Saturday, June 30, 2018

Perinkulam agraharam

Perinkulam agraharam

Compiled by

(Our face book friend Sri Shivam Perinkulam has written two very pretty and detailed essays on his village and put it in his blog. Those interested may please refer…/perinkulam-a-pond-a-vi…/ ,…/perinkulam-story-conti…/ )

Perikulam is a prosperous agraharam which is 25 km from Palakkad .It means “big pond” There are three branches of the village viz Thekke gramam , Padinjare Gramam and Kariot gramam .Originally about 200 Brahmin houses were there in the village ,
There is a story of how the village came in to existence . It seems Some Brahmin merchants selling cloth came to kerala. (Mid way some of them went to Thirupathi ).When they reached the present spot known at that time as Vizhimalai , the land lords there gave some land to these tamil Brahmins to settle down there. They called it Perum Kulam(Big pond) . The people who went to Thirupathi also returned and joined with them and settled down there, They had brought with them idols of Varadaraja swamy and Mahalakshmi ,All of them together built a temple for both gods together , But after some time there was quarrel between them and they took away Mahalakshmi from the varadaraja swami’s temple and constructed a separate Lakshmi temple and they constructed a separate Agraharam near that temple which was called Kariot agrahara.,
One Bhaskara Pattar in the olden times went to Kasi by walk and while coming back brought a Siva lingam and Visalakshi Amman statue.A separate Shiva temple was built which also houses Bala Ganapathi , Bhagwathi , and Naga Prathishta .Later a Lord Sastha temple was built behind the Shiva temple.
Apart from the original inhabitants , it seems some Brahmins near Trichur came and settled down in Perinkulam. They built their own street called Thekke Gramam and consecrated a Navaneetha Krishna temple there .It seems when they were about to build a temple , one of them had a dream to go to Varikkasserry Mana and bring the Navaneetha Krishna idol from there . The mana people also had a similar dream and thus Lord Navaneetha Krishnan came to Perinkulam.
There is also a Mariyamman temple in the village called Pavadi Mariamman temple.
Four ponds have been dug by iyers in the village viz., Suryappa pattar kolam, Annakutty kolam, Anandan Kolam and Chitri Kolam.
Miracles which had happened in Varadaraja temple
It seems from ancient times the pooja of this temple was done by one Namboothiri .Once after all poojas were over when he was returning home along with prasadam and lamp , it seems it started raining and the lamp he was carrying was put out. He Orayed God Varadaraja and Tamil Brahmin friend of his called Rama Pattar appeared before him with a chootu (made of coconut sheaths) ,Rama Pattar took the Nambudiri to his home and when Nambudiri invited Rama Pattar inside he simply vanished for he was lord Varadaraja himself.
There is also a story that when the people were not able to do Rathothsavam due to heavy rain, they approached a great astrologer cum Devi Upasaka called Ari Raghava SAstrigal . The satrigal took his golden THulasi mala and kept it on a plank and assured villagers that rain would stop and it did. After the festival rain again started and sastigal presented the mala to God Varadaraja,
It seems one Lady called Bommi used to decorate the chariots . During one particular year the villagers did not have money to give her to make arrangements and they gave one necklace of the Lord to her.She also did ot have money and pawned it with a pawn broker. That night the pawn broker saw a divine light surrounding the box where the necklace was kept,The pawn broker returned back the necklace and said he did not want the money back. Bommi was carrying out the decoration for several years
The poojas in the temples are performed by Iyers but the Kurukkal visits the temples for performing poojas during the annual festival. Though the temples had separate festivals during the past, now all of them celebrate the Ratholsavam during Masi Magam in a very grand scale.
Among the prominent people of the village are Sri P.R.Subramanya Iyer, prominent advocate, Industrialists Ramadas and Balakrishnan who ran the company Rambal limited manufacturing fasteners, Sri P.N.Ganesan who took part in the freedom struggle, Sri Viswanatha iyer who ran a modern dairy in the village and Dr. P.V.Rajappan the agricultural scientist who worked among tribals of Tamil Nadu.

