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Oct 22, 2009

The Origin and Culture of Chaturth Jains | Jain Community on Deccan

-Mahavir Sanglikar

Chaturth is the largest caste (endogamous group) in respect of population in Digambar Jain community, and the second largest one in entire Jain community. They overtake Agarwal Jains and Khandelwal Jains in numbers in Digambars and follow Oswals in entire Jain community.

Geographical Spread
Chaturths are concentrated in Southern part of Maharashtra and Northern part of Karnataka, mainly in Sangli, Kolhapur, Belgaum, Solapur, Hubali and Bijapur districts. Beside these districts, they are also found in western Maharashtra and central Karnataka. They are spread over several hundreds of villages in this area. In many villages of their concentration, their density is 40 to 70 percent of the population. Generally such villages are known as ‘Jain Villages’. Most of these villages are in Krishna basin, on the banks of Krishna, Varana, Panchaganga, Doodhganga, Vedganga, Malprabha and other rivers.

Chaturths are followers of Jainism. As all indigenous south Indian Jains are Digambar Jains, Chaturths also follow the rule. Traditionally they belong to Beespanth, a sub sect of Digambars. They believe in Bhattarak institution. The Jinsen Bhattarak of Nandani Muth is their Chieftain. In last few decades, many chaturths are attracted to Digambar Terapanth. A small number of Chaturths are Veershaiv Lingayats.

Food Habits
A being Jains, the Chaturths are strictly vegetarians. But unlike Gujarati Jains, they are not so strict about eating root vegetables, brinjals etc. However the use of onions and potatoes is very rare.

Bhaakari of Jawar, Soup of Jawar, Pithale, Rice, Aaamati of Tuar Daal, Kheer of rice are some of the common and popular menus in the meals in Chaturth community.

The traditional occupation of Chaturths is cultivation. They are expert and hardworking cultivaters. They take much more crops from their farms than other farmers having same size of land. Sugar Cane and Soya bean are the main crops they cultivate.

They are not big landowners and many families have very small piece of land. It is due to the partition of the lands because of the growing population.

The spread of education has given them more opportunities to work in other fields. So we can see many people from this community working as teachers, engineers, medicos, businessmen, lawyers, skilled workers etc. Teaching is a popular career both in Chaturth men and women.

A considerable number of people from this community also work in Police and Armed Forces. Even women from this community have joined the forces. I know a Chaturth lady who is a Police Officer in New York Police, another one Commissioned Officer in Indian Army. Lot of other Chaturth men and women are working in Maharashtra and Karnataka Police as cops and officers. In armed forces, they are generally seen in Military, while some are in Indian Air Force.

Few families of Chaturths are from lower income group. Many families in villages have no land or have very small land. Generally men and women of this group work as labours in other’s farm or as servants in shops and small business houses.

Milking buffalos is one of the income sources for many Chaturths in villages. In their villages, they have formed Co-Operative milk societies, which collect milk from all over the village and send it to cities.

Origin of Chaturths
The word Chaturth is a Sanskrit word. This is not the original name of this community, as it is not found anywhere in old documents, literature, copper plates and inscriptions. This name has created confusion and many scholars have assumed that the meaning of this word for a community is Shudra (Chaturth= of the fourth Varna= Shudra in the Varna system). But it is a very wrong assumption based on the name, which never existed in older times. In fact, the word Chaturth is a corrupted form of the word Kshatraru. The word Kshatraru is Kannada form of the Sanskrit word Kshatriya or the Prakrit word Chhatri/ Khatri. So it is clear that the name Chaturth is a corrupted form of the word Kshatriya. (Kshatriya>Kshatraru> Chhatar>Chatar>Chatur>Chaturth). It is notable thing that Chaturths traditionally claim that they are Kshatriyas.

In Konkani language, the Kshatriyas are called as Chardo. There is a community called Chardo in Goa and according to some scholars, Chaturths and Chardos are the same people.

