Puru (Vedic tribe)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Purus were a clan, or a confederation of clans, mentioned many times in the Rigveda. RV 7.96.2 locates them at the banks of the Sarasvati River. There were several factions of Purus, one being the Bharatas.[citation needed] Purus rallied many other groups against King Sudas of the Bharata, but were defeated in the Battle of the Ten Kings (RV 7.18, etc.).

Early history[edit]

India's name Bharat or Bharat-Varsh is named after a descendant of the Puru dynasty King Bharata.

There were two main Vedic cultures in ancient India. The first was a northern kingdom centered on the Sarasvati-Drishadvati river region dominated by the Purus and the Ikshvakus. The second was a southern culture along the coast of the Arabian Sea and into the Vindhya Mountains, dominated by the Turvashas and Yadus and extending into groups yet further south. These northern and southern groups vied for supremacy and influenced each other in various ways as the Vedas and Puranas indicate. The northern or Bharata culture ultimately prevailed, making India the land of Bharata or Bharatavarsha and its main ancient literary record the Vedas, though militarily the Yadus remained strong throughout history.[1]

Kuru Kings[edit]

Kuru was born after 25 generations of Puru's dynasty, and after 15 generations of Kuru, Kauravas and Pandavas were born. These were the same renowned Kauravas and Pandavas who fought the epic battle of Mahabharata. The dynasty of the king Yadu - Andhak, Vrasni, and Bhoj, under the leadership of Shree Krishna, helped the Pandavas win the battle. According to Puranic tradition, the war occurred 95 generations after Manu Vaivasvata.[2] The Puranas state that there are 1,050 years between Parikshit of the Kurus and the last Kuru king at the time of Mahapadma Nanda.[3]

Rigvedic Puru clan lineage[edit]

Puru family tree.JPG

According to Puranic legend the Chandravanshi lineage is:
Brahma -> Atri -> Chandra -> Budha (married to Manu's daughter Ila) -> Pururava -> Ayu -> Nahusha -> Yayati -> Puru and Yadu[citation needed]

King Yayati's elder son Yadu had officially lost the title to govern by his father's command since he had refused to exchange his youth with his father. Thereby, he could not have carried on the same dynasty, called Somvanshi. Consequently, the generations of King Puru, Paurav or Puruvanshi were the only one to be known as Somvansa.[citation needed]

Yayati divided up his kingdom into five quarters (VP IV.10.1708). To Turvasha he gave the southeast (Bay of Bengal); to Druhya the west Gandhara; to Yadu the south (By Arabian sea); to Anu the north Punjab; and to Puru the center (Sarasvati region) as the supreme king of Earth.[4]

The Rig Veda notes an earlier period of Turvasha-Yadu predominance, which the Purus broke in order to become the dominant people in the region.

Claimants[edit]

Later rulers may have claimed lineage to the Puru tribe to bolster their legitimacy. Modern scholars conjecture that Porus may have been a Puru king. However, Porus is not known in Indian sources.[5] Nor can he be traced to the Puru tribe.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Rig Veda and the History of India (Rig Veda Bharata Itihasa) - David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri), Aditya Prakashan, 2001, xxvii, 364 p, ISBN 8177420399
  2. ^ Time Table Of Yoga, By Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D.
  3. ^ Gods, Sages and Kings: Vedic Secrets of Ancient Civilization, By David Frawley, pp 142
  4. ^ Gods, Sages and Kings: Vedic Secrets of Ancient Civilization, By David Frawley
  5. ^ Nonica Datta, ed. (2003). Indian History: Ancient and medieval. Encyclopaedia Britannica / Popular Prakashan. p. 222. ISBN 978-81-7991-067-2. Not known in Indian sources, the name Porus has been conjecturally interpreted as standing for Paurava, that is, the ruler of the Purus, a tribe known in that region from ancient Vedic times.

References[edit]