Shaivas and Smartas

Vidyasankar vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 9 18:56:07 CDT 2002

>Appaya was a dikshidar - dikshidars are the temple priests of the famous
>Nataraaja temple in Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. AFAIK they are considered as
>smaarthaas only.

The Chidambaram Dikshitars are an exclusive group of people, who own and
administer the Nataraja temple. They must be distinguished from the
Dikshitars in the general population, as the two are different groups,
historically. Appayya Dikshitar, and other famous names, such as Govinda
Dikshitar, were from the latter group.

The Chidambaram Dikshitars do not intermarry with the general population,
while Dikshitars in the general population usually intermarry with other
groups, i.e. the son of a non-Dikshitar Brahmin can marry the daughter of a
Dikshitar, but not so among Chidambaram Dikshitars.

In general, the name Dikshita is given to a ritual yajamAn who has been
consecrated (by undergoing dIkshA) for the elaborate Srauta ritual. As a
rule, it is not inheritable from father to son, without undergoing the
specific initiation.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list