE sri vaishnavarkaLenpaar.

The above says only those who consider "aazhwaar aruLicheyaL" to 
be "adhisayiththa praamaaNam" relative to, among other things,
srutis are Sri vaishnavaas.  Now, whether vadakalis are included
in this group depends upon how "adhisiyithththa pramaaNam" is 
interpreted.  Thus, simply qouting the above does not answer
the questions raised.

Azhvaar aruLichcheyalkaL are sacred and very special to all
Sri Vasihnavas, vadakalai and thenkalai.  AzhvaarkaL 
aruLichcheyalkaL are special because of the sweetness, 
understandability, athikaaram, etc.  But when it comes to 
what is pramaaNaa, Sruti and AruLichceyalkaL are of equal 
importance.  It is my understanding that in vadakalai 
sampradayam, one is not above the other for what is pramaaNa,  
i.e. there are no inconsistencies between the two (learned 
members, please correct me if I am wrong.)  Does thenkalai 
sampradayam consider aazhvaarkaL aruLichcheyalkaL to be of 
higher pramaaNa than sruthi?

If aazhvaargaL aruLichceyalgal should be considered to have
higher pramaaNa than sruti to be Sri Vasihnavas, then would 
that not exclude vadakalais from being Sri Vaishnavas?  I 
am not saying this what Sri PBA had in his mind with 
this statement.  But this needs to clarified further.

Even if (i) "adhisiayiththa" is intereted as simply special and not
higher, and (ii) the phrase "thenaazhaarya sampradayam" is meant to
include both thenkalai and vadakalai, the chances for misunderstanding
are so great that it is not unreasonable to characterise the use of
these phrases as "unfortunate".  Obviously lot of explanation
of the usage and the context was required.  Just quoting Sri PBA's
words only raises more questions.

> annavarkaLayE ikkaaraNam paRRiyE thennaachaaryarkaLenpadhu.'

Again, how is 'thennaachaaryarkaL' interpreted?  Are vadakalai
achaaryarkaL included in this terminology?  Is this 
characterization accepted by Vadakalai sampradayam?

If cooperation and mutual respect while adhering to our
own samradayams is to be achieved, we need to avoid
ambiguous statements that can reasonably be interpreted 
in several different ways.

>Based on the above words of PBA, my understanding is that the word
>'thennachaarya sampradaayam' is a term referring to the SV sampradaayam
>itself. Therefore there is no question of 'trying to deny the existence
>of the vadakalai school' or 'claiming to be the only SV sampradaayam'.

-- Thanks, dileepan

p.s. 1: Sri Varadhan, please forgive me if I upset you with my posts.

p.s. 2: Sri Varadhan, kindly identify me when you offer your criticisms,
not "some members of the group".  Thank you.