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Gothram - alumni

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prasad1

Well-known member
It pains me that we keep talking about Gothram as if it is very important. Just like caste it was a classification by birth and should be rejected by modern society.

The origin and development of the concept of gotra is not clear when approached sociologically. People of all castes and speaking different languages and in different regions of India have the same gotra, like bharadwaja,kaushika,(sri)vatsa, garga,atreya Vaishampayana,saupayana, manava, sikita rathitara etc are rare gotras.Gotra alone therefore does not denote any varna(present day caste).Proscribing a swagotra marriage is a tradition that can not be justified/rejected on any scientific,medical or socio-ethnic basis.The rishis who held gurukula wherein students of all castes studied might have bestowed their names as honorifics like modern cambridgian,harwadian etc. There is no proof at all for a claimed gotra lineage save word of mouth declaration. Thus a Saupayan can be of any caste. Again,caste is a socially customised group with the only proof of parentage recognised by people around,as such. Hence village of origin say four generations ago plays a role in according reconition of a claimed caste.

So if my father went to yale, he is an alumni of yale, but I can not claim to be from yale.
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
This the answer I got for the meaning of 'gothra'...

"In general, gotra denotes all persons who trace descent in an unbroken male line from a common male ancestor.

Panini defines gotra for grammatical purposes as ' apatyam pautraprabhrti gotram' (IV. 1. 162), which means 'the

word gotra denotes the progeny (of a sage) beginning with the son's son. When a person says ' I am Kashypasa-gotra'

he means that he traces his descent from the ancient sage Kashyapa by unbroken male descent. According to the

Baudhâyanas'rauta-sûtra Vishvâmitra, Jamadagni, Bharadvâja, Gautama, Atri, Vasishtha, Kashyapa and Agastya are

8 sages; the progeny of these eight sages is declared to be gotras. This enumeration of eight primary gotras seems to

have been known to PâNini. The offspring of these eight are gotras and others than these are called 'gotrâvayava'."


So, 'Gothra' does not mean Alumni!!
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
I am sorry that has no scientific bearing. I meat a Rajput in Jaipur, a Katri in Jalandhar, and a Reddy in Hydrabad all with the same gothram is mine. I can assure you we can not have any ancestor in common. Wikipedia is not an authority you can quote as reference. 99% of the world does not know their Gothram. Only Brahmain carry this a badge of honor to humiliate others in puja by asking for this. No one knows what is true gotram, we just go with what was told to us. If you are so sure of your facts tell me the gothram of Pandavas. And how would you determine their gothram, would it of the Kuru Vansh?

It is hilarious that we carry this gothram thing as if it is scientific. In ISKON every convert is given a Gothram, please dont tell me that their is a male lineage.

In Tamil Nadu the Vellar also have gothram

Gothra is not exactly a family-based lineage, but rather refers to many lineages emerging from the same village. In the olden days of the rishis or seers, people of many castes and communities would place themselves under the tutelage of a teacher or set of teachers, who would instruct each family on the portions of the Vedas that applied to their specific interests in terms of career, vocational skills, marriage, spirituality, and so on. The village would be named after the leading rishi, and the people belonging to that village would take upon that Rishi's name as a means of identifying themselves when they travelled. Many of the descendants of these original peoples have held onto this 'gothra' out of sentiment and tradition.

People not knowing their gothra, or those outside of this system such as Westerners, will generally refer to themselves as belonging to Vishnu gothra, since Vishnu, the All-pervading spirit of the Universe, rests in the heart of all beings, and as a result belongs to all Gothras.

In Kamma community if you know your last name you can find your Gotram. Kappu community even have website to determine your gothram.
http://kapusangam.com/surname_gotralu.php




 
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talwan

Well-known member
Hello Rajprasad,
In my view 'Gothra' is followed as a family linage.The tamil near equivalant could be 'kulam'.In Bhagvat Gita Arjuna talks about not willing to fight against Kauravaas as this would result in killing his 'kulam' .This will end up no 'pithru' samrakshanam and pithrus will fall from pithru loka and they will not attain salvation.At earlier stages this was followed to keep the kula dharma.Now it cannot be claimed .So it is used only as a pride of family.
Alwan
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
....In my view 'Gothra' is followed as a family linage.The tamil near equivalant could be 'kulam'.
I do not think 'kulam' is the near equivalent to 'gothra'. We call kshathriya kulam, andhaNa kulam, arakkar kulam

and so on. It can not be the gothra. The descendants of Rishis would have spread all over the country and

hence people of different culture have the same gothram. A female gets the gothram of the person whom she marries.

