Indo-Aryan origin of Jats
|Author of this article is Laxman Burdak लक्ष्मण बुरड़क|
The Indo-Aryan origin of Jats has been advocated by many historians on the basis of ethnological, physical and linguistic standards. The original home of Jats is certainly connected with original home of Aryans, since Jat is certainly a tribe of Aryan race. They are the purest Aryan in India, and belong to the first race of Aryan invaders belonging to “Solar race”. As per the Varna (Caste) system, the Jats are Kshatriyas or the warrior class. As they were outside the rigorous brahmanical social order, this position was not emphasised till the growth of the Arya Samaj among the Jats.
According to Maheswari Prasad of Banaras Hindu University, Jats belong to the Proto-Vedic Aryan stock. But being on the periphery of Madhyadesha, the cradle of Vedic culture, they did not undergo the social transformation on the line of varna system and monarchial political organizaion. The power of decision-making remained with elders and clan organizations.
- 1 Vedic Aryans
- 2 Aryavarta
- 3 Jats are Aryans
- 4 Ethnological studies to support Indo-Aryan origin
- 5 जाट शब्द कैसे बना
- 6 महाभारत के शान्ति पर्व पुस्तक 12 अध्याय 82 में ज्ञाति-संघ
- 7 Jats in Devasamhita
- 8 Migration of Jats
- 9 Jats in Sindh
- 10 Jats in Shāhnāma
- 11 Jats in Majmal-ut-Tawarikh
- 12 References
Arya is related to the Indo-European word "Aristocracy" and was used in the same context in Vedic tradition, as a designation for moral and spiritual heroes. Later this term came to signify anyone of good and noble character. The word Aryan is derived from arya, which meant "exalted" or "noble one" in the Indian and Persian languages. Seventy percent of those living in modern Iran are native speakers of Iranian/Aryan dialects. India is referred to as Aryavarta, which means "Abode of the Aryans". Indo-Aryan speaking people form majority of the population of northern India. This is also the area inhabited by Jats.
Aryavarta (Sanskrit: "Abode of the noble or excellent ones (see arya)" or "Abode of the Aryans") is the ancient name for northern and central India. It is erroneous to give this name to the whole of India, since the borders of Aryavarta have been described differently in various sources from time to time.
Jats are Aryans
- Then Sugriva went to his father-in-law and Tara's father Sushena. He greeted him and said to the great sage Maareech's son Archismaan who is like Indra and Garud in valor and the other son of Sage Maareech Archishmaalyaa - "You take 200,000 (2 lakh) Vanar under the leadership of Sushena and go to search Vaidehee in west, Sauraashtra and Chandrachitraa (present day Mathura) Desh. Search for Her in Kukshi Desh where beetle nut, Bakul and Uddaalk trees grow. There you will search Her in dry lands, waters, forests, mountains etc.
- Further, you will find a sea (Arabian Sea) in which many sharks and crocodiles live in. Near that sea, you will find a forest where Ketakee, Tamaal, Kaarikel (coconut) trees grow. After that you will find Murachee and Jatapur cities. Next you go to Avanti (this Avantee is another Avantee), Anglepaa and Alakshitaa.
- After this, you will arrive at the mouth of River Indus (Sindhu). Near it is Hem Giri Parvat (Som Giri Parvat), which has numerous summits and on which there are many huge tall trees. Here live flying lions, who take Timi named Matsya (fish or sharks) and elephant seals on the trees. You will search this mountain thoroughly.
- वेलातल निवेष्टेषु पर्वतेषु वनेषु च ।
- मुरची पत्तनम् चैव रम्यम् चैव जटा पुरम् ॥४-४२-१३॥
- कपयो विहरिष्यन्ति नारिकेल वनेषु च ।
- तत्र सीताम् च मार्गध्वम् निलयम् रावणस्य च ॥४-४२-१२॥
- अवंतीम् अंगलेपाम् च तथा च अलक्षितम् वनम् ।
- राष्ट्राणि च विशालानि पत्तनानि ततः ततः ॥४-४२-१४॥
- सिंधु सागरयोः चैव संगमे तत्र पर्वतः ।
- महान् हेम गिरिः नाम शत शृंगो महाद्रुमः ॥४-४२-१५॥
Dr Natthan Singh writes that Jats were the pure Aryans and their original homeland was 'Saptasindhu'. They had to migrate from India on economic, social and political reasons for some period, but they returned back to India. In the migration also, they did not leave their language and cultural traditions. Due to this reason only Jats do not have linguistic or physical similarities with Huns and Scythians. This view is also supported by Thakur Deshraj, who writes that on the basis of ethnological, physical, cultural and linguistic characteristics that Jats are pure Aryans, who inhabited the areas on the banks of Ganga-Yamuna or Sarswati-Sindhu during Vedic civilization. Thakur Deshraj also tells that after the great Mahabharata war, Krishna formed a democratic federation or sangha of clans known as Jñātisangha (ज्ञाति-संघ). Initially, Vrishni and Andhaka clans were included in this sangha and later many clans joined it. Due to political situations, Jats had to migrate from India. They went up to Iran, Afghanistan, Arab, Turkistan . Chandravanshi kshatriyas known as Yadavas spread to Iran Sindh, Punjab, Saurashtra, Central India and Rajasthan. In north-east the went upto Kashmir, Nepal, Bihar etc.. Even, they went to Mongolia and Siberia. Greeks call themselves descendants of Krishna and Baladeva. China vanshi also consider themselves as descendants of Aryans. The same people return to India in later periods with the names Shaka, Pahllava, Kushan, Yuezhi, Huna, Gujar. 
Sir Herbert Risley wrote —
"The Indo-Aryan type, occupying the Punjab, Rajputana, and Kashmir, and having as its characteristic members the Rajputs, Khatris, and Jats. This type approaches most closely to that ascribed to the traditional Aryan colonists of India."
Qanungo appeared to rely on Sir Risley's theory. Qanungo wrote, "The European pioneers of Indian antiquities and ethnology apparently started with the presumption that fine and energetic martial peoples like the Rajput and the Jat must have been comparatively newcomer from the north-west into India, who overcame the effete descendants of the Vedic Aryans (Hindus)----.
If popular tradition counts for anything, it points to the view that they (Jats) are an essentially Indo-Aryan (Hindus?) People, who have migrated from the east to the west and not Indo-Scythian----and No Hindu has been ever known to claim a Chinese origin, but the people of China----.
The Jats has been declared by all eminent authorities, to pass successfully the combined test of the physical type and language of true Aryan.”
Khushwant Singh (a well respected Indian Journalist) wrote,
"It is now generally accepted that the Jats who made the northern plains of India their home were of Aryan stock. The origin of the Jats has been exhaustively dealt with by K.R. Quanungo, who states emphatically that the Jats are of Aryan stock (Hindus) that came from Rajasthan into Punjab."
Dr. Trump and Beams very strongly claimed a pure Indo-Aryan descent for Jats both in consideration of their physical type and language, which has been authoritatively pronounced as a pure dialect of Hindi, without slightest trace of Scythian.
Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya in History of Medieval Hindu India, writes that-
“Lastly we have to speak about the Jats. Their ethnological characteristics also, as we have already seen, are clearly Aryans. They are fair, tall, high-nosed and long-headed. Does their history contradict their being Aryans? ….. They are the purest Aryans in India and belong to the first race of Aryan invaders according to our view, the Solar race of Aryans. … There is not a scrap of historical evidence even to suggest much less to prove such immigration (there is neither foreign mention of their coming into India nor have they any tradition of their own of sometime coming into India nor is there any historical Indian record, stone-inscription or other, of their so coming) and we can only ascribe such theories to that unaccountable bias of the minds of many European and native scholars, to assign a foreign and Scythic origin to every fine and energetic caste in India.”
Ernest Binfield Havell writes based on physical features and the language that —
"Ethnographic investigations show that the Indo-Aryan type described in the Hindu epics — a tall, fair-complexioned, long-headed race, with narrow, prominent noses, broad shoulders, long arms, slim waists "like a lion," and thin legs like a deer — is now (as it was in the earliest times) mostly confined to Kashmir, the Panjab and Rajputana, and represented by the Khattris, Jats, and Rajputs."
