Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Ramaprasad Chanda
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/29/21

That the author of RC did not entertain a favourable opinion about Mahipala II is quite clear from the way in which he describes these two incidents, and specially from the words and phrases used in connection with them to describe the king’s character. It is, however, noteworthy, that while the episode of the great rebellion and the part played by the king therein are alluded to merely by way of a casual reference, in short detached phrases, unintelligible without the help of the commentary, the imprisonment of Ramapala is described at length in six verses (I. 32-7). This is an important indication that the author’s judgment of Mahipala was influenced mainly by the latter event. In other words, he considered Mahipala far more blameworthy for his conduct towards Ramapala than for the folly which led to the loss of Varendra. If we remember the open and professed partisanship of Sandhyakaranandi for his hero Ramapala, we should be cautious in accepting, at its face value, both his judgment of the king and his version of the cause and nature of the imprisonment of Ramapala. As regards the other incident which cost Mahipala his life and throne, if the commentator's view is to be accepted, the gravamen of the charge brought by the author against Mahipala consists of his lack of wisdom and good policy (aniti, durnnaya) and an inordinate passion for war (yuddha-vyasana) which led him to undertake a rash military enterprise in spite of the advice of his ministers to the contrary. Apart from these two specific incidents the RC contains only one general reference to the character of Mahipala, in which he is described as ‘rajapravara’ which the commentator explains as nrpatisrestha or excellent king (I. 29). This passing reference, unconnected with any special incident, seems to indicate that Sandhyakaranandi did not fail to appreciate the general merits of Mahipala as a king, although he disapproved of his conduct towards his brothers.

But whatever view we might take of the attitude of the author towards Mahipala, there is absolutely no justification for the following statement made by MM. Sastri:

“Mahipala by his impolitic acts incurred the displeasure of his subjects ..... The Kaivartas were smarting under oppression of the king. Bhima, the son of Rudoka, taking advantage of the popular discontent, led his Kaivarta subjects to rebellion.” (p. 13)

There is not a word in RC to show that Mahipala incurred the displeasure of his subjects by his impolitic acts or that there was a general popular discontent against him. It is an amazing invention to say that “the Kaivartas were smarting under oppression of the king," for the RC does not contain a single word which can even remotely lead to such a belief. It is a travesty of facts to hold that Bhima led his Kaivarta subjects (?) to rebellion. The rebellion was led by a number of feudal vassals and there is no evidence to show that they belonged solely, or even primarily, to the Kaivarta caste. There is again nothing to show that Bhima had anything to do with the rebellion, far less that he led it. Such an assumption seems to be absurd in view of the fact that he was the third king in succession after Divya who occupied the throne of Varendra after the rebellion. There is again nothing in RC to show that during the reign of Mahipala the Kaivartas formed a distinct political entity under Divya or Bhima, so that they might be regarded as the subjects of the latter.

This tissue of misstatements, unsupported by anything in the text of RC, is responsible for a general belief that Mahipala was an oppressive king, and has even led sober historians to misjudge his character and misconstrue the events of his reign. A popular myth has been sedulously built up to the effect that there was a general rising of people which cost Mahipala his life and throne, that it was merely a popular reaction against the oppression and wickedness of the king, and that, far from being rebellious in character, it was an assertion of the people’s right to dethrone a bad and unpopular king and elect a popular chief in his place. In other words, in fighting and killing Mahipala the people of Varendra were inspired by the noblest motive of saving the country from his tyranny and anarchy. Some even proceeded so far as to say that this act was followed by a general election of Divya as the king of Varendra, and a great historian has compared the whole episode with that which led to the election of Gopala, the founder of the Pala dynasty, to the throne of Bengal.1 [ A movement has been set on foot by a section of the Kaivarta or Mahisya community in Bengal to perpetuate the memory of Divya, on the basis of the view-points noted above. They refuse to regard him as a rebel and hold him up as a great hero called to the throne by the people of Varendra to save it from the oppressions of Mahipala. An annual ceremony — Divya-smriti-utsava -- is organized by them and the speeches, made on these occasions by eminent historians like Sir Jadunath Sarkar, Rai Bahadur Rama Prasad Chanda, and Dr. Upendranath Ghoshal [1886-1969; President of The Asiatic Society of Bengal 1963-1964; Author of: Studies in Indian history and culture (1957); A History of Hindu Political Theories: From the Earliest Times to the End of the First Quarter of the Seventeenth Century A.D. (1927); A History of Indian Public Life (1966); Ancient Indian culture in Afghanistan (1928); Contributions to the history of the Hindu revenue system (1929); The agrarian syste in ancient India (1930)] who presided over the function seek to support the popular views. On the other hand attempts have been made to show that these popular views are not supported by the statements in Ramacarita (cf. Bharatavarsa, 1342, pp. 18 ff.).]


This is not the proper place or occasion to criticise these views at length, or to refer to many other important conclusions which have been drawn from MM. Sastri’s sketch of the life and character of Mahipala. But in view of the deep-rooted prejudices and errors which are still current in spite of the exposition of the unwarranted character of MM. Sastri’s interpretation, it is necessary to draw attention to what is really stated in RC about the great rebellion and the part played by Divya. The author of RC did not regard the rising in any other light than a dire calamity which enveloped the kingdom in darkness (I. 22). He describes it as anika dharma-viplava or the unholy or unfortunate civil revolution (1. 24), bhavasya apadam or the calamity of the world, and damaram which the commentator explains as upaplava or disturbance (I. 27). Further, the latter describes it as merely a rebellion of feudal vassals (ananta-samanta-cakra), and not a word is said about its popular character. There is even no indication that the rebels belonged to Varendra or that the encounter between Mahipala and the rebels took place within that province. Such revolts were not uncommon in different parts of the Pala kingdom in those days. Similar revolts placed in power the Kamboja chiefs in Varendra and Radha, and the family of Sudraka in Gaya district.1 [For a detailed discussion of this point and a view of Divya’s rebellion in its true perspective cf. Dr. R C. Majumdar’s article ‘The Revolt of Divvoka against Mahipala II and other revolts in Bengal’ in Dacca University Studies Vol. I, No. 2, pp. 125 ff.]

There is not a word in RC to the effect that Divya2 [The name is written variously in RC as Divya (1. 38), Divvoka (1. 38-39 commentary), and Divoka (I. 31 commentary).] was the leader of a popular rebellion, far less that he was elected as king by the people. As a matter of fact his name is not associated in any way even with the fight between Mahipala and his rebellious chiefs (milit-ananta-samanta-cakra) referred to in Verse I. 31. The RC only tells us that “Ramapala’s beautiful fatherland (Varendri) was occupied by his enemy named Divya, an (officer) sharing royal fortune, who rose to a high position, (but) who took to fraudulent practice as a vow” (I. 38). The account given in RC is not incompatible with the view that Mahipala met with a disastrous defeat in an encounter with some rebellious vassals in or outside Varendra, and Divya took advantage of it to seize the throne for himself. That the author of RC did not entertain any favourable view of the character and policy of Divya is clear from the two adjectives applied to him, viz., dasyu and upadhivrati. The commentator says ‘dasyuna satruna tadbhavapannatvat.’ It is obvious that the commentator means that the term dasyu refers to the enemy (Divya) as he had assumed the character of a dasyu (enemy). As to the other expression upadhivrati, the commentator first explains vrata as ‘something which is undertaken as an imperative duty,’ and then adds ‘chadmani vrati.’ In other words, Divya performed an act on the plea that it was an imperative duty, but this was a merely false pretension. In any case the two words in the text ‘dasyu’ and ‘upadhi’ cannot be taken by any stretch of imagination to imply any good or noble trait in his character.

-- The Ramacaritam of Sandhyakaranandin, by Dr. R. C. Majumdar, M.A., Ph.D., Dr. Radhagovinda Basak, M.A., Ph.D., and Pandit Nanigopal Banerji, Kavyatirtha


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Ramaprasad Chanda
Born: 15 August 1873
Died: 28 May 1942 (aged 68)
Nationality: Indian
Occupation: Historian and archaeologist

Ramaprasad Chanda (15 August 1873 – 28 May 1942) was an Indian anthropologist, historian and archaeologist from Bengal. A pioneer in his field in South Asia, Chanda's lasting legacy is the Varendra Research Museum, he established in Rajshahi (located in present-day Bangladesh), a leading institute for research on the history of Bengal. He was the first head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Calcutta from 1920- 1921. He was also a professional archaeologist and worked in the Archaeological Survey of India. Chanda was one of the founders the Indian Anthropological Institute and was its president during 1938–1942. He represented India in the first International Congress of Anthropology held in London in 1934. He had done original research on the somatic characters of Indian populations [anthropology of the body / anthropometry] by using ancient Indian literature and challenged H.H. Risley's (the first Census Commissioner of India) theory on Indian races.[1]

Anthropometry refers to the measurement of the human individual. An early tool of physical anthropology, it has been used for identification, for the purposes of understanding human physical variation, in paleoanthropology and in various attempts to correlate physical with racial and psychological traits. Anthropometry involves the systematic measurement of the physical properties of the human body, primarily dimensional descriptors of body size and shape.

The history of anthropometry includes and spans various concepts, both scientific and pseudoscientific, such as craniometry, paleoanthropology, biological anthropology, phrenology, physiognomy, forensics, criminology, phylogeography, human origins, and cranio-facial description, as well as correlations between various anthropometrics and personal identity, mental typology, personality, cranial vault and brain size, and other factors.

At various times in history, applications of anthropometry have ranged vastly—from accurate scientific description and epidemiological analysis to rationales for eugenics and overtly racist social movements.

-- Anthropometry, by Wikipeda


Publications

• Gaudarajmala, Rajshahi: Varendra Research Society (1912)
Indo Aryan Races, Rajshahi: Varendra Research Society (1916)

The Indo-Aryan Races. A Study of the Origin of Indo-Aryan People and Institutions. By Ramaprasad Chanda. Part i. Pp. xiii + 274. (Rajshahi: The Varendra Research Society, 1916.) Price Rs.6 8a.
Review, by Nature
November 23, 1916
© 1916 Nature Publishing Group

This book, we are told in the preface, was intended to provide "a monograph on the origin of the Bengali people," a useful project which had been supported by the newly founded Varendra Research Society. But his "notes," as the author modestly terms them, have developed into a series of essays on the religion, history, and ethnology of Ancient India. All that is provided as part of the original project is a short series of head measurements, published without commentary, which is intended to settle the question whether certain groups of Bengali Brahmans are, or are not, descendants of a few Brahmans imported from Kanauj. So far as we can judge from these scanty statistics the legend is without foundation; but the subject demands much more careful treatment before it can be finally settled.

The essays, modestly written and creditable to the scholarship of the author, traverse well-trodden ground. The great "Vedic Index" of Profs. Macdonell and Keith has already collected practically all the information that the Vedic literature supplies on Earlky India. But the byways of Sanskrit writings can still furnish some facts, and much still remains to be done, for the interpretation of these materials.

The author might with advantage return in his next venture to the original problem of the origin of the Bengalis. He would probably discard Risley's theory of Mongoloid infusion in favour of some early entry of an Alpine strain. If he can establish this doctrine he would do useful service to Indian ethnology.


• Letters and Documents Relating to the Life of Raja Rammohan Roy

References

1. https://www.academia.edu/42225080/Obitu ... 2_pp.i-iii
• Chowdhury, Saifuddin (2012). "Chanda, Ramaprasad". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.

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Obituary of Ramaprasad Chanda
Journal of the Indian Anthropological Institute
Vol. I, nos.1 & 2, pp.i-iii
1938

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Rai Bahadur Ramaprasad Chanda, President, Indian Anthropological Institute, 1938-42

Born: 15th August, 1873
Died: 28th May, 1942

Late Rai Bahadur Ramaprasad Chanda, President, Indian Anthropological Institute, 1938-1942

We announce with deep regret the death of our President Rai Bahadur Ramaprasad Chanda, from Angina Pectoris, at Allahabad, on the 28th May, 1942, at the age of 69 years. He was one of the founders of the Indian Anthropological Institute and was elected its President in 1938.

For the last four or five years he had been suffering from high blood pressure and heart trouble, but inspite of all these, which at times were almost unbearable, he never lost interest in work and prepared several papers for publication. In him, India has lost a scholar of rare attainments who had devoted his life to the study of Ancient Indian History, Archaeology, Fine Arts and Anthropology.

Ramaprasad Chanda was born at Sridharpur, Dacca, on the 15th August, 1873. He graduated from the Duff College, Calcutta, after finishing his earlky education at Dacca. Through the many hardships and struggles he had to pass, he never lost heart and his confidence in his own ability never left him.

Some years after his graduation -- a period also devoted to research work -- he joined the Hindu School, Calcutta, as an Assistant Teacher and he was later on transferred to Rajshahi Collegiate School. The publication of Sir Herbert Risley's Report on the Census of India for 1901, created his interest in Anthropology and he devoted a great deal of time in investigating from the ancient literature of India the light it threw on the somatic constitution of the Indian people. These interesting researches have been embodied in his well-known work, "Indo-Aryan Races," where he refuted many of the wrong contentions of Risley.

In 1911, the late Rai Bahadur, Kumar Sarat Kumar Roy of Dighapatia and the well-known historian Aleshoy Kumar Maitra founded the Varendra Research Society at Rajsbahi for carrying on researches in the field of Ancient Indian History and Archaeology. They also established one of the finest Museums in Indian run entirelky by private enterprise. While at Rajshahi, he wrote the "Gaura Rajmala," the first scientifically writtenHistory of Bengal published by the aforesaid Society.

In 1917, he was attached to the Archaeological Survey of India and carried on explorations and excavations at various places of Northern and Southern India, and more particularlky at Taxilla, Sarnath and several places in Bengal.

In 1919, he joined the Department of Post-Graduate Studies of the Calcutta University as a Lecturer in Ancient Indian History. Soon after this, the late Sir Asutosh Mookerjee started the Department of Anthropology and placed him at its head where he remained till 1921. He reverted to the Archaeological Survey as Superintendent of the Archaeological Section of the Indian Museum, Calcutta, in the same year. He was closely associated with the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, of which he was a Fellow and Anthropological Secretary for many years. He retired from service in 1932 and presided over the Anthropological Section of the Indian Science Congress held at Bombay in 1934.

During this period he re-organised the sculptures of the Indian Museum, Sarnath and Muttra Museums and laid the foundation of the Archaeological Department of the Mayurbhanj State and conducted excavations on its behalf. He also established the Khiching Museum and wrote monographs on various subjects. He was a prolific writer and besides many well written and informative monographs and books he contributed innumerable articles to "Modern Review," "Prabasi" and many other journals.

In 1934, he went to London to attend the First International Anthropological Congress as a Delegate from India. While at London he delivered an illuminating lecture, before a distinguished gathering under the auspices of the India Society, on Dhyan Yoga in which he made clear the characteristics and styles of North and South Indian Sculptures. At the request of the authorities he re-arranged the antiquities of the Indian Section of the British Museum and later on wrote a monograph entitled "Medieval Indian Sculptures in the collection of the British Museum," which was highly spoken of by European scholars.

After his return from Europe and despite his physical ailments, which at times became acute and tiring, he collected and investigated the original documents bearing on the life of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in collaboration with Mr. J.N. Mazumdar. His researches resulted in a voluminous work on the life of the Raja, in which new light was thrown on his early life and activities.

It was his ambition to bring out up-to-date editions of "Gaura Rajmala" and "Indo-Aryan Races." He made considerable progress but unfortunately his sudden death left the works unfinished. Near about this time his untiring energy and zeal led him to form an Association for Historical Research in Bengal. The immediate programme of this Association was to bring out the History of Bengal in three volumes, comprising the (1) Hindu, (2) Muhammadan and (3) British periods in the Bengali language. This work, unfortunately, had to be postponed due to the unusual situation resulting from the present war but the late Rai Bahadur published some of the preliminary results of his researches in the form of short well-documented articles in Bengali in various journals and magazines which dealt with the History of Raja Kans Narayan of Gaur and the Twelve Barons of Bengal.

For a period of about 16 years had had been collecting materials and documents throwing light on the History of the Mayurbhanj and other Orissa States from the beginning of the British conquest. Of these the official letters and records relating to the History of the Mayurbhanj State had been edited by him during the last four years of his life and he saw them through the Press.

As a man he was a charming conversationist, a forgiving friend but very outspoken on matters which he considered to be right and just and maintained them with a great deal of warmth and vigour. His regard for veracity made him very critical even of his own works, and he was untiring in his demands for truth and perfection, both in his literary criticisms and in his scientific researches. The example that he set as an honest and indefatigable worker in Indian History and Culture should inspire all future students in this field.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:58 am

Varendra Research Museum
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/29/21

Image
Varendra Research Museum
Timetable of Varendra Research Museum
Varendra Research Museum is located in BangladeshVarendra Research Museum
Established 13 November 1913
Location Rajshahi, Bangladesh
Coordinates 24.367106°N 88.592382°ECoordinates: 24.367106°N 88.592382°E
Founder Lord Carmichael
Owner University of Rajshahi
Website ru.ac.bd

Varendra Museum (Bengali: বরেন্দ্র জাদুঘর) is a museum, research centre, and popular visitor attraction at the heart of Rajshahi and maintained by Rajshahi University in Bangladesh. It is considered the oldest museum in Bangladesh. It was the first museum to be established in East Bengal in 1910. The museum started out as the collection for Varendra Anushandan Samiti (or Varendra Investigation Society) and got its current name in 1919. The Rajahs of Rajshahi and Natore, notably prince Sharat Kumar Ray, donated their personal collections to Varendra Museum. Varendra refers to an ancient Janapada roughly corresponding to modern northern Bangladesh.

History

Varendra (or Barind) was a region of Bengal, now in Bangladesh. It included the Pundravardhana or Pundra Kingdom region. According to Cunningham the boundary of Varendra was the Ganges and the Mahananda on the west, the Karatoya on the east, the Padma on the south, and the land between Koochbihar and the Terai on the north. The Varendra Brahmins originated from this region.

