About Iyengar | SriVaishnava community The Iyengar community has its origins in south india. Iyengar’s predominantly speak Tamil, Kannada and Telugu languages. Basically it is a Sri Vaishnava Brahmin community. Sri Vashinavas worship Lord Vishnu and his other Dasavatara (Ten Avatars) Swaroopams. The Iyengar symbol are Shanka, Chakra and Nama.
We (Iyengars, Sri Vaishnavas ) are followers of Sri Ramanujacharya . He was a philosopher and we follow his preachings, culture, tradition, principles, etc. The disciples and followers of Sri Ramanujacharya have created their own mutts/ monasteries. Like Ahobala Mutt, Parkal Mutt, Yathiraj Mutt & Aandavan Swamy Mutt etc., These disciples are called Alwars & NamAlwars. These disciples composed devotional shlokas (verses) like Nalaiyara Divya Prabandham about Lord Narayana / Vishnu. There are also 108 important Sri Vaishnava Temples called Divya Desam’s.
Iyengars are of two types. Vadakalai and Thenkalai. One of the symbolic difference is in the nama i.e the base of the nama is either curved or flat. In Iyengars there are also many groups like, Hebbar Iyengars, Mandyam Iyengars, Kelnat Iyengars, Kalkunte Iyengars, Melkote Iyengars etc., and they also belong to different gotras. Iyengars migrated to different small towns (gramas / villages) in Tamil nadu and Karnataka. In Karnataka Iyengar communities can be found in Belur, Kadaba, Gorur, Shanka, ShantiGrama, Nonavinkere, Bindingnavaile, Hiremangluru, Eshwarahalli, Molur, Malavalli, Thondavadi etc.,. One of the hallmark of these places is that most of them have ancient temples of Vishnu or his swaroopams.
Iyengar community may have started off as a very orthodox community but now this community is one of the most educated / liberal / forward thinking communities. At the same time many from the community are still rooted to its preachings of humanity & worship. There are so many famous Iyengar personalities belonging to varied fields.
- Srinivasa Ramanujan - World-renowned mathematician
- Raja Ramanna - Nuclear Scientist, director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
- T. T. Krishnamachari - Founder of TTK Group.
- N. S. Raghavan - Co-founder of Infosys.
- C. Rajagopalachari - Freedom fighter, the first Governor General of Independent India
- Jayalalithaa- Chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
- Raghuram Rajan- Eminent economist and current governor, Reserve Bank of India.
- Mysore Doraiswamy Iyengar - Veena exponent.
- T. N. Seshagopalan - Carnatic vocalist.
- Masti Venkatesha Iyengar - Kannada writer.
- Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar - Kannada writer.
- Kamal Haasan - Renowned actor.
- Hema Malini - Renowned Actress & Dancer.
- B. K. S. Iyengar - Yoga teacher and founder of Iyengar Yoga.
- Srinivasa Venkataraghavan - Former cricketer and umpire.
- Krishnamachari Srikkanth - Former cricketer and chairman of the selection committee.
- Blaaze - Rap artist and playback singer.
- Vaali – Famous Tamil Poet
- Suhaasini Maniratnam – Renowned Actress
- R Madhavan – Tamil Actor
This community is also famous for Yoga and Cuisine. There are so many unique Iyengar dishes.