Zitierweise | cite as: Amarasiṃha <6./8. Jhdt. n. Chr.>: Nāmaliṅgānuśāsana (Amarakośa) / übersetzt von Alois Payer <1944 - >. -- 2. Dvitīyaṃ kāṇḍam. -- 14. kṣatriyavargaḥ (Über Kṣatriyas). -- 1. Erster Abschnitt. -- Anhang 2: Jogendra Nath Bhattacharya [যোগেন্দ্রনাথ ভট্টাচার্য্য] über Schreiberkasten (1896). -- Fassung vom 2017-04-29. -- URL: http://www.payer.de/amarakosa6/amara2141aAnhang2.htm
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Bhattacharya, Jogendra Nath [ভট্টাচার্য্য, যোগেন্দ্রনাথ]: Hindu castes and sects : an exposition of the origin of the Hindu caste system and the bearing of the sects towards each other and toward other religious systems. -- Calcutta : Thacker, Spink, 1896. -- 623 S. -- S. 175 - 197
The Kāyasthas [कायस्थ / কায়স্থ] are found in almost every part of India. They are a very large body; the last Census gives the following figures regarding their numerical strength: —
|N. -W. Provinces||521,812|
The Kāyasthas are described in some of the sacred books of the Hindus as Ksatriyas [kṣatriya]; but the majority of the Kāyastha clans do not wear the sacred thread, and admit their status as Sudras [śūdra], also by the observance of mourning for a period of thirty days. But, whether Ksatriyas or Sudras, they belong to the upper layer of Hindu society, and though the higher classes of Brahmans neither perform their religious ceremonies nor enlist them among their disciples, yet the gifts of the Kāyasthas are usually accepted by the great Pandits [paṇḍita] of the country without any hesitation.
The literal meaning of the word “Kāyastha” is ' standing on the body According to the Purans [purāṇa], the Kāyasthas are so-called, because being Ksatriyas, they must be regarded as having their origin in the arms of the great god Brahma. The real derivation of the word is, perhaps, to be traced to the idea that the Brahmans must be regarded as the head ornaments of the king, and the Kāyasthas as ornaments for the arms. However that may be, the Kayasths have, from a very remote period of antiquity, been recognized as the class whose proper avocation is to serve as clerks and accountants. *
* See Yājñavalkaya, I, 335. From the manner in which the word Kāyastha is used in the ancient Sanskrit works, it seems that originally it meant a secretary, clerk or scribe.
The Brahmans excluded them from the study of the Sanskrit language and literature. But they learned the three R’s with great care, and, during the period of Moslem rule, mastered the Persian language with such assiduity as to make it almost their mother-tongue. At the present time, the honours and distinctions conferred by the Indian Universities are as eagerly and as successfully sought by them as by the Brahmans and the Vaidyas [বৈদ্য]. As authors, journalists and public speakers they do not now lag behind any other caste, and, in fact, in some of the departments of English scholarship they almost surpass the Brahmans themselves. In the field of journalism, India has not yet had better men than the two Mukerjis— Harish Chandra [হরিশ্চন্দ্র মুখোপাধ্যায়, 1824 – 1861] and Sambhu Chandra [শম্ভুচন্দ্র মুখোপাধ্যায়1839-1894]. But among public speakers the first to distinguish himself by his orations in English was the late Kāyastha Babu Ram Gopal Ghose [রামগোপাল ঘোষ, 1815 – 1868], while amongst the living batch of orators, the field is equally divided between Kāyasthas and Brahmans. The case is the same in the legal profession. Of the two best native Advocates of the Bengal High Court one is a Brahman, and the other is a Kāyastha; while of the eight Hindu Judges appointed to the Bench of the High Court of Bengal, since its creation, exactly half the number have been Kāyasthas.
During the time of the Hindu kings, the Brahmans refrained from entering the public service, and the Kāyasthas had almost the monopoly of the subordinate appointments. Even under the Mahomedan kings, some of them attained very high positions, as, for instance, the Bangadhikaris, who had charge of the revenue department under the Nababs [নবাব] of Moorshedabad [মুর্শিদাবাদ], and Rai Durlav Ram,* the Prime Minister of Ali Verdi Khan [আলীবর্দী খাঁ, 1671 – 1756].
