Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Relationship with the Aryans
First Edition 1980
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Relationship with the Aryans
Central Asia - The original home of the Aryans
It is now generally agreed that the original home of the Aryans was Central Asia. Their original name, perhaps was 'Aila' and their land was called 'Ailavarta'. These people spread in various directions and the people who ultimately reached India, first settled in the Sapta-Sindhu, i.e., the land of seven rivers, viz., the geographical Punjab, Sindh, Kabul valley, Baluchistan, etc. It is significant that in the first book of Aryans, viz., Rig Veda the easternmost river mentioned is the Yamuna. Later on. when these people spread in the Gangetic plains, they gave the name of Madhyadesha to that fertile land and thereafter the golden plains of Ganga-Yamuna river system became the most important area for them. It was after their arrival in India that the name Aryans gained currency.1
The same Satapatha Brahmana, again mentions the introduction Of the- sacrificial fire into Videha country, by king Videgha Mathava or Videha Madhava. According to this account of Aryanisanon of India, the king carried Agni (the fire) Vaisvanara which burnt the ground. Starting from the river Sarasvati he "went burning along towards the east, till he reached the river Sadanira, identified with river Gandaka. "That one the "'Brahmanas "did not cross in former times, thinking, it has not been
1. Bhavishya Purana called the Jats as Aryans.
2. B.C. Law, Tribes in Ancient India, p. 196.
burnt over by Agni Vaisvanara." "Nowadays, however, (i.e., in the time of Satapatha Brahmana), there are many Brahmanas to the east of it. Mathava, the Videgha, then said (to Agni), "where am I to abide?". "To the east of this river be thy abode", said he.3 B.C. Law also mentions the views of Dr Weber, which are similar.4
From their original Central Asian habitat called the 'Aryanam Vaejo' or 'Aryan Bija', (i.e., the seed ground of the Aryans) by Persians, the Aryans spread into India in wave after wave formations. It was perhaps, during this time that the traditional fourteen Devasura Sangramas (wars) were fought between the Aryans who came to India and Aryans who remained in their ancestral place and spread into Iran, etc. It was the result of these political wars of ancient history that the two groups of Indian and Iranian Aryans became enemies. The gods of the Iranian people became anti-gods of the Indian people and vice versa. The Indian gods called Devas had their enemies called Asuras and similarly the Iranian gods, Asuras, had their enemies called Devas. It was the result of this civil war that the third Gatha of Zoroaster recorded as an inscription by Darius the Great, says:
- " I am a follower of Asura,
- I worship the Asura;
- I hate the Devas
- I hate the Deva worshippers."
The ancient Indian traditions too maintain that the Devas and Asuras both sprung from Prajapati, and later on, were contending for political supremacy. In the wars that followed, sometimes the Devas were victorious and at other time the Asuras were victorious. The Satapatha Brahmana says, "by fleeing northwards they (the Asuras) escape us! exclaimed the Devas". Further, after the famous battle of ten kings, mentioned in the Rig Veda, the Purus, Druhyus, etc., left India and went towards the western countries and founded kingdoms there. These Central Asian Aryans were also nomads like the Aryans who came to India. Their main occupation was agriculture-cum-cattle breeding
3. Satapatha Brahmana , Tr. Eggeling, XIII, pp. 104-106-
4. op. cit., p. 235.
and fighting. The Vendidad (Fargard II) mentions the wanderings of the Iranian people towards north till they reached a place where the sun is seen only once a year. That is why perhaps, B.G. Tilak as well as Penka, arrived at the conclusion that the original home of the Aryans was near the North Pole/Arctic area.
Meaning of the word Arya - Dr. Waddel, in his Sumer Aryans Dictionary, says that the Sumerian were physically and linguistically early Aryans and he has derived the word Arya, from Ara (meaning plough share and these people are supposed to be inventors of agriculture. Later on this word 'Arya' acquired the sense of "exalted and noble" because of their great contribution to agriculture. The Indian tradition further says that the great sage, Shukracharya was a Bhargava -a descendant of Bhrigu, the fire worshipper. They were like the Angirasas, another group of fire worshippers. This Indian tradition is supported by Thucydides who says that Xerxes (Kshaya-Arsha meaning 'abode of faith') had a chief counselor called UsaJ:lasa (Oesaenas in Greek). Now Usa nasa is also a name of Sukracharya who was the priest of Asura king Vrishaparva. The daughter of Sukracharya, as well as one daughter of Vrishaparva, were married to Yayati Aila son of Nahusha. Sukra himself is supposed to be one of the three sons of Bhrigu," the other two being, Atri and Chyavan. It was in this family line that Jamadagni and Parshurama were born. Rig Veda says that in the wars of Vashishtha and Vishvamitra, the Yavanas, Pahlavas and the Sakas, fought on the side of Vashishtha.
The Persians under the leadership of Yama (Yoma Yima), from Airyana Bijo, in about 1000 B.C., went to the North Pole area. There are several gathas in the Avesta, referring to the long treck to the far north where these people left colonies in areas good for agriculture and cattle grazing.
However, the more important is the fact that the Avesta also indicates another region to which the followers of Yama Journeyed. The early movement was slightly west of the north but this later movement was east of the north, i.e., towards Mongolia. This incident refers to the migration of a large number of Persian Aryans sometimes after 1000 B.C to the region now called 'Outer Mongolia'. That the people of Aryan stock from Northern Iran and other regions, travelled to and settled in Outer Mongolia, is proved by Mongolian language, which is unlike the language
of its neighbours. It has a considerable number of words derived from old Persian and even Sanskrit. Archaeological discoveries of subterranean tombs found at Gorny Altai, 50 miles from the Outer Mongolian frontier, further proved this migration in or after 1000 B.C. The findings in the tombs are human couples, embalmed, and supplied with food, chairs, tables, cushions, embroidered cloth, weapons, riding and drawing harnesses, and a dozen horses. A wheeled chariot with spokes, drawn by two horses, which is definitely of Central Asian origin, has also been found. Carpets of Persian manufacturing and designs of about 800 B.C. have been found. On the tapesteries which are of Persian origin, there are designs based on Avestan incidents.
The Archaeological findings at other places also show the Aryan features of the population. Ella and Percy Sykes, in their book Through Deserts and Oasis of Central Asia, say that in eastern Turkistan (modern Sinkiang province of China), there is still strong evidence of Aryan blood in the physiognomy of the people.
It is significant that even the Riung-nu (Hunas) were also of Aryan features. This is proved by the portraits of Huna soldiers being trampled under the hooves of the Chinese horses. These Huna soldiers have straight eyes, fine straight noses, and lots of hair and beard-the kind of features which are not possible in case the Hunas were Mongoloids. Further it is known that in the later half of fifth century A.D. after the death of Attila (454 A.D.), two tribes of the Hunas attacked the Holy Roman Empire and fought for 72 years, i.e., from 485 A.D. to 557 A.D. The names of these Huna tribes are given as Kulurguri and Utarguri who, later on, were called Balgari and gave their name to the country of Bulgaria in Europe.5 Now though it is mentioned that the descendants of the Kulars and the Utars, were called the Bals, it cannot be correct because all three are different clan names and are found among the Indian Jats even today and are called, the Kullars, the Udars and the Bals, respectively. Therefore, what must really have happened is that the war was started by the Kulars and the Utars when their clans were ruling and later on the Bal clan must have come into power and gave its name to Bulgaria.
5. J.J.Modi in JBBRAS, Vol. XXIV,1914,p.5
Our point however, in mentioning these facts is that all the three clans are called, 'Huns' and they definitely went to Europe in mighty wave from Central Asia under Balamir (376 A.D.), Uldes (400 A.D.), Roilas (425 A.D.), Rugula (433 A.D.), and Attila (died in 454 A.D.). These people though described as Hunas were certainly Indo-European by race because the same people even now exist among the Jats in India and as stated by Nesfield, 5a "if appearance goes for anything, the Jats could not but be Aryans". Dr. Trumpp and Beames have shown that the Jats are purely Aryans.5b Col. Tod too states this position and suggested a kinship among the Indian Jats, the Goths of Roman Empire and the Jutes of Jutland. H. Risley says that the Jats and Gujars "are purely Aryans, their nose index being even finer than that of the Parisians.6
Philologists protested against this identification on the ground that the language of the Jats is purely a dialect of Hindi but it has now been established by science that language is no proof of race. Further, Pandit Rahul Sankrityayana has mentioned that the Saka ladies were eminently famous in India for their beauty. The Indian Vaidyas (doctors) mention the habit of onion eating as the cause of their beauty.7 He has quoted Vagabhatta from his Aśtāngahridaya, to say:
यस्योपयोगेन शकानगणानाम् लावण्यसारादी विनिर्मितानाम्
However, our purpose is not to praise the beauty of Jat ladies but to throw light on their language. R. Sankrityayana has mentioned that the paramount god of the Sakas was the Sun (Surya). This is known, not only from the Greek writers, but also from the Sun-god statues wearing the long boots of the Sakas, found in India. These are the same boots which the Russians wear even now and the ancient Russians were the worshippers of the Sun-god before they were converted to Christianity. Some of the names of the gods worshipped by these people, taken from MAKI are given below:
5a. JKI, p. 120.
5b. Qanungo, OP. cit., p. 43.
6. Census Report, 1901, p. 548.
7. MAKI, Vol. I, p. 70.
Comparison with Shaka names
|English name||Sanskrit name||Shaka name||Remarks|
|Zeus||Dyau||Divu||Sky god, father|
|Baga (Iranian)||Bhaga (of Bhagwan)||Paka||Bog (Russian)|
Their chief or king was called Pakpuhr=Bhagputra (son of god). Another word for their king was Kanaga and the great king was called Mahakanaga equal to the Maharaja of Sanskrit. The Saka word for mind/soul or intelligence, was Mana, the same as Sanskrit'Mana'.8 From the Gothic (Jat) history, we know that in 449 A.D., two brothers named Horra and Hengist, led a colony from Jutland and founded the kingdom of Kent. This word Kent meaning a seashore is the same as Sanskrit Canthi, a- coast, and Gothic Kāntā. Among the Jats also, this word even now is prevalent and is spoken as Kānṭhā meaning 'edge of water' or a coast. A Jat sitting on the Kāntā of the village pond (Johad) looking after hhi buffaloes is a common sight indeed. It is further significant that the laws they had introduced, more especially the still prevalent one of gavel kind where all the Sons share equally are purely Scythic in origin and were brought, by the original Goths from the areas of the river Jaxartes in Central Asia to Europe.