Sankethi Brahmins of Karnataka

Sankethi Brahmins of Karnataka 

Compiled by

(I have few SAnkethi Brahmin friends and all my knowledge about them is only by reading .Most of Whatever I have written has been taken from )
Sankethi Brahmins are a small but very significant smarta Brahmins community (most probably Vadama) originally from Tirunelveli district. The Kannada-English Dictionary of Dr. Kittel defines the term Sankethi as "a sect of Smartha Brahman in Mysore (state) speaking a corrupt form of Tamil." They migrated from Tirunelveli to various parts of Kerala and Karnataka around 800 years ago. The Sanketi Brahmins are well educated and well employed and they make their presence felt all over the world today. By occupation they were all farmers cultivating palmnut, coconut, banana and betel leaf; by manual labor; carrying their produce by head loads to the weekly market (Santhe); living a precarious life with hardihood and courage. As late as half a century ago, in living memory, they cured their palmnut (very hard labor that is!) by participation of the whole family, or families; they stitched yellow (ripe and dry) banana leaf which had a wide market. Their homes were tile-roofed, cowdung-paved, enclosed by mud walls, with attachments for cattle; and with large back yards for manure, for growing flower or vegetables. AS of now they are a very forward intellectual community spread all over the world , who are greatly interested in Vedic learning .They still have their roots in Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Trivandrum districts and Mysore districts in Karnataka.
It seems in Tirunelveli one saintly and scholarly lady called Nacharamma cursed the whole town of local Brahmins and told them that if they leave their native place the curse would not affect them. Most of the families (some say 1000 families ) left the village and who ever remained there perished. It seems that village was called Shapathur (The town of curse) later.
It is believed that they first migrated to Trivandrum , then Trichur and finally reached Karnataka .Since they became a group(Sangha) which migrated together possibly they called them selves as Sangethi. Since the Malayalis in Trichur had a suspicion(Sankha) about them , possibly when they were in trichur their name might have changed in to Sankhethi ,. There is also a theory that since they came from Shenkotha , they called themselves SAnkethi. It is believed that from Trichur they travelled to Karnataka via South Canara and Coorg. After entering Karnataka, they pre dominantly settled in Kaushika near Hassan and Bettadhapura near Mysore.Though there are sankethis who live in Tamil Nadu , they do not have much contact with the Sankethis of Karnataka.It is interesting to note that all the people of a Pre dominantly Sankethi village called Mathur in Karnataka speak in Sanskrit ( )
Sankethis when conversing among themselves speak in a dialect called SAnkethi, which is a mixture of Tamil,Kannada and Malayalam.( You can get more info on their dialect in )
“Settled for good in Mysore province, they never looked back to Tamil Nadu. They severed all contact; they retained not even a memory of their origin. Their Tamil assimilated more and more Kannada till at last it became more Kannada than Tamil. They forgot the Tamil script; they mastered Kannada classics like Naranappa's Bharatha Katha Manjari or Lakshmisha's Jaimini Bharatha and recited them in classical tunes of Karnatic music. They retained their taste for music; and to this day, apart from professional levels to which many have risen, the singing of shlokas by armatures can become a treat in itself at their dinner parties. Hard working men as they were, they evidenced a zest for elaborate dinners and were competitive eaters - to the delectation and jeers of other castes. They made it a custom of honoring Avadhanis (i.e., methodical reciters of an entire Veda) and Shastris (i.e., scholars in Sanskrit literature) and scholars of classical music at functions like weddings. The nomenclature of Avadhani or Shastry was not to be assumed as a name or surname, but to be obtained as a degree awarded by senior scholars at a gathering after a brief test. Sankethis were never impelled to venture beyond their 'Sequestered way of life' which consisted in classical scholarship, (religious) orthodoxy and agriculture”
Sankethis are attached to the Sringeri Mutt .It seems once when the Sringeri Mutt wanted a competent Pandit to teach the young Swamiji of that Samasthanam in those early days, the choice fell upon one Vidyanipuna Ramasastry of the Sanketi community. When at the close of the course of study he was asked what he would desire to have as fee for teaching, he asked for exemption of his community from the customary fees payable by the disciples. This privilege is enjoyed by the Sanketi community even today.They believe That Ramayyan Dalavai , the great minister of the Travancore king Marthanda Varma, who advised him to give his kingdom to God Padmanabha was a Sankethi.
- Vidwan Subbaraya Sastry who was later known as Advaitha Ananda , Markandeya Avadhani , SSri .H.R.Kesavamurthy , Mathur Krishnamurthy, Nanda Kumar, Sathyanarayan Shasthry staffing the Bharatheeya Vidya Bhavan in London; M.R. Narasimha Murthy, on the staff of Indian Institute of Science, recipient of Bhatnagar award; scores of professionals spread over India; and Mr. M.R. Balakrishna, H.S. Ramaswamy and a score of others working abroad are but a few of the Sanketjhi greats .

