Kambojas

The Kambojas were a Kshatriya tribe of Iron Age India, frequently mentioned in ("post-Vedic") Sanskrit and Pali literature, making their first appearance in the Mahabharata and contemporary Vedanga literature (roughly from the 7th century BCE). Their Kamboja Kingdoms were located beyond Gandhara in extreme north-west of India in Central Asia (see Kamboja Location). Some scholars describe the ancient Kambojas as a section of the Indo-Aryans [Some Ksatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, p 231-32, Dr B. C. Law; Indological Studies, 1950, p 7, B. C. Law; Tribes in the Mahabharata: A Socio-cultural Study, 1987, p 91, Krishna Chandra Mishra; Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and History of the People of India, 1874, p 356, (ed) John Muir; see also: Journal, 1848, p 15, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Asiatic Society of Bengal; The History and Culture of the Indian People, 1962, p 264, Dr Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Dr Achut Dattatrya Pusalker, Dr A. K. Majumdar, Dr Dilip Kumar Ghose, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Vishvanath Govind Dighe; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboj; Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 132-135, Dr H. C. Raychaudhuri, Dr B. N. Mukerjee, University of Calcutta.] , few others style them as probably Indo-Iranians [D. D. Kosambi Commemoration Volume, 1977, p 287, Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi, Lallanji Gopal, Jai Prakash Singh, Nisar Ahmed, Dipak Malik; B.C. Law Volume, 1945, p 601, Indian Research Institute, Devadatta Ramakrishna Bhandarkar, Indian Research Institute.] , while some, following Vedic Index of Dr Keith and Dr Macdonnel, regard them as having both Indian as well as Iranian affinities [See: Vedic Index of names & subjects by Dr. Arthur Anthony Macdonnel, Dr Arthur. B Keath, I.84, p 138.] [See more Refs: Ethnology of Ancient Bhārata, 1970, p 107, Dr Ram Chandra Jain; The Journal of Asian Studies, 1956, p 384, Association for Asian Studies, Far Eastern Association (U.S.); Balocistān: siyāsī kashmakash, muz̤mirāt va rujḥānāt, 1989, p 2, Munīr Aḥmad Marrī; India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1953, p 49, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala; Afghanistan, p 58, W. K. Fraser, M. C. Gillet; Afghanistan, its People, its Society, its Culture, Donal N. Wilber, 1962, p 80, 311; Cf: D. D. Kosambi Commemoration Volume, 1977, p 287, Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi, Lallanji Gopal, Jai Prakash Singh, Nisar Ahmed, Dipak Malik etc etc.] . However, most community of scholars now agree that the Kambojas were Iranians [Das Volk Der Kamboja bei Yaska, First Series of Avesta, Pahlavi and Ancient Persian Studies in honour of the late Shams-ul-ulama Dastur Peshotanji Behramji Sanjana, Strassberg & Leipzig, 1904, pp 213 ff, Dr Ernst Kuhn; The Language of the Kambojas, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society 1911, pp 801-02; Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1912, p 256; Purana, Vol V, No 2, July 1963, p 256, Dr D. C. Sircar; Journal Asiatique, CCXLVI 1958, I, pp 47-48, E. Benveniste; Early Eastern Iran and the Atharvaveda, Persica-9, 1980, fn 81, p 114, Dr Michael Witzel; he Afghans (Peoples of Asia), 2001, p 127, also Index, W. J. Vogelsang and Willem Vogelsang; Also Fraser 1979; History of lndia, Vol. I, Dr R. Thapar 1961/1997: p 276; A History of Zoroastrianism, 1975, p 129, Mary Boyce, Frantz Grenet; The History of ancient Iran, 1984, p 154, Richard Nelson Frye - Iran; Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 34, Dr Moti Chandra - India; The Achaemenids in India, 1950, p 27, Dr Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya; Indo-iranica, 1946, p iii, Iran Society (Calcutta, India) ] , cognate with the Indo-Scythians. Kambojas are also described by scholars to be a royal clan of the Scythians. [Ref: La vieille route de l'Inde de Bactres à Taxila, p 271, Dr A Foucher; See entry Kamboja in online "Heritage du Sanskrit Dictionnaire, sanskrit-francais", 2008, p 101, Gerard Huet, which defines Kamboja as: "clan royal [unicode|kṣatriya] Kamboja des Śakās". See link: [http://sanskrit.inria.fr/Dico.pdf] ; See also Serge Thion: On Some Cambodian Words, Thai-Yunnan Project Newsletter (NEWSLETTER is edited by Scott Bamber and published in the Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific Studies; printed at Central Printery; the masthead is by Susan Wigham of Graphic Design (all of The Australian National University); Cf: Indian Culture, 1934, p 193, Indian Research Institute - India; cf: Notes on Indo-Scythian chronology, Journal of Indian History, xii, 21; Corpus Inscrioptionum Indicarum, Vol II, Part I, pp xxxvi, 36, Dr S Konow; Cf: History of Indian Administration, p 94, Dr B N Puri.] .

During Indo-Scythian invasion of India in the pre-Kushana period, Kambojas appear to have migrated to Gujerat, Southern India, Sri Lanka and later to Bengal and Cambodia as well in the period spanning the 2nd century BCE to 5th century CE. Their descendants held various principalities in Medieval India, the one in north-west Bengal being seized, around middle of tenth century CE, from the Palas in Bengal. The Kamboj/Kamboh tribe of the Greater Punjab [ "An Inquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan", 1891, pp. 2, 146, 150, H. W. Bellew; "Supplementary Glossary of Tribes," 1844, p 304, H. M. Ellot; "The Tribes and Castes of North-western and Oudh", 1906, pp 119-120, 458, William Crooke; "Report on the Settlement of Land Revenue of Sultanpur Distt". (With) Accompaniment; 1873, p 88, A. F. Millet; "Die Holztempel Des Oberen Kulutales in Ihren Historischen, Religiosen Und Kunstgeschichtlichen ...", 1974, p 26, Gabriele Jettmar; "Report on the settlement of the land revenue of the Sultánpur district". [With] Accompaniments, 1873, p 88, A F. Millett; "Paradise of Gods", 1966, p 331, Qamarud Din Ahmed; "Literary History of Ancient India", 1952, p 165, Dr Chandra Chakraverty; "Problems of Indian Society", 1968, p 69, Dr D. Bose; "Bhartiya Itihaas ki Mimamsa", p 230, Dr J. C. Vidyalankar; "Bani Kanta Kakati Memorial Lecturers", p 21, Gauhati University; "India and the World", 1964, p 154, Dr Buddha Prakash; "Geographical Data in Early Purana, A Critical Study", 1972, p 168, Dr M. R. Singh; "Tribes of Ancient India", 1977, p 322, Dr M. Choudhury; "Early History of India", 1942, p 2, Roshan Rai; "History of Poros", 1967, p 12, Dr Buddha Prakash; "Kirata-Kriti: The Indo-Mongloloids, Their Contribution to History and Culture of India", 1974, p 113, Dr S. K. Chatterjee; Cf: "Indo-Aryans: contributions towards the elucidation of their ancient and mediæval history", 1881, 187, Rājendralāla Mitra; "Geography from Ancient Indian Coins & Seals", 1989, p 24, Parmanand Gupta; "Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada" ("Ancient Kamboja, people and country"), 1981, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī ; "History of Origin of Some Clans in India, with Special Reference to Jats", 1992, p 149, Mangal Sen Jindal; "unicode|Balocistān: siyāsī kashmakash, muz̤mirāt va rujḥānāt", 1989, unicode|Munīr Aḥmad Marrī; "تاريخ قوم كمبوه: جديد تحقيق كى روشنى ميں, چوهدرى محمد يوسف حسن, 1996", unicode|Cauhdrī Muḥammad Yūsuf Ḥasan; "Folklore of the Punjab", 1971, p 7, Sohindara Singh Wanajārā Bedī; Cf: "Inscriptions of unicode|A�soka: Translation and Glossary", 1990, p 86, Beni Madhab Barua, Binayendra Nath Chaudhury etc. ] and the Kamoz and Katirs of the Siyahposh tribe in the Nuristan province of Afghanistan [See refs: Mountstuart Elphinstone, "An account of the kingdom of Caubol", fn p 619; "Journal of Royal Asiatic Society", 1843, p 140; "Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal", 1874, p 260 fn; "Die altpersischen Keilinschriften: Im Grundtexte mit Uebersetzung, Grammatik und Glossar", 1881, p 86, Friedrich Spiegel; "Political History of Ancient India", 1996, p 133, fn, Dr H C Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Banerjee; "The Achaemenids and India", 1974, p 13, Dr S Chattopadhyaya .] [ Cf: "There is an apparent trace of their (Kambojas') name in the Caumogees of Kaferistan, who may have retreated to the mountains before the advance of the Turk tribes" (Dr. H. H. Wilson). See fn 374:15: [http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp095.htm#fr_985] .] are believed by scholars to represent some of their modern descendants.

Ethnicity and language

:"Main article:" Ethnicity of Kambojas

Based on the fact that Kamboja Aupamanyava has been mentioned as a renowned Vedic teacher in the Vamsa Brahmana [Vamsa Brahmana verses 18-19.] of the Samaveda and his father or ancestor Rsi Upamanyu [ See Refs: Trans of Rig Veda, III,113, Dr Ludwig; Alt-Indisches Leben, p 102, Dr H. Zimmer; History and Culture of Indian People, The Vedic Age, p 260, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr A. D. Pusalkar; Bhandarkar Oriental Series, 1939, p 1, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute; The Geographical Observer, p 96, Meerut College Geographical Society; Location of Kamboja, Purana, Vol VI No1, Jan 1964 pp 212-213; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, pp 6, 224, K. D. Sethna; Some Kshatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, p 231, Dr B. C. Law; Dialectics of Hindu Ritualism, 1956, pp 59, 133, Bhupendranātha Datta; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, Dr J. L. Kamboj; Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 25-27, S Kirpal Singh; These Kamboja People, 1979, pp 27-28, K. S. Dardi; Purana, Vol VI, No 1, Jan 1964, p 212.13, Balocistān: siyāsī kashmakash, muz̤mirāt va rujḥānāt - 1989, P 1, Munīr Aḥmad Marrī etc; Tribes in Ancient India, 1943, p 1; Cf: The Society of the Rāmāyaṇa, 1991, p 88, Ananda W. P. Guruge. (Guruge also takes note of the ethnic connections between the ancient Kambojas, sage Upamnayu of the Rig Veda and his son/descedant Kamboja Aupamanyava of Vamsa Brahmana of Sama Veda, as implied in the Rig Vedic verse 1.102.09; 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; Aspects of Sanskrit Literature, 1976, P 71, Sushil Kumar De; see also: The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 290-291, Nanimadhab Chaudhuri.] in the Rigveda [v 1. 102. 9.] , several scholars have argued that the Kambojas were Indo-Aryans and in the early Vedic times they had formed an important sectiont of the Vedic Aryans [Some Ksatriya Tribes of Ancoent India, 1924, p 230-31; Tribes in Ancient India, 1943, p 1, Dr B. C. Law; Indological Studies, 1950, p 7, Dr B. C. Law; The History and Culture of the Indian People, 1962, p 264, Dr Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Dr Achut Dattatrya Pusalker, Dr A. K. Majumdar, Dr Dilip Kumar Ghose, Dr K. M. Munshi; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 1-8, K. D. Sethna; Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and History of the People of India, 1874, p 356; Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and History of the People of India, 1860, pp 368-370, John Muir; Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 132-135, Dr H. C. Raychaudhuri, Dr B. N. Mukerjee, University of Calcutta; National Geographer, 1977, p 60, Allahabad Geographical Society - Geography.] . The fact is also corroborated from "Paraskara Grhya-sutram (v 2.1.2)", where the Kambojas, as scholarly people, have been classed with the Vasishthas--the cultural heroes of ancient India, and have been counted amongst the six great scholarly houses of Vedic India. The social and religious customs of the Kambojas and Vasishthas are stated to be identical [See: Paraskara Gryya-sutram Verse 2.1.2; Commentary: Pt Harihar.] . Sage Upamanyu has been described as the composer of Rig Vedic Hymn 1.102.9 [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.] . In the more ancient layers of the Mahabharata, the Kambojas also appear to be established in "Kshatriya-Dharama" as warriors and rulers [Foreign Elements in Ancient Indian Society, 2nd Century BC to 7th Century AD, 1978, p 125, Uma Prasad Thapliyal - India Civilization.] [See also: Sabha Parava, Udyoga Parva, Bhishma Parva, Drona Parva, Karna Parva, Shalya Parva sections of the Mahabharata.] and are also described as scholars of the Vedas (i.e. "kritavidyash") [The following evidence from Mahabharata amply attests that, besides being fierce warriors, skilled in archery, 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).
] . The Khadga legend (q.v) related in the Shantiparva section of Mahabharata [Mahabharata 12.167.1-87 (Vulgo edition); Mahabharata 12.161.1-87 (Critical edition)).] also bear very strong witness to the Vedic Aryan background of the Kambojas. "In his Ashtadhyayi, Achariya Panini also lists the Kambojas as one of the fifteen important and powerful Indo-Aryan Kshatriya clans " [ Ashtadhyayi IV.1.168-177; See also: Ashtadhyayi, Trans: R. M. Sharma, 1999, p 148.] . All these reference go to attest Indo-Aryan affinities of the Kambojas.

However, numerous classical sources indicate that ancient Kamboja was a center of Iranian civilization [The Kamboja Janapada, January 1964, Purana, Vol VI, No 1, Dr V. S. Aggarwala, p 229; Jataka edited by Fausboll, Vol VI, p 210.] . This is evident from the Zoroastrian religious customs of the ancient Kambojas [ Jataka, VI, p 110, Trans. E. B. Cowell; cf: Videvati XIV.5-6; cf: Herodotus I.140; Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1912, p 256, Dr G. A. Grierson.] as well as from the Avestan language they spoke. Yaska (700 BC), in his Nirukta, contrasts the speech of the Kambojas with that of the "Aryans" i.e Indo-Aryans [

:Sanskrit:

:shavatir gatikarmaa Kamboje.sv eva bhaa.syate...vikaara enam Aaryaa bha.sante shava iti.|
::(Nirukuta II/2)

:English Trans:

::"The verb 'shavati', meaning 'to go', is used by the Kambojas only..... but its root 'shava' is used by the Indo-Aryans".

