History of the Jats/Chapter II
The Book by Ram Swarup Joon1938, 1967 (Eng Tr)
Chapter II: Origin of the Jats
- “God-is almighty, God Is present in every religion, 0 Lord, - kindly narrate the story of the birth of Jat race to me.” Said Parvati.
- “0 mother of the world, I may tell you the birth and origin of the Jat race in such a way as no one has ever told you”.
Lord Shiva said,
- “0 Parbati, the Jat race is a symbol of sacrifice, bravery and hard work and has ruled the earth from beginning. Jat is a God like race. It is superior to the Brahmins and is a race with strong determination.
- “In the beginning of universe through the yoga of Shiva, Vir Bhadra - was born, who killed Daksha. This man and the daughter of Daksha gave birth to the Jat race.
The shlokas quoted above are from Sanskrit book Deva Samhita by Gorakh Sinha.
Derivation of word Jat
There are three main theories about the ancient roots of the word ‘Jat’ Viz. ‘A race originated from ‘the “Jatas’ of ‘Lord Shiva and thus came to be known as Jats.”
Jat is a phonetic corruption of ‘Yat’ which is from the Sanskrit root -‘ya’ - meaning performer or protector of a Yagya.”
A detailed analysis of these shows that all the three theories are credible and interconnected.
There is a common saying amongst the Jats as follows:
- “Jata Jata te Nikso Gangaji ko Prath
- Jathe va ko Chahiye haro sumran din rath”
It means that the Jat was born out of Shiv Ji’s Jata and is the brother of the Ganga; he should, therefore remember God day and night.
Sati considering it an unintentional omission on the part of her father went uninvited but was completely neglected by Raja Daksha, who neither greeted her nor gave her any present out or the Yagya.
Sati could not bear the insult, jumped into the fire of the Yagya and burnt herself alive. When Shiv Ji’s followers returned and narrated the story, Shiv Ji became furious. He plucked his Jata (long hair) and stuck it against a stone. It broke into two; one piece was transformed into Vir Bhadra and other into an army. On Shiv Ji’s instructions Vir Bhadra went and severed the head of Daksha. One belief is that descendants of Vir Bhadra came to be known as Jats because he was created out of Shiv Ji’s Jatas.
The above story has been presented in the Shiva Purana in a dramatic manner in those days, as was the literary style in those days, and is meant to be interpreted metaphorically and not literally.
The facts are that Shiv Ji lived in Gangotri Hills which, due to Shiv Ji’s popularity, came to be known as Shiv ki Jata. The mountain ranges in that area is now known as Shivaliks. Raja Vir Bhadra of the Puru dynasty was the ruler of Talkha Pur near Haridwar, which also formed part of the area known as Shiv ki Jata.
This is the area around Haridwar. King Bhagirath brought the Ganga to the plains in this region. According to legend the Ganga flows out from Shiv Ji’s Jata. Actually this also means that the Ganga flows out from the area known as Shiv ki Jata, the birthplace of the Jat Raja Vir Bhadra who was a follower and admirer of Shivji. On hearing of Sati’s tragedy, Shiv Ji went to the durbar of Vir Bhadra and pulled at his hair in fury while narrating the story. This infuriated Vir Bhadra and with his army, are invaded Kankhal and killed Daksha.
Raja Vir Bhadra had five sons and two grand sons named Pon Bhadra, Jakh Bhadra, Kalhan Bhadra, Brahma Bhadra, Ati Sur Bhadra, Dahi Bhadra and Anjana Jata Shankar. Seven major Jat gotras are named after these seven descendants of Vir Bhadra. A detailed account of these is found in the family history of Rana of Dholpur. This proves the descent of some Jats from Vir Bhadra.
Raja Vir Bhadra’s descendants were however not the only Jats.
In the Matsya Puran it is mentioned that King Ushinar father of Shiv Ji, and grandson of King Shishu Bandha performed one hundred Yagyas and was given the title of Yat. It is, therefore, believed that the descendants of Ushinar began to be called Yats and later on Jats. This is also a reasonable inference as Shavi gotra is found in a large number amongst the Jats.
