Raghuvanshi

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Raghuvanshi (or Raghuwanshi) was an Indian dynasty mentioned in Indian epic poetry. It is believed to be a lineage of kings tracing its ancestry to Surya.[1] Raghuvanshi kings like Harishchandra, Bhagiratha, Dilīpa, Raghu, Aja, Dasaratha and Rama.

Kalidasa's work, Raghuvansh narrates the epic of the Raghuvanshi in 19 sargas (cantos).[2]

Notables[edit]

Harishchandra and his family are sold into bondage and separated. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma.

Several legendary kings came from the Ikshvaku dynasty and after King Raghu, his descendants are known as Raghuvanshi.

  • Mandhata (मान्धाता), who is said to have ruled the entire earth during the Vedic period, and defeated the Indra-head of Devatas.
  • Sagara, a king who was tricked by Indra into a conflict with the sage Kapila, leading to the death of his 60,000 sons, the descent of the Ganges to earth, and his sons' revival
  • Harishchandra, the king of Ayodhya, believed to be an exemplar of honesty
  • Dilīpa, said to be the most righteous and chivalrous emperors of the Ikshvaku dynasty
  • Raghu II, The mahakavya (epic) composed by the classical poet Kalidasa on the lives of the ancestors of Rama is entitled Raghuvamsha or the "Dynasty of Raghu". The descendants of King Raghu are known as Raghuvanshi. Valmiki Ramayana mention about "Raghukula", a clan of the King Raghu not Rama. Rama himself is known by many appellations (such as Raghava, Raghunandan and Raghukula Nayaka), indicative of his belonging to the family of Raghu.
  • Aja, Son of King Raghu
  • Dasaratha, Son of Aja and father of Rama, Lakshman, Bharath and Shatrughan.
  • Ram - He is considered the seventh Avatar of the god Vishnu. He is worshiped by every Hindu. Many Hindus include his name in either their first or last name. Rama's story before he became king of Ayodhya is recounted in the Ramayana. After he ascended the throne, he performed the Ashwamedha Yajna. Bharata, his younger brother, won the country of Gandhara and settled there.
  • Lava and Kusha - They were the twin sons of Rama and his wife Sita. Lava ruled south Kosala while Kusha ruled north Kosala, including Ayodhya. Kusha married "Nagkanya" "Kumuddhati", sister of Kumuda. After Kusha the following kings of the solar dynasty ruled Ayodhya:
  • Śuddhodana
  • Sumitra - He was the last king of Ayodhya from Raghuwanshi dynasty. In the fourth century BC, emperor Mahapadma Nanda of the Nanda Dynasty forced Sumitra to leave Ayodhya. He went to Rohtas with his sons. His son Kurma established his rule over Rohtas

References[edit]

  1. ^ History of Ancient India: From 7300 BC to 4250 BC By J.P. Mittal page 101 onwards
  2. ^ Raghuvaṃśa of Kālidāsa - Edited with extracts & notes etc by Narayan Ram Acharya Kavyatirtha, Chaukhambha Publishers, Varanasi, 2nd ed (2002), Appendix 2