Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha,
Namaskaram Jayaram Swami and other Swami’s who has similar doubht,
There is nothing to be concerned about the terms
“Saatthina & Saattadha (a.ka Chaatadha). These are honoray names given to Sri Vaishnavas depending up on the Types of services a Sri Vaishnavaite does in Temples. They are also sometimes referred as Saathina-Saathada Brahmins. Swami RamanujAr during His holy period has formulated what of services can be done at Temple by each Sri Vaishnavaite depending up on their Varna Ashrama Dharmam.
So, below has more multiple combination Honorary names of Sri Vaishnavas not just limited to the above two names and History of such Honored Sri Vaishnavas.
One can also Google search the same below info in other SriVaishnava blogs.
Sanatani Sri Vaishnavas are also known as Sanatana Sri Vaishnavas, Sattina-Sattada Sri Vaishnavas, Sattinamudali-Sattadamudali Sri Vaishnavas, Sathatha Sri Vaishnavas, Sattada Sri Vaishnavas, Sattada-Sattina Tenkalai Sri Vaishnavas, Koil Sri Vaishnavas, Sri Vaishnava Iyengar Brahmins, Satva Sri Vaishnavas, Satvata Sri Vaishnavas, Satvika Sri Vaishnavas, Satva Ubhaya Veda Sri Vaishnavas, Para Brahma Sri Vaishnavas, Paravastu Sri Vaishnavas, Parakala Sri Vaishnavas, Prathama Sri Vaishnavas, Bhagavad Sri Vaishnavas, Bhagavata Sri Vaishnavas, Saasthra Bhattacharya Sri Vaishnavas, Satavahana Sri Vaishnavas, Satakarni Sri Vaishnavas, Chaathira Namboothiri Sri Vaishnavas, and Chattada Sri Vaishnavas. They are found in large numbers in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajastan, Gujarat, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and other states in India.
For several centuries, they have rendered a variety of priestly, religious, advisory, and administrative services in Sri Vaishnava temples such as archakas, dharmakartas, dharmacharyas, sattadamudalis, sattinamudalis, kandadai mudaliandans, paravastu swamis, ekangis, dandis, sanyasis, tridandis, jeeyars, purohits, nambis, nambudiri, namboodiri, namboothiri, dasa nambis, bhagavata nambis, vaal-nambi, nambiathiri, vaikhanasa agama acharyas, pancharathra agama acharyas, sattada srivaishnava agama acharyas, tantris, thanthri, ubhaya veda pandits, chatur veda pandits, sanskrit scholars, bhagvad gita acharyas, bhagavata purana reciters and interpreters, svayam acharya, agnihotri, bhagavat, bhagwat, gurus, pandits, religious preachers, sanskrit veda hymn reciters and interpreters, nalayira divya prabhandam hymn reciters and interpreters, harikata vidwans, sangeetha vidwans, vyakyanakaras, writers, playwrights, jyothishis, jois, joshis, shastri, senapatidurandaras, guardians and administrators of temple properties, temple builders, giver of generous gifts to Sri Vaishnavas and Sri Vaishnava temples, owners of flower garlands, ayurveda doctors, and suppliers of flowers such as garlands for worship.
Their names have the honorary suffixes such as Ayya, Iyya, Iah, Ayyavarlu, Ayyangarlu, Iyengars, Iyyengar, Ayyangar, Iyer, Bhagavat, Sharma, Acharya, Swamy, Swami and Swamulavarlu. Some of them are known as “Rayar Ramanuja Dasar”; rayar is a royal title in use during Vijayanagar rule and revealing of the fact that this Sattada’s ancestors were agents of the Vijayanagar kings. Most are disciples of Koil Annan-and Acharya Purusha of Sri Rangam. Some follow the Vaanamaamalai Math and others the Para Vastu Math at Tirupati. The Sanatani-Sattini-Sattadas are Tenkalai Srivaisnava Brahmins. Most have received their initiation (panca-samskara) from the Koyil Annan acarya-lineage of Srirangam; some are disciples of the Vanamamalai Mutt, Nanguneri, and others belong to the Paravastu Mutt, Tirupati.
Their names have the honorary last names or suffix or prefix such as Arya, Ayya, Iah, Iyer, Ayyangar, Ayyavar, Ayyavarlu, acharya, chari, acharyulu, acharyam, jeeyar, jeeyangar, swamy, swami, paravastu, parakala, kandadai, sharma, goswami, Nambudari, Alvar, Bhagavat, Bhagwat, and nambi, . They especially revere the Sankha, the Chakra, the Naamam, Tulasi, Godadevi Andal, Srivilliputtur Vishnuchiita Periyalvar, Mathurakavi Alvar, Kulashekara Alvar, Nammalvar, Paravastu Pattar Piran Govindadasa Bhattacharya, Kandadai Ramanuja Iyengar, Kandadai Annan, Kandadai Ayodhya Ramanuja Iyengar, Sri Rangam Acharya Purusha, Sri Rangam Kandadai Ramanuja Mutt Swami, Vishvaksena, Sattakopaya, Natamuni, Pundarikaksha, Rama Mishra, Yamunacharya, Mahapurna, Pillai Lokacharya, Manavala Mamuni, Vaadhoola Kandadai Anantha Naarayana Dikshit, Kandadai Nachiyaramman, Kandadai Mudaliandan Dasarathi Swami, Sri Ramanuja, Hanuman, Garuda, Brahma, Sarasvati, Maha Lakshmi, Narasimha, Rama, Krishna, and Sriman Narayana. Above all, they honour the Aazhvaars, especially Nammaazhvaar. They recite and use only the Aazhvaar’s hymns for domestic rituals. Most are disciples of Koil Annan-and Acharya Purusha of Sri Rangam. Some of the Sri Vaishnava Maths they follow are Vaanamaamalai Math, Tirumala Tirupati Periya Jeeyar Swami Peetam Mutt, Tirumala Tirupati Chinna Jeeyar Peedam Mutt, Tirumala Tirupati Ekangi Mutt, Tirumala Tirupati Paravastu Math, Sri Rangam Sri Ranga Narayana Jeeyar Mutt, Melukote Yadugiri Yatiraja Mutt, Kanchipuram Brahmadesham Parakala Mutt, Madhuramangalam Emperumanar Jeeyar Mutt, Sri Kandadai Ramanuja Muni Mutt at Sri Rangam, Srivilliputtur Sri Manavalamamunigal Sri Satagopa Ramanuja Jeeyar Andal Mutt, Sringeri Bhagawat Mutt, Sri Swamy Hathiramji Mutt, Sri Kidambi Srinivasachar Adivan Satakopa Ahobila Matam, Sriperumbudur Srimad Embaar Jeeyar Mutt, and Sri Tridandi Sriman Narayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Sithanagaram Mutt.