Ancient Bengal did not have any Brahmins in its community. It is popularly believed that Brahmins were brought in to preach Hindutva, though really not the Vedic Hinduism as it is commonly believed, but more of the Pouranik Hinduism type, which evolved after Buddhism flourished. This Pouranik Hinduism is what we know as Brahmanism. Varendra (Barendra) Bhumi, i.e., modern-day North Bengal, had its Brahminism awakening soon after the south got its share. Shyamal Varman, a Kshatriya King brought five Brahmanas from Kanouj — Sanaka, Bhardwaja, Savarna, Sandilya, and Vasistha. The Bhatariya, Maitreya, Satar, Baghshree and Laheria villages soon gave birth to the Brahmin clans of Bhaduri, Moitra, Sanyal, Bagchi and Lahiri. These came to be known as the Varendra (Barendra) Brahmins.

The settlement of Varendra, spoken as Janakabhu (fatherland), was one of the most flourishing territories of the ancient Indian sub-continent. Literary and epigraphic evidence show that a separate school of artisans earned wide reputation here at the reign of Pala dynasty and the streams of art making were uninterrupted until the Sena dynasty.

Some of the leading and enlightened citizens of Rajshahi felt the necessity and justification of establishing such an institution that would explore the precious past of this region. Henceforth, 'The Varendra Research Society' was established in 1910. The founder of the society, Kumar Sarat Kumar Ray, the scion of the Dighapatiya Royal family accompanied by Aksaya Kumar Maitreya, a leading lawyer and renowned historian; Ramaprasad Chanda, a reputed scholar in history, art and archaeology; and others explored archaeological and historical artefacts excavated in villages of Rajshahi.

The conviction grew in Kumar's mind if a centre of archaeological research was to be established at Rajshahi, the finds should be preserved there as the nucleus of a local museum. Accordingly, to collect, preserve, study and research the history and culture of ancient and medieval Bangal in general, and of Varendra region in particular, three worthy sons of the soil mentioned above took the effort to establish a museum.

The Varendra Research Society and Museum was set up at Rajshahi in 1910. It is the premier institution of its kind and the splendid accomplishment of its organisation in Bangladesh. The role of the society concerning the museum was that of proprietor and caretaker. However, this was formally inaugurated on 27 September 1910 and was registered in 1914 in accordance with the Indian Society Act, 1860.

Varendra Museum was the first museum to be established in erstwhile East Bengal in 1910. It started as the collection for Varendra Anushandhan Samiti or Varendra Investigation Society and got its current name in 1919. The Rajahs of Rajshahi and Natore (notably Prince Sharat Kumar Ray) donated their personal collections to Varendra Museum. Varendra refers to an ancient Janapada roughly corresponding to modern northern Bangladesh.

Excavation at Sompur Bihara was started by the society along with the University of Calcutta in 1923. In 1964, the museum became a part of Rajshahi University.

Collection

• Gallery One has collections from the Indus Valley Civilization, and some of its 265 items from Sompur. It also contains old Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian scripts.
• Gallery Two has Buddhist and Hindu stone sculptures and modern wood sculptures.
• Galleries Three and Four display stone sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses.
• Gallery Five offers mostly Buddhist sculpture.
• Gallery Six shows Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit and old Bengali stone inscriptions and sculptured stones of the Muslim period.
• A gallery has been added displaying the indigenous and tribal culture of Rajshahi region.

Site surroundings

In the existing site, three main structures were found. The front part is the Varendra Research Museum and the structural system is load-bearing brick wall. The linear rectangular building has two major functions: Administration and the Library. There is a Residential Block for officers and staff with a limited number of curators and the director. These structures have been constructed with brick. There is a garden in front of the director's residence with large old trees scattered among the entire site.

Services: Gas, Water, Electricity is available with Internet, Postal, Cable and Phone Services.

Surrounding built form: North: Hatem Kha boro mosque. South: Chest disease hospital Jadhughor mor, Choto kutir, Boro kutir and Padma river East: Rajshahi Govt. Hospital, Shaheb bazar road and Rajshahi Railway Station West: Residential zone, shops.

Museum Extension

Varenda Research Museum was built in 1910 with the support of Maharaja of Dighapatia. The museum has historical significance and is also a heritage site of Bangladesh. The century-old museum demands restoration and the existing gallery space is not adequate to preserve and display all the artefacts. Also the Archaeological sites were found recently and the artefacts are increasing day by day. The restoration program of existing museum has already begun. With the rise in number of artefacts in its inventory throughout the recent years and its added functional demand, the extension of this project has become inevitable to protect the old museum and to preserve the artefacts that has helped us learn more about our very own past.

Gallery

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haturia Inscription of Rajapala at the Museum

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Dhopkol at the Museum

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Corridor of the Museum

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Front view

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Vishnu at the Museum

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Inner side of the Museum

External links

• Chowdhury, Saifuddin (2012). "Varendra Research Museum". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
• History of the Varendra Research Museum
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Chapter 1: The Aryas and the Anaryas of Vedic India, Excerpt from The Indo-Aryan Races: A Study of The Origin of Indo-Aryan People and Institutions.
by Ramaprasad Chanda, B.A., Honorary Secretary, Varendra Research Society, Rajshahi
1916

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.




CHAPTER I. The Aryas and the Anaryas of Vedic India.

The dawn of history is heralded in India by the hymns sung by the Rsis and enshrined in the Rgveda Samhita. These hymns reveal two hostile peoples in the Land of the Seven Rivers now called the Punjab — the deva-worshipping Arya and the deva-less and rite-less Dasyu or Dasa. The first problem that demands the attention of students of the anthropological history of India is, — who were these Dasyus or non-Aryas of Vedic India?

It is commonly assumed that in the four-fold division of castes (varna=colour) the aborigines, who submitted to, or were subdued by, the Aryan invaders, were represented by the Sudras. "It is reasonable to reckon the Sudra of the later texts as belonging to the aborigines who had been reduced to subjection by the Aryans."* [Macdonell and Keith's Vedic Index of Names and Subjects, London, 1912, Vol. II, p. 388.] But this view does not accord well with the data in hand.

[PAGES 2 and 3 MISSING]  

fourth order of the Vedic society, but to the fifth order, the Nisadas. In the Rgveda the term pancajanah and its synonyms occur very often. According to Yaska (III. 8) the term means, "Gandharvas, manes, gods, demons, and monsters according to some, and the four varnas with the NIsada as the fifth according to the Upamanyus." But in two other places (X. 3. 5, 7) Yaska himself explains panca-krsti of the Rgveda as "panca manusyajatani", 'five classes of men', which is explained by the scholiast as the four varnas with the Nisadas as the fifth. The author of the Brhad-devata attributes this interpretation to Sakatayana also (VII. 69). Nisadas are first named as such in the Rudradhyaya of the Yajurveda together with the Vratas (nomads), Taksans (carpenters), Rathakaras (chariot-makers), Kulalas (potters), Karmaras (blacksmiths), Punjisthas (fowlers), Svanins (dog-keepers), and Mrgayus (hunters). The Mahabharata (XII. 59. 94-97) contains the following account of the origin of the Nisadas: —

"Vena, a slave of wrath and malice, became unrighteous in his conduct towards all creatures. The Rsis, those utterers of Brahma, slew him with kusa blades (as their weapon) inspired with mantras. Uttering mantras the while, those Rsis pierced the right thigh of Vena. Thereupon, from that thigh, came out a short-limbed person on earth, resembling a charred brand, with blood-red eyes and black hair. Those utterers of Brahma then said unto him,— Nisada, sit here. From him have sprung the Nisadas, viz. those wicked tribes that have the hills and the forests for their abode, as also those hundreds and thousands of others, called Mlecchas, residing on the Vindhya mountains."* [P. C. Ray's translation.]

The same story is repeated in many of the Puranas. In the Visnu Purana (I. 13) the Nisada is described as "of the complexion of a charred stake, with flattened feature and dwarfish stature." The Bhagavata Purana (IV. 14. 44) describes the Nisada as "black like crow, very low statured, short armed, having high cheek bones, low-topped nose, red eyes and copper-coloured hair."* [[Sanscrit]] In the Padma Purana (II. 27. 42—43) it is said, "His (Nisada's) descendants are settled in the hills and forests; the Nisadas, Kiratas, Bhillas, Nahalakas, Bhramaras, Pulindas, and other Mleccha tribes addicted to vices are all sprung from his body." These epic and Puranic legends evidently contain genuine traditions relating to the physical characters of the aborigines whom the Vedic Aryas met in the plains of Northern India. The Nisadas were too numerous to be annihilated and too powerful to be enslaved or expelled en masse. The Aryas were, therefore, compelled to meet them half way. In the Pancavimsa Brahmana (XVI. 6. 7) the performer of the Visvajit sacrifice is required "to live for three days among the Nisadas." In the Srauta Sutra of Katyayana (I. 12) and in the Mimamsa Sutra (VI. 1. 51-52) of Jaimini, Vedic texts are referred to that provided that Brahman priests should make chiefs who were Nisadas by descent offer certain sacrifices.

In the medieval Sanskrit literature, the barbarians of the Vindhya hills, belonging to the Nisada stock according to the Puranas, are called Sabaras, Pulindas, and Kiratas. Bana, who nourished in the first half of the seventh century A.D., thus describes a Savara youth in his Harsacarita: — "The young mountaineer (savara-yuva) had his hair tied into a crest above his forehead with a band of Syamalata creeper dark like lamp black, and his dark forehead was like a night that always accompanied him in his wild exploits . . . . . .; his ear had an ear-ring of grass-like crystal fastened in it, and assumed a green hue from a parrot's wing which ornamented it, his nose was flat, his lower lip thick, his chin low, his jaws full, his forehead and cheekbones projecting."* [Cowell and Thomas, Harsacarita (Eng translation), p. 230.] This agrees fully with the Puranic description of the Nisadas.

Nisada characteristics are still conspicuous in the Bhils and Gonds of the Vindhya regions. "The typical Bhil is small, dark, broad-nosed, and ugly, but well-built and active."* [Rajputana Gazetteer (Calcutta, 1908), p. 87.] "The Gonds are of small stature and dark in colour. Their bodies are well proportioned, but their features are ugly, with a round head, distended nostrils, a wide mouth and thick lips, straight and black hair, and scanty beard and moustache."* [Central Provinces Gazetteer (Calcutta, 1908), p. 163.] Dark skin, short stature and broad nose indicate the physical relationship of the Bhils and the Gonds with the old Nisadas on the one hand, and the hill tribes of Chota-Nagpur and Orissa and the Paniyans, the Kadirs, the Kurumbas, the Sholagas, the Irulas, the Mala Vedars and the Kanikars of Southern India, on the other. Sir Herbert Risley classifies these dark, short, and broad-nosed savage tribes of Central and Southern India together with the civilised speakers of Dravidian languages under the head Dravidian type. But the first thing that suggests itself at a glance at the summary of measurements of the castes and tribes of the so-called Dravidian type arranged in order of nasal index in Appendix IV p. cxiii of his work, The People of India (Calcutta, 1908), is that a line should be drawn between Parayan and Irula in this table. The average nasal indices will be found to vary from 69.1 to 80.0 above the line, whereas they vary from 80.9 to 95.1 below it. Mr. Thurston gives 84.1 as the average nasal index of the Irula of the Nilgiris. So if we exclude the Mukkuvan of Malabar, the Moormen of Ceylon and the Dom and Kurmi of Chota Nagpur and Bengal, we are left face to face with twenty-seven broad-nosed jungle tribes with average nasal indices above 84. We are, therefore, hardly justified in classifying these broad-nosed tribesmen with the upper group unless it is admitted that the nose-form of the latter has been modified by the influence of environment. Instances may be cited in which physical environment has produced no change in the shape of the nose. Three of the hill tribes of Southern India, the Toda, the Badaga, and the Kota, are medium-nosed like the civilised speakers of the Dravidian languages, the average nasal index of the Toda being 74.9, of the Badaga 75.6 and the Kota 77.2. The climate of the plains of the United Provinces has failed to modify the nose-form of the Pasi toddy-drawer (average nasal index 85.4), Chamar (86.0), Musahar (86.1) and other lower castes.* [The People of India, appendix iv, p. cxiv.]

In this connection greater weight should be attached to the views of two competent observers who have lived long among the population of Southern India. Mr. Thurston holds that the jungle tribes of Southern India "are the microscopic remnants of a pre-Dravidian people."* [Castes and Tribes of Southern India (Madras, 1904), Vol. I, p. iv.] Robert Sewell writes, "At some very remote period the aborigines of Southern India were overcome by hordes of Dravidian invaders and driven to the mountains and desert tracts, where their descendants are still to be found."* [The Indian Empire, Vol. II (Oxford, 1909), p. 32.] This dark, short and broad-nosed race is termed Pre-Dravidian by the Anthropologists. But since these physical features characterised the Puranic Nisadas and indicate the affinities of the Puranic Nisadas with the so-called Pre-Dravidian, so I should prefer to classify the dark, short-statured and broad-nosed jungle tribes as the modern Nisadas representing the old Nisada race. The modern Nisadas speak dialects belonging to three different linguistic families. The Bhils speak an Indo-Aryan language; the Gonds, the Khands, the Oraons and the jungle tribes of Southern India speak Dravidian languages; and the jungle tribes of Chota Nagpur and the Savaras and Juangs of Orissa speak languages of the Munda family. If our hypothesis relating to the Nisada race is correct, we must assume that Munda was originally spoken by the Nisada race as a whole, and Indo-Aryan and Dravidian dialects have been adopted by some of the Nisada tribes as a result of their contact with their more civilised neighbours.

The physical characters of the Nisadas indicate their affinities with the Veddas of Ceylon and the Sakais and Semangs of the Malay Peninsula Thurston writes in his introduction to Castes and Tribes of Southern India (p. 33): —

"Speaking of the Sakais, the same authorities [Skeat and Blagden] state that 'in evidence of their striking resemblance to the Veddas, it is worth remarking that one of the brothers, Sarasin, who had lived among the Veddas and knew them very well, when shown a photograph of a typical Sakai, at first supposed it to be a photograph of a Vedda. For myself, when I saw the photographs of Sakais published by Skeat and Blagden, it was difficult to realise that I was not looking at pictures of Kadirs, Paniyans, Kurumbas or other jungle folk of Southern India."

The linguistic researches of Schmidt and Sten Konow enable us to trace the affinities of the Nisadas over a still wider range. Pater Schmidt in his Die Mon-Khmer-Volker establishes the intimate relationship between the following groups of languages: — the Munda languages of India; Nikobar spoken in the Nikobar Islands; Khasi spoken in the Khasi hills of Assam; Palong, Wa, and Riang of Salwin basin, Upper Burma; Sakai and Semang languages of the Malay Peninsula; and the Mon-Khmer languages." Dr. Konow, working from the point of view of India proper, has been able to show not only that Munda languages are connected with Mon-Khmer, but that the former must once have extended much more widely over India than they do at the present day. There is a line of dialect of the lower Himalaya, stretching from Kunawar in the Punjab to near Darjeeling, — Tibeto-Burman in character, but nevertheless retaining many surviving traces of an old language of undoubted Munda character." Schmidt calls these allied groups of languages Austro-Asiatic and further postulates the existence of an Austro-Asiatic race characterised by long or medium head, horizontal non-oblique eyes, broad nostrils, dark skin, more or less wavy hair and short or medium stature. As regards the home of the Austro-Asiatic race, Schmidt thinks that the point from which the movement of these peoples began is to be found at the extreme western end of the region which they traversed.* [Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1907, pp. 187-191.]

The other division of the Rgvedic people — the Arya folk — did not constitute a homogeneous body. We discern two different social grades within its pale — the Rsi or priest-poet clans such as the Atharvans, Angirases, Bhrgus (Jamadagnis), Atris, Vasisthas, Bharadvajas, Gotamas, Kasyapas, Agastyas, Kanvas, and Visvamitras (Kusikas); and the other class included the warrior tribes such as the Yadus, Turvasas, Purus, Anus, Druhyus, Trtsus, Bharatas, Srnjayas, Rusamas, Matsyas, Cedis, Krivis and others. These two social grades did not form endogamous castes as yet; nor were the Rsi clans collectively known as Brahmans and the warrior tribes as Ksatriyas. But the former constituted a regular social order with a hereditary calling — that of officiating as sacrificial priests and hymn-making, though they did not eschew other occupations. Scholars still differ as to whether the hymns of the Rgveda are mere appendages of the soma sacrifice or embody in many cases the sincere outpourings of poets only and not priests. It is not difficult to quote texts supporting either theory. But no reader of the hymns can deny that in many of them sacrifice overshadows everything else. In the evolution of religion rites come first and hymns of praise after. Yajna or sacrificial rite without hymn was not unknown even in the Rgvedic age. A Rsi prays in a hymn (X. 105.8), "With Rk verses we shall kill those who are without Rk verses. A sacrifice without hymn (abrahma yajna) cannot be pleasing to you." The soma sacrifice had grown so complicated even in what may be termed the early Rgvedic age that it required the services of seven Rtvijs or sacrificial priests (II. 1. 2). Daksina (sacrificial priest's fee) is deified and identified with Usas (Dawn) and in one verse (I. 126. 6) the giver of daksina is thus extolled: "All kinds (of objects) are intended for the givers of daksina; the Sun in heaven shines for the givers of daksina; the givers of daksina attain long life and immortality." The way in which daksina is spoken of in this and in the other hymns indicates that the giving of daksina, that is to say, the employment of sacrificial priests, was an essential part of a sacrificial ceremony in the Rgvedic age.

ASTROLOGY AND DIVINATION.

LIKE most primitive people, the Tibetans believe that the planets and spiritual powers, good and bad, directly exercise a potent influence upon man's welfare and destiny, and that the portending machinations of these powers are only to be foreseen, discerned, and counteracted by the priests.

Such beliefs have been zealously fostered by the Lamas, who have led the laity to understand that it is necessary for each individual to have recourse to the astrologer-Lama or Tsi-pa on each of the three great epochs of life, to wit, birth, marriage, and death: and also at the beginning of each year to have a forecast of the year's ill-fortune and its remedies drawn out for them.

