Naigaon

Naigaon is the name of a railway station on the Mumbai suburban railway on the Western Railway (India) railway line. Naigaon is closely connected to Vasai. It mainly consists of marathi speaking Hindus and Christians. The language spoken by the Christian community is different dialect of Marathi language. Most of the people belonging to Vartak family live here. It has many places where salt is produced. It is divided into east and west. In the east there is a famous temple of Chandika Devi (goddess named Chandika). In the west it consists of mariam nagar, Papdi, Paali majority of muslims, Naigaon Koliwada, Umela village and Amol nagar. Transport is a via train on the western railway and by road via Vasai (Manikpur) through Ahmedabad Highway.

Naigaon is famous for Toddy (Palm Wine) tapped from the tree called Borassus flabellifer which is a type of Palm. There are shops which serve toddy which is pure & unadulterated. Occupation of people in village is mainly farming and most people working in offices travel to South Mumbai for work.

Prime Community Vasai has basically 5 communities: 1)Bhandari 2)Koli 3)Shamedi 4)palshe 5)Aagri

In all the above 5 communities half the population was converted to Christanity around 1570 A.D. by the then trecherous Portuguese regime.
[edit] Shamedi Vocabulary The word “Shamedi” is the colloquial term ofrom the original Sanskrit word “Shamaneedresh” (“Shaman = Entertainment”, “Edresh = “Attributed”), meaning those workers in the royal court entertaining the King. The then king appointed these people to offer music services at the Samadi place, thus they were called “Samaadhi” which later became “Shamedi” meaning the Samadhi Temple musicians. Shamedis used to offer the “Sanai – Choughada – Mridanga – Bheri – Veena” during the dawn and night worship at Nirmal Jagad Guru Shankaracharya Samadhi Mandir, Shri Sureshwar (Suleshwar) Mandir and the Bhavani Shankara Mandir (Agassi).
Family deity The Family deity is considered to be the goddesses Bhuvaneshwari and Vimala. These goddesses are said to reside in the Utkala, present day Orissa.
History The history of Bassein dates back to Treta Yuga. Bassein (or Vasai or Oppire or Orparak or Shorparag or Shurparaka as it was called from time to time) was established by Bhagawan Parashuram. Bhagvan Parsuram established Vimaleshwar Mandir and Vimala Sarovara. He established the 64 yoginis in and around Vasai, since the yoginis were considered to be the devotees of His mother Goddess Renuka. He also established 108 Teertha Kundas or Pushkarinis in Vasai. This is quoted in the Holy Edict Skanda Purana and Padma Purana (Lotus Purana ).

Shamedis came as expert singers to Shurparak (Bassein) during the Buddha era 1500 BC from the remote areas of Orissa, then called as Utkala. During the Buddhist rule, their following of Vedic Dharma was loosened. At the advent of Adya Shankaracharya in Nirmal around 497 BC, the Buddhist Monks were defeated in the debates and returned to the Vedic Fold. Hinduism in the Samedis returned and they started strict following of the Vedic Dharma. They regarded Adi Sankara Jagadguru as their cardinal preacher. This is quoted in Holy Text Siva Leela Amrut.

Purna, the disciple of Gautama Buddha, belonged to “Vasai” i.e. earlier “Shoorparak”, and he preached in the Eastern India. Even after the advent of Sankaracharya, some Buddhists were left who used to criticize the Vedic Philosophy. Thus the King Jalauk of Kalinga took the then Jagat Guru Shankaracharya of Eastern India, i.e. H.H. Shankaracharya of Puri, to Shurparaga. He was 5th Shankaracharya of Puri named Swami Vidyaranya. His Holiness Swami Vidyaranya defeated remaining Buddhist Monks from Karla Caves, Mahad Caves, Kaneri Caves, and Shruparak and strongly revived the Vedic Dharma. Dur to old age and at the earnest prayers of the local Shamedis and Bhandaris Jagad Guru Shankaracharya Vidyaranya Swami of Puri Peetham took Mahasamadhi at the Nirmal Vimaleshwar Mandir in B.C 404 on the dark 11th day of Kartik. Emperor Jalauk (son of Ashoka) built a big Samadhi Mandir according to the Orissa architecture.

Later during the Vijaya Yatra the grand disciple of Swami Vidyaranya, named Swami Padmanabha Tirtha, the 7 th Jagadguru Sankara charya of Puri Govardhan Peetham arrived in Vasai during the “Vijaya Yatra” . His Holineess stayed here for some months and later attracted to this Holy Place decided to reside eternally at this place of his grend Guru. Thus Swami Padmanadha Tirtha Shankaracharya, who was devotee of Lord Vallabha (thus He was also called Vallabha Swami) (i.e. Krishna achieved Mahasamadhi at Vasai in B.C. 373 on a hillock next to the Nirmal hillock. A temple devoted to Lord Krishna in front of His Samadhi by the then Kashmiri Brahmin community who used to reside in Nirmal, brought by Raja Jalauk, from the area around Shankaracharya Parbat, Sri Nagar (Jammu and Kashmir).

