Saturday, 18 August 2012

Effects of the War of 10 kings (Dashradnya Yuddha)

As discussed in my earlier post, the War of Ten Kings or Dasharadnya Yuddha is one of the major wars described in the Rigved. We have seen how Sudas defeated his enemies and won over much of the land in Sapta-Sindhu region and expanded his kingdom North Panchal which existed in the doab region between Ganga and Saraswati in east Haryana.
But the effects of this war do not stop here. There are many significant effects which can be attributed to this war which in turn was instrumental in giving birth to a contemporary religion to ours- Zoroastrianism
A piece of history which one needs to know is that Sudas' grandson Somaka had also fought with the same people along with the Gautama family rishis. This battle is called Varshagira Battle which took place in Afghanistan. 

Now we all know the Avesta is the scripture of Zoroastrianism and Zoroaster or Zaruthustra is their God. The Avesta in it's Gathas and Vendidad has striking references to Rigvedic people. But how come these people got related to the Vedic people in India?
The answer is, the communities who had to leave India after the War of Ten Kings were indeed those who composed the Avesta...!!!!
Lets have a look at the communities who left India after the war

  • Prithus or Parthavas (VII.83.1): Parthians.
  • Parshus or Parshavas (VII .83.1): Persians.
  • Pakthas (VII.18.7): Pakhtoons.
  • Bhalanas (VII.18.7): Baluchis.
  • Shivas (VII.18.7): Khivas.
  • Vishanins (VII.18.7): Pishachas (Dards).
These were some of the major communities and we find that their names reflect current names in today's Afghanistan and Central Asia.
But apart from this, one more thing in common in these people is that majority of these people belong to the Anu tribe.

Now let us look at the story from the side of the Avesta.
The Avesta states that it's people had roamed 16 lands and gives it's names. The names clearly go in an order from North to south and then towards east. They are-
Sogdiana (Gava), Margiana (Mourv), Bactria (Baxti, Nisaya between Margiana and Bactria, Areia (Haroiva), Kabulistan (Vaekarsta), the Gazni region (Urva), Xnanta, Arachosia (Haraxvaiti), Drangiana (Haetumant), a territory between Zamin-davar and Qal‘at-i-Gilzay (Raya), the Lugar valley (Caxra), Buner (Varana), Punjab (Hapta Handu), Ranha (between the Kabul and the Kurram, in the region where it seems likely the Vedic river Rasa flowed.)  and Airyana Vaejah…
Airyana Vaejah is the 16th land and by logic if the lands start from north to south and then to east, we say that Airyana Vaejah is to the east of Ranha or the area of Rasa which is obviously Kashmir.With a striking similarity, the Puranas also state that indeed the Anu people lived in Kashmir..!!!!

Let us directly look at the references to Vedic people in Avesta-

  • (Y.44.20) of the Gathas directly mentions Ausijas, a branch of Angirasa family.
  • The Angirasa family is always condemned and called Angra Manyu or bad spirit and also Karpana, which is a derogatory term.
  • The term Anu got itself replicated for a region in Afghanistan called Anauon
  • Bhargavas were the priests of the Anus and their names are used interchangeably in the Rigveda RV(5.31.4) with RV(4.16.20) or RV(7.18.14) with RV(7.18.6)
  • Ahur Mazda who led the Avestans out of their land Airyana Vaejah says Angra Manyu had created severe cold due to which they had to leave. 
  • It is mentioned that Zaruthustra had a debate with a person called Nadhyaongha Goetema which is clearly Nodhas Gautama. And the Rigveda also confirms this part of history as we saw that indeed Somaka had gone to Afghanistan for war with the Gautama family of rishis.
  • We know that Kavasha Ailusha was a person who fought against Sudas. This name Kavash also appears in the Avesta. We know Kavi Chayamana was also against Sudas. If these names are combined to Kavi Kavasha, then it sounds similar to Kavi Kavata, the founder of the Avestan dynasty.
  • The Avestan people call themselves Dah ( Das), Dahyu ( Dasyu) and Ahur ( Asur) proudly who were enemies in the Rigveda
  • Also, Indra who is a Deva in Rigveda is ridiculed in Avesta by calling him Andra. The Daeva ( Devas) are their enemy

This gives us a clear indication that indeed the Avestan people were those who migrated from India after the war of 10 kings. These people were Anus which can be proven from their journey to Afghanistan-
First the Avesta tells they were present in Airyana Vaejah which we have shown to be Kashmir. And as stated, even the Purans tell us that Anus were indeed ruling the Kashmir area. Then the Avesta says they shifted to the region of HaptaHandu or Sapta Sindhu or Punjab. And the Puranic history tells us that during the era of Ikshavku king Mandhata, the Druhyus who were then ruling in Punjab were pushed back by him to the far north-west and the vacant place in the Punjab was occupied by Anus who established Kekaya, Madra, Shivi kingdoms there.