It is notable that Chaturths are known as Jains and not as Chaturths in general.

It is notable that the Chaturths are living in Southern part of Maharashtra and Northern part of Karnataka for many centuries. The Nandani Jain Mutt is related to Chaturths. This Mutt was founded by Acharya Jinsen (10th Century). Acharya Jinsen was the Guru of the Rashtrakut King Amoghvarsha.. This region was ruled by various Jain dynasties, namely Kadambs, Rashtrakuts, Ratts, Chalukyas, Kalchuris and Shilahars.

Every Chaturth family has a recorded genealogy, which is preserved by the Helavis, a community that keeps genealogical records of various families in South Maharashtra and north Karnataka. According to the Helavis, their forefathers were told to keep the records of genealogies by King Bijjal, a Jain King of Kalchuri clan. (13th century). These records give lineage of the forefathers of Chaturth families, usually containing record of 20 to 40 generations.

Moreover, most of the Chaturth family names (Surnames) are related to the higher posts in village administration system. Patil is one of the famous family name in this community, which was used for village chieftain. Another family name found in Chaturth is Desai, which was used for the chief of regional group of villages. The main duty of Desais was to collect tax from the villages of his specific area. There are some other such surnames in Chaturths, like Magdum (Record Keeper) Chougule (Assistant of Patil), Khot (Village Chieftain) etc., which show designations. The designation name Patil was given by Deccan Muslim rulers, before that we find the words Gowda, Gaund, Gounda and Gawada for village chieftains. The notable thing is that these words except Gawada are found as suffixes to the first names of men in all genealogies of Chaturth families. The words Gowda, Gaund and Gounda are also found in various Jain inscriptions, even in the inscriptions at Shravanbelagola.

Historical records of Maharashtra and Karnataka show that forefathers of Chaturths were high profile Civil and military officers in the reign of Ratts, Shilahars, Devgiri Yadavs, Adilshahi, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Sambhaji, Rajaram and Shahu Maharaj.

All this suggests that there is no reason to believe that Chaturths are Shudras. It also totally discards the belief that Chaturth means are follower of Chaturyam Dharm (Four ford religion preached by Teerthankar Parshwanath), as the word Chaturth is a latest one for this community, and they never followed Chaturyam dharm, but Panchyam Dharm.

According to some scholars, Pancham was the only caste of Jains in south India, which was later divided into 4 castes namely Chaturths, Panchams, Kasars and Saitwals. This is a wrong statement based on just assumptions. There is no inscriptional, genealogical or literary proof for it. The scholars, who invented this theory, have written that there is no Chaturth caste in Veershaiv Lingayats. This is a false statement as we can see many Chaturths in Veershaiv Lingayats.

The Saitwals find their origin in North India and there are no links between Saitwals and others communities mentioned above. Moreover, some surnames of Saitwals suggest that they are the oldest Jains of Maharashtra. It should be noted that they are not bilinguals and we can call them Pure Marathi people. Their physical features are also different from that of Chaturths and Panchams. On the other hand, although Kasars are some time called as Panchams, their recorded history in Kalika Puran shows that they are not Panchams.

Although there are some similarities between surnames of Chaturths and Panchams, it should be noted that these surnames are designation names and not clan names. Chaturth is purely a cultivator caste, while Pancham is a Merchant caste. Panchams are descendents of Bir Banij, the famous merchant group of Medieval Deccan. Further, in the genealogical records no same origin of Chaturths and Panchams is traced.

Chaturths are Gowdas
In South Karnataka, there is a cultivator community famously known as Gowdas. There are many similarities between these Gowdas and the Chaturths. Most of the Gowdas were following Jainism until recent past. Still now, some sections of these Gowda people are strictly vegetarians and some are following Jainism. Some Gowdas are being reconverted to Jainism. This occurs mainly in the Gangatakar/ Gangadikara and Namdhari subcastes of Gowdas.