* Baba Gopal Lal Mitra, the able Vice-Chairman of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, is, on his mothers side, descended from Rai Durlav.
Rajas Shitab Roy and Ram Narayan, who were Governors of Behar, in the period of double government or interregnum which intervened between the battle of Plassey and the removal of the Exchequer to Calcutta, were also Kāyasthas.
Under British rule the Kāyastha element has been predominating in all the departments of the public service, in the United Provinces, Bengal [বঙ্গ] and Behar [बिहार], the number of Kāyastha officials exceeds perhaps those of all the other castes taken together. The Kāyasthas are said to be the writer caste. But their experience of the ways of transacting public business has qualified them for the very highest offices connected with the civil government of the country. They generally prove equal to any position in which they are placed. They have been successful not only as clerks, but in the very highest executive and judicial offices that have yet been thrown open to the natives of this country. The names of the Kāyastha Judges, Dwarka Nath Mitra [1883 - 1874], Ramesh Chandra Mitra [1840-1899] and Chandra Madhava Ghosh, are well known and respected by all. in the Executive service the Kāyasthas have attained the same kind of success. One of them, Mr. R. C. Dutt [রমেশচন্দ্র দত্ত, 1848 – 1909], is now the Commissioner or chief Executive Officer of one of the most important divisions of Bengal. Another named Kalika Das Datta [geb. 1841] has been for several years employed as Prime Minister of the Kooch Behar [কোচবিহার] Raj, giving signal proofs of his ability as an administrator by the success with which he has been managing the affairs of the principality in his charge.
The Kāyasthas [কায়স্থ] of Bengal [বঙ্গ] are divided into the following classes: —
For all practical purposes these are separate castes, and intermarriage between them is, generally speaking, quite impossible.
The Dakshina Rarhis, or the Kāyasthas of the southern part of Burdwan, affect the greatest veneration for the Brahmans, and profess to believe in the legend that traces their descent from the five menial servants that are said to have accompanied the five Brahmans invited by King Adisur. * The Dakshina Rarhis are divided into three main groups, namely: —
The Kulins [কুলিন] have the highest status, and they again are subdivided into several hypergamous sections that have different positions for matrimonial purposes. The usual surnames of the several sections of the Dakshina Rarhi Kāyasthas are as stated below: —
The rules which regulate and determine the eligibility of a Kāyastha boy or girl for matrimonial purposes, are quite as complicated as those of the Rarhi Brahmans. But while the status of a Kulin Rarhi Brahman depends on his being able to marry his daughters with Kulin bridegrooms, the position of a Dakshina Rarhi Kāyastha remains intact only if he is able to marry his eldest son into the family of a Kulin of similar rank. A Kāyastha can give his daughter to any one whether he is a Kulin or a Maulika.
Among the Babus of Calcutta, the number of Dakshina Rarhi Kāyasthas is far larger than that of any other caste. The majority of the Dakshina Rarhis are Sakti [শক্তি] worshippers of a moderate type. The deities they worship most generally are Durga [দুর্গা] and Kali [কালী]. But their orthodox members follow the discipline imposed upon them by their Brahman Gurus, and they neither drink any kind of spirituous liquor, nor eat any kind of flesh excepting that of goats offered in sacrifice to some god or goddess. Of all the classes of Kāyasthas in Bengal, the Dakshina Rarhis have, under British rule, made the greatest progress in education, and in securing official positions.
The caste position of the Uttara Rarhis [উত্তররাটীয়], or the Kāyasthas of the northern portion of the Burdwan [বর্ধমান] Division, is the same as that of the Dakshina Rarhis. But the northerners do not profess the same veneration for the Brahmans as the southerners. The former openly deny the authenticity of the legend which traces the descent of the Bengali Kāyasthas from the five menial servants of the five Brahmans brought by King Adisur from Kanouj [कन्नौज] in the ninth century of the era of Christ. An Uttara Rarhi very seldom falls prostrate at the feet of a Brahman, and usually salutes the priestly caste by a curt pranam [প্রণাম], which does not imply much reverence.
