Modern Asian Studies 44, 2 (2010) pp. 201–240. C Cambridge University Press 2009 doi:10.

1017/S0026749X09990229 First published online 28 September 2009

Letters Home: Banaras pandits and the Maratha regions in early modern India∗
ROSALIND O’HANLON Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2LE, UK Email:

Maratha Brahman families migrated to Banaras in increasing numbers from the early sixteenth century. They dominated the intellectual life of the city and established an important presence at the Mughal and other north Indian courts. They retained close links with Brahmans back in the Maratha regions, where pressures of social change and competition for rural resources led to acrimonious disputes concerning ritual entitlement and precedence in the rural social order. Parties on either side appealed to Banaras for resolution of the disputes, raising serious questions about the nature of Brahman community and identity. Banaras pandit communities struggled to contain these disputes, even as the symbols of their own authority came under attack from the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. By the early eighteenth century, the emergence of the Maratha state created new models of Brahman authority and community, and new patterns for the resolution of such disputes.

Introduction The development of the city of Banaras in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries exemplifies the growing ‘connectedness’ that historians have taken to define the ‘early modern’ in South Asia.1
∗ I am extremely grateful to fellow participants in a workshop in Oxford in May 2007, on the subject of ‘Ideas in circulation in early modern India’. I particularly thank Christopher Minkowski for sharing his insights and expertise, and Allison Busch, Sheldon Pollock and James Benson for their comments on this draft. Madhav Deshpande and Shailendra Bhandare kindly shared important source materials with me. I thank Madhav Bhole and Ramesh Nimbkar for assistance in tracing the histories of some of the sources used in this paper. 1 For this theme, see Sanjay Subrahmanyam, ‘Connected Histories: Notes towards a Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia’, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 31, 3, 1997,

Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011

IP address:



The consolidation from the early sixteenth century of successor states to the Bahmani and Vijayanagar kingdoms meant a proliferation of large and smaller courtly centres in southern and central India with patronage to offer.2 In the north, the decade of the 1570s saw the consolidation of Akbar’s state and the emergence of an expansive new Mughal cultural strategy, drawing in the ambitious and talented from different regional and religious traditions and promoting exchange between them.3 Set between these northern and southern networks, Banaras seems to have attracted a new wave of intellectual specialists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Over the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, leading intellectuals from these pandit communities led significant innovations in Sanskrit learning.4 Many worked across a range of different fields rather than producing commentaries embedded ever more deeply in individual disciplines. Compendia and digests, often commissioned by royal patrons and seemingly aimed at non-specialist audiences, became commoner as literary forms. The ritual entitlements of people further down the social scale seemed to attract attention in a new way.5 Some writers adopted a stronger temporal sense in their ordering of the

pp. 735–762. For Benaras, see A.S. Altekar, History of Banaras (Banaras: Culture Publication House, 1937); Diana L. Eck, Banaras, Lity of Light (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983); Eck, ‘Kashi, city and symbol’, in Purana, Vol. 20, 2, 1978, pp. 169–92; and Eck, ‘A survey of the Sanskrit sources for the study of Banaras’, Purana, Vol. 22, 1, 1980, pp. 81–101. 2 See Richard M. Eaton, A Social History of the Deccan, 1300–1761: Eight Indian Lives (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 59–128; and Velcheru Narayana Rao, David Shulman and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Symbols of Substance: Court and State in Nayaka Period Tamilnadu (Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1992). 3 Catherine B. Asher and Cynthia Talbot, India Before Europe (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 126–44. 4 Sheldon B. Pollock, ‘New Intellectuals in Seventeenth Century India’, in The Indian Economic and Social History Review, Vol. 38 (1), 2001, pp. 3–31; and Pollock, The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture and Power in Premodern India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006); Yigal Bronner, ‘What is New and What is Navya: Sanskrit Poetics on the Eve of Colonialism’, in Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 30, 5, October 2002, pp. 441–62; Lawrence McRea, ‘Novelty of Form and Novelty of Substance in Seventeenth Century M¯ ams¯’, in Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. ım¯ . a 30, 5, October 2002, pp. 481–494; Johannes Bronkhorst, ‘Bhattoji D¯ . ita on Sphota’, ıks .. . in Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 33, 2005, pp. 3–41; and Christopher Minkowski, ‘Astronomers and their Reasons’, in Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 30, 2002, pp. 495–514. 5 See, for example, the ´ udrakamal¯kara of Kamalakara Bhatta, and the slightly S¯ a earlier ´ udr¯c¯ra´iromani of Sesa Krsna, both prominent ‘southern’ pandits. Ananya S¯ a a s . Vajpeyi, ‘Excavating Identity through Tradition: Who was Sivaji?’ in Satish Saberwal and Supriya Varma (eds.), Traditions in Motion: Religion and Society in History (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 257–258.

Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011

IP address:



knowledges of the past, alongside a new flourishing in the discipline of m¯ ams¯ in this period, whose foundations lay in inferring the ım¯ . a nature of dharma from ‘eternal’ Vedic revelation.6 The doctrine of k¯´imaranamukti was developed in new and stronger forms, suggesting as . that Banaras, as the city of Siva, held out possibilities of liberation to the departing soul as powerful as any that a virtuous life lived in the world could bestow.7 Also well known is the central place of ‘southern’ or daksin¯tya pandits . a in these developments.8 Many were migrants from learned families in the old religious centres of the Konkan littoral, or from the shrine towns that clustered along the Godavari, Bhima and Krishna rivers as they flowed eastward across the plains of central and southern India.9 Several generations of the Bhatta family of Desastha Brahmans authored major works across a range of disciplines and acted as intermediaries between the Mughal court and wider constituencies of the Hindu pious in north India.10 The Devas, also Desasthas, were a famous family of m¯ amsak¯s, descended from the great poet ım¯ . a Eknath (1533–1599).11 The Caturdhara or Chowdhuri family of Desasthas established itself in Banaras when Nilakantha Caturdhara
6 For these aspects of m¯ ams¯, see Sheldon S. Pollock, ‘M¯ ams¯ and the Problem ım¯ . a ım¯ . a of History in Traditional India’, in Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 109, 4, 1989, pp. 603–610. 7 Christopher Minkowski, ‘N¯ ılakantha Caturdhara’s Mantrak¯´ikhanda’, in Journal as .. .. of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 122.2, 2002, pp. 329–344; Jonathan Parry, Death in Banaras (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 26–32. Christopher Bayly has suggested that the easier conditions of travel under Mughal imperial rule, and the revenues it collected from taxes on pilgrims, boosted Banaras’s importance as a pilgrim destination during the early modern period. C.A. Bayly, ‘From ritual to ceremony: death ritual and society in Hindu north India since 1600’, in Joachim Whaley (ed.), Mirrors of Mortality: studies in the social history of death, (London: Europa Press, 1981), pp. 154–86. 8 M.H. Shastri, ‘Dakshini Pandits at Benaras’, in Indian Antiquary, Vol. XLI, January 1912, pp. 7–13. 9 For a description of Paithan in particular, this ‘Kasi of the South’, see R.S. Morwanchikar, The City of the Saints: Paithan Through the Ages (Delhi: Ajanta Publications, 1985). For other migrations following the fall of Vijayanagar, see Richard M. Eaton, Sufis of Bijapur 1300–1700: Social Roles of Sufis in Medieval India (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1996), pp. 97–99. 10 ´ . For the Bhatta family, see James Benson, ‘Samkarabhatta’s Family Chronicle’ .. in Axel Michaels (ed.), The Pandit: Traditional Scholarship in India (Delhi: Manohar, 2001), pp. 105–118. The colonial historian of Maharashtra’s Brahman communities, R.B.Gunjikar, identifies the Bhattas as Desasthas: R.B. Gunjikar, Sarasvat¯ Mandala ı .. (Bombay: Nirnayasagar Press, 1884), p. 99. 11 ¯ For a history of the Deva family, see P.K. Gode, ‘Apadeva, the Author of the M¯ ams¯-Ny¯yaprak¯´a and Mah¯mahop¯dhy¯ya Apadeva, the Author of the ım¯ . a a as a a a ¯ Adhikaranacandrik¯—are they identical?’ in Studies in Indian Literary History (Bombay: a . Singhi Jain Sastra Siksapith, 1954), Vol. II, pp. 39–43.

Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011

IP address:



came to the city from Kupergaon on the Godavari and established himself in the latter decades of the seventeenth century as a major commentator on the Mahabharata.12 The Punatambakar family of Desasthas came to the city from Punatamba on the Godavari, where Mahadeva Punatambakar emerged as a leading scholar of logic.13 Narasimha Sesa left the Sesa family home on the eastern Godaveri, spent time at the Bijapur court, and then settled in Banaras, where his son, Krsna Sesa, emerged as a prominent scholar in the last decades of the sixteenth century.14 The Bharadavaja family came to Banaras a little later: its founder was Mahadeva, who married the daughter of Nilakantha Bhatta, grandson of Narayana Bhatta.15 To make sense of this extraordinary intellectual and social formation, we need to look both at the urban milieu of Banaras itself, and at the regions and localities from which many of these pandits came. This interplay was to be vitally important. Caught up in the rapid social transformation of this period, communities of Brahmans back in the Maratha regions struggled to establish their own hierarchies of inclusion and exclusion, of superior and inferior degrees of Brahmanhood. To resolve these disputes, pandit assemblies in Banaras produced nirnayapatras, or letters of judgement, signed by the . pandits present, which were then sent back to the contending Brahman parties. However, these attempts at adjudication were complicated. As Brahman families migrated to Banaras, they were in some cases to carry their local rivalries and resentments with them, and to find new arenas for their expression in the intellectual life of the city. As these local disputes intensified during the seventeenth century, the pandit communities of Banaras were impelled to engage in new ways with the wider question of what it meant to be a Brahman, and to search for new ways of asserting and justifying Brahman authority. In this century before the coming of colonialism, Brahman community and identity were deeply conflicted constructs.

12 For a history of the Caturdhara/Chaudhuri family, see P.K. Gode, ‘N¯ ılakantha Caturdhara, The Commentator of the Mahabh¯rata—His Genealogy a .. and Descendants’ in Studies in Indian Literary History, Vol. II, pp. 475–498. 13 For references to the Punatambakar family, see Shastri, ‘Dakshini Pandits’; B. Upadhyaya, K¯´¯ k¯ p¯nditya parampar¯ (Banaras: Visvavidyalaya Prakasana, 1983), pp. ası ı a a 30–31; and Pollock, ‘New Intellectuals’, pp. 8–9. For Mahadeva Punatambakar, see T. Aufrecht, Catalogus Catalogorum (Leipzig: FA Brockhaus, 1891), Vol. 1, pp. 437a–b. (Hereafter CC.) 14 For a history of the Sesa family, see Ranganathasvami Aryavaraguru, ‘On the Sheshas of Benaras’, in Indian Antiquary, Vol. XLI, November 1912, pp. 245–53. 15 For the Bharadavaja family, see Shastri, ‘Dakshini Pandits’, 1912, p. 13.

Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011

IP address:

B. pp.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 205 Madhav Deshpande has explored some aspects of this interplay between Banaras and the Maratha country. 81–5. ‘Localising the Universal Dharma: Puranas.M. 4. 2009). unpublished mss. Deshpande. the paper explores the elaborate procedures that the assemblies developed to emphasize the supreme authority of their judgements. Xenophobia in Seventeenth Century India (Leiden: Leiden University Press. is the Narasimhasarvasavak¯vyam.16 This paper offers a closer exploration of the pandit assemblies and their letters of judgement. from the time of Akbar. 17 A note on sources is appended to this paper. Har Dutt Sharma and M. Patkar. A Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Government Collection under the Care of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal. . These and related issues have been the subject of an important new study in Gijs Kruijtzer. Some of the less well-known Brahman intellectuals who signed the letters are identified.17 The judgements are analysed for what they can tell us about the degree to which Banaras pandits were drawn into the inter-Brahman disputes of the Maratha country.100. both for the pandits themselves. probably in the 1630s. http://journals. providing important insights into social processes not easily found in the state-centred records in Persian or Marathi of the period. all identifications suggested below are consistent with what are here understood to be the best accepted chronological parameters for the life of each pandit. and to place them in the context of the Maratha warrior leader Sivaji’s emergence as challenger to Mughal strategy in the Deccan. An attempt is made to explore some of these Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. Vol. a . Another collection of praise addresses. and for the provincial Brahmans bringing disputes to Banaras for resolution. Finally. in honour of the pandit Narasimhasrama: see Haraprasad Shastri. 18 In particular the names attached to the praise addresses offered to the Banaras pandit Kavindracaraya.24 . 1923). Nibandhas. presented after he persuaded the emperor Shah Jehan to abolish the tax on pilgrims to Banaras. which came to hand only after this paper had gone to press. Kav¯ ındracandrodaya (Pune: Oriental Book Agency. and Nirnayapatras in Medieval Maharashtra’.63. Gunjikar. Unless otherwise stated. historian of western India’s Brahman communities. These letters offer an unusually detailed source for this period of India’s social history. 1939). R. Changing environments for Brahmans in the Maratha country Writing in 1884.18 The aim is to get a sense of what was at issue in the assemblies.cambridge. even as the symbols of Brahman intellectual authority in the city began to draw the hostile attention of the emperor Aurangzeb. ‘History and Geography’. identified eight subcastes of Maharashtrian Brahmans: 16 Madhav M. and their names compared with other lists from the period.

