Parama Kamboja Kingdom


Parama Kamboja Kingdom

Parama Kamboja Kingdom(??? ????????????) was mentioned in the epic Mahabharata (???????) to be on the far north west along with the Bahlika, Uttara Madra and Uttara Kuru countries. It is was located in parts of modern-day Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.[1] A section of Paradas had moved to western India around Christian era and are referenced as Pardane in Ptolemy’s Geography (Dr M. R. Singh).

Parama Kambojas in Kurukshetra War

Drona Parava (????? ????) of Mahabharata refers to 6000 soldiers from the Parama Kamboja group who had sided with the Pandavas (???????) against the Kauravas (??????) in the Kurukshetra war (???????????). They have been described as "very handsome, very fortunate Kambojas" (prabhadrakastu Kambojah),[2] extremely fierce, 'Personification of Death' (samanmrityo), fearful like Yama, the god of death and rich like Kuber i.e. god of treasure (Kambojah.... Yama. vaishravan.opamah: 7.23.42-44). The Prabhadrakas Prabhadrakas seems to be an elite army obtained by Panchalas from the Kambojas. They could also be a Panchala army-unit or a Panchala tribe, that got trained in cavelary warfare by the Kambojas. At (7,23.42-43) the Prabhadrakas were mentioned as hailing from Kamboja Kingdom. In MBH verse 7.23.43, as it can be seen from original Sanskrit text, the term Prabhadrakahas been used as a qualifier before the Kambojas:
Yuktaih Paramakambojairjavanairhemamalibhih.
bhishayanto dvishatsainyan yama vaishravanopamah.||42||:prabhadrakastu kambojah shatsahasranyudayudhah.
nanavarnairhayashreshthairhemachitrarathadhvajah. ||43||:sharavratairvidhunvantah shatrunvitatakarmukah.
samanamrityavo bhutva dhrishtadyumnan samanvayuh.||44||: (MBH Gorakhpore Rec., 7.23.42-44)
Hence in this context, the term Prabhadraka definitely implies adjective and not noun, and may not, therefore, be confused with the Prabhadraka clan. As an adjective, the termPrabhadraka/Prabhadrakastu means "exceedingly handsome, exceedingly fortunate"[70] Researchers like Dr Robert Shafer, Dr J. L. Kamboj, S Kirpal Singh etc. have, therefore correctly taken the term Prabhadraka in the sense of an adjective rather than noun in the present context and qualify Kambojas as "very handsome, very fortunate". Ganguli's translation is in error here. In fact, according to Sanskrit scholars, Ganguli's translation of Mahabharata has numerous translations errors.They could be the army bought by Panchals from the Kambojas, since Kambojas were famous for lending their horses or cavalry to any party on payment basis:- The Prabhadrakas of the Kamvoja country, numbering 6000, with upraised weapons, with excellent steeds on their gold-decked cars, with stretched bows, supported Dhristadyumna (6, 19), (7,23). To distinguish them from the proper Panchala army or from other Prabhadrakas, they were mentioned as Prabhadraka-Panchalas (7,151). They were 6000 in numbers and mentioned as supporting Shikhandi at (7,151). They were an elite group in the Pandava army (5- 48, 199). This army is mentioned as allies of the Pandavas at (6,112), (7- 159, 182), (8- 12, 22, 30, 48, 49, 56, 67), (9- 7, 11, 15, 27). Karna slew 770 foremost of warriors among the Prabhadrakas initially (8,48). He then slew 1700 of them (8, 67). A group of Prabhadrakas is mentioned as battling against Dhristadyumna at (7,92):- The chief of the Avanti Kingdom (Mahabharata), with the Sauviras and the cruel Prabhadrakas, resisted wrathful Dhrishtadyumna. The Kasayas (Kasis), the Chedis, the Matsyas, the Srinjayas, the Panchalas, and the Prabhadrakas were mentioned as separate armies.[71] Prabhadrakas and Panchalas were mentioned as separate armies.[72] When Ashwathama attacked the Panchalas in a night-time ambush, Shikhandi woke up, alarmed the Prabhadrakas and they tried to put up some resistance but all were slewed.

References

  1. ? Dr Buddha Prakash maintains that, based on the evidence of Kalidasa's Raghuvamsha, Raghu defeated the Hunas on river Vamkshu (Raghu vamsha 4.68), and then he marched against the Kambojas (4.69-70). These Kambojas were of Iranian affinities who lived in Pamirs and Badakshan. Hiun Tsang calls this region Kiu.mi.to which is thought to be Komdei of Ptolemy and Kumadh or Kumedh of Muslim writers (See: Studies in Indian History and Civilization, Agra, p 351; India and the World, 1964, p 71, Dr Buddha Prakash; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 300, Dr J. L. Kamboj; India and Central Asia, 1955, p 35, P. C. Bagch).
  2. ? See: Ethnography of Ancient India, 1954, p 140, ROBERT SHAFER, Publishers: O. Harrassowitz, Ethnology. Also check up "Prabhadraka" in Monier-William Dictionary https://webapps.uni-koeln.de/tamil/.

Books/References

  • Mahabharata of Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa, translated to English by Kisari Mohan Ganguli

Deepak Kamboj

Deepak Kamboj started and conceptualized the powerful interactive platform - KambojSociety.com in September 2002, which today is the biggest and most popular online community portal for Kambojas in the world. He was inspired by the social and community work carried out by his father Shri Nanak Chand Kamboj. He has done research on the history, social aspects, political growth and economical situation of the Kamboj community. Deepak Kamboj is an author of various articles about the history of Kamboj community and people.