Marwadi Maha Brahman: Deccan
Marwadi Maha Brahman
This article is an extract from
THE CASTES AND TRIBES
H. E. H. THE NIZAM'S DOMINIONS
SYED SIRAJ UL HASSAN
Of Merton College, Oxford, Trinity College, Dublin, and
Middle Temple, London.
One of the Judges of H. E. H. the Nizam's High Court
of Judicature : Lately Director of Public Instruction.
THE TlMES PRESS
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Maha Brahman, or Great Brahman — a contemptuous epithet applied to those Brahmins who officiate at the funeral ceremonies of the respectable castes, claim the clothes thrown over the dead bodies when carried to be burnt and eat the food given in charity at) the close of the period of mourning. It is said that a mourner is never pure from funeral impurity unless he feeds a Maha Brahmin with his own hand and unless the Maha Brahmin strokes his back. No other caste will eat from the hands of these Brahmins. Their touch also is regarded as unclean by the higher castes. They have got the same eponymous groups as other Brahmins, such as Shandilya, Bharadwaja and others. Polygamy is allowed. Widows are forbidden to remarry, and divorce is not recognised. They are the followers of the Shaiva sect and worship Mahadeo as their patron deity. They abstain from the use of liquor and meat.