Veṅkaṭanātha's Pāñcarātrarakṣā

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Veṅkaṭanātha, or Vedāntadeśika, traditionally dated 1270-1369, is one of the most important representatives of the South Indian school of Rāmānuja. Veṅkaṭanātha systematized the tradition’s teachings and laid down the doctrines that are authoritative for the Vaṭakalai, the tradition’s northern, Sanskrit-oriented sub-sect, thus having a decisive influence on its further development. Veṅkaṭanātha wrote more than a hundred works, with subjects including theology, philosophy, dramas and poetry, and wrote in three languages, Sanskrit, Tamil and Maṇipravāḷa. Despite Veṅkaṭanātha's great significance, very few of his works have been translated or studied.

This project contributes to the investigation of texts by Veṅkaṭanātha related to his view of religious ritual.


With regard to the religious rituals of the followers of the school of Rāmānuja, which was moulded by the Pāñcarātra tradition, the Pāñcarātrarakṣā will be examined and translated. This text deals first with the proof of the Pāñcarātra's validity (prāmāṇya). It then states that during the day’s five time periods (pañcakālavidhi) every follower of the Pāñcarātra is obliged to perform the religious rites consisting of approaching [God] (abhigamana), appropriating [the materials used for worship] (upādāna), worship (ijyā), studying (svādhyāya), and yoga. This gives the whole day its structure. Finally, the performance of the religious rites during the five time periods is described by means of numerous quotations from Pāñcarātra and Smṛti works.

See also


  • Gerhard Oberhammer, Marion Rastelli, ed., 2007
    Studies in Hinduism IV: On the Mutual Influences and Relationship of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta and Pāñcarātra. (BKGA 54.) Wien: VÖAW, 2007 (download [open access] or order online).
  • Oberhammer, Rastelli 2007.jpg

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