The descendants of the rishis, who lived long long ago, might have married women of different culture and hence

people of different languages and culture have same gothram. When the mother of a child shows the father, the

child starts calling him father. Like wise, the lineage has come a very long way and each generation reveals their

gothram
to the next generation.


It is said that sagOthrA marriage can be performed, if there is no link between the families of the bride and groom

for the past seven generations! But I wonder who will be able to tell about all the seven generations!!


Do you know something? Many of the non brahmin communities say their gothram as 'Shiva Gothram'!!

:decision:
 

Nara

Well-known member
Now, even if we concede gothram has any significance, something I just can't do, why this prohibition against sagothram marriage alone on the basis of it being equivalent to incest, how about lineage through mothers? As I observed a little earlier, marriage between cousins with mothers who are sisters is forbidden also.

I fully endorse rajprasad -- "Only Brahmain carry this a badge of honor to humiliate others in puja by asking for this" -- another example of Brahmins trying to separate themselves from all others.

Cheers!
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
Brahmins are not the only community who have the gothram badge. I have a lot of non brahmin friends

who say that thier gothram is Shiva Gothram. May be they mean that they pray Lord Shiva!! :noidea:
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
If gothram is through paternal lineage, how does a Rajput in Jaipur is of Bharadwaj Gothram. Did a male progeny of a brahmin suddenly became Chatriya? It would make sense that his forefathers also went to the gurukul of Bharadwaj Rishi.:faint:
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
Sri. Rajprasad has a very good topic for research and a doctorate degree in some US university!!

When a brahmin marries a princess, he is sure to 'become' a king and consequently a kshathriyA.

He will not make the princess a brahmin lady, and forgo the royal weath! Please think in those lines, Sir!

 

happyhindu

Well-known member
Shri Rajprasad,

Interesting topic. Saw this just now or wud have posted something earlier.

Considering the mixing, churning, reinventing, wars, and so on, IMO gotras only have a cultural value and an academic value these days. IMO it wud be ridiculous to claim biological descent based on gotras, kootams, clans or any such concept in present times.

Having said this, hope we can follow up your post as an academic exercise. I request Sangom sir and other knowledgable people to kindly correct things which are wrong below.

I am sorry that has no scientific bearing. I meat a Rajput in Jaipur, a Katri in Jalandhar, and a Reddy in Hydrabad all with the same gothram is mine. I can assure you we can not have any ancestor in common.
I have not heard of the concept of gotras prevailing amongst reddys. If you say it exists, please cud you provide some reference for it.

Wikipedia is not an authority you can quote as reference. 99% of the world does not know their Gothram. Only Brahmain carry this a badge of honor to humiliate others in puja by asking for this. No one knows what is true gotram, we just go with what was told to us. If you are so sure of your facts tell me the gothram of Pandavas. And how would you determine their gothram, would it of the Kuru Vansh?
Perhaps it is possible that the Kurus came from a system which did not follow gotras. And hence the kurus did not mention their gotras in the Mahabharat (??). I suspect the kurus were following the system of clans and clan-based divisions during that time and not the system of brahmanical gotras (possibly the system of brahmanical gotras were not created during that time).

It is hilarious that we carry this gothram thing as if it is scientific. In ISKON every convert is given a Gothram, please dont tell me that their is a male lineage.
I feel perhaps ISCKON is following the buddhist concept of assigning gotras "based on spiritual lineage" but is instead using names of 'vedic' rishis...In case anyone thinks brahmanical gotras are the same as Buddhist gotras, please let me mention this excerpt from here :

The word gotra is frequently used in the literature of Mahayana Buddhism to denote categories of persons classified according to their psychological, intellectual, and spiritual types. The chief types usually mentioned in this kind of classification are the Auditors making up the irdvaka-gotra, the Individual Buddhas making up the pratyehabitddha-gotra, and the Bodhisattvas making up the bodhisattva-gotra... Each of the first three categories is thus comprised of persons capable of achieving a particular kind of maturity and spiritual perfection in accordance with their specific type or class, the Auditor then attaining the Awakening (bodhi) characteristic of the Sravaka and so on...

In Tamil Nadu the Vellar also have gothram
AFAIK Velalars have kootams, a concept based on clans (kulams), and clan-divisions. It is claimed (on blogs and caste sites) that they derive their name from Vel (lance), and hence have a so-called 'kshatriya' tradition of gotras/kootams.

