Ushinaras (उशीनर) or Ushinaras were an ancient people attested to have been living in central Punjab since remote antiquity. They were Chandravanshi Kshatriyas often associated with Madras, Kekayas, Sibis etc and their territory formed part of Vahika country according to evidence of Panini.
- 1 Variants
- 2 Ancestry of Ushinara
- 3 Mention by Panini
- 4 History
- 5 इतिहास
- 6 उशीनर
- 7 Association with present Jat gotras
- 8 Usinaras in Vedic Literature
- 9 Mahabharata references
- 10 Srimad Bhagavatam and the Usinaras
- 11 Usinara in Buddhist literature
- 12 References
- 13 See also
- Uśīnara (उशीनर) (Panini)
- Aushinari (औशीनरी) (Panini)
- Usirigiri (उसिरगिरि) (Divyadana)
- Usiradhvaja (उसिरध्वज) (Vinayapitaka)
- Ushinaradesha (उशीनरदेश) = Haridwar
Ancestry of Ushinara
- 1. Ushinara → Nriga + Krimi + Nava + Suvrata + Shivi
- 2. Titiksha → Rushadratha → Homa → Sutapas → Bali → Bali had six sons:Anga, Banga, Kalinga, Sambhu, Pundra, and Odhra.
Mention by Panini
Panini refers to the Usinaras in several sutras of his Ashtadhyayi  and mentions their land as a part of the Vahika country . Though not stated specifically by Panini, in all probability, the Usinaras were under a Sangha government .
V. S. Agrawala writes that Ashtadhyayi of Panini mentions janapada Uśīnara (उशीनर) (IV.2.118) - Panini mentions Ushinara as part of Vahika. Panini mentions three divisions of Vahika Country, viz Kekaya, Uśīnara and Madra. Fourth division to be added to Vahika country is Śavasa. Of these Kekaya and Śavasa may be located between Jhelum and Chenab, the first in the south and second in north respectively; Madra and Ushinara between the Chenab and Ravi River in the north and south respectively.
The Divyadana refers to the Shvasas in Uttarapatha with headquarters at Takshasila to which Ashoka was deputed by his father Bindusara as Viceroy to quell their rebellion. The name of Savasa or Shvasa seems to be preserved in in the modern name Chhiba comprising of Punchh, Rajauri and Bhimbhara. In literature Ushinaras are often associated with the Śibis (greek - Siboi) whose chief town Śibipura has been identified with Shorkot in Jhang district.
(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
594. I. 31.24-28: takes the reading Nrga.
595. 99.18-22: takes the variant reading Mrga.
596. D.C. Sircar, Oz. pp. 252-53.
597. Pargiter, M. P. 264.
ठाकुर देशराज ने लिखा है....‘मथुरा मेमायर्स’ के लेखक ग्राउस साहब ने नव लोगों का वर्णन करते हुये लिखा है कि उशीनर की पांच रानियां थीं - 1. नृगा 2. कृमि 3. नवा 4. दर्व 5. दृषद्वती। इनके एक-एक पुत्र हुआ। उनके नाम नृग, कृमि, नव, सुव्रत और शिवि थे। इनमें से नव ने नवराष्ट्र पर राज किया। कृमि ने कुमिल्लापुरी और शिवि ने, जो कि ऋग्वेद की एक ऋचा का लेखक कहा जाता है, शिवव्यास पर राज किया और नृग ने यौधेयों पर राज किया ।
विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर ने लेख किया है ...उशीनर (AS, p.102) को ऐतरेय ब्राह्मण (ऐतरेय ब्राह्मण, 8,14) के अनुसार मध्य देश में स्थित एक जनपद बताया गया है- 'अस्यांध्रुवायां मध्यमायां प्रतिष्ठायां दिशि'। यहीं कुरुपांचाल और वश जनपदों की स्थिति बताई गई है। कौशीतकी उपनिषद में भी उशीनर-वासियों का नाम मत्स्य, कुरुपांचाल और बशदेशीयों के साथ है।
कथासरित्सागर में उशीनरगिरि का उल्लेख कनखल-हरिद्वार के प्रदेश के अंतर्गत किया गया है। यह स्थान दिव्यावदान (पृ. 22) में वर्णित उसिरगिरि और विनयपिटक (विनयपिटक भाग 2, पृष्ठ 39 ) का उसिरध्वज जान पड़ता है।
पाणिनि ने अष्टाध्यायी 2, 4, 20 और 4, 2, 118 में उशीनर का उल्लेख किया है। कौशीतकी उपनिषद से ज्ञात होता है कि पूर्व बुद्धकाल में गार्ग्य बालाकि जो काशी नरेश अजातशत्रु का समकालीन था उशीनर देश में रहता था।
महाभारत में उशीनर नरेश की राजधानी भोजनगर में बताई है- 'गालवो विमृशन्नेव स्वकार्यगतमानस:, जगाम भोजनगरं द्रष्टुमौशीनरं नृपम्।' (उद्योग पर्व महाभारत 118, 2)
शांतिपर्व महाभारत 29, 39 में उशीनर के शिबि नामक राजा का उल्लेख है- 'शिबिमौशीनरं चैव मृतं सृंजय शुश्रृम'।
ऋग्वेद 10, 59, 10 में उशीनराणी नामक रानी का उल्लेख है- 'समिन्द्रेरय गामनाडवाहंय आवहदुशीनराण्या अन:, भरतामप यद्रपो द्यौ: पृथिवि क्षमारपो मोषुते किंचनाममत्' या जैसा कि उपर्युक्त उद्धरणों से सूचित होता है उशीनरदेश वर्तमान हरिद्वार के निकटवर्ती प्रदेश का नाम था। इसमें ज़िला देहरादून का यमुना तटवर्ती प्रदेश भी सम्मिलित था क्योंकि वन पर्व महाभारत 130, 21 में यमुना के पार्श्ववर्ती प्रदेश में उशीनर नरेश द्वारा यज्ञ किए जाने का उल्लेख है- 'जलां चोपजलां चैव, यमुनामभितो नदीम्, उशीनरो वै यत्रेष्ट्वा वासवादत्यरिच्यत।' 
Association with present Jat gotras
Ram Sarup Joon writes ... Many names in the Genealogical tables of Yayati are associated with present Jat gotras. Some examples are Ushinar, Shishu Bhadra, Tak or Takshak, Satoti, Krishan or Kushana from the Yadhu branch; Dushyanta, Bharat, Bhardwaja, Hasti, Ajmirh, Kaushik, Gadh and Vishwamitra of Puru branch; Seth, Arh, Gandhi, Gaindhu and Gandhar of the Ardas branch.
Names given in the genealogical tables include only the important personages. Other Jat gotras maybe associated with names not included. It shows that majority of Jats belong to the Yayati dynasty. The five branches of Yayati dominated the whole of Northern India, Central Asia and some European countries. European scholars have known these conquerors as of Yayati dynasty. They are remembered by different names in different countries such as Yayati, Ayati, Yati, Yuti, Yeuchi, Jutes, Jeets, Jati, Gatae, Goth etc.
History of the Jats, End of Page-28
Quite a few names cut of the tables are associated with the area around Haridwar, called Shiv Ki Jata. Buddha married Ikshvaku’s sister Ahilya in this area. Rishi Vishwa Mitra’s son Gadh performed ‘tapasya’ here.
Actually Jhanu is also mentioned in the tables, and, as a ruler, must have opposed or disturbed the project of bringing the Ganga to the plains.
Shiv ji married Sati and Parbati in this area. This is the land where the Yayati dynasty prospered and expanded. The Puru dynasty had their capital in this area. Excavations in the area should lead to important revelations.
