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|It is human
curiosity to know about their origins and family links. Our elders have
undertaken significant amount of research into our history and have
left us with enormous volumes of literature, as to the origin and
history of Mandyam Community. To support their publications they
have quoted extensively from stone carvings, documents and Government
published Epigraphica Karnataka records. Reproduced below is some data
collated from these books for the benefit of our visitors. The start of
our community dates back to the days of Sri Ramanuja, at the beginning
of the last Millennium, 1090s to be precise.
Our Origin Summary: The son of Sri Keshavacharya, Sri Thiruvananthalwar was born in 1053 AD in a place near Srirangapatnam in Karnataka, India. He went to Sri Ramanujacharya in Srirangam and became his disciple. The Acharya desired him to go to Thirumalai and serve Lord Srinivasa. Thirumalai is located beyond seven hills in the midst of inhospitable, dense and dangerous forest with no proper approach. Sri Thiruvananthalwar readily accepted the order. In appreciation of the exemplary courage the Acharya gave him the title "Anpillai"(Manly, brave one). Anpillai went to Thirumala with 30 more Srivaishnavaites and lived in the place called Ilaya Mandayam. This great man is one of the leading ancestors of Mandayam Srivaishnava community.
The rules and procedures laid down by Anpillai in the eleventh century are still followed meticulously at the Srinivasa temple in Thirupathi to this date.
In appreciation of Anantharya’s services his idols are still worshipped in Govindarajaswami temple in Thirupathi, Lakshmijanardhana temple in Mandya and Sri Varadarajaswami temple in Kanchipuram.
|EXTRACTS FROM MANDAYAM SRIVAISHNAVA MAHAJANARA CHARITRE
BY SRI JATAVALLABHA SINGRIENGAR
(CIVIL ENGINEER AND ALSO AYURVEDIC DOCTOR)
Published in 1956 and priced Rs 3.00 only Following is an English translation by Mr. M.K. Sridhar. (Sent to Mandyam.com by Mr. M.N. Krishnaswamy, San Diego)
|FROM THE PREFACE BY M.R.SAMPATHKUMARAN
The idea of writing this book started from a discourse given by the author in March 1946, at an open terrace in the historic mansion ‘GAUTAMASHRAMA’in Madras Triplicane, belonging to Yogi Parthasarathy Iyengar, where Mahatma Gandhi and Lokamanya Tilak had stayed, where the first Hindi class in South India was conducted by Devadas Gandhi and from where many independence movements were organised. He held the audience spell bound for an hour or two and the discourse proved unexpectedly interesting. They got a thrill when they came to know from the stolid pages of ‘Epigraphica Carnatica’ that Mandayam’s existed several centuries earlier than the well documented 16th century grant of several villages incl Mandya by Vijayanagar king Sri Krishna Devaraya to Sri Govindaraja Udayar, whose followers were given the name of Mandyam Sri Vaishnavas.
Moved deeply by the eloquence and enthusiasm of Sri Singriyengar, the audience spontaneously requested him to put the spoken facts in writing. Subscriptions were promised on the spot for printing etc and the lecturer readily agreed. That is how this little book came to existence running to 200 pages with 25 illustrations ( from which some interesting extracts are taken out here). A sum or Rs 600 was then and there collected from Dr M.O.Partha Sarathy, Sri’s M .O. Alasigrachary, M.A.Krishnamachary, M.G.Singriyengar, M.O.S.Iyengar and M.R.Sampath Kumaran.
As Sri Singriyengar was not in very good health, he was assisted in manuscript prep by Iyadoraigal (M.A.Narasimhacharya), M.C.Parthasarthy and R.A.Narayan. Due to various delays the book could not be brought out before the lamented death of the author in March 1955. We are very grateful to him for bringing out important facts about our history before our community by patiently gathering facts from various books, inscriptions, manuscripts, palm leaves, writings on stones and oral testimony and stringing them together. It includes political, social and cultural history of the Mandyam community.
Important information that has come to light from this book regarding our history are:
1. An inscription seen by author dated 1276 AD refers to Mandya as an ‘Anadi Agrahara’ meaning a Brahmin settlement of antiquity. From this ‘Anadi’ it is not impossible to think Mandyam’s existed much earlier than that time. Taking Anadi as 100 years approximately that takes us back to 1175 AD, less than 40 years after the generally accepted date of Sri Ramanujacharya’s demise in 1137. This matches with the period of one of Sri Ramanuja’s favorite disciple Sri Anantarya or Anantalwar with whom our community’s history originates.
2. Mandyams integrated together as a community and solemnly entered into a covenant when Sri Govindaraja Udayar settled down in Mandya in 16th century when 52 families settled down at Mandya under the leadership of Govindaraja Udayar. That was when they got the name of Mandyams.
