Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Various Origin Stories of sapta shati Bengali Brahmins from Kulaji Texts

Presented below are various versions of the origin stories of the Sapta shati Brahmins of Bengal. Please note that as always, by Bengal, I refer to West Bengal and Islamic Bangladesh.

Version 1:
The seven hundred Brahmins who went to fight for AdiShUra came to be known as saptasati or shAtsati.

Version 2:
According to some they were descendants of Brahmmins living on the bank of the Sarasvati
river, who were brought to Bengal by the Andhra king shUdraka for performing a sacrifice, and settled in this country which till then had no Brahmins. The kulatattvārNava states shUdraka imported sArasvata Brahmins in Vanga in order to perform a putreShTi sacrifice.

Version 3:
According to others, the Saptashatis were people of low castes, but were recognised as Brahmins by AdishUra as a reward for their services.

Version 4:
vallAla sena got a boon from the Goddess chaNDi that within two praharas (six hours) he could make anybody he liked to be a Brahmin, and the king thereupon created seven hundred Brahmins who came to be known as Saptashatis (seven hundred).

References:
1. History of Bengal - Vol I, Apendix 1, THE KULAJI OR GENEALOGICAL LITERATURE Pg 626 (ed R.C Majumder)
2. Early History of Bengal from Earliest Times - Vol II, Promode Paul (Page 39 onwards)

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