Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Tribes
Concept Publishing Company Delhi, 1978
|The full text of this chapter has been converted into Wiki format by Laxman Burdak|
- 1 Tribes
- 2 1. Abhira 2. Arjunayanas 3. Atavikas
- 3 4. Daivaputra
- 4 5. Huna
- 5 6. Kakas 7. Kharaparikas 8. Kotas 9. Kurus
- 6 10. Licchavis
- 7 11. Madrakas 12. Malava 13. Mleccha 14. Murundas
- 8 15. Prarjunas 16. Pusyamitras
- 9 17. Sahanusahi 18. Sahi 19. Saimhalaka 20. Saka 21. Sanakanika
- 10 22. Vahlika
- 11 23. Yaudheya
- 12 Notes
1. Abhira 2. Arjunayanas 3. Atavikas
1. Abhira (आभीर) (No. 1, L. 22) : They were one of the tribes subdued by Samudragupta. Abhiras lived to the north of the Rajasthan desert. We may also think of Abiravan between Herat and Kandahar which may have been the original home of the Abhiras. In the 3rd century A.D. there was an Abhira kingdom in the north-western Deccan. 21 D.C. Sircar 22 describes Abhira in singular as a member of the Cowherd Community. The tribe can still be traced in the present Abhiras, 23 who in tribal groups, abound largely in the Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Nepal and some portions of Rajasthan. They are a band of simple, sturdy people, mostly cowherds and agriculturists. 24 This tribe 25 is thought to have played a big part in the propagation of the worship of Krsna Govinda 26 in his pastoral aspect.
In the first and second centuries A.D. they are located in the country between the lower Sindhu valley and Kathiawar, as is indicated in the 'Periplus' and in the Geography of Ptolemy. 28 The Periplus calls their country Abiria. Abhira generals served in the armies of Saka Ksatraps of Western India in the second century A.D. as is known from their inscriptions. 29 They are also mentioned in the Mahabhasya of Patanjali 30 in association with the Sudras, the Sodrai of Alexander's time, who lived in northern Sind. Throughout the third century A.D. the Abhiras exercised ruling power in northern Konkan and Maharashtra. 31 Vatsyayana 32 refers to the Harem of the Abhira kings. The Markandeya Purana 33
The Jodhpur Inscription of Samvat 918, records that the Abhira people of this area were a terror to their neighbours, because of their violent demeanour. 36 The Abhira robbers are also mentioned in the Skanda Purana. 37 Epigraphic evidence indicates the existence of an Abhira kingdom in the 14th Century in Khandesh38
In the Sahitya Darpana of Visvanatha, 39 it is stated that Abhiri is the language of the Abhiras and Chāndāli of the Chāndālas. Those who do woodwork can speak Abhiri or Sābari either of the two. Dandin asserts that the speeches of the Abhiras, etc., are termed as Apabhramsa in the Kavya 40 on the basis of which probably Keith writes : "the Prakrit lyrics passed into Apabhramsa as a result of the activities of the Abhiras and the Gurjaras. 41 We know from the Amarakosa 42 that 'Abhiri' was used to denote -Abhira woman or the wife of a cowherd'.
In the Kashmirian recension of the Mahabharata we get the readings 'Kābhira' and 'Kabhira' in place of Abhira. 45 These Kashmirian forms may have resulted from an attempt to record an initial glottal opening in the language of the Abhiras. The Kasmiras probably knew the Abhiras at an early date. 46
Bhattacharya 47 describes the Abhirs or Ahirs as a cowherd caste exceeding 8,000,000, and found almost everywhere in India north of the Narmada. The Abhiras are mentioned as foreigners in the Puranas. 48 Their kings were regarded as vratya and mostly sudras (black). 49 In the Mahabharata the Abhiras are called Mleccha. 50 According to Manu 51 they were the sons of a brahmana man and an ambastha woman, the Ambasthas being of mixed origin and known as the Anava ksatriyas. 52 The Brhatsamhita 53 places the Abhiras in the
Southern quarter of India.
2. Arjunayanas (आर्जुनायन) (No. 1, L. 22) :
The name Arjuneya is mentioned in the Rigveda as the patronymic of Kautsa. 56 The tribe, associated with the name of Arjuna, existed in the Punjab and the North-West up to the advent cf Gupta power in the fourth century A.D. 57 The word Arjuna in the Vedic literature 58 denotes 'white' and 'white leprosy' and is also an epithet of Indra. But it does not denote a tribe or a human hero.
The word Arjuna has an unmistakable resemblance with the Saka word erzuna, meaning a 'leader' or 'chief which is derived from arzi. Analogous to it are the Saka words aljsā, meaning 'silvery' and aljsatā, meaning 'silver', that are akin to the Avestan word erezata (silver), the Sanskrit word rajata (silver) and the Persian word arziz (tin). 59 All these words have the original sense of whiteness and brightness, that are also connoted by the word arjuna in Sanskrit. It is highly significant that Arjuna, the hero of the Mahabharata, is said to have borne this name, because he was 'white' and 'pure' in action. 60 All over the Eurasian steppes the nobles were regarded as 'white' and the commoners were considered 'black'. Hence the word for white colour was employed to denote the idea of leadership. This is why erzuna was used in the sense of a 'leader' in Saka languages. 61
Vedic and Saka both branched from the same parent Indo-European language. Hence many words were common to both. But whereas arjuna in Vedic lost its pristine sense and was only used as an adjective, signifying 'whiteness', in Saka it meant a 'tribe' and a human hero and later on this sense was imparted to this word in India as a result of the impact of the Sakas. 62 The tribe, bearing the name of Arjuna, was also connected with some people of Chinese Turkestan, whose heroes, and kings had this designation. 63 In the Uighur redaction of the
Hidimbavadha 64 the name of Arjuna occurs in the form of Arcuni. 65 According to Syivain Levi, this episode of the Mahabharata owed the privilege of entering into the Turkish world to the presence of the name of Arjuna in it, who was regarded as the eponymous founder of the dynasties of some Central Asiatic oases-states.66
Panini67 refers to the worshipper of Arjuna, called Arjunaka, together with the devotee of Vasudeva, called Vasudevaka. This remark implies that Arjuna was treated as a deity at the time of Panini and his followers occupied a prominent position. 68 The Kasika replaces Auddālakayana of Patanjali by Arjunayana, 69 the name of a tribe nearer to its own time in discussing the meaning of Prachya-bharata (II.4.66).
From the accounts relating to the invasion of India by Alexander we learn that a tribe named Agalassoi (Arjunayana) fought with Alexander. 70
The Brhat-samhita 71 places the Arjunayana in the northern division of India and describes them, as being in the region of Brhaspati. 72
Ptolemy refers to a people in the Punjab whom he calls Pandoouoi=Pandavas with whom the Arjunayanas may be connected. 74 Arjunayana coins are found in the Mathura region and 'they may be assigned with probability to the region lying west of Agra and Mathura, equivalent, roughly speaking, to the Bharatpur and Alwar States'. 75
3. Atavika-raja (आटविक राज (No. 1, L.21) :
It is stated in the inscription that Samudragupta made all the kings of the forest countries his servants.76 A mention of the forest kingdoms has also been made in Khoh Copper plate inscription of Samkshobha Gupta year 209.77 These 18 forest kingdoms were apparently in Central India including Ḍāhala (डाहल) or the Jabalpur region78 We find a reference to the same in the Kanas plate of Lokavigraha.79 The Vayu and Matsya Puranas (XLV, 126 and CXIII, 48) read Atavyas (आटव्य) which is no doubt the correct reading. Atavi as a city of the Deccan is mentioned in the Mahabharata.80 The Atavyas were certainly the same as the Atavikas of the Allahabad Pillar Inscription and were perhaps aboriginal tribes dwelling in the jungle tracts of Central India.81 We find
a reference to the Atavikas or the forest savages in the Arthasastra of Kautilya and it was an Arthasastra practice to hire the Atavikas as scouts and army auxiliaries, 82 which needs must influence their future advance to civilization. Atavika-raja should be translated as 'forest-kings' or 'kings of forest countries'. We get a reference to Jangalas (जाङ्गल) in the Puranic List of Peoples. 83 Similar terms 'vana-rastra' 'forest-countries' and vana-rajya 'forest-kingdoms' also occur in the BrhatSamhita.84 But these countries lay in the north-east division of India, as mapped out by Varahamihira, and they are, at any rate, not the countries referred here.85
In the Critical Edition of the Mahabharata, in one line of Sahadeva's digvijaya, Professor Franklin Edgerton changes Atavi to Antakhi (अन्ताखी) , so that the line will refer to Antioch, Rome and the Greeks. Antioch, Rome and Greece were intimately associated in history and consequently they are still associated in the minds of Western scholars, and hence Antakhi made more sense to Edgerton in connection with Rome and the Greeks than Atavi. But it only represents his personal opinion.86
4. Daivaputra (दैवपुत्र) (No. 1, L. 23) :
The common belief is that the designation devaputra 'god- son' was copied by the Kushanas from the ancient Chinese imperial title, 'T'ien-tzu', 'son of heaven'.89 Thomas considers that this title used by the Kusanas must have been borrowed from the Hsiung-nu (a Central Asian Tribe) and not directly from the Chinese.90 Narain also believes the title to have been borrowed by the Kusanas from Central Asia.91 The title has been frequently used by the kings in the Kharosthi documents discovered from Chinese Turkestan.92 As regards the origin of the title, the divinity of the kings has been stressed upon in many ancient empires.93 The ancient Indian concept for 'Deva-
putra'94 meaning 'god-son' is slightly different. It was not used for worldly kings but specifically for a class of distinguished divinities, which in Indian Buddhist texts was specifically used for four regional 'great kings', i.e., regents of four quarters, East, West, North and South who were 'sons of heaven'. In the later Kushana times, the term seems to have denoted the sense of Royal insignia.95 In a Buddhist text of this period the question is raised 'why kings are called devaputra' and the answer is that before being born as a man, he was abiding among the gods (devas) and that, because the thirty-three gods (each) contributed to his substance, therefore, he is 'god-son'.96
That Daivaputra denotes the Kusanas is obvious, since, no other Indian king is known to have been styled 'devaputra'. Though Indian kings were usually addressed as 'Deva', we do not find any evidence of an Indian king referring to himself as deva. The Kusanas did not adopt devaputra as an official title in early times. It is totally absent from their coins, its reading on one coin of Kujula Kara Kaphsa being an error which has been noticed by Thomas after re-examining the coin in consultation with Allan.97 Kaniska has not used the title even in Peshawar Casket Inscriptions which were officially engraved. It is only in documents inscribed by Indians that the title 'devaputra' is used for the Kushana kings.98 The title is used for the first time for Kanishka (known as Chandana Kanishka). 99 Maharaja -rajatiraja devaputra Kusana of the Taxila Silver Scroll Inscription is generally taken to refer to Kanishka.100 As rightly observed by Thomas "the devaputrasa of the scroll inscription is the first known instance of the application to the Kusanas of the designation devaputra, which regularly, though not invariably, recurs with Kaniska and his successors."101
Thus we do not find the title Devaputra being used by the Kusana rulers themselves but was applied to them by the Indians. Why of all ruling dynasties only the Kusanas were designated as 'Devaputras' is really inexplicable. Thomas suggests two possibilities. It may be due to the fact that the Indians saw some similarity between the figures of the grand Yaksha and those of the burly Kusana kings and the superior title of 'Devaputra' may have appeared to be a suitable appel-
lation. Another possibility is that they found some similarity between the Kusana kings and Kubera (described in India as regent of the north and god of wealth and known as Devaputra in ancient Indian concept of Devaputra which simply means god-son), especially in view of the lavish gold coinage of the Kusanas. Asvaghosa refers to the 'great king Kanika' as 'guardian of the northern heaven'.102 It is also likely that the title devaputra may have been given due to Siva-mahesvara, whom we have seen styled as Devaputra and who is the sole deity figured on the coins of Wima Kadphises.103 These facts need further investigation.