Almost similar information on Kambojas is provided by Patanjali's Mahaabhaasya (2nd c BC).

:Sanskrit:

:zavatir gatikarmaa kamboje.sv eva bhaa.sito bhavati, vikaara enam aaryaa bha.sante zava iti |
::(Patanjali's Mahaabhaa.sya is p. 9, in Vol. 1 Kielhorn's Edition).

:English Trans:

:"The verb 'zav' in the sense of 'going' is used only among the Kambojas. The same verb in the nominal form 'zava' is used by the Aaryas in the sense of 'transformation'" (Ref: Patanjali's Mahaabhaa.sya is p. 9, in Vol. 1 Kielhorn's Edition).

It is notable that this evidence by Yasaka (~7th c BC) and Patanjali (2nd c BC) puts the Kambojas in direct contrast to the Indo-Aryans and further, the word shavati, in the sense "to go" is not found in ancient Sanskrit literature but it is a well known Iranian word. (See: The Language of the Kambojas, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1911, p 802, Dr G. A. Grierson)

Cf: Kamboja verb shavati represents, sound by sound, the Young Avestan sauuaiti 'to go'. (Ref: Persica, 9, 1980, p 92, Dr Michael Witzel.] [Dr Michael Witzel also thinks that the Kambojas were east Iranians speaking Avestan language (See:Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies,Vol. 7 (2001), issue 3 (May 25), Art. 9).

Thomas Oberlies comments: "Yaska and Patanjali both record that the Kambojas of eastern Iran had a word Śavati for "to go" (Nirukta II.2; Mahābhāsya I 9, 25.26.), which answers to Avestan word 'Ś(ii)auua(itē)' and not to old Indo-Aryan cyáva(ti)" (Ref: Pāli: A Grammar of the Language of the Theravāda Tipiṭaka, 2001, p 7, Thomas Oberlies - Foreign Language Study).

Mary Boyce, Frantz Grenet remarks: "The earliest piece of evidence (on Kambojas) is a reference by the grammarian Yaska (who lived before 4th c BCE) to the Kambojas' use of the verb 'Śav' for "to go", which establishes that they spoke an Iraniann language (Ref: Das Volk Der Kamboja bei Yaska, First Series of Avesta, Pahlavi and Ancient Persian Studies in honour of the late Shams-ul-ulama Dastur Peshotanji Behramji Sanjana, Strassberg & Leipzig, 1904, pp 213 ff, Dr Ernst Kuhn). In the Mahabharata and Pali literature, they appear in the characteristic Iranian roles of horsemen and breeders of notable horses. And in a passage in Buddhist Jataka, it is remarked that, unlike Indians, the Kambojas held it a religious duty to kill insects, snakes, worms and frogs (Jataka Ed V, Fauseball, VI, p 208, II, pp 27-28; Cf Kuhn i.e Charpentier Art cited, p 145). This alone shows that the Kambojas were Zoroastrians, acting in accord with the precepts in the Vendidad XIV.5-6. These precepts have their basis in Zoroastrian dualism...." (Ref:A History of Zoroastrianism, 1991, p 129-130, Mary Boyce, Frantz Grenet - Religion).] , which fact offers a powerful clue to their being from the "Persa Aryan" stock [ The History of Indian Literature, 2005 edition, p 178, Albrecht Weber - Sanskrit literature; The History of Indian Literature, 1882, p 178, Albrecht Weber - Sanskrit literature.] . "In the Mahabharata and Pali literature, the Kambojas appear in the characteristic Iranian roles of splendid horsemen and breeders of notable horses" [India in Early Greek Literature: academic dissertation, 1989, p 225, Klaus Karttunen - Greek literature.] [A History of Zoroastrianism, 1991, p 129, Mary Boyce, Frantz Grenet.] [ Ancient Indian Civilization, 1985, p 120, Grigoriĭ Maksimovich Bongard-Levin.] [Cf: A View of the History, Literature, and Mythology of the Hindoos, 1818, p 559, William Ward - India.] . The "Bhishamaparava" and "Shantiparava" of the epic Mahabharata sufficiently reveal that the Kambojas were living beyond the Uttara or the north ("uttarashchapare"); and with other people of the Uttarapatha, they are also addressed as Mlechchas (Barbarian people) or Asuras, lying outside the Indo-Aryans fold [Historical and Cultural Chronology of Gujarat, 1960, p 43, Manjulal Ranchholdlal Majmudar; A Study on the Rāmāyanas, 1987, p 43, Amal Sarkar; History of Dharmaśāstra: (ancient and Mediæval Religious and Civil Law), 1930, p 13, Pandurang Vaman Kane, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, India.(Bombay); History of Indian Buddhism: From the Origins to the Saka Era, 1988, p 106, Etienne Lamotte, Sara Webb-Boin.] . They are repeatedly bracketed with other north-western, "non-Vedic" people like the Yavanas, Sakas, Tusharas, Darunas, Parasikas, Hunas, Kiratas and the like [

:HrishIvidarbhah kantikasta~Nganah parata~Nganah. | :uttarashchapare mlechchhA jana bharatasattama. || 63 |
:YavanAshcha sa Kamboja Daruna mlechchha jatayah.
:Sakahaddruhah Kuntalashcha Hunah Parasikas saha.|| 64 |
:Tathaiva maradhAahchinastathaiva dasha malikah. | :Kshatriyopaniveshashcha vaishyashudra kulani cha.|| 65 |
::(Mahabharata 6.9.63-65)

:Uttarapatha janmanah kirtayishyami tanapi:Yauna Kamboja Gandharah Kirata Barbaraih saha::(Mahabharata 12.201.40)

:ete.dharmah.sarva.varna.ca.viirair.utkrastavyah.Ksatriyair.esa.dharmah.
:tasmaj.jyestha.raja.dharmaa.na.ca,anye.viirya.jyesthaa.viira.dharmaa.mataa.ye.:Yavana.Kirata.Gandhara.Cina.Sabara.Barbarah.
:Saka.Tusarah.Kahvas.ca.Pahlava.ca.Andhra.Madrakah.|
:Odrah.Pulinda.Ramatha.Kamboja.mleccha.ca.sarvazah.
:Brahma.Ksatria.prasutas.ca.vaisyah.sudras.ca.manavah.|
:katham.dharmam.careyus.te.sarve.viSaya.vaasinah.
:madvidhaiz.ca.katham.sthaapyaah.sarve.te.dasyu.jiivinah.|
::(Mahabharata 12.65.12-15) (See also: Indian Caste, 1877, p 266, John Wilson; Original Sanskrit Texts, I, p 180).
] . Majjhima Nikaya reveals that in the lands of Yavanas, Kambojas and some other frontier nations, there were only two classes of people..."Aryas and Dasas...the masters and slaves". The Arya could become Dasa and vice versa [

:"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).".] which social organisation was completely alien to India where four class social structure was prevalent [History of Indian Buddhism: From the Origins to the Saka Era, 1988, p 106, Etienne Lamotte, Sara Webb-Boin.] . And in a passage in Buddhist Jataka, it is remarked that, unlike the Indo-Aryans, the Kambojas held it a religious duty to kill insects, snakes, worms and frogs "which fact alone proves that the Kambojas were Zoroastrians, acting in accord with the precepts in the Vendidad" [Vendidad XIV.5-6.] [Refs: Ibid, Mary Boyce, Frantz Grenet; Jataka, VI, p 110, Trans. E. B. Cowell; cf: Videvati XIV.5-6; cf: Herodotus I.140; Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1912, p 256, Dr G. A. Grierson.] . "Non-Indo-Aryan" customs of the Kambojas are also hinted at in "Shanti Paravan" of the Mahabharata [ Mahabharata 12.207.43-44.] . Fourth/fifth century Buddhist commentator and great scholar Buddhaghosa [According to other source, Buddhaghosa belonged to second century AD (See: Freedom, Progress and Society: Essays in honor of Prof K. Satchidananda Murty, 1966, p 109, B. Subramanian, K. Satchidananda).] has expressly described the Kambojas as being of "Parasaka-vanna" (i.e "of Parasa or Persian affinties"). [ Quoted in: Journal of the Asiatic Society, 1940, p 256, by India Asiatic Society (Calcutta, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal.] [ See also: Foreign Elements in Ancient Indian Society, 2nd Century BC to 7th Century AD, 1979, p 16, Dr Uma Prasad Thapliyal; Studies in Indian History and Civilization, 1962, p 351, Dr Buddha Prakash; Cultural Heritage of India, p 625, Dr Debala Mitra; Indological Studies, 1950, p 78, Dr Bimala Churn Law.] [Inscriptions of Asoka: Translation and Glossary, 1990, p 84, Beni Madhab Barua, Binayendra Nath Chaudhury; Journal of the Asiatic Society, 1956, p 256, Asiatic Society (Calcutta, India); Indian studies: past & present, 1964, p 365, Indo-Aryan philology; Maurya and Post-Maurya Art: A Study in Social and Formal Contrasts, 1975, p 36, Niharranjan Ray.] [Cf: The Śikh Gurus and the Śikh Society: A Study in Social Analysis, 1975, p 139, Niharranjan Ray.] .

It is now widely accepted among scholars that the Kambojas were an Avestan speaking group of East Iranians [Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1912, p 256, Dr G. A. Grierson; Purana, Vol V, No 2, July 1963, p 256, Dr D. C. Sircar; Journal Asiatique, CCXLVI 1958, I, pp 47-48, E. Benveniste; A Political History of the Achaemenid Empire, 1989, p 10, fn 1, M. A. Dandamaev, W. J. Vogelsang; Ivanovich Abaev, V. I. 1967, p 288ff; Aryan and non-Aryan Names in Vedic India, Data for the linguistic situation, c. 1900-500 B.C., 1999, p 5, Michael Witzel, Harvard University; The Afghans (Peoples of Asia), 2001, p 127, also Index, W. J. Vogelsang and Willem Vogelsang; Also Fraser 1979; The Cambridge Ancient History: Volume 4, Persia, Greece and the Western Mediterranean, (c.525 to 479 BC), Volume 4, 1988, p 199, John Boardman, N. G. L. Hammond, D. M. Lewis, and M. Ostwald; cf Early Eastern Iran and the Atharvaveda, Persica-9, 1980, fn 81, p 114, Dr Michael Witzel who however, locates the Kambojas in Arachosia and Kandhahar] and were located mainly in north-eastern Afghanistan and parts of Tajikstan [Ref: Proceedings and Transactions of the ... All-India Oriental Conference, 1930, p 118; cf: Linguistic Survey of India, Vol X, pp 455-56, Dr G. A. Grierson; cf: History and Archeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries from the ... , 1976, p 152, Dr Shashi P. Asthana - Social Science; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada =: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, p 128, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī - Kamboja (Pakistan).] [ Scholars like Dr V. S. Aggarwala etc locate the Kamboja country in Pamirs and Badakshan (Ref: A Grammatical Dictionary of Sanskrit (Vedic): 700 Complete Reviews.., 1953, p 48, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala, Surya Kanta, Jacob Wackernagel, Arthur Anthony Macdonell, Peggy Melcher - India; India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1963, p 38, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala - India; The North-west India of the Second Century B.C., 1974, p 40, Mehta Vasishtha Dev Mohan - Greeks in India; The Greco-Sunga Period of Indian History, Or, the North-West India of the ..., 1973, p 40, India) and the Parama Kamboja further north, in the Trans-Pamirian territories (See: The Deeds of Harsha: Being a Cultural Study of Bāṇa's Harshacharita, 1969, p 199, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala).] .

Some scholars even believe that the Zoroastrian religion originated in east Iran in the land of the Kambojas [Cf: "Zoroastrian religion had probably originated in Kamboja-land (Bacteria-Badakshan)....and the Kambojas spoke Avestan language" (Ref: Bharatiya Itihaas Ki Rup Rekha, p 229-231, Dr Jaychandra Vidyalankar; Bhartrya Itihaas ki Mimansa, p 229-301, Dr J. C. Vidyalankar; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 217, 221, Dr J. L. Kamboj).] .

According to some scholars, "The Kambojas were probably the descendants of the Indo-Iranians (East Iranians) popularly known later on as the Sassanian and Parthians who occupied parts of north western India in first second centuries of the Christian era " [D. D. Kosambi Commemoration Volume, 1977, p 287, Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi, Lallanji Gopal, Jai Prakash Singh, Nisar Ahmed, Dipak Malik, Banaras Hindu University, Dept. of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology, Banaras Hindu University; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 139 seqq, Kirpal Singh; See also: These Kamboja People, 1979, p 162 seqq.] .

A host of eminent scholars have traced the tribal name "Kamboja" to the royal name "Kambujiya" of the "Old Persian Inscriptions" (known as "Cambyses" to the Greeks) [This view is held by scholars like C. Lassen, S. Levi, M. Witzel, J. Charpentier, La Valle Poussin, A. Hoffman, A. B. Keith, A. A. Macdonnel, G. K. Nariman, E. Kuhn, H. W. Bellow, A. D. Pusalkar, S. Sen, D. R. Bhandarker and numerous others; See also: An Enquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan H. W. Bellow; also see: Sectarianism and Ethnic Violence in Afghanistan, Musa Khan Jalza] [H. W. Bellow writes: "Darius succeeded, about 521 BC to the empire founded by Cyrus (Kurush), and enlarged and consolidated by his son and successor Cambyses (Kambojia, Kambohji). Cyrus, whose mother was called Mandane (Mandana; perhaps a princess of the Mandan tribe), and said to be a Mede, and whose father was called Cambyses (Kambohji; probably a chieftain of the Kamboh tribe) having reduced the Medes and conquered the kingdom of Croesus the Lydian (Lùdi), thereby became master of all the territory extending from the Indus to the Hellespont".

