SRI VAISHNAVA SAMPRADAYA or SRI VAISHNAVISM is a denomination within
Vaishnavism tradition of
Hinduism . The name is derived from Sri
referring to goddess
Lakshmi as well as a prefix that means "sacred,
revered", and god
Vishnu who are together revered in this tradition.
The tradition traces its roots to the ancient
Vedas and Pancaratra
Sanskrit and the devotional love of the divine (bhakti )
popularized by the
Alvars with Tamil texts, songs and music. The
Vaishnavism is traditionally attributed as
the 10th century CE, its central philosopher has been
Ramanuja of the
11th century who developed the
Vedanta sub-school of
Hindu philosophy . Tradition is
based on the Vishistadvaita vedanta philosophy derived from Sanskrit
Veda and Tamil Divya Prabandham. The tradition split into two
sub-traditions around the 16th-century called the
Veda the first preference) and
Thenkalai (sect giving
Divya Prabandham the first preference).
* 1 Name
* 2 History
* 2.1 Mythological origins
* 2.2 Historical origins
* 2.3 Reverence for the goddess and god
* 3 Philosophy
* 3.2 Comparisons with Advaita
* 3.3 Comparisons with Protestant Christianity and Buddhism
* 4 Texts and scholarship
* 4.4 Post
Ramanuja period authors
* 5 Organization
Thenkalai sect ("southern") -
* 6.1.1 Characteristics
* 6.1.2 Demographics
* 6.1.3 Notable
* 6.2 Vadakalais ("northern") -
* 6.2.1 Characteristics
* 6.2.3 Demographics
* 6.2.4 Notable
* 7 See also
* 8 Notes
* 9 References
* 9.1 Bibliography
* 10 Further reading
* 11 External links
The name Srivaishnavism (
IAST : Śrīvaiṣṇavism) is derived from
Sri and Vaishnavism. The word
Sri (Tiru in Tamil) refers to
Lakshmi as well as a prefix that means "sacred, revered", and
Vishnu who are together revered in this tradition. The word
Vaishnavism refers to a tradition that reveres god
Vishnu as the
supreme god. The followers of Srivaishnavism are known as
Srivaishnava (IAST: Śrīvaiṣṇava,
The tradition traces its roots to the primordial start of the world
through Vishnu, and to the texts of Vedic era with both
Sri and Vishnu
found in ancient texts of the 1st millennium BCE particularly to the
Upanishads and the
Bhagavad Gita .
The historical basis of
Vaishnavism is in the syncretism of two
developments. The first is
Sanskrit traditions found in ancient texts
such as the
Vedas and the Agama (Pancaratra), and the second is the
Tamil traditions found in early medieval texts (Tamil Prabandham) and
practices such as the emotional songs and music of
expressed spiritual ideas, ethics and loving devotion to god Vishnu.
Sanskrit traditions likely represent the ideas shared in ancient
Ganges river plains of the northern Indian subcontinent,
while the Tamil traditions likely have roots in the Kaveri river
plains of southern India, particularly what in modern times are the
Andhra Pradesh ,
Tamil Nadu region.
The tradition was founded by
Nathamuni (10th century), who combined
the two traditions, by drawing on
Sanskrit philosophical tradition and
combining it with the aesthetic and emotional appeal of the Bhakti
movement pioneers called the
Vaishnavism developed in
Tamil Nadu in the 10th century, after
Nathamuni returned from a
Vrindavan in north
Uttar Pradesh ).
Nathamuni's ideas were continued by
Yamunacharya , who maintained
Vedas and Pancaratras are equal, devotional rituals and
bhakti are important practices. The legacy of
Ramanuja (1017-1137), but they never met. Ramanuja, a
scholar who studied in an Advaita
Vedanta monastery and disagreed with
some of the ideas of Advaita, became the most influential leader of
Sri Vaishnavism. He developed the
Around the 18th century, the
Sri Vaishnava tradition split into the
Vatakalai ("northern culture", Vedic) and
culture", Bhakti). The Vatakalai placed more emphasis on the
Sanskrit traditions, while the
Tenkalai relied more on the Tamil
traditions. This theological dispute between the Vedic and Bhakti
traditions traces it roots to the debate between
Kanchipuram monasteries between the 13th and 15th century. The debate
then was on the nature of salvation and the role of grace. The
Tenkalai tradition asserted, states Patricia Mumme,
Vishnu saves the soul like "a mother cat carries her kitten",
where the kitten just accepts the mother while she picks her up and
carries. In contrast the Vedic-favoring Vatakalai tradition asserted
Vishnu saves the soul like "a mother monkey carries her baby",
where the baby has to make an effort and hold on while the mother
carries. This metaphorical description of the disagreement between
the two sub-traditions, first appears in the 18th-century Tamil texts,
but historically refers to the foundational ideas behind the
karma-marga versus bhakti-marga traditions of Hinduism.