The Jat historian Thakur Deshraj refers to E. B. Havell as above and Mr. Nesfield who said that —
“If appearance goes for anything that the Jat could not be Aryans ?” He further refers to distribution of races of ‘North Western Provinces of India’, where it has been said that the arguments derived from language are strongly in favour of the pure Aryan origin of the Jats. If they were Scythian conquerors, where there Scythian language has gone to, and how came it that they now speak and have for centuries spoken an Aryan language, a dialect of Hindi.”
“Jat” approaches closely to that ascribed to the traditional Aryan colonies of India. The stature is mostly tall, complexion is fair, eyes are dark, hair on face are plentiful, head is long. Nose is narrow and prominent, but very long.
It would not be exactly correct to describe the Aryans and by implication the Jats as 'colonists' of India. The Jats along with the main set Aryans are indigenous people. 'The Aryan invaion of India' theory was a western view with a motivation, and is no more accepted by majority of scholars in the field.
Ethnological studies to support Indo-Aryan origin
The reputed historian Qanungo writes that the philologists like Dr. Trumpp and Beames  very strongly claimed a pure Indo-Aryan descent for Jats both in consideration of their physical type and language, which has been authoritatively pronounced as a pure dialect of Hindi, without the slightest trace of Scythian. But they were silenced by the progressive science, which established the unassailable dictum "Language is not a proof of race."
Next, the anthropologists appeared in the field armed with his scientific apparatus to measure the skull and noses of the various peoples of India, for the purpose of restoring their lost pedigree. This investigation resulted in the sevenfold classification of the races of India by Sir Herbert Risley, who, on the basis of his research, declared the Rajput and the Jat to be the true representatives of the Vedic Aryans. This was one of the first scientific assaults upon the Indo-Scythian theory.
Sir Herbert Risley's classification of Indian Races table:
|S.No.||Community (Caste)||Stature (cm)||Cephalic Index||Nasal Index|
|1.||Jat||169.1 and different||79.8||63.1|
The skull or Cephalic Index is considered very important in the classification of races. The Length-Width ration of the skull expressed in percentage is Cephalic Index. These are classified into three categories the Long-headed (dolichocephalic), Medium-headed (mesocephalic) and Short-headed (brachycephalic). 
Cephalic Index are grouped as in the following table:
|Females||Males||Scientific term||Meaning||Alternative term|
|< 75%||< 65%||dolichocephalic||'long-headed'||mesocranial|
|75% to 80%||65% to 75%||mesocephalic||'medium-headed'||mesaticephalic|
|> 80%||> 75% (male)||brachycephalic||'short-headed'||brachycranial|
Dr Naval Viyogi in his book 'Nagas, The Ancient rulers of India'  discusses in detail Sir Herbert Risley's studies to investigate the racial affinities as evidences of anthropology, for consideration to show the affinities of Naga people with other races. The list above has been developed, based on his tables .
Sir Herbert Risley, as Head of Department of Anthropology in 1901 demonstrated, that if a table is compiled of the nasal Indices of various communities from Bengal, Bihar ,Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, then those that with lowest nasal index are closest to the standard. Jats have the lowest nasal Index of 63.1. 
The skull or Cephalic Index is considered very important in the classification of races. The Length-Width ration of the skull expressed in percentage is Cephalic Index. These are classified into three categories the Long (Less than 80), Medium (75-80) and Short (more than 80). 
Sir Herbert Risley as Head of Department of Anthropology in 1901 proved that if we prepare the nasal Index of communities from Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab, then that with least nasal Index would be the most honoured. Jats have the least nasal Index of 63.1, which is the Indicator of the most honoured one.
Thus, the Jat has been declared by all eminent authorities, to pass successfully the combined test of physical type and language of a true Aryan.  Thus, science may be said to have succeded fairly well in establishing the Indo-aryan origin of Jats.
Language in support of Indo-Aryan theory
The Linguistic and Religious Etymology about the origin of the word, 'Jat' is that it finds mention in most ancient Indian literature like Mahabharata and Rig Veda. Jat historian Thakur Deshraj writes that the word Jat is derived from sanskrit word jñāta (ज्ञात). This later on changed to Jat in Prakrit language. Panini's Mention of Aṣṭādhyāyī in the form of shloka as जट झट सङ्घाते confirms it. Deshraj mentions that Krishna formed a federation of Vrishni and Andhaka clans which was known as jñātisaṃgha (ज्ञातिसंघ). Shanti Parva Mahabharata Book XII Chapter 82 gives details about this sangha. 
- धन्यं यशस्यम आयुष्यं सवपक्षॊथ्भावनं शुभम
- ज्ञातीनाम अविनाशः सयाथ यदा कृष्ण तदा कुरु Mahabharata (XII.82.27)
- dhanyaṃ yaśasyam āyuṣyaṃ svapakṣodbhāvanaṃ śubham
- jñātīnām avināśaḥ syād yathā kṛṣṇa tathā kuru Mahabharata (XII.82.27)
- माधवाः कुकुरा भॊजाः सर्वे चान्धकवृष्णयः (Andhaka+Vrishni)
- तवय्य आसक्ता महाबाहॊ लॊका लॊकेश्वराश च ये Mahabharata (XII.82.29)
- mādhavāḥ kukurā bhojāḥ sarve cāndhakavṛṣṇayaḥ
- tvayy āsaktā mahābāho lokā lokeśvarāś ca ye Mahabharata (XII.82.29)
The famous Sanskrit scholar Panini (traditionally dated 520-460 BCE, with estimates ranging from the 7th to 4th centuries BCE) has mentioned in his Sanskrit grammar known as Aṣṭādhyāyī in the form of shloka as जट झट सङ्घाते or “Jat Jhat Sanghate”. This means that the terms 'Jat' and 'democratic federation' are synonymous. He has mentioned many Jat clans as settled in Punjab and North west areas.
They are mentioned in the grammar treatise of Chandra of the fifth century in the phrase sentence अजय जर्टो हुणान or “Ajay Jarto Huṇān”, which refers to the defeat of Huns by two Jat rulers under the leadership of Yasodharman. Other Jat ruler who fought with him was Baladitya. The inscriptions of Mandsaur and Bijayagadh theorise on phonetic grounds that Yasodharman, the ruler of Malwa, was a Jat of the Virk gotra (clan). 
To unerstand the origin of Jat people we have to first analyse the origin of the word Jat. One theory about the origin of the word, 'Jat' is that it has originated from the Sanskrit language word “Gyat” . The Mahabharata mentions in chapter 25, shloka 26 that Lord Krishna founded a federation ‘Gana-sangha’ of the Andhak and Vrishni clans. This federation was known as ‘Gyati-sangha’. Dr Natthan Singh, a Jat historian theories, that over a period of time ‘Gyati’ became ‘Gyat’ and it may have changed to Jat.
Another theory of the word's origins is that Jat came from the word Gaut tribal name of some Indo-Aryan tribes of Central Asia (such as those which later became Gauts/Goths or Jutes and settled in Europe), which was written as Jat according to writer in Jattan Da Ithihas. It has also been mentioned by Jat historian Bhim Singh Dahiya.  Jats have many surnames common to German people even today.
According to Jat historian Ram Lal Hala, the word Jat is derived from word 'Yat'. He theorizes, that there was a Chandra Vanshi king named Ushana (उशना), ancestor of Lord Krishna. Ushana was born after nine generations of Yadu. Ushana performed hundred Ashvamedha Yagyas and got the title of 'Yat'. The word 'Yat' later may have changed to 'Jat'.
"Only amongst the Jats are found eighteen basic gotras bearing the names of Aryan elders form in the first twenty generations of Chandra Vansh"
There are many variations of the term Jat. In the Punjab, the phonetic sound is "Jutt" or "Jatt (जट्ट)."
The nomenclature of the word Jat is variously spelt, in different periods, as Jit, Jat (pl. Jatān), Jat, finally Jāt. The sixth century Pali inscription (dated samvat 597-56 = 541 AD) mentions the race as Jit. Thus, the term ‘Jit’ probably derives its nomenclature after the epithet of the founder of the tribe Jit Salindra. According to James Tod, in Rajasthan and Punjab the tribe retained their ancient name Jit.
