Sathatha Sri Vishnava – Chattada Srivaishnava


SATHADHA SRIVAISHANAVAS IN FOREIGNER’S RESEARCH


Professor Robert C. Lester, University of Colorado, U.S.A. spoke on The Sathatha Sri Vaishanavas at the Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Madras – 4, on 29.07.1988 he pointed out:

The Sathatha Sri Vaishnavas are a distinctive community, about thirteen hundred thousands in number spread throughout Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. For several centuries, they have rendered a variety of services in Sri Vaishnava temples as archakas, dharmakartas, guardians of temple properties and suppliers of flowers – garlands for worship etc., . There are several subsects in this community, Many follow a life style like that of the Sri Vaishanava Brahmins. Their names have the Characteristic honorary suffix-“Ayya” and the title “Daasar”. They especially revere the Sankha, the Chakra, the Naamam, Hanuman and Garuda. Above all, they honour the Aazhvaars, especially, Nammaazhvaar. They recite and use only the Aazhvaar’s hymns for domestic rituals. Most of them are disciples of Koil Annan-and Acharya Purusha of Sri Rangam. Some follow the Vaanamaamalai Math and others the Para Vastu Math at Tirupati.

In the past fifty years, they have formed local, regional and national associations for the education and upliftment of their community. They have the right to recite Prabandhams along with Brahmins in the “Iyal Goshti”. (Hymn-singing group) This was true in Srirangam upto 1942. Possibly the term “Sathatha” is a corruption of Sat-taada (Sanskrit “Sat” and Tamil Taada (D (Dhasa) meaning pure or true servent. The term “Sathatha” may also mean in Tamil, “one who does not wear the sacred thread or top-knot(sikha).

The Srirangam “koil Olugu” records that this community was serving in the srirangam temple at the time of Sri Ramanujacharya (11th century A.D) and that this Acharya assigned them special duties and services in his reorganisation of the temple.

This community was prominent in Srirangam and Kanchipuram (15th and 16th centuries) under the leadership of Kanudaadi Ramanujudasar, who was a disciple of both Koil Annan at Srirangam and Azhagiyamanaavala Jeeyar at Kancheepuram Varadarajaswami temple. They were in charge of Ramanuja Kootams.

The lecture was followed by a lively discussion, the participants being the president of the Dr. A. Thiru Venkatanathan ( Vaishnava College), Agnihotram Ramanuja Thathachariar, Prof. R.N. Sampath and others, each stressing different pertinent points.

Courtesy: INDIAN EXPRESS: 3.8.98

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160 thoughts on “Sathatha Sri Vishnava – Chattada Srivaishnava

  1. krishnamohan

    This caste or community is in search of an identity. Hoary past notwithstanding, it is perhaps the boundary line if you consider brahmin – non brahmin continum. The brahmins brand SSVs as non-brahmins and non-brahmins think them as brahmins. This problem is for the veg stock of SSVs. From a sociological view point you have all the shades. Temple servants, agriculturist,flower vendors, turmeric vendors etc. In some places conch-blowing in temples were also undertaken by the community. It is a bunch of communities grouped under one grand name viz: SSV. There can be a networking organised to voice for the upliftment.

    Reply
  2. Ganapathi

    Probably this is the reason for marriages between Iyengars & SSVs ; between Naidus & SSVs. Is it so??? I have seen two marriages between Naidus & SSVs…..

    Reply
  3. Madhavan

    Dear SSVs,

    I would be happay when one who is seeing this mail…

    I am calling you for one unity into our community

    will it happen in this century?

    can we find a leader for our community?

    We have a time to take this for discussion….

    Anybody is there?

    Feel free call me….

    V Madhavan
    9940137716

    Reply
    1. Karpuram Venkateswarlu

      Dear madhavan,pl;eased to see your mail. In andhra chathada srivaishnavas are well organized and had a office of their own in Hyderabada and in sevaral districts.They are trying to help our community people. Now the members of the community is well developed. more than 1000 one thosand boys and girls of hyderabad alone are in USA and Australia and in Uk and one omore thosand from other districts like Karimnagar,warangal etc.One Sri Anantha Swamy had become Vice Chancellor of Usmania University and another Prof gangadhar belonging to our commnty had becomeVice Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University. More than half dozen are well placed as university professors.Atleast 5 of them had become chief engineers of the State Governments.It is a well knit community growing full in tune with changing times groping without any assistance. be proud of our community which had given the education to villagers from the begining including to late Prime Ministers Sri P.V.Narsimha Rao. Late Narasimham a forest Officer of our communty was beheaded by Veerappan in karnataka .There are more than 1000 soft ware engineers in Hyderabad and bangalore.Girls are equal in number.
      wish you all the best
      KarpuramVenkateswarlu Ex- President of Ap Chathada Srivaishnava Community
      karpuram_venkat@yahoo.com
      9849582672

      Reply
    2. Tiruvaimudi Ramesh Kumar

      Hi Madhavan

      I support you, let us together do it to bring unity

      T Ramesh Kumar
      9866332059

      Reply
    3. MOHAN

      ITS VERY NICE MR. MADHAVAN,I THERE ARE VARIOUS ASSOCIATIONS , ORGANIZATIONS, IN KARNATAKA, ERSTWHILE ANDHRAPRADESH,AND TAMILNADU, THEY ARE DOING NOTHING , I WISH TO RECOLLECT , WHEN I HAD AN OPPORTUNIITY TO DISCUSS SOME BACKWARD CLASS QUOTA FOR OUR COMMUNITY ,WITH A PROMINENT CENTRAL MINISTER HE SAID UR COMMUNITY DOES NOT HAVE A BIG VOTEBANK ITS VERY DIFFICULT TODO ANYTHING, SECONDLY SCATTERED IN VARIOUS PLACES WITH DIFFERENT IDENTITIES, UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL,. GOD ONLY CAN DO SOMETHING FOR OUR PEOPLE ITS PAINFUL

      Reply
  4. Anand Kumar

    Hi Madhavan,

    This is Vedantham Anand Kumar, Know a days in A.P from Our SSVs Community people are contested elections in 2009 from Lok Satta party and some body from Telugu Desam party. If we keep on encouraging this guys, The Day is not far We will definetly get a Good Leader

    Reply
    1. RAGHAVENDRA

      HI SIR I TOO BELONGS TO THIS CATEGORY PLZ TELL ME FEMOUS PERSONALITIES OF OUR CAST EX. LEADER, ACTORS AND JAYALALITHA AND KAMAL HASSAN ARE BELONGS TO OUR COMMUNITY OR NOT?

      Reply
      1. Maadhavan Post author

        They are not as for as I know. May be someone can give answers for the question regarding personalities.

      2. MOHAN

        NO JAYALALITHA &KAMALAHASSAN ARE BRAHMINS NOT FROM OUR COMMUNITY BUT ONE SHRI. N. VANAMAMALAI ,FROM TIRUNELVELI IS A PROMINENT MARXIST IDEALOGIST, AND WRITTEN NUMBER OF BOOKS ON MARXISM , INDIAN FOLKLORES,, AND REGULARLY INVITED BY THE ERSTWHILE SOVIET UNION,

    1. Raghavendra.a

      hi anand sir i think u know the briefly about our community i’m belongs to andhra i heard lot of members belongs 2 our community in tamilnadu and who are the famous personalities belongs to ssv’s plz post me mail

      Reply
  5. Thirunagari VS Karuna Sagar

    Dear SSVs,

    I am 49, still I have to explain so much when it comes to caste. Because, most of the people doesn’t know about this. I was born in Andhra Pradesh, Samalkot, West Godavari Dist., But where as my Sir name indicates something strange feelings to the locals as this sounds to belong to some other state.

    I don’t have much knowledge about my caste, what I can explain to them. But to day some thing I found and replying to this. Pls. keep informing me about ours.

    Regards

    Sagar Thirunagari

    Reply
    1. venkatesh. sannidhi

      hello sir my name is sannidhi venkatesh i too belong to chattada srivishnava iam from visakhapatnam iam mailing u in response to ur mail in this site on last jan. by the way i am 24 and just completed my mbbs want to know more about our caste thats all please mail to my adress: mssmviki85@gmail.com thanku sir

      Reply
    2. Karpuram Venkateswarlu

      Dear Sagar no body shall inferior by birth. Chathada srtivaishnavas are small in number, which does not mean it is a inferior community. Jews are small rather microscopic commnity when compared to Hindus, Cheristians and Muslims , yet they are well known throughout world.Chathada srivaishnavas are a total of 28000 families in andhrapradesh higher than vaiskanasa srivaishnavas, but produced two Vicechancellore of Universities in andhrapradesh and more tha 2000 soft waare Engineers are serving america and australia and u.k.We have changed a lot limping at times without support but on average our people progressed a lot. The community is organizing by having its office and publishinh monthly magazine by name chathada srivaishnava vaartha.
      best wishes
      karpuram venkateswarlu Ex President Ap Chathada srivaishnava community Hyderabad
      9849582672

      Reply
  6. Maadhavan Post author

    Hi Sagar, I believe your surname comes from the famous Vaishnavite Town called Azhwar Thirunagar in Thirunelveli District in Tamil Nadu. Great Nammal Azhwar is from this town.

    Regards

    Maadhavan

    Reply
  7. Kinshuk

    Dear All,

    I am SSV, please join my Facebook Group ” Sattada Srivaishnava” to discuss/ delve on the subject.

    My Facebook Profile name is “Kinshuk udayakumar”

    Warm Regards

    Kinshuk

    Reply
  8. SHOBA RANI CHIRUVANDAL

    This is quite interesting. As far as I know, our community in Andhra Pradesh has a “Sangham ‘ of it’s own. Some people have really made effort and we own a building too.
    As per facts, the SSV’s in andhra are mostly non-vegetarians. I know a few relatives in our community who do “archakatwam” in temples.

    Reply
    1. SampathkumaraSwamy

      most of SSV are become non-vegitarians in Andhra Pradesh. But still so many of SSV are pure vegitarians and follows all traditions & rituals of Sri Vaishnavism(Vishistadwaith) by Parama Guru Sri Ramanuja Charya.
      All other should also follow the same.
      Then we will be respected in all aspects.

      Reply
  9. Dr.C. VIJAYA RAGHAVACHARYULU, DIRECTOR, SITA, ENDTS DEPT.HYDRABAD

    Sreemathe Ramanujaya Namah.
    Sathatha Sri Vaishnavas or Chattada Sree Vaishnavas are a distinct community basically devoted to the servitude of Lord Sreemannarayana. They scrupulously follow the dictates and preachings of Bhagavad Ramanuja and that of the twelve Alwars. In Andhra Pradesh, they are rendering excellent service in Vaishnava temples as Archaka swamys, taliga swamys and Divya Prabandha Parayanadars, though they neither claim nor recognized as Brahmim Sree Vaishnavas. They have infinite faith in the Visishtadwaita Sampradaya and maintain such traditional discipline and decorum and focus their commitment to the Jeeyar Sampradaya.

    The Endowments Department in Govt of Andhra Pradesh
    appointed them as Archaka swamys in Vaishnava temples at Kondagattu (Karimnagar Dist), Manyamkonda(Mahabubnagar Dist) and Penchalakona (Nellore Dist).

    The State Institute of Temple Administration (SITA) of theEndowments Depts has developed training modules to strengthen and promote the form of Pancharatra Agama worship in the temples where these revered communityis functioning as Archakas, lest the community may not sustain further if not promoted in good number, since their progeny are opting for professional courses and the existing number may get gradually reduced.

    Chhattada Sree Vaishnavas deserve encouragement, support and patronage in social, economic, cultural and religious fields further.

    provided them berths as Archaka Swamys in certain prominent temples li

    Reply
    1. SampathkumaraSwamy

      Shri. Dr.C. VIJAYA RAGHAVACHARYULU, Garu
      What you said is absolutely true.
      but unfortunately most of Chattada SriViashnavas are became non-vegitarians only some of them are following the rituals of Visistadwaitha.
      All should teach their children about our tradition & ritulas of Visistadwatha to follow.
      then we also get respected among all other vaidiks.

      Reply
  10. Krishnamohan

    Respected Vijayaraghavacharyalu swami

    1. As Director, SITA and your background in vaishnavism, you have lamented for the present status of this community and urged them to come back to the mainstream in temple administration.
    As is the case of different communities who have abandoned temple service this community has also lost the oppurtunity and lay marginalised.
    In a democratic country, the temple service can be only voluntary. Your institute may consider (perhaps in conujunction with sree venkateswara university) degree and PG courses in Pancharatra Agama with apprentice training being compulsory.

    2. SSVs are the next best thing (NBT).
    In tamilnadu there is no need for the NBT ie SSVs in temple service – historically as well as presently and ;the special temple service SSVs were doing have been taken over by other mirasdars.
    Even Sripadam Thangis are not spared.

    3. However in AP and Karnataka, the SSVs were and are attached to temple service and this continues.
    But for Srirangam, the SSVs are fully absent and washed out in other Divya Desams and other vaishnavite temples in Tamilnadu.

    4. I thank you for the regards you have shown to this community and the pains you have taken to enlighten this community to utilise the oppurturnity the Government is providing. Your coming to this face book page itself is a divine will.

    5. I am sure suddha sampradaya SSVs who are eligible and are interested will seize the oppurtunity and rise upto the occasion. Service in temples is service to God and society and the Govt is ensuring the livelihood and it augurs well.

    Krishnamohan

    Reply
  11. Suresh Babu

    Hi I am sureshbabu from tamilnadu. I am intersted to know about our community. Keep post on it. There is also a group in facebook. We can be together with facebook.

    Reply
  12. S.Lakshminarayanan

    Dear All,

    In Tamilnadu Adiyen knows some countable number of persons doing archaka kainkaryam in their village.

    Adiyen Ramanunajadasan

    Reply
  13. Dilip

    Its a wonderful article posted and am glad to c so many reply’s coming around. Yes it is true that uplift of the community is necessary. We have to device ways inorder to get an Identity in the society. Though we do have a monthly magazine circulated from hyderabad office still lot of people dont even know the events and activities being conducted in AP. I hail from Anantapur and lot of people from our community are performing archakatvam in and around anantapur.

    If people think we are small in number lets take an example of small countries like japan and singapore and build an identity for ourself.

    We do have the talent and administration potential but lacking the world best method of development. TEAMWORK.

    Start working together will reach the destiny of Identity and Origin.

    Reply
    1. Karpuram Venkateswarlu

      Dear Dilip, YOu know in Hyderabad our community is doing service to our people by giving scholorships to bright students and organizing archaka trainingsEts. You can organize in ananthapur bu educating poor people about the welfare programmes of Govt and aassiting needy to get assitance.
      Karpuram Venkateswarlu
      Ex president of Ap Chathada Srivaishnava communty
      9849582672
      karpuram_venkat_venkat@yahoo.com

      Reply
    2. ln

      Hi Dilip,
      This is Narasimha,
      From KADAPA dist, could u pls give the information who is monitoring our community in Anantapur dist give the contact info.& ur number pls.

      Thanks You,
      09030707232

      Reply
      1. dlip

        Dear Narasimha,

        P V Ramakrishna is looking after for Anantapur dist csv community. Dont know if someone has taken up now as I am presently in Bangalore.
        My number 7829746659.
        email: getvdk@gmail.com

        regards,
        Dilip

  14. Bhadragiri Venkata Jagadheesh

    Hi Dear all SSVs I read all the posts and felt very happy. I too strongly feel that our community should come up in always. Let me introduce myself, I am Bhadragiri Venkata Jagadheesh working as LIC Development Officer in Rajamahendri, Andhra Pradesh. My mother’s surname is Tirunagari. I want to know my “GOTRA”, because I recently heard that “RAMANAJU GOTRAM” is not correct and there is a separate gotra’s for each and every Surname. so kindly clarify my doubt.

    Reply
    1. adiyen

      Namaskaram Jagadeesh Garu,

      Are you asking for gotra of thirunagari or for bhadragiri? Also, am not sure what you mean by saying Ramanuja Gotram is \”not correct\”. Some claim Ramanuja Swamyvaru was married, and had children so their descendents came to be called Ramanuja Gotra. Some claim their forefathers were indebted to Ramanuja Swamyvaru for saving them from exile or death or escaping from enemies; and thus adopted His name as gotra to indicate they are reborn or survived due to Him. It appears they were Bharadvaja Gotra before adopting Ramanuja Gotra. Which version is correct is very difficult to say. Maybe both are right.

      From some books i understand Ramanuja Swamygaru was married at the age of 16 to a girl named Thanjamamba or Rakshaamba. But a shortly after His marriage His father namely Asuri Keshava Somayaji, passed away. After this He went with His wife and mother to stay at Kanchipuram where His cousin\’s family lived. However, His marriage was not a happy one. At the age of 18, He became a tridandi. It is not clear if He renounced family life after becoming a tridandi. it is also not clear if He had children from His marriage.

      If Ramanuja Swamygaru had children, it may not be very difficult to trace His lineage. Maybe if you contact Parakala Mutt, it may help you.

      Best Wishes.

      Reply
  15. DASARATHI RAMDAS

    In my opinion those who accept Acharya Ramanuja as their guru and get initiation through manthropadesam are one and there is no room for caste based identity. It is appropriate for the followers of Acharya Ramanuja to be identified as Ramanujites and nothing else. I am a sri vaishnava . In the present socio political state in our country the best solution to preserve and promote sri vaishnavism is to come under a common i e Ramanujaism. UNITY IS STRENGTH .BUT, UNITY IS POSSIBLE ONLY UNDER COMMON IDENTITY.

    Reply
  16. Asuri Sanjay

    hi,
    i am ASURI SANJAY from hyderabad. my no. is 08985970289.
    thanks to madhavan garu for enlightening on the location of TIRUNAGARI. i request to enlighten on ASURI and TIRUKOVELURI as well.

    Reply
    1. Venu

      I think it is THIRUKOVELA as many from Andhra Pradesh has Thirukovela as surname, the name Thiru means “Sacred” and Kovela means “Temple”, which is non other than Sri Ranganatha Temple – in – Sri Rangam. Thirukkoilur is near Thiruvannamalai and Thirunagari is near Sriperumbadur both in Tamil nadu.

      Reply
    2. Nagaraj

      hi,
      Sanjay this is nagaraj thalluri. There was a brief history about us and the name ASURI. I will tell u in telugu.

      పార్వతీ పరమేశ్వరుల కళ్యాణ సమయంలో విశ్వకర్మకూ, అగస్త్యునకూ జరిగిన వాగ్వివాదం వలన అగస్త్యుడు సృష్టించిన ద్రవిడభాష నిరసనకు గురై నిరాదరింపబడింది. ఆ భాషకు తగిన గౌరవాన్ని పునస్సంతరించడానికీ, అజ్ఞానాంధకారంలో కొట్టుమిట్టాడుతున్న జీవులకు మోక్షమార్గం ఉపదేశించడానికీ దక్షిణ దేశంలో అవతరించమని శ్రీమన్నారాయణుడుతన దేవేరులకు, ఆయుధాలకు, పరివారానికి, చిహ్నాలకూ ఆదేశించాడు. అందుకు అనుగుణంగా భూదేవి గోదాదేవిగానూ, ఇతరులు వేరు వేరు ఆళ్వారులుగానూ అవతరించిరి. విష్ణువే శ్రీదేవీ సమేతుడై శ్రీరంగము, కంచి, తిరుమల వంటి పుణ్యక్షేత్రాలలో అవతరించి వారి సేవలను అందుకొన్నాడు. పొయ్‌గయాళ్వారు పాంచజన్యము అంశ అనీ, నమ్మాళ్వారు విష్వక్సేనుని అంశ అనీ – ఇలా ఒక్కొక్క ఆళ్వారు ఒక్కొక్క విష్ణుసేవకుని అంశ అని చెబుతారు.వీరినే ఆ సురిలని , ఆసూరిలు అనగా సూర్యుని అంతటి శక్తి సంపన్నులని అంత వెలుగుని లోకమంతతికి వ్యాపింప చేసే వారని అర్ధం .
      మన ancestors లో చాలామంది పేర్లు ఆసూరితో end అయ్యేవట . i .e రామానుజ ఆసూరి. ఐతే చాల మంది ఆసూరి place లో only సూరి అని మాత్రమే వ్రాస్తున్నారు .

      ఇక తిరు అంటే three అని అర్ధం కోవెల అంటే temple. అంటే మూడు నామాల వాని గుడి లేదా వైష్ణవ ఆలయం అని అర్ధం .

      ఇహ పొతే చాల మందికి తెలియని విషయం who are SSVs. Azwars వ్రాసిన Tamil వేదాలను భగవద్ రామానుజ చార్యుల సమక్షంలో వైష్ణవ ఆలయాలలో మాత్రమే especially ఆనాడు కేవలం శ్రీరంగం and కాంచీపురంలోని వరదరాజస్వామి temples లో మాత్రమే వినిపించేవారు .

      మనది ఒక caste కాదని లేక intercaste వాళ్ళ ఏర్పడిన మరో caste అనిన్ని చాలామంది అనుకుంటారు. కాని ఇందుకు మూలం కూడా మన వైష్ణవ అగ్రహారంలోనే బీజం పడిందని అంటారు .

      Azhwarla లో 5 గురు non brahmins కాగ అందులో దళితులు మరియు శూద్రులు కూడా ఉన్నారు . Azhwar లలోనే అత్యంత శ్రేస్తుడైన Nammalzhwar ఒక tribal కావడం (Vellala Caste), వారిచే రచింపబడిన Vedas ను మరియు తక్కిన 11 గురు వ్రాసిన పద్యాలనూ లేదా పాసురాలను కలిపి దివ్య ప్రబంధం గా దివ్య ఆదేశాలుగా త్రిమతాచార్యులలో ఒకరైన నాతముని చేత క్రోడికరింపబడ్డాయి . దాన్ని అగ్రహారం పెద్దలు అంగీకరించలేదని వారు సంస్కృత వేదాలను మాత్రమే విద్యాలయంలో నేర్పించేవారని తదనంతర కాలంలో దాన్ని రామానుజచారి వెలుగులోకి తెచారనిన్ని ప్రతీతి.

      అగ్రహారంలోని ఎందరో రామానుజాచార్యుల వారి అనుయాయులు ముందుకు వచ్చి తమిళ వేదాలను నేర్చుకోన్నారట. వీరినే తదనంతర కాలంలో “Tekalai batch Sri వైష్ణవాస్” గా పిలిచే వారు. ఇది విప్లవంగా మారుతున్న తరుణంలోనే సాంప్రదాయ అగ్రహర పెద్దలు veerini ika ఉపేక్షించకుడదన్న ఉద్దేశ్యంతో అప్పటి మహారాజైన రెండవ కులతుంగ రామానుజుల వారిపీ ఉన్నవి లేనివి సృష్టించి శ్రీరంగం నుంచి బయటకు పంపేల చేసారట . ఐతే కొందరు తమ భార్య పిల్లలతో బయటకు వచ్చేస్తే మిగిలినవారు ఎందరో తిరిగి వారి గూటికే చేరారట.

      బయటకు వెళ్ళిన రామానుజులవారి అనుయాయులైన వారందరినీ అప్పటి పెద్దలు Sathathin(చనిపోయిన or dead) Sri Vaishnavas అని పిలిచేవారని అదే తదనంతర కాలంలో Sathani or Chattadan మార్చబడిందని మా పూర్వికులు చెబుతారు . వీరిపైనే అగ్రహారం వేటు వేసినదని వారిని కూడా గెంటి వేయించారని అంటారు . Koil Olugu రికార్డ్స్లో కూడా deenipaine ఒక మాట ఉంటుందిదిట . రామానుజాచార్యులు వెళ్ళే ముందు వీర్కి ప్రత్యెక కార్యక్రమాలు అప్పగించారని అమ్డులోనిదే ధనుర్మాస దీక్ష అని కూడా అంటారు .

      అక్షయపాత్ర విశిష్టత :
      పూర్వం పాండవులు తమ అజ్ఞాత వాసాన్ని కొనసాగించే సమయంలోనే అక్షయపాత్ర సృష్టించ బడింది అనిన్ని , అది వారి భుక్తికి ఉపయోగపడిందని చరిత్ర .
      ఇహ మన సంగతి ఆనాడు మన వాళ్ళు బయట పద్య కథలుగా 108 దివ్య క్షేత్రాల చరిత్రను జనులందరికి చెప్పి Jeeyar ల ఆశ్రమానికి తేవడం ప్రతి ఒక్క SSV pani. సాధారణంగా మన వాళ్ళలో కొందరు ధనుర్మాస దీక్షకు వెళ్తారు . ఆ సందర్భంగా వచ్చిన తృణ ధాన్యాలతో సంబందిత జీయర్ల సమక్షంలో గోదాదేవి రంగనాధుల వివాహం జరిపించేవారట . కాని క్రమంగా వారు అన్నింటినీ విడనాడి స్వచ్చందంగా స్వతంత్ర్యంగా ఉండడం మొదలైంది. మిగిలిన వారిలో అతికొద్ది మంది మాత్రమే కొందరు వైష్ణవ ఆలయాలలో పూజారులుగా, చాలా వరకు ఆలయ ప్రాంగణంలో పూల తోటలను మరియు ఆలయ ఆస్తులకు రక్షణ కల్పించేవారట. కాని 1942 లో జరిగిన ఒప్పందంతో మన తమిళ ప్రభందాలను వారి వేదాలతో కలిపివేసి మన పౌరోహిత్యానికి గండికొట్టారు. అంతటితో అధికారికంగా మనం Non-Brahmin గా గుర్తించబద్దాం.

      Reply
      1. Maadhavan Post author

        If this could be translated in to English it will benefit many.

        Regards,

        Maadhavan TJ

      2. Ramesh Kumar

        There is a urgent need of developing the community. Not only as a community activity, most of the times our people were not in a position to baravely express about their cast as they do not know much

      3. Krishnamohan

        I would like SSVs to go through – http://www.nbc.nic.in/Pdf/Orissa/orissa-vol3/20.pdf
        It is an order by the national commission for inclusion of – chattada srivaishnab -in orissa- in the central OBC list. The national commission had drawn the attention to the commission’s orders with respect to Andhra , Karnataka and AP – SSVs. Kindly note the reference numbers for each state. Further as it is a speaking order, it has drawn copiously from sociological authorities during late 19th and 20th centuries.
        The above is a 2007 order. I happened to go through now and felt that it should be shared among SSVs.
        Best of luck.

      4. SampathkumaraSwamy

        Nagaraj Garu…
        I feel Your note on our history is correct.
        But now a days most of SSV are become Non-Vegitarians, not following daily rituals given by Shri Ramanujacharya.
        Thats why now a days also we are still backward.
        Still most of us(Who are vegitarians & follow rituals of Vishistadwata) are respected amongst all other Shri Vaishnavas.
        hope upcoming days all others also become vegitarians.
        Thank you.

  17. Dr.DASYAM SURESH

    hi i am Dr.DASYAM SURESH veterinary doctor 27 years not married, i have interest to know about my cast ,PLZ TELL ME FEMOUS PERSONALITIES OF OUR CAST EX. LEADER, ACTORS AND JAYALALITHA AND KAMAL HASSAN ARE BELONGS TO OUR COMMUNITY OR NOT?my contact number 09440666886

    Reply
  18. h

    Dear All,

    The presetnday Sathada Sri Vaishnavas were supposedly organised as a single community by Sri Manavala Muni and Pillai Lokacharya. However, there used to be archakas in Vishnu koils long before Ramanuja swamyvaru Himself; who either followed agamas or ancient tribal customs of making offerings. It should not be a surprise that in some koils (including siva and amman koils) non-veg was also offered. Though it may be hurtful to some, it is a fact that non-veg or animals were offered as sacrifices even in homams in the past.

    Of late there is wrong information that Vaishnavism is new. This is totally wrong. Vaishnavas and Jains share elements common to both the religions, before diversification into seperate religions. That is, various religions are derived from an ancient tribal past, before each sought to distinguish itself right down to the minute level. The elements of Vaishnavam existed in practice, long before Sri Ramanuja Swamy garu. For example, one of the earliest historical references to Ramayana is from an inscription dated 329 AD. Similarly, the tamil sangam classic perumbanarrupadai dating to around 200 BC mentions Ilam tiriyan as an ikshvaku from the vamsa of Rama.

    While it is a fact that some kings assumed god like status and portrayed themselves as Vishnu avataras (which happened even in Indonesia), no one knows who was the original Vishnu.. Perhaps the original Vishnu was pre-vedic dating long before the vedic period. Or perhaps Vishnu as a concept simply denoted the nature element Sun as some passages in the rig do.

    While there is anthropomorphism, zoomorphism, etc associated with any religion, there are also philosophical concepts, which developed either independently or parallely. Philosophies were developed by various classes and groups since an ancient time. The concept of religious surrender is ancient and rather untraceable. Maybe before the period of Nathamuni, many more prabandhams were composed and disappeared into oblivion without being recorded.

    It must be noted that in the old times, there was no birth based restriction. Anyone could become a prapanna or adiyen surrendering himself or herself to the Lord. I personally feel the concept of religious surrender was borne out of a concept of romanticism, which included deep loyalty, devotion and a sense of giving up everything to a ‘concept’ of God.

    Birth-based rigidity started in chola times. Cholas adopted Saivism and persecuted Vaishnavas. Ramanuja swamygaru did His best to protect Vaishanavas and organised Vaishnavism into a proper religion, putting together the liturgy, corpus texts and compositions of what came to constitute Srivaishnavism. Ramanuja swamy garu employed Sathatha Srivaishnavas in various temples services. Hence they are also known as ‘koil srivaishnavas’. It is very much possible that in that time period it was not politically feasible to go against an establishment following strict caste system or go against dharmashastras.

    Thankfully vaishnava practices such as panchasamskaram remained free of varna and jati bias. Till date they give hope to every individual that no matter what jaati, every human is spiritually endowed. This is indeed a very important and powerful spiritual message. Yet during and after the period of Ramanuja Swamygaru, jati-varna bias possibly took root in Vaishnavam.

    It was sometime around that period that Pillai Lokacharya and later Manavala muni organised Vaishnavas into a single brotherhood asking them to give up caste identities like sacred thread and devoting themselves completely as Vishnu bhaktas. Both brahmins and non-brahmins alike responded to this reform call. These probably added to the numbers of Satthata Srivaishnavas, who undoubtedly existed even before the time of Ramanuja swamyvaru.

    Yet, caste bias came to exist in Vaishavam.

    The Census Report of 1931 states “the request that the name Sattani may be changed to Sattada Sri Vaishnava could not be accepted because Sri Vaishnava is the distinctive name of one group of Brahmins and the Sattani community is not generally treated as a Brahmin community”.

    Apparently SSVs were dubbed shudras in various colonial records. Some claim to escape such ignominy some SSVs became balijas and started claiming either Vaishya or Kshatriya varna.

    No matter what varna or no-varna, there is no doubt that SSVs played a role as archakars since possibly a very ancient period. Yet, owing to the fact that they either gave up or did not follow dharmashastras, they were not recognised as brahmins.

    The SSVs are of Telugu origin. In Andhra, SSVs have crytallised into a seperate caste unto themselves. However, there are also SSVs of Tamil origin (usually vellalars). But some certain telugus claim they (vellala mudaliyars) were originally of telugu origin too. Anyways, whatever may be the linguistic affiliation, as a whole, today, SSVs still claim to be brahmins, though largely following agamas or associated with minor temple duties.

    It is even claimed some SSVs follow dharmashastra prescribed rituals in present time, though am yet to ascertain how far that is true. However, the overall position of SSVs is like the trisanku swargam of neither here nor there. They are not recognised as brahmins by other brahmins; while non-brahmins look upon them as brahmins. Someday hopefully everyone will recognise that to seek God, such social identities are not required (for that matter, neither does one require a religion for that purpose).

    —————————————————————————————
    Disclaimer: All information above is given to the best of my knowledge. Please cross-check if you wish to arrive at conclusions.

    Reply
    1. Muralidharan

      Sir,
      I am very glad to go through your research like detailed analysis of our caste. It very interesting and at the same time you tried to establish the historical fact how we had lost our identity. It is true, during Chola region or even after the invasions my Muslim rulers and also English our country went through many tremors in religion. At the same time we should not forget that our Bharath Desam is the one which has glorious past and also the cradle of many cultures and religions. In the light of above and also with your points, you rightly concluded that it is enough to show surrender towards God to attain Moksha. We are here to do some good to human that is what Srimath Ramanjuachariya spread by the way of his Vaishnavism. Attaining God by the way of humane and kindliness are the lessons taught by our Achariyas. At the same time, we should not forget that one great being in the name of Nayarana is there to make us to act. I am accepting your view.
      Thanks and regards
      Muralidharan

      Reply
  19. bhuvana

    So it becomes apparent (after all of the analyses posted here ) that SSvs have century and centuries of long history where they had been worshipping the deity Lord Vishnu or Lakshmi, doing guru service and divine temple services and doing harm to nobody. They even lost their identity of “brahmins” either due to certain reasons mentioned in the posts or due to present day’s of lack of awareness. Neverthless, many of us silently follow the brahminism similar to that of Iyengars, but unrecognised. It is accepted that true conscience,love to all, service to man are keys to moksha. But is also important that through awareness about the positive aspects as well as past glory of srivaishnavism, we should bring ourselves to the limelight. Better to spread the messages like potentials of SSvs, key customs/duties of SSvs, dos and don’t of srivaisnavism, if any, etc. to our youngsters atleast, so that we could revive our glory and status

    Reply
  20. Thirunagari sharath babu

    Dear madavan garu this is sharath from nizamabad dist. jakranpally village. my father name is thirunagari venkataramana, my grand father name is Thirunagari venkata narsaiah.

    I realy great to know about all this things. my gotra is vishvamitra.

    and one more thing i want to ask one thing what is our profession my grand father was done archakatvam in narasimha swamy temple.

    can any one people from hyderabad who knows our profession please tell me.

    my mail id is
    sharath_thirunagari@yahoo.com

    Reply
    1. Maadhavan Post author

      Hi Sharath, Please refer to the wikipedia link I have provided in the site for further details.

      Reply
      1. koneti sridevi

        Hi Iam Koneti Sridevi and I too belong to this community. It was real valuable information about Chattada Sri Vaishanava’s. Tq very much and interested to receive more information on the same at my mail id.

    2. Shiva Ram Krishna.Thinnavalli

      Hi Sir…My name is Shiva RAM Krishna.Thinnavalli,i am working in Mylan Labs Ltd (It is USA Based Pharma Company) as HR Officer at Hyderabad…..my native place Sathupally,Khammam (Dt)….our profession archaktvam…. in Hyderabad city more doing archakatvam in temples …..it is our profession…….tsrk.hr@gmail.com

      Reply
      1. Ramesh Kumar

        Hi Shiva Ram Krishna,

        My name is Ramesh Kumar Tiruvaimudi, working as Assistant Manager-HR in IMI Mobile Private Limtied, you may please be in touch with me for any queries/issues and let us share and help each other. tiruvaimudi@hotmail.com 9866332059

  21. Thirunagari Gopi Prasad

    Hi Madhavan Garu,

    Im very great full to know all about these things,im very thankful to you bcz u have shared very valuable information about SSV’s.

    Thirunagari Gopi Prasad

    Reply
  22. Karpuram Venkateswarlu

    they are Srivaishnavas who believe in “SriVishnau” but left their sacred thread and “yago
    nopavitam. The difference between Roman catholics and protestents. Difference between sunnis Muslims and Shia Muslims

    Reply
  23. pavan varayogi

    I request of heads of the community to encourage us youngster by forming a special youth body.Our community needs an intergated cooperation under the leadership of talented youngsters to expose the problems of our community to the world.
    If anyone agree with me you can contact me.
    Pavan:9985467467

    Reply
  24. Sri Vaishnavan

    Sathatha shree vaishnava has the culture of wearing sacred thread(“yajgyobaveethan”,”Poonul”) .Nowadays many of us left this culture and became non vegetarians ,even now also in tamilnadu many ssv’s doing temple kaimkaryam and there is no difference between iyengars and ssv’s. Marriages also happens between iyengars and SSV’s.But the fact is as SSv;s left their culture widely iyengars hesitate
    in having Vivaha relationship with SSV;s and they hesitate to tell other about relationship even they had vivaha relationships with SSV’s.

    And We have Ghothram and Pravarams as like brahmins.

    People who uses Ramanuja Ghothra are people who forgot their Ghothra names as they are out of culture.Nothing stories behind Ramanuja ghothram,,

    In saivism people uses Siva ghothra as they do not their real ghothra.like wise SSV’s who doesnt know their ghothra uses Ramanuja ghothra..

    Nowdays in TN Iyengars wont give respect if anyone say im SSV. they consider SSV’s as sudhra…so
    I request all SSV’s,

    1.Please wear poonul(yAGYOBAVEETHAM)(if have that culture with your forefathers)
    2.Do nithyanushtanam(sandhyavanthanam ),learn nithyanushtanam from some periyava who knows rituals well after you wore yagyobaveetham traditonally with veda reciters.
    3.Go to aacharyan/Jeer and get panchasamskaram.
    4.And especially to TN SSV’s try to avoid saying yourself SSV’s to othet vaishnavas(Iyengars),and register yourself Brahmins in caste certificate such as iyengars.

    and one request…

    Dear bandus please inform me if any one of us get marriage with iyengars and People who have the culture of wearing poonul(yagyobaveetham) and run the life like true brahmnas please reply here and contact me..

    Did i said any wrong kshamikka ,,,

    Adiyen Ramanuja Daasan

    Reply
    1. bhuvana

      Chaala bhaga chepthiri. Current community should get awareness and should get back to their older and traditional and lost stride. The points suggested by you should be followed by all SSVs. We do that in our family.

