Tuesday, 26 June 2012


      BATTLE OF TEN KINGS AND ITS TIMEFRAME


It  is  famously  called  the ‘Battle of Ten Kings’ and is found mentioned in the seventh mandala of  the Rig-veda, throwing due light on the then prevailing political scenario. The alliance of ten kings, supported by numerous individual champions and smaller forces, invaded Bharatas and Sudas,and sought to displace and destroy king Sudas of the Bharata tribe.  This alliance was in fact a confederation of the Vedic and non-Vedic peoples. Many of them had been allies of Sudas and traded with the Bharatas and were friendly with them but goaded by lust of power, they turned against Sudas.  Being a righteous king, with the support of his people who loved him and respected his leadership, kindness and generosity, he chose to fight. He was also supported by the spiritual mentorship of his guru, the legendary sage Vasishta. And so, upon a stormy day by the banks of the river Ravi, the battle was fought.
In this Battle of  Ten Kings all the people of the Rigvedic India were involved. There were five tribes to the west of the Indus, the Alinas  of modern Kafiristan, the Pakthas, (Pashtu) the Bhalnases, (Bolan/Baluch) , Par´su (Persian), Pr.thu (Parthian),the Sivas and the Vraisnins and a number of them who are unmistakably Iranian: There were non-Aryan people also, viz. the Ajas, Sigrus and Yaksus who joined this coalition. Rishi Vishwamitra was the  prime priest of this coalition, against Sudas. Vasishta was the guiding  priest of the group of which Sudas was the leader.Vishwamitra had an old history of enmity with Sudas’ own adviser, Vasishta, and had an axe to grind by instigating this attack on Sudas and the Bharatas.
In this battle that was fought on the banks of the river Parushni (identified with the present-day river Ravi)  the Bharatas emerged victorious, utterly routing the confederacy. Thus the Bharatas were able to become supreme of all the Rigvedic tribes  then ruling. Vitahavya, the great grandson of the Haihaya king Sahasrabahu, was also an ally of Sudas. The Dasharajnya War, or “The Battle  of Ten 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 in the Sapta-Sindhu region going west towards the present-day Afghanistan/Persia and east towards the present day Uttar Pradesh beyond Yamuna.  This Puru-Bharata dynasty provided the continuity of leadership which is documented in the ancient scriptures,  particularly  the Rigveda.  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)
The War Towards West and East
The war comprised at least two notable battles:
1.The Parushni River Battle on the western border of the Bharata  kingdom-  the  first main  battle;
2. The Yamuna River Battle on the eastern border of  the Bharata  kingdom.
Sudas’ defences were attacked on the east by King Bheda (and his  allies Ajas, Sigrus and Yaksus),  while Sudas  himself was occupied on the Parushni.  Sudas  came out victorious. An estimated 6660 warriors were killed.This group of ten may have been led by king Chayamana (of Abhivarta - present Iran ?).  Sudas took over the main area on the Saraswati and north, east and west of it.
Sudas’s capital city was on the Saraswati river and his dominions extended from the Yamuna in the east to the Ravi in the west. After the war he penetrated further west and established his colonies in the areas now forming part of Afghanistan. This explains the Vedic names of the rivers in that territory.   This event helps us to develop a clearer understanding of India’s history, of the struggles for power and the amazing twists and turns of events that all tie together to create a civilization that would continue many millennia after that epic war. 
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.
Dating the War
It was in the vicinity of ancient Harappa town that the historic Battle of Ten Kings was fought between the Indian Aryan king  Sudas and a confederation of Ten Kings, representing the  various Indian, Persian, and Central Asian tribes, as attested by the Rig-veda. The  tribes inhabiting the Bolan pass were known as Bhalanas who were a part of the confederation of Ten Kings that attacked king Sudas.
This war itself presupposes a lineage of kings before Sudas going back approximately one thousand years to Manu Vaivasvata. Thus it seems to have taken place sometimes between 2000-1900 BCE- nearly 400 years preceding the Mahabharata war, as per Puranic chronology  which coincides with the decline of the Harappans.
 ( Since Sudas was three generations later to king Divodasa who was a contemporary of king Dasaratha, it is clear ,therefore, that Sudas was ruling in the post Rama period. Further Vasishta who was the chief advisor to Sudas, had been the prime councillor of Dasaratha three generations earlier  thus corroborating our view )


4 comments:

  1. It feels pleasing that the book contains history and only history not the Shradha/ religious fervour. Although we have regard of Sri Ram and Sri Krishan, but imposing religious fervour on history could do disservice to both. Doubts are raised about the history if religious fervour is forced on it. Impression of mythology is drawn from such a blend. This book has successfully kept both apart. Hence, enhanced the perception of our glorious historical past. Fictional wonderlands are not built rather history based on facts is narrated. The author has written history from historical perspective. After deep study, generations and generations of various dynasties are recorded; from where they migrated, to whom they ruled, their mutual relations, winners – losers etc. Assertions eg dates, chronology, lineage etc are evaluated against the available facts and logical analysis. If the facts and logical analysis pointed that Mahabharat War was fought in 1478BC then this date was accepted. Assertions and associated logical analysis backed by undeniable facts are given in the book. Additionally, source of information is also mentioned. This all has led to deeper confidence in the assertions.

    A picture speaks ten thousand words (Washington post). If the book had more maps, it would have been easier for people like me to grasp the subject. Although it is daunting task to superimpose chronology and migrations on maps however such drawings would lead to easier understanding and better retention by people like me.

    When I looked at the cover page of the book I thought it would have covered trodden path of Mugal period which I was not keen to read. Now I feel that I got utterly wrong impression from the cover page. The cover page does not convey right message about the contents of the book.

    Your effort of presenting the history of millennia in 300 pages is really appreciable. It is a matter of honour for us.

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  2. For the correct description of the ten kings battle hymn, please read the ebook:

    A HORSE AMONGST DONKEYS (some secrets of Rigveda)

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  3. a fresh translation of the hymn is available at
    https://www.academia.edu/8385708/Rigvedas_dashrajanya_war_-_the_battle_of_ten_kings

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