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SRI VISHNU BRAHMIN. observance and moral conduct, as far as possible, inflicting penances, fines, or other punishments for flagrant offences. The history of Brahminism in the south is still very obscure. The great missionaries of Hindooism, Madva Acharya, Ramanuja, $c., were only of the eleventh and twelfth centuries after Christ; but Hindooism appears to have existed long before that, and before the defection to Buddhism, which prevailed before the Christian era. There is no record of the religion which was professed in the south before the Pandya and Chola kingdoms, or, as it may be generally said, before the Christian era. It can only be surmised that many Brahmins accompanied Ram, King of Oude, in his invasion of the south, who, finding the Dravidian people existing in a civilized condition, remained in the country, preaching Brahminical doctrines, and founding new schools of religion and philosophy. It is almost certain that the preaching of Sivaic doctrines by Madva Acharya was attended with great success in Mysore. Many noble temples were erected for worship, which still remain : and that under its influence, the power of Buddhism and Jainism materially declined. Modern investigations are doing much to elucidate these subjects, not only from Dravidian literature, but from inscriptions upon memorial stones temples, wells, and the like; and it is evident, that in future years much more light will be thrown upon the origin of Hindooism in the South of India, than exists at present. One thing is at least evident, namely, that the Brahmins were not the sole authors of Dravidian literature. The people at large even at a remote period, seem to have been well educated, and to have cultivated their fine languages, Tamil and Teloogoo, and raised them above the rank of mere dialects. Philosophical and metaphysical treatises exist among them, with poetry, the drama, tales and novels, with works on medicine, arithmetic, and other sciences then known; but the origin of all seems uncertain, unless derived from the Greeks and Egyptians, with whom the Dravidians maintained a close connection. The late Maharaja of Mysore was a liberal patron of Brahmins, and invited them to competitive examinations in Sanscrit. At the courts of Tanjore, Travancore, &c., they were also encouraged; but it is not improbable that the abstruse doctrines and metaphysics taught under the medium of Sanscrit are maintaining their ground against the more popular education disseminated through English and translations from it, which are taught in modern schools.
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