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Non-Brahmin origin of some Iyengars?

From: Ashegan Shastri (shastri19_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Sat Nov 10 2001 - 08:12:30 PST

Sri:
srimathE gopaladesika mahadesikaya namah:

Dear all,
I'm new to this thread and would appreciate your help
with regard to a freshman sociology college paper I
have to complete on ethno-cultural homogeneity in a
specific community, in this case, Sri Vaisnava
Iyengars. 

My question is whether there is historical basis to
the popular belief that there are some Iyengars who
have non-Brahmin origins in the distant past. I have
come across this in various texts and forums and would
like to know your learned opinions. It is claimed that
Sri Ramanujacharya converted certain of the
non-Brahmin communities to being Brahmin Iyengars.
Also, according to a paper on social mobility it is
cited that possibly the higher ranking non-Brahmins in
temples like Srirangam, i think known as the sAttAda
mudalis, who were given high ritual status were
eventually taken into the Iyengar fold, particularly
among the Tengalais were Sanskrit was not given such
so much emphasis.

Many thanks for your help.

adiyEn,

A. Kandaswami Shastri

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