Appendix:Indian surnames (Deshastha Brahmin)

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Deshastha Brahmins' are the largest Brahmin subcaste from Maharashtra and northern Karnataka in India. The common Deshastha surnames Deshmukh, Kulkarni,Deshpande, and Joshi denote the families' ancestral professions.[1] For example, Kulkarni means "village scribe" (and later "district accountant") and Joshi means "Vedic astrologer."

A large number of Deshastha surnames are also derived by adding the suffix -kar to the village from which the family originally hails.[2] For example, Dahivelkar hails from the town of Dahivel, Bidkar hails from the town of Beed, Dharwadkar hails from the town of Dharwad, and the Marathi poet V.V. Shirwadkar (colloquially known as Kusumagraj) hails from the town of Shirwad.

Some surnames describe personal characteristics, such as Buddhisagar meaning "ocean of intellect,"[3] Dharmadhikari meaning "one who is fit for religious duty,"[4] and Vyavahare meaning "learned or prosperous."

As detailed in the table below, Deshastha Brahmins are subdivided into Rigvedi and Yajurvedi subsects. They are also subdivided into lineages based on their descent from the original seven Vedic rishis (Saptarishi): Atri, Angiras (forefather of Bharadwaj), Bhrigu (forefather of Bhargava and Jamadagni), Gautama, Vasistha, Visvamitra (forefather of Kaushik), and Agastya or Kasyapa (there is conflicting interpretations between the Brahmanas and Upanisads with respect to Agastya's and Kasyapa's inclusion in the original Saptarishi). Lastly, each Deshastha Brahmin family worships a particular family deity and originally hails from a particular town or village.

Table of Surnames[edit]

Note: these are not exclusive surnames, as persons from other communities/castes may also bear some of the surnames below.

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  1. ^ 1968, {{{author}}}, Maharashtra, land and its people, page 161:
  2. ^ 1982, {{{author}}}, Religions and Communities of India, page 54:
  3. ^ 2000, {{{author}}}, Understanding Our Fellow Pilgrims, ISBN 9788187886105, page 66:
  4. ^