Scholarship among Ancient Kambojas


Scholarship among Ancient Kambojas

The Kambojas are an ancient people of the north-western Indian subcontinent (Central Asia), frequently mentioned in ancient Indian texts (though not directly in the Rig Veda). They spoke an Indo-Iranian-derived language, an Indo-European family of languages. They earned a great reputation as a formidable Kshatriya force ("nation-in-arms") [Hindu Polity, A Constitutional History of Hindu Times, Part I & II, 1978, p 51-52, Dr K. P. Jayswal; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 202, Dr J. L. Kamboj.] , and also there are references to the Brahmanism and scholarship of the Kamboja people. Thus, besides excelling as fierce warriors, the ancient Kambojas also distinguished themselves in the field of art and science by becoming great Rsis as well as "Scholars and Teachers of the Vedas" [ Cf: "They (Kambojas) were not only famous for their furs and skins embroidered with threads of gold, their woolen blankets, 'their wonderful horses and their beautiful women', but by the epic period, they became especially renowned as Vedic teachers and their homeland as a seat of Brahmanical learning" (See: Hindu World, Vol I, p 520, Prof Benjamin Walker; See also: Vietnam, Kampuchea, Laos, Bound in Comradeship: A Panoramic Study of ... , 1988, p 422, H. R. Chakrabartty - Political Science).] [cf: “The earliest mention of Kambojas occurs in Vamsa Brahamana of Samaveda where a teacher Kamboja Aupamanyava is referred to. The sage Upamanyu mentioned in the Rigveda (i.102,9) is in all probability the father of this Kamboja teacher. From the fact that Kamboja Aupamanyava is stated to a pupil of Madragara, Zimmer concludes that Kambojas and Madras were close neighbors in north-west. The speech of Kambojas is referred to by Yasaka as differing from that of other Aryans and Grierson sees in this reference the Iranian affinities of the Kambojas, but the fact that the Kambojas teachers were reputed for their Vedic learning shows them to have been Vedic Aryans, so that the Kamboja was an Aryan settlement.... (See: History & Culture of Indian People, the Vedic Age, Dr A. D. Pusalkar, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr K. D. Munshi, 1952, pp 259-260; Also: Vedoṃ meṃ Bhāratīya Saṃskrti, 1967, Ādyādatta Ṭhākura).] [ See also: Location of Kamboja, Purana, Vol VI No1, Jan 1964 pp 212-213; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 224, K. D. Sethna; Indological Studies, 1950, p 7; The Geographical Observer, p 96, by Meerut College Geographical Society; Some Kshatriya Tribes of Ancient India, p 231, Dr B. C. Law.] [ Cf:The teachers of Kamboja were known for their Vedic learning. Culturally, Afghanistan then formed part of India...." (Ref: India's Contribution to World and Culture, 1970, p 216, Veveka Nanda, Lokesh Chandra). ] .

Brahmanism is ancient Hindu Vedic tradition.

Paraskara Grhya-Sutram Evidence

"Paraskara Grhya-Sutram" (commentary by Pandit Harihar) makes mention of an ancient Acharya Laugakshi Grhya-Sutram in connection with "Chudakaran Samskara" among the ancient Vedic People. A romanized form is reproduced below:

:Dakshinatah Kambojaanaam Vasisthaanaam, :ubhayato Atri Kashyapaanaam mundah Bhriguh, :panchachuda Angris. Bajasneyaanaameka manglarth shikhinoanyai |
: ("Chudakarma Samskaara, Paraskara Grhya-Sutram 2.1.23, Commentary: Pt Harihar")

:Translation
* The Kambojas and the Vasishtha Brahmins to wear one choti (lock of hair) on right side of their head.
* The Atris and Kashyapas to keep chotis on both sides of their heads.
* The Bhrgus to shave off their heads.
* Angris gotra Brahmins to keep five chotis.
* Bajaneys Gotra Brahmins to keep only one choti.
* Rest of the Brahmins to keep chotis according to their respective traditions and religious customs.

This reference in Paraskar Grihyam-Sutram lists the Kambojas "at par" with the Vasishthas and it further shows that the Kambojas and Vasishthas supported one sikha or choti on the right side of their head.

This ancient reference sufficiently demonstrates that the social and religious customs of the Brahmanised Kambojas and the Vasishthas were identical, but differed from other scholarly clans of ancient India. This ancient Vedic ceremony clearly seems to attest the following:

# The Kambojas were socially and culturally related to the Vasishtha family.
# The Kambojas must have been very distinguished scholars of the Vedas so as to be ranked and listed "at par" with the Vasishthas, who are considered the cultural heroes of Vedic India.
#This ancient Vedic custom indisputably demonstrates that the Kambojas referenced in this ancient Laugakshi were, in fact, the Brahmin Kambojas (i.e scholarly section of Kamboja tribe) as distinguished from the "Kshatriya Kambojas" (i.e. the Warrior section of Kambojas). Thus we learn that the "ancient Kambojas were classified both as warriors as well as a scholarly clan". [Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 206/207, Dr J L Kamboj, Delhi University] [Brief History of the Kamboj Nation, Research by Jamshed Kamboh, Society of Kambohan, Pakistan (Regd)] [cf also: Tarikh Qaum Kamboh, (Urdu), Lahore, 1996, p 156, Chaudhury Mohammad Yusaf Hasan Kamboh]

The 33rd Hymn of the seventh Mandala of Rigveda which is connected with the Vasishtha family verifies that the Vasishthas wore white robes and also supported a choti on the right side of their head [i.e. Hymn 7.33.1: "These who wear hair-knots on the right, the movers of holy thought, white-robed, have won me over. I warned the men, when from the grass I raised me, Not from afar can my Vasisthas help you"; See also: Early Hindu Civilization, Delhi 1989, p 88, R.C Dutta] . Obviously, the same dress-mode also applied to the Hinduised section of the Kambojas who had pursued Brahamnical profession.