In a few major temples, certain Sattada Brahmins are regularly honored (receive prasada, etc.) ahead of other brahmins. In a sizable number of major temples, Sattadas receive high honors on special occasions, such as Vaikuntha Ekadasi. Sanatani – Sattini – Sattada Brahmins give full attention to temple service (koyir-kainkariya) and to honor the egalitarian “Bhagavata” theology of Pillai Lokacarya and his commentator, Manavalamamuni. Sattada Srivaisnavism may have arisen during or just after the time of Manavalamamuni (1370-1445), or it may represent the continuation of a very old Bhagavata Satvata Sri Vaisnavism inspiring and inspired by the Alvars, and progressively joined by certain smarta bhagavata brahmins.
Up to 150 years ago, the main temples at Melkote – Yoga Narasimha and Tirunarayana – had Sattada Sri Vaishnava archakas. Paravastu Mutt at Tirumalai-Tirupati, Ekangi Mutt in Tirupati, Parakala Mutt in Kanchipuram, and Kandadai Ramanuja Muni Mutt in Sri Rangam are Sattada Sri Vaishnava mutts. Tirupati Venkatapuram Sattada Srivaisnavas are originally from Tirupati (Venkatapuram) and came to Mysore from Srirangam. From among these families, the Ajjanakattu family used to serve as pujaris at the Yoga Narasimha temple in Melkote and the Modur family performed puja at the Tirunarayana temple in Melkote. The former still reside at Melkote and make their living by practicing ayurvedic medicine and astrology and overseeing the processing of white clay found only at Melkote and especially desired by Srivaisnavas for marking the namam on the body. Tirunarayana temple registers available with Araiyar Rama Sharma, a brahmin in service to the temple, show that Sattada Srivaishnavas, identified at Melkote by the honorific “ayya,” were prominent in service to the Tirunarayana and Yoga Narasimha temples in Melkote throughout the 19th century.
The Srirangam koil Olugu records that this community served in the Srirangam temple at the time of Śrī Ramanujacharyulu. (11th century AD). They were also prominent in Tirupati, Tirumala, Srirangam and Kanchipuram (15th and 16th centuries) under the leaderships of Kandadai Mudaliandaan, Kandadai Andan, Kandadai Ramanujuayyangar, Koil Annan at Srirangam, Kandadai Madhava Ayyangar, Kandadai Ayodhya Iyengar, Azhagiyamanaavala Jeeyar at Kancheepuram Brahmadesham Varadarajaswami temple, Sarvatantra Swatantra Paravastu Pattar Piran Govindadasa Bhattacharya Jeeyar, Brahmatantra Swatantra Paravastu Parakala Viravalli Perarulal-ayyan Swami, Manavanala Mamuni, Pillai Lokacharya, Alakiya Manavala Perumal Nainar Acarya, Periya Tirumalai Nambi, Periya Nambi, Sri Goshti Nambi, Alavandar Alwan, Tirumalai Alwan, Vaduga Nambi, Ramanujacharya, Nathamuni, Manakkal Nambi, Yamuna Muni and Vishnu Chitta Periya Alwar. They were in charge of Ramanuja Kootams and dedicated their lives in feeding the Sri Vaishnava devotees visiting Sri Vaishava temples at Tirupati, Tirumala, Sri Rangam, Sri Rangapattan, Sri Perambaduru, Sri Villiputhur, Melukote, Kancheepuram, Brahmadesham, Kadiri, Ahobilam, Pandharpur, Tiruvananthapuram, Guruvayur, Nathdwara, Puri, Ayodhya, Dwaraka, Vrindavan, Mathura, Varanasi, and other Hindu pilgrimage places in India.
They were in charge of the major Srivaisnava temples of South India, as dharmakartr or srikaryakartr (Tamil srikariyakarttan) and that, in a few of these temples, they served as archakas. There is substantial inscriptional evidence for Sattada prominence at Srirangam, Tirupati-Tirumalai and Kancipuram (Varadarajasvami temple) during the 15th and 16th centuries, under the leadership of one Kandadai Ramanuja Dasar (c. 1430-1496), alias Kandadai Ramanuja Ayyangar or Kandadai Ayodhya Ramanuja Ayyangar. The earliest example is found in a Tirumalai inscription dated 1456, in which it is said that Kandadai Ramanujayyan, the disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar, is the trustee (kartr) of ramanujakutams (feeding houses for pilgrims, in commemoration of Ramanujacharya) constructed by the Vijayanagara ruler Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya at Tirumala and Tirupati. Numerous inscriptions from 1456 to 1495 refer to him as “Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar and manager of the Tirumalai-Tirupati ramanujakutams.” These texts indicate that, as the agent of Saluva Narasimha, he constructed and managed feeding houses at Srirangam and Varadarajasvami temple, Kancipuram, as well as Tirumalai-Tirupati.
