HISTORY

HISTORY OF NAGAR BRAHMINS
The earliest written book dealing with the origin of Nagars is the Skand Purana containing some 81,000 slokas. With a view to prorogate the Brahmin Dharma as against the Buddh belief various writers wrote the Skand Purana from 300 to 770 A.D. sponsored by Skand Gupta and vallabhi emperors. The elite Brahmins, called Nagars were assigned the task of furthering the Brahmin religions. These Nagars were expert interpreters of religion and were working without salary. Mostly they inhabited around Vadnagar or Anandnagar. The kings therefore gave them land for maintenance. These Nagars traveled far and wide and established the shiv belief in Egypt, Babylon, Brazil, Kabul, Indo­china and Cambodia.
It is said that after the death of emperor Ashoka (232 B.C.) the Shakas and Yavanas made inclusions. The Nagars advanced the idea of community living in Nagars (specified area) and came out of hermitage to help people.
It is suggested that the Nagars came from outside Aryavarta into Kashmir and later spread to Rajasthan, U.P., Malwa and Gujarat . Some  historians believe that Nagars came from Greece, Macedonia and Syria and established at Nagarkot (Kangra Himalayas). Nag means a Mountain. These mountain dwellers earned name as highly intellectual administrators.
A well known scholar opines that Nagars were comparatively advanced in education, literature, Art and had a great analytical ability as regards Shukla Yajurved. These Nagars joined the services of prominent princes like Raja Bhoj and helped the state-craft. Even Tulshidasji and Mirabai have mentioned Nagar in religious Bhakti songs. Shri Krishna was called Natvar Nagar and the land where he moved Nagher. After coming from North Asia some of the Nagars settled in Nagher - a fertile part of Sorath. ( Gujarat ).
As religious people the Nagars were of sterling character, industrious, loyal and good interpreters of religious concepts, jurisprudence etc. They were cordial and non-partism. The princes then, chose them as counselors. The Vallabhi kings assigned the duty of religious progress to them.
The Nagars came to combine religion, state-craft and battle-craft and even fought battles for their belief and states.
When Gazni invaded Somnath Raj Navghans Commander and Minister Mahidhar and Shridhar - both Nagars - laid down their lives to protect Somnath.
Nagars are believed to be one of the oldest of the Brahmin groups.
Another view asserts Nagars to be of Greek  possibly  Macedonia, Syria or regions surrounding these places. When Alexander invaded India, he had came with his army through Kashmir. While returning, many Greek soldiers settled in Kashmir. They came into close contact of Pundit community of Kashmir and the progeny that resulted was known as Nagars. Afterwards, Nagars migrated to other parts of the country. Nagars and Greeks are considered similar even today so far as their physical appearance is concerned.

Historians claim the origin of Nagars to be purely Aryan, having come to India from Southern Europe and Central Asia. They migrated through the Hindu Kush to either Trivishtapa or Tibet; later through Kashmir and settled around Kurukshetra. Current research speculates the Aryan origin to be Hatak, where the predominant deity is Hatak, Hatkesh or Hatkeshwar. According to the Skandapurana, the land of Hatkeshwar was a gift from Lord Shiva for the Nagars to colonize. This after Lord Shiva created Nagars to celebrate his marriage to Uma.
 
It is also believed that before Nagars first came to Gujarat in 404 A.D., they lived in Sindh. , Nagars are a cross-breed of "Shaks" & "Dravids." It is also believed that  that Nagars have origin outside our country. Nagars from across the borders came first to Kashmir and then they spread out in the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Utter Pradesh, Bengal, Malva, and Gujarat. After migrating from Kurukshetra they had first settled in Anandpur - Vadnagar of today.

Legend has it, this land (along with money) was awarded to the Nagars by King Chamatkar of Anarta for having saved his life. According to the story, the King was out on a hunt when he killed a deer suckling her young. The deer placed a curse on the King. As a result of the curse, the King developed leukoderma. In the area, lived a small village of Brahmins, who, with the use of herbs, cured the King of his illness. King Chamatkar was thankful and offered them, as a reward, money and land. The Brahmins were men of high principle and believed in austere living; they refused the Kings offerings. The queen then went to the village and spoke with the wives of the Brahmin. She persuaded 68 of the 72 into accepting the offer. The four who refused, left the village for the Himalayas with their family. Those who remained are called the founders of the Nagar family descendant identity or "Gotra".

Another version of the legend claims the King of Anarta rebuilt an abandoned city, Chamatkarpur, and consecrated a temple to Hatkeshwar to show his gratitude to the Brahmins.