      Reply
    2. SampathkumaraSwamy

      Adiyen Ramanauja Dasan.
      jai Srimannarayana.
      You are absolutely correct & I do agree with you.
      Most of our comminity still following the rules/rituals you mentioned above.
      I got upanayam & wear Yagnopaveetam
      I do every day Sandyavandanam/Anustanam
      I do chant dravida prabandams
      I do daily chant Vishnusahasranama strotram
      So other things followed.
      Nice to meet you.
      Thanking you.
      Regards
      SampathkumaraSwamy
      09949703947

      Reply
    1. Maadhavan Post author

      A pure SriVaishnava need not worry about caste as along as the other person accepts Narayana is the only ultimate god. In Divya Prabhandham (v 3195), Nammalvar clarifies irrespective of caste we should accepts a person who fully believes on Sriman Narayana.

      Reply
      1. santosh kumar yadagiri

        Dear sir/madam,
        Irequried the gotra names with sur names
        Regards,
        Y.Santosh Kumar

  25. penugonda seshaiah

    Hi… Iam seshaiah penugonda, sub inspector of police. I belongs to varaha gotra and some of my relatives belong to vashishta gotra and some are saying as ramanuja gotra as their ancestors didnt inform them about their gotra. We observe upanayana. Can u say exactly about our pravara and all.

    Reply
  26. Maadhavan Post author

    Dear SSV / CSV,

    I have a request for our community. There are number of organisations formed across Andha Pradesh & Tamil Nadu for our community for co-operation and co-ordinations. They are doing lot of good things for the members. These organisations could also spend sometime to make the community understand their origins, the vital characteristic of Sathatha / Chatata Sri Vaishnava, importance of reciting Nalayira Divya Prabhadam, explain the life of Alwars etc. This could be soul searching activity and the youngsters will understand, who are we in a better way.

    Regards

    Maadhavan

    Reply
  27. Jagannadam prashanth

    Srimatho ramanujaya namaha !
    This is jagannadam prashanth
    s/o jagannadam RAMANUJAM
    KARIMNAGER.
    mana cast lo temples lo pujarulu dorakatle more pepole jobs lo set avtnnaru.
    Girls puroshithulanu(pujarini) pelli chesukodaniki ista padatle ammailu.
    Ammailu first telusukondhi mana thathalu muthathalu aha vekateshavrudini sannidilo archakatvam, pujalu cheste meru MBA,MCA.BETCH
    chesi pujarulamani marucharu……….okka ammai aina okka slokam vacha…..
    Plzzzzzzzzzz
    archakathuvamni chulakana cheyakandhi…
    Prashanthjagannadam@gmail.com

    Reply
    1. SampathkumaraSwamy

      Adiyen RamanujaDasan
      Jai Shreemannarayana
      Dear Prashanth Garu
      You are absolutely correct. Now a days none our childred/youth don’t know even smal slokam. Its very sad news that most of our parents also not encouraging them in this regards.
      all are just behind money/status/non-veg/weastern culture only.
      not in tradition/rituals/vaishnavism/vegitarian/culture
      No girls knows about vrathams,upavasam/clasical&devotional songs/music etc
      hope infuture this will change. our old traditions will become fame.
      Regards
      SamapthkumaraSwamy
      09949703947
      kskswamy@gmail.com
      Karimnagar.

      Reply
  28. Sathish Chennakrishnan

    Hi.. Am Sathish from Salem.. 24yrs.. Finished my MBBS at Stanley medical college,Chennai.. I also belong to Sathatha Sri Vaishnava community.. I need to know who r d famous personalities of our community(both in Tamilnadu nd Andhra).. Also i need to know wts d mother tongue of those satatha sri vaishnava in tamilnadu.. And d main thing, in Tamilnadu v belong to MBC, hence other people telling that how v get it being Brahmins nd been criticized that v cheated nd got MBC.. I ve been experienced it long time in schooling, college, still now since marks, cutoff, category were important in my medical field.. I suffered a lot nd i need answer for this.. Also i speak local Telugu mixed with Tamil but i was fond of Tamil.. Wts our history regarding Tamilnadu?.. Was v originated at Andhra?..

    Reply
    1. Maadhavan Post author

      To my knowledge mother tongue of all of Sathatha / Chattada is Telugu. Some of the people in the part of Tamilnadu might have stopped speaking Telugu in their homes. This is a very common factor for the people who do not live in their native place and have migrated long back in history. The language is not that important compared what we need to know learn as community. This community was very Vaishnavite in nature in the past. Now people do not know that and just get dragged by different believes. Our ancestors never accepted any other God except Vishnu / Narayana. They respected and followed (not prayed) the Acharyas and Alwars who believed in Vishnu / Narayana.

      Though their mother tongue is Telugu, these people mastered in hymns of Alwars called Divya Prabhandham, which is in Tamil and used them instead of Sanskrit in all the rituals.

      You must have noticed in this blog some people who are in the extreme end of Andra Pradesh has surnames which resembles birth place of some Alwar or an important Vaishnavite shine town.

      This shows the devotion these people’s ancestors had with Vaishnavism centuries before.

      Now many people do not know this and started believing and praying various Gods and Human Gurus like many other Hindus do.

      There are numerous sangams for our caste in different parts of AP and TN. But their main job is to do “match making” and adding the caste in certain quota list. Though this is also important, we should also understand that the very essence of this community to be clearly explained to all in the community.

      The caste is in MBC in Tamil Nadu mainly due to economic conditions.

      Regards

      Maadhavan

      Reply
      1. Sathish Chennakrishnan

        Thank you sir.. Also which district of Tamilnadu nd Andhra contains our people?.. Whether d marriage occuring between our people those in Tamilnadu nd Andhra?. Wts d difference between us nd Iyengars?.. Wt abt Gothra regarding those in Salem?..

      2. Sathish Chennakrishnan

        Whether those in Tamilnadu had their native at Andhra?. Wts d count of our people in Tamilnadu?..

    2. Krishnamohan.J

      Hai Sathish
      When our community was included as BC initially it is because of backwardness in education. As a matter of fact we are educationally backward even now. Subequently because the percentage of uneducated being more when MBC grouping out of BC was taken out, we also moved to mbc from bc. There is nothing to feel shy about this. This is our rightful privelege and we should continue to enjoy the same. An anectode about this which I have heard is when the list was originally prepared (bc list)by the govt for notification in gazette as 92 MER, Shri: Kamaraj (then hon’ble CM)has asked one of his secretaries who happened to be an SSV in his office and gladly approved the same

      Reply
      1. Sathish Chennakrishnan

        Ya.. I also knew it sir.. But in school nd college they knew that am Brahmin.. They r thinking that v r ayers, nd brahmins as they r seeing in movies.. But v r MBC nd they came to knew through certificates nd they r criticising that v cheated nd got it..I suffered a lot regarding this in my school nd clg(since am Medico community wise marks,cutoffs were important in MBBS nd also for my PG Entrance).. I think most of present generation guys in Tamilnadu had experienced this.. Also i couldn’t explain all these to those fools in school nd clg who r thinking that thr r only Iyers nd Iyengars nd all belong to OC as shown by movies nd by their little knowledge.. So nowadays am not bothering abt it.. Just am telling practical problems nd talking practically.. If thr s any mistake na, pls forgive me..

    3. bhuvana

      hello sathish,

      you reflected the minds of students belonging to our community.
      really the lack of awareness and knowledge about our (SSV) values and tradition are the reasons behind this commotion.
      The post by Sri.Sri Vashnavan here in this blog shall be considered by those who are interested, to curb such criticisms.
      And SSVs who are vegetarians and following Vaishnavism like you should not get discouraged and maintain the individuality. Be proud to be SSV who lost the identity only on search of real aspiration to achieve moksham, kind and humane, service to men and god. Rather than importance to Caste the latter qualities are inevitable as a human being., i.e true vaishnavite. Thats why we are called Sath (sanskrit-true) thadha (sanskrit-dhas) srivaishnava.

      Reply
  29. GOPAL

    A community is essential for the weak & those who need streangth in unity but after attaining streangth educationally / economically why should one forget their root, probably the atomosphere influeces to a greater level. ” JAI SRIMAN NARAYANA'” “SRIMATHE RAMANUJAYA NAMAHA” How is that ? .

    Reply
  30. Krishnamohan

    Hai Satheesh
    This is because you happen to be vegetarian. The common thinking in TN is: “All vegetarians are brahmins”. Further we are staunch followers of Vishnu and have all the practices of Iyengars. So the layman thinks that because you do not have the sacred thread -just one thing-you do not cease to be brahmins and you purposefully brand yourself as SSV to get MBC benefits.We are socially and educationally backward and have a rightful inclusion in the list-92 Madras Education Rules. Go through all points in this post. SSVs are second to none. At this juncture, I have to record that not many reap the benefit of inclusion in MBC. The plus two marks are really climbing mount everest for the children of our community. Parents and elders have a role in shaping the challenges for the children. I specifically appreciate you and your elders in your family. I will be happy if you can chronicle (yr wise from your 10th year to 25th year) your- ambitions/hardwork for the benefit of our children and elders.
    May your tribe (ie hardworking people) – in our community increase. Krishnamohan

    Reply
    1. Sathish Chennakrishnan

      Thank u sir.. Am also eagerly awaiting a time that our community fluorishes in Tamilnadu with more Doctors, Engineers, Administrative officers like other castes here… Also am proud to be Vegeterian..

      Reply
  31. Krishnamohan

    hi – SSVs
    central obc list (AP-88, TN-133,Karnataka-166 and Orissa -197). These are the numbers against which our community name is included. Further there are two speaking orders of NCBC including our community in central list with respect to Karnataka and Orissa. The same can be seen in http://www.ncbc.nic.in/Pdf/Karnataka/Karnataka-vol3/21.pdf and
    http://www.ncbc.nic.in/Pdf/Orissa/orissa-vol3/20.pdf. It is worth going through as we will be having a sociological feel of our community.
    Krishnamohan

    Reply
  32. karpuram venkateswarlu

    atleast 10 people are completing their MBBS course in andhrapradesh eveery year now a days. In the case of engineers specially in software 100 engineers are passing out every year.It is so in other siciplines also.There are 6 professors in various universities belonging to our community. Already two of them retired as Vice Chancellors. Dr.Venkateswarlu is the director of animal husbandry department of andhrapradesh.We have no choice in choosing our mother so also we have no choice in choosing our caste, As we respect mother we ahould respect our caste.

    Reply
  33. Tirunagari Shree Kumar

    Hi everyone,
    Yes! am extremely happy to know that there are many others who have and are undergoing this same identity crisis if you may call it ! .
    I have gone through the very same situation during schooling and college especially Medicine and as my father put it when as a child I asked him when he was in a good mood of course (they : daddy’s of that generation were very strict u see) -” What community are we daddy ” as my English teacher asked me on the first day ,when I joined this new school and I said I don’t know and made to sit out of class – he said I will come and talk to him and next day he came and I don’t know what happened and since then that teacher and all the other teachers ,principal treated me differently can’t say looked down upon but more of a perplexed stand and I do not know what my dad spoke – but , since then I have been told by my dad if any body asks you ur answer will be I am a Hindu and if they are still probing then you can tell them srivaishnavite and leave it at that and no more ?
    Well it served me well all my life but still leaves me with many unanswered questions which do bug me but really didn’t pay much attention to all of this till I accidentally stumbled upon this site now and felt there are many more like me lost in this vortex of life but still having such unanswered questions in their mind .
    Sure love to know where this community centre is and who to contact in Hyderabad to see what I can make out of it . Hope to get to some basics in learning and cultivating this religious accent to my life which has always been very scary as that scary feel stems from ignorance to this aspect of life .
    I am extremely happy to have found this and hope to develop and serve after I know who I actually am lineage wise first , I only know that my surname is Tirunagari and I use the Ramanuja goth ram and my ancestors grandparents lived in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh and that they are originally from Tamil Nadu somewhere (hearsay during my childhood ) we never had the courage or the need to probe these issues till later in life so the ignorance!
    Well I thank everyone and the creators of this – hoping to develop some spiritual feel to my life and appreciate all inputs to this comment of mine
    Regards ,
    Shree Kumar Tirunagari
    Mail : drtksree@yahoo.com

    Reply
    1. Krishnamohan

      Dear Venkateswarlu and Sree Kumar

      I am 63 now and perhaps being in chennai, I did not have the inconveniences as you have suggested/experienced. I have maintained vocally and loudly in all settings – school/college, officially, in all religious and social places about my- being an SSV,- being not a brahmin,- being a backward and got acknowledged as such. A week back I was in a temple in Andhra Pradesh and had the benefit of the audience of a senior functionary in a vaishnavite temple who was 80+ and who was from TN. Naturally as is the custom he enquired about my roots and when I told about myself, he acknowledged our people’s-community’s contribution to vaishnavism. He recalled his child hood where he had a SSV as neighbour and said that his neigbour will be up early in the morninging with srichurnam and pundarikam. The said SSV named his son as Vagulabarana and this greatly impressed him about his neighbour and SSV as community. I had lunch to-gether with this functionary.
      I have worked in north india, where your roots are considered important and not being a brahmin or bhumihar your position in heirarchy is determined depending on the role of the community. Of course this is not for SSV only but for all the people. (to be contd)

      Reply
  34. Krishnamohan

    Contd:
    Dear Venkateswarlu and Sree Kumar
    I have worked in educational institutions and during admissions I have found that not many -for that matter any- from SSV do come up to college/technical education level. In this scenario, pursuing MBBS in govt colleges is really a great performance. I am happy about the performance of SSVs as stated by Venkateswarlu but this is still not significant. The elders in SSV community have to ponder over this and plan a life time strategy for children in their family and ensure qualify education coupled with success. SSVs should have confidence, Courage and conviction about their goals and ambitions. Spiritual success will follow material success.

    Krishnamohan

    Reply
    1. tshreekumar

      Love to hear more on the issue am also eagerly waiting for the elders in this group for their comments and thoughts as are the ones who posted this

      Reply
  35. Krishnamohan

    hi sadhana for the query and shreekumar who is eagerly waiting for the response of elders

    Marriages/alliances happen broadly in three situation as follows:

    01. Love marriages :- where both the man and woman choose their life partners without the proposal being emanated from elders. The elders in the family approve such marriages – immediately in some cases, by participating and going thru the marriage rituals.In some cases it is not approved till the end. As is apparent, it may happen that both the partners may be vaishnavites or not.
    02.Arranged marriage within relations or after seeking alliance within the community. Here not only the spouse but their families and the relatives have the responsibility to ensure that the marriage is successful and they play a major part in shaping the future of the couple. Viability of the institution of the marriage between the couples are ensured.
    3. I think Sadhana is referring to a situation where an SSV is sought in a proposal by a non-SSV but a vaishnavite. Or an SSV seeks a vaishnavite non-SSV. This is not love marriage but the parents go out of the way and elect the spouse for their child entirely on other conditions.(to be continued)

    Reply
    1. sadhana

      Actually i love a person who belongs to SSV.but we are sri vaishnavas.can we change the caste SSV to sri vaishnavas? is there any chances are available plz mention.

      Reply
  36. Krishnamohan

    Hi sadhana and shreekumar (continued)
    entirely on other conditions or considerations. This is like a merchandise contract.
    The third variety do not have the sanction or approval of the community/society/tradition. If I am not mistaken this may be somewhat called “seerthirutha” marriages. Here for the success of the marriage(or the guarantee for success) as an institution between the partners, the family/relatives (bandhus) on both sides cannot involve themselves without any inhibition.

    I think the issues in the query may be analysed in depth internally by each person without any bias or rancour and come to a considered decision.

    I do appreciate the fine point offered by Madhavan based on Thirumaalai. I think he is referring to Konmeer and kolveer. It is a beautiful concept.

    From Sociological point of view, I know vaishnavites(non-SSV) and SSVs who have migrated to north India 3 to 5 generations back for work and livelihood have no choice but to elect for alliances under third category. There are many migrants in Purnea who are vaishnavites hailing from south. In vaishnavite places like Pushkar etc. This is a reality to be acknowledged.

    Reply
  37. karpuram Venkateswarlu

    SSVs of Andhra Pradesh are organizing themselves and becoming Chaitanya (dynamic) and now they are being called as Chaitanya Sri Vaishnavas excelling in all types of humanendevour.Number of boys and girls are scoring more than 95% marks in competitive examinations, entering all professions which were denied to them hitherto. In the fields of establishing educational institutions and running them they proved themselves. One of the leading caterer is from among SSvs.One of the leading Hospital is owned and managed by our member. As a matter of fact in many District Headquarters towns in Andhra Pradesh our people established Hospitals of repute and enriched the status of our community. Economically they are advanced now on par with other communities reducing the percentage of poverty.70% of the families migrated to urban centers and with their educational background, are suitable employed.
    SSVs of A.P had established an association 60 years back to organize themselves and provide needed assistance to needy among our community. Widow pensions, financial assistance to poor and scholarships to poor students of our community is in place. Further Gold medals are being given to meritorious students of Medicine. Engineering and Science disciplines every year.Sangam provided help and relief materials during natural calamities. Our Sangam participated in all the programmes conducted by our sister organizations in Karnataka and Tamilnadu.We also conducted marriage platforms at Hyderabad and at Tirupathi to meet the requirements of our youngsters of Tamilnadu and Kerala. Our association is having more than 40 branches in our state.
    We publish a monthly magazine in telugu every month publishing the activities of association and articles on Alwars and questionnaire on Bhagavatam Etc. Apart from the above list of brides and bridegrooms are published in the magazine with more than 2000 subscribers spreading over Andhra, tamilnadu and Karnataka. More than 20 members of other countries are also subscribers.
    Address.A.P.C.S.V.Sangam Office.No 2-2-1146/7/12/1 sivam Road.Nallakunta.Hyderabad 500044.Telephone.No04027552653
    Karpuram Venkateswarlu

    Reply
    1. Maadhavan Post author

      I have my personal opinion about calling our community as Chaitanya Sri Vaishnava. We all know about the ISKCON. This organisation is also a Vaishnavaite organisation. They follow the foot steps of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1534). With all due respect to them, they are different from what we believe-in as our Sampradaya which is Sri Sampradaya & our Philosophy which is Vishitadvita. On the other hand ISKCON follows Sri Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya. The name of the Sampradaya that ISKCON follows includes word “Madhva” which indicates Madhvacharya of Udupi who advocated Dvaita philosophy. This is because ISKCON is mainly a Bhakti movement without any philosophical aspect attached to it. Srila Prabhupada founder of IKSCON added “Madhva” to add some philosophical touch to ISKCON to satisfy the intellectual needs of the followers of ISKCON. But we SSV/CSV do not need this as we have all required things in our own belief. If we start calling ourselves as Chaitanya Sri Vaishnava this could mislead our own & other people about our actual Sampradaya & Philosophy.

      Reply
      1. Sridevi

        Hi, I am Sridevi from Salem. I am a Sathadha Sri Vaishnavite. I am in love with a Brahmin, Iyengar boy from Madurai. We both work in Bangalore. Although he is broad minded and does not really care about what my roots are, he used to ask me at times whether you are a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, Iyer or Iyengar (to be clear and to tell his parents about me and my community, he used to ask this). I really will not be able to give him an answer. I will simply tell I am a srivaishnava and we worship Vishnu. Even when I ask my mother or father or other relatives, they will not have an answer (some will say we are iyers and some will say we are iyengars). Most of them put “Iyer” in invitations, but according to my personal research, Iyers worship Lord Shiva. So please tell me whether Sathadha srivaishnava are brahmin or non brahmin.. Do I belong to Iyengars or Iyers. Please clarify my doubt.

      2. Maadhavan Post author

        We are neither Iyers nor Iyengars. Generally Iyers are predominately Shivaites, but Iyengars are staunch Vaishnavites.

        We are simply SSV/CSVs. We just believe in Sriman Narayanana.

        Nammalwar, who is kept at the highest position by all the Sri Vaishnavas (Brahmins and Non-Brahmins) himself is a Non-Brahmin.

        People who know even a bit on Srivaishnavam will understand this.

        Varnas originally refers to the Gunas of humans. Varnas are nothing to do with the birth of a person. This was later misinterpreted.

        As per Sri Vaishnava tradition once a man/woman takes Panchasamaskaram the caste dies there itself.

  38. Krishnamohan.j

    Fellow SSVs
    At the very outset, I wish one and all a very happy and successful 2014. Shri: Madhavan has started this blog in January 2009 and I am happy that I was the first person to come in December 2009. Four years have passed by and the participants have voiced their successes and determination. It is really heartening to note the good strides made by our Andhra brethren and this is worth emulating in other places also. As shri:; Venkateswarlu puts in we have become chaitanya vaishnavas in AP. Our people in TN organise themselves in the fifth day utsavam (9 Garuda sevas) at Alwar Tirunagari by renting a choultry. I hope the same is done at Tiruvali-Tirunagari also (11 Garuda sevas). In Srirangam, a building is being built.This can be propagated by the concerned organisers, sangams and revelevant blogs at least two-three months in advance, so that people participate and come to-gether. This will factor unity in thoughts. I wish all in the community to be proud being SSV.
    Once again I wish a very happy new year.

    Reply
  39. Sathish Chennakrishnan

    In this present era, many of our Youngsters having d same Identity problem that they couldn’t define our Community clearly..
    Elders of our community nd family should teach our real history, and present Youngsters must get to know it in full interest, to pursue development in future….

    Reply
  40. Sathish Chennakrishnan

    Also to avoid confusion, its better v shall leave Iyers/Iyengars from d names, since Vaishnavism doesn’t lie in names.. It lies in true spirit towards Vishnu.. Its my personal opinion…

    Reply
  41. Maadhavan Post author

    Vaishnavites only accepts Vishnu / Narayana as the “Supreme Being”. Many of us might have noticed that there is no “Navagraha deities” in any of the ancient Vaishnavite temple. This is because, unlike other Hindu communities, who go to number of gods for their different problems, true Vaishnavite absolutely believes in Narayana for all their problems. This point needs to be taken back to our community clearly, we are all seeing that even SSV/CSV started making other Gods/Human Gods as their main deity. This is against what our ancestors believed in.

    Reply
  42. Venugopal Rao Thirunagari

    Dear Friends
    I am a student of Philosophy , Chattada Srivaishnavite by religion and a retired Bank Executive by profession.
    I recently came across this website and felt very interesting to note desire/demand of younger generation to know about their social status and also responses from senior Chattada Vaishnavites.
    At the outset, one should congratulate Mr Madhavan, creator of the website and his patient/prudent efforts to elucidate/ educate the teachings of great Ramanuja vis-à-vis Chattada Sri Vaishnavism. It also reminds the paucity of efforts of the various Associations formed in different states in the name of our CASTE.
    One senior Chattada Srivaishnavites compares the differences of catholics and protestants with chattada srivaishnavites with Srivaishnavites and another asking about the profession of Chattada Srivaishnavites. I shall be constrained to reveal that in AP one major group of our community is holding Group A (most backward class) certificate of BC List and another Group D-28 of BC List. (i.e on the verge of entering forward class. In AP Bacward Classes have been categorised into A,B,C and D according to their backwardness).
    In this discussion, are we not forgetting the responsibility of recognizing the backwardness of fellow human beings i.e. SC/STs. In the Puranic period Hindu Dharma Shastras and Bhagvadgeetha etc. have committed such mistakes. Is it prudent on the part of Chattada Srivaishnavas of modern time backed by the great Ramanuja’s Srivaishnavism the same mistake committed by our ancient elders?
    In this present scenario of Globalisation wherein younger generation of our community diaspora spread around the globe, in the first instance, Caste is irrelevant. However, during the transition period of development of our community ( which is awakening the awareness in our younger community) it is imperative to know the genesis of Reservations of SC/ST and Other Backward Classes in this modern India.
    Reservation for Socially and educationally backward classes have been listed in constitution of India and was stated set the commission to decide reservation for such classes. Time killing tactics kill 40 years (2 generations) and the reservation based on Mandal Commission report was implemented by V. P. Singh.
    One should remember that the Reservations have been introduced in India on the basis of SOCIAL/EDUCATIONAL BACKWARDNESS . But not on the basis of Economical, Political or Religious parametres. The backwardness of a community dependence on all these factors which results in degradation of Social Status. A cursory reading of Books/Talks of Mahatma Phule (for OBCs) and Dr Ambedkar (for OBCs and SC/STs) will give a first hand information in this regard.
    I felt very sad when I read the mail of a young Medico’s plight from Tamilnadu and his dilemma of who is Iyer and Iyyengar. In addition to knowing the crux of teachings Mahatma Phule with regard to the social backwardness of OBCs , I earnestly appeal to all young Chattada Srivaishnavites to please read about the basic principles of our Religion “Sri Vaishnavism” and life history of the founder and propagator of that religion – Sri Ramanuja. Please endeavour to know about importance of the temple of Melkote, Karnataka ( Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple). What reforms Ramanuja has introduced in that temple during the 12th Century within the limitations prevailing at that time? Why idols of Alwars are imperative in a SriVaishnavite Temple?
    As an ardent student of philosophy, I can write voluminous things about Ramanuja and his teachings but it is suffice to say that he is a Social Reformer and our Acharya is Ramanuja and our Gothra is Ramanuja. He is torch bearer for the new social reorganisation. He is Yathiraja (Emberumannar). He is renowned for the movement of Bhakti (devotion) and Prapatti (Surrender).
    His Religion is Srivaishnavam. His philosophy is Tatva Thrayam (i.e. Nature, individual Souls and Supreme God). Supreme God (Brahman /Narayana/Vishnu) qualified by achit (Nature), chit (individual Souls) is the only reality. This is the philosophy of Visistadvaita.
    For curious and inquisitive young readers I suggest following books for the brief note on our community prevailing 100 years back.
    1. Castes and Tribes of South India by Edgar Thurston Vol-VI P to S pages 297-304
    Edition 1909
    2. Castes & Tribes of Nizam Dominion by Syed Siraj ul Hasan Vol-1 Edition-1920
    Bombay Times Press
    3. Andhrula Sangika Charithra (Telugu) by Sri Suravaram Pratap Reddy
    All the Pdf files of above books are available on http://www.archive.org
    Before concluding, for the benefit of younger generation of our community, though it may be known to them, I feel it obligatory to reiterate that:
    The creamy layer limit for OBC has been increased to 6 lakh from 4.5 lakh.. There is no change in other criteria set earlier. Department of Personnel and Training of Government of India vide its office memorandum no. 36033/1/2013 (Estt- Res) has raised income limit from 4.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh per anum for determining the Creamy Layer amongst OBC with effect from 16th May 2013.
    Please refer following weblinks for the relevant provisions of Central Government.
    1. http://obcreservation.net/ver2/faq-mainmenu-25/117-obc-creamy-layer-clarification.html#mce_temp_url#
    2. http://www.obcguru.com/

    The eligible OBC candidates are not getting caste certificate due to misinterpretation of creamy layer criteria, especially in case of sons and daughters of government servant.
    As per the creamy-layer criteria issued by Government of India DOPT O.M.
    No.36012/22/93-Est. (SCT) dated 8.9.1993 (also adopted by Supreme Court in recent judgment on Civil writ petition no. 265/2006 on 27% obc reservation in Central higher educational institutions) following important point is misinterpreted due to which whole country is confused including OBCs and authorities issuing the caste certificate.

    NORMALLY AN OBC CANDIDATE HAVING PARENT’S SALARY
    INCOME ABOVE RS. 6.00 LAKH DONT TRY TO GET OBC NON-CREAMYLAYER
    CASTE CERTIFICATE, WHICH IS A TOTALLY WRONG CONCEPT.

    (1) Actually the creamy-layer limit of Rs. 6.00 lakhs is not applicable to “government servant’s salary income” and “farmer’s agricultural income”. It is the creamy-layer limit for “business income” only. As the government servants are to be checked by their post held and farmers by their land holdings hence can not be checked by salary/agricultural income.

    (2) In rule- (6) showing creamy-layer limit of Rs.6.00 lakhs following explanation is already given:

    “Income from salaries or agricultural land shall not be clubbed with income”

    Means Income from salaries and agricultural land both shall not be clubbed with
    the annual income of parents because there is a separate rule number (2) & (3) provided on the basis of “post held” for salaried persons & rule number (5) is provided on the basis of “land holdings” for persons holding agricultural land.

    (3) The criterion (2) & (3) clearly speaks that only the sons and daughter of following
    “government servants” will be treated as creamy-layer.
    (i) Parents, either of whom is a Class I officer. (Direct Recruitment)
    (ii) Parents, both of whom are Class II officers. (Direct Recruitment)
    (iii) Parents of whom only father is a Class II officer and he gets into Class I at the age of 40
    or earlier.
    (iv) In military, colonel and above.
    Note- Other than above 4, all the government servants are not creamy-layer.

    (4) The criteria (5) clearly speak that only following “farmers” will be treated as creamy-layer.
    (i) Having, only irrigated land which is equal to or more than 85% of the statuary ceiling area.
    (ii) The rule of exclusion will not apply if the land holding of a family is exclusively un-
    irrigated.

    Venugopal Rao Thirunagari, Hyderabad Dated 16 Jan 2014
    hnkvenu@gmail.com

    Reply
  43. karpuram venkateswarlu

    Wha I meanchaitanya is dynamisam. Our people have become more dynamic now as compared to oldendays by takinup all professions, business tradeand commerce. Theyhave beecome employers and flourishing. I never meant that we are becoming iscon type of vaishnavites. I have not commented about philosphy..

    Reply
  44. karpuram venkateswarlu

    Article of sr I.vnugopal iis useful as it is incormative to job seekers.we shhould remember these rvices of ambedkar phule and others who fought for the rights of under privelaged

    Reply
  45. Venugopal Rao Thirunagari

    I am furnishing hereunder excerpts from a book regarding one historical personality known by Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar.
    I appeal to all ardent followers/Chattada Sri Vaishnavism and especially Senior vaishnavites like Sri Karpuram Venkateshwerlu (Ex-President of AP Chattada Srivaishnava Sangam), Sri Krishnamohan and others to peruse all comments of the author of the Book from which I quoted in right spirit as the prestige of our community is at stake. I appeal to Sangams/Associations of community located in India to please try to read this chapter of the book and try to initiate remedial measures.
    An entire chapter is earmarked by the author, Sri T.K.T. Viraraghavacharya in his Book HISTORY OF TIRUPATI (Vol-I, II and III) Edition 1997 Reprint (Second Edition:1982 ). This was published by TTD, Tirupati. Saluva Narsimha was one of the king of Vijayanagara Dynasty .
    Excerpts of Chapter XVI-Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar and Saluva Narasimha.
    (1) From the point of view of temple worship in general it is worthwhile dwelling at some length on the career of Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar who as the trusted lieutenant of Saluva Narasimharaya made full use of all opportunities to gain distinction. Ramanuja Ayyangar is illustrative of a class of men found among all castes of hindus even to-day. These men invariably start their career under an honest impulse to serve the cause of temple worship and strive for its furtherance and grandeur. As the years roll on they acquire influence and have generally also to handle some money. As it often happens with men similarly placed, in course of time they succumb to the insidious influence of vanity and personal ambitions. Ramanuja Ayyangar’s career in Tirumala and Tirupati amply illustrates this. ……………………….. …………………………..

    (2) ……….That Sathakopadasar was a fervent Sri Vaishnava can be from other special endowments he made for Udaiyavar and Tirumangai Alvar temples in Tirupati. His endowment (II.68) dated 23-11-1476 has the further interest to us that it was on that date that the Sattada Sri Vaishnavas appear to have commenced sharing with the Sattina Sri Vaishnavas the privilege of reciting the Prabandhams in front of Sri Ramanuja’s Shrine and of receiving their own share of the prasadams as emoluments. Without Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar’s influence, it would have been well nigh impossible for the Dasar to make these two innovations in Temple practices.

    In every one of the above instances one point was made clear that the donor’s share of the prasadams was to be enjoyed by Ramanuja Ayyangar’s sishyas in the Ramanuja Kutam after his lifetime. The Sattada Sri Vaishnavas were exclusively his disciples. There is no evidence of his having had any Brahmin disciples.
    (3) Whether this institution, known as Ramanujakutam, founded by Saluva Narasimha Devaryar for the benefit and uplift of the Sattada Sri Vaishnavas stood the test of time and made itself appreciated by the public could best be judged by its life after the death of Ramanuja Ayyangar and Saluva Narasimha.
    (4) There is, therefore, reason to believe that the institution founded by Saluva Narasimha and managed by Ramanuja was not popular and that it did not fulfil its purpose. It ceased to exist in the second half of the sixteenth century. So much space has been devoted to this subject so that any one who cares to speculate may form his own ideas as to how the Sattada Sri Vaishnavas who were drawn from all classes of the non-brahmins and specially trained by Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar obviously at the instance of Saluva Narasimha for religious duties, who were accorded the privilege of providing every day the articles of perfumery for the Tirumanjanam and Tiruvaradhanam of Tiruvengadamudaiyan, and receiving in return the daily honours and emoujments due to such service, who also enjoyed the privilege of reciting the Alvar’s Prabandhams in the temples on a footing of equality with the Sattina Srivaishnavas and received a share of the emoluments, and who were so well provided for with endowments by the King himself in the Ramanujakutam, failed to retain what all was theirs by right. That perfumery, which it was their right to supply is now being taken by Brahmins with all temple honours round the pradakshinam before being presented in the shrine. They faile to become the successors of Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar as Kartar of the Ramanujakutam. They were his sishyas and should have been the karetars of the Ramanujakutam and the Por-Bhandaram in preference to Kandadai Madhava Ayyangar. They should have been allowed to recite Prabandham in Goshti.
    Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar’s activities in the temple after the death of Saluva Narasimha possibly throw some light on how the Sattada Sri Vaishnavas went into oblivion…..SaluvaNarasimha seems to have died in 1492 AD and was succeeded by his son Immadi Narasimha.

    Venugopal Rao Thirunagari
    hnkvenu@gmail.com
    I am furnishing hereunder excerpts from a book regarding one historical personality known by Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar.
    I appeal to all ardent followers/Chattada Sri Vaishnavism and especially Senior vaishnavites like Sri Karpuram Venkateshwerlu (Ex-President of AP Chattada Srivaishnava Sangam), Sri Krishnamohan and others to peruse all comments of the author of the Book from which I quoted in right spirit as the prestige of our community is at stake. I appeal to Sangams/Associations of community located in India to please try to read this chapter of the book and try to initiate remedial measures.
    An entire chapter is earmarked by the author, Sri T.K.T. Viraraghavacharya in his Book HISTORY OF TIRUPATI (Vol-I, II and III) Edition 1997 Reprint (Second Edition:1982 ). This was published by TTD, Tirupati. Saluva Narsimha was one of the king of Vijayanagara Dynasty .
    Excerpts of Chapter XVI-Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar and Saluva Narasimha.
    (1) From the point of view of temple worship in general it is worthwhile dwelling at some length on the career of Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar who as the trusted lieutenant of Saluva Narasimharaya made full use of all opportunities to gain distinction. Ramanuja Ayyangar is illustrative of a class of men found among all castes of hindus even to-day. These men invariably start their career under an honest impulse to serve the cause of temple worship and strive for its furtherance and grandeur. As the years roll on they acquire influence and have generally also to handle some money. As it often happens with men similarly placed, in course of time they succumb to the insidious influence of vanity and personal ambitions. Ramanuja Ayyangar’s career in Tirumala and Tirupati amply illustrates this. ……………………….. …………………………..

    (2) ……….That Sathakopadasar was a fervent Sri Vaishnava can be from other special endowments he made for Udaiyavar and Tirumangai Alvar temples in Tirupati. His endowment (II.68) dated 23-11-1476 has the further interest to us that it was on that date that the Sattada Sri Vaishnavas appear to have commenced sharing with the Sattina Sri Vaishnavas the privilege of reciting the Prabandhams in front of Sri Ramanuja’s Shrine and of receiving their own share of the prasadams as emoluments. Without Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar’s influence, it would have been well nigh impossible for the Dasar to make these two innovations in Temple practices.

    In every one of the above instances one point was made clear that the donor’s share of the prasadams was to be enjoyed by Ramanuja Ayyangar’s sishyas in the Ramanuja Kutam after his lifetime. The Sattada Sri Vaishnavas were exclusively his disciples. There is no evidence of his having had any Brahmin disciples.
    (3) Whether this institution, known as Ramanujakutam, founded by Saluva Narasimha Devaryar for the benefit and uplift of the Sattada Sri Vaishnavas stood the test of time and made itself appreciated by the public could best be judged by its life after the death of Ramanuja Ayyangar and Saluva Narasimha.
    (4) There is, therefore, reason to believe that the institution founded by Saluva Narasimha and managed by Ramanuja was not popular and that it did not fulfil its purpose. It ceased to exist in the second half of the sixteenth century. So much space has been devoted to this subject so that any one who cares to speculate may form his own ideas as to how the Sattada Sri Vaishnavas who were drawn from all classes of the non-brahmins and specially trained by Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar obviously at the instance of Saluva Narasimha for religious duties, who were accorded the privilege of providing every day the articles of perfumery for the Tirumanjanam and Tiruvaradhanam of Tiruvengadamudaiyan, and receiving in return the daily honours and emoujments due to such service, who also enjoyed the privilege of reciting the Alvar’s Prabandhams in the temples on a footing of equality with the Sattina Srivaishnavas and received a share of the emoluments, and who were so well provided for with endowments by the King himself in the Ramanujakutam, failed to retain what all was theirs by right. That perfumery, which it was their right to supply is now being taken by Brahmins with all temple honours round the pradakshinam before being presented in the shrine. They faile to become the successors of Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar as Kartar of the Ramanujakutam. They were his sishyas and should have been the karetars of the Ramanujakutam and the Por-Bhandaram in preference to Kandadai Madhava Ayyangar. They should have been allowed to recite Prabandham in Goshti.
    Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar’s activities in the temple after the death of Saluva Narasimha possibly throw some light on how the Sattada Sri Vaishnavas went into oblivion…..SaluvaNarasimha seems to have died in 1492 AD and was succeeded by his son Immadi Narasimha.