3. Political fortune reached it’s zenith during the days of Tirumalai Iyengar one of Mysore king’s “Pradhans”. The reigns of Hyder and Tippu in 18th century formed the most critical and gloomy period in community’s history. The “Pradhans” did their duty nobly for the Mysore monarchy
and hundreds of our people had to suffer martyrdom in the cause. Refusal to observe Deepavali even today by several families in memory of the massacre of innocents which happened in one year of Tippu’s reign, reminds us of the fateful oscillations in our political fortunes.
4. Restoration of royal rule in Mysore meant not only end to the persecution,but more. Community started dispersing first to Bangalore where the adminstration of Mysore Kings moved, then to Madras and then all corners of India and doing our bit in various walks of life to serve the mother land (and in late 20th century to serve all parts of globe.)
|FROM AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTORY NOTE
The idea of bringing out our community’s history was first mooted back in April 1935, at the seventh maha sabha of Mandyam Sri Vaishnava’s held at the Janardana temple in Mandya. However it took momentum after my presentation at the GAUTAMASHRAMA at Triplicane, when all those present urged me to put it down as a book and later after I wrote Mr M.A Sampathkumaran, M.A.Narsimhachar (Ayyadorai) and M.O.Alasingrachar meticulously studied and helped me to make many improvements. I am grateful to all of them. My thanks are also to Mr M.A.Doreswamy Iyengar (Mysore), Sampalli Rangaswamy Iyengar and Sampalli Narasimhachar (Mandya) for providing various photographs. I dedicate this book to all Mandyam Srivaishnava Mahajanas and hope they will forgive any deficiencies that may be there in it.
The links of our community to Sage Mandavya, talked by many are really pre historic going back to previous yugas. Our history really begins with Sri Tiru Anantalwar, who was born in the year 1053 AD at Kirangoor village on the banks of Kaveri near Srirangapatna, became a direct and favourite desciple of Sri Ramanuja and then made all his followers SriVaishnava’s and moves with fluctuating fortunes till to-day. From that day onwards various records of our community’s history thro’ Mysore palace archives, Inscription on stones, palm leaf writings, Epigraphica carnatica etc have been studied to prepare this book.
|Dated Dec 1953,
Mandayam Jatavallabha Singriyengar
FROM CHAPTER 1-ANTIQUITY OF MANDYAM SRI VAISHNAVAS AND OF MANDYA
( In Chronological order)
1. Our history begins with Sri Tiru Anantalwar, born in Kirangoor near Srirangapatna in the year 1053 AD, who became a disciple of Sr Ramanuja and migrated to Sriranagam with his followers to be with him and later to Tirupati as per Sri Ramanuja’s request. They are the first generation members of our community dating back to Sri Ramanuja’s period itself. The ruler in Tirupati by name Vitthala Deva gave a nearby village for these migrants from Karnataka to stay, which they called Bala Mandayam in honour of sage Mandavya
2. In 1117 AD, Hoysala king Vishnuvardana, who also became a disciple of Sri Ramanuja, donated 8 villages near Srirangapatna including Mandya to Sri Anantacharya as a jahagiri. This is recorded in the book published by Mysore Pradhan’s (Ministers ) in 1902. After the decline of Hoysala dynasty, about 200 years later, these villages were taken away from the community.
3. However it was 2 centuries later, Sri Tirumalai Govindaraja Udayar born in Sri Anantarya’s lineage who forged the Mandayam Community into a solid one. He was born and lived at Tirupati continuing the work of Sri Anantarya and in 1516 AD, Sri Krishna Devaraya, he great Vijayanagar ruler gifted several villages near Melkote (which included present Mandya) to Sri G.Udayar and named it as Krishnaraya pura. Sri G.Udayar moved over here with his followers and relations and in memory of Bala Mandayam named one of the villages as Mandya. He made his followers sign a covenant which laid the foundation for our well knit community. From then on the Srivaishnava’s who settled down in and around the town of Mandya and their genie are referred as Mandyams.
4.There is also another anecdote much before these events regarding the place being named Mandya. It appears a king Indravarma came here in Dwapara yuga when it was a forest, prayed to god to give him a son which he got and installed a god calling him‘mana deivamu ‘(in telugu our god).Mana deivamu became Mandya. He built an Agrahara and a fort.
