videha विदेह

Definition: Is the name of a people who are not mentioned before the Brāhmaṇa period. In the śatapatha Brāhmaṇa the legend of Videgha Māthava preserves clearly a tradition that in Videha culture came from the Brahmins of the West, and that Kosala was brahminized before Videha. The Videhas, however, derived some fame later from the culture of their king Janaka,who figures in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad as one of the leading patrons of the Brahman doctrine. In the Kausītaki Upaniṣad the Videhas are joined with the Kāśis; in the list of peoples in the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa the Videhas are passed over, probably because, with Kosala and Kāśi, they are included in the term Prāeyas, easterners.’ Again, in the śāñkhāyana śrauta Sūtra it is recorded that the Kāśi, Kosala, and Videha kingdoms had each the one Purohita, Jala Jātūkarṇya; and in another passage of the same text the connexion between the Videha king, Para Átṇāra, and the Kosala king, Hiraṇya- nābha, is explained, while the śatapatha Brāhmaṇa speaks of Para Atṇāra as the Kosala king, descendant of Hiranyanābha. Another king of Videha was Namī Sāpya, mentioned in the Pañcavirpśa Brāhmaṇa. In the Samhitās of the Yajurveda ‘cows of Videha’ seem to be alluded to, though the com¬mentator on the Taittirīya Samhitā merely takes the adjective vaidehī as ‘having a splendid body’ (viśista-deha-sambandhinī), and the point of a place name in the expression is not very obvious. The Videhas also occur in the Baudhāyana śrauta Sūtra in Brāhmana-like passages. The boundary of Kosala and Videha was the Sadānīrā, probably the modern Gandak (the Kondochates of the Greek geographers), which, rising in Nepal, flows into the Ganges opposite Patna. Videha itself corresponds roughly to the modern Tirhut.


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