Uragas Immigrated in India Seems an Unproved Hypothesis
–C. L. Verma R.A.S.(rtd.), Jaipur, Rajasthan(India)
Some modern historians say that the homeland of Uragas was in Ethopia(Africa). Uragas as like other Nagas tribes have spread through out the world. But it seems that on the basis of the word “Uraga” seen in the shlok(02,27,19) of the Sabhaparv Mahabharat(a Hindi translation printed in Geeta press, Gorakhpur), they have also assumed that a branch of Ethpian Uragas immigrated in Aryavart (India) and settled around Kashmir and establish a suzerainty.
Exaggerating interpretation of the word Uraga
Evidently, the word “Uraga” in the shlok 19 is overstated. Altough at least 60-65 times the word “Urag” in the Mahabharat epic is used. But this is only a poetic beautified synonym of Naga tribes or Serpent(Snakes). That is, there was no Uraga tribes in Aryavart(India) and the word “Uraga”, looking in the clause “Uragavasinam chaiv Rochmanam (उरगावासिनम् चैव रोचमानम्)” of the shlok 19 seems only a name of a city or a country. The Sanskrit text with Hindi translation of the shlock 19 mentioned in the above epic on pp. 0745 is as:-
अभिसारीम् ततो रम्याम् विजिग्ये कुरुनन्दनः।
उरगावासिनम् चैव रोचमानम् रणेsजयत् ।। महाभारत 02, 27, 19 ।।
अर्थात् इसके बाद(कई देशों के शासकों को हराने के बाद) कुरुनन्दन धनंजय (पाण्डुपुत्रअर्जुन) ने रमणीय नगरी अभिसारी पर विजय पायी और उसके बाद उरगावासी रोचमान को भी युद्ध में पराजित किया।
[Abhisarim tato ramyan vijigye kurunandanh.
Urgavasinam chaiv Rochmanam raneajayat.(Mahabharat 02, 27, 19)
That is, after defeating many kings (of north Aryavart), Kurunandan Dhananjay (Panduputra Arjun) conquered Abhisari, a very beautiful city and then defeated Rochman who was a resident of Uraga.]
Evidently, hereby we can only infer that Rochman might be a king of Uraga. But some modern historians have interpreted the word “Uraga”, exaggerately and have assumed that Rochman was an Ethopian Urag of Nagkul. But it is only a hypothecation. Because the Hindi translation of the above shlok 19 does not reveal any genealogical and domicile facts, which predicts that Rochman was also a descendant of Uraga tribes, coming from Ethopia to Aryavart. Even, Devarshi Vyas did not mention in his Mahabharat epic that Uraga was separate tribes to Naga tribes which had been living in Aryavart before Mahabharat era. Also there are some other evidential facts which give an account that even there was no tribes, calling as Uraga in Ethopia(North-East Africa). One of them, a website http://ancientvoice.wikidot.com/tribe:uragas, created by Jijith, says also that “their(Uragas’) original home land seems to be in Ethiopia, where they were known by the names likeUracce(उरश), Urakur(उरकुर), Urabe(उरबे) and Urabas (उरबस)”. But hereby, neither we can infer that these tribal words prevailing in Ethopia were also used in the sense of snake or serpent nor we can assume that after the immigration of the above tribes in Aryavart, they were called as “Uraga” tribes. Whereas “Uraga(उरग)” was a word of Sanskrit language which means only, snake (नाग = cobra) or serpent (सर्प). Hence all words Uracce etc. prevailed in Ethopia were derivatives of such a word which was not related to snake or serpent. Thus the word “Uraga” in the Sabhaparv Mahabharat shlok(02,27,19) has been not only exaggerated, but also misinterpreted.