The Jatt (जट्ट) is generally referred by the Ghaznavid chronicler of the eleventh century (Gardezi, Alberuni, and Baihaqi);  in the history of Sind (Chachnama and Tarikh-i-Masumi); by the Delhi Sultanate’s chronicler’s Isami;  and by the 18th century mystic writer Shah Wali Allah in his political letters.  Thus, in the Indus Valley up to Saurashtra, the tribes are known as Jat. The author of Majmulat-Tawarikh tends to believe that the Arabs called the Sind people Jat. In Sindhi dialect, the term is pronounced as ‘Yat’ and means ‘a camel-driver or breeder of camels’  While the author of Dabistan-i-Mazahib (c. 1665) states that ‘Jat’ in the language of Punjab (read Jataki) means ‘a villager, a rustic’ (dahistani, rusta’i). 
During Mughal period, phonetic and dialectic changes occurred, thus Deccan chronicler Firishta mentions them as ‘Jat (जट)’ with short vowel and hard ‘t’. Finally the term gained the present day phonetic in Ain-i-Akbari, when Abul Fazl mentions the tribe as ‘Jāt (जाट)’ with long vowel ‘a’ and hard ‘t’. It is said that the term derives from middle Indo-Aryan term 'Jata'. In view of O’Brien in Jataki language the ‘Jat (जात)’ – the herdsmen and camel grazer is spelt with soft ‘t’, while the ‘Jat (जाट)’- the cultivator with hard ‘t’. However, in present day the tribes, almost all the cultivators, are known as Jāt (जाट) especially in the Yamuna-Ganges Valley.
In Arabian form, the term is mentioned as Zat or Zutt (in Arabic 'J' changes for 'Z') by the Arab geographers. Thus, the nomenclature of the tribe is of post-Sanskrit Indian origin and belongs to the Indo-Aryan language. 
Jats in Mahabharata Bhisma Parva
Mahabharata Bhisma Parva Section IX describes about the 244 mighty Kshatriyas and provinces in Bharatavarsha out of them 83 janapadas were ruled by Jat clans. (See Bhisma Parva in Sanskrit) "After this, listen to the names of the provinces as I mention them. They are the Kuru-Panchalas, the Salwas, the Madreyas, the Jangalas, the Surasena, the Kalingas, the Bodhas, the Malas, the Matsyas, the Sauvalyas, the Kuntalas, the Kasi-kosalas, the Chedis, the Karushas, the Bhojas, the Sindhus, the Pulindakas, the Uttamas, the Dasarnas, the Mekalas, the Utkalas; the Panchalas, the Kausijas, the Nikarprishtha]s, Dhurandharas; the Sodhas, the Madrabhujingas, the Kasis, and the further-Kasis; the Jatharas, the Kukuras, O Bharata; the Kuntis, the Avantis, and the further-Kuntis; the Gomantas, the MandaMandakas, the Shandas, the Vidarbhas, the Rupavahikas; the Aswakas, the Pansurashtras, the Goparashtras, and the Karityas; the Adhirjayas, the Kuladyas, the Mallarashtras, the Keralas, the Varatrasyas, the Apavahas, the Chakras, the Vakratapas, the Sakas; the Videhas, the Magadhas, the Swakshas, the Malayas, the Vijayas, the Angas, the Vangas, the Kalingas, the Yakrillomans; the Mallas, the Suddellas, the Pranradas, the Mahikas, the Sasikas; the Valhikas, the Vatadhanas, the Abhiras, the Kalajoshakas; the Aparantas, the Parantas, the Pahnabhas, the Charmamandalas; the Atavisikharas, the Mahabhutas, O sire; the Upavrittas, the Anupavrittas, the Surashatras, Kekayas; the Kutas, the Maheyas, the Kakshas, the Samudranishkutas; the Andhras, and, O king, many hilly tribes, and many tribes residing on lands laying at the foot of the hills, and the Angamalajas, and the Manavanjakas; the Pravisheyas, and the Bhargavas, O king; the Pundras, the Bhargas, the Kiratas, the Sudeshnas, and the Yamunas, the Sakas, the Nishadhas, the Anartas, the Nairitas, the Durgalas, the Pratimasyas, the Kuntalas, and the Kusalas; the Tiragrahas, the Ijakas, the Kanyakagunas, the Tilabharas, the Samiras, the Madhumattas, the Sukandakas; the Kasmiras, the Sindhusauviras, the Gandharvas, and the Darsakas; the Abhisaras, the Utulas, the Saivalas, and the Valhikas; the Darvis, the Vanavadarvas, the Vatagas, the Amarathas, and the Uragas; the Vahuvadhas, the Kauravyas, the Sudamanas, the Sumalikas; the Vadhras, the Karishakas, the Kalindas, and the Upatyakas; the Vatayanas, the Romanas, and the Kusavindas; the Kacchas, the Gopalkacchas, the Kuruvarnakas; the Kiratas, the Varvasas, the Siddhas, the Vaidehas, and the Tamraliptas; the Aundras, the Paundras, the Saisikatas, and the Parvatiyas, O sire.
"'There are other kingdoms, O bull of Bharata's race, in the south. They are the Dravidas, the Keralas, the Prachyas, the Mushikas, and the Vanavashikas; the Karanatakas, the Mahishakas, the Vikalpas, and also the Mushakas; the Jhillikas, the Kuntalas, the Saunridas, and the Nalakananas; the Kankutakas, the Cholas, and the Malavayakas; the Samangas, the Kanakas, the Kukkuras, and the Angara-Marishas; the Samangas, the Karakas, the Kukuras, the Angaras, the Marishas: the Dhwajinis, the Utsavas, the Sanketas, the Trigartas, and the Salwasena; the Vakas, the Kokarakas, the Pashtris, and the Lamavegavasas; the Vindhyachulakas, the Pulindas, and the Kalkalas; the Malavas, the Vallavas, the further-Vallavas, the Kulindas, the Kalavas, the Kuntaukas, and the Karatas; the Mrishakas, the Tanavalas, the Saniyas; the Alidas, the Pasivatas, the Tanayas, and the Sulanyas; the Rishikas, the Vidarbhas, the Kakas, the Tanganas, and the further-Tanganas. Among the tribes of the north are the Mlecchas, and the Kruras, O best of the Bharatas; the Yavanas, the Chinas, the Kamvojas, the Darunas, and many Mleccha tribes; the Sukritvahas, the Kulatthas, the Hunas, and the Parasikas; the Ramanas, and the Dasamalikas. These countries are, besides, the abodes of many Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra tribes. Then again there are the Sudra-abhiras, the Dardas, the Kasmiras, and the Pattis; the Khasiras; the Atreyas, the Bharadwajas, the Stanaposhikas, the Poshakas, the Kalingas, and diverse tribes of Kiratas; the Tomaras, the Hansamargas, and the Karamanjakas. These and other kingdoms are on the east and on the north. O lord, alluding to them briefly I have told thee all. Earth, if its resources are properly developed according to its qualities and prowess, is like an ever-yielding 1 cow, from which the three-fold fruits of virtue, profit and pleasure, may be milked. Brave kings conversant with virtue and profit have become covetous of Earth. Endued with activity, they would even cast away their lives in battle, from hunger of wealth. Earth is certainly the refuge of creatures endued with celestial bodies as also of creatures endued with human bodies. 1 Desirous of enjoying Earth, the kings, O chief of the Bharatas, have become like dogs that snatch meat from one another. Their ambition is unbounded, knowing no gratification. 2 It is for this that the Kurus and the Pandavas are striving for possession of Earth, by negotiation, disunion, gift, and battle, O Bharata. If Earth be well looked after, it becometh the father, mother, children, firmament and heaven, of all creatures, O bull among men.'"
Antiquity of Jat - Thus, appearance of Jat name as such in Mahabharata and other Jat clans along with Brahma shows that name of Jat is as antique as Brahma. Not only Jat word existed at that time but also the other Jat clans from which various Jat clans further originated.
