[Advaita-l] Temple Worship by all

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 4 19:09:39 CDT 2010

--- On Fri, 6/4/10, Varadaraja Sharma <rishyasrunga at rediffmail.com> wrote:

> Radhekrishna
> Shriman Jayanarayanan
> -----------------
> "There are specific rules laid down in the Shruti and
> Smriti that only Brahmins should officiate as priests in
> Yajnas and Homas. But are there similar commands laid down
> in the scriptures (in the Agamas for instance) that only
> Brahmins can perform priestly temple worship?"
> ------------------
> When agamas are referred, it can be shivagama or vaishnava
> agama
> the position as to vaikhanasa and panchararatra is
> clarified in the following url
> http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/oppiliappan/archives/may06/msg00199.html

Thanks for the link. The relevant quote from the above website is:

"As to who is quqlified to do worship in temples, the Vaikanasa and 
Pancharatra agamas express different views.
  According to Vaikanasa , the priest must be a householder. Upanayana is the 
only ceremony required. He may be trained in Vedas and Shrauta texts.He must be 
a brahmin  as upanayana is insisted ,belonging to vaikanasa families.
  According to  Pancharatra texts, the priet may belong to any ashrama except 
  Pancha Samskara and Chakrabja diksha is necessary for pararta puja meaning 
worshipping for the community. Some Pancharatra texts allow all castes to do 
puja and even women are allowed to do pujas at temples (Vishwamitra Samhita.)."

Interesting - the Pancharatra is more liberal than the Vaikhanasa! There is mention of the Pancharatra in the Mahabharata, perhaps it is the same one?



"This great Upanishad, perfectly consist with the four Vedas, in harmony with Sankhya-yoga, and called by him by the name of the Pancharatra scriptures, and recited by Narayana himself with his own mouth, was repeated by Narada in the presence of many hearers in the abode of Brahman (his sire) in exactly the same way in which Narayana (while that great god had showed himself unto him) had recited it, and in which he had heard it from his own lips."

> http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/oppiliappan/archives/jun06/msg00020.html
> May someone clarify the position as to shivagama

As I mentioned in the thread before, there are Shiva Linga shrines around the Arunachala mountain where the "priests" (I don't know if they may be called that) are not Brahmins. At least, I did not see a Yajnopavita thread on them. But Aradhana was performed and Vibhuti offered to the devotees.

Here's an almost exhaustive list and description of all shrines around the Arunachala mountain:


Temples and Shrines along Arunachala’s Outer Pradakshina Route
By richardclarke

> Shriman Subrahmanyam
> ---------------------
> Also,  I have come across orthodox Srivaishnavas
> (Iyengars) who visiting a smartha temple by chance would not
> take teertham or any other prasadam given by even brahmin
> priests!!   Are the non-brahmin priests
> allowed to use vedicmantras for worship?
> --------------------------
> Traditionally smarthas go both to shivalayam and
> vishnugruham.  In vishnugruham, teertha prasadam is
> given as prasadam and in shivalayam vibhuti is given as
> prasadam. Srivaishnavas normally go only to vinnagaram. I
> could not comprehend as to what is meant by a smartha
> temple
> Radhe Krishna


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