Sunday, February 6, 2011

Brahmanism in Bengal - 04 - On Adisura

So now the question is, who was Adisura. To understand the context, you may refer to my previous post titled "Origin of Organized Brahminism in Bengal".

Apparently, organized Brahminism in Bengal started when King Adisura (AdIshUra) of Bengal imported 5 Brahmins from a place called Kolancha (which many people believe to be Kanauj in Central Uttar Pradesh). And those Brahmins are the pro-genitors of almost all Brahmins in Bengal today (or whatever Brahminism remains in communist Bengal and Islamic Bangladesh).

Historically, no one has been able to identify with certainity any king Adisura, or even ascertain his existence. I have listed below all that we know about Adisura.

1. Adisura has been described variously as King of
a. Bengal - Radh, Varendra, Vanga, Gauda
b. Anga (Assam)
c. Kalinga (Orissa)
d. Kerala
e. Kamarupa
f. Saurashtra
i. Magadham Malava
j. Gurjara

2. Adisura is a shudra of the Vaidya or the physician jaati and not a Kshatriya.

3. The migration of the 5 Brahmins was purported to have happened anywhere between 732 AD to 1178 AD.

4. The reason of the import was to conduct a yajna or ceremony variously described as:
a. chandrayanavrata
b. agnihotriyayanja
c. putresthiyajna
d. vajapeya

5. Family Origins:
a. Some texts say he came from South of India
b. Vallal Sena of the Sena dynasty (who ruled in 1160-1170 AD) is said to be 5th/7th generation down from Adisura's daugthers son

Assuming 25, 27 and 30 years per generation, Adisura would have lived somewhere during 860 AD to 1000 AD .

6. Karna-Suvarna, Kansona (Rangamati) in Murshidabad, West Bengal, was the former capital of Bengal during Adisura's reign.

7. Some believe that:
a. Sri Harsha, one of the 5 Brahmins invited by Adisura was actually, the same Sriharsha who composed Naisadha Charita (during 1100 AD)
b. Bhatta Narayana, one of the 5 Brahmins invited by Adisura, was actually the author of the drama Veni-Samhara (definitely composed before 800 AD)

8. Other references/ conclusions
a. Vachaspati Mishra, the great scholar of Mithila of the 9th century was a member of King Adisura's court - Adisura may have ruled over a small portion of Northern Bengal and Bihar as a Samanta King during Pala rule. He may actually have been King Jayanta, whose son-in-law was the famous King Jayaditya of Kashmir - all these events may have transpired between 730 AD to 770 AD time-frame.

b. ".. he (Bhatta Narayana) is cited by Vamana and Anandavardhana and so is before A. D. 800. Tradition,preserved in the Tagore family, makes him out to be a Brahmin summoned from Kanyakubja to Bengal by Adisura, the founder of a dynasty of eleven kings, who are supposed to have reigned before the Pala dynasty came to the throne in the middle of the eighth century A.D. It has been suggested that it was identical with the Guptas of Magadha since Adityasena, son of Madhavagupta of Magadha, made him-self independent of Kanyakubja; this would make Adisura, Adityasena, who was alive in A.D. 671. "

c. The social history of Kamarupa contains a lot of details about Adisura in relation to the Naga clan

References:
1. Sri Harsha - http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/561992/Sriharsha
2. Bhattanarayana - http://www.indianetzone.com/28/bhatta_narayana_mrigaraja_indian_theatre_personality.htm
3. Bhattanarayana - http://www.swaveda.com/background.php?category=33&title=Indian%20Drama&page=4
4. The Later Guptas/ Adityasena - http://www.civilserviceindia.com/subject/History/prelims/later-guptas.html
5. The Indian Encyclopaedia: Kamli-Kyouk Phyu edited by Subodh Kapoor
6. http://tanmoy.tripod.com/tradition/index.html
7. The History and Culture of Palas in Bengal and Bihar - Jhunu Bagchi
8. The social history of Kamarupa by Nagendranath Vasu

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Thanks for your time. Please feel free to leave your comments and do share this post with those who might find it useful.

Subhodeep

http://mkerj.com/
http://hoorayforlife.com/
http://deepmkerj.blogspot.in/

17 comments:

  1. ADISURA WAS NOT A SHUDRA !!!

    AND MR.SUBHODEEP, SEN ARE THE HIGHEST BRAHMINS OF BENGAL. THEY ARE PANCHAVEDIC. THEY ARE HIGHER THAN KULIN BRAHMINS.

    ReplyDelete
  2. CHECK YOUR FACTS ABOUT ADISURA AND THE PANCHAVEDIC (VAID) BRAHMINS OF BENGAL.

    ReplyDelete
  3. PANCHAVEDIC ( VAID) BRAHMINS OF BENGAL, LIKE SEN,SENGUPTA ETC. ARE THE DESCENDANTS OF SAGE VASHISTHA. AND YOU ARE CALLING THEM SHUDRA ???

