Saturday, October 6, 2012

Various Origin Stories of shAkadvIpI Bengali Brahmins from Kulaji Texts

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

Origin of the gauDiya shAkadvIpi Brahmins:
According to shAkala-dvIpikA a kulaji of the rāḍhiya class, as quoted by Shri Nagendranath Basu, there were eight sages in shAkadvIpa whose descendants made a special study of the planets (graha) and were known as Graha-vipra. The mythical bird garuDa brought eight of them to India who settled in Madhyadesha. Ten descendants of these eight came to gauDa and were known as gauDiya grahavipra.

 Origin of the nadIya va~Nga samAja of shAkadvIpi Brahmins:
According to kulaji of nadIya va~Nga samAja, twelve Brahmins living on the bank of the Sarayu river were brought by king shashA~Nka to gauDa (~600 C.E) in order to cure himself of a disease by offering sacrifices to the planets (graha-yaGYa). At the request of the king they settled in gauDa and were known as Graha-vipra. They were settled in rADha and va~Nga and were divided into scveral sections according to their places of residence.

Reference:
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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Subhodeep

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