In 1979 the famous Jat historian B.S.Dehiya published a paper entitled "The Mauryas: Their Identity", Vishveshvaranand Indological Journal, Vol. 17 (1979), p.112-133. In this now classic treatise, B.S.Dehiya proved several points, including the following:
The Mauryas, Muras, or rather Mors, were Jats, and hence Scythian or East Iranic in origin.
Consequently, Ashoka, Chandragupta and all other emperors of the Mauryan Dynasty were Scythian Jats (p.116).
The Atharva Veda was the creation of Iranic sun-priests or Magas, and was not part of the original Vedic tradition (p.128).
The primordial Jat religion was that of the original Iranic race, namely monotheist Sun-worship, which they and their Maga priests carried wherever they migrated (p.119, 128).
Chanakya or Kautilya, brain behind the Mauryan Empire and author of the famous Artha-Sastra, was an Iranic sun-priest or Maga (p.128).
The Mauryas or Mors were close kin of the Amorites of Babylonia and Egypt. (p.131)
The Jat immigrants are close kin of the ancient Gutians of Sumeria (p.131), and the Goths or Gots (p.125), known in Latin as Getae.
A large part of the essay is devoted to showing that the name Maurya or Mor was, and indeed still is, a Jat clan title, and has nothing to do with peacocks, nor was it the name of a Sudra woman, as Brahmanical authors had fraudulently claimed (p.113). A section is devoted to the hatred of Jats and Sakas displayed in the Brahmanic literature in general. Dehiya also mentions how the splendid Buddhist university of Nagarjunakonda was destroyed by the crazed followers of the fanatical Sankaracharya (p.118), and describes how the Vedic Brahmin general Pushyamitra destroyed the glorious Mauryan empire by treacherously murdering the last Mauryan king (p.130).
Consequently, the paper is a real treat for historians. As the work is not easily available for Iranologists and Scythologists I am attaching extracts from the paper for reference and academic purposes only.
"The Mauryas: Their Identity"
by B.S. Dehiya
(Asst. Commissioner, Income Tax, Jullundur), Vishveshvaranand Indological Journal, Vol. XVII (1979), p.112-133;
Vishveshvaranand Vishva Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies, Panjab University, Hoshiarpur.
1. Whatever is known about Porus, the brilliant adversary of Alexander the great, has come down to us from the Greek writers whose main source of information is the account of the conquests of Alexander given by those who accompanied his expedition. To that extent, barring the pardonable partiality for their national hero, their accounts may be taken at their face value, after cross-checking. Indian writers and works not only fail to mention Porus, but have completely ignored Alexander himself. Even Chāṇakya, who must have witnessed the high stakes drama in the Panjab - nay, he was an actor in it - though writing about almost everything under the sun, has not said a word about Porus or the origins of the Mauryas to whom he is supposed to have given the Indian empire on a platter. The Purāṇas, apart from mentioning the periods of different rulers of the Mauryan dynasty, give no other information about Porus, his war with Alexander, the origins of the Mauryas, etc. They are contemptuously dismissed as śūdras or vṛshalas or kulahīnas, by the dramatists, Viśākhadatta, of Mudrārākshasa fame, and as `utterly irreligious'; by the Yuga Purāṇa. The Vishṇu Purāṇa says that "upon the cessation of the race of Nanda, the Mauryas will possess the earth." Commenting on the lack of any mention of "the greatest (religious revolution) which the world has ever seen" during the reign of Aśoka, R.C.Dutt says, "to the Brahmanical narrator, the deeds of the scheming Chāṇakya ... are more worthy of mention than those of the imperial Aśoka who spread the name and religion of India from Antioch and Macedon to Cape Comorin and Ceylon." (A history of civilisation in Ancient India, vol. II, 1972, pp.36-37).