When the schools reopened fifty years back

When the  schools  reopened  fifty  years back

Translated  from Malayalam

1.No one used to wear new dress  , pant, and coat
2.90%  schools never  had uniform
3.Boys  used toi wear  Dhothi and shirt  and girls used to wear Petticoat  and Blouse
4.The boy wearing pants   used to be teased  as “number  eleven”
5.There  were no school bags of the present type  as any bag was Okay
6.Slate  and pencilin primary classes  , note book and pencil up to seventh standard and pen afterwards
7.Some children of rich families  used to carry  an aluminium box for high school
8.Some children of middle class families  used to carry a  plastic box
9.Once a  new text book is purchased  , it would be inherited by   younger brothers or sold to neighbouring children at   half the price
10.Umbrellas   were made by thick cotton cloth   and  children used to share it
11.There  were  no bus to school  and in towns  rich children used  to travel  in rickshaw  to school
12,Most of the children used to walk long distances  to school

      IN spite of such difficult  surroundings,  all the children   were blessed with

        Human values ,
                love and affecion to each other
                                    And capacity to do hard work

Possibly the  new generation may not like it  , make fun of it and laugh  at it.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Vadama Brahmins

Vadama Brahmins

Compiled by

(Most of the material is taken   from on line  .I have also consulted books on Brahmin history  )

   Among the iyers this sub class  is the largest .Vadamas   could be taken as those  belonging  to  the  North( Or those  who came from north)  or those   who were  expert in Sanskrit   a language  of the north.Historians believe   they  were the second group of  Brahmins to reach Tamil Nadu   and came  via the   river banks  of the sacred Narmadha . The family  of Sri C.P.Ramasawami iyer  were vada  desathu Vadamas  and they believed  that  Vadamas   were  migrants from the Desh  Region of Maharashtra   and Madhya Pradesh    who migrated to Chithur   of Andhra Pradesh   and from   there  they migrated   to Tamil Nadu
They believe  that   in the earlier daus Vadamas   were   more of Vaishvaites   than Smarthas .Unlike   the saiva sect   they   used to wear “Keethu Namam”   as well   as Gobichandanam. The proverb   that “Vadamas  matured  in to Vaishnavas    and the fact   the saint  Ramanuja   was  a Vadama   Brahmin indicates   that  they   were  one of the major   followers  of Sri Vaishnavism

   There   are  5 sub groups   among   Vadamas:-
1.Vada  Desathu Vadaman
2,Chola  Desathu Vadaman’
3.SAbhayar(People  who organised  the  society of iyers. There  is Reference  to their existence in 9th centuary)
4. Injee(Ginger)-Do not know  much about them
 5.Thammagunta  DRavida (who migrated  to Andhra)

Vadamas  in large numbers  have migrated to Kerala . Karnataka   and Andhra  Pradesh also 

  There   is a common belief   among Vadamas   that they are  the most superior   among Brahmins  .They say that  once a king asked   all Brahmin    groups  as to who is the  most superior   and all groups    except Vadamas   said Vadama    was second to them and Vadamas   claimed   themselves   as the greatest . It seems   the king   based on this decided   that   Vadamas    were  indeed the greatest.
   There were  large number  of rich land owners  from the  Vadama  Community ,. Writings about  Tamil Nadu indicated   that  they  were  also administrators and ministers  , when the  kings were  ruling Tamil Nadu. A Vadama called  Nilakanta  Deekshithar  is supposed  to have been the minisister  of Thirumala  Nayaks  of Madurai.  Large number  of them were priests   in  different places   of Tamil Nadu. There   are references to show   that  the Namudiris  of Kerala  needed  the service of a  Vada desathu Vadama  when he took Sanyasa
   In every  section  of the great  people  in Tamil Nadu  , we   can find Vadamas.Here  are are  few great names:-

