Yadav caste history & information
Yadav or Yadava is an ethnic caste which traces its descent from Yadu. Yadavas have been mentioned as one of the ancient Vedic panchjanya tribes in ancient Dharmic texts. They mostly follow Vaishnav traditions and Dharmic religion and are located in different parts of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Traditionally and they are classified under the Kshatriya varna in Hinduism.
In Hindu mythology, Yadvas are described as the descendants of Yadu, the eldest son of King Yayati. Yadu and his descendants ruled in places that are referred to in the Hindu scriptures as Jambudvipa. According to Dharmic mythology, Jarasandh, Kansa's father-in-law, and king of Magadha attacked Yadavas to avenge the killing of Kansa which led Yadavas to shift their capital from Mathura to Dwaraka.
Abhira, which is considered to be a subgroup of Yadava caste today, is assumed to be different from ancient Yadavas. Linkage is obscure and views vary from scholar to scholar. The term was used for cowherds initially but has been extended to include Yaduvanshis and Nandavanshis too by its corrupt version Ahir. Abhira means "fearless" and appear in most ancient historical references dating back to the Abhira kingdom of the Saraswati Valley, who spoke Abhiri until the Buddhist period. Analysis of Hindu scriptural references of the Abhira kingdoms has led some scholars to conclude that it was merely a term used for Holy Yadava Kingdoms. In Bhagavatam, the Gupta dynasty has been called Abhir.
Some historians also seek a connection between Yadavas and Jews. According to their theory, the Greeks were referred to the Jews as Judeos, or Jah deos or Yadavas, meaning people of Ya.
Yadav as an Ethnic Category
Yadava is a category consisting of several allied castes which together constitute about one-tenth of the total population of India. The castes coming under this category are spread over in different parts of India, Burma, Nepal and Sri Lanka and are known as the Ahir in the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Rajasthan; the Goalas and Sadgopa in Bengal and Orissa; Gavli and Gopala in Maharashtra; Golla in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and Idayan and Konar in Tamil Nadu. There are also several sub-regional names such as Thetwar and Rawat in Madhya Pradesh, and Mahakul (Great Family) in Bihar.
Two things are common to these cognate castes. Firstly, they claim to be the descendants of the Yadu Dynasty(Yadava) to which Lord Krishna belonged. Secondly, many castes in this category have a set of occupations centering round cattle. The Krishna mythology lends a kind of legitimacy to the pastoral occupations relating to cattle, and as the castes following these occupations are to be found in almost all parts of India, the Yadava category encompasses a whole range of related castes.
Besides this mythical origin of the Yadavas, semi-historical and historical evidence exists for equating the Ahirs with the Yadavas. It is argued that the term Ahir comes from Abhira who were once found in different parts of India, and who in several places wielded political power. The Abhiras are equated with Ahirs, Gopas and Gollas, and all of them are considered Yadavas.
It is also stated that the Allahabad iron pillar inscription of Samudragupta (fourth century AD) mentions the Abhiras as one of the tribal states of west and south west India. A fourth century AD inscription found in Nashik speaks of an Abhira king and there is proof that in the middle of the fourth century the Abhiras were settled in eastern Rajputana and Malwa. Similarly, when the Kathis arrived in Gujarat in the eighth century, they found the greater part of the country in the possession of the Ahirs. The Mirzapur district of the United Provinces has a tract known as Ahraura, named after the Ahir and another piece of country near Jhansi was called Ahirwar. The Ahirs were also kings of Nepal at the beginning of the Christian era. Khandesh and the Tapti valley were other regions where they were kings. The Gavlis rose to political power in Deogarh, on the Chhindwara Plateau in the central provinces. The Saugar traditions traced down the Gavli supremacy to a much later date, as the tracts of Etawa and Khurai are said to have been governed by the chieftains till the close of the seventeenth century.
Some scholars, such as Robert Sewell believe that the rulers of Vijayanagara Empire were Kurubas (also known as Yadavas). Many ruling Rajput clans of India traced their origin to the Yaduvanshi lineage, a major branch of the Chandravanshi Kshatriyas. These include the Banaphars and the Jadejas. The Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri also claimed descent from the clan of Lord Krishna, although various experts have put alternative theories about their origin.
Some early inscriptions, dated 1078 and 1090, have implied that the Hoysalas of Mysore were also the descendants of the original Yadava clan, by referring to the Yadava vamsa (clan) as Hoysala vamsa. But there are no records directly linking the Hoysalas to the Yadavas of North India. The founder of the Wodeyar dynasty, Vijaya, also claimed descent from the Yadu and took on the name Yadu-Raya.
Legends of the cowherd Krishna and his dances with cowherdesses are mentioned in the Sangam classics. The term Ayarpati (cowherd settlement) is found in Cilappatikaram. It is argued that the term Ayar has been used for the Abhiras in ancient Tamil literature, and V. Kanakasabha Pillai (1904) derives Abhira from the Tamil word Ayir which also means cow. He equates the Ayars with Abhiras, and scholars treat this as evidence of migration of the Abhiras to the south in the first century AD.
Many groups and clans claiming descent from the ancient Yadu clan call themselves Yadavs. The major clans among these are:
* Ahirs (variously called Ahira and Abhira) are divided into clans called Khanap:
o Nandavanshi (descendants of Nanda}
o Gwalvanshi (descendants of Holy Gwals)
* Behera, Pradhans in Orissa
* Bharwad in Gujarath
* Bhatrajus (Andhra Pradesh)
* Dhangars (in Maharashtra and Karnataka), having 108 clans
* Edayar (Tamil Nadu)
* Gaurs (also called Goriya, and mentioned in the Mahabharata)
* Gadri / Gadariya
* Gaddi in Chamb and Kangra districts of Himachal Pradesh.