REVERENCE FOR THE GODDESS AND GOD
Along with Vishnu, and like
Shaivism , the ultimate reality and truth
is considered in
Vaishnavism to be the divine sharing of the
feminine and the masculine, the goddess and the god.
is regarded as the preceptor of the
Sri Vaishnava sampradaya. Goddess
Sri has been considered inseparable from god
Vishnu , and essential to
each other, and to the act of mutual loving devotion.
Sri and Vishnu
act and cooperate in the creation of everything that exists, and
redemption. According to some medieval scholars of Srivashnava
theology, states John Carman,
Vishnu do so using "divine
knowledge that is unsurpassed" and through "love that is an erotic
Vaishnavism differs from Shaivism, in that
ultimately the sole creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe
Lakshmi is the medium for salvation, the kind mother who
Vishnu and thereby helps living beings in their desire
for redemption and salvation. In contrast, in Shaivism, the goddess
(Shakti) is the energy and power of Shiva and she is the equal with
different roles, supreme in the role of creator and destroyer.
Sri is used for this sect because they give special
importance to the worship of the Goddess
Lakshmi , the consort of
Vishnu , who they believe to act as a mediator between God
Sri Vaishnavism's philosophical foundation was established by
Ramanuja, who started his Vedic studies with Yadava Prakasha in an
Vedanta monastery. He brought Upanishadic ideas to this
tradition, and wrote texts on qualified monism , called
Vishishtadvaita in the Hindu tradition. His ideas are one of three
Vedanta , the other two are known as
Adi Shankara 's
Advaita (absolute monism) and
Vishishtadvaita asserts that Atman (souls) and
are different, a difference that is never transcended. God Vishnu
alone is independent, all other gods and beings are dependent on Him.
However, in contrast to
Vedanta philosophy of Madhvacharya,
Ramanuja asserts "qualified non-dualism", that souls share the same
essential nature of Brahman, and that there is a universal sameness
in the quality and degree of bliss possible for human souls, and every
soul can reach the bliss state of God Himself. While the 13th- to
Madhvacharya asserted both "qualitative and quantitative
pluralism of souls",
Ramanuja asserted "qualitative monism and
quantitative pluralism of souls", states Sharma. The other
philosophical difference between Madhvacharya's
Vaishnavism Sampradaya, has been on the idea of
Madhvacharya believed that some souls are eternally
doomed and damned, while
Ramanuja disagreed and accepted the Advaita
Vedanta view that everyone can, with effort, achieve inner liberation
and spiritual freedom (moksha ). THEOLOGY
Śrīvaiṣṇava theologians state that the poems of
Alvars contain the essential meaning of
Vedas . — John Carman and Vasudha Narayanan
Vaishnavism theology, moksha can be reached by
devotion and service to the Lord and detachment from the world. When
moksha is reached, the cycle of reincarnation is broken and the soul
is united with Vishnu, though maintaining their distinctions, in
Vaikuntha, Vishnu's heaven.
Moksha can also be reached by total
surrender and saranagati, an act of grace by the Lord.
God, according to Ramanuja's
Vaishnavism philosophy, has both
soul and body; all of life and the world of matter is the glory of
God's body. The path to
Brahman (Vishnu), asserted Ramanuja, is
devotion to godliness and constant remembrance of the beauty and love
of personal god (saguna Brahman, Vishnu), one which ultimately leads
one to the oneness with nirguna Brahman.
COMPARISONS WITH ADVAITA VEDANTA
Ramanuja accepted that the
Vedas are a reliable source of knowledge,
then critiqued other schools of Hindu philosophy, including Advaita
Vedanta, as having failed in interpreting all of the Vedic texts. He
asserted, in his
Sri Bhasya, that purvapaksin (previous schools)
selectively interpret those Upanishadic passages that support their
monistic interpretation, and ignore those passages that support the
pluralism interpretation. There is no reason, stated Ramanuja, to
prefer one part of a scripture and not other, the whole of the
scripture must be considered on par. One cannot, according to
Ramanuja, attempt to give interpretations of isolated portions of any
scripture. Rather, the scripture must be considered one integrated
corpus, expressing a consistent doctrine. The Vedic literature,
asserted Ramanuja, mention both plurality and oneness, therefore the
truth must incorporate pluralism and monism, or qualified monism.
