Showing posts with label saka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label saka. Show all posts

Origin of Vikram Samvat : Great Vikramaditya

Origin and Vikrama Era or Vikram Samvat at 23rd February, 57 B.C. has been most Controvesial in Indian History. Vikramaditya is said to have initiated this era after defeating sakas. But there is lot of claims on who initiated this era by modern scholars especially from West. Let us study the origins of vikrama samvat

Until 4th century AD. This era was called Krta era. Around 8th century AD. we have Vikramaditya associated with this era.
Some Schoalrs like D C Sircar says it is corruption of the term Kirta, which means purchased.  Altekar says Vikramaditya was the king who founded the era and Krta indicated some kind of leader. Bhandarkar says that the era was actually Krtayuga or Golden Age. He says it was talking about Pushyamitra reign. Bhattacharya says it starts the settlement of Malwa. Why does not the inscriptions say it is Krtayuga is not explained by these theorists.

Malwa Gana
Malwa got name from people Malavas who inhabited this place. In Sanskrit Malav indicates Lakshmi. Malwa was a Mahajanapada (Republic) from 730 BC. Ancient Malwa was called Malloi by Alexander and Greek Historians. The Malwa region with Ujjain as capital had Vikramaditya ruling with navaratnas as ministers and scholars. Now malwa gana represents these groups of eminent scholars.. So Malwa gana era indicates the era of these people. In the Inscriptions from 4th century AD to 8th century AD, it is referred to as Malava Gana, though Krta is also used sometimes. Around 6th century it is called for the fame of Malwa vamsa. We have coins malavaganasya jayah, Malavanam jayah , Jayah Malavanam indicating the victory of Malwa people apparently over Sakas. Malwa Gana Saka show that it was era of malwa people.


Around 9th century it is called vikramaditya Kala. After 11th century the era is fixed to Vikramditya and is so called vikrama Samvat or Vikrama Kala.


Aryavidya (by sudhakar) says that Mahavira attained his Nirvana 470 years before king Vikramaditya. Pattavali says that Vikramaditya was born 470 years after Mahavira Nirvana. So Mahavira Nirvana happened 527 BC. Kalpa Sutra says Mahavira lived for 72 years. So Mahavira lived between 599BC and 527BC.

There was a Jain king Vairisimha of Dhara (Dhar, MP) and Queen Surasundari, who had a son called Kalaka and daughter Sarasvati. Once when they were in Ujjain, King Gardabhilla of Ujjain was enamoured by the beauty of Sarasvati, carried her off. After futile attempts to recover her from clutches of Gardabhilla, Kalaka went westward after crossing river Sindhu reached the country where number of saka chiefs, who were sahi (Subordinates of sahanusahi) ruled. Kalaka broght them under his influence. Once their overlord became angry over Sahis, Kalaka migrated them to India. They came to Ujjain conquering along the way. Sakas defeated captured Gardabhilla alive. They established their ruler in Ujjain and divided the country among themselves. Kalaka recovered Sarasvati and avenged humiliation. After four years of saka rule, Gardabhilla son Vikramaditya drove away sakas and established his rule. Gardabhilla ruled for 13 years, Saka 4 years and Vikramaditya 60 years. This account is from Pattavali (Sanskrit) of Merutunga (14th century AD) sourced from earlier Prakrit Gathas.


D C Sarkar, says that Vikrama era is continuation of Era calculated from Parthian ruler Vonones. Vonones is the earliest parthian king of Eastern Persia is have assumed title king of Kings and flourished after the Parthian Emperor Mithradates II (125 -88BC) and ruled eastern parts of his domains and Afghanistan through Viceroys Spalirises, Azes.

Experts First deduced the parthian Reign of Vonones as between 120-70BC. Now Vonones is parthian name, but his brother and viceroy has saka name, Spalahora. Mithradates II has assumed the title king of kings during this time. So if take that into account. Vonones has to be after 91BC (Gotarzes challenged Mitradates). But considering his Viceroys starting at 90BC. He has to be before that. Is Mithradates = Vonanes. Now there are maues dated to 80-90BC. Vonones is a question for another Article. Now we can say Vonanes is not initiator of Vikrama Samavat.

Azez Era
John Marshall suggest that the Vikarma Era is actually continuation of Azez Era. The Era calculated from regnal years of Saka king who ruled Northwestern Part of the Sub continent. The Era is spelled as Aya, Aja identified as Azez I. This view is supported by B N Mukherjee who cites number of inscriptions of Maharaja Aya, Itravarman. The inscriptions refers to Atida, Varta Kala which indicate Expired Years. Now Krta refers to present time. So Atita and Vratta refers to past and this betrays the logic of saying Vikrama era is continuation of Azez Era.

John Marshall says that the era denotes the start of Azez Aya, Aja) Era which are found in coins. Now we know that there are two Azes: Azez I and Azez II. And Azes can also be dated to 90BC from various theories floating around Mithradates, Vonanes and his brother Spalirises. Indologists have also tried to make Azes II as founder of Azes Era. Azes II can be dated to 22AD as well.

There is theory that Aya, Aja cannot be equated with Azez era and there is no azez era as such other than in the minds of Indologists. Narain argued that aya refers not a king, but is appellation to month or other minor variation to some dating calender. So scholars Konow 84 BC, Narain 88 BC, Lohuizen 129 BC have proposed this to other eras.

Unlike Vikrama era which can be anchored to Kali Yuga date. There is no anchor for Azez Era. Azez Era can be anchored to Greek era with Vijayamitra inscription Azez + 128 = Greek Era. But Greek Era is itself has to be anchored. Vijayamitra of Apraca gives the 27th year of his reign as 73rd year of Azes, 201 year of Yona or greek era . So the date of Azez 128 years after Indo-Greek Era. Now Studying Demetrius I (186-187BC) and Eucratides I (171BC)gives two eras Indo-Greek and Graeco-Bactrian Eras. There is a great Secluid era(Anchor of all western Eras), which also has number of Guesses in it. There is another Bactrian Era starting at 157BC. There is Araces Era. Now which era is Vijayamitra is referring to. If we take the Indo-Greek era as the Greek Era, it gives 171-128 =43BC as the start of Azes Era. This Azes Era 43BC date does not match 57BC of Vikrama Era.

Gupta Chandragupta Vikramaditya

Most Western Scholars argue that the era came into prominence because of Gupta Emperor Chandragupta Vikramaditya. But Guptas ruled from Pataliputra and Ujjain is the capital of Vikramaditya we are talking about. Some have floated the idea of second capital , but there is absolutely no basis for the second capital. Not single Gupta Inscription is dated to this era, not even found in malwa region.

Brihat Kathamanjari, Katha Sarit sagara by Kshemendra narrate the stories of Vikarmaditya defeating Melecchas and ruling gloriously. Bana in Harshacharita sings glowing tribute to Vikramaditya partronage to Literaturers. Kalkacharya Kathanka, Pattavalis, Jyothividabharana all say that the era was founded by Vikramaditya who lived in 1st century BC. Puranas say that Gardabhilla is family name and give 7 kings(Jain 6) from this dynasty and they were followed by Sakas. Kathasaritsagara describes victorious camp of vikramaditya, joined by the king of Saktikumara of Gauda, Jayadhvaja of Karnata, Vijayavarman of Lata, Sunandana of Kashmir, Gopala of Sind, Vindyaballa of Bhills etc

Bhavishya Purana Says at the completion of 3000 years after the advent of the terrible Kaliyuga, a person descended from the abode of Guhyakas in Kailasa, at the command of Siva, for the purpose of destroying the Sakas and uplifting Arya-Dharma. He was born to the Great King Gandharvasena. The father named him ‘Vikramaditya’ and felt very much rejoiced.

Al Beruni
Arabic Traveller Scholar Alberuni says in his Kitab-ul-Hind(1030 AD), Vikrama Era starts 135 years before Saka Era. We know Saka era Starts at 78AD. So vikrama Era is 57BC

There is not much evidence to show that there was a Era named after Vonones. The Azez Era eventhough mentioned in the inscriptions, cannot be said to be era like Vikrama era. The date of Start of Azez Era is suspect. So both these era's cannot be equated with Vikrama Era. We have well known tradition of this era being used as Krta , Malwagana and Vikrama era's. Eventhough the name changes over period, the era is fairly accurate. This era as per tradition started 57BC and had origin in the court of Vikramaditya in Ujjain. The Era seems to have used only in Malwa region as Krta era or golden age. Later when rulers of Ujjain went to other parts of India. The era went outside as Malwagana saka, The era of malwa people. Around 8th century the tributes were paid to the great Vikramaditya. The era was then came to be known as vikramaditya Sake. We have literary evidence in the Jain Literature. Inscriptional evidence of vikramaditya and have coins issued to celebrate Malwa people victory over Sakas. Indology scholars have rejected all the Indian evidence and struck to equating the era to some foreign ruler from that time.

Vikramaditya established the rule of Malwas by driving out Sakas from Malwas and adjoinging areas. The tradition first started to celebrate this success, later went take name of the leader who made this happen, Sakari Vikramaditya of Ujjain. It came to be known as Vikrama Samvat starting from 57BC.