The Jain traditions do not mention Porus and Alexander, and about the Mauryas, they say that they were peacock tamers! This connection with peacocks (mor in Hindi) is quite widespread. Even the Buddhist records say that when the Mauryas, a branch of the Śākyas, were driven out of Magadha, they went to a hilly region
where there were many peacocks. They built a city there and, because the colour of the bricks used in the city palaces was that of the neck of a peacock, they were known as Moriyas and their city was called Moriya-nagar. Peacocks were found engraved on the Nandangarh pillar, the Sanchi stupas etc. Peacocks were also known to have been kept in the parks of the Maurya palace at Pāṭaliputra. Therefore, Foucher, John Marshall and Grunwedel concluded that the peacock was the dynastic emblem of the Mauryas! Even in the Great Epic Mahābhārata, when it was revised during the Gupta period, their name was Sanskritised into Mayūraka, meaning `peacock tribe'.
All these peacock theories are mere fairy tales, without any grain of truth in them. The Mauryas had no connection whatsoever with the peacock; nor was it their dynastic or favourite symbol or bird. Pillar Edict V of Aśoka gives a list of protected animals and birds which were not to be killed, but the peacock is not one of them. So, the Mauryas were "peacock eaters, rather than peacock tamers" (Buddha Prakash, Studies in Indian History and Civilization, SIHC, p.73). Otherwise also, how is the son of a `peacock tamer' found getting education in Taxila, the greatest seat of learning for princes, situated a thousand miles away from Pāṭaliputra?
These stories came to be concocted because the clan name of these people was Mor (pronounced as English more) and, coincidentally, Mor also meant a peacock in Indian languages. But the name is not Indian at all, it is from Central Asia, and means `head' or `crown', which is the meaning of practically all the clan names of the Jats. It is this word which is mentioned as Moḍa, the crown worn by the bridegroom at the time of marriage even today. As r is pronounced by the Central Asian people with a slight sense of ḍ or rh (as in the word `Chandigarh'), it was also, erroneously again, thought to mean the Sanskrit moda, meaning `happiness' or `rejoicing'.
The Brahmanical writers knew it as mor. They wanted to declare these people as śūdras and therefore invented yet another story, viz, that Chandragupta Maurya was born of a woman named Murā who was a śūdra lady and hence he was called Maurya, being the son of Murā! But they failed to bother themselves about the fact that it is impossible to derive Maurya from Murā, with a long ā. It can be derived only from Moor or Mūra. Mor, has only a soft `o' and does not give the sound of `u' or `oo'. It is sounded as `poll'; and not as
`pool' in English. Therefore, the theories `associating them with the tribe of the peacock-tamers are superficial' (SIHC, p.77). The appearance of the peacock on certain monuments of the Mauryas only reflect human admiration for the beauty of the bird. Even Alexander was so much charmed with their beauty that he threatened the severest penalties against anyone who should kill a peacock (Arrian, Indica, vol.15, p.218).
Other theories say that Mauryas were connected with the Nandas, Mura being taken to be the wife of a Nanda king, and, so the grand-mother or mother of the first Maurya. Similar is the claim of Mudrārākshasa and Bṛhat-kathā. These connections with the Nanda dynasty are manifestly absurd. Buddha designated these stories as `fallacious'. It is well known that Mauryas were a patronymic people who derived their name from their father and not from their mother. The Buddhist writers do not regard Maurya as a metronymic. They invariably represent it as the name of a clan (Age of the Nandas and Mauryas, ANM, by K.A.N.Sastri, p.141), the members of which ranked as kshatriyas since the days of the Buddha. Their kshatriya status is further testified by several medieval inscriptions (Epigraphia Indica, Vol.II, p.222). The Greek accounts, too, do not suggest a blood relationship between Chandragupta and the Nandas. The former is mentioned by Justin as born in humble life (Invasion, p.327). This also shows that Chandragupta was not born in the royal family of the Nandas and was not the scion of the royal line which he overthrew (ANM, p.141).