    Venugopal Rao Thirunagari
    hnkvenu@gmail.com

    Reply
  46. Krishnamohan

    Shri Venugopal
    Robert C Lester has done a yeoman study on SSV. As a matter of fact this forum has his paper as the base. If you go through his full study and the bibiliography of his article, you stumble upon precious pearls on SSVs. Any SSV who comes across any reasearch paper or study connected with SSVs will immediately feel his helplessness and this is natural. There is a book (1930) on epigraphical studies published by TTD and authored by Subrahmanya Sastry. It is a true, neutral commentary and at many places SSVs find respectable mention. As a matter of fact Robert C Lester has copiously drawn from this epidgraphical study and acknowledged in his bibiliography.
    Philospophically in Tirumala once there was a necessity for the service of SSVs when travel to the hills was by walk only and they were chosen as they were the NBT (next best thing). Rule by Mahants, Madathipathis and Power with sattinavas and habitation by more population as the temple town developed ensured systematic redundance of SSVs. SSVs have been replaced by sattinavas and they have taken over the koil kainkaryams which was upto then being rendered by SSVs. There is no use in reminescing about our hoary past.

    Reply
  47. Krishnamohan

    (contd) I will like our community to always remember Robert C Lester, Prof Thiruvengadathan (Robert C Lester’s associate for his study) and Subrahmanya sastry as it is they who have made us to stand upright. I found that in one of the marriage function Robert C Lester’s book(25 pages) has been translated in tamil and given to the persons who attended the function. The same can be done in Telugu and Kannada also by SSVs suitable to the occasion where SSVs participate. Availability of various literature pertaining to SSVs have to be hosted in a separate and exclusive web/url specially including articles/study references, Govt notifications etc.for the benefit of all. Madhavan’s worldpress will contiune to be a success vehicle for sharing our ideas and disseminating finer nuances.
    best of luck and wishes

    Reply
      1. ALAGARI RAVINDRANADH

        sir, ther is a lot of confuse do perform the pitrukarma. in our traditional way how to perform pitru tarpanam. somebdy says ssv system is differnt from others. . In our caste what is the proceedings about the after death karyams( from miniute to 11days). how can we perform the pujas. . any printed book is available? if any body knows please tell me ALAGARI RAVINDRANADH. 08801011363

  48. Krishnamohan

    Dear SSVs,
    I wish to draw the attention of SSVs, particularly AP SSVs to the fact that Paravastu Chinnaya Suri the grammatician (1807-61) was from our lineage. He was the author of Balayavyakarnam Neetichandrika, Sootandra vyakarnamu, Andra Dhatumoola, Neetisangramu, Hindu Dharma Sastra sangraham and (posthumously) Suryandra nigantuvu-a monolingual Telugu Dictionary-published by Andhra Sahitya Parishad, Kakinada. From the book published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi authored by Budharaju Radhakrishna (ISBN-81-7201-685-9) on suri, I share the following snippets:(1) Introvert, even when criticised – as – Sale Jandra Sabha madye Satanih pandittomah – did not react – not cowed down. He just minded his job, his learning and his works.(2) he did not even leave a photo of his(3) His conservatism in literacy/ambition is to prove to the world that there are and could be profound scholars in other castes than brahmins (4)As times rolled, champions of his cause and therories were brahmins-both scholars and creative writers(5)It is stated that the senior most person/position in Presidency college will be presented with pure gold wrist bands and honorific title “Sastry” but Chinnaya chose”Suri” for obvious reasons(6)His life in Madras developed his view to the effect that Telugu is not an off- spring of Sanskrit but independent on its own and his creations were to prove this point.(7) After him there were no choice left (as per Budharaju Radhakrishna) and authors/poets have to strictly adhere to the rules which Chinnaya evolved and codified. I think he must have been made of steel in his life/purpose and this quality, I feel is required for all SSVs. with best wishes -Krishnamohan.J PS: Chinnaya’s father’s name is Venkatarangayya and in the web, some other entries on chinnaya suri state that he is a saivite which is not possible. Budharaju Radhakrishna book is authentic.

    Reply
  49. Venugopal Rao Thirunagari

    Dear vaishnavites
    I wish to state that under the auspices of AP Chattada Srivaishnava Sangam a Trust/Foundation in the name Sri Paravasthu Chinnaya Suri was floated half a decade back. The Trust is being headed by Sri T Narasimhulu, a chattada srivaishnavite and a fond admirer of Chinnaya Suri.
    Venugopalrao Thirunagari – Hyderabad, Telangana

    Reply
  50. J.Krishnamohan

    Alwarthirunagari ” 9 garuda seva ” – SSV sangam hosting dadiyaradanai :
    ——————————————————–
    The 9 garuda seva falls on the 5th day of nammalwar thirunakshathram festivities. This year it is on 6th june. Alwarthirunagari, the birth place of nammalwar is in between Tirunelveli and Tiruchendur and about 25 km from Tirunelveli. The SSV sangam rents a choultry and arranges for food and stay. I request the organisers to come to this forum and furnish the details-address of the venue, the days the facilities are available,contact person if any, cell phone number etc so that our SSV brethren from Karnataka and AP too can plan and come and visit alwar, navathirupathi and nearby thirupathis
    J.Krishnamohan

    Reply
  51. Dr.Sathish Chennakrishnan

    I think our Sathatha sri Vaishnava Grand Meeting on Aug 16 & 17, 2014 at Madurai.. SSVians gather thr… Further information to be updated soon…

    Reply
    1. Ramesh Kumar Tiruvaimudi

      Hi Satish, Good initiative, awaiting for your update on our community meeting.

      Thank you

      Regards
      T Ramesh Kumar
      9866332059

      Reply
  52. Venugopal Rao Thirunagari

    Dear SSVs
    It is observed that many of Chattada/Sattada Sri Vaishnavas are generally encountering the predicament of Who are SSVs? Sri Madhavan has rightly pointed out the reason for starting this website. The few questions pestering the SSVs frequently are furnished hereunder.
     Why we are being referred to as Chattada/Sattada Sri Vashnavites?
     Are we Vaishnavites?
     Who are Sri Vaishnavites?
     Whether Sri Vaishnavites are also adopting same religion like SSVs?
     Who are Tengalai and Vadagalai Sri Vaishnavites?
     Whether SSVs will come under Tengalai or Vadagalai?
     Who are Sattada Tengalais?
     Who are Sattina Tengalais?
     Who are Sattada Vadagalais?
     Who are Sattina Vadagalais?
     What is the Philosophical importance of Vendata Desika and Manaval Mahamuni in Vaishnavism?
     What is the importance of Alwars in Vaishnavism?
     What is the importance of Acharya parampara in Vaishnavism?
     What is meant by Ubhaya Vedantin?
     Whether Sattina Vadagalais does respect the teachings of Alwars?
     Whether SSVs propagates/adopts a different religion?
     What is Traditional Occupation of SSVs ?
     What is Varna/Caste of SSVs (as classifed by Bhagvad Gita) ?
     Who will affix Varnas to the people in Hindu Society?
     Whether, as per Bhagvad Gita, Varnas are by virtue of one’s Birth?
     I am an American citizen by Birth and my parents are Christians. If I want to adopt Vaishnavism, what will be my caste/Varna in Hindu Society/ especially in Vaishnava Community?
    Recently, I have read again the famous Mandal Commission Report, 1980 to recapitulate myself its salient features. It superscribes on its front page of the Report
    “There is equality only among equals. To equate unequals is to perpetuate unequality” .
    And every one is aware that The Supreme Court of India in its Judgment dated 16.11.1992 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 930 of 1990 – Indira Sawhney & Ors. Vs. Union of India and Ors., reported in (1992) Supp. 3 SCC 217 directed the Govt. of India, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations to constitute a permanent body in the nature of a Commission or Tribunal for entertaining, examining and recommending upon requests for inclusion and complaints of over-inclusion and under-inclusion in the list of OBCs.

    Pursuant to the direction of the Supreme Court, the Government of India enacted the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 (Act No. 27 of 1993) for setting up a Commission at National Level viz. “National Commission for Backward Classes” as a permanent body.

    The Act came into effect on the 2nd April, 1993. Section 3 of the Act provides that the Commission shall consist of five Members, comprising of a Chairperson who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court; a social scientist; two persons, who have special knowledge in matters relating to backward classes; and a Member-Secretary, who is or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India.

    By virtue of above Act, OBCs are enjoying the limited benefits viz. Reservations in Education and Employment in India introduced by Sri VP Singh government. I, therefore, wants to bring to the notice of SSVs some important observations of Mandal Commission Report. I, being a OBC, always personally felt very educative and informative whenever I read the above Report and hope same with all SSVs.

    Observations of Mandal Commission Report:

     Castes are the building bricks of Hindu social structure. All sorts of virtues and evils have been attributed to caste system by the social historians.
     In his Contemporary Indian Philosophy, Prof.A.R.Wadia has observed “The high metaphysics of Upanishads and ethics of the Gita have been reduced to mere words by the tyranny of the caste. Emphasising the unity of the whole world animate and inanimate, India has yet fostered a social system which has divided her children into water-tight compartments, divided them from one another, generation to generation, for endless centuries.” In this process of division, groups called castes have been permanently assigned high or low ranks simply on the basis of birth.
     One important outcome of this ritual ranking of castes has been to create deep-rooted vested interests in this system and to enable the higher castes to exploit the lower ones through the institutional framework of social organisation.
     The Rigvedic hymn of Purushasukta, which contains the earliest reference to Chaturvarna, also states that after primeval sacrifice,” his mouth became the Brahmin…………from his two feet the Shudra was born” (Rigveda:10.90).
     The real triumph of the caste system lies not in upholding the supremacy of the Brahmin, but in conditioning the consciousness of the lower castes in accepting their inferior status in the fitual hierarchy as a part of the natural order of things. In India caste system has endured for over 3,000 years and even today there appear no symptoms of its early demise. No social institution containing so large an element of unequality and discrimination towards majority of the people can survide that long in a purely social context. It was through an elaborate, complex and subtle scheme of scripture, mythology and ritual that Brahmanism succeeded in investing the caste system with a moral authority that has been seldom effectively challenged even by the most ardent social reformers. How religion and mythology were used to weave this magic web, we shall try to show with the help of some well-known examples.
     The concept of divine origin of the caste system has the authority of the holiest Hindu scriptures. As mentioned earlier, Rigveda describes the creation of four Varnas from the limbs of Purushasukta. The Taittiraya Samhita not only ascribes the origin of Chaturvarna from the limbs of the Creator, but also interprets this origin theologically and gives divine justification of their functions and status.
     In Gita, Lord Krishna says “The four-fold Order was created by Me, on the basis of quality and action”. (Bhagvad Gita: Chapter 4-14).
     “All Hindu Dharma Shastras take caste for granted. All Puranas assume the existence of caste and look upon it as a permanent order of society”.
     “The Dharma Shastras mention that if a man does good deeds he will be born in a high caste and be well-endowed, while if he does evil acts, he will be born in a low caste, or even as an animal, a pig or a donkey”.
     Ranking of the Hindu society into four Varnas furnished Brahmanical orthodoxy with the bed-rock on which it erected its elaborate caste structure. One essential feature of this institution is the concept of ‘purity and pollution’. Numerous instances of living and historical instances can be furnished to vindicate this.
     The award of punishments and levy of taxes were also closely related to an individul’s caste. We can quote several examples from Kautilya’s Artha Shastra, Ramayana and Mahabharat Epics and Apasthamba Sutras. One should not forget to mention about Manu Dharma Shastra, which is one of the Hindu authentic Law Books.
     Manu says that the Killing of a Shudra by a Brahmin is equivalent to the killing of a cat, a mongoose, a frog, an owl or a crow. If a Shudra mentions the name and class of the twice-born, an iron nail of ten fingers long shall be thrust red-hot into his mouth.
     Every important facet of a Shudra’s personal, social and economic activity was severely influenced by his low caste status. Mythology and scriptures were also pressed into service to establish the inherent superiority of the Brahmin and the low social ranking of the Shudras. Tulasidas states in his Ramayana “ Respect/venerate a Brahmin even if he is devoid of all virture, but not a Shudra even if he is packed with virtue and knowledge.
     In Valmiki Ramayana, there is an episode of killing of Shambuka (a shudra by varna) by Rama . One should astonish to know the crime committed by Shambuka. The crime committed by Shambuka is Thapasya(penance).
     If religion was ever used as an opium of the masses, it was done in India, where a small priest-class; by a subtle process of conditioning the thinking of the vast majority of the people, hypnotised them for ages into accepting a role of servility with humility. As labourers, cultivators, craftsmen etc., shudras were the main producers of social surplus. Their social labour was the life-blood of India’s great civilization. Yet socially they were treated as out-castes; they had no right in private property; they carried the main burden of taxes and heaviest punishments were awarded to them for minor infringmenets of the social code. As their low caste status was tied to their birth, the toiled and suffered without any hope.
     In view of permanent stratification of society in hierarchical caste order, members of lower castes have always suffered from discrimination in all walks of life and this has resulted in their social, educational and economic backwardness. In India, therefore, the low ritual caste status of a person has a direct bearing on his social backwardness.
     00000000000000
     The pace of social mobility is no doubt increasing and some traditional features of caste syste have inevitably weakened. But what caste has lost on the ritual front, it has more than gained on the political front. In view of this it will be unrealistic to assume that the institution of caste will with away in the foreseeable future.
     Oooooooooo
     Equality before the Law is a basic Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution. But the principle of ‘equality’ is a double edged weapon. To treat unequals as equals is to perpetuate inequality. The humaneness of a society is determined by the degree of protection it provides to its weaker, handicapped and less gifted members.
     It was in view of these considerations that our Constitution makers made special provisions under Articles 15(4), 16(4), and 46 etc. to protect the interests of SCs, STs and OBCs. Some people consider provisions like reservations of posts for backward classes etc. as a violation of the Fundamental Right and denial of meritorious person’s legitimate due. In fact, ‘merit’ itself is largely a product of favourable environmental privileges and higher rating in an examination does not necessarily reflect higher intrinsic worth of examinee. Children of socially and educationally backward parents coming from rural background cannot compete on an equal footing with children from well to do homes. In view of this ‘merit’ and ‘equality’ should be viewed in proper perspective and the element of privilege should be duly recognised and discounted for when ‘unequals’ are made to run the same race.
    I urge upon young SSVs to read Mandal Commission Report on OBC Reservations invariably and endeavour to propagate the facts of philosophy, religion, caste and Social Backwardness in India.
    I hope the young SSVs are capable and uphold the philosophy of Alwars and Acharyas of Vaishnavism in proper perspective for the benefit of upliftment of Indian Society in the modern Global Village and eschew the dogmatic aspects of Religion.

    Venugopal Rao Thirunagari Hyderabad – Telangana

    Reply
    1. agraharamraghavendra

      dear sir,Venugopal Rao Thirunagari,
      im raghavendra, from secunderabad If this could be translated in to telugu please

      Reply
  53. Venugopal Rao Thirunagari

    Dear SSVs
    I express my inability to the appeal of Mr Raghavendra for providing Telugu Translation of my previous email with regard to observations of Mandal Commission. I hope Mr.Maadhavan may provide some help/solution for Mr Raghavendra’s request.
    I felt, however, sad about the status of Sattada Sri Vaishnava Community/Class/Caste in the light of Mandal Commission Report observations / revelations. If SSVs read the article/paper presented by Robert C. Lester (available in this website) one can observe the ingenuity of upper classes in downgrading our social status over a period; though to certain extent due to our own beliefs, practices and ignorance in adopting the philosophy of Ramanuja prudently. It visualizes how dogmatic aspects of a religion can be misutilized to the advantage of few vested interested classes.
    In this context, I am quoting hereunder from book/talks of Jiddu Krishnamurthy, a world renowned philosopher:
    “You can be converted from one belief to another, from one
    dogma to another, but you cannot be converted to the
    understanding of reality. Belief is not reality. You can change your
    mind, your opinion, but truth or God is not a conviction: it is an
    experience not based on any belief or dogma, or on any previous
    experience.”
    “The activity of belief is confusing and destructive; it may at first
    seem orderly and constructive, but in its wake there is conflict
    and misery. Every kind of belief, religious or political, prevents the
    understanding of relationship, and there can be no action without
    this understanding.”
    Mr Madhavan has taken lot of efforts to cull the vast information from various sources and presented in this website the essence of Ramanuja’s Philosophy. I urge upon young SSVs to explore the material and weblinks posted by Mr. Maadhavan and enrich themselves in this age of Internet to enhance the dignity of SSVs in Vaishnava Community.
    I envy young SSVs as they are living in the age of Quantum Physics, Cosmology and Astro Biology etc.. Being student of philosophy, I have been really thrilled whenever I fumbled upon articles with regard to the topics on Blackholes, Higgin’s Particle, Space-Time, String Theory, Standard Model of Particle Physics etc.,. It is really inspiring to view the video clippings of Stephen Hawking, Theoretical Physicist. (He is restricted to wheel chair since four decades with many infirmities except communicating through speech generating devices and presenting revolutionary Research Papers/Books in the field of Cosmology/Physics .)
    Lastly, I want to remind young SSVs a popular quotation which reads :
    ‘News is not information. Information is not Knowledge. Knowledge is not Wisdom. Wisdom is not Truth”.

    Venugopal Rao Thirunagari
    Hyderabad, TELANGANA.
    Dated 2nd May, 2014

    Reply
  54. Ramesh Kumar

    Dear Venugaru,

    Thank you very much for the useful info. I have been following this link so long and I have couple of suggestions and plans on our community development on various activities. As we are in the same city we can meet and discuss

    Thank you

    Regards
    T Ramesh Kumar
    tiruvaimudi@gmail.com

    Reply
  55. J.Krishnamohan

    Dear Venugopal
    Your posts are making us to sit upright. While many in our community are well educated and well positioned, majority lack the same. The ‘FORWARDS’ in our community have a responsibility towards others in our community or similiar communities who are yet to climb the ladder. It is not just financial help but encourage the youngsters to develop dreams of excelling in education and profession. Our NRIs and successful professionals can reach out to the youngsters who have no role model and have at least 5 to 10 years guidance/mentoring for successful completion of the mission.
    I think this should be possible. This gives satisfaction/fullness/achievement to the mentors also.
    Krishnamohan.J

    Reply
  56. Venugopal Rao Thirunagari

    Dear SSVs
    With due apologies I am quoting hereunder the comments of Yatindramatadipika of Srinivasadasa and Sri Bhasya of Sri Sri Ramanujacharya:
    “ Yatindramatadipika- Chapter-Jiva- stanza-19: . The Sudras are not qualified, since (such qualification) is contrary (to the teachings of) the adhikarana of ‘the non-sudras’ ( Vedanta Sutras from I.iii.33 to 39 ).”
    (Refer: Yatindramatadipika by Srinivasadasa. Translated to English by Swami Adidevananda with a foreward by Sri P.N.Srinivasachari – Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Madras, India – ISBN 71-8120-508-9 Fourth Impression IV-3m 3c-2-96. )
    Sri Bhasya of Ramanujacharya: (Refer: 1.3.33 to 1.3.39. )
    Topic 9: The Right of Sudras for Brahmavidya discussed:
    ………… ………………… ……………………
    38. (And) because of prohibition of bearing and studying (the Vedas) and knowing their meaning (and performing Vedic rites) (to Sudras, they are not entitled to Upanisads).
    Comment: Sudras are debarred from hearing and studying the Vedas. Therefore The Vedas must not be studied in the presence of Sudras”. When they are not entitled even to hear the Vedas the question of their studying them and permorming rites prescribed by them does not arise at all.
    39. And on account of Smrti texts (which prohibit hearing and studying of the Vedas by Sudras)
    Comment: Smritis also Prohibit imparting Vedic Knowledge to Sudras. ‘He is not teach him (a Sudra) sacred duties or vows (Manu IV.80).
    (Refer: Brahma-Sutras – SRI-BHASYA with text, English rendering, comments according to Sri-Bhasya of Sri Ramanuja and Index by Swami Vireswarananda(Part-I) and by Swami Adidevananda Published by Advaita Ashrama-Calcutta. Second Impression, September 1986 3M3C.
    Having quoted the above comments , it is interesting to read the article “ Meaning of Life” appearing in Wikipedia, which I read recently. I reproduce some of the excerpts hereunder for the convenience of SSVs.
    The meaning of life is a philosophical question concerning the significance of life or existence in general. It can also be expressed in different forms, such as “Why are we here?”, “What is life all about?”, and “What is the purpose of existence?” It has been the subject of much philosophical, scientific, and theological speculation throughout history. There have been a large number of proposed answers to these questions from many different cultural and ideological backgrounds.
    The meaning of life is in the philosophical and religious conceptions of existence, social ties, consciousness, and happiness, and borders on many other issues, such as symbolic meaning, ontology, value, purpose, ethics, good and evil, free will, the existence of one or multiple gods, conceptions of God, the soul, and the after life. Scientific contributions focus primarily on describing related empirical facts about the universe, exploring the context and parameters concerning the ‘how’ of life. Science also studies and can provide recommendations for the pursuit of well-being and a related conception of morality. An alternative, humanistic approach poses the question “What is the meaning of my life?” The value of the question pertaining to the purpose of life may coincide with the achievement of ultimate reality, or a feeling of oneness, or even a feeling of sacredness.
    Members of the scientific community and philosophy of science communities believe that science can provide the relevant context, and set of parameters necessary for dealing with topics related to the meaning of life. In their view, science can offer a wide range of insights on topics ranging from the science of happiness to death anxiety. Science can achieve this means by objectively exposing numerous aspects of life and reality, such as the Big Bang, the origin of life, and evolution.
    I hope SSVs have already noted the following observations of Robert C Lester (an article available in this website) on Sattadas.
    “What of the claim by some Sattadas that their tradition is unbroken back to Nammalvar and Parankusa Dasa and, in fact, is the continuing Satvata-Pancaratra heritage? This seems to me to be a reasonable hypothesis. The theology attributed to Pillai Lokacarya et al. did not arise in a vacuum – without context and precedent. While the term sattada is not found in inscriptions earlier than the mid- I 5th century, we have references to Sattadas in the 6000 Guruparamparam and the Koyil Oluku which may represent the situation in the time of Ramanuja, even if the name sattada is from a later time. It is, of course, difficult, if not impossible, to determine what, if anything, in the biographies of Ramanuja and the Srirangam accounts of his activities actually took place as stated; clearly, much of what appears in these accounts is projected back to (or, simply on to) Ramanuja as a means of authorizing or validating some relationship, doctrine or behavior that originated in another context”
    “Regardless of what actually were Ramanuja’s circumstances, the accounts reveal great diversity in the 13th-century (and probably earlier) Vaisnava movement, tensions between theologies and lifestyles and attempts to reconcile differences. We may ask, for instance, why Ramanuja requires five gurus – except that, long after his time, several different strands of Vaisnavism are being reconciled in the personage and circumstances of the Bhasyakara? The Pancaratra Bhagavatas, whose case Yamunacarya argues in his Agamapramanyam, are good candidates for ancestors of the Srirangam-Tirupati Sattadas.”
    “At this point, I tentatively conclude that, indeed, the Sattadas are the descendants of ancient Bhagavatas, anti-caste Vaisnavas from all circumstances of birth and strata of society, most of all the leadership of a Tamil Vaisnava, non-Vedic bhaktimarga centered on the temples. The term sattada must have arisen as vaidika and non-vaidika traditions joined battle for control of the temples”.
    “Over the long run, the Sattadas largely lost the battle, ironically, protecting themselves from total annilhilation by becoming a caste along with all the others, albeit relatively prestigious. (1) ayya is an honorific common among Sattada Srivaisnavas. It is used in the south as a term of respect”.
    “There is also the matter of existence of a sophisticated Sattada literature in relation to a lineage of acaryas, dating, at least, to the sixteenth century. This literature still needs to be fully and carefully examined, but it appears as a logical continuation of Pillai Lokacarya/ Manavalamamuni Srivaisnavism and in relation to a practicing community. Of course, both of the above hypotheses can be valid: Sattada Srivaisnavism practiced by both brahmin and non-brahmin; indeed, this is what one would expect as the practical implication of the bhagavata theology”.

    Lastly, I want to quote, for the benefit of young SSVs, Jiddu Krishnamurthy, one of the renowned 20th century philosopher, with regard to the purpose of Life:
    “You must begin very near to go far. You want the immense without seeing what is close by. You want to know the significance of life. Life has no beginning and no end; it is both death and life; it is the green leaf, and the withered leaf that is driven by the wind; it is love and its immeasurable beauty, the sorrow of solitude and the bliss of aloneness. It cannot be measured, nor can the mind discover it.”
    Finally, I venture to quote:
    “ My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.” (As quoted in Stephen Hawking’s Universe (1985) by John Boslough, Ch. 7 : The Final Question, p. 77).
    I express my sincere thanks for the comments of Sri Krishnamohan J on my posts.

    Venugopal Rao Thirunagari
    Hyderabad-Telangana 22nd June 2014.

    Reply
  57. Venugopal Rao Thirunagari

    Whenever I saw Science Fiction Cinemas which features Robots in Key roles of the story, a question will be lingering in my Mind for several days .
    Are We Robots in this Universe? Whether our Fate is Predetermined/Programmed?
    Mr. Maadhavan has compiled a good account of philosophy of Sri Ramanujacharya in a lucid style and posted in this website in addition furnishing links to many websites.
    • According to Ramanuja, God, soul and Nature are three eternal entities. The soul is self-conscious, unchanging, partless and atomic (Anu). The souls are infinite in number. The individual soul of Ramanuja is really individual. It is absolutely real and eternally distinct from God. It has indeed, sprung from Brahman, and is never outside Brahman; nevertheless, it enjoys a separate personal existence and will remain a personality forever.
    • According to Ramanuja, there are three classes of souls, viz., Nitya (eternal), Mukta (free) and Baddha (bound). The bound souls are caught up in the meshes of Samsara and are striving to be released. They wander from life to life till they are redeemed.
    • The final emancipation can be obtained only through Bhakti and the Grace of the Lord. The grace of the Lord comes through Devotion and Prapatti or absolute self-surrender.
    • Karma and Jnana are only means to Bhakti.
    In this context, it is very interesting to observe the comments of Sri Ramanujacharya on Bhakti and Prapatti and Free Will of individual Soul.
    The comments of Ramanuja Charya on Sri Bhasya (I.1.1) has led to a dual interpretation of ‘Divine Grace’ idea with the consequence that it later led to a doctrinal split of the Tengalai (Southern) School and the Vadagalai (Northern) School. The two views have come to be known as the ‘Monkey and Young one Argument’ (Markata Kishora Nyaya), and the ‘Cat and Kitten Argument’ (Marjala Kishora Nyaya).
    The former view maintains that some effort is necessary on the part of the individual soul to evoke divine grace and the latter view holds that the entire initiative lies with God and the individual effort counts for very little. The latter view is also called Nirhetuka Krupa or spontaneous grace of God.
    So far as the SriBhasya is concerned, Ramanuja seems to favour the former view, though in his commentary on Gita and Gadya Traya wherever the idea of Prapatti or absolute unqualified self surrender to God is stressed, he seems to be inclined to the latter view. To Ramanuja Charya the Law of Karma and the operation of Divine Grace are not inconsistent.
    Such being the case, it is interesting to observe the comments of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, in his famous book “Indian Philosophy” , on Ramanujacharya and his philosophy, which reads as under:
    “Philosophy has its roots in man’s practical needs. If a system of thought cannot justify fundamental human instincts and interpret the deeper spirit of religion, it cannot meet with general acceptance. The speculations of philosophers, which do not comfort us in our stress and suffering, are mere intellectual diversion and not serious thinking. The Absolute of Samkara, rigid, motionless, and totally lacking in initiative or influence, cannot call forth our worship”.
    “Like the Taj Mahal, which is unconscious of the admiration it arouses, the Absolute remains indifferent to the fear and love of its worshippers, and for all those who regard the goal of religion as the goal of philosophy-to know God is to know the real—Samakra’s view seems to be a finished example of learned error”.
    “They feel that it is as unsatisfactory to natural instincts as to trained intelligence. The world is said to be an appearance and God a bloodless Absolute dark with the excess of light. The obvious fact of experience that, when weak and erring human beings call from the depths, the helping hand of grace is stretched out from the unknown, is ignored. Samkara does not deal justly with the living sense of companionship which the devotees have in their difficult lives”.
    “Samkara Charya declares that to save oneself is to lose oneself in the sea of the unknown. Personal values are subordinated to impersonal ones, but the theist protests that truth, beauty and goodness have no reality as self-existent abstractions”.
    It is well known that Sri Ramanuja commences his commentary on the Brahma Sutras (Sri Bhasya) with the following prayer:
    “Akhila Bhuvana Janma Sthema bhangadilile
    Vinata Vividha bhuta vrata raksaika dikse
    Sruti sirasi Vidipte Brahmani Srinivase
    Bhavatu mama parasmin semusi bhaktirupa”
    Meaning: “May knowledge transformed into intense love directed to Srinivasa, the highest Brahman, become mine, the Being whom the creation, preservation and dissolution of the Universe is mere play, whose main resolve is to offer protection to all those who approach Him in all humility and sincerity, and who shines out like a beacon light out of the pages of the scripture”.
    This strikes the keynote of the entire Work (Sri Bhasya). It refers to the knowledge of the Supreme Being which the author wishes should ripen into love. It is known as the ‘Bhakti rupapanna Jnana” of Ramanuja. In this are fused a wisdom and devotion (Jnana and Bhakti) both of which coalesce in God who is the above of all excellences.
    It is, therefore, very enigmatic, to search for answers, for mundane people like me, to questions like:
    • Which way is to be adopted?. ( i.e. Marjala Kishora Nyaya or Markata Kishora Nyaya eg. Gajendra Moksha episode in Bhagavata Purana.).
    • What is Bhakti and Prapatti?
    • What is the Purpose/Meaning of Life?
    • What are Varnas/Castes? Is there any relevance of Caste for Moksha in our present Age?
    • Whether Sattada Vaishnavas are eligible for Bhakti OR Prapatti?
    • Are We Robots in the Leela of Supreme?. Whether our Fate is Predetermined?
    • What is Free Will?
    With the little progress in Scientific thought of present days, it is now appears to be clear that there is a boundary between science and philosophy, between reality and fantasy. That boundary is Quantum Mechanics/Physics. Quantum Mechanics/Physics is the stepping stone between ourselves and the Universe, between what we want and making it actually happen.
    I hope young SSVs are well aware of Black holes in our Universe. Since the Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, there have been many observations of what are believed to be black holes, But the study of black holes began in theoretical physics long before there were any observations of these objects by astronomers. Not just an interesting physical phenomenon, black holes are extreme geometrical objects with fascinating mathematical properties that have posed serious challenges to the foundations of classical and quantum physics.
    It is believed that every galaxy is having a Black hole in its centre. Our Solar system is also stated to be orbiting around a Black hole situated in the centre of Milky Way (i.e. Our Galaxy). A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying. Because no light can get out, people can’t see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars.
    Recently in January, 2014 Astronomers have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and a suite of other telescopes to reveal one of the most powerful black holes known. The black hole has created enormous structures in the hot gas surrounding it and prevented trillions of stars from forming. The black hole is in a galaxy cluster named RX J1532.9+3021 (RX J1532 for short), located about 3.9 billion light years from Earth.. The cluster is very bright in X-rays implying that it is extremely massive, with a mass about a quadrillion – a thousand trillion – times that of the sun. At the center of the cluster is a large elliptical galaxy containing the super massive black hole.
    Are We Robots? Our Future is Pre-Programmed?.
    Venugopal Rao Thirunagari
    Hyderabad – Telangana Date: 28th June 2014.
    .

    Reply
  58. Venugopal Rao Thirunagari

    Dear SSVs
    It would be no exaggeration to say that the one concept which distinguishes Indian philosophy from European philosophy is the concept of Karma . In its essence, it is nothing but the application of the law of cause and effect in the moral sphere. If every good deed had its own reward and every evil deed its own punishment, there would be no difficulty in accepting the doctrine of karma as a universal law in the sphere of morality. Unfortunately, however, it is a part of common human experience that a good man often suffers in spite of his goodness and an evil man prospers, and the evil in him is overlooked in the glare of his wealth and power. This apparent falsification of the moral law has led to the idea that what we call a human personality is but a link in a long chain of births and deaths which may cover millennia and perhaps even eternity. Thus, the Law of Karma has become attached to the idea of rebirth, the idea that what is called death relates only to the death of the physical body, while the soul remains unaffected by it and may be reborn in another body, human or animal. India remains the home of the doctrine of karma.
    To the caste-ridden Hindu, karma affords a key as to why a man is born a braahmana, a ksatriya, a vaisya, a sudra, or an untouchable. In the face of the tragedies of life, it is a comforting thought to believe that this is the result of one’s own karma, and not the result of the will of an unjust God..
    One has to bear in mind that karma is a two-edged theory: it is an effect, and it is also a cause. It is determined as effect, but it is creative as cause. It is not open to us to be blind to the fact that naked fatalism would be inimical to all morality. Morality to be morality implies responsibility, and responsibility implies free will. In other words, karma determines the field of life, but within that field man is free to develop himself, to build up his new karma.
    The series of births and deaths becomes eternal, and, if life is a vale of suffering as it is usually described, this eternity becomes an appalling nightmare. Hindu seers were fully conscious of this, and as a way out of it they developed the concept of Mukti or Moksha (emancipation), which sees the end of this series of births and deaths. There are three traditional paths to mukti. The first is through knowledge, i.e., realizing the oneness of Aatman (Self) as an individual soul with Brahman as the ultimate and only reality. It is a hard path, open only to philosophers. The second path is through karma, action, sacrificial and moral. Ritualistic Hinduism tends to emphasize sacrifices and worship, but the life of high moral purity is also recognized. A good man can attain mukti, his karma ends, and there is no more birth for him. The third path is through Bhakti, devotion to God. This is the easiest as it enables even the masses of the ignorant to attain Mukti. It goes without saying that bhakti implies a pure life of devotion and implies morality.
    There are many critics who are not prepared to accept the philosophical worth of karma and rebirth. It may be difficult, perhaps impossible, to establish its theoretical validity. Its eternity may be appalling, but the idea of eternal burning in hell, which so many religious people believe in, is perhaps even more appalling. Agnosticism is only an expression of man’s inability to know. It satisfies neither the intellect nor the heart.
    In a positive sense there is an insatiable thirst in the human heart and mind to pierce the veil of mystery that shrouds the phenomena of birth and death. The problem of evil is insoluble to many, but, if the doctrine of karma and rebirth helps us to solve our individual problems and brings some peace of mind, it need not be cast aside as mere trash. Intellectually it is intelligible; morally it is satisfying. That is why Indians believe in karma and rebirth.
    In the above context, it is very interesting to read the following recent news items:
     Introducing the Bill in Parliament, Former Minister Kumari Selja described the practice as ‘dehumanising’, ‘inconsistent with the right to live with dignity’ and a ‘stigma and blot’ on society. The law passed by Parliament on September 7, 2013, corrects some of the infirmities of the earlier law, but still has many gaps. The strength of the new law is that it is a central law, binding on all States, and not a State law requiring endorsement by State legislatures, which sadly took 18 years for the 1993 law.
     In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on 27 March 2014 ordered the abolition of manual scavenging and asked state governments to provide financial assistance and rehabilitation to those who had lost a family member to the inhuman practice.
    After how many lakhs of Births and Deaths an Individual soul will get Emancipation and Moksha? Those people who born in Fourth Varna and more so Fifth Varna of Hindu Society are sinners by birth ? If we adopt Islam, Christianity, Confucianism ..etc. and Sattada Srivaishnavism religions , can we escape from effect of ‘Doctorine of Karma’ ?
    Rober C Lester says:
    “Sattada Srivaisnavism is a complex phenomenon, much deserving of further study. Conclusions concerning its origin and early development can, at best, be tentative.”
    “I tentatively conclude that, indeed, the Sattadas are the descendants of ancient Bhagavatas, anti-caste Vaisnavas from all circumstances of birth and strata of society, most of all the leadership of a Tamil Vaisnava, non-Vedic bhaktimarga centered on the temples. The term sattada must have arisen as vaidika and non-vaidika traditions joined battle for control of the temples. Over the long run, the Sattadas largely lost the battle, ironically, protecting themselves from total annilhilation by becoming a caste along with all the others, albeit relatively prestigious.”
    In Acharya Parampara of Sri Vaishnavism , How many Non-Brahmin Acharyas are there?
    ‘Yatindramatadipika’, a manual of Ramanuja’s Philosophy, enjoins that Shudras are not qualified to be Bhakta but only entitled to be a Prapanna. Prapanna performs all nitya (regular) and naimittika (incidental) religious duties. (i.e. he is bound to perform natural occupational duties allotted to their castes).
    Dr V Varadachary in his book “Pancaratragama” states: “The devotees of God are classified into five groups. Bhakta, Bhagavadbhakta, Dasa, Prasada and Bhagavata”.
    Are we Robots? Whether our course of Life is Pre-Programmed?
    Venugopal Rao Thirunagari
    Hyderabad – Telangana Dated: 12th July, 2014

    Reply
  59. Suresh Vasudevan Venkatakrishnaiah Thiruvengadam Krishnamachar Krishnamurthaiah Bharadwaj Kanchi Varadaraja Brahmadesham Bharadwaj Swami

