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Re: Books on Sri Vaisnavism

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani)
Date: Tue May 09 1995 - 10:35:23 PDT

Arun writes:
> Hello,
> 	I am going to Madras in about a week, and while I am there
> i want to get hold of some good books on Sri Vaisnavism.  I would like
> to get hold of an English translation of th Sri Bhasya.  I would really
> appreciate it if you could suggest to me books that are suited for a beginner
> as well as those at a more advanced level.  Are there any particular 
> book stores in Madras that are worth going to.  I am very keen on 
> obtaining English traslations of works, preferably written by 
> someone in the parampara.  Also, I was wondering if there was a Sri Vaisnava
> Math in Madras.  I would really appreciate it, if some of you more 
> experienced people could give me some pointers.
> Thanks
> Arun Sridharan


I would suggest the following places and books. First, of all
there are many books available at Motilal Banarssidass, on 
R.H. Road in Madras in the Luz area, Mylapore.  If you are
heading from the Kaapaaliswara Temple away from the Ramakrishna
Ashrama Bookstore, it is only a few blocks' walk. It will
come on the corner on the right side. Please verify this by
asking someone or calling the bookstore (they're in the phone

There you can get "The Vedanta Sutras, part III" by George Thibaut,
which is still the most lucid translation of the Sri Bhashya.
It is part of the Sacred Books of the East series, volume 48.
You may also want to buy Vedanta Sutras, part I, since it has
a very interesting introduction comparing the commentary of
Sankara and Ramanuja. This work by Thibaut has had a great
impact on subsequent Indian authors of Vedanta works in English.

While still at Motilal Banarssidass, try to get a copy of
"Vaishnavism", by S.M. Srinivasa Chari. It is quite well
written and thorough. 

You can now head to the Ramakrishna Ashrama Bookstore. Here
you can get the following:

1) Stotraratna, by Sri Yamunacharya, translated by Swami Adidevananda
2) Yatindramatadipika, by Srinivasa, translated by Swami Adidevananda
   (A beginners' introduction to the philosophy of Ramanuja)
3) Ramanuja Gita Bhashya, translated by Swami Adidevananda
4) Ramanuja on the Gita, by S.S. Raghavachar
5) Vedarthasangraha of Ramanuja, translated by S.S. Raghavachar
6) The Life of Ramanuja, by Swami Ramakrishnananda
7) The Brahma Sutras according to Sri Ramanuja (hard bound book
   about 1 inch thick)

There may be more that I am not remembering at this time.

Now you can go to the Parthasarathy Swami Temple in Triplicane.
There, go to 10 South Mada Street. South Mada Street is alongside
the temple, opposite the main entrance to the temple. This is
the house of one M.N. Krishnaswami, a very nice man who is 
the secretary of Sri Ramanuja Vedanta Centre.  He will sell
you many books -- tell him you have come from America, etc.
In particular, you should ask him for these books:

1) The Gitabhashya of Ramanuja, translated by M.R. Sampatkumaran
2) Srivaisnava Manipravala, by K.K.A. Venkatachari
3) God Far God Near: an introduction to the thought of Nammalvar,
   by K.K.A. Venkatachari and David Kaylor
4) Tiruvaymoli English Glossary (2 thick volumes), by 
   S. Satyamurthi Ayyangar
5) All India Seminar on Sri Ramanuja and his Social Philosophy.
6) Sri Ramanuja on the Upanishads, by S.S. Raghavachar.
7) Holy Lives of the Azhvars, by A. Govindacharya

Ask him about going to a Srivaishnava math. He is not
parochial about Vadagalai/Thengalai and should be very helpful.

You can also pick up a copy of the Divya Prabandham in a nicely
printed and bound edition inside the Parthasarathy Swami
Temple. It will be available in a stall off to your right
before you enter the main sannidhi.

I have not been to the Jayalakshmi Indological Book House, 
but Sudarshan (who is on this list) has and found some good books:

1) Varadaraja Panchashat of Vedanta Desika (critical study)
2) Gadyatrayam (english translation and notes by BV Ramanujam)
3) The Srivaishnava Theological Dispute, by P. Mumme
   (This is also available by calling up New Era Publications,
    which is in the phone book. They will deliver the book to
    your house, if you wish)
4) Consciousness: proceedings of a research conference at

No Sri Vaishnava math has its headquarters in Madras, but I think
there is an Ahobila Math in Triplicane. Vaidehi will know better --
you may want to ask her (

Please call me or send email if you need more references.


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