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vadakali and thenkalai differences

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I was traveling to tirupathi by train once and an iyengar mama came and sat before me. He asked me if i was from IIT and the minute he realised i was an Iyer he started telling the glories of sri narayana. I told him i am going to tirumala to worship sri balaji and i had no differences between both deities but the iyengar mama kept on saying something. Finally i asked why there were huge differences between vadagalai and thenkalai iyengars? Why could not they unite? he simply went to another seat.
Also in mylapore chitrakulam area there 2 temples adjacent to each other. One is vadagalai and the other is thenkalai
 
....Thus the vaDakalais view is more consistent with Sri Ramanujacharya's teachings .
Govinda, these arguments have been going on for at least 300 years, each sect claiming their view is more consistent with that of Ramanuja. These arguments have been so intense that people have behaved very badly, and continue to behave very badly, exposing themselves to ridicule by everybody else -- another example in support of my contention that religion makes moral people act in immoral ways, but that is in a different thread. These waring wings of orthodox brahmin SVs took their arguments to British courts to be adjudicated. Not so very long ago, one of the revered acharyas from Kanchipuram was convicted and had to serve jail sentence, lo and behold!

Govinda, leaving aside all of this, what I find most troubling is the following, you said:

"So, Vadakalais would choose thenkalais as brides only, as the latter are adamant and are more like advaitins, regarding certain understanding/practices. Now, they are more acceptable of Swamy Desikan's works, but still wouldn't take samskArAs like Bhara-nyasam (Surrender) from Acharyas."


The significance of Bhara-nyasam is more a mental act of leaving the burden to Sriman Narayana, characterized by the five-fold requirement you have listed, which both kalais do. Vadakalis make a ritual out of it separate from panca-samskaram. Thenkalais argue it is part and parcel of panca samskaram itself. They have very valid arguments for why the physical act is not only unnecessary, but can be viewed as a mark of egotism.

There is no record of Ramanuja performing a separate ritual of Bhara-nyasam, but we do have record of him undergoing panca-samskaram. Similarly, we have record of Swami Sri Desikan undergoing panca samskaram, but nothing on bhara-nyasam. So, Thenkalai position is not any less valid for them as the Vadakalai position is for you.

Given all these facts, I think it is not wise to insist Thenkalai men are wrong and adamant and therefore Vadakalais will not give their girls as brides to them, but gladly accept their girls as brides. I submit to you, views like this are what religious dogmatism is all about.

Cheers!
 
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