Advaita and Vaishnavam

Vivek Anand Ganesan v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jul 30 01:00:28 CDT 1999

Hello all :

   I have two questions tangential to an on-going discussion.

1. What is the place of Agama-s in Vedanta, esp. Advaita?
  The reason for this question is that I am under the impression that traditional
instruction also includes the Agamas. If this is indeed the case, is it only studied
to be refuted as pUrvapaksha?

2. Why is there an "Advaita vs. Vaishnavam" debate?
  To the best of my knowledge, there are non-vaishnava sects that also reject Advaita.
I believe that there is atleast one school that has a philosophy similar to VishishTadvaita,
but is a Shaiva sect. Saiva Siddanta in the South, is also Dualistic (AFAIK).
So, why are Vaishnava sects singled out?

  Another request for clarification. Atleast, in the South ( I hail from TN ), Smarthas
have a decidedly Shaiva slant. In TN, most Smarthas that I have seen wear Shaiva sectarian
marks on their foreheads. In fact, growing up, I was always told that the primary difference
between Iyers( Tamil Smarthas) and Iyengars( Tamil Sri Vaishnavas) is that the former
is Shaiva and the latter is Sri Vaishnava. Why is this so?


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