Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:13 am

Demetrius I of Macedon
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/12/21

The story of [Ashoka] having embraced the faith of Buddha, of his having built stupas and Viharas, of his having reconstructed the city of Pataliputra and of his having introduced several reforms in the affairs of the kingdom and in the matter of the appointment of officers of state, are all taken from the accounts of Asoka and his successors as given by Chhavillakara ["Referring to an earlier Rajatarangini recorded by Chhavillakara, Kalhana has stated that Kashmir was held after Asoka by his son, Jalauka, who was followed by a ruler named 'Damodara,' who was none else than Demetrius, 'Regis Indorus,' [Demetrius I, called Poliorcetes, son of Antigonus I, king of Macedon, 337-283 BC] as the classical references indicate. (Vide my article, "The Chavillakara Fragment in Kalhana's Rajatarangini" -- JBRS (Journal of the Burma Research Society), Vol. 36 (1950), pp. 71-75 + i-vi.) -- Reviewed Work: Beginnings of Life, Culture and History: (Study of Indian History and Culture : Vol. I) by S. D. Kulkarni, Review by: S. V. Sohoni, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. 70, No. 1/4 (1989), pp. 338-343 (6 pages)] and by Kalhana in his Rajatarangini.

-- "Sandrocottus", "History of Classical Sanskrit Literature", by Kavyavinoda, Sahityaratnakara M. Krishnamachariar, M.A., M.I., Ph.D., Member of the Royal Asiatic Society of London (Of the Madras Judicial Service), Assisted by His Son M. Srinivasachariar, B.A., B.L., Advocate, Madras, 1937

The Durmitra of the Bhagavata has been conjectured, by Colonel Tod (Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. I., p. 325), to be intended for the Bactrian prince Demetrius: but it is not clear that even the Bhagavata considers this prince as one of the Bahlikas; and the name occurs nowhere else.

-- The Vishnu Purana: A System of Hindu Mythology and Tradition, translated from the Original Sanskrit, and Illustrated by Notes Derived Chiefly From Other Puranas, by the Late H.H. Wilson, M.A., F.R.S., Boden Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Oxford, etc., Etc., Edited by Fitzedward Hall, Vol. IV, 1868

Demetrius I Poliorcetes
Marble bust of Demetrius I Poliorcetes. Roman copy from 1st century AD of a Greek original from 3rd century BC
King of Macedonia
Reign: 294–288 BC
Predecessor: Antipater II of Macedon
Successor: Lysimachus and Pyrrhus of Epirus
Born: 337 BC
Died: 283 BC (aged 53–54)
Spouse: Phila, Eurydice of Athens, Deidamia I of Epirus, Lanassa, Ptolemais
Issue: Stratonice of Syria, Antigonus II Gonatas, Demetrius the Fair
House: Antigonid dynasty
Father: Antigonus I Monophthalmus
Mother: Stratonice

Demetrius I (/dɪˈmiːtriəs/; Ancient Greek: Δημήτριος; 337–283 BC), called Poliorcetes (/ˌpɒliɔːrˈsiːtiːz/; Greek: Πολιορκητής, "The Besieger"), son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus and Stratonice, was a Macedonian nobleman, military leader, and finally king of Macedon (294–288 BC). He belonged to the Antigonid dynasty and was its first member to rule Macedonia.


Early career

Demetrius served with his father, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, during the Second War of the Diadochi. He participated in the Battle of Paraitakene where he commanded the cavalry on the right flank. Despite the Antigonid left flank, commanded by Peithon, being routed, and the center, commanded by Antigonus, being dealt heavy losses at the hands of the famous Silver Shields, Demetrius was victorious on the right, and his success there ultimately prevented the battle from being a complete loss.

Demetrius was again present at the conclusive Battle of Gabiene. Directly after the battle, while Antigonus held the betrayed Eumenes, Demetrius was one of the few who implored his father to spare the Greek successor’s life.

At the age of twenty-two he was left by his father to defend Syria against Ptolemy the son of Lagus. He was defeated at the Battle of Gaza, but soon partially repaired his loss by a victory in the neighbourhood of Myus.[1] In the spring of 310, he was soundly defeated when he tried to expel Seleucus I Nicator from Babylon; his father was defeated in the autumn. As a result of this Babylonian War, Antigonus lost almost two thirds of his empire: all eastern satrapies fell to Seleucus.

After several campaigns against Ptolemy on the coasts of Cilicia and Cyprus, Demetrius sailed with a fleet of 250 ships to Athens. He freed the city from the power of Cassander and Ptolemy, expelled the garrison which had been stationed there under Demetrius of Phalerum, and besieged and took Munychia (307 BC). After these victories he was worshipped by the Athenians as a tutelary deity under the title of Soter (Σωτήρ) ("Saviour").[1] At this time Demetrius married Eurydike, an Athenian noblewoman who was reputed to be descendant from Miltiades; she was the widow of Ophellas, Ptolemy's governor of Cyrene.[2] Antigonus sent Demetrius instructions to sail to Cyprus and attack Ptolemy's positions there.

Demetrius sailed from Athens in the spring of 306 BC and in accordance with his father's orders he first went to Caria where he summoned the Rhodians to support his naval campaign. The Rhodians refused, a decision which would have dire consequences. In the campaign of 306 BC, he defeated Ptolemy and Menelaus, Ptolemy's brother, in the naval Battle of Salamis, completely destroying the naval power of Ptolemaic Egypt.[1] Demetrius conquered Cyprus in 306 BC, capturing one of Ptolemy's sons.[3] Following the victory, Antigonus assumed the title "king" and bestowed the same upon his son Demetrius. In 305 BC, he endeavoured to punish the Rhodians for having deserted his cause; his ingenuity in devising new siege engines in his (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to reduce the capital gained him the title of Poliorcetes.[1] Among his creations were a battering ram 180 feet (55 m) long, requiring 1000 men to operate it; and a wheeled siege tower named "Helepolis" (or "Taker of Cities") which stood 125 feet (38 m) tall and 60 feet (18 m) wide, weighing 360,000 pounds.

Coin of Demetrius I (337-283 BC). Greek inscription reads ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΥ ([coin] of King Demetrius)

Demetrius I Poliorcetes portrayed on a tetradrachm coin

In 302 BC, he returned a second time to Greece as liberator, and reinstated the Corinthian League, but his licentiousness and extravagance made the Athenians long for the government of Cassander.[1] Among his outrages was his courtship of a young boy named Democles the Handsome. The youth kept on refusing his attention but one day found himself cornered at the baths. Having no way out and being unable to physically resist his suitor, he took the lid off the hot water cauldron and jumped in. His death was seen as a mark of honor for himself and his country. In another instance, Demetrius waived a fine of 50 talents imposed on a citizen in exchange for the favors of Cleaenetus, that man's son.[4] He also sought the attention of Lamia, a Greek courtesan. He demanded 250 talents from the Athenians, which he then gave to Lamia and other courtesans to buy soap and cosmetics.[4]

He also roused the jealousy of Alexander's Diadochi; Seleucus, Cassander and Lysimachus united to destroy him and his father. The hostile armies met at the Battle of Ipsus in Phrygia (301 BC). Antigonus was killed, and Demetrius, after sustaining severe losses, retired to Ephesus. This reversal of fortune stirred up many enemies against him—the Athenians refused even to admit him into their city. But he soon afterwards ravaged the territory of Lysimachus and effected a reconciliation with Seleucus, to whom he gave his daughter Stratonice in marriage. Athens was at this time oppressed by the tyranny of Lachares—a popular leader who made himself supreme in Athens in 296 BC—but Demetrius, after a protracted blockade, gained possession of the city (294 BC) and pardoned the inhabitants for their misconduct in 301 BC in a great display of mercy, a trait Demetrius highly valued in a ruler.[1]

After Athens' capitulation, Demetrius formed a new government which espoused a major dislocation of traditional democratic forms, which anti Macedonian democrats would have called oligarchy. The cyclical rotation of the secretaries of the Council and the election of archons by allotment, were both abolished. In 293/3 - 293/2 B.C., two of the most prominent men in Athens were designated by the Macedonian king, Olympiordoros and Phillipides of Paiania. The royal appointing is implied by Plutarch who says that "he established the archons which were most acceptable to the Demos."[5]

King of Macedonia

In 294 BC, he established himself on the throne of Macedonia by murdering Alexander V, the son of Cassander.[1] He faced rebellion from the Boeotians but secured the region after capturing Thebes in 291 BC. That year he married Lanassa, the former wife of Pyrrhus, but his new position as ruler of Macedonia was continually threatened by Pyrrhus, who took advantage of his occasional absence to ravage the defenceless part of his kingdom (Plutarch, Pyrrhus, 7 ff.); at length, the combined forces of Pyrrhus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus, assisted by the disaffected among his own subjects, obliged him to leave Macedonia in 288 BC.[1]

Bronze portrait head, as of September 2007 housed in the Prado Museum, Madrid. This head is no longer identified as Hephaestion, and instead may be Demetrius.[6]

After besieging Athens without success he passed into Asia and attacked some of the provinces of Lysimachus with varying success. Famine and pestilence destroyed the greater part of his army, and he solicited Seleucus' support and assistance. However, before he reached Syria hostilities broke out, and after he had gained some advantages over his son-in-law, Demetrius was totally forsaken by his troops on the field of battle and surrendered to Seleucus.

His son Antigonus offered all his possessions, and even his own person, in order to procure his father's liberty, but all proved unavailing, and Demetrius died after a confinement of three years (283 BC). His remains were given to Antigonus and honoured with a splendid funeral at Corinth. His descendants remained in possession of the Macedonian throne until the time of Perseus, when Macedon was conquered by the Romans in 168 BC.[1]


Demetrius was married five times:

• His first wife was Phila daughter of Regent Antipater by whom he had two children: Stratonice of Syria and Antigonus II Gonatas.
• His second wife was Eurydice of Athens, by whom he is said to have had a son called Corrhabus.[7]
• His third wife was Deidamia, a sister of Pyrrhus of Epirus. Deidamia bore him a son called Alexander, who is said by Plutarch to have spent his life in Egypt, probably in an honourable captivity.[8]
• His fourth wife was Lanassa, the former wife of his brother-in-law Pyrrhus of Epirus.
• His fifth wife was Ptolemais, daughter of Ptolemy I Soter and Eurydice of Egypt, by whom he had a son called Demetrius the Fair.

He also had an affair with a celebrated courtesan called Lamia of Athens, by whom he had a daughter called Phila.

Literary references


Plutarch wrote a biography of Demetrius.


The Siege of Rhodes (305-304 BC), led by Demetrius.

Hegel, in the Lectures on the History of Philosophy, says of another Demetrius, Demetrius Phalereus, that "Demetrius Phalereus and others were thus soon after [Alexander] honoured and worshipped in Athens as God."[9] What the exact source was for Hegel's claim is unclear. Diogenes Laërtius in his short biography of Demetrius Phalereus does not mention this.[10] Apparently Hegel's error comes from a misreading of Plutarch's Life of Demetrius which is about Demetrius Poliorcetes and not Demetrius of Phalereus. Plutarch describes in the work how Demetrius Poliorcetes conquered Demetrius Phalereus at Athens. Then, in chapter 12 of the work, Plutarch describes how Demetrius Poliorcetes was given honors due to the god Dionysus. This account by Plutarch was confusing not only for Hegel, but for others as well.[11]


Plutarch's account of Demetrius' departure from Macedonia in 288 BC inspired Constantine Cavafy to write "King Demetrius" (ὁ βασιλεὺς Δημήτριος) in 1906, his earliest surviving poem on an historical theme.

Demetrius is the main character of the opera Demetrio a Rodi (Turin, 1789) with libretto[12] by Giandomenico Boggio and Giuseppe Banti. The music is set by Gaetano Pugnani (1731-1798).

Demetrius appears (under the Greek form of his name, Demetrios) in L. Sprague de Camp's historical novel, The Bronze God of Rhodes, which largely concerns itself with his siege of Rhodes.

Alfred Duggan's novel Elephants and Castles provides a lively fictionalised account of his life.