Scholars doubt originality of some ancient words
It is a fact that some scholars say that “Purush Sukt(पुरुषसूक्त)” in the Rigveda and “Uttar Kand(उत्तरकाण्ड )” in the Ramayana are post creations and a many texts of the epics and ancient books have been changed or replaced by other words. Hence it seems that each and every word printed in the the present edition of the Mahabharat epic may not be a text of the original manuscript written by Devarshi Vyas. Because the Mahabharat, a big story of Kaurwas’ enmity with Pandavas was written 5000 years ago and is preserved continuously by remembering (कण्ठस्थ करके) and through a process of copying or writing on the loose leaves of birch(भोजपत्र = a smooth bark from a smooth tree). That is, during this process, it is possible that some original words might be replaced by other words. Hence it seems that the original text, like Urasa(उरसा) or Ur(उर) or Uri(उरी) in the shlock(02,27,19) has been replaced by a hypothetical word Uraga(उरगा) . But some modern historians have considered that Uraga in the shlok(02,27,19) is an original word of the manuscript and literally, it means a snake or serpent. After this hypothetical assumption, they have established that Rochman belonged to Ethopian Uraga tribes, a tribe like Naga tribes and he was also a worshipper of snake or serpent. But it is merely a hypothesis.
The Clan Uras(उरस) existed during Mahabharat era
It is also a historical fact that the word Urashor Urus or Urasa and Abhisar have been mentioning in various books written after the era of Mahabharat. Even when Alaxender, the Great invaded India, then both Urasa and Abhisar[4,5] were two independent monarchies. But who believe in the existence of Uraga city and Ethopian Uraga tribes in Aryavart they have argued that the word “Uraga” has been pronounced into the word“Urasa” upto Alexander. But it is also a mere hypothecational imagination. Because Uras(उरस) was an Aryan Kshatriyas’ clan, who founded a monarchy called Aurasik (औरसिक) in the east of the river Indus(Present Hazara). Which is justifying by the shlok (08, 11,16) of the Dronparv. The Sanskrit text with Hindi translation of this shlok is as:-
आवन्त्यान् दक्षिणात्याश्च पर्वतीयान् दशेरकान्।
काश्मीरकानौरसिकान् पिशाचान् च समुद्रलान् ।। महाभारत 8, 11, 16 ।।….
जितवान् पुण्डरीकाक्षो यवनम् च सहानुगम् ।। महाभारत 07, 11, 18 ।।
अर्थात् संजय ! इसी प्रकार (अपनी विजय यात्रा के दौरान)कमलनयन श्रीकृष्ण ने अवन्ती, दक्षिणप्रान्त, पर्वतीय देश, दशेरक, कश्मीर, औरसिक, पिशाच, मुद्गल… और अनुयायियों सहित कालयवन को भी जीत लिया।
[Aavntyan dakshinatyshch parvtiyan dasherakan.
Kashmirakanaurasikan pishachashch smudralan.(Mahabharat 7,11,16)…
Jitvan pundarikaksho yavanam ch shanugam. (Mahabharat 7,11,18 )
That is, (In his victorious journey of various countries,) Kamalnayan Shri Krishna defeated Avanti, South Provinces, Mountainious Countries, Dasherak, Kashmir, Aurasik, Pishach, Mudagal….. and Kaal-yawan with his followers.]
Where the Sandhi vichchhed(beaking up a word) and interpretation of the word काश्मीरकानौरसिकान् is :-
काश्मीरकान् + औरसिकान्➝ काश्मीरक + औरसिक ➝ काश्मीर + उरस(Kashmir and Uras countries)  .
That is, Uras was an Aryan kshariya clan during the Mahabharat era.
Rochman was “Uras(उरस)” or other Aryan Kshatrias
The word Rochman is a Sanskrit word, means lighted(प्रकाशमान). Also Rochman was a nobleman(a son of Manu), mentioned in the Geetapress Hindi translation of Mahabharat shlok (Karnparv 08, 06, 20 on pp. 3767) as bellow:-
दुर्मुखेन महाराज तव पुत्रेण पातितः।
रोचमानौ नरव्याघ्रौ रोचमानौ ग्रहाविच।।महाभारत 08, 06, 20 ।।
द्रोणेन युगपद् राजन् दिवं सम्प्रापितौ शरैः।।महाभारत 08, 06, 21-1/2 ।।
अर्थात् राजन् (धृतराष्ट्र )! उनको(गदा युद्ध में कुशल पर्वतीय राजा जनमेजय को) आपके पुत्र दुर्मुख ने धरासायी कर दिया तथा दो चमकते हुए ग्रहों के सामान नरश्रेष्ठ रोचमान, जो एक ही नाम के भाई थे(कम से कम किसी एक भाई के नाम के साथ उनके नामों को अलग अलग समझने के लिये कोई उपसर्गात्मक या प्रत्ययात्मक शब्द भी अवश्य जुड़ा होगा), द्रोणाचार्य के द्वारा बाणों से एक साथ स्वर्ग लोक पहुंचा दिए गये।
[Durmukhen maharaj tav putren patitah.