When the Jats under Kasvans (Kushanas) come to the Indian border they were worshipping the Ksun, Skando, Kumaro, Mahaseno and Bizago gods, corresponding to the Sanskrit Surya, Skanda, Kumara, Mahasen, and Vishakha respectively. Skanda and Vishakha are mentioned by Panini as Laukika Devata i.e. popular gods. Skanda Kartikeya is the tutelary god of the brave Yaudheyas, the residents of Rohtak, and was definitely connected with the Sun-god, as is clear from the seals found by J. Marshall at Bhita, which have the legend, "Sri Skandasuryasya". The Ksun (Sun) temple of the Jats at Gandhara seen by the Chinese pilgrims, who praised its reliious importance in the nearby areas9 and
8. E. S. Drawer, in JRAS, 1954, p. 152.
9. BRWW, Vol. II, pp. 284-85.
the Sun temple at Multan, built by the Jauhla/Johla Jats under Toramana and Mihirakula In 505 A.D. 10 are too well known to need further details. The Sun temple at Mathura and Gwalior were built by them; and we may yet find evidence showing that the Konark, (Orissa) Sun temple too, was built by the Jats of Tank clan, whose numerous coins 'Tank' gave the name of 'Taka' to Indian coins. Historians agree that these Tanks/Taks, were Kusanas and are called the "Puri- Kusanas". Our purpose here is to show the predominant sun worship of the Jats- a thing which is common with the pre-Christianised Russians and the ancient Aryans. Their (Massagetae) only god was the Sun-god and they sacrificed horses to him. This fact shows that these Massagetae were identical to the race which brought to India the worship of the Sun.... and which celebrated in his honour the Asvamedha or horse sacrifice ritual described in the Rig Veda11 It is interesting to note that the sacrifice of the horse, especially a white horse on the top of the mountain, is mentioned as an act of good faith and seal of treaty of friendship between the Hunas and Chinese, even in later period.12
Ashvamedha - The grand solstitial festival, the Ashvamedha, or the sacrifice of the horse, practised by the children of Vaivasvata, the sun born, was probably simultaneously introduced from Scythia into the plains of India and the west by the sons of Odin. Woden, or Boodha into Scandinavia where it became the Hi-El or Hi-Ul, the grand jubilee of northern nations. Hya or Hi, in Sanskrit 'Horse'.13 This shows their identity with the Aryans.
Blowing the horns - Historian Elliot mentions that among the Jats, fighting against Muslims in the ninth century A.D. in Hazara and nearby areas, it was a custom to blow their horns while marshaling for battle.14 This custom of blowing the horns or the conch shells, in the old Aryan custom is very much in evidence in the Mahabharata war. Lord Krishna's conch shell is well known to all.
11. Rig Veda, I, 162, 2, 3, 18.
12. J.F. Hewitt, The Ruling Races of Pre-historic Times, p. 483.
13. Annals of Rajasthan, Vol. I, p. 21.
14. Qanungo, History of Jats, p. 229-30.
Inheritance of father's property - It has already been mentioned that under the Jat/Scythic system in India, Central Asia and Europe, all the brothers inherited their father's property in equal proportion. This custom is still prevalent in Kent area of Europe and of course it is still there in India too. We find that the Jats under Kubrat, cal1ed by the historians as king of the Bals, made a treaty with Roman Emperor Heraclins in 630 A.D. After his death, the empire of Kubrat was divided amongst his five sons in equal proportions.
We also learn that after the death of Attila, his three sons named Allak, Harnak, and Denghisek divided the empire of Attila in equal proportion. However, at the time of division, two other close relatives staked their claim to a share in the empire. Their names are given as Uzinder and Emnedzar. Therefore, ultimately the empire was divided in five parts. This system of division of father's properties, including the empire, is the ancient Aryan system according to which Yayati Aila was given Bharatvarasha by his father Nahusha and other areas of the earth were given to his other sons. Similarly the Yayati himself divided India amongst his sons. This important custom is still prevalent and al1 the properties of a Jat father are divided equally amongst his sons, and Latin law of primogeniture is never fol1owed.
Incidentally the so-cal1ed Hunas in Eastern Europe became Christians in 618 A.D. under their chief Zambergam.
The Maha Meru, or Sumeru mountains, are the core of Puranic and Aryan geography. Meru, known to the Iranians, Indians and the Greeks alike, is the central hub of the earth. And it is nothing else but the Pamir mountains.15 The Puranas mention three mountain ranges - running eastwest-on the southern as well as northern end of the Meru (Pamirs). The northern ranges are identified by S. M. Ali as under:
|Puranic name||Modern name||Remarks|
|1. Nila Ranges||Zasafshan-Tienshan||Ramaneka desa (Soggdiana) lies to their north|
|2. Sveta Ranges||Turkistan-Alai-Irak.||Hiranyaka desa lies to its north|
|3. Sringavan Range||Karatau, Kirghiz Ketman system||Uttara Kuru lies to their north|
15. S.M. Ali,The Geography of the Puranas
Jambudvipa - So, Uttara Kuru is the northern Siberian areas, and Uttara Madras were adjoining it. It is wrong to identify the Puranic Jambudvipa with India alone, though the term is used in that sense also at some places, obviously on account of ignorance. Otherwise, what are we to understand from the well known recitation, used for pinpointing the sight of sacrifice/offering of oblations, by the Puranas:
- "जम्बूद्वीपे भारतवर्षे उत्तराखंडे पवित्र गंगा तीरे "
(In Jambudvipa, there is Bharat; in the latter, there is Uttarakhand (northern region); in the latter, there is the sacred Ganga river, on its bank, there is (where this homage/sacrifice is being offered).
Therefore, Uttara Kurus and Uttara Madras, were not in India, but in Central Asia, beyond the Himalayan system, and the Aitareya Brahmana says, "Therefore in the northern quarter, the lands of Uttara Kurus and the Uttara Madras, beyond the Himavanta, their kings are anointed in accordance with the action of the gods."16 This directly shows the Aryanhood of those northern people, and indirectly identifies the original lands of the Aryan gods. The Jats are from these areas.
The Matsya Purana says about the IIavrita (northwest Pamirs) area of Jambudvipa, that it was quite widespread and large and is well known in the three worlds as the birth place of the gods.17 (135, 2-3).
- इलावृतमिति ख्यातं तद्वर्ष विस्तृतायतम्
- यत्र यज्ञो बालेर्वृत्तो बलिर्यंत्र च संयत :
- देवानां जन्मभूमिर्या त्रिषुलोके विश्रुता
Markandeya Purana describes the land of the Uttara Kurus, as the birth place of mankind.18
Now the question arises as to why the Puranas speak of the Central and Northern Asian lands as the birth place of the gods and mankind? Does it not show, among other things, that the Aryans original1y came from those lands? We should note that Arya is a Jat clan, too.19
16. Aitereya Brahmana VIII, p. 4.
17. Matsya Purana, 135,2-3.
18. Markandeya Puraua, Tr. Pargiter, p. 389.
19. Tribes and Castes. Vol. II.
Identity of Aryan lands - Again, we have further evidence of the identity of these lands.
Mahabharata says that the land of the Kurus, is on the north of Meru (Pamir) mountains.20 Mahabharata again mentions the Dakshina Kurus (southern Kurus) in Madhyadesa (central India on the Yamuna) in contradiction to Uttara Kurus (northern Kurus) who are mentioned towards north of the Pamirs.21 We know that a river called Kuru (Cyrus-Kurush) falls in the Caspian sea from the northwest. Does it not show the identity of Uttara Kuru lands? We know that the Vedic form of Kuru is also Kurus itself.
Further we have the Uttara Madra (northern Madra) and the southern Madra, the latter being in the Punjab. Cambridge Ancient History mentions, "the land of Uttara Pashtum", i.e., northern Pashtoons, somewhere near Armenia. Herodotus, too, mentions the Pashtoons at two different places; one as part of the thirteenth satrapy of Darius (with Armenia)22 and other on the upper Indus, i.e., modern Afghanistan.23 Herodotus, significantly mentions that the Ponians, a colony of the Tukarians, were shifted by Darius from Black sea area to Asia, perhaps near about Bactria.
All this discussion goes to show that the ancients had a far better idea of Asian geography than they are credited with and that they were a far more mobile people than the modern common man. To understand the ancient Indian history, we have to think of Jambudvipa from Mongolia to Syria, from Siberia to India, and not of India alone.
Aryan migration - The fact of the Aryan migration from Central Asia and the later migration of the Jats under various names from the same region, is attested by the changing names of the Caspian sea. It is well known that the Kashyapas were one of the main Aryan clans, the Caspili of the Greeks. When this clan was dominant in that area, the sea was known after them, as Caspian sea.
Later on the Vrikas came to power and they are called Varkan/Verka by the Iranians, and Hyrcan by the Greeks. After this clan, not only the land was called Hyrcania but also a mountain was named after them and of course the Caspian sea was called the sea of Hyrcania. The Virks of the present Indian Jats
21. ibid., I, 109, 10.
22. Herodotus, bK. III, 93.
23. ibid., bk. IV, 44; and bk. III. 102.
are the same people. In Sanskrit literature they, are mentioned as 'Vrikas, meaning a Wolf or Tiger. (cf. 'Hyrcan Tiger' of Shakespeare). Vayu Purana mentions the Caspian sea as Dadhi (Dahae) Sagar (sea) touching Sakadvipa.24
As per Vendidad (I), the first of the good lands and countries which god created was the Aryanemvaejo. This "seed ground of the Aryans" has been placed in the northern portion of present Azerbaijan, but the southwest plains of Siberia may have a better claim.26 This was the area of the gods as per the Indian traditions also and was called Uttarakuru. Further the Iranian Aryans had a tradition that they quitted their ancient home, because the power of evil, made it ice bound and uninhabitable. This tradition also points to the same northern Siberian plains from where the Aryans and later the Saka people came to India, Iran and other countries. The later people are sometimes called the Turanians and still later the Turks. But as already mentioned the Turanians and the Turks were not only the same people but had borne an identical name and they were the descendants of king Tur of eastern Iran. Again according to the ancient Iranian tradition, the founders of both the Iranians and the Turanians, were brothers.27
Now let us quote from the History of Persia, regarding the Aryans; :"the Aryan invaders were a primitive pastoral folks, owning horses, cattle, sheep, goats and watch dogs. They travelled in rude waggons the bride was captured and the family was based on patriarchal authority and polygamy............... After a long time they continued to be a number of loosely organised clans,
24. Vayu Purana, 49/75.
25. See History of Persia, P. Syke, Vol. I, p. 26.
26. ibid., p. 97.
