A Pointer — “lakṣaṇā” from the Rgvedic text as to who was the Rg vedic King Bṛhadratha

Aghā of Rg veda and Maghā of MAU has interesting parallels

The puzzles of king-names of Ikṣvāku lineage and Bharata lineage in Rg veda

We already noted that King Bṛhadratha is present as an Ikṣvāku king in MAU. In the research paper I had noted that the Bṛhadratha mentioned twice in the Rigveda, i. 36, 18; x. 49, 6, in both cases beside Navavāstva, is also an Ikṣvāku king. The peculiarity of Ikṣvāku kings is that they go by some epithets for a long time. Most of these are lost due to deep antiquity. Some epithets emerge which appears to be of the Ikṣvākus. Among them is Trasadasyu, Bṛhadratha, Tṛkṣi, Tritsu (?), Tryaruṇa, and Dasaratha. Ratha and aśva appears to be the common suffix in Ikṣvāku king’s names, Pṛthi, Pṛthī, or Pṛthu and Tṛ as common prefixes and Trasadasyu, Bṛhadratha, Tṛkṣi etc appears to be the common epithet.

Ikṣvāku. — In the Rigveda this name occurs but once, X. 60, 4, and in a doubtful context. It is clear, however, that it denotes a prince; later interpretations make Asamāti, whose name is read into the hymn, an Ikṣvāku prince. In the Atharvaveda also the name is found in only one passage, where it is uncertain whether a descendant of Ikṣvāku, or Ikṣvāku himself, is referred to; in either case he seems to be regarded as an ancient hero. In the Pañcaviṃśa Brāhmaṇa4 mention is made of Tryaruṇa Traidhātva Aikṣvāka, who is identical with the Tryaruṇa Traivṛṣṇa of the Bṛhaddevatā, and with Tryaruṇa Trasadasyu in the Rigveda. The connection of Trasadasyu with the Ikṣvākus is confirmed by the fact that Purukutsa was an Aikṣvāka, according to the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa. Thus the Ikṣvāku line was originally a line of princes of the Pūrus(?). Zimmer places them on the upper Indus, but they may well have been somewhat further east. Later Ikṣvāku is connected with Ayodhyā. (lexicon)

We can now list out some lost Ikṣvāku kings of Rgvedic times.

Ikṣvāku — X. 60, 4, in reference with Asamāti

MandhātāI.112.13, VIII.40.12, as a composer in X.34

NābhākaVIII.40.12, as a composer Nābhāka Kāṇva

Vena with Pṛthavāna — X. 93, 14

Uśanas — VI. 20, 11

Navavāstva (Bṛhadratha) — VI. 20, 11(a son of Uśanas) , I. 36, 18, X. 49, 6

Asamāti (Ikṣvāku-Rathaproṣṭha family) —

Citra-ratha (?)— defeated by Indra for the Turvaśa-Yadus on the Sarayu — IV.
30, 18

Traidhātva (Tryaruṇa) — V.27.1–3

Traivṛṣṇa (Tryaruṇa) — V.27.1, , ‘descendant of Trivṛṣan,’ is the patronymic of Trayaruṇa in the Rigveda (v. 27, 1)

Trasadasyu (Tryaruṇa) — V.27.3.

Trāsadasyava, “the son of Trasadasyu” of the Tṛkṣi— RV VIII. 22, 7

Trāsadasyava, of Kuruśravaṇa— X. 33, 4

Tṛkṣi — RV VI.46.8

Trasa-dasyu, son of Purukutsa (only?) — I.112.14; IV.38.1; 42.8,9; V.27.3; 33.8; VII.19.3; VIII.8.21; 19.32,36; 36.7; 37.7; 49.10; X.33.4; 150.5.

Paurukutsa: IV.42.9; V.33.8; VII.19.3; VIII.19.36.