These remedies are all of the nature of rampant demonolatry for the appeasing or coercion of the demons of the air, the earth, the locality, house, the death-demon, etc.

Indeed, the Lamas are themselves the real supporters of the demonolatry. They prescribe it wholesale, and derive from it their chief means of livelihood at the expense of the laity...

The astrologer-Lamas have always a constant stream of persons coming to them for prescriptions as to what deities and demons require appeasing and the remedies necessary to neutralize these portending evils....

The days of the month in their numerical order are unlucky per se in this order. The first is unlucky for starting any undertaking, journey, etc. The second is very bad to travel. Third is good provided no bad combination otherwise. Fourth is bad for sickness and accident (Ch'u-'jag). Eighth bad. The dates counted on fingers, beginning from thumb and counting second in the hollow between thumb and index finger, the hollow always comes out bad, thus second, eighth, fourteenth, etc. Ninth is good for long journeys but not for short (Kut-da). Fourteenth and twenty-fourth are like fourth. The others are fairly good coeteris paribus. In accounts, etc., unlucky days are often omitted altogether and the dates counted by duplicating the preceding day...

The spirits of the seasons also powerfully influence the luckiness or unluckiness of the days. It is necessary to know which spirit has arrived at the particular place and time when an event has happened or an undertaking is entertained. And the very frequent and complicated migrations of these aerial spirits, good and bad, can only be ascertained by the Lamas...

A preliminary fee or present is usually given to the astrologer at the time of applying for the horoscope, in order to secure as favourable a presage as possible...

The Misfortune Account of the Family of __________ For the Earth-Mouse Year (i.e., 1888 A.D.)...

The extravagant amount of worship prescribed in the above horoscope is only a fair sample of the amount which the Lamas order one family to perform so as to neutralize the current year's demoniacal influences on account of the family inter-relations only. In addition to the worship herein prescribed there also needs to be done the special worship for each individual according to his or her own life's horoscope as taken at birth; and in the case of husband and wife, their additional burden of worship which accrues to their life horoscope on their marriage, due to the new set of conflicts introduced by the conjunction of their respective years and their noxious influences; and other rites should a death have happened either in their own family or even in the neighbourhood. And when, despite the execution of all this costly worship, sickness still happens, it necessitates the further employment of Lamas, and the recourse by the more wealthy to a devil-dancer or to a special additional horoscope by the Lama. So that one family alone is prescribed a sufficient number of sacerdotal tasks to engage a couple of Lamas fairly fully for several months of every year!

-- The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults, Symbolism and Mythology, and in its Relation to Indian Buddhism, by Laurence Austine Waddell, M.B., F.L.S., F.R.G.S.


And that the office of the priest was in many cases hereditary is amply demonstrated by the hymns of what are called the family books of the Rgveda — the eight mandalas from the second to the ninth inclusive, attributed respectively to Grtsamada of the Bhrgu clan, Visvamitra, Vamadeva of the Gotama clan, Atri, Bharadvaja, Vasistha, Kanva, and Angiras and their descendants. Most of the hymns of the first book are attributed to poets of one or other of these clans or of other Rsi clans already mentioned. Of course there were exceptions. There is the case of Devapi officiating as the purohita (domestic priest) in the sacrifice of his brother Samtanu (X. 98). In the Rgveda itself Devapi is not stated to be a prince at all. He is called a Kuru prince by Yaska and Saunaka who flourished long after Samtanu' s sacrifice celebrated in the Rgveda. The story is thus told by Saunaka in his Brhad-devata (VII. 155-157; VIII. 1-6):—

"Now Devapi, son of Rstisena, and Samtanu of the race of Kuru were two brothers, princes among the Kurus.

"Now the elder of these two was Devapi, and the younger Samtanu; but the (former) prince, the son of Rstisena, was afflicted with skin-disease.

"When his father had gone to heaven, his subjects offered him the sovereignty. Reflecting for but a moment, he replied to his subjects:

"'I am not worthy of the sovereignty: let Samtanu be your king.' Assenting to this, his subjects anointed Samtanu king.

"When the scion of the Kuru had been anointed, Davapi retired to the forest. Thereupon Parjanya did not reign in (that) realm for twelve years.

"Samtanu accordingly came with his subjects to Devapi and propitiated him with regard to that dereliction of duty.

"Then in company with his subjects, he offered him the sovereignty. To him, as he stood humbly with folded hands, Devapi replied: —

"I am not worthy of the sovereignty, my energy being impaired by skin disease; I will myself officiate, O king, as your priest in a sacrifice for rain.'

"Then Samtanu appointed him to be his chaplain (puro' dhatta) and to act as priest (artvij- yaya). So he (Devapi) duly performed the rites productive of rain."* [Prof. Macdonell's translation.]


This story clearly indicates that the appointment of Devapi as priest was traditionally considered as something exceptional, and the exception proves the rule.

Not only was the office of the sacrificial priests hereditary in the Rgvedic age, but according to traditions preserved in the Taittiriya Samhita, certain functions of the office were hereditary in particular families. Thus in the Taittiriya Samhita (III. 5. 21) we are told: "The Rsis did not see Indra clearly, but Vasistha saw him clearly. Indra said, "I shall tell you a Brahmana, so that all men that are born will have thee for Purohita; but do not tell of me to the other Rsis.' Thus he told him these parts of the hymns; and ever since, men were born having Vasistha for their Purohita. Therefore Vasistha is to be chosen as Brahman priest and the (sacrificer) will have such offspring."* [[Sanskrit]] The same akhyayika

[PAGE 15 MISSING]
 
"The Brahman (superintending priest) himself should perform them, and no other than the Brahman; for the Brahman sits on the right (south) side of the sacrifice, and protects the sacrifice on the right side ... Now as to the meaning of these (formulas) Vasistha "knew the Viraj; Indra coveted it. He spake, 'Rsi, thou knowest the Viraj; teach me it!' He replied, 'What would therefrom accrue to me?' 'I would teach the expiation for the whole sacrifice, I would show thee its form.' ... The Rsi then taught Indra that Viraj ... And Indra then taught the Rsi this expiation from the Agnihotra up to the Great Litany. And formerly, indeed, the Vasisthas alone knew these utterances, hence formerly one of the Vasistha family became Brahman; but since nowadays anybody (may) study them, anybody may now become Brahman. And, indeed, he who thus knows these utterances is worthy to become Brahman, or may reply, when addressed as 'Brahman.'"* [Eggeling's translation, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. xliv.]

Thus efficacious formulas or hymns were originally held as patents by the descendants of the author and thereby hereditability became an essential feature of Vedic sacerdotalism from the earliest times. We may, therefore, hold with Macdonell and Keith "that in the Rgveda this Brahmana, or Brahmin, is already a separate caste, differing from the warrior and agricultural for which divine origin is not claimed are the Visvamitras and the Kanvas, and there is clear traditional evidence to the effect that the founders of these two clans originally belonged to the yajamana  class. The Kusikas or Visvamitras were evidently a branch of the Bharata tribe of the yajamana group. In the Aitareya Brahmana (VII. 17.6. 7) Visvamitra is addressed as rajaputra, 'prince,' and bharahi-rsabha, 'bull of the Bharatas.' In the Rgveda (X. 31. n) Nrsad is given as the name of Kanva's father. But according to the Puranas Kanva was originally a Ksatriya. Ajamida was a descendant of Puru, the eponymous ancestor of the Rgvedic Purus. ''From Ajamida was born Kanva, from Kanva Medhatithi, and from Medhatithi the Brahmans of the Kanva clan (kanvayanah) (Visnu P. IV. iq. 10)." "In one passage of the Atharvaveda (II. 25) they (the Kanvas) seem to be definitely regarded with hostility."* [Vedic Index, I, p. 134.] Of these two groups of the Rsi clans — the one claiming divine origin and the other sprung from the yajamana class — the former formed the nucleus of the Rsi class and the latter were Rsi by adoption. According to the Rgveda the founders of the Atharvan, Angiras, Bhrgu, and Vasistha clans were the founders of the sacrificial cult and are required to be worshipped as pitrs, manes. In one hymn (X. 14) the Angirases, the Atharvans, and the Bhrgus are called "the soma-loving fathers" and "the makers of the path (pathakrdvyah)." In another hymn (X. 15. 8) the Vasisthas are classed in the same category. Atharvan is said to have extracted sacrificial fire by churning Puskara (VI. 16. 13). "A Rsi named Atharvan first propitiated the gods by sacrifice; the gods and the Bhrgus forced their way (to that place) and learnt the sacrifice (X. 92. 10)." "Like a friend Matarisvan (wind-god) brought this fire to the Bhrgus (I. 60. 1)." "The Ahgiras first prepared food for Indra, and worshipped him by offering oblations to the fire (1. 83. 4)." "Atharvan first discovered the path by sacrifice (I. 83. 5)." Similar traditions relating to Ahgiras, Atharvan and Bhrgu are also found in the Yajurveda. The only rational interpretation that these hoary traditions admit of is that in the early Vedic age three or four Rsi clans, — the Ahgirases, Atharvanas, Bhrgus, and Vasisthas — were regarded as the original Rsi clans among whom the Vedic sacrificial cult originated, and other clans became members of the sacerdotal class by adoption. This early Vedic sacerdotal class afterwards came to be known as Brahmans. In the Parisistabhaga of the Srauta Sutra of Asvalayana it is said, "Visvamitra, Jamadagni Bharadvaja, Gotama, Atri, Vasistha and Kasyapa are the seven Rsis; the descendants of the seven Rsis with Agastya as the eighth are called their gotras (clans)."* [[Sanscrit]] Of these eight founders of the Brahmanic gotras, Bharadvaja is said to have been the grandson of Angiras (Brhad-devata, V. 102); Gotama also belonged to the Angiras clan; and Jamadagni was the son of Bhrgu. A tradition to the effect that the Brahmanic gotras fall into two groups, one representing the original priesthood and the other consisting of priests by adoption, survived down to the time of the Mahabharata. Thus we are told in the Santiparvan (296. 17-18): "Originally only four gotras arose, O King, viz. Angiras, Kasyapa, Vasistha, and Bhrgu. In consequence of good deeds, O ruler of men, many other gotras came into existence in time. These gotras are named on account of the penances of those who have founded them. Good people use them."* [[Sanscrit]]

Vedic legends of the conflict between the Vasisthas and the Visvamitras indicate that the Rsis or priest-poets of the original gotras (mula-gotrani) did not recognise the claims of the aspiring members of the warrior tribes to Rsihood without hard struggle. Vasistha was the priest of Sudas, the king of the Trtsus and Bharatas. According to a hymn of the Rgveda, Sudas won a great victory over ten allied kings with the assistance of Vasistha (VII. 18). In the Aitareya-Brahmana we are told that Vasistha consecrated Sudas, son of Pijavana, to sovereignty. The story of the conflict between Sakti, son of Vasistha, and the Visvamitras as referred to in the Rgveda (III. 53) is thus narrated in the Brhaddevata (IV. 112-120): —

"At a great sacrifice of Sudas, by Sakti Gathi's son (Visvamitra) was forcibly deprived of consciousness.  He sank down unconscious. But to him the Jamadagnis gave speech called Sasarpari, daughter of Brahma or of the Sun, having brought her from the dwelling of the Sun. Then that speech dispelled the Kusikas' loss of intelligence (a-matim). And in the (stanza) 'Hither, (upa: iii. 53. 11) Visvamitra restored the Kusikas to consciousness (anubodhayat). And gladdened at heart by receiving speech he paid homage to those seers (the Jamadagnis), himself praising speech with two stanzas 'Sasarpari' (Sasarparih: iii. 53, 15, 16). (With the stanzas) 'strong' (sthirau: iii. 53. 17-20) (he praised) the parts of the cart and the oxen as he started for home. And then going home he deposited (them there) in person (svasarirena). But the four stanzas which follow (iii. 53. 21-24) are traditionally held to be hostile to the Vasisthas. They were pronounced by Visvamitra, they are traditionally held to be 'imprecations' (abhisapa). They are pronounced to be hostile to enemies and magical (abhicarika) incantations. The Vasisthas will not listen to them. This is the unanimous opinion of their authorities (acaryaka): great guilt arises from repeating or listening (to them); by repeating or hearing (them) one's head is broken into a hundred fragments; the children of those (who do so) perish; therefore one should not repeat them."* [Macdonell's translation.]

The hymn (III. 53) read with this passage of the Brhaddevata seems to indicate that in a sacrifice, evidently horse-sacrifice, performed by Sudas, Rsis of the Kusika family including Vismamitra were invited to take part. Sakti, son of Vasistha, the family priest of the king, resented this intrusion and made them unconscious by means of a charm. Visvamitra and his kinsmen were no match for Vasistha's son in the use of magical incantations. But the Jamadagnis, who like the Vasisthas, belonged to the older group of Rsi clans and were as skilful in magic, came to the rescue of the Kusikas. Visvamitra thanked the Jamadagnis, started for home in his bullock cart and uttered four imprecatory stanzas against the Vasisthas. Perhaps this led to a sanguinary conflict between Sudas and Vasistha which is thus referred to in the Taittiriya Samhita (VII. 4. 7, 1), "Vasistha, when his sons were killed, desired that he might beget children and humble the sons of Sudas. Then he saw this (sattra called) ekonapancasadratra, adopted it and performed it. Then he (Vasistha) obtained children and humbled the sons of Sudas."* [[Sanskrit]]

Some scholars do not admit that there is any reference to the strife of Visvamitra and Vasistha in the hymn. But in the absence of a more satisfactory explanation we have no other course to follow than to fall back upon the traditional explanation preserved by Saunaka and referred to by Katyayana in his Sarvanukramani. Yaska (II. 24) also states that "Visvamitra was the Purohita of Sudasa, son of Paijavana" in connection with Rgveda III. 33. The suggestion made by Macdonell and Keith* [Vedic Index, ii. 275-276.] that Visvamitra originally held the office of the Purohita of Sudas and was afterwards deposed by Vasistha does not accord with the statement of the Aitareya Brahmana that Vasistha consecrated Sudas to sovereignty and the statement of the Pancavimsa Brahmana (XV. 5. 24) that the Bharatas adopted Vasisthas as their domestic priests as soon as they came into being. The fact seems to have been that the Vasisthas were originally the Purohitas of the Trtsus and Bharatas and so of their king Sudas. In the time of Sudas there flourished a number of poets in the Kusika clan of the Bharata tribe including Visvamitra, who claimed the office of the Purohita of their tribal chief. This led to a quarrel with Sakti, the head of the Vasistha clan. Though Sudas was not loth to recognize their claims, it were the Saudasas (sons of Sudas) who espoused their cause with zeal and put to death their opponents.

The two sections of the sacerdotal class, Brahmans by descent and Brahmans by adoption, were of different physical types. In the Rgveda (VII. 33. 1) the Vasisthas, who represent the first group, are described as svityam, 'white', while Kanva (X. 31. 11), representing the second group, is Svava or krsna, 'dark.' In the Gopatha Brahmana (I. 1. 223) the Brahman's colour is white (Sukla). The tradition of the existence of a group of Brahmans with white complexion and yellow hair survived down to the time of the grammarian Patanjali (about 150 B.C.) who writes in his Mahabhasya (on Panini V. 1. 115): "Penance, knowledge of the Veda, and birth make a Brahman. He who is without penance and knowledge of the Veda is a Brahman by birth only. White complexion, pure conduct, yellow or red hair, etc. are also characteristics that constitute Brahmanhood."* [[Sanskrit]] The Brahman with white complexion and yellow hair seems so strange a being to Kaiyata, the scholiast of Patanjali, that he assigns him to a previous cycle of existence. He writes, "White complexion, etc., were seen in Brahmans who flourished in a previous cycle of existence and whose descendants are rarely met with even now.* [[Sanskrit]]

The second division of the Rgvedic Aryas, the Yadus (yadva jana), Purus, Druhyus, Anus, Turvasas, Bharatas (bharata jana) and other Yajamana tribes were traditionally akin to the dark section of the Rsis, the Kanvas and the Visvamitras. The Kathaka Samhita (XI. 6) calls the Vaisya 'white' (Sukla), the Rajanya 'swarthy' (dhumra).* [Vedic Index, Vol. II, p. 247, note 2.] To explain the difference of colour of skin and hair between the two groups of Vedic Aryas we have to assume that the ancestors of the "white and yellow-haired" group migrated to India from the temperate region in the far North, and the dark section had their home in the tropics.
There is clear traditional evidence in the Rgveda to show that two at least of the tribes of the latter group, the Turvasas and the Yadus, came to India from South-Western Asia. We are told in one stanza (VI. 20. 12): "O hero (Indra)! when you crossed the sea (samudra), you brought Turvasa and Yadu over the sea." Another stanza (VI. 45. 1) tells us, "Indra, who brought Turvasa and Yadu from afar by his wise policy, is our youthful friend." In X. 62. 10 Yadu and Turva (Turvasa) are called Dasas or barbarians. According to some scholars samudra in the Rgveda does not mean sea, for the Aryas had not yet reached the sea, but only the lower course of the Indus. This interpretation of samudra may be traced to the preconceived notion that the Rgvedic Aryas were a homogeneous body of men who came from, the North-West. But once this notion is dismissed from the mind, there is left nothing to prevent us from accepting samudra in its usual sense. The sea that lies nearest to the country of the Rgvedic Aryas is the Arabian Sea. So if we are to attach any value to this Vedic tradition, we are forced to assume that the Yadus and the Turvasas came across the Arabian Sea. The evidences contained in the later Vedic and epic literatures relating to the Indian home of one of these two folks, the Yadus, lend support to this hypothesis.