Ram Sarup Joon writes....In the eight generation of Krishna was King Ushinar whose son was Shavi, more popularly known as Shiv Ji. He married Sati and Parbati and had two sons Ganesh or Ganpati and Somi Kartik. Ganesh or Ganpati are not names but titles meaning head of a tribe. Jats have a big Gotra called Shavi. Iran was once known as Shavi Desh as mentioned by Huen Tsang and Fa Hein in the account of their travels to India. They have stated that through Tartar, Kashgar and Pamir they reached Shavi Country. Shavi is even today remembered in Iran as Prophet Shish. A shrine on his name is situated on the bank of River Tigris. A province of Iran was called Shavisthan now known as Seistan. These Shavi
History of the Jats, End of Page-29
People came to be known as Shavisthani, Shavisthans or Scythians. A great Scythian writer Abul Ghazi has called himself a Jat of Chandravanshi dynasty. He also writes that the mother of Scythians was the daughter of Ahilya Devi.
Ram Swarup Joon writes that Shavi was the son of the king Ushinar. He was a Yogi and an ascetic. He was married to, Sati the daughter of king Daksha. After her death he married Parvati. His seat of tapasya was on the Gangotri Mountain. He had two sons, Smokartik and Ganpati (Ganesh).
The Shavi dynasty prospered well. The Descendants of his dynasty are famous as Takshak, Bachak, Bharhaich, Nags etc. Shavi founded the country of Shavisthan (Siestan) in Iran and also the Island of Jatoli. They also founded kingdoms of Turkistan and Scandinavia.
Usinaras in Vedic Literature
There is reference to princess Usinarini (i.e queen of Usinara) in the Rigveda  Aitareya Brahmana seems to locate Usinaras along with the Kurus, Panchalas and the Vasas (Savasa) in middle region or Madhyadesha (Mid India) . Kaushitakai Upanishada collocates the Usinaras with the Satvat-Matsyas, the Kuru-Panchalas and the Sasas . They probably lived in a territory to the north of Madhyadesa, as neighbors to the Udichyas or the northerners. This is why the Gopatha Brahamana collocates the Usinaras and Svasas with the Udichyas or northerners .
Divyavadana refers to the Svasas as people of Uttarapatha with headquarters at Takshasila to which king Ashoka was deputed by his father Bindusara as a Viceroy to quell their rebellion. The ancient Savasa or Svasa is said to be modern Chhibba which comprises Punch, Rajauri and Bhimbara.
Thus, the Usinaras, the very neighbors of the Svasas must also be located in Punjab proper.
There are many references to Usinaras in the Epic poetry Mahabharata. At several places, it refers to king Usinara and his son prince Sibi or Sivi whose charity has been enormously glorified by sage Markandeya..
Usinara prince in Draupadis’ Sywayamvara
Adi Parava of Mahabharata says that prince Sivi, son of Usinara had attended Draupadi's self-choice (Swayamvara) ceremony along with the kings of neighbouring kingdoms viz Shalya, the king of Madra Kingdom, with his son, the heroic Rukmangada, Rukmaratha, Somadatta (king of Bahlika Kingdom) of the Kuru race with his three sons - Bhuri, Bhurisrava, and Sala and Sudakshina Kamboja the arch-bowman of the Puru race  See Ganguli's Trans: .
Usinaras in Kurukshetra war
The Usinaras had joined the Kurukshetra war on the side of Kauravas. Karna Parava refers to the Kekayas, the Malavas, the Madrakas, the Dravidas of fierce prowess, the Yaudheyas, the Lalittyas, the Kshudrakas, the Usinaras, the Tundikeras, the Savitriputras etc who had supported Karna on 17th day of the war, as all having been slain by Arjuna .
Further epic references
Mahabharata also speaks of Usinara princes as sacrificing on two small streams near Yamuna  There was also one king Usinara i.e king of Usinara country, contemporary of king Janaka of Videha. Garagya Balaki, a contemporary of Janaka lived for some time in Usinara country.
Mahabharata (and Katha sarit-sagara) refer to Usinaragiri which is located near Kankhala at the point where Ganges issues from the hills . It is said to be identical with Usiragiri of Divayavadana and Usira-dhvaja of Vanaya texts .