In Tirumala, there is a sprawling expansion of 460 acres of ornamental, flower and landscape gardens known as Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, or TTD gardens. These gardens supply 500 kilograms of flowers daily to temples in and around Tirumala. The gardens are also responsible for the beautification of the temples on special occasions.
It is believed that Ramanuja and his disciple Sri Anandalwar paved the way for these gardens in the 14th century. Another legend is that Sattada Sri Vaishnavas cultivated the Tirumala flower gardens under the name of Dasa Nambis.
Kantadai Ramunuja Iyengar was a ” Sattatha Parama Ekaanki” according to the A.D 1489 temple inscription of Srirangam. He built Ramanuja Kutams at Srirangam, Kanchipuram, Thirumalai and other Sri Vaishnava pilgrimage places to feed the pilgrims and to provide shelter during their pilgrimage. He was the religious guru, guide and philosopher of Saluva Narasimha, one of the greatest rulers of the Vijayanagar Kingdom. Later during the reign of Saluva Narasimha, the village of Gundippundi was granted in 1484 A.D. (11.81) in favour of Kandada Ramanuja Ayyangar’s Ramanujakutam to enable to the Sattada Srivaishnavas attached to it to supply every day the parimalam articles or perfumery etc., required for the Tirumanjanam (bathing) of the idols in Tirumalai and ‘in Tirupati.
The five-fold rite of initiation (panca-samskara diksa) authorized by the Panca-ratragamas and undertaken by all Srivaisnavas is the upanayana for Sattadas.(3) Srirangam Sattadas receive initiation from Koyil Annan, a Srirangam acarya belonging to the Kantatai family, which claims descent from Mutaliyantan, a disciple of Ramanuja. This arrangement is recent, however; up to fifteen years ago, Sattada initiations were performed by the head (mathadhipati) of the Kantatai Ramanuja Mutt(4) at Srirangam, which belongs to the Sattada tradition. As we shall see, this mutt was founded by a Sattada disciple of a Kantatai acarya, in the fifteenth century. The head of this mutt, the last one of which was Srinivasa’s uncle, is a renunciate bearing the title Ekangi Swami. According to Srinivasa, the candidate for this office is elected such by other Sattadas and is inducted into samnyasa by the head (titled, jiyar) of the Sriranga Narayana Mutt. The Sattadas of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are commonly known as “Satanis”, a variant of sanatani, sanatana, satanana, sattina and sattada.
Kantatai Ramanuja Ayyangar
There is substantial inscriptional evidence for Sattada prominence at Srirangam, Tirupati-Tirumalai and Kancipuram (Varadarajasvami temple) during the 15th and 16th centuries, under the leadership of one Kantatai Ramanuja Dasar (c. 1430-1496), alias Kantatai Ramanuja Ayyangar(16) or Kantatai Ayodhya Ramanuja Ayyangar (hereafter, KRA). The earliest notice of KRA is in a Tirumalai inscription dated 1456,(17) in which it is said that Kantatai Ramanujayyan, the disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar, is the trustee (kartr) of ramanujakutams (feeding houses for pilgrims, in commemoration of Ramanuja-carya), constructed by the Vijayanagara ruler, Saluva Narasimha, at Tirumalai and Tirupati. Numerous inscriptions, thereafter to 1495, refer to him as “Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar and manager of the Tirumalai-Tirupati ramanujakutams.” These texts indicate that, 1) as the agent of Saluva Narasimha, he constructed and managed feeding houses at Srirangam and Varadarajasvami temple, Kancipuram, as well as Tirumalai-Tirupati;(18) 2) he became quite wealthy, himself financing a number of improvements to the temples;(19) 3) in his later years he exercised considerable power over Tirumalai-Tirupati temple affairs as trustee of the Gold-treasury (porpantaram);(20) 4) he had disciples known as the “Sattada Ekaki Srivaisnavas,” designated to administer the feeding houses and receive benefactions after his demise;(21) and 5) his successors in the office of “Kantatai Ayyangar” held the office of dharmakartr at both Kancipuram and Srirangam, for a time.
KRA himself is not labelled “sattada” in the Tirumalai-Tirupati inscriptions. From the perspective of later Srivaisnavism, one may take the honorific “ayyangar” [aiyankar] to indicate that he was a brahmin. “Brahmin” and “Sattada” are not necessarily contradictory, and even if they are, “ayyangar” doesn’t necessarily indicate “brahmin” in the fifteenth century, especially in light of the Sattada use of the abbreviated form “ayyan.” The Tirumalai Oluku (Tirumalai temple chronicle) describes KRA as a Sattada, and the KRA Mutt at Srirangam is clearly a Sattada institution.