27. J.J. Modi in ABORI memorial volume; and JBBARS, 1914, Vol. XIV, p.562.
- independent of one another, but usually ready to unite in case of danger."28
Authority of the clan - This picture of the Aryans is also true of the later nomadic people of Central Asia. In fact the authority of the clan was sometimes much more than any other authority. This tradition is still in evidence among the Indian Jats. In November 1976, during the days of emergency in India, the people of village Pipli in Sonepat district (Haryana), opposed the forcible vasectomy operations for family planning. The police authorities were driven back and therefore, these authorities made a plan to surround the village early next morning. Somehow this plan reached the people who belonged to the clan of Dahiya Jats. Immediately the clan power was sought to be utilised and messengers were rushed to the nearby villages, inhabited by people of the same clan and these neighbouring people were directed to come to the help of Pipli villagers. The call was immediately responded to and it is stated that about one lakh people ultimately collected for the defence of Pipli village. Our purpose here is not to describe this incident but to point out the channel of communication and authority. A single village has the authority to call on the help of the neighbouring villages. The Villages whose number is generally fixed, decide on further course of action and they can, on joint authority, send a request to the entire Dahiya clan for help. As per tradition followed even now such a request is bound to be responded with positive help. In case the entire clan too, is not able to meet the situaation, then the assembly of the elders of the clan called the Dahiya Khap, sends letters of request for help to the other clans and they too are bound to obey it. (Here the word Khap, is perhaps derived from the Saka word Satrapy or Khatrapy, and means an area inhabited by a particular clan.) In this way, even a single Village can activate the entire Jat population. The supreme body of all the clans is called "Panchayat Sarvakhap". The Important fact is that the directions of the Khap are bound to be obeyed irrespective of the social or legal position of the proposed action. This system of clan authority has come down from most ancient times and was in operation in the case of the Sibis, the Yaudheyas, the Malavas, etc., the harbingers of republican democratic system in India.
King was elected by people - We must remember that Deiokes (Devaka), the first Jat king of Manda clan in Ecbatana, in 700 B.C. was elected as a king - this being perhaps the first instance of its kind in world history where a king was elected by his own people.
Aryan features - Now back to the Aryan features. The Chinese annals recorded that the early population of Mongolia, had "red hair, green eyes and white faces." This long headed blond race also inhabited southern Siberia to north of Mongolia and therefore, the early Hunas belonged to the white race as against the Mongol features of the inhabitant of that land, which were certainly due to the mixing of Chinese blood.29 About their skin colouration, an idea can be had from a remark in Sahitya Darpana. Describing the Hunas, their freshly shaved chin is compared with an orange, showing thereby that the Hunas had abundant quantity of facial hair (cf. the Mongol's hairless faces) and that their skin colour was similar to the orange colour. The line in question is:
- सद्द: मुण्डित मत्त्तहूणा चिबुक प्रस्पर्धि नारंगकम्
(The orange competes with the freshly-shaved chin of a drink excited Huna.) This is perhaps the only direct reference to the complexion of the Hunas in Indian literature. But, Natya Sastra, the famous book on dance-drama, says:
- शकाश्च यवानाश्चैव पह्लवा बाह्लिकाश्च ते ।
- प्रायेण गोरा: कर्तव्या उत्तरां येश्रिता दिशम ।।
i.e., the Sakas, the Yavanas, the Pahlavas and the Bahlikas, the northern people are generally fair in complexion.30 About their language too, the Indian writers noted the preponderance of Sibilants; and Sakas were defined as people whose language is full of sibilants.31
- शकार बहुला भाषा यस्य स शकार:
This shows that they were bilingual. The Pañca Vimśa Brāhmaṇa says that the Vratyas were adikshita (non-consecrated), but they spoke a dikshita (consecrated or Aryan) language. The Vedic Index,
29. Mc Govern, Early Empires of Central Asia, p. 96.
30. IHQ, 1962, Vol. XXXVIII, p. 206,
31. ibid., p. 210.
too, considers the Vratyas to be Aryan by race and language. That is why the Encyclopaedia Britannica says that ever since the dawn of history, the Aryans are found living in Turkistan in Central Asia.32 Lastly, we know that the names of the first Huna emperors in Outer Mongolia in the third century B.C., were Maodun and Touman. These are Iranian names, to be compared with Fredun, and Teuman (king of Elam, seventh century B.C.) the last two being names of Turanian and Iranian kings respectively. Allak, Harnek, Ujinder (names of sons of Attila) are familiar to Punjabis, even today.
According to Strabo, the language of the Mandas (Medes) closely resembled that of the Persians, the Arias the Bactrians and the Sogdians.33 Again G.A. Pugachankova says that, an analysis of the data according to the groups-early Kushana (Kushans of the Heraios tribe), the Kushans, the Ephtalites, the mountain dwellers of the Western Pamirs-leads to the following conclusions.34
- (a) the type of the early Kushans can be regarded as the more, "north-Europeoids" and was apparently closer to the Yue-che type.
- (b) the type of the Ephthalites is closest to the mountain people of the Pamirs.
- (c) there is change of type from the early Kushans to the Kushans and Ephtalites.
- (d) between the two extreme types (the early Kushans and the Ephtalites) there is no sharp division. They are both variants of the single East-Iranian anthropological stratum, the last fragments of which have been preserved in the Pamirs and Northern Caucasus, and which can with certainty be distinguished from most ethnic types of Indostan and Western Asia, with the exception of the Iranian plateau.
32. EE, pt. 23, p. 639.
3. P. Syke, op. cit., p. 121.
34. Kushan Studies in USSR, p. l79.
Widow remarriage was one of the two major points of differences that the Jats, Gujjars and Ahirs had with the Brahmana priests at the time of fire sacrifice at Mount Abu, where many of them formally accepted all the conditions of Brahmana priests and were therefore called Rajputras. The people who are now called Jats, Gujjars and Ahirs, put two conditions before being formally converted to Hinduism, viz.,
- (1) No widow of a marriageable age shall remain a Widow, and she shall be remarried.
- (2) We accept your conditions that we should take to wife, a lady from our own clans. We accept this but in case no such lady is available then we reserve our right to take a wife from any other community or caste in whatever manner available.
These eminently realistic and modern ideas were not accepted by the Brahmans and therefore most of these people refused the proposed conversion and offer of high social status. The first point, viz., widow remarriage, is evidently an ancient Aryan custom under which the widow was supposed to marry a younger brother of the dead husband. This Aryan custom is mentioned in many Smritis. The practice of a widow marrying the brother of the deceased husband was so common that the very word Devara literally meant second husband (Dvitiyo Varah), according to Yaska. When the dead body was going to be cremated, the dead man's brother seized the hand of the widow lying beside and asked her to be his wife.35 Again this custom is again referred to: it says a widow is said to draw her husband's brother in embrace in bed just like a married woman draws her husband.36 Manu who ruled against widow remarriage,37 indirectly at least recognised such marriages because according to him, a son born of a re-married widow by a Brahmana father does not cease to be a Brahmana.38 Gautama acknowledges its existence by admitting the right of a widow's son by her second husband to inhent the
35. Rig Veda, bk. X, 18.8. उदीर्ष्व नार्यभि जीवलोकं गतासुमेतमुप शेष एहि | हस्तग्राभस्य दिधिषोस्तवेदं पत्युर्जनित्वमभि सम्बभूथ || (X.18.8)
36. ibid., X, 40.2. कुह सविद दोषा कुह वस्तोरश्विना कुहाभिपित्वं करतःकुहोषतुः | को वां शयुत्रा विधवेव देवरं मर्यं नयोषा कर्णुते सधस्थ आ || (X.40.2)
37. Manu, IX, 65.
38. ibid., III, 181.
property of his father.39 Vashishtha ruled that after the death of her husband, a wife of the Brahmana caste who has issue, shall wait for 5 years and one who has no issue for four years, before remarriage.40 The Rig Veda says:
- "Arise, woman, thou art lying by one whose life is gone; come to the world of living, away from thy husband and become the wife of him who grasps thy hand and woos thee as a lower."41
The Mahabharata says:
- "As a woman marries her brother-in-law after the death of her husband, so the Brahman having failed to protect her, the earth made the Kshatriya her husband."42
In practice also this custom was very much in vogue and we find Bali and Sugriva taking as wife the lady Tara, alternatively. Jayadratha wanted to make Draupadi his wife. Trishanku took the wife of a Vidarbha prince killed by him and had by her a son. Satyavati was sought in marriage by king Ugrayudha shortly after the death of her husband, Santanu. Arjuna accepted as wife the widowed daughter of Airavata, the Naga king, and had by her a son. In the Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Col. Tod gives an account of marriage of Hamir, king of Mewar, with the widowed daughter of Maldeo, Governor of Chittor. On the death of his father in 1365 A.D., their issue became the ruler of the proudest Rajput clan. 43 Dutta aptly says: "It is not surprising that references to remarriage of women are meager in the Epic literature. The wonder is that after the successive expurgations and revisions at the hands of later orthodox Brahmans, so much evidence of this custom has been allowed to survive."44
Even divorce was recognised and the equivalent expression in Kautilya's Arthasastra was "moksha". Narada says, "When the husband is lost, or dead, or turned a recluse, or impotent or an outcast, in these five kinds of distress, a woman can take a second husband. "45
39. Gautama, XXIX, 8.
40 For the views of Chanakya, see under Mauryas, and also R.N. Sharma. Brahmans Through the Ages; Chanakya permits, not only widow-marriage, but also divorce and Niyoga for Brahmanas.
41. Rig Veda, bk. X, 18.8.
43. For further details see Dutta in IHQ, Vol. XIV, p. 663.
44. ibid, p. 664.
45. ibid, p. 666.
The Levirate marriage (with widow of elder brother) was prevalent among the Hittites in Anatolia in 1700 B.C. and they were admittedly Aryans. The Manu Smriti regards the Yavanas, Dravidas, Sakas, Kambojas, Chinas, etc., as Kshatriyas who had fallen because they were, "seeing no Brahmanas". The relevant verse is given below:
- शनकैस्तु क्रियालोपादिमा: क्षत्रिय जातय: ।
- वृषलत्वं गता लोके ब्राहमणादर्शनेन च ।।
But, this is the height of arrogance of the priestly contractors of Brahmanism, "which in latter times, stigamtised all the Punjabis as outcastes." 46
At present we see that many Brahman widows are being re-married and the old objections have been washed away by the floods of time and change. Even on the second point relating to marriage outside the caste, the ideas have undergone a tremendous change and today we find many intercaste marriages which are directly helping the unity of the nation. For example Prof Sher Singh, a minister at the centre, has married a Brahman lady. So many Brahmans, Jats and other ladies are being married in other castes. Thus we find that the conditions which were not acceptable to the Brahmans priests in the sixth century A.D. have been wi1lingly or otherwise accepted in the twentieth century, especially after 1947, when India cast away the yoke of the British rule. During the last 30 years notwithstanding three Prime Ministers of India, being Brahmans by caste, the thirteen hundred years old ideas of the Jats/Gujjars/Ahirs, have been accepted in practice. The other day, Prime Minister Morarji Desai, blessed about 16 couples at Ahmedabad (Gujarat), out of which there were two Brahman girls married to Sudra boys and three higher caste Hindus married to Sudra girls.47 Characcteristically, a Jat says to his daughter, "Ā betile phere, yu mar gayii to aur bhatere." (Come, my daughter, get married; if this fellow dies, there are many others.)
