Mohyals Brahmins – marshals or saints?

Harish Chander Dutt
Mohyal – a clan of Saraswat Brahmins separated their life style from other Brahmins by serving the society with weapon in one hand and Vedas in other. Famous as warrior brahmins they were originated as seven different brahmin castes namely Bali, Bhilwal, Chibber, Dutt, Mohan, Vaid and Lau after seven famous rishis/saints Parasar, Agastya, Bhrigu, Bhardwaj, Kashyap, Dhanvantri and Vasishta, respectively. Later vary eminent personalities like Rishi Richika, Bhagwan Parsuram, Acharya Dron and his son Ashwathma took the leads as great saints as well as warriors in history. During Vedic period, Bhagwan Parsuram being very furious, initiated 21 missions to eradicate the rule of some cruel Rajputs on the earth. After accomplishing all his missions, he distributed all the conquered land among his Mohyal Warriors in order to save the future of the human society. Evidences prove that they were originated on the right bank of historic River Saraswati and were able to protected the Indian territory from foreign invaders time to time. All the frontiers like Bolan Pass, Khyber Pass and Sindh remained under the jurisdiction of Mohyal Brahmins for time together. In Vedic period the cruelty of some emperors towards the sages / saints as well as the invasion of some ambitious outlaw invaders must have ignited the marshal temperament of some peace lover brahmins who originally were in the opinion of pray, worship and Biksha. The acquired warriorship ability must have helped them to build an important position in Hindu mythology, Islamic history, sincerity and patriotism.
In 8th Vikrmi Samvant, Rishi Bodh Raj Dutt – one of Mohyal brahmin along with his younger brother Rishi Dev Raj Dutt travelled to Bhadarwah (Erstwhile: Bhaderkashi), Jammu and Kashmir from Kanjroor Dutta for mediation purpose. Kanjroor Duttan is a place in Sialkot, Pakistan and is considered as the place of origin of Dutt Mohyal brahmins. On reaching the panoramic valley Bhadarwah, both the brothers camped near a small perennial stream called as Komri (in Village Chanote). Bhadarwah is known for Naga Cult from time immemorial. Between 8th and 9th Vikrmi Samvant, Chandervanshi King – Maharaja Dhuri Pal construction a Vasuki Naag temple at Vasak Dhera, Bhadarwah. Once the construction was completed, a beautiful sculpture of Vasuki Naag (in black stone) was also positioned in the temple. Unfortunately, according to verbal history this sculpture got fell down because of some malevolence powers. Many repeated attempts were made to erect the sculpture again but king failed to establish this statue again in the temple. This was an appalling and unexpected act for the King and his people. Therefore priests (Pujaris) and astrologists were called for solving the problem. Through the joint consensus, it was resolved that a Brahmin needed to scarify as offering to satisfy the evil soul before final attempt to be made for establishment of Vasuki sculpture in the temple. As it was not easy to get aforesaid life for the purpose within the kingdom, therefore one of the consultants of King (A Brahmin from village Manva) suggested to hook one of the Brahmin brothers who had recently arrived in Bhadarwah from Kanjroor Duttan. King ordered his soldiers (Billowria Rajput) to get the cranium of one of the two brothers for the cause of faith and religion. Next day, early morning, soldiers went to the place where both the brothers had camped. They tried to slaughter the cranium of the one who was in meditation on the bank of the stream, but failed as the edge of the sword they used got blunt after the attempt. Many repeated attempts were made by the soldiers but they failed each time. On returning back to the court of the King, soldiers narrated the entire episode in front of King and his court men. Now King ordered his soldiers to bring both the brahmin brothers to his court. On reaching the court, Bodh Raj Dutt wished to know cause of the brutal act. King recited everything to both the brothers and asked them to help him and his people. Bodh Raj Dutt was elder and offered himself for the aforesaid sacrifice. But he demanded a piece of land in avers of his cranium for further survival of his young brother. King was very happy with Bodh Raj Dutt and proudly wanted to know the total area of land desired by him. This statement was not a humble utterance for Saint Bodh Raj Dutt, therefore he replied “I will cut my cranium (head) with the Kusha (a sacred grass) than after if my body without head will walk over a piece of land, that much land will suffice the needs of my brother”. King laughed on his declaration and asked Bodh Raj Dutt to wish some more land. Bodh Raj Dutt being a saint humbly answered my brother being a saint does not require much of land, the land walked by my feet is sufficient for him. But stipulation will be that nobody will touch the headless body or try the push it down after the scarifying ceremony is over. This appeared as an agreement between King and Bodh Raj Dutt. Rules were framed like “Nobody will touch of push down the headless body of Sh. Bodh Raj Dutt and the area walked by his headless body will be allotted to his younger brother Dev Raj Dutt”.
On 2nd of Phalgun, Raevti Nexetra, Sukla Pakh, 8th Vikrmi Samvant, Sh. Bodh Raj Dutt was able to cut his cranium with the help of sacred grass for the establishment of Vasuki sculpture in the Vasuki temple at Vasak Dhera, Bhadarwah. After the sacrifice ceremony, the headless body awaked up and started walking in the Kingdom. Many miles were covered and King was compelled to rethink and revisit his statement and agreement. He realized that he had committed a mistake and misunderstood the power of saint. But now the situation was not in his hand, he started worshiping Vasuki Naag for a relief as his kingdom was under threat. According to the agreement no human was allowed to touch the headless body of the saint. Therefore, Vasuki Naag appeared in the form of cow and stopped saint’s body by acting as an obstacle in his path near the temple of 18 armed deity. At this site last rituals of the fallen body of the saint Bodh Raj Dutt were performed with proper religious customs.
