From Jatland Wiki
(Redirected from Prārjuna)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Prarjuna (प्रार्जुन) were ancient people of India who were won by Samudragupta.

Variants of name

Jat clans

Jat clans derived from Prarjuna include:

  • Brar (Brar + Joon = Brarjoon = Prarjuna)
  • Jun (Brar + Joon = Brarjoon = Prarjuna)


Allahabad pillar inscription of Samudragupta mentions in Line-22:

(L. 22.)-Whose imperious commands were fully gratified, by giving all (kinds of) taxes and obeying (his) orders and coming to perform obeisance, by the frontier-kings of Samatata,Davaka, Kamarupa, Nepala,Kartripura, and other (countries), and by the Mālavas, Arjunāyanas, Yaudheyas, Madrakas, Abhiras, Prārjunas, Sanakanikas Kākas, Kharaparikas, and other (tribes);-[1]

Bhim Singh Dahiya writes that the Allahabad pillar inscription of Samudragupta mentions the Malavas, Arjunayanas, the Yaudheyas, the Madras, the Madras, the Abhiras, the Prarjuna, the Sankanikas, the Kaks and the Kharaparikas (Kharap) etc. (see -Samudragupta)

B S Dahiya[2] writes: They are probably the same as Yaunas of Buddhist and Sanskrit works and perhaps, are to be identified with the Prarjuna of Arthashastra. V. Smith says that in 226-241 AD, a Juna king of Sirhind, had diplomatic relations with the first Sassanid king, Ardshir, of Iran. [3] This shows that they had come to India much earlier than the movements of Jajuans of Chinese, to be identified with the Jenjuan Jats and Rajputs.

Tej Ram Sharma

Tej Ram Sharma[4] writes Among these the Abhira, Arjunayanas, Atavikas, Kakas, Kharaparikas, Kotas, Kurus, Licchavis, Madrakas, Malava, Prarjunas, Pusyamitras, Sanakamkas and Yaudheyas are the indigenous tribes while the Daivaputra, Huna, Mleccha, Murundas, Sahanusahi, Sahi, Saimhalaka, Saka, and Vahllka represent the foreign stock.

We have seen how some of these tribes migrated to places other than their original settlements and gave their names to

Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions 177

the janapadas they settled. They replaced the old Vedic tribes in Punjab and Rajasthan though some of them are deemed as offshoots of the main tribe.

The Prarjunas, Sanakanikas, Kakas and Kharaparikas may be later tribes since they find hardly any mention in the ancient texts. The Madrakas who were a branch of the Salvas (who had a totemic origin) and the Licchavis who had legendary origin as a result of an incestuous union between brother and sister may even be pre-dated to Aryan way of life, indicating the period of totemic worship and when there was no conscious taboo on incest.

About the foreign tribes mentioned above we find that the Sakas influenced India so much that the Purana-writers included Saka-dvipa in the Bhuvanakosa section. There are probabilities of the Huna and Vahlika settlements in the Punjab and some territories known after them. The title Sahi was supplanted by the Hunas and Turks in their administrative systems. After the Aryans migrated to the east, the lands in the North-West were looked at with contempt, by the easterners and were labelled as the Mleccha lands. The term Mleccha was generally used for the foreigners who did not come under the pale of Aryandom.

Hence the people in the North-West who came under foreign influence and were liberalized in their outlook, were also terms as the Mlecchas. Thus we find that the process of political and the ethnic transformation continued.

Not only that we find that the majority of the above- mentioned tribes were Aryanized, some under the Vratya variety while others under the Vrsala system. The Hunas and the Sakas were admitted to the Kshatriya stock while the Saka-brahmanas known as the Magas were brahmanised. Many pre-Aryan names were Sanskritized but some names retained their old forms; the names like the Licchavis, Abhira, etc., cannot be explained through the root and suffix of Aryan language. [5]

Thus we see that the ethnic, geographical and cultural factors differentiated one tribe from the other. The use of the terms Arya, Anarya, Mleccha, Vratya and Vrsala prove it beyond doubt. But there was interaction among these tribes and the tribes which interacted later survived as castes. Most of these tribes represented the Little Tradition and were absorbed into the Great Tradition. Some of their cults and their

178 Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

gods became a part of the main-stream of the Aryan society.

The Linguistic Survey of India has shown a survival of India's janapadas through the long periods of time. The areas of Indian dialects and languages as they are found today correspond, in a striking manner, to the ancient or medieval janapadas or janapada-samghatas (federations of Janapadas). Even the Janapadas of the maha-Janapadas of the sixth century B.C. comprised small areas. 'The ancients were not great conquerors' declared Bana, an author of the seventh century A.D., 'for in a small area of land, they had number of kings'. [6] By the close of the Gupta period, however, the Janapadas had grown sufficiently in size, and in the middle ages they came to be almost what we find them today.[7]

It may also be conceded that the gana states of the Yaudheyas, Malavas and Licchavis were not democracies or republics in the sense in which we understand these words today. Supreme and ultimate power did not lie vested in the whole body of adult citizens. We can still describe these states as republics. Standard works and authorities on the political science define republic as a state, where the sovereign power vests, not in a single person as in monarchy, but in a group or college of persons, more or less numerous. Oligarchies, aristocracies, and democracies have all been labelled as republics. [8]

In any case modern India may take legitimate pride in the fact that, though she may not have had democracies in the modern sense, government by discussion was by no means unknown in her ancient civilization. [9]

Finally we may say that Samudragupta did not destroy the Malavas, Arjunayanas, the Yaudheyas and the Madras to extinction; they had become tributary but retained their internal autonomy. Their territories were never directly administered by the Guptas, and so their republican institutions could not have been much affected.


  1. २२. समतट-डवाक-कामरूप-नेपाल-कर्त्तृपुरादि-प्रत्यन्त-नृपतिभिर्म्मालवार्जुनायन-यौधेय-माद्रकाभीर-प्रार्जुन-सनकानीक-काक-खरपरिकादिभिश्च5 सर्व्व-कर -दानाज्ञाकरण-प्रणामागमन-
  2. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Jat Clan in India,p. 258
  3. V. Smith, Early History of India, 4th Edition, p. 289 note
  4. Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Conclusion II,p.176-178
  5. S.K. Chatterjee, Bharata Mein Arya Aura Anarya, p. 98
  6. Harshacharita (Niranayasagara edn. 1897) p.213; The Cultural Heritage of India Vol. I . p.34.
  7. J.C. Naranga,The Cultural Heritage of India Vol. I . p.34
  8. A.S. Altekar, Sir Asutosh Memorial Volume 2 (edn. 1972) p. 112.
  9. A.L. Basham, The Wonder that was India by A. L. Basham. p.98

Back to The Ancient Jats