179–180. Kiravants. pp. 1950). Oturkar. 20 Gunjikar. p. Sarasvat¯ Mandala. S¯rasvata Bhusana (Bombay: Popular Book Depot. Some southern Brahmans were also identified by sectarian affiliations. P. pp. Devarukhy¯mv¯. Sarasvat¯ Mandala. Some seem to derive from towns where there were large settlements of those subgroups. were said to be Saraswat Brahmans fallen from their high status by taking on the ritual work of many Sudra menials. the histories of these names are difficult to identify with certainty. ‘The origin and antiquity of the caste-name of the Karah¯taka or Karh¯d¯ Brahmins’.206 ROSALIND O’HANLON the Desasthas of the Deccan uplands.22 Other affiliations were important too.20 Saraswat community a histories explain the title ‘Senavi’. Sharma. denoting the sa a particular branch of Vedic learning to which the community had dedicated itself. pp. ay¯ . see R. in Journal of the University of Bombay. ıs ım S¯ a . pp. 1950). PK a.K. as the nineteenth-century reformer Visnu Sastri Pandit described them. widespread use of the term ‘Chitpavan’ for Brahmans from Chiplun. Pe´vek¯lin s¯m¯jik va arthik patravyavah¯ra (Pune: Indian Council for s a a a a Historical Research. Dravidian kinship (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Karhad. Prakash Press. see Thomas Trautmann.21 Desasthas were another regional category. as a derivation from the Sanskrit term ´ah¯na. 1937. 123–124. 70– a . a. exogamous groupings defined by notional shared descent from one of the ancient sages. and P. Kiravants. Vol. the ritual entitlements of Kiravants made in the northern Konkan in March 1757. III.63. 1969). all Brahmans were members of a gotra and a pravara. no. 152–155. I am extremely grateful to Sumit Guha for this reference.. 1874). Gode. Devarukhe and Palshe. p. to which almost all of the southern pandit families who moved to Banaras belonged.100. 22 Visnusastri Pandit. 5. Vol. ´ astrasammata Vic¯ra (Bombay: Indu a . Karhades. referring to their s a clerical and scholarly pursuits.19 As might be expected. Gode.K. ´ .cambridge. Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. 239–245.23 They were also defined by a ´¯kh¯ or Vedic affiliation. . 6. 1981). Padyas and Palshes. 21 M. It was to this ‘utterly boundless Brahman class’. Besides family and lineage. meaning clever or learned. Devarukhes. and as adherents 19 Gunjikar. hence their name kriy¯vanta or ‘possessed of many rituals’. pp. Senavis or Saraswats. pp. for example. in Studies in Indian Cultural History (Pune: Prof. ‘Antiquity of the caste name ‘Senavi’.. 177–179. Some appear to be titles derived from a particular mode of livelihood. 7. such as Chiplun. http://journals.24 .a Gode Collected Works Publication Committee. applied to Saraswat Brahmans who had moved up from Goa into the Konkan. It is difficult to find evidence for ı . as Smartas or as Madhvas. and the multiple small communities of the Konkan littoral: Chitpavans or Chiplunas. 23 For these divisions.G.V. 39. before the seventeenth century. For a Chitpavan attempt to reduce ı .

Prabhu. one of the 18 ‘great’ puranas. 20–22. changes of livelihood. southern Brahmans: Dravidas. a a . and content and indices of authorship in the P¯tityagr¯manirnaya’. Vol. Puranic text’. new settlements in villages gifted as tax-free land to Brahmans. Sanwai is an occupational affiliation. identified in the late nineteenth century. Karnatas. the general grouping of Brahman communities found north of the Vindhya mountain range. Sherring. classes of ‘northern’ Brahmans—Saraswat. Maithila. Chitpaur. It seems likely too that this group of eight subcastes. They are likely to have involved migrations. A Caste in a Changing World: The Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmans 1700–1935 (Berkeley: University of California Press. see Frank F. The only edition is J. to Madhavacarya of the 13th Century AD. Nirnaya Sagar Press. .63. 491. and Levitt. 1982. http://journals. tradition. 25 An 1832 survey of ‘Maharasthr’ Brahmans in Banaras reveals these multiple affilations. 9.A. Yujurvedi and Raghurbedi (Rgvedi) represent ´¯kh¯s. and occasions of dharmic transgression.25 Maharashtra’s most important ‘purana of place’. 26 Notionally a part of the Skandapur¯na. Chitpaur (Chitpavan). pp. the a. written over a very long period. 1872). It listed eleven categories. Da Cunha’s edition is based on 14 manuscripts collected from different parts of India and collated to produce his edition. and the 24 For these affiliations amongst Saraswats. James Prinsep.cambridge.. 1. p. and Abhir. the ancient country s of northeastern India. described as Dravir. in Purana. was in fact mutable over time.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 207 therefore of one of the maths or monasteries embodying that sectarian . and to Gauda de´a. 1977.24 It is difficult to know what processes of fission and fusion may have shaped these Brahman ‘subcastes’ before the early modern period. Tylang. Levitt.26 It offered an all-India classification of Brahmans into two great classes. The pa˜ca dr¯vida were the five classes of n a . Gurjuras. pp. Sanwai. Dravir (Dravida) Tylang (Telenga). 128–145. as some split and others merged. Kan no.. 24.100. See also Stephan H. a . Kanhare. Karhare. The pa˜ca gauda were the five n . These contain references to the king Mayurasarma dating to 345–370 AD. 1877). Tailangas. ‘The Sahy¯drikhanda: some problems concerning a text-critical edition of a a . Kan no (Kanoja). Kanhare (Kannada) and Karhare (Karhade) are local or regional affiliations. xvii. in Asiatic Researches. shifting patterns of commensality and marriage relations. a . Sahy¯drikhanda is a heterogeneous collection of texts. See also M. the Sahy¯drikhanda. 1977). sa a ‘Desastha’ does not appear here as a significant designation. 8–40. pp. in Purana. Gauda and Utkala. Kanyakubja. Vol. Tribes and Castes as Represented in Banaras (London: Trubner and Co. Gerson da Cunha. Sri Sahy¯drikhanda Skandapur¯na (Bombay: a a. devoted many of its chapters to explaining the origins of the different Brahman subcastes.. Conlon. Gauda in this setting therefore referred both to .. 1. ‘Sahy¯drikhanda: style a . 1832. for Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125.24 .. Yujurbedi. while one of the manuscripts is dated 1700. ‘Census of the Population of the City of Banaras’. Raghurbedi.

31 Deshpande. ‘Origins of the a a a . the chance to shape more local narratives of community origin may have offered a means of defence against the hostility of local Brahman communities towards outsiders. Padyas and others were represented as fallen Brahmans inhabiting wicked lands. First. Parasurama wrested the lands of the Konkan littoral from the sea. and adhy¯ya a a 20. intellectuals to maintain systems of social classification and ranking as some communities began to settle in new regions south of the Vindhya mountains. 1996. 2. If the older puranic accounts suggest elements of strain and struggle in the shaping of Brahman subgroups and communities. Deshpande. sin or dharmic lapse.32 The histories of the P¯tityagr¯manirnaya are likely to reflect social strains a a . 29 Ibid. vss. traditionellen Klassifikation’ in M. Some.. 3.31 For migrants. the texts of the Sahy¯drikhanda describe how the sage a . uttar¯radha.30 The texts contain many names of Brahman subgroups no longer in existence by the time Gunjikar compiled his list in 1884. Vol. ‘Origins of the Karastras’.P. ‘Pa˜ca Gauda und Pa˜ca Dr¯vida. 439–476. Bergunder and R. uttar¯radha. Brahman Villages’. 1974. within villages originally settled by Brahman families. changes of occupation. and may point to the origin of some of the Konkan’s Brahman subcastes in particular village settlements. ‘Flight of the Deities: Hindu Resistance in Portugese Goa’. in Modern Asian Studies. vs. 30. 1998. were described as migrants into the region. like the Chitpavans and Saraswats.. ‘Pa˜ca Gauda’. pp. 2–4 and Madhav a a a . of fallen villages’ deal with subgroups of Brahmans who had come into being through fission.. Levitt ‘The P¯tityagr¯manirnaya: A Puranic History of Degraded a a . adhy¯ya 2.27 More Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. adhy¯ya 1. 1–8. . 74–75. pp. Deshpande has suggested that the pa˜ca gauda and pa˜ca n n . Konstruktionen der Vergangenheit als Grundlage fur Selbst-und Fremdwahrnehmungen Sudasiens (Halle: Verlag der Franckeschen Stiftungen zu Halle. pp. adhy¯ya 1. n . vss. 30 Stephan H. or ‘Maharastra’ in some variant readings of these lists.24 . 27 Da Cunha. 2002). pp.29 A sub-set of central chapters. dr¯vida classifications encapsulate the early struggles of Brahman a . M. Das.28 Karhades. 39–45.63. (eds). and Axelrod and Fuerch. pp. the early modern period was to bring its own new elements of turbulence. 32 Paul Axelrod and Michelle A. ‘Arier’ und ‘Draviden’..cambridge. University of Pennsylvania Dissertation. Chitpavans’. Fuerch. 45. 28 Da Cunha. vss. Umstrittene Grenzen einer n n a . ‘Portugese Orientalism and the making of the village communities of Goa’ in Ethnohistory. Vol.100. 175–289. Sri Sahy¯drikhanda. or given as tax-free land. Sri Sahy¯drikhanda. 24. and 16–20. the P¯tityagr¯manirnaya or ‘determination a a . 387–421. 57–78. http://journals. and then set about populating these lands with their many different Brahman communities.208 ROSALIND O’HANLON inhabitants of ‘Madhyadesa’.

275–302. s Brahman families came to hold most of these hereditary posts as they took clearer shape over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 1975). 64–96. Richards. in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. Social Systems and States (Delhi: Oxford University Press. and Perlin. deploying their combination of scribal skills. accountants and holders of military estates. see Susan Bayly.35 In the Konkan littoral. 1–48. 296– 304. Land and sovereignty in India: agrarian society and politics under the eighteenthcentury Maratha Svarajya (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Caste. 1981).M. granted as an incentive to boost cultivation particularly after periods of drought and dearth. Gijs Kruijtzer. khoti tenures were offered as a form of hereditable revenue farm. p. pp. as an independent office. Chitpavan Brahmans in the 33 Hiroshi Fukazawa.cambridge. Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. as well as developing widespread credit operations. Eaton. Vol. Akkanna and the Brahmin Revolution: A Study of Mentality. 1991). The Bijapur court in particular took steps to establish the office of de´akulkarni. ‘Of White Whale and Countrymen’. pp. http://journals. 5. Vol. ‘Of White Whale and Countrymen in the Eighteenth Century Maratha Deccan: Extended Class Relations. Rights and the problem of Rural Autonomy in the eighteenth Century Maratha Deccan’.63. 1978.33 Second. 231–67. 198. 35 Perlin. Richards and others have demonstrated. 1999). This gave rise to powerful new classes of Brahman ‘men of the pen’ in the bureaucracies of the Deccan sultanate states. religious prestige and access to cash to assemble substantial holdings in land and local office. ‘The local administration of the Adilshahi Sultanate (1484– 1686)’ in Fukazawa. For an indispensable account of the growth of Brahman power in the eighteenth century. pp.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 209 as Fukazawa.24 . Claessen and P. as Frank Perlin has argued. well before the eighteenth-century growth of Brahman financial power under the government of the Peshwas. Mughal administration in Golconda (Oxford: Oxford University Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. The Study of the State (The Hague: Mouton. A Social History of the Deccan. 1986). 2002. Some families were able to build up scattered accumulations of offices and rights as village and regional heads. ‘Madanna. The Medieval Deccan: Peasants. in Journal of Peasant Studies. the Maratha countryside saw the consolidation of wealth and prestige into the hands of particular families. who became indispensable in courts and great households as much as in their local roles as village accountants responsible for revenue assessment and collection. 54. Skalnik (eds). Andre Wink. 34 Frank Perlin. Group Behaviour and Personality in Seventeenth Century India’. ‘The Pre-Colonial Indian State in History and Epistemology: A Reconstruction of Societal Formation in the Western Deccan from the Fifteenth to the Early Nineteenth Century’ in H. 2. pp.J. or accountant. pp. J.34 Brahman families as well as Marathas accumulated rights in this way. 172–237. pp.F.100. the states of the Deccan Sultanate drew many local Hindu scribal specialists into state service.

