- This article is about the King Ikshvaku. For other uses, see Ikshvaku.
Ikshvaku (Sanskrit: इक्ष्वाकु, ikṣvāku (from the word Sanskrit: इक्षु, ikṣu which means ‘sugar cane’); Pali: Okkāka) was the first king of the Ikshvaku dynasty and founder of the Ikshvaku-Vansh, or Suryavansh Dynasty of Kshatriyas in Vedic civilization in ancient India.
Lineage details below as per the Valmiki Ramayana
- Lord Brahma
- Marichi (son of Brahma)
- Sage Kashyapa (son of Marichi)
- Vivasvan (Surya) (son of Sage Kashyapa)
- Manu (Vaivasvatha) (Father of humanity)
- Ikshvaku (Manu's son)
- Gushi (son of Ikshvaku)
- Vigushi (son of Gushi)
- Baana (son of ViGushi)
- Anaranya (son of Baanan)
- Brithu (son of Anaranyan)
- Trisanku (son of Brithu) - he got his own heaven with the help of sage vishwamithra
- Dhuruvasanthi and Prasanejith
- Bharatha (son of Dhuruvasanthi)
- Bhagiratha (He brought river Ganges or Ganga to Earth from Devaloka and so Ganga has another name Bhagirathi)
- Pravritha a.k.a. Kalmasha-paatha
- Luv and Kush (Sons of Rama and Sita)
He is remembered in Hindu scriptures as a righteous and glorious king. In some versions, he is the son of Vaivasvata Manu (formerly the Emperor Satyavrata of Dravida), one of the two central characters along with the Lord Matsya incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the Matsya Purana. He is born to Manu after the deluge which sends the King's ship to the top of the Malaya Mountains in the Dravida country.
In Vedic History
Ikshvaku was one of the earliest monarchs of India, and played a pivotal role in the propagation of the ancient Vedic religion.
In Jainism History
The Ikshvaku clan said to began from the first Tirthankara, Rishabha, who is regarded as the first King on the earth of this Avsarpini cycle. According to Jainism, Rishabha was born to Nabhi Raja and Marudevi at Ayodhya. Rishabdev had 101 sons of whom the eldest was Bharata and second son was Bahubali. Rishabha, after completing his tenure as a King, gave up all his possessions to his 101 sons and became a Sadhu.
Jain history provides two explanations how the word "Ikshvaku" came about. According to one version, after Rishabdev fasted for one year, he took his first aahar (food), which was IkshRas(Sugarcane Juice). This Sugarcane Juice was given to Rishabdev by King Shreyansha. Thus from this event, Rishabdev was given the name of Ikshvaku and his lineage was called as Ikshvaku Vansh (Family of Ikshvaku). According to another version,when lord Rishab was a kid, he was offered several fruits, out of those he choose sugarcane and started chewing it. Indra came to worship Rishab dev. When he saw lord Rishab chewing sugarcane, he gave the name Ikshvaku, meaning "sugarcane eating", thus his clan adopted this name in honor. Thus according to Jainism, Ikshvaku was another name for Rishabdev.
In Buddhism Ikshvaku is an epithet of Śakya Sinha Buddha.
House of Ikshvaku
Across the length and breadth of Greater India, numerous royal families have claimed to have belonged to the House of Ikshvaku, which was synonymous with the Solar Dynasty. Great kings like Bhagiratha and Dasaratha were among the kings in the line before Lord Rama.
Author Amish Tripathi's latest series is titled Scion of Ikshvaku and covers the reign of a king in that dynasty- Rama. Another book, titled The Seal of Surya, covers the life of Ikshvaku and his reign through the genre of historical fiction. This is another of Amish Tripathi's work where he personifies a Hindu god & amalgamates his character in the contemporary society. The basic theme is of course, a person destined to achieve extraordinary who single handedly leads his people out of the unsavoury situations.
- According the Sanskrit-English Dictionary, by British sanskritist Monier Monier-Williams (1819-1899).
- Faith & philosophy of Jainism, by Arun Kumar Jain, p.19-20
- Riṣabha Deva, the founder of Jainism, by Champat Rai Jain, p.106