Friday, February 24, 2012

Lohan kaar of Saurashtra

The Lohana claim descent from the Lava son of Rama, and thus status as Suryavanshi Kshatriya and are said to be a branch of Rathor clan of Kshatriyas or Rajputs.
The Lohanas, also known as Thakkar, trace their roots in history right up to the emergence of Aryans, a linguistic of Indo-Iranians in the Indian sub-continent (which then included today's Afghanistan) making theirs the oldest surviving community in the world. According to Puranic (ancient Indian texts of lore and legends) sources the Aryan civilization was established by king Ishaku (Ikshvaku) some two or three millennia before Christ (BC). His 22nd descendant(Ref: Valmiki Ramayan; Balkand Sarg 70 shlok 38 to 43;) was the great king Raghu, a great conqueror, who established the Rahguvansh Dynasty.
It is believed by Legend that the Lohanas are descendants of the Rama (Son of King Raghu), who bore two sons: Luv and Kush. Descendants of Kush are known as Kushwaha. His younger son Luv was given the North (uttar Kaushala) of his kingdom (Refer :Valmk Ramayan Uttar Kand sarg 107], which came to be, called Luvalka or Luv's land consisting of present day Lahore (Pakistan) as it's Capital. Luv is portrayed in the Ramayana as a great warrior. In one of the episodes of the Ramayana even though he is a mere boy in the hermitage, he brings the entire army of his father Lord Rama (under the command of his uncle Laxman) to a standstill by the prowess at archery (of course along with his older brother Kush). His descendants too were cast in the same mould, but they were not satisfied with Luvalka and pushed to the west and annexed today's Afghanistan and adjoining areas.
Around 580 BC., when king Bimbisara ruled over Bharat (India), the society came to be divided into different communities based on their occupation. One of their communities was called Kshatriyas and King Luv's descendants were classed with them and came to be known as Luvanam, which was also referred to as Luvana. The Luvanas from Loharghat became known as Loharana (masters of swords; or iron ("Loha") chiefs ("Rana")), which later became Lohana.

As per their folk tales, Jashraj, who lived around between 1205 and 1231, was at his wedding mandap when he came to know that enemies were taking away cows, the holy animal worshipped by Hindus. he left his feras and went after enemies to save cows. He was assisted in war even by his own sister Harkor. Although, the enemy from Kabul was eventually defeated, and Jashraj became victorious, he was killed as a result of an enemy strategem. He has ever since been worshiped by Lohanas and Bhanushalis as Veer Dada Jashraj and his sister Harkor Pabaru is worshiped as kuladevi by the Lohana clan.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Saurashtra's dance forms


A form of dance which is supposed to belong to Kutch and Suarashtra is performed all over Gujarat. The rasa traditions are as old as the Puranic period. In various parts of the country, Rasa are danced in different manners. The main feature of Rasa is dancing in a circle by men and woman, to the accompaniment of musical instruments and keeping time either by clapping or beating of two sticks. The number of dancers go from 8,16, 32 up to 64 couples, who also sing the song. There are three varieties of Rasaka described.

Danda Rasaka-Rasa dance where Danda or sticks are used.

Mandala or Tala Rasaka-Rasa dance where clapping is used.

Lata Rasaka-Rasa dance where dancers cling to each other and dance like a creeper to a tree.

Most of the art traditions of Gujarat trace their origin to the mythological times of Lord Krishna. He is said to have been an exponent of art of dancing. Raas Nritya is a form of dance performed by lord Krishna with Gopikas. The Dandia variety of the Raas Nritya of Gujarat is generally performed by a group of youthful persons, both males and females, who move in circles to measured steps, beating time with small sticks (called dandia) singing to the accompaniment of Dhol, Cymbals, Zanz, flute or Shehnai. When the time beat is given by the clapping of palms and performed males or femals, it is called Garbi.

The Gof variety of the raas is an intricate performance wherein the performers holding coloured strings attached to a top, move in circles weaving and unweaving different patterns.

The Mers of Saurashtra are known for their folk dance called the Mer Raas. White shepherds perform what is called the Gher Raas. The Gheria Raas is a dance performed by the agriculturists of south Gujarat.

All these dance forms preserved by hundreds of years, though not having any contact with their homeland by Tamil Nadu Sourashtra community's people migraters from Saurashtra.  A small variation in dance name is found comparing with above name to Tamil Nadu's Sourashtra language.

