A pandit or pundit (Sanskrit: पण्डित; paṇḍita or paṇḍit) is a scholar and a teacher, particularly one skilled in the Sanskrit language, who has mastered the four Vedic scriptures, Hindu rituals, Hindu law, religion, music, and/or philosophy under a Guru in a Gurukul or has been tutored under the ancient vedic Guru Shishya academic tradition. The English loan word pundit is derived from it.
In the original usage of the word, "Pandit", synonymous to "Purohits", refers to a Hindu, almost always a Brahmin, who has memorized a substantial portion of the Vedas, along with the corresponding rhythms and melodies for chanting religious verses or singing them during prayers or rituals.
The designation may also appear as the abbreviation "Pt." or "Pnt."
The term is also widely used referring to the great Indian Mahasiddhas of the Buddhist Nalanda Monastery. The Buddha himself had used the term when referring to the masters of the pure Sanatana Dharma: "Sanatanam va panditanam dhammo."
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2012)|
The historical evolution of Vedic priests can be traced back to ancient Aryan civilization through the Chandragupta Maurya era, branching off to all regions by family genealogy across Bharatvarsha after training under the ancient Hindu Sages to perform services to the people and the Kings (Rajas). The surnames appended to the pundits often follow the gotra of the family genealogy, historical regions in migration, or the patronage of the Kings or nobility.
The surname "Pandit" is most abundantly found among Kashmiris, but is found amongst Brahmins in other part of India, particularly in North India and Maharashtra, which has substantial Saraswat Brahmin communities. The surname is mostly found among Brahmins (particularly the Kashmiri brahmins); however, there are also cases of the surname Pandit used by Kashmiri Muslims, most of whom are more recent converts into Islam.
Naming patterns of the Kashmiri Pandits are almost the same as are found there among the other Saraswat Brahmin communities. Some of these are: (1) + Narayan: Jagdish – (Sapru), Anand – (Mulla), Parameshwar – (Haksar), Hriday - (Kunjru), Jagat-,Laxmi-,Brij-,Shyam-,etc. (2) + Krisn: Roop-, Maharaj-, Brij-, Avta-, Tej-, Mohan-, Hari-, Kumar-, Jay-, Pyare-, Nipun-, Apurv-, etc. (3) + Nath: Hriday-, Omkar-, Raghu-, Amar-, Balji-, etc. (4) + Lal: Moti-, Jawahar-, Krishan-, Ziya-
Moreover, at present, the names of Kashmiri Pandits are drawn from the same sources as by the Brahmins of northern India, but some of the names of Kashmiri Pandits recorded in earlier literary works show that names drawn from Persian sources were also current among them (e.g. Aftab Pandit, Balkak Dar, etc.). Interestingly, in Kashmiri, the "Pandit" surname is found in Muslims as well, e.g. Mohd Shafi Pandit, Chairman of J&K Public Service Commission.
"Pandit" as a surname is likely indicative of someone who has Saraswat Brahmin lineage. Pundit or Pandit or Pandithar also known to be Maruthuvar, Vaithiyar which simply means medicinal doctors and one who has the art of making medicines in the early India. Their rights, skills, original traits, ability, knowledge of herbs and siddha medicines were riffed off them after the arrival of the Aryan, who came to rule and divide. The Early Pandithars were later known as Ezhavas, Nair, Ambattar( means a person with five title, function, distinctives). “Am” means five, “battan”, means title, beauty, leader, leadership. These community, were crushed-off, intimidated by the invaders, push-donw, forced to cut hairs since they were able to handle razors and other surgical instruments well and are wrongly catogarized as barbers in India today. Bharatha Desam under the actual rule of the early Dravidas, had confined themselves into one great ideology” ONDRE KULAM ORUVANE THEIVAM, meaning One Nation, One People, put it in the modern term today, One nation under God. Let us stop to give credits to the invaded Aryans who are not the Actual Pundit, Pandit or Pandithar. The concept of Pandit or Pandithar was not in existent in the country they came from. They do not belong to the aristocrat of India. By claiming so, they counted the rest of the Indians or Dravidians as lower beings then they. The Pandits or Pandithar were no barbers, but medicinal experts, siddhar, men of wisdom and the brainy tank of early India, they were the gurus, pandits, maruthuvars, vaithiyars. Manikavasagar and later the freedom fighter Vishwanathadoss Pandithar were all born of these clan and contributed much to our great mother India. The Pandithar were the Ayyar or Priests, Gurus or the Panditha Rajan,or the King of the town, Nayakan, Navithar, Nasuvan, meaning musician, Panicker, Pani-Nayakan of the historic