Pancharatra Agama

  • Temples like Srirangam and the Varadaraja temple in Kanchi are governed by the Pancharatra agama.
  • Ratra denotes ajnana, and pancha denotes that which destroys ajnana.
  • Lord Narayana has five forms — Para, vyuha, vibhava, antaryami and archa — and hence the name Pancharatra.
  • Ratra also means jnana (knowledge).
  • Jnana is of five types, and this is called artha panchakam.
  • Ahirbuddhnya Samhitasays the qualities of the five forms of Vishnu are described in the Pancharatra agamas, and that is why they are so called.
  • The Divya Prabandham abounds in pasurams, where Vishnu is referred to as koothan (dancer).
  • The Pancharatra Agamas make it clear that dance is an important part of worship in Vishnu temples.

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