See also

• Winged Victory of Samothrace


1. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Demetrius s.v. Demetrius I". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7(11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 982.
2. Plutarch, Life of Demetrius, 14.1-2.
3. Walter M. Ellis, Ptolemy of Egypt, Routledge, London, 1994, p. 15.
4. Plutarch, Life of Demetrius
5. Shear, T. Leslie (1978). Kallias of Spettos and The Revolt of Athens in 286 B.C. Princeton, New Jersey: Library of Congress. pp. 53–54. ISBN 0-87661-517-5.
6. Prado Museum: "Retrato en bronce de un Diádoco"
7. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. p. 120. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
8. Plutarch, "Demetrius", 53
9. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, volume 2, Plato and the Platonists, p. 125, translated by E. S. Haldane and Frances H. Simson, Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1995.
10. Diogenes Laërtius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Book V.
11. Kenneth Scott, "The Deification of Demetrius Poliorcetes: Part I", The American Journal of Philology, 49:2 (1928), pp. 137–166. See, in particular, p. 148.
12. Demetrio a Rodi: festa per musica da rappresentarsi nel Regio teatro di Torino per le nozze delle LL. AA. RR. Vittorio Emanuele, 48p. Published by Presso O. Derossi, 1789.


Ancient sources

• Plutarch, Life of Demetrius
• Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, books 19–21
• Polyaenus, Stratagems, 4.7
• Justin, Epitome of Trogus, books 15–16
• Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, 6.252–255

Modern works

• Pat Wheatley, Charlotte Dunn : Demetrius the Besieger. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2020, ISBN 978-0-198-83604-9.
• R. M. Errington, A History of the Hellenistic World, pp. 33–58. Blackwell Publishing (2008). ISBN 978-0-631-23388-6.
• Demetrius I at
• Billows, Richard A. (1990). Antigonos the One-Eyed and the Creation of the Hellenistic State. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-20880-3.s]
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Fri Oct 15, 2021 4:07 am

Part 1 of 3

An Examination Of the Pali Buddhistical Annals
by the Hon'ble George Turnour, Esq. of the Ceylon Civil Service.
The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal
Vol. VI, Part II.
July-December, 1837

The Inscription fronting West.

1. Dewananpiya Pandu so raja hewan aha. "Sattawisati wasa
2. abhisitena me, iyan dhanmalipi likhapita. Rajjaka me
3. bahusu panasatasahasesu janesuayanti. Tesan yo abhipare
4. dandawe atapati, ye me kathi kin? Te rajjaka aswata abhita
5. kinmani, pawatayewun janasa janapadasa hitasukan rupadahewun;
6. anugahenewacha, sukhiyana dukhiyana janisanti; dhanmaya te nacha-
7. wiyewa disanti janan janapadan. Kin tehi attancha paratancha
8. aradhayewun? Te rajjaka parusata patacharitawe man purisanipime
9. * [The letter chh is read as r throughout; and the letter u as ru.— Ed.] rodhanani paticharisanti; tepi chakkena wiyowadisanti ye na me rajjaka
10. charanta arundhayitawe, athahi pajanwiya taye dhatiya nisijita;
11. aswatheratiwiya ta dhati, charanta me pajan sukhan parihathawe.
12. Hewan mama rajjaka kate, janapadasa pitasukhaye; yena ete abhita
13. aswatha satan awamana, kamani pawateyewuti. Etena me rajjakanan
14. abhikarawadandawe atapatiye katke, iritawyehi esakiti
15. wiyoharasamuticha siya. Dandasamatacha, awaitepicha, me awute,
16. bandhana budhanan manusanan tiritadandinan patawadhanan,tinidiwasani, me
17. Yutte dinne, nitikarikani niripayihantu, Jiwitaye tanan
18. nasantanwa niripayantu: danan dahantu: pahitakan rupawapanwa karontu.
19. Irichime hewan nira dhasipi karipiparatan aradhayewapi: janasacha
20. wadhati: wiwidhadanmacharane; sayame danasan wibhagoti."
[By comparing this version with that published in July, it will be seen to what extent the license of altering letters has been exercised. The author has however since relinquished the change of the Raja's name, in consequence of his happy discovery of Piyadasi's identity.— Ed.]

-- Further notes on the inscriptions on the columns at Delhi, Allahabad, Betiah, &c., by the Hon'ble George Turnour, Esq. of the Ceylon Civil Service, The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. VI, Part II, Jul-Dec, 1837

The design of my last article [I.—An examination of the Pali Buddhistical Annals, No. 2, by the Hon'ble George Turnour, Esq. Ceylon Civil Service, P. 713, Sept. 1837; III.—An examination of the Pali Buddhistical Annals, No. 3, by the Hon'ble George Turnour, Esq. Ceylon Civil Service, P. 686, Aug. 1838; V.—An Examination of the Pali Buddhistical Annals, No. 3, by the Hon'ble George Turnour, Esq. Ceylon Civil Service, P. 789, Sept. 1838] was to prove, that the chronological authenticity of the Buddhistical records was intentionally deranged or destroyed at the period of Sakya's advent. In entering now upon the examination of that portion of the Pali annals, which professes to contain the genealogy of the royal dynasties of India, from the last regeneration of the world to the manifestation of Gotamo I have to adduce in my own case another instance, to be added to the many already on record, of the erroneous and exaggerated estimates, into which orientalists may be betrayed in their researches, when they rely on the information furnished by Indian pandits, without personally analyzing the authorities, from which that information is alleged to be obtained. I should, however, be doing the Buddhist priesthood of the present day in Ceylon very great injustice, if I did not at the same time avow, that the too favorable expectations in which I have indulged, as to the continuity, after having fully convinced myself of the chronological extravagancies, of the Pali genealogical annals anterior to the sixth century before the birth of Christ, have in no degree been produced by wilful misrepresentations on their part. It has been already noticed* [Introduction to the Mahawanso.] by me elsewhere, that the study of the Pali language is confined, among the natives of Ceylon, almost entirely to the most learned among the priesthood, and is prosecuted solely for the purpose of acquiring a higher order of qualification, for their sacerdotal functions, than those priests possess, who can consult only the vernacular versions of their scriptures. Their attention, therefore, is principally devoted to the examination of the doctrinal and religious questions contained in their sacred books; and that study is moreover conducted in a spirit of implicit faith and religious reverence, which effectually excludes searching scrutiny, and is almost equally unfavorable to impartial criticism. The tone of confidence with which my native coadjutors sought in the Pitakattayan [Tripitaka] for the several 'resolves' or 'predictions' of Buddho which are alluded to in a former paper*, [Journal for September, 1837.] and the frankness of the surprise they evinced, when they found that none of those 'resolves' were contained in the Pitakattayan, and only some of them in the Atthakatha, preclude the possibility of my entertaining any suspicion of wilful deception being practised. Confiding in their account of the historical merits of Buddhaghoso's commentaries, which appeared to me to be corroborated by the frequency of the reference made in the Tika of the Mahawanso to those Atthakatha, for details not afforded in the Tika, I had impressed myself with the persuasion, that the Atthakatha thus referred to were Buddhaghos's Pali commentaries. Great, as may be readily imagined, was our mutual disappointment, when after a diligent search, persevered in by the priests, with a zeal proportioned to the interest they took in the inquiry, we were compelled to admit the conviction that Buddhaghoso in translating the Sihala (Singhalese) Atthakatha into Pali, did not preserve the Indian genealogies in a connected and continuous form. He is found to have extracted only such detached parts of them, as were useful for the illustration of those passages of the Pitakattayan, on which, in the course of his compilation, he might be commenting. He himself says in his Atthakatha on the Dighanikayo, [Vide Journal of July, 1837.] "for the purpose of illustrating this commentary, availing myself of the Atthakatha, which was in the first instance authenticated by the five hundred Arahanta at the first convocation, as well as subsequently at the succeeding convocations, and which were thereafter brought (from Magadha) to Sihala by the sanctified Mahindo, and for the benefit of the inhabitants of Sihala were transposed into the Sihala language, from thence I translated the Sihala version into the delightful (classical) language, according to the rules of that (the Pali) language, which is free from all imperfections; omitting only the frequent repetition of the same explanations, but at the same time, without rejecting the tenets of the theros resident at the Mahawiharo (at Anuradhapura), who were like unto luminaries to the generation of theros and the most accomplished discriminators (of the true doctrines)." All, therefore, of these genealogies, excluded from his Atthakatha, which are now found only in the Tika of the Mahawanso, or in the Dipawanso, as well as much more perhaps, illustrative of the ancient history of India, which the compilers of these two Ceylonese historical works did not consider worth preserving, Buddhaghoso must have rejected from his commentaries, to which he gave almost exclusively the character of a religious work.

My Buddhist coadjutors are consequently now reluctantly brought to admit, that the Mahawanso, with its Tika, and Dipawanso are the only Pali records extant in Ceylon, which profess to contain the Indian genealogies from the creation to the advent of Sakya; and that even those records do not furnish the genealogies in a continuous form. And, now that my mind is divested of the bias which had been created by their previous representations, and which led me to attach great importance to the historical portions of Buddhaghoso's Atthakatha I cannot but take blame to myself for having even for a time allowed that impression to be made on me. [/size][/b]

-- An Analysis of the Dipawanso. An examination of the Pali Buddhistical Annals, No. 4., by the Honorable George Turnour, Esq., Ceylon Civil Service, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, November, 1838 (p. 930).

At a period when there is a concurrence of evidence, adduced from various quarters, all tending to establish the historical authenticity of that portion of the Buddhistical annals which is subsequent to the advent of Sakya, or Gotamo Buddho, an attempt to fix the date at which, and to ascertain the parties by whom, some of the most important of those annals were compiled, cannot be considered ill-timed; and in reference to the character of the notices that have recently appeared in the Bengal Asiatic Journal, I would wish to believe that discussions in its pages, having for their object the establishment of those points, would not be deemed out of place.

As far as our information extends at present, supported by an obvious probability arising out of the sacred character, and the design of those works, which renders the inference almost a matter of certainty, the most valuable and authentic, as well as the most ancient, Buddhistical records extant are those which may be termed the Buddhistical scriptures and their ancient commentaries, called, respectively, in the Pali or Maghada language, the Pitakattayan and the Atthakatha.
Tripiṭaka, meaning "Triple Basket", is the traditional term for ancient collections of Buddhist sacred scriptures.

The Pāli Canon maintained by the Theravāda tradition in Southeast Asia, the Chinese Buddhist Canon maintained by the East Asian Buddhist tradition, and the Tibetan Buddhist Canon maintained by the Tibetan Buddhist tradition are some of the most important Tripiṭaka in contemporary Buddhist world.

Tripiṭaka has become a term used for many schools' collections, although their general divisions do not match a strict division into three piṭakas....

Tripiṭaka means "Three Baskets". … The "three baskets" were originally the receptacles of the palm-leaf manuscripts on which were preserved the collections of texts of the Suttas, the Vinaya, and the Abhidhamma, the three divisions that constitute the Buddhist Canons....

The Tripiṭaka is composed of three main categories of texts that collectively constitute the Buddhist canon: the Sutra Piṭaka, the Vinaya Piṭaka, and the Abhidhamma Piṭaka...

The Vinaya Piṭaka appears to have grown gradually as a commentary and justification of the monastic code (Prātimokṣa), which presupposes a transition from a community of wandering mendicants (the Sūtra Piṭaka period) to a more sedentary monastic community (the Vinaya Piṭaka period). The Vinaya focuses on the rules and regulations, or the morals and ethics, of monastic life that range from dress code and dietary rules to prohibitions of certain personal conducts.

Sutras were the doctrinal teachings in aphoristic or narrative format.…

Pali Canon

The Pāli Canon is the complete Tripiṭaka set maintained by the Theravāda tradition is written and preserved in Pali.

The dating of the Tripiṭaka is unclear….

The Theravada chronicle called the Dipavamsa states that during the reign of Valagamba of Anuradhapura (29–17 BCE) the monks who had previously remembered the Tipiṭaka and its commentary orally now wrote them down in books, because of the threat posed by famine and war. The Mahavamsa also refers briefly to the writing down of the canon and the commentaries at this time…

Each Buddhist sub-tradition had its own Tripiṭaka for its monasteries, written by its sangha,…

Chinese Buddhist Canon

An organised collection of Buddhist texts began to emerge in the 6th century CE, based on the structure of early bibliographies of Buddhist texts. However, it was the 'Kaiyuan Era Catalogue' by Zhisheng in 730 that provided the lasting structure. Zhisheng introduced the basic six-fold division with sutra, vinaya, and abhidharma belonging to Mahāyāna, Pratyekabuddhayana and Sravakayana. It is likely that Zhisheng's catalogue proved decisive because it was used to reconstruct the Canon after the persecutions of 845 CE…

Tibetan Buddhist Canon

The Tibetan Buddhist canon is a collection of sacred texts recognized by various sects of Tibetan Buddhism. In addition to sutrayana texts, the Tibetan canon includes tantric texts. The Tibetan Canon underwent a final compilation in the 14th century by Buton Rinchen Drub.

