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Purohitas & Temple Priests

Vijay_Srinivasan_at_praxair.com
Date: Thu Nov 13 1997 - 04:35:09 PST

Dear Prapatti Group Members:

I would like to add my 2 cents worth  to the very intersting discussion
initiated by Mohan Sagar and Kalale.  I would also entirely agree with
Shrimans Krishnamachari and Sadagopan about the need to make a distiction
between the entirely two different types of trainings that the temple and
Vaidika priests undergo.  The Prayogams used in both methods are quite
different.  The domestic functions come under the Vaidika - Karma Category.
The temple functions are governed by either the Pancharatra or Vaikanasa
Agamas.  Even in a small function like Punyavachanam one finds that the
Agamas use Vasudeva Punyahavachanam whereas the one done in homes use the
Pavamana Suktham.  On the whole there is  little in common.  On the
otherhand when it comes to Vaidika Karmas there is very little difference
between a Smartha and a Vaishnava priest.

Recently when our temple at Buffalo was recruiting a priest, we found a
trend that Priests who are desirous of coming here obtain a little training
in both areas and I feel this only fulfills "something is better than
nothing" type of a requirement.  The NY temple has done a good job in
having a good combination of priests under both categories.  Shri
Rangarajan of NY temple is well trained in Vaidika Purohitam.  Similarly
Shri Venkata Shastri, now in NC is extremely well trained in Prayogams.
Learning the Vedas is one thing but its practical application comes under
prayogams.  The former Poudarika Puram Swamigal was considered a great
expert in this area and he use to have one year training course on
Prayogams.  His work has been recently published by the Andavan Ashramam in
Madras.  If you would like to obtain a copy of the book,  I will post the
exact details later, as I don't have it handy now.  Navalpakkam
Devanathacharya Swamigal is another great expert in Prayogams who now lives
in Navalpakkam.

Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan
Buffalo, NY