This method of scripture interpretation distinguishes
Adi Shankara. Shankara's exegetical approach Samanvayat Tatparya
Linga with Anvaya-Vyatireka, states that for proper understanding all
texts must be examined in their entirety and then their intent
established by six characteristics, which includes studying what is
stated by the author to be his goal, what he repeats in his
explanation, then what he states as conclusion and whether it can be
epistemically verified. Not everything in any text, states Shankara,
has equal weight and some ideas are the essence of any expert's
textual testimony. This philosophical difference in scriptural
studies, helped Shankara conclude that the Principal Upanishads
primarily teach monism with teachings such as Tat tvam asi, while
Ramanuja conclude that qualified monism is at the foundation
of Hindu spirituality.
COMPARISONS WITH PROTESTANT CHRISTIANITY AND BUDDHISM
John Carman, a professor at the
Harvard Divinity School
Harvard Divinity School , states that
some of the similarities in salvation ideas in
Protestant Christian doctrines of divine grace are striking. Both
accept God as a personal concept, accept devotee's ability to relate
to this God without human intermediaries, and accept the idea of sola
gratia – salvation through faith by the grace of God alone, such as
those found in Martin Luther's teachings. While both
and Protestant Christianity accept a supreme God and shares ideas on
the nature of salvation, they differ in their specifics about
incarnation such as Jesus Christ being the only incarnation in
Vaishnavism accepts many incarnations (avatar
) of Vishnu. Christian missionaries in 19th century colonial British
India, noted the many similarities and attempted to express the
theology of Christianity as a bhakti marga to Hindus, along the lines
Sri Vaishnavism, in their mission to convert them from
Similar teachings on the nature of salvation through grace and
compassion, adds Carman, are found in the Japanese scholar Shinran's
text on Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism, even though non-theistic
Buddhism and theistic
Vaishnavism do differ in their views on God.
TEXTS AND SCHOLARSHIP
Vaishnavism philosophy is primarily based on interpreting Vedanta
, particularly the
Upanishads , the
Bhagavad Gita , the Brahma Sutras
and the Narayaniya section of the
Mahabharata . The Vaishnava Agama
texts, also called the Pancaratra, has been an important part of Sri
Vaishnava tradition. Another theological textual foundation of the
tradition are the Tamil bhakti songs of the
Alvars (7th to 10th
century). The syncretic fusion of the two textual traditions is
sometimes referred to as the Ubhaya Vedanta, or dual Vedanta. The
relative emphasis between the two has been a historic debate within
Vaishnavism tradition, which ultimately led to the schism
into the Vatakalai and
Tenkalai sub-traditions around the 18th
Nathamuni collected the poems of
Nammalvar , in the form of Divya
Prabandham, likely in the 9th century CE, or the 10th century. One
of his lasting contributions was to apply the Vedic theory of music on
all the Alvar songs using
Sanskrit prosody , calling the resulting
choreography as divine music, and teaching his nephews the art of
resonant bhakti singing of the Alvar songs. This precedence set the
guru -sisya-parampara (teacher-student-tradition) in
This style of education from one generation to the next, is a
tradition called Araiyars, states Guy Beck, which preserved "the art
of singing and dancing the verses of the Divya Prabandham" set in the
sacred melodies and rhythms described in the Vedic texts.
Nathamuni's efforts to syncretically combine the Vedic knowledge and
Alvar compositions, also set the precedence of reverence for both the
Vedas and the Alvar bhakti ideas. Nathamuni's scholarship that set
Alvar songs in Vedic meter set a historic momentum, and the liturgical
and meditational songs continue to be sung in the modern era temples
Sri Vaishnavism, which is part of the service called cevai
Nathamuni is also attributed with three texts, all in Sanskrit.
