The Hindu epic Mahabharata, the Harivamsha and the Puranas mention Yadu as the eldest son of king Yayati and his queen Devayani. The prince of King Yayati, Yadu was a self-respecting and a very established ruler. According to the Vishnu Purana, the Bhagavata Purana and the Garuda Purana, Yadu had four sons, while according to the rest of the Puranas he had five sons. The kings between Budha and Yayati were known as Somavanshi. According to a narrative found in the Mahabharata, and the Vishnu Purana, Yadu refused to exchange his years of youth with his father Yayati. So he was cursed by Yayati that none of Yadu's progeny shall possess the dominion under his father's command. Thereby, he could not have carried on the same dynasty, called Somavamshi. Notably, the only remaining dynasty of King Puru was entitled to be known as Somavamshi. Thereby King Yadu ordered that the future generations of his would be known as Yadavas and the dynasty would be known as Yaduvanshi. The generations of Yadu had unprecedented growth and got divided into two branches.
Sahasrajit's descendants were named after his grandson, Haihaya, and were known as the Haihayas. King Kroshtu's descendants were often referred to as the Yadavas. According to P. L. Bhargava, when the original territory was partitioned between Sahasrajit and Kroshta, the former received the part lying to the western bank of the river Sindhu and the latter received the territory situated along the east bank of the river.
Several castes and communities in modern India, such as the Sainis of Punjab Province, Yadav or Ahir, Ayar, Chudasama, Jadeja, Bhatti Rajputs, Jadaun  and Jadhav or Seuna Yadava Marathas claim descent from Yadu.