Vedic Evidence

There is a reference to Kamboja Aupamanyava in the list of ancient Vedic teachers given in the Vamsa Brahmana (1.18-19) of the Sama Veda [http://titus.fkidg1.uni-frankfurt.de/texte/etcs/ind/aind/ved/sv/vb/vb.htm] . This sage was born in the Kamboja family, hence was called Kamboja. He was called Aupamanyava since he was the son or descendant of Upamanyu [History & Culture of Indian People, the Vedic Age, Dr A. D. Pusalkar, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr K. D. Munshi, 1952, pp 259-260; of Kamboja, Purana, Vol VI No1, Jan 1964 pp 212-213; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 224, K. D. Sethna; Some Kashatrya Tribes of Ancient India, p 231, Dr B. C. Law; See: Translation of Rg Veda, III, 113, Dr Ludwik; Indological Studies, 1950, - India; See also: Altindisches Leben: Die Cultur der vedischen Arier nach den Samḣitā, 1879, p 102, Dr Heinrich Zimmer - Indo-Europeans; Aspects of Sanskrit Literature, 1976, p 71, Sushil Kumar De - Sanskrit literature; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada =: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī - Kamboja (Pakistan); The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 290, India; Bhandarkar Oriental Series, 1939, p 1, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 203, Dr J. L. Kamboj; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 25-26, S Kirpal Singh; The Racial History of India, 1944, p 810, Chandra Chakraberty etc.] ["In the Vamsa Brahmana of Sama Veda, it is mentioned that Kamboja Aupaamanyava is a Vedic teacher. Upamanyu (Kamboja) is the composer of Rig Vedic Hymn 1.102.9" (See: Literary History of Ancient India in Relation to Its Racial and Linguistic Affiliations – 1950, P 165; The Racial History of India - 1944, p 810,Chandra Chakraberty).] ["Sage Upamanyu of the Rigveda, the father of Kamboja Aupamanyava, was of Kamboja descent "(See: Dialectics of Hindu Ritualism, 1956, pp 59, 133, Bhupendranātha Datta - Hinduism).] . "Vamsa Brahmana" further informs us that sage Anandaja had received his Vedic learning from sage Samba, the son of Sarkaraksa, as well as from the Kamboja, the son of Upamanyu. But it is not clear under what circumstances sage Anandaja had received the Vedic lore from two teachers as one teacher was the usual rule. One can only be certain that they both must have been very special. From the order in which the names are given, Samba appears to have been the first teacher and later the Kamboja teacher had been approached, perhaps because the latter was marked by some special pre-eminence in Vedic learning [Some Kshatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, p 230, Dr B. C. Law; Trans of Rig Veda, III,113, Dr Ludwig; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 202, Dr J. L. Kamboj; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 25-26, S Kirpal Singh.] .

It is further notable that both the teachers of sage Anadaja i.e. sage Samba Sarkarksa and Kamboja Aupamanyava, had received their own education in Vedic lore from one and the same teacher i.e sage Madragara Sangayani who belonged to Madra people. This connection between the Madras and the Kambojas is but natural as they were close neighbors in the northwest. These Madras have been referred to as Uttara Madras in Aitareya Brahmana and are stated to lie across the Himalaya i.e Hindukush range [Aitareya Brahmana, VIII/14] . Prof Przylusky has shown that Bahlika (Bactria) was an Iranian settlement of the Madras who were known as Bahlika-Uttaramadras.

Scholars have identified sage Upamanyu mentioned in the Rig Veda [ Rigveda, Hymn I.102.09] as the father or ancestor of Aupamanyava Kamboja ["Sage Upamanyu mentioned in the Rigveda (I.102,9) is in all probability the father of this Kamboja teacher....." (History & Culture of Indian People, the Vedic Age, Dr A. D. Pusalkar, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr K. D. Munshi, 1952, pp 259-260; of Kamboja, Purana, Vol VI No1, Jan 1964 pp 212-213; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 224, K. D. Sethna); "A sage Upamanyu is mentioned in a hymn in the Rig Veda (Rig Veda I, 102, 9) and it is not quite unreasonable to conjecture that this sage was the father of Kamboja teacher mentioned in the Vamsa Brahmana list of teachers....."(See: Some Kashatrya Tribes of Ancient India, p 231, Dr B. C. Law); "A filial connection between Rig Vedic sage Upamanyu and Vamsa Brahmana sage Kamboja Aupamanya has been recognized by Dr Ludwik" (See: Translation of Rg Veda, III, 113, Dr Ludwik); "A Possible connection like this has also been suggested by Dr Zimmer" (See: Alt indischen Leben, p 102, Dr H. Zimmer.); For further reading, see: Bhandarkar Oriental Series, 1939, p 1, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 203, Dr J. L. Kamboj; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 25-26, S Kirpal Singh etc] .

The outstanding feature of the above discussion is that the Hinduised Kambojas were marked by pre-eminence in Vedic learning and their seers and teachers had found important place in the list of the great ancient teachers by whom the Vedic lore was kept up and handed on to the future generations [Some Kshatriya Tribes of Ancient India, p 231, Dr B. C. Law] .

According to the genealogical tree presented by Pt Purshotam Lal Bhargava in his book "India in The Vedic Age" [India in the Vedic Age, 1971, p 186, also: The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 27-28, S Kirpal Singh.] , sage Upamanyu was son of sage Vasu who was son of Indra-Pramati who, in turn, was son of sage Vasishtha. Sage Agasti and sage Vasishtha were brothers and were sons of Mitra-Varuna. Sage Kaundinya was son of Vasishtha and nephew of Agasti. Thus we see that if sage Aupamanyava Kamboja was indeed the son or descendant of the Rig Vedic sage Upamanyu, as several noted scholars now agree (see above), then one can see a direct lineal connection between the Vasishtha clan and the ancient Kambojas. This lineal connection may be true or not, but an intimate cultural and religious connection between the Vasishthas and the Kambojas is indisputable. This may verify the Kamboja connections with the Kaundinyas (who were also Vasishthas), the supposed founders of Funan colony in Indo-China. It is possible that the Kaundinya of the Cambodian legends may have been a Kamboja Kshatriya from south-western India i.e.Gujarat/Saurashtra whom the Kaundinya brahmins would have acted as purohits. In other words, "Kaundinya may have been the gotra of the Kamboja family which had founded the ancient kingdom of Funan". It is noteworthy that the gotra of a Kshatriya is taken to be same as the gotra of his purohit or priest.

And lastly, sage Swayambhuva Kambu, the legendary founder of Kambuja colony in Indo-China north of Funan, to all probability, was a Brahminised Kamboja i.e a learned Kshatriya chieftain of the Kamboja clan if the legend of Kambu-Mera is at all to be believed..

