A Tale of Two Cities: THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE "UBAYA-VEDANTINS" An outline of the History of Sri Vaishnavas of Tamil Nadu that was never (Paperback)
This book is an outline of history ... and not a comprehensive history of the Sri Vaishnava community of Tamil Nadu, India. It spans a period of 1000 years - from the 11th century CE to the present day.
The historical narrative is woven around a "tale of two cities" i.e. Sri Rangam and Kanchipuram, the two towns in South India from where a titanic struggle for ownership, power, legitimacy and control over not only temples but also the Sri Vaishnava identity was waged for over seven centuries by two major sects, the Tenkalais and Vadakalais. The struggle continues to this day, having been dragged deeply into and increasingly embroiled in the larger issues and dynamics of the socio-politics of the Tamil State i.e. language, ethnology, demography and culture. The "tale of two cities" is a historical narrative about loss of religious legacy, the debility of cultural identity and decline of wealth arising from social alienation...
It is a tale of human frailties too.... of ambition, greed, deceit, envy, malice and betrayal.
This book of History is the third in a trilogy authored by M.K.Sudarshan: the first book "Unusual Essays of an Unknown Sri Vaishnava" (2016-17) dealt with the religious Literature of the Sri Vaishnava community while the second book, "The Nondescript God: Abstraction or Paragon?" (2022) was a brief treatise on the theological Metaphysics of Visishtadvaita, the central philosophy on which the community's faith stands rooted. The three books read together do present a panoramic view indeed of the profile of the modern Sri Vaishnava