VIDEHA MITHILA TIRBHUKTI TIRHUT....... | 8785 Hits

Default text in editor font mangal http://www.videha.co.in/ VIDEHA MITHILA TIRBHUKTI TIRHUT 1.Introduction Mithila includes `North Bihar',parts of Anga(south of Ganges), 'Tarai' and `Southern' portion of the kingdom of Nepal inclusive of lower ranges of hills. The earlier reference to Videha is in Satapatha Brahmana' ' Circa1000 B.C. Sadanira demarcated Videha from Kosala. Sadanira has been identified with the Budhi Gandak.Itcovers the modern districts of Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Champaran, Khagaria,Saharsa and parts of Purnea in India and those of Rohtara, Sarlahi, Mobitari, Saptari and Morang of Nepal.The Eastern boundary has been fluctuating with the changes in the course of river Kosi, the common boundary of the provinces of Mithila and Kamrup, the Ganga andthe Himalayas,the estates of Dinajpur, Koochbihar, Maldwara,Maldah, estates in Bangladesh,Rajmahal district of jharkhand and as far as Tejpur Pargana, the traditional grant of the kingdom of Mithila to Maharaja Mahesa Thakura by theMughal Emperor Akbar the District of Champaran, linguistically and culturally, been encroached by the Bhojpuri speaking people. On the other hand much of Monghyr and Bhagalpur Districts as lie to the south of Ganga river has been encroached by the Maithils.

It has also crossed the Kosi and occupied Purnea, KoochBehar, Dinajpur, gidhhaur, badh etc. also habitations. goa also. Kosi never been known to return eastwards to any of it deserted channels advancing westward Rama had finished journey between the Sona and the Gangs before reaching Vaisali within a day only. It took Visvamitra along with Rama and Lakshmana, four days to reach the capital of the country Of Videha from Ayodhya. They rested on the way for one night only.' In the Buddhist texts extended the connot tation of Madhyadesa - the most sacred part of India- simply because they had to include in it the land par excellence of Buddhism, viz., Bodhgaya and Banaras. eastern boundary of Majjhimadcsa - Pundravardhana which in ancient times included Varendra'.' (North Bengal). the Aitareya Brahmana' boundary of Madhyadesa somewhere near Prayag. sage of Mithila, Yajnavalkya, in that country in which black antelope roams about,' is that though Mithila was not included in the four ancient holy lands of Bharatavarsa-Brahmavarta, Brahmari.. sidesa, Madhyadesa and Aryarvarta. sanctity only from the fact pointed out by the Dharmasastra.

Mithila was consistently regarded as an independant unit of the Pracyadesa. Praci, in ancient Tibetan works, excluded even Magadha, Kasi and Kosala but included Mithila and Vanga.The Puranas only in Brihad Vishnu Purana c. 5th cen. A.D., Mithila Mahatmaya ll Khamla Tirabhukti (a later name of the province) is described as` situated between the river Ganga and the Himalayas, extending over fifteen rivers and from Kosi (Kausiki, in the east) to the Gandaki in the west, for -24 yojanas and from Ganga to the forests of Himalayas for 16 Yojanas. The messengers sent by Janaka reached Dasaratha's capital in three days by travelling very fast, while Dasaratha on his journey to the Videhan capital in his chariot took four days.Buddhist work Divyavadmra.those of Rohtara, Sarilahi, Mohitari, Saptari and Morang of subsequent movement of the Kosi. The Brihacf-Vishnu Purana gives the following twelve names of Mithila. 1 Mithila 2. Tairabhuktisca 3. Vaidehi 4. Naimikunanam 5. Jnanaksetram 6. kripaoitham 7. svarnalai 8. galapaddhati 9. Janakijanma bhumischa 10. nirapeksh 11. vikalmasha 12. Ramanandakuti viswabhavani nityamadgala.

At first it seems that the whole province was called Videha and had several kingdoms in it, the chief ones being those of Mithila and Vaisali.Indeed, from the account in earlier literature it would seem that the chief city of the kingdom of Mithila, was Mithila. The name Videha appears to have lost vogue in the mediaeval times.Then came the name Tirabhukti 4th and 5th centuries A.D. The Basarh terracotta seals of the 4th century A.D. mention this name for the first time. It became very popular and its simplified form, Tirhut, is now used extensively, though, the name Mithila is now gradually gaining ground. 'Tirhut' also indicated at one time a Sirkar (a division of the Subah of Bihar) under Muslim rulers ; it comprised of a very large tract of Brilrad-Vishnu Purana Mithilakhanda : Milimla; Tirabhukti; Vaidehi; Naimikanarn the forest associated with the descendants of Mini; Jnanakehelram, Kripa-pitham-the home of knowledge and the centre of grace; Svarnalangalpaddhari-The footsteps of the gold plough; lanakijanmabhumi; Vihalmashn-Devoid of sins ; Ramanandakuri-the cottage of Sita's Pleasure; Visvahharani-world pleasant; and Nityamangala-ever blissful.Britishers formed the modern division of Tirhut comprising the Districts of Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Champaran and Saran.'Videha' is the earliest designation, probably derived from the name of the Vedic King Videgha Mathava who is said to have introduced the Agni into the lands beyond the river Sadanira.

visit led to the cultivation and more habitation of the country, for we are told that previously the land was extremely marshy and had to he dried.Mithila is not mentioned in the Vaidika or post-Vaidika Literature. The Ramavana and the Mahahharala, Dasakumaraehariia, Raghuvalnia Prasannargghara etc use it for the whole country. It is used most extensively in literature specially as the capital city of Videha or Tirabhukti province situated somewhere in the Tarai - modern Janakpur.Mithila is also called Miyulu in the Buddhist Annals. the origin of the name Mithila too in the title Mathava of this king, Mithi being reminiscent of it.In some Jataka accounts a city called Jayanta on the bank of the Gangas is spoken of as the capital of Videha. The Devi Bhogar'ata (Skandhe 6) wrongly located the city on the bank of the Ganga.The use of the appellation 'Mithila' along with 'Tirabhukti' or Tirhut for the whole country is comparatively very late-from about thef time of the installation of Karnata Dynasty in 1097 A.D. the Valmikiya Ramayana observes that the city of Mithila was founded by king Mithi.

The most reasonable explanation of the origin of the name appears to be as given by the Unadi-sutras.Its authors derives it from 'mantha' (to churn). name of the capital city carne to be used for the whole kingdom.Tirabhukti or Tirhut nothing more than the Mithila and Vaisali kingdoms of older days. Tirabhukti is so called because it is regard as a land of three mythical sacrifices performed at the birth place of Sita, it extends up to the Tira or the bank of the Ganga, so it is called Tirabhuhti,two sides of the river Kausiki (the Kosi).This area is even today divided into two broad groups: Pachharari andPuvaripara.The extent of Mithila as given in the Brihad-Vislnur Puraua,are East to West 96 Kosas or 24 Yojanas, North to South 64 Kosas or I6 Yojanas. ahajanaha Jataka as 300 Yojanas and about 10000 sq miles in the kingdomsof Nepal.work of King Nanyadeva on music-Sorasvatihridayakanthabharana.According to the Bhavishya Purana Nimi the son of Manu, king of Ayodhya frequented the land of sacrifices. His son Mithi founded a kingdom here which was named Mithila after his name. Being a 'city builder', he came to be known as 'Jataka'.Geology looks further than History,scholars who have engaged themselves in the study of Ancient India have complety ignored

Pre-historic Mithila,watery nature of its land particularly because of its situation at the foot of the Himalayas and by the frequent changes in the courses of its numerous rivers and rivulets have made it difficult to collect materials in the field of pre-historic antiquities.marshy character of the land.Jalodbhara i.e. reclaimed from swamp.it was cultivated by the Brahmanas. who had caused agni, the Fire God, to taste it through sacrifices vast chain of temporary lakes, joined together by the numerous beds of hill streams Nepal to the Ganges. communications are open for only three or tour months of the year.The river side is so common that the expression `aadi dim ' is used by every one irrespective of age for going out for excreting wild animals used to roam about till recently, the long grass which grows in abundance in such a land all these give the picture of Mithila gradually coming out of water in the Cain-Ozoic Epoch.The story of the Avati ras is believed by a group of scholars to indicate the gradual stages of evolution, especially that of Vishnu as half-tortoise and half-fish.

