James Todd Annals/Chapter 5 The dynasties which succeeded Rama and Krishna

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James Tod: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I,
Publisher: Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press 1920

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Chapter 5: The dynasties which succeeded Rama and Krishna — The Pandava family — Periods of the different dynasties......

[p.55]: Having investigated the line from Ikshwaku to Rama, and that from Budha (the parent and first emigrant of the Indu1 race, I from Saka Dwipa, or Scythia, to Hindustan) to Krishna and Yudhishthira, a period of twelve hundred years, we proceed to the second division and second table of the genealogies.

The Suryavansa or Solar Line

From Rama all the tribes termed Suryavansa, or ' Race of the Sun,' claim descent, as the present princes of Mewar, Jaipur, Marwar, Bikaner, and their numerous clans ; while from the Lunar (Indu) line of Budha and Krishna, the families of Jaisalmer and Cutch (the Bhatti2 and Jareja races), extending throughout the Indian desert from the Sutlej to the ocean, deduce their pedigrees.

Rama preceded Krishna : but as their historians, Valmiki and Vyasa, who wrote the events they witnessed, were contemporaries, it could not have been by many years [46].

The present table contains the dynasties which succeeded these great beacons of the Solar and Lunar races, and are three in number.3

1. The Suryavansa, descendants of Rama

2. The Induvansa, descendants of Pandu through Yudhishthira.

3. The Induvansa, descendants of Jarasandha, monarch of Rajagriha.

The Bhagavat and Agni Puranas are the authorities for the

1. Indu, Som, Chandra, in Sanskrit ' the moon ' ; hence the Lunar race is termed the Chandravansa, Somavansa, or Induvansa, most probably the root of Hindu. [Pers. hindu. Skr. sindhu.]

2. The isolated and now dependent chieftainship of Dhat, of which Umarkot is the capital, separates the Bhattis from the Jarejas. Dhat is now amalgamated with Sind ; its prince, of Pramara race and Sodha tribe, ancient lords of all Sind.

3. A fourth and fifth might have been given, but imperfect. First the descendants of Kusa, second son of Rama, from whence the princes of Narwar and Amber : secondly, the descendants of Krishna, from whom the princes of Jaisalmer.

[p.56]: lines from Rama and Jarasandha ; while that of Pandu is from the Raja Tarangini and Raj avail.

The existing Rajput tribes of the Solar race claim descent from Lava and Kusa, the two elder sons of Rama ; nor do I believe any existing tribes trace their ancestry to his other children, or to his brothers.

From the eldest son, Lava, the Ranas of Mewar claim descent : so do the Bargujar tribe, formerly powerful within the confines of the present Amber, whose representative now dwells at Anupshahr on the Ganges.

From Kusa descend the Kachhwaha 1 princes of Narwar and Amber, and their numerous clans. Amber, though the first in power, is but a scion of Narwar, transplanted about one thousand years back, whose chief, the representative of the celebrated Prince Nala, enjoys but a sorry district2 of all his ancient possessions.

The house of Marwar also claims descent from this stem, which appears to originate in an error of the genealogists, confounding the race of Kusa with the Kausika of Kanauj and Kausambi. Nor do the Solar genealogists admit this assumed pedigree.

The Amber prince in his genealogies traces the descent of the Mewar3 family from Rama to Sumitra, through Lava, the eldest brother, and not through Kusa,4 as in some copies of the Puranas, and in that whence Sir William Jones had his lists [47].

Mr. Bentley, taking this genealogy from the same authority as Sir William Jones, has mutilated it by a transposition, for

1 In modern times always written and pronounced Katchwaha.

2 It is in the plateau of Central India, near Shahabad.

3 Whatever dignity attaches to this pedigree, whether true or false, every prince, and every Hindu of learning, admit the claims of the princes of Mewar as heir to ' the chair of Rama ' ; and a degree of reverence has consequently attached, not only to his person, but to the seat of his power. When Mahadaji Sindhia was called by the Rana to reduce a traitorous noble in Chitor, such was the reverence which actuated that (in other respects) little scrupulous chieftain, that he could not be prevailed on to point his cannon on the walls within which consent established ' the throne of Rama.' The Rana himself, then a youth, had to break the ice, and fired a cannon agauist his own ancient abode.