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Sattada+Srivaisnavas.-a015721687

    http://www.academicroom.com/article/sattada-srivaisnavas

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sathatha_Sri_Vaishnava

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iyengar

    http://maadhavan.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/sathatha-sri-vishnava-chattada-srivaishnava/

    http://www.geni.com/projects/Bhardwaj-GOTRA-Family/3356

    http://www.tamilbrahmins.com/general-discussions/3182-sri-vaishnavam-21.html

    http://www.phoenixhollo.com/en/List_of_Bhumihar_Brahmin_states_6.html

    http://www.nbc.nic.in/Pdf/Orissa/orissa-vol3/20.pdf

    http://www.ncbc.nic.in/Pdf/Karnataka/Karnataka-vol3/21.pdf

    http://www.bedar.nayaka.in/Kings.php

    1. Castes and Tribes of South India by Edgar Thurston Vol-VI P to S pages 297-304
    Edition 1909
    2. Castes & Tribes of Nizam Dominion by Syed Siraj ul Hasan Vol-1 Edition-1920
    Bombay Times Press
    3. Andhrula Sangika Charithra (Telugu) by Sri Suravaram Pratap Reddy
    All the Pdf files of above books are available on http://www.archive.org

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_184061911614071&id=205803992773196#!/home.php?sk=group_184061911614071&ap=1

    karpuram_venkat@yahoo.com, mssmviki85@gmail.com, RAGHAVENDRAXXX@GMAIL.COM, karpuram_venkat_venkat@yahoo.com, getvdk@gmail.com, sharath_thirunagari@yahoo.com, Prashanthjagannadam@gmail.com, kskswamy@gmail.com, bmadhavi24@gmail.com, drtksree@yahoo.com, hnkvenu@gmail.com, hnkvenu@gmail.com, tiruvaimudi@gmail.com
    Address.A.P.C.S.V.Sangam Office.No 2-2-1146/7/12/1 sivam Road.Nallakunta.Hyderabad 500044.Telephone.No04027552653
    Karpuram Venkateswarlu

    There are various opinions regarding the etymology of Iyengar. It means one who is characterised by five attributes (Aindu angangal).[1] Robert Lester says that the word “Ayyangaar”, an alternate transliteration, was first used by Kandhaadai Ramanuja Ayyangaar of Tirupathi around 1450 AD.[2]

    http://www.geni.com/projects/Bhardwaj-GOTRA-Family/3356

    Bhardwaj GOTRA Family

    Bharadwaja was one of the greatest Hindu Arya sages (Maharshis) descendant of rishi Angirasa, whose accomplishments are detailed in the Puranas. He was one of the Saptarshis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) in the present Manvantara; with others being Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Kashyapa. Bharadwaja rishi was father of Dronacharya and grand father of Ashwatthama. Bharadwaja Maharshi, a sage of the Vedic period, is renowned for his thirst for knowledge. He attained extraordinary scholarship and the power of meditation. Bharadwaj as Gotra means people who are the descendants of Rishi Bharadwaj. Rishi Bharadwaj was the son of sage Brihaspati. Sage Brihaspati was the son of Rishi Angiras. These 3 rishis are called the traya rishi of the Bharadwaja Gotra.in earlier days Sages were only Brahmins excepting Sage Vishwamitra. Also all the warrior brahmins became Kshatriyas later. Later all the business minded Kshatriyas became vaishyas. Hence there are people of all the three communities having a common Gotra especially Bhardwaj Gotra. Guru Dronacharya was the son of sage Bharadwaj.(more sattada srivaishnavas are belongs to this gotra). In India, Bharadwaja is an ancestor of Brahmin People belonging to the Bharadwaja gotra. Bharadwaja who is the great grand son of Lord Brahma is the root for his clan, North India(Pancha Gauda Brahmins) Kashmir Himachal Pradesh: around 60% of Brahmins have Bharadwaja as their gotra. Punjab: around 45% of Brahmins have Bharadwaja as their gotra. Haryana: around 40%-45% of Brahmins have Bharadwaja as their gotra. Rajasthan: around 35% of Rajasthani Brahmins have Bharadwaja as their gotra and kuldevta as Shri Lakshmi Narsimha. Uttrakhand South India(Pancha Dravida Brahmins) Maharashtra Vaidiki velanadi brahmans in Coastal Andhra Pradesh Karnataka: Among Smartha and Madhawa Brahmins Tamil Nadu: Among Iyers and Iyengars and Namboodiri Brahmins In Kerala. Mostly found in the Brahmins who migrated southwards from Kannauj

    http://www.tamilbrahmins.com/general-discussions/3182-sri-vaishnavam-21.html

    Whatever happenned to Sattada Sri Vaishnavas? Sri Vaishnavam was a bold experiment in social change started by Azhvars, nurtured by Bhagavat Ramanuja, gained strength through the Thenkalai lineage of Pillai Lokacharyar and Manavala Maamuni, and was in full bloom in the 16th century, but somehow and unfortunately, petered out. Today, this great experiment is completely forgotten or misunderstood, or misinterpreted. SSVs are part of the relic of this glorious past that still lives. The two sub-sects called Vadakalai and Thenkalai within Iyengars are well known. There is also a third group called Sattada Sri Vaishnavas (SSV) aka Kovil Sri Vaishnavas. They belong to the Thenkalai sect. From guru parapara hagiography, we can infer that Bhagavat Ramanuja gave SSVs important roles in temple activities in Sri Vaishnava temples all over Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and Andhra. Some of the responsibilities Bhagavagt Ramanuja assigned to SSVs continue to this day. Even today, in Sri Rangam, the preeminent temple for Sri Vaishnavas, SSVs perform a wide range of tasks starting from opening the curtain in the morning to closing the curtain at night and a lot in between. Their responsibilities range from fairly low status ones, such as making announcements (kattiyam), to even somewhat high status ones like providing flowers and garlands, and the safe-keeping of the temple keys (HRCE also has one set of keys). It seems SSVs are also known to officiate as aradhakas in some lesser known temples, but not in any of the major temples.

    The article by Robert Lester, “The Sāttāda Śrīvaiṣṇavas”, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 114, No. 1 (Jan. – Mar., 1994), pp. 39-53, presents evidence that SSVs in Srirangam recited Dhivya Prabhandham alongside brahmin SVs in the gosthi up until 1942. Lester further goes on to say that in some temples SSVs used to get theertha prasadam and other prasadams ahead of Brahmins.

    So, what happened? How come today the SSVs are not allowed into the elite Brahmin circles? SSVs are not allowed into the praghandha goshti. They no longer enjoy the privileges they had a right to in an earlier era in not so very distant past. While they still maintain a somewhat of a privileged status compared to other NB SVs, there is a clear line of separation between the Brahmin SVs and SSVs. According to Lester’s thesis, Sattada Srivaishnavas included Brahmins. In support, he cites a 1536 inscription of one SSV called Azagiya Manavala ayyan of Kausika gotra, Apastamba suitra and Yajus shakha and a disciple of Azagiya Manavala Jiyar (Sriman Manavala Mamuni) — clearly an SSV of brahmin origin. Another record at Srirangam, dated 1665, references an SSV of Srivatsa gotra, once again a clear indication of Brahmin affiliation. For every exalted SSV of Brahmin origin getting recorded through inscription or in chronicles, there must be hundreds, if not thousands of SSVs of B origin unmentioned.

    These SSV of brahmin origin removed all their external signs that mark them as Brahmins, like poonal, kaccham, etc. The only sign they sported was the Urdhva Pundaram (namam), common to all, that marked them just as SVs.

    To properly understand what this means, we need to look at the expansive social vision of Azhvars that I have already discussed in detail. There were brahmins who heard Periyazhvar’s call,and did leave their exalted Brahmin kulam and became part of SSVs. Swami Periyavacchan Pillai’s directive to caste brahmins to fall at the feet of even the lowliest of lowly SV did not fall into deaf ears. It was not a daydream. These Brahmins were vadama smartha Brahmins who removed their yajyaopavetham and wore veshti without kaccham and dedicated their lives to temple activities and became Sattada Sri Vaishnavas. K.V. Raman in his book titled “Sri Varadarajaswami Temple, Kanchi: A Study of Its History, Art and Architecture” 1975, published by Shakti Malik Abhinav Publications E37 Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110 016, provides more information about the Sattada Srivaishnavas and their religious leaders Sri Ramanuja and Sri Kandadai Ramanuja Iyengar.

    http://www.phoenixhollo.com/en/List_of_Bhumihar_Brahmin_states_6.html

    Karnataka Kannada Brāhmans: The Brāhmans of the Carnatic, or the Canarese country. The Canarese area comprises Mysore State, and the British Districts of Canara, Dharwar and Belgaum. Kannada Brahmins are further subdivided into the following castes : Babbur Kamme Brahmins, Badaganadu Brahmins, Deshastha Brahmin, Hale naadu Karnataka Brahmins, Sirinadu Bramhins, Havyaka Brahmin, Hasan Iyengars, Hebbar Iyengars,Hoysala Karnataka Brahmins, Jangam Brahmins, Karhade Brahmin, Koota Brahmins, Madhva Brahmins, Mandyam Iyengars, Mysore Iyengars, Vishwabrahmin, Niyogi Brahmins, Panchagrama Brahmins, Sankethi Brahmins, Sattada vaishnava Brahmins, Shukla Yajurveda Brahmins, Smartha Brahmins, Srivaishnava Brahmins, Sthanika Brahmins, Ulucha Kamme Brahmins, Mysore Iyers, Ashtagrama Iyer and Tuluva Brahmins,[25] which consist of Kandavara Brahmins, Karhade Brahmins, Padia Brahmins, Saklapuri Brahmins, Shivalli Brahmins, Smartha Shivalli Brahmins, Sthanika Brahmins, and Padarthi Brahmins

    http://cityfocus.blogspot.in/2008/10/other-visiting-places-in-tirumala.html

    The great Vaishnava acharya Sri Ramanuja and his disciple, Sri Anandalwar are believed to have been responsible for starting these gardens in the fourteenth century. Legend has it that the Tirumala flower gardens were cultivated by Sattada Sri Vaishnavas under the name of Dasa Nambis who made flower garlands for use in temples in Tirumala-Tirupati. Inscriptions in the temple refer to numerous flower gardens during the latter period of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In Tirumala many places are named after Nandanavanams – Andalwar Garden, Tharigonda Venkamamba Garden, Hathiramjee Garden and Tallapaka Garden.

    http://www.bedar.nayaka.in/Kings.php

    Kantadai Ramunuja Iyengar’s special respect for Kulasekara Alwar could have come from latter’s heritage as a King of the Royal family of Cheranadu. He was a ” Sattatha Parama Ekaanki” according to the A.D 1489 temple inscription of Srirangam. He built Ramanuja Kutams at Srirangam, Kanchipuram and Thirumalai to feed the pilgrims and to provide shelter during their pilgrimage. He was a trusted freind of the Vijayanagar King of his time known as Saluva Narasimha, who played an equally important part in the transformation of Thirumalai temple from its state as a difficult to access, remote Divya Desam to a temple receiving 60M$ revenue today (Sreekrishna’s Numbers). The seed for that growth was sown by KRI and two of his contemporaries. He lived during the time of another great devotee of the Lord of Thirumalai, viz., Talapakkam Annamacharya, whose Sankirtanas . Hence the Vijayanagara King(Saluva Narasimha), Annamachar and KRI must have combined their energies to raise the flag of Thiruvenkatam as the most popular pilgrim center for people of all faiths in general and Srivaishnavas in particular. Later during the reign of Saluva Narasimha, the village of Gundippundi was granted in 1484 A.D. (11.81) in favour of Kandada Ramanuja Ayyangar’s Ramanujakutam to enable to the Sattada Srivaishnavas attached to it to supply every day the parimalam articles or perfumery etc., required for the Tirumanjanam (bathing) of the idols in Tirumalai and ‘in Tirupati.
    By the time the Pandyan authority and the Yadavaraya Rule came to an end and the new Vijayanagar authority had asserted itself, it was found that during the reign of Devaraya Maharaya II, the Tirumalai temple had acquired a large number of villages as its exclusive landed property. A list of these-it may not have been complete list-has already been shown in the earlier part of this chapter. For the development of agriculture in these villages the excavation of spring channels and the construction of new tanks were undertaken during the rule of Saluva Narasimharaya who was the Viceroy of the Vijayanagar King for this part of the Kingdom. He and his five cousins who were all ruling chiefs with the title of Mahamandalesvara and Maharaja made large contributions not only by grant of villages but also by the excavation of irrigation channels at their own cost. An ardent Sri Vaishnava by name Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar was Narasimha’s able assistant in this work. During the period from about 1460 to 1490 improvement of irrigation resources was the main task for the Sthanattar and the Tiruppani Bhandarattar Endowments in the shape of cash were made by numerous private individuals as well. From the increased yield of paddy consequent on the improvements made by these cash endowments, certain food offerings and festivals were added to the existing ones.

    Downloaded at 10:24 am, Friday, August 08, 2014
    The Sattada Srivaisnavas.

    Author: Lestor, Robert C Publication: The Journal of the American Oriental Society Date: January 1, 1994 Words: 10911
    INTRODUCTION

    The Distinctiveness of Srivaisnava Hinduism lies not only in the fact that it gives special attention to the female mode of the godhead (sri), but also in its claim to inspiration by both the Sanskrit Veda and the devotional poems of the twelve devotees known as Alvars (650-850 C.E.) – considered to be the Tamil Veda. The two vedas are not of equal weight for all Srivaisnavas – Vatakalai, or Northern-branch, Srivaisnavism gives precedence to the Sanskrit and Tenkalai, or Southern-branch, Srivaisnavism to the Tamil; nonetheless both lineages of theologians come to speak of their theology as ubhaya vedanta – “the wisdom of both” the Tamil Veda and the Sanskrit Veda. Among the Alvars – one female and eleven males, at least five are non-brahmin and it is the works of one of these, Nammalvar, a sudra, that most properly constitute the Tamil Veda. The literature of both the northern and southern lineages stipulates that moksa is by the grace of the supreme Lord through rituals open to both male and female members of all castes, and theologians of the southern lineage expressly criticize those Vaisnavas who attribute significance to caste status.

    At the same time, it appears that the entire lineage of theologians, on both the Tenkalai and Vatakalai sides, from the beginning (Nathamuni, c. 900) to the present, is brahmin. Sociological and ritual studies show that both Tenkalai and Vatakalai brahmins consider the maintenance of caste purity important and continue to perform the prescribed Vedic rituals – and that those who administer initiatory rites (diksa), as well as Srivaisnava temple priests, are invariably brahmin. Indeed, the rather extensive scholarly literature describing and interpreting Srivaisnavism represents it as essentially a brahmin tradition. Non-brahmin devotees are mentioned, sometimes prominently, in the traditional accounts of the lives of the early theologians (guruparamparaprabhava [Tam. kuruparamparaippirapavam]) and in temple chronicles (oluku), but then disappear from or, at the least, appear to have had no significance for the later
    Movement My “discovery” of the Sattada Srivaisnavas sheds some light on who some of these devotees were and what happened to them; and it significantly alters our understanding both of contemporary Srivaisnavism and of its historical development. The Sattadas are not only a sizeable, distinctive contemporary community – a jati – of non-brahmin Srivaisnavas, but a community with a lengthy history, a guru-lineage and a substantial literature – a heritage which, though now subdued, still plays a significant part in and had a major impact on the historical development of Srivaisnava Hinduism.

    PRESENT DAY SATTADAS

    V. Srinivasa-ayya(1) is a full-time servant to the Sriranganathaswami Temple, Srirangam, the chief temple for Srivaisnavas. His duties include opening the curtain to the main sanctum at the commencement of daily worship (puja), providing and offering the flower garland for presentation to the deity and guiding the placement of it by the priest (arcaka), assembling the worshippers for receipt of prasada and maintaining order during the distribution, and acting as “herald” (Tam. kattiyakkaran) – announcing the commencement and conclusion of all processions of the deity.(2) Only he and the government-appointed overseer hold the key to the door of the inner sanctum. In performing his duties, Srinivasa is following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and other males of his family line, and is training his eldest son to succeed him. He claims that this lineage of temple service dates back to at least the 11th century, when the great acarya, Ramanuja, in reorganizing temple activities, appointed his ancestors to these duties; or, perhaps, confirmed them in duties they were already performing.

    Srinivasa-ayya is the elder-leader of a distinctive community (twelve families) of servants to the Srirangam temple known as Sattada Srivaisnavas – a community that gains its livelihood from flower trade, the sale of prasada and a share of temple income. Sattada/cattata (masc. noun, sattadavan), from Tamil cattu “to wear,” means “not wearing” and it is generally agreed that what is implied is not wearing the sacred thread (Skt. yajnopavita; Tam. punul) or the top-knot (sikha). Srirangam Sattadas do not wear the thread, but some have the top-knot and Srinivasa noted that, while he does not, his father used to wear the top-knot. The Sattadas are otherwise known as “Koyil [Temple]-Srivaisnavas,” the term being understood to mean, according to Srinivasa, brahmin Srivaisnavas who have given up Vedic rites in order to give their full attention to temple service. Indeed, the lifestyle of the Srirangam Sattadas – diet, dress, household appointments, marriage considerations, etc. – is strongly similar to that of Tenkalai brahmin Srivaisnavas; unlike the latter, they do not perform certain Vedic rites and they recite portions of the Nalayira Divya Prabandham instead of Vedic mantras in their daily pujas and rites of the life-cycle (samskara). The five-fold rite of initiation (panca-samskara diksa) authorized by the Panca-ratragamas and undertaken by all Srivaisnavas is the upanayana for Sattadas.(3) Srirangam Sattadas receive initiation from Koyil Annan, a Srirangam acarya belonging to the Kantatai family, which claims descent from Mutaliyantan, a disciple of Ramanuja. This arrangement is recent, however; up to fifteen years ago, Sattada initiations were performed by the head (mathadhipati) of the Kantatai Ramanuja Mutt(4) at Srirangam, which belongs to the Sattada tradition. As we shall see, this mutt was founded by a Sattada disciple of a Kantatai acarya, in the fifteenth century. The head of this mutt, the last one of which was Srinivasa’s uncle, is a renunciate bearing the title Ekangi Swami. According to Srinivasa, the candidate for this office is elected such by other Sattadas and is inducted into samnyasa by the head (titled, jiyar) of the Sriranga Narayana Mutt.(5)

    The Srirangam Sattadas are not a unique phenomenon; there are Sattada Srivaisnavas throughout Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, some of them serving large temples in a manner similar to the Srirangam Sattadas, others serving as overseers (dharmakartr) and/or priests (arcaka) to small temples, and still others who once served the temple but now gain a livelihood by other means. Sattadas are sometimes referred to as dasa-nambi [Tam. tacanampi], “respected servant.” The Sattadas of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are commonly known as “Satanis”, a variant of sattada.

    Another Srinivasa-ayya is the elder of twenty-two families of Sattadas at Srivilliputtur, ten of which are engaged in service to the Srirangamannar temple. In addition to his duties as herald, performing which he, like Srirangam Srinivasa-ayya, carries a silver cane and is accompanied by bearers of a large torch, Srinivasa daily prepares a leaf and straw parrot for the hand of Antal, who stands to the right of Lord Rangamannar in the sanctuary. Srivilliputtur Srinivasa also exercises “the Kelvi [kelvi] office”(6) in removing the deity’s garland at the end of procession. Other Sattadas at Srivilliputtur guard the jewel-treasury and the hundi (chest for monetary offerings) and guard and maintain the deities’ vehicles (vahana). Srinivasa receives food and a modest monthly stipend for his services. Those in charge of the jewel-treasury live on the income from land gifted to them by the temple. The Srivilliputtur Sattadas live near the center of the village surrounding the temple, next out from the arcakas; an indication of their relatively high status. Two of the twenty-two families at Srivilliputtur are Telugu-speaking; the other twenty, Tamil-speaking. The two groups live on opposite sides of the temple and have quite distinct roles – the Telugu Sattadas performing the relatively less prestigious duties of looking after the food-stores, lighting lamps and sealing locks at night. Recently, there has been some intermarriage between the groups.

    Vanamamalai Tothadri, a Telugu Sattada whose grandfather came from Srivilliputtur, is the sole Sattada servant at the Vanamamalai temple, Nanguneri, the headquarters of the Vanamamalai Mutt. He performs essentially the same services as the above mentioned Srinivasas, in addition, enjoying the privilege of singing praises to Nammalvar after the Iyal Kosti [Gosthi](7) has concluded. On special occasions, such as Vaikuntha Ekadasi,(8) he is addressed as “Rayar Ramanuja Dasar”; rayar(9) is a royal title in use during Vijayanagar rule and revealing of the fact that this Sattada’s ancestors were agents of the crown.

    The brothers Devapiran and Srinivasan Sattadavar serve at the Adhi Nadha Perumal temple, Alwar Tirunagari, performing the same duties as Vanamamalai Tothadri and, in addition, enjoying the status of consultants on temple affairs. They receive a regular stipend and are honored each year at the conclusion of Vaikuntha Ekadasi. The elder brother wears the top-knot. Chakrappani Dharmakarttar is one of two Sattadas serving the Tirukostiyur temple.(10) He provides flowers for puja and keeps account of the temple-stores. His ceremonial name is “Bhattar Piran Dasan.”(11) The Tirukostiyur Sattadas-three families-intermarry with the Sattadas of Srivilliputtur, Nanguneri, and Alwar Tirunagari.

    A. C. Narasimha is the elder of two Telugu-speaking families of Sattadas serving the Sriperumbudur temple, providing flower garlands and guarding the image (tirumeni-kaval, “divine-body protection”) and jewels. Narasimha wears the thread; his father before him wore both thread and sikha. He reports that in his community the upanayana is performed with songs of the Alvars rather than Vedic mantras.

    Most of the Sattadas who are engaged in temple service serve as arcakas or as overseers (dharmakartr) in small village temples or the less-prominent city temples. Often, the two functions are performed by one and the same person. J. Kannaiyaramanuja Dasan of Madurai has a land endowment to support his service as arcaka to a small temple outside the city. His father and grandfather served this temple before him. His maternal uncle is overseer of a similar rural temple. The brothers Raghavan and Konnapa own and control a Tirumalisai Alvar temple adjacent to the main temple at Kumbhakonam. They say the temple is the Alvar’s samadhi and was built by their ancestors. Although there are twenty families of Sattadas at Kumbhakonam, none are in service to the main temple (Sarngapani [Tam. Carankapani) Perumal Koyil). Some are native speakers of Telugu and some of Tamil; the Telugu Sattadas wear the sacred thread.

    N. Varada-ayya, now in retirement from railroad service, says that his father, Nammalvar-ayya, grandfather (Varada-ayya), great-grandfather (Nammalvar-ayya) and great-great grandfather (Tiruvengadathan) served as overseer and arcaka at a Varadaraja temple near Tiruchirrappali. His father also served as acarya to Sattadas and Naidus. His great-great grandfather was originally from Tirupati.

    In the Coimbatore and Salem districts of Tamilnadu, there are numerous Hanuman temples controlled and served by Sattadas. My informants commonly remarked that Sattadas give special honor to the servants and insignia of Visnu; considering themselves “servants of the servants” (dasanudasa) of the Lord, they worship Hanuman, Garuda, the Discus (sudarsana), Conch (pancajanya) and Forehead-mark (Tam. namam).

    Sattadas of Karnataka and Andhra states typically serve as pujaris/arcakas to small temples. There are no Sattadas serving the major temples of Tirumalai-Tirupati and one family performs minor service to the Tirunarayan-ana temple at Melkote, providing flowers and namam-clay. A number of small temples in southeastern Karnataka state have “Nammalvar” mutts which belong to Sattadas and reportedly were once served by Sattada jiyars. Throughout the three-state area, a significant number of Sattadas, some in temple service and some in secular work, function as acaryas and purohitas to the Sattada community and various lower caste Srivaisnavas.

    The Sattadas are Tenkalai Srivaisnavas. Most have received their initiation (panca-samskara) from the Koyil Annan acarya-lineage of Srirangam; some are disciples of the Vanamamalai Mutt, Nanguneri, and others belong to the Paravastu Mutt, Tirupati. They consider themselves a distinct jati, with numerous subdivisions – they have a traditional vocation, intermarry along well-defined lines within the Sattada community and enjoy a distinct ritual status. Over the past seventy years, Sattadas have formed local, state and national associations for uplift (abhyudaya) of the community. According to the souvenir(12) published on the occasion of the most recent (1980) national conference, six previous All India Sattada Srivaisnava Conferences were held, dating back to 1921.

    Who are the Sattadas? In the situations I surveyed, in most circumstances of ranking, Sattadas rank below Srivaisnava brahmins and above all other castes. In a few major(13) temples, certain Sattadas are regularly honored (receive prasada, etc.) ahead of certain brahmins. In a sizable number of major temples, Sattadas receive high honors on special occasions, such as Vaikuntha Ekadasi. It can be argued, as, indeed, some brahmins as well as some Sattadas do, that the Sattadas are brahmins who gave up the thread and top-knot, either or both, in order to give full attention to temple service (koyir-kainkariya) and/or to honor the egalitarian “Bhagavata” theology of Pillai Lokacarya and his commentator, Manavalamamuni. can also be argued, as many non-Sattadas do and some. Sattadas concede, that the latter are sudras, mixed castes, or both, who established themselves as “pure” (at least, purer than other non-brahmins), either or both by once having control of major temples or by reason of inspiration by the Pillai Lokacarya/Manavalamamuni theology and pancaratra diksa. With respect to either of these scenarios, Sattada Srivaisnavism may have arisen during or just after the time of Manavalamamuni (1370-1445), or it may represent the continuation of a very old bhagavata (satvata corrupted to sattada?) Vaisnavism inspiring and inspired by the Alvars, and progressively “taken over” by certain smarta brahmins.(14)

    HISTORY

    There can be no doubt that Sattada Srivaisnavism has a long history and that Sattadas enjoyed greater status in Srivaisnava temples in times past than they do today. The number of temples served by Sattadas and the number of Sattada families serving where services continue, have significantly declined over the last fifty years. Govinda Tada, a schoolteacher at Tirukkurunkuti, remembers when Sattadas served at the Tirukkurunkuti temple and that his father’s house in Nanguneri was an honored stopping place for the Iyal Gosthi, when proceeding outside the temple. According to Srinivasa, the number of Sattadas at Srirangam was much larger in earlier times; some of those who left Srirangam went to serve other temples and some sought a livelihood outside of temple service. Privileges have been cancelled or, at least, eroded. Srirangam Sattadas recited alongside brahmin Srivaisnavas in the Iyal Gosthi up to 1942, when the privilege was cut off by legal action. Present day Sattadas say that their ancestors were in charge of the major Srivaisnava temples of south India, as dharmakartr or srikaryakartr (Tam. srikariyakarttan), and that, in a few of these temples, they served as arcakas. Chakrappani Dharmakarttar (as his name suggests) says that his ancestors, who used the title “tatan” (Tamil for dasa), served as dharmakartr to the Tirukostiyur temple 150 years ago. This is corroborated by a document of the court,(15) dated 1851, which indicates that a Sattada was currently dharmakartr and entitled to receive one-tenth of the puja-income. Vanamamalai Tothadri does not receive honors in the distribution of prasadam at the Vanamamalai temple; but the recitation that accompanies the distribution of prasadam makes reference to two Sattadas, Lakshman Dasar and Ilaiyalvar Dasar, who, at some time past, occupied the position of dharmakartr and were entitled to fourth place honors.

    K. N. Muthuraju, of Bangalore, whose grandfather came from Kancipuram to serve as pujari in a Kolar temple, east of Bangalore, and whose brother now serves this temple, is president of the All India Sattada Srivaisnava Federation. Muthuraju claims, as do the Sattadas serving temples near Melkote, that up to 150 years ago the main temples at Melkote – Yoga Narasimha and Tirunarayana – had Sattada arcakas. He points out that the Paravastu Mutt at Tirumalai is a Sattada mutt and shows the one-time prominence of Sattadas at Tirupati-Tirumalai. N. A. Ramasami, a retired teacher and an elder of the Sattada community of Melkote known as the Venkatapuram Srivaisnavas, says there are 150 families of Tamil-speaking Sattadas in Karnataka. They are originally from Tirupati (Venkatapuram) and came to Mysore from Srirangam. According to Ramasami, from among these families, the Ajjanakattu family used to serve as pujaris at the Yoga Narasimha temple and the Modur family performed puja at the Tirunarayana temple. The former still reside at Melkote and make their living by practicing ayurvedic medicine and astrology and overseeing the processing of white clay found only at Melkote and especially desired by Srivaisnavas for marking the namam on the body. The latter are now farmers in the area surrounding Melkote. Tirunarayana temple registers available with Araiyar Rama Sharma, a brahmin in service to the temple, show that Sattadas, identified at Melkote by the honorific “ayya,” were prominent in service to the temple throughout the 19th century.

    Kantatai Ramanuja Ayyangar

    There is substantial inscriptional evidence for Sattada prominence at Srirangam, Tirupati-Tirumalai and Kancipuram (Varadarajasvami temple) during the 15th and 16th centuries, under the leadership of one Kantatai Ramanuja Dasar (c. 1430-1496), alias Kantatai Ramanuja Ayyangar(16) or Kantatai Ayodhya Ramanuja Ayyangar (hereafter, KRA). The earliest notice of KRA is in a Tirumalai inscription dated 1456,(17) in which it is said that Kantatai Ramanujayyan, the disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar, is the trustee (kartr) of ramanujakutams (feeding houses for pilgrims, in commemoration of Ramanuja-carya), constructed by the Vijayanagara ruler, Saluva Narasimha, at Tirumalai and Tirupati. Numerous inscriptions, thereafter to 1495, refer to him as “Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar and manager of the Tirumalai-Tirupati ramanujakutams.” These texts indicate that, 1) as the agent of Saluva Narasimha, he constructed and managed feeding houses at Srirangam and Varadarajasvami temple, Kancipuram, as well as Tirumalai-Tirupati;(18) 2) he became quite wealthy, himself financing a number of improvements to the temples;(19) 3) in his later years he exercised considerable power over Tirumalai-Tirupati temple affairs as trustee of the Gold-treasury (porpantaram);(20) 4) he had disciples known as the “Sattada Ekaki Srivaisnavas,” designated to administer the feeding houses and receive benefactions after his demise;(21) and 5) his successors in the office of “Kantatai Ayyangar” held the office of dharmakartr at both Kancipuram and Srirangam, for a time (discussed below).

    KRA himself is not labelled “sattada” in the Tirumalai-Tirupati inscriptions. From the perspective of later Srivaisnavism, one may take the honorific “ayyangar” [aiyankar] to indicate that he was a brahmin. “Brahmin” and “Sattada” are not necessarily contradictory, and even if they are, “ayyangar” doesn’t necessarily indicate “brahmin” in the fifteenth century, especially in light of the Sattada use of the abbreviated form “ayyan.” The Tirumalai Oluku (Tirumalai temple chronicle) describes KRA as a Sattada, and the KRA Mutt at Srirangam is clearly a Sattada institution.

    The name “Kantatai” connects KRA to Srirangam, either as a member or as a disciple of the Kantatai family of acaryas established at Srirangam in descendence from Kantatai Mudaliandan, cousin and disciple of Ramanuja. The only possible inscriptional reference to KRA at Srirangam is a 1489 document recognizing a gift for the support of puja and charitable feeding by Kantatai Ayodhya Ramanujayyangar, “… a Tiruvarangam [Srirangam]-Temple Sattada Parama Ekangi….”(22) This Kantatai Ayodhya may be either Tirumalai-Tirupati KRA, under a variant name, or his disciple. The facts that other Ramanujayyangars are specifically designated as disciples and successors to Tirumalai-Tirupati KRA (see below) and that we have clear evidence of the latter’s activity at Srirangam, argue for identity.

    The Koyil Oluku (chronicle of the Srirangam temple) says that Kantatai Ramanuja was one Ramaraja by name, elder brother of the Vijayanagara ruler Saluva Narasimha. Ramaraja chose the religious life and, while on pilgrimage, took samnyasa at Ayodhya, where he also obtained several of the Lord Rama’s gold coins and a powerful weapon called the sparga-vedhi (“that which wounds by touch”). Returning to his brother’s palace, he presented the ruler with one of several gold coins and in return was granted the privilege of being honored with the desantari mudra (“visitor’s seal of authority”) at any of the 108 divyadesas of Srivaisnavism. Thereafter, he traveled to Tirumalai, where he offered a coin and his credentials and took charge of all the shrines at that place. Coming to Srirangam in 1489, he offered a coin to Sriranganatha, donned the vestment of an ekangi and became a disciple of Koyil Annan (a Kantatai-lineage acarya) with the dasya-name “Kantatai Ramanuja Dasar.” Exercising his royal grant, he became leader of the Srirangam ekangis, possessor of the Anjaneya (Hanuman) mudra – the most powerful desantari mudra at Srirangam, and thereby became overseer (srikaryakartr)(23) of the entire Sriranganathasvami temple. In the latter capacity he performed numerous major services (kainkarya) of new construction and reparation, such that the Lord (through the priest) titled him “Kulasekhara Perumal.” The chronicle account concludes with the remark that Kantatai Ramanuja’s activities are the reason why, since his time, one of the desantari ekangis has held the title of Kantaitai Ramanuja, has presided over a mutt, has branded visiting ascetics (desantari vairagi) with the desantari mudra and has regularly received a portion of the temple prasadam.(24)

    There are, at least, two difficulties with this Koyil Oluku account; indeed, it would appear that the account was conveniently “made up” to explain the 1489 inscription. First, Saluva Narasimha had an elder brother, but his name was Timmaraja and no sources other than the temple chronicle associate him with renunciation or temple service. Second, whether KRA was a member of the Kantatai family or a disciple of Koyil Kantatai Annan, the Tirumalai reference to him as “Kantatai” in 1456 means he must have been at Srirangam much earlier than 1489. It is noteworthy that the chronicle nowhere refers to KRA with the honorific “Ayyangar,” calling him rather, “Kantatai Ramanuja Dasar,” a name appropriate to a Sattada, on the assumption that ayyangar designates a brahmin and that Sattadas are non-brahmin.

    KRA is consistently referred to as a disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar, the latter, by title,(25) a renunciate, and traditionally associated with Manavalamamuni (1370-1445) and the Varadarajasvami temple, Kancipuram. Alakiyamanavala Jiyar is one of the names of Manavalamamuni; but KRA would have been too young to be disciple to Manavalamamuni himself. The Periyatirumuti Ataivu records that Alakiyamanavala was disciple to Paravastu Bhattarpiran Jiyar, the latter himself a disciple of Manavalamamuni.(26) The one reference to Bhattarpiran Jiyar, in a Tirumalai inscription dated 1493, notes favor to “Bhattarpiran Jiyar, the disciple of Bhattarpiran Jiyar.”(27) Inscriptions dated 1514, 1523, and 1535, record favor to one Bhattarpiran-Ayyan, “… a Sattada Ekaki [Ekangi? - see below] Srivaisnava and a disciple of Paravastu Annan.”(28) We note the characteristic Sattada honorific, “ayyan”; the names Bhattarpiran and Paravastu, which associate these persons with Paravastu Bhattarpiran; and the ekangi status of the disciple, strongly suggesting, although not insuring, that the guru, Paravastu Annan, is a renunciate, in charge of a mutt. Given that the disciple of the disciple of Paravastu Bhattar Piran (namely, KRA) was a Sattada, we may reasonably conclude that the entire line was Sattada. The Periyatirumuti Ataivu says that Paravastu Bhattar Piran Jiyar was a vaidika brahmin. However, a 1612 inscription at Srirangam records a gift to support offerings during the recitation of the Tiruvaymoli on a day special to Ramanuja. The gift was given by one Jiyar Ramanuja Jiyar, also known as Ramanuja-dasa, and given in the name of his guru Yatindra-pravanaprabhava Pillai Lokacarya Jiyar, the disciple of Paravastu Nayinar Acarya of Tiruvenkatam (Tirupati).(29) The Srivaisnavasiddhantadipika, written around 1700 by one Vadhula Kantatai Ramanujacarya, argues the case of Sattada Srivaisnavism and the authority of Paravastu Kantopayantrumunindra Jiyar, said to be the seventh head of the Paravastu Mutt, which began with Paravastu Bhattarpiran Jiyar. The text lists the above mentioned Nayinar Acarya as fourth in the line, which placement is consistent with his appearance at Srirangam in 1612.(30)

    KRA’s successor at Tirumalai was Kantatai Madhavayyangar:

    … Saka year 1442, We, the Sthanattar of Tirumalai have registered this silasasanam in favour of Kandadai Madhavayyangar, the disciple and successor of Kandadai Ramanujayyangar, who was the manager of Ramanujakutams established at Tirumalai and in Tirupati, and the agent of the gold treasury …(31)

    K. Madhava also appears in a Srirangam inscription dated 1500, as the disciple of KRA, the dharmakartr of the Srirangam and Tirupati ramanujakutams.(32) K. Madhava is succeeded at Tirumalai-Tirupati by KRA’s son, first mentioned as Kumara Ramanujayyangar and later as Kantatai Ramanujayyangar.(33) A KRA, presumably the son of the original KRA, presented gold coins to Varadarajasvami at Kancipuram, 1530,(34) was entrusted with endowments at Srirangam, 1532, and in 1538 was serving as the overseer of the Varadarajaswami temple, Kancipuram.(35) The latter is the last reference to a KRA at Kancipuram. The final reference to a KRA at Tirumalai-Tirupati – 1534 – is to one Kantatai Ariya Ramanujayyangar, who must have succeeded Kumara Kantatai Ramanujayyangar at this temple.(36)

    KRA’s most frequently referenced disciples are called “Sattada Ekaki Srivaisnavas.” Ekaki, literally, “one alone, a solitary person,” is not a term used in present day Srivaisnavism; it occurs as a title for others besides Sattadas and is interpreted by Viraraghavacarya as meaning “person without family who has dedicated his entire life to temple service.”(37) The term may easily be confused with ekangi (Tam. ekanki, a nasalization of ekaki?), which occurs less frequently in the Tirumalai-Tirupati inscriptions, but also in relation to both Sattadas and others. The above mentioned Bhattarpiran-ayyan is, in one text (no. 102, dated 1514), called an ekaki and, in another (no. 156, dated 1523), called ekangi;(38) the Tamil Lexicon defines ekangi: 1) “a class of Vaisnava devotees”; and 2) “a single person, one who has no family”; Winslow’s Tamil-English Dictionary says: 1) “a single person, bachelor (brahmachari)”; and 2) “an ascetic, monk (samnyasi).” Thus, both sources allow the equivalency of ekangi with ekaki. At the same time, the Lexicon’s first and Winslow’s second definition indicate that ekangi has a specialized meaning for some Vaisnavas; indeed, both historical evidence and present day understanding indicate that an ekangi is a renunciate (perhaps not an ascetic or a samnyasi, however) and that the term signifies “one having a single distinguishing mark.”(39) This mark, according to present day ekangis at Tirupati and documents of the Kantatai Ramanuja Mutt tradition, is the wearing of a white loincloth and a saffron upper garment or simply a strip of saffron cloth; the “single mark” is the single piece of saffron cloth,”(40) whereas the samnyasi wears two pieces of saffron (top and bottom).