Nyaya Tattva, Purusha Nirnaya and Yogarahasya. The
Yogarahasya text, states Govindacharya, is a meditational text,
includes the eight limb yoga similar to that of Patanjali, but
emphasizes yoga as "the art of communion with God". The
text survives only in quotes and references cited in other texts, and
these suggest that it presented epistemic foundations (
including the philosophical basis for the Hindu belief on the
existence of "soul" (Atman ), in contrast to Indian philosophies such
as Buddhism that denied the existence of soul. Nathamuni, for
If "I" did not refer to the true self, there would be no interiority
belonging to the soul. The interior is distinguished from the exterior
by the concept "I". The aspiration, "May I, having abandoned all
suffering, participate freely in infinite bliss", actuates a person
whose goal is liberation to study scriptures etc. Were it thought that
liberation involved the destruction of the individual, he would run
away as soon as the subject of liberation was suggested... The "I",
the knowing subject, is the inner self.
— Nyayatattva, Nathamuni, ~9th-10th century, Translator:
Yamunacharya was the grandson of
Nathamuni , also known in Sri
Vaishnava tradition as Alavandar, whose scholarship is remembered for
correlating Alvar bhakti theology and
Pancaratra Agama texts to Vedic
ideas. He was the Acharya (chief teacher) of
monastery at Srirangam, and was followed by
Ramanuja , even though
they never met.
Yamunacharya composed a number of works important in
Sri Vaishnavism, particularly Siddhitrayam (about the nature of Atman,
God, universe), Gitarthasangraha (analysis of the
Bhagavad Gita ),
Agamapramanya (epistemological basis of Agamas, mapping them to the
Vedas), Maha Purushanirnayam (extension of Nathamuni's treatise),
Stotraratnam and Chathusloki (bhakti strota texts).
Yamunacharya is also credited with Nitya Grantha and Mayavada
Khandana. The Nitya Grantha is a ritual text and suggests methods of
daily worship of
Narayana (Vishnu). The 10th century Mayavada
Khandana text, together with Siddhitrayam of Yamunacharya
predominantly critiques the philosophy of the traditionally dominant
school of Advaita
Hindu philosophy , but also critiques
Ramanujacharya embracing an icon of Lord
Sri Vaisnava tradition attributes nine
Sanskrit texts to Ramanuja
– Vedarthasangraha (literally, "Summary of the
Vedas meaning" ) Sri
Bhasya (a review and commentary on the Brahma Sutras), Bhagavad Gita
Bhashya (a review and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita), and the minor
works titled Vedantapida, Vedantasara, Gadya Traya (which is a
compilation of three texts called the
Saranagati Gadyam , Sriranga
Gadyam and the
Vaikunta Gadyam ), and Nitya Grantham.
Some modern scholars have questioned the authenticity of all but the
three of the largest works credited to Ramanuja; the following texts
are considered as authentically traceable to
Ramanuja – Shri Bhashya
, Vedarthasangraha and the
Bhagavad Gita Bhashya.
Ramanuja's scholarship is predominantly founded on Vedanta,
Upanishads in particular. He never claims that his ideas were
original, but his method of synthesis that combined the Vedic ideas
with popular spirituality, states Anne Overzee, is original.
Ramanuja, wrote his biographer Ramakrishnananda, was "the culmination
of the movement started from the Vedas, nourished by the Alvars,
Nathamuni and Yamuncharya".
Ramunaja himself credits the theories he presents, in
Vedarthasangraha, to the ideas of ancient Hindu scholars such as
"Bodhyana, Tanka (Brahmanandin), Dramida (Dravidacarya), Guhadeva,
Kapardin and Bharuci". The 11th-century scholarship of Ramanuja
emphasized the concept of Sarira-Saririn, that is the world of matter
and the empirical reality of living beings is the "body of
everything observed is God, one lives in this body of God, and the
purpose of this body and all of creation is to empower soul in its
journey to liberating salvation.
POST RAMANUJA PERIOD AUTHORS
Pillai Lokacharya ,
Manavala Mamunigal , and Vedanta
Ramanuja several authors composed important theological and
exegetical works on
Sri Vaishnavism. Such authors include Parsara
Bhattar , Nadadoor Ammal, Engal Azhwan, Sudarshan Suri, Pillai
Vedanta Desika ,
Manavala Mamunigal , Vadakku Thiruveedhi
Pillai (also called Krishnapada Swamy), Periyavachan Pillai,
Nayanarachan Pillai, Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar, Rangaramanuja
Vaishnavism tradition has nurtured an institutional
organization of matha -s (monasteries) since its earliest days,
particularly from the time of Ramanuja. After the death of
Ramanuja was nominated as the leader of the Srirangam
Ramanuja never met. Amongst other
Ramanuja is remembered in the
Vaishnavism tradition for
his organizational skills and the lasting institutional reforms he
introduced at Srirangam, a system paralleling those at Advaita
monasteries of his time and where he studied before joining Srirangam
Ramanuja travelled and founded many
across India, such as the one in
Melukote . The
tradition believes that
Ramanuja started 700 mathas, but historical
evidence suggests several of these were started later.
