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Lord Parshuram- How he brought Gowda Saraswat Brahmins into existence?


Lord Parshuram is considered as the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Due to the injustice done to his father and mother by the Kshatriyas, he promised that he will ruin the entire Kshatriya clan from the face of earth. He sought revenge. He decide to do a huge Yagna to purify this earth from all sort of evil.

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During the same age, river Saraswati was hit by a calamity. The entire region was a victim of drought. For years together, this land was flourishing. The Brahmins that resided on the banks of this river had to leave their Tapasya and study of Vedas, which they usually practiced, and had to turn to agriculture. They roamed in the forests for more flourished and cultivable land. The entire civilization thus left their penance and worked for a livelihood.

This went on for a lot of years. When Saraswati restored her waters again, the Brahmins, delighted, thought they can go back to their Ved studies. But they had been so engrossed in tilling and planting that the entire clan forgot everything they had memorized about the Vedas.

They thus, decided to do Tapasya to impress the Vedas and the gods. For years together, the entire Brahmin clan sat together for the Tapasya. Finally, Devi Saraswati appeared in front of them and adviced to listen closely. She said they will have to follow the voice. Thus, they will be able to find the solution for their problems. They did as she said. Soon they could hear chants of Vedas from far. They followed the voice and found a child reciting the Vedas. Devi Saraswati appeared and said, this child will teach them all the Vedas again. The Brahmins got offended on knowing that they will have to learn from a child now.

She thus declares that he is actually Saraswat, her son, who grew up to become Saraswat Muni. When the calamity happened she realised that the Brahmins will lose the knowledge of Vedas. Saraswat was born to fulfill the purpose of keeping Ved alive. Because no vegetables and grains were available, Saraswati had to feed him fish to keep him alive. After listening to the story, the clan bowed in front of him and agreed to learn Ved from him. They, thus came to be known as SARASWAT BRAHMINS. The reason why Sarawats have fish eating habit is because of this history.

At the same time in the western India Parshuram decided to do a Yagna and needed the purest for land for the purpose. He walked southwards in India but did not find an appropriate place. Therefore, he climbed the Sahyadris. Prayed to Indra Dev and Varun Dev to pull his sea back. Parshuram said he will throw his axes as far as possible in the sea and where it lands the sea has to go back till the demarcation. The gods agreed and stepped back. Parshuram wanted to make this place the most beautiful place in the world. The place is now called KONKAN, the western coast of India, that stretches from Maharashtra, runs across Goa and Karnataka and ends at Kerela.

Now he wanted Brahmins to live in this place. But there weren’t any in south. He travels till Saraswati river where he finds a clan of Brahmins chanting mantras. He invites them to live in Konkan as it is a flourished land and they were living in hostile conditions currently. They agreed and traveled with him to the west coast. This is how Saraswats first migrated from North to West in India. They settled in the Agrahars, a civilisation in west. They use coconut,Β tamarindΒ etc in their food and eat fish. Cashews and coffee are also of prime importance to them.

Later in the furture, they followed a Guru named Gowdi or Gowda and thus they were named as GOWDA SARASWAT BRAHMINS or the G.S.Bs.

G.S.Bs have migrated all over India over a period of time but they basically belonged to North India and have fair complexion unlike other south Indians. I am sure there is more to the history but this is all I know and find it interesting. Hope you had a good time reading the same.

Images: Google

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46 thoughts on “Lord Parshuram- How he brought Gowda Saraswat Brahmins into existence?

  1. “have fair complexion unlike other south Indians” Racial generalization?

  2. @Vibhanayak you will find many ( 10% of southIndians ) to be fair… I do have a few GSB friends who are not so fair.

    • In that case quite a few North Indians are also darker but that is a general statement. When most of them are fairer you can say that, can’t you? 10% is a lesser number to the other 90%. It is like saying it is raining in most of the parts Mumbai except for the 10% area somewhere. This is no point of argument, buddy. Generalizations are not always harmful πŸ™‚

    • Nagen on said:

      @ vigneshwar..it is true that GSBs have fair complexion in general due to their aryan lineage.. All the brahmins are basically aryans and hence mostly fair in complexion. Those who are not fair basically due to the dilution over a period of time and also inter caste marriages..

  3. Nice post , read this a long time back but, din’t commented, remembered today that you wrote on Parshuram, it reminds me of the character in the ” the secret of the nagas” by amish tripathi.

  4. Chinmay Padgaonkar. on said:

    Today i had realised our history , the motive behind what we all are called as.. Really thanks for this. Hope you would share Some more things about GSB which will add up to our knowledge.
    Once again thanks a lot.

  5. Nice informative piece of article, learnt dine thing new today 😊

  6. Anand Ghurye on said:

    Thank you . I enjoyed the article as well as your introduction below .

  7. Anup24 on said:

    Its now proved that there was no Aryan invasion in harrappa and Mohenjadaro areas. They abandoned the place because of drying up of Saraswati river. If you are right, then the actual inhabitants of harappa and mohenjedaro culture are brahmins, as you mention drying of Saraswati in your post. Is the above post an extraction from any Sanskrit Sholak

    • Hey, thank you for your comment!

