Sunday, April 9, 2017

Where does Gujarat fall, North or South?

For centuries, the culture of India has been divided into two parts: north and south, above and below the Vidhyachal mountain range. Where does Gujarat stand? North? South? The answer is South. How?

Gujarati feel proud of their Solanki Kings of medieval period (940-1244 CE). Maharaja Bhimdev in his early years of rule, when Mahmud Ghaznavid sacked the Somnath Temple, fled and hid in Kanthkot. But later he regained his power over the kingdom. His grandson Maharaja Siddhraj Jaisimha expanded Chaulukya power of Anahilwadpatan, over large area of Laat, Gujarat, Saurastra, Malava and Rajasthan. His daughter Kanchandevi was married to Chahman King Arnoraja, whose grandson, the famous Prithviraj Chauhan was born in Gujarat!

Siddharth Solanki's mother was Minaldevi (wife of Karna dev), a beautiful but dark skinned lady, not liked by her husband Karnadev. Some of you must have read the story of Munjal Mehta (the Amatya) and Minaldevi, beautifully described by our great Gujarati writer Kanaiyalal Munshi, in Gujarat no Nath. Minaldevi (Mayanalla) was a kannad girl, daughter of King Jaykeshin of Kadamba dynasty of Karnataka. After an early death of her husband, she acted as regent of her son and gave an able and just administration to the kingdom. She is still remembered for her justice.

Solankis were from Chaulukya (chuluka means folded palm) dynasty of South India. The temples they had constructed carry the chaulukya style of architecture of projecting corners.

It was a war time of mediaeval history amongst four races of Kshatriyas: Tomars of Delhi, Chahmans of Ajmer, Chaulukya of Gujarat and Parmars of Malwas. Their infightings brought Muslim rule in India.

Do you know, the Brahmins also belong to two streams? Northern Brahmins and Southern Brahmins. There are two chief divisions: the Northern Brahmins are called Panch Gauds (Gaud, Sarasvat, Kanyakubj, Maithil and Uttkal) and the Southern Brahmins are called Panch Dravids (Telugu Deshastha, Dravida Deshastha, Kannad Brahmin, Maharashtra Deshastha, Gurjarati Brahmin). There are many sub castes/gotras of these 10 groups of Brahmins.

कर्णाटकाश्च तैलंगा द्राविडा महाराष्ट्रकाः, गुर्जराश्चेति पञ्चैव द्राविडा विन्ध्यदक्षिणे || सारस्वताः कान्यकुब्जा गौडा उत्कलमैथिलाः, पञ्चगौडा इति ख्याता विन्ध्स्योत्तरवासिनः || Meaning :(The-) Karnātakas, Tailangas, Dravidas, Mahārāshtrakās and Gurjaras; these five(-types who-) live south of Vindhya (- mountains) are (called-) "five Dravidas" (- Brahmins); (whereas-) Sārasvatas, Kanyakubja Brahmins, Gauḍa Brahmins, Utkala Brahmins, and Maithil Brahmins, who live north of Vindhya (- mountains) are known as "five Gaudas" (-Brahmins). - (Source: Rajtarangini of Kalhana).

Dravid, the Dramikdesh includes Tamil desh (TN, Kerala), Andhra (AP-Telangana), Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat!

Brahmin is a Sanskar to live a life of good virtues. Any body can become Brahmin if he possesses the 8 virtues described in Gautama Dharmasutra: always truthful, Conduct himself as an Arya, Teach his art only to virtuous men, Follow rules of ritual purification, Study Vedas with delight, Never hurt any living creature, Be gentle but steadfast, Have self-control, Be kind, liberal towards everyone.

Unlike of the Northern Brahmins, apart from religious rituals, Southern Brahmins were involved in Ayurvedic care, administration (mantris), law and justice (judiciary), and in wars (Peshwas).

The Spiritual leaders of South India are welcomed in Gujarat. Sri Sri Ravishankar has many followers in the State. His first Art of Living Course was started in Vadodara, Gujarat.

Now you won't be surprised why post independence, the bureaucrats hail from South India own Gujarat so much, established their righteous rule over it for decades! Lol.

9 April 2017


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