Most probably from the Epic Period, Indian concept of Devaputra 'god-son' is linked with kings to give them divinity and not as a title.104 Ashoka could claim the title only of 'Devandm priya' 105 meaning 'the beloved of the gods'. Thus Devaputra or 'god-son' was a superior title given to the Kushanas by Indians. It is interesting to note that the epithet Devaputravat has been used for Buddha in one of our inscriptions106
5. Huna (No. 13, L. 15) : हूणैर्य्यस्य समागतस्य समरे दोर्म्यां धरा कम्पिता भीमावर्त्करस्य-
They are mentioned in the Bhitari Stone Pillar inscription of Skandagupta in which Skandagupta (A.D. 455-467) is stated to have inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Hunas : "By whose (Skandagupta's) two arms the earth was shaken, when, the creator (of a disturbance like that) of a terrible whirlpool, joined in close conflict with the Hunas....".107 The defeat inflated upon the Hunas proved so decisive that for near half a century the Gupta empire was immune from their depredations.108
Uigur109 transcribes the name of the tribe in ancient Chinese in two phonetic forms : one of which is 'xunu or xunu', the other 'xunux, xunuo,xunu' The first part (xun) of the last form is not in doubt and neither is the u of the last part, the only question is about the change of the initial i' of ancient Chinese into y in Uigur before u and in Sandhi, and about the pronunciation of the final consonant.110
The first of the above Chinese forms which comes as close to the Hunu as to the Sanskrit Huna is very similar to the
Chinese "transcription" Xunu or Xunu, and Avesta Hunu, except the Sanskrit has substituted for the final root vowel V the stem final a characteristic of the names of peoples in that language. "The Puranas have a form Urṇa which together with Epic Skr. Huna suggests Indic Hūrṇa Turk, Xūrnu".111
We may note here the Tibetan Hor, which corresponds with the first syllable of the reconstructed form Hūr-ṇa. The difference of vowels may indicate a back dipthong or back vowel between o and u, as Ptolemy's Xoūnoi suggests, since the Greeks wrote u (y) for Indic w.112
Though all the above forms go back to one primitive form, we cannot say the same for the people to whom they were applied. The general opinion is that the Hsiung-nus, Huns, Hunas etc., were Turks. Some scholars consider them to have been a mixture of many tribes, Iranians, Mongols, and Paleosibirians (ancestors of the Yenissei-ostyaks). Whatever may have been the dominant race or speech was, it can be seen that there must have been several subject people and subject armies in such far-flung empires, necessitating some mixture and mutual influence ethnic, linguistic and cultural. 113 Otto Maenchen-Helfen has discussed the whole question on the is of the evidence of language, history, ethnology, archaeology114 and has pointed out that the greater part the Hsiung-nu vocabulary pointed to Mongol 115 Later Peliot considered the same vocabulary and established that the Hsiung-nu and Huns were Turks. 116
Louis Bazin117 and Von Gabain118 also reached the conclusion that in language of the Hsiung-nu there was a high percentage of Turkish words.119
In the second century B.C. the Hiung-nu (Huns) started a movement near the Chinese frontier and succeeded in destroying the Greco-Bactrian empire, in strongly menacing the existence of the house of Arsakes, and in landing crowds of Central Asian invaders within the borders of India. In the latter half of the fourth century A.D., a branch of them, the White Huns, or Ephthalites, flooded the South of Asia; and 'about the time when the last legions of Rome shattered on the plains of Chalons, the motley hordes of Attila, the White Huns had begun to tread Sassanian Persia under the hoofs of their
horses, and were soon to smash the Indian empire of the Guptas into pieces'.120
In A.D. 484 the Hunas killed the Sassanian ruler of Persia. Towards the close of the fifth century A.D. they ruled over a vast empire with their principal capital at Balkh.121 We know of a Huna-desa placed to the South of the Kama-giri and to the North of Maru-desa, i.e., the desert called the land of heroes. The Harshacharita places the Huna country in the Punjab region practically suggesting the same area. 122
In the middle of the sixth century A.D., the Sassanian king of Persia made an alliance with Western Turks against the Hunas and smashed their rule from the Oxus by killing their king sometime between A.D. 563 and 567. 123
We know of Toramana from his Eran Boar Inscription 124 and of Mihirakula from his Gwalior Inscription. 125 These two are generally taken to have been Huna chiefs. There is another inscription found at Kura (Salt range in the Punjab) refering to Rajadhiraja Maharaja Toramana-Sahi-Jau (bla), whom some scholars identify with king Toramana mentioned in the Eran Inscription,126 but others regard the two as quite different.127 Here it must be pointed out, none of these inscriptions describes any of these kings as Hunas nor contains any reference to the Hunas.
We find an interesting account of Toramana in the Jain work, Kuvalayamala, composed to 700 Saka (A.D.778).128 Here Toramana is stated to have lived on the bank of the Candrabhaga (Chenab river). His guru Hari-gupta, who himself was a scion of the Gupta family, also lived there.129
Both Toramana and Mihirakula are referred to in the Rajatarangini, but there is no mention of their being the Hunas.
It is doubtful whether Toramana and Mihirakula were Hunas or Kushanas. Sir Aurel Stein, Jayaswal 130 and Fleet 131 held that Toramana was a Kushana. But Sten Konow 132 holds that Tora- mana was, in all probability, a Huna, as is generally assumed, and not a Kushana. It is not unlikely that the Hunas and the Kushanas were ethnically allied and were later merged into a new nation, which came to be known as Huna in India.133
There are several stray references to the Hunas in Indian literature. D.C. Sircar 134 opines that the Indian names Huna,
Harahuna (हारहूण) or Hārahūra, supposed to be associated with the Chinese name Hiung-nu and 'the White Hun' of the European writers, are mentioned in a few late passages of the Mahabharata and in the geographical sections of the early Puranas, can be roughly assigned to the 4th century A.D. A sūtra-vṛtti in the Chandra Vyakarana has the sentence ajayad-gupta (or Japto or Jarto) Hunan (अजयद जर्तो हूणान) as an illustration of the use of the imperfect to express an event which occurred within the life-time of the author.135
In the Mandasor inscription of Yasodharman 136 a reference is made to the chiefs of the Hunas, but they are not named. The inscription simply says that Yasodharman possessed countries which not even the Guptas and the chiefs of the Hunas could subdue.137
The inscription also refers to Mihirakula "who had earlier bowed only to the god Sthanu (Siva) and whose forehead was pained through being bent low down by the strength of the arm of Yasodharman in the act of compelling obeisance".138
With the fall of Yasodharman, which probably took place not long after, Mihirakula again came to the forefront. In the early part of the sixth century A.D. Sakala become his capital.139 The Gupta king who then occupied the imperial throne was probably Narasimha-Gupta Baladitya. He was temporarily over-whelmed by the victorious raids of Yasodharman, and Mihirakula evidently took advantage of this imperial crisis to extend his power. Narasimhagupta, according to Hiuen Tsang, was forced to the humiliating position of paying tribute to Mihirakula but finally triumphed over his rival.140
The defeat of Mihirakula appears to have finally crushed the political supremacy of the Hunas in India who ceased to be even a disturbing element in Indian History.141 The Puranas place the Hunas in the extreme west, with the Sauviras, Saindhavas, Sakalas and Madras.142
In the Raghuvamsa, Kalidasa mentions Raghu defeating the Hunas on the banks of the Vanksu or the Oxus 143 ,the (pale) faces of whose wives spoke of the bravery of their husbands (who died in the battle).144
remarks that about the sixth century A.D., the Hunas almost lost their original name of Hiong-nou or Huns. Later the powerful Turks give its name to the entire Huna nation by which they were further known in the neighbouring nations. After wards they were submerged in the Mongols under the influence of the powerful Mongol Chief Chengiz Khan. Thus, the Hiong-nou or Huns received different names in different periods beginning with their origin to their advancement in other countries. In spite of the copious references to the Ephthalites in the accounts of the different countries, it is very difficult to determine their exact origin and ethnic affinities.
We can partly agree with Dr. Thakur as regards their merger in the area later dominated by the Turks and Mongols but the Hunas find their mention in the Harshacharita of Bana (a seventh century work) and they remained a potent force in the social and political life of the Punjab-Rajasthan-Malwa-Gujarat region during the early medieval period as evidenced by a large number of epigraphical and literary records, and also proved themselves as a source of danger to the Pala kings of Bengal.148
6. Kakas 7. Kharaparikas 8. Kotas 9. Kurus
6. Kakas (काक) (No. 1, L, 22):
One of the tribes who paid homage to Samudragupta. The Kakas are mentioned in the Mahabharata149 and are associated with the Vidarbhas, a well-known people occupying tracts of territory in modern Madhya Pradesh. 150 V.A. Smith connects them with Kakanada (काकनाद) near Sanchi;151 while the Bombay Gazetteer identifies them with Kakupur near Bithur. 152 They may have been neighbours of the Sanakanikas.153
7. Kharaparikas (खरपरिक) (No. 1, L. 22) :
One of the tribes who were subjugated by Samudragupta.
D. R. Bhandarkar154 takes them to be the Kharparas (खरपर) mentioned in the Batihagadh Inscription155 of the Damoh district of M.P. Kharpara156 means a thief, a rogue or a cheat. The name Kharaparika does not occur elsewhere in inscriptions or literature. The Markandeya Purana 157 mentions a tribe called Khara-sagara-rāśis, 158 along with the Gandharas and the Yaudheyas; and the Matsya Purana 159 refers to a country named Kharapatha, watered by the river Nalini. It is difficult to say whether Khara-sagara-rasi and Kharapatha (खरपथ)
8. Kotas (कोत) (No. 1, L. 14): (दण्डैर्ग्राह्यतैव कोत-कुलजं पुष्पाह्वये क्रीडता-)
The Allahabad Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta mentions Samudragupta's capturing a king born in the family of the Kotas.162 Mookerji equates the Kota-kulaja of the inscription with king Kalyanavarman of the play 'Kaumudi-Mahotsava'.163 But it is now generally believed 164 that 'the episode of the Kaumudi-Mahotsava has no bearing whatsoever on the early Gupta History'.
The coins of the Kotas bearing their name have been found in East Punjab, and Delhi, and 'they probably ruled in the Upper Gangetic valley'.165 Scholars differ in their views about placing the Kotas; some identify it with Kanyakubja while others with Pataliputra.166
It is known that Puspapura or Kusumapura was the name of both the Pataliputra and Kanyakubja.167 It must, however, be noted that the city of Puspa here is connected mainly with Samudragupta and not with the Kota-kulaja,168 so the location of the city of the Kotas is not to be traced in Kusumapura or Puspapura. It is well known that Chandragupta I received Magadha through his Licchavi-alliance and it is possible that Samudragupta enjoyed his youth playfully at Pataliputra (Puspa-āhvaye kridata). So Goyal's assumption that 'Harisena has referred to Kanyakubja and not Pataliputra'169 is incorrect. It is only later that Kanyakubja gains the honour of being called Kusumapura when the glory of Pataliputra had started declining.170
In view of the context of the victory over Kota-kulaja along with the Naga kings Achyuta and Nagasena and with the support of numismatic evidence it may be said that the kotas lived somewhere between East Punjab and Delhi.
9. Kurus (No.22, L.7) :
The Kurus were one of the most ancient and prominent of the Indo-Aryan ksatriya tribes.173 In the earliest literature the Kurus do not appear under that name as a people. But
mention is made of a prince, Kurusravana (Glory of the Kurus)174 and of a Pakasthaman Kauravyayana. 175 The Atharvaveda 176 refers to Pariksita as a king of the Kurus and his son, Janamejaya, is mentioned in the Datapath a Brahmana 177 as one of the great performers of the horse sacrifice.
