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Sunday, 03 August 2014 00:00

10 Kings war: a story from pre antiquity

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Dasrajna War Dasrajna War

■ Dasharajnya War (7200 BCE )or “war of 10 kings ” was a turning point in the history of India

because it firmly re -established the dominance of the Puru-Bharata Dynasty over smaller royal dynasties and tribal chieftans of the Sapta - Sindhu region going west towards present - day Afghanistan /Persia and east towards Foot hills of the himalayas. And layed the foundations Of Bharatvarsha.

This Battle is also Important as it heralded the spread of Vedic beliefs to other parts of the world , for the simple reason the kings and their subjects were forced to pay tributes and had to migrate outwards  towards the present lands now called as Iran , Iraq , Egypt et ... An Aryan MIGRATION , OUT of India could be seen here .
The Vedic war was a question of values, not race. It was a conflict between spiritual values and materialistic values. The values as envisaged by King Sudas the ancestor of Shri Rama was firmly established by this war , when a confederation of almost more than 10 Kings stood up to fight against King Sudas , and lost heavily which is also mentioned in RV as Lamb defeating the Lion .  

Each Manvantara  or age of Manu is created and ruled by a specific Manu, who in turn is created by Brahma, the Creator himself.  Vaivasvata Manu: the King of all mankind and the first human being on Earth, is the seventh Manu.( 7 more will come to create one KALPA or AEON or Day of Bhrama ) . Ikshavaku was the Sucessor of Manu.

King Sudas was of Ikshavaku dynasty , from a long lineage of  Kings  going back thousands of years since Manu and the ancestor of Lord Shri Rama of Ayodhya.

King Sudas was the 16th generation descendant of Emperor Bharata – whom India is named after. Sudas was the grandson of the powerful king Divodas Atithigva (who had his empire in the regions of Punjab and was married to Madhavi) and he was the son of King Pijavana.
In the Rig Veda, King Sudas is called "Paijavana" (VII.18.21-25), 'Son of Pijavana'. Pijavana means also (like Yavana), 'one who speeds' or a fast mover.

Sudas inherited the kingdom from his grandfather and greatly expanded it. In the process, he alienated all the neighboring kingdoms surrounding him.  After years of subjugation, a group of roughly a dozen or “ten” (“dasha”) kings and chieftans (“raja; rajnya”) formed a confederacy to combine their strength and defeat King Sudas once and for all.  In a war that would span many years with a number of key battles, Sudas was able to defeat the entire confederacy of kings and emerge victorious. His priests, Vishvamitra and Vasishtha eulogized him for his remarkable victory and those words of praise along with details of the war can be found in the Rg Veda.

The ten Kings war or the das- rajanya war (दाशराज्ञ युद्ध) is the Worlds first recorded Battle .  Not just that, it was no mere neolithic stick and stone fight .It was the first organized war-- with infantry, archers and elephants .

The evidence is chronologically recorded in various Puranas with reference to Suryavanshi + Chandravanshi Kings . This war seems to have taken place sometimes between 7500-8900 BCE- nearly 5400 years preceding the Mahabharata war, as per Puranic chronology which coincides with the decline of the Harappans.

The Rig Veda is mankinds oldest literature (composed much before 12000 BC most probably 35,000 BCE ). In Book 7 of the RV we find reference to the Dasarajna war (Battle of the ten kings) between various tribes including the Bharatas(Indians) Parsu(Later Persians), Druhyu (Later Druids) etc. It was fought on the banks of the Parusni river in NW India. Today the river is called Ravi.

