Wednesday, May 2, 2007

KoBrahs Intro....!

Chitpavan Konkanastha Brahmins

Classification Brahmin

Subdivisions -
Significant populations in Maharashtra

Languages Marathi, Chitpavani Konkani
Religions Hinduism

The Chitpavan, Chitpawan, or Konkanastha Brahmins (कोकणस्थ ब्राम्हण) are a brahmin community of Konkan, the coastal belt of western Maharashtra. Sometimes they are affectionately referred to as Kobra (short for KO-nkanastha BRA-hmin). (Since Konkanastha is actually a general geographic label, meaning "Native of Konkan" in Sanskrit, the name Chitpavan is preferable. In this text, however, the names Chitpavan, Konkanastha and Kobra have been used interchangeably.
The Chitpavan Brahmins first achieved prominence in the early 1700s, when a Chitpavan Brahmin from the Konkan, Balaji Vishwanath Bhat, was appointed to the post of Peshwa, or Prime Minister during the reign of Chhattrapati Shahu Maharaj in 1713, beginning a period of Peshwa influence in the Maratha court. Historians concur on the fact that the Maratha kingdom subsequently reached its zenith during the age of the Peshwas. The rise of Peshwa influence coincided with and contributed to Chitpavan Brahmins gaining prominence in the Maratha social and political hierarchy, hitherto controlled by the more conservative Brahmins in the mainland of Maharashtra.
In the late 19th and 20th centuries, the Chitpavan community of Maharashtra can be credited with contributing people of great stature to the Indian nation. The Indian freedom struggle in Maharashtra identifies itself with the direction and sacrifices made by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale (of the Servants of India society and more famously, mentor to Mahatma Gandhi in his formative years), Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Justice Ranade and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. Maharishi Dhondo Keshav Karve, a great Indian social reformer, supported the education of women and organized associations to emancipate Hindu widows by promoting the cause of their remarriage. In the area of art, theatre and cinema, stalwarts like Dadasaheb Phalke have contributed significantly in the Indian cultural arena. These and many others from the community have helped them establish themselves on the national stage. In Maharashtra, the traditional land of the Chitpavan Brahmins, their cultural contribution has been immense. They are also well known for their liberal mindset towards society, politics and culture.
The origins of the Chitpavan community in the Konkan is shrouded in myth with no conclusive or contemporary evidence to prove it. According to legend, the first Chitpavans were washed ashore on the Konkan coast (See, History & Theology). Though the myth is undated, it is likely that this would have been in the post-Vedic period. Chitpavans were internalized into the Indian Hindu society and climbed up the social ladder to be accepted as Brahmins. The well established Brahmins in that era, and indeed, in a more contemporary era, believed that only the direct descendants of Vedic Rishis could be considered Brahmins. This may not be the correct Vedic interpretation, since migration across varnas was not considered an impossibility during the Vedic period. In the early post-Vedic period, as long as a person demonstrated the knowledge and skills to perform priestly duties, he could be considered a Brahmin. Hence, the word "Brahmin" which means "the Purest Being". The Chitpavans, owing to their external origins, therefore, were considered by some as 'naturalized' or 'impure' Brahmins, a factor which led to their being discriminated against, in later periods.
Though the origins of the Chitpavan Brahmins in India are a mystery, some have argued that the Bhumihar Brahmins of Eastern U.P. and in the state of Bihar, Mohyal Brahmins in the state of Punjab, Namboothiri Brahmins in Kerela, Havyak Brahmins of Andhra Pradesh, Anavil Brahmins of Gujarat, and Kumaoni Brahmins of Uttarakhand share the same lineage and are similar to Chitpawans in custom, tradition, practices, temperament and hold Bhagvan Parshuram in high esteem. No records have been presented to prove this common lineage.