Cambridge University Press. Chitpavans attacked them as a species of local and inferior Brahman. while ‘Javal’. denying their identity as respectable Desasthas of the Yajurvedi ´¯kh¯. 38 Tukaram Tatya Padaval. 1963). ‘The Origin and Antiquity’. aa a a Vol. Brahman migration into the Konkan littoral in particular continued and intensified. 51–52. II. SuklaYajurvediya community histories document their migration to the Konkan from the Paithan and Punatamba districts on the Godavari. 9. the Dev family of Cincvad near Pune were supplying cash to the Maratha ruler Shahu. A Lineage and the State in Maharashtra (Cambridge. 111–117. See Gode. p. Preston.100. however. p.. for a document of 5 April 1676 referring to a Chitpavan khot. ‘Palshes’ from the town of Palshi where many lived. nos. complained that the Brahmans were deserting their older roles as priests and village servants. Tahmankar. From the late-seventeenth century.37 These developments certainly disturbed some contemporaries: the Marathi poet Tukaram.63. 1989). 162–72. Vi´vagun¯dar´acamp¯ of Venkatadhvari (Varanasi: s . for example. 6163–6166. pp. who was being held hostage at Aurangzeb’s court. was simply another term for a khoti landlord. 1885).R.39 The arrival of the sa a Portuguese in the Konkan from the 1520s resulted in a substantial displacement of Brahmans from Goa into the Konkan and Deccan. Samagra Tuk¯r¯m G¯th¯ (Pune: Varada Press. see Surendra Nath Sastri (ed. Marathi-English Dictionary (Bombay: Bombay Education Society’s Press. Sarasvat¯ Mandala. to take up profitable new occupations as revenue farmers and moneylenders. http://journals. Medieval Maharashtra (New Delhi: Books and Books.a s Vidyabhavana Sanskrit Series. (Bombay: Nirnayasagar Press. where they were granted valuable lands and offices. The Devs of Cincvad. 1996). 39 Gunjikar. p.210 ROSALIND O’HANLON Konkan held khoti rights at least as early as the seventeenth century. Ramadevaraya of Devagiri (1271–1309) recruited local Desastha families to serve his son as ritual officiants in the Konkan.38 Third. for example. 13.V. Murray. pp. the name of a subcommunity of Brahmans in the southern Konkan. 7.). pp. There are also seventeenth-century complaints against Karhades as interlopers from above the ghats seeking to appropriate local rights and livelihoods.40 36 James Molesworth. 82–91. 1996). 40 Gode. Narayana Vitthal Vaidya. Kulkarni. For other observations about Maratha Brahmans and u service. 37 In 1705.cambridge. See also A. Abhipr¯y¯val¯ ı a a . ‘Origin and Antiquity’. Laurence W. pp. Lokamanya Tilak: Father of Indian Unrest and Maker of Modern India (London: J.36 Brahman families granted revenue-exempt lands in return for their religious services found that their combination of piety and access to cash gave them formidable strength as providers of credit. 1857).ı . Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125.24 . 1956). p. The family of the Chitpavan nationalist leader Tilak had for three centuries been khoti landlords in the Ratnagiri village of Chikhalgaon. D.

we find Lakha Senavi. a . monastery. 48. Saraswats constituted one of the groups of northern or gauda Brahmans. Vol. contemporary accounts record their pervasive presence and success as educators. came only slowly into practical use for . as having migrated to Goa at an early date. administrators and political intermediaries. from about 1600. The gurus of the Kusasthal math also left Goa. Narayan Senavi and Raghunath Senavi mentioned as merchants from Revadandha. p. In a document of 24 October 1643 recording local revenue rights. Mandala Sviya Grantham¯la. with its overt associations with the five groups of gauda.189. 3. at Kusasthal in Goa.42 They were also important traders. 8–25. Gunjikar’s 1884 account observed. ‘The History and Social Organisation of the Gauda Saraswata Brahmanas of the West Coast of India’. 2. settling first in the Konkan .K. 1970. and Deshpande. 42 41 http://journals. Their status as village heads and controllers of temple resources enabled them to establish themselves both as political intermediaries and important revenue contractors under the Portugese. 44 N. ‘What makes people who they are? Pandit Networks and the Problem of Livelihoods in Early Modern Western India’ in Indian Economic and Social History Review. pp. Konkan¯ca Itih¯s¯c¯ S¯dhanem (Pune: Bh¯rata Itih¯sa Sam´odhaka a aaı a a a . or . Badul Senavi. drove many to migrate northwards into the Konkan and south into the Kanara regions.24 . 69. pp. p. 1953). histories and the narratives of the Sahy¯drikhanda describing them a . both their own internal caste . particularly the destruction in 1564 of their important math. .44 Devarukhes were also Konkani Brahmans whose nomenclature was complex. 45.s . or ‘northern’ Brahmans.41 Known as Senavis in the Konkan.cambridge. 2008. 2–5. in Journal of Indian History. in Banaras. 48.100. ‘some say that Sharma.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 211 Disputed entitlements: Saraswats and Devarukhes These social shifts emerge in a particularly marked way in the histories of two Brahman subgroups. these Konkani Brahmans from the middle of the eighteenth century. See Rosalind O’Hanlon and Christopher Minkowski. 381–416. and seems to have been generalised in the Konkan to apply to all Brahmans from Goa. 1. and Vol. pp.. S¯rasvata Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. The term ‘Saraswat’.. ‘Pa˜ca Gauda’. and then. Portugese religious pressures. 295–333. who had set up warehouses to trade in every different kind of commodity between the Konkan and the passes into the Deccan. 43 SV Avalaskar. Wagle. Vol. 1970. n . pp.63.43 The term ‘Senavi’ applied to the families from particularly prestigious Saraswat settlements in Goa. a .

On the evidence of their gotras or exogamous subgroups.K.. 47 V. He cited many contemporary examples of intermarriage between Devarukhes and Desasthas.49 The Bombay Gazetteer for Ratnagiri district remarked Gunjikar.212 ROSALIND O’HANLON “Devarukhe” is a corruption of the word ‘Devarsi’. a u a a . but there is a very well known town called Devarukhe.cambridge. a Rajwade Samsodhana Mandala.. pp.45 A number of different sources refer to an early dispute between Devarukhe and Chitpavan Brahmans. 48 Pandit. regarding association with them as unlucky. 46 45 http://journals. a . They refused the Chitpavan’s pressure to join in the work unless he was willing to get his hands dirty along with the other labourers. 186–94. mss 19. Vol. ı . and offered the theory that Devarukhes were originally Desastha Brahmans who had moved into the Konkan in search of local offices as khoti revenue farmers. was overseeing the digging of a tank near Vasai in the Thane district of northern Konkan. Vasudeva Citale. Joshi Collection.B.48 He recounted the history of Vasudeva Citale’s attempt to make the Devarukhes work. so there can be no doubt that their name came about from that’. P. 18.47 This history drew the interest of colonial commentators. who dated his manuscript to 1690. 16–18. ´ Madhava. pp. p. . Rajwade. stigmatising them when the Devarukhes refused to work.24 .. pp.s 1914. The ´ Satapra´nakalpalat¯. reprinted in M. Saha.100. The infuriated Chitpavan cursed the whole Brahman community of Devarukhe. Bhandarkar Oriental s a Research Institute. although always on the principle of the upward movement of brides: Devarukhes married their daughters to Desasthas. 176. a wealthy Chitpavan Brahman. but not vice-versa. 39–41. Some two hundred years earlier. ıs ım S¯ a . Devarukhy¯mv¯.46 A judicial case of 1723 alludes to this same episode. Itih¯sac¯raya VK R¯jav¯de Samagraha S¯hitya (Dhulia: a a a a. 49 Ibid. ff. Satapra´nakalpalat¯. 7.63. described it in detail. a mixed s a purana and local chronicle by one Madhav. since which time other Konkani Brahmans had withdrawn from social relations with them. 1998). and pressing local people into serving as labourers in the project. Local Chitpavans had seen them as rivals and endeavoured to turn them into labourers on their own lands. ´ astrasammata Vic¯ Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. ay¯ . ‘Devaruky¯ci M¯lotpatti’ in Bh¯rata Itih¯sa Sam´odhaka Mandala. the social commentator and reformer Vishnu Sastri Pandit argued in 1874 that the Devarukhes must originally have been part of the larger Desastha Brahman community. A group of Brahmans from the town of Devarukhe were travelling along the road past the tank. p.M. Sarasvat¯ Mandala.

Sivacaritra S¯hitya.51 . 2.cambridge. to make the slippage from ‘devarse’. to ‘devarsi’. pronunciation of ‘devarukhe’. 50 Bombay Gazetteer. 285–317. a a . Prinsep. Muzumdar. which were referred to the southern pandit assemblies of Banaras. uttar¯radha. 2. No.53 . 491.24 . 110. Like Desasthas. December 1932. Vol. . (Pune: BISM. pp. XIII.54 It formed part of an array of local assemblies with different powers and purposes. Potdar and G.T. and for ıya aa .52 It is also possible that Devarukhes in Banaras at this time may have taken advantage of the pious associations of the term ‘devarsi’ in its Sanskrit . ‘Devarsis’ feature in the Sahy¯drikhanda as stray references within a . 114. ‘Ac¯ra. pp.. had a very long history as arbiters of customary ritual practice and entitlement through letters of judgement of the kind under discussion here. X. Sri Sahy¯drikhanda. 48– Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. 1930). 1953). for these Konkani Brahmans. 3.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 213 that ‘they are said to have originally come to these parts as revenue farmers’. adhy¯ya 5. the local dharmasabh¯. see Rosalind O’Hanlon. Ratnagiri and Savantvadi (Bombay: Government Central Press. composed of local learned Brahmans and religious a office-holders. see B. 52 Da Cunha. ‘Narratives of Penance and Purification in Western India. ‘Consideration of a a a .s Mandala Sv¯ Grantham¯l¯. pp. the majlis..55 These institutions considered local rights and precedents. meaning of ‘godly sage’. How did this slippage come about? Northern dialects render the Marathi consonant ‘s’ as ‘kh’. 55 For other assemblies with judicial roles. 53 Prinsep’s survey of 1832 does not mention ‘Devarsis’ or Devarukhes. see a a a V.. 91–105. they may have been represented under their ´¯kh¯ affiliation. Census. in a a ıs a a a Bh¯rata Itih¯sa Sam´odhaka Mandala Quarterly. 54 For these assemblies. vyavah¯ra.100. 2009. a a ıs ´ see D. Gune. or they sa a may by this period no longer have been a significant presence in Banaras. pp. the Gijare dharm¯dhik¯r¯ of Karhad. The Judicial System of the Marathas (Pune: Sangam Press. Brahmans’. c. p. 6–12.V. gotasabh¯ and j¯tisabh¯. Vol. 33.. 1880). Vol. 51 I am very grateful to Sumit Guha for pointing out this link. Bhat. 1650–1850’ in The Journal of Hindu Studies. ‘devarse’ in northern India would have been pronounced ‘devarakhe’. pp. the local .s .63. Vol. its lists of the many different categories of Brahmans.N. It seems to have been the more fundamental questions about the place of Brahman subgroups within the larger classification of Brahmans. Bh¯rata Itih¯sa Sam´odhaka a a a . p. pr¯yascitta’. For the correspondence of the Prabhu dharm¯dhik¯r¯ of Nasik.V. What kinds of local mechanism would have been available in the Maratha country to deal with uncertainties of identity and entitlement of this kind? Within the Marathi speaking regions. Thus . 65–66. http://journals.50 The judgements coming out of Banaras always use the term ‘devarsi’ .

pp. in Rajendra Vorah and Anne Feldhaus. As Anne Feldhaus has described. ‘Pa˜ca Gauda’. the ‘southern’ schools of Brahmans seem to have constituted in some ways a recognised set of intellectual positions. particularly when juxtaposed to those of ‘eastern’ India. have shared in common? The evidence suggests multiple and overlapping affiliations. This affiliation was much less straightforward in the case of Desasthas. Chitpavans. 2006).214 ROSALIND O’HANLON The ‘southern’ Brahman community in Banaras What might the ‘southern’ pandits. n . Paithan and others further east along the river in Andhra Pradesh. 30–31. Devarukhes—clearly came from towns of those names in Marathi or Konkani-speaking regions. Another lay in Brahman subcaste.100. For Banaras itself as both a microcosm of the universe and a macrocosm of the human body. pp. homologous to other great bodies in the cosmos. See also Feldhaus. 194–195.58 ‘Easterners’ had their strong base in the discipline of ny¯ya or logic. 57 Anne Feldhaus. Pilgrimage and Geographical Imagination in India (New York: Palgrave Macmillan. or wrote Kannada using the Marathi b¯lbodha script. 58 Deshpande. although some would have had Konkani or its local variants. pursued in the a scholarly communities of Mithila and then of Navadvipa and in the 56 Gunjikar. Culture and Politics in India (New Delhi: Manohar. see Parry. For the majority this was Marathi. identified the river itself as a great a a body. whose ‘limbs’ were represented by towns near major tirthas. http://journals. have been Desasthas. 104–106.cambridge. who formed the majority of those sitting in the assemblies. Brahmans living in or hailing from these towns may have been aware of themselves as sharing this sacred geography.56 These migrations a explain Prinsep’s 1832 listing described above. such as Tryambakesvar. long established elements in regional religious culture. One lay in vernacular language. the ‘Ganga of the south’. Death in Banaras. Most of these Brahmans are likely to ı ..63. Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. pp. Connected Places: Region. ‘Religious Geography and the Multiplicity of Regions in Maharashtra’. 57. Telugu or Kannada. Region.57 Intellectually too. Brahman migrations from the Deccan into central and southern India produced a substantial community of Kannada-speaking Desastha Brahmans.24 . which included Dravida. some of whom wrote in Marathi but actually spoke Kannada. expressed in the God¯vari Mah¯tmya in particular. Some Brahman communities— Karhades. Sarasvat¯ Mandala. Another affiliation may have been with the Godavari river itself. 2003). and others. Telanga and Kannada amongst its categories of Maharashtra Brahmans. Punatamba.