These records indicate that origin of our Mandyam community dates back right upto Sri Ramanuja’s period in 11th century though it got forged as a well knit community in 16th century by efforts of Sri Govindaraja Udayar.
|CHAPTER2-GREATNESS OF ANANTARYA AND GOVINDARAJA UDAYAR
Anantalwar was born 36 years after Sri Ramanuja (1056 AD) at Kirangoor near Sriranga patna and went to Srirangam to be Ramanuja’s desciple. After a while Ramanuja asked one of his disciples to go to Tirupati and organise daily worships etc to Lord Srinivasa. Every one was reluctant in view of the cold climate up the hill compared to Srirangam except Anantarya. Ramanuja was very pleased and gave him the title-Aan pillai. Anantarya went with about 30 Sri Vaishnavas and did excellent work there. From his name Anantarya and the title Aan pillai, his family tree got the name Anandam pillai. The pattern of daily worship which he established in Tirupati is being followed even to-date. Fame of Tirupati spread all over India by his efforts even in those days. We should be proud that this great person belonged to Karnataka. Impressed by his work the then ruler in Tirupati gave him a village nearby as jahgir, which he named Bala mandayam. His idols can be seen to-day in Lower Tirupati temple, Kanchipuram and Mandya Janardana temple.
Tirumalai Govindaraja Udayar (G.Udayar) was born in Anantarya’s family lineage 4 centuries later in Tirupati during the Vijayanagar regime. There was a powerful Lingayat by name Aradya in their capital Anegondi, who had been propagating that Sri Vaishnava philosophy is not valid and on hearing about it, Sri G.Udayar went over there and in a 8 day debate proved that Aradya was wrong. Pleased by his arguments the king, Sri Krishnadevaraya did kanakabhishekha to G.Udayar and gave 6 villages including present Mandya as a gift to him in 1516 AD. After that Sri G.Udayar migrated to Mandya with his relations and followers, made them enter into a covenant and integrated them to a well knit community, which thereafter got the name Mandyam Sri Vaishnava’s. The community belonged to 13 gotra’s-descendants of sages -Srivatsa, Vadhula, Bharadwaja,Gargya Bharadwaja, Gautama, Harita, Kausika, Lohita, Aatreya, Shandilya, Vasishta, Kaundinya and Shatamarshana. The last one is now extinct.
The covenant entered by these followers of 13 gotra’s included marrying within these communities but belonging to different gotra’s, sharing one’s experiences with all, participating together in all activities-religious and social and lead a simple and honest life. There was also a rule that if any one in this community dies, all of them should take a bath. G.Udayar’s family successors are called Mandayam Anandampillais. He distributed his property and other assets to all families of the Mandyam community.
|CHAPTER 3-HISTORY OF RAMANUJAPURAM FAMILY-(R.A FAMILY)
Among those who got property gifts from G.Udayar was Sri Appayyacharya, belonging to Bharadwaja gotra who later in the year 1558 AD, also got gift of a village Machenahalli near Channaptna/Malur from the then Vijayanagar king Sadshiva raya. He renamed the village Ramanuja puram and moved over there with his relations who later became Ramanuja puram Anandampillai’s and Ramanuja puram Appacharya’s-both referred as R.A’s.
|CHAPTER 4-GROWTH AND SPREAD OF MANDYAMS
From Mandya quite a number of our community migrated to Melkote, which after 12 th century became major base for all Sri Vaishnava’s including non Mandyams. They also spread to villages around Melkote such as Nagamangala, Kunigal, Pama samudra etc. There is a belief (not substantiated) that at that time many Mandyam’s did not marry at all and the community was not growing. To overcome this Mr Tirumalai Iyengar, who was a minister with the then King of Mysore Chikka Devaraja Vodeyar (1673-1704) married 5 Sri Vaishnava women from Mandya, Ramanuja pura, Nagamangala, Kyatana halli and Kunigal to make the community grow.
In the 18th century during Hyder and Tippu’s rule our community suffered terribly for having faithfully stood by the royal family forcing many families to move away from Mandya and nearby. However after the fall of Tippu in 1799, safety was restored and many returned to Mandya and also to Mysore which became the capitol in place of Srirangapatna. By 1831 Bangalore had become the working capitol of the state and as educational and other facilities were better at Bangalore, the community started migrating over there and then on to Madras. By 1950 there were approximately 203 Mandyam families in Bangalore. In Mandya there were 24 families in 18th century ,but currently (1950) there were only 3. Our people settled in Malur around 18th century and in Ramanuja puram and Honnalagere in 19th century. Inspite of eminent Mandayam persons settled over there it is a sad fact that today there are no Mandayams at Ramanujapuram and just one at Honnalagere. Mandyam Sri Vishnava’s also settled down at villages along Kaveri such as Kannambadi, Sampalli and Kothegala.
In all currently (1950), there are 140 Mandayam family dynasties whose details are given later. These 140 dynasties belonging to 12 gotras are in 700 families and consist about 2800 persons. I have tried my best to give details of all these 140 dynasties in 12 gotra’s and 700 families below, but ask for forgiveness if any family is missing in it.