The Tibetan Canon has its own scheme which divided texts into two broad categories:

• Kangyur (Wylie: bka'-'gyur) or "Translated Words or Vacana", consists of works supposed to have been said by the Buddha himself. All texts presumably have a Sanskrit original, although in many cases the Tibetan text was translated from Chinese from Chinese Canon, Pali from Pali Canon or other languages.
• Tengyur (Wylie: bstan-'gyur) or "Translated Treatises or Shastras", is the section to which were assigned commentaries, treatises and abhidharma works (both Mahayana and non-Mahayana). The Tengyur contains 3626 texts in 224 Volumes.

-- Tripiṭaka, by Wikipedia

To Mr. Hodgson, the resident in Nepal, the merit is due of having brought into notice, and under direct European cognizance, the Sanskrit and Tibetan versions of these voluminous works. To this important service he has superadded further claims on the gratitude of the literary world, by the publication of various essays, illustrative of the scope and tendency of the creed, of which Sakya was the author — and those annals the recorded repositories. Fortunately for the interests of oriental research, at that particular juncture, the Asiatic Society received the assistance of Mr. Csoma Korosi in analyzing the Tibetan version also of those works; whose labors being of a more analytic and less speculative character, (although exerted in the examination of the Tibetan which appears to be translated from the Sanskrit version) are better adapted than those of Mr. Hodgson to aid the prosecution of the particular description of investigation to which I am about to apply myself.

In the recently published 20th Volume of the Asiatic Researches is contained Mr. Csoma Korosi's analysis of the first portion of the Kah-gyur, which is readily recognized, and indeed is admitted to be, the Tibetan name for the Pitakattayan; from which analysis I extract his introductory remarks, as they are explanatory of the character of that compilation collectively, while the analysis itself is confined to the Dulva portion of the Kah-gyur.

"The great compilation of the Tibetan Sacred Books, in one hundred volumes, is styled Ka-gyur or vulgarly Kan-gyur, ([x], bkah-hgyur) i.e. 'translation of commandment,' on account of their being translated from the Sanskrit, or from the ancient Indian language ([x], rgya gar skad), by which may be understood the Pracrita or dialect of Magadha, the principal seat of the Buddhist faith in India at the period.

"These books contain the doctrine of Shakya, a Buddha, who is supposed by the generality of Tibetan authors to have lived about one thousand years before the beginning of the Christian era.
They were compiled at three different times, in three different places, in ancient India. First, immediately after the death of Shakya, afterwards in the time of Asoka a celebrated king, whose residence was at Pataliputra, one hundred and ten years after the decease of Shakya. And lastly, in the time of Kaniska, a king in the north of India, upwards of four hundred years from Shakya; when his followers had separated themselves into eighteen sects, under four principal divisions, of which the names both Sanskrit and Tibetan, are recorded*. [See p. 25 in the life of Shakya, in the Ka-gyur collection.]

"The first compilers were three individuals of his (Shakya's) principal disciples. 'Upali,' (in Tib. 'Nye-var-hkhor,') compiled the 'Vinaya Sutram,' (Tib. Dulvedo,) 'Ananda' (Tib. 'Kun-dgavo,') the 'Sutrantah,' (Tib. the Do class;) and 'Kashyapa,' (Tib. 'Hot-srung,') the 'Prajnyaparamita,' (Tib. Sher-chhin.) These several works were imported into Tibet, and translated there between the seventh and thirteenth centuries of our era, but mostly in the ninth. The edition of the Ka-gyur in the Asiatic Society's possession appears to have been printed with the very wooden types that are mentioned as having been prepared in 1731 or the last century; and which are still in continual use, at Snar-thang, a large building or monastery, not far from Teshi-lhun-po ([x]).

"The Ka-gyur collection comprises the seven following great divisions, which are in fact distinct works.

I. Dulva [x], (Sans. Vinaya) or, 'Discipline', in 13 volumes.
II. Sher-chhin [x], (Sans. Prajnyaramita) or, 'Transcendental wisdom,' in 21 volumes.
III. Phal-chhen [x], (Sans. Buddha-vata sanga) or, 'Bauddha community,' in 6 volumes.
IV. D,kon-seks [x], (Sans. Ratnakuta) or, 'Gems heaped up,' in 6 vols.
V. Do-de [x] (Sans. Sutranta) 'Aphorisms,' or Tracts, in 30 vols.
VI. Nyang-das [x], (Sans. Nirvana) 'Deliverance from pain,' in 2 vols.
VII. Gyut [x], (Sans. Tantra) 'Mystical Doctrine, Charms,' in 22 vols. forming altogether exactly one hundred volumes.

"The whole Ka-gyur collection is very frequently alluded to under the name, De-not-sum [x], in Sanskrit Tripitakah, the 'free vessels or repositories,' comprehending under this appellation. 1st. The Dulva. 2nd. The Do, with the Phal-chhen, Kon-seks, Nyang-das and the Gyut. 3rd. The Sherchhin, with all its divisions or abridgments. This triple division is expressed by these names: 1. Dulva, (Sans. Vinaya.) 2. Do, (Sans. Sutra.) 3. Chhos-non-pa [x], (Sans. Abhidharmah.) This last is expressed in Tibetan also by Non-pa-dsot [x], by Yum [x], and by Mamo [x]. It is the common or vulgar opinion that the Dulva is a cure against cupidity or lust, the Do, against iracundy or passion; and the Chhos-non-pa, against ignorance."

Enough of identity, I conceive, is demonstrated in this preparatory extract to remove all doubt as to the Tibetan version (whether translated from the Sanskrit or "the Pracrit, the dialect of Magadha)," and the Pali or Maghadha version extant in Ceylon being one and the same compilation; designed to illustrate, as well the same sacred history in all its details, as the same religious creed; whatever slight discrepancies may be found to exist between the two in minor points.
Texts and translations

The climate of Theravada countries is not conducive to the survival of manuscripts. Apart from brief quotations in inscriptions and a two-page fragment from the eighth or ninth century found in Nepal, the oldest known manuscripts are from late in the fifteenth century, and there is not very much from before the eighteenth.

The first complete printed edition of the Canon was published in Burma in 1900
, in 38 volumes....

Comparison with other Buddhist canons

The other two main canons in use at the present day are the Tibetan Kangyur and the Chinese Buddhist Canon. The former is in about a hundred volumes and includes versions of the Vinaya Pitaka and the Dhammapada (the latter confusingly called Udanavarga) and of parts of some other books. The standard modern edition of the latter is the Taisho published in Japan, which is in a hundred much larger volumes. It includes both canonical and non-canonical (including Chinese and Japanese) literature and its arrangement does not clearly distinguish the two. It includes versions of the Vinaya Pitaka, the first four nikayas, the Dhammapada, the Itivuttaka and the Milindapanha and of parts of some other books. These Chinese and Tibetan versions are not usually translations of the Pali and differ from it to varying extents, but are recognizably the "same" works. On the other hand, the Chinese abhidharma books are different works from the Pali Abhidhamma Pitaka, though they follow a common methodology.

Looking at things from the other side, the bulk of the Chinese and Tibetan canons consists of Mahayana sutras and tantras, which, apart from a few tantras, have no equivalent in the Pali Canon.

-- Tripitaka, by New world Encyclopedia

Beyond the suggestion of this identity, certifying at the same time that the Pitakattayan and the Atthakatha extant in Ceylon are composed in the Pali language, and that they are identical with the Pali versions of these works in the Burmese empire, it is not my intention to advance a single assertion; or to reason on the assumption that any one point required to be established has been already either proved or admitted to be such elsewhere. On the evidences and authorities I have to adduce, the decision will be allowed to rest, as to whether the Ceylon Pali version of the Pitakattayan be, what it purports to be, the one first authenticated in the year Sakya died, (B.C. 543;) and as to whether the Atthakatha, also represented to have been first propounded on the same occasion, and ultimately (after various other authentications) recompiled in this island in the Pali language, by Buddhaghoso, between A.D. 410, and A.D. 432, were composed under the circumstances, and at the epochs, severally, alleged. The importance however of satisfactorily establishing these questions, I wish neither to disguise nor underrate. For on the extent of their authenticity must necessarily depend the degree of reliance to be placed as to the correctness of the mass of historical matter those compilations are found to contain. Although the contemporaneous narrative of historical events furnished in the Atthakatha are comprised between the years B.C. 543 and B.C. 307, (specimens of which, extracted from a Tika [commentary], I have been able to adduce in the introduction to the Mahawanso) those notices are occasionally accompanied by references to anterior occurrences, which in the absence of other data for the illustration of the ancient history of India, acquire an adventitious value far exceeding their intrinsic merits.
Limited reliable information is available about the life of Buddhaghosa. Three primary sources of information exist: short prologues and epilogues attached to Buddhaghosa's works; details of his life recorded in the Mahavamsa, a Sri Lankan chronicle; and a later biographical work called the Buddhaghosuppatti....

The biographical excerpts attached to works attributed to Buddhaghosa reveal relatively few details of his life,... Largely identical in form, these short excerpts describe Buddhaghosa as having come to Sri Lanka from India and settled in Anuradhapura. Besides this information, they provide only short lists of teachers, supporters, and associates of Buddhaghosa, whose names are not generally to be found elsewhere for comparison.

The Mahavamsa records that Buddhaghosa
was born into a Brahmin family in the kingdom of Magadha. He is said to have been born near Bodh Gaya, and to have been a master of the Vedas, traveling through India engaging in philosophical debates. Only upon encountering a Buddhist monk named Revata was Buddhaghosa bested in debate, first being defeated in a dispute over the meaning of a Vedic doctrine and then being confounded by the presentation of a teaching from the Abhidhamma. Impressed, Buddhaghosa became a bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) and undertook the study of the Tipiṭaka and its commentaries. On finding a text for which the commentary had been lost in India, Buddhaghosa determined to travel to Sri Lanka to study a Sinhala commentary that was believed to have been preserved.

In Sri Lanka, Buddhaghosa began to study what was apparently a very large volume of Sinhala commentarial texts that had been assembled and preserved by the monks of the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya. Buddhaghosa sought permission to synthesize the assembled Sinhala-language commentaries into a comprehensive single commentary composed in Pali. Traditional accounts hold that the elder monks sought to first test Buddhaghosa's knowledge by assigning him the task of elaborating the doctrine regarding two verses of the suttas; Buddhaghosa replied by composing the Visuddhimagga. His abilities were further tested when deities intervened and hid the text of his book, twice forcing him to recreate it from scratch. When the three texts were found to completely summarize all of the Tipiṭaka and match in every respect, the monks acceded to his request and provided Buddhaghosa with the full body of their commentaries.

Buddhaghosa went on to write commentaries on most of the other major books of the Pali Canon, with his works becoming the definitive Theravadin interpretation of the scriptures. Having synthesized or translated the whole of the Sinhala commentary preserved at the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya, Buddhaghosa reportedly returned to India, making a pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya to pay his respects to the Bodhi Tree.

The details of the Mahavamsa account cannot readily be verified; while it is generally regarded by Western scholars as having been embellished with legendary events (such as the hiding of Buddhaghosa's text by the gods), in the absence of contradictory evidence it is assumed to be generally accurate.

The burden of proof is always on the person making an assertion or proposition. Shifting the burden of proof, a special case of argumentum ad ignorantium, is the fallacy of putting the burden of proof on the person who denies or questions the assertion being made. The source of the fallacy is the assumption that something is true unless proven otherwise.

-- The Burden of Proof, Philosophy of Religion, by

While the Mahavamsa claims that Buddhaghosa was born in northern India near Bodh Gaya, the epilogues to his commentaries make reference to only one location in India as being a place of at least temporary residence: Kanci in southern India....

The Buddhaghosuppatti, a later biographical text, is generally regarded by Western scholars as being legend rather than history. It adds to the Mahavamsa tale certain details, such as the identity of Buddhaghosa's parents and his village, as well as several dramatic episodes, such as the conversion of Buddhaghosa's father and Buddhaghosa's role in deciding a legal case. It also explains the eventual loss of the Sinhala originals that Buddhaghosa worked from in creating his Pali commentaries by claiming that Buddhaghosa collected and burnt the original manuscripts once his work was completed.

