चांद्रसेनीय कायस्थ प्रभू (CKP)

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चांद्रसेनीय कायस्थ प्रभू (CKP)

Post  Admin on Tue 22 Mar 2011, 7:11 pm

Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu or (Marathi: चांद्रसेनीय कायस्थ प्रभू)
CKP is an ethno-religious community belonging to Kayastha. The mother tongue of this community is Marathi. Though the exact geographical population distribution is not available, the community is concentrated primarily in western Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, mostly Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Kolhapur, Nashik, Nagpur, Dhar and Indore. They share many common rituals with the upper caste communities like Munja and the study of Vedas and Sanskrit. The Sword and the Pen symbolised the tools of this community for centuries. This community falls under an ethnic group of Indo-Aryans and members of this community are now found mostly in certain parts of the state of Maharashtra in India.

Kayastha is a caste community of the pure Kshatriyas. Story is that in very ancinet times some Kshatriya kings had become exploiters of society and indulged in wrong-doings. Then Sage Parashurama waged war against them and annihilted Kshatriyas 21 times. He instructed pregnant Kshatriya women to make sure that their children concentrate more on intellectual pursuits, and not on warfare. He said that since these Kshatriya-offsprings are residing ('sthit') in the 'Kaya' (body/womb) and, thereby, got saved from the axe of Parashuram, they will be called 'Kayasthas' after birth. This story is mentioned in the 'Skanda-Purana'. It should be noted that according to traditional Varnashram system, there are two duties of Kshatriyas. First, to indulge in pursuit of knowledge & research, and, second, to take care of administration. Kshtriyas are protector of society on all fronts. Sage Parashuram guided some sections of the Ksahtriyas to concentrate on the former (intellectual pursuits) and ignore the second. That's why intellectual pursuit became the trademark of Kaysthas.Till date, however, the definition of Kshatriyas is: "Yuddh kale asi-jeevi, shanti-kale masi-jeevi" ( To live by sword during wars, and by ink during peace-times.). Thus, Kayasthas are a caste of Kshatriyas. Some people link Kayasthas with Brahmins or Vaisyas which is erroneous. There are several sub-castes of Kayasthas.

Common CKP surnames
* Adhikari, Ambegaonkar
* Bendre, Bhise
* Chaubal, Chitnis, Chitre, Chaukkar, Chawak
* Donde, Dalvi, Desai, Deshmukh, Deshpande, Dighe, Diwanji, Dikshit, Durve, Daptardar, Dabir
* Gadkari, Gupte, Ghosalkar
* Inamdar
* Haldankar, Hajirnis, Hazarnis
* Jaywant, Junnarkar
* Kadwekar, Kamthe, Kanekar, Karkhanis, Karnik, Khale, Khambalikar, Kharkar, Kharshikar, Khasnis, Khedulkar, Khemkar, Kocharekar, Kohojkar, Kotwal, Korlekar, Korde, Kulkarni
* Likhite
* Mahadkar, Mahulkar, Manik, Mathure, Medhekar, Mohorikar, Mohile, Mokashi, Mulherkar, Mhasalkar
* Nachane, Nadkar, Nimak, Niphadkar, Nagle, Narolkar
* Palkar, Palvankar, Phadkar, Phadnis, Phanse, Patki, Pattekar, Patankar, Parasnis, Parkar, Parlikar, Potnis, Prabhu, Pradhan
* Raje, Ranadive
* Sabnis, Samarth, Shikarkhane, Shilotri, Shringarpure, Shrotri, Siddhe, Sirishe, Sule, Sonalkar
* Taranekar, Tamhane, Taskar, Thackre, Tipnis, Tungare
* Vaidya, Vilekar
* Wadhavkar, Waskar


It is believed that around the 12th century A.D., after Mandu fell to Allaudin Khilji, the Prabhus fled from Mandu. About 42 families migrated from Madhya Pradesh.As the Maratha empire started to expand in the 18th and 19th centuries, the community started spreading out to the then Maratha states of Baroda, Indore, Gwalior and Nagpur. Though the current location of this community is in Maharashtra or Ex-Maratha states, the CKPs are believed to have migrated centuries ago from the Kashmir region. This community falls under an ethnic group of Indo-Aryans and members of this community are now found mostly in certain parts of the state of Maharashtra in India. Along with the Aryans, one clan migrated to India on horse back they were called as 'hyhayas'. They established large empires in the fertile soils of central India. The most famous and brave king of this clan was Shastrarjun Kartivirya. During the cleansing of Kashtriyas by Bhargava Rama(Parshu Rama), the pregnant wife 'Chandrasena'- one of the sons of Kartivirya Arjun survived. The present day CKP clan is the progeny of that survived son of 'Chandrasena'- hence name Chandraseniya Prabhu. Prabhu means lords of land.Since they are one of very few surviving Kshatriyas from the cleansing done by Parshurama they still retain that original warrior blood.