It is generally assumed that the Yadus and Turvasas must have been settled somewhere in the Punjab in the Rgvedic age. In the list of tribes dwelling in the land of the Five Rivers and in the valleys of the Ganges and the Jumna as given in the later Vedic and early Buddhist literatures neither the Yadus nor the Turvasas find any mention. Where were they then? According to the Mahabharata and the Puranas the Satvatas or the Bhojas were a branch of the Yadus. Though the Yadus are not mentioned in the Bramhana texts, the Satvats and the Bhojas are. In the Satapatha Brahmana (XIII. 5. 4. 21) a verse is quoted wherein it is said that Bharata seized the sacrificial horse of the Satvats. In the Aitareya Brahmana (VIII. 14) it is said, "Therefore in that southern region all the Kings of the Satvats are consecrated for the enjoyment of pleasures and are called Bhojas." The country of the Satvats and Bhojas is called southern region from the view point of the land in the middle (asyam dhruvayam madhyamayam pratisthayam disi) or the midland where dwelt the Usinaras, the Kurus, the Pancalas and the Vasas.

The Harivamsa and the Puranas enable us to define the early Indian home of the Yadus in the south with greater precision. The Harivamsa or the supplementary book of the Mahabharata is the chief repository of legends and traditions relating to the Andhakas and the Vrsnis, the two chief branches of the Yadu stock. The Harivamsa in its present form may not be very old, but it must have existed in an embryonic stage even in the time of the grammarian Panini. Suffixes and accents are as a rule prescribed for names of persons according to the actual forms of the words denoting those names and not according to tribes or clans to which the persons named might belong. And yet this is what is done by Panini in two of his aphorisms (IV. 1. 115; VI. 2. 34.) In the former aphorism it is prescribed that the affix an denoting descendant is added to a word "denoting the name of a Rsi, or the name of a person belonging to the Andhaka, Vrsni or Kuru clans"; and the latter aphorism provides, — "The first part of a dvandva compound formed of names denoting Ksatriya clans in the plural number retains its original accent when the warrior belongs to the Andhaka or Vrsni clans." Panini could hardly have made such rules unless he had before him names of descendants of persons of the Andhaka and Vrsni clans of all possible forms formed by adding an and of dvandva compounds thus accented. And where could he get materials for such lists except in the narrative literature of his time? The Mahabharata, of which the Harivamsa forms an integral part, is named in the Grhya Sutra of Asvalayana and in Panini VI. 2.38 Panini very probably flourished in the fourth century B.C.,* [Vide Keith's Introduction to Aitareya Aranyaka (Oxford, 1909), p. 24.] when genuine traditions of the early Vedic age may be expected to still survive in the Vedic schools. So the legends and traditions relating to the Andhakas and the Vrsnis preserved in the Harivamsa may be considered as genuine traditions coming down from the Vedic age.

Two conflicting legends are given in the Harivamsa relating to the origin of the Yadus or Yadavas. In chapter 3 Yadu, the eponymous ancestor of the Yadavas, is represented as a son of King Yayati of the lunar race. But in chapter 94 it is said that Yadu belonged to the solar Iksvaku race. As the original Indian home of the Yadavas is very clearly indicated in this version of the legendary history of the Yadava clans and princes, I shall reproduce it in substance. There was a raja named Haryasva, the son of Iksvaku, in Manu's line. Madhumati, daughter of the demon Madhu, was Haryasva's wife. He was driven out of Ayodhya by his elder brother Madhava, and, at the instance of his wife, took shelter with his father-in-law at Madhupura, the chief town of Madhuvana. "In a short time his (Haryasva's) kingdom known as Anarta and Saurastra enriched by cattle, and also called Anupa adorned by the sea beach and forest, became very prosperous." By his queen Madhumati Haryasva had a son named Yadu, from whom sprung the Yadava clans, viz. Bhaima, Kakkura, Bhoja, Andhaka, Yadava, Dasarha and Vrsni. Yadu's son was Madhava; Madhava's son was Satvata; Satvata's son was Bhima. From Satvata one section of the Yadavas came to be known as Satvatas and from Bhima as Bhaimas. While Bhima was reigning over Surastra, Satrughna, half-brother of Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, killed Lavana, son of the demon Madhu, destroyed Madhuvana, and there founded a new city called Mathura. After the death of Satrughna, Andhaka, son of Bhima, succeeded him to the throne of Mathura.

These legends, by indicating that the Yadavas were originally settled in Saurastra or the Kathiwar peninsula and then spread to Mathura, lend indirect support to the Rgvedic tradition that the Yadus, together with the Turvasas, came from beyond the sea. There are strong evidences to show that in the sixteenth and the fifteenth centuries B.C., in Syria and Upper Mesopotamia, there were several colonies of men of Aryan speech, some of whom at least worshipped Vedic gods. In the cuneiform tablets discovered at Tell-el-Amarna in Upper Egypt containing letters from the tributary Kings of Western Asia to Egyptian Pharaohs, we find the servant of ( . . . . ).' The seal dates from about 2000 B.C., the period of the first dynasty of Babylon."* [Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. X (1914), p. 462.] As the find-place of the seal is unknown, it is difficult to base any conclusion upon it. But had not the seal with a golden handle been found in India, and presumably in Central India, it could hardly have found its way to the Nagpore Museum. The Aryas of the Rg vedic age were not unfamiliar with sea voyage. "There are references," observe Macdonell and Keith, "to the treasures of the ocean, perhaps pearls or the gains of trade, and the story of Bhujyu seems to allude to marine navigation."* [Vedic Index, Vol. II, p. 432.] There are references to sea voyage in the Brahmanas also indicating the maritime activity of the Aryas in the later Vedic age. In the Pancavimsa-Brahmana (XIV. 5. 17) it is said, "Those who go to the sea without boat (aplavah) do not come out of that."* [[Sanskrit]] Again in the Aitareya Brahmana (VI. 21) we are told, "Know that this tristup formula is the first among the hymns that I am to recite. Those who perform the annual satra or Dvadasaha are like men who wish to cross the sea. As men who desire to cross the sea get into boat full of provisions, so these performers of satra use tristup formula."* [[Sanskrit]] So we may assume a continuous maritime connection of Aryavarta with Western Asia from the Rgvedic period till the time of the Baveru Jataka of the Pali canon.

The Arya immigrants from Mesopotamia must have absorbed a good deal of Semitic blood in their Syrian home and were probably dark like the Semites. The Purus, Druhyus and Anus, mentioned in the Rgveda along with the Yadusand Turvasas, may have come from the same quarters and were probably of the same physical type. The fair and fair-haired invaders who formed the nucleus of the Brahman caste came earlier direct from the cradle of the Aryan folk in the far north and elaborated the vedic sacrificial cult in their Indian home from the primitive worship of Indra, Varuna and the other gods of nature. They were probably akin to the Athravans and Magi of Ancient Iran, for the Iranians, like the Indo-Aryans, but unlike all other Indo-Germanic peoples, had, and the Parsis still have in their Dasturs, a hereditary priesthood. The ancestors of the Rsi clans probably came earlier. When later on the ancestors of the Rgvedic warrior tribes entered India and came in contact with the Rsi clans, the former recognized the cultural superiority of the latter and accepted them as their religious guides.

Fair and fair-haired Rsi clans from the north, dark or brown yajamana tribes from South-western Asia, and the very dark aboriginal Nisadas were the ethnic elements out of which grew up the five primary varnas or castes, viz. the Brahmans, Rajanyas (Ksatriyas), Vaisyas, Sudras, and
. Now the question is, how did this transformation take place. The earliest account of the origin of varnas is found in the following stanzas of the Purusa hymn of the Rgveda (X. 90. 11-12): —

"When they divided the Purusa, into how many parts did they divide him? What was his mouth? What were his arms? What were his thighs and feet called?

"The Brahman was his mouth; of his arms, the Rajanya was made; the Vaisyas were his thighs; the Sudra sprang from his feet."


The Vedic theory of the origin of castes finds a clearer expression in a Yajus text (Taittiriya Samhita, VII. 1. I. 4-6) wherein we read: —

"Prajapati, desirous of offspring [performed the Agnistoma sacrifice] and created trivrt hymn, god Agni, Gayatri metre, Rathantara saman, Brahman among men and goats among brutes from his mouth. As they were created from the mouth, therefore they are superior to all others.

"[He] created Pancadasa hymn, god Indra, Tristup metre, Vrhat saman, Rajanya among men and sheep among brutes from his chest and arms. Therefore they are strong because they have been created from strength (strong arms). [He] created Saptadasa hymn, Visvadevas among the gods, Jagati metre, Vairupa Saman, Vaisya among men and the cows among brutes from the belly. As they have been created from the storehouse of food (belly), so they are the food (or intended to be enjoyed by others). Therefore they (Vaisyas) are more numerous than others (among men) because many gods were created.

"[He] created ekavimsa hymn, anustup metre, Vairaja Saman, Sudra among men and horse among brutes from his feet. Therefore the Sudra and the horse are dependent on other (castes). As no god was created from the feet, so the Sudra is not competent to perform sacrifice. As the Sudra and the horse were created from the feet, so they live by exerting their feet."* [[Sanskrit]]


Here the four varnas are recognized as separate creations of the creator, differing as widely as do goat, sheep, cow and horse; or in the language of natural history, the four varnas were considered as four different species of animals and not merely four different groups of the same species. The conception that the difference between the different groups of men is congenital and not artificial was founded on the fact that the earliest social groups known to the Aryas, — the priests, the yajamanas, and the godless aborigines actually differed from one another in colour (varna) and other prominent physical characters. This, "the sense of distinctions of race indicated by differences of colour," to use the language of Risley, is "the basis of fact" in the development of caste system. When the slaves came to be recognized as a separate group termed Sudra, and the tax-paying subject section of the yajamana tribes as a separate social group termed Vaisya, as distinguished from the ruling or Raj any a section, the conception of the identity of racial or colour difference and social difference was extended to them by fiction, and the Vaisyas and Sudras were recognized as separate varnas or colours. With these two elements, fact and fiction, was combined a third element, heredity of function, copied from the Rsi clans. Colour or race differences, real and fancied, together with hereditary function, gave birth to the caste system. But as newer groups formed or attached themselves to the Arya nations, the absurdity of regarding them all as distinct colours or varnas was recognized, and the theory of varna-sankara or mixed caste was started to explain their origins.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat May 01, 2021 1:01 am

Jadunath Sarkar
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/30/21

That the author of RC did not entertain a favourable opinion about Mahipala II is quite clear from the way in which he describes these two incidents, and specially from the words and phrases used in connection with them to describe the king’s character. It is, however, noteworthy, that while the episode of the great rebellion and the part played by the king therein are alluded to merely by way of a casual reference, in short detached phrases, unintelligible without the help of the commentary, the imprisonment of Ramapala is described at length in six verses (I. 32-7). This is an important indication that the author’s judgment of Mahipala was influenced mainly by the latter event. In other words, he considered Mahipala far more blameworthy for his conduct towards Ramapala than for the folly which led to the loss of Varendra. If we remember the open and professed partisanship of Sandhyakaranandi for his hero Ramapala, we should be cautious in accepting, at its face value, both his judgment of the king and his version of the cause and nature of the imprisonment of Ramapala. As regards the other incident which cost Mahipala his life and throne, if the commentator's view is to be accepted, the gravamen of the charge brought by the author against Mahipala consists of his lack of wisdom and good policy (aniti, durnnaya) and an inordinate passion for war (yuddha-vyasana) which led him to undertake a rash military enterprise in spite of the advice of his ministers to the contrary. Apart from these two specific incidents the RC contains only one general reference to the character of Mahipala, in which he is described as ‘rajapravara’ which the commentator explains as nrpatisrestha or excellent king (I. 29). This passing reference, unconnected with any special incident, seems to indicate that Sandhyakaranandi did not fail to appreciate the general merits of Mahipala as a king, although he disapproved of his conduct towards his brothers.

But whatever view we might take of the attitude of the author towards Mahipala, there is absolutely no justification for the following statement made by MM. Sastri:

“Mahipala by his impolitic acts incurred the displeasure of his subjects ..... The Kaivartas were smarting under oppression of the king. Bhima, the son of Rudoka, taking advantage of the popular discontent, led his Kaivarta subjects to rebellion.” (p. 13)

There is not a word in RC to show that Mahipala incurred the displeasure of his subjects by his impolitic acts or that there was a general popular discontent against him. It is an amazing invention to say that “the Kaivartas were smarting under oppression of the king," for the RC does not contain a single word which can even remotely lead to such a belief. It is a travesty of facts to hold that Bhima led his Kaivarta subjects (?) to rebellion. The rebellion was led by a number of feudal vassals and there is no evidence to show that they belonged solely, or even primarily, to the Kaivarta caste. There is again nothing to show that Bhima had anything to do with the rebellion, far less that he led it. Such an assumption seems to be absurd in view of the fact that he was the third king in succession after Divya who occupied the throne of Varendra after the rebellion. There is again nothing in RC to show that during the reign of Mahipala the Kaivartas formed a distinct political entity under Divya or Bhima, so that they might be regarded as the subjects of the latter.

This tissue of misstatements, unsupported by anything in the text of RC, is responsible for a general belief that Mahipala was an oppressive king, and has even led sober historians to misjudge his character and misconstrue the events of his reign. A popular myth has been sedulously built up to the effect that there was a general rising of people which cost Mahipala his life and throne, that it was merely a popular reaction against the oppression and wickedness of the king, and that, far from being rebellious in character, it was an assertion of the people’s right to dethrone a bad and unpopular king and elect a popular chief in his place. In other words, in fighting and killing Mahipala the people of Varendra were inspired by the noblest motive of saving the country from his tyranny and anarchy. Some even proceeded so far as to say that this act was followed by a general election of Divya as the king of Varendra, and a great historian has compared the whole episode with that which led to the election of Gopala, the founder of the Pala dynasty, to the throne of Bengal.1 [ A movement has been set on foot by a section of the Kaivarta or Mahisya community in Bengal to perpetuate the memory of Divya, on the basis of the view-points noted above. They refuse to regard him as a rebel and hold him up as a great hero called to the throne by the people of Varendra to save it from the oppressions of Mahipala. An annual ceremony — Divya-smriti-utsava -- is organized by them and the speeches, made on these occasions by eminent historians like Sir Jadunath Sarkar, Rai Bahadur Rama Prasad Chanda, and Dr. Upendranath Ghoshal [1886-1969; President of The Asiatic Society of Bengal 1963-1964; Author of: Studies in Indian history and culture (1957); A History of Hindu Political Theories: From the Earliest Times to the End of the First Quarter of the Seventeenth Century A.D. (1927); A History of Indian Public Life (1966); Ancient Indian culture in Afghanistan (1928); Contributions to the history of the Hindu revenue system (1929); The agrarian syste in ancient India (1930)] who presided over the function seek to support the popular views. On the other hand attempts have been made to show that these popular views are not supported by the statements in Ramacarita (cf. Bharatavarsa, 1342, pp. 18 ff.).]


This is not the proper place or occasion to criticise these views at length, or to refer to many other important conclusions which have been drawn from MM. Sastri’s sketch of the life and character of Mahipala. But in view of the deep-rooted prejudices and errors which are still current in spite of the exposition of the unwarranted character of MM. Sastri’s interpretation, it is necessary to draw attention to what is really stated in RC about the great rebellion and the part played by Divya. The author of RC did not regard the rising in any other light than a dire calamity which enveloped the kingdom in darkness (I. 22). He describes it as anika dharma-viplava or the unholy or unfortunate civil revolution (1. 24), bhavasya apadam or the calamity of the world, and damaram which the commentator explains as upaplava or disturbance (I. 27). Further, the latter describes it as merely a rebellion of feudal vassals (ananta-samanta-cakra), and not a word is said about its popular character. There is even no indication that the rebels belonged to Varendra or that the encounter between Mahipala and the rebels took place within that province. Such revolts were not uncommon in different parts of the Pala kingdom in those days. Similar revolts placed in power the Kamboja chiefs in Varendra and Radha, and the family of Sudraka in Gaya district.1 [For a detailed discussion of this point and a view of Divya’s rebellion in its true perspective cf. Dr. R C. Majumdar’s article ‘The Revolt of Divvoka against Mahipala II and other revolts in Bengal’ in Dacca University Studies Vol. I, No. 2, pp. 125 ff.]

There is not a word in RC to the effect that Divya2 [The name is written variously in RC as Divya (1. 38), Divvoka (1. 38-39 commentary), and Divoka (I. 31 commentary).] was the leader of a popular rebellion, far less that he was elected as king by the people. As a matter of fact his name is not associated in any way even with the fight between Mahipala and his rebellious chiefs (milit-ananta-samanta-cakra) referred to in Verse I. 31. The RC only tells us that “Ramapala’s beautiful fatherland (Varendri) was occupied by his enemy named Divya, an (officer) sharing royal fortune, who rose to a high position, (but) who took to fraudulent practice as a vow” (I. 38). The account given in RC is not incompatible with the view that Mahipala met with a disastrous defeat in an encounter with some rebellious vassals in or outside Varendra, and Divya took advantage of it to seize the throne for himself. That the author of RC did not entertain any favourable view of the character and policy of Divya is clear from the two adjectives applied to him, viz., dasyu and upadhivrati. The commentator says ‘dasyuna satruna tadbhavapannatvat.’ It is obvious that the commentator means that the term dasyu refers to the enemy (Divya) as he had assumed the character of a dasyu (enemy). As to the other expression upadhivrati, the commentator first explains vrata as ‘something which is undertaken as an imperative duty,’ and then adds ‘chadmani vrati.’ In other words, Divya performed an act on the plea that it was an imperative duty, but this was a merely false pretension. In any case the two words in the text ‘dasyu’ and ‘upadhi’ cannot be taken by any stretch of imagination to imply any good or noble trait in his character.

-- The Ramacaritam of Sandhyakaranandin, by Dr. R. C. Majumdar, M.A., Ph.D., Dr. Radhagovinda Basak, M.A., Ph.D., and Pandit Nanigopal Banerji, Kavyatirtha


Image
Sir Jadunath Sarkar
Jadunath Sarkar, c. 1926[1]
Born: 10 December 1870, Karachmaria, Singra, Natore, British India
Died: 19 May 1958 (aged 87), Calcutta, India
Occupation: Historian
Spouse(s): Lady Kadambini Sarkar

Sir Jadunath Sarkar CIE (10 December 1870 – 19 May 1958) was a prominent Indian historian especially of the Mughal dynasty.

