Saturday, 20 August 2011

A Comprehensive Directory of Kayasthas

by Chitragupt Pariwar (Hum Kayasth) on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 4:30pm
May I place some ideas before the dynamic Kayastha Community for their consideration and comments?First, a detailed analysis of their caste. Second, that the Kayasthas are not just confined to the twelve sons of the revered Shri Chitrguptaji Maharaj. They have spread over various Indian States and assumed different names. Third, the preparation of a comprehensive directory of all Kayasthas going under various names.
Of the four known main castes Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras, Narendra Nath Dutt, a distinguished Kayastha who earned international fame as Swami Vivekananda placed Kayasthas under the category of Kshatriyas. A court of Uttar Pradesh, it is said, has declared them as Shudras. According to genealogy and their nature of work, they appear to be Brahmins.
The idea of different castes finds its first mention in the Purusha Sukta of the Yajurveda, it is a very important Sukta and is mentioned in part in other Vedas also. In all the Sukta has 22 mantras. The 11th mantra of the Sukta specifically mentions casts. Literally, the meaning of the Sukta is that from the mouth of the Purusha Brahma - Brahmins; from His arms - kshatriyas; from his thigh/stomach – Vaishyas, and from his feet – the Shudras have emerged. It is also said somewhere that after constituting the four castes, the Purusha invoked a being from His entire body/kaya to maintain an accurate account of each soul to decide their future births. Since this being emanated from His entire kaya he was called Kayastha and named 'Chitragupta'. According to this story Kayasthas do not belong to any of the four castes mentioned earlier, and constitute a fifth class by itself.
Reverting to the Purusha Sukta, its central idea is that there is a close correspondence between macrocosm and microcosm, superman and man, which extends to their society as well. It lays a workable pattern of any human organization. This is the correct interpretation of the symbolic language of the Sukta. That is, in a human society, those who do intellectual work administration, teaching, lecturing and the like are to be called as Brahmins. Those who are strong enough to defend are Kshatriyas. Those who store and distribute commodities are Vaishyas, leaving the rest, incapable of performing any of these, are Shudras. In Geeta also Lord Krishna in the 13th Shloka of the IV Chapter speaks of the 4 vernas, but adds that these categories have been formed on the basis of ones abilities and actions. The Greek Philosopher Plato in his book, Republic, has suggested somewhat similar social order. And there have been no caste/class conflicts on that account. When the Brahmins got some power, they pushed down all others and decided categorization by birth.
Shri Chitragupta ji
Revered Shri Chitragupta ji maharaj had two wives as mentioned in Padma and Bhavishya Puranas. The name of one wife was Mata Shobhawati, also called Mata Irawati, she was the daughter of Rishi Shiv Sharma, son of Lord Brahma. The other wife was Mata Sudakshina, also known as Mata Nandini. She was the daughter of Aadi Manu son of Bhagwan Surya, both the wives, thus, belong to high Brahmin families. The children of these distinguished parents should naturally be considered as Brahmins.
Mata Shobhawati gave birth to four sons who were called Bhatnagar, Mathur, Saxena and Shrivastava. The eight sons of Mata Nandini were named Ambisht, Asthana, Balmiki, Gaur, Karan, Kulshrashtha, Nigam and Surajdhwaj. Of these Ambisht, Balmiki, Gaur, Karan and Surajdhwaj are not much heard of.
When these Kayasthas spread over to various Indian states, they assumed different local names, e.g. in Assam the Kayasthas are called as Baruahs, in Orrisa Patnayaks and Saikiyas, in West Bengal Bose and Basu, Chaudhury, Das, Dutt, Ghosh, Mitra, Sen, Sanyal, Roy or Ray, and in Maharashtra Prabhu. There may be similarly, some other Kayastha community also, not enumerated here.
A Directory of Kayasthas
The preparation of a comprehensive directory of all Kayasthas residing in different States under various nomenclature or at least of the distinguished ones mentioned in the telephone directories should be taken up urgently. It should give the names of both the spouses, there occupation, names of adult children along with their qualifications and professions, and other basic information.
The task bristles with a number of difficulties. All Kayasthas do not mention their casts and their names with Dayal, Narayan, Lal, etc or some use their Al/gotra at the end like Bisariya, Bartaria, Raizada etc. But a beginning has to be made and over the years such difficulties shall be surmounted and additions made in later editions.
Once a directory is published, it shall create a much needed camaraderie among all Kayasthas, facilitate matrimonial relationships, round off angularities like dowery prevalent amongst some people, and forge an unprecedented sense of unity among the entire Kayastha biradiri. And unity is strength.

1 comment:

  1. Agree. Kayasthas are spread across almost all over India.There is a mosque known as Big Mosque. It is reported that one Makhan Lal Saxena a Persian and Arabic Scholar has etched in a plaque on the western side of mosque on the instruction of the Nawab in 1758.In Tripliicane area of the Chennai there are streets named after Kayasthas namely Eswardas Lala Hanumanth Lala Giridhari Prasad D B Saxena Pune 7350982300