Descendants of Lord Rama in the War of Mahabharata

The astronomical dating of the events in the two great historical texts of the ancient world, Ramayana and Mahabharata indicate that Ramayana took place at around 5000 BCE, while Mahabharata took place around 3000 BCE. So, it is but natural to ask, is there any mention about the descendants of Lord Rama in Mahabharata? Who were the descendants of Rama in the era of Mahabharata, and what was their role in the great war at Kurukshetra? Did they side with the Pandavas, or with the Kauravas or did they remain neutral?

Brothers of Rama

Lord Rama had three brothers. Lakshmana, Shatrughna and Bharata. Bharata founded the city of Takshashila, Taxila in modern Pakistan which later became the center of higher education in the ancient world with its majestic Takshashila University, one of the many great universities of ancient India. Lakshmana founded the city of Lakshmana Puri, modern day Lucknow. Shatrughna cleared a forest called Madhuvana and founded the modern city of Mathura, the city in which Krishna was born during the times of Mahabharata.

Children of Rama

Lord Rama had two sons Lava and Kusha. They were born at a place called Ramtirth or Rama Theertha, which is a famous pilgrimage in modern day Amritsar, 11 km from the city of Amritsar, in the state of Punjab. There is also a hut near the Ram Tirth temple here, where Maharshi Valmiki is said to have lived during the era of Ramayana.

Luv (Lava) – Son of Rama

Lava is said to be the founder of the modern city of Lahore in Pakistan, originally called Lavapuri. Modern day Laos was originally named after Lava. Ramayana is very popular in Laos even today, and has its own local version of Ramayana called Phra Lak Phra Ram.

Also the city of Lobpuri in Thailand, which is about 150 km from Bangkok, is named after Lava. Kalavarnadish, the king of Takshasila in 7th century founded this city in Thailand and named it after Lavpuri (Lahore) which later became Lobpuri.

Kosala Kingdom

Ayodhya was the capital of the Kosala Kingdom during the times of Rama. After Rama, his sons Lava and Kusha inherited the kingdom which was divided into North Kosala, to the north of Ayodhya and East Kosala, to the east of Ayodhya.

Shravasti was the capital of North Kosala. During the times of Gautama Buddha, Sravasti was one of the six largest cities in India. Buddhaghosa, a 5th century Buddhist scholar says that the city had a population of 180 million during the times of Buddha.

Kushavati, modern day Kushinagar, a town near Gorakhpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh was the capital of Kusha’s kingdom.

Kosala Kingdom in Mahabharata

During the times of Mahabharata, Kosala Kingdom was split into five.

The five Kosala kingdoms mentioned in Mahabharata are

  • North Kosala
  • South Kosala
  • East Kosala
  • Central Kosala
  • Kosala Kingdom between Central Kosala and South Kosala

Eastern Kosala was captured by the Magadha king Jarasandha, who was later killed by Bhima in the Kurukshetra war of Mahabharata.

Central Kosala, the original Kosala ruled by Rama, still had Ayodhya as its capital during the times of Mahabharata and was ruled by Dheerghayaghnya. Central Kosala and North Kosala were conquered by the Pandava brother Bhima in his military expedition.

Southern Kosala, the native kingdom of Rama’s mother Kausalaya, in modern day Madhya Pradesh, was conquered by the Pandava Brother Sahadeva in his military expedition.

Brihadbala – Descendant of Rama via Kusha in the Mahabharata War

The fifth Kosala Kingdom between Central Kosala and South Kosala was ruled by Brihadbala, a descendant of Kusha. The kingdom of Kashi was probably a part of this Kosala kingdom during the times of Mahabharata. The paternal grandmothers of Pandavas, Ambika and Ambalika, who were the daughters of the King of Kashi, are referred in Mahabharata sometimes as the princesses of Kashi, and sometimes as the princesses of Kosala.

Brihadbala was the 28th descendant of Rama’s Son Kusha. And he fought on the side of the Kauravas in the Mahabharata war at Kurukshetra!

