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Madras Presidency
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/14/21

Presidency of Fort St George
Presidency of British India
1652–1947
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Flag of Madras Presidency
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Coat of arms of Madras Presidency
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The Madras Presidency in 1913
Capital: Summer: Ooty; Winter: Madras
Historical era/ New Imperialism
Established / 1652
Disestablished / 1947

Preceded by / Succeeded by
Nawabs of the Carnatic / Dominion of India
Madurai Nayak / Dominion of India

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Colonial India
British Indian Empire
Imperial entities of India
Croatian India: 1530–1667
Dutch India: 1605–1825
Danish India: 1620–1869
French India: 1668–1954
Austrian India 1778–1785
Portuguese India (1505–1961)
Casa da Índia: 1434–1833
Ceilão Português: 1597–1658
Portuguese East India Company: 1628–1633
British India (1612–1947)
East India Company: 1612–1757
Company rule in India: 1757–1858
British rule in Ceylon: 1796–1948
British rule in Portuguese India: 1797–1813
British Raj: 1858–1947
British rule in Burma: 1824–1948
British rule in the Maldives: 1887–1965
Princely states: 1721–1949
Partition of India: 1947–

The Madras Presidency, or the Presidency of Fort St. George, and also known as Madras Province, was an administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India. At its greatest extent, the presidency included most of southern India, including the whole of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and parts of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha and the union territory of Lakshadweep. The city of Madras was the winter capital of the Presidency and Ootacamund or Ooty, the summer capital. The Island of Ceylon was a part of Madras Presidency from 1793 to 1798 when it was created a Crown colony. Madras Presidency was neighboured by the Kingdom of Mysore on the northwest, Kingdom of Cochin on the southwest, and the Kingdom of Hyderabad on the north. Some parts of the presidency were also flanked by Bombay Presidency (Konkan) and Central Provinces and Berar (Madhya Pradesh).

In 1639, the English East India Company purchased the village of Madraspatnam and one year later it established the Agency of Fort St George, precursor of the Madras Presidency, although there had been Company factories at Machilipatnam and Armagon since the very early 1600s. The agency was upgraded to a Presidency in 1652 before once more reverting to its previous status in 1655. In 1684, it was re-elevated to a Presidency and Elihu Yale was appointed as president. In 1785, under the provisions of Pitt's India Act, Madras became one of three provinces established by the East India Company. Thereafter, the head of the area was styled "Governor" rather than "President" and became subordinate to the Governor-General in Calcutta, a title that would persist until 1947. Judicial, legislative and executive powers rested with the Governor who was assisted by a Council whose constitution was modified by reforms enacted in 1861, 1909, 1919 and 1935. Regular elections were conducted in Madras up to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. By 1908, the province comprised twenty-two districts, each under a District Collector, and it was further sub-divided into taluks and firqas with villages making up the smallest unit of administration.

Following the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms of 1919, Madras was the first province of British India to implement a system of dyarchy, and thereafter its Governor ruled alongside a prime minister. In the early decades of the 20th century, many significant contributors to the Indian independence movement came from Madras. With the advent of Indian independence on 15 August 1947, the Presidency became the Madras Province. Madras was later admitted as Madras State, a state of the Indian Union at the inauguration of the Republic of India on 26 January 1950.

Origins

Before the arrival of the English


The discovery of dolmens from this portion of the subcontinent shows inhabitation as early as the Stone Age. The first prominent rulers of the northern part of the future Presidency were the Tamil Pandya dynasty (230 BC – AD 102). Following the decline of the Pandyas and the Cholas, the country was conquered by a little known race of people called the Kalabhras.[1] The country recovered under the subsequent Pallava dynasty and its civilisation attained a peak when the later Telugu kings started acquiring vast places in Tamil Nadu. Following the conquest of Madurai by Malik Kafur in 1311, there was a brief lull when both culture and civilisation began to deteriorate. The Tamil and Telugu territories recovered under the Vijayanagar Empire, founded in 1336. Following the empire's demise, the country was split amongst numerous sultans, polygars and European trading companies.[2] Between 1685 and 1947, a number of kings ruled the areas that became part of the Madras Presidency.[3]

The southwestern portions of the Presidency, which together constitute Tulu Nadu and Kerala, has a distinct history, language, and culture from its eastern counterparts.

Early English trading posts

On 31 December 1600, Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603) granted a group of English merchants a charter to establish a joint-stock company which became known as the East India Company.[4][5][6][7] Subsequently, during the reign of King James I (1567–1625), Sir William Hawkins and Sir Thomas Roe were sent to negotiate with the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (1569–1627) to permit the establishment of trading factories in India on behalf of the company. The first of these were built at Surat on the west coast[8] and at Masulipatam on the country's eastern seaboard.[9] Masulipatam is thus the oldest English trading post on India's east coast, dating back to 1611. In 1625, another factory was established at Armagon, a few miles to the south, whereupon both the factories came under the supervision of an agency based at Machilipatam.[9] The English authorities decided to relocate these factories further south, due to a shortage of cotton cloth, the main trade item of the east coast at the time. The problem was compounded when the Sultan of Golconda started harassing the local officers.[9] The East India Company's administrator Francis Day (1605–73) was sent south, and after negotiations with the Raja of Chandragiri he obtained a land grant to set up a factory in the village of Madraspatnam,[9] where the new Fort St George was built. An agency was created to govern the new settlement, and the factor Andrew Cogan of Masulipatnam was appointed as its first Agent.[10] All the agencies along India's east coast were subordinated to the East India Company presidency of Bantam in Java.[11] By 1641, Fort St George became the company's headquarters on the Coromandel Coast.[12]

Agency of Fort St George

Andrew Cogan was succeeded by Francis Day (1643–1644), Thomas Ivie (1644–1648) and Thomas Greenhill (1648–52 and 1655–58). At the end of Greenhill's term in 1652, Fort St George was elevated to a Presidency, independent of Bantam[9] and under the leadership of the first president, Aaron Baker (1652–1655).[9] However, in 1655 the status of the fort was downgraded to an Agency and made subject to the factory at Surat,[13] until 1684. In 1658, control of all the factories in Bengal was given to Madras, when the English occupied the nearby village of Triplicane.[14][15]

History

Main article: History of Madras Presidency

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Stringer Lawrence who established the Madras Army with Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah, the Nawab of Carnatic

Expansion

In 1684, Fort St George was again elevated in rank to become the Madras Presidency, with William Gyfford as its first president.[16] The city came to be divided into two parts: the European inhabited White Town and the Black Town where the 'natives' lived. The White Town was confined inside the walls of Fort St. George and the Black Town outside of it. The Black Town later came to be known as George Town.[17] During this period, the Presidency was significantly expanded and reached an extent which continued into the early 19th century. During the early years of the Madras Presidency, the English were repeatedly attacked by the Mughals, the Marathas and the Nawabs of Golkonda and the Carnatic region.[18] In September 1774, by Pitt's India Act, passed by the Parliament of Great Britain to unify and regulate the administration of the territories of the East India Company, the President of Madras was made subordinate to the Governor-General of India based in Calcutta.[19] In September 1746, Fort St George was captured by the French, who ruled Madras as a part of French India until 1749, when Madras was handed back to the British under the terms of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle of the previous year.[20]

During the Company Rule

See also: Company rule in India

From 1774 until 1858, Madras was a part of British India and was ruled by the British East India Company. The last quarter of the 18th century was a period of rapid expansion. Successful wars against Tipu Sultan (1782–99), Maruthu Pandyar, Velu Thampi, Polygars and Ceylon added vast areas of land and contributed to the exponential growth of the Presidency. Newly conquered Ceylon formed part of the Madras Presidency between 1793 and 1798.[21] The system of subsidiary alliances originated by Lord Wellesley as Governor-General of India (1798–1805) also brought many princely states into the area militarily subordinate to the Governor of Fort St George.[22] The largest kingdom of the hill-tract region of Visakhapatanam was Jeypore and in 1777 it was conquered by Captain Matthews.[23] The hill tracts of Ganjam and Visakhapatnam were the last places to be annexed by the British.[24]

The period also witnessed a number of rebellions starting with the 1806 Vellore Mutiny.[25] The rebellion of Velu Thambi and Paliath Achan and the Poligar Wars were other notable insurrections against the British rule, but the Madras Presidency remained relatively undisturbed by the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.[26]

The Madras Presidency annexed the kingdom of Mysore in 1831 on allegations of maladministration[27] and restored it to Chamaraja Wodeyar (1881–94), the grandson and heir of the deposed Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1799–1868) in 1881. Thanjavur was annexed in 1855, following the death of Shivaji II (1832–1855) who left no male heir.[28]

The Victorian era

See also: British Raj

In 1858, under the terms of Queen's Proclamation issued by Queen Victoria, the Madras Presidency, along with the rest of British India, came under the direct rule of the British crown.[29] During the period of governor Lord Harris (1854–1859), measures were taken to improve education and increase representation of Indians in the administration. Legislative powers were given to the Governor's council under the Indian Councils Act 1861.[30] The council was reformed and expanded under the Indian Councils Act 1892,[31] the Indian Councils Act 1909,[32][33] the Government of India Act 1919, and the Government of India Act 1935. V. Sadagopacharlu (1861–63) was the first Indian to be appointed to the council.[34] The legal profession was specially prized by the newly emerging corpus of educated Indians.[35] In 1877, T. Muthuswamy Iyer became the first Indian judge of the Madras High Court despite strong opposition from the Anglo-Indian media.[36][37][38] He also acted as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court for a few months in 1893, thereby becoming the first Indian to hold the post.[39] In 1906, C. Sankaran Nair became the first Indian to be appointed Advocate-General of the Madras Presidency. A number of roads, railways, dams and canals were constructed during this period.[37]

Two large famines occurred in Madras during this period, the Great Famine of 1876–78 and the Indian famine of 1896–97.[40] As a result, the population of the Presidency fell for the first time from 31.2 million in 1871 to 30.8 million in 1881. These famines and alleged partiality shown by the government in handling the Chingleput Ryots' Case and the Salem riots trial caused discontent among the population.[41]

Indian Independence Movement

See also: Indian independence movement in Tamil Nadu

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Annie Besant in 1922

A strong sense of national awakening emerged in the Madras Presidency in the later half of the 19th century. The first political organisation in the province, the Madras Native Association, was established by Gazulu Lakshminarasu Chetty on 26 February 1852.[42] However, the organisation did not last long.[43] The Madras Native Association was followed by the Madras Mahajana Sabha which was started on 16 May 1884. Of the 72 delegates who participated in the first session of the Indian National Congress at Bombay in December 1885, 22 hailed from the Madras Presidency.[44][45] Most of the delegates were members of the Madras Mahajana Sabha. The third session of the Indian National Congress was held in Madras in December 1887[46] and was a huge success attended by 362 delegates from the province.[47] Subsequent sessions of the Indian National Congress took place in Madras in 1894, 1898, 1903 1908, 1914 and 1927.[48]

Madam Blavatsky and Colonel H. S. Olcott moved the headquarters of the Theosophical Society to Adyar in 1882.[49] The society's most prominent figure was Annie Besant, who founded the Home Rule League in 1916.[50] The Home Rule Movement was organised from Madras and found extensive support in the Province. Nationalistic newspapers such as The Hindu, the Swadesamitran and the Mathrubhumi actively endorsed the campaign for independence.[51] India's first trade union was established in Madras in 1918 by V. Kalyanasundaram and B. P. Wadia.[52]

Dyarchy (1920–37)

Main article: Diarchy in Madras Presidency

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The non-Brahmin movement was started by C. Natesa Mudaliar (left) who founded the Justice Party in 1916 and Periyar E. V. Ramasamy (right), who founded the Self-Respect Movement and took over the Justice party in 1944

A dyarchy was created in Madras Presidency in 1920 as per the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms with provisions made for elections in the presidency.[53] Democratically elected governments would henceforth share power with the Governor's autocratic establishment. Following the first elections held in November 1920, the Justice Party, an organisation established in 1916 to campaign for increased representation of non-Brahmins in the administration, came to power.[54] A. Subbarayalu Reddiar became the first Chief Minister of the Madras Presidency but resigned soon after due to declining health and was replaced by P. Ramarayaningar, Minister of Local Self-Government and Public Health, popularly known as the Raja of Panagal.[55] The party split in late 1923 when C. R. Reddy resigned from primary membership and formed a splinter group allied with the opposition Swarajists. A motion of no-confidence was proposed against Ramarayaningar's government on 27 November 1923, but was defeated 65–44. Ramarayaningar remained in power until November 1926. The enactment in August 1921 of the first communal Government Order (G.O. No. 613), which introduced caste-based communal reservations in government jobs, remains one of the high points of his rule. In the following elections of 1926 the Justice Party lost. However, as no party was able to obtain a clear majority, the Governor, Lord Goschen, set up a cross-party government under the leadership of P. Subbarayan and nominated its supporting members.[56] In the election of 1930, the Justice Party was victorious, and P. Munuswamy Naidu became Chief Minister.[57] The exclusion of Zamindars from the Ministry split the Justice Party once again. Fearing a no-confidence motion against him, Munuswamy Naidu resigned in November 1932 and the Raja of Bobbili was appointed Chief Minister in his place.[58] The Justice Party eventually lost the 1937 elections to the Indian National Congress, and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari became Chief Minister of Madras Presidency.[59]

During the 1920s and 1930s, an Anti-Brahmin movement emerged in the Madras Presidency. It was launched by E. V. Ramaswamy who, unhappy with the principles and policies of the Brahmin leadership of the provincial Congress, left the party to form the Self-Respect Movement. Periyar, as he was alternatively known, criticised Brahmins, Hinduism, and Hindu superstitions in periodicals and newspapers such as Viduthalai and Justice. He also participated in the Vaikom Satyagraha, which campaigned for the right of untouchables in Travancore to enter temples.[60]

Last days of British rule

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The Indian National Congress came to power for the first time in 1937 with Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (pictured at a rally) as its Chief Minister

In 1937, the Indian National Congress was elected to power in the Presidency of Madras for the first time.[59] Chakravarti Rajagopalachari was the first Chief Minister of the Presidency to come from the Congress party. He successfully enacted the Temple Entry Authorization and Indemnity Act[61] and introduced both prohibition[62] and sales taxes in the Madras Presidency. His rule is largely remembered for the use of Hindi being made compulsory in educational institutions, a measure which made him highly unpopular as a politician[63][64] and sparked widespread Anti-Hindi agitations, which led to violence in some places. Over 1,200 men, women, and children were jailed for their participation in such Anti-Hindi agitations[65] while Thalamuthu and Natarasan died during the protests.[64] In 1940, Congressional ministers resigned in protest over the Government of India's declaration of war on Germany without their consent. The Governor of Madras, Sir Arthur Hope, took over the administration and the unpopular law was eventually repealed by him on 21 February 1940.[64]

Most Congressional leadership and erstwhile ministers were arrested in 1942, as a result of their participation in the Quit India movement.[66] In 1944, Periyar renamed the Justice Party as Dravidar Kazhagam and withdrew it from electoral politics.[67] After the end of the Second World War, the Indian National Congress re-entered politics, and in the absence of any serious opposition it easily won the 1946 election.[68] Tanguturi Prakasam was then elected as Chief Minister with the support of Kamaraj and served for eleven months. He was succeeded by O. P. Ramaswamy Reddiyar, who became the first Chief Minister of Madras state when India gained independence on 15 August 1947.[69] The Madras Presidency became the Madras State in independent India.[70]

Geography

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Madras province (North), 1909

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Madras province (South), 1909

At its greatest extent, the Madras Presidency included much of southern India. Present-day territories that were once part of the presidency are the whole Indian State of Andhra Pradesh excluding the region of Banaganapalle Princely State, the Tondai Nadu, Kongu Nadu, Chola Nadu and part of Pandya Nadu regions of Tamil Nadu, the Malabar region of North Kerala, the Lakshadweep Islands, the Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangapur and Malkangiri districts of southern Odisha and the Bellary, Dakshina Kannada, and Udupi districts of Karnataka and the parts of Jayashankar Bhupalapalli, Bhadradri Kothagudem districts of Telangana. The presidency had its winter capital at Madras and summer capital at Ootacamund.[71]

Demographics

See also: Demographics of Madras Presidency

Historical population

In 1822, the Madras Presidency underwent its first census, which returned a population of 13,476,923. A second census conducted between 1836 and 1837 recorded a population of 13,967,395, an increase of only 490,472 over 15 years. The first quinquennial population enumeration took place from 1851 until 1852. It returned a population of 22,031,697. Subsequent enumerations were made in 1851–52, 1856–57, 1861–62, and 1866–67. The population of Madras Presidency was tallied at 22,857,855, 24,656,509 in 1861–62 and 26,539,052 in 1866–67.[73] The first organised census of India was conducted in 1871 and returned a population of 31,220,973 for the Madras Presidency.[74] Since then, a census has been conducted once every ten years. The last census of British India held in 1941 counted a population of 49,341,810 for the Madras Presidency.[75]

Languages

See also: Dravidian languages

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Linguistic map of the Madras Presidency

The Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Odia, Tulu and English languages were all spoken in the Madras Presidency. Tamil was spoken in the southern districts of the Presidency from a few miles north of Madras city as far west as the Nilgiri hills and Western Ghats.[76] Telugu was spoken in the districts to the north of Madras city and to the east of Bellary and Anantapur districts.[76] In the district of South Kanara, the western part of Bellary and Anantapur districts and parts of Malabar, Kannada was spoken.[77] Malayalam was spoken in the districts of Malabar and South Kanara and the princely states of Travancore and Cochin, while Tulu was spoken in South Canara.[77] Oriya was spoken in the parts of the districts of then Ganjam and Vizagapatam.[77] English was spoken by Anglo-Indians and Eurasians. It was also the link language for the Presidency and the official language of British India in which all government proceedings and court hearings were conducted.[78]

According to the 1871 census, there were 14,715,000 people who spoke Tamil, 11,610,000 people who spoke Telugu, 2,324,000 people who spoke Malayalam, 1,699,000 spoke Canarese or Kannada, 640,000 people spoke Oriya and 29,400 people spoke Tulu.[79] The 1901 census returned 15,182,957 speakers of Tamil, 14,276,509 Telugu-speakers, 2,861,297 speakers of Malayalam, 1,518,579 were speakers of Kannada, 1,809,314 spoke Oriya, 880,145 spoke Hindusthani/Urdu and 1,680,635 spoke other languages.[80] At the time of Indian independence, Tamil and Telugu speakers made up over 78% of the total population of the presidency, with Kannada, Malayalam and Tulu speakers making up the rest.[81]

Religion

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Vaishnavite Brahmin students at a Gurukulam in Tanjore, c. 1909

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A village shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyanar, c. 1911

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Muslim (called in English at the time as Muhammadan) boy, c. 1914

In 1901, the population breakdown was: Hindus (37,026,471), Muslims (2,732,931), and Christians (1,934,480). By the time of India's independence in 1947, Madras had an estimated population of 49,799,822 Hindus, 3,896,452 Muslims and 2,047,478 Christians[82]

Hinduism was the predominant religion in the presidency and practised by around 88% of the population. The main Hindu denominations were Saivite, Vaishnavite and Lingayat.[83] Among the Brahmins, the Smartha doctrine was quite popular.[84] Worship of village gods was strong in the southern districts of the presidency while the mathas at Kanchi, Sringeri and Ahobilam were regarded as the centres of the Hindu faith. Of the Hindu temples, the largest and most important were the Venkateswara temple at Thirupathi, the Brihadeeswarar temple at Tanjore, the Meenakshi Amman temple at Madurai, the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam, the Krishna temple at Udupi and the Padmanabhaswamy temple in the princely state of Travancore. Islam was brought to the southern part of India by Arab traders although most converts were made from the 14th century onwards, when Malik Kafur conquered Madurai. Nagore was the holiest city for the Muslims of the Madras Presidency. The presidency also had one of the oldest Christian populations in India. Branches of the Syrian church, contrary to historical evidence, are popularly believed to have been instituted by St. Thomas, an apostle of Jesus Christ who visited the Malabar coast in 52 AD[85] Christians were mainly concentrated in the Tinnevely and Malabar districts of Madras Presidency with native Christians forming over one–quarter of the total population of the princely state of Travancore.[86] Hill tribes of the Nilgiris, Palani and Ganjam regions such as the Todas, Badagas, Kotas, Yerukalas and the Khonds, worshipped tribal gods and were often classified as Hindus. Until the early years of the 20th century, the Pallar, Paraiyar, Sakkiliar, Pulayar, Madiga, Izhava and Holeya Hindu communities were regarded as untouchable and were not allowed inside Hindu temples. However, along with the emancipation of Indian women and removal of social evils, untouchability was slowly eradicated through legislation and social reform. The Raja of Bobbili who served the Premier from 1932 to 1936, appointed untouchables to temple administration boards all over the presidency. In 1939, the Congress government of C. Rajagopalachari introduced the Temple Entry Authorization and Indemnity Act which removed all restrictions on untouchables entering Hindu temples.[61] Chithira Thirunal of Travancore had issued a similar had earlier introduced similar legislation, the Temple Entry Proclamation at the advice of his Diwan, Sir C. P. Ramaswamy Ayyar, in 1937.[87]

In 1921 the Raja of Panagal's government passed the Hindu Religious Endowments Bill[88] that established government-controlled trusts in the Madras Presidency to manage Hindu temples and prevent potential misuse of their funds.[88] The Raja of Bobbili also introduced reforms in the administration of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams, the trust which manages the Hindu temple at Tirupathi.

Administration

See also: Administrative divisions of Madras Presidency

The Pitt's India Act of 1784 created an executive council with legislative powers to assist the Governor. The council initially consisted of four members, two of whom were from the Indian civil service or covenanted civil service and the third, an Indian of distinction.[89] The fourth was the Commander-in-chief of the Madras Army.[90] The council was reduced to three members when the Madras Army was abolished in 1895.[90] The legislative powers of this council were withdrawn as per the Government of India Act 1833 and it was reduced to the status of a mere advisory body.[91] However, these powers were restored as per Indian Councils Act 1861.[91] The council was expanded from time to time through the inclusion of official and non-official members and served as the main legislative body till 1935, when a legislative assembly of a more representative nature was created and legislative powers were transferred to the assembly. On India's independence on 15 August 1947, the three-member Governor's executive council was abolished.

The origins of Madras Presidency lay in the village of Madraspatnam which was obtained in 1640.[92] This was followed by Fort St David which was acquired in 1690. Chingleput district, known as the "jaghire" of Chingleput, obtained in 1763, was the first district in the Madras Presidency.[92] Salem and Malabar districts were obtained from Tipu Sultan in 1792 as per the Treaty of Seringapatam and Coimbatore and Kanara districts after the Fourth Mysore War in 1799.[93] The territories of the Thanjavur Maratha kingdom were constituted as a separate district in 1799. In 1800, the districts of Bellary and Cuddapah were created out of the territory ceded by the Nizam of Hyderabad.[92][94] In 1801, the districts of North Arcot, South Arcot, Nellore, Trichinopoly, Madura and Tinnevely were created out of the territories of the erstwhile Carnatic kingdom.[92] Trichinopoly district was made a sub-division of Tanjore district in June 1805 and remained so till August 1808 when its status as a separate district was restored. The districts of Rajahmundry (Rajamahendravaram), Masulipatnam and Guntur were created in 1823.[95] These three districts were reorganised in 1859 into two – the Godavari and Krishna districts.[95] Godavari district was further bifurcated into East and West Godavari districts in 1925. The Kurnool kingdom was annexed in 1839 and was constituted as a separate district of the Madras Presidency.[92] For administrative convenience, the district of Kanara was split into North and South Kanara in 1859. North Kanara was transferred to Bombay Presidency in 1862. Between 1859–60 and 1870, the districts of Madras and Chingleput were put together into a single district.[92] A separate Nilgiris district was carved out of Coimbatore district in 1868.[93] As of 1908, Madras Presidency was made up of 24 districts[90] each administered by a District Collector who was from the Indian Civil Service. The districts were sometimes sub-divided into divisions each under a Deputy Collector. The divisions were further sub-divided into taluks and union panchayats or village committees. Agencies were sometimes created in British India out of volatile, rebellion-prone areas of the Presidency. The two important agencies in the Madras Presidency were the Vizagapatam Hill Tracts Agency which was subject to the District Collector of Vizagapatam and the Ganjam Hill Tracts Agency subject to the District Collector of Ganjam. In 1936, the districts of Ganjam and Vizagapatam (including the Vizagapatam and the Ganjam agencies) were partitioned between Madras and the newly created province of Orissa.

There were five princely states subordinate to the Madras government. They were Banganapalle, Cochin, Pudukkottai, Sandur, and Travancore.[96] All these states had a considerable degree of internal autonomy. However, their foreign policy was completely controlled by a Resident who represented the Governor of Fort St George.[97] In case of Banganapalle, the Resident was the District Collector of Kurnool, while the District Collector of Bellary[98] was the Resident of Sandur.[99] The Resident of Pudukkottai from 1800 to 1840 and 1865 to 1873, was the District Collector of Tanjore, from 1840 to 1865, the District Collector of Madura and from 1873 to 1947, the District Collector of Trichinopoly.[100]

Army

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A British officer in the Madras Light Cavalry

Main article: Madras Army

The English East India Company was first permitted to set up its own garrison in 1665 to guard its settlements. Notable amongst the early operations of the company's forces were the defence of the city from Mughal and Maratha invaders and from the incursions of the Nawab of Carnatic. In 1713, the Madras forces under Lieutenant John de Morgan distinguished themselves in the siege of Fort St David and in putting down Richard Raworth's Rebellion.[101]

When Joseph François Dupleix, the Governor of French India, began to raise native battalions in 1748, the British of Madras followed suit and established the Madras Regiment.[102] Though native regiments were subsequently established by the British in other parts of India, the distances that separated the three presidencies resulted in each force developing divergent principles and organisations. The first reorganisation of the army took place in 1795 when the Madras army was reconstituted into the following units:

• European Infantry – Two battalions of ten companies
• Artillery – Two European battalions of five companies each, with fifteen companies of lascars
• Native Cavalry – Four regiments
• Native Infantry – Eleven regiments of two battalions[103]

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A Jamadar of the 20th Deccan Horse

In 1824, a second reorganisation took place, whereupon the double battalions were abolished and the existing battalions were renumbered. The Madras Army at the time consisted of one European and one native brigade of horse artillery, three battalions of foot artillery of four companies each, with four companies of lascars attached, three regiments of light cavalry, two corps of pioneers, two battalions of European infantry, 52 battalions of native infantry and three local battalions.[104][105]

Between 1748 and 1895, as with the Bengal and Bombay armies, the Madras Army had its own Commander-in-Chief who was subordinate to the president, and later to the Governor of Madras. By custom, the Commander-in-chief of the Madras Army was a member of the Governor's Executive Council. The army's troops participated in the conquest of Manila in 1762,[106] the 1795 expeditions against Ceylon and the Dutch as well as the conquest of the Spice Islands in the same year. They also took part in expeditions against Mauritius (1810), Java (1811),[107] the wars against Tipu Sultan and the Carnatic Wars of the 18th century, the British attack on Cuttack during the Second Anglo-Maratha War,[108] the Siege of Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny, and the invasion of Upper Burma during the Third Anglo-Burmese War.[109]

The 1857 Mutiny, which quickly led to drastic changes in the Bengal and Bombay armies, had no effect on the Madras Army. In 1895, the presidency armies were finally merged and the Madras regiments came under the direct control of the Commander-in-chief of British India.[110]

in 1890 three madras infantry battalions were accordingly reconstituted, at least for a time, by tapping two south Indian communities which had not yet provided many recruits to the Indian army-the Mappilas and the coorgs, the government of madras was sceptical, and agreed to the formation of two Mappila battalions only on condition they were deployed outside Malabar. Raised in 1900, the new regiments were complete failure, they soon dwindled to 600 men 'quite useless for service'. ref:The Sepoy and the Raj: The Indian Army, 1860-1940 [111]

Land tenure

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Statue of Sir Thomas Munro who introduced the "Ryotwari System" in the Madras Presidency

See also: List of zamindari estates in Madras Presidency
Revenue from land rental as well as an income tax based on the tenant's net profits from their land was the presidency's main source of income.

In ancient times, land appears to have been held in common with an individual unable to sell it without the consent of the other owners, who in most cases were members of the same community.[112] Prior to the arrival of the British, the concept of individual proprietorship of land had already emerged along India's west coast[113] such that the new administration's land revenue system was not markedly different from that of its predecessor.[114] Nevertheless, landlords never sold land without the consent of other members of the community.[113] This communistic property rights system was known as kaniachi among the Vellalars, swastium among the Brahmins and mirasi among Muslims and Christians.[113] In the Tanjore district, all mirasi in the village were vested in a single individual who was called the Ekabhogam.[113] The mirasidars were required to donate a certain amount of money known as mirei to the village administration.[113] They also paid a specified sum to the Government. In return, the mirasidars demanded non-interference by the government in the internal affairs of the villages.[115]

The proprietary system was entirely different in the district of Malabar and the states of Cochin and Travancore where communal ownership of land did not exist.[116] Instead, land was individual property mostly owned by the landowning gentry, to wit the Namboodiri and Nair people, who did not have to pay land-tax and held extensive freeholds of land rented to tenants for agricultural purposes. In return, the Nairs supplied the king with fighting men in times of war while the Namboodhiris managed the upkeep of Hindu temples. These landlords were somewhat self-sufficient and had their own police and judicial systems such that the personal expenses of the Raja were minimal.[116] However, landlords lost their exemption from the taxes on land if they disposed of it[117] meaning that mortgage of land was more common than sale. Individual proprietorship of land was also common in the Telugu-speaking areas of the Presidency.[118] The chieftains of the Telugu-speaking districts had more or less maintained an independent existence for a long time,[118] furnishing the sovereign with armies and equipment in times of war. In return, their right to revenues from land remained unmolested.[118] During the time of the British, most of land in the northern districts of the Presidency were parcelled out among these petty "Rajahs".[118]

Islamic invasions caused minor changes in the land proprietorship system when taxes on Hindu land owners were raised and private ownership of property came down.[119]

When the British took over administration, the centuries-old system of land proprietorship was left intact.[120] The new rulers appointed middlemen to collect revenue for lands which were not under the control of local zamindars. In most cases, these go-betweens ignored the welfare of the farmers and exploited them to the full.[120] A Board of Revenue was established in 1786 to solve the issue but to no avail.[121] At the same time, the zamindari settlement established in Bengal by Lord Cornwallis proved highly successful and was later implemented in the Madras Presidency from 1799 onwards.[122]

However, the Permanent Settlement was not as successful as it had been in Bengal. When the Company did not reach the expected profit levels, a new system known as the "Village Settlement" was implemented between 1804 and 1814 in the districts of Tinnevely, Trichinopoly, Coimbatore, North Arcot and South Arcot. This involved the leasing of land to the principal cultivators, who in turn leased the land to ryots, or peasant farmers. However, as a village settlement had few differences compared to a permanent settlement, it was eventually discarded. In its place came the "Ryotwari Settlement" implemented by Sir Thomas Munro between 1820 and 1827. According to the new system, land was handed over directly to the ryots who paid their rent directly to the government. The land was assessed and paid revenue fixed by the Government This system had a number of advantages as well as disadvantages for the ryots. In 1833, Lord William Bentinck implemented a new system called the "Mahalwari" or village system under which landlords as well as ryots entered into a contract with the Government.[123][124]

By the early 20th century, the greater part of the land was held by ryots who paid rent directly to the Government. Zamindari estates occupied about 26 million acres (110,000 km2), more than one-quarter of the whole presidency. The peshkash, or tribute, payable to the government in perpetuity was about £330,000 a year. Inams, revenue-free or quit-rent grants of lands made for religious endowments or for services rendered to the state, occupied an aggregate area of nearly 8 million acres (32,000 km2).[125] In 1945–46, there were 20,945,456 acres (84,763.25 km2) of Zamindari estates yielding revenues of ₹9,783,167 and 58,904,798 acres (238,379.26 km2) of ryotwari lands which produced ₹72,665,330.[126] Madras had forest coverage of 15,782 square miles (40,880 km2).[127]

The Land Estates Act of 1908 was passed by the Madras Government in order to protect cultivators in Zamindaris from exploitation. Under the act, ryots were made permanent occupants of the land.[128] However, far from protecting the ryots, the legislation proved to be detrimental to the interests of the cultivators in the Oriya-speaking northern districts of the presidency[129] who were the intended beneficiaries, as it tied the cultivator to his land and landlord with the chains of eternal serfdom. In 1933, an amendment to the Act was introduced by the Raja of Bobbili to curb the rights of Zamindars and safeguard the cultivators from exploitation. This act was passed in the legislative council despite strong opposition from the Zamindars.

