History of Tyagi Samaj
Researeched by Dr. N. C. Tyagi
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.