Malava

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Malava (मालव) were originally an ancient tribe of Mahabharata period, neighbouring the Madra kings in Punjab province of Pakistan.

Variants of name

Jat clans

History

V. S. Agrawala[2] writes about Art of war – The Āyudhajīvīns were warrior tribes organized on a military basis into Sanghas, occupying mostly the Vahika or Punjab. Their member were known as Āyudhīya, ‘making a living by the profession of arms’ (Āyudhena jīvati, IV.4.14). We know that these soldiers put up the stoutest resistance against the Greeks in the 4th century BC.

The Ashvakayanas of Masakavati and the Malavas, all ayudhajivins, constituted the finest soldiery, which extorted the admiration of foreigners. The Kshudrakas and Malavas (Ganapatha of IV.2.45) , we are informed by Katyayana, (p.422) pooled their military strength in a confederate army called the Kshudraka-Malavi senā. The foot soldiers (padāti) of the Salva country have been specially noted (IV.2.135). (p.423)


V S Agarwal [3] writes about State emblem – Aṅka and Lakshnaṇa – As mentioned in Sutra IV.3.127, a Sangha had its Anka and Lakshnana. The Lakshnana denoted the heraldic symbols or marks of a Sangha which they employed on their coins, seals and banners. The Mahabharata takes Anka as a symptom of Lakshnana in describing the census of the royal cattle by branding them with proper marks (Vanaparva, 240.5), But in Panini’s sutra, anka seems to stand for the legend adopted by the states, like Mālavānām jayaḥ, or Yaudheya gaṇasya jayaḥ, as found on their coins. Lakshnana is the same as lāñchhana or heraldic crest of later Sanskrit.


V S Agarwal [4] writes about Āyudhajīvī Sanghas – [p.434]: Panini refers to a number of Sanghas as Ayudhajivin (V.3.114-117), meaning those who lived by the profession of arms. Kautilya refers to two kinds of Janapadas,

  • (1) Āyudhīya prāyāh, those mostly comprising soldiers, and
  • (2) Shreni prāyāh, comprising guilds of craftsmen, traders and agriculturists. The former (and also his sastropajivins) correspond to Panini’s Ayudhajivi Sanghas, which were the same as Yodhajiva of Pali literature.

Four kinds of AyudhajivinsPanini classified his material of the Ayudhajivin Sanghas under several heads, viz.

  • 1. Sanghas in Vahika (V.3.114),
  • 2. Sanghas of Parvata (IV.3.91),
  • 3. Pūgas, organized under their Grāmaṇi in to some form of Sangha Govt (V.3.112), and lastly
  • 4. Vrātas living by depredation and violence (V.3.113, V.2.21), and having only semblance of Sangha.

The most advanced Ayudhajivin Sanghas belonged to the Vahika Country (V.3.114), which comprised the region from Indus to the Beas and and the Sutlej (Karnaparva, 44.7; Hindu polity, 1.34). These are the Yaudheyas, Kshudrakas and Malavas etc.


V S Agarwal [5] writes names of some important tribes in the Ganapatha, which deserve to be mentioned as being of considerable importance. We are indebted to the Greek historians of Alexander for the information that most of these were republics. These tribes include - Mālava – (Greek: Malloi). According to the Greek writers both these communities were settled in the region where the Ravi River joins the Chenab. They are said to have offered the stoutest resistance to the Greek invaders.

Malava Kingdom

There kingdom was corresponding to the Malwa region. Sometimes Avanti and Malava were described to be the same country. They were originally a western tribe, in Punjab (Pakistan) province of Pakistan. Later they migrated to Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states of India. In recorded history of India, there were a royal tribe called Malavas. They were believed to be the descendants of the Malavas.

Dr Pema Ram writes that after the invasion of Alexander in 326 BC, the Jats of Sindh and Punjab migrated to Rajasthan. They built tanks, wells and Bawadis near their habitations. The tribes migrated were: Shivis, Yaudheyas, Malavas, Madras etc. The Shivi tribe which came from Ravi and Beas Rivers founded towns like Sheo, Sojat, Siwana, Shergarh, Shivganj etc. This area was adjoining to Sindh and mainly inhabited by Jats. The descendants of Malavas are: Mal, Madra, Mandal, Male, Malloi etc. [6]

Jat History

Dr Pema Ram writes that after the invasion of Alexander in 326 BC, the Jats of Sindh and Punjab migrated to Rajasthan. They built tanks, wells and Bawadis near their habitations. The tribes migrated were: Shivis, Yaudheyas, Malavas, Madras etc. The Shivi tribe which came from Ravi and Beas Rivers founded towns like Sheo, Sojat, Siwana, Shergarh, Shivganj etc. This area was adjoining to Sindh and mainly inhabited by Jats. The descendants of Malavas are: Mal, Madra, Mandal, Male, Malloi etc. [7]


Hukam Singh Pawar (Pauria)[8] states: The companion princes of Harshavardhana, i.e. Kumaragupta III and Madhavagupta belonged to the Mallava tribe (Malloi) and Bhandi was a Poni . Mahasenagupta, the mother of Prabhakarvardhana, the grand-mother of Harsha, was a princess of the Gupta (Dharana) lineage. King Grahavarman, husband of Rajyashri was a Maukhari . The Jats have among them the Kuntals, Mall or Malli; Poni or Punia or Paunyas, Dharanas as well as Mukharis or Mokharias. This does not seem to be a mere coincidence.