The name “Kantatai” connects KRA to Srirangam, either as a member or as a disciple of the Kantatai family of acaryas established at Srirangam in descendence from Kantatai Mudaliandan, cousin and disciple of Ramanuja. The only possible inscriptional reference to KRA at Srirangam is a 1489 document recognizing a gift for the support of puja and charitable feeding by Kantatai Ayodhya Ramanujayyangar, “… a Tiruvarangam [Srirangam]-Temple Sattada Parama Ekangi….”(22) This Kantatai Ayodhya may be either Tirumalai-Tirupati KRA, under a variant name, or his disciple. The facts that other Ramanujayyangars are specifically designated as disciples and successors to Tirumalai-Tirupati KRA (see below) and that we have clear evidence of the latter’s activity at Srirangam, argue for identity.
The Koyil Oluku (chronicle of the Srirangam temple) says that Kantatai Ramanuja was one Ramaraja by name, elder brother of the Vijayanagara ruler Saluva Narasimha. Ramaraja chose the religious life and, while on pilgrimage, took samnyasa at Ayodhya, where he also obtained several of the Lord Rama’s gold coins and a powerful weapon called the sparga-vedhi (“that which wounds by touch”). Returning to his brother’s palace, he presented the ruler with one of several gold coins and in return was granted the privilege of being honored with the desantari mudra (“visitor’s seal of authority”) at any of the 108 divyadesas of Srivaisnavism. Thereafter, he traveled to Tirumalai, where he offered a coin and his credentials and took charge of all the shrines at that place. Coming to Srirangam in 1489, he offered a coin to Sriranganatha, donned the vestment of an ekangi and became a disciple of Koyil Annan (a Kantatai-lineage acarya) with the dasya-name “Kantatai Ramanuja Dasar.” Exercising his royal grant, he became leader of the Srirangam ekangis, possessor of the Anjaneya (Hanuman) mudra – the most powerful desantari mudra at Srirangam, and thereby became overseer (srikaryakartr)(23) of the entire Sriranganathasvami temple. In the latter capacity he performed numerous major services (kainkarya) of new construction and reparation, such that the Lord (through the priest) titled him “Kulasekhara Perumal.” The chronicle account concludes with the remark that Kantatai Ramanuja’s activities are the reason why, since his time, one of the desantari ekangis has held the title of Kantaitai Ramanuja, has presided over a mutt, has branded visiting ascetics (desantari vairagi) with the desantari mudra and has regularly received a portion of the temple prasadam.(24)
There are, at least, two difficulties with this Koyil Oluku account; indeed, it would appear that the account was conveniently “made up” to explain the 1489 inscription. First, Saluva Narasimha had an elder brother, but his name was Timmaraja and no sources other than the temple chronicle associate him with renunciation or temple service. Second, whether KRA was a member of the Kantatai family or a disciple of Koyil Kantatai Annan, the Tirumalai reference to him as “Kantatai” in 1456 means he must have been at Srirangam much earlier than 1489.
KRA is consistently referred to as a disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar, the latter, by title,(25) a renunciate, and traditionally associated with Manavalamamuni (1370-1445) and the Varadarajasvami temple, Kancipuram. Alakiyamanavala Jiyar is one of the names of Manavalamamuni; but KRA would have been too young to be disciple to Manavalamamuni himself. The Periyatirumuti Ataivu records that Alakiyamanavala was disciple to Paravastu Bhattarpiran Jiyar, the latter himself a disciple of Manavalamamuni.(26) The one reference to Bhattarpiran Jiyar, in a Tirumalai inscription dated 1493, notes favor to “Bhattarpiran Jiyar, the disciple of Bhattarpiran Jiyar.”(27) Inscriptions dated 1514, 1523, and 1535, record favor to one Bhattarpiran-Ayyan, “… a Sattada Ekaki Ekangi Srivaishnava and a disciple of Paravastu Annan.”(28) We note the characteristic Sattada honorific, “ayyan”; the names Bhattarpiran and Paravastu, which associate these persons with Paravastu Bhattarpiran; and the ekangi status of the disciple, strongly suggesting, although not insuring, that the guru, Paravastu Annan, is a renunciate, in charge of a mutt. Given that the disciple of the disciple of Paravastu Bhattar Piran (namely, KRA) was a Sattada, we may reasonably conclude that the entire line was Sattada. The Periyatirumuti Ataivu says that Paravastu Bhattar Piran Jiyar was a vaidika brahmin. However, a 1612 inscription at Srirangam records a gift to support offerings during the recitation of the Tiruvaymoli on a day special to Ramanuja. The gift was given by one Jiyar Ramanuja Jiyar, also known as Ramanuja-dasa, and given in the name of his guru Yatindra-pravanaprabhava Pillai Lokacarya Jiyar, the disciple of Paravastu Nayinar Acarya of Tiruvenkatam (Tirupati).(29) The Srivaisnavasiddhantadipika, written around 1700 by one Vadhula Kantatai Ramanujacarya, argues the case of Sattada Srivaisnavism and the authority of Paravastu Kantopayantrumunindra Jiyar, said to be the seventh head of the Paravastu Mutt, which began with Paravastu Bhattarpiran Jiyar. The text lists the above mentioned Nayinar Acarya as fourth in the line, which placement is consistent with his appearance at Srirangam in 1612.(30)
KRA’s successor at Tirumalai was Kantatai Madhavayyangar:
… Saka year 1442, We, the Sthanattar of Tirumalai have registered this silasasanam in favour of Kandadai Madhavayyangar, the disciple and successor of Kandadai Ramanujayyangar, who was the manager of Ramanujakutams established at Tirumalai and in Tirupati, and the agent of the gold treasury …(31)
