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tṛtsum. sg. and plural Name of a race View this entry on the original dictionary page scan.
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tṛtsu Occurs in the Rigveda, once in the singular and several times in the plural, as a proper name. The Trtsus were clearly helpers of Sudās in the great battle against the ten kings, Simyu, the Turvaśa, the Druhyu, Kavasa, the Pūru, the Anu, Bheda, Sambara, the two Vaikarnas, and perhaps the Yadu, who led with them as allies the Matsyas, Pakthas, Bhalānas, Alinas, Visānins, Sivas, Ajas, Sigrus, and perhaps Yaksus. The defeat of the ten kings is celebrated in one hymn of the Rigveda, and is evidently alluded to in two others. The great battle took place on the Parusnī, but there was also a fight on the Yamunā with Bheda, the Ajas, Sigrus, and Yaksus. As the Yamunā and the Parusnī represent opposite ends of the territory of the Trtsus (for we cannot with Hopkins safely identify the streams), it is difficult to see exactly how the ten kings could be confederated, but it should be noted that the references to the ten kings occur in the two later hymns, and not in the hymn describing the battle itself; besides, absolute numerical accuracy cannot be insisted upon.It is difficult exactly to determine the character of the Trtsus, especially in their relation to the Bharatas, who under Visvamitra’s guidance are represented as prospering and as advancing to the Vipāś and Sutudrī. Roth ingeniously brought this into connexion with the defeat of his enemies by Sudās, which is celebrated in the seventh book of the Rigveda—a book attributed to the Vasistha family—and thought that there was a reference in one verse to the defeat of the Bharatas by Sudās. But it seems certain that the verse is mistranslated, and that the Bharatas are really represented as victors with Sudās. Ludwig accordingly identifies the Trtsus and the Bharatas. Oldenberg, after accepting this view at first, later expressed the opinion that the Trtsus were the priests of the Bharata people, and therefore identical with the Vasisthas. This view is supported by the fact that in one passage the Trtsus are clearly described as wearing their hair in the peculiar manner affected by the Vasisthas, and would in that passage thus seem to represent the Vasisthas. But Geldner has suggested with great probability that Trtsu, who is once mentioned in the singular, means the Trtsu king—that is, Sudās. This explanation alone justifies the description of the Bharatas as Trtsūnām viśah, ‘ subjects of the Trtsus,’ meaning the Trtsu Gotra or family, for the people could not be said to be subjects of a body of priests. The Vasisthas might be called Trtsus because of their close con¬nexion with the royal house of that people. The reverse process is also quite possible, but is rendered improbable by the fact that the Pratrdah are referred to as receiving Vasistha. This name of the Trtsu dynasty is probably older than its connexion with Vasistha in the time of Sudās, a conclusion supported by the name of Pratardana, who is mentioned later as a descendant of Divodāsa, an ancestor of Sudās. The Trtsu dynasty could therefore hardly have been referred to as Vasisthas. For the further history of the dynasty and its relation with Vasistha and Viśvāmitra, see Sudās. If the Trtsus and their subjects, the Bharatas, were in the Rigvedic period at war with the tribes on either side of the territory between the Parusnī and the Yamunā, it is clear that later on they coalesced with the Pūrus and probably others of those tribes to form the Kuru people. Already in the Rigveda the Trtsus are allied with the Srñjayas, and in the śatapatha Brāhmana one Purohita serves both Kurus and Srñjayas. Hillebrandt considers that the Trtsus cannot be identified with the Bharatas, but that Sudās and the Bharatas represent an invading body, which, however, became allied with the Trtsus and the Vasistha priests. He also thinks that the Rigveda reveals a time when Divodāsa, the grandfather or ancestor of Sudās, was living in Arachosia, on the Sarasvatī, and warring against the Panis, whom he identifies with the Parnians. But this conjecture cannot be regarded as probable. In the Sarasvatī it is not necessary to see any other river than the later Sarasvatī, in the middle country, which flowed within the boundaries of the Trtsus: it is also significant that there are references to contests between Turvaśa Yadu and Atithigva or Divodāsa. Thus there is no reason to doubt that Divodāsa and the Bharatas were in the middle country, and not in Iran.

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