    It is possible that the early ekangis were householder-renunciates; such are mentioned in the traditional biographies as among the disciples of Ramanuja. The Samayacara-curukkum of Vadikesari Venkatacarya, part of a Sattada literature possibly dating from KRA’s time, defines an ekangin as a vanaprastha – he has a wife, wears a saffron upper garment and a white lower garment which he receives as a disciple of a Srivaisnava samnyasin, may or may not wear the thread and top-knot and engages in nothing but service in the temple.(41) There is today a Paravastu Mutt at Tirumalai-Tirupati, claimed by Karnataka and Andhra Sattadas. The mutt is currently without leadership. T. P. Sampath of Tirupati, the son of the last head of the mutt, says that this mutt has been a “grhastha mutt” for some time; his father wore the vestment of an ekangi, was called a “jiyar,” and yet, lived the life of a householder. His son, Tiruvengada Ramanujacarya, is in training at the Sanskrit College, Mysore, preparing to assume leadership of the mutt. There is evidence that the Srivaisnava temple-mutt institution, under the headship of one called jiyar, began with Sattada Srivaisnavas at Tirumalai-Tirupati in the early 14th century; the earliest mutts were essentially flower gardens and were managed by jiyars whose names bear the Sattada honorific ayyan. A 1540 inscription refers to one such jiyar, Yatirajayyan, who is, like KRA, the disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar and the Chief Overseer (periya koyil kelvi) of the Tirumalai temple.(42) If the early ekangis were householder-renunciates, perhaps all Sattadas were such and their ekangi (or, jiyar) status specifically explains the practice of giving up the thread and sikha.

    As noted, KRA himself is called “Parama Ekangi.”(43) This latter title allows the possibility that ekangi is a variant or corruption of ekanti – (the written Tamil g and t are very similar in form). It is noteworthy that in lists of Ramanuja’s entourage occurring in two different texts – Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam (6000 Stanza Guru-Lineage Account)(44) and Periyatirumuti Ataivu (Longer Genealogical Lists), the first speaks of “12,000 ekangis” and the second of “12,000 ekantis” (see below). Ekanti(n), “one solely devoted to one object,” and paramaikanti(n), “one supremely devoted to one object,” are titles special to Satvatas/Pancaratrins/ Bhagavatas, in the sense of sole devotion to Vasudeva/ Narayana. The term ekangi may have arisen due to the fact that ekantis came to be distinguished as wearers of one piece of saffron cloth.

    KRA, evidently, had householder disciples: perhaps householder-renunciates. A Tirumalai inscription dated 1476(45) stipulates that a portion of prasadam is regularly to go to the Sattada Srivaisnavas who tend certain gardens and who reside in the sixteen houses on Kantatai Ramanujayyangar Street. In addition to providing flowers, KRA’s disciples supplied sandal paste, musk, camphor, turmeric paste, areca nut and betel leaves, etc., for temple worship.(46) They also participated in the recitation of songs of the Alvars at the shrine of Ramanuja, a practice evidently introduced at Tirumalai by KRA. The 1476 inscription noted above also remarks that a share of prasadam is to go to ” . . . the Sattina Srivaisnavas and the Sattada Srivaisnavas who chant the Prabandhas of the Alvars in the shrine of Udaiyavar [Ramanuja].”(47) Sattina, from Tamil sattu, means “wearing,” as distinct from sattada, “not wearing”; presumably, in reference to the sacred thread and top-knot. If the Sattadas are non-brahmin, then it is noteworthy that they were permitted to recite along with brahmins; it is more likely that sattina and sattada designate two types of brahmins – those who wear the thread and those who do not; otherwise, why not simply speak of brahmins and sattadas?

    Other Evidences of Sattadas

    To my knowledge the earliest inscriptional reference to Sattadas, by this name, is in a Tirupati edict of 1442 ” . . . in favour of Karunakaradasar, one of the Sattada Srivaisnavas of Tirupati.”(48) The edict records a sizable donation by the dasar, the interest on which is to underwrite puja-offerings, in perpetuity – ” . . . as long as the moon and sun endure.” This record indicates that Sattada Srivaisnavas exist at least somewhat before KRA’s coming to prominence. As well as the several Sattada jiyars mentioned between 1520 and 1545, there is mention in a 1536 inscription of one Alakiyamanavalayyan, ” . .

    . of the Kausika gotra, Apastamba sutra and Yajus sakha and a disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar,”(49) clearly a brahmin Sattada. Beyond the time of KRA and his successors, a Srirangam inscription of 1636(50) records a gift from one Emaluranar, ” . . .a temple-sattada Vaisnava (tiruppati sattata vaisnava). . . . ” Again, at Srirangam, in 1665, there is a record of the gift of one Muddirai-Raman, son of Alakiyasinkar, a Sattada Vaisnava of the Srivatsa gotra.(51) The reference to the Srivatsa gotra appears to give us a clear reference to a brahmin Sattada. If so, it is all the more remarkable that both inscriptions refer only to “Vaisnava” rather than “Srivaisnava.” Both the Koyil Oluku and the Periyatirumuti Ataivu appear to refer consistently to Sattadas as merely “Vaisnava.” The Srirangam temple chronicle, Koyil Oluku, mentions Sattadas with reference to the activities of Ramanuja (1017-1137). The chronicle, as it stands, was likely composed only in the 18th century; but the text is based on much older records, one of which, the Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam, may date from the early 13th century.(52) Even so, it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish clearly what is early and what is late; much of what is said about the early period may be a projection back from a later time.

    The chronicle lists and describes the duties of: 1) ten classes of Srivaisnava servants, 2) the Ekangis, 3) the Sattadamudalis, 4) the Vettirapanis and 5) ten classes of low-caste servants – which five groupings, according to the chronicle, constituted those serving the Srirangam temple as organized by Ramanuja. The briefer and probably older of two Koyil Oluku texts(53) does not clearly distinguish brahmin and non-brahmin among these servants. The more elaborate description of servants’ duties in the longer text(54) specifies that the ten groups of Srivaisnava servants and the Vettirapanis were brahmin and the ten groups of low-caste servants were sudra. We note that it is only this brahmin category that is referred to as “Srivaisnava,” and this seems to be consistent throughout the chronicle. In describing a ritual important to the duties of the chief overseer, the longer text says:

    Then tirtham and satakopan would be offered to all the Jiyars, the Srivaisnavas, the Ekangis, the Sattadamudalis and others. Before the days of Udayavar these were addressed merely as “Srivaisnavas.”(55)

    The text, here, abruptly goes on to another subject. Does this mean that it was Ramanuja (Udayavar) who introduced exclusivism into Srivaisnavism, distinguishing the smarta brahmins as the “true” Srivaisnavas?

    The Ekangis and the Sattadamudalis of the chronicle are not associated with any caste. “Mudali” is an honorific meaning “head” or “chief,” or alternatively, “honored,” “distinguished.” In the first sense the title probably indicates that there were other Sattadas. The translator, Hari Rao, calls all non-brahmins “sattada,” but there is no warrant for this in the text. In the second sense, the title may indicate that Sattadas are unusually respected persons, either because they are non-brahmins, yet quite distinguished, or because they are a special kind of brahmin. Clearly, the Sattadamudalis are distinct from either the brahmin or the sudra groups. They may be a special category of brahmin or distinguished non-brahmins, yet not sudras. The Oluku labels them “outsiders, foreigners” (desantari) – presumably, “those not native to Srirangam.” Four of the Ekangis are also called desantari.(56) (Where are these “outsiders” from? Are they from Tirupati, having come to Srirangam with Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, their existence in Ramanuja’s time being a projection back from what prevailed later?)

    According to the chronicle, the Sattadamudalis have the “permanent” duties of decorating the mandapams with flowers, making and offering garlands, arranging for the start of the procession of the Alvars, following behind the Prabandham reciters, reciting the last two lines of each stanza, “bearing the Ramanujan sword and acting as the bodyguard of the Jiyars and the Srivaisnavas.”(57) They are also mentioned as carrying the images of the Alvars in procession when the latter are honored on their birthdays.(58) Among the Srivaisnava groups (presumably, brahmins) are the Dasanambis, whose duties include planting and tending flower gardens, making garlands, decorating the palanquin for procession and carrying torches, one ” . . . a huge torch, the dasari pandam . . . “(59) They are also known as “Pundarika-dasas,” the name for a community of flower-provisioners to which Tondaradipodi Alvar belonged.(60) The Vettirapanis, “mace-holders” (also brahmin), go before the procession, keeping order with gold and silver rods and canes, organizing the Srivaisnavas ” . . . according to their qualifications to receive the prasadams . . .,” commanding silence before the beginning of Prabandham recitation and “reciting panegyrics.”(61) The activities of present day Sattadas at divyadesa temples incorporate the key elements of activities ascribed to the three of these early groups, combined; and, we remind ourselves that the Sattadas today are alternatively called “Dasanambis.” Does this mean that, over time, certain brahmins became non-brahmins or that the ancient Sattadas (here, the Sattadamudalis) were indeed a special class of brahmins?

    The Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam lists Sattadamudalis along with twenty other Mudalis. All but four have “Dasar” names and “Dasar” appears only with respect to Mudalis in the list of 179 disciples.(62) The Tamil Lexicon and Thurston’s Castes and Tribes . . .(63) indicate that the other Mudalis are sub-divisions of the Velalas, considered to be either sudra or vaisya. We then note two points: that Sattadas characteristically, but not exclusively, use the “Dasar” name and others who anciently used this title were certain sub-groups of the Velala. If all these “Mudalis” are Velala, what makes them “Mudali” and why are some Velala singled out as “those who do not wear . . .?”

    Summing up Ramanuja’s following, the 6000 says:

    . . . seven hundred adherents of the highest asrama (uttama-aciramikal), seventy-four acarya-purusas firm on lion-thrones, innumerable Sattina- and Sattada-(64) mudalis, and three hundred female ascetics (korriyammai).(65)

    It is possible that sattina and sattada here identify all of the brahmin and non-brahmin male devotees who are completely dedicated to temple service and are not samnyasis or acaryas; or, the terms signify two types of brahmins.

    Some of the names in the 6000’s list of Sattadamudalis are of interest: Sri Kulasekhara Perumal, Bhattar Piran Dasar [Pattar Piran Tacar], Pakaivillidasar, Srivilliputturdasar, Sri Narayana Dasar, Sri Govardhan-adasar, Tiruvalutivalanadudasar, Sri Ramanuja Dasar, Pillai Urangavilli Dasar, Vantar, Cuntar and Ramanuja Velaikkrar.(66) Kulasekhara Perumal and Bhattar Piran call to mind Alvars, the latter being a title for Periyalvar, who tended flowers. Pillai Urangavilli Dasar was guardian of the treasury and belonged to a caste of wrestlers; Ramanuja used to lean on him returning from the bath. Although he is not in the list, the 6000 speaks of Tirukacchi Nambi (Kancipurna) as a sattadavar.(67) According to the biography, Ramanuja sought initiation with Tirukacchi, a sudra (? the text here actually says “non-vaidika”) devotee of Lord Varadaraja of Kancipuram, and failing in that, invited Tirukacchi to eat at his home so that he (Ramanuja) might partake of the grace of his leavings.

    The Periyatirumuti Ataivu (16th century) may shed some light on the above issues. It sums up Ramanuja’s entourage as:

    12,000 ekantis . . . 74 acarya-purusas, 700 jiyars, a multitude of Sattinas and Sattadas, and innumerable Sattinamudalis and Sattadamudalis, Tirunamadharis led by Pillai Urankavilli Dasar, and Tirunamadhari women led by Ponnacchiyar.(68)

    We notice: 1) “12,000 ekantis” rather than the “12,000 ekangis” of the Koyil Oluku and 6000 Guruparamparam; 2) both Sattina/Sattada and Sattinamudali/Sattadamudali, whereas in the inscriptions, chronicles and biographies it has been one or the other only; 3) Pillai Urankavilli Dasar, whom all sources consider sudra and who is listed in the 6000 as a Sattadamudali, is here leader of a new category: “those who wear the Vaisnava forehead mark (namam).” There is no mention of brahmins, except we take Sattinamudali and Sattina as such; then, Sattadas are either other brahmins or “pure” sudras, as distinct from the other sudras, i.e., the Tirunamadharis. In the list of names that follows this general statement, the category “Srivaisnavas, led by Kottaiyammaraiyankar” is followed by the category “Sattada Vaisnava,” inclusive of several “dasars” as found in the 6000 list of Sattadamudalis; then, come the Tirunamadharis led by Pillai Urankavilli Dasar and finally the female Tirunamadharis led by Urankavilli’s wife. This arrangement appears to say that Sattinamudali and Sattina equals Srivaisnava, Sattadamudali and Sattada are just Vaisnava, not Srivaisnava, and “Tiruna-madhari,” while related to Visnu, is neither “Vaisnava” nor “Srivaisnava.” As we shall see below, Sattada literature offers two hierarchies of Srivaisnavas: one says that the Sattadas are brahmin, the Kulasekharas are ksatriya, the Trivarnikas are vaisyas and the Namadharis are sudra. The other says that all are Sattada; brahmin Sattadas are called Sattadamudali, ksatriya Sattadas are called Kulasekharas, etc.(69)

    In the light of contemporary understanding and historical evidence we can reasonably assume that inscriptional reference to persons bearing the honorific ayya is reference to Sattadas or those who come to be known as Sattadas. It is possible that dasanambi and dasar are always references to Sattadas or those who come to be known as such; the latter (dasar) certainly is a title never used publicly by Srivaisnava brahmins, consistently used by Sattadas, and possibly also by non-sattada sudras and pancamas. In the Koyil Oluku, certain “Dasar” names occur in two other categories of brahmin servants – Tirupparkadal Dasar, among the Tiruppatiyar (the group from whom the chief overseer is chosen), and Tiruttalvarai Dasar, Tirukkurugur Dasar, Nalukavipperumal Dasar, Satakopa Dasar, Tirukkalikanri Dasar and Ramanuja Dasar, among the Tiruppani-saivar (a particular type of arcaka). Are these personages, in fact, Sattadas?

    According to the Periyatirumuti Ataivu, Nathamuni, the disciple of Parankusa Dasa, had “dasar” disciples: Pillai Karunakara Dasar and Nambi Karunakara Dasar.(70) Among Yamuna’s disciples were: Tirukatci Nampi alias Gajendra Dasar, Tirukkurukur Dasar, Govinda Dasar, Nathamuni Dasar and Periya Nambi alias Parankusa Dasar.(71) Nampillai (the guru of Pillai Lokacarya) is known as Tirukkalikanri Dasar; Pillai Lokacarya had several “dasar” disciples, one of whom – Kollikavali Dasar – was the father of Manavalamamuni’s mother.(72)

    Possibly relevant inscriptional references to dasar, dasanambi, and ayya include a Srirangam text of 1316, recording the sale of garden plots to certain brahmin arcakas (pattan/bhattan) by Srivaikuntha Dasan, Koyilponmeynda Perumal Dasan, Van Satakopa Dasan (or Tam. Tatan), Piraguvali Alagiya Perumal Dasan and Anukkavilli Dasan, all of whom are dasanambis at Srirangam (tiruvarankam tiruppati).(73) A 1557 Srirangam inscription records a gift of land by Ekangi Narasingayya.(74)

    In a 1359 Kancipuram (Varadarajasvami temple) inscription we find reference to one Perumal Tadan, who is the supervisor of the temple and upon whose representation the Lord has granted to the Vaisnavadasa, hereafter known as Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar, a mutt (matha, matam), land-endowment, library, right to conduct worship, etc., so that he may propagate the “Ramanuja-darsana.”(75) Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar is considered to be the founder of the Parakala Mutt jiyar-lineage. The inscription may indicate that the jiyar as well as the supervisor are Sattadas. According to the Guruparamparaprabhavam (3000) written by the third Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar (15th century) the original name of the first jiyar was Viravalli Perarulal-ayyan; he belonged to the Kaundinya gotra and was a disciple of Vedanta Desika.(76) This could mean that Brahmatantrasvatantra was a brahmin Sattada. In later times the jiyars of Parakala Mutt are clearly Vatakalai brahmins.

    At Melkote (the Tirunarayana temple) there is mention of Govinda Dasa, Srirama Dasa and Sriranga Dasa, Srivaisnavas who received a grant of a village from the local ruler in 1310.77 Here too, in inscriptions of 1504, 1521, 1610 and 1640, we find reference to several “ayyas,” one of whom is the junior manager of the Tirunarayana temple, another, the minister of Krsnadevaraya, the Vijayanagar ruler; yet another is the chief of Mysore.(78) Two fifteenth-century Melkote inscription S79 are interesting for a different reason. They refer to “supreme vaidika (Vedic) Srivaisnava brahmins (paramavaidikasrivaisnavabrahmana);” evidently emphasizing either that Srivaisnava brahmins are Vedic or that some Srivaisnava brahmins (others [Sattadas?] are not).

    The earliest record I have found that can be construed in relation to Sattada Srivaisnavism is an inscription of 1276, at the Saumyanatha temple (Mysore area), recording an agreement between the local ruling body and one Ulakamunton Tacar [Dasar], a member of the Srivais nava assembly (variyam). The dasar is granted use of a garden from which he is to supply flower garlands to the temple.(80) For the same year, there is record of a similar arrangement with Ulakamunton Tacar and Kecavapperumalpillai Cokkan Dasar. The garden they are to establish and cultivate is to be called “the Ramanuja temple garden (tirunantanavanam).”(81) In a 1293 inscription at the same temple, there is mention of “dasanambis,” who are to supply flower garlands and vegetables to the temple daily.(82)

    CONCLUDING REMARKS

    Sattada Srivaisnavism is a complex phenomenon, much deserving of further study. Conclusions concerning its origin and early development can, at best, be tentative. The “hard,” i.e., inscriptional, evidence indicates an origin at Tirupati in the fifteenth century, under the leadership of Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, who enjoyed the patronage of Vijayanagar rulers and whose activities had a significant impact on religious life at Srirangam and Kancipuram as well as Tirupati. Burton Stein has presented the Sattadas of Tirupati as Velala sudras who, already enjoying prominence in temple affairs, experienced enhanced status under royal patronage and sought respect comparable to that given the brahmin.(83) Stein’s remarks are brief, not well documented and based on only a small part of the evidence; his identification of the Sattadas as Velalas is based on Hari Rao’s interpretation of the Koyil Oluku, an interpretation we have shown to be suspect. At the same time, we have noticed that the 6000 Guruparamparam associates Sattadas with several Velala groups and we must recognize that many Velalas, considered by others to be sudra, are traditionally farmers and traders and claim the status of vaisya, ritually imitating brahmins.(84) With the patronage of Saluva Narasimha, certain Velalas may have come into such prominence in the temples, that alongside of brahmin temple-servants, they came to be designated “not wearing,” and the brahmins in close relationship to these non-brahmins came to be designated sattina. The title sattada may have been given by brahmins by way of distinguishing those non-brahmins who were considered acceptable in temple service – persons who look and act like brahmins or, at least, twiceborn) but are not. Or, more likely, these Velalas, who apparently controlled the temple prior to brahmin influence, may have named themselves sattada, by way of indicating that even though they do not wear the thread, they are nonetheless qualified for temple service. As brahmins came into increasing prominence and power in the temple, the Sattada Velalas, necessarily, would have attempted to consolidate and enhance their status with reference to the brahmin lifestyle, claiming high purity by reason of pancaratra diksa and possession of Veda in the form of the Nalayira Divya Prabandham and performing all domestic rituals with prabandhams rather than Sanskrit mantras.(85)

    KRA was energetic in establishing and enhancing at Tirumalai-Tirupati regular and special pujas for the Alvars and recitation of the songs of the Alvars within the temple, the latter performed by Sattinas and Sattadas together. Recognition of the Alvars and the Prabandham in the temple was based not only on the fact that certain of the Alvars sang about the Lord of Tirupati-Tirumalai but also the belief that the songs of Nam-malvar constitute the Tamil Veda, as argued by Pillai Lokacarya and his brother, Alakiya Manavala Perumal Nainar Acarya and commented upon by Manavalamamuni. Pillai Lokacarya also argued that, as Bhagavatas, on equal footing with the Lord by reason of their saranagati, Srivaisnavas have no legitimate concern with caste distinctions.(86) Manavalamamuni was instrumental in developments at Srirangam, Kancipuram and Tirumalai-Tirupati; Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, we recall, was a disciple of a disciple of Manavalamamuni. Thus, Sattada Srivaisnavism can be seen as a logical result of the theology of Pillai Lokacarya et al. This theology opens the way for the full participation of non-brahmins in Srivaisnavism and may have encouraged certain Velalas. In the face of what appears to have been a restriction of the term “Srivaisnava” to brahmins only, some non-brahmins said, in effect, “We are Srivaisnavas; non-thread-wearing Srivaisnavas. We have the Veda – the Tamil Veda, as good or better than the Sanskrit Veda, and we are solely dedicated to service of the Lord and his devotees (bhagavad-bhagavata-kainkaryam).”

    One problem with this “Velala hypothesis” is the fact of hard evidence for brahmin Sattadas and, for a time, their exercise of the distinction “vaidika” and “non-vaidika.” Recognizing this together with the possible impact of Lokacarya’s bhagavata theology, we must recognize the possibility that certain brahmin Srivaisnavas gave up the thread and top-knot and, along with them, the performance of Vedic rituals, in favor of a life of service in the temple and as purohitas and acaryas. In this situation, alongside of vaidika brahmin Srivaisnavas, they would have called themselves sattada, meaning essentially brahmin but non-vaidika. There is also the matter of existence of a sophisticated Sattada literature in relation to a lineage of acaryas, dating, at least, to the sixteenth century. This literature still needs to be fully and carefully examined, but it appears as a logical continuation of Pillai Lokacarya/ Manavalamamuni Srivaisnavism and in relation to a practicing community.

    Of course, both of the above hypotheses can be valid: Sattada Srivaisnavism practiced by both brahmin and non-brahmin; indeed, this is what one would expect as the practical implication of the bhagavata theology. Sattada Srivaisnavism, having had its origin in Telugu country, would have spread with the activities of Manavalamamuni and partic

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  60. Suresh Brahmadesham Varadaraja Swami

    Sattada Sri Vaishnavas are Sanatani Nambi Nambudiri Bhagavata Satavahana Sri Vaishnava Brahmins. They are ascetics, purohits, medical practitioners, Sri Vaishnava preachers, Hindu dharma pracharaks, yagnakartas, temple builders, sanskrit, kannada, telugu, and tamil scholars, statue installers, musicians, flower cultivators, garland makers, and Vishnu temple priests, assistants and administrators. They are known by a variety of names including Sanatani, Sanatana, Sanatanas, Sattina, Satani, Sattada, Sattini, Satavahana Brahmins, Dasa Nambis, Nambis, Nambi Brahmins, Bhagavata Nambi Brahmins, Pancharatras, Vaikhanasas, Yejurvedis, Krishna Yejurvedis, Nambudiri, Namboodiri Brahmins, Chattada, Vadama Brahmins, Bhagavata Brahmins, and Tengalai Sri Vaishnavas. They are found in large numbers in Sri Villiputtur, Sri Perambadur, Sri Rangapatna, Tirupati, Melkote, Kanchi, Srirangam, Brahmadesham, Brahmadesam, Tiruvanatapuram, Guruvayur, Ayodhya, Pandarapur, Dwaraka, Varanasi, Mathura, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Vishakapatnam, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Poona, Mysore, and are largely concentrated in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Kerala, Maharashtra, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. For well over a thousand years, they have rendered a variety of divine and administrative services in Sri Vaishnava temples and spread, propagated, popularized, and protected the Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya and Hindu religion as swamis, acharyas, archakas, purohits, dharmakartas, senapatidurandaras, senai muthaliyar, temple builders, installers of statues of Lakshmi, Narasimha, Garuda, Hanuman, Rama, Krishna, Adikesava, Hayagriva, Sri Ramanuja Lakshmana Bhashyakara Swamy, Andal and Alvars in Sri Vaishnava Temples, guardians of temple properties, owners of flower gardens, growers of flowers, and suppliers of flowers, garlands, and all articles of worship in Sri Vaishnava temples.

    Their names have the honorary last names or suffix or prefix such as Arya, Ayya, Iah, Iyer, Ayyangar, Ayyavar, Ayyavarlu, acharya, chari, acharyulu, acharyam, jeeyar, jeeyangar, swamy, swami, paravastu, parakala, kandadai, sharma, goswami, Nambudari, Alvar, Bhagavat, Bhagwat, and nambi, . They especially revere the Sankha, the Chakra, the Naamam, Tulasi, Godadevi Andal, Srivilliputtur Vishnuchiita Periyalvar, Mathurakavi Alvar, Kulashekara Alvar, Nammalvar, Paravastu Pattar Piran Govindadasa Bhattacharya, Kandadai Ramanuja Iyengar, Kandadai Annan, Kandadai Ayodhya Ramanuja Iyengar, Sri Rangam Acharya Purusha, Sri Rangam Kandadai Ramanuja Mutt Swami, Vishvaksena, Sattakopaya, Natamuni, Pundarikaksha, Rama Mishra, Yamunacharya, Mahapurna, Pillai Lokacharya, Manavala Mamuni, Vaadhoola Kandadai Anantha Naarayana Dikshit, Kandadai Nachiyaramman, Kandadai Mudaliandan Dasarathi Swami, Sri Ramanuja, Hanuman, Garuda, Brahma, Sarasvati, Maha Lakshmi, Narasimha, Rama, Krishna, and Sriman Narayana. Above all, they honour the Aazhvaars, especially Nammaazhvaar. They recite and use only the Aazhvaar’s hymns for domestic rituals. Most are disciples of Koil Annan-and Acharya Purusha of Sri Rangam. Some of the Sri Vaishnava Maths they follow are Vaanamaamalai Math, Tirumala Tirupati Periya Jeeyar Swami Peetam Mutt, Tirumala Tirupati Chinna Jeeyar Peedam Mutt, Tirumala Tirupati Ekangi Mutt, Tirumala Tirupati Paravastu Math, Sri Rangam Sri Ranga Narayana Jeeyar Mutt, Melukote Yadugiri Yatiraja Mutt, Madhuramangalam Emperumanar Jeeyar Mutt, Srivilliputtur Sri Manavalamamunigal Sri Satagopa Ramanuja Jeeyar Andal Mutt, Sringeri Bhagawat Mutt, Sri Swamy Hathiramji Mutt, Sri Kidambi Srinivasachar Adivan Satakopa Ahobila Matam, Sriperumbudur Srimad Embaar Jeeyar Mutt, and Sitanagaram and Sithanagaram Sri Tridandi Sriman Narayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Mutt.

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  61. Dr.Sathish Chennakrishnan

    Hi to all.. Our Sathatha Sri Vaishnava Grand Meeting on Aug 16, 17 at Madurai,Tamilnadu.. For more details visit d Facebook page ‘Chattada Sri Vaishnava’.. All SSVians gather at Madurai.

    -C.Sathish,MBBS,MD(Anesthesia)

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  62. krishnamohan.J

    Dear SSV-ians
    In the recent past maadavans wordpress has been bombarded with passages from SSV literature. While there can be no-objection as it is from well wishers, I feel the same as overdose. This forum should be for discussion/happenings only and all the literature can be safely hosted in a distinct url.
    We can hold our heads high and have the determination to excel in all fields. The entire community should be motivated and ensure that the coming generation/s have all the benefits and wherwithal to succeed in life, first at economical and educational levels. As I state repeatedly, elders have a role in making the last, very last person in our community as FORWARD, by sowing the seeds of ambition.

    Krishnamohan.j

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  63. Kanchipuram Brahmadesham Suresh Bharadwaj Swami

