Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Porus and the Mauryas
First Edition 1980
Publisher: Sterling Publishers Pvt Ltd, AB/9 Safdarjang Enclave, New Delhi-110064
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Whatever is known about Porus, the brilliant adversary of Alexander the Great, has come down to us from the Greek writers whose main source of information is the account of the conquests of Alexander, given by those who accompanied his expedition. To that extent, barring the pardonable partiality for their national hero, their accounts may be taken at their face value after due cross-checking. Indian writers and works, not only fail to mention Porus, but have completely ignored Alexander himself. Even Chanakya, who must have witnessed the high stakes drama in the Punjab (nay, he was an actor in it), though writing about almost everything under the sun, has not said a word about Porus or the origins of the Mauryas, whom he is supposed to have given the Indian Empire on a platter. The Puranas, apart from mentioning the periods of different rulers of the Maurya dynasty, give on other information about Porus, his war with Alexander, or the origins of Mauryas. They are contemptuously dismissed as 'Sudras' or 'Vrishals', or 'Kulhinas', by the dramatist, Vishakhadatta, of Mudra Rakshasa fame; and as 'utterly irreligious' by Yuga Purana. The Vishnu Purana says, "upon the cessation of the race of Nanda, The Mauryas Will possess the earth" . Commenting on the lack of any mention of "the greatest (religious revolution) which the world has ever seen during the reign of Asoka, R.C. Dutt says, "to the Brahmanical narrator, the deeds of the scheming Chanakya ... are more worthy of mention than those of the imperial Asoka, Who spread the name and religion of India from Antioch and Macedon to Cape Comorin and Ceylon".1
1. R C Dutt, A History of Civilization in Ancient India, Vol. II,pp. 36-37
The Jain traditions do not mention either Porus or Alexander and about the Mauryas, they say, they were peacock tamers ! This connection with peacocks (Mor in Hindi) is quite widespread. Even the Buddhist records say that when the Mauryas, a branch of Sakyas, were driven out of Magadha, they went to a hilly region, where there were many peacocks. They built a city there, and because the colour of the bricks used in the city palaces, was that of the neck of a peacock, they were known as Moriyas and their city was called Moriya Nagar. Peacocks were found engraved on the Nandangarh pillar, the Sanchi stupas, etc. Peacocks were also known to have been kept in the parks of Maurya palace at Pataliputra. Therefore, Foucher, John Marshall and Grunwedel concluded, that peacock was the dynastic emblem of the Mauryas! Even in the epic, Mahabharata; when it was revised in the Gupta period, their name was Sanskritised into 'Mayuraka', meaning peacock tribe.
All these peacock theories are mere fairy tales, without any grain of truth in them. Mauryas had no connection whatsoever with the peacock nor was it their dynastic or favourite symbol or bird.
Pillar edict V of Asoka gives a list of protected animals and birds which were not to be killed, and strangely enough peacock is not one of them. Evidently, the Mauryas were "peacock eaters, rather than peacock tamers." 2 Otherwise also, how is the son of a "peacock tamer", found getting education at Taxila-the greatest seat of learning for princes, situated a thousand miles away from Pataliputra?
These stories came to be manufactured because the clan name of these people was 'Mor' (pronounced as English 'more') and, coincidentally Mor also meant a peacock in Indian languages. Hence the above stated surmises by the Jains and Buddhist and others. The name is not Indian at all, it is a name from Central Asia, and means the 'head' or 'crown'!-which is the meaning of practically, all the clan names of the Jats. It is this word which is mentioned as 'Moda' - the crown worn by the bridegroom at the time of marriage, even today.a As 'r' is pronounced by the Central Asian people, with a slight sense of 'd' or 'rh' as in
2. SIH & C,p.73
a. Editor's note - The crown worn by the bridegroom at the time of marriage is known as Kilangī (किलंगी) or Kalangī (कलंगी) in Rajasthani which indicates the linkages of this custom to Kalinga war won by Ashoka Maurya.
The Brahmanical writers, knew it as Mor. They wanted to declare these people as 'Sudras' and therefore invented yet another story, viz., that Chandragupta Maurya was born of a woman, named Mura, who was a Sudra lady and hence he was called 'Maurya', being the son of Mura! .But they failed to be bothered by the fact that it is impossible to derive Maurya from female Mura, with a long 'a'. It can be derived only from Moor or Mura (मूर). Mor has only a soft 'o' and does not give the sound of 'u' or 'oo': It is sounded as 'poll'; and not as 'pool' in English. Therefore, the theories, "associating them with the tribe of the peacock-tamers are superficial". 3 The appearance of peacock on certain monuments of the Mauryas only reflect human admiration of the beauty of the bird. Even Alexander was so much charmed with their beauty that he threatened the severest penalties against anyone who would kill a Peacock. 4
Other theories say that the Mauryas were connected with the Nandas, that Mura was supposed to be the wife of a Nanda king and the grandmother or mother of the first Maurya. Similar is the claim of Mudra Rakshasa and Brihat Katha. These connections with the Nandas' dynasty are manifestly absurd. Buddha Prakash has designated these stories as "fallacious". It is well known that Mauryas were a patronymic people who derived their name from their father, and not from the mother. Buddhist writers do not regard Maurya as a metronomic. They Invariably represent it as the name of a clan the members of which ranked as Kshatriyas since the days of the Buddha. 5 Their Kshatriya status is further testified by several medieval inscriptions. 6 The Greek accounts too, do not suggest any blood relationship between Chandragupta and the Nandas. The former is mentioned by Justin as born in humble life. 7 This also shows that Chandragupta was not born in the royal family of Nandas and was not the scion of the royal line which he overthrew. 8 .
3. ibid., p. 77.
4. Arians Indica, XV, p. 218.
5. AN&M, p. 141.
6. EI, Vol. II, p. 222.
7. McCrindle, Invasion, p. 327.8. op. cit.
Now coming to the Buddhist accounts, we have already noted that according to these versions, Mauryas are a branch of the Sakyas, who were forced to migrate from Magadha under the pressure of its emperor and had to go to live in Udyana. The first Maurya married a Naga daughter and seized the throne of Udyana. His son, named Utalosina (Uttarasena) became king after him and when he was out hunting, Buddha came to his house and told his mother that her son belonged to Buddha's family and therefore, he should take a part of Buddha's ashes from Kusinagar. Uttaraasena, staked a claim for the ashes of Buddha on the ground that he was a Kshatriya of the same clan as the Buddha himself. The kings of other countries treated him scornfully but Buddha again intervened and told the hostile kings of his wishes and so they allowed Uttarasena to get the ashes. 9
A critical analysis of the story will make it clear that this is again a fairy tale invented at a time when the dynasty of Asoka, the greatest patron of Buddhism, was sought to be connected with the clan of Buddha himself! It should be noted that it was Buddha who told the Udyana ruler of his own clan, as if he himself was ignorant of the same. Secondly, the mythological character of the story is again clear from the second intervention by Buddha at the time of the allocation of the ashes. How the Buddha who was dead at the time, personally came to intervene, not once but twice, is worthy of belief only by children. The Mauryas had no connection with the Sakyas, or even with Magadha. They were a clan of the North West and have to be searched for in the region of Western Punjab, Gandhara and Kashmir. .It was in these regions that Chandragupta was found in his childhood. It was at Taxila that he got his education, it was in this part of India that he met Alexander and it was here that he, under the instigation and advice of Chanakya, consolidated his power by driving out the Greek forces and uniting these areas under his own rule. We know for certain that Chandragupta was quite young when he met Alexander and shortly thereafter, at least within 10 years of Alexander's death, he sat on the throne of Magadha. It should be noted that Magadha was conquered later, his first conquest and consolidation of power being in the North West India or the Uttarapath.
9. BRWW, Vol. I,p.128
Buddh Prakash has dealt with the term in its various aspects and has come to the conclusion that the Mauryas originally belonged to Bihar region. The main supporting point for his theory is the existence of a village named Mor near Patna. But if that is the criterion, then we have a number of villages and towns in Punjab and Haryana area having the name 'Mor'. The Mor Mandi in Punjab is a flourishing town and Mor Kheri, etc., are the names of villages in Rohtak.a That is why B.K. Barua and RC. Seth place the Mauryas in the North West. ,10 ,K.A. Nilakantha Sastri believes that Chandragupta hailed from eastern India and that the poor status in which he was found was due to the aggressive imperialist policy of Magadha under Nandas. ,11 , No evidence has been quoted for the latter part of the statement. However, the detestation felt by Chandragupta against the Nanda kings is taken note of as evidence. But such dislike of the Nandas was not peculiar to Chandragupta only. Nandas seem to have alienated the majority of the Indian population. Having the examples of the Persians and Alexander's empire before him, Chandragupta must have intensely felt the state of political affairs in North West India in particular and the rest of India in general. That is why he gathered around him daredevil fighters from the hilly areas of Uttarapath, thus laying the foundation of the unification of India for the first time in recorded history.