To sum up, in the words of an eminent historian, "in physical features, language, character, sentiments, ideas of government and social institutions, the present day Jat is undeniably a better representative of the ancient Vedic Aryans, than any member of the
46. Pargiter, Markandeya Purana. p. 312, notes.
47. Hinduslan Times, May 29, 1978.
three higher castes of the Hindus, who have certainly lost much of their original character in the course of evolution through many centuries. "
Their Mode of Migration
The mode of migration of the ancient Jats from Central Asia to India and other countries makes interesting reading. Central Asia is aptly described as "the heart of Asia", pumping fresh blood into its various arteries and veins. This fresh supply of 'blood' by the 'heart' is first noticed when these people came to India as Aryans. Why they migrated, what were the compelling circumstances, we do not know . But something must have happened to compel them to branch off into various directions. Perhaps they wanted fresh lands and new pastures.
After the migration of the Aryans from Central Asia, again the Situation is not clear but we find that in 700 B.C. or so the Manda clan established their empire under Deioces, whose son Frawary (647 B.C.) succeeded him. In 585 B.C. he was succeeded by his grand son, Astyages (alias Ishtuvegu). His daughter Mandane named after their tribe, Manda, was married to a minor prince from Elam, named Cambyses. In 550 B.C. Ishtuvegu was dethroned, after a battle, by Cyrus, the son of Mandane and Cambyses. Thus was lost one of the first Jat empires of Central Asia. Later on, however, efforts were made to regain the empire and Gaumata, leader of the Mandas, took the throne back after a bitter fighting. B;!t within six months he lost it this time to Darius in March, 521 B.C., and he was killed in the Sokhyavati palace of Ecbatana. In those times of tremendous changes, sufferings and upheavals many clans of the Jats came to India and settled in Afghanistan, Punjab, etc. This is the first historical incident that we are sure of. The migration must have cootinued for decades, even longer. We, therefore, find these people settled in Punjab at the time of Panini (firth century B.C.) who mentions many towns and cities within the heart of Punjab, having their names ending in Kantha, the modern Kand of Central Asia. V.S. Agarwala has already been quoted to say that these cities must have been established by the Scythians prior to the time of Panini. We know that the area beyond Indus river was under the Manda empire and therefore it must have been to this area that they fled when the empire was lost, But the Kang Page 99
Jats in north Sogdiana and Massagetae of the Caspian sea, refused to surrender and it was by the latter, under their queen, Tomyris, that Cyrus was killed in the battle. The name, Tomyris, given by the Greeks is not a personal name but a pronoun, meaning "queen". The Saka word is "Tamuri" meaning "queen", which Herodotus wrote as Tomyris.48
The next migration on a large-scale is heard of in the second century B.C. when the Sakas and later on the Kushanas came to India and reached the European borders also. The cause for this mass migration was the infighting between the various clans; This process continued even up to the seventeenth century because we know that in the fourth/fifth century the so-called white Hunas came to India, in the eighth/ninth century, the Turks came along with the Arabs and the Central Asian people were continuously supplying fresh blood to the Mughal empire of Delhi. Many nobles and commanders of the Mughal Court were people from Central Asia. In the eighteenth century this process stopped, perhaps because the Europeans started entering India via the high seas, their points of entry being Madras, Goa, Calcutta, etc.
Thus we find that Central Asia was in fact serving as the nerve centre and fresh blood was being continuously supplied to various Asian nations including India. Their mode of migration is aptly described by R. Sankrityayana in these words: "Imagine a huge crowd. Some pressure is put at one end of the crowd. The part that is put under pressure, in turn presses the next part and so on, till the pressure wave reaches the other end of the crowd. The last part of the crowd must flee or it would fall to ground. Similarly the people between the two extreme parts, must have moved ahead in order to escape falling on the ground and being crushed. This was the process in operation in Central Asia. When the Hunas were pressing the Yue-che, the latter fled to Iran and India; when the Jujuans were pressing the Hunas, they too spread southward and westward, and a similar thing happened to these people when they too were pressed by the Turks, the Tatars, the Mughals, etc."49
48. See MAKI, Vol. I,
49. See MAKI,
Thus we find that something happens in Central Asia and right from China to India to Iran to Turkey and to Europe also, there is an immediate impact. Shall we say, that Central Asia sneezes and the rest of Asia catches cold? It is in this context that the history of Central Asia is very very important for a proper understanding of the history of India. If there is any lesson from history, it is this:
- "India has to watch and watch keenly, the various ripples and waves in the Central Asian deserts and oases. These are bound to affect India sooner or later. Forewarned is forearmed."50
The Mount Abu Conversions: birth of Agnikula Raiputs
In the sixth century A.D., there was a lull in the "fresh blood supply'" from Central Asia into the veins of India. The last inncursion of the Hunas under Toramana and Mihiragula had taken place. The earlier arrivals were already holding the reins of political supremacy. They were conquerors and they were kings, holding the most important offices and properties. The finer agricultural lands were in their hands. There was no chance of these people being driven out, like the Britishers who were driven out of India in 1947. They were following their own religious practices and they had their own priests for that purpose. The Maga priests from the north of Iran had come and settled in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Malwa. In the time of Panini also, they had their own acharyas, who were doing the job of offering solace to the soldiers dying in battles, etc.
The orthodox Brahmans were finding it difficult to live with their traditional privileges seriously abridged. Most of the donations of the 'agraharas' were being given to the new 'Brahmans'. That is why the inscription of Kharavela says that good Brahmans had fled away from the land of Rathikas and Bhojas. It is to this very situation that Kalhana refers in his Rajatarangini, when he says that the receiver of Agraharas from Mihiragula in Gandhara are the meanest Brahmans.
In these circumstances the priestly class thought it necessary and very much in their own interest to try to share in the
50. For further details see T. Talbot Rice. The Scythians
[Page-101]: donations and charities from the kings. With this end in view, the Vashishthas organised a fire sacrifice at Mount Abu in Rajasthan and many of the newcomers were 'purified' by fire. They were given the name of Rajputra, meaning the royal princes or the sons of the Kings which they already were. It is interesting to note that the big landlords in Iran especially in the Siestan area, were called Vispuhr, or Vaspuhr meaning the sons of kings. The Indian term Rajputra is an exact translation of this Iranian word. Vis is of course the word for the king in Vedic literature but its place had been taken by the word Raja or Rajanya in India of that period, whereas it had continued in its original form in Iran, The Puhr is the Persian form of Sanskrit word Putra meaning 'son'. The Saka word for the son of god was Pakapuhr corresponding to the Sanskrit Bhagaputra.51 The existence of the Saka Vispuhrs in Iran is attested by the Sassanid history from which we know that the Vispuhrs and the Shahrdars rebelled against the Iranian king Shahpuhr-II, after the death of Hormizd-II, in 309 A.D. The Indian title of the modern Punjabi Sardar, is derived from the Iranian Shahrdar.
Back to the fire sacrifice. The fire sacrifice was carried out and the four main tribes of Parmar, Parihar, Chauhan and Chalukya were formerly converted to Brahmanism. "This story of the birth of Agnikula Raiputs is duly mentioned by Chand Bardai in his Prithvirajaraso, and this is generally accepted by the historians. A few instances from the inscriptions are given below showing the mode of conversion:
- (i) The inscription of Chaluka Virdhavla and Som Singh Parmar of 1287 VS speaks, "From the sacrificial altar of Vashishtha sprang, up their ancestor Paramara. In that family there was first Dhuma Raja and then Dhann-Dhuka ..."52
- (ii) But the inscription of 1344 VS found from Patnarayan (Sirohi), says "the sage Vashishthha created Dhauma Raja from a fire pit on Arabuda (Mount Abu) to bring back his cow, and invested him with Pramara Jati and his own gotra...... Here there is no mention of the first
52. EI, Vol. XX, p, 71.
- Paramara and it shows that Dhuma Raja was the first person from Pawar/Parmara clan, who was converted. The inscription of 1378 VS repeats the same story.53
- (iii) Pahewa inscriptions of a Tomar family gives the names of their three generations, and says that the family sprang from a king Jaula, who lived ages ago. 54 This shows that the Tomar Jats and Rajputs were an offshoot from the Jaula Jats. This is not true. The Tomars are as old as Jaulas.
- (iv) the Rāso story says that from the sacrificial pit, the first to appear was the Pratihara and he was placed by the sage on the road to the palace, i.e., for guard duty. The next to appear was Chalukya, who was brought forth by Brahma from his hollowed palm. This is an instance of Sanskritising the name of Central Asian people. The Chulik/Sulik, were made into Chalukya. The next man to appear was the Pavara, the excellent hero, who was called by the sage, as the slayer of the enemy (Paramara). This is the second instance of the Indianisation of their original name. The last one to come out from the fire was the Chauhan who was four armed, holding a sword in each arm! The impossibility of a man with four arms, did not stop the author from mentioning it.
- (v) The Prasasti of 1151 A.D. of Chalukyas of Vadnagar says, "at the request of the gods, to protect them from the Danavas, Brahma, when performing the Sandhya ceremony produced the hero Chulukya from the Ganges water in his hollowed palm"55
- This shows that the Chalukyas were converted on the bank of the Ganga also. 56 The name Culika was noted as similar to Sanskrit Culuka, and so it was Sanskritised into Chalukya.
- (vi) Bilhan in about 1085 A.D., also gives the same Chuluka descent in his Vikramānkadeva Charita.
53. ibid., p. 96 (Serial No. 677).
54. EI., Vol. I, p. 244; article by R. Hoernle in JRAS,1905.
55. EI., Vol. I, p. 301.
56. JRAS, 1905, p. 23.
- (vii) Mahakuta inscriptions of Mangalesha says regarding Pulkeshin-I, "his body was purified by the religious merit of oblations performed after celebrating Agnistoma and other sacrifices; that he was descended from Hiranyagarbha (Brahma), accepted admonitions of the elders and was good to the Brahmanas "57
Here the mention of 'Agnistoma Yajña' is interesting. These stomas were specifically prescribed for Brahmanisation of foreigners. 58 Another word used for the foreigners, was Vrata/Vratya, and according to Weber, they were non-Brahmanical western tribes comprising yaudhas (warriors). 59 Vedic Index (II, 344) agrees with this view.
- "It is therefore, laid down that the Vratya-stoma sacrifice can be performed in ordinary fire. (laukika agni).60
Mangalesha was the grand son of Pulikesin-I and this inscription was recorded by him. Therefore, when he says something about his own grandfather, it has to be taken as true. And in the words of Hoernle, "it is a fairly plain statement of adoption of Brahmanism by the foreign invader or immigrant, Pulikesin-I and he were given membership of Manavya gotra and descent from a lady of Harita gotra."61
- (viii) About the Parihars, we have two prasastis of 861 A.D., found at Ghatayal and Jodhpur.62 These are the inscriptions of two half brothers Bauka and Kakkuka. Their father Kakka had married twice, his one wife, mother of Bauka, was Mahārājñi. It is stated that the two brothers formed the twelfth generation of their Parihar dynasty and that the founder of the dynasty was one Hari Chandra. Therefore the time of Hari Chandra is the first half of the seventh century A.D., by counting 20 years time for one generation. It is stated that Hari Chandra was a Brahmana and had married a Brahmana lady as well as a Kshatriya
57. EI, VII, APP, No.5; IA, XIX, p. 17.
58. V. S. Agarwala, op. cit., p. 441-42.
59. Weber, History oj Indian Literature, p. 78.
60. V.S, Agarwala, op. cit., p. 442.
61. JRAS, 1905, p. 26.
62. ibid., 1895, p. 1; and 1895, p. 513.
