Sunday, 9 August 2009

Syrian Christians, Brahmin Ancestors and St. Thomas

The Syrian Christians of Kerala form a caste that is as distinctive as any other in India. Within this caste, there are many sects. Syrian Christians may be Syrian Catholics or Jacobites or Orthodox or Marthomites or even Anglican Christians. Syrian Catholics owe allegiance to the Pope in Rome, the Jacobites to the Patriarch (or Bava) based in Antioch (modern day Turkey), the Orthodox Syrian Christians to a Catholicos based at Devalokam in Kottayam, Kerala, the Marthomites to a Metropolitan based at Thiruvalla in Kerala and the Anglicans to the Archbishop at Canterbury.

Most (but not all) Syrian Christians, irrespective of their sect, have two pet beliefs. One is that each and every Syrian Christian is descended from a Namboodiri or Keralite Brahmin convert to Christianity. The other belief is that their ancestors were converted by St. Thomas, one of Jesus’s twelve disciples, who reached Kerala in the year 52 A.D.

I use the word ‘belief’ for the notions I have mentioned above, because that’s just what they are.

The first belief, that all Syrian Christians have a Brahmin heritage, was never taken too seriously by historians or other experts. I remember reading a book by Sheila Chandra many years ago (I can’t lay hands on this book now) which explains in detail why this is a ridiculous idea.

Recently Varkey Cardinal Vidayathil, the senior most Catholic clergy man in Kerala and one of the cardinals in the Papal conclave which elected Pope Benedict XVI, was interviewed by author Shinie Antony for a Rupa anthology on Kerala titled ‘Kerala, Kerala, Quite Contrary’ (which by the way has one of my short stories titled ‘A Matter of Faith’). Cardinal Vidayathil’s interview is published in this anthology in the form of an article titled ‘Stone the Sin, Not the Sinner.’ In this piece, the Cardinal says that the theories about the Brahminical origin of Syrian Christians are baseless and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

The second belief is that St. Thomas visited the land, which is now called Kerala, and converted a number of Namboodiris (Brahmins of Kerala) to Christianity. According to this belief, St. Thomas did not seek or make converts from any other caste. Anyone with a basic idea of either Indian history or Christian ethos will realise why this sounds very ridiculous. If at all St. Thomas visited India, he is unlikely to have been casteist and would not have focussed only on the upper castes. After all, wasn’t Christ’s mission all about helping the poor and the down-trodden?

Unlike other disciples like Peter or Mathew or Luke, not much is known about the early life of St. Thomas, that is, his life before he became a disciple of Jesus. In fact, it is not even clear if ‘Thomas’ was his real name. ‘Thomas’ means ‘twin’ in Aramaic and it was most probably just a nickname. It is well known that Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen and that Mathew was a tax collector. If St. Peter were to have visited India, you can be sure that he would have had a special message for fisher folk, though he is very unlikely to have interacted only with the fisher folk. If St. Thomas had been the son of a rabbi, he might have found it easier to converse with the learned Namboodiris, but he is very unlikely to have focussed only on them.

Secondly, if you subscribe to the Aryan migration/invasion theory, which I do, the migrant Namboodiris made their way to Kerala only by around the 7th century. If there were no Namboodiris in Kerala two thousand years ago, St. Thomas is unlikely to have converted them to Christianity.

It is also a matter for debate whether St. Thomas visited Kerala in the first place. Even though Syrian Christian tradition fervently believes that St. Thomas did visit Kerala, Christian scholars and western historians are yet to agree on this. A few years ago, Pope Benedict XVI created a controversy when, while addressing a vast crowd at the St Peter’s square, he stated that “Thomas first evanglised Syria and Persia and then penetrated as far as western India from where Christianity reached also south India”. In other words, according to Pope Benedict XVI, St. Thomas never visited or evangelised Kerala, but only visited the land which is now Pakistan and if at all Christianity spread to Kerala, it was from north India.

Pope Benedict VI’s statement caused a furore in Kerala. George Nedungatt, a Keralite scholar based in Rome, declared that the Pope’s statement was tantamount to declaring that St. Thomas was the 'Apostle of Pakistan', rather than that of India. George Nedungatt is a faculty member of the Oriental Pontifical Institute, Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI, despite various shortcomings, is a scholar and a theologian. He is the first Pope to seriously question the belief that St. Thomas visited and evangelised Kerala. Prior to that most Popes had towed the populist line without actually affirming that St. Thomas was in Kerala. For example, in 1990, Pope John Paul II wrote that the Syro-Malabar church of Kerala "as the constant tradition holds, owed its origin to the preaching of Apostle St Thomas."

It is a fact that when the Portuguese arrived in India, they found Christianity already in existence in Kerala. It was an Indianised form of Christianity, barely differentiable from Hinduism. Jesus was yet another God in the Indian pantheon of Gods. The Portuguese didn’t like what they saw, especially the fact that the Christians owed allegiance to the Syrian Orthodox Church which had its head quarters and a bishop in Antioch (then a part of the Ottoman empire, now in modern day Turkey) and that the mass was recited in Syriac or Aramaic (hence the name Syrian Christians). The Portuguese, using a mix of force and persuasion, managed to convert many of the Syrian Christians to Catholicism. Those converts became Syrian Catholics and switched allegiance from the Patriarch in Antioch to the Pope in Rome, though their mass continued to be in Syriac. Till 1965 when the Second Vatican Council decided to allow mass in the vernacular, Syrian Catholics continued to have their mass in Syriac, while other converts to Catholicism used Latin. Since almost all those converted from Hinduism to Christianity by the Portuguese were lower castes, in Kerala, Latin Christians came to be classified as a backward class, which Syrian Christians, supposedly the descendants of Namboodiris, were treated as upper castes.

Syrian Christians have always occupied a very high position in Keralite society. Those who believe in a Brahminical lineage would say that this status is because all Syrian Christians are Namboodiri converts. However, it is very likely that the initial converts to Christianity came from a variety of backgrounds, but because of their ties with the traders who converted them, were much more commercial and hence prosperous and respected. Over a period of time, before the arrival of the Portuguese, they must have coalesced into a monolithic community.

Despite pressure to switch to the Catholic faith and the Pope in Rome, many Syrian Christians refused to tow the Portuguese line and continued to owe allegiance to the Patriarch in Antioch. In 1653, a number of them took a public oath at a place called Koonan Cross or Koonan Kurisu to defy the Portuguese and to persist with the Syrian rites and liturgy. This section, now called the Jacobites, have seen various splits in their ranks in the last two hundred years.

In 1836, a reformist movement arose within the Jacobite Church, which sought autonomy from the Patriarch at Antioch. This movement eventually led to the formation of what is now called the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church. As mentioned above, the Marthomite church is headed by a Metropolitan based at Thiruvalla in Kerala.

In 1879, missionaries from Church Mission Society of London (part of the Anglican Church) established a branch of the Church of England in Kerala. Many Jacobites and a few Syrian Catholics joined this Church which is now called the Church of South India (CSI). However, most members of the CSI Church are direct converts from Hinduism.

In 1911, Bishop Wattessril Mor Dionysius led a group of Jacobites, mainly from southern Kerala, who broke off from the Jacobite church and formed the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church which doesn’t have any ties to the patriarch at Antioch. Instead, they report to a Catholicos of the East based at Devalokam in Kottayam, Kerala,

On 20 September 1930, Bishop Mar Ivanios broke off from the Jacobites and joined the Catholic Church. The Jacobites who thus became Catholics form the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, which can be described as a semi-autonomous church within the Catholic Church.

Apologies for having digressed, but to get back to the issue as to whether St. Thomas did visit Kerala, the answer is, ‘we don’t know for sure’. However, we do know that Christianity has been in existence in India, especially in Kerala, much before the arrival of the Portuguese. In all probability, Christianity arrived in Kerala along with the spice trade that has been going on for many millennia. It is an accepted fact that a bunch of Christians from Syria came to Kerala in the 4th century and settled there. This community which is called the Knanaya (meaning “of Canaan”) community, did not co-mingle or blend with the native population, whether or not there were any Christians in Kerala at that time. It practised and still practices purity laws akin to that of the Parsis whereby anyone who marries outside the community is ostracised.

Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese, the Syrian Christians of Kerala, not only owed allegiance to the Patriarch at Antioch, they also had pretty good cultural exchanges with other Syrian Christians elsewhere in Asia Minor.

None of this however can prove or disprove whether St. Thomas did visit Kerala.

It is understandable that many Syrian Christians were upset by Pope Benedict’s statement that St. Thomas never visited Kerala. I would like to see Syrian Christians take the view that it doesn’t matter whether St. Thomas visited Kerala or not. Christianity is supposed to be an egalitarian religion. One converted by St. Thomas can’t be superior to one converted by a common trader from Asia Minor or someone else. However, as a matter of curiosity, I would like to see historians establish the truth one way or the other, in my lifetime that is.

147 comments:

oskeladden said...

A great post, as usual. Just a small quibble about the date of the arrival of Nambudris in Kerala. As far as I understand, in the past five or six years scholars have begun to come around to the view that there were two waves of Brahmin migrants to the Tamil country (of which Kerala was then a part). The bigger one was the group of migrants who arrived in the 7th and 8th centuries, and who - as Burton Stein describes - played a major role in the formation of South Indian states in that period. That's the migration you're referring to. But there was also a smaller group who migrated in the Sangam period - these were the "anthanars" and "parppans" of Sangam poetry (whose presence is otherwise somewhat puzzling). These guys went totally native and Tamil over the years - producing, amongst others, quintessentially Tamil poets like Kapilar and the Brahmins amongst the Alvars. So there were likely to have been at least some Brahmins in Kerala at the time of Christ, even if the bulk of them arrived a few centuries later.

Otherwise, an excellent post - and thanks to this, I've finally understood the difference between the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, which was something of a mystery to me. Just in passing, there is still at least one Hindu-style church in TN (near Karaikkudi), complete with an Ayyanar-esque figure of St. James on horseback and wielding a sword!

Winnowed said...

Oskeladden, thank you for your comment. I am sure you are right when you say there were two waves of Brahmin migration to the Tamil country (which includes most of what is now called South India).

On a different note, can you please tell me what Oskeladden means? Is it a version of Ash Lad?

oskeladden said...

Yes. The Ash Lad, in Norwegian, is either "Askeladden" or "Oskeladden", depending on how you write it.

JI said...

I would agree with you that it is unlikely all Syrian Christians are descended from Brahmins, although some of them are clearly from a high caste or non-Dravidian background. As the wiki says here, they are a community of "people from many ethnic groups of Kerala including different trading diaspora of Jews; Dravidian people; and Christian settlers of successive centuries like Knanaya people."

Regarding St Thomas, although there is no physical proof that he actually landed in Kerala there is circumstantial evidence that points to his presence there. The Gnostic gospel "Acts of Thomas" clearly says Thomas had been summoned to India by King Gondophares. Gondophares was in fact a real historical figure who ruled from A.D 19 to A.D 45 in north west India. It is therefore not an impossibility that St Thomas proceeded to Kerala in the south after that as Kerala which was a major centre of commerce at that time.

But there is at least one very good reason for the absence of documentary proof: the entire historical documentation of the Syrian Christians was reduced to ashes in the sixteenth century by the Portuguese who regarded these Christians as heretics.

I'm heading to India today in fact and I will be visiting Kerala. I'm looking forward to going a houseboat cruise from Alleppey to Kumarakom.

Rae said...

When I was an undergraduate at SOAS in London, Dr John Marr always used to say in his introductory lectures about South India (for those of us who were concerned more with the north), that the Thomas responsible for the first wave of Christian Proselytism in south India was a 'Thomas of Antioch' who was dated to the 3rd century of the Christian Era. Dr Marr said so with some confidence and authority so I have always presumed that it is likely to be true. Dr Marr has since been awarded the Padma Shri for his services to India, so perhaps he is a little more careful to whom he says such things these days. In any event he is still held captive in the prison of this life and is available to be questioned on the sermons he delivered when he was just a budding lecturer rather than a blossoming lotus.

Personally I prefer the story that after he had survived his ordeal on the cross, Christ fled the holy land and went back to India where he had spent most of his younger life. According to the story, supported by a number of apocryphal gospels, he took with him Thomas and his mother Mary. She died near modern Rawalpindi, where her shrine survives to this day. Christ himself went to Kashmir in order to be near the tomb of Moses. Christ spent the rest of his life in Kashmir and is buried near Srinagar. His tomb is today looked after by followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani. Thomas took the message to South India which is where this blog began.
Rae

Winnowed said...

Rae, when where you at SOAS? Dr. Marr used to teach there ages ago. Any idea where he is now? I know that after his retirement, he was the director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Anonymous said...

Some things to note:
1) The article mentions that the Portuguese found an "Indianized" form of Christianity where Jesus was another God in the pantheon of Hindu Gods. This is not correct. We have pretty good records of what Christianity was like back then (during the 1300-1600 era) since we still possess Syriac texts from that era. And these texts are certainly not heterodox, they are East Syriac texts of both the "Nestorian" and "Chaldean" variants. So Christianity back then was not some weird hybrid. It is true that the Portuguese found outlying Christians to be lax and Christian in name only, frequenting temples, etc. But where the clerics were found (Angamaly, etc.) we had bona fide Christianity.

2) You mention the Portuguese were annoyed because the Christian were allied to the Syriac Orthodox patriarch of Antioch. This is untrue. At the time of the Portuguese arrival, the Christians were allied to one of two East Syriac patriarchs: either the Nestorian Patriarch of Babylon or his Chaldean counterpart. Both are EAST Syriac prelates --- both are considered heretics by the Syriac Orthodox "Jacobite" patriarch.

The connection to the Jacobites only came a century later with the arrival of Mor Gregorios Abdul Jaleel. Basically, the Indians tried to get a bishop of their own rite from Babylon (either a Nestorian or a Chaldean --- all they wanted was an East Syriac prelate), but the Port's wouldn't allow it. So they eventually got a bishop from the Jacobites --- who are actually diametrically opposite to the Nestorians and Chaldeans!

After accepting the Jacobite faith, there was a slow change from East Syriac to West Syriac over the next two hundred years, finally ending in the 1800s.

Apart from these mistakes, I agree, the Brahmin story is ridiculous. And I also highly doubt St Thomas came to India. The unassailable historical reports of Christianity in India begin with Cosmas Indicopleatus and he pointed to communities of Persians.

So, it is likely that the Indian "Syriac" Christians are actually descendants of Persian immigrants, as well as other immigrants from West Asia (Jews, Assyrians, Phoenicians, etc.). The Assyrians/Arameans and Persians probably brought their St Thomas legends over, and their descendants (us) maintained them.

Now ... who was buried in Mylapore... Perhaps that was just a Nestorian monastery, a launching pad for their (i.e., our ancestors') expeditions into Java, and the south China sea... Perhaps someone important was buried there ... perhaps a Persian or a Syrian or an Indian named Thomas.

thirumeni said...

Dear all,

THERE WERE BRAHMINS IN KERALA BY AT LEAST 550 BC.IT IS NOT UNDERSTANDABLE IF VEDISM AND BRAHMINISM CAN REACH TAMILAKAM AND LANKA BY EARLY 600 BC WHY NOT MALABAR COAST.THE NAME NAMBOOTHIRI COULD BE A CONFUSION AS IT WAS A POSITION MADE AND GRANTED TO MANY SO CALLED BRAHMINS BY THE PERUMAL KINGS SO AS TO GET THEM ORGANISED BY THE GREAT SHANKARACHARYA.IN ANCIENT TIMES BRAHMIN'S WERE KNOWN BY NAMES AT PARAPPAN,PATTAR,ANTHANAR -THE IYERS OF SOUTH INDIAN AGREE THEY WERE KNOWN BY OTHER NAMES EARLIER.
THE GREAT KAUTILYA WHO WROTE ARTHASHASTRA-CHANAKYAN THE PRIME MINISTER OF PATALIPUTHRA.WAS BRAHMIN FROM KOLLAM-KERALA.

there is also a version that says the arrival of mar sabrisho and mar piruz to kollam in kerala was to establish the first full church of kerala at thevallakara as all others were temples and half hindu.as this was marked as the beginiing of the kolla varsha or the malayalam calendar.

the ancient church in kerala was more of an extented ancient indian hindu religion.the term hindu is/was more of a country denoting term untill the britishers came and ruled india.
their is some proof to say that the ancient church as it was called \”issaniya sampradaya \” as it had more of the brahmin converts than any others.it was as such till about 12 century.only after the portugese arrival by 15th century did we have the present so called european church equivalent.

the family names like pakalomattom means p akal om mattom -people who had authority of surya and om and mattom,that is worship,religion,god and markets/courts.
kalli,kallinkal comes from the ancient kalli worship,shankarapuri comes from family who had authority over shiva temples.the if we look into the migration of the pakalomattom and other families to south,they came to the places that had or were part of the 64 brahmin gramams blessed by sage parashurama.be it aluva,angamaly,kudamaloor and of course ettumanoor which is very near to kuruvilangad,a place where most st.thomas christians fine their lineage.till about the 1930\’s many pakalomattom families had priviledges in temples to do thaila purification as thailashanthi\’s,it was a good omen to make them do that by many royal and namboothiri familes across kerala like in royal families of panadlam,thiruvalla,anaparmapal-alapuzha,thripunithura.all this would have been only possible due to brahmin orgin or no one places them on par with kings/brahmins.pakalomattom family were fully veggetarians in many places were they had temple links till about a century back.still some among the pakalomattom are still vegetarian and follows strict nampoothiri customs,ways of life on par with strong christian faith.its a topic not to be discussed on net.

brahmin or royal standards for st.thomas christians.anyway not of semitic orgin which was a taboo for brahmins.also the customs of st.thomas christians were same as those of namboothiris in almost all ways till about a century ago.or else st.thomas nazranis will have to be a ruling class for the brahmins to adopt it in ancient times.which might not be possible as they as vedic purohits are very strict.

many indian brahmins have west asian dna which may prove the aryan invasion theory true.especially western indian brahmins like the chitpavan and kokanastha brahmins.

after all we cannot assume gauthama buddha’s brothers family who ruled nepal never had buddhist links.but as of now they are a kshatriya clan.that is how things change over a period of 500-1000yrs.we have 2000 yrs of tracing.
lets us be FAITHFULL in all ways.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. A few comments:

1. "Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese, the Syrian Christians of Kerala, not only owed allegiance to the Patriarch at Antioch..."

The above statement is not supported by what meager evidence that exists concerning our community:
a. The West Syriacs make no mention of Malabar prior to the 17th century
b. The only Syriac literature in Kerala that predates the 17th century is East Syriac
c. All observations of the Malabar Christians by West Asian sources indicate that we were Nestorians (not Jacobites)
d. Our oldest examples of epigraphy from West Asia are in Pahlavi --- the language of Persians who were, generally East Syriac

2. It may be "widely accepted" that a so-called immigration of West Asians came in the 4th century and resulted in the Knanaya people; however, this is unsupported by any evidence.

What we do know about the West Asian immigrants is that:
a. They didn't seem to have a problem intermarrying with Indians, and there are letters of authorization by the Catholicos-Patriarch of Babylon allowing Indian/Persian intermarriage.
b. The supposed migration of the Knanaya is not based on anything other than fiction. On the other hand we definitely know that there was a 7-10th century immigration of Syriac/Persian Christians to Kollam and Kodungalloor. And they definitely intermarried with Indians --- there are still families in Kerala that claim to descend from these immigrations and they are not endogamous. The Knanaya adopted the term "Knanaya" only in recent times, with a corresponding myth that they descend from a "Thomas of Cana". This is not a historical legend; it's a one hundred year old legend.

Likely the Knanaya ("Southists" actually) descend from Black/Brown Jews who converted to Syriac Christianity (a numerically and politically stronger religion in Kerala) to escape persecution by Muslims. Which is why they continue the exclusivist endogamous policies of Judaism. They are likely not Persians or Syriacs at all --- since those communities were Christians ones, for whom such backwards ideas as endogomy were not generally accepted. There are copious examples of bonafide Syriac and Persian intermarriage with Indians.

