Introduction / History
Ancient Tamil Sangam poetry suggests a civilization which was well established in southern India at the time of Christ. Between A.D. 600-1600, rival dynasties - Chera, Pallava, Chola, Pandya - backed literature, art, and the building of Hindu temples. During this period, peaceful migrations and military invasions, led Tamils to become well established in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. The Tamil language belongs to the Dravidian family of languages, which is possibly the earliest surviving language group in the South Asian subcontinent. Tamils are a large minority in Sri Lanka. Brahmins make up a small percentage of these Tamil speakers. The Tamil Brahmins are located in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka in southern India. Many Tamils have also settled in various countries including, Europe, Canada, the United States, Malaysia and Singapore, and especially the northeastern part of Sri Lanka.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Brahmins are a privileged caste in Hinduism, known as a "forward" caste. Though some of them still are Hindu priests like their ancestors, the situation is much more complicated in today's world. Though many of them have royal blood, they usually hold prestigious and lucrative jobs, both in India and Sri Lanka. Most of the Tamil Brahmins are from the Lyer subgroup, which is also prominent in southern India. Lyer Brahmins participate in the Avani Avittam festival, which celebrates the day the sacred Vedas were brought back from a thief named Asuras. They celebrate it in late August or early September. This festival is unique to Brahmins in this part of the world.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The majority of Tamil Brahmins follow the Hindu religion, but during medieval times there were also Buddhists and Jains. There are Tamil-speaking Christians and Muslims. Tamil beliefs are based on Hindu concepts. The Tamils believe the different genders help give form and consciousness to the cosmos (male) and are given energy and substance (female). The Tamils call the pairing of the male (passive and cool) and female (active and hot) Siva-Sakti (the pairing of the male god Siva and the female aspect Sakti).
What Are Their Needs?
The Tamil Brahmins need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life He offers them in John 10:10.
Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among them to begin this decade.
Scripture Prayers for the Brahmin unspecified in Sri Lanka.