Adi Sankaracharya's Saurashtra Visit

Dwaravati, now Dwaraka, was the first city of eminence in Saurashtra in pre-historic times. But today, Dwaraka can hardly be called a city, though it continues to be one of the most important temple towns in India. Almost all roads in the town lead to the temple of Dwarakadheesh Shri Krishna. Situated right next to the temple is the Sharada Peetha, one of the four peethas (monasteries) established by Adi Shankaracharya 12 centuries ago, as history books tell us.

Why did he choose Dwaraka to set up his first peetha? “Adi Shankara envisioned India’s unity in cultural, religious and all other aspects and hence he established his peethas in the four corners of India, beginning with Dwaraka,” reasons Swami Sadananda Saraswati, Pramukh Dandi Swami at Sharada Peetha.

Swami Sadananda Saraswati is referred to, albeit in hushed tones, as the next Shankaracharya of Dwaraka Sharada Peeth. Fluent in Sanskrit, Hindi and Gujarati, the ascetic’s understanding of the annals of history, however, remains Shankara-centric. “Our duty calls upon us to travel within the country, revive and rejuvenate Hinduism and society,” he says.

Mahamahopadhyay J.N. Dwivedi, director of Dwarakadheesh Sanskrit Academy and Indology Research Institute, tells us that the current Shankaracharya of Dwaraka is 78th since the time of Adi Shankara. “There has not been a single day when Dwaraka Peetha did not have a Shankaracharya,” he says. “There is an interesting copper plate inscription at the peetha which was issued by King Sudhanva in 477 BC.” (The peetha puts Adi Shankara’s birth at around 507 BC.) There are no other records available. In fact, the institute has undertaken an ambitious project to trace the actual path undertaken by Shankara during his Bharat Digvijaya Yatra.

If we go by the popular 
history that Shankara was born in AD 788, it was a period when the great Valabhi dynasty had met its end in Saurashtra region, with the defeat and death on battlefield of King Shiladitya VII in 779. Fall of Valabhi led to the emergence of many small states in the region. It is said that around the same time, Wagher tribes of Okhamandal region, where Dwaraka is situated, became independent. While Waghers were in control of the Okhamandal and the coastline, the control of the hinterland was passed onto the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty. Shankara’s travel in Saurashtra region and then to Dwaraka seems to have taken place during the reign of Nagabhatta, the Gurjara-Pratihara ruler who ruled from Avanti (Ujjain).

There are varying accounts about King Sudhanva, too. According to Wikipedia, he was a Malayali king and disciple of Shankara. Swami Sadananda Saraswati speculates that Sudhanva could have ruled from Avanti. But, according to Naval Udela Chandanshu, a detailed account in Marathi about Adi Shankara’s life, Sudhanva was a king of Dwaraka who had fallen under the influence of Jainism. Written by S.D. Kulkarni, the book is based on Brihat Shankar Vijaya, written by Chitsukhacharya, and Prachin Shankar Vijaya, written by Anandagiri.

The Naval Udela Chandanshu states that, “Organising the religious order was his [Shankara's] main aim. He knew that it would be easier to organise the religion if such an effort is blessed by royal patronage. So he, along with Sureshwaracharya, proceeded to Dwaraka, where Kumrila Bhatta had been a Raj Guru.

“When Acharya [Shankara] entered Dwaraka, the king personally welcomed him and expressed his desire to be Acharya’s disciple. Acharya accepted the king’s wish with much happiness. The king then urged Acharya to take up residence in Dwaraka. Acharya told the king that he respected the king’s wish but it was his duty to travel all over India. He said, ‘I will establish a Dharmapeetha here in your capital. I would like you to be the patron of this Dharmapeetha.’ Upon this, the king bowed to Acharya’s command and urged him to appoint Sureshwaracharya as the first pontiff of Dwaraka Peetha.” (This paragraph is roughly translated from original work in Marathi.)

Jayashri Vyas, a lawyer from Dwaraka, takes us to the Bhadrakali temple. Shankara chose Bhadrakali and Siddheshwara as the reigning deities of the Dwaraka Sharada Peetha. “When Shankara visited the Bhadrakali temple, he had placed his staff at the feet of the goddess; the tradition continues since then,” says Vyas.

There is another interesting temple dedicated to all Shankaracharyas in Dwaraka. Situated rather oddly in a small lane named after the late Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of the Reliance group, this temple has a statue of Shankara in a padmasana position. On both sides of the statue are placed smaller statues of successive Shankaracharyas who have headed Dwaraka Peetha.

According to Glory of Dwarka & Saradapita, a book authored by Swami Sadananda Saraswati, when Shankara arrived in Dwaraka, the Trailokya temple in the town was empty. The idol of the deity had been thrown away by non-believers. He reinstated the idol and built Sharada Peetha on the same premises.