K. Madhava also appears in a Srirangam inscription dated 1500, as the disciple of KRA, the dharmakartr of the Srirangam and Tirupati ramanujakutams.(32) K. Madhava is succeeded at Tirumalai-Tirupati by KRA’s son, first mentioned as Kumara Ramanujayyangar and later as Kantatai Ramanujayyangar.(33) A KRA, presumably the son of the original KRA, presented gold coins to Varadarajasvami at Kancipuram, 1530,(34) was entrusted with endowments at Srirangam, 1532, and in 1538 was serving as the overseer of the Varadarajaswami temple, Kancipuram.(35) The latter is the last reference to a KRA at Kancipuram. The final reference to a KRA at Tirumalai-Tirupati – 1534 – is to one Kantatai Ariya Ramanujayyangar, who must have succeeded Kumara Kantatai Ramanujayyangar at this temple.(36)
KRA’s most frequently referenced disciples are called “Sattada Ekaki Srivaisnavas.” Ekaki, literally, “one alone, a solitary person,” is not a term used in present day Srivaisnavism; it occurs as a title for others besides Sattadas and is interpreted by Viraraghavacarya as meaning “person without family who has dedicated his entire life to temple service.”(37) The term may easily be confused with ekangi (Tam. ekanki, a nasalization of ekaki?), which occurs less frequently in the Tirumalai-Tirupati inscriptions, but also in relation to both Sattadas and others. The above mentioned Bhattarpiran-ayyan is, in one text (no. 102, dated 1514), called an ekaki and, in another (no. 156, dated 1523), called ekangi;(38) the Tamil Lexicon defines ekangi: 1) “a class of Vaisnava devotees”; and 2) “a single person, one who has no family”; Winslow’s Tamil-English Dictionary says: 1) “a single person, bachelor (brahmachari)”; and 2) “an ascetic, monk (samnyasi).” Thus, both sources allow the equivalency of ekangi with ekaki. At the same time, the Lexicon’s first and Winslow’s second definition indicate that ekangi has a specialized meaning for some Vaisnavas; indeed, both historical evidence and present day understanding indicate that an ekangi is a renunciate (perhaps not an ascetic or a samnyasi, however) and that the term signifies “one having a single distinguishing mark.”(39) This mark, according to present day ekangis at Tirupati and documents of the Kantatai Ramanuja Mutt tradition, is the wearing of a white loincloth and a saffron upper garment or simply a strip of saffron cloth; the “single mark” is the single piece of saffron cloth,”(40) whereas the samnyasi wears two pieces of saffron (top and bottom).
It is possible that the early ekangis were householder-renunciates; such are mentioned in the traditional biographies as among the disciples of Ramanuja. The Samayacara-curukkum of Vadikesari Venkatacarya, part of a Sattada literature possibly dating from KRA’s time, defines an ekangin as a vanaprastha – he has a wife, wears a saffron upper garment and a white lower garment which he receives as a disciple of a Srivaisnava samnyasin, may or may not wear the thread and top-knot and engages in nothing but service in the temple.(41) There is today a Paravastu Mutt at Tirumalai-Tirupati, claimed by Karnataka and Andhra Sattadas. The mutt is currently without leadership. T. P. Sampath of Tirupati, the son of the last head of the mutt, says that this mutt has been a “grhastha mutt” for some time; his father wore the vestment of an ekangi, was called a “jiyar,” and yet, lived the life of a householder. His son, Tiruvengada Ramanujacarya, is in training at the Sanskrit College, Mysore, preparing to assume leadership of the mutt. There is evidence that the Srivaisnava temple-mutt institution, under the headship of one called jiyar, began with Sattada Srivaisnavas at Tirumalai-Tirupati in the early 14th century; the earliest mutts were essentially flower gardens and were managed by jiyars whose names bear the Sattada honorific ayyan. A 1540 inscription refers to one such jiyar, Yatirajayyan, who is, like KRA, the disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar and the Chief Overseer (periya koyil kelvi) of the Tirumalai temple.(42) If the early ekangis were householder-renunciates, perhaps all Sattadas were such and their ekangi (or, jiyar) status specifically explains the practice of giving up the thread and sikha.
As noted, KRA himself is called “Parama Ekangi.”(43) This latter title allows the possibility that ekangi is a variant or corruption of ekanti – (the written Tamil g and t are very similar in form). It is noteworthy that in lists of Ramanuja’s entourage occurring in two different texts – Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam (6000 Stanza Guru-Lineage Account)(44) and Periyatirumuti Ataivu (Longer Genealogical Lists), the first speaks of “12,000 ekangis” and the second of “12,000 ekantis” (see below). Ekanti(n), “one solely devoted to one object,” and paramaikanti(n), “one supremely devoted to one object,” are titles special to Satvatas/Pancaratrins/ Bhagavatas, in the sense of sole devotion to Vasudeva/ Narayana. The term ekangi may have arisen due to the fact that ekantis came to be distinguished as wearers of one piece of saffron cloth.
KRA, evidently, had householder disciples: perhaps householder-renunciates. A Tirumalai inscription dated 1476(45) stipulates that a portion of prasadam is regularly to go to the Sattada Srivaisnavas who tend certain gardens and who reside in the sixteen houses on Kantatai Ramanujayyangar Street. In addition to providing flowers, KRA’s disciples supplied sandal paste, musk, camphor, turmeric paste, areca nut and betel leaves, etc., for temple worship.(46) They also participated in the recitation of songs of the Alvars at the shrine of Ramanuja, a practice evidently introduced at Tirumalai by KRA. The 1476 inscription noted above also remarks that a share of prasadam is to go to ” . . . the Sattina Srivaisnavas and the Sattada Srivaisnavas who chant the Prabandhas of the Alvars in the shrine of Udaiyavar [Ramanuja].”(47). Sattina and Sattada designate two types of Sri Vaishnava Brahmins.
