Tuesday, November 2, 2010

KOKAN MYTH

kanchan athalye | Tuesday, November 02, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
The Most Famous Legend Associated With Konkan, Is That Of The Mythicalsage Parashuram (The Sixth Incarnation Of Lord Vishnu), Who Several Thousand Years Ago Created The Entire Stretch Of Konkan Coast By Ordering The Seas To Recede.An Interesting Sidelight In This Legendary Origin Of Konkan Is That Lord Parashuram Is Supposed To Have Shot An Arrow From The Top Of The Western Ghats Into The Sea To Command The Sea God To Withdraw Till The Place Where The Arrow Fell And Claimed That Land To Be His Kingdom.The Place Where The Arrow Landed Was Called Bannali (In Sanskrit or'where The Arrow Landed'; Bann: Arrow, Ali: Village), Or Today'sbenaulim.Parashuram Arrived In The New Abode With Other Sara Swat Brahmins And Sages In Order To Perform The Yadnya And Other Rituals. These Brahmin Families Of Dashgotras From Panchgoudas Of Trihotrapura In Northern India Came Along With Their Family Deities And Settled Themselves In This Land Of Gomantak Or The Land Of The Gods As It Came To Be Known Hereafter.Another Legend, Less Well Known, States That The Coastal Area Of Konkan Enchanted Lord Krishna, Who Was Charmed By The Beautiful Ladies Bathing In The Area. The Ladies In Turn, Were So Taken Up By The Melodious Music Coming From His Flute, That They Kept Dancing Forgetting Their Daily Chores. Lord Krishna, Then Named The Landgovapuri After The Cows (Gov) Belonging To The Locals. The History Of The Sacred Land Of Gomantak, 'Land Of The Gods' Is Well Described In Sahyadri Khand Of Skandha Purana, The Ancient Text Of Hindu Religion. According To This Story Narrated In The Chapter Shantiparva Of Mahabharata, A Brahmin From The Sara Swat Family,Parashuram, Annihilated The Entire Community Of The Warrior Tribekshatriyas And Gifted The Conquered Land To A Sage Named Kashyapmuni.Unfortunately, The Kshatriya Annihilation Meant That The Land Was Leftunadministered And Fell Into Anarchy And Chaos. The Worried Sagekashyapmuni, Requested Parashuram To Leave The Area And Settle Elsewhere. Parashuram Came South And Reclaimed New Land By Ordering The Sea To Recede And Give Up The Coastal Land. This Land Known As"Aparant" Or "Shurparak" Is Spread Between The Sahyadri Mountains And Sindhusagar.The First Wave Of Brahmins To Settle In Goa And Konkan, Were Called Saraswats Because Of Their Origins From The Banks Of The River Saraswati, An Ancient River That Existed In Vedic Times. The Subsequent Drying Up Of The River Caused Large Scale Migration Of Brahmins To All Corners Of India.A Group Of Ninety-Six Families, Known Today As Gaud Saraswats, Settledalong The Konkan Coast Around 1000 Bc. Of These, Sixty-Six Families Took Up Residence In The Southern Half In Today's Salcete Taluka, Which Derives Its Name From The Sanskrit Word "Sassast" Meaning The Number 66.The Other Thirty Families Settled In The Northern Area In Today's Tiswadi Taluka, Which Derives Its Name From The Sanskrit Word For The Number 30. The Saraswat Brahmins Worked In Partnership With The Local Indigenous People, The Kunbi Tribals Who Still Exist Today. Around Theyear 740 Ad, The Brahmins Established Their First Matha (Religiouscentre Of Learning) At Kushasthali (Present Day Cortalim) .They Initially Settled At Mathagram (Margao), Kushasthal (Cortalim)And Kardalinagar (Keloshi). The Main Deities Which Also Came Alongwith Them Were Mangirish, Mahadeo, Mahalaxmi, Mahalsa, Shantadurga,Nagesh, Saptakoteshwar Besides Many Others. According To Local Legend,The Ash Found At Harmal Beach In Pernem Taluka Is Cited As The Ash Of The Yadnya Or Holy Ritual Performed In Goa.Today A Temple Of Parashuram Exists In Painguinim Village Of Canacona Taluka In South Goa And In Chiplun Also. There Is No Concrete Proof To Determine The Exact Date Of The Arrival Of Saraswats Or Parashuramain The Area, Nor Is It Conclusively Proved That Saraswats Or Other Aryans Were The First To Arrive In Konkan.Even If The Legends Are Considered As Only Myths, The Residence Of Saraswat Brahmins In Goa Since Ancient Times Along With Their Family Deities Is An Undeniable Fact. And Most Probably They Arrived In Goa Under The Leadership Of A Towering Personality Named Parashuram.
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