1.a.BHARADWAJA GOTRA ( of Ramanuja puram)-Ayya patar,Anna patar, Honnala gere, Manikarnike,Kuttiattambi,Kuttiappaji,Ammanji,Anandam pillai
b BHARADWAJA GOTRA (of Mandayam)-Annadore, RangayyamTatachar, Malur Anandalawar, Bheeman, Natampalii, Channu,Madri, Kope, Budagan, Ombadu vritti, Jaya raman, Mukkatte, Bhulokan, Nayakar, Budanur, Sampalli, Doddamane, Koil Vashal, Dhati, Ammanga thambu, Palahalli
2.GARGYA BHARADWAJA-Gunja Josyar, Mudre, Ballekere, Ramanuja muni, Kanchi.
3.SRIVATSA-Tondanur kalki, Kannappan, Nambi tambiran, Makaran, Malur Aji, Jatavallabhar, Appachar, Parame kanti, Aishami, Sannayyan, Biddahatti, Gante, Mookkannadi, Milah alwar.
4.LOHITA-Chokkamaman, Minnani, Annasami, Ikkalike, Bhagavadgite, Mandayam Aji, Mysore Aji, Narsi Udayar
8.KAUNDINYA-Gomatham,Tholi, Pama samudram, Gramani, Makaran
9.HARITHA-Honnalagere Asuri, Poochandi, M.O,Chokkathambu, Veerambudhi, Agraharam
10.Aatreya- Kope, Kuttiappaji of Tirupati, Narayana Josyar, Kote Josyar, Parsuraman
11.VADHULA-Chottikolam, Koothadi, Burudu, Pashal, Madake huli, Giddayyan, Veene, Kannambadi
12.KAUSHIKA-Natampalli, Komar, Bindige, Mudigumbam, Kayi bajji, Manni, Adyapakar, Godhi, Kuruhatti, Deva Shikamani, Shamarayar, Tippani, Gramani, Kottegala, Vokkarane, Onti, Jaggu, Dhati
Several persons have been trying to construct Vamsha Vriksha (Family tree) of above dynasties. I do not know whether any one has completed and published it.
Below I have tried to collect and list where currently these 700 families are residing. It may not be very accurate. (While author has listed names of the head of each family, here only the number in each city is given )
MADRAS-79 FAMILIES, MYSORE-147, BANGALORE-186, MANDYA-39, MELKOTE-42, MALUR-6, DAVANAGERE-5, SHIMOGA-5, TUMKUR-6, BHADRAVATI-5, COIMBATORE-4, K.G.F-8, HYDERABAD-9, POONA-5, DELHI-5, NAGPUR-4, HOSPET-5 ,TIRUPATI-4, SHOLAPUR-4, MUMBAI-28, CALCUTTA-14, MISCELLANEOUS CITIES IN INDIA-68 (KHARAGPUR,HIRAKUD,NASIK,ASSAM,COLOMBO ETC)
|CHAPTER 5- SUMMARY OF HIGHLIGHTS 11TH TO 20TH CENTURY
As explained above based on various documents our community’s history from Sri Ramanuja’s time onwards is quite well authenticated. A summary of same is given below.
11th CENTURY-Birth of Tiru Anantalwar in 1053 near Kirangoor. Our history starts with him.
12th CENTURY-An important period in our history. Sri Ramanuja establishing Yadava puri (Melkote) and Vishnuvardana, the Hoysala king granting 8 villages (Ashta grama) near Kaveri as Jahagirs to us in 1117 AD. So Mandya as an agrahara (enclav of Brahmins) was there at this time.
13th CENTURY-Reference to Mandya as an Anadi (Antique) Agrahara found in a stone inscription bearing the year 1276 in the village Budanur.
14th CENTURY-With the extinction of Hoysala kingdom, we lost the 8 jahagir villages. Also Melkote was partly destroyed by Muslim invaders who destroyed the Hoysala kingdom.
However in 1380 the then Vijayanagar king sent his emissary Srirangaraya to give 21 villages as Jahagir’s to Tiru Anantarya’s successor at this time-Sri Tirumal Iyengar which again included Mandya.
15th CENTURY-Our fortunes rose again with Timmanna Dandanayaka (Tirumalacharya) of Nagamangala becoming the representative of Vijayanagar ruler. He restored the glory of Melkote and was running the administration from Nagamangala.
16th CENTURY- Mandya became an established place and so also Mandyam community integrated by Govindaraja Udayar who got 6 villages incl Mandya as jahgir by the famous Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagar in 1516 AD. He made the community enter into the covenant. He was an Anandampillai and was the 12th successor in the family of Tiru Anantalwar. Also in 1558 AD, Machenahalli which was renamed Ramanuja pura was given to Appacharya by the then Vijayanagar ruler Sadashiva raya. Documents are available on these two and also in the 1586 AD documents of Mysore ruler Raja Odeyar references are made to Mandyam community.
