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Really confused about this

I am from Saurashtra Community. I realized that my ancestors have surname of Iyer (both my father and mother side) . I have never considered myself as Brahmin. I was shocked to see that my both of my grandparents have surname of Iyer .It seems this is contradictory to have this surname as I am don't belong to that community . I have heard/seen some of Saurashtrians had surname like Achary , Rao and Sharma which is fine because this will not conflict with original Iyer from TamilNadu. I am curious to know that why did they used this surname if it is completely unrelated. I asked this same questions to my parents they said few generations back my ancestors are doing Purohitam so they used this surname and they a. My question is can a non south person use this surname?
 

a-TB

Well-known member
No one can give an authoritative answer because there is no authority to do so. It is just a name. You consider using some variations in spelling like Ayyarr. It almost pronounces the same and you dont need to be mistaken as a Tambram
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Iyar (Hebrew: אִייָר‎ or אִיָּר, Standard Iyyar Tiberian ʾIyyār; from Akkadian ayyaru, meaning "Rosette; blossom") is the eighth month of the civil year (which starts on 1 Tishrei) and the second month of the ecclesiastical year (which starts on 1 Nisan) on the Hebrew calendar. The name is Babylonian in origin. It is a spring month of 29 days. Iyar usually falls in April–June on the Gregorian calendar.


The word Iyer / Aiyer / Ayer possibly originates from the Tamil word Ayya, a word denoting respect while addressing a person, usually one who is senior in status or age.
Over time this word Iyer, seemed to be applied to Brahmins more than any other community.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
The Saurashtra people, or Saurashtrians, are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic Hindu community of South India who speak the Saurashtra language, an Indo-Aryan language, predominantly reside in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Saurashtrians trace their ancestry to the historical region of Saurashtra in Western India. Their migration to Southern India owes to the forays and desecration of the Somnath temple triggered by the frequent Muslim invasions, most notably by Mahmud Ghazni. They were a prominent industrious and prosperous mercantile community of merchants and weavers in southern India until the 20th century.

Saurashtrians are Brahmins and are also referred to as Saurashtra Brahmins. Further, like all traditional orthodox Brahmins, they are classified based on their gotra, or patrilineal descent, majority of the people are Vaishnavas, though there is a significant proportion of Shaivas as well. They are prominently known by their unique family names and also use the titles Sharma, Rao, Iyer, Iyengar and Achary as their surnames but belong to linguistic minorities.



In my opinion, wear the last name proudly, you are entitled to it. To be honest your family belonged to the Brahmin subcaste at one time.
 

GNANA SUNYAM

Active member
I am from Saurashtra Community. I realized that my ancestors have surname of Iyer (both my father and mother side) . I have never considered myself as Brahmin. I was shocked to see that my both of my grandparents have surname of Iyer .It seems this is contradictory to have this surname as I am don't belong to that community . I have heard/seen some of Saurashtrians had surname like Achary , Rao and Sharma which is fine because this will not conflict with original Iyer from TamilNadu. I am curious to know that why did they used this surname if it is completely unrelated. I asked this same questions to my parents they said few generations back my ancestors are doing Purohitam so they used this surname and they a. My question is can a non south person use this surname?
The tamil word 'aasiriyar' which is interpreted teacher, during course of time shortened to 'aayar' which shortened to 'ayyar' also spelt 'iyer'.
In TN only brahmins were teaching and they were teaching Sanskrit texts those days. so they were addressed as 'ayyarae'. In due course it became surname for tamil brahmins.

Interestengly in Tamil Bible, Jesus is addressed as 'ayyarae' where it is 'rabbi' in original new testament. 'Rabbi' is Aramaic, the language spoken in Israel during the times of Jesus, for 'teacher'.

To this day, in protestant churches in TN, Iyer does not mean brahmin. Iyer is used to address or refer to their pastor. You may verify this by visiting any Tamil CSI church, or Tamil Lutheran church, nearest to your place.

You may continue to use 'Iyer' as your surname. A Rose is a Rose by whatever name you call it. Everyone is free to have whatever as their name.

Having 'Iyer' in surname does not make you a brahmin as much as being inside a garage holding spanner will not make you a mechanic, nor having a stethoscope around your neck will not make you a doctor.

My name in this forum is gnana sunyam. does not mean my knowledge is zero.

Ask your own self one question. How saurashtrian am I? Is it just a label I have put on my own self without any significance? does it make me super-human in this forum?