Grammatically, Maurya is a derivative from Mura or ,Moor, by adding the suffix Syan). Therefore, the original word remajns Mo/Moor and not Mayura. The last word Mayura or Mayuraka is a Sanskrit translation of the original clan name Mor, which was unfortunately found to be the same as the Hindi word 'Mor", meaning peacock. Hence the stories connecting the 'Mor' with peacock. It is worth noting that the Greek! writers mention the word as Moeres or Morieis. 13 As is well known, the affix 's', 'us', 'es' or 'os', are generally added at the end of the personal names by the Greek writers. By ignoring these affixes, the word 'Moer' or Morie clearly remains. To clinch the issue we have the Rock edict No. I of Asoka himself which
10. IHQ, Vol. Vlll, pI. 2.
11. AN& M, p. 143.
12. Mahabhashya, VIII, 2,1.
13. Invasion, p. 108 and 225.
a. Editor's note - We have information on Jatland Wiki about villages Morda (मोरदा), Mordi (मोरड़ी), Morjanda Khari, Mor Khedi (मोरखेड़ी), Morla (मोरला), Moriwala (मोरीवाला), Morvan (मोरवन), Morwala (मोरवाला ) which are after the name Mor and inhabited by the Jats. It is of interest to note the the Morvan village in Nimach district Madhya Pradesh has population of Moriya Jats.
mentions the word as 'Mor' and not 'Maurya'. Buddha Prakash seems to have evaded thei by saying that, "the meaning of the word 'Mora', occurring in REI of Asoka is not quite certain".b The meaning is absolutely clear and it is the name of the dynasty to which Asoka belonged. Curtis describes the word as the title of the king of Patala, supposed to be somewhere in Sind. He may have been led to believe so, because Mor was being used as the designation of more than one king of the royal family of Patala as it was their clan name. R.K. Mukharji, 15 Nilakantha, Sastri 16 and others agree that the Greek term 'Moer' has to be identified with the Maurya. The Buddhist texts invariably mention the name as 'Mor' or Moriya, the latter being a derivative from the former. We must note here that many Jat clan names are similarly derived, e.g.
The extended Mahavamsa, edited by G.P. Malalasekara, says,
- जम्बूद्वीपे नरा सब्बे मोर राजेन अव्हययुं
that the word was known in the entire Jambudvipa as 'Mor' and Asoka was Known as a 'Mor Raja'. 17 Here it should be noted that in the extract given by Buddha Prakash, the word 'Mor', 'Mayuraka', 'Mayur' as well as Moriya Nagar appear together. This shows that Mor is not a Prakrit or Pali form of Mayura. The author of Mahavamsa knew all the words mentioned above. If 'Mor' was an Indian word and a Prakrit form of Sanskrit Mayura (peacock), then it would not have been mentioned alongwith the latter. Quite understandably, therefore, 'Mor' is not an Indian name. It is the name of a Jat clan which is still existing. We must also note that this was the word used in this very form in Central Asia when the 'Mor' clan of the Jats scattered in various directions. People who came to India, and who belonged to this clan, used and pronounced the word as 'Mor'. Their brothers who went to Europe and England, similarly used the word as 'Mor' or 'More'. If this was an Indian word and the Mauryans were an Indian clan, then
14. op. cit., p. 73, note 3.
15. Chandragupta and His time, p. 24,
16. op. cit., p. 142, note 1,
17. SIH&C, p. 71.
b. Editor's note' - Mora is the plural of Rajasthani word Mauro (मौरो) meaning cultivable land of high altitude in an area. Some fields are known as Mora which have traces of some ancient habitations.
the same clan name would not have been found in Western Europe, where its supposedly original form, Mayura alongwith Maurya was unknown.
We know that the Mauryas were ruling in Khotan and other Turkistan areas as well as in Kashmir. Before Bapa Rawal, Mauryas were ruling at Chittor in Rajasthan, the name of the city being given as Jattaraur by Albenruni and Jattaur, Jittur, Jitpur by otherrs. This is because we know that prior to the rule of MorJats, the Sibia, clan of the Jats was ruling at Chittor, as is proved by their numerous coins found in that area . Bapa Rawal himself was the son of the last 'Mor' king, Raja Maan's daughter. It is worth noting that Mahrat, king of Chittor, figuring in Chachnama, was a scion of Mor/Mori clan. He was a relation of king Sahasi of Rai dynasty of Sindh, whom Hiuen Tsang in 640 A.D., calls as 'Sudra' . 19 . Mor as well as Rai are Jat clans, also figuring in , Iranian history. H.C. Ray takes Mori asMaurya; and correctly so. But be goes further and says that Maurya/Mori were Paramara Rajputs. 20 Here he goes wrong, because the word Rajput in ethnic sense is not used until tenth century A.D. 21 The word Jat was already hoary with antiquity at that time. The Mor clan obviously went to the Maharashtra areas as well in the south. Inscription found at Varanama in former Baroda state speaks of a minister of 'Moda' family. 22 In the South, coins of Maan kings, a Jat clan considered as Sakas, have been found in Konkan area. Nagarjunikonda inscriptions refer to a Saka, named Moda. 23 This and many other pieces of evidence point to the extension of the Sakas in the South and their extensive settlements tbere. 24 The Saka warrior in his traditional dress found during excavations at that place is a further proof of this fact. Nilakantha Sastri and others referred to certain Tamil texts supporting the Maurya invasion of the south where the Maurya chariots are shown as rolling across a cutting of a road made in
18. Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. I.
19. PHAI, pp. 226-27.
20, DHNI, Vol. I, p. 5 and 6.
21. P. Saran. Studies in Mediqval Indian History, p. 25.
22. Inscriptions of Northern India, S.No. 436.
23. EI, XX, p. 37.
24. IHQ, Vol. xxxvm, 1962, p. 208, note 27.
the mountains for that purpose. 25 The Nagarjunakonda Buddhist complex and monastery was built by "Yakshas" under the directions of Nagarjuna himself as per Korean traveller Hui-Chao's account of the eighth century A.D. 26 It was destroyed by the followers 0f Sankaracharya in the same century after flourishing for 700 year. 27 Referring to certain ancient sculptures on the Nilgiri hills, Father Metz states that these were called Moriarie Maneehouse of the Morias-and recognises in the latter the Mauryas or Uzbek Tatara. 28 "Col. Congreve referred to the Scythian origin of these people and their cairns. The Chinese called them the Yue-che; and the Vedas, the Puranas, the Buddhists and Jaina traditions referred to them as the Yaksas." 29 A. Banerji and Sastri take Mura to be a non-Aryan, i.e., non Indian root. 30 Przyluski explains Maurya through Prakrit from 'Mora', but he' too, it seems, was misled into this mistake under the impression that the word is Indian. 31 Referring to the origin of the Mor Jats, tribes and Castes says that, 'Mor is so called because of a peacock (Mor) protected their ancestor from a snake".32 As already mentioned all these are baseless theories because the premise, viz, that Mor stands for the peacock is itself baseless. When the basic hypothesis is wrong, the conclusions are bound to be wrong!
From the above discussion it is clear that Mor is not an Indian word and has no connection whatsoever with the 'peacock'. It is a Central Asian clan name of the Jats and means the 'head' or the crown'. That is why Divyavadana,the Ceylonese chronicle states that Mauryas were 'crowned beaded' Kshatrias (मूर्धाभिषिक्त क्षत्रिय ), because this exactly is the meaning of this word, 'Mor'. In the subsequent paragraph we shall give evidence to show that these people came to India when the Jat empire of the Mandas was superseded under Cyrus, the Great and Darius. It is also a well known fact that
25. AN&M, p. 252 and JIH, 1975, p. 243.
26. JIH, 1970, p. 415.
27. ibid, p. 421; R.C. Mitra, The Doctrine of Bu1dhism in India, 1954. p. 130, L. Joshi, Studies in Buddhist Culture of India, 1967, p. 396.
28. IHQ, XII, p. 340.
29. ibid, p. 341.