There are hardly any historical details available of Shankara’s journey in Saurashtra region, leading up to Dwaraka. The Missionary, a book published by the Chinmaya Mission Trust, merely mentions that after beginning his southward journey from Badrinath, Shankara went to Dwaraka. “On his way to Dwaraka, he visited Girnar, Somnatha temple and Prabhasa Teertha [the place where Lord Shri Krishna breathed his last],” says the book.

On other hand, some people like Balubhai Joshi of Prabhas Patan, the town that is home to Somnatha, say that they have never come across any reference to a 
shastrarth (discourse) by Shankara during his journey to Dwaraka. He, however, is certain about Shankara’s visit to Prabhas Patan. “Adi Shankara wrote Dwadashjyotirlinga Stotra. The first verse in this composition is in praise of Somnatha. How could he have authored a Sanskrit composition without ever visiting the temple?” asks Joshi, a highly respected senior citizen in the town.

Local people believe that when Shankara travelled in this region, he prayed inside a cave near Triveni Sangam in Prabhas Patan. This cave is now the venue of Sharada mutt in Somnatha. While the actual Sharada mutt is above the ground, the cave is situated underground and can be accessed using steps that have been specially put in place for devotees so that they can visit the venue where Shankara is believed to have rested and prayed during his journey in Saurashtra.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Naga Worship and Naga Godess of Sourashtra

Naga worship in sourashtra clan is common one.  Usually group of Naga idols worshipped and these idols are called " Nagaan " OR " Nagal ".

Naga Having both Male and Female forms.

The Female form is most popular.  Among Nagas Eight Naga are  important and these eight Naga names described in many Hindu religious texts.  The mula mantra of Naga is Puuh.  Below are Eight Naga Devi Mantra.

Om Puuh Anantamukhii Swaahaa
Om Puuh Karkodamukhii Swaahaa
Om Puuh Padminii Swaahaa (Padmavati)
Om KaalaJiihvaa Puuh Swaahaa
Om Mahaapadminii Swaahaa
Om Vaasukiimukhii Swaahaa
Om Hum Hum Puurvabhuupamukhii Swaahaa
Om Shankhni Vaayumukhii Hum Hum

Sourashtrian's Temples of Nag bai / Nagam bai / Nagalamma at Tamil Nadu
A famous Naga Godess worshipped by sourashtrians is called  "NAGA BAI " Devi.  Her rare painting is below.  The Word ' Bai ' literally means ' Women '  in Sourashtri language. 

A temple of Naga is situated at Salem Sourashtra Vipra Kula Nandavanam Near Renuka Temple under Peepal tree.   Many Naga idols found under peepal tree.  Usually a sampradaya found that, these Naga with Sapta Kanyas (Kannigal) OR Atma of childs who died in earlier ages are worshipped before marriage took place.  Another temple situated at Salem Ashok Nagar and maintained by ' urthunnu' clan.   Another Temple at Dindigul, Nagal Nagar. 
A famous surname also exist in her name in Salem district sourashtra families.   That was " KaLa naagaan " .  It means " Black Serpent "

Naga Bai
Amont Last generation of sourashtrian population of Salem (Tamil Nadu, India) wemen, having named as " Nagam bai "  " Nagalamma " , " Naga thai " and " Nagamma "  is common one.
The Gayathri Mantra of " Naga Bai "  is
Om Nagadevathaya Vidhmahe Jwala Malaya Dhimahi
Tanno Ananda Prachodayat

Prayer Mantra of Naga Bai is :


Festival of Naga Mata is NAGA PANCHAMI :

Naga Panchami is a Hindu festival celebrated by Hindus. It is celebrated on Panchami in Shravan month. On this day, they worship Nāga Devata (Cobras). People go to temples and snake pits and they worship the snakes. They offer milk and silver jewelry to the Cobras to protect them from all evils. They also fast. This festival is to celebrate the day Lord Krishna defeated the serpent Kalia. On this day swings are put up in the village and people enjoy themselves. The married girls visit their parents during this occasion.

In Hindu, snakes must be kept happy or the rains might fail. On Naga Panchami, people worship the holy reptile by sticking images on their doors and leaving bowls of rice and milk out for the serpents' delectation.

