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The first references to ancient Kapisa, or the present-day Bagram town of the Parwan Province of Afghanistan, appear in the writings of 5th-century BCE Indian scholar Achariya Pāṇini. Pāṇini refers to the city of Kapiśi, a city of the Kapisa kingdom. Pāṇini also refers to Kapiśayana, a famous wine from Kapisa. The city of Kapiśi also appeared as Kaviśiye on Graeco-Indian coins of Appolodotus/Eucratides.
Archeology discoveries in 1939 confirm that the city of Kapisa was an emporium for Kapiśayana wine, discovering numerous glass flasks, fish-shaped wine jars, and drinking cups typical of the wine trade of the era. The grapes (Kapiśayani Draksha) and wine (Kapiśayani Madhu) of the area are referred to by several works of ancient Indian literature. The Mahabharata also noted the common practice of slavery in the city.
In later times, Kapisa seems to have been part of a kingdom ruled by a Buddhist Kshatriya king holding sway over ten neighboring states including Lampaka, Nagarahara, Gandhara and Banu, according to the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited in 644 AD. Hiuen Tsang notes the Shen breed of horses from the area, and also notes the production of many types of cereals and fruits, as well as a scented root called Yu-kin.
Equivalence to Sanskrit Kamboja
Kapisa is related to and included Kafiristan. Scholar community holds that Kapisa is equivalent to Sanskrit Kamboja. In other words, Kamboja and Kapisa are believed to be two attempts to render the same foreign word (which could not appropriately be transliterated into Sanskrit). Dr S Levi further holds that old Persian Ka(m)bujiya or Kau(n)bojiya, Sanskrit Kamboja as well as Kapisa, all etymologically refer to the same foreign word.
Even the evidence from 3rd-century Buddhist tantra text Mahamayuri (which uses Kabusha for Kapisha) and the Ramayana-manjri by Sanskrit Acharya, Kshemendra of Kashmir (11th century AD), which specifically equates Kapisa with Kamboja, thus substituting the former with the latter, therefore, sufficiently attest that Kapisa and Kamboja are equivalent. Even according to illustrious Indian history series: History and Culture of Indian People, Kapisa and Kamboja are equivalent. Scholars like Dr Moti Chandra, Dr Krishna Chandra Mishra etc. also write that the Karpasika (of Mahabharata) and Kapisa (Ki-pin/Ka-pin/Chi-pin of the Chinese writings) are synonymous terms.
Thus, both Karpasika and Kapisa are essentially equivalent to Sanskrit Kamboja. And Pāṇinian term Kapiśi is believed to have been the capital of ancient Kamboja. Kapisa (Ki-pin, Ke-pin, Ka-pin, Chi-pin of the Chinese records), in fact, refers to the Kamboja kingdom, located on the south-eastern side of the Hindukush in the Paropamisadae region. It was anciently inhabited by the Aśvakayana (Greek: Assakenoi), and the Aśvayana (Greek Aspasio) (q.v.) sub-tribes of the Kambojas. Epic Mahabharata refers to two Kamboja settlements: one called Kamboja, adjacent to the Daradas (of Gilgit), extending from Kafiristan to south-east Kashmir including Rajauri/Poonch districts, while the original Kamboja, known as Parama Kamboja was located north of Hindukush in Transoxiana territory mainly in Badakshan and Pamirs/Allai valley, as neighbors to the Rishikas in the Scythian land. Even Ptolemy refers to two Kamboja territories/and or ethnics - viz.: (1) Tambyzoi, located north of Hindukush on Oxus in Bactria/Badakshan and (2) Ambautai located on southern side of Hindukush in Paropamisadae. Even the Komoi clan of Ptolemy, inhabiting towards Sogdiana mountainous regions, north of Bactria, is believed by scholars to represent the Kamboja people.
Front ranking scholars like Dr S. Levi, Dr Michael Witzel and numerous others accept the identity of Tambyzoi and Ambautai with Sanskrit Kamboja. Obviously, the Ptolemian Ambautai formed parts of the Kapisa kingdom under sway of Aśvakayana/Aśvayana (Aśvaka) Kambojas. It appears probable that the original home of the Kambojas was trans-Oxian Kamboja, from where, some tribal sections moved south-wards and planted colonies in Paropamisan on southern side of Hindukush. With passage of time, the Paropamisan settlements came to be addressed as Kamboja proper, whereas the original Kamboja settlement lying north of Hindukush, in Transoxiana, became known as 'Parama-Kamboja' i.e. furthest Kamboja. Some scholars call Parama Kamboja as 'Uttara-Kamboja' i.e. northern Kamboja or Distant Kamboja. The Kapisa-Kamboja equivalence as suggested by scholars like Dr Levi applies to the Paropamisan Kamboja settlement.
