Janamejaya

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Janamejaya (जनमेजय) was a Kuru king who reigned during the Middle Vedic period (12th-9th centuries BCE).[1] Along with his father and predecessor Parikshit, he played a decisive role in the consolidation of the Kuru state, the arrangement of Vedic hymns into collections, and the development of the orthodox srauta ritual, transforming the Kuru realm into the dominant political and cultural center of northern India. He also appears as a figure in later legends and traditions, the Mahabharata and the Puranas.

Ancestry of Anu-Janamejaya

Ancestry of Anu as per Bhagavata Purana

YayatiAnuSabhanaraKalanaraJanamejayaMaha ShalaMahamanas → (1.Ushinara + 2.Titiksha)

Jat clans

Janmeda (जन्मेदा)[2] [3] Janmeja (जन्मेज) Jaymeja (जन्मेज) Janmejay (जन्मेजय)[4] Janmejaya (जन्मेजय) is gotra of Jats found in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. These are said to have ben originated from ancestor Janamejaya (जनमेजय).

History

According to Bhim Singh Dahiya[5], the Dahiyas have already been described. However, here we want to draw attention to the mention of their country and some of their princes. Asandivat is mentioned as the capital of Janmejaya in Ramayana and Panini. Commenting on Panini, Kāsikā mentions Āsandi along with Dahisthalam. Har Datta, the author of Padamanjarikara mentions Asandi and Dahisthalam as names of particular countries or areas.[6]

आसंदी व् दहिस्थलम् देशविशेष: यत्रेदमुच्यते

Inscriptional evidence mentions Dahisthala on the bank of Saraswati river where Kshemarāja Chālukya of Anhilvāḍa did penance. [7]

From the above discussion it is clear that the places mentioned is somewhere in the Haryana area. Now there is an important town near Panipat which is called Asandh even today and the area of Dahiya clan is not far from this place. It is therefore clear that the ancient Asandi or Asandivat is the present Asand town and Dahisthal is the country of the Dahiya clan. Kinsariya inscriptions of Chachha Dahiya of 1056-57 SV. are reported in El, Vol. XII, pp. 56-57. He is mentioned as "Kulam Dahiyākam Jātam" and the inscriptions gives at least four generations of that prince. Another inscription of Chandrāvati Sitaleshvara Mahadeva temple mentions a Rauta Bhivasiha Dahiya and his son Rauta Uda Dahiya (Sl. No. 1856 of Inscriptions of North India).

In Vedic Literature

Janamejaya is mentioned as a great king and conqueror in a number of late Vedic texts. The Aitareya Brahmana (VIII.21) states that his priest Tura Kāvasheya anointed him with the Aindra Mahabhisheka (great anointing of Indra). The Shatapatha Brahmana mentions that he performed an ashvamedha (horse sacrifice), for getting himself rid of the Brahmahatya (sin associated with killing of a Brahmin), and the priest who performed it for him was Indrota Daivapa Shaunaka at a place named Āsandīvat.[8]

Historicity

H.C. Raychaudhuri dates Parikshit, his father, in ninth century BC.[9] Michael Witzel dates the Pārikṣita Dynasty of the Kuru Kingdom to the 12th-11th centuries BC.[10]

Only one Janamejaya is mentioned in Vedic literature; however, post-Vedic literature (Mahabharata and Puranas) seems to indicate the existence of two kings by this name, one who lived before the Kurukshetra War was an ancestor to the Pandavas, and one who lived later and was a descendant.[11] Historian H. C. Raychaudhuri believes that the second Janamejaya's description better corresponds to the Vedic king, whereas the information available about first is scanty and inconsistent, but Raychaudhuri questions whether there were actually two distinct kings. He suggests that there "is an intrusion into the genealogical texts" of the late, post-Vedic tradition, which also has two of Janamejaya's father Parikshit, possibly "invented by genealogists to account for anachronisms" in the later parts of the Mahabharata, as "a bardic duplication of the same original individual regarding whose exact place in the Kuru genealogy no unanimous tradition had survived."[12]

Four copper-plate grant inscriptions purportedly issued during Janamejaya's reign were discovered in the 20th century, but were proved to be fake by historians.[13][14]

