The Ikshvaku dynasty, in Puranic literature, was a mythical dynasty founded by Ikshvaku, grandson of Vivasvan or Surya and son of Vaivasvata Manu. They ruled from the Kosala Kingdom, today known as Oudh in the state of Uttar Pradesh along the banks of river Sarayu with saketa, Ayodhya today as their capital. Ikshvaku is the first king who executed the Manusmrti or religious rules of Hindu living which were composed by his father Manu. Ikshvaku, ruled as Monarch at the beginning of the Treta Yuga or second yuga, had hundred sons. His estates descended to his eldest son Vikukshi. The two Indian epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, have numerous mentions of this dynasty.
This dynasty is also known as Sūryavaṁśa (the Solar dynasty). The important personalities belonging to this royal house are Harishchandra, Dilīpa, Sagara, Raghu, Rama and Prasenajit. Although, both the Hindu Puranas and the Buddhist texts include Shuddodhana, Gautama Buddha and Rahula in their accounts of the Ikshvaku dynasty, but according to the Buddhist texts, Mahasammata, an ancestor of Ikshvaku was the founder of this dynasty, who was elected by the people as the first king of the present era. The Ikshvaku dynasty of Jaina literature includes 22 Jaina Tirthankaras. According to the Puranas, supreme preceptor of the Ikshvaku dynasty was sage Vashishta.
Ikshvaku dynasty lineage
The lists of kings of Ikṣvāku or Aikṣvāka dynasty are found in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Harivamsha and the Puranas. The Raghuvamsha of Kalidasa also mentions the names of the kings of this dynasty.
The genealogy of the Ikshvaku dynasty to Rama is mentioned in the Ramayana in two lists (i.69.17-32 and ii.102.4-29). The only difference between the two lists is that, Kukshi is mentioned only in the second list (ii.102.4-29). In the first list (i.69.17-32), Vikukshi is mentioned as the son of Ikshvaku. The genealogy is as follows:
- Vivasvan or Surya
- Vaivasvata Manu
- Dhruvasandhi and Presenajit were the sons of Susandhi
- Bharata, son of Dhruvasandhi
- Bahu (Asita)
- Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna are the sons of Dasaratha
Kusha to Brihadbala
- Atithi, the son of Kusha
- Nishadha, the son of Atithi
- Nala, the son of Nishadha
- Nabhas, the son of Nala
- Pundarika, the son Nabhas
- Kshemadhanvan, the son of Pundarika
- Devanika, the son of Kshemadhanvan
- Ahinagu, the son of Davanika
- Paripatra, the son of Ahinagu
- Dala (or Bala), the son of Ahinagu
- Uktha, the son of Dala
- Vajranabha, the son of Uktha
- Shankhana, the son of Vajranabha
- Vyushitashva, the son of Shankhana
- Vishvasaha, the son of Vyushitashva
- Hiranyanabha, the son of Vishvasaha
- Pushya, the son of Hiranyanabha
- Dhruvasandhi, the son of Pushya
- Agnivarna, the son of Dhruvasandhi
- Shighra, the son of Agnivarna
- Maru, the son of Shighra
- Prasushruta, the son of Maru
- Susandhi, the son of Prasushruta
- Amarsha and Sahasvanta, the sons of Susandhi
- Vishrutavanta, the son of Amarsha
- Brihadbala, the son of Vishrutavanta.
Brihadbala to Sumitra
The Puranas also provide the list of the kings from Brihadbala to the last ruler Sumitra. But these lists mention Shakya as an individual, and incorporate the names of Shakya, Shuddodhana, Siddhartha (Gautama Buddha) and Rahula between Sanjaya and Prasenajit. The names of the kings are:
- Sumitra Amitrajit
- Sanjaya Mahakoshala
- Prasenajit (c. 6th century BCE)
- Sumitra, defeated by Mahapadma Nanda
Ikshvaku dynasty in Buddhist tradition
The Buddhist text, Mahavamsa (II, 1-24) traces the origin of the Shakyas to king Okkaka (Pali equivalent to Sanskrit Ikshvaku) and gives their genealogy from Mahasammata, an ancestor of Okkaka. This list comprises the names of a number of prominent kings of the Ikshvaku dynasty, namely, Mandhata and Sagara. The genealogy according to the Mahavamsa is as follows:
- Siddhartha (Gautama Buddha)
Ikshvaku dynasty in Jaina tradition
The Ikshvaku dynasty has a significant place in Jaina tradition, as all Tirthankaras except Munisuvrata and Neminatha were born in this royal house. The first Tirthankara Rishabha (Jain tirthankar) was son of Ikshvaku King Nabhi. The second Tirthankara, Ajitanatha, son of Ikshvaku King Jitashatru was cousin of Sagara.
The territories of Ikshvaku
According to Vedic times the lands of Ikshvaku were largely on either sides of two rivers (Vakshu and Drishadvati), the confines of the Himalayas to the sea Kashyap. Today Southern Kazakhstan, the region of the Aral Sea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan on the Tajikistan, north eastern Iran, Afghanistan and northern Pakistan are the countries which were the part of Ikshvaku Dynasty.
The colonization of Ikshvaku by Indo-Europeans
Indo-Europeans began their arrival in the valley of the thar(4300 BC) mainly for raw materials.They built trading posts, which quickly changed in city states.The excavations have confirmed their presence in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC. Excavations also confirmed their significant development to the 2nd millennium BC. In this period Indo-European's influx began in the territories of Isahvaku from the Thar valley. The excavations at these sites shows bright civilization with strong characteristics of Vedas on some pots and utensils, symbols of snakes containing sun, Swastikas, of triskells, seals and bracelets.
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