Kafir and Kafiristan etymologically derived from Kapisa
According to the conventional etymology, the name "Kafir" derives from Arabic Kafir, commonly translated into English as "infidels" or "idolaters". Kafiristan then would be "The Land of the Infidels". This explanation would justify the renaming of the country after its Islamization.
Many historians, however, opine that the local name "Kafir" comes from Kapiśa (= Kapisha), the ancient Sanskrit name of the region that included historic Kafiristan; which is also given as "Ki-pin" (or Ke-pin, Ka-pin, Chi-pin) in old Chinese chronicles. That name, unrelated to the Arabic word, is believed to have, at some point, mutated into the word Kapir. This linguistic phenomenon is not unusual for this region. The name of King Kanishaka, who once ruled over this region, is also found written as "Kanerika", an example of "ś" or "sh" mutating to "r". In a similar way, Kapiś – the name of the people of Kapiś/Kapiśa, is believed to have changed to Kapir and then Kafir. One of the dominant clan of the Kafirs till recently was known as Katir.
The second change from Kapir to Kafir may have been the result of confusion or intentional wordplay with the Arabic word, since the Kafirs were indeed pagans until 1895. Kafiristan then derives from -stan which in Iranian language means country, abode or place. Thus, Kafiristan would literally mean the land or abode of the Kafir (Kapir) peoples i.e. people belonging to Kapiśa.
Today it is disputed if the term Kafir really defines a traditional ethnic group.
Pisachi Migrants into Kapisa
Although Kapisa was within the boundaries of Aryan communities, what today is Afghanistan was also invaded several times by Turks/Tokhars, Scytho-Sarmatians, Greeks, and others.
It is believed that many of the inhabitants of Kapisa were non-Aryan cannibals (Pisachi). They are described as piśitāśana or 'flesh-eating'. The fact that cannibalism existed around the region is testified by Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, who mentions the Tocharians as cannibals.
Physical characteristics of the people of ancient Kapiśa
Hiuen Tsang says that "the people of Kapiśa (Kai-pi-chi(h)) are cruel and fierce; their language is coarse and rude. Their marriage ceremonies are mere intermingling of sexes. Their literature is like that of Tukhara country but the customs, the common language, and rule of behavior are somewhat different. For clothing they use hair garments (wool); their garments are trimmed with furs. In commerce, they use gold and silver coins and also little copper coins. Hiuen Tsang further writes that the king of Kapisa is Kshatriya by caste. He is of shrewd character (nature) and being brave and determined, he has brought into subjection the neighboring countries, some ten of which he rules ".
According to scholars, much of the description of the people from Kapiśa to Rajapura as given by Hiuen Tsang agrees well with the characteristics of the Kambojas described in the Buddhist text, Bhuridatta Jataka as well in the great Indian epic Mahabharata. Moreover, the Drona Parava of Mahabharata specifically attests that Rajapuram was a metropolitan city of the epic Kambojas. The Rajapuram (=Rajapura) of Mahabharata (Ho-b-she-pu-lo of Hiuen Tsang) has been identified with modern Rajauri in south-western Kashmir. Culturally speaking, Kapiśa had significant Iranian influence.
The early Shahis of Kapiśa/Kabul
The affinities of the earlier Shahi rulers (the so-called Turk Shahis) of Kapisa/Kabul, who are believed to have probably ruled from the early 5th century till 870 AD, are still not clear. The different scholars link their affinities to different ethnics. 11th-century Muslim histriographer Alberuni's confused accounts on the early history of Shahis based mainly as they are on folklore, do not inspire much confidence on the precise identity of the early Shahis of Kapisa/Kabul. They call them as Hindus on the one hand and claim their descent from the Turks, while at the same time, they also claim their origin/descent from Tibet.
Dr V. A. Smith calls the early Shahis as a Cadet Branch of the Kushanas. H. M. Elliot identifies them with Kators/Katirs and further link them to Kushans. George Scott Robertson writes that the Kators/Katirs of Kafiristan belong to the well known Siyaposh tribal group of the Kams, Kamoz and Kamtoz tribes. Charles Fredrick Oldham identifies them with Naga-worshiping Takkas or Kathas and groups the Naga-cum-Sun worshipping Urasass (Hazaras), Abhisaras, Gandharas, Kambojas and Daradas collectively as the representatives of the Takkas or Kathas. Dr D. B. Pandey traces the affinities of the early Kabul Shahis to the Hunas. Bishan Singh and K. S. Dardi etc. connect the Kabul Shahis to the ancient Kshatriya clans of the Kambojas/Gandharas. 7th-century Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang, who visited INdis (629 AD - 645 AD) calls the ruler of Kapisa as Buddhist and of a Kshatriya caste.