Other Evidences of Sattadas
To my knowledge the earliest inscriptional reference to Sattadas, by this name, is in a Tirupati edict of 1442 ” . . . in favour of Karunakaradasar, one of the Sattada Srivaisnavas of Tirupati.”(48) The edict records a sizable donation by the dasar, the interest on which is to underwrite puja-offerings, in perpetuity – ” . . . as long as the moon and sun endure.” This record indicates that Sattada Srivaisnavas exist at least somewhat before KRA’s coming to prominence. As well as the several Sattada jiyars mentioned between 1520 and 1545, there is mention in a 1536 inscription of one Alakiyamanavalayyan, ” . .
. of the Kausika gotra, Apastamba sutra and Yajus sakha and a disciple of Alakiyamanavala Jiyar,”(49) clearly a brahmin Sattada. Beyond the time of KRA and his successors, a Srirangam inscription of 1636(50) records a gift from one Emaluranar, ” . . .a temple-sattada Vaisnava (tiruppati sattata vaisnava). . . . ” Again, at Srirangam, in 1665, there is a record of the gift of one Muddirai-Raman, son of Alakiyasinkar, a Sattada Vaisnava of the Srivatsa gotra.(51) The reference to the Srivatsa gotra appears to give us a clear reference to a brahmin Sattada. If so, it is all the more remarkable that both inscriptions refer only to “Vaisnava” rather than “Srivaisnava.” Both the Koyil Oluku and the Periyatirumuti Ataivu appear to refer consistently to Sattadas as merely “Vaisnava.” The Srirangam temple chronicle, Koyil Oluku, mentions Sattadas with reference to the activities of Ramanuja (1017-1137). The chronicle, as it stands, was likely composed only in the 18th century; but the text is based on much older records, one of which, the Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam, may date from the early 13th century.(52) Even so, it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish clearly what is early and what is late; much of what is said about the early period may be a projection back from a later time.
The chronicle lists and describes the duties of: 1) ten classes of Srivaisnava servants, 2) the Ekangis, 3) the Sattadamudalis, 4) the Vettirapanis and 5) ten classes of low-caste servants – which five groupings, according to the chronicle, constituted those serving the Srirangam temple as organized by Ramanuja. The briefer and probably older of two Koyil Oluku texts(53) does not clearly distinguish brahmin and non-brahmin among these servants. The more elaborate description of servants’ duties in the longer text(54) specifies that the ten groups of Srivaisnava servants and the Vettirapanis were brahmin and the ten groups of low-caste servants were sudra. We note that it is only this brahmin category that is referred to as “Srivaisnava,” and this seems to be consistent throughout the chronicle. In describing a ritual important to the duties of the chief overseer, the longer text says:
Then tirtham and satakopan would be offered to all the Jiyars, the Srivaisnavas, the Ekangis, the Sattadamudalis and others. Before the days of Udayavar these were addressed merely as “Srivaisnavas.”(55)
The text, here, abruptly goes on to another subject. Does this mean that it was Ramanuja (Udayavar) who introduced exclusivism into Srivaisnavism, distinguishing the smarta brahmins as the “true” Srivaisnavas?
The Ekangis and the Sattadamudalis of the chronicle are not associated with any caste. “Mudali” is an honorific meaning “head” or “chief,” or alternatively, “honored,” “distinguished.” In the first sense the title probably indicates that there were other Sattadas. The translator, Hari Rao, calls all non-brahmins “sattada,” but there is no warrant for this in the text. In the second sense, the title may indicate that Sattadas are unusually respected persons, either because they are non-brahmins, yet quite distinguished, or because they are a special kind of brahmin. Clearly, the Sattadamudalis are distinct from either the brahmin or the sudra groups. They may be a special category of brahmin or distinguished non-brahmins, yet not sudras. The Oluku labels them “outsiders, foreigners” (desantari) – presumably, “those not native to Srirangam.” Four of the Ekangis are also called desantari.(56) (Where are these “outsiders” from? Are they from Tirupati, having come to Srirangam with Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, their existence in Ramanuja’s time being a projection back from what prevailed later?)
According to the chronicle, the Sattadamudalis have the “permanent” duties of decorating the mandapams with flowers, making and offering garlands, arranging for the start of the procession of the Alvars, following behind the Prabandham reciters, reciting the last two lines of each stanza, “bearing the Ramanujan sword and acting as the bodyguard of the Jiyars and the Srivaisnavas.”(57) They are also mentioned as carrying the images of the Alvars in procession when the latter are honored on their birthdays.(58) Among the Srivaisnava groups (presumably, brahmins) are the Dasanambis, whose duties include planting and tending flower gardens, making garlands, decorating the palanquin for procession and carrying torches, one ” . . . a huge torch, the dasari pandam . . . “(59) They are also known as “Pundarika-dasas,” the name for a community of flower-provisioners to which Tondaradipodi Alvar belonged.(60) The Vettirapanis, “mace-holders” (also brahmin), go before the procession, keeping order with gold and silver rods and canes, organizing the Srivaisnavas ” . . . according to their qualifications to receive the prasadams . . .,” commanding silence before the beginning of Prabandham recitation and “reciting panegyrics.”(61) The activities of present day Sattadas at divyadesa temples incorporate the key elements of activities ascribed to the three of these early groups, combined; and, we remind ourselves that the Sattadas today are alternatively called “Dasanambis.” Does this mean that, over time, certain brahmins became non-brahmins or that the ancient Sattadas (here, the Sattadamudalis) were indeed a special class of brahmins?
