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- 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.
Ikshvaku 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.
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)
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.
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.
In Jaina History
The Ikshvaku clan said to began from Rishabha, the first Tirthankara and founder of Jainism in the present Avasarpini (half time cycle as per Jain cosmology). According to Jain texts, Rishabha was born to the fourteenth Manu, Nabhi Raja and Marudevi in Ajudya (capital of Nabhi Raja's kingdom) at the end of Suṣama-duhṣamā (read as Sukhma-dukhma), the third era of Avasarpani. When Rishabha decided to became a monk he gave his throne to Bharata, eldest of all and made Bahubali, successor to the royal seat.
Jain history provides two explanations how the word "Ikshvaku" came about. According to one version, when Kalpa trees (trees that fulfilled wishes) disappeared, Rishabha taught the men how to use ikshurasa (sugarcane juice). Therefore, Rishabha came to be known as 'Ikshvaku' and his lineage was called Ikshvaku vansa (Family of Ikshvaku). According to another version, when Rishabha was a kid, he was offered several fruits, out of those he choose sugarcane and started chewing it. Indra (heavenly being) came to worship Rishabhdev. When he saw lord Rishabha 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.
Author Amish Tripathi's latest series is titled Scion of Ikshvaku and covers the reign of a king in that dynasty- Rama. 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. Another book, The Seal of Surya by Amritanshu Pandey, covers the life of Ikshvaku himself and his reign through the genre of historical fiction. Unlike Amish's work, this novel is based on historical plausibility and does not feature any magic/gods etc.
- According the Sanskrit-English Dictionary, by British sanskritist Monier Monier-Williams (1819-1899).
- Jain 2008, p. xiv.
- Jain 2008, p. 53-54.
- Jain 2008, p. 79.
- Jain 2008, p. 76-77.
- Jain, Champat Rai (2008). Risabha Deva (Second ed.). India: Bhagwan Rishabhdeo Granth Mala. ISBN 9788177720228.
- Jain, Champat Rai (1929). Risabha Deva - The Founder of Jainism. pp. 95–106.
CHAPTER VII, PUBLIC LIFE