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The Story Of The Konkanastha Families

Those who are recognized to be pure by the process of Yajna, so Chittapavan. 
  Dr. D.V.Jog,Mumbai.


During the last over hundred years a number of scholars have put forward many principles about the background of the Chittapavan. Most important among them are those stated by Justice Chapekar, Rao bahaddur Mandalik, Historian Rajwade, Bharatachary Vaidya, Dr. Iravati Karve, Dr. Rajpurohit.

According to Chapekar, some of the surnames of Chittapavan families are indicative of their physical defects or deformities, whereas other surnames  are related to village-names. The Chittapavan people came via sea got down and stayed in the Kankan area. In his book “Chittapavan” there is no valuable discussion except the lists of the gotras of the Konkanastha and their methods of worshipping their deities. It is not reasonable and proper to say that the surnames Nitsure, Mate and Kane have been derived from the defects such as sheepishness, being lame or limping, and having squint in the eye, respectively. No community preserves surnames indicating deformities centuries after centuries. Names indicating   the glory of human being such as honour, efficiency, authority, qualification, degrees etc. are popular. There is no scientific reasoning in saying that the surname Chapekar came from Chapegaon and Behere came from the Beheregaon. As he himself wrote, there are many villages spread over different place everywhere, which bear the same names. When groups of people migrated from one place to the other, they did so for specific opportunities for their  progress and prestige. Also, it does not happen that only one family out of the settlement at one place, moves out to other places and then further away from there to other places. There are always some extraordinary challenges; some strong possibilities behind these migrations.  This thought does not appear in Chapekar’s discussion. For the life of Parashuram the book “Ram-Yashogatha” of Shriman Baburao Parakhe is more interesting for study.

Some other etymologies of Chittapavan surnames are based on the names of places from where they came. Ijiptvan (coming from Egypt), Kshitipavan (settling in the Konkan), Chittapavan ( of pure soul) are some of them. Some feel that Chittapavan  is the lost tribes of Yahudis (Jews).They forget that Jews belong to the Rometic race which is  different from the  Aryan race. Some others think that those troops of Sikandar who were left back here in India are the Chittapavans. There have been thinkers who said that these white-skinned people are a legacy  of contacts with the Portuguese. There is a mythological story that Parshuram gave brahminsm to some fishermen and these neo-Brahmins are chittapavans. According to one hearsay story, those born of the ashes of the pyre of cremation are Chittapavans. Killer of mother, Parashuram wanted Brahmins for his Yajna, but nobody gave the consent to the Yajna, therefore he made dead bodies alive and created this caste. This is the content of this book, and it has been specially included in the Gazetteer too.