    SANATANI SRI VAISHNAVA BRAHMINS
    Sanatani Sri Vaishnavas are also known as Sanatana Sri Vaishnavas, Sattina-Sattada Sri Vaishnavas, Sattinamudali-Sattadamudali Sri Vaishnavas, Sathatha Sri Vaishnavas, Sattada Sri Vaishnavas, Sattada-Sattina Tenkalai Sri Vaishnavas, Koil Sri Vaishnavas, Sri Vaishnava Iyengar Brahmins, Satva Sri Vaishnavas, Satvata Sri Vaishnavas, Satvika Sri Vaishnavas, Satva Ubhaya Veda Sri Vaishnavas, Para Brahma Sri Vaishnavas, Paravastu Sri Vaishnavas, Parakala Sri Vaishnavas, Prathama Sri Vaishnavas, Bhagavad Sri Vaishnavas, Bhagavata Sri Vaishnavas, Saasthra Bhattacharya Sri Vaishnavas, Satavahana Sri Vaishnavas, Satakarni Sri Vaishnavas, Chaathira Namboothiri Sri Vaishnavas, and Chattada Sri Vaishnavas. They are found in large numbers in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajastan, Gujarat, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and other states in India.
    For several centuries, they have rendered a variety of priestly, religious, advisory, and administrative services in Sri Vaishnava temples such as archakas, dharmakartas, dharmacharyas, sattadamudalis, sattinamudalis, kandadai mudaliandans, paravastu swamis, ekangis, dandis, sanyasis, tridandis, jeeyars, purohits, nambis, nambudiri, namboodiri, namboothiri, dasa nambis, bhagavata nambis, vaal-nambi, nambiathiri, vaikhanasa agama acharyas, pancharathra agama acharyas, sattada srivaishnava agama acharyas, tantris, thanthri, ubhaya veda pandits, chatur veda pandits, sanskrit scholars, bhagvad gita acharyas, bhagavata purana reciters and interpreters, svayam acharya, agnihotri, bhagavat, bhagwat, gurus, pandits, religious preachers, sanskrit veda hymn reciters and interpreters, nalayira divya prabhandam hymn reciters and interpreters, harikata vidwans, sangeetha vidwans, vyakyanakaras, writers, playwrights, jyothishis, jois, joshis, shastri, senapatidurandaras, guardians and administrators of temple properties, temple builders, giver of generous gifts to Sri Vaishnavas and Sri Vaishnava temples, owners of flower garlands, ayurveda doctors, and suppliers of flowers such as garlands for worship.
    Their names have the honorary suffixes sucha as Ayya, Iyya, Iah, Ayyavarlu, Ayyangarlu, Iyengars, Iyyengar, Ayyangar, Iyer, Bhagavat, Sharma, Acharya, Swamy, Swami and Swamulavarlu. Some of them are known as “Rayar Ramanuja Dasar”; rayar is a royal title in use during Vijayanagar rule and revealing of the fact that this Sattada’s ancestors were agents of the Vijayanagar kings. Most are disciples of Koil Annan-and Acharya Purusha of Sri Rangam. Some follow the Vaanamaamalai Math and others the Para Vastu Math at Tirupati. The Sanatani-Sattini-Sattadas are Tenkalai Srivaisnava Brahmins. Most have received their initiation (panca-samskara) from the Koyil Annan acarya-lineage of Srirangam; some are disciples of the Vanamamalai Mutt, Nanguneri, and others belong to the Paravastu Mutt, Tirupati.
    Their names have the honorary last names or suffix or prefix such as Arya, Ayya, Iah, Iyer, Ayyangar, Ayyavar, Ayyavarlu, acharya, chari, acharyulu, acharyam, jeeyar, jeeyangar, swamy, swami, paravastu, parakala, kandadai, sharma, goswami, Nambudari, Alvar, Bhagavat, Bhagwat, and nambi, . They especially revere the Sankha, the Chakra, the Naamam, Tulasi, Godadevi Andal, Srivilliputtur Vishnuchiita Periyalvar, Mathurakavi Alvar, Kulashekara Alvar, Nammalvar, Paravastu Pattar Piran Govindadasa Bhattacharya, Kandadai Ramanuja Iyengar, Kandadai Annan, Kandadai Ayodhya Ramanuja Iyengar, Sri Rangam Acharya Purusha, Sri Rangam Kandadai Ramanuja Mutt Swami, Vishvaksena, Sattakopaya, Natamuni, Pundarikaksha, Rama Mishra, Yamunacharya, Mahapurna, Pillai Lokacharya, Manavala Mamuni, Vaadhoola Kandadai Anantha Naarayana Dikshit, Kandadai Nachiyaramman, Kandadai Mudaliandan Dasarathi Swami, Sri Ramanuja, Hanuman, Garuda, Brahma, Sarasvati, Maha Lakshmi, Narasimha, Rama, Krishna, and Sriman Narayana. Above all, they honour the Aazhvaars, especially Nammaazhvaar. They recite and use only the Aazhvaar’s hymns for domestic rituals. Most are disciples of Koil Annan-and Acharya Purusha of Sri Rangam. Some of the Sri Vaishnava Maths they follow are Vaanamaamalai Math, Tirumala Tirupati Periya Jeeyar Swami Peetam Mutt, Tirumala Tirupati Chinna Jeeyar Peedam Mutt, Tirumala Tirupati Ekangi Mutt, Tirumala Tirupati Paravastu Math, Sri Rangam Sri Ranga Narayana Jeeyar Mutt, Melukote Yadugiri Yatiraja Mutt, Kanchipuram Brahmadesham Parakala Mutt, Madhuramangalam Emperumanar Jeeyar Mutt, Sri Kandadai Ramanuja Muni Mutt at Sri Rangam, Srivilliputtur Sri Manavalamamunigal Sri Satagopa Ramanuja Jeeyar Andal Mutt, Sringeri Bhagawat Mutt, Sri Swamy Hathiramji Mutt, Sri Kidambi Srinivasachar Adivan Satakopa Ahobila Matam, Sriperumbudur Srimad Embaar Jeeyar Mutt, and Sri Tridandi Sriman Narayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Sithanagaram Mutt.
    In a few major temples, certain Sattada Brahmins are regularly honored (receive prasada, etc.) ahead of other brahmins. In a sizable number of major temples, Sattadas receive high honors on special occasions, such as Vaikuntha Ekadasi. Sanatani – Sattini – Sattada Brahmins give full attention to temple service (koyir-kainkariya) and to honor the egalitarian “Bhagavata” theology of Pillai Lokacarya and his commentator, Manavalamamuni. Sattada Srivaisnavism may have arisen during or just after the time of Manavalamamuni (1370-1445), or it may represent the continuation of a very old Bhagavata Satvata Sri Vaisnavism inspiring and inspired by the Alvars, and progressively joined by certain smarta bhagavata brahmins.
    Up to 150 years ago, the main temples at Melkote – Yoga Narasimha and Tirunarayana – had Sattada Sri Vaishnava archakas. Paravastu Mutt at Tirumalai-Tirupati, Ekangi Mutt in Tirupati, Parakala Mutt in Kanchipuram, and Kandadai Ramanuja Muni Mutt in Sri Rangam are Sattada Sri Vaishnava mutts. Tirupati Venkatapuram Sattada Srivaisnavas are originally from Tirupati (Venkatapuram) and came to Mysore from Srirangam. From among these families, the Ajjanakattu family used to serve as pujaris at the Yoga Narasimha temple in Melkote and the Modur family performed puja at the Tirunarayana temple in Melkote. The former still reside at Melkote and make their living by practicing ayurvedic medicine and astrology and overseeing the processing of white clay found only at Melkote and especially desired by Srivaisnavas for marking the namam on the body. Tirunarayana temple registers available with Araiyar Rama Sharma, a brahmin in service to the temple, show that Sattada Srivaishnavas, identified at Melkote by the honorific “ayya,” were prominent in service to the Tirunarayana and Yoga Narasimha temples in Melkote throughout the 19th century.
    The Srirangam koil Olugu records that this community served in the Srirangam temple at the time of Śrī Ramanujacharyulu. (11th century AD). They were also prominent in Tirupati, Tirumala, Srirangam and Kanchipuram (15th and 16th centuries) under the leaderships of Kandadai Mudaliandaan, Kandadai Andan, Kandadai Ramanujuayyangar, Koil Annan at Srirangam, Kandadai Madhava Ayyangar, Kandadai Ayodhya Iyengar, Azhagiyamanaavala Jeeyar at Kancheepuram Brahmadesham Varadarajaswami temple, Sarvatantra Swatantra Paravastu Pattar Piran Govindadasa Bhattacharya Jeeyar, Brahmatantra Swatantra Paravastu Parakala Viravalli Perarulal-ayyan Swami, Manavanala Mamuni, Pillai Lokacharya, Alakiya Manavala Perumal Nainar Acarya, Periya Tirumalai Nambi, Periya Nambi, Sri Goshti Nambi, Alavandar Alwan, Tirumalai Alwan, Vaduga Nambi, Ramanujacharya, Nathamuni, Manakkal Nambi, Yamuna Muni and Vishnu Chitta Periya Alwar. They were in charge of Ramanuja Kootams and dedicated their lives in feeding the Sri Vaishnava devotees visiting Sri Vaishava temples at Tirupati, Tirumala, Sri Rangam, Sri Rangapattan, Sri Perambaduru, Sri Villiputhur, Melukote, Kancheepuram, Brahmadesham, Kadiri, Ahobilam, Pandharpur, Tiruvananthapuram, Guruvayur, Nathdwara, Puri, Ayodhya, Dwaraka, Vrindavan, Mathura, Varanasi, and other Hindu pilgrimage places in India.
    They were in charge of the major Srivaisnava temples of South India, as dharmakartr or srikaryakartr (Tamil srikariyakarttan) and that, in a few of these temples, they served as archakas. There is substantial inscriptional evidence for Sattada prominence at Srirangam, Tirupati-Tirumalai and Kancipuram (Varadarajasvami temple) during the 15th and 16th centuries, under the leadership of one Kandadai Ramanuja Dasar (c. 1430-1496), alias Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar or Kandadai Ayodhya Ramanuja Ayyangar. The earliest example is found in a Tirumalai inscription dated 1456, in which it is said that Kandadai Ramanujayyan, the disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar, is the trustee (kartr) of ramanujakutams (feeding houses for pilgrims, in commemoration of Ramanujacharya) constructed by the Vijayanagara ruler Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya at Tirumala and Tirupati. Numerous inscriptions from 1456 to 1495 refer to him as “Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar and manager of the Tirumalai-Tirupati ramanujakutams.” These texts indicate that, as the agent of Saluva Narasimha, he constructed and managed feeding houses at Srirangam and Varadarajasvami temple, Kancipuram, as well as Tirumalai-Tirupati.
    In Tirumala, there is a sprawling expansion of 460 acres of ornamental, flower and landscape gardens known as Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, or TTD gardens. These gardens supply 500 kilograms of flowers daily to temples in and around Tirumala. The gardens are also responsible for the beautification of the temples on special occasions.
    It is believed that Ramanuja and his disciple Sri Anandalwar paved the way for these gardens in the 14th century. Another legend is that Sattada Sri Vaishnavas cultivated the Tirumala flower gardens under the name of Dasa Nambis.
    Kantadai Ramunuja Iyengar was a ” Sattatha Parama Ekaanki” according to the A.D 1489 temple inscription of Srirangam. He built Ramanuja Kutams at Srirangam, Kanchipuram, Thirumalai and other Sri Vaishnava pilgrimage places to feed the pilgrims and to provide shelter during their pilgrimage. He was the religious guru, guide and philosopher of Saluva Narasimha, one of the greatest rulers of the Vijayanagar Kingdom. Later during the reign of Saluva Narasimha, the village of Gundippundi was granted in 1484 A.D. (11.81) in favour of Kandada Ramanuja Ayyangar’s Ramanujakutam to enable to the Sattada Srivaishnavas attached to it to supply every day the parimalam articles or perfumery etc., required for the Tirumanjanam (bathing) of the idols in Tirumalai and ‘in Tirupati.
    The five-fold rite of initiation (panca-samskara diksa) authorized by the Panca-ratragamas and undertaken by all Srivaisnavas is the upanayana for Sattadas.(3) Srirangam Sattadas receive initiation from Koyil Annan, a Srirangam acarya belonging to the Kantatai family, which claims descent from Mutaliyantan, a disciple of Ramanuja. This arrangement is recent, however; up to fifteen years ago, Sattada initiations were performed by the head (mathadhipati) of the Kantatai Ramanuja Mutt(4) at Srirangam, which belongs to the Sattada tradition. As we shall see, this mutt was founded by a Sattada disciple of a Kantatai acarya, in the fifteenth century. The head of this mutt, the last one of which was Srinivasa’s uncle, is a renunciate bearing the title Ekangi Swami. According to Srinivasa, the candidate for this office is elected such by other Sattadas and is inducted into samnyasa by the head (titled, jiyar) of the Sriranga Narayana Mutt. The Sattadas of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are commonly known as “Satanis”, a variant of sanatani, sanatana, satanana, sattina and sattada.
    Kantatai Ramanuja Ayyangar
    There is substantial inscriptional evidence for Sattada prominence at Srirangam, Tirupati-Tirumalai and Kancipuram (Varadarajasvami temple) during the 15th and 16th centuries, under the leadership of one Kantatai Ramanuja Dasar (c. 1430-1496), alias Kantatai Ramanuja Ayyangar(16) or Kantatai Ayodhya Ramanuja Ayyangar (hereafter, KRA). The earliest notice of KRA is in a Tirumalai inscription dated 1456,(17) in which it is said that Kantatai Ramanujayyan, the disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar, is the trustee (kartr) of ramanujakutams (feeding houses for pilgrims, in commemoration of Ramanuja-carya), constructed by the Vijayanagara ruler, Saluva Narasimha, at Tirumalai and Tirupati. Numerous inscriptions, thereafter to 1495, refer to him as “Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar and manager of the Tirumalai-Tirupati ramanujakutams.” These texts indicate that, 1) as the agent of Saluva Narasimha, he constructed and managed feeding houses at Srirangam and Varadarajasvami temple, Kancipuram, as well as Tirumalai-Tirupati;(18) 2) he became quite wealthy, himself financing a number of improvements to the temples;(19) 3) in his later years he exercised considerable power over Tirumalai-Tirupati temple affairs as trustee of the Gold-treasury (porpantaram);(20) 4) he had disciples known as the “Sattada Ekaki Srivaisnavas,” designated to administer the feeding houses and receive benefactions after his demise;(21) and 5) his successors in the office of “Kantatai Ayyangar” held the office of dharmakartr at both Kancipuram and Srirangam, for a time.
    KRA himself is not labelled “sattada” in the Tirumalai-Tirupati inscriptions. From the perspective of later Srivaisnavism, one may take the honorific “ayyangar” [aiyankar] to indicate that he was a brahmin. “Brahmin” and “Sattada” are not necessarily contradictory, and even if they are, “ayyangar” doesn’t necessarily indicate “brahmin” in the fifteenth century, especially in light of the Sattada use of the abbreviated form “ayyan.” The Tirumalai Oluku (Tirumalai temple chronicle) describes KRA as a Sattada, and the KRA Mutt at Srirangam is clearly a Sattada institution.
    The name “Kantatai” connects KRA to Srirangam, either as a member or as a disciple of the Kantatai family of acaryas established at Srirangam in descendence from Kantatai Mudaliandan, cousin and disciple of Ramanuja. The only possible inscriptional reference to KRA at Srirangam is a 1489 document recognizing a gift for the support of puja and charitable feeding by Kantatai Ayodhya Ramanujayyangar, “… a Tiruvarangam [Srirangam]-Temple Sattada Parama Ekangi….”(22) This Kantatai Ayodhya may be either Tirumalai-Tirupati KRA, under a variant name, or his disciple. The facts that other Ramanujayyangars are specifically designated as disciples and successors to Tirumalai-Tirupati KRA (see below) and that we have clear evidence of the latter’s activity at Srirangam, argue for identity.
    The Koyil Oluku (chronicle of the Srirangam temple) says that Kantatai Ramanuja was one Ramaraja by name, elder brother of the Vijayanagara ruler Saluva Narasimha. Ramaraja chose the religious life and, while on pilgrimage, took samnyasa at Ayodhya, where he also obtained several of the Lord Rama’s gold coins and a powerful weapon called the sparga-vedhi (“that which wounds by touch”). Returning to his brother’s palace, he presented the ruler with one of several gold coins and in return was granted the privilege of being honored with the desantari mudra (“visitor’s seal of authority”) at any of the 108 divyadesas of Srivaisnavism. Thereafter, he traveled to Tirumalai, where he offered a coin and his credentials and took charge of all the shrines at that place. Coming to Srirangam in 1489, he offered a coin to Sriranganatha, donned the vestment of an ekangi and became a disciple of Koyil Annan (a Kantatai-lineage acarya) with the dasya-name “Kantatai Ramanuja Dasar.” Exercising his royal grant, he became leader of the Srirangam ekangis, possessor of the Anjaneya (Hanuman) mudra – the most powerful desantari mudra at Srirangam, and thereby became overseer (srikaryakartr)(23) of the entire Sriranganathasvami temple. In the latter capacity he performed numerous major services (kainkarya) of new construction and reparation, such that the Lord (through the priest) titled him “Kulasekhara Perumal.” The chronicle account concludes with the remark that Kantatai Ramanuja’s activities are the reason why, since his time, one of the desantari ekangis has held the title of Kantaitai Ramanuja, has presided over a mutt, has branded visiting ascetics (desantari vairagi) with the desantari mudra and has regularly received a portion of the temple prasadam.(24)
    There are, at least, two difficulties with this Koyil Oluku account; indeed, it would appear that the account was conveniently “made up” to explain the 1489 inscription. First, Saluva Narasimha had an elder brother, but his name was Timmaraja and no sources other than the temple chronicle associate him with renunciation or temple service. Second, whether KRA was a member of the Kantatai family or a disciple of Koyil Kantatai Annan, the Tirumalai reference to him as “Kantatai” in 1456 means he must have been at Srirangam much earlier than 1489.
    KRA is consistently referred to as a disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar, the latter, by title,(25) a renunciate, and traditionally associated with Manavalamamuni (1370-1445) and the Varadarajasvami temple, Kancipuram. Alakiyamanavala Jiyar is one of the names of Manavalamamuni; but KRA would have been too young to be disciple to Manavalamamuni himself. The Periyatirumuti Ataivu records that Alakiyamanavala was disciple to Paravastu Bhattarpiran Jiyar, the latter himself a disciple of Manavalamamuni.(26) The one reference to Bhattarpiran Jiyar, in a Tirumalai inscription dated 1493, notes favor to “Bhattarpiran Jiyar, the disciple of Bhattarpiran Jiyar.”(27) Inscriptions dated 1514, 1523, and 1535, record favor to one Bhattarpiran-Ayyan, “… a Sattada Ekaki Ekangi Srivaishnava and a disciple of Paravastu Annan.”(28) We note the characteristic Sattada honorific, “ayyan”; the names Bhattarpiran and Paravastu, which associate these persons with Paravastu Bhattarpiran; and the ekangi status of the disciple, strongly suggesting, although not insuring, that the guru, Paravastu Annan, is a renunciate, in charge of a mutt. Given that the disciple of the disciple of Paravastu Bhattar Piran (namely, KRA) was a Sattada, we may reasonably conclude that the entire line was Sattada. The Periyatirumuti Ataivu says that Paravastu Bhattar Piran Jiyar was a vaidika brahmin. However, a 1612 inscription at Srirangam records a gift to support offerings during the recitation of the Tiruvaymoli on a day special to Ramanuja. The gift was given by one Jiyar Ramanuja Jiyar, also known as Ramanuja-dasa, and given in the name of his guru Yatindra-pravanaprabhava Pillai Lokacarya Jiyar, the disciple of Paravastu Nayinar Acarya of Tiruvenkatam (Tirupati).(29) The Srivaisnavasiddhantadipika, written around 1700 by one Vadhula Kantatai Ramanujacarya, argues the case of Sattada Srivaisnavism and the authority of Paravastu Kantopayantrumunindra Jiyar, said to be the seventh head of the Paravastu Mutt, which began with Paravastu Bhattarpiran Jiyar. The text lists the above mentioned Nayinar Acarya as fourth in the line, which placement is consistent with his appearance at Srirangam in 1612.(30)
    KRA’s successor at Tirumalai was Kantatai Madhavayyangar:
    … Saka year 1442, We, the Sthanattar of Tirumalai have registered this silasasanam in favour of Kandadai Madhavayyangar, the disciple and successor of Kandadai Ramanujayyangar, who was the manager of Ramanujakutams established at Tirumalai and in Tirupati, and the agent of the gold treasury …(31)
    K. Madhava also appears in a Srirangam inscription dated 1500, as the disciple of KRA, the dharmakartr of the Srirangam and Tirupati ramanujakutams.(32) K. Madhava is succeeded at Tirumalai-Tirupati by KRA’s son, first mentioned as Kumara Ramanujayyangar and later as Kantatai Ramanujayyangar.(33) A KRA, presumably the son of the original KRA, presented gold coins to Varadarajasvami at Kancipuram, 1530,(34) was entrusted with endowments at Srirangam, 1532, and in 1538 was serving as the overseer of the Varadarajaswami temple, Kancipuram.(35) The latter is the last reference to a KRA at Kancipuram. The final reference to a KRA at Tirumalai-Tirupati – 1534 – is to one Kantatai Ariya Ramanujayyangar, who must have succeeded Kumara Kantatai Ramanujayyangar at this temple.(36)
    KRA’s most frequently referenced disciples are called “Sattada Ekaki Srivaisnavas.” Ekaki, literally, “one alone, a solitary person,” is not a term used in present day Srivaisnavism; it occurs as a title for others besides Sattadas and is interpreted by Viraraghavacarya as meaning “person without family who has dedicated his entire life to temple service.”(37) The term may easily be confused with ekangi (Tam. ekanki, a nasalization of ekaki?), which occurs less frequently in the Tirumalai-Tirupati inscriptions, but also in relation to both Sattadas and others. The above mentioned Bhattarpiran-ayyan is, in one text (no. 102, dated 1514), called an ekaki and, in another (no. 156, dated 1523), called ekangi;(38) the Tamil Lexicon defines ekangi: 1) “a class of Vaisnava devotees”; and 2) “a single person, one who has no family”; Winslow’s Tamil-English Dictionary says: 1) “a single person, bachelor (brahmachari)”; and 2) “an ascetic, monk (samnyasi).” Thus, both sources allow the equivalency of ekangi with ekaki. At the same time, the Lexicon’s first and Winslow’s second definition indicate that ekangi has a specialized meaning for some Vaisnavas; indeed, both historical evidence and present day understanding indicate that an ekangi is a renunciate (perhaps not an ascetic or a samnyasi, however) and that the term signifies “one having a single distinguishing mark.”(39) This mark, according to present day ekangis at Tirupati and documents of the Kantatai Ramanuja Mutt tradition, is the wearing of a white loincloth and a saffron upper garment or simply a strip of saffron cloth; the “single mark” is the single piece of saffron cloth,”(40) whereas the samnyasi wears two pieces of saffron (top and bottom).
    It is possible that the early ekangis were householder-renunciates; such are mentioned in the traditional biographies as among the disciples of Ramanuja. The Samayacara-curukkum of Vadikesari Venkatacarya, part of a Sattada literature possibly dating from KRA’s time, defines an ekangin as a vanaprastha – he has a wife, wears a saffron upper garment and a white lower garment which he receives as a disciple of a Srivaisnava samnyasin, may or may not wear the thread and top-knot and engages in nothing but service in the temple.(41) There is today a Paravastu Mutt at Tirumalai-Tirupati, claimed by Karnataka and Andhra Sattadas. The mutt is currently without leadership. T. P. Sampath of Tirupati, the son of the last head of the mutt, says that this mutt has been a “grhastha mutt” for some time; his father wore the vestment of an ekangi, was called a “jiyar,” and yet, lived the life of a householder. His son, Tiruvengada Ramanujacarya, is in training at the Sanskrit College, Mysore, preparing to assume leadership of the mutt. There is evidence that the Srivaisnava temple-mutt institution, under the headship of one called jiyar, began with Sattada Srivaisnavas at Tirumalai-Tirupati in the early 14th century; the earliest mutts were essentially flower gardens and were managed by jiyars whose names bear the Sattada honorific ayyan. A 1540 inscription refers to one such jiyar, Yatirajayyan, who is, like KRA, the disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar and the Chief Overseer (periya koyil kelvi) of the Tirumalai temple.(42) If the early ekangis were householder-renunciates, perhaps all Sattadas were such and their ekangi (or, jiyar) status specifically explains the practice of giving up the thread and sikha.
    As noted, KRA himself is called “Parama Ekangi.”(43) This latter title allows the possibility that ekangi is a variant or corruption of ekanti – (the written Tamil g and t are very similar in form). It is noteworthy that in lists of Ramanuja’s entourage occurring in two different texts – Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam (6000 Stanza Guru-Lineage Account)(44) and Periyatirumuti Ataivu (Longer Genealogical Lists), the first speaks of “12,000 ekangis” and the second of “12,000 ekantis” (see below). Ekanti(n), “one solely devoted to one object,” and paramaikanti(n), “one supremely devoted to one object,” are titles special to Satvatas/Pancaratrins/ Bhagavatas, in the sense of sole devotion to Vasudeva/ Narayana. The term ekangi may have arisen due to the fact that ekantis came to be distinguished as wearers of one piece of saffron cloth.
    KRA, evidently, had householder disciples: perhaps householder-renunciates. A Tirumalai inscription dated 1476(45) stipulates that a portion of prasadam is regularly to go to the Sattada Srivaisnavas who tend certain gardens and who reside in the sixteen houses on Kantatai Ramanujayyangar Street. In addition to providing flowers, KRA’s disciples supplied sandal paste, musk, camphor, turmeric paste, areca nut and betel leaves, etc., for temple worship.(46) They also participated in the recitation of songs of the Alvars at the shrine of Ramanuja, a practice evidently introduced at Tirumalai by KRA. The 1476 inscription noted above also remarks that a share of prasadam is to go to ” . . . the Sattina Srivaisnavas and the Sattada Srivaisnavas who chant the Prabandhas of the Alvars in the shrine of Udaiyavar [Ramanuja].”(47). Sattina and Sattada designate two types of Sri Vaishnava Brahmins.
    Other Evidences of Sattadas
    To my knowledge the earliest inscriptional reference to Sattadas, by this name, is in a Tirupati edict of 1442 ” . . . in favour of Karunakaradasar, one of the Sattada Srivaisnavas of Tirupati.”(48) The edict records a sizable donation by the dasar, the interest on which is to underwrite puja-offerings, in perpetuity – ” . . . as long as the moon and sun endure.” This record indicates that Sattada Srivaisnavas exist at least somewhat before KRA’s coming to prominence. As well as the several Sattada jiyars mentioned between 1520 and 1545, there is mention in a 1536 inscription of one Alakiyamanavalayyan, ” . .
    . of the Kausika gotra, Apastamba sutra and Yajus sakha and a disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar,”(49) clearly a brahmin Sattada. Beyond the time of KRA and his successors, a Srirangam inscription of 1636(50) records a gift from one Emaluranar, ” . . .a temple-sattada Vaisnava (tiruppati sattata vaisnava). . . . ” Again, at Srirangam, in 1665, there is a record of the gift of one Muddirai-Raman, son of Alakiyasinkar, a Sattada Vaisnava of the Srivatsa gotra.(51) The reference to the Srivatsa gotra appears to give us a clear reference to a brahmin Sattada. If so, it is all the more remarkable that both inscriptions refer only to “Vaisnava” rather than “Srivaisnava.” Both the Koyil Oluku and the Periyatirumuti Ataivu appear to refer consistently to Sattadas as merely “Vaisnava.” The Srirangam temple chronicle, Koyil Oluku, mentions Sattadas with reference to the activities of Ramanuja (1017-1137). The chronicle, as it stands, was likely composed only in the 18th century; but the text is based on much older records, one of which, the Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam, may date from the early 13th century.(52) Even so, it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish clearly what is early and what is late; much of what is said about the early period may be a projection back from a later time.
    The chronicle lists and describes the duties of: 1) ten classes of Srivaisnava servants, 2) the Ekangis, 3) the Sattadamudalis, 4) the Vettirapanis and 5) ten classes of low-caste servants – which five groupings, according to the chronicle, constituted those serving the Srirangam temple as organized by Ramanuja. The briefer and probably older of two Koyil Oluku texts(53) does not clearly distinguish brahmin and non-brahmin among these servants. The more elaborate description of servants’ duties in the longer text(54) specifies that the ten groups of Srivaisnava servants and the Vettirapanis were brahmin and the ten groups of low-caste servants were sudra. We note that it is only this brahmin category that is referred to as “Srivaisnava,” and this seems to be consistent throughout the chronicle. In describing a ritual important to the duties of the chief overseer, the longer text says:
    Then tirtham and satakopan would be offered to all the Jiyars, the Srivaisnavas, the Ekangis, the Sattadamudalis and others. Before the days of Udayavar these were addressed merely as “Srivaisnavas.”(55)
    The text, here, abruptly goes on to another subject. Does this mean that it was Ramanuja (Udayavar) who introduced exclusivism into Srivaisnavism, distinguishing the smarta brahmins as the “true” Srivaisnavas?
    The Ekangis and the Sattadamudalis of the chronicle are not associated with any caste. “Mudali” is an honorific meaning “head” or “chief,” or alternatively, “honored,” “distinguished.” In the first sense the title probably indicates that there were other Sattadas. The translator, Hari Rao, calls all non-brahmins “sattada,” but there is no warrant for this in the text. In the second sense, the title may indicate that Sattadas are unusually respected persons, either because they are non-brahmins, yet quite distinguished, or because they are a special kind of brahmin. Clearly, the Sattadamudalis are distinct from either the brahmin or the sudra groups. They may be a special category of brahmin or distinguished non-brahmins, yet not sudras. The Oluku labels them “outsiders, foreigners” (desantari) – presumably, “those not native to Srirangam.” Four of the Ekangis are also called desantari.(56) (Where are these “outsiders” from? Are they from Tirupati, having come to Srirangam with Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, their existence in Ramanuja’s time being a projection back from what prevailed later?)
    According to the chronicle, the Sattadamudalis have the “permanent” duties of decorating the mandapams with flowers, making and offering garlands, arranging for the start of the procession of the Alvars, following behind the Prabandham reciters, reciting the last two lines of each stanza, “bearing the Ramanujan sword and acting as the bodyguard of the Jiyars and the Srivaisnavas.”(57) They are also mentioned as carrying the images of the Alvars in procession when the latter are honored on their birthdays.(58) Among the Srivaisnava groups (presumably, brahmins) are the Dasanambis, whose duties include planting and tending flower gardens, making garlands, decorating the palanquin for procession and carrying torches, one ” . . . a huge torch, the dasari pandam . . . “(59) They are also known as “Pundarika-dasas,” the name for a community of flower-provisioners to which Tondaradipodi Alvar belonged.(60) The Vettirapanis, “mace-holders” (also brahmin), go before the procession, keeping order with gold and silver rods and canes, organizing the Srivaisnavas ” . . . according to their qualifications to receive the prasadams . . .,” commanding silence before the beginning of Prabandham recitation and “reciting panegyrics.”(61) The activities of present day Sattadas at divyadesa temples incorporate the key elements of activities ascribed to the three of these early groups, combined; and, we remind ourselves that the Sattadas today are alternatively called “Dasanambis.” Does this mean that, over time, certain brahmins became non-brahmins or that the ancient Sattadas (here, the Sattadamudalis) were indeed a special class of brahmins?
    The Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam lists Sattadamudalis along with twenty other Mudalis. All but four have “Dasar” names and “Dasar” appears only with respect to Mudalis in the list of 179 disciples.(62) The Tamil Lexicon and Thurston’s Castes and Tribes . . .(63) indicate that the other Mudalis are sub-divisions of the Velalas, considered to be either sudra or vaisya. We then note two points: that Sattadas characteristically, but not exclusively, use the “Dasar” name and others who anciently used this title were certain sub-groups of the Velala. If all these “Mudalis” are Velala, what makes them “Mudali” and why are some Velala singled out as “those who do not wear . . .?”
    Summing up Ramanuja’s following, the 6000 says:
    . . . seven hundred adherents of the highest asrama (uttama-aciramikal), seventy-four acarya-purusas firm on lion-thrones, innumerable Sattina- and Sattada-(64) mudalis, and three hundred female ascetics (korriyammai).(65)
    It is possible that sattina and sattada here identify all of the brahmin and non-brahmin male devotees who are completely dedicated to temple service and are not samnyasis or acaryas; or, the terms signify two types of brahmins.
    Some of the names in the 6000’s list of Sattadamudalis are of interest: Sri Kulasekhara Perumal, Bhattar Piran Dasar [Pattar Piran Tacar], Pakaivillidasar, Srivilliputturdasar, Sri Narayana Dasar, Sri Govardhan-adasar, Tiruvalutivalanadudasar, Sri Ramanuja Dasar, Pillai Urangavilli Dasar, Vantar, Cuntar and Ramanuja Velaikkrar.(66) Kulasekhara Perumal and Bhattar Piran call to mind Alvars, the latter being a title for Periyalvar, who tended flowers. Pillai Urangavilli Dasar was guardian of the treasury and belonged to a caste of wrestlers; Ramanuja used to lean on him returning from the bath. Although he is not in the list, the 6000 speaks of Tirukacchi Nambi (Kancipurna) as a sattadavar.(67) According to the biography, Ramanuja sought initiation with Tirukacchi, a sudra (? the text here actually says “non-vaidika”) devotee of Lord Varadaraja of Kancipuram, and failing in that, invited Tirukacchi to eat at his home so that he (Ramanuja) might partake of the grace of his leavings.
    The Periyatirumuti Ataivu (16th century) may shed some light on the above issues. It sums up Ramanuja’s entourage as:
    12,000 ekantis . . . 74 acarya-purusas, 700 jiyars, a multitude of Sattinas and Sattadas, and innumerable Sattinamudalis and Sattadamudalis, Tirunamadharis led by Pillai Urankavilli Dasar, and Tirunamadhari women led by Ponnacchiyar.(68)
    We notice: 1) “12,000 ekantis” rather than the “12,000 ekangis” of the Koyil Oluku and 6000 Guruparamparam; 2) both Sattina/Sattada and Sattinamudali/Sattadamudali, whereas in the inscriptions, chronicles and biographies it has been one or the other only; 3) Pillai Urankavilli Dasar, whom all sources consider sudra and who is listed in the 6000 as a Sattadamudali, is here leader of a new category: “those who wear the Vaisnava forehead mark (namam).” There is no mention of brahmins, except we take Sattinamudali and Sattina as such; then, Sattadas are either other brahmins or “pure” sudras, as distinct from the other sudras, i.e., the Tirunamadharis. In the list of names that follows this general statement, the category “Srivaisnavas, led by Kottaiyammaraiyankar” is followed by the category “Sattada Vaisnava,” inclusive of several “dasars” as found in the 6000 list of Sattadamudalis; then, come the Tirunamadharis led by Pillai Urankavilli Dasar and finally the female Tirunamadharis led by Urankavilli’s wife. This arrangement appears to say that Sattinamudali and Sattina equals Srivaisnava, Sattadamudali and Sattada are just Vaisnava, not Srivaisnava, and “Tiruna-madhari,” while related to Visnu, is neither “Vaisnava” nor “Srivaisnava.” As we shall see below, Sattada literature offers two hierarchies of Srivaisnavas: one says that the Sattadas are brahmin, the Kulasekharas are ksatriya, the Trivarnikas are vaisyas and the Namadharis are sudra. The other says that all are Sattada; brahmin Sattadas are called Sattadamudali, ksatriya Sattadas are called Kulasekharas, etc.(69)
    In the light of contemporary understanding and historical evidence we can reasonably assume that inscriptional reference to persons bearing the honorific ayya is reference to Sattadas or those who come to be known as Sattadas. It is possible that dasanambi and dasar are always references to Sattadas or those who come to be known as such; the latter (dasar) certainly is a title never used publicly by Srivaisnava brahmins, consistently used by Sattadas, and possibly also by non-sattada sudras and pancamas. In the Koyil Oluku, certain “Dasar” names occur in two other categories of brahmin servants – Tirupparkadal Dasar, among the Tiruppatiyar (the group from whom the chief overseer is chosen), and Tiruttalvarai Dasar, Tirukkurugur Dasar, Nalukavipperumal Dasar, Satakopa Dasar, Tirukkalikanri Dasar and Ramanuja Dasar, among the Tiruppani-saivar (a particular type of arcaka). Are these personages, in fact, Sattadas?
    According to the Periyatirumuti Ataivu, Nathamuni, the disciple of Parankusa Dasa, had “dasar” disciples: Pillai Karunakara Dasar and Nambi Karunakara Dasar.(70) Among Yamuna’s disciples were: Tirukatci Nampi alias Gajendra Dasar, Tirukkurukur Dasar, Govinda Dasar, Nathamuni Dasar and Periya Nambi alias Parankusa Dasar.(71) Nampillai (the guru of Pillai Lokacarya) is known as Tirukkalikanri Dasar; Pillai Lokacarya had several “dasar” disciples, one of whom – Kollikavali Dasar – was the father of Manavalamamuni’s mother.(72)
    Possibly relevant inscriptional references to dasar, dasanambi, and ayya include a Srirangam text of 1316, recording the sale of garden plots to certain brahmin arcakas (pattan/bhattan) by Srivaikuntha Dasan, Koyilponmeynda Perumal Dasan, Van Satakopa Dasan (or Tam. Tatan), Piraguvali Alagiya Perumal Dasan and Anukkavilli Dasan, all of whom are dasanambis at Srirangam (tiruvarankam tiruppati).(73) A 1557 Srirangam inscription records a gift of land by Ekangi Narasingayya.(74)
    In a 1359 Kancipuram (Varadarajasvami temple) inscription we find reference to one Perumal Tadan, who is the supervisor of the temple and upon whose representation the Lord has granted to the Vaisnavadasa, hereafter known as Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar, a mutt (matha, matam), land-endowment, library, right to conduct worship, etc., so that he may propagate the “Ramanuja-darsana.”(75) Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar is considered to be the founder of the Parakala Mutt jiyar-lineage. The inscription may indicate that the jiyar as well as the supervisor are Sattadas. According to the Guruparamparaprabhavam (3000) written by the third Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar (15th century) the original name of the first jiyar was Viravalli Perarulal-ayyan; he belonged to the Kaundinya gotra and was a disciple of Vedanta Desika.(76) This could mean that Brahmatantrasvatantra was a brahmin Sattada. In later times the jiyars of Parakala Mutt are clearly Vatakalai brahmins.
    At Melkote (the Tirunarayana temple) there is mention of Govinda Dasa, Srirama Dasa and Sriranga Dasa, Srivaisnavas who received a grant of a village from the local ruler in 1310.77 Here too, in inscriptions of 1504, 1521, 1610 and 1640, we find reference to several “ayyas,” one of whom is the junior manager of the Tirunarayana temple, another, the minister of Krsnadevaraya, the Vijayanagar ruler; yet another is the chief of Mysore.(78) Two fifteenth-century Melkote inscription S79 are interesting for a different reason. They refer to “supreme vaidika (Vedic) Srivaisnava brahmins (paramavaidikasrivaisnavabrahmana);” evidently emphasizing either that Srivaisnava brahmins are Vedic or that some Srivaisnava brahmins (others [Sattadas?] are not).
    The earliest record I have found that can be construed in relation to Sattada Srivaisnavism is an inscription of 1276, at the Saumyanatha temple (Mysore area), recording an agreement between the local ruling body and one Ulakamunton Tacar [Dasar], a member of the Srivais nava assembly (variyam). The dasar is granted use of a garden from which he is to supply flower garlands to the temple.(80) For the same year, there is record of a similar arrangement with Ulakamunton Tacar and Kecavapperumalpillai Cokkan Dasar. The garden they are to establish and cultivate is to be called “the Ramanuja temple garden (tirunantanavanam).”(81) In a 1293 inscription at the same temple, there is mention of “dasanambis,” who are to supply flower garlands and vegetables to the temple daily.(82)
    The “hard,” i.e., inscriptional, evidence indicates an origin for Sattada Srivaishnavism at Tirupati in the fifteenth century, under the leadership of Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, who enjoyed the patronage of Vijayanagar rulers and whose activities had a significant impact on religious life at Srirangam and Kancipuram as well as Tirupati. KRA was energetic in establishing and enhancing at Tirumalai-Tirupati regular and special pujas for the Alvars and recitation of the songs of the Alvars within the temple, the latter performed by Sattina Sri Vaishnava Brahmins and Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmins together. Recognition of the Alvars and the Prabandham in the temple was based not only on the fact that certain of the Alvars sang about the Lord of Tirupati-Tirumalai but also the belief that the songs of Nam-malvar constitute the Tamil Veda, as argued by Pillai Lokacarya and his brother, Alakiya Manavala Perumal Nainar Acarya and commented upon by Manavalamamuni. Pillai Lokacarya also argued that, as Bhagavatas, on equal footing with the Lord by reason of their saranagati. Manavalamamuni was instrumental in developments at Srirangam, Kancipuram and Tirumalai-Tirupati; Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, we recall, was a disciple of a disciple of Manavalamamuni. Thus, Sattada Srivaisnava Brahmanism or Sri Sanatani-Sattina-Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmanism can be seen as a logical result of the theology of Periya Acharya Vishnu Chittar Alwar, Andal Godadevi Alwar, Nathamuni, Yamunamuni, Pillai Lokacarya, Kandadai Ramanuja Iyengar, Kandadai Ramanuja Muni, Manavala Mahamuni, Ramanuja Acharyulu, Kandadai Dasarati Mudali Andan, Brahmatantra Swatantra Paravastu Parakala Viravalli Perarulal-ayyan Swami and Tirumala Tirupati Paravastu Pattar Piran Govindadasar Appan Bhattacharya Swami.

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  64. Sanatana Sri Vaishnava Goswami

    SRI VAISHNAVA BRAHMIN ASSOCIATIONS of Sanatani, Sanatana, Satanana, Sattada, Sathatha, Sattina, Satani, Sri-Satani Sampradaya, Chattada, Satvata, Satavahana, Pancharatra, Vaikhanasa, Dikshita, Dikshitar, Nambi, Nambudiri , Namboothiri, Ekangi, Ekaki, Tenkalai, Paravastu, Parakala, Parabrahma, Kandadai and Bhagavat Sri Vaishnava Brahmins:
    http://www.akilasathathasrivaishnavaramanujakootamtrust.com/news1.php?id=135 ; Akhila Sathatha Srivaishnava Ramanuja Kootam Trust ; Address: 13, Malligaipoo Agraharam, Srirangam, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, Pin Code 620006; Registerd Number: 1-558-122-998/1932

    https://www.facebook.com/ramanujakootam/photos_stream?ref=page_internal

    http://www.chattadasrivaishnava.com/

    http://anudinam.org/2013/12/31/sathatha-srivaishnava-vaikunda-ekadasi-utsavam-and-annual-day-function/

    http://amitmarichi.blogspot.in/2011/06/brahmin-communities.html

    http://ssva.org.in/EnglishVersion/index.php Sathatha Sri Vaishnava Association Address: Old No:13-A & New No: 16, Subramaniyapuram, 2nd Main Cross Street , Madurai – 625011, Tamilnadu, India; Mobile: +91 – 0452 – 2679493 and +91 – 9843911340; TamiL: http://ssva.org.in/TamilVersion/index.php ; Conference: http://ssva.org.in/EnglishVersion/News/news1.jpg ; E-Mail: ssvamdu@ssva.org.in
    http://tamilnadu.sathathasrivaishnava.com/index.php : Chattada Srivaishnava Assn.Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry ; Register No.19/2005 of Government of Tamil Nadu; Registered Office: O.No.3, N.No.9A, Samuel St., Athur, Salem-636 102, Tamil Nadu.

    http://maadhavan.in/2009/01/06/sathatha-sri-vishnava-chattada-srivaishnava/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sathatha_Sri_Vaishnava

    http://srirangaminfo.com/Srirangam_kovil_ozhugu.php : Sri Varadarajaswami Temple, Kanchi: A Study of Its History, Art and Architecture By K.V. Raman

    http://sanatanisrivaishnava.wordpress.com/

    https://www.facebook.com/public/Chattada-Sri-Vaishnava-Sangam

    https://www.facebook.com/chattadasri.vaishnava.92

    https://www.facebook.com/chattada.srivaishnava.9

    https://www.facebook.com/chattadasrivaishnavayouth

    https://es-la.facebook.com/chattadasrivaishnavasangham.kukatpallyChattada Srivaishnava Seva Sangam ; Registered Number 630/92; Address: 1-75/11 D, Sankara Naidu Colony, Tiruchanur, Tirupathy, Andhra Pradesh
    AP Chattada Sri Vaishnava Sangam , 2-2-1146/1/7/12/A, Narmada Bhavan, New Nallakunta, Tilak Nagar, Near Kachiguda, Hyderabad, Pin Code 500044 ; Mobile: 04027552653
    Karnataka Chattada Srivaishnava Sangam ; Chennai Sathatha Srivaishnava Sangam, Chennai ; Maharashtra Chattada Srivaishnava Sangam ; Tirupathy Chattada Srivaishnava Seva Sangam ; All India Chathada Srivaishnava Confederation, Thiruchanur, Tirupathy, Andhra Pradesh

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  65. Sanatana Sri Vaishnava Goswami

    http://vaijayanthi-journal.blogspot.in/2012/09/classification-of-srivaishnavas.html

    S.Jayaraman, Editor of Sri Vaishnava Chudaraalhi, President of Satthada Srivaishnava Samajam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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  66. Sanatana Sri Vaishnava Goswami

    http://www.academicroom.com/article/sattada-srivaisnavas

    http://maadhavan.in/chronology-of-ssvs-in-tamil/

    http://www.tirumala.org/activities_relig_alwar.htm

    http://www.prapatti.com/slokas/category/t-divyaprabandham.html : NAALAAYIRA DIVYAPRABANDHAM in Telugu in language

    http://antaryami.net/

    http://azhwar.org/

    http://anudinam.org/

    http://vaijayanthi-journal.blogspot.in/2012/09/classification-of-srivaishnavas.html

    S.Jayaraman, Editor of Sri Vaishnava Chudaraalhi, President of Satthada Srivaishnava Samajam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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  67. Pattar Piran Paravastu Govindasarappan Swami

    The Sattada Srivaisnavas.

