Thousand Kings before Kalidas!


Veera Shivaji

Research paper written by London Swaminathan

Research article No.1546; Dated  4 January 2015.

Foreigners who wrote Indian history said that India had  kings only from sixth century BCE. But Vedic literature and later literature give the names of thousands of kings.  No one has listed all the kings until today. Hearsay reports and temple legends name hundreds of kings. Every country in the world had several kings with same names like Ramses,William, Napoleon, Louis etc. In India we had several Ramas and Dasarathas. No one has listed them like Dasaratha I, Dasaratha II etc.

Purananuru, a Sangam Tamil literature book, sings about “thousands of kings” lived before Sangam age.  Kalidasa, the greatest poet of the classical age also sang about “thousand kings” before the age of Raghu who was the  forefather of Lord Rama. This shows that they had a very clear idea of Indian history. I have already written in  my posts  How ancient is Indian Civilization about the Vamsavali (lineage) given in the Upanishads and the references to  Vamsavali in  Panini’s Ashtadyayi and Purananuru (verse 201 of Kabilan).

I give below two more such references from Kalidasa’ Raghuvamsa and Purananuru:

  1. The sky is full of stars and planets, but yet one moon gives more light than others in the night.

Likewise there are one thousand kings, but yet they say that this king of Magadha is the best

(Raghuvamsa 6-22).

This comparison of moon among stars shows that there are innumerable kings

like millions of stars. This is confirmed by the following Tamil verse that is over

2000 years old:

This big earth was ruled by countless kings like the sand particles on the sea shore.

They are all dead and gone. So, do something good before you die — is the message  given by the poet Siruventheraiyar (Puram 363) to his contemporary ruler.


Maharana pratap

Once again it shows the historical sense of Tamil poets. They knew that there were thousands of kings before their period and so he aptly used the sand particle simile. There are more poems which sang about countless number of kings.

When Egypt, Sumeria and Israel listed their kings from very ancient times, Indians still stuck to the history written by foreigners. We knew Indus valley Civilization existed from 2600 BCE, but no one did try to find out the names of the kings.Even if we had five kings for every 100 years, we must have 130 kings for each area.  We had several names in the Mahabharata. One must list them chronologically and do more research.

We need a Dictionary of Kings, both historical and not historical. Local temple puranas, what are  known as Sthala Puranas in Tamil Nadu give more names of kings. Stories like Katha sarit Sagara and Vetal and Vikramditya give several names which may be fictional or no fictional. I am compiling a list of all the kings in my Dictionary of Indian Kings. Then there are categories like the kings

who did Aswamedha Yajna. Satapata Brahmana and other Vedic literature give a list of those people.  One has to do a patient research to find out the past history of ancient India.


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