ANGIRAS

Information on this page is based on information available from internet from Vedic sources and not as per Lieutenant Colonel Laurence Austine Waddell.

Angiras :

Angiras is a Vedic Rishi who has along with Rishi Atharvan written most of the Atharv Ved. He as also contributed in the other three Vedas. Rishi Angiras is also considered as one of the Saptarishis of the first Manvantar.

Angiras or Angira was a Vedic rishi (sage) of Aryans. He is described in the Rigved as a teacher of divine knowledge, a mediator between men and gods, as well as stated in other hymns to be the first of Agni-devas (fire gods). He is known by both names angiras and angira. In some texts he is called angiras and in some he is called angira. In some texts, he is considered to be one of the seven great sages or Saptarishis, but in others he is mentioned but not counted in the list of seven great sages. In some manuscripts of Atharvved, the text is attributed to "Atharvangirasah", which is a compound of sage Atharvan and Angira. The student family of Angira are called "Angira", and they are credited to be the authors of some hymns in the first, second, fifth, eighth, ninth, and tenth books of the Rigved. By the time of the composition of the Rigved, the Angirases were an old Rishi clan, and were stated to have participated in several myths

Many hymns of the Rigved credit the Angirases as their authors, mainly in Mandals I and VIII. Various Angiras sub-clans, including the Sunahotras, the Gautams, and the Bharadvajs composed Mandals II, IV, and VI respectively.

Other than crediting authorship, the Vedic texts mention sage Angiras in various roles such as a fire priest or a singer. For example, the allegorical hymn 3.31 of the Rigved calls him a singer :

The most inspired one came, assuming a friendly attitude,
The rock made ripe (its) fruit for the one who performs the kind deed,
The young hero attained (his aim) with the youths, assuming a warlike attitude,
And here right away, the singing Angiras appeared.

— Rigved 3.31.7, Translator: Tatyana J. Elizarenkova

According to some Puranic texts Angiras wife is Suruhpa.

Rishi Harit and Bappa Rawal (Kalbhoj) :

Rishi Harit :

Harit Maharaj (also known as Harit, Haritasya, Haritra and Haritas) was son of Yuvanaswa (also known as Yuvanashva / Yuvanaswa) and the grandson of king Ambarish and he was also the great grandson of king Mandhatri, an ancient prince of the Suryavansh dynasty, best known as the ancestor of the Kshatriya.Haritsa left his kingdom as a symbolic expiation of his sin. The descendants of haritsa maharaj fall under the haritsa gotra. They are a unique combination of "Brahmans of the Kshatriya clan". Haritsa was an ancestor of Ram. There is also another sage named Harita, Who was the son of Chyavan Rishi and has authored Harit Samhita, Which is an Independent work present in the Narasimha Puran, That sage is not to be confused as the founder of Haritsa Gotra, As the purans clearly mention, "Ambarishasya Mandhatus tanayasya Yuvanasvah putro bhut tasmad Harito yato ngiraso Haritah." The son of Ambarisha, son of Mandhat was Yuvanasva From him sprang Harit from whom the Harit Angirases were descended".

Although though a Brahmin lineage, this gotra is descended from Kshatriya prince of the Suryavansh dynasty who was the great grandson of legendary King Mandhatri.[citation needed] Mandhatri was killed by Lavanasura who was killed later by Ram's brother Shatrughna. This is one of ancient India's most prominent and famous lineages, having produced Ram. The first notable king of the dynasty was Ikshvaku. Other Brahmin gotras from solar line are Vatul, Shatamarshan, Kuts, Bhadrayan. Of these Kuts and Shatamarshan also descend from King Mandhat like Harit gotra and have either Mandhatri or his sons (Ambarish / Purukuts) as part of their Pravars. The Purans, a series of Aryan mythological texts, document the story of this dynasty. Harit was separated from Ikshvaku by twenty-one generations.

To this day, many Kshatriyas claim descent from the Suryavanshi dynasty to substantiate their claims to royalty. Although, Descendants of Harits do trace their origin in the solar dynasty but are not related to the Suryavansh directly any longer as the founder of the gotra, Haritsa himself willingly left the kingdom to expiate for his sin and at the completion of the expiation, He became a Brahman under the guidance of Maharishi Angiras. Those who belong to this gotra are Brahmans and are supposed to lead a pious life and must do the prescribed duties as directed by Lord Narayan himself to Haritsa.

While most Brahmins claim to be descended from ancient sages, those of the Harita sagotra claim to be descended from Kshatriyas trained by the Brahmin Angiras and hence they have some Kshatriya and some Brahmin qualities. This created, according to the Ling Puran, "Brahmins with the qualities of Kshatriyas".