Appayya Dikshitar and nephew Neelakanta Deekshitar legendary scholars who re-established Advaita philosophy's predominance in the South belonged to the Vadadesa Vadama sect and migrated from places near Nasik. They were especially patronised by the rulers of Vellore and MaduraiChinnabomma Nayak and Tirumalai Nayak, respectively.[32]
Srinivasa Dikshitar of Thoopil (near Conjeeveram), father-in-law of Appayya Dikshitar of Adayapalam.
Sundara Swamigal, a Hindu religious exponent of the mid-19th century and philosophical mentor of the famed Carnatic musician Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer[33]
Avadayakkal, a Saivite saint [34]
The Vaishnava saints Ramanuja,[35] Tirumalai Nambi[36] and Mudaliyandan [36] were born Vadama.
Swami Sivananda of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, a direct descendant of Neelakanta Deekshitar [37]
Govinda Dikshitar, Prime Minister of the Madurai Nayak kingdom. Served under Sevappa NayakAchutha Nayak and Raghunatha Nayak.
Ramayyan Dalawa, Dewan of Travancore State, in the reign of Maharajah Marthanda Varma Kulasekhara Perumal[38]
Sir T. Muthuswamy Iyer (1832–1895), Indian lawyer, first Indian Judge of the Madras High Court
Sir S. Subramania Aiyer (1842–1924), Jurist, first Indian Chief Justice of the Madras High Court
C. P. Ramaswami Iyer (1879–1966), Advocate General of Madras Presidency in the 1920s, penultimate Dewan of Travancore
Ramesh Kallidai, Former Secretary General Hindu Forum of Britain and Advisor to the British Government
C. V. Runganada Sastri (1819–1881), Indian interpreter, civil servant and polyglot who was known for his mastery over Indian and foreign languages. Maternal great-grandfather of C. R. Pattabhiraman.
V. Venkayya (1864–1912), Indian epigraphist. Chief Epigraphist to the Government of India 1908-12.
S. A. Swaminatha Iyer (d. 1899), Indian lawyer and freedom-fighter
V. V. S. Iyer (1881–1925) Tamil scholar and freedom fighter
Dr V Hariharan (1899-1975), Indian Freedom FIghter and Social Reformer.
C. R. Pattabhiraman (1906–2001), Indian lawyer and politician; Indian M.P. (1967–1977). Eldest son of Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer
V. S. Krishna Iyer, Indian politician and freedom-fighter; Indian M.P. (1984–1989)
Ramaiyan (c. 17th century AD), general in the service of Thirumalai Nayak. Led the Madurai Nayak troops in the 1639 war against the Sethupathi of Ramnad. Subject of the ballad Ramayyan Ammanai.
Nilakanta Krishnan - Recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross (United Kingdom) for his services to the Royal Indian Navy during the Second world war. Commanded the aircraft carrierINS Vikrant in the Bay of Bengal during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: was also the Flag officer commanding for the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy during this war.
Syama Sastri, one of the doyens of Carnatic Music, a descendant of a group of Vadadesa Vadama who fled Conjeeveram in the wake of a Muslim attack.
Ramaswamy Dikshitar (1735-1817?) and his son Muthuswamy Dikshitar, eminent Carnatic musicians
Gopalakrishna Bharathi , his father Ramaswami Bharathi and grandfather Kothandarama Bharathi, a family of eminent Carnatic musicians
F.G. Natesa Iyer (1880–1963), founder of Rasika Ranjana Sabha, Trichy, talent scout,officer of the South Indian Railway Company,pioneered modern Tamil drama, Tamil cinema actor, also elected Mayor of Trichy in the 1920s 
M. D. Ramanathan(1923–1984), composer/vocalist
Jayaram (b. 1964) Tamil and Malayalam film actor
Arvind Swamy(b. 1967) Tamil and Hindi actor and entrepreneur.
Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman (b. 1935), Carnatic musician and mridangist
Delhi Kumar, Tamil television and film actor.