There is a story in the XXXII chapter of Sabhaparva of the Mahabharata that Nakula invited the king Swami Kartikavan of Rohtak in the Sabha of Sabha. It is mentioned in the Adi-parva Mahabharat that Indraprastha had been the capital of Takshaka Shiva before the Pandavas made it their capital. Mathura had been the kingdom of Parma Chhak Shiva as well as the capital of Naga Shiva for a long period. Ganesha is propitiated at every function of the Jats. No other temples except Shivalyas are found in the Jat territory.
Names after Shiva such as Sheo Singh, Sheo Karan, Sheo Chand, Sheo Ram, Sheo Nath, Sheo Charan, Shiv Bahadur, Sheo Datt, Sheo Lal, Bhola Ram are common amongst the Jats.
There are other gotras of Jats based on the other three branches of ‘Yayati’ i.e. Druhyu, Anu and Urdas who also lived in the same area. It would therefore be correct to say that not only ‘Yat’. But ‘Yayat’ got converted into Jat. It is also possible that in these dynasties Ushinar was not the first and only one to earn the title of ‘Yat’ which was an honour bestowed on one who did outstanding noble deeds.
In many books, there are references to the five main dynasties of Yayati, which spread far and wide in Asia and Europe and became known as Yayati, writers of European history have named them variously as Yayati, Yati, Yucchi, Jat, Jati, Jeets, Jutes, Gat, Gote and Gatae.
It is easy to understand the conversion of ‘Yayat’ or Yat into Jat. A large number of Hindi and Sanskrit words, which were originally pronounced with ‘Ya’, are now pronounced with ‘Ja’. Some examples are Jas for Yash, Jatan for Yatan, Jogi, for Yogi, Jamuna for Yamuna, Joban for Yovan, Jama for Yama and Jati for Yati etc.
To proceed with the history of the Jats it is necessary to start from the earliest known facts about the Aryans.
Arrival of aryans in India
Flood of king manu or Noha
It is stated in Agni Puran that once upon a time, due to Lord Brahma’s annoyance, the sea overflowed and flooded the land. Before this, when King Krithmala (Manu) son of Surya, was offering water to the gods, he felt that the water was beginning to rise. A small fish came into his hands a divine voice advised Manu to take care of this little fish. Manu put the fish, his family and pairs of all domestic animals in a boat. Water rose and flooded the whole land. The boat stayed safe because it was anchored to a huge fish. All living beings outside the boat were drowned.
After the deluge, King Manu with his family and animals moved to Mount Sumeru in the Himalayas. These were the early Aryans who came into India along the foot of the mountains and settled on the banks of River Saryu.
This legend is also found in the scriptures of Hebrew, Christianity and Islam, except that Manu is called Nuh or Noah and is said to have retired to Mount Sina.
Whatever the facts, the wide acceptance of the legend makes it acceptable that some such tragedy did befall a group of people, who left their original abode and migrated to other parts of the world. And the -incident so ‘impressed their minds that it was passed down for centuries by word of hearsay.
There are three schools of thought about the original home of the Aryans, as being Central Asia, the Himalayas and the Hindukush mountains. Lake Noah is near Kashgar. It is not possible to determine exactly when and from where they came into India. However when they came they brought with them Vedas and the knowledge of Sanskrit. They wore civilized people; used weapons of metal, wear ornaments of gold and silver, clothes of cotton, silk and wool.
They called themselves the descendants of Manu and remembered the tragedy of the flood.
They came to India in two groups. Their strength cannot be ascertained. One of those advanced straight through the northern plains and founded the town of Ayodhya. The leader of this group was Ikshwaku, who had eight brothers and one sister named Ahalya (or Ela).