The Uttara Rarhis are most numerous in the district called Birbhoom [বীরভূম], and in the adjoining portions of the Moorshedabad [মুর্শিদাবাদ] District. Some families of the same clan are to be found also in the towns of Patna [पटना], Bhagalpur [भागलपुर], Dinajpur [দিনাজপুর] and Jessore [যশোর]. Many of the leading zemindars of Bengal, as, for instance, the Rajas of Dinajpur [দিনাজপুর], Paikpara [পাiকপাড়া] and Jessore [যশোর] are Uttara Rarhis. There was formerly an Uttara Rarhi family of zemindars in the district of Malda [মালদা] who, for several generations, were in possession of the barony of Bhatia Gopalpore , including a portion of the city of Gour. No member of the community has risen very high in the service of Government in recent times. But under the Mahomedan rulers of Bengal, the Uttara Rarhis held some of the highest offices. The charge of the revenue department was then almost entirely in the hands of the Bangadhicary Mahasaya family of Dahpara [ডাহাপাড়া] near Moorshedabad [মুর্শিদাবাদ]; and so great was their influence that when [Warren] Hastings [1732 - 1818] removed the Khalsa or Exchequer to Calcutta, he was obliged to place it in the hands of one of their clansmen, who was also one of their quondam clerks. This man, whose name was Ganga Govind Sing [গংগাগোৱিন্দ সিংহ], became, by virtue of his office, the arbiter of the destinies of the Bengal zemindars, and by taking advantage of his opportunities made himself one of the richest landlords in the country. His master was perhaps too shrewd to negotiate directly with the zemindars, like Sir Thomas Rumbold [1736 – 1791] of Madras [மதராஸ்], he required an intermediary, and as Ganga Govinda was his chief fiscal officer, he was deemed the best man for the office. Perhaps he acquired a great hold over Hastings by helping him in the prosecution and conviction of Nand Kumar [নংদকুমার, 1705? - 1775]. Whatever was the cause of the undue favour shown to him by his master, his power was great. Though serving under the immediate supervision of one of the greatest satraps that England has ever sent out to India, his confidence in the strength of his own position was such that he compelled the zemindars, whose revenue he had to assess, to give him not only money which could be easily concealed, but also substantial slices of their estates which conclusively proved his corrupt practices. The Raja of Dinajpur [দিনাজপুর], who was his casteman, was, out of jealousy, absolutely ruined by him. The proud Brahman Raja Krishna Chandra [কৃষ্ণচন্দ্র রায়, 1710 - 1783] of Nadiya [নদিয়া] was reduced by him to such straits as to be obliged to beg for his favour in the most humiliating terms; * and at a later time Raja Krishna Chandra’s heir, Raja Sib Chandra [শিবচন্দ্র], was compelled to be present at the funeral ceremony of Ganga Govind’s mother.
* The original of this letter or rather memorandum is given in Dewan Kartika Chandra Roy’s history of the Nadiya Rajas. Tho following is a translation of it: —
“ My son is disobedient, the Exchequer Court is impracticable, I depend upon Ganga Govind. ”
When Hastings was hauled up before the British Parliament to answer the charges of maladministration and corruption that were brought against him, Ganga Govinda, as his right-hand man, naturally came in for a large share of the vituperative phrases that the genius of Burke [1729 - 1797] could invent. The great orator characterized him as the “captain-general of iniquity” “ and the broker-in-chief of bribery. ” Nothing, however, was ever done to compel him to disgorge the properties he had acquired, and they are still in the possession of his descendants by adoption, now called the Paikpara [পাiকপাড়া] Rajas.*
* The original home of Ganga Govinda was the town of Kandi [কান্দি], now the head quarters of a sub division in the district of Moorshedabad [মুর্শিদাবাদ]. When he became the Dewan of Hastings, he built, for his residence, a palatial mansion in Calcutta, on the site now occupied by the warehouses on the southern side of Beadon Square. His descendants used formerly to be called the Rajas of Kandi. But as they now usually reside at Paikpara, in the suburbs of Calcutta, they are also called Rajas of Paikpara [পাiকপাড়া].
