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Goud (also written as Gowd or Gowda or Gaud) Saraswat Brahmins(Konkani:गौड़ सारस्वत,Marathi:गौड सारस्वत,Kannada:ಗೌಡ ಸಾರಸ್ವತ್,Malayalam:ഗൌഡ് സാരസ്വത്) are primarily a Marathi or a Konkani speaking Hindu Brahmin community in India and a part of the larger Saraswat Brahmin community. They are popularly referred to as GSBs.

History

The meaning of the word 'Saraswat' has more than one origin. One refers to 'offspring of Saraswati' , the Goddess of learning applied usually to learned and scholarly people. It may also denote the residents of Saraswati river basin. The brahmins of this region who are referred to as 'Saraswats' in Mahabharata and Puranas were learned in Vedic lore . They concentrated on studying subjects like astronomy, metaphysics, medicine and allied subjects and disseminating knowledge .

Due to geo-morphosis in the Himalayas, the Saraswati began to dry up and the Saraswats were forced to migrate to greener pastures. Some went to Kashmirmarker in the north, others went eastwards. Few made their way to the Konkan and Goamarker. These came to be recognized as Goud Saraswats or Dakshinatya Saraswats, to distinguish them from other Saraswat groups of North.
Lord Parshurama with Saraswati brahmin settlers commanding Lord Varuna to make the seas recede to make the Konkan .
The new immigrants were called 'Goud' because they were followers of Monism or Advaita as preached by Goudapadacharya, who was guru of Govinda Bhagavatpada whose direct disciple was the great Shankaracharya, who resurrected Hinduism or Vedic religion in India. The first math of Saraswats dedicated to the memory of Goudapadacharya was established in Kaivalyapura or Kavale in Goamarker in the 8th century A.D. To this day, the swamis of Kavale math are known as Goudapadacharyas. Kavale Math is Goud Saraswat Community's Adimath (first math) and three main sub-sects of Dakshinatya Saraswats, viz., Sashtikar (Dorke including Bardeshkars), Shenvis (Karbharis), and Chitrapur Saraswats (Bhanaps) were all known as Goud Saraswats or Konkani Brahmins till three-hundred years ago. Other Saraswat subsects include Kudladeskars, Pednekars, Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins and Balavalikars.

In the 13th century, Dwaita (Vaishnava) philosophy advocated by Madhvacharya became popular and many Saraswats adopted vaishnavism. They continued to worship the deities they brought with them from the North. These were 'Mahan Girish' or Mangueshi, Shakti or Shanta durga, Vishnu, Ganesh and Surya. They form the 'Panchayatan' or five deities, sacred to all Saraswats.

Goud Saraswats were in all the kingdoms of the western coast under different dynasties right from 6th century A.D. Kadamba, Rashtrakuta, Hoysala, Chalukya Shilahara and Vijayanagara kings had given important posts to Saraswats. There were admirals, treasurers, ambassadors, army chiefs and foreign language-interpreters among them. They were famous traders, who conducted maritime trade with Eastern and Western countries of the contemporary world. The spoken language of Saraswats is Konkani.

The Portuguesemarker traders followed by Christian missionaries. Forcible conversions began to take place under the patronage of Portuguese government in 1560 A.D. Most of the Saraswat families left Goa with their family deities, risking life and limb. They settled down in the adjoining Hindu principalities. New temples came up in the coastal districts of Karnataka for Saraswat deities. When conditions improved in Goa and forcible conversions stopped, the idols were taken back to newly constructed temples in Goa. They are not in the original ancient spots, where churches were built, destroying earlier temples. Many people migrated to Kerala and built temples mainly dedicated to Vishnu and his different avatars. Kashi Math at Kochimarker came up in 1560 A.D. and at Bhatkal in 1540 A.D. This was shifted to Gokarnmarker hence known as Gokarn Jeevottama Partakali Math to include the name of famous Saint-Pontiff by the name Jeevottam of the Math stationed at Partakal or Partakali, Goa. Finally, this Math was established at Canaconamarker in Goa. All the Vaishnav Saraswats are Kulavis (followers) of either Kashi Math or Gokarn Math. 'Smarth' Saraswats owe allegiance to either Kavale Math or Chitrapur Math.