31. ibid.32. Vol. 11, (1970).
when with the help of General Harpagus, the last Manda emperor Ishtuvegu was taken prisoner by Cyrus the Great, many Central Asian Jats had to run to India and in other directions. Those who did not lend their loyalty to Cyrus had to flee. Many others had to flee under his successor, Darius. Jean Przyluski calls them Bahlikas from Iran and Central Asia.33 And Buddha Prakash calls them "exotic and outlandish people".34 Referring to the Maga priests, Srivastava shows that these Maga priests came to India in the sixth/eighth century B.C.35 It is well known that these Magas or Magians were priests of the Manda empire of Ecbatana. The main tribes of the Jats who had to flee under these circumstances were the Mandas, the Varikas, the Mores, the Sibis, the Attris, 'the Khattris, the Kangs, the Pors, etc. All these Jat clans are still existing in India and they are aptly termed as Bahlikas, i.e., people of Balkh area or the Oxus river. The empire building habit was in their blood and they have seen how their own empire was succeeded by the Achaemenians and Alexander. On the other hand their own various clans were scattered and were fighting each other. It is these tribes whom Panini called Ayudhajivis and it was to their federation that the name of Jat Sangha was given. It is these people who established numerous cities in 'Uttarapatha, with their names ending with Kantha, well known to Panini.36 From the same source we know of the existence of other Jat clans in Punjab at that time. For example Maharajki, Kundu (Kaundoparatha), Dhanda (Dandaki), Dhama, Parsaval (Parsavah), Syal (Salva), Kathia or Kathwal (Kathoi of the Greeks), Mall or Malli (Malloi of the Greeks and Malavas of the Indians), etc., etc. It is these people again who established many sun-temples in the Punjab and Uttarapatha which were seen by the Greeks who came with Alexander. It is further well known that the sunworship was entrusted to the priests called Maga/Magians-for they knew best how to serve it.37 Even the name of a prince is given as Assagetes by the Greeks.38 (See Note I at the end of this section.)
33. lA, 1926, p. 11-13.
34. SIH&C, p. 35.
35. Indian History Congress, Bhagalpur Session, 1968, p. 86.
36. V.S. Agarwala, op. cit., p. 68-69.
37. AIS, Sachau, p. 121.38. AN&M, p. 51.
Mudra Rakshasa mentions the armies of Sakas, Yavanas, Balhikas, and others who are allies of Chandragupta Maurya, even though they were estranged against him during the conquest of Magadha. The Greek accounts mention that the Arattas were on the side of Chandragupta. These Arattas, called robbers by the Greeks were the very people who formed the vanguard of Chandragupta's army, and they were so-called because their form of government was republican, i.e. kingless. How do we explain the fact that the Viceroy of Ujjain, under Asoka, was called by the Persian title Kshatrapa?39 Why was the Viceroyalty of Saurastra given to the 'Persian' Tushaspha, by Asoka?40
Another indication of the foreign nature of these people is given by the Puranas and other Indian works. The Vishnu Purana calls them Sudras. The Markandeya Purana brands the Mauryas as Asuras. Yuga Purana called them "utterly irreligious, though posing as religious". The Mudra Rakshasa calls these people as Mlecchas and Chandragupta himself is called 'Kulahina, i.e., an upstart of unknown family. In the same drama, a character Dingarata (डिन्गराट) figures in the retinue of Chandragupta and Malayaketu. This name is manifestly non-Indian.41
One is forced to reflect as to why so much antagonism against the Mauryas by the narrators of the Puranas. The theory of the patronage extended to Buddhism by Asoka being the cause will not do because Chandragupta himself was more inclined to Jainism and many other kings of the Maurya dynasty were Brahmanical. The reason lies in the foreign origin of these people. That is why they are called Mleccha, Asuras, etc. They relate how the Nandas were uprooted and the earth passed on to the Mauryas. But even here the credit for achievement is given to a Brahman Kautilya or Chanakya even though the self same Kautilya had a low opinion of the army of Brahmans.42 He was also the first to devise equal punishment for equal offences, irrespective of the status of the wrong doer. This was directly against the brahmanical law under which no Brahman could be given capital punishment under any circumstances. It is interesting to
39. K.A.N. Sastri, History of India, pt. I, p. 112.
40. Majumdar, The Age of Imperial Unity. p. 61,
41. SIH&C, p. 140.
42. Arthasastra, IX, 2.
note that even Chanakya, (who was so called because he was born in village Chanaka in Golla district at Gandhara has been mentioned as belonging to Pataliputra in Brihatkatha Kosa.43 If Chanakya can be mentioned as originally from Magadha, there is no wonder that the Mauryas too were thus described.
The next point to note in this connection is the administration policy, ceremonies at the Court, and various other aspects of Mauryan polity, which clearly and unmistakably go to show that these were copied from the Achaemenian emperors.44 Almost all authors on Mauryan administration, art and culture, speak of the Persian as well as the Greek influence. Coomaraswamy in his book History of Indian and Indonesian Art correctly says that, "there is comparatively little in Indian decorative art that is peculiar to India and much that India shares with Western Asia". Excavations on Bhirmound at Taxila produced winged stag which is similar to the Persian mode1.45 The polished sandstone statues at Sarnath, wearing a crenelated crown, the method of wearing the waist cloth without the kaccha as we find in the two Patna Yaksha statues in the Indian Museum and the coiled armlet, decorated spirally, of the same statues, inevitably recall Achaemenian parallels.46 Much more important evidence of Persian cultural influence on the Mauryan court and cultural ideology is afforded by the account of the city of royal palaces (Pataliputra) left by the Greek writers as well as the actual remains of the city and the palaces unearthed by Waddell and Spooner. "That the magnificent palaces of Pataliputra reminded Megasthenes of the palaces of Susa and Ecbatana is not without significance."47 Here we must pause and remember that the city of Ecbatana was built by the Manda Jats as their first capital. There is no wonder that the same people, when they built their palaces at Pataliputra followed the same models. We must also note that stone on a large scale was first introduced into India by the Mauryas. In pre Mauryan India the houses were mainly built of mud and wood.
43. SIH&C, p. 94.
44. EHI, p. 128; IA. 1905, p. 201-03; PHAI, p. 245.
45. ASIAR, 1919-20, p. 23, pI. XI, Fig. 2.
46. IHQ, VII, p. 229, quoted AN&M, p. 356,
47 ibid, p. 357.
The use of stones was largely unknown in India. On the other hand in their Persian and Central Asian empire the Jats were habituated to this media of construction. "This adoption of the Persepolitan style of building at Pataliputra was not the result of t1le contact of the Achaemenian and Indian sculptures but was due to conscious adoption of the plan of the Achaemenian Hall of the Public Audience by the Maurian emperors "48 This remark further proves our theory that it was not the mere imitation Of the Persian art and architecture, but it was a deliberate conscious continuation of the style of architecture by the Mauryan Jats When they came to India from Ecbatana and other Central Asian areas. That is why, it is established that whatever extant remains of Mauryan period are available, were, "worked out by the orders of the Mauryan monarchs under their direct supervision". 49 Therefore, it is not merely the influence of Achaemenian empire or of the Greeks, that was working on the Mauryan mind. They themselves were the forerunners of the Persian and Greek empires! They them selves had started the methods of administration and polity as well as the style of architecture. That is why, "even after the extinction of Achaemenian power, importation of Achaemenian art objects to India seems to have continued."50 Here we would slightly modify the statement. The art objects were not imported from Persia; they were made- in India under the direct supervision of the Jat elite who had complete familiarity with the same. "It has been recognised that the Mauryan government was to a great extent influenced by the Achaemenid and Hellenistic traditions and Chandragupta Maurya did more to Hellenise India than Demitrius and Menander."51 Referring to the columns of the Hall of Pataliputra, the same authority concludes, "this definite and distinct school of sculpture is to a large though uncertain extent un-Indian".52 The edict of Asoka begin with the usual formula Devanampiya Piyadasi Evamaha which according to Senart, "is an absolutely isolated example in Indian epigraphy."53 The inscriptions of Darius as well
48. Chanda, ibid., p. 358.
51. Comp. History of India, Vol. II, p. 54-55.
52. ibid., pp. 90-91.53. ibid., p. 359.
There can be no doubt that the impetus came from outside. The very sudden use of stone and that too at once for monumental art of large designs and huge proportions, and the quick process of evolution from primitive to conscious, civilised and sophisticated form and appearance, from tribal to imperial outlook that is evident in the total effect of the columns, point unmistakably in that direction. It has been repeatedly suggested and not without reason, that this extraneous impetus and inspiration came from Iran of the Achaemenid emperors; some have suggested that the Mauryan columns are but Indian adaptations of the Achaemenian prototype. As repeatedly, attempts have been made to deny that extent of debt, not again without a certain amount of justice; but few have seriously doubted that West Asian art forms in general and Achaemenian impetus and inspirations directly in particular, were at work at the root'. 55 Here we must remember that Nineveh, the mighty Assyrian capital, had fallen under the Manda Jats in 606 B.C. Ecbatana, on whose model Pataliputra was built, was planned and built by the Jats under Deoices Manda. No wonder that they copied their original models. The manner of the loss of the empire, the long struggles to recapture the same, crowned with temporary success under Gaumata Manda in 529 B.C., before Darius could succeed on the throne, the forced flight to India and in other directions, must have kept the memory like a burning torch to beacon and to guide the Jats when they formed yet another empire under the Mor clan. Like themselves, the Mauryan art of government, administration, welfare of the people, art and architecture, dress and manners, social and religious ideas-all were immigrants in India.
