From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Yavanas as per Rāmāyaṇa[edit]

According to the Rāmāyaṇa,[1] the yavanas were produced from the hind part of the celestial cow Nandinī to fight against the army of Viśvāmitra.

Yavana as per Mahābhārata[edit]

The word yavana or yona in the epics and the purāṇas generally stands for foreigners, especially the Greeks and the Muslims. They are described as barbarous people[2] who will rule in Kaliyuga. Originally, the word might have indicated the Ionians or ancient Greeks. The Mahābhārata in another place[3] states that the yavanas sprang from Turvasu, one of the sons of the king Yayāti.

Yavana as per Matsyapurāṇa[edit]

The Matsyapurāṇa[4] considers the country of the yavanas as a part of Bhāratavarṣa.


  1. Bālakānda 55
  2. Mahābhārata, Vanaparva, Chapter 188
  3. Ādiparva 85.34
  4. Matsyapurāṇa 114.11
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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