So we can scrutinize the different periods of the Anu migrations with respect to the Rigvedic era-
  • Pre-Rigvedic period
The Anus were living in Kashmir. The Avesta was not in existence and very early hymns of Rigveda were in existence
  • Early Rigvedic period
The Anus found vacant space in Punjab due to Mandhata's war with the Druhyus and they shifted to Punjab or Sapta Sindhu, The Avesta was not composed in this time but the Avestans remember this period as their stay in the Hapta-Handu area. In this era, the Anus were in cordial relations with the Bharatas. They even had fought the Hariyupiya war together against the Yadus and Turvasus.
  • Middle Rigvedic period
This was the era of king Sudas when the relations between the Anus and Bharatas declined and they went on war. The Anus were defeated and some of them left India and went further west to Afghanistan. This is the early era of the Avesta. Zaruthustra was existing in there times when he had a debate with Nodhas Gautama. Sudas's grandson Somaka also went to Afghanistan and had war with the Avestan people. This era was the times of tension.
  • Late Rigvedic period
In this era, majority of the Rigved was composed and the Avesta was halfway composed. In this era, the Avestan people got their separate land and the tensions got reduced between them and the Vedic people. Soon everything was forgotten. A new religion of Zoroastrianism had been born in Iran.

One war, and so much effects. And the most positive point of this war description is that we end up proving that the movement of people was from India to central Asia and not vice versa as stated by the Aryan Invasion Theory.

Monday, 13 August 2012

The Battle of Ten Kings- Dashradnya Yuddha

Apart from religious hymns in the praise of Devas like Indra, Varuna, Agni, Soma, the Rigved also contains precious information on certain events that have occurred during it' era. The events like wars, donations to rishis, mentioning certain names of rishis and kings are a regular occurance in Rigved. This makes it an important scripture which has historical data in it.
     The major event in the Rigved is indeed of the Battle of 10 kings or Dasharadnya Yuddha (दाशराज्ञ युद्ध) and the hero of this war is king Sudas of North Panchal kingdom, the ancestor of Draupadi.
Apart from details of what happened in the war, the information is precise enough to tell us what caused the war and where the war took place.

The reason behind the war
The reason behind the war is the rivalry between Vishwamitra and Vasishtha.
As we have seen in Proving the Out of India Theory 5 the Vishwamitras from the earliest times were related to the kings of Purus and Panchalas who are called Bharatas in general. Sudas himself was a Bharata. The profuse references to places in Haryana and hymns in the praise of Sudas prove the same. Specifically, the hymn RV(3.53) composed by Vishwamitra himself praises Sudas and tells us that with the help of Vishwamitras, Sudas had reached the Sindhu river, crossed it and had done a huge Yagya there. The Brihad Devata tells us even the Vasishthas were present there.Along with Vishwamitras, the Jamadagnis were also present. Because of some dispute between some Jamadagnis and Shaktyas ( descendants of Vasishthas's son Shakti), some Jamadagnis fainted. This caused them to utter curses which also find place in RV(3.53). These curses are called Sasarpari (ससर्परी).
Also, we know that before the era of Sudas, the Vasishthas were more or less related to Ikshvakus in Ayodhya or central Indian Yadus. But soon, the relations between Vishwamitras and Sudas began to deteriorate. During the same time, a Vasishtha named Shreshthabhaj was the priest of the Ikshvaku king Kalmashpada. Because of his rivalry with Vasishtha, Vishwamitra sent some Danavas to cook meat for Vasishtha and feed him through king Kalmashpada. The same Vishwamitra had killed Vasishtha's 100 sons along with Shakti,his eldest son. Such was the rivalry between them.
With the Vasishtha getting closer to Sudas and the consequent jealousy of Vishwamitra resulted in Vishwamitra leaving Sudas and consolidating a group of 10 kings and pitching them against Sudas. Hence this war is known as Battle of 'Ten' Kings.
The other people who were involved against Sudas are Kavasha Ailusha and Kavi Chaymana.
Kavash Ailusha himself was against Sudas whereas his son Tura Kavasheya had crowned King Janmajeya II of Puru dynasty. Talking of Kavi Chayamana, he was the descendant of Abhyavartin Chayamana who is mentioned by Bharadvaja in RV(6.27.8) as a Parthav ( or descendant of Pruthu) and was an Anu king and had fought the Hariyupiya war from the side of the Bharatas. But see how politics changes- Abhyavartin was allied to the Bharatas, but his descendant Kavi fought against the Bharata king Sudas !!!