According to many scholars, sage Vasishtha and his clan had Iranian affinities [ Dr Dwaraka Prasad Misra observes: 'From the Sagara legend, we are compelled to deduce that Vasistha had entered India along with the tribes of Sakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Pahlavas and the Paradas and jointly ruled with them over Ayodhya for some years and ultimately saved them from extermination by king Sagara. We would prefer to treat Vasishtha as a new "Irano-Aryan" entrant into India along with Tritsus, a branch of one of the above referred to foreign tribes, rather than paint him as a traitor to his own country who invited these foreign tribes to invade it' (See: Studies in Proto-History of India, 1971, p 141, Dwaraka Prasad Misra. See also its Hindi Trans. by Prof K. D Bajpai, p 110).] [ See also: Autochthonous Aryans: §25: The Sarasvati and dating of the RV and the brahmanas, 2000, p 81, Dr Michael Witzel.] [ The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 126, S Kirpal Singh.] [ Dr S.B. ROY WRITES: "In Indian tradition, the connection between the Vasishtas and the Saka-Kambojas-Pahlavas-Yavanas armies (Iranian) is well known. Vasishtha took their help in his fight against Kshatriya king Viswamitra of Kanyakubja. In another well known episode, Vasishtha saved the armies of the Iranian Sakas-Kambojas-Yavanas-Pahlavas-Paradas, from the wrath of great Indo-Aryan king Sagara (Vishnu Purana 3.3.42-9; See also Pargiter, AIHT, pp 206-207, 268). These famous episodes suggest that Vasishtha was of Indo-Iranian origin. The Vasistha origin could be traced to those ancient Vedic and Indo-Iranian days when their locale was in Kamboja or Kamdesh in Nuristan--modern Kafirstan......The Iranian "Kamboja" was probably the land of origin of the Vasisthas. It is clear beyond doubt that many important Rig Vedic Hymns (by Vasisthas, Atris, Gotmas etc) were composed in Afghanistan (Gandhara/Kamboja) when the Rigvedic Aryans had not yet crossed the river Sindhu (2500-2000 BC)" (See: Mohenjodaro And the Ravana of Lanka: A New Hypothesis, 1982, p 41-42, S. B. Roy).] [Dr ROY's COMMENTS ON KAMADHENU: "The word Kama-dhenu is extremely interesting. '-Dhenu' or 'Gau' in Sanskrit means 'cow', 'earth' (land or country), and 'herd'. In Gathic language, Dhenu (actually '-Daênu') or 'Gao' also means 'people' or 'tribe' in addition to the meaning of 'herd' (this word is also found in 'Gopala' of the Vaishnava, where Vishnu is the 'protector of herd'). The prefix Kama- is very common and frequently refers to place names in the Kabul/Kunar valleys, in Hindukush, to north of Badakshan (Kam or Kum or Kala-i-kam, situated on the Ab-i-Piang, the southern branch of the Oxus or Amu), and to vast regions, on either side of the Oxus (Kara-Kam, Kizil-Kam etc -- i.e. parts of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). Therefore, the word Kama-dhenu of the Ramayana legend could be taken to mean the country or the Kama-land where these very tribes (the Kambojas, Sakas, Pahlavas, Yavanas) held sway. If so, the Sanskrit word Kama-dhenu would then mean Kama-desha, which in Iranian pronunciation, would mean Kamdesh. Actually, there is an indeed very ancient historical village by the name of Kamdesh located in Nuristan or Kafirstan --- at the very place, which formed once a part of well known Kamboja Janapada of the ancient Sanskrit traditions. There exist names like Kama, Kamoz/Kamoj, Kamtoz (people), Kama valleys, Kama/Kamich river and pass, Kama hill, Kamu, Kambrom and Kamdesh villages in Kafiristan (Nuristan) in the Kunar and Kabul regions, north of river Kabul. Hence this Iranian Kamboja was probably the land of origin of the Vasisthas. Thus, the Vasistha origin could be traced to those ancient Vedic and Indo-Iranian days when their locale was in/around Kamboja or Kamdesh. It is clear beyond doubt that many important Rig Vedic Hymns (by Vasisthas, Atris, Gotmas etc) were composed in Afghanistan (Gandhara/Kamboja) when the Rigvedic Aryans had not yet crossed the river Sindhu (2500-2000 BC). When the vanguard of the Indo-Aryans, later, moved eastwards into the Punjab and Gangetic plains, the Afghans (Gandharans/Kambojans) did not move with them but remained stay-put in north-east Afghanistan." (See: Mohenjodaro And The Ravana of Lanka: A New Hypothesis, 1982, pp 40-42, Dr S. B. Roy, for complete discussion of the issue).] [Cf: "Sage Vasistha was of western origin and his connections with the trans-Indus country are indisputable" (Journal of Royal Asiatic Society of Great Brittain and Irleland, 1908, p 605).] [COMMENT: The pre-epic/epic states were primarily known as Janas or Janapadas. At first, the people were known by their tribal name Jana. When these Janas settled down, their land or realm was known as Janapada and the people were known as Janapadas or Janapadin (Ref: Life in Upnishadas, 1985, p 61, Dr Subhash Sharma). Thus, we see that, these tribal realms were originally named after the tribes who had founded them and had settled therein as ruling Kshatriyas (Ref: Grammatical Dictionary of Sanskrit (Vedic): 700 Complete Reviews of the Best Books, 1953, p 424, Dr Peggy Melcher, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala, Dr Surya Kanta, Dr Jacob Wackernagel, Dr Arthur Anthony Macdonell; India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1953, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala; Socio-economic and Political History of Eastern India, 1977, p 10, Yugal Kishore Mishra; Glimpses of Ancient Panjab, 1966, p 31, Dr Buddha Prakash; Tribes in the Mahabharata: A Socio-cultural Study, 1987, p 53, Dr Krishna Chandra Mishra; Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations, 2006, p 38, Dr Romila Thapar; The Republican Trends in Ancient India, 2006, p 9, Shobha Mukerji; Himachal Pradesh, History, Culture, and Economy, 1992, p 51, Mian Goverdhan Singh; etc). The Kuru clan founded and settled in the Kuru Janapada, the Panchalas, in the Panchala Janapada, the Chedis, in the Chedi Janapada, the Maagdhas, in the Magadha Janapada, and the Kosala Kshatriyas, in the Kosala Janapada etc. Similarly, the Kamboja Janapada was founded and settled in by the Kambojas. Thus, in the Janapada stage or the pre-epic times, the Vasishtas, if they indeed belonged to Indo-Iranian Kamboja Janapada, then, by corollary, they may have been from the priestly line of the Kambojas.] . And the Kambojas were also predominantly an Iranian clan (See: Language and ethnicity of Kambojas).

