Biographies of Śrī Vaiśṇavas

Rāmānuja Ācārya | Life | Short

In this article we will describe briefly the main events in the life of the great Rāmānujācārya, the practical founder of the Viśiṣṭādvaita system, referring to the names and characteristics of the most important of his immediate followers, and shall conclude with a short summary of his philosophy as disclosed in his works. The present article is a shorter and condensed version of a more detailed version published earlier and may be convenient for people in hurry or for those who would like to make sure they have not lost some important details.

Maṇavāḷa Mamunigal and Tamil Śrī Vaishnavism

The next writer of note in this school of Vaishnavas was the well-known Maṇavāḷa Mamunigal, whose name has been appropriated for the heading of this article. He was born near Āḻvār-Tirunāgari about 1370 A. D., and is said to have lived for 73 years, up to 1443 A. D. Of well-built proportions and extremely fair, almost white, in appearance, he soon attracted attention by his intelligence and ability and came to be recognised as an eminent scholar. He was a pupil of one Śrī Sailesa or Tiruvāymoḷi Pillai, a teacher of the Tamil hymns, as the name implies.

Śrī Vedanta Deśika | 1268-1369

Veṅkaṭanātha, later known as Śrī Vedanta Deśika,the leader of Śrī Vaishnavas in 13-14 century was born in South of India about the month of September in the year 1268 A. D. He early impressed his contemporaries with his greatness, and a belief grew up, based on the dreams of his parents, that he was an avatar of the God of Tirupati, and that his birth was inspired by the Deity sending out his Ghanta or bell for the purpose.

Śrī Yamunacharya Ālavandār

Just before Rāmānuja there lived another great Vaishnava whose life and teachings had a tremendous influence on Rāmānuja, although in fact the two of them never met. This was Śrī Yamunacharya, also known as Ālavandār - "The Conqueror." Yamunacharya was born around AD 918 in the city of Madurai in south India, which was then the capital of the mighty Pāndya kings. His grandfather was a well-known scholar and devotee known as Nāthamuni, who was also famous for his mystic abilities and who first compiled the songs of Nammāḷvār, a famous south Indian devotee, and had them set to music.

Puṇḍarīkākṣa | Śrī Vaishnavism after Nāthamuni

Sage Nāthamuni is said to have had eight pupils, of whom Puṇḍarīkākṣa was the most important and is recognised as having continued the spiritual teachings of his preceptor. Puṇḍarīkākṣa is said to have been born about 826 A.D. at Tiruvallari, North of Śrīraṅgam, in the Choliah caste of Brahmins. Pundarikaksha was also called by the name of “Uyyakondar ” or “Saviour of the new Dispensation,” a name by which he is now usually known.

Śrī Nāthamuni | Forefather of Śrī Vaishnavism

A learned Vaiṣṇavite scholar named Raṅganāthāchārya, more usually called Nāthamuni, or the sage Nātha lived in the town of Śrīraṅgam, near Trichinopoly, during the latter half of the 9th century A.D. and the beginning of the 10th. He was probably a descendant of early Vaishnava immigrants, from the banks of the Jumna and other parts of the north, who carried the Bhāgavata or the Pāñcharātra cult to the south and laid the foundation for the spread of Vaishnavism during the second to the seventh centuries of modern era which were the best days of the Pallava rule.

Śrīvacana Bhūṣaṇa | Piḷḷai Lokācārya

Piḷḷai-lokācārya who preferred a solitary and tranquil residence moved to a temple of Lord Narasiṁha in the outskirts of Śrī Raṅgam and it was here that he delivered discourses on Dharma to all who would listen. He taught in a very simple and skilful manner which is reflected in his writings. Piḷḷai-lokācārya opposed all differences based upon, caste, gender, nationality etc. He exemplified the doctrine that the universe was the body of the Lord and all beings are necessarily a part of Him.

Rāmānuja Ācārya – biography and legend

Rāmānuja is well-known as the great philosopher and ācārya of the Śrī Vaishnava sampradāya and expounder of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedanta or philosophy of qualified non-dualism, the famous author of Śrī bhāṣya - the legendary commentary on Vedanta Sūtras and several other classical works on Vedanta, including Rāmānujācārya’s commentary on Bhagavad Gītā already made available on our website. It is description of the saintly life of one of the greatest Vaiṣṇavite saints of the 11th century with many detailed stories from his life