Rochmanau narvyaghrau rochmanau graavich. (Mahabharat. 8, 6, 20)
Dronen yugpad rajan divam smprapitau sharaih. (Mahabharat. 8, 6, 21)
That is, Rochaman fighting bravely in the side of Pandawas was at last, killed by Dronacharya. But it is an important thing that as above Rochman was also called a Narshreshth(a noble man). Thus he was a full man. Whereas like Nag, Serpent, Pishach, Kinnar, Kimpurush, Rakshas, Danav, Asur etc. are categorized as halfmen. Thus the word “Narshreshth (नरश्रेष्ठ)” using in the shlok(8, 6, 20) for Rochman creates a new controversy. Because so-called Uragavasi Rochaman has been also labelled with Nag(Urag), a halfman. That is, one of them is an incorrect fact. To decide, which is correct, we have to analize those particular shlokas of the Mahabharat, in which the word “Urag” is mentioned, differently. Because mostly “Uraga” words mentioned in the Mahabharat, are used for the Naga tribes or Serpents(Snake). Whereas Only in the shlok (02,27, 19), the word “Uraga” is considered for the so-called Uraga city or country. Besides it, in the Bhishmparv shlok (06,09, 54), the word “Uraga” or “Raga” is also looking, ambiguously in the word Vatjamrathoragah (वातजामरथोरगाः). That is analyzing in the last.
But as far as the word “Aurasik(a derivative the word Uras, an Kshatria clan)” in the shlok (07,11,16) is concerned with, it seems that it is a text of the manuscript of the Mahabharat epic. Hence if the “Uraga” mentioned in the shlok (02,27,19) is also a text of the above manuscript in the sense of Uraga tribes of Nagkul or Uraga city, then in this context, we have to be agreed that “Uraga city” and “Aurasik desh” were two independent monarchies situated nearby. But the most of historians also say that the word “Urasa” is a converting form of the word “Uraga” and both the words represent a same genealogy(वंशावली). That is, If the word “Aurasik(औरसिक)”seen in the shlok 16 and the word “Uraga(उरगा)”seen in the shlok 19 represent the same genealogy. Then, most probably, it seems that the word “Urasa(उरसा, geneting word of Aurasik)” was the text of the shlok 19 of the manuscript , but not it is “Uraga(उरगा)” nor Ur(उर) nor Uri(उरी). If it were so, then Rochman was either Uras Kshatria or other Aryan Ksharia. Hence there were no two independent monarchies like, Uraga and Urasa. Only Aurasik/Urasa monarchy existed. That is, Rochman was Urasavasi(उरसावासी, a resident of Urasa or Aurasik desh). But misunderstanding the clause Uragavasinam chaiv Rochmanam (उरगावासिनम्चैवरोचमानम्) of the shlok 19 as a text of the manuscript and taking “Uraga” means Nag or Serpent, some historians have assumed that Rochman was also an Ethopian Urag of Nagkul who ruled over Uraga city.
But since members of Nagkul were called halfmmen (अर्द्धमनुष्यअर्द्धजानवर) in the ancient books. Hence if Rochman were Nag, he was never called “Narshreshth (नरश्रेष्ठ)”, a full man. Actually Rochman was an Arya Kshatriya(full man) and he was the king of “Aurasik or Urasa desh”.
Although as per shlok (07,11, 16) of the Dronparv Mahabharat king of Aurasik desh was overcome by Yaduvanshi king Shrikrishna. But it seems that after some time, Urasas became despotic under the flag of Rochman. So they had to subdue again by Panduputra Arjun, that was actually, described in the Sabhaparv shlok (02,27,19) of the Mahabharat manuscript. But at any stage of copying of the Mahabharat epic. The text “Urasa” was replaced by the hypothecated word “Uraga”.