Oldenberg 178 seems to be right in suggesting that the Kuru people, as known later, included some of the tribes referred to by other names in the Rigveda. Kurusravana, shown by his name to be connected with the Kurus, is in the Rigveda called Trasadasyava, 'descendant of Trasadasyu,' who is well known as a king of the Purus. Moreover, it is likely that the Trtsu-Bharatas, who appear in the Rigveda as enemies of the Purus, later coalesced with them to form the Kuru people.179 Moreover, there is evidence that the Bharatas occupied the territory in which the Kurus were later found. Two of them are spoken of in a hymn of the Rgveda 180 as having kindled fire on the Drsadvati, the Apaya, and the Sarasvati that is to say, in the sacred places of the later Kurukshetra.181
In the Brahmana literature, the Kurus are often connected with Pancalas.182
The territory of the Kuru-Panchalas is declared in the Aitareya Brahmana to be the middle country (Madhyadesa). 183 A group of the Kuru people still remained further north the Uttara Kurus beyond the Himalayas. 184 It appears from a passage of the Satapatha Brahmana that the speech of the Northerners-that is, presumably the Northern Kurus-and of the Kuru Pancalas was similar, and regarded as specially pure. 185 There seems little doubt that the Brahmanical Culture was developed in the country of the Kuru-Pancalas, and that it spread thence east, south and west. 186
The Uttara Kurus, who play a mythical part in the Epic and later literature, are still a historical people in the Aitareya Brahmana, 187 where they are located beyond the Himalayas (parena Himavantam). In another passege, 188 however, the country of the Uttara Kurus is stated by Vasistha Sathavya to be a land of the gods (deva-ksetra), but Janmtapi Atyarati was anxious to conquer it, so that it is still not wholly mythical. It is reasonable to accept Zimmer's view that the
northern Kurus were settled in Kashmir, especially as Kurukshetra is the region where tribes advancing from Kashmir might naturally be found. 189 In Buddhist literature, Uttara-Kuru is very often mentioned as a mythic region, but there are some passages which go to show that there was a faint memory of a country that once had a historical existence.190
Some time before the fourth century B.C., the monarchical constitution of the Kurus gave place to a republic, for we are told by Kautilya 191 that the Kurus were l rāja-sabdopijivināh or 'enjoying the status of rajan' i.e. all citizens had equal rank and rights.192
Shafer 193 shows that only the upper castes of the Kauravas were Aryan, the bulk of the population were probably non-Aryan as is clear from the fact that whereas the Kauravas rallied the support mostly of the non- Aryans, the Pandavas had the support of Aryans and concludes that the Northern Kurus were Mundic. 194
10. Licchavis (No. 1, L.29; No. 4, L.7; No. 10,L.4;No. 12, L. 18; No. 13, L.3: No. 21, L.5; No. 40, L.4; No. 47, L 2; No. 49, L.2; No. 50, L.2; No. 53, L.2) :
The epithet 'Licchavi-dauhitra' (daughter's son of the Licchavi) for Samudragupta occurs in all these Gupta records It suggests the importance of Chandragupta's marriage with the Licchavi princess Kumaradevi. The alliance had no social importance but it was important for political gain by virtue of which Chandragupta I (Samudragupta's father) gained powerful position in Magadha and the neighbouring countries. In the Chandragupta-Kumaradevi-coins, we have no mention of the Guptas but only of the Licchavis in plural ' LicchavayaV (the Licchavis). This supports the amalgamation of the Guptas with the Licchavis and we may agree with Majumdar that 'the epithet Licchavi-dauhitra was deliberately given to Samudragupta to emphasize his right of succession to the dual monarchy'. 195
We also know of a house of the Licchavis at Nepal 196 but the separate reference to Nepal as a tributary province in the Allahabad Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta 197 proves that it was different from the Licchavi kingdom which Samudragupta had inherited from his mother. The Licchavi kingdom of
Kumaradevi may be located in North Bihar with Vaisali (modern Basarh in Muzaffarpur district) as its centre. 198 It was a credit for the astute diplomacy of Chandragupta to marry the Licchavi princess as we know, in ancient times, the Licchavis of Vaisali had been the rivals of the kings of Pataliputra 199 and that they did not marry outside their area. 200
The name of this powerful people has come to us in many different readings : Licchavi, Lecchavi, Lecchai, Lecchaki, Licchvi, Nicchivi, Lichikki and Lichavi.
Of these the Licchavi has been most commonly used in literature. 201
The earliest mention of this people is in Kautilya's Artha- Sastra, 202 where they are called Licchavis. Here we read that the corporations of Licchivi, Vriji, Malla, Madra, Kakura, Kuru, Panchala and others were 'rajasabdopajivinah' . It is note- worthy that Kautilya distinguishes the Licchavis from the Vrjis though some scholars consider them to be one. 203 H.Pandey 204 says that it appears from the Pali suttas that the names Vajji and Licchavi are interchangeable to some extent. But the accounts of Chinese pilgrims point to a different conclusion. Fa-Hien describes the kingdom of Vaisali where 'Licchavis' were the people of the country. He does not mention Vrji or Vajji. Hiuen Tsang describes Vaisali and Vrji as two distinct countries, and Walters is inclined to doubt the accuracy of his description of the Vrji country. 205 But we know that Vajji was a powerful confederacy of which the Videhas along with the Licchavis, Jnatrikas, Ugras, Bhojas and others were the constituent confederate clans (atthakula). Of these the Licchavis and the Videhas were the most important, and the Licchavi Capital Vaisali was the head-quarter of the confederacy. 206 But Ray Chaudhuri observes : "Vajji was not only the name of the confederacy but also of one of the constituent clans. But the Vajjis like the Licchavis are sometimes associated with the city of Vaisall which was not only the capital of the Licchavi clan, but also the metropolis of the entire confederacy". 207 The Licchavi republic was generally called the sarhgha or gana of the Vajjis. The Licchavis would not possibly have allowed this name, had they not themselves been Vajjians. In one passage,
the Licchavi Mahanama, seeing that a band of young Licchavis who had been out hunting were gathered round the Buddha, is represented as saying, "They (i.e. the Licchavis) will become Vajjians, they will become Vajjians (bhavissanti Vajji bhavis- santi Vajji)" ! This possibly only means that there was great hope of these Licchavi young men becoming true Vajjians, practising the seven conditions of welfare taught by the Buddha, conditions which endured their prosperity, and lead- ing a more cultured life. Thus the Vajji appears to be a more dignified term. It might have originally been given to the tribe which inhabited what is known as Vajjirattha (Vrji-r astro), i.e., the Vajjian country, in Buddhist literature. Later a separation seems to have taken place among the Vajjis and Licchavis, because the Arthasastra (XI. I) mentions the Licchavika and the Vrjika as two distinct republics. 208
The clan of the Licchavis figures very prominently in the annals of early Buddhism. Buddhaghosa, the celebrated Pali commentator has the following story 209 : The chief queen of the king of Benaras, at the time of her child-birth delivered lump of flesh, 'of the colour of lac and of bandhu and Jivaka flowers'. Fearing the displeasure of the king if he should hear of this, the other queens put the lump of flesh into a casket marked with royal seal and placed it on the flowing waters of the Ganges. The casket was discovered by an ascetic, and taken by him to his hermitage, where he cared for the lump of flesh. After the lapse of some time, tha lump broke up into two pieces of flesh, which gradually assumed shape, till finally one of them became a boy resplendent like gold, and the other a girl. Whatever entered the stomach of these two infants looked a s if put into a vessel of precious transparent stone (mani) so that they seemed to have no skin (Nicchavi). Others said : 'the two were attached to each other by their skin (lina-chavi) as if they had been sewn together'; so that these infants came to be designated 'Licchavis'. We are further told that on coming of age the boy and the girl were married to each other and from this brother and sister union sprang the race of the Licchavis 210
The origin of the Licchavis has been a matter of great controversy. They have been represented as Scythians, Kolarians, Tibetans and Persians by different authorities. 211
Samuel Beal 212 takes the Licchavis or Vajjis to be a branch of the 'Yue-Chi' forgetting that the latter came to India in the first century B.C. while the Licchavis were a highly civilized and prosperous people in the sixth century B.C.
In the opinion of J.P. Hewitt, there are "very strong indications that the Vajjians, who were certainly the earliest settlers in the country, were of Kolarian race who had lived there long before the arrival of the Dravidians and Aryans". The learned writer ignores the existence of the pre-Vajjian Aryan dynasty of rulers at Vaisali. 213
V.A. Smith 214 found similarities between the customs of the Tibetans and those of the Licchavis in the practice of the exposure of the dead and also in judicial procedure. And hence he came to the conclusion that the Licchavis, the ruling tribe or clan in Vrji country of which Vaisali was the capital, was really a Tibetan (or Mongolian) tribe which settled in the plains during the prehistoric times. The view has been criticised by B.C Law, K.P Jayaswal, H.C. Raychaudhuri and others on the following grounds 215 :
(1) The custom of the disposal of the dead was prevalent among the Vedic Aryans from whom the Licchavis were descended ;
(2) In the case of Tibet we have only three courts as against the seven tribunals of the Licchavis ; further we know very little about the relative antiquity of the Tibetan procedure which might very well have been suggested by the system expounded in the Atthakatha.
S.C. Vidyabhusana 216 suggests a Persian origin for the Licchavis holding that the name Licchavi (Nicchavi of Manu, X.22) was derived from the Persian city of Nisibis. There is very littte in Vidyabhusana's surmise except a fancied resemblance between the names Nicchivi and Nisibis. Inscriptions of the Achaemenids are silent about any Persian settle- ment in the Eastern India in the sixth or fifth century B.C. The Licchavi people were more interested in Yaksa caityas and the teaching of Mahavira and the Buddha than in the deities and Prophets of Iran. 217
The Licchavis have been invariably represented as ksatriyas in ancient Indian literature. As the Mahaparinibbana-Sutta
informs us, they claimed a share of the icmnants of the Buddha's body on the ground that they were ksatriyas like the Buddha himself : "The Exalted one was a ksatriya and so are we. We are worthy to receive a portion of relics of the Exalted one". We get many other similar instances. 218 We find that both the Sakyas (to whose race the Buddha belonged) and the Licchavis are described as progenies of brother and sister unions. Like the Sakyas, the Licchavis are also described as ksatriyas. 219 Manu speaks of the Licchavis as ksatriyas, though of the Vratya variety. 220 Regarding the Vratyas, Manu says : Those (sons) whom the twice-born have by the wives of equal caste, but who, not fulfilling their scared duties, are excluded from the initiation to Sāvitri, one must designate by the appellation vratyas'. 221
We know that Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, was the very kin of the Licchavis and that he had many followers among the residents of Vaisali, even among the highest officers. Then again, between the sixth century B.C. and 200 B.C., the earliest estimated date of the Manusmrti, 222 the Licchavis had won the good graces of the Buddha as well as of the followers of the religion he preached. During this long interval, when the two great 'heretic' faiths flourished in their country, the Licchavis might not have been particular to the ceremonies and practices that the regulations of the orthodox brahmanas required. 'Hence we can understand how Manu, the great brahmana law-giver came to refer to the Licchavis as Vratyas'. 223 But Gokhale 224 takes the term ksatriya in this context to mean representative of political power rather than a specific caste in the brahminical hierarchy and from the word Vratya infers that they were outside the pale of the brahminical civilization.
