Mohyal's


The Mohyals are very proud of their seven castes and the number seven has a special connotation for them. It signifies the seven days of the week, seven Devas of the Hindu pantheon, seven wonders of the world, seven notes of the musical scale, seven primary colours of the rainbow, sapIa chakras of the Kundalini, sapla-pacli or the seven steps as part of the marriage ritual and seven petals of the Lotus Flowerthe seat of the meditating Buddha.

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Datts are the descendants of Rishi Bhardwaj and derive their gotra from his name. Some consider Gaj Bhavan the grandson of Rishi Bhardwaj to be the real founder of the clan. The word Datt is derived from the simple Hindi word \'data\' meaning a charitable person. Some interpret it as a deformation of the word \'Aditya\' which means\' SUI/\" in Sanskrit. There are 12 Adityas, i.e. 12 names of the sun for the 12 months of the year. As there is a Datta surname amongst the Bengalis also who are Kayasth and not brahmin, the traditional Mohyals prefer the epithet of Datt instead of Datta. The origin of Datts is also traced to a chieftain named Datt who accompanied Alexander the Great on his return journey to Macedonia, as an envoy of Raja Porus. Actually, Alexander is said to have taken two brahmins with him, named Datt and Kalanos. However, on the way, when Alexander fell seriously ill and died at Babylon; Datt along with his followers drifted to Arabia and settled at Harya Bunder. With the passage of time, there emerged a viable community of Datts in Arabia and in a subsequent era they became rulers of small dominions in that country. The presence in Arabia of many Hindus. mostly Brahmins.

Lau (also spelled Lav) is one of the seven Mohyal clans of Punjab. They are one of the seven lineages constituting the Mohyal community, known for its martial tradition.

The Laus claim descent from Sage Vashishtha, who in Hindu mythology was the Raj Guru or Royal Priest of King Dashratha, the father of Lord Rama. Hence the gotra of the Laus is said to be Vashishtha.

In Mohyals' recorded history however, there is no mention of the Lau clan until around 1000 CE. According to Mohyals' own historians and their folklore, the clan came into prominence by establishing a dheri (fiefdom) at Bajwada near modern day Kangra in Himachal Pradesh on the border with Hoshiarpur, Punjab. In the Middle Ages Bajwada was an important town, as reflected by the prominence of its mention in Mughal records. Various Mohyal ballads, especially the Vishav Rai Niti, extol the feats and fierce swordsmanship of the early rulers of Bajwada especially Vishav Rai and Ballal Sen, and consist of verses that also glorify the damages inflicted by their armies on the Ghaznavid sultans, when the latter were on their way to or returning from raids of other Indian cities.

Many names of the Lau clan in Mohyal folklore and records closely match names from the Sena dynasty of Bengal, like Ballal Sen and Lau Sen. That, and the coinciding of the Lau clan's appearance in Punjab with the period when the Senas held territories North of Delhi, has led some historians to assert that the Laus descended from among the Senas and are named after Lau Sen, consistent with the known phenomenon of a new clan or caste name coming into being with a notable ancestor. The name Lau Sen is famous in Bengali folklore as well,[4] and consistent with Mohyal tradition the Senas were also of Brahmin lineage but in a Kshatriya role.

Rishi Kashyap was the divine grandsire of the Mohan family and bestower of the Kashyap gotra on the clan. He was the fabled founder of the Kashmir region, the exotic land of flowers and snow. A long line of the Rishi's descendants were devoted worshippers of snakes and enjoyed supremacy in Kashmir. in the hoary past. The tribal Nagas of north east and the north Indian brahmin castes of Nag, Nagar, Nagpal ctc. are said to be their offsprings. There are places in Kashmir with the suffix of Nag with their name like Anant Nag, Koker Nag and Veri Nag which perpetuate the esoteric link.

After the conclusion of the Mahabharata war, Ashvathama went on exile and one of his associates in the retinue was named Mohan. Some Mohyal commentators consider him to be the initiator qf the Mohan sect. It is interesting to note that in a recently published book entitled 'Mohenjo Daro-A 5,000 year old Legacy'. (published by UNESCO). written jointly by Khurshid Hussan Sheikh and Syed M. Ashfaque; there is reference to a tribe of fishermen called Mohanas found along the Indus river, near the Mohenjo-Daro excavation site.

These people still celebrate an annual festival at the Indus river just opposite to the excavation area. Their songs. dances boat racing and swimming competition at the festival are reminiscent of the sea-faring original inhabitants of Mohenjo-Daro. It will not be surprising that the Mohyal Mohans may be the heirs to the 5,000 year old Indus Valley Civilisation. A large number of Mohan families were living on the hank of river Indus inthe NWFP before 1947.