Through the years, and many name changes, the town is currently known as Vadnagar. The inhabitants of the city were known as Nagars.

As time passed, the city of Vadnagar was invaded on more than one occasion. Nagars sought refuge in the nearby areas of Saurashtra and Rajasthan. During this time, they did their best to observe and preserve the code, to guard their identity.

After King Vishaldev conquered Gujarat (around A.C.E. 1040), the King of Ajmer established the cities of Vishnagar (formerly Vishalnagar), Chitrod (or Chitakutpati), Prashnipur, Krashnor, and Sathod (or Shatpad). He offered these cities to the Brahmins who were descendants or an offshoot of the Nagars from Vadnagar.
As per the origin place of the Nagars, gradually they are called with. Like Visnagara from Visnagar, Vadnagara from Vadnagar, Prashnora from Prashnipur (Rajasthan) now settled in Bhavnagar and other region in Gujarat, Krashnora from Krashnor, Sathodara from Shatpad etc.
 
The Nagar community and Shree HATKESHVAR Mahadev are considered to be synonyms. - inseparable. Wherever a Nagar family or community sattles, there will invariably be The HATKESHVAR temple nearby. There are many legends popular for the origin of Shree HATKESHVAR.

Once Lord Shiva, feeling lonely due to separation from Parvati, was moving nude. With his " Kapalpatra " ( begging bowl ) he came in the hermitage of Saints. The wives of Saints got attracted towards him and followed him. Knowing this, the Saintsgotvery upset and cursed Lord Shiva that his organ should fall off from his body. It so happened and the organwentintodeepearth. Many disturbances took place. Saints had norrecognized Lord Shiva. So INDRA and other Godscameand prayed to almighty Lord Shiva to bear and attach the organ back to his body. Lord Shiva replied, " I can do so if the world worships it. Lord Brahma worshipped the organ and established one gold organ there ( HATAK means Gold ). This templewas later known as HATKESHVAR temple. Legend has it that, the place where Lord Shiva had traveled for the reclaiming the organ, produced a river flow which later was brought to earth by the efforts of king Bhagirath & was known as Ganga.

As is mentioned in Skundpurana, a man gets much benefit and spiritual advantage when he worships and prays Lord HATKESHVAR with devotion and faith. It is said that during winter, when there is heavy snowfall in Himalayas, the Lord Kedarnath comes to Hatkeshvar temple of Vadnagar. There are many facets of Lady Parvati also, established in and around Vadnagar.

When Shukhdevji, son of Lord Vyas, left this world soon after birth, Shree Vedvyas and his wife Chetika had performed a difficult penance in the HATKESHVAR region to get a son and got Kapinjal as a son due to the blessings of Lord HATKESHVAR.

The holy place of Pushkar in Ajmer also had its origin in the HATKESHVAR temple. Due to a request from a Saint Narad, Brahma desired to throw a lotus flower in such a place which is the most sacred and where Kali has not entered. The Lotus after moving all around the world, fell in the HATKESHVAR place. So this region is famous as second Pushkar area also.
The three best holy places of India are, Prabhas temple, the Kurukshetra and HATKESHVAR temple.
Saint Durvasa had established one Shiv-ling in the HATKESHVAR region and Saint Gautam had performed penance for 100 years to make the holy homage of HATKESHVAR for his son and wife.

Once there was a competition amongst eleven Saints of Kashi to have the first sighting of HATKESHVAR. All ran in the direction of Vadnagar to lead and come first. Lord HATKESHVAR felt happy and gave this sight (Darshan) to all the eleven Saints simultaneously.

HATKESHWAR based NAGARS have a boon from LORD HATKESHWAR that, whatever they speak will happen. ( However, no NAGAR family is able to permanently settle in Vadnagar. )- due to curse from LORD HATKESHWAR.

In olden days, some Muslim kings attacked Vadnagar. This went on repeatedly. So people of Vadnagar decided to build a fort around the town to save themselves from the invasions. The senior and older citizens of the town advised to build the fort in such a way that the temple of LORD HATKESHWAR will be inside the fort and remain protected. For some reason, this could not materialize. So the temple ended up being outside the fort. Hence, LORD HATKESHWAR gave a curse to the Nagar community, " Just as you have kept me out of the town, you also will always be out of the town for ever. Even today, the temple of LORD HATKESHWAR is situated outside the town. It is said that, no NAGAR family has been able to permanently settle in Vadnagar.

