Saturday, November 15, 2014

102. Megh : Mede- Meh- Mhar

मेग या मेघ शब्द अर्वाचीन शब्द है जिसका पूर्व रूप इतिहासकारों ने म्हर या मेदे शब्द मन है। मेग या मेघ शब्द संस्कृतनिष्ठ हिंदी शब्द है। मेग या मेघ के लिए देशज या प्राकृत शब्द मेह प्रयुक्त होता था। यह प्राकृत साहित्य से स्पष्ट है। सिंध प्रदेश की बोली या भाषा प्राकृत निष्ठ (पालि) से जुडी भाषा रही है। जिस पर बाद में अरबी-फारसी का रंग चढ़ गया। सिंध की लारी, सीरी या थारू तीनों बोलियाँ प्राकृत/पालि से निसृत है। ऐसा भाषाविदों का मत है। प्राकृत में मेह और संस्कृत में मेघ लिखा जाता है। और भी कई नियम है जिससे प्राकृत के शब्द विन्यास और संस्कृत के शब्द विन्यास को समझा जाता है। ह अक्षर ग बन कर घ बन जाता है। घ अक्षर ग का ही पल्लवन या दीर्घ रूप मन जाता है। भाषा के अक्षर विकास के साथ शब्दों का अक्षर विन्यास भी बदल जाता है। प्राकृत का ह//घ अन्य भाषाओँ में ज ग द आदि कई अक्षरों में बदल जाता है। कुछ उस भाषा के उच्चारण स्वरुप और कुछ शब्द विन्यास के स्वरुप के कारण। जो भी हो आधुनिक पुरातत्व खोजों ने मेग/ मेघ शब्द या जाति के पूर्ववर्ती रूप को मेद शब्द में माना है।
इसे दूसरी पोस्ट में स्पस्ट किया गया है। यहाँ मेद या मेदे शब्द पर कुछ प्रासंगित विवरण हुबहू दिया जा रहा है।
Annexure-r.
The Méds.( Today's Megh)
We find the Méds frequently mentioned by the Arab authors on Sind, and, together with their rivals the Jats. they may be considered the oldest occupants of that province, who, in their names as well as persons, have survived to our own time. The first account we have of them is in the Mujmalu-t tawérikh, of which a notice is given in the first volume. That work mentions that the Jats and Méds are reputed to be descendants of Ham, the son of Noah, and that they occupied the banks of the Indus, in the province of Sind. The Méds, who devoted themselves to a pastoral life, used to invade the territories of the Jats, putting them to great distress, and compelling them to take up their abode on the opposite side of the river; but, subsequently, the Jats, being accustomed to the use of boats, crossed over and defeated the Méds, taking several prisoners and plan dering their country. At last, these two tribes, seeing the inutility of protracting their contests any longer, agreed to send a deputation to Daryodhana, the king of Hastinapur, begging him to nominate a king to rule over them. Daryodhana accordingly nominated his sister Dassal, the wife of Jaya drat’ha, who exercised the functions of government with great wisdom and moderation. The families and adherents of 30,000 Brahmans, who were collected from all parts of Hindustan, were sent by Daryodhana to her court, and from that time Sind became flourishing and populous, and many cities were founded. The Jats and the Méds had separate tracts of land assigned to them, and were governed by chiefs of their own election.
The queen and Jayadrat’ha made the city of ’Askaland their capital, the same place, apparently, which is called in a subsequent passage ’Askaland-r’isa—perhaps the U’ch’h of later times, as has been shown in another Note of this Appendix.