The ancient Puranic traditions like "Bahu-Sagara" vs "Haihaya-Taljunga" wars in Kosala [Harivamsa Purana 14.01-19; Vayu Purana 88.127-43; Brahma Purana 8.35-51; Brahamanda Purana 3.63.123-141; Shiva Purana 7.61.23; Vishnu Purana 5.3.15-21, Padama Purana 6.21.16-33 etc] also corroborate very close connections of the Kambojas with the Vasishthas. How closely the Vasishthas were connected with the Kambojas is also apparent from the Valmiki Ramayana which talks of the creation of the Kambojas etc by sage Vasishatha through the divine powers of his Kamdhenu. The creation story specifically refers to the Kambojas as "ravi.sannibha" i.e the Kambojas illustrious like the Sun. [ "tasyaa humkaarato jaataah Kambojaa ravi sannibhaah| uudhasah tu atha sa.njaataah Pahlavaah shastra paanayah||yoni deshaat ca Yavanah shakri deshaat Shakaah tathaa| roma kuupesu Mlecchaah ca Haariitaah sa Kiraatakaah||" (See: Balakanda 1.55.2-3, Valmiki Ramayana)] From ancient Sanskrit texts we learn that the Kambojas and some other allied Iranian tribes come again and again to the aid of the Vasishtha clan. It therefore, appears probable that Vasishthas may have acted as Purohits/religious teachers to the Kambojas and the latter may have regarded them as their spiritual guides or gurus [Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 93-94, Dr J. L. Kamboj] . It also appears likely that the Vasishthas were chiefly responsible for the learning and scholarship among the Kambojas, the evidence of which we sufficiently find in several ancient Sanskrit texts.

Nirukata Evidence

Yasaka in his Nirukta (2/2) observes: "....primary forms of vedic nouns alone are employed (in speech) among some people; secondary forms among others. The verb shavati, meaning "to go", is used by the Kambojas only......Its modified form shava is used by the Aryans" ". See [http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/sarasvati/dictionary/9niruktam.htm link] .

Commenting on the above Nirukta of Yasaka, distinguished Prof Roth as well as another German philosopher Dr J. Muir suggest that this Nirukta (2/2) also proves the fact that the ancient Kambojas were grammarians and linguists [Literature and History of Veda, p 67, Prof Roth; also see: Erlsut, pp 17, 18, Prof Roth; The Literature and History of the Vedas, Original Sanskrit Texts, 2, 451-452, fn 149, J. Muir.] (See pp 161,369-369, 381 [http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC04390555&id=bZkIAOOaeEYC&pg=PA369&lpg=PA369&dq=Kambojas&num=100 link] ). Sage Kamboja Aupamanyava, referred to in the Vamsa Brahmana of the Sama Veda who is identified with the teacher Aupamanyava, mentioned in the Nirukta of Yaska, was himself a great linguist and grammarian [See: Cultural Sources from the Veda, 1977, p 22, Sadashiv Ambadas Dange; Dialectics of Hindu Ritualism, 1956, pp 59, 133, Bhupendranātha Datta; Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 134, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee; Also: Kamboja People and the Country, 1981, pp 204-205, Dr J. L. Kamboj etc ] . Yaska Acharya has quoted his views with respect more than a dozen times in his Nirukta. Sage Aupamanyava is also stated to have authored one "Nighantu"--a collection of Vedic words. [For references to Aupamanyava Kamboja in Yasaka’s Nirukuta, see: Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 134, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee; Also: Kamboja People and the Country, 1981, pp 204-205, Dr J. L. Kamboj; Cultural Sources from the Veda, 1977, p 22, Sadashiv Ambadas Dange; Cultural Heritage Of India, 1958, pp 292-293, Article contributed by Dr V. D. Aggarwala.] . According to Pt Bhagva Datta, Dr G. Opart has referred to one Nirukta whose authorship he attributes to Naurukta Upamanyu. [Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts, Part II, p 510, Dr G Opart] . But according to scholars like Bishnupda Bhattacharya, Dr J. L. Kamboj etc, this Nairukata, Upamanyu of Dr G. Opart, is probably same person as Aupamanyava of Yasaka's Nirukta [Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 205, Dr J. L. Kamboj; See also: Yaska's Nirutka and the Science of Etymology: An Historical and Critical Survey, 1958, p 64, Bishnupada Bhattacharya.] . The above discussion sufficiently proves that, besides being Vedic teachers, the ancient Kambojas had also distinguished themselves as pre-eminent Sanskrit grammarians and linguists in ancient India [cf: Tarikh Qaum Kamboh, Urdu, Lahore, 1996, p 156, Chaudhury Mohammad Yusaf Hasan Kamboh] and sage Aupamanyava Kamboja was indeed a distinhuished Nairukata of Sanskrit language.

Ramayana Evidence

The Southern Indian recensions of Ramayana make a reference to a Kamboja sage known by his tribal name Kambhoja [Kambhoja is the usual form found in southern Indian recensions of the Sanskrit texts. The name Kamboja indicates Iranian or Paisaci influence (See: Hindu Polity, p 55, fn20, Dr K. P. Jayswal; Comprehensive History of India Vol II, Dr K. A. Nilkantha Shastri, 1957, p 137).] . Sage Kambhoja had his hermitage set up in the Dakshinapatha or Southern division of ancient India and he was a friend of Sage Agasti. Shri Rama, Lakshmana and Sita had paid visit to his hermitage from where they had proceeded further to Panchabati in the Dandakaranya forest area. The king kite bird "Jatayu", a devotee of Shri Rama, had met them at Panchabati with deep love and devotion. [http://www.indiangyan.com/books/otherbooks/shri_rama/panchabati.shtml] . Sage Agasti was brother of sage Vasishtha and nephew of sage Kondinya or Kaundinya.

Mahabharata Evidence

Another ancient source which powerfully attests the Brahmanism of the ancient Kambojas is non else than the great epic Mahabharata itself.

A. The following evidence from Mahabharata amply attests that, besides being fierce warriors, the Kambojas were also noted as the learned people (Kritavidyash =Vedic Scholars).

:Sanskrit: :ye tvete rathino rajandrishyante kanchanadhvajah | :ete durvarana nama Kamboja yadi te shrutah || 43 |
:shurashcha kritavidyashcha dhanurvede cha nishthitah | :sa.nhatashcha bhrisha.n hyete anyonyasya hitaishinah || 44 |
:akshauhinyashcha sa.nrabdha dhartarahhtrasya bharata.
: ("Mahabharata 7.12.43-44")

:Translation: "Those other car-warriors with golden standards, O king, whom you see, and who, like the wild elephants are difficult of being resisted, they are called the Kambojas. They are brave, a learned people and are firmly devoted to the science of weapons. Desiring one another's welfare, they are all highly united and mutually cooperative. They constitute a full Akshauhini of wrathful warriors".