Academic career

Sarkar was born in Karachmaria village in Natore, Bengal to Rajkumar Sarkar, the local Zamindar on 10 December 1870.[2] In 1891, he graduated in English from Presidency College, Calcutta.[2] In 1892, he topped the Master of Arts examination, in English at Calcutta University and in 1897, he received the Premchand-Roychand Scholarship.[2]

In 1893, he was inducted as a faculty of English literature at Ripon College, Calcutta (later renamed Surendranath College).[2] In 1898, he was appointed at Presidency College, Calcutta after getting selected in the Provincial Education Services.[2] In between, from 1917 to 1919, he taught Modern Indian History in Benaras Hindu University and from 1919–1923, both English and History, at Ravenshaw College, Cuttack.[2] In 1923, he became an honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Society of London. In August 1926, he was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University. In 1928, he joined as Sir W. Meyer Lecturer in Madras University.

Historiography

Reception


Sarkar's works faded out of public memory, with the increasing advent of Marxist and postcolonial schools of historiography.[3]

Academically, Jos J. L. Gommans compares Sarkar's work with those of the Aligarh historians, noting that while the historians from the Aligarh worked mainly on the mansabdari system and gunpowder technology in the Mughal Empire, Sarkar concentrated on military tactics and sieges.[4]

Aligarh Muslim University (abbreviated as AMU) is a public central university in Aligarh, India, which was originally established by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875. Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920, following the Aligarh Muslim University Act...

The university was established as the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, starting functioning on 24 May 1875. The movement associated with Syed Ahmad Khan and the college came to be known as the Aligarh Movement, which pushed to realise the need for establishing a modern education system for the Indian Muslim populace. He considered competence in English and Western sciences necessary skills for maintaining Muslims' political influence. Khan's vision for the college was based on his visit to Oxford University and Cambridge University, and he wanted to establish an education system similar to the British model.

A committee was formed by the name of foundation of Muslim College and asked people to fund generously. Then Viceroy and Governor General of India, Thomas Baring gave a donation of ₹10,000 while the Lt. Governor of the North Western Provinces contributed ₹1,000, and by March 1874 funds for the college stood at ₹1,53,920 and 8 ana. Maharao Raja Mahamdar Singh Mahamder Bahadur of Patiala contributed ₹58,000 while Raja Shambhu Narayan of Benaras donated ₹60,000. Donations also came in from the Maharaja of Vizianagaram as well. The college was initially affiliated to the University of Calcutta for the matriculate examination but became an affiliate of Allahabad University in 1885. The 7th Nizam of Hyderabad, HEH Mir Osman Ali Khan made a remarkable donation of Rupees 5 Lakh to this institution in the year 1918...

Before 1939, faculty members and students supported an all-India nationalist movement but after 1939, political sentiment shifted towards support for a Muslim separatist movement. Students and faculty members supported Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the university came to be a center of the Pakistan Movement.

Dr. Sheikh Abdullah ("Papa Mian") is the founder of the women's college of Aligarh Muslim University and had pressed for women's education, writing articles while also publishing a monthly women's magazine, Khatoon. To start the college for women, he had led a delegation to the Lt. Governor of the United Provinces while also writing a proposal to Sultan Jahan, Begum of Bhopal. Begum Jahan had allocated a grant of ₹ 100 per month for the education of women. On 19 October 1906, he successfully started a school for girls with five students and one teacher at a rented property in Aligarh. The foundation stone for the girls' hostel was laid by him and his wife, Waheed Jahan Begum ("Ala Bi") after struggles on 7 November 1911. Later, a high school was established in 1921, gaining the status of an intermediate college in 1922, finally becoming a constituent of the Aligarh Muslim University as an undergraduate college in 1937. Later, Dr. Abdullah's daughters also served as principals of the women's college. One of his daughters was Mumtaz Jahan Haider, during whose tenure as principal, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad had visited the university and offered a grant of ₹9,00,000. She was involved in the establishment of the Women's College, organised various extracurricular events, and reasserted the importance of education for Muslim women.

-- Aligarh Muslim University, by Wikipedia


He has been called the "greatest Indian historian of his time" and one of the greatest in the world, whose erudite works "have established a tradition of honest and scholarly historiography" by E. Sreedharan.[5] He has also been compared with Theodor Mommsen and Leopold von Ranke.[5]

Honors

Sarkar was honored by Britain with a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire CIE and knighted in the 1929 Birthday Honours list.[6] He was invested with his knighthood at Simla by the acting Viceroy, Lord Goschen, on 22 August 1929.[7]

Legacy

The Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, an autonomous research center, has been established in his house, which was donated to the state government by Sarkar's wife. CSSC also houses the Jadunath Bhavan Museum and Resource Centre, a museum-cum-archive of primary sources.[8]

List of works

Published works by Sarkar include:


• Economics of British India (1900)
• The India of Aurangzib (1901)
• Anecdotes of Aurangzib (1912)
• History of Aurangzib (in 5 volumes), (1912–24)
Chaitanya's pilgrimages and teachings, from his contemporary Bengali biography, the Chaitanya-charit-amrita: Madhya-lila (translation from the Bengali original by Krishnadasa Kaviraja, 1913)

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (a.k.a. Mahāprabhu or "Great Lord") was a 15th century Indian saint, considered God, and founder of Achintya Bheda Abheda. Devotees consider him an incarnation of Krishna. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's mode of worshipping Krishna with ecstatic song and dance had a profound effect on Vaishnavism in Bengal. He was also the chief proponent of the Vedantic philosophy of Achintya Bheda Abheda. Mahaprabhu founded Gaudiya Vaishnavism (a.k.a. Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya). He expounded Bhakti yoga and popularized the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra.He composed the Shikshashtakam (eight devotional prayers).

He is sometimes called Gauranga or Gaura due to his molten gold like complexion. His birthday is celebrated as Gaura-purnima. He is also called Nimai due to him being born underneath a Neem tree.


-- Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, by Wikipedia


Shivaji and his Times (1919)

Shivaji Bhonsale I ( c. 1627 / February 19, 1630 – April 3, 1680) was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire. In 1674, he was formally crowned the Chhatrapati (emperor) of his realm at Raigad.

Over the course of his life, Shivaji engaged in both alliances and hostilities with the Mughal Empire, the Sultanate of Golkonda and the Sultanate of Bijapur, as well as with European colonial powers. Shivaji's military forces expanded the Maratha sphere of influence, capturing and building forts, and forming a Maratha navy. Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with well-structured administrative organisations. He revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions and promoted the usage of the Marathi language.

Shivaji's legacy was to vary by observer and time, but nearly two centuries after his death, he began to take on increased importance with the emergence of the Indian independence movement, as many Indian nationalists elevated him as a proto-nationalist and hero of the Hindus.


-- Shivaji, by Wikipedia


• Studies in Mughal India (1919)[9]
• Mughal Administration (1920)[9]
• Nadir Shah in India (1922)
• Later Mughals by William Irvine (in 2 volumes), (edited by Jadunath Sarkar, 1922)
• India through the ages (1928)
• A Short History of Aurangzib (1930)
• The Fall of the Mughal Empire (in 4 volumes), (1932–38)
• Studies in Aurangzib's reign (1933)
• The House of Shivaji (1940)
• The History of Bengal (in 2 volumes), (1943–1948)
• Maāsir-i-ʻĀlamgiri: a history of the emperor Aurangzib-ʻl̀amgir (translation from the Persian original by Muḥammad Sāqī Mustaʻidd Khān, 1947)[10]
• Military History of India (1960)
• A History of Jaipur, c. 1503-1938 (1984)[11]
A History Of Dasnami Naga Sanyasis

Dashanami (IAST Daśanāmi Saṃpradāya "Tradition of Ten Names"), also known as the Order of Swamis, is a Hindu monastic tradition of "single-staff renunciation" (ēka daṇḍi saṃnyāsī) generally associated with the Vedanta tradition and organized in its present form by 5th-century BCE theologian Adi Shankara.

A swami, as the monk is called, is a renunciate who seeks to achieve spiritual union with the swa (Self). In formally renouncing the world, he or she generally wears ochre, saffron or orange-colored robes as a symbol of non-attachment to worldly desires, and may choose to roam independently or join an ashram or other spiritual organizations, typically in an ideal of selfless service. Upon initiation, which can only be done by another existing Swami, the renunciate receives a new name (usually ending in ananda, meaning 'supreme bliss') and takes a title which formalizes his connection with one of the ten subdivisions of the Swami Order. A swami's name has a dual significance, representing the attainment of supreme bliss through some divine quality or state (i.e. love, wisdom, service, yoga), and through a harmony with the infinite vastness of nature, expressed in one of the ten subdivision names: Giri (mountain), Puri (tract), Bhāratī (land), Vana (forest), Āraṇya (forest), Sagara (sea), Āśrama (spiritual exertion), Sarasvatī (wisdom of nature), Tīrtha (place of pilgrimage), and Parvata (mountain). A swami is not necessarily a yogi, although many swamis can and do practice yoga as a means of spiritual liberation; experienced swamis may also take disciples.

Dashanami Sannyāsins are associated mainly with the four maṭhas, established in four corners of India by Shankara himself; however, the association of the Dasanāmis with the Shankara maṭhas remained nominal. The early swamis, elevated into the order as disciples of Shankara, were sannyāsins who embraced sannyas either after marriage or without getting married...

Image
Naga Sadhu performing ritual bath at Sangam during Prayagraj Ardh Kumbhmela 2007

In the 16th century, Madhusudana Saraswati of Bengal organised a section of the Naga (naked) tradition of armed sannyasis in order to protect Hindus from the tyranny of the Mughal rulers. These are also called Goswami, Gusain, Gussain, Gosain, Gossain, Gosine, Gosavi, Sannyāsi.

Warrior-ascetics could be found in Hinduism from at least the 1500s and as late as the 1700s, although tradition attributes their creation to Sankaracharya.

Some examples of Akhara currently are the Juna Akhara of the Dashanami Naga, Niranjani Akhara, Anand Akhara, Atal Akhara, Awahan Akhara, Agni Akhara and Nirmal Panchayati Akhara at Allahabad. Each akhara is divided into sub-branches and traditions. An example is the Dattatreya Akhara (Ujjain) of the naked sadhus of Juna Naga establishment.

The naga sadhus generally remain in the ambit of non-violence presently, though some sections are also known to practice the sport of Indian wrestling. The Dasanāmi sannyāsins practice the Vedic and yogic Yama principles of ahimsā (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing), aparigraha (non-covetousness) and brahmacārya (celibacy / moderation).

The naga sadhus are prominent at Kumbh mela, where the order in which they enter the water is fixed by tradition. After the Juna akhara, the Niranjani and Mahanirvani Akhara proceed to their bath. Ramakrishna Math Sevashram are almost the last in the procession.

-- Dashanami Sampradaya, by Wikipedia


References

1. Chakrabarty 2015, p. ii.
2. "Sarkar, Jadunath - Banglapedia". en.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
3. Kaushik Roy (2004). India's Historic Battles: From Alexander the Great to Kargil. Orient Blackswan. p. 10. ISBN 978-81-7824-109-8.
4. Jos J. L. Gommans (2002). Mughal Warfare: Indian Frontiers and Highroads to Empire, 1500-1700. Psychology Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-415-23989-9.
5. A Textbook of Historiography, 500 B.C. to A.D. 2000, E. Sreedharan, p. 448
6. The London Gazette, 3 June 1929
7. "Viewing Page 6245 of Issue 33539". London-gazette.co.uk. 1 October 1929. Retrieved 26 March2014.
8. "In the memory of Jadunath Sarkar". The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
9. Moreland, W. H. (July 1921). "Studies in Mughal India by Jadunath Sarkar; Mughal Administration by Jadunath Sarkar". The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 3 (3): 438–439. JSTOR 25209765.
10. Davies, C. Collin (April 1949). "Maāsir-i-'Ālamgīrī of Sāqī Must'ad Khān by Jadunath Sarkar". The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 1 (1): 104–106. doi:10.1017/S0035869X00102692. JSTOR 25222314.
11. Smith, John D. (1985). "Jadunath Sarkar: A History of Jaipur, c. 1503-1938". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 48 (3): 620. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00039343. JSTOR 618587.

Sources

• Chakrabarty, Dipesh (2015). The Calling of History: Sir Jadunath Sarkar and His Empire of Truth. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-10044-9.
Further reading[edit]
• Pawar, Kiram (1985). Sir Jadunath Sarkar: a profile in historiography. Books & Books.
• Sir Jadunath Sarkar commemoration volumes by Hari Ram Gupta

External links

• Ray, Aniruddha (2012). "Sarkar, Jadunath". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
• Sir Sarkar at Britannica Encyclopedia
• Works by Jadunath Sarkar at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Jadunath Sarkar at Internet Archive
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat May 01, 2021 6:23 am

Note on the Sarnath Inscription of Asvaghosha, by Arthur Venis, and Remarks on Professor Venis' Note, by J. F. Fleet
The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland
July, 1912

Note on the Sarnath Inscription of Asvaghosha

Towards the end of last year I drew the attention of Dr. J. Ph. Vogel, Officiating Director-General of Archaeology, to the existence of certain letters on the Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath and in a line continuous with the inscription of Asvaghosha, which he had edited in Epigraphia Indica, vol. viii, pp. 171-2. Dr. Vogel kindly gave me the impression, part of which is here reproduced: see the Plate at p. 700 above.

Image

His reading of the previous words is: --

rparigeyhe rajna Asvaghoshasya chatarise savachhare hematapakhe prathame divase dasame.


And following in a continuous line are aksharas which I read –

sutithaye 4 200, 9.


Intentional injury would seem to have been the cause of both the complete obliteration of the opening letters of the Asvaghosha epigraph and the blurring of the letters which are the subject of this note. Examination of the stone further shows that the second akshara is really ti, though in the facsimile it looks like ri; and the third akshara is tha, as the dot within the circle is deep-cut. For the rest, my reading is frankly conjectural and invites correction.

To interpret these newly observed letters I assume that (1) they are a part of the Asvaghosha document, and (2) the date 209 belongs to the Malava-Vikrama era. The record would thus read: “in the fortieth year of Rajan Asvaghosha, in the first fortnight of the Hemanta season, on the tenth day, on the auspicious tithi, the fourth: in the year 209.” It is found that the fourth day of the bright half of Margasirsha of the Malava year 209 current coincides with the tenth day of the first fortnight of Hemanta in the year 74 current of the Saka era. For this calculation I am indebted to Mr. Chhote Lal (Executive Engineer P.W.D., Benares), who as “Barhaspatya” is well known by his contributions to Indian astronomy. The question whether this coincidence throws any light on the method of recording seasonal dates in early times is one with which I am not competent to deal. But returning to my assumption of the Malava era 209 current, the equivalent 151 A.D. would be the date of the Sarnath inscription, and 111 A.D. would be the date of Asvaghosha’s accession as Raja. His name is found again on a broken slab at Sarnath (E.I., loc. cit.); but, unfortunately, the record is too fragmentary to admit of reconstruction.

Arthur Venis,
Government Sanskrit College, Benares.
September 26, 2911.

Remarks on Professor Venis’ Note

The proposal made by Professor Venis for fixing the date of the Raja Asvaghosha is based on the result, given to him by Mr. Chhote Lal, that in A.D. 151 the fourth day of the bright fortnight of the month Margasirsha was the tenth day of the season Hemanta. We cannot do anything towards exactly testing this result, because not only are we not told the bases on which it rests and the tables or process by which it has been worked out, but also the most essential item, the English date (month and day), has not been given. On this point I can only say that I cannot find any means by which such a result may be arrived at. As to the proposed reading, I have to say here (1) that, if a tithi were intended, we ought to have an equivalent of the locative tithan; but tithaye[?] can only be the dative: (2) that, from the same point of view, it is very strange that the lunar month and its fortnight should not have been mentioned: (3) that it is equally strange that the year should have been stated as the final item, after the tithi. However, the matter has to be dealt with on other considerations.

The stated result assumes the use in the second century A.D. of a solar calendar alongside of the lunar calendar. Now, the Hindus have had from very ancient times the system of lunisolar cycles, made by the combination of solar years, regulated by the course of the moon, but treated in such a manner, by the periodical intercalation (and in later times the occasional omission) of lunar months, as to keep the beginning of the lunar year near the beginning of the solar year, or, as perhaps may be more properly said, to keep the lunar months as closely as is possible in agreement with the natural seasons. But there is a wide difference between (1) the astronomical use of a solar year for such a purpose as that, and (2) the practical use of a solar calendar with the details of solar months and seasons. The Hindus now have such a double calendar, solar and lunar: one item of their solar calendar is that the season Hemanta begins when the sun enters the zodiacal sign Vrisehika (answering in a general way to Scorpio): this occurs in the amanta or synodic lunar month Karttika, next before Margasirsha: and so it may happen at any time that the civil day of the fourth tithi or lunar day of the bright fortnight of Margasirsha is the tenth civil day of the season Hemanta. But the use of this solar calendar is traced only from the tenth century, in two Chola dates, one of which, belong to A.D. 943, mentions the solar month Makara, and the other, belonging to either A.D. 919 or 946, mentions the solar month Karkataka1 [For the date in A.D. 919 or 946, see Kielhorn’s List of the Inscriptions of Southern India, Epi. Ind., vol. 7, appendix, No. 691: for the date in A.D. 943, see Epi. Ind., vol. 8, p. 261, A; it has been noticed by me in this Journal, 1911. 691. (4). The month Makara begins at the Hindu winter solstice, when the sun enters the sign Makara (Capricornus): the month Karkataka begins at the Hindu summer solstice, when the sun enters the sign Karka (Cancer).] We have no reason for expecting to trace it back to any appreciably earlier time. And it certainly cannot have existed in the second century; because the signs of the zodiac, by which it is regulated, were not then known in India.

