Nagar and the Pursuit of Excellence by P M. Bakshi (New Delhi) Introductory: There are certain communities or families who win a place in history and somehow stand apart from the rest of society. If Boston has its "Boston Brah mins", Gujarat has its "Nagars". The history and culture of Nagars and their contribution to the totality of India's heri tage in the regions where they have sett led is a legitimate subject for investiga tion by those interested in sociology and Perhaps, in the present age of equality, one must hasten to exp- lain that undertaking such a study should not necessarily imply any superiority complex. There are adequate reasons justifying such a study. Till recently, persons who belonged to this community had an element of uniqueness in their language, bearing, appearance and social customs - a uniqueness which is still be- ing largely maintained. It is not as if Nagars behaved like aliens who do not mix with the other members of the society. But there was a certain amount of lofti- ness in thought, speech and action which marked out the members of this commu- nity from those of other communities.
This "above the average" level could not remain unknown for long to trained obser- vers of society In any assembly of men or women, a Nagar would stand out by mere bearing and the bearing and appearance. If appearance left any doubt, the purity of his or language would remove One could not hold the a her doubt, conversa tion for more than half an hour with a Nagar without realising that here was someone who stood out like a rose stand ing apart from other flowers. A Nagar would stand out not by wealth or physical strength but by sheer aristocracy of merit. to escape fre escapes by p patience, ado last even the emerge. So endeavour a sociological away in fai to brick, til ble at the e The purse This Coming consider the quê perhaps words Justification for study ce CL e: ence, a it was achiev desire foster pursu strov achi to exc con eas The business of a student of socio logy is to explain or at least to offer a hypothesis that could explain what was the essence of this extraordinariness that went with the members of this community. Such a study need not therefore provoke any prejudices or adverse reaction. In every society, there have been cultural elites the aristocracy of intellect and character. They may form a very small class, but that need not be a deterrent to a detailed study. The physicist can measure the shift of a spectral line in micro-milimetres and no one questions the value of his work. But the student of culture commands no such confidence, If he observes a "shift of an accent", he is censured for wasting brain and time on unworthy minutiae.1 If he attempts some thing on a grand scale, his theories are dismissed as flights of imagination, with no firm basis. He is caught in vicious circles, and vicious circles are difficult.
Nagars came with the Maitraks who were Huns. Sir Herbert Risley (People of India -1908) is of the opinion that Nagars are of Shak-Dravid race. Rahul Sankratayan says that the Nagars belong to that stock of Greeks who settled in India after the fall of Greek Empire. Because they were learned and cultured, they, after adoption of Vedic Cult, mixed with the Brahmins. Against this theory several scholars say with confidence that they were Aryans first and last and ancient Texts like Shaunak Smriti, Bhragubharat Samhita, Kashyap Samhita, Varahmihir's Brahat Samhita, Nagars are mentioned and that to call them Shaks, Dravids or Greeks is not correct. At the same time we have to take into account the boundaries of Bharat varsha in ancient times and the movement of population in those days, flexibility of code of religion and various other factors. The entire World and especially whole of Asia followed the Vedic Cult and Brah mins and others moved from one part to the other off and on.
तस्मिन् प्रसन्ने सकलाशिषां प्रभौ किं दुर्ळभं ताभिरलं लवात्मभिः। अनन्यर्दष्टया भजतां गुहाशयः स्वयं विधत्ते स्वगतिं परः पराम्।। भा-३ स्कंध ,१३ अध्यायः,५९ श्लोकः भाव- परम पिता परमेश्वर सभी मनोकामना पूर्ण करने में समर्थ है। प्रभु जब प्रसन्न हो जाए उसके बाद संसार में क्या दुर्लभ है ? और तुच्छ कामनाओं की ज़रूरत भी क्याहै ?जो भी मनुष्य प्रभु श्री की अनन्यभाव से भक्ति करते है उनको अंतर्यामी परमात्मा स्वयं अपना परम पद दे देते है। प्रणाम सह जय हाटकेश -डो. जल्पेश महेता 🙏