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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Kartavirya (कार्तवीर्य) (Also known as Kartavirya Arjuna) or Sahasrarjuna or Sahasrabahu was a king of Haihaya Vansha. He was a legendary king of an ancient kingdom during the Ramayana period with capital at Mahishmati which is on the banks of Narmada River in the current state of Madhya Pradesh.



Kartavirya was son of Kritavirya, king of the Haihayas. This is his patronymic, by which he is best known; his real name was Arjuna. He is described as having a thousand hands and a great devotee of god Dattatreya.

Vayu Purana extolls his virtues ""Having worshipped a portion of the divine being called Dattatreya, sprung from the race of Atri.

Ancestry of Ratanpur Kalachuri rulers

Source - 1. Ratanpur Stone Inscription Of Jajalladeva I - (Kalachuri) Year 866 (=1114 AD)

2. Sarkho Plates of Ratnadeva II - Kalachuri year 880 (1128 AD)

3. Mallar stone inscription of Jajalladeva II (Kalachuri) year 919 (1167 AD)

4. Pendrabandh Plates Of Pratapamalla - (Kalachuri) Year 965 (=1214 AD)

The Ancestry of Ratanpur Kalachuri rulers was as under:

  • Pratapamalla (1200-1225 CE): Pendrabandh inscription mentions that Pratapamalla gave a village Kâyathâ (कायठा), situated in the Anargha-mandala to a Brahman on the occasion of the Makara-sanktânti. The plates were issued from the victorious camp at Palasadâ (पलसदा) on Tuesday, the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Mâgha in the (Kalachuri) Year 965 (=1214 AD).

Amoda Plates Of Prithvideva I (Kalachuri) Year 831 (=1079 AD)

Amoda Plates Of Prithvideva I (Kalachuri) Year 831 (=1079 AD)[1] mentions in VV.4-6 as under:

(V. 4) The kings born in his (Kartavirya) family became (known as) Haihayas on the earth. In their family was born that (famous) Kôkkala, the first king of the Chaidyas (the people of the Chedi country)

(V. 5) By that king was erected on the earth a pillar of victory after forcibly dispossessing the kings of Karnata and Vanga, the lord of the Gurjaras, the ruler of Konkana, the lord of Shakambhari, the Turushka and the descendant of Raghu (Probably the contemporary prince of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty) of their treasure, horses and elephants.

(V. 6) He had eighteen, very valiant sons, who destroyed their enemies as lions break open the frontal globes of elephants , the eldest of them, an excellent prince, became the lord of Tripuri and he made his brothers the lords of mandalas by his side.

In Jat history

History of the Jats:Dr Kanungo/Origin and Early History (p.11-12) writes that There is no greater improbability in deriving Jat, Jat or Jut, - as the tribal name is pronounced in various forms in the different provinces from the Indian Yadu or Yadava than from the Chinese Yuti or Ye-ta-li-to. If the phonetic difficulty alone stands in the way of recognising the Yadava origin of the Jats, there cannot be any objection in identifying the Jats with the Jatas or Sujatas, a branch of the great Haihaya Yadavas.

Hundred sons of Kartavirya

Of the hundred sons of Kartavirya, the five principal were Sura, Surasena, Vrishana, Madhu and Jayadhwaja. From the last sprang up the five great divisions of the Haihaya tribe, the Talajanghas, Vitihotras, Avantyas, Tundikeras, and Jatas also called Sujatas from the prolific number (Wilson's Vishnu Puran pp. 417-418). Wilson seems to entertain a doubt whether the Haihayas are not the Huna and Saka tribes engrafted upon the great genealogical tree of the Aryans by the clever Puranic ethnologists. The Jats were known by the name of Sus, Abars, and many other names, as Beames says. We shall meet these contentions in the appendix "The Yadus.[2]

Town after Kartavirya

Sahaspur (सहसपुर) is an ancient historical village in Kawardha tahsil of Kawardha district in Chhattisgarh. It is 12 miles to the south-west of Kawardha. Sahaspur is only 21 miles away from Chaura an another ancient place of historical importance. There is a record of Yasoraja, dated in the Kalachuri year 934, or A.D. 1182. The town gets name after Sahasrarjuna or Sahasrabâhu (Also known as Kartavirya Arjuna).

Encounter Kartavirya Arjuna with Parashurama

The Puranas recount that Kartavirya Arjuna and his army visited a rishi named Jamadagni, who fed his guest and the whole army with offerings from his divine cow. The king demanded the cow for the betterment of his subjects; Jamadagni refused because he needed the cow for his religious ceremonies. King Kartavirya Arjuna sent his soldiers to take the cow.As the conflict developed among the Jamadagni and the King,Kartavirya Arjuna lost his cool and chopped off the head of Jamadagni .When Parashurama (Jamadagni's son and one of the DaśāvatārasVishnu) returned to the hermitage,he was informed of the context by his mother.In revenge, Parashurama killed the entire clan of Kartavirya Arjuna and the King with the axe given to him by Shiva, thus conquering the entire earth, which he gave to Brahamanas.

In another legend, Kartavirya Arjuna visited the hermitage of Jamadagni, and was received by that sage's wife Renuka with all respect; but he made an ill return for her hospitality, and carried off by violence "the calf of the milch-cow of the sacred oblation." For this outrage Parashurama cut off his thousand arms and killed him.