Agriculture and irrigation

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A 1936 map of rice stations in Madras Presidency

Almost 71% of the population of Madras Presidency was engaged in agriculture[130][131] with the agricultural year usually commencing on 1 July.[132] Crops cultivated in the Madras Presidency included cereals such as rice, corn, kambhu (Indian millet) and ragi as well as[133] vegetables including brinjal, sweet potato, ladies' fingers, beans, onions, garlic[134] and spices such as chilli, pepper and ginger along with vegetable oils made from castor beans and peanuts.[135] Fruits cultivated included lime, banana jackfruit, cashew nuts, mangos, custard apples and papayas.[136] In addition, cabbages, cauliflowers, pomelos, peaches, betel pepper, niger seed and millet were introduced from Asia, Africa or Europe,[133] while grapes were introduced from Australia.[137] The total cultivated area used for food crops was 80% and for cash crops, 15%.[138] Of the gross area, rice occupied 26.4 percent; kambhu, 10 percent; ragi, 5.4 percent and Cholam, 13.8 percent.[138] Cotton occupied 1,740,000 acres (7,000 km2), oilseeds, 2.08 million, spices,0.4 million and indigo, 0.2 million.[138] In 1898, Madras produced 7.47 million tons of food grains from 21,570,000 acres (87,300 km2) of crops grown on 19,300,000 acres (78,000 km2) of ryotwari and inam lands, which supported a population of 28 million.[131] The rice yield was 7 to 10 cwt. per acre, the cholam yields were 3.5 to 6.25 cwt. per acre, khambu, 3.25 to 5 cwt. per acre and ragi, 4.25 to 5 cwt. per acre.[138] The average gross turnout for food crops was 6.93 cwt. per acre.[131]

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The Mullaperiyar Dam was constructed across the Periyar river for power generation

Irrigation along the east coast is carried out mostly by means of dams across rivers, lakes and irrigation tanks. The main source of water for agriculture in the Coimbatore district were tanks.[137]

The Land Improvement and Agriculturists Loan Act passed in 1884 provided funds for the construction of wells and their utilisation in reclamation projects.[139] In the early part of the 20th century, the Madras government established the Pumping and Boring Department to drill boreholes with electric pumps.[136] The Mettur Dam,[140] the Periyar Project, the Cudappah-Kurnool canal and the Rushikulya Project were the biggest irrigation projects launched by the Madras Government. Constructed below the Hogenakkal Falls on the Madras-Mysore border in 1934, the Mettur Dam supplied water to the western districts of the Presidency. The Periyar Dam (now known as the Mullaperiyar Dam) was constructed across the Periyar river in Travancore, near the border.[141] This project diverted the waters of the Periyar river to the Vaigai River basin in order to irrigate the arid lands to the east of the Western Ghats.[141] Similarly, the Rushikulya Project was launched to utilise the waters of the Rushikulya river in Ganjam.[142] Under the scheme over 142,000 acres (570 km2) of land were brought under irrigation.[142] The British also constructed a number of dams and canals for irrigation. An upper dam was constructed across the Kollidam river near Srirangam island.[143] The Dowlaishwaram dam across the Godavari river, the Gunnavaram aqueduct across the Vaineteyam Godavari, the Kurnool-Cuddapah canal[131] and the Krishna dam are examples of major irrigation works carried out by the British.[142][143] In 1946–47, the total area under irrigation was 9,736,974 acres (39,404.14 km2) acres which yielded a return of 6.94% on capital outlay.[144]

Trade, industry and commerce

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The port of Tuticorin

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Textile showroom of M. V. Cunniah Chetty and Sons, circa 1914

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Weaving on Handlooms, c. 1913

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Parry & Co. sugar refineries at Samalkota, c. 1914

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Workshops of the Madras Automobiles Ltd., c. 1904

The trade of the Madras Presidency comprised that of both the Presidency with other Provinces and its overseas trade. External trade made up 93 percent of the total with internal trade making up the remainder.[145] Foreign trade accounted for 70 percent of the total while 23 percent was inter-provincial.[145] In 1900–01, imports from other provinces of British India amounted to ₹13.43 crores while exports to other provinces amounted to ₹11.52 crores. During the same year, exports to other countries reached ₹11.74 crores while imports were valued at ₹66.2 million.[146] At the time of India's independence, imports of the Presidency amounted to ₹71.32 crores a year while exports were valued at ₹645.1 million.[144] Trade with the United Kingdom made up 31.54% of the total trade of the Presidency with Madras the chief port accounting for 49% of the total trade.[144]

Cotton piece-goods, cotton twist and yarn, metals and kerosene oil were the main items of import while animal hides and skins, raw cotton, coffee and piece-goods were the chief exports.[145] Raw cotton, animal hides, oil seeds, grains, pulses, coffee, tea and cotton manufactures were the main items of sea trade.[147] Most of the sea trade was carried through the presidency's principal port of Madras. Other important ports were Gopalpur, Kalingapatnam, Bimlipatnam, Visakhapatnam, Masulipatnam, Cocanada, Madras, Cuddalore, Negapatam, Pamban and Tuticorin on the east coast along with Mangalore, Cannanore, Calicut, Cochin, Alleppey, Quilon (Coulão) and Colachel on the western seaboard.[148] The port of Cochin was taken over by the Government of India on 1 August 1936, and that of Madras on 1 April 1937.[144] There were Chambers of Commerce in Madras, Cochin and Cocanada.[149] These chambers each nominated a member to the Madras Legislative Council.[149]

Cotton-ginning and weaving were two of the main industries in the Madras Presidency. Cotton was produced in large quantities in the Bellary district and was pressed in Georgetown, Madras.[150] The scarcity of cotton in Lancashire caused by a decline in trade due to the American Civil War gave an impetus to cotton and textile production and led to cotton presses being established all over the Presidency.[150] In the early years of the 20th century, Coimbatore emerged as an important centre for cotton textiles and earned the epithet "Manchester of South India". The northern districts of Godavari, Vizagapatam and Kistna were well-known cotton-weaving centres. There was a sugar factory at Aska in Ganjam run by F. J. V. Minchin and another at Nellikuppam in South Arcot district run by the East India Distilleries and Sugar Factories Company.[151] In the Telugu-speaking northern districts of the presidency large quantities of tobacco were cultivated to be subsequently rolled into cheroots.[152] Trichinopoly, Madras and Dindigul were the main cheroot-producing areas.[152] Until the discovery of artificial aniline and alizarine dyes, Madras possessed a thriving vegetable dye manufacturing industry.[152] The city also imported large quantities of aluminium for the manufacture of aluminium utensils.[153] In the early 20th century, the government established the Chrome Tanning Factory which manufactured high-quality leather.[154] The first brewery in the Presidency was founded in the Nilgiri Hills in 1826.[154] Coffee was cultivated in the region of Wynad and the kingdoms of Coorg and Mysore[155] while tea was grown on the slopes of the Nilgiri Hills.[156] Coffee plantations were also established in Travancore but a severe blight at the end of the 19th century destroyed coffee cultivation in the kingdom and almost wiped out coffee plantations in neighbouring Wynad.[155] Coffee-curing works were located at Calicut, Mangalore and Coimbatore.[156] In 1947, Madras had 3,761 factories with 276,586 operatives.[144]

The presidency's fishing industry thrived, with Shark's fins,[157] fish maws[157] and fish curing-operations[158] the main sources of income for fishermen. The southern port of Tuticorin was a centre of conch-fishing[159] but Madras, along with Ceylon, was mainly known for its pearl fisheries.[160] Pearl fisheries were harvested by the Paravas and was a lucrative profession.

The total revenue of the Presidency was ₹57 crores in 1946–47 made as follows: Land revenue, ₹8.53 crores; Excise, ₹14.68 crores; Income tax, ₹4.48 crores; Stamp revenue, ₹4.38 crores; forests, ₹1.61 crores; other taxes, ₹8.45 crores; Extraordinary receipts, ₹2.36 crores and revenue fund, Rs.5.02 crores. Total expenditure for 1946–47 was ₹569.9 million.[144] 208,675 k.v.a of electricity was generated at the end of 1948 of which 98% was under government ownership.[144] The total amount of power generated was 467 million units.[144]

The Madras Stock Exchange was established in Madras city in 1920 with a strength of 100 members but gradually faded away and membership had reduced to three by 1923 when it had to be closed down.[161] Nevertheless, the Madras Stock Exchange was successfully revived in September 1937 and was incorporated as the Madras Stock Exchange Association Limited.[162] EID Parry, Binny and Co. and Arbuthnot Bank were the largest private-owned business corporations at the turn of the 20th century.[163] EID Parry manufactured and sold chemical fertilizers and sugar while the Binnys marketed cotton garments and uniforms manufactured at its spinning and weaving facility, the Buckingham and Carnatic Mills in Otteri.[163][164][165] Arbuthnot, owned by the Arbuthnot family, was the largest bank in the Presidency until its crash in 1906.[166] Reduced to penury, disillusioned former Indian investors established the Indian Bank with funds donated by Nattukottai Chetties.[167][168]

Between 1913 and 1914, Madras had 247 companies.[169] In 1947, the city led in the establishment of registered factories but employed only 62% of the total productive capital.[169]

The first Western-style banking institution in India was the Madras Bank which was established on 21 June 1683, with a capital of one hundred thousand pounds sterling.[170] This was followed by the opening of the Carnatic Bank in 1788, the Bank of Madras in 1795 and the Asiatic Bank in 1804. In 1843, all the banks were merged to form the Bank of Madras.[170] The Bank of Madras had branches in all the presidency's major cities and princely states including Coimbatore, Mangalore, Calicut, Alleppy, Cocanada, Guntur, Masulipatnam, Ootacamund, Negapataam, Tuticorin, Bangalore, Cochin and Colombo in Ceylon. In 1921, the Bank of Madras merged with the Bank of Bombay and the Bank of Bengal to form the Imperial Bank of India.[171] In the 19th century, the Arbuthnot Bank was one of the largest privately owned banks in the Presidency.[166] The City Union Bank,[172] the Indian Bank,[172] Canara Bank,[172] Corporation Bank,[172] Nadar Bank,[173] Karur Vysya Bank,[174] Catholic Syrian Bank,[174] Karnataka Bank,[174] Bank of Chettinad,[175] Andhra Bank,[176] Vysya Bank,[176] Vijaya Bank,[174] Indian Overseas Bank[177] and the Bank of Madura were some of the leading banks headquartered in the Presidency.
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Transport and communication

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Map of the Madras and South Mahratta Railway lines

In the early days of the agency, the only means of transportation were bullock-carts known as jhatkas along with palanquins.[178] The roads connecting Madras to Calcutta in the north and the kingdom of Travancore in the south served as lines of communication during wars.[178] From the early 20th century onwards, bullock-carts and horses were gradually replaced by bicycles and motor vehicles, while motor buses were the main means of private road transportation.[179] Presidency Transport and the City Motor Service were pioneers, operating buses manufactured by Simpson and Co. as early as 1910.[179] The first organised bus system in Madras city was operated by Madras Tramways Corporation between 1925 and 1928.[179] The 1939 Motor Vehicles Act imposed restrictions on public-owned bus and motor services. Most of the early bus services were operated by private agencies.

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The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, an UNESCO World Heritage Site

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The Pamban railway bridge, which connects the Pamban island with the Indian mainland was constructed in 1914

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A backwater and canal in Malabar, c. 1913

The first organised initiative for the construction of new roads and maintenance of existing roads in the Presidency was initiated in 1845 with the appointment of a special officer for the maintenance of main roads.[180] The principal roads under the aegis of the officer were the Madras-Bangalore road, Madras-Trichinopoly road, Madras-Calcutta road, Madras-Cuddapah road and the Sumpajee Ghaut road.[180] A Public Works Department was initiated by Lord Dalhousie in 1852 and subsequently in 1855 an East coast canal was constructed for the purpose of easy navigation.[180] Roadways were handled by the Public Works Secretariat which was under the control of the member of the Governor's Executive Council. The principal highways of the Presidency were the Madras-Calcutta road, the Madras-Travancore road and the Madras-Calicut road.[181] By 1946–47, the Madras Presidency had 26,201 miles (42,166 km) of metalled roads and 14,406 miles (23,184 km) of unmetalled roads, and 1,403 miles (2,258 km) of navigable canals.[144]

The first railway line in South India was laid between Madras and Arcot, which was opened for traffic on 1 July 1856.[182] The line was constructed by the Madras Railway Company formed in 1845.[182] The railway station at Royapuram, the first in South India, was built in 1853 and served as the headquarters of the Madras Railway Company.[182] The Great Southern Indian Railway Company was set up in the United Kingdom in 1853.[182] and had its headquarters at Trichinopoly where it constructed its first railway line between Trichinopoly and Negapatam in 1859.[182] The Madras Railway Company operated standard or broad-gauge railway lines while the Great South Indian Railway Company operated metre-gauge railway lines.[183] In 1874, The Great Southern Indian Railway Company merged with the Carnatic Railway Company (established in 1864) and was renamed the Southern Indian Railway Company.[184] The Southern Indian Railway Company merged with the Pondicherry Railway Company in 1891 while the Madras Railway Company merged with the Southern Mahratta Railway Company in 1908 to form the Madras and South Mahratta Railway Company.[182] A new terminus was built at Egmore for the Madras and South Mahratta Railway Company.[182] In 1927, the South Indian Railway Company shifted its headquarters from Madurai to Chennai Central. The company operated a suburban electric train service for Madras city from May 1931 onwards.[184] In April 1944, the Madras and South Mahratta Railway Company was taken over by the Madras Government. In 1947, there were 4,961 miles (7,984 km) of railway in the Presidency, in addition to 136 miles (219 km) of district board lines.[144] Madras was well-connected with other Indian cities like Bombay and Calcutta and with Ceylon.[185] The 6,776-foot (2,065 m) Pamban railway bridge connecting Mandapam on the Indian mainland with Pamban island was opened for traffic in 1914.[186] The Nilgiri Mountain Railway was inaugurated between Mettupalayam and Ootacamund in 1899.

The Madras Tramways Corporation was promoted in Madras city in 1892 by Hutchinsons and Co. and began operating in 1895, before even London had its own tramway system.[179] It plied six routes in Madras linking distant parts of Madras city and covered a total of 17 miles (27 km).[179]

The chief navigable waterways in the presidency were the canals in the Godavari and the Kistna deltas.[181] The Buckingham canal was cut in 1806 at a cost of 90 lakhs of silver[187] to connect the city of Madras with the delta of the Kistna river at Peddaganjam. Ships of the British India Steam Navigation Company frequently docked at Madras and provided frequent services to Bombay, Calcutta, Colombo and Rangoon.[187]

In 1917, Simpson and Co. arranged for a test flight by the first aeroplane in Madras[188] while a flying club was established at the Mount Golf Club grounds near St Thomas Mount by a pilot named G. Vlasto in October 1929.[189] This site was later used as the Madras aerodrome.[189] One of the early members of the club, Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar went on to establish an aerodrome in his native Chettinad.[189] On 15 October 1932, Royal Air Force pilot Nevill Vintcent piloted J. R. D. Tata's plane carrying air-mail from Bombay to Madras via Bellary.[190] This was the beginning of Tata Sons' regular domestic passenger and airmail service from Karachi to Madras. The flight was later re-routed through Hyderabad and became bi-weekly.[190] On 26 November 1935, Tata Sons started an experimental weekly service from Bombay to Trivandrum via Goa and Cannanore. From 28 February 1938, onwards, Tata Sons' Aviation division, now renamed Tata Airlines, began a Karachi to Colombo airmail service via Madras and Trichinopoly.[190] On 2 March 1938, the Bombay-Trivandrum air service was extended to Trichinopoly.[190]

The first organised postal service was established between Madras and Calcutta by Governor Edward Harrison in 1712. After reform and regularisation, a new postal system was started by Sir Archibald Campbell and was introduced on 1 June 1786. The Presidency was divided into three postal divisions: Madras North up to Ganjam, Madras South-West to Anjengo (erstwhile Travancore) and Madras West, up to Vellore. In the same year, a link with Bombay was established then in 1837, the Madras, Bombay and Calcutta mail services were integrated to form the All-India Service. On 1 October 1854, the first stamps were issued by the Imperial Postal Service. The General Post Office (GPO), Madras, was established by Sir Archibald Campbell in 1786. In 1872–73, a bimonthly sea-mail service began between Madras and Rangoon. This was followed by the commencement of a fortnightly sea-mail service between Madras and ports on the eastern coast.

Madras was linked to the rest of the world through telegraphs in 1853 and a civilian telegraph service was introduced on 1 February 1855. Soon afterwards, telegraph lines linked Madras and Ootacamund with other cities in India. A Telegraph department was set up in 1854, with a Deputy Superintendent stationed in Madras city. The Colombo-Talaimannar telegraph line established in 1858, was extended to Madras in 1882, thereby connecting the city with Ceylon.[191] Telephones were introduced in the presidency in 1881 and on 19 November 1881, the first telephone exchange with 17 connections was established at Errabalu Street in Madras.[192] A wireless telegraphy service was established between Madras and Port Blair in 1920 and in 1936, the Indo-Burma radio telephone service was established between Madras and Rangoon.

Education

The first schools offering Western-style education in the presidency were established in Madras[193] during the 18th century. In 1822, a Board of Public Instruction was created based on the recommendations of Sir Thomas Munro, after which schools teaching students in vernacular language was established.[194] A central training school was set up in Madras as per Munro's scheme.[194] However, this system appeared to be a failure and the policy was altered in 1836 in order to promote European literature and science.[194] The Board of Public Instruction was superseded by a Committee for Native Education.[195] In January 1840, during the viceroyalty of Lord Ellenborough, a University Board was established with Alexander J. Arbuthnot as the Joint Director of Public Instruction.[196] The central school was converted to a high school in April 1841 with 67 students and in 1853 became the Presidency College with the addition of a college department.[195][196] On 5 September 1857, the University of Madras was established as an examining body using the University of London as a model with the first examinations held in February 1858.[196] C. W. Thamotharam Pillai and Caroll V. Visvanatha Pillai of Ceylon were the first to graduate from the University.[196] Sir S. Subramaniya Iyer was the first Indian Vice-Chancellor of the University.[196]

Similarly, Andhra University was established by the Andhra University Act of 1925[197] and in 1937, the University of Travancore was established in the princely state of Travancore.[198]

The Government Arts College, established in Kumbakonam in 1867, was one of the first educational institutions outside Madras.[199] The oldest engineering college in the presidency, College of Engineering, Guindy, was established as a Government Survey School in 1794 before being upgraded to an Engineering College in 1861.[200] Initially, only Civil Engineering was taught,[200] with the further disciplines of Mechanical Engineering added in 1894, Electrical Engineering in 1930 and Telecommunication and Highways in 1945.[201] The AC College, with its emphasis on textiles and leather technology, was founded by Alagappa Chettiar in 1944.[202] The Madras Institute of Technology, which introduced courses such as aeronautical and automobile engineering was established in 1949.[202] In 1827, the first medical school in the Presidency was established then followed by the Madras Medical College in 1835.[203] The Government Teacher's College was established at Saidapet in 1856.[204]

Among the private institutions, the Pachaiyappa's College, established in 1842, is the oldest Hindu educational institution in the presidency. The Annamalai University, established by Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar in Chidambaram in 1929, was the first university in the presidency to have hostel facilities[205] Christian missionaries were pioneers in promoting education in the region. The Madras Christian College, St. Aloysius College at Mangalore, Loyola College in Madras and the St. Peter's College at Tanjore were some of the educational institutions established by Christian missionaries.

The Madras Presidency had the highest literacy rate of all the provinces in British India.[206] In 1901, Madras had a male literacy rate of 11.9 percent and a female literacy rate of 0.9 percent.[207] In 1950, when the Madras Presidency became Madras State, the literacy rate was slightly higher than the national average of 18 percent.[208] In 1901, there were 26,771 public and private institutions with 923,760 scholars of whom 784,621 were male and 139,139 female.[209] By 1947, the number of educational institutions had increased to 37,811 and the number of scholars to 3,989,686.[81] Apart from colleges, in 1947 there were 31,975 public and elementary schools, 720 secondary schools for boys and 4,173 elementary and 181 secondary schools for girls.[81] Most of the early graduates were Brahmins.[35][52] The preponderance of Brahmins in the universities and in the civic administration was one of the main causes for the growth of the Anti-Brahmin movement in the presidency. Madras was also the first province in British India where caste-based communal reservations were introduced.

In 1923, the Madras University Act was passed after its introduction by Education Minister A. P. Patro.[197] Under the bill's provisions, the governing body of Madras University was completely reorganised on democratic lines. The bill asserted that the governing body would henceforth be headed by a Chancellor who would be assisted by a pro-Chancellor, usually the Minister of Education. Apart from the Chancellor and the pro-Chancellor who were elected, there was to be a Vice-Chancellor appointed by the Chancellor.[197]

Culture and society

Hindus, Muslims and Christians generally followed a joint family system.[210][211] The society was largely patriarchal with the eldest male member the leader of the family.[211] Most of the presidency followed a patrilineal system of inheritance.[212] The only exceptions were the district of Malabar and the princely states of Travancore and Cochin which practised the marumakkathayam system.[213]

Women were expected to confine themselves to indoor activities and the maintenance of the household. Muslims and high-caste Hindu women observed purdah.[210] The daughter in the family rarely received an education and usually helped her mother with household chores.[214] Upon marrying, she moved to the house of her in-laws where she was expected to serve her husband and the elder members of his family.[215][216] There have been recorded instances of torture and ill treatment of daughters-in-law.[215][216] A Brahmin widow was expected to shave her head and was subjected to numerous indignities.[217][218]

Rural society comprised villages where people of different communities lived together. Brahmins lived in separate streets called agraharams. Untouchables lived outside village limits in small hamlets called cheris and were strictly forbidden from having houses in the village.[219] They were also forbidden from entering important Hindu temples or approaching high-caste Hindus.[220][221]

Serfdom was practised in almost all castes from Brahmins to non-Brahmins subjecting agricultural labourers to bondage for non-payment of debt.[222] The Law Commission report on slavery in 1841 contains the indicative figures on the number of slaves, computed based on the population of specific castes of Pallar and Paraiyar.[223] There were proposed regulations in 1811 and 1823 to prevent child labour.[224] In 1833, the British Crown and the House of Commons proposed immediate abolition of slavery in India, but East India Company decreed otherwise.[225] All legal recognition to permit the civil status of slavery were withdrawn with the Act V of 1843 and selling of slaves became a criminal offence in 1862 under the new Indian Penal Code.[226] In spite of these regulations, serfdom continued and the slave population formed 12.2% – 20% of the total population in 1930 across various districts of the Presidency.[227]

The Malabar Marriage Act of 1896 recognised sambandham contracts as legal marriages while the marmakkathayam system was abolished by the Marmakkathayam Law of 1933.[228] Numerous measures were taken to improve the lot of Dalit outcasts. The Thirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams Act (1933), included Dalits in the devasthanams administration. The presidency's Temple Entry Authorization Act (1939)[61] and its Temple Entry Proclamation (1936) of Travancore were aimed at elevating the status of Dalit and other low castes to a position equal to that of high-caste Hindus. In 1872, T. Muthuswamy Iyer established the Widow Remarriage Association in Madras and advocated the remarriage of Brahmin widows.[229] The devadasi system was regulated in 1927 and completely abolished on 26 November 1947.[230] The Widow Remarriage movement was spearheaded in the Godavari district by Kandukuri Veeresalingam.[231] Most of the pioneers of social reform were Indian nationalists.[232][233]

Traditional pastimes and forms of recreation in rural areas were cock-fighting, bull-fighting, village fairs and plays.[234] Men in urban areas indulged in social and communistic activities at recreational clubs, music concerts or sabhas, dramas and welfare organisations. Carnatic music and bharatanatyam were especially patronised by the upper and upper-middle class Madras society. Of the sports introduced by the British in the presidency, cricket, tennis, football, and hockey were the most popular. An annual cricket tournament, known as the Madras Presidency Matches, was held between Indians and Europeans during Pongal.[235]

The presidency's first newspaper, the Madras Courier, was started on 12 October 1785, by Richard Johnston, a printer employed by the British East India Company.[236] The first Indian-owned English-language newspaper was The Madras Crescent which was established by freedom-fighter Gazulu Lakshminarasu Chetty in October 1844.[237] Lakshminarasu Chetty is also credited with the foundation of the Madras Presidency Association which was a forerunner of the Indian National Congress. The number of newspapers and periodicals published in the presidency totalled 821 in 1948. The two most popular English-language newspapers were The Hindu established by G. Subramania Iyer in 1878, and The Mail,[192] established as the Madras Times by the Gantz family in 1868.[238]

Regular radio service in the presidency commenced in 1938 when All India Radio established a station in Madras.[239] Cinemas became popular in the 1930s and 1940s with the first film in a South Indian language, R. Nataraja Mudaliar's Tamil film Keechaka Vadham, released in 1916. The first sound films in Tamil and Telugu were made in 1931 while the first Kannada talkie Sati Sulochana was made in 1934 and the first Malayalam talkie Balan in 1938.[240] There were film studios at Coimbatore,[241] Salem,[242] Madras and Karaikudi.[243] Most early films were made in Coimbatore and Salem[241][242] but from the 1940s onwards, Madras began to emerge as the principal centre of film production.[241][243] Until the 1950s, most films in Telugu,[244] Kannada[245] and Malayalam[246] were made in Madras.

Image
A Westernized middle-class urban Tamil Brahmin couple. c.a .1945

Image
Tamil film actor M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar

Image
A Namboodiri Brahman's house, c.a. 1909

Image
Hindu devotees in procession around the temple at Tirupparankunram, c.a. 1909

Image
Telugu bride and groom belonging to the Kapu caste, c.a. 1909

Image
A Mangalorean Catholic gentleman belonging to the Bamonn caste, c. a. 1938

Image
Refreshment stall at a railway station in the Madras Presidency, c. a. 1895

See also

• History of Tamil Nadu
• Administrative divisions of Madras Presidency
• Madras States Agency
• List of colonial Governors and Presidents of Madras
• Advocate-General of Madras
• Sheriff of Madras

References

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External links

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by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/14/21

4. Rao (1958: 1, 3) considers Shamasastry the discoverer of the Arthasastra: ‘With the discovery of Kautilya’s Artha Sastra by Dr. R. Shama Sastri in 1905, and its publication in 1914, much interest has been aroused in the history of ancient Indian political thought; [p. 1]. . . . The Artha Sastra ¯ . . . is a compendium and a commentary on all the sciences of Polity that were existing in the time of Kautilya. It is a guidance to kings. . . . Artha Sastra ¯ contains thirty-two paragraphical divisions [Books]. . . . with one hundred and fifty chapters, and the Sastra is an illustration of a scientific approach to problems of politics, satisfying all the requirements and criteria of an exact science’ [p. 3]. But going back to the preface of the standard work and translation by Shamasastry (1967: vi), it is revealed that the manuscript of Kautilya’s Arthasastra ¯ was actually discovered by a person described merely as ‘a Pandit of the Tanjore District’ who handed it over ‘to the Mysore Government Oriental Library’ of which Shamasastry was the librarian.

-- Review and Extension of Battacharyya's Modern Accounting Concepts in Kautilya's Arthasastra, by Richard Mattessich


Image
Maharaja Serfoji's Sarasvati Mahal Library
Type: Medieval library
Established: 16th century
Location: Thanjavur [Tanjore], India

Branches N/A
Collection
Items collected: Books and Manuscripts
Size: More than 49,000
Access and use
Circulation: Open to public
Website: tmssmlibrary.com

Saraswathi Mahal Library, also called Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji's Saraswathi Mahal Library is a library located in Thanjavur (Tanjore), Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the oldest libraries in Asia[1] established during 16th century by Nayakas of Thanjavur and has on display a rare collection of Palm leaf manuscripts and paper written in Tamil and Sanskrit and a few other languages indigenous to India. The collection comprises well over 49,000 volumes, though only a tiny fraction of these are on display. The library has a complete catalog of holdings, which is being made available online. Some rare holdings can be viewed on site by prior arrangement.[2]

History

The Saraswathi Mahal library was started by Nayak Kings of Tanjavur as a Royal Library for the private intellectual enrichment of Kings and their family of Thanjavur (see Nayaks of Tanjore) who ruled from 1535 CE till 1676 CE.[3] The Maratha rulers who captured Thanjavur in 1675 promoted local culture and further developed the Royal Palace Library until 1855. Most notable among the Maratha Kings was Serfoji II (1798–1832), who was an eminent scholar in many branches of learning and the arts.

Serfoji II

Thuljaji was succeeded by his teenage son Serfoji II in 1787. Soon afterwards, he was deposed by his uncle and regent Amarsingh who seized the throne for himself. With the help of the British, Serfoji II recovered the throne in 1798. A subsequent treaty forced him to hand over the reins of the kingdom to the British East India Company, becoming part of the Tanjore District (Madras Presidency) [Presidency of Fort St. George]. The district collectorate system was installed thereafter to manage the public revenues. Serfoji II was however left in control of the Fort and the surrounding areas. He reigned till 1832. His reign is noted for the literary, scientific and technological accomplishments of the Tanjore country.

-- Thanjavur Maratha kingdom [Tanjore], by Wikipedia


In his early age Sarfoji studied under the influence of the German Reverent Schwartz [Christian Friedrich Schwarz], and learned many languages including English, French, Italian and Latin. He enthusiastically took special interest in the enrichment of the Library, employing many Pandits to collect, buy and copy a vast number of works from all renowned Centres of Sanskrit learning in Northern India and other far-flung areas.

Christian Frederick Schwarz (with spellings including Friedrich and Schwartz or Swartz) (8 October 1726 – 13 February 1798) was a German Lutheran missionary to India. He was known for his linguistic skills, with knowledge of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Tamil, Urdu, Persian, Marathi, and Telugu and even used by the British to serve as an emissary of peace and sent to the court of Haider Ali in Mysore. He worked alongside the Indian royal families, tutoring the Raja Serfoji of Tanjore, and was influential in establishing Protestant Christianity in southern India...

He learnt Latin and Greek with some amount of Hebrew which he hoped to improve with studies in the town of Custrin. In 1746 he moved to study at Halle where he met Schulz who had worked in the Madras Mission. Schultz was working on Tamil bible and sought help from Schwarz. Having learned Tamil to assist in a translation of the Bible into that language, he was led to form the intention of becoming a missionary to India. He received ordination at Copenhagen on 8 August 1749, and, after spending some time in England to acquire the English language, embarked early in 1750 for India.

He arrived at Tiruchirapalli on 30 July via Tranquebar. Tranquebar was for some time his headquarters, but he paid frequent visits to Thanjavur and Tiruchirapalli, and in 1766 moved to Tiruchirapalli. Here he acted as chaplain to the garrison, who erected a church for his general use.

There was an explosion of the ammunition dump of East India company in 1761. Lots of Native soldiers died in that. So for the orphan children of the soldiers he established Bishop Heber School in Trichinopoly. Again there was another ammunition dump explosion in Trichinopoly in 1763 in which all the British soldiers and their wives perished. Only 14 children of the soldiers survived. So for the orphan children he started a school in the Vestry of St. John's Church. The Church had been built by the British soldiers. Later the army gave some land, about five acres adjoining the army garrison to build a proper school. The school was built by the FREEMASONS who all were British army personnel and civilians who all were also Freemasons.

In 1769, he secured the friendship of the king Raja Tuljaji, who, although he never converted to Christianity, afforded him every countenance in his missionary labours. Shortly before his death he committed to Schwarz the education of his adopted son and successor Sarabhoji (Serfoji). Schwarz taught the prince, Prince Serfoji, and another slightly older pupil Vedanayagam using the gurukulam approach, where the teacher and the pupil live together. Raja Serfoji built a church to show his affection to Schwartz and it is still seen as a symbol of tolerance on the part of that great Mahratta ruler towards different religions.

In 1779, Schwarz undertook, at the request of the British authorities in Madras (present day Chennai), a private embassy to Hyder Ali, the ruler of Mysore. When Hyder invaded the Carnatic, Schwarz was allowed to pass through the enemy's camp without molestation. In 1784 he established an English school in Thanjavur [Tanjore] and this school is now known as St. Peter's Higher Secondary School. After twelve years in Tiruchirapalli he moved to Thanjavur, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died on 13 February 1798 just before Serfoji II ascended the throne. He was laid to rest in St. Peter's Church in Maharnonbuchavadi, Thanjavur. In his tomb there is a tombstone with a short memoir and an elegy in English written by Serfoji II....

The following is the wording of the Memorial commissioned by Raja Serfoji:

To the memory of the Reverend Christian Frederic Swartz. Born at Sonnenburg of Neumark in the Kingdom of Prussia, the 26th of October 1726, and died at Tanjore the 13th of February 1798, in the 72d Year of his age. Devoted from his Early Manhood to the Office of Missionary in the East, the similarity of his situation to that of the first preachers of the gospel, produced in him a peculiar resemblance to the simple sanctity of the apostolic character. His natural vivacity won the affection as his unspotted probity and purity of life alike commanded the reverence of the Christian, Mahomedan and Hindu. For sovereign princes, Hindu, and Mahomeden selected this humble pastor as the medium of political negotiations with the British Government - Maha Raja Serfojee.


-- Christian Friedrich Schwarz, by Wikipedia


During 1918 the Saraswathi Mahal Library was open to public.[4] The Library is located within the campus of Tanjavur palace.[5]

Efforts

Image
Painting outside the Sarasvati Mahal Library.

The library is open to the public; it also supports efforts to publish rare manuscripts from the collection, as well as ensuring all volumes are preserved on microfilm. The Library has installed computers in 1998 for the Computerisation of Library activities. As a first phase, the Library catalogues are being stored in the Computer for easy information retrieval. It is also proposed to digitalise the manuscripts of this Library shortly.[6]

The Collection

The bulk of the manuscripts (39,300) are in Tamil and Sanskrit. Manuscripts number over 4500, comprising titles in literature and medicine. The Library has a collection of 3076 Marathi manuscripts from the South Indian Maharastrian of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries; this includes the hierarchy of the Saints of Maharashtra belonging to Sri Ramadasi and Dattatreya Mutts. The Marathi manuscripts are mostly on paper but a few were written in Telugu script on palm-leaf. There are 846 Telugu manuscripts in the holdings, mostly on palm leaf. There are 22 Persian and Urdu manuscripts mostly of 19th century also within the collection. The library also holds medical records of Ayurveda scholars, including patient case studies and interviews in the manuscripts classified under the Dhanvantari section.

Apart from these manuscripts there are 1342 bundles of Maratha Raj records available at the Library. The Raj records were written in the Modi script (fast script for Devanagari) of the Marathi language. These records encompass the information of the political, cultural and social administration of the Maratha kings of Thanjavur.[7]

Some of the rare books and manuscripts

Dr. Samuel Johnson's dictionary published in 1784
• The pictorial Bible printed in Amsterdam in the year 1791
• The Madras Almanac printed in 1807
• Lavoisier's Traité Élémentaire de Chimie ("Elements of Chemistry")
• The notes of Bishop Heber on Raja Serfoji II
• The correspondence letters of William Torin of London who purchased a lot of books for Raja Serfoji II and the Saraswathi Mahal Library
• Ancient maps of the world
• Town planning documents of Thanjavur including the underground drainage system, the fresh water supply ducting system

Library museum

Efforts were made to microfilm and catalogue the contents way back in 1965 when Indira Gandhi was Information and Broadcasting Minister, Government of India who sanctioned the fund for the library's development. Since then no efforts were made to scan the documents and computerise the same using present day technology. It is also a designated 'Manuscript Conservation Centre' (MCC) under the National Mission for Manuscripts established in 2003.[8]

References

1. Indian culture. "Thanjavur Mah Serfojis Sarawswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur". India culture. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
2. See official website of the library, under External links, for details of holdings and access.
3. Pillai, Subramania S (March 2019). TOURISM IN TAMIL NADU: Growth and Development. MJP Publisher. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
4. Tanjavur District, Govt site. "Tanjuvur District". tanjavur.nic.in. Govt. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
5. serfojimemorial hall. "Sarasvathi Mahal Library". Serfoji Memorial Hall. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 February 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
8. Manuscript Conservation Centres Archived 2012-05-06 at the Wayback Machine National Mission for Manuscripts.

External links

• Sarasvati Mahal Library — official website (archived) (in English)
• Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts at Saraswati Mahal Library, Tanjavur
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:10 pm

Part 1 of 5

A Question of Priority: Revisiting the Bhamaha-Dandin Debate
by Yigal Bronner
University of Chicago, 1130 E. 59th St., Chicago, IL 60637-1546, USA
e-mail: ybronner@uchicago.edu
Published online: 29 April, 2011
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

"How's your mother?"

"She's fine, although you might try and clear up that misunderstanding about Emma Hamilton."

"Emma and I -- I mean Lady Hamilton and I -- are simply 'good friends.' There's nothing to it, I swear."

"Tell her that."

"I try, but you know what a temper she has. I only have to mention I've been anywhere near the turn of the nineteenth century and she gets in a frightful strop."

I looked around.

"Where are we?"

"Summer of '72," he replied. "All well at work?"

"We found a thirty-third play by Shakespeare."

"Thirty-three?" echoed my father. "That's odd. When I took the entire works back to the actor Shakespeare to distribute there were only eighteen."

"Perhaps the actor Shakespeare started writing them himself?" I suggested.

"By thunder you could be right!" he exclaimed. "He looked a bright spark. Tell me, how many comedies are there now?"

"Fifteen."

"But I only gave him three. They must have been so popular he started writing new ones himself!"

"It would explain why all the comedies are pretty much the same," I added. "Spells, identical twins, shipwrecks --"

"-- usurped Dukes, men dressed as women," continued my father. "You could be right."

"Wait a moment--!" I began. But my father, sensing my disquiet over the many seemingly impossible paradoxes in his work in the timestream, silenced me with his hand.

"One day you'll understand and everything will be more different than you can, at present, possibly hope to imagine."

I must have looked blank, for he checked the road again, leaned against the back of the billboard and continued:

"Remember, Thursday, that scientific thought, indeed, any mode of thought whether it be religious or philosophical or anything else, is just like the fashions that we wear -- only much longer-lived. It's a little like a boy band."

"Scientific thought a boy band? How do you figure that?"

"Well, every now and then a boy band comes along. We like it, buy the records, posters, parade them on TV, idolize them right up until --"

"-- the next boy band?" I suggested.