We have in Mithila, in the first instance the famous Varahaakshetra Tirtha which map indicate the evolution of man through the stage of a boar; and then there is a Pauranic story of the birth of Narakasura by the Union of Vishnu and Varaha. This may indicate in some form, the knowledge or existence of the evolution of the primitive man from half-animals and half-man in Mithila-^ Of the ages that followed the age of sub-men or primitive men, the remains are so scanty in India that much cannot be said about any region, especially that of Mithila, which has been so far practically has remained wholly unexplored. Of the ages that followed the age of sub-men or primitive men, the remains are so scanty in India that much cannot be said about any region, especially that of Mithila, which has been so far practically remained wholly unexplored. There is a great paucity of material to eliminate the `Pre-Vedic' inhabitants of Mithila.The various types of skulls that were discovered at the site near Darbhanga Railway Station, which is called ‘Harahi’, (i.e. the site of bones), remained unclassified and unstudied.

There is a pond there, in the name of ‘Harahi’.All that is possible in the present state of our knowledge is to took forward to the study of some apparently primitive castes and tribes of Mithila. As early as the 5th century AD,several tribes made up the Vajjian Confederacy and one of the most important of them was 'Lichchhavis', who was held for a long time to be of foreign stock. The names of other important ones are mentioned in the Jyotirisvara's Varnaratnakara. They are Tatama, Dhanukha, Goara, Khatbe, Amata etc. In the earlier part of Satapatha Brdhmana it is mentioned that King Videgh Mathawa carried Agni in his mouth and he moved from Saraswati, in the Punjab, where the king dwelt),to Sadanira, drying up all the rivers. He did not, however, burnt Sadanira. The Brahmanas did not cross it,therefore, thinking it has not been burnt over by Agni Vaisvanar.But when Mathava reached the Sadanira,he asked the Agni where will be his dwelling and the reply was that he should live to the East of Sadanira.However it is fact that Ayodhya and Videha were long united and their Kings were of the same tree.

It might mean that the reformed Brahmanism passed from the Bharata Kingdom to Ayodhya and then to Videha.The Videha country received Vedic culture long before the trine of the compilation of this Brahamana.In Brihaddrapyaka Upanishad which forms a part of the Satapatha Brahmana Samrat Janaka is mentioned as a great patron of Vedic culture and it is said that the Videha Brahmanas were superior to the Kuru Panchalas in the Upanishadic phase of the development of vedic culture.The vedic(Aryan) culture has taken its root long before the Brahmana age, most probably in the early Samhita age of the Rigveda.The Yajurveda Samhita mentions the famous cows of Videha. The Vedic sites were unknown to the inhabitants of Mithila. Mathava Videgha's priest Gautama Rahugana is credited in the Satapatha Brahmana with the discovery of the Mitravinda sacrifice which is further said to have been revived by Emperor Janaka through Yajnaavalkya.Besides, earlier still, Nami Sapya, King of Videha (Vaideha-Raja) is held up as a memorable example of a monarch who successfully performed elaborate sacrifices and thereby reached heaven.

As the name of this King appears in several passages in the Rigveda,very early period in the development of Vedic Culture in India.Rig Veda1.53,7 says that Nami was the friend and associate of Indra in quarelling the Asura Naaiuci,in the fight with Namuci Indra protected Nami Sapya.The priest Gautama Rahugana is one of the important Rishi in Rigved. It may be noted that the Brahmanic culture must have made a very rapid progress In the country to justify its description in the latter part of the Satapatha Brahmana as the centre of intellectual activity of the age.The Mahdbharata attests that the Vedic lore was as popular in the East as anywhere else.In the Shanti Parva and in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the authorship of Sukla Yajurveda is ascribed in clear terms to Yajnavalkya Vajasaneya, who belonged to Mithila. From a perusal of all these things it becomes clear that Mithila figures prominently in Ancient History from the very beginning of the Vedic period.

Mithila was visited by Videgha Mathava and his followers and probably, its marshes and jungles were cleared, and its soil was cultivated and a great and powerful kingdom was founded.Vedic Mithila knew other kings too, such as, Nami Sapya (Rigveda 1.53 .7) and Par Ahlara. Nimi Vaideha, who IS reported in certain Puranas to have founded this line of Kings in Mithila, is perhaps a later name of the king of Kings.At any rate, Videgha Mathava should be regarded as the earliest known King, if not the founder, of the Videha kingdom and of the line of Vaideha Janaka. In course of time it seems that a confederacy of kindered peoples known as the Kosala Videha, occupying a position no less important than that of the Kuru Panchalas, grow up at the time of the Redaction of the Brahmana.The Kingdom thus founded by the Vedic Mathava was in course of time ruled by the Vedic Samrat Janaka the contemporary of Aruni and Yajnavalkya, and Ashvapati, a king of the Kekayas. Majajanaka II,12th century BC,is court was adored with the philosophers of Kosala and Kuru-Panchala such as Ashvala, Jaratkarava-Arthabhoga, Bujjya Lahyayanani, Vshasta Chakrayana Kahoda,Kausi-takeya, Gargi Vachakuari, Uddalaka Aruni and Videgha Sakalayaa Yajfvalkya Vajaseneya, who was a pupil of Uddalaka Aruni. In the Mahabharata the Mithila King is said to have sided with the Duryodhana because he had learnt the science of fighting with mace from the latter. Bhima and Karna are said to have conqured Mithila. One Karala Janak made a lascivious attempt on a Brahmin maiden leading to the overthrow of the monarchy and that was followed by the rise of a republic, the Vajjian confederacy.

The Mahabharata and Ramauyana mentions a great battle between Pratardana, King of Kasi Janaka King of Mithila.The Vajjian confederacy, were the offsprings of a queen of Kasi. The Videha ended on the west by the Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur andVaishali districts, on the east by the Kosi and the Mahananda rivers in the south by the Ganges and on the north by the lower ridges of the Himalayas. It includes the following areas-North Bihar excluding the Saran region and the Champaran-Muzaffarpur region,i.e,theMadhubani,DarbhangaSamastipur districts, the Begusarai district and Araria sub-district,the Saharsa district,the npart of the Bhagalpur district,Khagaria district and the Purnea and Katihar and the Nepalese Terai contiguous with the northernmost parts of the Madhubani, Saharsa and Purnea.

The ancient most name for this region available in literature is Videha.It is possible that a small tract of the Sitamarhi district might have formed part of the state of Videha and not of Vaisali during the reign of Siradhwaja Janaka.The tribe which inhabited the area east of the Gandaka,the Videhan state with its capital at Mithila usually identified with Janakpur in the Nepalese Terai situated at a distance of 14 miles from Jaynagar Railway Station on the Indo-Nepal border and Videha as a geographical term which included the Vaisali state also, along with the Videha state within its borders. It was in this last sense that Kundgrama-near Vaisali, the birthplace of Mahavira, is placed in Videha and that the mothers of Mahavira and Ajatasatru, which were the sister and daughter respectively of Chetaka, the Lichchhavi leader cf Vaisali, are called Videhadatta and Vedehi respectively.There is no controversy whatsoever with regard to its northern and southern frontiers.

 

The Sadanira river acted as the boundary between Videha or Vaisali and its western neighbour Kosala but its identification has been a matter of some dispute. It is identified by the Indian lexicographers with the Karatoyas modern Kurate which flows through the Bogra district in Bangladesh but this seems to be too far east. On the ground that the Mahabharata distinguishes the Gandaki from the Sadanira, it is held that the Sadanira was the Rapti. But it is the Gandaki-the Kondo-chates of the Greek geographers. The Sadanira flows from the northern Himalaya mountains and formed the boundary bet-ween Kosala and Videha and its waters are never exhausted.From the bank of the Great Gandak to the forest of Champa the country is called Videha, also known as Tirabhukti. This name is found some of the Basarh seals as one of the provinces of the Gupta empire. Purnea seems to have been the easternmost district of Videha or Tirabhukti and in that case the Kosi or Mahananda would naturally form the boundary between Videha and Pundra.

The ancient kingdom of Anga does not seem to have extended north of the Ganges, because there is no clear indication of this in ancient literature. The forest in which Rishyasringa son of Kasyapa Vibhapdaka, lived is said to have bordered on Anga, and the whole of this quaint story thatRishyasringa being beguiled by the courtesans of Malini into a boat and brought down the river to the capital of Anga implies that he was living within the territory of Anga, for no embassage was sent to any other king for permission to bring him away, as when Dasratha paid a special visit to Lomapada to invite the Rishi's attendance at Ayodhya to perform the sacrifice which was to bless the king with a son.The Epics has no reference to the effect that Rishyasringa's hermitage lay in Anga.It was situated on the Kosi river near some mountain. Dasaratha's visit was necessitated by the fact that Rishyasringa happened to he the son-in-law of the Anga king and not because he was living within the territory of Anga.