Kalhana, the 12th-century Kashmirian historian and author of the famous Rajatarangini, also calls the Shahis of Gandhara/Waihind as Kshatriyas. These early references link this Kshatriya ruler and his dynasty undoubtedly to the Indo-Iranian Aryan lineage. Further, though Kalhana takes the history of the Shahis to as early as or even earlier than 730 century AD[clarification needed], but very interestingly, he does not refer to any supplanting of the Shahi dynasty at any time in the entire history of the Shahis.
It is also worth mentioning here that the ancient Indian sources like Pāṇini's Astadhyayi, Harivamsa, Vayu Purana, Manusmriti, Mahabharata, Kautiliya's Arthashastra etc. etc. call the Kambojas and the Gandharas as Kshatriyas. According to Olaf Caroe, the earlier Kabul Shahis, in some sense, were the inheritors of the Kushana-Hephthalite chancery tradition and had brought in more Hinduised form with time. There does not yet exist in the upper Kabul valley any documentary evidence or any identifiable coinage which can establish the exact affinities of these early Shahis who ruled there during the first two Islamic centuries.
Obviously, the affinities of the early Shahis of Kapisa/Kabul are still speculative, and the inheritance of the Kushan-Hephthalite chancery tradition and political institutions by Kabul Shahis do not necessarily connect them to the preceding dynasty i.e. the Kushanas or Hephthalites. From the 5th century to about 794 AD, their capital was Kapisa, the ancient home of the cis-Hindukush Kambojas – popularly also known as Ashvakas. After the Arab Moslems began raiding the Shahi kingdom, the Shahi ruler of Kapisa moved their capital to Kabul (until 870 AD). Alberuni's accounts further claim that the last king of the early Shahiya dynasty was king Lagaturman (Katorman) who was overthrown and imprisoned by his Brahmin vizier called Kallar. Alberuni's reference to the Brahman vizier as having taken over the control of the Shahi dynasty, in fact, may be a reference to Kallar (and his successors) as having been followers of Brahmanical religion in contrast to Shahi Katorman (Lagaturman) or his predecessors Shahi rulers, who were undoubtedly staunch Buddhists. It is very likely that a change in religion may have been confused with change in dynasty. In any case, this started the line of so-called Hindu Shahi rulers, according to Alberuni's accounts.
See the main article: Shahi
Modern ethnics of Kapiśa
Scholars have identified the former Kafir clans of the Kams, Kamoje/Kamoz, Kamtoz etc. (or modern Nuristanis) as the relics of the ancient Kapiśas i.e. Kambojas of the Paropamisan region. Similarly, the former Kafirs like Aspins of Chitral and Ashkuns or Yashkuns of Gilgit are identified as the modern representatives of the Pāṇinian Aśvakayanas (Greek: Assakenoi) and the Asip/Isap or Yusufzai (from Aspazai) in the Kabul valley (between river Kabul and Indus) are believed to be modern representatives of the Pāṇinian Aśvayanas (Greek: Aspasio) respectively.
- Ashtadhyayia Sutra IV.2.99.
- Sutra IV.2.29.
- Dr S. Chattopadhyaya 1974: 58; India as Known to Pāṇini, 1953, p 71, Dr V. S. Aggarwala; Foreign Elements in Ancient Indian Society, 2nd Century BC to 7th Century AD, 1979, p 86, Dr Uma Prasad Thapliyal.
- See: Notes on Indian coins and Seals, Part IV, E. J. Rapson in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 1905, p 784, (Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland).
- A Grammatical Dictionary of Sanskrit (Vedic): 700 Complete Reviews of the Best Books for ..., 1953, p 118, Dr Peggy Melcher, Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala, Surya Kanta, Jacob Wackernagel, Arthur Anthony Macdonell.
- Cultural History of Ancient India: A Socio-economic and Religio-cultural Survey of Kapisa and ..., 1979, p 29, Jaya Goswami; India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1953, 118, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala
- Mahabharata 2.48.7.; Tribes in the Mahabharata: A Socio-cultural Study, 1987, pp 94,314, Krishna Chandra Mishra - Mahābhārata; Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 44, Dr Moti Chandra - India
- Su-kao-seng-chaun, Chapter 2, (no. 1493); Kai-yuan-lu, chapter 7; Publications, 1904, p 122-123, published by Oriental Translation Fund (Editors Dr T. W. Rhys Davis, S. W. Bushel, London, Royal Asiatic Society).