4. Bryant, in his Analysis, mentions that the children of the Cushite Ham used his name in salutation as a mark of recognition. ' Ram, Ram,' is the common salutation in these Hindu countries ; the respondent often joining Sita's name with that of her consort Rama, ' Sita Ram.'

[p.57]: which his reasons are insufficient, and militate against every opinion of the Hindus. Finding the names Vrihadbala and Vridasura, declared to be princes contemporary with Yudhishthira, he transposes the whole ten princes of his list intervening between Takshak1 and Bahuman.2

Bahuman,3 or 'the man with arms ' (Darazdaslit or Longimanus) is the thirty-fourth prince from Rama ; and his reign must be placed nearly intermediate between Rama and Sumitra, or his contemporary Vikrama, and in the sixth century from either.

Sumitra concludes the line of Surya or Rama from the Bhagavat Purana. Thence it is connected with the present line of Mewar, by Jai Singh's authorities ; which list has been compared with various others, chiefly Jain, as will be related in the annals of Mewar.

It will be seen that the line of Surya exhibits fifty-six princes, from Lava, the son of Rama, to Sumitra, the last prince given in the Puranas. Sir William Jones exhibits fifty-seven.

To these fifty-six reigns I should be willing to allow the average of twenty years, which would give 1120 from Rama to Sumitra, who preceded by a short period Vikramaditya ; and as 1100 have been already calculated to have preceded the era of Rama and Yudhishthira, the inference is, that 2200 years elapsed from Ikshwaku, the founder of the Solar line, to Sumitra.

Chandravansa or the Lunar Line

From the Raja Tarangini and Rajavali the Induvansa family (descendants of Pandu through Yudhishthira) is supplied. These works, celebrated in Rajwara as collections of genealogies and historical facts, by the

1. Twenty-eighth prince from Rama in JMr. Bentley's list, and twenty-fifth in mine.

2. Thirty-seventh in Mr. Bentley's list and thirty-fourth in mine ; but the intervening names being made to follow Rama, Bahuman (written by him Banumat) follows Takshak.

3. The period of time, also, would allow of their grafting the son of Artaxerxes and father of Darius, the worshipper of Mthras, on the stem of the adorers of Surya, while a curious notice of the Raja Jai Singh's on a subsequent name on this list which he calls Naushirwan, strengthens the coincidence. Bahuman (see article ' Bahaman,' D'Herbelot's Bibl. Orient.) actually carried his arms into India, and invaded the kingdoms of the Solar race of Mithila and Magadha. The time is appropriate to the first Darius and his father ; and Herodotus [iii. 94] tells us that the richest and best of the satrapies of his empire was the Hindu,

[p.58]: Pandits Vidyadhara and Raghunath, were compiled under the eye of the most learned prince of his period, Sawai Jai Singh of Amber, and give the various dynasties which ruled at Indraprastha, or Delhi, from Yudhishthira to Vikramaditya ; and although barren of events, may be considered of value in filling up a period of entire darkness [48].

The Tarangini commences with Adinath1 or Rishabhdeva,2 being the Jain3 theogony. Rapidly noticing the leading princes of the dynasties discussed, they pass to the birth of the kings Dhritarashtra and Pandu, and their offspring, detailing the causes of their civil strife, to that conflict termed the Mahabharata or Great War.

The Pandava Family

The Pandava Family. — The origin of every family, whether of east or west, is involved in fable. That of the Pandu4 is entitled to as much credence as the birth of Romulus, or other founders of a race.