On arrival at Ayodhya this group clashed with the original inhabitants and drove them down South. The other group settled down on the banks of River GANGA in the area around Haridwar, and stayed there for many generations. The leader of this group was Buddha (not to be confused with Buddha who founded Buddhist Religion). Buddha married Ikshvaku’s sister Ahalya. In his Dynasty were Pandwa etc (not of Mahabharat age/epic). His son was Nahak and his son Yayati, father of Jats.
Historians of the Rajput period have called the Ikshwaku group as Surya Vanshi and the Buddha group as Chandra Vanshi, corresponding to the Sun and Moon. Their origin has been linked with Brahma the creator of the universe. The following genealogical tree was drawn out.
___________________|_____________________ | | Suryavansh Chandravansh | | Marichi Atriya | | Kashyap Samudra | | Soma | | Vaisuta Manu Brahaspati | | Man Vantra | | Ikshwaku Buddha
The names included in this table, above Ikshwaku and Buddha are just synonyms of the Sun, Moon and Planets.
It therefore, appears to be a well meaning but fictitious glorification of Akshatriyas by Brahmin historians. Ever after Ikshwaku and Buddha, down to modern times, only 100 generations have been included in the genealogical tree of the two branches. It is possible that names of only well known kings have been included.
Genealogical tables of Yayati dynasty are reproduced below from “Todd’s Rajasthan based on Agni Puran.
Drohya and Anu are not prominently mentioned in the Puranas. At places they are not mentioned at all.
Genealogical tree of Yadu
| _________________________ | | Krishna Satjit (father of the Ahirs) | _______________________________ | | |
Darojsan Heya Biveya Aheya | (founder of Ahirs) Sawaji | ______________________________ Yat Yagyi Shavi (three brothers) Amang of Osdar Chitrath Darmonetar Shishu Bandu Sanghat Sarvirath Badarsen Saja Phokya Drodem Ushina or Arhan Ketak Jat, Jati Ketatbhoj Murat Arjunsnasr Kewal Manching Drasu Bang Amku Kotaj Aksi Jaidhaj | Pithukam Ahe Branch Hosam Kirshan Jamoga Dareshat Sohapi Madarsain Dorab Neutar Kaisak Paon Lompad Varja Warati Jamanta Kashbah Bhimrath Derath Sakatana Kartank Kur Devrata Dev Ksetrs Madho Dadsu Parhat Gani Yadupa Jhnau Satti
(Recognised by the Tartars as their ancestors)
Tak ____________________________ | | Harjanda Wansat | | Bhajan Balam | | Dorativa Kapotram || | | Sura Anu | Salni Andhak Dhantry | | Bhoj VirDatt | | Rawak Punvarsu | | Devsidha Kok | | Vasdev Ugarsen | | Shri KrishnaDevki and Kans
THE SECOND BRANCH OF YAYATI ( PURU)
Janmejya Parachinwan Prodhan Pravir Charveda Sadhanawa Bhogya Sanyati Ahyati Radeasu Gharnachi Atinad Tasu Baiti Abhaya Dushyanta Bharat Bhardwaj Metu Bharat Sahstra Hasti (Founder of Hastinapur)
From: Hasti | _________________________________ | | | Ajmirh, Devmirh , Purmirh | | | Satcharat Yana Drabdasu | | Sonit Akshaya | | | Puryaspa Vilaksha Drahtkiya | | | Vacashu Kosak Sambha Jaya | | | Kamela Gadh Dhadar | | | Yunar Vishwamitra Senjit | | | Daredasu Devrat Yachrasu | | | Marinach Inka Pa | | | Mekila Sinak Partusen | | Devdas Sikarat | | Satputra Uasraj | | Serak Yatak Atwa | Aksan | Samoran | Kuru | _______________________________________ | | Barak Shatger Sanwan Jhanu Sahotra Sorata Chyavan Sorabhum Karta Bhanu Jatuson Damorat Wadika Asar Char Anyo Vayo Dhrohadarath Kashgar Dalip Drashaya | | Shantranu Sonath _________________________ | | | Bamkala Vichitra Virya Juha | | | Somdata Prodaja | | | Sahal Prohadanta | | _________________________ | | Dharatstra Pandava and Vidur
THE BRANCH OF PURU
(Obtained from the records of the Bards of Dholpur- after English Generation)
