Source: Deivathin Kural/ Voice of God – Volume 5

Initially populated by fisher folk talking an unorganized cacophony of languages. Parasurama did not wish to be the only one doing Tapasya in such a vast area.

So he decided to bring in and settle a whole lot of Brahmins who would be doing their share of Vedic activities of Homa, Pooja, Japa, Upaasana and other such Karma Anushtaanaas.

From the land of the Sozha Kingdom he invited Brahmins known as Sozhiyas to this new land of his creation. They were Tamil speaking Dravidian Brahmins as any other community in Tamil Nadu. The Brahmins from Tamil Nadu are comfort loving, used to the moderate climate of the area.

Those comfort loving Sozhiyas from the banks of Cauvery River on arrival in Kerala were out of their elements literally. Endless rains, overflowing rivulets, with wet grounds full of mire everywhere, it just did not suit them at all. They were afraid of telling Parasurama who had a reputation as being quick to take offence. They were actively considering running away from there, secretly on the quiet.

He knew all that. Let us just change one of their customs and they can never get back to their mother land after that, he thought. On the pretext of giving them a special identity, he made them wear their hair in their head differently. Normally Brahmins in Tamil Nadu shave off the front portion of their head above the temple and let the hair at the back grow abundantly long. Their long tresses are then cared for, oiled, braided and rolled into a knot at the back of their heads. This is known as Kudumi which would typically identify them.

Parasurama introduced a twist in this custom. He made them wear what is known as ‘Oordva Shika’, in which the back of the head is shaved off and the hair on the peak of the head is permitted to grow long, which is tied in to a knot to fall forward just on top of the temple! Till date Namboodri Brahmins of Kerala follow this system only.

But the Sozhiyas thought that this one small change in the identity will not be such a hindrance in their acceptance back in Tamil Nadu, when there is no difference in the other customs and traditions. So, most of them did go back to the banks of Cauvery River once again and were accepted with open arms as expected.

But the Oordva Shika remained on top of the head, giving raise to the proverb, ‘Sozhiyan Kudumi does not shake easily’, to mean that he does not listen to others suggestions and also that he is not easily ruffled!

Parasurama’s plan however, had back fired.

So, he imported Brahmins from Andhra and Karnataka en-mass and as a precaution, out of the 108 Aachaaraas that are there for the Brahmin, he changed some 64 of them to give them totally a new traditional identity. This worked and for generations they started staying there.

They are known as Namboodri Brahmins, stricter in their observance of traditional Aachaaraas, than Brahmins elsewhere in the whole of India! There is a book by the name of ‘Keralotpatti’. I have given you the details from that book and a few PuraNas.

(to be continued...)

Dear you, Thanks for Visiting Brahmins Net!
JaiHind! Feel free to post whatever you think useful, legal or humer! Click here to Invite Friends