"Precisely. Aristotle was a boy band. A very good one, but only number six or seven. He was the best boy band until Isaac Newton, but even Newton was transplanted by an even newer boy band. Same haircuts -- but different moves."

"Einstein, right?"

"Right. Do you see what I'm saying?"

"That the way we think is nothing more than a passing fad?"

"Exactly. Hard to visualize a new way of thinking? Try this. Go thirty or forty boy bands past Einstein. Where we would regard Einstein as someone who glimpsed a truth, played one good chord in seven forgettable albums."

"Where is this going, Dad?"

"I'm nearly there. Imagine a boy band so good that you never needed another boy band ever again. -- or even any more music. Can you imagine that?"

"It's hard. But yes, okay."

He let this sink in for a moment.

"When we reach that boy band, my dear, everything we have ever puzzled about becomes crystal clear -- and we will kick ourselves that we hadn't thought of it earlier!"

"We will?"

"Sure. And you know the best thing about it? Its so devilishly simple."

"I see," I replied, slightly dubiously. "And when is this amazing Boy Band discovered?"

Dad suddenly turned serious.

"That's why I'm here. Perhaps never -- which would be frightfully awkward in the grand scheme of things, believe me. Did you see a cyclist on the road?

"Yes?"

"Well," he said, consulting the large chronograph on his wrist, "in ten seconds that cyclist will be knocked over and killed."

"And--?" I asked, sensing that I was missing something.

He looked around furtively and lowered his voice.

"Well, it seems that right here and now is the key event whereby we can avert whatever it is that destroys every single speck of life on this planet!"

I looked into his earnest eyes.

"You're not kidding, are you?"

He shook his head.

"In December 1985, your 1985, for some unaccountable reason, all the planet's organic matter turns to ... this."

He withdrew a plastic specimen bag from his pocket. It contained a thick pinkish opaque slime. I took the bag and shook it curiously as we heard a loud screech of tires and a sickly thud. A moment later a broken body and twisted bicycle landed close by.

"On the 12th December at 20:23, give or take a second or two, all organic material -- every plant, insect, fish, bird, mammal and the three billion human inhabitants of this planet -- will start turning to that. End of all of us. End of Life -- and there won't be that boy band I was telling you about. The problem is --" he went on as a car door slammed and we heard feet running towards us -- "that we don't know why. The ChronoGuard are not doing any upstreaming work at present."

"Why is that?"

"Labor dispute. They're on strike for shorter hours. Not actually less hours, you understand, just the hours that they do work they want to be -- er -- shorter."

"So while the upstreamers are on strike the world could end and everyone will die, including them? But that's crazy!"

"From an industrial action viewpoint," said my father, furrowing his brow and going silent for a moment, "I think it's a very good strategy indeed. I hope they can thrash out a new agreement in time."

"And we'll know if they don't because the world ends?" I remarked sarcastically.

"Oh, they'll come to some arrangement," explained my father, smiling. "The dispute regarding undertime rates lasted almost two decades -- time's easy to waste when you've got lots of it."

"Okay," I sighed, unwilling to get too embroiled in SO-12 labor disputes, "what can we do about averting this crisis?"

"Global disasters are like ripples in a pond, Sweetpea. There is always an epicenter, a place in time and space where it all begins, however innocuously."

-- Lost In A Good Book, by Jasper Fforde


Abstract

As has been obvious to anyone who has looked at them, there is a special relationship between the two earliest extant works on Sanskrit poetics: Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara (Ornamenting Poetry) and Dandin’s Kavyadarsa (The Mirror of Poetry). The two not only share an analytical framework and many aspects of their organization but also often employ the selfsame language and imagery when they are defining and exemplifying what is by and large a shared repertoire of literary devices. In addition, they also betray highly specific disagreements regarding the nature and aesthetic value of a set of literary phenomena. It has thus long been clear to Indologists that the two are in conversation with one another, but the nature of the conversation and its directionality have never been determined: Was Bhamaha responding to Dandin's Kavyadarsa? Was Dandin making a rejoinder to Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara? Were the two authors contemporaries who directly interacted with one another? Or was their interaction indirect and mediated through other texts that are no longer extant? Determining the nature of the interrelations between the two authors and their texts may teach us a great deal about the origins of Sanskrit poetics, the direction in which it developed during its formative period, and the way in which some of the disagreements between Dandin and Bhamaha metamorphosed in later time. By reviewing existing scholarship, considering new evidence, and taking a fresh look at some of the passages that have long stood at the center of this debate, this article sets out to answer the question of the texts’ relationship and relative chronology.

1. Background: Old Controversy, New Approach

The debate that this article revisits is a century old. It began in the early 1900s, when manuscripts of Bhamaha’s treatise, hitherto thought to be lost, first came to light. As soon as scholars began to examine this text, its special relationship with the already-available work of Dandin became evident. An early trickle of attempts to fix the authors’ relative chronology actually antedated [come before] the publication of Bhamaha’s work in 1909.1 With this publication, however, the debate entered its formative period of roughly two decades. This was a time of extremely lively and notoriously rancorous discussion,2 with challenges and rejoinders appearing only months apart, often in consecutive issues of journals such as the Indian Antiquary, the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, and the journal of this society’s Bombay branch. It was during this period that most of the questions that have haunted the debate since— such as the perplexing [completely baffling] relationship between about a dozen parallel [extending in the same direction, equidistant at all points, and never converging or diverging] passages in Dandin's and Bhamaha’s works, and the identity of one Nyasakara to whom Bhamaha refers—became fixtures, and the main camps were formed. Among those arguing for Dandin's priority were eminent scholars such as P. V. Kane, Arthur Berriedale Keith, and K. B. Pathak. The camp maintaining Bhamaha’s priority brandished its own list of luminaries, including K. P. Trivedi, Hermann Jacobi, Johannes Nobel, and Sushil Kumar De.

Beginning in the 1930s, energy seems to have been gradually sucked out of this discussion. New participants did join the fray, but usually by repeating an already fixed set of arguments and counterarguments.3 When new editions of De’s, Keith’s, and Kane’s histories of Sanskrit poetics and Sanskrit poetry appeared in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, they repeated their authors’ familiar positions but offered little or no fresh corroboration. A new generation of scholars in India and the West seems to have grown weary of this exchange and came to preach caution. Edwin Gerow, who in 1977 published his Indian Poetics, dubbed the Dandin-Bhamaha question the ‘‘toughest chronological problem’’ of the field and suggested that the two authors may have been contemporaries, for their ‘‘fundamental agreements and the acerbity of their disagreements’’ could be best explained by assuming a direct dialogue between them.4 But the sources Gerow cited all go back to the 1910s and 1920s, and his conclusion may be taken to reflect the seemingly insoluble nature of the older debate. What Gerow overlooked is the potential importance of evidence that had surfaced since 1930. First, a growing body of research pointed to Dandin's ties to the Pallava court in Kancı, including the 1954 publication of a second manuscript of the Avantisundarı and a pair of books on Dandin's life and works by D. K. Gupta (Gupta 1970, 1972). Second, and equally important, the oldest extant commentaries on Dandin's treatise, by Vadijanghaladeva and Ratnasrıjnana, were published in 1936 and 1957, respectively. Both Gerow and Gupta were familiar with these commentaries, but Gerow never considered their potential relevance to deciding the chronological question whereas Gupta summarily dismissed it.5 This approach is not accidental and reflects a common mistrust of traditional testimony, especially in matters of historicity.

I do not share this a priori suspicion. In fact, I believe that the specific difficulties of the problem at hand call for reliance on these commentaries.
One such difficulty is the loss of all the earlier treatises on poetics, texts that Dandin and Bhamaha knew and cited. This loss makes it impossible to determine with absolute certainty, in those cases where one of the authors is refuting a position upheld by the other, whether he is indeed taking issue with the position as it is stated in the other’s work, or whether he is referring to it as postulated in some earlier text, no longer available. Another major difficulty is dating Bhamaha and Dandin relative to other authors of their period, because the dates of many of these authors are also uncertain, and because textual echoes between, say, Bhamaha and another writer could be construed to prove borrowing in either direction, not to mention a more intricate relationship that involves additional parties, some of whose works are now lost. Clearly, then, we are faced with a daunting task of reconstructing a complex textual web primarily on the basis of two of its relics. Here is where deferring to the commentators’ judgment strongly recommends itself.
These scholars were also engaged in the task of reconstructing the textual relations of their root texts, but unlike us, they had access to portions of the older corpus that are no longer available, and they enjoyed a better vantage point by virtue of living at a time when personal information about Dandin and Bhamaha was more likely to be available. If we want to get closer to answering our difficult textual and chronological questions, why ignore the commentators’ explicit and copious testimony about them?

... a common mistrust of traditional testimony, especially in matters of historicity.


The disregard of the commentaries on Dandin's work is thus particularly baffling. Not only did they not receive any serious scholarly attention throughout the twentieth century, but some of them, particularly the oldest and, at least in this sense, most important, have become increasingly inaccessible.6 This amazing neglect seems indicative not just of the aforementioned mistrust of commentators, but also of a more general disinterest in the early history of Sanskrit poetics. As far as the Dandin-Bhamaha debate is concerned, the last three or four decades have not produced any major insights. The discussion of Dandin's Pallava roots eventually found its way into some Indological circles.7 Likewise, a few new arguments for one relative chronology or the other, typically in connection with comparisons of specific passages in both texts, were made,8 and new information regarding Bhamaha’s and Dandin's other conversation partners occasionally surfaced, though typically outside the discussion of poetics per se, as in the case of recent studies concerning Jinendrabuddhi, which took place almost exclusively in publications on Buddhist logic and Sanskrit grammar. But no attempt has been made to revisit this debate as a whole and incorporate the new evidence and arguments.

Such a new synthesis is the goal of this essay. To avoid the all-too-subjective judgments that dominated the earlier scholarship, I propose to examine new and old evidence in the following tripartite scheme: (1) Highest priority is given to external biographical evidence about Dandin and Bhamaha, either independently of each other, or, failing that, about their relative dating. This evidentiary category includes commentarial works that weigh in directly on these authors’ relative chronology. (2) Secondary priority is given to reviewing the comparison of passages from Dandin's and Bhamaha’s texts, on the one hand, and, on the other, parallel passages in the works of their predecessors, contemporaries, and successors (to the degree we can decide these matters), in order to determine the direction of borrowing and arrive at the lower and upper limits for their dates. Within this category, I prioritize cases where borrowing can be proved decisively and where the outside sources can be dated, at least with some certainty. (3) Finally, I revisit the comparison of parallel passages in Dandin's Kavyadarsa and Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara in an attempt to postulate the most plausible pattern of their interaction. Here too, I try to formulate objective criteria for deducing the direction of textual exchange.

This scheme is not without its problems, partly because the distinction between the categories is occasionally fuzzy, and partly because the relative priority accorded to the evidence may be questioned. Thus in cases where the evidence from a lower category unmistakably contradicts that of a higher one, I will be willing to reconsider my scheme of relative priority. But, as I hope to demonstrate, the evidence is quite congruous, and hence these problems may not be as difficult as they initially seem. Let us, then, turn to the evidence in the order proposed above.

2. External Evidence

2.1 Dandin


Dandin is one of the best-known writers in all of Asian history. His Kavyadarsa traveled widely, was translated and adapted into Kannada, Sinhala, Pali, Tamil, and Tibetan, and may even have exercised influence on the formation of Recent Style Poetry in China.9 The work also attracted a large number of premodern Sanskrit commentators and was quoted profusely by many writers on Sanskrit poetics, including King Bhoja of Dhar (r. 1011–1055), who incorporated almost the entire Kavyadarsa into his treatises on poetics, and Appayya Dıksita (1520–1592), who showed a similar tendency in his relevant works.10

Because of his patronage to scholars, Bhoja became one of the most celebrated kings in the Indian history. After his death, he came to be featured in several legends as a righteous scholar-king. The body of legends clustered around him is comparable to that of the fabled Vikramaditya [a legendary emperor of ancient India. Often characterized as an ideal king, he is known for his generosity, courage, and patronage of scholars.]...

Legends

In terms of the number of legends centered around him, Bhoja is comparable to the fabled Vikramaditya. Sheldon Pollock describes Bhoja as "the most celebrated poet-king and philosopher-king of his time, and perhaps of any Indian time". Bhoja came to be featured in several legends as a righteous scholar-king, who was the ultimate judge of literary qualities and generously rewarded good poets and writers. Most of these legends were written three to five centuries after his death.

Apart from epigraphic records, much of the information about Bhoja comes from these legendary accounts, including Merutunga's Prabandha-Chintamani (14th century), Rajavallabha's Bhoja-Charitra (15th century), and Ballala's Bhoja-Prabandha (17th century). However, many of the popular legends about Bhoja do not have any historical basis. For example, the Bhoja-Prabandha anachronistically describes the ancient poet Kalidasa as a contemporary of Bhoja.

In order to enhance their imperial claims, the Paramaras promoted several legends associating Bhoja with the ancient legendary kings. For example, in Simhasana Dvatrimsika (popularly known as Singhasan Battisi), Bhoja finds a throne of Vikramaditya, and each of the 32 divine figurines attached to the throne tell him a story about Vikramaditya. A Bhavishya Purana legend describes Bhoja as a descendant of Vikramaditya and Shalivahana. According to this legend, the mleccha (foreign) influence had corrupted Indian culture by the time of Bhoja's ascension. Bhoja marched up to the banks of the Indus river, and defeated several mleccha kings. The poet Kalidasa, who accompanied him, magically turned into ashes a mleccha named Mahamada, whose followers came to be known as Muslim (The character Mahamada is based on Muhammad possibly combined with Mahmud of Ghazni). After returning to his capital, Bhoja established Sanskrit language among the top three varnas and Prakrit language among the Shudras. During his 50-year reign, Aryavarta (the land between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas) became a blessed land where the varna system was established. On the other hand, caste mixture took place beyond the Vindhyas (that is, in South India). Again, this is an imaginary account not supported by any historical evidence.

-- Bhoja, by Wikipedia


Only in the valley of Kashmir, which, starting in the ninth century, fashioned itself as the capital of the Sanskrit world and the headquarters of Sanskrit literary theory, was the Kavyadarsa rarely mentioned, a fact that reflects more a bias against Dandin than a lack of familiarity with his work, which was clearly studied there as well.11

Dandin's reputation as a poet is equally impressive, and he is one of a handful of poets placed, as a sign of esteem, in the legendary assembly of King Bhoja by late medieval and early modern writers.12 There are also quite a few popular verses praising his literary skills. Every Sanskrit student knows the floating verse mentioning Kalidasa’s simile, Bharavi’s weighty meanings, and Dandin's dancing words (padalalitya) as a prelude to Magha’s masterful combination of all three.13 Another famous anonymous verse singles Dandin out from the company of Kalidasa and his ilk by placing him in an exclusive triad with the tradition’s two founding fathers:

jate jagati valmıkau sabdah: kavir iti sthitah /
vyase jate kavı ceti kavayas ceti dandini //
Upon the birth of Valmıki
the word ‘‘poet’’ was coined.
With Vyasa it was first used in the dual.
And ‘‘poets,’’ in the plural, first appeared
along with Dandin.14


Indeed, a verse attributed to the theorist and poet Rajasekhara (fl. 920 CE) ...

Rama Rajasekhara (fl. 870/71–c. 883/84 AD) was a Chera Perumal ruler of medieval Kerala, south India. Rajasekhara is usually identified by historians with Cheraman Perumal Nayanar, the venerated Shaiva (Nayanar) poet-musician. Two temple records, from Kurumattur, Areacode and Thiruvatruvay, Vazhappally, mention king Rajasekhara.

Rajasekhara probably succeeded Sthanu Ravi Kulasekhara around 870 AD. It is also suggested that Cheraman Perumal Nayanar was on friendly terms with the Pallava dynasty.


The direct authority of the Chera Perumal king was restricted to the country around capital Makotai (Mahodaya, present-day Kodungallur) in central Kerala. His kingship was only ritual and remained nominal compared with the power that local chieftains (the udaiyavar) exercised politically and militarily. Nambudiri-Brahmins also possessed huge authority in religious and social subjects (the so-called ritual sovereignty combined with Brahmin oligarchy).

Rama Rajasehara probably abdicated the throne toward the end of his reign and became a Shaiva nayanar [hounds/teachers of Siva] known as Cheraman Perumal Nayanar. He was succeeded by Vijayaraga (fl. c. 883/84-c.895 AD).

Sources

• Shivanandalahari, attributed to Hindu philosopher Shankara, indirectly mentions the Chera ruler as Rajasekhara.

A biography of Sri Sankara on modern lines is an impossible for want of exact data from contemporary writings. We have therefore to depend on the type of Sanskrit works called Sankaravijayas, the traditional lives of the Acharya, to know whatever is now possible to gather about this saintly philosopher…As these Vijayas have a mythological bias, they have their obvious defect in respect of chronology and recording of facts and events.

-- Sankara-Dig-vijaya: The Traditional Life of Sri Sankaracharya, by Madhava-Vidyaranya, Translated by Swami Tapasyananda


Rajasekhara is also tentatively identified with king "Co-qua-rangon" mentioned in the Thomas of Cana copper plates.

The Thomas of Cana copper plates (Malayalam: Knai Thoma Cheppedu), or Knanaya copper plates, dated variously between 345 C.E. and 811 C.E., are a lost set of copper-plate grants issued by the unidentified Chera/Perumal king of Kerala "Co-qua-rangon" to Syriac Christian merchants led by Knai Thoma (anglicized as Thomas of Cana) in the city of "Makotayar Pattinam" (present day Kodungallur), south India. The royal charters were reportedly engraved in Malayalam, Chaldean and Arabic on both sides of two copper plates (joined by a ring)...

Scholar M.G.S. Narayanan tentatively identifies king “Co-qua-rangon” with king Rama Rajasekhara (Co-qua-rangon → Ko Kotai Iraman → Rajadhiraja Rama) of the 9th century Chera Empire...

Translations of the existing Kollam [Quilon] Syrian Plates of the 9th century made by the Syrian Christian priest Ittimani [???] in 1601 as well as the French Indologist Abraham Anquetil Duperron in 1758 both note that the one of the plates mentioned a brief of the arrival of Knai Thoma. It is believed that this was a notation of the previous rights bestowed upon the Christians by Cheraman Perumal. The contemporary set however does not mention this paragraph....

The first written record of the Thomas of Cana copper plates dates to the 16th century when Portuguese officials in Kerala took notice of the plates and their later disappearance...

The final record of the plates comes from the official historian of Portuguese India Diogo do Couto in 1611. Do Couto claims to have seen the plates and makes an incomplete translation of its content.


-- Thomas of Cana copper plates, by Wikipedia


Rama Deva

Laghu Bhaskariya Vyakhya, a mathematical commentary composed in the court of king Ravi Kulasekhara in 869/70 AD, mentions a Chera Perumal royal called Rama Deva, who marched out to fight the enemies on getting information from the spies. A possibility identifies Rama Deva with Rama Rajasekhara. Rama Deva is described as a member of the Solar Dynasty ("ravi-kula-pati") in Chapter IIII, Laghu Bhaskariya Vyakhya.

Patron of Vasubhatta

Vasubhatta, a famous Yamaka poet of medieval Kerala, names his patron king as "Rama". A later commentary on a poem by Vasubhatta says that "Kulasekhara" was the regnal title of king Rama. Scholars generally consider this a result of confusion on the part of the commentators (between Sthanu Ravi Kulasekhara and Rama Rajasekhara) who were separated in time from Vasubhatta. Some scholars also identify king Rama Kulasekhara as the patron of poet Vasubhatta (and thus placing Vasubhatta in 11th-12 centuries AD). This view is generally found unacceptable on several counts.

-- Rama Rajasekhara, by Wikipedia


... puts Dandin in a class by himself by speaking of yet another triad, that of his works, and comparing it, among other things, to the trinity of gods and the trilogy of Vedic scripture:

trayo ‘gnayas trayo devas trayo vedas trayo gunah/
trayo dandiprabandhas ca trisu lokesu visrutah//
There are three fires, three gods,
three Vedas, three qualities,
and three works by Dandin.
Everything that is great in this triple world
comes in threes.15


Dandin's celebrity notwithstanding, his actual corpus has been rather poorly preserved, so much so that it is not entirely clear what list of three books Rajasekhara actually had in mind. There is, of course, the Kavyadarsa itself, a work that seems to have reached our hands in a complete form.16 A second work by Dandin, which seems to have pioneered the genre of poems narrating the two great epics simultaneously, was lost in its entirety; we know about it from a discussion of this genre in Bhoja’s Srngaraprakasa, where one relic verse from Dandin's lost poem is given as an example.17 Then there is the Dasakumaracarita (What Ten Young Men Did), a prose work that has come to us in a highly incomplete form and whose ‘‘headless, tailless torso’’ is now ‘‘sandwiched between two secondary paraphrases of the missing sections of [Dandin's] original work.’’18 Finally, there is the Avantisundarı, or Avantisundarıkatha (The Story of the Beautiful Lady from Avanti), also in prose, whose transmission is even poorer. Only a couple of fragmentary manuscripts of this work have survived, both of which break off at a relatively early stage, after the author introduces himself, describes the context and inspiration for the work’s composition, and begins to lay out the frame of a highly expansive narrative. There exists, however, a later Sanskrit work that sums up the larger prose narrative of the Avantisundarı in verse. This Avantisundarıkathasara (Gist of the Story of the Beautiful Lady from Avanti) is also incomplete, as is a thirteenth-century Telugu translation, but both go well beyond the point where the fragmented katha manuscripts stop and significantly overlap with the main part of Dandin's other prose work, the Dasakumaracarita.19

This confusing state of affairs has naturally left scholars puzzled about the size and exact nature of Dandin's oeuvre. Given the intriguing overlap between the two fragmented prose works, some scholars have suggested that the two were parts of the same whole and that the Avantisundarı supplied the missing head of the truncated Dasakumaracarita.20 But many initially treated the Avantisundarı with suspicion and even resentment.21 Scholars in this second camp argued that the prose works attributed to Dandin could not have been authored by the same person, and hence that there were two Dandins or perhaps, like everything else that is great in this world, even three.

In fact, the idea of multiple Dandins preceded the discovery and first publication of the Avantisundarı. In a brief note published in 1915, G. J. Agashe argued that an unbridgeable gap separates the Dasakumaracarita from the Kavyadarsa. The texts, he believed, were so different in their moral and literary values that it was simply inconceivable that they were by the same hand. Otherwise, one would have to accept ‘‘that an author, who, as an authority on Rhetoric, wrote like an angel of righteousness, should or could, as a poet, have been a veritable devil rolling in the mire of obscenity.’’22 In his 1919 edition of the Dasakumaracarita, Agashe reiterated his thesis that Dandin the ‘‘purist,’’ author of the Kavyadarsa, could not have been the same as the Dandin who penned many ‘‘lewd’’ passages in the Dasakumaracarita.23 The main problem with this argument is that the gap Agashe posits between the two texts is imaginary. It is based, on the one hand, on an entirely anachronistic attribution of Victorian values to Dandin the theoretician, who, counter to Agashe’s claims, was not at all opposed to sexual come-ons in literature so long as these involved a poetic twist, and, on the other, on a fundamental misapprehension of Dandin's prose as indecent or vulgar.24 In truth, when Agashe speaks of passages in the Dasakumaracarita that are ‘‘so outrageously obscene’’ that they must ‘‘bring a blush to the cheek of every cultured reader,’’ he speaks about himself rather than about the work’s intended readers.25

In addition to arguing for their alleged socioaesthetic incompatibility, Agashe cites ‘‘external evidence’’ for a vast chronological gap separating the two texts ascribed to Dandin. He places the Dasakumaracarita in the eleventh or twelfth century, much later than the Kavyadarsa, which he accurately locates in the Pallava capital of Kancı around the year 700 CE.26 This evidence consists of a mixture of conjectures based on silence (primarily the paucity of early references to the Dasakumaracarita)27 and far-fetched claims, such as that the work’s use of the word ‘‘Ionian’’ (yavana), which later referred to any newcomers from the west, including Muslims, indicates a time when Islam was already a dominant political force in South Asia, or that its mention of a bag containing betel nuts is a giveaway because ‘‘the practice of habitually chewing betel-nut is itself very modern.’’28 Finally, because Agashe found neither the ‘‘purist rhetorician’’ nor the author of ‘‘lewd’’ prose as deserving praise by the tradition, he deduced a third Dandin, about whom nothing whatsoever is known.29

I mention some of these absurd arguments because, as we shall see, Agashe is still invoked as an authority on the existence of multiple Dandins. Indeed, rather than settling the debate, the publication of the Avantisundarı in 1924, shortly after Agashe’s interventions, further fueled argumentation of the sort he made. In the late 1920s scholars such as Keith and De argued for the existence of wide stylistic gaps between the Avantisundarı and the Dasakumaracarita and claimed that the two could not have been by the same author, let alone parts of the same work.30

I find all this odd and indicative of a deep-rooted suspicion of any biographical testimony supplied by the relevant texts and later tradition. Indeed, this suspicion paradoxically stands in inverse relationship to the elaborateness and dependability of the testimony, so that the richer and better the data, the more profound the doubts. But the fact is that in the Avantisundarı, a work unmistakably ascribed to Dandin by its colophons and by later sources,31 the author provides uniquely ample information about himself and his surroundings. With the exception of Bana, whose Harsacarita likely served as Dandin's model here, no early Sanskrit writer ever provided such a detailed autobiographical account. Dandin begins with a lengthy description of the city of Kancı and of a Pallava king named Simhavisnu. When Simhavisnu holds court one day, a musician sings a beautiful verse blessing the presiding king; the singer of the verse then informs the king of its author, Damodara, hailing from the city of Anandapura. This up-and-coming poet, the king is told, came in contact with the great poet Bharavi. He also received patronage from a prince named Visnudharma. This relationship ended on a sour note, however, when the prince offended the vegetarian Damodara by offering him meat during a hunting expedition, after which incident Damodara joined the services of King Durvinıta from the Ganga lineage. On the basis of this recommendation, which included a sample verse and a short but impressive resume tying Damodara to some of the leading poets and royal houses of his time, Simhavisnu invites Damodara to join his court in Kancı. The 20-year-old Damodara is promptly recruited and enjoys a successful and fruitful tenure under Simhavisnu’s generous patronage.32 At this point in the narrative, Dandin turns to detail his own ancestry as the great-grandson of the young court poet: Damodara was married in Kancı and fathered three sons; his middle-born, Manoratha, had four sons; Manoratha’s youngest son, Vıradatta, married a Brahmin woman, Gaurı, and they had several daughters and, eventually, a son, Dandin. Dandin then reports that he lost his mother at the age of seven and his father shortly thereafter, and that as an orphan, he had to flee Kancı because of an enemy invasion and was able to return only once peace was restored.33

Although the story continues with many additional details about Dandin's friends and adventures in the port city of Mahamallapuram, during a visit to which he was inspired to compose his work,34 it is the information provided thus far that is most crucial for dating and locating the author. Particularly important is the fact that Dandin was four generations removed from Damodara, a contemporary of Kings Visnudharma, Durvinıta and Simhavisnu, all of whom can be dated with relative accuracy from inscriptional evidence and whose dates converge at the concluding decades of the sixth century and the beginning of the seventh.35 Also significant is the mention of a disruptive invasion of the Pallava kingdom, which is likely the Calukya sacking of Kancı described in the Gadval inscription of Vikramaditya I Calukya (dated to 674 CE).36 These details all suggest that Dandin's active career took place around 680–720 CE under the auspices of Narasimhavarman II Rajasimha in Kancı (r. 690/1–728/9).37 In all the scholarship written on this topic, I have not found a single good reason that we should dismiss this godsend of good and rich data.

Moreover, this autobiographical account strongly resonates with several hints from Dandin's Kavyadarsa, the same hints that initially led Agashe to assign Dandin's theoretical treatise to this very place and time. First, in explaining his concluding illustration of the poetic expression of joy (preyas), Dandin explicitly states that the joyous response just expressed was that of King Rajavarman or Ratavarman upon seeing Siva.38 The fact that Dandin here, outside any context, identifies a king as the author of this verse seems to me an obvious gesture to his patron. The question is, of course, who this patron is. The name is clearly Pallava-sounding (all Pallava regnal names invariably end in -varman), and if the reading Rajavarman is correct, then the identification that several scholars have suggested with Narasimhavarman II, also known as Rajasimha, seems likely, especially if we remember that this king is depicted in his inscriptions as a devotee of Siva.39 Second, one of Dandin's more striking examples of yamaka, the device where the same sound is repeated with a different meaning, is a verse whose sole purpose is the repetition of the name Kalakala as many times as possible in a single verse (24 times, to be precise). Kalakala is another famous title of Narasimhavarman II.40 Finally, the Kavyadarsa contains a verse illustrating a ‘‘name-riddle’’ (namaprahelika) that reads as follows: ‘‘A city, five letters, the middle one is a nasal, the ruling lineage of which is an eight-letter word.’’41 The answer, as the oldest commentator explains, is Kancı, capital of the Pallava (Pallavah) kings.42 As with the other hints, it is only natural to take the riddle as Dandin's gesture to the kings who supported him and to the hometown that he lovingly describes in his Avantisundarı.43 Indeed, all three works by Dandin seem to refer to the Tamil region: the Avantisundarı depicts Dandin as living and working in the Pallava region, and the Dasakumaracarita evinces familiarity with the region’s geography.44 To this we may add the strong fascination of all three works with Vidarbha: this region is the birthplace of Dandin's great-grandfather Damodara in the Avantisundarı, the location of several central stories in the Dasakumaracarita, and the place of origin of the best style of poetry in the Kavyadarsa.45

These biographical, geographic, and narrative convergences among all the works ascribed to Dandin are undeniable. And although the Avantisundarı was initially greeted with some suspicion—as is perhaps understandable, given its fragmentary nature, unclear relationship with the verse summary, and puzzling overlap with the Dasakumaracarita, another incomplete work with an odd pattern of transmission— there is now a wide consensus that a single Dandin authored all these works at the Pallava court in Kancı around the end of the seventh century.46 Indeed, several eminent scholars now believe on stylistic and other grounds that, as suggested by the verse summary and its Telugu translation, both the Avantisundarı and the Dasakumaracarita originally formed a single massive prose work that was broken up at a relatively early age in its transmission; another view is that the two represent separate stages in the life and work of the same author.47 Be that as it may, it should be noted that in the century since Agashe’s first intervention, not a shred of evidence has been found that positively supports the notion of multiple Dandins, and it is absolutely clear that in the eyes of posterity there never existed more than one.48 If there were several authors named Dandin, it would seem that they all lived in the same place and at the same time, wrote the same works, and were considered by everyone else to be one and the same person.

Despite all this, the ghost of Agashe has recently been resurrected as part of the ongoing debate concerning the history of the Ajanta caves. I will not try to summarize here Walter Spink’s career-long efforts to provide a revised, short chronology of this unique building project, which he believes was carried out in spurts from 460 to 477 CE, when it was finally stopped after the fall of the Vakataka Empire.49 It will suffice briefly to explain how Dandin's date and identity became linked to his ingenious, albeit controversial, theory. Although the bulk of Spink’s arguments is based on his innovative reading of Ajanta’s physical remains, a main source of external support is his interpretation of the Visruta story in Dandin's Dasakumaracarita as a lightly disguised account of the political drama surrounding the reign of Harisena, the last Vakataka monarch.50 Some of Spink’s critics strongly doubt the historicity of the Visruta story,51 although his interpretation is intriguing and certainly not implausible. But even if Spink’s interpretation is accepted, what bearing does this have on the question of Dandin's date and identity? Indeed, Spink himself originally concurred with Dandin's accepted date and even used it to support his argument. Thus he refers to the ‘‘fall of the great Vakataka house, a trauma so important in India’s history that it was recalled detail by detail, well over a century later in Dandin’s quasi-historical Dasakumaracarita.’’52

More recently, however, in responding to criticism that his ‘‘crown witness’’ lived ‘‘about 8 or 9 generations later, at the end of the 7th or early 8th century,’’ and that therefore ‘‘his intimate knowledge of Vakataka history should be taken with a pinch of salt,’’53 Spink seized on Agashe’s theory of multiple Dandins and suggested that the Dandin who authored the Dasakumaracarita must have lived much earlier, close to the events he allegedly describes.54 Even aside from the obvious circularity of this argument and the fact that no serious scholar would place the Dasakumaracarita circa 500 CE—as we have seen, Agashe, whom Spink quotes as his authority on the position of multiple Dandins, actually believed that the work was written as late as the twelfth century—I find the idea that Dandin had to witness history in order to allude to it (if this, indeed, is what he does) strange, to say the least. As Spink originally and rightly argued, the story of King Harisena was a famous one, and as we have seen, Dandin's great-grandfather hailed from the very region of the erstwhile Vakataka kingdom.55 So even if Dandin's Visruta story is in some sense about the historical drama in Harisena’s court, I find nothing in Spink’s arguments that seriously challenges the scholarly consensus about Dandin's period, supported by the detailed testimony in his Avantisundarı, or, for that matter, the tradition’s knowledge of only one Dandin. At any rate, the Kavyadarsa, Dandin's text that is most relevant to the current discussion, can be safely assigned to the Pallava court in Kancı around the year 700.

2.2 Bhamaha

In comparison with Dandin's celebrity and the relative wealth of information about him, we lack data about Bhamaha. He mentions in his Kavyalamkara that his father’s name was Rakrilagomin, and this is basically all we know about him.56 Later Kashmiri writers often treat Bhamaha as the founding father of Sanskrit poetics and, by the same token, make him stand for everything that is old school, a trend that must have begun with Udbhata (c. 800) and his vast commentary on Bhamaha’s work. This Kashmiri connection has led many to assume that Bhamaha, too, hailed from the northern vale. But if this is the case, then, unlike many of his followers, whose patrons, positions, and, in some cases, salaries are referred to by Kalhana, Bhamaha does not receive any mention in the famous chronicle of Kashmir’s courts, the Rajataranginı (River of Kings).57

Moreover, although his text was studied alongside Dandin's, Bhamaha never enjoyed anything like the impact of his colleague. His work did not serve as the dominant model for nascent vernacular literary cultures, nor did it attract many commentators; the only premodern commentary known to us is Udbhata’s, and this learned and important work is now lost save for a few fragments published by Gnoli in 1962 and some stray quotes in later works. Neither was Bhamaha a famous poet—there are only a handful of verses ascribed to him in the anthologies—and there are certainly no praise verses of the type dedicated to Dandin.58

However, it is possible that Bhamaha was known in the scholarly circles of grammar and logic, to each of which fields he dedicated a chapter in his manual on poetics. Indeed, it is often Bhamaha’s chapters on these other disciplines that engaged other texts in discussion and were cited by later authors in a way that is crucial to fixing his date. Thus Bhamaha’s views on the philosophy of language merited the attention of Santaraksita, a Buddhist logician writing in the middle of the eighth century, and his discussion on grammar refers to a certain Nyasakara. Speaking of grammar, a commentary on Vararuci’s Prakrtaprakasa, a Prakrit grammar, was written by a Bhamaha who may or may not be the same as the author of the Kavyalamkara.59
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:14 pm

Part 2 of 5

2.3 Relative Chronology

One important piece of evidence that was available from the start of the debate, but that many of its participants either overlooked or were quick to dismiss, is that Tarunavacaspati, a mid-thirteenth-century scholar who worked at the Hoysala court and who wrote a commentary on Dandin's Kavyadarsa, highlighted several passages where he believed that Dandin was engaged in direct refutation of Bhamaha’s older views.60 Kane argues that this proves nothing, because it is unsafe to trust someone who lived six centuries later than the author in question, and who simply ‘‘found conflicting views and thinks that Dandin criticizes Bhamaha.’’61 Kane’s warning is, of course, not entirely without merit, although it is clear that he did not pause to ponder what caused Tarunavacaspati to posit this directionality rather than the other. But the real problem with Kane’s dismissal is that Tarunavacaspati is not alone, and that other commentators whose works were published after Kane’s book appeared posit the same chronology. Particularly important in this context are the commentaries of two erudite scholars who lived significantly closer to Dandin's time: Vadijanghaladeva and Ratnasrijnana.