Jayadrat’ha was killed in the fatal field of T’hanésar, and his faithful wife ascended the funeral pile, after their reign had continued for more than twenty years. On the same field was extinguished the dynasty called after the name of Bharata, he being the most celebrated ancestor of Dhritarashtra, the father of Daryodhana and the Kurus. On the transfer of the empire to the l‘andavas, Yudhist’hira conferred Sind upon Sanjwara, the son of Jaya drat'ha and Dassal, and from him Hal was descended. As the Great War, in which these heroes enacted a con spicuous part, has been supposed, on astronomical grounds, to have taken place during the twelfth century B.C.,Q we must assign an equal antiquity to their contemporaries the Méds of Sind, if we put faith in this narratite; but as this early settlement is not, in Lasseo’s opinion, opposed to probability in the case of the Jats, we need not with hold our faith in its correctness with respect to the Méds. Indeed, admitting that the ‘ Jartikas’ of the Mahabharata and the Puranas represent the Jats, we cannot but consider the ‘ Madras’ as representing the Méds— confirming thereby the antiquity and synchronism of these two races on the banks of the Indus. During the period of Arab occupation, Muhammed Kasim is represented as making peace with the Méds of Saurashtra, “seafarers and pirates, with whom the men of Basra were then at war.” This gives a great extent to their dominion at that period towards the south-east. In the time'of Mu'tasim-b-illah, ’Amrau, the Barmekide, governor of Sind, directed an expedition against the Méds, in which he killed three thousand of them, and constructed an embankment, which he called the Méds’ embankment, probably for the purpose of depriving them of the means of irrigation, as was done so effectually in 1762 and 1802 at Mora and Ali Bandar, when the Sindians ruined the prosperity of north-western Kach’h. The word Sakur, ‘em bankment,’ is preserved in the town of that name opposite to Rori—where, however, the mound is a natural lime stone formation of about one hundred feet high, and not an artificial causeway. Nevertheless, we might, if we could be sure that any Méds were then on the western side of the Indus, pronounce this to be the identical locality :—for certainly, in Beladori, the whole transaction seems to be closely connected with ’Amran's proceedings against Kandahél and the Jats on the Aral river, not far from Sakar; in so much that, immediately after settling affairs with them, he returns to attack the Méds, having the chiefs of the Jats in his company. But, as on the occa sion of this second attack, be dug a canal from the sea to their lake, rendering their water salt and nauseous, there can be no question of this scene, at least, being in the south eastern portion of the province, where they were settled in the greatest numbers ;—_and here, therefore, we must also look for th e embankment raised in the first incursion. They are said to have been attacked by ’Amra’n from several different directions, and were thus, doubtless, reduced to great extremities.
During the reign of the same Khalif, we find an Arab chieftain, Muhammed-bin-Fazl, who had taken possession of Sindan, in the Abrasa district of Kach’h, attacking the Méds with a squadron of seventy vessels :1 on which occa sion he took Mali, of which the position has been identified in another Note with Malia on the Machu. This powerful armament seems to have been directed against the sea-board of the tract invaded by ’Amran, now occupied by the Ran of Kach’h; where Vigogad, Vingar, and Ballyari, on the northern, and Phangwarri, Nerona, Bitaro, &c., on the southern shore, are all known, both by concurrent native tradition, as well as by independent European observation, to have been once washed by the sea.
All these various expeditions, however, had but little permanent effect in reducing the power of the Méds, for Masudi informs us that, when he visited Sind, the inhabitants of Mansura were obliged continually to protect themselves against their aggressions.
Ibn Haukal notices them under under the name of Mand, and though, without the diacritical point, the word might be read Méd, yet as all the MSS., few as they are. concur in this reading, it must be retained. He describes them as dwelling on the bank of the Indus from the borders of Multan to the sea. and in the desert between that river and Famhal, the frontier town of Hind. They had many stations which they occupied as pasture grounds, and formed a very large population, unconverted to the faith. What Abfi-l-feda says of them' is taken from this passage, and we do not read of them in any subsequent author.l Hence we might suppose that the tribe is entirely ex tinct, and have left no memorial of their existence, except the passages above quoted. M. Reinaud, indeed, 0b serves that he finds it impossible to apply the name of M éd, or Mand, to any known population, and therefore conceives that the denomination is disfigured. But he is mistaken in this supposition, for the tribe of Med still exists, both to the east and west of the Indus ; and those on the coast, being unable now to practise piracy after the mode of their ancestors, devote themselves to the more tranquil pursuit of fishing. To the east, we find them roving on the borders of Sind and Jodhpur, the site of their occupation during the Arab period; and to the west, they are found in the little ports of Mekran, from Shmniani to Charbar,_ divided into the clans of Gazbur, Hormari, J ellar—zai, and Chelmar-zai.
It is possible that the 'Méds, or some offshoot of that stock, may have been designated as Mand, for that syllable enters' into the name of several native tribes and places existing to this day,—-as the Mand-ar, 'the"Mand h'or, the Mind-bro, besides the Beloch tribe of Mond rani, as well as the ancient towns of Mand-ré and Mand ropat, in Chachagam, to the east of the Guni, Mand-rasa to the north of the Makali hills, and Mund-ra and other similar names in Kach’h.
