Parnaka was Purnavarman alias Amitro-dana, Uncle of Gotama and Darius-I




Parnaka's special position may have been due to the fact that he was an uncle of king Darius-I. His assistant was Ziŝŝawiŝ who appears to be Tithaios of the Greek writers. Surprisingly, from the Aramaic ritual texts it appears that the treasurer at Persepolis from the 7th to the 19th regnal year of Xerexes was one Data-Mithra who seems to be the same as Mithradata.

       It is well known that Darius-I had conquered part of 'India' but who was the Satrap of this India? A likely candidate was the king's uncle Parnaka or Pharnaka, the treasurer and the highest state officer government . Many of the tablets signed by him show that he often resided at Arachosia which was called White India. As his name strongly resembles Purna-varman it appears likely that he was the Satrap of India. However, the Satrap of India hardly merits the title 'world-emperor' but a closer study shows that Parnaka was also the Satrap of the Pontic region. The Pontic rulers assumed the name Mithradata which may also have been an unknown name of Parnaka. There is great confusion in the literature regarding one Data-Mithra who was also a treasurer at Persepolis. Data-Mithra or Mithradata may be just another name of Parnaka or Purna-varman.

         M. Dandamayev writes that Sphendadates was a nickname of Gaumata (quoted by Ctesias) but is totally unaware of the interwoven Achaemenid family tree. The learned Al-beruni wrote that Isfendiyad, son of Gushtasp, drove away the Buddhists from Iran. Al-beruni's data shows that Isfendiyad or Sphendadata was also a name of Darius-I

       There is another link between the Achaemenids and the Buddhists - Rama. Imagining the Buddhists to be from Nepal and Rama from Ayodhya in U. P., the eminent linguist Sir Harold Bailey discounted the Buddhist claim that Rama was one of their own. A careful study, however, shows this suspicion to be misplaced. Incidentally, Darius-I also claimed to be a descendant of Arya Ram-ana, probably a descendant of Rama (Ram-Sin), who was said to be an 'Elamite'. This seems to imply that the Ikshaku dynasty was linked to the  Uksha-man (Achaemenid) dynasty. Okkaka, an early ancestor of the Buddhists was clearly a Uksha-king. In his personal seal Parnaka proclaims himself as the son of Arsames who seems to be the grandfather of Darius-I. The name Arsames echoes Shem of the Old Testament and Mahasammata of the Buddhist texts. This clearly links Gotama Buddha to the Achaemenid kings. As the Nandas were related to Gotama, the Mauryas also appears to be related to the line of Darius-I. The Arsacid claim of descent from the Achaemenians is discounted by R.N. Frye but this is an oversight.

        Apart from the common name Sphendadata, Gotama's relationship with Darius can also be guessed from the fact that Mithradata may may have been the same as Amitrodana, Gotama's uncle.