The Arayirappati Guruparamparaprapavam lists Sattadamudalis along with twenty other Mudalis. All but four have “Dasar” names and “Dasar” appears only with respect to Mudalis in the list of 179 disciples.(62) The Tamil Lexicon and Thurston’s Castes and Tribes . . .(63) indicate that the other Mudalis are sub-divisions of the Velalas, considered to be either sudra or vaisya. We then note two points: that Sattadas characteristically, but not exclusively, use the “Dasar” name and others who anciently used this title were certain sub-groups of the Velala. If all these “Mudalis” are Velala, what makes them “Mudali” and why are some Velala singled out as “those who do not wear . . .?”
Summing up Ramanuja’s following, the 6000 says:
. . . seven hundred adherents of the highest asrama (uttama-aciramikal), seventy-four acarya-purusas firm on lion-thrones, innumerable Sattina- and Sattada-(64) mudalis, and three hundred female ascetics (korriyammai).(65)
It is possible that sattina and sattada here identify all of the brahmin and non-brahmin male devotees who are completely dedicated to temple service and are not samnyasis or acaryas; or, the terms signify two types of brahmins.
Some of the names in the 6000’s list of Sattadamudalis are of interest: Sri Kulasekhara Perumal, Bhattar Piran Dasar [Pattar Piran Tacar], Pakaivillidasar, Srivilliputturdasar, Sri Narayana Dasar, Sri Govardhan-adasar, Tiruvalutivalanadudasar, Sri Ramanuja Dasar, Pillai Urangavilli Dasar, Vantar, Cuntar and Ramanuja Velaikkrar.(66) Kulasekhara Perumal and Bhattar Piran call to mind Alvars, the latter being a title for Periyalvar, who tended flowers. Pillai Urangavilli Dasar was guardian of the treasury and belonged to a caste of wrestlers; Ramanuja used to lean on him returning from the bath. Although he is not in the list, the 6000 speaks of Tirukacchi Nambi (Kancipurna) as a sattadavar.(67) According to the biography, Ramanuja sought initiation with Tirukacchi, a sudra (? the text here actually says “non-vaidika”) devotee of Lord Varadaraja of Kancipuram, and failing in that, invited Tirukacchi to eat at his home so that he (Ramanuja) might partake of the grace of his leavings.
The Periyatirumuti Ataivu (16th century) may shed some light on the above issues. It sums up Ramanuja’s entourage as:
12,000 ekantis . . . 74 acarya-purusas, 700 jiyars, a multitude of Sattinas and Sattadas, and innumerable Sattinamudalis and Sattadamudalis, Tirunamadharis led by Pillai Urankavilli Dasar, and Tirunamadhari women led by Ponnacchiyar.(68)
We notice: 1) “12,000 ekantis” rather than the “12,000 ekangis” of the Koyil Oluku and 6000 Guruparamparam; 2) both Sattina/Sattada and Sattinamudali/Sattadamudali, whereas in the inscriptions, chronicles and biographies it has been one or the other only; 3) Pillai Urankavilli Dasar, whom all sources consider sudra and who is listed in the 6000 as a Sattadamudali, is here leader of a new category: “those who wear the Vaisnava forehead mark (namam).” There is no mention of brahmins, except we take Sattinamudali and Sattina as such; then, Sattadas are either other brahmins or “pure” sudras, as distinct from the other sudras, i.e., the Tirunamadharis. In the list of names that follows this general statement, the category “Srivaisnavas, led by Kottaiyammaraiyankar” is followed by the category “Sattada Vaisnava,” inclusive of several “dasars” as found in the 6000 list of Sattadamudalis; then, come the Tirunamadharis led by Pillai Urankavilli Dasar and finally the female Tirunamadharis led by Urankavilli’s wife. This arrangement appears to say that Sattinamudali and Sattina equals Srivaisnava, Sattadamudali and Sattada are just Vaisnava, not Srivaisnava, and “Tiruna-madhari,” while related to Visnu, is neither “Vaisnava” nor “Srivaisnava.” As we shall see below, Sattada literature offers two hierarchies of Srivaisnavas: one says that the Sattadas are brahmin, the Kulasekharas are ksatriya, the Trivarnikas are vaisyas and the Namadharis are sudra. The other says that all are Sattada; brahmin Sattadas are called Sattadamudali, ksatriya Sattadas are called Kulasekharas, etc.(69)
In the light of contemporary understanding and historical evidence we can reasonably assume that inscriptional reference to persons bearing the honorific ayya is reference to Sattadas or those who come to be known as Sattadas. It is possible that dasanambi and dasar are always references to Sattadas or those who come to be known as such; the latter (dasar) certainly is a title never used publicly by Srivaisnava brahmins, consistently used by Sattadas, and possibly also by non-sattada sudras and pancamas. In the Koyil Oluku, certain “Dasar” names occur in two other categories of brahmin servants – Tirupparkadal Dasar, among the Tiruppatiyar (the group from whom the chief overseer is chosen), and Tiruttalvarai Dasar, Tirukkurugur Dasar, Nalukavipperumal Dasar, Satakopa Dasar, Tirukkalikanri Dasar and Ramanuja Dasar, among the Tiruppani-saivar (a particular type of arcaka). Are these personages, in fact, Sattadas?
