|Regions with significant populations|
|Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavat Gita, Brahma Sutra, Pancharatra, Prabhandham|
|Part of a series on|
Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya or Sri Vaishnavism is a denomination within the 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 texts and popularized by the Alvars with their Divya Prabandhams. The founder of Sri Vaishnavism is traditionally attributed as Nathamuni of the 10th century CE, its central philosopher has been Ramanuja of the 11th century who developed the Vishishtadvaita ("qualified non-dualism") Vedanta sub-school of Hindu philosophy. Tradition is based on the Vishistadvaita vedanta philosophy derived from Vedas and Divya Prabandhams. The tradition split into two sub-traditions around the 16th-century called the Vadakalai (sect giving Veda the first preference) and Thenkalai (sect giving Divya Prabandham the first preference).
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Philosophy
- 4 Texts and scholarship
- 5 Organization
- 6 Thenkalai and Vadakalai sub-traditions
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The name Srivaishnavism (IAST: Śrīvaiṣṇavism) is derived from two words, Sri and Vaishnavism. In Sanskrit the word Sri refers to goddess Lakshmi as well as a prefix that means "sacred, revered", and god 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, श्रीवैष्णव).
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 puranas, Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.
The historical basis of Sri 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 Alvars that expressed spiritual ideas, ethics and loving devotion to god Vishnu. The Sanskrit traditions likely represent the ideas shared in ancient times, from Ganga 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 coastal Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and 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 Alvars. Sri Vaishnavism developed in Tamil Nadu in the 10th century, after Nathamuni returned from a pilgrimage to Vrindavan in north India (modern Uttar Pradesh).
Nathamuni's ideas were continued by Yamunacharya, who maintained that the Vedas and Pancaratras are equal, devotional rituals and bhakti are important practices. The legacy of Yamunacharya was continued by 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 Visistadvaita ("qualified non-dualism") philosophy.
Around the 18th century, the Sri Vaishnava tradition split into the Vatakalai ("northern culture", Vedic) and Tenkalai ("southern 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 Srirangam and Kanchipuram monasteries between the 13th and 15th century. The debate then was on the nature of salvation and the role of grace. The Bhakti-favoring Tenkalai tradition asserted, states Patricia Mumme, that 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 that 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 Sri Vaishnavism to be the divine sharing of the feminine and the masculine, the goddess and the god. Sri (Lakshmi) 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, Sri and Vishnu do so using "divine knowledge that is unsurpassed" and through "love that is an erotic union". But Sri Vaishnavism differs from Shaivism, in that Vishnu is ultimately the sole creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe while Sri Lakshmi is the medium for salvation, the kind mother who recommends to 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.
The prefix 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 Vishnu and man.
Sri Vaishnavism's philosophical foundation was established by Ramanuja, who started his Vedic studies with Yadava Prakasha in an Advaita 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 subschools in Vedanta, the other two are known as Adi Shankara's Advaita (absolute monism) and Madhvacharya's Dvaita (dualism).
Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita asserts that Atman (souls) and Brahman[note 1] 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 Dvaita 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 14th-century 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 and Ramanuja's Vaishnavism Sampradaya,[note 2] has been on the idea of eternal damnation; 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).
— John Carman and Vasudha Narayanan
According to Sri 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 Sri 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 Ramanuja from 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 helping 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, states that some of the similarities in salvation ideas in Sri Vaishnavism and 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 Sri Vaishnavism 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 Christianity, while Sri 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 of Sri Vaishnavism, in their mission to convert them from Hinduism to Christianity.
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 Sri Vaishnavism do differ in their views on God.
Texts and scholarship
Sri 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 the Sri Vaishnavism tradition, which ultimately led to the schism into the Vatakalai and Tenkalai sub-traditions around the 18th century.
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 Sri Vaishnavism. 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 of Sri Vaishnavism, which is part of the service called cevai (Sanskrit: Seva).
Nathamuni is also attributed with three texts, all in Sanskrit. These are 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 Nyaya Tattva text survives only in quotes and references cited in other texts, and these suggest that it presented epistemic foundations (Nyaya) 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 example asserts,
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: Christopher Bartley
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 Sri Vaishnavism 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 Vedanta in Hindu philosophy, but also critiques non-Vedic traditions.