Uri(उरी) in Jammu & Kashmir was under Rochman
Although some historians also say that the town named Uri in Kashmir seems to be a city of Uragas. But it will be a wrong inference that the word “Uraga” has been converted into the word “Ur” or “Uri”also. Whereas it seems only that the Monarchy of Rochaman was situated in the west of Kasmirdesh comprised with Hazara and Uri town. And the word “Uri” must be a derivative of the word “Ur” or “Uras”, Kshatrias’ clan.
Uri town is situated on the bank of the river Jhelum in the Baramula district, in the Indianstate of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located just 18 km from the line of control. The Pandu feature, which is an off shoot(a branch or a part) of Chhota Kazi Nag Dhar is believed to have housed the Pandavas during their exile. The Pandu mandir at Lagama, Datha mandir at Bandi, Khadim Mandir at Buniyar lend credence to this legend. That is, Ancient remains or ruins found in the area of Uri town relates with the kings of Mahabharat era. Hence it seems that the Monarchy of Rochaman was situated in the west of Kasmirdesh(Kashmir desh was situated on the left bank of the river Jhelam flowing in the direction of the east to west and turning into south in the Mahabharat era.).
Most feasible Breaking up of the word Vatjamrathoragah
It seems that Pandit Ramnarayandatt Shastri Pandey ‘Ram’, a Hindi translator of the Mahabharat epic did not know the history of Rag Raghuvanshies. But he have acquainted with the word Uraga mentioned in Mahabharat epic for Naga tribes and in the sense of snakes or serpents. Hence he has also misinterpreted the word “Vatjamrathoragah” mentioned in the Bhishmparv shlock (06, 09, 54).
But since if a Sanskrit word breaks up into more than one set of words, then the most feasible set of meaningful words is to be chosen. But it seems that Perhaps Pandit Ramnarayandatt shastri Pandey ‘Ram’ has been also impressed by the word “Uraga”. So, in his Hindi translation of Mahabharat epic, he have considered only the laws of Swarsandhi (स्वरसंधि के नियम) of the Sanskrit grammer and written that Vatjaamrathoragah (वातजामरथोरगाः)” must be broken up as:-
वातजामरथोरगाः = वातज + अमरथ + उरगाः ………………………………….(i)
That is, Vatjamrathoragah represents Vataj, Amarath and Urag clans of the Mahabharat era. Whereas grammatically, on the basis of laws of Visarg sandhi (विसर्गसंधिकेनियम) the word “Vatjamrathoragah” is also broken up as:-
वातजामरथोरगाः= वातजामरथः + रगाः ➝ वात + जाम + रथः + रगाः………………(ii)
But analyzing historically and sociologically, it seems that the equation (ii) is found correct. Because it represents Vat, Jam, Rath and Rag (रग) Aryan Kshatrias’ clans and their descendants are identified among Jat, Gujar, Ahir and Raigar communities of the North India. Which also justifies with the Vat(वात), Jaama(जाम), Rathi (रथी/राठी) and Ragi (रगी) Jat Gotras. But still no Amaratha (अमरथ) clan is physically, identified anywhere and even; the hypothesis of Ethopian Uragas in Aryavart has been seemed unproved.
Hence वातजामरथोरगाः = वातजामरथः + रगाः ➝ वात + जाम + रथः + रगाः is a correct breaking up (संधिविच्छेद) of the word Vatjamrathoragah.
Ambiguous Geographical situation of Uraga city
It is clear that analyzing facts given in the Mahabharat shlok (02, 27, 19) and its adjacent shloks, some modern historian have established that Uraga city(उरग नगर) was situated in the east of Hazara(Hazara is located east of the Indus Riverand comprises six districts: Abbottabad, Battagram, Haripur, Mansehra, Kohistan, and New District Torghar in Pakistan) and around Uri town of District Baramula in Kashmir.