Scholars have divergent views about the connotation of the word 'Vratya'. '225' Charpentier described the Vratyas, as a band of people not governed by the rules of caste, probably repre- senting the worst elements of Indian society, the thief, the robber, the drunken one, etc. But Keith rejected this view by pointing out that Manu's reference to the Rajanya Vratyas, e.g. Licchavis and Mallas (X.22) has no value for Vedic times. 226 Haver in his article 'Der Vratya' derives 'Vratya'
from 'vrata' Thus the oldest meaning of 'Vrata' is a group of people bound by holy ceremonies, bound by a vow to cult- actions being derived from 'vrata' which is a vow taken in the service of a god. The Vratinas, on the other hand, 'were Aryans of a more primitive culture and religion, than the orthodox brahmanas, and were organised in cult- unions and both 'vratya' and 'vratina' being derived from 'vrata' are "'members of the same holy union'. The only difference between them apparently was that the Vratlna went to the brahmana countries to perform the Vratya-work and were paid for it, while the Vratyas acted in their own homeland227
From all these considerations, we can see that the views of Manu and the suggestion of B.C. Law are more tenable. In the Nepala VamsavalT ; the LicchavJs are allotted to the SQrya- varhsa or solar race of the ksatriyas. 228 This is quite in agreement with the fact elicited from the Buddhist records that they were Vasisthas by Gotra, for we know from the Aitareya Brahmana 229 that the gotra or pravara (family) of a ksatriya is the same as that of his purohita or family-priest. The Vasistha gotra was, therefore, the gotra of their family priest, and we know that the Vasisthas were the family priests of the kings of the solar race, especially of the Iksvakus. 230
11. Madrakas 12. Malava 13. Mleccha 14. Murundas
11. Madrakas (मद्रक) (No. I, L. 22):
According to Dr. Buddha Prakash 'Bhadra' was another Variant of Madra.232 But this view is not acceptable to us. The Mahabharata 233 mentions the Bhadras, but only in the Bombay recension; the Calcutta recension has Madra.234 We know that Bhadra and Madra had independent existence, as found in the legend of Bhadra Kākṣivati, bride of Vyusi- tasva.235 The queen had seven children, three Salvas and four Madras. 236
means an animal like stag or gazelle which bespeaks of Scythian origin. 238 Buddha Prakash connects it with the modern sub-caste Saluja (Skt. Salvaja). Anyhow, we know that Madras were a branch of Salvas who were sons of Bhadra. J. Przyluski 239 considers the Madras to have been a section of the Bhadras on the ground that the former had among their ancestress a queen named Bhadra. Both the Bhadras and the Madrakas are mentioned separately in the Brhatsamhita, 240 the Bhadras with the Salvas in the [[Madhyadesa (Middle land) and the Madrakas with the Malavas in the northern quarter.
Nakula and Sahadeva were the sons of Pandu by his wife Madri. The name of their mother Madri suggests their connection with the clan of the Madras. 241 Since Balhiki (Bahlika stands for the Bactrians) was the title of Madri, Madras were of Irano-Bactrian origin; the Madras may represent the Iranian tribe, Mada or Mede. 242
The Madras were an ancient kshatriya tribe. 243 We do not find their mention in the early Vedic Samhitas but the Vamsa Brahmana (of the Samaveda) tells us of a Vedic teacher named Madra-gara Saungayani ('descendant of Sunga') whose pupil was Kamboja Aupamanyava. 244 Zimmer 245 concludes, with probability, that these names point to a connexion of the Kambojas and the Madras. We know from the Satapatha Brahmana 246 that the Madra country was the chief centre of Vedic learning. We know of a Kapya Patanchala amongst the Madras who was a famous teacher of Vedic lore.247
The Uttara Madras, the 'northern Madras' are referred to in the Aitareya Brahmana 248 as living beyond the Himalaya (pareṇa himavantam) in the neighbourhood of the Uttara Kurus, probably, as Zimmer 249 conjectures, in the land of Kashmira. The Madras mentioned in the Upanisads were, like the Kurus, probably settled somewhere in Kurukshetra in the Madhyadesa or 'Middle Land'. 250
Panini 251 mentions two divisions of the Madras, Purva (eastern) and Apara (Western). In the Brhatsamhita they are mentioned twice; firstly as Madra situated in West in Vayavya Koṇa, 252 and secondly as Madraka with Malava in the North.253
the Madrakas and other tribes in quest of Sita.254 The Madra tribe or kingdom 255 is mentioned in the Bhismaparvan of the Mahabharata (chap.IX) and in Panini's grammar (II, 3, 73;IV, 4, 67). The Madras held the Central portions of the Punjab; 256 they appear in the Epic period to have occupied the district of Sialkot, between the rivers Chenab and Ravi, 257 or according to some between the Jhelum and the Ravi. 258 S.B. Chaudhuri 259 says that the Madras held the portion in the Doab between the Chenab and the Ravi, possibly comprising even a portion of the country between the Jhelum and the Chenab, and thus abutted on Kaikeya on the West. We get a clue to the inhabitance of the Madras from a verse in the Karnaparvan of the Mahabharata 26 which refers to a Madra, who had come to live among the Kurus, as yearning for his return to his native place beyond the Sitadru and the Iravati to enjoy the company of charming women.
Sakala (Pali-Sagala, modern Sialkot) was the capital of the Madras identified 261 with Sanglawala-Tiba, to the West of the Ravi. From the Milinda-panho, we learn that king Milinda (Menander) a Graeco-Bactrian king, who became a convert to Buddhism, was ruling over the Madda country with Sagala as his capital which according to a Buddhist lexicon, was one of the twenty ancient cities.262 The brahminical name 263 of the Madra Capital was Sakala mentioned by Panini 264 as Sankala. In the Mahabharata 265 and the Jatakas 266 Sakala is described as standing on the bank of the Apaga in a tongue of land between two rivers, called the Sakaladvipa, which corresponds to the Rechna Doab.
The Madras are mentioned in the Puranas as well.269 The Visnu Purana 270 refers to the Madras along with the Aramas, Parasikas, and others and in the Matsya Purana 271 with Gandhara, Yavana and others. The latter 272 mentions king Asvapati of Sakala in the kingdom of the Madras.
The Madras, according to the Arthasastra of Kautilya 273 were a corporation of warriors and people enjoyed the title of rajan (rajasabdopajivinah) , 274
Madra women were noted for their beauty. 275 The Jatakas bear ample testimony to the fact that the Madra princesses were sought in marriage by the great ksatriya house of North India.276 The Mahabharata tells us that it was a family custom of the Madras to receive a fee from the bridegroom when they gave their daughters in marriage.277
Some scholars identify the Madras with Vahlika (or Vahika). 278 Sakala as a Vahikagrama is also mentioned by Patanjali. 279 From the references in the Mahabharata, Vahika would appear to have stood for the whole of Punjab. 280 The Vahika-gramas of Sakala and Patanaprastha, as referred to in the grammatical works, 281 imply the inclusion of Madrajanapada in the Vahika country.
The Madras are known as low, barbarous 282 and sinful people. 283 They are mentioned as base, impure and contemptible.284 "Amongst the Madrakas all acts of friendship are lost" 285 and so it is said: "Neither one should create enmity, nor friendship with a Madraka". 286 The Rajatarangini also records similar views. 287
But the advent of the Jarttikas or Jartas (modern Jats) who spread over the whole of Punjab was responsible for the degeneration of the Madras. 288 The legend of Savitri and Satyavan is connected with the Madra country, for Savitri was the daughter of Asvapati, king of Madra. 289 In the Udyogaparvan the camp of Salya is described as full of warriors, whose strange armours, bows and banners, unfamiliar trappings, vehicles and equipment and local costumes, ornaments and deportment presented a unique spectacle in the country of the Kurus. 290
In the early part of the sixth century A.D. the Madra country passed under the rule of the Huna conqueror Mihirakula (A.D. 515-535) who ruled from Sialkot. The Madras continued to flourish even up to the time of the Pala king Dharmapala in the 9th century A.D. 291
12. Malava (No. 1, L. 22 ; No. 17, L. 19 ; No. 32, L. 11) :
We know Malava as a tribe which was subjugated along with some other tribes by Samudragupta (No. 1). No. 17 refers to the Malava-gana 292 which has been translated by Fleet as 'the tribal constitution of the Malavas' in the sense of the event of some formal establishment of the Malavas' as a tribe. 293 Fleet fixes
it up as 57-56 B.C. 294 Thomas 295 translates the expression as "the continuance (sthiti) of the tribal constitution (gana) of the Malavas" and adds "It was to gana-sthiti, not to gana, that I gave the meaning of 'tribal constitution' ; and I did not introduce the idea of 'Continuance'." My amended translation is "the usage of the Malava tribe." 296 Thus the expression 'Malavanam gana' refers to the Malavas as a tribe. No. 32 speaks of the Malava-varhsa which has been translated as 'the race of the Malavas,297 but it would be better to translate it as "the dynasty of the Malavas". 298 It seems that this tribe had established independent rulership and so we find the word 'varhsa' used where the word 'gana' could also be used 299
Dr. Buddha Prakash holds that Madras and Malavas were the same, in Prakrit Madra becomes Malla, as 'dra' is changed into 'll'. He identifies Malla with the Malloi of the Greeks and Malava of the Epic. He points out that the sons of Asvapati, king of the Madras, were called Malavas after their mother, according to decree of Yama which shows that Madra and Malava were identical.300
At the time of Samudragupta, the Malavas possibly lived in Rajasthan and West Malwa '302' consisting of Mewar, Tonk and adjoining regions of south-east Rajasthan. 303 They settled in various localities in Western India after having migrated from the Punjab where they had fought with Alexander on the lower banks of Ravi. 304 Their original home was in Jhang District, Punjab. 305 Subsequently they became the inhabitants of Malwa and the Vikrama era derived its original appellation from them. 306 That the Malavas had migrated to the Jaipur region (Rajasthan) from the Punjab is supported by the fact that the legend on some Malava coins found in Rajasthan reads from right to left as in Kharosthi, which was prevalent in the Punjab and the north-west from very early times. 307 The Sikhs of Ferozpur, Ludhiana, Patiala, Jind and Malerkotala are still known as Malava Sikhs, probably, because these regions were populated by the Malavas in ancient times. 308 Malava and Malavaka are also to be differentiated, the former is
Malava is the same as Malloi of the Greeks. 310 Panini does not mention them by name, but his sutra, V. 3. 117 speaks of 'ayudhajivi samghas', or tribes living by the profession of arms, and the Kasika says that amongst these samghas were the Malavas and Kshudrakas. 311 The Malava tribe is actually mentioned in the Mahabhasya of Patanjali. 312
The Mahabharata couples the Malavas with the Trigartas, 313 as well as with the Sivis and Ambasthas. 314 But soon they migrated southwards and settled somewhere in Rajasthan where we find them at the time of Samudragupta. 315 Many coins found at Nagar, 45 miles north of Kota, have the legend. " Malavanam jayah" (victory of the Malavas) in letters belonging to the period from 250 B.C. to A.D. 250. According to Cunningham these coins show that the existence of the Malavas as a recognised and important clan, long before their tribal constitution led to the establishment of their era. 316 The Malavas came into conflict with Nahapana's son-in-law Usavadata who subdued them. 317
According to the Puranas 318 the Malavas are associated with the Saurastras, Avantis, Abhiras, Suras, and Arbudas, dwell along the Pariyatra mountains. Thus they seem to have occupied other territories besides the Punjab or Rajasthan. Pargiter points out that even according to the Puranas the Malavas lived in a 'mountanious' country, and were nowhere near present Malwa. Malava king were taken as vratya and mostly sudra in the Puranas. 319
The Bhismaparvan of the Mahabharata mentions the western (pratichya) and northern (udichya) sections of the Malavas. 320 But the Ramayana locates the Malavas in the east. 321 Kamasutra's commentator Jayamahgala, who flourished later than the fourteenth century, says that Avantika, which is identical with Ujjayini-desa, is apara-Malava 322 This has led some writers to suggest that Malava proper is Dasarna. But Jayamangala's geographical knowledge was not perfect. 323 His remark on Malava is to be rejected as it runs counter to earlier authorities. Rajasekhara mentions Malava, Avanti and Vidisa and the Manjusri mentions Malava, Vidisa and Dasarna side
by side 324 Modern Malwa is the region around Ujjayini and Bhilsa. The influence of the Malavas in the Mandasor region is proved by the fact that they could impose their tribal era upon the Mandasor princes. 325 An inscription describes the subjugation of Sapta-Malava by Dandanayaka Anantapala, a feudatory of Vikramaditya VI. 326
The Harsacharita of Bana refers to the 'wicked Malava king' generally identified with Devagupta, who killed Grahavarman Maukhari, but was himself defeated by Rajyavardhana. B.C. Law places the kingdom of Devagupta between Prayaga and Bhilsa which is identical with Purva-Malava. 327
Thus the Malavas originally belonged to Jhang District in Punjab (now in Pakistan), from where they spread all over Punjab and by the time of Samudragupta had migrated to Rajasthan. The Malavas had emerged in 250 B.C. as an independent tribal state. But they came under the subservience of the Sakas in the 1st century B.C., to the western ksatraps from the 2nd to the 4th centuries A.D. and to Samudragupta in the 4th century A.D., but this typical native state exerted itself again.328 In the period after about A.D. 550 they seem to have migrated further to the east and covered the region from Bhilsa (Eastern Malwa) to Prayaga.329 During the rule of the Palas of Bengal they seem to have migrated still further east ; for the copper plates of the Pala kings (excepting Dharmapala), refer to the Malavas as mercenary troops in their army. 330
The name of the tribe survives in the modern province of Malwa (a transformation of the word Malava), and in the brahmana castes called 'Malavis' or 'Malavikas'. They are the brahmanas of Malava proper and the adjoining country, but are found also in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 331. (Note - They are also found in Jats as Gotras Mali, Malla, Malli)
13. Mleccha (म्लेच्छ) (No. 14, L. 4) :
According to Sircar 332 Fleet conjectures the reading to be Mleccha. The last few letters in line 4 after 'm' are not legible. So how Fleet could take this reading without putting any doubt is really surprising. Mlecchas were amongst the enemies defeated by Skandagupta in this inscription (No. 14). The war with the Mlecchas probably refers to his fight with the Hunas which is specifically referred to in the Bhitari Pillar Inscription. Whether the Mlecchas are the same as Hunas or were a
different tribe, both the records (No. 13, No. 14) claim that Skandagupta completely defeated these enemies. 333 The fact that in both the inscriptions, the reference to the fight with the Hunas and Mlecchas is preceded by a reference to the falling fortunes of the family supports the identification.
