HINDU ENCYCLOPEDIA

सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Agama_ Vaishnava>"

Word

Agama_ Vaishnava

Sanskrit

In General

The Vaishnava Agamas regard Vishnu as the supreme Godhead. They are said to have come from the mouth of Vishnu Himself. There are hundreds of Vaishnava Agamas. Broadly they could be classified as Panacratra, Vaikhanasa. Pancaratra, as the name suggests, involve a five-fold ritual schedule and is more prominent in this group. At least 200 Pancaratra Agamas were identified.

Vaikhanasa Agamas are the most ancient Agamas. Vaikhanasa Agamas were transmitted from Vikhanasa Rishi to his disciples Brighu, Marichi, Atri and Kashyapa. There are 28 Vaikhanasa Agama. Of these 13 Agamas authored by Bhrigu are: khilatantra, puratantra, vasadhikara, citradhikara, manadhikara, kriyadhikara, arcanadhikara, yajnadhikara, varṇadhikara, prakirṇadhikara, pratigṛhyadhikara, niruktadhikara, khiladhikara. The 8 Agamas authored by Mareechi are: jaya saṃhita, ananda saṃhita, saṃjnana saṃhita, vira saṃhita, vijaya saṃhita, vijita saṃhita, vimala saṃhita, jnana saṃhita. The 3 Agamas authored by Kashyapa are: satyakaṇḍa, tarkakaṇḍa, jnanakaṇḍa. The remaing 4 Agama authored by Atri, they are: purvatantra, atreyatantra, viṣṇutantra, uttaratantra.

Pancharatra in turn is said to have seven branches: Brahma, Saiva, Kaumara, Vasishtha, Kapila, Gautamiya and the Naradiya. An offshoot of Pancharatra called Tantra Sara is followed mainly by the Dvaita sect (Madhwas). Like the Vaikhanasa Agama, the Pancharatra Agama is centered on the worship of Lord Vishnu.

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