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Re: Shaivite vs. Vaishnavite faiths

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_srirangam.esd.sgi.com)
Date: Thu Sep 21 1995 - 12:34:07 PDT

sgopalan@eng.utah.edu writes:
> Why is it that the Smarthas of Tamil Nadu
> worship both Shiva and Vishnu whereas the Sri Vaishnavas worship only
> Vishnu? 

Sri Vaishnavas understand the Vedas to teach that 
Sriman Narayana is the Supreme Brahman, and that
meditation and surrender to him is the only means
to moksha.  

The Tamil heritage of the Sri Vaishnavas also teaches
them that Narayana alone is the supreme entity.  With
these as a background, the question of worshipping 
Siva as envisioned in temples and puraanas cannot even
arise, since according to the Vaishnava tradition,
Siva is not God as such.

This is somewhat contrary to the smaarta view that both 
Vishnu and Siva are merely subjective and ultimately
false conceptions of the formless, undifferentiated Absolute. 

Mani