Modern Historical Theory
Their entrance into India goes back to the time of Mahabharata. A section of Iranian priestly class, called Magi who entered into India, as Magi- Dias or Magi Brahmanas. Magus is the singular for magi. Among the earliest writings concerning the magi are those of Herodotus (Greek historian, 485-425 BC). He cites them as one of the five social classes of the Medes. Probably they were similar to medicine men or shamans who were among the earliest of peoples, and somewhat paralleled to the India Brahmins in their early period. In his times, Herodotus notes, the magi had become Zoroastrian priests. He mentioned a band of aboriginal shamans who were captured by Aryans. The shamans not only learned their captors' religion but also became priests in it. By the 4th century, these priests had gained such power that they were able to vigorously persecute Jews and Christians in Persia. The Hebrew term for magus was "Chartumin," while in Greek it was "Magos." The term "Magus" or "Magi" seems to have several meanings including wise men, magicians, and magians. Their antiquity is distinguished in both Egypt and Chaldaea. In Egypt they were said to possess secret learning and wisdom. Also in Egypt and Chaldaea they were the sole seers and interrupters of sacred things in the past and future, but in Palestine they were never ranked with the prophets, unless among the idolatrous people. This would not mean that all were idolaters themselves, but some failed to express the orthodox views of the time. Some enhanced their eminent positions by displaying occult knowledge. They were considered sort of sacred scribes among the Jews, skilled in divination and the interpretation of certain scripture passages for hidden meanings. Their domination or authority seemed to have extended beyond Persia throughout the entire Mediterranean area.
The evidences suggest that Sakaldwipi or shakadwipi Brahmins were originally from shakadweep which was in central Asia. They were also known as Maga Brahmins. The Magas are members of the Aryan race; they were Aryan Sun-worshippers of Surya, representative of the forces of Light and Day. The Maga Brahmins produced much of the later Brahmanic civilization.
The shakadwipi although few in population are highly prosperous caste the shakadweepi are also known as mag Brahmins and because of them the name magadh, in the puranas the sholak "maga brahmana bhuista " is proof of this. The ayurvedists of shakadweep started the chhath puja which bind the entire fabric of bihar-(proof kalyan- vart evam thoyar varshik vishesh ank published by gita press gorakhpur 2004.article on bihar ke thoyar) "bhav prakash" a treatise on ayurveda was written by bhava mishra & maga darpanam- by pt pathak a shakadweep Brahmin. The shakdwipis are aryans and have come from central Asia . the term "maga" and "shakadweep" have been found in the vedas and there is ample literature on. just before the advent of Islam in India the Brahmins have got regionalised and had their name s according to regions.
The origin of the worship of the Sun in India is several centuries old. Sakaldwipi (Shakdwipi) or Maga Brahmins are pioneers in Sun worship and Ayurvedic medical system. Varahmihir the famous ancient astrologist was a Sakaldwipi Brahmin. Chanakya brain behind the Mauryan empire was Sun Priest or Maga Brahmin. The vedic scriptures of the Hindu religion refer to the Sun as the store house of inexhaustible power and radiance. The sun god is referred to as Surya or Aditya. The Vedas are full Of hymns describing the celestial body as the source and sustainer of all life on Earth.
Brahmanas, belonging to various Gotras, Pravaras and branches of vedic school and performing shrauta rites, had settled in large number all over Bengal by the 6th and 7th centuries. Their number constantly increased by fresh immigrants from northern India for which there is abundant Epigraphic evidence. A large number of inscriptions from the 8th to the 12th century refer to the settlement in Bengal of brahmanas hailing from Lata (Gujarat), Madhyadesha and such individual localities as Krodanchi or Krodanja (Kolancha), Tarkari (In Shravasti), Muktavastu, Hastipada, Matsya-Vasa, Kuntira and Chandavara. In course of time the brahmanas in Bengal were divided into various branches such as Radhiya, Varendra, Vaidika And Shakadwipi.
In Gujarat and rajasthan, the jain temple priests are often bhojakas, a special kind of Brahmins, who have been worshipping in jain temples for many centuries. the history of bhojakas there is closely connected with that of the shravakas. in texts like "osvaalaan ri utpat raa kavitta" their origin is described in connection with the origin of osvals. the bhojakas have an ambiguous position, as the guman panth a reform movement, was opposed to having bhojakas in the temples. In central India, bhojakas are unknown, still they are sometimes invited to participate on some occasions. According to bhavishya purana and some of the traditions of the bhojakas themselves, they are descendants of the maga priests who came to the Indian plains from shakadwipa. Several of the Brahmin communities in India are maga/bhojaka origin. one of their specializations was the worship of sun ("mihira"). some Brahmins in gaya region in bihar still call themselves shakadwipi. The Sanskrit poet magh and the mathematician varahamihira were shakdwipi or bhojak.
The descendants of the Maga Brahmaas or shakadweepi Brahmins are still interested in astrology, foretelling, divination, propitiation of planetary deities (graha-yaga), etc. As they enjoyed the gifts made for the propitiation of the grahas (planets), they are called graha-vipras (astrologers).
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