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[sv-rituals] pAncarAtrins

From: kvk_kannan (
Date: Fri Apr 12 2002 - 18:43:48 PDT

> Namo Narayana !
> The following is in response to the following
> questions posed by Mr. Ute Huesken of Germany:
> 1.  Do pAancarAtrins have a separate sUtrA as
> vakhAnasAs strictly follow the vaikhAnasa sUtrA ?
> 2.  "Isvara samhitA mentions kAtyAyana sUtrA as the
> sUtrA of the pAncarAtrins"  Is there a connection
> between pAncarAtrA and kAtyayana sUtrA. 
> As already stated in the earlier note, the priestly
> class (who alone are qualified to function as priests
> by a hereditary privilege) in the Vaishnava temples
> governed by the Vaikhanasa Agama is a distinct entity.
>  They regard their great preceptor sage Vikhanas with
> profound veneration and have adopted for their rituals
> the Vaikhanasa sutra.  
> As against this, in the temples following the
> PancarAtra tradition, Vaishnavas trained and
> proficient in PancarAtra AgamAs and who have obtained
> dikshA, function as priests.  The term PancarAtrin
> does not apply exclusively to such persons alone, but
> applies to all for whom Vishnu, ie Narayana with his
> consort Shri is the Supreme God eulologised in the
> Vedas.  This is because, 
>   1. the distinctive doctrinal concepts of the Supreme
> in Para, Vyuha, Vibhava, Antaryamin and archA forms, 
>   2. the Vyuha emanations distributing the six
> qualities among the Vyuha forms of SamkarshaNa,
> Pradyumna & Anirudhaa
>   and 3. the means of salvation of the souls through
> the medium of prapatthi, or shraNAgathi or total self
> surrender, 
> receive ellaborate and explicit treatment in the
> pancarAtrA texts only, with succinct and suggestive
> statements in the Vedas as their authority.  The
> pAncarAtrA texts incorporate comprehensively Vaishnava
> theology and philosophy in the Vedic format and embody
> numerous portions of Vedas for providing a working
> manual.  The temple worship is known as "parArtha",
> meaning, "that not meant for the self, but for the
> common welfare of the society as a whole".
> The daily worship prescribed for a householder at his
> home is styled as "swArtha", meaning, "that which is
> meant for the familiy's welfare".  This household
> worship enjoined upon the householder draws its
> content from pAncharAtrA.  Thus all householders are
> in a sense pAncharAtrins.  One can discern  the
> fragran flavors of Sruti (example: Vedam), Smriti,
> IthihAsa (as in the RAmAyaNA) and PurAnA (as in VishNu
> purANA)in the pAncharAtrA system.
> The kAtyAyana sUtrA referred  to is a Srauta-sUtrA* of
> the sukla yajur veda.  which has one grihya sUtrA
> named as the "pAraskara grihya sUtrA".  While a Srauta
> sUtrA deals with vedic sacrifices and rituals, grihya
> sUtrAs cover the entire gamut of rites enjoined on a
> householder from birth to death.  The householder has
> to follow the grihya sUtrA of his vedic affiliation. 
> He has  to follow the srauta sUtrA of his Vedic
> affiliation if he partakes or performs in Vedic
> sacrifices.
> If he himself is an "AhitAgni" i.e., one who has
> established and is maintaining the "TretAgnic"
> consisting of AvahanIyam, gArhapatyam and dakshinAgni
> by being a nithyAgnihOtri.  A pAncharAtrin has thus a
> specific sUtrA depending upon the veda and the
> recension of it to which he is affiliated.
> Isvaramuni, father of the celebrated nathamuni is
> known as a master of pAnchrAtrA system.  nAthamuni,
> his grandson yamunachArya and the his chosen
> theological leader of the Vaishnavites, shrI rAmAnujA
> are all pAncharAtrins, but they had their own sUtrAs.
> kAtyAyana sUtrA is thus only one o0f sixteen extant
> sUtrAa for all the four vedas and its connection to
> pAncharAtrA may only be a coincidence.  (RgVeda has
> two, Samaveda has four, Krishna yajurveda has eight,
> sukla yajur veda one and atharva veda has one srauta
> sUtrAs.)
> Namo Narayana,
> Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan
> (K. Venkatakrishnan)
> *P.S.:  SUtrAs are divided into Srauta sUtrAs (that
> which refers to Sruti), grihya sUtrAs (that which
> refers to rituals of a householder) and Dharma sUtrAs
> (that which refers to codes of conduct).

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