On the other hand, everything that we learn about the earlier Indian calendar makes it abundantly clear that before the time when the Greek astronomy was introduced into India, the only calendar year in practical use for all general purposes, including datings such as that in this Sarnath record of Asvaghosha, was the lunar year of twelve or thirteen synodic months, which was treated in two ways. Astronomically, and for the sacrificial calendar, it was a Maghadi year, a year beginning with Magha sukla 1, the first day of the bright fortnight of Magha: it was bound to and regulated by a solar year beginning at the winter solstice, the arrangement being that the solstice was always to occur in the amanta Magha: and apparently it might measure 354 or 355 days, or 383 or 384 days, according to circumstances, subject to a total of 1830 days, in five years.1 [We learn these and various other details from the Jyotisha Vedanga.] But in practical general use it was treated on the hard and fast lines of making it consist always of 354 days when it comprised only twelve lunar months, and of 384 days when a month was intercalated.2 [This was done by making the bright fortnights of Phalgana[?], Vaisakha, Ashadha, Bhadrapada, Karttika and Pausha, consist of only 14 days; all the other fortnights having 15 days each: see the Kautilya Arthasastra, ed. R. Shamasastry, p. 60, the last three lines. For other information about the calendar see p. 108.] Further, the seasons were treated unscientifically, as lunar seasons, governed by the moon and coinciding with two or four lunar months: and in such a way that Hemanta consisted of Margasirsha and Pausha when the seasons were counted as six, and of those two months with also Magha and Phalguna when the seasons were counted as only three in number. Also, the years were not necessarily Maghadi: for chronological purposes use was made of regnal years, beginning with the day and its successive anniversaries of the accession or the anointment of any particular king. Not only do we learn such details from the books, but also we trace the use of this lunar calendar with lunar seasons down to almost the latest of the records included in Professor Luders’ List of the Brahmi Inscriptions from the Earliest Times to about A.D. 400, in which this Sarnath inscription stands as No. 922.1 [Epi. Ind., vol. 10, appendix.] And in that calendar the fourth day of the bright fortnight of Margasirsha could only be the fourth day of the season Hemanta, and the tenth day of the season Hemanta could only be the tenth day of the bright fortnight of Margasirsha. In no circumstances could the tenth day of Hemanta be the fourth day of Margasirsha.

It seems probable that the words on the Sarnath pillar which somehow or other were overlooked previously and have been brought to notice by Professor Venis, really are part of the record of Asvaghosha.2 [Dr. Vogel has asked me to explain that these additional words were not included in the estampages from which he dealt with this record in Epi. Ind., vol. 8, p. 171, and that he had not been able to supervise in person the preparation of the estampages or to compare them afterwards with the original. ] But, on the analogy of all the similar records in the List of Brahmi Inscriptions, we may be sure that the date ends with the word dasame; that the text says: -- “In the fortieth year of the Raja Asvaghosha, in the first fortnight of Hemanta, on the tenth day:” and that, interpreted in other terms, it means “on the civil day of the tenth tithi or lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month Margasirsha.” It would be very satisfactory if we could determine an exact date A.D. for Asvaghosha; and in view of a certain feature in the record, namely, the mention of the first fortnight instead of the first month of the season, I should not have any objection to raise if good reason could be shown for placing him in A.D. 111-51 or at any time thereabouts. But that cannot be done by the means proposed by Professor Venis.

It is, no doubt, easier to criticize Professor Venis’ proposal for reading and applying the words which he has brought to notice, than it is to say what those words really are. But it may be remarked that, as has been suggested to me by Professor Luders, the first four syllables, which Professor Venis would read as sutithaye, might very well be read sukhathaya, and be taken as meaning such-arthaya “for the sake of happiness”: or, again, in accordance with the suggestions by Dr. Vogel, they might be read surithaye, and be taken as meaning su-vithaye, “for a good road.” How the remaining letters should be read, I do not venture to say.

J.F. Fleet
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Epigraphia Indica
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/30/21



Epigraphia Indica
Discipline: Archaeology, Indology
Language: English
Publication details
History: 1888–1977
Standard abbreviations

Epigraphia Indica was the official publication of Archaeological Survey of India from 1882 to 1977. The first volume was edited by James Burgess in the year 1882. Between 1892 and 1920 it was published as a quarterly supplement to The Indian Antiquary.[1]

One part is brought out in each quarter year and eight parts make one volume of this periodical; so that one volume is released once in two years. About 43 volumes of this journal have been published so far. They have been edited by the officers who headed the Epigraphy Branch of ASI.

Editors

• J. Burgess: Vol I (1882) & Vol II (1894)
• E. Hultzsch: Vol III (1894–95), Vol IV (1896–97), Vol V (1898–99), Vol VI (1900–01), Vol VII (1902–03), Vol VIII (1905–06), Vol IX (1907–08)
• Sten Konow: Vol X (1909–10), Vol XI (1911–12), Vol XII (1913–14), Vol XIII (1915–16)
• F. W. Thomas: Vol XIV (1917–18), Vol XV (1919–20), Vol XVI (1921–22)
• H. Krishna Sastri: Vol XVII (1923–24), Vol XVIII (1925–26), Vol XIX (1927–28)
• Hiranand Shastri: Vol XX (1929–30), Vol XXI (1931–32)
• N. P. Chakravarti: Vol XXII (1933–34), Vol XXIII (1935–36), Vol XXIV (1937–38), Vol XXV (1939–40), Vol XXVI (1941–42)
• N. Lakshminarayan Rao and B. Ch. Chhabra: Vol XXVII (1947-48) [2]
• D. C. Sircar: Vol XXVIII (1949–50) - jointly with B. Ch. Chhabra), Vol XXX (1951–52) - jointly with N. Lakshminarayan Rao, Vol XXXI(1955–56), Vol XXXII(1957–58), Vol XXXIII(1959–60), Vol XXXIV(1960–61), Vol XXXV (1962–63), Vol XXXVI (1964–65)
• G. S. Gai: Vol XXXVII (1966–67), Vol XXXVIII, Vol XXXIX, Vol XL
• K. V. Ramesh: Vol XLI (1975–76), Vol XLII (1977–78)

Other contributors

• Aurel Stein
• V. Venkayya
• Robert Sewell
• D. R. Bhandarkar
• J. Ph. Vogel
• F. O. Oertel
• N. K. Ojha
• F. E. Pargiter
• F. Kielhorn
• John Faithfull Fleet
• K. A. Nilakanta Sastri
• K. V. Subrahmanya Aiyar
• T. A. Gopinatha Rao

Arabic and Persian Supplement

The ASI also published an Arabic and Persian supplement from 1907 to 1977. While the first volume in 1907 was edited by E. Denison Ross of Calcutta Madrassa and the second and third volumes by Josef Horovitz, subsequent volumes have been edited by Ghulam Yazdani (1913–40), Maulvi M. Ashraf Hussain (1949–53) and Z. A. Desai (1953–77). Since 1946, the volumes have been edited by an Assistant Superintendent for Arabic and Persian Inscriptions, a special post created by the Government of India for the purpose.

References

1. Temple, Richard Carnac. (1922) Fifty years of The Indian Antiquary. Mazgaon, Bombay: B. Miller, British India Press, pp. 3-4.
2. [1]

External links

• Official site of Archaeological Survey of India.
• First 36 volumes available online at The Digital Library of India

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https://archive.org/details/epigraphia- ... 5/mode/2up

Volume 1: 1892
Volume 2: 1892
Volume 3: 1894-5
Volume 4: 1896-97
Volume 5: 1898-99
Volume 6: 1900-01
Volume 7: 1902-1903
Volume 8: 1905-1906
Volume 9: 1907-1908
Volume 10: 1909-10
Volume 11: 1911-12
Volume 12: 1913-14
Volume 13: 1915-16
Volume 14:1917-18
Volume 15a: 1919-1920
Volume 15b:?? [Epigraphia Indica Vol. XIV. Vol. II, 1894
Volume 16: 1921-22
Volume 17: 1923-24
Volume 18: 1925-26
Volume 19: 1927-28
Volume 20: 1929-30
Volume 21: 1931-32
Volume 22: 1933
Volume 23:1935-36
Volume 24: 1938
Volume 25: 1939
Volume 26: 1941
Volume 27: 1947-48
Volume 28: 1949-50
Volume 29: 1951-52
Volume 30: 1953-54
Volume 31: 1955-56
Volume 32: 1957
Volume 33: 1959-60
Volume 34: 1961-62
Volume 35: 1963-64
• [url]Volume 36: 1965-66[/url]
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat May 01, 2021 10:15 am

No. 51 – Sarnath Inscription of Kumaradevi
by Sten Konow
Epigraphia Indica
1907-8

The slab on which the inscription published below is incised was found during the excavations carried on by Dr. Marshall and myself in Sarnath, in March 1908. It was dug out to the north of the Dhamekh stupa, to the south of the raised mound running east and west over the remnants of the old monasteries of the Gupta period. The writing covers almost the whole of the surface of the stone, viz 21” x 15-1/2”, and it is in a perfect state of preservation. The average size of the letters is ½”.

The characters are Nagari, of a very ornamental type, and the engraving has been done with considerable skill. Of individual letters, the form of the cerebral ta in –bhatah and kandapa-tikah in line 8 is worthy of notice. There are comparatively few orthographical peculiarities. V is used for b throughout, and na is used instead of the anusvara in sudhansos-, line 11. There are some few miswritings such as harmma- for dharma-, 1.6; prakshato for prakhyato, 1.8, vishmayakaro for vismaya- and ashmadprisah for = asmadrisash, 1.13; = nenrabhirama- for –netr-, 1.15, nri- for tri-, 1.22; mahibhujah for mahibhuja, 1.19, etc. The forms Kumaradevi 11.11 and 22, and viharo in 11.23 and 26, on the other hand, are vouched for by the metre Kumara instead of kumara is common in Maharashta Prakrit, and a form Kumaravala for the usual Kumarapala occurs in Hemachandra’s Desnanamala, 1.101, 88.1 [See Pischel, Grammatik der Prakrit-Sprachen, § 81. ] And vihara instead of vihara is justified by Panini VI, 3.122.

The language is Sanskrit, and, with the exception of the invocation to Vasudhara in 1 1, the whole of the inscription is in verse. There are altogether twenty-six verses. Of these thirteen (Nos. 3, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23 and 24) are in the Sardulavikridita, five (Nos. 1, 10, 14, 15 and 20) in the Malini, four (Nos. 4, 16, 22 and 25) in the Vasantatilaka, three (Nos. 8, 9 and 26) in the Anushtubh, and one (No. 2) in the [illegible] metre.

The object of the inscription is to record the construction of a vihara by Kumaradevi, one of the queens of Govindachandra of Kanauj. The wording of verses 21 23, in which her gift is mentioned, is not quite clear. Rai Bahadur V Venkayva has suggested the following explanation, which I think is a very plausible one. Jambuka drew up a copper plate, in which she represented to Kumaradevi that the Dharmachakra-Jina originally set up by Dharmasoka required to be repaired or set up again. This copper-plate must have contained information about the original setting up of the Dharmachakra Jina and further details about its maintenance and repairs. Kumaradevi, who was apparently a stranger to the country round Benares, accepted her representation and raised her to the rank of “the foremost of puttatikas.’2 [Pattalika is the feminine form of pattalaka, which occurs in the Buguda plates of Madhavavarman, above. Vol. III, p. 44, 1.88, in connexion with vaisvdsika.] Moreover, she restored the Jina or set up a new one and placed it in the vihara built for Vasudhara, or in another one constructed for the purpose, and the wish is expressed that, after having been placed there, he may remain there for ever. It seems necessary to infer that the Sridharmachakra Jina, which is said to have existed in Dharmasoka’s time, was an image of the Buddha, and that the vihara built by the orders of Queen Kumaradevi for him, was a shrine, a gandhakuti. It is difficult to explain the wish that he, [illegible] the image, may reside there for ever, under any other supposition.

The inscription can be divided into four parts. After an invocation of Vasudhara (v.1.) and the moon (v.2) vv. 3-6 give some information about some rulers or generals of Pithi or Pithika. We learn that, in the lunar race, there arose a chief called Vallabharaja, the lord of broad Pithika (v.3). The following verse introduces the lord of Pithi Devarakshita, without saying anything about his relationship to Vallabharaja. He is described as the full moon of the lotus of the Chhikkora-vamsa, and we are told that he even surpassed Gajapati in splendor. Devarakshita is again referred to as the lord of Pithi in the second part of the inscription, and it therefore seems necessary to interpret vv. 5-6, which apparently refer to a son of his (tasmad-asa, etc.) as an explanation of his relationship to Vallabharaja, who would then be his father.

The second part of the inscription vv. 7-13, contains the information that Devarakshita was defeated by Mahana, the maternal uncle of the Gauda king, who thus firmly established the throne of Ramapala, and subsequently bestowed his daughter Sankaradevi on the Pithi lord. Their daughter was Kumaradevi, in whose praise the present inscription was written.

The third part, vv. 14-20, then contains the genealogy of the Gahadavala family, to which Kumaradevi’s husband Govindachandra belonged. It agrees with the list given in most inscriptions of this latter king, but does not carry us further back than to his grandfather. We are first introduced to Chandra, the Chandradeva of Govindachandra’s inscriptions. His son was Madanachandra, elsewhere known as Madanapala, who again was the father of Govindachandra. He is said to have saved Benares from the wicked Turushka soldier.

The fourth part of the inscription (verses 21-23) specifies the gifts of Kumaradevi, and her praise is sung in verse 21 Verses 25-26 then inform us that the inscription, which is here called a prasasta, was composed by the poet sri Kunda, and engraved by Vamana.

Govindachandra is the well-known king of Kanauj, whose inscriptions are dated between A.D. 1114 and 1154. Our inscription teaches us that he guarded Benares against the Turnshkas, i.e. the Muhammadans. We do not know of any Muhammadan expedition against Benares in Govindachandra’s time. In A.D. 1033 a Muhammadan army under Ahmad Nialtigin arrived at the town, but only stayed there for a day,1 [See H.M. Elliot, The History of India as told by its own Historians, Vol. II 1869, pp. 112 and ff.] and there is no indication of a permanent settlement. We know, on the other hand, that Mussalman settlers remained in the country about the Jamna from the days of Mahmud and down to the end of the 12th century.2 [Ibid, pp. 250 and ff.] It seems probable that Govindachandra took some action against such settlers, and the term turushkadanda, which occurs in many of his and his predecessors’ inscriptions, gives us a hint as to the nature of this action. The work turushkadanda has been variously translated as “tax on aromatic reeds” and “Muhammadan amercements”.3 [See Fuhrer, Journal Bengal Society, Vol. LVI, Pt. I, p. 113.] The information furnished by our inscription seems to show that it was in reality a tax on Muhammadans, the exact nature of which cannot, however, be determined.

Our inscription introduces us to a new queen of Govindachandra, Kumaradevi, the grand-daughter of Mahana. Three other queens are already known from inscriptions, viz Nayanakelidevi,4 [Above, Vol. IV, p. 108.] Gosaladevi5 [Kielhorn, Northern List, Nos. 127 and 131.] and Dalhanadevi6 [See Fuhrer, loc. cit. p. 115, 119.]. While Govindachandra was himself an orthodox Hindu, his fourth wife Kumaradevi was a Buddhist. According to information kindly supplied by Mahamahopadhyaya Hara Prasad Sastri, the king had still another Buddhist wife Vasantadevi, who is mentioned in the colophon of a manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika in the Nepal Darbar Library (No. 381 of the third collection). The colophon runs –sri-sri-Kanyakubj-adhipaty-asvapta gajapati-narapata-rujya-trayddhipati-srimad-Govindachandradevasya pratapavasatah rajni-sri-pravara-Mahayana-yayinyah paramopasika-rajni-Vasantadevya deyadharmmo=yam.

It is possible that Vasantadevi and Kumaradevi are one and the same person, one of the meanings of vasanta being “youth” = kumara. It is, however, more probable that they are two different persons.

Some information about Mahana, the father of Kumaradevi’s mother, and about the lord of Pithi, her father, can be gleaned from Sadhyakara Nandi’s Ramacharita, which work has been brought to light by Mahamahopadhyaya Hara Prasad Sastri.7 [Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1900, pp. 70 and ff.] We are there told that Mahana was the maternal uncle of the Gauda king Ramapala. Vigrahapala, the father of Ramapala, made a successful war against the Chedi king Karna of Dahala, of whom we possess an inscription dated Kalachuri Samvat 493=A.D. 1042.8 [Kielhorn, Northern List, No. 407.] Karna’s reign probably extended over a long period.9 [See Kielhorn, above, Vol. II, pp. 302 and ff.] We cannot, therefore, determine when the war against Vigrahapala took place. We have an inscription of the time of Vigrahapala’s grandfather Mahipala, dated A.D. 1026,10 [Kielhorn, Northern List, No. 59.] and Mahipala’s son Nayapala reigned at least 15 years.11 [Ibid., No. 642.] Vigrahapala’s accession cannot, therefore, be placed earlier than A.D. 1041. His son Ramapala, who was preceded on the throne by two brothers Mahipala II and Surapala, was a contemporary of Sankaradevi, the mother of Govindachandra’s queen Kumaradevi. It therefore seems probable that Vigrahapala’s accession should be placed about A.D. 1050, and Ramapala’s reign in the last part of the eleventh century. Mahana, Sankaradevi’s father, would then be a contemporary of both of them. The Ramacharita, which calls him Mathana or Mahana, states that he was a Rashtrakuta, and the maternal uncle of Ramapala. It therefore becomes probable that Vigrahapala married a Rashtrakuta princess in addition to the daughter of the Chedi king Karna who was, according to the Ramacharita, given to him after the war allued to above. Mahana was Ramapala’s right hand, and was of great assistance in the war against Bhima. Among the feudatories of the Pala king in that war, the Ramacharita mentions Viraguna, the raja of Pithi who is described as the lord of the south. Devarakshita of Pithi is also mentioned, but not as a feudatory. He must be identical with the Devarakshita of our inscription, and it becomes probable that the Pithi ruler Viraguna had originally stood on Ramapala’s side, while Devarakshita later on rose against him. He hailed from Pithi or pithika is synonymous with pitha, and it is therefore possible that Pithi is identical with Pithapuram.1 [Compare the forms Pithapura and Pithapuri, above, Vol. IV, p. 37, 357. Note 4.] We know that a branch of the Eastern Chalukyas reigned in Pithapuram in the second half of the twelfth century, and that the town had already been conquered by Pulihosin II. No historical information is forthcoming about the earlier Chalukya princes of the Pithapuram branch. The real history of the family only seems to begin with Vijayaditya III, whose coronation took place A.D. 1158.2 [See Hultzach, above, Vol. IV., p. 223.] It should also be noted that the genealogy given in the Pithapuram inscriptions hardly can be correct. Mr. Sewell has drawn my attention to the fact that only four generations are enumerated between Beta, who reigned in A.D. 925, and Vijayaditya III., who was crowned in A.D. 1158.