Whereas on the other hand, it seems that analyzing facts given in the Bishmparv Mahabharat shlok(06, 09, 54), some historians have identified that Uraga city (उरग नगर) was situated in the west of the river Indus but north of the river Kumbha and near to the northern boundaries of Gandhardesh in Afghanistan. Samething is also mentioned in the “map of the epic India cities”, created by Jijith. But both are not admissible facts, because both the shloks represent Urasa country (present Hazara and west front of Kasmir) and Rag city respectively. Actually Rag Raghuvanshi Kshatriyas lived in the joint land of present Pakistan and Afghanistan. Still, their roots exist in the above land. At present, a Ragh city (रगनगर) in Badkhshan (बदख्शां) province in Afghanistan is the head quarter of the Disrict of Raghistan. Where “Raghistan” is a social geographical term, which means the land of Raghas. That is, Raghuvanshi Ragh Kshatrias lived in the North West provinces of Aryavart in the Mahabharat era. But it would be a false prediction that the word “Urag (उरग)” has contracted into the word “Rag (रग)”
Wheresoever the word “Urag” is mentioned in the Mahabharat epic is merely a poetic beautified synonym of the Naga tribes of India. Whereas the original text in the slock(02, 27, 19) was “Urasa”, which has been replaced by the hypothetical word “Uraga”. But the correct word in the shlok(06, 09, 54) is “Rag”, not “Urag”.
(1) Although“Ur(उर)” was a Kshatrias’ clan. But syllable “Ur” seen in the Sanskrit word “Uraga” is a meaningful Sanskrit word which means Chest(छाती). That is, The word “Uraga(उरग)” is a derivative of the two Sanskrit words “Ur(उर= chest, a noun)” and “Gam(गम् = to walk, a verb)” as:-
उर(छाती) + गम्(चलना) → उरगम्(छाती के बल चलने वाला जीव) → उरग = सांप या सर्प
[Ur + gam → Urgam → Urag]
(2) It is a historical and genealogical fact that some groups of Parmar, Rag, Nar, Dar, Mur, Mor, Dor etc. Kshatriyas’ clans migrated from Aryavart to northern Africa and south west Asia. Hence it is also possible that a branch of Uras (उरस) Kshatrias migrated from Aryavart to Ethopian country and had been called gradually by various tribal names like Uracce or Urakur or Urabe or Urabas etc. But neither were they called Uragas in the sense of serpent or snake in Ethopia nor it is identified that ancient Urasas of Aryavart converted into Uragas during Mahabharat era.
(3) The word “Uraga” is mentioned at least 50-55 times for the Naga tribes and about 10-15 times for serpents or snakes in the Mahabharat. Hence it seems that any copier of the Mahabharat was impressed by these so many “Uraga” words and misunderstood that the word “Urasa” in shlok (02,27, 19) has been written instead of the word “Uraga” by the last copier. Taking this account in his mind, he replacd the text word “Urasa” by the the hypothecated word “Uraga” and altimately the word “Uraga” is being assumed as a text of the manuscript for some past. Actually, it seems that the next copier did not heed the word “Aurasik” of the shlok(07,11,16) . If he would do so, he would never replace the word “Urasa” by the word “Uraga”. Hence it is a wrong proclamation that the word “Urag” has been pronounced into the word “Uras” up to Alexander.
(4) प्राचीन भारत का इतिहास और संस्कृति(Prachin Bharat ka Itihas aur Sanskriti) pp. 132-133 by Dr. Krishanchandra Shrivastava.
(5) An Account of Strabo. Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus (modern Amasya, Turkey), a city that he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea.
(6) The wordy form of the word “Aurasik(औरसिक)” reveals that it is a derivative of the Sankrit word “Uras(उरस). That is, it seems that Kshatrias who founded “Aurasik or Urus or Uras” monarchy, were also called Aurasik or Urus or Uras Vanshi (औरसिक या उरूस या उरस वंशी) after the name of a Suryavanshi King Urushravas in the genealogy of Narishyant, the fifth son of Manu Vaivasvat as per Bhagwatpuran (Foot note 391.20, Vishnupuran Book 04 Chapter 03 translated by H. H. Wolson) . That genealogy is as –
Manu Vaivasvat(Satyvrat) ➝ Narishyant(V son) ➝ Chitrasen ➝ Daksh ➝ Madhvat ➝ Purv ➝ Indrasen ➝ Vitihotra ➝ Satyshravas ➝ Urushravas. Perhaps Urushravas, a man indicating word (व्यक्तिसूचकशब्द) have been contracted into Urus or Urasa clan as bellow:
Urushravas(उरुश्रवस) ➝Urushra(उरुश्र) ➝Urushar(उरूशर) ➝Urush (उरूश) ➝ Urus(उरूस) ➝ Uras(उरस) ➝ Urasa (उरसा).