-- Buddhaghosa, by Wikipedia

I had contemplated the idea at one period of attempting the analysis of the entire Pitakattayan, aided in the undertaking by the able assistance afforded to me by the Buddhist priests, who are my constant coadjutors in my Pali researches; but I soon found that, independently of my undertaking a task for the efficient performance of which I did not possess sufficient leisure, no analysis would successfully develope the contents of that work, unless accompanied by annotations and explanations of a magnitude utterly inadmissible in any periodical. The only other form in which, short of a translation in extenso, that compilation could be faithfully illustrated, would have been a compendium, which however has been already most ably executed by a learned Buddhist priest, and as ably translated into English, by the best Singhalese scholar in this island, Mr. Armour*. [We regret we have not yet found space for the insertion of Mr. Armour's sketch, which will be found in the Ceylon Almanac for 1835. — Ed.] Under these circumstances, the course I purpose pursuing is merely to array the evidence on which the claim of these sacred works to authenticity is based — to show the extent and the subdivisions of the authentic version of the Pitakattayan, — to define the dates at which the three great convocations were held in India — as well as the date at which the Pitakattayan and the Atthakatha were first reduced to writing in Ceylon, — and lastly, to fix the epoch at which the present version of the Pali Atthakatha was completed by Buddhaghoso in this island. When these points, together with certain intermediate links have been examined, I shall proceed then, by extracts from, and comments on, both the Pitakattayan and the Attakatha [Tipitaka commentaries] illustrate those portions of these works which are purely of an historical character, commencing with the genealogy of the kings of India. The ensuing extracts will show that Mr. Armour's translated essay on Buddhism, as derived from the Wisuddhimuggo, a compendium formed by Buddhaghoso himself, presents an abstract of the doctrinal and metaphysical parts of that creed, which, as being the work of that last great commentator on the Buddhistical Scriptures, acquires an authority and authenticity, which no compendium, exclusively formed by any orientalist of a different faith, and more modern times, can have any claim to.

Aṭṭhakathā (Pali for explanation, commentary) refers to Pali-language Theravadin Buddhist commentaries to the canonical Theravadin Tipitaka. These commentaries give the traditional interpretations of the scriptures. The major commentaries were based on earlier ones, now lost, in Prakrit and Sinhala, which were written down at the same time as the Canon, in the last century BCE...

Below is a listing of fourth- or fifth-century CE commentator Buddhaghosa's fourteen alleged commentaries (Pāli: atthakatha) on the Pāli Tipitaka ....

Only the Visuddhimagga and the commentaries on the first four nikayas are accepted by a consensus of scholars as Buddhaghosa's.

-- Atthakatha, by Wikipedia

Before I proceed to my extracts a few preliminary remarks are necessary for the adaptation of dates to the events described.

The Buddhistical era is dated from the day of Sakya's death, which having occurred on the full moon of the month of Wesakho, 2,480 years ago, the epoch, therefore, falls to the full moon of that month in B.C. 543.

In that year, the first convocation was held
at Rajagoha (the modern Rajmahal* [This is the usual supposition but, Rajagriha of Behar is undoubtedly the right place. — Ed.]), then the capital of the Magadha monarch Ajatasatto, in the eighth year of his reign.

The second convocation was held a century afterwards in B.C. 443
, at Wesali (the modern Allahabad) then the capital of the Magadha monarch Kalasoko, and in the tenth year of his reign.

The third convocation was held 134 years after the second one, in B.C. 309 at Patilipura (the ancient Palibothra, and modern Patna), then the capital of the Indian empire, in the 17th year of the reign of Asoko or Dhammasoko.

At the first of these convocations the orthodox version of the Pitakattayan was defined and authenticated, as will be seen by the ensuing quotations, with a degree of precision which fixed even the number of syllables of which it should consist. The commentaries made or delivered on that occasion, acquired the designation of the Atthakatha.

At the second and third convocations certain schismatic proceedings among the Buddhistical priesthood were suppressed, and the above authentic version of the Pitakattayan was rehearsed and reaffirmed on each occasion; and additional Atthakatha were delivered, narrative of the history of Buddhism for the periods that had preceded each of those two CONVOCATIONS.

It is maintained, and the Buddhists in Ceylon implicitly believe, that the whole of the Pitakattayan and Atthakatha were preserved through this long line of the disciples of Sakya exclusively by memorial inspiration, without the aid of inscribed record.

In B.C. 306 Mahindo, the son of emperor Dhammasoko also recognized to be one of those inspired disciples, visited Ceylon, and established Buddhism in it.

The particulars of this interesting historical event will be found in the Mahawanso. In this place I shall only observe that the Pitakattayan in Pali, and the Atthakatha in Singhalese are represented to have been orally promulgated by Mahindo, and orally perpetuated by the priesthood he founded in Ceylon, till the reign of the Ceylonese monarch Wattaganini, who reigned from B.C. 104 to B.C. 76; when they are stated to have been recorded in books for the first time. The event is thus mentioned in the thirty-third chapter of the Mahawanso. I give the Pali passage also, to show, how utterly impossible it is to make it approximate to any rendering, which would admit of the only construction which a reasonable person would wish to place on it, viz.: that these sacred records were then for the first time not recorded, but rendered accessible to the uninitiated.

Pitakattayapalincha, tassa Atthakathancha tan,
Mukhapathira anesur pubbe bhikkhu mahamati,
Hanin diswara Sattanan tada bhikkhu samagata,
Chiratthittathan dhammassa potthakesu likhapayun.

The profoundly wise (inspired) priests had theretofore orally perpetuated the text of the Pitakattayan and their Atthakatha. At this period, these priests, foreseeing the perdition of the people (from the perversions of the true doctrines) assembled; and in order that religion might endure for ages, recorded the same in books.

In this form (that is to say, the Pitakattayan in Pali, and Atthakatha in Singhalese), the Buddhistical scriptures were preserved in Ceylon till the reign of the Ceylonese monarch Mahanamo, between A.D. 410 and 432, when Buddhaghoso of Magadha visited Ceylon, revised the Atthakatha and translated them into Pali. This is an occurrence, as I have noticed above, of considerable importance to the questions under consideration. I am told that in his revised Atthakatha will be found notices explanatory of his personal history. I have not yet come upon those passages, and even if I had met with them, I should prefer the evidence of a third party to an autobiography, especially when I can quote from such an historian as the author of the Mahawanso, who flourished between the years A.D. 459 and A.D. 477, being at the most fifty years only after the visit of Buddhaghoso to Ceylon. The following extract is from the 37th chapter [of the Mahawanso].

"A brahman youth, born in the neighbourhood of the great bo-tree (in Magadha), accomplished in the 'wijja' and 'sippa;' who had achieved the knowledge of the three wedos, and possessed great aptitude in attaining acquirements; indefatigable as a schismatic disputant, and himself a schismatic wanderer over Jambudipo, established himself, in the character of a disputant, in a certain wiharo, and was in the habit of rehearsing, by night and by day, with clasped hands, a discourse which he had learned, perfect in all its component parts, and sustained throughout in the same lofty strain. A certain Mahathero, named Rewato, becoming acquainted with him there, and saying (to himself), 'This individual is a person of profound knowledge; it will be worthy (of me) to convert him,' inquired, 'who is this who is braying like an ass?' (The brahman) replied to him, 'Thou canst define, then, the meaning conveyed in the braying of asses.' On (the thero) rejoining, 'I can define it;' he (the brahman) exhibited the extent of the knowledge he possessed. (The thero) criticised each of his propositions, and pointed out in what respect they were fallacious. He who had been thus refuted, said, 'Well then, descend to thy own creed;' and he propounded to him a passage from the 'Abhidhammo' (of the Pitakattayan). He (the brahman) could not divine the signification of that (passage); and inquired, 'whose manto is this?' 'It is Buddho's manto.' On his exclaiming 'Impart it to me;' (the thero) replied, 'enter the sacerdotal order.' He who was desirous of acquiring the knowledge of the Pitakattayan, subsequently coming to this conviction: 'This is the sole road (to salvation);' became a convert to that faith. As he was as profound in his (ghoso) eloquence as Buddho himself, they conferred on him the appellation of Buddhoghoso (the voice of Buddho); and throughout the world he became as renowned as Buddho. Having there (in Jambudipo) composed an original work called 'Nanodagan;' he at the same time wrote the chapter called 'Atthasalini,' on the Dhammasangini (one of the commentaries on the Abhidhammo).

"Rewato thero then observing that he was desirous of undertaking the compilation of a 'Parittatthakathan' (a general commentary on the Pitakattayan) thus addressed him: 'The text alone (of the Pitakattayan) has been preserved in this land: the Atthakatha are not extant here; nor is there any version to be found of the "wada" (schisms) complete. The Singhalese Atthakatha are genuine. They were composed in the Singhalese language by the inspired and profoundly wise Mahindo; the discourses of Buddho, authenticated at the three convocations, and the dissertations and arguments of Sariputto and others having been previously consulted (by him); and they are extant among the Singhalese. Repairing thither, and studying the same, translate (them) according  to the rules of the grammar of the Magadhas. It will be an act conducive to the welfare of the whole world.'

"Having been thus advised, this eminently wise personage, rejoicing thereat, departed from thence, and visited this island, in the reign of this monarch (Mahanamo). On reaching the Mahawiharo (at Anuradhapura) he entered the Mahapadhano hall, the most splendid of the apartments in the wiharo, and listened to the Singhalese Atthakatha, and the Therawada, from beginning to the end, propounded by the three Sanghapali; and became thoroughly convinced that they conveyed the true meaning of the doctrines of the lord of Dhammo. Thereupon, paying reverential respect to the priesthood, he thus petitioned: 'I am desirous of translating the Atthakatha; give me access to all your books.' The priesthood, for the purpose of testing his qualifications, gave only two gatha, saying: 'hence prove thy qualification; having satisfied ourselves on this point, we will then let thee have all the books.' From these (taking these gatha for his text, and consulting the Pitakattayan together with the Atthakatha, and condensing them into an abridged form), he composed the compendium called the Wisuddhimaggo. Thereupon having assembled the priesthood who had acquired a thorough knowledge of the doctrines of Buddho, at the bo-tree, he commenced to read out (the work he had composed). The dewatas, in order that they might make his Buddhaghoso's gifts of wisdom celebrated among men, rendered that book invisible. He, however, for a second and third time recomposed it. When he was in the act of producing his book for the third time, for the purpose of propounding it, the dewatas restored the other two copies also. The (assembled) priests then read out the three books simultaneously. In those three versions, neither in a verse, in a signification, nor in a single misplacement by transpositions; nay, even in the thero controversies, and in the text (of the Pitakattayan) was there in the measure of verse, or in the letter of a word, the slightest variation. Therefore the priesthood rejoicing, again and again fervently shouted forth, saying, 'most assuredly this is Metteyyo (Buddho) himself;' and made over to him the books in which the pitakattayan were recorded, together with their Atthakatha. Taking up his residence in the secluded Ganthakaro wiharo, at Anuradhapura, he translated, according to the grammatical rules of the Magadhi, which is the root of all languages, the whole of the Singhalese Atthakatha (into Pali). This proved an achievement of the utmost consequence to all the languages spoken by the human race.

"All the theros and achariyas held this compilation in the same estimation as the text (of the Pitakaytayan). Thereafter, the objects of his mission having, been fulfilled, he returned to Jambudipo, to worship at the bo-tree (at Uruweliya in Magadha)."

The foregoing remarks, sustained by the ensuing translation of the account of the first convocation, show that the following discrepancies exist between the Tibetan version of the Kah-gyur and the Pali version of the Pitakattayan extant in Ceylon.

1stly, in making the age in which Sakya lived about one thousand years before the Christian era, instead of its being comprised between B.C. 588 and 543.

2ndly, in the omission of the second convocation.

3rdly, in placing the third convocation, which was held in the reign of Asoko, in the 110th instead of the 234th year after the death of Sakya.

4thly, in stating that the next and last revision of the Pitakattayan took place only five hundred, instead of nearly a thousand, years after the death of Sakya. In this instance, however, from the absence of names, there is no means of ascertaining whether the revision in question, applies to that of Buddhaghoso, or to that of any other individual. From the date assigned, as well as mention being made of Kaniska, the author of that revision, may possibly be Nagarjuna, the Nagaseno of Pali annals, whose history I have touched upon in a former article. The foregoing extract from the Mahawanso does certainly state that Buddhaghoso returned to India, and that the Atthakatha were not extant then, at the time he departed to Ceylon, but I have no where met with any intimation of the propagation of his version in India; while in the "Essai sur le Pali par Messrs. Burnouf et Lassen," it is shown that Buddhaghoso did visit the eastern peninsula, taking his compilation with him.

