Tamil Brahmins, are Tamil-speaking Brahmins, primarily living in Tamil Nadu, although a few of them have settled in other states like, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka . They can be broadly divided into three religious groups, Gurukkals who follow Saivism, Iyers who follow the Srauta and Smartha tradition and Iyengars who follow Sri Vaishnavism.
|Regions with significant populations|
|Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,Telangana,Kerala and Andhra Pradesh|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Pancha-Dravida Brahmins, Tamil people|
- 1 Groups
- 2 Notable people
- 3 See also
- 4 References
Tamil Brahmins are divided into three groups -- Iyers, Iyengars and Gurukkal. Iyers form the majority of the Tamil Brahmin population and are Smarthas, while Iyengars are Vaishnavas and Gurukkals are Saivas.
Iyers are Srauta-Smartha Brahmins, most of whom follow the Advaita philosophy propounded by Adi Shankara. Advaita Vedanta has been in existence from way before Adi Sankara. In fact, Vedanta refers to itself as Anadi, meaning without beginning and are concentrated mainly along the Cauvery Delta districts of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Tiruchirapalli where they form almost 10% of the total population. However the largest population reside in Nagercoil, making up to 13% of the city's population They are also found in significant numbers in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Ambasamudram, Palakkad and Trivandrum.
Iyengars follow the Visishtadvaita philosophy propounded by Sri Vikanasa or Sri Ramanujacharya. They are divided into two sub-sects: Vadakalai (Northern branch) and Thenkalai (Southern branch). They are devout worshippers of Lord Vishnu.
The sect of Sivāchārya or Gurukkal form the hereditary priesthood or in the Siva and Sakthi temples in Tamil Nadu. They are Saivites and adhere to the philosophy of Shaiva Siddhanta. They are well versed in Vedas, Agama Sasthras and follow the Agamic rituals of these temples. Because of these cultural differences, intermarriages with other Tamil Brahmanas are rare even to this date. Gurukkals are sub-divided into Tiruvalangad, Conjeevaram and Thirukkazhukunram.
Spiritual Masters and Religious scholarsEdit
- Ramanuja, Indian theologian and philosopher
- Nambiyandar Nambi, Shaiva scholar and spiritual Guru of Rajaraja I
- Periyalvar, Vaishnava poet-saint of Tamil Nadu
- Sambandar, Saiva poet-saint of Tamil Nadu
- Ramana Maharshi, Sage
- Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, father of modern Yoga
- B. K. S. Iyengar, Founder of the style of modern yoga
- Velukkudi Krishnan, Religious scholar
Poets, Writers and JournalistsEdit
- Vaali, Tamil Cinema songwriter.
- V. D. Trivadi, journalist, humorist, poet, and award-winning playwright recognized for his columns and editorials in the Times of India, Illustrated Weekly, Hindustan Times, and Span.
- S. Subramania Iyer, lawyer, jurist and freedom fighter who, along with Annie Besant, founded the Home Rule Movement.
- Subramaniya Siva, Tamil writer and activist
- U. V. Swaminatha Iyer, Tamil scholar and researcher
- R. K. Narayan, Indian writer
- R. K. Laxman, Indian cartoonist, illustrator, and humorist
- G. Subramania Iyer, former proprietor, editor and managing director of The Hindu
- T. V. Ramasubbaiyer, Founder of Dina Malar, Tamil newspaper
- S. Kasturi Ranga Iyengar, Indian lawyer, Indian independence activist, politician and journalist
- M. Veeraraghavachariar, one of the founders of The Hindu
- Gopalan Kasturi, Indian journalist who served as the Editor of The Hindu
- Kalki Sadasivam,freedom fighter, singer, journalist and film producer
- M. S. Subbulakshmi, veteran carnatic singer
- D. K. Pattammal, veteran carnatic singer
- M. L. Vasanthakumari, Carnatic musician
- D. K. Jayaraman ,Carnatic msician
- Oothukkadu Venkata Kavi, one of the pioneering composers in Indian classical Carnatic music
- Papanasam Sivan, composer of Carnatic music and a singer
- Tirukkodikaval Krishna Iyer, Carnatic violinist
- Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer, Indian classical musician and Veena player
- Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, Indian Carnatic vocalists
- Madurai Mani Iyer, Carnatic music singer
- Maharajapuram Santhanam, was one of the great Carnatic music vocalists of the 20th century
- Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Carnatic vocalist
- Lalgudi Jayaraman, Indian Carnatic violinist
- Nagercoil S. Ganesa Iyer, Indian classical music Mridangam player
- Nagercoil Harihara Iyer, Carnatic singer and violinist
- Bombay Sisters, Carnatic music singing duo.
- Sudha Ragunathan, Indian Carnatic violinist
- P. Unnikrishnan, Indian Carnatic vocalist and playback singer
- Nithyasree Mahadevan, playback singer, carnatic singer.
- Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Carnatic music vocalist
- Karaikudi Mani, Indian percussionist
- Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, Indian classical music violinist
- Neelakanta Sivan, composer of Carnatic music
- Soolamangalam Sisters, Carnatic music sister-pair vocalists and musicians
Social activists and politiciansEdit
- Subramania Bharati, Tamil poet
- A. Vaidyanatha Iyer, Indian activist, politician who spearheaded the temple entry movement
- Subramaniya Siva, Tamil writer and activist
- Vanchinathan, Indian revolutionary
- Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari (Rajaji), Indian politician, independence activist, lawyer, writer, historian, statesman, last Governor-General of India and second Chief Minister of Madras state.
- S. Satyamurti, Indian independence activist and politician
- R. Venkataraman, former President of India
- V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, independence activist
- M. Veeraraghavachariar, Indian journalist and teacher
- Subramanian Swamy, Indian politician, economist and statistician
- Cho Ramaswamy, actor, political satirist
- Janaki Ramachandran, first female Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Jayalalithaa, second female Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Nirmala Sitharaman, first woman full-time Minister of Finance of India
- Sri Srinivasan, American jurist
- S. Venkitaramanan, former Governor of Reserve Bank of India
- Swaminathan Gurumurthy, Chartered Accountant, part-time director of Reserve Bank of India and journalist
- Raghuram Rajan, economist, central banker and former Governor of Reserve Bank of India
- T. N. Seshan, former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and 10th Chief Election Commissioner of India
- N. Gopalaswami, 15th Chief Election Commissioner of India
- T. S. Krishnamurthy, former Indian Revenue Service officer and 13th Chief Election Commissioner of India
- K. Subrahmanyam, prominent international strategic affairs analyst, journalist and former Indian civil servant
- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs (India), former diplomat &Foreign Secretary.
- Srinivasa Ramanujan, mathematician
- Akshay Venkatesh, fields medallist, mathematician
- V. S. Ramachandran, neurologist and neuropsychologist
- S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan, mathematician and Abel Prize laureate
- G. N. Ramachandran, professor of biophysics, discoverer of collagen structure
- C. V. Raman, Nobel Prize Physics winner
- Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Astrophysicist, Nobel Prize Physics winner
- Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Nobel Prize Chemistry winner
- Rajagopalan Vasudevan, Indian scientist who developed an innovative method to reuse plastic waste to construct better, more durable and very cost-effective roads.
- T. V. Sundaram Iyengar, Indian industrialist and automobile pioneer and founder of TVS Group
- S. N. N. Sankaralinga Iyer, Indian industrialist, philanthropist, business magnate and founder of India Cements .
- Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of Sundaram-Clayton Group
- Indra Nooyi, American Business women
- Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons
- Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google
- N. Srinivasan, managing director of India Cements Limited, former Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and former President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI)
- Viswanathan Anand, chess grandmaster and world champion
- K. Srikkanth, opening batsman, former Indian captain
- Ravichandran Ashwin off-spinner, cricketer
- Vijayshankar Indian cricket player
- Venugopal Chandrasekhar Arjuna Award winner and table-tennis national champion
Drama and Cinema IndustryEdit
- F. G. Natesa Iyer, one of the pioneers of modern Tamil drama and Tamil cinema
- K. Balachandar, dramatist, director of Tamil films, Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner
- Gemini Ganesan, Tamil film actor
- Kamal Haasan, Tamil and Hindi film actor
- T. R. Mahalingam, Tamil film actor, singer
- K. V. Mahadevan, Film music director
- Mani Ratnam, Tamil film director
- S. Balachander, film director, actor
- Trisha Krishnan, Tamil film actress
- Vidya Balan, Bollywood actress
- Janani Iyer, Tamil film actress
- Mahalakshmi Iyer, singer
- Poornima Jayaram, Tamil film actress
- Adah Sharma, actress
- Hariharan, playback singer
- S. Ve. Shekher, actor, drama artist
- Ramya Krishnan, actress
- Vasundhara Das, Tamil film actress and playback singer
- R. Madhavan, actor
- Latha Rajinikanth, wife of Tamil super star Rajnikanth
- Anirudh Ravichander, music composer
- Ravi Raghavendra, Indian film actor
- Y. G. Mahendra, Indian dramatist, actor, singer, playwright and comedian
- Raghuram, veteran Choreographer
- Suhasini Maniratnam, actress, wife of Director Mani Ratnam
- Menaka (actress), Tamil-born actress of Malayalam films
- Kala, choreographer
- Brinda, choreographer
- Gayathri Raguram, actress, choreographer
- Crazy Mohan, actor, drama artist
- Hema Malini, actress
- Vyjayanthimala Bali, actress
- Vaali Poet, Lyricist.
- Ajith Kumar Actor.
- Abhirami Venkatachalam Actress
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brahmins.|
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- Folk Songs of Southern India, Pg 3
- "Brahmins seek reservation in education and employment". Thehindu.com. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
- G. S. Ghurye, Pg 393
- Migration and Urbanization among Tamil Brahmans, Pg 5
- Migration and Urbanization among Tamil Brahmans, Pg 15
- "Approaching societal issues through the eyes of Ambedkar". dtNext.in. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- Barry, Ellen (15 March 2016). "With Sri Srinivasan, Indian Town Prays for a 'Son' on Supreme Court". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "AIADMK's pick of no-nonsense Girija Vaidhyanathan as Chief Secretary surprises many". 22 December 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
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