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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Kshudraka (क्षुद्रक) were ancient tribe who formed sanghas with the Malavas. They are same as Shudrakas. Kshudrakas of Mahabharata were later known as Shudrakas. The Kshudrakas are mentioned in Mahabharata (II.48.14),(VI.47.16), (VI.83.7), (VIII.4.46). They fought Mahabharata War in Kaurava's side.

Variants of name

Jat Gotras Namesake

Jat Gotras Namesake

Mention by Panini

Kshudraka (क्षुद्रक), a tribe, is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [3]

Kshudraka-Malava (क्षुद्रक-मालव) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [4]

Mention of Oxydracæ by Pliny

Pliny[5] mentions 'Nations situated around the Hyrcanian Sea'....the Derbices also,18 through the middle of whose territory the river Oxus19 runs, after rising in Lake Oxus,20 the Syrmatæ, the Oxydracæ, the Heniochi, the Bateni, the Saraparæ, and the Bactri, whose chief city is Zariaspe, which afterwards received the name of Bactra, from the river21 there. This last nation lies at the back of Mount Paropanisus,22 over against the sources of the river Indus, and is bounded by the river Ochus.23

18 This was a tribe, apparently of Scythian origin, settled in Margiana, on the left bank of the Oxus. Strabo says that they worshipped the earth, and forbore to sacrifice or slay any female; but that they put to death their fellow-creatures as soon as they had passed their seventieth year, it being the privilege of the next of kin to eat the flesh of the deceased person. The aged women, however, they used to strangle, and then consign them to the earth.

19 The modern Jihoun or Amou. It now flows into the Sea of Aral, but the ancients universally speak of it as running into the Caspian; and there are still existing distinct traces of a channel extending in a southwesterly direction from the sea of Aral to the Caspian, by which at least a portion, and probably the whole of the waters of the Oxus found their way. into the Caspian; and not improbably the Sea of Aral itself was connected with the Caspian by this channel.

20 Most probably under this name he means the Sea of Aral.

21 The Bactrus. This river is supposed to be represented by the modern Dakash. Hardouin says that Ptolemy, B. vi. c. 11, calls this river the Zariaspis, or Zariaspes. See the Note at the end of c, 17, p. 30.

22 Now known as the Hindoo-Koosh; a part of the great mountain-chain which runs from west to east through the centre of the southern portion of the highlands of Central Asia, and so divides the part of the continent which slopes down to the Indian Ocean from the great central table-land of Tartary and Thibet. The native term, Hindoo-Koosh, is only a form of the ancient name "Indicus Caucasus," which was sometimes given to this chain. The ancient name was derived probably from the Persian word paru,a "mountain."

23 Flowing from the north side of the Paropanisus. According to Pliny and Ptolemy, this river flowed through Bactria into the Oxus; but according to Strabo, through Iyrcania into the Caspian Sea. Some suppose it to have been only another name for the Oxus. Ansart suggests that it may have been the river now known as the Bash.


V. S. Agrawala[6] writes that The free clan called the Glaukanikoi (identical with the Glauchukāyanakas of Kashika on Panini IV.3.99) whose country lay in the fertile and populous regions lying in the south of Kashmir (the Bhimber and Rajauri districts) between the upper courses of the Jhelum and Chenab and the Ravi River, had as many as 37 cities, the smallest of which contained not less than 5000 inhabitants and up to 10000. Strabo affirms that in the territories of nine nations situated between Jhelum and Beas, such as the Malloi, Oxydrakai and others, there were as many as 500 cities.

V. S. Agrawala[7] writes about Art of war – The Āyudhajīvīns were warrior tribes organized on a military basis into Sanghas, occupying mostly the Vahika or Punjab. Their member were known as Āyudhīya, ‘making a living by the profession of arms’ (Āyudhena jīvati, IV.4.14). We know that these soldiers put up the stoutest resistance against the Greeks in the 4th century BC.

The Ashvakayanas of Masakavati and the Malavas, all ayudhajivins, constituted the finest soldiery, which extorted the admiration of foreigners. The Kshudrakas and Malavas (Ganapatha of IV.2.45) , we are informed by Katyayana, (p.422) pooled their military strength in a confederate army called the Kshudraka-Malavi senā. The foot soldiers (padāti) of the Salva country have been specially noted (IV.2.135). (p.423)

V S Agarwal [8] writes about Āyudhajīvī Sanghas – [p.434]: Panini refers to a number of Sanghas as Ayudhajivin (V.3.114-117), meaning those who lived by the profession of arms. Kautilya refers to two kinds of Janapadas,

  • (1) Āyudhīya prāyāh, those mostly comprising soldiers, and
  • (2) Shreni prāyāh, comprising guilds of craftsmen, traders and agriculturists. The former (and also his sastropajivins) correspond to Panini’s Ayudhajivi Sanghas, which were the same as Yodhajiva of Pali literature.