Mahabharata, while describing the ratings Bhishma gave to each major warrior on their side before the war, says that the warrior skills of Brihadbala were rated to be one Ratha. The different ratings were Ratha, Athiratha, Maharatha, etc.

On the thirteenth day of the Mahabharata war, Drona forms the Chakrya Vyuha formation, a seven-tier defensive spiral formation intended to capture Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandava brothers. A game plan had been already set to lure Arjuna away from the main battle field, as Arjuna was aware of the techniques of breaking this formation successfully. The Kaurava side hopes to capture Yudhishtira hoping that he would try to break this formation and would be captured as he is lacks the knowledge required to break it. However, Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna who has partial knowledge of breaking the Chakryavyuha formation, where in he knows how to enter it but not how to exit, takes up the challenge and enter the Chakrya Vyuha.

Unarmed Abhimanyu fighting in the Mahabharata war

It is in this battle that Brihadbala, along with Ashvaththaama, Karna, Kritavarma, Krupacharya, Drona pounce upon Abhimanyu at the same time violating the rules of the war, in an effort to kill the heroic son of Arjuna. Abhimanyu after killing the warriors on Brihadbala’s side, kills his charioteer, breaks his bow, cuts his flag and finally beheads Brihadbala.

The descendant of Lord Rama not only ends up on the wrong side in Mahabharatha, he also ends up being a part of the battle which violated the very code of conduct of a warrior. The battle against Abhimanyu is recorded as the most shameless violation of the ethics of war in which a defenseless warrior was attacked and killed by multiple big warriors through illicit means. The other such incident in the war being the killing of an unarmed Karna by Arjuna.

Genealogy of Lord Rama after the Mahabharata War

The Genealogy of Lord Rama after the Mahabharata war is recorded as follows in the Puranas. The last in the list below, Sumitra was defeated by MahaPadma Nanda, the founder of  the famous Nanda dynasty with Magadha as its capital. The descendants of MahaPadma Nanda were later over thrown by Chandragupta Maurya who went on to form one of the greatest empires in history, the Mauryan Empire.

  • Brihadbala
  • Brihatkshaya
  • Urukshaya
  • Vatsavyuha
  • Prativyoma
  • Divakara
  • Sahadeva
  • Brihadashva
  • Bhanuratha
  • Pratitashva
  • Supratika
  • Marudeva
  • Sunakshatra
  • Kinnara
  • Antariksha
  • Suvarna
  • Sumitra Amitrajit
  • Dharmin
  • Kritanjaya
  • Sanjaya Mahakosala
  • Prasenajit
  • Kshudraka
  • Kulaka
  • Suratha
  • Sumitra

Appendix: Linage of Lord Rama till Brihadbala

Below is the lineage of Lord Rama till Brihadbala. To see a lineage of Lord Rama’s ancestors in the Ikshvaku lineage, read about Varanasi, the oldest continuously inhabited city on Earth.

  • Lord Rama
  • Kusha
  • Atithi
  • Nishadha
  • Nala
  • Nabhas
  • Pundarika
  • Kshemadhanvan
  • Devanika
  • Ahinagu
  • Paripatra
  • Dala
  • Uktha
  • Vajranabha
  • Shankhana
  • Vyushitashva
  • Vishvasaha
  • Hiranyanabha
  • Pushya
  • Dhruvasandhi
  • Agnivarna
  • Shighra
  • Maru
  • Prasushruta
  • Susandhi
  • Amarsha
  • Vishrutavanta
  • Brihadbala
  • Sandip

    As mentioned in one of your articles time(no of years) of tretayuga is 1296000 years and Dwaparyuga is 864000 years.
    then how you can say that “Ramayana took place at around 5000 BCE, while Mahabharata took place around 3000 BCE”
    Can you explain it??

  • ecommset

    If i am not wrong, Great King of Mewar,, MahaRana Pratap also a linage of Lord Rama!

  • Rugved Reddy

    But your Laos theory is wrong I guess…. It is not derived from Lav

    • itzguru

      In the Lao language, the name of their country is Muang Lao meaning the “country of Lao”. Laos is a post colonial name given by French, before that it was French IndoChina.

