Who do you think we are? On the Origin of Mair Kshatriyas

Mair Kshatriyas: The Royal Nobility Warriors on the Cradle of Human Civilization

Dr. S. K. Verma, D.Phil. (University of Oxford, UK). Email: Oxoniensiss@gmail.com, Phone: +91-9908607728

Summary

Mair Kshatriyas have their ancestry in the the Lord Brahama dynasty king Ajmenid. According to Bhagvata and Vishnu Puran, Medes or Mair Kshatriyas are one of the oldest warriors of Aryan origin. The Badmer, Ajmer, Jesalmer are some of ancient cities of old Aryans Medes, Mer or Mairs. In this article, I present some of the glorious facts on the origin and ancestry of Mair Kshatriyas. The significance of the oldest surname “Verma” for Mair Kshatriyas has been defined. Finally, I propose to investigate and confirm the lineage and ancestry (Vanshavali) of Mair Kshatriyas by the modern tool and techniques of Molecular Biology such as mitochondrial D loop analysis.

Introduction

Kshatriyas: the nobility and warrior class of ancient India

It is an undisputed fact that ‘Kshatriya’ is one of the four varnas (social order) of the ancient culture of India. In ancient India, four orders of society were recognized based upon the four main goals of human beings and established society accordingly. These four groups were the Brahmins, the priests or spiritual class; the Kshatriya, the nobility or ruling class; the Vaishya, the merchants and farmers; and the Shudras or servants. In ancient India, these divisions were not based on birth but based on qualifications. According to the Bhagavad Gita this Aryan family system broke down in India over three thousand years ago at the time of Krishna. Hence after three thousand years this system of determining natural aptitude has degenerated into the caste system which resembles it now only in form [1].

In Sanskrit, the word Kshatriya is derived from kshtra, meaning roof or umbrella. It is also related to the Old Persian words that mean realm, power, royal or emperor; New Persian words that mean emperor, city, or realm; Thai word that means king or Malay word that mean knight or warrior [2].

Mair Kshatriyas, the MEDES: Facts from glorious past

Origin of Mairs

The word Mair is derived from the Sanskrit word for a mountain or hill [3]. I tried to find a correlation between ‘hill’ and the Mair Kshatriyas community and found an explanation in the work of a Mair Kshatriya scholar (Named Rajesh Kumar Verma from Illinois, USA), who did a great piece of research (during 1998-2005) on the origin of Mairs and published some of the findings on his website [4]. Scholar Rajesh Verma explains:

“The name of the city Ajmer can be easily traced. It is derived from “ajya” meaning “invincible” and “mer” meaning “hill.” Therefore, Ajmer literally is the “invincible hill.” It was founded by the great Chauhan king Ajipal in the tenth century. The region in which Ajmer is located was called Mairwarra by the local people. Its name was derived from its Mair inhabitants. This region contains the Aravulli Hills and is also known as Mewat.”

Once of the ancient city of Mairs could possibly be Ajmer in Rajasthan. Further it is notable that the Mairs of Rajasthan most commonly spelled the name of their tribe as Mairs, Mers, Meds, or Medas. Since there have been many different ways in which this word can be spelled, this leads to greatest difficulty in confirming historical facts about the Mair Kshatriyas. Nevertheless, surname Mair, Meyer, Meir, Mayr, Medes and Khmer are found all over the World. Other than of Hindus, these surnames also belong to Catholic, Jews and Muslim communities [5]. Another scholar Ibbetson mentioned that the Mairs of the Salt-Range, which is now in Pakistan are all Muslims [6]. They trace their ancestry back to the Jammu hills and claim to be an offshoot of the Hindu Dogra Rajputs. The Minhas are those of them who took to agriculture [7]. It is reasonable that this tribe also calls itself “Mairs” because they came from a hilly area just as the Mairs mentioned earlier who resided in the hills of Rajasthan. However, in India Mairs are either Hindu or Sikh by religion.

It seems clear from the above discussion that Mair Kshatriyas of today probably have their ancestry in a tribe that once lived on hills and mountains around Ajmer in Rajasthan.

Mair Kshatriyas ‘the warriors’ – before 1373 AD

A good reference that the Mair was a warrior tribe of Kshatriya origin comes from the work of Scholar Rajesh Verma. He writes:

“In the late seventh century A.D, the Arabs were trying to spread Islam by conquering India but sent many unsuccessful expeditions against the nation’s defenders. Under the guidance of Caliph Muawiyah, who ruled between 661-680 A.D., there were more failed army expeditions to India. Oak mentioned one of the Caliph’s generals, Ziyad, who came to India but was “slain fighting against the brave Meds and Jats” [4].”