Nagars, are, though a sub-caste of Brahmins, a much different in many ways. While people of other castes worship other GODS, Nagars and Brahmins - intellect oriented as they are - worship LORD SHIVA. Even LORD SHIVA has two faces in his worship. (1 ). One face of SHIVA surrounded by ghosts - a frightful one, and (2 ) A perfect Tandav based beautiful face of LORD SHIVA. Even in this beautiful face of LORD SHIVA, two interpretations are available. One is destruction and the other new creation from destruction. SHIVA does not have any births - as LORD SHIVA is omnipresent and his idol is absolute. Even amongst these facets, LORD SHIVA's complexion of beauty and new creation is more positive. Nagars, in order to live nicely with their original cultural values, have started devotion of this lustrous and creative beautiful complexion. Only as a result of this, the life style of Nagars is more culture oriented and illustrious - much different from that of other communities.


The temple of LORD HATKESHWAR, Vadnagar


Garbh Grah of shree Hatkeshwar Mahadev temple

 

 

 

 

 

EVOLUTION OF NAGARS 
On examining the history and old volumes about the origin and evolution of Nagars, many opinions and stories come across us. Each of them has some sense and logic. However, just as all roads lead to Rome, all these opinions center around one basic thing - " Skanda Purana " - the oldest religious volume available, which narrates the origin and evolution of the Nagar community. All other opinions are more or less-some views, which have very little base and support.
There is a detailed and an independent "Naga-Khand" in "Skanda-Purana" - which vividly narrates the evolution of Nagar community
1. There was a Brahmin named " Kratha" - who was the son of Devrat. He became prodigy, and out of the way as he grew older. Once while moving in a forest nearby, he went to " Nag-Tirth", the town where NAGA (Serpents) lived together. At the same time, Rudramal, the prince of Naga king had come for a stroll in the town with his mother. It so happened that " Kratha" came into confrontation with Rudramal, and killed him - believing that he was an ordinary Nag boy. Rudramal ailing miserably, uttered, " why are you killing me though I am innocent? " Krath was astonished at hearing these words, which normally a human being speaks, was afraid of him and ran away. The mother of " Rudramal" fainted at this sight and cried while she came in senses. She went to her husband soon and narrated the whole sad incident. The whole Nag community gathered there and cremated the body of Rudramal amongst deep grief. His father took a bid that unless he destroys the whole family of the murderer he shall not pay last homage to his departed son. He ordered his whole community members to find out the culprit and instructed to go to Shri Hatkeshwar tirth and to kill all the family members of Krath. Thus, all the Nag citizens went toChamatkarpur , invaded the houses of the Krath family and relatives and spread terror there. To save themselves from all these terror, all Brahmin families flew away to the forests. The Nag king then paid his last homage to his departed son.
How long can Brahmin stay in forests? They all surrendered to a Brahmin called Trijat - who was a big saint and narrated the whole story. Trijat had the blessings of Lord Shiva. Upon seeing all the Brahmins in such miserable condition, Trijat worshipped and prayed Lord Shiva to control the Nag community and to make Brahmins fearless and peaceful. Lord Shiva was pleased and heard Trijat withpatience but told that He could not destroy the Nag community. However, He can nullify the poison contained in them. For this, Lord Shiva gave one hymn (Mantra). When these Brahmin - "NA-GAR" - (No Poison) and directed them to enter the city reciting the hymn. When these people entered back into their respective places, they were pretty old - " Vriddh ". Hence, the city was then known as " Vriddhnagar " - which later on changed to "Vadnagar". Thus, this city became peaceful and Brahmins of G4 sects (Gotra) steadily stayed there. (It may be remembered that Nagars are of G4 sects - Gotra origins).
2.   The community, which stands at the highest place of " Nose " in the worship of Lord Shiva, was known as " NAKAR " - which was popular as " NAGAR
" in the years that followed. ( The view - that Nagars are devotees of Lord Shiva and that the Nagar community is at the helm of the Indian caste system gets a solid support in this interpretation.
3.   There is also a belief that after the invasion of " Shakas " and " Yavans " in the western part of the Aryabhumi (India), many small states were established in Saurashtra. To save themselves from the invasion of foreigners, Brahmins left the lonely places of forests, where they lived earlier and started staying in the cities (Nagri) under the shelter of the state kings. And thus, they were known as Nagars (  Nagare vasti eti Nagar ). Persons living in the cities are citizens. (City means Nagar).
4.   It is also believed that before Nagars first came to Gujarat in 404 A.D., they lived in Sindh. According to Sir Herber Ridley, Nagars are a cross-breed of " Shaks " & " Dravids ". Dr. Bhandaarkar also considers that Nagars have origin outside our country. Nagars from across the borders came first to Kashmir and then they spread out in the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Utter Pradesh, Bengal, Malva and Gujarat. After migrating from Kurukshetra they had first settled in Anandpur - Vadnagar of today.
5.   Another view asserts Nagars to be of Greek origin. When Alexander invaded India, he had came with his army through Kashmir. While returning, many Greek soldiers settled in Kashmir. They came into close contact of Pundit community of Kashmir and the progeny that resulted was known as Nagars. Afterwards, theyhad migrated to other parts of the country. Nagars and Greeks are considered similar even today so far as their intelligence and physique are concerned.
