The Vaikhanasa communities are traditional priests in Vaishnava temples who follow the Vaikhanasa Agama. Agamas are the Sastras, which govern the worship rituals in temples. The Vaikhanasa Agama is also called as Bhagavat-Shastra by the Vaikhanasa. The Vaikhanasa Agama is said to be the oldest of all Agamas, and the Vaikhanasa community is also said to be the oldest living community of temple priests. Most of them are found in Tamil Nadu and the adjoining areas of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The famous Venkateshwara temple at Tirupati is run according to Vaikhanasa Agama, by the Vaikhanasa community.

The Patasala was started in 2012 with 20 students and currently has 80 pupils and pursues a vision of creating priests with deep learning to serve the present generation and 108 Divyadesams. Students attend regular school leading to CBSE examinations besides learning Vaikhanasa Aagamam and Sanskrit in the Patasala. Students are trained and molded with the Vaikhanasam of our country, culture, moral values and ancient sastras. A temple in Avadi has been adopted for providing practical training and on-hands experience for students. Periodic exams are conducted by examiners from Tirupati and students are taken on tours to different Vaikhanasa temples to practise what they have learnt.

Pursuing Priesthood

To become a preist is no longer a heriditary previlage. One has to earn by completing the course on Vaikhanasa agama sastra successfully by consciously choose to undergo hard training and commitment to uphold the heritage. A priest at the Vaikashana agama temple must be born the son of a Vaikhanasa Archakar, a priest who is himself fully trained in the Vaikhanasa Agama. Tiny 2400 Families Practising Vaikhanasa Agama are living in TamilNadu, Andhra and karnataka.

With a vision of Protecting Vaikhanasa Agama, the reserved Sankaracharyas of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam have initiated Sri Vaikhanasa Agama Patasala under the Adi Sankara Research and Cultural Training Trust. The patasala is embedded in mainstream education system which involves equal contribution of academic and extra-curricular activities(sports, debates, group activities and other cultural activities) to have a contemporary educational background at FREE OF COST with Gurukulam model