      Refer the book “Studies in Hindu and Buddhist Art” edited by P. K. Mishra – page 356

      The Ramayana is very popular in Laos. The country was earlier known as Lava, the son of Rama. The Laotians have adopted the story of Rama Phra Lak Phra Lam as if it happened in Laos.

      • Rugved Reddy

        I know that Ramayana was popular in Laos but in what way does it imply that Laos derived it’s name from Lava ?
        There was a mention in Han dynasty records about a tribe named Ai Lao inhabiting the present yunnan province which overlaps the present nation of Laos. Lao etymology is still unclear but we can say it dates back to the Han period (206 BC – 220 AD). Even in modern era it’s leaders have suffixed their name with Lao indicating that it must have been an identity of their tribe.

  • Sree

    Sravasti had a population of 180 million during the times of Buddha? 180 million? Just curious

    • itzguru

      I know, but that is what Buddhaghosa has documented. But what is also interesting to note is that Greek satirist Lucian during the second century has also noted that India as the most populated region on the planet in his times.

  • itzguru

    Kashi has been around even before the times of Rama, even before Satya Harishchandra. But that doesn’t mean an event that took place in Kashi some 2000 years back should also take place before the times of Rama.
    What I mean to say is, Dwarka may have existed even before Krishna’s times.

  • Amit

    ‘Eastern Kosala was captured by the Magadha king Jarasandha, who was later killed by Arjuna in the Kurukshetra war of Mahabharata.’
    A per what I know.. It was Bhima who killed Jarasandha and not Arjuna.

    • itzguru

      Oops, corrected it. I was assuming Jayadratha when I wrote Jarasandha. Thanks.

      • Abby

        Din’t Bhima kill Jarasandha much before the Kurukshetra war began?

  • swagatika

    here some information i want to give you dear gurudev. the dating of ramayan was wrong. in many sites it is mentioned that ramayan was in 7000BC. they claimed that we used astronomical software to get that date of mahabharat and ramayan. in general all the software are designed by western people with some techniques. i.e all are made by 8bit,16bit or 32bit. very simple example in normal mobile phone the past and future duration is around 100years. it doesn’t mean there is no 1800 or 1000 etc. that is designed to give that duration is only. like same way the position of stars or planets are designed to maximum 10000BC to 10000AC. that is the reason when mahabharat stars positions are placed it come around 3000BC. where as ramayan is coming around 7000BC. we all indian knows that RAM took birth in end of tretaya yug which is around 8-9 lacs year back. and one more thing many references i got it that the duration of human being in this era is only 60 years. where as in dwapur yug it is around 120 years. because Krishna or Yudhistir all died around that age only. like in tretaya or satya yug the people lived more years. so the ascendents of lord RAM is only 20-30 generations only. they lived more years compared to todays human. in that time the peoples are more spiritual and pure. that too environment also pure. hope my little information is good. since i am in indian institute of astrophysics bangalore i have idea of astronomy. also i have habit of reading of mythological books which have more knowledge than todays book.

    • itzguru

      No, the 8-9 lakh years timescale is not practical. Just look at the lineage of Rama mentioned in the Puranas from his date till Brihadbala or Sumitra, does it make sense to say there were only around 30 generations between Rama and Krishna and yet were separated by lakhs or years or that there were only 25-30 generations or so between Krishna and Chandragupta Maurya and still they were separated by lakhs of years? Even if you consider they lived for more years, the numbers still do not add up so much. Where as they add up perfectly for 5000 BCE, 3000 BCE etc, and even the astronomical positions match perfectly. So this sounds more logical. The confusion is because of confusing universal yuga cycles with that of civilizational yuga cycles.

      • swagatika

        dear guruzi i told you about the software. that software is may not able to calculate beyond some specified date. these softwares are made up in for loops . when particular date is given it asks ‘yes’ of ‘no’. then according to the required condition it goes. similarly when the loop ends either it goes the nearest one. you might have known y2k problem. because the last two digit was only 97-98-99-00. so it had big problem.since 00 corresponded to 00AC not 2000. but when they increased the no of bit it represented as 1998-1999-2000 and so on. so i don’t believe in software. in future may some one will build some soft ware which may give accurate information by new advanced technology.

