Difference Between Iyer and Iyengar
Iyer and Iyengar are two classes of Hindu Brahmin castehaving Tamil origin. Iyers follow the tenets laid down by AdiSankara, the creator of Advaitaphilosophy, the people Iyengarsfollow the tenets laid down by Sri Ramanuja who advocated the philosophy of Visishtadvaita. This is the basic difference.
Iyengars are separated into two sub-sects, namely, VadakalaiIyengar and ThenkalaiIyengar. The VadakalaiIyengars are believed to be Indo-Aryan people who might have migrated long ago from North India. Thenkalai sect on the other hand, was led by ManavalaMamuni. They followDivyaprabandham very strictly and also reject the caste system.
It is fascinating to note that the Iyengar traditions started to develop at lease 1000 years ago. It is believed that Nathamuni is said to have introduced the tradition long back. Iyengars are said to have lived in large numbers in the Chola kingdom of Tamilnadu. The same is true in the case of the Iyers as well.
The Iyers belong to the Hindu Brahmin communities of Tamil origin. They are said to live chiefly in Tamilnadu in India. Iyers too like the Iyengars are said to have descended from the Indo-Aryan groups from North India. They are classified according their gotras and the Veda they follow. This is true of the Iyengars as well.
An additional significant dissimilarity between Iyers and Iyengars is that while the Iyers believe in the supremacy of Lord Shiva, the Iyengars believed in the preeminence of Lord Vishnu. Iyengars do not usually celebrate certain festivals and events such as VinayakaChaturthi, Mahasivaratri and the like. Iyers show interest in the festivals related to Vishnu as well.