[Advaita-l] Raju Surname
Venkata sriram P
venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Sun Dec 18 23:50:15 CST 2016
In andhraite brahmin community, there are 2 sects namely 1) vaidiki 2) niyogi brahmins.
The former sect followed the vedic lineage, learnt vedas, shastras, smArta karma-s etc. The
followed the vedic rituals and were employed in temples, mutts as archakAs, shAstra-paNDitAs
etc. Basically, they followed the tenets & principles as laid down in shruti & smriti.
The later sect moved a bit away from vedic-way of life and took the occupations of
village administration (karaNaM), revenue administration, secular jobs by studying english
education etc. They were also chiefly appointed by kings to take care of military activities,
collection of tax etc. This sect, even though possessed the brAhmaNa varchas, were
more into administration (both village & revenue division) and overseeing of military.
Hence, their surnames were annanraju, yellamraju, machiraju, sattiraju, nandiraju etc.
They were not allowed to sit along with siSTa-vaidikAs for bhojana ie., saha-pankti-bhojana
was not allowed for them with siSTa brAhmaNAs. Inter-community alliances were not
encouraged between vaidika & niyogi Brahmins.
Taking this as a grudge, a niyogi community in andhra, studied the vedas & shastras
thoroughly and mastered shrauta prayogas. A great scholar of niyogi community
by name "nandiraju lakshminarayana" performed "soma-yaga" and got the
accolades from vaidika community and got the name changed as “deekshitulu” & “somayaji”.
Further, Andhra niyogi community has produced two great rAma-bhaktas namely
Vavilakolanu Subba Rao Garu (Andhra valmiki fame) and other being Kancharla Gopanna
(bhakta Ramadas fame).
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