A Note on the Vikrama and Saka Eras by B N MUkherjee Indian Journal of Science 32(1), 1997
Vikrama Era by Ajay Mitra Shastri Indian Journal of History of Science, 31(1), 1996
A rough guide to Kushan History - The Azes Era by Roberto Bracy.
Introduction: numismatic, literary and epigraphic evidence on chronology in Gandhara by Osmund Bopearachchi
ALBEEUNI'S INDIA by Dr Edward C Sachau 


Related Topics
Old Saka Era - Varahamihira Sree Harsha Era
Kanishka Era
Dating Indian History
Date of Kalidasa - Gupta Myth
Did Megasthenes Meet Chandragupta Maurya 
Date of Buddha

Old Saka Era - Varahmihira 's Sree Harsha Era

We have consistently seen Saka era along with Vikrama Samvat are two era used in India for the last two thousand years. We have seen Pulakesin gives shalivahana saka starting at 78 AD. Vikram Samvat starts at 56BC. In Indian Literature these dates are counted from start of Kaliyuga that is 3102 BC. in Kaliyuga counting Saka era starts at 3180 and Vikram samvat starts at 3046. These dates are well established by Indian and Foreign experts. So what is the problem. Let us see.

Varahamihira Saka

Varahamihira quotes Vraddha Ganga "According to Vrddha Ganga, the Sages (Saptarsis) resided in the Magha nakshatra, when king Yudisthira ruled the earth, and the year of the reign can be obtained by adding 2526 years to the number of saka years elapsed". 

Now we have Vraddha Garga , who is an impeccable astrologer and Varahamihira even more versatile one, why will they give the dates wrong. When we see this saka era it starts at 576 BC. We know Shalivahana Sake Starts at 78AD. 

Let us analyse.
 Who is varahamihira
Vahara Mihira was Astronomer , Mathematician and Astrologer who lived in Ujjain, he was born in Avanti region (Malwa) to Astronomer Adityadasa. He was educated at Kapitthaka. He is considered as one of the Nine Jewels of Vikramaditya of Ujjian. His son Prithuyasas was also Astrologer, his work Hora Sara. 

His main Work is Panchasiddhantika (treatise of Five cannons(Astronomical)). He gives info on older Indian Astronomical works now lost namely Surya Siddhanta, Romaka Siddhanta, Paulisa Siddhanta, Vasishtha Siddhanta and Paitamaha Siddhanta. It is a monumental Work. 

Another major work is encyclopeidic Brihat Samihta. It covers wide ranging subjects of Human interest, including astrology, planetary movements, eclipses, rainfal, clouds, architecture, growth of crops, manufacture of perfume, matrimony, domestic relations, gems, pearls, rituals etc. 

His Other works in Astrology include Brihat Jataka, Laghu Jataka, Samasa Samhita (Swalpa samhita), Brihat Yogayatra, Yoga Yatra, Tikkani yatra, Brihat Vivaha Patal, Lagu Vivaha Patal, Lagna Varahi, Kutuhala Manjari, Daivajna Vallabha.

 427 - Saka
Varahamihira says 427 must be subtracted from saka era for his era. So 427 saka was the start of his era or birth of varahamihira. Amara raja gives the date of 509 Saka for varahamihira death. Indologists comes with 427 + 78 = 505AD as the birth of varahamihira. So the problem is solved. But why does the dates don't reconcile.

The Astronomical Positions mentioned in his works don't match for celestial positions of 6th century AD.

Shalivahana Saka is famous in South and West of India and Ujjain or Malwa especially followed Vikrama Samvat. Now why does one refer to Shalivahana Saka, which is from rival powerhouse.

If Aryabhatta was in 5th century AD, Varahamihira was in 6th century AD. Pulakesin Edict is 7th century AD. While Aryabhatta and Pulakesin Edict gives 3102BC and Varahamihira 2448bc.

Working from 576BC as start of Saka era gives varahamihira date as 149 - 67 BC , which places Varhamihira in Vikramaditya court as one of the nine jewels.

There is a traditional as well as modern view that kalidasa and Varahamihira are contemproaries

Jyotividabharana, a treatise on Astrology says it was completed on month of kartika of the year 3068 of kali (34BC). It says that the framing rule for finding ayanamsa is 445 years after saka and remainder divided by 60.

If we go by Al beruni statement, Gupta reign ended 241 years after Saka era, If we take 78AD, than it comes to 319AD.

There is no scope for Vikramaditya of Ujjain reigning in 6th century AD for Varahamihira to become his navaratna.

Alberuni says that Year 400 years before Vikramaditya or 457 BC was in use before Vikaramaditya. He calls it as Sree Harsha Era. This era was available in 11 century AD.

Sree Harsha Vikramaditya
Kota Venkatachalam says, based on the authority of Bhavishya purana, that this Vikramaditya is a son of Gandharvasena , a King of Ujjain. His son Deva Bhaktha reigned after him.

T S Naryana Sastri says that Sri Harsha Vikramaditya of Kashmir defeated the sakas and in commoration of his victory founded the Harsha era, in the year 457BC. In his work Haidimba Vaidagdhya, he identifies Matrgupta of the court of king Harsa Vikramaditya of ujjain as Kalidasa I living in 6th century BC and Medharudra on the court of of vikramaditya of Malwa as Kalidasa II in first century BC.

Sakas came to prominence on the periphery of India around 800 BC. They Came into prominence in India after the collapse of Satavahanas dynasty in Magada (802BC). They were in prominence for 380 years (802 - 422 BC). They were in considerable power struggle with local Indian rulers. In 551BC Darius has collected all the scattered Saka and invaded India. Which confirms 576 BC to be date when Sakas were soundly thrashed and scattered by Sree harsha. This may start Saka era in this case old saka era.

The saka era of kalahana

Saka of Kalhana and Varahamihira are same. Kalhana also talks about Sree Harsha Vikramaditya of ujjain.

Varahamihira was one of the nine jewels of Vikramaditya court.
Varahamihira was born in 427 Saka. He died in 509 Saka.
Shalivahana saka does not fit to this dates. As there is no vikramaditya in Ujjain during at that time(6th century AD). There were no sakas also at that time. Hunas were already vanishing. So there is no probability of Vikramaditya in 6th century AD at Ujjain.

Date of old saka era is 3102-2526 = 576BC. Some people take the start 2526 from Start of Yuddhistra era and arrive around 612BC. Here 576 is calculated from end of Yuddhistra reign, which ended soon after Kali yuga started.

When Varhamihira talks about saka kala, Saka Bhupakala, Sakendra kala, Saka Nrpati Kala, it refers to rule of saka rulers in India not shalivahana saka.

All these points when we consider does indicate there was old or original saka era started by Sree Harsha in Sixth century BC. Varahamihira, Vraddha Garga and few others quote this saka era. Even alberuni seems to mention this saka era. Later on he seems to have confused himself with Harshavardhan of Kannuj. This varahamihira was in the court of vikramaditya of Ujjain in first century BC. 

Date of start of Old saka era is 576BC.

Essays on Indian Antiquities, Historic, Numismatic, and Palaeographic By James Prinsep
History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The Development of Sedentary : By A. H. Dani, UNESCO Staff, M. S. Asimov, B. A. Litvinsky, Guang-da Zhang, R. Shabani Samghabadi, C. E. Bosworth, Unesco
Kaliyuga, Saptarsi, Yudhisthira and Laukika Eras by K.D. Abhyankar and G.M Ballabh
Saka Era by Ajay Mishra Shastry
History of Classical Sanskrit Literature by By M. Srinivasachariar
Essays on historical and mythological India
Age of Bhārata War edited by Giriwar Charan Agarwala

True Indian History 
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Kanishka Era
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Date of Kalidasa - Gupta Myth
Date of Rig Veda

Dating Vatsyayana's Kamasutra

Vatsyayana Kamasutra played a significant role in the history of Indian Literature, particularly Sanskrit Kavya literature in which Shringara rasa(Erotic sentiment) was one of the main rasas to be evoked by the poet. The tradition in erotics grew in association with esoteric religious practices in later Vedic period, but acquired an independent status by the the time of Babhravya of the panchala region, a pre vatsyayana authority on the subject, who traces his work to nandikeshava and Uddalaka shvetaketu. Similar to Babhravya , we have charayana, suvarnanabha, Ghotakamukha, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra,Dattaka and Kuchumara specialized in seven section namely sadharana, Samprayogika, kanyasamprayuktaka, bharyadhikarika, paradarika,vaishika and aupanishadika. Vatsyayana while condensing the individual contributions of Dattaka and others, retained the general scheme of Babhraya in his comprehensive work called kamasutra. Vatsyayana kamasutra became the standard and definitive work on the subject for years to come. It has eclipsed the previous writings on the subject and became the basis of later Kamashastras of 10th century AD.Learning of Kamasutra was mandatory in ancient and medieval India along with Dharmasastra and arthasastra. A Good poet were required to be proficient in knowledge of erotics as well as poetics, logic, grammer and other technical sciences. The work is Sanskrit Sutra Style.