But Hari Chandra is also called a Rohilla and Rohilla is a-clan name of the Jats even today. Therefore, Hari Chandra was either the Rohilia or a Brahmana. He cannot be both. Anyway this story also shows that the Parihars might have been converted in the beginning of the seventh century A.D.
- (ix) We also find the word Rajputra in Rajatarangini where in Rajputras are termed foreigners, and described as brave and loyal, though arrogant. Their bravery is praised by Kalhana as against the cowardliness of the local Kashmiris. Further a Shahi dynasty of Kabul and Udabhanda is also mentioned63. These scions of Lalliya Shahi, after their defeat in 1021/1022, are mentioned as coming to Kashmir, where they were called 'Shahi Vansaja Rajputrah' i.e., Rajputs of Sahi Dynasty.64 It is also mentioned that when Harsha died in 1101 A.D. at the hands of his rebels the noble ladies of Sahi dynasty, sought death in flames65.
Here is evidence of what was later known as the Jauhar. Lastly, Kalhana says 'to-day, the appellation Sahi throws its lustre on a numberless host of Kshatriyas abroad, who trace their origin to that royal family."66
This comment shows the high regard and esteem in which the Lalliya Sahis were held by Kalhana. And it further proves that this dynasty was not of Brahmanas but of Kshatriyas who were called Sudras by some Brahminical writers. It is therefore, rightly stated that the Rajput clans are the result of inter-marriages of various invaders and native women of Indian ruling classes.
There are three main objections against this theory. The first objection is that the Rajputs, who have Aryan features, cannot be the descendants of the Hunas and the Gujjars who were Mongoloids. But this objection is wiped out by the latest discoveries
63. Rajatarangini., bk. V/VII.
64. ibid., bk. VII, 144, 178,274.
65. ibid., bk. VII, 1550, 1571.
66. ibid., bk. VIII, 3230.
[Page 105]: and research which show that the Hunas had at least a very strong element of Aryan blood. The excavations of their tombs reveal their Aryan features. The description and representation of the Hiung-nu (Hunas, by the Chinese bear out their Indo-European affinities unmistaakable terms. For example, the barbarian, whom Ho-chu-Ping's horse is shown to be trampling under its hoofs has a moustach and beard, uncommon amongst the Mongoloid, as pointed out by C.W. Bishop. 67 We learn from Chin-Shuthat the Hiung-nu soldiers slain by by the order of the Chinese Shih-min, who became the ruler of northern Honan in 349 A,D., were distinguished by high noses and full beards.68
The second objection is that no foreigners married the Indian royal princesses. It is stated that there was a one way traffic, in the sense that the fair ladies of the foreigners were taken as wives but no Indian lady was given in marriage to the foreigners, Gujjars, Hunas, etc.
This argument is also quite baseless because many instances can be quoted which show that foreigners did marry into Indian royal houses, Kalhana mentions that Pravarasena II, the son of Toramana, was born of a lady from Ikshavaku famiy. Here Toramana was definitely a Huna (or at east Kusana) and the lady was from one of the most important Indian royal races, i.e., the solar race. The marriage of Dhruvadevi with Ramagupta and later with Chandragupta Vikramaditya, who were immigrant Jats, is well known.
Another instance is the marriage of one Ekra Dalla whose wife is named as Gahapala daughter of Grihapal. Here also the lady is obviously from the Indian side and her husband is of course a foreigner. This instance is from Kusana inscription, a1ready quoted. It is wen known that even in Central Asia, these Gujars, and Jats were in the habit of taking the Chinese ladies as wives. Even in 1420 B.C.a Mithra (Aryan) lady, was married by the Egyptian king Thutmosis IV and his son, Amenhotep did the same. The famous Pharoah Ikhnaton, married the world famous beauiy, Nefetiti, who was a sister of king Dasaratha, an Aryan king.
67. Artbus Asiae, 1928-29:, Vol, I, p. 37.
68. SIH&C, p. 284.
[Page 106]: Later on, we find these Central Asian people marrying into the royal family of Sassanid emperors of Iran. Kawadh, Nausheravan, and Hormizd-ll had married the daughter of Kusanas, and the so-called white Hunas had married a sister of emperor Piroz.
Still later, the same thing happened in India when we find that Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan had all married Rajput princesses an at east three great Mughal emperors were born of Rajput ladies.
This argument is therefore, of no consequence and these marriages were in keeping with their ancient tradition. If there was a failure, then it was the failure of the Brahmans who made such fantastic rules that no outsider could come into the Hindu fold. It is aptly stated, that "if the Mughal emperors, when they formed matrimonial alliances with daughters of Rajput princesses, had at the same time, adopted Brahmanic Hinduism, we should now have a Mughal caste of Hindu Kshatriyas".
The third and the last objection of Upendra Thakur The Hunas in India is that there is no evidence that the Gujjars and others, out of whom the later Rajputs developed, came from outside India. But here also Thakur is on weak ground. The word Gujjar is heard for the first time in 585 A.D. when Prabhakar Vardhan, father of Harsha, is stated to have defeated them. Prior to that date, the name Gujjar does not appear. Even the name the state, which was called Gujarat after the tenth centur A.D., was Lata and not Gujarat. Inscriptional evidence has also been found showing a person with a foreign name, claiming to be a scion of Gusur clan. It has also been shown that the Chinese word Wusun was pronounced as Gusur from which the word Gujar seems to have come. It was later Sanskritised as Gurjara. We have already mentioned the inscriptional evidence of the Kusana period, showing the persons bearing foreign personal names but "Indian" clan names.68a
The later connection of the Rajputs with the solar and lunar dynasties, i.e., with Rama and Krishna, is the work of the obliged Brahmans. After their formal conversion, the Rajputs began to give handsome charities and donations to the Brahmans, who
68a. Compare Gusura Simhabala of Indian inscriptions' and Gusura Viharavala of Central Asia. (T. Burrow, "A Translation of the Kharosthi Documents from Chinese Turkestan", London, 1940, p. 35, s. no. 187).
[Page 107]: in return gave them established - and proud lineage and invented prasastis in honour of their lords. A similar thing is stated to have happened with Shivaji when he was about to be coronated. The Brahmans raised objections that the clan of Shivaji was not of full-fledged Ksatriyas and therefore, he could not be made a king. Later on after receipt of handsome donations the house of Shivaji was connected with the house of Udaipur (solar race). Most of the Rajput clans are still found in Central Asia. Th clan of Chalukya Rajputs, viz., Chulik, has many members in Soviet Central Asia and they are even now called Chullik.69
Incidentally the term Vratya had an entirely different meaning in the Vedas and the Briihmanas. Sankaracharya says that Brahma is Vratya because like the latter, he is above all purifying ceremonies.70 Atharva Veda says that "Vratya means magnanimous, a favourite of the gods, a source of energy to the Brahmanas and Ksatriyas alike. A Vratya was moreover, a superior god, wherever he went, the gods and the whole world followed him...He walked like a king." According to Prahna Upanishad the Vratya was a supreme being, endowed with all the qualities of Brahma.
According to S.C. Chakravarty from whose article these quotations have been taken, "the hordes of northern people came to India and when they occupied different parts of Aryavarta and obtained political power, they could no longer be looked down upon as Mlecchas or impure so they were Indianised and made Kshatriyas... The term Vratya has probably applied to these ruling races who, either by some Vedic ceremony or in course of time, when their true origin had been totally forgotten, came to be regarded as Kshatriyas. The Licchavis were also Kshatriyas in this sense."71
Thus, the Vratyas, coming from the land of the gods, required no purifying ceremonies. But this position seems to have undergone a sea of change and the four types of Vratya stomas (purifying sacrifices) were prescribed for those very people.72
69. For other clans, see the chart given in the Appendices.
70. IHQ, Vol. IX, pp. 444-45.
71. ibid., p. 446.
72. See also A.C. Banerjee, Studies in the Brahmanas, chapter V.
[Page 108]: Finally, a quotation from Upendra Thakur himself, a quotation which is self-explallatory and explicit though he lamely tries to avoid this conclusion in his book, The Hunas in India.73
"The epigraphical records of the period faithfully cover their warlike activities and point to their gradual merger and assimilation in the orthodox Hindu society through clashes and subsequent matrimonial alliaces. The scattered bands of the Hunas had not yet shaken off their primitive character and war mentality and got invo1ved in fierce clashes with all the major powers of the time one after another on some score or the other. But the redeeming feature of these bloody clashes was the gradual emergence of a new political race on the Indian scene resulting from the blending of two widely divergent cultures-the Mongol and the Indian. This new race-the Indian Hunas-while on the one hand inherited the fighting, genius and sturdy character of their ancestors, on the other imbibed slowly the finest traits of their new cultural contracts with the royal Indian families and aristocracies. And, in no time, they came to be regarded as one of the numerous clans of the fighting Rajput community all over the country"74
And, Sir D. Ibbetson says, "It may be that the original Rajput and the original Jat entered India at different periods in its history, though to my mind the term Rajput is an occupational rather than an ethnological expression. But if they do originally represent two separate waves of immigration, it is at least exceedingly probable, both from their almost identica1 physique and facial character and from the close communication which has always existed between them, that they belong to one and the same ethnic stock; while whether this be, so or not, it is almost certain that they have been for many centuries and still are so intermingled and so blended into one people, that it is practically impossible to distinguish them as separate. wholes" .... "I think that the two now form common stock, the distinction between Jat and Rajput, being- social, rather than ethnic."75 However, some authorities maintain that Rajputs were anciently called Rajanya. But Rajanya was the name of a tribe, and according to Amar Kosa Rajanyakam
73, Chapter VII, p. 204.
75. Tribes and Castes, VoL II, pp. 362, 364.
Matsya Purana describes the entire ceremonial rebirth of a royal person from a jar or an Urn or a pot which is called Hiranya Garbha (golden womb vessel) and which was donated to the Brahman priest after the formal ceremonial conversion.77
This theory however is as baseless as any other. Of course there were inter-marriages with the local Indian families but to suggest that the birth of a whole caste took place from such marriages is sheer impossibility. And on the other hand we have the Uighur or Ugrian people in Central Asia. How do we account for their origin?