There is also an epic reference Suyajna, the king of the Usinaras.
Srimad Bhagavatam and the Usinaras
Bhagavatam Purana attests that the prince of Usinara along with princes from Matsya, Kosala, Vidharbha, Kuru, Srnjaya, Kamboja, Kekaya, Madra, Kunti, Anarta, Kerala was present at Samanta-pancaka in Kurukshetra at the occasion of the solar eclipse . 
Consequently, in the literature, the Usinaras are often associated with the Shivis or Sibis (Sibois of the Greek writings) whose chief town Sibipura has been identified with Shorkot, in Jhang district in Pakistan.
Usinara in Buddhist literature
There is a Buddhist reference to one Usinara, said to be king of Benares who lived in the time of Kassapa Buddha. His story is related in the Maha-Kanha Jataka . He is mentioned in a list of kings who, although they gave great gifts, could not get beyond the domain of sense . It is however, not clear if this Usinara was from the Usinara clan or else 'Usinara' was his personal name only.
- V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p. 9, 37, 52, 67, 69, 451
- V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.89
- II.4.20; IV.2.118
- cf: Kashika on Sutra IV.2.118: Usinareshu ye Vahikagramah.
- India as Known to Panini, p 453, Dr V. S. Aggarwala.
- V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.500
- V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.53
- Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Tribes,pp.171-172
- Jat Itihas (Utpatti Aur Gaurav Khand)/Pancham Parichhed,p.106-110
- Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.102
- दुर्गाप्रसाद और काशीनाथ पांडुरंग द्वारा संपादित, तृतीय संस्करण=पृ. 5
- History of the Jats/Chapter II,p. 28
- History of the Jats/Chapter II,p. 29-30
- Ram Swarup Joon: History of the Jats/Chapter V, p. 101
- Aitareya Brahmana VIII.14.
- The Upanishads, Part I (SBE01): Kaushîtaki-Upanishad: 4.1.
- i.e Savasas-Usinareshu-Udichyeshu, Gopatha Brahmana II. 9
- Mahabharata 12.29.39; 1.93; 3.197 etc.
- Mahabharata 1.185-13-15
- Mahabharata 8.5.
- Mahabharata 3.130.21
- Mahabharata 5.111.16-23; Katha sarit-sagara, (Ed) Durgaprasad and Kasinath Pandurang Parab, 3rd Edition, p 5. Kankhala is located near Hardwar in Saharanpur District in Uttar Prsdesh.
- Political History of Ancient India, 1006, p 60, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury.
- Tatragataste dadrśuh suhrt-sambandhino nrpān
- Kamboja kaikayān madrān kuntīn ānarta-keralān
- Anyāmś caivātma-paksīyān parāmś ca śataśo nrpa
- Nandādīn suhrdo gopān gopīś cotkanthitāś ciram
- (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.82.12-13)
- The Yadavas saw that many of the kings who had arrived were old friends and relatives-- the Matsyas, Uśīnaras, Kosalas, Vidarbhas, Kurus, Srnjayas, Kambojas, Kaikayas, Madras, Kuntis and the kings of Ānarta and Kerala. They also saw many hundreds of other kings, both allies and adversaries. In addition, my dear King Parīkṣit, they saw their dear friends Nanda Mahārāja and the cowherd men and women, who had been suffering in anxiety for so long.
- “Anu, the fourth son of Yayati, had three sons, named Sabhanara, Caksu and Paresnu. From Sabhanara came a son named Kalanara, and from Kalanara came a son named Srnjaya. From Srnjaya came a son named Janamejaya. From Janamejaya came Mahasala; from Mahasala, Mahamana; and from Mahamana two sons, named Usinara and Titiksu.The four sons of Usinara were Sibi, Vara, Krmi and Daksa, and from Sibi again came four sons, named Vrsadarbha, Sudhira, Madra and atma-tattva-vit Kekaya....” (Srimad Bhagavatam, 9.23.1-4).
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