Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Sat May 22 11:54:28 UTC 1999

Balaji Hebbar wrote:

>conducting  worship  to  Shiva.  In  fact,  the  god  is  given  a
>place  in  the  Madhvite  hierarchy  of  gods  (devatAtAratamya)  as
>enunciated  in  TaittirIyopaniShad  II:8.  However  no  ashes  are
>distributed.  (that  would  be  an  acceptance  of  the
>deal).  Instead  as  in  all  West  Coast  temples,  sandalwood
>is  given  out.  (pRthivi  gandhavatI =  jagat  satya).  In  fact,

Surely you jest! Firstly, not all smArtas who owe allegiance to
sha.nkara wear ashes. There is a decent percentage which wears a U
shaped mark with sandalwood paste. In Tamil Nadu there are even
smArtas who were a SrivaishNava style mark, although rather rare. The
people from my mothers side wear tengaLai (otherwise known as
dakshiNakalaaaaa ;-)) style mark, but once a week only. The rest of
the days they wear ashes. I have heard that there are a handful who
wear Srivaishnava style marks exclusively.

And ashes are not restricted to just advaitins. The dualist shaiva
traditions also wear that. Not only that, the naiyAyikas are described
as wearing ashes and other shaivite marks in a Jain compendium (Ref.
Dasgupta). I fail to see why ashes => "jaganmithyA deal". That is only
one interpretation.

I am interested in knowing what the Madhvaite praxis is in doing the
ritual samidAdhAnam. Do they not apply ashes mixed with water along
with the mAnastoke mantra? Surely, you can't get sandalwood paste from
burnt twigs? :->.


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