Such traditions5 were probably invented to cover some great disgrace in the Pandu family, and have relation to the story already related of Vyasa, and the debasement of this branch of the Harikulas. Accordingly, on the death of Pandu, Duryodhana, nephew of Pandu (son of Dhritarashtra, who from blindness could not inherit), asserted their illegitimacy before the assembled kin at Hastinapura. With the aid, however, of the priesthood, and the blind Dhritarashtra, his nephew, Yudhishthira, elder son of Pandu, was invested by him with the seal of royalty, in the capital, Hastinapura.

Duryodhana's plots against the Pandu and his partisans were

1. First lord.

2.Lord of the bull

3 Vidhyadhar was a Jain.

4 Pandu not being blessed with progeny, his queen made use of a charm by which she enticed the deities from their spheres. To Dharma Raj (Minos) she bore Yudhishthira ; by Pavan (Aeolus) she had Bhima ; by Indra (Jupiter Coelus) she had Arjuna, who was taught by his sire the use of the bow, so fatal in the Great War ; and Nakula and Sahadeva owed their birth to Aswini Kumar (Aesculapius) the physician of the gods.

5 We must not disregard the intellect of the Amber prince, who allowed these ancient traditions to be incorporated with the genealogy compiled under his eye. The prince who obtained De Silva from Emmanuel III. of Portugal, who combined the astronomical tables of Europe and Asia, and raised these monuments of his scientific genius in his favourite pursuit (astronomy) in all the capital cities of India, while engrossed in war and politics, requires neither eulogy nor defence.

[p. 59]: so numerous that the five brothers determined to leave for a while their ancestral abodes on the Ganges. They sought shelter in foreign countries about the Indus, and were first protected by Drupada, king of Panchala, at whose capital, Kampilanagara, the surrounding princes had arrived as suitors for the hand of his daughter, Draupadi.1 But the prize was destined for the exiled Pandu, and the skill of Arjuna in archery obtained him the fair, who " threw round his neck the (barmala) garland of marriage." The disappointed princes indulged their resentment against the exile ; but by Arjuna's bow they suffered the fate of Penelope's suitors, and the Pandu brought home his bride, who became the wife in common of the five brothers : manners2 decisively Scythic [49].

The deeds of the brothers abroad were bruited in Hastinapura and the blind Dhritarashtra's influence effected their recall. To stop, however, their intestine feuds, he partitioned the Pandu sovereignty ; and while his son, Duryodhana, retained Hastinapura, Yudhishthira founded the new capital of Indraprastha ; but shortly after the Mahabharata he abdicated in favour of his grand- nephew, Parikshita, introducing a new era, called after himself, which existed for eleven hundred years, when it was overturned, and Indraprastha was conquered by Vikramaditya Tuar of Ujjain, of the same race, who established an era of his own.

On the division of the Pandu sovereignty, the new kingdom of Indraprastha eclipsed that of Hastinapura. The brothers reduced to obedience the surrounding3 nations, and compelled their princes to sign tributary engagements {paenama).4

Yudhishthira, firmly seated on his throne, determined to

1. Drupada was of the Aswa race, being descended from Bajaswa (or Hyaswa) of the line of Ajamidha.

2. This marriage, so inconsistent with Hindu delicacy, is glossed over. Admitting the polyandry, but in ignorance of its being a national custom, puerile reasons are interpolated. In the early annals of the same race, predecessors of the Jaisalmer family, the younger son is made to succeed : also Scythic or Tatar. The manners of the Scythae described by Herodotus are found still to exist among their descendants : "a pair of shppers at the wife's door " is a signal well understood by all Eimauk husbands (Elphinstone's Caubul, vol. ii. p. 251).

3. Tarangini.

4. Paenama is a [Persian] word peculiarly expressive of subserviency to paramount authority, whether the engagement be in money or service : from pae, ' the foot.'

[p.60]: signalize his reign and paramount sovereignty, by the imposing and solemn rites of Asvamedha1 and Rajasuya.