Four kinds of AyudhajivinsPanini classified his material of the Ayudhajivin Sanghas under several heads, viz.

  • 1. Sanghas in Vahika (V.3.114),
  • 2. Sanghas of Parvata (IV.3.91),
  • 3. Pūgas, organized under their Grāmaṇi in to some form of Sangha Govt (V.3.112), and lastly
  • 4. Vrātas living by depredation and violence (V.3.113, V.2.21), and having only semblance of Sangha.

The most advanced Ayudhajivin Sanghas belonged to the Vahika Country (V.3.114), which comprised the region from Indus to the Beas and and the Sutlej (Karnaparva, 44.7; Hindu polity, 1.34). These are the Yaudheyas, Kshudrakas and Malavas etc.

V S Agarwal [9] writes names of some important tribes in the Ganapatha, which deserve to be mentioned as being of considerable importance. We are indebted to the Greek historians of Alexander for the information that most of these were republics. These tribes include - Kshudraka (IV.2.45) which is identified by Sir R.G.Bhandarkar with the Oxydrakai of Greek writers. Curtius refers to them as Sudracae (M’Crindle, Alexander’s Invasion, p.238).

Thakur Deshraj has explained that there was a clan of Jats named Shivi who had a republic ruled by democratic system of administration known as ganatantra. Kshudrakas had formed a sangha with Malavas. Shivis formed a sangha with a big federation or sangha known as Jat, which is clear from Paninis shloka in grammar of Aṣṭādhyāyī.- jata jhata sanghate[10]

Kshudraka (क्षुद्रक) / (Malava) (मालव) - Both tribes (II.48.14) supported the Kauravas (VI.83.7). [11]

Panini distinguishes between the Malavas or Kshudrakas and the Malavyas and Kshudrakyas respectively. The former denoted the Kshatriya and brahmana aristocracy while the latter the common folk.[12]

According to Tej Ram Sharma[13] Malava and Malavaka are also to be differentiated, the former is Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions Malava proper while the latter is lesser Malava with the diminutive suffix 'ka'. Malava is the same as Malloi of the Greeks. Panini does not mention them by name, but his sutra, V. 3. 117 speaks of 'ayudhajivi samghas', or tribes living by the profession of arms, and the Kasika says that amongst these samghas were the Malavas and Kshudrakas.

Ch 5.22: Invasion of the Land of the Cathaeans by Alexander

Arrian[14] writes.... MEANTIME he received information that the tribe called Cathaeans and some other tribes of the independent Indians were preparing for battle, if he approached their land; and that they were summoning to the enterprise all the tribes conterminous with them who were in like manner independent. He was also informed that the city, Sangala by name1, near which they were thinking of having the struggle, was a strong one. The Cathaeans themselves were considered very daring and skillful in war; and two other tribes of Indians, the Oxydracians and Mallians, were in the same temper as the Cathaeans. For a short time before, it happened that Porus and Abisares had marched against them with their own forces and had roused many other tribes of the independent Indians to arms, but were forced to retreat without effecting anything worthy of the preparations they had made. When Alexander was informed of this, he made a forced march against the Cathaeans, and on the second day after starting from the river Hydraotes he arrived at a city called Pimprama, inhabited by a tribe of Indians named Adraistaeans, who yielded to him on terms of capitulation. Giving his army a rest the next day, he advanced on the third day to Sangala, where the Cathaeans and the other neighbouring tribes had assembled and marshalled themselves in front of the city upon a hill which was not precipitous on all sides. They had posted their waggons all round this hill and were encamping within them in such a way that they were surrounded by a triple palisade of waggons. When Alexander perceived the great number of the barbarians and the nature of their position, he drew up his forces in the order which seemed to him especially adapted to his present circumstances, and sent his horse-archers at once without any delay against them, ordering them to ride along and shoot at them from a distance; so that the Indians might not be able to make any sortie, before his army was in proper array, and that even before the battle commenced they might be wounded within their stronghold. Upon the right wing he posted the guard of cavalry and the cavalry regiment of Clitus; next to these the shield-bearing guards, and then the Agrianians. Towards the left he had stationed Perdiccas with his own regiment of cavalry, and the battalions of foot Companions. The archers he divided into two parts and placed them on each wing. While he was marshalling his army, the infantry and cavalry of the rear-guard came up. Of these, he divided the cavalry into two parts and led them to the wings, and with the infantry which came up he made the ranks of the phalanx more dense and compact. He then took the cavalry which had been drawn up on the right, and led it towards the waggons on the left wing of the Indians; for here their position seemed to him more easy to assail, and the waggons had not been placed together so densely.