Although Vadijanghaladeva provides no autobiographical information in his commentary, titled srutanupalinı (Tradition’s Keeper), Sheldon Pollock has convincingly proposed to identify him with Vadighangala Bhatta, a recipient of gifts praised in a 963 inscription by a Ganga vassal of the Rastrakuta king Krsna III (r. 939–967) as ‘‘an expert in the exegesis of the science of literature’’ (niravadyasahityavidyavyakhyananipuna) and as a successful political adviser to the Rastrakuta monarch.62 On several occasions in his commentary, Vadijanghaladeva quotes from Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara to show not only that Dandin and Bhamaha were in disagreement but that Dandin intentionally crafted his work as a rejoinder to Bhamaha’s. An example is Dandin's discussion of the division of prose into the subgenres of katha and akhyayika, a distinction that Bhamaha upholds, but one that Dandin views as useless. In commenting on Dandin’s text, Vadijanghaladeva quotes the parallel passage from Bhamaha and explains that Dandin's discussion was deliberately worded so as to refute Bhamaha’s criteria for distinguishing the genres (tad uktam bhamahena …iti niyamam nirakartum idam aha).63 Another example is Dandin's explanation, just when he is about to wrap up his exposition of individual tropes and turn to discuss their possible combinations, of why he did not mention ananvaya (an expression of incomparability) and sasandeha (an expression of doubt about the identity of X, given its great similarity to Y) as independent literary devices (he reminds his readers that he has already treated these as subspecies of the simile). Clearly, this explanation is necessitated by some other text, where the two have been treated as freestanding tropes, and Vadijanghaladeva identifies Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara as this intertext. He quotes Bhamaha’s definitions and examples for both devices, found, by the way, at exactly the same position in the treatise, just before speaking of combinations of tropes, and notes that Dandin's comments have to be interpreted as highlighting his differences from Bhamaha (ity etavad ananvayasasandehalankarau bhamahena prthag udahrtau yau tavad asmabhir upama sv eva darsitau).64 Vadijanghaladeva offers a similarly decisive view on the direction of the debate over the poetic value of statements of causation (hetu), where the two authors express diametrically opposed views using the same example (Bhamaha says that it is the epitome of prosaicness, while Dandin argues that it is a perfectly legitimate trope). It is Dandin, he says, who ‘‘refutes what Bhamaha has said’’ (yad uktam bhamahena tad apakaroti).65

An even more detailed discussion of the relationship between Bhamaha and Dandin is offered in the extremely erudite commentary of the Sinhalese Buddhist scholar Ratnasrijnana. As Sheldon Pollock has convincingly shown, Ratnasrijnana, who came to the mainland and left a donative inscription in Gaya, also attended the court of the Rastrakuta monarch Krsna III.66 His commentary on Dandin’s treatise, published in 1957 by Anantalal Thakur and Upendhra Jha, stands out for its systematic treatment of Bhamaha’s work and the bearing it has on Dandin's. All in all, Ratnasrijnana quotes from Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara on thirty-two occasions, with a total of 35 quoted verses (nearly 10% of Bhamaha’s original text), far more than from any other source.67 Indeed, several portions of Ratnasrijnana’s commentary can be seen as close comparative studies of both works that anticipate much of the twentieth-century scholarship on the relationship between the two and surpass it in both erudition and philological virtuosity.

A case in point is Ratnasrijnana’s commentary on Dandin's aforementioned rejection of the two distinct genres of prose, akhyayika and katha (Kavyadarsa 1.23– 30). An extended passage in Ratnasrijnana’s commentary (pp. 15–22 in the printed edition) is nothing but a detailed meditation on the manner in which Dandin reports, belittles, and refutes each and every criterion that Bhamaha has adduced to differentiate the two genres. For Ratnasrijnana, Dandin's systematic refutation of Bhamaha’s criteria involves demonstrating that some of them are not unique, others are insignificant, and still others contradict the empirical evidence, run counter to socioaesthetic values, or are logically inconsistent. To make his point clear, Ratnasrıjnana repeatedly cites Bhamaha—he quotes from the Kavyalamkara eleven times in this passage alone—in a highly sophisticated demonstration of how each and every lexical choice in Dandin's discussion is made with Bhamaha’s text in mind, including several indirect gibes (a[nena] caitan nirastam bhangya yad uktam bhamahena) and silent ‘‘digs’’ (anuktopalambho ‘yam).68

An additional example involves another well-known disagreement between Bhamaha and Dandin that concerns the status of prahelikas (riddles). Bhamaha famously mistrusts the poetic value of such brainteasers, which, he notes, others before him have discussed. He brings this topic up at the end of his discussion of yamaka (twinning), where the same string of sounds is repeated, each time with a different meaning. The aesthetic value of yamakas, too, is somewhat controversial, but Bhamaha nonetheless includes them in his catalog of legitimate devices and endorses their use, so long as authors follow his stipulations (2.9–18). But he is not as amenable to prahelikas:

nanadhatvarthagambhıra yamakavyapadesinı / prahelika sa hy udita ramasarmacyutottare // kavyany api yadımani vyakhyagamyani sastravat / utsavah: sudhiyam eva hanta durmedhaso hatah// (Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 2.19–20)

Also going by the name yamaka, and inscrutable on account of its dependency on polysemic roots, is what Ramasarman in his Acyutottara has called prahelika. The intelligibility of such verses, not unlike scientific jargon, depends on a running commentary. Were they to be accepted as poetry, this would be a celebration to the quick-witted only. But boy, would it knock the half-wits dead!


Bhamaha’s sympathy is clearly not with the blockheads who would be knocked dead by such riddles. Still, the whole scenario is quite hypothetical for him, in the sense that if language is difficult to the point of necessitating a commentary, it is strictly outside the realm of poetry.69 Appropriately, Bhamaha keeps such riddles out of his book, and immediately following this comment he moves to discuss an entirely different topic.

Dandin, by contrast, is far more lenient. He, too, addresses prahelikas after dealing with the complex sound patterns of the yamaka (but also with pattern poems, or citra) and apropos of the question of difficulty in poetry:

iti duskaramargo ‘pi kiñcid adarsitakramah | prahelikaprakaranam punar uddisyate gatih || krıdagosthıvinodesu tajjñair akırnamantrane | paravyamohane capi sopayogah prahelikah || (Kavyadarsa 3.96–97)

Now that I have briefly introduced you also to poetry’s difficult path, let me take you on a tour of the different varieties of the prahelika. This device comes in handy when poets and scholars get together to have fun, when the wise are in the midst of a crowd and need to exchange coded messages, and as a means of baffling a rival.


Like Bhamaha, Dandin views prahelikas as particularly difficult and hence the prerogative of the wise, but unlike Bhamaha, he finds this difficulty to be of value in a variety of situations. If this is a somewhat apologetic endorsement, it is an endorsement nonetheless, and Dandin proceeds to run his readers through no less than 16 prahelika varieties, which, he reports, were sanctioned by earlier writers. His predecessors, he adds, also came up with an additional list of 14 flawed prahelikas, but Dandin believes that there is little point in this enumeration because the number of flaws is infinite.70

It should be clear from the preceding discussion not only that Bhamaha and Dandin are of different opinions on the question of prahelikas, but also that the ambivalence about this device is rooted in earlier texts that were engaged in conversation on this topic. But can we reconstruct this early conversation? Here Ratnasrıjnana offers critical help. He identifies the Acyutottara of Ramasarman, the text Bhamaha also mentions in connection with riddles, as one source of the prahelikas mentioned by Dandin (eta yathoktalaksanah sodasa prahelika nirdista uktah purvair acaryai ramasarmadibhih; ad Kavyadarsa 3.106), and he argues that Dandin worded his text so as to refute Bhamaha’s position that prahelika is not a legitimate device (tatas ta apy alamkaravat kavyalaksane cintanıyah tatas ca yad uktam bhamahena… [Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 2.19–20, quoted above] …iti tad apahastitam. upayogavattaya avasyavaktavyatvat prahelikanam alamkaravad iti; ad Kavyadarsa 3.97). Through the magnifying lens of this tenth-century scholar, the landscape of early Sanskrit poetics momentarily emerges from the mist, and a thread of the discussion becomes traceable: Ramasarman coined the prahelika and promoted some of its varieties in his Acyutottara; Bhamaha referred to him and his work when he denied prahelika a place in his own treatise; and Dandin discarded (apahastita) Bhamaha’s arguments and reintroduced prahelikas, including those varieties that were earlier sanctioned by Ramasarman.

Even this limited selection from Ratnasrijnana’s commentary suffices to show that his approach to the ideational, methodological, and chronological relationship between Bhamaha’s and Dandin's works is a far cry from the ad hoc and careless attitude we have seen Kane attribute to Tarunavacaspati. Rather, one of his main objectives as a commentator is to compare the two treatises closely on a variety of issues, ranging from seemingly minor points of difference (whether a certain device merits being considered an independent trope or a subcategory of another) to those pertaining to the scope and independence of the discipline as a whole (Ratnasrijnana interprets Dandin's rejection of poetic flaws that consist of logical fallacies as a more general criticism of Bhamaha’s sojourn into the field of logic; more on this later). Indeed, Ratnasrijnana directly addresses the general intellectual problem posed by the disagreement between authorities in the field.71 And, coming back to the main concern of this article, on each and every point of disagreement, Ratnasrıjnana makes it absolutely palpably clear that Dandin is responding to Bhamaha. Anantalal Thakur and Upendhra Jha, in their introduction to the edition of Ratnasrıjnana’s commentary, have already noted that the Sinhalese scholar ‘‘unambiguously maintains the priority of Bhamaha over Dandin’’ and that his commentary shows that during his time both texts were ‘‘studied side by side.’’72 It can actually be stated more strongly that Ratnasrijnana understood Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara as Dandin's primary intertext and believed that Dandin set out to systematically denounce Bhamaha’s positions on a range of topics. As we have seen, a similar picture of the relationship between the authors—both in terms of their relative chronology and in terms of the combative nature of their discussion—can be derived from his tenth-century fellow southerner, Vadijanghaladeva, even if the comparative approach is not a priority for him as it is for Ratnasrijnana. In fact, as has also already been noted by Thakur and Jha, Ratnasrijnana ‘‘has been supported by all the extant commentaries’’ on Dandin's work in positing the priority of Bhamaha.73 I should hasten to say that the commentarial literature on Dandin is still embarrassingly understudied, and some of the commentaries still await publication.74 Still, the complete unanimity among all the premodern commentators I have been able to consult is revealing. It should also be noted that not a single premodern author has ever postulated an inverse chronology, according to which Dandin would have antedated Bhamaha.75

Still, it is possible to argue that the jury of commentators derived its unanimous verdict purely from a textual comparison of Dandin's and Bhamaha’s work, without any additional evidence about the two and their predecessors. It is possible, for example, that Ratnasrijnana reconstructed the discussion of prahelika from the same texts that we have in our possession today and deduced Ramasarman as Dandin's source solely on the basis of Bhamaha’s reference to him, without being able to consult a copy of the Acyutottara himself. If this is so, then relying on the testimony of Ratnasrijnana and his colleagues is tantamount to a contamination of external evidence with conclusions derived solely from comparative analysis. There are, however, several factors that reduce the likelihood of this scenario. The first is the temporal and geographic proximity of these earliest commentators to the author of their root text. Ratnasrijnana and Vadijanghaladeva postdated Dandin by two and a half centuries and worked in the vicinity of Vidarbha, his family’s place of origin. Theirs was also a period when Dandin's text was nearing the height of its influence, with the first adaptation into Kannada basically coinciding with the two commentaries, 76 and information about Dandin, at least—including the autobiographical account in the Avantisundarı, perhaps still available in its original and complete form—was, in all probability, still afloat in this region. Second, we know that some of the earliest texts on Sanskrit poetics that are now lost were still in circulation during the tenth century. Specifically, Ramasarman’s text seems to have been available in Ratnasrijnana’s homeland of Lanka even in the thirteenth century, judging from the way it is referred to in the Pali Subodhalankara of Sangharakkhita.77 Third, Ratnasrijnana’s commentary makes clear that the library at his disposal was vast and included a variety of treatises on poetics, from the new theory of dhvani (suggestion) that was just emerging in Kashmir to other works that he quotes but are no longer extant, quite possibly the very works that were needed in order to put the differences between Bhamaha and Dandin in their theoretical and historical context.78 Finally, it should be noted that the manner in which Ratnasrijnana refers to Ramasarman and older authorities elsewhere in the book seems to be determined by the topic and cannot be reduced to references in Bhamaha’s work.79

Even if we accept the notion that the commentators’ posited chronology was based purely on philological analysis, and that they were entirely ignorant about the personal, social, and historical realities informing their area of specialty, the fact that they all reached the same conclusion, quite possibly independently of each other,80 should at least give us pause. We simply can no longer ignore the large body of commentarial literature on Dandin, coming from highly erudite scholars who had access to a much larger library than ours, and we must discard the still-prevalent arrogant image of the Sanskrit commentator as a philologically challenged reader who is caught off guard by intertextual discrepancies and posits clumsy ad hoc explanations to make sense of them.81 Thus, in keeping with the methodology outlined earlier, I provisionally accept the traditional chronology, and unless the evidence in the following sections forces me to revise this, I maintain that Dandin, who, as we saw, worked and lived in Kancı around 680–720, was responding to Bhamaha’s earlier text.

3. Bhamaha and Dandin Relative to Other Authors

A copious discussion of the interrelations among Bhamaha, Dandin, and a host of other writers has, for the most part, done little to solve the problem of their dates. This is partly the result of deference to data that are inherently inconclusive. For example, Jacobi, Kane, and Keith all heard in Bhamaha’s discussion of inference unmistakable echoes of the Buddhist logician Dharmakırti (c. 600–660), which Keith took as ‘‘proof of a very strong kind that Bhamaha knew Dharmakırti’s work.’’82 But as Batuk Nath Sarma and Baldev Upadhyaya have demonstrated, the same notions that these scholars saw as deriving from Dharmakırti were actually widespread and, in fact, more readily traceable to Dharmakırti’s predecessor, Dignaga (c. 480–540), and as Giuseppe Tucci decisively showed already in 1930, ‘‘No trace of Dharmakırti can be found in Kavyalamkara.’’83 Indeed, the prevailing consensus among scholars of Buddhism today is that ‘‘Bhamaha does not show any familiarity with Dharmakırti’s elaboration upon Dignaga’s logic,’’ so much so that scholars who wish to maintain Bhamaha’s posteriority to Dharmakırti have to bend over backward to explain this lack of familiarity.84 In short, similarities may be misleading.85

Even when a similarity could reasonably be taken as proof of direct conversation, there is always the question of directionality. For example, the fact that both Kalidasa and Bhamaha explicitly address the choice of clouds as love messengers— Bhamaha cites this as an example of poetry that does not stand to reason (ayuktimat) and is hence defective, whereas Kalidasa, who admits that a cloud is an unlikely candidate for the post, nonetheless defends the choice of his exiled hero in the Meghaduta (Cloud Messenger)—is probably not a coincidence.86 But a decision about who responds to whom purely on the basis of comparing these passages is entirely subjective, and it is no wonder that different scholars have postulated different chronological scenarios.87

The discussion of Dandin's dates relative to Bana’s offers another important lesson about the dangers of following subjective judgments and preferring them to the explicit testimony of various sources. Consider one of Dandin's examples of vyatireka (distinction) that shares its imagery and vocabulary with a line from Bana’s Kadambarı.88 Keith has noted that ‘‘if there is the relation of borrowing’’ here, then ‘‘every consideration suggests that Bana is the person indebted, and that he has endeavored and elaborated to improve on his model.’’89 There are, however, several considerations that Keith chose to overlook. First, the commentators maintain that Dandin was familiar with Bana’s works. Tarunavacaspati, for instance, implies that Dandin's aforementioned rejection of the differentiae between the prose genres of akhyayika and katha is informed by his familiarity with Bana’s Harsacarita (Life of Harsa).90 Second, Dandin himself unambiguously praises Bana in the opening verses of the Avantisundarı (as Tarunavacaspati very likely knew).91 Keith, however, treats Tarunavacaspati’s testimony as suspect and rejects outright the ascription of the Avantisundarı to the author of the Kavyadarsa. All this helps him reach a rather impossible conclusion that Dandin antedated Bana, the court poet of Emperor Harsa (r. 608–645), and that Bana is therefore indebted to Dandin's example of vyatireka.92

Added to the subjectivity inherent in such judgments is the difficulty of dating many of Bhamaha’s and Dandin's forerunners and successors. Consider, for example, Bhamaha’s aforementioned warning against poetry whose intelligibility is contingent on a running commentary. There is an almost identically worded note to the opposite effect in the Bhattikavya, where the poet Bhatti boasts that his poem is ‘‘intelligible only with the help of a commentary’’ and therefore amounts to ‘‘a celebration to the quick-witted and death to the half-wits’’ (vyakhyagamyam idam kavyam utsavah sudhiyam alam | hata durmedhasas casmin).93 This striking similarity may well be the result of a direct and pointed rejoinder on the part of either author. Some scholars, such as Trivedi, saw Bhatti as responding to Bhamaha, while Keith and others viewed this as a proof of the opposite scenario.94 But even were we to accept Keith’s reconstruction, it still offers us little help in dating Bhamaha, because nothing certain is known about Bhatti and his dates.95

Clearly, then, if anything is to be gained from analysis of Bhamaha and Dandin relative to other writers, we have to move away from decisions based on suspect data and subjective judgments to a discussion informed by reliable references to reasonably datable sources. We should begin by noting that Bhamaha and Dandin differ in their method of referring to other texts. Most notably, as Trivedi has already observed, Bhamaha mentions several of his predecessors by name, whereas Dandin always alludes to his forerunners anonymously.96 Moreover, Bhamaha occasionally departs from the textbookish anustubh meter when he is citing examples from the praxis that happen to be in other metrical forms. Dandin, by contrast, adapts his poetic sources into anustubhs of his own making; only in the rare case of a verse that is originally in anustubh does he borrow verbatim, although again without marking such instances as quotes.97 Bhamaha’s explicit mode of reference, then, makes the possibility of dating him relative to his sources more promising, which is fortunate, given the otherwise dire dearth of information about him. In particular, Bhamaha’s criticism of a certain grammarian he dubs Nyasakara (the author of Nyasa) seems key to dating him and has figured prominently in the scholarly discussion. But first, let us begin with one unmistakable quote from Bhamaha by the Buddhist scholar Santaraksita.

3.1 Santaraksita Attacks Bhamaha

It has long been known that a passage from Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara is quoted verbatim in Santaraksita’s Tattvasangraha. The size of the citation, three whole verses, obviates the need to rely on subjective judgments in this case: although Santaraksita does not mention Bhamaha by name, he is clearly quoting his work. Indeed, Kamalasila, Santaraksita’s pupil, identifies the verses as Bhamaha’s in his commentary on his teacher’s text. Records of the Tibetan visits of Santaraksita and Kamalasila, both of whom were based in Nalanda, allow us to date their lifetimes with rare accuracy to around 725–788 and 740–795, respectively, and to ascertain that the Tattvasangraha was written no later than 760 CE.98 Taken together, this evidence proves decisively that Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara was composed before c. 760.

Unfortunately, this bit of information does not really narrow down Bhamaha’s dates if we are right in placing him before Dandin, as the commentators maintain, and if we are right about the dates of Dandin's career (c. 680–720). Thus what is perhaps significant abou tSantaraksita’s citation is not the chronological calculations that it enables but the fact that the Buddhist logician actually bothered to quote Bhamaha’s views in his treatise. The cited passage of Bhamaha appears in the sixth and last chapter of the Kavyalamkara, where the author addresses grammar. Although the bulk of the chapter is dedicated to sanctioning and prohibiting various grammatical forms, the first twenty-plus verses deal more generally with the importance of learning grammar and with some basic questions about the philosophy of language, such as the relationship between words and the knowledge they produce. Bhamaha subscribes to the view that words denote abstracted universals (e.g., the word ‘‘cow’’ denotes cowness) and rejects the Buddhist theory of apoha, according to which a word communicates its referent through the elimination of everything other than it (‘‘cow’’ eliminates everything that is not a cow). Bhamaha points out that each word can give rise to only one cognition, whereas the apoha theory requires us to postulate a pair of cognitions: the negation of all nonreferents (noncows) followed by the realization of the intended referent (cow). It is this rejection of the apoha theory that Santaraksita quotes as part of a large catalog of objections, which he then refutes one by one.99 As far as I can see, Bhamaha is the only literary theorist quoted in the Tattvasangraha.100 Indeed, it is extremely rare to find writers on logic or grammar critique experts on poetics, at least until much later in Indian intellectual history. Why, then, does Santaraksita cite Bhamaha’s incidental criticism of apoha almost in the same breath as citing the theory’s heavyweight critic, Kumarila Bhatta, clearly his main opponent in this section?101

Several explanations suggest themselves here. First, Bhamaha’s criticism of apoha—in terms of the point he raises, the straightforwardness of his comment, and its form (anustubh is also the carrying meter of the Tattvasangraha)—fits Santaraksita’s mode of presentation and serves as a convenient transition to the more important attacks of Kumarila. Second, Santaraksita may have wanted to be as comprehensive as possible and counter every available criticism of apoha. Third, it is quite plausible that scholars and students in mid-eighth-century Nalanda studied Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara as their primary textbook on poetics, so that Santaraksita felt that even its criticism in passing of the Buddhist doctrine could not be left unanswered. Finally, it is possible, although this is more speculative, that Santaraksita was bothered by Bhamaha’s criticism of another Buddhist scholar, the grammarian Jinendrabuddhi, who is discussed in the next section.

3.2 Bhamaha Attacks Nyasakara

Perhaps the most acrimonious exchange in the entire century-long debate concerns the identity of a certain Nyasakara, whom Bhamaha criticizes in his aforementioned chapter on grammar. As part of a minicatalog of illegitimate and legitimate grammatical forms, Bhamaha addresses the topic of compounds that combine nouns ending with the agentive suffix trc with objects in the genitive. Such combinations are explicitly prohibited by Panini but are nonetheless not uncommon.102 Bhamaha makes it clear that this practice is strictly unacceptable:

sistaprayogamatrena nyasakaramatena va | trca samastasasthıkam na kathamcid udaharet || sutrajñapakamatrena vrtrahanta yathoditah | (Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 6.36–37)

Under no circumstances should [a poet] compound a noun in the genitive with an agent ending in trc, as in the example vrtrahanta (Vrtra’s killer), merely because such combinations were used by the learned, or based on the authority of Nyasakara, simply by rescuing some implication from Panini’s rule.


Poets must avoid compounds like vrtrahanta because they contradict Panini’s injunction. As Nobuhiko Kobayashi has noted, Bhamaha may have deliberately designed this example to rule out three alternatives to Panini’s authority: (1) language use by the learned, (2) the stance of grammarians other than Panini himself (or his immediate followers, Katyayana and Patanjali), and (3) creative interpretations of Panini’s sutras (through jñapakas or yogavibhagas). In Bhamaha’s view, none of these could ever overrule an explicit Paninian injunction.103

Already in 1912, shortly after the first publication of Bhamaha’s work, K. B. Pathak identified a passage in Jinendrabuddhi’s Kasikavivaranapañjika that concerns the same Paninian sutra and that echoes the language used by Bhamaha. Citing this textual affinity and noting that the Kasikavivaranapañjika often goes by the alias Nyasa (and its author by Nyasakara), Pathak concluded that Jinendrabuddhi was Bhamaha’s target of criticism. He used this to support a chronology according to which Bhamaha postdated Dandin, because he believed that Jinendrabuddhi lived at the beginning of the eighth century.104 Pathak’s argument was immediately contested, and the following two years witnessed a particularly heated debate wherein Pathak, Trivedi, and Kane accused each other not only of getting the facts wrong but also of deliberate falsification of the data.105 There is no need for us to summarize this exchange in detail. It suffices to extract from it the evidence on the following three questions: (1) Does Bhamaha refer to Jinendrabuddhi’s Kasikavivaranapañjika when he speaks of a text called Nyasa? (2) Is this Jinendrabuddhi identical with the author of the Pramanasamuccayatika, a commentary on Dignaga’s treatise on logic? (3) What is Jinendrabuddhi’s date? I examine each of these questions separately, considering Kane, Pathak, and Trivedi’s work together with more recent interventions.

Regarding the first question, the referent of the title Nyasa itself has been the subject of controversy. Pathak famously insisted that in the early grammatical discourse it designates only the Kasikavivaranapañjika. This claim is inaccurate: Nyasa, as a term for a commentary, is documented before Jinendrabuddhi.106 George Cardona has pointed out, ‘‘There were other texts called nyasa,’’ and ‘‘Bhartrhari referred to such a text.’’ But Cardona also notes, ‘‘The famous Nyasa of Paninian grammar after Bhartrhari was clearly Jinendrabuddhi’s.’’107 On this count, then, Pathak’s identification seems plausible but not certain.

More important, Jinendrabuddhi’s Kasikavivaranapañjika does reinterpret Astadhyayı 2.2.15 (trjakabhyam kartari)—a sutra that literally forbids the compounding of agents ending in trc (and aka) with objects in the genitive108—by rescuing from it an implication (jñapaka) that nouns ending in trn, trc’s identical twin, are permissible in such compounds.109 We need not delve deep into the grammatical discussion because its exact interpretation is not contested and lies outside the scope of this article.110 Suffice it to say that there is a close affinity between Jinendrabuddhi’s commentary and Bhamaha’s passage. In particular, both focus on a possible implication (jñapaka) of the relevant sutra, according to which some suspect compounds become legitimate, and both use similar (but not identical) examples: Jinendrabuddhi’s is ‘‘killer of fear and dejection’’ (bhayas´okahanta), and Bhamaha’s is ‘‘Vrtra’s killer’’ (vrtrahanta).111 At the same time, there are also some differences between the two passages, primarily the fact that Bhamaha warns against the use of agent nouns in trc, whereas Jinendrabuddhi really only allows the use of trn.112 It is thus not entirely impossible that Bhamaha was referring to another commentary on grammar that went by the name Nyasa and that made an argument for the permissibility of compounds with trc. After all, many were troubled by Panini 2.2.15 and its incompatibility with actual practice.113 Still, as Pathak has already demonstrated, in the eyes of posterity it was Jinendrabuddhi’s text that was associated with rescuing an implication from Panini 2.2.15.114 In addition, Kobayashi believes that Bhamaha was familiar with Jinendrabuddhi’s view on another grammatical sticking point.115 All in all, the identity of Bhamaha’s Nyasa and Jinendrabuddhi’s Kasikavivaranapañjika appears likely, although not certain. 116

Assuming for now the correctness of Pathak’s identification, I come to my second question, the identity of the two Jinendrabuddhis: the grammarian who authored the Nyasa and the logician who commented on Dignaga’s text, both of whom were Buddhists. When this discussion began some one hundred years ago, the participants had access to the latter’s work only in Tibetan translation. But the recent discovery of two manuscripts of Jinendrabuddhi’s Pramanasamuccayatika (as part of a large number of Sanskrit manuscripts on pramana) and the publication of its first chapter by Ernest Steinkellner, Helmut Krasser, and Horst Lasic—an event that marks ‘‘a new era in Buddhist philosophical studies, comparable in its importance to the one that began with the sensational discoveries of Buddhist manuscripts by Rahula Sankrityayana and Giuseppe Tucci in the 1930s and 1940s’’117—may alter our knowledge on this matter. Even before this discovery, several scholars had concluded that Jinendrabuddhi the logician was an expert on grammar. On the basis of this and several textual practices shared by the two Jinendrabuddhis, they very tentatively conjectured their identity.118 But it is one of the newly discovered Sanskrit manuscripts that supplies a first sliver of evidence for this conjecture, because a scribe by the name of Gahana, who worked at the close of the eleventh century, speaks of the logician Jinendrabuddhi as an expert on grammar (s´abdavidya) who has now taken on a new field (navınavis:aya). This may indicate that this scribe viewed Jinendrabuddhi the logician as the author of the Nyasa who now branched into the field of logic.119 Thus the possibility that the Nyasa and the Pramanasamuccayatika were composed by a single author seems more likely than ever, although again, not certain.

Let us now turn to the difficult third question, the date of Jinendrabuddhi. Unfortunately, we have no concrete knowledge about the context of either the Nyasa or the Pramanasamuccayatika, and all current estimates are based on speculative conjectures. Estimates for the Nyasa range widely. Hartmut Scharfe suggested the eighth, ninth, or even the eleventh century as the date of this grammatical commentary, and obviously the second or third options would make it entirely impossible for Jinendrabuddhi’s Nyasa to be identical with Bhamaha’s. Cardona proposed a date of c. 700 on the basis of several potential references to the Nyasa, all of which, if confirmed, make it difficult to assume that the text was composed much later. But Cardona himself admits that the date is rather arbitrary, and he offers no evidence why an earlier date would not be possible. As Cardona and others have noted, I-Tsing mentions that Jayaditya, one of the coauthors of the Kasika (on which the Nyasa is a subcommentary), died c. 660. If this information can be trusted, which is uncertain, the Nyasa can hardly be earlier than this date.120

As for the Pramanasamuccayatika, Toru Funayama has tried to date it relative to several eighth-century texts on Buddhist logic. Funayama compares the texts on their stances on the aim of a treatise, where he finds that Jinendrabuddhi’s argumentation ‘‘is very concise, and hence it is not easy to understand its significance if one has no knowledge of Arcata’s argument,’’ and on their interpretation of Dignaga’s use of the term sataimira, where he finds Santaraksita’s argumentation ‘‘possibly more developed’’ and hence likely later than that of Jinendrabuddhi.121 On the basis of these and a few similar conjectures, he believes that the Pramanasamuccayatika is later than Arcata’s Hetubindutika, which he dates to c. 740–750, and slightly earlier than Santaraksita’s Tattvasangraha, which he dates to about 760.122 All this makes for a very tight chronology, if not a temporal Mobius band, wherein Jinendrabuddhi is Santaraksita’s senior contemporary (possibly familiar with his views on the aim of a text),123 Santaraksita is Bhamaha’s senior (whom he cites), and Bhamaha is Jinendrabuddhi’s senior (assuming that the grammarian and the logician are the same person). Funayama is aware of this difficulty and proposes that Jinendrabuddhi ‘‘might also have belonged to the same academic group in Nalanda’’ as Santaraksita and Kamalasila.124 He likewise has to assume that Bhamaha, too, belonged in the same period with all these authors, and that all of them were in direct conversation with each other. This is, of course, possible (especially if we also assume some gap between Jinendrabuddhi’s grammatical treatise and his work on logic), although highly speculative. Moreover, this hypothesis creates as many problems as it solves. For example, if Jinendrabuddhi and Bhamaha were contemporaries and familiar with each other’s works, how do we explain the fact that Jinendrabuddhi was so thoroughly versed in Dharmakırti’s ideas and his improvements over Dignaga, whereas Bhamaha, who otherwise shows a keen interest in Buddhist pramana discourse, ‘‘does not show any familiarity with Dharmakırti’s elaboration upon Dignaga’s logic’’?125

Where does this confusing set of data and conjectures leave us? As far as I can see, the only fact we know for certain about the author of the Pramanasamuccayatıka is that he knew Dharmakırti’s work, and that he therefore could not have composed his work much earlier than 660, if the estimated date of Dharmakırti’s death is correct. Likewise, the author of the Kasikavivaranapañjika could not have composed his work much earlier than 660, if I-Tsing’s information about the death of the coauthor of his root text is reliable. If we accept the argument that when Bhamaha speaks about Nyasakara, he refers to Jinendrabuddhi, the author of the Kasikavivaranapañjika, if we accept the argument that this Jinendrabuddhi also authored the Pramanasamuccayatika, and if we accept the commonly assigned dates to both Dharmakırti and the Kasika, then Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara could not have been earlier than, say, 650 at the latest. But it is important to stress that my lengthy discussion of Nyasakara and his possible identity with either or both Jinendrabuddhis has yielded nothing that forces me to revise my earlier conclusion, based on the unanimous verdict of the commentators, according to which Bhamaha preceded Dandin. If we combine the above set of hypotheses about Jinendrabuddhi with my earlier conclusions, it would place Bhamaha in the second half of the seventh century, before Dandin's productive period at its close. This, however, contradicts other pieces of the evidentiary puzzle, which indicate that Bhamaha’s work was composed earlier, around the beginning of this century.

3.3 Mahesvara Quotes Bana

Some 50 years ago, K. Kunjunni Raja published a short and largely overlooked essay in which he identified two verse-long quotes from Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara in Mahesvara’s commentary on Yaska’s Nirukta. Assigning Mahesvara’s work to around 638 CE, Kunjunni Raja concluded that Bhamaha must have composed his Kavyalamkara close to the onset of the seventh century.126

As in the case of Santaraksita’s Tattvasangraha, the length and verbatim quality of Mahesvara’s quotes leave little doubt about their source, even if Bhamaha’s name is not mentioned. And here too, we see Bhamaha quoted by a scholar who is not a literary theorist, although in this case he is cited ex officio, as it were, as an authority on literary devices. One of the quotes is apropos of a Rgveda passage (4.57.2) where the word madhu appears twice. Mahesvara explains that this does not amount to redundancy because each has a different meaning. To substantiate this point, he quotes Bhamaha’s definition of yamaka, a device in which the same set of sounds is repeated twice, but each time with a different sense.127 The other quote is apropos of what Mahesvara views as a simile whose standard of comparison is concocted. Here he cites verbatim Bhamaha’s example of cases where manufactured standards are permissible.128

There can be no dispute, then, that Mahesvara knew Bhamaha’s text. The only question is when Mahesvara lived. Kunjunni Raja’s three-step method for dating Mahesvara builds on the earlier scholarship of C. Kunhan Raja. First, he notes that Mahesvara’s teacher was Skandasvamin, author of a commentary on the Rgveda and, according to the colophons of the Niruktabhasyatika, also his coauthor. This tutelage is established by the fact that in several places in his Niruktabhasyatika Mahesvara quotes the opinion of his teacher (upadhyayas tv aha), and one of these quotes agrees verbatim with a line from Skandasvamin’s Rgveda commentary.129 Second, Harisvamin, author of a commentary on the Satapathabrahmana, also names Skandasvamin, the author of the commentary on the Rgveda, as his teacher. Third, Harisvamin’s commentary is one of these rare Sanskrit works that not only provides concrete information about the author’s place and patron but actually gives its own date, Kali 3740, the equivalent of 638 CE. So Mahesvara and Harisvamin seem to have belonged to the same cohort of students in the early decades of the seventh century, and Bhamaha must have antedated them.130

All this seems compelling, but because the history of the early commentarial literature on the Vedas and the Nirukta is hazy, Eivind Kahrs preaches caution. In particular, he maintains that there is no clarity about the exact relation of Mahesvara to Skandasvamin: pupil, coauthor, or subcommentator who may not necessarily have been a contemporary. After all, Mahesvara could have referred to Skandasva min as his upadhyaya even if the latter was not his direct teacher. The jury is likewise still out on whether to trust the data supplied by Harisvamin, despite, or perhaps because of, its wealth and quality, and it seems that the discussion has not fully recovered from an unnecessary muddying of the chronological water by Lakshman Sarup, the editor of the Niruktabhasyatika.131 Given this lack of scholarly consensus, I hesitate to take Kunjunni Raja’s discovery of the Kavyalamkara verses in Mahesvara’s commentary as supplying the year 638 as a terminus ante quem for Bhamaha. Nonetheless, his hypothesis is corroborated by the final testimony I will address in this section, according to which Bhamaha antedated Bana, who indubitably worked during the first half of the seventh century.

