I want to know about the caste ezhava
- Old responses
- From: Prasad (@ 24-90-243-117.nyc.rr.com)
on: Tue Oct 8 14:09:43
This story has been used by the so-called upper castes to suppress other people.
- From: Sam (@ 188.8.131.52)
on: Mon Oct 14 06:13:33
Hope you all are aware of the Court decision in favour of Rajesh ( an ezhava ) to become a priest in Devasom Board. Let us consider this as a victory against the Caste Descrimination.
- From: Krishnan (@ awork111109.netvigator.com)
on: Tue Oct 15 00:26:28
Some elders in my family used to say about Ezhava as (7 - azhuver) seven people (families) moved to Kerala about 1000 back from Down south (may be in Tamil Nadu or Sri Lanka). nothing about caste etc.
Since they are not originaly inhabitants of the soil (it is actually the other way round). The Arians inhabited the land of India (luckily they have not massacred the sons of the soil like the Americans did in US) and the dravidans moved south and some of then have came back to their ancestorial lands.
- From: Anish (@ 184.108.40.206)
on: Mon Oct 21 18:47:45
Ezhava (or Elava in Tamil rich old Malayalam) literally means people from Elam or Elanka or just Lanka, todays Sri Lanka. Ezhavas were mainly Buddhists who made a part of the caste ridden Brahminical culture when the Brahmin missionaries arrived from north India and established their power (nothing to do with Sankaracharya, he came much later, during his time Kerala was a Hindu land and the Aryan Brahmins were in power in Kerala society and he revived the Hinduism itself, developed 'athvaida', which was opposed by the Aryan Brahmins of his time).
The srilankan Tamils migrated from the Indian mainland and the Sinhalese believe that they migrated from north India and Singhala is similar to Singh, there are lots confusions and contradictions in the theories of Aryans and Dravidians migrations, anyway there was definitely a movement of communities and cultures during the Buddhist era in south Asia.
Thiyyas as well as many other groups like Choyas, Ezhuvar, Channars, Thilava....etc are generally considered as Ezhavas. The name Ezhava was used as an umbrella name for these communities who share same social status, traditional employment (kula thozhil-mainly related to the coconut tree, like toddy tapping& its business, coir making& its business etc. This was made the kula thozhil by the Brahminical overlords who wanted to control the community, actually Thiyyas(Ezhavas) were (still are) involved in many other fields like traditional medicine, martial arts, astrology, philosophy etc).
In the northern ballads (Vadakkan Pattukal) there are several mentions about the Thiyya warriors like the Puthuram family, mentioning them as the people who came from ezhavathu Nadu. The warriors from both Ezhavas and Thiyyas were known as 'chekavas'. From the ancient time itself the Thiyyas in the northern Kerala and the Ezhavas in south always shared cultural links, arrange marriages were very common among the two.
The use of the word 'chekava'(or 'chekon' or 'chovon') indicates another theory about the origin related to south East Asia. The ancient Indian texts like Mahabharata and Ramayana mentions about the island of Bali (still follows Hinduism), Java, Sumatra and these islands were mentioned as "chovaka" group of islands. And 'shandakha' was an ancient language which existed in these areas (still exists in some remote islands). So the catch is, in some part of Kerala the Ezhavas were also called 'shandakhas'. The people of south East Asia are of Indo-Mongolian mix race and India did have a huge cultural relation with these areas. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam all reached these places from Indian subcontinent (mainly south India & srilanka).
So the relation of Kerala with Srilanka and south East Asia - These places are very similar in their landscape, coastal regions, coconut trees and the most important, with past history of Buddhism. There were no political boundaries like we have now and people traveled easily between India, Srilanka and south East Asia and shared their culture and knowledge. It is believed that in ancient India we had a very sophisticated naval knowledge.
Some of the letters used in Malayalam language are the same used in the Singhalese.
A large number of Buddha-images have been discovered in the coastal districts of Alleppey and Quilon; the most important Buddha-image is the famous Karumadi Kuttan near Ambalappuzha. These areas have the highest concentration of Ezhavas in Kerala. The Nairs trace the source of their knowledge of Sanskrit, Ayurveda, Martial arts etc to the Aryan Brahmins, but Ezhavas had all these already from their Buddhist traditions.
Maybe Sri Narayana Guru believed this, he visited Srilanka (Ceylon) and met many Buddhist monks and shared knowledge. The Yellow robe used by Guru and his followers is actually a Buddhist tradition. Like the saffron (kavi) is to the Hindu monks, yellow is the colour to Buddhist, although they use saffron too. Buddhism is not a religion, its a way of life, methods of free thinking, meditation, nothing to do with gods or devas, so there is no conversion in it (the so called mass conversions happening in India are just political stunts of some power craving peoples to take advantage of some poor people, nothing to do with Buddhism or monks or monasteries. The ceremony of accepting Buddhism is actually a plea (yachana) to a Buddhist teacher to take the person as a student. By Buddhist laws Buddhism should not be preached without someone asking for it.