17th CENTURY-Our community’s fortune reached the zenith with our people getting ministerial and various posts in the Mysore Kingdom. When Raja vodeyar, Mysore king occupied Sriranga patna in1608 AD, one of our person, Sri Tirumal Iyengar successfully resolved the dispute with Vijayanagar rulers and for that got a ministerial post with Raja Vodeyar. From then on till the end of century Tirumal Iyengar’s sons and grand sons continued in important positions of Mysore kingdom. They were all very good administartors, scholars and poets. Melkote prospered. Also they helped in spreading My0sore kings fame all over south India.
18th CENTURY- This century saw the opposite of previous century with our community members being treated harshly. Early in the century Sri Tirumalai Iyengar and other leading personalities who were in important positions died. In 1762 Hyder Ali snatched the Mysore Kingdom and treated Mandyam community who were loyal to Mysore kings very badly. Later in 1783 Tippu killed about 700 families which including a number of our community for being loyal to the royal family and took away all their properties. This killing took place on Deepavali day and in memory of the same those families do not celebrate Deepavali even to-day. To escape from Tippu’s harsh treatment, many families migrated to Madras outside his kingdom. In 1799 the kingdom was restored to the royal family after Tippu was defeated.
19th CENTURY-First half -Our communities fortunes improved again. Mandya, Melkote, Nagamangala and other places where our community had settled prospered. Bangalore started gaining importance. Among the prominent Mandyams who did yeoman service to bring up our community in this century are- Josya Singracharyar, Natampalli Anandalwar, and Natampalli Singlachar.
19th CENTURY-2nd half and 20th CENTURY-first half.
The events in this period are well within our memory and our community’s activities are very extensive to elaborate in detail. Atleast 50 to 60 persons including ladies have brought us fame in all fields- Literature, Arts, Culture, Administartion, Science etc.
|CHAPTER 6-ABOUT YATIRAJA MUTT
Sri Ramanuja himself established this mutt and ran it for a while. Unfortunately since then over the 850 years, information regarding successive jeeyars, their periods, taniyans, their works and contributions are not fully available .Even their pictures are not all available. From the first jeeyar Kelvi Tirunarayana Ramanuja jeeyar in AD 1103, till AD 1235 AD, records of 4 jeeyars are available. After that over nearly 600 years data is blank. Since 1823 when Tondanur Prativadi Bhayankara swamy ascended to the post we have some details of work done by 14 jeeyars including present jeeyar. The information is given later in TABLE 1.
|CHAPTER 7-SOME OF MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS BY EMINENT PERSONALITIES
Though our people have done many yeoman selfless deeds, they never gave publicity to it, believing it was all god’s deeds (Bhagavth Kainkarya roopam). However after 15th century for the sake of historical records, some of them have been recorded in manuscripts etc by the next generation people. A few of them are listed below:
1.As already mentioned renovating and restoring the glory of Melkote by Sri Timmanna Dandanayaka, (Tirumalacharya) in 15th century more or less to the present state from almost total deterioration.
2.Improving road access to Melkote, constructing tanks, wells, rest houses etc in villages on way by Tirumal Iyengar when Mysore ruler Chikkadeva raja Vodeyor made him minister in 1686 AD..
3. Yogi Parthasarathy Iyengar and his wife constructing the Sri Rama temple in Ayodya -well known all over India.
4.Father of author Jatavallabha TirumalIyengar establishing at his own cost and running for 12 years a sanskrit college in Mysore in 1875 AD. Many famous scholars studied there.
5.Number of our prominent persons in Madras forming a publishing house ‘Veda Vedanta
Vardini’ in 1884 .
6. Trust with Rs 1,00,000 opened in AD 1918 by M.O.Parthasarathy Iyengar - for conducting regular utsavams in several temples, scholarships for Mandayam students and help for poor. Rs, 1,00,000 more was added in 1923.
7.Not enough words to describe Sri Aishami Srinivasa Iyengar’s contribution to build pathway through forests for the Ashta teerthams in Melkote to take the Utsavam thro’ them. Cost estimate at todays (1955) price-Rs, 1,00,000.
8.Establishment of Mandayam student’s hostel in Mysore in 1927 by Sri M.A.Appalachar.
9.Trust for Mandayam hostel and needy old persons by M.A.Narayana Iyengar (Sri Vasananda) in 1936.
10.Several eminent men helping our community members for finding jobs, careers etc. Among them are Periswamy Srinivasa Iyengar of Arbuthnat bank, Madras, M.O.Parthasarathy Iyengar, M.N.Ramanujacharya etc.
11.Contribution of Alasinga perumal of Madras in arranging Swamy Vivekananda to visit USA is no small. Even to-day Ramakrishnashrama remembers it.
12.Not just limiting to religious and spiritual contributions, but helping many in our community as well as others to come up in their career and become eminent persons in society is the work done by Hindu High School in Triplicane. Though established in 1852, it almost became bankrupt in 1869. But when Sri M.A.Singlachar became the secretary of the school, contributed his own money to pay all debts and ran the school for 38 years till his death. Today it is a very prominent school in South India. An auditorium in his name has been built in this school.