Left: The Parakala monastery of
Vishnu temple attached to Ahobila monastery.
The matha, or a monastery, hosted numerous students, many teachers
and an institutionalized structure to help sustain and maintain its
daily operations. A matha in Vaishnvaism and other Hindu traditions,
like a college, designates teaching, administrative and community
interaction functions, with prefix or suffix to names, with titles
such as Guru, Acharya, Swami and Jiyar.
Guru is someone who is a "teacher, guide or master" of certain
knowledge. Traditionally a reverential figure to the student in
Hinduism, the guru serves as a "counselor, who helps mold values,
shares experiential knowledge as much as literal knowledge, an
exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who helps in the
spiritual evolution of a student."
An Acharya refers to either a
Guru of high rank, or more often to the
leader of a regional monastery. This position typically involves a
ceremonial initiation called diksha by the monastery, where the
earlier leader anoints the successor as Acharya. A Swami is usually
those who interact with community on the behalf of the matha. The
chief and most revered of all Vaishnava monasteries, are titled as
Jeer, Jiyar, Jeeyar, or Ciyar.
Vaishnavism mathas over time, subdivided into two, those with
Tenkalai (southern) tradition and
Vadakalai (northern) tradition of
Sri Vaishnavism. The Tenkalai-associated mathas are headquartered at
Vadakalai mathas are associated with Kanchipuram.
Both these traditions have from 10th-century onwards considered the
function of mathas to include feeding the poor and devotees who visit,
hosting marriages and community festivals, farming temple lands and
flower gardens as a source for food and worship ingredients, being
open to pilgrims as rest houses, and this philanthropic role of these
Hindu monasteries continues. In the 15th-century, these monasteries
expanded by establishing Ramanuja-kuta in major South Indian Sri
Vaishnavism locations. The organizationally important
THENKALAI AND VADAKALAI SUB-TRADITIONS
Sri Vaishnava tradition has two major sub-traditions, called the
Vadakalai ("northern") and
Thenkalai ("southern"). The term northern
and southern sub-traditions of
Vaishnavism refers respectively to
Kanchipuram (the northern part of Tamil country) and
southern part of Tamil country and Kaveri river delta area where
Ramunuja wrote his
Vedanta treatises from).
These sub-traditions arose as a result of philosophical and
traditional differences in the post
Ramanuja period. The Vatakalai
relied stronger on the
Sanskrit texts such as
Vedas and Pancaratras
(Tantric), while the
Tenkalai emphasized bhakti texts such as the
Prabandhas of Alvars.
From the early days, the
Vaishnavism movement grew with its
social inclusiveness, where emotional devotionalism to personal god
(Vishnu) was open without limitation to gender or caste, a tradition
Alvars in the 7th to 8th century.
Ramanuja philosophy negated
caste, states Ramaswamy. Ramanuja, who led from the
welcomed outcastes into temples and gave them important roles in
temple operations, with medieval temple records and inscriptions
suggesting that the payments and offerings collected by the temple
were shared regardless of caste distinctions.
Scholars offer divergent views on the relative approach of the two
sub-traditions on caste and gender. Raman states that
Tenkalai did not
recognize caste barriers and were more liberal in assimilating people
from all castes, possibly because this had been the tradition at
Srirangam from the earliest days of
Sri Vaishnavism. In contrast,
Sadarangani states that it was Vatakalai who were more liberal and who
did not recognize caste barriers, possibly because they were competing
with the egalitarian Vira-Shaiva Hindus (Lingayatism) of Karnataka.
Thenkalai tradition brought into their fold artisanal castes
(Shudras) into community-based devotional movements, and writes Raman,
"it can almost be said that the
Tenkalai represented the anti-caste
tendencies while the
Vadakalai school championed the cause of purity
of the Vedic tenets." The
Tenkalai held, adds Raman, that anyone can
be a spiritual teacher regardless of caste.