Later this place was visited by 38 th Shrimad Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Shivananda Saraswati of Puri Govardhan Peetham during the rule of the Satvahan Kings.

During the times of Raja Bhimdev of Puri, inorder to solve the religious difference in between the Kshatriyas, the 106 th Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Sukhabodha Tirtha arrived in Vasai during the 13 th century A.D..

This Holy place was visited by Swami Vidyaranya, the 13 th Shankaracharya of Sringeri Sharada Peetham in the 15 th century. His samadhi is located at Hampi, Karnataka.

During A.D.1543 Portuguese started their rule in Bassein and started destruction of various cultural places in Vasai. The temple of Padmanabha Swami which was located at the hillock place now called “Nirmal Naka” was destroyed. The Brahmins, Shamedis and Bhandaris who regarded Jagadguru Shankarachrya as their Holy Guru were sad at this ill act and they brought the stones of the samadhi of Padmanabha Swami and placed them in front left hand side of Vidyaranya Swami Samadhi Mandir. During this period 200 religious places were destroyed by foreigners in Bassein. The atrocities of the Portuguese were on rise .At the request of the Citizens of Vasai Chimaji Appa Peshwa attacked Portuguese at Vasai and conquered Vasai in the18 th Century A.D.

He requested the guidance of monk – Swami Vidya Shankara Bharati who was the 8 th generation of the institution of Karvir- Sankeshwar (this is the institution established in 16 th century A.D. in Sankeshwar, Karnataka). He was the disciple of Jagadguru Shankaracharya. At the guidance of Swami Vidya Shancara Bharati, Chimaji Appa renovated, in the Orissa Architecture, the Samadhi Mandir of Swami Vidyaranya and Swami Padmanabha Tirtha, the 5 th and 7 th Shankaracharya of Puri Peetham,. This place due to atrocities of Portuguese rulers were devoid of Brahmins. Under the guidance of Swami Vidya Shankara Bharati, Chimaji Appa Peshwa, in consultations with Peshwa Bajirao, appointed 1 Konkanastha Chitpavan Brahmin, 1 Karhade Brahmin, 1 Devrukhe Brahmin and 4-5 Shukla Yajurvedi Gujrathi Brahmins in this region. Thus there were only 7-8 houses of Brahmins in whole Sopara region. Later Swami Vidya Shankara Bharathi went back to Sankeshwar and attained samadhi on the banks of River Hiranyakeshi.

In A.D.1926 Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha, the 143 rd Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Puri Govardhan Peetham was received with warm welcome in a specially reserved train at Nala Sopara station. The Jagadguru Swagat Samiti was presided by a well known Shamedi Shri Vaze. Jagadguru had the Holy bath in the Vimaleshwar Sarovar then had Darshan of the Shri Sureshwar Mandir, Shri Vimaleshwar Mandir, and the two Samadhis of the previous Shankaracharyas viz. Swami Vidyaranya and Swami Padanabha Tirtha of the Puri Govardhan Peetham. This time Jagadguru addressed a large gathering of Shamedis. A big Yajnya was organized to commemorate this event. Again the same Puri Shankaracharya Swami Bharati Krishna Teerth visited Shurparak in the 1950’s. This time also there were huge gatherings which were hosted by Swami Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. This time also Shamedis extended great efforts in organizing the event.
Surnames of Shamedis There are six surnames related to this profession.

The one who used to compose poetry- drama and act in the drama used to be called as “Nayak” the family of Nayak’s later was called by surname “Naik”. The musicians who used to play the musical instruments made of Brass or Bronze (Vartakam) were called “Vartakah”. This community later was called by surname “Vartak”. The main Singer or main actor in the drama was called as “Mahapatra”, the community of these Mahapatras were later called as “Mahatre”. The chief musical director who used to guide the group of musicians were called “Jyoshih”.The community of these Jyoshis were later called by surname “Joshi”. The commentators of the Musical programme were called “Vache”, later these were called “Vaze”. The one who used to make- up the actors by decorating them with “Patt” i.e. dress, crown etc. were called “Pattolika”. These makeup men community were later called “Pattils” i.e. “Patil”. These 6 surnamed people belong to the following Gotras viz. 1) Bharadwaj 2) Kashyap 3) Atri 4) Kaushik 5)Vashishtha 6) Angirasa.
Profession of Shamedis The traditional profession of Shamedis was to present Music, Dance and Dramas at the Royal Palaces and in the Holy Mandiras as a part of the social awareness of religion. Later during the period of Raja Pratap Bimba the profession shifted to that of cultivating sugarcane and nagavel leaves. The cultivation of paddy was added to the profession in the late 17 th century.

Later during the 18 th century after the opening of the Mumbay (Bombay) as the chief city, the profession switched over to the gardening of flowers and wadis.

Presently many Shamedis are engaged in the professions like Politics, School Administration, Construction and Business.

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