BrahmanAs and their jobs

Dr. S.R.Marur smarur at EASI.SOFT.NET
Wed Oct 20 09:28:35 CDT 1999

On Wed, 20 Oct 1999, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

>recorded history Brahmanas have had other occupations to materially
>sustain themselves.  Yet side by side they also practiced their
>duties.  Modern times haven't really changed anything in this regard.

History of brahmanAs of south India seems to contradict this

With the dharma shAstric injuction that a brahmanA should engage
himself ONLY in learning and later teaching vEdAs and associated
scriptures, this community seemed to have dedicated itself to this
purpose completely, without having any other vocation and subsisting
purely on grants/alms from rulers and trading communities
(esp. ChettiAr-s).

The switching over to English education, migrating to cities and
settling down with a secular job by brahmins had started during the last

couple of decades of last century, as almost all the Hindu kingdoms and
samasthAnam-s which were giving dAnam-s to brahmanA-s and vEda
pAtashAlA-s, were completely taken over by British by then, bringing the

govt. funding to vEdic education to nil.

Even during the previous muslim rule, this community seemed to have
carried on with their vEdic duties, with whatever little resources they

The famous example of British period is the mahA-mahO-pAdyAya srI RAju
shAstrigal, popularly known as MannArgudi pEriyavAl. MannArgudi is a
village in Tanjore district and he was known by the name of his village.

He was considered to be the greatest pandit of his times and he stayed
throught out his life teaching shAstrAs to students, without having any
job for an income. He almost subsisted on grants. Other famous
personalities who lived without any secular job, even during this
century are kadalangudi natEsa shAstry, sEngAlipuram dIxitAr, to quote
a few.

Similary, it can be shown that during the past so many centuries,
of south India didn't choose to have a job for earning. They were
in vEdic studies and their propagation, for its own sake and were given
grants to support that activity and respect for the way they carried out

this mission.



bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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