    Written by Lester, Robert C. Published by The Journal of the American Oriental Society on Jan 1, 1994 Words: 10911

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Sattada+Srivaisnavas.-a015721687

    The Distinctiveness of Srivaisnava Hinduism lies not only in the fact that it gives special attention to the female mode of the godhead (sri), but also in its claim to inspiration by both the Sanskrit Veda and the devotional poems of the twelve devotees known as Alvars (650-850 C.E.) – considered to be the Tamil Veda. The two vedas are not of equal weight for all Srivaisnavas – Vatakalai, or Northern-branch, Srivaisnavism gives precedence to the Sanskrit and Tenkalai, or Southern-branch, Srivaisnavism to the Tamil; nonetheless both lineages of theologians come to speak of their theology as ubhaya vedanta – “the wisdom of both” the Tamil Veda and the Sanskrit Veda. Among the Alvars – one female and eleven males, at least five are non-brahmin and it is the works of one of these, Nammalvar, a sudra, that most properly constitute the Tamil Veda. The literature of both the northern and southern lineages stipulates that moksa is by the grace of the supreme Lord through rituals open to both male and female members of all castes, and theologians of the southern lineage expressly criticize those Vaisnavas who attribute significance to caste status.

    At the same time, it appears that the entire lineage of theologians, on both the Tenkalai and Vatakalai sides, from the beginning (Nathamuni, c. 900) to the present, is brahmin. Sociological and ritual studies show that both Tenkalai and Vatakalai brahmins consider the maintenance of caste purity important and continue to perform the prescribed Vedic rituals – and that those who administer initiatory rites (diksa), as well as Srivaisnava temple priests, are invariably brahmin. Indeed, the rather extensive scholarly literature describing and interpreting Srivaisnavism represents it as essentially a brahmin tradition. Non-brahmin devotees are mentioned, sometimes prominently, in the traditional accounts of the lives of the early theologians (guruparamparaprabhava [Tam. kuruparamparaippirapavam]) and in temple chronicles (oluku), but then disappear from or, at the least, appear to have had no significance for the later movement.

    My “discovery” of the Sattada Srivaisnavas sheds some light on who some of these devotees were and what happened to them; and it significantly alters our understanding both of contemporary Srivaisnavism and of its historical development. The Sattadas are not only a sizeable, distinctive contemporary community – a jati – of non-brahmin Srivaisnavas, but a community with a lengthy history, a guru-lineage and a substantial literature – a heritage which, though now subdued, still plays a significant part in and had a major impact on the historical development of Srivaisnava Hinduism.

    PRESENT DAY SATTADAS

    V. Srinivasa-ayya(1) is a full-time servant to the Sriranganathaswami Temple, Srirangam, the chief temple for Srivaisnavas. His duties include opening the curtain to the main sanctum at the commencement of daily worship (puja), providing and offering the flower garland for presentation to the deity and guiding the placement of it by the priest (arcaka), assembling the worshippers for receipt of prasada and maintaining order during the distribution, and acting as “herald” (Tam. kattiyakkaran) – announcing the commencement and conclusion of all processions of the deity.(2) Only he and the government-appointed overseer hold the key to the door of the inner sanctum. In performing his duties, Srinivasa is following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and other males of his family line, and is training his eldest son to succeed him. He claims that this lineage of temple service dates back to at least the 11th century, when the great acarya, Ramanuja, in reorganizing temple activities, appointed his ancestors to these duties; or, perhaps, confirmed them in duties they were already performing.

    Srinivasa-ayya is the elder-leader of a distinctive community (twelve families) of servants to the Srirangam temple known as Sattada Srivaisnavas – a community that gains its livelihood from flower trade, the sale of prasada and a share of temple income. Sattada/cattata (masc. noun, sattadavan), from Tamil cattu “to wear,” means “not wearing” and it is generally agreed that what is implied is not wearing the sacred thread (Skt. yajnopavita; Tam. punul) or the top-knot (sikha). Srirangam Sattadas do not wear the thread, but some have the top-knot and Srinivasa noted that, while he does not, his father used to wear the top-knot. The Sattadas are otherwise known as “Koyil [Temple]-Srivaisnavas,” the term being understood to mean, according to Srinivasa, brahmin Srivaisnavas who have given up Vedic rites in order to give their full attention to temple service. Indeed, the lifestyle of the Srirangam Sattadas – diet, dress, household appointments, marriage considerations, etc. – is strongly similar to that of Tenkalai brahmin Srivaisnavas; unlike the latter, they do not perform certain Vedic rites and they recite portions of the Nalayira Divya Prabandham instead of Vedic mantras in their daily pujas and rites of the life-cycle (samskara). The five-fold rite of initiation (panca-samskara diksa) authorized by the Panca-ratragamas and undertaken by all Srivaisnavas is the upanayana for Sattadas.(3) Srirangam Sattadas receive initiation from Koyil Annan, a Srirangam acarya belonging to the Kantatai family, which claims descent from Mutaliyantan, a disciple of Ramanuja. This arrangement is recent, however; up to fifteen years ago, Sattada initiations were performed by the head (mathadhipati) of the Kantatai Ramanuja Mutt(4) at Srirangam, which belongs to the Sattada tradition. As we shall see, this mutt was founded by a Sattada disciple of a Kantatai acarya, in the fifteenth century. The head of this mutt, the last one of which was Srinivasa’s uncle, is a renunciate bearing the title Ekangi Swami. According to Srinivasa, the candidate for this office is elected such by other Sattadas and is inducted into samnyasa by the head (titled, jiyar) of the Sriranga Narayana Mutt.(5)

    The Srirangam Sattadas are not a unique phenomenon; there are Sattada Srivaisnavas throughout Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, some of them serving large temples in a manner similar to the Srirangam Sattadas, others serving as overseers (dharmakartr) and/or priests (arcaka) to small temples, and still others who once served the temple but now gain a livelihood by other means. Sattadas are sometimes referred to as dasa-nambi [Tam. tacanampi], “respected servant.” The Sattadas of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are commonly known as “Satanis”, a variant of sattada.

    Another Srinivasa-ayya is the elder of twenty-two families of Sattadas at Srivilliputtur, ten of which are engaged in service to the Srirangamannar temple. In addition to his duties as herald, performing which he, like Srirangam Srinivasa-ayya, carries a silver cane and is accompanied by bearers of a large torch, Srinivasa daily prepares a leaf and straw parrot for the hand of Antal, who stands to the right of Lord Rangamannar in the sanctuary. Srivilliputtur Srinivasa also exercises “the Kelvi [kelvi] office”(6) in removing the deity’s garland at the end of procession. Other Sattadas at Srivilliputtur guard the jewel-treasury and the hundi (chest for monetary offerings) and guard and maintain the deities’ vehicles (vahana). Srinivasa receives food and a modest monthly stipend for his services. Those in charge of the jewel-treasury live on the income from land gifted to them by the temple. The Srivilliputtur Sattadas live near the center of the village surrounding the temple, next out from the arcakas; an indication of their relatively high status. Two of the twenty-two families at Srivilliputtur are Telugu-speaking; the other twenty, Tamil-speaking. The two groups live on opposite sides of the temple and have quite distinct roles – the Telugu Sattadas performing the relatively less prestigious duties of looking after the food-stores, lighting lamps and sealing locks at night. Recently, there has been some intermarriage between the groups.

    Vanamamalai Tothadri, a Telugu Sattada whose grandfather came from Srivilliputtur, is the sole Sattada servant at the Vanamamalai temple, Nanguneri, the headquarters of the Vanamamalai Mutt. He performs essentially the same services as the above mentioned Srinivasas, in addition, enjoying the privilege of singing praises to Nammalvar after the Iyal Kosti [Gosthi](7) has concluded. On special occasions, such as Vaikuntha Ekadasi,(8) he is addressed as “Rayar Ramanuja Dasar”; rayar(9) is a royal title in use during Vijayanagar rule and revealing of the fact that this Sattada’s ancestors were agents of the crown.

    The brothers Devapiran and Srinivasan Sattadavar serve at the Adhi Nadha Perumal temple, Alwar Tirunagari, performing the same duties as Vanamamalai Tothadri and, in addition, enjoying the status of consultants on temple affairs. They receive a regular stipend and are honored each year at the conclusion of Vaikuntha Ekadasi. The elder brother wears the top-knot. Chakrappani Dharmakarttar is one of two Sattadas serving the Tirukostiyur temple.(10) He provides flowers for puja and keeps account of the temple-stores. His ceremonial name is “Bhattar Piran Dasan.”(11) The Tirukostiyur Sattadas-three families-intermarry with the Sattadas of Srivilliputtur, Nanguneri, and Alwar Tirunagari.

    A. C. Narasimha is the elder of two Telugu-speaking families of Sattadas serving the Sriperumbudur temple, providing flower garlands and guarding the image (tirumeni-kaval, “divine-body protection”) and jewels. Narasimha wears the thread; his father before him wore both thread and sikha. He reports that in his community the upanayana is performed with songs of the Alvars rather than Vedic mantras.

    Most of the Sattadas who are engaged in temple service serve as arcakas or as overseers (dharmakartr) in small village temples or the less-prominent city temples. Often, the two functions are performed by one and the same person. J. Kannaiyaramanuja Dasan of Madurai has a land endowment to support his service as arcaka to a small temple outside the city. His father and grandfather served this temple before him. His maternal uncle is overseer of a similar rural temple. The brothers Raghavan and Konnapa own and control a Tirumalisai Alvar temple adjacent to the main temple at Kumbhakonam. They say the temple is the Alvar’s samadhi and was built by their ancestors. Although there are twenty families of Sattadas at Kumbhakonam, none are in service to the main temple (Sarngapani [Tam. Carankapani) Perumal Koyil). Some are native speakers of Telugu and some of Tamil; the Telugu Sattadas wear the sacred thread.

    N. Varada-ayya, now in retirement from railroad service, says that his father, Nammalvar-ayya, grandfather (Varada-ayya), great-grandfather (Nammalvar-ayya) and great-great grandfather (Tiruvengadathan) served as overseer and arcaka at a Varadaraja temple near Tiruchirrappali. His father also served as acarya to Sattadas and Naidus. His great-great grandfather was originally from Tirupati.

    In the Coimbatore and Salem districts of Tamilnadu, there are numerous Hanuman temples controlled and served by Sattadas. My informants commonly remarked that Sattadas give special honor to the servants and insignia of Visnu; considering themselves “servants of the servants” (dasanudasa) of the Lord, they worship Hanuman, Garuda, the Discus (sudarsana), Conch (pancajanya) and Forehead-mark (Tam. namam).

    Sattadas of Karnataka and Andhra states typically serve as pujaris/arcakas to small temples. There are no Sattadas serving the major temples of Tirumalai-Tirupati and one family performs minor service to the Tirunarayan-ana temple at Melkote, providing flowers and namam-clay. A number of small temples in southeastern Karnataka state have “Nammalvar” mutts which belong to Sattadas and reportedly were once served by Sattada jiyars. Throughout the three-state area, a significant number of Sattadas, some in temple service and some in secular work, function as acaryas and purohitas to the Sattada community and various lower caste Srivaisnavas.

    The Sattadas are Tenkalai Srivaisnavas. Most have received their initiation (panca-samskara) from the Koyil Annan acarya-lineage of Srirangam; some are disciples of the Vanamamalai Mutt, Nanguneri, and others belong to the Paravastu Mutt, Tirupati. They consider themselves a distinct jati, with numerous subdivisions – they have a traditional vocation, intermarry along well-defined lines within the Sattada community and enjoy a distinct ritual status. Over the past seventy years, Sattadas have formed local, state and national associations for uplift (abhyudaya) of the community. According to the souvenir(12) published on the occasion of the most recent (1980) national conference, six previous All India Sattada Srivaisnava Conferences were held, dating back to 1921.

    Who are the Sattadas? In the situations I surveyed, in most circumstances of ranking, Sattadas rank below Srivaisnava brahmins and above all other castes. In a few major(13) temples, certain Sattadas are regularly honored (receive prasada, etc.) ahead of certain brahmins. In a sizable number of major temples, Sattadas receive high honors on special occasions, such as Vaikuntha Ekadasi. It can be argued, as, indeed, some brahmins as well as some Sattadas do, that the Sattadas are brahmins who gave up the thread and top-knot, either or both, in order to give full attention to temple service (koyir-kainkariya) and/or to honor the egalitarian “Bhagavata” theology of Pillai Lokacarya and his commentator, Manavalamamuni. can also be argued, as many non-Sattadas do and some. Sattadas concede, that the latter are sudras, mixed castes, or both, who established themselves as “pure” (at least, purer than other non-brahmins), either or both by once having control of major temples or by reason of inspiration by the Pillai Lokacarya/Manavalamamuni theology and pancaratra diksa. With respect to either of these scenarios, Sattada Srivaisnavism may have arisen during or just after the time of Manavalamamuni (1370-1445), or it may represent the continuation of a very old bhagavata (satvata corrupted to sattada?) Vaisnavism inspiring and inspired by the Alvars, and progressively “taken over” by certain smarta brahmins.(14)

    HISTORY

    There can be no doubt that Sattada Srivaisnavism has a long history and that Sattadas enjoyed greater status in Srivaisnava temples in times past than they do today. The number of temples served by Sattadas and the number of Sattada families serving where services continue, have significantly declined over the last fifty years. Govinda Tada, a schoolteacher at Tirukkurunkuti, remembers when Sattadas served at the Tirukkurunkuti temple and that his father’s house in Nanguneri was an honored stopping place for the Iyal Gosthi, when proceeding outside the temple. According to Srinivasa, the number of Sattadas at Srirangam was much larger in earlier times; some of those who left Srirangam went to serve other temples and some sought a livelihood outside of temple service. Privileges have been cancelled or, at least, eroded. Srirangam Sattadas recited alongside brahmin Srivaisnavas in the Iyal Gosthi up to 1942, when the privilege was cut off by legal action. Present day Sattadas say that their ancestors were in charge of the major Srivaisnava temples of south India, as dharmakartr or srikaryakartr (Tam. srikariyakarttan), and that, in a few of these temples, they served as arcakas. Chakrappani Dharmakarttar (as his name suggests) says that his ancestors, who used the title “tatan” (Tamil for dasa), served as dharmakartr to the Tirukostiyur temple 150 years ago. This is corroborated by a document of the court,(15) dated 1851, which indicates that a Sattada was currently dharmakartr and entitled to receive one-tenth of the puja-income. Vanamamalai Tothadri does not receive honors in the distribution of prasadam at the Vanamamalai temple; but the recitation that accompanies the distribution of prasadam makes reference to two Sattadas, Lakshman Dasar and Ilaiyalvar Dasar, who, at some time past, occupied the position of dharmakartr and were entitled to fourth place honors.

    K. N. Muthuraju, of Bangalore, whose grandfather came from Kancipuram to serve as pujari in a Kolar temple, east of Bangalore, and whose brother now serves this temple, is president of the All India Sattada Srivaisnava Federation. Muthuraju claims, as do the Sattadas serving temples near Melkote, that up to 150 years ago the main temples at Melkote – Yoga Narasimha and Tirunarayana – had Sattada arcakas. He points out that the Paravastu Mutt at Tirumalai is a Sattada mutt and shows the one-time prominence of Sattadas at Tirupati-Tirumalai. N. A. Ramasami, a retired teacher and an elder of the Sattada community of Melkote known as the Venkatapuram Srivaisnavas, says there are 150 families of Tamil-speaking Sattadas in Karnataka. They are originally from Tirupati (Venkatapuram) and came to Mysore from Srirangam. According to Ramasami, from among these families, the Ajjanakattu family used to serve as pujaris at the Yoga Narasimha temple and the Modur family performed puja at the Tirunarayana temple. The former still reside at Melkote and make their living by practicing ayurvedic medicine and astrology and overseeing the processing of white clay found only at Melkote and especially desired by Srivaisnavas for marking the namam on the body. The latter are now farmers in the area surrounding Melkote. Tirunarayana temple registers available with Araiyar Rama Sharma, a brahmin in service to the temple, show that Sattadas, identified at Melkote by the honorific “ayya,” were prominent in service to the temple throughout the 19th century.

    Kantatai Ramanuja Ayyangar

    There is substantial inscriptional evidence for Sattada prominence at Srirangam, Tirupati-Tirumalai and Kancipuram (Varadarajasvami temple) during the 15th and 16th centuries, under the leadership of one Kantatai Ramanuja Dasar (c. 1430-1496), alias Kantatai Ramanuja Ayyangar(16) or Kantatai Ayodhya Ramanuja Ayyangar (hereafter, KRA). The earliest notice of KRA is in a Tirumalai inscription dated 1456,(17) in which it is said that Kantatai Ramanujayyan, the disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar, is the trustee (kartr) of ramanujakutams (feeding houses for pilgrims, in commemoration of Ramanuja-carya), constructed by the Vijayanagara ruler, Saluva Narasimha, at Tirumalai and Tirupati. Numerous inscriptions, thereafter to 1495, refer to him as “Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar and manager of the Tirumalai-Tirupati ramanujakutams.” These texts indicate that, 1) as the agent of Saluva Narasimha, he constructed and managed feeding houses at Srirangam and Varadarajasvami temple, Kancipuram, as well as Tirumalai-Tirupati;(18) 2) he became quite wealthy, himself financing a number of improvements to the temples;(19) 3) in his later years he exercised considerable power over Tirumalai-Tirupati temple affairs as trustee of the Gold-treasury (porpantaram);(20) 4) he had disciples known as the “Sattada Ekaki Srivaisnavas,” designated to administer the feeding houses and receive benefactions after his demise;(21) and 5) his successors in the office of “Kantatai Ayyangar” held the office of dharmakartr at both Kancipuram and Srirangam, for a time (discussed below).

    KRA himself is not labelled “sattada” in the Tirumalai-Tirupati inscriptions. From the perspective of later Srivaisnavism, one may take the honorific “ayyangar” [aiyankar] to indicate that he was a brahmin. “Brahmin” and “Sattada” are not necessarily contradictory, and even if they are, “ayyangar” doesn’t necessarily indicate “brahmin” in the fifteenth century, especially in light of the Sattada use of the abbreviated form “ayyan.” The Tirumalai Oluku (Tirumalai temple chronicle) describes KRA as a Sattada, and the KRA Mutt at Srirangam is clearly a Sattada institution.

    The name “Kantatai” connects KRA to Srirangam, either as a member or as a disciple of the Kantatai family of acaryas established at Srirangam in descendence from Kantatai Mudaliandan, cousin and disciple of Ramanuja. The only possible inscriptional reference to KRA at Srirangam is a 1489 document recognizing a gift for the support of puja and charitable feeding by Kantatai Ayodhya Ramanujayyangar, “… a Tiruvarangam [Srirangam]-Temple Sattada Parama Ekangi….”(22) This Kantatai Ayodhya may be either Tirumalai-Tirupati KRA, under a variant name, or his disciple. The facts that other Ramanujayyangars are specifically designated as disciples and successors to Tirumalai-Tirupati KRA (see below) and that we have clear evidence of the latter’s activity at Srirangam, argue for identity.

    The Koyil Oluku (chronicle of the Srirangam temple) says that Kantatai Ramanuja was one Ramaraja by name, elder brother of the Vijayanagara ruler Saluva Narasimha. Ramaraja chose the religious life and, while on pilgrimage, took samnyasa at Ayodhya, where he also obtained several of the Lord Rama’s gold coins and a powerful weapon called the sparga-vedhi (“that which wounds by touch”). Returning to his brother’s palace, he presented the ruler with one of several gold coins and in return was granted the privilege of being honored with the desantari mudra (“visitor’s seal of authority”) at any of the 108 divyadesas of Srivaisnavism. Thereafter, he traveled to Tirumalai, where he offered a coin and his credentials and took charge of all the shrines at that place. Coming to Srirangam in 1489, he offered a coin to Sriranganatha, donned the vestment of an ekangi and became a disciple of Koyil Annan (a Kantatai-lineage acarya) with the dasya-name “Kantatai Ramanuja Dasar.” Exercising his royal grant, he became leader of the Srirangam ekangis, possessor of the Anjaneya (Hanuman) mudra – the most powerful desantari mudra at Srirangam, and thereby became overseer (srikaryakartr)(23) of the entire Sriranganathasvami temple. In the latter capacity he performed numerous major services (kainkarya) of new construction and reparation, such that the Lord (through the priest) titled him “Kulasekhara Perumal.” The chronicle account concludes with the remark that Kantatai Ramanuja’s activities are the reason why, since his time, one of the desantari ekangis has held the title of Kantaitai Ramanuja, has presided over a mutt, has branded visiting ascetics (desantari vairagi) with the desantari mudra and has regularly received a portion of the temple prasadam.(24)

    There are, at least, two difficulties with this Koyil Oluku account; indeed, it would appear that the account was conveniently “made up” to explain the 1489 inscription. First, Saluva Narasimha had an elder brother, but his name was Timmaraja and no sources other than the temple chronicle associate him with renunciation or temple service. Second, whether KRA was a member of the Kantatai family or a disciple of Koyil Kantatai Annan, the Tirumalai reference to him as “Kantatai” in 1456 means he must have been at Srirangam much earlier than 1489. It is noteworthy that the chronicle nowhere refers to KRA with the honorific “Ayyangar,” calling him rather, “Kantatai Ramanuja Dasar,” a name appropriate to a Sattada, on the assumption that ayyangar designates a brahmin and that Sattadas are non-brahmin.

    KRA is consistently referred to as a disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar, the latter, by title,(25) a renunciate, and traditionally associated with Manavalamamuni (1370-1445) and the Varadarajasvami temple, Kancipuram. Alakiyamanavala Jiyar is one of the names of Manavalamamuni; but KRA would have been too young to be disciple to Manavalamamuni himself. The Periyatirumuti Ataivu records that Alakiyamanavala was disciple to Paravastu Bhattarpiran Jiyar, the latter himself a disciple of Manavalamamuni.(26) The one reference to Bhattarpiran Jiyar, in a Tirumalai inscription dated 1493, notes favor to “Bhattarpiran Jiyar, the disciple of Bhattarpiran Jiyar.”(27) Inscriptions dated 1514, 1523, and 1535, record favor to one Bhattarpiran-Ayyan, “… a Sattada Ekaki [Ekangi? - see below] Srivaisnava and a disciple of Paravastu Annan.”(28) We note the characteristic Sattada honorific, “ayyan”; the names Bhattarpiran and Paravastu, which associate these persons with Paravastu Bhattarpiran; and the ekangi status of the disciple, strongly suggesting, although not insuring, that the guru, Paravastu Annan, is a renunciate, in charge of a mutt. Given that the disciple of the disciple of Paravastu Bhattar Piran (namely, KRA) was a Sattada, we may reasonably conclude that the entire line was Sattada. The Periyatirumuti Ataivu says that Paravastu Bhattar Piran Jiyar was a vaidika brahmin. However, a 1612 inscription at Srirangam records a gift to support offerings during the recitation of the Tiruvaymoli on a day special to Ramanuja. The gift was given by one Jiyar Ramanuja Jiyar, also known as Ramanuja-dasa, and given in the name of his guru Yatindra-pravanaprabhava Pillai Lokacarya Jiyar, the disciple of Paravastu Nayinar Acarya of Tiruvenkatam (Tirupati).(29) The Srivaisnavasiddhantadipika, written around 1700 by one Vadhula Kantatai Ramanujacarya, argues the case of Sattada Srivaisnavism and the authority of Paravastu Kantopayantrumunindra Jiyar, said to be the seventh head of the Paravastu Mutt, which began with Paravastu Bhattarpiran Jiyar. The text lists the above mentioned Nayinar Acarya as fourth in the line, which placement is consistent with his appearance at Srirangam in 1612.(30)

    KRA’s successor at Tirumalai was Kantatai Madhavayyangar:

    … Saka year 1442, We, the Sthanattar of Tirumalai have registered this silasasanam in favour of Kandadai Madhavayyangar, the disciple and successor of Kandadai Ramanujayyangar, who was the manager of Ramanujakutams established at Tirumalai and in Tirupati, and the agent of the gold treasury …(31)

    K. Madhava also appears in a Srirangam inscription dated 1500, as the disciple of KRA, the dharmakartr of the Srirangam and Tirupati ramanujakutams.(32) K. Madhava is succeeded at Tirumalai-Tirupati by KRA’s son, first mentioned as Kumara Ramanujayyangar and later as Kantatai Ramanujayyangar.(33) A KRA, presumably the son of the original KRA, presented gold coins to Varadarajasvami at Kancipuram, 1530,(34) was entrusted with endowments at Srirangam, 1532, and in 1538 was serving as the overseer of the Varadarajaswami temple, Kancipuram.(35) The latter is the last reference to a KRA at Kancipuram. The final reference to a KRA at Tirumalai-Tirupati – 1534 – is to one Kantatai Ariya Ramanujayyangar, who must have succeeded Kumara Kantatai Ramanujayyangar at this temple.(36)

    KRA’s most frequently referenced disciples are called “Sattada Ekaki Srivaisnavas.” Ekaki, literally, “one alone, a solitary person,” is not a term used in present day Srivaisnavism; it occurs as a title for others besides Sattadas and is interpreted by Viraraghavacarya as meaning “person without family who has dedicated his entire life to temple service.”(37) The term may easily be confused with ekangi (Tam. ekanki, a nasalization of ekaki?), which occurs less frequently in the Tirumalai-Tirupati inscriptions, but also in relation to both Sattadas and others. The above mentioned Bhattarpiran-ayyan is, in one text (no. 102, dated 1514), called an ekaki and, in another (no. 156, dated 1523), called ekangi;(38) the Tamil Lexicon defines ekangi: 1) “a class of Vaisnava devotees”; and 2) “a single person, one who has no family”; Winslow’s Tamil-English Dictionary says: 1) “a single person, bachelor (brahmachari)”; and 2) “an ascetic, monk (samnyasi).” Thus, both sources allow the equivalency of ekangi with ekaki. At the same time, the Lexicon’s first and Winslow’s second definition indicate that ekangi has a specialized meaning for some Vaisnavas; indeed, both historical evidence and present day understanding indicate that an ekangi is a renunciate (perhaps not an ascetic or a samnyasi, however) and that the term signifies “one having a single distinguishing mark.”(39) This mark, according to present day ekangis at Tirupati and documents of the Kantatai Ramanuja Mutt tradition, is the wearing of a white loincloth and a saffron upper garment or simply a strip of saffron cloth; the “single mark” is the single piece of saffron cloth,”(40) whereas the samnyasi wears two pieces of saffron (top and bottom).

    It is possible that the early ekangis were householder-renunciates; such are mentioned in the traditional biographies as among the disciples of Ramanuja. The Samayacara-curukkum of Vadikesari Venkatacarya, part of a Sattada literature possibly dating from KRA’s time, defines an ekangin as a vanaprastha – he has a wife, wears a saffron upper garment and a white lower garment which he receives as a disciple of a Srivaisnava samnyasin, may or may not wear the thread and top-knot and engages in nothing but service in the temple.(41) There is today a Paravastu Mutt at Tirumalai-Tirupati, claimed by Karnataka and Andhra Sattadas. The mutt is currently without leadership. T. P. Sampath of Tirupati, the son of the last head of the mutt, says that this mutt has been a “grhastha mutt” for some time; his father wore the vestment of an ekangi, was called a “jiyar,” and yet, lived the life of a householder. His son, Tiruvengada Ramanujacarya, is in training at the Sanskrit College, Mysore, preparing to assume leadership of the mutt. There is evidence that the Srivaisnava temple-mutt institution, under the headship of one called jiyar, began with Sattada Srivaisnavas at Tirumalai-Tirupati in the early 14th century; the earliest mutts were essentially flower gardens and were managed by jiyars whose names bear the Sattada honorific ayyan. A 1540 inscription refers to one such jiyar, Yatirajayyan, who is, like KRA, the disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar and the Chief Overseer (periya koyil kelvi) of the Tirumalai temple.(42) If the early ekangis were householder-renunciates, perhaps all Sattadas were such and their ekangi (or, jiyar) status specifically explains the practice of giving up the thread and sikha.

    As noted, KRA himself is called “Parama Ekangi.”(43) This latter title allows the possibility that ekangi is a variant or corruption of ekanti – (the written Tamil g and t are very similar in form). It is noteworthy that in lists of Ramanuja’s entourage occurring in two different texts – Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam (6000 Stanza Guru-Lineage Account)(44) and Periyatirumuti Ataivu (Longer Genealogical Lists), the first speaks of “12,000 ekangis” and the second of “12,000 ekantis” (see below). Ekanti(n), “one solely devoted to one object,” and paramaikanti(n), “one supremely devoted to one object,” are titles special to Satvatas/Pancaratrins/ Bhagavatas, in the sense of sole devotion to Vasudeva/ Narayana. The term ekangi may have arisen due to the fact that ekantis came to be distinguished as wearers of one piece of saffron cloth.

    KRA, evidently, had householder disciples: perhaps householder-renunciates. A Tirumalai inscription dated 1476(45) stipulates that a portion of prasadam is regularly to go to the Sattada Srivaisnavas who tend certain gardens and who reside in the sixteen houses on Kantatai Ramanujayyangar Street. In addition to providing flowers, KRA’s disciples supplied sandal paste, musk, camphor, turmeric paste, areca nut and betel leaves, etc., for temple worship.(46) They also participated in the recitation of songs of the Alvars at the shrine of Ramanuja, a practice evidently introduced at Tirumalai by KRA. The 1476 inscription noted above also remarks that a share of prasadam is to go to ” . . . the Sattina Srivaisnavas and the Sattada Srivaisnavas who chant the Prabandhas of the Alvars in the shrine of Udaiyavar [Ramanuja].”(47) Sattina, from Tamil sattu, means “wearing,” as distinct from sattada, “not wearing”; presumably, in reference to the sacred thread and top-knot. If the Sattadas are non-brahmin, then it is noteworthy that they were permitted to recite along with brahmins; it is more likely that sattina and sattada designate two types of brahmins – those who wear the thread and those who do not; otherwise, why not simply speak of brahmins and sattadas?

    Other Evidences of Sattadas

    To my knowledge the earliest inscriptional reference to Sattadas, by this name, is in a Tirupati edict of 1442 ” . . . in favour of Karunakaradasar, one of the Sattada Srivaisnavas of Tirupati.”(48) The edict records a sizable donation by the dasar, the interest on which is to underwrite puja-offerings, in perpetuity – ” . . . as long as the moon and sun endure.” This record indicates that Sattada Srivaisnavas exist at least somewhat before KRA’s coming to prominence. As well as the several Sattada jiyars mentioned between 1520 and 1545, there is mention in a 1536 inscription of one Alakiyamanavalayyan, ” . .

    . of the Kausika gotra, Apastamba sutra and Yajus sakha and a disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar,”(49) clearly a brahmin Sattada. Beyond the time of KRA and his successors, a Srirangam inscription of 1636(50) records a gift from one Emaluranar, ” . . .a temple-sattada Vaisnava (tiruppati sattata vaisnava). . . . ” Again, at Srirangam, in 1665, there is a record of the gift of one Muddirai-Raman, son of Alakiyasinkar, a Sattada Vaisnava of the Srivatsa gotra.(51) The reference to the Srivatsa gotra appears to give us a clear reference to a brahmin Sattada. If so, it is all the more remarkable that both inscriptions refer only to “Vaisnava” rather than “Srivaisnava.” Both the Koyil Oluku and the Periyatirumuti Ataivu appear to refer consistently to Sattadas as merely “Vaisnava.” The Srirangam temple chronicle, Koyil Oluku, mentions Sattadas with reference to the activities of Ramanuja (1017-1137). The chronicle, as it stands, was likely composed only in the 18th century; but the text is based on much older records, one of which, the Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam, may date from the early 13th century.(52) Even so, it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish clearly what is early and what is late; much of what is said about the early period may be a projection back from a later time.

    The chronicle lists and describes the duties of: 1) ten classes of Srivaisnava servants, 2) the Ekangis, 3) the Sattadamudalis, 4) the Vettirapanis and 5) ten classes of low-caste servants – which five groupings, according to the chronicle, constituted those serving the Srirangam temple as organized by Ramanuja. The briefer and probably older of two Koyil Oluku texts(53) does not clearly distinguish brahmin and non-brahmin among these servants. The more elaborate description of servants’ duties in the longer text(54) specifies that the ten groups of Srivaisnava servants and the Vettirapanis were brahmin and the ten groups of low-caste servants were sudra. We note that it is only this brahmin category that is referred to as “Srivaisnava,” and this seems to be consistent throughout the chronicle. In describing a ritual important to the duties of the chief overseer, the longer text says:

    Then tirtham and satakopan would be offered to all the Jiyars, the Srivaisnavas, the Ekangis, the Sattadamudalis and others. Before the days of Udayavar these were addressed merely as “Srivaisnavas.”(55)

    The text, here, abruptly goes on to another subject. Does this mean that it was Ramanuja (Udayavar) who introduced exclusivism into Srivaisnavism, distinguishing the smarta brahmins as the “true” Srivaisnavas?

    The Ekangis and the Sattadamudalis of the chronicle are not associated with any caste. “Mudali” is an honorific meaning “head” or “chief,” or alternatively, “honored,” “distinguished.” In the first sense the title probably indicates that there were other Sattadas. The translator, Hari Rao, calls all non-brahmins “sattada,” but there is no warrant for this in the text. In the second sense, the title may indicate that Sattadas are unusually respected persons, either because they are non-brahmins, yet quite distinguished, or because they are a special kind of brahmin. Clearly, the Sattadamudalis are distinct from either the brahmin or the sudra groups. They may be a special category of brahmin or distinguished non-brahmins, yet not sudras. The Oluku labels them “outsiders, foreigners” (desantari) – presumably, “those not native to Srirangam.” Four of the Ekangis are also called desantari.(56) (Where are these “outsiders” from? Are they from Tirupati, having come to Srirangam with Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, their existence in Ramanuja’s time being a projection back from what prevailed later?)

    According to the chronicle, the Sattadamudalis have the “permanent” duties of decorating the mandapams with flowers, making and offering garlands, arranging for the start of the procession of the Alvars, following behind the Prabandham reciters, reciting the last two lines of each stanza, “bearing the Ramanujan sword and acting as the bodyguard of the Jiyars and the Srivaisnavas.”(57) They are also mentioned as carrying the images of the Alvars in procession when the latter are honored on their birthdays.(58) Among the Srivaisnava groups (presumably, brahmins) are the Dasanambis, whose duties include planting and tending flower gardens, making garlands, decorating the palanquin for procession and carrying torches, one ” . . . a huge torch, the dasari pandam . . . “(59) They are also known as “Pundarika-dasas,” the name for a community of flower-provisioners to which Tondaradipodi Alvar belonged.(60) The Vettirapanis, “mace-holders” (also brahmin), go before the procession, keeping order with gold and silver rods and canes, organizing the Srivaisnavas ” . . . according to their qualifications to receive the prasadams . . .,” commanding silence before the beginning of Prabandham recitation and “reciting panegyrics.”(61) The activities of present day Sattadas at divyadesa temples incorporate the key elements of activities ascribed to the three of these early groups, combined; and, we remind ourselves that the Sattadas today are alternatively called “Dasanambis.” Does this mean that, over time, certain brahmins became non-brahmins or that the ancient Sattadas (here, the Sattadamudalis) were indeed a special class of brahmins?

    The Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam lists Sattadamudalis along with twenty other Mudalis. All but four have “Dasar” names and “Dasar” appears only with respect to Mudalis in the list of 179 disciples.(62) The Tamil Lexicon and Thurston’s Castes and Tribes . . .(63) indicate that the other Mudalis are sub-divisions of the Velalas, considered to be either sudra or vaisya. We then note two points: that Sattadas characteristically, but not exclusively, use the “Dasar” name and others who anciently used this title were certain sub-groups of the Velala. If all these “Mudalis” are Velala, what makes them “Mudali” and why are some Velala singled out as “those who do not wear . . .?”

    Summing up Ramanuja’s following, the 6000 says:

    . . . seven hundred adherents of the highest asrama (uttama-aciramikal), seventy-four acarya-purusas firm on lion-thrones, innumerable Sattina- and Sattada-(64) mudalis, and three hundred female ascetics (korriyammai).(65)

    It is possible that sattina and sattada here identify all of the brahmin and non-brahmin male devotees who are completely dedicated to temple service and are not samnyasis or acaryas; or, the terms signify two types of brahmins.

    Some of the names in the 6000’s list of Sattadamudalis are of interest: Sri Kulasekhara Perumal, Bhattar Piran Dasar [Pattar Piran Tacar], Pakaivillidasar, Srivilliputturdasar, Sri Narayana Dasar, Sri Govardhan-adasar, Tiruvalutivalanadudasar, Sri Ramanuja Dasar, Pillai Urangavilli Dasar, Vantar, Cuntar and Ramanuja Velaikkrar.(66) Kulasekhara Perumal and Bhattar Piran call to mind Alvars, the latter being a title for Periyalvar, who tended flowers. Pillai Urangavilli Dasar was guardian of the treasury and belonged to a caste of wrestlers; Ramanuja used to lean on him returning from the bath. Although he is not in the list, the 6000 speaks of Tirukacchi Nambi (Kancipurna) as a sattadavar.(67) According to the biography, Ramanuja sought initiation with Tirukacchi, a sudra (? the text here actually says “non-vaidika”) devotee of Lord Varadaraja of Kancipuram, and failing in that, invited Tirukacchi to eat at his home so that he (Ramanuja) might partake of the grace of his leavings.

