A note on Vaishanavism 100 years ago!
  • REfF: Chingleput Dist Manual 1879

    Page No 34 - 35
    Vadagalai and Thengalai Vishnuvaites.
    The Vadagalais are most strait laced in doctorine, and place more
    reliance on form and ritual than the Thengalais.The main differences
    are The vadagalais will not read or chant words from Sacred books(May
    be Naalayira Divya Parapandam) except in Sanskrit; while the
    Thengalais, although revering that language use their own vernacular
    also. The Vadagais believe in salvation being secured by good works the
    thegalais assert to be grace alone. The Vadagalais worship Goddess
    Lakshmi alone (Sakthi Cult) where as Thengalais condemn this Sakthi
    Cult and insist that the goddess can only intercede. The vadagalais
    revere Vedanthachari/ Desigan, as the last personification of the deity
    while the Thengalais address their prayers and praises to
    manavalamamunigal evidently a defined jain. Bathing in sacred waters
    washes away sin with vadagalais, an end which the thengalai can be
    attained only by grace and by abjuring wicked deeds. The widows of
    Vadagalai will shave their head and Thengalai Widows reject that their
    treasure is not that of her husban's.. Vaishava Sudras are Thengalies.

    Conjeevaram was a Buddhist's town till 4th century A.D (AD 489) and
    pulikesi burnt this town. Till 9th century temples and buildings were
    constructed with wood. There were 1000 lingams and 1000 temples in this
    town. This Canchi has three temples Kamakshi, Ekambara and vardaraja.
    This varadaraja temple was also a siva temple which was constructed by
    Gunda Gopala Rao who was governing the town in 11th century. This Gunda
    Gopala rao was a saivite who had no child. He took a vow that in case
    he get a child he will construct a temple for Vishnu. Accordingly he was
    blessed with a child Gunda Gopala Rao demolished a big sivan temple
    and constructed a temple for narayana.

    There is a sculpture in Ekabara nathar temple. there is a stala
    Purana. Once saraswati asked Brahma to tell her who he loved most and
    Brahma replied he loved lakshmi to be his wife. Sarawati got wild, came
    to kanchi and started Asvameda yagam. Narayana came in the form of
    naked muni and lie across sarawathi river to stop. The part of the
    place where narayana lied naked was called yadodhgari. This naked muni
    is none other than a jain (Manavalama Muni)

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