May God bless you.
 
Last edited:

kpsarathy

Member
I am from Saurashtra Community. I realized that my ancestors have surname of Iyer (both my father and mother side) . I have never considered myself as Brahmin. I was shocked to see that my both of my grandparents have surname of Iyer .It seems this is contradictory to have this surname as I am don't belong to that community . I have heard/seen some of Saurashtrians had surname like Achary , Rao and Sharma which is fine because this will not conflict with original Iyer from TamilNadu. I am curious to know that why did they used this surname if it is completely unrelated. I asked this same questions to my parents they said few generations back my ancestors are doing Purohitam so they used this surname and they a. My question is can a non south person use this surname?
Is not the past Tamil Movie Singer's, T M Soundararajan, who was Suarashtrian, last name was Iyengar?I have come across the residents of Srirangam, carrying this name for generations, eventhough they originally did not belong to this community. In fact, the terms, Iyers or Iyengars were not in use several centuries ago. Both communities use Sharma as last name in a religious introduction to seniors, like in abhivaadanam.
My suggestion is that you inherited this name and hence use it without any hesitation.
 
Sourashtrians, whose mother tongue and the language spoken at home is Sourashtra, should have originated from Sourashtra. You can agree to the FACT in this statement

Since we do not have history of any INDIAN community maintained in an ascertainable legal format { (i) possible we did not maintain history of our communities - this is incorrect as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam are highly developed languages and stories, poetry, music etc have always flourished, but our languages, culture had been suppressed / destroyed by the British and hence records are not available easily / freely in these needed 200-300 year period (ii) Please refer to the Panchangams published by your community for your history (iii) Refer to the revenue records of how much each hand loom was taxed, what happened during Madurai Famine and other British records for legal information (iv) Refer to doctoral thesis on culture which can shed some light- but here also doctorate degrees were not issued for politically inconvenient issues by British- For example till 1930 s no one was allowed to get their doctoral degree on The First War of Independence or Sepoy Mutiny as it was refereed by the Britishers- study of Indian cultures was looked down upon as the Britishers were more intent on development of coolies, slaves, dubashis and the insulation layer between themselves and natives.)}

As per common knowledge, Bhonsles had brought Sourashtrians from North for weaving the silk garments into Tanjore- (today silk sarees with 3 twisted silk threads as weft and 3 twisted threads as waft is done at Thirupovanam whereas at Kanchi, Kumbakonam etc it is 2x2 giving you a lighter sari)

Rani Mangamma brought them into Madurai and the gifted them land near the Palace for settling down - near Vilakku-thun, Panthadi and it was this queen who gave a Royal decree in 1600s allowing Sourashtrians to do Purohitam +Weaving IE Sourastrians were declared as Brahmins due to their culture and practice of vedhic principles and ALSO as Vaishyas due to their skill in handicrafts- ability to weave, work on cloth (sungudi saree being an example) and work on silver - Salem being prime example)

( One of the Generals of Ramanathapuram Sethupathy was a Sourashtrian, but one off deviation in achievement does not make Sourashtrians Kshatriyas !!)

Since their migration is through Maharashtra (today the language contains a number of Marathi words)
Andhra( Family names have same pronunciations, but different spelling) surnames like Rao, Acharya,Iyer, Iyyengars have been handed down - possible intermingling cannot be ruled out in this 1000 years of migration.

Have Atma gaurav/ self respect and be proud of your forefathers and community
 
I
The tamil word 'aasiriyar' which is interpreted teacher, during course of time shortened to 'aayar' which shortened to 'ayyar' also spelt 'iyer'.
In TN only brahmins were teaching and they were teaching Sanskrit texts those days. so they were addressed as 'ayyarae'. In due course it became surname for tamil brahmins.

Interestengly in Tamil Bible, Jesus is addressed as 'ayyarae' where it is 'rabbi' in original new testament. 'Rabbi' is Aramaic, the language spoken in Israel during the times of Jesus, for 'teacher'.

To this day, in protestant churches in TN, Iyer does not mean brahmin. Iyer is used to address or refer to their pastor. You may verify this by visiting any Tamil CSI church, or Tamil Lutheran church, nearest to your place.

You may continue to use 'Iyer' as your surname. A Rose is a Rose by whatever name you call it. Everyone is free to have whatever as their name.