According to the Periyatirumuti Ataivu, Nathamuni, the disciple of Parankusa Dasa, had “dasar” disciples: Pillai Karunakara Dasar and Nambi Karunakara Dasar.(70) Among Yamuna’s disciples were: Tirukatci Nampi alias Gajendra Dasar, Tirukkurukur Dasar, Govinda Dasar, Nathamuni Dasar and Periya Nambi alias Parankusa Dasar.(71) Nampillai (the guru of Pillai Lokacarya) is known as Tirukkalikanri Dasar; Pillai Lokacarya had several “dasar” disciples, one of whom – Kollikavali Dasar – was the father of Manavalamamuni’s mother.(72)
Possibly relevant inscriptional references to dasar, dasanambi, and ayya include a Srirangam text of 1316, recording the sale of garden plots to certain brahmin arcakas (pattan/bhattan) by Srivaikuntha Dasan, Koyilponmeynda Perumal Dasan, Van Satakopa Dasan (or Tam. Tatan), Piraguvali Alagiya Perumal Dasan and Anukkavilli Dasan, all of whom are dasanambis at Srirangam (tiruvarankam tiruppati).(73) A 1557 Srirangam inscription records a gift of land by Ekangi Narasingayya.(74)
In a 1359 Kancipuram (Varadarajasvami temple) inscription we find reference to one Perumal Tadan, who is the supervisor of the temple and upon whose representation the Lord has granted to the Vaisnavadasa, hereafter known as Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar, a mutt (matha, matam), land-endowment, library, right to conduct worship, etc., so that he may propagate the “Ramanuja-darsana.”(75) Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar is considered to be the founder of the Parakala Mutt jiyar-lineage. The inscription may indicate that the jiyar as well as the supervisor are Sattadas. According to the Guruparamparaprabhavam (3000) written by the third Brahmatantrasvatantra Jiyar (15th century) the original name of the first jiyar was Viravalli Perarulal-ayyan; he belonged to the Kaundinya gotra and was a disciple of Vedanta Desika.(76) This could mean that Brahmatantrasvatantra was a brahmin Sattada. In later times the jiyars of Parakala Mutt are clearly Vatakalai brahmins.
At Melkote (the Tirunarayana temple) there is mention of Govinda Dasa, Srirama Dasa and Sriranga Dasa, Srivaisnavas who received a grant of a village from the local ruler in 1310.77 Here too, in inscriptions of 1504, 1521, 1610 and 1640, we find reference to several “ayyas,” one of whom is the junior manager of the Tirunarayana temple, another, the minister of Krsnadevaraya, the Vijayanagar ruler; yet another is the chief of Mysore.(78) Two fifteenth-century Melkote inscription S79 are interesting for a different reason. They refer to “supreme vaidika (Vedic) Srivaisnava brahmins (paramavaidikasrivaisnavabrahmana);” evidently emphasizing either that Srivaisnava brahmins are Vedic or that some Srivaisnava brahmins (others [Sattadas?] are not).
The earliest record I have found that can be construed in relation to Sattada Srivaisnavism is an inscription of 1276, at the Saumyanatha temple (Mysore area), recording an agreement between the local ruling body and one Ulakamunton Tacar [Dasar], a member of the Srivais nava assembly (variyam). The dasar is granted use of a garden from which he is to supply flower garlands to the temple.(80) For the same year, there is record of a similar arrangement with Ulakamunton Tacar and Kecavapperumalpillai Cokkan Dasar. The garden they are to establish and cultivate is to be called “the Ramanuja temple garden (tirunantanavanam).”(81) In a 1293 inscription at the same temple, there is mention of “dasanambis,” who are to supply flower garlands and vegetables to the temple daily.(82)
The “hard,” i.e., inscriptional, evidence indicates an origin for Sattada Srivaishnavism at Tirupati in the fifteenth century, under the leadership of Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, who enjoyed the patronage of Vijayanagar rulers and whose activities had a significant impact on religious life at Srirangam and Kancipuram as well as Tirupati. KRA was energetic in establishing and enhancing at Tirumalai-Tirupati regular and special pujas for the Alvars and recitation of the songs of the Alvars within the temple, the latter performed by Sattina Sri Vaishnava Brahmins and Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmins together. Recognition of the Alvars and the Prabandham in the temple was based not only on the fact that certain of the Alvars sang about the Lord of Tirupati-Tirumalai but also the belief that the songs of Nam-malvar constitute the Tamil Veda, as argued by Pillai Lokacarya and his brother, Alakiya Manavala Perumal Nainar Acarya and commented upon by Manavalamamuni. Pillai Lokacarya also argued that, as Bhagavatas, on equal footing with the Lord by reason of their saranagati. Manavalamamuni was instrumental in developments at Srirangam, Kancipuram and Tirumalai-Tirupati; Kantatai Ramanujayyangar, we recall, was a disciple of a disciple of Manavalamamuni.
Thus, Sattada Srivaisnava Brahmanism or Sri Sanatani-Sattina-Sattada Sri Vaishnava Brahmanism can be seen as a logical result of the theology of Periya Acharya Vishnu Chittar Alwar, Andal Godadevi Alwar, Nathamuni, Yamunamuni, Pillai Lokacarya, Kandadai Ramanuja Iyengar, Kandadai Ramanuja Muni, Manavala Mahamuni, Ramanuja Acharyulu, Kandadai Dasarati Mudali Andan, Brahmatantra Swatantra Paravastu Parakala Viravalli Perarulal-ayyan Swami and Tirumala Tirupati Paravastu Pattar Piran Govindadasar Appan Bhattacharya Swami.
Adiyen (ElayaAlwar) Srinivasa (DhoddayAcharyar) Dasan.