Jats find the oldest mention in Indian literature. They are mentioned in Mahabharata Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 28, and Shalya Parva, Mahabharata/Book IX Chapter 45. The famous Sanskrit scholar Panini of 900 BCE has mentioned in the Sanskrit shloka as
जट झट संघाते Jat Jhat Sanghate
This means Jat is a democratic federation. He has mentioned about many Jat tribes settled in Punjab and North west areas.
The Arabian traveller Al-Biruni has mentioned that Lord Krishna was a Jat.
The next mention we have of Jats is in the sentence in the grammer of Chandra of the fifth century as under:
अजय जर्टो हुणान Ajay Jarto Hunan
जाट शब्द कैसे बना
जाट शब्द का निर्माण संस्कृत के 'ज्ञात' शब्द से हुआ है. अथवा यों कहिये की यह 'ज्ञात' शब्द का अपभ्रंश है. लगभग 1450 वर्ष ईशा पूर्व में अथवा महाभारत काल में भारत में अराजकता का व्यापक प्रभाव था. यह चर्म सीमा को लाँघ चुका था. उत्तरी भारत में साम्राज्यवादी शासकों ने प्रजा को असह्य विपदा में डाल रखा था. इस स्थिति को देखकर कृष्ण ने अग्रज बलराम की सहायता से कंस को समाप्त कर उग्रसेन को मथुरा का शासक नियुक्त किया. कृष्ण ने साम्राज्यवादी शासकों से संघर्ष करने हेतु एक संघ का निर्माण किया. उस समय यादवों के अनेक कुल थे किंतु सर्व प्रथम उन्होंने अन्धक और वृष्नी कुलों का ही संघ बनाया. संघ के सदस्य आपस में सम्बन्धी होते थे इसी कारण उस संघ का नाम 'ज्ञाति-संघ' रखा गया.   
ठाकुर देशराज लिखते हैं कि महाभारत युद्ध के पश्चात् राजनैतिक संघर्ष हुआ जिसके कारण पांडवों को हस्तिनापुर तथा यादवों को द्वारिका छोड़ना पड़ा. ये लोग भारत से बाहर इरान, अफगानिस्तान, अरब, औतुर्किस्तान देशों में फ़ैल गए. चंद्रवंशी क्षत्रिय जो यादव नाम से अधिक प्रसिद्द थे वे इरान से लेकर सिंध, पंजाब, सौराष्ट्र, मध्य भारत और राजस्थान में फ़ैल गए. पूर्व-उत्तर में ये लोग कश्मीर, नेपाल, बिहार तक फैले. यही नहीं मंगोल देश में भी जा पहुंचे. कहा जाता है कि पांडव साइबेरिया में पहुंचे और वहां वज्रपुर आबाद किया. यूनान वाले हरक्यूलीज की संतान मानते हैं और इस भांति अपने को कृष्ण तथा बलदेव की संतान बताते हैं. चीन-वाशी भी अपने को भारतीय आर्यों की संतान मानते हैं. इससे आर्यों को महाभारत के बाद विदेशों में जाना अवश्य पाया जाता है. ये वही लोग थे जो पीछे से शक, पल्लव्ह, कुषाण, यूची, हूण, गूजर आदि नामों से भारत में आते समय पुकारे जाते हैं. 
यह 'ज्ञाति-संघ' व्यक्ति प्रधान नहीं था. इसमें शामिल होते ही किसी राजकुल का पूर्व नाम आदि सब समाप्त हो जाते थे. वह केवल ज्ञाति के नाम से ही जाना जाता था. प्राचीन ग्रंथो के अध्ययन से यह बात साफ हो जाती है की परिस्थिति और भाषा के बदलते रूप के कारण 'ज्ञात' शब्द ने 'जाट' शब्द का रूप धारण कर लिया. महाभारत काल में शिक्षित लोगों की भाषा संस्कृत थी. इसी में साहित्य सर्जन होता था. कुछ समय पश्चात जब संस्कृत का स्थान प्राकृत भाषा ने ग्रहण कर लिया तब भाषा भेद के कारण 'ज्ञात' शब्द का उच्चारण 'जाट' हो गया. आज से दो हजार वर्ष पूर्व की प्राकृत भाषा की पुस्तकों में संस्कृत 'ज्ञ' का स्थान 'ज' एवं 'त' का स्थान 'ट' हुआ मिलता है. इसकी पुष्टि व्याकरण के पंडित बेचारदास जी ने भी की है. उन्होंने कई प्राचीन प्राकृत भाषा के व्यकरणों के आधार पर नविन प्राकृत व्याकरण बनाया है जिसमे नियम लिखा है कि संस्कृत 'ज्ञ' का 'ज' प्राकृत में विकल्प से हो जाता है और इसी भांति 'त' के स्थान पर 'ट' हो जाता है.  इसके इस तथ्य कि पुष्टि सम्राट अशोक के शिला लेखों से भी होती है जो उन्होंने २६४-२२७ इस पूर्व में धर्मव्लियों के स्तंभों पर खुदवाई थी. उसमें भी कृत के सतह पर कट और मृत के स्थान पर मट हुआ मिलाता है. अतः उपरोक्त प्रमाणों के आधार पर सिद्ध होता है कि 'जाट' शब्द संस्कृत के 'ज्ञात' शब्द का ही रूपांतर है.अतः जैसे ज्ञात शब्द संघ का बोध करता है उसी प्रकार जाट शब्द भी संघ का वाचक है. 
ठाकुर देशराज जाट इतिहास के पृष्ठ १०७ पर लिखते हैं कि ज्ञात का उच्चारण हिन्दी और संस्कृत में जात होता है. फ़िर जिस समय में ज्ञात से जात या जाट आम बोल-चाल में प्रयोग होने लगा, उस समय उत्तर भारत की भाषा संस्कृत मिश्रित पिसाची (प्राकृत) थी. इसलिए यह कोई असंभव बात नहीं कि तत्कालीन बोल-चाल के अनुसार ज्ञात अथवा जात से जट व जाट हो गया. संस्कृत का भक्त प्राकृत में भट्ट है जो हिन्दी में भाट सिन्धी में भट कहलाता है.
इसी आधार पर पाणिनि ने अष्टाध्यायी व्याकरण में 'जट' धातु का प्रयोग कर 'जट झट संघाते' सूत्र बना दिया. इससे इस बात की पुष्टि होती है कि जाट शब्द का निर्माण ईशा पूर्व आठवीं शदी में हो चुका था.
पाणिनि रचित अष्टाध्यायी व्याकरण का अध्याय 3 पाद 3 सूत्र 19 देखें:
३. ३. १९ अकर्तरि च कारके संज्ञायां ।
अकर्तरि च कारके संज्ञायां से जट् धातु से संज्ञा में घ ञ् प्रत्यय होता है. जट् + घ ञ् और घ ञ प्रत्यय के घ् और ञ् की इति संज्ञा होकर लोप हो जाता है. अ रह जाता है अर्थार्त जट् + अ ऐसा रूप होता है. फ़िर अष्टाध्यायी के अध्याय ७ पाद २ सूत्र ११६ - ७. २. ११६ अतः उपधायाः से उपधा अर्थार्त जट में के ज अक्षर के अ के स्थान पर वृद्धि अथवा दीर्घ हो जाता है. जाट् + अ = जाट
व्याकरण भाष्कर महर्षि पाणिनि के धातु पाठ में जाट व जाट शब्दों की विद्यमानता उनकी प्राचीनता का एक अकाट्य प्रमाण है. इसके बाद ईसा पूर्व पाँचवीं शदी के चन्द्र के व्याकरण में भी इस शब्द का प्रयोग हुआ है.