The Sri Vaisnava tradition attributes nine Sanskrit texts to Ramanuja – Vedarthasangraha (literally, "Summary of the Vedas meaning"[note 3]) 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 Vedantadeepa, 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".[note 4] 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 Brahman",[note 5] 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.
After Ramanuja several authors composed important theological and exegetical works on Sri Vaishnavism. Such authors include Parsara Bhattar, Nadadoor Ammal, Engal Azhwan, Sudarshan Suri, Pillai Lokacharya, Vedanta Desika, Manavala Mamunigal, Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai (also called Krishnapada Swamy), Periyavachan Pillai, Nayanarachan Pillai, Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar, Rangaramanuja Muni.
The Sri 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 Yamunacharya, Ramanuja was nominated as the leader of the Srirangam matha, though Yamunacharya and Ramanuja never met. Amongst other things, Ramanuja is remembered in the Sri 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 matha. Ramanuja travelled and founded many Sri Vaishnavism mathas across India, such as the one in Melukote. The Sri Vaishnavism tradition believes that Ramanuja started 700 mathas, but historical evidence suggests several of these were started later.
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.
A 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.
The Sri 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 Srirangam, while 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 Sri Vaishnavism matha are:
- Tenkalai tradition
- Vadakalai tradition
Thenkalai and Vadakalai sub-traditions
The Sri Vaishnava tradition has two major sub-traditions, called the Vadakalai ("northern") and Thenkalai ("southern"). The term northern and southern sub-traditions of Sri Vaishnavism refers respectively to Kanchipuram (the northern part of Tamil country) and Srirangam (the 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 Sri Vaishnavism movement grew with its social inclusiveness, where emotional devotionalism to personal god (Vishnu) was open without limitation to gender or caste, a tradition led by Alvars in the 7th to 8th century. Ramanuja philosophy negated caste, states Ramaswamy. Ramanuja, who led from the Srirangam temple 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.
The 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.
The 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 Vaishnavism being 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 bringing in Bhakti poet saints from "entire cross section of class, caste and society".
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 as 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,
The Thenkalai trace their lineage to Mudaliandan, nephew of Ramanuja The Thenkalai are followers of philosophy of Pillai Lokacharya and Manavala Mamuni, who is considered to be the reincarnation of Ramanuja by the Thenkalais.[note 6]
Notable Thenkalai people
- Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887–1920), the Indian mathematician.
- K.S. Krishnan (1898–1961), the Indian Physicist.
- B.K.S Iyengar (1918 -2014) - founder of style of Yoga "Iyengar Yoga",
- Alasinga Perumal - Desciple of Swami Vivekananda and one of the Founder of Brahmavadin which later became Vedanta Kesari 
- Sujatha Rangarajan - Writer, editor and engineer, key person behind development of Electronic Voting Machine for which he was awarded Vasvik 
- Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar - Renowned Musician and architect of modern Carnatic music 
- Charu Haasan -Tamil Actor,Director,Laywer
- Mani Ratnam - Tamil film director
Vadakalais ("northern") - Vedanta Desika
The Vadakalais are followers of Ramanuja and Vedanta Desika, who founded the Vadakalai sampradaya based on the Sanskritic tradition. They lay more emphasis on the role of Lakshmi i.e. Sri, and uphold Sanskrit Vedas as the ultimate "PramaaNam" or authority, although Ubhaya Vedanta[note 7] 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[note 8] as established by Rishis and all preceptors.
The Vadakalai ardently follows the Sanskrit 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 the 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 ganga, 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 Vaikunta (the 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.
The Vadakalai sect traces its lineage back to Thirukurahi Piran Pillan, Kidambi Acchan and other direct disciples of Ramanuja, and considers Vedanta Desika to be the greatest Acharya of the post Ramanuja era.
The 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 Pushkar. Descendents:
- Narasimhacharya established a temple of Dwarkadhish in Varanasi on the spot where Lord Krishna slew the tyrannical ruler of Poundradesh with His Sudarshanchakra.
- 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 outlined by 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 Vedanta 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 Sri Ranganatha Mahadesikan Vathirayiruppu and Srimad Vedanta Ramanuja Mahadesikan Vazhuthur
- The Munitraya Sampradaya of the Vadakalai sect, which belongs to the Rahasyatraya parampara of Pranatharthiharan, who was also known as Kidambi Achan. Their Sri Bhashya and Bhagavatvishaya parampara is the same as that of the rest of the Vadakalais.