The word Rajput is not mentioned by Huen-Tsang in the seventh century A,D. Referring to the times of the Arab invasion, (Eighth to eleventh century A.D.) Buddha Prakash observes, "the word Kshatriya is seldom met with, and the term Rajput had not yet become current".79 Again, according to Dr P. Saran the word Rajput in the ethnic sense is not used until the tenth century A.D.80 Even the term Thakur mentioned a few times in the narration of Muslim historians represents a clan, the present Thakran Jats for example. The names, Rai, Rana, Rawat, etc., are titles turned into clan names. Rai clan as such is known to exist in Iran in a much earlier period. The first Ranagi (Ranahood) was bestowed upon a Jat by Mahmud bin Kasim and Ravat is formed from Rauth, or Raut, or Rat, meaning king in eastern Persia. When used for the first time by Hari Bhadra Suri, the Jain author, in 529 A.D. (or, 788-820 A.D. according to H. Jacobi), the word 'Thakur' stood for the name of a clan which was fighting another clan named Sabaras (present Sabharwals ?). Buddha Prakash who has made a study of the word Thakur, has arrived at the following conclusions:81
76. JBORS, 1930, p. 472.
77. D.D, Kosambi, Indica, 1953, p. 203,
78. Y.P. Sastri, JKI, p, 51.
79. SIH&C, p, 243.
80. Studies in Medieval Indian History, p, 23,
- (i) This word was first used in Prakrit and thence became current in Sanskrit.
- (ii) At first, it signified a tribe but later on it became an honorific and was employed as such by men of prestige and position.
- (iii) This name Thakur was given to the Kshatriyas or warriors but later on it came to be used by the Brahmans also and lastly, it became a synonym for God.
- (iv) That this word was not current in the literature of the early period.
- (v) This word was borrowed from some exotic, i.e., foreign source. We fully subscribe to these views and our claim is that like other clans, the Thakran clan of the Jat came from outside and that is why the name is not Indian.
We have already shown that prior to the seventh century A.D., the word 'Rajput' does not appear anywhere. Perhaps the earliest mention of this word is found in the Kura inscriptions of Toramana, the Johl Jat conqueror. Therein his sons and daughters are called 'Rajputra. That means the word was used in its natural sense, viz., "the son of king", an extract equivalent to the Persian word, Vispuhr or Vaspuhr, which also means "the son of king". In fact, vis, in Sanskrit also, means king and Puhr is a Persian form of the Sanskrit 'Putra'. Therefore in India too, as in Persia, in 309 A.D. and even earlier, the word should have been Visputra. But the term vis (king) had already passed away from Sanskrit after the Vedic period, and during the seventh century A.D., the word used in India in its place was Raja. Hence it was used as Rajaputra when the orthodox Brahmanism was revived under Sankaracharya and the old four-fold division was sought to be revived in order to establish the superiority of the priests. And we have also mentioned that Kalhala in Rajatarangini expressly called the'Rajputs' as 'foreigners', 'haughty' and 'brave and 'royal'.
To understand the phenomena, we have to go deep into the tremendous social and religious changes that were taking place in the seventh and later centuries. The once dominant Buddhism was almost suddenly wiped out and orthodox Brahmanism took
its place. How did it happen? We know that Mihirgula had destroyed many thousands Buddhist stupas and temples and otherwise harassed the Buddhists after his discomfiture at the hands of Buddhist king Baladitya. As per Buddhist records, Mihirgula killed or sold as slaves, thousands of Buddhists on the Indus river, and ordered destruction of all other chaityas and stupas "throughout the five Indies", i.e., throughout all the five parts of India. This must have acted as a catalytic agent and the whirlwind tours of Sankara and others, further stoked the flames. Efforts were made by the Brahmanas to assassinate the last Buddhist emperor of India, Harshavardhana. Fortunately there was no success and the culprits were punished, Ultimately, Ahimsa was adopted as a Hindu ideal and Gautama Buddha was accepted as an 'Avtara' (incarnation of Vishnu).
With such elaborate preparations and precautions, psychological pressure was put on the people, in particular the ruling families. Otherwise also there was a lacuna in the Brahmanical caste system; it had Brahmans but no Kshatriyas. Under the idea'of democracy
and equality, brought by the Central Asian Jats and Gujjars, and the universal brotherhood of Buddhism, all India had become one caste. There were no Brahmans, Ksatriyas or Vaisya or Sudras but for negligible exceptions. This position is evidenced in the repeated lamentations in the Mahabharata and the Puranas, which definitely say that all India had become one caste, and the Sudras of former times addressed the Brahmans, as "Bho"-a term of equality, similar to the present-day Hindi terms, 'Aiy' or 'Are: Pandit!
Under this process, the willing people were offered the status of Kshatriya and a high position in a revived Hindu society. Those who embraced the new revived religion, were termed 'Rajaputs/Ksatriyas'. It is worth remembering that many of these newly converted Ksatriyas were called 'Brahma Kshatra', or even outrightly Brahmans. This was so even in the case of Guhil family of Udaipur Ranas! The ancient Vratya stomas were freely used to convert the 'foreigners' into the Hindu fold. The Mount Abu fire sacrifice was the first of the four types of Vratya stomas prescribed for this very, Purpose. Thus a new class of Kshatriyas was produced, which helplessly depended upon their religious preceptors for their position and power. Once converted, they
could not go back to their original Jat and Gujjar brothers. Thus the process of mutual acrimony was started wherein the Jats and Gujjars; looked down upon the renegades and conversely the Rajputs and Brahmans declared all others as Sudras!
An exactly similar thing happened when Islam. Came on the scene soon after. Many-Rajputs ,and Brahmans were reonversed to Islam, and once they became Muslims, they started to hate their ex-brothers and sisters and claimed to be superior to them.
So, the significance of the term Brahma Kshatriya should not be lost sight of. It represented only the ruling families and their relations and descendants, who had accepted the Brahmana as their preceptor in religion. But this did not and cannot make them Brahmanas.
The Jats and Gujjars and many Brahmans and other priests did not feel it necessary to change anything. They did not like the 'high and low' grades of social system and baulked at the social evils of the ban on widow remarriage. They knew that these ideas were divisive and disintegrating in nature and their fears came true when the mighty rise of Arabic Islam measured swords with them. This divisive system was thus the cause of their undoing. 82
These are not hypothetical observations. These are facts. None of the Muslim historians even mention the Rajputs in their struggles in the Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, Makran, Kaikan, Afghanistan, Gazni, Kashmir, etc. In the History of india, As told by its own historians the word Rajput does not occur at all.83 The learned authors must have found it intriguing. Always on the look out for any term which may denote the word, they found 'Takkars'-a Jat clan, and hesitatingly and doubtfully, they suggested that it might be Thakurs, a term later on used for Rajputs. But Elliot and Dowson, to be fair, always put the question mark against this identification. 81
Thus, "amidst social disturbances created by the influx of the foreign invaders who were, of course, assimilated in Indian society, there was the resurgence of the orthodox forces and a fervent attempt to regulate society on the basis of the chaturvarṇya",
82. Majumdar & Pusalkar, The Classical Age, 1962, p.IX.
83. Elliot and Dawson, Vol. I.
84. ibid., p. 164, note 2, and p, 458. See also chapter on Sind,
fourfold caste system.85 Even the Brahman priests were allotted "a low status in the Brahman varna by the orthodox... It is not clear how far the low status assigned to them was on account of thein being foreigners and how far it was due to the particular religious and social ideas propagated by them. Their role in the development of the image and temple worship, as well as astrology and magic, appears to have been significant." 86 See also notes at the end of this section.
As to the theory advanced by some English writers that the Jats were offshoots of the Rajputs, we have already tendered enough material to demolish It. It is exactly like putting the cart before the horse. If not from earlier periods, right from the time of Ashtadhyayi which mentions "Jata Jhata Sanghate", the existence of the Jat confederacy in India is fully established. The Sibis, Dahiyas, Mores (Mauryas), Varikas, Tanks, Mans, Kangs, Lohans, Rathis etc. are proved to bthe offshoots tenth or eleventh century Rajputs who themselves were but converted Jats and Gujars? The absurdity of this theory will be clear to any sane person who studies the theories of their origin. Dahiyas are supposed to have been born from the churning of curd. Gills are supposed to be so named as they were residing in wet (gilli) lands. Mores are supposed to be peacock tamers! Suliks (Solankis) are supposed to be born from the hollow of the palm; Rathors are supposed to be born from the spine (Rath) of Indra! Kuswahas are supposed to born from tortoise ! These are but purile fairy tales, exquisitely expressing the mental bankruptcy or intellectual dishonesty of their inventors!
It should be noted that the Man, Dhillon, Virk, Kang, Her, More, Johl, Pauniya, etc., are not found among the Rajputs. The reason is simple none of them were formally converted to the orthoox Brahmanism. Thus we must ignore all these so-called Rajput-descent stories and other nursery tales. Not knowing meanings of these Central Asian clan names, the Indian pundits associate the various clans, with bird, animals or other things to which these names had some resemblance in the prarakrat language of
85. Article by G.R. Sharma in Central Asia, ed· Amalendu Guha, p. 117. 86. ibid., pp. 116-117.
India. The Rajputs, when thus named, were not only foreigners but they were also recent arrivals, in most cases. That is why R.C. Dutt wrote in History of Civilisation in Ancient India: "There is no doubt that the (Rajputs) were newcomers within the pale of Hindu civilisation and religion. Like all new converts, they were fired with an excessive zeal to revive the religion they had embraced. Brahmans worked on the zeal of this new race of Kshatriyas, and the Chauhan and the Rathor vindicated their claims to be regarded as Kshatriyas by establishing the supremacy of the Brahmans. "87
Medhatithi, a great commentator on Manu, directed: "A king of meritorious conduct could conquer even the land of the mlechchhas, establish chaturvarṇya there, assign to the mlechchhas a position occupied by the chandalas that render that land as fit for sacrifice as Aryavarta itself." 88 This is clear indication of the expectations of the orthodox priests from the kings under their influence. The kings were not only directed to establish the fourfold caste system, but they were also directed to degrade their own citizens. Apart from being inhuman and anti-social, these directions are against the duties of a king who must needs be as a father to his citizens. It is significant that these directives were mainly ignored not only by the Mauryas but also by the Kusanas, the Guptas and even Harshavardhana. We know that all these kings were above religious fanaticism and in their dealings with the public they acted purely on secular principles, in spite of the fact that Chandragupta Maurya and Samprati, were followers of Jainism, Ashoka was a follower of Buddhism, and some of the Gupta kings were Buddhists and others were Bhagvata. Harsha also favoured Buddhism in his personal life, for which an attempt was made by the Brahmans to get him murdered.89
87. p. 165.
88. Quoted in The Classical Age, p. IX.
89. Majumdar, Ancient India, p. 237; and D. Devahuti, Harsha: A. Political Study, 1970, p. 154.
The casteless society favoured by the Central Asian people is also indicated by the fact that apart from the worship of the Sun, they were followers of Buddhism and Shiva-both being believers in human equality. Even today, in the vast areas from Punjab to Mathura and even in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Malwa, etc., the people are followers of Shiva, more than any other god. It is interesting to note that in the area around Delhi, and in particular in Haryana, almost every village has a temple dedicated to Shiva and there are practically no temples devoted to the other Hindu gods. In this respect we must refer to the opinion of Daksha about Mahadeva Shiva, wherein Daksa raised four objections against tbe participation of Shiva in the proposed sacrifice. These objections were.