      First of all, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro was not on Saraswati river. It was Indus valley. This place is now in Pakistan. Saraswati is near Bengal. So that is that.

      I think (I don’t have any evidence to prove it) Aryan invasion was before this tale. India is a land of Dravidians, basically due to tropical climate. Aryan, fair in complexion, pushed Indians towards south of India and captured the flourished plains of North, during their invasion. This is actually the sect that turned into Brahmins.

      Before Aryans, India was a very liberal land. Even women had equal rights. Varna system emerged after Brahmins imposed it on the rest of the society. First it was based on colour (as the name Varna suggests) but then it carried on and changed the entire system.
      So, brahmins settled near the Banks of Saraswati and rest is in the post itself.

      I heard this tale somewhere. I cannot recollect. It is not derived from a Shloka.

      • Ravi Nayak on said:

        i completly disagree with tis dravidian & aryan theory, secondly the saraswati river in bengal is a sub river to main ganga river , the saraswati river is main river which ran trough himalaya, pakistan(present day) and gujrat arabian sea tis is vedic period saraswati, and it is nearer to indus vally too , The aryan invasion is completly british cooked up story, after dry of sarswati the peoples obviously moved in all directions in troop

      • Thank you for taking out the time to read the post and also for sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated.

  8. Divakar on said:

    Great article.
    Do you know anything about the origin of other Konkani brahmins like the Karhades, Daivajnas, Padyes etc.,?
    Also, though most konkani brahmins are fishitarians as sanctioned by religion, many also eat chicken and mutton. Any explanations please?
    Much obliged if you could kindly mark a copy of your reply to my personal email – Divakar

    • Hello Divakar,

      Thank you for dropping by.

      No, unfortunately I do not know anything about other Konkanis.
      As for chicken and mutton eating, the concept has been adapted. Humans are not meant to eating flesh, raw or cooked. Hence we have only 4 canines and molars. Konkanis might have adapted it over a period of time but when and where would be interesting to know.
      Shall try to find out and let you know.
      Do share if you find something.
      Keep reading πŸ™‚

      • Anand Ghurye on said:

        Please do not mix theory of evolution with religion or independent research . Which animal is suited for eating cooked food ? Even if you say we evolved from say neandarthal to homo sapiens the jaw structure possibly has changed due to long non use of some faculties . It has nothing to do with religion . In religion whatever food was available nearby and easily had been prescribed and allowed . So those with in fertile areas turned to vegetarianism. At one time eating non veg was the norm . Now veg seems to be the norm . For more details see my presentation at health library on Food Of Ancient Rishis .

      • Divakar on said:

        I often try to justify (in lighter vein) fishitarianism on the following two grounds, though not convincingly!
        1. Fish do not feel pain the way we humans do. Hence it is ok to treat fish on par with vegetables!
        2. Many orthodox brahmins just sprinkle water to purify anything. Fish is always immersed in water, and hence always pure!

        Any takers?

      • Anand,
        One cannot separate religion from humans. I just stated some facts about humans. Konkanis might have shifted to eating meat due to mixing of culture but it can be true with any religion or humanity as one religion.
        If you see closely, there are only debates and differences of opinion about any religion or caste or sub caste. No truth is ultimate. There can be multiple theories. Could be wrong, could be right, could be fabricated for people’s convenience.
        Anyway, religion, like people have evolved over a period of time. It will evolve further. One can’t separate culture from civilized humans.
        And we can keep debating on what is true or just accept the fact that there are variations in different narrations.

        I take your points as well. May be more flourished areas had larger population of vegetarians but then why a flourished region like Konkan should have meat eaters will be a question.

        Cheers!

      • Divakar,

        As long as the fish is fresh and tasty I will buy any theory. I do not need justification. Just waiting for shravan and ganpati to get over. Then fish fry and kokum kadi and rice is on the menu.

      • Anand Ghurye on said:

        Some people tend to be apologetic about eating non vegetarian food . There is nothing to be apologetic about it and there is nothing to rationalize . Just as we do not have teeth to eat non vegetarian food , the same way we do not have ruminant stomach so essential to digesting vegetables .

        The simple definition of food is that what is easily available , and can be eaten – either raw or processed . So the people world over living in the plains had plentiful supply of grains – became vegetarian may be at the earliest , those in Tibet remained strictly non vegetarian – as hardly any vegetation grows over there , people in Baghdad became omnitarian ( eating all kinds of things ) as it was located right on the merchant routes and all kinds of foods passed through the city ( at one time ) . Those staying near rivers and seashore naturally had plentiful fish available and it became their staple diet . Interesting to note that even the wheat which we suppose is the staple diet of majority of people in North India , is of comparatively recent origin in India . In Mahabharat times mention of rice is found but not that of wheat .

        It is only after the arrival and rise of Buddhism that vegetarianism started gaining ground in the society to the extent that non vegetarian food was looked down upon . A complete role reversal .

