Ancient History of Jadons Lunar Race Kshatriya’s (Ancient /Puranic Yadus /Yadavas /Yaduvansis )of Mathura—

Ancient History of Jadons Lunar Race Kshatriyas (Puranic  Yadus/Yadavas  /Yaduvansis ) of Mathura—–

Ancient period-

In the ancient times the whole of the country lying between the Arabali.hills of Alwar and the river Jumna was divided between Matsya on the west and Surasena on the east border.Kaman ,Mathura ,and Bayana were all comes  in Surasena Janpada.The Surasenas were Jadavas ,or Jadovanshi to which race belonged both Krishna and antagonist Kansa ,the king of Mathura.
Surasena country had its capital at Madhura or Mathura which like Kausambhi ,stood on the Jamuna .Neither the country nor it’s metropolis finds any mention in the Vedic literature.But the ancient Greek writers refer to the Sourasenoi and it’s capital as Methora .From Sankissa to Mathura it was a distance of four Yojanas . Avantiputra king of the Surasenas ,was the first among the chiefs disciples of Budha through whose help Buddhism gained ground in the Mathura region.It may be inferred from the Avantiputra that there existed a matrimonial alliance between Avanti and Surasena .Buddhist theologians make complaint about the absence of amenities in Mathura.They were apparently not much interested in its kettledrums ,(1),.Or in the Satakas (garments ) and Karshapanas (coins ) about which Patanjali speaks in the Mahabhashya .(2).A highroad connected the city with a place called Veranja which was linked up with Sarvasti and the Caravan -route that passed from Taxila to Benares through Soreyya , Sankass (Sankasya ) , Kannakujja (Kanyakubja or Kannauj ) and Payag -patitthana (Allahabad ).(3).
In Mahabharata and Puranas the ruling family of Mathura is styled the Yadu or Yadava family of Lunar race kshatriyas .The Yadavas were divided into various sects ,namely ,the Vitihotras , Satvatas etc (4). The Satvatas were also subdivided into several branches ,e.g., the Daivavridhas , Andhakas ,Maha-Bjojas ,and Vrishnis (5).
Yadu and his tribe are repeatedly mentioned in the Rig-Veda .He is closely associated with Turvasa and , in one place ,with Druhyu ,Anu and Puru (6) .This association is also implied by the epic and puranic legends which state that Yadu and Turvasu were the sons of the same parents ,and Druhyu ,Anu and Puru were their step -brothers.
From Rig-Veda we learn that Yadu and Turvasa came from a distant land , and the former is brought into very special relation to the Parsus or Persians (7).
The Satvatas or Satvats also appear to be mentioned in the Vedic texts.In the Satapatha Brahmana(7*)  the defeat by Bharata of the Satvats and his taking away the horse which they had prepared for an Asvamedha sacrifice , are referred to.The geographical position of Bharata’s kingdom is clearly shown by the fact that he made offering on the Sarasvati ,the Jumna and the Ganges .(8). The Satvats must have been occupying some adjoining region.The epic and puranic tradition which places them in the Mathura district is thus amply confirmed.At a later time ,however ,a branch of the Satvats seems to have migrated farther to the South ,for in the Aitareya Brahmana (9) the Satvats are described as a southern people who lived beyond the Kuru -Panchala area ,I.e., beyond the river Chambal ,and we’re ruled by Bhoja kings.In the Puranas also we find that a branch of the Satvats was styled Bhoja (10) :—-
Bhajina -Bhajamana -divy -Andhaka-Devavridha -Mahabhoja-Vrishni-Samjnah -Satvatasya putra babhuvuh —————-
Mahabjojastvati dharmatma tasyanvaye Bhoja-Martikavata babhuvuh.”