Anonymous said...

the Knanaya people do marry syrian christians. Also as i recall the original inhabitants treated them as migrants only.

harimohan said...

dear vinodh
I was actually browsing the net for syrian christians when i landed in your xlnt blog and read this ,somethign which has always intrigued me is the legend of namboothir conversion by st thomas and also the many factions of todays kerala christians ,all this threw a lot of light incidentally my weekend trip to syria this month end made me go into this topic !
tks enjoyed it

JOYAL said...

xlnttttttttttttt

Anonymous said...

Seems the author tries take a jabobite side.
Please remember that even untill the famous Vaikom Sathyagraha, the lower caste people were not allowed to be in the vicinity of uppercaste. Since it is beleived that St. Thomas came in a Jew merchant it is obvious that the merchant knew the local language and had dealings with the upper caste or royal community.

Jacob John said...

St Thomas converting only Nampothiris is nothing strange. St. Thomas was a traveller with new ideas. The ancient Kings of Kerala always welcomed such new ideas. Islam, Christianity, Jewism, Buddism and Jainism were all welcomed by our old Kings. This shows their greatness. There is no palce in the world where these religions got integrated as in Kerala, especially the ancinet Travancore. St Thomas would never be able to get access to the lower castes those days as there were strict caste conventions existed. Lower castes would never appear before upper castes and could not dream of appearing before a foreigner who was allowed to move freely by the King. Moreover only Brahmins were encouraged for learning(basically religion). That is how the Syrian Christians inherited a flair for leaning which gave them an advantage over other communities.

Anonymous said...

NO REAL BRAHMINS NEVER CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANS BY ST:THOMAS.

SYRIAN STORY IS INCREDIBILY BLUNDER!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

i saw a documentry its xcalled history of indiaby michel wood(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Wood_(historian)) in this they mention kerakla namboodri's are coming from africa and their ritual says that they are from africa also their mathra (not all)) is not sanskrit

Anonymous said...

well it doesnot matter, from where you choose JESUS as your SAVIOUR and the Way, Truth and Life to Eternal Salavation. Noone is converted, They choose the TRUTH.

Anonymous said...

Portuguese established a community of Indian Mestizos in the 16th century Kerala by integrating the Persian/ Syriac Nestorian Christians into Roman Catholicism. Mestizos had three Subgroups during the Portuguese rule between 1498 to 1660 AD.1)Mestizo (mixed European and Asian ancestry) who were soldiers and aristocrazy who owned vast estates.

Anonymous said...

Mestizos could own slaves but cant travel beyond Cape of Goodhope or Europe 2)Castizo Indian born Europian white 3)Toepass mostly Indian converts. The Indian Mestizo community appeared in Kerala when Portuguese soldiers married Kerala women, had many mistresses and numerous slave women. The Portuguese who came to Kerala thus could organise a power army of Mestizos withwhom the Syrian Nestorians joined the Catholic Church.

Anonymous said...

Syrian Mestizos were at Mattancherry Fort which was the Portuguese army headquarters. This is where the famous Koonan Kurisu oath of 1653 was taken. At 1653 Portuguese were already on the decline. Koonan Kurisu like Sepoy Revolt could be important. Mattancherry cross was inside the fort where none other than Portuguese soldiers. The intollerant religeos bigots, the Portuguese never conducted inquisition in Keraa (unlike the infamous Goan inqusition). Because all were devout Latin Catholics in that era.

Anonymous said...

The Nestorians appeared in Kerala only after the Arab ships of Iraq / Bhagdad after 800 AD. Tharissappalli Shasanam issued by Venads Tamil Ay King Ayyanadikal Thiruvadikal in 825 AD granting permission to build a Church at Tharissappalli to Nestorian Syrian trader Marvan Sapir Easho was the first authentic Dravidian document in Tamil. The signatories of Tharissapalli Sashanam had signed in three languages Hebrew Pahlavi and Kufric languages indicating that they are with Jewish Persian and Palestinian roots. Christianity was not a known religeon to Dravidian Tamils of Kerala in ancient or medival times until the end of 13th century except few immigrant Nestorian Syrians (Nasrani Mapillas) practiced it.

Anonymous said...

The ancient Tamil Sangam literature (470 books) many written by Tamil aristocracy of Kerala speak about Jainism Dravidian Hinduism and Buddhism but not Christianity. Silappatikaram a Tamil work written by Chera Dynasty prince Ilango Adigal at 4th century from his palace at Kana Vayil Kottam (ancient Kochi) gives vivid accounts about ancient Kerala. Syrian Christians or Jews were never mentioned in Sangam literature. Saint Thomas was not known to ancient Tamils of Tamilakam (Tamil Nadu and Kerala). Nambudiri Brahmins are not Tamils but ar from Tulunadu who had migrated from Ahichatra in Nepal-Uttarkhand to Banavasi in Karnataka in 345 AD. Nambudiris appeared in Kerala only in the 8th century AD when Karnatakas Chalukya dynasty invaded and subjugated Kerala.

Anonymous said...

The Nestorians appeared in Kerala only after the Arab ships of Iraq / Bhagdad after 800 AD. Tharissappalli Shasanam issued by Venads Tamil Ay King Ayyanadikal Thiruvadikal in 825 AD granting permission to build a Church at Tharissappalli to Nestorian Syrian trader Marvan Sapir Easho was the first authentic Dravidian document in Tamil. The signatories of Tharissapalli Sashanam had signed in three languages Hebrew Pahlavi and Kufric languages indicating that they are with Jewish Persian and Palestinian roots.

Anonymous said...

Christianity was not a known religeon to Dravidian Tamils of Kerala in ancient or medival times until the end of 13th century though few immigrant Nestorian Syrians (Nasrani Mapillas) practiced it. The ancient Tamil Sangam literature (470 books) many written by Tamil aristocracy of Kerala speak about Jainism Dravidian Hinduism and Buddhism but not Christianity. Silappatikaram a Tamil work written by Chera Dynasty prince Ilango Adigal at 4th century from his palace at Kana Vayil Kottam (ancient Kochi) gives vivid accounts about ancient Kerala. Syrian Christians or Jews were never mentioned in Sangam literature. Saint Thomas was not known to ancient Tamils of Tamilakam (Tamil Nadu and Kerala). Nambudiri Brahmins are not Tamils but are from Tulunadu who had migrated from Ahichatra in Nepal-Uttarkhand to Banavasi in Karnataka in 345 AD. Nambudiris appeared in Kerala only in the 8th century AD when Karnatakas Chalukya dynasty invaded and subjugated Kerala. Prior to 800 AD none of the Dravidian documents mention Christians in Kerala neither foreign nor Tamil.

Anonymous said...

Christianity was not a known religeon to Dravidian Tamils of Kerala in ancient or medival times until the end of 13th century though few immigrant Nestorian Syrians (Nasrani Mapillas) practiced it. The ancient Tamil Sangam literature (470 books) many written by Tamil aristocracy of Kerala speak about Jainism Dravidian Hinduism and Buddhism but not Christianity. Silappatikaram a Tamil work written by Chera Dynasty prince Ilango Adigal at 4th century from his palace at Kana Vayil Kottam (ancient Kochi) gives vivid accounts about ancient Kerala. Syrian Christians or Jews were never mentioned in Sangam literature. Saint Thomas was not to ancient Tamils of Tamilakam (Tamil Nadu and Kerala). Nambudiri Brahmins are not Tamils but are from Tulunadu who had migrated from Ahichatra in Nepal-Uttarkhand to Banavasi in Karnataka in 345 AD. Nambudiris appeared in Kerala only in the 8th century AD when Karnatakas Chalukya dynasty invaded and subjugated dKerala. Prior to 800 AD none of the Dravidian documents mention Christians in Kerala neither foreign nor Tamil.

Anonymous said...

John of Monte Corvino and Friar Jordanus Catalanini (1324 AD) were the first ever European missionaries to convert Indians to Latin Christianity who at Quilon converted few thousand Malali Tamils at Kollam. Kollam Latin Catholics faced threat from Arabs as well as Pandyan Kingdom. But after 1350 the Latin missionaries stopped coming the Latin Catholics might have joined the Nestorians of Kollam. When Portuguese came in 1498 AD the Latin Catholics of Kollam had completely integrated with the Nestorian Syriac Christianity (Nasrani Mappilla). Only Nestorian Syrian Christianity under Eastern Orthodox Christianity existed in Kerala at 1498 AD. Thus European missionaries like Giovanni Montecorvino and Friar Jordanus might have been responsible for increasing the Nasrani Mapilla population of Kollam from few hundred to three thousands in the 14th century. These middle eastern immigrants with some local mixture were called Nasrani (Christian) Mappilla (Son in law) because the Syrian sailors married Kerala girls. As the trade winds which would enable their return journey to Iraq wil blow in the reverse direction only after six months they married hence called Syrian Mapillas. Portuguese Mestizo community had integrated these Syrian Mappillas into Latin Catholicism and army.

Anonymous said...

When Portuguese came to Kerala Keralas language was Tamil. However the Tamil Chera (Villavar) Vellalar and Ayar aristocracy had been defeated and replaced by Tulu tribes (Nayara Menava Samantha) by the invasion of Malik Kafur in 1310 AD. Portuguese printed many books in the native language Lingua Malabar Tamul. Early Lingua Malabar Tamul or Malayalam-Tamil Christian books were using Portuguese script to write alternating lines of Portuguese and Tamil. Jesuits of Angamaly Kollam and Thalassery printed books in Tamil (eg Flos Sanctorum or Thamburan Vanakkam written bz Henrique , copies preserved at Copenhagen).In the 16th century except a few Paravas of Tuticorin Tamilnadu did not have Christians. Thousands of Tamil books printed in Kerala in the 16th to 18 th centuries by the Jesuits or Eesho Sabha at Angamaly Quilon and Thalssery suggest that Mestizo-Syrian catholics were using Tamil as their Liturgical language used in Church. Though Portuguese established a Syriac college Syriac was never used for preaching or giving sermons. Few lines of Syriac was read out by the Kattiyakaran in the Churches 17th century onwards which Malayalees never understood. Similarly Sanskrit was never used by Keralas Christians prior to British residency. Monro-Mecaulay Dewan-Resident of Kerala in the 1815 forced Kerala Christians to adopt the Tulu-Sanskrit language of Nambudiris as Malayalam while using Tulu script to write it. (See: Neria Haris Hebbar Tulu language)

Anonymous said...

Friar Jordanus Catalanini was the first ever European missionary to convert Indians to Latin Christianity who at Quilon converted few thousand Malali Tamils at Kollam. Kollam Latin Catholics faced threat from Arabs as well as Pandyan Kingdom. But after 1350 the Latin missionaries stopped coming. When Portuguese came in 1498 AD the Latin Catholics had completely integrated into the Nestorian Syriac Christianity (Nasrani Mappilla). Only Nestorian Syrian Christianity under Eastern Orthodox Christianity existed in Kerala at 1498 AD. These middle eastern immigrants with some local mixture were called Nasrani (Christian) Mappilla (Son in law) because these sailors married Kerala girls. Portuguese Mestizo community had integrated these Syrian Mappillas into Latin Catholicism and army.

Anonymous said...

When Portuguese came to Kerala Keralas language was Tamil. However the Tamil Chera (Villavar) Vellalar and Ayar aristocracy had been defeated and replaced by the the invasion of Malik Kafur in 1310 AD. After 1310 Kerala was occupied and ruled by Tulu tribes (Nayara Menava Samantha) etc. The new rulers of Kerala after 1310 might descend from the Naga tribes brought by Karnatakas kadamba kings from Nepal as slave warriors hence called Bunts. Bands of Nagas from Ahichatram had migrated to Tulunadu under Brahmin(Nambudiri Shivally Brahmins). Since the Buntas were not allowed to marry or have families a Matriarchal society had evolved. The Tulunadus Bunt/Nair dynasties of Kerala practiced Matriarchy and Polyandry. Tamil Chera Pandya or Chola dynasties had never practised Matriarchy. Kerala with a Tamil population,(Villavar/Panickar Vellalar/Pillai Parathavar and Ayar) ruled by ethnically and culturally different Bunts (Samantha Nayara Menava Kuruba etc) and Nambudiris with Tulumadu roots. Portuguese chose to support the primitive weak Matriarchal Tulu Samantha rulers with their Christian Mestizo army. The Mestizo support to the Tulu Samantha rulers with Nepalese/Ahichatra origins led to the destruction of Dravidian Tamil culture of Kerala.

Anonymous said...

The Indian Mestizo Christian army might have been a racial intermixture of Poruguese Syriac and Tamils. Nestorianism was abandoned and Catholicism became official. Chavittu Natakams or Tromping dance performed in Tamil was the main entertaintment of Malayali Christians throughout colonial period. Chinnathambi Annavi a migrant from south was the Shakspeare for Portuguese printed many books in the native language of Kerala Lingua Malabar Tamul or Malayalam-Tamil. Jesuits of Angamaly Kollam and Thalassery printed books in Tamil (eg Flos Sanctorum or Thamburan Vanakkam , copies preserved at Copenhagen). The political alignment of Portuguese with the Tulu migrants (Bunt/Nair and Nambudiri) against Tamils(Villavar Vellalar Ayar Paradavar etc) declined. NonDravidianTulunadu customs such as Matriarchy and Polyandry flourised as the colonial rulers supported the Tulu tribes with their Mestizo Christian army. The decline and disappearance of Tamils in Kerala was the result of genocide. Though Malayalam-Tamil survived till 19th century the British replaced it with the Tulu-Sanskrit language of Nambudiris written with Tulu script in the 19th century

Anonymous said...

European missionaries claimed that ancient Tamiakam was dominated by Many of the Syrian family names are in medival Tamil indicating military service eg Padayattil Payinedathu( payilunnedathu) etc. Thachil (Carpenter house in Tamil) Tharakan (broker) Mapillai(Son in law) etc. After the Portuguese left the Portuguese mixed Catholics of Kerala were left in the care of new Dutch Colonial rulers in 1660. Dutch were Protestants. So some of the Mestizo-Syrians left Latin Catholicism and founded Syro-Malabar Catholic sect in 1662 when Pope sent an emissary. Some Mestizo-Syrians founded Syro-Malankara (Jacobite) sect under Western Orthodoxy (Nestorians had been under Eastern Orthodox y ) in 1665 when the Bishop of Jerusalem was sent by Syriac Patriarch of Antioch Turkey. Syro-Malankara split into various modern sects Marthomite Jacobite, Orthodox Reeth and Knanaya sects. Only Foreign Methrons (Bishops) were allowed till 1875. Syrian Christians were integral part of European colonialism who occupied high offices. British tried to rule Kerala with Thachil Mathu Tharakan in 1800s provoking a revolt by Veluthampi Thampy Thalava. British appointed Syrian Judges and ministers in the 19th century.

Anonymous said...

British missionaries claimed that Nambudiris (with Ahichatra Tulunadu roots) owned ancient Kerala not Tamils. Europeans could claim that Saint Thomas came and converted Nambudiris .Only Tamils (Villavar Vellala Meenavar Maravar etc)are mentioned in ancient records of Kerala. Jews or Syrian Christians or Nambudiris were unknown to ancient Tamils of Keralas Chera Kingdom.

Anonymous said...

The important landmarks 1)As the Arab ships from Bhagdadian empire of Iraq started dominating the waterways first Syrian Mappillas appeared in Kerala as mentioned in the Tharisappalli shasanam of 825 AD. Mar Sapir Esho Mor Proth and perhaps Kanai Thomman may belong to this group as Kodungaloor became famous only after the Arab ships started frequenting Keralas port cities after 800 AD (The Second Chera empire). Tha Nasrani Mapillas were very few perhaps few hundred who stayed around Kollam, Kayaal and other port cities along with Arabs. 2)Patriarch John of Monte Corvino and Friar Jordanus Catalini convert many to Latin Christianity who join the Nestorian Mappillas after the Italian franciscans stopped coming after 1350s.
3)Portugguese soldiers establish a strong Mestizo community with three subsects Mestizo, Castizo and Toepass.
4)The alignment of Portuguese with the Tulu Bunt/Samantha/Nair ruler of cochin leader leads to the strengthening of the Mestizos who mostly practiced Latin Catholicism

Anonymous said...

During Portuguese period (1498-to 1660) the Portuguese period only Roman Catholicism ie Latin Catholicism existed.It is ridiculous to say that Syrian Christians were revoliting against Portuguese. Only after the Portuguese came Christian population leaped to thousands. as The Mestizos were owning vast tracts of land and doing Pepper cultivations. The Mestizo sub castes Castizo Mestizo and Toepass are mentioned in the Portuguese and Dutch records not Syrian Christians. Syrian Christians were integral part of the Portuguese colonialim and Mestizo culture.Koonan Kurisu was itself situated at the Portuguese fortified port of Mattancherry where only Portuguese soldiers were allowed entry. The 2000 strong Syrian Christians who demonstrated at Koonan Kurisu at 1653 in a peaceful manner by tying a rope and singing songs were left alive by the Portuguese because of their Mestizo connection. Though the Mestizos survived in the Dutch period (1660 to 1760) they were relatively weak as the Portuguese mixed inland Christian community of Kerala increasing identified themselves as Syrian Christians. Even during the British period the Syrian Christians were a pillars of the British colonial rule. Thachil Mathu Tharakan was appointed along with Sankaran Namboothiri and Sankaran Chetty as the administrators of Travancore. Velluthampi Thalava revolted against them. Still Mathu Tharakan continued as the first ever Christian minister of Kerala. The Forest minsister Mathu Tharakan stripped Keralas forests to aid the British in the Nepoleanic wars. Palayayam Horona Palli was built by him. The Syrian Christians were appointed as judges by the British in the 1800s who aided British. The European colonilalism favoured group of Christians of Kerala with Syrian Mapilla-Mestizo roots who inturn supported colonialism.

Anonymous said...

http://www.gnosis.org/library/actthom.htm
Saint Thomas did come to the Kingdom of Gondophares at Takshashila at the Indo-Persian border. But Gondohphares was not an ethnic Indian but a Persian (Parthian) with Greek mixture. This kingdom was situated at presentday northern borders of Pakistan. Saint Thomas visited the kingdom Gondophares as a building contractor promising a palace to the king.Because of Gad Saint Thomas escaped Gondophares wrath. However Saint Thomas earned the wrath of King Misdeus of Persia when saint Thomas converted Princess Tertia, son Juzanes courtiers Marikia Carisius and Princess Mygdonia (Mygdonia is a province between Euphrates and Tigris). Saint Thomas became a martyr in Persia when King Misdeus or Mazdai ordered four of his soldiers to take him to a nearby hill and execute him by pierching with spears. Saint Thomas could not talk any language other than Hebrew. Even in the Gondophares kindom a Hebrew girl translated his language to the king.
Edessa where the Mortal remains of Saint Thomas was taken was also in Persia. Many of the Indian Nasrani Mapillas also come from Iraq and Persia. But there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Saint Thomas came to Chera Pandya or Chola kingdoms of Tamils. Not only Jews were not known to ancient Tamils. Jews though very important people to Christianity were perhaps only sheperds who were mostly slaves to Persians Romans and Assyrians. Greeks and Romans were well known to ancient Tamils who were known as Yavana (Ionian).Portuguese used the Saint Thomas legend to their own advantage. Marco Polo initially identified the Saint Thomas grave at Kayalpattinam. But once Portuguese had interests at Bombay Cochin and Madras Portuguese declared all these places were visited by Saint Thomas. Thus King Misdeus of Persian became a Tamil king from Madras. King Gondophares comfortably became Cheraman Perumal. Nasrani Mapillas from Iraq were declared as Brahmin Namboothiri converts who were not even present in South India in the early Christian era.Portuguese also had suggested the Bombay Kalyan could be Calamina (possibly if Madras failed they can shift the Portuguese empire to Bombay). None of the Dravidian legends support such Portuguese fabrications. Gonophares, Misdeus,Tertia, Carisius, Syphorus, Juzanes all these names of Greco-Persian and not Tamil names. Madras gained importance only after it became the southernmost outpost of the Delhi Sulthanate in the 13th century. The Earlier Chola kingdom never knew about Saint Thomas or Christianity. But it is quite possible that some of the earlier Nasrani Mapillas were converted by Saint Thomas before they booked a deck in an Iraqi ship to come to India. But after Portuguese came only Mestizos existed

Anonymous said...