Before this branch became established in Pithapuram, the place was one of the strongholds of the Vengi province of the Eastern Chalukyas. In the last part of the 11th century, the reigning king was Kulottunga Chodadeva, who first was ruler in Vengi but who in A.D. 1070 was anointed to the Choda kingdom. Vengi was then ruled by viceroys, first by his uncle Vijayaditya VII then by his sons Rajaraja (1077-78) and Vira Choda (from 1078). Mr. Venkayya suggests that this latter viceroy may be identical with the Viraguna of the Ramapalacharita. Devarakshita was then probably a general under the viceroy of Vengi. He is said to have surpassed even the glory of Gajapati. As this epithet is used by some of the Eastern Gangas, it is possible that it here refers to Anantavarma Chodagana. The Kalingattu Parani3 [Ind. Ant. Vol. XIX., p. 329 ff.] describes an expedition undertaken by Kulottunga I. against this king, and Devarakshita may have played a role in it. We do not know anything about the Chhikkora family, to which Devarakshita belonged.

The marriage of Devarakshita’s daughter to king Govindachandra perhaps accounts for the relationship between the Cholas and the Gahadavalas commented on by Mr. Venkayya in his Annual Report for 1907-08, para. 58 and ff. An incomplete Gahadavala inscription has recently been found immediately after a record of Kulottungadeva of A.D. 1110-11, in Gangarkonda cholapuram, which it is tempting to bring into connexion with Govindachandra’s marriage. Mr. Venkayya carries the acquaintance of the Gahadavalas with the Choja kings further back to the expedition of Rajendra Chola towards the kings on the banks of the Ganges, mentioned in the Tiruvalangadu plates, and it seems very probable that this expedition led to the establishment of friendly relations with the north. Among the princes conquered by Rajendra Chola was Dharmapala of Dandabhukti, and the lord of Dandabhukti figures amongst the feudatory kings who, according to the Ramapalacharita, assisted Ramapala in his war against Bhima.

The relationship between the various persons mentioned in our inscription will be seen from the table which follows:

Image

According to verse 25, the inscription was composed by Kunda, who describes himself as a lion to the tirthika-elephants, a Rohana mountain, full of the splendid gems of poetical composition, a poet in eight bhashas, and an intimate friend of the king of Vanga. He is not elsewhere known. His name does not occur in the Saduktikarnamrita,1 [Rajendra Lala Mitra’s Notices of Sanskrit Manuscripts, Vol. II, p. 134 and ff.] nor, so far as I know, in any other anthology. The engraver was the silpin Vamana.

TEXT

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SARNATH INSCRIPTION OF KUMARADEVI

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TRANSLATION

Hail. Obeisance to the exalted noble Vasudhara.

(V.1) May Vasudhara protect the worlds, who abates the broad stream of unlimited misery in the manifold universe by the nectar stream of dharma, who pours out riches of wealth and gold over earth, skies and heaven, and who conquers all the misery of man in them2 [Mr. Venkayya suggests to read dainydi-tydjayanii.]

(V.2) Victorious be that lover of the lotuses, the flashing torch for the illumination of the world, who causes oozing of the lovely moon-gems and (brings tears into) the eyes of longing people; who opens the knot of pride in haughty damsels and also the closed lotuses, who with his nectar-filled beams revives the god of love, who was burnt to ashes by Tavara, (who had been) smitten (by him).

(V. 3) In his (the moon’s) lineage, which enjoys a valour worthy of homage; which is resplendent with shining fame, which speedily annihilates the pride of the river of the gods by its purity, which destroys the splendor of its adversaries, was a hero, known by the name of Vallabharaja, honoured among princes, the victorious lord of broad Pithika, of increasing mighty prowess.

(Vv. 4-5) The full moon expanding the lotuses of the Chhikkora family, known on earth as sri-Devarakshita, the lord of Pithi (who) surpassed even the splendor of Gajapati by his splendor, whose glory alone ravished the hearts of the world, was descended from him (Vallabharaja), as the moon from the ocean, a (veritable) Vishnu (Vidhu), to the Lakshmi of beauty, a (veritable) moon in causing the rise of the ocean, viz ocular pleasure (as the moon raises the ocean); a second moon, the luster of whose light was his fame (or, a second Vishnu with Sri in the shape of the luster of his fame), an incomparable treasure of goodness, a treasure of resplendent virtues; an ocean of profundity; a peerless store of religion, a store of energy, the only depository of the lore of arms, --

(V.6) Who was the veritable celestial tree in bestowing desired objects on supplicants, who was an irresistible thunderbolt in accomplishing the splitting of the mighty mountains, viz. his haughty foes, a marvelous man, whose arm was like a sprout of a marvelous herb in healing the fever of Cupid in enamoured women, and death to kings.

(V.7.) In the Gauda country there was a peerless warrior, with his quiver,3 [The meaning of kandapatika is uncertain. The word is usually translated ‘screen.” But this meaning [lines missing]] this incomparable diadem of kshatriyas, the Anga king Mahana, the venerable maternal uncle of kings. He conquered Devarakshita in war and maintained the glory of Ramapala, which rose in splendor because the obstruction caused by his foes was removed.

Foremost among Ramapala’s allies was his maternal uncle Mathana, better known as Mahana, the Rastrakuta chief who joined Ramapala with his two sons, Mahamandalika Kanharadeva and Suvarnadeva, and his brother’s son Mahapratihara Sivaraja. Mathana had already established his fame by defeating Devaraksita, king of Pithi. This statement in RC is fully supported by the following passage of the Saranath inscription. “In the Gauda country there was a peerless warrior, the Anga king Mahana, the venerable maternal uncle of kings. He conquered Devaraksita in war and maintained the glory of Ramapala, which rose in splendour because the obstruction caused by his foes was removed.”1 [Ep. Ind. Vol. IX, p. 386 [Actually pp. 320-326].]

-- The Ramacaritam of Sandhyakaranandin, by Dr. R. C. Majumdar, M.A., Ph.D.; Dr. Radhagovinda Basak, M.A., Ph.D.; andPandit Nanigopal Banerji, Kavyatirtha


(V.8.) The daughter of this Mahanadeva was like the daughter of the mountain (i.e. Parvati), she was married to the lord of Pithi as (Parvati) to Svayambhu;

(V.9.) She was known as Sankaradevi, full of mercy like Tara, and she excelled the creepers of the wishing tree in her efforts to make gifts.

(V.10.) To them, forsooth, was born Kumaradevi, like a devi, lovely like the charming streak of the spotless autumnal moon, as if Tarini herself, prompted by compassion, had descended to earth with a wish to free the world from the ocean of misery.

(V.11.) After having created her, Brahma was filled with pride at his own cleverness in applying his art, excelled by her face the moon, being ashamed, remains in the air, rises at night becomes impure and subsequently full of spots, how can this her marvelous beauty be described by people like us?

(V.12.) She, who in a wonderful way possesses a beautiful body, which is a glittering net for entrapping female antelopes, viz. the moving eyes, and which robs the wealth of beauty of the lense waves of the playful milky ocean by her brilliant charm of lovely splendor; who does sway with the infatuation of the daughter of the mountain (i.e. Parvati) by her proud grace.

(V.13.) Her mind was set on religion alone, her desire was bent on virtues, she had undertaken to lay in a store of merit, she found a noble satisfaction in bestowing gifts, her gait was like that of an elephant, her appearance charming to the eye, she bowed down to the Buddha, and the people sang her praise, she took her stand in the play of commiseration, was the permanent abode of luck, annihilated sin, and took her pride in abundant virtue.

(V.14.) In the royal Gahadavala lineage, famous in the world, was born a king, Chandra by name, a moon (Chandra) among rulers. By the streams of tears of the wives of the kings who could not resist him, the water of the Yamuna forsooth became darker.

(V.15.) The king Madanachandra, a crest jewel amongst impetuous kings, was born from him, the lord who brought the circle of the earth under one scepter, the splendor of the fire of his valor being great and mighty, and who even lowered the glory of Maghavan by his glory.

(V.16.) Hari, who had been commissioned by Hara in order to protect Varanasi from the wicked Turushka warrior, as the only one who was able to protect the earth, was again born from him, his name being renowned as Govindachandra.

(V.17.) Wonderful, the calfs of the celestial cows could not formerly get even drops of the milk stream to drink, on account of its continuous use for satisfying the hearts of supplicants, but after the multitude of these supplicants had been gladdened through the liberality of that king, they sat down to the feast of drinking the milk which is always plentiful and applied according to their wishes.

(V.18.) In the excellent cities of his adversaries, hunters by mistake do not pick up fallen necklaces, thinking them to be nooses for the deer in it, and hunters quickly remove the fallen gold ear-ring with sticks, the garlands in their hands shaking with fear, mistaking it for a snake on account of its large size.

(V.19.) The chariot of the sun was delayed because its span of horses were greedy after the mouthful of fresh, shining, thick grass on the roofs of the palaces in the towns of his uprooted foes, and also the moon became slow, because he had to protect the gazelle (in his orb), which was falling down, having become covetous after the grass.

(V.20.) Kumaradevi, forsooth, was famous with that king, like Sri with Vishnu, and her praises were sung in the three worlds, and in the splendid harem of that king, she was indeed like the streak of the moon amongst the stars.

(V.21.) This vihara, an ornament to the earth, the round of which consists of nine segments, was made by her, and decorated as it were by Vasudhara herself in the shape of Tarini, and even the creator himself was taken with wonder when he saw it accomplished with the highest skill in the applying of wonderful arts and looking handsome with (the images of) gods.

(V.22.) Having prepared that copper-plate grant, which recorded the gift to sri-Dharma chakra Jina, for so long a time as moon and sun endure on earth, and having given it to her, that Jambuki was made (?) the foremost of all pattalikas by her (Kumaradevi).

(V.23.) This Lord of the Turning of the Wheel was restored by her in accordance with the way in which he existed in the days of Dharmasoka, the ruler of men, and even more wonderfully, and this vihara for that [illegible] was elaborated erected by her, and might be placed there, stay there as long as moon and sun ([illegible]).

(V.24.) If anyone on the surface of the world preserves her fame, she will be intent on bowing down at his pair of feet. You Jinas shall be witnesses. But if any fool robs her fame, then those lokapalas will quickly punish that wicked man in their wrath.

(V.25.) The poet in eight bhashas known as the trusted friend of the Banga-king, Sri-Kuna by name, the learned who was the only hon to attack the crowds of the elephant like heretics, who was a Rohana mountain of the flashing jewels of poetical composition, he made this eulogy of her, charming with strings of letters beautifully arranged.

(V.26.) This prasasta has been engraved by the [illegible] Vamana on this excellent stone which rivals the rajavarta (i.e. Lapis Lazuli).
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sun May 02, 2021 2:18 am

No. 44 – Spurious Lapha Plate of the Haihaya King Prithvideva: Samvat 806
by Hira Lal, B.A., Nagpur
Epigraphia Indica
P. 293
1907-8

At the request of Mr. C.U. Wills, I.C.S., Zamindari Settlement Officer, Bilaspur District, I have examined a copper plate in the possession of a Zamindar at Lapha, named Dahiraj Singh, who is over sixty years of age and whom I had the pleasure to meet. He was good enough to lend it to me for taking an impression to accompany this note. He informed me that the plate was given to one of his ancestors, who first came from Delhi and took service at Ratanpur as one of the gate-keepers of the Ratanpur Fort and also as a guard of the Rani’s palace. He used to live in the Bhedimudapara, one of the quarters of Ratanpur town. This portion of the town was eventually given to him as a mu’afi, and afterwards the present copper plate grant is said to have been given bestowing on him 120 villages belonging to the Lapha Fort. The present Zamindari contains only 75 villages and the Zamindar informed me that before Mr. Chisholm’s settlement in the year 1868, there were only 60 villages in it.

The plate is rectangular, measuring 9-1/2” x 4-5/8”, having a smooth surface, inscribed on one side only. There are two small holes on the top. The writing covers 7-1/2” x 3-1/2”, leaving out the Sri at the top.

The record consists of 8 lines surmounted by a prefatory one, the middle portion of which is spaced down, apparently for ornamental purposes. This line and the word sri at the top together with sri 5 at the commencement and subham=astu and the date in figures at the end are in prose. The rest is in verse, consisting of 5 anushtubh slokas which are numbered, except the last. There are altogether 206 letters including 9 figures.

The style of writing is Oriya, and there are not less than 25 letters which are distinctly borrowed from the alphabet of that language. All the matras or vowel signs have been marked according to what is in vogue in the present Oriya writing. The letters ja, da and va have been invariably written in Criya form. The language is Sanskrit with spelling mistakes. Thus in verse 2 we find surasamanta- instead of surasamanta-

The inscription purports to record the gift of 120 villages appertaining to the Lampha (Lapha) fort to a noble named Lunga, who had come from Delhi, by the Haihaya king Prithvideva, on the 1st day of the dark fortnight of Magha in Samvat 808. For what services the gift was made and on what conditions, is not stated, but it was to be hereditary and it was given because the king’s “mind was pleased with the Kauraviya”,1 [Perhaps Kauraraya is intended. – S.K.] which apparently means that he was pleased with the Kawar tribe, to which the donce belonged, presumably for their military services. What strikes one most at the first glance is the freshness of the metal, the clean cut and the modern characters, and this rouses suspicion. The intermixture of Oriya letters is in itself suspicious. They might, however, be old and indicate that the plate is an old one. On looking for the date such an idea gets partially confirmed, but the suspicion again revives as soon as we learn from the Zamindar that, since the grant was made, only 27 generations have supervened. The Zamindar thinks the date to be of the Vikrama era, so that the plate would be about 1,159 years old. This would give, on the average, 43 years to a generation, which is absurd. A critical examination of the record affords as easy an evidence of its being spurious. The characters are in reality all modern, having been taken from the Hindi and Oriya alphabets. The inscriptional alphabet of the Chhattisgarh Harhayas has a peculiarity of its own, not easily describable, but which distinguishes it from the modern alphabet. The most distinctive letters are cha, ja, dha, bha and sa, but in all instances where these letters occur in the present plate, they have no such distinctive features. The style of the record is also modern. I have no come across any Haihaya inscription with a sri at the top, which modern writers usually put in. Again the word sri Krishnachandra, which is apparently meant as an invocation, is a modernism, similar phrases being sri-Rama, sri-Gandia, etc. In all Haihaya inscriptions, the invocation is Om namah Sivaya, i.e. I bow down to Siva. The forger, who, I believe, has seen many of the Haihaya inscriptions, forgot the distinctive Haihaya invocation owing to the story of Sri-Krishna being uppermost in his mind, and he thought that as Krishna was so well pleased with Mayuradhvaja, the supposed ancestor of the Haibayas, an invocation to that deity would be most appropriate. The next phrase, calling the record vijaya-lekha or the victorious writ, meaning royal record, is another novelty of the Oriya type, in which, as in Dravidian languages, the addition of vijaya or victory to every act done by a high personage is a matter of etiquette. A Raja does not go, he conquers vijaya karuchhanti, he does not eat, he conquers the kitchen, he does not answer the call of nature, he conquers the latrine, and so on. I have no come across any other grant being distinguished as vijaya-lekha. The next phrase refers to a seal, which is nowhere to be found. The prefatory phrases done, the record proper again begins with a modernism, vis sri 5. This reminds one of a Hindi letter-writer which was used in schools, some years ago, in which there was a couplet to the effect that 6 sris should be recorded for a preceptor, 5 for a master, 4 for an enemy, 3 for a friend, 2 for a servant, and 1 for a wife or son. This must have occurred to the writer’s mind, more particularly because he was, as I suppose, a school-master himself and was probably teaching the Pattrahitaishini to his pupils.

Image
Lapha spurious plate of Prithvideva – Samvat 806
W. Griggs, Photo-lith.


Now with regard to the date, the Vikrama year 806 or 749 A.D. is impossible. It goes back to a period when probably the Haihayas had not at all come to Chhatisgarh. From inscriptions we have a date 1114 of Jajalladeva2 [Ep. Ind. Vol. I, p. 34.] I, who was fifth in descent from Kalingaraja, the first Haihaya, who is said to have conquered Dakshinakosala. Taking then the date of Kalingaraja to be 1000 A.D., the present grant would have been made by the Haihayas 250 years before they began to rule in Chhattisgarh. Even if we suppose that it refers to the Kalachuri era, it would be equivalent to 1054 A.D., i.e. almost contemporaneous with the commencement of Haihaya rule. Prithviraja was fourth in descent from Kalingaraja and was the father of Jajulladeva I. The date of this plate would place a difference of 60 years between father and son, if we suppose that both records were written in the first year of their reigns. This is again improbable. These kings moreover had not then gone to Ratanpur.

On the whole, I come to the conclusion for reasons stated above that this grant to Lunga is a lunga affair and was perpetrated somewhere between 1860 and 1870 by a Sanskritist of Ratanpur, whom I do not desire to name out of respect for his Sanskrit learning. I suppose “dull penury” induced him to undertake a work which he would not have otherwise done. The record does not show any adequate cause for the grant being made, and it is noteworthy that exactly double the number of villages of those which the Zamindari contained before Mr. Chisholm’s settlement were recorded as granted by the Haihaya Raja. It may be noted that when this record was written the change of the tribal name of the donce or his descendants from Kawar to Tawar had not been mooted or at least had not been seriously taken up, otherwise we should not have had the phrase Kauraviya-prasannadhih in verse 3. There is a family genealogy of the Lapha Zamindar, written in the year 1927 or 1870 A.D., which shows that the tribal name had then been changed to Tawar.

