Elephanta Caves were Buddhist
Chalukya king Pulkeshi II (619 – 642 AD) defeated most of his feudatories who were trying to be independent. After defeating Kadambas of Vanvasi, he sent hundreds of boats to capture Maurya's Puri, which was described variously as Laxmi in the Western Sea. This might be one of the capitals of the Mauryas. Bombay Gazetteer: Thana District Vol.II has expressed the possibility that this Puri was same as Gharapuri. When the Portuguese came here, they found a huge image of an elephant here and they named it as 'Elephanta'. [More: 2007: 18]
There were three branches of Shilaharas in Maharashtra. One branch was in north Konkan and had 1,400 villages under it. Their capital was this Puri, meaning Gaharapuri. All branches of Shilaharas were using the birud of 'Tagarpurvaraadhiswa
About Ter friens are requested to see my book TIRUPATI BALAJI WAS A BUDDHIST SHRINE, where it is described the conversion of Ter from Buddhist to Brahminic.
Khodiar Mata of Gujarat
Mr. M. S. More narrates an interesting episode of his visit to see Buddhist caves at Talaja in Gujarat. In a cave called 'Khediar Mata', a pujari was telling the people assembled there how Khediar Mata came in a dream of a king and told him to dig at a certain place in hills, how king did so and how she was found there etc. After the people left, Mr. More enquired whether anybody from Archeological department was present to show all Buddhist caves. The priest now put his official dress of Archeological department and showed him all the caves. [More: 2007: 5]
This shows this devi Khediar Mata was a Buddhist deity. It is still an important deity of lower caste people of Gujarat. A recent TV serial depicts a large section of population being devotees of this Devi of lower castes.
Kolis and Mahars were friendly
Five copper plate grants were found in a town of Chinhani in Dahanu Taluq. From Bhillmal of Rajasthan, some merchants came and settled in 'Koli-Mahar Vishaya' (province) of 'Samyana Mandal' and built a Buddhist vihar there. The grants show that a village named 'Kandukka' was given as grant to this vihar by the local Arab Muslim Tajik Governor, named Mohemed, who was given authority to rule this area by the Rashtrakuta king Krishnaraj (878 – 915 AD). This is the oldest record of mention of Mahar caste and is historically important. Dr. Sankalia believes there must have been such small kingdoms of Koli-Mahars scattered in different parts of Maharashtra, which were later destroyed by Aryan tribes coming from North. [More: 2004: 20]
This also shows the affinity of Mahars and Kolis. In this connection, it may also be interesting to note the Kolis establishing a Ekvira Devi in Karle. Was it by mere chance, that the Kolis selected Karle caves of Buddhists to establish their Devi here?
I believe older wise men of Koli community must have found some reason to have affinity with Buddhist deity and they must be in habit of worshipping the stupa in Karle for long time before hand and must have forgotten their Buddhist connection. Ekvira Devi has hardly got much of a profile of Brahminic deity.
Dr K. Jamanadas
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