Vadakalai tradition, states Sadarangani in contrast to Raman's
views, were the liberal cousin of
Tenkalai and therefore more
successful in gaining devotees, while in southern Tamil lands Shaivism
prospered possibly because of "Tankalai school of
narrow and orthodox in approach". The
Vadakalai school not only
succeeded in northern Tamil lands, she adds, but spread widely as it
inspired the egalitarian
Bhakti movement in north, west and east India
Bhakti poet saints from "entire cross section of class,
caste and society".
THENKALAI SECT ("SOUTHERN") - MANAVALA MAMUNIGAL
Sri Vaishnava urdhva pundram
The Thenkalais place a higher important to Tamil shlokas than
Sanskrit, and lay more emphasis on worship of Vishnu. The Thenkalai
accept prapatti as the only means to attain salvation. They consider
Prapatti as an unconditional surrender. The Thenkalais follow the
Tamil Prabandham , and assert primacy to rituals in
Tamil language .
They regard kaivalya (detachment, isolation) as an eternal position
within the realm of
Vaikuntha (Vishnu's 'eternal abode' or heaven),
though it only exists at the outer most regions of Vaikuntha. They
further say that God's seemingly contradictory nature as both
minuscule and immense are examples of God's special powers that enable
Him to accomplish the impossible.
According to Thenkalais, exalted persons need not perform duties such
Sandhyavandanam ; they do so only to set a good example. They don't
ring bells during worship. Thenkalais forbid widows to shave (tonsure)
their head, quoting the Parashara Smriti. while Vadakalais support
the tonsure quoting the Manusmriti,
Sri Kanchi Prativadibhayankar Jagadguru Anantacharya Gaddi
Swamiji, the spiritual preceptor of Tridandi Swami Vishwaksenacharyaji
Thenkalai trace their lineage to Mudaliandan, nephew of
Thenkalai are followers of philosophy of
Pillai Lokacharya and
Manavala Mamuni , who is considered to be the reincarnation of
Ramanuja by the Thenkalais.
Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887–1920), the Indian mathematician.
K.S. Krishnan (1898–1961), the Indian Physicist.
Iyengar (1918 -2014) - founder of style of
Alasinga Perumal - Desciple of Swami Vivekananda and one of the
Founder of Brahmavadin which later became
Sujatha Rangarajan - Writer, editor and engineer, key person
behind development of Electronic Voting Machine for which he was
Iyengar - Renowned Musician and architect of
modern Carnatic music
VADAKALAIS ("NORTHERN") - VEDANTA DESIKA
Vadagalai thiruman kappu 1
Parakala Mutt painting of
Vedanta Desikan with Brahmatantra Swatantra Jeeyar
The Vadakalais are followers of
Vedanta Desika , who
Vadakalai sampradaya based on the Sanskritic tradition.
They lay more emphasis on the role of
Lakshmi i.e. Sri, and uphold
Vedas as the ultimate "PramaaNam" or authority, although
Vedanta is used to infer from and establish the doctrine of
Vishishtaadvaita. The Vadakalais infer that all of the Alwars
compositions are derived from
Vedas , and one would always have go to
the ultimate source to reference and defend the doctrine. Vadakalais
lay emphasis on Vedic norms as established by Rishis and all
Vadakalai ardently follows the
Vedas , and the set of
rules prescribed by the
Manusmriti and Dharma Shastras . The sect is
based on the Sankritic tradition, and the set of rules prescribed by
Manusmriti and other Dharma Shastras . In
Sanskrit the Vadakalai
are referred to as UTTARA KALāRYA.
Traditionally, the Vadakalais believe in practising
Karma yoga ,
Jnana yoga and
Bhakti yoga , along with
Prapatti , as means to attain
salvation. Also, they consider
Prapatti as an act of winning grace.
The Tilak (Urdhva Pundra) mark of the
Vadakalai men is a symbolic
representation of Vishnu\'s right foot. Since Vishnu's right foot is
believed to be the origin of the river
Ganges , the Vadakalais contend
that his right foot should be held in special veneration, and its sign
impressed on the forehead. They also apply a central mark (Srichurnam)
to symbolize the goddess
Lakshmi (Vishnu's wife), along with the
thiruman (urdhva pundra). The Urdhva Pundra which is vertical and
faces upwards denotes that it helps one in reaching
spiritual abode of Lord Vishnu), and is also considered to be a
protection from evil.
Vadakalai women apply a red central mark only,
symbolizing Lakshmi, on their foreheads.