The Kausiki is one of the most ancient rivers of India It is frequently mentioned in the Epics and the Puranas. It has ever been a shifting river,its playground being the area between the river Mahananda in the district of Purnea on the east and the river Balan in the old district of Darbhanga on the west. Kosi in some remote period joined the Mahananda through the river Panar also called the Parman near Araria. The belief of the local people is that at some bygone time the Kosi used to flow along the course of the Panar this river, the Panar also in its short course through the Nepalese territory is called the Burhi(old) Kosi.The Buddhist conception of Videha differ from the above because the Buddhists mention Vajji and Videha as two distinct geographical and political entities.But sometimes they inter-change Vaisali and Videha.Ajatashatru, son of a Vaisali princess, is called Vaidehiputra in Buddhist literatureThe Taitariya Samhita of Yajurveda mentions the cows of videha as famous in India in the Vedic times.

The commentator of the Taitariya Samhita explains the adjective Vaidehyah-plural of Vaidehi by vishishta dehasambandhinyah-having splendid bodies the portion translated by Keith is-Indra slew Vritra,from the head of Vritra came out cows, they were of Videha, behind them came the bull.Apparently cows of Videha were especially famous.The regular genealogy of the Janaka dynasty of Videha does not go beyond the Mahabharata War.Nimi Videha was the founder of the Videhan state and its capital town called Jayanta and his son Mithi Janaka Vaideha as that of Mithila city.The co-operation of Gautama-a priestly dynasty, was readily available to the family. It appears Jayanta was soon abandoned in favour of a more strategic place, Mithila.The Puranas mention Jayanta and Mithila, as the early and later capitals of Videha. The Buddhist literature does not know Jayanta but speaks of Mithila only. The Tripitaka commentaries state that Videharattha was colonised by the inhabitants who were brought by king Mandhata from Pubbavideha, the eastern sub-continent of Asia, placed to theeast of Mount Sumeru.

This Mandhata, who was at Rajagriha.The Buddhist tradition provided in the Digha,the division of India among the sons of Manu says that this country was divided into seven political units and Renu, son of Disampati, was allotted Mithila in the country of the Videhas.Mithila was founded by Mahagovinda, the steward of king Renu. Disampati and Renu were kings or chieftains in Banaras or king of the Kurus are referred to, apparently as kings of Banaras, at Dipavamsa.The Videhan state was founded by Nimi Videha, son of Ikshvaku, who also founded a town called Jayanta. He dwelt in a town famed as Vaijayanta or Jayanta. This town was situated near the ashrama of Gautama and also near the Himavat mountain. Nimi instituted a sacrifice that was to last for a thousand years and requested Vasishtha to preside. Vasishtha said that he had already been engaged by Indra in a sacrifice which would last for five hundred years and asked him to wait for the period.

Nimi in the meantime employed Gautama and other Rishis for his sacrifice.On the completion of the sacrifice of Indra Vasishtha hastened to Nimi but found Gautama and others.He cursed Nimi that henceforth be body-less (vi-deha).Nimi cursed Vasishtha in return and both abandoned their human bodies.Nimi's dead body was preserved in oil and scents till the completion of the sacrifice. The sages then agitated his body and consequently a boy was born, who was called Janaka because of being self-born, Videha because of being Mini Videha's son and Mithi because of his birth from agitation-manth- to churn.A great sacrifice of the glorious Nimi, the king of the Videhas, is referred to in the Bhagavata.The Vedic texts know of a king of Videha Nam Sapya, is nowhere indicated as the founder of the Videhan royal family.Nimi has been mentioned at several places in the Mahabharata, but generally his territory is not stated. At one place he has been called a Vaideha which removes the doubt with regard to his territory. There it is stated that he gave his kingdom to the Brahmanas.

The Videhan dynasty, being a branch of the Ikshvakus, is called the solar dynasty who did not eat meat during the month of Kartika. We are not quite sure if this Nimi is the first king of the dynasty or the penultimate sovereign, who is frequently mentioned in Buddhist literature. Sadanira,she that is always filled with water which is more probably the Gandaki. Agni Vaisvanara,the fire that burns for all men,fire which is the common property of all men,not sacrificial fire, but fire in its ordinary everyday use applied to human wants. The primeval forests from the Sarasvati to the Sadanira, and there the course of the colonising Aryas stopped until Mathava carried Agni to the east of the latter river. If Agni Vaisvanara went burning along the earth from the Sarasvati to Videha,Agni burnt over the Paurava territory-including North Panchala and the Ayodhya realm, two of the most famous and best cultivated regions even in early times-which is absurd. If itenshrines any historical truth it might mean that the reformed Brahmanism passed from the Bharata kingdom to Ayodhya and then to Videha.

The Videha ended on the west by the Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur andVaishali districts, on the east by the Kosi and the Mahananda rivers in the south by the Ganges and on the north by the lower ridges of the Himalayas. It includes the following areas-North Bihar excluding the Saran region and the Champaran-Muzaffarpur region,i.e,theMadhubani,DarbhangaSamastipur districts, the Begusarai district and Araria sub-district,the Saharsa district,the npart of the Bhagalpur district,Khagaria district and the Purnea and Katihar and the Nepalese Terai contiguous with the northernmost parts of the Madhubani, Saharsa and Purnea. The ancient most name for this region available in literature is Videha.It is possible that a small tract of the Sitamarhi district might have formed part of the state of Videha and not of Vaisali during the reign of Siradhwaja Janaka.The tribe which inhabited the area east of the Gandaka,the Videhan state with its capital at Mithila usually identified with Janakpur in the Nepalese Terai situated at a distance of 14 miles from Jaynagar Railway Station on the Indo-Nepal border and Videha as a geographical term which included the Vaisali state also, along with the Videha state within its borders.

It was in this last sense that Kundgrama-near Vaisali, the birthplace of Mahavira, is placed in Videha and that the mothers of Mahavira and Ajatasatru, which were the sister and daughter respectively of Chetaka, the Lichchhavi leader cf Vaisali, are called Videhadatta and Vedehi respectively.There is no controversy whatsoever with regard to its northern and southern frontiers. The Sadanira river acted as the boundary between Videha or Vaisali and its western neighbour Kosala but its identification has been a matter of some dispute. It is identified by the Indian lexicographers with the Karatoyas modern Kurate which flows through the Bogra district in Bangladesh but this seems to be too far east. On the ground that the Mahabharata distinguishes the Gandaki from the Sadanira, it is held that the Sadanira was the Rapti. But it is the Gandaki-the Kondo-chates of the Greek geographers.

The Sadanira flows from the northern Himalaya mountains and formed the boundary bet-ween Kosala and Videha and its waters are never exhausted.From the bank of the Great Gandak to the forest of Champa the country is called Videha, also known as Tirabhukti. This name is found some of the Basarh seals as one of the provinces of the Gupta empire. Purnea seems to have been the easternmost district of Videha or Tirabhukti and in that case the Kosi or Mahananda would naturally form the boundary between Videha and Pundra.The ancient kingdom of Anga does not seem to have extended north of the Ganges, because there is no clear indication of this in ancient literature. The forest in which Rishyasringa son of Kasyapa Vibhapdaka, lived is said to have bordered on Anga, and the whole of this quaint story thatRishyasringa being beguiled by the courtesans of Malini into a boat and brought down the river to the capital of Anga implies that he was living within the territory of Anga, for no embassage was sent to any other king for permission to bring him away, as when Dasratha paid a special visit to Lomapada to invite the Rishi's attendance at Ayodhya to perform the sacrifice which was to bless the king with a son.The Epics has no reference to the effect that Rishyasringa's hermitage lay in Anga.It was situated on the Kosi river near some mountain.

Dasaratha's visit was necessitated by the fact that Rishyasringa happened to he the son-in-law of the Anga king and not because he was living within the territory of Anga.The Kausiki is one of the most ancient rivers of India It is frequently mentioned in the Epics and the Puranas. It has ever been a shifting river,its playground being the area between the river Mahananda in the district of Purnea on the east and the river Balan in the old district of Darbhanga on the west. Kosi in some remote period joined the Mahananda through the river Panar also called the Parman near Araria. The belief of the local people is that at some bygone time the Kosi used to flow along the course of the Panar this river, the Panar also in its short course through the Nepalese territory is called the Burhi(old) Kosi.The Buddhist conception of Videha differ from the above because the Buddhists mention Vajji and Videha as two distinct geographical and political entities.But sometimes they inter-change Vaisali and Videha.Ajatashatru, son of a Vaisali princess, is called Vaidehiputra in Buddhist literatureThe Taitariya Samhita of Yajurveda mentions the cows of videha as famous in India in the Vedic times.

