Brahmin Telugu in India

Brahmin Telugu
Photo Source:  Sissssou  Creative Commons  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Brahmin Telugu
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,046,000
World Population: 1,046,000
Primary Language: Telugu
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Forward Caste - Brahmin
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Telugu Brahmins are among the highest status peoples of southwest India. Brahmin means "one who knows God." There is a disagreement among sources as to whether the Telugu Brahmins were Aryans who came from north India or Dravidians who came north from Tamil Nadu. As their names suggests, they speak the south Indian language of Telugu. They also speak Hindi and English. Some of the Telugu Brahmins have left the priesthood to pursue secular occupations such as being government officials, military leaders and business owners. Some Telugu today continue the traditional Brahmin roles as temple priests, scholars and professors. Telugu Brahmins are also active in the arts as actors, filmmakers, musicians and painters.

Where Are they Located?

Most Telugu Brahmins live in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Smaller numbers live in Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and other regions of India.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Within the Telugu Brahmins, the Niyogi group serves in government, the military and business. They will eat meat except for beef. The Vaidiki group is priests dedicated to the god Vishnu and his temples. They are strict vegetarians. They perform religious ceremonies for other Hindu castes. They also engage in jobs like teaching, administration and science.

The Telugu Brahmin are endogamous. They marry only within their Brahmin caste.

Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Sons inherit property with the eldest son receiving the family home.

Like other Brahmins, they encourage their children to get university educations and graduate degrees so they can obtain high positions in society.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Telugu Brahmins practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. The Telegu Brahmins worship and serve the many gods of the Hindu pantheon. They study the Vedas, the oldest writings of Hinduism. Some see Vishnu as the supreme god and others see Shiva as the chief deity. The Telugu Brahmins often perform the essential rituals of the yearly Hindu holidays such a Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights and Navratri, the nine-day celebration of autumn. The Telugu Brahmin cremate their dead.

What Are Their Needs?

The Telugu Brahmins need humility to see that they are sinners who require God's forgiveness. They need to see that the Bible not the Vedas is the source of true spiritual wisdom and knowledge of God. They need to see Christ's love and mercy lived out before their eyes by His followers.

Prayer Points

* Pray that the Telugu receive a hunger for the truth of the Word of God.
* Pray that Christians befriend the Telugu Brahmins and show them the love and grace of Christ and tell them the gospel.
* Pray that the Lord raises up a disciple-making movement among the Telugu Brahmin community and that Telugu Brahmin churches are planted.

Text Source:   David Kugel