It is further stated that several southern states , Mahishmati , Vidarva etc .,were founded by the princes of Yadu lineage.(11).Not only the Bjojas ,but the Devavridha branch of the Satvatas finds mention in the Vedic literature . Babhru Daivavridha (12) is mentioned in the Aitareya Brahmana (13) as a contemporary of Bhima , king of Vidarbha ,and of Nagnajit ,king of Gandhara .The Andhakas and Vrishnis of Mathura are referred to in the Ashtadhyayi of Panini (14). Panini also refers to the Andhakas and Vrishnis as Kshatriya clans and to their Sangha (republician federation ) the leaders of which were termed Rajanya (members of such families as were entitled to be consecrated to rulership(15) .His allusion to Vasudeva (Krishna ) as the object of bhakti (devotion) throws light on the antiquity of the Krishna cult which seems to have been prevailing at the time (16) at least in the Mathura region which was probably being governed as a republican state by a descendant of Krishna himself. In the Kautiliya Arthasastra (17) the Vrishnis are described as a Sangha ,I.e., a Republican Corporation .The Mahabharata , too ,refer to the Vrishnis , Andhakas and other associate kshatriya Yaduvansi tribes as a Sangha (18) ,and Vasudeva (Shri Krishna ) the Vrishni prince ,as Sanghamukheya (Elder or Seignior of the Confederacy ) .
The name of the Vrishni kshatriyas corporation (gana )has also been preserved by a unique coin (19). It is stated in the Mahabharata and the Puranas that Kamsa , like Peisistratus and other of Greek history ,tried to make himself tyrant at Mathura by overpowering the Yadavas ,and that Krishna -Vasudeva , a scion of the Vrishni is referred to by Patanjali and the Ghata Jataka (20) .The latter work confirms the Hindu tradition about the association of Krishna -Vasudeva ‘s family with Mathura (Uttara Madhura )(21).
The final overthrow of the Vrishni is ascribed to their irreverent conduct towards Brahmanas (22).It is interesting to note that the Vrishnis and the Andhakas are branded as Vratyas ,I.e., deviators from orthodoxy in the Drona parva of the Mahabharata .(23).It is remarkable fact that the Vrishni -Andhaka kshatriyas  and other  Vratya clans ,e.g., the Lichchhavis and Mallas ,are found in historical times on the southern and eastern fringe of the “Dhruva Madhyamadis ” occupied by the Kuru-Panchala and two other folks .
It is not improbable that they represent an earlier swarm af Aryan who were pushed southwards and Eastward by the Poru-Bhartas ,the progenitors of the Kuru Panchalas .It may be remembered that the Satvats —the progenitors of the Vrishni -Anadhakas .And the great Epic refers to the Exodus of the Yadavas from Mathura owing to pressure from the Paurava line of Magadh ,and probably also from the Kurus .(24).
A hundred years or so latter this Yadu dynasty of the Shurasenas of Mathura is said to have been uprooted along with the other Kshatriyas ruling dynasties of northern India ,by the Nand king of Magadha ,probably Mahapadma (circa 350B.C.)(25).
A quarter of the century later tha Nanda themselves were ousted by Chandragupta Maurya who established a powerful and extensive empire which included the Mathura region.(26).
It appears that although the ruling family of the Shurasenas had been overthrown to the stock did not lose it entity as a people and even retained the Republican form of government  ,as Kautilya (Chandragupta Maurya’s minister ) mentions the Corporation of the Vrishnis and that of the Kukuras (27) ,both the terms being synonymous with the term Shurasenas .Kautilya also alludes to Krishna and Balarama (Samkarshana ) as deities associated particularly with cows (28) and to Vraja which , according to him ,denoted herds of cows etc.
The Buddhist texts refer to Avantiputra ,king of the Surasenas , in the time of Maha-Kachchana (29) ,one of the chief disciples of Sakyamuni through whose agency Buddhism gained ground in the Mathura region .The name of the suggests relationship with the royal house of Avanti.A king named Kuvinda is mentioned in the Kavya -Mimamsa (30) .The Surasenas continued to be a notable people down to the time of Magasthenes  ( 300 B.C.) But at that time they must have formed an integral part of the Maurya Empire (Magadhan empire ).Mathura ,the capital of the Surasena , was also known at the time of Megasthenes,(the Greek ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya ,) as the centre of Krishna worship  and the Surasena kingdom then became an integral part of the Magadhan empire.