Pallavoor Gramam

Pallavoor Gramam

Compiled by

Pallavoor is part of the Kollengode police station area. It is 3 km from Kunissery , 4 km from Kudallur , 5 km from Nemmara , and 20 km away from Palakkad  city
Pallavoor has three gramams – Kizakke Gramam, Thekke gramam and 6-AaThu vari. Altogether there were about 100 houses. Most of the families were Vadamas or Ashta Sahasram. The presiding deity is Tripallavurappan temple managed by Namboothiris. It is believed that the prathishta for this temple was done by teeth (Pallu) and hence the name of the village.
The 7th day of Navarathri, Ezhaam Vilakku, of this temple is usually celebrated by Iyers in a grand manner. There is a legend that the 30′ high granite wall around the temple was raised in a night by the Bhootaganams. And duringdawn, one mami saw them building the wall and suddenly the Bhootaganams left, thus leaving a small portion of the wall left unfinished. Also, there is a story of Tippu Sultan attacking the temple and he used an elephant to take out the pratishta, but in vain. Even now, it is said that you can see the pratishta slightly tilted as a result of the pull by the elephant.
The famous musician Pallavur Mani Bhagavathar hails from Pallavoor. There was also once a Judge called Judge Rama Iyer belonging to this village.
Sri P K Venkitarama Iyer, who from humble beginnings, despite being a normal Chemistry graduate, rose to become Chief Engineer of Fertilizer Corp of India – Sindri & Namrup, in 1940s & ’50s is also from Pallavoor. After retirement, he founded the Chinmaya Mission School in Pallavoor, which has become one of the prominent educational institutions in Palakkad.
Pallavoor was also the home of world renowned Pallavoor Appu Marar.
Sri P.V.Viswanatha Iyer started his career in Madras in the Transport Department of erstwhile Madras Presidency in 1945. Through years of hard work, he rose to the level of Joint commissioner (officiating) in the Transport Department before retirement in 1985. He has played important role in framing Central Govt’s The Motor Vehicles Act,1988; Central Motor Vehicle Rules,1989; Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles Rules under the M.V Act, 1988.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Ashta Sahasram Brahmins

Ashta Sahasram Brahmins

Compiled by

(There is saying in Tamil  vadama settu,vathima kattu,ashtasahasram chakrai, which indicates  that Ashtasahasraam Brahmins be have  sweetly as if they are sugar .. There is another saying  that Ashtasahasram Achupichu(fools).,   I do not know much about them .Whatever I got is from on line)

Ashtasahasram (Sanskrit : अष्टसहश्रम) meaning 8000  is a sub group of Iyer community.It is believed that  they    were from a village   called Ennayiram(meaning 8000)  of  Vikra Vandi Taluq of Viluupuram district  Tamil Nadu, It is believed that  the village was called  Raja Raja  Chaturvedi Mangalam  .There was an ancient Vedic University  there    with 10 teachers   and 340 students 800 years ago  . Recently  a 1000  year  old inscription   was found in the  temple  , It records that 1000  years back  , this university  for teaching 4 vedas   with ten professors teaching Veda   as well as Vyakarana,     There is a belief that  a Chola king    established a   college teaching four Vedas  here and brought Brahmins from north to teach in them

At present there are four Siva temples and one Narasimha SWamy   swamy. “These temples seemed like community gathering places apart from being places of worship. There were stages for artists to perform, small homes for probably the temple priests to live in and a series of nearby structures as opposed to a central structure dominating the scene. The Vishnu temple in the village of Ennayiram actually was a 2 storied temple! The local villagers told us that there were 500 brahmin families living there and that there were vedic schools for all 4 vedas there. There were writings on the walls of all temples in Grantham script several thousands of lines long.”

       There is also a theory that  Once upon a time Brahmins  living in this village  called  PAruthikollai, and they were   converted to jains by Pallavas . Later  it seems Saint Ramanuja   converted   them back to Smartha  Brahmins. He also  it seems consecrated  the Narasimha   temple in the village .
      Ashtasaharaam group  is further   divided   in to  based on the village  where they settled later

Anthiyur  (close  to Ennayiram village)
Nandivadi(Next to Ennayiram village)

   Like Vadamas and Brahacharanam, they are also  a Smartha community   who were  worshipping all gods   but they had special affinity   to worship  Lord Narasimha . It is believed that   the Narasimha Jayanthi in Melattur Village of  THanjavur  is   organised by  mostly  Ashta SAhasram   Bra
They were Vedic Brahmins but records of Chola period mention that   they were   engaged   in trade   and commerce also. Some of them worked as temple  priests also,
Some of the great personalities  of Ashta sahasram  Brahmins were (I do not know how far it is true)