The snake is a potent force in Hindu, and greatly feared: the images on doorways are also there to keep the naga from entering the home. Failure to observe Naga Panchami may induce their wrath, resulting in an onset of general evil and, worse, the stopping of the monsoon, over which they have magical powers.
नागमाताको स्तुति :

आस्तीकस्य मुनेर्माता जगदानन्दकारिणी ।

एह्येहि मनसादेवि नागमातर्नमोsस्तु ते ॥

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bhagwathi Randal's abode at Dadva, Saurashtra

Bhagwathi Randal - Randal Maa is the Goddess who appeared as the daughter of Vishwakarma  ( God of Architecture ). She is known as Sandhya and Chhaya in the Vedas.

She came down to earth as a form of a girl when the earth dried upand there was no granary and fruit growing due to no rain. She made the clouds thunder and the clouds burst out with rain, the soil became rich as her feet touch the earth. Soon all the fields and gardens begun to bloom green. She was no ordinary girl but had super natural powers from which she healed the sick and cured them including the blind. Couples who could not give birth to children beared fruit due to the powers of Randal Maa. She is known to be the wife of Surya ( God of the Sun ).

Randal Maa once took a form of a horse ( Ghodi ) and came to earth. Surya wanted her to stay with her, Thus she divided herself into two forms Sandhya ( twilight ) and Chhaya ( Shadow ) She is also worshiped today and her miraculous powers still exist as she is possesed by many. People get healed from her possesed spirit and seek her for guidance in relationships and other matters in life. Her main Temple is located in Dadva, Saurashtra in Gujrat.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Refugees from Mohenjo-Daro Occupied Saurashtra

From Saraswati to Ganga
Saraswati flowing through the Thar Desert

Because of this dramatic turn of events, the denizens of the Indus-Saraswati had to relocate Northwards, Westwards and Eastwards. The eastward movement formed the major chunk of migration and the attributes of Saraswati were gradually transferred to the other major river of the sub-continent, the Ganga.Most Early Harappan sites are located in the middle Ghaggar-Hakra river valley, and some on the Indus and the Saurashtra area of Gujarat. However, in the later period, the number of sites in the Ghaggar-Hakra and Indus diminish, while increasing in the Ganges plain and Saurashtra.

Supporting data is present in the literary evidence where the earliest texts like the Rig-Veda mention Ganga only twice, but later literature like the Upanishads, mention the river repeatedly!

As the senior Indian Archaeologist, SR Rao observes -

In circa 1900 BCE most of the mature Harappa sites were wiped out forcing the inhabitants to seek new lands for settlement...

They seem to have left in great hurry and in small groups, seeking shelter initially on the eastern flank of the Sutlej and the Ghaggar and gradually moving towards the Yamuna. The refugees from Mohenjo-Daro and southern sites in Sind fled to Saurashtra and later occupied interior of the Peninsula.

Indeed, the Saraswat Brahmins still trace their origin from the banks of Saraswati and are today spread all over the country right from Kashmir to Kutch to Konkan!!

War horses of Saurashtra

The Kathiawari breed horse is accepted throughout the India as the purest and oldest of all horse breeds. Its origins are in the Middle Eastern land of Saurashtra region in State of Gujarat in India, where the Kathi's tribesmen and Rajput clans rulers used it as a warhorse, abandoning any animal which could not carry him at speed across miles of open dry lands of 'Kathiawar' with little food or water and they favored the Kathiawari breed mares because, unlike the Kathiawari breed Stallion, he could trust her to keep quiet….!

Today, almost every breed and type of horses has traces of Kathiawari breed blood in India and all are descended in the male line from the Charls, Gulfaam, Ashwinikumar in early 1900s era which were bread by the 'Nawab's' and 'Maharaja's' and in recent times Stallions like, Scarlet, Chand, Amit, Rajhans, Nilesh, Chandragupt, Chital, from Government of Gujarat Kathiawari Horse Breeding farms in Junagadh and Innaj which were all bread into Gujarat in the early 1980s.

