Shivi (alias Sibi, Shibi, Sivi) is mentioned as a kingdom and as the name of a king in the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata. There was a king named Shivi who became famous as Shivi or the kingdom itself may be named after him. Shivi (alias Sibi, Saivya) king was famous for his truthfulness. The legend about his truthfulness and compassion goes as follows: King Shivi protected a dove who was chased by a hawk (which wanted to eat the dove as its midday meal), and gave flesh from his thigh, as a substitute meal to the hawk.

Geographical locations


According to Sivi Játaka, king Sivi (as Bodhisatta) had ruled Sivirattha with his capital at Aritthapura (Aristapura of Sanskrit) and is said to have donated his eyes to a blind Brahmana[1] In the Mahabharata, the name Sivi is connected with Asura and like Kamboja, it is also linked to the mythological goddess Diti.[2] The Brahmanical texts also mentions that king Sivi was son of king Usinara and was from Anava (Anu) lineage.

Mahabharata refers to the Kambojas as Munda ("shaved-headed soldiery").[3] In the same Mahabharata text, Rudra Siva is also given the epithet of Munda.[4] The Kambojas are also attested to have been ardent worshipers of Siva-cult (Munda-cult).[5][6][7]

In fact, the Mahabharata evidence shows that the promulgator of synthetic Siva cult was one sage Upamanyu, son of Vyaghrapada. Upamanyu was a disciple of Ayodha Dhaumya who taught at Taxila University in Gandhara.[8] The northern Kamboja affinities of this Upamanyu (the epic promulgator of Synthetic Siva cult) are indicated and have been accepted [9] since his son/or descendant Aupamanyava is specifically referred to as Kamboja in the Vamsa Brahmana[10] of the Samaveda.[11] Since "Munda" is an epithet of god Rudra-Siva, it has also been suggested that the Sivis derive their name from god Siva whom they ardently worshiped.

Taking clue from Yaska's Nirukta,[12] S. Levi states that "the Kambhojas were a branch of the Bhojas and were not a part of the Aryans (i.e Indo Aryans)".[13] The name "Kambhojas" is etymologised as Kamblala + Bhojas ("the Bhojas with Kambalas or blankets") as well as Kamniya + Bhojas (meaning "The handsome Bhojas or the desirable Bhojas"). Thus, Levi and others have connected the ancient Bhojas with the Kambhojas. Both Kambojas and the Bhojas are also referred to as north-western people in the 13th Rock Edict of king Asoka. Thus, the Kambojas appear to have either been anciently and inadvertently confused with the Bhojas who were a Yadava tribe, or, else, there was indeed some kind of link between the Bhojas and the ancient Kambhojas as S. Levi suggests.[14][15] Writers like James F. K. Hewitt and others also connect the Sivis, Bhojas and the Drhuyus with the Kambhojas.[16] The Chinese evidence on king Sivi as well as king Vessantara (Sudana, Saniraja or Pi-lo of the Chinese records), the rulers of Oddiyana (in pre-Buddhist times) also seems to lend a fair credence in this direction.

Mention in Mahabharata


It is also mentioned in the epic that Jayadratha was the king of Sindhu, Sauvira and Shivi kingdoms. Probably Sauvira and Shivi were two kingdom close to the Sindhu kingdom and Jayadratha conquered them, which would place Shivi somewhere in western Rajasthan though alternatively it could also be Sibi, Balochistan which is to the west of Sauvira and Sindhu and adjacent to both. Jayadratha was an ally of Duryodhana and husband of Duryodhana's sister Dussala.

It is also mentioned that Yudhishthira, king of Hastinapur after the great Kurukshetra War, married a beautiful girl Devika of the Sivi tribe, and she later begot a son to him, Yaudheya, from whom the Yaudheyas claim their descent.[19]

