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Brahmin (also Brahman; Brāhmaṇa) (Sanskrit: बाहण)[Note 1] (Tamil: பிராமணன்) is a name used to designate a member of one of the four varnas in the traditional Hindu society. The English word brahmin is an anglicised form of the Sanskrit word Brāhmana. In the Smriti view there are four "varnas", or classes: the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas, and Shudras. Traditionally Brahmins were fire-priests who adhered to different branches (shakhas) of Vedas. However, historically, the semantic change from a tribal state into the Hindu state of jati-varna matrix saw the conversion and absorption of tribals into the Brahmin class, through adoption of the priestly occupation later.[1][2] In Medieval and Colonial India, people in mundane occupations have also proselytized themselves into Brahmins, usually upon gaining positions of power or upon becoming wealthy.[3][4] The Smritis conferred upon the Brahmins, the position of being the highest of the four Varnas. The priestly class was expected to practice self-abnegation and play the role of being the custodians of Dharma (as a Brāhman who is well versed in Vedic texts). However, the fee paid to the Brahmana for performance of a sacrifice was grossly material.[5]

• • •

1 History 2 Brahmin communities 3 Pancha-Gauda
○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

3.1 Kanyakubja Brahmins 3.2 Gauda Brahmins 3.3 Saraswat Brahmins 3.4 Assam 3.5 Utkala (Orissa) 3.6 Maithil Brahmin (Mithila) 3.7 Nepal 4.1 Andhra Pradesh 4.2 Gujarat 4.3 Maharashtra 4.4 Karnataka 4.5 Tamil Nadu 4.6 Kerala

4 Pancha-Dravida
○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

they formed less than 2%. According to orthodox Hindu tradition. whereas in Uttar Prdesh. The Vedas are considered Śruti ("that which is heard") and are the paramount source on which Brahmin tradition claims to be based. Aranyakas and Upanishads.2 Claimants of Brahmin Status • • • 7 Brahmins taking up other duties 8 Practices 9 Sampradayas ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ 9.7% of the population.[6] In Kerala. the Vedas are apauruṣeya and anādi (beginning-less).6 Sikhism 9. Shruti includes not only the four Vedas[citation needed] (the Rigveda. [edit] Brahmin communities See also: Brahmin communities . Rajasthan.7 Miscellaneous sects • • • • • • • 10 Relationships of Brahmin and Kshatriyas 11 Nepal 12 Burma (Myanmar) 13 Notes 14 References 15 Further reading 16 External links [edit] History Main article: History of Hinduism Most sampradayas (sects) of modern Brahmins claim to take inspiration from the Vedas. Bihar and Orissa the brahmin population is quite near 10%. Brahmins accounted for 9% of the total population. and are revealed truths of eternal validity. In West Bengal the figures stand at 5 %.• • 5 Gotras and pravaras 6 Sects and Rishis ○ ○ 6.4 Buddhism 9.1 Smartism 9. the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda). the Yajurveda. In 1931. Nambudiri Brahmins make up 0. Himachal Pradesh. but also their respective Brahmanas. In Andhra Pradesh.2 Vaishnavism 9.1 Descendants of the Brahmins 6.5 Jainism 9.3 Shaivism 9. in Tamil Nadu they formed less than 3%.

this sloka is from Rajatarangini of Kalhana. which was composed only in the 11th century CE. Dravida (Tamil and Kerala). कणाटकाश तैलङा दािवडा महाराषटकाः. पञचगौडा इित खयाता िवनधसयोतरवािसनः ||[7] Translation: Karnataka (Kannada). गुजरराशेित पञचैव दािवडा िवनधयदिकणे || सारसवताः कानयकुबजा गौडा उतकलमैिथलाः. Maharashtra and Gujarat are Five Southern (Panch Dravida). Telugu (Andhra). Maithili (Bihar) are Five Northern (Pancha Gauda).) Approximately ordered according to geographical regions. Kanyakubja (Uttar Pradesh). However. [edit] Kanyakubja Brahmins • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Kanyakubja Brahmins Assamese Brahmins Kamrupi Brahmins Saryupareen Brahmins Jaiswal Brahmins Sanadhya Bhumihar Brahmins Bengali Brahmins Bahun Kandelwal Gauda brahmins Saraswat Brahmins Goud Saraswat Brahmins Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmins Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins [edit] Gauda Brahmins [edit] Saraswat Brahmins [edit] Assam Main article: Assamese Brahmins .The Brahmin castes may be broadly divided into two regional groups: Pancha-Gauda Brahmins from Northern India and considered to be North of Vindhya mountains and Pancha-Dravida Brahmins from South of Vindhya mountains as per the shloka. Saraswata (Punjab.Kashmir & Sindh). Utkala (Orissa). Gauda (Kurukshetra and Rajasthan). This classification occurs in Rajatarangini of Kalhana and earlier in some inscriptions[8] [edit] Pancha-Gauda Main article: Pancha-Gauda Those from Uttarapatha (Aryavarta) (northern and eastern India.

