Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala follows Vaikhanasa Agama. Can it be considered a Sri Vaishnava temple?

  • I think its duplicate question Feb 3, 2019 at 12:48

3 Answers 3



The term Sri-Vaishnava in common parlance refers to followers of Nammazhvar (Sharanagati) and Ramanuja (Savisheshadvaita philosophy). Both in Pancharatra and Vaikhanasa temples throughout India one can find idols of the Azhvars and Ramanuja. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that Vaikhanasas consider themselves followers of Nammazhvar and Ramanuja, hence are Srivaishnavas.

Nevertheless, here is a statement from Mahamahopadhyaya Srivatsankachar in the introduction to Uttamur Swamy's Vaikhanasa Vijaya which makes it clear that he considers Vaikhanasa as Srivaishnava:

śrīvaiṣṇava āgamāḥ dvividhāḥ - pāñcarātram vaikhānansam iti

netradvayamiva āgamavibhāgadvayamapi viśiṣṭādvaitinām

There are two types of "Srivaishnava Agamas" - Pancharatra and Vaikhanasa. For Visistadvaitins these two Agamas are like the two eyes.

  • The following link says that Vaikhanasas are not Sri Vaishnavas - ramanuja.org/sri/BhaktiListArchives/…
    – user16581
    Feb 16, 2019 at 15:18
  • There is no formal definition for the term 'Sri Vaishnava' as far as I am aware. The author of that page is wrong though to claim that Vaikhanasas do not worship Azhvars. Even Pancharatrins did not worship Azhvars until Nathamuni, Yamunamuni and Ramanuja established the tradition. Every Vaikhanasa temple I have visited (over 30 in Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh) have shrines for Azhvars and Ramanuja. Vedanta Desika has utmost respect for the Vaikhanasas. He even says that Vishnu should only be worshipped using either Pancharatra or Vaikhanasa rituals.
    – hashable
    Feb 16, 2019 at 18:31
  • Is it possible that the alwar, Sri Ramanuja shrines are due to pancaratra influence? If you can read Telugu, please read this - te.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/వైఖానసం The site claims that Sri Ramanuja could possibly have had a hand behind killing of Vaikhanasas. I am not saying the claim is true. But I wonder why Sri Ramanuja converted many temples from Vaikhanasa to Pancharatra. Also, Sri Vaishnavas seem to treat vaikhanasa as inferior to pancharatra. Why would any vaikhanasa follower accept that he/she is inferior?
    – user16581
    Feb 19, 2019 at 18:24
  • I am unable to copy that wiki link properly. If you know Telugu, search for "vaikhanasam telugu wikipedia" and click the Telugu wiki link.
    – user16581
    Feb 19, 2019 at 18:31
  • 1
    The inference is that while Ramanuja merely changed temple practices to be more inclusive, he didn't "convert" anything, at least in temples that already followed Pancharatra/Vaikhanasa.
    – hashable
    Feb 19, 2019 at 19:49

Yes: both Vaikhanasa & Panacharatra agamas are Sri Vaishnava agamas.

(Source 1, Source 2)


Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala follows Vaikhanasa Agama. Can it be considered a Sri Vaishnava temple?

It is a vaikhanasa temple as per skandapurANa-venkatAchalamahAtmya :

chapter 1 :

45. Kṛṣṇa, the destroyer of the agony of devotees, (is present there) along with Balabhadra. He is always propitiated by Vaikhānasas (‘recluses’) and groups of sages.

96. On the western bank of Svāmipuṣkariṇī, honoured by all the worlds, remains seated the Lord having the face of Boar. He is worshipped there by the leading sages, Vaikhānasas of great magnificence, noble souls on a par with Brahmā.

Chapter 9 :

  1. On seeing Śrīnivāsa thus Raṅgadāsa was much surprised. He thought, ‘I shall make a park for this Lord.’ Taking this decision in his mind thus, the intelligent devotee stayed at the root of the tree. He made the Vaikhānasa prepare the Naivedya offering to Viṣṇu everyday.

  2. On seeing him arrive after the period of worship was over the Vaikhānasa asked him, “Friend, why are you late in coming? The garlands too have not been wreathed by you. What were you doing in the park?”

chapter 10 :

48. After saying this to King Toṇḍamān the Lord of Śri became silent. On hearing the words of the Lord and after building the rampart wall he worshipped the Lord along with the sages born in the families (beloṅging to the group) of Vaikhānasas. Everyday the king came by the sub-terranean path and bowed down to the Lord. The excellent king ruled the kingdom virtuously, enjoying excellent pleasures.

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