We also find a reference to the oppression of the earth by the Mlecchas in the epilogue of the play Mudra-Raksasa written by Visakhadatta where it is prayed that 'The earth may now be protected by "His Highness" along with relatives and retinue by king Candragupta'. It is probable that the play was written after the Ramagupta episode and probably the word Mleccha in this context alludes to the Sakas who were suppressed by Chandragupta II in the guise of the Gupta queen Dhruvasvamini.
D.C. Sircar 334 is of the view that Mleccha is the name applied to the Muhammadans and other foreigners. In the Sanskrit language originally there does not appear to have been any general term for a foreigner. But as the Dasa, Dasyu, Barbara, and Mleccha became more or less absorbed in Aryan civilization and the original specific meaning of these terms was no longer remembered, these words came to be used for any foreigner. 335
The word Mleccha was used to refer to both the eastern and western Anavas. In course of time it came to be used for almost any non-Aryan and even for Aryans of impure speech. Subsequently the term meant something like "foreigner", but that was after most of the Anavas had become assimilated. 336 When not used in association with the foreigners the word Mleccha is used for one who is impure, dirty or uncultured. It is derived from the root √mlich~√mlech 337 meaning to speak indistinctly (like a foreigner or barbarian who does not speak Sanskrit). We find the use of root in Mahabhasya.338
The Sanskrit term Mleccha, referring to the indistinct speech of some non-Aryans, is taken from proto-Bodish (proto- Tibetan) mltse "tongue", Old Bodish Use, Kukish generally mlei, the combination of initial consonants (mlts ) being simplified in various ways indifferent Tibeto-Burmic languages. Aspiration cannot occur after l in old Bodish; and the proto-Bodish form may have been mltse for all we know, so the ( 'cch' of Sanskrit "Mleccha may come nearer the primitive affricate
than anything preserved in the Tibeto-Burmic languages. Since 'mlcche' would be an impossible combination in Sanskrit, mleccha would be as close as a Sanskrit speaker could come to it " .339
Mleccha 340 occurs in the Satapatha Brahmana 341 in the sense of a barbarian in speech. Here the brahmanas are forbidden to use barbarian speech. The example 342 given of such speech is "he' layo", explained by Sayana as "he' rayah", "ho, foes". The barbarians referred to were Aryan speakers, though not speakers of Sanskrit, but of a Prakrit form of speach.343
An ancient tradition regards the Andhras, Pulindas and Sabaras as dog-eaters or Mlecchas. 344 The Jain Prajñāpanā records two divisions of the people of India Milikkha and Arya, and enumerates 53 people in the former group, some of which are the Saga, Javana, Sabara, Vavvara, Hona, Romaya, Pārasa and Khasa. 345
The Mahabharata 346 states that the Mlecchas dwelt in the Yavana, China and Kamboja countries. In a dual between Karna and Shalya, Karna highly condemns the people of the Vahika and especially of the Madra Country and describes them as the Mleccha, the dirt among the human beings. 347 They belong to unpious countries and are totally ignorant about the Dharma (righteous conduct). 348 At another place, it is stated that the Yavanas are the Mlecchas, though they follow their own ways (i.e. not following the Vedic Orthodoxy) yet they are full of knowledge and brave but the Vahikas and the Madras are condemned as utterly foolish. 349 This makes it clear that the people not following the righteous conduct according to the Aryan beliefs, whether indigenous or foreign, were labelled as the Mlecchas. The Mahabharata 350 shows that the coastal regions were the favourite resort of the Mlecchas and that they were dreadful. The Epic describes the Mlecchas as being impure because they were of bovine extraction and describes them as fierce and cruel. 351
In the Manu-Smrtti352 the king is advised to exclude at deliberation time, the foolish, dumb, blind, and deaf, birds, the aged, women; the Mlecchas (the impure), diseased and deformed. At another place in the Manu-Smrti where the girls bearing the names after a star, a tree, (or) a river, one called
after the Antyas or a mountain, one called after a bird, snake, or slave or with a terrifying name are forbidden for marriage, Kulluka, the commentator on Manu explains the word Antya as representing the Mlecchas. 353 From the Manu 354 it is clear that the Mlecchas spoke a different language than the Aryans.
The Vayu, Matsya and Brahmanda Puranas state that the seven Himalayan rivers pass through the Mleccha countries. 355 In the Varāha Purana, a place named Lohārgala is stated to be ruled over by the Mleccha kings. 356
The Amara-kosa 357 describes the Kiratas, Sabaras and Pulindas as the Mlecchajatis. The Brhat-Sarhhita 358 places them in the West and describes them as unrighteous. It places them under the jurisdiction of Mangala graha 359 and assigns them the region of Rahu graha, inhabiting the mountain-tops, low-regions or the caves. 360 In the 'life' of Hiuen Tsang, all places to the north of Lamgham district have been described as Mi-li-ku, i.e. frontier or Mleccha lands. 361
In the Arya-manjusri-Mula-kalpa, the Mlecchas frequently appear as the companions of robbers. 362 In the KathasaritSagara, 363 the Mlecchas are connected with Sindh. They are stated to have killed brahmanas, interfered with sacrifices, and carried off the daughters of hermits. 364 The Rajatarangini 365 mentions the Mlecchas as issuing forth from the valleys adjoining the Himalayas.
In medieval inscriptions, the name Mleccha has been applied indiscriminately to all foreigners. 366 The Mleccha army of the Gwalior Prasasti of Bhoja consisted of the Arabs 367 The Mlecchas of the inscriptions of the medieval period refer to Muhammadans and the people of Baluchistan. 368
The Siddhanta-Kaumudi 369 describes the Ksudhunas as the Mlecchas. In the Saktisarigama Tantra (a work of the 17th century), we get reference to the Mleccha (verse 24), Maham-leccha (verses 28, 30) and Mleccha-marga (verse 31) where they are mentioned along with Pancala, Kamboja and Bahlika and the Khurasan country is described as the Mleccha-marga. 370
14. Murundas (मुरुण्ड) (No. 1, L.23) : देवपुत्र-षाही-षाहनुषाही-शकमुरुंडै:सैंहलकादिभिश्च ।
According to Sten Konow 'Murunda' is the later form of a Saka word meaning 'lord' or 'master'. The term 'Saka- Murunda' therefore possibly stands for those Saka lords or chieftains who were ruling in the regions of Surastra and Ujjain at the time of Samudragupta.372
On the basis of Khoh plates, Smith 375 suggested that "the Murundas may possibly have been settled in the hill country of Rewa along the Kaimur range or more probably further south in the Vindhya or north Dekkan or possibly in the Chhota-nagpur".
We know that the term Daivaputra in the inscription has been used to refer to the Kushana kings, and Sakas are mentioned separately. So we cannot equate Murundas with the Kushanas as suggested by R. K. Mookerji.
Some scholars regard Murunda as the name of a powerful foreign tribe, ruling in the upper Ganges valley. 378 According to the Chinese authority, the Capital of Meou-lun (a word equated with Murunda) was 7,000 li from the mouth of the Great River, which was undoubtedly the Ganges. Allan is, therefore, not right in suggesting that the Chinese description of the capital refers to Pataliputra. 379 Jayaswal took Saka-Murunda to denote the smaller Saka rulers like the 'Shalada, Shaka and the Gadahara chiefs as well as the Western Satraps'. 380
In the Abhidhana Chintamani 381 and the Vaijayanti 382 the Limpakas are identified with Murundas. The Lampakas are the same as the Lambatai of Ptolemy. 383 The Puranas, 384 mention Lampakas, the people who were residing in Lampaka, the modern Laghman in Afghanistan. Rajasekhara seems to be
referring to Lampaka as Limpaka. 385
The Murundas seem to be a foreign tribe. Murunda is clearly a non-Aryan word and can have no Aryan derivation. 386
Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.) mentions the Murundas for the first time under the name Moroundai and places them on the western border of the 'Gangaridai'. They seem to have occupied an extensive territory, probably the whole of North-Bihar on the east of the Ganga, as far as the head of the delta. They had six important cities, all to the east of the Ganga : Boraita, Koryagaza, Kondota, Kelydna, Aganegora and Talarga. These places are difficult to identify but to Saint-Martin Kelydna appeared to have some relation with Kalinadi or Kalindi river, and Aganagora with Aghadip (Agradvipa) on the eastern bank of the Ganges, a little below Katwa. 387
According to Cunningham, the name of the Marundai is still preserved in the country of the Mundas, a hill tribe scattered over Chhota-Nagpur and Central India. 388 But M.S. Pandey 389 opposes the view on the ground that the Murundas dwelt in the north-west with other foreign tribes. The evidence is strong enough to show that the Murundas had not spread so far to the east as to occupy the Chhota-Nagpur region. How- ever, barbarous and pastoral the Murundas might have been before their immigration into India, when they held the sceptre in their hands they must have been endowed with the quality and capacity to rule over a people who were highly civilized. Such a race could hardly have sunk to a position so low as that of the Mundas of the modern times. Moreover, the Mundas are a dominant division of the aboriginals of the Chhota-Nagpur region. Had they been the descendants of the Murundas, we should have found them in other parts of Central India also, and not confined to this small region so far from their place of origin. 390
M.S. Pandey 391 disagrees with the Puranic account on the basis that many discrepancies have crept in owing to the mistakes of the copyists.
15. Prarjunas 16. Pusyamitras
15. Prarjunas (प्रार्जून) (No. 1, L.22) :
the Central Provinces, but a more plausible location is Narasimhagarh in Central India, 393 as much as three other tribes which are coupled with Prarjunas, the Sanakanikas, Kakas and Kharaparikas, seem to have occupied regions more or less within the bounds of Central India 394 The tribe, associated with the name of Arjuna, existed in the Punjab and north-west before the advent of Gupta power in the fourth century A.D. 395 Kautilya knows of a people called Prājjunaka (Prārjunaka)396
16. Pusyamitras (No. 13, L.11) :
The Bhitari Stone Pillar Inscription 397 records Skandagupta's victory over a powerful enemy called the Pusyamitras, who possessed a strong army and a rich treasury : he (Skandagupta) placed (his) left foot on a foot-stool which was the king (of that tribe himself). 398 H. R. Divekar suggested the reading Yudhy-amitran in place of Pusyamitran. But, as pointed out by R.D. Banerji, 399 the proposed reading is impossible.
There are several views about the identification of the Pusyamitras.
(i) Fleet identified them with the people mentioned in the Puranas as Patumitras and located them on the Narmada. 400 (ii) V.A. Smith 401 regarded them as a people of the North.
(iii) Hoernle believed that they were the same as the Maitrakas.402
(iv) R.D Banerji 403 regarded them as the first wave of the Hunas.