1600–1660)’ in Studies in Indian Cultural a ıks . p.K. Vol.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 215 literary and poetic style identified with the Gauda region. ‘An Echo of the Seige of Jinji in a Sanskrit Grammatical Work (Between AD 1690 and 1710)’ in Studies in Indian Literary History (Pune: Prof. who completed his vast treatise on logic in 1646. 1971).cambridge. 161–162. Vol. The householder replies that he is a Maharashtrian Brahman. . The G¯ anapadama˜j¯r¯ of Dhundiraja was an imitation of an earlier work written in the ırv¯ . 62 Gode.61 Nilakantha Caturdhara left Kopargaon on the Godavari for Banaras. In this earlier work. http://journals. Gode. see Yigal Bronner and David Shulman. 2006. Vol. for example. 61 Pollock. The sannyasi first enquires what his caste is. ‘Some Provincial Customs and Manners Mentioned as Durac¯r¯s by a a Varadar¯ja (A Pupil of Bhattoji D¯ . a glimpse into the way in which contemporaries employed some of these overlapping categories. ‘N¯ ılakantha Caturdhara’. 1965). naı first half of the seventeenth century by Varadaraja. through its fictionalised account. 521–527. 1969). Language of the Gods.24 . see Pollock. 210–212. Hearing that he is a Maharashtrian Brahman.63. had settled in Banaras. where his son Govinda also resided. a sa A late seventeenth-century primer used to teach simple conversational Sanskrit may give. stayed in Banaras. It depicted a Maratha Brahman householder of Banaras who seeks out a sannyasi from the math where sannyasis . 60 P. pupil of Bhattoji Diksita.. although both he and his father before him had actually been born in ‘Gauda desa’. in Indian Economic and Social History Review.. 1–30. The two men then survey the dur¯c¯ra aa or evil practices that may lie in wait for the unwary in different parts of India. Mahadeva Punatambekara. and they discuss India’s regions very much in terms of the pa˜ca gauda and pa˜ca dr¯vida groupings of Brahmans. For a further discussion of regionalism in Sanskrit literary genres in this period. 8.62 sa 59 Satischandra Vidyabhusana. grammar and in dharma´¯stra. 1. having gone there for an education in logic. 74. PK Gode Collected Works Publication Committee. . pp.100. p. III. but his grandson Siva Chowdhuri was back in Paithan when he composed his work on dharma´¯stra in 1746. ım¯ .59 The strengths of the southern pandits lay in a m¯ ams¯. pp. ‘New Intellectuals’. PK Gode Collected Works Publication Committee.K. the sannyasi says he will be very glad to come. and invites him to dine. History (Pune: Prof. but his father still lived back in Punatamba on the Godavari. pp.60 n n a . 43. 480–485. A History of Indian Logic (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas. ‘Southern’ pandits in sixteenth and seventeenth century Banaras were members of wider family Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. For the poetic style associated with the Gauda region. the Brahman householder identifies himself as a Kanyakubja Brahman: P. III. pp. also known as pr¯cya or ‘eastern’. pp. Gode. often with pre-existing traditions of learning. ita ca. ‘A Cloud Turned Goose: Sanskrit in the Vernacular Millenium’.

11–4. p. In that town lived a Brahman named Kesava. the association of Chitpavans with the god Parasurama. pp. 31.. 1952). nos. see P. learned in mathematics. Sardesai (ed. a Raja Ramsing I of Jaipur And His Works—Between AD 1650 and 1700’. 258–273.64 These few lines were a triumph of condensed reference. Pingree. Census of the Exact Sciences in Sanskrit (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. By 1674. VII.66 63 G. Selections from the Peshwa Daftar (Bombay: Government Central Press. who was an ornament to the line of the Chitpavans. 1934). II. whose father. 66 G. and even. 4–5. http://journals. where Laksmi as well as Saraswati have made their homes. Vol. 65 For another Chitpavan in Banaras who was careful to mention his family and subcaste.). of the sandilya gotra. He spent the decades of the mid-seventeenth century in Banaras. Vol. pp. a a 13–14.). a a . where he was a close friend of Gagabhatta of the Bhatta family. in Bh¯rata Itih¯sa asıks a ıla a ına a. They evoked the wealth of the Konkan and the reputation of its towns for learning. See also David . was learned in mathematics. family of the wife of Sivaji. issued a letter in October 1614 granting a village to the learned Brahman Bhattacharya Gosavi from Nevasa on the Godavari so that he could reside in Banaras and carry out a daily routine of bathing. Kane. of the story of Parasurama’s winning from the sea lands as far as the bow from his arrow would carry.S. A Cittap¯van Court-Poet of s a a a . and received honours from the emperor for his accomplishments as an astrologer. Narasimha moved to Banaras during Akbar’s time. Kesava. 374. Sam´odhaka Mandala Quarterly. Mudhoji Vangoji Nimbalkar of the Naik-Nimbalkar rulers of Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125.V. ‘K¯´¯ . 5.s . ‘Vi´van¯tha Mah¯deva R¯nade.100. etr¯t¯ akbarak¯l¯ konkanastha ghar¯ne’.K. Vol. he had taken up his position at the Maratha court in Raigad and was present at Sivaji’s consecration in 1674. honoured by Parasurama.65 Other connections with the Marathi-speaking regions lay in patronage.24 . came from Nevasa on the Godavari. 1926–7.63 This sense of connection with family and locality is evident in the lives of less well-known pandits too. Param¯nandak¯vya (Baroda: Oriental Institute. Gode. Vol. pp. 1970–1994). 64 P. His son Raghunath described the family’s Konkani origins: In the daksina desa there is a most happy town called Palshet. Narasimha was the son of a family of Chitpavan astrologers and mathematicians from Palshet in the Konkan. later to be ‘court poet’ of the Maratha leader Sivaji.S. with the reference to an arrow. in Studies in Indian Literary History.63. Sardesai (ed.cambridge.216 ROSALIND O’HANLON Paramananda Kavindra. praying and listening to recitations of the puranas. an arrow’s flight from the port of Dabhol. 4–5. pp.

Samaresh Bandhopadhyay. who completed his famous digest the Dharmasindhu in 1790. AD 1565–1668 (London: H. a 69 Richard Salomon. Kasinatha Upadhyaya.. 1968). 1–2. Francois Bernier.cambridge. pp. 112.V. p. 1982). http://journals. alleging that the latter had tried to move in on their priestly offices while Padhye family members had been away on a m¯h¯y¯tra. Vol. Dharmasindhu (Banaras: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office. under the leadership of Narayana of the Bhatta family. which had lasted for nine years. 1914). 30.E. 326–336. 70 ´ . ´ Sivacaritra S¯hitya. Travels in the Mogul Empire. pp. Samkara. pp. We gain insights into these histories. Bhandarkar Birth Centenary Volume (Calcutta: University of Calcutta. Acarya-Vandana: D.R.63.70 At the house of Todar Mal in Delhi. After a month. he debated with eminent pandits from Gauda 67 Visiting Banaras in the 1660s. . 1. pp. p.69 Well-known stories emphasize his advocacy of the intellectual positions of ‘southern’ Brahmans.68 Authority and the Visvesvara temple It was from the 1570s that the southern pandit community came to prominence in Banaras.. the traveller Bernier was told that students stayed with their teachers for ten to twelve years. Some of these stories are well documented. pp. 334–335.100. in which he stated clearly at the start of the work was aimed at a lay rather than a scholarly audience.24 . This may equally reflect classical conventions about the period of Vedic studentship proper to young Brahmans: F. Milford. History of Dharma´¯stra (Pune: Bhandarkar sa Oriental Research Institute. Keay. Kane. ‘Biographical Data on N¯r¯yana Bhatta of Benaras’ in a a . P. as well as his role as protagonist for the larger community of Hindu pious. Indian Education in Ancient and Later Times (Oxford: Oxford University Press. the Purohitas. .67 Maratha Brahman pilgrims might stay for a long period. he established the supremacy of the southern schools. a great a aa pilgrimage to Banaras and other holy cities. The family history written by Narayana’s second son. 1938). Benson. The Golavalikara Padhye family of Karhade Brahmans from the Konkan brought a court case in 1600 against another local family. 68 This family was later to produce the eminent dharmasastri Kasinatha Upadhyaya. 333–353. Vol. often for extended periods. describes how the lord of Utkala in Orissa invited him to debate with pandits from the ‘eastern’ schools. ‘Samkarabhatta’s Family Chronicle’.org Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. and Potdar and Muzumdar. particularly when prolonged stays in Banaras could cause trouble back home. Many came for education.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 217 Banaras also seems to have had a substantial transient population of Maratha Brahmans. 2. 1975). 463–465.

Anand Asram Press. since Narayana explains that pilgrims might well find empty shrines when they visited it. Mantrak¯´ikhanda’. the virtues of the city. and of the Visvesvara temple itself as their centre and sacred source. N¯r¯yanabhat. p. There is much solid evidence of Narayana’s close interest in the temple. p. pp. pp.. whispered into the ear of the .100. 1985)... Gokhale and H.74 In Siva’s praise poem of Banaras. Gaya and Prayag could accrue in different sacred places in these cities. the force behind all other lingas in the world.N. 10. Salomon. for other lingas all over India. offered in convenient and compact form a guide to the spiritual merits that pilgrims to the holy cities of Banaras. 1908).. 73 R. 71 72 Shastri. probably during the 1580s. 75 K¯´ikhanda (Banaras: no press given.t . and the reinstallation of its great Siva linga. ‘N¯ ılakantha Caturdhara’s . The long central section of the guide. was his involvement. the most important of the puranic texts celebrating as . aviracitah Tristhal¯ . where Siva’s teachings. Apte (eds).org Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. as . See also Richard Salomon. Visvesvaralinga’.cambridge. adhy¯ya 99. 208.72 The Visvesvara temple was one of the most important sacred sites in this city of maranamukti. ‘Lord of All’.63. dying. with Vidyanivasa.24 . ‘Dakshini Pandits’. ‘Bridge to the Three Holy Cities’.218 ROSALIND O’HANLON and Mithila.. as .75 Narayana’s own work included a selection and arrangement of passages from the K¯´ikhanda. 1915). in a great cosmic homology. spoken on his return to the city after a long exile. attested by a number of different sources. the leading pandit at Navadvipa. probably compiled in the fourteenth century out of earlier texts and traditions. in the rebuilding of Banaras’s great temple to Siva as Visvesvara. ‘The mahatmya of the as a . His Tristhal¯ ısetu. ısetuh . dealing with Banaras. The Samanya-praghattaka of Narayana Bhatta’s Tristhal¯ ısetu (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas. ‘Biographical Data’. 336–337.71 The most celebrated episode of Narayana’s life.73 Narayana’s involvement naturally raises the wider question as to the ‘southern’ pandits’ role in developing the stronger claims for the unique spiritual powers of Banaras. These claims were already set out in the K¯´ikhanda. 333–334. ‘owing to the bad actions of the mlecchas’. suggests that the temple was at one point in some state of dilapidation. http://journals. 74 This question is discussed in Minkowski. the lingas of Banaras themselves standing. he celebrates the Visvesvara linga as the linga of lingas. The Bridge to the Three Holy Cities. at their head. brought certain liberation to the soul. (Banaras: aa .

. north and west respectively of the central sanctuary housing the Siva linga.76 It had a central square sanctuary housing the linga of Visvesvara. is the ‘southern’ mandapam.79 There is also an important contemporary parallel. Drawing on selected passages from the K¯´ikhanda. just as many of the Brahmans who now . 68. . 92. These passages from the aa . Aisvarya and Jnana as .cambridge. he seems deliberately to emphasise the theme as . Srngara.t . vs. 51. ‘Celebration of the entry of as a a . puranas and sa histories in the Mukti mandapam. with the Mukti mandapam having special significance.. p. The Mukti Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. Tristhal¯ ısetu are taken from K¯´ikhanda. ısetuh . measuring 32 ft on each side. vss. We do have a good idea of the temple’s structure at the point at which the emperor Aurangzeb ordered its destruction in 1669.’78 As Narayana makes his arrangement of passages from the K¯´ikhanda. aa . adhy¯ya 79. or pavilions.. the pandit assemblies were emphatic in their emphasis that their meetings took place in the Mukti mandapam or ‘Mukti pavilion’ of the Visvesvara temple. he highlights the special merit conferred as . aviracitah Tristhal¯ . http://journals. daksinamandape... Altekar. of ‘southern’-ness. K¯´ikhanda. 79 N¯r¯yanabhat. Narayana quotes from the K¯´ikhanda: ‘Because one can worship in the Mukti mandapam. adhy¯ya 79. Banaras Illustrated in a Series of Drawings (Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press. moreover. . p.t . dharma´¯stras. adhy¯ya 3.24 . 1833). because the mosque then built on the site retained the basic ground plan of the temple. vss 53–94. 188–190. east. 77 K¯´ikhanda.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 219 As we shall see below. adhy¯ya 98. Visvesvara into the Mukti mandapam’. to the south. . as . erected a Mukti mandapam during the 76 James Prinsep. The K¯´ikhanda describes the Mukti.. and converse on matters of law there. Was this a poetic reference to an imagined space. 54–74.77 Narayana’s own work the Tristhal¯ ısetu makes it even clearer that these were physical spaces. mandapams. Prataparudra Deva..63. The Gajapati king of Orissa. ısetuh as a . each measuring 16 ft by 16 ft. as well as listen to the Puranas.. p. associated with the kinds of study that Brahmans in particular undertake. Each side of the square led to an antechamber measuring 16 ft by 10 ft and leading from these antechambers were four mandapams. History of Benaras. or a physical location? Questions of this kind are notoriously difficult to answer for Banaras. 189. deliberated there were themselves ‘southerners’. associated with discussions in matters of law. by recitation and study of the Vedas. I am particularly as a . . pp. grateful to Vincenzo Vergiani and Jim Benson for their assistance with these sections. 78 N¯r¯yanabhat. These passages suggest that the Mukti mandapam was at the time of the K¯´ikhanda’s writing already as . a man who is a receptacle of dharma should live in Kasi.100. aviracitah Tristhal¯ .