3.4 Bana Reacts to Bhamaha?

As with most of the instances discussed in this section, Anandavardhana’s juxtaposition of a verse from Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara with a passage from Bana’s Harsacarita was noticed shortly after the discovery of Bhamaha’s text. This juxtaposition is significant because of its possible implication that Bana improved on Bhamaha’s text, and because the HarHarscarita can be dated with certainty to the first decades of the seventh century. Anandavardhana’s interest in relative chronology here has to be understood in the context of his discussion of innovation in poetry. To prove his point that it is suggestion (dhvani) that enables a familiar subject matter (purvartha) to appear afresh (navatvam ayati), Anandavardhana provides several pairs of examples wherein the second forms an innovative reworking of the first.132 This, then, is one case where the historical sequence seems pertinent to the theoretical argument. Given the potential importance of this citation, it merits a detailed examination.

The verse in question is Bhamaha’s example of tulyayogita, a trope that he defines as the shared function or action (tulyakaryakriyayoga) that is stated in order to establish similarity (gunasamyavivaksaya) between an inferior (nyuna) and a superior (visista).133 His example pairs a mortal king with the cosmic serpent sesa and the monumental mountain-king:

seso himagiris tvam ca mahanto guravah sthirah | yad alanghitamaryadas calantım bibhrtha ksitim || (Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 3.28)

Sesa, the Himalaya, and you
are gigantic, weighty, and firm:
All three of you never go astray
and bear this volatile world.


The semantic field of Sanskrit’s laudatory vocabulary is often capable of simultaneously signifying the natural, mythical, and political orders. This is true of all the modifiers in the second and third metrical quarters of this verse (‘‘gigantic,’’ ‘‘weighty,’’ ‘‘firm,’’ and ‘‘never go astray’’), but, more important, of the action that all three entities are said to perform at the verse’s end: ‘‘bear this volatile world.’’ For the cosmic serpent this means, quite literally, underpinning the earth. In the case of the Himalaya, it refers to pinning it down. The king, for his part, is in charge of supporting and providing for his country; he is also wed to the earth and bears her in that sense as well. There is nothing unusual in any of this: the topoi and vocabulary in Bhamaha’s example are run-of-the-mill. Indeed, it is precisely this rather pedestrian quality of the verse that is pertinent to Anandavardhana’s point, which is that suggestion has the potential to reinvigorate kavya’s worn-out cliche´s.

As an example of an innovative reworking of this verse, Anandavardhana invokes a line from Bana’s Harsacarita that he had already cited in his discussion while presenting the different types and subtypes of suggestion.134 Bana’s line was used as an example of a category of suggestion where the suggested meaning supplements the manifest import thanks to a second layer of signification and where the suggestion is on the level of the sentence as a whole.135 Anandavardhana now returns to this illustration in order to prove his point about innovation. To fully replicate the effect of the doubled signification, I have to resort to a pair of translations, consisting first of the manifest meaning and second, in smaller type, of the suggested import:

vrtte ‘smin mahapralaye dharanıdharanayadhuna tvam sesah.
In this great disaster you alone are now left to support the land.
In this cosmic destruction you are now the world-serpent Sesa for holding up the earth.
(Translation adapted from Ingalls et al. 1990, p. 381)


This line is taken from one of the most dramatic moments in the plot of the Harsacarita, when General Simhanada pleads with Prince Harsa that he become king following the death of both Harsa’s father and older brother. As we can see, the correlation between the king and the cosmic serpent is retained here, as is the notion that both support the earth. But the analogy is taken one step further, primarily through Bana’s clever play on the dual senses of the word sesa, whose literal meaning is ‘‘remainder.’’ This meaning, indicating that Harsa is the sole remaining protector of his country now that his father and brother have died, is uniquely reinforced by the second, suggested layer, according to which Harsa is the world-serpent Sesa, who alone supports the earth following doomsday.136 Bana, then, has charged a stock comparison with new powers by his use of a double meaning, and he has done so in a way that is particularly suitable for the plot and for his political and aesthetic program of portraying Harsa as a reluctant king.137

For Sarma and Upadhyaya, it is eminently clear that ‘‘Anandavardhana had positive belief which must have been based on traditions prevalent among the Kasmirian Pandits of his day that Bhamaha was an old and popular predecessor of Bana so that the latter could safely and honorably borrow ideas from the former.’’138 If we agree with this conclusion, it would place Bhamaha in the early decades of the seventh century at the very latest. Others have maintained that Anandavardhana was not really interested in historical progression here and was concerned only with showing that the same idea could receive fresh treatment through suggestion.139 Note that by way of introducing this pair of examples, Anandavardhana seems to reiterate the importance of temporality to his argument by speaking of the ability of ‘‘topics already seen in the past’’ (drstapurva api hy arthah) to ‘‘appear as new, like trees during springtime’’ (nava ivabhanti madhumasa iva drumah).140 Again, it is possible to argue that what Anandavardhana had in mind was not a chronology per se but the greater intensity of Bana’s line when compared with Bhamaha’s worn-out (another possible meaning for drstapurva) language. Alternatively, it has been argued that Anandavardhana simply had his chronology wrong.141 This is possible, of course, although from all the examples he could choose from, one has to assume that if Anandavarhdana was interested in making a point about chronological progression, he would have chosen those authors whose timeline he knew well.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:17 pm

Part 3 of 5

3.5 Evaluating the Evidence Presented Thus Far

My juxtaposition of Bhamaha with Santaraksita, Jinendrabuddhi, Mahesvara, and Bana has yielded conflicting results. These contradictions aside, though, it is important to reiterate that I have not come across any concrete evidence that would force me to reverse my main findings about Dandin's posteriority to Bhamaha. Maintaining the position that Dandin (c. 680–720) postdated Bhamaha, we are thus faced with two possible scenarios: (1) If we accept the identification of Bhamaha’s Nyasakara with the logician Jinendrabuddhi, who undoubtedly knew Dharmakırti’s text, we have to assume a short chronology, according to which Bhamaha lived in the second half of the seventh century and preceded Dandin by a few decades at most. (2) If we reject the Jinendrabuddhi identification and accept Anandavardhana’s discussion of innovation and/or the dating of Mahesvara to 638 as historical evidence, then the chronological gap between Bhamaha and Dandin widens considerably to close to a century, if not more.142 Neither of these scenarios is problem free, and one can only hope that future discoveries, perhaps emanating from the Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts being discovered in China, will shed more light on this question.

4. Comparing the Texts of Bhamaha and Dandin

The most subjective component of the century-old debate consists of the attempts to deduce succession from comparing Dandin's and Bhamaha’s texts. By subjective I refer, first, to the use of judgments about whose approach to a certain topic is more ‘‘advanced’’ as proof of his relative posteriority. Thus some have adduced the assessment that ‘‘the view of gunas adopted by Bhamaha is far more advanced than that of Dandin’’ as proof that Bhamaha came later, while others cited Dandin's ‘‘numerous divisions’’ of certain tropes into subtypes and his more ‘‘detailed treatment’’ of ornaments of sound (sabdalamkaras) as corroborating the opposite succession.143 I do not wish to discount the value of such observations entirely, but surely they prove neither chronology. We have no all-purpose criterion to evaluate progress: in some cases an advance is marked by a more rigorous and extensive analysis, while in others it is marked by parsimony or by a silent realization that phenomena that were once thought prominent no longer deserve much attention. Moreover, each of the two authors deals with some topics in more detail than the other, so that arguments of this sort tend to cancel one another.

Second, as we have seen in Sect. 3, deciding the direction of a discussion on the basis of textual similarities is extremely risky. It is well known that there are many affinities between Dandin's and Bhamaha’s treatises, and that there are even occasions where they use the same language in defining or exemplifying certain devices. Not surprisingly, these passages have been taken to prove borrowing in either direction, whereas, in fact, the mere occurrence of such parallels proves neither conclusively.144 The same holds true with respect to deciding directionality in cases where the two authors are in disagreement or even appear to dispute each other directly. How can we determine the identity of the textual referent when, say, Bhamaha is taking issue with a position upheld by Dandin? Scholars who believe that Dandin antedated Bhamaha invariably take this as proof of their view, whereas scholars subscribing to the opposite chronology explain it away by maintaining that Bhamaha is arguing here with some earlier intertext that is no longer available and that served as Dandin's source. In the opposite case, when Dandin is critical of a position that Bhamaha postulates, the explanations are reversed mirrorlike: those who believe that Bhamaha antedated Dandin take this to ratify their position, while their opponents explain that Dandin must have had an earlier intertext in mind.

If textual comparisons can be adduced at all as evidence here, we must produce some objective criteria for preferring one directionality to the other. One criterion that suggests itself in cases of explicit disagreements between the authors is the extent to which one of them can be shown to be familiar not so much with the other’s basic position as with the exact way it is worded in the other’s text or, at the very least, with its specifics. If we reexamine the paired passages that have long been at the heart of the discussion with this criterion in mind, I believe that we will discover many cases where Dandin is unquestionably familiar with a ‘‘Bhamaha position’’ as it is actually worded or specified in the Kavyalamkara, but none in which Bhamaha’s refutation of a ‘‘Dandin position’’ reflects knowledge of the vocabulary and specifics of the Kavyadarsa.

There are several instances where Dandin's acquaintance with the language of Bhamaha’s position is, to my mind, beyond any doubt. One example is the discussion of poetic flaws (dosas). Bhamaha lists eleven such poetic flaws at the outset of his fourth chapter, whereas Dandin lists only the first ten. It is quite plausible that Bhamaha was familiar with a tradition of presenting only ten flaws. After all, he sees a difference between the first set of ten, to which chapter 4 of his work is dedicated, and the eleventh flaw of imperfect reasoning (pratijñahetudrstantahına), which really consists of a whole gamut of logical fallacies that forms the subject of his fifth chapter.145 But whether or not Bhamaha is familiar with the Dandin position that there are only ten flaws, he shows no awareness of its specifics and justifications. Dandin, however, is surely familiar with an exposition of flaws exactly as it is done in Bhamaha’s work, for he lists the same ten flaws given by Bhamaha—following the exact same order and using exactly the same words (the texts agree verbatim for six metrical quarters)—only to add, exactly at the point where Bhamaha introduces the logical fallacy:

iti dosa dasaivaite varjyah kavyesu suribhih || pratijñahetudrstantahanir doso na vety asau | vicarakarkasaprayas tenalıdhena kim phalam || (Kavyadarsa 3.126–127)146

According to the experts, these ten, and only they, are flaws that poets should shun. As for imperfect reasoning, it may or may not be a flaw, but this whole line of argumentation is so extremely pedantic that one wonders what the point in introducing it is.


Here, as Ratnasrijnana, Vadijanghaladeva, and Tarunavacaspati all point out, Dandin is showing his familiarity with the peculiarities of Bhamaha’s discussion, where this eleventh flaw is given (Dandin pointedly accepts ‘‘these ten, and only they’’), and which indeed opens the door—or offers the readers a ‘‘sip’’ (alıdha); note that Bhamaha uses this very word in justifying the introduction of logic in the parallel passage (Kavyalamkara 5.3)—to a highly pedantic and elaborate exposition of the syllogism and its potential deficiencies.147

The same trend is evident even in Dandin's exposition of the flaws he does accept. In discussing defective or absent euphonic combinations (visandhi), Dandin specifically rejects the scope of this flaw as exemplified in Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara. Bhamaha’s sole example of visandhi consists of the absence of vowel combinations between words in the dual. According to the grammarians, such endings are exempt (pragrhya) from sandhi, but although this lack of vowel combination is not ungrammatical Bhamaha finds it unsavory in poetry. Dandin, however, explicitly states that confusing the flaw of visandhi with cases that are exempt from sandhi is wrong (tad visandhıti nirdistam na pragrhyadihetukam). Ratnasrijnana again sees this as a case where Dandin directly refutes Bhamaha, whose example he is quick to quote. In the parallel passage Bhamaha never evinces any familiarity with the particulars of Dandin's illustrations or, for that matter, with a view that sandhi-exempt endings fall outside the scope of this flaw.148

Another example, already mentioned above, concerns the division of prose into the genres of katha and akhyayika. Bhamaha provides several criteria to distinguish between the two, whereas Dandin rejects the distinction. There is no need to go into this passage in great detail here.149 Suffice it to say that although the two authors hold diametrically opposed views, Bhamaha evinces no familiarity whatever with a text in which the distinction between the genres or its criteria is challenged, whereas Dandin shows unmistakable familiarity with each and every aspect of the Bhamaha position exactly as it is stated in Bhamaha’s text. To give but one example, Bhamaha notes that in kathas the hero cannot be the narrator, for otherwise a man of good breeding would run the risk of sounding self-congratulatory (svagunaviskrtim kuryad abhijatah katham janah). But Dandin specifically notes that no such restriction applies because ‘‘sounding self-congratulatory is not a flaw here so long as one is telling the truth’’ (svagunaviskriyadoso natra bhutarthasamsinah).150

Other examples are less obvious and demand more careful evaluation. Consider the dispute concerning the value of three poetic devices: hetu (causation), a statement of cause and effect; suksma (subtlety), which describes cleverly coded communications; and lesa (trace), which involves an attempt to conceal or deny a giveaway sign. Both Bhamaha and Dandin bunch these three devices together, but whereas Bhamaha strongly rejects their aesthetic value, Dandin endorses them in equally strong words. Here is Bhamaha’s rejection of the entire triad:

hetus ca suksmo leso ‘tha nalamkarataya matah | samudayabhidheyasya vakroktyanabhidhanatah || gato ‘stam arko bhatındur yanti vasaya paksinah | ity evamadi kim kavyam varttam enam pracaksate || (Kavyalamkara 2.86–87)

We do not consider causation, subtlety, and trace ornamental devices, because these are cases in which the overall meaning does not depend on a statement that involves indirection. ‘‘The sun has set. The moon is up. The birds return to their nests.’’ Is this stuff poetry? It reads more like a report.


Bhamaha’s rejection is perfectly consistent with his overall exposition of ornaments. For him, direct, matter-of-fact statements have no aesthetic value. This is why he never embraces factual descriptions (svabhavokti) as ornaments as well. Rather, as he says repeatedly, an ornament has to involve some indirection or crookedness of speech (vakrokti), which he identifies with intensification (atisayokti).151 Hence he denies the ornamental value of, say, a mere statement of cause and effect that is expressed in a direct and straightforward manner.

Dandin presents his diametrically opposed opinion at great length. He dedicates twenty-seven verses just to the discussion of causation and eleven more to the pair of subtlety and trace. For the sake of brevity, I will examine only six of these verses here:

hetus ca suksmalesau ca vacam uttamabhusanam | karakajñapakau hetu tau ca naikavidhau yatha || ayam andolitapraudhacandanadrumapallavah | utpadayati sarvatra prıtim malayamarutah || prıtyutpadanayogyasya rupasya -tropabrmhanam | alankaratayoddistam nirvrttav api tat samam || candanaranyam adhuya sprstva malayanirjharan | pathikanam abhavaya pavano ‘yam upasthitah || abhavasadhanayalam evam bhuto hi marutah | virahajvarasambhutamanojñarocake jane || …gato ‘stam arko bhatındur yanti vasaya paksinah: | itıdam api sadhveva kalavasthanivedane || (Kavya- dars´a 2.233–237, 242)

Both causation and the pair of subtlety and trace are first-class ornaments. Causation is of two types, depending on whether the cause generates an effect or knowledge, and each type can be further divided into a multitude of subtypes. An example of the first type of causation is ‘‘Rocking the leaves of the lush sandal trees, / the southern wind generates pleasure for everyone.’’ Here the magnification of the nature of an entity that is capable of generating pleasure is what makes this an ornament. And the same holds true for cases where the effect is an absence [rather than a presence]: ‘‘Brushing through a forest of sandal trees / and caressing the cascades of Mount Malaya, / this breeze is about to annihilate the travelers.’’ Again, it is a breeze so described that is capable of bringing about an elimination of people who suffer from the predicament of separation and who therefore become vulnerable to anything pleasurable… ‘‘The sun has set. The moon is up. The birds return to their nests.’’ This, too, is beautiful indeed, insofar as it communicates a certain moment in time.


At first glance we are struck by the undeniable parallelism between Bhamaha’s two-verse statement and the first and the last stanzas in the above quote from Dandin. In the first of these two mirroring passages, both authors list the same triad of devices in the same order, and in the second, both cite the same example verbatim, although whereas for Bhamaha the three devices are nonornaments and the example is nonpoetry, for Dandin they make for first-class ornaments and first-rate poetry. My objective criterion could be said to be of little help here: Bhamaha is clearly aware of the Dandin position, according to which causation and the like are ornaments, for otherwise it would make little sense to deny this. Dandin, for his part, is surely familiar with the Bhamaha position of denying these devices their status, for otherwise it makes no sense for him to highlight them as ‘‘first-class’’ ornaments (there is nothing in his own system of poetic devices that justifies such singling out). The same is true with respect to the contested example. Bhamaha is aware of a text where a verse like ‘‘The sun has set,’’ and perhaps even this very verse, is given as poetry, because this is the position he sets out to ridicule; Dandin, for his part, is familiar with a theoretical treatise where the poetic value of this verse has been denied, for otherwise how can we explain his statement that ‘‘this, too, is beautiful indeed’’ (emphasis added)? It would thus seem that this parallelism can be used to support either directionality, as indeed it has been.

Still, here too, I believe, Bhamaha demonstrates his familiarity only with a relatively generic version of Dandin's position, whereas Dandin shows his acquaintance with the particulars of the Bhamaha position as argued for in the Kavyalamkara. Bhamaha seems to refer to a text where the three devices are seen as ornaments, but not as first-class ornaments, and where the verse ‘‘The sun has set’’ (or one similar to it) is seen as poetry, but not an especially beautiful specimen. Dandin, by contrast, is aware not just of the dismissal of the aesthetic value of the three devices and of the example found in Bhamaha’s text, but also of the reason Bhamaha cites for this dismissal, namely, the absence of any indirection (vakrokti), which Bhamaha elsewhere defines as intensification (atisayokti). As Ratnasrijnana ably shows, the bulk of Dandin's discussion of causation is meant to counter this claim in detail.152 Ratnasrijnana points out that Dandin repeatedly refutes the position that instances of causation consist merely of stating some cause and effect. Rather, Dandin maintains, these devices necessitate the magnification or, indeed, intensification (upabrmhana) of the cause. The intensification in the first example is in describing the southern breeze as ‘‘rocking the leaves of the lush sandal trees,’’ which, Ratnasrijnana explains, suggests the wind’s being scented, cool, and tender. It is this intensification, Dandin argues, that makes an otherwise factual description of causality an ornament (alankaratayoddistam). Dandin, then, shows that causation entails precisely what Bhamaha denies, namely, the aesthetic criteria of indirection and intensification. The same is true with respect to his second example. It is not just any breeze that threatens to annihilate the lonely travelers, but one that is ‘‘so described’’ (evambhuta), that is, one that is ‘‘brushing through a forest of sandal trees / and caressing the cascades of Mount Malaya,’’ with the same suggestion of scent, coolness, and tenderness intended, as Ratnasrijnana explains. Finally, Dandin repeats the same point also apropos of the example ‘‘The sun has set.’’ As a factual description in and of itself, Dandin does not claim that this half of a verse is poetic. But the objection, as found in Bhamaha’s text, misses the point. These short sentences do not merely report the situation of the sun, moon, and birds, but rather indirectly allude to the coming of a certain moment in the night (kalavasthanivedane).

Another interesting example is the disagreement about the overall structure of the plot. Bhamaha advises poets not to glorify the antagonist at the outset:

nayakam prag upanyasya vamsavıryasrutadibhih | na tasyaiva vadham bruyad anyotkarsavidhitsaya || yadi kavyasarırasya na sa vyapitayesyate | na cabhyudayabhak tasya mudhadau grahanam stave || (Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 1.22–23)

Do not begin by introducing someone as a leading character in terms of his ancestry, mettle, erudition, etc., only to kill him off later on just to underscore the greatness of his foe. If he is not meant to dominate the poem, and does not win at the end, there is no point in uselessly praising him as a star from the outset.


Dandin, however, is open to other possibilities as well:

gunatah prag upanyasya nayakam tena vidvisam | nirakaranam ity esa margah prakrtisundarah || vamsavıryasrutadıni varnayitva ripor api tajjayan nayakotkarsavarnanam: ca dhinoti nah: || (Kavyadarsa 1.21–22)

If you first introduce the hero as virtuous and then describe his victory over his enemies, this is one path that is intuitively pleasing. But if you describe the ancestry, mettle, erudition, etc., of the antagonist as well before having him defeated so as to underscore the protagonist’s greatness, we like this too.


Notice the verse numbers of these passages: not only do they share the same vocabulary, but they are also found at the same place in their respective works. Such striking parallels and diametrically opposed views seem hardly coincidental, although, again, they may allow us to reconstruct the conversation in either direction. But if we stick to our criterion, we must conclude that although Bhamaha may or may not have been familiar with a theoretical treatise voicing the Dandin position (it seems likely that he had an example from the praxis in mind), Dandin is almost surely familiar with the Bhamaha position as it is worded in the Kavyalamkara. He indicates his familiarity by his framing of this position—whose distinctive elements are quoted to the letter—with the emphatic conjunctions ‘‘as well’’ (api) and ‘‘too’’ (in ‘‘we like this too,’’ ca dhinoti nah). Thus it seems to me that, as Ratnasrijnana has suggested, Dandin deliberately sets out to expand the horizon of possibilities at the poet’s disposal by endorsing the very plot sequence that Bhamaha detested (dvitıyam kramam aha, yo bhamahena dvistah: ). Or, to quote Vadijanghaladeva: ‘‘Speaking in this way, Dandin dismisses Bhamaha’s position’’ (iti vadan bhamahamatam aksipati). To drive the point home, both commentators supply Bhamaha’s passage.

I cannot say that in every single case of explicit disagreement between the two authors, Dandin demonstrates a similarly distinctive familiarity with the vocabulary and specifics of Bhamaha’s position. As an example where applying my criterion provides no conclusive results, consider the authors’ difference of opinion on the existence and relative value of different regional styles: Vaidarbha in the south central part of the Indian subcontinent and Gaudıya in the northeast. For Bhamaha, this distinction is meaningless, and he feels that the designation of regional varieties as a whole serves no purpose: poetry that involves indirection, sophistication, ornamentation, and the like is good regardless of any regional label, and what lacks these is anyhow outside the scope of poetic theory. For Dandin, by contrast, this distinction is crucial: he views Vaidarbha-style poetry, named after his ancestral homeland, as vastly superior to the Gaudıya variety.153 On this question, each author is unquestionably familiar with the view upheld by the other. Bhamaha knows that some ‘‘smart folks’’ (sudhiyah: ), a term he clearly uses ironically, believe that Vaidarbha poetry is ‘‘something else’’ (vaidarbham anyad astıti) and ‘‘better’’ (jyayan) than the other variety, but he argues that actually ‘‘there is little or no difference’’ between the two (gaudıyam idam etat tu vaidarbham iti kim prthak). Dandin, for his part, knows of a position according to which the difference between the two is trifling. This is why he concedes that the variance among numerous other regional styles is negligible (asty aneko giram margah suksmah bhedah parasparam) but insists that the differences between the Gaudıya and Vaidarbha varieties are unmistakable (prasphutantarau).154 I can see why Ratnasrijnana explains that in saying this Dandin refutes Bhamaha indirectly (evam ca krtva yad uktam bhamahena . . . iti tad bhangya nirastam).155 But on the basis of comparing these passages alone, one could have just as easily come to the opposite conclusion. Indeed, a closer inspection reveals that on this topic the disagreement between the two authors is deceptive, because each of them is primarily engaged in conversation with additional parties. Bhamaha speaks of the nomenclature of regional styles as stemming from a long tradition that people have followed blindly, without applying any judgment (gatanugatikanyayan nanakhyeyam amedhasam). He also argues against texts where works such as the lost Asmakavamsa (Dynasty of the Asmakas) were labeled ‘‘Vaidarbha’’ (nanu casmakavamsadi vaidarbham iti kathyate).156 None of this applies to Dandin's work, where we find a comprehensive theory of regionality that is laid out in terms of the different regional preferences for a set of ten poetic qualities (gunas) and where no poems are classified according to their regions. Dandin does not directly challenge the charge that the upholders of Vaidarbha are blind followers and does not care to reaffirm the regional labeling of works such as the Asmakavamsa. Bhamaha, for his part, shows no awareness of Dandin’s elaborate theory, which occupies a significant chunk of the Kavyadarsa, or, for that matter, of his set of ten qualities.157 In fact, as has already been noted by Raghavan, in their understanding and enumeration of poetic qualities, each of the authors continues one of two different traditions that can be shown to have antedated both of them. The fact that Bhamaha knew of a set of three qualities, whereas Dandin was familiar with a different list of ten, thus has to be understood primarily in the context of these older traditions.158 Given this history, the presentation of Dandin’s ten qualities as an expansion of Bhamaha’s more exclusive batch, or of Bhamaha’s three qualities as a reduction of Dandin's inflated set, muddies the waters unnecessarily.159 At any rate, Bhamaha shows no familiarity with Dandin’s position on poetic qualities, let alone of its particulars, and it should be clear that his quarrel here is with altogether different texts.

Indeed, although Dandin does not always betray a familiarity with the language and specifics of a Bhamaha position as stated in the Kavyalamkara—which is only to be expected, given stylistic considerations and the existence of other intertexts— Bhamaha never exhibits an intimate knowledge of the wording and particulars of the Kavyadarsa when criticizing a Dandin position. Before concluding this section, let me examine one final example that comes deceptively close to being an exception to this rule. Having defined and discussed the nature of simile (upama), Bhamaha turns his attention to the views of some predecessor(s):

yad uktam triprakaratvam tasyah kaiscin mahatmabhih | nindaprasam sacikhya sabhedad atrabhidhıyate || samanyagunanirdesat trayam api uditam nanu | malopamadih sarvo ‘pi na jyayan vistaro mudha || (Kavyalamkara 2.37–38)

Some great souls have said here that simile has three subtypes: ‘‘blame,’’ ‘‘praise,’’ and ‘‘value-neutral’’ [acikhyasa, literally, the (mere) desire to state (that X is like Y)]. But, surely, insofar as I defined it as ‘‘similarity in attributes,’’ I have already included these three too. The same is true for the whole group of ‘‘chain simile’’ and its ilk: it is no better, and elaboration would be pointless.


There is no question that Bhamaha is criticizing at least one prior text here. He refers to his opponent(s) sarcastically as ‘‘some great souls,’’ and he clearly knows a work that lists the subtypes whose very mention he deems futile. As it happens, Dandin dedicates a verse to each of the first three subtypes and in exactly the same order. Moreover, Dandin merely goes through these subcategories without showing any explicit awareness of a view that denies their value.160 Slightly later in his discussion Dandin also defines chain simile, again without countering any argument about the futility of its being mentioned. It is little wonder, then, that proponents of Dandin's priority argued that, at least in this instance, Bhamaha is directly criticizing Dandin's work.161

But in actuality, the similarity between the two texts is at best superficial. To begin with, some have noted that the way Bhamaha words his remark (yad uktam triprakaratvam tasyah) most readily indicates an intertext that lists only these three simile subtypes; this would immediately exclude the Kavyadarsa, where Dandin goes through no less than thirty-two varieties.162 However, it is also possible to understand Bhamaha as referring to a general analysis of the complimentary value (positive, negative, or zero) of similes without excluding other classifications. Still, this is not what we find in the Kavyadarsa, where ‘‘blame,’’ ‘‘praise,’’ and the ‘‘I just wanted to say’’ similes form a highly specific set of interrelated devices, all of which are, in fact, crafty compliments to an addressee.163 Even if this is exactly what Bhamaha criticizes, the discrepancy between his wry dismissal of this set and of the ‘‘whole group of ‘chain simile’ and its ilk,’’ on the one hand, and Dandin's unique and extensive discussion of the simile, on the other, is far greater than any similarity.

To realize this, we have to consider Bhamaha’s comment in its context. Whereas all later thinkers consider simile at least as the primus inter pares of tropes, Bhamaha follows an older tradition that makes it neither the first nor the quintessential device. He places simile after rupaka and dıpaka and indeed, as the last member in a primeval set of five devices given by ancient writers.164 Moreover, Bhamaha’s discussion is decidedly conservative. As his criticism, quoted above, and actual treatment of the device both indicate, Bhamaha refuses to expand the horizons of simile beyond what he inherited from the grammarians, namely, the analysis of the morphology, the vocabulary, and the elliptical compounding techniques for expressing similitude in Sanskrit.165 His rather hurried exposition of simile—nine verses, including the two attacking those ‘‘great souls’’—is followed by a more leisurely discussion of simile’s flaws, a special subgenre of Sanskrit poetics, but here too nothing new is offered. Bhamaha explicitly attributes all the flaws he examines to his predecessor Medhavin (2.40) and even references some of his examples to Sakhavardhana and Ramasarman (2.47, 57).

Dandin, by contrast, takes his readers, perhaps for the first time in the history of Sanskrit poetics, on an extended and breathtaking tour of simile’s endless possibilities. He also allots simile a prominent position as the first poetic device that transcends factual description (svabhavokti). And just as Bhamaha’s discussion is decidedly conservative, Dandin's is self-consciously innovative. Everything from his announcement that he plans to demonstrate simile’s full range (tasyah prapañco ‘yam:pradarsyate, 2.14) to his taking credit for folding into its scope what other thinkers have deemed separate literary devices (2.356, which comes, as already noted, at the end of his survey of tropes) breathes the air of ingenuity. More specifically, Dandin envisions a dramatically expanded investigation of simile that incorporates, in addition to a grammatical taxonomy (which, by the way, is far more elaborate than what we find in Bhamaha), a whole variety of other analyses: the propositional structure of similitude with its many permutations (e.g., dharma, vastu, viparyasa, niyama, aniyama, ananya, samuccaya, and bahu similes), the possibility it entails for punning (slesa, samana), and its social functions (including flattery, as in the aforementioned triad of ‘‘blame,’’ ‘‘praise,’’ and ‘‘value-neutral’’). But what stands out most in Dandin's discussion, especially when it is compared with Bhamaha’s parallel passage, is that he is interested not only in simile’s basic proposition—X is like Y—and its many variations and applications, but also in a whole range of propositions that imply a resemblance between X and Y: rivalry between a set of entities, doubt about their identity (‘‘Is this a lotus, or is it your face?’’), delusion, the resolution of doubt, correct realization (‘‘This is not a lotus, it is your face indeed’’), and so on.166

Let me clarify that my comparison of the two approaches to simile is not meant to establish Dandin's posteriority on the grounds that his approach is more innovative or ‘‘advanced.’’ As history has often shown, conservatism and ingenuity can each be a reaction to the other. My point is simply that Bhamaha’s remark cannot be said to evince familiarity with the language and particulars of Dandin's parallel discussion. It is true that the names of the subtypes that Bhamaha criticizes appear in Dandin's vast and deliberately inclusive catalog. It also is clear that Bhamaha is aware of some attempts to expand the investigation of simile beyond the strictly grammatical analysis. But his wry remark about the division of simile into three varieties of blame, praise, and value-neutral, as well as about ‘‘the gamut of chain simile and its ilk,’’ is a far cry from Dandin's bold and dramatic expansion of simile’s scope in the Kavyadarsa. Bhamaha’s comment thus makes far better sense when it is understood as a rejoinder to a more rudimentary attempt, where the triad of ‘‘blame,’’ ‘‘praise,’’ and ‘‘value-neutral’’ features more prominently, and perhaps to another text that provides an actual list (or set) of subtypes that begins with ‘‘chain simile’’ (no such list is found in the Kavyadarsa).

By way of conclusion, let me restate that the pattern of textual behavior described in this section does not decisively prove that Dandin knew the Kavyalamkara. After all, whenever Dandin demonstrates his familiarity with the vocabulary and peculiarities of the Kavyalamkara, this could be explained by postulating a third text that is no longer extent: Bhamaha could have borrowed his positions pretty much verbatim from such a lost text, whereas Dandin may have criticized that third text directly. Likewise, whenever Bhamaha neglects to deal with the details of the Kavyadarsa, this could be said to reflect a conscious stylistic choice. But it becomes considerably more difficult to defend such claims if we consider the regularity with which Dandin demonstrates his familiarity with a Bhamaha position as stated in the Kavyalamkara and the constancy with which Bhamaha fails to evince familiarity with the specifics and language of the Kavyadarsa. This consistent pattern strongly corroborates the chronology postulated here and confirms the commentators’ view that Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara was Dandin's primary intertext.

5. Concluding Remarks

Reconstructing chronology in premodern South Asia often feels like solving an equation with an impossible number of unknowns and where no solution can be final before the value of some of these is independently ascertained. In the case of early Sanskrit poetics, a comprehensive and indisputable historical narrative will have to await the unearthing of concrete knowledge about some of the lead characters, beginning with the elusive figure of Bhamaha himself. Nonetheless, I believe that the surprisingly coherent evidentiary picture presented in this article can actually put the century-old debate about the sequential relation of Dandin and Bhamaha to rest. As we have seen in Sect. 2.3, a number of erudite and highly informed expert witnesses who lived in relative temporal and geographic proximity to Dandin and who likely had access to key works that are no longer extant emphatically and unanimously decreed that Bhamaha antedated Dandin and that the Kavyalamkara served as the Kavyadarsa’s primary intertext. This verdict is strongly corroborated by the pattern of textual behavior presented in Sect. 4, where I took a fresh look at those instances in which at least one of the two writers explicitly expresses his disagreement with a position upheld by the other. As I have shown, Dandin regularly refutes the views of Bhamaha as worded or specified in the Kavyalamkara, whereas Bhamaha never evinces familiarity with the language and particulars of the Kavyadarsa, even when he criticizes stances that Dandin endorses.

Although we know nothing about the life of Bhamaha, the biographical data that Dandin himself supplies in the Avantisundarı, as discussed in Sect. 2.1, are almost without parallel in premodern India in terms of their wealth and quality. This plethora of personal information, which agrees with important clues found in Dandin's other works, allows us to place him at the Pallava court in Kancı and to date his active career to the last decades of the seventh century or the early decades of the eighth. As I hope to have demonstrated, lingering doubts about this data and, more specifically, about the single authorship of the works attributed to Dandin have no evidentiary basis whatsoever and are primarily rooted in misbelief (as in Agashe’s notion that the author of the Kavyadarsa was an ‘‘angel of righteousness’’) and plain wishful thinking (as in Spink’s placement of the Dasakumaracarita close to the historical facts he believes it records). There is no indication that anyone in South Asia ever doubted the single authorship of the Kavyadarsa, the Dasakumaracarita, and the Avantisundarı (whether or not the last two are parts of a larger whole), and there is no good reason to doubt this received knowledge that the texts support. We can safely assume, then, that Dandin composed his Kavyadarsa around the year 700, and that Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara must have antedated it.

