Family Of Kathakars

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A disciple of Shri Vittalnathji (Shri Gusaji ), shri Vishnudas Joshi (of Umreth) disciple of Shri Vittalnathji (Shri Gusaji ), shri Vishnudas Joshi (of Umreth). Shastriji was born in a highly religious Brahmin family who were devoted followers of the Pushti Marg. This resume gives a brief account of some of the revered ancestors of Shastri family.Shri Gaud – As per an ancient legend, once Laxmiji had a desire to perform a ‘yagya’. For that purpose she invited from Kashmir those holy Brahmin who were scholars in the Vedas. The Brahmins performed the ‘yagya’, as desired by Laxmiji. Pleased by the effective performance carried out by the Brahmins , Laxmiji bestowed on them the title of , ‘Guruji’. Laxmiji is also known by her other name, ‘shri’. So the Brahmins were recognised as the ‘shri Guruji’. But in our languages also, there are many words which are mispronounced. Here, too was a similar case. ‘Shri Guru’ got converted into ‘Shri Gaud’. Since then, they are known as ‘ShriGaud Brahmin’.Kashmiriya – As these Brahmin families lived in Kashmir, they came to be known as ‘Kashmiriya Shri Gaud’.

Malviya – It was around 1026 AD that through the passes in Khaiber Ghat and Buland Ghat that Muslim invader entered Kashmir. They looted and killed people. Brahmins were peace-lovers and many of them were killed by these marauders.But even among peace loving Brahmins there were persons with spirit of Parshuram and Chankya ; they resisted with all their might , but ultimately fell victim to the attacker’s sword. They then migrated from Kashmir to Uttar Pradesh and from there to Malva (in Madhya Pradesh) and settled there for long. So they now came to be known as ‘Malaviya’ Gujarat – Madhya Pradesh always had acute water shortage. So, the Brahmins finally shifted to Gujarat. That state is home to large numbers of them.

In Gujarat Brahmins are found converged in four towns mainly. They are: Bhadran,Vadodara, Kavi and Chhani, the last named is near vadodara. In these Brahmin families there was the family of revered shri Vishnudasji Joshi. It was some six hundred years ago that shri Vishnudasji came to Gujarat and with his family settled down here.The Tradition of Pushti Marg – Shri Vishnudasji was a pious, pure hearted, devoted and scholarly Brahmin. With the generosity of Shri Vittalnathji (Shri Gosaji ), the second son of Shri Vallabhacharyaji , bestowed on Shri Vishnudasji he earned initiation (diksha) of Pushti Margiya Mantra (Brahma Sambandha mantra). But he could not bear separation from Shri Gusaiji and expressed his desire to settled down permanently with his family in Gokul. However, Shri Gusaji, who fulfilled the desires of his devotees appeared before Shri Vishnudasji in a dream and asked him to stay in Umreth and promised that occasionally I will keep appearing before you. Since those days of Shri Gosaji this family, generation after generation has lived under the benevolence of Vallabha dynasty. So far regular activities of Shri Vishnudas Joshi and his family members were the reciting of Puranas, astrology and performing religious rituals. In fact, these were the family’s traditional vocations.

The succeeding generations comprised of religious souls, such as, Shri Rajaram Joshi,Shri Manchharam Joshi ,Shri vajeram Joshi, Shri Harikrushna Joshi , Shri Harijivan Joshi respectively. Shri Harijivan Joshi’s elder son was Shri Bhavanishankar Joshi and his second son was Shri Jyestharam Joshi . It was the practice in this family that it provided shelter to Brahmin students in its own residence and educated them free of charge in the puranas, astrology and religious rituals which, they held, was the social obligation of a Brahmin. During a student’s stay with the family,its patriarch looked after the youngster’s fooding and clothing requirements . This aacount of Brahmin and Pushti Margiya traditions was detailed to me by my grandfather, Shri Jyestharam Shashtriji and it is presented here without any commercial interest but only with the intention of acquainting our coming generation with the history of the family. It is also dedicated to the future progency.

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