Brahmin Tamil in India

Brahmin Tamil
Photo Source:  Abdullah Al Ameriki  Creative Commons  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Brahmin Tamil
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 505,000
World Population: 505,000
Primary Language: Tamil
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Forward Caste - Brahmin
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Brahmin Tamils have been the highest caste of priests and Hindu scholars in the southern Indian region of Tamil Nadu for nearly two thousand years. They have been accused of racism by the lower caste Tamils by saying that they came for the creator Brahman's mouth while the other castes from other parts of the creator's body. They claim to be true Aryans while the rest of the Tamil peoples are Dravidians. Until recent times they have dominated the Hindu temples in Tamil lands, denying entrance to every Dalit and others who they deem to be unworthy.

In addition to being the chief Hindu temple priests, they made up the large majority of the administrators and governmental officials during the British period. As a result, the Brahmin Tamils are often despised by many of the lower Tamil castes.

Today the Brahmin Tamils continue to serve as government leaders, university professors, jurists and scientists. Due to their high education level, they speak Tamil, English, Hindi and other regional Indian languages. They are patrons of Indian arts, literature and science.

Many famous Indian people are Brahmin Tamils including the mathematician Ramanujan, US Senator Kamala Harris, three Nobel laureates, world chess champion Viswanathan Anand and filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.

Where Are they Located?

Like their name suggests, most Brahmin Tamils live in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Some have left their ancestral home and now live in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and other areas of India.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The lives of Brahmin Tamils are filled with the rituals and good works of Hinduism.
Every morning they must take a purifying bath. They are generally vegetarians with rice, lentils, bean curds and ghee, a type of butter, being their main foods. Food is to be consumed only after making an offering to the deities. They abstain from alcohol and tobacco.

The Brahmin Tamils are strictly endogamous, meaning they only marry within their group. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Sons inherit their father's property with the eldest son gaining the family home and father's titles.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Brahmin Tamils are devout Hindus. Some worships Shiva as the supreme deity while other worship Vishnu are the supreme god. Another group, the Iyers, follow the religious philosophy of the guru Adi Sahnkara. All these Hindu sects believe that Moksha or freedom comes from performing rituals and good deeds.

The Brahmin Tamils participate and frequently lead the Hindu holidays in Tamil Nadu such as Diwali, the festival of lights, Vinayake Chathurthi, the festival dedicated to Ganesha, the god of good fortune and wisdom and Navratri, the nine-day festival in autumn.

What Are Their Needs?

The Brahmin Tamils need to be humble enough to see themselves as sinners in need of the true Savior, Jesus Christ. They need to see the love, grace and mercy of Christ lived out before them. They must see that heir Hindu rituals and good deeds will not save them from their sins.

Prayer Points

* Pray for the eyes of Brahman Tamils hearts to be open to Jesus Christ.
* Pray for Christ to reveal Himself to Brahman Tamil leaders through dreams, visions, and the Bible.
* Pray for Holy Spirit directed Christ followers to go to Brahman communities.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Brahman Tamil community.

Text Source:   David Kugel