- (i) Shiva did not accept the Varnaashrama Dharma.
- (ii) His family, gotra, and country were unknown.
- (iii) He did not know the Vedas and so was not a Brahman.
- (iv) He was neither a Kshatriya nor a Vaishya nor a Sudra.90
It is an admitted fact that 'Dāma' or 'Daman' ending names are of the Scythian origin. They came to India from outside, according to all authorities. The western Satraps, who ruled over Sindh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Malwa, etc., with their capital at Ujjain for about 400 years had such names ending in Dāma. Now among the Gwalior branch of Kachhwaha Rajputs, we find a ruler named Vajra Dāman (975-95 A.D.). The Chauhan branch of the Rajputs from Gujarat had rulers named Maheshvara Dāma, Bhima Dāma, and Hara Dāma. Is it not an indication that the later people called Rajputs were foreigners?
90. Vayu Puran, quoted in IHQ, 1952, Vol. XXVIII, p. 261-262
Solanki (Shukla) dynasty, for example, clearly says that the first Solanki/Chalukya, came to Abu through the fire-sacnfice. (अग्नि द्वारेण प्रयसौ स शुक्लोअर्बुदपर्वते ). Elsewhere, the same Puranas says that the Mleccha Mehanā (Meenas of RaJastnan, मेहना म्लेच्छा जातीता) and the Aryan Jats (जट्टा आर्यमया स्मृता:), are the remanants of Chauhan warriors. (ये शेषा: क्षत्रियाश्चापहानिजा:). 90a
Jat Rajput Connection
We have already seen that three people came to India as invaders/immigrants. They were the Jats, the Gujjars and the Ahirs (Abhirs in Sanskrit), i.e., the Getals, Gusur (Wusun) and Abars/Avars of Central Asia. (See Note 1 at the end of this section). They were mainly sun-worshippers but influenced by Buddhism, Zoroastrianism/Mithraism and other cults. They had their own priests called Magis or Shaman. They had no social divisions, like the Indian "caste system". They had only two categories, viz., the rulers and the ruled. Gradually they were practically fully Indianised and adopted Indian names and religious practices too. Those who became "Hindus" by practice, without the Brahmanical octopus-like grip, remained-and continued to be called - Jats, Gujjars and Ahirs, although their names were sought to be Sanskritised as Jartas (?), Gurjaras and Abhiras. Those of them, who were formally converted to 'Hinduism', with fully and complete acceptance of Brahmanical ritualism and other paraphernalia were termed Rajputs. The causes of this schism or division, were rather social than religious, as we have already shown and shall also comment further, later in this chapter. Here we want to show that the Jats and Rajputs had common ancestors. The Rajput and the Jat clans are the progeny of the same progenitor.
90a. Bhavishya Purana, by S.R. sharma (1970, Barreily), pp. 171, 174-175.
up to later centuries.
History of Bhattis and clans derived
Bhattis are a Jat as well as a Rajput clan, and fortunately for history, they have left their annals in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) where they ruled for centuries. These records of theirs, have been included by Col. James Tod in his well known Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, in three volumes. We are quoting from this work.91
The Bhattis of Jaisalmer trace their origin to the same Jabulistan/Gazni area of Afghanistan, where the Jat clans were ruling. Their annals, written by Brahman Sukhdharma of Mathura give the usual Yadu line of Sri Krishna of Dwarika up to Naba, and then the Brahman writer says, "Thus far from Bhagvata, and I continue the history of the Bhattis.... " Here is clear admission that the genealogy of the Yadus has been given from Bhagvata Purana and the Bhattis who sought to be connected with the Yadus, are connected with 'Naba'. It is the same thing as in the Vishnu Purana92 where Sujata is arrived at in the genealogical line and the Jats are sought to be connected with Sujata because of the similarity of names. To continue: King Gaja, founder of Gazni is arrived at, then his son, Salbahan, who had come to Punjab, to found the city of Salbahanpura (Salpura) after the loss of Gazni. (See Note II at the end of this section.) He had fifteen sons, including Baland, Rassalu, Naima, Lekh, Neepak, Sunder, Vacha, Rupa. Baland succeeded and had seven sons, namely, Bhatti, Bhupati, Kallar, Jinj, Sannor, Bhynsrecha and Mangru. Kallar had eight sons, whose descendants are designated 'Kallar', almost all of whom became Muslims. Jinj had seven sons ....whose all issues bore the name of Jinj (the present Jinjua clan). Bhatti succeeded his father ..... and had two sons. "With Bhatti, the patronymic was changed and the tribe thenceforth was distinguished by his name."93 This is again a clear admission that the clan name was different up to Baland, (the name however is not given) and the three sons of Baland, viz., Bhatti, Jinj and Kallar started three new clans after their names. The original clan name, was either Lalli or Johla-the clan of rulers of Jabulistan, etc. Now Bhatti and Kaller/Kaler are Jat clan names too, and incidentally Mr. K.S. Jenjua, I.A.S. former Deputy Com-
91. Vol. II, p. 242.
92. Translated by H.H. Wilson.
93. ibid., p. 243.
missioner of Jullundur is a Jenjua Rajput. This continuous founding of clans in every generation of the ruling families is the basis of Kalhana's statement that, "to this day, the appellation Shahi throws its lustre on a host of Kshatriyas abroad, who trace their origin to that royal family." 94 The expression, "Śāhi Vaṃśya Rājaputrah"95 meaning the Rajputs of Sahi dynasty of Kabul/Gandhara conclusively proves that these Jat kings of Johl and Lalli clans later on began to be called Rajputs, at least in twelfth century A.D.- Kalhan's time-and that this process had already started. Bhatti had two sons, Masur Rao and Mangal Rao. Masur Rao had two sons, Abhe Rao and Saran Rao. The sons of Abhe are called Abhoria and "Saran quarreled with and separated from his brother, and his issues descended to the rank of cultivators and are well known as Saran Juts".96 The second son, Mangal Rao, had six sons, and he fled from his kingdom leaving his children in hiding with a banker; they were married in Jut families and thus Kalloria, Munda and Seoran Jat clans, are named after the three sons of Mangal Rao. (The names of these clans, however, are Kallar, Mund and Seoran, respectively.)
- "Baland, who resided at Salbanpur, left Gazni to the charge of this grandson, Chakito; and as the power of the mlecchas increased, he not only entertained troops of that race, but all his nobles were of the same body. They offered, if he would quit the religion of his fathers, to make him master of Balich Bukhara, where dwelt the Uzbek race, whose king had no offspring but one daughter; Chakito married her and became the king of Balich Bukhara and lord of twenty-eight thousand horses. Between Balich and Bukhara runs a mighty river, and Chakito was king of all from the gate of Balichshan to the face of Hindusthan; and from him is descended the tribe of Chakito Mogals."97
94. RAJAT, VIII, 323.
95. ibid., VII, 144, 178.
96. op. cit., p. 250.
97. ibid., p. 248.
Tatran (Turk and Tatar of Central Asia) clans of the Jats had come into power in Oxus valley in the sixth and later centuries. Many persons of these clans had already come to India before their brothers built their empire in Central Asia, the proverbial 'Thouusand Years of Tatary".
But we are here concerned with the Jat Rajput connection. We have seen that the identical kings started identical clans of Jats and Rajputs. In the Annals, the words used for these people of Gazni, are Jid, Jud and Jadoo. The last word is of course, Yadu, and is used to connect the Bhattis with the Yadu/Yadavas. Col. Tod considered that Jid and Jud, also might have been used for Yadu, and this has been blindly followed by others. But, under no law of philology can Yadu become Jid in Prakrit or in any bhasha. Jid and Jud are but two forms of Jit and Jut variations of Jat. The name of one of their kings, is Jud Bhan, and Gaja himself is called Jud-rae, the Yetalito of Chinese annals, the Jat Rat or Jut Rae, king of the Jats. Even in the sixteenth century, Babar called them Juts. "At every step made by the Mohammadan power in India, it encountered the Juts. On their memorable defence of the passage of the Indus, against Mahmad, and on the war of extirpation waged against them by Taimur, both in their primeval seat in Maverool Nehr, as well as east of Sutlej, we have already enlarged; while Babar, in his commentaries informs us that, in all his incursions into India, he was assailed by multitudes of Juts."98. Taimur, boasts of the myriads of Jut souls he "consigned to perdition,"99 in India as well as in Transoxiana.
Thus Rajputs are but Brahmanised Jats and Gujars. That is why we find only Jats and Gujars in Central India, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Sindh, Punjab, Haryana, etc. much before the 'advent' of Rajputs. Even Bikaner was occupied by six/seven clans of the Jats before it was occupied by consent by Beeka. These clans were Puniya, Godara, Saran, Asiagh, Beniwal and Mahil; and even today they are there in the same areas. Jaisalmer itself was founded by the Bhattis in the twelfth century A.D., after they had become "Rajputs". It is shown in Tribes and Castes that a Rajput marrying a Jat women, mayor may not become a Jat, but
98. ibid., p. 196.
99. ibid., p. 197.
if his descendants adopted widow remarriage, then, he certainly would become a Jat.100 Here is the crux of the matter. The difference between a Rajput and a Jat is widow remarriage. Jats always had widow remarriage but the Rajputs under false, immoral and unjust notions of the Brahmans, would not hear about it. This widow remarriage, alongwith marriage outside the caste, was the cause of the schism/division, but thank God, it has now been removed in the twentieth century. Today, even Brahman widows are being remarried. But the Brahmans had forbidden widow marriage for others-not for themselves. If a widow was a wealthy lady, or a queen, then Brahmans did not hesitate for a second to marry he,even to a Brahman. Tribes and Castes gives an example of a Brahman marrying the widow of a non-Brahman and the case of the ancestor of Dahir, who married the widow of the 'Sudra' king of Sindh and usurped his throne, is well known.101 But, perhaps this was Āpaddharma, the "law of emergency" under which everything is legal and justified!
It is therefore rightly concluded by Col. Tod, that, "Getae, Got, or Jit, and the Takshak race, which now form the thirty six royal dynasties of India, all came from Scythia.102 And the proverb goes, "The Jat, Gujar, Ahir and Gola, are all four hail fellow well-met." 103
Thus the causes of schism, and the main objections of the Brahmans were social in nature. The priests did not want inter caste marriages, and these people were not prepared to forgo it. Secondly, the immigrants did not believe in social inequality, for them everybody was equal, the only difference being between the rulers and the ruled, or between the king and the citizens. Apart from the high political position of the kings, all members of the society were taken to be completely equal in all respects. That is why the Pali text, Assālayana Suttta, says that the Yonas, Kambojas, Sakas and other frontier people of Uttarapatha region, had a different social system of 'masters' and 'slaves' only, with no
100. Vol. I, p. 44.
101. ibid., Vol. I, p. 41 note 3.
102. op. cit.