All the Non-Dravidian people of South India joined the European colonial rulers during the five hundered years of colonial rule in the South India.Thus Aryan Brahmins who migrated to south India (Nambudiris migrated from Ahichatra in Uttarpradesh Nepal border at 345 AD during the rule of Kadamba king Mayuravarma to Banavasi and Tamil and Telugu Brahmmins otherwise called migrated from Narmadha river basin after the Somnathpur attack in the 13th century. Tamil and Telugu Brahmins still wear the Gujarati dress and have fair colour and northern accent) in the past 2000 years eagerly join Syrian Christians often supporting their claims. Ancient Dravidian Hinduism was radically different from laterday Aryanised Hinduism. Anthanar Vediar, Maraialar Velar were the priests in the ancient Dravidian country. The word Brahmin was rarely used to denote priesthood. Most of the priests were Dravidians some of whom was trained in Vedas. Kapilar was a Dravidian priest not an Aryan Brahmin. Vedic Yagas were conducted in the ancient Dravidian country Palyaghasalai Mudhukudumin Peruvazhuthi was a ancient king who performed Yagas. While the early Brahmins were called Parpanars or supervisors of the Vedic rites. Parpanassery Parapanagadi are few placed linked with them.The Aryan Brahmins (Aryar or Ayyars) have Gotras to indicate their Aryan origins (Kasyapa(Caspian) Bhargava or Angirasa(Anglo)Kaudinya(Afganistan ancient Kaund)). The ancient Dravidian priests like Kapilar or Gauthamar never had these Aryan Gotras. British not only organised all the Non-Dravidian people against the Dravidians they did everything to undermine the Dravdian culture. The indigenous Dravidian Malyalam-Tamil or Malayanma language was banned by British thereby destroying all the Kerala records since time immemorial. They replaced Keralas langauge with the Tulu- Sanskrit langugge of Nambuthiris. Most of GRANTHA books of Nambuthiris written in the 17th and 18th centuries were not at all Malayalam but Sanskrit written with Tulu Script even today unintelligible to most Malayalees. (Tulu Script was banned in Tulu Nadu by the British while it was being promoted in Kerala http://shivallibrahmins.com/tulu-language/tulu-language-and-script/).
The British ruled Kerala with Syrian Christians and Madras Brahmins (Telugu and Tamil Brahmins). British Government in Tamil Nadu and Kerala were dominated by Non-Dravidians.

Anonymous said...

I am convinced that the modern day syrian Christians of Kerala are the descendants of Persian settlers who were present in large numbers in Kerala, for many centuries. There is also a possibility of these Persians intermarrying the local keralites, to give rise to the present day Syrian Christians. Whatever it may be, the syrian Christians have a distinct culture and tradition, and they enjoy a very high social status in kerala.. They were traditionally aristocratic, wealthy and educated, and were known for their loyalty, Valour and hardwork. They are strictly endogamous too.

Anonymous said...

While it remains that the bulk of the SYrian Christians of Kerala are the descendants of the Persian settlers, who came to India at least 1500 years ago, the are some who clearly trace their ancestral origins to authentic namboothri Brahmin families - Brahmins who converted to Christianity centuries ago. These conversions might have occurred due to the active evangelization by Syrian and Persian missionaries, who did carry out such missions from the 9nth century onwards. So one cannot thoroughly say that there are no Christians who are of brahminical descent. Many traditional and aristocratic Syrian Christian families such as pakalomattom, shankarapuri, kalliyankel, and kalliyil trace their roots to brahminical origins.

Prof.M.M Ninan said...

The fact remains that the modern Brahmins cannot trace their lineage beyond the 7th century. The Namboodiri web site will confirm that. But that does not mean there were no Aryan Brahmins in Kerala in the first century AD because the Raman invasion of Ravana territory took place from Kerala. So it is certain that Aryans stayed on in the Kerala and were there. They may have been a weak ethnic group probably a few families.

However they somehow disappeared from history soon after the first century? The only possible explanation is that the whole Brahmin community embraced the new way of Thoma.

Otherwise we are left with the task of explaining the absense of Brahmins from Kerala while they were still present all around Kerala.

A.Yeshuratnam said...

All the Hindu rituals, beliefs, customs followed by Christians before the Synod of Dampier are clear evidences to show that Syrians were converted from untouchables. Pariahs and Pulayas believed in transmigration and they offer even today flowers and sacrifices (vavu bali) to dead souls thinking they would continue to bless them in transmigrated status. It is foolish to say that Christian children attended Hindu schools, for there were no Hindu schools at that time. Portuguese started theological schools and CMS missionaries started regular schools and colleges. As a matter of fact, caste Hindus (Brahmins and Nairs) vied with one another to get admission in CMS schools where low-caste Christian students were studying in large numbers. .Exorcism, astrology, marriage customs are similar to Hindu Pariahs and Pulayas and that is why the Synod wanted to civilize Syrian Christians.Christians were asked to believe in resurrection and not trtansmigration. In dress, Hindu women were not allowed to cover their breasts, and that was the common practice not merely of untouchables from whom Syrians were converted, but even among caste Hindus such as Nambbodiris and Nairs. When Syrian immigrants married lower caste women, they were almost naked except a small piece of loin cloth to cover the genital area. So, like the Arab immigrants in Malabar, they stitched a collarless shirt called Chatta (Tamil word for shirt) and a long piece of single cloth to cover the bottom portion from navel to calf called Mundu ( a Tamil word for dhoty) and the excess cloth was not cut off to avoid waste but frilled and tucked at the back. . Most of the maid servants and poor women in huts all over Kerala wear chatta and mundu. The Synod wanted to civilize Syrian Christians because they wee all from untouchable castes. In the initial stage, a few West Asia immigrants would have married some untouchable women, like Anglo-Indians, but at a later stage it was mass marriage among untouchables who had become Christians. That is why they retained all the rituals of untouchable Hindus. Read Thurston’s customs. beliefs, marriage (Tali tying) of untouchables such as Pariahs, Pulayas, Mukkuvas, Kuravas and Ezhavas. Then you will understand how the Synod wanted to civilize and modernise Syrians who came from that stock. False identity claiming Namboodirii and Nair caste will boomerang, for Nairs and Nambbodiris do not accept Syrians as converted from their castes. They ridicule and pooh-pooh these insane claims, ignoring historical and demographic evidences.

prof.jim said...

There are many reasons why only upper caste was followed st.thomas.As we know st.thomas was landed in mussiris(kodungallore)in search of lost tribes of israel(may be at the time of babilon exile)they were settled the centre part of kerala.and there are namboodris who were also decendents of messoppotomians,persians etc.And because of extme castism there were no other caste lower to these castes (except royal family)were staying that areas.

A.Yeshuratnam said...

REPLY Part I

According to Syrian Christian tradition St. Thomas came to Kerala in 52 A.D., and converted some Nambudiri Brahmin families such as Kalli, Kaliankara, Sankarapuri, Madapur, Vyampalli, Muttedal, Kottakara, Panakamattom, and Pakalomattom . These names of Nambudiri families are fictitious and cannot be traced in any of the records of Nambudiri Brahmins. Besides, this tradition evolved at a much later date and was not a contemporary account. These fictional names are being maintained to legitimize fanciful claims. Syrian Christian tradition and many other legends found in ancient Christian songs like the Veeradian Pattu, Thomma Parvom, and Margom Kali Pattu, claim conversion of Nambudiri Brahmins by St. Thomas. But all these songs originated after more than thousand years or much later, and not composed in the first century when St.Thomas was in Kerala. Conflicting dates, AD 1601 and AD 1792, assigned to these works give room for suspicion about their authenticity. Even the composer’s name, Ramban Thomas, alleged to be a Nambudiri Brahmin, is highly doubtful as there was no such person in Nambudiri records. The notable document concerning St Thomas is the ‘Acta Thoma’ attributed to a Syrian named Bardasanes , an apocryphal work bearing transparent signs of its Gnostic origin. It was preserved with some modifications in Greek and in Syriac. It also tells about the missionary activities of St. Thomas and his martyrdom. But this work too was of a later origin and different dates are given by scholars, AD 220 or AD 400. According to another Syrian Christian tradition four Nambudiri families of Niranam, Tayyil, Pattamukkil, Manki and Madathilen of Thiruvalla were converted by St.Thomas. But there is no historical evidence about these Nambudiri settlements in Thiruvalla in the 1st century AD. It is probable that some fugitive St Thomas Christians of Mylapore or lower caste converts would have used these fabricated names with the false claim they were Nambudiri converts to avoid persecution by caste-Hindus. None of the Nambudiri records has also any reference to the existence of converted Nambudiri settlements in Thiruvalla in the 1st century AD or the conversion of their community members. Even in the Brahmin tradition found in Keralolpatti there is no reference at all to the conversion of Nambudiris, although it tells about a certain ‘Thomman,’ an opponent of all Vedas’, came to Malabar and ‘converted many prominent people in the land, including the reigning king, Bana Perumal. But Keralolpatti, embellished with myths and legends, was a compilation of 18th century to bolster the superiority and authority of Brahmins in Kerala and not a contemporary narration. It is likely that the Mylapore migrants and local converts, mostly untouchables such as Ezhavas and other outcastes, who moved into Thiruvalla from other areas coined new family names or adopted locality names of Niranam, Tayyil, Pattamukil, Manki and Madathilen and claimed for themselves superior status to hide their past. It must be borne in mind that the converted untouchables and slaves were fleeing from their original places to other areas to escape persecution and oppression in the form of compulsory ooxhiyam service. With no Nambudiri or Nayar available for conversion in Thiruvalla and nearby regions, the emergence of a large Syrian population in that region is a clear proof that they were all from lower castes. The claim for the existence of Nambudiri Christian settlements in Thiruvalla was a mixture of fable, hearsay and calculated false propaganda which has made even foreign writers think that it was a fact of history.

A.Yeshuratnam said...

REPLY Part II

It is a stark reality that it was due to large scale conversion of untouchables, especially Ezhavas that Christian settlements arose in those areas. Logan points out that the Nambudhiri settlements were mostly in the Calicut, Ernad, Walluvanad and Ponnani taluks of Malabar, and in the Cochin territory in North Travancore. No Nambudiri family of pure birth had settled to the south of the Kollam River in the 1st century AD. Francis Day and Samuel Mateer also affirm that the Travancore Rajas have “in vain tried every means in their power to induce them to reside there.” It is quite improbable, therefore, that Nambudiri settlements existed in Thiruvalla area when St. Thomas or at a later period when Thomas of Cana came to Kerala. Missionary records give us an idea of how new settlements of lower caste and untouchable Christians came into existence in different places and how those converts were tutored to assume for themselves the status of higher castes just to escape persecution by upper caste Hindus. As S.N. Sadasivan, an eminent research scholar who has gone through missionary records, points out: “From the beginning it was the practice of the converts to leave their native village and settle down in a place normally few miles away or as a distant station as possible and to take up avocations other than that of their caste for intelligible reasons. It has enabled them to conceal their past, sever from their close relations and claim a status better than that of their unconverted brethren still struggling to stand up against their neighbouring caste-Hindus, in the new environment they had chosen. The first missionary who understood this social value of this mobility and anonymity was Joseph Peet who always for the safety of his converts from slave caste sent them to other places where they could make new claims and build up a better image for themselves.”

Antony Kureekkal said...

Good read. I have done some research on this subject and please find this on http://antonyka.blogspot.in/

VAMANAN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vamanan said...

I don't think Namboodiri's presence or absence in Kerala at a particular time has anything to do with the Aryan invasion theory.

Ankita Ashok said...

From Portuguese records we learn that one Michael Jougue got into the Portuguese ship with a view to go to Palestine. The commander of the ship, Pedro Alvarez Cabral, was returning from Calicut after inflicting heavy casualties on the Zamorin’s navy. Panikkar calls Michael Jougue a Malayali Christian of the Syrian church. But it can be inferred from the name of this Christian that he was a refugee from Mylapore settled in Kodungallor. Cabral used Jougue to negotiate with the Raja of Kochi and sent a Portuguese along with him. It was a successful negotiation and the Kochi Rjah gave immediate permission to buy whatever the Portuguese wanted. Later Cabral himself met the Kochi Raja and a treaty was signed to build a Portuguese factory at Kochi.
During Vaco da Gama’s second visit to Kerala, Syrian Christians met him at Kochi. K.M.Panikkar gives this account about their meeting: “These men, believing that with the arrival of the Christian Portuguese, the time of good fortune and greatness had come for them, approached him and offered their allegiance to the King of Portugal. They suggested that, if a fort was built by the Portuguese in the area where they were strong the whole of Kerala could be conquered.” It was during this interview the name of the kingdom of Villarvattom (Valayedathu) was first mentioned by the Syrian Christians and they presented the scepter of the king of Villarvattom to da Gama. But Vasco da Gama was never taken to the site of Villarvattom kingdom. He was not shown the regnant king or the successor of the previous king (Raja Thoma). Vasco da Gama did not bother to investigate the authenticity of the sword presented to him.
It was only through the oral statement of Syrian Christians that the existence of Valarivattom kingdom is known to us. There is no literary, sculptural or numismatic evidence about this kingdom. Even smaller kingdoms such as Ilayadathu Swaroopam, Pandalam, and Kayamkulam have literary and historical evidences. The Valarivattom kingdom was supposed to have existed in Kochi area. The kingdom of Kochi was also known as Preumpadappu Swaroopam. But there is no reference to Vallarivattom in the records of Kochi royal family. Even the surviving manuscripts, such as Keralolpathi, Keralamahatmyam, and Perumpadapu Grandavari, although collections of myths and legends, do not have any reference to Vallarivattom. Cochin kingdom ruled over a vast area in central Kerala before the arrival of the Portuguese. Their state stretched up to Ponnani and Pukkaitha in the north, Anamalais in the east, and Cochin and Porakkad in the south, with capital at Perumpadappu on the northern border.The Brahmin chief of Perumpadappu (Chitrakuda, Vannerinadu, Ponnani taluk) had married the sister of the last Chera king, Rama Varma Kulashekhara, and as a consequence obtained Mahodayapuram, These were the official territories that belonged to the Raja of Kochi. Quite surprisingly, even in the territories legitimately belonging to the kingdom of Kochi, there was no place marked as Vallarivattom kingdom.

Ankita Ashok said...

(Continued from the previous post)
The Noticias of India, at the time of the arrival of the Portuguese, mentions the chief of Mangat, a few miles to the east of Cochin, and the chief of Parur, a few miles to the north, as the rulers of importance; it also states that the country surrounding Cochin was in the hands of Kaimals. To the south-east lay the small but important principality of Vadakkumkur. A few miles to the east of Cochin was the Brahmin principality of Edapalli, and to the south the peninsula of Shertallay was divided between 73 petty lords.’’ (Noticias da India- Vol.1,p.p.225-230). Although Chieftains and principalities are mentioned, there is absolutely no reference to Vallarivattom. So it was a figment of Imagination and the fable was created by Syrian Christians just to show their importance to win the favor of the Portuguese. Scholarly research has not found any official or authentic record about Valaripattopm kingdom. It is further claimed that Pope Eugene sent envoys to the king of Vallarivattom with a letter. But the envoys never reached Kerala and the letter is also missing. It is quite improbable that a Roman Pope would write a Nestorian, heretic king of Vallarivattom, if at all a king had existed. When the Dutch came Syrian Christians told them about a copper plate granting privileges to another fictitious figure, Thomas of Cana. The Dutch searched for the copper plate to write a history of Malabar. But a Syrian priest told them that it was all a lie. The Dutch Governor, Moens, says that a Syrian Priest has confessed to him that “although he was born in Malabar, had grown up among the Syrian Christians, and even be one of their priests, nothing of the sort was known to him, so that the search for this written patent was vain…” Ref. A. Galletti, The Dutch in Malabar, Madras, Government Press, , 1911, p.173. In all probability Valaripattom kingdom was also another hoax to claim royal descent like the other claims of Nambudiri and Jewish descent for Syrian converts..

Winnowed said...

Ankita, thank you for your detailed comment.

Anonymous said...

There was news about a European scholar staying in Kerala and collecting Aramic and Syrian manuscripts in Kerala. If we are not careful then after sometime our heritage will end up as some European nation's heritage. These manuscripts can even be sold or looted. Recently even in India people have started searching for old manuscripts to reveal something about hidden technologies, etc. We have to be very careful in protecting our heritage and sharing it only after we fully realise the value and thoroughly examine what we have. Otherwise even our heritage will be looted by whites and we can see such documents put up for sale in Sotheby's and other auction houses.

Anonymous said...

Ancestors of most of the christians (roman,syrian jacobie, marthomas) in India were lower caste hindus, tribes. Funny thing is that all of them saying their ancestors were Brahmins. Still Indian dirty castism is inside all of them.

Diya said...

Of course :) Caste system is deep rooted in India be it Hindu, Christian or Muslim but exploring one's roots is a different matter all together. All our hands are bloody as far as caste goes.

Prakash Namboothiri said...

Syrian Christians specially and all other Christians in India have very wide gene pool. i.e there are almost all castes gene in them and they also have genes of jews (worlds one of the very high class community), Persians etc. This is very apparently seen in their appearance, just observe , you can notice all royal looks and also low caste looks, jews sharp features, all sort of fair and dark completions etc can be noticed amongst them. As we all know gene cross will produce excellent progeny and this can be noticed that this christian community has excelled in all aspects.So there is no doubt they are mixture of upper caste,lower caste and many ethnics. Even many brahmins, kings treated them with high respect in the previous centuries even when untouchability existed very strongly and still many hindu’s treat them with very high respect.

Anonymous said...

I feel the blogger is bit biased and is hellbent in debunking the great diaspora of syrian christians of kerala.

Cochin was one of the most busiest ports of ancient days. So its obvious if the traders from arabian peninsula came to Cochin, so Saint Thomas too can reach Kerala.

Secondly if u remember Son of Lord Jesus Christ was basically involved in evangelising the JEWS.
This is the reason why Saint Thomas chose Kerala to preach Gospel. Because he being a real disciple of Christ remembered his teachings and basically wanted to talk about the Messiah to the Jewish Community (basically the traders) of Kerala. Now when the portugese arrived in kerala, they were probably jealous of knowing that there are real DNA of Abraham surviving in Kerala. So with the help of the Roman catholic church they just wanted to erase this DNA.So they destroyed the ancient Syrian Nasrani Bible.
About the Nambothiri connection, my grandmother is from one such family, and even now once in a year the Hindu Mahadevar temple and the Church members meet each other and party like brothers.

Just because things are not convinient to certain people who wrote the history of India, you cant throw away the truth.
Accept it or not, the DNA analysis of Kerala Christians proves more Jewish and Aryan DNA than any other population in the planet earth.

Anonymous said...