B. The epic Mahabharata unequivocally attests that the ancient Kambojas were very prominent republican people. Several Ganas (or Sanghas) of the brave and accomplished Kamboja warriors ("Kambojana.n cha ye Ganah.....sangrame shura sammatah") are said to have had participated in the Kurukshetra war on the side of the Kauravas [Mahabharata 7.91.39-40] . Besides, it is also known from Kautiliya's Arthashastra [ Arthashastra, 11.1.14] as well as from the thirteenth Rock Edict of king Ashoka that the Kambojas were very important republican people of Mauryan times. Even the Ashtadhyayi of Panini [ Ashtadhyayi, Sutra VI.1.168-175] seems to attest that the Kamboja king was a mere "consul" and that the Kambojas, in reality, followed the republican constitution during Panini's times (Dr K. P. Jayswal, Dr J. L. Kamboj).

Now let us return to the following verse from the Shantiparava of Mahabharata:

:dravyavantashcha shurashcha shastragyah shastraparagah || : ("MBH 12.107.21")

:Translation:"These Ganas (of Mahabharata) are very wealthy, heroic, well-versed in the shastras i.e are learned people and are accomplished in the art of weaponry".

Thus, these two epic references sufficiently corroborate not only the Kshatriyahood, but the Brahmanism of the ancient Kambojas as well.

anskrit Poet Bhaasa's Evidence

Great ancient Sanskrit poet (Mahan Kavi) Bhaasa, who lived in third c AD is now believed to have belonged to Uttarapatha (Northern division of ancient India has).

In his writings, poet Bhaasa has used very respectable expressions and epithets such as "Maanniya" (Reverential, Respectable etc ) or "Shrimatsu" (Shrimaan, Sir) etc for the Kambojas.

Some illustrative examples include: "Shrimatsu Kambojakulesu jaata" [Karanbhaar 13] , "Maanniya Kamboja jatam" [Karanbhaar 19] etc.

ignificance of expressions

These emotive expressions and venerative sentiments used by the great Sanskrit poet for the Kambojas can not be said to be without reason.

Most probably [ The ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, pp 208, Dr J. L. Kamboj.] :
*The celebrated poet Bhaasa was a Kamboja himself,
*Or else, Bhaasa was completely knowledgeable about the scholarship or Brahmanism of the ancient Kambojas so as to have applied respectable epithets such as these with their clan name,
*Or else, he was patronized by some Kamboja royal house [Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 208, Dr J. L. Kamboj] .

Jabala Evidence

Dr P. C. Baghchi, in his scholarly article "Some Tantric Texts Studied in Ancient India", [Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol IV, No 1, p 99-100.] writes as under:

The Tantrasara which is a famous compendium of Bengal Tantrism, on the authority of Jabila (quoted by Vidyadharacarya) talks about the quality of the gurus according to the countries in which they are born. According to it the first category of gurus are found in the countries of Madhyadesa, Kuruksetra, Nata and Konkana (or Nata-Konkana?), Antarvedi, Pratisthana, and Avanti. The Madhyadesa is Aryavarta. The gurus of the second category are found in Gauda, Salva, Sura(?), Magadha, Kerala, Kosala and Dasarna. The third category of gurus are those who belong to the countries of Karnata, Narmada, Rastra, Kaccha, Kalinda Kalamba and Kamboja [Ibid. p.10-11]

:"tatha Vidyadharacaryadhrtam Jabalavacanam": :Madhyadesa-Kuruksetra-Natakonkanasamb
:Antarvedi-Pratisthana Avantyas ca guruittamah |
:Madhyadesa Aryavartah| :Gaudah Salvah Suras caiva Magadhah Keralas tatha| :Kosalas ca Dasarnas ca guravah sapta madhyamah|
:Karnata-Naramda-Rastra- Kacchatirodbhavas tatha| :Kalindas ca Kalambas ca Kambojas cadhama matah|| [http://pears2.lib.ohio-state.edu/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/bag.htm]

Though placed in third category here, the evidence of Jabala undoubtedly verifies the Brahmanism and Scholarship of the ancient Kambojas. According to scholars like Dr P. C. Bagchi and Dr R. C. Majumdar etc, the Kambojas referred to here are not the Kambojas of the "Yona-Kamboja-Gandhara" group but are the eastern Kambojas located in Tibet or Burma. These are believed to be a branch of the Pamiran Kambojas who had moved east in the wake of the Kushana or Huna invasion of India in post Christian times. The Brahma Purana composed around 5th century AD makes clear reference to this section of the Kambojas as neighbors to Pragjyotisha (Assam) and Tamaralipti [Brahmana Purana (53/16); A Critical Study Study of the Geographical Data in the Early Puranas, p 168, Dr M. R. Singh; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 310, 328, Dr J. L. Kamboj]

On the other hand, "dialect of the Udichyas or northerners including the Kambojas, Gandharas and Madras etc was noted for its purity hence Brahmanas flocked to the north for purpose of study. The northern dialect resembled that of the Kuru-Panchala and superiority of the Brahmanas of the north is indicated by the victory of one of their spokesman over a Kuru -Panchala Brahmanas in a debate. [ History and Culture of Indian People, the Vedic Age, p 258, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr A. D. Pusalkar; Studies in Proto-history of India, 1971, p 173, Dvārakā Prasāda Miśra; Brāhmī Script: An Invention of the Early Maurya Period, 2006, p 14, Śrīrāma Goyala.] ["The Udicyas of the later Vedic age comprised Uttarakurus, Uttaramadras, Mujavants, Kesins, Kekayas and Kambojas. The north (Udicya) was celebrated for scholarship, proficiency in debates and chaste speech..." (India of the Age of Brahmanas, 1969, p 7, Ph. D Thesis 1966, Dr J. Basu.] The celebrity employed by north in academic matters is further corroborated by the fact that Taxila became center of learning and classical Sanskrit was first developed in Kashmir" [Ibid., Dr Majumdar, Dr Pusalkar; Pali and Sanskrit, pp 88,89, Franke; The Culture and Civilization of Ancient India, 2000, p 118-119, D. D. Kosambi] . It is an indisputable fact of history that the Kambojas were ruling over Kashmir prior to Mahabharata war ["Karana Rajapuram gatva Kamboja nirjita-stvaya MBH VII.4.5 & MBH 7.91.39-40); Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 132-135, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury] . See also: Kashmir: The Fountainhead of Indian Culture [http://www.koausa.org/Crown/fountain.html] . Panini, the great Indian genius of grammar and Chanakya aka Kautilya, the Indian Machiavelli, belonged to Gandhara/Kamboja region. It is not very difficult to visualise the crucial role the Kamboj scholars may have played at Taxila University in Gandhara during epic times.