— (An enquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan H. W. Bellow; See also: Sectarianism and Ethnic Violence in Afghanistan, Musa Khan Jalzai). ] [ Cf: “Historians tend to believe Kambojas were in fact an Iranian tribe. ("Old Iranian and old Sanskrit are very close languages. All these people called themselves Aryan, from which comes the name Iran"). Panini, the Indian genius of grammar, observed (Panini's Grammar, IV, 1, 175.) that the word Kamboja meant at the same time the tribe and its king. Later historians identified the same word in the name of several great Persian kings, Cambyse (Greek version) or Kambujiya (in Persian) (See: La Valle Poussin, L'Inde aux temps des Maurya, p. 15 and 40.). Cambyse the Second is famous for his conquest of Egypt (525 B.C.) and the havoc he wrought upon this country (ON SOME CAMBODIAN WORDS, Serge Thion, [http://www.nectec.or.th/thai-yunnan/20.html#9] ).] [James Hope Moulton writes: “The names Kuru and Kamboja are of disputed etymology, but there is no reason whatever to doubt their being Aryan. I do not think there has been any suggestion more attractive than that made long ago by Spiegel (Altpers. Keilinsch.'-, 96) that they attach themselves to Sanskrit Kura and Kamboja, originally Aryan heroes of the fable, whose names were naturally revived in a royal house. Spiegel thinks that the myths about Cyrus may have originated in confusion between the historical and the mythical heroes. (Kamboja is a geographical name, and so is Kuru often: hence their appearance in Iranian similarly to-day as Kur and Kamoj". (Early Zoroastrianism, 2005, Page 45, James Hope Moulton - Kessinger Publishing).] [Dr Chandra Chakraverty writes: "The Achaemenids were Kamboja-Kuru Scythian people on the base of Parsa ('Khatti-Puru') tribe. It was a marvelous racial blend and their culture was a similar good synthesis...."(See: The Racial History of India, 1944, p 225, Chandra Chakraberty)] [Dr Ranajit Pal: " Toynbee wrote that the Achaemenian universal state belonged also to the Hinduis, the Pathavis etc. - the Indian Kurus and Kambojas were linked with Achaemenian history – Kurush (Cyrus) was a Kuru. (Also See: C. Eliot, Hinduism and Buddhism,, part III, pp .652, 654, 449) ”.] [Dr Michael Witzel wrote in one of his research articles: "The Old Persian -s- (as in < asa 'horse') <*śś <śv śś with Saka -śś-, while the rest of Iranian has -sp- (aspa) and Vedic has -śv- (Aśva). This feature and others (cf. further grammatical features in Witzel 1989, Ch 10) may point to an ultimately north-eastern (Bactria?) rather than north-western (Urartu/Median) origin of the Old Persian and thus to a track of immigration from the North-east via Media to the Persis, somewhat like Nichols' (1997-98) 'southern trajectory'. A North-eastern origin would be close to the location of the Vedic Parśu".

:COMMENT: Dr Michael Witzel (Harvard University) seems to convey that the Persians may have migrated to Persipolis from Balkh or Bactria in remote antiquity. This is quite a valid and scientific reasoning as the above extract from Dr Michael Witzel seems to show. This shows that the Parsa Achaemenids may have off-shot from the Kambojas in remote antiquity. The remote connection of the Achaemenids to the Kambojas and Kurus is indeed reflected in the royal name Kuru and Kambujiya/Kambaujiya which several of the great monarchs of the Achamenean line of rulers had adopted. Seeing close connections of the Kambojas (Parama-Kambojas), the Madras (Bahlika-Madras or Uttaramadras) and the Kurus (Uttarakurus) which tribes were all located in/around Oxus in Central Asia in remote antiquity, it can be thought that the Kurus, the Kambojas and the Parśus were a related people.] [ Cf: "Kambujiy-a (Cambyses), Kambujiy-ahya (Cambysis), Kambujiy-am (Cambysem), Kabujiy-a (Cambyse). This is the true vernacular orthography of name which was written Cambyses by the Greeks and Kavaus in Zend and which in Arabic and modern Persian has given birth to the forms of Kabus and Kavus or Kaus. From the name of a king of this name was derived the geographical title of Kamboja which retained to this day in the Kambyses was derived the geographical title of Kamboja (Sanskrit), which is retained to present days in the Kamoj of Cafferstan, became also by a regular orthographical procession Kabus, Kabur and Kabul……The Persian historians do not seem to be aware that the name Kabus, which was born by the Dilemite sovereigns, is the same with the Kaus of Romance; yet the more ancient form of Kaubus or Kabuj for latter name renders the identification also most certain. The Georgians, even to the present day, name the hero of romance Kapus still retaining the labial which has merged in the Persian Kaus...It can be hardly doubted that Zend Avestan alludes to Cambyses the elder, and Cyrus the Great, under the name of Kai-Kaus and Kai Khusro; but the actual forms under which the names are expressed, Kava-Uc and Hucarava, are to be adoptions of the Sassanian age...The native kings of Persis, agreeably to the usual system of oriental nomenclature, appear for several generations to have borne the alternative names of Cyrus and Cambyses. The two immediate ancestors of Cyrus the Great are named Cambyses and Cyrus by Herodotus and according to a doubtful passage of Diodorus Siculus preserved by Photius there was still another Cambyses, the fifth in ascent from the Kambujiya of the Inscriptions (See: Herodotus lib. I. c III and Phot. Bibilioth. p 1158 (Ed. And. Schot.)" (See: Memoir on Cuneiform Inscription, 1849,p 97-98, Cuneiform inscriptions; Also: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume XI, Part 1, 1849, Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson-- Re-Published 1990, pp 97-98, Cambridge University, Press for the Royal Asiatic Society [etc.] ; See also: Yacna, p 438, sqq., M. Burnouf .] . Kambujiya or Kambaujiya was the name of several great Persian kings of the Achaemenid line. This name also appears written as "C-n-b-n-z-y" in Aramaic, "Kambuzia" in Assyrian, "Kambuza", "Kambatet"/"Kambythet" (rather "Kambuzia" ) as well as "Kambunza" in Egyptian [ Ein neuer Kambyses text, p 5; Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Standard Work of Reference in Art, Literature, 1907, p 648.] , "Kam-bu-zi-ia" in Akkadian, "Kan-bu-zi-ia" in Elamite, and "Kanpuziya" in Susian language. The Khmer of Angkor believed their ancestors to be the people of "Kamboja" and traced their lineage to Kambujiya, hence the modern name of Cambodia, "Kampuchea". Cambyses III, son of Cyrus the Great, is famous for his conquest of Egypt (525 BCE), and for the havoc he wrought upon that country.

From the foregoing references, one can easily notice that there is indeed some evidence which attests Indo-Aryan affinities of the Kambojas but there is also an overwhelming evidence which endorses their Iranian affinities. In view of the above scenario, some distinguished scholars including Dr A. B. Keith and Dr A. A. Macdonnel, the authors of Vedic Index, have opined that the Kambojas probably had both Iranian as well as Indo-Aryan affinities [See: Vedic Index of names & subjects by Dr. Arthur Anthony Macdonnel, Dr Arthur. B Keath, I.84, p 138.] [See more Refs: Ethnology of Ancient Bhārata, 1970, p 107, Dr Ram Chandra Jain; The Journal of Asian Studies, 1956, p 384, Association for Asian Studies, Far Eastern Association (U.S.); Balocistān: siyāsī kashmakash, muz̤mirāt va rujḥānāt, 1989, p 2, Munīr Aḥmad Marrī; India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1953, p 49, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala; Afghanistan, p 58, W. K. Fraser, M. C. Gillet; Afghanistan, its People, its Society, its Culture, Donal N. Wilber, 1962, p 80, 311.] .

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:"Main article:" Kamboja Location

Analysis of ancient Sanskrit texts [See Mahabharata verses (12/201/40), (6/11/63-64), 5/5/15, 5/159/20 etc; Also Kirfels text of Uttarapatha countries of Bhuvankosha; See: Brahama Purana 27/44-53, Vayu Purana 45/115; Brahmanda Purana 12/16-46; Vamana Purana 13/37 etc ] and inscriptions [Ashoka’s Rock Edicts, V and XIII etc ] place the Kambojas, Gandharas, Yavanas (Greeks), Madras, and the Sakas in the Uttarapatha - the northern division of Jambudvipa (the innermost concentric island continent in Hindu scripture). Geographically, this area sat along, and was named for, the main trade route from the mouth the Ganges to Balkh, now a small town in Northern Afghanistan. Some writers hold that Uttarapatha included the whole of Northern India and comprised very area of Central Asia, as far as the Urals and the Caspian Sea to the Yenisei and from Turkistan and Tien Shan ranges to as far as the Arctic (Dr S. M. Ali).

Linguistic evidence, combined with this literary and inscriptional evidence, has led many scholars of note to conclude that ancient Kambojas originally belonged to the Ghalcha-speaking area of Central Asia. For example, Yasaka's Nirukata (II.2) attests that verb "Śavati" in the sense "to go" was used by only the Kambojas. It has been proven that the modern Ghalcha dialects, Valkhi, Shigali, Sriqoli, Jebaka (also called Sanglichi or Ishkashim), Munjani, Yidga and Yagnobi, mainly spoken in Pamirs and countries on the headwaters of Oxus, still use terms derived from ancient Kamboja "Śavati" in the sense "to go". The Yagnobi dialect spoken in Yagnobi around the headwaters of Zeravshan in Sogdiana, also still contains a relic "Śu" from ancient Kamboja "Śavati" in the sense "to go" [ Proceedings and Transactions of the ... All-India Oriental Conference, 1930, p 118; Indian Culture, 1934, p 193, Indian Research Institute; Linguistic Survey of India, Vol X, pp 455-56, Dr G. A. Grierson; cf: History and Archeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries from the... , 1976, p 152, Dr Shashi P. Asthana - Social Science; Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 39, Dr Moti Chandra - India; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada =: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, p 128, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī - Kamboja (Pakistan).] . Further, according to Sir G Grierson, the speech of Badakshan was a Ghalcha till about three centuries ago when it was supplanted by a form of Persian [ Linguistic Survey of India, X, p. 456, Sir G Grierson; Proceedings and Transactions of the All-India Oriental Conference, 1930, pp 107-108.] .

Thus, the ancient Kamboja probably included the Pamirs, Badakshan, and possibly parts of Tajikstan, including Yagnobi region in the doab of the Oxus [(Dr J. C. Vidyalankara, Proceedings and Transactions of 6th A.I.O. Conference, 1930, p 118; cf: Linguistic Survey of India, Vol X, pp 455-56, Dr G. A. Grierson). .] . On the east it was bounded roughly by Yarkand and/or Kashgar, on the west by Bahlika (Uttaramadra), on the northwest by Sogdiana, on the north by Uttarakuru, on the southeast by Darada, and on the south by Gandhara.

Later, some sections of the Kambojas crossed the Hindukush and planted Kamboja colonies in Paropamisadae and as far as Rajauri. This view is fully supported by the "Mahabharata", [Mahabharata 2/27/23-25 ] which specifically draws attention to the Kambojas located in the cis-Hindukush region as neighbors to the Daradas, and the Parama-Kambojas located across the Hindukush as neighbors to the Rishikas (or Tukharas) of Ferghana/Sogdiana [Numerous scholars now locate Kambojas in the southern side of the Hindukush ranges (Kabul/Swat/Kunar valleys) and Parama Kambojas in the Transoxiana/Trans-Pamirian territories on the north of the Hindukush, including Badakshan/Pamirs (See: Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 11-13, Dr Moti Chandra - India; Geographical Data in the Early Purāṇas: A Critical Study, 1972, p 165/66, Dr M. R. Singh; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, pp 1-8, K. D. Sethna; Purana, Vol VI, No 1, Jan 1964, p 207 sqq; Inscriptions of Asoka: Translation and Glossary, 1990, p 86, Beni Madhab Barua, Binayendra Nath Chaudhury - Inscriptions, Prakrit). Scholars like Dr V. S. Aggarwala, Dr J. C. Vidyalankara, Dr J. L. Kamboj, Kirpal Singh etc locate Kambojas in Pamirs and Badakshan and the Parama Kambojas in the Trans-Pamirian territory, in the Sakadvipa, the Scythia of the classical writers (See: The Deeds of Harsha: Being a Cultural Study of Bāṇa's Harshacharita, 1969, p 199, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada =: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī - Kamboja (Pakistan); Proceedings and Transactions of the All-India Oriental Conference, 1930, p 118, Dr J. C. Vidyalankara; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 92, Kirpal Singh etc. Note: "Kirpal Singh surmises that the Kommdei of Ptolemy was the Parama Kamboja of the epic Mahabharata".] . Dr J. C. Vidyalanakara, Dr V. S. Aggarwala, Dr K. C. Mishra, Dr J. L. Kamboj and many other scholars locate Kamboja in Pamirs and Badakshan and "the Parama Kamboja further north, in the Trans-Pamirian territories comprising Zeravshan valley, towards Sogdhiana/Fargana--in the Sakadvipa or Scythia of the classical writers" [ See: Proceedings and Transactions of the All-India Oriental Conference, 1930, p 118, Dr J. C. Vidyalankara; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada =: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī - Kamboja (Pakistan); The Deeds of Harsha: Being a Cultural Study of Bāṇa's Harshacharita, 1969, p 199, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala; Tribes in the Mahabharata: A Socio-cultural Study, 1987, p 92, Krishna Chandra Mishra - (Revision of the author's Ph. D thesis (Banaras Hindu University)).] . Dr H. C. Seth identifies the mountainous region between the Oxus and Jaxartes ("old Sogdiana") as the locale of the ancient Kambojas [Central Asiatic Provinces of the Mauryan Empire", p 403, H. C. Seth; See also: Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, 1937, No 3, p. 400; Journal of the Asiatic Society, 1940, p 37, (India) Asiatic Society (Calcutta, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal - Asia; cf: History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries, from Earliest Times to 300 B.C.: from earliest times to 300 B.C., 176, p 152, Shashi P. Asthana; Mahabharata Myth and Reality, 1976, p 232, Swarajya Prakash Gupta, K. S. Ramachandran. Cf also: India and Central Asia, p 25 etc, Dr P. C. Bagchi.] . This may primarily equate to the Parama Kambojas of the Mahabharata.