    The Periyatirumuti Ataivu (16th century) may shed some light on the above issues. It sums up Ramanuja’s entourage as:

    12,000 ekantis . . . 74 acarya-purusas, 700 jiyars, a multitude of Sattinas and Sattadas, and innumerable Sattinamudalis and Sattadamudalis, Tirunamadharis led by Pillai Urankavilli Dasar, and Tirunamadhari women led by Ponnacchiyar.(68)

    We notice: 1) “12,000 ekantis” rather than the “12,000 ekangis” of the Koyil Oluku and 6000 Guruparamparam; 2) both Sattina/Sattada and Sattinamudali/Sattadamudali, whereas in the inscriptions, chronicles and biographies it has been one or the other only; 3) Pillai Urankavilli Dasar, whom all sources consider sudra and who is listed in the 6000 as a Sattadamudali, is here leader of a new category: “those who wear the Vaisnava forehead mark (namam).” There is no mention of brahmins, except we take Sattinamudali and Sattina as such; then, Sattadas are either other brahmins or “pure” sudras, as distinct from the other sudras, i.e., the Tirunamadharis. In the list of names that follows this general statement, the category “Srivaisnavas, led by Kottaiyammaraiyankar” is followed by the category “Sattada Vaisnava,” inclusive of several “dasars” as found in the 6000 list of Sattadamudalis; then, come the Tirunamadharis led by Pillai Urankavilli Dasar and finally the female Tirunamadharis led by Urankavilli’s wife. This arrangement appears to say that Sattinamudali and Sattina equals Srivaisnava, Sattadamudali and Sattada are just Vaisnava, not Srivaisnava, and “Tiruna-madhari,” while related to Visnu, is neither “Vaisnava” nor “Srivaisnava.” As we shall see below, Sattada literature offers two hierarchies of Srivaisnavas: one says that the Sattadas are brahmin, the Kulasekharas are ksatriya, the Trivarnikas are vaisyas and the Namadharis are sudra. The other says that all are Sattada; brahmin Sattadas are called Sattadamudali, ksatriya Sattadas are called Kulasekharas, etc.(69)

    In the light of contemporary understanding and historical evidence we can reasonably assume that inscriptional reference to persons bearing the honorific ayya is reference to Sattadas or those who come to be known as Sattadas. It is possible that dasanambi and dasar are always references to Sattadas or those who come to be known as such; the latter (dasar) certainly is a title never used publicly by Srivaisnava brahmins, consistently used by Sattadas, and possibly also by non-sattada sudras and pancamas. In the Koyil Oluku, certain “Dasar” names occur in two other categories of brahmin servants – Tirupparkadal Dasar, among the Tiruppatiyar (the group from whom the chief overseer is chosen), and Tiruttalvarai Dasar, Tirukkurugur Dasar, Nalukavipperumal Dasar, Satakopa Dasar, Tirukkalikanri Dasar and Ramanuja Dasar, among the Tiruppani-saivar (a particular type of arcaka). Are these personages, in fact, Sattadas?

    According to the Periyatirumuti Ataivu, Nathamuni, the disciple of Parankusa Dasa, had “dasar” disciples: Pillai Karunakara Dasar and Nambi Karunakara Dasar.(70) Among Yamuna’s disciples were: Tirukatci Nampi alias Gajendra Dasar, Tirukkurukur Dasar, Govinda Dasar, Nathamuni Dasar and Periya Nambi alias Parankusa Dasar.(71) Nampillai (the guru of Pillai Lokacarya) is known as Tirukkalikanri Dasar; Pillai Lokacarya had several “dasar” disciples, one of whom – Kollikavali Dasar – was the father of Manavalamamuni’s mother.(72)

    Possibly relevant inscriptional references to dasar, dasanambi, and ayya include a Srirangam text of 1316, recording the sale of garden plots to certain brahmin arcakas (pattan/bhattan) by Srivaikuntha Dasan, Koyilponmeynda Perumal Dasan, Van Satakopa Dasan (or Tam. Tatan), Piraguvali Alagiya Perumal Dasan and Anukkavilli Dasan, all of whom are dasanambis at Srirangam (tiruvarankam tiruppati).(73) A 1557 Srirangam inscription records a gift of land by Ekangi Narasingayya.(74)

    In a 1359 Kancipuram (Varadarajasvami temple) inscription we find reference to one Perumal Tadan, who is the supervisor of the temple and upon whose representation the Lord has granted to the Vaisnavadasa, hereafter known as Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar, a mutt (matha, matam), land-endowment, library, right to conduct worship, etc., so that he may propagate the “Ramanuja-darsana.”(75) Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar is considered to be the founder of the Parakala Mutt jiyar-lineage. The inscription may indicate that the jiyar as well as the supervisor are Sattadas. According to the Guruparamparaprabhavam (3000) written by the third Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar (15th century) the original name of the first jiyar was Viravalli Perarulal-ayyan; he belonged to the Kaundinya gotra and was a disciple of Vedanta Desika.(76) This could mean that Brahmatantrasvatantra was a brahmin Sattada. In later times the jiyars of Parakala Mutt are clearly Vatakalai brahmins.

    At Melkote (the Tirunarayana temple) there is mention of Govinda Dasa, Srirama Dasa and Sriranga Dasa, Srivaisnavas who received a grant of a village from the local ruler in 1310.77 Here too, in inscriptions of 1504, 1521, 1610 and 1640, we find reference to several “ayyas,” one of whom is the junior manager of the Tirunarayana temple, another, the minister of Krsnadevaraya, the Vijayanagar ruler; yet another is the chief of Mysore.(78) Two fifteenth-century Melkote inscription S79 are interesting for a different reason. They refer to “supreme vaidika (Vedic) Srivaisnava brahmins (paramavaidikasrivaisnavabrahmana);” evidently emphasizing either that Srivaisnava brahmins are Vedic or that some Srivaisnava brahmins (others [Sattadas?] are not).

    The earliest record I have found that can be construed in relation to Sattada Srivaisnavism is an inscription of 1276, at the Saumyanatha temple (Mysore area), recording an agreement between the local ruling body and one Ulakamunton Tacar [Dasar], a member of the Srivais nava assembly (variyam). The dasar is granted use of a garden from which he is to supply flower garlands to the temple.(80) For the same year, there is record of a similar arrangement with Ulakamunton Tacar and Kecavapperumalpillai Cokkan Dasar. The garden they are to establish and cultivate is to be called “the Ramanuja temple garden (tirunantanavanam).”(81) In a 1293 inscription at the same temple, there is mention of “dasanambis,” who are to supply flower garlands and vegetables to the temple daily.(82)

    CONCLUDING REMARKS

    Sattada Srivaisnavism is a complex phenomenon, much deserving of further study. Conclusions concerning its origin and early development can, at best, be tentative. The “hard,” i.e., inscriptional, evidence indicates an origin at Tirupati in the fifteenth century, under the leadership of Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, who enjoyed the patronage of Vijayanagar rulers and whose activities had a significant impact on religious life at Srirangam and Kancipuram as well as Tirupati. Burton Stein has presented the Sattadas of Tirupati as Velala sudras who, already enjoying prominence in temple affairs, experienced enhanced status under royal patronage and sought respect comparable to that given the brahmin.(83) Stein’s remarks are brief, not well documented and based on only a small part of the evidence; his identification of the Sattadas as Velalas is based on Hari Rao’s interpretation of the Koyil Oluku, an interpretation we have shown to be suspect. At the same time, we have noticed that the 6000 Guruparamparam associates Sattadas with several Velala groups and we must recognize that many Velalas, considered by others to be sudra, are traditionally farmers and traders and claim the status of vaisya, ritually imitating brahmins.(84) With the patronage of Saluva Narasimha, certain Velalas may have come into such prominence in the temples, that alongside of brahmin temple-servants, they came to be designated “not wearing,” and the brahmins in close relationship to these non-brahmins came to be designated sattina. The title sattada may have been given by brahmins by way of distinguishing those non-brahmins who were considered acceptable in temple service – persons who look and act like brahmins or, at least, twiceborn) but are not. Or, more likely, these Velalas, who apparently controlled the temple prior to brahmin influence, may have named themselves sattada, by way of indicating that even though they do not wear the thread, they are nonetheless qualified for temple service. As brahmins came into increasing prominence and power in the temple, the Sattada Velalas, necessarily, would have attempted to consolidate and enhance their status with reference to the brahmin lifestyle, claiming high purity by reason of pancaratra diksa and possession of Veda in the form of the Nalayira Divya Prabandham and performing all domestic rituals with prabandhams rather than Sanskrit mantras.(85)

    KRA was energetic in establishing and enhancing at Tirumalai-Tirupati regular and special pujas for the Alvars and recitation of the songs of the Alvars within the temple, the latter performed by Sattinas and Sattadas together. Recognition of the Alvars and the Prabandham in the temple was based not only on the fact that certain of the Alvars sang about the Lord of Tirupati-Tirumalai but also the belief that the songs of Nam-malvar constitute the Tamil Veda, as argued by Pillai Lokacarya and his brother, Alakiya Manavala Perumal Nainar Acarya and commented upon by Manavalamamuni. Pillai Lokacarya also argued that, as Bhagavatas, on equal footing with the Lord by reason of their saranagati, Srivaisnavas have no legitimate concern with caste distinctions.(86) Manavalamamuni was instrumental in developments at Srirangam, Kancipuram and Tirumalai-Tirupati; Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, we recall, was a disciple of a disciple of Manavalamamuni. Thus, Sattada Srivaisnavism can be seen as a logical result of the theology of Pillai Lokacarya et al. This theology opens the way for the full participation of non-brahmins in Srivaisnavism and may have encouraged certain Velalas. In the face of what appears to have been a restriction of the term “Srivaisnava” to brahmins only, some non-brahmins said, in effect, “We are Srivaisnavas; non-thread-wearing Srivaisnavas. We have the Veda – the Tamil Veda, as good or better than the Sanskrit Veda, and we are solely dedicated to service of the Lord and his devotees (bhagavad-bhagavata-kainkaryam).”

    One problem with this “Velala hypothesis” is the fact of hard evidence for brahmin Sattadas and, for a time, their exercise of the distinction “vaidika” and “non-vaidika.” Recognizing this together with the possible impact of Lokacarya’s bhagavata theology, we must recognize the possibility that certain brahmin Srivaisnavas gave up the thread and top-knot and, along with them, the performance of Vedic rituals, in favor of a life of service in the temple and as purohitas and acaryas. In this situation, alongside of vaidika brahmin Srivaisnavas, they would have called themselves sattada, meaning essentially brahmin but non-vaidika. There is also the matter of existence of a sophisticated Sattada literature in relation to a lineage of acaryas, dating, at least, to the sixteenth century. This literature still needs to be fully and carefully examined, but it appears as a logical continuation of Pillai Lokacarya/ Manavalamamuni Srivaisnavism and in relation to a practicing community.

    Of course, both of the above hypotheses can be valid: Sattada Srivaisnavism practiced by both brahmin and non-brahmin; indeed, this is what one would expect as the practical implication of the bhagavata theology. Sattada Srivaisnavism, having had its origin in Telugu country, would have spread with the activities of Manavalamamuni and particularly KRA and his successors and throughout the area of Vijayanagar rule. If we accept that the Koyil Oluku account of Sattadas is a projection back to Ramanuja’s time of what actually developed only in the 15th century, this would explain the Koyil Oluku reference to Sattadamudalis as “outsiders” to Srirangam. In the course of time, given the weight of vaidika tradition and the slackening of Vijayanagar patronage, the Sattadas, perhaps never considered the equal of vaidika brahmins, lost ground. They may have been compromised from within by encouraging all manner of followers, but they were also progressively denied arcaka status in the major temples.

    What of the claim by some Sattadas that their tradition is unbroken back to Nammalvar and Parankusa Dasa and, in fact, is the continuing Satvata-Pancaratra heritage? This seems to me to be a reasonable hypothesis. The theology attributed to Pillai Lokacarya et al. did not arise in a vacuum – without context and precedent. While the term sattada is not found in inscriptions earlier than the mid- I 5th century, we have references to Sattadas in the 6000 Guruparamparam and the Koyil Oluku which may represent the situation in the time of Ramanuja, even if the name sattada is from a later time. It is, of course, difficult, if not impossible, to determine what, if anything, in the biographies of Ramanuja and the Srirangam accounts of his activities actually took place as stated; clearly, much of what appears in these accounts is projected back to (or, simply on to) Ramanuja as a means of authorizing or validating some relationship, doctrine or behavior that originated in another context. Regardless of what actually were Ramanuja’s circumstances, the accounts reveal great diversity in the 13th-century (and probably earlier) Vaisnava movement, tensions between theologies and lifestyles and attempts to reconcile differences. We may ask, for instance, why Ramanuja requires five gurus – except that, long after his time, several different strands of Vaisnavism are being reconciled in the personage and circumstances of the Bhasyakara? The Pancaratra Bhagavatas, whose case Yamunacarya argues in his Agamapramanyam, are good candidates for ancestors of the Srirangam-Tirupati Sattadas.

    At this point, I tentatively conclude that, indeed, the Sattadas are the descendants of ancient Bhagavatas, anti-caste Vaisnavas from all circumstances of birth and strata of society, most of all the leadership of a Tamil Vaisnava, non-Vedic bhaktimarga centered on the temples. The term sattada must have arisen as vaidika and non-vaidika traditions joined battle for control of the temples. Over the long run, the Sattadas largely lost the battle, ironically, protecting themselves from total annilhilation by becoming a caste along with all the others, albeit relatively prestigious. (1) ayya is an honorific common among Sattada Srivaisnavas. It is used in the south as a term of respect.

    The data on present day Sattadas presented here was gathered by interview of Sattada leaders residing at various Srivaisnava centers throughout Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, during the summer of 1988. Many of the interviews were facilitated by A. Tiruvengadathan, Professor of Sanskrit at Vaishnava College, Madras. This research was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, administered by the American Institute of Indian Studies. (2) in the latter capacity, he carries a large silver cane and is accompanied by bearers of a large and distinctively fashioned torch. (3) There is a substantial literature representing Sattada Srivaisnavism – texts in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil as well as Sanskrit – none of which has received scholarly attention. I am aware of the following: 1) the Srivaisnavasamayacaranis-karsanam, “A Compendium of Srivaisnava Practice,” by Periya Jiyar, with a commentary by Pillai Lokam Jiyar (C. 1550) [a disciple of Manavalamamuni, brother of Paravastu Bhattar Piran Jiyar, and author of the Yatindrapravanaprabhavam a biography of Manavalamamuni] (Madras: Srinivasa Press, 1911); 2) the Sampradayacandrika of Bhattanatha Munindra (also a disciple of Manavalamamuni), describing the religious life of the paramaikantin; 3) the Samayacaracurukum of Srimat Vadikesari Venkatacarya, which defines various types of renunciation (n.p., 1894); 4) the Srivaisnavasiddhantadipika of Vadhula Kantatai Ramanujacarya, the seventh jiyar of the Paravastu Mutt, evidently written to establish the lineage of this Mutt as a lineage to Nammalvar, revived by Ramanuja [see p. 14 and n. 311; 5) The Sattada-srivaisnavasodasaprayogagrantha of Sri Venkatacaryulu, the sixth jiyar of the Paravastu lineage, which details the sixteen rituals of the life-cycle – from a glance, it is evident that the ritual forms are Smarta, but hymns of the Alvars rather than Vedic mantras are to be chanted, and the panca-samskara or fivefold Srivaisnava diksa takes the place of upanayana; 6) the Prapannanusthanabhaskaram (Light on the Practice of a Prapanna), by V. Ramanuja Ayyangar (Tirucci: Singaram Press, 1934), which describes daily and special rituals, very much as they are described in a Srivaisnava brahmin manual, except that the songs of the Alvars replace Vedic mantras. (4) A mutt (Tam. matam; Skt. matha) is an organization by which certain persons’ worship-interests are represented at the temple. Srivaisnava mutts are usually presided over by a samnyasi called a jiyar “lion” (ciyam/simha) or an ekangi. (5) This information is corroborated by K. Gnanambal, “Srivaisnavas and Their Religious Institution,” Bulletin of the Anthropological Survey of India XX (1977): 117. (6) Judiciary oversight; kelvi, “question, judiciary inquiry.” (7) Iyal refers to the non-musical portion of the Nalayira Divya Prabandham which is chanted in a particular metrical style by a select group (gosthi) of devotees. (8) One of the most important Srivaisnava temple festivals, beginning on the eleventh (ekadasi) of the month of Vaikuntha (Dec.-Jan.). (9) Derived from Tamil, araiyar “king/ruler,” which, in turn, is related to aracu, Skt., raja. (10) The temple where, it is said, Ramanuja revealed the secret mantra from the balcony. (11) Pattar piran, “lord of the learned,” is a title associated with Periyalvar, who served the Lord by providing flowers for worship. Dasan means “servant.” The name also connects Chakrappani with the founder of the Paravastu Mutt, Tirupati, in the early sixteenth century. (12) Abhyudayam, published on the occasion of Seventh All India Sattada Srivaisnava Conference, Bangalore, December 13-14,1980. (13) “Major,” one of the 108 temples celebrated by the Alvars and thus known as divya-desa (“most sanctified place”). (14) The Census of India for Madras Presidency and Mysore, for the years 1871, 1891, 1901, 1911, 1921 and 1931, contains remarks on Sattadas and Satanis. The earliest of these accounts (1871) describes Satanis as being persons who are:

    .. frequently religious mendicants, priests of inferior temples, minstrels, sellers of flowers used as offerings, etc., and having probably recruited their numbers by the admission into their ranks of individuals who have been excommunicated from higher castes. [p. 159]

    The 1891 account defines Satani/Sattada as “… a class of temple servants,” “Tenkalai Vaisnavites,” “sudras.” It explains the origin of the category by reference to Ramanuja’s division of Vaisnavas into sattinavan, who are “…invariably Brahman …”; and sattadavan, who are “…invariably Sudras ….”

    They shave their heads completely and tie their lower cloth like a Brahman bachelor. In their ceremonies they more or less follow the Brahmans, but the sacred thread is not worn by them…. The principal occupations of Satanis are making garlands, carrying the torches during the god’s procession, and sweeping the temple floor. They also make umbrellas, flower baskets and boxes of palmyra leaves, and prepare the sacred balls of white clay and saffron powder. Their usual agnomen is `Aiya’. [pp.269-70]

    This account, with the possible exception of the designation of Satanis as sudras, is quite consistent with the findings of my Tamilnadu survey. The census indicates 145 sub-divisions of Satanis, including Sattada,” “Dasanambi,” “Dasa,” “Kulasekara Vaisnavan,” and Ramanuja-matam.” The 1891 census of Mysore indicates that certain Satanis rejected being labelled “sudra” and sued (unsuccessfully) for defamation of character; they preferred enrollment as “Prathama Vaisnava” (“First/original Vaisnava”) or “Nambi Venkatapura Vaisnava,” the latter name associating them with Tirupati and, according to present day Venkatapura Srivaisnavas at Melkote, a brahmin community. The 1931 census for Mysore lists only “Satani” and records a request from certain Satanis that they be listed as “Sattada Srivaisnavas.” The request was rejected “… because Sri Vaisinava is the distinctive name of one group of ‘Brahmins’ and the Satani community is not generally treated as a Brahmin community” (Census of India [Mysore, Bangalore, 1932], 25.1:318). (15) On file at the temple office. (16) This may be the earliest occurrence of the honorific ayyangar or ayyangaru, later used only by Srivaisnava brahmins. The form is of Telugu derivation. (17) Tirumalai-Tirupati Devasthanam Epigraphical Series, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 7-8 [= 2.4:7-8. Henceforth, references to this work will follow this abbreviated format.]. (18) TTDES 2.13-14:17-18. KRA’s activity at Kancipuram is confirmed by a Varadarajasvami temple inscription of 1487 noting that he was “… the trustee of the Ramanuja-kutam on Sannidhi Street” South Indian Temple Inscriptions, 1.348 [Madras: Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, 19531). At about the same time – 1489 – we find reference to his activity at Srirangam, as discussed below. (19) For example: TTDES, 2.128:289-91. (20) For example: TTDES, 2.134:310-15. (21) For example: TTDES, 2.22:35-36. (22) Annual Report of Epigraphy (Government of Madras, 1939), 13. (23) Senapatidurantara and dharmakartr are equivalent terms. (24) Koyiloluku, ed. Sri Krishnaswami Ayyangar Swami (Tirucchi: Srinivasam Press, 1976), 92-96. Koil Olugu, tr. V. N. Hari Rao (Madras: Rochouse & Sons, 1961), 164-70. (25) Jiyar/ciyam, “lion,” is a title taken by Srivaisnava samnyasis who are heads of mutts (mathadhipati/sinhasanapati). (26) Kandadai Naiyan, Periyatirumuti Ataivu, printed with and under the title of Arayirappati Guruparamparaprabhavam, ed. Krishnaswami Ayyangar (Tirucchi: Srinivasam Press, 1975), 607. See also TTDES, 3.101:203, and Tirupati Devasthanam Epigraphical Glossary, 4.2 of TTDES, 37. All translations from this text are my own. (27) TTDES, 2.102:212-13. (28) TTDES, 3.102, 156:208-10, 324-26; 4.59:116-19. Periyatirumuti Ataivu, 610, says Paravastu Annan was a disciple of Paravastu Bhattar Piran Jiyar. (29) South Indian Inscriptions, ed. H. K. Narasimhaswamy (New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India, 1982), 24.523: 505 [= vol. 24, no. 523, p. 505]. (30) The Srivaisnava Siddhanta Dipika, ed. C. Alagsingara Pandit (Madras: Haddon and Co., 1918), 70-73, declares the authority of the lineage from Nammalvar (Sri Parankusa Paramacarya) to Srimat Paravastu Kantopayantru Munindra Jiyar – Ramanuja is seventh in line from Nammalvar, Manavalamamuni seventh from Ramanuja and Kantopayantru seventh from Manavalamamuni. Kantopayantru is a complete acarya in all respects and the one who has firmly established Sattada Srivaisnavism. He is the one whose feet must be taken by Sattadas, following the example of Madhurakavi toward Nammalvar and the teaching of Pillai Lokacarya concerning the necessity of having the grace of the acarya. Ramanuja perfected himself at the feet of 1) Nammalvar, 2) Tirukacchi Nambi, “… the first follower of the Vaisnava Darsana …,” who gave Ramanuja the six teachings, and 3) Pillai Urangavilli Dasar, and revived Sattada Srivaisnavism. He installed images of Parankusa (Nammalvar) and instructed Sattadas to worship them. According to the Dipika, the Dravida Veda was revealed through Nammalvar to show the easy way to moksa, especially for women, sudras and the downtrodden. Nammalvar communicated this truth to Vadama Smarta brahmins in a special revelation through Nathamuni. These brahmins, afraid that evil persons would misuse this truth, kept it secret. Other brahmins discarded their thread and top-knot and openly proclaimed this “True Heritage of the Conqueror of the Evil Humor” (satajit [after Satakopa = Nammalvar]-sat-sampradaya); these are the Sattadas (the Vadamas being the Sattinas) and they stand in the ancient Parama Ekanta tradition of “those who have renounced all associations (sarva-sangha-parityagi), those who as temple-servants were called “Visnu-mundaka brahmins” – “brahmins renounced (to serve) Visnu.

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  68. air Jordan 11 blackout

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  69. J.Krishnamohan

    Hi Friends
    It is high time maadhavan take up censor work diligently and make this communication vehicle more purposeful. Reproduction verbatim of the literature do not take us to any new heights. At some point of time it pushes away from the real issues. How long we are going to read Robert Lester, Thiruvengadathan and Sadu Subramanya Sastry – their analysis and the appendix of their research work. It takes us nowhere.
    J.Krishnamohan

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  70. Brahmadesham Krishnamachari

    WHO ARE THE SANATANI SATTINA SATTADA SRI VAISHNAVA BRAHMINS ?

    Sanatani or Sanatana Sri Vaishnava Brahmins are Sattina Sri Vaishnava Brahmins during the early part of their lives and Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmins during the latter part of their lives.

    All the Sri Vaishnava children, men and women who give importance to their individual, family, secular, business, commercial and community interests are known as Sattina Sri Vaishnava Brahmins.

    All the Sri Vaishnavas, who either give equal importance to both their individual, family, secular, business. commercial and community interests and social and religious interests or dedicate themselves almost completely to the spread, propagation or diffusion of the Ancient Santanana Sanatani Satavata Nambi Nambudiri Namboodiri Namboothiri Bhagavata Bhagawat Sri Vaishnava Pancharatra Vaikhanasa Sattada Agama Dharma Tradition as Dharmakartas, Senapati Durandaras, Archakas, Purohits, Acharis, Acharyas, Jiyars, Jiyangars, Ayyangars, Ayyavarlus, Ayyas, Swamis, Simhasanadhipatis, Mutt Heads and Dharmacharyas are known as Sattada or Sathatha or Sattadamudali or Chattada or Chattriya or Satani or Satavahana or Satanana or Sattina-Sattada or Sattinamudali-Sattadamudali or Vaikhanasa or Pancharatra Sri Vaishnava Brahmins.

    Again, the Sattina Sri Vaishnava Brahmins can be either Sanatani Sattina Sri Vaishnava Tengalai Tenkalai Brahmins or Sanatani Sattina Sri Vaishnava Vadagalai Vadakalai Brahmins.

    Similarly, the Sattada Sri Vaishnava (also known as Sattina-Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmins) can be either Sanatani Sattada Sri Vaishnava Tengalai Tenkalai Brahmins (also known as Sanatani Sattina-Sattada Sri Vaishnava Tengalai Tenkalai Brahmins) or Sanatani Sattada Sri Vaishnava Vadagalai Vadakalai Brahmins (also known as Sanatani Sattina-Sattada Sri Vaishnava Vadagalai Vadakalai Brahmins).

    However, both the Sanatani Sattina Sri Vaishnava Brahmins and the Sanatani Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (also known as Sanatani Sattina-Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmins) follow both the Sanskriti Veda Dharma and the Dravida Veda Dharma. They also follow the Pancharatra Sri Vaishnava agama, Vaikhansa Sri Vaishnava agama and the Sattada Sri Vaishnava Agama in varying degrees.
    Some of the important Sanatani Sanatana Sattina-Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmin mutts are the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam TTD Pedda Jeeyar Mutt, Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam TTD Chinna Jeeyar Mutt, Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam TTD Ekangi Jeeyar Mutt, Tirumala-Tirupati Sarva Tantra Swatantra Paravastu Pattar Piran Jeeyar Govinda Dasa Jeeyar Mutt, Kanchipuram Brahmadesham Brahmatantra Swatantra Paravastu Parakala Viravalli Perarulal Ayya Swami Mutt, Kanchipuram Brahmadesham Alagiya Manavala Mamuni Jeeyar Mutt, Srirangam Sri Koyil Kandadai Vathula Annan Mutt, Sri Mudaliandan Dasarati Swami Thirumaligai Mutt, Sri Koil Kandadai Appan Venkatachari Thirumaligai Mutt, Sri Rangam Ranganatha Kandadai Ramanuja Jeeyar Mutt, Srirangam Sri Kandadai Ramanuja Muni Mutt, Sri Koil Kandadai Chandamarutam Periyappanga Doddayacharya Swami Thirumaligai Mutt, Sri Koil Kandhadai Elayavilli Varadhacahriar Swami Thirumaligai Mutt, Sri Koil Kandhadai Kandala Sirupuliyur Sudhasathvam Thiruvazhi Annan Periya Acharya Swami Mutt, Koil Kandhadai Kandala Sirupuliyur Sudhasathvam Embavannan Thottachariar Swamy Mutt, Koil Kanthadai Suddhasathvam Thiruvazhi Annan Swamy Mutt, Koil Kanthadai Kandala Suddhasathvam Kannan Swami Mutt, Kovil Kandadai Appan Ramanujachariar Swami Mutt, Onnana Koil Kandadai Vaadula Desika Annan Swami Mutt, Nanguneri Vanamamalai Mutt, Sri Rangam Sri Ranga Narayana Jeeyar Mutt, Melukote Yadugiri Yatiraja Mutt, Mysore Sattina-Sattada Tenkalai Vadakalai Paravastu Parakala Mutt, Madhuramangalam Emperumanar Jeeyar Mutt, Srivilliputtur Sri Manavalamamunigal Sri Satagopa Ramanuja Jeeyar Andal Mutt, Sringeri Sharada Shankara Nambi Nambudiri Bhagawat Mutt, Sri Swamy Hathiramji Mutt, Tirumalai Kandadai Ramanuja Mutt, Sri Kidambi Srinivasachar Adivan Satakopa Ahobila Matam, Sri Perumbudur Ethiraja Jiyar Mutt, Sri Perumbudur Sri Embaar Jeeyar Mutt, and Sitanagaram Sri Tridandi Sriman Narayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Mutt, Sri Tridandi Sriranga Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamy, Alwar Tirunagari Emperumanar Jeeyar Mutt, Thirukkurungudi Jeeyar Swami Mutt, Thirukkovilur Emperumanar Jeeyar Mutt, Badrinath Atharva Veda Shankar Acharya Jyothir Bhagavat Mutt, Jagannath Puri Rig Veda Shankar Acharya Govardhan Bhagavat Mutt, Dwarka Sama Veda Shankar Acharya Kalika Bhagavat Mutt, Sringeri Yajur Veda Gaudapada Govinda Vishnu Chakra Avatara Adi Shankara Acharya Sharada Bhagavat Mutt, Sri Vallabhacharya Vishnuswami Mutt, Sri Ramanand Swami Swaminarayan Mutt, Sri Sanatana Goswami Mutt, Swami Ramanand Ramanandi Mutt, Sri Perumbudur Sri Govinda Yathiraja Jeeyar Swamigal Sri Yatiraja Jeeyar Mutt, Sri Perumbudur Sri Appan Parakala Ramanuja Embar Jeeyar Swamil Mutt, Sri Villiputtur Sri Sadagopa Ramanuja Jeeyar Swami Mutt, Bhimavaram Sri Tridandi Ramachandra Ramanuja Jeeyar Swami Mutt, Vijayawada Sri Tridandi Ashtakshari Ramanuja Jeeyar Swami Mutt, Hyderabad Sri Tridandi Vratadhara Ramanuja Jeeyar swami Mutt, Brindavanam Sri Tridandi Devanarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swami Mutt, Ayodhya Sri Tridandi Kandadai Ramanuja Acharya Mutt, Ayodhya Sri. Jagadguru Vidya Bhaskar Vasudevacharya Swami Mutt, and Tirumala Tirupati Sri Arjun Das Swami Mahanth Sri Hathiramji Mutt, Tirumala Tirupathi, Tirupati Sri Srinivasacharya Swami Mahanth Sri Uttaradi Srivaishnav mutt and Chennai Sri Anantha Padmanabhachariyar Swami Mutt.

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  71. srisanatani

    Sanatana Dharma (Sanatana Sri Vaishnava Bhagavata Dharma)

    Sanatana Sri Vaishnava Brahmins or Sanatani Sri Vaishnava Brahmins are Sattina-Satani Sri Vaishnavas in the earlier part of their lives and Sattada-Satani Sri Vaishnavas during the latter part of their lives.

    Sri Ramanuja Acharya, also known as Laksmana Muni Somayaji, Udayavar, Yatiraja, and Emberumannar, was born in a Telugu Brahmin family at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. His father was Kesava Somayaji and his mother was Kandadai Kantimathi, who belonged to the Sanatana Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmin community and belonged to the Kandadai or Kandala Mudaliandan Sanatana Sattina Sattada Sri Vaishnava Tenkalai Brahmin lineage. Some of his Sanskrit works are Vedartha Sangraham, Sri Bhashyam, Gita Bhashyam, Vedanta Deepam, VedAnta Saram, Sharanagati Gadyam, Sriranga Gadyam, Sri Vaikuntha Gadyam and Nitya Grantham. He studied Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharvana Veda and Advaita philosophy under a Krishna devotee Yadava Prakasha in Brahmadesham Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.

    Greatly influenced by his mother Kandadai Kantimati Somayaj, Lakshmana Muni Somayaji received deekasha in or was initiated into Sanatana Sri Vaishnava Vishista Advaita dharma parampara and became a Sanatani Sattina-Satani Sri Vaishnava and assumed the name of Ramanuja Acharya. As he grew more ascetic and took to spreading Sanatana Sri Vaishnava dharma, Sri Ramanuja Acharya became a Sanatana Sattada-Satani Sri Vaishnava Brahmin and became a full-time propagator of the Sanatana Sri Vaishnava Vishista Advaita dharma.

    The very first Iyengar, as per historical records, was Sri Kandadai Ramanuja Iyengar, one of the foremost Sri Vaishnava dharma gurus of all time and the supervisor, controller and administrator of all Sri Vaishnava temples, yatra-sthalas and tirtha-sthalas including the Tirumala-Tirupati Sri Venkateshawara Swami temple, Tirumal-Tirupati Sri Govindarajaswamy temples, Kanchi Brahmadesham Sri Varadaraja Swamy temple, Sri Ranagam Sri Ranganatha Swami temple and Melukote Sri Cheluva Narayana Swamy temple, Melukote Sri Yoga Narasimha Swami temple and AP Ahobilam Sri Narasimha Swami temple during his life time. Kandadai Ramanuja Iyyengar had also constructed temples for Ramanuja Acharya and donated large sums of money and gold and silver articles to several of the Sri Vaishnava temples. As the head of the Ramanuja Kootams, he ran a large number of Dharmashalas at all Sri Vaishnava pilgrimage places where food was served and accommodation was provided to all the Sri Vaishnava devotees all 365 days a year. Kandadai Ramanuja Iyengar was also the religious dharma guru of Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya, one of the foremost rulers of the Vijayanagara kingdom.

    Iyengars or Sri Vaishnava Brahmins belong to the following categories: (1) Sattina Sri Vaishnava Pancharatra Vaikhanasa Tenkalai and Vadagalai Nambi Nambudiri Brahmins, and (2) Sattada Sri Vaishnava Pancharatra Vaikhanasa Tenakalai and Vadagalai Nambi Nambudiri Brahmins.
    Some Sri Vaishnava Brahmins identify themselves in more simpler terms as follows: (1) Sattina Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (2) Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (3) Satavahana Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (4) Sata or Satta or Satya or Satvata Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (5) Tenkalai Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (6) Vadagalai Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (7) Pancharatra Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (8) Vadakalai Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (9) Nambi Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (10) Nambi Nambudiri Sri Vaishnava Brahmins (11) Ekangi Sri Vaishnava Brahmins and (12) Bhagavata Sri Vaishnava Brahmins. But, regardless of whichever name a Sri Vaishnava Brahmin identifies oneself as, one is a Sanatani Sattina Sri Vaishnava Brahmin during the earlier part of one’s life and Sanatani Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmin during the latter part of one’s life.

    Further, Sanatana Sri Vaishnava Brahmins or Sanatani Sri Vaishnava Brahmins consider all Hindu men, women and children as children of the same creator, the God Brahma. All Hindu males are Brahmakumaras and Brahmaputras and all Hindu females are Brahma Kumaris and Brahmaputris. All are equal. All Hindus are equal members of the Vasudeva Kudumbakam! Sarve Jano Sukhino Bhavantu!

    Reply
  72. Kanchipuram Brahmadesham Venkatakrishna Swami

    Sanatana Sri Vaishnava Brahmin Publications:

    (1) Paravastu Matam Guruparampara ( Paravastu Mutt Guruparampara ) Author: Paravastu Venkata Ramanujacharya Swami Year: 1918
    (2) Guru Parampara Prabhavamu Author: Kanchipuram Brahmadesham Annangaracharya Swami Year: 1920
    (3) Sampradaya Chandrika Author: Paravastu Venkata Ramanujacharya Swami Year: 1929
    (4) Bhagavad Aradana Krama Author: Paravastu Venkata Ramanujacharya Swami Year: 1933
    (5) Sri Shatajiddarshanam Author: Pra.Sri. Shatakopa Shiksha Shibira Sabha Year: 1949
    (6) Shatajiddarshana Darpana Author: H. Puttaswami Year: 1988
    (7) Chattada Sri Vaishnava Dwija Shodasha Karmani Author: Paravastu Alaghiya Manavala Ramanujacharya Swami Year: 1902
    (8) Sattada Sri Vaishnava Gata Vaibhava Author: H.R. Sampathkumaran Year: 1970
    (9) Shattada Sri Vaishnava Jiva Ratna Author: Madagonahalli Rangadasa Year: 1907
    (10) Shattada Sri Vaishnava Mata Pradarshini Author: Madagonahalli Rangadasa Year: 1907
    (11) Sri Vaishnava Samayachara Nishkarsham Author: Srimath Pillai Lokam Jiyar Year: 1909
    (12) Sri Vaishnava Dharma Sangraha Author: H. Puttaswami Year: 1986
    (13) Sri Vishishtadvaita Siddanta Darpanamu Author: Kuntimaddi Sheshakarma Year: 1945
    (14) Prapannamrutha Bhaskara Author: Paravastu Emberumanar Dasa Year: 1890
    (15) Alaya Archana (Temple Worship) Author: Savyasachi Year: 1991

    Reply
  73. J.Krishnamohan

    Dear Kanchipuram Brahmadesam Venkatakrishna swami

    Thank you for listing out 15 of books on 20/10/2014. I will be happy if you possess such books or know the library etc, where they are avialable. Many of the participants want to know the SSV way of adhering to and practicising religious duties. Be it in tamil, kannada or telugu, the availability itself will be a treasure. It can be first translated to english followed by subsequent translations.
    Photo copies of Pre-1900 printed vyakhyanams of select 4000 are available in the web. We can do the same for SSV literature also.

    KrishnamohanJ

    Reply

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