Sri Balmukundacharyaji Maharaj of Jhalariya Mutt, Didwana,
Vadakalai sect traces its lineage back to Thirukurahi Piran
Pillan, Kidambi Acchan and other direct disciples of Ramanuja, and
Vedanta Desika to be the greatest Acharya of the post
Vadakalai community consists of the following groups, based on
the sampradaya followed:
Pancharatra – Followers of Srimad Azhagiya Singar
(Srinivasacharya) of Ahobila Mutt. The majority of Vadakalais
belongs to this group. His disciples established Mutts at different
places in North India, including
Varanasi , Chitrakoot and
* Narasimhacharya established a temple of Dwarkadhish in
the spot where Lord
Krishna slew the tyrannical ruler of Poundradesh
with His Sudarshanchakra.
* Acharya Swami Madhavacharyaji, who defeated the founder of Arya
Dayananda Saraswati in a theological debate.
* Hariramacharya established Jhalariya Mutt in
* Ramdas Ramanujdas Achari, a disciple of Swami Balmukundacharya of
Jhalariya, founded the Jagannath Mandir at Strand Road, Kolkata
* Munitraya – Followers of Srimad Andavan of Andavan Ashramams,
and Swayamacharyas. The
Srirangam Srimad Andavan Ashramam ,
Poundarikapuram Andavan Ashramam, and most of the present-day
Vadagalai 'svayam-acharya purusha' families are directly connected to
this acharya parampara, and follow the worship and ritual patterns
Sri Gopalarya Mahadesikan .
* Periya Andavan
Sri Srinivasa Mahadesikan;
* Parakala – They are mostly followers Brahmatantra Swatantra
Jeeyar of Parakala Mutt,
Mysore . Founded in 1399 by Brahmatantra
Parakala Jeeyar, the peetadhipathis of this mutt are the preceptors of
the royal family of
Mysore Kingdom , Wadiyars. This has stayed as a
royal mutt of the kings since then, and is a mutt for all Iyengars
under this category.
Other lineages include:
* Srimad Sakshat Swamy (Srimad
Ramanuja Mahadeshika Swamy);
wrote the 24,000 padi (elaborate commentary on Tiru-Arayirappadi).
* Srimad Thirukkudandai Gopalarya Mahadesikan
* Uttara Saraswadhani, Swami Desika sahasra namam
* Srimad Srinivasa Mahadesikan Seyyanam, Srimad
Mahadesikan Vathirayiruppu and Srimad
* The Munitraya
Sampradaya of the
Vadakalai sect, which belongs to
the Rahasyatraya parampara of Pranatharthiharan, who was also known as
Kidambi Achan. Their
Bhashya and Bhagavatvishaya parampara is the
same as that of the rest of the Vadakalais.
* Swami Janardanacharya, a successor of Swami Gopalacharya, was the
Devraha Baba . The Sugriv Qila temple at
Ayodhya belongs to
Traditionally, places of high importance with significant Vadakalai
Tiruvallur , Mysore
Kurnool district . However, today much of the people have
moved to the big cities.
Vrindavan , the Jankivallabh Mandir of Keshighat is a prominent
Sri Vaishnava monastic institution and is associated with
the spiritual lineage of the Ahobila Mutt. The present Azhagiya Singar
has visited this well known institution in the past as well as
recently. It is presently headed by Swami
Rajasthan the Jhalariya Mutt is one of the most prominent Mutts
and its branches have spread over to the neighbouring regions of
Sri Swami Balmukundacharyaji was a
distinguished scholar and renowned Acharya of this Mutt.
Gopala Bhatta Goswami (1503–1578), born a
Vadakalai Iyengar, one
of the Six Goswamis of
Vrindavan in Chaitanya
Vaishnavism , and a
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1878–1972), Indian politician and
activist of the
Indian independence movement
Indian independence movement . Premier of Madras
(1937–1939), Governor of Bengal (1946–1948), Governor-General of
India (1948–1950), Union Home Minister (1950–1952) and Chief
Minister of Madras state (1952–1954). Founder of
Swatantra party .
C. V. Rungacharlu (1831–1883), Diwan of
Mysore kingdom from 1881
T. S. S. Rajan (1880–1953), Indian politician and
freedom-fighter. Member of the Imperial Legislative Council
(1934–1936), Minister of Public Health and Religious Endowments
(Madras Presidency) (1937–1939), Minister of Food and Public Health
(Madras Presidency) (1946–1951).
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888–1989), an influential Yoga
teacher, healer and scholar.