Maithil Brahmin is a community of highly cohesive. Medinipur. Brahmins were inhabitants of Nepal from the prehistoric time. [edit] Maithil Brahmin (Mithila) • Maithil Brahmins In India and Nepal. Maithili is their mother tongue. They have a reputation for orthodoxy and interest in learning. Assamese Brahmins are believed to be having their origins in Kannauj. which is a portion of North Bihar. Sarma/Sharma. Brahmins in Assam are same as per their faith and customs with that of any other Brahmin community across India.lives in harmony maintaining the Vedic culture. typically originating from the Mithilanchal. Most of the Maithil Brahmins are Śāktas (worshippers of Śakti) .See also: Kamrupi Brahmins In Assam. Upper Assam and throughout entire Brahmaputra Valley. Harikrishna Śāstri mentions according to which a king named Utkala invited Brahmins from Gangetic Valley for performing a yajna in Jagannath-Puri in Orissa. There are references about brahmins of Nepal in bansawali and purans. Kamrupi kings takes regular advices from Brahmins for political and religious purposes.many sects of Hindu people which include Brahmins. Sri- . traditional Brahmins. Shudras and Dooms.copper plates. a group of highest-ranking castes among Brahmin. Jharkhand. Each Brahmin family within the community carries specific Gotra (Proper Brahmin Identity Surname) which is specific for each family thereby indicating their origin. cows to Brahmins. [edit] Utkala (Orissa) • Utkala Brahmin The Sanskrit textBrāhmaṇotpatti-Mārtaṇḍa by Pt. [edit] Pancha-Dravida [edit] Andhra Pradesh Brahmins of Andhra Pradesh are broadly classified into 5 groups: Vaidiki Brahmins (meaning educated in vedas and performing religious vocations).Chakraborty are few of common Assamese Brahmin surnames amongst many others. Most of them live in and around Mithila. Chhetri(Kshatriya) being the first. Kamrupi king Bhaskarvarman regularly used to grant land. Kyastas. Bhagawati. Vaikhānasa(worships Vishnu). who still strive to follow rites and rituals according to ancient Hindu canons. A large number of Mathil Brahmins migrated a few centuries back to adjoining areas of South-east Bihar & Jharkhand as well as to adjoining Terai regions of Nepal. [edit] Nepal Brahmins are the second largest caste group in Nepal. Goswami. in ancient Magadha who generally migrated during Kamarupa period to Lower Assam and then to rest of Brahmaputra Valley. Mithila was the name of the capital of the ancient kingdom of legendary King Janak. Maithil Brāhamaṇas are a part of Panch-gauda Pañchgauḍa. when the yajna ended the invited Brahmins laid the foundation of the Lord Jagannath there and settled there for serving the Lord in around Orissa. though many use Angika (a southeastern dialect of Maithili) as their mother tongue. The Utkala Brahmins are of three classes 1) Shrautiya(vaidika) 2) Sevayata and 3)Halua Brahman. Assamese Brahmins are found mostly in Lower Assam.

coppersmiths. Some of them are as follows: • • • • • • • • • • • • Bardai Brahmins[10] Trivedi Mewada Brahmin Rajgor Brahmin Palival Brahmin (Dasha and visha) Bhatt Mewada Brahmin. Vaidiki Telaganya. Nandavarika Niyogi. and Niyogi (performing only secular vocation)[[Vishwakarma (caste)|Vishwakarmaviswa brahmin] blacksmiths. Golkonda Vyapari. Vaidiki Mulakanadu.sistukaranalu. karanakammulu. Vaidiki Murikinadu. many groups and subcastes related to those groups are found. Vaidiki Venginadu. and the Rathakara mentioned in the Rigveda (1. Vaidiki Kosalanadu or Kasalnadu. 6000 Niyogi or Aaru Vela Niyogulu.karana kamma vyaparlu.[1] [edit] Gujarat Gurjara Brāhmans: The Brāhmans of Gujarāt. Niyogis are further divided into following sub-categories There is another sub-section "Dravida" made up of Tamil Brahmins who had migrated to Andhra Pradesh. goldsmiths and sculptors ]. Saivulu) Vaidiki Velanadu. Pradhama Shakha Niyogi.Vaishnas(worships Vishnu).32) indicates high status and is associated with the placing of the holy sacrificial fire in the Yajna kunda. Nagar Brahmin Audichya Brahmin . karanaalu. carpenters.[9] Vaidiki Brahmins are further divided into following sub-categories • • • • • • • • • • • • Dravidlu (Aadi Saivulu. Vishwakarma Brahmins are also called Rathakara Brahmins.6. They are further divided into several sub-castes. are from Rajasthan Chauriyasi Mewada Brahmin Saurashtra Trivedi Mewad Brahmin Saurashtra Bhatt Mewada Brahmin Pushkarna Brahmin Jaiswal Brahmin are from North India.

[11] • Kannada Brahmins ○ ○ ○ Babbur Kamme Brahmins Deshastha Brahmin Koota Brahmins ○ Badaganadu Brahmins . or the Canarese country..vondhiyas.entered in kutch via sindh along with lohanas have surname Bhatt in kutch.lakhlani. Dharwar and Belgaum.pingal.others in Gujarat mainly found in jamnagar.Kaileyas.junaghath and rajkot. Some believe them to have migrated from south India to Gujarat.morbi.sandhliyas according to their village temple. Bajkhedawal Brahmin Khetak brahmins believed to be originated from kheda in central Gujarat or khedbrahma in north Gujarat.divided as bhuvdiyas.ghediya etc.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Sahastra Audichya Gorwal Brahmin Tapodhan Brahmin Modh Brahmin Girinarayan Brahmin Shrimali Brahman Sachora Brahmin Anavil Brahmin Sidhra-Rudhra Brahmins Sree gauda Brahmin Rajgor Brahmin Basically comes from Rajeshtan . Goud Saraswat Brahmin Chitpavan Brahmin (Konkanastha) Deshastha Brahmin Karhade Brahmin Devrukhe Brahmin patal brahmin • [edit] Maharashtra • • • • • • [edit] Karnataka Karnāta Brāhmans(ಕನಡ ಬರಹಣ): The Brāhmans of the Carnatic. are common. The ಮ ನ Canarese area comprises the Mysore State. edited by Jitendra Ravia Prashnora Brahmin Vadadra Brahmin Chvyan Brahmin or bharah gaon brahmin from rajasthan Kanaujiya or Kanyakumbj Brahmin migrated from kanoj.surnames like Bhatt.bhaglani. and the British Districts of Canara.

