Mandhata (मान्धाता) , also called Shivapuri or Onkareshwar, is an island in the Narmada river in Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh. Situated on on the south bank of the Narmada, it contains one of the twelve great lingas of Shiva. Omkareshwar Mandhata is located on the Mandhata hill on the banks of the Narmada. The name "Omkareshwar" is due to the shape of the island. River Narmada and its branch river Kaveri form an island. This Island is shaped like the Om and is about 2km long and 1km wide. Local tradition reveals that King Mandhata paid homage to Shiva here and made this holy place his capital. Mandhata is also known by the name Amareshwara. Skandapurana Rewakhanda (28,133) has mentioned about this place. This place is situated at a distance of about 10 km from Omkareshwar railway station on Ajmer-Khandwa track.
Mandhata in Bhagavata Purana
Srimad Bhagavatam 9.7.1 : Sukadeva Gosvami said: The most prominent among the sons of Mandhata was he who is celebrated as Ambarisha. Ambarisha was accepted as son by his grandfather Yuvanasva. Ambarisha's son was Yauvanasva, and Yauvanasva's son was Harita. In Mandhata's dynasty, Ambarisha, Harita and Yauvanasva were very prominent.
Yuvanashva - Yuvanasva had no son. So the Rishis performed a sacrifice directed to Indra. One night Yuvanasva became very thirsty and entered the Yajna house. He found all the Rishis sleeping at the time. He thought it improper to rouse the Rishis and drank what ever water he found near at hand. By chance that happened to be the consecrated water with the power of producing a son. When the Rishis rose up they did not find the water. On enquiry, when they knew what had happened, every one wondered what the outcome would be. In time the king brought forth a son from his right side. The little thing cried out for milk. Indra said- "Do not weep, child, you shall drink wine ( Mān Dhātā)". So saying he offered the child his fore finger. From this, the child was called Mandhata.
Yuvanasva, by the blessing of the Rishis, did not meet with death at delivery. Mandhata was a very powerful king. The thieves dreaded him much. He performed many sacrifices and made many gifts. He married Indumati, daughter of Sasabindu. He had three sons Purukutsa, Ambarisha, and the Yogin Muchukunda. He had also fifty daughters.
Rishi Soubhari made Tapas in the "waters of the Yamuna. One day he saw the pairing of a couple of fish and became excited. He requested king Mandhata to give him one daughter in marriage. The king said : " By Svayamvara, you may get my daughter " (i. e. the girl must choose her own husband from amongst a number of men offering themselves as husbands.) The Rishi thought because he was old and decrepit therefore the king wanted to put him off. So Soubhari by yogic powers became young and beautiful. All the fifty daughters then accepted him for their husband. The Rishi prepared for himself all the enjoyments of life and passed his days in company with his 50 wives. He then became disgusted with this sensual life and afterwards attained Moksha with his wives.
Yuvanasva adopted his grand son Ambarisha. Ambarisha had one son Youvanasva. His son was Harita. These three, Ambarisha, Youvanasva and Harita were the founders of the chief clans of the Mandhata Dynasty.
The elemental serpents gave their sister Narmodā in marriage to Purukutsa. Purukutsa accompanied Narmoda to Rasatala at the request of Vasuki. There he killed such Gandharvas as deserved to be killed. Those who remember this story have no fear from serpents. Such was the blessing of the elemental serpents.
Mandhata in Mahabharata
Mandhata has been mentioned in Mahabharata in various sections as under:
- Mahabharata.1.2.388 - Then hath been described the history of king Mandhata; then the history of prince Jantu; and how king Somaka by offering up his only son Jantu in sacrifice obtained a hundred others; then the excellent history of the hawk and the pigeon; then the examination of king Sivi by Indra, Agni, and Dharma; then the story of Ashtavakra, in which occurs the disputation, at the sacrifice of Janaka, between that Rishi and the first of logicians, Vandi, the son of Varuna; the defeat of Vandi by the great Ashtavakra, and the release by the Rishi of his father from the depths of the ocean.