* Gouda (Orissa)
* Kone [The Yadava king name] Tamil Nadu
* Konars (Tamil: கோனார் in Tamil Nadu and Kerala)
* Kurubas or Gollas ( Karnataka)
* Krishnauth (claiming direct lineage from Lord Shri Krishna)
* Kurubas (Karnataka)
* Maniyani (in Kerala)
* Manjrauth (linked with Jarasandh)
* Mandal & Bhagat (Bihar)
* Sadgops (in Bengal)
* Servai, Tamil Nadu
* Vadukayar, Tiruvnelveli in Tamil Nadu
* Deshwal (some city in U.P)
The language of the Ahirs was known as Ahirani in Khandesh, resembling Marathi. While the Ahirs of Kathiawad and Kachh have a dialect which resembles Gujarathi. Abhira bhasha is in fact considered to be Apabhransha. In the ninth century BC, it had become the language of the people, and was spoken from Saurashtra to Magadh, and it has been proved that poetry was composed in this language around the sixth century BC. In addition to the ones above--Gaddi, which is currently the dialect spoken in Gadderan, on the outskirts of the Chamba and Kangra hills and Gandi is spoken in some parts of Madhya Pradesh. Abhiri as a dialect has been recorded by Sanskrit poets such as Bharata and Dandin. The dialect the people of Ahirwal in Haryana speak has a resemblance to Rajasthan.
Through numerous political parties such as the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal (Republic), Janata Dal (Communal) and Makkal Tamil Desam (Tamil Nadu), the Yadavs have considerable political influence, especially in the North Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
* LORD KRISHNA
* Neminatha, The 22nd Teerthankar of Jains & cousin of Lord Lord Krishna
* Vasudeva, father of Lord Krishna
* Kartaveerya Arjuna, Emperor of Mahismati, also known as Shasrabahu
* Kunti, sister of Vasudeva and mother of Pandavas and Karna
* Kansa, a tyrannical king of Mathura, who was killed by Lord Krishna
* Ugrasen, the father of Kansa
* Rao Tula Ram, 1857 Freedom Fighter
* Pran Sukh Yadav, fought along with Rao Tula Ram Yadav at Nasibpur
* Akhilesh Yadav, Politician
* B.P. Mandal, Chairman of Mandal commission and Former Chief Minister of Bihar
* Babulal Gaur, Former Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh
* Baleshwar Yadav, Politician
* Chandrapal Singh Yadav, Politician
* Chitra Lekha Yadav, Politician
* Devendra Singh Yadav, Politician
* Dharam Pal Yadav, Politician
* Dr. Jaswant Singh Yadav, Politician
* Giridhari Yadav, Politician
* Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav, Politician
* Kailash Nath Singh Yadav
* Karan Singh Yadav, Politician
* Laloo Prasad Yadav, RJD chief
* M. Anjan Kumar Yadav, Politician
* Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party Chief
* Nand Kishore Yadav, Cabinet Minister in Bihar
* Pappu Yadav, former RJD Politician
* Rabri Devi, former Chief Minister of Bihar & Wife of Laloo Prasad Yadav
* Raghu Yadav, Politician
* Ram Gopal Yadav, Politician
* Ram Kripal Yadav, Politician
* Ram Singh Yadav, Politician
* Ramakant Yadav, Politician
* Rambaran Yadav, Politician
* Rao Balbir Singh , Politician
* Rao Birender Singh, Former C.M. Haryana
* Rao Inderjit Singh, Cabinet Minister
* Sadhu Yadav, Politician
* Sitaram Yadav, Politician
* Suresh Kalmadi, Politician
* Umakant Yadav, Politician
* Upendra Yadav, Politician
* Babru Bhan Yadav, Maha Vir Chakra recipient, 1971 Indo-Pak War.
* Dr. K Sanjeeva Rayudu Yadav, Capt AMC Army Doctor and Professor of Surgery Indo-China War.
* Namdev Jadav, Victoria Cross recipient.
* Pran Sukh Yadav, Military Commander in Anglo-Sikh Wars.
* Umrao Singh, Victoria Cross recipient, World War II, Burma Front
* Yogendra Singh Yadav, Param Vir Chakra recipient, Kargil War.
* Lietenant General JBS Yadav, retired as Deputy Chief of Army.
* Dharmendra Yadav, Boxer 1990 Commonwealth Medal Winner
* Hemulal Yadav, Cricketer
* Jai Prakash Yadav, Cricketer
* Jyoti Yadav, Cricketer
* Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, India's first individual Olympic medalist
* Shivlal Yadav, Cricket player
* Vijay Yadav, Cricket player
Artists / Writers
* Anand Yadav, Marathi writer
* Parbhu Dayal Yadav, Artisan
* Poonam Yadav, Singer
* Raghubir Yadav, Film Actor
* Rajendra Yadav, Hindi novelist and Editor of HANS
* Rajpal Yadav, Film Actor
* Dr. Jhillu Singh Yadav, Director, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad
* Dr. M. Gopalakrishna Yadav, Former CMD Indian Bank
* Santosh Yadav, Mountain Climber
* Swami Ramdev Ji, Yoga Teacher