About the beginning of the second century B.C.,the great Maurya empire of Magadh collapsed , the downfall being attributed to internal intrigue by the general Pushyamitra Sunga.The Mathura region ever came under the sway of the Sungas ;by the middle of the second century B.C., the Sunga empire itself had become a prey to family feuds and foreign invasions and was fast breaking up (31).During this independent rule of its own local rulers (who may have been the scion of the ancient Shurasenas or of the Yadavas {Modern Jadus ,, Jadons , Bhatis ,Jarejas , Chudasamajs etc ) Mathura once again enjoyed the position of a capital city and seems to have prospered considerably .
The Sakas (Scythians ) ,the Kushanas ,the Nagas (the Arjunayanas , Yaudheyas , Kuninadas ,etc .,)  Kings ruled over Mathura till to the middle fourth century.The last Naga king was probably Ganapatinaga ,he was overthrown by the Gupta emperor Samudragupta about the middle of the 4th century.In this period a line of princes ,probably belonging to the Yadava or modern  Jadon  kshatriya clan ,seems to have been ruling at Bayana (in  the adjoining district of Bharatpur )from some time in the third to about the close of the fourth century {as is attested to by an inscription dated Sambat 428,or 371 A.D.discovered there (32) which might have held the whole or a part of the Mathura district as a feudatory of the Guptas .The Guptas emperors  Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (376-413A.D.), Kumargupta I (414-455 A.D.) , Skandagupta (455-476 A.D.) .After Skandagupta’s death the dominating power of the Guptas began to crumble –the successors were weak and , particularly after Budhgupta (crica 500A.D.) ,the decline and disintigration of the empire was rapid (33).It seems that during the latter half of the 5th century the Mathura district was included in the Antravedi -vishya (Ganga-Yamuna Doab province )the governor of which towards the close of Scandagupta ‘s reign ,was Sharvanaga ,who was probably a scion of the old ruling family of the Nagas of Mathura and who might have made Mathura itself the headquarters of his government (34) .About the beginning of the 6th century after having occupied the north -west frontier region and Punjab ,the Humse under their chief Toramana penetrated into Madhydesha ,advancing by way of Mathura on to Gwalior and Malwa.Mathura was at this time a prosperous city full of magnificent Brahmanical ,Jain and Buddhist temples , stupas , monasteries and other buildings which were burnt down or otherwise destroyed by these barbarous invaders who appear to have halted here for some time ,several hoards of their money having also been discovered here.This wad the first of the great devastations to which the city was subjected (35).The region probably remained under the subjugation of the Hunas even after the death (circa 515A.D.) of Toramana and till his son and successor , Mihirakula (who had over run a large part of northern India extending his rule at least as far as Gwalior )was defeated and driven out from Madhyadesha about 533 the king Yashodharman of Malwa who now appears to have held sway over this region through only far a short time (36).
About the middle of the sixth century the Maukharis of Kannauj became independent and powerful , their rule extending over a considerable territory corresponding roughly to the present UttarPradesh which might have include the Mathura region (37).In the Old Fort at Kama(in the Bharatpur district) a stone pillar with a Sanskrit inscription of thirty-seven lines on it , which seems to belong to the 8th century ,mentions a succession of seven rulers of the Surasena family described there as the descendent’s of Shauri (Krishna) ,the last name being that of Vatsadaman.Phakka ,the first in the line is believed to have lived about the close of the sixth century and the family to have represented a branch of the Surasenas (or Jadavas )of Mathura( 38) .
The Queen Vachchlika ” ,the queen of the Surasena ruler Durgabhata built a temple of Vishnu in about the eighth century this palace (39) ,which ,it seem to have been the object of this inscription to record”.The kings of this line may have occupied Mathura soon after the Yashavarman episode or at least towards the beginning of the 7th century (when the power of the Maukharis had declined ) and made it their capital.
The Mathura region was not included in the domains of the emperor Harsha (606-647A.D.)although it’s kings might have offered to become his allies at the very beginning of his reign in consequence of which he seems to have allowed the Mathura kingdom to continue to exist .(40.The Harsha era also began to be used in  Mathura probably from this time onwards (41.
