Thursday, December 15, 2011

असाती एक प्रमुख वैश्य वर्ग

Asati


Asati (असाटी in Hindi) is a merchant vaishya, bania community in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. The traditional population centre has been the Bundelkhand region, with their origin claimed to be from the Tikamgarh district.

K.S. Singh mentions a legend that the Asatis were originally from Ayodhya.


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Origin

In some texts the name is given as Asahati or Asaiti. They may have originated froma town named Asahat ( असहट ). There is a village Mahawatpur Asahat in Fatehpur district, UP. There is also a village named Asati.


Navalshah Chanderia, who wrote Vardhamana Purana in 1768 AD (sam 1825) at Khataura, included the Asati community among the eleven merchant communities that are partly Jain. Others include Gahoi, Nema, Porwal, Maheshwari etc.

Bramhachari Shitalprasad, the commentator of Mamal Pahud, a canonical work byTaran Swami, mentions that one of the manuscripts was copied at an Asahati temple in 1624 AD.

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Distribution

The census of India, 1891, reported 3,071 Asatis in the British ruled districts, of which 450 were Jain. They were mainly present in Jabalpur, Damoh and Sagar, where a significant fraction (27% in Jabalpur) were Jain. Smaller number were present in Bhandara, Nagour and Chhindwara, where all of them were Vaishnava. This does not include Tikamgarg, Chhatarpur and Lalitpur. Russel and Hiralal in 1916 also mention a minoriy being Jain.

In Damoh and Chhatarpur, there are localities named Asati Ward and Asati Muhalla.

Currently, the largest concentration is in Sagar city, according to a marriage data-base.

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Organization

The national organization of the Asati community is Akhil Baharatiya Asati Mahasabha. In 2011, it decided to celebrate Sharad Purnima as Asati Divas.

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Ganeshprasad Varni (1874 - 1961)

Ganeshprasad Varni, one of the foundational figures of the modern north Indian Digambar intellectual tradition during early 20th century was an Asati. He was the founder of several schools and institutions of advanced learning including Syadwad Mahavidyalaya at Varanasi in 1905, Varanasi and Satark-Sudhataringini Digamber Jain Pathshala, now Ganesh Digamber Jain Sanskrit Vidyalaya at Sagar.

The Asati community at Baldevgarh celebrates his birthday annually

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