Pṛthavān(?) X. 93, 14 ( appears that prefix pṛtha, pṛthi has more proximity to Ikṣvākus- eg Pṛthu )

Ambarīṣa (Vārṣā-gira- descendent of Vṛṣāgir) Ṛjrāśva, Bhayamāna. Sahadeva, and Surādhas, in the Rgveda (i. 100, 17).?

Bharata king names

Ikṣvāku king names outnumber the presence of Bharata king’s name in the Rg veda. Rg veda shows Viśvāmitras, Paijavana-Bharata, (iii. 23, 4: in verse 2) Devasravas and Devavāta are mentioned as Bhāratas. Somaka Sāha-devya, Sṛñjaya Daivavāta, Divodāsa with div, devya prefixes or suffixes. Did you ever wonder why only few names?

Who was Bṛhadratha Navavāstva?

How to derive the truth from the abhāva of Navavāstva with Bṛhadratha in MAU? Are there any pointer- lakṣaṇā in Rg veda with the help of which we can reach the truth of presence of Rg vedic Aikṣvāka king Bṛhadratha in MAU (Maitreyi upanishad) as well? Yes, we do have an astronomical pointer.

The Astronomical pointer

Arjunī is, in the Rigveda X. 85, 13, the name of a Nakṣatra (‘lunar mansion’), elsewhere called Phalgunī. It occurs in the marriage hymn, with Aghā for Maghā, and, like that word, is apparently a deliberate modification in the later texts. Aghā is remebered as Maghā in MAU and the word Aghā is absent in MAU, but on the contrary MAU records that the King Bṛhadratha is a very old Aikṣvāka King. Note that the incedent is retold in MAU as an older memory but by using younger knowlege of name“Maghā” for Aghā. Indeed the mention of Bṛhadratha in X. 49, 6 and Arjunī, in the Rigveda X. 85, 13 makes sense for the timing of 34,500 BCE with VE in Maghaa for MAU and VE in Phalguni in Rg veda within the gap of 900~1800 years.

“But then we come to the 4 references to them (Ikshvakus) in the Old Books: VI.20; VII.19; IV.38,42. How can kings of the period of the New Books be found in references in the Old Books?” — Shrikant Talageri

The Answer is they lived in the pan Saraswati region. The evidence comes from Ramayana itself that the Ancient Ikṣvākus lived by the banks of Ikṣumati, a tributary of Saraswati. And the region perhaps was a peaceful region, probably no great war was fought with the Ikṣvākus by the other tribes. They have been defending the frontiers well from any invasions of the past. Probably their realm thus was called Ayodhya, “not to be fought with”. Things changed at the advent of nearing LGM times.

Series of events

  1. Bṛhadratha notes that earlier or contemporary to him had been the King Bharata also (this can be Ikṣvākus king himself). Note that he doesn’t take the name Sudāsa Paijavana who may have gained quite a fame and would command his mention in MAU. Note that he is fighting with Turvasus and Yadus in Rg veda.
  2. Bṛhadratha experiences Vernal in Maghā and similar near position of Vernal in Arjuni is noted in Rg veda in same mandala and nearby sukta.
  3. The Vernal event is squared with the evidence of critical fall and receding of ocean levels mentioned by King Bṛhadratha in MAU. From 40 to 20 ka transgression khvalian suggests all the sea levels and ocean levels succumbed to its lowest including the inland sea like Caspian, Red sea etc.

In some future blog I will cover how Tṛtsus are none other than Ikṣvākus. For now do ponder why Ikṣvākus would not have participated in Dasharajna war, or why Rohtaka (king Rohita of Ikṣvāku line) and Kurukshetra are within 1º latitude. Or why an ancient name Nabha (of Nābhāka?) ( Nabha in state-Patiala continued till British times).

Nabha state

I will continue on my quest to bring the glory back to the lost tribe of Rg veda —Ikṣvākus.



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Rupa Bhaty

Architect and Adjunct Assistant Professor at School of Indic studies, Institute of Advanced Sciences, MA, USA