जाट संघ में शामिल वंश
श्री कृष्ण के वंश का नाम भी जाट था. इस जाट संघ का समर्थन पांडव वंशीय सम्राट युधिस्ठिर तथा उनके भाइयों ने भी किया. आज की जाट जाति में पांडव वंश पंजाब के शहर गुजरांवाला में पाया जाता है. समकालीन राजवंश गांधार, यादव, सिंधु, नाग, लावा, कुशमा, बन्दर, नर्देय आदि वंश ने कृष्ण के प्रस्ताव को स्वीकार किया तथा जाट संघ में शामिल हो गए. गांधार गोत्र के जाट रघुनाथपुर जिला बदायूं में तथा अलीगढ़ में और यादव वंश के जाट क्षत्रिय धर्मपुर जिला बदायूं में अब भी हैं. सिंधु गोत्र तो प्रसिद्ध गोत्र है. इसी के नाम पर सिंधु नदी तथा प्रान्त का नाम सिंध पड़ा. पंजाब की कलसिया रियासत इसी गोत्र की थी. नाग गोत्र के जाट खुदागंज तथा रमपुरिया ग्राम जिला बदायूं में हैं. इसी प्रकार वानर/बन्दर गोत्र जिसके हनुमान थे वे पंजाब और हरयाणा के जाटों में पाये जाते हैं. नर्देय गोत्र भी कांट जिला मुरादाबाद के जाट क्षेत्र में है. 
पुरातन काल में नाग क्षत्रिय समस्त भारत में शासक थे. नाग शासकों में सबसे महत्वपूर्ण और संघर्षमय इतिहास तक्षकों का और फ़िर शेषनागों का है. एक समय समस्त कश्मीर और पश्चिमी पंचनद नाग लोगों से आच्छादित था. इसमें कश्मीर के कर्कोटक और अनंत नागों का बड़ा दबदबा था. पंचनद (पंजाब) में तक्षक लोग अधिक प्रसिद्ध थे. कर्कोटक नागों का समूह विन्ध्य की और बढ़ गया और यहीं से सारे मध्य भारत में छा गया. यह स्मरणीय है कि मध्य भारत के समस्त नाग एक लंबे समय के पश्चात बौद्ध काल के अंत में पनपने वाले ब्रह्मण धर्म में दीक्षित हो गए. बाद में ये भारशिव और नए नागों के रूप में प्रकट हुए. इन्हीं लोगों के वंशज खैरागढ़, ग्वालियर आदि के नरेश थे. ये अब राजपूत और मराठे कहलाने लगे. तक्षक लोगों का समूह तीन चौथाई भाग से भी ज्यादा जाट संघ में शामिल हो गए थे. वे आज टोकस और तक्षक जाटों के रूप में जाने जाते हैं. शेष नाग वंश पूर्ण रूप से जाट संघ में शामिल हो गया जो आज शेषमा कहलाते हैं. वासुकि नाग भी मारवाड़ में पहुंचे. इनके अतिरिक्त नागों के कई वंश मारवाड़ में विद्यमान हैं. जो सब जाट जाति में शामिल हैं.
महाभारत के शान्ति पर्व पुस्तक 12 अध्याय 82 में ज्ञाति-संघ
महाभारत के शान्ति पर्व पुस्तक 12 अध्याय 82 में यदु वंश के दो कुलों अन्धक और वृष्णियों ने एक राजनैतिक संघ बनाया था. उस संघ में दो राजनैतिक दल थे जिनमें एक तरफ़ श्रीकृष्ण तथा दूसरी तरफ़ उग्रसेन थे. उनकी सभा में खूब वाद विवाद हुआ करते थे. इन्ही कठिनाइयों का वर्णन श्रीकृष्ण ने नारद से किया और नारद ने सलाह दी कि जैसे भी बने संघ को नष्ट न होने दें संघ संचालन के लिए जिन गुणों की आवश्यकता होती है वे भी नारद ने कृष्ण को बताये.
- स ते सौहृथम आस्दाय किं चिथ वक्ष्यामि नारथ
- कृत्स्नां च बुथ्धिं संप्रेक्ष्य संपृच्छे तरिथिवं गम ।। 4 ।।
अर्थात - हे नारद तुम में मैं वह सच्ची मित्रता पाता हूँ जिस पर मैं निर्भर रह सकता हूँ, इसलिए मैं तुम्हें कुछ बातें कहना चाहता हूँ. हे सुप्रसन्न ! तुम्हारी बुद्धि बहुत प्रबल है, इसलिए तुम्हें एक बात पूछना चाहता हूँ. ।। 4 ।।
- थास्यम ऐश्वर्यवाथेन ज्ञातीनां वै करॊम्य अहम
- अर्धभॊक्तास्मि भॊगानां वाग थुर उक्तानि च कषमे ।। 5 ।।
अर्थात - यद्यपि लोग उसे ऐश्वर्य या प्रभुत्व कहते हैं तथापि मैं जो कुछ करता हूँ वह वास्तव में अपनी जाति के लोगों का दासत्व है. यद्यपि मैं अच्छे वैभव या शासनाधिकार का भोग करता हूँ तथापि मुझे उनके कठोर वचन ही सहने पड़ते हैं. ।। 5 ।।
- सॊ ऽहं कितव मातेव थवयॊर अपि महामुने
- एकस्य जयम आशंसे थवितीयस्यापराजयम ।। 11 ।।
- ममैवं कलिश्यमानस्य नारथॊभयतः सथा
- वक्तुम अर्हसि यच छरेयॊ ज्ञातीनाम आत्मनस तदा ।। 12 ।।
अर्थात - हे महामुने ! इन दोनों (अन्धक और वृष्णि ) के बीच में मैं उन दो जुवारिओं की माता की भांति रहता हूँ जो आपस में एक दूसरे के साथ जुआ खेलते हैं और वह माता न तो इस बात की आकांक्षा कर सकती है कि अमुक जीते और न इस बात कि कि अमुक हारे. अब हे नारद ! तुम मेरी अवस्था और साथ ही मेरे ज्ञातियों की अवस्था पर विचार करो और कृपा कर मुझे कोई ऐसा उपाय बताओ जो दोनों के लिए कल्याण कारक हो. मैं बहुत ही दुखी हो रहा हूँ. ।। 11-12 ।।
- आपथॊ थविविधाः कृष्ण बाह्याश चाभ्यन्तराश च ह
- पराथुर्भवन्ति वार्ष्णेय सवकृता यथि वान्यतः ।। 13 ।।
अर्थात - नारद ने कहा - हे कृष्ण प्रजातंत्र गणों में दो प्रकार की आपत्तियां हो सकती हैं. एक तो बाह्य या बाहरी और दूसरी आभ्यन्तर या भीतरी, अर्थात एक तो वे जिनका प्रादुर्भाव अपने अन्दर से होता है और दूसरी वे जिनका प्रादुर्भाव अन्य स्थान से होता है. ।। 13 ।।
- कृतमूलम इथानीं तज ज्ञातशब्थं सहायवत
- न शक्यं पुनर आथातुं वान्तम अन्नम इव तवया ।। 16 ।।
- बभ्रूग्रसेनयॊ राज्यं नाप्तुं शक्यं कदं चन
- ज्ञातिभेथ भयात कृष्ण तवया चापि विशेषतः ।। 17 ।।
अर्थात - जिस अधिकार ने जड़ पकड़ ली है और जो ज्ञाति शब्द की सहायता से और भी दृढ़ हो गया है, उसे लोग वमन किए हुए भोजन की भांति से वापस नहीं ले सकते. ज्ञात में मत-भेद या विरोध होने के भय से वभ्रू उग्रसेन राज्य या शासनाधिकार वापस नहीं ले सकते. हे कृष्ण ! विशेषतः तुम उनकी कुछ सहायता नहीं कर सकते. ।। 16-17 ।।
- ज्ञातीनां वक्तुकामानां कटूनि च लघूनि च
- गिरा तवं हृथयं वाचं शमयस्व मनांसि च ।। 22 ।।
अर्थात - ज्ञाति के लोग कटु और लघु बातें कहते हैं, उनकी बातों पर ध्यान मत दो और अपने उत्तर से उनका ह्रदय और मन शांत करो. ।। 22 ।।
- नामहा पुरुषः कश चिन नानात्मा नासहाय वान
- महतीं धुरम आथत्ते ताम उथ्यम्यॊरसा वह ।। 23 ।।
अर्थात - जो महापुरुष नहीं है, आत्म-बलवान नहीं है और जिसके अनुयायी नहीं हैं, वह उच्च राजनैतिक दायित्व का भार सफलता पूर्वक वहन नहीं कर सकता. ।। 23 ।।
- सर्व एव गुरुं भारम अनड्वान वहते समे
- थुर्गे परतीकः सुगवॊ भारं वहति थुर वहम ।। 24 ।।
अर्थात - समतल भूमि पर तो हर एक बैल भारी बोझ लाड कर चल सकता है पर कठिन बोझ लाड कर कठिन मार्ग पर चलना केवल बहुत बढ़िया और अनुभवी बैल का ही काम है. ।। 24 ।।
- भेथाथ विनाशः संघानां संघमुख्यॊ ऽसि केशव
- यदा तवां पराप्य नॊत्सीथेथ अयं संघस तदा कुरु ।। 25।।
- नान्यत्र बुथ्धिक्षान्तिभ्यां नान्यत्रेन्थ्रिय निग्रहात
- नान्यत्र धनसंत्यागाथ गणः पराज्ञे ऽवतिष्ठते ।। 26 ।।
अर्थात - केवल भेद निति के सहारे ज्ञातिसंघों का नाश हो सकता है. हे केसव तुम संघों को नेता हो या संघ ने तुम्हें इस समय प्रधान के रूप में प्राप्त किया है. अतः तुम ऐसा काम करो जिसमें यह संघ नष्ट न हो. बुद्धिमत्ता, सहनशीलता, इन्द्रिय-निग्रह और उदारता आदि ही वे गुण हैं जो किसी बुद्धिमान मनुष्य में किसी संघ का सफलता पूर्ण नेतृत्व ग्रहण करने के लिए आवश्यक होते हैं. ।। 25-26 ।।
- धन्यं यशस्यम आयुष्यं सवपक्षॊथ्भावनं शुभम
- ज्ञातीनाम अविनाशः सयाथ यदा कृष्ण तदा कुरु ।। 27।।
अर्थात - हे कृष्ण अपने पक्ष की उन्नति से सदा धन, वंश और आयु की वृद्धि होती है. तुम ऐसा काम करो जिससे तुम्हारे ज्ञ्यातियों का विनाश न हो. ।। 27।।
जाट संघ से अन्य संगठनों की उत्पति