Chand, who was the poet of Prithvi Raj Chauhan, wrote of a battle between Nahur Rao Purihar and Prithvi Raj, who was attacking Nahur Rao. “Where hill joins hill, the Mair and Maina thronged. The Mundore chief (Nahur Rao) commanded that the pass should be defended–four thousand (Mairs) heard and obeyed, each in form as the angel of death–men who never move without the women, whose arrow never flies in vain–with frames like Indra’s bolt–faithful to their word…” [3]. This event took place well before 1192 A.D., the year in which Mohammed Ghori’s army killed Prithvi Raj Chauhan.

Another reference commonly occurs when the Turks had conquered a portion of northwest India and in 1196, the Mairs attempted to re-conquer Ajmer. A 20th century Scholar Srivastava wrote that “the initiative (for battle) was taken by the Mers who, together with the Chauhans, invited the Chalukya ruler of Anhilwara (Bhim II) to make a concerted effort to expel the Turks”. During the siege of Ajmer, the Turkish army’s leader Kutubbudin Aibak rushed from Delhi to Ajmer to help “but was defeated and compelled to take shelter inside the walls of Ajmer…[8]. An emergency contingent was sent by Mohammed Ghori to Ajmer and the Mers were eventually forced to lift the siege.

The above reference is significant because we find that the Mairs were playing a crucial part in India’s defence long ago.

Several scholars [8] mentioned the Mairs as a warrior tribe of Kshatriyas. Other historians tend to do the same when they refer to the Mair/Chauhan siege of Ajmer.

According to an article in Wikipedia [5]

In India Mair Rajputs are Hindu/Sikh by religion and comprise of the warrior race of Rajputs who had migrated from the regions of Ajmer-Merwara and Rajputana thousands of years ago.

Mair Kshatriyas ‘the Goldsmiths’ – after 1373 AD

Tod mentions that in the 1373 A.D a Lakha Rana mounted the throne of Chittor. He was the one who subdued the Mairs and their region of Mairwarra (Mewat). He destroyed their chief stronghold Beratgarh and erected the city of Bednore in its place [3]. After this event, the Mairs may have been driven to other occupations and regions.

When Indian warriors could neither be supported by the intruders and nor they could accept to work for intruders armies, who had tried to rule after many successive invasions on India, those ancient Hindu Original Kshatriyas came to be known as Mair or Mades Rajputs. They become a businessman after golden age of India and decided to do the precious business of selling gold, silver, and other precious metals including precious stones and jewellery / ornaments crafted from these. During several centuries from then, the Mair Kshatriyas established themselves as traditional businessman doing the occupation of gold. Thus in the modern text, Mair Kshatriyas are recognized as goldsmiths, or sunars (sonars, suniarai). Notably, about one hundred years ago, most but not all Mairs were goldsmiths by profession. However, this occupation of Mairs has also been diluted in the modern age because of the involvement of all other casts and tribes in the profitable and royal business of gold. Many Mair Kshatriyas had already left practicing as Sunars many generations ago and entered in other professions especially after higher education was more readily available.

Mair Kshatriyas and ‘Verma’ surname

Verma Surname Mair kshatriyasVerma (Varma), meaning “shield,” is a word of central Asian origin and was originally surname for warriors [9]. The ancient fact behind of this is from ‘Parashar Grahe Sutra’ that “Verma” is a very old title of Aryans Royal Medes Kshatriyas, this title gone out side from India to all over world and central Asia.

Even today, the most common last name among Mairs is “Verma.” Originally affixed to the names of rulers in India and South East Asia. “Varma”/”Varman” and “Burman” is also used as a surname in modern times by Kshatriya communities in India such as Kshatriya Rajus of Andhra Pradesh, Samanta Kshatriyas, Kshatriyas of Bengal and Tripura, Bunts of Karnataka and Nairs of Kerala. This title is also used by some Nepali Kshatriyas, where it is often pronounced as ‘Burma’.