1. Sangala is supposed to be Lahore; but probably it lay some distance from that city, on the bank of the Chenab.


क्षुद्रक गणराज्य

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[15] ने लेख किया है ...क्षुद्रक गणराज्य (AS, p.250) अलक्षेंद्र (सिकन्दर) के भारत पर आक्रमण के समय तथा उससे पूर्व अर्थात् 320 ई. पू. के लगभग अस्तित्व में था। इस गणराज्य की स्थिति रावी और व्यास नदियों के मध्यवर्ती प्रदेश में (मांटगोमरी ज़िला, पाकिस्तान के अंतर्गत) थीं। यूनानी लेखक एरियन ने क्षुद्रकों की शासन-व्यवस्था में उनके नगर मुख्यों तथा प्रांतीय शासकों का उल्लेख किया है। क्षुद्रक गण पंजाब में सभी गणों से अधिक सामर्थ्यवान था तथा इसके सैनिक वीरता में किसी से कम नहीं थे। पाणिनि ने भी क्षुद्रकों का उल्लेख किया है।


ठाकुर देशराज[16] ने लिखा है.... क्षुद्रक : यह मल्ल लोगों के पड़ोसी थे और एक समय सम्मिलित रूप से इन्होंने शासन भी किया था। मनु की 114 वीं पीढ़ी में महाराज क्षुद्रक हुये हैं किंतु उनके वंशजों के प्रजातंत्री होने के कारण हिंदू शास्त्रों में इनकी प्रशंसा नहीं लिखी है। यह क्षुद्रक ही आगे चलकर शूद्रक कहलाते हैं। कादंबरी की कथा इस जाति राष्ट्र के एक सरदार के पुत्र चंद्रापीड के संबंध में तैयार हुई थी। फाहियान के समय में इनका एक खानदान सिंध में भी राज करता था।

क्षुद्रक क्षत्रिय

दलीप सिंह अहलावत[17] के अनुसार यह सूर्यवंशी जाटवंश है जो प्राचीन काल से है। ये मल्ल लोगों के पड़ौसी थे और एक समय इन्होंने सम्मिलित रूप से शासन किया था। मनु की 114वीं पीढी में महाराज क्षुद्रक हुये हैं। इनके वंशज प्रजातन्त्री शासक थे। इसी कारण पौराणिकों ने इनकी प्रशंसा नहीं लिखी है। महाभारत भीष्मपर्व 51वें अध्याय के अनुसार क्षुद्रक क्षत्रिय भी दरद, शक, मालव योद्धाओं की भांति दुर्योधन की ओर से इस युद्ध में लड़े थे। ये क्षुद्रक ही आगे चलकर शूद्रक कहलाये। कादम्बरी की कहा इस वंश के एक शासक चन्द्रापीड के सम्बन्ध में तैयार हुई थी। चीनी यात्री फ़ाह्यान के समय (405 ई० से 411 ई० तक) में क्षुद्रक लोगों का एक खानदान सिन्ध में भी राज्य करता था। ऐरावती (सतलुज) नदी पर स्थित हड़प्पा नगर क्षुद्रकों का एक पुराना नगर प्रतीत होता है। सतलुज से रावी नदी के आस-पास तक क्षुद्रक देश था। सिकन्दर की सेना का क्षुद्रक जाटों ने बड़ी वीरता से मुकाबला किया।

सिकन्दर की वापसी में जाट राजाओं से सामना

दलीप सिंह अहलावत[18] के अनुसार व्यास नदी के तट पर पहुंचने पर सिकन्दर के सैनिकों ने आगे बढ़ने से इन्कार कर दिया। इसका कारण यह था कि व्यास से आगे शक्तिशाली यौधेय गोत्र के जाटों के गणराज्य थे। ये लोग एक विशाल प्रदेश के स्वामी थे। पूर्व में सहारनपुर से लेकर पश्चिम में बहावलपुर तक और उत्तर-पश्चिम में लुधियाना से लेकर दक्षिण-पूर्व में दिल्ली, मथुरा, आगरा तक इनका राज्य फैला हुआ था। इनका प्रजातन्त्र गणराज्य था जिस पर कोई सम्राट् नहीं होता था। समय के अनुकूल ये लोग अपना सेनापति योग्यता के आधार पर नियुक्त करते थे। ये लोग अत्यन्त वीर और युद्धप्रिय थे। ये लोग अजेय थे तथा रणक्षेत्र से पीछे हटने वाले नहीं थे। इनकी महान् वीरता तथा शक्ति के विषय में सुनकर यूनानियों का साहस टूट गया और उन्होंने आगे बढ़ने से इन्कार कर दिया। इनके राज्य के पूर्व में नन्द वंश[19] (नांदल जाटवंश) के सम्राट् महापद्म नन्द का मगध पर शासन था जिसकी राजधानी पाटलिपुत्र थी। यह बड़ा शक्तिशाली सम्राट् था। यूनानी लेखकों के अनुसार इसकी सेना में 20,000 घोड़े, 4000 हाथी, 2000 रथ और 2,00,000 पैदल सैनिक थे। सिकन्दर को ऐसी परिस्थिति में व्यास नदी से ही वापिस लौटना पड़ा। [20]