- Pre-Aryan and Pre-Dravidian in India, Edition 1993, p 121, Dr Sylvain Lévi, Dr Jules Bloch, Dr Jean Przyluski, Asian Educational Services.
- Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 43, Dr Moti Chandra - India.
- The Greeks in Bactria and India 1966 p 170, 461, Dr William Woodthorpe Tarn.
- Indian Antiquaries, 1923, p 54.
- The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 291; Indian historical quarterly, Vol XXV-3, 1949, pp 190-92.
- Kathakasankalanam: amskrtagranthebhyah sangrahītani Kathhakabrahmana,- 1981, P xii, Surya Kanta.
- Epigraphia Indica, Vol XIX-1, p 11.
- Afghanistan: A Study of Political Developments in Central and Southern Asia, 1953, p 58, Sir William Kerr Fraser-Tytler, M. C. Gillet.
- Kāṭhakasaṅkalanam: Saṃskr̥tagranthebhyaḥ saṅgr̥hītāni Kāṭhakabrāhmaṇa, Kāṭhakaśrautasūtra, 1981, pe xii, Dr Surya Kanta.
- cf: JBORS, XVI, 1930, p 229, Dr K. P. Jayswal; cf: Visnu Purana, II, p 182, Wilson quoted in Kāṭhakasaṅkalanam: 1981, p xiv, Surya Kanta.
- Prācīna Kamboja, Jana aura Janapada Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, p 44, 147, 155, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī.
- Cf: Society and Culture in the Time of Daṇḍin, 1972, p 89, Dr Gupta, Dharmendra Kumar.
- cf: Journal of Indian History, 1921, p 21, University of Kerala, University of Allahabad Dept. of Modern Indian History.
- Cf: Main Currents in the Ancient History of Gujarat, 1960, p 26, Bhasker Anand Saletore, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Deptt. of History; Alexander the Great, 2003, Edition, p 277, Dr W. W. Tarn.
- Non-Aryan Linguistic Elements in the Atharvaveda, 2000, 137, Abhijit Ghosh - Vedic language.
- Pre Aryan and Pre Dravidian in India, 1993 edition, p 120, Dr Sylvain Lévi, Dr Jules Bloch, Dr Jean Przyluski, Asian Educational Services. See Link: ;.
- Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 1, K. D. Sethna; Purana, Vol VI No 1, January 1964, K. D. Sethna.
- See also: Indian Antiquaries, 52, part 2, 1923; Indian Antiquaries, 203, 1923, p 54.
- Prācīna Kamboja, Jana aura Janapada Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, pp 44, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī; cf also: Dr J. W. McCrindle, Ptolemy, p 268.
- Pre Aryan and Pre Dravidian in India, 1993 edition, p 120, Dr Sylvain Lévi, Dr Jules Bloch, Dr Jean Przyluski, Asian Educational Services.
- Prācīna Kamboja, Jana aura Janapada Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, pp 44, 147, 155, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī.
- See: Indian Antiquaries, 52, part 2, 1923 .
- Pre Aryan and Pre Dravidian in India, 1993 edition, p 121, Dr Sylvain Lévi, Dr Jules Bloch, Dr Jean Przyluski, Asian Educational Services.
- History and Culture of Indian People, Vol III, pp 122, 617, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr A. D. Pusalkar, Dr. K. M. Munshi.
- Mahabhara 2.48.7.
- Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 44, Dr Moti Chandra - India; Tribes in the Mahabharata: A Socio-cultural Study, 1987, pp 94, 314, Krishna Chandra Mishra - Mahābhārata.
- Dr Moti Chandra writes: "Thus before us is placed a suggestion that Kapis- Kamboja denoted the same geographical unit. To this may also be added Karpasika which on account of its rare appearance seems to be clinging to some original form phonetically very near to the Sanskritised form Karpasika when more common form as Kapisa and Kamboja were being commonly used" (See: Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, P 44, Dr Moti Chandra.
- A Comparative Study of Thirty City-state Cultures: An Investigation, 2000, p 388, Dr Hansen, Mogens Herman (ed(d).
- The History and Culture of the Indian People, 1977, p 15, Dr Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Dr Achut Dattatraya Pusalker, Dr Asoke Kumar Majumdar; An Advanced History of India, 1973, p 54, Dr Rameṣa-Chandra Majumdar; The Soul of India, 1961,p 56, Amaury De Riencourt.
- Mahabharata 7.4.5; Mahabharata II.27.23.
