Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya.

History of mediæval Hindu India (being a history of India from 600 to 1200 A.D.) .. (Volume 1) online

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SfTrs[ I JTT?rr>f ?Tr^*Tr?f)Twf^V7 n Vt. 10 ). But supposing it was so. the
curiosity is not great, nor does it follow that therefore the Padhihars
were foreigners.

We shall discuss the origin of each of the Rajput families in India
in our next volume. Here it is, however, necessary to state that Mr.
Bhandarkar has attached too much weight and importance to the
legends about the progenitors of many families given in inscriptions or
in traditions. The legends of Kshatriyas being born of fire or of
Lakshmana brother of Rama, or of the Manavya Risi are all imaginary
and very little historical information is derivable from these stories.
Mr. Bhandarkar's treating the Chalukyas and Kadambas as of priestly
origin is indeed ridiculous. Because in one inscription Manavya Rishi
is said to be the progenitor of the Kadambas it does not follow that the
Kadambas were at any time Brahmins, for the progenitors of all castes
or peoples in India are believed to be Rishi^ especially the seven Rishia.
But this origin is imaginary. Again Manu is also looked upon as the
progenitor of all human beings and hence it cannot be argued
that all people.^ were Kshatriyas in origin. In short, it is
strange that Mr. Bhandarkar should seek to derive any historical in-
ference from these imaginary legends about the progenitors of
peoples. Such legends are important only as traditions and if
traditions are long current they may be treated as proof of race. The
Chalukyas of the Deocan looked upon themselves in their oldest docu-
ments as born of the Manavya gotra and hence they should be looked
upon as Aryan in race. The Kadambas also thought they were bora
of the same gotra and hence they also might be looked upon as Ksha-
triyas and allied in race to the Chalukyas. Tho Sindas looked upon
themselves as born of Sesha and hence they may be looked upon as
Dravidians by race. MV. Bhandarker admits that the Sindas were a
class of the Naga tribe and yet begins a para (p. 27 ditto) with the
sentence: ''Anothev foreign tribe which came from the north to the
south is Sindas." The word foreign plainly means foreignto India and
cannot therefore fitly be applied to the Sindas nor does any thing show
that the Sindas came from the north. Mr. Bhandarkar seems so far
obsessed by his theory of foreign origin of noted peoples of India that
even Brahmins if mentioned as coming from Ahicchatra in the north



JATS, GUJARS AND MARATHAS 87

appear to him to be foreigners. If Chahumans and Padhihars and Para-
mars and Chalukyas are said to have ccnie from Ahichhatra they
appear to him to be foreigners. But Ahichhatra was a famous centre of
Aryan settlement and civilization being the capital of the Panchalas so
well-known in the Vedic literature and it is not at all strange that
Kshatriyas and Brahmins should represent themselves as coming frcm
Ahichhatra. One fails to see, however, how this tradition of coming
from Ahichhatra can make any people foreigners. One is constrained
to set down Mr. R. D. Bhandarkar's theory especially about the Gujars
as absurd and there is, to sum up, nothing in history to show that
Gujars were foreigners or Khazars, or that they came into India frcm
outside along with the Huns of the fifth or sixth century A. D. Their
anthropometrical characteritics are purely Aryan, and history does not
It ;ill contradict this inference.

Lastly we have to speak adout the Jats. Their ethnological chara-
leristics also, as we have already seen, are clearly Aryan. They are fair,
tall, high-nosed and long-headed. Does their history contradict their
being Aryans? It may be stated at once that the Jats have very little
history of their own till we come to quite recent times w^hen the present
Jat kingdoms both Hindus and Sikhs in the U. P. and the Panjab were
founded. But the Jats have the oldest mention of the three. They are
mentioned in the Mahabharata as Jartas ( iT^r:) in the Karnaparva. The
next mention we have of them is in the sentence ar^^R jfJr fW^ in the
grammar of Chandra of the fifth century. And this shows that the Jats
were the enemies of the Huns and not their friends. The Jats opposed
and defeated the Hubs ; they must, therefore, have been the inhabitants
of the Panjab and not invaders or intruders along with the Huns. Does
the above sentence indicate that Yasodharma of Mandsaur inscription
who decisively defeated the Huns was a Jat ? He may have been so as
Jats have been known to have migrated into the country of the Malavas
or Central India as into Sind. But this is not material to our inquiry.
The sentence amply shows that the Jats were not invaders alongwith the
Huns but were their opponents. Nay it may be taken for certain that the
Jats are the Vis of the Vedas. They are even now preeminently agri-
culturists. Agriculturists in Vedic times were Aryan and classed as the
Vaisya caste.* The warrior class or Kshatriyas frequently married
Vaisya wives being immediately below them. This custom has obtained
throughout ancient times and is still preserved and Rajputs frequently
take Jat wives. The almost innate sense of caste prejurdice in India has
greatly prevented the mixture;of races (Rajputs and Jats are of the
same Aryan race) and the Jats have preserved their Aryan race almost
uncontaminated. Though treated as Sudras by modern opinion owing
to their being agriculturists, and the practice of widow marriage they
are the purest Aryans in India and belong to the first race of Aryar

' Al-Beruni says that Nanda the reputed father of Krishna was a Jat,



88 HARSHA AND HIS TIMES

invaders according to our view, the Solar race of Aryans who origin-
ally invaded and settled in the Panjab, being the first settlement of the
Indo-Aryans in this country. The following remarks of R. G. Letham
in 'Ethnology of India' page 254 may here be usefully quoted; "As a
general rule a Rajput is a Hindu and a Jat a Mahomedan. Asa general
rul3 a Jat is also a peaceable cultivator. For all this, the Jat is in
blood neither more nor less than a converted Rajput and vice versa : a
Rajput may be a Jat of the ancient faith. That other diffierences might
hdve been effected by this difterence of creed is likely; the difference
between arms and tillage as profession, between bauglity automony
and submissive dependence are sure in course of time to tell upon tem-
per and the features." It may be added "that conversion from Hinduism
to Islam has not necessarily the slightest effect upon caste and that the
Mahomedan Jats are still as caste-ridden at the Hindu Jats."

We may in conclusion quote some remarks of Sir D. Ibbetson
from his "Punjab castes" (1916) regarding Jats and Gujars. ''It may be
that the original Rajput and the original Jat entered India at different
periods, though to my mind, the term Rajput is an occupational rather
than an ethnological expression. But if they do represent two sepa-
rate waves of immigration, it is exceedingly probable, both from their
almost identical physique and facial character and from the close
communion which has always existed between them that they belong to
one and the same ethnic stock.'' "It is certain that the joint Jat
Rajput stock is in the main Aryo-Scythian if Scythian be not Aryan".
(Page 100). So again about Gujars he writes : "The Gujars are the
eighth largest caste in the Pu.^jab, only the Jats, Rajputs, Pathans,
Arains andBrahmins araongthe higher and Chamars and Chuhras among
the lower exceeding them. They are fine,;stalwart fellows of precisely
the same type



Online LibraryChintaman Vinayak VaidyaHistory of mediæval Hindu India (being a history of India from 600 to 1200 A.D.) .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 38)