Shree Lad Kshetriya Parishad has been constituted in the year 1984 by the people of gujarathi Lad community basically residing in Nandurbar, Dhule and Jalgaon district (erstwhile khandesh ) and Nashik, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai grater of Maharashtra and adjoining Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Vapi of Gujarat state and Bhopal, Burhanpur, Khandwa Indore of Madhyapradesh. The Parishad has been registered under the society act 1860 in the year 2004 having the registration No. Mah156/04,F20842 (Nag) with the sole objective of maintaining and coordinating its various cultural, social & religions activities and to bring about an overall development of its community fields.
The people of this community are of Hindu Vaishnavite faith, worshipping God Vishnu .They speak Gujarati language and their ancestors most probably migrated from Gujarat state in eighteenth century when Gujarat was invaded by Muslims. Lads are found in Baroda, Baroch, Dabhoi and Surat. They take their name from lad-desh, the old name of South Gujarat. Their family priests are Khedaval Brahmins and their family deity is Ashapuri of Ashnai near Petlad. They are Vallabhacharya Vaishnavas. There is no historical evidence as to the exact location or place of origin of these people, who after escaping tyrannical Muslim rulers traveled along Tapti river and settled in its most fertile valley viz.
Khandesh and Burhanpur [River Tapti originates in the mountntain ranges of Satpuda in Ashirgadh very close to Burhanpur] .There is ample scope to investigate this aspect of the history and origin of these people and we welcome any information from any source leading to more knowledge of these people. We have traced family history of these people in Shirpur, from old records available with local Pandyas in Nashik and found the names of ancestors which go back 400 years. This clearly indicates that these people might have migrated 400 years ago.
The places where they settled also indicate the direction from where they had come. Taloda in the north of Nandurbar district, nestled at the base of Satpuda mountain is a small tribal town where around 60 Lad families are settled even today. Next in Prakashe a holy place along the banks of Tapti River, and then Shahade, Sarangkhede, Torkhede, Virdel, Patan, Shirpur, Ajande, Chopda and then Burhanpur. All these places are situated all along the Tapti River.
Subsequently these people moved to neighbouring areas and distant places for expanding their business activities. As a result some families shifted from Burhanpur to Khandwa and some at far off place like Nagpur and Pune.In recent times this migration has been more pronounced because of wide spread educational facilities and employment potential. They have also migrated and settled all over the country and even abroad. Typical are migrations to the nearby district places like Dhule and Jalgaon.Migrations to big cities like Mumbai Pune etc. are of recent origin and are due to spread of education and wider employment avenues. Typical surnames are Shah, Mehta, Parikh, Shroff.Choksi, Kapadia, but in khandesh one comes across surnames like Wani, Gujarathi, Lad.which are not known in Gujarat and elsewhere.
Gujarati Vaishnav community is said to be divided into about twelve sub castes. Lad is one of them, others being Mod, Porwad, Khadaita, Disawal and few others. Each one of these is further split into two viz.Visa and Dasa, thus we have Dasa Lad and Visa Lad, Dasa Mod and Visa Mod, Dasa Porwad and Visa Porwad . Shri Lad Kshetriya Parishad constitutes a very small fraction of the total Lad community majority of whom are settled in southern Gujarat like Surat, Dabhoi, Navsari, Vyara and Mumbai. Akhil Vishwa Lad Parishad in Mumbai is a major organization looking after the welfare of the entire Lad community of the world as its name suggests. On the whole there is not much difference in their language, customs, faith and beliefs. For an outsider they look to be the same and in fact they are; as is evidenced by many common social customs. Intercaste marriages taking place among these communities in very recent times are indicative of their similarities. Earlier, even a marriage between Visa and Dasa Lad was unheard of. This is the result of the changing times.
All vaishnavites including Lad are very religious and traditional community by nature. They worship Lord Vishnu, hence they are called Vaishnav. Their main deity is ShriNathaji whose main temple is at Nathadwara in south Rajasthan bordering Gujarat state. Every Vaishnav makes a pilgrimage to this temple at least once in a lifetime. Every house of a Vaishnavite is adorned with a picture of ShriNathaji at the entrance. All Vaishnavites follow Pushtimarg ie.path of Pushti which means path of kripa.founded by a great sixteenth century thinker and philosopher Sri Vallabhacharya in the year 1549.Lord Krishna in the form of ShriNathaji seemed to have appeared before him and given him personally the BrahmaSambadh Mantra when Swamiji was in deep meditative mood in Gokul near Mathura. Having been enlightened by the God himself, Shri Swami Vallabhacharyaji preached his philosophy of Pushti Marg i.e. path of Bhakti. His first disciple was Damodardas who became the first Vaishnav.
Acharyaji preached his philosophy of Pushti marg by conferring on his followers BrahmaSambadh.Thousands of his disciples followed his preaching and adopted Pushtimarg as the guiding principle of life. 84 of his most trusted disciples are famous. Shri Vallabhacharyaji toured thrice all over the country giving discourses on Bhagwat an epic on the life and teachings of Lord Krishna at 84 centers in the country. He established Baithak meaning seat at every centre, each governed by one of his descendents. For every Vaishnavite, these are places of worship and one finds at least one Baithakji at every town or city whenever a sizable Vaishnavite community resides. Most of the Vaishnavites speak Gujarati and are located in Gujarat only. The main baithakjis are located at Nathadwar and Kakroli in Rajasthan adjoining Gujarat, Vadodara, Surat, Gokul Junagadh and Kota. Champaran in Madhya Pradesh is also a place of pilgrimage for all the Vaishnavites as it is the birth place of Shri Vallabhacharyaji.
All Vaishnavs are strictly vegetarian in their eating habits and keep away from all vices such as smoking and drinking. Though it is generally believed that all Gujarati speaking people are Vaishnav, it is not true. Many of them follow Jain faith. Both the communities have quite a few things in common like language and dress. They are strictly vegetarian in their eating habits. It is true that many Gujarati speaking people follow business as their profession and you will find them in small or big towns all over the country. However, things have started changing and they are taking up newer paths and careers in higher education whichhas thrown open a vast avenues of employment.
Mahatma Gandhi was a model Vaisnav.Narsee Mehta the famous Gujarati poet and saint was also a Vaishnav.His verse which was made famous by Mahatmaji, 'Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye je peed parayee jane re'. which means Vaishnav is a person who understands the sufferings of other people,This is in fact the very essence of the life of a true Vaishnav.