Sri S.Balachander , the great film director  ,
Madurai Mani Iyer, G,N.Balasubramanya  iyer  , both famed  Carnatic musicians
Dr.T SAnkar  Biological control specialist
Padmasri Narasimhan
T.P.Rajalaksmi Cine actress,
Kavi Kunjara Bharathy ( 12 th grand father of Koteeswara Iyer - Poet ),
U.V.SWaminatha Iyer , Tamil Thatha
 Koteeswara Iyer ( Music )
 S Rajam Iyer music,
SG Kittappa Drama Husband of KB Sundarambal,
B Rajam Iyer Music
S Balachander Veena,
Pyramid Natarajan Cine producer
Justice TL Venkatarama Iyer Music critic and some more .
 Madan Babu,Comedian,
Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavather Music,
M.S,SWaminthan ,  Great Agricultural scientist

My friend and scholar Vasu Iyengar adds as comment
Ennayiram mentioned by Sir is a interesting architectural beauty, with more and more details being dug each day. . Right next to this village is another village called Nandivadi and another village closeby called Attiyur.We can find 5 temples - 4 Shiva temples and one Vishnu temple. The 4 Shiva temples point to the 4 different directions (Brahmadesam, Ennayiram, Esalam and one more) and are age old - different from the usual temples of Tamil Nadu which has a Gopuram.The local villagers tell that there were 500 brahmin families living there and that there were vedic schools for all 4 vedas there. There arewritings on the walls of all temples in Grantham script several thousands of lines long .other villages - Arivarpade and Shatkulam are yet to be located, and might even have been lost in inscription in ennayiram .Aruvapadi is a village near Mayavaram. This is also connected to origins of Ashtasahasram

Chozhiya Brahmins of Kerala

Chozhiya  Brahmins  of Kerala

Complied by

Among the several sub castes  of  Brahmins who live in Kerala  , Chozhiya  Brahmins  are  one of the smallest .According to Tamil history  ,  after  migration to Tamil Nadu   they landed in Kingdom of Chozhas   and took up temple worship as their profession. Unlike all other  sections of Brahmins the males  had   a tuft in frone of their head, similar to Nambudiris    as well  as Chidambaram Deekshithars.  In the initial days  , they were   considered  inferior  by other Brahmins    and there  are records to show   they were  not allowed in side houses of  Vadamas . In Kerala    they  continued to live in separate  communities  of their own    and I understand  that in olden days  they were not allowed   to mingle with other Brahmins  .Among the villages   they  chose to live  were KOdunthirapalli  , Chembai, Padur  , Kottai, THennilapuram , Anju murthi, TRithamarai   , Vengaseri etc.  There are some Chozhiya Brahmin villages    even in Nagar Koil.Most  of them followedTaithreeya SAmhitha  of Yajur vedam and Jaimeeniya  SAmhitha  of  SAma vedam. They also mostly  married  among themselves   and relatively they  were  a lesser in come group.
      They claim  that the great  political scientist   Chanakya   as well as Adhi Sankara  belonged  to their group. The claim is doubtful   because  Both these  great people  were  not tamilians .In fact Adhi Sankara  in spite his travelling never wrote   any thing in Tamil and in spite of knowing about tamil SAivism  , did not take  any interest  in that. There is some proof that  Padma Pada  one of the greatest   disciple of Sankara  belonged  to this group.
     One of the professions in which   they shined was music and the greatest  among Kerala Chozhiya Brahmins  is undioudetdly   Chembai Vaidyanatha   Bhagawathar. Most of them chose to be priests  in Temples   as well as Vadhyars .
     There are  several  Chozhiya families   who are  working as Vadhyars  in Bangalore . They  do not prefer to advertaise  this fact and prefer  to keep Pin Kudimi like all other Brahmins
     There  must be   many great  people   among them also  but  I do not know about them.

Kannadasan makes epic demands to write an epic

One writer called  Nanjil Sha asked , the king of poets Kannadasan:-

Oh  king of poets blessed  with wisdom of arts,
Who    takes the mountain like  philosophy,
And makes   it in to a  very sweet quality banana ,
And gave us in the stable  honey nectar  of Tamil,
When would   you do the great   achievement ,
Of   composing epics   and sit  ,
On the top of the   world please ?