From : Sanyati: | Vir Bhadra( 4 sons) | _________________________________________________________ | | | | Pon Bhadra KalhanBhadra Atisur Bhadra Jakh Bhadra (Originator (Originator | (Originator Punya Kalhan | Jakhar Gotra) Gotra) | Gotra) Anjana Jata Shankar | | Dahi Bhadra Brahma Bhadra (Originator Dahiya Gotra)
According to the Bhats (bards) of the Dahiya Gotra, the descendants. Of the above spread to the following areas (a) Pon Bhadra’s to Haryana, Brij, and Gwalior (b) Kalhan Bhadra’s to KathiAwar and Gujrat. (c) Atisur Bhadra’s to Malwa (d) Jakh Bhadra’s to Punjab and Kashmir (e) Dahi Bhadra’s to Punjab and Central Asia (f) Brahma Bhadra’s by the name of Bamroliya to Jammu and Kashmir, Haridwar and Punjab (the ruling family of Dholpur is from this branch)
THE THIRD BRANCH
From: Ardas | | Bahan Subahan Saini Krithandan Mirat Jasmanta Drasta | | Seth Mahavir | | Arh Drahat | | Gandhar Gaindhu |Gandhar
Many names in the tables are associated with present Jat gotras.
Some examples are Ushinar, Shishu Bhadra, Tak or Takshak, Satoti, Krishan or Kushana from the Yadhu branch; Dushyanta, Bharat, Bhardwaja, Hasti, Ajmirh, Kaushik, Gadh and Vishwamitra of Puru branch; Seth, Arh, Gandhi, Gaindhu and Gandhar of the Ardas branch.
The names given in the genealogical tables include only the important personages. Other Jat gotras maybe associated with names not included. It shows that majority of Jats belong to the Yayati dynasty. The five branches of Yayati dominated the whole of Northern India, Central Asia and some European countries. European scholars have known these conquerors as of Yayati dynasty. They are remembered by different names in different countries such as Yayati, Ayati, Yati, Yuti, Yeuchi, Jutes, Jeets, Jati, Gatae, Goth etc.
Quite a few names cut of the tables are associated with the area around Haridwar, called Shiv Ki Jata. [[[Buddha]] married Ikshvaku’s sister Ahilya in this area. Rishi Vishwa Mitra’s son Gadh performed ‘tapasya’ here.
Bhagirath brought the River Ganges into the plains in this area and as legend goes, when Jhanu Rakshash (demon) drank it all, he cut open his thigh and released the Ganga.
Actually Jhanu is also mentioned in the tables, and, as a ruler, must have opposed or disturbed the project of bringing the Ganga to the plains.
Shiv ji married Sati and Parbati in this area. This is the land where the Yayati dynasty prospered and expanded. The Puru dynasty had their capital in this area. Excavations in the area should lead to important revelations.
The five Branches Of Yayati
Yadhu was the eldest son of Yayati. It is written in the Vishnu Puran that he did not inherit his father’s throne. He, therefore, retired towards Punjab and Iran. He had five sons out of whom. Except Satjit and Krishna, three remained childless. Satjit had three sons Bibai (Biveya), Hai (Heya), whose descendants are Jats of ‘Heer’ gotra and Ahai (Aheya); who founded the Ahir community.
In the eight generation of Krishna was King Ushinar whose son was Shavi, more popularly known as Shiv Ji. He married Sati and Parbati and had two sons Ganesh or Ganpati and Somi Kartik. Ganesh or Ganpati are not names but titles meaning head of a tribe. Jats have a big Gotra called Shavi.
Shavi is even today remembered in Iran as Prophet Shish. A shrine on his name is situated on the bank of River Tigris. A province of Iran was called Shavisthan now known as Seistan. These Shavi People came to be known as Shavisthani, Shavisthans or Scythians. A great Scythian writer Abul Ghazi has called himself a Jat of Chandravanshi dynasty. He also writes that the mother of Scythians was the daughter of Ahilya Devi.