The Asvamedha. — In these magnificent ceremonies, in which princes alone officiate, every duty, down to that of porter, is performed by royalty.

The ' Steed of Sacrifice ' was liberated under Arjuna's care, having wandered whither he listed for twelve months ; and none daring to accept this challenge of supremacy, he was reconducted to Indraprastha, where, in the meanwhile, the hall of sacrifice was prepared, and all the princes of the land were summoned to attend.

The hearts of the Kurus2 burned with envy at the assumption of supremacy by the Pandus, for the Prince of Hastinapura's office was to serve out the sacred food [50].

The rivalry between the races burst forth afresh ; but Duryodhana, who so often failed in his schemes against the safety of his antagonists, determined to make the virtue of Yudhishthira the instrument of his success. He availed himself of the national propensity for play, in which the Rajput continues to preserve his Scythic 3 resemblance. Yudhishthira fell into the snare prepared for him. He lost his kingdom, his wife, and even his personal liberty and that of his brothers, for twelve years, and became an exile from the plains of the Yamuna.

The traditional history of these wanderers during the term of probation, their many lurking places now sacred, the return to their ancestral abodes, and the grand battle (Mahabharata) which ensued, form highly interesting episodes in the legends of Hindu antiquity.

To decide this civil strife, every tribe and chief of fame, from the Caucasus to the ocean, assembled on Kurukshetra, the field

1. Sacrifice of the horse to the sun, of which a full description is given hereafter.

2. Duryodhana, as the elder branch, retained his title as head of the Kurus ; while the junior, Yudhishthira, on the separation of authority, adopted his father's name, Pandu, as the patronymic of his new dynasty. The site of the great conflict (or Mahabharata) between these rival clans, is called Kurukshetra, or ' Field of the Kurus.'

3. Herodotus describes the ruinous passion for play amongst the Scythic hordes, and which may have been carried west by Odin into Scandinavia and Germany. Tacitus tells us that the Germans, like the Pandus, staked even personal liberty, and were sold as slaves by the winner [Germania, 24].

[p. 61]: on which the empire of India has since more than once been contested1 and lost.

This combat was fatal to the dominant influence of the " fifty-six tribes of Yadu." On each of its eighteen days' combat, myriads were slain ; for " the father knew not the son, nor the disciple his preceptor."

Victory brought no happiness to Yudhishthira. The slaughter of his friends disgusted him with the world, and he determined to withdraw from it ; previously performing, at Hastinapura, funeral rites for Duryodhana (slain by the hands of Bhima), whose ambition and bad faith had originated this exterminating war. " Having regained his kingdom, he proclaimed a new era, and placing on the throne of Indraprastha, Parikshita, grandson to Arjuna, retired to Dwarka with Krishna and Baldeva : and since the war to the period of writing, 4636 years have elapsed.2

Yudhishthira, Baldeva, and Krishna, having retired with the wreck of this ill-fated struggle to Dwarka, the two former had soon to lament the death of Krishna, slain by one of the aboriginal tribes of Bhils ; against whom, from their shattered condition, they were unable to contend. After this event, Yudhishthira, with [51] Baldeva and a few followers, entirely withdrew from India, and emigrating northwards, by Sind, to the Himalayan mountains, are there abandoned by Hindu traditional history, and are supposed to have perished in the snows.3

