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According to Sri Vaishnavism, whenever there is a conflict between duties enjoined for prapannas and duties enjoined for ashramas or varnas, which takes precedence?

For example, suppose there is a verse (there probably is) in the Pancharatra Agamas that says:

A prapanna should live at the site of a temple.

And then there are verses in the Dharma shastras that say:

A Sannyasi should live in the forest.

But what if you're a sannyasi and also a prapanna? You can't live in both the forest and the temple site at the same time, so what takes precedence?

  • What is prapanna? – Rickross Mar 30 at 16:01
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    @Rickross One who has surrendered to Vishnu and is initiated into the Pancharatra Agamas. – Ikshvaku Mar 30 at 16:23
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    In general when there are apparent contradictions in Dharma and one has to resolve among them (aka times of "Dharma Sankata"), two issues must be understood: (1) Difference between rule and guideline, and (2) Difference between Samanya (ordinary) and Vishesha (exceptional) Dharma. Rule obviously takes precedence over guideline. Vishesha Dharma takes precedence of Samanya Dharma. This is not unique to Prapannas. In any case, I don't think Prapannas have unique rules to follow. Most of what is ordained for Prapannas are guidelines. Rest is Varnashrama dharma. – hashable Apr 4 at 0:00
  • @hashable When Desikan says for Prapannas to live at the site of certain temples, like ones where the Vigraha was installed by Rishis, is that a rule or guideline? – Ikshvaku Apr 4 at 12:19
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    @Ikshvaku A rule is one that attracts sin if disobeyed / incorrectly obeyed. If a Prapanna doesn't live in a divya-desam, neither do they attract sin, nor is their Prapatti invalidated. One can infer that it is a guideline. On the other hand, the Dharma Sastras enjoin that one must only eat food after it is offered to Visnu. In the Saccaritra Raksha, Vedanta Desikan uses the word "eva" to emphasize this. Uttamur Swamy's commentary explicitly clarifies - "At any time food unoffered to the Lord must not be eaten". This is an example of a rule albeit one which is being routinely violated. – hashable Apr 4 at 16:28
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In Thennacharya Sampradayam, Loukika dharma is to be followed as long as it does not interfere with visesha dharma. If it does, it is to be foregone in favor of visesha dharma.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • Back up your answer by citing some sources. In this case, it would be from work of Acharyas of Sampradaya. – Pandya May 8 at 1:42

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