- Mahabharata II.27.25; Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and History of the People of India: Their Religion and ..., 1874, p 365, Dr John Muir - 1874; Die Voelker des oestlichen Asien: Studien und Reisen, 1865, p 186, Adolf Bastian; The Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 1-8, K. D. Sethna; Some Aspects of Ancient Indian History and Culture, 1974, p 62, Dr Upendra Thakur; The Greco-Shunga Period of Indian History, Or, the North-West India of the Second Century B.C. 1973, p 39, Dr Mehta Vasishtha Dev Mohan; Geography of the Mahabharata, 1986, p 14, B. S. Suryavanshi. The Riśikas & the Parama Riśikas, whom the Mahabharata closely allies with the Parama-Kambojas, are located right into Śaka-dvipa or Scythia, north of Oxus. See: India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1953, p 64, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala.
- Central Asiatic provinces of the Maurya Empire, p 403, Dr H.C. Seth; See also: Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol XIII, 1937, p 400-403; cf: History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with other Countries, from Earliest Times to 300 B.C., 1976, p 152, Shashi Asthana. For Kamboja Nomads in Central Asia, Cf also: India and Central Asia, p 25, Dr P. C. Bagchi.
- See: Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and History of the People of India: Their Religion and ..., 1874, p 365, Prof John Muir; Geographical Data in the Early Purāṇas: A Critical Study, 1972, p 167-68, Dr M. R. Singh.
- See: Development of Hindu Polity and Political Theories, 1927, p 227, Narayanchandra Banerjee.
- Proceedings and Transactions of the All-India Oriental Conference, 1930, p 117.
- For instance,Dr Thomas Watters, Dr Moti Chandra, Dr Suniti Kumar Chaterjee, Prof Surya Kanta, Dr J. L. Kamboj etc.
- Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 1856, p 239, by Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland; Indian Caste, 1877, p 286, John Wilson; India of To-day, 1906, p 280, Walter Del Mar.
- Ref: Publications, 1904, p 124, Published by Oriental Translation Fund (Editors T. W. Rhys Davis, Dr S. W. Bushel, London Royal Asiatic Society); Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 44, Dr Moti Chandra - India; Census of India, 1961, p 26, published by India Office of the Registrar General; Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahabharata, Upana parava, Journal of Uttara Pradesh Historical Society, Vol XVI, Part II, pp 48-50; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, Dr J. L. Kamboj, Dr Satyarti Shastri; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 94, Kirpal Singh; See also: Kāṭhakasaṅkalanam: Saṃskr̥tagranthebhyaḥ saṅgr̥hītāni Kāṭhakabrāhmaṇa, Kāṭhakaśrautasūtra, 1981, p xii, Surya Kanta; cf: The Contemporary Review, Vol LXXII, July-Dec, 1897, p 869, A. Strahan (etc), London; See also: On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D., 1904, 124, Dr Thomas Watters. See Link: .
- S. Levi states that Chinese Kipin is a rendering of an Indian word Kapir (See quote in: Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 44, Dr Moti Chandra - India; See also: Bhārata-kaumudī; Studies in Indology in Honour of Dr. Radha Kumud Mookerji, 1945, p 916, Dr Radhakumud Mookerji - India).
- In ancient Sanskrit literature, there are numerous instances where the name of the people was obtained from the geographical territory they belonged to or occupied. Thus Kamboja was both the name of the people as well as their country. Similarly, Gandhara, Vahika, Kuru etc. were names of people as well as their countries. In a similar way, the inhabitants of Kapis (Kapisa) were known as Kapis ==> Kapir which later transmuted to Kafir.
- P. 37 The Natural History of Pliny, Volume 2 by Pliny the Elder; John Bostock, Henry Thomas Riley translators.
