25

First of all, to answer your side question, yes, there is something that is more particular to Vishnu that both Vaishnavite and Shaivites would acknowledge about him, and that is that he is the god of preservation. That is to say, Vaishnavites would say that Vishnu is the preserver but he is also ultimately responsible for the origination and destruction of ...


21

First of all, yes, there is a notion of a greater Vishnu and a lesser Vishnu. This concept is expressed in simplest terms in this chapter of the Vishnu Purana: Affecting then the quality of activity, Hari, the lord of all, himself becoming Brahmá, engaged in the creation of the universe. Vishńu with the quality of goodness, and of immeasurable power, ...


19

Yes, Sri Rama, the son of Dasharatha is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. So, he himself is the Lord. It is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana, Baala Kanda that all world had become sad because of Ravana. Then all Devas along with Lord Brahma prayed to Lord Vishnu. Then Lord Vishnu pleased by them and promised to take birth as the son of Dasharatha. ततो नारायणो...


16

First of all, these aren't the two main sub-sects of Vaishnavism, they are the two main sub-sects of Sri Vaishnavism. There are other Vaishnava Sampradayas, like the Gaudiya Vaishnava sect that ISKCON adheres to. What distinguishes Sri Vaishnavas from other kinds of Vaishnavas are mainly two things: our beliefs, and our origins. Gaudiya Vaishnavas ...


14

Valmiki Ramayana Ayodhya Kanda provides answer to this question. See Here तेषामपि महातेजा रामो रतिकरः पितुः | स्वयम्भूरिव भूतानां बभूव गुणवत्तरः || २-१-६ RaamaH = Rama; svayambhuuriva = like the Brahma;bhuutaanaaM = among all the living beings; guNavattaraH = the most virtuous; teshhaamapi = among those brothers;mahaatejaH = the mightiest; ...


12

It's because the Sadagopuram, AKA Sadagopam or Sadari, is unique to Vishnu temples. The Alwars (also spelled Azhwars) are a group of 12 ancient Vaishnava saints who lived in Tamil Nadu and are famous for their poetry in praise of Vishnu, which was pivotal in the development of the Sri Vaishnava sect (of which I'm a member). One of the most famous Alwars ...


10

Vishnu Purana in 6.5.74 states: "ऐश्वर्यस्य समग्रस्य धर्मस्य यशसरिश्रयः। ज्ञानवैराग्ययोश्चैव षण्णां भग इतीरणा ।।" Complete splendor, virtue, glory, opulence, knowledge, dispassion - these six are known as bhaga. One who possess these Bhaga quality is known as Bhagavan. And the following verses after it identify Bhagavan as Vãsudeva or Lord Vishnu. ...


10

Sayana was an Advaitin and brother of Madhava (generally believed to be pre-ascetic name of Sri Vidyaranya). Sri Vidyaranya played a crucial role in formation of Vijayanagara Empire. Three brothers Madhava, Somanatha, Sayana were born in Brahmin family of Mayana. Sri Vidyatirtha told the brothers to complete remaining works in their name with unfinished ...


10

The Urdhvapundra has been worn from ancient times (pre-Ramanuja). The Pancharatra, Puranas and Smritis glorify the Urdhvapundra worn with white clay and gopi-chandana. In the Sri Vaishnava Guru Paramparas, when discussing the life of Ramanuja, it is recorded that the white clay worn as Urdhvapundra was difficult to obtain in those times. Ramanuja managed to ...


9

Yes, Iyengars are an ofshoot of the Iyers. But Iyer didn't originally mean Smartha Brahmana. Iyer originally just denoted people of the highest jati (subcaste) of the Brahmana varna (caste). Then after the time of Adi Shankaracharya the Smartha philosophy became popular among Iyers. (Smarthas technically worship five gods whom they believe are manifestations ...


9

Uttara Bhaga of Linga Purana consists a section called Vishnu Mahatmya which talks about greatness Vishnu. 1st chapter to 8th chapter of UttaraBhaga describes the greatness of Lord Vishnu: The first quote comes from UttaraBhaga chapter 1 verse 7. Sage Markandaye states that verse: य एकः पुरुषः श्रेष्ठ: परमात्मा जनार्दन ।। यस्माद्ब्रह्मा ततः सर्वं समा...


9

The Harivaṃśa has a stotra extolling both the similarity and unified form of Viṣṇu and Śiva. There are even several epithets dedicated to them: Hariharātmaka and Agniṣomātmaka.The following is an excerpt from a stotra from the Harivaṃśa (Viṣṇu-parva) extolling both Viṣṇu and Śiva as identical and Supreme Lords: Chapter 125 - Battle between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and ...


9

The verse quoted by Vedanta Desika in the Rahasyatrayasara is Garuda Purana 1.227.9 भक्तिरष्टविधा ह्येषा यस्मिन् म्लेच्छो ऽपि वर्तते स विप्रेन्द्रो मुनिः श्रीमान् स याति परमां गतिम् bhaktiraṣṭavidhā hyeṣā yasmin mleccho 'pi vartate sa viprendro muniḥ śrīmān sa yāti paramāṃ gatim I checked out the Rahasyatrayasara and it doesn't quote ...