Dated between 4th century BC to 4th century AD.
Vatsyayana mentions Grhya and Dharma Sutras , the Arthasastra of Kautilya and the Mahabhashya of Patanjali. Arthasastra is similar to Kamasutra and both cannot be separated by more than a century or so.They quote the same rare authorities like Charayana and Ghata(ka) mukha. Shamasastri quotes common passages in Arthasastra and Kamasastra. Kalidasa quotes Arthasastra in Sakuntala. Shamasastry also says that Kautilya did not know Panini. Varahamitra Brihatsanhita quotes Vatsyayana ,so the lowest limit can be 6th century AD. Shama Shastri says that Vatsyayana flourished between 137 AD to 209 AD, while Bhandarkar places him around 100 AD, and Keith before 4th century AD. A.K. Warder suggests that Kamasutra was probably produced in 3rd century AD. Doniger and Kakar (2003) almost agree with Warder by assuming that kamasutra must have been composed after 225 AD. Vatsyayana has referred king Satakarni by name. According to Puranas Kuntala Satakarni was 13th Andhra king in Satavahana dynasty. He was son of Mrgendra Svatikarna and he ruled in Kali era 2487-2481 (615-607 BC). The Satavahanas flourished till second century BC. So what is the date let us find out.

Two Vatsyayanas
One Vatsyayana also called Mallanaga, earlier than kalidasa wrote Kamasutra and belonging to Avanti to Banavasi. THe other Vatsyayana wrote Nyaya-Bhaya, a well known exposition on Nyayasutra. The latter is supposed by some scholars to have flourished about fourth century AD in Bihar, but not much is known. The Style of NYaya Bhasya resembles the Mahabhasya and is also comparable to Vartikas in the Astadhyayi. Subandhu, in his well-known prose-romance Vasavadatta refers to Mallanaga as the author of Kamasutra. Yasodhara, the author of Jayamangala, the most authentic commentary available in Sanskrit on this work, also says at the very outset of his commentary that the real name of the author of Kamasutra is Mallanaga, and , he again says that Vatsyayana is just the family name of the author of this text and the name given to him through Samskara (ritual for naming) is Mallanaga.

His name is sometimes confused with Mallanaga, the prophet of the Asuras, to whom the origin of erotic science is attributed. This is an error; as Danielou says -The attribution of the first name Mallanaga to Vatsyayana is due to the confusion of his role as editor of the Kama Sutra with that of the mythical creator of erotic science

Literary works

Babhravya of Panchala region
Babhravya of panchala region is pre vatsyayana authority who traces his works to uddalaka shvetaketu and Nandikeshavara. M M shastri identifies Savataketu Aryneya the highly cultured Philosopher of Upanishads. The Rig veda shows well organised family life with institution of Marriage fully developed in India, therefore the age of the institution of marriage developed should have preceded Rig veda by a very long period, since Rig veda does not discuss any development of the Institution. So the age of Svetaketu Aruneya - an age of of intense metaphysical speculation when the Upanishad literature grew, could certainly not be identical with it.

Vatsyayana quotes Auddalaki three places. One belongs to Samprayoga, another Paradarika and third Vaisika, the third is the longest quotation. Vatsyayana says Rig veda was called Dasatayi and he does not mention Auddalaki at all. Madhavavarman - II, a king of Ganga dynasty wrote a Vrtti on Datakasutras. He was the fifth ancestor of king Durvinita and lived around 380 AD. A fragment of his Vrtti has survived. So Auddalakai is prior to atleast 380AD. Besides these authors, Vatsyayana refers to the views of Babhravya, Ghotakamukha, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra, Carayana, refers to the views of Bharavya, Ghotakamukha, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra, Carayana, Ouddalaki and Suvarnanabha(All before 2nd century BC) very often in his text. He also cites the school of Babharavya or the followers of Babhravya. It seems that the texts of these Acaryas were available to Vatsyayana. But as time passed, these texts by his predecessors were made obsolete by his own work – Kamasutra.

The work follows in the footsteps of Kautilya, the author of Arthasastra, It has seven Adhikaranas or books, 36 chapters, and 64 Prakaranas or topics. Its extent in slokas is a thousand and a quarter. But unlike Kautilya, it gives the tradition of the Sastra first, and then gives its contents. Kautilya does not give the tradition at all. They are to be inferred from his quotations.  Hemacandra's Abhidhanacintamani and Yadavaprakasa's Vaijayanti say that Vatsyayana, Mallanaga, Kautilya, Paksilasvami etc. are the names of one and the same person. Another name associated with the authorship of kamasutra is that of Kamandaka, the famous author of a work Kamandakiya on ethics. We can conclude that both these works stand close to each other in respect of their period of composition. M. Krishnamachariar therefore places Vatsyayana the author of Kamasutra in 4th or 3rd century BC.

Kamasutra Tradition
The tradition of the kamasutra is exceedingly interesting. It says that Prajapati after the creation, delivered a work in one hundred thousand chapters on the three aims of human life. These three aims are : — Dharma, Artha and Kama (Law, Economics and Erotics ) Manu separated the portion assigned to Law and Vrhaspati that to Economics ,Nandi the follower of Mahadeva separated Erotics in one thousand chapters. Auddalaki Svetaketu abridged Erotics in live hundred chapters. Babhravya abridged Svetaketu's work in one hundred and fifty chapters divided into seven Adhikaranas or books, namely, :- (i) Sadharana (preliminary), (ii) Samprayogika (union), (iii) Kanyasamprayuktaka (induc- ing of girls), (iv) Bharyyadhikaranika (section about a wife) (v) Paradarika (adultery) (vi) Vaisika (about public women) (vii) Aupaniadika (secrets).

Gonardiya and Gonikaputra have been referred in the Mahabhasya of Patanjali. Kancinatha, a later author on Kamasastra also quotes from Gonikaputra, so that the work of Gonikaputra might have existed during his times. Jyotirisa, another author in Karnasastra also knew of Gonikaputra.Natyasastra prof. Batuknath Bhattacharya says it is hard to believe that kamasutra was later than Natyasastra. He says considering the style in which it is composed- distinctly Aphoristic in nature and reminiscent of Sutra period(600-200BC). Vatsyayana divides men into sasa , vrsa , Asva and woman into Mrgi,Badava, Hastini from their different capacities of Samproyoga. While Bhrarta in Natyasastra divides women into 24 varieties based on Aestheic, intellectual and Moral Standards. Kamasutra does not mention Natyasastra.

On the request of Pataliputra courtesans, Acharya Dattaka wrote work on Courtesans is used by Vatsyayana for kamasutra. Now Dattaka work is not avaialable in complete gives the vivid details of Pataliputra courtesans. The way Dattaka is mentioned in Kamasutra, it can be safely assumed that Dattaka preceded Vatsyayana by a couple of centuries. But Bana of Harshacharita quotes Dattaka, so the book was still in existence during Bana Period.

The story of dattaka is very interesting. A Brahmin from Mathiira migrated to Pataliputra. A son was born to him at his old age. The mother died at child bed, and the father gave the child to a Brahmani, who named him Dattaka (because he was given to her). The boy grew up, acquired a knowledge of all the Sastras and all the fine arts. On account of his great skill in the exposition of the Sastras, he became famous as Dattakacaryya. Attaining maturity, he was anxious to learn the ways of the world, which, he thought, could be best learnt from public-women. So he went to their quarters every day and learned their ways. So thoroughly did he learn, that at last they used to come to him for advice in matters erotic. Then Virasena and other noted courtesans of Pataliputra requested him to write a treatise on the art of winning lovers.
Father of Dattaka came from Mathnra to Pataliputra and the Brahmana who came there seem to have been attracted by the fact that it was the capital of a big monarchy. Now why are we going so much into Dattaka, because it is during his time the pataliputra was capital, so who was the king at that time.According to Puranas Pataliputra became capital during Guptas.

Vatsyana date may be uncertain ,but it is earlier than Kalidasa. But kalidasa does not talk about vatsyayana, but we have very similar techniques in kalidasa works, this may be from a common source. Kalidasa reveals the knowledge of erotics in the description of Yaksha's wife's svapnasamgama(Union in Dream), in which he specifies the exact period of kamasastra and many other instances as well.


Avagosha the buddist poet makes daring ride into Amorous depictions. The Avagosha seems to well versed with topics in Kamasastra and in Buddhacarita he describes the courtesans of Nanda king and also love-dalliance with his wife Sundari before his conversion to Buddhism.

Historical People and Places.

Vatsyayana mentions Abhiras and Andhras ruling side by side. He Speaks of Abhira Kottaraja Jayatsena, king of kotta in Gujarat, who was killed by Washerman employed by his brother. Then Again in the chapter on conduct of Woman confined to Harems, he describes the sexual abuses practiced in the seraglio of the Abhira kings among others.

King Isvarasena, son of Abhira sivadatta is mentioned as the ruling soverign in on one of the inscriptions. Now we have to get the date for inscriptions. Isvaradatta coins have been found in Malwa, Gujarat and Kathiwad(Saurastra). So there are no kshatrapas during this period. In the Inscription Abhira king names Madhariputra Isvarasena found at Nashik, Madhariputra Isvarasena is described as the son of sivadatta. It records the gift of sakani visnudatta, daughter of saka Agnivarman, wife of the Ganapaka Rebhila and mother Ganapaka visvavarman, of three investments of 2000,1000 and 500 Karspanas in the trade guilds of Govardhana for the purpose of providing medicines for the sick buddhist monks living at the monestery on mount Trirasmi. Following things can be deduced from the inscription

1. Sivadatta is not given any royal Honorific, so Isvarasena is first king of his line.
2. Satavahana mode of dating
3. Satavahanas are living in western maharastra and Guajarat possibly in the service of the Abhira lord.

