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)


  1. For the correct description of the ten kings battle hymn, please read the ebook:

    A HORSE AMONGST DONKEYS (some secrets of Rigveda)

  2. A fresh translation of the hymn 7.18 of rigveda is available at:

  3. Research shows that organised use of Spears , Bows and Arrows by using them in a disciplined group of men started in 21000 B C E . That is the period of first planned battle.

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  6. please help me to see the movie on it ........... tell me the link or movie name