Who was Narsinh Mehta?

Researchers of Bhakta Kavi Narsinh Mehta University (BKNMU) in Junagadh recently discovered a new species of spider. It has been named “Narsinhmehtai”, to honour Narsinh Mehta and put his name to global map.

Key Points

  • Narsinh Mehta was the 15th century poet and a devotee of Lord Krishna. He was born in Nagar sub-caste group of Brahmin community.
  • Members of Nagar sub-caste group of Brahmin community objected to the nomenclature, citing that he was already a global name and there was no need to associate his name with a spider.

Who was Narsinh Mehta?

Narsinh Mehta was born in 1410, in Talaja, in present-day Bhavnagar district. He died in Junagadh in 1480s. His family had its origin in Vadnagar in north Gujarat. Original caste name is believed to be Pandya but because members of the family were officers in kingdoms, they were called Mehta. He used to spend time in Krishna-bhakti, even after his marriage to Manekba. He paid little attention to family duties.

Poetry of Narsinh Mehta

Narsinh Mehta had written more than 750 poems, which are called padd in Gujarat. Poems mainly deal with devotion to Lord Krishna, wisdom and detachment from worldly affairs.  In his poem “Padho re popat raja ramna”, he referred mind of a person as parrot. He urges the parrot worship and praise the god.

Mehta and Nagar community

Mehta is believed to have been declared an outcast by Nagar community in Junagadh as he used to go to harijanvas and sing bhajans and kirtans with harijans. Furthermore, Nagars were devotees of Hatkeshawar or Lord Shiva while Mehta declared himself a devotee of Lord Krishna. He even mingled with Dalits.




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