Since Ganga Govinda’s time no Uttara Rarhi has attained a high position in the service of Government. The highest officials in their class are at present not above the rank of Subordinate Magistrates. In the legal profession also the Uttara Rarhis are as meagrely represented as in the various departments of the public service. The only members of the clan who have any considerable amount of legal practice are Babu Surja Narain Sing [সূর্যনরাযণ সিংহ], of the District court of Bhagalpur [भागलपुर], Babu Purnendu Narain [পূর্ণেন্দু নরাযণ], of the District court of Patna, and Mr. S. P. Sinha, who is a barrister-at-law, and practises in the High Court of Calcutta.
Among the Uttara Rarhis Kulinism, or high caste status, is the result of having been originally residents of some particular villages in the Kandi Sub-division of the Moorshedabad District. The names of these villages are Rasorah, Panchthupi, Jajan, &c. An Uttara Rarhi Ghosh or Sinha is not necessarily a Kulin. It is only a Ghosh of Rasorah or Panchthupi that can claim a high position in the caste.
The usual surnames of the Uttara Rarhis [উত্তররাটীয়] are as stated below: —
The importance of this clan is not less than that of any other class of Bengali Kāyasthas. The great Pratapaditya [প্রতাপাদিত্য, 1561 – 1611], whose father had been the prime minister of the last Patan [পঠাণী] King of Bengal, and who at the time of the conquest of the province by the Moguls carved out an independent kingdom in its seaboard, was a Bangaja [বঙ্গজ]. For a time Pratapaditya defied the great Akbar [1542 - 1605] [ جلال الدین محمد اکبر৯], and the conquest of his kingdom was ultimately effected by Raja Man Sing [राजा मान सिंह, 1550 - 1614], chiefly through the treachery of Bhava Nand Majumdar [ভবানন্দ মজুমদার], who had been in the service of Pratapaditya as a pet Brahman boy, and who subsequently became the founder of the Nadiya [নদিয়া Raj family through the favour of the imperial general whom he had helped. The descendants of Pratapaditya are still to be found in the neighbourhood of his ruined capital in the Sundarbans [সুন্দরবন]. Though shorn of their greatness, they are to this day locally called Rajas, and possess very considerable influence among their castemen. The zemindars of Taki [টাকি], who still possess some property, are the descendants of Pratapaditya’s uncle, Basanta Roy [বসন্ত রায়]. The ancient Rajas of Bakla, which covered nearly the whole of the modern district of Bakergunge [বাকেরগঞ্জ], were also Bangajas. So, too, were the ancient zemindars of Noakhali [নোয়াখালী] and Edilpore [ইদিলপুর]. Perganah [পরগনা] Edilpore in Fureedpore is now in the possession of Babu Kali Krishna Tagore [কালীকৠষ্ণ ঠাকুর, 1840 - 1905] of Calcutta [কলকাতা].
The Bangajas [বঙ্গজ] are to be found chiefly in the eastern districts of Bengal. In Calcutta [কলকাতা] they are not numerically strong; but are represented by such leading men as Mr. Justice Chandra Madhava Ghosh, who is now one of the Judges of the Bengal High Court, and Mr. M. Ghosh, who is now one of its leading Advocates.
The usual surnames of the Bangaja [বঙ্গজ] Kāyasthas of the different grades are as mentioned below: —
The Barendra [বারেন্দ্র] Kāyasthas do not differ from the other classes of Bengali Kāyasthas either in culture or in respect of caste status. The usual surnames of the several grades of Barendras are as stated below: —
There are many Kāyasthas in East Bengal who are called Golams [গোলাম] or slaves. Some of them are still attached as domestic servants to the families of the local Brahmans, Vaidyas [বৈদ্য], and aristocratic Kāyasthas [কায়স্থ]. Even those who have been completely emancipated, and are in the position of well-to-do and independent citizens, are obliged by local custom to render on ceremonial occasions certain menial services for the glorification of their ancient patrons and masters. Some of the Golams have in recent times become rich landholders, and it is said that one of them has got the title of Rai Bahadoor [রায বহদুর] from Government. The marriage of a Golam generally takes place in his own class: but instances of Golams marrying into aristocratic Kāyastha families are at present not very rare. The Golams are treated by all the high caste Hindus as a clean caste. The Brahmans who minister to the ordinary Kāyasthas as priests, evince no hesitation to perform similar rites for the Golams. The Golams of the Vaidyas serve also the Brahmans and the Kāyasthas; but the Golams of the Brahmans and the Kāyasthas do not serve the Vaidyas.