‘Puri’s Vedic Brahmans: Continuity and Change in their Traditional Institutions’. We cannot be certain that Narayana was aware of these conventions. But it does seem striking that when they issued their judgements. Having 80 These Brahmans enjoyed specific local rights as village proprietors. . The first detailed record dates from 1583 and concerns the Devarukhe or Devarsi Brahmans. G. The Cult of Jagannath and the Regional Tradition of Orissa (New Delhi: Manohar. We also cannot know whether other ‘southern’ pandits were aware of this Puri model when they consciously revived the old tradition of learned meetings in that part of the reconstructed Visvesvara temple. 179–192.t . had trained in Banaras as agnihotr¯ priests ıs. Data on Caste in Orissa (Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India. and in a well-known part of it associated both with ‘southern’-ness. (eds).cambridge. pp. Puri’ in Nirmal Kumar Bose. G. Balaprabhu Khalagaonkar and Arekar Mahajan. or Orissa. Vitthal Jyotisi and his son Krsna. who met regularly in the Mukti mandapam to adjudicate in matters of social and religious law. pp. Kozhrekar’s letter was written in Marathi. building it on the south side of the main Jagannatha temple at Puri. ‘The Evolution of Priestly Power: the Suryavamsa Period’ in Anncharlott Eschmann et al.100. It was both a pillared hall. Samkara. Dash. Citalebhat. having spent a month in debate with Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. in return for their services. and with learned deliberations in matters of law.220 ROSALIND O’HANLON 1520s. 1926). written by one Ganesa Sastri Kozhrekar. Two ‘devarsi’ Brahmans.81 This is an observer’s account of the assembly. 421–438. and Chandrika Panigrahi. a Prakarana (Bombay: Karnatak Press. pp. 1978). 209–222. 81 Ramakrsna Sadasiva Pimputkar. Visvanathaprabhu Chaphekar. attests that ‘the lord of Utkala’. ‘Muktimandap Sabha of Brahmans. Cult of Jagannath. 1960). and a ‘college’ of learned Utkala Brahmans. to ‘the heads of the Konkana Devarsi Brahmans’: Ganesaprabhu Bhudasavale. the Banaras pandits advertised themselves as meeting in the powerful spiritual centre recently reconstructed by their own leading pandit. . in Eschmann. but with greetings expressed in Sanskrit at the start and at the end of the letter. although it seems very possible that he was. invited Narayana to debate with these eastern pandits. http://journals. a resident of Banaras.63. 76–77. Haradeprabhu Tere. The Nirnayapatra of 1583: Devarsis and Chipolanas . pp.80 Narayana’s son. Pfeffer. or whether indeed the Puri model was itself adopted from the Visvesvara temple.N.24 . whose task it was to maintain a perpetual sacrificial fire.

this. Janardhanbhatta Citale said that Anantabhatta wrote a letter of release at our house concerning the Devarsi Brahmans. head of the Maharastras. Others represented some of the five northern and five southern divisions: ‘Sesa Krsnabhatta pandit. for Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. the assembly also invoked the authority of Visvesvara. It was also agreed that Brahmans should not conduct hostilities with each other. Devarsis and Maharastras. . head of the Gaudas. There is exchange of food sa between us (ty¯sa ¯mh¯sa annasambandha ¯he). which was against the ´¯stras. we are all agreed. ‘He who says that there should not be exchange of food. a social boycott or a a curse. head of the Karhades’ represented the two leading Konkani communities. . To reinforce its judgement. Dhonda the jyotisi and Ramakrsnabhatta Pauranik. Vidyanivasa. Kozhrekar . Krsnabhatta Bakhale.24 .63. Kozhrekar described the pandits who had affirmed this decision. Govindabhatta Abhyankar. Govindabhatta Godbole. they sought the agreement of Banaras’s whole assembly of Brahmans. the Chiplunas. ‘Letter of release’: the term used here is ‘udv¯rapatra’. Then ‘sacrificer a Viresvara Bhatta Abhyankar.’ Having heard all a a a a . let him be brought to the place of Srivisvesvara. implying release. ended his letter with a report that a copper-plate enshrining this 82 An amatya is a minister or counsellor. ‘Ganesa Diksita Bhavye. have the same vedic a karmas (sam¯na vaidika karmi) and that there is authority for sharing of food a together. head of the Chipolanas. It was determined that all this community of Brahmanas (he samasta br¯hmana).BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 221 learned their craft. head of the Tailabhaktas’. and it should be known that you are made agnihotris by consent of the whole Brahman community’. and the letter was brought for the assembly to see.100.’ Thus was the judgement in the Mukti mandapam: ‘iti muktimandapama nirnaya’. from a debt. ‘samasta k¯´¯ asıkara br¯hmana’. Gopibhatta. Haribhatta Bhavye. Then Anantabhatta’s amatya.cambridge. http://journals. spoke. the assembly reaffirmed that Anantabhatta had been correct in his confession. of Anantabhatta’s party (paksa). and Kesavabhatta Abhyankar said.’82 The letter appears to be a kind of confession: ‘Anantabhatta wrote that he had pursued hostilities (dve´a kel¯ hot¯) against the Devarsi s a a Brahmans. Raghupati Upadhyaya. head of the Gurjaras.

1949–2000). indicating that Anantabhatta was a man of wealth and position. first member of the family to move to Banaras.t . moving from the Konkan to Banaras in the second or third decades of the sixteenth century. Anantabhatta is described there as the first student whom Ramesvara took on after his arrival in Banaras around 1520.). ı . p.) No works have been traced. Vol.cambridge. Anantabhatta may have been a descendant of Vasudeva Citale. 11. to create a ‘party’ of Anantabhatta within the pandit community of the city. to identify this Kozhrekar. Anantabhatta Citale of the . p. ay¯ . he would have been a very old man. Bhat.222 ROSALIND O’HANLON decision was being despatched from Banaras and sending his greetings to Krsnaji and Kanhoji Raja at their court in Srngarpur. s a 1983). the suggestion is that the rift has been carried with the Citale move from the Konkan to Banaras. to have been at this assembly. http://journals. . sa 83 Kanhoji Raja presided over the 1600 judicial assembly that decided the dispute between the Padhye and Purohita families over rights to local priestly offices: see below.24 .100. 1. Raghavan et al. ıs ım S¯ a .org Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. p.84 The hostilities he describes seem in outline at least to match the other histories of the quarrel between Devarukhes and a member of the Citale family back in the Konkan. If they were the same. Sarasvat¯ Mandala..85 Anantabhatta also appears in a Bhatta family history written at the end of the nineteenth century. however. The account makes it clear that Anantabhatta Citale was not himself at the assembly. 115. the son of Ramesvara.63. Konkan is listed in V. fn 92. are all Devarukhe family names. I am very grateful to James Benson for this reference. p.86 If the Anantabhatta Citale sa mentioned at the meeting had been a student in Banaras in the 1520s or 1530s. by the time of the meeting in 1583. We are not able a . although his amatya or ‘minister’ was. Now. 86 S.S. ´ astrasammata Vic¯ra. 35–38.. ‘Samkarabhatta’s family chronicle’. or deceased. Abhyankar and Citale are both old Chitpavan family names: Gunjikar. 85 ´ .. but it would be quite possible for the Govindabhatta Abhyankar named here as his minister or counsellor. 84 See Pandit. He is not the Vasudeva Citale described as the original party to the dispute. Benson. pp. Tripathi (ed. One Anantabhatta Citale from the Konkan is referred to in the Bhatta family chronicle written by Samkara. 136. avam´ak¯vyam (Allahabad: Bhartiya Manisha Sutram. to whom Kozhrekar addressed his letter. where he is described as having obtained particular proficiency in dharma´¯stra. (Hereafter NCC. New Catalogus Catalogorum (Madras: University of Madras. Devarukhy¯mv¯.83 The names listed as ‘heads of the Konkana Devarsi Brahmans’. 12. and becoming an accomplished scholar in the rules of dharma´¯stra. It may be possible to identify Anantabhatta.

‘Vy¯karana’. 31. 1972). Leading intellectuals from Banaras and beyond were present at the Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. but of Visvesvara. in a way that seems designed to enhance their authority. pp. a N¯ a u . as Bhava Ganesa Diksita the pupil of Vijnanabhiksu. in Adyar Library Bulletin. is the great grammarian of the Sesa family noted above. the celebrated philosopher of Banaras. a . 1. p. ası a a p. 89 For Vidyanivasa Bhattacarya see also Upadhyaya.24 . See also CC Vol. t ılakan. Gode has identified Bhavye Ganesh Diksita. p. 30. K¯´¯ ki p¯nditya parampar¯. The Visvesvara temple and its Mukti mandapam. p. 20–28.87 Sesa Krsnabhatta pandita. god of the temple. ‘The Chronology of Vij˜¯nabhiksu and his Disciple Bh¯v¯ Gane´a. What do we know about the form of these assemblies as corporate events? There are certainly indications that their proceedings included elaborate ceremonies of precedence. 88 Krsna Sesa: NCC.89 Interestingly.K. Vol.N. P. The assembly also seems deliberately constituted as a kind of ‘panel’. p.t Kane. 1926). ‘head of the Chipolanas’.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 223 even as he pursued the family animosity against the Devarsis of the city.63. Vyavah¯ramay¯kha of Bhat. A Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts. na a a . ‘head of the Maharastras’. Judgements given in other assemblies also emphasised that Brahmans of every region were present. 90 P. vii. Vol. Later histories describe Narayana Bhatta and his family as being accorded the rights of agrap¯j¯. Vol. ‘the first place of honour in the assembly of learned ua Brahmanas and at the recitations of the Vedas’. 144. s . 17 February 1944. Narayana Bhatta himself is not mentioned as being present at the meeting: Sesa Krsna here is described as ‘head of the Maharastras’. IV. 6. 364–366. possibly newly reconstructed around this time.K. ‘head of the Gaudas’. is likely to be the Vidyanivasa Bhattacaraya. R. Dandekar (ed.88 Vidyanivasa.V. two sambh¯vanas or gifts and marks of honour being a 87 P. pp. lxxxiii. http://journals. 1. himself. viii. leader of the Bengal pandits with whom Narayana Bhatta debated at the house of Todar Mal. ha (Pune: PV . Anyone who tried to defy it had to reckon not only with the authority of the assembly.) Sanskrit and Maharashtra (Pune: University of Pune.cambridge. Vol. and Shastri.90 The Sesa family were also reported to receive particular honours at every assembly they attended.100. appear together here as the source of a particular sacralised intellectual authority. Kane and SG Patwardhan. in which subgroups of Brahmans are represented by their heads or pramukha. p. 574a. and CC. the Leader of the Citp¯van Brahmins of Benares’. a Pt 1. Gode.

92 91 http://journals. dated Vai´¯ka 1552. And everyone has seen that document. ´ Potdar and Muzumdar. Dadambhatta Bhatta and others from Kasi send their homage and greetings.100.92 The letters of 1630 and 1631: Saraswats In the spring of Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. March 1935. 247. Karnata. Apte. a 93 D. no 4. a and d¯na and pratigraha.V.24 . Sivacaritra S¯hitya. a Banaras pandit assembly met to consider a complaint they had received from Brahmans of Mumbai. A dispute some two decades later over rights to priestly office..91 How effective was this judgement back in the Konkan? The evidence suggests that the local social hierarchies of the Konkan were not as tractable as the pandit communities of Banaras might have hoped. since it is seen in the desa that they take sannyas. Kamalakara Bhatta has established the greatness of the fourth stage of life [sannyas] for these castes.93 The Sanskrit letter of judgement. They are part of the gauda category of Brahmins. reveals the Devarukhes still complaining that the local Karhade Brahmans refused to take food at their houses. ‘S¯rasvat¯ce Br¯hmanatva’. as opposed to the single marks of honour given to everyone else. 341. But it is impossible to say that they are ineligible for the actions. p.’ You posed an objection that in your country the members of the Kusasthali and Sasasti families are performing the six karmas. ‘On the Sheshas of Benaras’. 94 A ‘full’ Brahman was a . ı. then. atkarm¯ entitled to perform the six karmas of adhy¯yana s .94 Aryavaraguru. sa was addressed as follows: ‘To the Desastha.63. had attracted the hostility of other local Brahmans. pp. XV. A successful community. Gurjara and others living in Mumbapuri. p. And what is more. heard at the court of Kanhoji raja at Srngarpur in the Konkan in 1600. Vol. 2. in Mumbai (as we know the Saraswats to have been). Quarterly. a and adhy¯pana. Vol. and to be honoured within their own caste. 2–3. ie studying the Vedas for themselves. This much is heard from the mouths of the learned. a yajana and y¯jana. and everywhere they are seen performing the Srauta and Grhya Vedic rituals such as the Agnihotra. ie giving gifts and accepting gifts.224 ROSALIND O’HANLON bestowed on them. or April–May 1630. Citapavana.cambridge. ie studying the Vedas for oneself and teaching them to others.s . A trikarm¯ Brahman was a ı entitled to do only the lesser three of these six. ie conducting a sacrifice and procuring sacrifice through another. protesting against the Saraswats’ insistence that they were entitled to perform all of the six karmas allowed to those of full Brahman status. Bh¯rata Itih¯sa Sam´odhaka Mandala a a a a a .

or description of a role. Others derived family names from their places of origin. Bhattopakhyadadambhatta.100. and an honorific title given to a learned Brahman. ‘Diksita’ may be an honorific.. 251. p. Sesopakhyacakrapane. 97 Aryavaraguru. Kamalakara Bhatta is said to have emphasized this as a significant marker of Brahmanhood. applied to a Brahman initiated as a sacrificer or other ritual Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. the son of Visvesvara Sesa. ‘keeper of the sacrificial fire’ and so on. Staropakhyasakharama. Nineteen signatures were appended to the judgement. Social and Religious Life in the Grhya Sutra (Bombay: Popular Book Depot. It did so both on the ground of their observable customs. Dharmadhikari. ‘agreed to the letter’. Pauranikopakhyatmaramabhatta. and author of the Paramatakhandana. ‘versed in the Puranas’. and from the fact that members of their communities were known to become sannyasis or ascetics. 96 ‘Bhatta’ is both the family name of the Bhattas of Banaras. Represented are the Bhatta. Ganga Diksita Ayacitopanamaka. http://journals. 95 There are small variations in the Sanskrit prefixes and suffixes attached to each signature as it appears on the documents in the printed versions examined for this paper: samatam. The same is true of ‘Pauranik’. ‘Agnihotri’. etc. samati. Punyasthambopakhyasomanathasarma. written as a rebuttal to Bhattoji Diksita’s controversial . It is not clear which of Kamalakara’s works this is. V. Dharmadhikarimahidharasarma. samat¯rtha. the fourth and final stage of life traditionally assumed for Brahmans. some pandits adopted these occupational titles as family names. Ramakrsna Agnihotri. Devopakhyamahadevasarma. but it is interesting that it is said to have circulated so widely in this way. Sesopakhyavisvesvarasarma. These a a translate variously as ‘agreed’. his name is often written as Visvesvara. asminartha samata. Jyotirvidupanamakagurjarasiddevesvara. anumata.96 Visvesvara Sarma Sesa may be the Viresvara Sesa who was the son of Krsna Sesa: in south Indian texts. 1931).M. These overlaps frequently make certain identification difficult. and giving gifts. usually attached to the given name as a suffix.95 Bhatta Anantaramasarma. and ‘everyone has seen that document’. Punyastambhopakhyavaijanatha. Apte. ‘astrologer’.97 This would make him the teacher of some of Banaras’s most distinguished pandits of the first half of the seventeenth century: Panditaraja Jagannatha. Bhattoji Diksita and Annambhatta. Jadaypanamno Gangarama. Dasaputropakhyalaksmanapanta. patr¯rtha samata. ‘On the Sheshas of Benaras’. p. Kakaropakhyaganesasarma. Babu Diksita Ayacita. Gangaramamaitropanamaka. 11.63. ‘in favour’ ‘content in the matter’. adding the distinctive Marathi suffix ‘-kar’. Nagesasastri Andhrasya.24 .BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 225 But the Banaras assembly defended their claims. As the use of family names became common from the late seventeenth century. Deva and Punatambe families. Sesa. procuring sacrifice through others.cambridge. ‘Jyotisi’. It is possible that Cakrapani Sesa here is Cakrapani Sesa.