- Swami Janardanacharya, a successor of Swami Gopalacharya, was the Guru of Devraha Baba. The Sugriv Qila temple at Ayodhya belongs to this Guru parampara.
Traditionally, places of high importance with significant Vadakalai populations included Kanchipuram, Kumbakonam, Tiruvallur, Mysore and Kurnool district. However, today much of the people have moved to the big cities.
In Vrindavan, the Jankivallabh Mandir of Keshighat is a prominent Vadakalai 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 Sri Aniruddhacharyaji Maharaj.
In Rajasthan the Jhalariya Mutt is one of the most prominent Mutts and its branches have spread over to the neighbouring regions of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Sri Swami Balmukundacharyaji was a distinguished scholar and renowned Acharya of this Mutt.
Notable Vadakalai people
- Gopala Bhatta Goswami (1503–1578), born a Vadakalai Iyengar, one of the Six Goswamis of Vrindavan in Chaitanya Vaishnavism, and a highly revered Guru in ISKCON.
- Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1878–1972), Indian politician and activist of the 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 to 1883.
- 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.
- Agnihotram Ramanuja Tatachariar (1907–2008), renowned vedic scholar, and recipient of two national awards for his contribution to Vedic studies and Sanskrit literature.
- R. Madhavan (b. 1970), Indian film actor.
- Brahman is the metaphysical ultimate unchanging reality in Vedic and post-Vedic Hinduism, and is Vishnu in Sri Vaishnavism.
- These two Vaishnavism traditions are respectively called the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya and the Brahma sampradaya.
- This work is predominantly about the Hindu scriptures called the Upanishads which 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 reality.
- 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 Sanskrit Vedas and the Dravida Veda, the composition of Alwars, which are held in equal esteem
- Also known as anushtaanams
- Ranjeeta Dutta 2007, pp. 22-43.
- John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989, pp. 3-7.
- Matchett 2000, p. 4, 200.
- Matchett 2000, p. 4, 77, 200.
- John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989, pp. xvii, 3-4.
- Lester 1966, pp. 266-269.
- Francis Clooney & Tony Stewart 2004, pp. 167-168.
- John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989, pp. 3-4, 36-42, 181.
- Flood 1996, p. 136.
- Morgan 1953.
- John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989, pp. 3-4.
- Mumme 1987, p. 257.
- Bryant 2007, pp. 286-287.
- Stephan Schuhmacher (1994). The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zen. Shambhala. p. 397. ISBN 978-0-87773-980-7.
- श्रीवैष्णव, Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Koeln University, Germany (2011)
- Klaus K. Klostermaier (1984). Mythologies and Philosophies of Salvation in the Theistic Traditions of India. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-88920-158-3.
- Flood 1996, p. 135-136.
- John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989, pp. 3-5.
- John Carman 1974, pp. 45, 80.
- Jon Paul Sydnor (2012). Ramanuja and Schleiermacher: Toward a Constructive Comparative Theology. Casemate. pp. 20–22 with footnote 32. ISBN 978-0227680247.
- Patrick Olivelle (1992). The Samnyasa Upanisads : Hindu Scriptures on Asceticism and Renunciation. Oxford University Press. pp. 10–11, 17–18. ISBN 978-0-19-536137-7.
- J.A.B. van Buitenen (2008), Ramanuja - Hindu theologian and Philosopher, Encyclopædia Britannica
- Flood 1996, p. 137.
- Mumme 1987, pp. 257-266.
- John Carman 1994, p. 151.
- John Carman 1994, pp. 151-152.
- Tapasyananda 2011, p. 53.
- Bruce M. Sullivan (2001). The A to Z of Hinduism. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-8108-4070-6.
- Joseph P. Schultz (1981). Judaism and the Gentile Faiths: Comparative Studies in Religion. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. pp. 81–84. ISBN 978-0-8386-1707-6.
- Stafford Betty (2010), Dvaita, Advaita, and Viśiṣṭādvaita: Contrasting Views of Mokṣa, Asian Philosophy: An International Journal of the Philosophical Traditions of the East, Volume 20, Issue 2, pages 215-224
- Edward Craig (2000), Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415223645, pages 517-518
- Sharma 1994, p. 373.
- Stoker 2011.
- Sharma 1994, pp. 373-374.