Kannadasan replied

If I am supposed   to compose  an epic,
I need   a mind  that does not pain,
I should  have time  ,
I should have  a body  which is not sick,
I should   have atmosphere ,
I should be   able to cut off undesirable   relations,
I should   have money for day today   expense ,

Unfortunately , only  Tamil  is not sufficient
And I am asking   a boon for it from the amenable God,
For giving  me a great life with good health

“Composing epics is not like   the pictures of Kamban “
For that   we need sufficient time
And above all   we need “ Coin, coin, Money, money.”

In original tamil

Sha asked
மலை போன்ற தத்துவத்தை
மலை வாழைப் பழமே யாக்கி
நிலையான தமிழ்த்தேன் பாகில்
நியமமுடன் சேர்த்து நல்கும்
கலைஞானக் கவிதை வேந்தே!
காப்பியங்கள் ஆர்த்து ஞாலத்
தலைமேலே அமரப் போகும்
சாதனை தான் எப்போ தென்பீர்?
And Kannadasan replied

நோகாத மனம் வேண்டும் காலம் வேண்டும்
நோயில்லா உடல் வேண்டும் சூழல் வேண்டும்
ஆகாத தொடர்பெல்லாம் அறுதல் வேண்டும்
அன்றாடச் செலவுக்குப் பணமும் வேண்டும்
சாகாத காப்பியங்கள் செய்வதென்றால்
தமிழ் மட்டும் போதாதே! என்ன செய்ய?
வாகான தெய்வத்தை வரங் கேட்கின்றேன்
வளமான உடல்வாழ்க்கை வழங்கு மாறே!
காப்பியங்கள் புனைவது கம்ப சித்திரமல்ல.
போதிய கால அவகாசம் வேண்டும்;
எல்லாவற்றிற்கும் மேலாகதுட்டு காசு மணி மணிவேண்டும்

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Brahatcharanam group of Iyers

Brahatcharanam  group  of  Iyers

Compiled  by

(I am not an expert in this subject    and whatever  has been given below are from books   that I have as well  as on line search .Please  pardon me  if there is a mistake .If you comment about it  , I would make   the needed  correction. This  is only my effort   to understand  our Brahmin community)


  There   are several sub group  of Smartha   Brahmins  . The major groups    are  Vadamas   and Brahachananams.
Brahatcharanam is a Iyer Tamil Brahmin Sect. The word Brahat in Sanskrit means "great" or "vast" or "significant" and the word charanam refers to feet. The name Brahacharanam can be thus literally translated as the great feet. Their exact origins are not clear but based on indirect evidences in history it can be inferred that their presence inTamil nadu has been there before at least 1000 AD. 
This can also be inferred from the fact that many of the   agraharam  villages  of Brahatcharanam sect   have very ancient origns.
  One historian  divides Brahmin sect as  Brihaspathi Brahmins (who were vaishnavites)   and Shukra Brahmins  (Shaivites).He classifies  Brahacharanam bRahmins  as Shukra  Brahmins
       Brahacharanam    is derived from the  word Bruhatcharanam   which could be split in to  Brihat Charanam(big  step)  or Brihath  Acharanam  , which could mean  “ great  practice of rituals”  or   if you take Brhath   to mean great i e Vedas  , it could be taken to mean  “Followers  of vEdic rituals” . I have also   heard some one explain it as bare   footed, though  I am not able to agree   with it.
   If we take   it to mean “big steps”  , , it would be indicative of the fact   they    were  the first to take   big steps   and reach Tamil Nadu. People believe they entered   Tamil Nadu through  Sathya Mangalam,
    Most of Smartha Brahmins of Tamil Nadu feel  that Brahacharanam people    are most orthodox , which  could be because   they were Bruhath   Acharanam.  Historians are  of the opinion that  they     are the first  Brahmins to enter Tamil Nadu.  “Most Brahacharanam are worshippers of Shiva, and they cover their forehead with sacred ashes. Some used to wear the symbol of linga on their heads. However, the Sathyamangalam group have some members who wear the vaishnava mark.
Women also dress like other Iyers. In the ancient times, the cloth worn by the women used to be of little more than a knee's length. Among the Milaganur Brahacharanam, the Adrishya Pondugal ceremony is celebrated in which four women, a widow and a bachelor are invited to a feast. This was done in order to propitate four women who disappeared due to the ill treatment of their mothers in law.