On the etymology of the name Kamboja, one line of scholars assert that the word derives from ("Kam + bhuj") and "it refers to a people who were the Masters (enjoyers) of the country known as Kum or Kam (Rai & Dev). This line of thought suggests a possible identification of the country of Kambojas with mountainous regions between the Oxus and the Jaxartes (i.e. the old Sogdian strapy)...... The mountainous highlands where Jaxartes and many other rivers which meet this great river arise, are called by Ptolemy as the "the Highlands of Komdei". Ammianus Marcellinus also call these Sogdian mountains as Komedas. The word Komedai and Komedas suggest Kom-desa or land of Kome/Kam. We learn from Ptolemy that a tribe variously called by him as Komaroi, Komedai, Khomaroi, Komoi and Tambyzoi was wide spread in the Highlands of Bactriana, Sogdiana and Sakai ["Parts of Baktriane in the north towards the river Oxus are inhabited by the Salaterai and the Zariaspai, and to the south of these up towards Salaterai the Khomaroi, and below these are the Komoi, then the Akinakai, then the Tambyzoi and below the Zariaspai the Tokharoi a great people and below them the Marykaioi and the Skordai and the Ouranoi (Varnoi) and still below those are the Sabadioi and the Oreisitoi and the Amareis" (See: Ancient India as Described by Ptolemy: Being a Translation of the Chapters, 1885, pp 268-69, (Alexandrinus Claudius Ptolemy), Trans. John Watson McCrindle; Indian Studies, V-7, p 386, Indo-Aryan philology).] . It is difficult to say at present how far the vast tracts of land on either side of Oxus called as Kyzyl Kum (or Kizil Kum), Kok-kum and Kara Kum may yet bear the traces of the name of this once a great and powerful people" [Ref: Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 403; Central Asiatic provinces of the Maurya Empire, p403, Dr H.C. Seth; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, pp 48-49, Dr J. L. Kamboj; cf: History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries, from Earliest Times to 300 B.C., 1976, p 152, Shashi Asthana; Mahabharata Myth and Reality, 1976, p 232, Swarajya Prakash Gupta, K. S. Ramachandran.] [Cf: "The Town of Darwaz in Badakshan is sill called Khum (Kum) or Kala-i-Khum. It stands for the valley of Basht. The name Khum or Kum (=Kam) conceals the relics of ancient Kamboja (Journal of the Asiatic Society, 1956, p 256, Dr Buddha Prakash (Asiatic Society (Calcutta, India), Asiatic Society of Bengal)).] .

Scholars like Dr Buddha Parkash, H. C. Seth, Kirpal Singh etc identify the Ptolemian Komedei [Tartary region north of the Oxus", i.e the southern tip of the Saka-dvipa of the Puranas.] with the Komudha-dvipa of the Puranic literature and also connect it with the Iranian Kambojas [India and the World, p 71, Dr Buddha Parkash; also see: Central Asiatic Provinces of Maurya Empire, p 403, Dr H. C. Seth; India and Central Asia, p 25, Dr P. C. Bagchi; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, pp 46-47, 300 Dr J. L. Kamboj; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 159, 59, S Kirpal Singh.] .

The two separate Kamboja settlements (one on either side of the Hindukush), are also substantiated from Ptolemy's Geography itself, which also references geographical term "Tambyzoi" located north of Hindukush on the river Oxus in Bactria, [Ancient India as Described by Ptolemy: Being a Translation of the Chapters ... 1885, p 268, John Watson McCrindle - Geography, Ancient; Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, History - 2000, p 99,(Editors) Richard J.A. Talbert.] and "Ambautai" people living on the southern side of Hindukush in the Paropamisadae. [ Geography 6.18.3; See map in McCrindle, p 8.] Scholars have identified both the Ptolemian "Tambyzoi" and "Ambautai" with Sanskrit "Kamboja". [For Tambyzoi = Kamboja, see refs: Indian Antiquary, 1923, p 54; Pre Aryan and Pre Dravidian in India, 1993, p 122, Dr Sylvain Lévi, Dr Jean Przyluski, Jules Bloch, Asian Educational Services; Cities and Civilization, 1962, p 172, Govind Sadashiv Ghurye; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 1, K. D. Sethna; Asiatic Society, Calcutta, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1956, p 37; Purana, Vol VI, No 2, January 1964, pp 207-208; Journal of the Asiatic Society, 1956, p 88, Asiatic Society (Calcutta, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal); Geographical Data in the Early Purāṇas: A Critical Study, 1972, p 165, Dr M. R. Singh; Asoka and His Inscriptions, 1968, p 96, Beni Madhab Barua, Ishwar Nath Topa; Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 38, Dr Moti Chandra - India;Journal asiatique, 1923, p 54, Société asiatique (Paris, France), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France) - Oriental philology; Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, 2000, p 99, edited by Richard J.A. Talbert - History; Neuro-ophthalmology, 2005, p 99 Leonard A. Levin, Anthony C. Arnold; Purana-vimar'sucika -: Bibliography of Articles on Puranas, 1985, p 133, P. G. Lalye.] [For Ambautai = Kamboja, see Refs: Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, Vol. 5,1999, issue 1 (September), Dr. M. Witzel; Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History, 2005, p 257, Laurie L. Patton, Edwin Bryant; The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: : Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity, 1995, p 326, George Erdosy; Linguistic Aspects of the Aryan non-invasion theory, Part I, Dr. Koenraad Elst, See Link: [http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles/aid/keaitlin1.html] ; The official pro-invasionist argument at last, A review of the Aryan invasion arguments in J. Bronkhorst and M.M. Deshpande: Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia, Dr. Koenraad Elst, See link: [http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/reviews/hock.html] .]

The Yidga sub-dialect of Galcha Munjani is still spoken on the southern sides of Hindukush in Paropamisadae, further strengthening the view that some Kambojas crossed south of the Hindukush. Still further, Ptolemy Geography attests a tribal people called "Khomaroi" and "Komoi" located north of Bactria in Sogdiana [Geography 6.18.3; Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, p 199; Ancient India as Described by Ptolemy: Being a Translation of the Chapters, 1885, p 268, John Watson McCrindle - Geography, Ancient.] . It has also been pointed out that the Ptolemian Komoi is classical form of Kamboi (or "Kamboika: from Pali Kambojika, Sanskrit Kamboja") [ The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 403; Central Asiatic Provinces of Maurya Empire, p 403, Dr H. C. Seth.] . This settlement of the Kamboj may have resulted in the wake of tribal movement of the Scythian Komedes (which included Parama Kambojas) from the Alai Valley/Alai Mountains into the west around second century BCE.

With time, the trans-Hindukush Kambojas remained essentially Iranian in culture and religion, while those in the cis-Hindukush region came partially (or partly) under Indian cultural influence. Numerous scholars have remarked that the ancient Kambojas had both Indian as well as Iranian affinities [ Vedic Index I, p 138, Dr Macdonnel, Dr Keith.] [Ethnology of Ancient Bhārata – 1970, p 107, Dr Ram Chandra Jain.] [The Journal of Asian Studies – 1956, p 384, Association for Asian Studies, Far Eastern Association (U.S.).] [ Balocistān: siyāsī kashmakash, muz̤mirāt va rujḥānāt – 1989, p 2, Munīr Aḥmad Marrī.] [ India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī – 1953, p 49, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala.] [Afghanistan, p 58, W. K. Fraser, M. C. Gillet.] [ Afghanistan, its People, its Society, its Culture, Donal N. Wilber, 1962, p 80, 311 etc.] [Iran, 1956, p 53, Herbert Harold Vreeland, Clifford R. Barnett.] [Geogramatical Dictionary of Sanskrit (Vedic): 700 Complete Revisions of the Best Books..., 1953, p 49, Dr Peggy Melcher, Dr A. A. McDonnel, Dr Surya Kanta, Dr Jacob Wackmangel, Dr V. S. Agarwala.] [Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 33, Dr Moti Chandra - India.] [A Grammatical Dictionary of Sanskrit (Vedic): 700 Complete Reviews of the ..., 1953, p 49, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala, Surya Kanta, Jacob Wackernagel, Arthur Anthony Macdonell, Peggy Melcher - India.] .

Still later, some sections of the Kambojas apparently moved even farther, to Arachosia, as attested by the Aramaic version of "Greco-Aramaic inscription" of king Ashoka found in Kandahar. Some scholars have identified the original Kamboja with Arachosia (Kandahar), but this view does not seem to be correct.

According scholars like Vladimirovich Gankovskiĭ, 'Ancient Kamboja confederation ("Mahajanapada") extended from Hindukush to Rajaury valley ("in south-west parts of Kashmir"), and the south-western borders of this confederation extended probably as far as the regions of Kabul, Ghazni and Qandahar. It also included Kapishi' [The Peoples of Pakistan: An Ethnic History, 1971, pp 64-67, I︠U︡riĭ Vladimirovich Gankovskiĭ - Ethnology.] . Dr Michael Witzel also extends it from Kabul valleys to Arachosia/Kandahar [Persica-9, p 92, fn 81.] . B. M. Barua and I. N. Topa however, localize the Kambojas and the Parama Kambojas in the areas spanning Balkh, Badakshan, Pamirs and Kafiristan [ Asoka and His Inscriptions, 1968, pp 93-96, Beni Madhab Barua, Ishwar Nath Topa.] .

"S. Langdon identify the well known Aramaic people Gambua with the ancient Kambojas who find mention in king Asoka's records. These people appear in the annals of Asarhaddan (681-668 BC) and are also spoken of by the Arabic geographers in the middle ages. They are the important people who once occupied regions east of the mouth of the Tigris along the Persian gulf towards Elam" [ Epigraphia Zeylanka, 1928, p 75, Sinhalese Inscrip; Ancient Kambojas, People and the Country, 1981, pp 354-55, Dr J. L. Kamboj.]

Eastern Kambojas

A branch of Central Asian Kambojas seems also to have migrated eastwards towards Tibet in the wake of Kushana (1st century) or else Huna (5th century) pressure and hence their notice in the chronicles of Tibet (Kam-po-tsa, Kam-po-ce, Kam-po-ji) and Nepal (Kambojadesa). [ "The view that Nepali Traditions apply name Kamboja Desha to Tibet is based on the statement made by Foucher, [Iconographie bouddhique pp 134-135] on the authority of Nepali Pandit of B.H Hdgson. But it is supported by two manuscripts [No 7768 & 7777] described in the Catalogue of Sanskrit and Prakrit Mss in the library of India Office Vol II, Part II". [Abhinandana-Bhāratī: Professor Krishna Kanta Handiqui Felicitation Volume, 1982, p 112, Krishna Kanta Handiqui, Pratap Chandra Choudhury, Biswanarayan Shastri; See also: Dr R. C. Majumdar, History of Bengal, I, 191, Dist Gazeteer [Rajashahi] , 1915, p 26; Some Historical Aspects of the Inscriptions of Bengal, Dr B. C. Sen, p 342, fn 1] . For, western Tibet= Kamboja...See: Downfall of Hindu India, 1986, p 221, Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya.] Burmese chronicles refer to them as Kampuchih. Later, these Kambojas appear to have moved towards Assam from where they may have invaded Bengal during the bad days of the Palas and wrested north-west Bengal from them. R. R. Diwarkar writes: "The Kambojas of ancient India are known to have been living in north-west, but in this period (9th c AD), they are known to have been living in the north-east India also, and very probably, it was meant Tibet" [ Bihar Through the Ages, G. Ed. R. R. Diwarkar, 1958, p 312; Comprehensive History of Bihar, 1974, p 259, Bindeshwari Prasad Sinha, Syed Hasan Askari. Cf: Journal of Tamil Studies, 1985, p 86-87, International Institute of Tamil Studies - Tamil philology;International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics: IJDL., 1984, p 348, University of Kerala Dept. of Linguistics - Dravidian languages.] Benjamin Walker remarks: "A Branch of Kambojas (originally living in north-west of India) seems to have migrated eastwards along the Himalayan foothills, hence their notices in thy Tibetan and Nepalese chronicles" [Hindu World, Vol I, p 520, Benjamin Walker.] . Brahma Purana of 5th c AD mentions the Kambojas around Pragjyotisha and Tamraliptika. [Brahama Purana 53/16] [See also: The Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol.VI, No.1, 1930.03 pp. 98-99 fn-2, Dr P.C. Bagchi; A Critical Study of the Geographical Data in the Early Puranas, p 168, Dr M. R. Singh; Pala-Sena Yuger Vamsanucarita, p 70; Ancient India, History and Archaeology: History and Archaeology, 1994, p 72, fn 168,Dilip Kumar Ganguly; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 310, 328, Dr J. L. Kamboj; New light on History of Bengal, Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. XV-4, 1939, p. 511; The Dynastic History of Northern India, I, p 309 by Dr. H. C. Ray; History and Culture of Indian People, Imperial Kanauj, p 323, Dr A. D. Pusalkar, Dr R. C. Majumdar etc etc.] . Buddhist text "Sasanavamsa" [Sasanavamsa (Pali Text Series), pp 64-65, 83 etc] also attests the Kambojas in/around Assam. These Kambojas had made first bid to conquer Bengal during the reign of king Devapala (810 AD-850 AD) but were repulsed. A latter attempt was crowned with success when they were able to deprive the Palas of the suzerainty over North and West Bengal and set up a Kamboja dynasty in Bengal towards the middle of 10th century AD [Some Kṣatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, p 252, B. C. Law - Kshatriyas.] . According to Dr P. C. Bagchi, Dr S Chattopadhya etc: "The Kambojas, a nomadic tribe, lived beyond Himalayas in Central Asia. One of their branches entered India in very early times and after a while lost its identity as distinct people by merging into the local population, but other batches of them must have entered east Tibet and the valley of Mekong from another direction. By this assumption only, we can explain why the name Kambuja was given to the kingdom founded in the middle valley of the Mekong. In eastern Tibet their name can be traced in the name of the province of Khams and it was probably from this region that the Kamboja invasion of Assam took place in later times. A branch of them migrated to North Bengal at an early period though their actual invasion came at a later date" [ Journal, 1943, p 110, Greater India Society - India; India & Central Asia, p 117, Dr P. C. Bagchi; Racial Affinities of Early North Indian Tribes, 1973, p 76, Dr Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya - Ethnology India.] [For Kamboja connection with Tibet, Bengal and Mekong/Indo-China, cf also: The Racial History of India, 1950, p 153, Chandra Chakraberty - Ethnology; Literary History of Ancient India in Relation to Its Racial and Linguistic Affiliations – 1950, pp 37, 149, 165, Chandra Chakraberty; Paradise of Gods, 1966, p 267, Qamarud Din Ahmed - Pakistan.] . "International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics( IJDL)" also observes that the Kambojas, a nomadic tribe of Central Asia and a branch of the northern Kushanas or Tukharas (the Yueh-chis) migrated from Central Asia ("Oxus/Pamirs") to the Himalayas ("Tibet"), Yunnan ("South China") and the Mekong Delta [International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics (IJDL), 1984, p 348, University of Kerala Dept. of Linguistics; See also: Journal of Tamil Studies, 1985, p 86-87, International Institute of Tamil Studies - Tamil philology; Cf: Indian and Central Asia, Calcutta, 1955, p 31-32, P. C. Bagchi.] .