Kerala had only Tamil Kingdoms prior to 1310 AD. The Chera Dynasty was the dynasty of Tamil Villavar people. Chrisitianity was not a known religeon to ancient or Medival Tamils.
After the fall of the Chera Dynasty following the attacks of Tulunadus Bunt/Nairs with the help of Arabs the northernmost portions ie Kannur fell under Tulu tribes which practice Matriarchy. Kerala was integral part of Pandyan Kingdom till 1310. Tharisappalli Sasanam was given to Foreign traders from Persia(Pahlavi), Palestine(Kufic) and Jewish (Hebrew) people as their signatures would suggest. Though permission to establish church was given at 825 AD Christianity was a known religeon to Tamils.Neither no mention of Jesus or Apostles was made in any Tamil inscriptions during the Chera Pandyan and Chola periods. Nambudiris arrived in 8th century in Kerala after the Chalukya invasion. Indeed all kinds of Brahmins existed in Kerala in the earlier period including the migrants from Ahichatram ie Nambudiris between 800 to 1102 period. In the ancient Chera kingdoms of Cheras there was never a mention of Christianity or Syrian Christians or Nambudiris. There is mention of Anthanar and Parpanar(Supervisors) of Vedic rites. But in that era the priests were mostly drawn from Tamils. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Christianity existed in Sangam age neither Nambudiris. The Nambudiri migration along with Bunt/Nairs from Ahichatra occured during the reign of Kadamba king Mayuravarma to Tulunadu in 345 AD.
After the invasion of Delhi under Malik Kafur in 1310 brought an end to the Tamil Kingdoms. Tulunadus Bunt subgroups such as Nayara Menava Kuruba Samantha became the lords of Kerala after 1310. Matriarchy became a norm after 1310. After the fall of Pandyan Dynasty European priests starting from Jordanus started converting to Christianity at Quilon in the 14th century. After 1206 when Persian became the state language of India when the Turkish Sulthanate of Delhi was established large scale migration of Chrisitians from Syria Antioch (Turkey) and other middle eastern countries might have occured. Madras which was the southernmost outpost of the Delhi Sulthanate became a favorite destination of the Syriac/Turkish/Iraqi/Persian Christians who migrated to India and were part of the lucrative Spice trade. Similarly these Syriac Christians were found in all the Arab landing harbours such as Quilon and KayalPattinam. These Persian Christians were Nestorians. Mar Jacob was a priest of the Nestorians in Angamaly who might have invited the Portuguese as the Lisbon papers suggest. After Portuguese arrived a Mestizo community was formed in Kerala who practised Roman Catholicism. The mixture of Middle Eastern, Tamil and Portuguese might have created this community.The books used to be printed in Lingua Malabar Tamul or Malayanma in that era. Portuguese and Lingua Malabar were printed in alternate lines. Mestizo/Castizo and Topazi Christians dominated the Kerala and owned extensive spice estates.The Portuguese Mestizo community established a strong Catholic community in Kerala. Portuguese used Mestizo and allied with the Tulu tribes thereby exterminating the old Tamil dynasties. The Myth stating the arrival of St.Thomas and conversion of Nambudiris was not known to Tamils of Sangam age. But this story appeared when Portuguese Mestizos appeared in Kerala. Keralas Syrian Christians display middle eastern and European mixture. Their culture is a mixtue of Middle eastern and Portuguese cultures. Qurbana (persian) is conducted in a Portuguese styled Churches while the priests wear the Antiochan Turkish robes. Even today Syrian Christians are strongly Pro Western in contrast to the Dravidians. The Syrian Christians could not be Nambudiris or Brahmins. But they could be mixture of Tamils with Portuguese and Persian/Syrian people.Flos sanctorum and other Catholic books printed in medival Tamil is still preserved at Copenhagen.

Anonymous said...

Ambalacatta, Quilon and Thalassery were the places where Tamil Christian books were printed by European missionaries in large numbers for more than 300 years.Between 1500 to 1700s hardly any Christians were there in Tamil Nadu requiring mass printing in Tamil.For whom the Jesuits and Portuguese printed lakhs and lakhs of Chrisitan books in Lingua malabar ie Malayanma a form of Tamil? (No Chrisian books in any Indian languages have been found prior to Portuguese arrival). Western Colonialism was quite successful in Kerala. It could erase the Dravidian identities and create new identities.

Anonymous said...

It will be nice if you scrutinize your comments based on when printing of books and when malayalam language evolved ( i.e by AD 1500-1600)

santhosh kumar said...

further the customs followed by the namboothiri families were so ridiculus and now it seems unbelivable and nowadays they too feel shame to tell all that.but it is the true past and nothing to gain from concealing and covering it.reformation movements which started in india has changed the most degraded society of india and also it has helped to better the lives of all ,also the indian independence too was the result of such movements.that all movements helped people to come together ,meet and discuss the problems in the society.open talking was the base thing for the progress.but there were practices of untouchability.if a bhrahmin touches a nair it was taught he gets poluted and have to do penance and bathing .there were others such as ezhavar,thiyyar,pulayas etc whom if the namboothiri come closer beyond some limit then the namboothiri had to bath before he enter his house or temple.these namboothiris were commonly the priests of the temples belonging to the ruling family and other savarnas.there were worshiping systems and places for the ezhavars and thiyyas ,it was some sort of small temples ,but there all the poojas and worships were conducted by the persons from amoung them.pulayar and parayar were also had some form of worshiping .their main worshipping figure was goddess nowadays considered as kali(kali was a common name amoung them from very early period).they too perfomed poojas themselves.it may be interesting to point out here that kali was the cheif goddess worshipped by the warriors of india.eventhough pulayar and parayar were considered to the most downward caste earlier,actually they had a golden past.the words pulayar and parayar were in use in early times of sangam age when these were the names associated people who were the main men nearer to the then kings.sangam literature depicts of pictures of possessions of kings accompanied by pulayar and parayar.also modern researches shows that many places in kerala had kingsor rulers belonging to this caste.even today in second decade of 21st century they are the ones who raise the pride of kerala by winning medals in athletics and other strenious sports.

The savarnas( the term was mainly used by namboothiris to denote themselves earlier) were much interested in creating castes and new subcastes.this created a lot of subcastes amoung the so called upperclass.bhrahmins of kerala was also divided by different subcastes.the top most is the wealthy namboothiris called as addyians and poor was called aasiyans. As found every where poor did't got much respect and their situation did't improved much. They were given jobs to assist wealthy namboothiris as servants.in the 20th century there were many namoothiri hotels which served food for money.but at first they were mainly intented for the bhrahmins,some permitted upto nairs but for them seperated place and plates were used.but avarnas were not served there.at that time all the workers in these hotels were namboothiri. Later it these namboothiri hotels meant reduced to the hotel name ,that means the workers were taken from all castes even from other religion too. All were allowed to dine there.

padmakumar said...

Even with highest social status the customs of bhrahmins of kerala was too pathetic. Only the first son of the family was allowed to marry.other sons have no right to marry.but they can mate with any women upto nairs. Not all but some kshatriya families of kerala were ready to allow their ladies to enter in relation with these namboothiris . the most infamous amoung these family was the cochin rulers or thrippunithura kovilakam.these practice created a lot of branches headed with seperated women. The namoothiris which entered in relation with these royal families were like in service or like given job.they were treated well money was given to them and to their familes. Ofcourse these money came from the state treasury and to the treasury from the working people.the income generating people were the farmers , traders and few industrialists.they made the majority of kerala population and consists mainly of so called avarnas which included ezhavar,pulayar and others.but they were not given recognition and rights. Ezhavars which forms the largest community of kerala is belived to be the Buddhist followers earlier.learning institutes were maintained by them which offered studying sanskrit and tamil languages. Medical treatment was one of their main occupation.anyone who is brilliant enough to learn sanskrit and medicine was allowed to learn in these institutes and can become a doctor. They were revered by the royal families and the namboothiris even during the period of untouchabilities. But the rules for untouchability was always relaxed when question of survival and workability comes.numerous stories and court case records shows these practices. Trade and factories were mainly run by the members belonged to this caste.

santhosh kumar said...


the ambalavasi caste in kerala is that caste consists of people who were living doing jobs related to temples.this caste consists numerous subcastes.they doesn't were the owners or authorities of the temples but were doing the jobs such as cleaning,sweeping,singing,using drums and other instruments etc.they were not allowed to do the poojas which was done mainly by the bhrahmins.the bhrahmins many times were the authorities of these temples and they were the people who handle the income to the temple.at that time the temple income was mainly from the state treasury,given by the kings.this helped the owners or namboothiris to live well without necessary for doing any useful work.those persons living with jobs related to temples or ambalavasis were actually were dependentant on bharhmins as they can be denied job at any stage by these bhrahmins.so naturally they tried to keep the bhrahmins satisfied.they too practised the sambandam or were ready to entertain namboothiris with their women lot.bhrahmins entered into sambandan or a concubineship with these familes.it was not considered or accepted as marriage by the bhrahmin comunity.still the ambalavasis prefered to get a bhrahmin relation for their woman. this was way they have found to keep their job secure and income intact.so they prefer to have bhrahmin relative.if the namboothiri was a learned man and have income it was an added advantage for them.but generally if not all ,the members of ambalavasi castes are very poor and lagged behind in kerala.this was not because of any social backwardness but because of their way living superstitions.many tend to pursue their traditional occupation which have less income.their reluctance to modern education was also another reason.still they are not too poor to live as they can live by finding job and food from the temples even now.

rajeev kumar said...

it should also be noted that the sambandam by namboothiris with kshathriyas and ambalavasis were different than with the nairs.the bhrahmins used to live in the houses of these kshathriyas and ambalavasi familes with whom they have started sambandam.usually the ladies doesnot have other males in relation to her.that is kshtriyas and ambalavasis used to make sambandam with only one namboothiri at a time if not for the life time.it was like a marriage as the man and lady live together in the same house just like husband and wife.even though the namboothiris doesnot consider this as a marriage and children born in this relation had no right on the father and also on the property and wealth he ever possessed.this was not the case with the nairs.not only namboothirs but anyone from bhrahmin to nairs can have relations with any nair women.she can have any number of males as she desires at the same time.these men does not stay at these nair houses nor they drink water or take food from these houses as it was considered an act punishable with bhrasht under social laws.the namoothiris or bhrahmins doesnot enter in relation or mate with a nair lady if she is a virgin.its said that they were not ready to pull a lady to prostitution as it was a sin which would fall on them.so the nairs practiced a custom or ritual just after a lady attains puberty or mensuration.a ceremony was conducted in which the girl was declaired to attain womanhood.then her mother invites a man from a sub caste of nairs who would mate with lady accepting presence or money.this subcaste does't exists now.but they were held in high esteem till the end of 19th century.they would only accept the invitation only when satisfied by the money and presents given to them.in some places a ritual marriage was also arranged which would last only for few days.when this phase is over the family can invite namboothiris and others to enter sambandam with the girl.the namboothirs and others were now come to have relation with her.these men come only at night and if there is no one he can sleep with the woman he choosed.but he would not stay there after the sun rise and never take food or drink even water.it may sound unbelivable now but it was the social custome practiced by the nairs till 20th century.it seized to exists only with the modern education and social reform movements.after independance this practise was declaired unlawful by framing new laws.

padmakumar said...

but why the caste name nair got so famous and became known to all keralites despite kerala was divided in different countries ruled by many kings.why was the caste name nair be selected and claimed as all same from kshtriyas to bottom most caste of savarnas as nair.its one of the classic examples which shows how the mind set of people can be changed with education which was far distanced or have no corelation to the actual facts.it has been shown earlier that the word nair itself was not considered as a good word and it contained a bad meaning attached to it and how untiringly many have tried to give new meaning to it.the word was not mentioned in any official records such as stone inscriptions,land records ,orders from the king etc.one other reason for this may be it denoted a very small subcaste mainly employed as house hold servents.even no good literature in the medivial kerala used that word.but there were some reference to this caste indirectly in some literatures such as chambu set of literature which uses a mixture language of malayalam and sanskrit ,which was more popular amoung the bhrahmins of kerala.but from the second quarter of 19th century this word nair became popular slowly.this was because of the modern english education.some how when portughese came to kerala they some how got the idea that the soldiers of kerala were all nairs.may be they called the soldiers as nairs.in the books and writings they wrote they used the word nair to denote the soldiers of kerala.they being came from a thick and last era of fedualism,where class division of society was strong ,they were easy pray to the misunderstanding that nairs where the soldiers or nairs alone where the soldiers of kerala.this misconcept was passed on to others and was continued by other europeans such as detch ,english and french.these other later europeans learned about kerala from the writings of portughese.they too absorbed the prejudice that nairs were all soldiers or the kerala soldiers were all nairs.this passed unchecked so mcuh that in almost all the writings the word nair was used to denote the army of kerala.when the english education was introduced in kerala in the second decade of 19th century ,this same misconcept was later taught to the kerala children in schools and thus the misconcept and prejudices were taught to the actual people itself.and above all even today many learned persons and even historians thinks that nairs are the only soldiers of kerala.But in reality many nairs were not soldiers or have nothing to do with warfare.

padmakumar said...

it have been shown earlier that the army commander of marthanda varma was anantha pathmanabhan who was a channan or nadar and not a nair.he was also the commander of the personal body guard battalion of the king.it consists of 36 warriors selected by the king personnaly.they were all channars.in many victorious battles conducted by marthanda varma the commander was ramayyan who was not a nair.his caste is not known clearly.he was born in tamilnadu and came into the serice of the travancore king at a very young age.for many years he was considered as a bhrahmin,but some have pointed out that he belonged to the maravar community of tamilnadu.what it is clear is that he is not a nair .kanakku ,pillai,chempaka raman etc were given as titles to the courters or to those who were in service or to those who have done service to the king. it was not given on community basis nor to a particular caste.it cant be competetant persons are to be taken to service and it cannot be found from a particular caste,not always from upper caste .

in kerala the largest about one third population is ezhavars another caste.many ezhavars were in military service in olden days.not only they were soilders but also were commanders and officers in the armies.varnapalli family was the army chiefs and ministers of kayamkulam kingdom, so was ambanattu panikkar in service of ambalapuzha kingdom,ambantttu family of kollam was another ezhava family in service of kollam or desinganadu principality.Akathayyadi panicker was the cheif army commander of elaidatthu soroopam or kottarakkara kingdom.(Ref: Pathonmpatham noottandile keralam by Bhaskaranunni),Renakeerthy and dharmakeerthi chekavars - Commandor of Marthandavarma. (Ref: Travancore state manual.).ezhavars were largely in the service of cochin kingdom ,sankthan thampuran specialy appointed a ezhava military betallion in the guard of vadakkum nathan temple , commanded by a ezhava officer.in malabar area ezhavar were largely addressed by the name thiyyar and chekavar.chevam means military service in malayalam.those who were soldiers were known as chekavar.as thiyyars were so much in military service that ,it became another caste name of ezhavars.the word chaver pada or suicidal squad was actually derived from the word chekavar.whether it actually existed a question still not answered.

Anonymous said...

plz dont deviate from the topic...

Anonymous said...

India is suffering from hate phobia unleashed by Magi Brahmins of Bengal and Kerala started by Kashmiri Brahmin Nehru. First of all let us analyze the behavioral approach of North Indians and South Indians. North Indians up to upper reaches of River Godavari show a uniform approach. They were never imperaialistic. The Guptas inscriptions indicate a Dharma Yudh conducted by Samudra Gupta in Deccan not coonected with annexation. On the other hand from Satavahanas to Krishnadevaraya All SouthbIndian kings were arrogant and imperialistic. Let us look at Ramayana. Lord Rama after the death of Ravana stopped Hanuman from attacking Rakshasas. He thundered our fight was with only Ravana and Rakshadsas were his attendants. The same voiced was echoed by Sits which is unpralled in the history of mankind: stopping Hanuman saying WHO HAD NOT COMMITTED MISTAKES. Kerolthpathi is a forgery of Kerala country and in Tamilnadu version GaudiyavBrahmins had been replaced by Scholia Brahmins. When NorthbIndian kings themselves were not interested in annexation where is the question of bringing Aryan Brahmins in Tamilnadu. What happened to Telugu Kannada Marathi Brahmins in Tamilnadu. After the holocaust of Malik Kafur Tamil Brahmins completely disappeared but other Brahmins came to Tamilnadu. Why is that their population had dwindled. On the other hand Tamil Brahmins population in Palakkad had not shrinked. The imaginary invasion of Nambuthiris is shying away from incapacity of Kerala for contribution to Indian history. The Kadamba kings though called themselves as Brahmins were not actually Brahmins. The Buddhism indirectly encouraged conversion of all and sundry to Brahmins with Gothra name. Jainism did not recognize Brahmins and there were only three classes. On the other hand Buddhism had fascination for Gothras. The result is that all the administrative wing converted as Brahmins and the Kayasthas of whole of India including Karuneegar of Tamilnadu(SRI RAMALINGA SWAMIHAL belonged to this clan) claimed that they were Brahmins. The entire kings from Sungas to Chalukyas who were of Naga origin sported Gothras called themselves as Brahmins and highly dichotomical practising Jainism and Buddhism but conducting sacrifices thulabharam etc. Look into the feudatories of Tamil Cholas everybody will be having Gothras. The early Tamils resented the proliferation of false Brahmins and called them false Brahmins KAL PIRAMANAR@ KALABRAS. This eventually gave way to two great divisions Dakshina and Vama the Left and Right hands Thenkalai and Vadakalai Prakrit and Tamil. The original represented Thenkalai Dakshina and Right hand and Tamil. But subsequently this changed as vice versa. Let Kerala wake up from deep slumber shed unnecessary prejudice against Brahmins in general and Nambuthiris in particular though they had erred. Don't demonise North Indian kings but it is Cholas Chalukyas Rashtrakutas and Vijayanagar kings who had ravaged central and eastern India. It is even now the Aryo phobic Tamil Non Brahmins who unabashedly join with Tamil Brahmins who impose their cultural superiority wherever they go. I am yet to see Punjabi Uttarkhandi Kashi or Kanyakubja Brahmins exhibiting their cultural dominance

Anonymous said...

if you have access you could take a read of this (paywall): http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n21/charles-nicholl/the-other-thomas

Kuruvilla Abraham said...

Interesting indeed but very weak in its logic. Yes, the links to brahminical origins as the author explains is illogical but at the same time, to say that it is doubtful if St Thomas came to Kerala ignores all historical records and scholarship on the subject in favor of literary grandstanding.

The coming of 'Thomas of Cana', a merchant from Syria, around 400 AD and of his lending the Syriac rites and liturgy to the believers of the man from Nazareth (Nazaranies) whom he came across in Cannanore on his arrival is substantiated. So also the fact (not mentioned by the author) that those Christians of Kerala of the 4th Century AD were called Jacobites because Thomas of Cana came from the diocese of Bishop Jacob Abradi of Antioch.

What most Catholics of Rome of the St-Peter/Byzantine tradition find hard to stomach is the very high probability of Christianity having taken substantial roots in Kerala, India much much before the tussle between Byzantium (Constantinople now Istanbul) and Rome could be resolved and the Vatican be conceived

At the end of it, belief in Jesus Christ is a matter of faith and religion of any hue had better not confuse the believer

John Paul said...

The Syrian Christians of present day Kerala are the progeny of merchants from Asia Minor, Arabia and Persia (covering present day Syria, Armenia,Turkey,Iran, Iraq,Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia Oman etc., which countries can collectively be called West Asia), in miscegenation with the lower caste women(of proto-australoid stock)of ancient and medieval Kerala. In those days maritime trading involved long voyages and the West Asian mariners stranded in far flung trading out posts in Kerala could only seek the locally available women to satiate their sexual needs. As is well known, even in present days, sailors all over the world, seek out women (mostly prostitutes) for sexual services, which ever harbour they sail into. In ancient days when the turn around time from ports took months and years, they sought out concubines and keeps from among the poor clothe less local folks for pleasure. The degrees of fornication that resulted must have given rise to a mostly bastardized hybrid population with swarthy to fair complexions as against the black colour of their mothers (a la mulattoes, mestizos or Eurasians who were sired by European colonists in different parts of the world during later periods in history) (A modern day parallel as victims of such unbridled fornication in Kerala are the hapless tribal lasses of Attapady and Wayanad carrying around fair skinned father less babies born to them of mostly Syrian Christian plainsmen who exploit their dumb innocence). Over the years these lighter skinned people born to single mothers must have congregated in the trading centres and port towns of ancient Kerla (like Kodungallur, Niranom, Kollam etc.) along with their half-caste brethren born out of genuine wed-lock between the West Asian mariner-merchants and local women. They must have then inter-bread among themselves and with other locals to give rise to a generally light skinned people who more or less resembled Namboothiri Brahmins (who are also a people of mixed blood of various ancient Indian groups with Avestan-Iranian roots) and hence were accorded higher status in the society of the day. Collectively, this hybrid race came to be known in Kerala as 'Mappilas' (meaning sons-in-law) since they descended from grooms coming from outside.They must have carried on the spice trade of their West Asian fathers and must have followed the socio-religious customs of the local upper classes until other West Asians (either Christian merchants or Religious men ) who visited Kerala shores for trade converted them to Persian (Nestorian)Christianity.
Later as the Portuguese arrived and started converting all willing people irrespective of caste to Latin Christianity in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa, the Brahmin ones among them demanded grant of higher status and privileges ( especially in Goa and Mangalore the Goud Saraswat Brahmin converts to Roman Catholicism demanded special privileges of the Portuguese vis a vis the lower caste Kudumbis converts etc. and the Portuguese and the Roman heirachy gladly granted them such privileges at the cost of the lower castes. To this day such Brahman converts of Goa are known as 'Bammon Catholics' and they are more or less endogamous even now).
This was noticed by the hybrid Syrian Christian (read Nestorian) converts to Catholicism in Kerala and demanded the same of the Portuguese to retain their social clout with the upper classes since they were bunched with the lower castes in being part of the Latinised catholic church. The Portuguese acceded to this for political and the Roman ecclesiastical though the Nestorian converts to Catholicism had nothing to show other than empty claims and a relatively fair skin as proof of their Brahminhood.