The commentator of the Taitariya Samhita explains the adjective Vaidehyah-plural of Vaidehi by vishishta dehasambandhinyah-having splendid bodies the portion translated by Keith is-Indra slew Vritra,from the head of Vritra came out cows, they were of Videha, behind them came the bull.Apparently cows of Videha were especially famous.The regular genealogy of the Janaka dynasty of Videha does not go beyond the Mahabharata War.Nimi Videha was the founder of the Videhan state and its capital town called Jayanta and his son Mithi Janaka Vaideha as that of Mithila city.The co-operation of Gautama-a priestly dynasty, was readily available to the family. It appears Jayanta was soon abandoned in favour of a more strategic place, Mithila.The Puranas mention Jayanta and Mithila, as the early and later capitals of Videha. The Buddhist literature does not know Jayanta but speaks of Mithila only. The Tripitaka commentaries state that Videharattha was colonised by the inhabitants who were brought by king Mandhata from Pubbavideha, the eastern sub-continent of Asia, placed to theeast of Mount Sumeru.

This Mandhata, who was at Rajagriha.The Buddhist tradition provided in the Digha,the division of India among the sons of Manu says that this country was divided into seven political units and Renu, son of Disampati, was allotted Mithila in the country of the Videhas.Mithila was founded by Mahagovinda, the steward of king Renu. Disampati and Renu were kings or chieftains in Banaras or king of the Kurus are referred to, apparently as kings of Banaras, at Dipavamsa.The Videhan state was founded by Nimi Videha, son of Ikshvaku, who also founded a town called Jayanta. He dwelt in a town famed as Vaijayanta or Jayanta. This town was situated near the ashrama of Gautama and also near the Himavat mountain. Nimi instituted a sacrifice that was to last for a thousand years and requested Vasishtha to preside. Vasishtha said that he had already been engaged by Indra in a sacrifice which would last for five hundred years and asked him to wait for the period. Nimi in the meantime employed Gautama and other Rishis for his sacrifice.On the completion of the sacrifice of Indra Vasishtha hastened to Nimi but found Gautama and others.He cursed Nimi that henceforth be body-less (vi-deha).

Nimi cursed Vasishtha in return and both abandoned their human bodies.Nimi's dead body was preserved in oil and scents till the completion of the sacrifice. The sages then agitated his body and consequently a boy was born, who was called Janaka because of being self-born, Videha because of being Mini Videha's son and Mithi because of his birth from agitation-manth- to churn.A great sacrifice of the glorious Nimi, the king of the Videhas, is referred to in the Bhagavata.The Vedic texts know of a king of Videha Nam Sapya, is nowhere indicated as the founder of the Videhan royal family.Nimi has been mentioned at several places in the Mahabharata, but generally his territory is not stated. At one place he has been called a Vaideha which removes the doubt with regard to his territory. There it is stated that he gave his kingdom to the Brahmanas. The Videhan dynasty, being a branch of the Ikshvakus, is called the solar dynasty who did not eat meat during the month of Kartika.

We are not quite sure if this Nimi is the first king of the dynasty or the penultimate sovereign, who is frequently mentioned in Buddhist literature. Sadanira,she that is always filled with water is more probably the Gandaki. Agni Vaisvanara,the fire that burns for all men,fire which is the common property of all men,not sacrificial fire, but fire in its ordinary everyday use applied to human wants. The primeval forests from the Sarasvati to the Sadanira, and there the course of the colonising Aryas stopped until Mathava carried Agni to the east of the latter river. If Agni Vaisvanara went burning along the earth from the Sarasvati to Videha,Agni burnt over the Paurava territory-including North Panchala and the Ayodhya realm, two of the most famous and best cultivated regions even in early times-which is absurd.

The reformed Brahmanism passed from the Bharata kingdom to Ayodhya and then to Videha.Videgha Mathava, who led the Aryans from the Sarasvatt to colonise Mithila, and his great priest Gautama Rahugana wandered through the northern Himalayan regions till they came to the upper reaches of the river Gandak, and laid the foundation of the Mithila kingdom to the north of what formed the kingdom of Vaisali. Sadanira flowing from the northern mountain also indicates that the people coming might have passed through an area from which it could see clearly that the river came from the northern mountain. Moreover, there are places in the northern part of the Champaran region, Jankigarh eleven miles to the north of Lauriya Nandangarh-which are associated with the rule of the Janaka dynasty. This tradition may lend support to the supposition that Videgha Mathava might have proceeded to Videha through this region.The word Janaka has a reference to the tribe, jana and the best or the leader of the janas was called Janaka.

Thus Videgha Mathava, who led the party, might be called a Janaka.In the Buddhist tradition the founder of the royal line of Videha is Makhadeva who is represented as the king of Mithila. For successive periods of 84000 years each he had respectively amused himself as prince, ruled as viceroy and reigned as king. He one day asked his barber to tell him as soon as he had any grey hairs. When many years later the barber found a grey hair, he pulled it out and laid it on the king's palm as he had been requested. The king had 84000 years yet to live, but he granted the barber a village yielding one hundred thousand and on that very day gave over the kingdom to his son and renounced the world as though he had seen the king of Death. For 84000 years he lived as a recluse in the Makhadeva-amhavana, and was reborn in the Brahma-world. Although the figure 84000 is merely conventional and has no significance, the story is inclined towards asceticism.

The scene of the finding of a grey hair is marvellously sculptured on a railing of the Bharhut stupa. In this scene Maghadeva or Mahadeva,king of Videha, is upset at the sight of a grey hair picked up from his head and resigns his kingdom in favour of his eldest son. He is seated on a throne that resembles one of the modern fashionable chairs. His face is clean shaven. The prince stands gently before him. The barber stands behind him with his shaving pot. The Buddhist tradition calls Makhadeva founder of the royal line but his capital is said to be Mithila. Makhadeva founded Jayanta and made a beginning of the foundation of another town later called Mithila. The Vedic tradition furnished by the Satapatha Brahmana the identification of the first Videhan king of the Puranas with the first Videhan king of the Vedic account is proved by a fact that Gotama is the priest of that king in both the accounts. The only apparent difference between the accounts is the one concerning the name of the first Videhan king, the Puranas call him Nimi, the Satapatha-Brahmana calls him Mathava. But the name given in the Satapatha Brahmana is clearly a patronym, meaning son of Mathu.

Thus, while the Puranas call the king by his proper name, the Satapatha-Brahmana calls him by his patronym. The surname of the king is the same in both the accounts- Videha in the Puranas and its Vedic form Videgha in the Satapatha Brahmana. Nimi, the founder of the Videha dynasty was not a son but a descendant of Ikshvaku. Nimi was a contemporary of the rishi Gotama, near whose hermitage he built a city named Jayanta. As no rishi of the name of Gotama is ever included by the Puranas among those primaeval sages who were the contemporaries cf Manu and his sons, Nimi, the contemporary of Gotama, could not have been a son ofIkshvaku. Thus, the identification of the first Videhan king of the Puranas (Nimi Videha) with the first Videhan king of theVedic account (Videgha Mathava) is proved by the fact that Gotama is the priest of that king in both the accounts.No Videha king is ever mentioned in the Puranas in connection with any early person or event,. which means that the Videha dynasty did not exist in early times, and so could not have been founded by Ikshvaku's son.

The list of the Videha kings itself lends support to this.This list gives some 51 names. The certain point where a synchronism exists is the reign of Siradhvaja, who was a contemporary of Dasaratha. The Puranas give the account of only three dynasties.The certain descendants of Trasadasyu mentioned in the Rigveda, such as Mitratithi, Kuru Sravana and Iipama. It was Bhagiratha who left his ancestral kingdom on the western confines of the Punjab and marching hundreds of miles with his army and other subjects, reached the river Ganga, which he gave the name of Bhagtrathi. To the east of the Ganga he founded a kingdom named Kosala with its capital at Ayodhya on the bank of the Sarayu, a tributary of the Ganga. The Sarayu and the Gomati , two of the chief rivers of Kosala, were named after the tributaries of the river Sindhu. The conquest of the Gangetic territory of Kosala by Bhagiratha was soon followed by the conquest of the region to its east by another prince of the Ikshvaku family named Nimi Mathava. Mathava belonged to that branch of the Ikshvakus that had earlier settled on the banks of the Saraswati.