It must be remembered that Vellalas were classed as Keezhor in the Tholkappiyam. Its not possible that a set of farmers facing troubles with the Chola establishment as agricultural slaves suddenly end up as elite soilders and army commanders of the Chola kingdom.

IMO vellalars had remained farmers in the Chola domains, but there was an other set of Vellalars (Velirs akin to kaikollars) who arose from the Velams (harems) and served as elite military people. However this structure must have broken down after cholas were defeated.

Subsequently, over time, the velalar farmers must have merged with the Velam outputs. And thus enjoined upon themselves the system of Kootams and Pangalis. Prior to this, the system of kootams may have only belonged to the velirs or velam outputs owning lands and dividing lands as pangalis (shareholders).

Quite possibly only in times much later to this breakdown did sanskritisation events led to kallars, maravars, agamudiayars being elevated as vellalars. Therefore imo, the concept of Kootams, (or so called 'gotras') amongst various groups claiming to be Vellalars, is not a very clear cut form of descent (as they claim it to be).

The same situation must have prevailed in other southern indian states. We must also remember that before the situation of warfare and formation of kingdoms, peasantisation / sanskritisation events of tribals converting into 'castes' may have caused them to adopt a 'gotra' based on the village in which they settled.

Since a village signified a clan's breakaway settlement, thus tribals wud have got absorbed into a clan as well. In this manner, so called blood-based kinship structures may have been created with older structures getting destroyed at different periods in historical times. So the concept remained, and got propagated like a cultural transplant but the innards always kept changing.

All the same, we must remember that the concept of clans, exogamy, village settlements are all tribal concept and it is difficult to date back totemic observances. Therefore the system of kootams (clan-based division) could be an ancient concept (older than the concept of gotras) though it got corrupted over time.

Now the whole concept of gotras is puzzling. Firstly, there is no concept of gotras as male lineages in the vedas and vedanta texts. AFAIK there are no gotras in the brahmanas (texts), aranyakas, either.

The concept of gotras male lineages are first mentioned by Yaska and Panini. Question is why and how was the concept of gotras derived based on rishis long after the vedic period. Is it possible that the brahmanas (texts) were formed just a few centuries before the period of Yaska and Panini; and therefore during the period of Yaska and Panini, it became necessary to list out gotras to demarcate and enumerate which one was arsha and which one was non-arsha (non-brahmanical) ??

The Ashtadhyayi of Panini says Vamsya is the founder of a family (that is, one from whom a family derived its lineage and surname) and thus the term Vamsya is inclusive of the word Vriddha and Gotra [Ref: "Gotras in Pāṇini: an exposition with a critical text of the Gotras in the Ashṭādhyāyī" published by the Banaras Hindu University]. So the Vamsa (clan concept) was inextricably linked to gotra.

Gothra is not exactly a family-based lineage, but rather refers to many lineages emerging from the same village. In the olden days of the rishis or seers, people of many castes and communities would place themselves under the tutelage of a teacher or set of teachers, who would instruct each family on the portions of the Vedas that applied to their specific interests in terms of career, vocational skills, marriage, spirituality, and so on. The village would be named after the leading rishi, and the people belonging to that village would take upon that Rishi's name as a means of identifying themselves when they travelled. Many of the descendants of these original peoples have held onto this 'gothra' out of sentiment and tradition.
I request you to provide some basis on which you have mentioned the above. AFAIK, the concept of gotras is supposed to date to the period when there was a 'merger' between the aryan tribes with others. Perhaps you will find this excerpt interesting from a book "Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics" by John Selbie, p.355:

The Bhargavas and Angirasas, in virtue of their relation to the Atharvaveda, were more closely allied to the warrior than to the Brahman caste; even according to the brahmanical tradition they belong, together with the Kashyapas and the Vashistas, to the mulagotrani, the original and truly ancient gotras; while the other gotras as the Mahabharata puts it became great by the merit of their works. In this passage we light once more upon the antagonism that prevailed between certain gotras - an antagonism which was in no sense confined to the matters of ritual already referred to, but made itself felt also in political life. That rivalry for political supremacy was the main factor in the conflicts between the Vashistas and the Vishwamitras need hardly be doubted. The former were in the secret possession of a doctrine, a brahmanam - the twenty nine stomabhaga maxims - and it was on this account that the Bharatas always chose their purohitas from among the Bharatas.