1. On it the last Hindu monarch, Prithwiraja, lost his kingdom, his liberty, and life.

2. Rajatarangini. The period of writing was A.D. 1740.

3. Having ventured to surmise analogies between the Hercules of the east and west, I shall carry them a point further. Amidst the snows of Caucasus, Hindu legend abandons the Harikulas, under their leaders Yudhishthira and Baldeva : yet if Alexander established his altars in Panchala, amongst the sons of Puru and the Harikulas, what physical impossibility exists that a colony of them, under Yudhishthira and Baldeva, eight centuries anterior, should have penetrated to Greece ? Comparatively far advanced in science and arms, the conquest would have been easy. When Alexander attacked the ' free cities ' of Panchala, the Purus and Harikulas who opposed him evinced the recollections of their ancestor, in carrying the figure of Hercules as their standard. Comparison proves a common origin to Hindu and Grecian mythology ; and Plato says the Greeks had theirs from Egypt and the East. May not this colony of the Harikulas be the Herachdae, who penetrated into the Peloponnesus (according to Volney) 1078 years before Christ, sufficiently near our calculated period of the Great War ? The Herachdae claimed from Atreus : the Harikulas claim from Atri. Eurysthenes was

[p.62]: From Parikshita, who succeeded Yudhishthira, to Vikramaditya, four1 dynasties are given in a continuous chain, exhibiting sixty-six princes to Rajpal, who, invading Kumaon, was slain by Sukwanti. The Kumaun conqueror seized upon Delhi, but was soon dispossessed by Vikramaditya, who transferred the seat of imperial power from Indraprastha to Avanti, or Ujjain, from which time it became the first meridian of the Hindu astronomy.

Indraprastha ceased to be a regal abode for eight centuries, when it was re-established by Anangpal,2 the founder of the Tuar race, claiming descent from the Pandus. Then the name of Delhi superseded that of Indraprastha.

the first king of the Heraclidae : Yudhishthira has sufficient affinity in name to the first Spartan king not to startle the etymologist, the d and r being always permutable in Sanskrit. The Greeks or lonians are descended from Yavan, or Javan, the seventh from Japhet. The Harikulas are also Yavans claiming from Javan or Yavan, the thirteenth in descent from Yayati, the third son of the primeval patriarch. The ancient Heraclidae of Greece asserted they were as old as the sun, and older than the moon. May not this boast conceal the fact that the Heliadae (or Suryavansa) of Greece had settled there anterior to the colony of the Indu (Lunar) race of Harikula ? In all that relates to the mythological history of the Indian demi-gods, Baldeva (Hercules), Krishna or Kanhaiya (Apollo), and Budha (Mercury), a powerful and almost perfect resemblance can be traced between those of Hindu legend, Greece, and Egypt. Baldeva (the god of strength) Harikula, is still worshipped as in the days of Alexander ; his shrine at Baldeo in Vraj (the Surasenoi of the Greeks), his club a plough-share, and a lion's skin his covering. A Hindu intaglio of rare value represents Hercules exactly as described by Arrian, with a monogram consisting of two ancient characters now unknown, but which I have found wherever tradition assigns a spot to the Harikulas ; especially in Saurashtra, where they were long concealed on their exile from Delhi. This we may at once decide to be the exact figure of Hercules which Arrian describes his descendants to have carried as their standard, when Porus opposed Alexander. The intaglio will appear in the Trans. R.A.S. [The speculations in this note have no authority.]

1. The twenty-eighth prince, Khemraj, was the last in lineal descent from Parikshita, the grand-nephew of Yudhishthira. The first dynasty lasted 1864 years. The second dynasty was of Visarwa, and consisted of fourteen princes ; this lasted five hundred years. The third dynasty was headed by Mahraj, and terminated by Antinai, the fifteenth prince. The fourth dynasty was headed by Dudhsen, and terminated by Rajpal, the ninth and last king (Rajatarangini).

2. The Rajatarangini gives the date A.V. 848, or a.v. 792, for this ; and adds : " Princes from Siwalik, or northern hills, held it during this time, and it long continued desolate until the Tuars."

[p.63]: " Sukwanti, a prince from the northern mountains of Kumaun, ruled fourteen [52] years, when he was slain by Vikramaditya ; 1 and from the Bharat to this period 2915 years have elapsed." 2

Such a period asserted to have elapsed while sixty-six princes occupied the throne, gives an average of forty-four years to each ; which is incredible, if not absolutely impossible.