The one incongruous part of the picture is found in our discussion of Bhamaha’s chronology relative to other writers of his age (Sect. 3): Bhamaha either postdates Jinendrabuddhi (as his reference to Nyasakara may indicate) or antedates Bana (as Anandavardhana seems to imply and Kunjunni Raja’s calculations about Mahesvara’s date indicate). If the latter alternative is correct, this would place Bhamaha no later than the early 600s, thereby decisively corroborating his priority to Dandin. But even if the former is true, as some scholars believe, there is no evidence that pushes Bhamaha beyond Dandin's active period. Thus, although the current data do not allow us to decide between a short and a long chronology, this by no means diminishes the previously stated conclusion about the Kavyalamkara’s priority to the Kavyadarsa.167

With this basic chronological problem hopefully settled, scholars of Sanskrit poetics may now raise questions that the century-long debate has obscured and plot historical narratives that are potentially far more interesting than those currently available. One important avenue that is worth exploring concerns the odd fact that Sanskrit poetics comes with a squabbling couple in the role of a founding father, a position for which all other Sanskrit knowledge systems appoint one patriarch of unquestioned authority. As should be obvious, Bhamaha and Dandin were not the first to compose texts on poetics, and we know the names of several of their predecessors. In debating the relative sequence of the two authors, researchers often bemoaned the nonavailability of prior works but never asked why the entire early corpus has vanished. If we inspect the actual textual behavior more closely, we will discover that this loss is not random, and that Bhamaha is the last poetician to seriously quote Ramasarman, Medhavin, and their colleagues. All later thinkers, beginning with Dandin himself, chose not to tap into this early textual pool, even when the works were probably still available: Sangharakkhita, like other southern writers, relies heavily on Dandin, despite the still-extant treatises of ‘‘Ramasarman and the others,’’ just as Udbhata enshrines Bhamaha as the sole founder of the poetic lineage in Kashmir. Would it be unreasonable to assume that something about the Kavyalamkara and the Kavyadarsa—both separately and as a set pair, with their distinct stylistic, ideational, and perhaps regional differences—must have eclipsed the early discussion so decisively that tradition decided never to look back? And if this is so, why did it happen, and what may have been the consequences of such an unusual beginning for the later discourse on poetics?

These are large questions that I cannot fully explore here. But it is worthwhile briefly to follow some threads that derive directly from the findings presented above. Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara, with its large-scale incorporation of the earlier sources and its historical mode of presentation—rather than organizing tropes thematically, Bhamaha starts with a primeval list of five alamkaras and proceeds to devices added by later thinkers—may be seen as a conscious attempt to provide a summa of the received views in an emerging discipline. This summa, moreover, is deliberately and consistently conservative in its outlook. First, consider Bhamaha’s deference to the older and more prestigious disciplines of grammar and logic, to each of which he devotes a full chapter in his manual for aspiring poets, and his uncompromising objection to the slightest expansion of the grammatical analysis of simile. Second, even in his selection of tools from these disciplinary workshops, Bhamaha demonstrates a dogged conservatism. Recall, for example, his repeated rejection of any grammatical notion that smells non-Paninian or his dismissal of the new theory of apoha. Finally, with regard to poetry itself, Bhamaha consistently rejects a whole slew of new trends from acceptable literary practice: the choice of clouds as messengers makes no sense, prahelikas are too difficult, causation (hetu) and factual descriptions (svabhavokti) are prosaic, and unorthodox plot structures unnecessarily upset readers’ expectations.

One may argue that these are merely the grumblings of a cranky critic, but, in fact, they may stem from Bhamaha’s conscious attempt to fashion his work as the orthodoxy that his nascent discipline was lacking. This, I believe, is related to his most important innovation, namely, the fashioning of a strict criterion that placed many of his aesthetic judgments on a solid theoretical footing. I refer, of course, to the notion of indirection (vakrokti), which Bhamaha further modifies as entailing intensification. If a poetic device contains such indirection, it merits recognition as aesthetically pleasing (alamkara), just as, on a more general level, the presence or absence of vakrokti in a poem, rather than its area of origin, is what decides whether it is worth taking up, thereby obviating any discussion about the relative importance of regional styles.

In its digest-style organization, avowed conservatism, and theoretical orientation, Bhamaha’s book may be seen as a self-fashioned foundation of a fledgling discipline, and certainly it was so received. It seems to have been the reference book on poetics in the seventh and eighth centuries, so that when a scholar like Mahesvara (if we are to trust Kunjunni Raja’s date for him) needed a definition of yamaka, he turned to it, and a logician like Santaraksita could not ignore its views on apoha. It was also the book to attack if one held unorthodox views, which is exactly what Dandin does. Dandin never doubts the basic aesthetic phenomena endorsed by Bhamaha and, in fact, shares with his important predecessor a common set of values.168 But envisioning an independent and far more inclusive theory, Dandin opens the gates of Sanskrit poetics to a flood of additional phenomena: realistic descriptions (svabhavokti, which he pointedly dubbed the ‘‘number one ornament,’’ adya salamkrtih);169 a breathtaking variety of ways to analyze simile, now viewed as the quintessential alamkara; causation, subtlety, and trace, each with its numerous subcategories; and an equally staggering array of riddles, to mention only the examples I discuss in this article. Indeed, his innovation in these areas is minor relative to his more dramatic recasting of Bhamaha’s vakrokti itself, now centered on the linguistic disguise of the pun (slesa), a phenomenon that Bhamaha tried his best to marginalize.170

It did not take long for the restrictive ‘‘parent’’ text and its defiant ‘‘offspring’’ to be conceived as a set pair and to be studied together by tenth-century authors such as Ratnasrijnana and Vadijanghaladeva. Their encompassing polarity, combined with Bhamaha’s claim to epitomize the core of the previous tradition and Dandin's attempt to reintroduce all that Bhamaha excluded and more, is one of the factors that rendered the earlier corpus less relevant. And although the two works combined to create a single trunk for their discipline, each also generated a largely independent branch. Even as Ratnasrijnana and his colleagues were closely comparing passages from the Kavyalamkara and the Kavyadarsa, the former evolved as the root text of an intense theoretical discourse in Kashmir, whereas the latter was becoming the bedrock of vernacular poetics far to the south.

This peculiar spatial distribution must be meaningful and may be rooted in the pair’s own relationship to the question of region. First, Dandin was clearly a southern patriot who championed the Vaidarbha style, and it may be true that Bhamaha hailed from Kashmir. If this is so, Dandin's southern favoritism and his biting criticism of Bhamaha may have paradoxically contributed to the ultimate enshrinement of the latter in Kashmir. Second, we have no reason to doubt that some of the stylistic features on which the two authors locked horns actually had some regional basis. Indeed, it is not impossible that local patriotism partly influenced not only their aesthetic judgments on certain topics but also those of Dandin's vernacular successors in the south, although the demonstration of such a pattern is still a desideratum. Finally, as Pollock has already suggested, Dandin's full-fledged theory of regional styles, even beside its specific southern inflection, may have helped the first vernacular intellectuals conceive of their own nascent traditions as distinct regional styles.171

Beyond all this, we must consider the place occupied by matters of taste— regional as well as personal—in shaping this fascinating textual exchange. As Ratnasrijnana himself felt, there is something unsettling about the way Bhamaha and Dandin each canceled categories and views the other endorsed.172 It is not the mere existence of controversy that caused his discomfort. After all, other knowledge systems never suffered from a lack of disputation, although there the debates typically took place between commentators or subcommentators and rarely involved criticizing the root texts. In Sanskrit poetics, however, there is no clear source of authority, and this is directly related to the fact that authors constantly appealed to personal or societal preferences and used statements such as ‘‘we like this too’’ as clinching arguments. If the striving for systematization along the lines of the older, more prestigious disciplines—seen already in Bhamaha’s work and brought to new heights by successive generations of thinkers, particularly in Kashmir—was one major vector in the development of Sanskrit poetics, the appeal to the immediate and irreducible aesthetic judgment of the individual critic was an important countervector.

The tension between these two forces is exacerbated by the fact that the subject matter of the discipline, namely, the practice of poetry, not only continued to evolve but also had an ethos of innovation, so that, counter to the hegemonic sastric view that practice lies outside history, Sanskrit literary theorists were acutely aware of the fact that taste is subject to change.173 Indeed, from the very beginning of the tradition there is a strong sense of theoretical open-endedness, as is exemplified by Dandin's statement that alamkaras are endless, ‘‘because new types are being coined even as we speak,’’ and by Ratnasrijnana’s explanation that ‘‘because each person finds different poetic expressions appealing, the process by which critics identify more and more categories will never come to an end.’’174 At the same time, Dandin himself strives to limit the number of ornamental devices to a core set (bıja), which, as Ratnasrijnana explains, encapsulates the general principle that all additional devices have in common.175

This tension between judgments that are personal and always subject to change and theoretical foundations that are all-encompassing is found in each and every treatise in Sanskrit poetics and figures prominently in every single controversy. It is perhaps not by chance, then, that this tradition’s first memorable moment is the intense and occasionally bitter argument between Bhamaha and Dandin, just as its last hurrah, some one thousand years later, is marked by the intense disputation of another pair, Appayya Dıksita and Jagannatha Panditaraja.176 Indeed, many of the theoretical, subjective, and regional differences of the early discussion surprisingly reincarnate in this later duo, although to trace these, we need an altogether different study.

Acknowledgments

I am indebted to many colleagues and friends who commented on earlier versions of this paper, shared their forthcoming work with me, or helped me obtain relevant materials. In particular, I would like to thank Dan Arnold, Whitney Cox, Victor D’Avella, Robert DeCaroli, Thibaut d’Hubert, Dragomir Dimitrov, Sascha Ebeling, Emmanuel Francis, Richard Hayes, Helmut Krasser, Lawrence McCrea, Sheldon Pollock, Alexis Sanderson, Orit Schwartz, David Shulman, Gary Tubb, and Christian Wedemeyer.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:18 pm

Part 4 of 5

Notes:

1 Dandin's Kavyadarsa became available in print in 1863 and has been reprinted in a variety of editions ever since (for a brief summary of the history of printed editions and a complete and annotated list, see Dimitrov 2002, pp. 3–6, 305–321). Bhamaha’s work was first published in 1909 as one of the appendixes to K. P. Trivedi’s edition of another manual on poetics, the Prataparudrayasobhusana. The debate began slightly earlier, though, among scholars who had access to Trivedi’s manuscript. The first full-fledged intervention was Narasimhiengar 1905, quickly followed by Barnett 1905 and Kane 1908. For the views of nineteenth-century scholars on Dandin's dates, see Dimitrov (2002, pp. 12–14).

2 See, for example, the comments of outside observers such as Mair and Mei (1991, p. 431), who call it ‘‘one of the most acrimonious’’ controversies in the history of Indian poetics.

3 An important and overlooked exception is Kunjunni Raja (1958–1959), discussed in Sect. 3.3 below.

4 Gerow (1977, pp. 225, 228).

5 See Gupta (1970, p. 80) and also Sect. 2.3 below.

6 As noted by Pollock (2005, p. 637). A multivolume, multicommentary edition of Dandin's Kavyadarsa by NAG Publishers may have sought to remedy this situation but has only made it worse by mixing up portions of the different commentaries. I hope that a reversal of this trend is heralded by the recent work of Dragomir Dimitrov, who has studied the manuscripts of the Kavyadarsa in Sanskrit (primarily those held in Nepal), as well as Tibetan. Dimitrov has prepared a critical edition of Ratnasrijana’s commentary on Dandin's third pariccheda (Dimitrov 2011) and is in the process of writing a monograph on Ratnamati, as he is known in Lanka (Dimitrov forthcoming). I am grateful to him for making some of these forthcoming materials available to me. I am also grateful to Sheldon Pollock for providing me with his personal copy of Vadijanghaladeva’s commentary, which is otherwise unavailable in any North American library and extremely rare elsewhere. The dates of Vadijanghaladeva and Ratnasrijnana are discussed below.

7 See, for example, Singh (1979, pp. 29–39). The suspicion about the data found in the Avantisundarı, however, still lingers (e.g., Francis 2009, p. 104), as I discuss below.

8 Examples include Sohnen (1995), where Dandin's priority is postulated on the basis of an analysis of the early discussion of yamaka, and Bronner (2009), where a study of the early discussion of vyajastuti is taken to support the reverse chronology. 

9 For a general discussion of Dandin's wide impact as a theoretician, see Eppling (1989, pp. 1393–1394), Pollock (2005, p. 637, 2006, p. 163). For specific studies of his adaptation into different languages, see Monius (2000) for Tamil; Eppling (1989, pp. 1435–1545), van der Kuijp (1996), Dimitrov (2002, pp. 25– 60), Kapstein (2003, pp. 781–782, 788–789), and Gold (2007, pp. 117–119, 135–139) for Tibetan; Dimitrov (forthcoming), Eppling (1989, pp. 1406–1418), and Hallisey (2003, pp. 729, 738, 742–743) for Sinhala; Eppling (1989, pp. 1419–1434), Wright (2002) and Jaddipal (2010, pp. 378f.), who argues that the Subodhalamkara was not based on Dandin's model, for Pali; and Eppling (1989, pp. 1395–1405), and Pollock (2006, pp. 338–356) for Kannada. On Dandin's possible influence in T’ang China, see Mair and Mai (1991). For his influence on the literary traditions of South East Asia, see Hooykaas (1958, pp. 40– 46) and Hunter (2001, pp. 6, 9–10). Note that Bhamaha’s influence is also felt in many of these literary cultures (although in the Tibetan case, for example, Bhamaha was known through quotes in the commentarial literature on Dandin, as noted in van der Kuijp 1986), but his Kavyalamkara was never used as the main source for adaptations and translations, as was the Kavyadarsa.

10 On Bhoja’s treatment of Dandin, see Raghavan (1978, pp. 656–657), whose discussion begins with the following statement: ‘‘It is not possible to draw a list of Bhoja’s borrowings from Dandin's Kavyadarsa; for, there is not anything in the Kavyadarsa that has not been completely incorporated into the texts of Bhoja’s Sarasvatıkanthabharana and Srngaraprakasa.’’ For Appayya Dıksita see Bronner (2004, pp. 60–65).

11 Of the subsequent Kashmiri writers, only Ruyyaka (in his commentary on Mahimabhatta’s Vyaktiviveka, p. 372) and Abhinavagupta (ad Dhvanyaloka 3.7, and also in his Abhinavabharatı, where he mentions him as an example for the ancient thinkers, Natyasastra p. 266) seem to mention and quote him by name. Unnamed quotes from Dandin and indirect references to his work are found more frequently in the Kashmiri corpus from Vamana to Kuntaka (the latter quotes Dandin frequently in unmesa 3 of his Vakroktijıvita ad 3.11, 3.12, 3.13, 3.24, 3.32, 3.63; I am grateful to Lawrence McCrea for these references).

12 Some of the anecdotes and poems associated with this imagined assembly, where Dandin was involved in a three-way competition with Kalidasa and Bhavabhuti, are discussed by Kale (1966, pp. xii–xiv). See also Narayana Rao and Shulman (1998, pp. 160–161). It is true that, as shown in Sternbach (1978, pp. 395–400), most of the verses ascribed to Dandin in the anthologies come from the Kavyadarsa, but one has to remember that his main claim to fame as an author was his prose, which the anthologies typically do not record.

13 upama kalidasasya bharaver arthagauravam / dandinah: padalalityam: maghe santi trayo gunah //

14 Suktimuktavalı 4.75; anachronistically ascribed to Kalidasa.

15 Suktimuktavalı 4.74.

16 Some scholars believe that despite its Asia-wide popularity, the work must have included a fourth section in addition to the three found in all the known manuscripts. This is because several verses that some writers attributed to this work do not appear in any known edition (Katre 1948, 1951; Singh 1979, pp. 56–61). Raghavan (1978, p. 824) calls these ‘‘wrong quotations’’ and does not believe that the Kavyadarsa included any additional text. See also the discussion in Dimitrov (2011, pp. 535–536).

17 Srngaraprakasa, p. 494. See also Raghavan (1978, p. 823) and Bronner (2010, pp. 99–102).

18 Onians (2005, pp. 23, 22–23).

19 The best explanation of the different manuscripts and the narrative overlap is in Harihara Sastri’s introduction to his 1957 edition of the Avantisundarıkathasara, pp. i–xv.

20 The first to suggest this, I believe, was Ramakrishna Kavi, in his introduction to the publication of Avantisundarıkatha and Avantisundarıkathasara in 1924, pp. 13–15.

21 Keith (1928, p. xvi) even argued that the work ‘‘should never have been published from one mutilated manuscript, whose readings, even if correctly stated, have already been proved wrong by other manuscript evidence.’’

22 Agashe (1915, p. 68), perhaps taking a hint from K. P. Trivedi, who in 1909 said, in passing, that the two works are ‘‘widely divergent in style and purity of language,’’ and hence their common authorship is ‘‘doubtful’’ (Prataparudrayas´obhusana, p. xxxi).

23 Agashe (1919, pp. xxviii–xxix), under the heading ‘‘Bad taste.’’

24 Agashe has argued, for example, that Dandin the theorist demonstrates an uncompromising intolerance of impropriety ‘‘by condemning even such an apparently harmless sentence as ‘How dost thou, O Girl! not love me, who love thee?’’’ (Agashe 1919, p. xxix). The reference is to Kavyadarsa 1.63, where Dandin is indeed opposed to such a direct demand to be loved, although not because of its moral impropriety but rather because of its prosaic and unsophisticated nature; in the next verse he shows that this problem can be remedied if the same demand is expressed in a clever way that involves irony and indirection (1.64). This fallacy of Agashe was already noted by Gupta (1970, p. 7).

25 Agashe (1915, p. 68). As an ‘‘offensive verse’’ from the Dasakumaracarita, which presumably violates the theoretician’s stipulation, Agashe cites Prince Apaharavarma’s love note: tvam ayam abaddhañjali dasajanas tam imam artham arthayate / svapihi maya saha suratavyatikarakhinnaiva ma maivam // ‘‘Here I am—your slave, / hands folded in subservience. / I beg of you this one thing: / that you should sleep with me beside you, / and only exhausted after erotic union, and not, / not tired in the way you are now’’ (Dasakumaracarita, p. 63; translation by Onians 2005, p. 269). The explicit mention of lovers exhausted by lovemaking and sleeping together on the same bed seems to have offended the sensibilities of Agashe, but it comes as no surprise to readers of kavya and contradicts none of Dandin's rules.

26 Agashe (1919, pp. xxxv–li). For his dating of the Kavyadarsa, see pp. lvii–lviii, lxii.

27 Although Agashe himself acknowledges that a verse from this work is cited in Bhoja’s Sarasvatı kanthabharana, composed in the first half of the eleventh-century (Agashe 1919, pp. xxxv–xl).

28 Agashe (1919, p. xlvi). For the argument about Muslim presence, see p. xlv; actually the text betrays no awareness of Islamic culture. Other ‘‘evidence’’ includes judgments about literary borrowing based on general similarities between texts, not unlike those judgments that have haunted the Dandin-Bhamaha debate in general. For example, Agashe concluded on the basis of some affinities between Ks:emendra’s Br: hatkathamañjarı and the Dasakumaracarita that Dandin must have borrowed from Ks:emendra (pp. xli–xliii), ignoring the possibility of the reverse scenario and of more complex textual relations.

29 It is this Dandin, Agashe believes, who must have authored the three works mentioned by Rajas´ekhara, works that, he argues, are now lost except for the few stray verses ascribed to Dandin in the anthologies (Agashe 1919, pp. liii, lxiii–lxiv).

30 De (1927), Keith (1929, p. xvi). Of the two, De seems more cautious than Keith and allows room for the data in the text to be validated.

31 For works and colophons of the Avantisundarı that specifically refer to it as Dandin's, see Raghavan (1939, p. 294, 1940–1941, pp. 4–5), and Pillai in his introduction to his edition of the Avantisundarı (reprinted in Pillai 1954, p. 88).

32 Avantisundarı, pp. 1–10; cf. Avantisundarıkathasara 1.1–28.

33 Avantisundarı, pp. 11–12; cf. Avantisundarıkathasara 1.29–36.

34 Avantisundarı, pp. 12ff.; cf. Avantisundarıkathasara 1.37ff.

35 For a good summary of the convergence of their dates on the basis of epigraphic materials, see Singh (1979, pp. 37–39). We know less about Bharavi’s date from other sources, but his mention as a famous poet in a Calukya inscription from 634 CE certainly allows for the possibility of his being Damodara’s senior contemporary at the close of the seventh century.

36 Hultzsch (1909–1910); cf. Rabe (2001, pp. 36–40).

37 Gupta (1970, pp. 94–96), Gupta (1972, pp. 16–19), DeCaroli (1995, p. 672), Rabe (2001, 32–50), Onians (2005, pp. 24–25).

38 Kavyadarsa 2.277, where the reading is Ratavarman, whom Ratnasrijnana identifies as a king of the Raghu lineage. The commentator Vadijanghaladeva, however, reads Ramavarman (ad 2.277 in the 1936 edition of the Kavyadarsa). For a brief discussion of the different readings and their possible references, see Gupta (1972, p. 83 n. 1).

39 His titles in inscriptions include S´ a nkarabhakta, Devadevabhakta, Isvarrabhakta, Sivacudamani, and Agamanusari (Mahalingam 1969, pp. 123–125, 1988, p. lvii). See also Gupta (1970, pp. 82–83) for this identification.

40 Kavyadarsa 3.50. For the title Kalakala and its possible significance, see Mahalingam (1969, pp. 115– 116).

41 Kavyadarsa 3.114.

42 The still-repeated claim that only late commentators explain the riddle in this way is false and provides yet another example of the amazing disregard of Ratnasrijnana’s commentary, where this geopolitical identification is made very clearly (atra kañcı purı pallavas ca tasyam nrpa iti paramarthah; Kavyadarsa of Dandin, ad 3.114). However, the oft-repeated claim that this riddle echoes the Pallava cave inscription from Mamantur is also false (see Sastri 1923: no. 136; cf. Francis 2009, p. 98 n. 241). I am grateful to Emmanuel Francis for pointing this out to me, because I have also elsewhere repeated as fact the false reading of Sankara (1919, p. 357).

43 Avantisundarı, pp. 4–8. The connection between Dandin and the Pallavas of Kancı was so strong in the eyes of posterity that a later composer of a geographic lexicon cites Dandin's Avantisundarı as an authority for the entry ‘‘Pallavas’’ and their capital Kancı (Raghavan 1940–1941, pp. 4–5).

44 For the Dasakumaracarita, see the story of Saktikumara, the merchant from Kancı who travels south to the Cola country in search of a wife who can cook a whole meal using just a kilo of rice (Dasakumaracarita 159–163; Onians 2005, pp. 421–433). See also Raghavan (1955, p. 104).

45 On the centrality of Vidarbha to the Dasakumaracarita, see Collins (1907, pp. 27–48) and Mirashi (1945) (whose position on Dandin's date was taken up by Spink, as we shall see below). On Vaidarbha as the best style of poetry in the Kavyadarsa, see below.

46 The only recent exception is Emmanuel Francis (2009), who calls the hypothesis that Dandin was connected to the Pallavas ‘‘very fragile’’ (104). He tends to believe that the Avantisundarı was composed by a ‘‘pseudo-Dandin’’ who belonged to the court of Narasimhavarman II (96–97) and reworked an earlier classic.

47 For the first opinion, see Raghavan (1978, pp. 821–824), Warder (1983, pp. 166–169), and Khoroche (2005). For the second, see Gupta (1970, pp. 47–60).

48 Agashe believed that traditional sources refer to the different Dandins differently, and that only the Dandin who authored the Kavyadarsa was titled acarya (1919, p. lxviii). As has been shown by Gupta and others, no such pattern of reference exists: Dandin's name appears with or without the title acarya regardless of the book ascribed to him (Pillai 1954, pp. 88–89; Gupta 1970, pp.10–11, 13).

49 Five of the six planned volumes that summarize his argument and evidence have already appeared. The most relevant for our discussion is Spink (2005).

50 Spink (2005, primarily 119–162), following Mirashi (1945).

51 Khandalavala (1990, p. 20), Deshpande (1992, p. 14), and Bakker (1997, p. 37), all of whom are reproduced in Spink (2005).

52 Spink (1990, p. 8).

53 The quotes are from von Stietencron (2004, p. 108) and Deshpande (1992, p. 10), respectively.

54 Spink (2005, pp. 120–121).

55 As noted by DeCaroli (1995, p. 674), who also suggested reading this tale about the Vakataka past as meant as a lesson with clear implications in Dandin's Pallava context.

56 Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 6.64. On the basis of this name, as well as Bhamaha’s benediction to sarvam sarvajñam (ibid. 1.1) and his familiarity with Buddhist logic, it has been argued that he must have been a Buddhist (starting with Narasimhiengar 1905, pp. 535–536). The most detailed refutation of this speculation is found in S´ arma and Upadhyaya (1928, pp. 2–11), where the authors detail the clearly non- Buddhist set of examples given by Bhamaha and note that he is mostly hostile to Buddhist logic. According to Alexis Sanderson, the name and benediction supplied by Bhamaha actually indicate that he may have been a Mahesvara. Sanderson notes that the use of sarvajña for the highest being is also seen outside Buddhist texts in a variety of Pancarthika Pasupata works. He also notes that names with Bha- are attested as Pasupata names, even if, in practice, we occasionally come across non-Pasupatas with such names (Sanderson, personal communication, March 2010).

57 See, for example, Rajatarangini 4.495, which specifies the astronomical per diem of 100,000 dinars awarded to Udbhata, Bhamaha’s main follower and commentator. If Bhamaha was nonetheless a resident of Kashmir, perhaps Kalhana’s failure to mention him indicates that he was not situated at the court.

58 Sternbach (1980, p. 161) mentions only five verses ascribed to Bhamaha in the anthologies, only one of which is not from the Kavyalamkara. That one verse, by the way, is in praise of sandalwood, perhaps allegorically.

59 See Lele (1999, p. 15) on this and other works that some have ascribed to Bhamaha.

60 The first to note this was M. Rangacharya in the introduction to the 1910 edition of the Kavyadarsa (p. 4), followed by Narasimhachar (1912, p. 91) and Trivedi (1913, p. 264).

61 Kane (1971, p. 105). This view is widespread. For example, Keith argues that it is ‘‘clear that, apart from the fact that the commentators are of late date, and are often clearly wrong in their explanations of Dandin, no stress can be laid on such assertions as evidence of date. What the commentators were interested in was not the chronological sequence of the doctrines’’ (Keith 1929, p. 171). For Tarunavacaspati’s date and place, see Raghavan (1939, pp. 305–306), Dimitrov (2002, pp. 300–301), and Pollock (2005, p. 638).

62 Pollock (2005, pp. 637–638).

63 Vadijanghaladeva ad Kavyadarsa 1.24, pp. 22–23. See also the repeated quote from Bhamaha on p. 24 apropos of the criterion of interspersed vaktra and apavaktra verses.

64 Vadijanghaladeva ad Kavyadarsa 2.358, p. 209. See also his similar point on upamarupaka in the next page, where he again quotes Bhamaha. Tarunavacaspati, whose commentary is also printed in this edition, is of exactly the same opinion.

65 Vadijanghaladeva ad Kavyadarsa 2.244, p. 151; cf. Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 2.87.

66 Pollock (2005, pp. 638–641). Dimitrov, however, doubts the association with the Rastrakuta court of Krsna III. He argues that Ratnasrijnana remained in Northern India and most likely stayed at Vikramasila (Dimitrov, forthcoming). It is possible that Ratnasrijnana is identical with Ruvan-mı, also known as Ratnamadhu and Ratnamati, the Sri Lankan author of a paraphrase (sannaya) of the Siyabaslakara, a text that adapts Dandin's Kavyadarsa into Sinhala (Pollock, 2005, 641). This is the conclusion of Dimitrov, who has studied the entire corpus of Ratnasrijnana aka Ratnamati (Dimitrov 2010, p. 25; the detailed argument is supplied in Dimitrov, forthcoming).

67 The Bhamaha quotes fall under the following broad topics (verse numbers in parentheses refer to Bhamaha’s Kavyalamkara, page numbers to the 1957 edition of Dandin's Kavyadarsa with Ratnasrıjnana’s commentary): plot design in a mahakavya (1.22–23, p. 14), the genres of prose poetry (1.25– 29, pp. 15–22), the different paths of poetry (1.31–32, p. 28), upameyopama (3.37, p. 73), acikhyasopama (2.34, 2.37–38, pp. 77–78), upamadosas (2.39–40, p. 85), hetu (2.86–87, p. 145, 149), apahnuti (3.21–22, p. 173), ananvaya and other figures as independent devices or simile subtypes (3.35–46, 3.43–48, pp. 192–194), prahelika (2.19–20, p. 240), pratijñahetudrstantahanidosa (5.1, 5.13, 5.20–21, pp. 251–254), and visandhidosa (4.23, p. 267).

68 Ratnasrijnana ad Kavyadarsa 1.24, 25, p. 17. See van der Kuijp (1986, pp. 34–36) for the reproduction of this debate in Tibetan sources.

69 A point he has already made in the definition of grand poems (mahakavyas) as ‘‘not overly dependant on a commentary’’ (nativyakhyeyam; Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 1.20).

70 etah sodasa nirdistah purvacaryaih prahelikah / dustaprahelikas canyas tair adhıtas caturdasa // dosan aparisamkhyeyan manyamana vayam punah: / sadhvır evabhidhasyamas ta dusta yas tv alaksanah// (Kavyadarsa 3.106–107).

71 See, for example, his discussions on pages 19 and 22 apropos of Dandin's calling into question the validity of Bhamaha’s differentiating criteria between the genres of prose. In the first of these examples he says: nanu bhamahakrto nisedho ‘sti…nanu dandikrto vidhir asti…tat pramanam iti cet. bhamahakrto nisedhah pramanam iti kosapanam atra karanıyam syat. dvayor api sastrakaratvat pramanyam, na va kasyapi. matabhedas tatra bhavatv iti cet? astu tat kim asthanabhinivesah kriyate. yuktipuraskrtam tu dandimatam drsyata iti. ‘‘Now on this point Bhamaha authored a proscription…[quotes Kavyalamkara 1.28] and Dandin a prescription…[paraphrases Kavyadarsa 1.27]. If we regard this [Dandin's prescription] as an authority, what do we do with the authority of Bhamaha’s proscription? Should we settle this case by resorting to a drinking ordeal? Should we consider both as authorities insofar as they are authors of sastra, or should neither author be considered an authority? Or perhaps this is just a matter of difference in opinion, in which case why dwell on something that is not worthy of attention? Still, [if we apply our judgment here], Dandin's opinion appears to be well reasoned.’’

72 Thakur and Jha (1957. p. 24).

73 Thakur and Jha (1957. p. 24).

74 Although it does seem that all the important extant commentaries have been published. For a review of the commentarial literature see Dimitrov (2002, pp. 297–304). For the possible existence of earlier lost commentaries see note 78 below.

75 One premodern statement that has been taken to support the opposite chronology is found in Namisadhu’s tenth-century commentary on Rudrata’s Kavyalamkara. Namisadhu raises and counters the objection that Rudrata’s book is redundant, given the availability of treatises on poetics by ‘‘Dandin, Medhavirudra, Bhamaha, and others’’ (dandimedhavirudrabhamahadikrtani santy evalamkarasastrani, ad Kavyalamkara of Rudrata 1.2). Some scholars have taken this as evidence in favor of Dandin's priority because ‘‘the order of such a passage is naturally that of historical order’’ (Keith 1929, p. 180). I find it difficult to accept Namisadhu’s list as an explicit statement about chronology. Note, moreover, that in two of the manuscripts of the ninth-century Sinhala text, the Siyabaslakara, we find another list of authors where the order is Brahma, Indra, Brhaspati, Kasyapa, Bhamaha, and, finally, Dandin. This list was mentioned already by Barnett in 1905, and both Barnett and Dimitrov prefer it to the reading ‘‘Vamana’’ that is probably a result of a later error (Barnett 1905, p. 842, Dimitrov, forthcoming). At any rate, such lists, although noteworthy, cannot be taken as necessarily meant to posit this or that chronology.


76 As noted by Pollock (2005, pp. 639, 2006, pp. 343–344).

77 ramasammadyalankara santi santo puratana / tathapi tu valañcenti suddhamagadhika na te // ‘‘Although there are excellent ancient treatises on Rhetoric by Ramasamma and others, yet they are not adapted for the Magadha people [or, perhaps, for the community of users of pure Pali]’’ (text and translation are taken from Fryer 1875, pp. 106 and 93, respectively). If I understand this verse correctly, Ramasarman’s text was extant and available. Another text that Ratnasrijnana mentions and that may have been in circulation during his time is by Medhavin (also known as Medhavirudra); Rajasekhara, who preceded Ratnasrijnana and Vadijanghaladeva by a few decades and who hailed from Kanauj, refers to Medhavirudra’s poetry (Kavyamımamsa, p. 12).

78 For a quote of Anandavardhana’s Dhvanyaloka 1.13, see Ratnasrijnana ad Kavyadarsa 2.203, apropos of samasokti. For a quote from a treatise on tropes unknown to us, see the alternative definition of vibhavana cited ad 2.202. See also his quotes of Harivrddha’s lost Prakrit grammar (ad 1.33–35; cf. Pollock 2006, p. 102 n. 61). Ratnasrijnana may have also had access to earlier commentaries on Dandin's treatise that are no longer extant. He appears to be referring to one such commentary ad 2.116 ("anye tu…tatah sastraviruddham eva vyakhyanam").

79 Ratnasrijnana mentions Ramasarman one more time, apropos of Dandin's reference to a list of alamkaras that was provided by the field’s first teachers (purvasuribhir adyair acaryai ramasarmadibhih kavyalankarakaraih; ad Kavyadarsa 2.7, p. 69). Here there is no prior quote from Bhamaha that could have served as the basis of his identification. It is interesting that just a few verses earlier, apropos of Dandin's framing of this whole discussion as expanding on the gist provided by earlier scholars, Ratnasrıjnana refers his readers to the works of Medhavin and Syamavadin, but not Ramasarman (purvacaryais cirantanaih kavyalaksanakaraih medhavisyamavadi[prabhrtibhih; ad Kavyadarsa 2.2; Thakur and Jha 1957, p. 24 think that the correct reading may actually be medhavibhamahadibhih). Thus there is reason to believe that Ratnasrijnana cites Ramasarman only when Ramasarman’s actual text is pertinent to the context of Dandin's discussion.

80 Despite their proximity in time and place, the commentaries of Ratnasrijnana and Vadijanghaladeva do not provide any reason to think that they were familiar with each other’s texts, and there is certainly no reason to believe that Tarunavacaspati, who was following a different manuscript tradition, had read their commentaries.

81 E.g., (Gupta 1970, p. 80).

82 Jacobi (1922, pp. 211–212), Kane (1971, pp. 124–128). The quote is from Keith (1929, p. 167).

83 Sarma and Upadhyaya (1928, pp. 40–55); Tucci (1930, p. 145). See also Diwekar (1929, pp. 837–841), Kunjunni Raja (1958–1959, p. 42), and Te¨mkin (1975, esp. pp. 20–22).

84 Kobayashi (1978, p. 470), Steinkellner (2005, p. xlii). For Tucci, however, ‘‘The priority of Bhamaha to Dharmakırti must be considered as a well established fact, and not as a debatable hypothesis’’ (Tucci 1930, p. 146). See also Sect. 3.2 below.