- Sharma 1994, p. 374.
- Klostermaier 2007, p. 304.
- Sharma 1994, pp. 374-375.
- Bryant 2007, pp. 361-362.
- John Carman & Vasudha Narayanan 1989, p. 6.
- Flood 1996, p. 136-137.
- Jon Paul Sydnor (2012). Ramanuja and Schleiermacher: Toward a Constructive Comparative Theology. Casemate. pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-0227680247.
- Shyam Ranganathan (2011), Rāmānuja (c. 1017 - c. 1137), IEP, York University
- John Carman 1994, p. 86.
- Mayeda 2006, pp. 46–53.
- Mayeda & Tanizawa (1991), Studies on Indian Philosophy in Japan, 1963–1987, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 41, No. 4, pages 529–535
- Michael Comans (1996), Śankara and the Prasankhyanavada, Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 24, No. 1, pages 49–71
- John Carman 1994, pp. 86-88.
- Julius Lipner (1986), The Face of Truth: A Study of Meaning and Metaphysics in the Vedantic Theology of Ramanuja, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0887060397, pages 120-123
- John Carman 1994, pp. 117-118, 148-153.
- John Carman 1994, pp. 196-197, for context see 190-201.
- Klostermaier 2007, pp. 387-389.
- Lester 1966, pp. 266-282.
- Klostermaier 2007, p. 487.
- Constance Jones; James D. Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase. p. 490. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.
- Guy L. Beck (2012). Sonic Liturgy: Ritual and Music in Hindu Tradition. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 119–120. ISBN 978-1-61117-108-2.
- Guy L. Beck (2012). Sonic Liturgy: Ritual and Music in Hindu Tradition. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 118–127. ISBN 978-1-61117-108-2.
- Alkandavilli Govindacharya (1906). The Life of Râmânujâchârya: The Exponent of the Viśistâdvaita Philosophy. S. Murthy. pp. 9–10 with footnotes.
- John Sheveland (2013). Piety and Responsibility: Patterns of Unity in Karl Rahner, Karl Barth, and Vedanta Desika. Ashgate Publishing. pp. 113–114. ISBN 978-1-4094-8144-7.
- Christopher Bartley (2011). An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 177–178. ISBN 978-1-84706-449-3.
- Dalal 2010, p. 399.
- C. R. Sreenivasa Ayyangar (1908). The Life and Teachings of Sri Ramanujacharya. R. Venkateshwar. pp. 130 footnote 2.
- M.C. Alasingaperumal (1900). The Brahmavâdin, Volume 5. Madras: Brahmavâdin Press. pp. 466–467.
- Jon Paul Sydnor (2012). Ramanuja and Schleiermacher: Toward a Constructive Comparative Theology. Casemate. pp. 2–4. ISBN 978-0227680247.
- Jon Paul Sydnor (2012). Ramanuja and Schleiermacher: Toward a Constructive Comparative Theology. Casemate. p. 4. ISBN 978-0227680247.
- Robert Lester (1966), Ramanuja and Shri Vaishnavism: the Concept of Prapatti or Sharanagati, History of Religion, Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 266-282
- Anne Hunt Overzee (1992). The Body Divine: The Symbol of the Body in the Works of Teilhard de Chardin and Ramanuja. Cambridge University Press. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0-521-38516-9.
- R. Balasubramanian (2000). Advaita Vedānta. Munshiram Manoharlal. p. 9. ISBN 978-81-87586-04-3.
- Jeaneane D. Fowler (2002). Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism. Sussex Academic Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-898723-94-3.
- Anne Hunt Overzee (1992). The Body Divine: The Symbol of the Body in the Works of Teilhard de Chardin and Ramanuja. Cambridge University Press. pp. 63–85. ISBN 978-0-521-38516-9.
- Julius Lipner (1986). The Face of Truth: A Study of Meaning and Metaphysics in the Vedantic Theology of Ramanuja. State University of New York Press. pp. 37–48. ISBN 978-0-88706-038-0.
- Jerry L. Walls (2010). The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology. Oxford University Press. pp. 182–183. ISBN 978-0-19-974248-6.
- Brian A. Hatcher (2015). Hinduism in the Modern World. Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-135-04631-6.
- Dalal 2010, p. 385.
