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Hinduism & SriVaishnavism

Date: Mon Sep 30 1996 - 22:40:50 PDT

Mr. Srinivasan writes:

"it is painful to see a statement with the words "Srivaishnavism
distinguished from Hinduism". Srivaishnava Sampradaya is inseparable 
Sanatana Dharma / Vaidika Dharma."

For ease in discussion, I would like to respond to this from the view 
that a cultural anthropoligist would have of the subject.  

SriVaishnavism does fall under the large umbrella of Hinduism in that 
it does include some Vedic rituals and injunctions. However, it has 
several unique aspects that can allow one to clearly identify it as a 
unique religion among the plethora of belief systems that make up 
Hinduism.  Some of these aspects are: the recognition of a personal 
Divinity as the ultimate Reality (this is not unique, per se, though, 
as there are other Schools of thought in India that maintain this 
view), the exclusive worship of this Divinity as the means to 
salvation, the role of Divine Grace and the Maternal Aspect of the 
Divinity in such a salvation, the use of the vernacular in 
ritualistic worship, and Prapatti, a validated path to Divine by 
complete reliance upon Him as the Way and the Goal.

Christianity has a similar structure which could serve as a a good 
equivalent.  Catholicism shares many common views with its umbrella 
religion, Christianity.  However, it has many unique traits that 
allows one to clearly identify it from other Christian religions.

Daasanu Daasan,