Variant of Malloi is Mandloi/Mandolia gotra Jats live in Jaipur district in Rajasthan. Found in Jaipur city at Bhatton Ki Gali, Sanganer.

Jat rulers in Malwa

According to Thakur Deshraj Malwa gets its name from Mall republics who were famous during Mahabharata and Bhuddhist periods. There Mall tribe was known as Malloi at the time of Alexander. Mall tribe is found in Jats and Brahmans. According to Katyayan they became Malwi in Brahmans and Mali in Jat Kshatriyas. Both these words have been derived from Sanskrit word Malav. Mall tribes were in the neighbourhood of Videhi tribe and came to this area in later periods. Earlier this country was known as Avanti. Vikramditya was ruler of this country. Malwa was a fertile and wealthy country. Like Punjab and Sindh it was abode of Jats. Jats ruled this country.

The history of Malwa prior to 4th century BC is in dark. Malwa region was inhabited by Dasharn, Dasharh, Kuntal and Charman tribes. Bhoj tribes were in and around Dharanagri. Dasharn and Dasharh tribes ruled at Mandsaur, which was earlier known as Dashpur or Dashaur. Charman tribes ruled on the banks of Chambal River.

Apart from these tribes this country was also ruled by Mauryans, Guptas, Andhak and Panwar. These groups from outside the Malwa and had destroyed the Republics of Malwa. Prior to these groups from outside Malwa, Mallois were the rulers of these Republics. During Alexander’s period Kshudrak tribes were reported in their neighbourhood.

Out of these castes some are found in Jats and Rajputs. Dashpuria, Bhoj and Kuntal are found in Jats only. Bangari tribes also ruled Malwa and one area of Malwa region is known as Bangar after them. Traces of Bangars are found in Brahmans and Jats both.

In Mahabharata

Mālava (मालव) have been mentioned at many places in Mahabharata (II.29.6), (II.48.14),(VI.47.16), (VI.83.6),(VI.112.109), (VIII.4.46).


Military Campaign of Nakula: Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 29 mentions that Nakula subjugated Western Countries. Mālava is mentioned in verse (II.29.6). ....And the illustrious Nakula subjugated the whole of the desert country and the region known as Sairishaka (Sirsa) as also that other one called Mahetta. He subjugated Shibis, Trigartas,Ambashtas, Malavas, the five tribes of the Karpatas. [9]


Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 48 mentions Kings who presented tributes to Yudhishthira. Mālava is mentioned in verse (II.48.14) along with Kshudraka. [10]


Wife of a Madra King from Malava: Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 291 - There was a king among the Madra, named Aswapati, who was virtuous and highly pious. And then, by the grace of goddess Savitri, the embryo in the womb of the princess of Malava (wife of Aswapati) increased like the lord of stars in the heavens during the lighted fortnight. And when the time came, she brought forth a daughter furnished with lotus-like eyes. She was the famous Savitri, who became wife of the prince Satyavan of Salwa Kingdom.

Vivaswat’s son, Yama, the dispenser of justice, untied his noose, and with cheerful heart said these words to Savitri, ‘Thus, O auspicious and chaste lady, is thy husband freed by me! Thou wilt be able to take him back free from disease. And he will attain to success! And along with thee, he will attain a life of four hundred years. And celebrating sacrifices with due rites, he will achieve great fame in this world. And upon thee Satyavan will also beget a century of sons. And these Kshatriyas with their sons and grandsons will all be kings, and will always be famous in connection with thy name. And thy father (Aswapati, the king of Madra Kingdom also will beget a hundred sons on thy mother Malavi. And under the name of the Malavas, thy Kshatriya brothers, will be widely known along with their sons and daughters.


According to the Mahabharata (Book 3, Chapter 295), the Malavas were a small unknown tribe near Madra Kingdom, who later became the powerful Malavas in Madhya Pradesh state in India, near Avanti Kingdom (having Ujjayani or Ujjain as its capital).