Pehova Prasati Evidence

Even after settling in India, the Kambojas had continued to maintain their position in science and arts. The Pehova Prasati (panegyric) of the reign of king Mahendrapala of Kanauj (10th century AD) refers to one "Acyuta Kamboja", son of "Vishnu Kamboja" who has been described as a great Sanskrit scholar. Acyuta Kamboja is also styled as the personification of "Vaidya Dhanavantri", the father of Ayurvedic system of medicine [Epigraphiia Indica Vol I, 1892, p 247.] :

:Dnanvantripratinidhiash.shrutasarmurti | :Sasdabandhuracyuta iti prakatabhidhaanah |
:Kambojajah Prabhumanah Kamaldivrafo | :Ramasyasunuriha karyitababhuva || 23 |

The same reference further attests Acyuta Kamboja as a great Architectural Engineer [Epigraphia Indica, Vol I, p 243.] . This once again indisputably attests the scholarship or the Brahmanism of the ancient Kambojas.

ome opinions from Scholars

*"The earliest mention of Kambojas occurs in Vamsa Brahamana of Samaveda where a teacher Kamboja Aupamanyava is referred to. The sage Upamanyu mentioned in the Rigveda (i.102,9) is in all probability the father of this Kamboja teacher. From the fact that Kamboja Aupamanyava is stated to a pupil of Madragara, Zimmer concludes that Kambojas and Madras were close neighbors in north-west. The speech of Kambojas is referred to by Yasaka as differing from that of other Aryans and Grierson sees in this reference the Iranian affinities of the Kambojas, but the fact that the Kambojas teachers were reputed for their Vedic learning shows them to have been Vedic Aryans, so that the Kamboja was an Aryan settlement...". [History & Culture of Indian People, the Vedic Age, Dr A. D. Pusalkar, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr K. D. Munshi, 1952, pp 259-260; of Kamboja, Purana, Vol VI No1, Jan 1964 pp 212-213; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 224, K. D. Sethna; The Geographical Observer, p 96, Meerut College Geographical Society.] .
*"The teachers of Kamboja were known for their Vedic learning. Culturally, Afghanistan then formed part of India...." [India's Contribution to World and Culture, 1970, p 216, Veveka Nanda, Lokesh Chandra.] .
*"They (Kambojas) were not only famous for their furs and woolen blankets embroidered with threads of gold, their wonderful horses and their beautiful women, but by epic period, they had become especially renowned as Vedic teachers and their homeland as a seat of Brahmanical learning" [ Hindu World? Vol I, Benjamin Walker , p 520]
*"The Kambojas may have been a home of Vedic learning in the later Vedic period. The Vamsa Brahmana actually mentions a teacher named Kamboja Aupamanyava......The presence of Aryas (Ayyo) in Kamboja is recognized in the Majjhima Nakaya (II. 149)" [Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 134, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury]
*"In the early Vedic age, the Kamboja was a seat of Brahmanical culture" [ Hunas, Yavanas, and Kambojas, Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol XXVI-2, 1950, p 123, Dr S. B. Chaudhuri. ] .
*"In the Vamsa Brahmana of Samveda, we find mention of a sage Aupamanyava Kamboja in the list of Vedic Teachers. We do not know about his real name. Aupamanyava was his paternal name i.e being Son of Upamanyu, he was called Aupamanyava. He was called Kamboja because he Born in Kamboja family or tribe.....the Rig Vedic sage Upamanyu is supposed to be father of this Kamboja teacher.." [Ancient Kamboja, People & the Country, 1981, p 202-03, Dr J. L. Kamboj; Also: These Kamboj People, 1979, p 28; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, 25, S Kipal Singh, like the present day madhusudhan rao Sriramagiri] .
*"In Indian tradition, the connection between the Vasishtas and the Saka-Kambojas-Pahlavas-Yavanas armies (Iranian) is well known. Vasishtha took their help in his fight against Kshatriya king Viswamitra of Kanyakubja. In another well known episode, Vasishtha saved the armies of the Iranian Sakas-Kambojas-Yavanas-Pahlavas-Paradas, from the wrath of great Indo-Aryan king Sagara [Vishnu Purana 3.3.42-9; See also Pargiter, AIHT, pp 206-207, 268.] . These famous episodes suggest that Vasishtha was of Indo-Iranian origin. The Vasistha origin could be traced to those ancient Vedic and Indo-Iranian days when their locale was in Kamboja or Kamdesh in Nuristan--modern Kafirstan......The Iranian "Kamboja" was probably the land of origin of the Vasisthas. It is clear beyond doubt that many important Rig Vedic Hymns (by Vasisthas, Atris, Gotmas etc) were composed in Afghanistan (Gandhara/Kamboja) when the Rigvedic Aryans had not yet crossed the river Sindhu (2500-2000 BC)" [See: Mohenjodaro And the Ravana of Lanka: A New Hypothesis, 1982, p 41-42, S. B. Roy.] .
*"The Vamsa Brahmana mentions a teacher from Kamboja, Aupamanyava, who also finds mention in the Nirukta of Yaska in respect of Nishadas and Pañca-janāh, which shows that the Kamboja was a settlement of the Aryans north-west of Sindhu" [Cultural Sources from the Veda, 1977, p 35, Sadashiv Ambadasa Dange.] .
*"Kamboja is the name of a people living somewhere outside the North-Western border of the Indus. The name is frequently mentioned in Sanskrit literature. In the Rig-Veda (l. 102. 9), a Rishi named Upamanyu is mentioned. Also, in the Vedic literature the name of his descendant is frequently mentioned as Aupamanyava. Aupanmanyava repeatedly cited by Yaska in his Nirukta was a Kamboja. The word is again found in Persian Annals where it is called Kambujiya. Surely this tribe was not Vedic but an Iranian. The Kambojas were a gentile tribe and were not counted amongst the Varnasrama polity in use in Gangetic valley. Yet, we find a Rishi Upamanyu furnished by this tribe as Vedic poet, and his descendant, a great Sanskrit scholar (i.e. Kamboja Aupamanyava) who was the Acharya of another Brahman Rishi, viz. Ananda. In the Vamsa Brahmana (17), it is said that Ananda got his teachings from Aupamanyava Kamboja rishi, a son of Upamanyu. Still later, in the list of Brahman gotras mentioned in the Matsya-Purana [Matasya Ourana Ch. 195, Sl. 336.] , the name of (Kamboja) Aupamanyava is to be found. It is said to be an offshoot of the Vrigu (Parasara) gotras. This means that a Rishi hailing from the Kamboja tribe was also founder of a Brahmanical class.......Weber says that the appearance of the name of Kamboja (an Indian sounding name in Vedic text) as a Sama theologian (Vedic teacher mentioned in Vamsa Brahmana, 17) is analogous of the discovery of the name of Gautama in Zoroastrian Mithra-Yesht (hymn to Mithra) (Windischmann, Mithra, pp 29, 79) [ Indische Studien, herausg, 1858, p 356, Albrecht Friedrich Weber; Monatsberichte der Königlichen preussische Akademie des Wissenschaften zu Berlin, 1858, p 5101, Königlich Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin.] . Upamanyu was of Kamboja descent, and Ustaxri was probably of Bactrian origin. Further, the name of prominent Rishi like Atharva sounds like Atharavan or Atharvan, the Persian fire-cult priest. The names of Atharva and Angirasa are connected with the introduction of fire-cult amongst the Vedic people. In this case, we find another infiltration of the foreign element in the ethnic composition of the Vedic Aryas" " [ Dialectics of Hindu Ritualism, 1956, p 59, 60, 132, Bhupendranātha Datta.] .
*"Kamboja in the northwest had gained a reputation for the cultivation of Vedic learning and was gradually coming to the forefront in the later Vedic period. Vamsa Brahmana of Samaveda has a teacher called Aupamanyava of Kamboja. The Kamboja tribe was not of Indo-Aryan extract and spoke a different tongue from Sanskrit..." [Ironie und Moral im Werk Diderots, 1984, p 90, Ruth Groh.] .
*"The Kamboja country was also a home of Vedic learning. We hear of a learned teacher Kamboja Aupamanyava" [ A Short History of Pakistan, 1967, p 57, Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi, Ahmad Hasan Dani.] .
*"By the Epic period, they had produced many Vedic teachers and their homeland had become a seat of Brahmanical learning" [Ref: Vietnam, Kampuchea, Laos, Bound in Comradeship: A Panoramic Study of ... -, 1988, p 422, H. R. Chakrabartty - Political Science.] .
*"In the Vamsa Brahmana of Sama Veda, it is mentioned that Kamboja Aupamanyava was a Vedic teacher. Upamanyu (Kamboja) is the composer of Rig Vedic Hymn 1.102.9" [See: Literary History of Ancient India in Relation to Its Racial and Linguistic Affiliations – 1950, P 165; The Racial History of India - 1944, p 810,Chandra Chakraberty.] .