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ • • • Hale naadu Karnataka Brahmins Havyaka Brahmin Hasan Iyengars Hebbar Iyengars Hoysala Karnataka Brahmins Jangam Brahmins Karhade Brahmin Koota Brahmins Madhva Brahmins Mandyam Iyengars Mysore Iyengars Niyogi Brahmins Panchagrama Brahmin Sankethi Brahmins Shukla Yajurveda Brahmins Smartha Brahmins Srivaishnava Brahmins Sthanika Brahmins Ulucha Kamme Brahmins Mysore Iyers Ashtagrama Iyer Tuluva Brahmins[12] ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Kandavara Brahmins Karhade Brahmins Padia Brahmins Saklapuri Brahmins Shivalli Brahmins Smartha Shivalli Brahmins Sthanika Brahmins [edit] Tamil Nadu • • • Iyengar (sub-divided into Vadakalai and Thenkalai) Iyer (sub-divided further into Vadama. Vathima. Prathamasaki) Vishwa Brahmins . Brahacharanam. Kaniyalar. Dikshitar. Gurukkal. Ashtasahasram.

the pravara of the Parâshara gotra is Vashista. e. dwarsheya. When it is sishyaprasishya-rishi-parampara marriage is not acceptable if half or more than half of the rishis are . Jamadagni. Pârâsharya. These ancestors are either ancient Indian sages or kshatriyas (warriors) who chose to become Brahmins. triarsheya. the pravara of the Kundina gotra is Vashista. There are two kinds of pravaras. According to Baudh. 162). The first has survived in the Bhrigu and Āngirasa gana. Kashyapa.[edit] Kerala • • • • • • • • Namboothiri Brahmins Kerala Iyers Embranthiri Pushpaka Brahmins (Ambalavasis) Nambissans (Unni) Sharada Brahmins Vishwabrahmins (Vishwakarma) Nagariks or the Brahmin migrants from north India [edit] Gotras and pravaras See also: Classification of Brahmins Brahmins classify themselves on the basis of their patrilineal descent from a notable ancestor. Other gotras are Mitra.. Kashyapasa gotra has at least two distinct pravaras in Andhra Pradesh: one with three sages (triarsheya pravara) and the other with seven sages (saptarsheya pravara). Vashista. Similarly. then into individual gotras. Harithasa. Bharadvasu. These gotras are not directly connected to Prajapathy or latter brama. there are according to the Âsvalâyana-srautasûtra four subdivisions of the Vashista gana. then into pakshas. The pravara of Upamanyu is Vashista. Gotrapravaras can be ekarsheya. In general. 1. Gautama Maharishi. which means: "the word gotra denotes the progeny (of a sage) beginning with the son's son". Atryasa. Pāṇini defines gotra for grammatical purposes as 'apatyam pautraprabhrti gotram' (IV. the principal eight gotras were divided into pakshas. The offspring (apatya) of these Eight are gotras and others than these are called 'gotrâvayava'. Upamanyu. This pravara may be either sishya-prasishya-rishi-parampara or putraparampara. It is therefore that some define pravara as the group of sages that distinguishes the founder (lit. Each of these four again has numerous sub-sections. each being called gotra. Vishvamitra and Chaurasia gotra. This enumeration of eight primary gotras seems to have been known to Pāṇini. gotra denotes any person who traces descent in an unbroken male line from a common male ancestor. viz. Indrapramada. Srivatsasa gotra has five sages or is called Pancharsheya and are the descendants of Jamadagni.[13] The gotras are arranged in groups. he means that he traces his descent from the ancient sage Kashyapa by unbroken male descent. Kaundinya and the pravara of Vashistas other than these three is simply Vashista. Kundina and Vashista (other than the first three). koundinya. The ten major gotras that trace descent from sages are: Kanva. g. Maitrâvaruna. saptarsheya. Shâktya. pancharsheya. Parāshara. "I am Kashypasa-gotra". Bharadvâja. When a person says. the starter) of one gotra from another. and 2) putrparampara. Agastya gotra. So the arrangement is first into ganas. 1) sishya-prasishya-rishi-parampara. and up to 19 rishis.

are held in high respect. Their family priests. Bhrigu. and Vashista Sutras. Vyasa. The Peshwas competed with the Panchals. Boudhayana. but when the decision of pandits.same in both bride and bridegroom gotras. Brahmins became divided into various Shakhas (branches). marriage is totally unacceptable even if one rishi matches. was in their favor.[15] Parasara. Shankha. and the Vedic schools which they belong to. blacksmiths. Baudhayana. The oldest among these smritis are Apastamba. Harita. claimed for themselves the right to be priests and spiritual guides styling themselves as Acharyas (religious teacher) by wearing the sacred thread. Panchal Movement to Reclaim Brahminical Right"Panchals have the Brahmanic sanskars. Nelson Hindu Law. Yajnavalkya. in his book ‘Bombay Gazetteer’ states in Solapur Vol XX page 125: "Panchals are composed of five classes: goldsmiths. If it is putraparampara. There are several Brahmin law givers. Ushanasa. Likhita. Brahmins are further divided into various subcastes. Gautama. Katyayana. carpenters and masons. They consider themselves equals. to the local Brahmins. For example. Brihaspati. roughly between 1000 BCE to 200 BCE. Page 139-140 states . who are members of their own community. under the leadership of distinguished teachers among Brahmins. and Suparnasa. Atri. Meharban. The Descendants of Brahmins can be easily depicted. The Gotra of a true brahmin literally is the name of the great person to whom the family was descended. who saw themselves as being the original Brahmins and first builders of the Aryan Vedic civilization. Vashista. or sacraments. Vishwakarmas are the descendants of Pancha Rishis or Brahmarishies. Apasthambha. The origin and history of the feud at present are wholly unknown but it seem to me to be not improbable that the feud sprang from rivalries and contentions between the supporters and adherents of Brahmins on one hand and those of the goldsmiths and other artificers on the other hand. Prajnasa. According to Yajurveda and Brahmanda purana. for ages. having arrived from the Middle East and Central Asia." James Hastings[5] The Peshwas belonged to the Chitpavan Brahmin caste and were actually late migrants to India.[14] [edit] Sects and Rishis Due to the diversity in religious and cultural traditions and practices. or religious advisers when referred to. Samvarta."The refusal of many castes in ancient times to accept the Brahmins as their pastors and masters would seem to have bred a hereditary feud between castes. In south of India the goldsmith’s appear to have strenuously resisted the aggressive supremacy of Brahmans and have. During the sutra period. Manu. They gird . the Dasharna and Nagas are said to be the descendants of Kashyapa Muni. Vishnu. Yama. Shatatapa. and perform their ceremonies according to the Vedic Ritual. Sects for different denominations of the same branch of the Vedas were formed.[16] [edit] Descendants of the Brahmins Many Indians and non-Indians claim descent from the Vedic Rishis of both Brahmin and nonBrahmin descent. if not superior. such as Angirasa. Sanatana. Gautama. Abhuvanasa. bronzesmiths. Frequent attempts were made in the days preceding British rule to deny them the rights to these Brahmanic privileges. they are Sanaka. a British collector. based on the adoption of different Vedas and different rescension Vedas. These twenty-one rishis were the propounders of Smritis. Daksha.