- The area that is commonly called Greater Punjab had comprised, in ancient times, vast territories of northern India and eastern Pakistan. In its original sense, it encompassed territories from Swat/Kabul to Delhi including Sarayu (Herat River), Gomal, Kurrum, Swat and Indus, besides the five rivers of modern Punjab and extending as far as river Yamuna in the east(See refs: Aryan and non-Aryan Names in Vedic India, Data for the linguistic situation, c. 1900-500 B.C., p 17; Substrate Languages in Old Indo-Aryan, (Rgvedic, Middle and Late Vedic), p 6, Dr Michael Witzel, Harvard University). In ancient times, the area was inhabited by people called the Vahikas or Arattas. Scholars say that "Aratta" is a popular (prakrit) form of Vedic "A-rashtra" – which means without king or government. This compares to Avestic "A-sara" – also meaning without head/or government--- thus the Vedic Aratta is said to allude to A-rashtra i.e. kingless or headless or in other words, a republican people or territory (See refs: The Ancient Geography of India, 1871, p 215, Alexander Cunningham; Evolution of Heroic Tradition in ancient Panjab, 1971, p 53, Dr Buddha Prakash; The Age of Imperial Unity, History and Culture of Indian People, p 49, Ed Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr A. D. Pusalkar; Hindu Civilization, 1923, p 289, Dr Radhakumud Mookerji; The Generalship of Alexander the Great, 2004, p 255, J. F. C. Fuller; The Cambridge Ancient History, 1923, p 406, John Bagnell Bury, Stanley Arthur Cook, Frank Ezra Adcock, Martin Percival Charlesworth, Norman Hepburn Baynes, Charles Theodore Seltman). Similarly, the term "Vahikas" denoted "those falling outside the pale of Aryandom" or "those who are outside the pale of virtue, and live away from the Himavat, Ganga and Sarsvati..." (See refs: Ethnology of Ancient Bhārata, 1970, p 113, Ram Chandra Jain; A Grammatical Dictionary of Sanskrit (Vedic), 1953, p 52, Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala, Surya Kanta, Jacob Wackernagel, Arthur Anthony Macdonell, Peggy Melcher; Tribes in Ancient India, 1943, p 71, Dr B. C. Law - Ethnology). The tribes of the "Aratta" or "Vahika" territories were of wayward nature, committed highway robberies, and followed autonomous or republic way of life. And they were definitely outside the pale of Vedic Aryans. It was on account of these above characteristics of this people that they came to be commonly styled as Arattas or Vahikas etc. Aratta or Vahika, by no means, implies an ethic term
- The Vahikas or Arattas were divided into many tribes or clans like the Gandharas, Prasthalas, Khasas, Vasatis, Trigartas, Pauravas, Malavas, Yaudheyas, Saindhavas, Sauviras; the Iranian and transfrontier peoples such as the Kambojas, Pahlavas; and the Persianised Ionians (Yavanas) as well as the nomadic Scythians, also called Shakas (See: Evolution of Heroic Tradition in Ancient Panjab, 1971, p 53, Dr Buddha Parkash; Cf also: The History of Indian Literature, 1878, p 178, Albrecht Weber - Sanskrit literature).
- The cis-Hindukush Kambojas (i.e south of the Hindukush), had extended from the Paropamisadae territory to as far as south-west of Kashmir (i.e. north-west Punjab). They had formed parts of the Aratta or Vahika people as described in the Karanaparava of Mahabharata. Much of the physical characteristics as described by Hiuen Tsang of the people of Kapisa to Rajapura (Rajauri), match very well with those which the Karanaparava of Mahabharata spells for the people of Aratta/Vahika countries which region included the Madras, Gandharas, Kambojas etc, and where the rules of intermingling of sexes are also described as much relaxed and libralised (See: Social Structure of Warrior Communities, Chapter VI of "Evolution of Heroic Traditions in Ancient Punjab", 1971, pp 52-60, Dr Buddha Prakash).
- Cf: D. D. Kosambi observes: "The caste observances were so slack in the frontiers that the Brahmanical literature began to look upon the Madra, Gandhara and Kamboja peoples as loose-lived and barbaric. As compared to the rigid four-class social system of Madhyadesa, these tribes of the frontiers followed two social classes and further there was permissible vertical mobility.... The women were treated equal to men and there was no taboo of social mixing among the two sexes. Both sexes ate meat, drank strong liquor and there would be mixed public dancing in a state of undress. Such way of life was positively obscene to the eastern Brahmin eyes. The custom of bride price among the Madras (instead of dowry) appeared degrading to the easterners. Nevertheless, the beauty, the loving nature and utter fidelity of the women of the north-west including Madra, Bahlika remained proverbial (e.g: Immortal Love Legend of Savitri & Satyavan. Savitri was the daughter of Asvapati, king of Madra tribe). A warrior's widow in these regions would even immolate herself with her husband's corpse. The horrifying custom of Sati was completely unknown in the east until as late as 6th century AD...." (See ref: Mobile Men: Limits to Social Change in Urban Punjab - 1976, p 3, Satish Saberwal; The Culture and Civilization of Ancient India in Historical Outline, p 119, D. D. Kosambi.
- See also the Mahabharata Link on the Madra peoples of the Vahika/Aratta country for general characteristics of Vahika society: .
- Ancient references like Mahabharata, Ramayana etc profusely attest that the Kambojas produced and made use of woolen, fur and skin clothes and shawls, all embroidered with gold. Ancient Kambojas were noted for their horses, gold, woolen blankets, furry clothing etc (Foundations of Indian Culture, 1990, p 20, Dr Govind Chandra Pande - Spiritualism (Philosophy); Hindu World, Volume I, 1968, p 520, Benjamin Walker etc.