- Vasudeva Rao (2002). Living Traditions in Contemporary Contexts: The Madhva Matha of Udupi. Orient Blackswan. pp. 33–45. ISBN 978-81-250-2297-8.
- Stefan Pertz (2013), The Guru in Me - Critical Perspectives on Management, GRIN Verlag, ISBN 978-3638749251, pages 2-3
- Joel Mlecko (1982), The Guru in Hindu Tradition Numen, Volume 29, Fasc. 1, pages 33-61
- Jeffery D. Long (2011). Historical Dictionary of Hinduism. Scarecrow. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-8108-7960-7.
- Vasudha Narayanan (2009). Hinduism. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-1-4358-5620-2.
- Tamara I. Sears (2014). Worldly Gurus and Spiritual Kings: Architecture and Asceticism in Medieval India. Yale University Press. pp. 68–70, 121–122, 159–160. ISBN 978-0-300-19844-7.
- Steven Paul Hopkins (2002). Singing the Body of God. Oxford University Press. pp. 71–74. ISBN 978-0-19-802930-4.
- K.V. Raman (2003). Sri Varadarajaswami Temple, Kanchi: A Study of Its History, Art and Architecture. Abhinav Publications. pp. 137–138. ISBN 978-81-7017-026-6.
- Gough 1965, p. 25.
- Geoffrey Oddie (2013). Hindu and Christian in South-East India. Routledge. pp. 94 footnote 7. ISBN 978-1-136-77377-8.
Quote: In this context, 'north' means the northern part of the Tamil country with its capital at Kanchipuram (the seat of Sanskrit learning) and 'south' meant the Kaveri delta with its capital at Srirangam - one of the centers of Tamil culture."
- Mumme 1987, pp. 257-265.
- C. J. Bartley (2013). The Theology of Ramanuja: Realism and Religion. Routledge. pp. 1–4. ISBN 978-1-136-85306-7.
- P. T. Narasimhachar (2001). The Hill Temple. Sahitya Akademi. pp. xviii. ISBN 978-81-260-0814-8.
- Ramaswamy, Vijaya, Textiles and weavers in medieval South India, Oxford University Press, p. 61, retrieved 17 April 2016
- K.V., Raman (2003), Sri Varadarajaswami Temple, Kanchi: A Study of Its History, Art and Architecture, Abhinav Publications, pp. 132–133, retrieved 16 April 2016
- Neeti M. Sadarangani (2004). Bhakti Poetry in Medieval India: Its Inception, Cultural Encounter and Impact. Sarup & Sons. pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-81-7625-436-6.
- Coward 2008, p. 141.
- Pg.35 Harmony of religions: Vedānta Siddhānta samarasam of Tāyumānavar – By Thomas Manninezhath, ISBN 81-208-1001-5. Google Books. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- "Tamil Nadu, Religious Condition under Vijaya Nagar Empire". Tamilnadu.ind.in. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Srinivasan & Mukherjee 1976.
- Pg.66 The Indian historical review, Volume 17; Indian Council of Historical Research, Vikas Pub. House
- Pg.65 The Indian historical review, Volume 17; Indian Council of Historical Research, Vikas Pub. House
- "Swami Mudaliandan Thirumaligai". www.mudaliandan.com. Retrieved 2016-04-14.
- Pg.86 Encyclopaedia of Indian philosophy, Volume 1, by Vraj Kumar Pandey, Anmol Publications. Google Books. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Pg.108 Homage to a Historian:a festschrift – by N. Subrahmanian, Tamilanpan, S.Jeyapragasam, Dr. N. Subrahmanian 60th Birthday Celebration Committee, in association with Koodal Publishers. Google Books. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Ram Godar (2013-12-27), Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar's 95th Birthday Celebrations, retrieved 2016-04-09
- Jr., Frank Parlato. "People that Swami Vivekanand- Frank Parlato Jr". www.vivekananda.net. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
- "Memoirs of European travel I". www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda_-_Vol_7" (PDF).
- ".:: Vasvik.org ::". www.vasvik.org. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "Prolific Tamil writer Sujatha passes away". The Hindu. 2008-02-28. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "Srirangam Rangarajan @ Sujatha(S.R.)... - ஸ்ரீவைஷ்ணவஸ்ரீ ஸ்ரீரங்கம் SrivaishnavaSri Srirangam | முகநூல்". ta-in.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "Ariyakudi" (PDF).
