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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

For the clan see Samba Clan

Samba (साम्ब) was a son of Krishna and Jambavati. His half-brother was Pradyumna from Rukmini.[1] His actions, caused by anger, brought an end to the Yadu dynasty.[2]


Jat Gotras Namesake

Mora (Mathura) inscription

In the 1st century BC, there seems to be evidence for a worship of five Vrishni heroes Balarama, Krishna, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Samba) for an inscription has been found at Mora near Mathura, which apparently mentions a son of the great satrap Rajuvula, probably the satrap Sodasa, and an image of Vrishni, "probably Vasudeva, and of the "Five Warriors".[4] Brahmi inscription on the Mora stone slab, now in the Mathura Museum.[5], [6]

In Mahabharata

Samba (साम्ब) is mentioned in Mahabharata (I.177.16), (1.188),(I.221.9), (I.221),(II.31.15), (III.48.24),(III.48.38),

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Book I Chapter 177 mentions the Kshatriyas who came on Swayamvara of Draupadi. Samba (साम्ब) is listed in verse (I.177.16).

संकर्षणॊ वासुदेवॊ रौक्मिणेयश च वीर्यवान
साम्बशचारु देष्णशसारणॊ ऽथ गदस तथा (I.177.16)

Adi Parva Mahabharata Book 1 Chapter 211 describes the Raivataka mountain festival of Bhojas, Vrishnis and Andhakas. The Warriors who came includes Samba in verse (I.221.9)

रौक्मिणेयशसाम्बश च कषीबौ समरथुर्मथौ
थिव्यमाल्याम्बरधरौ विजह्राते ऽमराव इव (I.221.9)

Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 31 mentions the Kshatriyas who brought tributes on Rajasuya sacrifice of Yudhisthira. Samba (साम्ब) is listed in verse (II.31.15).

रामश चैवानिरुथ्धशबभ्रुश च सह सारणः
गद परथ्युम्न साम्बाशचारु थेष्णश च वीर्यवान (II.31.15)

Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 48 describes Rajasuya sacrifice of Yudhisthira attended by the chiefs of many islands and countries. Samba (साम्ब) is listed in verse (II.31.15).

रामश च कृष्णश च धनंजयश च; परथ्युम्न साम्बौ युयुधान भीमौ
माथ्री सुतौ केकयराजपुत्राः; पाञ्चाल पुत्राः सहधर्मराज्ञा (III.48.38)

Birth of Samba

Krishna started to pray to the god Shiva and did penance for six months. Shiva finally appeared before Krishna as Samba. Krishna then sought a son from Jambavati, which was granted. A son was born soon thereafter who was named as Samba, the form Shiva had appeared before Krishna.[7][8]

Jambavati was the mother of Samba, Sumitra, Purujit, Shatajit, Sahasrajit, Vijaya, Chitraketu, Vasuman, Dravida and Kratu.[9]

Marriage of Samba

Samba grew up to be a nuisance to the Yadavas, Krishna's clan. Lakshmana, who was the daughter of Duryodhana and twin sister of Laxman Kumara had come of age. [10] Her father arranged her swayamvara and many princes came to win her hand. Samba had heard of Lakshmana and wanted to marry her, though she was not inclined to him. He goes to her swayamvara and abducts her forcefully. He defeats the Kuru maharathi's who pursue him but is finally caught. He is arrested by the Kuru elders and thrown in prison. Lakshmana's swayamvara is re-arranged but no other prince is willing to marry her as a woman abducted by another man belongs to that man. Actually they were afraid of the Yadava's who may attack them on Samba's behalf. Balarama, who is fond of his notorious nephew goes to Hastinapur to bail him out. The Kurus insult Balarama who becomes enraged and starts smashing up the palace. Duryodhana apologizes for their conduct. Balarama is pacified and orders the Kurus to free Samba. Duryodhana then affectionately marries his daughter off to Samba and the marriage is celebrated in pomp and show.

Curse of Krishna

The Bhavishya Purana, the Skanda Purana and the Varaha Purana narrate that some of Krishna's junior wives were infatuated with handsome Samba. One wife Nandini disguised herself as Samba's wife and embraced him. For this incest, Krishna cursed Samba to be inflicted with leprosy and his wives to be kidnapped by Abhira robbers after his death.[11][12] The Samba Purana consists the narrative of Samba's getting infected by leprosy, after being cursed by his father and consequently getting cured by worshipping Surya in the temple constructed by him in Mitravana on the banks of the Chandrabhaga. He was advised by the sage, Kataka,[13] to worship the sun god to cure his aliment. Samba underwent penance for 12 years in Mitravana near the shores of Chandrabhaga.[14] Both the original Konark Sun Temple and the Multan Sun Temple[15] at Multan, earlier known as Kashyapapura, have been attributed to Samba. He was cured by the Sun God Surya after 12 years of penance near Konark.