13. GAUTAMASHRAMA’s contribution tour country’s independence movement – described later in chapter 9.
There are many more selfless work done by our community members, which for want of time and space cannot be described here for which I ask for pardon.
|CHAPTER 8-BOOKS WRITTEN BY MANDYAM SRI VAISHNAVAS’
There are in all about 500 books written from 1561 by Tirumalai Govindaraja Udayar till date. However, they are all scattered and not available at one place. Please see TABLE 2 given later for some details
|CHAPTER 9- MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY
A. Common names of our men and women
Though Mandya was our original base where the presiding deity is Lakshmi Janardana, it is surprising we hardly have men with that name. Reason is not known. Till about 30 years back custom with us was the new born to have either grand father or grand mother’s name only which was fairly strictly followed with the result variety of names of our persons was very small-mostly Srinivasa, Tirumala and Tiruvengada, Appachar etc. Narasimha was being called as Alasingar, SingrIyengar as Singlachar, Krishna as Gopala, Rajagopala, Parthasarathy, Raja Mannar. Other few names were Narayana, Ranga, Sampathkumara, Ramanuja, Anandalwar. All of them were suffixed with Iyengar or Acharya or Alwar. Less common ones were Padmanabha, Varadaraja,
Raman, Raghavan, Venkata Rangan, Govinda, Srivatsa, Sri Shaila, Jaya Simha etc
Among ladies also the names were very few-mostly Yeggamma (Yadugiriyamma), Srirangamma, Vengadamma, Andal, Rukmini, Singaramma, Timmarasu, Singamma, Alamelamma and Thangachamma. From these names it was easy to identify them as belonging to Mandyam community. as these names were used only by our community.
Later shorter names like Sita, Janaki, Kamala, Kalyani etc came into adoption. However in 20th century names such as the following used by other Hindu communities - Pramila, Mythily, Shakuntala, Vaidehi, Rama, Prabha, Malathi, Saroja, Sushila, Meera, Gita, Sudha etc are being regularly used.
From 1930’s onwards we have started giving names which are being used by other communities also.
B. Marriage Age in our community
In the old days, 60 to 70 years ago, girls getting married at a very young age was common in our community also just like others. A few cases where girls were married before turning 5 are available in records-
1. Appalachar’s mother Srirangamma as 18 months child
2.Tippani Tirumalachar’s wife Andalamma-18 months
3.Jatavallabha Singrieyangar’s mother Srirangamma-2 years,
4. Malur Anandam pillai Alamelamma-5 years
5.Honnalagere Ramanuja Iyenagr’s wife Srirangamma- 5 years
6.Malleswaram Anandampillai Srinivasachar’s wife Vedamma 3years-
6. Kaddi Srirangamma’s daughter in law Timmarasamma- 3years etc.
There are instances like Yogi Parthasarathy iyengar’s sister Yadugiriyamma being a widow when she was just 1 year old.
There is an instance of two of our people while walking on the banks of a lake in Mandya agreeing to marry their children if one gets a girl and other a boy and later hand carrying the boy and girl of 4 and 2 years to the temple and marrying them
C. Families extinct
We have the sad news of about 20 families getting extinct in the last 30 to 40 years.
D. Education,Wealth and Professions
Education fortunately in our community has been picking up over the years including among ladies. However, outstanding scholars in Sanskrit are less compared to earlier centuries and other communities, may be due to lack of time, lack of facilities to learn and no encouragement to learn it. Quite a number of our ladies have studied up to colleges in Science, Medicine, law and Arts.
E. Some of Our Traditions and Customs
Traditions followed by our elders are good ones. One publication about it by Sri Kalki Swamy is available. Some are listed below;
1.Visiting the Divya Desa’s on pilgrimage was a priority with our elders. Those who could not do so established a shrine wherever they were and built up the practice of conducting regular aradhana’s, prayers , japa’s etc there itself.
2.We do not have the custom of observing vrata’s. However our ladies perform ‘Ane habba’ somewhat like a vrata.
3.Our women and Hebbar women wear their sari’s towards left (Madishar). Others wear to right.
4.On hearing news of any Mandyam person’s demise, whether he or she is a relation or friend,we take bath.
5. Whenever our people do Rangoli, we put Shankha and Chakra on either side.
6.There used to be 32 varieties of eatables prepared for Sri Jayanti.