Breed history

In ancient time, this breed was developed by a Warrior clan called 'KATHI's ' from the Western region of India , this region known as SAURASHTRA. It has a longest Coast line, and trade with Gulf was too much at that time. So may be in that trading business ARAB breed horses were brought to this part of India and sold to the local Kings of the regions. From their Stallion , they mixed with the local breed and produced this KATHIAWARI breed horses, because if you see the confirmations of this KATHIAWARI breed, it is much similar to the ARAB breed. The only difference is, that in ARAB breed DUN colour is NOT available at all, and where in KATHIAWARI breed all colours are based with DUN and, this colour is very prominent colour in KATHIAWARI breed. Also BLACK colour you found in ARAB breed, but BLACK is the only colour you don't found in KATHIAWARI breed. Also the curved Ears of KATHIAWARI breed, is another prominent marking to differ this two breeds. But at some point I personally think, that these two breed has mixed up during the olden times.....but the experts of the KATHIAWARI breeds are simply denying this statement. This KATHIAWARI breed was developed for the WAR horse, and also for the Pleasure riding purpose. The primary occupation today for the KATHIAWARI breed horses is mainly for the pleasure riding, competition riding, and mainly used by the farmers to go one place to another. But never used for the Farming work. In 1991, the Government of Gujarat State has done the counting of the pure breed KATHIAWARI horses in the state, and it was numbered only 700 horses only. But today with the efforts of KATHIAWARI HORSE SOCIETY and KATHIAWARI & MARWARI HORSE BREEDERS CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY LTD. - GONDAL, and PORBANDAR HORSE BREEDERS ASSOCIATION, today in Gujarat State , more then 20, 000 of Pure Breed KATHIAWARI horses are their , and we expect this figure will reach to 100,000 by year 2010.

The Kathiawari breed horse averages 13 hands to 14-5 in height and odd Stallions goes up to the 14-5 hands to 15-2 hands in height. The stallion has great presence whilst the mare gives an impression of elegant gentleness. They have a distinct outline and are of perfect proportion. The coat has an iridescent sheen. The head is slightly dished and concave profile, tapering to a fine muzzle; the eyes are large and evenly placed with a tod eyes looks, while the throat is fine, with a well shaped arched neck. The back is short and the loins strong and muscular, the croup is level and the tail set high. The ears are small and maximum of 14 to 17 cms, narrow at base; tips are curved inward and touching or almost touching like a 'Sting of a Scorpion', with rotation of 180 degrees backward. To these must be added dense flat bone, hard feet and hoofs with double in-sole, acute eyesight and hearing, purity and prepotency coupled with a gentle temperament and ability to survive. Black Eel Stripe on back and Zebra markings on front legs are seen in these breed too. These are the hallmarks of the Kathiawari breed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dynasty called Gehlots

Hundreds of years ago, in Birnagar lived Kamala and her son. She was not his real mother, but she had brought him up as her own son and given him good education. She had been the chief maid to Queen Pushpavati of Vallabhi, in present-day Saurashtra in Gujarat.

King Siladitya came from the great Surya dynasty. He ruled his kingdom well. He endeared himself to his subjects with his nobility and justice. Peace prevailed in the kingdom and the people enjoyed prosperity.

It was the time when the Tartars had invaded India. Their aim was only to plunder and loot. Soon, they were knocking at Vallabhi. Siladitya had a powerful army and would have easily defeated the marauders. The Tartars also knew that they would meet with stiff challenge from Siladitya. So, they played mischief. They bribed some of his ministers and, with their help, they made a pact with his commander-in-chief as well. They now waited for an opportunity.

That came when a son was born to Queen Pushpavati and the gates were thrown open for the people to come in and greet the prince. At the same time the Tartars decided to attack Vallabhi. King Siladitya found that his commander had deserted him. He mustered some soldiers and gave battle to the Tartars who outnumbered the forces of Siladitya.

King Siladitya was killed in the battle. When the news of his death reached the palace, Queen Pushpavati decided to escape with her son. Her maid Kamala and a few attendants accompanied her. At the outskirts of the city, the attendants were reluctant to proceed further and they went back to the city, leaving the queen and the newborn prince to their fate. But Kamala was loyal and she guided the queen to a temple where they stayed for the night. When morning came, they found a cave and took shelter there.

The long walk, without any food or drink, had exhausted the queen. She fell ill, but Kamala was helpless. In her presence the queen breathed her last, leaving the baby to her care. Kamala decided that she would bring up the prince as well as she could. After a long and tiresome journey, she managed to reach Birnagar where her own parents lived. They began calling the prince Goh.

Now Birnagar bordered where the Bhils had a territory for themselves. Their chieftain was Mandalik. As Siladitya had waived payment of tribute or taxes by the tribals, they had great respect for him. Following his death at the hands of the Tartars, Mandalik declared independence and continued as the ruler of the Bhils.

The young Goh made friends with the Bhil boys who taught him the use of the bow and arrow and initiated him into hunting. One day, Goh and his friends went a-hunting and soon found themselves in a thick jungle. Suddenly, a wild boar attacked the boys. They had only their bows and arrows with them. Goh threw away his bow and arrows and wrestled with the boar. The Bhil boys could now aim arrows at the animal which soon lay dead. 

hey carried Goh on their shoulders and presented him before their chieftain. Mandalik listened to their narration and was told how Goh had taken on the wild boar single handed. The boys were all praise for Goh, for he had saved them from being killed by the boar.

