History of Gujarati Brahmins

Written by Alok Mohan on June 29, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

History of Gujarati Brahmins

Gujarati Brahmins belong to a high varna social class in the traditional hindu system. They are the priestly Brahmins and a learned class in hindu society in gujrat. Most of Gujrat temples were administered by these brahmins. It is believed that Mahmud took an oath of conducting a holy war on the land of infidels especially brahmins, every year.

In January 1025 Mahmud reached Somnath and to force the idolaters to leave the temple, he ordered his archer to launch an attack on the temple to displace the latter.
The Somnath temple is a Hindu temple located in the Indian state of Gujarat.
Somanath temple was constructed in the Chalukya style of architecture. An arrow pillar mentions that, the temple is located at such a position, that is the first point of land in the north to the South pole, at that particular longitude.
The Somnath Jyothirlinga is the first of the 12 Jyothirlinga Shrines of Shiva. It is located on the western coast of Gujarat. There is mention of the Somanath temple in Sreemad Bhagavadgita, Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana and even in Rig Veda also.
The meaning of ‘Soma “ is Moon, and Nath means Lord, so Somanath is the protector of the Moon and is Shiva.
The siege of Somnath continued for several days in which the forty pandits  fought bravely & sacrificed their lives, even when there was no hope of victory. The Somnath temple at that time was surrounded by a strong fort which was well guarded.
At the time of attack, the pandits were inside the temple performing their final rituals before the war.
When Mahmud ordered for a vehement charge, the helpless brahmin protectors of Somnath offered a heroic resistance. The other native hindus subsequently arrived, with a handful of weapons and fought till the evening.
After the initial charge from the Turks, the Hindus who were inside the temple came out and attacked the Turks. The tired army of Mahmud decided to retreat and the attack of a highly skillful military general was repulsed by the devotion of helpless idolaters i.e the brave pandit community of Gujrat.
The Turks were able to damage the fort wall but the damage was quickly repaired by the Indians and when the fighting began on the second day the idolaters fought even more valiantly than the previous day.            
The situation of Mahmud became critical when on the third day an army of Kshatriyas arrived to reinforce their people. A total carnage ensued and band after band of people entered inside the temple to protect their sacred idols. However, the tactics and military strategy of Mahmud were too much for the Hindus. Around 50,000 people were slain by the Turks. Persian historian Muhammad Khandamir mentioned that people ran inside the temple to fight till their last breathand in that carnage, around 50,000 people lost their lives. For the Indians these invaders were nothing more than religious bigots who plundered sacred temples, killed innocent men, women, and even children.
The Indians did everything they could to protect their Temple , whether it was the Jats who attacked the retreating army of Mahmud, the Hindu who disguise Mahmud as a guide, the Brahmans who died fighting to protect the Shiva Linga of Somnath or the 20,000 warriors of Modhera and Somnath who fought till their last breath to protect their culture.      
Mahmud carried out several attacks on the temple subsequently & destroyed idols & the temple.
Somanath temple  was constructed in the Chalukya style of architecture. An arrow pillar mentions that, the temple is located at such a position, that is the first point of land in the north to the South pole, at that particular longitude.
The temple has withstood several destructions in the past and still has not lost its beauty. The temple was looted and destroyed as many as 17 times by emperors like Mohammed Ghazni, Alauddin Khilji and Aurangazeb.
Sardar Vallabhai Patel was the major hindu force behind the revival and reconstruction of the present day Somanath temple in 1951, which still serves as a notable edifice of the original Somanath Temple.
For centuries , Indians repulsed countless invasions led by the Arabs but with the establishment of the Turkish rule over Ghazni (in Afghanistan) the Indians now had to prepare themselves for witnessing a fresh wave of barbarism. Alptigin (Turkic) was a slave of the Samanid Empire who is responsible for establishing Turkish authority over the city of Ghazni. After securing the city the region witnessed a renewal of aggressive policies of the invaders towards its neighboring kingdoms especially Indian kingdoms. Later in the year 977 CE when Subuktigin ascended the throne of Ghazni several raids on the northwestern territories of India were launched by the Turks. The Shahi King Jayapala of Udabhandapur was the one who challenged the Turks.
But after a resistance that lasted for several years from this brave Shahi king, the Turks came out victorious. Mahmud Ghazni ascended the throne of Ghazni in 998 and soon after his accession, the hostilities between the Turks and the Indians became worse than ever.
Ancient Gujarat was ruled by brahmins.
The Brahmins mentioned in the Nidhanpur and Dubi inscriptions of king Bhaskarvarman bore surnames “which are at present used by Nagara Brahmins of Gujrat. Nagars were assigned the task of furthering the Brahmin religions. The Nagars were expert interpreters of Sanatana dharma and were working without salary. Mostly they inhabited around Vadnagar or Anandnagar. The kings therefore granted them land for gurukuls, & temples. During the rule of the Chalukya & Vaghela dynasties, the Nagars held prestigious positions in royal courts along with Jains and other Brahmins. Their occupations included writing Sanskrit literature, performing Vedic rituals, and conducting royal funerals.
During 321 B.C. Chandragupta Maurya
founded Mauryan Empire after defeating Nanda Dynasty with the help of  a brahmin sage, Chanakya. (Kautilya)
Chandragupta defeated Dhana Nanda.
Emperor Chandragupta Maurya conquered a number of states in Gujarat while his grandson, King Ashoka extended his domain in Gujarat. The reigns of the first three Mauryas were significant, but with Ashoka’s death in 232 B.C. the Mauryan empire began to crumble. Nagar Brahmins were most prominent administrators those days in this region. 
Consequent to decline of the Mauryan empire,  there was a Greek incursion into Gujarat led by Demetrius.
Mauryas tried, unsuccessfully, to uphold the semblance of political unity.
After the fall of the Maurya Empire, the Sakas or Scynthians controlled the region from A.D. 130 to 390.
Under Rudra-daman, their empire contained Malwa (in Madhya Pradesh), Saurashtra, Kutchh and Rajasthan. During the years 300 AD and 400 AD, the area formed a part of the Gupta Empire, which in turn was succeeded by the Maitraka Dynasty. It was during the rule of Dhruvasena Maitrak that the great Chinese traveler and philosopher Huien Tsang visited India in 640.AD.
Three royal races of hindus successively ruled over, namely, the Chawura, Solanki and Baghilah races.
The four major Rajput dynasties—Pratihara, Paramara, Cauhan, and Caulukya—claimed Agni-kula lineage.
The Solankis earlier known as Chalukyas consider themselves one of the Agni-kulas. They ruled Gujrat for five hundred and seventy-five years.
It was during the 900 AD that the Solanki Dynasty came to power. Under the Solanki Dynasty, Gujarat reached to its great heights.
Mulraj Solanki founded Solanki dynasty kingdom of Gujarat. He wanted to develop his new kingdom in education, religion & spiritual.
During his reign, Brahmins population was not sufficient in Gujarat. So he invited Brahmins of north India on the occasion of opening of Rudramal Shiv temple & settled them in main cities of Gujrat. Gujarat’s last Hindu rulers were the Solanki clan of Rajputs from 960 AD to 1243 AD. It is also learnt, Karandev of the Vaghela dynasty was the last Hindu ruler of Gujarat and he was overthrown by Allauddin Khilji in 1297.
The first settlers in the State of Gujarat were Gujjars who were an ancient ethnic group of Saurashtra about the time of the Huna invasion. The name of the tribe was ‘sanskritized’ to ‘Gurjara’
However, the earliest Archeological traces indicate the Indus Valley Civilization as historical relics with the stone age settlements are found in Gujarat around Sabarmati and Mahi rivers. Its roots are also in the Harappan traces found at Lothal, Rampur, Amri and other places.
In Gujarat, Brahmins are  divided into various sub-castes, known as gotras. Gotras are believed to be descended from a common ancestor, and marriage within the same gotra is traditionally considered to be taboo. The seven major Brahmin Gotras take the names of the saints whose lineages they represent: Vishvamitra, Jamadagni, Bhradwaja, Gautama, Atri, Vasishta and Kashyapa.
Some of the prominent Gujarati Brahmin castes include:
1. Nagar Brahmins: Nagar Brahmins are one of the largest sub-groups among Gujarati Brahmins. They are known for their association with priestly and administrative roles in the society.
2. Audichya Brahmins: Audichya Brahmins are believed to have migrated from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat. They are known for their involvement in priestly and educational occupations.
3. Modh Brahmins: Modh Brahmins primarily hail from northern Gujarat and are known for their association with scholarly pursuits, education, and priesthood.
4. Anavil Brahmins: Anavil Brahmins are primarily found in the southern regions of Gujarat, particularly in the Surat district. They have historically been involved in religious and priestly activities.
5. Shrimali Brahmins: Shrimali Brahmins trace their origins to the town of Shrimadhopur in Rajasthan. Over time, they migrated to Gujarat and are known for their involvement in various professions, including teaching, priesthood, and business.