Ezhava is not a caste of Hinduism, it's a community which was made a part of it by force? or some other strategies?. Some says that the Ezhava Buddhist priests and monk leaders who decided to join the Brahminical religion where allowed to join the Brahmin community. Who knows maybe the Nairs and the other 'Savarna Hindus', were also Buddhist or even Ezhavas itself who joined and Hinduism and got the patronage of the Brahmins. And for those who tried to stay Buddhist were psychologically pushed into isolation and made backward castes and gradually made into a lower caste.
Maybe the differences in the names like Ezhavas, Thiyyas etc were formed due to the time difference in people in these areas got converted to Hinduism at different stages to time. The Aryan Brahmins first inhabited the northern and central regions of Kerala and maybe they took time to establish in southern region. Thiyyas are situated from the north to the central Kerala and the Ezhavas are from the central to the southern region. Knowing more about Ezhavas are like knowing more about Kerala history itself.
It does not take a discerning anthropologist to notice that for all the caste barriers created by the `Brahmin missionaries`, most of the communities in Kerala look very much same in their physical appearance, language and other things. (Although most of the tribal and scheduled communities who came to Kerala before others have more Dravidian features like short size, very dark skin, a distinct face structure etc, because of the isolations by other communities)
As a single community the Ezhavas are the majority community in Kerala, most of the Christians and Muslims were actually belonged to this community who for the need of freedom and social status got converted. Most of them hided it and claimed lineage from biblical places and high caste roots in Kerala for keeping their place in society. The Hindus, Christians, Muslims of Kerala looks very much alike in their appearance. Truth is that we most of the Keralites are of Aryan-Dravidian mix origin and no Brahmin, no Kshatriya (Kerala kshatriyas are Nair chieftains who were made Kshatriya by the Brahmin Nambootiri after the fall of the Chera empire), no Nair, no Ezhava can claim that purity of caste or race.
There are many other theories related to the origin the communities, like they migrated from Europe (somewhere in Crete, an island near to Greece). What ever the theories are, there aren't much sure proof and evidence, so we must consider all theories of Srilanka, south east Asia or Europe as just theories, because in the long history of human kind there have been migrations and merging of cultures. New cultures formed and some destroyed. Now we all know where we are and let's live in peace and sharing happiness. As the great philosopher and social reformer from this great community, Sri Narayana Guru said "What ever the religion or faith or creed one belongs it's the Human being who must live well".
KERALA'S BUDDHIST HISTORY
Brahmin missionaries from the north (mainly from Saurastra and Konkan region) in 800AD through Tulu-Nadu (Mangalore area). At that point in time, Kerala was a flourishing center for Buddhism and Jainism. They were successful in converting the local Chera kings. This led to a more systematic settlement of 64 gramams and Illoms across Kerala.
The Tamil 'Aalavaipathikam' records that around 640 A.D., Sambanda Murti, a Brahmin, won over the Pandya royal family and caused the massacre of 8,000 Buddhist monks in Madurai; Buddhist nuns were reportedly made into devadasis and relocated in the Hindu temple precincts. The persecution and eventual exodus of Buddhists from Tamil Nadu to Kerala in the seventh century was occasioned by the fall of the Buddhist Kalabhras at the hands of the Pandyas.
If this is what happened in the neighboring Tamil kingdoms then imagine what must have happened in our Kerala. It's a mystery that is not solved. Most of the history have been rewritten by the Brahmins, the so called theory of defeating Buddhist scholars in debate and brought Hinduism back in India story created by them.
To know more about these Buddhist history check the site
Site gives details about the ancient Buddhist viharas which were changed into Hindu temples (believe it or not even sabarimala temple) and many others.
- From: ranjith (@ dialpool-210-214-242-20.maa.sify.net)
on: Sun Nov 3 15:08:12
i want 2 know from where i can get the book Crete to Kerala
- From: Sam. (@ rev.tatanova.com)
on: Sat Nov 16 12:56:20
The Izhavans follow the Makkatayam rule of inheritance while the Tiyans of north malabar follow the law of Bhutal Pandiya. The tiyans regard the izhavans as later immigrants. There is nothing to conect these castes to Sri Lanka. Both these castes consist of descendants of dravidian tamilians. The izhavans are nothing but the malayalam speaking brothers of the tamil nadars.They are the same people who have settled on either side of the mountains. Some people have tried to trace the ancestry of the nadars and d.k.vellalars to Sri lanka. This is an assumption probably based on the fact that nadars and d.k.vellalars are found in southern tamil nadu close to sri lanka. These two communities which are related are historically regarded as descendants of tamil dravidian tribes.
- From: Shastry (@ 123sdl30m31.codetel.net.do)
on: Sat Nov 23 14:49:03
What is the difference between ezhava and parayan?
Does ezhava have something to do with Ezhavu?
- An upper caste brahmin
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