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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Parshu (पर्शु) was an ancient republic of Ayudhjivi Sangha known to Panini (V.3.117) and mentioned as Parshva (पार्श्व) in Mahabharata (VI.10.54).

Variants of name

Jat clans from Parsu


V. S. Agrawala[1] mentions Sanghas known to Panini which includes - Parshu (पर्शु), under Parshvadi (पर्शवादि) (V.3.117).

V. S. Agrawala[2] mentions the names of Ayudhjivi Sanghas in the Panini's Sutras which include Parśu (V.3.117) – The whole tribe was called Pārśavaḥ, and a single member Pārśava. The Parshus may be identified with the Persians. The Parsus are also known to Vedic literature (Rigveda, VIII.6.46) where Ludwig and Weber identify them with the Persians. Keith discussing Panini’s reference to the Parsus proposes the same identification and thinks ‘that the Indians and Iranians were early connected’. Gandhara; Panini’s homeland, and Pārsa, both occur as

p.446: names of two provinces in the Behustun Inscription, brought under the common sovereignty of Darius (521-586 BC), which promoted their mutual intercourse. Panini knows Gāndhāri as Kingdom (IV.1.169). It seems that soon after the death of Darius Gandhara became independent, as would appear from the manner of its mention by Panini as an independent Janapada. Panini’s Pārśava is nearer to the old Persian form Parsa (cf. The Behistun Inscription) denoting both the country and its inhabitants, and the king Darius calls himself as Pārsa, Pārshahyā pusa, ‘Persian, son of Persian’ (Susa Inscription, JAOS, 51.222).

Baudhayana also mentions the Gandharis along with the Sparsus among western peoples.

Panini and the Parsus

V. S. Agrawala[3] writes that [p.466]: Panini refers to a people called Parsus as a military community (Ayudhjivi Sangha, V.3.117). The Parśu corresponds to to the Old-Persian form Parsā as given in Behistun Inscription. The Babylonian form

[p.467]: of the name in the same Inscription is Par-su which comes closer to Panini’s Parśu (Behistun Inscription, British Museum,pp.159-166). It appears that Parsu was the name of a country as noted in the Babylonian version, and Pārśava was designation of an individual member of that Sangha, a form of the name which corresponds to Babylonian Par-sa-a-a. A part of India was already a province of Achaemenian empire under Cyrus and Darius, which it enriched with its military and material resources. Indians were already serving in the army of Xerxes and fighting his battles about 487 BC, while that very small part of India paid as much revenue as the total revenue of the Persian Empire. There was thus an intimate inter-course between north-west India and Persia, and Panini as one born in that region must have had direct knowledge of such intercourse.

Parsu are Persians

Parsus are considered to be Persians by Dr. Buddha Prakash.[4][5]

The Parsus have been connected with the Persian people, though this view is disputed by some.[6] This is based on the evidence of an Assyrian inscription from 844 BC referring to the Pesians as Parsu, and the Behistun Inscription of Darius I of Persia referring to Parsa as the origin of the Persians.[7]

In Mahabharata

Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 10 describes geography and provinces of Bharatavarsha. Parshva (पार्श्व) is included in the list of provinces in verse (VI.10.54). [8]

Jat History

Bhim Singh Dahiya[9] gives details about a Rigvedic tribe named Parsu : (RV X/86/23, Vlll/6/48) Parsava (1/105/8). A great donor King named Tirindira of this clan is mentioned in RV Vlll/6/46. Prithu Parsva, the great donor king is mentioned in Vlll/6/46. They are to be identified with Parsval clan of the Jats; gave their name, Pars, Persia to Iran. They are also mentioned by Panini (V/3/117).

Bhim Singh Dahiya[10] tells....The Parsvah of Panini are the modern Parsawal Jats. V.S. Agarwala quotes Rig Veda (VIII, 6, 46) to show that they were known at that time also.[11] His identification of Paravah with the Persians may well be correct but it only shows the long association of the Parswal Jats with Iran.

Bhim Singh Dahiya[12] has provided us Clan Identification Chart:

Sl West Asian/Iranian Greek Chinese Central Asian Indian Present name
113. Parsua - - - Parsava Parswal

External links


  1. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.500
  2. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.445-446
  3. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.466-467
  4. Political and Social Movements in Ancient Punjab, p. 103
  5. Tej Ram Sharma: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Tribes,p.173
  6. A. A. Macdonell and A. B. Keith (1912). Vedic Index of Names and Subjects.
  7. Radhakumud Mookerji (1988). Chandragupta Maurya and His Times (p. 23). Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 8120804058.
  8. वध्राः करीषकाश चापि कुलिन्दॊपत्यकास तदा, वनायवॊ दशा पार्श्वा रॊमाणः कुश बिन्दवः (Mahabharata,VI.10.54)
  9. "Aryan Tribes and the Rig Veda". (1991) Dahinam Publishers, 16 B Sujan Singh Park, Sonepat, Haryana, India.
  10. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Jats,p.73
  11. Rig Veda, VIII. 6,46
  12. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Appendices/Appendix II,p. 325, S.No.113

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