The Lala Kāyasthas [लाला कायस्थ] have the same position in Behar [बिहार], N.-W. Provinces and Oudh [अवध] that the several classes of Kāyasthas, spoken of in the last chapter, have in Bengal. The Lalas are, however, very much addicted to drinking and gambling, and in these respects they differ very materially from the Bengali Kāyasthas who, as moderate Saktas [শাক্ত] or bigoted Vishnuvites [ৱৈষ্ণৱ], are mostly teetotalers. The Kāyasthas of Hindustan proper are divided into the following classes: —
Members of these different clans may eat together and smoke from the same pipe. But intermarriage between them is impossible, and they must be regarded as separate castes having only a similar status. The usual surnames of the Lala Kāyasthas are:
The Srivastis [श्रीवास्तव] derive their name from the ancient city of Srivasta [श्रीवस्तु], which was the capital of the kingdom of Uttara Koshala [उत्तरकोशल], and which has been identified with a place called at present Sahet Mahet * in the district of Gonda [गोण्डा].
* For a full account of the ruins of Sahet Mahet, and the grounds on which they are held to be the remains of the ancient city of Srivasta, see Hunter’s Imperial Gazetteer, Vol. XII, p. 126.
The Srivasta Kāyasthas are a very numerous body, and are to be found in every part of the United Provinces, Behar [बिहार] and Oudh [अवध]. Some of the Srivastis take the sacred thread, and some do not. Those who take the thread are teetotalers and vegetarians. The rest indulge in flesh meat and strong drink. It is said that the Srivastis are all of the Kasyapa Gotra [कश्यपगोत्र]. But if they are Sudras [शूद्र] then they do not violate any rule of the Shastras [शास्त्र] by marrying within their Gotra as they are necessarily obliged to do. There are, however, some other peculiarities in the marriage customs of the Srivastis which cannot but be held to be inconsistent with the law of the Hindu Shastras on the subject. For instance, it is said that, as among some of the Rajputs [राज्पुत्] and Kalwars [कलवार], so among the Srivasta Kāyasthas, a marriage may take place between a boy and a girl even where the bride is older in age. The following surnames are assumed by some of the Srivastis: —
Among the Kāyasthas of Upper India, the caste status of a family depends usually upon the official position held by their ancestors in the service of the former rulers of the country. The descendants of the Patwaris [पटवारी] or village accountants have generally the lowest position. The four leading Srivasti families of Behar [बिहार] are the following: —
+ Bakhra is in the vicinity of the site of the ancient free city of Vaisah [वैशाली], of Buddhistic history.
The ancestors of these families held very high offices in the service of the Mogal Emperors, and also under the East India Company, in the early days of its political supremacy. The Sedisapore family rendered very important services to the British Government at the time of the Sepoy Mutiny. The four families mentioned above still possess considerable local influence, and among their castemen their supremacy is undisputed.
The Srivasta zemindars of Sahebganj [साहिबगंज] in the District of Chapra [छपरा] have also considerable influence among their castemen.
The late Hon’ble Har Bans Sahoy of Arrah[[आरा] was a Srivasti. So also is Raj Jai Prokash Lal, the present factotum of the Raja of Domraon [डुमराँव].
Mann gives the name Ambasth [अम्बष्थ] to the progeny of a Brahman father and Vaishya [वैश्य] mother, and lays down that their proper profession is the practice of medicine.*
* Manu, X, 8, 43.
But there is a class of Kāyasthas in Behar [बिहार], and in the eastern districts of the N. -W. Provinces, who alone use that name to designate their caste. Its derivation is not definitely known. It is quite possible that it is derived from the name of a Perganah [परगना] in Oudh [अवध] called Ameth.
The Ambastha Kāyasthas are very numerous and influential in South Behar including the districts of Monghyr [मुंगेर], Patna [पटना] and Gaya [गया]. Raja Ram Narayan [रामनरायण], who was Governor of Behar, in the early days of British ascendancy, was an Ambasthi. He has no lineal descendants, but his family is represented by some collaterals, of whom Babu Isri Prasad [इस्री प्रसाद] of Patna [पटना] is one.