As a tradition in the state of Odisha, India this day is celebrated as Samba Dashami on the 10th day of the Shukla Paksha of Pausha Masa. On this day, mothers pray to Surya for the health of their children.


James Tod[16] writes.... Samba obtained possession of the tracts on both sides the Indus, and founded the Sind-Samma dynasty, from which the Jharejas are descended. There is every probability that Sambus of Samba-nagari (Minagara), the opponent of Alexander, was a descendant of Samba, son of Krishna. The Jhareja chronicles, in ignorance of the origin of this titular appellation, say that their " ancestors came from Sham, or Syria."

Dr Naval Viyogi[17] writes....The ancient Multan city of Punjab is known by different names, but one of its oldest name according to Cunningham, was Kashyapapura [18]. It was founded by Kashyapa. After Kashyapa, his eldest son, Daitya Hiranya Kashyapa born from Diti, succeeded him. After him his son Prahlad and later his son Banasura, became the heir of the Kingdom of Kashyapa. At the same time Krishna killed Banasura and later Krishna's son Samba became the king of Kashyapapura.

Hukum Singh Panwar[19] while advocating the presence of Indo Aryans in Baltic region writes that It is extremely interesting to note that Dr. Marija Gimbutas[20], a Lithuanian scholar, who has highlighted many affinities and parallels to show close cultural and linguistic relationships between the Balts (from Baltisthan) and the Vedic Aryans[21], mentions, as quoted by Dr. Chatterji[22], the names of the Baltic tribes and territories. These indisputably betray their Indian names and, especially, Jat names. The names she mentions (with their possible equivalent given in brackets) are: Latgala or Lettigallian (present-day Letts of Latvia) or ancient and modern Lets (Lat or Lathar Jats), Kursas or Curonians (Kurus), Sela or Selonicans (S=H, Hela Jats), Kulmas (G = K, Gulmas from Gulmarg, Kashmir), Pamede (P = B, Bamede or Bamian), Lubava (?), Pagude (Jagude or Jakhar Jats?), Sasna (Sse or Ssae, Scythian, Jats), Galinda (Kalinda?), Varme (Varmas, V=B, Barma or Barme or Birhmaan Jats), Notanga (?), Scmba(Samba Jats), Sakalva or Skalva Sakas), Nadruva (Madras?),Barta (Bharta Jats), Suduva, also known as the Dainva (Danavas), and the Jotya (Jatva or Jats).

Bhim Singh Dahiya[23] writes that....In a recent article, "The Antiquity of Magas in Ancient India", V.C. Srivastava shows that the Maga priests, who were foreigners, came to India in sixth/eighth centuries B.C., and were ultimately accepted as Brahmans in India. They were the priests of the sun god, par excellence! 10 In fact, the local Indian priests were deemed to be unsuitable for sun worship methodology. Mythology takes the sun worship to Samba, son of Lord Krishna, who was cured of a serious disease by the Magians in the West and who was the first to establish a sun temple in western India. The Bhavishya and Agni Puranas give further details of these people, and for a full discussion on these people-and their offshoot the Achaemenians reference may be made to S. Chattopadhya's excellent book, The Achaemends in India and to Elements of Hindu Iconography by Gopinath Rao.

Bhim Singh Dahiya[24] writes....The whole concept of sun-worship in India is connected with these Magian priests of the Central Asian Jats. They are called the Brahmans of Sakadvipa. The Bhavishya Purana is full of their customs. It is significant that for a considerable period of time, the Indians considered only the first three among the Vedas and the fourth Veda was not considered a Veda at all. It was only when these Magian priests were accepted as Brahmans, that the Atharva Veda was accepted as a full-fledged Veda thus making the quarter.[25] There is evidence to indicate that Chanakya himself was a Magi brahman. That is why, he gives more importance to Anvikshiki than to the Vedas. That is why again that Chanakya makes the Atharvana minister as a supreme guide to the king. Even the full name of this Veda is Atharvangirasa. We know that Angirasas are definitely sunworshippers alongwith the Bhrigus. This fourth Veda in fact is more Persian than Indian, in the traditional sense. According to Vishnu Purana, Samba, son of Krishna brought 18 families of Maga priests from Sakadvipa to India to officiate as priests in the sun temple. Here we must note that these priests were brought not fromPersia proper but from sakadvipa, the land of the Scythians. It is another matter that in subsequent period of history, this land also came under the Persian empire. But that does not make it Persian or Zoroastrian in religion. It was Magian, pure and simple.

