Gauḍa brahmins

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For the Southern Indians caste, see Goud.

The Gauḍa brahmins comprise one of the five sub-divisions of Panch-Gauda (pañcagauḍa, pañca-gauḍa-brāhmaṇa-jāti, i.e., "fivefold Jāti of Gauda Brahmins").

History[edit]

Pt Ḍori Lāl Śarmā writes that the region from Bengal to Kashmir was Gauḍa country.[1] That is why five major sub-divisions of north Indian brahmins are named Panch-Gauda, after the name Gauḍa. The Sanskrit text Ādi-Gauḍa-dīpikā mentions that the region west of river Gaṇḍaki bounded by Sarayu in west and south and by Himalayas in the north is the core of Gauḍa country and brahmins living here from the beginning (=Ādi) of Creation were known as Ādi-Gauḍa.[2] Another story relates Ādi-Gauḍa brahmins of this region to those brahmins who were invited by King Janamejaya in his yajña and settled in the Ādi-Gauḍa region.[citation needed]

Sub-divisions of Gauda brahmins[edit]

At present the chief branches of Gauḍa brahmins are:[3][4]

  • Ādi-Gauḍa (in Ādi-Gauḍa region mentioned above).
  • Deś Wāli Gauḍa (in Madhyadeś).
  • Pachāde Gauḍa (western Gauḍa brahmins).
  • Śri Gauḍa (originally from Kashmir, now in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Malwa).

Other minor branches of Gauḍa are :

  • Pārik (from Parāśara).
  • Dāyamā/dadheech brahmins (from Dadhīca).
  • Bāḍe Prabhāva Wāle (from Gautama).
  • Khaṇḍelwāla (from Khārika).
  • Sārsvata (from Sāra, distinct from the Sārasvata brahmins).
  • Sukuwāl (from Sukumārga).
  • aadi gaur vashistha madhyandini sakha dholpuriya [Bangal----hastinaur{U P}-----dholpur{Raj}-----jevar tappal{U P}----sikri kalan brahmin ghaziabad]

Traditional Areas of Gauda brahmins[edit]

A cursory look at some identifiable śāsanas of Deśwāli and Pachāde Gaudas reveals the traditional areas :

  1. Baroḍā, Sindhutata, Sindhu, Khādar
  2. Ajmer, Ajmeerh, Jaipur, Kota, Marusthal, Jodhpur, Sīkar, Pāli, Puṣkar, Jalor
  3. Ujjain, Indore, Sāgar, Dhar, Ratlam
  4. Hissār, Karṇāl, Kurukṣetra, Thānesar, Sirsā, Indraprastha, Haryānā, Pānipat, Faridābād, Bhiwāni
  5. Bāghpat, Nandagrām, Merath, Rāmgarh, Pañcāla, Hāpur, Tilpat,Najibabad,Khari,Gandhaur (Bijnor), Sahāranpur, Khurjā, Mathurā, Rāmpur, Sambhal
  6. Garhwāl, Pahāriā, Kalāt
  7. Kānpur, Gomati, Prayāg, Kāśi, Nimikṣetra, Gorakhpur
  8. Bhojpur, Gayā, Janakpur, Janaksthala
  9. Gauḍa, Vanga

Following is the traditional area for all Gauḍa: "Hariyānā and Jangaldeś in the Madhyadeś, Delhi, regions around Yamunā, Mārwār, Śekhāwati, Puṣkar, Matsya and Virāṭa (in Rajasthan), Bhiwāni, etc" are traditional areas of Gauḍa brahmins according to the author of A History of Brahmin Clans.[1] Brāhmaṇotpatti-mārtaṇḍa says that regions north of Sarayu and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, around Saravasti near modern Goṇḍda, are (also) traditional areas of Gauḍa brahmins.[5] This latter view is supported by Matsya Purāṇa which linked "best brahmins" to the Gaudadesh of Śrāvasti near modern Goṇdā district.[6]

Surnames[edit]

Chaubé, Mishra, Lata, Tiwāri, Dube, Gautam, Puthiā, Jani, Chaumoharia,Vashisth etc. are chief surnames among Deś Wāli Gauḍa brahmins. Śukla is also a surname among Gauḍa brahmins, among Ādi Gauḍa Śukla, Mehrishi (Suryadhwaja Gauda) and Soral are the surnames of a majority, followed by Miśra and Parota.[7]

Surname in Ādi Gauḍa is known as Nūkha [8]

Customs and Practices[edit]

Gauḍa brahmins are mostly Yajurvedi and some are Sāmvedi too. Generally, upanayana accompanies marriage, and early marriage is preferred.[7] With increasing modernisation, such trends are expected to decline. The surnames of the aadi gaur/gaud brahmin in western U P, Haryana,Delhi and some parts of Rajasthan are Sharma, Gaur and name of the gotra mostly.

Criticism[edit]

Pt Ḍori Lāl Sarmā writes that the sāsanas had originated due to settling of many gotras in a single village, as disciples settled in the village of their guru to acquire Vedic and related knowledge.[9] Moreover, a new gotra was started by the name of a person who attained the status of a rishi by dint of spiritual accomplishments. It shows that the organisational mechanism was dynamic and depended upon the principal objective of a brahmin's life : acquisition of scriptural knowledge and spiritual purity. But during the medieval age, brahmins received grants like agrahāras (land grants) and stuck to landed properties, and the organisational system gradually ossified. Pt Ḍori Lāl Sarmā narrates many stories in his book which reveal that accepting grants from mundane powers was regarded a vice by rishis and a major cause of multiple divisions within the once monolothic brahmin community was ostracism of those who grabbed such land grants. This primordial monolithic character of brahmin community is mentioned in a Sanskrit text Brāhmaṇotpatti-mārtaṇḍa:[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b cf.A History of Brahmin Clans, p.100
  2. ^ A History of Brahmin Clans, p.100
  3. ^ Jāti-Bhāṣkara.
  4. ^ A History of Brahmin Clans , p. 101.
  5. ^ Quoted in A History of Brahmin Clans, p.100
  6. ^ Matsya Purāṇa chapter-12, śloka-30, cited in A History of Brahmin Clans, p.100
  7. ^ a b cf. History of Brahmin Clans, p.101.
  8. ^ cf. History of Brahmin Clans, p.117.
  9. ^ cf. History of Brahmin Clans, p.102.
  10. ^ cf. Harikṛṣṇa Śāstri, chapter-1, sloka 8

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • A History of Brahmin Clans (Brāhmaṇa Vaṃshõ kā Itihāsa) in Hindi, by Dorilāl Śarmā,published by Rāśtriya Brāhamana Mahāsabhā, Vimal Building, Jamirābād, Mitranagar, Masūdābād,Aligarh-1, 2nd ed-1998. (This Hindi book contains the most exhaustive list of Brahmana gotras and pravaras together their real and mythological histories).

External links[edit]