Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins
|Adi Guru Shri Gauḍapādāchārya, the grand guru of Shri Adi Shankaracharya and the first historical proponent of Advaita Vedanta, also believed to be the founder of Shri Gaudapadacharya Math, the Guru Peetha of Rajapur Saraswat Brhamins.|
|Regions with significant populations|
Primary populations in:
|Konkani, Marathi, Kannada|
Rājāpur Sāraswat Brāhmins (RSB) (also known as Bhālāvalikar Gauda Saraswat Brahmins) are a Hindu community of India. They belong to the Pancha (five) Gauda Brahmana groups or "Gaudadi Panchakas".
Rājāpur Sāraswat Brahmins are a branch of the Saraswat Brahmins, who were supposed to have resided on the banks of the Saraswati River. They migrated to the Goa region in around 700 BC from the banks of the Saraswati. They got their name from their village of origin, namely Rajapur in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, India, where they had migrated from Goa. The community was known as Gowd Saraswat Brahmins before their migration from Bhalavali/Rajapur. Their migration from Goa was caused by a desire not to by forced into religious conversion by the Portuguese who were present there, and also to escape attacks from Muslim rulers.
Saraswat Brahmins lived on the banks of now-extinct Saraswati River that flowed in the northern part of India. They derived their name from either the river or from their spiritual leader, Saraswat Muni. who lived on the banks of the Saraswati. They belonged to Smarta tradition and primarily worshipped Panchayatana (the five deities): Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Surya and Ganesha. These Brahmins were one of the Pancha Gouda Brahmin groups who lived north of the Vindhyas.
A popular belief is that Sage Parashurama brought Saraswats of 10 different gotras, to the south of Vindhyas to Gomatak, where he asked Varuna to vacate part of the sea-land, which is also called Parashurama Kshetra or Parashurama Srishti. Then more Saraswat groups followed them. They follow the Shodasha Samskaras with Shrautha-Smartha Chatur Ashrama Karma. These Saraswats are Rigvedi Ashwalayana Suthra-Shakal Shakha-Adhyayees (student).
Rajapur/Bhalavalikar Saraswats are of 10 gotras, they are:
- GSB Kerala website, Title: Saraswat History
- Kashmiri Overseas Association USA, Title: Kashmiri Pandits, by P.N.K. Bamzai.
- RSB website, under section Brief History.
- Nayak, K. Ramachandra Shyama. Saraswath Sudha. p. 391.
- Official Website of Our Kavale Math Samsthan
- Saraswat Learning Foundation, An non-profit organisation initiated by overseas RSBians
- Konkani Mirror Quarterly Magazine