Thus, a sham claim to Brahmin roots and Brahmin conversion,springing from a mixture of gross ignorance and socio-political exigencies of the day became a laughable fiction that go in the name of Kerala Christian history.

Tejaswininimburia said...

When will the people in Indian sub continent awake from stupid history phobia?Walking, talking everything from mytochandria and gene? Of the so many stupid history of India is GAUD SARASWATH BRAHMINS. The term Gaud appears during Harshvardhana period. In ancient India (even now calling celebrities by village name is prevalent in Tamilnadu)people were identified by topography/places like pahadi, malainadan, by places gaur/vengi etc., Thus it originally denoted a town in ancient Bengal afterwards identified as rain, mountain,cow etc. The Goddess Gowri is equivalent of Malaimagal/Mariamman (Mountain/Rain in Tamil). However the term Gaud Brahmins appears only during the period of Senas in eleventh century AD. Even here the king Ranasura of Dhandabhukthi( defeated by RAJENDRA Chola) brought five Brahmins from Ayodhya(Cholas settled large number of Brahmins from Radha in Bengal/Ayodhya/Purvadesam/and even Kashmir in Tamilnadu). The question is how can five Brahmins progenitate lakhs of Brahmins within two hundred years who spread over Konkan/Goa/Maharashtra/Gujarat/South Canara/Kerala? Why did not Brahmins settled in Tamilnadu called themselves as Gaud but up to fifteenth century were called ILADA(SAINT ARUNAGIRINATHA BELONGED TO THIS CLAN)?The west coast historians should look beyond Kerala to Goa. In ancient India there was a custom of identifying themselves with preceptors.Goa was the stronghold of Shri Gaudapadha disciple of Shri Shankara Bhagavatpada. Their disciples took the name of Gauda from their Acharya.It is paining to see in Kerala everything is linked to Namboothiris finally ending in Aryans entering Northwest India.Similarly is the case with Kadambas.Normally Brahmins are identified with Palasha Dhanda(there are numerous verses in Sangam literature identifying Brahmins with Palasha.)However Kadambas identified themselves with kadamba tree and had ManavaHarita Gothram(which was also of Chalukyas). This is a Buddhist practice well sustained throughout South.The sojourn from Achchitara is a reference to Acharya Simhanandhi of Gangas who were matrimonially connected with Kadambas. Thus these references of Gaud Brahmins will not stand before scrutiny which is only customary. Let us not identify ourselves with what purported to have happened thousand years ago.. Let us maintain our dignity of family/caste/community for our personal needs and need not take it back to thousand years. Whether we like it or not we have taken birth in a family/community and need not unnecessarily create a grouse against it or others. This is what purananooru says "Pain or happiness is not due to others".

Tejaswininimburia said...

The whole history of India is a myth which is a money spinning racket without useful productivity. The origins and concept of mytochandria and genes is simply self duping. Till a better system is evolved one's birth low or high is chance and at no point of time India had not opposed discarding one's birth and choosing his own way of life. That is why only in India one can find communities with caste or without caste, caste without community like soothsayers, snake/monkey charmers and so many people who don't correctly fit into caste/community system. What is the use of tracing Brahmin roots in Kerala? If India dislikes Hinduism/Brahminism let it scrap Hindu law. Heavens will not fall if Hinduism/Brahmins disappear. A true Hindu/Brahmin will gladly accept it as will of Ultimate Power. The whole political spectrum/intellegentia is spending entire energy in identifying ethnicity of each segment and perils of country vis a vis Brahminism/Hinduism since they don't have productivity. If one feels purity of his ethnic identity let him confine it to community/personal obligation but not for social analysis. One's own ancestry is purely personal and should not be for public discussion. If Hinduism/Brahminism is considered as root cause of all misery the best course is scrapping Hindu law just like scrapping of Marumakkatthayam in Kerala.

Anand said...

There is some doubtful nomenclature regarding the king who met St.Thomas,,he may be king Gondhaphor of west india or may be kandappa raja of ancient chera dynasty who ruled fromAD 45 to some period.

Anand said...

The review given some usefull idea regards the origin of chatta and mundu.but sir,which of the syrian methods are able to compare with low caste.do u heard about pulakuli.for brahmins the no. of days for pulakuli was 10.for kshatriyas it was 12 days and for nairs it was 15 days and thn for nazranis it was only 11days.this is a major evidence of nasranis royalty.sir,pls go through tharissapalli cheppedu,kanayi thomman cheppedus etc.these are the shaasanas given by travancore raja to nazranis.and this shaasanas allowed ancient christian families to keep their upper cast standards.moreover present era is a live evidence of wealth,royalty,gentleness of roman malabar and malankara catholics,jacobites and orthodox nazranis.recent past time also above mentioned christians were followed untouchability towards lower caste.this was not ethical to Lord Christ but also a clear evidence of their high caste status..so please re think about ur knowledge.thank you very much...

Pattom Radhakrishnan said...

St. Thomas visited Kerala and introduced Christianity .After St. Thomas other missionaries from Persia came to Kerala and converted many people.. The early converts in Kerala belonging to different grades in society on the basis of occupation were commonly called Christians But the name Christian was changed to Nasrani when the Arabs (Moplahs) came to Kerala. Muslims used the word Nasrani in a contemptuous and derogatory manner. Christians and Jews were hated by Muslims in the Middle East and so they used the word 'Nasrani' in a derogatory and spiteful manner, as the Greeks called others 'barbarians.' Muslims quote the Koran to call Christians and Jews as 'Nasranis.'
This is the basis of the verse. " Jews say: 'Uzair is the son of God' and the Christians say: 'The Messiah, son of God'. Such is their saying with their mouths; they imitate the infidels saying earlier. Allah has cursed them, how are they to turn? "(Surat al-Tawbah: 30) By this interpretation, Muslims regard Christians and Jews infidels and collectively call them ‘Nasrani.’
Even today all Christians are contemptuously called Nasranis in the Middle East by the Arabs. In Kerala also, after the Arabs gave the derogatory name 'Nasranis' to Christians, Brahmins and Nairs also used that word in a derogatory and insulting manner till the arrival of colonial powers. Vrahnins and Nairs made Christians work as coolies, agricultural labourers in their farmlands and compulsory service called ‘oozhiyam.’ The true economic and social condition of the Christians who were ridiculously called Nasranis was recorded by a missionary when European powers were slowly establishing their authority; Abbe J.A. Dubois, a missionary in Mysore, in his letter dated August 7, 1815, writes: “The Jesuits, on their first arrival in India, hearing of them, in one way or other converted the greatest part to the Catholic faith. Their liturgy is to this day in the Syrian language, and in the performance of their religious ceremonies they use this ancient dead tongue. There remains still among them large congregations, consisting of 70 or 80,000 Christians, of whom two-thirds are Catholics, and a third Nestorians. They are all designated under the contemptuous name of Nazarany, and held by the pagans in still greater contempt than the Christians of this part of the country. The Nairs chiefly keep them at a greatest distance, and they form a separate caste.”

Pattom Radhakrishnan said...

(Contd. from previous post)

When the Portuguese and the British educated these hapless Christians and appointed them as soldiers, businessmen and planters, Christians ascended to top position in the fields of education, business, plantations, and commerce making Brahmins and Nairs inferiors. The Portuguese were in Kerala for 150 years and during this period there was widespread inter racial marriage between Portuguese and local Hindus. Albuquerque officially encouraged such marriages to increase Christian population. Later the offspring of such marriages married local Christians which eventually led to change in skin color and personality. Gradually the contemptuous name Nasrani was given up and the words, ‘Christians’ and ‘Syrian Christians’ became common usage. But in Arab countries Christians are even today called in a vulgar form, ‘Nasranis.” In a recent riot in Cairo when Muslim fanatics attacked Christians, the Huffington Post dated August 17, 2013 reported the following incident
“Naguib’s home supplies store on a main commercial street in the provincial capital, also called Minya, was torched this week and the flames consumed everything inside.
"A neighbor called me and said the store was on fire. When I arrived, three extremists with knifes approached me menacingly when they realized I was the owner," recounted Naguib. His father and brother pleaded with the men to spare him. Luckily, he said, someone shouted that a Christian boy was filming the proceedings using his cell phone, so the crowd rushed toward the boy shouting "Nusrani, Nusrani," the Quranic word for Christians which has become a derogatory way of referring to them in today's Egypt.”

Tejaswininimburia said...

There is complete misconception about St.Thomas/Mylapore. The The Indologists wantonly mislead the terms PURAM/PURI in Sanskrit. Mylapore was never recorded as such. It was MylaiAllikeni. It was sung as such only by Tirumangai Mannan. If Mylai would have been big port Town it should have been named as Mylaipattinam.(c/f:Masulipattinam, Vishakapattinam, Krishhnapattinam, Kalingapattinam ,Nagapattinam, Keelakkaraipattinam, Kulasekarapattinam, Kaveripoompattinam. Normally there was no specific word for port towns in Sanskrit and were called as such: Brigukachcha/Tamralipti etc., Hence there is no possibility of mixing Tamil word Mylai and Sanskrit word Puram. Further there is marked difference between Puram and Nagaram. While Puram is related to and connected with villages Nagaram is autonomous mercantile towns but participated in the affairs of nearby towns. The Tamilnadu did not have the concept of villages till the time of Vijayanagar kings.There is also reference to Mayurapattinam and Buddhamangalam mentioned by Buddhadhatta in Cholaratta identified as Mayavaram and nearby village Buddhamangalam. Mayavaram is an inland town 25 km away from sea-The much famed Tranquebar. Similarly his mention about Uragapuram as URAIYUR is also not correct since translation of Uragapuri to Uraiyur has no connection at all.The whole confusion is identifying Cholaratta as the present districts in Tamilnadu is far from correct. The mercantile towns in Tamilnadu is well defined. Inland town is Nagaram while port Town is Pattinam. Uraiyur was only part of classification of Uyyakondavalanadu/Kurram while Kodumbalur is a Nagaram. If the Cholaratta was identified as Renadu the mystery will be solved. The area between the Cauvery in Mysore to Bellary was the original Chodas. The Peripleus/Pliny/Cosmos/Yuan Chwang everybody identified Chuliyas nearer to Palar/Vellore. Further the legends connecting Uraiyur i.e., sandstorm the cock attacking elephant are similar to sandstorm of Talakkad and story of pigeon defeating elephant. Thus Uraiyur/Mylapore should be traced in coastal Karnataka and not in Chennai. Further Marcopolo identified Thoma Cana near Palaverkadu which is fifty km away from Chennai. There is no legend connecting peacock and Palaverkadu. Thus Thoma Cana identified by Marco Polo and St.Thomas are two different persons.Any legend should have some semblance. But Mylapore did not have any king at that time and the king purported to have assassinated should be identified. The present Kapaleeswarar shrine is two hundred years old only. You cannot have two stories simultaneously either dismiss St.Thomas connection to Mylapore or dismiss St.Thirugnanasambandar. Spare Mylapore which is MylaiAllikeni only. Don't mix Tamil Mylai and Sanskrit Puram.

Tejaswininimburia said...

The legend of St.Thomas should not be linked to Tamilnadu. It is really puzzling and sad that Indologists are more interested in degrading Sanskrit than analyzing Tamil words for settlements. The legacy of St.Thomas linked to Tamilnadu is due to Mylapore a combination of two words Mylai-Tamil and Puram in Sanskrit. The terms Puram in Sanskrit and Ur/Kudi/Pakkam/Nagaram in Tamil are not similar. The settlements in Gupta period is the most well defined in the whole of Sanskrit literature from Gramam to Rashtram. However though Tamils absorbed it yet there is vast difference. The concept of Grama catering to the needs of Towns is completely absent in Tamil. The Ur/Kudi/Pakkam are independent self sustained city states varying in size. However Nagaram/Pattinam are purely inland and port mercantile towns. Here comes the problem of Mylapore. Mylapore was always identified as MylaiAllikeni. It was not a port town since it was not called as Mylaipattinam. On the other hand Tiruvottriyur was a nagaram and it was known as Adhipuri and it was special to Cholas and Vijalaya's father was known as Otrriyuran. The famous port towns of east coast were Vishakapattinam/Kalingapattinam/Krishnapattinam/Palaverkadupattinam/Sadurangapattinam/Nagapattinam/Devanampattinam/Tirumalarayanpattinam/Jagadapattinam/Kottaipattinam/Adhirampattinam/Devipattinam/Keelakaraipattinam/Kulasekharapattinam/Korkaipattinam. Thus the name Mylapore evolved only two hundred years ago.Further as per Marco Polo the burial place of Thoma Cana was identified by him near Palaverkadu fifty km away from Chennai. The account given in Sanskrit/Prakrit literature is even now not easily identifiable. For example Buddhadhatta the famous Buddhist scholar says he belonged to Mayurapattinam/Buddhamangalam in Cholaratta whose capital was Uragapura. Mayurapattinam was identified as Mayavaram and nearby village which is not correct. Here also there has been misinterpretation of Sanskrit name Mayavaram-as Mayurapuram and then goes for Mayurapattinam. The name of Mayavaram in Tamil is Mayiladuthurai. There are other places in Tamilnadu with Thurai which means area connected with River. Further Mayavaram is thirty km away from sea from the much famed Tranquebar. During the early Pallava period there is mention about Cholamandalam a bigger area but only Cholavishaya. Thus Cholaratta may relate to Renadu Cholas since in all ancient literature from Periplus to Yuan Chwang Chulia was identified near Palar/Vellore. During Sangam period Cholas held areas from Mysore to Bellary. Further Kalidasa in Raghuvamsam had indicated Uragapuram as Capital of Pandiyas. The translation of Uragapuram and Uraiyur has no semblance. Thus due to the unreliability of Sanskrit/Prakrit sources in so far as Tamilnadu is concerned and clear identification of Mylaiallikeni in Tamil literature the legend of St.Thomas should not be traced in East Coast but to Myladi in Kerala. The legacy of St.Thomas and Saint Thirugnanasambandar cannot coexist since the present Kapaleeswarar Temple is not even three hundred years old. Let St.Thomas need not be unnecessarily be burdened with Mylapore.

Easow Abe said...


If we look back, history will tell us that St. Thomas visited Kerala from Mylapore after making several conversions in Persia. The claim that St. Thomas visited Palayur and ordained four families as clergies from the Brahmin families of Pakalomattom (Pakalomattam) , Kalli ,Sankarapuri ,Kalikavu is a laughable figment of imagination because there were no Nambudiris in Kerala in 1st century A.D. The earliest notice of the existence of Christianity in Ceylon is that of Cosmos Indoplustes, an Egyptian merchant, and afterwards a monk, who published his ‘Christian Topography’. He says that Persian priests and merchants in Ceylon were mere sojourners and they did not marry the local people. That was the case in Kerala too. After a long interval after St. Thomas’ martyrdom, Persian missionaries came to Kerala occasionally and there was no mass migration of Persians or Assyrians to Kerala. So it becomes crystal clear that Christians converted by the Persians in Kerala were local residents. In those days religious orthodoxy and caste consciousness, upper castes such as Nambudiris or Nairs could not be converted. But lower caste people who were in contact with the Persian missionaries such as fishermen (mukkuvas) barbers, dhobis, day labourers (parayas), coconut climbers in their compound (Ezhavas) and such others were made Christians.
The Portuguese occupation of Kreala for 150 years elevated all outcaste converts’ toa superior status. Even the Kochi Raja was made a subordinate vassal. Christians, irrespective of caste or status (Parayas, Pulayas etc.,) were appointed in the army and this made even Nambudiris and nairs to be afraid of them and respect Christian army officers. Christians were appointed in Portuguese factories as accountants, messengers, planters in estates, cooks (famous Portuguese cuisine in Christian homes today, instead of kappa and fish), widespread intermarriage with low caste converts producing a new community with white colour and good physical features), brokers (tharakans) etc., It was this elevated status given by the Portuguese that has made Syrian Christians claim Nambudiri, Jew and now Assyrian descent, although all were from lower castes. “Rev. C.Y. Thomas in his book on Madhya Kerala Diocese points out: “Despite persistent persecutions, slave schools were opened in several places and the movement spread, gathering momentum with each new step. It is recorded that nine years after the first baptisms the Bishop of Madras visited the Mass Movement area and confirmed over a thousand outcaste Christians.”
Who are the present descendants of Ezhava, washerman, outcastes and slave converts? Hundreds of year’s existence has wiped out their untouchable past and now they flaunt the common community name of Syrian Christians, with the fake claim their ancestors were Nambudiris and Jews.

Anonymous said...

Nambudri Brahmins are not Aryans, how can Aryans know the language and culture of another country.Syrian Christians are converted Brahmins, they are aware of the culture. They behave like Brahmins. Aryans will find it difficult to live with them ,of course it can take place.

Anonymous said...

The claim of Syrian Christians that they are the descendants of Brahmins converted by St.thomas is completely baseless. These false and manipulated stories are being circulated to appropriate Brahmin status for Christian converts. There were no Nambudiris in 1st century AD and their arrival in 8th century begins with the introduction of Sanskrit in Kerala dispensing with Vattezhuthu which was in use till then. .
Their claim of Jewish descent is also fallacious, for the very presence of Thomas of Cana is doubted by Church historians. Like the fake Brahmin claim, Jewish claim has been propagated even by some Church establishments. Only the Believers Church has denounced such false claims in its Bulletin. The copper plate granting Thomas of cana certain privileges was also a false propaganda. Historians believe that it was to claim that Christians enjoyed superior caste privileges, a story was circulated about the granting of this plate with a long list of privileges , although there was no such plate. The dream of the Bishop is another invented story because no such dream is mentioned in the archives or tradition of Assyrian church in Edessa,Chaldea or Damascus Research scholars highly doubt the arrival of Thomas of cana. In those days, how could he bring women on ships? Who was the authority in the Eastern church to depute Bishops to Kerala? Why no Assyrian or Chaldean Bishop was seen when the portuguese came to Kerala?.Buchanan tried his best to trace the alleged copper plate given to Thomas of cana,, but failed, although other copper plates given to the Jews were found. Later some fake plates called chepped were artificially produced without any authentic source regarding their origin.
These fake claims linking the poor converts to Brahmins and Jews began in the 18th century after the Poruguese, during their 150 year-old rule, elevated this labour class to the status of army, police officers, traders, political agents, brokers, butlers and messengers. Mixed marriages between Portuguese and Hindu women( who were converted to christianity )gave them white colour and good features to remove the untouchable past. The Portuguese also made them wealthy by giving estates for cultivation and made them cultured by educationg them. This new status made them produce false family histories like Niranam granthavali, folksongs like margamkali and fables claiming Brahmin and Jewish pedigree.
Now they are giving up Nambudiri pedigree because Kerala historians, especally Elangulam Kunjan Pillai, have pointed out there were no Nambudiris when St.Thomas came to India. So they have switched over to Jewish and now Assyrian pedigree.This is the current trend amng some haughty Christians. . Thomas of cana was not a Jew and he is a fictitious figure. There was no Assyrian exodus to Kerala. When rhe Portuguese came to Kerala they could not see a single Persian or Assyrian priest. Churches were managed by local persons who had poor knowledge of Christianity and they were following distorted Nestorianism.

Pattom Radhakrishnan said...

New York Times gives the following news:
DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show
By ANDREW POLLACK
Published: August 17, 2009
Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

Tejaswininimburia said...

Why should India be suffering from racial and colour bias accepting blond hair bluish eyes and white skin? The Indian puranas hail only black colour and red eyes. The so called Aryan Gods are all black including Indra Agni Manmatha. Lord Vishnu is praised as Senkanmaal i.e., having red and lotus eyes. If Kerala people are still feeling superior over fair skin the best option is conversion of Middle East men as Namboodris and Nairs since there had been conversion of Greeks Persians Sakas Huns such as Demetrius Kanishka Nahapana Mihirikula etc., in Seventeenth century AD Robert Nobili CALLED himself as Iyer having tuft and Kacham followed by GU POPE AND VEDANAYAGAM SASTHRIYAR. Kerala is having strange phobia and any non connection of Kerala with St.Thomas will land itself in the lap of Tamil which they abhor and always make them to maintain their separate identity with the cock and bull story of Keralothpathi and insinuation against Namboodris.