Though, “Verma” is the most common last name among Mairs, some Indian Mair families decided to write their gothra (family name) as their last name. Others chose to use “Rajput” or even “Mair.” Some families also chosen to write “Singh.” and “Chauhan”. Because of its royal association, many other casts and tribes of India has started using the surname “Verma” nowadays, thus it has no more remained confined to Mair Kshatriyas and it should not be generalized that all the tribes or individuals who write their surname as “Verma” today are Mairs. I personally feel that all the Mair Kshatriyas could do an International convention and decide on a common surname as either “Mair” or “Verma” or “Medes” so that the confusion of the society could be reduced to some extend and original surnames “Verma” or “Mair” or “Medes”could regain their status and identity in the society as they deserve.
Conclusion

The word “Mair” (Mér), is derived from the Sanskrit word for a mountain or hill, “mera” [3]. The word “Mairs” therefore signifies those who reside in the mountains, or hills. According to Bhagvata and Vishnu Puran, Medes or Mair Kshatriyas are one of the oldest warriors. Mair Kshatriyas are originally from Lord Brahama dynesty King Ajmenid. The ancient cities Badmer, Ajmer, Jesalmer are some of cities where old Aryans Medes, Mer or Mair resided. In the Sanskrit Mahabharat, the words MAIRBHUTI, AJMENID-NANDAN, KURU-KULAM have been used for Rajas (Kings) so many times.

Scholar Rajesh Verma [4] collected the interesting glorious facts about the ancestry of Mair Kshatriyas-

After the Mahabharata period, dispersal and dissolving of Mairs resulted medes had gone for movement to ancient Median Empires of Indian mair kshatriyas in Iran. The Medes are credited with the foundation of the first Iranian empire, the largest of its day until Cyrus (KURUS) the Great established a unified Iranian empire of the Medes (Indian origin) and Persians, often referred to as the Achaemenid Empire, ( KING Ajmenid of Aryavrata ancestor of all Medes), by defeating his grandfather and overlord, Astyages the Raja of Media. In the Sumerian history there were a powerful dynesty of old medes in ancient time, they were Indian origin Aryans. According to the Sumerian (Mair) king list, the first five rulers of Akkad (Sargon, Rimush, Manishtusu, Naram-Sin,(NARSING) (all Sanskrit name) and Shar-kali-sharri) ruled for a long time. Sargon built a large empire in the late 8th or the 7th century B.C. lists no fewer than 65 cities and lands belonging to that empire. Yet, even if Magan and Kapturu (Crete) are given as the eastern and western limits of the conquered territories.

“Mair Kshatriyas had ruled over in Cambodia as Suryavarman II (Khmer) (posthumous name Paramavishnuloka) was the king of the Khmer Empire from 1113 A.D. to 1145-1150 A.D. and the builder of Angkor Wat, which he dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. His reign’s monumental architecture, numerous military campaigns and restoration of strong government have led historians to rank Suryavarman as one of the empire’s greatest kings.”

I shall gather the historical perspectives of Mair Kshatriyas King Ajmenid (Ajmeed JI) and present in the future articles. Further, I would like to collect the achievements and contribution of current days Mair Kshatriyas to feel proud and present an example in the society.

In conclusion, I would like to call the Mair Kshatriyas scholars from all over the world to come forward and join this website. Idea is to create a biggest and uptodate database of all the Mairs Kshatriyas from all over the world. This could be the first organized effort in this direction. It is possible to create a DNA bank from Mair Kshatriyas population and investigate their lineage (Vanshavali) using modern tools of Molecular Biology such as DNA Fingerprinting, mitochondrial D loop analysis and microsatellite analysis. Being a Molecular Biologist, I could help in this endeavour. I sincerely call the scholars of our community to come forward propose their idea on this. I could be contacted via the Contact for on this website or at oxoniensiss@gmail.com.

We are proud to be Indian, we are proud to be Mair Kshatriyas.

References

1. http://www.hindunet.org/varna/

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kshatriya

3. Tod, Lt. Colonel James. Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, Vol. 1 (1829), Vol. 2 (1832).

4. http://mairrajputs.tripod.com/intro.html

5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mair_Rajputs

6. Ibbetson, Sir Denzil. Panjab Castes. Lahore: Superintendent, Gov’t. Printing, Reprint 1916 (from 1883 original of 1881 census).

7. Rose, H.A. A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province. Lahore: Civil and Military Gazette Press, 1914.

8. Srivastava, Ashirbadi Lal. The History of India: 1000 A.D.-1707 A.D. Jaipur, Shiva Lal Agarwala & Co., 1964.

9. Walker, Benjamin. The Hindu World: An Encyclopedic Survey of Hinduism. New York: Frederick Praeger, 1968.