Yet another significant pointer in the same direction is the attitude of the Mauryan kings towards the society in general and many typically Brahmanical rituals in particular. The ancient rishis were ascetics and practised self-control and avoided the pleasures of the five senses. They lived on food left at the door by
55. AN&M, p. 367.
the faithfuls. They possessed a noble stature and tender and bright mind and remained always engaged in their own pursuits. In course of time, however, they began to covet the king's bounties and objects of pleasure, such as women with ornaments, chariots yoked with stately horses. With an eye to these gains they approached king Ikshvaku and persuaded his to celebrate various sacrifices and received wealth, women and chariots, horses and cows, as fees from the king. Coveting more and more, they again persuaded him to celebrate sacrifices by offering of cows, the slaughter of which enraged the gods. From the sacrificial shed, the priest used to order "kill so many bulls for the sacrifice, kill so many he-calves, kill so many she-calves, so many goats, so many rams, all for the sacrifice. His servants, messengers, workers, all made the preparations either with tears in their eyes or weeping for fear of punishments". This account of the change of the ancient rishis into the ritual priests, is based on Buddhist texts. Its confirmation is found in the Srauta Manuals of the Brahmnas also. 56 The huge gains offered to the priests must have increased their greed and they even tried to gain the kingship which was expressly banned for the Brahmans by the Vedic literature. "Unsuited for kingship is the Brahmana", declared Satpatha Brahmana.57 But all the ancient rules had been changed and many of them were made into their direct opposites. "We shall probably never know exactly in what way and by what degree the Vedic rites and forms of the Epic and Rationalistic periods were changed into the norms of modern Hinduism." The ancient domestic and other sacrifices, "were supplanted by those very temple priests whom Manu contemptuously classes with sellers of meat and wine, with shopkeepers and usurers". 58
The Mauryas stopped all these rituals. Dighanikaya mentions a Buddhist priest advising the king to abandon sacrifices, involving "unnecessary loss of lives and wealth, and to provide seeds, etc., to those who desire to cultivate land, to furnish capital to those who wanted to do business, and to give job and suitable salaries to those who sought government services. King Drighanemi exhorted
56. AN&M, p. 289-91.
57. Eggling, III, p. 4.
58. From Manu smriti, quoted by R. C. Dutt, A History of Civilisation in Ancient India, Vol. II, p. 95.
his son to eradicate poverty and unemployment from the land by distributing work and money among the people. This secular approach to special problems, in itself quite modern and still relevant in the present-day society, was practised without any distinctions of high and low, caste and creed. The state advanced seeds, cattle and capital to promote cultivation. 59 The land belonged to those who cultivated it, and hence the inability to cultivate land rendered it liable to forfeiture.6o Kautilya classes the traders with those people who were really thieves but parade as gentlemen.61 Profits of the traders were fixed at 5% in the case of home made goods and 10% in the case of foreign goods.62 The concept of caste was completely given up and the privileges associated with it were shorn off all validity. Brahmans were not exempt from capital punishments. Even religion was used as a byword. For Kautilya, the use of temples was to make money from the people in the form of offerings, for the state exchequer. The state appointed officer, called Devatadhyaksha, is "directed to raise money by manipulating worship of divine images and exploiting credulousness of the people such as, organising fairs and festivals in the holy shrines of deities, improvising shows of miraculous naga images with changing number of hoods, and spreading the news of other miracles, etc."63 Even the authority of the Vedas, the lure of heaven and the doctrine of retribution are invoked only to push up the morale of the army.64 Asoka openly expresssed his disapproval of the ceremonies on the occasions of birth, marriage, death, etc., and called them petty and worthless.65 Arthasastra of Chanakya, permitted widow marriage for Brahhmans66. Divorce, too, was allowed and was termed 'Mukti' (liberation).67 Even Niyoga (getting children after husband's death), was permitted for Brahman widows.68 "Hence the old
59. Arthashastra, II, 34, p. 115.
61. ibid., IV, II, 76, p. 204.
62. ibid., p. 206.
63. ibid., V.
64. ibid., X, 3, p. 153.
65. Asoka's Rock Edict, IX.
66. Arthashastra, 3, 2, 39,41.
67. ibid.68. ibid., For further details see R.N. Sharma's Brahmins Through the Ages, 1977.
nobility and priesthood melted and merged in a common stream of humanity". The Yuga Purana declared, "in that case people would lose their nobility and religion. Brahmans, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras will behave and dress themselves alike".69
Thus we see that the Brahmanical caste distinction, rituals, bloody sacrifices, even wasteful expenditure on birth, marriage and death ceremonies were denounced openly. Laws of the land were made applicable to all, without distinction of caste or creed, Hence, writing after the commencement of the Christian era, Ashvaghosha reflects, that "the Brahmanas as caste had disappeared and instead of Chaturvarna (four castes), there was only one caste (Ekavarna)".70
It is important however, to note that all these policies were against the traditional Indian social, political and religious system. During that period, no native Indian dynasty could have gone so much against Indian traditions. Only the immigrants of Mor clan could do so. Perhaps this was one of the causes of their downfall too. This was certainly the cause of their inglorious neglect by the Puranic writers.
Chandragupta Maurya has been identified with 'Kand' of Masudi, 'Kaid' of Firdausi, and 'Kafand' of Mujmul-ut-tawarikh by Buddha Prakash.71 Now the last named authority has also been quoted by Elliot and Dowson in their History Of India As Told By Its Own Historian.72 And we have given this extract while dealing with the Dharan Gupta dynasty, later in this book. The important point however, is that 'Kafand' is expressly mentioned as a non-Hindu, non-Indian, who made fine speeches and won the heart of the Indians by his sweet words and complimentary deeds. If the implied identification of 'Kafand' with 'Chandragupta' is correct, then the way is cleared for the fact that he was a foreigner in India.
Thus we can conclude that the correct name of the clan of Chandragupta was Mor.It is the same word which is the surname of some people in England and written as 'More'. It is, again this word, which is the European Moor. We have already noted how
69. Buddha Prakash, op. cit., p. 200, etc.
70. Vajra Suchi, p. 195.
71. SIH&C, p. 91.
72. Vol. II, p. 108.
the Jats spread out from Central Asia in various directions and many of them went to Europe, ",here they were called Gots/Juts. We have also noted that the Jat clan Sibi, called Sibis or Suevis, went into Scandinavia and Spain. The Chavans of India are the Chavannes of France. The Gauls, the old name of the French is the same as the Gallan of India, the suffix 'an', added to clan name under Panini's rule. The Rose of India are the same as Rose of England, and the German Hans/Hanz are the same as Hans Jats. Similarly the Mor of India are the same as the More/Moor of Europe. Our purpose is not to write their history but to identify these people. "It is now generlly agreed that the old clan-name Moriya offers a very satisfactory explanation of Maurya, the name of the dynasty founded by Chandragupta, than the supposed derivation from his mother, named 'Mura' or father named "Maurya".73 The Puranas do not even hint at the peacock theories or the mother (Mura) theory. "They simply mention that the Nandas were uprooted by the Brahman Kautilya, who anointed Chandragupta as king. It was left to a commentator on the Vishnu Purana, first to suggest Chandragupta was base-born, by way of explaining his title Maurya. He sought to derive it from Mura, supposed to be a wife of king Nanda and mother of Chandragupta. But the commentator is guilty both of fictitious history and bad grammar. The derivative from Mura is Maureya .. Maurya can only be derived from the masculine Mūra which is the name of a Goat' in the Ganapatha of Panini. The commentator is more anxious to find a mother for Chandragupta than to follow grammatical rules."74
D.B. Spooner, who excavated the site of Pataliputra, was struck by his findings and he has given his opinion about the findings in his article "The Zoroastrian Period of Indian History".75 Some of his findings are discussed below:
"For Chandragupta's time, the evidences are more numerous and more detailed, and indicate a following of Persian customs all along the line-in public works, in ceremonial, in penal institutions, everything".
73. Majumdar, The Age of Imperial Unity, p. 56.
74. ibid., p. 55.
75. JRAS, 1915, p. 72 and p. 405.
Spooner rightly rejects any Greek influence on the Mauryan art and city palaces. According to him, "the evidences point to Persia only", and clearly show "upon the threshold of the historical period, a dynasty of almost purely Persian type."76 He mentions that the city of Merv was also called Maur.77 He has quoted K.P. Jayaswal who called attention to the fact that the name Maurya appears in the Avesta. He further mentions that the Mauryan weight and measure agreed, not with the system of Manu, but with the Persian system.78 The Mauryan coins have the symbols of the sun, a branch, a humped bull with taurine, and a chaitya type mountain. All these he considers as Persian symbols. But these are in fact Magian symbols. The so-called chaitya symbol is in fact a high mount, symbolising the earth and the irregular curving line alongside it, symbolises water. These two symbols of earth and water, alongwith the sun, are pre-eminently symbols of the Scythian Jatae. We must remember in this context the attempts of Darius to invade the Scythians on the Black Sea. Then too, the Scythian, kings swore by the sun god, and refused to surrender "earth and water." Thus earth and water (dharti aur pani of the present Indian Jats) have come down from ancient times. We must also remember that Tomyrus also swore by the sun god to give Cyrus the Great, his fill of blood. The tree branch is the symbol of the productivity of the earth, i.e. agriculture which again was the traditional occupation of these people. All these symbols on the Mauryan coins are therefore, the old Scythian/ Magian symbols. They were Magian by religion and of course the customs of the Magians had many things in common with the ancient Persians. But they were quite distinct. (See Note II at the end of this section.) That is why, during the time of Darius the the war of independence was fought for the protection of Magian religion from the Zoroastrian religion.
