songs in Tamil were collectively named
Vaishnava Acharyas or Teachers
The wave of Vishnubhakti of the Alvars was supplemented on its doctrinal
side by a class of Vaishnava teachers, popularly known as the Vaishnava
Acharyas in south India. Ramanuja, one of the early great Acharyas, along
with Yamunacharya (another important early Acharya) developed the
doctrine of Visishtadvaita (qualified non-dualism) on the basis of some
Upanishadic texts in opposition to Sankaracharya’s Advaitavada or non-
dualism (Sankara does not belong to either Vaishnavism or Saivism but to the
nirguna school). Two other Vaishnava Acharyas of south India, who lived
after Ramanuja, were Madhvacharya and Nimbarka. The former founded the
Dvaitavada (dualism) and the latter Dvaitadvaitavada (dualistic non-dualism)
in Vaishnavism.
    Thus, while the Alvars represented the emotional side of south Indian
Vaishnavism, the Acharyas represented its intellectual aspect.
Origin and Growth
Saivism, unlike Vaishnavism, had its origin in the very ancient past. The pre-
Vedic religion (i.e. Indus religion) has, as one of its important components
the worship of Pasupati Mahadeva, a deity conveniently described as proto-
Siva. In the Vedic religion, particularly the later Vedic religion, Rudra can be
considered as the Vedic counterpart of Pasupati Mahadeva.
    However, it is the grammarians of the post-Vedic period who give us an
idea about the growth of Saivism as a religious movement. Panini, for
instance, refers to a group of Siva worshippers of his time. Patanjali also
describes a group of Siva-worshippers named by him as Siva Bhagavatas in
his Mahabhasya (second century BE). Patanjali refers indirectly and briefly to
the forceful and outlandish ritualism of these worshippers of Siva. This
reminds us of the extreme religious practices of the Pasupatas described in
the Pasupata Sutras.
    Saivism, thus, came to the fore in post Upanishadic times, when Siva is
identified with the terrifying Vedic god Rudra. The word Siva means
‘auspicious’. Siva’s many names      attributes and epithets indicate his diverse