[Advaita-l] Temples across India
sjayana at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 6 13:56:35 CST 2010
--- On Thu, 2/4/10, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:
> From: Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Temples across India
> To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
> Date: Thursday, February 4, 2010, 6:09 PM
> On Thu, 4 Feb 2010, S Jayanarayanan
> > Is the information below concerning priests in the
> various temples of India factually/historically accurate
> (especially the second paragraph), or is it fanciful
> imagination? The claim is that Sankara ordered Northerners
> to be priests at certain South-Indian temples, and
> vice-versa. I've never heard that the Pujaris in the famous
> Rameswaram temple were North-Indian!
> I don't think it is true historically and it certainly
> doesn't seem to be true today.
At least one factoid is correct: the chief priest at the Badrinath temple is a Namboothiri Brahmin from Kerala, as per the following sources. It is too much of a coincidence that someone from Kerala is taking care of the holiest shrine dedicated to Vishnu in far North India - this must have almost certainly been instituted by Sankara.
> > http://www.namboothiri.com/articles/raavaljis-of-badari.htm
> > "The temple Poojaaris (temple priests) of Badari are
> Namboothiris from northern Kerala, a tradition started and
> ordained by Sree Sankaracharya himself. These priests,
> called Raavals, are selected from the members belonging to a
> group of Brahmanan families who were brought to north Kerala
> from Gokarnam by the king of Kolathunaadu in the 17th
> century AD (click here for more details of these
> > the Chowbey Braahmanans from Orissa should be the
> Poojaaris at Dwaraka;
> Chowbey (or more usually Chaube) is a prakritization of
> Chaturvedi and they are from Mathura and surrounding parts
> of UP not Orissa. They are typically followers of
> Vallabhacharya and as Dwarka has long been under the
> influence of that branch of Vaishnavism, it is possible that
> some Chaubes may have become pujaris at Dwarkadish.
> However the last time my father went there about five years
> back, the priest was a Gujarati Brahmana.
> > and the Poojaaris at Jagannath Puri should be the
> Pandas from Gujarat.
> Panda or Pandey are common Brahmana surnames in Eastern
> India (prakrit forms of Pandit) but not in Gujarat where the
> equivalent form is Pandya (which in turn has nothing to do
> with the South Indian royal dynasty of that name.)
> > No doubt, Sree Sankara ordained all these to ensure
> the inter-linking and integration of the various pan-Indian
> trends and traditions.
> It's unlikely.
> -- Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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