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Vaikhānasa is one of the principal traditions of Hinduism and primarily worships Vishnu (and his associated Avatars) as the Supreme God. The followers are mainly Brahmins of Krishna Yajurveda Taittiriya Shakha and Vaikhanasa Kalpasutra. The name Vaikhānasa stands for the followers and the fundamental philosophy itself with the name derived from founder, Sage Vaikhanasa. It is principally monotheistic in its philosophy, whilst also incorporating elements which could be described as being panentheistic. Vaikhanansas principle focuses on rituals and worship of Lord Vishnu rather than the philosophy of Uttara Mimamsa, unlike Vaishnavism, the larger and more prevalent form on Vishnu worship.
Vaikhanasas claim to be a surviving school of Vedic ritual, the Taittiriya Shakha of the Krishna Yajurveda.
Jnana, knowledge, sections of Vaikhanasa texts are short and it is necessary to infer their doctrines from discussions in the texts on ritual. The Vaikhanasas evolved the theory of the five aspects of Vishnu:
Vishnu, the all-pervading supreme deity; Purusha, the principle of life; Satya, the static aspect of deity; Achyuta, the immutable aspect; and Aniruddha, the irreducible aspect.
The Vaikhanasa doctrine states that Moksha is release into Vishnu's heaven. The nature of a man's Moksha is dependent on a devotee's service of Japa, attentive repetition of prayer, Huta, Yaaga, sacrifice, archana, service to images, or Dhyana, Yogic meditation. Of the four the Marichi Samhita says Archana is the realisation of all aims.