It has been documented that some Bracharanam who lived in places like Mangudi were such rigid saivaites that they would not even utter Govinda's name and lived a life of Stern austerity

Brahatcharanam    group of Brahmins    are further   divided into

Kandramanickam (a village  in Sivaganga  district)
Mangudi ( There are six villages  named  Mangudi  in Tamilnadu )
Mazhanadu (Trichy district)
Pazhamaneri (Thanjavur district)
Musanadu (?)
Kolathur (village in Kanchipuram district)
Marudancheri (Sivaganga   district near  Kandarmanikkam)
Sathyamangalam (erode district)
Puthur Dravida* (Chithoor   district, Andhra  Pradesh)

*These are those  who have  migrated in large numbers to Puttur in Andhra Pradesh where they form the Puthur Dravida community. Most probably  these divisions are based  on the initial  place of  settlement of these  Brahmins.
    A significant number of Brahacharanams have migrated to Kerala, where they are part of the Kerala Iyer community. They preferred   to live in separate   streets  in most of the agraharams. When I was young  intermarriage   between Vadamas   and  Bruhatcharanams was   very rare  .
    One of my friends in Bangalore    told that there  is  a Bruhathcharanam  Brahmin  association in Bangalore    who maje it a point to offer Bikshavandanam   at Kanchipuram Matam every year.

A majority of Brahatcharana Brahmins are   followers   of Adhi Sankara  and are   followers of Advaitha.  But some of them are Veera Saivas   and do not go temples  other than Lord Shiva .Though most of them  did the allotted   profession of Brahmins, history records   that some of them worked as soldiers   and commanders  of chola kings  like Raja Raja .

Some of the well known Brahatcharanam Brahmins were :-

1. Manakkal Nambigal disciple of Uyyakondar an early discple of Nathamuni
2. Vaidyanatha Dikshitar of 17 th century the renowned author of Vaidhiyanatha Dikishiyam- Smurthi MukthabhalaNibandana Grandham which laid down the code of conduct for brahmins.
3. Maha Vaidyanathan Sivan of Vaiyacheri, Tanjore considered by some to be the greatest singer composer afterthyagaraja
4. P.S.Sivaswamy Iyer - Advocate General of Madras during British times
5. Mahagnichit, Vajapeyayaji, Srowtha Bhaskara, Srowtha Ratnam,Nalliseri Brahmari N.R. Jambukeswara Srowthigal- One of the renowned Vedic Priests of the present centures
6. Manakkal Rangaraja a renowned Carnatic Musician
7. Kalki Sadasivam - Freedom Fighter and husband of M S Subbulakshmi
8.Sir C.V.Raman  , the great scientist who won nobel prize (mangudi Brahatcharanam)
9.Venkatraman Radhakrishnan, younger son of Sir C.V. Raman, prominent astrophysicist.
10.Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Nobel Prize winner in Physics from India, nephew of C.V.Raman
11.Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, one of the founding fathers of the Indian constitution(Puthur DRavida)
12.Alladi Ramakrishnan, son of Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy, founder of Matscience India
13.Alladi Kuppu Swamy, prominent jurist, son of Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy
14.V.S. Ramachandran, an eminent neuroscientist, grandson of Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer
15.Dr D.V.Gundappa, Padmabhushan winner, poet, philosopher, philanthropist (donated entire purse in 1968 to GIPA - Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs, Bull Temple Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore)
16.Dharmarajadhvarin and Ramakrsnadiksita, father and son who lived in the 17th and 18th centuries. There were scholars of Nyaya and Vedanta and published works like Tattvacintamaniprakasavyakhya and Vedanta Paribhasha.
17.Sir T. Sadasiva Iyer, Indian judge.
18.R. V. Srinivasa Aiyar, Indian politician.
19.Krishnan Raman Brahmarayar, Commander-in-chief of the Chola army
20.Mahakavi C.Subramania Bharathi, a Tamil poet and fighter
21.Sir K. Seshadri Iyer, Dewan of Mysore, regarded as the "maker of modern Bangalore".
22.,Dorairaja Iyer, scholar of Bharatanatya
23,V. Balakumaran, Tamil writer, playwright and novelist
24.Vedam Venkataraya Sastry, Sanskrit scholar in Madras Christian college. Translated many Sanskrit works into Telugu