- The Kambojas are also labelled as Kshatriyas in numerous of ancient texts of India. See Link: Kambojas#Kambojas as Kshatriyas (warriors)
- Si-Yu-KI V1: Buddhist Records of the Western World, Edition 2006, p 54-55, Hiuen Tsiang.
- Jataka 548; Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1912, p 255-57.
- Mahabharata 12.207.43-44; Mahabharata 6.11.63-64.
- Journal, 1920, p 78, University of Calcutta, Deptt. of Letters; Journal of the Department of Letters, 1923, p 78, University of Calcutta; Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 134, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee; Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 103; Geographical Data in the early Purana, 1972, p 164, Dr M. R. Singh.
- Karna-Rajapuram-gatva-Kambojah-nirjitastava (MBH 7.4.5).
- For Rajapura=Holo-she-pulo, See: Yuan Chwang, Vol I, p 284, Watters; Si-yu-ki: Buddhist Records of the Western World, 1906, p 163, Samuel Beal - Travelers, Chinese; History of Kanauj to the Moslem Conquest, 1964, p 84, Rama Shankar Tripathi; Some Kṣatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, p 236, Dr B. C. Law; Journal of the Department of Letters, 1923, p 77, Dept. of Letters, University of Calcutta; Political History of India from the Accession of Parikshit to the Coronation of Bimbisara, 1996, p 133, Dr Hemchandra Raychaudhuri; Asoka, 2001, p 31, R. G. Bhandarkar - Biography & Autobiography; The Shahis of Afghanistan and the Punjab, 1973, p 29, Dr Deena Bandhu Pandey; Census of India, 1961, p 26, India Office of the Registrar General.
- Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 103.
- See: Tarikh-al-Hind, trans. E. C. Sachau, 1888/1910, vol ii, pp 10-14, Abu Rihan Alberuni.
- The Pathans, 1958, p 108, 109, Olaf Caroe.
- Cf: That the first dynasty of Kabul was Turki is plainly based on the vulgar tradition which Alberuni himself remarked was clearly absurd. The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang knew well enough what a Turk was since he had come to Kabul through their country..... Against the contemporary evidence of Hiuen Tsang, an absurd tradition related by Alberuni after 400 years and with evident reluctance and disbelief in it cannot, therefore, be taken for history.....Hiuen Tsang clearly addresses the ruler of Kapisa/Kabul, whom he had personally met, as devout Buddhist and a Kshatriya and not a Tu-kiue/Tu-kue (Turk) (Ref: History of Mediaeval Hindu India, 1979, p 200, Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya).
- NOTE: Nepali Traditions apply name Kamboja Desha to Tibet (See: Étude sur l'Iconographie bouddhique de l'Inde, pp 134-135, A. Foucher). It is also supported by two manuscripts [No 7768 & 7777] described in the Catalogue of Sanskrit and Prakrit Mss in the library of India Office Vol II, Part II" (Refs: History of Bebgal, I, 191, Dr R. C. Majumdar; Dist Gazeteer [Rajashahi], 1915, p 26; Some Historical Aspects of the Inscriptions of Bengal, Dr B. C. Sen, p 342, fn 1. According to scholars, the ancient Kambojas are known to have extended as far as up to little Tibet i.e. Bolor or Baltistan (See Refs: Peter weiss: Von existentialistischen Drama zum marxistischen Welttheater ..., 1971, Otto F. Best; The Devi Bhagavatam, Vol. 2 of 3, p 117, Swami Vijnanannanda; Historical Mahākāvyas in Sanskrit, Eleventh to Fifteenth Century A.D., 1976, 373, Chandra Prabha; Kāmarūpaśāsanāvalī, Assam, 1981, p 137,Dimbeswar Sarma, P. D. Chowdhury, R. K. Deva Sarma). When viewed from Nepala itself, the ancient Kambojas appeared as if extended up to main Tibet, and this is stated to have been the logic behind the Nepalese traditions which identify Tibet with the Kamboja.
- Alberuni's accounts also connect the early Shahis to a king Kanika (Kanishaka?) but at the same time, make some Barahatigin to be the founder of the dynasty which is claimed to have ruled for 60 generations i.e. about 1200-1500 years at a stretch which fact alone is sufficient to lose one's confidence in the folklore accounts of Alberunis!!. King Kanika is shown as some intermediate king down the line in this dynasty.
- The Káfirs of the Hindu-Kush, 1896, pp 71-77, George Scott Robertson - Nuristani (Asian people).