There are few Jats who also claim to be descendants of the same king Haritsa, The great grandson of Mandhat.[citation needed] According to some sources, They also raised their voices against the Mughal oppression.[citation needed]

The gotra is recorded in the Hindu tradition in the Vishnu Purana :

Ambarishasya Mandhatus tanayasya Yuvanashvah putro bhut tasmad Harito yato ngiraso Haritah. "The son of Ambarish, son of Mandhatri was Yuvanashva From him sprang Harita from whom the Harita Angirases were descended.

and in the Linga Purana :

Harito Yuvanasvasya Harita yata atmajah ete hy Angirasah pakshe kshattropeta dvijatayah. "The son of Yuvanasva was Harita of whom the Haritash were sons". "They were on the side of Angiras twice born men." "Brahmans of Kshattriya lineage."

and in the Vayu Purana :

"They were the sons of Haritash / Angiras, twice-born men (Brahmans), of Kshatriya race", or sons of Harita raised up by Sage Angiras.

Accordingly, from both Ling Puran and Vayu Puran it can be inferred that Brahmins with Harita gotra belong to Ikshvaku lineage and because of the training and tapo sakti of Angiras. Swami Ramanuj and his primary disciple Sri Koorathazhwan were of Harita gotra.

Haritsa Gotra comes under Angiras-Harit Gan.

The pravar to be used by brahmans of haritsa gotra in ceremonies and other auspicious functions is of two variations, namely :

  • Angiras, Ambarish, Yuvanashwa, which is most commonly used

  • Harit, Ambarish, Yuvanashwa.

Bappa Rawal (Kalbhoj) :

Bappa Rawal was one of the most powerful and famous rulers of the Mewar Dynasty. Although a surviving member of the Guhilot clan, Prince Kalbhoj (his actual name) who came from Atri clan did not continue the family name of seven generations when he came to the throne; instead, he established the Mewar Dynasty, naming it for the kingdom he had just taken. He went on to become a celebrated hero on battlefields near and far, yet his fascinating life is full of enigmas, and many were the legends created about him. It is said that Bappa was blessed by Harit Rishi, a sage of the Mewar region, with kingship. His father, Rawal Mahendra II had married a woman of the Paramar Rajput clan, from Mt. Abu or Chandravati, both Paramar centres at that time. She was also the sister of Maan Mori, the Paramar king who ruled much of the State of Mewar. This included Guhilot clan land, which Paramar invaders from Malwa had annexed a century or so earlier, and set up their capital in the ancient fortress of Chittorgarh.

Bappa Rawal is said to have spent his childhood near a place called Nagda. As with most high-spirited princes, there are several legends from Bappa's early years as a youth in the wild Vindhya Range. The pranks of this royal shepherd (he tended the sacred cattle of the Brahmans) include his allegedly innocent mischief among village damsels, although perhaps it was not so innocent. One afternoon, in a game of his own devising, he 'married' several of the young girls, which ended with his having to flee Nagda to a hide-out in the hills to escape the maidens' irate parents. An interesting footnote to this legend of potential virility is that Bappa Rawal is said to have married many women, and sired well over one hundred children.

Bappa Rawal played an important role in the Battle of Rajasthan, a series of wars fought in the 8th century AD between the regional rulers of North-Western India and the Arabs of Sindh, in which the regional Indian rulers inflicted a resounding defeat on the invading Arabs. In the 8th century Arab Muslims started attacking India within a few decades of the birth of Islam, which was basically an extension of invasion of Persia. In order to ward off Muslim invasions across the western and northern borders of Rajputana, Bappa united the smaller states of Ajmer and Jaisalmer to stop the attacks. Bappa Rawal fought and defeated the Arabs in the country and turned the tide for a while. Bin Qasim was able to defeat Dahir in Sindh but was stopped by Bappa Rawal. Some accounts say that Qasim attacked Chittor, which was ruled by Mori Rajputs. Bappa, of Guhilot dynasty, was a commander in Mori army and so was Dahir's son. Bappa defeated and pursued Bin Qasim through Saurashtra and back to the western banks of the Sindhu (i.e. current day Baluchistan). He then marched on to Ghazni and defeated the local ruler Salim and after nominating a representative returned to Chittor. After Raja Mori named Bappa Rawal his successor and crowned him King of Chittor, Bappa Rawal and his armies invaded various kingdoms including Kandahar, Khorasan, Turan, Ispahan, Iran and made them vassals of his kingdom. Thus he not only defended India's frontiers but for a brief period was able to expand them.