It is important to note that the sun worship had started in Gujarat in the second century BC. The worshipping used to take place at a place called “Prabhas” Some people believe that Sun worship had started in Saurashtra, from fifth century BC.
There are adequate evidences of sun worship in the Vanparva of Mahabharata. Prabhas is also known as “Bhaskar Kshetra”. “Bhaskar” means sun and “Prabhas” means over-illuminated. i.e  sun worship.
There is a mention of sun worship in  Bhavishya Purana, As per this scripture, sun worship came to India from Iran. According to this story, Sankhane, the son of Shri Krishna and Jambavati, built a Sun Temple on the banks of the Chandrabhaga (Chenab) river. The native brahmins of that place refused to worship, then he was advised to invite Sun-worshipping “Mag” Brahmins from Sankh Island.
The origin of these “Mag” Brahmins is believed to be that Surya was in love with a Brahmin girl Nibhuksha of the Sujihva Mihir gotra and had a son “Jardast” or “Jarshabd” from her. It is believed that this Maga Brahmin is his descendant.
It is understood that the word magi is mentioned in Bible also. Aboti Brahmins are the descendants of these Mag Brahmins (sun worshipers).
Thr first temple of Surya was on the banks of Chandrabhaga in Multan.
There is a small lake near Dwarka namely Chandrabhaga, on whose banks the temple of Samb-Laxmanji is built. The Sun Temple at Dhrasanavel is popularly known as the “Mag Temple”
Once Samb had insulted the sages of Pindtarak region. The sages cursed him & consequently Samb had leprosy because of the curse . For the treatment of this disease, Maga brahmins from Iran, were called.  His leprosy was cured by worshiping the sun. This temple was built in the year 644 and was rebuilt in the year 889. The pillar inscription in the temple is believed to be of the 13th century.
According to a legend, the Maga Brahmins who came with Vajnabha went to Mathura and from there they reached Marwar. After that they came to Dwarka on the advent of the Vallabh sect.  Aboti Brahmins came to Gujarat along with Shrimali, Sevak, Bhojak etc.
Aboti Brahmins have settled in Saurashtra since ancient times. The Aboti Brahmins were priests of the Yadavas. But after the destruction of Dwarka, they must have left that place.
As per few historians, Aboti was the younger brother of Rishi Valmikiji, and was the Adipurush of the Brahmins. And when Lord Shri Krishna performed the Yajna in Dwarkanagari, then Garudji also brought, Aboti Brahmins along with other Brahmins to Dwarka. Many scholars believe that “Ajoti Brahmin” is the same Aboti Brahmin, who is a descendant of the spiritual seeker Yajnavalkaya Rishi. With the passage of time, he came to be known as “Aboti Brahmin”. Explaining the word “Aboti”, these scholars write that these Brahmins used to take bath, worship and perform spiritual activities wearing “Abot” (holy clothes). Hence, they were called Aboti Brahmins. There is also opinion of some scholars  that “Maga-brahmins” used to call themselves “Aboti”. Explaining this, they say that these Brahmins preferred to remain “a-bot” (pure) Due to this, these Maga Brahmins came to be known as “Aboti Maga Brahmins”. Over a period of time, due to some reason, the word “Mag” became popular as “Aboti Brahmin” instead of “Aboti Mag Brahmin”
Mug Aboti, who spread this worship was a Brahmin. He was also the chief priest of Shri Dwarkadhish temple. His presiding deity is Lord Dwarkadhish. Even at the present time, in the temple of Lord Dwarkadhish in Dwarka Nagari, Aboti Brahmins have been performing the holy rituals of flag hoisting.