Ramanuja Tatachariar (1907–2008), renowned vedic
scholar, and recipient of two national awards for his contribution to
Vedic studies and
R. Madhavan (b. 1970), Indian film actor.
Brahman is the metaphysical ultimate unchanging reality in
Vedic and post-Vedic Hinduism, and is
* ^ These two
Vaishnavism traditions are respectively called the
Sri Vaishnava sampradaya and the Brahma sampradaya.
* ^ This work is predominantly about the
Hindu scriptures called
Ramanuja held as the essence of the Vedas.
* ^ The texts of most of these scholars is lost to history.
Brahman is the Vedic concept of metaphysical unchanging
* ^ He is also known by many other names, such as Azhagiya Manavala
Mamunigal, Sundhara Jamatara Muni, Ramya Jamatara Muni, Ramya Jamatara
Yogi, Varavaramuni, Yathindhra pravanar, Kanthopayantha, Ramanujan
ponnadi, Soumya jamathru yogindhrar, Koil Selva manavala mamunigal
etc. He also has the titles Periya Jeeyar, Vellai Jeeyar, Visthavak
sikhamani, Poi IllAtha Manavala Mamuni.
* ^ The
Vedas and the Dravida Veda, the composition of
Alwars, which are held in equal esteem
* ^ Also known as anushtaanams
* ^ A B Ranjeeta Dutta 2007 , pp. 22-43.
* ^ John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989 , pp. 3-7.
* ^ A B Matchett 2000 , p. 4, 200.
* ^ Matchett 2000 , p. 4, 77, 200.
* ^ A B John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989 , pp. xvii, 3-4.
* ^ Lester 1966 , pp. 266-269.
* ^ A B C D Francis Clooney & Tony Stewart 2004 , pp. 167-168.
* ^ A B John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989 , pp. 3-4, 36-42, 181.
* ^ A B C D E F Flood 1996 , p. 136.
* ^ Morgan 1953 .
* ^ A B C John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989 , pp. 3-4.
* ^ A B C D E F G Mumme 1987 , p. 257.
* ^ A B C D E Bryant 2007 , pp. 286-287.
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Koeln University, Germany (2011)
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Salvation in the Theistic Traditions of India. Wilfrid Laurier
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* ^ A B Flood 1996 , p. 135-136.
* ^ John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989 , pp. 3-5.
* ^ John Carman 1974 , pp. 45, 80.
* ^ A B C Jon Paul Sydnor (2012).
Ramanuja and Schleiermacher:
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* ^ A B C D Flood 1996 , p. 137.
* ^ Mumme 1987 , pp. 257-266.
* ^ A B C D E John Carman 1994 , p. 151.
* ^ John Carman 1994 , pp. 151-152.
* ^ Tapasyananda 2011 , p. 53.
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Contrast and Harmony in the Concept of God. Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN
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The Srivaisnavas of South India". Social Scientist. 35 (9/10):
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* Flood, Gavin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge
* Gough, Kathleen (1965), Rural Society in Southeast India,
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* Srinivasan, S.; Mukherjee, D.P. (1976). "Inbreeding among Some
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* Klostermaier, Klaus K. (2007), A Survey of
Hinduism (3 ed.), State
University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-7081-4
* Lester, Robert C (1966). "Rāmānuja and Śrī-vaiṣṇavism: The
Prapatti or Śaraṇāgati". History of Religions.
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JSTOR 1062115 .
* Matchett, Freda (2000), Krsna, Lord or Avatara? The relationship
between Krsna and Visnu: in the context of the Avatara myth as
presented by the Harivamsa, the Visnupurana and the Bhagavatapurana,
Surrey: Routledge, ISBN 0-7007-1281-X
* Mayeda, Sengaku (2006). A thousand teachings : the
Upadeśasāhasrī of Śaṅkara. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN
* Morgan, Keneth W. (1953), The religion of the Hindus, Motilal
Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0387-6
* Mumme, Patricia Y. (1987). "Grace and Karma in Nammāḻvār's
Salvation". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 107 (2):
257–266. doi :10.2307/602834 .
* Sharma, Chandradhar (1994). A Critical Survey of Indian
Philosophy. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 81-208-0365-5 .
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Bhakti Schools of Vedanta, Ramakrishna
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* Introduction to
Sri Vaishnava Philosophy
* srivaishnavam.com-Good website on general info
Sri Vaishnava News and learning portal
Sri Vaishnava News Network
* http://guruparamparai.wordpress.com - Exhaustive/complete details
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