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Tirumala Tirupati

Welcome to Adiyen Sri Ramanuja Dasan !

" Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha !"

Sri Vaishnavas

Related to Sri Vaishanas and Sath Sang.

Followers of Vaishnavism are Vaishanavas. Vaishnavism is a broad-based universal religion , which is open to one and all independent of Caste , creed, gender, and scholarship of the individual. The qualifications to be a true Vaishnava has been described beautifully by Narasimha Mehta in his song "Vaishanava Jana Tho", a favorite of Mahatma Gandhi.There are prescribed religious duties for Sri Vaishnavas.(Vaishnavas and Sri Vaishnavas are equal in meaning. The word Sri is added for auspiciousness in the Vaishnava Paribhasha(Colloquliasm) . It is also a matter of respect accorded by others to Vaishnavas, which you alluded to in your note.

NO CASTE EXCLUSIVITY AMONG VAISHNAVAS

Sri Vaishnavas can come from any caste (e.g) Alvars. Kulasekara was a Kshatruiya. Thirumangai was also a Kshatriya by birth. Nammalwar was not a Brahmin. Thirumazhisai Alwar was a Siva Worshipper earlier. Thondaradipodi, Periyalwar were Brahmins. The common things that tie them are the observance of the sacraments of Vaishnavism and the observance of the religious duties of Vaishnavas.DR.S.M.S.Chari"s well-written book "Vaishnavism, Its philosophy, theology and religious discipline" will be very helpful to you to gain a perspective on the details of Vaishnavism. Chapters 8 and 13 are brilliant summaries of two important doctrines of Vaishnavism. Chapter 8 deals with Vishnu and Goddess Sri. Chapter 13 deals with the important subject of Prapatti.

TWO TYPES OF WORSHIP BY VAISHNAVAS

Bhagavt Kainkarya and Bhagavata Kainkarya are the two types of worship.

The first is the service to the Lord without expectation of rewards(Nishkama Karma described in Bhagavat Gita.) The Panchakala Prikriya or the five fold daily religious duties can be folded in to the Bhagavat Kainkarya.

The second type of Kainkarya is known as Bhagavata Kainkaryam or service to Godly men and women.Bhagavata Kainkarya is recognized as one of the supreme virtues of a true Vaishnava. The reasoning is as follows: True devotees of Vishnu (the Bhagavatas) are very dear to the supreme Lord, Vishnu(Sriman Narayana). Any service rendered to his dear Bhagavatas are therefore most pleasing to Vishnu. DR. Chari has quoted in support of this view a passage from Padmottara Purana:" Of all the types of worship, the worship to Vishnu is great; Greater than that is the service to Bhagavatas." Service to Bhagavatas can take many forms: providing food, shelter, clothing et al.Bhagavata apachara or offence to Bhagavatas is to be avoided at all costs, since, it brings the wrath of Bhagavan.

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\|/ Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan \|/ Jai Srimannaryana ! \|/

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