Saraswats continued to hold important posts under Keladimarker or Nagar rulers. Many families who emigrated from Goa settled down in smaller towns and villages in Shimogamarker, South and North Kanara Districts. Saraswats were the first beneficiaries of English education introduced in 1840 A.D .

The sub-sects of the Goud Saraswats

  • Bardeshkars (Kamat,Vengsarkar,Asgaonkar,etc)
  • Shenavi and Sasashtikars (Rajadhyaksha,Gavaskar,Ginde,Satoskar,etc)
  • Shenavi Paiki
  • Pednekars
  • Lotlikars
  • Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins/Bhalavalikar Gauda Saraswat Brahmins (Sakhalkar, Tendulkar,...etc)


GSB Mutts



Surnames

Refer List of Goud Saraswat Brahmin surnames

Cuisine

Refer Saraswat cuisine

Distribution

Gaud Saraswats Brahmins are found all over the west coast of India ranging from Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, most of them having their deities in Goa. They are all linked together by the common Konkani language. Konkani has been substantially influenced by local languages in each of the regions.Gaud Saraswat Brahmins are categorized by Gotra's by Last name (indicating profession), Gotra (lineage) or Math (spiritual guru) .

Kuldevtas

Normally Saraswats believe in the concept of "Panchayatan" - worshipping 5 gods like form of Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Surya and Ganapati. Some GSB Temples still maintain this concept, while others have a single deity instead of five. "Kuldev" or "kuldaivat" are the deities which a set of families primarily worship. Their temples are built and maintained by these families, also called "Mahajans" (or Kulavis) of their respective temple .

Many Kuldevs/Kuldevatas are situated in Goa. However, during the early Portuguese persecutions, many GSBs and Saraswats fled Goa along with their Kuldevs to nearby regions of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Mumbai, Gujarat , Punjab . Hence, besides Goa, there are many GSB Temples in Maharashtra (Konkan side like Malwan, Vengurla, Savantwadi, Kudal, Ratnagiri, etc.), Mumbai.

The Popular kuldevs of Gouda Saraswats are: In the Kuldevta system of the GSB is that they must have a Pallavi, that is supporting deity. The common among these are Shri Shantadurga, Shri Mahalakshmi, Shri Vijayadurga, Shri Mahalsa Narayani, Shri Aryadurga etc.

Kuldevtas located in Goa



  • Shri Mangesh Maharudra (Mangeshim/Priyol, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Shantadurga (Kavalem, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Navadurga (Madkai, Goa)
  • Shri Mahalakshmi (Bandiwadem/Bandora, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Nagesh Maharudra (Nageshim, Bandiwadem/Bandora, Ponda Goa)
  • Shri Mahalsa Narayani (Mardhol, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Ganapati Khandola (Khandola, Goa)
  • Shri Kaveri Kamakshi Rayeshwar (Shiroda, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Ramnath Shanteri Kamakshi (Ramnathim, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Shantadurga Ravalnath (Mulgaon, Goa)
  • Shri Devaki Krishna Ravalnath Bhumikadeo (Marcela, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Devaki Krishna Mallinath (Marcela, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Lakshmi Narsimha (Veilinga, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Nirakar Laksmi Narasimha (Mashem, Goa)
  • Shri Damodar (Zambavalim, Goa)
  • Shri Shankleswari Shantadurga (Gotna, Veiling, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Vijayadurga (Kerim, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Saptakoteshwar (Narve, Goa)
  • Shri Ravalnath Mahalakshmi (Mulgao, Goa)
  • Shri Laxminarayan (Khola, Canacona)
  • Shri Navadurga (Kundaim, Goa)
  • Shri Navadurga (Poinguineim, Goa)
  • Shri Navadurga (Bori, Goa)
  • Shri Mahalaxmi (Mandrem, Goa)
  • Shri Ravalnath Mahalaxmi Panchayatan,Mulgaon,Goa
  • Shri Vamaneshwar Temple, Dhavali, Ponda, Goa
  • Shri Bindumadhav Temple (Madkai, Goa)
  • Shri Kudteri Mahamaya Temple, Ghudo- Avedem, Goa ( Was earlier in Kudteri - Approx. 500 Years Ago )
  • Shri Sharvani Vetal Maharudra,Advalpal Goa