85 Consider, in this context, the attempt to use a possible echo between Kavyalamkara 1.16 and the Sisupalavadha of Magha 2.86 (Pathak 1914, p. 31; cf. Nobel 1925, pp. 15–17, who sees Pathak’s efforts as futile).

86 Compare Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 1.42–43 (ayuktimad yatha duta jalabhrn-marutendavah… katham dutyam prapadyeran) with Meghaduta of Kalidasa 1.5. Note, likewise, the exception that Bhamaha is willing to make in cases where the speaker is out of his mind in longing (yadi cotkanthaya yat tad unmatta iva bhasate / tatha bhavatu bhumnedam sumedhobhih prayujyate, 1.44), possibly a begrudged nod to Kalidasa.
87 For a summary of the different opinions on this question, see Sarma and Upadhyaya (1981, pp. 27–29).

88 Compare Kavyadarsa 2.195 with Kadambarı, p. 102. The first to notice this resemblance was Mahes´candra Nyayaratna, in personal communication with Peterson, as the latter notes in p. xi of his preface to Agashe’s 1919 edition of the Dasakumaracarita.

89 Keith (1929, p. 169). To be fair, Keith does not see this resemblance as conclusive proof of his chronology.

90 Tarunavacaspati ad Kavyadarsa 1.25, p. 17 of the 1910 edition (sandhi added): tatrapy akhyayikayam apy anyair nayakad anyair harsacaritadau bhattabanadibhir apy udıranasya drstatvat.

91 Avantisundarı verse 19.

92 Keith (1929, pp. 182–183 (on Tarunavacaspati) and, p. 184 (on the authorship of the Avantisundarı). For the relative chronology of Bana and Bhamaha, see Sect. 3.4 below.

93 Bhattikavya 22.34; cf. Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 2.20, quoted in Sect. 2.3 above.

94 Trivedi (1913, p. 264), Keith (1929, p. 170). See Diwekar (1929, pp. 825–837) for a detailed comparison of the two texts that concludes that Bhamaha antedated Bhatti.

95 On the basis of different identifications of the poet’s patron, one Dharasena, Krishnamachariar (1937, p. 142) places Bhatti in the fourth or fifth century, while Warder (1983, p. 118) puts him in the middle of the seventh. Lienhard (1984, p. 180) places him in the sixth.

96 Trivedi (1913, p. 264). Trivedi uses Bhamaha’s method of direct referencing to support the argument of Bhamaha’s priority. The argument is that Bhamaha could not possibly have failed to mention Dandin if Dandin was an important predecessor. I cannot accept such arguments from silence. After all, Bhamaha may have elected to snub Dandin, as did many of his Kashmiri successors. And, of course, Bhamaha can be shown to have engaged in a more oblique method of referencing as well, as noted already in Keith (1929, pp. 170–171).

97 An example is a famous verse describing nightfall (limpatıva tamo ‘ngani) from the Mrcchakatika 1.34, which Dandin uses as an illustration of utpreksa (Kavyadarsa 2.224). Only in his third chapter, in illustrating more complex phenomena such as extended sound repetition and pattern poems, does Dandin occasionally introduce an illustration that is not in anustubh (e.g., Kavyadarsa 3.50, mentioned in note 40 above). For an analysis of the metrical structure of the Kavyadarsa, see Dimitrov (2011, pp. 32–36).

98 Frauwallner (1961, pp. 141–143). Bhattacharyya gives a slightly different chronology in his forward to Tattvasangraha, pp. iii–xiv, according to which Santaraksita’s dates are 705–762.

99 Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 6.17–19. Cf. Tattvasangraha 912–914 (quote) and 1019–1021 (refutation).

100 For a list of authors cited by Santaraksita see Tattvasangraha, pp. xxxvii–lxxi.

101 See Hattori (1980, pp. 68–70) on Santaraksita’s defense of apoha against Kumarila’s criticism and on his modification of the notion in the process.

102 For the prohibition, see Astadhyayı 2.2.15 (trjakabhyam kartari), discussed below. Panini himself uses a form that is suspiciously similar to the prohibited form (janikartuh) in Astadhyayı 1.4.30.

103 Kobayashi (1978, pp. 467–468).

104 Pathak (1912).

105 See Pathak (1912, 1914), Narasimhachar (1913), Trivedi (1913), and Kane (1914).

106 Trivedi (1913, p. 261).

107 Cardona (1976, p. 281). Cardona thus leans in favor of identifying the Nyasa mentioned by Magha with Jinendrabuddhi’s text, in an attempt to solve another problem that has occupied researchers for nearly a century (ibid., 280–281; cf. Sisupalavadha 2.112).

108 More accurately, the prohibition of a genitive combination with agents in trc is completed in the following sutra (2.2.16 kartari ca).

109 Jinendrabuddhi’s relevant passage runs as follows: atha kim artham trcah sanubandhakasyoccaranam? trno nivrttyartham. naitad asti. tadyoge na lokavyayetyadina sasthıpratisedhat. evam tarhy etad eva jñapakam: bhavati tadyoge ‘pi kvacit sasthı bhavatıti. tena bhısmah kurunam bhayasokahante ‘ty evamadi siddham bhavati (quoted in Pathak 1912, p. 234).

110 For a good explanation of this passage, see Trivedi (1913, p. 259–260). Pathak originally offered a different explanation but later incorporated Trivedi’s exposition into his argument (compare Pathak 1912, p. 234 with Pathak 1914, pp. 20–25).

111 Pind (2009, p. 27) views the difference between the examples as one important indication that Bhamaha is referring to another Nyasa.

112 This difference is at the heart of Trivedi’s attempt to refute the identification of Jinendrabuddhi with Bhamaha’s Nyasakara (Trivedi 1913). But it is possible that Bhamaha deliberately mentioned trc here if he found Jinendrabuddhi’s distinction between trc and trn invalid and considered him to be allowing trc by another name.

113 Kobayashi (1978, pp. 465–468) lists three possible ways in which commentators have tried to solve the seeming contradiction between theory and practice on this point.

114 Pathak (1914, p. 25). These later authors, however, do not fail to mention Jinendrabuddhi’s permission of trn instead of trc.

115 The position in question is the sanctioning of the dvigu compound pañcarajı in the very next verse (Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 6.38), which Kobayashi thinks could have been gotten only from Jinendrabuddhi’s commentary (Kobayashi 1978, pp. 468–469).

116 Pace Gerow, who says that Bhamaha quotes Jinendrabuddhi unmistakably (1977, p. 228).

117 Franco (2006, p. 221).

118 Hayes (1983), Funayama (1999).

119 Steinkellner (2005, p. xxxvii).

120 Scharfe (1977, pp. 174, 104), Cardona (1976, pp. 280–281), cf. Hayes (1983, p. 716). As noted by Brough, I-Tsing’s data on the Kasika are particularly confused (Brough (1973, pp. 255–257).

121 The quotes are from Funayama (1995, p. 194) and Funayama (1999, p. 91), respectively.

122 Funayama (1999, p. 92). Pind (2009, p. 25) believes that Jinendrabuddhi quotes Santaraksita and that the two were contemporaries.

123 Funayama (1995, p. 195).

124 Funayama (1995, p. 196). Steinkellner (2005, p. xlii) approves of this view.

125 Steinkellner (2005, p. xlii), where the proposed notion that Dharmakırti was initially not widely known does little to solve this question, because clearly Jinendrabuddhi knew him quite well. Funayama (1999, p. 92) merely acknowledges that his hypothesis ‘‘is not compatible with the previous studies which place Bhamaha before Dharmakırti.’’ Pind, however, rejects the notion that Bhamaha was contemporaneous with Jinendrabuddhi and Santaraksita. Rather, he believes that Jinendrabuddhi, not unlike Santaraksita, quotes a ‘‘slightly edited version’’ of Bhamaha’s criticism of apoha, and that Jinendrabuddhi understands Dharmakırti, too, to be responding to Bhamaha on this point (Pind 2009, p. 28). If this is correct, Bhamaha must have antedated Jinendrabuddhi.

126 Kunjunni Raja (1958–1959).

127 Niruktabhasyatika 10.16: tulyasrutınam: [bhinnanam] abhidheyaih parasparam | varnanam yah punarvado yamakam tan nirucyate ||. Compare Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 2.17, where the syllables bhinnanam, which are missing from the single manuscript of the Niruktabhasyatika, are supplied, and where the verse ends with nigadyate rather than nirucyate.

128 Niruktabhasyatika 3.10; Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 2.51.

129 Kunhan Raja (1936, pp. 264–265), Kunjunni Raja (1958–1959, p. 39).

130 Kunjunni Raja (1958–1959, pp. 40, 43). For the chronology of the Veda commentators, see Kunhan Raja (1936, pp. 267–268).

131 See Kahrs (1998, pp. 14–18) for a good summary. One additional problem he raises is that Harisva min mentions a King Vikrama of Avanti as his patron, and that such a king has not been identified for the year 638 CE.

132 Dhvanyaloka 4.2, p. 422.

133 Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 3.27. For Bhamaha, then, tulyayogita is different from the Sanskrit zeugma (dıpaka) syntactically (because here both upameya and upamana construe directly with the shared predicate) and logically (given the stipulated disparity between a superior and an inferior in tulyayogita). For Dandin, the distinction is also pragmatic in the sense that tulyayogita can amount to either praise or reproach (Kavyadarsa 2.328). Later thinkers revised the understanding of this trope considerably.

134 Note that in the original quote of this line, explicit reference was made to the source and even the passage in question: yatha harsacarite simhanadavakyesu (Dhvanyaloka, p. 297).

135 Dhvanyaloka, pp. 296–297: vivaksitabhidheyanurananarupavyangyasya sabdasaktyudbhave…vakyaprakasata.


136 For Anandavardhana, this is an example of suggestion that, although based on the power of the words, is located on the level of the sentence as a whole rather than on the dual power of a single word. Thus his commentator Abhinavagupta tries to tease further meanings out of the other words in the sentence (Dhvanyaloka, pp. 297–298; cf. Ingalls et al. 1990, pp. 381–382). But in my reading of it, the crucial focus of the second meaning and of Bana’s innovation is on the use of the word sesa itself.

137 For a similar example, also involving double meaning, see Bronner (2010, pp. 53–55).

138 Sarma and Upadhyaya (1928, p. 39).

139 Kane (1971, pp. 124–125).

140 Dhvanyaloka, p. 428.

141 Kane (1971, p. 125).

142 Warder (1958) suggests placing Bhamaha even earlier, before 400 CE. The grounds for this suggestion, however, are entirely speculative, and I need not entertain it here.

143 The quotes are from Keith (1929, p. 179) and Trivedi (1909, p. xxxiii).

144 A case in point is the identical illustration that both authors provide for preyas. For Trivedi this identity supports Bhamaha’s priority, because only Dandin ‘‘does not acknowledge the source where he has borrowed’’ (1909, p. xxxiv). But according to Kane, who contests Trivedi’s understanding of Dandin's pattern of textual reference, ‘‘One may perhaps more plausibly argue that Bhamaha borrows from Dandin’’ (1971, p. 109).

145 Bhamaha openly uses this eleventh flaw as an excuse to give his readers a crash course in logic (as he explains in Kavyalamkara 5.1–4, 32–33). Only after a while does he return to show the fallacies’ relevance to poetic praxis (ibid. 5.34f.).

146 See Dimitrov (2011, p. 515) for a discussion of a slightly alternative reading of this passage.

147 The first to adduce the comparison of these passages as proof of Dandin's familiarity with Bhamaha’s text were Trivedi (1913, pp. 263–264) and Jacobi (1922, pp. 222–223).

148 Kavyadarsa 3.159; Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 4.28.

149 See De (1924) for a good summary.

150 Pace Gupta (1970, p. 74), who views Dandin's statement as a ‘‘casual remark.’’ The quotes are from Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 1.29 and Kavyadarsa 1.24.

151 For their different treatment of svabhavokti, compare Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 2.93 with Kavyadarsa of Dandin 2.8–13. For Bhamaha’s notion of vakrokti, see Kavyalamkara 2.81–82, 2.85. For further discussion, see Bronner (2010, pp. 214–217).

152 It should be noted that Ratnasrijnana mentions and quotes Bhamaha only twice in this section, apropos of the two sets of parallel verses, but it is eminently clear that he has Bhamaha on his mind throughout his careful exposition.

153 Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 1.34–35; Kavyadarsa 1.40f.

154 Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 1.31–32, Kavyadarsa 1.40.

155 See his comments ad Kavyadarsa 1.40.

156 Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 1.32–33.

157 Bhamaha may be aware of a more basic attempt to associate three gunas—clarity (prasanna), straightforwardness (rju), and tenderness (komala)—with Vaidarbha poetry, as is perhaps implied by Kavyalamkara 1.34; cf. Raghavan (1978, pp. 275–276).

158 Raghavan (1978, pp. 275–278).

159 For such views, see Jacobi (1922, pp. 223–224) and Keith (1929, p. 179), respectively.

160 Ratnasrijnana, however, sees Dandin's decision to include and illustrate the three subtypes as dealing a deliberate blow to Bhamaha’s view (nindopamadyudaharanena canena …[text of Kavyalamkara 2.37– 38, quoted above] …iti matantaram nirastam, ad Kavyadarsa 2.32). This conclusion, of course, is possible, but it cannot be said to derive from this passage alone.

161 For the first time this argument was made, see Pathak (1912, p. 236).

162 As noted by De (1960, p. 66n).

163 Kavyadarsa 2.32–34: ‘‘Even though it is similar to the moon, which fades away, you face goes proud’’ (blame); ‘‘Your face is equal to the moon that Siva carries on his head’’ (praise); ‘‘Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad, but my heart just wants to say ‘your face is like the moon’’’ (value neutral).

164 Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 2.4: anuprasah sayamako rupakam dıpakopame | iti vacam alamkarah pañcaivanyair udahrtah ||

165 Thus it is indicative that the only simile subtype that Bhamaha defines and names, prativastupama, is really a footnote to his point about ellipsis: samanavastunyasena prativastupamocyate | yathevanabhidhane ‘pi gunasamyapratıtitah || (Kavyalamkara of Bhamaha 2.34).

166 For a study of Dandin's analysis of the simile, see Bronner (2007, 2010, pp. 217–224).

167 Alternatively, new discoveries about the dates of Dharmakırti may solve this contradiction by allowing us to assign an earlier date to Jinendrabuddhi. For arguments for pushing the time of activity of Dharmakırti and Kumarila back to the middle of the sixth century, see Krasser (2011).

168 As Gerow has noted, ‘‘Modern scholarship, attempting to sort out the chronological relation of the two texts, has emphasized the differences rather than the fundamental agreement’’ (Gerow 1977, p. 227).

169 Kavyadarsa 2.8.

170 Bronner (2010, pp. 216–217).

171 Pollock (2006, pp. 338–356).

172 See note 71 above.

173 For a discussion of the distinct historical and theoretical awareness in Sanskrit poetics, see McCrea (forthcoming). For the ethos of innovation in Sanskrit poetry, see Bronner et al. (forthcoming).

174 Kavyadarsa 2.1: te cadyapi vikalpyante kas tan kartsnyena vaksyati, on which Ratnasrijnana comments: te calamkarah kimapi dırgham kalam arabhyadyapi, idanım yavad vikalpyante prabhidyante, abhiyuktair ayam ayam iti pratipurusam aparaparoktivisesanivrtteh, na tv iyatta labhyate.

175 bıjam pratiniyatam sakalavyaktivyapi samanyam rupam (ad Kavyadarsa 2.2).

176 In between there were other such pairs, as Gerow (1977, p. 233) has already noted. On this last pair, see Bronner and Tubb 2008.
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References

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Thomas of Cana copper plates
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/15/21

The Thomas of Cana copper plates (Malayalam: Knai Thoma Cheppedu), or Knanaya copper plates, dated variously between 345 C.E. and 811 C.E., are a lost set of copper-plate grants issued by the unidentified Chera/Perumal king of Kerala "Co-qua-rangon" to Syriac Christian merchants led by Knai Thoma (anglicized as Thomas of Cana) in the city of "Makotayar Pattinam" (present day Kodungallur), south India.[1][2][3][4][5] The royal charters were reportedly engraved in Malayalam, Chaldean and Arabic on both sides of two copper plates (joined by a ring).[1][4][5] Archbishop Francis Ros notes in his 1604 account M.S. ADD 9853 that the plates were taken to Portugal by the Franciscan Order.[6]

Scholar M.G.S. Narayanan tentatively identifies king “Co-qua-rangon” with king Rama Rajasekhara (Co-qua-rangon → Ko Kotai Iraman → Rajadhiraja Rama) of the 9th century Chera Empire.[7] [5]

Indeed, a verse attributed to the theorist and poet Rajasekhara (fl. 920 CE) puts Dandin in a class by himself by speaking of yet another triad, that of his works, and comparing it, among other things, to the trinity of gods and the trilogy of Vedic scripture.

Dandin's celebrity notwithstanding, his actual corpus has been rather poorly preserved, so much so that it is not entirely clear what list of three books Rajasekhara actually had in mind. There is, of course, the Kavyadarsa itself, a work that seems to have reached our hands in a complete form.16 A second work by Dandin, which seems to have pioneered the genre of poems narrating the two great epics simultaneously, was lost in its entirety; we know about it from a discussion of this genre in Bhoja’s Srngaraprakasa, where one relic verse from Dandin's lost poem is given as an example.17 Then there is the Dasakumaracarita (What Ten Young Men Did), a prose work that has come to us in a highly incomplete form and whose ‘‘headless, tailless torso’’ is now ‘‘sandwiched between two secondary paraphrases of the missing sections of [Dandin's] original work.’’18 Finally, there is the Avantisundarı, or Avantisundarıkatha (The Story of the Beautiful Lady from Avanti), also in prose, whose transmission is even poorer. Only a couple of fragmentary manuscripts of this work have survived, both of which break off at a relatively early stage, after the author introduces himself, describes the context and inspiration for the work’s composition, and begins to lay out the frame of a highly expansive narrative. There exists, however, a later Sanskrit work that sums up the larger prose narrative of the Avantisundarı in verse. This Avantisundarıkathasara (Gist of the Story of the Beautiful Lady from Avanti) is also incomplete, as is a thirteenth-century Telugu translation, but both go well beyond the point where the fragmented katha manuscripts stop and significantly overlap with the main part of Dandin's other prose work, the Dasakumaracarita.

-- A Question of Priority: Revisiting the Bhamaha-Dandin Debate, by Yigal Bronner


The Knanaya or the people of Knai Thoma were historically associated with the southern portion of the Chera/Perumal headquarters Kodungallur until in 1524 they were dispersed from the city due to conflict between the Kingdom of Cochin and the Kingdom of Calicut. The plate was cherished by the Knanaya as evidence of their arrival in Kerala under the leadership of Knai Thoma as well as a notation of the historical, economic, and social rights bestowed upon them by the Chera Perumal.[8][9] The native Christian tradition places the arrival of Thomas of Cana in 345 C.E.[10]

Translations of the existing Kollam [Quilon] Syrian Plates of the 9th century made by the Syrian Christian priest Ittimani [???] in 1601 as well as the French Indologist Abraham Anquetil Duperron in 1758 both note that the one of the plates mentioned a brief of the arrival of Knai Thoma.[11][12] It is believed that this was a notation of the previous rights bestowed upon the Christians by Cheraman Perumal.[12] The contemporary set however does not mention this paragraph and is believed to be incomplete or a later inscription. Scholar of Early Christian history Ist'van Percvel theorizes that at one time the Kollam [Quilon] Syrian plates and the Thomas of Cana plates were kept together.[11]

Image

Kollam/Quilon Syrian copper plates, also known as Kollam Tarisappalli copper plates, or Kottayam inscription of Sthanu Ravi, or Tabula Quilonensis record a royal grant issued by the chieftain of Kollam (Ayyan Adikal) to a Syrian Christian merchant magnate (Mar Sapir Iso) in Kerala. The royal charter is engraved in old Malayalam in Vattezhuthu (with some Grantha characters) on six copper plates. The document is the oldest available Chera Perumal inscription.

The charter is dated to the 5th regnal year of the Chera Perumal ruler Sthanu Ravi Kulasekhara (849/50 AD). The sixth plate contains a number of signatures of the witnesses to the grant in Arabic (Kufic script), Middle Persian (cursive Pahlavi script) and Judeo-Persian (standard square Hebrew script)...

The charter grants land to Mar Sapir Iso, the founder the Kollam trading city (the nagara), to build the Church of Tarisa at Kollam. The land, evidently a large settlement with its occupants, is donated as an "attipperu" by Ayyan Adikal. Sapir Iso also recruited two merchant guilds (the anjuvannam and the manigramam) as the tenants of the nagara (the karanmai). The Six Hundred of Venad, the Nair militia of the chiefdom, was entrusted with the protection of the nagara and the church. The charter also granted serfs to the nagara and the church. This included personnel like agricultural laborers (the vellalars), carpenters (the thachar), toddy tappers (the ezhavar) and salt-makers (the eruviyar).

The charter granted Sapir Iso several titles, rights and aristocratic privileges. All revenues from the donated land and its occupants were 'exempted' (which perhaps meant that these were to be made over to the church).


-- Quilon Syrian copper plates, by Wikipedia


History

Origins and traditions


The Thomas of Cana copper plates feature heavily in the history and traditions of the Knanaya community in Kerala. According to the community's traditional origins, Thomas of Cana, a Syrian merchant led a group of 72 Jewish-Christian immigrant families, a bishop named Uraha Mar Yausef, and clergymen from the Middle East to settle in Cranganore, India in the 4th century (some sources place these events as late as the 9th century).[13][14][15] This story may reflect a historical migration of East Syrian Christians to India around this time, which established the region's relationship with the Church of the East.[16] The Knanaya claim descent from Thomas of Cana and his followers.[17][18] Elements of the Thomas of Cana story feature in ancient songs as well as the Thomas of Cana copper plates[19][15][20] These plates are said to have granted Thomas' followers 72 social, economic, and religious rights from Cheraman Perumal, the Chera king.[21]

16th-17th century records of the plates

The first written record of the Thomas of Cana copper plates dates to the 16th century when Portuguese officials in Kerala took notice of the plates and their later disappearance. During this time period the plates were in the possession of Mar Jacob, the Chaldean bishop of the city of Cranganore.[5] Due to an altercation between the Zamorin of Calicut and the Kingdom of Cochin, the homes and churches of the Knanaya community were set aflame and destroyed in 1524.[22][23] The Knanaya had a township and three churches namely of St. Mary, St. Kuriakose, and St. Thomas in southern Cranganore which, according to tradition, were built by Thomas of Cana when the community arrived in India.[24] The battle destroyed the entire township and caused the community to disperse from the city to other settlements. The event is noted in the Knanaya folk song "Innu Nee Njangale Kaivitto Marane" or "Have You Forgotten Us Today Oh Lord?".[23][25] Due to this great calamity Mar Jacob had the plates later deposited with a pawnbroker as security.[26][27][5]

In 1566, Portuguese official Damio De Goes records that the Thomas of Cana copper plate grant was given to the Portuguese treasurer Pero De Sequeia by the Chaldean Bishop of Cranganore Mar Jacob in 1549 for safekeeping.[28][4][5] Treasurer Pero De Sequeia then took the plates to the Portuguese governor of India Martim Afonso De Sousa who ordered the local people to translate the contents of the plates.[28][4][5] To the Governor's dismay, none of the local people could interpret the language of antiquity on the plates. However, the Portuguese eventually came into contact with a Cochin Jewish linguist who De Goes expresses was "versed in many languages".[28]Governor De Sousa sent the plates to the Jewish linguist with orders from the King of Cochin to interpret and translate its contents.[28][26][27][4][5]

The linguist translated the contents of the plates and stated that they contained social, economic, and religious rights given to Thomas of Cana by a local ruler and were written in three languages, namely "Chaldean, Malabar, and Arabic".[28][5] De Goes notes that physically the plates were "of fine metal each one palm and a half long and four fingers broad, written on both sides, and strung together at the top with a thick copper wire".[28] The Cochin Jew returned the plates to the Portuguese, who then had his Malayalam description of the plates translated to the Portuguese language in a written copy.[28] This copy was later sent by treasurer Pero De Sequeia to Portuguese King John III. After this point of time, the physical plates were kept by Pero De Sequeia and his successor as treasures at the Portuguese depot in Cochin.[28][26][27] The account of De Sequeia and translation of the plates are found in the Portuguese work Decada VII as well as some other Portuguese works.

In 1602 Portuguese priest Fr. Antonio De Gouvea notes that the Thomas of Cana copper plate grant which had been kept safe at the Portuguese factory of Cochin was by this point lost due to the "carelessness" of the Portuguese themselves.[29] De Gouvea states that the loss of the plates had greatly angered the Knanaya, who had no other written record of their history and rights to defend themselves from local kings who by this point were infringing on their position.[29]


In 1603–1604 Archbishop Francis Ros made a more complete translation of the context of the Thomas of Cana copper plate grant from an existing olla copy (palm-leaf manuscript).[30][4] The physical manuscript of Ros' Portuguese translation is archived at the British Museum as title MS. Add. 9853.[30][26] [4][5] Ros notes also that the plates were taken to Portugal by Franciscans.[6]

The final record of the plates comes from the official historian of Portuguese India Diogo do Couto in 1611.[31] Do Couto claims to have seen the plates and makes an incomplete translation of its content.[31] De Couto's translation can be found in his text Decada XII.[32][5]

Primary sources

A number of primary sources from the Portuguese era record witnessing and or physically handling the plates.

Librarian's Comment: This is an example of lack of competent testimony, because all the testimony is of persons who merely saw the plates, but had no ability to authenticate or date them. To do that would require expert testimony from an expert who had examined them for evidence of forgery as was done with the copper-plate grant from Eastern Bengal. Without that examination by experts, no conclusion can be drawn as to the origin or age of anything. They simply lack the knowledge that is required for them to state a competent opinion on the subject, which is necessarily one that requires expert testimony. Such matters are well-recognized in the law, as matters that simply lie beyond the ken of ordinary persons.


Examples of such are seen in the following works:[33]

• Portuguese Treasurer Damio De Goes: Cronica Do Felicissimo Rei D.Manuel. (1566).
• Jesuit Priest Fr. Francis Dionisio: "On the Christians of St. Thomas" (1578). Published in Documenta Indica. Vol XII. Fr. Wicki S.J.
• Augustinian Priest Fr. Antonio De Gouvea: Jornada do Arcebispo Goa Dom Frey Alexyo de Menezes. (1606).
• Jesuit Bishop Francisco Ros: MS.ADD. 9853. (1604). British Museum Library.
• Portuguese Historian Diogo Do Couto: Decadas da Asia. Decada XII. Book III. (1611).

Content of the plates

According to the account of De Goes the plates contained social, economic, and religious rights given to Thomas of Cana by a local ruler and were written in three languages, namely "Chaldean, Malabar, and Arabic".[28] The following summary of the plates was recorded by Archbishop Francis Ros in 1603–1604 according to an existing palm-leaf manuscript copy:[34]

"Before the full moon, the same king Coquarangon being in Carnelur, there arrived in a ship Thomas Caneneo, a chief man, who had resolved to see the uttermost part of the East, and some men, seeing him as he arrived, went to inform the king. And the king himself came and saw and called said chief man Thomas and he disembarked and came before the king who spoke graciously to him; and to honor him he gave him in surname his own name, calling him Coquarangon Caneneo. And he received this honor from the king and went to rest in his place. And the king gave him the city of Magoderpatanam forever. And the said king, being in his great prosperity, went one day to hunt in the forest, and the same king surrounded the whole forest and he called in haste for Thomas, who came and stood before the king in a lucky hour, and the king questioned the soothsayer. And the king afterwards spoke to Thomas saying that he would build a city in that forest. And he answered to the king first making reverence and said: "I desire this forest for myself". And the king granted it to him and gave it forever. And at once, the next day he cleared the forest and cast his eyes on it in the same year, on the eleventh of April, and gave it as an inheritance to Thomas at the time and day aforesaid, in the King's name, who laid the first brick for the church and for the house of Thomas Caneneo, and made there a city for all (of them) and entered the church and there made prayer the same day. After these things, Thomas himself went to the king's palaces and offered him presents, and afterwards he asked the king to give that land to him and to his descendants; and he measured two hundred and sixty-four elephant cubits, and gave them to Thomas and his descendants for ever: and the same time seventy-two houses which immediately were erected there, and gardens, and trees with their enclosures, and with their paths and boundaries and inner yards. And he granted him seven kinds of musical instruments, and all the honors, and to speak and walk like a king and that at the weddings the women might give a certain signal with their finger to their mouth, and he granted him distinct weight, and to adorn the ground with cloths, and he granted them royal fans and to double the sandal (mark) on the arm, and a tent and a royal canopy in every part of the kingdom for ever, and besides five tributes to Thomas, and to his lineage, and to his confederates, for men, and for women, and for all his relatives, and to the children of his law for ever. The said king gave it in his name"

Witnesses:

• Condaxeril Canden
• Cherucaraprota Chaten (The King's Chief Door-Keeper)
• Areunden Conden (The King's Councillor)
• Amenate Counden Guerulen (Captain of the Army)
• Chirumalaprota Tirivicramen Comeren (Councillor of the East Side of Malabar)
• Peruala Ata Aditen (Singer of the King)
• Perubalanata Cottoeoude (Guard of the Kings Port)
• Bichremen Chinguende Carturte (King's Chamberlain)
• Araniperumoouil (Scribe of the King)


Translation by Duperron

Image
Du Perron's Translation Mentioning Thomas of Cana (1758)

Translations of the Kollam Syrian Plates made by the Syrian Christian priest Ittimani in 1601 as well as the French Indologist Abraham Anquetil Duperron in 1758 both note that the fourth plate mentioned a brief of the arrival of Thomas of Cana.[11][12]It is believed that this was a notation of the previous rights bestowed upon the Christians by Cheraman Perumal.[12] The contemporary fourth plate however does not mention this paragraph and is believed to be a later copy. Scholar of Early Christian history Istavan Percvel theorizes that at one time the Kollam Syrian plates and the Thomas of Cana copper plates were kept together.[11]

Mention of Thomas of Cana

Thomas of Cana copper plates dated between the mid 4th and early 9th century are a lost set of copper-plate grants issued by an unidentified Chera Perumal king to the Christian merchants in the city of "Makotayar Pattinam" (present day Kodungallur). Translations of the Quilon plates made by the Syrian Christian priest Ittimani in 1601 as well as the French scholar A. H. Anquetil-Duperron in 1758 both note that one of the Quilon plates mentioned a brief of the arrival of Thomas of Cana. However, the presently available Quilon plates do not mention this episode. It is generally assumed that this was a notation of the previous rights bestowed upon the Christians by the Chera king (and the abovesaid plate was missing).

-- Quilon Syrian copper plates, by Wikipedia


Text of the Brief

1758 translation by Indologist Abraham Duperron:[35]

“The History of the founding of the Town of Cranganore when Pattanam was the city, (he) visited, revered and requested the Emperor and the Minister at Kolla Kodungalloor for a marsh where thickets grow. Measured by Anakol (elephant kol) 4,444 kols of land was granted in the year of the Jupiter in Kubham, on the 29th of Makaram, 31 the Saturday, Rohini and Saptami (7th day of the moon),' the palace, great temple and school at Irinjalakuda also were founded. The same day that place was called Makothevar pattanam (the town of the Great God), and it was made the city (capital). From there privileges such as drawbridge at gates, ornamented arches, mounted horse with two drums, cheers, conch blowing, salutes were granted in writing to the Christian foreigner called Kynai Thomma with sacred thread and libation of water and flower. The sun and the moon are witnesses to this. Written to the kings of all times.”


Culture surrounding the plates

Knanaya community


The Thomas of Cana copper plates are a common feature in the culture, traditions, and history of the Knanaya community. The historical context of the plates and the 72 privileges bestowed to Knai Thoma are especially found in the ancient folk songs of the Knanaya first written down in the 17th century on palm leaf manuscripts. The texts of the palm leaves were compiled and published in 1910 by the Knanaya scholar P.U. Luke in his text Puratana Pattukal, or Ancient Songs.[36][37][38][39] The songs were written in Old Malayalam but contain diction and lexemes from Sanskrit, Syriac, and Tamil indicating their antiquity.[40][41]

An example of the folk song culture related to the plates can be seen in the song Munnam Malankara:[42]

When of yore to immigrate to Malankara. The gentlemen Tomman Kinan essayed – Verily
The King's sons belonging to seventy-two families. These good citizens, hundred, embarked by the grace of the Catholicos – Verily
The foreigner who came entered Cranganore. He entered, and when he visited the Chera King, in plenty he presented gold and coral and pearls and obtained the country.
He came, at an auspicious time endeavored, and gained hi end. – Verily
That his greatness may be manifest in all the world around, he gave him marks of honour – the fivefold band, the eighteen castes.
The horn, the flute, the peacock feather fan, the conch, the canopy, – Verily
The gold crown and all other good ornaments. He gave him marks of honour: the walking-cloth, the day-time lamp,
The seven kinds of royal musical instruments, and three lingua cheers. – Verily
Drums and lingual cheers and all good pomp, the king with pleasure gave,
And all these did Tomman Kinan accept – Verily
He got also the copper-plate deed fittingly engraved. The marks of honour which the Kings King gave.
Last for all the days of the existence of the sun and the moon – Verily
For all the days of the existence of the sun and moon.