    ReplyDelete
  4. My friend Anirvan, greetings to you too.

    Thank you for your comment.

    About Adisura being a Shudra/ non-Shudra:

    a. The comments which I have listed in this post are from the sources which I have cited at the end of the post. I do not care if Adisura was a Shudra or Vaidya or Spasnish - some scholars think he was a Shudra

    b. In case you have studied history, prior to the coming of British to Bengal, Bengal had a two-fold and not four-fold caste system comprising only of Brahmins and Shudras - you may refer to any standard History text book. The four fold caste system came in Bengal only after the British.

    About Sens being the highest Brahmins of Bengal:
    a. Please be more specific - east Bengal or West Bengal?
    b. What do you mean by "highest"?
    c. What do you mean by "Panchavedic"?
    d. What do you mean by "higher"?
    e. How do you define "higher" or "lower" among Brahmins?
    f. How do you define a "Kulin Brahmin"?
    g. What are your reference or sources? Please cite your references.

    Again my position is, I do not care if Sens or Chatterjees are "highest" whatever "highest" means.

    Thanks,
    Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay

    ReplyDelete
  5. My facts are taken from the links I have given at the bottom of the post. You may refer to them.

    If you have any "facts" related to Panchavedic/ Vaid Brahmins, feel free to share them with me.

    By facts I mean:
    a. articles in journals preferably peer review
    b. scholarly text
    c. standard history text books

    If you have any personal opinion however, I would strongly urge you to use your own blog to air your views.

    Regards,
    Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay

    ReplyDelete
  6. Again, I am not "calling" anybody Shudra or Hispanic or anything.

    a. I have re-stated what scholars have stated earlier about Adisura. If they have called Adisura a shudra, you may get in touch with them/ the publisher.

    b. Like I have said earlier, about "Panchavedic" brahmins, please give me references.

    c. Which Vashista are you talking about? There were many Vashistas in the same way that there were many Bharadwajas. Cite your source and then we shall have a scholarly debate.

    My blog is not a place for the general populace to air their opinion/political views - for that they are welcome to create their own blog.

    Bad manners/ impoliteness (in terms of capitalization)/ personal political hardline agendas shall not be tolerated in my blog.

    If you provide me facts (see definitions of facts above), I shall most respectfully go thru them and respond, else I shall not be obliged to consider such comments as legitimate and simply delete them in the future.

    Thanks,
    Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nicely written and well handled Subhodeep Da :)

    --
    Abhishek Shukla

    ReplyDelete
  8. VAID BRAHMINS ARE PANCHAVEDIC BECAUSE THEY CONTROL FIVE VEDAS ( 4 ORIGINAL VEDAS + AYURVEDA) .

    ReplyDelete
  9. THUS THEY ARE HIGHER THAN OTHER CHATURVEDIC BRAHMINS.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I AM STATING THE TRUTH, AND NOT BEING IMPOLITE.

    HOPE YOU DONT MIND .

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear Mr Anirvan,

    I am not sure if you appreciated the purport of my above comments but thank you for your response.

    My questions have still not been answered and moreover you have not provided me a single reference - hence I do not see anyway of verifying your statements.

    I still do not see what you mean by "control" the Vedas or the "Truth" or "Higher".

    I do mind - not because of your "Truth" but because you are still using the capitalized fonts thereby displaying rudeness and bad manners and also because of your hard-line self-serving political agenda through which you are polluting the ambiance of my fact-based non-rhetorical blog.

    Like I have said earlier, if you provide me unbiased sources/ scholarly citations, I am willing to enter into a scholarly debate, else I bid you goodbye.

    Please keep your politics and acrimonious insinuations to yourself or better still start
    your own blog and start airing your views there.

    Thanks,
    Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay

    ReplyDelete
  12. Moreover the purpose of my blog is for documenting the social history of Bengali Brahmins based on scholarly texts/ articles - not based on public opinion and here say.

    My blog is not a place for competition among Brahmins - who is "bigger" or "better", whatever that means.

    It is not a place for politics like yours.

    I am strictly against caste system and against caste based superiority implied by people like you. It is precisely because of this "I am superior" mind-set that India is still such a back-ward country with caste divisions.

    Additionally if you are interested to have a debate on the Vedas, or Vedic Sanskrit, or the Bhagavad Gita, I am more than open to enter into a debate in order to improve my Vedic skills. If it is for superiority, I shall not be part of any such debate.

    The first duty of a Brahmin is to renounce ahaMkAra - he is a proponent of sattva guna a follower of either GYAna, karma, bhakti marg, whose sole aim in life is to attain brahmaNa - whose motto is ahaM brahmasmi - who knows the truth behind na asat Asit na sat Asit - who knows that achuytam is same as keshavam, rama, narayana, krishna, damodara, vasudeva, hari.