6.   When Pandavas of Mahabharat times were driven out of forests, they used to move around the whole country. Once, Arjuna, while moving went to Assam. The Naga dynasty ruled there. He came into contact with Ulupi - the daughter of Naga king and they stayed together for about 2 years. Arjun left Assam afterwards but Ulupi gave birth to a son was named Babrovahan. Times passed. Pandavas decided to perform Ashva Megh Yagna. The Yagna horse was not detained anywhere in the country except Assam. The warriors of Pandavas , Arjun and those of Assam - Babrovahan and others fought  heavily and many were killed. Babrovahanwent to his mother Ulupi to give the news of his victory and informed her about the killing of Arjuna. Ulupi came to the battlefield  to confirm the news and felt very sorrytosee Arjuna dead. She told Babrovahan that Arjuna was his father. Hence, both decided to make Arjuna alive and approached her father. Her father had performed a penance to please Lord Shiva, pleased him and received a life-saving drug " Sanjivam " from Lord Shiva. Ulupi told Babrovahan that, he also can get this life-saving drug if he performs a similar penance. Babrovahan did this, got the said drug and made Arjun alive. All came back to the city ( NAGAR ) together. Grandpa of Babrovahan was the head of Naga dynasty and his name was Hatak. Hence the God of Hatak was known as HATKESHVAR. The organ statue before which both Babrovahan and Hatak had performed penance was given the name, " HATKESHVAR ". The whole army of Arjun along with Ulupi, Babrovahan and others came to the cities  through Madhya Pradesh.  ( The Nagar conference held at Surat in India had accepted this view unanimously. ) Only for this reason, poetess Meera has introduced the God in her prayers-songs as " Nagar ". Lord Krishna was also NAG-HAR - a destroyer of the big snake Kaliya - who lived in river Yamuna and harassed people.
7.   Once the king Chamatkar of Anartland went for hunting. He killed a baby deer- while he was sucking his mother. The mother deer cursed the king and as a result, the king developed Leucoderma. Brahmins residing in the forest cured the disease. King was pleased and gave a wast piece of land as well as the wealth for the Brahmins to live peacefully. There were 72 Brahmins out of which only 68 accepted the gift. Four of these 68 Brahmins migrated. 64 remained and settled there. As the time passed by, this name was changed to Madanpur, Skandpur, Anantpur, Anandpur, Vruddhanagar and Vadnagar. The persons residing therein were later called as NAGARS.  (64 sects have been mentioned).
8.   Some 72 Brahmins of 72 sects had come to the lake Shankhtirth - where the Vishvamitra hermiteya was situated. Out of them, 68 Brahmins accepted charity.  These Brahmins of Anart country were the Brahmins, devotees of Lord SHIVA and in relation with the kshatriyas of NAGA dynasty.Only for this
reason, the Brahmins have kept their caste as Nagars to maintain their relationship with the kshtriya dynasty. Bhatruyagna, a creator of Nagar community has been named as a decendant of Saint Yagnyavalkya - as mentioned in the Kaumarikh section of Skandpurana. Thus, the facts about Kurukshetra and a surrender toVishvamitra seem to be closely related with the pre-history of Nagars.
9.   According to Dr. Samarset Pain, Nagars are of Turkey-Syrian community beyond doubt and are perhaps the deciples of Turks working in army. They were renunciated in a historical fireplace near Mount Abu and then they were termed as pure Brahmins with a special status. Some recent research also depicts Aryans as a base of the present Nagar community - whose native was Hatak of olden times and Ladakh of the present day. Hence, their godfather supreme God was knownas HATKESHVAR..
10.   Lord Shiva was to marry Goddess Uma. At that time, the Brahmin priests had gone for some auspicious occassion at Lord Brahma's residence. Hence, toperform the marraige ceremony, Lord Shiva created Brahmins, - and after the marraige was over, gave them land to live near HATKESHVAR at Vadnagar.LordHATKESHVAR became their supreme godfather and Brahmins living there were named as NAGARS. There is an evidence to this fact in " ShaunakSmruti" epic.
11.   As per reference made by famous scholar Varah Mihir in his book, " Bruhad Samhit " Nagar existed in the begining of Vikram era. This makes us to believe
that Nagars existed even before the Vikram Era.
12.   As per the popular Nagar literary personality, Late Shri Ramanlal Vasantlal Desai - Bappa Rao, the first man of Mewad of Rajasthan was a Nagar. He also believes that some Nagars came from Iran and settled in Gujarat. This justifies the view that Nagars must be originally from Gujarat first than other parts of India.
13.   A famous historian from Junagadh and a well known Nagar Shri Shambhuprasad Desai had mentioned in his book about the history of Nagars that, Nagars first came from Greece, Macedonia, Syria or regions surrounding these places. There is a Nagar ground near Jordan And Israel. Besides, there is a place like Nagar. Also there is also a Nagar community in Iran, who are intelligent and famous as good and efficient administrators. They might have come from there first toKangda (old NAGARKOT) of Himalayas. "NAG" means a mountain and "NAAG" means persons living in mountain region. "R" is a word of sixth tense. All these three put together becomes " NAAGARA " This leads us to to believe that Nagars must be living in the begining in the regions surrounded by mountains. (Nagar - a man protected by NAG-a mountain)
All these interpretations about the origin of Nagars are really o0f much importance in the own way. Without entering into any controversy about the
real facts containing therein, we must take in cosideration the basics that the background of the origin of Nagars has much reference and relevance with
the feeling of selfless serviceelated qualities and a special (designation). The theme of all this is that the word Nagar denotes not the community or caste but denotes high cultural values. The notion of caste becomes secondary. In as much a similar sense only, Tulsidas in " Ramcharit Manas " and Meerabai in her verses have used the word Nagar to signify high cultural values.
In words of Keshavram K. Shastri, a famous literary personality of Gujarat, " All types of Nagarshad progressed highly in the field of education. Urat, the writer of Shukla Yajurved (a religious book) belonged to Vadnagar and was a great academician of the court of king of Bhoj of Malva (of Rajasthan).All these Nagarswere of Brahmin attitudes and professions. Upto 15th century, Pandit Someshwar,, Pandit Nayak of Solanki - Waghela dynasty were famous. When they entered Gujarat through Gohilvad of Saurashtra and spread over the big cities of Saurashtra and Gujarat. They were all Brahmins. Some of them who went to Junagadh, accepted the state service of Junagadh kings and were known as " Gruhastha ". The priests of these Brahmins were from amongs themselves only. Thepriests of Vadnagar and other Nagars were only from amongst Nagars - is a speciality of this community. They will neither call other priests nor will they takeany food prepared by them. They will take cook and make food only of milk-base and avoid any other food - even jams - where water is included and used as  a base.This continued till we became independant in 1947. The best and ideal illustration of a true Nagar in all these respects is Late Dr. Anandshanker Bapubhai Dhruv.