99 Another pointer here to the Marathi language influence is the indicator used for the family name. 283. Dravidas. . A Cakrapani Pandita also contributed to the Kav¯ ındracandrodaya: p.. VI. Vitthal. The pandits thus determined that these pa˜ca n gaudas were fully Brahmans. Sometimes the Sanskrit up¯khya. is used to indicate the family name. who allowed all those who came to settle in the Konkan to follow their long established customs. Dharmadhikari and Dasaputra are Desastha names. or renouncer. 22–24. that these Brahmans customarily ate fish. a Just a year later. Recently there came to Banaras a pilgrim. sixty-second guru of the math. in 1631.24 . ı . Sarasvat¯ Mandala. Bhavananda Saraswati. There had been a difficulty. 98 Cakrapani Sesa: NCC. was living in . send greetings to the Pancadravidas and Pancagaudas who live in the region of the Sahyadri mountains of the Daksina Desa. Appendix 2. required by headship of the math. Other names in this list are Maratha Brahman family names. 10. and sometimes the Marathi term upan¯ma.63. these who live in the seven cities. which had been destroyed by the Portugese in 1564. and conducted a very thorough investigation. hence able to assume the status of a sannyasi. assume the headship. Bhavananda . that is to say. the whole community of the excellent Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. In eating fish. The assembly . a resident of Kusasthal. a ‘surname’. He made a plea to our whole community that he should be allowed the fourth stage of life. entitled to all of the six karmas and . Maharastras and Gurjaras. Karnatakas. Thirty-four names were appended to the judgement. Banaras in 1631. pp. The path was thus cleared for Vitthal to . 99 Ayacita and Jade are Karhade names. Andras. Vitthal wanted to assume the status of renouncer so that he could take up the headship of the revived math. But this was not an insuperable bar. they were simply following the prescriptions of Parasurama. The whole Dravida community had gathered ‘in the Mukti mandapam of Srisvami’s temple’. under the new name of Sachchidanda Saraswati.98 ‘Nagesa Sastri of Andhra’ is clearly a ‘southerner’. from Kusasthal. Saraswati and Laksmana Bhatta. p. 100 Gunjikar. http://journals. son of Syamaraja.100 In the city of Visvesvara. Pauranik may be Chitpavan or Desastha.226 ROSALIND O’HANLON Praudha-Manoram¯. his initiatory gurus being the previous head of the math. addressed its judgement to the Brahmans of the Sahyadri region. one Vitthal. Vol.cambridge. journeyed to Banaras to ask its pandit communities for help in reviving the town’s great math.100. a .

a.102 Another sa member of this family is also listed.106 There are also members of the Sesa and Dharmadhikari families here. and AD 1660’ in Studies in Indian Cultural History. pp. ‘N¯r¯yanabhatta Arde. Vol. the head of the Kusasthal math: there is a second Bhavananda Saraswati. 484a. and Gode. Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. pp.101 Gode identifies Narayanbhatta Arade as Narayanbhatta Laksmidhara Arade. Purandararamacandrabhatta. ‘Some Karh¯de Brahmin Families’. 106 Gode. Aradopanamaka Narayanabhatta.100. Agnihotri Dinkarabhatta. 1. Raghunathabhatta pandita may be Raghunathabhatta. Ramacandrasastri. Dharmadhikarirambhatta. 756a-b.107 The Mukti mandapam is the site for this deliberation. although most Kamalakara Bhatta: NCC Vol. See P. Godavaritryambakavasino Ganesabhattakadamba. pp. Tailanganavisvesvarasastri. whose identity is . 105 Laksmana Bhatta: CC Vol.24 . Bhavanandasarasvati. 161–165. 104 Haridiksita: CC Vol.105 Kovai is a Karhade sa family name.63. p. the first of the Bhatta family to settle in Banaras. Agnihotri Raghunathabhatta. a Karhade Brahman from the southern Konkan and writer on dharma´¯stra topics. 63–69.K. 1945.104 Laksmana Bhatta. Authors of the Arde Family and their Chronology between AD 1600 and 1825’. Laksmana Bhatta. His Works and Date’. March-April a a a ıya a . in Journal of the Bombay University. Kasipurivasipuranandasarasvati. Haribhattadiksita. 74–86. III.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 227 Bhavanandasarasvati. Ambikabhatta. 1. Aradilaksmanabhatta. Mayapurvasino Badariyadamodarbhatta. Vol. Haridiksita. Kamalakarabhatta. Raghunathakasinatha.. ¯ . Katre. Kolasekaropanamaka Mahadevabhatta. Radheyagopalabhatta. Ganesabhatta Somayaji. pp. making this identification a possibility only.103 Haridiksita may be the grandson of the great grammarian Bhattoji Diksita. Anandavana. The assembly makes sweeping claims for its broad representation. Pt 2. Kovaivasudevbhatta. Gode.L. We can identify Bhavananda Saraswati. 103 Raghunatha Bhatta: CC Vol. Janardanbhatta. Anantadaivajnya. pp.cambridge. His dates are usually given as c. Kedarbhattasunoramaheswara. Narayanbhattapandita. ‘Some Karh¯de Brahmin Families at Benares Between AD 1550 a. uncertain. 102 101 http://journals. Muralidharajayakrsnabhatta. and author of works on dharma´¯stra. 1545– 1625. in Bh¯rat¯ Vidy¯. Visvesvaradiksita. Raghunathabhattapandita. Indoravasisesabhatta. September 1943. XII. but this Vasudevabhatta does not seem to have left any writings. ‘Some ¯ . 1. Hariharasrama. Also at the head of the list is the great scholar Kamalakara of the Bhatta family. Yogisvarajayarama. and S. III. may be the Laksmana Bhatta who is the brother of Kamalakara Bhatta. 33–6. recorded as the initiatory guru of Sachchidananda Saraswati. the grandson of Ramesvara Bhatta. 107 Dharmadhikari and Purandare here are Desastha names. p.

org Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125.63. ‘to call together the great pandits who are learned in the ´¯stras. See A. 1656–1658 Were disputes about the entitlements of other caste communities referred to Banaras in the same way? A disagreement between the Jain and Lingayat communities of Athani in Belgaum.108 Some of the pandits here indicate a residence elsewhere. ‘r¯jya r¯jy¯ce a a a pandita’. But. Both letters of decision return favourable verdicts on the entitlements of the Saraswats. indicating a rapid turnover in their membership. Maharashtra in the Age of Shivaji (Pune: Deshmukh and Co. 2. They emphasize the significance of current and widely observed practice as determining entitlement. where there were ‘great people learned in all the four Vedas and hundred ´¯stras. 1969). His letter contained the depositions of both parties. ‘Pandits of Kings and Kingdoms’: Belgaum. tell sa them the narrative of the case.cambridge. had managed to get a jayapatra. and the importance of widely accepted authorities like Kamalakara Bhatta.24 . and send it’. people who are the pandits of kings and kingdoms’. both requesting that the matter be sent for a decision to Banaras. a 108 http://journals.. 354–355. although as indicated above. stays in Banaras could extend over many years. like the Lingayats. Abdul Ali. write down the reply accordingly. ‘after five months.100. Abdul Ali concluded his letter with a request to the faujdar . of 3 December 1658. the havaldar of Athani. the Jaina gurus 1630 to 1632 were years of exceptionally severe famine in Maharashtra.R. wrote to the faujdar of Banaras. 94–104. recorded that the leaders of the Lingayat community had been to Banaras. and had brought it back to Athani to present before the senior officials of the town. get a decision based on the vedas and sa ´¯stras from this Brahma sabha of pandits learned in the Vedas and sa ´¯stras. pp. Sivacaritra S¯hitya. which may account for shifts in the Maratha population of Banaras. or ‘letter of victory’. learned in sa logic. they were to be disappointed.109 But if the people of Athani hoped for an unambiguous verdict. Vol. pp. perplexingly. In a letter of 29 October 1656. brushing aside the objections of other local Brahmans. recorded in the family papers of the Shetti family of the town.228 ROSALIND O’HANLON of the names are in fact of Maratha Brahmans. At issue was the question of whether the Jains. had a right to bring their spiritual leaders in procession through the town. provides an interesting comparison. 109 ´ Potdar and Muzumdar. Kulkarni. There is not much overlap with the previous list. A further meeting in the town.

A further meeting was held on 30th December 1658. With respect to this point. likely to be more favourable to their individual cases. 357–358. Devarukhes. an allusion to the close associations between the Banaras pandits of this period and their royal and imperial patrons: these are not just learned pandits. and each had returned with an authoritative letter favourable to itself. . the officials of the town decided to resolve the contest themselves. So now. by the mixed company of learned Brahmins and ascetics. each party had been to Banaras. It seems to have been the largest assembly yet. It produced just a short letter of decision. Citalebhat. and the guru of the Jainas may not’.24 . pp.100. 78–81. With matters brought thus to an impasse.t . The meeting decided in favour of the Lingayats: ‘the guru of the Lingayats may go in procession.111 Victory to Visvesvara. As in the cases examined above. 111 Pimputkar. but it may be significant that the Banaras pandits consulted returned favourable verdicts to both of the contending parties in quick succession. 110 Ibid. a Prakarana. Nor do we know whether the parties presented their case to the same pandit assemblies or sought out different ones. At issue was a disagreement about entitlement to ritual display—clearly important to the prestige and identity of each of the two contending parties. pp. There is a significant contemporary ring to this. at the Mukti mandapam in Kasi. at which both parties presented their cases. Within the space of five months. this might have stemmed from a reluctance to open up divisions among the greater community of Brahmans. but ‘pandits of kings and kingdoms’. 1657 Around 1657 the pandits of Banaras were again being consulted about the Devarsis/Devarukhes.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 229 and Jaina people went and brought back their own jayapatra’. http://journals. even for the Muslim havildar of a south Indian town. We do not have the grounds of the argument for the Athani case. 55 above. The case also suggests the reputation Banaras had in the mid-seventeenth century for learning in matters of dharmic dispute. A mazhar was issued to this effect.110 We do not have the names of the Banaras pandits who issued these decisions. the question of the status as real Brahmins of the Devarsi Brahmins is decided.. .cambridge. A mazhar is a letter of decision from a majlis or assembly of senior officials convened to hear disputes: see fn. and the stakes particularly Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125.63.

dropped his ear-ring. who are of that sort. suggests that Anantabhatta was a local Brahman of good repute. grandson of Ramakrsna. Sastras and Puranas. pp. but was now deceased. It is possible therefore that this is the Raghunatha Bhatta. however. the truth about the Devarsi Brahmans is learned from the Vedas. The reference therefore is to some past expression of approval. And this was seen by Raghunatha Bhatta. ım¯ . We cannot identify this Anantabhatta: ‘Manikarni’ suggests a possible connection with the Manikarnika ghat.112 The context. who (as already noted) may have signed the 1631 decision on Saraswats above. In addition. a were equal. This was written by Bhatta Laksmana. Visnu asked for a boon: since Siva’s earring was set with . 11–15. trembling with delight at the sight. . this sacred place should thenceforth confer mukti on souls. is a desecrator of the god Visvanath and a murderer of Brahmins. a Bhatta m¯ amsak¯.230 ROSALIND O’HANLON having reflected on what the Vedas.cambridge.100. It was written with ım¯ . Karnataka. There is no Raghunatha Bhatta amongst the signatories to the letter. and are of the nature of being absolutely excellent Brahmins. Parry.. ‘the m¯ amsak¯’. performed the austeries that brought the universe into being at the beginning of time. the assembly declared. http://journals. the Konkan. And we ourselves among many others belong to that vamsa. This is the decision.24 . they purify the line in which they dine. whose 112 The K¯´ikhanda describes the Manikarnika ghat as the place where Visnu as . a the permission of the Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. mukta. pearls. and also of the collection of sannyasis who are of the high degree of Paramahamsa.63. the assembly invokes Visvesvara’s divine power in support of its learned pronouncements. and possessed of adorable feet. manikarn¯ into Visnu’s tank. cosmic centre of Banaras. was made the wife of a Vajapeya. the Sastras. Anyone who speaks against this decision. the Tailanga region. This was done in the Samvat year 1714 and the Saka year 1579. In the most forceful manner. then. Anantabhatta Manikarni had given his daughter into a Devarsi family. They are of the nature that they can perform Vedic sacrifices on their own behalf and on behalf of others. Death in Banaras. the m¯ amsak¯. Raghunatha Bhatta. And it is decided that the community of people who set the standard for what is dharmic do have family relations with them. they are worthy people as family relations. and of the Dravida and other places. and worldly evidence provide. and where Siva. having been married to a Devarsi. ı. by agreement among the whole collection of householders of all the families and castes of Maharastra. a The daughter of Anantabhatta Manikarni. The judgement is particularly interesting for the evidence it offers in support of the contention that the Devarsis were unimpeachable Brahmans. had been satisfied that they ım¯ . reached by the wise.