जाट संघ में भारत वर्ष के अधिकाधिक क्षत्रिय शामिल हो गए थे. जाट का अर्थ भी यही है कि जिस जाति में बहुत सी ताकतें एकजाई हों यानि शामिल हों, एक चित हों, ऐसे ही समूह को जाट कहते हैं. जाट संघ के पश्चात् अन्य अलग-अलग संगठन बने. जैसे अहीर, गूजर, मराठा तथा राजपूत. ये सभी इसी प्रकार के संघ थे जैसा जाट संघ था. राजपूत जाति का संगठन बौद्ध धर्म के प्रभाव को कम करने के लिए ही पौराणिक ब्राहमणों ने तैयार किया था. बौद्धधर्म से पहले राजपूत नामका कोई वर्ग या समाज न था. .
Jats in Devasamhita
- See main article Deva Samhita
There is mention of Jats in “Devasamhita” in the form of powerful rulers over vast plains of Central Asia. For example in the 'Deva Samhita' of Gorakh Sinha from the early medieval period, when Parvati asks Shiva about characters of Jats, Shiva tells her like this in sanskrit shloka-15 as under:
- महाबला महावीर्या, महासत्य पराक्रमाः Mahabala mahavirya, Mahasatya parakrama:
- सर्वाग्रे क्षत्रिया जट्टा देवकल्पा दृढ़-व्रता: Sarvagre kshatriya Jatta Devkalpa dridh-vrata:
- Meaning - 'They are, like gods, firm of determination and of all the Kshatriyas the Jats are the prime rulers of the earth.'
Shiva explains Parvati about the origin of Jats in Shloka –16 of Deva samhita:
- श्रृष्टेरादौ महामाये वीर भद्रस्य शक्तित: Shrishterādau mahāmāye Virabhadrasya shaktita:
- Meaning – 'In the beginning of the universe with the personification of the illusionary powers of Virabhadra and Daksha's daughter gani's womb originated the caste of Jats'.
In the shloka-17 of 'Devasamhita' when Parvati asks about the History of Jats, Shiva tells Parvati that:
- गर्व खर्चोत्र विग्राणां देवानां च महेश्वरी Gurv kharchotra vigranam devanam cha maheshwari
- विचित्रं विस्मयं सत्वं पौराण कै साङ्गीपितं Vichitram vismayam satvam Pauran kai sangipitam
- Meaning - 'The history of origin of Jats is extremely wonderful and their antiquity glorious. The Pundits of history did not record their annals, lest it should injure and impair their false pride and of the vipras and gods'.
Migration of Jats
Jats in Sindh
Jats and Meds have been the oldest occupants of Sind. The first Persian account of the 11th century Mujmat ut-Tawarikh (1026), originally an ancient work in Sanskrit, mentions Jats and Meds as the ancient tribe of Sind and calls them the descendants of Ham, the son of Noah. The Ghaznavid poet, Farrukhi calls the Jats (Zatt in Arabic) as the Indian race. These Arabic/Persian accounts find support from the early fifth century inscription which documented the the Indianized names of the Jat rulers,  such as Raja Jit-Jit Salindra-Devangi-Sumbooka-Degali-Vira Narindra- Vira Chandra and Sali Chandra. Furthermore, the Mujmat ut-Tawarikh also mentions the Indianized name of one of their chiefs of the Jats in remote ancient time as Judrat. These textual references further strengthened the view of O'Brien, who opines that the names and traditions of certain Jat tribes seem to connect them more closely with Hindustan.  However, Jats appear to be the original race of Sind valley, stretching from the mouth of Indus to as far as the valley of Peshawar. Traditionally Jats of Sind consider their origin from the far northwest and claimed ancient Garh Gajni (modern Rawalpindi) as their original abode. Persian chronicler Firishta strengthened this view and informs us that Jats were originally living near the river of the Koh-i-Jud (Salt Range) in northwest Punjab. The Jats then occupied the Indus valley and settled themselves on both the banks of the Indus River. By the fourth century region of Multan was under their control. Then they rose to the sovereign power and their ruler Jit Salindra, who promoted the renown of his race, started the Jat colonisation in Punjab and fortified the town Salpur/Sorpur, near Multan.
In the seventh century the Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang witnessed their settlement along the flat marshy lowlands which streches to some thousand li. Ibn Hauqual mentions the area of their abode in between Mansura and Makran. By the end of seventh century, Jats were thickly populated in Deybal region. In the early eighth century, when the Arab commander Muhammad bin Qasim came to Sind, the Jats were living along both sides of the river Indus. Their main population was settled in the lower Sind, especially in the region of Brahmanabad (Mansura); Lohana (round the Brahmanabad) with their two territories Lakha, to the west of Lohana and Samma, to the south of Lohana; Nerun (modern Hyderabad); Dahlilah; Roar and Deybal. In the further east, their abode also extended in between Deybal, Kacheha (Qassa) and Kathiawar in Gujarat. In upper Sind they were settled in Siwistan (Schwan) and Alor/Aror region.
Before the invasion of sultan Mahmud (1027), they had firmly established in the region of Multan and Bhatiya on the banks of Indus River. Al-Biruni mentions the Mau as the abode of Jats in Punjab, situated in between the river Chenab and Beas. By the 7th century, the whole of Indus basin was populated by a large population of Jats. The Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang refers that 'there are several hundreds of thousands families settled in Sind.' Obviously these unnamed people were the Jats. The Chachnama stratified these large population of Jats, as 'the western Jats' (Jatan-i-Gharbi) and 'the eastern Jats' (Jatan-i-Sharqi),  living on the eastern and western side of the Indus River. The chronicler s further classified them as 'The Jats living on the banks of the rivers (Lab-i-Daryayi)  and the Jats living in plain, desert (Jatan-i-Dashti); and 'the rustic Jats' (rusta'i Jat) living in villages.
Professionally, they were classified on the basis of their habitats, as boatmen and maker of boats, those who were living in the riverside. However Jats of country side were involved in making of swords; as the region of Deybal was famous for the manufacture of swords, and the Jats were variously called as teghzan (holder of the swords). The rustic people were appointed by the Chach and the Arab commanders as spies (Jasus) and the caravan guide (rahbar). They used to guide the caravans on their way both during day time and at night.
