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What is the difference between padmashali and Brahmin's apart from their work?

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2008-02-06 15:37:40

Most of the Padmashalis except Pattusalis of Srikakulam are

non-vegetarians. Padmashalis either do business or get employed or

do their traditional occupation-weaving and they dont do chapliance

whereas brahmins do chapliance and other Veda-related jobs.

Padmashali is a backward community while brahmins are socially

advanced. Brahmins themselves are not a homogenous group culturally

throughout India. A good number of brahmins throughout the east

coast from Orissa to Bengal and Assam are avid fish eaters. All

brahmins are not engaged in chapliance. As for chapliance, with

many reformers having meddled with the vedic Hinduism, in some

areas that duty is given even to Dasaris (a scheduled caste dalit)

in andhra Pradesh, especially in Vaishnavaite worship; and among

shivite worshippers, there are Jangams who do the chapliance work

for Lingayats (Veerashaivas) who do not believe in the suprimacy of

the Brahmins, and the class of Veerashaivas was born by

intermarriage between Brahmins and Dalits, infact between all

castes, in order to bring out a casteless society and to annihilate

Brahminical hegemony. As per Vedic Hinduism, Brahmin has to achieve

Brahminism by his deeds and therefore a Brahmin is to be "Twice

born", that is to be born first by a biological birth and then a

"second birth by spiritual attainment". Attainment of this

"Brahminical" status was open to any one from any caste and class.

Similarly, having achieved Brahminical status, one may face

downgradation by a subsequent ill deed. The cases of Vishwamithra

and Valmiki are the proper examples. Vasishta the most revered sage

in Hinduism was born to celestial prostitute and he married a Dalit

woman "Arundhathi". All brahmins who claim Vasishta gothra carry

half of the genes from a Dalit woman ancestor. Any one who resorted

to manual work and a profession related to manufacture and trade

was treated as Vaishya or shoodra. Similarly Padmasalis fall in one

of the two. Upper caste or Forward caste have nothing to do with

the classification of the four Varnas of Hindu hiearchy. Kammas and

Reddys are from the Forward or upper castes but they are "Shoodras"

with in the definition of the Hindu varnas. One aspect that

differentiates Padmasalis from the "shoodra" classification is they

alone wear the "Janiv or Yajnopaveetha" among all other

non-brahminical castes with one exception of "Vishwakarmas". Except

for the Brahmins, the other varnas are not very distinctly

categorised in the Southern India. Thus Padmasalis fall between the

brahmins and other Aryan castes, they follow a mix of Dravidian and

Aryan rituals / food habits, suggesting Aryan origine and

intermixture with the Dravidians. All Padmasalis claim Rishi

gothras of 101 rishi "santhathi" who were taken on adoption by the

sage Bhavana Rishi, who himself was taken on adoption by Rishi

Markandeya. All Padmasalis originated from Satavahana empire and

their mother tongue remains Telugu, except for a few migrants who

had taken longer and numerous stages of migration such as the

Shettigars of Dakshina Kannada. Most Padmashalis in Tamilnadu,

Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chatttisgadh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa

speak Telugu as mother tongue. Devangas are reported to have

branched off from Padmasalis due to a dispute between two groups on

issues of worship of goddess Chaudeshwari, and ever since that

dispute the two have become rivals, thus one of them do not reside

where the other reside, and while most Padmasalis practice

Vaishnavism, almost all Devangas are saivites. (some inputs are

based on "Castes and Tribes of South India" by EL Thurston)

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