Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Case for Multiple Migrations of Brahmins to Bengal

As I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, the proposed dates of migration of the Brahmins to Bengal vary from anything between 732 C.E to 1078 C.E. And as I had remarked in some other posts, almost all of these migrations are attributed to AdishUra. Also another peculiar story is the absence of good Brahmins before AdishUra.

The conclusion that we may draw from these statements is that:
a. the Brahmins arrived to Bengal at different points of time in different groups
b. AdishUra couldn't have been involved in all these migrations spanning these 300 years
c. AdishUra was definitely associated with some migration of Brahmins to Bengal at some point in time
d. It is quite unlikely that there were no good Brahmins in Bengal prior to AdishUra. [ In fact we have talked earlier about various copper grants from Gupta period and onwards (350 C.E onwards talking about various Brahmins getting land etc]
Or,
e. that some or all of theses dates are incorrect

Or, as many anti-Hindu indologists, and anti-Brahmanical rationalists/ communists insist:
a. there is no historical proof that there ever was a king called called AdisUhra,
b. the Bengali Brahmin genealogical tables/ books are all mere fabrications of medieval Bengali brahmins who were trying to prove their superiority in a caste based religious society
c. yadda yadda yadda

Again, a significant point to note is that by  the time of vallAla sena, there were in rADha (as per EHOBFE, Paul, Social Conditions Page 35 / also in Banger Jatiya Itihash, NNV):
a. 13 generations of bharadvAjas
b. 13 generation of sAvarNas
c. 12 generations of shANDilyas
d. 12 generations of vAtsyas
e. 8 generations of kAshyapas

Meanwhile in vArendra:
a. 13 generations of bharadvAjas
b. 13 generation of sAvarNas
c. 14 generations of shANDilyas
d. 4 generations of vAtsyas
e. 15 generations of kAshyapas

From the above we see the following pattern (assuming 25 years gap per generation):
a. the kAshyapas seems to be the oldest among the migrant Brahmins to Bengal (~800 C.E) - they came to vArendra. [Interestingly, as far as I know (and I may be wrong), kAshyapas (Chaterjees) in Bengal seem to belong to R2a haplogroup, whereas the others belong to R1a1.]
b. Among the migrant Brahmins to rADha - bharadvAja, sAvarNa, shANdilya and vAtsya were the earlier ones (around ~850 C.E)
c. At the same  time, the bharadvAja, sAvarNa, shANdilyas migrated to vArendra (~850 C.E)
d. the kAshyapas came to rADha at least a 100 years later (around ~950 C.E)
e. the vAtsyas reached vArendra comparitively late (aroun ~1050 C.E)

However to emphasize one again, as many copper plates have shown, there were Brahmins in Bengal prior to these migrations. As Promode Paul emphatically states:
"It is not to be believed on the authority of the Kulasastras thal there had been no Brahmanas of the above five gotras before the alleged migration through the efforts of AdishUra. The evidence of the Faridpur plate (No.3), the Vappagoshavata plate of the time of Jayanaga and the Nidhanpur plates is conclusive on the point, as they mention many Brahmanas of the five gotras. This may explain in a way why the ancestors of sAvarNa bhaTTa bhavadeva and bharadvAja prahAsa of the Silimpur inscription and shANDilya guravamishra have not been described as immigrants from outside, as their families had been settled in Bengal from very remote times."

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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

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