There too were Kshatriyas of other clans to whom members descend from Angirasa. and came out a Brahmin.A Vyavastha was also signed at that time (1901) by forty odd Brahmin pundits headed by Chief Brahmin pundit of (Nabadwip) of Bengal and later practically supported by Dr. in they claim descent frm an Brahman and call themselves Parpadh Brahman who in course of time became Phulmali. The Gondhali.their boys with the sacred thread at the age of seven to nine years.Ray is right to mention in his book that this Namasudra(Namassejas) are the Lost Tribe.[19] The backward-caste Matangs claim to descend from Matang Muni. now named as Namasudra(Namassej) also claimed Brahmin status although they were a out-caste avarna group outside Bengali Hindu society.[20] Scholar Udai Narain Roy endorses the suggestion that the imperial Guptas were Brahmins by contributing an article for K. [edit] Brahmins taking up other duties . [edit] Claimants of Brahmin Status In Haryana.Jayaswal memorial volume. The Kasi Kapadi Sudras claim to originate from the Brahmin Sukradeva. and Hessis claim to be from Renuka Devi. the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. A feast called the Brahmins' feast or Brahma Bhojan is held where kith and kin and members of the caste are invited.R. Ancient Period" and the Article was published in "Desh" The Famous Bengali Literary Magazine in 1951 and included in special issue of "Articles of One Century". the misari of the Multan Langrials claim descent Brahmin of Bikanir.P. and Bihar had 10% Brahmin population and even the adjacent ( though shielded by forest from north) Orissa also had 10% population but Bengal had exactly the half . The Tagas (4000) claim to be a Brahman race. In undivided Bengal The Namasudras. which has abandoned the priestly profession and taken to agriculture.[21] Both the Langrail and Golia claim that they were Brahmin Charans. Ray in "The History Of Bengali People . to fulfill a childless king's wish. Lohar. the Kakkarissi." The Kani tribe of South India claim to descend from Agastya Muni. Lord Buddha was a descendant of Angirasa through Gautama.P.namely U. In Punjab.N. the nomadic tribe of Kerala.R. which is a Brahman subcaste. are derived from the mouth of Garuda.[18] Dadheech Brahmins/dayama Brahmin trace their roots from Dadhichi Rishi. Dagi. Their main subcaste was always Sanadh. Their duty was to transfer water to the sacred city of Kashi. Kanet. Dr. According to one legend. Many Jat clans claim to descend from Dadhichi Rishi while the Dudi Jats claim to be in the linear of Duda Rishi. In one of the stories of the Saini (gardener) community. 5%.It is claimed that King Ballal Sen expelled them (like many other communities) from society and declared out-caste. who wrote Markandeya Purana.[22] In Uttar Pradesh the Oudh Belwars have also claimed Brahman descent.[17] The Padmashalis claim they came from Maharishi Markandeya. Bhot. 1981(published under the patronage of Bihar Government). Nihar . If you observe the 1931 census you will find that the two states of Ganga River Valley basin . who became a Brahmin by his karma.

among the Royal Rajput households. Sage Parshurama said that as he has made Brahmhaastra on the arrow ready to launch he cannot return the arrow backwards but he will remove the Brahmaastra and wherever the arrow will land till that point sea will leave the Land for his followers Chitpavan Konkanastha Brahmin and Daivadnya Brahmins. as is attested for example in Kalhana's Rajatarangini.The Reciting Brahman Illustration from Sougandhika Parinaya. Sea Lord frightned and asked to forgive him.from being priests. weapons. Konkanastha means belong to Konkan region. 19th Century Brahmins have taken on many professions . he was excluded by other Brahmin communities and denied to perform any religious ceremonies for him. Chitapavan Konkanastha Brahmin's did not have their own land hence were insulted by other rulers & Brahmins. Well Known Brahmin Chanakya was a Rajpurohit for Chandragupta. ascetics and scholars to warriors and business people. having mostly abandoned their priestly functions (although some still perform). Then he taught them all the veda's. At the coast of Arabian sea i. and he set up in their place the descendants of Brahmins. are a business caste/community of Punjab and belong to the Kshatriya caste. Hence Sage Parshurama asked the Sea Lord to go back and give some land which he denied. The Brahmakhatris caste. descendants of the Khatris. who. They would also be the protectors of the throne in case the regent was orphaned and a minor. dasgupta and senguptas] are descendants of Dhanavantari. Perhaps the word Brahma-kshatriya refers to a person belonging to the heritage of both castes. religious knowledge and made the Brahmin known as Chitpavan Konkanastha Brahmins. They would also become the keepers of the Royal lineage and its history. the Western Ghats he decided to create a new Brahmin community where he found dead bodies of people came out floating from the sea. has helped Chandragupta to get a grip on the well established Nanda Empire . however. Chitapavan means Chit + Pavan the Brahmins whose chit/soul was purified. The place from where Sage Parshurama released the arrow is there in Konkan area known as Lote Parshuram and has a temple of Sage Parshuram. after a time. They are Vaidya Brahmins called Baidya Brahmins of Bengal [gupta.[23] Many Brahmins took up the profession of medicine. and trained others to fight without weapons. took to land-owning. The Bhumihar Brahmins were established when Parashurama destroyed the Kshatriya race. Brahmins with the qualities of Kshatriyas are known as 'Brahmakshatriyas'. the god of medicine and father of Ayurveda. The founder of the Mouryan empire. An example is the avatar Parashurama who is considered an avatar of Vishnu. After Sage Parshuram destroyed the Kshatriya race.e. Sage Parshurama got angry and made ready the Brahmastra to destroy the Sea Lord.[24] However. was an expert in the use of weapons. Sage Parashurama was a powerful warrior who had defeated the Haiheya kshatriyas twenty one times. Brahmins who became the personal teachers and protectors of the royal princes rose to the status of Rajpurohit and taught the princes everything including martial arts. He purified them with Agni and brought back to life.