Tej Ram Sharma[26] writes about 1. Sambapala (साम्बपाल) (No. 34, Damodarpur Copper-plate Inscription of the time of Kumaragupta I Gupta Year 124 (=A.D. 443), LL. 5-6; No. 35, Damodarpur Copper-plate Inscription of the time of Kumaragupta I Gupta Year 128 (=A.D. 448) L. 5) : The first part of the name Samba is to be derived from Samba which literally means accompanied by Amba (Durga) and is the name of Lord Shiva. It has been the name of a son of Krishna and Jambavati as well as of several authors and teachers. Pala is a name-ending suffix having the least significance in the present case. Perhaps it has been added only to honour the Grhyasutra injunction of not giving names of deities directly to human-beings.

Alexander Cunningham[27] writes about Sindomana or Sehwan: [p. 263]: From the city of Oxykanus, Alexander " led his forces against Sambus, whom he had before declared governor of the Indian mountaineers." The Raja abandoned his capital, named Sindomana, which, according to Arrian, 1 was delivered up to Alexander by the friends and domestics of Sambus, who came forth to meet him with presents of money and elephants. Curtius 2 calls the raja Sabus, but does not name his capital. He simply states that Alexander, having received the " submission of several towns, captured the strongest by mining." The narrative of Diodorus.3

1 'Anabasis,' vi. 16.

2 Vita Alex., is. 8.

3 Hist. Univers., xvii. 50.

[p. 264]:also omits the name of the capital, but states that Sambus retired to a great distance with thirty elephants. Strabo1 merely mentions Raja Sabus, and Sindomana his capital, without adding any particulars. Curtius2 alone notes that Alexander returned to his fleet after the capture of the raja's strongest city, which must therefore have been at some distance from the Indus.

I agree with all previous writers on the ancient geography of this part of India in identifying Sindomana with Sehwan.

1 Geogr., xv. 1, 32.

2 Vita Alex., ix. 8 : " Rursus amnem, in quo classem expectare se jusserat, repetit."

Chapter xvi. Campaign against Oxycanus and Sambus. (p.342-343)

Arrian[28] writes....THEN he (Alexander the Great) took the archers, Agrianians, and cavalry sailing with him, and marched against the governor of that country, whose name was Oxycanus, because he neither came himself nor did envoys come from him, to offer the surrender of himself and his land. At the very first assault he took by storm the two largest cities under the rule of Oxycanus; in the second of which that prince himself was captured. The booty he gave to his army, but the elephants he led with himself. The other cities in the same land surrendered to him as he advanced, nor did any one turn to resist him; so cowed in spirit~ had all the Indians now become at the thought of Alexander and his fortune. He then marched back against Sambus, whom he had appointed viceroy of the mountaineer Indians and who was reported to have fled, because he learned that Musicanus had been pardoned by Alexander and was ruling over his own land. For he was at war with Musicanus, But when Alexander approached the city which the country of Samb held as its metropolis, the name of which was Sindimana, the gates were thrown open to him at his approach, and the relations of Sambus reckoned up his money and went out to meet him, taking with them the elephants also. They assured him that Sambus had fled, not from any hostile feeling towards Alexander, but fearing on account of the pardon of Musicanus. He also captured another city which had revolted at this time, and slew as many of the Brahmans as had been instigators of this revolt. These men are the philosophers of the Indians, of whose philosophy, if such it may be called, I shall give an account in my book descriptive of India.

मुलतान, पाकिस्तान

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[29] ने लेख किया है .... मुलतान, पाकिस्तान, (AS, p.753) : जनश्रुति के अनुसार मुल्तान का वास्तविक नाम मूलस्थान. यह एक प्राचीन सूर्य मन्दिर के लिए दूर-दूर तक विख्यात था। भविष्यपुराण 39 की एक कथा में वर्णित है किकृष्ण के पुत्र साम्ब ने दुर्वासा के शाप के परिणामस्वरूप कुष्ठ रोग से पीड़ित होने पर सूर्य की उपासना की थी और मूलस्थान (मुल्तान) में सूर्य मन्दिर बनवाया था। उसने मगद्वीप से सूर्योपासना में दक्ष सोलह मग परिवारों को बुलाया था। ये मग लोग शायद ईरान के निवासी थे और शाकल द्वीप में बसे हुए थे। इस सूर्य मन्दिर के खण्डहर मुल्तान में आज भी स्थित हैं। (दे. मगद्वीप).

