ancient indian history

The Yaudheyas

The Yaudheyas

The most important of the North West India, tribes were the Yaudheyas. Their coins are found all over the eastern Panjab between the Sutlej and the Jumna rivers. Two large finds have been discovered at Sonepat between Delhi and Karnal. According to Dr. Jayaswal their coins belong to the period commencing from Sunga times and ending about the 4th century A. D.
The Yaucheyas were an ancient tribe known for skill in war. The earliest reference to them is made by Pāṇini in 5th century B,C. in his Ashtadhyayi.” He includes them among the Ayudhajivi Samghas, or the tribal republican arms. The word Yaudheya itself means ‘warrior’.
Their historical tradition
goes farther back depending mainly on organisations. King Usinara is said to have established the Yaudheyas, Ambashthas, Navarashtras, and the city of Krimila, all on the eastern border of the Panjab, while his famous son, Śivi Auśinara, originated the Śivis or Sibis
in Sivapura. The Puranos, refer to all these tribes as descendants of Usinara. Their territory, Bahudhãnyaka, is referred to in the Digvijaya Parvan of the Mahabharata. But the people of this region are named as Matta-Mayürakas, literally, ‘having enraptured peacocks’. As evidenced by their coins, the Yaudheyas worshipped Kārttikeya, who rides a peacock. This bird is till this day considered sacred in the Rohtak district. Mattamayüraka, probably, was
another name of the Yaudheyas. According to the Mahabharata, Rohitaka (modern Rohtak) was the capital of the Bahudlänyaka country. Dr. Birbal Sahni discovered at this town a hoard of coin moulds “richer than any yet recorded from any part of the world.” All were Yaudheya moulds. Their coin legends are invariably in Brahmi of the 2nd and 1st centuries before Christ. Dr. Sahni testifies to the great skill of the Yaudheya workmen and the superiority of their moulds in the words”, “It is interesting to know that in India, hundred years before the Roman era, we had evolved a complete multiple mould of a type considerably more efficient than any yet discovered in Europe.” Yaudheya coins and coin-moulds are also found at Sunet or Uchcha Pind (Sunetra of Panini) near Ludhiana. This was another of their centres and mint-cities at one time. U. S. Rao reports the discovery of yet another Yaudheya mint at a site near the village Naurangabad on the Rohtak-Bhiwani Road at a distance of five miles from Bhiwani. Their coins are found in an extensive area on either side of the Sutlej. The find-spots on the west of this river are Depalpur, Satgarha, Ajudhan, Kahror and Multan and those on the east are Bhatner, Abohar, Sirsa, Hansi, Panipat and Sonerat. Hence Cunningham locates the Yaudheyas in Alexander’s time around Multan and Bahawalpur, in a wide area extending from Bhatner in the east right up to the Ravi and its confluence with the Chenab in the west, and from Ucch, i.e., from near the confluence of the Indus with the combined waters of the Panjab rivers up to a place called Bhakar. Their modern representatives, the Johiya Rajputs still occupy line of the Sutlej along the Bahawalpur frontier. The area is now known as Johiyabar (Sanskrit. Yaudheyavära). The Yaudheya coins are of three classes of which the first bears the simple inscription Jaya-Yaudhe ya-gaṇas ya, that is, (money) of the victorious Yaudheya tribe’. The second class has ‘dvi’ at the end of the legend, and the third has ‘tri’. Cunningham takes these to be contractions for dvitiyasya and tritiyasya, i. e., the money of the second and third tribes of the Yaudheyas. Thus these coins appear to refer to three sections of this tribes, like Patañjali’s, trikaḥ Śālankāyanāḥ.
Johiyas are even now divided into three tribes, named. Langavira or Lakvira, Mädhovira or Madhera and Adamvira or Admera. Later the Yaudheyas seem to have shifted south to Rajasthan, most probably under Śaka pressure. Inscription on a stone found at Vijayagarh, near Bharatpur, contains an order from their President who styles himself as Maharaja and Maha-Senapti and claims to have been made (or elected) leader by the Yaudheya Parliament.
According to Dr. Law, palaeographically this inscription belongs to the Indo-Scythian period. Certain records found in Hoshiarpur district, perhaps impressions of official seals or coins, are in the name of the Yaudheyas and their cabinet. or executive committee: Yaudheyânāṁ jayamantradharaṇām. Mantradharas are those vested with the policy of state’. These records extend their territory far to the north. By the 2nd century A.D. they had moved further south, so as to come into clash with Mahakshatrapa Rudradaman, who proudly boasts in his Junagarh inscription to have uprooted Yaudheyas, who had manifested their title of the proud heroes among all kshatriyas, though they reappear in the Allahabad Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta (4th cent. A.D.) as one of the tribal states who paid him tribute.
सर्वक्षत्राविष्कत – वीर शब्द-जातोत्सेकाभिधेयाननं यौधेयानाम् ।



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