      • I agree. Thanks for leaving a comment Anand.

      • I agree with you Anand. That is why I do not think too much and hog πŸ˜€

  9. sushila on said:

    Re Before Aryans, India was a very liberal land.

    FYI, the Aryan theory fostered by Max Muller to wilfully create a eurocentric view ie Aryans had come from the Caucass region – ie the Vedas etc could not have been created by Indians as they are not smart or cultured enough has been well and truly debunked. The Aryans are of the soil of India as are the Dravidians.The only invasion India has had is that of the Muslims, Alexander the Great – who did not get very far – and the British who were very insidious labelling Hindu culture and rituals barbaric simply to conquer and subdue India. Please get your facts straight and that it is authentic. Indians should stand tall for we are the oldest civilisation (Dwarka) and culture and respect all by following Sanatan Dharma.

    • Dear Sushila,
      First of all, thank you for taking time to read and leave a comment. It is always a pleasure to know more and to know others’ point of view.

      I have always maintained that in history and mythology there is a ‘My Fact’ and a ‘Your Fact. History and Mythology are theories written by well read and brainy people. These are also stories told to us by people who were told the same by someone else. Like our grandparents. Neither you nor I were present then. I would believe what I know since I am from that part of the country. I find a lot of similarities in this version and the current scenario in Konkan/Coastal India.

      I believe, geographically it is not possible for people to be so different in same region. While people in Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have same colour and similar rituals, Karnataka GSBs and Goan GSBs are very different. I am not disregarding your perspective and I am not a fanatic. So I am open to all kinds of interpretations.

      Hence, I don’t have to get my facts right. I just need to know about different perspectives of different people and enhance my knowledge. Do share more. I would love to read.

      • sushila on said:

        There is enough reliable evidence to well and truly prove that the Aryan theory is false. The Aryan theory is neither a myth or a perspective.
        Google it for yourself and ascertain the facts.You can al least try and verify that fact.

        Your belief that geographically it is not possible for people to be so different – excuse me what about the Irish and the italians and Greeks etc. Some are fair and some are dark. Just as the cuisine is different from north to south. China too has a different cuisine from north to south. You are just talking thru your nose. Continuing to foster a theory that has been completely debunked only continues to foster the North south divide in India.

        Facts, myths, perspectives. all have entirely different meanings and connotations.
        A fact is something that has been verified ie proven.
        A myth is a story which may or may not be true.
        A perspective is simply how one sees it.

      • Dear Sushila,

        Thank you again for taking out the time to reply. I am getting a feeling that I have offended you in some way. I am sorry if I have.
        There are links on Google that prove my theory as well. But I am not rigid. I will read up more and try and verify. Thank you very much for your time.

      • Sushila on said:

        Hi
        No you have not offended me at all.Today’s world has much friction and conflict. We all want and wish and hope for a more peaceful world where everybody can live with respect and in harmony. Hence, as thoughtful world citizens, we should be circumspect about the message we put out in the public domain. it is a great privilege to have others read and respond to our blogs. With that right comes some responsibility. I know I sound a 100 years old but I am not quite there yet! wish everyone a Super Wonderful Day!

      • Sure. I respect your thoughts. Thank you for your time and opinions. I really appreciate it.

  10. Abhishek Saraswat on said:

    interesting… well i’m a pahadi saraswat..and people use to ask me why do we eat non veg though we are brahmans… nd after reading this,thnks to you i have one more counter story… thank you..

  11. rajendra gaude on said:

    ur information is incomplet pleas learn more befor post …u need to veryfy ur post , I am telling u becaus it is related to our famly. so don’t take personal k ?

    • Thanks for taking time to read the post. Mythology is part fact, part belief. I have only stated what most people believe. Let me be specific that this is not about one family. This is about a clan or community. Please be rest assured that I have verified most facts with people and they do believe that this theory makes a lot of sense. I did not make this up. If you want me clarify any specific point in the post, I can help you with it.Please let me know.
      Thanks again πŸ™‚

  12. Naga Raj Goud on said:

    Tell me one answer Gowds are kshtriya or Brahmins ,if u feel bramins then why a tap,telangana, karanataka peoples are tell we are kshteiya
    I am also gowda, regularlly eat fish,chicken,Morton.Any wrong?

    • Hi Naga,
      Let me first understand what you are trying to ask. Are you asking whether all Goudas are Brahmin? Answer is no. People in the history have migrated from one profession to other. Varna system stopped existing long time back. So there could be Goudas that are Kshatriyas. People have not necessarily stuck to same profession after many years. According to Wikipedia, Gowda was originally a title used by the administrative head of a village. Typically, such a head owns lands, and holds political and social power in the village. Looking at the history, people migrated from Saraswati might have adopted Gowda practices, whose Guru was Goudi. I don’t have much information on this.
      Secondly, there is nothing wrong with being kshatriya, or eating non vegetarian food. If you take international reference, there are some countries that do not have the concept of vegetarianism. Go ahead, eat what you like. πŸ™‚

  13. what about kashmiri pandits, who migrated to kashmir from saraswati river.

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