Kingdoms under Yudhisthira's sway: Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 51 ...The words of Vasudeva Krishna to king Yudhisthira: That prosperity which the Pandavas had acquired at Indraprastha, and which, unobtainable by other kings, was beheld by me at the Rajasuya sacrifice, at which, besides, I saw all kings, even those of the Vangas and Angas and Paundras and Odras and Cholas and Dravidas and Andhakas, and the chiefs of many islands and countries on the sea-board as also of frontier states, including the rulers of the Sinhalas, the barbarous mlecchas, the natives of Lanka, and all the kings of the West by hundreds, and all the chiefs of the sea-coast, and the kings of the Pahlavas and the Daradas and the various tribes of the Kiratas and Yavanas and Sakras and the Harahunas and Chinas and Tukharas and the Sindhavas and the Jagudas and the Ramathas and the Mundas and the inhabitants of the kingdom of women and the Tanganas and the Kekayas and the Malavas and the inhabitants of Kasmira, afraid of the prowess of your weapons, present in obedience to your invitation, performing various offices,--that prosperity, O king Yudhisthira, so unstable and waiting at present on the foe, I shall restore to thee.


Military Campaign of Karna: Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 252....

Having conquered the entire earth—east, west, north and south—that hero Karna, without any aid brought under subjection all the nations of the Mlechchhas, the mountaineers, the Bhadras, the Rohitakas, the Agneyas and the Malavas.


Malavas in Kurukshetra War: Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 295 ....

And those mighty bowmen, the five royal brothers of Kekaya, will put forth their strength in battle, accepting the Kekaya warriors on Duryodhana’s side as antagonists. They will also fight against the Malavas also, and the Salwakas, as also, the two famous warriors of the Trigarta host on the side of Duryodhana.

The above extract indicate that the Malavas allied with Duryodhana.


Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 10 describes geography and provinces of Bharatavarsha. Malavanaka (मालवाणक) is in the list of provinces in south mentioned in verse (VI.10.58) along with Chola and Konkana. [11]


Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 47 describes immeasurable heroes assembled for battle. Malavas (VI.47.16) along with Kshudrakas fought for Duryodhana and against Pandavas....."And then king Duryodhana, united with all his brothers, with the Aswalakas, the Vikarnas, the Vamanas, the Kosalas,[12] the Daradas, the Vrikas, as also the Kshudrakas and the Malavas advanced cheerfully against the Pandava host." [13]


Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 83 mentions that Bhishma, the son of Santanu, proceeded in the van of the whole army, supported by the Malavas (VI.83.6), and the inhabitants of the southern countries, and the Avantis. [14]


Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 112 mentions tribes in war: Malavas are mentioned in verse (VI.112.109) [15]


Karna Parva/Mahabharata Book VIII Chapter 4 tells us about the Warriors who are dead amongst the Kurus and the Pandavas after ten days. Malavas have been mentioned in verse (VIII.4.46). ...."Kaikeyas, Malavas, Madrakas, Dravidas of fierce prowess, Yaudheyas, Lalittyas, Kshudrakas, Mavellakas, Usinaras, have all been slain by Savyasachi." [16]

Distribution

Notable persons

References

  1. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. म-4
  2. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.422-423
  3. V S Agarwal, India as Known to Panini,p.431
  4. V S Agarwal, India as Known to Panini,p.434-436
  5. V S Agarwal, India as Known to Panini,p.453
  6. Dr Pema Ram:Rajasthan Ke Jaton Ka Itihas, p.14
  7. Dr Pema Ram:Rajasthan Ke Jaton Ka Itihas, p.14
  8. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/An Historico-Somatometrical study bearing on the origin of the Jats, p. 136
  9. शैरीषकं महेच्छं च वशे चक्रे महाद्युतिः, शिबींस त्रिगर्तान अम्बष्ठान मालवान पञ्च कर्पटान (II.29.6)
  10. अम्बष्ठाः कौकुरास तार्क्ष्या वस्त्रपाः पह्लवैः सह, वसातयःमौलेयाः सह क्षुद्रकमालवैः (II.48.14)
  11. कर्णिकाः कुन्तिकाश चैव सौब्धिदा नलकालकाः, कौकुट्टकास तदा चॊलाः कॊङ्कणा मालवाणकाः (VI.10.58)
  12. ततॊ थुर्यॊधनॊ राजा सहितः सर्वसॊथरैः, अश्वातकैर विकर्णैश च तदा शर्मिल कॊसलैः (VI.47.15)
  13. दरदैश चूचुपैश चैव तदा क्षुद्रकमालवैः, अभ्यरक्षत संहृष्टः सौबलेयस्य वाहिनीम (VI.47.16)
  14. अग्रतः सर्वसैन्यानां भीष्मः शांतनवॊ ययौ, मालवैर थाक्षिणात्यैश च आवन्त्यैश च समन्वितः (VI.83.6)
  15. बाह्लिका थरथाश चैव पराच्यॊथीच्याश च मालवाः, अभीषाहाः शूरसेनाः शिबयॊ ऽद वसातयः (VI.112.109)
  16. मालवा मद्रकाश चैव द्रविडाश चॊग्रविक्रमाः, यौधेयाशललित्दाशक्षुद्रकाश चाप्य उशीनराः (VIII.4.46)

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