After the division of the kingdom into two parts, Pandavas got the Indraprasth to rule. But the Indraprasath was still under the suzerainty of Hastinapur. With the advice of Shri Krishna, Yudhisthir performed the Rajasuya Yagna and made Indraprasath an independent kingdom. The performance of Rajasuya Yagna means a king is to transform into an emperor and the emperor is the king of kings. To proclaim the power & prominence of Indraprastha in Bharatvarsh, they performed the Rajasuya Yagna and invited kingdoms to accept the suzerainty of Yudhisthira’s kingdom. Those who did not accept the invitation had to fight and Magadh under Jarasandh was one such state. As Kauravas were the cousins of Pandavas, they were inherent allies of the same clan, that’s why they were spared.
The performance of the Yagna in ancient Bharat means that the king has become powerful enough to defeat any kingdom and the cited kingdom has to rule under the authority of the supreme king and the kingdom would be considered a vassal state.
Western concept of Colony
Scientific theories of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton developed the idea of scientific inventions in the western world and the curiosity of exploration developed. Empowered by the mechanization of the military, western countries launched successive expeditions to third-world countries to explore trade opportunities. Initially originated with the idea of mercantilism, the local vulnerabilities made them the master of the land and turned the very land into a colony.
The concept of colonialism was mainly inclined towards the suppression, subjugation and enslavement of the local population. The western concept of a colony was built on the sole purpose of profits. They monopolized the trade market of the colony and made them the market of raw materials fueling the industrial revolution in western countries. In this scenario, the colony subjects were only a resource of their income and their home nations were the destination of the total wealth.
Hindu concept of vassal state
Unlike the western concept of a colony, the Hindu vassal state was more of political unification of the kingdom rather than a source of income. After completing his 14 years of Vanvas (exile) Ram Ji reached Ayodhya, to complete his coronation and establish his sovereign rule over Ayodhya, he had to perform the Ashvamedha Yagna.
Ashvamedha Yagna is the proclamation of the universal force by a king. Ashva, which is a horse, is a symbol of cosmic energy that runs the universal activities, while Medha is a synonym of Medha (intellect) and Sangam (unity). The performance of Ashwamedha yagna means the establishment of a sovereign Rashtra (nation). Rashtra not only comprises the territorial reach of a kingdom but it represents the cultural widespread also. By the performance of Ashwamedha Yagna, the Raja Ram of Ayodhya wants to ensure that its every subject is under the sovereign authority of his kingdom and they are protected under his establishment. In the performance of the yagna, the coverage area of the Horse is considered to be a vassal of the performing kingdom.
Inheriting the ritual from Ramayana, every successive Hindu Kingdom in history performed these rituals to establish sovereign authority over their vassals.
|Pushyamitra Shunga||185-149 BCE||Shunga|
|Sarvatata||1st century BCE||Gajayana|
|Satakarni||1st century BCE||Satavahana|
|Vasisthiputra Chamtamula||3rd century CE||Andhra Ikshvaku|
|Shivaskanda Varman||4th century CE||Pallava|
|Rajadhiraja Chola||1044-1052 CE||Chola|
|Jai Singh||1734-1741 CE||Kachahas of Jaipur|
It is a proven fact that Indian Political Thought never separates Dharma from the state. It regulates the working polity of the kingdom on the pattern of Dharma. So, when a king tries to project himself as the emperor of the kingdom, he takes an oath to serve his subjects by upholding the Dharma. The Hindu polity literature prescribes its rulers to achieve Yogkshem which is helping people to achieve Purusha Artha and the King has to do both Rakshan and Palan of his people.
Therefore, after achieving sovereign authority and politically uniting its kingdom, unlike colonial powers, a Hindu king used to do welfare work for its people. Every Hindu king like Rama, Yudhishthira, Chandragupta, Ashoka, Vikramaditya Chandragupta, Pulakeshin, Narsimhvarama, Rajadhiraja Chola, or even Jai Singh dutifully performed the highest form of Dharma in protecting its subjects.
The area won was never subjugated or suppressed, the winning area was treated equally as their own subjects. Further, the local government was reinstated and they were given full freedom to function as a vassal state. Except for political freedom, they were given every freedom of economy and polity. This system of government was also known as the political decentralization of powers, in which states used to work as vassal states of the sovereign kingdom upholding the Hindu Dharma. In modern times, Bhutan, the only state which is protected by India, continues to enjoy its freedom in foreign relations and at the same time, India ensures its sovereignty in state affairs.
In contrast to this, the western concept of the colony was foundationally inscribed in the idea of mercantilism. The core value of colonialism was profit and profit at any cost. They used man as the prime source of their production and humans were never given humane treatment. Rather, they were oppressed and treated like a slave.
On the other hand, the concept of the vassal state was completely Hindu and working on the welfare of Hindu philosophy, the humane nature of governance was achieved. That is why not a single incident in history exists where anyone claims that the common people have ever been subject to kingdom oppression. Similarly, in modern times, when Bharat has become a nation-state, it continues to support its protectorate state on the basis of Hindu philosophy.
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