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Kanva (Sanskrit: कण्व káṇva), also called Karnesh, was an ancient Hindu rishi[1] of the Treta Yuga, to whom some of the hymns of the Rig Veda are ascribed.[citation needed] He was one of the Angirasas.[citation needed] He has been called a son of Ghora, but this lineage belongs to Pragatha Kanva, a subsequent Kanva of which there were many.[2][3] However, Puranic literature has other different lineages for him, one as the son of Apratiratha and grandson of King Matinara, and another as the son of Ajamidha, who was a descendant in the ninth generation of Tansu, the brother of Apratiratha (Atiratha), or Ajamidha who was a contemporary of Matinara.[3][4] This last seems to be the modern consensus.[3][5] He is sometimes included in the list of the seven sages (the Saptarishis).[1] Kanva had a son Medhatithi.[4][5]

  • Kanva (Karnesh) is also the name of a founder of a Vedic shakha of the Shukla Yajur Veda, and hence the name of that theological branch of Hinduism, the Kanva Shakha.[6][7]
  • Kanva (Karnesh) is also the name of several princes and founders of dynasties and several authors.[citation needed]
  • The Kanvas (Karnesh) are the descendants of king Vasudeva Kanva (1st century BCE).[citation needed]
  • The Kanvas are also a class of spirit, against whom hymn 2.25 of the Atharva Veda is used as a charm.[citation needed]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dowson, John (2000). "Kanva" (PDF). A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology & Religion (D. K. Printworld second ed.). New Delhi: D. K. Printworld. p. 154. ISBN 81-246-0108-9. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 May 2020.
  2. Patton, Laurie L. (1996). "Pedigree Narratives: Parents After the Fact". Myth as Argument: The Brhaddevata as Canonical Commentary. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. p. 270. ISBN 3-11-013805-0.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Pargiter, F. E. (1997). Ancient Indian Historical Tradition. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 226–228. ISBN 978-81-208-1486-8., a reprint of the 1922 London Oxford University Press edition.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Muir, John (1872). Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and History of the People of India: Mythical and legendary accounts of the origin of caste, with an enquiry into its existence in the Vedic age (second ed.). London: Trübner. pp. 234–236.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sarmah, Thaneswar (1991). The Bharadvājas in Ancient India. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 138–139. ISBN 978-81-208-0639-9.
  6. For a brief summary of the shakhas as given in Shaunaka's Caraṇa-vyūha see: Monier-Williams, A Sanskit-English Dictionary, p. 1062, right column.
  7. Dowson 2000, p. 297

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