The Magis are very ancient priests as they are already mentioned in Yasna; they symbolise the Old Irish Mug, and Gothic Magus, meaning a 'helper', the one who labours to help and to repel evil-the most appropriate functions of the priesthood. 79 In
76. ibid., p. :72-73.
77. Ency. Brit. XVIII, p. 175; op. Cit., p. 409.
78. ibid., p. 411, also JA, 1912, p. 117-132.
79. J RAS, 1915, p. 791.
any case, we know that Gaumata 'the Magian', destroyed the religious sanctuaries, Ayadana, of the Persians and these were later restored by Darius. Now if the Magians were Zoroastrians at that time, there was no sense in destroying one's own religious places. That also shows that Magian religion was different from Zoroastrianism, although later on, the former Magis became the propagators of Zoroastrianism. We must note that the Parsi traditions aver that Zarathustra first preached his new doctrine to his Turanian friends.80 King Gustasp, the first royal convert, was ruling at Balkh, not at Susa. The Ari Zantoi, the royal governing class of Persia of that period, are clearly named as Jats (Zantoi: Getae).
The whole concept of sun-worship in India is connected with these Magian priests of the Central Asian Jats. They are called the Brahmans of Sakadvipa. The Bhavishya Purana is full of their customs. It is significant that for a considerable period of time, the Indians considered only the first three among the Vedas and the fourth Veda was not considered a Veda at all. It was only when these Magian priests were accepted as Brahmans, that the Atharva Veda was accepted as a full-fledged Veda thus making the quarter.81 There is evidence to indicate that Chanakya himself was a Magi brahman. That is why, he gives more importance to Anvikshiki than to the Vedas. That is why again that Chanakya makes the Atharvana minister as a supreme guide to the king. Even the full name of this Veda is Atharvangirasa. We know that Angirasas are definitely sunworshippers alongwith the Bhrigus. This fourth Veda in fact is more Persian than Indian, in the traditional sense. According to Vishnu Purana, Samba, son of Krishna brought 18 families of Maga priests from Sakadvipa to India to officiate as priests in the sun temple. Here we must note that these priests were brought not fromPersia proper but from sakadvipa, the land of the Scythians. It is another matter that in subsequent period of history, this land also came under the Persian empire. But that does not make it Persian or Zoroastrian in religion. It was Magian, pure and simple.
80. Bulsara, leOl, 1942, No. 35, p. 84-85.
81. Spooner, op. cit., p. 423.
About Spooner's idea regarding Lord Buddha, we are not sure but we heartily agree with him when he says that Persepolis was the "ancestral home", of the Mauryas. 82 They were from the ruling families-the Zantoi of Manda empire.
Now the question arises as to why this fact of the foreign origin of the Mauryas was not stated by Megasthenes and Chanakya. The answer is simple. Chankaya himself belonged to the immigrants. So far as Megasthenes is concerned, he was a Greek and in his time the population of Persia did not differ from the ruling clans in India. (See Note III at the end of this section.) Moreover, by his time, they had, "become so completely domiciled and so identified 'with the Indian community that they were not looked upon as aliens in our modern sense. They must have been there several centuries at least... "83 Here we must also remember that the Mauryas and other Jat clans were descendants of the Manda empire and had to flee from Ecbatana. Therefore, when they founded the empire in India, they were copying their original city of Ecbatana which was founded by them under Devaka (Deoices of the Greeks) in seventh century B.C. They were ruling in the heart of Persia and the ancestors of Cyrus and Darius were vassals under them. There is no wonder therefore, that they were found to be practically Persian by many scholars. The Mauryas have been aptly described as "a hot house" in India and after their transplantation from Ecbatana in the Indian "hot house", the Jats were grafted upon the Indian cultural mushroom and they became part of the mainstream.
In this context, the history of Persia and its neighbouring areas becomes clearer. It explains the motive for Cyrus to wage war (which cost him his life) against the Dahis or Massa Gatae along the Caspian sea. It also explains the motive for Darius to attack the Vrika, Kang and other Jat clans on the eastern side of his empire as well as his attack with vast preparations on the Scythian Gatae along the Black sea. In particular it explains the expedition into lndia which Darius ordered under the admiralty of Scylax. These Persian emperors had obtained the empire of Ecbatana but they were not safe as long as the Jats from the Indus to the Black
82. ibid., p. 409,
83, ibid., p. 430,
sea remained unsubdued. He must have known that many Jats had fled to the Punjab side. Darius must have felt the utmost necessity of exploring the rivers, the valleys and the plains of Sindh in order to find out everything about the new home of his adversaries. It was for this purpose that Scylax was sent in about 515 b.c. It is well known that Scylax made a report to Darius about everything that he found and after that, Darius must have attacked his former enemies in the Punjab on the Indus. That is why, parts of India at least the west of Indus river, were merged in the Persian empire. This expedition was not sent for any scientific purpose. Its purpose was purely political and military. It was an advance preparation for Darius' attack on India. (See Note IV at the end of this section.) Does It also explain the fact that the Persians did not advance further into India because their enemies were centered only along the Indus?
A number of other questions have to be answered in this connection. For example why is it that the republican states were formed on1y in the central and north western portions of India where the Jats are found even today? Why this republican spirit did not find expression in eastern and southern India? We have also to explain as to why the Sapta Sindhu area, the pride of the Vedic Aryans, suddenly became the object of strictest condemnation? 84 We have also to answer as to why India became caste-less, without any distinction of high and low. The answer to these and various other connected questions is the fact of arrival of the Jats into North Western India in the sixth/seventh century B.C. and later also.
The condemnation of the Mauryas by most of the Brahmanical writers is well known and has already been indicated. This is in direct contradiction to the treatment given by the Buddhist and the Jains to their history. Mudrarakshasa called Chandragupta Maurya as Vrishala, a derogatory term. It seems, this term was first started by Patanjali in second century B.C. Chaturavarna Chintamani of Hemadri fame also mentions that the Vrishals were irreligious. In the Mahabhashya, Patanjali gave the call of finishing the Vrishals
84. V.S. Agarwal, op. cit., 62; Vidya1ankar, Bhartiya Itihas, p. 414-515; Buddha Prakash, Political and Social Movement .... , p. 229.
85. III, Sec. 2, p. 771.
(जेयो वृषल:). He knew that the Vrishal Mauryas were very powerful, but some how they had to be conquered. Pandit Bhagvat Dutt raises the question about this call from Patanjali by saymg that this requires serious consideration.86 He stops short without giving it further consideration but we have to find out the reason. This call was given because the Mauryas were foreigners ruling over India. In particular, they did not follow the social, religious and political ideas of the traditional Hinduism. Hence the call, which in essence is a reflection of similar ideas in many an Indian mind of that time. This is further connected with the subsequent history because we know that the Brahmana General of the Mauryan army, Pushyamitra Sunga killed the Mauryan emperor Brihadratha under the pretext of showing him an army parade. Obviously, he was giving shape to the call given by Patanjali his purohit. Had not the Yuga Purana given a similar call by declaring that the Mauryas called themselves virtuous but were really devoid of virtue, subjected our country" to terrible oppression?87 The cat here is out of the bag because the Mauryas were clearly accused of oppresing 'our country', obviously because, they did not belong to our country, i.e. India.
Our remarks about the war of succession to the throne ofEcbatana are supported by the following facts:
- (a) Cambyses son of Cyrus, hears about the capture of the throne by Gaumata and he is not able to enter Ecbatana, the capital. On his deathbed in Syria, he exhorts the fellow Persians in these words: "in the name of gods ... I charge you all.. .... that ye do not tamely allow the kingdom to go back to the Mandas. Recover it, one way or another, by force or fraud..." 88
- (b) "After this voyage (of Scylax) was completed, Darius conquered the Indians, and made use of the sea in those parts".89 This shows that the expedition of Skylax was in fact a preparation for attack on the Jats in India.