Gunda inscription, shows the Abhira general Rudrabhuti referring to Rudrasimha as Ksatrapa, ignoring the existence of any Mahasatrapa altogether. This shows that though not assuming any higher title, the Abhira general was the de facto ruler in the state. Gerneral Rudrabhuti is described as the son of general Bapaka.
We have Inscription of Abhira Vasusena of the year 30 at NagarjunaKonda. We dont have any knowledge of Abhira ruling Guntur region, but the Inscripion is not about Pilgirmage. Kadamba King Mayurasarma (340-360AD) refers to a fight with Abhiras and Trikutakas (We dont know if Trikutakas are subordinates or overlords of Abhiras). But we don't have any evidence in inscriptions or Puranas of Abhiras and Andhras ruling side by side. In the Chapter Isvarakamita or the The Lust of the Rulers. Abhiras had been found from Mahabharata days. Abhiras had been found along with Alexander. Abhiras has been mentioned by Ptolemy. So dating Vatsyayana using Abhiras is not possible. And we have to find a period when Sakas were not there. Only Satavahanas and Abhiras were there. And Malwa is different from Abhira. So we can't date Vatsyayana to Gunda Inscription 180AD, when Abhira rule was in Malwa.

Saka, Bhoja, Gupta

Vatsyayana refers to Abhiras and Andhras lived side by side. And no mention of Sakas Vatsyayana refers to the scandal by Dandakya , the Bhoja who must have lived many centuries prior to him.  Guptas are not mentioned in Kamasutra. We have seen Bhoja's and Mahabhoja are just the titles of kings like Raja and Maharaja. Guptas are not mentinoed but the capital is mentioned as Pataliputra.

Vatsyayana mentions southern countries to be south of Karnata visaya and Vanavaso visya was east of Gokarna and Vaijayanti(Modern Banavasi) is place of his composition.

R. G . Bhandarkar points out that Kuntala Satkarni. According to Puranic list of Andhra's, Kuntala Svati or Svatikarna is the thirteenth in the descent from Simuka founder of the family. Vatsyayana has to be nearer to Kuntala satkarni because the sex scandal seems to be very fresh in presenatioan. K P Jayaswal points out Sri Malla Satakarni, the third monarch from the list with Hathigumpha inscription of Khravela. The difference between Kuntala and Malla is 168 Years from puranas. Again from Puranas Gautamiputra Satakarni is separated from him by 133years.

Vatsyayana mentions how Satakarni of Kuntala killed his queen Malayaevati with an instrument called kartari by striking her in the passion of love and vatsyayana quotes this case to warn people of the danger arising from some old customs of striking women when under influence of passion.. Vatsyayana mentions kuntala as tht country with Vaijayanti(Banavasi) as the capital. According to Puranas Kuntala Satakarni was 13th Andhra king. He was son of Mrgendra Svatikarna and he ruled in Kali era 2487-2481 (615-607 BC). The Satavahanas flourished till 3rd century BC.

Countries Mentioned
The tribes and tribal countries mentioned by him are Andhras, Vatsagulmakas, Vaidarbhas, Apaiantakas, Saurastrikas, Abhirakas, Strairajyakas, Gaudas, Saindhavas, Haimavatas, Pracyas, Vangas, Angas, Kalingas, Xagarakas, Madhyadesa- kas Valhikas, Avantikas, Malavas, Abhiras, the land en- closed by six rivers (with the Sindhu as the sixth). Lata, Kosala, Saketa, Ahicchatra, Saurasena Mahaiastra, Dravida, Vaaavasika and Cola. The commentator gives some accurate directions for finding out these countries or the habitations of these tribes. Vatsyayana describes various forms of sexual abuse practised by the kings. The Kings are Aparantakas, Vaidarbhas, Saurashtrakas, Vatsagulmakas and Andhras. The Andhras mentioned here is not the Imperial Andhras ,but Andhrabhrtyas or servants of Andhra dynasty. Among them Vastsyayana mentions Abhiras, Gardabinas,sakas.

Literary works
Prof Bhattacharya remarks that all the predecessors like Bhabharvya are before 4th century BC, while vatsyayana is pushed back to 3rd or 4th century AD. As Prof Bhattacharya says all the works that Vatsyayana quotes are in 4th century to 3rd Century BC. Vatsyayana does not quote Natyasastra. Varahamihira mentions Kamasutra, Virahamihira dated around 6th century AD.

Saka's are mentioned in Kamasutra, the period of sakas we know is between 6nd century BC(Darius) to 1st century AD(Saka Era). So Kamasutra can be any period between these dates, as it does not mention any Huns.

Andhra and Andhrabritya
The Only known king mentioned is Satakarni.. Shatakarni as such seems to be important position like commander of battalion in Andhra dyansty hierarchy. Now who is is this satakarni. Let us go to the basic identities. According to Puranas there are Andhra's and Andhrabritya's. However for Indology both are same. The puranas mention Andhras ruled Magadha before Guptas and dating is before 300BC. After start of Gupta rule, they Andhras lost power but Andhrabritya's (Servants of Andhra's) that is commanders, feudatories and Generals continue to rule as separate entities. Andhrabritya's are Ikshvakus, Abhiras, Chutu Nagas etc. While Andhras ruled from Magadha with Girivraja (Rajgir) as the capital. Andhrabritya's were confined to south of Vindhyas and Malwa. Without going any further let us treat Andhrabritya as different from Andhras. Now we have Satakarni, one of the Andhrabritya ruling in kuntala region. Also we have a Satakarni mentioned in Hathimgumpha inscription by Kharvela. Remember Kharvela when invading Magadha ransacks Capital Rajgir, not Pataliputra. So during Andhra shatakarni time the Magadha capital was still Rajgir.

One line of Andhrabritya Chutu Nagas have marital relation with Andhras. So we can see Andhra names in this Naga line as well. Megasthanes discusses about Andhras in south. So by time of Megasthanes the Andhra dynasty in Magadha is finished and already Andhrabritya's are ruling. As per Puranas Chutu Nagas are ruling in most parts of central and southern India. But shatakarni was ruling from kuntala. So we defintely speaking about one from kuntala or karnataka region. This Shatakarni is not before 300BC, but later. The Ashoka rock edict mention about satyaputo. We have already seen in Satavahana article, shatakarni means son of Sata, Satyaputo also means the same. Since both are same, we can come to a conclusion that Satyoputo in Edict means Andhrabritya. The chutus Nagas, who had marital relations with Andhras can be called satyoputo's. We know Saka rule ended in 78AD Saka era. So From these accounts we can say that Shatakarni of kamasutra can have ruled between 4th century BC to 1st century AD.

Kamasutra as inferred from literary sources to be after 3rd century BC as it quotes Arthasastra. Kamasutra is slightly ahead in literary style  than Kalidasa. We have already put kalidasa to be around 50BC. Now the Saka's are ruling upto 1st century AD. Our identification of Shatakarni or Abhira has hit a dead end. The Pataliputra became capital during Guptas. Now Guptas are dated to 4th and 5th century AD. So we have to date Dattaka to be that period. Then when do you date Kamasutra. This is now Indology dates ties us up in knots. We can very clearly see Guptas to be dated to 4th and 3rd century BC. So the dating of Vatsyayana Kamasutra will be century later that Dattaka (3rd Century BC) and Century Earlier than Kalidasa(1st century BC), that is 2nd century BC.

Social life in ancient India: studies in Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra By Haran Chandra Chakladar
The Positive Background of Hindu Sociology : 'Introduction to Hindu Positivism By Benoy Kumar Sarkar
Some early dynasties of South India  By S. Chattopadhyaya
Foreign influence on ancient India  By Krishna Chandra Sagar
The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland  1911
Kamasutra Of Vatsyayana by Radhavallabh Tripathi
The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature  By Amaresh Datta

Related Links
Date of Kalidasa
Origin of Satavahana
Did Megasthanes Meet Chandragupta

Date of Kambar and Kambaramayanam

Kambar’s period has been an issue of controversy for long among Tamil historians. Simon Casie Chitty, in his 1859 anthology [‘The Tamil Plutarch’] on the lives of poets and poetesses of Southern India and Ceylon, noted : In one of the commendatory stanzas which is prefixed to the workthe year of Saka 808 (AD 886) is specified as the date of its publication by Kamber; but the Rev.Mr. Caldwell, the author of the Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Languages, rejects this date as spurious from the evidence of certain inscriptions found at Cape Comorin and in the Chalukya country, according to which the Chola kings who patronized Kambar lived only in the eleventh century of the Christian era.”

But, Prof.T.P. Meenakshisundaram says Kambar a contemporary of Ottakkuttar. Other scholars conclude that he belonged to the period of Kulottunga III. Purattirattu, an anthology, quotes verses from Ramayanam after its  quotations from earlier works like Cintamani, while it does not quote from Ottakkuttar or other later poets.

On the basis of one of the verses which give the date of its composition, one may conclude that he lived
in the tenth century.”

Ramachandra Dikshithar of Madras University has concurred that Kambar was a contemporary of King Kulotunga Cholan III,  whose reign spanned between 1178 and 1218 (Vidwan M. Rasamanickam, 1947).

As per Ragava Aiyangar, Kambar may have been born around 1120 and died in 1197.