He left the Sarasvati river and accompanied by his priest Gotama Rahugana crossed the river Sadanira and colonised Videha. Gotama built an ashrama in this country and Nimi founded a town named Jayanta near that ashrama. Nimi was succeeded by Mithi Janaka who founded the city of Mithila that became the capital of Videha. Some twelve generations after Bhagiratha of Kosala and Nimi Mathava of Videha, an Ikshvaku prince named Visala, who was a scion of either the Kosala or the Videha dynasty found a new kingdom in the vicinity of Videha. This kingdom was named Vaisali after its capital, which was founded by and named after Visala.Mithi Janaka was the son of Nimi Videha. The Bhagavata Purana calls him Mithila instead of Mithi. The Garuda Purana, though it gives the genealogy of Videha kings, does not mention Mithi because due to the loss of some verses closing the Ikshvaku dynasty of Ayodhya and introducing the Videhan line. Prasuilruta-a king of Ayodhya father of Udavasu-Vlithi's son- of the Videhan line.

The Ramayana makes Mithi Janaka two kings.Mithi, being son of Nimi Videha, is also known as Vaideha. Mithi is celebrated as the founder of Mithila. Jayanta founded by Nimi did not prove to be a good capital and need was felt to proceed further north. Mithila is identified with modern Janakpur in the Nepalese Terai. It is regarded as a sacred spot by the Hindus and is visited by many pilgrims every year. It is rather strange that while in other kingdoms capitals were generally founded on the banks of the rivers. Mithi established his capital at Janakpur in the Nepalese Terai, so close to the Himalayan mountains.The plain area of the old Muzaffarpur district had already been seized by the state of Vaisali founded by the son of Manu. So the Videhan state, founded by Manu's grandson and strengthened by his great grandson Mithi, might establish its capital either in the old Darbhanga district, which must have been very marshy at that time or in the sub Himalayan area.

The hilly tribes must have been very turbulent and hence it might have been considered expedient to have the capital there. An adjective meaning valorous was used for Mithi in two Puranas may have a reference to the defeat of the hill tribes. The Himalayan area was considered particularly sacred from the point of view of asceticism or performance of rites. Janaka got instruction from Chyavana Bhargava. We do not find any direct or even indirect details about the successors of Mithi Janaka till we come to the time of Siradhvaja and his brother Kusadhvaja.Udavasu he was the son and successor of Mithi Janaka.Nandivardhana was the son and successor of Udavasu.He is called pious by two Puranas and the Ramayana.Suketu was the son and successor of Nandivardhana and is called chivalrous and pious.

He was the son and successor of Suketu and is called pious and very strong and a royal sage.The ancient kings, who were called or said to have become Indras only held or usurped the position of High Priest of the tribe or realm, in addition to that of king e.g.the Devaraj and Dharmaraj of Bhutan, its High Priest and Chief Judge. The Epic-Puranic tradition knows of one Videha and one Ikshvaku king as Devaraja, and one Vasishtha with the same designation.One of the known achievements of Devaraja was his getting a bow from the gods who had received it from Shiva.This was the bow used by Siva after the destruction of the sacrifice of Daksha. It was a remarkable thing and continued in the family of the Janakas as a glorious heritage. It was in the time of Siradhvaja Janaka that it was broken by Rama.Brihadratha, the Videhan king, was a contemporary of king Mandhatri of Ayodhya . One Janaka Daivarati of Mithila got instruction from Yajnavalkya.

He was probably different from Brihaduktha, son, of Devarata.He is called Mahavirya by the Puranas. He is said to be valorous. One Janaka Daivarati is mentioned in the Mahabharata the management of whose father's sacrifice was taken by Yajnavalkya. He seems to have flourished after the Bharata War. Dhrishtaketu is stated to be pious.,a defeater of foes and a royal sage.An ancient king named Dhrishtaketu is mentioned in the Mahabhrarata, but his territory is not given. Haryaswva is known to all our sources and is the first ruler of Videha whose name contains a synonym of horse.Suketu -a good banner and Brihadratha-a large charioteer.The Mahabharata states that Rama Jamadagnya defeated and killed many tribes, the Videhas being one of them. If this tradition has any basis in fact, it may mean that the king of Videha was defeated by Rama Jamadagnya. The Videhan king defeated might have been Haryasva or his predecessor Dhrishtaketa.

The Mahahharatas refers to a battle between Janaka Maithila and Pratardana. In this battle the warriors of Mithila were victorious. The kingdom of Pratardana is not indicated here. But the Mahabharata mentions him at two other places as the king of Kasi.The Janaka Maithila who had an encounter with Pratardana might have been Pratindhaka. Maharoman is the first of the threee successive kings who bore names ending in roman. He is said to be learned.Svarnaroman is said to be pious and a royal sage. Hrasvaroman, the last of the three successive kings who bore names ending in roman is said to be a knower or piety and one possessing a great soul. He had two sons and Kusadhvaja.Siradhvaj to Sakuni was the expansionist phase of the Videhan kingdom. Sankasya was annexed and a branch line of Videha was established there which is said to have ruled for four generations. After Sumati, a contemporary of Stradhvaja Janaka, we do not hear of Vaisali, Videha's western neighbour the Vaisali state was absorbed by kingdom.Another feature is that with Siradhvaja begins an age in Videhan history in which the names of sovereigns are better preserved. Siradhvaja is a famous king of Videha for several reasons. His adopted daughter, Sita, was married to Rama. Siradhvaja is a famous king of Videha for several reasons.

His adopted daughter, Sita, was married to Rama. Ramayana is devoted to this important event of the alliance between the Ikshvakus and the Videhas.The story is narrated by the Mahabharata also. The Great Epic does not call him Siradhvaja, but Videharaja and Janaka. His great fame and scholarship misled Bhavahhuti, the celebrated Sanskrit dramatist of a much later period, who confused him for the Vedic Janaka.Siradhvaja was also a good fighter.Thus he specialised in the arts of war as in those of peace.Siradhvaja had one son -Bhanumat- one adopted daughter, Sita, and one daughter Urmila. His brother Kushadhvaja had two daughters-Mandavi and Srutakirti. Siradhvaja ascended the throne after his father Hrasvaro-man left for the forest.He kept his younger brother under his special care.Once while Siradhvaja was ploughing the mead, there arose a damsel and as he obtained her while furrowing the field for sacrifice, she came to be known by the name of Sita, arising from the earth she grew as his daughter.The greater part of her education 'was post-marital, and most likely influenced by her husband and by the special environments of her long periods of exile from court. Yet the first nine or ten years of Sita's life were not left blank.

She was certainly literate. The script she learnt was perhaps pictographic. She knew three languages, at least two of which were begun in her childhood. Besides studying many branches of learning, she had a lot of instruction from her mother and other relatives about wifely duties.A valuable and attractive possession of Siradhvaja was a bow of Siva which his ancestor Devarata had received as a trust from the gods. These two Sita and the bow became sources of his friction with contemporary kings. The Buddhist reference that makes Rama brother and husband of Sita is historically right, the origin of the modified version discloses itself in Sita's appellation janakaduhita .The proper name Janaka was a very easy one, and had the merit of supplying a plausible and honourable connection for the subsequently deified tribal hero, while removing the objectionable feature smoothly. Sh.S.C.sarkar opines that Siradhvaja may have been hit upon as a suitable Janaka for the Janaka-duhita, because of the connection between 'Sita' and 'Sira'.

Another suggestion made by the same scholar twenty years later is that Sita was Vedavati's illegitimate, abandoned child, found and adopted by her Vedavati's generous uncle, Siradhvaja. Siradhvaja vowed that he would give his daughter only to him who would be able to string the bow. The kings, who failed to do this laid siege to Mithila and oppressed the town. This went on for a year. Much of the wealth of Siradhvaja was uselessly spoiled. Later he made exertions, received a four-limbed army and defeated the kings who fled away with their ministers.But the troubles were not over with this episode. Sudhanvan, king of Sankisa invaded Mithila and demanded the bow of Siva as well as the beautiful Sita. He was resisted and ultimately defeated. Sudhanvan was killed in battle. Sankisa became an appendage to Videha. A branch dynasty was established there with his younger brother Kusadhvaja as the king of the territory.Siradhvaja then announced the performance of a ceremony regarding the bow.