In political heirarchy, the early fifth century inscription refers to them as a ruler of Punjab, part of Rajasthan and Malwa. It further highlights their sovereign position with high sounded epithet as Sal, Vira, and Narpati (the Lord).  In the military hierarchy, the Chachnama placed them high on the covetous post of Rana. During the war they were brought against enemy as soldiers. In Dahir's army, all the Jats living in the east of Indus River stood marshalled in the rear against the Arab commander Muhammad Bin Qasim. They were also involved in palace management, thus Chach appointed them as his bodyguard (pasdar).
The legendry reference about the Jats and Meds in Majmal-ut-Tawarikh, the first Persian account of the 11th century (1026),  involving the mythological figures can not be regarded as a historical fact but would imply that the people designated as Jats were present in Sind at the time of war of Mahabharata.
Jats and Meds have been the oldest occupants of Sind. The first Persian account of the 11th century Mujmat ut-Tawarikh (1026), originally an ancient work in Sanskrit, mentions Jats and Meds as the ancient tribe of Sind and calls them the descendants of Ham, the son of Noah.  The Ghaznavid poet, Farrukhi calls the Jats (Zatt in Arabic) as the Indian race. These Arabic/Persian accounts find support from the early fifth century inscription which documented the Indianized names of the Jat rulers,  such as Raja Jit-Jit Salindra-Devangi-Sumbooka-Degali-Vira Narindra- Vira Chandra and Sali Chandra. Furthermore, the Mujmat ut-Tawarikh also mentions the Indianized name of one of their chiefs of the Jats in remote ancient time as Judrat. These textual references further strengthened the view of O'Brien, who opines that the names and traditions of certain Jat tribes seem to connect them more closely with Hindustan. According to Dr. Raza, Jats appear to be the original race of Sind valley, stretching from the mouth of Indus to as far as the valley of Peshawar.  Traditionally Jats of Sind consider their origin from the far northwest and claimed ancient Garh Gajni (modern Rawalpindi) as their original abode. Persian chronicler Firishta strengthened this view and informs us that Jats were originally living near the river of the Koh-i-Jud (Salt Range) in northwest Punjab. The Jats then occupied the Indus valley and settled themselves on both the banks of the Indus River. By the fourth century region of Multan was under their control. Then they rose to the sovereign power and their ruler Jit Salindra, who promoted the renown of his race, started the Jat colonisation in Punjab and fortified the town Salpur/Sorpur, near Multan.
Ibn Hauqual mentions the area of their abode in between Mansura and Makran. By the end of seventh century, Jats were thickly populated in Deybal region. In the early eighth century, when the Arab commander Muhammad bin Qasim came to Sind, the Jats were living along both sides of the river Indus. Their main population was settled in the lower Sind, especially in the region of Brahmanabad (Mansura); Lohana (round the Brahmanabad) with their two territories Lakha, to the west of Lohana and Samma, to the south of Lohana; Nerun (modern Hyderabad); Dahlilah; Roar and Deybal. In the further east, their abode also extended in between Deybal, Kacheha (Qassa) and Kathiawar in Gujarat. In upper Sind they were settled in Siwistan (Schwan) and Alor/Aror region.
Thakur Deshraj mentions about the Buddhist Mauryan Jats rulers’ Rai Dynasty. He says that Rai was their title and their capital was at Aror which used to lie on the banks of the Indus River. Rai Meharsan II had a war with Badshah Nimroz of Iran in which he was killed. After him Rai Sahasi II became the king. When Rai Sahasi II fell ill, he called his minister to see the letters. The minister sent his munshi Chach for this purpose. The wisdom of Chach influenced the king and he appointed Chach to look after the palace. This way he got free entry into the palace. Chach developed illegal relations with the queen Suhanadi. Chach conspired with the Rani Suhanadi and killed Raja Sahsi Rai II and married with the queen and became ruler of Sindh, starting a line of Brahmin rulership.
Chachnama gives us comparative detailed information about the Jats of lower Sind (especially of Brahmanabad) in relation to Rai Chach and Muhamad bin Qasim. It says that after the subjugation of the fort of Brahmanabad, Rai Chach humiliated the Jats and the Lohanas and punished their chiefs. He imposed stern and disgraceful regulations on them.
Chachnama does not specify the causes of this unusual treatment but it is not difficult to surmise them. Resentful of loss of their state, external interference, and sensitive to autocracy the self-governing Jats have, from earliest times, mostly showed an instinctive attachment to democratic ways. They were indifferent to the rigidity and exclusiveness in socio-religious structure and generally had a natural apathy to the monarchial form of the government, facts which gradually came to the forefront in the Hindu society under the hegemony of the Gupta Kings and thereafter. In such a state of affairs, Chach, a high caste Brahman might have harboured a feeling of abhorrence for the defiant unorthodox Jats.
We have a positive knowledge about the prevalence of Buddhism at that period in the Indus Valley, [M.Habib, “The Arab Conquest of Sind”, Islamic Culture Jan,1929], in which the Jats formed the bulk of the population. Hence it is not unlikely, that the Jats had definite leanings towards Buddhism, which was more agreeable to their ways and practices, which are reflected in the book by by Dr. Dharma Kirti, a modern Buddhist.
It is also likely that the years long  stubborn resistance by Jats and others to Chach during the latter’s siege of Brahmanabad provided him the immediate provocation for adopting the repressive measures.
Chachnama refers to the Jats again at the time of Muhammad bin Qasim’s invasion of Sind. Following a query from the conqueror about the position of the Jats under Chach and Dahir, Sisakar, the minister of the fallen King, apprised him of the restrictions imposed upon them. The minister added that it was incumbent upon them to supply escorts and conduct parties and serve as guides. If any injury befell a person on the road they had to answer for it. The minister went on that these people have the disposition of savages and always rebelled against their sovereign....Having heard this, Qasim retained the same regulations against the Jats of the eastern areas but not against those of western, who probably as mercenaries, had joined the invader against the oppressive Dahir.
Kamil-ut-Tawarikh notices the Jats seizing upon the roads of Hajar and plundering the corn of Kaskar. They had planted posts in all directions towards the desert. At the orders of the reigning Khalifa, Alif bin Isa marched against them (219 A.H. – 834 AD). He was busy suppressing their chief Muhammad bin Usman for seven months. After killing many of the Jats, Ajif is said to have carried twenty seven thousand of them (including women and children) to Baghdad.
Tabkai-i-Akbari writes that Mahmud of Ghazni undertook his seventeenth expedition in 417 A.H. against the Jats (of the region of the Jud hills) who had molested his army on its return from Somnath. Mahmud is said to have organized a fleet of 1400 boats, while Jats could gather 4000 boats (or 8000 according to some). A naval fight ensued between the two at Multan, in which the Jats were drowned. The rest were slain.
Tarikh-us-Subuktigin describes that two or three thousand mounted Jats attacked the Ghazanvide commander Tilak (425 A.H. – 1034 AD) “chiefly for the purpose of seizing his property and money”, when he was perusing the rebel, Ahmad Nialtigin in the lower Punjab. They carried away his son and subsequently killed Ahmad also. The Jats returned his son and the head of the deceased only after getting a portion of the promised reward.
Taj-ul-Maasir refers to the rising of the Jats of Haryana (588 A.H. 1192 AD) under their leader Jatwan, following the defeat of Prithvi Raj Chauhan. Jatwan besieged the Muslim garrison at Hansi. Hearing about it, Qutb-ud-Din hurriedly moved against the Jats. Jatwan raised the siege to confront Qutb-ud-Din, but was beaten after a sanguinary fight. We are told that in samvat 1252 (1195 AD) a meeting of Sarva Khap Panchayat (Federal clan council of the Jats and other kindred people of Upper Doab, Haryana and neighbourng areas) was held in a forest between the villages of Bhoju and Banera under the chairmanship of Rao Vijay Rao of the village, Sisauli. This meeting decided among others to raise a big militia “to defend the Sarva Khap area against a suspected attack by Muhammad Ghori and to protect the area from loot and plunder."
