Eastern Spirituality

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A country where Indra, Lord of the gods had lived once disguised as a brahmana. King of the Nishadha was Guha who guarded Rama after he crossed Koshala kingdom on his exile.

The Nishādha peoples were indigenous tribes inhabiting ancient India. The Indo-Aryan peoples of ancient India's Vedic civilization saw the Nishadhas as uncivilized and barbarian peoples. Nishadhas did not follow the Vedic religion, and were involved in a number of wars with Indo-Aryan kingdoms.

Nishada (niśāda) is the name of a kingdom mentioned in the Indian epic Mahabharata. The kingdom belonged to a tribe of the same name.

In the Mahabarata, Nishadas are mentioned as tribes that have the hills and the forests for their abode. They are linked with a king called Vena (See Saraswata Kingdom) who became a slave of wrath and malice, and became unrighteous. Brahmanas slew him. Some of Vena's descendants became Nishadas and some others were called Mlechchhas, who resided on the Vindhya mountains (12,58).

Ekalavya was a king of a Nishada tribe. He attacked Dwaraka once, and was killed by Vasudeva Krishna in the battle. This kingdom was located in Aravalli ranges in Rajasthan state of India, possibly the district named Bhilwara. Other than the kingdom of Ekalavya there were many other Nishada kingdoms.

An 18th century Pahari painting of Nala-Damayanti

Nishadha was the kingdom of the celebrated king Nala, who loved and married Damayanti the princess of Vidarbha Kingdom. The territory of the kingdom is identified with area around the present-day Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh. Nishadha was connected to Dasarna and Kosala as well as with Vidarbha through trade routes.

Glossary Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z