Visvamitra, who had brought two sons of king Dasaratha of Ayodhya to have his Ashrama area in South Bihar cleared of Rakshasas, heard of this and the party decided to see this ceremony for themselves.The Ramayana of Valmiki furnishes us with certain clues which enable us to trace the route of the party consisting of Vishwamitra, Rama and Lakshmana from Ayodhya to Siddhasrama,modern Sahasram, and from there to the capital of Videha.The marriage of Rama and Sita was performed on the twentyfifth day of the journey from Ayodhya. The fifth day of the bright fortnight of the month of MargaShirsha is universally regarded as the date of the marriage of Rama and Sita.The journey began on the eleventh day of the bright half of the month of Kartika. But it is stated that on the eleventh day of the journey the moon was visible after midnight.So it was probably the eighth day of a dark fortnight. The two dates will disappear and two other dates will be repeated, one of the disappeared dates falling after the fifth day of the bright half of Margashirsha in which period we are not interested.Such a phenomenon is very common in the Hindu calendar in which two dates disappears and two other dates gets repeated.The party travelled for half a yojana from Ayodhya and in the night on the bank of the Sarayu.

They reached the confluence of the Sarayu and the Ganges and spent the night there.They crossed the confluence and came to the southern shore of the Ganges. Taraka, the wife of Sunda, was killed.They reached the Siddhashrama which was near a hill, and preparations for the sacrifice began. The night was passed there guarding the Ashrama. The sacrifice lasted for six days. On the last day of the sacrifice the invading Rakshasas were killed, The night was passed there. Now that the sacrifice was over, they wanted to visit Mithila.The bow of Shiva was kept there. So they started from the Siddhashrama and travelled till the evening. They halted on the Sopa's distant shore. When the sage was telling tales to the princes it was past midnight and the moon was rising forth.So perhaps it was the eighth day of a dark fortnight. It was the eighth day of the dark fortnight of Margashirsha. Then they reached the southern shore of the Ganges where the night was passed.

They crossed the Ganges and reached the northern shore. While sitting on the bank of the Ganges they saw a big city. Soon they went to Vaisali. They accepted the hospitality of king Somali of Vaisali and passed the night there,the party reached Vaisali on the tenth day of the dark fortnight of Margasirsha.They left Vaisali and proceeded towards Mithila..They halted at the ashrama of Gautama,where Ahalya was rescued. They then reached the place of sacrifice,which was at some distance from Mithila. Vardhamana Mahavira, the twenty fourth Tirthankara of the Jainas, left his home for asceticism on the tenth day of the dark fortnight of Margasirsha. Thus Vardhamana's renunciation of the world on a date associated with the visit of Rama to Vaisali assumes double significance which has so far escaped notice.

Then it was stated there by Janaka that now there were only twelve days to complete the sacrifice.The bow was shown and its history explained. It was broken by Rama. Messengers were sent immediately to Ayodhya on very swift conveyances.The messengers passed three nights on the way.The messengers reached Ayodhya and king Dasarathaa was informed. He decided to start next day. The night was. passed at Ayodhya.The party of Dasaratha started for Mithila.Four days were passed on the way. The party arrived at Mithila where the night was passed.Kusadhvaja was brought from Sankasya. The marriages of the daughters of Siradhvaja and Kusadhvaja took place on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of Margasirsha.The party of Dasaratha went back to Ayodhya thus the matrimonial alliance between the two most important houses of the Ikshvakus in North India was accomplished.The reign of Siradhvaja seems to have marked a further advance in the consolidation of the Videhan territory. Dhanusha, a place in Nepal, now overgrown into jungle, six miles away from Janakpur, is believed to be the place where the bow of Siva was broken by Rama. A bow is still shown there in mark the memory of that great event.Some parts of the Champaran District were brought under his control. Local tradition says that king Janak lived at Chankigarh, locally known as Jankigarh, eleven miles north of Lauriya Nandangarh.

The name Janaki suggests that this Janaka may have been Janaki's father Siradhvaja, who otherwise too is known as a valiant prince. The Mahabharata speaks of a battle between king Janaka Maithila and king Pratardana. The Ramayana makes one Pratardana king of Kasi and a contemporary of Rama.A more famous Pratardana of Kasi flourished 24 steps earlier. Sankasya was a well defended city. Its ramparts were ranged round with pointed weapons. It appears that the messengers of Siradhvaja Janaka went to Sankisa and brought Kusadhvaja to Mithila the same day,it was near Videha probably somewhat near its border.Sankisa was situated on the Ikshumati river. This river is known to the Puranas also, as on its bank was the hermitage of Kapila. It is also mentioned at another place in the Ramayana. The lkshu is the name of three rivers in the Puranas, while there are also rivers known as Ikshuda and Ikshula.Thus there might be another Ikshumati river at this place or it may simply mean a river in the sugarcane producing area.The Sankasya kingdom was near some mountain or forest,as a later king of this place visited his cousin in the forest.There was no intervening territory between Videha and Sankisya otherwise the Sankasya king would have been prevented from carrying out a raid against Mithila.

A quick messenger from Mithila went to Sankisya and came back the same day,the distance was comparatively shorter.It was a well-defended city and a seat of government. One such place near the Gandak or the Kosi might be Sankasya.Jankigarh (also called Chankigarh) in Champaran district may be a probable site for this purpose.The genealogy of the Sankasya branch of the Janakas is given by three Puranas and is as follows Kusadhvaja,Dharmadhvaja and Mitadhvaja. Kusadhvaja was the younger brother of Siradhvaja.There was good relation between the two brothers.When Sudhanvan, the king of Sankasya, invaded Mithila and was slain in battle, Siradhvaja installed his younger brother on the throne of Sankasya. This event did not happen long before the marriage of Sita, because while invading Mithila Sudhanvan had demanded Shiva's bow and lotus eyed Sita.

After the party of Dasaratha had arrived at Mithila, Janaka sent messengers to Kusadhvaja at Sankasya to bring him to the Videhan capital. Kusadhvaja came immediately and being incharge of the sacrifices took active part in the performance of the marriages. Sita and Urmila the daughters of Siradhvaja were married to Rama and Lakshmana respectively. Mandavi and Srutakirti the two daughters of Kusadhvaja were married to Bharata and Satrughna respectively. Thus the four daughters of Mithila were married to the four sons of Dasaratha amidst great festivities.The Ramayana knows of a girl named Vedavati daughter of Kusadhvaja who was molested by Ravana. Thereupon she mortified herself by cutting off her hair and immolated herself on a pyre. S. C. Sarkar regards this Vedavati as the daughter of Kusadhvaja, the younger brother of Siradhvaja of Mithila which is not tenable because Kushadhvaja Vedavati's father is never called a Maithila but had been called a Brahmarsi and a son of Brihaspati. Kushadhvaja, father of Vedavati was killed by Sambhu, king of the Daityas. Later Vedavati, having been molested by Ravana, burnt herself to be reborn as Sita.Thus Kushadhvaja was dead before the birth of Sita.

How could then he be installed on the throne of Sairkabya and take part in the marriage ceremony of Sita, Urmila and his two daughters? Vedavati is stated to have flourished in the Krita Yuga, while Kushadhvaja of Mithila flourished in the Treta age.Vedavati is said to have been reborn in the Maithila kula now,hinting thereby that while Vedavati she belonged to some other family.Siradhvaja and Kushadhvaja never mention Vedavati’s name in any connection.The Brahmavaivarta Purana which gives in detail the story of Kusadhvaja’s daughter Vedavati being ravished by Ravana. There Kushadhvaja is not the younger brother of Siradhvaja, king of Mithila, but quite a different personality. It is stated there that in the Krita age there was Hamsadhvaja who had two sons Dharmadhvaja and Kushadhavja. The latter's wife was Malavati who gave birth to Vedavati. Vedavati in her youth was molested by Ravana.She was reborn as Sita. Bhanumat was the son of Siradhvaja and the brother of Sita and Urmila. He is called a Maithila by puranas and did not belong to the Sankasya line but to the Mithila one.S. C. Sarkar makes an original suggestion with regard to Bhanumat. He says that Hanumant of later legends is an amalgam of two elements-Bhanu-mant, son and successor of Siradhvaja, at Mithila,prime assister in the rescue of Sita and Au-manti, a Dravidian deity.The name meaning the male monkey,vedic Vrisha Kapi. He is called Satadyumna by some Puranas and Pradyumna by some other Puranas. In two Mahabharata lists of royal munificence to Brahmanas it is said king Satadyumna gave a splendid furnished house to the Brahmana Maudgalya, descendant of king Mudgala of North Panchala.

