Panchjanya

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This article is about Indian tribes. For the newspaper, see Panchjanya (newspaper). For Krishna's conch shell, see Pāñcajanya.

Panchjanya, ("five people"), is the common name given to five most ancient vedic kshatriya tribes. It is supposed they are all descendants of the Five Folks and are known by that name for e.g. Yadav for descendants of Yadu, paurav for descendants of Puru and so on. Some scholars believe they were different tribes who came as different waves of immigrants.

According to a story in Hindu mythology, Sri Krishna’s was a student in Rishi Sandipani’s ashram, where Sudama was his classmate. It is said that Krishna was a meek, humble and obedient student who never shirked his chores and who inspired his classmates with great love. He had a wonderful memory and matchless strength. When his studies were completed, it was time to give his teacher gurudakshina as per the Indian tradition of Guru-Shishya. Divining hidden sorrow in Sandipani, he asked him what he would like to have. Wistfully, the sage asked if Krishna could possibly trace his son, kidnapped long ago by a sea monster called Panchajana. Straightaway, Krishna plumbed the depths of the ocean where he fought and vanquished the beast. Rescuing his guru’s son, he ground the monster’s bones and fashioned a fearful conch, the Paanchajanya—‘derived from Panchajana’— whose sound thereafter struck raw terror in the hearts of evildoers, but the innocent and the repentant feel the magic vibrations of ‘Om’.