Anaacaaras of the Kerala Brahmins

Asko Parpola Asko.Parpola at HELSINKI.FI
Fri Feb 1 08:17:35 UTC 2002

Dear Madhav, 

        There are several -- only partly overlapping -- lists of the 64
anaacaaras of the Kerala Brahmins, the oldest and best known being
included in the S'ânkara-Smrti. My wife has focused on these rules and
studied how far they still apply in Kerala, and I have edited and
translated the original text of this passage of the S'ânkara-Smrti and
its Malayalam commentary in the appendices of her book:

Parpola, Marjatta, 2000.  Kerala Brahmins in Transition: A Study of a
Nampûtiri Family. (Studia Orientalia, 91.) Helsinki: The Finnish
Oriental Society. xii, 436 pp., 55 ill., bibl., index. Pb 34 Euro. ISBN

The cheapest and quickest way to get the book is to order it directly
from the distributor, the bookshop of all learned societies in Finland:

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is made by cheque, the rather high costs of cashing the cheque have to
be added.

With best regards,  Yours,  Asko

Madhav Deshpande wrote:
> In the 17th-18th century text Vedavicaara that I am editing and
> translating, there is an interesting line explaining why the draaviDa
> brahmans of the south do not have any interaction/co-participation with the
> gurjara brahmans, though the gurjaras are technically considered to be
> draaviDas.  The text says:
> gau.dadezavad gurjaradeze 'py anaacaarabaahulyaat te.saam
> aacaaryazaapa-dagdhatvaat keraladeziiyabraahma.naadivat
> samvyavahaaraabhaava.h
> Like the the GauDa region, there is profusion of misbehavior (anaacaara)
> even in the Gurjara region, and hence, by being cursed by the aacaarya
> (who?), there is no dealing with them, as there is no dealing (for similar
> reasons) with brahmans from Kerala etc.
> I wonder if anyone has come across this story of some aacaarya cursing the
> brahmans of Kerala and Gurjara regions for their supposed misbehavior?  I
> suppose the anaacaara in Kerala refers to the relations of brahmans with
> nayar women.  What sort of anaacaara is alleged for the Gurjara brahmans?
>                                         Madhav Deshpande

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