In India as well as in Nepal some Brahmin people use Upādhyāya as their surname. This surname belongs to the 'Brahmin' Caste. They live all over the world i.e. in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand, Nepal.
An upadhyaya is specifically a professional teacher in the technical subjects of Vedanga, i.e. Sanskrit grammar and other basic skills required for the perusal of the Vedas. In this he is distinguished from an devdut i.e. devkota, a spiritual teacher or guide who introduces the student to the religious mysteries of the Vedas. The ‘’devkota’’ are regarded as purer and permitted to practise karmakand. Those titles have come to be used more widely as a mere title, honorary affix or even as a surname.
Traditionally, these Brahmins worked as teachers and priests. Upādhyāya is the surname of some members of the Madhwa Shivalli Brahmins and Havyaka Brahmins of Karnataka and the Audichya Brahmins of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. The Gujarat Brahmins of Shandilya are in Surat.
There have had many renowned 'Upadhyay' personalities, the most popular being Deen Dyal Upadhyay of India. This surname belongs to the 'Brahmin' Caste(The uppermost caste in India). Today, Upadhyay's are holding key roles in the field of Politics, Sports, Films, Astrology, Science etc in India and the World.
Upadhayay as part of the surname is used by most of the Bengali Brahmins before their anglicization. e.g. Bandopadhyay (Banerjee,vajpayee), Chattopadhyay (Chatterjee), Gangopadhyay(Ganguly) & Mukhopadhyay (Mukherjee).
- Nepal, an historical miscallany By Mahesh Chandra Regmi
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