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Ramanuja List Archive: Message 00087 Jan 2004

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Dear Badri,
Let me try to answer with my limited knowledge. I think similar 
topic was discussed sometimes back. 

Vaishnava Agamas: I've heard about 4 of them -- pAncharAtram, 
vaikhAnasam, pratishThasAram and vignyAnalalitA.

Though vaikhAnasam is termed as a vaishNava Agama, I haven't come 
across a text called vaikhAnasam that is strictly Agamam. What exist 
are these - vaikhAnasa srauta sUtra, grihya sUtra and dharma sUtra.
vaikhAnasa sUtra belongs to taittriya shAkhA of krishNa yajur-veda 
(the most 'popular' sutras are Apastambha & BaudhAyana for this 
shAkha). This should answer your last question - you cannot become a 
vaikhAnasa just by getting trained in it. You have to born in a 
vaikhAnasa family (just like you cannot arbitrarily jump from 
following say Apastambha sUtra to BaudhAyana).

The fact that vaikhAnasa sUtra deals with VishNu worship with all the 
associated sectarian rites, it may be (rightly or wrongly) classified 
as an Agama, though strictly, it is a kalpa sUtra. 

(This shouldn't be surprising - Kalpa sUtras and parishishThas 
mention worship of sectarian deities. If I remember correctly, 
Ashvalayana grihya sutra mentions worship of ganesha, shiva, umA. 
Atharva veda parishishTha talks about skanda yaga that involves 
images of skanda & pAshupata vrata.)

Relation between Agamas & Sri VaishNavAs:
If you mean the followers of Shri RamanujachArya as 'Sri VaishNavAs', 
most probably they would be pAncharAtrins. vaikhAnaAs, despite being 
vaishNavAs, need not belong to our guru parampara.

Why some temples follow one as opposed to other:
I don't have concrete answers for this. Probably, the king or 
chieftain who built it decided this ( the availability of local 
brahmins to function in temples might have dictated which Agama was 
favored). We have examples in history on temples that switched from 
vaikhAnasa to pAncharAtra.

Two different procedures or separate sects?
vaikhAnasa & pAncharAtra are quite distinct.

Kasturi Rangan .K

--- In ramanuja@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, badri narayanan <b11_narayanan@xxxx> 
> Do all vaishnava temples in North India also fall under Vaikhanasa 
or Pancaratra Agamas?.
> What is the basis for following any one partcular agama.Why do some 
temples follow Vaikhanasa and others Pancaratra.
> Do vaikhanasa and Pancratra simply denote two different procedures 
or are they a separate sects?
> What is their relation with SriVaishnavas?.
> Can anyone who is learned in these agama sastras can become temple 
priest?, or is there any restriction?
> regds
> Badri
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
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> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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