Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Oct 29 23:01:26 CST 2001

On Mon, 29 Oct 2001, ravi chandrasekhara wrote:

> Shri Manica Sundari Bhattar, one of the purohits at
> the Meenakshi Temple of Houston. He is a Sivacharya.
> He also described the their creation of Shiva.
> Sivacharyas are Brahmins and have their gotras and
> pravaras are like other Brahmins in India. It is
> interesting to note that Chitpavan Konkanastha
> Brahmins of Brahmins of Maharashtra claim they were
> created by Parashurama and similar gotras as other
> Brahmins.  What does this mean ?, is it perhaps Shiva
> and Parashurama requested the Brahmin rishis belonging
> to the gotras to take birth among "these created
> Brahmins " Many western scholars would say these are
> non-Brahmins imitating gotras of Brahmins, which
> doesnt appear to have truth behind it.

Perhaps it is by adoption?  Jain monks also have a system of "gotras"
I'm told (Not based on Brahman Rshis as you can imagine) and in their case
it obviously cannot be by birth.  On initiation, they join the "gotra" of
their guru.  Perhaps it is the same way with the "new" Brahmans.  When
they began learning the Vedas, they took up the gotras of their teachers.

> It also appears in south India there are functional
> differences among Brahmins such as: vaidika, laukika,
> and temple priests.  Most Iyers are vaidika Brahmins
> and do not work as temple priests except Dikshitars
> subgroup of Chidambaram and the Gurrukal subgroup.  In
> fact many Iyers do not conduct weddings in temples and
> the purohits performing their weddings are not temple
> priests but rather vaidika Brahmins (often belonging
> to within the same subgroup of the marital party,
> possibly even a relative.  Does such functional
> difference occurs among other Brahmins in India, e.g.,
> Gujarat, Bengal, Punjab, Kashmir, Maharashtra, and
> North India ?

In Gujarat at least there doesn't seem to be such functional seperation
nor even by sampradaya as you see in the South.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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