Possible connection with Kambysene/Cambyses

Historians believe that, there was a movement of the Eurasian nomads in Iran in the early centuries of first millennium BCE, in which the Cimmerians and Yautiya figured prominently. Driven by Medes, these Eurasian nomads bifurcated into two wings, the right one pushing north-westwards up to Transcaspiana and the left one wheeling towards the south-east and penertrating into Afghanistan and Punjab. Closely allied to the Iranian Yautiya were the Kurus, Kambojas and some other clans of the Scythians, which in later centuries, had sided with Achaemenid Teispes (Cispi), and contributed to the formation of Achaemenian empire in Iran (Dr Buddha Prakash, Dr C. Chakravarty, Qamarud Din Ahmed etc). Soon these early Scythians merged with sedentary population of Iranians and became an integral part of them thus losing all traces of this ancient incursion except for some place-names, noted by a grammarian, interested in linguistics or some faint traditions lost in the multitudinous amalgam of legendary lore. According to Dr Buddha Prakash, the Indian epic Mahabharata, in reality, is a record of Scytho-Iranian invasion of Vedic India of the 9th c BCE. [See: Political and Social Movements in Ancient Panjab (from the Vedic Age Upto [sic] the Maurya Period) – 1964, p 125-128, Dr Buddha Prakash] [ Paradise of Gods – 1966, p 323-24, Qamarud Din Ahmed.] Mahabharata abundantly attests that the Kambojas and their kindered Scythian tribes like the Sakas, Tusharas, Khasas etc had played a very prominent role in the Kurukshetra war where they had all fought under the supreme command of Sudakshina Kamboja [See: "Sudaksina.ca.Kambojo.Yavanaih.ca.zakaih.tatha" (Mahabharata 5.19.21); Also: "Shaka.Tushara.Yavanashcha sadinah sahaiva.Kambojavaraijidhansavah"; "Kritavarma tu sahitah Kambojarvarai.......Tushara.Yavanashchaiva.Shakashcha saha Chulikaih"; See also: The Nations of India at the Battle Between the Pandavas and Kauravas, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1908, pp 313, 331, Dr F. E. Pargiter.] .

Scholars believe that the nomadic invaders who had invaded Iran several centuries prior to Christian era were Scythian tribes of the "Kambysene" territory from west of Caspian region i.e. ancient Armenia. Name Kambysene has been attested anciently by Strabo which he specifies as a region bordering on Caucasus mountains. [Strabo Geog., 11.14.4; Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Standard Work of Reference in Art, Literature..., 1907, p 648] It comprised a rugged region through which a road connecting Albania and Iberia passed. [Strabo Geog., 11.4.5; cf. 11.3.5; Also see: Theophanes von Mytilene, Ph.D. dissertation, by Fabricius, pp. 146, 160, and map; Ocherki po istorii i kul'ture Kavkazsko¥ Albanii, Essays on history and culture of Caucasian Albania, Moscow, 1959, p 113, Trever, p. 113 and map.] The Greek form of the name is believed to have been derived in the Hellenistic period from an indigenous name, corresponding to Armenian "Kamboean". In Georgian, it is written "Kambeovani", in Arabic, "Qambzan". In Sanskrit, it was transliterated as "Kamboja". Though not attested prior to Strabo, the region Kambysene is believed to have born this name since remote antiquity. The tribal people living around this region were also called by the same name. Strabo also attests two rivers viz: Cyrus (modern Kura) and Cambyses (modern Jori or Jora), [A. Herrmann, in Pauly-Wissowa, X/2, col. 1810, s.v. Kambysene; See also: Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Standard Work of Reference in Art, Literature..., 1907, p 648.] the latter being a tributary of the former. The territorial name Cambysene or Kambysene as well as the river names Cyrus and Kambyses of Strabo's Geography occurring north of Iran, and the ethnics inhabiting therein have been connected to the ethno-geographical name Kambuja/Kamboja and Kuru of the Sanskrit texts [Literary History of Ancient India in Relation to Its Racial and Linguistic Affiliations – 1950, p 149, 165, Chandra Chakraberty; Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Standard Work of Reference in Art, Literature..., 1907, p 648; Eranische Alterthumskunde, Vol II, p 294; Die altpersischen Keilinschriften: Im Grundtexte mit Uebersetzung, Grammatik..., 1881, p 86, Friedrich Spiegel - Old Persian inscriptions.] . According to Ernst Herzfeld also, Cyrus and Cambyses, the names of two rivers, as well as the Achaemenid names Kurush and Kambujiya, were derived from two ethnics [The Persian Empire' Studies in Geography and Ethnography of the Ancient Near East, Ernst Herzfeld, ed. G. Walser, Wiesbaden, 1968, esp. pp. 345); See entry Cambysene in Encyclopaedia Iranica: See Link: [http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v4f7/v4f7a011.html] ] i.e "Kurus and Kambojas" of ancient Sanskrit texts. The name Cambyses occurs in Old Persian as Kambujiya or perhaps Kambaujiya, in Egypt as Kambuza, Kembatet (or rather Kambuzia) and Kambunza [ Ein neuer Kambyses text, p 5; Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Standard Work of Reference in Art, Literature, 1907, p 648.] , in Elemite Kanbuziya, in Akkadian Kambuziya and Aram. Knbwzy etc [Encyclopaedia Iranica, See entry 3150: Cambyses, Dandamayev, M.] . In "Zend Avestan", the name takes the form of Kavaus and in modern Persian as Kavus and Kaus. Kabus, which was born by the Dilemite sovereigns is the same with the Kaus of Romance; yet the more ancient form is Kaubus or "Kabuj" which latter name renders the identification with Sanskrit Kamboja also most certain. The Georgians, even to the present day, name the hero of romance Kapus, still retaining the labial which has merged in the Persian [ Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Standard Work of Reference in Art, Literature..., i907, p p 648.] [ While discussing Kambujiya of the old Persian Inscriptions (Cambyses/Kambyses of the Greeks, Kamboja of Sanskrit or Kamoj of Kafirstan/Nurestan), Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1990, observes as under: "Kambujiya, Kabujiya, Cambyses is the true vernacular orthography of name which was written Kambyses by the Greeks and Kauvays in Zend....From the name of a king Kambyses was derived the geographical title of Kamboja (Sanskrit), which is retained to present days in the Kamoj of Cafferstan....the Persian historians do not seem to be aware that the name Kabus, which was born by the Dilemite sovereigns is the same with the Kaus of Romance; yet the more ancient form is Kaubus or Kabuj, for latter name renders the identification also most certain. The Georgians, even to the present day, name the hero of romance Kapus, still retaining the labial which has merged in the Persian…." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Published 1990, p 97, Cambridge University, Press for the Royal Asiatic Society [etc.] , By Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland; Cf: Reisen im indischen Archipel, Singapore, Batavia, Manilla und Japan, 1869, p 216; Die Voelker des Oestlichen Asien: Studien und Reisen, 1869, p 216, Dr Philip Wilhelm Adolf Bastian).] . In modern times, the name appears as Kamoj in Kafiristan and Kamboj/Kamboh in Punjab.

Scholars like Chandra Chakravarty also say that Kambysene of the Greeks transliterates into Kamboja and the Cyrus into Kuru of the Sanskrit texts. [Literary History of Ancient India in Relation to Its Racial and Linguistic Affiliations – 1950, p 149, 165, Chandra Chakraberty.] They further note that the hordes, who had participated in the earlier invasion of Iran along with Yauteyas were the Nordic Scythians, living around the "Kambysene region", near Mt Caucasus in ancient Armenia. They were the "Kuru-Kambojas" of the Sanskrit texts [ op cit, pp 37, 149, Dr C. Chakravarty.] . These Nordic Kuru-Kamboja hordes later got mixed with the Alpine base "Parsa-Xsayatia" ("Purush-Khattis") Iranians [op cit, pp 32-33, Dr C. Chakravarty; The Racial History of India, 1944, p 225, Chandra Chakraberty: e.g: "The Achaemenids were Kamboja-Kuru Scythian people on the base of Parsa ('Khatti-Puru') tribe. It was a marvelous racial blend and their culture was a similar good synthesis...."; See also: Paradise of Gods – 1966, p 330, Qamarud Din Ahmed: e.g: “It seems therefore, that the Achaemenidae were mixed with the Scythian Kuru-Kambojas with the Alpine base Khatti-Purus" (i.e. Parsa-Xsayatia).] and gave birth to the famous Achaemenian dynastic line of Persia. This might explain as to why the Achemenians chose to name their famous kings as Kambujiya (Cambyses) and Kurush (Cyrus).

James Hope Moulton however, remarks: "“The names Kuru and Kamboja are of disputed etymology, but there is no reason whatever to doubt their being Aryan. I do not think there has been any suggestion more attractive than that made long ago by Spiegel [Die altpersischen Keilinschriften: Im Grundtexte mit Uebersetzung, Grammatik ..., 1881, p 86, Friedrich Spiegel - Old Persian inscriptions ] that they attach themselves to Sanskrit Kura (Kuru) and Kamboja, originally Aryan heroes of the fable, whose names were naturally revived in a royal house (in Persia)....Kamboja is a geographical name, and so is Kuru often: hence their appearance in Iranian similarly to-day as Kur and Kamoj" [Early Zoroastrianism, 2005, Page 45, James Hope Moulton; Zoroastrian and Israel, The Thinker: A Review of World-wide Christian Thought, 1892, p 490, fn, Theology.] .

Chandra Chakravarty also states that the Kambohs of NW Punjab are the modern representatives of these Scythian Kambysene, whom he calls Scythian Kambojas. [op cit, pp 37, 149, 165, Dr C. Chakravarty. ] Chandra Chakravarty further asserts that a branch of these Scythian Kambysenes which had settled in the north-west India (in northern Afghanistan) became known in ancient Sanskrit/Pali texts as Kamboja; and yet another branch of them reached Tibetan plateau where they mixed with the locals; and some Tibetans are still called Kambojas. [op cit, p 165, Dr C. Chakravarty. ] And through Tibet, they went further to Mekong valley where they were called Kambujas (Cambodians), now represented by the Chams, still a tall, fair, dolichocephelic people with non-mongoloid eyes of the Mon-Khmers [ op cit, p 165, Dr C. Chakravarty; Cf also: History of Origin of Some Clans in India, with Special Reference to Jats, 1992, p 153, Mangal Sen Jindal.] .

In Sanskrit literature

Kshatriya (Warrior) Clan

In anciant Indian traditions, the Kambojas are portrayed as belonging to the Kshatriya caste of Indo-Aryan society.

The earliest and most powerful reference endorsing the Kshatriya-hood of the Kambojas is Panini's fifth century BCE "Ashtadhyayi". Panini refers to the Kamboja Janapada, and mentions it as "one of the fifteen powerful Kshatriya Janapadas" of his times, "inhabited and ruled by Kamboja Kshatriyas" [ :Sanskrit:: [4.01.168] Janapada.shabdat.kshatriyad aÑ: [4.01.169] Salveya. Gandhari.bhyan cha: [4.01.170] dvinaC.Magadha. Kalinga. Surama.sadn: [4.01.171] vrddhait. Kosala. Ajada.Ñyan: [4.01.172] Kuru.nadi.bhyo.rayah: [4.01.173] Salvaavayava. Pratyagratha. Kalakuta. Asmakad iÑ: [4.01.174] te tadrajah: [4.01.175] Kambojal.luK: [4.01.176] striyam Avanti. Kunti.kurubhyas.cha: [4.01.177] aTascha::&mdash; "(Panini's Ashtadhyayi, 4.1.168-177)".] [The Astadhyayi of Panini, 1999, p 148/149, Literary Collections.] [Cf: History of the Tamils: From the Earliest Times to 600 A.D., 2001, p 136/137, P. T. Srinivasa Iyengar, Iyengar P. T. Srinivasa - History.] [Kiratas in Ancient India: Displacement, Resettlement, Development, 1990, p 67, Dhaneswar Kalita, G. P. Singh, V. Sudarsen, Mohammed Abdul Kalam, India University Grants Commission, Indian Council of Social Science Research.] [Journal of the Assam Research Society, 1983, p 91, Kāmarūpa Anusandhāna Samiti - Assam (India).] .

