From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Ganak is a title given to Brahmins of Assam, India, who practise astrology and perform various Vedic rituals. Historically, they were astrologers to royalty and presided over the name-giving ceremony called ganana, from which the title is derived.[citation needed] Synonyms for the name in its astrologer usage include Surya Vipra, Daivajna Brahmins, Acharya, and Graha Vipra.[1]

They claim to be descendants of Sakaldwipiya Brahmins. The common surnames used by this group are Sarma/Sarmah/Sharma, Changkakoti, Bordoloi etc.[2]

During 1509 – 1686 AD, eleven talented Brahmins came to Assam from Kanauj in Uttar Pradesh. These were Sathibar Pandey (1616 AD), Acharya Gopaldev Bhatta Chatruvedi (1586 AD), Umananda Chaturvedi (1671 AD), Keshavananda Pandey (1671 AD), Acharya Gadadhara Pandey (1509 AD), Dharmmangada Trivedi (1681 AD), Gadadhara Upadhyay (1656 AD), Rangacharana Mishra (1661 AD), Bhisagacharya Ishwaragiri (1655 AD), Kamalalochana Trivedi (1638 AD) and Swarupananda Dwivedi (1686 AD). Chaturvedi, Trivedi, Dwivedi, Pandey, Upadhayay and Mishra were the highest category Brahmin, being of the Yajurveda, Kandwa Branch and Mihirayan gotras. During the rule of the Ahom king Shiva Singha, one Brahmin came from Simala Gaon, Nadiya District, Bengal name Krishnananda Bhattacharyya and got the royal support. The king divided the whole Brahmin community in two groups as Surya-vipra and Chandra-vipra. The above mentioned eleven families were given the status of Surya-vipra Brahmin or Ganak.(ref page no 70, Assam Buranji, Harakanta Baruah sadaramin). Thus Ganak Brahmin status was given by the local king in Assam.