Kuldevtas located in Maharashtra

  • Shri Navadurga (Vengurla, Redi, Maharashtra){shifted from Goa during Portuguese rule}
  • Shri Shantadurga, Malwanmarker, Maharashtra
  • Shri Shantadurga, Sawantwadimarker, Maharashtra


Kuldevtas located in Karnataka

  • Shri Kundodari Mahamaya Chamundeshwari (Shedgeri, Ankola, Karnataka)
  • Shri Aryadurga (Ankola, Karnataka)
  • Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mahamaya also known as Nagoa Mahamaya (Ankola, Karnataka)
  • Shri Ganapati Mahamaya (Shirali, Karnataka)
  • Shri Katyayni Bhaneshwar (Aversa, Karnataka)
  • Shri Ganapati Ravalnath Mahamaya (Asnoti, Karnataka)
  • Shri Mahalaxmi (Renjal, Karnataka)


Shifted Kuldevta Temples during the Portuguese rule

  • Shri Ramnath Shanteri Kamakshi (Kumta, Karnataka)
  • Shri Kaveri Kamakshi Rayeshwar (Kumta, Karnataka)
  • Shri Mahalsa Narayani (Kumta, Karnataka)
  • Shri Shri Lakshmi Narsimha (Mulki, Karnataka)
  • Shri Devaki Krishna Ravalnath (Kagal, Karnataka)
  • Shri Mahalsa Narayani (Moodabidrimarker, Karnataka)
  • Shri Mahalaxmi (Renjal, Karnataka)
  • Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mahamaya also known as Nagoa Mahamaya (Ankola, Karnataka)
The above Kuldevtas are of the Shenavi, Bardeshkars, Sasashtikars, Pednekars, Shenavi Paiki, Lotlikars and of the Goud Brahmins of Karnataka.

The Kudaldeshkar & Rajpur Saraswats Kuldevtas are different than those of the above

  • Shri Sharvani-Mahadev Maharudra Vetal (Goa)
  • Shri Ravalnath (Khanoli, Kudal, Maharashtra)
  • Shri Sateri Devi (Mhapan, Kudal, Maharashtra)
  • Shri Siddheshwar (Valawal, Kudal, Maharashtra)
  • Shri Vetal or Vetoba (Goa Canacona Taluka & Maharashtra)
  • Shri Kaleshwar (Nerur, Sindhudurg Dist, Maharashtra)
  • Shri Aadinarayan (Parule, Taluka Vengurla, Maharashtra)
  • Shri Narasimha (Narasinghe, Karnataka)
  • Shri Bhavani-Shankar (Kavle Mutt, Goa)
  • Shri Durgaparameshwari (Montimaru, Karnataka)
  • Shri Durgaparameshwari (Bantwalmarker, Karnataka)
  • Shri Durgaparameshwari (Mogeru, Karnataka)
  • Shri Adishakti Mahalaxmi (Laxmipura, Karnataka)
  • Shri Bhagvati Vana devi (Goa)
  • Shri Aryadurga (Kudalmarker, Maharashtra)


Gotras

They belong to Following family stocks:
  • Bharadwaja
  • Kaushik
  • Vatsa
  • Kaundinya
  • Kashyapa
  • Atri
  • Vashista
  • Jamadagni
  • Gautam
  • Vishwamitra (Kamshi)
  • Shankha Pingala
  • Dhananjaya
  • Bhargava
  • Naidhruva
  • Kutsa
  • Harita
  • Garga cf. Gargya
  • Shandilya


Notable GSBs



S.P.Kamat Advocate is one of the leading lawyers and educationists in North Canara

See also



References

  1. GSB Kerala website, Title: Saraswat History
  2. Saraswath Sudha, Page No 391, Authored by Late Shri K.Ramachandra shyama Nayak.


External links




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