Kambojas vs Barbarians & Mlechchas

It is surprising that, on the one hand, the ancient literature glorifies the Kambojas as very respectable warriors and a scholarly class while on the other they are also branded as barbaric and mlechcha tribe. The resolution of this problem lies in the fact that there are different layers in the ancient Sanskrit texts which represent different phases of history. The region of ancient Punjab ("or Greater Punjab") which, in the Vedic period, was known as "Sapta-Sindhu" had comprised territories as far as Yamuna on the east and Kabol and Hindukush on the west. During early Vedic times, this region was the center of proto-Indo-Iranian civilization. With time however, a section of this population had outspread to the east into Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Over time, the western branch which continued to stay in Sapta-Sindhu had evolved a liberal and latitudinarian attitude to life due to its constant exposures to nomadic people of Central Asia, while the eastern section had become somewhat conservative and traditional which they believed was the standard Aryan way. This had obviously shifted the center of Aryan (i.e.Indo-Aryan) civilization from Sapta-Sindhu to Gangetic valley. Nestling themselves into a small region variously called Madhyadesha, Aryavarta or Brahmavarta, the puritans shunned all contacts with the liberals of the greater Punjab whose way of life they regarded with disapproval. The "varana-asharama-dharama" had become a standard way of life for the Indo-Aryans in the east while this social system did not take roots among the frontier people. Buddhist texts like Majjhima Nikaya clearly attest that "in the lands of the Yonas, Kambojas, and some other frontier countries, there were only two social classes i.e the Arya and Dasa, and that the change from one into the other was not frowned upon". [ Yona-Kambojaseu annesu cha panchchantimesu janapadesu dvea vanna, ayyo ceva daaso ca ayyo hutva daaso hoti daaso hutva ayyo hoti ti (Majjhima Nikaya 43.1.3.] The exigencies of life on the frontiers had nacessitated its people to primarily follow soldier’s life. Further, the ruling class had also started performing the religious ceremonies and sacrifices themselves. This annoyed the priestly class whose own interests were jeopardised in this new scenario. The frontier people had also parted company with the monarchic system and switched to republican constitutions where the role of priestly class was completely eliminated. Mahabharata calls the people of greater Punjab as "Rajyayaka" while Ashtadhyayi of Panini addresses them as "Kshatriyayaka". Accordingly, Brahmanical clergy deplored that the offerings made by these people (of Punjab) to gods go in vain( [Mahabharata VIII.44.46] and that these people knew no Vedas, Vedis and Yajnas [Mahabharata VIII.44.46] . Hence in the eyes of orthodox people from Aryavarta, the frontier clans of north-west had become impure, immoral and irreligious, and the contacts with them were considered a heinous offence and an inexplicable sacrilege. Since the frontiers tribes ceased to avail the professional services of the priestly class which they had started performing themselves, the irate priestly class (from Madhyadesa) started bad-mouthing Punjabis and hurling all kind of malicious words such as Mlechchas, Dasyus or Shudras etc at them. [Evolution of Heroic Traditions in Ancient Punjab , 1971, p 57, Dr Buddha Parkash] . This may explain as to why the Kambojas in some layers of ancient literature are regarded noble Kshatriyas and learned people while in others are referred to as Barbaric and Mlechcha tribes of north-west [The name Mlechcha or Vrishala normally applied to the Kambojas, Sakas, Yavanas, Pahlavas and some other tribes from Uttarapatha or north-west in the ancient Brahmanical texts was the result of several reasons such as (1) their connections with horses and horse trade, (2) their connections with wool and wool-trade (3) their consumption of wine and liquor (4) the evolution of Ayuddhajivin Sanghas/Republics among the north-westerners (5) their seamanship or their overseas traveling etc. All these professions/occupations have been severely condemned in the Baudhayana Dharamasutra (e.g. "Athotratah urnavikrayah shidhupaanmubhayaoddbhirvyvharah ayuddhyankam samudarsayanbhiti"—see: Baudhayana Dharamasutra verse 1/1/2/4). The sixth (6) reason responsible for earning the wrath and malice of the priestly class by the people north-west, though not listed in the Baudhayana Dharamasutra, was the fact that the Sakas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Gandharas, Bahlikas and numerous other clans of greater Punjab had switched en-masse to Buddhism. The Brahmanical class of Aryavarta did not like this idea for obvious reasons. The seventh (7) reason for labelling the north-westerners, including the Kambojas as Mlechchas was the non-puritan outlook of the north-westerners as compared to the orthodox outlook of the Indo-Aryans located in Gangetic valleys. The "varanashramadharama" was the standard mode of life pursued by Indo-Aryans of Madhyadesha whereas two-class social pattern prevailed among the societies of the north-westerners including the Kambojas, Yavanas (see: Majjhima Nikaya, 2/149). The two class social system was considered anathema in the Madhyadesha society. Moreover, the social, cultural and linguistic admixture of the Kambojas, Sakas, Yavanas, Pahlavas in north-west was also very much despised by conservative Madhyadesha society. All these factors contributed to the downgrading of north-western societies in the conservative eyes of the Vedic orthodoxy of Madhyadesa.] [Cf: Punjab (greater Punjab) became a meeting place of various peoples and a melting point of diverse cultures in ancient times. Hence its society became heterogeneous and hetrodox and detracted from the standards of the conservative people. The puritans nestled themselves in the Gangetic valley and branded the Punjabis as impure and impious and shunned contacts with them. The literature of this region breathers a spirit of revolt against the people the Punjab (see: Political and Social Movements in Ancient Punjab, p 252).] [Cf: The ultimate opinion entertained by the people of Madhyadesha against the Punjab peoples is expressed in the vulgar tirade against the Madras put into Karana's mouth, in which the Madras, Gandharas, Sindhus and Sauviras, and indeed all the Punjab races are unsparingly reprobated. When the Punjab was so regarded, these five other nations i.e. the Shakas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Pahlavas, and Paradas could not have fared better and such is stated (Dr P. E. Pargiter, Sagara and the Haihayas, Vasishthas and Auravas, J.R.A.S., 1919, p 360)] ["It was the result of Achaemenid conquest that a new industry of blanket making devolped in the Indian borderland....The account of the Kambojas reminds us of "urnavikraya" mentioned in the Baudhayana-dharamasutra. But why does Baudhayana condemn the custom? Evidently because it was a practice in the barbarous country" (The Achaemenids and India, p 57, Dr S. Chattopadhyava)] ["...As is more likely, the republics were parting company with Vedic orthodoxy; this trend is apparent from at least one brahman source which describes certain republican tribes as degenerate Kshatriyas and even Sudras because they have ceased to honour the brahmanas and to observe Vedic rituals "(A History of India, Vol I, p 51, Dr Romila Thapar)] .