5thly, in the Tibetan version of the Kah-gyur consisting of one hundred volumes* [These volumes contain much less than might be thought by those who had not seen them, being printed in a very large type. — Ed.], while the Pali version of the Pitakattayan does not exceed 4,500 leaves, which would constitute seven or eight volumes of ordinary size (though bound up in Ceylon in various forms for convenience of reference), the subdivisions of which are hereafter given. This difference of bulk would be readily accounted for, if Mr. Korosi had explained whether the accounts of the Convocations he gives were found in the text of the Kah-gyur which he was analyzing, or in a separate commentary. If they were found in the text, it necessarily follows that the commentaries (which alone could contain an account of Convocations held subsequent to the death of Sakya) must have become blended with the entire version of the Tibetan text, in the same manner that the "Jatakan" division of the Pali version in Ceylon, has become blended with the Atthakatha appertaining to it. By this blending together of the text and the commentary of the Jatakan, that section has been swelled into three books of nine hundred leaves, instead of constituting the fourth part of one book, comprised in perhaps about one hundred leaves.

I have not yet obtained any accurate table of the contents of the whole series of Buddhaghoso's Atthakatha. They are very voluminous, as may be readily imagined, when it is considered that they furnish both a commentary and a glossary for the entire Pitakattayan.

The Atthakatha on the whole of the Winayopitako is called the Samantapasadika. It commences with an account of the three convocations. For the Sattapitako there is a separate Atthakatha for each section of it. The Atthakatha on the Dighanikayo is called "Sumangala Wilasini." It opens with a description of the first convocation only, and then refers to the above mentioned Samantapasadika, for an account of the other two convocations. As the Sumangala Wilasini, however, gives the most detailed account of the first convocation, I have selected it for translation, in preference to the description given in the Samantapasadika, to which I must have recourse for the accounts of the second and third convocations. This circumstance will explain why an occasional reference is made in the ensuing translation, to a previous account of the first convocation.

The histories of the other two convocations which I reserve for a future communication, are less detailed, but embody more data of an historical character.
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Translation of Buddhaghoso's Atthakatha, called the Sumangala Wilasini, of the Dighanikayo of the Suttapitako.

I adore Sugato* [From su and gato ("deity of) felicitous advent," an appellation of Buddho.], the compassionating and enduring spirit; the light of wisdom that dispelled the darkness of ignorance — the teacher of men as well as dewos, the victor over subjection to transmigration!

I adore that pure and supreme "Dhammo," which Buddho himself realised, by having attained Buddhohood; and by having achieved a thorough knowledge thereof!

I bow down in adoration to those well-beloved [Literally, "bosom-reared."] sons (disciples) of Sugato, who overcame the dominion of Maro (death) and attained the condition of arahat, — the consummation of the eight sanctifications!

Thus, if there be any merit, in this act of adoration, rendered by me, in sincerity of faith, to the Ratanattayan [The three treasures, viz. Buddho, Dhammo and Sangho.], — by that merit, may I eschew all the perils (which beset my undertaking).

I (proceed now to) propound, as well as for the edification of the righteous, as for the perpetuation of Dhammo, an exposition of the supreme Dighagamo (Dighanikayo), which is embellished with the most detailed of the Suttani, comprehensive in signification, thoroughly illustrated by Buddho and his disciples, and sustaining faith, by the power of virtue; and for the purpose of developing that exposition (of the Dighanikayo), availing myself of the Atthakatha which was in the first instance authenticated by the five hundred Arahanta at the (first) convocation, and subsequently at the succeeding convocations, and which were thereafter, by the sanctified Mahindo, brought to Sihala, and for the benefit of the inhabitants of Sihala§ [Ceylon.], transposed into the Sihala language, from thence I translate the Sihala|| [Singhalese.] version into the delightful (classical) language, according to the rules of that (the Pali) language, which is free from all imperfections; — omitting only the frequent repetitions of the same explanations. but at the same time without rejecting the tenets of the theros resident at the Mahawiharo* [Vide Chap. XV. of the Mahawanso, for the construction of this wiharo commenced before C.B. 306, which is still in existence, though in a ruinous state at Anaradhapuro.] (at Anuradhapura) who were like unto luminaries to the generation of theros, and the most accomplished discriminators (of the true doctrines).

The (nature of the) Silakatha, Dhutadhamma, Kammatthanani, together with all the Chariyawidhani, Jhanani, the whole scope of the Samapatti, the whole of Abhinnayo, the exposition of the Panna, the Khanda, the Dhatu, the Ayatanani, Indriyani, the four Aryani-sachchani, the Pachchayakara, the pure and comprehensive Naya and the indispensable Magga and Wiphassanabhawana —all these having, on a former occasion, been most perspicuously set forth by me, in the Wisudhimaggo, I shall not therefore in this place, examine into them in detail. The said Wisudhimaggo being referred to in the course of the four Agama (Nikaya will afford, as occasion may require, the information sought.

Such being the plan adopted, do ye therefore (my readers), consulting also that work (the Wisudhimaggo), at the same time with these Atthakatha, acquire the knowledge of the import developed of the Dighagamo.

The contents of the Dighagamo are, of the Waggo (class) three — namely, the Silawaggom the Mahawaggo and the Patikawaggo, consisting of thirty-four Suttani of which (Dighagamo) the Silakkhandho is the first Waggo; and of the Suttani (of that Waggo) the Brahmajalan is the first Suttan.

Concerning the Brahmajalan: —

Its commencement ("Ewamme sutan"). "It was so heard by me" is the Nidanan (explanation) afforded by the venerable [This appears to be a term purely of veneration, without reference to the age of the party addressed.] Anando on the occasion of the FIRST GREAT CONVOCATION (PATHAMA MAHA SANGITI").

Why was this first great convocation (held?)

In order that the Nidanan of the Winayapitako, the merits of which are conveyed in the Pali (Tanti) language (might be illustrated). On this occasion also) (i.e. in the illustration of the Suttapittako) the object, be it understood, was the same.

When (was it held?)

On the occasion on which Bhagawa, the saviour of the three worlds, who had realized the reward of Nibbanan, by overcoming liability to further transmigration, having fulfilled the objects of his divine mission, — commencing with the propounding of the Dhammappawattanan Suttan on his first entrance as Buddho into Baranasi, to his having brought under sacerdotal subjection Subaddho, the Paribbajako — realized (at Kasinara in the Upawattano garden of the Malla race) his Parinibbanan (while reposing) between two sal trees, on the dawn of the day of the full moon of the month of Wesakho.

Upon that occasion, when the Dhata (corporeal relics) of Bhagawa were distributed (at his funeral pile), the venerable Mahakassapo was the Sanghathero (the chief priest) of seven hundred thousand priests there assembled. On the seventh day after Bhagawa had obtained Purinibbati, (the said Mahakassapo) calling to his recollection the following declaration of the aforesaid Subhaddo, who had been ordained in his dotage (which had been addressed to that assemblage of afflicted priests), viz.: 'Venerables! enough, mourn not; weep not; we are happily released from the control of that great Samano* [Priest, alluding to Buddho.].
We have escaped from the calamity of being constantly told, 'this is allowable to you: that is not allowable to you.' Now whatever we may wish, that we can do: whatever we do not desire that we may leave undone;' — and being convinced also that it would be difficult thereafter to convene such an assembly of the priesthood (Mahakassapo thus meditated) 'such is the posture of affairs!— sinful priests persuading themselves that the doctrines of the divine teacher are extinct, and availing themselves of the co-operation (of others) may without loss of time destroy the Saddhammo. As long as Dhammo can be maintained, the doctrines will as fully prevail as if the divine teacher were still in existence; for it has been thus said by Bhagawa himself; 'Anando! let the Dhammo and Winayo, which have been propounded to, and impressed on, thee, by me, stand after my demise in the place of thy teacher!' It will be most proper, therefore, that I should hold a convocation on Dhammo and Winayo whereby this Sasanan (religion) might be rendered effective to endure for ages. In as much also as Bhagawa has said (to me) 'Kassapo! thou shalt wear my Sanapansukula [Literally "hempen robes rejected as rubbish," the history of these robes cannot be given in the space of a note.] robes,' and as in that investiture of robes, an equality (with Buddho) was recognized, and he having added 'Bhikkhus! by whatever means my object has been gained, and emancipated from the dominion of the passions, and released from the sphere of impiety, I may have arrived at the attainment of the Pathama Jhanan, the blessed state derived from the beatitude which is free from the influence of painful doubts, and the besetting sins (of the human world); by the same means, Bhikkhus! Kassapo also is destined to obtain it, and emancipated from the dominion of the passions, &c. is gifted likewise with the power of acquiring the Pathama Jhanan.' By this procedure, in having exalted me to a position equal to his own, in the attainment, in due order, of the nine Sunapatti, of the six distinct Abhinna, and of the Uttarimanussa Dhammo, he has vouchsafed especially to distinguish me. He has also distinguished me by comparing me, in thought, to the imperturbability of the air though a hand be waved through it; and in conduct (of increasing grace) like unto the increasing moon. To him what else can constitute an appropriate return? Assuredly none other. Bhagawa therefore, like unto a raja, who with due solemnity confers worldly power on his son, who is to maintain the glory of his race, foreseeing that I was destined to maintain the glory of Saddhammo said, 'He will be that person.' By such an unprecedented act of preference, has he exalted me:' and bearing in mind the reflection, that it was by this pre-eminent token of gratifying distinction that he rewarded him, the venerable Mahakassapo created in the bhikkhus an earnest desire to hold a convocation on Dhammo, and Winayo.

Thereafter he assembled the bhikkhus, and delivered an address to them, commencing with the words: — "Beloved! on a certain occasion, when with a great concourse of five hundred bhikkhus, I reached the high road at Kasinara (the capital of) Pava." For the particulars (of this discourse) the section regarding Subhaddo must be referred to. The import of that section we can discuss at the conclusion of the Parinibbanan Suttan.

In a subsequent part (of his address) he (Kassapo) said — "Well then, beloved, let us have a rehearsal of (or convocation on) both the Dhammo and the Winayo. In aforetime (during the dispensation of former Buddhos) also (whenever) Adhammo shone forth, Dhammo ceased to possess the ascendancy; (whenever) Awinayo shone forth, Winayo lost ground; also in aforetime (whenever) the professors of Adhammo attained power, the professors of Dhammo became insignificant; whenever the professors of Awinayo attained power, Winayo lost ground."

The bhikkhus replied, "In that case, lord! select the theros and bhikkhus" (who should form the convocation).

The thero (Mahakassapo) setting aside the hundreds and thousands of bhikkhus who although having acquired a knowledge of all the nine angas of the religion of the divine teacher, were still only puthujjana* [Uninspired mortals.], and had only attained the Sotapatti, Sakadagami, Anagami and the Sukkhawipassana, selected five hundred, minus one, sanctified bhikkhus who had achieved the knowledge of the Tepitakan, with the whole of its text and subdivisions; had arrived at the condition of Patisambhida; were gifted with supernatural power; who had been, on many occasions, selected by Bhagawa himself for important ministries, and who were masters of the component parts of the Tewijja.

In a certain passage, it is thus recorded, "thereafter the venerable Mahakassapo, selected five hundred, minus one, arahanta."

On what account was it that the thero made this reservation of one?

It was for the purpose of reserving a vacancy for Anando.

It is also said on this subject: "Whether with or without that venerable personage the rehearsal of Dhammo could not be effected.''

That venerable individual having yet to fulfil his destiny, and to perfect his works of sanctification: for that reason "with him, it is impracticable."

It having (on the other hand) been also said "there was not a single suttan gatha, &c. propounded by the being gifted with the ten powers (Buddho) of which he (Anando) was not a personal witness, for he (Anando) himself has declared, 'I have derived from Buddho himself eighty-two thousand, (Dhamma) from the priesthood two thousand: these are the eighty-four thousand Dhamma, which are to be propagated by me.' On this account, without him (the convocation) could not have been held. Hence, though he was a personage who had not yet fulfilled his destiny (by the attainment of arahat sanctification) being nevertheless of the greatest utility in the convocation on Dhammo, he was considered worthy of being selected by the thero (Mahakassapo)."

From what cause was it then that he was not selected?

That Anando might escape the reproaches of other (priests, that though they had attained the arahat sanctification they were excluded from the convocation).

The thero (Mahakassapo) bore the most confiding affection for the revered Anando: for instance, even when his hair had grown grey, addressing him as a lad would be caressed he would say, "this child has yet to learn his destiny."

He (Anando) was a descendant of the Sakya race, and the brother (cousin-german) of Tathagato* [One of the appellations of Buddho, derived from Tatha agato, literally "who had come in like manner," i.e. like the other Buddhos.], being the son of his father's (Suddhodano's) younger brother (Dotodano). Hence, lest some of the bhikkhus prejudiced to a degree to consign them to the Chhanda-agati, should raise the imputation that "while there are many who had fulfilled their destiny and were patisambhida (the state of perfect arahathood) setting them aside, the thero selects Anando, yet imperfect as to his ultimate sanctification;" (on the one hand) averting such an accusation, and, (on the other,) as the convocation could not have been held without Anando, he resolved "it is only with the concurrence of the bhikkhus themselves that I will include him," and abstained from selecting him.

