Jats are the earliest kshatriyas and find mention in the Indian epics like Ramayana, Rigveda (1700-1100 BCE),Mahabharata (3102 BC), Deva Samhita. The mention of Jat word by the famous Sanskrit scholar Panini of 900 BCE in his Sanskrit grammar in the form of shloka as "Jat Jhat Sanghate". Which means the terms 'Jat' and 'democratic federation' are synonymous. It proves that the Jats are the most ancient people.
Jats in Mahabharata
Jat historian Thakur Deshraj writes that the word Jat is derived from sanskrit word. This later on changed to Jat in prakrart language.
Thus appearance of Jat name as such in Mahabharata and other Jat clans along with Brahma shows that name of Jat is as antique as Brahma. Not only Jat word existed at that time but also the other Jat clans from which various Jat clans further originated. They are mentioned in Mahabharata Sabha Parva.
Vana Parva, Mahabharata mentions Bhimasena's journey to Gandhamadana at the request of Draupadi (in search of the sweet-scented flower). Bhima's meeting on his way, in a grove of bananas, with Hanuman, the son of Pavana of great prowess; Bhima's bath in the tank and the destruction of the flowers therein for obtaining the sweet-scented flower (he was in search of); his consequent battle with the mighty Rakshasas and the Yakshas of great prowess including Hanuman; the destruction of the Asura Jata by Bhima;
Shiva Stotra is another most ancient epic, which mentions one thousand names of Lord Shiva, also mentioned in 'Shalya Parva' of Mahabharata, in which one of the names of god is 'Jat'.
Jats in Ramayana
Jat People find mention in Ramayana period. In Sarg 42 of Kishkindha Kanda in Ramayana - Directions to Westward Party in search of Sita are given as under:
Then Sugriva went to his father-in-law and Tara's father Sushena. He greeted him and said to the great sageMaareech's son Archismaan who is like Indra and Garud in valor and the other son of Sage Maareech Archishmaalyaa - "You take 200,000 (2 lakh) Vanar under the leadership of Sushena and go to search Vaidehee in west, Sauraashtra and Chandrachitraa (present day Mathura) Desh. Search for Her in Kukshi Desh where beetle nut, Bakul and Uddaalk trees grow. There you will search Her in dry lands, waters, forests, mountains etc.
Further, you will find a sea (Arabian Sea) in which many sharks and crocodiles live in. Near that sea, you will find a forest where Ketakee, Tamaal, Kaarikel (coconut) trees grow. After that you will find Murachee and Jatapura cities.Next you go to Avanti (this Avantee is another Avantee), Anglepaa and Alakshitaa.
After this you will arrive at the mouth of River Indus (Sindhu). Near it is Hem Giri Parvat (Som Giri Parvat) which has numerous summits and on which there are many huge tall trees. Here live flying lions who take Timi named Matsya(fish or sharks) and elephant seals on the trees. You will search this mountain thoroughly.
Here we find mention of Jatapur city means 'the city of Jats' near Avanti and after it is situated Sindhu River.
Jats in Rigveda
Jats find a mention in most ancient Indian literature. Over sixty clans are named in the Rig Veda. In the Mahabharata as they are mentioned 'Jartas' in 'Karna Parva'. The famous Sanskrit scholar Panini of 900 BCE has mentioned in his Sanskrit grammar in the form of shloka as "Jat Jhat Sanghate". This means that the terms 'Jat' and 'democratic federation' are synonymous. He has mentioned many Jat clans as settled in Punjab and North west areas.
Jats in Grammar of Chandra
Jats are mentioned in the grammar treatise of Chandra of the fifth century in the phrase sentence "Ajay Jarto Hu??n", which refers to the defeat of Huns by the Jats under the leadership of Yasodharman. The inscription ofMandsaur also indicates that Yasodharman, the ruler of Malwa, was a Jat of the Virk gotra ( clan).
Jats in the Deva Samhita
There is mention of Jats in "Deva Samhita" in the form of powerful rulers over vast plains of Central Asia. For example in the 'Deva Samhita' of Gorakh Sinha from the early medieval period, when Parvati asks Shiva about characters of Jats, Shiva tells her like this in sanskrit shloka-15
Meaning Of sanskrit shloka-17 :-
Meaning Of sanskrit shloka-15 :-
'They are, like gods, firm of determination and of all the Warriors, the Jats are the prime rulers of the earth.'
Shiva explains Parvati about the origin of Jats in Shloka -16 of Deva samhita:
Meaning Of sanskrit shloka-16 :-
'In the beginning of the universe with the personification of the illusionary powers of Virabhadra and Daksha's daughtergana's womb originated the caste of Jats'.
In the shloka-17 of 'Deva Samhita' when Parvati asks about the origin of Jats, Shiva tells Parvati that:
'The history of origin of Jats is extremely wonderful and their antiquity glorious. The Pundits of history did not record their annals lest it should injure and impair their false pride and of the vipras and gods. We describe that realistic history before you'.
Etymology of the word "Jat"
The most acceptable theory about the origin of the word, 'Jat' is that it has originated from the Sanskrit language word "Gyat" . The Mahabharata mentions in chapter 25, shloka 26 that Lord Krishna founded a federation 'Gana-sangha' of theAndhak and Vrishni clans. This federation was known as 'Gyati-sangh'. Over a period of time 'Gyati' became 'Gyat' and it changed to Jat.
The other prominent theory of the word's origins is that Jat came from the word Gaut tribal name of some Indo-Aryan tribes of Central Asia (such as those which later became Gauts/Goths and settled in Europe), which was written in 'Jattan Da Ithihas'. It has also been mentioned by Bhim Singh Dahiya.
According to the historian 'Ram Lal Hala' the word Jat is drived from word 'Yat'. There was a king named 'Yat' in Chandra Vanshi clan who was ancestor of Lord Krishna. The Jats are descendants of King Yat. 'Yat' later changed to 'Jat'.
Need to search epics
Since the word Jat existed from the beginning of the universe it must find place in various Indian epics. The main Indian epics worth mentioning are as follows:
Vedas (Rigveda, Yjurveda, Samaveda, Athavaveda), Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishadas, Vedanga (Shiksha, Chandas, Vyakarnas, Nirukta, Jyotisha, Kalpa), Mahabharata, Ramayana, Purana, Smriti, Bhagvadgita, Panchatantra, Kumar Vyasa Bharata, Stotra, Ramacharitamanas.
I searched some of the Indian and Hindu epics and produced as above some examples about the antiquity existence of word Jat and the history of Jats. It will be of great help to find more literature and linkages with the Jat history.
In addition to the Hindu literature and epics the Buddhist and Jain books also have a great treasure about Jat history, not explored so far. Thus there is a need to research these sacred epics if we have to reconstruct the true Jat history.