103. ibid., Vol. lI, p. 308.
impassable barriers placed between them. That means the 'masters' and 'slaves' could exchange their places and the slaves could be masters and vice versa. If at all, this was the only difference between the king and the citizens.
The Mahabharata, also says the same thing, although written as it was by the priests, this excellent ideal of social equality was upheld in the Mahabharata by saying that in the Punjab country, a Brahman or a priest could be a soldier, i.e., Kshatriya, or a trader, i.e., Vaisya, or even a barber, i.e., Sudra, and vice versa. This also proves that a person doing the so-called lowest profession could also do the highest profession and otherwise.104
- तत्रैव बराह्मणॊ भूत्वा ततॊ भवति कषत्रियः
- वैश्यः शूथ्रश च बाह्लीकस ततॊ भवति नापितः (Mahabharata:VIII.30.53)
- नापितश च ततॊ भूत्वा पुनर भवति बराह्मणः
- थविजॊ भूत्वा च तत्रैव पुनर थासॊ ऽपि जायते (Mahabharata:VIII.30.54)
This practice of equality of all humanity cut at the very roots of the false social customs, and it was vehemently opposed and attacked by the vested interests. The following quotations from Vana Parvan of Mahabharata is one of the first sample of this attack by the priestly class, and this attack in some form or the other continued for ages.
- "There will rule over the land Mlechchha kings. These sinful kings, addicted to falsehood, will govern on principles that are false, and they will be given to false controversialism. The Andhras, the Sakas, the Pulindas, the Yavanas (i.e., Yaunas), the Kambhojas, the Valhikas, the Sura-Abhir as will then be rulers.105 Then the uttering of Vedas become futile, the Sudras address Brahmans with 'Bho' term of equality, while Brahmans address them with, 'noble sir'. Citizens will lose character on account of the burden of taxation. 106 They become addicted to materialism, this worldism, (aihalaukikam) along with ministers of their flesh and blood.l07 The whole
104. MBT, VIII, 30, 6-7.
105. MBT, 188, 34-35.
world will be Mleclichhanised; all rites and sacrifices will cease. 108 The Brahmans, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas will disappear; at this time all men will become one caste, the whole world will be Mlechchhanized, men will no more gratify the celestials with Sraddha or manes with libations. 109 Prohibiting the worship of the celestials, they will worship bones. In the settlements of the Brahmans, in the Asramas of the great Rishis, in places sacred to gods, in sacred spots and in temples which had been dedicated to the Nagas-the land will be marked with tombs, Edukas-Buddhist stupas containing bones. They will have no temples dedicated to the celesstials.110
It is not that this sort of situation was there only in the old times. It was very much there even in the twentieth century before independence and some of the historians also gave the same colour to the then social phenomena. The late lamented Dr Jayaswal, calls these people as a "political and social scourge". He charges them with depression of the high castes of the Hindus, whom he considers, "the custodians of the national culture". According to him these people made the country practically Brahmanless, depressed the high caste Hindus and created a new ruling class out of the lower ones. He further accuses them and in particular the Kusanas, with destruction of Hindu temples, imposition of Buddhism, and erection of Buddhist temples by demolition of the sacred fire.111
These attacks of Dr Jayaswal are wholly unjustified and based on prejudices rather than historical facts. The Kusana kings were not following only Buddhism but were also devout followers of Siva, Skanda, Vishakha, and Iranian as well as Greek gods and goddesses. Their coins invariably contained the legends and symbols of these religions. Their inscriptions show equal treatment to all including the Brahmans. In fact these rulers were most liberal in their religious attitudes and were cosmopolitan in nature. Otherwise it is impossible to rule over the vast areas of Asia consisting of different castes, nations and religious populations.
108. ibid., 188.45. 45 मलेच्छ भूतं जगत सर्वं भविष्यति युधिष्ठिर । न शराथ्धैर हि पितॄंश चापि तर्पयिष्यन्ति मानवाः ।। (MBT:III.188.45)
109. ibid., 188,46. बराह्मणाः कषत्रिया वैश्या न शिष्यन्ति जनाधिप । एकवर्णस तथा लॊकॊ भविष्यति युगक्षये (MBT:III.188.41)
110. ibid., 188. 65, 66, 67. आश्रमेषु महर्षीणां बराह्मणावसदेषु च । थेवस्दानेषु चैत्येषु नागानाम आलयेषु च ।। (MBT:III.188.65); एडूक चिह्ना पृदिवी न थेव गृहभूषिता । भविष्यति युगे कषीणे तथ युगान्तस्य लक्षणम ।।(MBT:III.188.66); यथा रौथ्रा धर्महीना मांसाथाः पानपास तदा । भविष्यन्ति नरा नित्यं तथा संक्षेप्स्यते युगम ।।(MBT:III.188.67)
111. For further comments see Jayaswal's, History of India, pp. 41 to 54.
The wrath of the orthodox writers of the Puranas was roused against them because they did not believe in the caste system. Now it is generally agreed that this caste system is the root cause of all evils in the Indian society and that is why all social, political and religious leaders have spoken about the equality of all Indians irrespective of their caste or creed. Buddhism, in fact, was the greatest attack ever, on the caste system and the social inequality that it bred. The second greatest attack was by these Central Asian people, the Jats, Gujjars and Ahirs. But it is unfortunate that this demoralising and inhuman system of inequality still survives.
"It is true that Buddhism had become very popular during the Kusana times on account of its simplicity, its discard of ceremoniais and its abolition of the caste system, and that Brahmanism was losing its ground. But these changes were not brought about by any acts of omission or commission on the part of the Kusana rulers. They allowed the followers of different religions to worship in their own ways. The Brahmans were not persecuted; on the other hand, we find a definite case during the reign of Vasiska in which a perpetual endowment was made in Mathura by the lord of Wakan for feeding the Brahmans in the Eastern Hall of Merit.112
Leaving aside these petty jealousies, we find the Buddhists, the Jains the Hindus and the followers of other religions living side by side peacefully, carrying out their religious practices and following different occupations without any restriction. There were no communal disturbances; on the other hand, there was peaceful coexistence. Many Buddhists and Jains even expressed cosmopolitan views in their inscriptions when they solicited blessings not only for themselves or their relatives, but also for the whole of mankind in almost identical terms;
- (i) "Sarva Satvaram hita-Sukhaye (bhavatu)." "May it be conducive to the welfare and happiness of all beings!" (Sarnath Buddhist Umbrella-post inscription of the year 3).113
112. Baldev Kuwar, The Early Kusanas, pp. 226-27.
113. EI, Vol. VIII, pp. 173-81.
- (ii) Sue Vihara Copper-plate inscription of the year 11.114
- (iii) Mathura Stone inscription of the year 28.115
- (iv) Ara inscription of the year 41.116
- (v) Wardak Vase inscription of the year 51.117
- (vi) Mathura Jain Image inscription of the year 5.118
- (vii) Mathura Jain Image inscription of the year 20.119
Thus we find that there was, nothing wrong with the rule of these 'Mlecchas' and 'Sudras'. No Hindu temple was destroyed. There is absolutely no evidence at all of destruction of any temple or city by these immigrants. Barring unavoidable loss during the course of fighting, no other damage was ever done .The great universities of Taxila, Nalanda, Vikramshila, etc., were not destroyed by them. I-Tsing the Chinese pilgrim, was studying at Nalanda in 671 A.D. Vikramshila University was destroyed in 1203 A.D. by Bakhtiyar Khilji. The famous sun temple of Multan, built by them, was destroyed by Jalam-Ibn-Shaiban in the eighth century A.D. Even Pataliputra was not destroyed by them, as is proved by recent excavations there.120
These people were builders and not destroyers. "The Lithuanian Guttons, the Iberian Gathae, were the great city builders of the early world, the race who first learned to build from the custom of providing a house capable of containing each united family as long as they remained under paternal rule".121
But the ceaseless opposition and attacks by the priests on the Jats, Gujjars and Ahirs had their impact and the result is, even today, discernible. Because of their refusal to fall in line with the dictates of the priests, these people are still hated by them. Col. Tod, D. Ibbetson and others have mentioned the unexplainable hatred against the Gujjars, etc., in their works. They were
114. CII, Vol. II, part I, pp. 138-41.
115. EI, Vol. XXI, pp. 55-61.
116. CII, Vol. II, part I, pp. 162-65.
117. ibid., pp. 165-70.
118. ASIR, Vol. III, p. 20.
119. EI, Vol. I, pP. 383-84.
120. JRAS, 1961. p. 141.
121. F. Hewitt. The Ruling Races of Prehistoric Times, p. 487.
socially degraded by priestly class and the Rajputs coming from the same stock, were upgraded for the same reason. It is the result of their ancient feelings of equality that these people never stopped their common "hukka-pani". These people, even today, share these things in common and fortunately nowadays, the Rajputs, the carpenters, the barbers. etc., are enjoying the same hukka-a welcome step towards national integration and social equality. Let us hope, their innate spirit of independence and ideals of social equality shall be triumphant!
We know from ancient history of Mesopotamia that the Abara and the Gusur were clans of the Jats and had separate kingdoms. Even today some Abars and Gusurs are found among the Jats as two clans under the names Abara and Gussar/Gusur. These Abaras are now Muslim in the Multan area of Pakistan, whereas Gussars are even among the Sikh Jats in Jullundur district. Originally therefore, they were all Jats/Gutis. We are treating them separately on account of present situation where the Gujars and Ahirs form separate castes.
There is documentary evidence to show that the rulers of Salpura (Salpoor) were Jats. Col. Tod has published the inscription in his Annals of a king of Salpura. The name of the king is given as Raja Jit Salindra The inscription begins with the lines "may the Jit be thy protector!" What does this Jit resemble? Further the inscription says that by the valour of Raja Jit of Salpura, the lands of Salpura are preserved, "the mighty warror Jit Salindra is beautiful in person, and from the strength of his arm esteemed the first amongst the tribe of the mighty, the whole world praises the Jit prince, who enlarges the renown of his race, sitting in the midst of haughty warriors, like the lotus in the water, the moon of the sons of men".122
The name of the son of Salindra is given as Devungh, his son is named Sumbooka and his son is named Degali who married two ladies of the Yadu race. His son is named as Vira Narindra. This inscription was written in Samvat, 597 in the Malwa region on the bank of river Taveli, This prince was ruling over Salpura
and Takhya, i.e., city of the Taks. Col. Tod repeated the same that the Taks and Jits are one race. In fact Taks are a clan of the Jats. Here the prince is stated to be from Sarya clan. This Sarya is the same as Sarwya of Komarpal Charitra according to Col. Tod himself. The present name of Sarwya clan may be Saroa/Saroha. This important inscription without which the history of the period cannot be illuminated fully, has been omitted in the Hindi translation of Col. Tod's Annals, translated by K.K. Thakur in 1965. This is the sort of thing which conceals true history. This inscription proves that the rulers of Salpura called themselves Jats. And as is clear from our discussion about the Bhattis, it is from Salpura that the Bhatti Rajputs spread into other parts.