As per my understanding, Dasrajna war was a real event during the Rigvedic period. Is there any information as to which were the 10 tribes that participated in it and their modern geographic origins?


2 Answers 2


Yes the names of the ten tribes are mentioned in the Vedic verses that describe this war. According to Book 7 Verse 18 of the Rigveda, following are the tribes that were involved in this battle:

6 Eager for spoil was Turvaśa Purodas, fain to win wealth, like fishes urged by hunger. The Bhṛgus and the Druhyus quickly listened: friend rescued friend mid the two distant peoples.

7 Together came the Pakthas, the Bhalanas, the Alinas, the Sivas, the Visanins. Yet to the Trtsus came the Ārya's Comrade, through love of spoil and heroes' war, to lead them.

8 Fools, in their folly fain to waste her waters, they parted inexhaustible Paruṣṇī. Lord of the Earth, he with his might repressed them: still lay the herd and the affrighted herdsman.

9 As to their goal they sped to their destruction: they sought Paruṣṇī; e’en the swift returned not. Indra abandoned, to Sudās the manly, the swiftly flying foes, unmanly babblers.

10 They went like kine unherded from the pasture, each clinging to a friend as chance directed. They who drive spotted steeds, sent down by Pṛśni, gave ear, the Warriors and the harnessed horses.

11 The King who scattered one-and-twenty people of both Vaikarna tribes through lust of glory- As the skilled priest clips grass within the chamber, so hath the Hero Indra, wrought their downfall.

12 Thou, thunder-armed, o’erwhelmedst in the waters famed ancient Kavasa and then the Druhyu. Others here claiming friendship to their friendship, devoted unto thee, in thee were joyful.

13 Indra at once with conquering might demolished all their strong places and their seven castles. The goods of Anu's son he gave to Trtsu. May we in sacrifice conquer scorned Pūru.

14 The Anavas and Druhyus, seeking booty, have slept, the sixty hundred, yea, six thousand, And six-and-sixty heroes. For the pious were all these mighty exploits done by Indra.

These ten were aligned against the Trtsus King Sudas:

15 These Trtsus under Indra's careful guidance came speeding like loosed waters rushing downward. The foemen, measuring exceeding closely, abandoned to Sudās all their provisions.

There are other tribes also mentioned that may be sub-tribes or alternative names of some of the above tribes since they are not mentioned in the attack narrative but towards the end:

19 Yamuna and the Trtsus aided Indra. There he stripped Bheda bare of all his treasures. The Ajas and the Sigrus and the Yaksus brought in to him as tribute heads of horses. 20 Not to be scorned, but like Dawns past and recent, O Indra, are thy favours and thy riches. Devaka, Mānyamana's son, thou slewest, and smotest Śambara from the lofty mountain.

Some of the names may also belong to individual kings rather than tribes e.g. Bheda, Devaka, Manyamana and it is possible that the latter three also refer to individual kings.

  • The battle of ten kings is well discussed topic among academics and the most controversies arises out of translation.Here see the translation of (19) -aavat Indra Yamuna Tritsavyasa cha pra yatra Bhedam sarva tata musaayat - would mean - ` coming back to Yamuna Indra and Tritsus, crushed(musaayat) completely. I do not find any word which this translator finds to mean treasure.The hymn (20) is irrelevant here as it refers to an early story of Shambara`. Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 16:35
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    Well whatever the translation of this particular verse it doesn't have any impact on our enumeration of the ten tribes anyways which are already detailed in the previous verses. Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 5:54
  • Please read RigVeda thoroughly. The battle between 'Shambara' and 'Divodasa' is much earlier than this battle between Sudas and ten kings. Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 10:22
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    I have read it sir but as i pointed out even in the earlier comment and you seem to have missed is the point that it is immaterial! The tribes are mentioned in the early verses themselves and have been highlighted in bold by me so I don't know why you are stuck on the later portion. Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 4:51

The names tribes participated in the battle of ten kings are mentioned in

RV.7.18 (1-25) - Bhrigu,Druhyu (in hymn 6), pakthas,Bhalanas,Alinas,Visanin,Shivas (7)

Shruta,kavasa (12)

Bheda (19)

The tribes mentioned in the hymn(7) seems to belong from Nort-Western part of India (then).


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