Brahman origin myths

Ram Sabnavis RSabnavi at UMMG.COM
Fri Oct 1 22:22:34 UTC 1999

Dear krishna!
How r u doing?
Could you please elucidate on vyapari sect of brahmins?

sairamprasad sabnavis

>>> S Krishna <mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM> 08/21/99 02:30PM >>>
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?
                                 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

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

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.


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