People not knowing their gothra, or those outside of this system such as Westerners, will generally refer to themselves as belonging to Vishnu gothra, since Vishnu, the All-pervading spirit of the Universe, rests in the heart of all beings, and as a result belongs to all Gothras.
:) Maybe this will interest you:

As against Varsinivrddha (KB vii 4) the sutra lists all have Visnuvrddha a form which is further suported by later inscriptions. Here the replacement of Vrsni - by the better known Visnu - may have been assisted by a semi-prakritic form *visni-

Read more here about divergences in sutra lists - The Early Brahmanical System of Gotra and Pravara (p.xiii).

In Kamma community if you know your last name you can find your Gotram. Kappu community even have website to determine your gothram.
Surnames and Gotralu
This kapu list differs from the list professed by the ones settled in tamilnadu (the ones settled there since a very long time). In any case, please do not beleive this nonsense.

Anyways, perhaps this could interest you :

The gotra of the Kaundinyas, which traces its descent from Vasistha, and to which belonged, as we saw above, the wife of Mahavira, the founder of the Jain sect, takes its name, as does the gotra of the Kapis, from the ape; and in the passage of the Kacchapajataka where it is said to the tortoise which had fastened upon the genital parts of an ape, ''Tortoises are Kasyapas, apes are Kaundinyas ; Kasyapa let go the Kaundinya, thou has effected copulation'' - we have an allusion - in terms of the beast-fable - to the matrimonial relations subsisting between the two human families..
[Ref: Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, p.358].

Regards.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
HappyHindu I am highly impressed by your post. "you are the Man" I salute you.
My main interest in this posting was to emphasis that Gothram is not to be confused with immediate lineage. I fully agree that there should not be inter marriage between close relatives, so as to avoid inbreeding.

The ban on sagothra marriage is irrational. When we go to a Temple, I ask the pujari to perform the archana in the name of the God, as God knows me (LOL). It is customary among single ladies even in olden days. In Birla mandirs and northern temple no one is humiliated by asking them to provide your Gothram or any other nonsense.

The reddy I meat in Hydrabad gave his Gothram as Bharadwaj in a Temple during archana. I do not have any other proof.
 
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Nara

Well-known member
HappyHindu I am highly impressed by your post. "you are the Man" I salute you.
It should be "you are the Woman" and with that I agree with all my heart.

When we go to a Temple, I ask the pujari to perform the archana in the name of the God, as God knows me (LOL).
Why then do archana in the first place? Archana is to sing the praise of the specific god in the temple. To ask the poojari to do it in the name of the God is like making God sing his/her own praise.

Instead, you may consider telling the poojari to do it for lokakshemam or some such superlative objective, but even that would be arrogant I feel, because the God, if it is god, should already know its responsibility for lokakshemam, who are we to tell it?

Dear sir, please don't take this as a negative comment, just another perspective to think about.

Take it easy ...
 

happyhindu

Well-known member
HappyHindu I am highly impressed by your post. "you are the Man" I salute you.
My main interest in this posting was to emphasis that Gothram is not to be confused with immediate lineage. I fully agree that there should not be inter marriage between close relatives, so as to avoid inbreeding.

The ban on sagothra marriage is irrational. When we go to a Temple, I ask the pujari to perform the archana in the name of the God, as God knows me (LOL). It is customary among single ladies even in olden days. In Birla mandirs and northern temple no one is humiliated by asking them to provide your Gothram or any other nonsense.

The reddy I meat in Hydrabad gave his Gothram as Bharadwaj in a Temple during archana. I do not have any other proof.
Thankyou Rajprasad. You are right reg ban on sagothra weddings. Funnily the haryana khaps which make big noise about this are Jats having non-arsha gotras based on village names and clans which by nature of settlement tend to alter as socio-political units. Even in brahmanical gotras there is nothing called a constant set of gotrakarins.

I feel archakars will ask for gotra as a customary thing; i don't think they wish to insult or any such thing. Generally people also will tell their name, nakshatram and gotram while handing over the pooja items, as a customary thing without the archakar even asking for it..

Let us say gotras are a sorta religious value with no other significance.
Identities were and remain transitory.

As regards prayers, and all, God knows us whether we speak it out or not. We don't have to say anything...

Of late southie temple do not ask gothra. Instead they tend to use Shiva gotra or Vishnu gotra for non-brahmins by default. Funnily Shiva Gotra is listed as a brahmanical gotra by Panini but today it is used for non-brahmins (and that is another indicator of movements in and out of a grouping).