This war is so famous that there is an animation movie made on it.

War Description
The war is described properly in the hymns RV(7.18), (7.19), (7.33 )composed by Vasishtha.For obvious reason ,it has to be Vasishtha who will praise Sudas since it was his rival Vishwamitra who had pitched 10 kings against Sudas.
    According to RV(7.18.5) the war took place on the banks of the river Parushni (Ravi) in Punjab. Following were the enemies of Sudas-
  • Paktha  RV(7.18.7)
  • Bhalanas  RV(7.18.7)
  • Alina  RV(7.18.7)
  • Vishanin  RV(7.18.7)
  • Shivi  RV(7.18.7)
  • Turvasha  RV(7.18.6)
  • Matsya  RV(7.18.6)
  • Bhrugu  RV(7.18.6)
  • Druhyu  RV(7.18.6)
  • Vaikarnas  RV(7.18.11) ( 21 in number)
  • Anus  RV(7.18.13)
  • Pruthus (which includes Kavi Chayamana)   RV(7.18.8)
  • Parshus  RV(7.83.1)
  • Simyu  RV(7.18.5)

These all were segregated under 10 kings for the war. Along with this, there were many other enemies with whom Sudas fought the war on the banks of Yamuna. They were

  • Yakshas  RV(7.18.19)
  • Shigrus  RV(7.18.19)
  • Aja  RV(7.18.19)

and whose leader was a king called Bheda (भेद)   RV(7.18.19)
There were other enemies who had attacked on the Vasishthas-

  • Yudhyamadhi, who were killed by drowning   RV(7.18.24)
  • Trushnaj  RV(7.33.5)
The only known ally of Sudas in this war were Trutsu people (Ikshvakus)
Now after knowing the participants of the war, let us now see how the war took place.
The war was started on the banks of the river Parushni. RV(7.18.8) records that the banks of the Parushni were broken and badly damaged by the enemies. The war was a big one and Sudas and his army fought bravely. The enemies were destroyed and finally Sudas won the war, Later on, he had to fight Aja,Shigru and Yakshas on the Yamuna and he defeated them too. They had to pay a war revenue to Sudas.
Sudas emerged as a winner of the war. A total of 6666 people were killed in the war as mentioned in RV(7.18.14).
He donated handsome gifts to the Vasishthas as mentioned in RV(7.18.22-25)

Dasharadnya and Aryan Invasion Theory
We have seen the hymn composed by Vishwamitra RV(3.53) where he mentions that he had helped Sudas to CROSS THE SINDHU RIVER and had done a holy yagya. Now this info has been used by the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) propagandists to prove their point. They feel this event of Sudas crossing Sindhu was the 'actual' event of the invasion of the Aryans. They feel that later on Sudas allied with another 'aryan', Vasishtha with the help of whom fought the Dasharadnya war. Such can be the level of scholarship that they can't even think beyond their decided principles.

Since an argument has been made in the favor of AIT, we must refute it too..
A thing of common sense is that Sindhu river can be crossed from east to west or west to east. The assumption made by the AIT scholars is that Sudas crossed Sindhu from west to east. This is not the case. The simple reason for this is based on the geographical data of the Kingdoms provided by the Puranas.
The Puranas tell us that Sudas was the king of North Panchala, a kingdom present in the doab region of Ganga ans Saraswati i,e today's East Haryana and plains of western UP. And it's not that Sudas was the first to come and live there. Right from the time of Nila Ajamidha, who was the starter of this kingdom, the kings of this dynasty have been ruling the area mentioned above.
So if Sudas had actually crossed the Sindhu, in his conquest for new land, he had done that from east to west. This is exactly opposite of what AIT followers believe.

