Maithil Brahmin

Maithil Brahmins are a Hindu Brahmin community from the Mithila region of the Indian subcontinent that comprises Tirhut, Darbhanga, Kosi, Purnia, Munger, Bhagalpur and Santhal Pargana divisions[a] of India[1] and some adjoining districts of Nepal. They are one of the five Pancha-Gauda Brahmin communities.[2][3]

Some of the dynastic families of the Mithila region, such as the Oiniwar Dynasty, Khandwal Dynasty(Raj Darbhanga)[4] were Maithil Brahmins and were noted for their patronage of Maithil culture.[5]

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Maithil Brahmins became politically significant in Bihar. Binodanand Jha and Lalit Narayan Mishra emerged as prominent political leaders of the community. Under the Chief Ministry of Jagannath Mishra many Maithil Brahmins assumed important political positions in Bihar.[6]

According to the Vedic Samhita, Maithil Brahmins are divided into the Vajasaneyi and the Chandogya and each group is strictly exogamous. They are also further classified by four main categories, the Srotiyas, the Yogs, the Panjis and the Jaiwars. They are all expected to be endogamous however these days this is no longer enforced strictly.[7]

They are mainly practitioners of Shaktism in various forms, however there are also Vaishnavites and Shaivites.[8] Those Maithil Brahmins who practice Shaktism worship Bhagawati.[9]

Panjis or Panji Prabandh are extensive genealogical records maintained among Maithil Brahmins similar to the Hindu genealogy registers at Haridwar.[10] They are used mainly when fixing marriages and delineate the last 14 generations of the bride and grooms family.[citation needed]