Brahmins practice vegetarianism or lacto-vegetarianism which has been a custom since several centuries dating back to B. was the son of a Brahmin father. but neither the Govt.D. nor the Hindu oligarchs. Kshatriyan Brahmin is a term associated with people of both caste's components. such as acceptance of the Vedas. Alexander failed to conquer or win over Chandragupta Maurya and started for his country but was died on the way. basically adhere to the principles of the Vedas. An example of such persons are people of the Ambastha[26] caste. which exist in places like South India. Haryana was also a Brahmin by birth. Himachal Pradesh and Nepal. Many Brahmins are reformers. Brahmins with the qualities of a Vaisya or merchant are known as 'Brahmvyasya'.C. defeating Akbar's army at Agra and Delhi. none expressed any such sanction . [edit] Practices Brahmins. King Rudravarma of Champa (Vietnam) of 657 A. was a Brahma-kshatriya. By birth Brahmins are Vedic only. However.[27] Hemu from Rewari. Sanatana Dharma. eat fish and other locally available non-vegetarian foods and hence are pesco-vegetarians. Manu Smriti. Following this custom is mandatory in Brahmin culture. born in a family of Purohits. and coastal areas like Bengal etc.[24] King Jayavarma I of Kambuja (Kampuchea) of 781 A.that is from ancient times have practised the Ayurveda and have been Vaidyas (or doctors) as have been claimed by these people during the British rule when the Govt.) [27] Kulaman Pallis are nicknamed by outsiders as Kulaman Brahmans.[28] Brahmins believe in Sarvejanāssukhinobhavaṃtu—Let the entire society be happy and prosperous and Vasudhaiva kuṭuṃbakaṃ—the whole world is one family. Many Pallis of South India claim to be Brahmins (while others claim to be Agnikula Kshatriyas. . thence from they started bearing the thread also. by inducing others to worship the God. and can be found in any of the different religions of Hinduism. the brāhmaṇas receive the necessities of life.D. The śāstras especially stress this.and also to fight Alexander the Great from invading India. of which three are compulsory—namely. expressed the will to promote cast mobilisation. and by accepting charity back.. This is also confirmed in the Manu-saḿhitā: ṣaṇṇāḿ tu karmaṇām asya trīṇi karmāṇi jīvikā yajanādhyāpane caiva viśuddhāc ca pratigrahaḥ A brāhmaṇa cannot take up any professional occupational duty for his livelihood. They perform medical work . if one claims to be a brāhmaṇa. Later he became Prime Minister-cum-Chief of Army of Suris and Emperor of North India in 1556. started the manufacturing of Cannons for the first time in North India with Portugese knowhow and dealt in Gunpowder for supplies to Sher Shah Suri's army. studying the Vedas.[24] Hem Chandra Vikramaditya (Hemu). doing Vedic Sacrifices for God and giving charity. some among the Brahmins inhabiting cold regions of Kashmir. Brāhmaṇas have six occupational duties. By teaching Veda.[25] The Pallavas were an example of Brahmakshatriyas as that is what they called themselves.later they accept any other faith. King Lalitaditya Muktapida of Kashmir ruled all of India and even Central Asia.

In south India Srivaishnava sampradayam was propagated by Srimad Ramanjuacharya which has given as bhakti marga by azhwar saints.the main purpose of this was to help differentiate Brahmins from other Hindu Castes. Nagasena. Bodhi Dharma.[29] The Buddha did not believe in caste discrimination but he did endorse a fair division of labour based on merit. as it is termed in Sanskrit) is a liberal or nonsectarian denomination of the Hindu religion who accept all the major Hindu deities as forms of the one Brahman in contrast to Shaivism and Shaktism. They follow the preachings of Sri Madhwacharya. etc. [edit] Buddhism See also: Buddhist Brahmins Brahmins were treated with the greatest veneration in the time of the Buddha and there are countless references to Brahmins throughout all of the Buddhist scriptures. in the Ambattha Sutra. Kumarajiva and Shantideva all of whom have always been referred to their titles as Brahmins in all scriptures. Brahmins were not to discriminate against lower castes but were to serve them wholeheartedly. For example. Shantarakshita. Paramasaivas. we find the Buddha debated a Brahmin who was clearly not an Arahat. and the other is Sri Vaishnava (Vishist Adwaita sampradaya). Madhwa Brahmins are mainly located in the Carnatic plains and some of them are seen in Andhra. choti is for all Hindus (law of Manu). In the Dhammapada. Maharashtra. [edit] Shaivism Shaivism (sometimes called Shivaism) is a belief system where Lord Shiva is worshipped as the Supreme Lord. Tamil Nadu and Kerala areas. Veerasiavas. Saiva sects contains many subsects. a braid that is grown on the back of their heads. most of the major Buddhist founders were Brahmins. unlike others. was a Devgan Brahmin. who preached aham Brahmasmi (God and my soul are the same). Ravana. [edit] Vaishnavism One form of Vaishnavism is Madhwa ( Dwaita Sampradaya). Rudrasaivas. as well as to show that they possess sacred knowledge. [edit] Smartism Smartism (or Smarta Sampradaya. But. The Buddha however insisted that Brahmins had to live up to their great legacy and could not be by birth alone but also had to have the meritorious acts. Padmasambhava. Nagarjuna.Brahmins have a "choti". mostly in South India are the Smarta sampradaya. the ruler of Lanka in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Mahakashyapa. Smarta Tradition. the Buddha mentions Brahmins and Arahats in very different capacities and dedicates an entire chapter to what it means to be a real Brahmin called the Brahmana-vagga. Asvaghosha. [edit] Sampradayas The three sampradayas (sects) of Brahmins. Maudgalyayana. Brahmins are mentioned in an entirely different capacity to Arahats and therefore there is a marked difference. The word Brahmin was not redefined by the Buddha and it continued to be used alongside Arahat in separate capacities. It is a derivative faith of the core Vedic tradition. such as Asdisaivas. for example. The term Smarta refers to adherents who follow the Vedas and Shastras. in many important dharanis. He preached that God and atma (our soul ) is different contrary to the teachings of Sri Sankaracharya. They include Sariputra. in fact. who was born in South Canara district of Karnataka in 12th Century. Furthermore. Also. the Srivaishnava sampradaya and the Madhva sampradaya. Many sutras believe that the Buddha himself was a Brahmin in a previous life .