In another passage the compiler says : " I have read many books (shastras), and all agreed to make one hundred princes, all of Khatri 3 race, occupy the throne of Delhi from Yudhishthira to Prithwiraja, a period of 4100 years,4 after which the Ravad 5 race succeeded."

It is fortunate for these remnants of historical data that they have only extended the duration of reigns, and not added more heads. Sixty-six links are quite sufficient to connect Yudhishthira and Vikramaditya.

We cannot object to the " one hundred princes " who fill the space assigned from Yudhishthira to Prithwiraja, though there is no proportion between the number which precedes and that which follows Vikramaditya, the former being sixty-six, the latter only thirty-four princes, although the period cannot differ half a century.

Let us apply a test to these one hundred kings, from Yudhishthira to Prithwiraja : the result will be 2250 years.

This test is derived from the average rate of reigns of the chief dynasties of Rajasthan, during a period of 6336 to 6637 years, or from Prithwiraja to the present date.

1 . 56 B.C. [Cunningham remarks that the defeat of Raja Pal of Delhi by Sukwanti, Sukdati, or Sukaditya, Raja of Kumaun, must be assigned to A.D. 79 : but he has little confidence in such. traditions, unless supported by independent evidence (ASR, i. 1.38).]

2. Raghunath.

3. Rajput, or Kshatriya.

4. This period of 4100 years may have been arrived at by the compiler taking for granted the number of years mentioned by Raghunath as having elapsed from the Mahabharata to Vikrainaditya, namely 2915, and adding thereto the well-authenticated period of Prithwiraja, who was born in Samvat 1215 : for if 2915 be subtracted from 4100, it leaves 1185, the period within thirty years of the birth of Prithwiraja, according to the Chauhan chronicles.

5. Solar.

6. From S. 1250, or a.d. 1194, captivity and dethronement of Prithwiraja.

7.From S. 1212, a.d. 1516, the founding of Jaisalmer by Jaisal, to the accession of Gaj Singh, the present prince, in S. 1876, or a.d. 1820.


Of Mewar . . 34 1 princes, or 19 years to each reign.

Of Marwar . . 28 princes, or 23-1/4 " "

Of Amber . . 29 princes, or 22½ " "

Of Jaisalmer . . 28 princes, or 23-1/4 " "

giving an average of twenty-two years for each reign [53].

It would not be proper to ascribe a longer period to each reign, and it were perhaps better to give the minimum, nineteen, to extended dynasties ; and to the sixty-six princes from Yudhishthira and Vikramaditya not even so much, four revolutions2 and usurpations marking this period.


The remaining line, that of Jarasandha, taken from the Bhagavat, is of considerable importance, and will afford scope for further speculation.

Jarasandha was the monarch of Rajagriha,3 or Bihar, whose son Sahadeva, and grandson Marjari, are declared to have been contemporaries of the Mahabharata, and consequently coeval with Parikshita, the Delhi sovereign.

The direct line of Jarasandha terminates in twenty-three descents with Ripunjaya, who was slain, and his throne assumed by his minister, Sanaka, whose dynasty terminated in the fifth generation with Nandivardandhana. Sanaka derived no personal advantage from his usurpation, as he immediately placed his son, Pradyota, on the throne. To these five princes one hundred and thirty-eight years are assigned.

A new race entered Hindustan, led by a conqueror termed Sheshnag, from Sheshnagdesa,4 who ascended the Pandu throne,

1. Many of its early princes were killed in battle ; and the present prince's father succeeded his own nephew, which was retrograding.

2. The historians sanction the propriety of these changes, in their remarks, that the deposed were " deficient in [capacity for] the cares and duties of government."