- (c) We know that after the death of Cambyses (Kambujia), and before Darius could succeed to the throne, there were
86. BBKI, Vol. II, p. 265.
87. Mankad quotes in SIH&C, p.98.
88. Herodotus, BK. III, Chap. 65.
89. Rawlinson on Herodotus, Vol. III, p. 31.
- as many as 19 revolts in different parts of the the empire. The main centres of revolt were Armenia, Media, Archosia, Sogartia, Parthia, and Hyrcania. Fravartish the Manda revolted on the claim that, "I am Kshathrita of the race Huvakshatra". "The Manda troops who were at home
revolted from me. They went over to that Fravartish. He became king of Media." Chitratakhma, raised the banner of revolt on the same ground, i.e., that he was of the race of Huvakshatra. Parthia and Hyrcania (the land of the Virks) revolted against Darius and declared their support for Fravartish. Vahyazdata revolted in Yutia district and became the ruler of Persia proper. He sent an army to Arehosia: The Armenians fought at least 5 batlles, and Fravartish fought at least three battles. It is significant that most of these rebels were supporters of the dynasty of Huvakshatra, the Manda. Vahyazdata wanted to cut off Darius from the eastern region of the empire and wanted to come into contact with the areas by Fravarhsh. These details taken from the Behistum inscnption of Darius, make our point clear. These wars for the throne of Ecbatana were being fought under vaous leaders who were supporters of the Manda clan. Ultimately, however, they failed and Darius was victorious.
Finally we may mentin that the Mauryas were noticed earlier than the ancient Manda empire. Much earlier, we find them named Muru or Mor by the Egyptians scriptures. There these these Mores were called Amuru and Amor or Amorites. It is mentioned that initial vowel 'A' is added to make pronunciation easier for the Semites. 90 Thus this initial vowel 'A' has to be ignored in order to find the correct name of these people and this clearly remains as Mur/Mor. This is the same as the Moor of Europe and the Mor clan of the Jats in India. When they attacked the king of the eleventh dynasty of the Egypt, they were expressly mentioned as the people from, "the land of Djati". We have shown in the chapter on "Antiquity of the Jats" that this "the land of Djati" is the same "as the land of the Guti" and clearly means the land
90. CAH, Vol. III, p. 194.
of the Jats, Thus the Mor/Mur are expressly mentioned as the Jats in the twenty-first century B.C, (See Note V at the end of this section.) Naturally when these people and their brothers from other areas in Central Asia came to India and established the Mauryan empire, they did not feel at home and have been called "a hot house in India', as already explained above, Thus we can conclude that the Mor/Mur/Maurya were the same people who were attacking Egypt in the twenty-first century B.C. and were called Jats by the Egyptians and others. It were these people who founded the Mauryan empire and it is these people whose descendants now form the clan of Mor among the Jats of to day.
The identification of the Mauryas with Central Asia and in particular with the city of Maur or Maurav (present Merv) is further strengthened by reference available in Indian literature. In the Mahabharata and the Puranas these people and their country are called Mura or Muru. These are practically the same forms of the name which appears in the Assyrian records as Mor or Muru. In the Indian literature they are called Asura, regarded as a branch of the Aryans, because the Satapatha Brahmana mentions that the Devas' and Asuras were both born from Prajapati.
देवाश्च वा असुराश्च उभये प्रजापत्य:
It is stated that Mura was an Asura son of Kashyapa Prajaapati.91 He was the guardian of Pragjyotisha, the capital city of Narakasura. He had fenced the boundary of the capital city with 6,000 ropes, known in the Puranas as Mauravāsha.92 He goes to Mahameru, Identified with the Pamir mountains and challenges the Yakshas and Gandharvas to fight but none accepted the challenge, Thereafter Mura goes to Indra and challenges him to fight in his capital-Amravati with these words, "fight with me or leave this place". Indra did not fight and left Amravati and Mura ruled there for it long time. Ultimately Mura was killed by Krishna alongwith his overlord Narakasura.93 This attack on Amravati, capital of Indra, by Mura, finds support from Skanda Purana also where it is mentioned that the two warriors called Ugra and
91. Vamana Purana, chap, 6.
92. MBT, Sabha Parvan, chap. 38.
93. Bhagvata, X Skandha,
Mayura attacked the capital of Indra. Here, as in the other Purana, the name of Mura is Sanskritised into Mayura, the reasons for which have already been discussed earlier. The second name Ugra, is again a tribal name, the Ugrians of Greek writers, and the present Uighur of Soviet Central Asia. The name of the ropes of Muraa, called Mourava ropes, is again the same as the name of the City and the clan, Maurav, as per Persian records. Thus the Mura and Naraka are identical with the Mura and Nairi of Assyriyan records, the present Mor and Nara clan of the Jats. This area was definitely in the west of India, rather in the north-west and Pragjyotisha was its capital city. At the time of Mahabharata, it was ruled over by Bhagadatta who is called a king of Yavanas and also a king of Asuras. He was a friend of Pandu.94 He attended the Rajasuya sacrifice of Yudhisthira.95 Arjuna, defeats him in the North,96 and in the war he is killed by Arjuna.97 Vajradatta, son of Bhaga Datta was also killed by Arjuna.98 In Sabha Parvan both Mura and Naraka are stated to be rulers in the West.99
All this discussion clearly establishes that the country of Mura was in the North-West of India, and the present city of Merv can very well be identified with their ancient capital. As already mentioned, this city in the Iranian literature, is called Mourav or Maur.
In the later period we find the Maur clan as ruling in Rajasthan area. The Mor/Maur kings of Chittore are named Maheshwara, Bhima, Bhoja and Mana. In the eighth century A.D., they were ruling at Kota also where a ruler named Dhaval Maur is mentioned in an inscription of 738 A.D. 100. H.C. Ray suggests that the Mor/Mori kings of Chittore, belonged to the Paramara branch of the Rajputs.101 This is not correct because Parmara and Mor are two separate clans and neither is a part of the other.
94. Sabha Parvan, op. cit., 14/14.
95. ibid., 51/14.
96. ibid., 26/7.
97. Drona Parvan,29/48.
98. Ashvamedha Parvan, chap. 76.
99. Sabha Parva 13/13. मुरं च नरकं चैव शास्ति यॊ यवनाधिपौ, अपर्यन्त बलॊ राजा परतीच्यां वरुणॊ यदा (II.13.13)
100. IA, Vol. XIX, p. 55-57.
101. Dynastic History of North India, I. p. 5-6 (notes)a. Editor's note - Mūrā (मूरा) is the Rajasthani word for a strong rope used to control a camel etc.
Referring to the later Mauryas of Chittore, H.C. Ray suggests that the Mauryas were a sub-division of the Paramara.102 It further says that the Paramaras themselves were descended from the Rastrakutas, through Akalvarsa Krishnaraja (888 A.D, of South Gujarat).103 This theory has also been mentioned by the authors of The Classical Age.
This theory is patently absurd and the hollowness of the claim is self -evident by the fact that it is impossible for the ancient Mauryas to become a sub-division of the ninth or tenth century A.D. Paramaras or Rastrakutas. The Mauryas were ruling when the names of these later people had not even seen the light of the day. Such theories are the result of the pathetic plight of modern historians who never see anything beyond the Rajputs and want to cover every ruling family Within the Rajputs only, even while admitting that the origin of Rajputs themselves is uncertain. While the Mauryas were in no way connected with the later Rajputs, it is however, possible that some of the Mauryas have been accepted as Rajputs after ninth century A.D.
Here the name of the prince given as Assagetes by the Greeks is again Significant because it is not the personal name but the clan name of that prince. Its origin is Asagarta of Persian inscriptions and Herodotus, and it was after this clan name that the country was called Sagartia (Asagartiya of Persians) and the people were called Sagartians by the Greeks and Asagarta by the Persians. This clan name has formed from two words, viz., As or Asi + Garta meaning the Asi Jats. Their present nomenclature as Asiagh or Asiakh. The city of Hansi was founded by them, its original name being Asika. We have seen that Chitratakhma (Skt. Chitratakshama) was the king of the Asgartians when they revolted against Darius, the Great, for the restoration of the Jat empire in Ecbatana. Here the word Garta which was written by the Greeks as Getes is the same as the Sanskrit word Jarta or the present Jats.
102. ibid., p. 1154.
103. ibid., p. 842.
The brave fight of the Asgartians against Alexander the Great has been recorded in the pages of The Age of Nandas and Mauryas.104 It was they who wounded Alexander the Great in the battle.
As for the word Asi or As it is admitted on all hands to be a word representing the Scythians. A lady named Abhoha, who is also called Asi, is mentioned on the pedestal of a Buddhist image found at Katra Kesavadeva in Mathura. This word is also to be identified with the Sanskrit Rishika or Arshika-the name of the Scythian people. The Greek Asioi/Asiani are also from the same root.105
The fact that the Achaemenians were not the originators of the art, style, court manners, dress and weaponry at Ecbatana is amply supported by Herodotus. In fact the Persians adopted these things from their earlier overlords, the Mandas who had built the capital city. Herodotus mentions that the Persians adopted the costume of the Mandas. l06 He also mentions the adoption of Jat armaments by the Persians.107
The ruins of Persepolis have yielded thousands of fragments of stone vases, some ornamented with head of ducks and swans, which were typically Scythian motifs.108
It has been generally taken for granted that Megasthenes does not mention the king of Pataliputra as a foreigner. But is it really so? Has not Megasthenes clearly stated that they were called Prasii, meaning, "from Pars/Persia"? Let us examine this point. The extracts quoted here have been taken from Mc Crindle's Ancient India: as described by Megasthenes and Arrian, edited by Ramchandra Jain.
