You are here: SriPedia - SriRangaSri - Archives - Aug 2005

SriRangaSri List Archive: Message 00045 Aug 2005

Aug 2005 Indexes ( Date | Thread | Author )
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Dear Sri. Balaji,
Yes Hebbar Iyengars were not originally Srivaishnavas as you said and also
it is true that even Sri. Ramanujacharya was not a Srivaishnava when he was
born. He was born to an advaitin! So when Ramanuja preached Vishistadvaita,
Srivaishnavism became popular in Tamilnadu and as you said, when
Sri.Ramanjua fled from TN and settled in Karnataka for 12 long years it
spread to Southern Parts of Karnataka.
The details of Hebbar Srivaishnava origin was published long back in the
Hebbar Srivaishnava magazine called "Hebbar Kshema" and I remember reading
this. Also a historical novel written by Smt. Neeladevi about the life of
Ramanjuja in Karnataka named "Dhanya" gives similar answers to the orgin of
Hebbar Srivaishnavas
During the time when ramanjuja was in Tondanur(Tonnur) near Melukote, a
group of elderly Kannada Brahmins came to Ramanjua and offered to convert to
Srivaishnava Religion impressed by Ramanujas philosophy of Vishistadvaita.
Ramanjua affectionately called the group of Hiriya Haruva(Elderly Brahmin
Kannadigas)  as Hebbar and thus originated the sect called Hebbar
Sivaishnava(Iyengars). So Hebbar Srivaishnavas are originally Kannada
Brahimins(Advaitins) who got converted to Srivaishnavas impressed by the
teachings of Sri. Ramanuja and not of backward Caste as you said.
Ramanuja asked them to settle in different places of the Hoysala
Kingdom(Current South Karnataka) and thus  you can find many Hebbar
Srivaishnavas mainly in the souther districts of Karnatka especially,
Bangalore, Mysore, Mandya, Tumkur, Hassan, Kolar and Chamarajanagar
They have their kuladaivams or Haath perumal in different places of these
districts. for more info. Please visit
Since their mother tongue was Kannada they still have the affliction towards
kannada. Gradually they learnt to speak Tamil mainlyu to learn the Divya
But still Hebbar Srivaishnavas cannot read and write in Tamil. They read the
Ramanujas philosophical works and Alwars divya prabhandams translated to
Kannada or English. But they recite Nalayara divyaprabhandams in Temples in
Karnataka  forming Gostis. They are called Melnatu Iyengars as they are
residing in the High plateau of Karnataka. Another sect called Keelnatu
Iyengars are those who migrated to  Karnataka from Tamilnadu, which is lower
than the Plateau of Karnataka. 
I request any one in the groups who can give more info on a unique sect
called Hebbar Srivaishnavas of Karnataka.
Om namO nArAyanAya
Sampige Srinivasa Iyengar


From: k.s.Balaji [mailto:kadababalaji@xxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2005 1:18 PM
To: sampiges@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Origin of Hebbar iyengars

While i was  recently  surfing the net, i came across  a  message to Bhakti
list, in which a very pertinent question of Origin of Hebbar Iyengars, had
been raised by,  one Ranganath Sudarshan some where in march 2000.
This aspect had been engaging my mind, for quite some time and no credible
answers have comeforth from anybody. Even the Hebbar Shrivaishnava Sabha At
Bangalore doesn't seem to have made any attempt to find out the roots of
Hebbar iyengars. My introspection tells me that we  must have been, most
probably, belonging to Backward class community of that period. The reason
is simple..  When Saint Ramanuja was  about to be persecuted  in Tamil Nadu,
he escaped the persecution, and came away to a place called Melukote,  which
is in Karnataka.I am certain he could not have come with a huge number of
followers, except  may be a few hundreds.
Its well known fact that vaishnavism spread in Karnataka, after Ramanujas
coming,as he found that Temple entry was denied to  back ward communities.
In order to ensure entry to back ward class people, he could have converted
a very large number of backward class people to vaishnavism, thro his
disciples, who came along with him to Melukote. It is likely, that these
disciples of Ramanuja were asked to spread out to various places of the then
Mysore state, to spread his Philosophy of Vishistaadvaita and also to ensure
temple  entry to one and all including backward class, thro conversion to
Vaishnavism, thus bringing them to forward fold... As these disciples of
Ramanuja were mostly male members, it  is most likely, they  might have got
married to these backward women who were inducted into the Vaishnava fold
and  our forefathers could be the off springs of such marriages.
If u  think aloud, u can see that  while Hebbar iyengars, can speak Tamil
interspersed with kannada words, they cannot read and write tamil. . As they
say the first syllables/words  learnt by a kid is always  thro its mother
tongue, and the mother while having learnt spoken/broken tamil thro
marriage, to a pure vaishnavite,  knows only Kannada from her child hood for
writing and reading, which had been her langauge before marriage.. Hence she
would have found it a lot more easier to teach her off springs this language
than Tamil, which is not her mother tongue.
Really i do not know how many takers are there for my introspection.. and
the Hebbar iyengars may frown at my own findings.. Its better to accept the
realities , if such be the case, than  masquerading oneself as pure

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index ] [Thread Index ] [Author Index ]
Home Page
To subscribe to the list