The origins of the CKP community lie in Indus Valley from Kashmir to Sindh-Thatta on Arabian sea coast but the downfall of various kingdoms which were ruled by the community's families or where they were settled in (7th-8th Century A.D.)accounts for their present location. The last known migration was in 1305 A.D. wherein 42 families finally arrived in Maharashtra.
[edit] Social status

Being kayastha they follow customs and practices of Kshatriya varna. For example, they perform Upanayana sanskaar like all 'Dwijas' (twice-borns). Brahmins, Kshatriyas & Vaishya varnas are all 'Dwijas'. They all are Vedadhikaris, which means they have rights to study Vedas. Only the right to teach Vedas is limited to Brahmins only. The Sword and the Pen symbolized the tools of this community for centuries. This community is known for its loyalty and were designated as "brave helpers of Maharashtra" as proclaimed by Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha empire.

Ancient History of CKP Community
They migrated through the Khyber Pass from Sumer, where they belonged to cults devoted to Nanna, a lunar deity (like Chandra) associated with symbols of scholarship

Descendants of King Chandrasen, his son Kayastha, and Kayastha's son Somraj, ruled Kashmir and most of central India. Chandrasen, son of great King Sahastrararjun, was killed by Parshuram (The great warrior, in order to fulfill his wish to kill every Kshtriya on earth). Chandrasen's pregnant wife Ganga / Kamala took asylum with the mooni, Dalabhya. Parshuram demanded that Dalabhya hand over Ganga, but Dalabhya very wisely and with forethought asked him to spare the pregnant Ganga. Parshuram granted Dalabhya's request and blessed the child to be born from her and named it as "KAYA" who would in time be called "Kayastha." Parshuram then declared that because his father's kingdom had been destroyed, he and his descendants would live by means of the sword and ink (Asijivi/Masijivi). It is generally agreed that the Kayasthas are the descendants of the king Chandrasen who was the Kshatriya king (warrior by profession), the son of Sahastrararjun of the Haiyaya family.

Another point is tribes of kaya province are Kayastha. The province kaya means Ayodhaya. According to Mr. H.S. Wilson (1819), Kayastha means the Supreme Being, the writer caste born of Kshatriya father and Shudra mother. The word Prabhu means supreme or powerful. As we read the Origin of CKP's is from Kashmir and North India. The Pandavas, Kauravas, and Gupt Vansh are all Chandravanshis. Institute of population studies comments after recent research findings that people from Indus basins from Mohenjedaro-Harrapa were freely using poppy seeds in the food preparations which is the case of CKPs who use poppyseeds liberally among all communities in Maharashtra-Gujarat in their foodpreperations. But kayastha community located in Ganga basin differs with CKP as Kayasthas from Ganga basin were not aware of use of poppy seeds in food preparations may be due to geographical reasons. May be the climatic changes occurred in Indus valley civilisation after 1 st political-economical migration of Kayasthas took place so climate later on became favourable for growing & use of poppy seeds for use in food preparations. As per United Nations study about community migrations CKPs had its origin from Indus valley, this community always being in administrative & professional services of subsequent rulers were located dispersely in Indus basin covering Kashmir-Punjab-Sind-Baluchistan. Kolis-Agris-Bhandaris who trace their origin from Baluchistan-Sind-Gujrat-Konkan are following common rituals of worshipping goddesses as CKPs, worshipping goddesses is essential part of Dravidian culture as per findings from Mohenjedaro-Harrapa. Indus Valley had trade links with coastal Gujrat(Lothal-Khambat)-Kutch(Dwarka)-Konkan(Nalasopara-Kalyan-Chowl) also with civilizations from Nile & Euphrates river basins. Early exposure to this foreign culture through traders while conducting administration in Indus valley civilization CKPs started observing rituals distinct from Brahminical rituals& CKPs continued administrative jobs for new rulers even after Indus valley kingdoms were overrun by Persians-Kushans & Arabs.

