(Last Updated on : 08/04/2009)
The members of the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu community are scattered all over India. However, they are largely concentrated in Maharashtra
-- the Deccan coast, Konkan and the coastal Kolaba District and Baroda.
Their origin is controversial. The name Chandraseniya is a corrupt form of Chandrashreniya. It refers to the people from the valley of the Chenab in Kashmir. The term `Kayastha` originates from the region around Ayodhya, which was called Kaya Desh. It was at this place that the Chandraseniya Prabhus settled. `Prabhu` denotes a high government official. Traditionally, they have been record keepers and scribes. They were appointed by Shivaji as custodians of his forts and held high offices in Peshwa and Mughal times but later shifted their allegiance to the Nizam, the Gaekwads and Holkars. With the advent of British rule they became clerks and `vakils` (lawyers) and took up service in the army.
Navaratri is the most important festival of the community when a little girl often above the age of three, is dressed as a devi and worshipped as a Kumarika.
A religious community, the Kayasthas worships Ekvira of Karla who is the Kuladaivata.
They have the Upanayana ceremony and are Vedadhikaris (having the right to read the Vedas).