- Mahabharata.3.42.2285 - And coursing along that path of the Siddhas, that foremost of the Kurus and the son of Pandu, sat in beauty like Mandhata, that best of kings.
- Mahabharata.3.125.6391 - Here did Mandhata himself, of a mighty bow, perform sacrificial rites for the gods; and so did Somaka, O Kunti's son!
- Mahabharata.3.126.6393 - SECTION CXXVI Yudhishthira said, O great Brahmana, how was that tiger among kings, Mandhata, Yuvanaswa's son, born, even he who was the best of monarchs, and celebrated over the three worlds?
- Mahabharata.3.126.6396 - I should also like to hear how his name of Mandhata originated, belonging as it did to him who rivalled in lustre Indra himself: and also how he of unrivalled strength was born, for thou art skilled in the art of narrating events'
- Mahabharata.3.126.6398 - how the name of Mandhata belonging to that monarch of mighty soul hath come to be celebrated throughout all the worlds.
- Mahabharata.3.126.6447 - And when the wielder of the thunderbolt said, He will suck me' the dwellers of heaven together with Indra christened the boy Mandhata, literally, Me he shall suck.
- Mahabharata.3.126.6473 - requested by thee, I have thus narrated to thee the great life of Mandhata, and also the way in which he was born, which was a birth of an extraordinary kind
- Mahabharata.3.255.12541 - Yayati and Nahusha, and Mandhata and Bharata, having been sanctified by celebrating such a sacrifice, have all gone to heaven.
Mandhata Jataka story is depicted on a crossbar at the Great Stupa at Amaravati, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India, 2nd century AD
This roundel is one of the finest reliefs from Amaravati in the British Museum's collection. It depicts a scene from the Mandhata jataka. Mandhata was a rich and prosperous chakravartin ('Universal Emperor') who had ruled the world for thousands of years. He had grown dissatisfied, having realized every conceivable desire that the mortal world could offer. Thus he decided to include heaven in his realm, since that was all that seemed to be left to which he could aspire. Though his reign over heaven and earth lasted many thousands of years, again, he still felt desire and craving, and was still not satisfied. He finally aspired to the highest of heavens. Shakra (the Pali Buddhist equivalent for Indra), the king of the Gods himself, came to receive him in full state, and offered to share his throne with Mandhata. It is this moment that is depicted here.
A languid and evocative scene of courtly life is shown. The two main protagonists sit comfortably on the large throne. They are entirely surrounded by women who are wholly engaged in attending to the men, in music and dance or seated on stools in the chamber. An impressive array of contemporary musical instruments is being played, including long bow harps, drums and a transverse flute. In the top left-hand corner we can see a woman behind a curtain adjusting her coiffure looking into a mirror held by her attendant.
Ultimately even the joys of the supreme heaven became boring. Mandhata's insatiable desire ultimately had him sent back to earth, where he rapidly aged and died. The Buddha ended the story with his fundamental teaching that all desire leads to suffering, it is only with the removal of all desires that one can achieve the stateless state, the nothingness of nirvana.
According to the "Vayu Purana" (Ansha 99. shloka 130) Mandhata was therefore called Gaur Naresh. According to Bhagwat Datt, both Gaur Brahmins and Gaur Kshatriyas started from King Mandhatha and the Hart gotra started from his great grandson. During the advent of Islam in Afghanistan the ruler of that place belonged to Ghore dynasty. His name was Subhag Sen. Even now there are a large number of people belonging to this dynasty in Zabalisthan and are called Ghorzai. Shahahuddin Mohammed Ghori belonged to this very dynasty. Ghore is a branch of the Baluches also, but they are not accepted as proper Baluchis. Bhagor in Bikaner was the capital of the Ghor kings, from where they were driven out by the people belonging to Bal Clan. After that they settled down in the mountainous county of Ajmer where they are found in large numbers even today. Bundi and Sirohi were also under their occupation. The Chauhan clan conquered the Ghors. Their inscriptions have also been found in Malwa and Bhind. The Bhandon Ghor kings ruled in Bhandra in district Hissar, and they were included in 35 royal clans. Jurel also belonged to Bhadon Ghor Clans.