Mandalik was meeting Goh for the first time. So, he queried, “What’s your name, my young friend?”
“I’m Goh,” replied the prince simply. “Who are your parents?” asked the chieftain. Before Goh could reply, his Bhil friends said, “He’s a brahmin boy living in Birnagar. We’re friends. He plays with us and goes hunting with us, too.”
“You, a brahmin boy, could wrestle with a wild boar? It’s unbelievable!”

Goh smiled and suddenly felt shy. He raised his hand to cover his face. It was then that Mandalik noticed the amulet Goh was wearing on his arm. “Would you take off your amulet and show it to me?”

It was a practice in those days to tie newborn infants with an amulet which would contain details of himself and his parentage. During the birthday celebrations, Queen Pushpavati had tied an amulet on the young prince, and it had always remained on his arm. Goh appeared reluctant to take it off his person. “I’ve worn it ever since my birth and I don’t know whether I’m supposed to remove it at any time.”

“I merely want to examine it and it will again be tied,” assured Mandalik. He signalled to the Bhil boys and they now removed the amulet.
Mandalik opened the amulet and read the inscription inside. Suddenly, he jumped out of his stone throne and embraced Goh. “You’re the son of King Siladitya who was a good friend of the Bhils.” He called out to the tribesmen and women, who gathered in their hundreds. “He’s the son of our friend King Siladitya, who was killed by the evil Tartars. Prince Goh should be crowned.”

Meanwhile, some of the Bhil boys had gone to Birnagar to convey the glad news to Goh’s mother. Kamala and her father rushed to meet Goh whom they saw seated on the stone throne surrounded by chieftain Mandalik and Bhil men and women. Kamala shed tears of joy and described how Queen Pushpavati had escaped from Vallabhi with her infant son at the dead of night.
Now Mandalik and his men had no doubt about the idenitity of Goh. But he declared that he had no intention to go back to Vallabhi and would like to remain with his Bhil friends. At Mandalik’s instance, the coronation of Goh as the King of the Bhils was performed in a grand way. Later, Goh founded a dynasty called Gehlots, who at one time ruled over a large part of northwestern India. 
Ashok Ghelot, Chief Minister, Rajastan
Story Source :

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saurashtra in Dasarathas boundary

IN THE BEGINNING was the word. The first recorded word was the Veda. And the Veda is just ecstatic about the Sindhu, the cradle of Indian civilization.

``Sindhu in might surpasses all the streams that flow.... His roar is lifted up to heaven above the earth; he puts forth endless vigour with a flash of light .... Even as cows with milk rush to their calves, so other rivers roar into the Sindhu. As a warrior- king leads other warriors, so does Sindhu lead other rivers.... Rich in good steeds is Sindhu, rich in gold, nobly fashioned, rich in ample wealth.''

Sindhu is too alive and too divine to be ``it''; and so Sindhu is ``he''!

When the Vedic seer invokes heaven and earth, he also invokes the Sindhu. The Veda refers to the Ganga only twice; but it makes as many as thirty references to the Sindhu.

This is the Great Sindhu that gave Sindh --- and Hind! --- its name. It is the oldest name in Indian history --- and in Indian geography. When Shiva carried the immolated body of his divine consort Sati over all the land, her skull-top with its Hingula (Sindhur) fell at what has been Hinglaj ever since. It is near Karachi on the Sindh-Baluchistan border. To this holy spot --- sanctified by the visit of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana --- went the great Sindhi Sufi poet-saint Shah Abdul Latif in the company of yogis. As long as East and West Pakistan were one state, a major attraction to the Bangladesh Hindus visiting the west wing was, Hinglaj.

Sindh was part of Dasaratha's empire. When Kekayi goes into a sulk, Dasaratha tells her: ``The sun does not set on my empire. Sindh, Sauvira, Saurashtra, Anga, Vanga, Magadha, Kashi, Koshal --- they are all mine. They produce an infinite variety of valuable articles. You can ask whatever you like.''

Of course Kekayi wants nothing short of the throne for her son, Bharata. The rest is epic history. When Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Rama sent the vanaras(monkeys) to look for her, among other places, in Sindh with its ``remarkable swimming horses.'' Later, when all ended well, Rama gave Sindhu-Sauvira (the Sindh and Multan areas) to Bharata, who duly extended his rule farther north to Gandhara --- the home town of Gandhari of Mahabharata fame --- now Kandhar. His sons founded the cities of Peshawar (Pushkalavati) and Taxila (Takshasila).