The rise of the Chitpavans to an influential position came with its share of controversies, largely founded on theological interpretations of the Hindu religion. When Balaji Vishvanath Bhat was appointed as Peshwa, he took up a position that was traditionally held by the established Brahmins of Maharashtra (Deshastha Brahmins). This deviation from protocol may have antagonized many. In his era and since then, many have argued the validity of the appointment of a naturalized Brahmin for the post of Peshwa. Be that as it may, the Peshwas united Maratha forces and in a matter of few decades, spread the fledgling Maratha kingdom and its sphere of influence across India. For the first time in the history of India was a flag of a Deccan kingdom flown over the city of Attock, now in Pakistan. The period of Maratha glory waned, however, after the disastrous battle of Panipat in 1759. One of the last Peshwas, Peshwa Nana Sahib participated in the failed Indian Mutiny of 1857.
History & Theology
How to tell a Chitpavan
A typical Chitpavan is usually fair of complexion, has a sharp nose and steel-grey eyes. He can be called handsome, as handsome as Veer Savarkar, the pride of Chitpavans. Nanasaheb Peshwa (18th century), from a portrait that is available may be called best specimen of Chitpavan manhood. Nanasaheb's son Vishwasrao, when 18, was killed in the Third Battle of Panipat (1761). Kashiraj has described him as the most handsome among the Marathas; even in death he looked so handsome that Ahmedshah Abdali ordered his dead body to be brought before him - in order to have a look at his handsome person. The Chitpavans cannot be classed among the well-built communities of Maharashtra. Chitpavan girls possess good physical features but tend to look pale. A few historians and anthropologists are of the view that the Chitpavans came to India from Egypt, while others say they came from Greece. The Chitpavans are generally extremists, hence their behaviour is full of contradiction. A Chitpavan may sacrifice his life for his country but he will not easily part with his purse. That is why perhaps the Chitpavan community has produced a number of fanatics but only one saint, Vinobha Bhave. Chitpavan's are generally assumed to be tidy, clean and industrious.
Extreme poverty of the Konkan region has left an indelible stamp on their general physique. A great many Chitpavans tend to be physically stunted. It may come as a surprise to many, but Veer Savarkar, kingpin of the plot to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi, stood all of his five feet and two inches. They tend to be of various complexions varying from swarthy to fair. Eyecolor also varies from drak-brown to light-gray. Nanasahib, the last Peshwa of the 1857 mutinee, was disfigured by smallpox and was of scandolously simple tastes which never ceased to astonish his English guests who expected, naturally, a more finished leader ('Devil's wind' by Manohar Malgonkar.)
See also
• Brahmins
• Forward Castes
Eminent/Famous Konkanastha Brahmins
Vaman R. Barve (Ambedem Valpoi Goa Freedom fighter)
• Vasant Sathe (Ex. Union Cabinet Minister of India )
• G. N. Dandekar (Go Ni Dandekar)
• Prin. V.K. Joag (Modern Education Society)
• Irawati Karve
• Hari Narayan Apte
• Gangadhar Gadgil
• Shivram Ganesh Barve(satode valpoi Goa ..eminent freedom fighter
• Shri. Ja. Joshi
• Raghunath D. Joshi, Writer and Critic of Indian Philosophy
• Na. Si. Phadke
• Malti Bedekar, feminist and Marathi novel writer
• Pandurang Vaman Kane (Bharat Ratna awardee)
• S N Pendse (Shri Nā)
• Vi Ka Rajwade (Itihasacharya Rajwade)
• Vasant Kanetkar
• Vinda Karandikar (Jnanapeeth Awardee 2003)
• Madhav Vaze
• Vishram Bedekar
• Krishnaji Keshav Damle(Keshavsoot)
• Wrangler Paranjpe
• Durga Bhagwat, Writer, Scholar and Critic of Indological studies
• Vivekanand Godbole, Historian (author of ``Subhey Kalyan", ``Hindu Sanskruti Anee Kalyan")
• Ashok Gadgil, Scientist with LBL.