while he regularly listened to but later lost his interest in wealth and decided to take the Diksha. he was re-born as the Buddha. Regulations imposing such a system of ritual purity and taboos are absent from the Buddhist monastic code. the tapsas who were competing with him to reach the top of a hill once." Acharya Vidyanand is a Brahmin of the Dhigambar Jain sect and compiled in the Sanskrit language. the early Buddhist scriptures defined purity as determined by one's state of mind. Umasvati was a composer who was so loved by Jains that he is considered by the Dhigambar sect to be a Dhigambar member and the Svetambara sect to be a Svetambara member. of whatever caste. popularly know by followers as Mahima Swami according to the Bhima Bhoi text. by identifying occupations and duties associated with impure or taboo objects as being themselves impure.and due to his good merit as a Brahmin. Acharya Shushil Kumar.[36] The Sikh composed Mathura Bhatt's fourteen verses are seven each in praise of Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan. and refer to anyone who behaves unethically. verse 12. At Sutta Nipata 1. he took Diksha (became a sanyassin) into the Sthanakvasi."[33] [edit] Jainism • The first convert of Mahavira.7 Vasala Sutta. by deed one becomes a brahman. known better to Jains as "Guruji". or "a rubbish heap of impurity". The notion of ritual purity provided a conceptual foundation for the caste system. There are also several Mohyals (Brahmin warriors) in the Sikh community. Akalanka of the 8th century is saod to the poineer in rthe field of Jain logic. was born a Vaidik in the Shakarpur village of the Haryana province. By deed one becomes an outcast. achieved moksha. who headed a group of other Brahmins and converted them to Jainism.[30] Other experts believe the Buddha descended from Brahmin sage Angiras whose descendants like Dronacharya were Shatra Brahmins or warrior Brahmins that eventually became Kshatriya warriors. he states: "Not by birth is one an outcast. "Ashta Shahastri" with eight thousand verses.[34] Sajjambhava was another born from Rajgriha and was elected the head of the Jain temple. as "rotting within". At the age of 15. The Mahima Dharma or "Satya Mahima Alekha Dharma" was founded by the Brahmin Mukunda Das of present-day Orissa. There is also a story about a wealthy Brahmin named Dhangiri in the town of Tumbhivan. the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism was Indrabhuti (aka Gautamswami) the Brahmin.[32] There are many places in which the Buddha explains his use of the word brahman. when heard the sermons of the Jain Acharya Sinhgiri. and not generally regarded as being part of Buddhist teachings[31] To the contrary. by seeing the winner Gautama at the top. He was from the village Gobbar (also called Govarya) near Rajgriha. a Swhetambara sub-sect. He is famous for his composition of the "Dasavaikalika Sutra. not by birth is one a brahman.[37] He was born in the last part of 18th century in Baudh ex-state as a son . [edit] Miscellaneous sects There are additional sampradayas as well which are not as widely followed as the rest. who.[35] • • • • • • [edit] Sikhism Many writers of the Guru Granth Sahib are of the Bhatt surname. It is said that at the sight of Gautama.