See: Kambojas of Panini

The "Harivamsa" attests that the clans of Kambojas, Sakas, Yavanas, Pahlavas, Paradas were "formerly noble Kshatriyas". It was king Sagara who had deprived the Kambojas, and other allied tribes, of their Kshatiya-hood ("sarve te Kshatriya tata dharma tesham nirakrta") [:Saka Yavana Kambojah Paradasca dvijottamah
:Konisarpa Mahisaka Darvascolah sakeralah || 14.19
:Sarve te Kshatriya vipra dharmastesam nirakrtah
:Vasisthavacanadrajna Sagarena mahatmana || 14.20
::&mdash; "(Harivamsa, 14.19-20)".
] and forbade them from performing "Svadhyayas" and "Vasatkaras". [Harivamsa, 14.17.] .

The "Harivamsa" calls this group of Sakas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Pahlavas and Paradas as "Kśatriya-pungavah", i.e., foremost among the Kśatriyas. Vayu Purana calls them as "Kśatriya ganah" (Kshatriya hordes). [Vayu Purana: v 88.127-43.] [Cultural History from Vayu Purana, 1973, pp 27, fn 185, 139, Reprint of 1946 Edition, Devendrakumar Rajaram Patil, published by Deccan College Post Graduate Research Institute, Poona] [Foreign Elements in Ancient Indian Society, 2nd Century BC to 7th Century AD - 1979, p 125, Uma Prasad Thapliyal.]

The "Manusmriti" attests that the Kambojas, Sakas, Yavanas etc were originally "noble Kśatriyas", but were gradually degraded to the status of "Vriśalah" ("degraded Kśatriyas"), on account of their neglect of sacred rites and non-entertainment of the Brahminas in their countries [:Sanskrit:::shanakaistu kriya-lopadimah "Kshatriya-jatayah"
::vrashalatvam gata loke brahmna-darshanen cha || 43 |
::Paundrash-Chaudra-Dravidah-Kamboja-Yavanah-Shakah
::Paradah Pahlavash-Chinah Kirata Daradah Khashah || 44 |
::&mdash; "(Manusmritti, X.43-44)".
] [ Our Heritage, 1960, p89, Sanskrit College (Calcutta, India). Dept. of Post-Graduate Training and Research, India) Sanskrit College (Calcutta - Indo-Aryan philology.] .

The "Mahabharata" likewise, also notes that the Kambojas, Sakas, Yavanas, Pahlavas, et al. were originally "noble Kshatriyas", who later got degraded to barbaric status due to the wrath of the Brahmanas ("Saka Yavana Kambojas tastah Kshatriya-jatayah, vrishalatvam parigata Brahmananamadarshana") [:Sanskrit:::Brahmana yam prasha.nsanti purushah sa pravardhate | ::brahmanairyah parakrushtah parabhuyatkshanaddhi sah || 20 || ::Shaka Yavana Kambojas tastah "Kshatriya-jatayah" | ::vrishalatvam parigata Brahmananamadarshanat || 21 || ::&mdash; "(Mahabharata 13.33.20-21)". Cf also: (Mahabharata 13.35.17-18).] .

Furthermore, while making a reference to a Kamboja king called Kamatha, the Sabha Parva of Mahabharata also styles the Kamboja prince as one of the "foremost Kshatriya princes" ("tatha.eva.ksatriya Shrestha.dharma.rajam.upasate") present among the princely invitees of the Pandava king Yudhisthira on the inauguration ceremony of the royal palace [:Tathaiva Kshatriya shreShThA dharmarAjamupAsate. :ShrImAnmahAtmA dharmAtmA mu~nja keturvivardhanaH ||18 |
:Sa~NgrAmajiddurmukhashcha ugrasenashcha vIryavAn. :KakShasenaH kShitipatiH kShemakashchAparAjitaH. :KambojarAjaH KamathaH kampanashcha mahAbalaH ||19|
::&mdash; "( Mahabharata 02.5.18-19)".
] .

The legend of "Daivi Khadga" or Divine Sword detailed in "Shantiparva" of "Mahabharata" [MBH 12.166.1-81] again powerfully endorses the Kshatriya-hood of the Kambojas. The sword as the "symbol of Kshatriya-hood" was wrested by the warrior king "Kamboja" from the Kosala king Kuvalashava alias "Dhundhumara", from whom it went to another warrior king called "Muchukunda". [:Sanskrit::Dhundhumarachcha Kambojo Muchukundastato.alabhat:MuchukundanMaruttashcha Maruttadapi Raivatah::&mdash; " (MBH 12.166.77-78)". ] .

See: Mahabharata Sword

The "Arthashastra" of Kautiliya attests the "Kshatriya Shrenis" (Corporations of Kshatriyas or Warriors) of the Kambojas, Surashtras, and some other nations, and mentions them as living by agriculture, trade and warfare [:Sanskrit::"Kamboja.Suraastra.Ksatriya.shreny.aadayo"vartasastra.upajiivinah"
:"Licchivika.Vrjika.Mallaka.Madraka.Kukura.Kuru.Panchala.adayo "raaja.shabda.upajiivinah"|| ::&mdash; "(Kautiliya Arathashastra, 11.1.03)".
] .

See: Kambojas in Kautiliya's Arthashastra

Also, according to numerous Puranas, the military Corporations of the Shakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Pahlavas and Paradas, known as five hordes ("pānca-ganah"), had militarily supported the Haihaya and Talajunga Kshatriyas in depriving Ikshvaku king Bahu (the 7th king in descent from Harishchandra), of his Ayodhya kingdom. A generation later, Bahu's son, Sagara recaptured Ayodhya after totally destroying the Haihaya and Talajangha Kshatriyas in the battle. Story goes that king Sagara had punished these foreign hordes by changing their "hair-styles" and turning them into "degraded Kshatriyas". [Harivamsa 14.1-19]

"Bhagavata Purana" [Bhagavata Purana 2.7.35] makes reference to a Kamboj king, and calls him a "powerfully armed mighty warrior" ("samiti-salina atta-capah Kamboja").

"Kalika Purana" [Kalika Puranna 20/40] refers to a war between the Buddhist king Kali (Maurya Brihadratha) and the Brahmanical king Kalika (Pusyamitra Sunga), where the Kambojas came as military supporters to Brihadratha, (187-180) BCE. The "Purana" notes the Kamboja warriors as "Kambojai...bhimavikramaih", i.e. the Kambojas of terrific military prowess", again confirming the Kshatriya-hood of the Kambojas.

Brahmanda Purana talks of 21 battles waged by Brahma-Kshatriya sage "Parsurama" against the ancient Haihaya dynasty clans of the Indian subcontinent. The list of Haihaya dynasty clans whom sage Parsurama fought with includes the Kambojas as well. [Brahmanda Purana, 3.41.36; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 19, Dr J. L. Kamboj; Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 15, S. Kirpal Singh ] This ancient evidence again verifies that Kambojas were a Kshatriya clan.

There are numerous similar references in the Puranas, "Mahabharata", "Ramayana" and other ancient Sanskrit and Pali literature, that further document the "Kshatriya-hood" of the Kambojas.

Passages in Mahabharata, Puranas and other ancient texts state that the Kambojas were " 'valiant warriors' " [ete Durvarana nama Kambojah (=Kamboja warriors, difficult to be resisted like wild elephants), Mahabharata 7.112.43; The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 124.] ; particularly " 'hard to fight with' " [ Journal of the American Oriental Society - P 295, American Oriental Society.] ; "invincible" [ "Kambojasainyan vidravya durjayam yudhi bharata".] ; expert in the use of " 'diverse weapons' " [Ibid.; See also: The Social and Military Position of the Ruling Caste in Ancient India, as Represented by the Sanskrit Epic, Edward W. Hopkins, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 13, 1889 (1889), pp. 57-376.] ; " 'wrathful, ferocious and shaved-headed warriors' " [ ibid.; Mahabharata 7.112.43-45; "mundanetan ....Kambojan.eva"... MBH 7.119.23.] ; expert cavalarymen [Ashva.yuddha.kushalah: Mahabharata 7.7.14; Vishnudharmotra Purana, Part II, Chapter 118; Post Gupta Polity (AD 500-700): A Study of the Growth of Feudal Elements and Rural Administration 1972, p 136, Ganesh Prasad Sinha; Military Wisdom in the Purānas, 1979, p 64, Prof P. Sensarma; Ancient Indian Civilization, 1985, p 120, Grigoriĭ Maksimovich Bongard-Levin; Kashmir Polity, C. 600-1200 A.D., 1986, p 237, V. N. Drabu; Polity in the Agni Purāna, 1965, Bambahadur Mishra; etc etc.] ; " 'deadly like the cobras' " ["tikshnai.rashivishopamah": Mahabharata 7.112.48-49.] "; 'strikers of fierce force' " ["tigmavega.praharinam".] ; " 'Death-personified' " ["samana.mrityavo".] ; " 'of a fearful bearing like Yama' " (the god of death) ["Kambojah Yama vaishravan.opamah": MBH 7,23.40-42.] ; and " 'the war-loving Kambojas' " [ "damshitah krurakarmanah Kamboja yuddhadurmadah" i.e. lip-biting, hardy and war-intoxicated Kambojas: Mahabarata 7.119.26-28; Traditional History of India: A Digest – 1960, p 136, Govinda Krishna Pillai.] etc.

Traditions of learning

"Chudakarma Samskaara" of "Paraskara Grhya-Sutram" [ Paraskara Gryya-sutram verse 2.1.2; Commentary: Pt Harihar.] , "Vamsa Brahmana" [Vamsa Brahmana verse 1.18-19.] of the Sama Veda [http://titus.fkidg1.uni-frankfurt.de/texte/etcs/ind/aind/ved/sv/vb/vb.htm] , the Epic Ramayana as well as Mahabharata and some other ancient references profusely attest that a section of the ancient Kambojas also had adopted the profession of learning and teaching. Thus we see that the ancient Kambojas are known to have been great scholars and teachers. Undoubtedly, they were intimately connected with ancient famous University of Taxila in Gandhara.

In Paraskara Grhya-sutram (v 2.1.2), the Kambojas have been listed at par with the Vasishthas--the cultural heroes of ancient India. Their social customs are stated to be identical. Rsi Upamanyu, the composer of Rigvedic Hymn (v 1. 102. 9); and his son/descendent Kamboja Aupamanyava-- a hallowed sage and teacher mentioned in Vamsa Brahmana (v 1.18-19) of the Sama Veda-- are some of the very distinguished ancient philosophers/scholars and teachers born of the Kamboja lineage.

"Drona Parva section of Mahabharata amply attests that, besides being fierce warriors, the entire Kamboj soldiery which participated in the Kurukshetra war was also noted as learned people ". [

: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".] .

Benjamin Walker observes:

"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.] .

Dr A. D. Pusalkar observes:

"“The speech of Kambojas is referred to by Yaska 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 settlemen”" [History & Culture of Indian People, The Vedic Age, Dr A. D. Pusalkar, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr K. D. Munshi, 1952, pp 259-260; cf: Location of Kamboja, Purana, Vol VI No1, Jan 1964 pp 212-213; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 224, K. D. Sethna.]

Viveka Nanda and Lokesh Chander write:

" "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.] .

See also : Scholarship among Ancient Kambojas.

Horsemen

:"Main article:" Kamboja Horsemen

The Kambojas have been famous in ancient time for their excellent breed of horses as well as as a remarkable "horsemen" or "cavalry troopers" [The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 103; Some Kṣatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, p 239, Dr B. C. Law.] [Hindu Polity, 1978, pp 121, 140, Dr K. P. Jayswal.] [::Sanskrit::Panchaldeshamarambhya mlechhad dakishinahpurvatah
:Kambojadesho deveshi vajiraashi.prayanah || 24 |
:"(Shakati-Sangam-Tantra, 'Shatpanchashadddeshavibhag' , Verse 24)".
] [ History, Literature and Religion of the Hindus, 1820, p 451; A View of the History, Literature, and Mythology of the Hindus, 1818, p 559, William Ward - India.] [India in Early Greek Literature: academic dissertation, 1989, p 225, Klaus Karttunen - Greek literature.] . They have been portrayed as famous Central Asian horsemen located in the Uttarapatha or North-west [India in Early Greek Literature: academic dissertation, 1989, p 225, Klaus Karttunen - Greek literature.] . In the Epic and Pali literature, they repeatedly appear in the characteristic Iranian roles of splendid horsemen and breeders of notable horses" [A history of Zoroastrianism: Zoroastraianism Under Macedonian and Roman Rule, 1991, p 129, Mary Boyce, Frantz Grenet, Roger Beck.] . The Mahabharata, the Puranic texts and numerous other ancient literature profusely attest the Kambojas among the finest horsemen [The Social and Military Position of the Ruling Caste in Ancient India, 1889, p 257, Edward Washburn Hopkins; Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1889, p 257, American Oriental Society - Oriental philology.] . They are known to have been constituted into "Military Sanghas" and "Corporations" to manage their political and military affairs as Kautiliya [Kautiliya's Arathashastra 4.1.1-4.] and Mahabharata [Mahabharata 7.91.39-40.] amply attest for us. They are also attested to have been living as "Ayuddha-jivi" or "Shastr-opajivis", which means that the Kamboja cavalry offered their military services to other nations as well. There are numerous references to Kamboj having been requisitioned as cavalry troopers in ancient wars by outside nations ("See": Ashvaka#Kamboja cavalry in ancient wars).

The horses of the Kambojas were famous throughout all periods of ancient history [The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 103; Some Kṣatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, p 239, Dr B. C. Law; The Achaemenids in India, 1950, p 47, Dr Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya; Poona Orientalist: A Quarterly Journal Devoted to Oriental Studies, 1945, P i, (edi) Har Dutt Sharma; The Poona Orientalist, 1936, p 13, Sanskrit philology; Tribes in Ancient India, 1943, p 4, Dr B. C. Law - Ethnology; The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1949, p 103.] . Ancient literature is overflowing with excellent references to the famed Kamboja horses. The "Puranas", the Epics, ancient Sanskrit plays, the Buddhist "Jatakas", the Jaina Canon, and numerous other ancient sources, all agree that the horses of the Kambojas were a foremost breed.

