Vrika

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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Hyrcania on Map showing the route of Alexander the Great

Vrika (वृक) was an ancient ganarajya known to Panini and mentioned in Mahabharata. The Ayudhjivi Sanghas in the Panini's Ashtadhyayi Sutras include Vṛika (V.3.115). Their Country was Varkania or Hyrcania called Gurgan in modern Persian.[1]

Origin

Variants

Jat clans

Mention by Panini

Vrikagarta (वृकगर्त) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [3]


Vrika (वृक), a warrior tribe, is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [4]


Vrikarupya (वृकरूप्य), is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [5]


Vriksha (वृक्ष), vanaspati (वनस्पति), is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [6]

In Mahabharata

Vrika (वृक) has been mentioned in Mahabharata (I.177.9), (V.31.19), (VIII.30.45), (XIII.116.67).


Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Mahabharata Book I Chapter 177 mentions the Kshatriyas came on Swayamvara of Draupadi. Vrika is included in verse (I.177.9). [7]


Udyoga Parva/Mahabharata Book V Chapter 31 mentions that Pandavas were desirous of peace and demanded only five villages: Kushasthala, Vrikasthala, Asandi, Varanavata, and for the fifth any other village to end the quarrel. [8]


Karna Parva/Mahabharata Book VIII Chapter 30 mentions this tribe in derogatory sense as a bias for many clans of Vahika country: "The Karasakaras, the Mahishakas, the Kalingas, the Kikatas, the Atavis, the Karkotakas, the Virakas, and other peoples of no religion, one should always avoid." [9]


Anusasana Parva/Book XIII Chapter 116 gives List of Kings who had abstained from flesh in Karttika month. Vrika is included in verse (XIII.116.67)....These other kings also, viz., Syenachitra, and Somaka and Vrika and Raivata and Rantideva and Vasu and Srinjaya,....did not eat flesh for the month of Karttika." [10]

History

V. S. Agrawala[11] mentions the names of Ayudhjivi Sanghas in the Panini's Sutras which include Vṛika (V.3.115) - [p.443]: An individual member of this Sangha was called Vārkeṇya, and the whole Sangha Vrika. This name standing alone in the Sutra with a suffix peculiar from the rest is hitherto untraced. It is stated to be Ayudhajivin, but not necessarily associated with Vahika. It should probably be identified with Varkaṇa, the old Persian form in the Behistun inscription of Darius, mentioned along with Pārthava or the Parthians (Behistun inscription Col. II.1.16). There is a striking similarity between the Sanskrit and old Persian forms of the name, e.g. Vārkeṇya equal to Vārkaṇa in the singular number , and Vrikah equal to Varkā in plural as in the expression Sakā Hauma-Varkā.


The Country of Vrikas: [p.444]: The Country of Vrikas seems to have being the same as Hyrcania lying to the north of Parthia and on the eastern corner of the Caspian (mod. Persian Gurgan, from Vrika=Gurg, in the valley of River of that name in the fertile district of Astarabad. The Persians distinguished the Varkas and infact all the northern war like equestrian people as Sakas (Persepolis Tomb Inscription, Sakā para-daria).

The name Vrika was known throughout the north-west as shown by its derivatives found in the several languages near Panini’s homeland, e.g. Ishkashmi werk, Yidgha wurk, wurg etc. The title Bakanapati or Barkanapati, the chief of Varkanas, is applied to a Saka Governor of Mathura who was associated with the foundation and repair of Devakula of Wima Kadphises (JRAS,1924, p.402; JBORS, xvi,p.258), whom Jayaswal identified as Hyrcanian Saka. Panini’s acquaintance with a branch of Sakas is not surprising, since he uses Saka word Kantha meaning 'town' in six sutras. The Sakas were very ancient race referred to in the old Persian Inscriptions of Darius and settled both in Sakasthana and on the borders of Parthia which were connected with Bahlika and Gandhara. Katyayana also has the expression Saka-Parthava in a varttika showing that in the 4th century BC he knew of Sakas and the Parthians, probably by way of commerce, previous to their political invasions.

The Virks are also a section of the Jats in the Punjab, who originally seem to have been Scythians.


V. S. Agrawala[12] writes that Panini mentions village name in category ending Rūpya (IV.2.106) - The Kāśikā mentions Vrikarupya (Vṛika-rūpya).


Vijayendra Kumar Mathur[13] writes that Panini mentioned a janapada called Vrika in Punjab. It was probably Vrikasthala, which is the ancient name of Bagpat. Some people believe that Bagpat is derived from Vrikaprastha. Vrikasthala (=Vrikaprastha) was one of five places demanded by Pandavas to end the quarrel.[14]


V. S. Agrawala[15] writes that there is also the possibility that another Persian tribe came to be known in India in Panini’s time who refers to Vrikas as an Ayudhajivi Sangha, a community that lived by the profession of arms. An individual member of this tribe was called in Sanskrit as Vārkeṇya, a term which seems to correspond to Varakāṇa of the Behistun Inscription. The whole tribe was called Vrikāḥ, which corresponds to Varkā in plural number in the same Saka-Haumavarkā in the Naksh-i-Rustam Inscription. The Vrikas thus appear to be a section of warlike Saka tribes. (Cf.ante,pp.443-4).

वृक

वृक (AS, p.869) : पाणिनि द्वारा उल्लिखित गणराज्य जिसकी स्थिति पंजाब या उसके निकटवर्ती क्षेत्र में थी. संभव है यह वृकस्थल हो. [16]

External links

References

  1. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.443-444
  2. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.443-444
  3. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.66
  4. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p. 77, 221, 443, 467
  5. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p. 65
  6. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.210
  7. अभिभूः सह पुत्रेण सुदाम्ना च सुवर्चसा, सुमित्रः सुकुमारश च वृकः सत्यधृतिस तथा (I.177.9)
  8. कुशस्थलं वृकस्थलम आसन्दी वारणावतम, अवसानं भवेथ अत्र किं चिथ एव तु पञ्चमम Mahabharata (V.31.19)
  9. कारः करान महिषकान कलिङ्गान कीकटाटवीन । कर्कॊटकान वीरकांश च दुर्धर्मांश च विवर्जयेत Mahabharata (VIII.30.45)
  10. शयेनचित्रेण राजेन्द्र सॊमकेन वृकेण च, रैवतेन रन्ति देवेन वसुना सृञ्जयेन च (XIII.116.67)
  11. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.443-444
  12. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.65
  13. Aitihasik Sthanavali,p.869
  14. कुशस्थलं वृकस्थलम आसन्दी वारणावतम, अवसानं भवेथ अत्र किं चिथ एव तु पञ्चमम Mahabharata (V.31.19)
  15. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.467
  16. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.869