The Sri Vaishnava sect has two sub-sects, Thenkalai and Vadakalai. Vadakalais follow the teachings of Vedanta Desikan, whereas Thenkalais follow the teachings of Pillai Lokacharya. My question is about Pillai Lokacharya. In this excerpt from his Tattva Traya, Pillai Lokacharya discusses the different forms of Vishnu described in the Pancharatra worldview - Para, Vyuha, Vibhava, Antaryami, and Archa. In particular, Vibhava refers to Vishnu's avataras or incarnations:

Of His own sovereign will alone, the Lord becomes a secondary incarnation, just as, of His sovereign will alone, He, in his primary incarnations, chooses to manifest Himself by His own all-transcendant form look like the form of a man, beast, or plant.

I'm interested in the part in bold. Vishnu's various incarnations as humans and animals are well-known, but I've never heard of him incarnating as a plant. Here is what the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Prathivadi Bhayankaram Annangaracharya says in his commentary on the Tattva Traya:

Vibhava or the incarnate forms of the Lord are infinite in number, with the difference that some of them are primary while the others are only secondary. The primary avatars like Rama, Krishna, Matsya, Kurma, etc., the dwarf mango tree in Dandakaranya, etc., arose through the Lord's will.

My question is, what is the story of Vishnu's incarnation as a dwarf mango tree in the Dandaka forest? The Dandaka forest is where Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita were living when Sita was kidnapped by Ravana.

So does this tree play a role in the Ramayana? Page 220 of this book says that that Vishnu's mango tree incarnation is mentioned in the Vishvaksena Samhita, one of the Pancharatra Agamas. But it's never beeen translated into English.


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