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Re: mAyA sItA

From: V.Srimahavishnu (vsri_at_iitk.ac.in)
Date: Sat May 29 1999 - 23:30:35 PDT

  rAmAnujasya charaNau SaraNam prapadyE.

       Dear BhAgavatas,

                   namO namah.

On Fri, 28 May 1999 Sri Mani wrote:
> 
> As stated earlier, acharyas in the Sri Vaishnava tradition
> do not accept the Maya Sita story. If it has been reported
> that Ramanuja used this story at Tirupati, this must be a 
> recent revision of history.  According to the earliest biographies, 
> there are few details of what arguments Ramanuja actually made, 
> and the Maya Sita story would have had little if any relevance 
> to the dispute.

      Let us first discuss the relevance of the mAyA sItA episode to the
dispute between VaishNavas and Saivas.
 
      BhagavadrAmAnuja referred to this, to prove  that Lod VEnkatESwara
is no different from rAma . As per the purANa gAthA referred to
by him, the same mAyA sItA takes birth as PadmAvatI in kaliyugArambham and
marries perumAL. But, the presiding deity of SrI SukapurI (TiruchhukanUr,
TiruchAnUr) is considered to be a direct incarnation of Periya PirAtti.So
this incident must be having some kalpa bhEdam. Also I am nobody to
question our AchAryas' stand on this topic.

     Now let us come to the issue of discussions between BhagavdrAmAnuja
and Saivas regarding the vishNutvam of saptagirISan.

       vEnkatAchalEtihAsamAlA gives a detailed account of these arguments.
This book is considered to be an authentic source of information by
SV vidwAns of Tirupati region. This is an ancient text written by none
other than SrI anandALwAn."mahAmahOpAdhyAya" SrImAn anandANbiLLai
SrIrangAchAryulu, a descendant of SrI anantAryar  published this book in
Telugu transliteration in previous century. Later TTD published it in
dEvanagari lipi. SrI N C V Narasimhacharyulu traslated this book into
Telugu with the assistance of  SrImAn U VE T A Krishnamacharyulu, another
descendant of SrI anandALwAn.

         SrImAn N C V carried out a sentence-to-sentence or rather
word-to-word translation of the book. SrImAn Mohan Sagar has
informed me that the book written in English by Sri S.Krishaswami Iyengar
does not refer to this episode at all.

   Now coming to the point, rAmAnuja dismisses all the claims made by
Saivas as bogus.He quotes more than one hundred pramANas. Interestingly,
many people even today repeat the same claims.In the recent past, an
AchArya of a particular  school of thought said SrI vEnkatESa is
"hariharAtmakan" on the basis of His nAgAbharaNatvam, jatAdhAritvam and
pEyAzhvAr's (if i remember rightly) addressing Him as having soumya and
bhIkara forms simultaneously. Unfortnately nobody denied his repeatedly
made statements(to the best of my knowledge). Absolutely same arguments
took place between BhagavadrAmAnuja and others and the former gave the
latter befitting replies.
         
 BhagavadrAmAnuja refers to a "ruk" which advises the jIva to go to the
hill of Parama pususha having SrI on His hrutpItham, to take refuge at
His feet, for the jIva's ujjIvanam. In quite similar words, BhavishyOttara
purANa confirms that the hill referred to in this rugvEda mantra is
PannagAchalam only. 

   This book also provides an account of the origns of various temple
rituals as per the sadAchArams of SV and VaikhAnasa sampradAyams. Also it
tells us how SrI gOvinda rAjar came to Tirupati from "Tillainagar"
TiruchhittirakUdam (Chidambaram). The present mUrti of gOvindarAjar in
natarAjar's sannidhi was installed later. 

        Tirumalai oLugu(whose author is unknown), summarises SrI
anadAlwAn's work and gives account of customs introduced in the
post-anadALwAn period esp. by SrI mANavAla mAmunigaL.

                          ALwAr emberumAnAr JIyar TiruvadigaLE SaraNam
                                        dAsan
                                   V.Srimahavishnu