Hindu bards

Besides the Knanaya community, culture surrounding the Thomas of Cana copper plates is also examined among the Hindu bards of Kerala known as Panans. Panans would historically visit the homes of nobles castes in Kerala and sing songs of heroic figures as well as legendary events. After doing so the Panan would receive payment for their performance in the form of a material donation of items such as betel leaves and other types of charitable aid. Likewise, the Panans would visit the homes of the Knanaya and sing songs of the communities history and heritage. In particular, the Panans would sing of a story in the life of Thomas of Cana during the reign of Cheraman Perumal. The story is narrated from the perspective of the leader of the bards known as Tiruvaranka Panan. The contents of the story revolves around a mission bestowed to Tiruvaranka by Thomas of Cana in which he is to travel to Ezhathunadu (Sri Lanka) and implore four castes, namely carpenters, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, and molders, to return to Cranganore which they had left due to an infringement on their social traditions. The four castes are initially hesitant to return to Cranganore but are persuaded by Tiruvaranka when he shows them the golden staff of Thomas of Cana which he was granted to take on his journey as a sign of goodwill. After seeing the staff the four castes are content and in their satisfaction remove their own ornaments and smelt a golden crown for Thomas of Cana which they present to him upon their return to the Cranganore. Wearing the crown, Thomas and Tiruvarankan go to meet Cheraman Perumal who is pleased with the success of their mission and grants Thomas of Cana privileges. The remainder of the song sings of the seventy-two historical privileges bestowed upon Thomas.[43]

See also

• Quilon Syrian copper plates (mid-9th century AD)
• Jewish copper plates of Cochin (c. 1000 AD)
• Viraraghava copper plates (1225 AD)

References

1. Subbarayalu, Y. (2014). "Book Review: M.G.S. Narayanan, Perumals of Kerala: Brahmin Oligarchy and Ritual Monarchy, Political and Social Conditions of Kerala under the Cera Perumals of Makotai (C. AD 800–1124)". The Indian Economic & Social History Review. 51 (3): 399–403. doi:10.1177/0019464614537142.
2. D'Aguiar, Rev. J. Monteiro. 'The Magna Carta of St. Thomas Christians', K. S. P., no. 4, p. 172 and 195.
3. Indian Antiquary, LVI, 1927, p. 148.
4. King 2018, pp. 663-670.
5. Narayanan 2018, pp. 302-303.
6. Kollaparambil 2015, pp. 148-149.
7. Subbarayalu, Y. (2014). "Book Review: M.G.S. Narayanan, Perumals of Kerala: Brahmin Oligarchy and Ritual Monarchy, Political and Social Conditions of Kerala under the Cera Perumals of Makotai (C. AD 800–1124)". The Indian Economic & Social History Review. 51 (3): 399–403. doi:10.1177/0019464614537142.
8. Kollaparambil 2015, p. 129-158.
9. Swiderski 1988b, pp. 66–67.
10. Kollaparambil 2015, p. 145.
11. King 2018, pp. 663-679.
12. Vellian 1986, pp. 54–55.
13. Baum & Winkler 2003, p. 53.
14. Karukaparambil 2005, pp. 60.
15. Vellian 1990, pp. 25–26.
16. Neill 2004, pp. 42–43.
17. Swiderski 1988a, pp. 74–76.
18. Karukaparambil 2005, p. 497.
19. Karukaparambil 2005, pp. 460–461.
20. Swiderski 1988b, p. 52.
21. Swiderski 1988b, pp. 63–64.
22. Vellian 1986, p. 2-3.
23. Jussay 2005, p. 30.
24. Vellian 1986, p. 22.
25. Jussay 2005, p. 123.
26. Subbarayalu, Y. (2014). "Book Review: M.G.S. Narayanan, Perumals of Kerala: Brahmin Oligarchy and Ritual Monarchy, Political and Social Conditions of Kerala under the Cera Perumals of Makotai (C. AD 800–1124)". The Indian Economic & Social History Review. 51 (3): 399–403. doi:10.1177/0019464614537142.
27. D'Aguiar, Rev. J. Monteiro. "The Magna Carta of St. Thomas Christians", K. S. P., no. 4, p. 172 and 195.
28. Vellian 1986, p. 4-5.
29. Vellian 1986, p. 11.
30. Vellian 1986, p. 13.
31. De Couto, Diogo, Decada VII. Liv. I. Cap. II & Decada XII. Liv. III. Cap. V.
32. Vellian 1986, p. 24.
33. Vellian 1986, p. 4-25.
34. Vellian 1986, pp. 17–19.
35. Kollaparambil 2015, p. 179.
36. Jussay 2005, p. 119.
37. Luke 1911.
38. Vellian 1990, p. 31.
39. Gamliel 2009, pp. 390.
40. Gamliel 2009, pp. 80.
41. Vellian 1990, p. 32.
42. Vellian 1986, p. 47.
43. Karukaparambil 2005, p. 427-436.

Bibliography

• Gamliel, Ophira (April 2009). Jewish Malayalam Women's Songs (PDF) (PhD). Hebrew University. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
• Jussay, P. M. (2005). The Jews of Kerala. Calicut: Publication division, University of Calicut.
• Karukaparambil, George (2005). Marganitha Kynanaitha: Knanaya Pearl. Deepika Book House. ASIN B076GCH274.
• Kollaparambil, Jacob (2015). Sources of the Syro Malabar Law. Oriental Institute of Religious Studies India. ISBN 9789382762287.
• King, Daniel (2018). The Syriac World. Routledge Press. ISBN 9781138899018.
• Luke, P.U. (1911). Ancient Songs. Jyothi Book House.
• Narayanan, M.G.S (2018). Perumals of Kerala. Cosmo Books. ISBN 8193368320.
• Swiderski, Richard Michael (1988). Blood Weddings: The Knanaya Christians of Kerala. Madras: New Era. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
• Thodathil, James (2005). Antiquity and Identity of the Knanaya Community. Knanaya Clergy Association. ASIN B000M1CEDI.
• Vellian, Jacob (1990). Crown, Veil, Cross: Marriage Rights. Syrian Church Series. 15. Anita Printers. OCLC 311292786.
• Vellian, Jacob (1990). Knanite Community: History and Culture. 17. Jyothi Book House. OCLC 50077436.
• Vellian, Jacob (1986). Symposium on Knanites. Syrian Church Series. 12. Jyothi Book House.
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Paramara dynasty
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/15/21

Image
Paramaras of Malwa
9th or 10th century CE–1305 CE
Map of Asia in 1200 CE. Paramara kingdom is shown in central India.[1]
Capital: Dhar
Common languages: Sanskrit
Religion: Shaivism[2]
Government: Monarchy
Historical era: Classical India
Established: 9th or 10th century CE
Disestablished: 1305 CE
Preceded by: Gurjara-Pratihara
Succeeded by: Delhi Sultanate
Today part of: India

The Paramara dynasty (IAST: Paramāra)[note 1] ruled Malwa and surrounding areas in west-central India between 9th and 14th centuries.

The dynasty was established in either 9th or 10th century, and its early rulers most probably ruled as vassals of the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta. The earliest extant Paramara inscriptions, issued by the 10th century ruler Siyaka, have been found in Gujarat. Around 972 CE, Siyaka sacked the Rashtrakuta capital Manyakheta, and established the Paramaras as a sovereign power. By the time of his successor Munja, the Malwa region in present-day Madhya Pradesh had become the core Paramara territory, with Dhara (now Dhar) as their capital. The dynasty reached its zenith under Munja's nephew Bhoja, whose kingdom extended from Chittor in the north to Konkan in the south, and from the Sabarmati River in the west to Vidisha in the east.

The Paramara power rose and declined several times as a result of their struggles with the Chaulukyas of Gujarat, the Chalukyas of Kalyani, the Kalachuris of Tripuri, Chandelas of Jejakabhukti and other neighbouring kingdoms. The later Paramara rulers moved their capital to Mandapa-Durga (now Mandu) after Dhara was sacked multiple times by their enemies. Mahalakadeva, the last known Paramara king, was defeated and killed by the forces of Alauddin Khalji of Delhi in 1305 CE, although epigraphic evidence suggests that the Paramara rule continued for a few years after his death.

Malwa enjoyed a great level of political and cultural prestige under the Paramaras. The Paramaras were well known for their patronage to Sanskrit poets and scholars, and Bhoja was himself a renowned scholar. Most of the Paramara kings were Shaivites and commissioned several Shiva temples, although they also patronized Jain scholars.

Origin

Ancestry


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Harsola copper plates

The Harsola copper plates (949 CE) issued by the Paramara king Siyaka II mentions a king called Akalavarsha, followed by the expression tasmin kule ("in that family"), and then followed by the name "Vappairaja" (identified with the Paramara king Vakpati I).[4] Based on the identification of "Akalavarsha" (which was a Rashtrakuta title) with the Rashtrakuta king Krishna III, historian as D.C. Ganguly theorized that the Paramaras were descended from the Rashtrakutas.[5] Ganguly tried to find support for his theory in Ain-i-Akbari, whose variation of the Agnikula myth (see below) states that a predecessor of the Paramaras came to Malwa from Deccan.[6] According to Ain-i-Akbari, Dhanji - a man born from a fire sacrifice - came from Deccan to establish a kingdom in Malwa; when his descendant Putraj died heirless, the nobles established Aditya Ponwar - the ancestor of the Paramaras - as the new king.[7] Ganguly also noted Siyaka's successor Munja (Vakpati II) assumed titles such as Amoghavarsha, Sri-vallabha and Prithvi-vallabha: these are distinctively Rashtrakuta titles.[8]

However, there is a lacuna before the words tasmin kule ("in that family") in the Harsola inscription, and therefore, Ganguly's suggestion is a pure guess in absence of any concrete evidence.[9] Moreover, even if the Ain-i-Akbari legend is historically accurate, Aditya Ponwar was not a descendant of Dhanji: he was most probably a local magnate rather than a native of Deccan.[10][11] Critics of Ganguly's theory also argue that the Rashtrakuta titles in these inscriptions refer to Paramara rulers, who had assumed these titles to portray themselves as the legitimate successors of the Rashtrakutas in the Malwa region.[12] The Rashtrakutas had similarly adopted the titles such as Prithvi-vallabha, which had been used by the preceding Chalukya rulers.[12] Historian Dasharatha Sharma points out that the Paramaras claimed the mythical Agnikula origin by the tenth century: had they really been descendants of the Rashtrakutas, they would not have forgotten their prestigious royal origin within a generation.[8]

The later Paramara kings claimed to be members of the Agnikula or Agnivansha ("fire clan"). The Agnikula myth of origin, which appears in several of their inscriptions and literary works, goes like this: The sage Vishvamitra forcibly took a wish-granting cow from another sage Vashistha on the Arbuda mountain (Mount Abu). Vashistha then conjured a hero from a sacrificial fire pit (agni-kunda), who defeated Vishvamitra's enemies and brought back the cow. Vashistha then gave the hero the title Paramara ("enemy killer").[13] The earliest known source to mention this story is the Nava-sahasanka-charita of Padmagupta Parimala, who was a court-poet of the Paramara king Sindhuraja (ca. 997-1010).[14] The legend is not mentioned in earlier Paramara-era inscriptions or literary works. By this time, all the neighbouring dynasties claimed divine or heroic origin, which might have motivated the Paramaras to invent a legend of their own.[15][12]

In the later period, the Paramaras were anachronistically categorized as one of the Rajput clans, despite the fact that the Rajput identity did not exist during this time.[16] A legend mentioned in a recension of Prithviraj Raso extended their Agnikula legend to describe other dynasties as fire-born Rajputs. The earliest extant copies of Prithviraj Raso do not contain this legend; this version might have been invented by the 16th century poets who wanted to foster Rajput unity against the Mughal emperor Akbar.[17] Some colonial-era historians interpreted this mythical account to suggest a foreign origin for the Paramaras. According to this theory, the ancestors of the Paramaras and other Agnivanshi Rajputs came to India after the decline of the Gupta Empire around the 5th century CE. They were admitted in the Hindu caste system after performing a fire ritual.[18] However, this theory is weakened by the fact that the legend is not mentioned in the earliest of the Paramara records, and even the earliest Paramara-era account does not mention the other dynasties as Agnivanshi.[19]

Some historians, such as Dasharatha Sharma and Pratipal Bhatia, have argued that the Paramaras were originally Brahmins from the Vashistha gotra.[6] This theory is based on the fact that Halayudha, who was patronized by Munja, describes the king as "Brahma-Kshtra" in Pingala-Sutra-Vritti. According to Bhatia this expression means that Munja came from a family of Brahmins who became Kshatriyas.[20] In addition, the Patanarayana temple inscription states that the Paramaras were of Vashistha gotra, which is a gotra among Brahmins claiming descent from the sage Vashistha.[21] However, historian Arvind K. Singh points out that several other sources point to a Kshatriya ancestry of the dynasty. For example, the 1211 Piplianagar inscription states that the ancestors of the Paramaras were "crest-jewel of the Kshatriyas", and the Prabha-vakara-charita mentions that Vakpati was born in the dynasty of a Kshatriya. According to Singh, the expression "Brahma-Kshatriya" refers to a learned Kshatriya.[12]

D. C. Sircar theorized that the dynasty descended from the Malavas. However, there is no evidence of the early Paramara rulers being called Malava; the Paramaras began to be called Malavas only after they began ruling the Malwa region.[6]

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A Chaulukya-Paramara coin, circa 950-1050 CE. Stylized rendition of Chavda dynasty coins: Indo-Sassanian style bust right; pellets and ornaments around / Stylised fire altar; pellets around.[22]

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Coin of the Paramara king Naravarman, circa 1094-1133. Goddess Lakshmi seated facing / Devanagari legend.[23]

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Coin of the Paramara prince Jagadeva, 12th-13th centuries CE.

Original homeland

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Places in Gujarat where the earliest Paramara inscriptions (of Siyaka II) have been discovered

Based on the Agnikula legend, some scholars such as C. V. Vaidya and V. A. Smith speculated that Mount Abu was the original home of the Paramaras. Based on the Harsola copper plates and Ain-i-Akbari, D. C. Ganguly believed they came from the Deccan region.[24]

The earliest of the Paramara inscriptions (that of Siyaka II) have all been discovered in Gujarat, and concern land grants in that region. Based on this, D. B. Diskalkar and H. V. Trivedi theorized that the Paramaras were associated with Gujarat during their early days.[25] Another possibility is that the early Paramara rulers temporarily left their capital city of Dhara in Malwa for Gujarat because of a Gurjara-Pratihara invasion. This theory is based on the combined analysis of two sources: the Nava-sahasanka-charita, which states that the Paramara king Vairisimha cleared the Dhara city in Malwa of enemies; and the 945-946 CE Pratapgah inscription of the Gurjara-Prathiara king Mahendrapala, which states that he recaptured Malwa.[26]

Early rulers

Whether or not the Paramaras were descended from the Rashtrakutas, they were most probably subordinates of the Rashtrakutas in the ninth century.[12] Historical evidence suggests that between 808-812 CE, the Rashtrakutas expelled the Gurjara-Pratiharas from the Malwa region. The Rashtrakuta king Govinda III placed Malwa under the protection of Karka-raja, the Rashtrakuta chief of Lata (a region bordering Malwa, in present-day Gujarat).[27] The 871 Sanjan copper-plate inscription of Govinda's son Amoghavarsha I states that his father had appointed a vassal as the governor of Malwa. Since the Paramaras became the rulers of the Malwa region around this time, epigraphist H. V. Trivedi theorizes that this vassal was the Paramara king Upendra,[12] although there is no definitive proof of this. The start of the Paramara rule in Malwa cannot be dated with certainty, but they certainly did not rule the Malwa before the 9th century CE.[27]

Siyaka is the earliest known Paramara king attested by his own inscriptions. His Harsola copper plate inscription (949 CE) is the earliest available Paramara inscription: it suggests that he was a vassal of the Rashtrakutas.[4] The list of his predecessors varies between accounts:[28][4]

List of early Paramara rulers according to different sources
Harsola copper plates (949 CE) / Nava-Sahasanka-Charita (early 11th century) / Udaipur Prashasti inscription (11th century) / Nagpur Prashasti inscription (1104 CE) / Other land grants
-- / Paramara / Paramara / Paramara / Paramara
-- / Upendra / Upendra / -- / Krishna
-- / "Other kings" / Vairisimha (I) / -- / Krishna
-- / "Other kings" / Siyaka (I) / -- / Krishna
Vappairaja / Vakpati (I) / Vakpati (I) / -- / Krishna
Vairisimha / Vairisimha / Vairisimha (II) / Vairisimha / Vairisimha
Siyaka / Siyaka alias Harsha / Harsha / Siyaka / Siyaka


Paramara is the dynasty's mythical progenitor, according to the Agnikula legend. Whether the other early kings mentioned in the Udaipur Prashasti are historical or fictional is a topic of debate among historians.[29]

According to C. V. Vaidya and K. A. Nilakantha Sastri, the Paramara dynasty was founded only in the 10th century CE. Vaidya believes that the kings such as Vairisimha I and Siyaka I are imaginary, duplicated from the names of later historical kings in order to push back the dynasty's age.[29] The 1274 CE Mandhata copper-plate inscription of Jayavarman II similarly names eight successors of Paramara as Kamandaludhara, Dhumraja, Devasimhapala, Kanakasimha, Shriharsha, Jagaddeva, Sthirakaya and Voshari: these do not appear to be historical figures.[30] HV Trivedi states that there is a possibility that Vairisimha I and Siyaka I of the Udaipur Prashasti are same as Vairisimha II and Siyaka II; the names might have been repeated by mistake. Alternatively, he theorizes that these names have been omitted in other inscriptions because these rulers were not independent sovereigns.[4]

Several other historians believe that the early Paramara rulers mentioned in the Udaipur Prashasti are not fictional, and the Paramaras started ruling Malwa in the 9th century (as Rashtrakuta vassals). K. N. Seth argues that even some of the later Paramara inscriptions mention only 3-4 predecessors of the king who issued the inscription. Therefore, the absence of certain names from the genealogy provided in the early inscriptions does not mean that these were imaginary rulers. According to him, the mention of Upendra in Nava-Sahasanka-Charitra (composed by the court poet of the later king Sindhuraja) proves that Upendra is not a fictional king.[31] Historians such as Georg Bühler and James Burgess identify Upendra and Krishnaraja as one person, because these are synonyms (Upendra being another name of Krishna). However, an inscription of Siyaka's successor Munja names the preceding kings as Krishnaraja, Vairisimha, and Siyaka. Based on this, Seth however identifies Krishnaraja with Vappairaja or Vakpati I mentioned in the Harsola plates (Vappairaja appears to be the Prakrit form of Vakpati-raja). In his support, Seth points out that Vairisimha has been called Krishna-padanudhyata in the inscription of Munja i.e. Vakpati II. He theorizes that Vakpati II used the name "Krishnaraja" instead of Vakpati I to identify his ancestor, in order to avoid confusion with his own name.[31]

The imperial Paramaras

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The Bhojeshwar Temple, Bhojpur

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Detail of the masonry of the northern dam at Bhojpur

The first independent sovereign of the Paramara dynasty was Siyaka (sometimes called Siyaka II to distinguish him from the earlier Siyaka mentioned in the Udaipur Prashasti). The Harsola copper plates (949 CE) suggest that Siyaka was a feudatory of the Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna III in his early days. However, the same inscription also mentions the high-sounding Maharajadhirajapati as one of Siyaka's titles. Based on this, K. N. Seth believes that Siyaka's acceptance of the Rashtrakuta lordship was nominal.[32]

As a Rashtrakuta feudatory, Siyaka participated in their campaigns against the Pratiharas. He also defeated some Huna chiefs ruling to the north of Malwa.[33] He might have suffered setbacks against the Chandela king Yashovarman.[34] After the death of Krishna III, Siyaka defeated his successor Khottiga in a battle fought on the banks of the Narmada River. He then pursued Khottiga's retreating army to the Rashtrakuta capital Manyakheta, and sacked that city in 972 CE. His victory ultimately led to the decline of the Rashtrakutas, and the establishment of the Paramaras as an independent sovereign power in Malwa.[35]

Siyaka's successor Munja achieved military successes against the Chahamanas of Shakambari, the Chahamanas of Naddula, the Guhilas of Mewar, the Hunas, the Kalachuris of Tripuri, and the ruler of Gurjara region (possibly a Gujarat Chaulukya or Pratihara ruler).[36] He also achieved some early successes against the Western Chalukya king Tailapa II, but was ultimately defeated and killed by Tailapa some time between 994 CE and 998 CE.[37][38]

As a result of this defeat, the Paramaras lost their southern territories (possibly the ones beyond the Narmada river) to the Chalukyas.[39] Munja was reputed as a patron of scholars, and his rule attracted scholars from different parts of India to Malwa.[40] He was also a poet himself, although only a few stanzas composed by him now survive.[41]

Munja's brother Sindhuraja (ruled c. 990s CE) defeated the Western Chalukya king Satyashraya, and recovered the territories lost to Tailapa II.[42] He also achieved military successes against a Huna chief, the Somavanshi of south Kosala, the Shilaharas of Konkana, and the ruler of Lata (southern Gujarat).[42] His court poet Padmagupta wrote his biography Nava-Sahasanka-Charita, which credits him with several other victories, although these appear to be poetic exaggerations.[43]

Sindhuraja's son Bhoja is the most celebrated ruler of the Paramara dynasty. He made several attempts to expand the Paramara kingdom varying results. Around 1018 CE, he defeated the Chalukyas of Lata in present-day Gujarat.[44] Between 1018 CE and 1020 CE, he gained control of the northern Konkan, whose Shilahara rulers probably served as his feudatories for a brief period.[45][46] Bhoja also formed an alliance against the Kalyani Chalukya king Jayasimha II, with Rajendra Chola and Gangeya-deva Kalachuri. The extent of Bhoja's success in this campaign is not certain, as both Chalukya and Paramara panegyrics claimed victory.[47] During the last years of Bhoja's reign, sometime after 1042 CE, Jayasimha's son and successor Someshvara I invaded Malwa, and sacked his capital Dhara.[42] Bhoja re-established his control over Malwa soon after the departure of the Chalukya army, but the defeat pushed back the southern boundary of his kingdom from Godavari to Narmada.[48][49]

Bhoja's attempt to expand his kingdom eastwards was foiled by the Chandela king Vidyadhara.[50] However, Bhoja was able to extend his influence among the Chandela feudatories, the Kachchhapaghatas of Dubkund.[51] Bhoja also launched a campaign against the Kachchhapaghatas of Gwalior, possibly with the ultimate goal of capturing Kannauj, but his attacks were repulsed by their ruler Kirtiraja.[52] Bhoja also defeated the Chahamanas of Shakambhari, killing their ruler Viryarama. However, he was forced to retreat by the Chahamanas of Naddula.[53] According to medieval Muslim historians, after sacking Somnath, Mahmud of Ghazni changed his route to avoid confrontation with a Hindu king named Param Dev. Modern historians identify Param Dev as Bhoja: the name may be a corruption of Paramara-Deva or of Bhoja's title Parameshvara-Paramabhattaraka.[54][55] Bhoja may have also contributed troops to support the Kabul Shahi ruler Anandapala's fight against the Ghaznavids.[56] He may have also been a part of the Hindu alliance that expelled Mahmud's governors from Hansi, Thanesar and other areas around 1043 CE.[57][42] During the last year of Bhoja's reign, or shortly after his death, the Chaulukya king Bhima I and the Kalachuri king Karna attacked his kingdom. According to the 14th century author Merutunga, Bhoja died of a disease at the same time the allied army attacked his kingdom.[58][59]

At its zenith, Bhoja's kingdom extended from Chittor in the north to upper Konkan in the south, and from the Sabarmati River in the west to Vidisha in the east.[60] He was recognized as a capable military leader, but his territorial conquests were short-lived. His major claim to fame was his reputation as a scholar-king, who patronized arts, literature and sciences. Noted poets and writers of his time sought his sponsorship.[61] Bhoja was himself a polymath, whose writings cover a wide variety of topics include grammar, poetry, architecture, yoga, and chemistry. Bhoja established the Bhoj Shala which was a centre for Sanskrit studies and a temple of Sarasvati in present-day Dhar. He is said to have founded the city of Bhojpur, a belief supported by historical evidence. Besides the Bhojeshwar Temple there, the construction of three now-breached dams in that area is attributed to him.[62] Because of his patronage to literary figures, several legends written after his death featured him as a righteous scholar-king.[63] In terms of the number of legends centered around him, Bhoja is comparable to the fabled Vikramaditya.[64]

Decline

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Pillar in the Bijamaṇḍal, Vidisha with an inscription of Naravarman

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Fragments of the Dhar iron pillar attributed to the Paramaras

Bhoja's successor Jayasimha I, who was probably his son,[65] faced the joint Kalachuri-Chaulukya invasion immediately after Bhoja's death.[66] Bilhana's writings suggest that he sought help from the Chalukyas of Kalyani.[67] Jayasimha's successor and Bhoja's brother Udayaditya was defeated by Chamundaraja, his vassal at Vagada. He repulsed an invasion by the Chaulukya ruler Karna, with help from his allies. Udayaditya's eldest son Lakshmadeva has been credited with extensive military conquests in the Nagpur Prashasti inscription of 1104-05 CE. However, these appear to be poetic exaggerations. At best, he might have defeated the Kalachuris of Tripuri.[68] Udayaditya's younger son Naravarman faced several defeats, losing to the Chandelas of Jejakabhukti and the Chaulukya king Jayasimha Siddharaja. By the end of his reign, one Vijayapala had carved out an independent kingdom to the north-east of Ujjain.[69]

Yashovarman lost control of the Paramara capital Dhara to Jayasimha Siddharaja. His successor Jayavarman I regained control of Dhara, but soon lost it to an usurper named Ballala.[70] The Chaulukya king Kumarapala defeated Ballala around 1150 CE, supported by his feudatories the Naddula Chahamana ruler Alhana and the Abu Paramara chief Yashodhavala. Malwa then became a province of the Chaulukyas. A minor branch of the Paramaras, who styled themselves as Mahakumaras, ruled the area around Bhopal during this time.[71] Nearly two decades later, Jayavarman's son Vindhyavarman defeated the Chaulukya king Mularaja II, and re-established the Paramara sovereignty in Malwa.[72] During his reign, Malwa faced repeated invasions from the Hoysalas and the Yadavas of Devagiri.[73] He was also defeated by the Chaulukya general Kumara.[74] Despite these setbacks, he was able to restore the Paramara power in Malwa before his death.[75]

Vindhyavarman's son Subhatavarman invaded Gujarat, and plundered the Chaulukya territories. But he was ultimately forced to retreat by the Chaulukya feudatory Lavana-Prasada.[76] His son Arjunavarman I also invaded Gujarat, and defeated Jayanta-simha (or Jaya-simha), who had usurped the Chaulukya throne for a brief period.[77] He was defeated by Yadava general Kholeshvara in Lata.[78]

Arjunavarman was succeeded by Devapala, who was the son of Harishchandra, a Mahakumara (chief of a Paramara branch).[78] He continued to face struggles against the Chaulukyas and the Yadavas. The Sultan of Delhi Iltutmish captured Bhilsa during 1233-34 CE, but Devapala defeated the Sultanate's governor and regained control of Bhilsa.[79][80] According to the Hammira Mahakavya, he was killed by Vagabhata of Ranthambhor, who suspected him of plotting his murder in connivance with the Delhi Sultan.[81]

During the reign of Devapala's son Jaitugideva, the power of the Paramaras greatly declined because of invasions from the Yadava king Krishna, the Delhi Sultan Balban, and the Vaghela prince Visala-deva.[82] Devapala's younger son Jayavarman II also faced attacks from these three powers. Either Jaitugi or Jayavarman II moved the Paramara capital from Dhara to the hilly Mandapa-Durga (present-day Mandu), which offered a better defensive position.[83]

Arjunavarman II, the successor of Jayavarman II, proved to be a weak ruler. He faced rebellion from his minister.[84] In the 1270s, the Yadava ruler Ramachandra invaded Malwa,[85] and in the 1280s, the Ranthambhor Chahamana ruler Hammira also raided Malwa.[86] Arjuna's successor Bhoja II also faced an invasion from Hammira. Bhoja II was either a titular ruler controlled by his minister, or his minister had usurped a part of the Paramara kingdom.[87]

Mahalakadeva, the last known Paramara king, was defeated and killed by the army of Alauddin Khalji in 1305 CE.[88]

Rulers

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Find spots of the inscriptions from the reigns of Paramara monarchs of Malwa[89]

The Paramara rulers mentioned in the various inscriptions and literary sources are as follows. The rulers are sons of their predecessors, unless otherwise specified.[90][91][better source needed]

• Paramara; mythical ancestor mentioned in the Agnikula legend
• Upendra, 9th century
• Vairisimha (I), 9th century; considered fictional by some historians
• Siyaka (I), 9th century; considered fictional by some historians
• Vakpati (I), 9th-10th century; called Vappairaja or Bappiraja in Harsola copper plates
• Vairisimha (II), 10th century
• Siyaka (II) alias Harsha, 948-972
• Vakpati (II) alias Munja, 972-990s; Siyaka's elder son
• Sindhuraja, 990s-1010; Siyaka's younger son
• Bhoja, 1010-1055
• Jayasimha (I), 1055-1070
• Udayaditya, 1070-1093; Bhoja's brother
o Lakshma-deva, 1080s?; Udayaditya's elder son, possibly did not ascend the throne
• Naravarman, 1094-1130; Udayaditya's younger son
• Yashovarman, 1133-1142
• Jayavarman (I), 1142-1143
• Interregnum, 1144-1174: An usurper named Ballala captured power in Malwa. He was defeated by the Chaulukyas of Gujarat. The Paramara kingdom remained under Chaulukya suzerainty during this period.
• Vindhyavarman, 1175-1194
• Subhatavarman, 1194-1209
• Arjunavarman I, 1210-1215
• Devapala, 1218-1239; Son of Mahakumara Harishchandra
• Jaitugideva, 1239-1255; Devapala's elder son
• Jayavarman II, 1255-1274; Devapala's younger son
• Arjunavarman II, 13th century
• Bhoja II, 13th century
• Mahlakadeva, died 1305

An inscription from Udaipur indicates that the Paramara dynasty survived until 1310, at least in the north-eastern part of Malwa. A later inscription shows that the area had been captured by the Delhi Sultanate by 1338.[92]

Branches and claimed descendants

Image
Map showing the find-spots of the inscriptions of the imperial Paramaras and their various branches

Besides the Paramara sovereigns of Malwa, several branches of the dynasties ruled as feudatories at various places. These include:

• Paramaras of Chandravati
o Ruled the Arbuda-mandala (Mount Abu area)[93]
o Became feudatories of the Chaulukyas of Gujarat by the 12th century[94]
• Paramaras of Bhinmal-Kiradu
o Branched off from the Paramaras of Chandravati [95]
o Like the Paramaras of Chandravati, they were connected to the Chaulukyas, and were subdued by the Chahamanas in the 12th century[93]
• Paramaras of Jalor
o Another branch of the Paramaras of Chandravati[93]
o Supplanted by the Chahamanas of Jalor[96]
• Paramaras of Vagada
o Ruled at Arthuna as feudatories of the Paramaras of Malwa [97][93]

The rulers of several princely states claimed connection with the Paramaras. These include:

• Baghal State: It is said to have been founded by Ajab Dev Parmar, who came to present-day Himachal Pradesh from Ujjain in the 14th century.[98]
• Danta State: Its rulers claimed membership of the Parmar clan and descent from the legendary king Vikramaditya of Ujjain[99]
• Dewas State (Senior and Junior): The Maratha Puar rulers of these states claimed descent from the Paramara dynasty.[100]
• Dhar State: Its founder Anand Rao Puar, who claimed Paramara descent, received a fief from Peshwa Baji Rao I in the 18th century.[101]
• Muli State: Its rulers claimed Paramara descent, and are said to have started out as feudatories of the Vaghelas.[102]
• Narsinghgarh State[citation needed]
• Jagdishpur and Dumraon: The Rajputs of Bhojpur district in present-day Bihar, who styled themselves as Ujjainiya Panwar Rajputs, started claiming descent from the royal family of Ujjain in the 17th century.[103] The Rajas of Jagdishpur and Dumraon in Bihar claimed descent from the Ujjainia branch of Paramaras.[104]
• The Gandhawaria Rajputs of Mithila and the Ujjainiyas of Bhojpur also claim descent from the Paramara dynasty.[105][106]

Notes

1. Also known as Pramara, Ponwar, Powar, Panwar etc.[3]

See also

• List of Rajput dynasties and states
• List of rulers of Malwa

References

1. Schwartzberg, Joseph E. (1978). A Historical atlas of South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 147, map XIV.3 (a). ISBN 0226742210.
2. R.K. Gupta, S.R. Bakshi (2008). Rajasthan Through the Ages,Studies in Indian history. 1. Rajasthan: Swarup & Sons. p. 43. ISBN 9788176258418. Parmara rulers were devout shaivas.
3. Benjamin Walker 1995, p. 186.
4. H. V. Trivedi 1991, p. 4.
5. R.K. Gupta, S.R. Bakshi (2008). Rajasthan Through the Ages,Studies in Indian history. Rajasthan: Swarup & Sons. p. 24. ISBN 9788176258418.
6. Kailash Chand Jain 1972, p. 327.
7. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, p. 4.
8. Ganga Prasad Yadava 1982, p. 36.
9. H. V. Trivedi (Introduction) 1991, p. 4.
10. Pratipal Bhatia 1970, p. 18.
11. R. B. Singh 1975, p. 225.
12. Arvind K. Singh 2012, p. 14.
13. Ganga Prasad Yadava 1982, p. 32.
14. Alf Hiltebeitel 2009, p. 444.
15. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, pp. 10-13.
16. Cynthia Talbot 2015, pp. 33-35.
17. R. B. Singh 1964, pp. 17-18.
18. Ganga Prasad Yadava 1982, p. 35.
19. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, p. 16.
20. Ganga Prasad Yadava 1982, p. 37.
21. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, p. 29.
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45. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, pp. 140-141.
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47. Saikat K. Bose 2015, p. 27.
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49. Mahesh Singh 1984, p. 56.
50. Mahesh Singh 1984, p. 69.
51. Mahesh Singh 1984, pp. 172-173.
52. Mahesh Singh 1984, pp. 173.
53. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, p. 177.
54. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, pp. 163-165.
55. Mahesh Singh 1984, pp. 61-62.
56. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, p. 158.
57. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, p. 166.
58. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, p. 182.
59. Mahesh Singh 1984, pp. 66-67.
60. Kirit Mankodi 1987, p. 62.
61. Sheldon Pollock 2003, p. 179.
62. Kirit Mankodi 1987, p. 71.
63. Sheldon Pollock 2003, pp. 179-180.
64. Anthony Kennedy Warder 1992, pp. 176.
65. Anthony Kennedy Warder 1992, pp. 177.
66. Krishna Narain Seth 1978, pp. 182-184.
67. Prabhakar Narayan Kawthekar 1995, p. 72.
68. H. V. Trivedi 1991, p. 110.
69. Pratipal Bhatia 1970, p. 115-122.
70. Kailash Chand Jain 1972, pp. 362-363.
71. Kailash Chand Jain 1972, pp. 363-364.
72. R. C. Majumdar 1977, p. 328.
73. H. V. Trivedi 1991, p. 162.
74. Pratipal Bhatia 1970, p. 137.
75. Sailendra Nath Sen 1999, p. 322.
76. Kailash Chand Jain 1972, p. 370.
77. Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1956, p. 148.
78. Kailash Chand Jain 1972, p. 371.
79. H. V. Trivedi 1991, pp. 188.
80. D. C. Sircar 1966, pp. 187-188.
81. Kailash Chand Jain 1972, p. 372.
82. Kailash Chand Jain 1972, p. 373.
83. H. V. Trivedi 1991, p. 203.
84. Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1977, p. 445.
85. Pratipal Bhatia 1970, p. 158.
86. Dasharatha Sharma 1975, p. 124.
87. Pratipal Bhatia 1970, p. 160.
88. Sailendra Nath Sen 1999, p. 25.
89. H. V. Trivedi 1991, pp. v-vi.
90. Kailash Chand Jain 1972, p. 327-375.
91. Georg Bühler 1892, p. 222.
92. Peter Jackson 2003, p. 199.
93. Arvind K. Singh 2012, p. 13.
94. H. V. Trivedi 1991, p. 244.
95. H. V. Trivedi 1991, p. 321.
96. H. V. Trivedi 1991, p. 333.
97. H. V. Trivedi 1991, p. 280.
98. Poonam Minhas 1998, p. 49.
99. Tony McClenaghan 1996, p. 115.
100. John Middleton 2015, p. 236.
101. Tony McClenaghan 1996, p. 122.
102. Virbhadra Singhji 1994, p. 44.
103. Dirk H. A. Kolff (8 August 2002). Naukar, Rajput, and Sepoy: The Ethnohistory of the Military Labour Market of Hindustan, 1450-1850. Cambridge University Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-521-52305-9. Archived from the original on 2 March 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
104. The Journal of the Bihar Purāvid Parishad, Volumes=7-8. Bihar Puravid Parishad. 1983. p. 411. Archived from the original on 19 January 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
105. "The Journal of the Bihar Purāvid Parishad". Bihar Puravid Parishad. 1983. Archived from the original on 19 January 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
106. Ahmad, Imtiaz (2008). "State Formation and Consolidation under the Ujjainiya Rajputs in Medieval Bihar: Testimony of Oral Traditions as Recorded in the Tawarikh-i-Ujjainiya". In Singh, Surinder; Gaur, I. D. (eds.). Popular Literature And Pre-Modern Societies In South Asia. Pearson Education India. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-81-317-1358-7. Archived from the original on 25 December 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2012.

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