- And numerous scholars now also agree that the Siyaposh tribes of Hindukush are the modern representatives of the ancient Kambojas.
- Si-Yu-KI V1: Buddhist Records of the Western World, Edition 2006, p 54-55, Hiuen Tsiang; The Sun and the Serpent: A Contribution to the History of Serpent-worship, 1905, p 120, Charles Frederick Oldham - Serpent worship; The Shahis of Afghanistan and the Punjab, 1973, p 17, Deena Bandhu Pandey; The History and Culture of the Indian People, 1977, p 165, Dr Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Dr A. D. Pusalkar - India.
- Adyapi dyotate sahevahvayena digantare,
- Tatsantana bhavonantah samuhah Ksatrajanamanam ||
- (Kalahana's Rajatrangini, New Delhi, 1960, VIII, 3230, M. A. Stein (Editor).
- Kalahana's Rajatrangini, New Delhi, 1960, VIII, 3230, M. A. Stein (Editor; Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India, 1971, p 291, Dr D. C. Sircar; Hindu Sahis of Afghanistan and the Punjab, 1972, p 5, Yogendra Mishra.
- Ashtadhyayi Sutra 4.1.168-175.
- Harivamsa, 14.19-20.
- Vayu Purana, 88.127-43.
- Manusmirity X.43-44.
- Mahabharata 13.33.20-21). Cf also: (Mahabharata 13.35.17-18.
- Licchivika.Vrjika.Mallaka.Madraka.Kukura.Kuru.Panchala.adayo raaja.shabda.upajiivinah||
- (Kautiliya Arathashastra, 11.1.03).
- The Pathans, 1958, p 101, Olaf Caroe.
- Cf also: H. M. Elliot, History of India as told by its own Historians, Ed J. Dawson, p 426; S. D. Singh Charak, PURB No 1, 1970, p 2ff.
- The Quarterly Review, 1873, p 537, William Gifford, George Walter Prothero, John Gibson Lockhart, John Murray, Whitwell Elwin, John Taylor Coleridge, Rowland Edmund Prothero Ernle, William Macpherson, William Smith.
- An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, 1893, p 75, Henry Walter Bellew.
- Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1864, p 681, by Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
- The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great as Described by Arrian, Q. Curtius, Diodoros, 1893, p 334, John Watson M'Crindle, Quintus Curtius Rufus, Marcus Junianus Justinus, Plutarch, Arrian, Diodorus.
- Evolution of Heroic Tradition in Ancient Panjab, 1971, p 72; History of Punjab, Publication Bureau Punjabi University Patiala, 1997, p 225, Dr Buddha Prakash.
- A Comprehensive History of India, Vol II, p 118, Dr Nilkantha Shastri.
- See also: Ancient Kamboja, People & the Country, 1981, p 278, These Kamboj People, 1979, pp 119-20, K. S. Dardi etc.
- For Aśvaka/Kamboja connection See: Historie du bouddhisme Indien, p 110, Dr E. Lammotte; East and West, 1950, pp 28, 157-58, Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, Editor, Prof Giuseppe Tucci, Co-editors Prof Mario Bussagli, Prof Lionello Lanciotti; Hindu Polity, A constitutional History of India in Hindu Times, 1978, p 140, Dr K. P. Jayswal; Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 133 fn 6, pp 216-20, (Also Commentary, op. cit., p 576, fn 22), Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee; Panjab Past and Present, pp 9-10, Dr Buddha Parkash; History of Punjabi, Vol I, 1997, p 225, (Editors) Dr L. M. Joshi, Dr Fauja Singh, Publication Bureau, Punjabi University Patiala; Raja Poros, 1990, Publication Buareau, Punjabi University, Patiala; Ancient Kamboja, People and Country, 1981, pp 271-72, 278, Dr J. L. Kamboj; These Kamboj People, 1979, pp 119, 192; Kambojas, Through the Ages, 2005, pp 129, 218-19, S Kirpal Singh. Dr J. W. McCrindle says that the modern Afghanistan – the Kaofu (Kambu) of Xuanzang was ancient Kamboja, and also says that name Afghan evidently derives from Aśavakan, the Assakenoi of Arrian (See: Alexandra's Invasion of India, p 38; Megasthenes and Arrian, p 180, J. W. McCrindle). Sir Thomas H. Holdich, in his classic book, (The Gates of India, p 102-03), writes that the Aspasians (Aspasioi) represent the modern Kafirs. But the modern Kafirs, especially the Siah-Posh Kafirs (Kamoz/Camoje, Kamtoz) etc are considered to be modern representatives of the ancient Kambojas.