Kamboj Clans

The modern Kamboj are divided into two divisions of 52 and 84 clans names (the actual number is however somewhat higher than these figures). Dr J. L. Kamboj observes that more than 15 of them overlap with that of the Brahmins and over 80 overlap with other Kshatriya and Rajput clans of northern India. But according to S Kirpal Singh, the respective figures are over 25 overlapping with Brahmins and over 100 overlapping with other Kshatriyas. [The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 27, 431.] In his well known book "Glossary of Tribes and Castes of Punjab and North-west Frontier Province" [Based on 1880 census of India] , British ethnographer and ethnologist, H. A. Rose, had also observed in early 20th century that there is seen an overlap of the Kamboj clan names with that of the Brahmins and other Kshatriyas. But Rose also admitted that the reason of this overlap was not clear to him [Glossary of Tribes and Castes of Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, 1915, Vol II, p 444-445 fns, H. A. Rose] . But, today with all the information provided in the articles in Wikipedia about the Kambojas, it would seem clear as to why there is such an overlap.

Dr Buddha Parkash observes: "Among the 84 clans of the Kamboj, the names of which are said to have been derived from names of Shiva, figure a people "Maga", reminding us of the Iranian Magi and the "Kamari" or "Khamari" providing us with a probable explanation of the people of the Kamboja-desa "par excellence" [B. R. Chatterji, A Current Tradition among the Kambojas of North India relating to the Khmers of Cambodia (Artibus Asiae, XXIV, 1961, p 253), G Coedes, Felicitation Volume (Buddha Parkash, India and the World 1964, p 154); Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 107, S Kirpal Singh; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 356, Dr J. L. Kamboj] . It is notable that the Magis were a priestly class of ancient Iraninas. Therefore, it is thought by some that the Magis were a priestly section of the Iranian Kambojas.

Epilogue

From the above references, we notice that there seems to have been a very close connection between the Kambojas and the Vashisthas in ancient times. We also have a reference to sage Kambhoja and sage Agasti who were both living near Panchvati in south-west India during Ramayana period. Sage Kundin was son of sage Vasishtha and nephew of sage Agasti. The descendants of sage Kundin were called Kaundinyas. Like the descendants of sage Agasti, the Kaundinyas were originally from Vasishtha lineage. Scholars believe that while the Vasishthas were actively involved in Aryanising the north-west and north India, sage Agasti, sage Kundin and their descendants moved to south to Aryanise southern India. According to Dr K. A. Neel Kanth Sastri, there are numerous references to Kaundinyas in the Tamil literature as well as in the Indian Inscriptions. Kaundinya is a famous clan of the Indian Brahminas (Vasisishtha lineage). Scholars believe that once the Kaundinyas had finished Aryanisation of southern India, they had transplanted themselves to Indo-China and set-up colonies there [See: India and the World, 1964, Hoshiarpur, p 154, Dr Buddha Parkash—Chaterjee B. R. : 'A Current Tradition among the Kambojas of North India, relating to the Khmers of Cambodia', G.Coedes Felicitation Volume, p 254.] . It is probable that sensing the exigencies of war, Kaundinyas had also taken a band of soldiers from amongst the Kambojas and Sakas with them. There are references both to the Kamboja and Saka names in the Indo-Chinese Inscriptions. The references to Saka Brahmins are found in the inscriptions of Prasat-Khna in the province MLU Peri in Cambodia (dated 1041 AD) which confirms the presence ofScythians in Indo-China. Another important word connected with this region is Kambuja which relates to the Kambojas of north-west (G. Coedes, Dr B. R. Chatterjee, Dr Buddha Parkash). Later traditions however connect this name with sage "Swayambhuva Kambu" and "Apsra Mera" which tradition seems to have been the handiwork of the patronised Brahmins (the royal courtiers) of the ruling family of Kambuja to trace or connect the lineage of the "ruling family" of Kambuja (Cambodia) to ancient sages [Inscription du Cambodge, Vol I, p 149, G Goedes; Baksei, Camkron, Inscription of Rajendra Varman dated 86, S verse 11, 12] . This legend may have been necessitated by the fact that around this period, the Kambojas of north-west had come to be viewed with derision by the Indian Brahmanical class and generally regarded as belonging to the barbaric and mlechcha stock.

The Magi connection of the Kambojas as pointed out above by Dr Buddha Parkash and others seems to make quite a sense in the above context.

References

ee also

*Sage Aupamanyava Kamboja
*Sage Upamanyu
*Sage Kambhoja
*Sage Kambu Swayambhuva
*Sage Acyuta Kamboja


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