(Last Updated on : 13/03/2019)
Andhra Brahmin Community is one of the South Indian Brahmin communities
native to the Indian state
of Andhra Pradesh
, who speak Telugu
as their native language
. The Andhra Brahmin Community, for their part, produced great musicians
, such as Kshetrajna
who was also a great saint poet as was Narayana Tirtha and more recently like Visvesvarayya and Radhakrishnan, who was a leading philosopher
Andhra Brahmin Community, born to learning and nurtured in it, was often of invaluable help to their rulers
who rewarded them suitably. Copper
-plate charters of the Chalukya
rulers record the extensive grants made to the members of this community. Their competence led to the rulers appointing them in secular posts.
Origin of Andhra Brahmin Community
Andhra Brahmin Community can trace their origin to the time of the Brahmin Satavahana dynasty
. It was one of the earliest records in their history, which was a period of prosperity for the region as well as a time of Brahminical achievement.
Classification of Andhra Brahmin Community
Andhra Brahmin Community falls under the Pancha Dravida Brahmin classification of the Brahmin community in India.
Andhra Brahmin Community was sub-divided on the basis of pursuits which include Vaidikis, Niyogis, Deshasthas and Dravidas. They are divided on the basis of Vedic traditions
that they follow such as Smartha, Madhva and Sri Vaishnava.
The Vaidikis continued the traditional occupation of priesthood, observing Vedic rituals
and vows; officiating at ceremonies
; expounding the sacred books and the Mahabharata
and the Ramayana
to the royal family
and the public; and serving as temple priests
. Since Brahmin tradition had to be perpetuated, some of their time was given to teaching. The Vaidikis were either looked after directly by their royal patrons or were settled in the 'agrabarams' (villages
) given as sifts for their maintenance. Some lived on alms, which was devoid of stigma, being ordained by the scriptures
. Some of the subjects of the Vaidikis, which evolved long ago on a regional basis, are the Velanadu, Mulakanadu, Kasalnadu, Veginadu, Koneseema, Telaganyam, Karnakammulu and Partha-masakis.
The Niyogis also followed Brahmin tradition in their personal lives. The subjects of the Niyogis, which are based mostly on distinctions of employment, are Nandavarikulu, Kammalu, Desalavayulu and Pranganadu.
During the Chalukya rule, a number of Brahmin families from Tamil Nadu
settled in Andhra Pradesh. They formed the nucleus of the Dravida sect
of the Andhra Brahmin community.
Apart from these divisions based on occupational or regional differences, there are the sects based on faith: the Madhavas
comprising the Smartas
who worship all the Gods
of the Hindu
pantheon and the Lingayats
who wear lingams
on their persons and proclaim the supremacy of Lord Shiva
was present among Andhra Brahmin Community as far back as the 2nd century. In the 12th century the stirring lyrics of Jayadeva
found their way into Andhra adding a poetic dimension to the Bhakti cult
. This inspired a number of artistic works in Andhra, which were suffused, with devotion. Inspired by divine ecstasy, Potana
, a Telugu Brahmin poet, wrote the 'Bhagavata.' The love of Krishna
and the need to seek redemption through divine grace found expression in the creation of two major classical dance styles - Kuchipudi
and Bhagavata Mela
As in the rest of India, the Andhra Brahmin Communitys confrontation with the modern age has caused many a compromise with tradition and orthodoxy. Within the community there is a definite trend towards modernization but this trend is not very marked. They still cling to certain attitudes, especially, regarding women
and though education
for girls is acceptable, it is mostly meant to enhance their matrimonial projects. A womans role is strictly limited to the home and the family and the dowry system
exists in one subtle form or another though forbidden by the law