Sri Vaishnavism

Sri Vaishnavism
Srirangamlong view.jpg
Srirangam temple
Regions with significant populations
India, Nepal
Religions
Vaishnavism (Hinduism)
Scriptures
Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavat Gita, Brahma Sutra, Pancharatra, Prabhandham[1][2]
Languages
Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu[3]

Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya or Sri Vaishnavism is a denomination within the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism.[4] The name is derived from Sri referring to goddess Lakshmi as well as a prefix that means "sacred, revered", and god Vishnu who are together revered in this tradition.[5][6]

The tradition traces its roots to the ancient Vedas and Pancaratra texts and popularized by the Alvars with their Divya Prabandhams.[7][8][9] The founder of Sri Vaishnavism is traditionally attributed as Nathamuni of the 10th century CE,[10] its central philosopher has been Ramanuja of the 11th century who developed the Vishishtadvaita ("qualified non-dualism") Vedanta sub-school of Hindu philosophy.[11][12] Tradition is based on the Vishistadvaita vedanta philosophy derived from Vedas and Divya Prabandhams. The tradition split into two sub-traditions around the 16th-century called the Vadakalai (sect giving Veda the first preference) and Thenkalai (sect giving Divya Prabandham the first preference).[13][14]

The most striking difference between Srivaishnavas and other Vaishnava groups lies in their interpretation of Vedas. While other Vaishnava groups interpret Vedic deities like Indra, Savitar, Bhaga, Rudra, etc. to be same as their Puranic counterparts, Srivaishnavas consider these to be different names/roles/forms of Lord Narayan citing solid reasons thus claiming that the entire Veda is dedicated for Vishnu worship alone. Srivaishnavas have remodelled Pancharatra homas like Sudarshana homa, etc. to include Vedic Suktas like Rudram in them, thus giving them a Vedic outlook.

Etymology

The name Srivaishnavism (IAST: Śrīvaiṣṇavism) is derived from two words, Sri and Vaishnavism. In Sanskrit the word Sri refers to goddess Lakshmi as well as a prefix that means "sacred, revered", and god Vishnu who are together revered in this tradition.[4][6] The word Vaishnavism refers to a tradition that reveres god Vishnu as the supreme god.[15] The followers of Srivaishnavism are known as Srivaishnava (IAST: Śrīvaiṣṇava, श्रीवैष्णव).[16]