See also



  1. ^ Sivi Játaka No. 499.
  2. ^ Mahabharata, 1.67.1-34.
  3. ^ Mahabharata 7.119.23. See also: Ganapatha 178 on Pāṇini's rule II.1.72 - Mayuravyamsakad'i' which calls the Kambojas Munda (i.e. Kambojah Munda, Yavana Munda); Also the Kambojas are described as Mundas in numerous Puranas, e.g. see: Brahma Purana, verse 8.48.
  4. ^ IHQ, 1963, p 291.
  5. ^ The Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol 23-24, 1947-48, pp 290/291, N. Chaudhuri-India.
  6. ^ The Kamboja rulers of Bengal were also Siva-devotees; see Bengal - Past and Present, 1916, p 209, Calcutta Historical Society; Comprehensive History of Bihar, 1974, p 259, Bindeshwari Prasad Sinha, Syed Hasan Askari. The Kamboja rulers of Kambodia/Kambuja were also Sivia worshippers (see Studies in Sanskrit Inscriptions of Ancient Cambodia, 2003, p 229, Mahesh Kumar Sharan, Mahesh Kumar Sharan Abhinav.
  7. ^ Cf: "There were Dionysiac festivals in honor of god Siva who belonged to Asvaka district, north of Kabul river where flourished thye vine-orchards" (See: Coins and Icons, A Study of Myth and Symbols in Indian Numistmatic Art, 1977, p 128, Bhaskar Chattopadhya). See: Article Ashvakas for Ashvakas/Kambojas identity.
  8. ^ Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist, 1969, p 332, Dr R. K. Mukerjee; The Cultural Heritage of India: Sri Ramakrishna Centenary Memorial, 1936, p 228, Sri Ramakrishna centenary committee - India; A Prose English Translation of the Mahabharata, 1895, p 22, Manmathanatha Datta, Manmatha Nath Dutt;Indian Universities, Retroscpect and Prospects, 1964, p 39, Chetpat Pattabhirama Ramaswami Aiyar.
  9. ^ Aspects of Sanskrit Literature, 1976, p 71, Dr Sushil Kumar De - Sanskrit literature; The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1947, p 290; The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 290-291, Nanimadhab Chaudhuri.
  10. ^ Vamsa Brahmana 1.18.
  11. ^ Trans of Rig Veda, III,113, Dr Ludwig; Alt-Indisches Leben, p 102, Dr H. Zimmer; History and Culture of Indian People, The Vedic Age, p 260, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr A. D. Pusalkar; Bhandarkar Oriental Series, 1939, p 1, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute; The Geographical Observer, p 96, Meerut College Geographical Society; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 6, K. D. Sethna; Some Kshatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, p 231, Dr B. C. Law; Dialectics of Hindu Ritualism, 1956, pp 59, 133, Bhupendranātha Datta; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, Dr J. L. Kamboj; Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 25-27, S Kirpal Singh; These Kamboja People, 1979, pp 27-28, K. S. Dardi; Purana, Vol VI, No 1, Jan 1964, p 212.13, Balocistān: siyāsī kashmakash, muz̤mirāt va rujḥānāt - 1989, P 1, Munīr Aḥmad Marrī etc; Tribes in Ancient India, 1943, p 1; Cf: The Society of the Rāmāyaṇa, 1991, p 88, Ananda W. P. Guruge (Note: Guruge also takes note of the ethnic connections between the ancient Kambojas, sage Upamnayu of the Rig Veda and his son/descendant Kamboja Aupamanyava of Vamsa Brahmana of Sama Veda, as implied in the Rig Vedic verse 1.102.09); Literary History of Ancient India in Relation to Its Racial and Linguistic Affiliations, 1950, p. 165; The Racial History of India - 1944, p 810, Chandra Chakraberty etc.
  12. ^ Nirukta 2.2 (Kambojah Kambal.Bhojah Kamaniya.Bhoja va)
  13. ^ Pre-Aryan and Pre-Dravidian in India, 1992, p 123 sqq, Sylvain Lévi, P. Levi, Jules Bloch, Jean Przyluski, Asian Educational Services - Indo-Aryan philology.
  14. ^ Sylvain Lévi, P. Levi, Jules Bloch, Jean Przyluski.
  15. ^ See also: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 1889, p 288/89 (Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland); Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 1834, p 272 (Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland); Encyclopedia of Religions or Faiths of Man Part 2, Volume 2 2, 2003 edition, 282, J. G. R. Forlong.
  16. ^ Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 1889, p 288/89, James F. K. Hewitt; Op cit., 282, J. G. R. Forlong.
  17. ^ Schwartzberg, Joseph E. (1978). A Historical atlas of South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 145, map XIV.1 (d). ISBN 0226742210.
  18. ^ Content mirrored from this map
  19. ^ "The Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva: Sambhava Parva: Section XCV". Archived from the original on 2010-01-16.