सिकन्दर की सेना जेहलम नदी तक उसी रास्ते से वापिस गई जिससे वह आयी थी। फिर जेहलम नदी से सिन्ध प्रान्त और बलोचिस्तान के रास्ते से उसके सैनिक गये। परन्तु वापिसी का मार्ग सरल नहीं था। सिकन्दर की सेना से पग-पग पर जाटों ने डटकर युद्ध किए। उस समय दक्षिणी पंजाब में मालव (मल्लोई), शिवि, मद्र और क्षुद्रक गोत्र के जाटों ने सिकन्दर की सेनाओं से सख्त युद्ध किया तथा सिकन्दर को घायल कर दिया। कई स्थानों पर तो जाटों ने अपने बच्चों को आग में फेंककर यूनानियों से पूरी शक्ति लगाकर भयंकर युद्ध किया।

मालव-मल्ल जाटों के साथ युद्ध में सिकन्दर को पता चला कि भारतवर्ष को जीतना कोई सरल खेल नहीं है। मालव जाटों के विषय में यूनानी लेखकों ने लिखा है कि “वे असंख्यक थे और अन्य सब भारतीय जातियों से अधिक शूरवीर थे[21]।”

सिन्ध प्रान्त में उस समय जाट राजा मूसकसेन का शासन था जिसकी राजधानी अलोर थी। जब सिकन्दर इसके राज्य में से गुजरने लगा तो इसने यूनानी सेना से जमकर युद्ध किया। इससे आगे एक और जाटराज्य था। वहां के जाटों ने भी यूनानियों से लोहा लिया[22]

सिकन्दर की सेना जब सिंध प्रान्त से सिंधु नदी पर पहुंची थी तो इसी राजा मूसकसेन (मुशिकन) ने अपने समुद्री जहाजों द्वारा उसे नदी पार कराई थी[23]

जब सिकन्दर अपनी सेना सहित बलोचिस्तान पहुंचा तो वहां के जाट राजा चित्रवर्मा ने जिसकी राजधानी कलात (कुलूत) थी, सिकन्दर से युद्ध किया[24]

जाट वीरों का इतिहास: दलीप सिंह अहलावत, पृष्ठान्त-363

अलग-अलग स्थानों पर हुए युद्ध में जाटों ने सिकन्दर को कई बार घायल किया। वह बलोचिस्तान से अपने देश को जा रहा था परन्तु घावों के कारण रास्ते में ही बैबीलोन (इराक़ में दजला नदी पर है) के स्थान पर 323 ई० पू० में उसका देहान्त हो गया[25]। उस समय उसकी आयु 33 वर्ष की थी।

भारत से लौटते समय सिकन्दर ने अपने जीते हुए राज्य पोरस और आम्भी में बांट दिये थे और सिन्ध प्रान्त का राज्यपाल फिलिप्स को बनाया। परन्तु 6 वर्ष में ही, ई० पू० 317 में भारत से यूनानियों के राज्य को समाप्त कर दिया गया और मौर्य-मौर जाटों का शासन शुरु हुआ। इसका वर्णन अध्याय पांच में किया गया है।

In Mahabharata

List of Mahabharata people and places mentions Kshudraka (क्षुद्रक) in (II.48.14),(VI.47.16), (VI.83.7), (VIII.4.46),

Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 48 Describes Kings who presented tributes to Yudhishthira. Kshudraka was in verse Kshudraka (II.48.14). [26]

Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 47 describes immeasurable heroes assembled for battle of Mahabharata. ...And then king Duryodhana, united with all his brothers, with the Aswalakas, the Vikarnas, the Vamanas, the Kosalas, the Daradas, the Vrikas, as also the Kshudrakas and the Malavas advanced cheerfully against the Pandava host.....Kshudraka fought against the Pandava is mentioned in verse (VI.47.16). [27]

Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 83 mentions ...the Kauravas and the Pandavas, once more proceeded to battle.... Bhishma, the son of Santanu, then, proceeded in the van of the whole army, supported by the Malavas, and the inhabitants of the southern countries, and the Avantis. Next to him was the valiant son of Bharadwaja, accompanied by the Pulindas, the Paradas, and the Kshudraka-Malavas. Verse (VI.83.7). [28]

Karna Parva/Mahabharata Book VIII Chapter 4 tells - Warriors who are dead amongst the Kurus and the Pandavas after ten days. Kshudraka are mentioned in verse (VIII.4.46). [29]

In Bhagavata Purana

Kusha Ancestry in Bhagavata Purana
Ancestry of Langala in Bhagavata Purana

They are descendant of a Suryavanshi King Prasenajit in the Ancestry of Kusha, son of Rama, in Bhagavata Purana.

KushaAtithiNishadhaNabhaPundarikaKshema DhanvanDevanikaAnihaPariyatraBalasthalaVajra Nabha (Incarnation of Surya) → SaganaVidhritiHiranya NabhaPushpaDhruva SandhiSudarshanaAgni VarnaMaruPrasusrutaSandhiAmarshanaMahasvatVisvabahuPrasenajitTakshakaBrihadbala (killed at the battle of Kurukshetra by Abhimanyu)

(Time of Parikshit)


Sumitra shall be shall be the last of Ikshvaku dynasty in this Kaliyuga.



Notable persons

See also


  1. Arrian:The Anabasis of Alexander/5b, Ch.22
  2. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. श-5
  3. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.77, 453
  4. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.468
  5. Natural History by Pliny Book VI/Chapter 18
  6. India as Known to Panini, p.73
  7. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.422-423
  8. V S Agarwal, India as Known to Panini,p.434-436
  9. V S Agarwal, India as Known to Panini,p.453
  10. Jat History Thakur Deshraj,pp. 87-88.
  11. अम्बष्ठाः कौकुरास तार्क्ष्या वस्त्रपाः पह्लवैः सह । वसातयः समौलेयाः सह क्षुद्रकमालवैः (II.48.14)
  12. Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Prologue II,p.124
  13. Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Tribes,p.149
  14. Arrian:The Anabasis of Alexander/5b, Ch.22
  15. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.250
  16. Jat Itihas (Utpatti Aur Gaurav Khand)/Pancham Parichhed,p.101
  17. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter III (Page 255)
  18. जाट वीरों का इतिहास: दलीप सिंह अहलावत, पृष्ठ.363-364
  19. जाट्स दी ऐनशन्ट रूलर्ज, लेखक बी० एस० दहिया ने पृ० 256 पर लिखा है कि यह कहना उचित है कि नन्द जाट आज नांदल/नांदेर कहे जाते हैं।
  20. भारत का इतिहास, पृ० 47, हरयाणा विद्यालय शिक्षा बोर्ड भिवानी; हिन्दुस्तान की तारीख उर्दू पृ० 161-162)
  21. हिन्दुस्तान की तारीख उर्दू पृ० 162 भारत का इतिहास पृ० 47 हरयाणा विद्यालय शिक्षा बोर्ड, भिवानी।
  22. जाट इतिहास क्रमशः पृ० 695, 192, 695 लेखक ठा० देशराज।
  23. जाट इतिहास क्रमशः पृ० 695, 192, 695 लेखक ठा० देशराज।
  24. जाट इतिहास क्रमशः पृ० 695, 192, 695 लेखक ठा० देशराज।
  25. भारत का इतिहास पृ० 47, हरयाणा विद्यालय शिक्षा बोर्ड भिवानी; हिन्दुस्तान की तारीख उर्दू पृ० 162।
  26. अम्बष्ठाः कौकुरास तार्क्ष्या वस्त्रपाः पह्लवैः सह, वसातयः समौलेयाः सह कषुद्रकमालवैः Mahabharata (II.48.14)
  27. दरदैश चूचुपैश चैव तदा क्षुद्रकमालवैः, अभ्यरक्षत संहृष्टः सौबलेयस्य वाहिनीम Mahabharata (VI.47.16)
  28. ततॊ ऽनन्तरम एवासीथ भारथ्वाजः परतापवान, पुलिन्दै: पारदैश चैव तदा क्षुद्रकमालवैः Mahabharata (VI.83.7)
  29. मालवा मद्रकाश चैव दरविडाश चॊग्रविक्रमाः यौधेयाशललित्दाशक्षुद्रकाश चाप्य उशीनराः Mahabharata (VIII.4.46)

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