The Karan [कर्ण] clan of North Indian Kāyasthas are to be found chiefly in Tirhoot [तिरहुत] or North Behar where they are usually employed as Patwaris [पटवारी] or village accountants.
Their position is inferior to that of the Srivastas [श्रीवास्तव] and Ambastas [अम्बष्थ]. The Uttara Rarhi [উত্তররাটীয়] Kāyasthas of Bengal claim to be Karans. The Karans [କରଣ] of Orissa [ଓଡ଼ିଶା] have no connection with those of North Behar.
The Sakya Seni [शाक्यसेनी/सक्सेना] Kāyasthas are very numerous in the District of Etawa [इटावा] in the Doab [दोआब], and are to be found in every part of the Gangetic valley from Hardwar [हरिद्वार] to Patna [पटना]. Many of the wealthiest landholders of Etawa [इटावा], Eta [एटा] and Fatehpore [फ़तेहपुर] are Sakya Senis.
Like the Srivastas they are divided into three classes, namely,
These do not intermarry, and must be regarded as separate castes. The Sakya Senis have a lower social position than the Srivastas [श्रीवास्तव].
Raja Shitab Roy, who was Governor of Behar [बिहार] in the days of what is called the “double Government, ” was a Sakya Seni. The following account regarding him is to be found in Macaulay’s review of the administration of Warren Hastings: —
A chief named Shitab Roy had been intrusted with the government of Behar [बिहार]. His valour and his attachment to the English had more than once been signally proved. On that memorable day on which the people of Patna [पटना] saw from their walls the whole army of the Mogul scattered by the little band of Captain [Robert] Knox [1641 – 1720], the voice of the British conquerors assigned the palm of gallantry to the brave Asiatic. “I never,” said Knox, when he introduced Shitab Roy, covered with blood and dust, to the English functionaries assembled in the factory, “I never saw a native light so before.” Shitab Roy was involved in the ruin of Mahomed Reza Khan, was removed from office, and was placed under arrest.
“The revolution completed, the double Government dissolved, the Company installed in the full sovereignty of Bengal, Hastings had no motive to treat, the late ministers with rigor. Their trial had been put off on various pleas till the new organization was complete. They were then brought before a committee over which the Governor presided. Shitab Roy was speedily acquitted with honour. A formal apology was made to him for the restraint to which he had been subjected. All the eastern marks of respect were bestowed on him. He was clothed in a robe of state, presented with jewels and with a richly harnessed elephant, and sent back to his Government at Patna. But his health had suffered from confinement; his spirit had been cruelly wounded; and soon after his liberation he died of a broken heart.”
The lat9e Raja Bhoop Sen Sing of Patna [पटना] was the daughter’s son of Shitab Roy’s son, Kalyan Sing. Bhoop Son left two sons named Mahipat and Roop Narain. The line of Maharaja Mahipat is now represented by his widowed daughter-in-law, Maharani Tikam Kumari. Kumar Roop Narain is still living, but is a lunatic. The family have their residence in the quarter of Patna called the Dewan Mahallah.
The Kula Sreshti [कुलश्रेष्ठी] Kāyasthas are found chiefly in the districts of Agra [आगरा] and Eta [एटा].
The Bhatnagar [भटनागरी] Kāyasthas derive their name from the town of Bhatnagar [भटनगर] or Bhatner in the Hanumangar [हनुमानगढ़] District on the north of Bikaneer [बीकानेर].
“They are found in great numbers in almost all the districts inhabited by the Gaur Brahmans, from Sambhal and Moradabad to Agroha and Ajmere. They are also scattered over some of the Eastern provinces. The Bhatnagaris are not considered very pure Hindus, and are more addicted to drinking than other Kāyasthas. But their official position in some places has enabled them to acquire considerable influence. They are the Kanangos of Gwalior and Mahaban in Mathura. The Gaur Bhatnagars are Kanangos of Mariyahu in Jounpore, of Chapra and Monghyr. *
* Elliot’s Supplemental Glossary, p. 36.
The Mathuri [मथुरी] Kāyasthas are, as their name indicates, inhabitants of the country round the ancient city of Mathura [मथुरा].
The Suryadhaja [सूर्यध्वज] Kāyasthas are to be found in the Districts of Balia [बलिया] and Gazipur [गाजीपुर]. In the Bijnour [बिजनौर] District the Suryadhajas claim to be Brahmans.
