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  • Early History Of Our Clan

    1. Raghunath Pandurang alias Vasantrao Karmarkar, Dadar, Mumbai.

    Nachane in Ratnagiri district  of the Konkan is the  original village of  all of us, the Karmarkars. Another village named “Aadi” in the same district is also one more original village of the Karmarkars. According to some, the original village of the Karmarkars is Aadi, and some families from there went to stay at Nachani. But majority Karmarkars’ original village is Nachani ( the author’s original village is also Nachani.)
    The current generation is the 14th generation of the Karmarkars of the original village Nachani. From this could be inferred that the Karmarkar family may have settled in this village from the sixteenth century.
    We the Karmarkars – are Chittapavan Konkanstha Brahmins. Our gotra(clan) – Kashyap, the branch –Aashwalayan, Pravar – Aavatsar.  We are the devotees of Lord Shankar, and therefore Shaiva. – means those who put the white paste of ash called Gandha   across their forehead. We are the sons of the Konkan, the land of Lord Parshurama. Our family deity is –Shri Dev Harihareshwar (Post – Harihareshwar,Taluka – Shrivardhan, District – Raigad) Our mother goddess – Devi Kelai (Kelambika, Kelabay) – an incarnation of the divine mother Parvati (her original place :- Maye, taluka –Dicholi, Goa State)

    Let us now discuss in detail every one of the above points. First, let us see how the Gotras (clans) were created. – There were 15 disciples who staying at the ashram of Rishi Bharadwaj to study the Vedas. Rishi Bharadwaj was the most superior teacher of that age. He decided to test these disciples.  There was one disciple with less intelligence. He was not ready for the test. There were no written tests in those days. The test was of recitation or learning by heart. So this disciple of less intelligence gave poison to other 14 disciples, and they all died. Bharadwaj came to know about this, but he remained silent. In fact most of these rishis were very quick-tempered by nature, and there was no guarantee about when would they curse anybody. In those days the class of disciples used to be well-behaved, stayed at the Gurukul, the residence of their teacher, where life was full of hardship, and the disciples had to serve the teacher and study continuously. They used to live in this way for 12 years; naturally the teacher also used to have some affinity developed towards them. Moreover the disciples would serve the teacher wholeheartedly. It was believed that one got the body of knowledge from the Acharya. The Acharya or the Guru would carry on the threadbare ceremony of his disciples. This was a form of creating a relationship of oneness a union between the Guru and the disciple, so the teacher would not get angry with disciples.

    The disciples also obeyed the orders of the teacher in totality. ( the story of Dhoumya rishi in the Mahabharata is illustrative of this. He had asked his disciple Aaruni Upmanyu to put a embankment to his farm, but the flow of water did not stop, so Aaruni made the embankment of his own body and stopped the water flow).So it is no wonder that Bharadwaj rishi remained silent. The punishment to the disciple would be very mild, and that too if they committed mistakes in their studies or in the pronunciation of the Veda, or else the teacher would at the most lightly hit the cheek of a disciple, that’s all.

    When those 14 disciples were being cremated, Lord Parshuram came there. With the permission of Bharadwaj, Parshuram sprinkled water on the pyre and made the 14 disciple alive. He brought them with him to his homeland – the Konkan. Therefore, the names of those 14 disciples became the names of those clans of Kokanstha ( meaning - staying in the Konkan).Since they became alive because of the holy water sprinkled on the pyre, they became holy from the pyre – Chittapavan.  There is one more story about the word Chittapavan. That story is: these disciple purified, or reborn  from the pyre, were expert scholars of the Vedas. They had knowledge of Arithmetic, Astrology and Engineering. With the help of their knowledge, they observed the ebb and flow of the sea and stopped erosion of land, put up some embankment to water, and made the lands fertile ones. They scorched and ploughed the land on the mountain and continued to harvest the crop of rice. Kshiti means land, and those who scorched and made it holy became Chittapavan. There are some Chittapavan people among the Khots. They ploughed the fertile land near the sea with the help of the Kulwadi-Kunabi people, but there relations were so close that they would call each other in the first person singular, however the rules of un-touchability were strict. 

    The Gotra of the Karmarkar’s is Kashyap. We are from the tradition of rishi Kashyap’s disciples. The Kashyaps belonged to Kashmir - the heavenly garden. The river is named Kashyapi. The name of Kashmir is derived from the rishi Kashyap. Meer means sea or the lake. Kashyapmeer means the lake of Kashmir, therefore Kashmir. Rishi Kashyap was very great ! Kashyap rishi invented the atom. His highness Pandurangshastri Athawale in his book of discourses on “Rishi- Smaran ( in the memory of rishis)has called Kashyap to be the father of the land (the father of the Indian soil.) He says further, “Rishi Kashyap had an extra-ordinary power. He obtained the science of the Vedas, of Machinery and Archery from Agni (the Fire),  Having got the offering of the Earth as a donation  from Parashuram reconstructed  India. Taking the Vaishyas with him, he revived the culture and made them manly, radiant and worshippers of culture and ethics. Therefore the earth had two names: the drowning earth was saved by the Uru, i.e the Vaishyas, so “Urvi” and since Maharshi reconstructed it so Kashyapi.