Vivek Anand Ganesan v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Tue Oct 23 17:07:59 CDT 2001

--- Shri nanda chandran wrote:
> If anybody has information on the Sivaachaaryas of
> TamilNadu, whom
> Chandrashekara Saraswati recognizes as braahmanas, I
> would appreciate it, if
> you could post it to the list.

Namaste Nandaji,

  I know a little bit due to the influence of the Saiva
maths in my home town ( Thiruvannamalai, site of Shri
Ramanashram ).
The Sivaachaaryas are drawn from the Saiva Vellala
community of Tamil Nadu. They are staunch saivites and
are also strict vegetarians. They follow the Saiva
Siddhanta of Tamil Nadu and the tradition of the 63 saivite
saints called nayanmars.

  There are prominent places of pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu
which have endowed seats of authority called Adheenams. The
Adheenams initiate and train people to be Saivite priests,
i.e. sivaachaaryas.  The sivaachaaryas wear a thick, single
layer chord in lieu of the yajnopavitam and perform agamic
rituals in the temples.

  I am surprised that periyava has recognized them as
brahmins.  Because, smarthas in general do not mix with
and there is some underlying hostility between the two (
which btw was the root cause of the so-called "dravidian"
movement ).


PS : The above is based on my personal experience. Any
     comments/corrections welcome.

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