The Balmiki [વાલ્મીકિ] Kāyasthas are to be found in Gujrat [ગુજરાત]. The late Mr. Justice Nana Bhai Haridas [नानाभाई हरिदास, 1832 - 1889], of the Bombay High Court, was a Balmiki Kāyastha.
The Ashthana [अष्ठाना] Kāyasthas are to be found in Agra [आगरा], Balia [बलिया] and Gazipur [गाजीपुर].
The Kāyasthas of Unao [उन्नाव] claim to be Nigama [निगम] Kāyasthas.
Like the Gaur Brahmans, the Gaur [गौड़] Kāyasthas appear to have been originally inhabitants of the tract of country now included in the Delhi Division of the Punjab [ਪੰਜਾਬ]. The Gaur Kāyasthas are to be found in almost all the Districts lying between Delhi [दिल्ली] and Patna पटना. The Gaur Kāyasthas of Azimgad [आज़ामगढ़ ?] are chiefly Sikhs [ਸਿੱਖੀ]. The Bhatnagaris [भटनागरी] seem to be a section of the Gaurs.
The Kāyasthas of Unao are a very important community. They claim to be of the Nigama [निगम] class. There are many eminent lawyers and high officials among them.
In the Andhra country [ఆంధ్ర ప్రదేశ్], including the north-eastern districts of the Madras Presidency, the work of writers and accountants is done chiefly by the Niyogi Brahmans [నియోగులు]. The Karnams of the province, whose caste status is similar to that of the Kāyasthas of Northern India, are also employed in similar capacities. The Karnams [కరన] are, however, a small community, and as very few of them have attained high positions in Government service or in the liberal professions, they cannot be said to be equal to the Kāyasthas of Bengal, either socially or intellectually. The Karnams take the sacred thread, but are regarded by all as Sudras [శూద్ర].
In Mysore [ಮೈಸೂರು] and in the British districts towards its south and east, the classes that are usually held to be entitled to the designation of writer castes, are the Kanakkans and the Shanbhogs. Intellectually and socially these are more like the Karnams, than like the Kayasths of Northern India.
In the Dravira [திராவிட] country, the Vellalars [வேளாளர்] and some of the Vadugas claim to be Kāyasthas, and though they are generally described as agricultural castes, they seem to have, in many respects, the same position as the writer castes of Northern India.
The Vellalars [வேளாளர்] are divided into two classes,
The Mudaliars [முதலியார்] have a higher position than the other Vellalars. The Mudaliars are found chiefly near Arcot [ஆற்காடு] and Salem [சேலம்].
The Vellalars, whose surname is Pillai [பிள்ளை], are found chiefly in the extreme south.
Neither the Mudaliars nor the Pillai take the sacred thread; but they are regarded as very clean Sudras [சூத்திரர்], and the Brahmans accept their gifts without much hesitation.
The Vadugas are not, properly speaking, a separate caste. In Dravira the name is applied to the Sudras [శూద్రులు] of the Telegu country who have migrated, and are domiciled, in the Dravira districts. The high caste Vadugas have the same position as the Vellalars.
There are many well-educated men among both the Vadugas and the Vellalars, and members of these castes are as numerous in the public service and the liberal professions in Southern India, as the Kāyasthas are in the same lines of business in Northern India.
The word Prabhu [प्रभू] literally means 'lord. ’ It is the caste name of a very small but important community found in Western India. Their total number is only 29,559; but they are a very intelligent and energetic class. The two main sub-divisions among them are the following: —
There are other classes of Prabhus besides these, as, for instance, the Donna Prabhus, of Goa [गोंय].
The Prabhus wear the sacred thread, and, claiming to be Ksatriyas [क्षत्रिय], perform their poojas and prayers in the same manner as the highest of the twice-born castes. Nevertheless they are usually considered to have only the same footing as that which the Kāyasthas [कायस्थ / কায়স্থ] have in Northern India. They held very high offices under the Maratta [मराठा] kings. The great Sivaji’s [शिवाजी भोसले, 1627/1630 - 1680] chief secretary was a Chandra Seni Prabhu [चन्द्रसेनी प्रभू], named Balaji Auji [बालाजी औजी], whose acuteness and intelligence are recorded by the English Government at Bombay [मुंबई] on an occasion of his being sent there on business.*
* See Grant Duffs History of the Marathas, Vol. I, p. 201.
