Thursday, September 20, 2012

Various Stories of Migrations of Bengali Brahmins

These notes are based on Chapter 9 (Pg 32 onwards), Vol 2 of the book, " History of Bengal from Earliest Times" by Promode Paul.
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The kulatattvārṇava (কুলতত্ত্বার্ণব) states that a king named śūdraka imported sārasvata Brahmanas in vaṅga in order to perform a putreṣṭi sacrifice, but this lacks corroboration from any other book. All books agree in stating that king ādiśūra brought five Brahmanas from kanauja or Kolāñca/ Kolāṁca ( কোলাঞ্চ/ কোলাংচ ) [identified as a place in northern part of Islamic Bangladesh]. In most of the books the names of the five Brahmanas are:

kṣitīśa of śāṇḍilya gotra / ক্ষিতীশ শাণ্ডিল্য গোত্র
vītarāga of kāśyapa gotra / বীতরাগ কাশ্যপ গোত্র
sudhānidhi of vātsya gotra / সুধানিধি বাত্স্য গোত্র
medhātithi of bharadvāja gotra, and / মেধাতিথি ভরদ্বাজ গোত্র
sambhari of sāvarṇa gotra / সম্ভরি সাবর্ণ গোত্র

Another list as per Shri Vasu states that the original settlers were:
bhaṭṭa nārāyaṇa / ভট্ট নারায়ণ son of kṣitīśa of śāṇḍilya gotra / ক্ষিতীশ শাণ্ডিল্য গোত্র
suṣeṇa / সুষেণ son of vītarāga of kāśyapa gotra / বীতরাগ কাশ্যপ গোত্র
dharādhara / ধরাধর son of sudhānidhi of vātsya gotra / সুধানিধি বাত্স্য গোত্র
gautama / গৌতম son of medhātithi of bharadvāja gotra, and / মেধাতিথি ভরদ্বাজ গোত্র
paraśāra / পরাশর son of sambhari of sāvarṇa gotra / সম্ভরি সাবর্ণ গোত্র

According to the vārendra kulapañjikā ( বারেন্দ্র কুলপঞ্জিকা ), the five Brahmins were: bhaṭṭa nārāyaṇa, dakṣa, chāṇdaḍa, harṣa and vedagarbha / ভট্ট নারায়ণ, দক্ষ, ছাণ্দড়, হর্ষ, বেদগর্ভ

The different versions of the stories of their migration are as follows :
1. ādiśūra / আদিশূর / आदिशूर was the lord of pañca gauḍas (পঞ্চগৌড়াধিপতি / पंचगौडाधिपति) and vanquished many kings of different parts of India. He had a rival in vIrasimha who is described in some books as king of Kanauj and in others, of Kasi. This king was not subdued by ordinary warfare. Therefore seven hundred armed Brahmanas of Bengal were sent on cows' back by ādiśūra to fight with him. There could not be any fighting without killing the cows and Brahmanas, which, as a pious and religious-minded man, vIrasiMha could not do. Thus he was compelled to send five pure sAgnika Brahmans to Adisura in whom Bengal was lacking.

2. The kulatattvārṇava supports this story but adds that ādiśūra needed the Brahmanas for the performance of a putreṣṭi sacrifice.

3. The vārendra kulapañjikā supplies the information that ādiśūra brought the Brahmanas from Kanauj for fulfilling the wishes of his wife chandramukhI, the daughter of the Kanauj king chandraketu, who wanted to perform a vrata by pure Brahmanas.

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