7. Major items of Prasadams on festivals are Puliyore, Ulandore, Cloth Tenkol and Chokkali
F.Visits by our persons outside our country
Our people have migrated to all over India for their lively hood, even to Ceylon. Few have gone abroad for education and on work. Swamy Srivasananda’s son M.A.Tirumaliyengar did I.C.S, went to England for studying and after passing, is in a very top position in India. Prominent among our personalities who have gone abroad are-Dr M.A.Parthasarthy Iyengar (Kappal doctor) and Godavari Chami who had to leave the country as he was identified as Anti British. List of other persons who went abroad for education (mostly medicine) and business and who earned name and fame is given below.
4. Dr M.O.Tirunarayan
9.Dr M.A Ramaswamy
10 M.A.Srinivasan and his 2 sons
15.Dr M.A.Narasimha iyengar
18. M.A. Narsimhan
There were difference of opinion regarding the type of ‘Prayaschitta’ (purification), one had to undergo after returning home after crossing the ocean.
G.Greatness of GAUTAMASHRAMA
The house located just north of Sri Parthasarathy temple in Triplicane in Madras is called Gautamashrama. It is a home for India’s freedom struggle, ever since the struggle started 60-70 years back. Owner of the house Sri Krishnamachar was a dedicated patriot. He patronised many causes for growth of Indian and Hindu culture, was a great friend of Madan Mohan Malavia and published in English and French a journal ‘Indian republic’ in 1890- 91.
Patriotism continued in his family’s blood. His eldest of 3 sons Sri S.Tirumalacharya secretly opened a press. When Indian national Congress held it’s session in Madras in 1894, he printed a poem , given below highlighting the atrocities on Indians and threw 1000 copies while the session was on
Rise, Rise, Against Britain rise,
My Dear Indians wise,
We will free you motherland,
From a foreign devil’s hand,
Freed you will be from England
Among many who agitated for removing the statue of one Mr Neil from Mount road and got imprisoned he was one. He invested his entire savings in running an Indian owned Swadeshi navigation company with famous V.O.C.Pillai and lost it all when the company died. He died at an young age.
All three brothers though born rich lived a simple life and helped many Independence struggles. Bal Gangadhar Tilak used to discuss in this house. Devadas Gandhi launched the first Hindi classes in Madras here. British government used to keep a watch on activities here. To escape from it and work freely the second son Srinivasacharya went to French ruled Pondicherry along with Subramanya Bharathi. After spending several years in Pondicherry and undergoing lot of hard ship, Srinivasacharya returned to Madras and taught French. He now lives in Delhi with his daughter.
Another Mandyam S.N.Tirumalacharya (father of Dr.S.T.Narasimhan) also opened a press and published a paper ‘India’ which was banned by British and he also had to hand it over to Srinivasacharya in Pondicherry.
When Sri Aurobindo had to move to Pondicherry from Calcutta to escape from Britishers, Mr Srinivasacharya and his brother Mr Parthasarathy (3rd son of Krishnamacharya), helped Mr Aurobindo to travel safely and hid him for nearly 6 months.
After 60 years of struggle we got independence and many freedom fighters like Subramanya Bharathi etc or their families got material help, but the struggles and hardships of Gautamashrama family have never been rewarded. It is unfortunate the present politicians have not cared for it.
( One thing that is missing in the book is about the evolution of Mandyam Tamil language. How, when and by whom our Tamil started and took the present form is not explained)
|TABLE 1-YATIRAJA MUTT SWAMIES
1.SRI RAMUNJA-From formation till 1103 AD
2.DESADRI KELVI TIRUNARAYANA RAMANUJA JEEYAR-1103 to 1139
3.TIRUNARAYANA JEEYAR-1139 to 1186
4.YATIRAJA JEEYAR-1186 to 1221
5.YDUGIRI NARAYANA JEEYAR-1221 to not known
From then till 1525 no dat avl
6. VEDANTI RAMANUJA MUNI SWAMY-1525 to 1565
Again no data till 1823
7.TONDANUR PRATIVADI BHAYANKARA SINGRIENGAR SWAMY-1823 to 1839
8.THITTUMEL ANANTALWAR SWAMY-1839 to 1849
9.CHANDOGYAM KUPPANNIENGAR SWAMY-1849 to 1858
10.NATERI VARADACHARYA SWAMY-1858-1867 (died in 1890)
11.MUDIGUMBAM SWAMY-1867 to 1874
12.PERIYA KUMARA SINGRACHARYA SWAMY-1874 to 1876
13.NATAMPALLI ALAHIYA SINGRACHARYA SWAMY-1876 to 1886
14.NATAMPALLI TIRUNARAYANA SWAMY-1886 to 1887
15.JEEYAR SANNIDHI TIRUMALACHARYA SWAMY-1887 to 1901
16.CHINNA KUMARA SINGRACHARYA SWAMY-1902 to 1907
17.KUTTIATTAMBI DAMODARAM ALAKIYA SINGRACHARYA SWAMY-1908 to 1913
18.KOPE VENKATACHARYA SWAMY-1913 to 1917
19.ASURI ANANTALWAR SWAMY-1921 to 1943 (he was an erudite scholar both in social and religious life and occupied the mutt seat for the longest period. He was an expert in poetry,drama,grammar,vedanta etcand got many honours from rulers of various Indian states such as Mysore,Cochin,Hyderabad,Pithapuram,Bobbili,Reva etc.He travelled all over India several times and spread the fame of Yatiraja mutt.He wass the one who started the mutt branch at malleswaram in Bangalore.