Frag. XXVI (Arrian, Indika, 10) says that "the greatest city in India is that which is called Palimbothra, in the dominions of the Prasians .... 109 .
104. op. cit., p. 51.
105. H. W. Bailey, Asica, 1943, p. 2·3; P & SM, p. 96, note-43.
106. op. cit., Bk. I, 135.
107. ibid., Bk. VII, 62.
108. R. Ghirshman, Iran, p. 176.109. Mc Crindles, Ancient India, p, 68.
Strabo, Arrian and Pliny mention the word as Prasii; Plutarch mentions it as Praisioi, a name given by Aelian and also by Nikolans Damas.11O Now the kingdom of Sandrokottos (Chandragupta) was called the kingdom of the Prasii; or, after its capital, Polibothrai also. Frag. LVI (Pliny's Hist. Nat. VI/21/8-23) says, "The river Jomanes flows through the Palibothri into the Ganges, between the towns Methora and Carisobora.111 Here the area of Yamuna river and Mathura is called Polibothri, i.e., within the Prasii kingdom.
Now if "the Prasii" were the Sanskrit Prachyas (Eastern) people, then how can we explain the fact that Mathura in Madhyadesa (middle land) and Indus in the Uttarapatha (North) or Paschhatya (Western land), are also called Prasii? If Indus is Prachya, (Eastern), then what is Western or where is the Western land of India? Obviously, the Prasii do not represent the Prachya people or land.
Cunningham was obviously not satisfied with the stock explanation that Prasii stands for the Sanskrit Prachya, and therefore he gives a different explanation. He says, "Strabo and Pliny agree with Arrian in calling the people of Palibothra by the name of Prasii, which modern writers have unanimously referred to the Sanskrit Prachya or "Eastern". But it seems to me that Prasii is only the Greek form of Palasa or Parasa, which is an actual and well known name of Magadha. It obtained its name from the Palasa or Butea frondose tree which still grows as luxuriantly in the province as in the times of Hiuen Tsang. The common form of the name is Paras or when quickly pronounced, Pras, which I take to be the true original of the Greek Prasii. This derivation is supported by the spelling of the name given by Curtius who calls the people Pharrasii, which is an almost exact transcript of the Indian name Parasiya." 112 Now, we do not know how and where the name of Magadha, is known as Paras a or Palasa, but it certainly
110. ibid., p. 57.
111. ibid., p. 139.
112. ibid., p. 205, note.
shows that after rejecting the Prasii-Prachya equation, Cunningham still remained in the dark. His explanation is no better than the one he rejects. Now, we have mentioned that the Mauryas were Mor Jats, who along with others, came from Northern Iran, after the empire of Manda Jats (the so-called Median empire) was supplanted by Cyrus the Great in the middle of sixth century B.C. We have also stated that the various clans of the Jats came and settled in the Indus area, during the wars with Cyrus and Darius the Great. Megasthenes duly supplies us with the topography of country called Prasian in the Indus delta, to which historians have not paid sufficient attention. Describing Indus and its tributaries, Frag. LVI, says, "It forms an extremely large island, which is called Prasiane, and smaller one, called Patale".ll3
Now everyone knows that Patala/Patale was in the Indus delta, and the Greek historians supply us the information that a Mor/Maurya (Moeros) was the ruling prince of Patala in 326 B.C. Yule identifies the Prasiane with the area enclosed by the Nara from above Rohri to Hyderabad, and the delta of Indus.114 Apparently Patala and Prasiane were adjoining. Now if Mor Jats were ruling at Patala, then is it too much to say that at Prasiane, they had their main stronghold? Is this Prasiane, a new home for the Mor clan, not the cause of their being termed Prasii by Megasthenes? In our view, this is exactly the position. They came from Persia (Pars in Iranian) and so their new home was called Prasiane and they were called Prasii-an exact parallel to the Parsis of today. We must note that the modern Parsis have retained their designation even after a lapse of 1,200 years. So there is nothing improbable if the Mauryas were called "Parsi" even after about 200 years of their coming into India. And now we must mention again that Curtius (IX/2/3) has called them Pharrasii (or Parsi of today), which goes to prove our point. So the kingdom of Chandragupta was called Prasii, after the Indus delta Mor stronghold of Prasiane, so called because they had come from Pars (Persia).
113. ibid, p.141, ABORI(1937) Vol. XVIII, pt. &. II p. 158-165.
114. IA, Vol. V, p. 330.
|S.No.||Greek names||Indian names|
|1.||Opiai||Opal or Uppal Jats; Utpala of Sanskrit.|
|6.||Cosyri||Khosar Jats, Kosar of Tamil literature, who attacked
South along with the Mauryas.
|7.||Izgi (Sizyges of Ptolemy).||Saggi-a Khatri clan.|
|8.||Mandei||Manda Jats, who lost the empire of Ecbatana, and settled in Sindh area, called by Megasthenes, after them, as land of the Amanda. They went to Magadha with the Mauryas.|
|11.||Cesi||Kesin of Sanskrit literature.|
|12.||Cetriboni||Khatri Jats and other Khatris.|
|13.||Megallae||Mogal/Mokal Jats, Mokar Rajputs, the later Maukharis.|
|14.||Chrysei||Karusha of Sanskrit literature, Khar Jats.|
|S.No.||Greek names||Indian names|
|19.||Lalii||Lali Jats, Laelih, of Chinese travellers.|
|20.||Rarungae||Ranjha Jats ? Ranga ?|
|22.||Oratae||Vatra; a Khatri clan?|
|24.||Horatae||Soratha/Rathi Jats (from Saurastra).|
|25.||Syrieni||Shirani, a Pathan tribe.|
|26.||Posingae||Pasang of Kashmir?|
|27.||Buzae||Bozdar Boloch, from Persian Buz (Goat)|
|30.||Dimuri||Dammar Jats; also of Kashmir.|
|31.||Boliange||Bhullar Jats, Bhullinga of Sanskrit literature.|
|33.||Sondrae||(i) Sontra Jats of Dera Ghazikhan (ii) Sandhran Jats.117|
|37.||Taxillae||Tokas Jats, from Taxila.|
|38.||Peucolaitae||From Pushkalavati, Prakrit, Pukkhaloti, Pankhal, Jats (Pingala of Brihat Samhita).|
|39.||Arii||Ariya or Hari Jats. Arian tribe from Ariana.|
|41.||Crocala||Karkal or Khadkal Jats.|
|42.||Saranges||Sarangh/Saramha Jats, Sarrangya of Vedic literature.|
|43.||Kekian||Khak Jats; Kaikeya of literature.|
|44.||Assakenoi||From As-Sekon, Sekhon Jats ? (cf. As-Digor, for Digor Jats).|
These are some rough and ready identifications.a
115. Tribes and Castes, Vol. III, p. 129.
116. ibid., Va. III, p. 427.
117. ibid., p. 423; see also Vayu Purana, 47/14; and Matsya Purana, 121/45.
a. Editor's note - As on today we have a good compilation about Jat clans on Jatland Wiki at http://www.jatland.com/home/Gotras . We have identified some more clans with Jat gotras as mentioned by Greek historians. These are at Jat clans as described by Megasthenes
The fact of advance preparation is supported by Herodotus. He has recorded that information about the topography, river system, etc., of the Indus area was brought by Scylax, and was used by Darius in his attack on India.
Even in India, there is evidence to suggest that the Mor/Maurya were called Jats or Gut. In many works, Chandragupta Maurya is mentioned as Chadergutta. 118 So far it has been taken for granted that the word Gutta here is a Prakrit form of Gupta. But is it really so? We must note here that even on certain seals, the word is 'Gut'. In certain inscriptions also the name "Gotiputra" (meaning the son of Got Gut Jat occurs.l19 There the person who is called Gotiputra and is also called a Got is stated to be of the Kodin clan. This Kodin is the same as Kaudain, the name of a place in Baluchistan, and the resent Kadian clan of the Jats. It is therefore, suggested that this point, Gutta/ Gupta needs re-examination.120
H.C. Ray Chaudhuri in his Political History of Ancient India mentions a few facts about the Mauryas which support our theory are given below :
- "The Adi Parvan refers to King Asoka who is represented as an incarnation of a Mahasura or great Demon, and is described as Mahāviryo-Parājitah, of great prowess and invincible.121
118. Mahavamsa, V, 16-17 and Vamsatlhappakasini, I, p. 180.
119. CII, Vol. III, p. 51.
121. op. cit., p. 4.
