A concise history regarding our ancestors the Saraswat Brahmins

The Skanda Puranas mention that Saraswat Brahmins habituated North vindyagiri (Kashmir). They resided on the banks of the Saraswati River. Historical records/ narration state that this clan comprised of well educated, highly intelligent people with exceptional cultural and social backgrounds. It is the popular belief that the Vedas and many other holy scriptures of the Hindus originated on the banks of this sacred river.

As their population increased they were classified into five divisions based on their place of settlement.

1. Saraswats – those who lived along the banks of Saraswati River.
2. Kanya Kubjas – those who lived along the river Kanoj.
3. Gouds – those who lived on the banks of the Southern Ganga
4. Utkalas – the people who lived in Orissa.
5. Mythilis – those who lived along the Mythila river in Bihar.

Severe drought and famine over a long spell of 12 years, struck the banks of the Saraswati River. Our ancestors, the Saraswats were forced to migrate towards Gomanthak, which is presented day Goa. The people of the South, known as Dravidas, addressed these Saraswats as Gouds or people coming from the Gouda providence of the northern part of the country. Thus this prefix Gouda Saraswat Brahmins which continues to this day.

Originally the Saraswats belonged to six holy lineages of Gothras, namely 1. Dattatreya, 2.Bharadwaja, 3. Pala Deva, 4. Apamanya, 5. Madagala, 6. Daumyayana. References in records show that over a long period of time, these six lineages (gotras) were further dived into 199 lineages’s spread amongst Saraswats all over India. At present in South India, seven lineages (Gotras) namely 1. Jamadagni, 2. Bharadwaja, 3. Atri, 4. Kashyapa, 5. Koundinya, 6. Vaisa 7.Kaushik are in prevalence. Majority of them are worshippers of Shiva and Shakthi under various names.