In another place a different character is given to him, and more in accordance with his behavior at Jamadagni's hut. "He oppressed both men and gods," so that the latter appealed to Vishnu for succor. That God then came down to the earth as Parashurama for the especial purpose of killing him.

Encounter with Ravana

Kartavirya's power is popularly told in the Ramayana. He was the contemporary of Ravana. The story goes that once when Kartavirya Arjuna was having a bath in the river Godavari along with his wives, he stopped the force of the river with his thousand arms from both the sides. Ravana (the Lord of Lanka), who was camping by the banks of the river was furious over this. Enraged, he challenged the former for a combat. Ravana was defeated and was put to humiliation.Then on Request of his maternal grandfather Pulastya the great king released Ravana (the Lord of Lanka) . Another account states that when Ravana came "in the course of his campaign of conquest to Mahishmati (the capital of Kartavirya), he was captured without difficulty, and was confined like a wild beast in a corner of his city." The Vayu Purana states that Kartavirya invaded Lanka, and there took Ravana as prisoner.[3]

इतिहासकार स्वामी ओमानन्द सरस्वती लिखते हैं -

.....विदेशी विद्बान तथा उनका अन्धानुकरण करने वाले कुछ भारतीय विद्वान् भी यह कहते हैं कि 'आर्य' लोग ईरान से आये, इसलिये इन लोगों का नाम आर्य है । इससे पूर्व यहाँ जंगली लोग बसते थे । आर्य लोग अपने को देवता बतलाते थे और उनका जब संग्राम हुआ तो उन्होंने उसका नाम 'देवासुर संग्राम' कथाओं में ठहराया । विदेशी लोगों की इस प्रकार की कल्पनायें सर्वथा झूठ और निराधार हैं । किसी भी प्राचीन संस्कृत ग्रन्थ में व इतिहास में कहीं भी यह नहीं लिखा कि आर्य लोग ईरान से आये और यहां के जंगलियों से लड़ कर और विजय पाकर उन्हें निकाल इस देश के राजा हुये । ऐसी अवस्था में इन चालाक विदेशियों का लेख कैसे मान्य हो सकता है । यदि उसमें किञ्चित-मात्र भी सत्य होता तो आर्यावर्त से पूर्व इस देश का क्या नाम था ? यह प्रमाण देकर आज भी कोई विदेशी तथा इस मत वाला लिखने का साहस करे ।

यथार्थ बात यह है कि आर्यों से पूर्व इस देश में कोई नहीं बसता था, अतः इस देश का कोई अन्य नाम नहीं था । आदि सृष्टि में इस पवित्र आर्यावर्त्त के एक भाग तिब्बत में मनुष्य जाति उत्पन्न हुई । यहीं से आर्य लोग सम्पूर्ण आर्यावर्त्त तथा अन्य देशों में भी जाकर बसे । आर्यावर्त्त के बाहर पूर्व, पश्चिम, उत्तर आदि दिशाओं में जो मनुष्य रहते हैं, उन्हीं का नाम असुर सिद्ध होता है । जब जब ये असुर लोग हिमालय प्रदेशस्थ आर्य लोगों पर लड़ने को चढ़ाई करते थे तो यहाँ के आर्य राजा उन उत्तरादि दिशाओं में लड़ने के लिये देवता अर्थात् आर्यों की सहायता के लिये जाते थे । इतिहास साक्षी है कि आर्यवर्त्तीय अर्जुन तथा महाराजा दशरथ आदि ने इसी प्रकार के देवासुर संग्रामों में आर्यों की सहायता और रक्षा की तथा असुरों को हराया । इसी आर्यावर्त्त के प्रथम चक्रवर्ती राजा इक्ष्वाकु हुये हैं । इन्होंने तथा इनके पूर्वज ब्रह्मा, विराट्, मनु आदि ने इस आर्यावर्त्त को बसाया था । इसी का नाम ब्रह्मावर्त भी है । क्योंकि इसके ब्रह्म विद्वान् देव लोग बसने बसाने वाले थे । इसी आर्यावर्त्त अथवा ब्रह्मावर्त्त का एक भाग आधुनिक हरयाणा प्रान्त है । यह एक प्रकार से आर्यावर्त्त का हृदय स्थान है और प्राचीन काल से यह देवताओं का स्थान कहलाता है ।[4]


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[5] ने लेख किया है ...कशेरु (AS, p.152) 'इंद्रद्वीपं कशेरुं च ताम्रद्वीपं गभस्तिमत् गांधर्ववारुणं द्वीपं सौम्याक्षमिति च प्रभु': महाभारत सभापर्वा 38, दक्षिणात्य पाठ . अर्थात शक्तिशाली सहस्रबाहु ने इंद्रद्वीप, कशेरु, ताम्रद्वीप, गभस्तिमत्, गंधर्व, वारुण और सौम्याक्ष द्वीप को जीत लिया था. प्रसंग से यह इंडोनेशिया का कोई द्वीप जान पड़ता है. क्योंकि इंद्रद्वीप = सुमात्रा का एक भाग, ताम्रद्वीप = लंका, वारुण = बोर्नियो