 

 

 

Some Special historical attributes of
Dashora Brahmins (Prashnora Nagars)

Some special characteristicr traits of the ancestor of the  Dashora Brahmins( Prashnora Nagars) are:
Primary Source: "Nagar Brahmin Samaj ka Udbhav avm Vikas" book by Dr. Narendra Kumar Mehta 2008 


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They considered Hatkeshwar to be their Kul Deveta .

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They  were engaged in conducting of religious ceremonies and worships

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Not only they were priests but were also famous for  providing expertise and advice ( being knowledgeable, intelligent, problem solvers and planners and strategists).
They provided advice to the Royal Families during piece and war for governing as well as in the art of war.

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Their symbols included Kalam, Kadchi and Baarchhi (I am not sure of their meaning)

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They were considered  great in the use of Pen. Being knowledgeable and learned were considered excellent in the art of governance and civil  administration
(To this day Dashora Brahmin excel in the pursuit there professions.)

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They were knowledgeable in the fields of religion, astrology, science, medicine as well as fine arts  such as writing  prose and poetry (literature) and music.

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The members of this caste did not long for "Daxhina" (remuneration) or "Daya" Chrity.
(To this day the most descendents do not consider monetary rewards as the most desired objective .
In their value system it is not acceptable to receive money without rendering fair service.)

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They were highly sought after but did not accept  compensation for services.

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The donated to others whatever they received as remuneration