(v) N K. Bhattasali has suggested that the Pusyamitras were the descendants of king Pusyavarma of Assam. 404
Bhattasali says that a pun (slesa) has been used for "the descendants of Pusyavarman of Assam who had so long been mitras or friends of the [[Guptas], but had change into foes by their desire for conquest and had invaded the Gupta empire from the east and made it totter". But as remarked by D.C. Sircar, "there is no grammatical, lexicographical, or literary support, for this interpretation of the name Pusyamitra". 405
Bhattasali opines that Mahendravarman, whom he assigns to the period A.D. 450 to 490 who performed two horse-sacri- fices must have been powerful enough to launch an attack on the Gupta empire in the reign of Skandagupta.
We know that the definite limits of Skandagupta's reign are from A.D. 455 to 467. The period of the rule of Mahendravarman, however, cannot be so definitely fixed because we do not possess any dated records of his reign. As a matter of fact the entire chronology of the kings of Assam can be settled approximately only by means of synchronisms and rough calculations. The attack on the Gupta empire by the Varmans of Assam in the reign of Skandagupta is an impossibility. 406
The Pusyamitras cannot be a branch of the Hunas as held by R.D. Banerji. The Hunas have been mentioned separately in the Bhitari Inscription. 407 "By whose (Skandagupta's) two arms the earth was shaken, when he, the creator (of a disturbance like that) of a terrible whirlpool, joined in close conflict with the Hunas". Hoernle's view that "the Pusyamitras were the same as Maitrakas who some years later under the leadership of Bhatarka established themselves in Valabhi probably with the help of the Huna ruler Toramana"; 408 is also not acceptable as the Maitrakas remained subservient to the Imperial Guptas from the time of Bhatarka to that of Dronasimha. 409 Therefore, they cannot be the same as Pusyamitras who rebelled against Skandagupta.
The Puranas mention a people called Pusyamitras, whose rule commenced after the end of the dynasty of the Vindhyakas. In the Visnupurana MSS. consulted by Prof. Wilson we have the following statement : "and Puspamitras, and Patumitras and others to the number of thirteen will rule over Mekala". 410Prof. Wilson has added the following note, "It seems most correct to separate the thirteen sons or families of the Vindhya princes from these Bahlikasand then from the Pusyamitras and Patumitras who governed Mekala, a country on the Narmada". 411
A similar statement is to be found in the Vayupurana, according to which 'the Pusyamitras and Patumitras are grouped with the rulers of Mekala, whose seven kings have not been named.412
The mention of Vindhyakas, evidently a people of the Vindhya region, and of Mekala, points to the south rather than to North. So the view of V.A. Smith that the Pusyamitras were a people of the North is not acceptable.
Thus the view of Fleet that the Pusyamitras are to be placed in Central India somewhere in the country along the banks of the Narmada, seems to be most reasonable. 413 This is supported by numismatic evidence, a hoard of coins brought to light by D.B. Diskalkar, 414 from the village of Bamnala, 24 miles to the south of the Narmada, indicates that there was a serious disturbance of peace in the vicinity of Mekala, in the middle of the fifth century A.D. and we may connect it with the rising of the Pusyamitras in that region. 415
17. Sahanusahi 18. Sahi 19. Saimhalaka 20. Saka 21. Sanakanika
17. Sahanusahi (षाहनुषाही)(No. 1, L. 23) :
(No.l, L.23:देवपुत्र-षाही-षाहनुषाही-शकमुरुंडै:सैंहलकादिभिश्च ।)
Sahanusahis are also mentioned to have paid homage to Samudragupta along with other tribes. The Sahanusahis are to be identified with the Sassanids or the Sassanian kings. The title 'Sahanusahi (sahan-sah) has frequently been used by the Sassanian kings.417 The contemporary Sassanian emperor was Shahpur II (A.D. 309-379).418 The Sassanians are known to have been the rulers of Persia from A.D. 211 to 651. 419 According to tradition the dynasty is named after its founder Sassan. His son and successor Papaka, seized power by a coup d'etat against his suzerain, the Parthian king and his accession was the starting point for a new era (A.D. 208).420
Goyal 421 confuses the Sassanians with the Parasikas of Kalidasa. But they were different from the Parasikas. The Sassanians had founded a powerful kingdom in Persia, but they had not yet conquered the whole of Persia. 422 The Parasikas of Kalidasa were the Sahis. 423 Though the possibility of a Kushana-Sassanian coalition may not be ruled out it seems that at the time of Samudragupta, 424 three kings the Daivaputra (the Kusanas), the Sahi (the Persians or the Parasikas of Kalidasa), and the Sahanusahi (the Sassanians) were ruling independently. 425
Buddha Prakash 426 traces the Khatri sub-castes Sahni and Osahan as the remnants of the title 'Sahanusahi'. But this is far-fetched. So far as Sahni is concerned it is to be connected with Sadhanika the name of an officer in the administration of the early medieval period. 427
It may be noted that the Sassanian title Sahan-Sah was used for the Great Emperor in Mughal period, which usage continues. In popular parlance the term is used for calling or
receiving some person respectively.
18. Sahi428 (षाही)(No.l, L.23) :
The Sahis are said to have paid homage to Samudragupta. From the appendix it is clear that Daivaputra is not an adjective of Sahi as Goyal 429 has surmised and has identified it with Kidara Kusana of the Great Kushana family.
Daivaputras have been interpreted to denote the [Kushana]]s ; so Sahis cannot be identified with the Kusanas. They must have been an independent and separate tribe, and may be identified with the Persians mentioned in the Raghuvamsa in connexion with the North- Westren conquests of Raghu.430
Goyal 431 identifies the Sassanians with the Parasikas of Kalidasa. But Parasikas can never be identified with Sassanians. The word 'Parasikas' itself clearly be speaks of the Persians and is identical with the modern Parasis. Moreover, Sahanusahis are to be identified with the Sassanians whereas Sahis refer to the Persians. Even now the king of Persia (Iran) is known as 'Shah of Iran'.
Sahi is an Iranian or Persian word and seems to have some relation with Sanskrit root √śas to rule, which when formed a noun means 'a ruler'. 432 The Sahi dynasty of Kabul was ousted by the brahmana minister of the last king. The new dynasty was also known as the Sahis and has been mentioned by Al-Beruni and Kalhana.
19. Saimhalaka (सैंहलक) (No. 1, L. 23) :
Inhabitants of Simhala or Ceylon. They are mentioned along with the Daivaputras, Sahis, Sahanusahis, Sakas and Murundas, and all (other) dwellers in islands (probably the islands of Southern Sea such as Java and Sumatra) 434 who paid homage to Samudragupta by offering themselves for services, bringing presents of maidens, praying for charters bearing the imperial Gupta Garuda seal (Garutmadahka) by which they would be left undisturbed by the emperor in the enjoyment (bhukti) and administration (sasana) of their respective territories. 435 If literally interpreted the inscription will suggest that the people mentioned here were really tributaries under Samudragupta.
When we see from the inscription itself that the Tamil states were left undisturbed, the inclusion of even distant Simhala (Ceylon) and all other islands in this category raises great doubts about this interpretation, and we shall hardly be justified in taking the words of the Court-poet in their literal sense without corroborative evidence. 436 But the question arises that was the conquest of Tamraparni (Simhala) by Asoka in his Rock Edict II also a simple boast of this kind ? 437
So far as Ceylon is concerned, we have fortunately an independent evidence of its political relation with Samudragupta.
We know that after the death of king Mahasena (A.D. 334-62) of the Lambakarna clan his son Sumeghavarna (chi-mi-kia- po-mo="coud of merit") became king of Ceylon who was a contemporary of Samudragupta ( San-meou-to-lo-kin-to ) .438 He, according to a Chinese text, sent two monks to Bodh-Gaya to visit the sacred spots, but they were put to great inconvenience for want of suitable accommodation. To remove this difficulty for future pilgrims to the holy place, Meghavarna decided to found a monastery there. He accordingly sent a mission to Samudragupta with rich presents and asked for permission, and the Ceylonese king built a splendid monastery to the north of the Bodhi tree. 439
By the time of Hiuen Tsang it had developed into a magnificent establishment, with more than 1,000 priests, and the pilgrim has described the rich decorations and massive grandeur of the buildings. Referring to the old history of its foundation Hiuen Tsang says that the Ceylonese king 'gave in tribute to the king of India all the jewels of his country'. "It is likely that Samudragupta's courtier also regarded the rich presents as a tribute, and construed the Ceylonese king's prayer for permission to build a monastery into an 'application for charter confirming him in the enjoyment of his territories', one of the forms of homage paid by the category of states into which Simhala is included".440
Simhala is generally identified with Lanka. But Varahamihira 441 mentions both of them separately as situated in the South.
Lanka has been identified differently by various scholars with Lanka of Madhyadesa, 442 with Maldives, 443 with the
northern part of the Andhra country on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, 444 and with an island off the south-east Coast of Ceylon. 445 All these theories are refuted by S.B. Chaudhuri 446 who remarks that the assumption that Lanka is not Ceylon is gratuitous. 447 He points out that in the Ramayana Ravana while entreating Sita to be his wife says : "Lankānāma samudrasya madhye mama mahāpuri sāgareṇa parikṣiptā niviṣṭā " 448
Hanuman makes a similar statement in describing the strategical position of Lanka : Sthitā pāre samudrasya dūrapārasya. 449 Kalidasa in his Raghuvarhsa in connexion with 'Purim Lahkām' writes : "Mahārṇava parikṣepam lankāyah parikhālaghum".450 With regard to the bridge built by Rama Kalidasa notes : sa setum bandhayāmāsa plavangairlavaṇāmbhasi. 451 In the Skanda Purana 452 and in the Kathasaritsagara, we have similar references to Lanka.453 All these passages point distinctly to the great sea on the other side of which was situated the great city of Lanka.
The separate mention of Simhala and Lanka in many Sanskrit texts is quoted to show that Lanka was distinct from Ceylon. 454 This is hardly convincing for the separate mention of Mathura and Surasena, Saketa and Kosala, Gandhara and Taksasila, Avanti and Ujjaini, did not imply any material geographical difference as they were treated only as convertible terms in geographical texts of the Puranas. In the Puranic lists, Lanka is a territorial name and Simhala is an ethnic name. As the name of a city in the island of Simhala, Lanka passed off as a dvipa, and the two names were used in the same geographical sense. A passage in the Ramayana runs thus : "Simhalān barbarān mlecchān ye ca lahkānivāsinah".455 Hiuen Tsang also mentions Seng-ka-lo (Ceylon) which included Leug-ka (Lanka). 456 As pointed out by B.C. Law, the Mahavamsa and its commentary show that Lankadvipa (the lower portion) was one of the main divisions of the island of Ceylon.457
It is a valid presumption, therefore, that the ancient name Lanka referred to Ceylon. 458 We may assume further, as seems very likely, that Lanka was the early name of Ceylon and its literary name as well. Mention is made of Lahkadvipa even in medieval inscriptions. 458 The Madras museum plates of Jaṭilavarman refer to the beautiful island of Lanka as Ilangai.460 Epigraphic evidence, however, shows that Simhala, another name
of ancient Ceylon, was equally well known. Thus the Kanhad plate of Krsna III refers to the island of Simhala. 461 In another inscription the king of Simhala is described as waiting on the shore. 462 In other inscriptions Simhala is variously designated as Singala-desam, 463 Sīlam 464 and Sihala. 465 All this evidence favours the suggestion that as territorial names Simhala and Lanka were convertible terms, although the latter is also used as the name of a city. Priaulx remarks and probably, correctly, that Lanka was the old mythological name for Ceylon, and that later on it was supplanted by Tamraparrni and subsequently when the Periplus was written, by Palaesi-mundus or Palaesimoundon which itself was transformed into Salike, Serendiva derived from Pali Sihala or Sihala dipa.466 The name Palaesimoundon is very plausibly based on "pare samudrasya" 467 in the description given of Lanka as noted above. Ptolemy's Simoundon 468 also refers to that name. But in Ptolemy's Geography the island is called Salike which responds to Siele diba of Kosmas Indicopleustes469 both of which have their sources in Sihalam "the Pali form of Sanskrit Simhala" or Ceylon. To this source may be traced its other names such as Serendib.Zeilan, Sialan, the last one yielding to Ceylon. Marco Polo's Seilan 471 is a nearer approach to the modern name. Van-der-turk suggests that the name may have been derived from Sela or 'precious stone', hence the island was anciently called Ratnadvipa' An Arab historian called it the "Island of Rubies". The Chinese name for the island also implies reference to gems. The name Sailan also occurs in the works of Rashiduddin, Hayton and Jordanus. 473 Al-Beruni called it Singaldib 474 Simhala is perhaps so called as once abounding in lions. 475
We may note here that there are references to another Simhala quite different from Ceylon. 476 It was placed to the east of Marudesa and to the south of the Kamadri. It is evidently in the Punjab-Rajasthan region and reminds us of the kingdom of Simhapura mentioned by Hiuen Tsang.
