Yayati (ययाति) was a Puranic king and the son of king Nahusha. He was a great scholar of Vedas. He had two wives, Devyani and Sharmishtha. Devyani was the daughter of Shukracharya, the priest of Asuras. Sharmishtha was the daughter of the Demon King Vrishparva. Sharmishtha was a friend and servant of Devyani.
Yayati got two sons from Devyani –
Yayati also got three sons from Sharmishtha –
Genealogical tables of Yayati dynasty are reproduced below from “Todd’s Rajasthan based on Agni Puran.
Swami Omanand Sarswati writes: ययाति के पांच पुत्र हुए, जो सबके सब श्रेष्ठ राजर्षि थे । उनमें महातेजस्वी तथा शक्तिशाली पुत्र यदु थे और सबसे छोटे पुत्र का नाम पुरु था, जिन्होंने हमारे इस वंश की वृद्धि की है । वे वृषपर्वा की पुत्री शर्मिष्ठा के गर्भ से उत्पन्न हुये थे ।
यदु देवयानी के पुत्र थे और महातेजस्वी शुक्राचार्य के दौहित्र थे । वे यदुवंश के प्रवर्तक थे, वे मन्दबुद्धि और बड़े अभिमानी थे, उन्होंने समस्त क्षत्रियों का अपमान किया था । वे अपने पिता वा भाइयों का भी अपमान करते थे, इसलिए इनके पिता ययाति ने कुपित होकर इन्हें राज्य से भी वञ्चित कर दिया था । यदु के जिन भाइयों ने उनका साथ दिया था, ययाति ने उन अन्य पुत्रों को भी राज्याधिकार से वञ्चित कर दिया ।
यवीयांसं ततः पूरुं पुत्रं स्ववशर्त्तिनम् ।
राज्ये निवेशयामास विधेयं नृपसत्तमः ॥
एवं ज्येष्ठोऽप्यथोत्सिक्तो न राज्यमभिज्ञायते ।
यवीयांसोऽपि जायन्ते राज्यं वृद्धोपसेवया ॥१२-१३॥
तदनन्तर अपने अधीन रहने वाले आज्ञापालक छोटे पुत्र पुरु को नृप श्रेष्ठ ययाति ने राजगद्दी पर बिठाया । इससे यह सिद्ध है कि ज्येष्ठ पुत्र भी यदि अहंकारी हो तो उसे राज्य की प्राप्ति नहीं होती और छोटे पुत्र भी वृद्ध पुरुषों की सेवा करने से राज्य पाने के अधिकारी हो जाते हैं ।
Yadu was banished from ruling and had become rebel who first started ruling in outskirts of India and then intruded the mainland. The jambudwepa referred in scriptures is believed to be in memory of these islands. The regions where the Yadu clan settled is not certain, but certain scholars suggest that Yadu clan inherited the territories to the south-west of the Gangetic plains, between the Chambal River, Betwa and Ken, which correspond to the border areas of present Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Descendants of yadu were called Yadavavanshi. Krishna was born in this vansha.
Many historians consider the origin of Jats from Yadu.
- Thakur Deshraj has mentioned with reference to Pandit Lekhram Arya who says in 'Risalajihad' that word Jat has derived from Yadu as under.
- Yadu(यदु) → Jadu(जदु) → Jādu(जादु) → Jād(जाद) → Jāt(जात) → Jāt(जाट)
- James Todd and Wilson have also supported this theory.
- Mr Neshfield, a renowned Indologist, says that "The word Jat is nothing more than the modern Hindi pronunciation of Yadu or Jadu, the tribe in which Krishna was born.
- The Sinsinwar Jat rulers of Bharatpur have been recorded as Yadavavanshi, the descendants of Krishna by Prakash Chandra Chandawat. 
- UN Sharma has mentioned the chronology of Krishna in which starting from Sindhupal in 64th generation of Krishna to Bharatpur ruler Maharaja Brijendra Singh (1929-1948) all the rulers are mentioned as Yaduvanshi Jats. 
