Brahman origin myths

Nikhil Rao marpally_n_p at YAHOO.COM
Sat Aug 21 22:11:18 UTC 1999

The same story about prathamashakhi brahmins holds good
in maharashtra, karnataka and tamil nad too. While it is applied to
brahmins of the shukla yajur school, I am not sure whether it applies
to both the kanva and madhyandina sub schools. Atleast in Maharashtra,
there exist followers of both the schools. Whereas in the southern
states, only followers of the kanviya shakha exist. (If the meaning of
prathamashakhi is taken literally then it should apply to the
madhyandina school, since madhyandina is supposed to be the
first/foremost disciple of sage yagnavalkya ?)

--- S Krishna <mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Prof DEshpande asks:
>          Currently I am looking into origin myths
> about different Brahman
> communities.  There are the famous stories in works
> like the
> Sahyaadrikha.n.da about the origins of the
> Chitpavan, Karhade, and
> Sarasvata Brahmins of Maharashtra and Goa.  Are
> there any origin stories
> about the Brahman communities in Tamilnad, Andhra
> and Karnataka?
>          Best,
>                                  Madhav Deshpande>>
> W.r.t. Andhra Pradesh, there exists the following
> stories:
> 1. about the origin myth of a particular subsect,
> namely the "prathamazAkhI"
> of the niyogi brahmin sect:
> The story goes that that this community was cursed
> to turn into mlecchas at
> 12:00 in the afternoon for an hour after which they
> could turn back into
> Brahmins. Thus they traditinally left their homes at
> noon for an hour and
> went back only after cleansing themselves. The crude
> expression for members
> of this sect is "madhyAnamu mAla"( He who becomes an
> outcast in the
> afternoon).
> 2. There is a community of toddy tappers in Northern
> Coastal Andhra Pradesh
> whose origin is supposed to be partly Brahmin:
> A Brahmin allegedly agreed to marry his daughter to
> a member of the lower
> castes if he( the low caste bridegroom) could set
> water on fire. The
> ingenious bridegroom-to-be concocted a combination
> of spirits which looked
> like water but could catch fire. The women of this
> community traditionally
> didn't consume meat or fish in the evenings as a
> result of their Brahmin
> background.
> 3. The dominant sect among the Niyogis is called
> "AruvEla niyOgi"
> (6000 Niyogi Brahmins). This is because of a story
> about 6000 of them
> immigrating from Kanauj in the 10th/11th centuries.
> I am not sure
> if this is myth/history.
> Regards,
> Krishna
> _______________________________________________________________
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