- "The first crossing". The Hindu. 2007-01-14. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-04-14.
- "ARIYAKUDI". www.carnatica.net. Retrieved 2016-04-14.
- T. V. Kuppuswamy (Prof.), Shripad Dattatraya Kulkarni (1966). History of Tamilakam. Darkness at horizon. Shri Bhagavan Vedavyasa Itihasa Samshodhana Mandira. p. 166.
- Sociology of religion, Volume 1 – by Joachim Wach, University of Chicago press, 1944. Google Books. 3 November 1958. p. 129. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Kabir, the apostle of Hindu-Muslim unity: interaction of Hindu-Muslim ideas in the formation of the bhakti movement with special reference to Kabīr, the bhakta – Muhammad Hedayetullah, Motilal Banarsidass publication, 1977. p. 107. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- "Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- "Astadasabhedanirnaya". Adityaprakashan.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Pg.150 Dimensions of national integration: the experiences and lessons of Indian history – by Nisith Ranjan Ray, Punthi-Pustak & Institute of Historical Studies, 1993. Google Books. 28 November 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Pg.65 The Indian historical review, Volume 17 – Indian Council of Historical Research, Vikas Pub. House.,1990. Google Books. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- "Astadasabhedanirnaya". Adityaprakashan.com. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Pg.150 Dimensions of national integration: the experiences and lessons of Indian history – by Nisith Ranjan Ray, Punthi-Pustak & Institute of Historical Studies, 1993 Check
|url=value (help). 28 November 2006. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Pg.65 The Indian historical review, Volume 17 – Indian Council of Historical Research, Vikas Pub. House.,1990 Check
|url=value (help). Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Students' Britannica India. p. 205. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Pg.199 Philosophy of Nārāyaṇīyam, Dharma, Nārāyaṇabhaṭṭapāda, Study of Nārāyaṇīya of Nārāyaṇabhaṭṭapāda, verse work on Krishna, Hindu deity; Nag Publishers. Google Books. 1 February 1996. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- "www.munitrayam.org(An exclusive vadakalai website) – Srimad Rahasya Traya Sara by Shri Vedanta Desika – under the subtopic Upaya Vibhaga Adhikara". munitrayam.org. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Modern India and the Indians, by M.Monier Williams. 26 July 2001. p. 194. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Pg.129 Sociology of religion, Volume 1 – by Joachim Wach, University of Chicago press, 1944. Google Books. 11 June 1991. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Pg.107 Kabir, the apostle of Hindu-Muslim unity: interaction of Hindu-Muslim ideas in the formation of the bhakti movement with special reference to Kabīr, the bhakta – Muhammad Hedayetullah, Motilal Banarsidass publication, 1977. Google Books. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist shrine, Sanjivan Publications, 1991. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- "Vadakalai Srivaishnava Festivals' Calendar – The source mentions Pancharatra & Munitraya Krishna Jayantis celebrated by Ahobila Mutt & Andavan Ashrams respectively". Trsiyengar.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- "Ahobila Mutt's Balaji Mandir Pune, Calendar – The calendar mentions Ahobila Mutt disciples celebrating Krishna Jayanti as "Pancharatra Sri Jayanti"". Sribalajimandirpune.com. Archived from the original on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- The Cultural Heritage of India: Sri Ramakrishna centenary memorial, published by – Sri Ramakrishna centenary committee. 16 July 2009. p. 1000. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Rāmānuja sampradāya in Gujarat:a historical perspective. Somaiya Publications. p. 31. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Srivaishnavism and social change – by K.seshadri, K.P.Bagchi & co publishers. p. 82. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- The Cultural Heritage of India:The Religious. Ramakrishna Mission, Institute of Culture. 1956. p. 182.
