The references to the ancient Brahmanical community of the Mulakas, that occur in epigraphs and Saṁskṛt literature are of interest as indicating the gradual intrusion of the Āryans into the south and the expansion and propagation of the northern culture in Dakshņãpatha. The name occurs in a variety of forms - chief being Mūlaka, Mūtiba, Mūshaka, Mūchipa and Muṛika. The earliest reference is, I believe, in the Aitarēya Brãhmaņa where we have the story of a Viśvãmitra expelling his sons from Āryãvarta (Ait, Br., VII. 18). We are told that they settled down among the Dasyus.
“iÉLiÉåuklÉÉ: mÉÑhQûÉ: zÉoÉUÉ: mÉÑÍVÇûSÉ: qÉÔÌiÉoÉÉ CirÉÑSlirÉÉ oÉWûuÉÉå uÉæµÉÉÍqÉ§ÉÉSxrÉÔlÉÉÇ pÉÔÌrÉ¹É: ||”
The country beyond the confines of Aryavarta thus came to be called in later times
– the abode of barbarians (qsÉåcNûSåzÉ: xÉÌuÉ¥ÉårÉ:
AÉrÉÉïuÉiÉïxiÉiÉ: mÉUqÉç). The term “Mlechha” which in
early times was confined solely to the predatory tribes, came to be applied to
all peoples beyond the region between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas, so that
the Yavanas, Chinas, Hunas, the Sakas and Pahlavas are considered to be as
barbaric as the indigenous tribes – Kiratas, Sabaras, Pilundas, Poundras,
Dravidas and Keralas. Amaranarasimha enumerates Kiratas, etc., as sub-divisions
of Mlechhas (pÉåSÉ: ÌMüUÉiÉ zÉoÉUmÉÑÍVÇûSÉ:
qsÉåcNûeÉÉiÉrÉ:). The Mahabharata (I.
186. 33-7) and Manavadharma Sastra go further.
|Sir M. Visvesaraya|
ÍcÉuÉÑMüÉÇ¶É mÉÑÍVÇûSÉÇ¶É cÉÏlÉÉlÉç WÕûhÉÉlÉç xÉMåüUVûÉlÉç |
xÉxÉeÉï ÄTåülÉiÉ: xÉÉ aÉæ: qsÉåcNûÉlÉç oÉWÒûÌuÉkÉÉlÉÌmÉ ||
mÉæhQíéMüÉ ¶ÉÉæQíéSìÌuÉQûÉ: MüÉÇpÉÉåeÉÉ zÉuÉlÉÉ zMüÉ: |
mÉÉUSÉ: mÉsWûuÉÉ ¶ÉÏlÉ: ÌMüUÉiÉÉ: SUSÉ: mÉÔuÉzÉ: || etc.
Similalry the Harivamsa enumerates the peculiar modes of dressing the hair practised by these Mlechhas – like that of shaving half the head or complete, allowing moustaches and the beard to grow, etc., - these habits being evidently non-Aryan.
AkÉïÇ zMüÉlÉÉÇ ÍzÉUxÉÉå qÉÑhQûÌrÉiuÉÉ urÉxÉeÉïrÉåiÉç |
rÉuÉlÉÉlÉÉÇ ÍzÉUxxÉuÉïÇ MüÉqpÉÉåeÉÉlÉÉÇ iÉ¶ÉæuÉcÉ ||
mÉÉUSÉ pÉÑ£üMåüzÉÉ¶É mÉsWûuÉÉ xqÉ´ÉÑ kÉÉËUhÉ: |
ÌlÉ: xuÉÉkrÉÉrÉ uÉwÉOèMüÉUÉ: MÑüiÉÉxiÉålÉ qÉWûÉiqÉlÉÉ ||
zÉMüÉeÉuÉlÉ MüÉqpÉÉåeÉÉ: mÉÉUSÉ: mÉsWûuÉÉxiÉjÉÉ | etc.
(Harivamsa, XIV. 15 – 17)
It is thus clear Aryans had already occupied the trans-Vindhyan regions by the time of the composition of Aitareya Brahmana (c. 1400 B.C.). The Mutibas evidently associated themselves with Mushakas, a totemistic tribe, and Assakas. Indeed in the Jatakas and Suttanipata, Assaka and Mulaka are intimately associated. Panini speaks of Asmaka and its king also called Asmaka (c. 700 B.C.)
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