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From: elayavalli (
Date: Thu Apr 18 2002 - 18:06:10 PDT

SrimathE Ramanujaya Namaha:
AzhwAr EmperumAnAr Jeeyar ThiruvadigalE Saranam

Dear Sri Sridhar

I think people get confused between Thirumalai and Thiruppathi. The 
temple on top of the hill is what we call Thirumalai. From the temple 
history, looks like preists were staying at the foothills and were 
going up and down every day to perform the Kainkariyam to Perumal. 

Much before Ramanuja's period, many of the priests were staying in 
thiruchchAnUr since that was the only near by place close to a river. 
Those days, it was important to live by the banks of a river. 

In order to improve the lives of the priests, Sri Ramanuja installed 
the Sri Govindaraja Perumal temple in what is now known as Keezh 
thiruppathi. Before Ramanuja visited Thirumalai, this temple was 
known as Sri Parthasarathy Temple, but no services were performed 
since the Moolavar was suspected to have a defect. Sri Ramanuja, 
installed the Utsava moorthy of Sri Govindaraja Perumal at this 
temple site (after the utsavar was ordered out of the Chidambaram 
temple by the Chola? king). From that time onwards , the temple was 
referred to as Sri Govindaraja Perumal temple. I think the original 
Sri Parthasarathy shrine is probably still there (I may be wrong)

Sri Ramanuja then had four streets built surrounding the temple had 
houses built for the Thirumala Temple priests. In spite of all these 
efforts Sri Ramanuja did not push to establish the Pancharatra system 
in Thirmalai, taking the advise of his Acharya. But the Tiruchchaanur 
and Sri Govindaraja Perumal temples follow the guidelines established 
by him. 

So, in one way you can say that Sri Ramanuja created the town of 
Keezh thiruppathi. 

As far as the appointment of the priests for the temples at Keezh 
thiruppathi and thiruchchaanur, it is my belief that, Sri Ramanuja's 
guidelines are still followes. 

There are many works published by TTD that covers various aspects of 
the temple activities, like who gets the first theertham etc. There 
were all established by Sri Ramanuja and is being followed to-date in 
both thiruchchaanur and keezh thiruppathi. I am not sure about the 

Hope this helps,


Venkatesh Elayavilli

--- In sv-rituals@y..., Sridhar Basavaraju <ghantasa@g...> wrote:
> > Hello Group
> >
> >   I am new to the group.  This is in fact my first substantial
> posting on
> > this site and thus, i apologize if this is beyond the scope of the
> > discussion or if you have already covered this topic.
> >
> >   I had a few questions regarding temple worship in tirupathi that
> i was
> > hoping the group could answer.  First, in pertaining to Sri
> Ramanuja, i
> > heard that it was Ramanujacharya that began temple worship in
> tirupathi.
> > Could someone please describe how that worship began.  Who, why 
> how
> > did he choose the people who would be priests?  Who were the
> priests and
> > how were they classified with regards to their roles in the 
> ie
> > temple cooks, archakas, educators, etc.  How were these priests
> educated?
> > what were the guidelines that were followed?  Finally, how has 
> temple
> > worship continued to the modern day?  Have sri ramanuja's
> instructions
> > been continued to the modern day?  Has the system and continuity 
> temple
> > worship been broken in tirupathi since ramanuja's time?  Have the
> > descendants of the same families appointed by sri ramanuja
> continued to be
> > the main archakas today? How are the priests currently educated?
> Do they
> > have their gurus or are they educated by their fathers, etc?
> >
> >
> > Sridhar Basavaraju

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