9

Qualities of a Vaishnava is described by Lord Vishnu himself in Padma Purana, Part 10, Section 7 (KRIYAYOGASARAKHANDA), Chapter 2 as below: 83-103. Those who are without lust and anger, who are free from harmfulness and hypocrisy, who are free from'greed and folly, should be known to be Visnu's devotees. Those who are not jealous, who are kind, ...


8

@KeshavSrinivasan has already given a fantastic answer on the origin of the practice, but I would like to address the purity aspect which you brought up. Everyone can in fact receive the Sadari, but there are differences in the way it is presented. Most people who arrive at the temple in everyday clothes will receive the Sadari placed once on their head (...


8

Gaudiya Vaishnavas do believe the same chronological order of Yugas like other Hindu Scriptures say. That is, Satya, Treta, Dwapara, Kali. Here is the YouTube video of Prabhupada. In this video He said that Lord Krishna appears in Dwapara Yuga, there are four yugas namely: Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali and have same circulation. Krishna comes in Dwapara ...


8

Ramanujacharya was not being asked to worship Shiva. Now if he had been asked to do that, he might well have refused; as discussed in this answer Sri Vaishnavas who have performed Sharanagati often do not worship other gods. That's not out of hatred towards other gods, but because after performing Sharanagati you're basically "married" to Sriman Narayana, ...


8

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu belonged to the disciplic succession from Madhvacharya. The followers of the Chaitanya Mahaprabhu formed a separate sect called Gaudiya Vaaishnavas. As you have said in the question, the Brahma sampradaya of Vaishnavism has two major divisions. The Madhva sect. The Gaudiya Vaishnavism(followers of Chaitanya). Srila Prabhupada in ...


8

The āḻvārs, also spelt as alwars or azhwars are 12 devotional saints born in the region of south India. These saints wrote devotional poems in Tamil in the praise of Vishnu directly or his incarnations or his deity forms in different places. All these poems were compiled by Sri Nathamuni around 9th century A.D. This is discussed in this question. This ...


8

Vallabhacharya followers believe Him to be incarnation of Lord Krishna. From second chapter of the book "Shri Vallabhacharya- A divine Jagad Guru" , Shri Vallabh was born in the year 1478 A.D. (Vikrami Samvat 1535) in Champaranya near Raipur in Central India. He was the son Of Shri Laxman Bhatt andIllama garu. Shri Vallabhacharya‘s parents were ...


7

Besides the Brahma Vaivarta Purana mentioned in the other answer, the 39th Chapter of the 9th Book of Devi Bhagavatam also mentions the origin of both Radha and Lakshmi from Krishna: 4-33. Nârâyana said :-- Of old, in the beginning of the Prâkritik Creation, from the left side of Krisna, the Supreme Spirit, appeared in the Râsamandalam (the Figure Dance) ...


7

"Who founded it & when?" Pushti mArga is the sub-sect of Rudra Sampradaya. It was founded by Vallabhacharya around 1500 AD. "How is it different than conventional Vaishnavism?" I suppose by conventtional Vaishnavism you mean Sri Vaishnavism. Main basic difference between Sri Vaishnavism and Pushti Marga is as follows: Lord Vishnu is supreme god in ...


7

Yes, a true Vaishnava do not differentiate between Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. It has been described by Lord Vishnu himself to Lord Brahma in Padma Purana, Part 10, Section 7 (KRIYAYOGASARAKHANDA), Chapter 2. Those who look upon you, me and Sankara as equal, and who honour a guest, should be known to be Visnu's devotees. Those who are ...


7

Actually for a Vaishnava it's better to go for a Vaishnava Guru. And, the same for others. Quoting Lord Shiva's words from the KulAchudAmani Tantram: UdAsino hyudAsinAm vanastha vanavAsinah | YatinAncha yatih prokta grihasthAnam gurugrihi || Vaishnave vaishnavo grAhyo shaive shaivasthApunah | ShAktike vidyAd dikshAswAmi na samshayah || ...


6

Because She is indeed half body of Shri Krishna in the following way: आबिर्बभुव कन्यैका कृष्ण्स्य वामपार्श्वतः धवित्वा पुष्पमानिय द्दातर्ध्य प्रभो पदे रासे सम्भुय गोलोके सा दधाव हरे पुरः तेन रधा समाख्याता पुराविद्भिद्विजोतम [BVP - 5.25,26] Meaning Then a maiden manifested from the left portion of Shir Krishna. She ran and obtained flowers to ...


6

I have spent few days looking for any information on this and communicated with one reliable devotee of Sri Caitanya Maha Prabhu who spent several years in Vrindavana studying Sanskrit and some of the Gaudiya texts. The answer at this point is that there are no known records of reference to Brahma Samhita before Sri Caitanya Maha Prabhu. However this is ...


6

What is Pancharatra Pancharatra texts are Vaishnava Agama Shastras, the name pancharatra literally means 'five nights', since these scriptures were revealed by Sage Narayana in 5 Nights to all the Rishis. Sage Narayana was so generous to us humans that he preserved ancient Ekayana shakha of Shukla Yajurveda and created agamas out of it so that everybody ...


6

The key point here is that it is not possible to (meaningfully) perform the Nachiketa agni ritual without the Bhakti Yoga aspect. The Nachiketa yajna is not like other common yajnas; it's very definition requires the knowledge, contemplation and realization of the indwelling nature of the parabrahman in chit and achit. In other words, this is a bhakti-yoga-...


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