        • itzguru

          I am a software architect myself :)
          There are no problems with these software, Y2K was solved long back, and the displaying of dating has nothing to do with bit representation, we are in the 64 bit era now.

          The way these software work is that you enter different planetary positions mentioned in the texts for a given event along with the location coordinates of the place and the software then starts showing you different possible dates on which the astronomical position occurred at the given location. Then you start comparing the match between different events in the texts till you arrive at a date where all the events are in agreement about the difference between the duration, and that is when you have found a possible date.

          Having said this, yes many of these software do not date beyond say 6000 BCE, or 10000 BCE. And also, a given set of astronomical positions can repeat over a large interval like say once in 25000 years or so because of the sky pattern repeating due to earth’s axis tilting.

          However, the other logical reason and the most important one for concluding dates like 5000 BCE or 3000 BCE is because the lineage of historical characters like Rama, or Krishna mentioned in the Puranas, match exactly with these dates. As I said earlier, how can you have only 30 generations over 3 lakh years? Even if you assume 100 years per generation it will still make it 3000 years ago, not 3 lakh years.

          • swagatika

            i don’t know how better i can explain. but still i will give another example. let us consider we both are in 2100. so we read history that around 1950 india got independence. gandhi dynasty ruled for around 70 years. starting from nehru,indira,rajiv and sonia. after that india got a real iron man who ruled for more than 30 years and its dynasty still continues. what conclusion you will got from this. is it mean there is no other person ruled india. but in majority from this information we can conclude that major ruler of the country. exactly in same way we don’t have full proof or all details of their information. only as suryavansam or chadrabansam the information was there. can you tell me what time on which date anglo maratha war happend and what is its casualty how many died? you only know when anglo maratha war happend and who own or loss. but you can tell full detail of 1999 kargil war. because you have information.

            • itzguru

              Let me try to explain better. Puranas have listed out in detail the entire lineage of Rama from Ramayana period till Mahabharata period. If there are say 30 generations and the 30th generation after Rama is seen in Mahabharata during Krishna’s time, then where does Sardar Patel come in? Its the same lineage of Rama, can there be some body else inserted in his lineage? There are no breaks in the Puranas when they list the lineages.

              And where were humans 3 lakh years ago? They came out of Africa just some 70000 years ago.

              • Sainath

                Gurudev,

                I have/am hearing that in treta yuga man used to live/rule for thousand’s of years (King Dashratha himself is also said to live/rule for thousands of years or so and such time scales are mentioned in bhagwatam… can we reaaly get more details on this…

                Gurudev, have you read bhagwatam ??

                Regards…

                • itzguru

                  Yes they definitely lived a longer life than today, but not sure if that was for thousands of years!

                  • Sullivan

                    I got interesting topic for you next blog post. I am big fan of your website. So i appretiate if you could throw light on this. Its a book about Swami Yukteshaware giri who has given indepth details about the yugas. And disproved and corrected our calander and theory of Yugas. He says we are not in Kali yuga and that we have entered Dwapar yuga. in Satya yuga men used to live 400 year in Treta around 200 if i am not wrong etc. He had even present this research to our India scientific heritage. They even agreed to his theory but didnt want to correct our existing calanders as it was being used by millions. If you have not written and article about I would appretiate if you could go through this famous book “The Holy Science”. You many also find numbers article on this.

                    • Rajiv

                      In 5000 BCE or 3000 BCE, there were no horses in India. There was no iron either. So what animal pulled Arjuna’s chariot? What were the weapons made of?

                    • itzguru

                      Who said this? Then what are all those references to horses, iron, metals in the ancient texts all about? Fantasy and fiction?

                    • Rajiv

                      So far archaeologists have not found evidence of a single horse bone dating to that period in India. Horses were not native to India. They were not domesticated in India. They were imported and the earliest trace of horses in India come after 1000 BCE.So when you talk of an aksouhini which has 65,610 horses, it is pure imagination. Think of Lord of the Rings.