Th Jats rose again when Timur invaded India. Malfuzat-i-Timuri testifies to his satisfaction over killing 2000 Jats of village Tohna near Sarsuti. He found them “demon like”, “robust”, “marauding” and “as numerous as ants, and locusts”. We learn that in order to hold deliberations over the problem of his invasion, a Sarva Khap Panchayat meeting was held in samvat 1455 (1338 AD) in forest of Chugama under the president ship of Dev Pal Rana. It passed the resolutions that they should “vacate the villages, sending the children and women to the forests and that the able-bodied persons should take up arms and destroy the army of Timur." The Panchayat militia harassed the forces of Timur, while they were advancing from Meerut towards Haridwar. In the process the former lost 6000 men.
Another invader Babar found the Jats inhabiting a tract between Nil-ab and Bhera mountains. He remarks:
- “If one goes into Hindustan the Jats and Gujars always pour down in countlesss hordes from hill and plain for loot in bullock and buffalo…When we reached Sialkot, they fell in tumult on poor and needy folks who were coming out of the town to our camp, and stripped them bare. I had the silly thieves sought for, and ordered two or three of them cur to pieces.”
Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi speaks of one redoubted Jat chief named Fateh Khan who ravaged the country of Lakhi Jungle and the road from Lahore to Panipat. Haibat Khan, the governor of the Punjab, crushed Fateh Khan and his associates.
The Jats late opposed, to their worth, Nadir shah (at Karnal) and Ahmad Shah Abdali (at Manupur). These examples suffice to show their tendency of opposing the foreign invaders. K.R. Kanungo rightly remarks:
- "They (the Jats) have shown in all times – whether against Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, or against Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali – the same propensity to fall upon the rear of a retreating army undeterred by the heaviest odds, or the terror-inspiring fame of great conquerors. When encountered they showed the same obstinate and steady courage unmindful of the carnage on the field or of the miseries that were in store for them after defeat."
The traditional accounts of the Jats record that on many occasions the Sarva Khap Panchayat of the Jats and others met to express its deep resentment against the administrative oppression, unjust restrictions and humiliating exactions on ground of religious discrimination. In some cases they reportedly resolved to oppose the Muslim administration in case the oppressive measures were not withdrawn. [ Kanha Ram (Hindi Ms.), 6,8-9,12,14], 
Migration of Jats from Sind
As for the migration of Jats from Sind, it may be assumed that natural calamity and increase in population compelled them to migrate from their original abode in search of livelihood.Hoernle has propounded the 'wedge theory' for the migration of most of the ancient tribes. This wedge theory tends us to believe that the Jats were among the first wave of the Aryans, and their first southeast migration took place from the Nort-West, and established their rule at Sorpur in Multan regions. Further they migrated towards east and stretched their abode from Brahmanabad (Mansura) to Kathiawar. As Jataki, the peculiar dialect of the Jats, also proves that the Jats must have come from the NW Punjab and from other districts (e.g. Multan) dependent upon the great country of the Five rivers.
By the end of fifth and the beginning of the sixth century, their southward migration, second in line, took place and they reached Kota in Rajasthan, probably via Bikaner regions. From Kota they migrated further east and established their rule at Malwa under the rule of Salichandra, son of Vira Chandra. Salichandra erected a minster (mindra) on banks of the river Taveli in Malwa. Probably after their defeat by Sultan Mahmud in 1027 AD, and later hard pressed by the Ghaznavi Turkish Commander, the Jats of Sind again migrated to Rajasthan and settled themselves in Bundi regions. The second inscription found at Bundi probably dates from circa samvat 1191 (1135 AD) possibly refers to the Jats as opponents of the Parmara rulers of Rajasthan.
When Muhammad bin Qasim attacked Dahlilah, a fortified town in between Roar and Brahmanabad, most of the inhabitants (the Jats) had abandoned the place and migrated to Rajasthan via desert and took shelter in the country of Siru (modern Sirohi) which was then ruled by King Deva Raj, a cousin of Rai Dahir. However, the third migration took place in early eighth century and Jats of lower Sind migrated to Rajasthan, probably via Barmer regions. By the twelfth century, the Jats settled in western Punjab, as the native poet Abul Farj Runi mentions them along with the Afghans. Meanwhile, they also extended their abode in the eastern part of the Punjab (now Haryana), as in the end of the twelfth century they resisted Qutb-ud-din Aybak in the region of Hansi.
Jats in Shāhnāma
Jats have been mentioned in Shāhnāma ("The epic of kings"), the national epic of Persia (modern Iran), by Hakīm Abul-Qāsim Firdawsī Tūsī (Persian: حکیم ابوالقاسم فردوسی توسی ), more commonly transliterated as Firdowsi (935–1020) , the most revered Persian poet. The Shāhnāma tells the mythical and historical past of Iran from the creation of the world up until the Islamic conquest of Iran in the 7th century. The Shâhnameh recounts the history of Iran, beginning with the creation of the world and the introduction of the arts of civilization (fire, cooking, metallurgy, law) to the Aryans and ends with the Arab conquest of Persia. The scene that has been drawn by Firdowsi in his Shahnama is in the legend of Rostam and Sohrab. Sohrab was in search of Rostam, his father. Both, the father and son had heard the heroic deeds of each other, but none of them wanted to disclose his identification. Sohrab while being in search of his father leads his army to the White Castle (Dazh-e-Safid) in Iran. Hujir, guardian of the castle, sees the army come and goes to meet them. Shohrab asked Hujir about the heroes and war champions of Iran as under: 
- "I would ask all
- About the king, the rebellions and the troops
- All the renowned ones of that region
- Such as Tus, Kaous and Gudarz
- The knights and the valliants of the country of Iran :Like, Gostahm  and praiseworthy Giv 
- About Bahram,  and the renowned Rostam 
- I ask you about every Jat, you count them for me"
Dr S.M. Yunus Jaffery writes that Firdowsi has used word Jat for those war-like persons, a word that seems to be equivalent of Yaudheys that has been often used in the history of Kushan period.  It should be pointed out here that the word Kushan has been used in Shahnama at several places. Tarikh-e-Bayhaqi, also called Tarikh-e-Masudi is history of Ghaznavid dynasty (366-582 AH/976-1186 AD). An extract from this book has been given in Loghat Nama-e-Dehkhoda, the encyclopedia of Persia, compiled by Ali Akbar Dehkhoda in Persia. Under the entry ‘Jat’ it says:
- “Ahmad escaped with his nobles and other persons, who were three hundred riders and bigger convicts. But Telak remained with him. He wrote letters to Hindu rebellious Jats that they should not take the way of abjected ones.” 
Dr S.M. Yunus Jaffery writes that under the same entry, the quotation of Adib Peshawar has also been given. Probably, he has written about the Jats in Afghanistan: “They are a clan of Hindus, now most of them have been honoured to adopt the Islamic faith. In the verbal history I have been told that people of Panni clan in Afghanistan are Jats in their origin. There are some small pockets of Jats in towns like Roudsar." 
Jats in Majmal-ut-Tawarikh
Majmal-ut-Tawarikh, the first Persian account of the 11th century (1026), refers an interesting legend about the Jats and Meds. It says that both these people, the descendants of Ham, lived in Sind on the banks of the river Bahar. They indulged in mutual warfare. It so happens that the Jats overpowered the distressing Meds. But realizing the futility of continuous struggle both the Jats and the Meds begged King Dajushan (Duryodhan) to appoint a King to rule over them and thereby ensure perpetual peace. The King nominated his sister Dassal (Duhsala), who governed them with wisdom. But despite its riches, dignity and greatness, there was no Brahman or wise man in the country. Hence from all over Hindustan thirty thousand Brahmans along with their families were sent there by her brother. Perhaps the name of the famous city Brahmanabad points to the place where the Brahman immigrants first settled. They settled there and in time Sind became flourishing. The queen later on made over small portion of her realm to the Jats and appointed one of them, Judrat, as their chief. She made a similar provision for the Meds also. This narrative involving the mythological figures can not be regarded as a historical fact but would imply that the people designated as Jats were present at the time of war of Mahabharata.
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