स्कन्दपुराण के प्रभासक्षेत्र-माहात्म्य, अध्याय 278 में इस मन्दिर को देविका नदी के तट पर स्थित बताया गया है- 'ततो गच्छेन महादेविमूलस्थानमिति श्रुतम, देविकायास्तट रम्ये भास्करं वारितस्करम'। देविका वर्तमान देह नदी है। युवानच्वांग के समय में सिन्धु और मुल्तान पड़ौसी देश थे। अलबेरूनी ने सौवीर देश का विस्तार मुल्तान तक बताया है। एक प्राचीन किवदंती में मुल्तान को विष्णु के भक्त प्रह्लाद का जन्म स्थान तथा हिरण्यकशिपु की राजधानी माना जाता है। प्रह्लाद के नाम से एक प्रसिद्ध मन्दिर भी यहाँ स्थित है।

See also


  1. Hudson, D. Dennis (2008), The Body of God : An Emperor's Palace for Krishna in Eighth-Century Kanchipuram, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-199-70902-1,p.417
  2. Hudson, D. Dennis (2008), The Body of God : An Emperor's Palace for Krishna in Eighth-Century Kanchipuram, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-199-70902-1,p.101
  3. Mahendra Singh Arya et al.: Adhunik Jat Itihas, p. 282
  4. Barnett, Lionel David (1922). Hindu Gods and Heroes: Studies in the History of the Religion of India. J. Murray. p. 93.
  5. Puri, B.N. (1968). India in the Time of Patanjali. Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.Page 51: The coins of Raj uvula have been recovered from the Sultanpur District.. the Brahmi inscription on the Mora stone slab, now in the Mathura Museum
  6. Barnett, Lionel David (1922). Hindu Gods and Heroes: Studies in the History of the Religion of India. J. Murray. p. 92.
  7. Swami Parmeshwaranand. Encyclopaedia of the Śaivism. Sarup & Sons. p. 62. ISBN 978-81-7625-427-4.
  8. Vettam Mani (1975). Puranic Encyclopaedia: a Comprehensive Dictionary with Special Reference to the Epic and Puranic Literature. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. pp. 342, 677. ISBN 978-0-8426-0822-0.
  9. Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.61.10-12
  10. "Krishna Book Chapter 68: The Marriage of Samba".
  11. Vettam Mani (1975). Puranic Encyclopaedia: a Comprehensive Dictionary with Special Reference to the Epic and Puranic Literature. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. pp. 342, 677. ISBN 978-0-8426-0822-0.
  12. Devdutt Pattanaik (1 September 2000). The Goddess in India: The Five Faces of the Eternal Feminine. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co. pp. 101–2. ISBN 978-0-89281-807-5.
  13. K.S. Krishna Rao (2008). Global Encyclopaedia of the Brahmana Ethnography. Global Vision Publishing House. p. 452. ISBN 978-81-8220-208-5.
  14. "Official website: The Sun Temple Legend". Tourism Department, Government of Orissa
  15. Sir Alexander Cunningham (1871). The Ancient Geography of India: I. The Buddhist Period, Including the Campaigns of Alexander, and the Travels of Hwen-Thsang. Trübner & Company. p. 233.
  16. James Tod:Annals of Jaisalmer, Vol.II, p.195
  17. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p. 315
  18. Jyoti Prasad Jain, p. 48
  19. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/The migrations of the Jats to the North-Western countries ,p.263
  20. Q. in The Balts and Aryans, London, 1968, pp. 23, 77-83, Map at plate.I for Balts.
  21. Kephart, op.cit., ch. 11 (Sec. 5, e-i, See. 6 & 7).
  22. op.cit., p.67. (Within brackets mine)
  23. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Mandas,p.136
  24. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Porus and the Mauryas,p.156
  25. Spooner, op. cit., p. 423.
  26. Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Names of Local Officers,p.58
  27. The Ancient Geography of India/Western India,pp.263-264
  28. Arrian Anabasis Book/6b
  29. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.753

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