Middle-Age History
Chinese travelers mentions about Shaiv-Kayastha kings in Kashmir in 5 th century. These kings used to talk in Sanskrit and one such king even composed a poem set namely ‘Rajatagini’ which describes beautiful scene of Kasmir and Himachal Pradesh. In the 7th and 8th century, Kayasthas were Prominent rulers in Kashmir state and later they shifted from Kashmir to northern India and central India in late 10 th century due to invasion from Islamic rulers. Sometime during the advent of Buddhism, the last CKP kingdom was lost and the community moved to Mandugadh where they held important positions in the court of the Parmars.

Migration from Kashmir to Sindh

CKPs continued administrating Sind-Multan-Kashmir kingdoms until Mohammed of Gazani defeated independent Muslim kingdoms of Sind-Multan-Kashmir in year 1027. Earlier, due to climatic changes with decrease in agriculture outputs & reduction in trade related activities, migration of communities upwards in Indus basin from Thatta on Arabian sea coast of Sind-Baluchistan where Indus river meets Arabian sea started towards Multan - Kashmir.

Migration from Sindh to West Narmada Valley

Mohammed of Gazani paralysed administration setup in Indus valley kingdoms through his numerous invasions in year 1027. This triggered migration for forefathers of CKPs , Through trade & political links CKPs were having knowledge of prosperous eastern kingdoms having favourable similar religious setup, these people decided to move eastward . CKPs moved along Indus river & embarked through port of Thatta in Sind-Baluchistan to reach Dwarka in Kutch & later Khambat in Gujrat then along river Narmada moved up to Madavgarh to take up positions in Parmar’s court .Had these people been from agrarian community they would have settled at one place for farm related activities. These people in good number were looking for big prosperous kingdom where most could find administrative jobs or occupation. Parmar’s court served their immediate needs as it had CKPs already serving in his court.

Arrival in Maharashtra

In year 1298 Allaudin Khilji attacked Mandavgarh & destroyed Parmar kingdom. CKPs who had lost their occupational jobs migrated through Narmada river to Daman, Kalyan, Chowl, Dabhol,Goa, Karwar in Konkan to settle in Chalukya-Solanki-Yadav governed towns. Few among these settlers around Daman-Kalyan took farming related activities along with administrative jobs to develop in separate community known as Somvanshiya Kshatriya Prabhu. After fall of Vasai in 1739 most came settled in Mumbai.

Deccan Platue('देश' region)

Few of kayasthas who settled in deccan plateau in towns like Paithan,Junnar,Wai,Nasik,Karad got mixed with Deshastha Brahmin community already settled there to take up common names from them e.g. Deshpande,Kulkarni,Dixit, Vaidya,Kshemkalyani.


Many CKPs settled in Konkan also have few common surnames along with the ruling clans from Konkan and Maratha-Bhandari-Agri-Koli communities took up names as Palkars, Deshmukh,Satpute, Ranadive,Patankar, Bhise, Desai, Nachane, Dalvi, Angre which are common in many communities.

CKP migration 1 st in year 1035 from Thatta in Sind-Baluchistan to Gujarat & later from Gujrat to Konkan coast was not migration of few families but migration of a community comprising Administrative officials, Merchants, Priest & tradesman known as bara balutedar like Khatik, Nabhik & others.

In Maharastra,these people were successful in getting jobs as administrators,warrior and clerks; However, bramhins led boyott(gramanyas) on them from 1300 to 1850. The most famous example is when Mr. Balaji Avji Chitnis wanted to perform the Thread ceremony ( Munj ) on his son. Brahmins did not allow him saying " Prabhu's are not Brahmins and are from lower caste, hence thread ceremony cannot be performed on them". Mr. Chitnis got letter from then Shankarachaya Vidhanrusingha Bharati from Karvir Peeth, in year 1913, which said "Prabhu's are Rajanya Kshatriyas (Royal warriors)". Only Rajanya Kshatriyas (warrior by profession ) are allowed to do thread ceremony, so though Maratha's are Kshatriyas thread ceremony is not performed on them. Only exceptions were Bhonsale's who were decedents of Sisodia Royal family of Rajasthan. The Letter written by Shankaracharya can be found in office of Bombay Gazzette. This community is at Par with Brahmins in performing Vedic rituals.

