Shaivas and Smartas

MSR miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jul 9 16:00:25 CDT 2002

Paternal grand mother of Sri appayya diixita was a srivaishNava, that
to some extent had influence on Sri appaya and his ability to
impartially take a look at vaishhNava works.


This is reflected in the works of his (step) grandson Sri niilakaNTHa
dixita (I have read only one of his works which is titled
"aanandasaagarastava" on Sri miinaaxii amman - this work nicely
explains the concept of sharaNagati as it is viewed in
vishhishhTadvaita philosophy. We discussed only few verses of this text
on ambaa-L). I should say a million thanks to him, because with my
terrible anti-vaishhNava bias, I would not have looked at any
vaishnavite work on sharaNagati with an open mind. I needed someone
like him to explain it in the context of bhakti towards jaganmAtA.

Typically, the title diixita does not carry over from generation to
generation. Somewhere I read/heard that it can be kept only for 3
generations and given based on certain qualifications (diixa-s). I am
not sure though. Because, my family (for many generation in the
thanjaavuur area) once had diixita title. At least for the last three
or four generations, none of them have the diixita title (AFAIK).

The shaiva/vaishhNava division in TN is very deep and I would say it is
genetically coded now :-)). And with smArta-s, they wear attire like
shaiva-s, and their words show affiliation to vishhNu (right from
sandhya to naarayaNa smRti) and in heart most of them are ambaaL
bhakta-s. And that confuses the heck of out others :-)) and they all
have handful of quotes to show all three are same anyway :-)).

baaNatvaM vR^ishhabhatvamardhavapushhaa bhaaryaatvamaaryaapate
ghoNitvaM sakhitaa mR^idaN^gavahataa chetyaadi ruupaM dadhau |
tvatpaade nayanaarpaNaM cha kR^itavaan.h tvaddehabhaago hariH
puujyaatpuujyataraH sa eva hi na chet.h ko vaa tadaanyo.adhikaH || 82||


--- nanda chandran <vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >(Though we have important differences with them
> >too.)  Shri Appaya Dikshita is a famous example of an Advaitin who
> started
> >life as a Shaiva and converted to our sampradaya later on.
> Appaya was a dikshidar - dikshidars are the temple priests of the
> famous
> Nataraaja temple in Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. AFAIK they are
> considered as
> smaarthaas only.
> So Appaya was always part of our sampradhaaya. Siva Advaita and his
> other
> Vedaantic inclinations (including Dvaita) only reflects the breadth
> of his
> intellect and scholarship.
> Also Appaya's work on Shaivism is not a classical Saiva Siddhaanta
> text - in
> contrast to the dualistic metaphysics of the Saivas Appaya tries to
> give a
> non-dual interpretation of Saiva philosophy and that's the reason his
> philosophy is also called Siva-Advaita.
> On a related note in the Hindu recently, in the section on book
> reviews,
> there was a mention of a translation of a work of Appaya's which
> deals with
> all the Vedaantic schools and also Saiva Siddhaanta.
> _________________________________________________________________
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ambaaL daasan


sharaNAgata raxakI nivEyani sadA ninnu nammiti mInAxI

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