[p.550]: This was a short march of three and a half coss, or nine miles, over the same extensive plain of rich black loam, or mal, whence the province of Malwa has its name. We were on horseback long before sunrise ; the air was pure and invigorating ; the peasantry were smiling at the sight of the luxuriant young crops of wheat, barley, and gram, aware that no ruthless hand could now step between them and the bounties of Heaven. Fresh thatch, or rising walls, gave signs of the exiles' return, who greeted us, at each step of our journey, with blessings and looks of joy mingled with sadness. Passed the hamlet, or poorwa, of Amerpooa, attached to Khyroda, and to our left the township of Mynar, held in sasun (religious grant) by a community of Brahmins. This place affords a fine specimen of 'the wisdom of ancestors' in Mewar, where fifty thousand beegas, or about sixteen thousand acres of the richest crown-land, have been given in perpetuity to these drones of society; and although there are only twenty families left of this holy colony, said to have been planted by Raja Mandhata in the trita-yug, or silver age of India, yet superstition and indolence conspire to prevent the resumption even of those portions which have none to cultivate them. A "sixty thousand years' residence in hell" is undoubtedly no comfortable prospect, and to those who subscribe to the doctrine of transmigration, it must be rather mortifying to pass from the purple of royalty into "a worm in ordure," one of the delicate purgatories which the Rajpoot soul has to undergo, before it can expiate the offence of resuming the lands of the church ! I was rejoiced, however, to find that some of 'the sons of Sukta,' as they increased in numbers, in the inverse ratio of their possessions, deemed it better to incur all risks than emigrate to foreign lands in search of bhom; and both Heentah and Doondia have been established on the lands of the church. Desirous of preserving every right of every class, I imprecated on my head all the anathemas of the order, if the Rana should resume all beyond what the remnant of this family could require. I proposed that a thousand beegas of the best land should be retained by them; that they should be not only furnished with cattle, seed, and implements of
[p.551]: Agriculture, but that there should be wells cleared out, or fresh ones dug for them. At this time, however, the astrologer was a member of the cabinet, and being also physician in ordinary, he, as one of the order, protected his brethren of Mynar, who, as may be supposed, were in vain called upon to produce the tamba-patra, or copper-plate warrant, for these lands.
Mandhata Raja, a name immortalized in the topography of these rerions, was of the Pramar tribe, and sovereign of Central India, whose capitals were Dhar and Oojein ; and although his period is uncertain, tradition uniformly assigns him priority to Vicramaditya, whose era (fifty-six years anterior to the Christian) prevails through-out India. There are various spots on the Nerbudda which perpetuate his name, especially where that grand stream forms one of its most considerable rapids. Cheetore, with all its dependencies, was but an appanage of the sovereignty of Dhar in these early times, nor can we move a step without discovering traces of their paramount sway in all these regions : and in the spot over which I am now moving, the antiquary might without any difficulty fill his portfolio. Both Heentah and Doondia, the dependencies of Mynar, are brought in connexion with the name of Mandhata, who performed the grand rite of aswamedha, or sacrifice of the horse, at Doondia, where they still point out the coond, or 'pit of sacrifice.' Two Rishs, or 'holy men,' of Heentah attended Mandhata, who, on the conclusion of the ceremony, presented them the customary poon, or 'offering,' which they rejected; but on taking leave, the Raja delicately contrived to introduce into the beea of pan, a grant for the lands of Mynar. The gift, though unsolicited, was fatal to their sanctity, and the miracles which they had hitherto been permitted to form, ceased with the possession of Mammon, Would the reader wish to have an instance of these miracles? After their usual manifold ablutions, and wringing the moisture of their dhoti, or garment, they would fling it into the air, where it remained suspended over their head, as a protection against the sun's rays. On the loss of their power, these saints became tillers of the ground. Their descendants hold the lands of Mynar, and are spread over this tract, named Burra Choubeesa, 'the great twenty-four!'