The only Satadyumna mentioned was a king of Videha, Siradhvaja's second successor. Hence although his territory is not indicated, this Satadyumna appears to be the same as Siradhwaja's second successor. The Bhagavata and the Vishnu, the Vayu, the Brahmanda and the Garuda parunas deals with Janaka dynasty all the pre Bharata war dynasties.Arishtanemi is also called Adhinemika. The second part of his name,Nemi, i.e., Nimi dynasty to which he belonged.The MahaJanaka II of the Jataka and Nami of the Jaina Uttaradhyayana do not care for the burning of the palaces of Mithilathe mention of Nemi in juxtaposition with Arishta in the Vishnu Purana- Nami or Nemi with MahaJanaka II, whom the Jataka represents as the son of Arittha,ArishtaNemi Janaka of the Purana, MahaJanaka II-son of Arittha Janaka- of the Jataka and Nami of the Jaina Uttaradhyayana are identical. Maha Janaka II and Nami of the Utaradhyayana Sutra belong to the era posterior to the Bharata War.MahaJanaka II, being son of Arittha was Arishta and not ArishtaNemi. One Kshemadarsin, a prince of Kosala, was advised by Kalakavrikshiya to take help from Janaka of Mithila for recovering his kingdom.The king of Videha, on the recom-mendation of the sage, accepted Kshemadarsin, honoured him and gave him his own daughter and various kinds of gems and jewels. Kshemadarsin recovered his kingdom and made Kalakavrikshiya his priest who performed many sacrifices for the king. Upagupta or Ugragupta was Ugrasena Janaka Aindradyumni of Videha at whose court Ashtavakra, son of Kahoda and Sujata,daughter of Uddalaka Aruni, defeated the Suta scholar Vandin and consequently relieved his father after twelve years of confinement.

The probability is that Upagupta (or Ugragupta) and Ugrasena were one and the same person and that he was ruling at one of the two principalities into which Videha was divided between the two branch dynasties that issued from Kuni. In the same way, Sankasya was divided between Kesadhvaja and Khandikya. But Ugrasena Aindradyunini, a con-temporary of Ashtavakra, Uddalaka's daughter's son, flourished after the Bharata War, while Upagupta of the Puranas, far removed from Bahulasva, a contemporary of Krishna, flourished much before the War. The Mahavamshsa furnishes a list of twentyeight early kings and says that these twentyeight princes dwelt in Kusavati, Rajagriaha and Mithila.The Dipavamshsa also gives an identical list and says that these were twentyeight kings by number- in Kusavati, in Rajagriha and in Mithila. The rulers belonged to the pre Bharata Age. (to be continued) Uposatha is the Buddhist fast day,Upagupta was a famous Buddhist saint. A Jataka mentions a king of Videha and calls him Vedeha . He is made a contemporary of Chidani Brahmadatta of Kampilya who conquered all except Videha in the course of a little over seven years but was defeated by Vedeha due to the superior wisdom of the Videhan minister, Mahosadha. A new era of close intellectual co-operation between Videha on one side and the Kuru-Panchala country on the other . Bahulaiva is represented as the king of Mithila in the Bhagavata. There lie is depicted as a contemporary and devotee of Krishna who paid a visit to Mithila to see his Brahmana friend Srutadeva, so Bahulaiva flourished slightly before the Bharata War.

Two events given in Purana belong to the reign of Bahulaiva, the visit of Balarama and Krishna to Mithila in search of a jewel and Duryodhana's training there under Balarama and the visit of Krishna to Mithila to show favour to Srutadeva and Bahulaiva. Krishna, Bhima and Arjuna went to Girivraj to have a fight with Jarasandha of Magadha, this event occurred in the reign of Bahulaiva of Mithila through which territory the three passed in their journey from Indraprastha to Rajagriha.A king of Mithila, called Janaka, was the disciple of Vyasa Krishna Dvaipayan who used to officiate at the sacrifices. Vyasa had a high opinion of the learning of his disciple. He asked his son Suka to go to him to learn the science of liberation. Janaka received and instructed his son who later reported this to his father. This Janaka was Bahulaiva. The Bhagavata says that Suka was also with the Rishis who accompanied Krishna to Mithila to see Bahulaiva and Srutadeva. There were Jankriti, the last of the Janaka dynasty, might flourish even after Yudhishthira.The Puranas conclude with the remark that with Kriti ends the race of the janakas.We Know from Arthashashtra that Karala Janaka brought the line of Vaideha to an end. Karala is represented as the son of Nimi, whereas Kriti was the son of Bahula.Karala Janaka, king of Mithila, is known to the Brahmanical literature. Kriti flourished after Siradhvaja but not after Vedic Janaka. Karala is reported to be cruel and unscrupulous. The names of Bahulaiva ,one with many horses and. Kriti,performance.

The list of Puranas appears to be continuous and there is no apparent break, it is presumed that other Janakas are to follow. So, Kriti is not the last Janaka,who is a distinct Karala Janaka. The Puranas are assumed to have been narrated in the reigns of the Paurava king Adhisimakrishna, the Aikshvaku. Bahulaiva, the king of Mithila is a contem-porary of Krishna in the Bhagavata, his son Kriti cannot be identified with Karala on any account.With Kriti the main regular line of the Janakas closed and after him came irregular lines of the Janakas as we know from the Jatakas and the Mahabharata.One of the clans of the Vajjian Republic were the Kauravas. Pandu, the Kuru king, get strengthened by the treasure and army from Magadha, went to Mithila and defeated the Videhas in battle. Vaideha Kritakshana was one of the princes who waited upon Yudhishthira in his palace newly constructed by Maya. He was Kriti as a Yuvaraja or as a King. Krishna, Bhima and Arjun on their way from Kuru to Rajagir, for fighting Jarasandha, took circuitous route through Mithila to avoid detection.Videha was a friendly country. The Videhas were defeated by Bhima on his digvijaya in the east and was staying with Vaidehas and then he could defeat other powers with comparative ease. The rivalry between the sons of Pandu and Dhritarashtra had its effect on the Videhas and Karna defeated these people and caused them to pay tribute to Duryodhana.Vaidehas were vanquished by Arjuna on the battle of bharata.At one place in Mahabharata the Videhas along with others attacked Arjuna, at another place they are in the army of Yudhishthira and are slain by Kripa.Balarama who did not take part in the Bharata war took refuge during the period in Mithila thus it may be surmised that Videha kings remained neutral in Bharata war.Pandu had conquered Mithila, Bhima subdued the Rajas of Mithila and Nepal but Duryodhana came to Mithila to learn Gada Yudha from Balarama, when Krishna and Balarama were in Mithila in quest of Syamantakamani.

Later Balarama went on a pilgrimage and visited the ashrama of Pulaba-Salagrama and the Gandaki. After the Bharata war the Puranas do not provide us with any genealogical list for Videha and for this information is available from the Mahabharata and the Jatakas. Videhan king was reputed for the welfare and all were versed in the discourses of atman the grace of the Lord of the Yogas they were all free from the conflicting passions such as pleasure and pain, though they were leading a domestic life. The Buddhist literature mentions Makhadeva of Mithila and all his 84000 successors and says that they adopted the lives of ascetics after ruling over the kingdom.The kings of Videha are known to be sacrificers. Nimi and Vasishtha had a quarrel and cursed each other to become bodiless,i.e.,Videha. Both then went to Brahma and he assigned Nimi to the eyes of the creatures to wink ,i.e., nimesha, and said Vasishtha should be son of Mitra and Varuna with the name Vashistha. This fable just supply a reason for the birth from Mitra and Varuna. It says that long sacrifices were performed by the Videhan kings. Other famous sacrificers were Devarata and Siradhvaja. Devarata obtained the bow of Shiva which centred the sacrifice of Siradhvaja. The Yajnavata of Siradhvaja correspond to the sacrificial areas with temporary residences of members of the kingship in the manner described in YajurVeda. The barber who found a grey hair in Makhadeva's head got grant of a village, equivalent to a hundred thousand pieces of money. The King Satadyumna , Siradhvaja's second successor , gave a house to the Brahmana Maudgalya descendant of King Mudgala of North Panchala. Vedeha, king of Videha, gave Mahosadha a thousand cows, a bull and an elephant and ten chariots drawn and sixteen excellent villages and the revenue taken at the four gates, when he was pleased with an answer given by him. Before becoming king he lived as a prince and ruled as a viceroythe the maneer exactly in the case of Makhadeva.