Analysis and Conclusion
Overall, there are two schools of thought on Kambar’s period. One school proposed that Kambar lived in the 9th century, with which the available circumstantial evidence does not tally properly. Even as recent as 1981, Justice S. Maharajan, who authored a small monograph on Kambar, stated that the 9th century “appears to be the more plausible” period for Kambar. I rather doubt this advanced dating for the simple reason that, in the 9th century, the Chola empire was only in its early stage of ascent, and only the first two kings of the Chola empire have  been identified as living in the 9th century, namely Vijayalaya Chola of Suryavamsa (reigning period 848-881)  and Aditya karikala Chola (871-907). The first most prominent Chola king was Parantaka Chola I (reigning period 907-940), the son of Aditya Chola and the grandson of Vijayalaya Chola.

Acharya Ramanuja
Chalukya chola kings from Kulothunga Chola was a great patrons of Vaishanavism. Vikrama chola built the renewed and built  fortifications for Sri Ranganathar temple. Kulothunga II (1133–50AD) has prosecuted vaishnavites. Kulothunga II is also mentioned in Sekilar periyapuranam. Ramanuja ran away to Hoysala Empire to escape prosecution. Kambar Mentions by name Ramanuja  in Sadagopar Antadi. So he must be of the period or later than Ramanuja. Mostly later than Ramanuja.
Kulothunga III
Kambar mentions  Chalukya Chola  king Kulothunga III(1178–1218AD) in his work ,so Kambar should be of his or later period. Ramanuja was also lived during this period. Kulothunga III 13th century AD was the Contemprory and patron of Famous poets like Ottakuttar , pukalendhi,n Nammazhvar  and Avavaiyar. Cheraman Perumal is also of the same period.Avvaiyar Her two other works, Mooturai and Nalvali, were written for slightly older children.
Raja Raja Chola
Kambar also talks with Raja Raja Chola as contemproary, There are two Raja Raja Cholas. There is Raja Raja chola I(985–1014AD) and Rajaraja chola III(1216–1256AD). So he must of his Rajaraja Chola III period or later. 

Rajendra Chola
Rajendra chola III(1246–1279AD) has honoured Kambar, so he should either be that period or later.

Kakatiya Kingdom
Kambar also went to Kakatiya kingdom then ruled by Purataparudora II(1289 to 1323AD). From 1303AD Khilji forces were battling the Kakatiyas, so it has to be earlier between 1289 to 1303AD.

So by these evidences we can say Kambar lived in later half of 13th century AD and First half of 14th century AD.

On Epic Poet Kambar And the Kamba Rasam polemic of polymath Anna
by Sachi Sri Kantha

Related Posts

Origin of Yavanas - Greek Myth

Yavanas are thought to have been Greeks by Western scholars tracing to Ionians . Is that so, Let us see the facts.

References to Yavanas in India
In Indian sources, the usage of the words "Yona", "Yauna", "Yonaka", "Yavana" or "Javana" etc. appears repeatedly, Let us see them in Detail

Edicts of Ashoka

Experts say in the Edicts of Ashoka (c. 250 BCE) especially In the Gandhari Rock XIII : Antiochus is referred as "Amtiyoko nama Yona-raja" (lit. "The Greek king by the name of Antiochus"), beyond whom live the four other kings: "param ca tena Atiyokena cature 4 rajani Turamaye nama Amtikini nama Maka nama Alikasudaro nama" (lit. "And beyond Antiochus, four kings by the name of Ptolemy, the name of Antigonos, the name of Magas, the name Alexander").

Dipavamsa , Mahavamsa and Sasanvamsa
Buddhist texts such as the Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa and the Sasanavamsa reveal that after the Third Buddhist Council, the elder (thera) Mahárakkhita was sent to the Yona country and he preached Dharma among the Yonas and the Kambojas.


Another example is that of the Milinda Panha , where "Yonaka" is used to refer to king Menanders (160–135 BCE ) guards.


The Vanaparava of Mahabharata contains verses in the form of prophecy complaining that "......Mlechha (barbaric) kings of the Shakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Bahlikas etc. shall rule the earth (i.e India) un-righteously in Kaliyuga..." . This reference apparently alludes to chaotic political scenario following the collapse of dharmic dynasties in northern India and its subsequent occupation by non-dharmic hordes of the Yavanas, Kambojas, Sakas and Pahlavas etc.

other Indian records describe the Yavana attacks on Saketa, Panchala, Mathura and Pataliputra, probably against the Sunga empire, and possibly in defense of Buddhism. The main mentions of the invasion are those by Patanjali around 150 BCE, and of the Yuga Purana, which, like the Mahabharata, also describes Indian historical events in the form of a prophecy:

Yavana in other cultures.
  • Egyptians used the word j-w-n(-n)-’
  • Assyrians used the word Iawanu
  • Persians used the word Yauna or Yavanu
  • Sri Lankans - used the word Yona in Mahawamsa and other historic texts.
  • In Biblical writings, the word was Yāvān (and still is, in modern Israeli Hebrew - יוון)
  • In Arabic and Turkish it is Yunan See Also Sanskrit Yoni
So what is the problem in telling Yavana are Greek, Let us analyze.

Not Greeks
Greeks coming to Yavana Janapada (republic) in NorthWest(Not Bactria perhaps Khandahar) became Yavanas. There is never a Greek Ionia in the east , which is neither stated in Persian inscriptions, nor by Herodotus.

Yavanas of King Bhagadatta in the Mahabharata are placed in south/south west(present Karnataka / Maharastra) India before the Yadu migration scene to Dvaraka. It would not make sense for Yadus to migrate to the west if Yavanas at attacked Mathura from the same west.

During Panini dated 600BC , there is no Greeks in India Neibhourhood , so the question of Panini referring to Greeks as Yavanas does not arise.

The date for Krishna are 3100BC. So, it is less likely to be that Yavanas are the Greeks. Because Greeks or Ionians were not there before 300BC.

There are three words distinct used Yuana before 400BC , Yavana between 400BC to 200BC and After 200BC as Yona in Pali texts. Sometimes both Yavana and Yona are mentioned.

Antigonos, Magas, Alexander are more Greek than Antiochus(Syria), but only Antiochous is mentioned as yona raja ,which shows yona does not mean Greek.

Kala-yavana, the "Dark Yavana" of the Mahabharata, who fought with Duryodhana. While in India dark always refer to evil mentality, it is possible this Dark-Yavana is of dark complexion, and perhaps pertaining to south India.

And when Greek were in India, they were based out of Egypt rather than Greece.

Yavanas are Indians
Literature shows them Indians.

The first (attested) Greek to be connected with the word Yon a is Antioch us in ca. 250 BCE. He is called Yona-raja = king over Yona people and their Janapada. His 4 Greek collegues are simply called Raja.

Indo-Greek Menander in the Milindapanha. In that work he is simply called Raja, king of Yona country (Yonanam). But his 500 elite soldiers, mercenaries from Yonanam, are called Yonakas.

Indo-Greek Antialcidas. He is called simply Maharaja, but it is Heliodora, son of Diya, who is the Vaishnavite Yona and ambassador to king Bhagabhadra.

Also contrast the clear Greek names of Greeks and Indo-Greek kings and those of the Yonas: Yavanaraja Tushaspha. Heliodorus’ may have adopted a Greek name under influence of the powerful status of the Indo-Greeks ruling over Yona country up to Taxila. The Mili ndapanha has these names for Yonas: Anantakâya (Yonako), Devamantiya (Yonako), Mankura (Yonako) and Sabbadinna or Dinna (Yonako).

It knows the Yonakâ as tribe., and Saka-yavana as the countries (Seistan-Arachosia/Quetta. Compare with Shaka-yavana of Patanjali. Shakas are attested before the Scythian invasion of the 1st century BCE in the NW).

“A vast body of Kharoshthl inscriptions found at several sites in the north-western region of the sub-continent are not much help either The term Yavana seldom occurs in these records, dated to the first few centuries of the Christian era, but the names of the donors are undoubtedly of Greek origin.” Ray adds: “The Swat relic vase inscription of the first century B.C. records the establishment of the relics of the Sakyamunl by Theodoros, … An engraved stone from Bajaur, south-east of Jalalabad, reads "of king Theodamas". .. The Kaldarra inscription records the laying of a tank by Thaidora or Theodoros, the Datiaputra”. But when Yavana is applied, see what Ray says: “ …Karle 314 and date from the first century A.D , the donors have Indian names such as Dhamadhaya, Chulayakha, Sihadhaya and Yasavadhana.

At Nasik cave XVII (dated after 110 A.D ), Indragnidatta, son of Dhammadeva the Yavana..” Indo-Greeks seem to retain their Greek names, but it is the Yonas who adopt names from other
cultures, the vaste majority being Indic (or some persian, and a few Greek, like the name Heliodorus).
The Puranas make them decendants of the Turvashas, peoples of South- Western India (karnataka / maharastra).

Literature shows Yavanas are becoming degraded Kshatriyas speaking in a dialect form (Mleccha), once having a better position and not at all being treated as foreigners.

Yavanas of King Bhagadatta in the Mahabharata are placed in south/southwest India before the Yadu migration scene to Dvaraka.

Panini refers to the Yavanas around 600BC, or perhaps earlier. They appear to be related to the Kambojas, since he mentions they both were condemned to shave their heads. This shows that the Yavanas were people that shaved their heads.