- Almost all early Jat rulers have been mentioned by contemporary poets as Yaduvanshis. The poet Sudan , poet Somnath , poet Udayram  have written about the origin of Sinsinwar Jat rulers of Bharatpur as under -
- तीन जाति जादव की, अंधक, विस्नी, भोज ।
- तीन भांति तेई भये, तै फिर तिनही षोज ।।
- पूर्व जनम ते जादव विस्नी ।
- तेई प्रकटे आइ सिनसिनी ।।
- Jat historian Bhaleram Beniwal has written after recent researches with evidences in his book "Jāton kā Ādikālīn Itihās" that Krishna was by all evidences nothing other than Jat. He has mentioned the above refered evidences in addition to the following authors which mention Krishna as Jats. These are Yogendrapal Shastri, Motilal Gupta  Walter Hamilton.
- The Muslim contries have a notion that Jats are the ancestors of Yadavas. The Arabian traveller Al-Biruni has mentioned that Lord Krishna was a Jat. 
- Dr Natthan Singh has also mentioned the theory of origin of Jats from Yadu. Yadu was banished from ruling by Yayati for not obeying him and made his other son Puru as king. Yadu had become rebel who first started ruling in outskirts of India in south-west border areas. Slowly he gained strength by forming a federation of Shaka, Pallava, Parad, Yavan and Kamboja tribes. The king Sagar failed his these attempts and suppressed them. In order to avoid confrontation with Sagar, the Yaduvanshis came to Sursena area (Mathura). Here he again formed a federation of 18 tribes. One of thse tribe was vrishni in which Krishna was born. Many historians connect Jats with these Yadus. Looking to similar physical features, food habits, life and culture both Jats and Yaduvanshis can be treated belonging to same caste.
According to James Todd One great arm of the tree of Yayati remains unnoticed, that of Uru or Urvasu, written by others Turvasu. Uru was the father of a line of kings who founded several empires. Virupa, the eighth prince from Uru, had eight sons, two of whom are particularly mentioned as sending forth two grand shoots, Druhyu and Bhabru. From Druhyu a dynasty was established in the north. Aradwat, with his son Gandhara, is stated to have founded a State : Prachetas is said to have become king of Mlecchhades, or the barbarous regions. This line terminated with Dushyanta, the husband of the celebrated Sakuntala, father of Bharat, and who, labouring under the displeasure of some offended deity, is said by the Hindus to have been the cause of all the woes which subsequenty befell the race. The four grandsons of Dushyanta, Kalanjar, Keral, Pand, and Chaul, gave their names to countries.
The descendants of Puru included the famous Kauravas and Pandavas of Mahabharata.
The Purus are tribe or a confederation of tribes mentioned in the Rigveda. RV 7.96.2 locates them at the banks of the Sarasvati River. They were defeated by king Sudas at the Battle of the Ten Kings. The descendants of Puru were called Pauravas. The Pauravas was the name given to the many petty kingdoms and tribes of ancient northwest India in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. The Pauravas were all situated on or near the Indus river where their monarchs grew rich and prosperous through trade. The Persian kings Darius and Xerxes claimed suzerainty over many of the Pauravas, but this claim was loose at best. The most powerful tribes, the Ambhi and Porus, were cowed by the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great in 326 BCE, but he did not go on to conquer the entire area because his army simply refused to go any further. The region was eventually absorbed into the Mauryan Empire.
The Puranas say that they moved north and west, and then settled in Gandhara, Aratta (northwest Punjab) and Setu. (VP IV.17) The Druhyus were driven out of the land of the seven rivers by Mandhatr and their next king Ghandara settled in a north-western region which became known as Ghandara. The sons of the later Druhyu king Pracetas finally migrate to the region north of Afghanistan.( Bhagavata 9.23.15-16; Visnu 4.17.5; Vayu 99.11-12; Brahmanda 3.74.11-12 and Marsya 48.9.)
Some scholars say they could be related to Zoroastrian, Iranian, Greek or European peoples.
Anu In Sumerian mythology and later for Assyrians and Babylonians, Anu (also An; 𒀭) was a sky-god, the god of heaven, lord of constellations, king of gods, spirits and demons, and dwelt in the highest heavenly regions. It was believed that he had the power to judge those who had committed crimes, and that he had created the stars as soldiers to destroy the wicked. He was the father of the Anunnaku (also spelled Anunnaki).
