[RISA-L] Why no 'shrautas,' given 'smaartas'?

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Tue Mar 29 00:23:15 UTC 2005

There is another distinct use of the term smArta that occurs at some point in time especially in South India.  There is a general distinction between VaiSNava and smArta brahmins, the latter typically worshipping Ziva as well as ViSNu.  But not all worshippers of Ziva are smArta brahmins.  Evidently the dIkSita brahmins of Chidambaram who own the naTarAja temple and officiate in the temple are not smArta (nor VaiSNava obviously), and that creates an impression that the term smArta at some point simply becomes an ethnic term in this region.

Madhav M. Deshpande

-----Original Message-----
From: Indology on behalf of Patrick Olivelle
Sent: Mon 3/28/2005 6:16 PM
To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
Subject:      Re: [RISA-L] Why no 'shrautas,' given 'smaartas'?
Smartas are really not Brahmins who STUDY the smritis, but those who
follow the smrit rituals -- for the most part domestic -- as opposed
to those who act as priests in temples.

There need not be a term to refer to those Brahmins who study the
Veda, because theoretically all are supposed to study and read the
Vedas. There are other words that refer to Brahmins who are "well
versed in" or "experts" in the Veda. For example, "bahuzruta",
"zrotriya", and (in its later meaning) "brahmavadin".


At 5:50 PM -0500 28.3.05, Joperry2 at aol.com wrote:
>I'll try a shorter version of my query (see subject line):
>I'm told there are smaartas, Brahmins who study the smrtis but
><<There is no real category of shrautas, [= those Brahmins who study shrutis]
>though there evidently should be (there are
>vaidiks, chautrvedis, dvivedis, trivedis,
>depending on how many vedas you carry the living
>tradition of).>>
>Why not? or does this supposedly innovative term appear somewhere
>else after all?
>John Oliver Perry
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