• Kedar Joshi, Superultramodern Science / Philosophy
• Narendra Karmarkar, renowned computer scientist at Bell labs who invented his own algorithm for linear programming for which he won ACM's Paris Kanellakis Award
• Navakanta Bhat, Swarnajayanti Fellowship, 2004-2005, IISc
• Dr.Prabhakara Joshi, Yakshagana Talamaddale performer, Critic, Scholar, Educator
• Daji Nagesh Apte, Sanskrit/Jyotish scholar
• Prakash M. Apte, Eisenhower Exchange Fellow USA 1988, Town Planner of new capital of Gujarat.
• Shreeram Abhyankar
• Arvind (chitale)dixit
Politics/Social Reform =
• Narayan Thosar (The only saint of Kokanastha origin and guru of Shivaji Maharaj known as Samarth Ramdas)
• Achyutrao Patwardhan
• Anant Kanhere
• Bal Gangadhar Tilak
• Balukaka Kanitkar
• Bhai Vaidya
• Bhausaheb Patankar
• Chandrashekhar Hari Joshi
• Chintamanrao Appasaheb Patwardhan(Padmabhushan, ruler of Sangli)
• Dhondo Keshav Karve
• Raghunath Keshav Khadilkar (Union Minister of Labour and Rehabilitation, Member of Parliament)
• Veer Savarkar Father of 'Hindutva',
• R. N. Mandlik{Ramabhau Mandlik} (IS THIS PERSON A KONKANASTHA BRAHMIN ??) : {Yes!! This person may be CHITTPAVAN as the original surname of some Mandlik s is PARANJAPE (Chittapavan). Paranjape surname consists of 3 surnames PARANJAPE, DEO and MANDLIK.}
• Ganu Vaidya
• Godse Naturam Assassin of Mahatma Gandhi and paramour of Veer Savarkar (see above)
• Gopal Ganesh Agarkar
• Gopal Krishna Gokhale
• Gurudeo Ranade
• Kakasaheb Gadgil
• Krantiveer Chapekar
• Krushnaji Gopal Karve
• Laxmibai Tilak
• Mahadev Govind Ranade
• N. V. Tilak (Reverend Tilak)
• N.G.Gore
• Narubhau Limaye
• Sane Guruji
• Pandita Ramabai
• Peshawas
• Raghunath Dhondo Karve
• Ramray Kelkar Maharaj
• S.M. Joshi
• Senapati Bapat
• Shankarrao Soman
• Shivram Paranjape (Kaal Karte Paranjape)
• Shivajirao Patwardhan{Padmashri}
• Sudhir Joshi
• Swami Swaroopananda
• Vasant Bapat
• Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Swatantryaveer Savarkar)
• Vinoba Bhave
• Vitthalrao Gadgil
• Wamanrao Joshi
• Babarao Bhide
• Nathuram Godse (Martyr and Patriot)
• Patwardhan (Bank of Maharashtra)
• C.V. Joag (Bank of Maharashtra)
• Chitale Bandhu (makers of fine sweets)
• Dandekars (CAMLIN)
• P. N. Gadgil (Bullionaires since 1832)
• Waman Hari Pethe (Bullionaires since last 100 years)
• Jayant Joshi (publishers of Pravasi Diary)
• Sathe (Sathe biscuits and chocolates co.)
• Mr. Mukund Bhogale MD, Nirlep Industries
Mr Harshvardhan Chitale - EX MD of Honeywell Pune.