He was the oldest god in the Sumerian pantheon, and part of a triad including Enlil, god of the sky and Enki, god of water. He was called Anu by the Akkadians, rulers of Mesopotamia after the conquest of Sumer in 2334 BCE by King Sargon of Akkad. By virtue of being the first figure in a triad consisting of Anu, Bel and Ea, Anu came to be regarded as the father and at first, king of the gods. Anu is so prominently associated with the city of Uruk, Biblical Erech in southern Babylonia that there are good reasons for believing this place to have been the original seat of the Anu cult. If this be correct, then the goddess Inanna (or Ishtar) of Uruk may at one time have been his consort.
According to the Earth Chronicles series by Zecharia Sitchin, the wife of Anu was a fertility goddess and the mother of the gods; her cult was centered in Munster. However, Anu was one of the Anunnaki who came from the planet Nibiru (Marduk). According to Sitchin's theories on Sumerian legend and lore, the Anunnaki arrived first on Earth probably 400,000 years ago, looking for minerals, especially gold, which they found and mined in Africa.
Story of Yayati
One day as Devyani and Sharmishtha along with the hoard of servants were amusing themselves in a park, King Yayati happened to pass by. Devyani had been secretly in love with Yayati as he had once rescued her from a dry well. Devyani and Sharmishtha introduced themselves to him and Devyani confessed to being in love with him and asked him to marry her. Yayati said, "Unless your father gives you to me in marriage I will not accept you as my wife." Shukracharya gave in to his daughter's request and agreed to give her away in marriage to King Yayati. As dowry he gave away Sharmishtha. He however warned Yayati that he should never let Sharmishtha share his bed.
Sharmishtha was given a place to live in a shaded glade called Ashok Vatika. One day Yayati happened to pass by Ashok Vatika where Sharmishtha lived. Seeing him, Sharmishtha confessed that she too was in love with the king and wanted him to marry her. She told him that she belonged to a royal family and Yayati could marry her. Yayti agreed and they wed in secret. They continued to meet and hid the fact from Devyani that they were married.
When Devyani came to know about the relationship of Yayati and Sharmishtha and their three sons she felt shocked and betrayed. Devyani went away to her father's house. Shukracharya was displeased with the king, and cursed that he would lose his youth and become an old man immediately.
As soon as Shukracharya uttered his curse Yayati became an old man. Shukracharya also said that his curse once uttered could not be taken back and added that the only concession he could give was that if Yayati wanted he could give his old age to someone and take their youth from them. Yayati was relieved at the reprieve he was given and confident that his sons would willingly exchange their youth with him. Yayati went back to his kingdom. Yayati requested all his five sons one by one to give their youth to him to enjoy the worldly happiness. All the sons except Puru rejected his demand. So Yayati took the youth of Puru and enjoyed all the subjects. Puru became the successor King of Yayati.
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.
Jats the descendants of Yayati
Dalip Singh Ahlawat writes that Yayati is the epi-person of Jats. Due to this reason Yayat-Yat-Jat is used for this vansh. In practice we have been calling Jats as Chandravanshi in place of Yayat-Vansh. Many of the Jat Gotras are derived from five sons of Yayati and seven gotras from sons of Virabhadra. 
Dalip Singh Ahlawat writes that Yayati was the ruler of Jambudwipa (Asia). The traces of Yayati rule are present historically. There is a place called Jajpur about 10 km from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, where one finds ruins of ancient fort known as "Yayati ke Kot" means the forts of Yayati. Similarly there is a well near Sambhar lake in Rajasthan known by the name of Devyani ka Kuan in which Devyani was pushed into the well due to enmity and Yayati had rescued her from that dry well.
According to Thakur Deshraj, The Chandravanshi Aryans of India had habitations in Iran which were known as Jatali. Majority of them were gyatiwadi (republics). He has refered General Cunninngham who has mentioned the presence of Yayati Vanshi Jats in Jatali. Yayati was son of Nahusha. This province got the name Jatali being the habitation of Jats. The language of these Jats is Jadgali (alternate names, Jatgali, Jatki, Jat) 
Veneration of ancestors
- See also: Jathera
- Mahabharata Adiparva (71-80)
- Story showing greatness of Yayati
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