From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Yavanas as per Rāmāyaṇa

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

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

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