According to the Greek historians Herodotus and Strabo, Shavis spread into Scandanavia and settled down there. Their customs and traditions were like those of the Hindus.
In 1420 AD a rock inscription was discovered near village Kannu in KotahState in which Jatas of Shivji, the ancestor of Jats, have been praised and prayers offered for protection of the Jat King. In the same inscription it is mentioned that the Jat King Shailendra was handsome and strong and became a leader due to his strength and bravery. He shone in his capital of Shalpur like the moon shines on the earth. His son was Dogil who married a girl of Yadu dynasty. She gave birth to Prince Virendra who was later defeated by Shalchandra, son of Vir Chandra on the frontier of Malwa on the banks of River Tavili in 597 Vikram Samvat.
One branch of Shavi Gotra is Takshak.
Before the Mahabharat, they ruled the area of present Delhi, which was then known as Khanduban. Their capital was known as Khand Prastha. When Dharat Rashtra divided his kingdom into two, Yudhishtra selected Khand Prastha as his capital, named it Indraprastha and started constructing palaces and forts.
The Takshaks opposed this project, refused to vacate the area and tried to demolish the buildings at night. This led to war. Pandavas defeated the Takshaks, destroyed their villages and drove them out of this area. Consequent upon this incident in the Mahabharat, Takshaks joined Duryodhana’s army and fought against the Pandavas. A Takshak warrior killed king Parikshit, a grandson of Yudhishtra. These facts are mentioned in Adi Parva of Mahabharat. At present, there are five villages of Takshak Jats in this area viz. Mohammed Pur, Manirka, Shahpura, Haus Khas and Katwaria.
On being driven out of Khanduban, the Takshaks drifted North west and made their new capital at Takshala or Taxila, This view is confirmed in ‘A Guide to Taxila’. The Takshaks also founded Takshkand later known as Tashkand or Tashkent and Takshasthn later known as Turkistan. The Takshaks of Taxila later adopted the abbreviated title of Taki and are still found in that area as Muslim Jats of Taki Gotra or clan.
Bachhak is another famous sub branch of Shavi gotra. 11 villages in the Mathura District belong to Bachhak Jats. One of these villages is Kalidah where Lord Krishna killed a Bachhak Nag Dhai. The People of Bachhak clan were known as Nags. There are also proofs of Nag settlements and rule in some parts of Kashmir.
According to the Purans and Mahabharat, King Yayati chose his second son Puru as heir to the throne. This branch, therefore, continued to stay in the same area and ruled Hardwar, Hastinapur and Delhi. King Hasti made Hastinapur and Pandavas Indraprastha as their capital. Porus who fought Alexander belonged to this branch, Poruswal, Phalaswal, Mirhan, Mudgil, Gill and a number of other Jat gotras are of the Puru branch.
This clan spread into Upgunusthan now known as Afghanistan. A King named Seth of this dynasty had a son called Arh, whose son Gandhara founded the city of this name as his capital. Duryodhana’s mother Gandhari was from this branch.
Baluchis of the Lomri region are described as Jats in their chronicles.
In the Rig-Veda, there are references to the Kabul River of Afghanistan, Gomal Valley, and rivers Ganga and Jamuna.
There are also references to Kshatriya and the five branches of the Yayati Dynasty.
In the Sabha Parva, while describing various Kings who attended a ceremony in the Durbar (court) of Maharaja Yudhishtra, seventeen names are mentioned which are today found as Jat gotras.
These are Malhia, Mylaw, Sindhar, Gandhar, Mahity, Mahe, Savi, Bath, Dharan, Virk, Dard, Shaly, Matash, Kukar (Khokar) Kak, Takshak, Sand, Bahik (Bathi) Rije (Bijenia), Andhra, Sorashtra (Rathi) Mann, Ar, Sohat, Kukat, Othiwal (Othval).