Now, coming to the Buddhist accounts, we have already noted that according to these version, Mauryas were a branch of the Śākyas who were forced to migrate from Magadha under the pressure of the emperor and had to go to live in Udyāna. The first Maurya married a Nāga daughter and seized the throne of Udyāna. His son, named Utalosina (Uttara-Sena) became king after him and when he was out hunting, Buddha came to his house and told his mother that her son belonged to Buddha's family and, therefore, he should take a part of Buddha's ashes from Kuśinagar. Uttarasena staked a claim for the ashes of Buddha on the ground that he was a kshatriya of the same clan as the Buddha himself. The kings of other countries treated him scornfully but Buddha again intervened and told the hostile kings about his wishes and so they allowed Uttarasena to get the ashes (S.Beal, Buddhist records, vol.I, p.128).
A critical analysis of the above story will make it clear that this is again a fairy tale invented afterwards, when the dynasty of Aśoka, the greatest patron of Buddhism, was sought to be connected with the clan of Buddha himself. It should be noted that it was Buddha who told the Udyāna ruler of his own clan, as if he himself was ignorant of the same. Secondly, the mythological character is again clear from the second intervention of Buddha at the time of the allocation of the ashes. How the Buddha who was dead at the time, personally came to intervene, not once but twice, is worthy of belief only [for] children. The Mauryas had no connection with the Śākyas, or even with Magadha. They were a clan of the North-West and have to be searched for in the region of Western Punjab, Gāndhāra and Kashmir. It was in these regions that Chandragupta was found in his childhood. It was here at Taxila that he got his education, it was there that he met Alexander and it was here that he under the instigation and advice of Chāṇakya, consolidated his power by driving out the Greek forces and uniting these areas under his own rule. We know for certain that Chandragupta was quite young when he met Alexander and shortly thereafter, at least within ten years of Alexander's death, he sat on the throne of Magadha. It should be noted that Magadha was conquered later, his first conquest and consolidation of power being in the North-West India or the Uttarapatha.
Buddha Prakash had dealt with the term in its various aspects and had come to the conclusion that the Mauryas originally belonged to the Bihar region. The main support for his theory is the existence of a village named Mor near Patna. But if that is the criterion, then we have a number of villages and towns in Punjab-Haryana area having the name Mor. The Mor Mandi in Panjab is a flourishing town and Mor Kheri etc. are the names of villages in Rohtak. This is why B.K.Barua and H.C.Seth (Indian Historical Quarterly, vol.8 (1932)) place the Mauryas in the North-West. K.A.Nilakanta Sastri (The age of Nandas and Mauryas, p.143) thought that Chandragupta hailed from western India and the poor status in which he was found was due to the aggressive imperialist policy of Magadha under the Nandas. No evidence has been quoted for the latter part of the statement. However, the detestation felt by Chandragupta against the Nanda king is taken note of as evidence. But such dislike for the Nandas was not peculiar to Chandragupta. Nandas seem to have alienated the majority of the Indian population. Having the examples of the Persians and Alexander's empire before him, Chandragupta must have intensely felt the sorry state of political affairs in North-west India in particular and
the rest of India in general. That is why he gathered around him daredevil fighters from the hilly area of Uttarapatha, thus laying the foundation of the unification of India for the first time in recorded history.