Period of Maratha Empire During Shivaji Maharaj’s period, this was the only community, who along with Deshasthas, held higher administration positions like Chitnis, Sabnis, Karkhanis and Mujumdar. They had also played a good role in the army of Maratha Empire during Shivaji Maharaj’s time and later during 1st Bajirao Peshwa’s period. It was also mentioned that during historic attack of Marathas on Afghans in 1751, Sardar Sakharam Hari Gupte Ambegaonkar of Pune led the battle of attock (read : अटकेपार झेंडें in Marathi) In late 17th century, few deshastha Brahmins understood the importance of Kayastha administrators and warriors. King of Aundh Sasthan and Pratindhi of Chatrapati-"Tribak Kulkarni- Kinhakar" broke the rules of “Gramanyas” (boycott) and started inviting them to Religious ceremonies related with his family and started “Pangat” with Kayasthas which was against the Orthodox Brahmin rules at that time. Great writers from Mandesh Ga Di Madgularkar had mentioned one story about this.Parshuram Tribak Pratindhi and his decedents kept this activity going on;as a result many CKPs migrated to Satara and Kolhapur Districts in late 17th century. Many CKPs got apponintement as Karkhanis and Gadkari at some forts near Satara like Vasota,Vardhangad etc.

CKP community in Peshwai

The fact that almost all the administrators from Chatrapati Shivaji to Rajaram Maharaj were either Deshastha Bramhins or Prabhus is reflected [by] the many common surnames in both the Deshastha and CKP communities such as Deshpande, Kulkarni, Chitnis, Gadkari, Karkhanis, Deshmukh, Tipnis and Jamenis etc.

Before 1713, all the Peshwes ( Prime Ministers) during the reign of the Maratha Empire were Deshasthas but from 1713 to 1803 Chatrapati appointed Chitpavan Peshwes. Particularly during the period 1750-1790, CKPs and Deshasthas faced a multitude of problems because of the pro-Chitpavan(and anti-CKP,anti-debra) attitude of Nanasaheb Peshwa. CKPs who by the mid-18th century had established themselves as professional administrators for the Angres at Alibaug, the Suvarnadurg clan in Malabar-Konkan coast, the Gaekwads in Gujarat, Bhonsales in Berar province, Ghorpades in Karnataka as well as for other Maratha chieftains from Dewas, Dhar, Indore,Kolhapur, Satara and Akkalkot found themselves at loggerheads with the Koknastha Brahmins for political and economical reasons because both communities were competing for the same posts. CKPs, who were favoured by both Hindu and Muslim rulers, were suppressed by vested interests in the Peshwa's durbar at Pune, particularly during rule of Nanasaheb Peshwa, Madhavrao Peshwa and Nana Phadanavis.

This was also the period of a Brahmanical revival in the Hindu religion when Brahmins ascended to the top of the Hindu caste hierarchy. CKPs, who as local administrators for the (Yavana) Muslim rulers prior to the Peshwa rule, had interaction socially with the Muslim and Buddhist rulers of the era and gradually adopted the social customs prevalent at that time, such as animal sacrifice, eating meat during religious functions, donation of money to bride as meher, worshiping fakirs or sufi saints and fasting, which was anathema to the Brahmins. Furthemore, the CKPs never had the sheer numbers to gain the favour of rulers.Chitpavan Kokanasta Brahmins who outnumbered CKPs, made seveal attempts to isolate the CKPs and suppress them further economically and politically, for example, by claiming that they did not have the right to perform the thread ceremony (munj). This was nothing more than an attempt by the Chitpavan Kokanasta Brahmins to appropriate for themselves the sole right to perform religious vedic rituals, a privilege of the ruling class in the brahminical way of thinking as declared by Brahmin rulers of that time.

Morever CKPs found themselves always at loggerheads with peshwas starting from Balaji Vishvanath 1st Chitpavan peshwa who usurped powers from Tarabai faction with which CKPs sided. Prabhu community who were earliest members of Shivaji dream of swaraj found themselves marginalized after Balaji Vishvanath became 1st Peshwa. Except Sardar Gupte who was commander in chief of Raghunathrao sworn enemy of Nana Phadanvis during his Attock operation no notable CKP ever served Peshwai & most joined rivals of Peshwas. This may have antagonised Peshwa administration further.
[edit] Occupations of CKPs

The traditional occupations of CKPs were as Knights, village revenue officials, Military Generals, Elite warriors, diplomats, clerks and administrators; very small number of people also practiced Ayurvedic medicine. During British Raj, CKPs in general, found employment as white collar professions such as office clerks, administrators, soldiers and teachers. In modern times,CKP’s occupations range from being factory workers, clerks to being doctors, lawyers, teachers, administrators, soldiers, IT professionals and engineers. CKP women are also going into higher education and as a result can be found in high ranking professions.


Posts : 62
Join date : 2011-03-22
Location : Pune


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