Diya said...

Well! DNA might not be fool proof. The real question is what part of history is fool proof!! Wherever Christ was preached it was always in the order of 'First the jew, then the gentile'. If Christianity did reach Kerala early the jews would have been the target, then the gentiles afterwards. We can debate these things for ages without touching the truth in any real sense since none of us are entirely unbiased. Syrian christians are a complete mix. DNA tests for many Syrian Christians show more than 56% South West Asian but then again this will not be exclusive to Syrian Christians as we are all mixed up at some point or the other. Personally being born into this community I find both extreme claims appalling. The claim for Brahmin descent n jewish pure blood is utter nonsense since it's a mish mash of genes. On the other hand I see this increasing trend among fanatic hindus to somehow take a lot of effort to prove our descent from slaves and untouchables. First of all these divisions are imaginary the result of ignorance and greed. Secondly why so much of negative interest in the syrian christian past? when it has nothing to do with ur past or roots? A good dose of science should wipe out half of the ridiculous superstition in India. Every culture has had it's share of divisions - priestly classes, royalty etc etc and these divisions are not exclusive to India.

Diya said...

One thing to remember is this. Earliest Christians were jews. In fact there was no such thing as a Christian. The term came later in Antioch. The Jews remained Jews n the gentile converts were called 'followers of the way' a symbol of fish being their early symbol. Eastern Christianity had it's origins with Persian jews. The point I would like to make is this. As far as a jew or anyone of a jewish descent (since there would have been mixing from early on in Christian history) is concerned, a pagan (gentile)caste system would not have been such a big deal at least in the beginning. All they would have seen in the beginning from a very strict monotheistic jewish point of view would have been polytheists having rulers, priests, workers etc just like what they were used to seeing in their native lands. The whole of the Old Testament is filled with the separateness of a jew from a gentile and gentile class divisions were never supposed to be something to be desired. At least that kind of desire to integrate, take foreign wives etc were frowned upon and strongly discouraged in the Old Testament. EVEN when they were taken as slaves to these gentile nations there were those who stuck by the law and maintained their separateness. Of course Christianity brought in mixing and probably it's the Indian caste conscious part of a Syrian Christian that even touches the caste debate. Whatever the reasons maybe it's high time Syrian Christians realised that the caste system does not fit in any shape of form into a Judeo - Christian world view. The whole notion is appalling in itself but above all it's something practised by a Polytheistic pagan world which denies the basic intrinsic worth of a human being simply for being made in the image of God which is central to Judaism and Christianity. To claim a part of that heritage would have been abominable to our ancestors if they had any sort of Eastern origins at least in the early stages when the Jewish influence was more than the gentile influence among the early church. And if the origins were not eastern it's still important to remember that through Christ a gentile (wild olive branch) is grafted onto the main Olive branch (Abrahamic covenant). So whether one occupied the lowest of the low or the highest place in a pagan class division prior to that grafting, is of least importance or value as far as a Judeo- Christian point of view is concerned. Sadly most people don't get it. The whole point is 'The Son sets you free from ALL old entanglements to soar the skies and reach whatever purpose one is made for'

Winnowed said...

Diya, thank you for your thoughtful and interesting comments.

Tejaswininimburia said...

There cannot be fanatic Hindus since Hindus live in the present era and not bothered by past or future. Only convent educated secularists done the robe of fanaticism always making research on mytochondria, DNA blond hair blue eyes? Unless History is thrown into dustbin nobody can live peacefully.

Richard said...

Guys these discussions are like discussions about moon where if any people live in moon they will have far better idea. Being a Syrian christian my self , our history says we came from brahmin families and there are documentary proof for the same...The questions u ask today on its authenticity is as good as my great grand children making controversies on your existance

Tejaswininimburia said...

The problem with Kerala historians is that they want to extrapolate Keralothpathi and Vasco DA Gama to five thousand years and completely ignore Tamil. Out of 108 Vaishnava Shrines 12 are in Malainadu. Still no Kerala historian had ever bothered to look into it and hanging over Adhi Sankara driving Buddhists and bringing Aryan Namboothiris. I wonder which Aryan king brought Adhi Sankara/His forefathers into Kerala. Adhi Sankara's connection with Kalady another favorite cock and bull story of Kerala historians not substantiated by evidences just like secularization of OONAM and bringing MAHABALI from Himalayas to Kerala. Keralites indirectly proud themselves with Aryan Brahmin ancestry rather than identify with Tamil for which they use everything from St.Thomas to Adhi Sankara driving Buddhists from Kerala

John Dayal said...

Thanks for that excellent summation of the history of kerala christians. The people have to decide whether they want to be the first Christians in India, or descendants of Namboodiris. They cannot have it both ways.
I personally find caste claims to be obnoxious, and in fact against the christian ethos, be they in Kerala or elsewhere.
god bless
John Dayal
New delhi
john.dayal@gmail.com

Rajan Rajiv said...

In Kerala history there is absolutely no evidence of Nambudhiris or Jews becoming Christians. But Syrian Christians quote some customs and marriage rituals of Brahmins to claim Brahmin ancestry. The claim of Syrian Christians that tying of thali is a proof that they are descendants of Nambudhiris is not correct because untouchables such as Parayas, Pulayas, mukkuvas, vannans and others tie thali. Paul Roche gives this account of Paraya Catholic marriage: “The priest, though of higher caste, does not treat the Paraiya couple as untouchables. He blesses the couple and says Mass for them. The symbol of the wedding union is the thali. The thali is a gold medal on a yellow thin string. It is yellow because it is dyed with turmeric (Manjal). During Mass the priest blesses the thali and hands it over to the bridegroom who ties it around the neck of the bride. The priest also blesses two flower garlands and hands one each to the bridegroom and the bride who garland each other.”
Quite surprisingly, Syrian Christians also claim that Church built on the model of a Hindu temple is another proof for their Nambudhiri ancestry. But Paraya and Pulaya temples are also like Nair temples. Lamp, especially oil lamp, Kuthvilakku. Is lighted on all impotant occasions of Parays, and this practice is also prevalent in some Syrian houses. What separates Syrian Christians from Nambudhiri Brahmin and links them to lower castes is their lifestyle and food habits. Syrian Christian settlements were seen on the coastal area and thick jungles. But Nambudhiri settlements were inside villages, near temples and tanks.Syrian Christians like Parayas eat beef and pork. But Nambudhiris are vegetarians. Nambudhiris wear a sacred thread (poonool) which is conspicuously absent in Syrian Chrisdtians. Nairs followed matrinelial system but Syrian Christians like Parayas follow patrilineal system and their surnames are generally inherited from the father and property passes to the sons. To camouflage this, people like Gigi Thomson claim, “"We are supposed to have been part of the Hindu nobility before St Thomas converted us, so many consider themselves a cut above the rest.” Gigi Thomson lives in a fantasy world thinking St.Thomas converted Nambudhiris to claim ‘nobility status’ without realizing the historical fact that there were no Nambudhiris when St Thomas came in the Ist century A.D. There is also no reference to the conversion of Chera kings. Nairs were also not converted, for Kerala history has recorded that Nairs used Syrian Christians to do free labour (oozhiyam) in their farmlands. So it is quite transparent that only lower castes who alone were available for conversion, were singled out for conversion. Those lower caste converts got superior status in society because during the 150 year rule of the Portuguese, the Portuguese elevated them by appointing them as soldiers, police. Brokers, accountants in their factories, planters of estates, merchants and traders, priests, teachers and trustworthy messengers and thereby elevated their economic status. The British opened schools and colleges for the lower caste converts and made them culturally superior to Nambudhiris and Nairs. Albuquerque policy of interracial marriage by which the Portuguese married Hindu women produced a race white in colour with good physical features.The Portuguese and the British elevated the Syrian community financially wealthy and educationally cultured far superior to Nambudhiris and Nairsof today.

Anonymous said...

The above explanation still does not account for the high quality of life enjoyed by Syrian Christians. It is difficult to understand why Hindus like Rajiv cannot understand that there are more than a dozen christian communties in Kerala apart from Syrian christians. And when did parayas in such large numbers became fair complexioned ? We talk about and target only Syrian christians and not other communities because they are the most successful, prosperous and good looking community among christians. Even in major places like Ernakulum and Trivandrum almost all major residential locations are occupied by these families. In any case, non-Brahmin upper caste hindus in keral a would like to imagine that all christians are low caste since they do not want to be their socal inferiors, its only natural. (Brahmins, in general , are not much bothered about all these.)
Syrian christian are unique in the sense that even today syriac sholkas are part of the church litany in all malayali syrian churches all over the world. Syriac comes from Middle east and not from British or the Portuguese.( In fact, Syrian christains have nothing to do with the Portuguese. Although, thanks to th e portuguese, we have certain sections of catholics and a anglo-indian community based in Cochin.) They have done well in almost all field. The list is too long to elucidate here . Kerala was always an extremely casteist place and no one can convert one’s religion and then start building, owning, and running thousands of educational , financial and business institutions in the state, all over the country, as well as abroad. It requires energy and importantly mental courage and confidence both of which have genetic components. Syrian Christian domination and influence in some field are too huge for them to be dismissed as “ lower castes ancestry” given historical and sociological factors. Plus, this community have rejected reservations and does not avail of any reservations from government in either jobs or educational placements in government institutions. In fact, the great K.P.S. Menon who was originally from kottayam, in his autobiography has spoken glowingly about his Syrian Christian educators and has described them as “Caste Christians.” The mistake Syrian Christians make is claiming to be to be namboothiri descendants when they are actually and probably outsiders who enjoyed patronage, and later mingled with local population. In fact Syrian Christians do not look like namboothiris.
Trying to establish that Syrian Christians are of low caste origin is similar to some north Indians saying that all south indians are tribals , or that all Malayalam films are soft porn, or that all keralites in the gulf are manual laborers and slaves. All this comes from wishful thinking and popular ignorance sust

Rajan Rajiv said...

@anonymous.
I have given the answer.
"The Portuguese and the British elevated the Syrian community financially wealthy and educationally cultured far superior to Nambudhiris and Nairs of today".

Tejaswininimburia said...

The South Indian History lost all its relevance after collapse of Cholas and destruction by Malik Kafur. But Jaffna continued to be hub of maritime activity till Dutch captured in seventeenth century There were large scale immigration into Kerala from Srilanka also and during thirettenth century AD there were immigration from Persia/Central Asia into the entire west coast following SUFISM a part of which voluntarily converted themselves into HINDUISM. That is why only from thirteenth century AD we find extensive social reformers in Maharashtra before which hardly there were social reformers in the entire India. Ramanuja can never be considered as social reformer on par with Basaveswara or Gyaneshwar/Gyandeva. Hence the Followers of Sufism from Gujarat to Venad mingled with local priestly class and became Namboothiris and after Portuguese invasion they became Christians. Further it was only after fourteenth century after Mohammedan invasion we find rigours of Manu Law which compares with HAMMURABHI CODE. The fact that Nair's adoption of matrilineal system peculiar to Kerala is only an aberration. If that be the case even King Rajaraja could claim for Kerala since his step mother was Kerala princess and Pandya kings had always matrimonial alliances with Kerala. Why did not Pandiyas/Cholas ever lay claim over Kerala? The antagonist attitude towards Western Brahmins by Muslims rather than Himalayan/(including Eastern)/Southern Brahmins by Muslims is that there had been suspicion among Middle east clergy of Abrahamic Religions had swerved from righteous path and become Pagans deriving from the facts that Satavahanas/Sakas/Bactrians/Maggis when landed in the west coast had become localised. Hence the question who converted whom is absolutely stupid

Anonymous said...

Going through all the opinions about
the origin of St. Thomas Christians
in Kerala,some facts to be noted having at least some historical evidence are: 1. There were ample trade across the arabian sea coasts during ancient era
between middle east and coastal Kerala even BC.2.There had been immigrants from across east Asia,
syria,Persia,Afghan regions through north India towards south
whether or not as part of Aryan
migration.3. Brahmins or the like
claiming vedic lineage and Aryan
tradition were of originally from
east asia and farther from siberia
4.Indo-euoropian languages especially latin and sanskrit have many thing in common 5.Christianity spread in ancient
Kerala in the first century AD itself whether through St. Thomas or not doesnt matter.6.The first
converts to christianity in Kerala
could be only from among the noble
castes of that time ie.most likely
of those inhabitants from east asia who had aryan origin.7.In the subsequent centuries Jews and other middle east people migrated
to Kerala like Knai Thoma also
joined the early christian brotherhood in Kerala.8. Intermarriages among these two prominent groups also were not discouraged.9. Hindu was not a religion and it was the culture of the people in ancient times they worshiped several gods like their ancient counter parts in Greek and
Roman had mutiple gods. 10. It may be concluded that the prominent
syrian christians of today are of
aryan origin with likely mix with
jews.whether they have any connection with Nambudiris or St. Thomas is immaterial.Many traditional syrian christian families are upper caste and noble only though there had been intermarriages in the last 5-6 centuries.

Tejaswininimburia said...

It is amusing to find Kerala Historians never want to have an iota of link with Tamilnadu. The problem with Kerala historians is that they want to extrapolate VASCO DA GAMA maps with Greek mariners. A clear indication of Reference to middle east merchants is available only from COSMOS INDICOPLEUS IN FOURTHCENTURY AD where reference to Ceylon and Malabar are made. The only reference to Tamilnadu by Varahamihira is Mahadevapattinam which is the much celebrated PATTINAM wrongly identified as MUZIRIUS. The ancient Greek maps point out Srilanka as facing Kerala and South India is not shown as triangular but flat with small triangle at edge. Thus it may be concluded that ancient mariners did not know about territory between Nellore to Tondi and they first landed at Jaffna/Triconomalee/Kudiraimalai in West and afterwards reached Kerala. This is supported by the fact of intense connection between Kollam and Jaffna which made Rajaraja to capture for maritime supremacy in both east and west. Thus St.Thomas connection/Aryan connection with Kerala is the most stupid one. Syrian Christians are Syrian Christians and Namboodiris are Namboodiris only. Tracking down Kerala History to First century AD by extrapolating social set up of seventeenth century AD delinking Tamil connection is intellectual dishonesty

Pattom Radhakrishnan said...

White color cannot limk Syrian Christians to Jews, Assyrians or Nambudhiris. Untouchable Ezhavas are not only white in color but also occupy high social and economic status today in Kerala. Thiyya girls are noted for their beauty and white complexion. Syrian Christians are distorting history by spreading the false news that there was a mass migration of Assyrians at the time of persecution.It is on this false plank they claim semitic connection. But Church history has recorded that the Assyrians at the time of persecution fled to Mesopotomia, Iraq, Turkey and Persia, but not to India.Even the foreign migration and invasion of Sakhyas, Bacterians, Huns which took place from 5th century B.C. onwards are recorded in Indian History, but not the Assyrian migration. This was a cunning inventin of Syrians to claim Semitic blood. If we believe this fake story, we have to call the pious CMS missionaries who converted untouchables such as Ezhavas, parays, slaves, pulayas, dhobies, mukkuvas etc., They have carefully recorded the total nmber of untouchable conversions in their diaries. Kottayam, Mallappally, Mundakkayam, Pallom, Alappuzha, Chengannur, Mavelikara, Thiruvalla, Kodukulanji were CMS MIssionary stations and they were also centres of untouchable castes. Now they are all syrian Christian centres.
White colo because of Albuqurque's policy of mixed marriages with the Portuguese. Economic, cultural andeducational status was due to the personal care and patronage of Syrians by the Portuguese and the English.

Jo Aby said...

I see that you lack knowledge on few valuable information.

In Kerala, historically there are three categories of Christians.

1. Marthoma nazranis - converts by St. Thomas (or some of his disciples) in I century AD.

2. New Converts - by foreign missionaries, Portuguese and Anglican, during AD1500 - 1947. This includes Latin Catholics, CSI etc.

3. Immigrant Christians – This comprises the Jews and kanaya communities that had migrated from Syria in third and fourth centuries.


The malankara (marthoma) nazaranis is hence the original native Christians. Portuguese, Dutch, Anglican and several others came for them as a part of their missionary works. Many followed them but few still remain independent. At least we must salute and acknowledge them, rather than giving all praises for colonization forces.

Pattom Radhakrishnan said...

Malankara Syrian Christians also belonged to the local cate system.While the first actual record of Kerala appears in the inscriptions of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (269-232 B.C.), archeologists have found evidence of an earlier civilization. They have unearthed small chambers that were cut into rocks, with covered capstone entrances and vaulted roofs, that are dated some time between 1000 and 300 B.C. This may have been the Dravidians, an ancient people from the Mediterranean that were one of the earlier inhabitants of Kerala. Racial and ethnic history of Kerala shows many races such as Negrito, Proto-Australoids, and the Mediteranean. Mediterraneans form the main element of present Dravidian population of Kerala. Malankara Syrian Christians were not imported from Syria. They were all locals. Can the Christians converted by london Missionary Socity claim that they are not local caste but limked to London? In the same manner some Persian missionaries converted some locals but they did not marry local lower caste women. As in the history of conversion by Persian missionaries in Sri Lanka and china, those missionaries did not marry the locals and they did not settle permanently in Kerala. When the Portuguese came to Kerala, they could not see a single persian missionary. Another distortion of Kerla history by some Syrians is that there was a mass migration of Assyrians at the time of persecution in the Middle east. But Church history is quite explicit that the Assyrians fled to Iraq, turkey (Antioch), Lebanon and Persia but not to India. At Coonen Cross Oath there were 200,000 Christians. By any stretch of imagination, there could not be more than 35 Jewish families and 100 Namboothiri families in and around Mattencherry. So the crowd at the Coonen Cross consisted of lower castes. Early eye witness account by Portuguese and British missionaries was the Nasrani Christians were treate contemptuously ny higher castes and their social and economic status was in a pathetic condition. So Malankara also belongs to local society, most of them from the lowest strata of society.

Pattom Radhakrishnan said...

@Jo Aby
The true economic and social condition of the Christians who were ridiculously called Nasranis by higher castes was recorded by a missionary when European powers were slowly establishing their authority; Abbe J.A. Dubois, a missionary in Mysore, in his letter dated August 7, 1815, writes: “The Jesuits, on their first arrival in India, hearing of them, in one way or other converted the greatest part to the Catholic faith. Their liturgy is to this day in the Syrian language, and in the performance of their religious ceremonies they use this ancient dead tongue. There remains still among them large congregations, consisting of 70 or 80,000 Christians, of whom two-thirds are Catholics, and a third Nestorians. They are all designated under the contemptuous name of Nazarany, and held by the pagans in still greater contempt than the Christians of this part of the country. The Nairs chiefly keep them at a greatest distance, and they form a separate caste.”
According to W. J. Richards, a C.M.S. Missionary in Travancore, in the beginning of 19th century the religious and social conditions of the Syrian Christians were pathetic. The people were steeped in ignorance and superstitions. The Jacobite Syrian Church was also at this time at a very low spiritual level. This is clear in the words of the Syrian Metropolitan, when he had an interview with Dr. Buchanan in which he says, "you have come to visit a declining church ( W. J. Richards, "The Reforming Syrians of Travancore and Cochin," CMI, March 1895, P. 183).
in Arab countries Christians are even today called in a vulgar form, ‘Nasranis.” In a recent riot in Cairo when Muslim fanatics attacked Christians, the Huffington Post dated August 17, 2013 reported the following incident
“Naguib’s home supplies store on a main commercial street in the provincial capital, also called Minya, was torched this week and the flames consumed everything inside.
"A neighbor called me and said the store was on fire. When I arrived, three extremists with knifes approached me menacingly when they realized I was the owner," recounted Naguib. His father and brother pleaded with the men to spare him. Luckily, he said, someone shouted that a Christian boy was filming the proceedings using his cell phone, so the crowd rushed toward the boy shouting "Nusrani, Nusrani," the Quranic word for Christians which has become a derogatory way of referring to them in today's Egypt.”

