What is the history of matang caste?

Matang is a Dalit caste in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. Matangs or Mangs are known as Madigas in Andhra Pradesh.

Matangs originally belong to Nagvansh, an ancient race of North India. This race was staunch follower of Shramanic religions like Jainism and Buddhism. We can trace the origin of Matangs in Indus valley civilization.

References to Matang can be found in ancient Jain literature. According to Jain literature, Vinami, the great grandson of Rishabh the first Teerthankar of Jainism, was the founder of Matang race. Suparshvanath, the 7th Teerthankar of Jainism himself was a Matang. His Yaksha (attendant god) was also a Matang. The Yaksha of Mahavir the 24th Teerthankar was also a Matang.

Matang Yaksha is Jain God of Prosperity.(see matang yaksha sitting on elephant sculpture at Ellora cave no 32)

In Buddhism Matang is the name of Boddhisatva(protagonist of the Matanga Jataka), also the name of Pratyekabuddha, and Matangi is the godess mentioned in Buddhist text Divyavadana.

According to Ramayan, Hanuman, Vali, Sugreev, Jambvant were Matangs. And there was the rishi Matang or Jambmuni residing on rishyamukh parvat in kishkindha, he was guru of shabhari. Ram and laxman also visited his ashram and hanuman,sugreev also reside on these mountain during there exile.

Totem they probably had the elephant for their totem or symbol as word for elephant in sanskrit is matang.

Religion

In ancient times, they were staunch followers of Jainism.At present day, they are divided in following religions:

Hinduism

Christianity

Buddhism

A small number of people from this community in Karnataka follow Veershaivism and Jainism.

Notable personalities

Sages

Acharya Harikeshi, a Jain Achraya of ancient India

Muni Chitta-Sambhuti Vijay,two brothers who were disciple monks of Teerthankar Mahaveer

Mythical

Hanuman (Maruti) who helped Raam in his mission

Historical

Yampal Matang, a famous lay follower of Jainism mentioned in ancient Jain Literature

Revolutionaries

Lahuji Raghoji Salve (Lahuji Ustad), Activist, Thinker,Social Reformer and Revolutionary from Maharashtra.

Mukta Salve

Writers

Anna Bhau Sathe, Marathi Novelist, Social Reformer

Singers

Shahir Vitthal Umap, A famous Marathi folk singer. Also, known for his songs on Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

Shahir Nangare

References

1. Uttaradhyan Sutra, Chittsambhutiya 2. Matangs in Jain Literature by Prof. Pradeep Phaltane

links

1.Matang

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matang

http://jainism-for-dalits.blogspot.com/2011/01/matang-community-and-its-jain-origin.html

http://jainsamaj.org/magazines/ahimsatimesshow.php?id=211

2.Matanga

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matanga

3.Matang yaksha

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellora_Caves

http://vinzoda.weebly.com/1/post/2011/4/the-matanga-yasha-elora-world-heritage-cave-and-indian-music.html

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5mnAzpr_Au8/TWPMu5JEC6I/AAAAAAAABm8/USCwTQOkFGA/s1600/Matang1.jpg

4.Matangi

http://www.indianetzone.com/55/goddess_matangi_buddhism.htm

5.TOTEM

http://indculture0.tripod.com/madiga.htm

6.JAMBVANT

http://ancientindians.wordpress.com/tag/jambu-purana

http://www.simoncharsley.co.uk/roots1.html