History of Sakaldwipiya Brahmins or Bhojaka Brahmins

Sakaldwipiya Brahmins or Bhojaka Brahmins, is a class of Hindu priests and Ayurveda teachers (acharyas). The Sakaldwipiyas are also known as Maga Brahmins also known as Maga Brahmins are the Suryadhwaja Brahmins, who however consider themselves to be distinct from the Sakaldwipiya/Bhojaka Brahmins.

The Sakaldwipiya Brahmin community of India identify themselves as having Iranian roots, and assert that they inherit their by-name maga from a group of priests  who established themselves in India as the Maga-Dias or Maga-Brahmanas.

Krishna’s son Samba was afflicted with leprosy, which was cured after he worshiped Surya, Hinduism’s god of the Sun. In response, he built a temple to Surya on the banks of the Chandrabhaga river, but no competent Brahmin could be found to take up the role of priest in the temple. So Samba sought help of Gauramukha, the adviser of the yadu chief, Ugrasena.
Gauramukha responded with a suggestion that Samba go to Shakdvipa and invite their priests to worship Surya. Further, asked Samba, “tell me, oh Brahmin, what are the antecedents of these worshipers of the Sun?” To which Gauramukha replied… “The first of the Brahmins amidst the Shakhas was called ‘Sujihva.’He had a daughter of the name Nikshubha, who so enamored Surya that she was impregnated by him. Thus she gave birth to Jarashabda who was the founding father of all the Maga-Acharya. They are distinguished by the sacred girdle called the Avyanga that they wear around their waist.” And so Samba called on Krishna to send him Garuda, on whose back he then flew to Shakadwipa. He collected the Maga-Acharya, brought them back to India and installed them as priests of his Surya temple.
Of the pious representatives of 18 families Samba invited to resettle in the city of Sambapura, eight were Mandagas, and their descendants became Shudras. The other 10 were Maga Brahmins, who married Bhoja vamsa women and so their descendants came to be known as Bhojakas.

Whatever their original beliefs, by the time the Bhavishya Purana 133 was composed the Sakaldwipiyas were identified as devotees of Surya, Hinduism’s deity of the Sun . Subsequently, in Vrihata samhita, Varahamihira directs that the installation of the Surya images should be made by the maga, as they were the first to worship the divinity.

the images of Surya should be dressed like a northerner with the legs covered, that he should wear a coat and a girdle. The early representations of the divinity actually follow these injunctions, and early iconography depicts the deity in central Asian dress, replete with boots. In time, the alien features by either discarded or stories were inventing to interpret the others. Nonetheless, the use of the word Mihir in India to refer to Hinduism’s Surya is regarded to represent Sakaldwipiya influence, a derivation from Middle Iranian myhr, that is itself a post-4th century BCE development of another.

the Shakdwipi Brahamins do in fact appear to have been instrumental in the construction of Sun temples in different part of the country,to include Kashmir, Kathiawad and Somnath in Gujarat, Dholpur in Rajasthan, Hissar in Jodhpur, Bharatput and Khajuraho in Madhya pradesh, Konark in Orissa and Deo, Punyark, Devkund and Umga in Bihar.

Apocryphally, the Sakaldwipiya centre was at Magadha. According to their tradition, they were there allotted 72 principalities (purs), and were identified by their purs rather than by their lineage (gotras). In time they migrated in all directions, but retained their affiliation with the original purs (as opposed to identifying themselves with their lineage, their gotras), and are strict in their practice ofgotra and pur exogamy (unlike other Brahmins) and give it prime importance in arranging marriages; endogamy within one of their 74 paras  is prohibited.

There are altogether 13 Śākadvīpī gotras: Kāśyapa, Garga, Pārāśara, Bhrigu/Bhargava, Kauṇḍinya, Kausala, Bharadwaj, Vasu, Suryadatta/Arkadatta, Nala, Bhavya Maṭi and Mihrāsu.

The Suryadhwaja have 5 gotras: Surya, Soral, Lakhi, Binju and Malek Jade.

Major Sakaldwipiya centers are in Rajasthan in Western India and near Gaya in Bihar.