    Peace be unto you brother
    Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear Mr.Mukhopadhyay,

    My name is Anubhab Dasgupta, and have been checking on the Baidya etymology lately, and was trying to come to logical terms, but the legends, mythologies and history for the Baidyas vary precariously, ranging from Dhanvantari, to Ashwini Kumars and even to the Chola dynasty.

    However, unlike Mr.Sen stating above, I think a more logical explanation is that the Baidyas are really Saraswat Brahmins from the banks of the Saraswati river, retaining thier "Sharma" surname in many places, though publicly hidden with the "Gupta" addendum.

    Below is an extract from the Saraswatdirectory site

    "Baidya/ Patit Brahmins

    Pannini Sutra says Vaidyas or Baidya means one who studied the Vedas. There are reference to Brahmins who after becoming conversant with Vedas, studied ayurveda and become baidya or physician. From the banks of river Saraswati were one branch of Baidyas who went to South and another to Bengal. Bengal was outside of the Aryavarta for several years. Those Baidyas going there were declared Bharista/ Patit (Condemned and Depressed). Saraswat Brahmins had titles like Dash Sharma and Sen Sharma in Bengal. Many Baidyas did not change their Sharma title till today. Ex: Konkana Sen Sharma. The Sena of Bengal ruled through eleventh and twelfth century. They were called Bramha Kshatra division of Saraswat Brahmins (those who were Brahmins first and become Kshatriya later). As evidenced through their surname which is derived from Sanskrit, for army. According to Ramakanthdas, who in Baidyakula Panjika wrote details about Baidyas, whose forefathers used to live along the banks of Saraswati river and practiced various forms of medicine, astronomy etc. The Sena rulers of Bengal were descendents of Veerasena (A General of Chola) Chandra/Lunar dynasty of Karnataka. Among Baidya, there are Rarhi, Barendra Bangsaja divisions, synonyms Siddha /Kulin, Sadhya / Bangsaj, Kastha /Maulik. The Baidyas retained among their Group Raja and Maharaja and powerful Zamindars (Landlords)
    "

    The reference is the following link

    http://saraswatdirectory.com/saraswat6.php

    I cant say its irrefutable, but seems logical all the same.

    Again, the information available is too conflicting all around, but I, being a baidya, know that we the upanayan is needed for us to go for any ritual, we observe a 15 day mourning like the brahmins, and we have to go for a prayashchitta when we have the upanayan ceremony (usually during the wedding).

    I am a borderline atheist, so i dont believe in these things.... but the etymology is indeed interesting...whatsay :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Baidyas are classified as a high caste Hindu community. They rank next to Brahmins but above Kayasthas of Bengal, with respect to social structure. It is said that their ancestors were supposed to be the practioners of medicine.

    Primarily Baidyas are divided in to three main groups /classes. These are:
    1) Siddha Baidya,
    2) Saddhya Baidya and
    3) Kastha Baidya.


    The details of family titles coming under the above groups are as under:
    1) Siddha Class: Dash/Das, Gupta and Sen
    2) Saddhya Class: Dutta, Duli, Dhar and Kar.
    3) Kastha Class: Chandra, Kundu, Nag, Nandi, Raja, Rakshit and Soma.

    These names and divisions appeared to be of Non-Vedic origin and found only in Tantric Literatures.

    In view of above, it appears that Baidyas probably are outcome of Tantra Sadhana of intellectuals or Brahmins who were not perfect in fulfilling the pre conditions to perform Yontra Sadhana.

    Source: http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Evolution-of-Baidya-Community-of-Bengal-~-Its-Origin-and-development-1.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Baidyas are classified as a high caste Hindu community. They rank next to Brahmins but above Kayasthas of Bengal, with respect to social structure. It is said that their ancestors were supposed to be the practioners of medicine.

    Primarily Baidyas are divided in to three main groups /classes. These are:
    1) Siddha Baidya,
    2) Saddhya Baidya and
    3) Kastha Baidya.


    The details of family titles coming under the above groups are as under:
    1) Siddha Class: Dash/Das, Gupta and Sen
    2) Saddhya Class: Dutta, Duli, Dhar and Kar.
    3) Kastha Class: Chandra, Kundu, Nag, Nandi, Raja, Rakshit and Soma.

    These names and divisions appeared to be of Non-Vedic origin and found only in Tantric Literatures.

    In view of above, it appears that Baidyas probably are outcome of Tantra Sadhana of intellectuals or Brahmins who were not perfect in fulfilling the pre conditions to perform Yontra Sadhana.

    Source: http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Evolution-of-Baidya-Community-of-Bengal-~-Its-Origin-and-development-1.aspx

    ReplyDelete