Thereupon the bhikkhus of their own accord made a supplication to him on account of Anando. The bhikkhus thus addressed the venerable Mahakassapo: "Lord! this revered Anando having attained a certain extent of sanctification is not liable to the (four) agati, viz.: Chando, doso, bhayan and Moho; and from the circumstance of both the Dhammo and Winayo having been fully acquired by him, by his personal communion with Bhagawa, therefore, O lord! let the theros select the said revered Anando also." Thereupon the venerable Kassapo did elect the said revered Anando. Then together with this venerated person the (selected) theros became five hundred in number.

To these theros this question presented itself: "Where shall we hold the convocation on Dhammo and Winayo?"

The decision whereon was; — "Rajagaha is a most opulent city, full of religious edifices: it will be most proper that at Rajagaha we should keep our wasso [The rainy season "from August to November, during which period the pilgrimage of Buddhist priests are enjoined to be suspended."], as well as hold the convocation on Dhammo and Winayo; and that no other priest should resort to Rajagaha for the wasso."

For what reason was it that it was so resolved?

In order that no individual of the hostile party should interrupt this thawarakamma  (act of ours which is to be effective for ages) by his intrusion in the midst of the convocation.

The venerable Kassapo, then explained himself thus by a kammawachan, which followed, or was to second to the natti.

"Revered! let the priesthood attend to me. This is the sacred season appropriate to the priesthood. The priesthood have to decide whether these five hundred bhikkhus, keeping their wasso at Rajagaha should hold a convocation on Dhammo and Winayo, and whether it should be permitted to any other bhikkhus to keep the wasso in Rajagaha. This is the natti."

The kammawacha is this.

"Revered! let the priesthood attend to me. The priesthood does decide that these five hundred bhikkhus, keeping their wasso at Rajagaha should hold a CONVOCATION on Dhammo and Winayo, and that it shall not be permitted to any other priests to keep wasso in Rajagaha. To each individual revered personage to whom the selection of these five hundred bhikkhus, for the purpose of holding a convocation on Dhammo and Winayo at Rajagaha, keeping the wasso there, or the prohibition of keeping wasso at Rajagaha by any other bhikkhus, may appear proper, let him remain silent: to whomsoever (the decision) may not be acceptable, let him speak out."

"By (the silence of) the priesthood it is decided that these five hundred priests are selected, for the purpose of holding a convocation at Rajagaha, keeping the wasso there, and interdicting all other bhikkhus from keeping wasso in Rajagaha. To the priesthood (this arrangement) is acceptable; on that account alone they are silent. I shall act accordingly."

This kammawacha took place on the twenty-first day after the parinibbanan of Tathagato. Bhagawa expired on the full moon day of the month Wesakho at dawn. For seven days they made offerings of aromatic drugs, flowers, &c. To these seven days were given the appellation "Sadhukilanadiwasa" (joyous, festival days). From that period for seven days, (i.e. during the second week,) the fire (applied) to the funeral pile would not ignite. For (the last) seven days (the cremation having been at length effected) having lined the santhagara hall (at Kusinara) with lances, making it resemble the grating of a cage, they held a festival of offerings to his dhatu (relics.)

At the lapse of twenty-one days on the fifth day of the increasing moon of the month Jettho the relics were divided for distribution.

On this very day of the distribution of the dhatu, to the assembled priesthood, (Mahakassapo) imparting the reproach made by Sabhaddo who was ordained in his dotage, and proceeding to make his selection of bhikkhus in manner above detailed, adopted the aforesaid kammawacha.

Having recognized this kammawacha the thero (Mahakassapo) thus addressed the bhikkhus. "Beloved, ye have leisure now for forty days. After that it will not be permitted to plead 'we have such and such excuses.' On that account, in this interval, whether it be an excuse in reference to any person being ill, an excuse in reference to your preceptor or ordaining superior, or in reference to your mother or father, or getting a refection dish, or a robe made, setting all such excuses aside, complete whatever requires to be done."
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Part 3 of 3

The Attakatha then proceeds to state that in that interval the theros dispersed in different directions, for the purpose of consoling the population of India, afflicted at the death of Buddho: Mahakassapo, repairing to Rajagaha and Anando to Sawatthi; and at the appointed time reassembled at Rajagaha. The narrative is thus resumed.

They on the day of the full moon of Asathi, having held an uposatho (at Rajagaha); on the first day after the full moon, assembling together commenced to keep their wasso.

At that period there were eighteen great wiharos environing Rajagaha and they were all filled with rubbish which had fallen into, and accumulated in them* [It will be subsequently seen that this congregation around Buddho took place three months before his predicted death. The wiharos at this period, therefore, had been left unoccupied for three months before, and sixty-one days after his death.], (during the absence of the bhikkhus.) On account of the (approaching predicted) parinibbanan (of Buddho), all the bhikkhus, each carrying his own refection dish and robe, and abandoning their wiharos and parivenos had departed.

It is also recorded (in the Singhalese Atthakatha) that
the theros then forming a katikawattan (compact) together, came to the following resolution for the purpose of rendering adoration to the word of Bhagawa, as well as for the purpose of overcoming the doctrines of the Titthiya (heretics or professors of foreign faiths) — "Let us devote ourselves to the reparation (of the sacred edifices). The Titthiya may say, 'the pupils of the priest Gotamo kept up their wiharos while their teacher was alive: on his death they have abandoned them'— they (the theros) apprehended this reproach." They also thus resolved in order that they might refute another reproach, viz: "the enormous wealth bestowed by the great (in founding Buddhistical edifices) is lost."

Having formed this determination they (the five hundred selected bhikkhus) entered into a katikawattan. It is thus mentioned in the Punchasatikakkhandakan of the Pitakattayan. "Thereafter, the theros thus said (one to another): 'Beloved, the reparation of dilapidations is commended by Bhagawa. Wherefore, let us employ ourselves in the first month in repairing dilapidations; in the midale month* [Of the three months of "Wasso."], assembling together we will hold a convocation on the Dhammo and Winayo.'"

On the second day, repairing to the palace gate, they took their station there. The raja (Ajatasattu) approaching them and bowing down inquired: "Lords! why have ye come?" and asked if there was any thing required which could be provided by him. The theros replied, "artificers, for the purpose of effecting the repair of dilapidations at the eighteen great wiharos." The raja provided them with artificers.

The theros having completed the repairs in the course of the first month, thus reported to the raja. "Maha raja! the repairs of the wiharos being completed, we will now hold the convocation on Dhammo and Winayo." "Most excellent, (replied the maha raja,) ye may rely on me, let the executive part devolve on me, and the religious portion on you. Command me therefore, lords! what can I provide?" "Maha raja! a place of assembly for the theros who are to hold the convocation." "Where lords! am I to provide it?" "It will be proper to do so at the entrance to the Sattapanni cave on the side of the Webhara mountain." Replying, "Willingly lords!" The raja Ajatasattu, causing to be prepared a hall, as if executed by the (celestial artificer) Wissakamwo, having exquisitely constructed walls, pillars, and flights of steps, embellished with representations of festoons, of flowers and of flower-creepers, rivalling the splendour of the decorations of his palace, and imitating the magnificence of the mansions of the dewos, the abode itself of the goddess Siri (splendour), attracting the gaze of dewos and men, as a solitary pond (in a desert) attracts the feathered tribe, the accumulated repository of the admiration of the world
, perfected it with every procurable precious material, and having the same decorated with suspended festoons of flowers, beautiful curtains so light that they floated in the air, like unto the palace of Brahma, the interior of which is depicted with rubies, with garlands of flowers and exquisitely finished; having also several stories; and further, in that hall, causing to be raised for the five hundred priests, five hundred invaluable and appropriate carpetted seats, as well as the therasanan (the chief thero's pulpit) on the southern side facing the north, and the Dhammasanan (preaching pulpit) in the centre of the hall facing the east, fitted for the sanctified Buddho himself; and thereon placing an ivory fan,-— sent this message to the priesthood: "Lords! my task is performed."

On that day, some of the priests made this remark concerning the revered Anando. "In this congregation of priests there is a certain bhikkhu who goes about diffusing a pestilential odour." The thero Anando on hearing this, felt deeply mortified, and said (to himself) "in this congregation of bhikkhus there is no priest who goes about diffusing a pestilential odour. Most assuredly, these persons speak thus in reference to no other than to me." Others again said: "Revered! the convocation is to-morrow, but as thou art deficient in the perfection (of the state of arahathood) and hast still thy allotted task to accomplish; on that account, it will not be fitting for thee to attend the meeting, do not procrastinate therefore (to perfect thyself)." The revered Anando thereupon thus (meditated): "the meeting is to-morrow: should I, who am defective in sanctification, repair to the assembly to-morrow, it would he highly unbecoming." Spending the greater part of the night in meditation on the kayagastasatiya, towards dawn, he descended from the peripatetic hall of meditation; and retired into the wiharo, saying, "I will repose myself." He was in the act of reclining, but before his bead could touch the pillow, in that precise instant, his mind extricated itself from the dominion of sin, being the condition of subjection to transmigration, (i.e. attained arahathood.)

This Anando, after having past thus the greater part of the night in peripatetic meditation still apprehended that he was incapable of attaining the perfection of sanctification. "Most assuredly, (said be) Bhagawa himself has said to me: 'Anando! thou art a pious person: by perseverance perfect thyself: thou wilt shortly become sanctified!' a declaration of Buddho admits of no qualification. My own exertion must be over-anxious. By that procedure my mind evinces a vacillation, (implying a mistrust of the prediction) let me therefore repress my over-anxiety to the proper bounds." Descending thereupon from the peripatetic hall, he repaired to the place provided for washing the feet. Having washed (his feet) there, he entered the wiharo, and seating himself on his bed, he said "let me rest myself for a moment." In the act of throwing his body on his couch, his feet just raised from the ground and before his head reached the pillow, in that interval, his mind emancipated itself from the dominion of sin. The attainment of arahathood of this thero was effected therefore exempted from the four iriyapatha. From this circumstance, whenever it may be asked "What bhikkhu has ever attained arahathood neither reclining, nor sitting, nor standing, nor walking?" it will be proper to reply: "Anando thero did."

On the second day, being the fifth of the (increasing) moon, the priests having made their meal, and safely laid aside their patra (refection dishes) and (extra) robes, assembled at the hall of the dhamma convocation.

The thero Anando, who had attained the arahathood, also repaired to the meeting. "How did he go?" saying to himself, "Now I am qualified to enter into the midst of the assembly" with the greatest delight, adjusting his robe so as to leave one shoulder bare, he presented himself, like unto a palmira nut detached from its stalk; like unto a ruby enfolded in a red shawl; like unto the full moon risen in the cloudless sky; like unto the flower expanding its pollen and feathered leaf, warmed by the ray of the morning sun, — as if proclaiming the attainment of the sanctification of arahat, by the extreme sanctity, purity, brilliancy and splendour of his own countenance.

On beholding him, this reflection occurred to the venerable Mahakassapo. "Surely this beloved Anando has attained arahathood: if the divine teacher had been alive he would most certainly have greeted Anando with 'sadhus;' let me therefore welcome him with the 'sadhus' which would have been bestowed on him by the divine teacher:" and he greeted him three times with "sadhu!"

The Majjhima-bhanaka (priests who had learned to rehearse the Pitakattayan only as far as the Mojjhimanikayo) remarked "Anando thero in order that he may indicate his attainment of the arahathood makes his appearance unattended by (other) priests."

The bhikkhus according to their seniority ranged themselves, each on his own appropriate seat, leaving Anando's place unappropriate: and seated themselves.

On some of them inquiring "Whose seat is this?" "Anando's" was the reply; and "Where is he gone to?" At this instant, the thero thus decided, "this is the moment for my entrance," and for the purpose of manifesting his own bhawanan (sanctified state) diving into the earth, exhibited himself in the pulpit reserved for himself. Some again say, he came through the air and took his seat. Be it this, or be it that, having most fully satisfied himself that it was he, the greeting conferred on him by the venerable Mahakassapo was most proper.

On the arrival of this revered personage the thero Mahakassapo thus addressed the priesthood: —

"Beloved! which shall we rehearse in convocation first, the Dhammo or the Winayo?"

The bhikkhus replied: "Lord! Mahakassapo! it is the Winayo which is the life of the sasanan of Buddho. When Winayo is at an end, sasanan is at an end. Therefore let us rehearse the Winayo first."

