History of Surasena Country of Jadavas /Jaduvansis /Jadons —–—
The Surasena country had its capital at Madhura or Mathura which ,like Kausambi ,stood on the Jumna .Neither the country nor it’s interopolis finds any mentioned in the Vedic literature.But ancient Greek writers refer to it as the Sourasenoi and their cities Methora (Mathura ) and Cleisobora .From Sankissa to Mathura it was a distance of four Yojanas .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 Sravasti and the Caravan -route that passed from Taxila to Benares through Soreyya , Sankassa (Sankasya ) , Kannakujja (Kanyakubja or Kanauj ) , and Payaga -Patitthana (Allahabad ) (3 ).
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 in.Surasena Janpada.The Surasenas were Jadavas ,or Jadovanshi to which race belonged both Krishna and antagonist Kansa ,the king of Mathura.
The Surasenas had a sepatate dialect ,known in ancient times as the Suraseni ,just as their descendants ,the present people of Braj ,have their own diatect of Braj Bhasha ,At the time of Alexander’s invasion the Surasenas worshipped a God whom the Greeks identified with Herakles.Their chief towns were Methora and Kleisoboras,or Mathura and Krishnapura ,between which flowed the river Jomanes or Jumna .
In the Mahabharata and the Puranas the ruling family of Mathura is styled the Yadu / Jadu or Yadava /Jadava family .The Jadavas were divided into various sects , namely , the Vitihotras , Satvatas etc (4 ).The Satavatas were subdivided into several branches e .g., the Daivavridhas , Andhakas ,Maha -bhoja , and Vrishnis ( 5).
Yadu /Jadu 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 applied by the epic and Puranic legends which state that Yadu /Jadu and Turvasa were the sons of the same parents , and Druhyu ,Anu and Puru were their step-brothers.
We learnt from Rig;Veda ( 7) that Yadu and Turvasa came from a distant land ,and the former is brought into very special relation to the Parsus or Persians (8 ). The Satvatas or Satvats also appear to be mentioned in the Vedic texts.In the Satapatha Brahmana ( 9) the defeat by Bharata of the Satvatas And his taking way 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 offerings on the Sarasvati ,the Jumna and the Ganges ( 10) .
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 ( 11)the Satvats are described as a southern people who lived beyond the Kuru-Panchal area , I.e., beyond the river Chambal , and we’re ruled by Bhoja kings.In the Purans also we find that a branch of the Satvatas was styled Bhojan ( 12 ):-
“Bhajina -Bhajamana -divy-Andhaka-Devavridha-Maha-bhoja-Vrishni-samjnah-Satvatasya putra babhuvuh—————-
Mahabhojastvati dharmatma tasyanvaye Bhoja-Martikavata babhuvuh .”
It is further stated that several southern states , Mahishmati , Vidarbha etc . , were founded by princes of Yadu /Jadu lineage ( 13 ).Not only the Bhojas ,but the Devavridha branch of the Datvatas find mentioned in the Aitareya Brahmana ( 14 ) as a contemporary of Bhima , king of Vidarbha , and of Nagnajit , king of Gandhara .The Andhakas and Vrishnis are referred to in the Ashtadhyayi of Panini ( 15 ).In the Kautiliya Arthasastra ( 16) the Vrishnis are described as a Sangha , I.e., a republican corporation . The Mahabharata , too , refers to the Vrishnis , Andhakas and other Associate tribes as a Sangha , ( 17 ) and Vasudeva , the Vrishni prince , as Sanghamukhya (Elder or Seignior of the Confederacy ) .The name of the Vrishni corporation ( gana ) has also been preserved by a unique coin ( 18 ).It is stated in the Mahabharata and the Puranas that Kamsa , like Peisistratus and others of the Greek history ,tried to make himself tyrant at Mathura by overpowering the Yadavas , and that Krishna-Vasudeva , a scion of the Vrishni family , killed him.The salying of Kamsa by Krishna is referred to by Patanjali and the Ghata Jataka ( 19 ).The latter work confirm that Hindu tradition about the association of Krishna -Vasudeva’s family with Mathura (Uttara Madhura )( 20).The final overthrow of the Vrishnis is ascribed to their irreverent conduct towards Brahmanas ( 21 ).It is interesting to note that the Vrishnis and Andhakas are branches as Vratyas , i.e., deviators from orthodoxy in the Dronaparva of the Mahabharata ( 22) .It is remarkable fact that te Vrishni-Andhakas 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-Panchal and two other folks.It is not improvable that they represent an earlier swarm of Aryans who were pushed southwards and eastwards by the Puru-Bharatas , the progenitor of the Kuru-Panchalas.It may be remembered that the Satapatha Brahmana actually refers to the defeat by Bharata of the Satvats —the progenitor of the Vrishni-Andhakas . And the great Epic refer to the Exodus of the Yadavas /Jadavas from Mathura owing to pressure from the Paurava line of Magadha and probably also from the Kurus (2 3) .
The Buddhist texts refer to Avantiputta ,king of the Surasenas , in the time of Maha-Kachchana ( 2 4 ) ,one of the chief disciples of Sakyamuni , through whose agency Budhism gained ground in the Mathura region .The name of the king suggests relationship with the royal house of Avanti. It may be inferred from the epithet Avantiputtra that there existed a matrimonial alliances between Avanti and Surasena .A king named Kuvinda is mentioned in the Kavya-Mimamsa ( 2 5 ) .The Surasenas continued to be a notable people down to the time of Magasthenes( 300 B.C.) .But at that time Surasena kingdom or Surasenas then became an integral part of the Magadhan or Maurya Empire.
1-Gradual Sayings , II , 78 ;III .p.188.
2-I .2.48 (kielhorn ,I.p.19) .
3-Gradual Sayings, II ,p.66 ;DPPN ,II .438 ,930, 1311.
4-Matsya ,43 -44 , Vayu , pp.94-96.
5-Vishnu ,IV .13.1:Vayu ,96 .1-2.
6-I ,108 ,8.
7-I. 36 .18 .VI .45 .1.,CLAI 2,279
8-VIII.6 .46 .
9-XIII .5.4 .21.
10-Sat.Br ., XIII. 5.4.11 . Ait .Br ., VIII 23 :Mbh .,VII.66 .8.
12-Vishnu IV.13.1-6 .In Mbh ., VIII.7.8.the Satvta Bhojan are located in Anartta (Gujrat).
13-Mat .,43 10-29 ;44.36 ; Vayu , 94 .26 .,95.35.
14-Vayu ,96 .15 ,Vishnu ;13 .3-5.
16-IV ,1.114 ;VI .2.34.
19-Majumdar ,Corporate life in Ancient India , p.119;Allan ,CCAI .Pp civf 281.
21-Early History of Ancient India .Ist.ed.,1923 ,p312.
22-Mahabharta ,Kaushal parva ,I.15-22;2.10 : Arthasastra ,1919 ,p.122., Jataka Eng.trans .IV.pp.55-56 v.p.138.Fausboll ,IV .87f;v.267.
24-Cf.Bahu-Kuruchard Mathura . Patanjali .IV .1.12.GEI., p395.
24-M.2.85 ,DPPN ,II.438.
25-3rd .Ed., p50 .He prohibited the use of harsh conjunce consonants.
Author -Dr Dhirendra Singh Jadaun
Village-Larhota near Sasni
Associate prof.in Agric
S .C.R.S.Govt.College ,Sawai madhopur, Raj.
National Media Prabhari
Akhil Bhartiya Kshatriya Mahasabha