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Re: Shaivite vs. Vaishnavite faiths

From: K. Srinivasan (
Date: Thu Sep 21 1995 - 07:34:27 PDT

>Greetings everyone.
>I have mostly been a bystander and a curious reader on this mailing list.
>Could someone on this group answer a long standing question that no one has
>been able to answer for me. Why is it that the Smarthas of Tamil Nadu
>worship both Shiva and Vishnu whereas the Sri Vaishnavas worship only
>Vishnu? Maybe this is an FAQ on this group and the answer is archived
>somewhere. If so could someone direct me to the appropriate place?
>	Incidentally, I am of the Smartha tradition myself.
>Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
>-Srikanth Gopala

What you say is indeed true. Infact you might know that there are a few "Smarthas"
who were "thirumaN" and preferentially worship Vishnu. I know that "ooththukkadu
venkata subba iyer" composed all songs on Krishna only. {I do not know if he
wore thirumaN}. Sri Sankara himself has wriiten in praise of Vishnu.

What distinguises Iyengars/Sri Vaishnavas is accepting Sri Ramanuja as their
spiritual leader, and not Sri Sankara. The difference is philosophical.

Finally, why they do not care for Siva Temples? It is because Sri Ramanuja
was not acccepted by Siva temples. You might have seen that many
Sri vaishnavas do not mind "amman" temples and some are Murugan devotees

Srinivasan K