|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)|
Origin of Jats from Jnati
Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria)  writes that The last scholar to write on the subject is Thakur Desh Raj who differs from others in the derivation of the word Jat. According to him, the word Jat is a corrupt form of the so-called 'Jnati' (ज्ञाति), a name supposedly attributed to a Samgha of the Andhaka- Vrishnis, formed by Krishna, who incorporated in it many other democratic clans of the Yadavas. It is, no doubt, true that the Andhaka-Vrishni Samgha was very ancient but strangely enough neither Panini, nor Kautilya, nor the Mahabharata, nor, even the Puranas, speak of this samgha as Jnati.
Most likely, Desh Raj was swayed by the apparently democratic
[p.84]: characteristic of the Rajanayak Yadava Sangha, a Political trait for which the Jats, too, throughout their known history, (barring a few examples of the very recent times), have been showing strong preference. Moreover, the learned author does not seem to have taken notice of the fact that the Sangha was famous for its Rajanayak leaders, who alone, as we have already shown, had the right to rulership as well as for its full-fledged party system as the main feature of their constitution, whereas with the ancient democratic republics of the Jats, family, as the basic unit, was the source of their political life. Panini, undoubtedly, mentioned Jnati in his sutras (I. 1.35 and VI. 2. 133) but he no where describes it as a term applied to any kind of Samghas Desh Raj has understood it. Hence his assumption does not carry conviction with us, for we have already pointed out that the Andhak- Vishnis were not Yadava and, as Dwivedi holds, the Yadavas were imperialist and not democratic republican in their political life.
Thakur Desh Raj further suggests that the ancient Jnatrikas or the Gyatrikas of Bihar were also Jats, who later on migrated to the Punjab. As for identification of the Jats with the Jnatrikas, we have no evidence to the effect that the latter migrated to the north-west. Instead, Mrs. Sinclair Stevenson attests their present existence, with their divisions, in Basarh (Vaisali) where they lived some two thousand years ago. It is, no doubt, true that, according to Dr. Hornle the Jnatrikas were Kshatriyas who formed the clan of the name (gotra?) of Naya or Nath to which Lord Mahavira, the last Tirathankara of the Jains, belonged, but there is neither a tribe of this name among the Jats nor are they, with rare exceptions, Jains, by faith. Vaisali, one of the settlements, of the Jnatrikas, as attested by Dr. Hornle was an oligarchic republic, the government of which was "vested in a senate composed of the heads of the residentKshatriya clans and presided over by an officer who had the title of king, assisted by a viceroy and commander-in chief." To Mrs. S. Stevenson this government bears resemblance to that of a Greek state. But the constitution of the Vaisali Jnatrikas' government was not similar to those of the Ayudhajivisanghas of the Western Kshatriya tribes, the reputed ancestors of the Jats and mere recognition of republicanism as a characteristic of their government is insufficient to identify the Jats with the Jnatrikas. Hence, if the facts, given above, have any weight, it is illogical to accept the suggestion
विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर ने लेख किया है ...झातक गणराज्य (AS, p.376) पूर्व बौद्ध कालीन गणराज्य जिसकी स्थिति वैशाली (जिला मुजफ्फरपुर, बिहार) के क्षेत्र में थी. जैनों के तीर्थंकर महावीर जो गौतम बुद्ध के समकालीन थे इसी राज्य के राजकुमार थे.
- The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/The Yadava origin of the Jats ,p. 83-85
- Desh Raj, Thakur, op.cit., Ch. 'On the Origin of the word Jat."
- V.S. Aggarwal, India as known to Panini, Varanasi. 1963. p. 454,
- Op.cit., p. 100-107.
- Law. B.C. : Some Kshatriya Tribes of Anc, Ind., Varanasi, 1975, p. 121.
- Ibid., p. 123.
- Cr. V.S.Aggarwal op.cit, Ch. VII, Sec. 8.
- Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.376