                      Mahabharata was edited multiple times – it evolved from Jaya which had just 8000 verses to the present form. It was not written at one shot and you probably know that.

                      For example, the Poushya Parva refers to kshapanakas and kshapanakas did not exist in 5000 BCE. They are post 500 BCE people and that gives a clue as to when the Poushya Parva was written.

                    • itzguru

                      totally incorrect. You don’t decide when an animal was found in a region based on its bones, but on fossils which are protected bones under natural conditions.

                      Fossils only indicate positive proof, that yes they were there at this point of time, but not negative proof, for no fossil can claim that it is the earliest fossil of that species.

                      Ashva is a native sanskrit word, horse has numerous names in Sanskrit, it is the only prominent animal mentioned in drawing chariots, carts and in solo riding. Read the core 8000 verses of MB and you will find numerous references to horses, and what about Ramayana, an even ancient text?

                      Not just these, Vedas themselves contain numerous references to horses, vedas were never interpolated and are the oldest literature in the world. And what is that Ashvamedhayajna all about?

                      This oldest fossil of horse being available is being clinged upon to so much because there is no other “Scientific” argument for dating vedas and MB to a later date by the proponents of AIT.

                    • Rajiv

                      Read about Geochronology.

                      All those texts contain references to horses because they were written *after* horses arrived in India.

                      Have you read the paper by B B Lal about the Archaeology of Mahabharata. He did not find any evidence of humans living in the places mentioned in the Mahabharata in 3000 BCE. Not in Dwaraka, not in Hastinapur and he was specifically looking for something like what you wanted.

                    • itzguru

                      hahaha, humans didnt live in Northern India in 3000 BCE?
                      The recent genetic research has proposed an Out of India theory saying humans first migrated out of Africa into India and from here spread to the rest of the world. Almost all non-Africans have their ancestry in India. Humans migrated to north asia, east asia, america, australia all from India. And this was some 70,000 years ago!
                      See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spreading_homo_sapiens.svg

                      The later dating of the ancient Indian texts was done during colonial rule to fit into Biblical dates of history that world was created 6000 years ago by God. So they randomly dated Rigveda to 1500 BCE. Laughable logic and some consider that to be history even today!

                      Mahabharatha took place around 3200 BCE, and Ramayana around 5100 BCE based on astronomical dating of the events mentioned in those “Itihasa” books. Vedas predate Ramayana. Infact Varanasi which predates Ramayana is one of the oldest continuously inhabited place in the world. One cannot get more scientific proof than this. And there are numerous places across India all along the historical sites mentioned in these texts – from the underwater city discovered in Dwaraka, to the Ram temple ruins discovered below Babri by ASI, the Rameshwaram bridge, sites in Sri Lanka, Southern India, Himalayas, everywhere.

                    • Rajiv

                      hahaha, there is a difference is saying no one lived in Hastinapur before 1200 BCE and no one lived in North India, isn’t it.

                      That genetic research is called Out of Africa theory, not Out of India. Out of India theory refers to the migration of Indo-European speakers, supposedly out of India into Europe which was many thousand years later. Remember, horses were not domesticated in 70, 000 BCE. Also, Iron was not used.

                    • coolsamforyou

                      I would like to add my 2 cents here. I guess a lot of understanding is based on Puranas which were actually passed on verbally -so who sad what and how’s it was remembered poses a challenge that’s why we see some differences in the occurrences in each of them. While softwares can predict star positions, and fossil dating can provide some information, the real clues should be checked with archeological findings. I have read almost all Puranas and I have read most of folklore stories. I have started to believe that the Vedic timing is indeed 2000 bc followed by Ramayana timing of 1500 bc and about 900 bc for MB time. 30 generation between Rama and Krishna does not imply 3000 years, rather 30 x 20 = 600 years average rein of each king. They used to fight and die soon such that the transition did not last long. If you read about vikramaditya, you will learn that he was from the lineage of Vedic Indra (actually his grandson). So there is quite an overlap of information here. It is very difficult for me to understand if there were any significant civilizations in India before 3000 BCE.( even before harappan civilization)

                    • Raj

                      what non-sense ur talking about ? ~ dwarka city that has been excavated ..from underwater..near kutch of gujarat, metal tools found in there,its carbon dating reveals that its around
                      12,000 years old ~

                    • ganesh

                      guys all this things are bullish…….. and shitt about this Ramayana and Mahabharata??? who was there to see all this fucking fake things… no one ri8 , someone wrote it, and other play it… we r fools who watch it….. Just Trust urself….