Famed Yavanacharya, the great Yavana-astrologer who studied Vedic astrology. In Takshashila, in North Western India, which had existed from 700BC , also attracted students from all over the world, so the scholar tells us. But again 700BC, No greeks in India.

Here however, we see that Yavana is a term that began in India itself, for the Vedic Aryans themselves - not foreigners! But, they do appear as peoples related to ancient Indians, or Vedic Indians - which predates the Greeks.

Gautama Dharmasutra , which refers to Yavanas as a mixture of Kshatriya father and Shudra mother

The Yavana kings in the Mahabharata are called: Yavana (ancient great kings), Chanura Devarata (mentioned with a Bhoja and Kirata king, showing that these were ruling in the east, south and of course Chanura in the west), Sumitra (rules in Sauvira country in the west. Battle with Pandu), Bhagadatta (rules in the west. Old friend of Pandu), Kasherumat (Battle with

Krshna. Probable direct predecessor of Kalayavana), Kalayavana Garg ya (mentioned as king of western India. Battle with Krshna). These names are Indian, not Foreign.

Dharma of Yavanas
yavanâH kirâtâ gândhârâśh cînâH śhabarabarbarâH | śhakâs tuSHârâH kahvâśh ca pahlavâśh cândhramadrakâH oDrâH pulindā ramaTHâH kâcā mlecchâśh ca sarvaśhaH | brahmakSHatraprasûtâśh ca vaiśhyâH śhûdrâśh ca mânavâH

ie.'What duties should be performed collectively by the Yavana, Kirata, Gandhara, Cina (ishwa: Shina), Shabara, Barbara, Shaka, Tushara (ishwa: high mountaineer), Kahvas (var. Kanka), Pahlava, Andhra, Madraka, Odra (var. Paundra), Pulinda, Ramatha and Mleccha (var. Kamboja) Vaishyas and Shudras and offshoots of Brahma-Kshatras, (all these) Manavas?

The Duties to be performed by Kshatriayas are
  1. serve their mothers and fathers, their preceptors and other seniors, and recluses living in the woods.
  2. serve their kings.
  3. follow duties and rites inculcated in the Vedas.
  4. perform sacrifices in honour of the Pitris, dig wells, give water to thirsty travellers, give away beds and make other seasonable presents unto Brahmanas.
  5. Abstention from injury, truth, suppression of wrath, supporting Brahmanas and kinsmen by giving them their dues, maintenance of wives and children, purity, peacefulness,
  6. making presents to Brahmanas at sacrifices of every kind, are duties that should be practised by every person of this class who desire his own prosperity. Such a person should also perform all kinds of Paka-yajnas with costly presents of food and wealth.

And it means t hat those who fail to follow the above dharma is Yuana So Yavanas are the Kshatriyas(Warrior Clans) who dont follow the law or dharma.

Yavana Indian Etymology
The word Yavana, if it is assumed to be Indian, can be derived in three ways. Firstly, from yu = 'keeping away', 'averting' (dveSHo yavana), signifying one who is disliked. Secon dly, from yu
'mixing, mingling',(i.e. Yauti mishrayati vaa mishriibhavati sarvattra jaatibhedaabhaavaat iti yavanah), implying a mixed people. Thirdly, from the meaning, 'quick', 'swift'; a swift horse, (i.e. Yavena gacchatiiti yavanah), denoting those who have a quick mode of conveyance. These derivations taken together may indicate that the Yavanas were thought of as a mixed
people, who had a quick mode of conveyance and who were disliked. However these derivations are recent. But Experts disagree on this meanings already.

“Firstly, from the yu = 'keeping away', 'averting' (dveSHo yavana), signifying one who is disliked.” The word doesn’t signify one who is disliked, but rather Yavana is the one who keeps away, he keeps a way the Dvesha or the enemy. Yavana here rather denotes a protector, a Kshatriya, thus someone who is liked and needed! This word Dvesho yavana is from the Vedic (!) Krshnayajurveda. Thus not a recent word, as it conjectures. More ancient, Vedic words from this root: dveSHo-yávana (MaitrS.) and mfn. removing hostility. dveSHo-yút (RV.), mfn. removing hostility. pra-yotR' m. a remover, expeller . Or Yaavan.

“Secondly, from yu 'mixing, mingling', (i.e. Yauti mishrayati vaa mishriibhavati sarvattra jaatibhedaabhaavaat iti yavanah), implying a mixed people.” , but these are the true meanings given to the root he has in mind: yu does not mean mixing, but “to unite, attach, harness, yoke, bind, fasten RV.(=yuj); to draw towards one's self, take hold or gain possession of, hold fast AV. TS. ShBr.; to push on towards (acc.) AV.; to confer or bestow upon (dat.), procure RV.; (yauti), to worship, honour Naigh. Iii,” (It is from this root that the Vedic Yaavan and A-yaavan are derived from for the halves of the moon..).

Thirdlyfrom an ancient root yu = to move quickly. There are more Vedic words from this root denoting to move (quickly): yaávan m. a rider horseman, invader, aggressor, foe R. (ifc.) going, driving, riding (cf. akSNa-, agra-, eka-y &c.) akSNa-yaávan mfn. going across agra-yaávan mfn. going before eka-yaávan m. of a king TBr. ii TâNDyaBr; RNa-yaávan mfn. relieving fro m debt or obligations praatar-yaaan “who moves at early morning” puro-yaavan “who moves foremost” sa-yaavan -"going along with, associated with,accompanying Thus, the words yáva speed, velocity (prob. w.r. for java); a double convex lens ib. [yava; {Gk.}; Lith. javaí.], yavana mfn. quick, swift; m. a swift horse L. (prob.w.r. for javana) and yavaana mfn. quick, swift L. (prob. w.r. for javaana), have all ancient Vedic roots.

Yavanas are Indigenous Tribe
The Yavanas are enumerated together with Pârashavas, Yavanas, Caranas, and Shûdras. None of the Varnas mentioned in IV.16-21 do refer to any foreigner, but rather of a mixture of indigenous Varnas and Jatis. Parashavas or connected with parashu or the axe of a woodcutter. As frontier people (paccantima) they became degenerated in the eyes of the immediately adjoining main land (majjhima). The pre-Alexandrian Ganapatha remembers Yavanas as Munda, unlike the hairdress of (Indo-)Greeks. The Majjhima Nikaya mentions that the Yonas call their varna Arya! Did the Greeks consider themselves as such? No refere nce to this with the Greaco-Roman historians

Compared to the doubtful etymologies for Ionian, the etymology of yavana is much better and logical. In Yavana we have a normal indigenous development of fusion of ideas and meanings which we can observe in many other words or ideas (aspects of Indra absorbed in Vishnu- Krshna, etc.etc.) Besides, all the different Indian works point to the indigenous character of Yavanas.

In short, Ionian as Yauna doesn't seem to have been known to Indians at all before Alexander. After Alexander, it does seem that the Indo-Greeks were rather known through the central country they were ruling over, which was Yona Janapada. And Yona Janapada can not be equated with Bactria, it is always within the subcontinent, close to the Indus area.

Yona-Kamboja- Gandhara is the frontier line of India from south to the north of the (western bank of the) Indus Valley: Yona -Baluchistan, Kamboja - Gomal/Bannu Valley, Ghandra - Kabul/Swat Valley.

Rodney Lingham


Related Posts
Who are Kambojas
Myth of Alexander Victory in India
Dating Ancient Greek Civilization
Date of Buddha

Origin of Hungarians

Who are hungarians?
Sumerians, Hurrians, Mitanni, Habiru, Hyksos, Kassites, Chaldeans, Medes, Khwarezmians, Scythians, Massagetas, Alans, Sabirs, Avars, Huns, Magyars, OnOgurs, Khazars, Uyghurs, Kushitic, Semitic and Japhetic , who are they?

Let us see Hungarian history for some view.

Early Hungarian History
Hungary is located in the heart of Europe, in the Carpathian Basin, surrounded by the Carpathian mountain chain, the Alps and the southern Slav mountains. This area has, since the dawn of civilization, been inhabited by human beings, a meeting point where cultures blended together. From the first century B.C. people on horseback - the Scythes - of Iranian extraction, and Indo-European tribes /Celtic, Illyrian and Thracian/ that pursued a more or less settled existence constantly replaced one another. In the final stages of the expansion of the Roman empire, for a short while the Carpathian Basin fell into the sphere of the Mediterranean, Greco-Roman civilization - town centers, paved roads, and written sources were all part of the advances to which the Migration of Peoples put an end. Germanic and Turkish /Hun and Avar/ tribes attacking from the east then appeared in the region. From the beginning of the 3rd century onwards Rome was gradually forced onto the defensive, and around the year 430 AD, bowing to Hun sieges, it ultimately surrendered its Carpathian Basin province of Pannonia.The famous Hun king, Attila, operated his powerful but short-lived empire from the River Tisza. Upon his death the Hun empire disintegrated and Germanic tribes again split up the region. However, their hegemony was soon smashed by the advent of the Avars. Their empire, established by the end of the 6th century, was destroyed by the wars launched by Charlemagne /around 790/ and Bulgarian attacks from the Danube. Transdanubia marked the eastern province of the declining Frankish empire. Bulgarians ruled the Hungarian Great Plain and Transylvania, while in the north there was the state of the Morvas, these peoples formed the status quo in the Carpathian Basin at the time of the arrival of the Magyars.