Alok Mohan

The admin, Alok Mohan, is a graduate mechanical engineer & possess following post graduate specializations:- M Tech Mechanical Engineering Production Engineering Marine engineering Aeronautical Engineering Computer Sciences Software Engineering Specialization He has authored several articles/papers, which are published in various websites & books. Studium Press India Ltd has published one of his latest contributions “Standardization of Education” as a senior author in a book along with many other famous writers of international repute. Alok Mohan has held important positions in both Govt & Private organisations as a Senior professional & as an Engineer & possess close to four decades accomplished experience. As an aeronautical engineer, he ensured accident incident free flying. As leader of indian team during early 1990s, he had successfully ensured smooth induction of Chukar III PTA with Indian navy as well as conduct of operational training. As an aeronautical engineer, he was instrumental in establishing major aircraft maintenance & repair facilities. He is a QMS, EMS & HSE consultant. He provides consultancy to business organisations for implimentation of the requirements of ISO 45001 OH & S, ISO 14001 EMS & ISO 9001 QMS, AS 9100, AS9120 Aero Space Standards. He is a qualified ISO 9001 QMS, ISO 14001 EMS, ISO 45001 OH & S Lead Auditor (CQI/IRCA recognised certification courses) & HSE Consultant. He is a qualified Zed Master Trainer & Zed Assessor. He has thorough knowledge of six sigma quality concepts & has also been awarded industry 4, certificate from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Knowledge Hub Training Platform  He is a Trainer, a Counselor, an Advisor and a Competent professional of cross functional exposures. He has successfully implimented requirements of various international management system standards in several organizations. He is a dedicated technocrat with expertise in Quality Assurance & Quality Control, Facility Management, General Administration, Marketing, Security, Training, Administration etc. He is a graduate mechanical engineer with specialization in aeronautical engineering. He is always eager to be involved in imparting training, implementing new ideas and improving existing processes by utilizing his vast experience.