3. Rajagriha, or Rajmahal, capital of Magadhades, or Bihar. [In Patna district, IGI, xxi. 72.]

4. Figuratively, the country of the ' head of the Snakes ' ; Nag, Tak, or Takshak, being synonymous : and which I conclude to be the abode of the ancient Scythic Tachari of Strabo, the Tak-i-uks of the Chinese, the Tajiks of the present day of Turkistan. This race appears to be the same with that of the Turushka (of the Puranas), who ruled on the Arvarma (the Araxes), in Sakadwipa, or Scythia. [This is a confused reference to the Saisunaga dynasty, which took its name from its founder, Sisunaga, and comprised roughly the present Patna and Gaya districts, its capital being Rajagriha ; the modern Rajgir - Sisunaga means ' a young elephant,' and has no connexion with Sheshnag, the serpent king {Vishnu Purana, 466 f. ; Smith, EHI, 31).]

[p.65]: and whose line terminates in ten descents with Mahanandin, of spurious birth. This last prince, who was also named Baikyat, carried on an exterminating warfare against the ancient Rajput princes of pure blood, the Puranas declaring that since the dynasty of Sheshnag the princes were Sudras. Three hundred and sixty years are allotted to these ten princes.

Chandragupta Maurya

A fourth dynasty commenced with Chandragupta Maurya, of the same Takshak race.1 The Maurya dynasty consisted of ten princes, who are stated to have passed away in one hundred and thirty-seven years. [322-185 B.C.]

Sunga, Kanva Dynasties

The fifth dynasty of eight princes were from Sringides, and are said to have ruled one hundred and twelve years, when a prince of Kanvades deprived the last of life and kingdom. Of these eight princes, four were of pure blood, when Kistna, by a Sudra woman, succeeded. The dynasty of Kanvades terminates in twenty-three generations with Susarman2 [54].


Thus from the Great War six successive dynasties are given, presenting a continuous chain of eighty-two princes, reckoning from Sahadeva, the successor of Jarasandha, to Susarman. To some of the short dynasties periods are assigned of moderate length : but as the first and last are without such data, the test

1. Chandragupta Maurya was certainly not a " Takshak " : he was probably " an illegitimate scion of the Nanda family " (Smith, EHI, 42).]

2. Mr. Bentley (' On the Hindu System of Astronomy,' As. Res. vol. viii. pp. 236-7) states that the astronomer, Brahmagupta, flourished about A.D. 527, or of Vikrama 583, shortly preceding the reign of Susarman ; that he was the founder of the system called the Kalpa of Brahma, on which the present Hindu chronology is founded, and to which Mr. Bentley says their historical data was transferred. This would strengthen my calculations ; but the weight of Mr. Bentley's authority has been much weakened by his unwarrantable attack on Mr. Colebrooke, whose extent of knowledge is of double value from his entire aversion to hypothesis. [The Sunga dynasty, founded by Pushyamitra, about 185 B.C., lasted till about 73 B.C., when the tenth king, Devabhuti, was slain by his Brahman minister, Vasudeva, who founded the Kanva dynasty. He was followed by three kings, and the dynasty lasted only forty-five years, the last member of it being slain, about 28 B.C., by a king of the Andhra or Satavahana dynasty, then reigning in the Deccan. For the scanty details see Smith, EHI, 198 ff

[p.66]: already decided on must be applied ; which will yield 1704 years, being six hundred and four after Vikramaditya, whose contemporary will thus be Basdeva, the fifty-fifth prince from Sahadeva of the sixth dynasty, said to be a conqueror from the country of Katehr [or Rohilkhand]. If these calculations possess any value, the genealogies of the Bhagavat are brought down to the close of the fifth century following Vikramaditya. As we cannot admit the gift of prophecy to the compilers of these books, we may infer that they remodelled their ancient chronicles during the reign of Susarman, about the year of Vikrama 600, or A.D. 546.

With regard to calculations already adduced, as to the average number of years for the reigns of the foregoing dynasties, a comparison with those which history affords of other parts of the world will supply the best criterion of the correctness of the assumed data.