• Ajit Agarkar (Indian National Cricket team)
• D. B. Deodhar (Cricket Maharshi Deodhar)
• Hemant Kanitkar(Indian National Cricket team)
• Hrishikesh Kanitkar(Indian National Cricket team)
• Harsha Bhogle(International Cricket Analyst, Commentator, Television Host)
• Anandibai Joshi, first woman doctor of India
• Ajit Phadke, urologist and surgeon of Bombay
• RV Sathe, physician and Vice-Chancellor, University of Bombay
• Ravi Bapat, surgeon at the K.E.M. Hospital
• Sudhakar Sane, noted Surgeon and Forensic Pathologist
• Santosh Karmarkar Pediatric surgeon, at Mumbai, Maharashtra
• Govind Datar Pediatric Surgeon, at Pune, Maharashtra
Information Technology
• Ms Shaku Atre (Founder of Atre Group Inc and data mining expert)
• Achyut Godbole (Udog Ratna, IT Entereprenur and authoirty over IT)
• Kashinath Ghanekar
• Aditi Govitrikar
• Archana Joglekar
• Asawari Joshi
• Ashvini Bhave-Bopardikar
• Atul Parchure
• Bhakti Barve
• Chittaranjan Kolhatkar
• Dadasaheb Phalke
• Madhuri Dixit-Nene
• Mohan Agashe
• Mohan Gokhale
• Mohan Joshi
• Dr.Girish Oak
• Nishigandha Wad-Deulkar
• Pradeep Bhide
• Prashant Damle
• Sai Paranjape
• Sanjay Mone
• Rima Lagoo
• Vidyadhar Gokhale
• Vikram Gokhale
• Shriram Lagoo
• Sudhir Joshi
• Vikram Phadnis
• Govind Ballal Deval (Natyacharya)
• Vishnudas Bhave
• Nachiket and Jayoo Patwardhan
• Kiran Karmarkar
• Rakesh Bapat (Hindi Movie: Tum Bin)
• Milind Soman
• Mylene Jampanoi-Soman
• Kavita Lad-Medhekar
• Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar
• Pandit Vishnu Narain Bhatkhande
• Ramkrishnabua Vaze(Vazebua)
• Sudhir Phadke
• Meena Joshi
• Shreedhar Phadke
• Vasant Sathe
• Gajanan Watve
• Yashawant Dev
• Veena Sahasrabudhe
• Arun Date
• Shaila Datar
• Sanjeev Abhyankar
• Bhakti Barve
• Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande
• Asha Khadilkar
Typical Last Names
The List of Chitpavan last names enumerates all the last names found in the Chitpavan community. "Achari", "Acharya","Barve","Dixit","Patwardhan","Katke","Kapse","Kaketkar","Vyas","Puranik", "Sahastrabudhe","Bakshi",are some of the surname which were given as per the profession or as a "UPADHI", "REWARD", "BAKSHISI". This happened in between seventeen and eighteen's ,when Chitpavan community was at rising stage , they joined in the "ARMY" and won various territories, won "Debate" and become "Sahastrabudhe" ,learn Vedanta and become "Pandit", "Acharya","Dixit", took too many rewards and become "Patwardhan","Thorat","Bakshi" . Similar to this according to the occupation , "Achari","Devdhar", "Swayampaki","Wagh", "Heer", "Pandive", "Reshmekhar", "Pathekar" , "Sukhadkar","Harbude","Khangle","Khule","Rajwade","Mahabal","Rajmachikar","Nagarkar", and lot many Surname's were given as per the profession or as a "UPADHI" to Chitpavan community. This may or may not be in use today. For a more detailed description go to Typical Last Names
Typical First Names
Male names
Amod Amrith Amol
• Aditya
• Amay/Amey/Ameya
• Anand
• Anant
• Ashok
• Bhargav
• Chaitanya
• Chandrashekhar
• Chintamani
• Gajanan
• Gopal
• Hrishikesh
• Kedar
• Mandar
• Manish
• Omkar
• Parshuram
• Prashant
• Ranjan
• Rohan
• Shravan
• Shreyash
• Shrikant
• Shrirang
• Sourabh
• Swapnil
• Tushar
• Shridhar
• Shantanu
• Saurabh
• Deepak
• Vinayak
• Ballal
• Prasad
Female names
• Aditi
• Ashwini
• Ketaki
• Manjiri
• Namrata
• Prajakta
• Purnima
• Shruti
• Vidya
• Janhavi
• Medha
• Vanita
• Nirmala
• Vaishali