Magyar Migration Theory
The first temporary raids of ancient proto-Magyars in this territory occurred in the 860s. It was only in 895/896 that the Magyars decided to cross the Carpathians permanently. The chieftain Árpád is traditionally said to be the person who led the seven proto-Magyar tribes (including the Magyars proper) out of the steppes of Ukraine and into the Carpathian basin. These seven tribes later became the nucleus of the Kingdom of Hungary under Árpád's great-great-grandson, Stephen I of Hungary. Although Christianization of this territory began as early as in the 4th century AD, the newly-arrived Magyars were Christianized only at the end of the 10th century under Géza: this task was finished by Stephen I of Hungary, who was officially crowned king by the pope in 1000 AD.

By the end of the 11th century Hungary, which had risen to become a Central European power, acted as conqueror in the east and south. Campaigns launched into what is Galicia and Ukraine today were without success, but Croatia recognized the supremacy of the Árpád dynasty in 1091.

The relatively steady progress was interrupted in 1240 and 1242 by the dramatic incursion and ruthless ransacking of the country by Tartar /Mongol/ forces, who swept across the country scorching the land and forcing the king and his court to flee to the Adriatic. One third of the country's population was killed during the single year of the Tartar invasion.
King Béla IV /1235-1270/ was, with some justifications, dubbed the "second home founder" as he had to rebuild the scorched country practically from scratch. By establishing a series of stone castles he created a strong defensive system, he invited settlers to unsettled parts of the country, and reorganized life in the country by pursuing tolerant and persistent policies.

Theory of Gyula László Theory
The Hungarian archaeologist Gyula László has proposed a very controversial theory, also known as "theory of double conquest”, in recent decades. He has argued that the Magyars arrived in two separate waves, centuries apart, a notion which is still controversial. The theory argues that around 670 a new ethnic group moved into the Carpathian Basin, representing the late-Avar culture with a griffin-creeper pattern on their belt-clasp. The theory says that these latter Avars were actually Magyars and that they survived the centuries until the Árpád's Magyars arrival.

Theory of Grover Krantz:

In his book Geographical Development of the European Languages, anthropologist Grover Krantz argues that the Hungarian language must have been present in the Carpathian basin when the Indo-European languages diffused into Europe. His theory is based on the development of early forms of agriculture, to which the spread of the Proto-Indo-European language was tied. These agricultural developments and tools were such that the people relying on them were not able to penetrate the Carpathian basin, as a result the Indo-European languages avoided that region as they were diffusing.

Theory of Mario Alinei:

As part of his "theory of continuity", Mario Alinei, linguist at the University of Utrecht, sees the Etruscan language as an archaic form of Hungarian. The basis of the connection is the extraordinary resemblance of Etruscan and ancient Magyar magistrature names and other similarities: typologies, lexicon and historical grammar. This theory also contradicts the view that Magyars arrived in the Carpathian basin in 900 AD.

Let us see the legends of origins

Legend of White Stag.
The Legend of the White Stag ascribes the origin of the Hungarians to the merging of three peoples: Huns, Magyars and Alans. Since the Alans, together with the Yazyg and Roxlans are classified as Massagetas in early records and as Sarmatians in later ones, henceforth the terms "Alan", "Yazyg", "Roxlan" and "Massageta" will be mentioned as "Sarmatian" in order to make this essay more intelligible, avoiding synonymous or quasi-synonymous terms (unless specification is required). They are identified with the Moshkhi of the Assyrian chronicles and Meshekh of the Bible.

Sumerian Legend
This legend starts with Tana, that is undoubtedly the same as the Sumerian Etana of the city of Kish (Kush) and who is equivalent with the Biblical Kush, the father of Nimrod – The Kushan Scythians also had an ancestor called Kush-Tana. The Sumerian Etana was the first mighty one on earth who wanted to visit heaven, and did. This story coincides with the Biblical account concerning Nimrod, though it is feasible that Nimrod set up the construction of the Tower of Bavel on behalf of his father, being coherent with the Babylonian myth in which the founder of Babylon was Bel, the father of Ninus (Nimrud), that was the first king. In the Hungarian account, the son of Tana is Ménrót or Nemere (Nimrod), who had twin sons called Magor and Hunor. Also Nimrud's wife, Anuta/Bau, has similar names in the Hungarian version, Eneth/Boldog-asszony. The Assyrian accounts refer that Nimrud had twin sons, one of whose names was Magor, confirming the Hungarian myth.

Scythian Legend
The legend says that Hunor and Magor were pursuing a female stag that led them into a foreign land and there she vanished without leaving any trace. The disappointed hunters however, met there two sisters, princesses of the Sarmatians, kidnapped and married them, becoming the forefathers of the Huns and Magyars. The stag is also relevant in Scythian mythology.

Nimrod Legend
Hungarian legend the sons of Ménrót/Nemere were hunters, and Nimrod in the Bible is described as a "mighty hunter". His Sumerian name – or better, his title – was Nimb-ur-shag, meaning "Lord of the Panthers", which in Hungarian is translated "Parduc-Uraság", conveying the same meaning of the Hebrew name quoted in the Bible, related with the word "nimra", that means "panther, leopard", combined with the verb "rad", that is "to subdue". Therefore, the first part of the Sumerian name resembles the Hebrew one, but the second component is definitely quite similar to Hungarian. It is relevant that Nimrod had to "subdue" panthers in order to become a "mighty" hunter: this title is often misinterpreted as he being a leopard-hunter – because it was the most dangerous animal in those times – but the actual meaning is another; in fact, the "lord" or "subduer" of the panther, implies that he was able to tame these animals in order to use them as a valuable aid in hunting other wild beasts. Indeed, also the kings and notables of Central Asia (from where the Hungarians departed towards Europe) trained the panthers to employ them in hunting. Panther skin has traditionally been the most precious garment among Hungarian kings and leaders, recalling the very fashion in which Nimrod himself was portrayed. The historian Yosef ben-Gorion ha-Kohen, also known as Yosippon, thought that Ménrót was to be identified with the first Egyptian king Menes, later merged with the Mesopotamian Nimrod, and his wife Eneth with the Egyptian female deity Neith.

Legend of the Turul Hawk
A mythical bird identical to the Sumerian "Dugud", that is the emblem of both the house of Attila the Hun and the house of Árpád. This story is about Emeshe, a Sumerian princess that was sterile until the Turul hawk came down from heaven and gave her fertility. She was married to Ügyek, the king of Scythians, of the lineage of Magog – in agreement with the Assyrian chronicles, that report Magog as the founder of the Scythian nation in northern Mesopotamia. Emeshe conceived Álmos (the same name of Árpád's father, that was a descendant of Attila the Hun), and in her dream she saw her descent as a river flowing from her womb that was growing towards the west, passing over the mountains and from which a great golden tree arose, representing a royal lineage of kings ruling in a far away land in the west. This story recalls the dream of the Mede king Ištumegu (Astyages) concerning his daughter, from whose womb he saw spring a river that flooded the earth, and in a second dream he saw a grape vine growing from her womb that became a mighty tree that covered the continent. These dreams were interpreted as a royal line from his daughter's offspring that would have built an empire, though dethroning him. The parallelism between both legends is amazing. Indeed, there is a relationship between ancient Medes and Hungarians. The characteristic aspect of this story, that credits the actual Sumerian origin of Magyars, is that Álmos is described as dark complexioned and black-eyed, namely, a Kushite. His name means "dreamer", since according to the legend he was conceived after his mother's dream.

Finno-Ugrian theory
This thesis, however respectable it may be, lacks of proofs and leaves many enigmas unsolved, as it was formulated only in the later 18th century c.e. neglecting all the previously existing historic records. Even though the process of Germanization of the Hungarian people began with King Vajk (then christened as István) by the end of the 10th century c.e., it was under the Austrian rule that the need of a sharp distinction from the rival Ottoman Empire required a new theory of origins which placed the Hungarians definitely on the European side. Besides this, the religious leadership of Rome monopolized the official history of Europe, and Hungarians had to be "cleansed" of the ugly picture of the Huns portrayed by the Romans ‒ the alleged higher degree of civilization attributed to the Romans in comparison with Attila's Huns is strongly disputable, however. Consequently, a prestigious leading monarchy as the Austro-Hungarian could not acknowledge any non-European component, and the Ugro-Finnic theory, strongly supported by German linguists, was hallowed as the only feasible one that may have made of Hungarians a fully European, western people that with time would have finally forgotten its obscure, barbaric origins and recognized the valuable contribution of Germanic civilization to their cultural development .

Hurrian Theory
The land known by Sumerians as "Subar-Ki" or "Subar-Tu" was inhabited by the Hurrians, whose language was Indo-European languages So, the Hurrians cannot be directly related with Hungarians. Yet, they were not the only people in that region, the same country was known under different names, Assyrian documents as "Sapar-da", Egyptians as "Magor", in Persian as "Sabarda" and "Matiene/Mada", while the Biblical name Haran/Charan is obviously connected with the Hurrians. Greek refer to them as "Sapir/Sabir", "Makr/Magar" and "Matiene". All these terms point out to the denomination of two Hungarian tribes: Sabirs and Magyars. This is the basis of the theory Similar sounding names of Sabirs and Magyars.

