Iyengars form a subsect of Hinduism. They worship Lord Vishnu and consider Him to be the Supreme deity. Iyengars in turn contain two more Subsects.Thenkalai is one of the two sub-sect of
Iyengars. The other being Vadakalai. (Therkku in the Tamil languagemeans South). Both Thenkalai and Vadakalai are predominantly from the South Indian state of Tamil Naduand they both share the same philosophy of Sri Vaishnavism. Their main difference lies in doctrine i.e. the relation of divine grace to human response. Thenkalais are more adept in the Tamil languagethan their counterparts. The main views of Thenkalais that are not in line with Vadakalaisare:
* Thenkalais emphasize the greatness and overwhelming grace of the Lord to "save His own", and therefore speak more of the attitude of surrender than the act of surrender to attain moksha.
* Thenkalais believe that
Laksmiis a jivatma, like other souls, and that she has no independent power to grant moksha. They do, however, accept that she is a special soul who can intercede on behalf of ordinary souls to recommend them for moksa.
* Thenkalais accept that
kaivalyais in an eternal position within the realm of Vaikuntha. They say, however, that kaivalya only exists at the outer most regions of Vaikuntha.
* Thenkalais say that God's seemingly contradictory nature as both minuscule and immense are examples of God's special powers that enable Him to accomplish the impossible.
* Thenkalais believe prapatti is not necessary.
* According to Thenkalais , exalted persons need not perform duties such as sandyavandanam; they do so only to set a good example.
Most people only see the difference between the two groups of Sri Vaisnavas in terms of the application of the tilaka marks. Thenkalais form their tilaka mark in the form of a "Y".
Thenkalai iyengars follow Manavala Mamunigal and Vedantacharya(Desikar). But Vadakalai Iyengars follow only Vedanta Desikar.
* [http://members.tripod.com/~sriramanujar/tVsv.html Vadakalai Vs Thenkalai]
* [http://www.tamilbrahmins.com Tamil Brahmins]
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