Mulhar Khanderao Chitnavis, Vakil [वकील], district Amraoti [अमरावती], is a descendant of Balaji Auji. Two of his other descendants are now receiving their education in England at the expense of the Maharaja Guikwar [ગાયકવાડ] of Baroda [વડોદરા].
Sakharam Hari Gupti [c.1718 - 1779], who was Minister to Raghunath Rao [रघुनाथ राव, 1734 - 1783], Peshwa [पेशवे], and who suffered a cruel death for his fidelity to his master, was a Prabhu also. One of his descendants is employed at present as a General in the army of H. H. the Maharaja Holkar [होळकर].
Rowji Appaji, who was Minister to Govinda Rao Guikwar [गोविन्द राव गायकवाड gest. 1800], and who after the death of his master became the most powerful man in the country and almost a “Kingmaker,” was also of the Prabhu caste. Rowji’s brother Babaji [बाबाजी] was the Commander of the Guikwar’s Cavalry.
Of the same caste were also Mahipat Rao [महीपतराव], who was Prime Minister to Madhoji Bhouslay [मुधोजी भोंसले, gest. 1788], and Krishna Rao Madhav Chitnavis, who was Prime Minister to Raghuji Bhouslay II [रघुजी भोंसले, gest. 1816], of Nagpore [नागपुर].
The Hon’ble Gangadhar Rao Madhav Chitnavis [1862 - ], who is at present on the Legislative Council of India as an Additional Member, is a grandson of the Nagpore [नागपुर] premier, Krishna Rao Chitnavis. The Hon’ble G. M. Chitnavis is a young man; but the ability and moderation which he has displayed on some of the most trying occasions would do credit to many a grey-headed Councillor.
His brother, Mr. Shankar Rao Madhav Chitnavis, holds a very high position in the Civil Service of India, being at present a District Magistrate and Collector in the Central Provinces.
Of the other conspicuous names among the living members of the Prabhu caste, the following may be mentioned here: —
The Kolitas [কলিতা / कलित] are found not only in Assam [অসম], but also in the Southern Tributary States of Chutia Nagpore [छोटा नागपुर]. Colonel Dalton describes the Kolitas of Chutia Nagpore as of fair complexion, with good features and well-proportioned limbs, and expresses the opinion that they are of Aryan blood with “a slight deterioration arising from intermixture with the less comely aborigines. The same remarks apply to the Kolitas of Assam. They are regarded by the best authorities as genuine Hindus of unmixed descent.*
* Hunter’s Imperial Gazetteer, Vol. I, p. 355.
The highest class Kolitas in Assam, called Bora Kolitas, live chiefly by serving as clerks and accountants. Under the Ahang Rajas almost all the Bora Kolitas were employed in the civil service of their country.
Some of the high class Kolitas practise trade. When a Kolita manages to become a big man, he claims to be a Kāyastha and takes, the sacred thread.
Of the inferior Kolitas, who are mainly agricultural, many serve as menials in the houses of Brahmans. The Kolitas are a pure Sudra caste, and they are almost the only Sudras in Assam who are allowed to enter the cook-room of a Brahman. There are some Kolitas who are artisans, but their status is inferior to that of the agricultural Kolitas. Some of the Kolitas are now the abbots of the monasteries appertaining to a Vaishnava sect founded by an Assamese Brahman in the fifteenth century.
The usual surnames of the Bora Kolitas are Kokatia and Choliha [চলিহা], both of which have the same signification, and are the Assamese and Ahang equivalents of the designation "clerk,” their literal meaning being “paper writer.” The surname of the inferior Kolitas is Kolita [কলিত].
The Kolita population is more numerous in Upper and Central Assam than in the Surma [সুরমা] Valley. Of the 253,860 Kolitas returned in Assam in 1881, 241,589 were inhabitants of the Bramhaputra [ব্ৰহ্মপুত্ৰ] Valley.
The Kāyastha [কায়স্থ] population of Assam is confined mainly to the Surma [সুরমা] Valley.
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