Showing posts with label Nambudiri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nambudiri. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Are The Nambudiri Brahmins?


Nambudiri is a southern Indian brahmin community that is a sub-division of the Dravida brahmins, one of five brahmin groups in southern India (Pancha Dravida).

The traditional territory of the Nambudiris lies in what is now the modern state of Kerala.

The Nambudiris are well-known throughout India for their piety and learning.

Shankaracharya, the famous philosopher, was a Nambudiri brahmin, according to legend.

Shankaracharya supposedly designated one Hindu holy location in each corner of the subcontinent and established a Dashanami Sanyasi monastic institution (math) to instruct scholarly monks in his aim to restore Hindu religion.

In the Himalayas, one of these spiritual locations was Badrinath.

The Dandi Sanyasis, who were also Nambudiri brahmins, conducted temple devotion for many hundred years, according to Badrinath temple archives.

When the last of them died in 1776 without an heir, the shrine's patron, the local monarch, requested a non-ascetic Nambudiri brahmin to serve as the temple's priest.

This priest was granted the title of rawal ("deputy"), and his extended family has been in charge of the shrine ever since.

The rawal was the only one who could touch the reigning deity's picture.

As a result, he was forced to remain a bachelor, lest the ceremonial impurity associated with childbirth (sutakashaucha) make him incapable of performing his responsibilities.

For a long time, the rawals held exclusive authority over the offerings made at the shrine, but the temple has been managed by a committee since 1939, and the rawal's role has been limited to ceremonial tasks.

~Kiran Atma

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