Modern descendants of Mandhata
Modern descendants of Mandhata are found in Jat Kshatriyas as well as Brahmans.
Bhaleram Beniwal mentions that Mandhara was the Chakravarti Samrat born in 21st generation of Ikhsavaku who has been shown as Gaur Jat in the genealogy of Suryavanshi kings (Vishnu Purana, Part IV, Ch. 2-3). The most prominent among the sons of Mandhata was Ambarisha. Ambarisha's son was Yauvanasva, and Yauvanasva's son was Harita. Harita was a great rishi. Some descendants of this Kshatriya became Brahmans and are known as Gaur Brahmans.
Golia (गोलिया) - Golia gotra of Jats found in Jodhpur, Nagaur districts in Rajasthan. Also found in Punjab. This gotra originated from Gaur vansha of Samrat Mandhata. They are also found in Jat Sikhs.
Gorya (गोरया) - Gorya gotra of Jats are found in Punjab, Gujarat and also in Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh. As per Manusamhita Yuvanashwa king married to a girl Gauri of matinara (मतिनार) Chandravanshi clan. Samrata Mandhata was born from them. After Gauri's name the title of Mandhata became Gaur.
According to the "Vayu Puran" (Ansha 99. shloka 130) Mandhata was therefore called Gaur Naresh. According to Bhagwat Datt, both Gaur Brahmins and Gaur Kshatriyas started from King Mandhatha and the Harit gotra started from his great grandson. During the advent of Islam in Afghanistan the ruler of that place belonged to Ghore dynasty. His name was Subhag Sen. Even now there are a large number of people belonging to this dynasty in Zabalisthan and are called Ghorzai.
Mandhata plates of Jaysimhadeva of Dhara v.s.1112 (1055 AD)
|Mandhata plates of Jaysimha of Dhara v.s.1112|
This inscription was obtained from Mandhata, an island in the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh, and an excellent impression was prepared by Mr. Consens, Spdt. of the Archaeological Survey of Western India.
The copper-plates, which are inscribed on one side only, are two in number, each measuring about 13-1/4" broad by 10" high. They are in a state of perfect preservation. It is in Nagari script and the language is Sanskrit. About twelve lines of the inscription (lines 1-2, 10-12, 22-28) are in verse; the rest is in prose. The inscription is one of the Paramabhattaraka Maharajadhiraja Parameshwara ,the illustrious Jayasimhadeva, who meditated on the feet of the P. M. P, the illustrious Bhojadeva, who, again, had meditated on the feet of the P.M.P., the Sindhurajadeva (Lines 3-6).
It is worded in every particular exactly like, and cites the same verses as the copper plate inscription of Bhojadeva, published in the Indian Antiquary , Vol. VI. pp. 53-55.
After two verses, glorifying the god Siva (Vyomakesā, Smararati) and invoking his blessings, Jayasimhadeva, described as stated above, gives notice (in lines 6-17) to all officials and to the residents of Paṭṭakila and people of the village of Bhima, which belonged to the Maktula village (group of) Forty-two in the Purṇapathaka mandala, that, residing at Dhārā, he grants the said village of Bhima up to its proper boundaries (and inclusive of; the grass and pastureland, with the money-rent and share of the produce, with the uparikara and including all dues to the Brahmans of the paṭṭaśālā at the holy Amareshvara, for food and other purposes. And (in lines 18-21) he commands the resident Paṭṭakila and people to make over to the donees all due share of the produce, money-rent, and so forth, excepting what had been appropriate for gods and Brahmans; and admonishes the rulers that may come after him, to assent to and preserve the religions gift thus conferred. This formal part of the grant is followed (in lines 21-28) by five of the customary benedictive and imprecatory verses. Line 29 gives, in figure only, the date, the 13th of the dark half of Ashadha of the year 1112, followed by the words svayama=ājṇā, showing that the order about this grant was delivered to tie people concerned by the king in person, and by the words " bliss (and) good fortune." And the inscription closes with the words : " This is the own sign-manual of the illustrious Jayasimhadeva," which are also engraved (in line 15) at the bottom of the first plate.
