The first successful Vaishnava reaction against Sankara's reconstructed creed was led by Ramanuja, a southern Brahman of the 12th century.
The Ramanuja Brahmans are most punctilious in the preparation of their food and in regard to the privacy of their meals, before taking which they have to bathe and put on woollen or silk garments.
Whilst Sankara's mendicant followers were prohibited to touch fire and had to subsist entirely on the charity of Brahman householders, Ramanuja, on the contrary, not only allowed his followers to use fire, but strictly forbade their eating any food cooked, or even seen, by a stranger.
On the speculative side, Ramanuja also met Sankara's strictly monistic theory by another recognizing Vishnu as identical with Brahma as the Supreme Spirit animating the material world as well as the individual souls which have become estranged from God through unbelief, and can only attain again conscious union with him through devotion or love (bhakti).
The followers of Ramanuja have split into two sects, a northern one, recognizing the Vedas as their chief authority, and a southern one, basing their tenets on the Nalayir, a Tamil work of the Upanishad order.
1199, was less intolerant of the Linga cult than Ramanuja, but seems rather to have aimed at a reconciliation of the Saiva and Vaishnava forms of worship. The Madhvas or Madhvacharis favour Krishna and his consort as their special objects of adoration, whilst images of Siva, Parvati, and their son Ganesa are, however, likewise admitted and worshipped in some of their temples, the most important of which is at Udipi in South Kanara, with eight monasteries connected with it.
Tulsi's doctrine is derived from Ramanuja through Ramanand.