The term ‘Bhojaka’ is popular in the western states while ‘Sakadvipi’ and its numerous variations is typical for the north and east. The terms ‘Graha Vipra’ and ‘Acharya Brahmin’ are common in Orissa,West Bengal and Rajasthan. One of the Sakaldwipiya groups, the ‘Suryadhwaja’ Brahmins, are endemic to Northern India and is the only Shakadwipiya group classified as Kashmiri Pandits.

The Bhojakas and sewaks are historically associated with several Jain temples in Gujarat and Rajasthan, where they serve as priests and attendants. Some of the Shakdwipi Brahmins of Bihar andUttar pradesh are Ayurvedic physicians, some are priests in Rajput families, while yet others are landholders.

A community called as Daivajna who speak Konkani hailing from Konkan area are believed to have descended from Magas.

16 thoughts on “History of Sakaldwipiya Brahmins or Bhojaka Brahmins

  1. Harishbabu Dave says:

    Beautiful, it is worthwhile to search from different angle and to express/explain in simple language. Your angle of expression is high level attitude may not accept pandits, thinkers etc. Too much high level in searching is appreciated.

  2. prasad pendharkar says:

    Dear Mr. Dave ,
    Can you help me to find My kul devi & Kuldeveta,
    Details: We are pendharkar, Gotra :Bharadvaj, orgin :Kokan: Karhade Brahmins ,

    We are assuming Karvir nivasi Amba bai at Kolhapur as Kuldevi & Narsimha as Kuldevta is it correct?

  3. Abhishek says:

    Can u let us know kuldevta & kuldevi for Mihira (Mihrasu) gotra from Rajasthan. It will be helpful if we can have a list of all the gotras & their kuldevi

  4. Ashit Jyotishi says:

    I also want all informations . Bcuz I m also a sakaldwipi brahmin. Please share with me all events related to Shakaldwipi Brahmin. I’ll like to witness. Please send me contact details, so I can meet you people heading and working for the betterment of community. Thnx

  5. Kaushal Bhojak, Shankheshwar (Gujarat) says:

    Kaushal Bhojak: मग संस्कृति Maga Samskriti: पुर परिचय, कुल साधना परंपरा एवं इतिहास – http://magasamskriti.blogspot.in/p/blog-page_8345.html?m=1

    Kaushal Bhojak: मग संस्कृति Maga Samskriti: मगध संस्कृति – http://magasamskriti.blogspot.in/2012/11/blog-post_3105.html?m=1

    अबोटी – विकिपीडिया – https://hi.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/अबोटी

    this links may provide a little bit info relevant to the issue…

  6. Pranjal Bhojak says:

    My gotra is “Chhaparwal” but it is not mentioned in the 13 gotras of Shakaldwipiya Brahmins. Why?

  7. Avinash Kumar says:

    Good information. I have a doubt. Somewhere I have read, origin place of Sakaldwipi brahmins is Shakdwip (Cambodia) whereas somewhere Iran is mentioned as origin place . Also, is there any solid evidence which can prove that Kashmiri pandit’s origin also through Maga brahmins.

  8. Kaushal Bhojak, Shankheshwar (North Gujarat) says:
  9. Kaushal Bhojak, Shankheshwar (North Gujarat) says:

    here I’m posting few links which may helpful to know about “Shakdwipiya Brahmins…”
    Jai Bhaskar to all “Shakdwipiyas”

    http://www.google.co.in/search?client=ms-opera-mini&channel=new&q=shakdwipiya+history&revid=1558466867&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjO7smRrZDMAhWFOT4KHam8B3oQ1QIILygH

    http://gopalakri.blogspot.in/2013/01/sakaldwipiya.html?m=1

    https://sakaldwipiya.wordpress.com/

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakaldwipiya

    https://hi.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/शाकद्वीपीय_ब्राह्मण

    मग संस्कृति Maga Samskriti: मगध संस्कृति – http://magasamskriti.blogspot.in/2012/11/blog-post_3105.html?m=1

    मग संस्कृति Maga Samskriti: पुर परिचय, कुल साधना परंपरा एवं इतिहास – http://magasamskriti.blogspot.in/p/blog-page_8345.html?m=1

    https://hi.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/अबोटी

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