- http://www.parakalamatham.org/Sri-Matham/History. Missing or empty
- Studies in history, Volume 1, Issue 1; Jawaharlal Nehru University. Centre for Historical Studies. Sage. 1979. p. 14. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Gazetteer of South India, Volume 2 – By W. Francis, Mittal Publications. p. 561. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Indian philosophy & culture, Volumes 3–4; Vrindāvan (India) Institute of Oriental Philosophy, Vaishnava Research Institute, Vrindāban, India. 1 January 1984. p. 33. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Ontological and morphological concepts of Lord Sri Chaitanya and his mission, Volume 1; Bhakti Vilās Tīrtha Goswāmi Maharāj, Navadwīpa Dhām Prachārini Sabha; Pub' – Sree Gaudiya Math, 1994. 2 October 2009. p. 240. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Studies in social history: modern India; O. P. Bhatnagar, India. University Grants Commission, University of Allahabad. Dept. of Modern Indian History; St. Paul's Press Training School, 1964. 1 January 2006. p. 129. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- "The Life of Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami; His Vadakalai origin is mentioned in the article, where Vadakalai is spelled as "Badagalai"(Some in Northern India often substitute the alphabet V with B)". Prabhupadanugas.eu. 22 January 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- "TimesContent – Photo of Rajagopalachari – He wears the Vadakalai Tilak on his forehead". Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Jogendra Nath Bhattacharya (1896). Hindu Castes and Sects: An Exposition on the Origins of Hindu caste system. Thacker, Spink & Co. p. 78.
- Jawaharlal Memorial Fund (1972). Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru. Orient Longman. p. 440.
- "A Vedic scholar enters his 100th year". The Hindu. India. 30 March 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- 15/06/2010 (15 June 2010). "ReelshowInt MAG". Mag.reelshowint.com. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Bryant, Edwin Francis (2007), Krishna: A Sourcebook, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-803400-1
- John Carman (1974). The Theology of Rāmānuja: An Essay in Interreligious Understanding. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-01521-8.
- John Carman; Vasudha Narayanan (1989). The Tamil Veda: Pillan's Interpretation of the Tiruvaymoli. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-09306-2.
- John Carman (1994). Majesty and Meekness: A Comparative Study of Contrast and Harmony in the Concept of God. Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-0693-2.
- Francis Clooney; Tony Stewart (2004). Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby, ed. The Hindu World. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-60875-1.
- Coward, Harold G. (2008), The perfectibility of human nature in eastern and western thought, ISBN 9780791473368
- Dalal, Roshen (2010). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-341421-6.
- Ranjeeta Dutta (2007). "Texts, Tradition and Community Identity: The Srivaisnavas of South India". Social Scientist. 35 (9/10): 22–43. JSTOR 27644238.
- Flood, Gavin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press
- Gough, Kathleen (1965), Rural Society in Southeast India, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-04019-8
- Srinivasan, S.; Mukherjee, D.P. (1976). "Inbreeding among Some Brahman Populations of Tamil Nadu". Human Heredity. S. Karger. 26 (2): 131–136. doi:10.1159/000152794. Retrieved 2016-04-17.
- 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 Concept of Prapatti or Śaraṇāgati". History of Religions. University of Chicago Press. 5 (2). 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 978-81-208-2771-4.
- 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.
- Stoker, Valerie (2011). "Madhva (1238-1317)". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- Tapasyananda (2011), Bhakti Schools of Vedanta, Ramakrishna Mission
- Thurston, Edgar; K. Rangachari (1909). "Brahmin". Castes and Tribes of Southern India Volume I – A and B. Madras: Government Press.
- Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola
- The Vernacular Veda: Revelation, Recitation, and Ritual (Univ of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A. 1 January 1994), by Vasudha Narayanan
- Understanding Hinduism, (ISBN 1844832015), by Vasudha Narayanan
- Introduction to Sri Vaishnava Philosophy
- srivaishnavam.com-Good website on general info
- www.anudinam.org Sri Vaishnava News and learning portal
- www.antaryami.net Sri Vaishnava News Network
- http://guruparamparai.wordpress.com - Exhaustive/complete details srIvaishNava guru paramparai
- http://ponnadi.blogspot.com - Exhaustive articles/archives for the esoteric principles of srIvaishNavam
- Nathamuni-Alavandar.org Dedicated to Shriman Nathamungal and Shri Alavandar
- Vadakalai Vs Thenkalai
- Tamil Brahmins
- General information
- Site for Sri Vaishnava Prayers
- http://www.ramanujamission.org/ , (http://vanamamalai.us/) ,
- http://www.chinnajeeyar.org/main/content/ ,
- http://www.andaljeeyar.org ,
- http://www.sansthanam.com/ ,
- http://www.shrishridhardham.com/ ,
- http://www.ahobilamutt.org/ ,
- http://www.parakalamatham.org/ ,
- http://andavan.org/ ,
- http://acharyamandir.com/ ,