He overcame the politics and made Krishnadeva raya the king and later played a critical part in turning a deadly enemy to a friend and married the daughter of that king to Krishnadeva Raya. they are serving as teachers or advisors to the Kshatriyas. scholars and priests of Hinduism. He was Brahmin by caste as mentioned in Mahima Vinod of Bhima Bhoi in Vol. Some Jaiswal Brahmins are Chaurasi Brahmins from Nepal or north India. They generally are the ones who perform religious events and educate nobles about the rules of dharma. Another Brahmin. They are also known as Barmu in Newari.". When the brahmins are not wandering the forests. wherein Lord Dattatreya and his forms such as Narasimha Saraswati and Sai Baba of Shirdi are worshiped. Timmarasu who was the prime minister of king Krishnadeva Raya and has dedicated his life to serve the king. [edit] Relationships of Brahmin and Kshatriyas Brahmins are at the pinnacle of the caste system and give spiritual guidance to the Kshatriyas. This sampradaya is similar to Vaishnavism. By . the kings would hope in return that good things would come to them by following the steps of dharma. specifically to preach dharma and educate about the vedas. Although above the Kshatriyas in the class system. [edit] Nepal Bahun is a colloquial Nepali term for a member of the Pahari or "hill" Brahmin (बाहण) caste.[37] This sampradaya was founded in the latter part of the 18th century. Brahmins usually do not have much money and are usually given their necessities by kings.of Ananta Mishra.[38] This showed us that the kings were to submit to the brahmins’ needs and highly respected their place in the caste system by not only preparing a sacrifice but also by bearing great gifts for the brahmins. Brahmins often are seen in the Mahabharata wandering forests in complete silence in order be more “god-like”. By giving the brahmins gifts. Lord Dattatreya is worshiped by many as the Hindu trinity . “Kshatriyas performed great sacrifices at which many gifts were given to Brahmins. they believe that the Srimad Bhagavatam is sacred. Brahmins are well educated on the Vedic and Puranic texts and at the time of the Mahabharata were the only people able to interpret them. Vishnu and Shiva in one divine entity. Brahmins are also in need of assistance from them.Brahma. Although the members of this sect do not worship Lord Vishnu as their Ishta-Deva. Later he was falsely accused for killing Krishnadeva raya's son and was blinded by the king. Kings provided proper essentials for religious performances such as sacrifices which the Brahmins were to lead. Actions like these have the potential to anger the gods who see the brahmins as trying to be equal to them. The founder of this sect was a Vaishnavite before founding the new order. They use the kings and warriors for hospitality among other things.11. The Brain power was of chanakya was so amazing that he was the one who wrote Ardhashastra(Economics) even before half the world was ignorant of business and administration. who are traditionally educators.[37] There is also the Avadhoot Panth. The relationship of the Kshatriyas and the Brahmins were mutually beneficial to both these castes. Many even worship Dattatreya as an Avatar of Vishnu or of Shiva. and Brahmins studied the Vedas with their branches and Upanishads. A Brahmin named Chanakya(Kautilya/Vishnugupta) was the one who brought up an abandoned boy with Emperors Blood(Chandragupta) and made him the emperor by defeating nandavamsa even before he was 20 years old and made all the small kingdoms to come to one and make them unite in one rule.

The top leaders of the all the major three parties: Maoist opposition (Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Baburam Bhattarai). Pant. Bhatta. Gautam. Dhungel. Historically. Basyal. Niraula Ojha Paudyal (पौडयाल). During the Konbaung dynasty. Nyaupane. or other symbols instead of Burmese script. Dallakoti. Dhungana. ) ponna referred to Indians who had arrived prior to colonial rule. Pokhrel. Awasthi. Subedi. Kalakheti. Pyakurel. Chalise. Kharel. Bhandari. Ghimire Humagain Joshi Kafle. Bastola. Bahuns from the "hills" have been represented disproportionately in Nepal's education system. formed an influential group in Burma prior to British colonialism. Kandel. Chapagain Dahal. Pandey. Devkota. Aryal/Arjyal/Arjel Bastakoti. Koirala. Marasheni Nepal. waging wars. Pathak. Upreti. making offerings to Buddhist sites like the Mahamuni Buddha. Khatiwada. Pudasiani. Bhurtel. Madhav Kumar (Nepal). Dhakal. Phuyal. Acharya.tradition—and by civil law until 1962—they represented the highest of the four Hindu varna or castes. Timilsina. [edit] Burma (Myanmar) This article contains Burmese script. always won a very good deal of faith and respect of kings. political parties and civil service since the country was unified by Prithvi Narayan Shah and his heirs in the 18th century. Bhattarai. Baral. Neupane. court Brahmins were consulted by kings for moving royal capitals. Pageni Regmi Sharma. Chaulagain. Sangraula. Dumre Gajurel. Sapkota. distinct from the kala. Tripathi Wagle Upadhyaya. and . you may see question marks. Without proper rendering support. Brahmins. Kattuwal Lamichhane Mishra. and Nepali Congress (Sushil Koirla) are also Bahuns. known as ponna (ပပပပပပပin modern-day Burmese (Until the 1900s. Silwal Tiwari. Uprety • • • • • Audichya brahmins community among the brahmin communities is connected with Parsurama ( Bhargava-Gotra). Gurangain. Indians who arrived during British rule). Khanal. Paudel. The Brahman caste in Nepal includes numerous family names such as: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Adhikari. Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) Jhalanath Khanal. boxes.

41-42 .192 states: "As to the fees. who made ). ^ A detailed article on Brahmins at Vepachedu Educational Foundation 7. the rules are precise. ^ Castes and tribes of Southern India. Brahmin or Brahmana refers to an individual. Brahmins who ). Gold is coveted most. K. Brahmins in Burma were subject to the four-caste system. by SN Sadasivan 4. or gold. Brahmins wore nine. cf. Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. 24: 443 2. The priest performs the sacrifice for the fee alone. By Edgar Thurston. kine.Brahmins who were sent to ) Burma after Manipur became a Burmese vassal state in the 1700s and ambassadors from Manipur Arakanese Brahmins (Burmese: ပပပပပပပပပပပပပ Brahmins brought to Burma ): from Arakan after it was conquered by the Konbaung king Bodawpaya Sagaing Brahmins: oldest Brahmins in Burmese society. when Burma became a part of the British Raj • • • According to Burmese chronicles. which included brahmanas (ပပပပပပပ kshatriyas (ပပပပပပ vaishya (ပပပ). horses. Brahmins are also fundamental in the Nine-God cult. ^ Indian Economic and Social History Review 1987. In the Arakanese kingdom. p. Brahma and Brahmin. ^ A social history of India.’ and therefore peculiarly agreeable to the pious priest" 6. Buddha and the eight arahats. ] [edit] Notes 1. ). and it must consist of valuable garments. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self.166-170 3. punished Brahmins often became kyun ponna (ပပပပပပပပပပပပ literally 'slave Brahmins'. depending on their origins: • Manipur Brahmins (Burmese: ပပပပပပပပပပပပပပ. ^ Ancient India: a history of its culture and civilization.[39] This practice continues to be practiced in modern-day Burma. the seed of Agni. Himanshu P Ray. ^ Brahman. who had consulted the Pyu. and shudra ). while the lowest caste wore none.[citation needed] [edit] References 1. called the Nine Divinities (Phaya Ko Su ပပပပပပပပပပပ) which is essentially a Burmese puja [disambiguation needed (puzaw in Burmese) of appeasing nine divinities. for ‘this is immortality. caste was indicated by the number of salwe (threads) worn. Rangachari 5. Dorilal Sharma. broke caste traditions and laws were subject to punishment. p. During the Konbaung dynasty.[39] Burmese Brahmins can be divided into four general groups. and the propounders of them are unblushing. ^ Hopkins. ^ Brāhmanotpatti Martanda. Religions of India. while the word Brahma refers to the creative aspect of the universal consciousness. (ပပပပပ Because the Burmese monarchy enforced the caste system for Indians. Brahman. Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi.for astrology. – when each is to be given is carefully stated. or a group of nine deities. p. flower offerings to Buddha images and performed menial tasks. Burman and Mon kingdoms prior to the Konbaung dynasty Indian Brahmins: Brahmins who arrived with British colonial rule. five Hindu gods and four nats.

