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Early history of Vaishnavism in South India by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar first published in 1920.
THE following lectures, presented to the public as the fourth course of Madras University Special Lectures in the Department of Indian History and Archaeology, formed the subject on which I intended to send a paper to the International Congress of Orientalists, which was to have been held at Oxford but for the outbreak of the War. It was suggested as worth doing as the result of a discussion on the subject which I had with Sir George Grierson, who at the time was interesting himself in the subject. He wanted more of Vaishnava literature should be made known to the European public and suggested the translation of Yatindramatadipika, a manual of Vaishnavism, and the Arthapanchaka of Pillai Lokacharya. The translation work has been done since, by my friend Mr. A. Govindacharya of Mysore; and the historical part of the subject was awaiting study for various reasons, among which other occupation was the principal contributory. The timely appearance of Sir R. G. Bhandarkar’s treatise on “ Vaishnavism, Saivism, and Minor Religions ” made the taking up of the subject more urgently necessary. In a review of the work in the Journal of the Mythic Society, Bangalore, I indicated that I would work up the subject so as to bring to bear upon the question all the light that may be got from sources recently made available.