20.KRISHNA KUMARA YATIRAJA JEEYAR-1944 till date.
| TABLE 2 SOME OF OUR BOOKS
1.Tirumalai Govindaraja Udayar (founder of Mandyam community)-Ubhaya Vedantacharya Dinachari.(sanskrit)
2. Appayacharya (Founder of Ramanuja puram)-Ashta shloki. (Sanskrit)
3.Tirumalacharya (Minister in Mysore kingdom-1645-1709)- Geeta Gopalam. Chikka Devaraya vijayam, Apratima Veera charite (kannada)
4.Natampalli Anandalwar (1823-1863)-Vedanta Veadavali, Nyaya Bhaskara, Shatah koti bandhana (kannada,sanskrit)
5.M.B.Srinivasa Iyengar- Tiruppalandu, Amalanadi piran, Turpallieluchhi, Kanninun Shiruttambu, Tiruppavai (Tamil)
6.prof Malur Rangacharya (1861-1916)- Sri Bhashya of ramanuja, Hindu Philosophy of conduct,Meghaduta-a critical appreciation,Function of religion in socail evolution,Social ideals of Hindus’ etc -20 books(English )
7.Jatavallabha Tirumaliyengar (1885)-Primary Sanskrit book, Easy medical treatment
8.Annadorai Srinivasacarya(1920)- Mysore Pradhans, Articles in Mysore Review, Restoration of Mysore dynasty
9.M.A.Anandalwar (1922)-Indian architecture
10.Yogi Partasarathy iyengar-Sri Bhagavad Vishayam, Sri Sahasra nama Bhashyam, Sri Vishnu dharmam, Iswara Samhitai, Chanda Kaushika Natakam etc in all 33 books
11.Kalki Swamy (M.T.Narasimhacharya)-Vedanta padavali, Varavara muni charya, Parivritti ratna mala, Anantarya vaibhavam, Laghu Nityanu sandhana, Brihan Nityanu sandhana, mandaya Sri Vaishnava Samayacharangal etc –20 books
12.Pandit Deva Shikhamani Alasingracharya( 1940)-Chanda kaushika nataka, Shelva narayana shataka, Swapna vasavadatta, First aid, etc-11 books
13,Sri Vasananda Swamy-Mysore Pradhans
14-Yatiraja Mutt Swamigal –Asuri Anandalwar swamigal- Kavya manjari, Padma samhite, Sri Powshkara samhite, Advaita Vidya Vijayam, Sharada tanaya Bhava prakashanam, Jjanaki Haranam, Mansara Shilpa, Bharatha Natay Sastra etc-27 books
14.R. alwar Iyengar-Family planning
15.Jata Vallabha Singrieyengar –House medicine hand book, Easy treatment to animals, Ancient arts of India, Oriental tit bits in engineering, Yoga ratnakara etc-8 books
16 M.C.Krishna swami Iyengar – A guide to kalidas’a Raghu vamsha, Bhartruhari’s Neeti Shataka, Sanatana Arya dharma
17. M.A.Doreswamy Iyengar-Tripura dahana, Awakening of Asia, Madhav Vidyaranya, Dharma Jyoti
18. M.A.Goplaswamy Iyengar-Khadi. Yagnya valka, Indian politics patriotic songs, Model constitution for Mysore.
19.G.R.Josyar-Sociology,Tippu Sultan, Brahman Phoebia, Commerce, Arya women’s fame, Problem of wealth etc- 12 books
20.Jaggu Singrieyngar- Yadu Shaila champu, Dasharathi Charitam, Krishna Katha Rahsyam, Vairamudi Vaibhavam, Neeti Saravali etc-11 books
21.M.K.Varadaraja Iyengar (1936)-Indian states and the federation
22.M.C.Narsimhachar (1941)-Methods of developing business, Fortunes in business and law of cause and effect, How Rs 750 can become Rs 4000 in 20 months, Simple Industries, Power of perfume.
23.M.G.Srinivasan-Brick Nogged terrace.
24.M.A.Srinivasan-Leela’s bet, Post office, The third leg, Much ado about nothing, Every Mixed doubles, Kamalvin kan, Anaiyin nanri, Ashadu kelvigal, Payin adiyil nulindal etc-
25.M.A.Janaki- Bar Council Lectures
26.M.A.Rukmini- Aryan path,
astrological magazine articles
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