20. Saka (शक) (No. 1.L.23) :
One of the tribes which is said to have paid homage to Samudragupta. As we have already discussed in connexion with the Murundas, the expression, ( Saka-Murun So he is rightly remembered as 'Sakari' 'the enemy of the Sakas'.491
The trousers were introduced into India by the Sakas and seem to have been in vogue among the ruling classes during the Gupta times, for Gupta kings often appear on their coins as wearing trousers.492
The Sakas were notorious drinkers. It is said that Cyrus defeated the Sakas, when they were maddened by wine. 493 It has been suggested by Buddha Prakash that as a result of the influence of the Sakas, the vogue for excessive drinking spread. Strabo 494 speaks of a Bacchanalian festival of the Persian, in which men and women, dressed in Scythian style passed day and night in drinking and wanton play.495 We know of similar drinking bouts in the Mahabharata. 496 Probably the Scythians and the Iranians popularised drinking in the Punjab. The people of the Gangetic country, sticking to pristine ideals of moderation did not relish the exotic drink-
ing bouts popularised in the Punjab, under Saka and Persian influence. Baudhayana in his Dharmasutra, Kama in the Mahabharata, and the Buddha in his discourses denounced drinking and laid down a prohibition against it. 497 But all this is not agreeable since Buddha and Baudhayana belong to a period before the coming of the Sakas. Aryans have been great lovers of drinking. We can find sufficient evidence for the drinking before Sakas.
We may here refer to the Saka Era (A.D. 78), which is very popular in India even to-day. Traditionally this era is known to have been founded by a Saka king who occupied Ujjayini 137 years after Vikramaditya. The era may in fact have been founded by Kaniska. It was certainly used early in the 2nd Centuary A.D. by the "Western Satraps", who ruled Malwa, Kathiawar and Gujarat. Thence, the use of the era spread through the Deccan and was exported to South-East Asia.498 Because of its long association with the Saka Satraps the era may have earned its present name.
The Sakas came to be included in the category of the martial classes of ancient India. Manu 499 refers to the warlike people on the fringes of Aryan civilization, including the Greeks (Yavana), the Scyths (Saka), and the Parthians (Pahlava), as ksatriyas who had fallen from grace through their neglect of the sacred law, but who could be received once more into Aryan fold by adopting the orthodox way of life and performing appropriate penitential sacrifices. 500
The Sakas were a white-skinned tribe or race of people; in the legends which relate the contests between Vasistha and Visvamitra, the Sakas are fabled to have been produced by the cow of Vasistha, from her sweat, for the destruction of Visvamitra's army. 501
The name of the capital of the Madras, Sakala, and that of the region between the Ravi and the Chenab, Sakaladvipa, are based on the word Saka and are indicative of a Saka invasion. Likewise, the name of the clan Sakya, to which Buddha belonged, enshrines a reminiscene of the word Saka.
Moreover, the place-names ending in kantha existing in the
whole of the Punjab from the Bannu valley to the Kankhala region and even beyond suggest an intrusion of the Sakas long before the time of Panini, 503 who is known to have flourished one century before the invasion of Alexander, the Great. Kantha is a Saka word for city 504 and is akin to kadhavara or kanthavara of Kharosthi inscriptions, Kand of Persian, Kantha of Khotanese, Kandh of Sogdian, Kandai of Pushto, Kanda or Koent of the dialect of the Rsikas. It is significant that the land beyond the Oxus, the Urheimat of the Sakas, abounds in Kantha-ending place names, such as Samarkand, Khokand, Chimkand, Tashkand, Panjkand, and Yarkand.
The reference to the stepped-well, called Sakandhu after the Sakas, together with that worked by Persian Wheel, known as Karkandhu after the Karkians, in a varttika of Katyayana 505 also leads to the same conclusion.
At the time of Alexander's invasion the Sakas lived at the north-western borders of India. That this tide of Saka invasion, descending from the north-west, touched the eastern extremity of India, is manifest from the traditions of the Puranas that the Sakas advanced to Ayodhya during the reign of King Bahu and that his son Sagara checked and repelled them. 506
In the Mahabharata the Sakas are stated to have constituted along with Chulikas, Tusharas and Yavanas, the right wing of the Krauncavyuha formed by Bhisma on the sixth day of the battle. 507 Charaka in his medical treatise 508 refers to them in the context of Central Asiatic tribes, viz. Bahlika, Pahlava, China, Yavana and Saka. 509
Buddha Prakash also tries to trace the remnants of the Sakas in modern times.510
The Sakas came into Punjab after the Yavanas or the Greeks. During their long rule they contributed a great deal to Indian culture and ultimately became one with the Indian people. 511 The depth of their influence on Indian society is manifest from the word thakura, which implies the ideas of nobility and divinity and stands for the Rajputs in the Punjab and is derived from the word thagora, taugara or tukhara. 512 The name Tukhara itself survives in the name of the Tokhi caste found in the North- West. 513 Another caste called Khosla
is a survival of Kusulaka, the surname of the Ksaharata chiefs Liaka Kusulaka and his son Patika Kusuluka. Analogous to this word is the name of Kuzula Kadphises the first Kushana emperor to advance towards the Punjab. Hultzsch has equated this word with Turki gujlu meaning 'strong', and Sten Konow has compared it with Turki guzel, meaning 'beautiful', but Luders has shown that it is the name of a family or clan of the Sakas. 514 So the name of Khosla is a remnant of this tribe. 515 Besides the Thakuras and Tokhis of the Punjab, there are caste-groups of Soi and Sikka, which are reminiscent of the Sakas.
21. Sanakānīka (सनकानीक) (No. 1, L.22; No.3, L.2) :
In Inscription No.3 it occurs with the short i in the fourth syllable, i.e. as Sanakānika (सनकानिक). 516
The Sanakanikas were also subjugated by Samudragupta along with other tribes who payed him all kinds of taxes, obeyed his orders and were coming to perform obeisance. 517 In the Udayagiri Cave Inscription of Chandragupta II, of the Year 82 (A.D. 401) (No. 3), we know of a Maharaja of the 'Sanakanika' tribe or family, who was a feudatory of Chandragupta II and who is stated to have recorded his gift on a Vaisnava Cave temple at Udayagiri. 518 Udayagiri is a well-known hill about two miles to the north-west of Bhilsa, ancient Vidisa. 519 Thus we can say that the Sanakanikas lived in the neighbourhood of Bhilsa. 520 D.R. Bhandarkar mentions them to have held the province of Vidisa but he also locates Ganapatinaga's kingdom (one of the kings subjugated by Samudragupta) in Vidisa. 521 So his view seems to be inconsistent.
It may be noted that the Sanakanika feudatory chief of Chandragupta II, as well as his father and grandfather, bore the title Maharaja. This may suggest that the Sanakanikas, and probably other tribes mentioned along with them in the Allahabad Pillar Inscription were not tribal republics, as is generally supposed, but were ruled by hereditary chiefs. 522
The name of the grandfather of this Sanakanika feudatory chief of Chandragupta II, is given as Chagalaga 'which looks like a foreign name'; 523 but his father bears a purely Hindu name : 'Visnudasa'. Of course the present chief's name is illegible in the inscription (No. 3). 524 But considering the trend
it may be surmised that his name also was a Sanskrit name. 525 It seems that the tribe which originally consisted of aboriginal people was gradually coming under the influence of Sanskrit culture.
22. Vahlika (वाहलिक) (No.20, L.2) :
The Meharauli Pillar Inscription (No.20) describes the digvijaya of a king named Chandra (i.e. Chandragupta II) in the first verse as stated below : "He, on whose arm fame was inscribed by the sword, when, in battle in the Vanga countries, he kneaded (and turned) back with (his) breast the enemies who, uniting together, came against him; he, by whom, having crossed in warfare the seven mouths of the (river) Sindhu, the Vahlikas were conquered; he, by the breezes of whose prowess the Southern ocean is even still perfumed". 526 We find various readings of the name Vahlika in literature which are : Vahlika, Bahlika, Vahlika and Bahlika. In our inscription (No. 20) Vahlikah i.e. Vahlika in plural denotes the people of Vahlika i.e. Bactria (modern Balkh) region on the Oxus in the northern part of Afghanistan. 527
Mislead by a verse in the Ramayana, 528 D.R. Bhandarkar 528 places Vahlikas in the close proximity of the Vipasa,, the modern Beas. The reading Vahlikan in the passage quoted from the Ramayana is a mistake for Vahikan. Numerous passages can be quoted from the Epic, Puranic and classical Sanskrit literature to prove that the Punjab =Pañcanada, 'the land of five rivers', was in ancient times called the Vahika country. 530
'Vahika' was, in fact, a general term for the whole of Punjab. We know Sakala as Vahika-grama from Patanjali and also Patanaprastha which is modern Pathankot by the same term. Moreover, Vatsyayana in his Kamasutra and Rajasekhara in his Kavya-mimamsa mention the people of Bahlika and Punjab as two separate entities. 531
There is, however, one verse in the Karnaparvan of the Mahabharata which suggests that Vahika was originally the name of a country or people on the Vipasa, (the Beas) : "In the Vipasa, there were two Pisacas named Vahi and Hika; their descendants are called Vahikas who are not the creation of Prajapati".532
Later on the sense of the word expanded to cover all the tribes living in the Punjab. It is interesting to note that the Mahabharata sometimes uses the terms Vahika, Madra, Jartika, Aratta and Pancanada synonymously. It appears that the lands of these tribes which lived close to one another became in course of time moulded into a big kingdom under the powerful kings of Sakala (Sialkot). As Vahika was beyond Kurukshetra and, therefore, outside the boundary of Brahmavarta, its analogical connection with the word 'bahis' may have been another cause of the expansion of its geographical sense. 533 This is also reflected in the Varttikas of Katyayana who derives the wordVahika' from "vahis" or 'bahis' , meaning 'outside' (the pale of Aryandom). 534
Some scholars 535 rely on the description of the Bahlikas as the offspring of two Pisacas, Bahi and Hika, as given in the Mahabharata. Buddha Prakash holds that fresh stream of the Bactrian people which swooped over the Punjab came to be known as Balhikas; their name which became a general designation for the people of Punjab was later corrupted as Vahika. 536 But we have already shown that the two were separate entities.
We know that the Vahikas were the people living within the boundaries of the five rivers including the sixth Sindhu (Indus), 537 but according to the Meharauli Pillar Inscription Candragupta conquered Vahlikas after crossing the seven mouths of the (river) Indus (sapta mukhani sindhoh). 538 So Vahlika of our inscription' is certainly Balkh in the extreme north of Afghanistan.539 Bajpai540 opposes it on the ground that Candragupta could not have gone to so far off a place as Bactria which is situated across the Hindukush and rejects the older contention of scholars that the Kusanas were ruling in Bactria during king Candra's campaign and that he crossed the Hindukush to crush them.
But the view of Bajpai is not tenable since it is clear from the lines in our inscription 541 that king Candra had conquered the Vahlikas after crossing the seven mouths of the river Indus.