Bhattanantamimamsaka. Suklopakhyavireswara. Kavimandanabalakrsnabhatta. Maunigopibhatta. and that too of the rare and difficult vaj¯peya sacrifice. Ramhradayasyagomajibhata. Naraharidiksita and Visnudiksita. http://journals. Bhayabhatta. Govindabhattacarya. it was recorded that the Devarsi was a sacrificer. Vyasendra. Kalabandevisvesvarabhatta. Sivaramatirtha and Narayanatirtha. Mahasabdedevabhatta. Vaderutamabhatta. Mahasabdopakhyajyotirvida. Tenkalopakhyabapubhatta. Dataravisvanatha. suggesting a family or tutelary relationship. Cintamanibhattadrona. but with a significant addition of pandits from Bengal or south India. Laksmanadiksita. who ım¯ . brother of Kamalakara Bhatta. Tulasidevabhatta. Ramaramabhattacarya. Kundalighaubhatta. Patankaravisnudiksita. Palsetkarajyotirvinnarayana. 30. Kovaivasudeva. Balakrsnadiksita. 463–479. 114 But too young to have been the Laksmana Bhatta. Samrajayapandita. Ganesadiksita. Dasaputragovindabhatta. Jayaramanyayapancana. Ghumaremahadevabhatta. Auba Sukla. Tilbhandesvara. Ritual and “Time out of Time”’. who may have signed the 1631 letter. Khandadeva. For sacrifice in the lives of Banaras pandits. Houben. Bharadavajamahadeva. Cakrapanipandit Sesa. Bhaskarajyotirvida. Ramhradasthadhundiraja.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 231 willingness to marry his daughter to a Devarsi put the respectable standing of that community beyond doubt. October 2002.M.114 Puranendrasaraswati. Bhatta Nilakantha. a is recorded as having written out the document. Appayadiksita. the m¯ amsak¯’. see Jan E. Pauranikagadadhara.113 a The seventy-seven signatories were in the main Brahmans from the Marathi-speaking regions. Sachchidandasarasavati. Vidvasopakhyabahiravabhatta. Dinadiksita and Namudikshitasya. Vaisapayanagiridharabhatta. Manoharavisvanatha. Laksmanapanditavaidya. Kasisomayaji and Laksmanasomayaji. Kharopanamakganesabhatta. pp. in Journal of Indian Philosophy. 115 Some names occur here as pairs. 5. Payasopakhyanarasimhabhatta. Bhaverudradiksita. Maunivisnudiksita. Chandibhairava. Kalopanamagovindabhatta.24 . ‘Bhatta Laksmana. Sathe Upanamakmahadeva.63. Nagarkarakrsnabhatta. His dates are usually given as 1585– 1630. Pote Mahadevabhatta. Raghudevabhattacarya. Vacchabhatta.115 Puranendrasaraswati is likely to be the Puranendrasaraswati who is mentioned as a leading sannyasi of Banaras in the praise addresses of 113 The Vaj¯peya is the most important of the public sacrifices in which soma juice a and animals are offered as oblations to the gods. may be a member of the Bhatta family. Gadvaranarasimhabhatta. Polakasibhatta. DabholkarajyotirvidaVitthala. Gautamrambhatta. Narayanabhatta Arde. Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. Vol.cambridge. Anantadeva. Dauganesadiksita and Bapudiksita. Vinayakasukla. Gagabhatta. yati Narasimhasrama known as Brahmendrasaraswati. Bapuvyasa. As if further to affirm this standing. Caitanyamadhavadeva. ‘The Brahman Intellectual: History.

125 Anantabhatta ım¯ .K. 117 116 http://journals. V. 118 Brahmanendrasarasavati: CC Vol. in Studies in Indian Literary History. p. Bhandarkar Felicitation Volume (Calcutta: Indian Research Institute. ‘The Identification of Gosv¯mi a Nrsimh¯´rama of D¯r¯ Shukoh’s Sanskrit Letter with Brahmendra Sarasvat¯ of the as a a ı .122 Two members of the Mahasabde family appear on this list: Mahasabdejyotirvida.R. VIII. Gode has identified as Devabhatta Mahasabde. who had migrated to Banaras early in the seventeenth century. Sharma and Patkar. identify this Bhayyabhatta as the son of Bhattaraka Bhatta and author of Dharmaratna: CC Vol.120 One Bhayabhatta also presented a praise address. in Poona a .116 Bhatta Nilakantha is probably the youngest son of the m¯ amsak¯ Samkara Bhatta. also at the 1631 meeting. of Ratn¯karabhatta. Kav¯ ındracandrodaya’.118 Anantadeva we may identify as the famous member of the Deva family and author of the great compendium of the Smrtikaustubha. P. pp.124 The Khandadeva is likely to be Khandadeva Misra. 1940). 137. Gode. the Guru of Sevai Jaising of Amber. 1. a be the same as signed the 1631 letter.117 Cakrapanipandit Sesa may ım¯ .. the great m¯ amsak¯ and intellectual innovator from Bengal. asa as a and the guru of Nilakantha Chaturdhara in m¯ ams¯.232 ROSALIND O’HANLON the Kav¯ ındracandrodaya. pp. Kav¯ ındracandrodaya. pp. p. pp. the father as . 121 Sharma and Patkar. Orientalist. fl. guru of Savai Jaisingh of Amber. 10–16. by now advanced in years. father of Ratnakarabhatta. (AD 1699–1743)’. A Vasudeva Kovai was at the 1631 meeting: it is possible that this may be the same person. 1.). 120 Gagabhatta: CC Vol. along with the same Narayanbhatta Arde. He appears ım¯ .119 Gagabhatta is the famous scion . ası a a 31–35.121 Appaya Diksita here is likely to be Appaya Diksita III. II. 3–4. in the Kav¯ ındracandrodaya. 1645–75: NCC Vol. 132. Vol. pp. ‘Some New Evidence Regarding Devabhatta Mah¯´abde. ‘Novelty of Form’. 29. Gode. Upadhyaya. 1. P. D. McRea.cambridge. 1. p. 416b. 127. a here with his guru Sivaramatirtha.K. 1943–1944. and Mahasabdedevabhatta. 10. 587b–588a. the latter of whom P. 122 Appayadiksita III: NCC Vol. 200. a Sharma and Patkar.100.K.K. Kav¯ ındracandrodaya. 123 P. K¯´¯ ki p¯nditya parampar¯. 389a. pp.24 . Kav¯ ındracandrodaya. p. 173–4.K. 124 Ibid. 174– Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125.123 The Mahasabdes were Desastha Brahmans from Maharashtra. ‘Chronology of the Works of Khand¯deva’. p. 119 Anantadeva. Gode here identifies Narayanatirtha as the author of Bh¯´¯prak¯´ik¯ composed at Banaras. and P... Vol. Nilakantha Bhatta: NCC Vol. p. in Bimala Churn Law . 125 Khandadeva: NCC Vol.a (ed. Gode suggests that ‘Yati Narasimhasrama known as Brahmendrasarasavati’ is the Brahmendrasvami who appears alongside Puranendrasarasvati as another eminent sannyasi of Banaras. p. 1. 447–451. 24–25. p. of the Bhatta family. grandson of the great philosopher and defender of Saiva Hinduism Appaya Diksita. 9. Gode.63.

during the course of its performance. The meeting of 1583 produced a judgement emphasizing the importance of consensus between the city’s Brahman communities. In addition. Pole. Khare. and founder of the Bharadavaja family in Banaras. 6. 131 For a marriage between a Desastha and a Karhade in this period. the Devarsis themselves seem to have had some tradition of excellence as ritual specialists. installed in . 130 Shukla.127 Jayarama Nyayapancanana is probably the leading scholar of ny¯ya from Bengal of the same name. see Sharma and Patkar. whose praise a address appears in the Kav¯ ındracandrodaya. 29. a but it is difficult to be certain. Chitpavan or Karhade. 128 Sharma and Patkar. Kale can be Desastha. p.100. Other examples of marriage between Desasthas and other Maharashtrian Brahman subcastes are mentioned in this period as well as in the nineteenth century.128 Bharadavajamahadeva may be the Mahadeva Bharadavaja who was the son-in-law of Nilakantha Bhatta. Also. 1631. was the ‘daiva’ form. p. Datar. 129 Shastri. For Tilbandesvara. p.130 It is not clear what fresh incident prompted a further declaration about the good standing of the Devarsis. 13. according to Manu. are Chitpavan names. and the extraordinary assembly of Brahman intellectuals who met to affirm it. Patankar.126 Narayana Jyotira Palsetkar may possibly be a descendant of the family of Chitpavan astrologers from Palshet in the Konkan described above. are Desastha names.24 .org Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. an emphasis that runs through all the judgements examined here which came out of Banaras.63. pp. 414–415. pp.131 As noted above. pp. Kavimandan. a 132 One of the most esteemed forms of marriage. 127 126 http://journals. ım¯ . Nagarkar. 289. There is a Tilbhandesvara who presents a praise address in the Kav¯ ındracandrodaya.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 233 ‘the m¯ amsak¯’ may possibly be the son of Kamalakara Bhatta. Dabholkar. Bhave.132 The NCC lists several possible identifications: NCC Vol. Dravidian kinship. ‘Dakshini Pandits’. Dasaputra. the boundaries between these Brahman subcastes were mutable. 188–190. VII. 1. It is possible that Sachchidananda Saraswati is the guru of the Goa math. Kav¯ ındracandrodaya. Trautmann. see Gode. NCC Vol. p. ‘Identification of Raghun¯tha’. Kav¯ ındracandrodaya. which may have added to their reputation as worthy Brahmans and marriage partners.cambridge. 134–135. in which a daughter is given to a priest who officiates at a sacrifice. Pole. Pauranik can be Desastha or Karhade. That a marriage between a Devarsi and another Banaras Brahman family should be referred to is not altogether surprising. at least in the short term.129 There are many other Maharashtrian Brahman family names here. it is no surprise that the small numbers of ‘Devarsis’ who had come up to Banaras might have been able to maintain their reputations as social equals.

Narayana. that the destruction of the 133 It may also be significant that many of the ‘southern’ pandits interested themselves in the theories governing the lineage affiliations of gotra and pravara. however. in a manner that seems at once aggressive and defensive. The Saraswats’ ability to take advantage of these changes had produced one kind of pressure on the Banaras pandit communities. But it seems to have struck the ‘southern’ pandit communities of the city much closer to home. having consolidated his lands in the Bijapur territories. with much more personal assertions of the social connections of many respectable families in the city with them.63. In 1659 Dara Shukoh. or whether the challenge had come from a faction in Banaras Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. 134 Bernier. As is well known.24 . . Raghunatha. PK Gode. the emperor Shah Jahan was deposed.133 Shifting horizons in the 1660s Political developments during the 1660s revealed the increasing interlocking of events. Sivaji staged his first direct assault on the Mughal imperial forces. It is worth noting. it is not clear whether Brahmans back in the Konkan had disputed their position. was executed. Kamalakara and Laksmana Bhatta all wrote independent treatises on the subject.100.Vol. 94. a Philosophical Work by Dara Shukoh. October 1943. It impelled them to defend the Devarsis. though. 75–88. this was a period in which Brahmans back in the Maratha regions were becoming increasingly differentiated from one another in the rural social order. in Bh¯rata Itih¯sa Sam´odhaka a a . p.s Mandala Quarterly. who had done much to promote intellectual exchange between the learned of different religious traditions in the imperial capital. but also in Delhi. when other Mumbai Brahmans petitioned them to rule against the Saraswats’ ritual claims. Son of Shah Jahan Composed in AD 1655’.234 ROSALIND O’HANLON As suggested above..cambridge.134 By 1669. the rationales for these actions are difficult to interpret. and their reputations. 345. In 1658. and who had his own close connections with the pandit communities of Banaras. In this same year of 1657. http://journals. Within the Bhatta family alone. were closely allied to the family setting of pandit houses themselves. Travels. and ‘Aurangzeb’s’ mosque constructed on the site. the Visvesvara temple and its Mukti mandapam had been destroyed. not only in Banaras and the Maratha regions. The stakes may have been particularly high because Banaras pandit families’ intellectual production. pp. ‘Samudra-Sangama. In the case of the Devarsis.