From the revolt of the ten tribes against Rehoboam 1 to the capture of Jerusalem, a period of three hundred and eighty-seven years, twenty kings sat on the throne of Judah, making each reign nineteen and a half years ; but if we include the three anterior reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, prior to the revolt, the result will be twenty-six and a half years each.

From the dismemberment of the Assyrian2 empire under Sardanapalus, nearly nine hundred years before Christ, the three consequent confluent dynasties of Babylonia, Assyria, and Media afford very different results for comparison.

The Assyrian preserves the medium, while the Babylonish and Median run into extremes. Of the nine princes who swayed Babylon, from the period of its separation from, till its reunion to Assyria, a space of fifty-two years, Darius, who ruled Media sixty [thirty-six] years [55], outhved the whole. Of the line of Darius there were but six princes, from the separation of the kingdoms to their reunion under Cyrus, a period of one hundred and seventy-four years, or twenty-nine to each reign.

The Assyrian reigns form a juster medium. From Nebuchad- nezzar to Sardanapalus we have twenty-two years to a reign ; but from thence to the extinction of this dynasty, eighteen.

The first eleven kings, the Heraclidae of Laced aemon, com-

1. 987 years before Christ.

2. For these and the following elates I am indebted to Goguet's chronological tables in his Origin of Laws.


mencing with Eurysthenes (1078 before Christ), average thirty- two years ; while in republican Athens, nearly contemporary, from the first perpetual archon until the office became decennial in the seventh Olympiad, the reigns of the twelve chief magistrates average twenty-eight years and a half.

Thus we have three periods, Jewish, Spartan, and Athenian, each commencing about eleven hundred years before Christ, not half a century remote from the Mahabharata ; with those of Babylonia, Assyria, and Media, commencing where we quit the Grecian, in the eighth century before the Christian era, the Jewish ending in the sixth century.

However short, compared with our Solar and Lunar dynasties, yet these, combined with the average reigns of existing Hindu dynasties, will aid the judgment in estimating the periods to be assigned to the lines thus afforded, instead of following the improbable value attached by the Brahmans.

From such data, longevity appears in unison with climate and simplicity of life : the Spartan yielding the maximum of thirty- two to a reign, while the more luxurious Athens gives twenty- eight and a half. The Jews, from Saul to their exile " to the waters of Babylon," twenty-six and a half. The Medes equal the Lace- daemonians, and in all history can only be paralleled by the princes of Anhilwara, one of whom, Chawand, almost equalled Darius.1

Of the separated ten tribes, from the revolt to the captivity, twenty kings of Israel passed away in two centuries, or ten years each.

The Spartan and Assyrian present the extremes of thirty-two and eighteen, giving a medium of twenty-five years to a reign.

The average result of our four Hindu dynasties, in a period of nearly seven hundred years, is twenty-two years.

From all which data, I would presume to assign from twenty to twenty- two years to each reign in lines of fifty princes [56].

If the value thus obtained be satisfactory, and the lines of dynasties derived from so many authorities correct, we shall arrive at the same conclusion with Mr. Bentley ; who, by the more philosophical process of astronomical and genealogical

1. [It is not clear to whom the author refers ; Chamunda Chavada (A.D. 880-908): or Chamunda Chaulukya (A.D. 997-1010), (BG, i. Part 1. 151, 162).]

[p.68]: combination, places Yudhishthira's era in the year 2825 of the world ; which being taken from 4004 (the world's age at the birth of Christ) will leave 1179 before Christ for Yudhishthira's era, or 1123 before Vikramaditya.1

1. The evidence quoted in this chapter by which the author endeavours to frame a chronology for this early period, is untrustworthy. Mr. Pargiter tentatively dates the great Bharata battle about 1000 B.C., but the evidence is very uncertain (JRAS, January 1910, p. 56 ; April 1914, p. 294).

End of Chapter 5 The dynasties which succeeded Rama and Krishna

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