(7) As per Sanskrit grammer the word Aurasik(औरसिक) is an ‘ik’ suffixing (इक-प्रत्ययीकृत) derivative of the word Uras(उरस).
उरस(क्षत्रिय वंशशब्द) + इक (प्रत्यय) ➝औरस् + इक = औरसिक (उरसवंशी क्षत्रियों का राज्य)
(8) “Vatjamrathoragah (वातजामरथोरगाः)” is mentioned in the Bhishmparv Mahabharat (Hindi Anuvad, Printed in Geetapress Gorkhpur) shlock(06, 09, 54) page 2565. The Sanskrit text with Hindi translation of this shlok is as:-
अभिसारा उलूताश्च शैवला वाल्हिकास्तथा।
दार्वी च वानवा दर्वा वातजामरथोरगाः।।महाभारत 06, 09, 54 ।।
अर्थात् (मैं भारतवर्ष के उत्तर के जनपदों का वर्णन करता हूं, सुनिये। भारत में ये) ………………. अभिसार, उलूत, शैवला, वाल्हिक, दार्वी, वानवा, दर्वा, वातज, अमरथ, उरगा, ……… देश हैं।
[Abhisara ulutashch shaivala valhikastatha.
darvi cha vanava darva vatjamrathoragah.(Mahabharat 06, 09, 54)
That is, Rajan! (Now I would describe Monarchies and Republics of the North Aryavarat Bharatvarsh. Listen them. Those are…)………… Abhisar, Uluta, Saivala, Valhik, Darvi, Vanava, Darva, Vatj, Amrath, Uraga,……. desha]
(9) (i) Rag Raghuvanshi Kshatrias are described in a couplet of the “Raghukul Chintamani”, written by a famous Brahman poet Rajshekher, Mahaguru of the Gurjar Pratihar king Maharaja Mahendrapal I(0885-0910 A.D.) as bellow:
रघुवंस की जगत में, शाखा भई दस पांच ।
गुज्ज, रग, अभी, शक भिन्न भिन्न सतार्थ बांच ।।
अर्थात् प्राचीन रघुवंशी क्षत्रियों की पन्द्रह अलग-अलग शाखायें हुई है। उनमें से गुज्ज(र), रग(र), अभी(र), शक शाखायें प्रमुख है।
[Raghuvans ki jagat men shakha bhai das panch.
Gujj, Rag, Abhi, Shak bhinn bhinn satarth banch.
That is,there have been fifteen branches in the ancient Raghuvanshi Kshatrias.Among them Gujj(ar), Rag (ar), Abhi(r) and Shakas are more famous.
(ii)Raghuvanshi Ragas are also mentioned in a couplet of the “Annals and Antiquities of Rajputana(Con. Tad’s Rajasthan) by Con. James Tad in 19 th century A.D.
क्षत्रि साखा अनेक है, रघुवंश रग जान ।
कायथ खतरी बडगूजर तंवर जाट कर मान।।
अर्थात् क्षत्रियों की कायस्थ, खत्री, बड़गूजर, तंवर, जाट, रग आदि अनेक अलग-अलग शाखायें हुई है। उनमें से रग प्राचीन रघुवंशी क्षत्रिय हैं ।
[ Kashtri sakha anek hai, Raghuvansh Rag jan.
Kayath Khatari Badgujar Tanwar Jat kar maan.
That is, Kaysth, Khatri, Badgujar, Tanwar, Jat, Rag etc. are various branches of Arya Kshatrias. But among them Ragas are Raghuvanshies Kshatrias.]
(iii)An Inquiry into Ethnography of Afghanistan, 1891 a report prepared by Mr. H. W. Bellew pp. 42 reveals that Arrian(date of his death 182 A.D.) informs us that Alexander, in his pursuitof Darius, came to the city of Rhages(City of Ragh Raghuvanshi Kshatrias). its ruins lie some twenty miles east of Tehran, the modern capital of Persia(Iran),…..