In Buddhist texts like "Manorathpurani", "Kunala Jataka" and "Samangavilasini", the Kamboja land is spoken of as the "birth place of horses" ("Kambojo assánam áyatanam".... "Samangalavilasini", I, p. 124).

The "Aruppa-Niddesa" of Visuddhimagga of Buddhaghosa mentions Kamboja as the "base of horses" (10/28).

In the "Mahavastu", the superb horses of Kambojas ("Kambojaka Asvanara") are also referred to and glorified [ Mahavastu, II. 185.] .

The Jaina Canon "Uttaradhyana-Sutra" [:Prakrit:jaha se Kamboyanam aiiyne kanthai siya
:assai javeyan pavre ayam havayi bahuassuye |
: &mdash; "(Uttaradhyana Sutra XI.17 20)".
] tells us that a trained Kamboja horse exceeded all other horses in speed and no noise could ever frighten it. [ "“....And such a monk practising the rigours of an ascetic for the sake of a fuller and more perfect life here and here-after-is superior to all others like a trained 'Kamboja steed' whom no noise frightens, Iike a strong irresistible elephant, like a strong bull and a proud lion ". (See ref: Jivaraja Jaina Granthmala, No. 20, JAINA VIEW OF LIFE: BY T. G. Kalghati, M.A., Ph.D. Reader in Philosophy, Karnatak University, and Principal, Karnatak Arts College, Dharwar General Editor Dr. A. N. Upadhya & Dr. H. L. Jain and Pt. Kailaschand Shastri Published by LAL CHAND HIRACHAND DOSHI Jaina Sanskriti Samraksaka Sangha, Sholapur. First Edition 1969, Second Edition 1984 [http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:HnjHVyqkajQJ:www.jainworld.com/jainbooks/Books/JAINVIEW.DOC+Jain+Kamboja+horses&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=22] ).]

The Bhishamaparva of "Mahabharata" [MBH 6/90/3-4] lists the best horses from various lands, but places the steeds from Kamboja at the head of the list, and specifically designates them as the leaders among the best horses ("Kamboja....mukhyanam"). [:Tatah Kambojamukhyanam nadijana.n cha vasjinam
:Arattanam mahijana.n sindhujana.n cha sarvashah || 3 |
:vanayujana.n shubhrana.n tatha parvatavasinam
:ye chapare tittiraja javana vatara.nhasah || 4 |
: (MBH 6/90/3-4)
]

In the great battle fought on the field of Kurukshetra, the fast and powerful steeds of Kamboja were of greatest service [Tribes in Ancient India, 1943, p 4; Indological Studies, India, 1950, p 37; Some Kṣatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, p 238, Dr B. C. Law - Kshatriyas.] .

Besides, the "Ramayana", [verse 1/6/22] Kautiliya's "Arthashastra", [Arthashastra 2.30.32-34] the Brahmanda Purana, [Brahmanda Purana II,2.16.16] Somes'ara's "Manasollasa", [Manasollasa 4.4.715-30] "Ashva. Chakitsata" by Nakula (p. 415), "Raghuvamsha" [Raguvamsha 4/70] and "Mandakraanta" of Kalidasa, "Karanabhaar" (Ch 19) of Bhaasa, "Vamsa-Bhaskara", "Madhypithika", Karnatakadambari of Nagavarman (verse 96, p 305) and numerous other ancient texts and inscriptions also make highly laudatory references to Kamboja horses, and state them the finest breed.

Vishnu Vardhana (12th century), the real founder of "Hoysala" greatness, who later on became ruler of Mysore, made the earth tremble under the tramp of his powerful Kamboja horses. [ Ancient India, p 236, Dr S. K. Aiyangar; cf: "”The world being trodden to dust with the troops of his Kambhoja horses having filled the space with the groups of his victorious standards an unequalled thunderbolt weapon in splitting the great rock, the Рапdуа king " (Mysore Inscriptions, 1983, p 263, B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice).]

There were Kamboja steeds in the cavalry of Pandya king Vallabhadeva who is referred to as the proud possessor/rider of the Kamboja horses and elephants. [Verse twelve of the third Asama-patra (1185 AD) reads:

:Kambojavajivrajavahnendryantabhavad vallabha deva aye
: (Kielhorn, F. (ed) Epigraphia Indica, Vol V, 1898-99, pp 184, 187)
]

These references amply demonstrate that Kamboja horses were sleek, very powerful and a foremost breed. They have been especially noted for their great fleetness and remarkable behavior on the battle field. No doubt, Kamboja steeds were the prized possession of kings and warriors in ancient times.

It was on account of their supreme position in horse ("Ashva") culture that the ancient Kambojas were also popularly known as "Ashvakas", i.e. horsemen. Their clans in the Kunar and Swat valleys have been referred to as "Assakenoi" and "Aspasioi" in classical writings, and "Ashvakayanas" and "Ashvayanas" in Panini's "Ashtadhyayi".

The "Mahabharata" specifically refers to the Kambojas as "Ashva-Yuddha-Kushalah", i.e., expert horsemen or cavalrymen. [ Mahabharata, 12/101/5] Similarly, "Vishnudharmotra Purana" also attests that the Kambojans and Gandharans were expert horsemen i.e. proficient in cavalry warfare ("Ashva-Yuddha"). [ Vishnudharmotra Purana attests: " "The soldiers of Deccan (Daksinatya) are knowledgeable or efficient in Khadga fight, the people of Vankala are expert in archery, the hill people are at-ease in stone or sling fight (pasana-yudha), the people of Anga, Vanga and Kalinga are expert in fighting from elephants, the Kambojans, Gandharans are expert in fighting from horse (or as cavalrymen)...” " (Vishnudharmotri Purana, Kh. II, Chapter 118).] [Military Wisdom in the Puranas, 1969, p 64, Prof Sen Sarma; See also: Polity in the Agni Purāna, 1965, Bambahadur Mishra, Agnipurāṇa] [Post-Gupta Polity (A.D. 500-750): A Study of the Growth of Feudal Elements and Rural Administration, 1972, p 136, Ganesh Prasad Sinha.] [ Kashmir Polity, C. 600-1200 A.D., 1986, p 237, V. N. Drabu - Political Science.] .

"Dronaparva" highly applauds the Kamboja cavalry as extremely fast and fleet i.e. "Kambojah"... "yayur.ashvair.mahavegaih". [ MBH, 7/7/14]

The "Mahabharata", "Ramayana", numerous "Puranas" and some foreign sources amply attest that "Kamboja cavalry-troopers were frequently requisitioned in ancient wars". "See main article": (Ashvaka#Kamboja cavalry in ancient wars).

Therefore, there is no exaggeration in the "Mahabharata" and "Vishnudharmotra Purana" statements portraying the ancient Kambojas as horse-lords and masters of horsemanship.

Conflict with Alexander the Great

Because the Kambojas were famous for their horses ("ashva") and as cavalry-men ("ashvaka") they were also popularly called "Ashvakas". The Ashvakas inhabited Eastern Afghanistan, and were included within the more general term "Kambojas". [Hindu Polity, Part I & II, 1978, pp 121, 140; Dr K. P. Jayswal. ] French scholars like Dr. E. Lamotte also identify the Ashvakas with the Kambojas. [Historie du Bouddhisme Indien, p 110, E. Lamotte.] [ See also: History of Indian Buddhism: From the Origins to the Saka Era, 1988, p 100, Etienne Lamotte, Sara Webb-Boin - Religion; Cf also: Essai sur les origines du mythe d'Alexandre: 336-270 av. J. C:, 1978, p 152, Paul Goukowsky; East and West, 1950, pp 28, 149/158, Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo, Editor, Prof Giuseppe Tucci, Co-editors: Prof Mario Bussagli, Prof Lionello Lanciotti; Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 133, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee; History of Panjab, Vol I, Publication Bureau, Panjabi University, Patiala, (Editors) Dr Fauja Singh, Dr L. M. Joshi; Ancient Kamboja, People and country, 1981, pp 271-72, 278, Dr J. L. Kamboj; These Kamboj People, 1979, pp 119, 192, K. S. Dardi; Glimpses of Ancient Panjab, 1966, p 23, Punjab (India); Panjab Past and Present, pp 9-10, Dr Buddha Parkash; Raja Poros, 1990, Publication Buareau, Punjabi University, Patiala; History of Poros, 1967, pp 12,39, Dr Buddha Prakash; History of Indian Buddhism: From the Origins to the Saka Era, 1988, p 100 - History; Kambojas, Through the Ages, 2005, pp 129, 218-19, S Kirpal Singh. Dr J. W. McCrindle, Dr Romila Thapar, Dr R. C. Majumdar etc also think that Ashvakas were Kamboja people]

The Kambojas entered into conflict with Alexander the Great as he invaded Central Asia: "The Macedonian conqueror made short shrifts of the arrangements of Darius and over-running Achaemenid Empire, dashed into Afghanistan and encountered stiff resistance of the Kamboja tribes called "Aspasios" and "Assakenois" known in the Indian texts as "Ashvayanas" and "Ashvakayanas". [ Panjab Past and Present, pp 9-10; also see: History of Porus, pp 12, 38, Dr Buddha Parkash] These Ashvayana and Ashvakayana Kamboj clans fought the invader to a man. When worse came to worst, even the Ashvakayana Kamboj women took up arms and joined their fighting husbands, thus preferring "a glorious death to a life of dishonor". [Diodorus in McCrindle, p 270 ] Diodorus gives a detailed graphic accounts as to how the Ashvakayanas had conducted themselves when faced with the sudden treacherous onslaught from Alexander. [Writes Diodorus: "Undismayed by the greatness of their danger, the Ashvakayanas drew their ranks together in the form of a ring within which they placed their women and children to guard them on all sides against their assailants. As they had now become desperate, and by their audacity and feats of valour, made the conflict in which they closed, hot work for the enemy--great was the astonishment and alarm which the peril of the crisis had created. For, as the combatants were locked together fighting hand-to-hand, death and wounds were dealt round in every variety of form. While many were thus wounded, and not a few killed, the women, taking the arms of the fallen, fought side by side with their men. Accordingly, some of them who had supplied themselves with arms, did their best to cover their husbands with their shields, while the others, who were without arms, did much to impede the enemy by flinging themselves upon them and catching hold of their shields. The defenders, however, after fighting desperately along with their wives, were at last overpowered by superior numbers, and thus met a glorious death which they would have disdained to exchange for the life of dishonour" (See: Diodorus in McCrindle, p 269/270; History of Punjab, 1997, p 229, Editors: Dr Fauja Singh, Dr L. M. Joshi; Classical Accounts of India, p 112-113; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 283-286, Dr J. L. Kamboj; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 134, Kirpal Singh).]

Commenting on the heroic resistance and courage displayed by the Ashvakayanas (Kambojas) in the face of treacerous onslaught of Alexander, Dr Buddha Prakash remarks: "Hardly could any Thermopylae be more glorious!" [History of Punjab, Vol I, 1997, p 229.]

The Ashvakas had fielded 30,000 strong cavalry, 30 elephants and 20,000 infantry against Alexander.

The Ashvayans (Aspasios) were also good cattle breeders and agriculturists. This is clear from large number of bullocks, 230,000 according to Arrian, of a size and shape superior to what the Macedonians had known, that Alexander captured from them and decided to send to Macedonia for agriculture. [History of Panjab, Vol I, p 226, Dr L. M. Joshi, Dr Fauja Singh; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, 247, Dr J. L. Kamboj; تاريخ قوم كمبوه: جديد تحقيق كى روشنى ميں, 1996, p 170, چوهدرى محمد يوسف حسن, Cauhdrī Muhammad Yusuf Hasan; Balocistān: Siyāsī Kashmakash, Muz̤mirāt va Rujḥānāt, 1980, Munīr Aḥmad Marrī; cf: A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food (Oxford India Paperbacks), p 91, K. T. Acharya February 2001.]

"Main article": Alexander's Conflict with the Kambojas

Mauryan period

The "Mudrarakshas" play of "Visakhadutta" as well as the Jain work "Parisishtaparvan" refers to Chandragupta Maurya's alliance with the Himalayan king Parvatka. The Himalayan alliance gave Chandragupta a composite army made up of Yavanas, Kambojas, Sakas, Kiratas, Parasikas and Bahlikas (Bactrians)("Mudrarakshas", II). [:Sanskrit::asti tava Shaka-Yavana-Kirata-Kamboja-Parsika-Bahlika parbhutibhih:Chankyamatipragrahittaishcha Chandergupta Parvateshvara:balairudidhibhiriva parchalitsalilaih samantaad uprudham Kusumpurama:: (See: Mudrarakshasa II)]

With the help of these frontier warlike clans from the northwest whom Justin brands as "a band of robbers", Chandragupta managed to defeat, upon Alexander's death, the Macedonian straps of Punjab and Afghanistan, and following this, the corrupt Nanda ruler of Magadha, thereby laying the foundations of a powerful Maurya Empire in northern and north-western India.

The Kambojas find prominent mention as a unit in the 3rd century BCE Edicts of Ashoka. Rock Edict XIII tells us that the Kambojas had enjoyed autonomy under the Mauryas [A History of Zoroastrianism, 1991, p 136, Mary Boyce, Frantz Grenet; Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 256, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee; Asoka and His Inscriptions, 3d Ed , 1968, p 149, Beni Madhab Barua, Ishwar Nath Topa.] . The republics mentioned in Rock Edict V are the Yonas, Kambojas, Gandharas, Nabhakas and the Nabhapamkitas. They are designated as "araja. vishaya" in Rock Edict XIII, which means that they were kingless i.e. republican polities. In other words, the Kambojas formed a self-governing political unit under the Maurya Emperors [Hindu Polity, A Constitutional History of India in Hindu Times, 1978, p 117-121, Dr K. P. Jayswal; Ancient India, 2003, pp 839-40, Dr V. D. Mahajan; Northern India, p 42, Dr Mehta Vasisitha Dev Mohan etc] [Bimbisāra to Aśoka: With an Appendix on the Later Mauryas, 1977, p 123, Dr Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya.] .

King Ashoka sent missionaries to the Kambojas to convert them to Buddhism, and recorded this fact in his Rock Edict V.

Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa attest that Ashoka sent "thera Maharakkhita" to Yona, and Majjhantika to Kashmra and Gandhara, to preach Dharma among the Yonas, Gandharas and Kambojas.

"Sasanavamsa" specifically attests that "Maharakkhita thera" went to Yonaka country and established Buddha's "Sasana" "in the lands of the Kambojas and other countries" [Sasanavamsa (P.T.S.), p. 49]

Thus, the Zoroastrian as well as Hindu Kambojas appear to have embraced Buddhism in large numbers, due to the efforts of king Ashoka and his envoys.

Entry to India and beyond

:"Main article:" Migration of Kambojas" 'Like other Central Asian hordes such as the Madras, Sakas, Yavanas, Tukharas, Hunas, Rishikas etc, a section of the Kambojas, originally a Trans-Indian tribe, had crossed into India, but appears not to have maintained their identity or importance' " [Foundations of Indian Culture, 1984, p 20,Govind Chandra Pande - History; See also: All India Reporter, 1940, p 518; Social Justice: Problems & Perspectives :{Seminar Proceedings of March 5-7, 1995}, Edition 1996, P 173, Jhinkoo Yadav, Dr Suman Gupta, Chandrajeet Yadav); See also: Ancient Kamboja People and the Country, 1981, Dr J. L. Kamboj etc etc.] ["Along with the Sakas, the Kambojas had also entered India and spread into whole of North India, especially in Panjab and Uttar Pradesh. Mahabharata contains references to Yavanas and Kambojas having conquered Mathura" (India and the World, p 154, Dr Buddha Parkash; cf: Ancient India, 1956, p. 220).] [ Cf: "The Kambojas of Pamirs/Badakshan in their advance appear to have proceeded towards further east and they are now found in the region of Meerut and Delhi" (Geographical Data in the Early Purāṇas: A Critical Study, 1972, p 168, Dr M. R. Singh - India).] ["There is evidence that the Kambojas who, as we have seen above, inhabited a region bordering the upper Indus, migrated southwards the Indus and had at one time established themselves in country near Sind "(History of Ceylon, 1959, p 91, Ceylon University, University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Hem Chandra Ray, K. M. De Silva).] [Cf: " "The Kambojas seem to have been a people inhabiting the country between Kandahar and Kabul, who, when the tide was setting eastwards, joined the crowd (i.e Saka, Yavana etc movements) and sought settlements down wards in the more fertile country near Indus (i.e. Sind)" " (Ref: History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, 1899, p 28, James Fergusson).] ["The inhabitants of Gandhara and Kamboja who finding no room for new settlements in India proper, turning to their right, passed down the Indus, and sought a distant home on a Pearl of Islands" (i.e. Indo-China)" (Refs: History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, 1899, Ch III, p 253, James Fergusson; also: A History of Architecture in All Countries: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 1876, p 638, James Fergusson).] [ "During second and first centuries BCE many clans of the Kambojas from north Afghanistan in alliance the with Sakas, Pahlavas and Yavanas, had entered India and spread into Sindhu, Saurashtra, Malwa, Rajasthan, Punjab & Surasena and set up principalities in Western/South-western India. Later, a branch of the same people had wrested North-west Bengal from the Palas and established Kamboja-Pala Dynasty of Bengal in Eastern India" (Ref: Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, pp 296-310, 110-113, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Delhi Unibversity; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 158-162, 168-69, S Kirpal Singh).] [Cf: J.R.A.S. 1939 observation: "The ancient Kambojas have generally been placed in the Kafiristan (Kapisa or Kamboja). Not later than the beginning of our era, a section of this people moved south and made a settlement in Kathiawar in Gujarat at what is now called Cambay which still seems to bear the relic of their name...... There are several widely scattered references in ancient Indian literature including Kautiliya's Arthashastra (11.1.1-4), Pali anthology of short stories called Petavatthu (Ghost Stories) from the Khuddaka-nikaya (Minor Collection) (II, 9, 1-2), Markendeya Purana (57.35.), Garuda Purana (1.15.13), Vishnudharmottara-Purana (1.9.6.), Varahamihira's Brhat Samhita (XIV.17-19) etc, which allude to Kamboja settlements in South-western India, especially in about Kathiawar/Gujarat (cf: Le Monde oriental, 1941, p 94, Kirfel; Bharatavarsa Bhuvankosa, 1931, pp 25, 29, 31, Kirfel; Varāhamihira's Bṛhat Saṁhitā, 1981, p 174, M. Ramakrishna Bhat). Kautiliya's Arathashastra mentions the Kambojas and Surashtras as living by warfare and trade. The Petavathua mentions Dvaraka connected by direct road to country of Kambojas which the merchants from Kamboja used for a regular trade and the commentary identifies this Dvaraka with Dvaravati..... These references suggest that the Gujarat settlement of Kambojas took place in the time either of the Yavana or the Saka invasions but unfortunately they do not provide enough material for a satisfactory decision of the point...... It is very possible that it were the adventurers from this Gujarat settlement of the Kambojas who founded a short-lived dynasty bearing their name in tenth century, in north-west Bengal (Epi. Ind. XXII, 1933-34, pp 150ff)" (Extracts taken from: Journal of Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1939, p 231.32); Cf also: Main Currents in the Ancient History of Gujarat, 1960, pp 1-68, Bhasker Anand Saletore, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Dept. of History - Gujarat (India).] . Particularly during the second/first centuries BCE, in their advance from their original home, one stream of the Kambojas, allied with the Sakas and Pahlavas, had proceeded to Sindhu, Sauvira and Surastra; while the other stream allied with the Yavanas appears to have moved to Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. There are important references to the warring Mleccha hordes of the Sakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Pahlavas etc in the Bala Kanda of the Valmiki Ramayana [Ramayana 1.54.21-23; 1.55.2-3.] . Indologists like Dr H. C. Raychadhury, Dr B. C. Law, Dr Satya Shrava and others see in these verses the clear glimpses of the struggles of the Hindus with the mixed invading hordes of the barbaric Sakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Pahlavas etc from north-west. [The Śakas in India, 1981, p 12, Satya Shrava; Journal, 1920, p 175, University of Calcutta. Department of Letters; India & Russia: Linguistic & Cultural Affinity, 1982, p 100, Weer Rajendra Rishi; Indological Studies, 1950, p 32, Dr B. C. Law; Political History of India from the Accession of Parikshit to the Coronation of Bimbisara, 1923, Page iii, Hemchandra Raychaudhuri; Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 4, Raychaudhury; Indological Studies, 1950, p 4, Dr B. C. Law.] The time frame for these struggles is second century BCE downwards. Dr Raychadhury fixes the date of the present version of the Valmiki Ramayana around/after second century CE. [Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 3-4.] . The invading hordes of the Sakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Pahlavas, Abhiras etc from the north-west had entered Punjab, United Province, Sindhu, Rajasthan and Gujarat in large numbers, wrested political control of northern India from the Indo-Aryans and had established their respective kingdoms/principalities as independent rulers in the land of the Indo-Aryans--a fact also sufficiently attested by other Hindu texts like the epic "Mahabharata" ["Mahabharata states that in Kaliyuga, the kings of the Andharas, Sakas, Kambojas, Pulinda, Yavans, Vahlikas, Sudras, Abhiras, Mlechchas, will rule over the land (India) and also will be addicted to falsehood" (Mahabharata 3.187.28-30).] as well as "Kalki Purana" ["Kalki Purana also states that the Aryan India was under the overlordship of the Kambojas, Sakas, Khasaas and Mlechchas (See: Kalki Purana, Chapter 20/40 sqq; See also: Kalki Purana, 2004, pp 58, 60, 61, B K Chaturvedi.] . There is also a literary as well as inscriptional evidence supporting the Yavana and Kamboja overlordship in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh [MBH 12/105/5, Kumbhakonam Ed. Cf: "Mathura was under outlandish people like the Yavanas and Kambojas... who had a special mode of fighting (Manu and Yajnavalkya, Dr K. P. Jayswal; Cf: "Epic Mahabharata refers to the siege of Mathura by the Yavanas and Kambojas" (History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries, from Earliest Times to 300 B.C., 1976, p 153, Shashi Asthana); Also cf: "Mahabharata reference mentions the Yavanas-Kambojas as settled in the outlying parts of Mathura city" (Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, 1926, p 11, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute - Indo-Aryan philology).] . The royal family of the Kamuias ("Pali: Kambojikas or Sanskrit: Kambojas") referenced in the Mathura Lion Capital inscriptions of the Saka Mahakshatrapa Rajuvula, are believed to be linked to the royal house of Taxila/Swat in Gandhara/Kamboja [See: Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol II, Part I, p xxxvi; see also p 36, Dr Sten Konow; Indian Culture, 1934, p 193, Indian Research Institute; Cf: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland , 1990, p 142, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland - Middle East. See also: Kamuia.] . The Maitraka Dynasty of Saurashtra/Gujarat, in all probability, belonged the Kambojas, who had settled down in south-western India around Christian era. In Mediaval era, the Kambojas are known to have seized north-west Bengal ("Gauda" and "Radha") from the Palas of Bengal and established their own Kamboja-Pala Dynasty. Indian texts like "Markandeya Purana" [ Markandeya 58.30-32.] , "Vishnu Dharmottari" [V.D. I.9.6.] "Agni Purana" [Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 127; Ancient Kamboja, People and Country, 1981, p 305.] , "Garuda Purana" [Garuda Purana 1.15.13; Garuda Purana, Trans: Manmatha Nath Dutt, 1908, p 148 ] , "Arthashastra of Barhaspatya" [Ed. F. W. Thomas, pp 20-22.] and "Brhatsamhita of Vrahamihira" [Brhatsamhita 14/17-19.] etc etc profusely attest Kamboja references in the south-western and southern India [See also: Varāhamihira's Bṛhat Saṁhitā, 1981, p 174, M. Ramakrishna Bhat; Indian Antiquary, 1893, p. 171, Dr J. F. Fleet; Indo-Greek numismatics, 1970, 14, Richard Bertram Whitehead.] . The inscriptional references of the medieval era rulers of Vijayanagara of southern India also attest a Kamboja kingdom abutting on the borders of the Vijayanagara Empire which possibly alludes to a Kamboj kingdom near/around Gujarat/Saurashtra. These facts sufficiently prove that the Kambojas from Central Asia had migrated into western and interior India around Christian times and had permanently made India their home. There are also several ancient inscriptional references found in Rohana province (in Ceylon), belonging to second c BCE (according to S Parnavitana, C. W. Nicholas), which illustrate pre-Christian Kamboja presence in various parts in Sri Lanka [ See: (Kamboja colonists of Sri Lanka).] and also powerfully attest one "Kamboja Sangha" [Gota-Kabojhyana.......Archaeological Survey of Ceylon, Inscription Register No 316.] as well as "grand Kamboja guilds" [Kabojhiya-Maha. Pugiyana...Archaeological Survey of Ceylon, Inscription Register No 1118.] located in the island, thus indisputably proving that the Kambojas had also migrated to Ceylon during pre-Christian times and must have played active role in the social, economical and political arena of the island. The "Sihalavatthu", a Pali text of about the fourth century CE, also attests "a group of people called Kambojas living in Rohana province in Sri Lanka" [ The third story of this text, called Metteyya-vatthu, reveals that the Elder named Maleyya, was residing in Kamboja-gama, in the province (Janapada) of Rohana on the Island of Tambapanni (Sri Lanka)--Dr S. Paranavitana. See: History of Ceylon, 1973, p xxxi, Hem Chandra Ray, K. M. De Silva - Sri Lanka.] [A Concise History of Ceylon: From the Earliest Times to the Arrival of the Portuguese in 1505, Edition 1961, p 25, Cyril Wace Nicholas, Senarat Paranavitana - Sri Lanka; Proceedings of the Pakistan History Conference, 1968, p 114, Pakistan Historical Society; Early History of Education in Ceylon: From Earliest Times to Mahāsena, 1969, U. D. Jayasekera - Education; See also: Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities: Utopias of the Pali Imaginaire, 1998, p 616, Steven Collins - Religion; Ships and the Development of Maritime Technology on the Indian Ocean, 2002, pp 108-09, Ruth Barnes, David Parkin - History; Early History of Education in Ceylon: From Earliest Times to Mahāsena, 1969, p 153, U. D. Jayasekera - Education; The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia, 2003, p 206, Himanshu Prabha Ray - Business & Economics etc etc.] . This above pieces of evidence give powerful support to Kamboja dominance of Sri Lanka and also to the view that the Kambujas who had founded the ancient Kambuja kingdom, in Indochinese peninsula, were none-else than the north-western Kambojas, "who had probably migrated to Indochina via Sri Lanka or Ceylon".

:See "Main article:" Kambojas and Cambodia "and" " Kamboja Colonists of Sri Lanka

Modern Kamboj and Kamboh

The population of the modern people who still call themselves Kamboj (or prikritic Kamboh), or Kamoz/Kamoj (in "Nurestan") is estimated to be around 1.5 million and the rest of their population, over the time submerged with other occupationalized castes/groups of the Indian sub-continent like the Khatris, Rajputs, Jats, Arain and others.

The Kambojs, by tradition, are divided into 52 and 84 clans. 52 line is stated to be descendants of Cadet branch and 84 from the elder Branch. This is claimed as referring to the young and elder military divisions under which they had fought the Bharata War. Numerous of their clan names overlap with other Kshatriyas and the Rajput castes of the north-west India, thereby suggesting that some of the Kshatriya/Rajput clans of north-west must have descended from the Ancient Kambojas. [ For reference to overlap of the Kamboj/Kshatriya clan names, see Glossary of Tribes, II, p 444, fn. iii.]

References

See also

* Kamboja Kingdom
* Etymology of Kamboja
* India

External links

* Some Kshatriya Tribes Of Ancient India, The Kambojas, by Dr. B. C. LAW: [http://punjabi.net/talk/messages/1/52683.html?1075172231]
* [http://www.kambojsociety.com/ancient.asp Kamboj Society - Ancient Kamboja Country]


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