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Re: bAdarAyaNa

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Mon May 03 1999 - 13:44:04 PDT

Srikanth,

Badarayana is traditionally identified by all Vedantins
as Veda Vyasa. Modern scholars, however, differ on this
issue. It really doesn't matter -- Badarayana is accepted
as an authority on the Vedanta irrespective of his true
identity.

It is also established that Badarayana/Vyasa is not in
the Sri Vaishnava acharya parampara.  [The Guru Parampara
Prabhavam of Pinpazhagiya Perumaal Jiyar says that
Nammalvar gave Nathamuni the meanings of the three 
rahasyas, the Divya Prabandham, and all the sampradAyic
expositions as well the secret of ashTAnga-yoga.]

Now, the question remains as to whether Badarayana 
was a Sri Vaishnava. What do you mean by 'Sri Vaishnava'?
If you mean someone who espoused the philosophy of the
Vedas as expounded by Ramanuja, and someone who believed
that Sriman Narayana was the supreme reality, yes, of course 
I think Badarayana was a Sri Vaishnava.  

Please understand that just because Badarayana/Vyasa is
not in the official acharya parampara does not mean that
he is not an important teacher to Sri Vaishnavas. Badarayana
is important to all Vedic schools. If we are to believe
that Sri Vaishnavism is the authentic interpretation of the
Vedanta, Badarayana has to be a rishi of utmost importance
to us. After paying reverence to God, Ramanuja pays homage
to "pArASArya" or Vyasa in the Sribhashya.  But in the theistic 
revival of Vedanta spearheaded by Nathamuni in the 9th century, 
the significant teachers are the Alvars (probably because they
were more recent in time, as well as because of the uniqueness
of the Prabandham), represented by Nammalvar.  The acharya
parampara finds completion ultimately in God Himself. This is 
the origin of the Ubhaya Vedanta tradition.  So this is the 
acharya parampara we revere today.  I hope this is straightforward.

Mani