I persume the Reddy you are referring to is a Devanga. Because there are Devangas who have Reddy as surname and use Bharadvaja as gotra (again that indicates that Reddy is just a title..)..

Am told most northies do not have gotras; and as a matter of fact they take the gotra of their purohit (ie, whoever is the purohit conducting the ritual). But they claim to be dvijas (am told that its just a claim though since one wud not want to offend the sensibilites of a patron)....

However totemic exogamous clans as Kul and Vansh are concepts found in scheduled castes and tribes also...Just shows how much we are similar than dissimilar IF we go back in time....Prob is we hold on to identities as we know of them here and now and make a big issue out of it. Imagine politics being made out of khaps and gotras.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
It should be "you are the Woman" and with that I agree with all my heart.

Why then do archana in the first place? Archana is to sing the praise of the specific god in the temple. To ask the poojari to do it in the name of the God is like making God sing his/her own praise.

Instead, you may consider telling the poojari to do it for lokakshemam or some such superlative objective, but even that would be arrogant I feel, because the God, if it is god, should already know its responsibility for lokakshemam, who are we to tell it?

Dear sir, please don't take this as a negative comment, just another perspective to think about.

Take it easy ...

Sorry about the sex part.
I do archana purely to not antagonize the escorts. For me I put the money in the Hundi and do not want any puja performed.

Please I do not take any offence at all.

I do admire your explanation. Thanks
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
refer to post#9

"When a brahmin marries a princess, he is sure to 'become' a king and consequently a kshathriyA."

A queen's husband does not become a King (see prince Philip).

What is the Gotram of an adopted child (there is no lineage )?
Common practice is to assigning the adopting family's gothram.


 
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Raji Ram

Well-known member
OMG! When did Prince Philip become a brahmin?? Give a better example please, Sir!

Yes, the adopted child will have his / her (adopting) father's gothram. What is the problem?
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
OMG! When did Prince Philip become a brahmin?? Give a better example please, Sir!

Yes, the adopted child will have his / her (adopting) father's gothram. What is the problem?

What a comedy. My response was to post#9. now read it again.
There in no problem, but it disproves the patrilinear genealogy for Gothram. and it proves my point that Gothram should be used as a criteria for any decision.
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
What a comedy. My response was to post#9. now read it again.
There in no problem, but it disproves the patrilinear genealogy for Gothram. and it proves my point that Gothram should be used as a criteria for any decision.
I think you are in an 'arguing' spirit...

Post # 9 is written by me, Sir. And since you continued the same font, I could find out more easily!

I mentioned that if a brahmin marries a princess (not a queen) he would like to become a king and will not

bring his princess wife to lead a brahmin's life. Just my guess work, as you guess that gothram is alumni!

The child takes the father's gothram, whether born to him or adopted. That was my point.

Anyway there are very many scholars in this forum, who will clarify your doubts. I was only giving my

assumptions, since a brahmin takes the gothram of his / her father. Thats all! :)

Thank you!
 

sangom

Well-known member
Wonder why, in this thread, all scholars of this forum are :tape2: ?!

Smt. Raji Ram,

This is a post which is a paradox. It will ensure that the real scholars remain :tape2: But ***** rush in where angels fear to tread, so here goes.

The topic of Gothram has been discussed in this forum umpteen number of times, in many threads and different facets thereof have been analysed threadbare. But this is the first time the new idea of "Gotra = school, alumnii", has been proposed.

The word "Gotra" literally means something which shelters cows or a cow-pen. When the vedic people had not yet become a fully farming society and were still in the last stages of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, cattle-rustling was a very common activity for proving the suzerainty of one clan or group over another, till the other proved its victory over the first. The Maasai of Kenya probably practice this even in the present era.

As time passed, this word Gotra came to denote specific clans. That is why in the "abhivaadayE" we have the "pravara" of rishis, 5,3, 1 or even 7 at times. And the mantra goes "trayaarsheya", "panchaarsheya", etc., followed by "pravaraanvita".

pravara - specially great, renowned
anvita - following, coming after, descending

Therefore, there seems to be little doubt that our Dharma Sastras envisaged that the brahmins were descendents of the great rishis
mentioned previously, who adorned the Gotra.

Secondly, our ancient Gurukula system was single Guru-oriented. It could not have more than one Guru and the disciples were supposed to stay in the house of the guru as members of their household. Hence, a gotra with more than one Rishi being considered "pravara" cannot become a gurukulam, imo.













