Jagat Seth meaning the "Banker of the World", was a title conferred on Fateh Chand, a very rich banker in Bengal in the first half of the 18th century. The founder of the house of Jagat Seth was Manick Chand who came to Dhaka from Patna in the early eighteenth century and established a trading firm.
When Murshid Quli Khan, the Dewan of Bengal transferred his capital to Murshidabad, Manick Chand moved with him to the new capital. Emperor Farrukhsiyar, soon after his accession to the throne of Delhi in 1712, honoured Manick Chand with the title of "Nagar Seth" (Banker of the city). Manick Chand died in 1714 and under Fateh Chand, his nephew, adopted son and successor the house achieved real greatness. The title of Jagat Seth was bestowed on Fateh Chand by emperor Muhammad Shah in 1723. The transactions of this firm have been compared with those of the Bank of England.
Jangipur a town in Murshidabad district, is situated on the banks of the Bhagirathi. The proper name of this place is said to be Jahangirpur, which was derived from its having been founded by Jahangir. During the early years of British rule it was an important centre of the silk trade, and the site of one of the East India Company's commercial residencies, but now the trade has fallen and much of the town has been swept away by the river Bhagirathi. The subdivision is on the right bank, at Raghunathganj. The northern end of this is called Balighat, and is said to be named after the poet Valmiki. An Ancient banian tree was supposed to mark the spot where he used to bathe. In Balighat there is an old mosque with an inscription saying that it was built by Syud Qasim and containing the chronogram, which shows 968 AH or 1561 AD as the date. This mosque is probably the oldest structure in the district. Certainly it is much older than any building in Murshidabad. Probably Cossimbizar was named after Syud Qasim.
North of Jangipur is Giria (24°31'N 88°04'E), where two important battles were fought. One between Alivardi Khan (আলীবর্দী খাঁ) and Sarfaraz Khan in April 29, 1740, and the other between the English under Major Adams and the troop of Mir Qasim in 1763.
In our country there are twelve "Jyotirlingas" of Lord Shiva at twelve places that are sacred to the Hindus. It is believed that all these twelve Jyotilingas are "Swayambhus" meaning that they sprung up by themselves at these places and afterwards only temples were built. Every Hindu believes that at least once in his lifetime he must visit these twelve Jyotirlingas and then he will be absolved of all the sinful acts he may have done.
These twelve Jyotirlingas are :
Under native rule, a judge administering Mohammedan law. Under British rule, the kazi registers marriages between Mohammedans and performs other functions, but has no powers conferred by law.
The earliest known religion of Bengalis was probably Jainism. Out of 24 Jain Tirthamkaras 18 of them spent major portion of their lives in this very Bengal. The district name "Bardhaman" was named after 24th Tirthamkara Bardhaman Mahavir. The next major religion of Bengalis found to be Buddhism, followed by Saivaism and Saktaism. Prior to Sena rules in Bengal, Bengal and its adjoining areas were dominated by Buddhism. About the year 994 AD King Adisur, the first of a famous line of Sen Rajas in Eastern Bengal, at last awoke the great mass of the Hindu population to a sense of its own strength and power, and by right of might displaced the Buddhist kings and founded a new Hindu kingdom of his own in Vikrampur. So far had the Hindu religion fallen during the long centuries of Buddhist rule that King Adisur, it is said, found no Brahmin in all his kingdom who could faithfully perform the ceremonies and ritual of his faith. King Adisur, sending out emissaries far and wide, found that the purest form of Brahminism had been preserved in the city of Kannauj.
In North India Brahmins are divided in five categories. They are 1) Saraswat Brahmins, 2) Kannauji Brahmins, 3) Maithili Brahmins, 4) Gauriya Brahmins and 5) Utkali Brahmins.
King Vira Singh of Kannauj sent five learned Brahmins, among them Bhatta Narayan as their chief. Welcoming them with respect, the king established them in his capital of Rampal, and there they flourished, they and their descendants, restoring their teaching and example the great doctrines of the Hindu faith. As their descendants became numerous, they scattered themselves into different parts of the Rarh or Radha area. Those settling in the North were called Uttar Rarhi, those on the South as Dakshin Rarhi, those on the east as Bangojas.
The immigrants were attended by five servants, who are the reputed ancestors of the Kayastha caste. In Sanskrit this word means "Standing on the Body", whence Kayasthas claim to be Kshatriyas. But the tradition of a servile origin persisted, and they were forbidden to study the sacred writings. An inherited bent for literature has stood them in good stead: they became adepts in Persian, and English.
These Vedic Brahmins were supposed to have nine gunas (favoured attributes), among which was insistence on same rank marriages. The possession of these gunas caused them to be known as Kulins or those of superior rank. In the next century, King Ballal Sen invited the 56 sons of these five Brahmins to his court and gifted them a village each. He also introduced a merit system (the Kulin Pratha) among the Kulins emphasising nine qualities "as the touchstone of sacerdotal purity", to promote vedic principles in the society, leading to a strict and disciplined lifestyle. Simultaneously Ballal Sen also enforced strict rules on family and marriage rules on Brahmins, leading to the birth of Kulin Brahmins. He also made a similar division for the Kayasthas also. In the case of Kshatriyas / Kayasthas, they were subdivided into three main divisions in Bengal - 1) Vangaja Kayasthas (Eastern Bengal). 2) Uttar Rarhi and 3) Dakshin Rarhi Kayasthas (Western Bengal). As with his predecessor, Ballal Sen insisted on reciprocal exchange of daughters as being one of the qualities. Not all Kulins, however, were willing to accept this ruling on reciprocity. Those who setup their own rules were from then on known as Kshatriya (those learned in the Vedas but of lower rank). Kulin men could marry girls from Kshatriya Brahmin families which were further divided into Siddha (perfect), Sadhya (capable of attaining perfection) and Kashta (difficult) sub-groups.
|Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next|