The word Gowda is used as a suffix to the first name in Gowda community. On the other hand, as I have written above, we can find the word Gowda, Gaund, Gounda (which have the same meaning) in all the genealogies of Chaturths. These words are still used as suffixes in rural areas in Chaturth community. One of my friends Mr. Rajendra Paygonda Patil residing at Samdoli, a Jain village near Sangli, has a genealogical record of 25 generations of his forefathers. Out of the 61 names found in that genealogy, 58 names have been suffixed by Gowda,Gownda or Gonda. The notable thing is that in first 19 generations, only Gowda suffix is found. After 20th generation only the suffix Gownda or Gonda occurs. I have seen many of the genealogies different Chaturth families and found the suffix Gowda everywhere.

It is notable that Gowdas are known as Vokkaliga Gowdas, and the Chaturths also were known as Vokkaligas a century ago

There are many other similarities between Chaturths and Gowdas. Both the communities are traditionally cultivators. Gowdas are Kannada speaking, and Chaturths too. Although the Chaturths in Maharashtra have adopted Marathi language, they are originally Kannada speakers, and now speak both Kannada and Marathi at home in rural areas. Both the communities have high rank designations in village administration system. The most important thing is that both the communities have similar body structure/ physical features like complexion, height, head size and nasal index.

An interesting thing is that the Jains of Kerala, which are mostly found in Waynad district, are known as Gowdars. They have matrimonial relations with Jain Gowdas of South Karnataka.

So, I am sure that the Gowdas and Chaturths are the same people. Gowdas of North Karnataka are now being known as Chaturths..

Chaturths: Migrations and Settlements
The oldest known migration was from north India to Karnataka, when the Dravidians were migrated towards South India, due to invasion of Vedic Aryans. As the Gowdas and Chaturths are from the same stock, the ancient migration history of Gowdas is applicable to Chaturths also.

A migration of this community to North Karnataka from Moodbidri took place when Jainism declined in Moodbidri region. In this migration, some Jains of this region went to Kostal Karnataka while many others wend to Northern part of Karnataka. They settled on the banks of river Krishna and her tributaries like Varana, Panchganga, Malprabha, Doodhganga, Vedganga etc.

An inscription of Kolhapur Shilahar General Nimbras (13th Century) states that he colonized many villages nearby Kolhapur by inviting staunch Jains to this area. That also was an important migration of Chaturth community.

There was another migration when Basava, a Brahmin Prime Minister of Kaluchiri king Bijjal killed the King. Bijjal was a Jain king ruling from Kalyan in Bidar district of North Karnataka. Basava was founder of Veershaivism. After the assassination of Bijjal, there was a civil war between Jains and Veershaiv Lingayats. At this time many Chaturth families migrated to South Maharashtra (Sangli, Kolhapur) and North Karnataka (Belgavi).

Genealogical records of Chaturth families show that they came in present area from Salbidri, Talikota etc.of Bijapur District. The Helavis (genealogy tellers) say that these families migrated due to conflicts with Adil Shah of Bijapur.

It is a question, that why these people migrated to south Maharashtra and North Karnataka from Salbidri/ Talikot araea. The most probable reason is that there were prior settlements of Jains in this area and the migrants found this area safer to settle. It is notable that Shilahars of Kolhapur, who were follower of Jainism, ruled this area (10th to 13th Century C.E.). The earliest migrations to this area we know are in 13th century when conflicts between Jains and Veershaiv Lingayats took place in Bijapur and Koppal region.

After settling in South Maharashtra and Belgavi district of Karnataka, there were a lot of local migrations when some Chaturth families eventually settled in nearby villages of the same region. Such families adopted the names of their prior villages as surnames.

The latest migrations of Chaturth families are towards Pune, Thane, Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra, to Panji and Madgaon of Goa and to Bangaluru city of Karnataka. There are migrations also towards district headquarters like Sangli, Kolhapur, Belgaum, Hubli etc. from nearby villages. This is due to less scope in cultivation and availability of more opportunities in various fields in the cities. As there is a high literacy rate in Chaturth community, having professional and technical skills, they are getting more and more opportunities outside their region. A considerable number of Chaturths have migrated even towards United States, Canada, North America, Europe, Australia and other countries of the Globe.

Religious Conversions
In the period of the known history of last 1000 years, many Chaturth families were converted to other faiths.

One of the major conversions of Chaturths was to Veershaivism. Veershaivism got a firm support from people of all creeds in North Karnatka. Many Chaturth families adopted this new faith. We can see many Chaturth families in North Karnataka and southern parts of Kolhapur district of Maharshtra are followers of Veershaivism and are known as Chaturth Lingayats. It is a well-known fact that that many Chaturth Jain families and Chaturth Lingayat families are descendents of same forefathers. The records kept by the Helavis confirm this fact.

It is said that the Jain Bhattaraks of the medieval age were collecting huge money from Jain families in villages. Many Jain families denied paying money. These Bhattaraks expelled such families from Jain community and forced them to become Veershaiv Lingayats.

In Portuguese period, almost all the Chardos (Chaturths) in Goa were converted to Christianity.

In the reign of Adilshah of Bijapur Saltnat, many Chaturth families were forcefully converted to Islam. Some Chaturths adopted Islam for political benefits. All this happened mainly in Bijapur, the Capital of the saltnat.

Some genealogical records show that some Chaturth families got converted to Maratha caste of Hindus.

Names and Surnames
Most of the first names of Chaturth males and females are like the names of common names of the Indian people of this area. But there are some first names, which are found especially in Jain community. Chaturths proudly name their children with such names, which include Mahavir, Bharat, Bahubali, Neminath, Goutam, Rishabh, Shrenik, Rajmati, Rajul, Chelana, Chandana etc. In previous generation, they named their children as Nemgonda, Nemanna, Shantappa, Jinappa, Shrimati, Shripal. Bhupal etc.

We can classify surnames or family names of Chaturth community in four categories.

a. Designation Names: These family names are related to their designations in village administration system. Such family names include Desai (Regional Administrator), Nadgouda (Regional Administrator) Patil (Village chief), Choudhari (village chief), Chougule (assistant of Patil), Magdum (Record Keeper), Khot (), Kulkarni (Record Keeper), Deshpande. Last two surnames are not so common in Chaturth community. Some families have Nayak or Naik as surname. Nayak is a Kannada word for leader and it is also a rank in Army.

Patil overtakes all other surnames in this category in surnames.

I have observed that every Chaturth family of this region is descendent of persons bearing the surname Desai.

b. Village Names as surnames: Many Chaturth family names are derived from village names. The number of such names is very big. Some examples of such family names are: Akkole (from akkol village), Rukade (from Rukadi village), Shedbale (from Shedbal Village), Ankale (from Ankali village), Udgave (from Udgav village), Kumbhojakar (from Kumbhoj village, Chiprikar (from village Chipri), Ankalikar from village Ankali), Nandanikar (from village Nandani) etc.
First Names as Surnames: Some surnames are derived from the first names of the persons from whom the branch of family tree started, i.e. Nemanna, Satyanna, Chimanna, Basannavar, etc.
Surnames by Occupations: Such surnames are very rare in Chaturth community. I found Gavali (Milkmaid), Shetti (Merchant) surname of this types in this community.

c. Some surnames were kept because of some incidents.

d. Some surnames of Chaturths are commonly found in the Marathas (a warrior community of Maharashtra). But in Chaturths such surnames are not so common. Such names include Suryavanshi, Chavan, Salunkhe, Shelar, etc. Some Maratha sub clan names like Navale, Lande, Nakate/Nakhate etc. are also found in Chaturths.

e. Some surnames were kept according to the type of house in which the family lived. Such surnames include Doddamani (Big House), Halimani (Old House), Kattimani (House having a katta), Vasamani (New House) etc.

f. The surname ‘Jain’ is rarely used.

There are no clans or gotras in Chaturth community, so there are no clan/gotra names as surnames. Why there are no clans in this community is a subject of research.

Chaturths are basically Kannada speaking people, but now they are bilinguals. The Chaturths of North Karnataka and South Maharashtra speak both the Marathi and Kannada languages. But usage of Kannada language in Chaturths of Maharashtra is on the way out.

There is a highest literacy rate amongst this community. Probably it is 100%. A considerable number of Chaturths are in teaching field. They are primary and high school teachers and even professors in colleges. They have founded hundreds of educational institutions in all over South Maharashtra and North Karnataka. This has benefited this community and others in spreading of literacy.

Customs and Traditions
Marriages: parents of the guy and girl generally arrange Marriages in this community. Uapadye, the priest of the Jain temple, performs the marriages. Just few decades ago, marrying with cross cousins was a common practice, but now it is almost disappeared. They also practiced marriages between the girl and her maternal uncle, until some decades ago. This proves the Dravidian origin of Chaturth community. Such marriages are now out of practice.

In villages, the parents of the girl prefer a guy having land for agriculture, even if the guy has a good job in public or private sector, or he is self employed having his own business house. They generally marry in their own caste, but in cities marriages between Chaturths and other Jain castes, especially Panchams, Saitwals, Kasars, Bogars, Humads, kamboj etc. are taking place.

The first known famous marriage of a Chaturth guy outside chaturth community was arranged in 19xx. The girl was from Pancham community, niece of Annasaheb Latthe, a progressive Jain. Annasaheb Latthe was Prime Minister of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur and founder of Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha.

A small number of marriages occur outside Jain community.

In villages, many marriages are performed under ‘Quick Marriage System’ popularly known as ‘Yaadi Mein Shaadi’. In this system, the guy and some of his close relatives go to see a girl, and if both the guy and girl agree to marry, a quick marriage takes place on the same day or within 2-3 days in presence of limited people, generally close relatives.

After the marriage, the bride comes to the house of the parents of the guy and stays there for five days. An elder woman, who is her close relative, accompanies her. Then the bride returns to her parents and stays there for some days. Generally the groom goes to her house and brings her back.

Birth of Child: The pregnant woman generally goes to her father’s house for first delivery. This tradition is ancient one and we can see it in many communities of ancient India.

Namkaran (Naming): The child is named on 12th day of his/ her birth. The paternal aunt (father’s sister) of the child declares the name.

Karnchhedan: A small hole on the lower part of both the ears of the child is made. The village goldsmith performs this act.

Javal/ aliya: The cutting of hairs of the child for first time is called as ‘Jawal Kadhane’ in Marathi and Aliya in Kannad. This ritual is performed in a small function at home by maternal uncle of the child and the village barber.

Sallekhana: Sallekhana is a tradition in Jain community where seriously sick old persons adopt death by fasting. In Chaturth community, this is a widespread tradition.

Chaturth Women:
Chaturth women are educated, homely, and religious, and bear true Jain spirit. Chaturth women in villages are generally orthodox.

Pilgrimage Centers:
Like most of the other Jain communities, in Chaturth Jains also there is a tradition of visiting various Jain pilgrimage centers. Many Chaturth families, individuals and groups visit the most famous pilgrimage centers namely Sammed Shikharaji in Jharkhand, Shravanbelgola in Karnataka and Girnar in Gujarat. They also visit Mangi Tungi, Gajpanth, Ramtek, Kunthalgiri in Maharashtra and Shasraphani Parshwanath, Babanagar, Hombuj Padmavati, Dharmasthal, Kanakgiri and lot of other places in Karnataka.

In there own area also there are some famous Jain pilgrimage centers, which the Chaturths visits many times. Such places include Bahubali and Nadani in Kolhapur district, Kundal in Sangli district, Nandgiri in Satara district, Stavnidhi and Kuppankothali in Belgavi district, and the Belgavi city fort where an ancient royal Jain temple Kamalbasti is situated.

Socio-Religious Organizations
Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha is the most popular and most famous socio-religious organization of Chaturths and other Digambar Jains in South Maharashtra and North Karnataka. This organization was founded in 1999 and works for educational, social and religious causes.

Chaturths in Freedom Movement:
Chaturth community has done a good job in the freedom movement of India. They were mainly associated with the famous freedom fighter Vasant Dada Patil, who later became Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Other group of Chaturths was associated with Krantiveer Nana Patil and Barde Guruji, who succeeded expelling British people from all the districts of Satara and South Satara (now known as Sangli) in 1942.

Rajmati Birnale, a Chaturth Jain girl from Nana Patil’s group was famous for her activities against British rule.

Chaturths in Co-Operative movement
Co-Operative movement in Western Maharashtra and Noth Karnataka has changed social and economical face of these regions. Contribution of Chaturth community is very important in this movement. The Sangli Sahkari Sakhar Karkhana, now known as Vasantdada Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana is one of the biggest co-operative sugar mill in Asia. It was founded by Vasantdada Patil mainly with help of Chaturth farmers in Jain villages in Sangli district. Chaturths also helped to found many sugar mills in Kolhapur district.

The Awade family, belonging to Chaturth community is well known for their contribution in founding co-operative sugar mills, Yarn mills etc. Shamrao Patil Yadravkar of this community also founded a sugar mill.

In every village where Chaturths are in a sufficient numerical strength, have founded various co-operative societies.

Chaturths in Politics:
Most of the Chaturths are traditionally supporters of Congress Party. But eventually they support other secular parties like Rastravadi Congress Party (NCP), Janata Dal and Independent candidates. As the main occupation of Chaturths is cultivation and they are born cultivators, they always support Farmer’s Organizations in their causes. They rarely support Hindutwa parties like BJP and Shivsena.

As Chaturths are effective minority community in their area, their stand is very important in elections. Most of the times, they succeed to elect the candidates they want. In their area of high density, they succeed to elect their own candidates for assembly and parliament.

They get a considerable representation in Zilha Parishads, Taluka Panchayat Samitis, Municipal Corporations and municipalities of this region. So we can see ZP and Panchayat Samiti presidents, Mayors, ZP members and city corporations from this community.

Famous Personalities:
Chaturths have given many great personalities in religious, social, educational and other fields. Acharya Shantisagar, the first Digambar Jain Acharya of this era was from this community. The famous Jain Acharyas Deshbhooshan and Vidyasagar too are from this community.

The most famous personality from Chaturth community is Karmveer Bhaurao Patil. He was an educationalist and social reformer. He founded Rayat Shikshan Sanstha, which is the biggest educational institution of Asia with hundreds of schools, colleges, hostels and other institutions in rural areas of Western Maharashtra. His great grandfather xxx was the chieftain of Nandani Jain Bhattarak seat. Karmveer Bhaurao Patil was felicitated as Padmbhooshan for his great work by the President of India. A commemorative postage stamp on him was also issued by the postal department of India..

List of notable Chaturths:
Nimbaras: Chief of the army of Shilahar King Bhoj II. Nimbaras was famous for his bravery. He fought and won many battles.
Khangouda Desai: A Sardar of Adilshah of Bijapur, later revolted and joined Shivaji’s army. He became a General of Sambhaji.
Hangandi Desai: He was a famous Maratha Saradar at the time of Peshavas.
Karmveer Bhaurao Patil: Educationalist, Social reformer, founder of Rayat Shikshan Sanstha.
Appasaheb Patil: He was the man who arranged first conference of Dalits. Chhatrapati Sahu Maharaj of Kolhapur was the Chief Guest in this conference. It was attended by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, who was a young guy at that time.
Rajmati Birnale: A revolutionary in freedom movement of India
Baa. Bhu. Patil: Founder of Ratnakar Bank, Jain activist and leader, a lawyer, writer, publisher.
Tatya Keshav Chopde: Noted Marathi writer and historian
Appa Bhau. Magdum: Noted Marathi writer, poet, publisher and social reformer
Annasaheb Bhau Magdum: One of the early students of the great Karmveer Bhaurao Patil, who later became Chief Secretary of Rayat Shikshan Sanstha. He was a mathematician and an educationalist.
Balasaheb Patil: A leader of non-Brahmin movement, journalist, writer and social reformer. He was editor of Satyavadi, a Marathi daily published from Kolhaour.
Rajmati Patil: A Philanthropologist
Kallapaa Anna Awade: A leader of co-operative movement in Maharashtra, ex M.P.
A.B. Jaknur: : A leader of co-operative movement in Karnataka, Politician, Ex-Minister
Indumati Awade: Founder of Asia’s first women’s co-operative yarn mill.
Raju Shetti: Leader of farmers, President of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, elected as a Member of Parliament in 2009 elections.
Sharad Patil: Educationalist, writer and politician
Prakash Awade: Politician, Ex Minister of Maharashtra.
Suresh Patil: Ex Mayor of Sangli city, Businessman, Educationalist
Dhulappa Anna Navale: Freedom fighter, close colleague of Vasant Dada Patil, (Late Chief Minister of Maharashtra), MLA of Maharshtra.
Bhalchandra Vagyani: Justice, writer, President of 18th Marathi Jain Sahitya Sammelan.
Bhuvanedra Kumar: Jain Scholar and Activist from Canada
Subhash Chandra Akkole: Jain Scholar, Marathi writer, the first one who discovered medieval history of Marathi Jain literature.
Dr. Ravsaheb Patil: Noted Marathi writer, speaker and thinker
Mahavir Sanglikar: Noted writer, scholar and thinker
Neelam Mangave: Noted Marathi writer
Harshit Abhiraj: Music Composer, Singer and Film Producer
Bapusaheb Patil: Industrialist
J.F. Patil: Noted Economist
Parshwanath Digrajkar: Musician and Singer, Guru of the famous singer Suresh Wadkar
Major Prakash Patil: Educationalist, Social Worker
Ajit Narade: leader of cultivators
Bapusaheb Magdum: A Communist leader

This research is mainly based on the fieldwork and observations by the writer. The writer himself belongs to this community. The main sources of this research include:

1. Helavi records
2. Discussions with Patils of various Jain villages
3. Discussions with Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha activists
4. Discussions with elderly persons
5. Discussions with elderly and knowledgeable priests of Jain temples in Jain villages

Reference Books:
1.Jain Community: A Social Survey by Dr. Vilas Sangave
2. People of India
3. Jain Aani Hindu by Tatya Keshav Chopade
4. Census of India reports 1881 to 2001
5. All India Digambar Jain Directory 1914
6. Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabhecha Itihas
7. Jain Shilalekh Sangrah Bhag I
8. History of Gounder community
9. The Origin of Gowdas
10. Shilahar Rajwanshacha Itihas: Dr. V.V. Mirashi
11. Kolhapur District Gazetteer 1884
12. District Gazetteer of Belgaum
13. District Gazetteer of Mysore
14. Canadian Studies in Jainism by Dr. Bhuvanendra Kumar
15. The Origin of Gowdas
16. Jain Vadhu Var Parichay Melava Directory 1999, 2001 published by Jain Sahyog, Pune
17. Aanasaheb Latthe biography

See Also:
Jainism in Maharastra
Kolhapur Jains
Jainism in Kolhapur


Unknown said...

Dear mahavir,

Many thanks for your post.

we were not aware mean of chaturth.

keep writing.

Best wishes


Unknown said...

Dear mahavir,

can pl tell us about bilingual

jains kuladeva/devata. when it

started.? As i have heard from

helavi,our ancients came from

talikote & setteled at border area

of maharashtra.their names wer

jinnagonda, bharmappa,etc.It seems

they were jains in 12TH century.

From when we adopted kuladeva

pratha? As per my knowladge all

kul deva of chturth & panchams are

hindu gods like narasoba from

sangavade,mallaya from mangsooli etc

Many thanks for yor writings.


harsshit abhiraj said...

dear mahavir , jai jinendra
thanx for giving very detailed info regd jain chatuthas keep it up

harsshit abhiraj 09422361286

ABHIJEET said...

Dear Sir

A millions of thanks for posting a lot&lot of info. Each and every line is meaningful. I came to know plenty of things about our community.Best one was coversion of Kshatriya to Chaturtha.
Thanks Alot & Jay-Jinendra
Abhijeet Pasanna(9632427827)

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

Dear mahavirji
there are maratha chaturth
Kindly ref 03128.
kindly google

with regards

Anonymous said...

Dear Mahavir ji,
There is no gotra in chaturth. but there is/was clan in chaturth families. It is known as bedagu(in kannada). Bedagu was asked during marriages, before 80 years.
My maternal bedagu/clan is Honna singarannavar. & paternal bedagu/clan is Honna Tejannavar. same clan can never intermarry. (meaning of Honna=Gold)
Still the 80 year old ladies may be aware of bedag.
With best regards.

jeevan said...

This was a very informative article Mahavir , I got your article as a result when I was searching for the Jain origins of Gangatkar Gowdas and this was very informative.... If possible can you send me more information on the relations of Gangatkar with Jainism and the Ganga dynasty .... send to -- ... Thank You

Satgonda Patil said...

If panchams are descendents of Vir Banijiga of Vijayanagara empire..then they are aboriginals of south Andhra pradesh..or Tamil nadu..because ancestary of Vira Banijiga is traced to "vana charas" Who use to cultivate and also used to have merchantship in south Dravidian colonies.
Baniyas are called so because of famous merchant "Banijiga"Of medieval deccan in Vijayangar empire.
Some stock of these people have migrated to north India and have prospered in are called "Baniyas" ( From "Banijiga")

Satgonda Patil said...

Gonda - Gouda- Gound ( all same) is the designation first was started by King Bittiga ( converted hindu name - Vishnuvardhan) Of Hoysala empire. Gonda means "Victor" or "Chief to the given area" eg..Tejannavar - Tejagouda or Tejgonda..Virgonda one who is Brave victor..Mallgonda ( Old kannada :-Malla - Wrestling) one who had victory in such..etc.
These names are seen both in Panchams and Chaturths..As they as our ancestors had such designations.
Panchams are Dravidian stock migrated from Andhra, Tamil nadu, and Karnataka. Majority is seen in karnataka. Thats why in geneology of panchams recorded by Helavis shows names fo kannada origin like -Jaygouda,Virgouda,Satgouda,Ijgonda,Yallgonda.Yadugouda (might have came from Yadava dynasty)Jayappa,Nemmanna,akhmanna..Ijappa,Shripal..Gunpal.etc.and surnames like Marchannavar..Jaygonnavar.. Shetti (Kannada meaning- merchants) Hanamshetti, Daragshetti, Patil, Chougule, Desai(Patil is recent surname of both chaturths and panchams which was given mughals or either Shahu Maharaj..when they got migrated to south Maharashtra)
In south Maharashtra their population is seen as same to chaturths like kolhapur Ichalkaranji Sangli Miraj Gadhinglaj Solapur. Karad and satara are least. ( Number of people were accepted we see gonda or gouda Suffix in lingayats too).

Unknown said...

It is also top varna in jain religion
‌श्रेष्ठ वर्ण

Unknown said...

Nice!Thanks for sharing.Visit here also Jain Religion in hindi

Anonymous said...

Thanks for information

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