In Puranic Literature

He was the son of King Parikshit and Queen Madravati according to the Mahabharata (I.95.85), but according to the Bhagavata Purana (I.xvi.2), his mother was Iravati, daughter of Uttara.[15] He was the grandson of Abhimanyu and the great-grandson of Arjuna, the valiant warrior hero of the Mahābhārata. He ascended to the Kuru throne following the death of his father. His significance comes as the listener of the first narration of the Mahābhārata, narrated by Vaishampayana, pupil of Vyasa. According to the Vayu Purana and the Matsya Purana, there was a dispute between him and Vaishampayana. Possibly, as its aftermath, he abdicated and his son Shatanika succeeded him.[16]

In Mahabharata

In Mahabharata, Janmejaya was mentioned as having six able brothers viz, Kakshasena, Ugrasena, Chitrasena, Indrasena, Sushena and Nakhaysena.[17] The initial chapters of the epic narrates various aspects of his life including his conquest of Takshasila and about his encounter with Naga Takshaka. He wanted to exterminate the race of Nagas, since Takshaka was responsible for the death of his father Parikshit.

Emperor Janmejay was responsible for the retelling of the famous epic Mahābhārata, a story of Janmejay's ancestors from the time of Bharata up to the great Kurukshetra war between his great-grandfathers the Pandavas and their paternal cousins the Kauravas. The Mahabharata states that it was recited to Janmejay at the sarpa satra (snake sacrifice) by the sage Vaishampayana to whom it had been imparted by his perceptor Vedavyasa,[18] after he asked Vaishampayana about his ancestors.

Sarpa satra (snake sacrifice)

Emperor Janmejay ascended to the throne of Hastinapura upon the death of his father Parikshit. According to legend, Parikshit, the lone descendant of the House of Pandu, had died of snakebite. He had been cursed by a sage to die so, the curse having been consummated by the serpent-chieftain Takshak.

Janmejay bore a deep grudge against the serpents for this act, and thus decided to wipe them out altogether. He attempted this by performing a great Sarpa satra – a sacrifice that would destroy all living serpents. At that time, a learned sage named Astika, a boy in age, came and interfered. His mother Manasa was a Naga and his father a Brahmin. Janmejay had to listen to the words of the learned Astika and set the then-imprisoned Takshaka free. He also stopped the massacre of the Nagas and ended all enmity with them (1,56). From that time onward, the Nagas and Kurus lived in peace. The mass sacrifice was started on the banks of the river Arind at Bardan, now Known as Parham, a corrupt form of Parikshitgarh. A masonry tank (reservoir) said to have been built by Emperor Janmejay to mark the site of the sacrificial pit, known as Parikshit kund, still exists in Mainpuri district. This is known as Gowdvana. Close to this village a very large and high khera containing the ruins of a fort and some stone sculptures has been found. It is said to date back to the time of Emperor Parikshit. A popular local legend is that as a consequence of the virtues of that sacrifice snakes are still harmless in this place and its neighborhood.

Succession

According to Puranas, Janamejaya was succeeded by his grandson Ashwamedatta Further in the lineage, are mentioned, Adhisima-krishna and Nichakshu. After the time of his successors, the dynasty came to an end.

बरन

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[19] ने लेख किया है कि....बरन (AS, p.608)) बुलंदशहर (उत्तर प्रदेश) का प्राचीन नाम है. लगभग 800 ई. में मेवाड़ से भाग कर आने वाले दोर राजपूतों की एक शाखा ने बरन पर अधिकार कर लिया था. उन्होंने 1018 ई. में आक्रमणकारी महमूद गजनवी का डटकर सामना किया. अपने पड़ोसी तोमर राजाओं से भी वे मोर्चा लेते रहे किंतु बड़गुजरों से, जो तोमरों के मित्र थे, उन्हें दबना पड़ा. 1193 ई. में कुतुबुद्दीन एबक ने उनकी शक्ति को पूरी तरह से कुचल दिया. फतूहाते फिरोजशाही का प्रख्यात लेखक बरनी (Ziau-din Barni) बरन का ही रहने वाला था जैसा कि उसके उपनाम से सूचित होता है. मुसलमानों के शासन काल में बरन उत्तर भारत का महत्वपूर्ण नगर था. वरण नामक एक नगर का बुद्धचरित 21,25 में उल्लेख है. संभवत: यह बरन का ही संस्कृत रूप है. लोक प्रवाद है कि इस नगर की स्थापना जनमेजय ने की थी (दे. ग्राउज़, बुलंदशहर-- कलकता रिव्यू- 1818). जैन अभिलेख में इसे उच्छ नगर कहा गया है (एपीग्राफिका इंडिका-- जिल्द, पृ. 375) (दे. बुलंदशहर)