and whether they were connected in any way either with Dara’s former networks of patronage and intellectual exchange in the city. or with the activities of the southern pandits at the Visvesvara temple discussed in this paper.63. 2000). the 1664 dharmasabh¯ took a much harder line on the rights of the Senavis: they were only a trikarm¯ Brahmans. now holding most of the territory of the Konkan. The document recording this assembly tells us that a similar request came from Sivaji himself. ‘Temple Desecration’. ‘Temple Desecration and Indo-Muslim States’ in David Gilmartin and Bruce B. 136 Eaton.cambridge.137 The response of the Banaras pandits on this occasion was to hold their assembly at Rajapur in the heart of Sivaji’s new territory in the Konkan. nor do we know what hopes they might have vested in Sivaji as a protector of dharma and of pious Brahmans.138 We do not know what impelled the pandits to come to the Konkan. Eaton. Events back in the Konkan between 1664 and 1674 may furnish some clues. See also O’Hanlon and . As Eaton observed. 8–9. 393–397. Anantadeva and Mahadeva Sesa attended. . pp. 265–266. because they had spent so much time as traders and farmers that ı ´ their dharmic entitlement had changed: see Syenav¯ Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 235 Visvesvara temple does not follow the pattern that many historians have observed for temple destruction in this period.135 It did not take place on a moving military frontier.s Mandala Varsika Itivrtta (Pune: BISM.. It is equally difficult to determine the response of the Banaras pandit communities to these events.) Beyond Turk and Hindu: rethinking religious identities in Islamicate South Asia (Gainesville: University Press of Florida. pp. 138 Perhaps more exposed to the pressures of provincial opinion. 1914). Minkowski. p. ıj¯ .24 . Gagabhatta. 254–260. Lawrence (eds. pp. 300. Bh¯rata Itih¯sa Sam´odhaka ıj¯ a a . 137 ´ This judgement is in the Syenav¯ atidharmanirnaya. along with luminaries of Sivaji’s court and influential local families. the background to the destruction of the Visvesvara temple lay in reports to Aurangzeb’s court of undesirable educational activities in the schools and places of worship of the city: some ‘deviant’ Brahmans in ‘established schools’ in Banaras were attracting students from far and wide with their false teachings.136 Further research may help us to understand what these reported activities were. because Banaras was not itself a royal city. http://journals. It may not be a 135 Richard M.100. ‘What makes people who they are?’. 296–305. and it was not a political move aimed at the authority of a refractory royal opponent. and exercising his kingly function of keeping the orders of local castes in their place. and a further assembly convened to consider the matter. 1664 saw yet more calls to Banaras from disgruntled Brahmans in the Konkan in the matter of Saraswat entitlements.

have been some of the factors that helped to bring about Gagabhatta’s consecration in 1674 of Sivaji as a dharmic king. to report that he had taken Narayana’s order to Banaras. They said that if we wanted to break the rivalry and the hatred between us. Govinda Diksita Chowdhuri. had commissioned a caste-fellow Hari Diksita to go to Banaras to negotiate with ‘the Brahman pandits and Vaidikas who are at odds with us’. pp. 1960).236 ROSALIND O’HANLON coincidence. that some of them seem to have moved swiftly to forge links with the new Maratha court in the Konkan. Coronation of Sivaji the Great (Bombay: PPH Bookstall. Bendrey.140 Having arrived in Banaras. a Prakarana. and that would end the feud. 485–486. It is noteworthy in this regard that the letter of decision issued by the assembly included an effusive praise poem to Sivaji. Gode. ‘N¯ ılakantha Caturdhara’. One hundred and seven names were listed. the Brahman pandits and Vaidikas who are at odds with us came to speak to me. 82–84. was to deliver a judgement through the occasion itself of sharing food.K.S.100. 141 Gode cites Nilakantha’s family genealogies. we should give a feast for one or two hundred Brahmans. A family relative already in Banaras came along as an intermediary: Govinda Diksita Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125.cambridge. These may. The feast had duly been given. We have yet to find recorded responses to the destruction of the Visvesvara temple.. however. Narayana Diksita. one Hari Diksita wrote from Banaras to his relative. . of course. the famous commentator on the Mahabharata living at that time in Banaras. The great assembly of 1657 provided no final resolution to the entitlements of the Devarukhes. along with your son in law. Citalebhat.t . On 7th October 1683.63. Gode identifies this Govinda Diksita Chowdhuri with the Govinda Diksita Chowdhuri who was the son of Nilakantha Caturdhara.24 . Here again was an initiative from the provinces: Narayana Diksita. Pimputkar. .139 Banaras Brahmans continued to attract appeals for adjudication from the Maratha regions. the identification remains very much to be confirmed.141 If this was the case. pp. The point of the feast. documentation of inam land awarded to the family and Aufrecht’s identification of Govinda Diksita as belonging to the Caturdhara family. evidently back in the Konkan. evidently a leading Devarukhe from the Konkan. . However. and Hari reported that ‘all of the Maharashtra Brahmans as listed below came to the feast’. many of them family names that appeared on earlier lists. Interestingly. son-in-law of Narayana. P. though. 140 139 http://journals. we would have here another example See V.

1993). (Pune: Srividya Prakasana.63. The Pune court increasingly took over the burden of trying to inculcate unity amongst Maharashtrian Brahmans. 144 Stewart Gordon. In subsequent decades. Kolhapur. Perhaps some at least were perfectly well aware that as local circumstances changed and new pressures and challenges developed. their verdicts seemed to be called into question with every passing generation. Very much in line with Madhav Deshpande’s insights. attempts to foster Brahman community. p.144 Deshpande. The Marathas 1600–1818 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. see Sadisiva Athavale. 143 142 http://journals. Sivaji was already dead. there was a new kind of Maratha presence. in rather the same way that local rights of other kinds in this period needed fresh defence and certification with every change of local power-holder. 1988). R¯ma´¯stri Prabhune. and in Pune—the administrative and banking centre of the new Maratha state under the new leadership of the Chitpavan Bhatta family. For the peshwa regime’s a sa .143 In Banaras itself. By the time the political situation stabilized in the 1720s. so the same issues would eventually come back.24 . it would also have made perfect sense for them to bring in as an intermediary a local Desashta of influence connected to the Devarukhes through marriage. If Devarukhes from the Konkan were sending representatives to Banaras to negotiate with its predominantly Desastha pandits. an effective network of functioning Maratha courts had developed in Satara.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 237 of marriage connections between the Devarukhes/Devarsis and here the Desastha family of Nilakantha Caturdhara. Tanjore. it was always under local and particular conditions that historical agents sought to give social form to their reading of ‘universal’ dharma.cambridge. 146. pressed by Brahmans back in the Maratha regions. 410– Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. It is difficult to know what the Banaras pandits made of it when. now characterized by lavish building projects and direct charitable grants to Brahmans. A new constellation of judicial authorities was emerging. ‘Localising the Universal Dharma’ (unpublished mss). the Maratha polity fragmented under the pressures of Mughal invasion and civil war. ‘What makes people who they are?’. pp. and under the leadership of Ramasastri Prabhune developed its own sophisticated judicial apparatus. For Prabhune’s letters describing his judicial role.142 Conclusion By 1683. see O’Hanlon and Minkowski.

‘Transitions and Translations: Regional Power and Vernacular identity in the Dakhan. In this task.148 These long term social changes in the Maratha regions. Citalebhat. c. 1966). a Prakarana. in Comparative Studies of South Asia. to consider the entitlements of .24 . ‘Narratives of Penance and Purification’. Mah¯r¯. 491. retih¯saci S¯dhanem (Bombay: Mumbai Marathi Grana ast a a . 2. Vol. however. A Social History of the Deccan.t . II. pp. pp. . and their effects upon ‘southern’ pandits in Banaras. ‘Ac¯ra.147 Banaras of course continued to enjoy its reputation as a place of piety and intellectual charisma. do not help. along with a contingent from the Srngeri math. a a 147 V. 85–89.cambridge. call for the kind of nuanced intellectual history in which scholars of the period are already engaged. p. there also appears to have been a rising role in religious adjudication for the Sankaracaryas of the Deccan’s religious maths. and indeed a struggle .org Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. for ascendancy between them and the regional networks of Brahman dharmasabh¯s. see Sumit Guha.146 Banaras pandits came again to the Maratha country a in 1749. when a party came down to the Satara court. and the decline in intellectual production that historians have noted from the lateeighteenth century.238 ROSALIND O’HANLON In 1723. 41–54. it may be helpful at least to get some sense of the degree to which pandits in Banaras were exposed to the distinctive social changes that ‘early modernity’ brought to the local societies of western and central India. not to Banaras.145 During the middle decades of the eighteenth century. 1500–1800’. these changes opened up the question of what it meant to be a Brahman. Vol. Bhat. . and Pimputkar. to make sense of the intellectual changes of the period. 146 145 http://journals.S. thasangrahalaya. and Eaton. pr¯yascitta’.63. 2004. 65–7. the Devarukhes again pressed their claim. 23–31. O’Hanlon. pp. and had to grapple with the consequences for social relations in the city. 91–105. and now with the local reach to enforce their decisions. Bendrey.100. 148 For the processes of regionalization and vernacularisation in the Maratha regions. a vyavah¯ra. pp. But there was a sense by this time that other centres of judicial authority were offering themselves for the resolution of fundamental questions of Brahman entitlement. pp. . but to the chief pandit at the Satara court. In a fundamental way. in any straightforward way. the Kayastha Prabhus. Africa and the Middle East. Both the remarkable efflorescence of Sanskrit learning in the city in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. of the means by which practices of collective decision-making could be developed to project and sanctify the authority of ‘southern’ Brahmans to wider Indian audiences. 24.

But in many places it has been possible to provide additional corroboration for these documents from other contemporary sources.. Vol.G. this collection does not include the ´ Syenav¯ atidharmanirnaya. 1936).150 Tilak mentions Pimputkar as one of a small group of assistants who helped him to prepare his G¯ Rahasya for ıta the press. Pimputkar in 1926 as Citalebhat. the multivolume Marathi encyclopaedia edited by S. 152 Manduskar has described how he found these materials in the possession of two Devarukhe families. .152 The occasion for their publication lay in the preparation during the early 1920s of the Mah¯r¯. a Prakarana.S. but were made available to him by another member of the Devarukhe community. 1973). working . Material on the Saraswats is drawn principally from the documents published with Gunjikar’s Sarasvat¯ Mandala.24 .151 The materials were not Pimputkar’s own. Mule et al. Interestingly. (eds). 55–56. it has been necessary to rely on internal evidence within the documents themselves. or in other published collections of source materials for the Maratha period. personal communication. in the Konkan village of Dahivali.63. He met Lokamanya Tilak at the 1907 Surat meeting of the Indian National Congress. mss.100. Bhikaji Moresvar Manduskar. 7v-8.BANARAS PANDITS AND THE MARATHA REGIONS 239 what Brahman community could signify amid the social turbulence of the age.. Manduskar. Devar¯khe u (Bombay: Ramesh Visnu Nimbkar. u a a .149 Pimputkar was himself a Devarukhe. . Saraswats: this document was published by the Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala in 1914. 150 Madhav Bhole and Chandrakant Laksman Pimputkar. pp.t as a Pune schoolteacher and involved in nationalist activity in the city. 87–107.V. 1.cambridge. pp. It has not been possible in most cases to examine manuscript copies of the originals. a s Ketkar. whose verdict was unfavourable to the ıj¯ . in others. 151 B. Material on the Devarukhes is drawn from the collection of documents originally published by R. in 1884. Tilak. the Khapadekars and Karulkars. Srimadbhagavadgita-Rahasya (Pune: Kesari Office. riya a ast Dny¯nako´a. ff. Devar¯khe dny¯ti itih¯sa sam´odhan. published ı Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125.s http://journals. Manduskar made the letters available to Ketkar in the hope 149 These documents have been reprinted in C. Note on sources Many of the documents cited in this paper have come down to us in caste histories of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

to the effect that they [the Devarukhes] are not excluded from dining [with other Brahmans]’.K. p. a ast a s a a. Ketkar. during the 1930s and 1940s. Mah¯r¯.154 This prompted Manduskar and Pimputkar to publish the documents independently in 1926. the letters and the lists of names attached to them. . Series. a Cint¯mani (Banaras: Chowkhamba Sanskrit att a . 1933). contain a mass of internal evidence consistent with their production in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. riya Dny¯nako´a (Pune: Mah¯r¯striya Dny¯nako´a Mandala. the historian and longstanding curator of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune. p. 155 Pandit Surya Narayana Sukla.155 Because the letters were published in Marathi caste histories. 186–94. a a a u . 155. However. and identifying the Devarukhes with this community. ‘New Intellectuals’. pp. published in the annual special issue of the Bh¯rata Itih¯sa Sam´odhaka Mandala Quarterly. ‘Devaruky¯ci M¯lotpatti’. and the earliest of them is in Marathi rather than in Sanskrit. in Indian Historical Quarterly. Cinnasvami Sastri. Downloaded: 25 Jan 2011 IP address: 125. and acknowledges Manduskar’s help in preparing the Devarukhe entry: ‘We saw copies of letters from authorities and dharmasabhas in various different places. The possibility cannot be excluded that the letters are modern constructions. Vol. See Rajwade. . 2–3. Some of the events discussed in the letters are also alluded to in other and independent sources. 20.24 .s ..156 153 S.63. M¯ ams¯kaustubha (Banaras: Chowkhamba ım¯ . 154 V.cambridge. prepared with the purpose of improving the Devarukhes’ image in Ketkar’s encyclopaedia. Bh¯. however. p. ‘Localising the Universal Dharma’. ‘The origin of the Devarukhes’. the letters were extensively used by P. 35. they have not to date been extensively used by modern Sanskrit scholars.V. 1–2. XIII. pp. a Sanskrit Series.240 ROSALIND O’HANLON that he would use them in preparing the entry for the Devarukhes. Ketkar’s encyclopaedia referred only to a letter from 1723 citing puranic verses which asserted that ‘Devarastriyas’ were unfit to dine with other Brahmans. Ketkar mentions seeing Manduskar’s letters. 1933). 15. a s 1925). and by other Indian scholars of the inter-war period. pp. Gode.153 In the event. 156 But see Deshpande. Rajwade developed this theme in a separate Marathi article published in 1914. .K. In addition. The letters were also cited by editors of the Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series. ‘Sanskrit Scholars of Akbar’s Time’. who used the pandit signatures as a way of assigning dates to particular pandits. Vol. 1937. Dineshchandra Bhattacharyya. and Pollock.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful