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History of Tyagi Samaj

Researeched by Dr. N. C. Tyagi

INTRODUCTION

The organization and composition of Indian society and its Caste System' has ever been a great puzzle for many western scholars. When Swami Vivekananda visited the West more than hundred years ago, most of the questions he confronted were about Indian Caste System. Very often he was suggested that it was superficial and frivolous and a big impediment in human progress. The system, therefore, should be abolished. On every such occasion Swami Ji's prompt retort was; "Gentlemen no subject will be left over for your scholars to write on if the Caste System was abolished in India" As a matter of fact it was the caste system alone, which sustained and protected the Indian society from being disintegrated to shambles, against foreign onslaughts with such a magnitude that no other country in the world ever faced.

VEDIC LITRATURE

The oldest passage in the Vedic literature dealing with the origin of the four Varnas is the 'Purusha Sukta' of Rig Veda which says that the 'Brahmaha Varna' represented the mouth of the 'Purusha' - which word may be translated as the 'Universal Being' referring perhaps to the mankind as a whole -, the 'Rajanya' i.e the 'Kshatriya' his arms, the 'Vaisya' his thighs and the 'Sudra' his feet (Brahmanosya mukhan asita bahu Rajanya kritah, uru tad asya yad vaisya padbhyam Sudro ajayatah) the Purusha Sukta has been interpreted as having an allegorical significance behind it from an other point of view also. Thus the mouth of the 'Purusha' from which the 'Brahmanas' are created is seat of the speech, the 'Brahmanas', therefore, are created to be teachers of mankind. The arms are the symbol of valour and strength, the 'Kshatriyas' mission in this world is to wield weapons and protect people from injury. The hymn, which deals with the creation of the 'Vaisyas' from the thigh of the Purusha, seems to be intended to represent the power of producing, therefore the 'Vaisya' may be said to be created to provide food for the people by engaging himself in agriculture, trade and commerce. The creation of 'Sudra' from the feet of the 'Purusha' symbolises the fact that he was there to provide all kind of help to the other three varnas in their various occupations. The four varnas were the social classes based on the principle of division of labour. In the Vedic times there were no restrictions as regards to particular occupation for persons belonging to a particular Varna.

CHANGES IN SOCIETY

From Vedic period to our own times, great changes have percolated in society and presently we see hundreds and thousands of castes and communities have sprang up having been remained confined with in the four Varnas. And it is no surprise if India is rightly designated as a museum of castes and communities. Caste is simply a social institution. It has done more good than harm to preserve the Indian Culture, which is the only identity in diverse India. The Brahmanas inhabited across the length and breadth of the whole country is divided into many castes and sub castes. One of the sub caste of the Brahmanas, the Tyagi Brahmanas are found settled in the Yamuna - Gangatic valley of Western Uttar Pradesh (Districts of Saharanpur, Muzaffrarnagar, Meerut, Bagpat, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bulandshar, Bijnor, Moradabad and Amroha), Uttarnchal (Hardwar), Delhi, and Harayna (Districts of Karnal, Sonipat, Panipat, Gurgaon and Faridabad). This is the homeland of Tyagi Brahmans. If they are found anywhere else in the country or abroad, they all have their original homes here in this area only.

FORMATION OF SUB CASTS

There have been many historical and material reasons in formation of sub castes out of the four Varnas'. All Sub castes have very distinct and specific features and traits of their own. Tyagis are no exception. Tyagi Brahmans are highly enlightened community of martial spirit, mainly devoted to agriculture as their profession. Hardly can there be found a Tyagi Family not owning a piece of land to cultivate unless that family is deprived of such a valuable possession due to urbanisation by the State. According to scriptures, a Brahmana is required to provide defence on the authority of the 'Shastra, as well as that by the weapon ('Shastradapi'). Scripture and Weapon as their main trait are vividly reflected in their gotra. Gotra means the name of the ancestral father; the Tyagis attribute their origin from. The various 'gotras' of the Tyagi Brahmans are Bharadwaj, Vasishth, Gautam, Atri, Kaushik, Vatsyayana, Kashyap, Shandilya , Parashar etc. This sect of the Brahmanas who call themselves as Tyagi Brahmans are mainly agriculturists. But agriculture was never ever an honorable profession for a Barahmana, although we find many Rishis in the Vedic Literature devoting to agriculture. Along with sons even the daughters have been referred to assisting their fathers, working in the field. But that was the time when profession of a person was not determined by birth. Profession by birth was a phenomenon of later historical times, where an agriculturist Brahmana was a paradox and totally unacceptable in society. Many 'Smritis' declare that if some one happens to see a Brahmana ploughing a field, it accrues such a huge sin that he is ordained to bathe clothes on immediately, in order to get rid of that sin. This situation prevailed over the period from later 'Vedic Samhitas' till 'Mahabharata'.

MAHABHARATA WAR

After the great 'Mahabharata' War the dynamics of the society changed drastically. Rules of marriage (anuloma and pratilome) and the age old rule of the son adopting his father's profession became the norm of the day. On account of this and in the state of squeezing means of livelihood many new castes began to appear in society. But this was not the case with the Brahmanas, who were as a matter of fact ideals in society and they followed the dictum of the scripture. Right from the earliest times they had six fold duties to perform and they were studying the Vedas themselves (Vedakhyayana), teaching them to others (Vedadhyapana), performing sacrifices themselves - (yajna Karma), performing for others (yajna karana ), giving charity (Dana) and accepting charity (Pratigarh). The first three of the above three pairs i.e. Studying Vedas, performing sacrifices, and giving charity were their duties (Kartavya) and the second three of the above pairs were their means of livelihood (Ajirya). As a normal practice among brahman (Jivan Vyavahar), they summed all wealth, their high learning, performed knowledge of scriptures, wisdom all wealth versatility but poor means of livelihood and meager and austere living kept many high ones in society always in awe.

GANAMEJAYA'S NAGAYAPA

After the Mahabharata war there occurred a very important event in the social history of India. After Yudhishthira his grand son, the Great King Ganamejaya, son of Parikshit, was in the throne, who waged a sanguinary war against the Nagas. It was a common practice among the kings of ancient India that they used to perform great sacrifices (Yajnas) after they achieved glorious victories against their enemies. Performance of the Yajinas signified purification of the ruling dynasty for the wrongs done during the war and enhancing glory and authority of the State everywhere. So king Gananejaya also performed great sacrifices after his victory over the Nagas. The sacrifices came to be known in history and tradition as " Ganamejaya Ka Nagayapa". The tradition goes that the most learned and great expert Brahmanas in the craft of performing sacrifices, were invited from all over the country to take part in the scarifies as sacrificial priests. It is true on the authority of the Vedas itself that the Yajinika (performer) was required to be the master of the scriptures, mathematics and astronomy. This tradition is still preserved in most of the Tyagi Bahamanas families coming down from generation to generation till date. Since we have been listening from our grand fathers and grand mothers, that our ancestors were those fortunate ones who were honoured to act as Adhvaryus, and Rtviks in this sacrifice. We all know that the last item of the Yajna is Dakshina, the sacrificial fees which were offered to the Brahmans after the completion of the sacrifice. Without paying proper fees the yajna was considered as incomplete. The tradition says that the King was over whelmed, overjoyed and ecstatic by the knowledge and craft of sacrifice of the Brahmanas. The king emptied the royal treasures and vast wealth in from of gold, animals particularly cows, houses, horse driver chariots, clothes and other articles of utility were distributed among all classes of society.

GANAMEJAYA'S DAKSHINA

King Ganamejaya ruled over his vast empire from his two capitals, Indraprastha, modern Delhi, which was founded by great grandfather Arjuna, and Hasthinapur, the old capital of 'Kuru' dynasty. The king had a secret design in his heart, which he did not disclose or discuss even with his ministers. He wanted that all these learned Brahmans who hailed from some famous learned families of the Brahmanas settled over the country far and wide, should remain around his capitals. So he granted large tracts of cultivable land to these Brahmanas as 'Dakshina'. It was a bolt from the blue to the Brahmanas because there was no sanction by the scriptures to these effects. The king knew that 'Dakshina' was never refused. And by this trick he would have Brahmanas settled around his capitals. It is due to this reason that Tyagi Bramanas are found settled in this region. But the Brahmans defeated the King's device. They vowed the declared that they accept the Dakshina but henceforth they relinquish the 'Paurohitya Karma' i.e. performing religious rites for others, and they and their progeny would never accept any charity in future for their livelihood nor act as sacrificial priests. Although accepting charity was one of Brahmana's duties sanctioned by the scripture, they remained devoted to agriculture as the only means of their livelihood.

THE TYAGI BRAHMANAS

Thus came into existence the sect of the Tyagi Brahmanas, who took up Agriculture as their profession sacrificing their two scriptural duties - no accepting charity and no performance of rites for others. Therefore South East Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh around Delhi and Hastinapur is the abode of the Tyagi Brahmanas.

THE TYAGIS

Once a sect of Brahmanas took up agriculture as profession, many other sects of Brahmanas following them gradually accepted agriculture as an honorable profession but side by side they remained adhered to the old duties also i.e. they continued to accepting charity and acting as priest also. But respecting the vow of their forefathers, with their descendents, the Tyagis acting as priest and accepting alms is still a bane and anathema. ---- Dr N.C. Tyagi

LORD PARSHURAM

Lord Parshuram is the Eternal Avatar and the Guru of Shree Gajanan Maharaj, Kalki Avatar. References to His activities can be traced back to the time of Mahabharat, the times of Avatar, Krishna (who gave Bhagavadgeeta), i.e. about five thousand years ago. Lord Parshuram blessed Krishna when Krishna came to ask for His blessings to maintain the Guru tradition on the planet. Several millennia before Krishna was the Avatar, Rama. The epic of Ramayan mentions appearances of Parshuram and states that He blessed Rama to maintain the Guru tradition. Rama and Krishna have left the physical bodies. However, Parshuram, the Eternal Avatar, appears again and again when the planet is in great danger. His work is to reset the harmony cycle of the planets. He is said to move in the numberless billions of solar systems wherever the need arises. Biographical accounts of Buddha’s life state that He went to a place called ‘Bhargava Ashram’ after leaving His palace. Bhargava means Parshuram. Lord Parashuram is also known as Lord of Yajnya, Lord who grants prosperity, and Lord of knowledge. According to ancient Himalayan tradition of knowledge, Parshuram was the first to introduce inter-planetary weapons on this planet in ancient days, when the planet needed protection from catastrophes caused by the greed and pride of the ruling powers.

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