"Making whom the Chief?"

"The venerable Upali."

"Why, — would not Anando be worthy?"

"Not that he is not worthy; but because while the omniscient Buddho himself was living, on account of his knowledge of the text of the Winayo, he had conferred that office on the venerable Upali, saying 'Bhikkhus, of my disciples, who are the sustainers of Winayo, the aforesaid Upali, is the chief:' on that account, let us rehearse the Winayo receiving it from the thero Upali."

Thereupon the thero (Mahakassapo) for the purpose of interrogating on Winayo, assigned to himself that task; and the thero Upali was appointed for the purpose of expounding it.

This was the text there (the proceeding in convocation). The venerable Mahakassapo thus addressed the priesthood: "Beloved! let the priesthood attend to me. This is the appointed time (for the convocation): I am about to interrogate Upali on the Winayo." The venerable Upali also addressed the priesthood. "Lords! let the priesthood attend to me. This is the time appointed for the priesthood; interrogated on the Winayo, by the venerable Mahakassapo, I am about to propound it."  

Having thus imposed on himself that office, the venerable Upali rising, adjusting his robe so as to leave one shoulder bare, and taking up the ivory-wrought fan, and bowing down to the senior priests, took his seat on the Dhammasanan (before described).

Thereupon the thero Mahakassapo taking his seat on the Therasanan interrogated the venerable Upali on Winayo.

"Beloved Upali! where was the first Parajikan propounded?"

"Lord! at Wesali."

"Who gave occasion to it?"

"It originated in reference to (the priest) Sudinno, a Kalanda youth."

"On what account?"

"On account of his committing fornication."

The venerable Mahakassapo then interrogated the venerable Upali on the contents of Pathaman Parajikan, its origin, the party concerned, the exhortation made, the sequel or application of the exhortation, and the result as to the conviction or the acquittal. The venerable Upali, who had been interrogated on each of these points, explained (them).

"Is there or is there not (resumed Mahakassapo) in reference to this Pathaman Parajikan any thing either to be omitted, or to be added."

"There is nothing in the words of the sanctified Buddho which ought to be omitted. The Tathagata utter not a single unmeaning syllable. In the words however of the dewos and of the disciples of Buddho there may be that which should be omitted.

The theros who held the dhammo convocation rejected that (which should be omitted), that which was to be added was to be found in all parts, accordingly whatever was requisite to be added in any part, they did introduce the same.

"But what was that?" either "at that period" or "at that particular period," or "thereafter" or "on his having so said," or "he thus spoke," and other similar expressions, only requisite for the connection of the sense. Having thus introduced that which was requisite to be added, they concluded this Pathaman Parajikan.

While the Pathaman Parajikan was in progress of rehearsal in convocation (by Mahakassapo and Upali, the rest of) the five hundred arahanta who were selected for the convocation, chaunted forth the same, passage by passage. At the very instant their chaunt commenced with the words "the sanctified* [The opening of the text of the Pathama Pirajikan.] Buddho dwells in Weranja," the great earth as if offering up its "sadhus" quaked from the abyss of the waters under the earth.

They, in the very same manner, having gone through the (four) chatan Parajikani ordained that that (portion of the Pitakattayan) should be called "Parajikakandan" (section).

The thirteen Sanghadisesa they ordained should be called the "Terasakan."

The first two Sikkha, they ordained should be called "Ariyatani."

The next thirty Sikkha, they ordained should be called the "Nissaggiya Pachittiyani."

(These four constitute the "Parajika.")

The next ninety-two Sikkha they ordained should be called the "Pachittiyani."

The next four Sikkha, they ordained should be called the "Patidasaniyani." (These two constitute the Pachittiyan).

The next seventy-five Sikkha, they ordained should be called "Sekhiyani."

The seven Dhamma they ordained should be called "Addhikarana-samatha." (These two constitute the Chulawaggo).

Thus authenticating these two hundred and twenty Sikkha, they ordained that they should constitute the "Mahawibhango." At the completion of the Mahawibhango, as in the former instance, the great earth quaked.

They then resolved that the first eight Sikkhapadani in the Bhikkhunuwibhango should form the "Parajikani" (of the Bhikkhuniwibhango).

The (next) seventeen Sikkhapadani, they constituted the "Sattarasakan."

The next thirty Sikkhapadani they constitute the Nissaggiya-Pachittiyani.

The (next) one hundred and sixty-six Sikkhapadani they constituted the "Pachittiyani" (of the Bhikkhuni-wibhango).

The next eight Sikkhapadani they constituted the "Patidesaniyani."

The (next) seventy-five Sikkhapadani, they constituted the "Sekhiyani."

The seven Dhamma they constituted the Adhikaranasamatha.

Thus authenticating these three hundred and four Sikkhapadani* [These Sikkhapadani are dispersed through all the five books of the Winayo.] as the Bhikkhuni-wibhango, they decided that this ubhato-wibhango (double wibhango) should be divided into sixty-four Bhanawara ...

[A "Bhanawaro" consists of 250 gathas, of four padani, each padan containing eight syllables; the same computation is used in prose also.
Syllable. / Padan. / Gatha. / Bhanawaro.
8 = / 1 / 1 / 1
32 = / 4 = / 1 / 1
8000 =/ 1000 = / = 250 / 1

At the termination of the Ubhato-wibhango as before described, the great earth quaked.

In the same manner having rehearsed in convocation, the "Khandhakan" (also called Mahawaggo) containing eighty Bhanawara; and the "Pariwaran," containing twenty-five Bhanawara, they constituted this "Winayo-Pitakan." At the conclusion of the Winayo-Pitakan also, as before stated the earth quaked.
They consigned the same to the venerable Upali himself, saying "expound this to thy pupils."

At the termination of the convocation on the Winaya-Pitakan, the thero Upali laying aside the ivory fan, and descending from the Dhammasanan and bowing down to the priests senior (to himself), resumed his place on the seat individually prepared for him.

The convocation on Winayo having terminated the venerable Mahakassapo desirous of holding the convocation on Dhammo, thus addressed the bhikkhus.

"What individual is most fit to be appointed the chief of the convocation on Dhammo, by the members of this convocation?"

The bhikkhus replied "Appoint the thero Anando the chief."

Thereupon the venerable Mahakassapo thus explained himself to the priesthood: "Beloved! let the priesthood attend to me. This is the appointed time for the priesthood (to hold their convocation). I am about to interrogate Anando on Dhammo."

The revered Anando then addressed the priesthood. "Lords! let the priesthood attend to me. This is the appointed time for the priesthood, interrogated by the venerable Mahakassapo, I am about to expound the Dhammo."

The venerable Anando then rising from his seat, and adjusting his robes so as to leave one shoulder bare, and bowing down to the senior bhikkhus, took his place in the Dhammasanan, holding up the ivory-wrought fan.

The venerable Mahakassapo next asked, "Beloved! which Pitako shall we rehearse first?"

"Lord! the Suttanta Pitako!"

"In the Suttanta Pitako there are four Sangitiyo; which among them the first?"

"Lord! the Dighasangiti."

"In the Dighasangiti, there are thirty-four Suttani, composing the three Wagga, among them which Waggo first?'

"Lord! the Silakkhanda-waggo."

"In the Silakkhanda-waggo, there are thirteen Suttanta, which Suttan first?"

"Lord! the Brahmajala-suttan."

"Let us then rehearse first that Suttan which is embellished with the three Silani, which triumphed over the various heretical faiths, sustained by hypocrisy and fraud; which unraveled the doctrinal tissue of the sixty-two heterodox sects, and shook the earth together with its ten thousands component parts."

Thereupon the venerable Mahakassapo thus addressed the venerable Anando.

"Beloved! Anando! where did (Buddho) deliver the Brahmajalan?"

"Lord! between Rajagata and Nalanda, in the palace situated in the Ambalitthika (mango grove.)"

"Who gave rise to it?"

"Suppiyo, the paribbajako, and the youth Brahmadatto."

"What was the subject?"

"The praise of virtue."

The venerable Mahakassapo then inquired of the venerable Anando the origin of the Brahmajalan — the individual concerned, and the subject.

The venerable Anando explained them. At the termination of his exposition, the five hundred arahanta chaunted it forth, and as described in the former instance, the earth quaked.

Having thus rehearsed the Brahmajalan, then in succession, together with the Brahmajalan, all the thirteen Suttani having been rehearsed in the prescribed form of interrogation and explanation, viz: "Beloved Anando! where did (Buddho) deliver the Samunnaphalan suttan," and authenticated the same, they called that portion the "Silakkhandawaggo."

Having then rehearsed Mahawaggo, and lastly the Patiwaggo and thus completing the rehearsal of the three Wagga comprising the thirty-four Suttani, amounting to sixty-four Bhanawara of the text; and calling the same (collectively) the Dighanikayo, they consigned the same to the charge of the venerable Anando, saying, "Propound this to thy pupils."

In the next place, holding their convocation on the Majjhima-nikayo amounting to eighty Bhanawara, they consigned the same to the disciples of the (deceased) Sariputto, the chief minister of Dhammo, saying, "Charge yourselves with, and propound, this."

In the next place, holding their convocation on the Sangutta-nikayo, amounting to one hundred Bhanawara, they consigned the same to Mahakassapo, saying, "Lord! propound this to thy pupils."

In the next place (lastly) holding their convocation on the Anguttra-nikayo, amounting to one hundred and twenty Bhanawara, consigned the same to the thero Anuraddho, saying, "Propound this to thy pupils."

The Dhammasangani-Wibhangan, Kathawatthun, Puggalan-Dathuyamakan and Patthaman, (compose that which) is called the "Abhidhammo." Having thus held a convocation on (this portion of) the text, the universally lauded aliment of refined wisdom, the five hundred arahanta chaunted forth (its title) calling it the "Abhidhamma-pitako" as before described, the earth quaked.

Thereafter the Jatakan, Mahanidaeso, Chulanidaeso, Patisambhidamaggo, Suttanipato, Dhammapadan-udanan, Itiwuttakan, the Wimara and Petawatthu, as well as the Thera and Theri-gatha having also been rehearsed, as a portion of the text, and having given it the name (collectively) of Khuddagantho, the Dighabhanaka priests assert, that they were included in the convocation, in the same Abhidhammo, while the Majjhimabhanaka priests maintain that together with the Chariyapitakan, Apadanan and Buddhawanso, the whole of the Khuddagantho were included in the Suttantapitako.

Thus, the whole word of Buddho by its (raso) design is "one single class;" by its division into Dhammo and Winayo consists of "two classes;" by its division into first, midale and last, as well as by its division into the (three) Pitakani, of "three classes;" by its division into Nikaya of "five classes;" by its division into Angani of "nine classes:" and by its division into Dhammakhanda of "eighty-four thousand classes."

Why is it, by its "design," one single class?

Because from the moment the supreme omniscient buddhohood was attained by Bhagawa, till by his having terminated the course of transmigration, he achieved final extinction by his nibbanan, in which interval a period of forty-five years elapsed, all that was said (by him) whether to dewos, men, naga or yakkha as well monitory as illustrative, had but "one single design," the end being supreme beatitude. Thus, by its "design," it is "one single class."

Why does it by the Dhammo and Winayo division, consist of "two classes?"

The whole being divided into, and called "Dhammo" and "Winayo," numeral computation (makes it so); the Winaya-pitakan (alone) composes the Winayo; the rest of the word of Buddho is denominated Dhammo, as well as for the reason that he (Mahakassapo) had said, "It would be most proper that we should hold a convocation on Dhammo and Winayo; that I should interrogate Upali on Winayo, and that I should interrogate Anando on Dhammo.' Thus by the division into "Dhammo and Winayo," it consists "of two classes."

Why does it by the division into first, midale, and last, "consist of three classes?"

Because the whole consists of three divisions, viz: the first words of Buddho, the midale (or central) words of Buddho, and the last words of Buddho.  

The following are the first words of Buddho* [Uttered at the instant of his attaining buddhohood under the bo-tree at Uruwela, now Buddhagaya.]:

Anekajatisansaran sandhawessan anibbisan
Gahakarakan, gawesanto dukkhajatis punappunan;
Gahakaraka! ditthosi: punna gehan na kahasi;
Sabbate phasuka bhagga; gahakutan wisankhitan;
Wisankhara-gatan chittan, tanhanan khayamajjaga!

"Performing my pilgrimage through the (sansaro) eternity of countless existences, in sorrow, have I unremittingly sought in vain the artificer of the abode (of the passions) (i.e. the human frame). Now O artificer! art thou found. Henceforth no receptacle of sin shalt thou form — thy frames (literally ribs) broken; thy ridge-pole shattered; the soul (or mind) emancipated from liability to regeneration (by transmigration) has annihilated the dominion of the passions."