If you have got relatives in Egypt or Syria, they will tell you the ridiculous name for Christians as 'Nasranis.'
The Portuguese and the Dutch called non-Catholic Christians as Syrians because Syriac was used for liturgy. Can the Latin Catholics all themselves Romans because Latin is used in liturgy. You can't quote color for superior caste. Ezhavas, Thiyyas, although backward and untouchable, are white in color. The color of the Mar Thoma Metropolitan shows conversion from lower castes in olden times.

julius said...

intresting to read

Jogi Abraham said...

The first Christians in kerala was the group migrated from mesopotomia under the leader ship of syrian merchant thomas of cana during the persecution of Christians under Shapoer 2 in 4th century

Raju Rajan said...

In 341, the Zoroastrian Shapur II ordered the massacre of all Christians in the Persian Sassanid Empire. During the persecution, about 1,150 Assyrian Christians were martyred under Shapur II. When there was persecution in Persia, Christians fled to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and they did not come to Kerala which was very distant and was having a different culture. Thomas of Cana was nt at all involved in Shapur II's persecution, for he was an Armenian merchant. Moreover, the Bishop in Persia at the time of Shapur's persecution was Yohanan bar Maryam of Arabela, and he is totally unaware of Thomas of Cana and the emigration of Christians from Persia. This Thomas of Cana story was invented in the 18th century by some family history writers like Niranam Granthavalito claaim Jewish or Assyrian descent to lower caste converts elevated in status by the Portuguese.

Amith Shaju said...

I happened to come upon a post on the matter. It gives a few reasons why it is true St. Thomas came to Kerala. It was written in 1950 in Malayalam. The link is to an English translation that I wrote.

http://amithshaju.blogspot.com/2013/07/stthomas-and-church-of-kerala.html

Hope it is helpful.

Anonymous said...

good article..with good comments..

Anonymous said...

It was the Buddhists and Jains that welcomed the early Christians. When Brahminism grew, the same Buddhists and Jains were badly downtrodden when they refused to accept Hinduism. Buddha's teachings are the main reason tolerance existed that made early Indians welcome Christianity. Real Hindu caste system would have never tolerated Christianity, it is only because of the Buddhists. Later as a loving and compassionate and equal religion like Buddhism was eradicated out, and the caste system re-esablished, many of the Buddhists and Jains were stripped and ill-treated by upper caste Hindus. The Syrian Christians did nothing for them. Nor does anywhere the syrian Christians thank the Buddhists or Jains or Buddhism and Jainism for welcoming them. They continue to sing praises of Hindu brahmins and Hindu gods. Syrian Christians have caused a lot of offense to the Buddhist community.

Tejaswininimburia said...

4717I wonder Kerala is having its own history delinked from ANDHRA/KARNATAKA/TAMILNADU. Even Asoka did not send anybody to preach Buddhism in Kerala. The reference to KODA/PADA/KETHALAPUTA has been converted as Chola/Pandiya/Keralaputra. Only Asoka knows wom he is referring. Buddha restricted Banavasi and Mahishamandalam for spread of Buddhism.Inso far as Jainism is concerned it spread even before Vijaya landed at Srilanka. Buddhism gained in KRISHNA/GODAVARI REGION and was encouraged by all Andhra kings from SATAVAHANAS to Vishnukundins.From Andhra region it enetered Kanchipuram and in fifth century AD only Buddhism entered Cauvery basin. Buddha Dhatta's reference to Mayurapattinam and Uragapuri has been taken as referring to present Mayiladuthurai and Uraiyur which is far from correct since Pattinam refers to coastal town and Mayiladuthurai is away from Poompukar at 25 km. Hence the reference to heart of Tamilnadu is itself questionable. But from Vikkiannan's reign in sixth century AD to Cholas reign upto thirteenth century AD Cauvery Basin was an intellectual center of Buddhism and even Mahavamsa hails the knowledge of Buddhist scholars of Cauvery Basin. But hardly there was not a single Buddhist/Jain scholar from Kerala. The present Kerala comprising of Kolathiris/Samuthiris and Travancore/Cochin evolved dafter fourteenth century AD. The history of Kerala is haze and upto Bhaskara Ravivarmans period it was always interlined with CHOLA/PANDIYA. Nobody can forget STHANU RAVI who was one of the pillars of CHOLA EMPERORS.If there was Buddhist expulsion why should there be large MALAYALEE BRAHMIN settlement in MAZHANADU in Trichy District referred as early as by St.Thirugnanasambandhar? Vellan Kumaran the general of Rajaditya who established MUTT OF CHATURANANA PUNDITHA AT TIRUVOTTRIYUR was the spiritual preceptor of CHOLAS UPTO KULOTHUNGA III. Paluvetttaraiyars belonged to Chera clan. Kerala history should move away from Namboothiri centric with driving of Buddhists/Jains.

Tejaswininimburia said...

I wonder where do the Kerala historians get such information!It is a historical fact that Buddhism never reached Kerala. Buddha sent emissaries to Vanavasi and Mahishamandalam in Karnataka. The North Indians knew nothing about region beyond Vijayawada up to Tondi Adsokan references to KODA/PADA/KETHALAPUTA has wrongly been interpreted as Chola/Pandiya/Keralaputhra.Jainism had spread to Ceylon even at that time of Vijaya. Buddhism spread to Krishna Godavari region in third century BC and encouraged by all Deccan rulers. Buddhism entered Cauvery Basin from fifth century AD but even at that time of Cholas it flourished as seen from Mahavamsa's felicitations to Buddhist scholars hailing from Chola country in spite of enmity. Why did no Kerala historians never mention about Kerala's contribution to Chola empire-- large scale Maayalle Brahmin settlement in Mazhapadi in Trichy referred even by Thirugnanasambandar Vellan Kumaran general ofv Rajaditya who established ORDER OF CHATURANA PUNDITHA-- THE SPIRITUAL GURUS OF CHOLAS up to Kulothunga III STHANU RAVI AND PALUVETTARSIYARS? The Kerala historians should move away from anti Namboothirism.

Kuruvilla Abraham said...


At the end of the day a sense of 'hierarchy' cannot be wished away as long as Homo Sapiens (humans) walk erect with the 'head' being more elevated than the 'heart', on the physical plane. Secondly, a bias towards direction; 'left' versus 'right' cannot be wished away as long as there are two hemispheres in the human brain, with heart being controlled by the right hemisphere and the female psyche (OS) sex being more right hemispheric than the left .

At the same time , if we are to call ourselves Christians, whether Syrian Christians or Paki Christians what should matter (as MINNOWED argues) is that we believe in the egalitarianism of Jesus Christ and where we came from; Namboodaries or mongoloids or subcontinental gentiles should not matter. That is the essence of the gospel, which is common to all faiths, where one is to love one's neighbor as oneself! Alleged geneticists, who claim to have cracked the genetic code but for the God particle (Higgs Boson, the soul), would disagree though the jury is still out on the issue of 'Nature' versus 'Nature' and therein lies the rub.

My take is that this issue will not be resolved to the satisfaction of rationalists, with faith being allegedly irrational, because: -

Humankind is fast evolving to overlook the color of one's skin
Humankind is fast evolving to overlook the color of one's money

but with the left hemisphere being separated from the right

humankind is far from evolving to overlook the color of one's soul

and

there is no rational explanation, as yet, as to where the soul comes from, though different belief systems do try to answer where the soul goes to (heaven, purgatory, hell or to the recycling bin)

Tejaswininimburia said...

There is no confusion when one understands the DNA representing SURYA and the intellect representing CHANDRA. There will be always a mismatch between Form and attributes of HUMANS. Only in fully developed souls the body will match attributes. Every aform has defined attributes and if the body and attributes do not match the soul will struggle to have synergy. This is what Aurobindo explains by CHAITANYA. This is where the people of Indian sub continent differ from all others. A Kashmiri Pundit is more closely associated with Jews or other Middle East DNA yet temperamentally he is not as violent as Middle East. He never reacts even against adversaries. This is explained by mismatch between DNA and attributes. Hence it is futile to adopt principle of Jesus to inject THE HOLY SPIRIT by baptism. Even if Holy Spirt enters in the body of people of sub continent it will be subject to CHAITANYA of Indian sub continent bodily/by dress he will be a Christian but by behaviour and attributes he will still revert back to original status. ALL DNAs will fail in India. All Aryan/Sumerian/Australoid/even Mangaloid and Negroid will have to become INDIAN. There is no other go. People should desist from researching on DNA but concentrate on SELF REALISATION which will alone open doors of JESUS/ALLAH/BUDDHA/JINA/BRAHMAN--THE ULTIMATE REALITY. People particularly in KERALA should stop worrying about DNA.

anil said...

the latin catholic community have several churches constructed before ad 1650.can u explain the reason.

awkar

Winnowed said...

Anil, the Portuguese have been in Kerala and the rest of the Malabar coast since 1500.

Take a look at these links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cochin_(1504)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4th_Portuguese_India_Armada_(Gama,_1502)

Rajan Rajiv said...

While discussing Syrian Christian history, four important historical facts are to be borne in mind.
1.Whether it was St. Thomas or later by Persian missionaries (who came occasionally) they could convert only lower castes, for in Kerala's caste code and ritual no higher caste such as Namboodiris or Nairs would volunteer to become a Christian.
2. Vasco da Gama came to Kerala in May 1498. The Synod of Diamper took place on 20 June 1599. The Coonen Cross incident occurred in January 1653.So from the date of arrival of Vasco da Gama to the date of Coonen Cross oath in 1653, Christians in Kerala were Latin Catholics and they remained in Catholic church for 155 years. Although Syriac liturgy originally introduced by Persian missionaries was also allowed in some churches, they all remained in the Catholic church.
3. During this 155 year period, lower castes were given freedom by the Portuguese to occupy any position according to their skill and qualification.During this 155 year period, the Portuguese encouraged marriages between the White Portuguese (soldiers, clerks,businessmen,agents, adminstrators etc.,) and this inter-racial widespread marriages gave white color to lower castes.Later there were marriages between white colored lower castes and other lower caste converts. So there was a vast population of white colored Christians. The long period 155 years produced several generations of white colored Christians. To hide this historical genesis, false propaganda that the Syrians are descendants of Namboodiri converts or there was a mass migration of Assyrians. There was no Assyrian colony in Kerala. It is all lies to claim superior status. how can they desroy historical facts?

Rajan Rajiv said...

I forgot to add the fourth point in yesterday's post. I was under the impression that the Oath of the Coonen Cross took place immediately after the Synod of Diamper. But by going through Kerala history, I discovered that the Coonen Cross oath occurred 54 years after the Synod. Till then all Christians in Kerala were under the Latin Catholic church. Only in some churches, Syriac liturgy was used by local unordained church workers because there was a scarcity of ordained priests coming from Rome.But even those churches were Catholic, not Jacobite or Marthoma. The Portguese priests were slowly training and teaching local priests how to conduct worship service, abandoning heretical Nestorian doctrines. Archbishop Menzies removed all heretical ideas from Kerala churches. The Coonen Cross revolt broke out because the Archdeacon wanted to have complete control over the finances and properties of the Church.But the Archbishop wanted to maintain records like other churches. This was not liked by the Archdeacon. As we see quarrels today over property and finances in Jacobite church, the same thing happened which made the Archdeacon to defy the Archbishop so that he can have financial and property control.This s the story behind the Coonen Cross. Moreover, the Portuguese power was declining with the arrival of the Dutch.This political factor encouraged the Archdeacon and his supporters to defy the Catholic Church.
During the 155 year rule of the Portuguese, all Christians who were given the status of lower castes by Nairs and Brahmins, were elevated to a superior status by the Portuguese. They were the rulers, and even the Kochi Raja was their servant.Christians were appointed soldiers and police officers. Christians could arrest and punish higher caste Brahmins and Nairs. That was how Christians attained a superior status in society.With the springboard given by the Portuguese, Syrian Christians became educated, wealthy and powerful.Today they are the most affluent, aristocratic and cultured people because they are the descendants of the Portuguese reared and carved Christians, who pulled out their ancestors from caste oppression, poverty and distress.

REAL HISTORY said...


Mr. Pattom Radhakrishnan, Why you are mixing the Great caste Ezhava/Thiyya with the parayas and pulayas. Dont you know Ezhavas/Thiyyas are highly civilized, highly cultured, highly educated , highly placed race in kerala in the past and now. When The Namboothiris came to Kerala Ezhavas were not willing to accept them as their masters and stood rebelliously where as the so called Nairs accepted their supermacy and become Namboothiri servents and as a result got admitted in the Namboothiri made classification "SAVARNA" as SHUDRA. They collectively managed to grasp all the wealth and status owed by Ezhaves and put them in the category "AVARNAS" . So Ezhavas/Thiyyas are the true high cast and high class people of Kerala. Most of the Christians and Muslims dont know this truth . They are all fed with false informations on this via Cinemas, TV Serials, Untrue History written by biazed personalities. So stop saying Ezhavas/ Thiyyas as untouchables and never ever say their name along with the scheduled casts / tribes categories. Also stop placing Nairs on the upper end because their real history is not that fair.

Anonymous said...

Please come out of all thoughts of caste race and religion,be a better man,follow what you want but please dont teach all these foolishness to the coming generations, let them breath fresh air....Dear friends, please go and see the oldest hindu temple in india , we will get ti around in 413 AD the current hinduism is differnt from vedic hinduism,the hinduism for time being whatever purpose had created caste system,Why you people are worrying and establising that we got higher caste ancestors....who is this higher caste actualy?who said brhamins are higher caste?they themselves,So if i am telling I am the most Intelligent personin the world you all believe that too????Raise up....Stop all these...The syrian christians if they are gained something its through their hardwork ....We allare supposed to be harworking and to be excel in our work and let others know us.

Anonymous said...

@Rajan Rajiv and @Pattom Radhakrishnan said...I hope ur telling the most high class people in kerala are Nampoothiris and nairs..How come that???Nampoothiri a brhamin,Nair ( the meaning of Nair is serving Nampoothiri like a Dog )still they were clever to give them the title and carrying it to generations very honorly...In bible there is verse which means..First take out the bigger log in your own eyes and then you will be able to see the little spot in anothers eyes...Just think why this syrian christians worried about caste status????Who created this????I am not against any religion or caste....but its better time to think for future than for history,COZ what we are matters a lot than who we were....

Anonymous said...

@Rajan Rajiv said...For your knowledge you are bringing up with the history of something like only latin catholic churches were there its not like that portugese ...made the syrian christians to accept their bishops and follow their traditions....thats how it was when it becomes unbearable the coonen kurisu sathyam came out...One more thing...Please go and ask a boy or a girl who is studing in 8th,9th and 10th stds ..in pala,Kanjirapally,Changanaseeri diocese....they have all these your great findings to learn...with better vicinity

Tejaswininimburia said...

Please come out of the shell of apologetic about caste. Indian society is dynamic one and the present social srt up cannot go beyond Aurangazeb. Any theological system can sustain only by qualified theological persons like ABRAHAMIC RELIGION. The peculiar problem in India is that Head can only think and rest of body can act only. Thus in India those who study don't possess skill to apply.For example even among Brahmins one seldom find good PUROHIT with sound knowledge in theology or good theologists becoming a good PUROHIT .Hence casteism is mere humbug and rules of caste are not written by Brahmins but by dominant community which also changeth with time. If anybody does not accept this basic fact then during his entire life he should be brooming over caste losing his mental peace.

Rajan Rajiv said...

@anonymous says: " when it becomes unbearable the coonen kurisu sathyam came out." That was how the Archdeacon who was under the Catholic Church began to defy the Church to have full control of the finances and property.He wanted to have an independent church. He was fortunate to have the support of the large fishermen community and with that crowd he organized the Coonen Cross oath. Only 32 congregations accepted Archdeacon Thomas propaganda that the heretic Nestorian Bishop Atahallah was burnt in Goa.But research by scholars shows that Atahallah was sent to Lisbon and from there to Rome. Illiterate and ignorant Christians in the interior regions such as Kottayam and Kothamangalam did not know what happened in Kochi, (in the absence of media, papers and absence of communication facility by bus or train) believed the propaganda of Thomas and his supporters and those churches also became independent. Rebel Christian population swelled because of the ignorance of village Christians. Later the Carmelite Fathers explained to the people what had actually happened. Father Sebastiani who came from Rome explained to the people the treacherous and heretical behavior of Archdeacon Thomas. Within weeks, 84 churches that followed Archdeacon Thomas returned to the Roman Catholic Church, most of them from the coastal area. Syriac liturgy was allowed and that was how Syrian Catholic Church was born.Now this Church is very strong and powerful and many thousands are its members.
@anonymous says that 8th standard student in Pala knows the history. But they are taught false, distorted history by saying that Syrians were Namboodiri descendants (they do not know that there was no Namboodiri when St.Thomas came) that they are the offspring of Assyrians (they do not know there was no Assyrian colony when the Portuguese came). 'Anonymous' who is a syrian Christian should know that oozhiyam service by Syrian Christians, like all lower castes, was abolished only in the Maharani's rule when thee Resident Munro brought pressure on her.

REAL HISTORY said...

Dear Anonymous, don't try say things unknown by you are foolishness. Do you know how the meadia is highcasting certain categories and this programing had been here for from long time. So some truths need to be announced. I know the cast system is of no importance and the categorization of human beings are according to their karma. But a large group of fools are trying to re-establish it. See how Mr. Pattom Radhakrishnan is trying to indirectly induce some untrue things. Who has given him the licence to call a prestigious group as UNTOUCHABLES. Just think who all are the real UNTOUCHABLES.

REAL HISTORY said...

Reply to Prof. M N Ninan. Namboothiris enjoyed the priest status and their is no need for them to embrace Christianity. Christianity had nothing to attract Namboothiris. Also following the religion Christianity with namboothiri custom is very strange and unbelievable. Plz understand that Namboothiri ancestor theory won't give any one any speciality as their is no speciality for Namboothiris themselves. So give up the false notions. Do you know Bhargavaraman came to kerala and converted required numbers of people to Namboothiri (called as Bhrahmin), most of them were fisherman people.

Anonymous said...

@Tejaswininimburia The kerala historians never had anti Nampoothirism,Even they treated then and now also with good respect...becoz in forest we will see some endangering species..Nampoothiri caste is also like that..an Endangering species,If we see any malayali gatherings inside kerala or outside kerala how seldom we find a nampoothiri..Its not becoz somebody came and killed all of their generations,Its becoz of the cruelty they had done to their mothers ,sisters and their wives,You can go thru so much of novels,describing their pathetic situation of their ladies that time.."parinayam"one malayalam film depicts it.,so many examples..They are just making their wives to be in home and running after the houses of nair ladies,"see the subcaste like Menon,Warrier...so many i dont know..much but ...all these are interbreeding between nampoothiri male and nair female....they are only responsible for their current situation...I too love and respect them despite of the fact that of their castiest nature...coz its very rare we see them...and felt very bad sometimes when i visited some illams in school days...they lost their glory ...And about buddhism...much history i dont know but just see...the fact..If christianity and Islam reached in kerala at the very early stages through sea route,How come buddhism dont reach kerala????from Bihar?????sure it can reach...May be much people dont followed it..but please see Adi shankaracharyas thoughts have good influence of budhism...who had born and grown up in kalady ...current angamaly...in kerala....

Anonymous said...

I observed a secret from another blog...I think the Realhistory and Pattom Radhakrshnan are the same person...budhi eppozhum ....

Tejaswininimburia said...

It is for KERALA historians to delink from INDIA particularly Tamilnadu and Karnataka and can have their own history extrapolating FOURTEENTH CENTURY AD KERALOTHPATHI to FIRST CENTURY BC and base their history on St.Thomas. It is puzzling to note that they could not even digest the fact that there is no chance of BUDDHISM reaching KERALA since Buddhism itself spread to TAMILNADU only after Fourth Century AD and Jainism was never prevalent in KERALA even though it flourished in Tamilnadu/Kerala upto the period of Islamic invasion. The prsent social structure i Kerala is hardly six hundred years old a fact hard to digest. KERALA SUSTAINS ITS HISTORY SOLELY ON ADI SANKARA DRIVING BUDDHISTS/ST.THOMA CANA AND KERALOTHPATHI.

REAL HISTORY said...

Sariya tankalude budhi wppozhum angu tazheya ... moolacdharathil.

Anonymous said...

@Real history Sorry if you got irritated...I would have avoided that.

