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Re: The term "Srivaishnava"
Date: Mon Oct 09 2000 - 17:01:46 PDT

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah:
Dear Sri Mani,

I am sure you would have done lot of research and study before answering this.
With my little knowledge and stay at Srirangam, adiyEn has not heard what you
wrote as:

However, in many circles, the word "bhAgavata" is a codeword for
a person in the Sri Vaishnava tradition who is not a brahmin. Hence,
in Kanchipuram, Sriperumbudur, Srirangam, Tiruvallikkeni, etc., where
these devotees are present in large numbers, we hear brahmins often
speak of "our people" and the "Sri Vaishnava gOshTi" as opposed to
the "bhAgavata gOshTi".  The expression "He is a bhAgavata" really
means "He is not a brahmin but belongs to Ramanuja sampradAya".

Others commonly hold the opinion that "Vaishnava" refers to a
devotee of Vishnu of any caste, but "Sri Vaishnava" refers to
a brahmin devotee. Their verbal usage follows this opinion

I have always been under the impression that Srivaishnava sampradayam refers to
devotees (of any caste) of Emperumaan sriya: Pathi sriman Narayanan as
BhAgawatha" and I have not heard even once, BhAgawata means one who is not a
brahmin, but belongs to Ramanuja sampradaya. Perhaps, I am ignorant.

Also, Vaishnava- devotee of Vishnu (, but of any philosophy- be it Dwaita,
Advaitha or Gaudiya whatever), while Srivaishnava is the one belonging to Sri
Ramanuja Sampradayam (Sri Sampradayam). This is what I have been told. Again, I
ma be wrong.

Please forgive me for my indulgence on your analysis and research. I only wished
to express my ignorance.

You also wrote:

In the final analysis, this is divisive. At least in the Prabandham
gOshTi, it is my hope that some day Sri Vaishnavas of all stripes
and genders can gather together and recite the sacred poems of the
Alvars, which by their very design sought to demolish distinctions
among devotees.  I do not anticipate this happening in my lifetime.

I can feel the pain in your heart. I do have the same. Bhagawatha sankalpam, we
will see the unity in our lifetime itself. Not to worry.

Narayana Narayana

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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