IYENGAR MAIN Register Home Sunday Service
From: sampige srinivasa (sampiges_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Feb 07 2002 - 16:52:06 PST
Sri Bhagavathare, I am basically from Bangalore,Karnataka and belong to a Srivaishnava subsect called Hebbar Srivaishnava or Hebbar Iyengar. The Hebbar Srivaishnavites are mainly residing in Karnataka and we have our Kuladaivam in different parts of Karnataka. My Kuladaivam(Haath Perumal) is Sri. Srinivasa Perumal at Sampige (Meaning Land of Champak Flowers, Champakapuri in ancient times) which is a small place in Tumkur District of Karnataka. Every year we attend the annual BrahmaRathotsavam there without fail. According to sthala puranam the presiding deity was worshiped by King Sudhanva in Treta yuga and Sri Narada Muni had installed the deity there. We have lots of Hebbar Srivaishnavites in Karnataka who have there Kula Perumal like in Melukote(Tirunarayanapuram) Narasimhaswamy, MaLur Aprameyaswamy, Bindiganavile Vainatheyar, Biligiri(Shwethadri) Rangaswamy, Srirangapattanam Ranganathar and the list is so long that I cannot mention each. There are so many exclusive Srivaishnavite temples in Karnatak with there Sthala Pruanams dating back to Vedic era, that to in the southern part and I suggest it is worth a visit for every Srivaishnavite, even though these are not considered under the 108 Srivaishnava Divya Deshams. Even though our mother tongue is Tamil our style of tamil is greatly influenced by Kannada and also the Food is Very much Different. We have an exclusively Srivaishnavite Restuarant, in Bangalore called "Kadambam" where you get specifically Iyengar Cusine. So If any one who visits Bangalore can please taste the Variety of Iyengar Cusine starting from Mouth Watering Puliogre, Kadambam,Pongal, Nalagari, Pachhe Kolambu.......... We normally Read the Srivaishnavam works translated to Kannada from Sanskrit/Tamil. My Question is, can anyone tell me the origin of the word Hebbar and the history about this. According to my knowledge Srivaishnavism came to Karnataka when Sri.Ramanuja Came to Karnataka in the 12th Century at Melukote(Yadushail Deepam) which is One of Sri. Ramanuja's Favourite places as he has mentioned in the following slokam which we recite daily, SriRanga Mangalamanim Karuna Nivasam (SriRangam) SriVenkatadri Shikaralaya Kalamegham (Tirumala) SriHasthi Shaila Shikarojvala Parijatam ( Sri KanchiPuram) SriShannamami Shirasa Yadushaila Deepam (Melukote/Tirunarayanapuram) Sarvadeva Namaskaram Keshavam Prathigachathi Namaskara Srinivasa Iyengar
Answer to your above Question
Hebbar Iyengars are followers of Ramanuja's philosophy preaching Vishishtadvaita. They are mainly from Hassan, Mandya, Mysore, Tumkur, Bangalore, and the surrounding places in southern Karnataka. The etymology of Hebbar, in Kannada, resolves to "hebbu/hiridhu" (meaning big) + "haaruva" (meaning brahmin).
The characteristic dialect of the Hebbar Iyengars is called "Hebbar Tamil" and is a mixture of Kannada and archaic Tamil, along with a minor influence of Sanskrit. However almost all Hebbar Iyengars are conversant in Kannada as the language of communication with others in society.( *They are also a confluence of Kannada and Tamil literature)
An excellent analysis on Hebbar Tamil has been done here
*Our Comments Hebba means Head of the community Arava Mean a Brahmin So Hebba Arava got degenertaed to Hebbar
History: Hebbar iyengars are an endogamous group originating from five (main pancha grama) villages Shanti Grama, Belur, Nuggehalli, Nonavinakere and Bindiganavile. There are however more than a dozen villages scattered around in southern karnataka region from which their origins could be traced are Kadaba, Melkote, Ambuga, Sampige, Hiremagalur, Heragu, Shanku, Hebbalalu, Gorur, Mavinakere, Chikkamenahalli, Halthore, Maloor and Hampapura.
The lack of any written historical records hampers the search for the origin of the Hebbar Iyengars and hence nothing can be precisely concluded about the origin of Hebbar Iyengars. One theory is that the Hebbar Iyengars of today are descended from the Jains residing in Karnataka who were converted to Vishishtadvaita philosophy along with their monarch, Bittideva, the Hoysala king, around 1180 AD, by the philosopher Ramanuja. Ramanuja was residing at Melkote (near Mysore) at that time. However another theory is that Hebbar Iyengars are local Kannadigas introduced to the Vishishtadvaita philosophy by Ramanuja. Another possibility is that the Hebbar Iyengars are the descendants of Ramanuja's disciples from Tamil Nadu during his stay at Melkote. An interesting fact is that Hebbar Iyengars use the Solar calendar (souramana) for celebrating certain festivals viz. Nrusimha Jayanti. This tradition coincides with the traditions of the Srirangam temple.. This supports the argument of these people being direct descendants of Ramanuja's disciples.
At least one group of Hebbar iyengars from Shantigrama know their origins. The village and the tank were constructed by a Kashi Brahmin who was a minister in Hoysala Veera Ballala's court. This is based on records carved on tablet of stone in the Yoga Narasimha temple. The name Shanti Grama is due to the queen Shanthala Devi of Hoysala dynasty. See www.shantigrama.com.