Audichya Brahmins History | II માં વારાહી પ્રસંનોસ્તુ II
 

Audichya Brahmins History

Shri Rashmikantbhai V Shukala has very kindly provided the following letter giving invaluable information pertaining to the history of Audichya Brahmins and the history of our Maa Varahi temple in Chanasma.

I am ever grateful to Shri Rashmikantbhai Shukla for providing this invaluable information. We are indeed proud to have scholars like Shri Chandrakant Motilal Shukala of Viramgam and are thankful for his painstaking research in to the history of the temple and Audichya Brahmins.

While I have attempted to make a faithful translation of the letter from Gujarati to English, I am afraid much may have been lost in translation. I am responsible for all the errors here and am always open to correction.

 

Click here to open scanned copy of the below letter in Gujarati.

 

Translation of letter from Shri Chandrakant Motilal Shukala of Viramgam

 

TRANSLATION BEGINS –

Shri Rashmikantbhai V. Shukla the trustee of Kaudinyagotri parivar had told me a few times that “Since you are interested in research and you have also been the acharya of every patotsav right from the first patotsav to the twenty eighth, I request you to please send me an article on our kuldevi so that I can share the matter with other community members”. I am now seventy years old and ill health and other activities have kept me busy so far and I couldn’t find time for the research. Now by the grace of Mataji, I am able to share the following information with you. In compiling the information, I have relied upon the following reference work:

  1. Bhruj jyotisharnav chapter six – Bhramanotpatimartand,
  2. Gotrapravarbhaskar,
  3. Prabhandchintamani by Morutungacharya.

 

In the sixth century CE, there was a city named Panchasar near the little Runn of Kutch which was the capital of whole of Gujarat. The last king to rule here was Jaishikhari Chawda. A shepherd named Shankar sang praises of the riches of Jaishikhari Chawda before the king Bhuvad (Bhuvanpati) of Kalyani Nagar in the south. Attracted by this wealth, King Bhuvad invaded Panchasar and killed Jaishikhari Chawda. His pregnant queen escaped to the forests with the help of a shepherd named Anahil. She gave birth to a male child and was named Vanraj Chawda. Vanraj grew up to reclaim his fathers kingdom. Since Panchasar had lost its former glory, Vanraj decreed a new capital to be built and named it Anahilpur Patan after his mother’s saviour (and adapted uncle). The new city was built on the banks of river Saraswati. The eighth generation descendent of Vanraj Chawda was Chamundrai. He was also known as Samantshingh Chawda.

On the other side, the descendants of King Bhuvad, Raj, Beej and Dandak, three brothers, impressed the King Samantsingh and this resulted in Beej’s marriage to Samantsingh’s Sister Leeladevi. In that era, battles between rajwadas were common. Beej was killed in one such battle. Leeladevi, who was pregnant at the time gave birth to a male child Moolraj. Leeladevi died in childbirth leaving Moolraj a destitute. Moolraj grew up at Samantsingh’s house as an unwanted child. By this time, Samantsingh had become an alcoholic and corrupt king. Moolraj killed Samantsingh and ascended to the throne in 942 CE. In this manner, Chawda dynasty came to an end and Solanki dynasty gained control in Gujarat.

Having murdered his uncle, Moolraj experienced deep regret. To calm his tortured soul and as repentance, he was advised to build a great Shiva temple which he commissioned in Shristhal (Siddhpur). This great temple had eleven floors. In order to follow the rituals, Moolraj was advised by the great astrologer Hudad Joshi to invite the learned Brahmins from north India and request them to perform the pujas and rituals to consecrate the new temple. Moolraj sent his fourteen ministers to invite the Brahmins. These trusted ministers are named as –

  1. Chakrapani,
  2. Suranandi,
  3. Varyaksha,
  4. Nandivardhan,
  5. Vakranetra,
  6. Mahanand,
  7. Jayant,
  8. Vijay,
  9. Jaisen,
  10. Jaidhwaj,
  11. Nadishen,
  12. Jai,
  13. Halketan, and,
  14. Kaitavadhiya.

 

These fourteen ministers respectfully escorted the learned Brahmins from the North to Shristhal (Siddhpur). The Brahmin families came from various parts of North India as under –

  1. From the banks of Gangaand Yamuna – 105 families,
  2. From the ashram of Chavan Rishi – 100 families,
  3. From the holy city of Kashi– 100 families,
  4. From Kurukshetra – 100 families,
  5. From Gangadhara – 100 families,
  6. From Naumisharyan – 100 families,
  7. From Pushkar tirth – 132 families,
  8. From the banks of Saryu river – 100 families,
  9. From Kanya kubj – 200 families.

 

Thus a total of 1032 families were invited to Shristhal (Siddhpur). Since these families came from the north, these families were collectively called as Audichya Sahastra Brahmins. After the Brahmins performed the rituals, Moolraj requested them to permanently migrate to Gujarat. Moolraj gifted land around Siddhpur to five hundred Brahmin families for their sustenance. He also gifted land in Shinpur (Sheor) to another five hundred Brahmin families. Thirty seven Brahmin families formed their own group (tolu in Gujarati) and refused to take any gifts of land and these families are till date known as Tolakia Brahmins.

These events were completed in Shalivahan year 924 i.e vikram samvat 1059 on Thursday, Kartak Sud Punam. Solanki clan ruled over Gujarat and were followed by Vhagela clan. The lands gifted to Brahmins by Moolraj and subsequent kings were safe under both the ruling clans. However after the Islamic invasion, the security of these lands fell into question and the Brahmin families migrated to different places in search of a stable livelihood.

Jamdagni, Bharadwaj, Vishwamitra, Gautam, Vashistha, Kashyap, Agastya, Bhrugu all being descendents of Angira rishi are considered to be of the same gotra as Audichya Brahmins.

Some distance away from Mehesana lies a village named Chanasma which was gifted to the early Audichya Brahmins.  It is for this reason that we are known as Chanasimya Dave. Over a period of time, the families migrated to different places in search of livelihood and based on their nature of business, assumed names like Vyas, Jani, Joshi, Bhatt, Shukala, Dave and so on. Our gotra is Kaudinya. There are three pravar viz. Kaudinys, Angiras and Brahasaptya. Shukla yajurved, Madhyandini Branch (Shakha), Vignahar Ganapati, Kalbhairav, Mritunjaya Mahadev and our Gotrajdevi is Shri Visbhuja Chamunda Varahi.

Quite naturally, when our ancestors settled in Chanasma, they would have consecrated temples dedicated to these gods. However, the exact dates and location of the same has been lost in antiquity. Our community has been traditionally worshipping Maa Varahi temple in Chanasma for all important rituals from marriages to bringing a new born to the temple. However, since the  population of our community started dwindling in Chanasma, the temple fell in to disrepair. Ultimately, a family from the Kadva Patidar community of chanasma, Lalji Laxmidas family, took over the administration of the temple. Shri Lalji Laxmidas consecrated a saptashati yantra to the temple and in Vikram Samvat 1860, Ashadh Sud Atham, Thursday, about two hundred and seven years ago the temple was re-consecrated. This day is still celebrated as the paotsav. The first Patotsav was celebrated on June 28, 1982 and has been celebrated ever since on that date as per hindu calendar.

 

END OF TRANSLATION