Lunar dynasty

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According to Hindu mythology, the Lunar dynasty (IAST: Candravaṃśa or Somavaṃśa in Sanskrit) is one of the principal houses of the Kshatriya varna, or warrior–ruling caste. This legendary dynasty was said to be descended from moon-related deities (Soma or Chandra).[1]

According to the Shatapatha Brahmana, the dynasty's founder Pururavas was the son of Budha (himself often described as the son of Soma) and the gender-switching deity Ila (born as the daughter of Manu).[2] Pururavas's great-grandson was Yayati, who had five sons named Yadu, Turvasu, Druhyu, Anu, and Puru: these seem to be the names of five Indo-Aryan tribes as described in the Vedas.[3]

According to the Mahabharata, the dynasty's progenitor Ila ruled from Prayag, and had a son Shashabindu who ruled in the country of Bahli.[4] Ila's descendants were also known as the Ailas or Chandravansha.[5]

In Mahabarata[edit]

In Hindu Mythology, the Kurukshetra war that form the subject of the Indian Epic Mahabarata, was largely fought between rival branches of the Lunar Dynasty, famously resulting in the hesitation of Arjuna away from war and the reprimand of his mentor Krishna. Krishna reminds Arjuna that Dharma stands above everything and the text forms an integral cultural cornerstone for all four Kshatriya houses.

By the conclusion of the Kurukshetra war most of the Yadhuvanshi lineage is in peril. The sinking of Dwarka sees the destruction of the entire Yaduvanshi lineage with the exception of Vajranabh who was saved by Arjuna and later becomes the King of Mathura. As the only surviving grandson of Krishna all branches claiming descent from krishna descend through him.

Claimed descendants[edit]

Several Chandravanshi castes and communities in modern India, such as the Sainis of Punjab Province,[6] Yadav,[7] Ayar,[8] Chudasama,[9]Jadeja,[10] Bhatti Rajputs,[11] Jadaun,[11] Ahir[12] And Johiya [13][14]claim descent from Yadu.



  1. ^ Paliwal, B. B. (2005). Message of the Purans. Diamond Pocket Books Ltd. p. 21. ISBN 978-8-12881-174-6.
  2. ^ Thapar 2013, p. 308.
  3. ^ A. K. Warder (1972). An Introduction to Indian Historiography. Popular Prakashan. pp. 21–22.
  4. ^ Doniger, Wendy (1999). Splitting the difference: gender and myth in ancient Greece and India. University of Chicago Press. p. 273. ISBN 978-0-226-15641-5. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  5. ^ Encyclopaedia of the Hindu world, Volume 1 By Gaṅgā Rām Garg
  6. ^ Singh, Kumar Suresh; Sharma, Madan Lal; Bhatia, A. K. (1994). People of India: Haryana. Manohar Publishers. p. 430.
  7. ^ Pinch, William R. (1996). Peasants and Monks in British India. University of California Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-52091-630-2.
  8. ^ Padmaja, T. Temples of Kr̥ṣṇa in South India: History, Art, and Traditions in Tamilnāḍu. p. 34.
  9. ^ Jhala, Jayasinhji (1991). Marriage, hierarchy and identity in ideology and practice: an anthropological study of Jhālā Rājpūt society in western India, against a historical background, 1090-1990 A.D. Harvard University.
  10. ^ Kothiyal, Tanuja (2016). Nomadic Narratives: A History of Mobility and Identity in the Great Indian Desert. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107080317.
  11. ^ a b Ramusack, Barbara N. (2003). The Indian Princes and their States, The New Cambridge History of India. Cambridge University Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-13944-908-3.
  12. ^ Sudipta Mitra (2005). Gir Forest and the Saga of the Asiatic Lion. Indus Publishing. pp. 83–. ISBN 978-81-7387-183-2. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  13. ^ Majumdar, R. C. (1977). Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 129–130, 231. ISBN 9788120804364.
  14. ^ Gupta, Parmanand (1989). Geography from Ancient Indian Coins & Seals. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 20, 63. ISBN 9788170222484.