The Vaikhanasas are a small endogamous community of Sri Vaishnava Krishna Yajurveda Brahmins of South India.
Their spirituality involves idol worship of Vishnu, Vedic rituals, and bhakti.
The Vaikhanasas consider this approach even superior to Brahma vidya.
Vedic rituals such as homas, idol worship, and devotion have prominent positions in the Vaikhanasa system.
Vaikhanasa is an integration of the Vedic and Agamic systems.
The worship at Tirupati Sri Venkateswara Temple is done as per Vaikhanasa Agama.
The Vedic aspect of Lord Vishnu manifested as Sage Vikhanas.
The principles and secrets of the Vedas were taught to Vikhanas by the Lord himself in the form of the Vaikhanasa Kalpa Sutra.
They were originally one and a half crores of granthas in number.
A grantha means 32 letters in Anushtup meter.
Vikhanas taught them to Sages Bhrigu, Marichi, Atri, and Kashyapa.
From these, Bhrigu compiled Adhikaras, Marichi compiled Samhitas, Atri compiled Tantras, and Kashyapa compiled Kandas adding up to a total of four lacs of granthas.
Vaikhanasa - Bhagavacchastra also known as Vaikhanasa Agama developed from these.
The major difference between Vaikhanasa Kalpasutra and Vaikhanasa Agama is in the prominence given to Vedic Yajnas.
Kalpasutra was written at a time when elaborate Vedic yajnas following Shrauta Sutras were very much prevalent.
In the Agama, less importance is given to elaborate yajnas.
They have been replaced by rituals as per Grihya Sutras.
The Pancha Mahayajnas to be practiced by every householder on a daily basis took the place of the elaborate yajnas.
As mentioned above, the Vaikhanasa texts are of four types: Adhikaras, Samhitas, Tantras, and Kandas.
Glory of Venkatesha
Story of Sri Yantra