Sri Sampradaya

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Sri Vaishnav Sampradaya or Sri Vaishnavism is a Vaishnava sect within Hinduism. Its origin and codification is generally traced back to Sri Mahalakshmi, the eternal consort of Lord Vishnu. Around the 10th century when a collection of the devotional hymns and songs by Alvars was organized by Sri Nathamuni, who is considered to be one of the pioneers of the sect.[1] Nathamuni appeared as the pioneer who wrote Sanskrit works systematizing the Sri Vaishnava theology, largely in debate with Gauttama philosophy of Buddhism. He was followed by Yamunacharya a celebrated grand-teacher of Ramanujacharya.[2] Alavandar (Yamunacharya), like Ramanuja, focused both on philosophical debates like dvaita vs. advaita and bhakti prayers and the works attributed to him are in Sanskrit although he codified the heritage of the Tamil alvars. Works attributed to him are In this tradition Vishnu is believed to be the source of all avatars. Vishnu is the name of God in the whole Vaishnavism and he is also known as Narayana, Vasudeva and Krishna and behind each of those names is a divine figure with attributed supremacy in Vaishnavism and each associated tradition believed to be distinct historically.[3] The Iyengar Brahmins are followers of Ramanuja sampradaya, and two sects, namely Vadakalai and Thenkalai exist among them.[4] Sri Vaishnavism is a sub-denomination of Vaishnavism and a philosophical system of thought culminating in the philosophy of Visishtadvaita espoused by Ramanujacharya.[5] Followers of Sri Vaishnavism, as Vaishnavas, generally worship Vishnu as the supreme God.[6]


Earlier sources do not mention Sri, the consort of Vishnu. Sri becomes part of Vishnuism at a later stage and apparently Sri was worshiped independently before her cult was integrated into Vaishnavism. Now she is considered inseparable from Vishnu, who carries the mark of sri-vatsa, ineradicably representing Sri, his consort. In later Gaudiya traditions she is identified with Radha.[7] The prefix Sri is used for this sect because they give special importance to the worship of the Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, who they believe to act as a mediator between God and man.[6] A major portion of Sri Vaishnava theology is based upon this tenet.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ S.Rangarajan (Sujatha) and T.S. Sundararajan. "Sri Nathamuni, and the path of twofold scripture". Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  2. ^ Narasimhacharya, Madabhushini (2004-01-01). Sri Ramanuja. p.15 ISBN 81-260-1833-X ISBN 978-81-260-1833-8. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  3. ^ Matchett, Freda (2000). Krsna, Lord or Avatara? The relationship between Krsna and Visnu: in the context of the Avatara myth as presented by the Harivamsa, the Visnupurana and the Bhagavatapurana. Surrey: Routledge. p. 254. ISBN 0-7007-1281-X.  p. 4 p. 200
  4. ^ Pg.25, Rural Society in Southeast India – by Kathleen Gough; Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York; ISBN 978-0-521-23889-2 hardback, ISBN 978-0-521-04019-8 paperback. Google Books. 1 January 1965. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Pg228, The religion of the Hindus – By Kenneth W. Morgan, Published by "Motilal Banarsidass", ISBN 81-208-0387-6. Google Books. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c Swami Tapasyananda, Bhakti Schools of Vedanta, pg. 53, Ramakrishna Mission
  7. ^ Klostermaier, Klaus K. (2007). A Survey of Hinduism (3 ed.). State University of New York Press. p. 206. ISBN 0-7914-7081-4. There is not even a mention of Sri, the consort of Vishnu in the earlier sources.. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola
  • The Vernacular Veda: Revelation, Recitation, and Ritual (Univ of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A. 1 January 1994), by Vasudha Narayanan
  • Understanding Hinduism, (ISBN 1844832015), by Vasudha Narayanan

External links[edit]