The eldest son succeeded the throne when the old king adopted the life of an ascetic. The king was assisted by his ministers and the priest played an important role and the sages instructed the king. King Vedeha of Mithila had four sages, Senaka, Pukkusa, Kavinda and Devinda , who instructed him in the law. Senaka was most important and Senaka and Pukkusa were counsellors King Videha of Mithila had his counsellor Mahosadha.Mithila was invaded by Sudhanvan, king of Sankaiya, and much later by Chulani Brahmadatta and Kewatta, king of Kampila both were defeated by Siradhvaja and Videha, respectively. Jataka story of king Videha and Mahosadha,commander. Secret service reported daily ,employed a hundred and one soldiers in as many cities,employed parrots also, great rampart,watchtowers, and between the watctowers,three moats, water,mud and a dry moat. In city old houses were restored and large banks were dug made warter-reservoirs and grain store-houses. The siege of Mithila and the great tunnel have been described in the Jataka.The weapons included,red-hot missiles,javelins,arrows,spears and lances,and showers of mud and stone. The society consisted of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas. Sirivaddha, father of Mahosadha was an important merchant of Mithila.

The Chandala is also referred.A hawk carried off a piece of flesh from the slab of a slaughter-house. A dog fed upon the bones, skins of the royal kitchen. There was a type of education and later Videha students went to Takshsila for education,e.g.Pintguttara. Kahoda Kaushitaki was married to the daughter of his teacher Uddalaka Aruni. Suka visited Mithila to acquire wisdom. Srutadeva was a great scholar of pre-Bharata era. Agriculture and Cattle-rearing was in vogue and Yajur-Veda mentions famous cows of Videha.King Vedeha gave a thousand cows and a bull to Mahasodha. There was a place where foreign merchants showed their goods. Goods from Magadha and Kasi were imported. The conches of Magadha,Kasi-robe and Sindh mares were famous.Krishna visited Mithila to see his devotees Srutadeva and Bahulashva.The Mahabharata says that shaligrama is another name of Vishnu, Shaligrama worship begun. Janakpur had four gates were four market towns distinguished as eastern, southern, western and northern.

There was a revival of Mithila after Bharata war which lasted for more than two centuries and in this period the famous sages of the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads flourished. Vaishali lost its significance. After Bharata War period the Puranas furnish genealogies of Pauravas(Hastinapura-Kosambi), the Ikshvakus (Kosala) and the Barhadrathas (Mag adha).The names of the kings of Videha ia available in the Jatakas.The Upanishads mention one ruler known as Janaka Videha.Videha has been omitted in the sixteen Mahajanapada available in the Buddhist work Aiguttara-Nikaya where we have Vajji.Karala Janaka perished along with his kingdom and relations. Kasi was conquered by Kosala and Anga by Magadha. The Vajji established their republic before the Kosala conquest of Kasi and the Magadh conquest of Anga.Mall, the penultimate sovereign of the Janaka dynasty of Videha, adopted the faith of the Jaina Parsva, the first historical Jaina 250 years before Mahavira(561BC-490BC).Between Bharat war circa.950 BC and Karala Janaka circa 725 B.c Videha monarchy flourished. Suruchi group consisting of Suruchi I, Suruchi II Suruchi III and Mahapadmanada. Janaka group consisting of Mahajanaka I, Aritthajanaka, Polajahak, Mahajanaka II and Dighavu.Then a group of two kings Sadhina and Narada and then Nimi and Karala(father and son).

Makhadeva is regarded as the founder of Mithila monarchy. Angatis was righteous king,had a daughter named Raja. His ministers were Vijaya, Sunama and Alata. Narada set him to right path after the influence he got from the heretical teachings of a naked Guna Kassapa. Purana Kassapa and Maskari Gosala were the contemporaries of Buddha, thus, Guna Kassapa flourished round 6th century B.C. Chulani Brahmadatta of Kampilya conquered 101 princes of India and only Videha had been left. There is reference that Gandhara king and the Videha king met and mystic meditation was taught to Videha King by Gandhara king.There were land owners and Alaras is mentioned in this regard.The Vedic texts mention Uddalaka and Svetaketu as belonging to the age of Janaka of Videha. The Jatakas mention these two scholars connected with Banaras.For MahapanadaVisvakarman, engineer, constructed a palace seven storeys high with precious stones. Mahajanaka II was brought up by his mother in the house of a Brahmana teacher at Kalachampa and after finishing his education at16 sailed for Suvarnabhumi on a commercial enterprise, in order to get mone to recover the kingdom of Videha. The ship perished in the middle of the ocean.

He managed to reach Mithila, where the throne had been lying vacant since the death of Polajanak, his uncle, who had left a marriageable daughter Sivalidevi and no son. Mahajanaka II was now married to this princess and raised to the throne. He later renounced the world. A remarkable feature of the character of Mahajanaka II was his spirit of renunciation. He gives utterance to a famous verse : ‘We have nothing own may live without a care Mithila palaces may burn,nothing mine is burned . Mahajanaka-Jataka is sculptured on a railing of the Bharhut Stupa having inscription : The arrowmaker, King Janaka, Queen Sivali.Nimi and Kalara are mentioned in Buddhist,Brahmanical and Jaina literature. Ugrasena Janaka revived the greatness of Mithila. Ashtavakra sais as all other mountains are inferior to the Mainaka, as calves are inferior to the ox, so kings of the earth inferior to the king of Mithila (Ugrasena). He is called Janakana varishtha Samrat(Mahabharata),great performer of sacrifices and is compared with Yayati. In one such Yagya Ashtavakra, son of Kahoda and Sujata (daughter of Uddalaka), attended and Ashtavakra defeated Vandin, son of a charioteer and got released his son.Paurava prince, Satanika, the son of Janamejaya, was a Vaidehi. Sathnika married the daughter of Ugrasena Janaka who sought to enhance his influence by means of this matrimonial alliance.

Devarata II was contemporary of Yajnavalkya, who took the management of the royal sacrifice where a quarrel arose between Yajnavalkya and his maternal uncle Vaisampayana as to who should be allowed to take the sacrificial fee and in presence of Devala, Devarata, Sumanta, Paila and Jaimini Yajnavalkya took half of that. Devarata I obtained the famous bow of Siva. The Vedic texts mention five Videha kings,Videgha Mathava, Janaka Vaideha, Janaki Ayasthuna, Nami Sepya and Para Ahlara. Janak Ayasthuna in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is said to be pupil of Chuda Bhagavitti and a teacher of Satyakama Jabala. Satyakama Jabala is contemporary of Janaka Vaideha and Yajnavalkya. Ayasthuna was a Grihapati of those whose Adhvaryu was Saulvayana and taught the latter the proper mode of using certain spoons. Sayana Ayasthuna is the name of a Rishi. Jatak mentions a city named Thuna between Mithila and the Himalayas, a favourite resort of Ayasthuna. Janakpur corresponds exactly with the position assigned by Hiuen Tsang the capital of Vaji. Janaka Vaideha is Kriti Janaka, son of Bahulasva and was contemporary of Janamejaya Parikshita and his son Satanika. Yajnavalkya and Kritis were the disciples of Hiranyanabha Kausalya.

Uddalaka Aruni was approached by Janamejaya Parikshita to become his priest. Uttanka instigated Janamejaya to exterminate the non-Aryan Sarpas by burning them in a sacrifice.Uddalaka Aruni with his son Svetaketu attended the Sarpa satra of Janamejaya. Yajnavalkya taught the Vedas to Satanika, the son and successor of Janamejaya.Kriti, the disciple of Hiranyanabha, was the son of a king. Janaka Videha was a contemporary of Uddalaka Aruni,Yajnavalkya, Ushasti Chakrayana. Janaka Vaideha brought centre of political and intellectual gravity from the Kuru country to Videha.The royal seat of the main branch of the Kuru or Bharata dynasty shifted to Kausambi. Aitareya Brahman says that all kings of the are called Samrat. Satapatha Brahman says that the Samrat was a higher authority than a Rajan as by the Rajasuya he becomes Raja and by Vajapeya he becomes Samrat. The Kuru Panchalas were called Rajan. Janaka Vaideha’s was a master of Agnihotra sacrifice. Yajnavalkya learnt the Agnihotra from this king. Yajnavalkya Vajasaneya, who was a pupil of Uddalaka Aruni.

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