Abhira

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Sudra and Abhira were mentioned as two kingdoms where river Saraswati existed as a dried up river bed along its course, during the time of Kurukshetra War. After the fall of the Dwaraka fedaration, when Arjuna was taking the Yadava women of Dwaraka to Indraprastha, the Abhira tribes attacked him and took away the women and all the wealth.

References of Abhiras in Mahabharata

Nakula's millitary campaing to the west

  • MBh 2.31

Nakula, lead his campaing from Indraprastha to the western regions, to collect tribute for Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice.

Nakula, the Pandava general, brought under subjection the mighty Gramaniya that dwelt on the shore of the sea, and the Sudras and the Abhiras that dwelt on the banks of the Saraswati, and all those tribes that lived upon fisheries, and those also that dwelt on the mountains, and the whole of the country called after the five rivers, and the mountains called Amara, and the country called Uttarayotisha and the city of Divyakutta and the tribe called Dwarapala.

Markandeya's prediction of powerful tribes in the future

  • MBh 3.187

Sage Markandeya explaines to Yudhisthira about the rise of western tribes, and their influence on Bharata Varsha or Ancient India

The Andhhas, the Sakas, the Pulindas, the Yavanas, the Kamvojas, the Valhikas and the Abhiras, then become (in Kali Yuga, which is future for Yudhisthira), possessed of bravery and the sovereignty of the earth.

List of Kingdoms in Bharata Varsha (Ancient India)

  • MBh 6.9

….the Valhikas , the Vatadhanas, the Abhiras, the Kalajoshakas; the Aparantas, the Parantas, the Pahnabhas, the Charmamandalas; the Atavisikharas, the Mahabhutas…..

Participation in the Kurukshetra War

  • MBh 7.20

Bhutasarman, and Kshemasarman, and the valiant Karakaksha, and the Kalingas, the Singhalas, the Easterners, the Sudras, the Abhiras, the Daserakas, the Sakas, the Yavanas, the Kamvojas, the Hangsapadas, the Surasenas, the Daradas, the Madras, and the Kalikeyas, with hundreds and thousands of elephants, steeds, cars, and foot-soldiers were stationed at its neck of the millitary formation formed by the Kaurava general Drona in Kurukshetra War.

Impact of Bhargava Rama on Abhira tribe

  • MBh 14.29

Dravidas and Abhiras and Pundras, together with the Savaras, became fallen to low status, though those men who had Kshatriya duties assigned to them in consequence of their birth, falling away from those duties due to fear of Bhargava Rama.

Attack of Abhiras on Arjuna and the peopel of Dwaraka

  • MBh 16.7

Arjuna rescued the women and children and a few soldiers from Dwaraka Island as it sank into the sea. They where heading from Dwaraka to Indraprastha, along a road parallel to the course of Saraswati River. Then the Abhiras attacked them.

Then those men, with hearts overwhelmed by cupidity, those Abhiras of ill omen, assembled together and held a consultation. They said, Here there is only one bowman, Arjuna. The cavalcade consists of children and the old. He escorts them, transgressing us. The warriors (of the Vrishnis) are without energy. Then those robbers, numbering by thousands, and armed with clubs, rushed towards the procession of the Vrishnis (the Yadava clan of Dwaraka), desirous of plunder.

  • MBh 16.8

In Arjuna's very sight thousands of Vrishni ladies were carried away by the Abhiras of the country of the five waters.

Balarama's pilgrimage along Saraswati River

  • MBh 9.37

Then Bala Rama proceeded to Vinasana where the Sarasvati River hath become invisible in consequence of her contempt for the Sudras, the Abhiras. And since the Sarasvati, in consequence of such contempt, is lost at that spot, the Rishis, for that reason, always name the place as Vinasana. Having bathed in that tirtha of the Sarasvati, the mighty Bala Rama then proceeded to Subhumika, situated on the excellent bank of the same river.

See Also

  1. Kingdoms of Ancient India
  2. Sudra Kingdom
  3. Saraswati

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Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 13 Jan 2010 09:47 and updated at 06 Jun 2010 04:50

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