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Re: Iyer/Iyengar

From: Anand Karalapakkam (
Date: Thu May 06 1999 - 12:48:22 PDT

SrImatE SrI Lakshminrusimha ParabrahmaNE namaha
SrI Lakshminrusimha divya pAdukA sEvaka SrIvaNN-
SatakOpa SrI nArAyaNa yateendra mahAdESikAya namaha

Dear SrI Jagan,
 namO nArAyaNA.

> "IyengAr" means 'Iyndu angam Udayavar'or'Iyndu kAryangaL
> Udayavar'. These five refers to the 'Pancha SamskAram'. It also
> means the fiva angAs of prapatti. We can in general say that this
> PanchaSamskAram gives one the name "IyengAr".

> Can it be that anyone irrespective of the caste that he is born into,
> after initiation and the Pancha Samskaram from a Guru of our Parampara
> becomes technically a Iyengar?

  Technically Yes. When "IyengAr" is interpreted to refer to this pancha 
  samskAram, any SriVaishnava is an IyengAr.

> Does Caste play any or important role in Bhakthi?

  Obviously not. A bhAgavathA ie.SrivaishnavA may belong to any caste. 
  Its a great sin (bhAgavatha apachAram) to estimate one's level of 
  devotion based on his/her caste. 
> If it doesnt, is it justified to use 'IyengAr' as a title or as a term to
> differentiate between bhaktas born in SriVaishnava families from others?

  Technically Yes.

> In what sense can 'IyengAr' be used and in what context/situation?
  But, the problem is that, in social custom, the term "IyengAr" got
  identified with only the Srivaishnava brAhmanAs. So, people may 
  misunderstand you if you use the term "IyengAr" to denote any 
  adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
  ananthapadmanAbha dAsan