There is a story in Karan Parva of the Mahabharat that when Dron Acharya was killed in action, Karan was appointed Commander in Chief of Kaurava Army.
When they were driving to the battle field Karan said, “0, Shalya, there is none equal to me in archery in the Pandava army. They will flee before my arrows”.
Shalya was frank and said “No, my people don’t acknowledge your prowess with the bow and arrow as being superior to that of Arjuna” Karan felt offended and remarked caustically’ “0 Shalya, what do you Jartikas living in the land of five rivers, know about archery and bravery. All your people, Arh, Gandhar, Darad, Chima, Tusar, Malhia, Madrak, Sindhaw, Reshtri, Kukat, Bahik and Kekay eat onion and garlic. One of our Brahmins told me that he has seen your women folk urinating while ‘ standing”.
The gotras mentioned above are all Jats and are not found in any other community. However ungraceful the remark, it does prove the existence of Jats in that period and that people of Punjab were called Jatika.
Baan Parva of the Mahabharat, through the well-known story of Savitri and Satyawan, also throws light on the existence and culture of Jats during that period. Ashvapati, the father of Savitri is mentioned as Madrak and Satyawan’s gotra as Shalaw.
Professor Kalika Ranjan Kanugo, refers to a legend from Mujmalul Twarikh, says during the reign of Duryodhana, the Mirh Jats lived astride River Indus. There was, however, enmity between the people living along opposite banks of the river. They used to cross the river in boats, plunder each other’s property and ravage the villages. Once, after a serious encounter, leaders of either side called forth a peace conference. It was decided to request King Duryodhana to appoint a neutral ruler to rule both sides, To appoint a neutral ruler to rule both sides Duryodhana appointed Jaidhrat, his brother-in-law from Ceylon, as the ruler. Jaidhrata found that due to long and continuous battle conditions people had remained illiterate and become irreligious. He imported 30,000 pundits with their families. The descendants of Jaidhrata ruled this area for a long time and came to be known as Sindhus.
Nagendra Nath Banerji, in his Bengali Encyclopaedia mentions that King Jaidhrata was from Ceylon and his wife was Dushala.
In Kathiawar Gujrat (Sindh) there are ruins of a town called Jat Nagar, which could have been the capital of Sindhu Jats.
Mahabharat was a war amongst the Aryans themselves. It caused untold destruction and gave a fatal blow to the progress and civilization of the country. The Pandavas, the victors, continued to rule for about another three centuries.
After the Pandavas there was virtual anarchy for almost 1700 years. No proper records of this period are found. Whatever may have been written must have been destroyed by Mohammedan invaders.
The last Sindhu ruler was assassinated by a Brahmin called Chach in conspiracy with corrupt queen. He sat himself on the throne. The Jats rebelled against this act and he found it very difficult to put down the rebellion. Consequently he removed Jats from important government posts and inflicted great humiliations on them. They were not allowed to wear fine clothes, forbidden to ride in saddles, to uncover the head and were prohibited from wearing good weapons. If any caravan was plundered, the Jats had to compensate for it irrespective of plunderer.
After the death of Chach, his son Dahir ascended the throne and continued to impose these hardships on Jats. An incident occurred which proved favourable to the Jats. Ships belonging to Baghdad were plundered in the Arabian Sea. Hajjaj, the ruler of Baghdad sent his Commander-in Chief Mohammed Bin Kasim against Sindhu. A fierce battle was fought. The forces of Dahir fought well but Jats turned against him and Mohammed Bin Kasim won. He asked the defeated minister as to what award should be given to the Jats and whether they should be given independence. The Minister was a favorite of Dahir. He advised the Caliph against the Jats. He said they were rebels and plunderers and could be kept under control only by not withdrawing the restrictions imposed by Dahir. Mohammed Bin Kasim, however, thought the better of it and gave independence to the Jats. Later, many Jats left Sindh. There is a saying amongst Sindhu Jats that they became weak as soon as they left Sindh.