TEXT

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TRANSLATION

Sri
The illustrious Krishnachandra
The Victorious writ
The Illustrious writer’s regular seal
Sri 5. Hail.

(verse 1.) The illustrious Maharajadhiraja Prithvideva, the king of many countries (is) very intelligent. (His) lotus feet are shining with the diadems (of kings prostrating before him).

(V.2.) (He is as it were) the sun amongst the descendants of the Haihayas and is served by his brave feudatories. His army is full of very extraordinary soldiers. He is the destroyer of his enemies.

(V.3-4.) His mind being pleased with the Kauraviyas1 [Or, if we read Kauravaya, "he gave to the very brave and noble Kaurava (Kawar) named Lunga."] (Kawara) he gave to the very brave noble named Lunga, who had come from Delhi, 120 villages with the Lampha fort for maintenance from generation to generation, on the first day of the dark fortnight of the Magha month in the expired year (symbolically expressed by) flavor (6) sky (0) and eight (8).

Future kings should always respect my gift written on the copper plate by Madhava Sui. Let good fortune attend. The first day of the dark fortnight of Magha in the year 806.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sun May 02, 2021 2:47 am

No. 35. The Kotwalipara Spurious Grant of Samacara Deva.
by Rakhal Das Banerji, with a Prefatory Note by Mr. H. E. Stapleton, B.A., Inspector of Schools, Dacca
Journal of the Bengal Asiatic Society, Vol. vi., p. 429
1911

NOTE

The principal feature of the bil country lying in the S.W. of Faridpur district is the finely preserved fortification of Kotwalipara, the mud walls of which are each about 2 miles long and 20 to 30 feet high. Early in 1908, in the course of a tour of inspection in Bakarganj and Southern Faridpur, I had the opportunity of visiting the locality in company with an Assistant Settlement Officer, Babu Kalipada Maitra, and as the result of my request that he should look out for coins, and copper plates similar to the one described in the Journ. Asiatic Soc. Bengal for 1896, pp. 6-15, by Babu Nagendranath Basu, that is alleged to have come from the village of Pinjuri close to and outside the south-west corner of the fortification, Kalipada Babu forwarded to me later, in 1908, the rubbings of two Gupta coins, and the copper-plate that forms the subject of Babu Rakhaldas Banerji’s note. A cast of one Gupta coin now in my possession, belonging to Skanda Gupta, was exhibited with the copper-plate at the Society’s Conversazione last January, and the other coin is dealt with in a recent paper on Eastern Bengal and Assam history (Journ. Asiatic Soc. Bengal, 1909, Contributions 1, p. 142). The copper-plate was at first entrusted to Mahamahopadhyaya Haraprasad Sastri who, with the help of Pandit Nilmani Chakravarti, roughly deciphered it and read the date as being 44 of the Sri Harsha era (=651 A.D.). He added, however, that, in the opinion of the late Dr. Bloch, the plate was a kuta sasana, or forgery. Babu Rakhaldas Banerji subsequently undertook to make a more thorough study of the plate, with the result that Dr. Bloch’s opinion seems to be confirmed.

The plate is said to have been recently discovered about 9 inches under the surface of the ground by a cultivator while digging his holding at Ghagrahati, a mauza close to Pinjuri on the Ghagar River which runs from north to south along the western par of the fortification. The names of the mauzas in the immediate vicinity bear no relation to the names given at the end of the fortification, but 2-1/2 miles north, near the north-west corner of the fort, occur four mauzas, Ferdhara (to the south of the village and thana Ghagarhat), Koakha (to the north-east of the same village), Parkunahat (within the fort at the N.W. angle, and Kujbon (a large mauza, of which the southern boundary is the northern par). The first two appear to be the modern representatives of Vidyadhara Jogika and Chandra Varmma Kogaku respectively, and indicate that the original deposit-spot of the copper-plate under consideration was, near the place where the old road from Ghagrahat to Gaurnadi (in N.E. Bakarganj) still passes through the western par.

The plate is interesting as dating from before the time of the Sena Kings, though it is disappointing that no light is thrown on the question as to who was the builder of the pars. The discovery of the Gupta coins in villages lying close to the western par may be taken, however, as proof that the fortification dates back to at least Gupta times, as, apart from the pars, there is nothing in the surrounding bil country to induce invaders from the N.E. to visit the place. The history of the locality will form the subject of a later paper.

H.E.S.

The plate was sent to me at Mussoorie by Mr. H.E. Stapleton in September, 1908. It was sent back in November from Lucknow for the Society’s Conversazione. The plate was finally handed over to me for publication in July 1909. Mr. Stapleton has recorded the provenance in the prefatory note. The discovery of the copper-plate and the gold coin in the mounds of the outskirts of Kotwalipara is of great interest, as it proves beyond doubt that there was an ancient settlement at this place centuries prior to the Mussalman conquest. Kotwalipara or Kotalipada is at present known as one of the oldest Brahmana colonies in Bengal. Prof. Nilmani Chakravartti wrote to me while I was at Lucknow that the late Dr. Bloch had pronounced the grant to be a forgery. Dr. Bloch himself told me a short time before his death, that he considered the grant to be a forgery. Nothing seems irregular in the script or the date at first. The script belongs to the period when acute-angled characters were beginning to be used in North-Eastern India, and the ancient Gupta alphabet of the Eastern variety was gradually becoming out of date. The date also is not irregular, the year 34 of the Harsa era = 640-41 A.D. also suiting the paleography. After prolonged examination I found some of the minor irregularities in the script: --

(1) In all cases, the letter ha, when it occurs singly, is of the form generally to be found in early Gupta inscriptions of the Western variety and shows no acute angle at the bottom. But when it is used in a compound letter it has the form to be found in early Gupta characters of the Eastern variety, which is to be found in the Allahabad Asoka-pillar inscription of Samudra Gupta1 [Fleet’s Gupta Inscriptions, p. 1. ] and the Dhanaidaha grant of Kumaragupta I.2 [See ante, vol. v., p. 459.] In a previous number of the Journal I have tried to establish that the Eastern variety of the early Gupta alphabet was dying out in the early decades of the fifth century. The Patiakella grant of Sivaraja1 [Ep. Ind., vol. ix, p. 285.] and the Bodh-Gaya inscription of Mahanaman2 [Fleet’s Gupta Inscriptions, p. 274, pl. xlia.] prove that the elimination of the Eastern variety of the fourth century alphabet was complete by the end of the sixth century A.D. This conclusion is further borne out by the Mundesvari Inscription of Udayasena3 [Ep. Ind., vol. ix, p. 289.] and the Ganjam plate of the time of Sasankaraja.4 [Ibid., vol. vi, p. 143.] Moreover the ha of the Western variety occurring singly and that of the Eastern variety occurring in compounds (hma in brahmana in line 11 and line 14), are hardly in keeping with the general tone of the characters of the inscriptions. But I shall have to dilate on this point later on.

(2) In all cases, the long I has the form generally to be found in the Eastern variety of the early Gupta alphabet. The most conspicuous case is the I in Jivadatta in line 4 and to some extent I in Kesav-adin in line 15. But in a genuine inscription of the Harsa year 34 one expects long I of the looped form to be found in the Mundesvari Inscription or the Ganjam grant.

(3) There are two cases of the occurrence of the short I in its single form, and in each case it has a different form. The I in icchamy-ahain in line 9 consists of two dots, one above the other, and vertical straight line to the proper left. The I in icchato in line 14 consists of two dots, placed side by side with a horizontal straight line below them. The usual form of I in inscriptions of the first half of the seventh century is to be found in the two copper-plate grants of Harsavarddhana and the Ganjam plate of the time of Sasankaraja. This consists of two dots or circles places side by side and a curved line below them.

(4) Many of the characters of this inscription exhibit fourth century or early Gupta forms. In the majority of cases the letter nia[?] has the hooked form to be found in the Bharadi Dih [illegible] inga inscription. The bipartite ya looks ill side by side with [illegible] ja and ha (when it occurs alone), in which no acute angle can be traced.

(5) La as a subscript letter occurs only once and resembled the hooked la of the Eastern variety. In this inscription la in [illegible] and other cases resembles the la of the Western variety of the Gupta alphabet.

(6) Da has two forms when occurring in the same compound nda: -- c.f. Suvarnda in line 3 and mandale in line 4 with Vatsakunda in line 77 and Janarddaka-kunda in line 8. In the last two cases the compound has the form to be found in all Northern Indian inscriptions from the second to seventh century A.D.

(7) The scribe has made a serious mistake in using some eighth century characters of the Northern variety in the word Parkkati in line 19. The letter pa in the word does not resemble the remaining ones, which are usually rectangular in form, seldom showing an acute angle. In this letter, the right-hand vertical and the horizontal straight lines of the letter have merged into a single curve. The earliest occurrence of this form of pa is to be found in inscriptions of the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. But the more important piece of evidence is to be found in the second syllable rkka. This consists of two looped kas and a superscript ra. But even in the Banskhera and Madhuban plates of Harsavarddhana, which are inscripted with characters so cursive and at the same time the execution is so very beautiful that they may be taken to represent the current script of the period, the looped form of ka in the sixth century A.D. are to be found in the Bodh-Gaya Inscription of Mahanaman and the Ganjam plates of the time of Sasanka.1 [ Fleet’s Gupta Inscriptions, p. 274, pl. xlia: Epi. Ind., vol. vi., 143.]

This form of ka becomes fairly common from the last quarter of the seventh century A.D. and afterwards.

Thus, we find that the characters used in this copper-plate inscription were collection from alphabets in use in three different centuries: --

(1) The alphabet of the third and the first half of the fourth century A.D., c.f. ha in hma and la in sloka. The form of ma shows that it was copied from the early Gupta alphabet of the Eastern variety.

(2) The alphabet of the last half of the fifth century and the first half of the sixth century A.D. of North-Eastern India. The absence of acute angles in ja, pa, ha and la shows that the alphabet of the period of the Mundesvari inscription was also included.

(3) The regular alphabet of the sixth century with its profusion of acute angles is also very conspicuous. This alphabet came into general use in North-Eastern India in the earlier part of the seventh century A.D.

Apart from the palaeographical evidence, the wording of the inscription itself is sufficient to prove that it is a forgery.

The formula of a regular grant of land as is to be found in majority of copper-plate inscriptions may be divided into three separate parts: --

(1) The first portion may be either in prose or verse and generally gives the genealogy of the king or eulogium on him.

In shorter grants this portion is written in prose and gives the titles of the king.

(2) The second portion is invariably written in prose and contains the announcement of the grant to the various officers concerned. This portion also contains the details about the grant, e.c., the particular division, district or sub-division in which the land or village granted was situated.

(3) Some imprecatory verses [verb. (intr) to swear, curse, or blaspheme. (tr) to invoke or bring down (evil, a curse, etc) to imprecate disaster on the ship.] generally taken from some of the Dharma Sastras are added at the end. In some cases the date is given after these imprecatory verses.

This grant differs from the majority of copper-plate grants discovered up to date in the following particulars: --

(1) The king does not seem to be the donor, or to have consented, or to have sanctioned the grant.

(2) The name of the donor cannot be made out from the wording of this grant.

(3) The officers concerned in a particular grant are never mentioned by name: at least no such instance has been discovered up to date.

(4) Supratikasvami seems to be the agent by whom the various officers mentioned in lines 4 to 8 are informed about the grant. But the very same man is again mentioned in line 17. The construction of this line is ambiguous, but it seems that he is the man to whom the grant was made. For example, compare the statement in lines 9 to 12, where he says, “By your grace I intend to settle for ever in order to spread the sacrificial rites in this world.” The wording of this line too is also very ambiguous, and I am not quite sure as to the exactness of the above translation. Such a statement, viz., the expression of the grantee’s intention, is very odd in the wording of a copper-plate grant and, so far as I know, has not been met with before. The employment of the recipient of a grant as a Dutaka is against extremely unusual, and I believe no such case has been met with up to date.

The wording of the copper-plate, as I have already stated, is very ambiguous, and it cannot be made out who is the real donor. It is quite certain that the king mentioned in line 2 is not the donor. The grant may have been made by the officers mentioned on the obverse, but this is not certain. In any case, when a subordinate officer, or a number of officers, or a private personage makes a grant, it is absolutely necessary to obtain the royal sanction to it. Similar cases have already been met with: compare the Kamauli grant of the Singara Chief Vatsaraja of the Vikrama year 1191=1123 A.D.1 [Epi. Ind., vol. iv., p. 131. ]

The contents of lines 12 and 13 are quite unintelligible. Here and there words of Sanskritic origin are to be found mixed up with what seems to be unintelligible gibberish. The scribe’s object most probably was to create an impression by using high-sounding words. Dr. Bloch seems to have deciphered these two lines in a different manner, but I do not think he succeeded in interpreting them. We have a mention of a forged grant in the Madhuban grant of Harsavarddhana, in which we find that the king, finding that a Brahmana named Vamarathya was enjoying a village named Somakundaka in the Sravasti bhukti by holding a forged grant, confiscated the village and granted it to another man in the 25th year of his reign, i.e., 631-32 A.D. The wording of the 10th line of the plate is quite clear.

“Somakundakagramo Brahmana Vamarthyena kutasasanena bhuktaka iti vicarya yatas-tac-chasanam bhanktva tasmadaksipya ca.”1 [Epi. Ind., vol. vii, p. 158. ]

The inscription is incised on a thin plate of copper measuring 8-1/1” x 4-3/4”. There is a projection to the proper right of the inscription to which the seal was attached. The seal itself has now disappeared revealing a triangular slit, the object of which is inexplicable to me. Round holes are to be found in grants which are incised on two or more plates, and the ring holding together these plates passes through these holes, but these holes are always round, and I do not remember having ever seen or heard of an angular hole in a copper-plate. The average height of the letters are 3/8”. The record is incised on both sides of the plate, the obverse bearing 12 lines and the reverse 11. The orthography scarcely needs any comment, but the following forms should be noted: --

(1) The suvarnda in line 3 was most probably meant to be Suvarna.

(2) Vyavahanascha is most probably equivalent to Vyava-harinas-ca.

(3) The word Patacca in line 16 seems to be the Prakrit form of Praticya. The use of this word is another argument against the genuineness of the grant. The language of the grant is incorrect Sanskrit. Another strong argument against the genuineness of the grant is that the scribe wanted to put extra stress on the word Tamrapatta. It has also been used at least thrice, and it seems that the owner of the plate was over-anxious to get the plate established as a regular grant; compare line 11 [x], lines 15-16 [x] and line 17 [x].

Nothing is known at present about Samacaradeva, the king in whose reign the grant purports to have been issued. The date at the end of the grant is 34, and this should be referred to the Harsa era and not to the Gupta era. It must be admitted that a large number of letters of the Eastern variety of the early Gupta alphabets has been used in this grant, but the general tendency of the characters show that the scribe intended to use the acute-angled alphabets of the sixth and sixth [seventh?] century A.D. If this supposition is correct then the date of the grant is the 1st of Kartika of the Harsa year 34, i.e., 640 A.D. I may note in this connection that the date has been different read by two different scholars.

Prof. Nilmani Chakravarti of the Presidency College read this date as 44, but this can hardly be the case, as the letter la has always been used to denote the numeral 30. In another grant I have noticed that any other compound formed with the letter la also denotes the same numeral.1 [ ]

The late Dr. Bloch read the date to be 14, but I believe I have already adduced sufficient proof to establish my reading. In the year 640 Emperor Harsavarddhana of Thanesvara was alive and was in undisputed possession of Northern India from the Panjab to Assam. At this time the existence of an independent monarch, as is indicated by the title Maharajadhiraja, in Eastern Bengal can hardly be credited unless substantiated by epigraphs. I edit the inscription from the original plate.

TEXT

Obverse


Image

Reverse

Image

Plate XXIX.

Image
[iThe Kotwalipara grant. – Obverse.[/i]
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue May 04, 2021 4:29 am

A Copper-Plate Grant from East Bengal Alleged To Be Spurious
by F.E. Pargiter
The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland
pp. 710-711
July, 1912

In the last Report of the Archaeological Survey of India, that for the year 1907-8 (p. 255), is published a notice, with a transcript, of a copper-plate grant found in the south-west corner of the Faridpur District in East Bengal. The notice was written by the late Dr. T. Bloch, and he pronounced the grant to be spurious; but it is not spurious, and I may be permitted to draw attention to it with a few remarks.

Three copper-plate grants were found in that district during the years 1891 and 1892, and were given to me by Dr. Hoernle to be deciphered in 1908. At that time this fourth plate was discovered and was brought to our notice by Dr. Bloch. He said it would be published in the Arch. Report for 1907-8, and I proceeded with the decipherment of the three earlier grants, but a photograph of that grant was sent me by the kindness of a friend. Those three grants were published by me in July, 1910, in the Indian Antiquary (vo. xxxix, p. 193). The fourth plate was published by Babu R.D. Banerji in 1910 in the Journal of the Beng. As. Soc. (vol. vi, p. 429), under the title “The Kotwalipara spurious grant of Samacara Deva.” I then took up the matter of this grant, and published a paper dealing fully with it in that Society’s Journal last year (vol. vii, p. 475), under the title “The Ghagrahati (Kotwalipara) grant and three other copper-plate grants.” While that paper was in the press the Arch. Report came out with Dr. Bloch’s notice of the grant.

Both Dr. Bloch and Babu R.D. Banerji have pronounced this fourth grant to be spurious, but they had not the advantage of seeing the three other grants, whereas I had the advantage of reading all four before pronouncing any opinion on any one of them. These grants are of a somewhat new kind. They are not royal deeds, but are grants of lands by private persons to Brahmans. I only wish now to draw attention to the genuineness of this fourth grant and anyone who may be interested in this question will find it dealt with fully in my article in the Journal of the Bengal Asiatic Society.

F.E. Pargiter
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