Having 'Iyer' in surname does not make you a brahmin as much as being inside a garage holding spanner will not make you a mechanic, nor having a stethoscope around your neck will not make you a doctor.

My name in this forum is gnana sunyam. does not mean my knowledge is zero.

Ask your own self one question. How saurashtrian am I? Is it just a label I have put on my own self without any significance? does it make me super-human in this forum?

May God bless you.
I don't care about surnames because they will not help me and they should not help me. I am definitely not a protestant Christian. I really need to know why they where using this surname?.I asked this question because I realized I know so much little about myself. Hope you understand
 
Sourashtrians, whose mother tongue and the language spoken at home is Sourashtra, should have originated from Sourashtra. You can agree to the FACT in this statement

Since we do not have history of any INDIAN community maintained in an ascertainable legal format { (i) possible we did not maintain history of our communities - this is incorrect as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam are highly developed languages and stories, poetry, music etc have always flourished, but our languages, culture had been suppressed / destroyed by the British and hence records are not available easily / freely in these needed 200-300 year period (ii) Please refer to the Panchangams published by your community for your history (iii) Refer to the revenue records of how much each hand loom was taxed, what happened during Madurai Famine and other British records for legal information (iv) Refer to doctoral thesis on culture which can shed some light- but here also doctorate degrees were not issued for politically inconvenient issues by British- For example till 1930 s no one was allowed to get their doctoral degree on The First War of Independence or Sepoy Mutiny as it was refereed by the Britishers- study of Indian cultures was looked down upon as the Britishers were more intent on development of coolies, slaves, dubashis and the insulation layer between themselves and natives.)}

As per common knowledge, Bhonsles had brought Sourashtrians from North for weaving the silk garments into Tanjore- (today silk sarees with 3 twisted silk threads as weft and 3 twisted threads as waft is done at Thirupovanam whereas at Kanchi, Kumbakonam etc it is 2x2 giving you a lighter sari)

Rani Mangamma brought them into Madurai and the gifted them land near the Palace for settling down - near Vilakku-thun, Panthadi and it was this queen who gave a Royal decree in 1600s allowing Sourashtrians to do Purohitam +Weaving IE Sourastrians were declared as Brahmins due to their culture and practice of vedhic principles and ALSO as Vaishyas due to their skill in handicrafts- ability to weave, work on cloth (sungudi saree being an example) and work on silver - Salem being prime example)

( One of the Generals of Ramanathapuram Sethupathy was a Sourashtrian, but one off deviation in achievement does not make Sourashtrians Kshatriyas !!)

Since their migration is through Maharashtra (today the language contains a number of Marathi words)
Andhra( Family names have same pronunciations, but different spelling) surnames like Rao, Acharya,Iyer, Iyyengars have been handed down - possible intermingling cannot be ruled out in this 1000 years of migration.

Have Atma gaurav/ self respect and be proud of your forefathers and community
See atleast 8 generation of my family from father side stayed Madurai and called themselves with surname Iyer/Iyen. Saurashtra new year is celebrated from the time when my ancestors reached Vijay nagar empire. They should have come with Nayaks. One of my ancestor was an accountant in the madurai nayaks kingdom. Only part I feel bad about my ancestors is that they have to move out from home land because of Islamic invasions. I think Maratha is not related to this migration.
 
Is not the past Tamil Movie Singer's, T M Soundararajan, who was Suarashtrian, last name was Iyengar?I have come across the residents of Srirangam, carrying this name for generations, eventhough they originally did not belong to this community. In fact, the terms, Iyers or Iyengars were not in use several centuries ago. Both communities use Sharma as last name in a religious introduction to seniors, like in abhivaadanam.
My suggestion is that you inherited this name and hence use it without any hesitation.
This is great then I can give some more examples https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._M._R._Subbaraman his parents called by same surname and he is distant relative to my grand pa
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
Karthik,
Anyone following my threads knows, history and religion has been my passion. I have said this earlier as well and debated in this forum.

In my considered view, "all Brahmins in india" originate from the land of brahmavarta in Kanya Kumari / Thiruvananthapuram, and then they migrated to other kingdoms in india and merged into the respective lands.

The Saptharisheeswarars lived in brahmavarta and all of us are their descendants, hence carrying their lineages.

Hence your ancestors most definitely migrated from Tamil lands and would have been part of the Tamil Brahmins community in the past.

JK.
 

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