Mittani Theory
Northern Mesopotamian region was also known as "Mada/Mata/Madja". The term that may be transliterated as "mat", "madh", "madj" means "country" or "district" in Sumerian, Subarian, Parthian, and other related languages, and it was also used by the Assyrians and Egyptians with the same meaning. Notice that in those languages, the phoneme "dh" or "dj" is equal to the modern Hungarian "gy", and "megye" is still "district" or "province" in Hungarian. Therefore, if the denomination has been transferred along the generations, the Magyars might be the ancient tribe of Mitanni, Claims this theory.

Habiru are people of Meditaranean spread far and wide, they are group from which Israelites emerged. Based on the Nimrod legend links are made between Habiru and Hungarian. But Habiru are Semitic, so they cannot be Hungarian.

Based on the Habiru , further links are made to Hyksos , but this is just a far fetched theory.

By the time of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt to Canaan, a mysterious people arose in Southern Mesopotamia: the Kassites (Kasu). and after they lost control of Babylon they retreated to the Zagros Mounts and had not any further history. Very likely, they and not the Neo-Babylonian Chaldeans were the authentic Kasdim. The Kassites apparently spoke a language similar to Sumerian, Kassites were excellent horse-riders, a feature that primarily distinguished the peoples of the north, By some Kassite king names, which are evidently Indic (for example: Shuriash = Surya, Maruttash = Marut, Inda-Bugash = Indra-Bhaga), The Kassite kingdom in the south preceded about 90 years the Mitanni kingdom in the north, and survived it for other 90 years. At this point, the other meaning of the word Kasdim, "Chaldeans", and their relationship with Sumerians allows us to link our reasoning again with the "Hungarian-Hebrew connexion".The dynasty that ruled over Babylon about 130 years after the Kassites were dethroned is known as "Chaldean", the one to which Nebukhadnetzar the Great belonged.

Chaldeans (Kasdim) are not a people but a kind of social class or caste associated with the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, soothsayers. They probably belonged to a different people, as they had their own language, "the language of the Kasdim", but spoke to the king in Aramaic, the Assyrian tongue of Babylon. The likely hypothesis is that, after the Kassites were defeated by the joint Assyrian-Elamite armies and the 2nd Dynasty of Isin took the power, they withdrew to the Zagros Mountains. How this is related to Hungarian is not known, but this is the theory.

This theory is supported by Mittani theory and further development on that.

Alans, Massagetas,
The Legend of the White Stag ascribes the origin of the Hungarians to the merging of three peoples: Huns, Magyars and Alans. Since the Alans, together with the Yazyg and Roxlans are classified as Massagetas in early records and as Sarmatians in later ones, henceforth the terms "Alan", "Yazyg", "Roxlan" and "Massageta" This is the basis of the theory linking Alans, Massagetas and Hungarians.

is probably synonymous of "Hun" or "Magyar". In fact, Herodotus mentions them as Sapir/Sabir, Makr/Magar, in reference to Subarians and Mitanni. Other classical sources and historians always mention these two terms together (Sabir and Magor). In Persian inscriptions, Sapardia and Hunae are also consecutive. The descriptions of their mastery in the art of war and powerful cavalry and their somatic and cultural features lead to identify them with the Huns, so that they appear as the same people. The equation Subarians-Mitanni of old is paralleled in later times by the association Huns-Magyars.

One of the major controversies among different scholars regards the common origin of Hungarians and Turks. Undoubtedly, Hungarians are not a Turkic people, and probably they never were. The cultural differences existing between these two groups, mainly after the Magyar settlement in the Carpathian Basin, generated the elaboration of a new "official" theory of origins supported by the Austro-Hungarian élite, followed by the Soviet-ruled Hungary and by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Indeed, the last word is not said, because there were Turkic peoples that contributed to the definitive formation of the Hungarian nation: Khazars/Kabars, Kumans (Kipchak) and, in a lesser amount, the Besenyö (Pechenegs). Historically, the most relevant of them have been the Khazars, with whom the Magyars had intensive interaction as allies, subjects, confederates, neighbours or rivals. When the Khazar empire collapsed, they were welcomed by the Magyars in their already conquered Danubian land. Both peoples had similar languages, so that they were understandable to each other. The Khazar tongue was still spoken in Hungary until the 10th century c.e. Paradoxically and in apparent contrast with the purpose of this essay, the Khazars did not add any substantial contribution to the presumed Hebrew-Hungarian connexion: they were a Turkic people related with the Uyghurs that became famous for the adoption of Judaism of their leading class but they had not Jewish bloodline, facts that have generated a series of speculative theories mainly in an anti-Semitic sense. They arose from the collapsed kingdom of the Kök Turks and built their own empire, which was ethnically quite heterogeneous, composed by almost every Scythian-related tribe between Khwarezm and the Dniepr. The OnOgurs and Bulgars were consistent elements within the population of Khazaria, as well as Magyars, that had also their own realm by the western border.

The Huns are undoubtedly the most famous of the Hungarian ancestors, though much of what is known of them is tainted with biased accounts and legends that exalt their allegedly ferocious character, so that any horde of invaders is still qualified with this name. The western civilizations have received the Roman viewpoint first and the Catholic superstition later ‒ the mediaeval prayer "De sagittis hungarorum libera nos, Domine", that is "Save us from the arrows of the Hungarians, O Lord" was framed as an invocation for protection from the Magyars, enhancing the excellence of their archery. The Magyars were recognized as the same Huns that four and half centuries before rushed into the heart of Europe with their outstanding archers.

Avars, as exposed in the previous chapter, were culturally related with Scythian-Dahae tribes, but probably their early origin was Subarian/Habiri. Concerning their homeland, the Persian name Varkâna means "Land of Wolves", name that translated to modern Hungarian would be "Farkasok-földje/Farkasok-országa", but in old Hungarian it is correct to say "Farkasok-hona", which resembles to the historic Persian name. Even more similar is "Avarok-hona", meaning "Land of the Avars". Therefore, a possible sequence may be that the Persians adapted the Avar designation of the land, either translating the meaning (in case that the Avar name was actually "Land of Wolves") or else applying a meaning in Persian (converting the term "Avar" into "Wolf"); therefore, the modern Hungarian term was translated after the Persian historic name, being the complete sequence as follows: Farkasok-hona»Varkâna»Várkony, or Avarok-hona»Varkâna»Várkony. In this case we assume that the Avars' language was an old form of Hungarian, which is not unlikely considering that they were Subarian Habiri, speaking a transitional tongue between Emegir and Magyar. There are additional evidences to establish these facts: The Avars' arrival in Europe and subsequent settlement in the Danubian Basin is chronologically placed after that of Attila's Huns and previous to the HunOgurs and Árpád's Magyars. Even though these migratory waves are interpreted as different, as a matter of fact, they represent a continuity, a "proto-Hungarian" territorial claim. The Avars held the land previously conquered by the Huns as a permanent resistance force against European occupants. Indeed, contemporary sources were not able to explain a clear distinction between the Avars and the Huns that preceded them, nor did between them and the Magyars that followed. The Avars easily "assimilated" the remnants of Attila's Huns, and in the same way did the Magyars with the Hun/Avar/HunOgur inhabitants - having the same language, life-style, clothing, cooking, ornaments, metallurgy, etc.

Hephthalites or Hayathelaites:(White Huns)
Usually known as "White Huns", they had indeed not any real relationship with the Huns. Such association is caused by misleading name resemblances: apparently they called themselves "Hua", according to the Chinese accounts, while their Sanskrit name was "Huna", terms that historians have connected with the Huns. Refer to Article who are white Huns

original Scythians came from the line of Magog, being an Indo-European people. Notwithstanding, this term was applied to every sort of wandering tribes, and since the Scythians were present in a very vast area of the continent, they have taken many cultural features of the peoples with whom they were in contact, usually as allied. Therefore, there is a wide range of peoples, from Europe to India, sharing several Scythian features and claiming Scythian ancestry, even peoples from opposite sides, Aryan and non-Aryan, Indo-Iranian and Eurasian, Turks, Slavs, Hungarians, Indian, etc. They apparently spoke an Iranic tongue (Zend). Their religion was centred in the worship of natural forces.

It appears therefore that a fundamental revision of early Hungarian history is necessary in order to arrive at a more accurate picture, and much research work remains to be done in this field. Based on the available information, it seems most probable that the Hungarians are a synthesis of the peoples which have settled in the Carpathian Basin since the Neolithic period up to the Middle Ages: the Sumerian-related peoples of Near-Eastern origin (Neolithic, Copper and Bronze Ages), followed by the Scythians (6th c. BC), the Huns (5th c. AD), the Avars (6th c.), the Magyars (9th c.), the Petchenegs (11th c.), and the Cumans (13th c.). This Hungarian synthesis is characterized by a remarkable ethno-linguistic homogeneity and has remained highly differentiated from the considerably more numerous surrounding Indo-European people. The conclusion which can be drawn from this is that the Hungarians were able to preserve their ethno-linguistic identity and to maintain a demographic majority or critical mass within the Carpathian Basin as a result of the periodical inflow of ethno-linguistically related peoples. These peoples were designated in the 19th c. as Turanians, and the Sumerians, Scythians, Huns, Avars and Magyars were all considered to belong to this ethno-linguistic group. So more research is needed and also may be Hungarians are a not one of the said groups but all the groups.

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