After Harsha’s death (circa 647A.D.) his empire broke up and a period of about half a century of anarchy and darkness prevailed in northern India (42 which  however ,hardly seems  to have affected the Mathura kingdom which was probably being governed by the Shurasena kings , Ajita , Durgabhata ,and  Durgadama successively (43 .About this time a prince , Jinadatta ,the son of a ruler of Mathura  and a Jain ,is said to have migrated to Humchcha in South India and to have founded a kingdom and the royal house of the Santars there (44).

Towards the close of the 7th or the beginning of the 8th  century  ,King Yashovarman of Kannauj (circa 690-740 A.D.) rose to power and became the Lord of the whole of Northern India.(45) .He seems to have conquered the kingdom of Mathura also but perhaps allowed it’s Shurasena kings  ,probably Devaraj and Vatsadaman , to continue as his feudatories . The last prince of this line was perhaps Vatsadaman’s son Anyadama .According to Kalhana’s Rajataringini , the king of Kashmir temporarily  conquered the kingdom of Yashovarman (including Mathura )and the same work mentions that a little later (about the close of the 8th century ) a temple was built (in Kashmir ) by the son-in-low  of the then ruler of Mathura .It clearly indicates that the kings of Shauraseni line may have occupied Mathura soon after the Yashovarman episode or at least towards the beginning of the seventh century (when the power of the Maukharis of Kannauj had declined ) and made it their capital.
During the 9th  century and the greater part of the 10 th the city was no more the capital of a kingdom .The region might have been held by the Jadavas of Bayana who had established themselves there under Dharmpala about the beginning of the 9th century .Probably as feudatories of the Gurjara Pratiharas .These Jadava might well have been connected with the older Shurasenas of Kama (Kaman ) and might have succeeded them as rulers of this area.This Dharmpala was the 77th in descent from Krishna according to the list of the chroniclers.He was the first who bears the name of Pala ,which has descended in the family of the Karauli Raja to the present day.The names in the two following lists are derived from the bard’s chronicles ;the frist from the book of Mukji ,the famous bard of the Khichi Chauhan ,and the second from those of the Bayana Bhat.The Jaduvansis list according to Mukji’s list as follows -Dharmapala , Singha Pala ,Jaga Pala , Nara Pala Deva , Sangrama Pala , Kuntha Pala , Bhum Pala , Sucha Pala , Ichcha Pala ,Virama Pala , Jaita  Pala or Jaiyendra Pala.
About the middle of the 10 th century  the Gurjara Pratihara empire began to disintegrate along with other feudatories the Jadava also exploiting the situation by becoming independent . About this time another ruling family probably a branch of the Bayana house  or that of the older Shurasenas appears to have established itself at Mahaban and to have ruled over Braj or at least over the whole of what is now the Mathura district .
Towards the end of 1018 A.D.Mahmud of Ghazni again invaded India with a hundred thousand horse  raised in his own dominions and twenty thousands foot soldiers of fortune from several central Asian countries and fell upon Mahaban  near Mathura which was then being ruled by a  Chief  named Kulachandra ,possibly a member of the Jadu dynasty  .But he was , no doubt , the Raja of Braj ,or of the whole Mathura district. Kulachandra , in the words of Mahmud’s chronicler Utbi ,  “was one of the leader of the accursed satans ,who assumed superiority over other rulers ,  and was inflated with pride ,and who employed his whole life in infidelity , and was confident in the strength of his dominions whoever fought with him sustained defeat  and flight ,and he possesses much power , great wealth ,many brave soldiers , large elephants ,and strong forts ,which were secure from attack and capture .From Baran (modern Bulandshahar in U.P. ) ,Mahmud marched towards Mahaban and attacked Mila chandra who owned a large numbers of forts and enjoyed suzerainty over the neighbouring rulers.On hearing of his arrival , Kulchandra with his army  and elephants retreated to a fort in a “deep forest (probably a literal translation of the name Mahaban ) and kept every thing ready for battle.Mahmud discovered the fort and hand -to-hand fight with swords and spears between the two armies .Hindus ,having failed to defend their position jumped into the Jamuna and tries to cross over in search of safety.Finding no way of escape , Kulachandra first killed his wife and then himself.