In Devimahatmya of Markandeya Purana Maurya is the name of a class of Asuras .. "Let the Kalaka, the Daurhnta, the Maurya and the Kalkeya Asuras, hastening to my command, march forth ready for battle". 122 Here the Mauryas are definitely called Asuras which shows their non-Indian origin. Further, the people called Kalkeya may be identified with the Kalkala clan to Which Vindhyasakti, the founder of Vakataka dynasty, belonged. Again it is a question of suffix only. Traditionally in practice the suffix 'al' is used after tribal names but in Sanskrit form the suffix 'eya' has been used here. With the former suffix the name will become Kalkala which is the form given in the Puranas and is the name of a Jat clan which even now exists in Meerut area of UP State.
In the pre-Maurya history of India the name of Poros has become a legend. Apart from Spitama, the leader of the Kangs, Variks and Dahis, who annihilated a whole division of the Greek army, and ultimately had to be beheaded by his own people for his refusal to bow his head before Alexander, Poros is the only other ruler who, not only fought against Alexander the Great but refused to ackwledge defeat and ultimately made an honourable peace with him. "Tall and stately in person, brave and courageous at heart, foremost in darting his Javelines at the enemy and a great terror on the held of battle", his heroic exploits in the battle of Jhelum in 326 B.C. were engraved on copper plates and hung on the walls of Taxila temple.123 The Indian works are practically silent about this brave son of India.
As is common knowledge, the suffix's' or 'es' or 'os' or 'us' are added to personal names by the Greeks in the same manner in which the suffix 'ka' is added to clan names by the Indian writers. By ignoring this 'os', the name of the hero remains Por. This is the name given by the Greek writers and-admittedly this is not a personal name but a clan name. The nephew of Poros is also called Poros by the Greek writers and we learn from Strabo that another kll1g of India named Poros, sent an embassy to the Court
122. ibid., p. 4, note 4.
123. R. C. Majumdar, Classical Accounts of India, p. 388; quoted SIH & C, p.69.
of the Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar. Therefore, Poros according to Greek accounts, is neither a personal name nor a dynastic name. It is a clan name and this clan is still existing among Indian Jats as is called Por or Phor. They are found in the Karnal district of Haryana, for example.
Possibly, the Por clan is connected with the Vedic clan of Puru from which the derivative is Paurava. According to Vedic literature Puru was also the son of Yayati and was allotted Bharatvarsha as his kingdom when the empire of Yayati in Jambudvipa was divided among his sons. We also know that after the battle of the ten kings, Anus, Druhyas, Purus, etc., went to western countries and founded kingdoms there. In the Persian Avesta, the clan is mentioned as Pouru.124 Whether Puru and Paur/Por are the same, we are not certain, although it is quite possible that it may be so. The Siddhus, for example, are also called Siddhas. Similarly Por may also be styled as Poru or Puru. Varahamihira in Brihat Samhitia mentions the people of Taxila, Pushkalawati, Ailavats, Kanthadhana, Ambra, Madra, Malava, Paurava, Kacchara, Danda, and Pingals.125 All of these are people from the Punjab or Uttarapatha region and apart from people of particular towns or countries, it lists four Jat clans, viz., the Ailavats, the Mallis, the Pauras, the Panghalas. The suggestion of Buddha Prakash that the prince Pururavas Aila who migrated from Bactria in Central Asia, according to Ramayana, may be having something to do with the Pauravas, is not correct because that prince is expressly mentioned as belonging to the Aila clan, Ailavata of Varahamihira and Ailavat Jats of today. This evidence however, shows that the Ailavatas migrated from Central Asia. It confirms our theory that all the Jats in India migrated from that place and the adjoining areas in different waves at different times. In connection with Poros, a people called Parvatakas are mentioned. Herodotus states that these Parvatas occupied a mountainous region of Media (Manda).126 These people were also settled in Drangiana, Arachosia, Sogdiana and eastern Baktra.127 All these
124. SIH & C, p. 28.
125. op. cit., IV, 26-27.
126. op. cit. Bk. 1, 101.
127. SIH & C, p. 30-31.
areas are the traditional homelands of the Jats and it is no wonder therefore, that the Pors came to India from these very areas. In the Mahabharata Paurava is described as "surrounded by horses" .128 This also indicates the same area as the ancient habitat of these people, because horse is an inseparable part of the Jats being from times immemorial. Even Taimur Lung mentioned that "a Jat without a horse is powerless."
Vishnu Purana mentions that after the rule of thirteen kings of Munda-clan and eleven kings of Mauna clan, eleven kings of Paura clan shall rule over India.129 The Vayu Purana mentions that eleven Mlechchas will possess the earth for three centuries.130 History of India as known today, does not mention any king of these clans. The Paura king who sent an embassy to Augustus Caesar, according to Strabo must be one of these eleven Paur kings. B. Upadhyayas, A Study of Ancient Indian Inscriptions, mentions 'Paura Janapadam Janam', i.e., people of Paur country? This also indicates that the Pauras/Pors were ruling in India near about the first century A.D. Another significant fact to be noted is that the clan name is given as Paur and not Paurava.
The Muslim historians too have mentioned the name as Por.131 Farishta, after mentioning the founding of the city of Delhi by Dahla, mentions, "he was however, attacked by Phur, a Raja of Kumaun and taken prisoner Phur ... opposed the inroads of Alexander, according to the Brahmanical and other historians. After Phur's death, Sansar Chand (Chandragupta) made himself master of India", Juna, nephew of Phur, regained his throne and ruled at Kanauj.132 Here we must note that Dahla or Dhila, Phur, Juna, and of course Chandragupta Maurya-all are Jats of the Dhillon, Por/Phor, Juna and Maurya clans. It is possible that Juna of Muslim writers may be the Jalauka of Rajatarangini of Kalhana who expressly states that Jalauka, the successor of Asoka in Kashmir, conquered the country up to Kanauj (Kanya Kubja.)133 "This implies that the successor of Asoka at Pataliputra in Magadha, lost his hold over the western half of India, up to Kanya
128. MBT. II, 27, 14.15.
129. H. H. Wilson, op. cit., 380.
130. ibid., note 65.
131. Elliot and Dowson, op. cit" Vol. I, p. 19.
132. Tribes and Castes, Vol. I, p. 25.133. Rajat, 1. 117.
Kubja" This remark of Kalhana makes it clear that Kanya Kubja was the dividing line between the dominions of the successors of Asoka in Kashmir and Magadha." 134 This fact of conquest of Kanauj, by Juna/Jalauka of the Por clan, after Asoka, is thus confirmed from two sources, viz., Farishta and Kalhana. The third confirmation comes from Parishishta Parvan of Hema Chandra which says that Samprati, successor of Asoka in Magadha, ruled over the eastern half of India, including the Deccan. This Will clear a lot of confusion about the successors of Asoka Maurya.
Our purpose here is not to write history but to identify the ethnic group to which the various Indian rulers and clans belonged, and to find out whether their descendants are still existing. It is our contention that practically nothing is completely wiped out from the earth and this applies to matter as well as to the people in fact much more to the people than to matter. The search should be to find out the present descendants of the ancient ruling clans. It wil1 be found that only in rare cases, has a whole clan or ruling group, lost its identity leaving behind no trace of It. As a rule the ancient people wil1 be still found existing in better or worse surroundings. The present Por Jats are the descendants of ancient Pauras and belong to the same clan as that of Poros the great adversary of Alexander and the Paur kings of Puranas and Strabo. It is for the historians to find out their actual history. For the Muslim form Phur/Fur we must remember that in Arabic script, the letter 'p' is written as 'f'. 135 Buddha Prakash has given evience from Shahanama and other sources showing the relations of Poros With Darius III. How Darius sought help from Poros whom he cal1ed "the ruler of the men of Hind, the man of wisdom, red and ardent soul" ....how Poros sent help to Darius against Alexander, but too late is al1 described by the learned author and need not be repeated here.136 We conclude this chapter on identification of Poros by quoting from McCrindle's Invasion to say that, "the name of Poros .... is formed from Paura or Paurava ....with the Greek termination 'os' added" 137. The Por/Phor Jats are still existing and belong to this noble clan of Poros.
134. SIH & C, Appendix.
135. ibid. p. 39.
136. Buddha Prakash, ibid, p. 38 ff.
137. Invasion, p. 402.
Some authorities have given an opinion that the name Porus has not been derived from Paurava and cannot be equated with this ancient name. "The guess that Porus might be Paurava is not very convincing".138 "Porus (is) not to be identified with Paurava but with a derivative of Pura of Ganapatha of Panini.139 Thus it is clear that Porus cannot be identified with Paurava or any ancient Indian name. Jayaswal's suggestion that it is related to Pura of Ganapatha of Panini seems to be correct because even today this clan of the Jats is known as Poriya or Phor, the later being the form given by Muslim historians. It seems that Puriya and Phor/Por are one and the same clan, though existing today under both the forms, among the Jats.
138. V.Smith, EHI,p. 56
139. K.P.Jayaswal, Hindu Polity, p. 67, note.60