Grammatically, Maurya is a derivative from Mūra or Moor by adding the śyan suffix (Mahābhāṣya, 8.2.1). Therefore, the original word remains Mor/Moor and not Mayūra etc. The last word Mayūr or Mayūraka is a Sanskrit translation of the original clan-name Mor, which was unfortunately found to be the same as the Hindi word Mor meaning peacock. It is worth noting that the Greek writers mention the word as Moores or Mories. (Invasion, p. 108, 225 etc.). As is well known, the affix s, us, es, os etc. are generally added at the end of the personal names by the Greek writers. Dropping these affixes, there remains the word Moer or Morie. To clinch the issue, we have the Rock Edict No. 1 of Aśoka himself which mentions the word as Mora and not Maurya. Buddha Prakash seems to have evaded the issue by saying that "the meaning of the word Mora, occurring in R.E.I of Aśoka is not quite certain". (Op. cit., p. 73, note 3.). The meaning is absolutely clear and it is the name of the dynasty to which Aśoka belonged. Curtis described the word as the title of the king of Patala, supposed to be somewhere in Sind. He must have been led to believe so because Mor must have been used as the designation of more than one king of the royal family of Patala because it was their clan name. R. K. Mukerji (Chandragupta and his time, p. 24). Nilakanta Sastri (op. cit, p. 142, note 1) and others agree that the Greek term Moer has to be identified with the Maurya. The Buddhist texts invariably mention the name as Mor or Moriya, the latter being a derivative of the former. We must note here that many Jat clan names are similarly derived. E.g.
Gul : Guliya
Katar : Katariya
Potal : Potaliya
Sahi : Sahiya
Sibi : Sibiya/Sibia
Dahi : Dahiya
Pauna : Pauniya
According to the extended Mahāvaṁśa, (Ed. by G. P. Malakasekara, vol. V, 95-101, p. 60), which says:
[ .... Devanagari line ....]
the word was known in the entire Jambūdvīpa as Mor and Aśoka was known as Mor Rājā (SIHC, p.71). Here, it should be noted that in the extract given by Buddha Prakash, the word Mor, Mayūraka, Mayūr as well as Moriya Nagar appear togetherṛ This shows that Mor is not a Prākṛt or Pāli form of Mayūra. The author of Mahāvaṁśa knew all the words mentioned above. If Mor was an Indian word and a Prākṛt form of the Sanskrit Mayūra, `peacock', then it would not have been mentioned along with the latter. Mor is not an Indian name. It is the name of the Jat clan which still exists. We have also to note that this was the word used in this very form in Central Asia when the Mor clan of the Jats scattered in various directions. People came to India and who belonged to this clan used and pronounced the word as Mor. Their brothers who went to Europe and England, similarly used the word as Mor or More. If this was an Indian word and the Mauryans were an Indian clan, then the same clan name would not have been found in Western Europe, where its supposed original form, Mayūra, was unknown, as also the word Maurya.
We know that the Mauryas were ruling in Khotan and other Turkistan areas as well as in Kashmir. Before Bapa Rawal, the Mauryas were ruling at Chittor in Rajasthan, the name of the city being given as Jattaraur by Alberuni and as Jattaur, Jittur, Jitpur by others (Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., vol. I). This is because we know that prior to the rule of Mor Jats, the Śibia clan of the Jats was ruling at Chittor, as is proved by their numerous coins found in that area. Bapa Rawal himself was the daughter's son of the last Mor king, Raja Mān. It is worth noting that Mahrat, king of Chittor, figuring in Chachnama, was a scion of Mor/Mori clan. He was a relation of king Sahasi of the Rai Dynasty of Sindh, whom Hiuen Tsang calls in A.D. 640, as Śūdra (Raychaudhury, Political History of Ancient India, PHAI, pp. 226-27). Mor as well as Rai are Jat clans, also figuring in Iranian history. H. C . Ray (Dynastic history of Northern India, DHNI (i) pp. 5, 6 ) takes Mori as Maurya and correctly so. But he goes further and says that Maurya/Mori were Paramāra Rajputs. Here he goes wrong, because the word Rajput in the ethnic sense is not used until 10th century A.D. (Cf., P. Saran, Studies in Medieval Indian History, p. 23). The word Jat was already hoary with antiquity, at that time. The Mor clan obviously went to the Mahārāshṭra areas as well to the south. An inscription found at Varanama in former Baroda state speaks of a minister of the Moḍa family. (No, 436, Inscriptions of Northern India). In the Soutb, coins of Mān kings, a Jat clan considered as