So far as the literary evidence is concerned we find that Balhika is the name of a people in the Atharvaveda; 542 here
the fever (Takman) is called upon to go to the Mujavants, the Mahavrsas, and the Balhikas. The Mujavants are quite certainly a northern tribe, and though the passage may contain a pun on Balhika as suggesting 'outsider' (from bahis, 'without'), 543 still there is no doubt that the name was chosen from a northern tribe.544
The Satapatha Brahmana545 mentions a Kuru king named Balhika Pratipiya. It seems that Balhika was a descendant of Pratīpa. But there is no evidence to show why he bore the name Balhika. 546 He is perhaps the same as Maharaja Bāhlika Prātipeya of the Mahabharata. 547
The Ramayana shows that the Royal Kuru family originally migrated from the Bahlika country. The passage in question 548 says that Ila, son of the Prajapati Kardama, who was the king of the Vahli country, gave up Bahlika in favour of his son Sasavindu, and founded a new city Pratisthanapura in the Madhya-desa, where his other son Pururava Aila continued to rule. This links up the Ailas, the progenitor of the Kurus, with the Kardama royal family of Bahli. H.C. Raychaudhuri 549 suggests that Karddama, the name of the ruling family of Vahlika, was obtained from the river of that name in Persia, and thus infers that the home of the Karddama king is to be identified with Bahlika or Balkh in Iran. This view was earlier advocated by Roth 550 and Weber.551 But Zimmer 552 rightly shows that there is no need to assume any Iranian influence. 553
We know Vahlika from the Puranic list of peoples. 554 The Account of fifty-six countries 555 is interesting as it mentions them with the Hunas, Kauravas, Gandharas and Vidarbhas among others. In the Saktisangama Tantra 556 Bahlika is described as famous for horses and situated to the east of Mahāmlechha and beginning with Kamboja. B.C. Law on the basis of reference in the Mahabharata 557 places the Vahlikas in the neighbourhood of Gandhar and Kamboja.558
Katyayana (4th century B.C.) 559 mentions Bāhlāyana and derives it from the word Bāhli, a country also mentioned in the ArthaSastra of Kautilya. 560
northern division. 562 Bahlika is the name of a person in the Visnu-Purana. 563 The NatyaSastra 564 of Bharata says that Bahlikabhasa was spoken by the northern people (Udicyas). A similar reference is also to be found in the Sahitya-darpana. 565
In the Kamasutra of Vatsyayana, 566 Bahlika is grouped with Strirajya, which occurs in the list of North- Western division. The peculiar custom in Bahlika of several young men being married to a single woman as in strirajya (strirājye ca Bāhlike ), appears to be an outlandish custom prevailing in the regions to the west of India. 567 The Jayamangala commentary also says that Bahlika was in Uttarapatha. 568
We find the word Vahlika occurring in the Amara-kosa in two ways :
The Amarakosa shows that Bahlika was famous for horses, saffron and Ferula Asafoetida (hingu).
The reference to saffron leads us to the filaments of saffron on the banks of Vanksu (oxus) where Raghu gave defeat to the Hunas as described in Kalidasa's Raghuvarhsa. 571 The reading Sindhu of the passage 572 is plainly a mistake for Vanksu which is corroborated by Ksirasvamin, the earliest commentator of Amara who clearly shows that the Bahlika country was bordered on the Oxus. 573
The Brhatsamhita 574 places Bahlikas in the jurisdiction of the Sun. Ancient tradition connects the Bahlikas with the Dhārṣṭakas, a Kshatriya clan which occupied the Bahlika country. 575 We know that Bahliki was another name of Madri, queen of the Madras. 576
Buddha Prakash suggests that the Vedic school of the Bhāllavins enshrined the memory of the Bahlikas; the modern sub-castes of the Barasarin sub-group of the khatris Bhalla and Behl represent the ancient Balhikas, and the Jat clans of Bhālār and Bhalerah, found in Multan, the Baloch tribe Bhalka, living in Sindh, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan and the clan Bhallowana, found in Shahpur, are remnants of the far-flung Bahlika tribes. 577 There is a possibility of the Bahlikas migrating from their original home Balkh to the Punjab.578
When Hieun Tsang visited Balkh, it was a centre of Buddh-
ist faith, 579 but after the overthrow of the Sassanid kingdom by the Arabs, the ancient Bactria along with the adjoining territories passed under the control of Khorasan, the seat of the Muftammadan power. 580
23. Yaudheya (यौधेय) (No. 1, L. 22) :
The Yaudheyas are included among the tribes subjugated by Samudragupta. In his time, they seem to have occupied northern Rajputana and south-east Punjab, and their territory extended up to the confines of the Bahawalpur State where their name survives in the name of the tract called Johiyawar. 581 Their earliest reference in the inscriptions is found in the Junagarh Rock Inscription of Rudradaman I (A.D. 150) 582 which mentions the victory of Mahaksatrapa Rudradaman over the Yaudheyas who were 'proud of their heroism'. The Bijayagadh Inscription 583 which is a record of the Yaudheyas (in Brahmi characters of the second-third century A.D.) 584 connects them with Bharatpur State in Rajputana. It refers to one Maharaja Mahasenapati, the ruler of the Yaudheya-gana. 585
Literally the word Yaudheya means 'a warrior' which corresponds with the Ossadu of Arrian, the Sambastae of Diodorus and the Sambracae of Curtius, who made their submission to Alexander. 586 They were a powerful nation and their forces consisted of 60,000 foot, 6000 horse, and 500 chariots. 587
We get three different versions about the origin of the Yaudheyas :
Buddha Prakash 589 and M.K. Sharan, 590 on this basis, have been tempted to connect the Yaudheyas with Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandava brothers. D.K. Gupta questions the foundations of this theory on this solitary basis in the absence of a more solid or a positive evidence; 591 but on the other hand he himself has indulged in connecting the Arjunayanas with the epic hero Arjuna. 592
(iii) The Harivamsa 594 and the Vayu Purana 595 state that King Usinara of the Puru dynasty had five queens named Nrga or Mrga, Krmi, Nava, Darva and Drsadvati who gave birth to five sons named Nrga, (or Mrga),'Krmi, Nava, Suvrata and Sibi (or Sivi) respectively. Sibi was the lord of the Sibi people or of the city of Sivapura, while Nrga (or Mrga) was the ruler of the Yaudheyas or of Yaudheyapura. The other three sons of Usinara, viz., Nava, Krmi and Suvrata, were the lords respectively of Navarastra, Krmilapuri and Ambasthapuri. 596 According to Pargiter, King Usinara established the Yaudheyas, Ambasthas, Navarastra,and the city of Krmila, all on the eastern border of the Punjab; while his famous son Sivi Ausinara originated the Sivis or Sibis in Sivapura. 597
It is very difficult to reject or accept the Puranic tradition without any further evidence. However, as regards their connection with Usinara, we may say that scholars are somewhat confused by differing versions by varied text with regard to the territory ruled over by him. 598 The Rgveda, the Jatakas as well as the accounts of Fahien and Hiuen Tsang connect the Usinaras with a region farther to the north-west in Swat Valley, a part of the ancient Mahajanapada of Gandhara; while the Aitareya Brahmana, the Kausitaki Upanisad and the Kathasa- ritsagara associate them to the region north of Haridwar near the source of Ganges at Kanakhala.
It is possible that originally they were settled in the [[Swat Valley]] but by the passage of time, they migrated to other places as well. For example, we find that the Sibis were known to Alexander's followers, living between the Indus and the Akesines (Chenab). 599
In the Mahabharata, 600 the Yaudheyas are described as having been defeated by Arjuna, along with the Malavas and Trigartas. In the Sabhaparvan,601 the Yaudheyas together with the Sibis and the Trigarttas are represented as having paid homage to Yudhisthira. In the Dronaparvan, 602 we find that an epithet 'Adrija' meaning 'mountain-born', is used for the Yaudheyas.
The Yaudheyas were one of the republican tribes of the
Punjab. Panini 603 includes them among the ayudhajivi samghas together with the Parsus who are considered to be Persians by Dr. Buddha Prakash. 604 Panini mentions the Yaudheyas in another Sutra also. 605 Kautilya also refers to the Yaudheya as a warrior clan of the Punjab. 606
The Brhatsamhita 607 places them in the northern division of India and describes them as being in the region of Brhaspati. 608
In the Sahityadarpana of Visvanatha, they are described as interested in gambling (divyatam) and speaking the Southern Vaidarbhi. 609
Yaudheya coins have been found all over the area from Saharanpur to Multan. In the Ludhiana district have been unearthed their votive tablets. A rich find of their coin-moulds was brought to light by B. Sahni at Khokrakot near Rohtak where there seems to have existed a regular mint. 610 Their new currency 611 depicting their tutelary deity Karttikeya which replaced the Kusana currency in these regions, shows that they played a leading part in the extermination of Saka rule in India. 612 The findings of the Yaudheya coins in large number at Saharanpur, Dehradun, Delhi, Rohtak and Kangra attest the fact that they had driven out the Kusanas from these areas and had re-established themselves firmly, in the 3rd-4th century A.D. 613
One of their seals, bearing the legend "Yaudheyanām jayam- antradharāṇām" 614 shews that they were held in high esteem among the warrior-clans of the Punjab . Some scholars seem to be confused about its interpretation. Shobha Mukerji 615 opines that their coins were issued in the name of the gana as well as the Mantra-dharas. M.K. Sharan 616 explains the word " Mantradhara" to mean the members of the Executive Committee "those vested with the policy of the state". He is of the opinion that one set of the Yaudheya coins is struck in the name of the "Mantradharas"and the "Gana", while the other set is struck simply in the name of Gana. 617 He seems to have wrongly substituted the reading "Mantradhara" for "Mantradhara". He has been arbitrary in separating "Jaya" from Mantradhardnam" 6l8 which forms a compound by the combination of the two words. Further he rejects the view of some historians who consider the word " Mantradharāṇām" to mean
'those who were in possession of Victory Charm'. But he contradicts himself at another place while explaining a seal 619 found at Naurangabad with the remarks : "This seal indicates the bravery of the tribe and that they were never defeated as they had adopted the title of '(जयमन्त्रधरा)' ".
Actually the expression may mean 'the Yaudheyas who knew the secret of victory'. It is symbolic of their victory and pride that they never got defeated.
Another word which has raised some controversy among the scholars is "Darma" found on some of the Yaudheya coins. Some scholars take it to mean Dharma while others take it for 'Dama' or 'Darma to be a Sanskritised form of Greek "Drachma".620 Again some controversy arose whether it was a Copper one or of silver. 621 The word 'Damma' or Dramma has been used for a gold coin. 622 It may be remarked that the word borrowed from some foreign language may not strictly be used in the original sense and hence it may simply mean coin. 623 The Kusanas had introduced gold-coins which were later on adopted by the Guptas. But the Yaudheyas seem to have never adopted the gold currency since so far we have found no gold coin belonging to them. This may speak of their weaker economic condition ; surely they could not compare with powerful monarchies. On some of the Yaudheya coins, we have the mysterious words, "dvi" (two) and "tri" (three) after the legend "Yaudheyaganasyajayah" which may point out their making a confederation with other tribes, viz., the Arjunayanas and the Kunindas. 624 They seem to have controlled the area lying on the banks of the river Sutlej up to the borders of the Bahawalpur State which is still called Johiyawar. The word 'Johiya' is apparently an abbreviation of 'Jodhiya', which is the Sanskrit Yaudheya. 625 Cunningham, however, takes the words 'dvi' and 'tri' of the above-mentioned coins to signify 'the money of the second and third tribes of the Yaudheyas'. 626
M.K. Sharan 627 has enlisted about twenty-four types and Symbols on the coins of the Yaudheyas which may point to their religious leanings as well bear out some aspects of their social life. They are as follows :
6. Human figure standing (warrior)
9. Scythic-like object(Yupa)
15. Vase or Mangala Kalasa
16. Tribal sign or Ujjayini Symbol
17. Two S with a line in between probably representing two hooded snakes
18. Triangular-headed symbol or more probably a Yupa
19. Zig-Zag line depicting snake or river
20. Circles with dots around, probably representing the sun
21. Curved object within railing, probably a representation of the Yupa
22. Hill so-called Caitya
23. Six-headed Ṣaṣṭhī or Krttika 628
- For references which appear in the text click Conclusion II