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[sv-rituals] Guru paramparai-1

From: sumithra varadarajan (sumivaradan_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Tue Apr 30 2002 - 14:30:43 PDT

            INTRODUCTION TO  THE VEDAS
    
Sri Parthasarathi thunai,
Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha

Pranams,

In our Sri Vaishnava Sampradhayam Acharyas play a very
important role.  Our Sampradayam even goes to the
level of giving importance to the acharyas more than
the perumal himself.  Madurakavi Alwar was a great
example for his acharya nishtai who says “Devu
mattariyen”  I donot know anyone else other my
aacharya sri Nammazhvar.  Then when we look at our
acharyas we see Anantazhvan who even dared to take his
wife who was pregnant to the Thirupathi malai(kulir
aruvi venkadam) just for the wish of his acharya and
did pushpa kainkaryam over there.  When one day
srinivasa asked him to come early, he refused and said
he will come to see him only after finishing the
garland which was the kainkaryam given to him by his
Aacharya.  Such was the acharya bhakthi of our
poorvacharyas who even didn’t care about the lord. 
Another Acharya by the name Erumbiyappa (Sri
mamunigals’s sishya) had similar acharya bhakthi. Once
mamunigal asked Erumbiappa to bring his thiruvaradhana
perumal and Erumbiappa got mamunigal’s Thiruvaradhana
perumal in one hand and also mamunigal’s divya padukai
in the other.  Mamunigal got angry and asked how he
could bring the padukai and perumal together? For that
Erumbiappa replied in this hand I have your
Thiruvaradana perumal and on the other adiyen’s
Thiruvaradhanam I don’t find any mistake in this.  So
these sisyas regarded their acharya as their
emperuman.  This bhaavam is usually referred to as
Madurakavi Bhaavam, as madurakavigal was the one who
laid the path to this acharya nishtai.

So now let us talk a little about our poorvacharyas. 
This is just an introduction and collection of
whatever adiyen has learnt till now and hence not
complete.  If any of the learned scholars can
elaborate on the same adiyen will be grateful to them.

Vaidika matam is nourished by ubhaya vedantam.  We
have the Sanskrit Vedas and the tamil Vedas(Nalayira
Divya Prabhandham).  In our Guru paramparai we regard
Sriman Narayanan as the Prathama guru.  As Sri
Thirumazhisai Alwar in Nanmugan Thiruvandhadhi says, 
“Nanmuganai Narayanan padaithan” .  So Narayanan first
created Brahma.  As per the Vedas Brahma got birth in
the nabhikamalam of Sriman Narayana.  Brahma searched
for his superior when a crocodile appeared and when
Brahma asked who he was the koormam replied I am your
creator.  Brahma laughed at this and said he was so
small and how could he create him then the bhagvan
showed Brahma his vishvaroopam and then gave him the
four Vedas and asked him to start creating the world. 
There came the Vedas which is the mukya pramanam for
our vaishnava siddhantham.  The Vedas are namely, Rig,
Yajur, sama and Atharvana.  Vedas are otherwise called
as sruthi(that which are learnt by constant
listening), nigama(that which is gifted to the shisyas
by the acharya), Amnaya(that which is learnt through a
 sannadhai).  The Vedas were so divided by the great
saint Shri VedaVyasa(who is considered as a avatara of
Vishnu himself).  
In any yajna there are four important persons:
1.	Hota – he who sings the praise of the Emperuman
2.	Athvaryu – he was does the homam or yajna
3.	Uthgatha – he who sings the Samam
4.	Brahma – he who supervises everything
On these basis Sri VedaVyasa spilt the Vedas into Rig,
Yajur, Sama and Atharvana.  Each veda is divided into
four other parts namely, Samhita(collection of
mantras), Brahmana(collection of instructions for the
rituals to be performed and praises of the devathas
preciding the rituals), Aranyaka(those which were
recited in the forests) and the Upanishads(the jnana
pakam of the Vedas).
The poorva kandam of the Vedas is called the Karma
Kaandam and the uthra Kaandam is called the Jnana
kaandam.  The major Upanishads which form the Jnana
Kaandam are:  Isavasya, Kena, Kato, prasna, Mundaka,
Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aiteraya, Chandokya, and
Brihadaranya.  Other accepted Upanishads are
Swetasvatara, kaushitaki, subala and Maha
narayana(part of taittiriya).

The Vedas have six angas:
1.	Sikshai – helps in proper Pronounciation of the
Vedas
2.	Vyakaranam – Gives the grammer
3.	Chandhas – Metres of various rikhs
4.	Niruththam – Dictionary to vedic words or
terminologies
5.	Kalpam -  procedure to rituals described in the
Vedas
6.	Jhotisham – indicates the suitable time for the
various vedic rituals to be        performed

Emperuman by his Apaara krupai gave the Vedas for the
benefit of the mankind .  Since it was not accessible
to many, he then made the rishis to create the
smritis, Ethihasa  Puranas and the agamas for the
benefit of all.  As everyone knows the Ethihasas are 2
in number the Ramanyanam and the Mahabharatam.  Let us
see a brief about the smritis, puranas and agamas in
the next posting.

I beg the learned members to forgive and correct my
mistakes.

Adiyen Ramanuja Dasyai
Sumithra Varadarajan



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