That the Mérs of the Aravalli mountains and Kat'hiwar are descendants of the same family, is also not beyond the bounds of probability. The native pronunciation, especially in the western and north-western provinces of Hindustan, tends so much to an intermixture of the cerebral letters r and d,—the written character, indeed, being the same in both, and the diacritical marks being a mere modern innovation—that Mér and Med may be identical; and the addition of the aspirate, which sometimes makes the former into Mhér, or as we commonly write it, Mhair, offers still no argument against identity, for that also is an optional excrescence, especially in the names of peoples and families. For the same reason, the connection of the Mahr of U'baro, and other tracts in the Upper Sind, where they are reckoned by their neighbours as the aboriginal inhabitants of the country between Bhakkar and Bahawalpur, is equally plausible
Tod pronounces the Mérs to be of Bhatti origin, and derives their name from Méra, ‘ a mountain.’ But at the same time that he pronounces them to be Bhattis, he says they are a branch of the Mina, or Maina, one of the aboriginal races of India. These statements are obviously incompatible, and the Bhatti hypothesis must be rejected. During the whole period of their known history, they have been conspicuous for their lawless and predatory habits, from the time when four thousand Mér archers defended their passes against Pirthi-Raj, down to A.D. 1821, when their excesses compelled the British government to attack them in their fastnesses, and reduce them to complete obedience. Since which period, it is gratifying to observe that they have merged from their barbarism, and, under the judicious management of European officers have learnt to cultivate the arts of peace, and set a notable example of industry to the surrounding tribes.
Taking into consideration, therefore, the fact that the hie‘rs of the Aravalli are but little advanced beyond the tract where the Méds, are known, a thousand years ago, to have formed a numerous and thriving population,—that their brethren, the Minas, can themselves be traced in their original seats to the banks of the Indus,-—that Kat’hiwar, or the Saurashtran peninsula, was the very nursery of the piratical expeditions for which the Méds were about the same period celebrated and feared, and where Mérs still reside,—we may conclude that, to declare them identical, is doing no great force to reason and probability.
This simple permutation of a letter—not unnaturally forced, but based upon a law of common observance—in troduces us to a new connexion of considerable interest; for we may make hold to claim, as an ancient represen tative of this race, Meris, or Moeris, the king of Pattala, who, on the approach of Alexander, deserted his capital, and fled to the mountains. The site of this town, at the head of the Delta of the Indus, answers well to the position which we may presume the chief of the Méds to have occupied at that period ; and, that the name was not per sonal, but derived from his tribe, we may be satisfied, from the common practice of Alexander’s historians, as exemplified in the instances of Abisares, Porus, Sambus, Musicanus, Assacanus, and Taxiles—who have these names severally attributed to them from the nations, countries, or towns over which they ruled. Dr. Vincent, in admitting, as the etymon of Moeris, the Arabic words Mir Rais, ‘the ruling chief,’ has suffured his too easy credulity to be played upon by an ambitious young orientalist. Bohlen has attempted to trace in the name of Moeris a corruption of Maharaja, ‘ the great king,‘ in which he is followed by Bitter; but, independent of the fact that his kingdom was circumscribed within very narrow limits, he is expressly noticed by Arrian, under the humble title of i'nrapxog, which invariably implies subordination, not supremacy. A more probable, but still unlikely, origin has been suggested, from the tribe of Maurya ; but they were far away in the east, remote from Sind, so that altogether locality and verbal resemblance are most favourable to the present hypothesis, that Meris is a Grecised form for the ' chief of the Mérs.’
We may even extend our views to a still more remote period, and indulge in speculations whether this tribe may not originally have been a colony of Medes. There is nothing in the distance of the migration which would militate against this supposition, for Herodotus mentions the Sigynnaa as a colony of the Medes settled beyond the Danube :—“ How they can have been a colony of the Medes,” he observes, “ I cannot comprehend; but any thing may happen in course of time.” The Medians are also said to have accompanied the expedition of Hercules, when he crossed over from Spain into Africa. The Sauromataa were Median colonists beyond the Tanais, or Don. The Matienoi, or Matienes,‘ the Kharimatai, and possibly the Mares, were Caucasian colonists from Media, preserving in their names the national appellation of Mata or ‘Madai.
