Shrimali Brahmins

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Shrimali Brahamins are believed to have originated from Srimal nagar (present Bhinmal) in Jalore district in Indian state of Rajasthan.They are now found in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. There are 84 gotras .

Etymology[edit]

Shrimali Brahmins derive their name from Shrimal or Bhinmal, about 80 km, west of the Mount Abu (known as Arbuda mountain that time), which from the 6th to 9th century was the capital of the old Gujarat.

History[edit]

Shrimal a place in India's Rajasthan State. Presently known as Bhinmal. Shrimal is a combination of "Shri" and "Mal". " Shri " is popularly interpreted as Laksmi, the goddess of wealth. "Shri" also means beauty and brightness, "Mal" means place. Thus Shrimal about 800 years ago was a beautiful prosperous place where along with other castes, Goldsmiths too lived, created pieces of beauty out of gold and prospered with other communities.

Unfortunately with constant invasions by foreigners on the North-Western borders of India, Shrimal broke down and thereby received the name Bhinmal. In Sanskrit language, the word Bhinna means broken or separated and therefore Bhinmal means broken place. According to Shrimal Puran (part of Skanda Puran) due to curse of Rishi Gautam and Goddess Laksmi Shrimali Nagar decentralised and it's prosperity and population come down. Since Shrimal Nagar suffered a lot, the people living there were forced to migrate. Most of them started migrating towards Gujarat and Marwar (Rajasthan). Therefore most of the Shrimali Brahmins presently residing in these two states, although they had moved and established themselves all over the world, with their old traditions and modern profession.

Customs[edit]

They have 84 gotras .

As an assertion of their rights, it is the brides of the Shrimali Brahmins who ride the mare .Shrimalis have two other customs related to the marriage ceremony in which women play a role different from the normal Hindu practice. Just before the ceremony begins, the mothers of both the bride and the groom exchange garlands and take rounds of the holy fire. One special point of shrimali's marriage is that boy take girl in his hand and take four rounds of the holy fire and rest other four rounds in normal way. Total population 4502055 . One very different custom amongst the Shrimalis is that after marriage, the bride and groom do not live together (bidai). The groom leaves the place of marriage, and returns to collect his bride. Then onwards the groom never leaves the side of the bride. Another interesting custom is 'angootha pakadna'. After the bride comes home, she touches the feet of all elders and holds the great toe of the foot. Each elder then gives the bride gifts in the form of gold, jewelry and money.

References[edit]