                    • Lalit Sharma

                      Hi cool Sam ! it is mentioned in ramayana that rama ruled for 11 lakh years. so this evens out the 30 generation time . I also agree that puranas are not very authentical in terms of history they have mixed references .

                    • Niraj

                      Dear all. I have enjoyed reading the views of all the people here and admire their knowledge. I have a point to say. Was Brihadbala and all other biological descendants of Rama ? I am not sure. For eg
                      Pandavas and kauravas called themselves bharatvanshi. Truth
                      King Bharath disinherited all his 9 sons for the throne. A Brahmin was made to rule and it’s his descendants which succeeded. Forget Pandavas and kauravas even Shantanu was not a bharatvanshi.
                      Coming to Kauravas. After Kuru they called themselves kauravas they were not even descendant of Vichitravirya. Pandavas called themselves pandavas but they were not sons of Pandu. Now I know nothing like that is written supporting this but we cannot rule out possibilities. After all the family life of descendants is not given in detail in the puraanas.

                    • Sullivan

                      Guru definitely you are right in many aspect. I would like to correct you and many other scholars on what Aswamedhayajga. It was wrongly interepreted as a horse sacrifice by many scholars which is totally wrong, itseems according to a learned guru. Actually Ashwa has other meaning too which is “Salt”. Now you can interpret the rest.

                    • mbrij96*

                      Itz guru!… U can actually predict an animal was present in region at a certain time using its bones also!

                    • mbrij96*

                      Yes they are certainly not a fiction as so many ancient texts have pointed to it. But the fact is that the time period of the accounts(millions years ago ) is certainly a miscalculation! Just because we haven’t found any bones of horses during 7000B.C doesn’t necessarily apply that there were no horses at that time. It also doesn’t mean there were horses at that time!. But it does mean most probably there were no horses at that time (something like indirect evidence). Let people wat they want until its in the realm of possibility!:)

                    • Raj

                      what non-sense ur talking about ? ~ dwarka city that has been excavated ..from underwater..near kutch of gujarat, metal tools found in there,its carbon dating reveals that its around
                      12,000 years old ~ ..

                    • kumar

                      Dear Rajiveji, don’t be too sure about horses in the past the India! can u tell me about your sources for such a conviction? I will update myself if required.. suddenly by a new fossil discovery the human age in science has jumped from 80,000 to more than 2 lakh years…

                  • mbrij96*

                    Not sure!… One need not be a pandit/ scholar to be sure that its impossible for humans to live for1000s of yrs.! One only needs basic COMMON SENSE!. I too believe in Indian religion but I don’t support the yuga system & kings living for 1000yrs

      • ecommset

        Estimated world and regional populations at various dates (in millions)

        India or Aryavarta population could be 5 to 10 lacs , if we conclude around 2000 BCE to 6000 BCE, one state population could be nearly average of 25,000 to 50,000 people , above figure is as per wiki world poulation calculated on the bases of scientific method taking all positive and negative factors in account.

        Do we take these factual figures taking into account, while studying our mythology?????

        • shailesh

          i would like to correct here as you have said that India or Aryavarta population could be 5 to 10 lacs , if we conclude around 2000 BCE to 6000 BCE , but in war of mahabharat only in battle there was around 18 to 19 lac soldiers were fighting (because kauravs were having 11 akshauhini sena and pandavs were having 7 akshauhini sena i.e total 18 akshauhini sena was in the the epic battle of mahabharat itself) so refering to this context I could say that India population could exceed more than few crores that time.