They may either have been transplanted to the banks of the Indus when the Medo-Persian empire extended so far to the eastward; or they may have migrated thither at some indefinitely early period; or they may have sought an asylum there upon the occupation of their country by the Scythians; or during the persecution of the Magi, who constituted one of the six tribes of Medes;—just as the Parsis did in Guzerat, at a later period and on similar occasion. It is worthy of remark that Ibn Haukal places the Budhas, or Budhyas, in the same category with the Mand, representing them as comprising several tribes to the west of the Indus. Now, the Budii were also one of the six Median tribes, and the juxtaposition of these two names in the province of Sind should not escape notice; for they also may have formed a body of similar emigrants. All arguments against the probability of such disper ‘sions stand self-confuted, when we consider that Sindians were on the Euxine and that—besides the familiar in stances of Samaritans and Jews under the Assyrians— we read over and over again in Persian history, of the deportations of entire tribes—expressiver termed ’aramréarot by Herodotus."Thus, we have the removal of Paaonians to Phrygiart—of Barcreaus from Africa to Bactria; -of Milesians to Ampe, near the Tigris ;—of Egyptians to Susa;——of Eretrians from Eubtrea to Arde ricca;——aod to Gordyene;—of Antiochians to Maht'lza;1° ——and others which it would be tedious to specify. There is another curious coincidence worthy of notice. It is well known, that, from below the junction of the Panjab rivers down to Sehwz'in, the Indus takes the name of Sar, Siro, or Sira, and from below Haidarabad to the sea, that of Lar. It is more correct, but unusual, to add an intermediate division, called Wicholo, ‘ central,’ representing the district lying immediately around Haidarabad—just as on the Nile, the Wustani, ‘ midlands,’ of the Arabs represented the tract between Upper and Lower Egypt. Sir A. Burnes says that Sir and Lar are two Beloch words for ‘ north’ and ‘ south.’ But the first is a Slavonic word also, which Gatterer and Niebuhr tell us is retained in Sauro-mataa, signifying ‘ northern’ Medes. There were also a province of Siraceue, and a tribe of Siraceni, and other similar names north of the Caucasus.“ The Slavonic and Persian show a great similarity; thus, space signifies ‘ a bitch ’ in both ; and thesame with the first syllable of Sauromatae, or Sarmataa. Hence Sar for the ‘ northern’ Indus, was more probably a remnant of Median, than Beloch, emigration,—though the Persian element could be accounted for, even on the latter suppo sition, seeing what a strong tincture the Belbchi language retains of its original I'ranian connection. Moreover, amongst the several tribes of Kshatriyas— who, having neglected to observe the holy customs and to visit the Brahmans, became so degenerate that they were expelled their caste and regarded as ‘ Dasyas,’ or robber tribes—Manu enumerates the ‘Pahlavas.’ “They are,” continues the holy legislator, "Dasyas, whether they speak the language of Mlechas, or that of Aryas.” Arya in Sanscrit, air-ya in Zend, means ‘noble,’ ‘sacred,’ ‘ venerable ;’——hence a portion of Upper India is called Aryavarta ‘ the holy land,’ or ‘ country of the Aryas.’ The Medes being also of the same original stock, were universally called Arii. The Aryas of Manu, therefore, are not necessarily, as some interpret, only degenerated natives, but may likewise have been Medes occupying the valley of the Indus. It is probable that a still earlier and more degenerate branch of the same family may be spoken of under the name of ‘Meda’ in the code of Manu, " who must live without the town, and maintain themselves by slaying beasts of the forest.” Allusion seems here to be made to the Mérs of the Aravalli.
These indications need not be enlarged on further in this place. Many will, of course, look upon them as fanciful and extravagant. Others, who feel so disposed, must pursue the investigation for themselves; for it is foreign to the main design of this Note, which has merely been to show that we have the Méds of the Arabs retaining their own name to this day, as well as probably under a slightly varied form, in and around the original seats of their occupation. That object has, it is hoped, been accomplished satisfactorily, and with regard to all extraneous matter, to use the words of Cicero,—sequimur probabilia, nec ultrd quam id, quad verisimile occurrerit, progredi possumus, et refellere sine pertinacid et refelli sine iracundid parati sumus." Page : 147 to 159

Reference:
"APPENDIX TO THE ARABS IN SIND," volume-3 .Part 1, of the
" HISTORIANS OF INDIA.'

BY SIR HENRY ELLIOT, K.C.B.,


CAPE TOWN; SAUL SOLOMON'& co publication- 1853. Pages-147 to 159

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