1-Gradual Sayings ,II ,78 ;III,188.,2-I.2.48 (Kielhorn ,I .19 ).,3-Gradual Sayings ,II ,p .66 ;DPPN ,II .438 ,930 ,1311., 4-Matsya ,43-44 ;Vayu ,94-96., 5-Vishnu ,IV .13.1:Vayu ,96 .1-2., 6-I,108.8., I.36.18;VI .45.1., 7-VIII.6.46., 7*-XIII , 5.4 .21,The Mbh .,vii.66.7., 8-Sat.Br.,XIII ,5.4.11.Ait.Br.,VIII .23; Mbh .,VII .66.8., 9-VIII.14.3.,10-Vishnu IV .13.1-6.In Mbh.,VIII.7.8.the Satvatas , Bhojas are located in Anartta (Gujrat )., 11-Mat.,43.10-29; 44.36;Vayu ,95.26;95.35., 12-Vayu ,96 .15; Vishnu .,13.3-5.’ 13-VII .34 ., 14-IV .1 .114;VI.2.34.15-Ibid.,p. 454., 16-Ibid .,pp. 360-362., 17-P.12 ., 18-XII .81.25.
19-Majummdar , Corporate Life in Ancient India ,p.119;Allan ,CCAI ,pp.clvf,281., 20-No .454.,21-Early History of the Vaishnava sect ,ist ed ., PP.26-35;2nd ed ., P P.5ff.and Political History of Ancient India. ist ed.,1923.p312.
22-Mahabharta , Maushal parva ,I .15-22;2.10; Arthasastra ,1919 ,p.122; Jatak Eng .Trans.IV.pp.55-56 v ,p.138.Fausboll ,IV.87f;267., 23-I41.15., 24-Cf.Bahu.Kuruchandra Mathura , Patanjali .IV.i.B.GEI.,p .395 ., 25- Sastri ,K.A.N. Ed :A Comprehensive History of India ,Vol.II , Madras ,1957 .,p.5; Majumdar and Pusalker ,op.cit., Vol.II.p.32 .,26-Ibid ., P.61 ; Sastri ,op.cit.,p.6., 27-Shamasastry ,R.(Tr) : Kautliya ‘s Arthasastra ,(Mysore ,1961 ),p.11,1407.,28-Ibid ., PP .422, 453., 29-M.2. 83 .DPPN ,II .438.,30-3rd ed .,p.50.
31-Ibid .,PP. 104-105 ,108, 134;Narain ,op.cit.,PP.87,89,91 ; Allan ,op.cit.,pp.CVIII.CXVI.
32-Archaeological Survey of India ,Vol.XX.,pp.81-82.
33-Majumdar and Pusalker .Op.cit.,Vol.III,p.31; Bajpai ,op.cit.,p113.,34-Ibid .,p.112.
35-Ibid .,p.114;Dutt and Bajpai ,op.cit.,p.391.
36-Majumdar and Pusalker ,op.cit.,pp.37-40.
37-Tripathi ,R.S. : History of Kannauj ,(Delhi ,1959) ,p.55; Majumdar and Pusalker , op.cit.,p.69;Bajpai ,op.cit.,pp.118-119.
38-Archaeological Survey of India ,Vol.X X, pp.54-60.
39-AS G ,XX, p.59.
40Tripathi ,op.cit.,pp.118-119 and foot note 3.
41Ibid .,p.124 footnote 1; Sachau ,E C .;Alberuni’s India  ,(Delhi ,1964 ), Vol.II ,p.5.
42-Tripathi ,op .Cut .,p.188.
43-Archaeological Survey of India ,Vol .Xx ,p.59.
44-Ephigraphia Carnatic ,Vol .VII ,Nagar No .35 ;Vol .VIII , Tirthahalli N .p.192.Saletore ,B.A.:Mediaeval Jainism ,(Bombay ,1938 ) ,pp.89 -90.
45-Majumdar and Pusalker ,op.cit .,Vol.III ,p.131 ; Tripathi ,op.cit .,pp.194 ,197 ,199 ,210-211

Author-Dr Dhirendra Singh Jadaun
Village-Larhota near Sasni
District-Hatharas ,Uttar Pradesh
Associate Prof in Agriculture
Shahid Captain Ripudaman Singh Govt.College ,Sawai madhopur ‘Rajasthan ,322001.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Translate »
error: Content is protected !!