 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
Thank you for your post Sangom Sir! Since I wanted a clear answer in this thread, I asked the scholars to post here.

Any way, repeating the same stuff is NOT new to our forum, right sir? Thanks again.

BTW, you have not acknowledged my 'tutorial' in the 'mirdhangam' thread!!

Regards,
Raji Ram :)
 

sarang

Well-known member
In almost all the temples in tamilnadu, the archakar does not ask for specific details; he asks 'yar perile'. Brahmins and many forward communities (modern methods of classification) respond with - perumal iswaran, ambal, thayar, sami or fill in name, nakshtra and/or gotra details. Nobody feels bad, embarrassed or humiliated. Some even say that they don't know the gotra and are not embarrassed to say it. In some temples (Srinivasr temple near mettupalaym/coimbatore), they collect all known details when archanas are booked and one common archana is done around noon with all the sevarthis seated in front of the garbhagriha. In the sankalpam all the names are read out and a single archanai is done.

We can still practise our traditions and take along everybody with us, satisfy everybody's need without ruffling feathers or falling for the baits of brahmin reformers.
 

sangom

Well-known member
Thank you for your post Sangom Sir! Since I wanted a clear answer in this thread, I asked the scholars to post here.

Any way, repeating the same stuff is NOT new to our forum, right sir? Thanks again.

BTW, you have not acknowledged my 'tutorial' in the 'mirdhangam' thread!!

Regards,
Raji Ram :)

Smt. Raji Ram,

This is to formally thank you for the guidance you gave. Thank you. It was just that I used that knowledge to insert an image only later and then I forgot to thank you.
 

sangom

Well-known member
In almost all the temples in tamilnadu, the archakar does not ask for specific details; he asks 'yar perile'. Brahmins and many forward communities (modern methods of classification) respond with - perumal iswaran, ambal, thayar, sami or fill in name, nakshtra and/or gotra details. Nobody feels bad, embarrassed or humiliated. Some even say that they don't know the gotra and are not embarrassed to say it. In some temples (Srinivasr temple near mettupalaym/coimbatore), they collect all known details when archanas are booked and one common archana is done around noon with all the sevarthis seated in front of the garbhagriha. In the sankalpam all the names are read out and a single archanai is done.

We can still practise our traditions and take along everybody with us, satisfy everybody's need without ruffling feathers or falling for the baits of brahmin reformers.

May I say that in Kerala temples, gothram is never ask for; only the name and nakshatra are needed. All castes, including Dalits take the receipt for archanai in which the name and nakshatra will be recorded. (In some very small temples, there is no devaswom office which issues such receipts after receiving the money, and there we have to pay the money to the priest directly and he will ask you to tell in whoce name the archanai is to be performed and the nakshatra of that person.

What happens next is more interesting. In some temples where the sanctum sanctorum is away from the place where devotees stand, I have "seen" the "mElSAnthi" - who alone can enter the Garbhagriham - simply placing all the receipts, mumbling (inaudible to me because he is away) some few "namas" - because universally no one says namaha as required for accuracy - and pat comes the prasadams in batches of 10,20 or even more archanais in popular temples. All the while, the mElSAnthi will be preparing these prasadams - small bits of plantain leaf with some flowers, chandanam paste and kumkumam or vibhuti. For VIP devotees, the mElSAnthi himself will come and enquire the naama nakshatra details, more namas in a slightly louder tone will be audible if you are intent upon it and the prasadam in a "thoosan ela" (what we call nuni elai, one plantain leaf with the end and both halves intact, and will get a dakshinai in return directly.

Getting such VIP treatment is both a social status and a matter of personal satisfaction of having earned special affection of the deity, to many devotees.

In any case gone are the days when I could hear the priest reciting namas for sufficiently enough number of times to justify ashTottharam (108 times) or sahasranamam (1008). Archanai has become a real "VazhipaaDu" - a meaningless routine in commonplace Malayalam :)
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
Archanai has become a real "VazhipaaDu" - a meaningless routine in commonplace Malayalam :)

Nice post. Very informative as always.
My experience is limited as we are basically Visitors, generally visit with with some local escorts. We have been specifically asked for name. gothram, natchutram, and sometimes rasi. I used to carry a cheat sheet so that I do not embarrass my host. But then I was told that to tell "swami parelai" and made it easier. I do not claim to have the same devotion like others, may be I am just an onlooker. I think my God knows me, I need to know God.
 
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