Sindh emerges in a shady light in the Mahabharata. It is called ``paap-purna pradesh'' (a sinful province). And thereby hangs a tale. King Jayadratha of Sindh was married to Kaurava prince Duryodhan's sister, Dushhala. He was, therefore, all along on the side of the Kauravas --- an-l against the Pandavas. However, be it said to the credit of Jayadratha that he, like Dhritarashtra and Bhishma, opposed the disastrous game of dice between the Pandavas and the Kauravas.

However, Jayadratha's hostility towards the Pandavas had deeper roots. At the time of Draupadi's aswayamvara (free choice of husband in an assemblage of princes) he was one of the disappointed aspirants. Later, when the Pandavas were spending their time in exile, Jayadratha accosted her while she was alone. Draupadi innocently enquired of him about the people of Sindhu- Sauvira. However, when she found him full of mischief, she asked him to get lost. Thereupon he forcibly carried her away. When Arjuna and Bhima caught up with him and liberated Draupadi, Bhima cut off his hair in five places --- to make him look ridiculous. And he would have killed him, but for his eldest brother Yudhisthara telling him that it would make their cousin- sister Dushhala a widow --- and grieve uncle Dhritarashtra and aunt Gandhari.

In the titanic battle of Mahabharata, when Abhimanyu, Draupadi's son, got killed, Jayadratha ``pushed'' his body with his foot. Arjuna was furious. He vowed to kill ``Sindhu-Pati'' Jayadratha that very day, before the sun set. Jayadratha wanted to flee the field, but it was too late- He died an inglorious death.

In India, right up to the time of Shivaji, Pratap, and Guru Govind Singh, the traditional royal flag was some shade of bhagwa (ochre) or kesari. This was the case in the days of the Mahabharata also. The only difference was in the symbol on the flag. lnterestingly enough, Jayadratha's symbol was a silvery boar --- the wild pig, that the Rajputs love to hunt to this day.

Jayadratha's other love was milk and condensed hot milk (the Sindhi khirni). When announcing his determination to kill Jayadratha. Arjuna said: ``Jayadratha is a relation, but he is evil; he has been brought up on kshir and kshirni, but now I'll cut him to pieces with my arrows.''

One can only hope that the Mahabharata referred to Sindh as ``sinful'' because of its king and not because of its .people. (For the same reason, Karna refers to Shalya's Madraraj in similar terms.) In the ``Bhishma Parva'' of the Mahabharata, the Sindhu is referred to as the great protector which must be remembered day and night. Obviously the mighty river was a mighty defence line of the country. The ``Anushasan Parva'' of the Mahabharata prescribes Sindhu-bath for going to heaven after death.

Interestingly enough, the Bhagvad Gita is based on an earlier sermon involving Sindh! Once upon a time, the king of Sindh had defeated young prince Sanjay of Sauvira. Sanjay had lost heart and wanted to forget all about his kingdom. But his brave mother Vidula had shamed him into action. She had told him to remember his ancestry, remember his responsibilities to his people, uphold dharma, and live nobly or die nobly. At a time when the Pandavas were dispirited and did not want to fight, their mother Kunti reminded Krishna of the story of Vidula and asked him to repeat it to her sons --- to move them to action. The result was the immortal sermon of the Gita.

Dushhala also did a great good turn to Sindh. Since the movement of the centre of Indian civilization from the Sindhu to the Ganga, the former had obviously become a rough frontier tract subject to frequent invasions. Dushhala was pained to find the tribes of Jats and Medes in Sindh quarrelling endlessly. She therefore requested Duryodhana to send some Brahmins to tone up the socio-cultural life of Sindh. Duryodhana was good enough to send 30,000 Brahmins to Sindh. It was these Brahmins who later formed the backbone of resistance to Alexander. But of that, later.

Kalidas says in the Raghuvamsha that on the advice of his maternal uncle Yudhajat, Rama conferred Sindh on Bharata. Rama's ancestor Raghu's triumphant horses had relaxed on the banks of the Sindhu.

Another great Sanskrit poet, Bhasa, had done a whole play, ``Avimark'' on the romance of prince Avimark with princess Kurangadi of Sindhu-Sauvira.

The Bhavishya Purana says that Shalivahana, the grandson of Maharaja Vikramaditya of Ujjain, established law and order in ``Sindhusthan'' and fixed his frontier on the Sindhu.

Anshnath, the eleventh Jain Tirthankar, was a Sindhi. He died in Bengal.