^ P. New Delhi-110049. History and Literature. 227. by John Dowson. People of India. ^ http://www. K. ^ P. ^ Article on Gotras of Brahmins at Vepachedu Educational Foundation 14.L. 20. 37 Asian Medical Systems: A Comparative Study By Charles Leslie 27. 51) | Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7. a detailed article on various castes and groups of Brahmins 9. S. ^ Bhanu. by Sachindra Kumar Maity 25. ^ Crooke.11. B. Singh 19.21 Jaina-rūpa-maṇḍana =: Jaina Iconography By Umakant Premanand Shah 35. Cultural History from the Matsyapurāṇa. Volume 3 By Cosmo Publications (Firm) ^ a b c P. ^ Article on various sects and rishis of Brahmins at Vepachedu Educational Foundation 17. ISBN 8120612108. India: Asian Educational Services. Geography. ^ The Tale of Tuluva Brahmins 13. 948. ^ Bards/Bhatts in Adi Granth: Bhatt Mathura . 24.. ^ Article on Gotras and pravaras of Brahmins at Vepachedu Educational Foundation 15.14 29. Shahpur Jat. 374 Buddhist phenomenology: a philosophical investigation of Yogācāra Buddhism By Dan Lusthaus 36. ^ http://vedabase. 21. Rangachari 28. 130 The Pakistan gazetteer.buddhanet. 368 A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West frontier By H. 49. My Guruji and Problems and Perspectives of p. ^ Translation by Piyadassi Thera 34. 1809 (at page 64).php 11. ^ Mentioned by Jogendra Nath Bhattacharya in "Hindu Castes and Sects". Routledge 2000. 31. Russell 12. ^ http://bbsl. ^ (Robinson. Basham. The Tribes and Castes of the North-Western Provinces and Oudh. 33. 18. Early Buddhism: A New Approach: The I of the Beholder. William (1999). p. ^ P. ^ Sue Hamilton. ^ http://www. ^ Article on Brahmins of Andhra Pradesh at Vepachedu Educational Foundation 10. Professor A. Rose 23. ^ Manu Smriti on learning of the Vedas 16. pages 47. p. 17. 201. ^ a b P. by Manohar Laxman Varadpande. p. ^ P. People of India: Rajasthan edited by K. 29. ^ Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion.htm 30. ^ P. Johnson & Thanissaro 2005. 6A. ^ P. ^ P. ^ History of Indian Theatre.A. ^ The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India By R. 13 Castes And Tribes Of Southern India By Edgar Thurston. V.jatakaonline. by Sureshachandra Govindlal Kantawala 26.

"The Mahābhārata : an abridged translation". Pune: . Delhi. Acharya Hazari Prasad Dwivedi Rachnawali. 1985. Jogendra Nath Bhattacharya. Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi essays. S. Apte (1966) (Reprint 1997 ed. Social Change in Modern India. Orient Longman. Magic and Devotion: The Court Brahmins of the Konbaung Kings". 1999. Bazaar India: Markets. Monier (1899). Society.). Prakashan Sansthan. S. 2003.Blunt. Sherring.37. (First List of Brahmin Castes and Sub-castes at Kamat. University of California Press. ^ a b Leider. and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion. new edition 1995. Brahmin Information Portal at Hindubrahmin.).). new ed 2008. Anand A. Cambridge University Press.18 39.Chand Publishers. Jacques P. ed (1972). Apte (1965) (Fourth Revised and Enlarged ed. Penguin Books. ^ a b c "Mahima Dharma. New Delhi. • • • • [edit] External links • • View page ratings Rate this page What's this? Trustworthy Objective Complete Well-written . Srinivas. Delhi. Baldev Upadhyaya. Hindu Tribes and Castes as Reproduced in Benaras. Macdonell (1924) (1966 ed. first edition 1896. 1983. Asian Educational Services. Rajkamal Prakashan. Varanasi. Kashi Ki Panditya Parampara. Munshiram Manoharlal.. Townsmen. Hindu Castes and Sects. Delhi. N. Christopher Alan Bayly. First ed 1872. The Journal of Burma Studies 10: 159–180.). M.H. [edit] Further reading • • • • • • • • • • • • Swami Sahajanand Saraswati Rachnawali (Selected works of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati). Yang. Bhima Bhoi and Biswanathbaba" 38. "Specialists for Ritual. New Delhi. John. 1995. and the Colonial State in Bihar. Rulers.A.A. Delhi. Sharda Sansthan. 2009. The Caste System of North India. Sontakke. E. 1770–1870.. N. Bibha Jha's PhD thesis Bhumihar Brahmins: A Sociological Study submitted to the Patna University. M. Monier-Williams. New Delhi. ^ Smith. Delhi. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p.

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