REAL HISTORY said...

Let me tell the reality dear brothers.

5 tier caste system in hinduism (Bhramin, Kshethriya, Vysya , Shudra, Chandala)is actually based on ones karma and not by birth. One who attains Bhrahma Jnanam (The real knowledge of almighty) is a "Bhrahmanan" (The one with SATWIK nature) and he usually will be engaged in deeds which helps human beings associated with GOD. Some people will have more RAJO GUNA and will be interested in martial activities and administrative roles who are then termed as KSHTRIYAS. Their are people who are well versed in trades, business etc who are all categorized as VYSYAS. People who are engaged in production activities like agriculture, skilled works, utilization of natural resourses for the sake of humans, artisans, fishing ans many many repectable duties which hepls the society to sustain are termed as Shudras. Some people are much with Tamo Guna and are engaged in anti social , evil and corruptive activities who will fall into CHANDALA class.

Dont ever think that a BHRAMIN father will have all his children in Bhramin class. As each individual will be having the right to select his class according to his KARMA.

The most dangerous and should be avoided thing happened to man kind is the deviation from the real pattern ie. Karma based classification TO Birth wise classiofication. More clearly, all children born to a bhrahmin is brought up as Bhrahmin irrespective to their karma.

SO PLZ DO REMEMBER ANY ONE COULD DETERMINE HIS/HER CATEGORY BY LOOKING ON TO THEIR KARMA.

SO WHAT IS THE RELEVANCE OF SAYING THAT I AM A BHRAMIN... KSHATRIYAN ... ETC.

Tejaswininimburia said...

It is a hard fact that can't be digested by Indian Historians --LEFT/RIGHT/CENTER is that Indian History starts only from INVASION OF DARIUS I AND MAKING PUNJAB TWENTYFOURTH PROVINCE. At that tiem there was only JAINISM throughout Indian Sub continent upto Srilanka. initially JAINISM recognised three VARNAS KSHATRIYAS/VAISHYAS/SUDRAS and afterwards Sramanas were converted as Brahmanas. That is why in the entire Western India from Karnataka to Punjab Varna is not a phobia unlike in Eastern India comprising Tamilnadu to West Bengal it is a taboo. During thirteenth century AD there was migration of BRAHMINS into Western India coming into contact with SUFISM and the result was upheaval against CASTE. Before thirteenth century AD BHAKTHI MOVEMENT was completley NIL and the BHAKTHI MOVEMENT IN TAMILNADU was never ANTI BRAHMIN/ANTI CASTE but individual self realisation. The entire MANU LAW emanated only in South Western India during KADAMBA-CHALUKYA period but it was neither theological nor social butregulatory in nature fixing hierarchy of different groups. Unforunately during ISLAMIC RULE it was given the status of theology. THE MANU LAW was nothing more than CENTRAL GOVERNMENT (CLASSIFICATION/COMPILATION/APPEAL SERVICE REGULATION RULES and the VARNA system ws only a BAR CODE to fit into the Legal Code. Those who want to understand the complexities of INDIAN SOCIETY they should definitely read IMPERIAL GAZETTERS OF BENGAL/BOMBAY/MADRAS PRESIDENCIES ON CASTE CENSUS 1820-1870 where Britishers were puzzled to see the social groups are highly hetrogenous not fitting into caste heirarchy but dynamic one ever changing according to contemporary times. This has further been elaborated in the famous case of RAJAH OF KOLHAPUR vs SUNDARAM AIYAR AND SONS where the evolution of HINDU LAW BY BRITISHERS had been lucidated. At the time of dawning of British Empire British were puzzled to note that even among Brahmins there were not more than hardly 10% who were well versed in DHARMASASTRAS and THEOLOGY. Hence it is high time that HISTORIANS should reorient social studies rather than relying and blaming five thousand years Brahmin hegemony

Anonymous said...

You are right man,,,I accept it...I love all the people who are bold enough..to do their duties well than wasting time and pampering themselves in the basis of caste...and it irritates me when some people tell that Syrian Christians get all this current position due to the help of Portuguese or British rule...they are not seeing the hard work and sacrifice of generations the troubles and traumas faced by these poor people...if they gained and got good position its due to their hard work...their mental boldness to fight against the adverse situation..not only the males in the community..even the females......they equally worked along with men....

Anonymous said...

Majority of Syrian christians in kerala are converts from upper class ezhavas, The founder of 'Kerala Kaumudi', Mr CV Kunjiraman has mentioned thats his cousin got converted to syrian catholic, and also please refer 'A social history of India' by SN Sadasivan, he says 451,197 ezhavs got converted to syrian christians in the late 1800's

so it should be conclusive that majority of the christians in kerala have an ezhava lineage

jacob j said...

Some one here just mentioned that the majority of the the Syrian Christians are converts from upper class Ezhavas. Well, there's not a single evidence for this. The Syrian Christians have existed in Kerala at least from the 5th century onwards (as per the account of Cosmas Indicoplasteus, a Nestorian traveller). They are known to have originated from the intermarriages between Persian immigrants and local Keralites in the 1st Millennium. The community, in the 15nth and 16nth centuries, also engaged in intermarriages with the Portuguese. Thus the Syrian Christians have mixed origins, derived from Dravidian, Persian and Portuguese. This would explain the reason for mixed physical features among the Nasranis, such as both Fair and dark complexion, sharp and blunt features etc. The more aristocratic Syrian Christian families with a rich heritage, are basically those families with a greater degree of Non Indian admixture, particularly the Portuguese.

About S.N Sadasivan's book, it is a thoroughly faulty figure (the number of christian converts in the 19nth century). Sadasivan is known for being a heavily biased author with a poor sense of objectivity, and an Ezhava Chauvinist. The Ezhavas who became Christians in the 19nth century under the missionary works of the British were made to Join the anglican Church. They have always remained distinct from the mainstream Syrian Christians who have a history and tradition to boast about.

Anonymous said...

Hey Vinod, great article. But about St. Thomas not coming to Kerala? I thought there was enough evidence, anecdotal and otherwise to confirm it. Also the 4 "Brahmin" families - Pakalomattom et al still exist. And they were from the priestly class, may not be Namboodiris but still they seem to be a cut above the hoi polloi, perhaps Anthanar Brahmins. And perhaps Thomas did not have access to the "poorest of the poor" or they may have not been inclined toward spiritual discernment. But on the other hand, I can see the Brahmins eager for discourse. Just curious, but are you a Holocaust denier too? "Yakob", a Keralite from USA.

Tejaswininimburia said...

At last someone has accepted that St.Thomas has not converted NAMBOOTHIRI BRAHMINS but only ANTHANAR BRAHMINS!HE MAY EXPLAIN WHO WERE THOSE ANTHANAR BRAHMINS! ARE THEY ARYAN INTRUDERS?WHETHER KERALOTHPATHI MENTIONS ANTHANAR BRAHMINS?

Anonymous said...

Hi Tejas, as farfetched as this may sound, the Anthanars could very well be part of the lost tribes of Israel. Abraham Benhur’s book ‘The Jewish Background of Indian People’ explains in great detail. Here's a link: http://www.abrahambenhur.com/jewish_indian.html

Tejaswininimburia said...

I wonder why INDOLOGISTS AND HISTORIANS TRACING INDIANS FROM AFRICA/MIDDLE EAST/CACAUSIAN PLAINS MISS one important factor. When di Brahmins adopt FIRE as origin of birth and ending of life. The most important aspect of South Indian Brahmin (From Kanyakumari to Kalyan and I am omitting the controversy on PANCHA DRAVIDA/PANCHA GAUDA)is that a Brahmin takes birth from Fire and hene his body should be consummated to fire only even after his death. The Rig Vedic Brahmins claim that they need not do AUPASANA since fire is in their palms--what is known as PANI HOMAM. The death rituals of a Brahmin point to the fact that body is offered as YAGYA PASU TO MAHADEVA in the case of Non Vaishnavites and to RUDRA in the case of VAISHNAVAITES. Even after obtaining SAIVITE AND VAISHNAVAITE DEEKSHA A SOUTH INDIAN BRAHMIN AFTER HIS DEATH IS NEITHER A SAIVAITE NOR A VAISHNAVITE AND DIRECTLY MERGING WITH LORD SHIVA OR LORD VISHNU but his body should be consumated to FIRE ONLY. This cannot be considered as ARYAN CUSTOM PARTICULARLY OF IRANIANS since Iranians never want the five Bhootas-FIRE WATER ETC., to be polluted and that is why they don't bury or burn the dead. Though the Buddhists and Jain burn after death it is not mandatory. the question is from where did the Brahmins adopt this practice or is it a native practice. Throughout India the relics of SIX ENTURY BC point towards an interesting aspect missed or wantonly omitted by historians--building chambers for burying the urn in circular or rectangular chambers. The urns may be burnt or buried bones. Further the karma performed by a South Indian Brahmin installing STONE AND OFFERING WATER DAILY WITH TWO IDENTIFICATIONS HOUSE GATE AND WATER SOURCE GATE is already described in PURANANOORU VIDE DR. R.NAGASWAMY'S ARTICLES. Then I don't understand why people are still hanging to immigration theory. The performance of death rituals of a South Indian Brahmin can only be compared to the practice of TRIBALS --keeping pollution for a specific number of days and offering to the souls. I still find no theory on DEATH CEREMONIES of SOUTH INDIAN BRAHMINS which negates all immigration theories or did the IMMIGRANTS CONVERTED THEMSELVES TO THE ALREADY EXISTING TRIBAL BRAHMINS AND FINETUNED THE PRACTICES?

Anonymous said...

Ah well, as the Bard once said, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

In an effort to revive the dying embers of this flame, the concept of FIRE has many mythical aspects. In fact, Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods, may have been the first populist socialist humanitarian. He didn't cave in to the authoritarian culture and didn't take any crap from the elitists. And it isn't too much of a stretch of imagination to compare a wanton and cruel Zeus to Yahweh, the god of the Syrian Christians. Power to "we the people".

Devapriya Solomon said...

Now first thing is basically who are Jews. Judea, Israel & Samaria all 3 combine biblical Israel, United Monarchy as per story existed during Kings Saul, David and Solomon.
Now Archaeology says that Israel become populated and become to call nation only in BCE 930, And as Assyrians threw them out reached Judea in 722BCE only. This means that entire Biblical story figures Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon are fictions.
As per Samarian Torah Abraham went to Mt.Gerizim in Samaria for sacrifice and the local small Deity of Israel also named Mt.Gerizim is his dwelling place; Dead Sea Scrolls confirms that Samarian Torah is correct.
Old Testament Torah says Future place and later Jerusalem - zion myths came.
Entire Old testament is fabricated in Ist century BCE.
No Messiah, No Prophets - all are myths
The Mythic Past: Biblical Archaeology And The Myth Of Israel -Prof: Thomas L. Thompson

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mythic-Past-Biblical-Archaeology/dp/0465006493

Tejaswininimburia said...

This may probably be correct since MIDDLE EAST SHOULD have been forerunner of modern civilisation and people would have left MIDDLE EAST for various reasons and for INDIA HISTORY is a sheer nonsense creating disharmony among various communities. Whatever be the history it is only academic and INDIANS should move away from HISTORY

adv.mathew thazhethil jayaraj said...

IN India except in Kerala Where 55 lakh upper caste Christians have no record for caste, all other 125 crore Indians has been already given caste identity ,. all back ward caste Christians in Kerala including Nadar has been identified by caste.along with their church membership Latin catholic is not only a church but also a notified caste and the only christian notified caste in India.it was was notified by the merger of five similar castes.only knanaya church will get suryani as caste, we are only following Syrian liturgy borrowed from the knanaya church in the 18 th century AD by Marthoma v in a belief to overcome the Portuguese back drive to Latina the Malankara church but in vain as the Portuguese split the knanaya church itself introducing the syro Malabar rite 250 years ago, a century after the coonan cross oath of 1653 AD in a backdrop of conflict between Nampoothiri Christians & then Royalty.
if any knanaya church member marry any of our members,they expel them from suriyani Knanaya Sabha .
The GOVERNMENT should act to unite dozens of upper Christian communities like the did for Hindus & Muslims of kerala and for oBC Communities with the Devasom & wakaf boards and not expose them to insane minds.
5 assembly seats in erstwhile kollam district before the formation of pathanamthitta District ( Neduvathoor, pandalam, (vazhoor), Kaloopara & pathnamthitta) where upper caste Christians were single largest community has been vanished in 2011 census and relocated to Malapuram district. .. we should not allow this to happen in the next census and give mandatory Nair caste certificate to all upper caste non catholic Christians who swear by the coon cross oath every year as 85% of them are NAIRS while give an option of Nair or RC to upper caste Roman cathoilics. there Should be only three caste available for upper caste Christians Nair ,Knanaya & RC from July 1 ,2015

Tejaswininimburia said...

People who bother about caste should definitely read CENSUS IN INDIA IN IMPERIAL GAZETTER during the period 1820-1900 AD. Early Britishers found that CASTE AS UNDERSTOOD IN WESTERN WORLD had no application in INDIA and found it hard to fix the various communities in CASTEFOLD. Throughout INDIA during the period of census upto 1900 AD various communities vied with one another to climb the social ladder. There was uniform pattern of all communities either to trace their origin from FIVEFOLD KSHATRIYAS--SURYA/SOMA/AGNI/NAGA/BRAHMA vamsa Kshatriyas while other communities wanted to have the status of VAISHYAS. No community till the stupid JUSTICE PARTY wanted communal reservation clamoured for SHUDRA tag. Anybody who sincerely believe in the evolution of caste should read the famous decision of SUNDARAM IYER AND OTHERS vs RAJA OF KOLHAPUR concerning the estate of TANJORE MARATTA PRINCIPALITY. The clamour for BACKWARD CLASSES initially picked up only in MADRAS PRESIDENCY DUE TO DUO OF MAXMULER-CALDWELL THEORY OF ARYO DRAVIDINISM. Whoever were considered as ARYANS were SAVARNA and should be denied social benefits and whoever were DRAVIDIANS should be given impetus due to alleged suppression for FIVE THOUSAND YEARS. This theory even now rules INDIA. GO TO ANY GUJJAR/JAT WEB where they will explain how they were suppressed by ARYAN BRAHMINS and eligible for RESERVATION! Indian COMMUNITY WEB SITES have the dubious distinction of INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY/DICHOTOMY/SELF DECEPTION/SELF EULOGY that every will claim status of KSHATRIYAS of FIVEFOLD CATEGORIES but were suppressed by ARYAN BRAHMINS!HA!!HA!! The INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT LEADERS RIGHT FROM GANDHIJI TO AMBEDKAR were the main culprits for encouraging CASTE SYNDROME unnecessarily attached to COMMUNITY. In India there were no castes but only communities who fixed hierarchy on the basis of MANU LAW through BRAHMINS acting as interloculators. India is the only country degrading PRIESTLY CLASS AND NO PART OF INDIA WANTS QUALIFIED BRAHMINS TRAINED IN THEOLOGY BUT ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE LIMITED TO ASTROLOGY/BIRTH AND DEATH RITUALS. With regard to marriage BRAHMINS ARE CALLED TO INDICATE THE STATUS rather than trust or conviction. Further the leaders allowed the people to name the communities from SURNAMES. For example PATIL/PATEL/REDDY/NAIDU/NAIK/NAYACKER/THEVAR/GOUDA/GOUNDAR/CHETTY/SAIT/CHETTIYAR are all SURNAMES but the GOVERNMENT had converted all these as COMMUNITIES. In Kerala PILLAI/NAIR/MENON/PANIKKAR/NAMBI are only surnames. Hence research on CASTE will lead to nowhere and let it be considered only for ROTI AND BETI and not for secular purposes. When RAJIV ASSASSINATION is itself has been forgotten which has happened twenty five years ago what is the use of digging unknown and controversial past? Let us throw all THE HISTORY BOOKS TO THE DUSTBIN. INSTEAD let he children of this country be converted as SKILLED TECHNICIANS/GOOD DOCTORS/ADVOCATES/BUREAUCRATS/MERCHANTS/TRADERS and need not seek the support of tag--FORWARD COMMUNITY/OBC/SC/ST.

ilango said...

Christians are the biggest liars. They will go to any extent to preach their relligion. Next they will say that Jerusalem was in India, JEws were sons of the Indian soil and so on. Shameless fellows

Anonymous said...

Tejaswininimburia ....There are people who dont have economic support irrespective of the current caste ladder....Ignoring the poor and downtroden will never lead a Nation to Overall growth..

According to your theory..

KAiyookkullavan karyakkaran..

Those who have ability let them only come up...


Any one Can u please justify this....



A Great nation for future has to start up by giving exclusive oppurtunity to every one...specialy those who are down....

A school needs 100% achievement...means theweek students needs some special care..

Same rule for the nation.....

Tejaswininimburia said...

I understand from the MALAYALAM PROVERB MALAYALAM preceeds DARWINISM--SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. The only way to uplift downtrodden is to give them training in any VOCATIONAL TRADE instead of RESEARCH ON ETHNICITY. Industrial Revolution in Great Britain began from the WRETCHED TRAINING centers of the CHURCH. Unless every village becomes a training center imparting VOCATIONAL TRADE WITH ENTERPRISING SKILL TO MAKE EVERYBODY AN ENTREPRENEURTHERE IS NO HOPE.

sen mathew said...

Dear Friends

My family came to a place called Eraviperoor which is in Tiruvalla (Pathanamthitta dist) around 350 years before. Our family name is called Karippumannil. We have a history from 4th gen onwards. We do not have anything from 1 to 3. We were almost the first one to come to Eraviperoor and started cultivation. All of them were Christians. We have around 12 branches. We are digging down to get 1 - 3 generation history.
But My great great grand parents shifted to Tamil Nadu (Kanyakumari) stayed there for long time. Then cam back. I heard from my great grand father how they worshiped God long back. We almost at that time had same way how brahmins were worshiping. At that time He told me that We were 100% vegetarians.
Years Passed culture changed we became Marthomites. Some of them again shifted to Thrissur Peechi side. 2 Generation back we used to go toa temple near Kaviyoor.

Sujatha Gidla said...

Christians in Kerala who have distinct Portugese (Iberian) features such as curly hair and light skin --- who are they? The Portuguese settlers married malayalees of what social strata? Where do these fit in now? What caste will they be considered? Do/can they marry Syrian Christians? Are they proud or ashamed of their Portuguese ancestry? What portugese customs do they follow (I know wine-drinking.) Why do Keralites have names that sound like pet names? Such as Mini, Sabu, Shiju, Saju? And sometimes names as Shine, Shiney, Brighty?

copycat said...

I am curious about Kerala Christians who have mediterranean features (Portuguese) like curly hair and light skin.They look like Mexican or Puerto Rican mestizos. Who were the portugese settlers (from what social ranks), what kind of Indians did they marry -- I mean what social strata and castes? How did the marry with language and cultural barriers? The children of these marriages, where did they fit in Indian class/caste? Are they proud/ashamed of their foreign blood? Do practice any of the Portugese customs? I know wine-drinking. Do/can they marry Syrian christians? Sometimes I see European antique looking furniture in their houses. What is the story behind that? Obviously the furniture is not from 1600s. Then it must be made later but in the same style. Why do Keralites have names that sound like pet names: Shiju, Shaju, Saju, Sabu, Mini, etc.? Some of the names are Shine, Shiney, I even saw Brightey. Why?

rat_race said...

I am a keen observer of Kerala and have travelled widely there. I used to be quite perplexed surprised to see some malayali Christians with blue/ grey eyes and very fair skin. The standard answer was of course that they were converts from nambudiris, but somehow it did not seem very logical because the nambudiris themselves did not have blue/ grey eyes. Now you post explains it..its the Jewish ancestry.

There are a couple of more reasons why the malayali christians could not be converts from nambudiris (by St Thomas)

A. Did they even exist in Kerala a that time ? This point has already been covered by you.
B. Assuming that nambudiris existed in AD 50 in Kerala, and further assuming that St Thomas did indeed land up there, would they have converted ? After all christianity was not yet an established religion, Thomas was not a high -ranking diplomat backed by a civil or miilitary powe: he had no "goodies" or threat to offer the Nambudiris who were already the highest of the high in kerala. So very unlikey. As history tells us, it is only the disdvantaged who break away to join a new religion.