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How Karmarkar happened to be the surname?
There are sixty original surnames in the Konkan, in which the surname Karmarkar is not included. The reason is that this surname became so because of a certain incident. As per the information given by Babasaheb, residing at village Nachani in the Konkan, one of the brothers of Balaji Vishwnath Bhat, who established the rule of the Peshavas, had absconded to Goa due to the harassment meted out to him by a Habshi. Goa was then a part of Maharashtra. This Bhat stopped for rest under a tree called “Karmari”, so the name Karmarkar meaning Karmari tree, under the shadow of which the Karmarkar stopped for rest, where there was a temple of goddess known as Devi Kelai.
This Karmarkar came back to Nachani. He regarded that Goddess as his family goddess and began to use Karmarkar as his surname. This anecdote doesn’t seem to be reliable, because the gotra of Bhat, who became the Peshwa, belonged to the Gargya gotra, whereas the gotra of Karmarkar’s is Kashyap. (Now, the Bhat surname is found in two gotras, one of which is Kashyap.) Therefore the younger brother of Bhat who became the Peshwa cannot be the Karmarkar. Balaji Vishwanth had two brothers, but nobody appears to have gone out of the Konkan as per the available brief history. Thus, it is clear that the one who became Karmarkar must be of the Kashyap Gotra.  Someone seated under the Karmari tree, therefore he became the Karmarkar. If this so, it would be appropriate to give the information of this Karmari tree.

The Karmari tree is also known as Kamarak, Kramak, Karamal. The circumference of this tree is like that of the Banyan tree. It ‘s fruits have a shape with 5 or 6 sharp corners. These fruits are generally like a small cucumber, with green, yellowish colour and test a bit soar-sweet. This tree can be planted in a small garden too. It grows well in the hot and humid atmosphere. In a small shady place also it bears good fruits. These fruits are used for medicinal purpose as also to make pickles and jams. In Goa the leaves of Karmari tree are used in some temples to obtain the divine verdict. There are plenty of Karmari trees in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. In Malaysian language karmar, karmal are called karbola. If one makes use of these fruits, after boiling them with salt, sugar and pepper and mixing it with boiled beat, it turns out to be a good testy salad. It may be suggested that all the ladies whose names are Karmarkar, should make the salad, pickles or jams of these fruits. We always say what is there in the Name? but, do  you understand  what is the glory of Name?

Spiritual Significance of the  Karmarkar Surname.

We have seen how the surname Karmarkar came to be. Prof. P.K.Savalpurkar has a written an article to analyze the surname Karmarkar from  the spiritual point of view. The Karmarkars would certainly be enlightened by that article. He writes, “There are three imperative verbs in the surname Karmarkar. The first and the third order is the same. How is it  possible to do, die and again do something? But as a spirituality thought and in devotion it is not only possible, but it is also one’s duty. The same is an order given in our Saintly and Vedic literature. This order ‘do, die and do’ is not for those who believe the body to be the soul. But it is applicable to all those who accept the principle: ‘I am brahma” and make efforts to practice it for achieving the same as a goal in life. Our ancestors had this as life’s goal to become brahma or Brahmin. This is a state of the mind. Animals, birds, insects, etc., do not have this as a goal of life. This is the goal of life only for human beings, because human  life is meant for action. Of course it is obvious that there are many ways to go to achieve this goal. The ways may be different depending on one’s authority, or  likes. In the Bhagwad Gita, two ways mentioned are  : dnyanyogen Sankyanam, karmayogen yoginam.