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Tirumala Tirupati

Welcome to Adiyen Sri Ramanuja Dasan !

" Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha !"

The Bhagavatam has predicted that in the beginning of the present age, many devotees of Lord Vishnu would take birth on the bank of the river Tamraparani in Tamilnadu. They are said to be the 12 Alvars (saints), the pioneers of the devotional (bhakti) movement in India.

The 12 Alvars composed hymns of devotion in the Tamil language, describing the revelations received from the Lord Himself. They are revered by the Sri Vaisnavas and their compositions have deeply influenced Sri Vaisnava theology.

The later spiritual perceptors collected this hymns and compiled a canon called Nalayira Divya Prabandham (Dravida veda) consisiting of 4000 couplets. These compositions are not opposed to, but consistent with the sanskrit vedic revelation. the only difference is that the study of these vernacular texts are not restricted to any group, caste or gender and everyone is entitled to study them.

Because it recognises the Sanskrit and Tamil revelations, Sri Vaisnavism is often known as Ubhaya Vedanta - Dual Vedanta.

Religious, Cultural and Social Aspects of Sri Vaisnavism

Part 1

Samasharayanam / Panca Samaskaram - The 5 Sacraments

Any one can be a Sri Vaisnava regardless of race, caste, gender or religious affiliations. However, one has to undergo a formal ritual of initiation known as samasharayanam or panca samskaram. This is requirement prescribed in the vaisnava panca ratra agama text.

The 5 sacraments adminsitered are as follows:

1) Dasya nama - Initiated disciple given a 'spiritual' name of Vishnu, suffixed with the word dasa (servant) e.g Vishnu dasa.

All vaisnavas are equal in the eyes of the Lord and there are no differences based on caste or social status. In the vedic arrangement dasa is a suffixed added to the sudhras, so amongs sri vaisnavas everyone is a servant and thus the entire society is one an equal level.

2) Pundram- A sectarian mark which represents the feet of the Lord marked in white clay (tiruman) upon the forehead and 12 parts of the body. The centre line is drawn in red (sricuna) and represents Laksmi.

3) Thapanam- Special branding on the shoulders of the conch (Panchajaya) and disc (Chakra) of Vishnu by the guru. This is intended to purify one from sins and render the body fit for devotional service. It marks one's for the life as a servant and the property of the Lord.

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

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