In the Rig veda  , the Trtsu tribe led by king Sudas are said to be surrounded by ten kings in 7.33.5. The Tribes mentioned are :

Alinas:  it was suggested that they lived to the north-east of Nuristan, because the land was mentioned by the Chinese pilgrim Hiouen Thsang.
Anu: Some place them in the Paruṣṇī (Ravi) area.
Bhrigus: The priestly family descended from the ancient Kavi Bhrigu. Later, they are related to the composition of parts of the Atharva Veda (Bhṛgv-Āṅgirasa) .
Bhalanas:  Some scholars have argued that the Bhalanas lived in the Bolan Pass area.
Druhyus: Some align them with the Gandhari (RV I 1.126.7).(Later age Druidsof Europe )
Matsya are only mentioned in the RV (7.18.6), but later in connection with the Śālva.
Parsu: The Parśu have been connected by some with the ancient Persians.
Purus: one of the major tribal confederations in the Rigveda.
Panis: Also the name of a class of demons; later associated with the Scythians. Could be Phaniswaras …the ancestors of Phoenicians – Herodotus mentioned them as coming from the banks of Ganges after their king was killed in battle .

The situation leading up to the battle is described in 7.18.6: The Turvasas and Yaksus (Yadu), together with the Matsya tribe (punned upon by the rishi by comparing them to hungry fish (matsya) flocking together) appear and ally themselves with the Bhrigus and the Druhyus. Their confederation was further increased by the Pakthas, the Bhalanas, the Alinas, the Shivas and the Visanins (7.18.7),

Meanwhile the Trtsus ( King Sudas) relied solely on the help of the "Arya's friend" (āryasya sadhamāḥ) i.e. Indra. ( Rig Veda Hymns are dedicated to Indra’s  and  Varuna’s  help in winning the battle). The warriors of Sudas are described as white-robed (shvityanca), wearing hair-knots on the right side of their heads (daksinataskaparda), having flying banners (krtádhvaj) .

The war was started on the banks of the river Parushni. RV 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. It appears  that Sudas  was forced to retreat but managed to cross the Parusni safely, while his foes, trying to pursue, were scattered by a flood and either drowned or were slaughtered by Sudas' men:

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

He donated handsome gifts to the Vasishthas as mentioned in RV(7.18.22-25)
Rigvedas says Indra destroyed the seven fortifications of the enemies, and gave the treasures of Anu to Sudas stresses that this was a victory against all odds, compared to a lamb defeating a lion.

Not only did Sudas and the Bharatas win, they routed the enemy in a massacre that was aided by nature itself, when the river and weather came to their aid.
The distant tribes promised to pay regular tributes. Sapta-Sindhu and Aryavarta came under the dominion of Bharatas. Perhaps this was the beginning of Indian Empire. Which later came to be known as Bharat-varsha OR Bharat after the king OR clan which unified it.
This Puru-Bharata dynasty provided the continuity of leadership which is documented in the ancient scriptures, particularly the Rigveda. Later, Raja Sudas’s descendants split into the Puru and Kuru lines, and waged another great war for Arya supremacy: the Mahabharata yuddh.

After the Battle of Ten Kings, many inhabitants of India got scared and out of fear migrated westwards into Iran and beyond.( RV- VII:18,19,33,83). Western scholars easily misinterpreted this battle to mean an invasion of nomadic people called Aryans rather than simply a war in which the superior Aryan kings re-established the spiritual values and the Vedic Aryan way of life.
The victory of the Bharatas allowed them to move eastwards and settle in Kurukshetra, paving the way for the emergence of the Kuru "super-tribe" or tribal union, which dominated northern India in the subsequent period. The evidence is the Head of Vasista discovered in Delhi. A copper item representing a human head styled in the manner described for the Rigvedic Vashista has been dated to around 3700 B.C. in three western universities using among other tests carbon 14 tests, spectrographic analysis, X-ray dispersal analysis and metallography. . The head was not found in an archaeological context, as it was rescued from being melted down in Delhi.
This Battle is very important because of another reason , as it records the MIGRATION of Aryans OUT of India and establishing themselves in different parts of the world  Persia ,  Egypt … etc..
But that will be detailed in part 2 of the article

More Suggested Reading

http://merikahaaniya.blogspot.in/
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14832272-ten-kings
http://historyindianized.blogspot.in/2012/08/the-battle-of-ten-kings-dashradnya.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Ten_Kings
https://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/452069/4/a-horse-amongst-donkeys
http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/features/09-13/features2956.htm

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