ancient India, no bars of castes were known then, the people lived peacefully under one great philosophy of 'ONDRE KULAM ORUVENE THEIVAM' ONE NATION ONE GOD. their position were not to under estimate the rest of the people under them, rather their position were to serve and help, guide, teach the people with the skills, talents and abilities, knowledge, wisdom, they had, in so doing they earned the title "Pandithar, Maruthuvar, Nawithan, Nai-Brahmin, meaning affluent Brahmin, Brahmin, Pani-nayakar, etc" are the Pandit community of early Bharat. The invasion of the Aryan into the Bharathya Desam(India), who purposefully then inter-married and mixed with the locals, to overrule, whereby the term high-caste Brahmin societies as it is known today were introduced. the Brahmins we know today, are actually the children born to the Aryan mix Dravidian race, who later consider themselves higher than the local themselves, they then began to move all over India. All over the globe, the mixed races always consider themselves better, higher and more affluent. Englishmen mixed with local Indians, known in India as Anglo-Indian, in Malaysia as Saddhe-kaaren, in Indonesia during the Dutch colonial days, children born to them mixed with the local Indonesians are called Orang-Indo, esteemed themselves higher than the natives.
- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (Kashmiri)
- Chandrakant Pandit (Maharashtraian)
- Farah Pandith (Kashmiri)
- Giridhari Lal Pandit (Kashmiri)
- Mohammad Shafi Pandit (Kashmiri)
- Lalita Pandit (Kashmiri)
- Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (Kashmiri)
- Raaj Kumar- real name was Kulbhushan Pandit (Kashmiri)
- Jatin Lalit (Jatin Pandit & Lalit Pandit) (Rajasthani)
- Vikram Pandit (Maharashtrian)
- Shrradha Pandit (Rajasthani/Hindi/Haryanvi)
- Shweta Pandit (Rajasthani/Hindi/Haryanvi)
- Yash Pandit (Rajasthani/Hindi/Haryanvi)
- Ravi Shankar
- Pandit W D Amaradewa (Sri Lankan vocalist and musical composer)
- Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil (An Indian Poet, Patriot & Revolutionary)
- vikas sharma(bhusthala)
In India today, 'Pandit' is an honour conferred on an expert of any subject or field, especially Hindustani music. Its usage is confined to Hindu male exponents. Muslim male musicians are bestowed with the title 'Ustad', and the terms 'Vidushi' and 'Begum' are used for Hindu and Muslim female exponents respectively.
This usage also applies to politician Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
The Sanskrit word Pundit, which is also now used in the English language, is derived from Pandit, which means a scholar or someone who is highly learned and an intellectual.
Pandits, or locals learned in the dharmasastra, were also employed as court advisors during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Initially, British judges had very little knowledge of Hindu customs and oral traditions, and they could seek information from them on particular questions. The Supreme Court of India had a law officer styled the Pundit of the Supreme Court, who advised the English judges on points of Hindu law. The practice was abandoned by 1864, as judges had acquired some experience in dealing with Hindu law, and applied the increasing volume of case law that had developed. Further, the institution of the High Courts, two years earlier, in 1862 further diminished their official use.
Pandit or pundit was also the name used for Indian native surveyors who explored regions to the north of India for the British in the 19th century. See Pundit (explorer).
- Epic India
- Kashmiri Pandit
- Korla Pandit
- List of Saraswats
- Saraswat Brahmin
- Vikram Pandit
The University of California, Berkeley library states: "Most pages found in general search engines for the web are self-published or published by businesses small and large with motives to get you to buy something or believe a point of view. Even within university and library web sites, there can be many pages that the institution does not try to oversee." Princeton University offers this understanding in its publication, Academic Integrity at Princeton (2011): "Unlike most books and journal articles, which undergo strict editorial review before publication, much of the information on the Web is self-published. To be sure, there are many websites in which you can have confidence: mainstream newspapers, refereed electronic journals, and university, library, and government collections of data. But for vast amounts of Web-based information, no impartial reviewers have evaluated the accuracy or fairness of such material before it's made instantly available across the globe." customs and traditions of early india, by padmantan iyyer, madhavan publication, madras 1949.