I am unable to identify the village of Bhima, nor can I suggest any identification for Maktulā village group of Forty-two or the Purnnapathaka mandala. Amaresvara, which in a copper-plate inscription of Arjunavarmadeva is called Amaresvaratirtha, is near the island of Mandhata, on the southern bank of the Narmada. As regards the Brahmanas or this place, in whose favour the grant was made, I do not know the meaning of the word Pattasala which is compounded with the word brahmanebhyah in line 14 and can only suggest that. similarly to brahmanapuri, it may denote an establishment provided by the kings favour learned and pious brahmans.
The date of the grant, which must of course be referred to the Vikrama era, unfortunately does not admit of verification, and all that can be said with confidence about it, is, that for the expired Chaitrādi year 1112, its European equivalent would fall in A.D. 1055, and for the expired Kartikadi year 1112, in A.D. 1056.
The importance of this inscription lies in this, that, with the date A.D. 1055-56. Ir gives us the name of the (Paramara) king who was then ruling at Dhara, and of whom no mention has yet been found in other inscriptions, and that, since this king Jaynsimhadeva was the successor of Bhojadeva, it furnishes a sure and fairly definite limit beyond which the reign of Bhojadeva cannot have extended. According to both the stone and copper plate inscriptions hitherto published, Bhojadeva was succeeded by his relative Udayāditya, and it is perhaps correct to say that it was this king who put an end to the troublous state of affairs connected with Bbojadeva's death. But the omission of Jaynsimhadeva name from other inscriptions can be no reason for doubting- the correctness and authenticity of the information conveyed by these copper-plates. In a similar manner, the name of Udayāditya's immediate successor, Lakshmadeva, is omitted from all inscriptions except the Nagpur Prasasti and that very Prasasti clearly intimates that some time elapsed between the reigns of Bhojadeva and Udayaditya, The earliest and latest certain dates which we possess of Bhojadeva, are Vikrama-Samvat 1078 = A.D. 1021, and Saka-Samvat 964. = A.D. 1042-43, while for Udayaditya the only certain date is Vikrama-Samvat 1137 = A.D. 1080-81. For the interval between the two, our inscription now gives us a date in A,D. 1055-56, of the reign of Bhojadeva's successor Jayasimhadeva. How long this king may have ruled at Dhārā, it is impossible to say ab present. Probably his reign was not a long one ; and it also seeing probable that Bhojadeva's reign had come to an end not very long before the date of this inscription.
- Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.115
- Ram Swarup Joon: History of the Jats/Chapter V,p. 84
- Bhaleram Beniwal: Jāt Yodhaon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005 (Page 39-40)
- James Todd Annals/Personal Narrative, pp.550-551
- जाट योद्धाओं के बलिदान Jāt Yodhāon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005, p.39-40
- Mahendra Singh Arya et al: Adhunik Jat Itihas, p. 238
- Mahendra Singh Arya et al: Adhunik Jat Itihas, p. 237
- Ram Swarup Joon:History of the Jats/Chapter V
- Mahendra Singh Arya et al: Adhunik Jat Itihas, p. 275
- Epigraphia Indica Vol.III (1894-95), A S I, Edited by E. Hultzsoh, Ph.D, p.46-50