खांडवप्रस्थ

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[20] ने लेख किया है कि....खांडवप्रस्थ (AS, p.255) हस्तिनापुर के पास एक प्राचीन नगर था जहां महाभारतकाल से पूर्व पुरुरवा, आयु, नहुष तथा ययाति की राजधानी थी. कुरु की यह प्राचीन राजधानी बुधपुत्र के लोभ के कारण मुनियों द्वारा नष्ट कर दी गई. युधिष्ठिर को, जब प्रारंभ में, द्यूत-क्रीडा से पूर्व, आधा राज्य मिला तो धृतराष्ट्र ने पांडवों से खांडवप्रस्थ में अपनी राजधानी बनाने तथा फिर से उस प्राचीन नगर को बसाने के लिए कहा था. (महाभारत आदि पर्व, 206 दक्षिणात्य पाठ) तत्पश्चात पांडवों ने खांडवप्रस्थ पहुंच कर उस प्राचीन नगर के स्थान पर एक घोर वन देखा. (आदि पर्व: 206, 26-27). खांडवप्रस्थ के स्थान पर ही इंद्रप्रस्थ नामक नया नगर बसाया गया जो भावी दिल्ली का केंद्र बना. खांडवप्रस्थ के निकट ही खांडववन स्थित था जिसे श्रीकृष्ण और अर्जुन ने अग्निदेव की प्रेरणा से भस्म कर दिया. खांडवप्रस्थ का उल्लेख अन्यत्र भी है. पंचविंशब्राह्मण 25,3,6 में राजा अभिप्रतारिन् के पुरोहित द्दति खांडवप्रस्थ में किए गए यज्ञ का उल्लेख है. अभिप्रतारिन् जनमेजय का वंशज था. जैसा पूर्व उद्धरणों से स्पष्ट है, खांडवप्रस्थ पांडवों के पुराने किले के निकट बसा हुआ था. (दे. इंद्रप्रस्थ, हस्तिनापुर)

Reference

  1. Michael Witzel (1989), Tracing the Vedic dialects in Dialectes dans les litteratures Indo-Aryennes ed. Caillat, Paris, 97–265.
  2. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. 68
  3. Dr Pema Ram:‎Rajasthan Ke Jaton Ka Itihas, p.301
  4. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I,s.n. ज-92.
  5. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study), Book by Bhim Singh Dahiya, IRS, First Edition 1980, Publisher: Sterling Publishers Pvt Ltd, AB/9 Safdarjang Enclave, New Delhi-110064, p.336
  6. G.C. Awasthi, Veda Dhratala, p, 58,
  7. RC. Ray, op. cit. ,p. 953,
  8. Pruthi, Raj (2004). Vedic Civilization. Discovery Publishing House. ISBN 9788171418756.
  9. Raychaudhuri, Hemchandra (2006), Political History of Ancient India, Cosmo Publications, ISBN 81-307-0291-6, pp. 29-30.
  10. Michael Witzel (1989), Tracing the Vedic dialects, p.141
  11. Pruthi, Raj (2004). Vedic Civilization. Discovery Publishing House. ISBN 9788171418756.
  12. Raychaudhuri (1996), pp.13-19
  13. Richard Salomon (1998). Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-19-509984-3.
  14. Shankar Goyal (1996). History writing of early India: new discoveries and approaches. Kusumanjali. p. 1. OCLC 34752382.
  15. Raychaudhuri 2006, p. 15, 35n.
  16. Misra, V.S. (2007). Ancient Indian Dynasties, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-413-8, p.278
  17. Journal of the Department of Letters by University of Calcutta (Dept. of Letters),Publ.Calcutta University Press, 1923, p2
  18. Vaidya P.L. and A.D. Pusalkar (1962, reprint 2003). The Mahabharata: Its History and Character in S. Radhakrishnan (ed.) The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol.II, Kolkata:The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, ISBN 81-85843-03-1, p.60 Sources
  19. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.608
  20. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.255

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