The Jaina Dakshinyachihna (eighth century) speaks of the Sindhis as ``elegant, with a lovely, soft and slow gait. They are fond of songs, music and dance and feel affection for their country.''

There is a legend that the great Buddha had graced Sindh with his visit. Finding the climate extreme, and the area dry and dusty, he had permitted the bhikshus to wear shoes here. He had also permitted the use of padded clothing, forbidden elsewhere. Here Sthavirtis, the prince of Rorik or Roruka (Aror or Alor near modern Rohri) became his disciple.

When the Buddha went round his native Kapilavatsu in a chariot, it was mentioned that the ``four auspicious horses, of lotus colour, had come from Sindhudesh.'' To this day, historic Buddhist stupas are found in Sindh. No wonder when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had become President of Pakistan, even he adorned his office with a statue of the Buddha.

The Divyavadana (Tibetan version) reports: ``The Buddha is in Rajgriha. At this time there were two great cities in Jampudvip (north India): Pataliputra and Roruka. When Roruka rises, Pataliputra declines; when Pataliputra rises, Roruka declines.'' Here was Roruka of Sindh competing with the capital of the Magadha empire. When Bimbisara was king of Magadha, he sent Rudrayan, king of Sindhu-Sauvira, a rare portrait of the Buddha. The two powerful ministers of Sindh at the time were Hiroo and Bheru, their names still common among the Sindhis!

Chandragupta Maurya first won Sindh and the Punjab. It was from this base that he displaced the Nandas, occupied Pataliputra and established the great Mauryan empire

Kashmir's ancient royal history Rajatarangini has many references to Sindh and the Sindhis- Kuya's son Sindhu rose to lead the elephant brigade of Kashmir- He was adviser to the good Queen Dida. A top honour in Kashmir was ``Sindhu Gaja'', Elephant of Sindh.

Obviously, Sindh was quite at the centre of things

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Veer Hamirji Movie & Saurashtra Veer

‘ Veer Hamirji – Somnath ni Sakhate’

Brief Description:

Inspired by literary compositions of Great poet Sri Zaverchand Meghani, Kalapi, Sri Jaymal Parmar and Deepak Vyas, written by Sri Deven Shah and directed by Nilesh Mohite, "Veer Hamirji"the movie is based on historical story of great warrior ' Hamirji Gohil ' who fought and sacrifices his life to save the great 'Somnath Temple'. Hamirji Gohil is a legend amongst Rajputs and Gohil samaj of Saurashtra ( like Shivaji in Maharashtra). There is a monument to his memory in front of the temple of Somanath in Veraval, Saurashtra, Gujarat.

Flavors of movie:

- This movie is supported by lots of research of historical books through it’s based on real story

- Major part of the actors are from performing arts and all important roles are played by well-known famous actors of the Industry ie. Mrs Sonya shah, Mr.Pramthesh Mehta, Mr. Cetan Doshi,

- Movie directed by Mr. Nilesh Mohite famous TV cum Film actor of Gujarati film Industry and Gold Medalist MPA

- This will be the first international movie that will be released first in Guajarati.

About Music

Music is the key strength of this movie, we have developed good situational and melodious songs.

We obtained permission to use ‘Kasumbi no rang’ Well-known folk song written by National poet Mr. Zaverchand Meghani. This song is never used as a film song till now and it’s very much popular in Gujarat. This song is sung by Mr. Kirtidan Gadhvi who is famous folk singer of Gujarat.

Esteemed well known singers such as Ms Aishwarya Majmoddar ( Amul Star voice of India winner) and Mrs. Vatsala ben patil, welknown folk singer of Gujarat as well as others provided the voice to the songs. Music is directed by Mr. Samir Rawal, Dolphin Studio, Ahmedabad.

The music includes Arti, garbo, romantic song, bhil song, shaurya geet and duhas. The Audio CD is available for purchase at Major music stores. or Contact Sandeep Pathak at 09898183187.

The Main attractions are ...

Somnath Dada ni Aarti
Mataji no Garbo
'Kasumbi no Rang' folk song and Duhas
Shaurya Geet Developed for Veer hamirji
Melodious Romentic song and Bhil Song

Details for movie Saurashtra Veer

Name  :  Saurashtra Veer
ColourBlack and White
Hero : Parshwanath Yeshwant Altekar
Heroine : Amir Banu
Cinematographer : Bhogilal Dave
Director : Nanubhai Desai
Release Date : 01-Jan-1926
Format : 35MM
Language : Hindi
Produced by : Sharada Film Co.