The effects of the Dashradnya war are quite important and require a lot of space. I will deal with them in detail in my next post Effects of the War of 10 kings (Dashradnya Yuddha)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

33 Crore Gods ????

The very distinguishing factor that makes Hinduism stand out from other Abrahmic religions is our Polytheism and the splendid variety in the Gods we worship. Every Hindu might be having some or the other God which is totally unique to his area and culture. Not to forget the highly appraised freedom in Hinduism which permits us to worship any God that we like provided his worship falls within the prescribed rituals in the Purans and the Brahmanas.
       According to the popular belief, Hinduism consists of 33 crore Gods which are worshiped in various forms or other. But they really are of that huge number? I will start sweating till I reach a count of 50 or 60. Forget 33 crore..!!!!
Different Gods at Vishvaroop Darshan. But are these 33 crore in number?

 The fact of the matter is, there exist NO 33 crore Gods.. The exact word that occurs in the Vedas for 'crore' is Koti (कोटी) which in many languages like Marathi literally indicate the numerical value of crore. But are we really to take that meaning?
If we go deep in the language of Sanskrit, we understand that the word Koti indeed does mean 'crore' but more correctly, it means 'types'. So 33 Koti Gods means 33 types or families of Gods.
Accepting this, then who are those 33 'families' of Gods which we have?  Plus, do Gods like Durga, Gnpati, Skanda,etc have any place in that?

So here are the 33 families of Gods- 12 Adityas + 11 Rudras + 8 Vasus + 2 Ashwini Kumar = 33 Families
The last two families of Ashwini Kumar are replaced by Indra and Prajapati sometimes. But this seems improbable since Indra or Prajapati was a general post with many people being named as Indra or Prajapati at many times.

Let us see these people in detail-
12 Adityas or द्वादशादित्य are the sons of Aditi and hence called Adityas. The names of these 12 Adityas are Tvashta (त्वष्ट), Pusha (पूषा ), Vivasvan (विवस्वान), Mitra (मित्र ), Dhata (धाता), Vishnu (विष्णू), Bhaga (भग), Varuna (वरुण), Savitru (सवितृ ), Shakra (शक्र ), Ansha (अंश ) and Aryama (अर्यमा). The Rigveda has just eight of these Adityas with certain Brahmanas mentioning all 12 of them. The Puranas unanimously mention the number to be 12. Their mother Aditi along with these are praised in the Rigveda as proper Gods. These were the sons of Kashyapa rishi. One of these Aditya, Vivasvan was the father of Vaivasvat Manu from whom the genealogies of kings started.

11 Rudras or एकादशरुद्र are those Rudraganas who are said to have originated from Brahmadeva's anger. Their names are Manyu (मन्यु), Manu (मनु), Mahinas (महिनस ), Mahan (महान ), Shiv (शिव ), Rutudhvaj (ऋतुध्वज ), Ugrareta (उग्ररेता ), Bhava (भव), Kaal (काल ), Vamdev (वामदेव) and Dhrutavrat (धृतव्रत). Their names vary in different scriptures but the number remains same.

8 Vasus or अष्टवसू are sons bron from Dharma rishi and Vasu. Their names are Drona (द्रोण ), Pran (प्राण ), Dhruva (ध्रुव ), Aka (अक), Agni(अग्नी), Dosha (दोष), Vasu (वसू) and Vibhavasu (विभावसु ).

The 2 Ashwini Kumars were born from the Sun and were the doctors of the Devas. These tow had helped Chyavan Bhargav rishi to regain his youth.

If we see, many scriptures do clarify on the truth of these 33 families of Gods. If one observes, major Gods like Brahma, Vishnu, Ganpati, Shakti,etc don't find place in here. It seems these 33 families of Gods were the oldest and were worshiped but got replaced by Gods having a larger role to play in our lives. But over time the meaning of 'koti' got changed and we started to believe that there were indeed 33 crore Gods.
With time, we believed a cow has 33 crore Gods residing in it.

But does that really matter ? Because looking at the current state, we have at least 100 Gods which are worshiped in some form or other. THAT is our real asset- Our Polytheism and the overwhelming tolerance of people worshiping different Gods. This ability of ours has led us to believe that the whole world is ours. Because, after all, Every type of worship leads to the same thing- Paramatma or Brahman..

|| एकं सत् विप्र बहुदा वदन्ति ||