This was something disagreeable act for his younger brother Dev Raj Dutt, therefore after the last rituals he forcibly declared that in future his progenitors will not pay any respect to Vasuki Naag and will not accept any offerings in the form of Prasadum or Charanamrat of Vasuki Naag. He cursed that his progenitors even will not entre Vasuki Temple for any prayer, entry to the Vasak Dhera was also banned. Simultaneously, taking food from or along with Billowria Rajputs and few Brahmins of village Manva was also banned. It was also imposed that each year on the same date of sacrifice, the priests of Vasuki Naag have to pay tribute to the noble soul of the Bodh Raj Dutt by visiting his funeral place along with Royal Band. Further, the priests have to mark OM and TRIDENT on the doors of the Vasuki Temple, all the Houses in the vicinity of Vasak Dhera and Royal Treasure using the soil collected each year from the cremation site of Bodh Raj Dutt. These statements became the rules and a kind of rituals for both the communities i.e. Dutt family of Chanote, and priests of Vasuki Naag at Bhadarwah, Jammu and Kashmir. The implementation of these statements is so strong that today in 21st century too the same rituals are being followed with same energy and sentiments by both the communities in Bhadarwah, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
When Alexander’s tried to invade India with the strength of 1.60 lakh army, in 3rd century, he was stopped by a Mohyal King named as Porus. Although Porus was defeated by Alexander but he faced a big loss of his army by the counter attack of army of Porus. Ultimately Alexander left his dream of looting India and got returned back via river Indus. Some of his soldiers stayed back on the banks of Indus and today are known are descendants of pure Aryan race (=Brokpas) in Batalik sector of Kargil district in Union Territory of Ladakh. Those who accompanied Alexander were confronted by Bali and Dutt (Mohyal) soldiers of Multan. This was the most destructive war for Alexander, he lost many of his army men in this war and was also injured himself. Experiencing the Mohyal’s bravery, Alexander offered them to join his army in the mission of conquering whole of the world. Some Bali and Dutt warriors were given high ranks in the Alexander’s army, unfortunately Alexander-the-Great died on the way to Macedonia and these warriors got settled in Iraq.
In 680 AD, army of a cruel king Yazidi trapped Imam Hussain – the grandson of Prophet Mohamad along with his army. In helpless condition Imam Hussain seek help from various kings to fight against Yazidi. Rahab Dutt was one such Mohyal who along with his army participated in the Karbala war and lost his seven sons for the sake of truth after Imam Hussain. Therefore, Shiya Muslims still pay respect to Dutt people by maintaining a brotherhood and pronounce them Hussaini Brahmin. Thse battle field where Dutt Mohyals fought with army of Yazidi is called as Darya-a-Hind. Next year they took revenge of Imam Hussian killing by conquering the fort of Yazidi. In 698 AD when Indian territories in Afghanistan were challenged by Arabs, the invasion was defeated by the Mohyal King of Kabul. Later on, the unity among the Mohyals was not maintained by their decedents and they started fighting with each other. Therefore, invaders entered and looted India from many fronts. Once again, the ability of Mohyal Brahmins was estimated by a Mughal emperor Akbar-the-Great. He involved Mohyals in his court as Bakhshi (Warriors) and Mehta (Accountants). Later on, three powers revolted against the Mughal empire when Aurangzeb another Mughal emperor crossed all the limits of cruelty. These three powers were Sikh Maharaja Guru Govind Singh, Maharaja Shiva Ji and Lachit Barphukan. Lakshmen Dev was a Mohyal Brahmin by birth who was born in 1670 at Mendher, Poonch. He joined the army of Guru Govind Singh and was famous as Baba Banda Bahadur. He took the revenge of the sons of Guru Govind Singh by killing the Serhind’s Mughal Governor Wazir Khan under the feet of elephant in 1710. Sikh army was known for many Mohyal warriors like Baba Praga Chhibber- the Bisham Pitama who with the orders of Guru Har Govind fought and destroyed the large army of Shahjahan at the age of 131 years. Bhai Matti Dass Chibber was the Prime Minister of Guru Teg Bhadder who fought with the army of Aurangzeb and was cut in two pieces with saw cutter by Mughals on 9 November 1675 in Chandni Chowk, Delhi. His brother Bhai Satti Dass was also burnt alive.
British emperors also realized the power and sincerity of Mohyal Brahmins and identified this clan as Marshal clan. They appointed Mohyals as Rayzada or Diwans (Prime Ministers) of many states and Warriors in Cavalry regiments, 112 Infantry, 124 Punjabis and J & K state forces. Mohyals were the first Indians who were involved in artillery by British Government in different wars in Italy, Africa and Burma.
Guru Vriajanand Sarswati was another Mohyal in Mathura who demanded foundation of Arya Samaj as the Guru Dakshna from his disciple Swami Dayanand Sarswati. Mohyals like Bhai Paramanand, Bhai Mukand Lal were among the martyrs of Independence of India, who were hanged to death or kept under imprisonment in Kala Pani by Britishers. Sarla Devi a Mohyal lady has given lyrics to the national song Banaday Matram. Subash Chander Bose appointed 30 Mohyal Brahmins at different ranks in Indian National Army. But the stories of many of the Mohyal Brahmins still remained unsung, if you know some more stories please communicate on Facebook page Mohyal Brahmin.
(The author is Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, University of Jammu, Jammu)