These are the "first words of Buddho.

There are some persons who maintain, that the gatha, commencing with the words, Yada have patu-bhawanti dhamma "most assuredly in due course the dhamma will descend (be revealed)" which are in the Khandho (section) were also a part of the hymn of joy composing the first words of Buddho.

This gatha of joy of him who had attained the state of omniscience, by his own felicitous intelligence, and who had watched the progress of the Pachayakaran be it understood, was delivered on the day after the full moon.

What he (Buddho) said at the moment he was passing into parinibbanan (reclining between the two sal-trees at Kusinara, on the full moon day of the month Wesako, — Handadane, bhikkhawe"! amantayami wo; wiyadhamma sankhara appamadena sampadetha. "Now, O bhikkhus! I am about to conjure you (for the last time): perishable things are transitory: without procrastination earn (nibbanan)." These were his "last words.'' Whatever has been said by him between those two are his "midale words." Thus by the classification into "the first," "the midale," and the "last words," it consists of "three classes."

How does it by the Pitaka division, become the "three Pitaka."

The whole being divided into the Winayo-Suttanta and Abhidhammo, becomes three sections. Including therein both what was and [Adverting to the few explanatory words which were added, as before described, for the connection of the sense of the text.] what was not authenticated in the first convocation, — viz. the two Patimokkhani — the two Wibhangani, the twenty-two Khandakha, and the sixteen Pariwara. This (portion) was called the "Winaya-Pitako."

The collection of thirty-four Suttanta commencing with the Brahmajalan is the "Dighanikayo."

The collection of one hundred and fifty-two Suttanta, commencing with the Malapariyaya is the "Majjhimanikayo."

The collection of seven thousand seven hundred and sixty Suttanta, commencing with the Oghakarana suttan, is the "Sanguttanikayo."

The collection of nine thousand five hundred and fifty-seven suttanta, commencing with the Chittapariyadanan is the "Anguttaronikayo."

The Khuddakanikayo consists of fifteen sections, by being divided into Khuddakapatan, Dhammapadan, Udanan, Ittuwattakan, Suttanipatan, Winayawattha, Petawatthu, Theragatha, Therigatha, Jatakan, Widaeso, Patisambhida, Apadanan, Buddhawanso and Chariyapitako.

This is called "Suttanta Pitako."

The Dhammasangho, the Wibhango, Dhatukatha, Puggalo, Kathawattu, Yamakan and Patthanan. These were called the "Abhidammapitako."

In regard to the Winayo, it is said, Wiwidha wisesanayatta; Winayanatochewa kayawachanan winayatthawiduhi ayan Winayo "Winayoti" akkhato.

This Winayo, is called "Winayo" by those versed in the Winayo, because it comprises various conflicting doctrines as well as controls the acts and words of men. "Various" because the Patimokkha comprises five classes of Uddeso and the Parajiko is only the first of a collection comprising the seven Apatti. It has (separate) Matika (indexes) containing conflicting rules in the Wibhango and other sections, as well as "subsequent" or "supplementary" rules of opposite tendencies, both of increasing strictness and of modifying laxity. Moreover, from its prescribing rules for controlling the misconduct of men, in deed as well as in word, it thence "controls the acts and words of men," and on that account, it being both "various" and "conflicting" and as it "controls deeds and words," it is called "Winayo." For this reason this designation was adopted as expressive of its contents.

In regard to the Suttani, it is said: —

Itaranpana, Atthanan, suchanato; suwattato pasawanatotha, sudanato, suttana suttasabhayatocha suttan, "suttanti" akkhatan.

The next: the suttan is called suttan from its precise definition of rights; from its exquisite tenor; from its collective excellence, as well as from its overflowing richness; from its protecting, (the good) and from its dividing, as if with a line.

Here, "It precisely defines" by its distinguishing one's own rights from those of other persons. "It has an exquisite tenor" from its having been propounded in a strain profitable to those subject to the control of Winayo. It is stated, that it possesses "collective excellence" because it collects together its contents, like a harvest-produce is gathered. It is said "it overflows" because it is like unto the milk streaming from a cow. It is said "it protects" because it is a safe-guard. It is said "it divides as with a line" because as the line (suttan) is (a mark of definition) to carpenters, so is this (suttan, a rule of conduct) to the wise. In the same manner that flowers strung together on a line are neither scattered nor lost, so are the precepts which are herein contained united by this (suttan) line.

For this reason, this designation was adopted as expressive of the nature of its contents.

In regard to the Abhidhammo, it is said:

Ye ettha wuddhimanta salakkhana pujita, parichchhinna wuttadhi kacha dhamma; "Abhidhammo" tena akkhato.

In this case, be there any "dhamma" profound in import, glorious in form, celebrated by their renown, and divested of ambiguity, and worthy of being designated "adhi," thence they would be called "Abhidhammo." This word 'adhi' will be found prefixed to each of the foregoing (attributes of) pre-eminence, glory, celebrity and perspicuity.

(Here follow a series of quotations showing the instances in which the prefix 'Abhi' has been so used.)

"Be it understood that those who are versed in the contents of the 'Pitakan' (chest) from its being the (Bhajanan) vessel in which the text is contained, as well as from the circumstance of the Winayo and the rest (Suttanta and Abhidhammo) being also comprised therein, call it 'Tayo,' Three."

(Here follows another series of quotations and further explanations illustrative of the word Pitakan.)

"How does it by the Nikayo division become of 'five classes?'"

"The whole being divided into the Dighanikayo, Majjhimanikayo, Sanyuttanikayo, Anguttaranikayo, and Khuddakanikayo, it becomes of five classes.

"It is recorded (in the former Atthakatha.)

"To that (book) which contained thirty-four Suttanta composing three Waggo, being the first compiled, the name 'Dighanikayo'' was given."

"From what circumstance did it obtain the name of Dighanikayo?"

"It is called 'Digha' (long) from its containing a collection of the long Suttanta; and Nikayo from its being an 'assemblage' of numerous (Suttanta), for instance it is said of the word Nikayo, 'O bhikkhus! never have I beheld a single "Nikayo" like that of the thoughts, nor O bhikkhus! a "Nikayo" like that of the animal creation, nor like that of the physical world.' In these various ways, both in sacred and profane language, is this word applied. In reference to the other Nikayo also, the same construction is to be placed on the word 'Nikayo.'"

"Why is it called the Majjhimo Nikayo?"

"It is a Nikayo composed of one hundred and fifty-two Suttanta of (Majjhimo) middling or moderate length, commencing with the Suttan called the 'Mulapaniyaya,' and classified into fifteen Waggo."

"Why is it called the Sanyutta Nikayo?"

"From its being (Sanyutta) classed together under different heads, commencing with the Dewata-Sanyuttan, containing the Aghataranan as the first Suttan (of that Sanyuttan), and comprising altogether seven thousand seven hundred and sixty-two Suttanta."

"Why is it called the Anguttara Nikayo?"

"Because it is classed ('Angatirikawasena') under different heads, (or Anga members,) each progressively increasing in number, the first only containing the Chittapariyadanan, and altogether comprising nine thousand seven hundred and fifty-seven Suttanta."

"Why is it called Khuddaka Nikayo?"

"Because it comprises exclusively of the four Nikayo (above mentioned) all that remained of the words of Buddho, being the whole of the Winayo and Abhidhammapitakan, and the fifteen sections (of the Suttanta) commencing with the Khuddapatan as formerly explained."

"Thus by the division of Nikayos they are five."

"How does it by the Anga division consist of nine classes?"

"The whole of the foregoing comprising in it the nine divisions are, the Suttan, Geyyan, Weyyakaran, Gatha, Udanan, Itiwuttahan, Jatakan, Abbhutadhammo and the Wedattan.

"The Suttan it is to be understood, contains, the two Wibhang and (two) Niddesa, the Khandako and Pariwaro, and in the Suttanipato, the Mangalasuttan, Ratana suttan, Nalaka suttan as well as the Tuwataka suttan, and all the other discourses of Tathagato bearing the signification of 'Suttan.'

"Be it understood further that the Geyyan contains every Suttan composed in Gatha (metre) together with (its prose portions). The whole of the Sanguttako consists throughout of that description (of composition being Gatha together with prose.)

"The Weyyakaranan be it understood, consists of the whole of Abhidhamma Pitako, the Suttanta not composed in Gatha, and the words of Buddho which are not classified under any of the other eight Angani.

"Be it known the Gatha consists of the Dhammapadini, Theragatha, Therigatha and those unmixed (detached) Gatha not comprehended in any of the above named Suttanta.

"The Udanan be it known, consists of the eighty-two Suttanta delivered (by Buddho) in the form of hymns of joyous inspiration.

"The Ittiwattakan, be it understood, comprises the one hundred and ten Suttanta which commence with the words: 'It was thus said by Bhagawa.'

"The Jatakan, be it understood, comprises the five hundred and fifty Jatakani (incarnations of Buddho) commencing with the Appanakajatakan.

"The Abhutadhammo, be it understood, comprises all the Suttanta containing the miracles and wonders, commencing with such expressions as 'bhikkhus.' These miraculous and wonderous dhamma (powers) are vouchsafed to Anando.'

"The Wedattan, be it understood, consists of the Chulawedattan, the Mahawedattan, the Sammaditthi, the Sakkapanha, the Sankharabhajaniya, the Mahapunadman, as well as the whole of those Suttantu which have conferred wisdom and joy on those who heard them.

"Thus by the classification into Angani, it consists of nine divisions."

"How does it by the Dhammakkhando division consist of eighty-four thousand portions?"

"It comprises the whole word of Buddho. (It has been said by Anando,) Dwasitan, Buddhato gantun dwesahassani bhikkhuto, chaturasiti sahassani ye me dhamma pawattito. 'I received from Buddho himself eighty-two thousand; and from the bhikkhus two thousand; these are the eighty-four thousand dhamma maintained by me.' By this explanation of the Dhammakkhando it consists of eighty-four thousand divisions. A Suttan in which one subject alone is treated (or literally consists of one joint) is called Ekadhammakkhando. Any Dhammakkhando which treats of a plurality of subjects, or consists of more than one joint, is called by the number (of these subjects treated).

"In the Winayo also, there is the Watthu, the Matika, the Padabhajaniyan, the Apatti, the Anapatti and the Tikichchabhedo classifications. In that (division) likewise, be it understood, that each class constitutes a Dhammakkhando.

"Thus by the Dhammakkhando division, it consists of eighty-four thousand parts.

"Thus this word of Buddho, from its being left undivided, is by its 'design' one single class. By its division into Dhammo and Winayo, it consists of two classes, and so forth; and having been separated and arranged by the sanctified priesthood, having Mahakassapo for their chief who held the convocation, this classification has been definitively ordained, viz. thus 'this is the Dhammo,' 'this the Winayo,' this the Patana buddha wachanan,' 'this the Majjhima buddha wachanan,' this the Pachima buddha wachanan,' 'this the Winaya pitakan,' this the Sutta pitakan,' 'this the Abhidhamma pitakan,' 'this the Dighanikayo,' and so forth to the Khuddhanikayo, 'these the Suttanta,' 'these the Angani,' and 'these eighty-four thousand Dhammakkhando.'

"This was not all, for moreover, having established the further several subdivisions of classifications of Uddanan, Waggo, Peyalan, Ekanipato, Dakanipato and so forth (of Nipata), the Sanyuttan, Panasa, as set forth in the three Pitakani, the convocation was closed in seven months.

"At the conclusion of this convocation or its being announced 'this religion of the deity gifted with ten powers had been rendered effective to endure for five thousand years, by the thero Mahakassapo,' from the exuberance of its exultation, as if pouring forth its 'sadhus' the great earth, from the abyss of the waters under the earth, in various ways quaked, (from east to west;) requaked (from north to south); and quaked again (from Zenith to Nadir); and various miracles were manifested.

"This is called the 'Patima Sangiti' (first convocation).
It is also (called) in this world, from its having been conducted by five hundred persons, Panchasatika Sangiti, the (convocation of five hundred), and because it was exclusively held by the theros, it is likewise called the Therika."

A table of the Pali version of the Pitakattayan.
Consists of the following sections.

1. Parajika, 191 leaves of 7 and 8 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 10 inches long.

2. Pachitinan, 154 leaves of 9 and 10 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 9 inches long.

3. Chulawaggo, 196 leaves of 8 and 9 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 10 inches long.

4. Mahawagga, 199 leaves of 8 and 9 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 10 inches long.

5. Pariwaro, 146 leaves of 10 and 11 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 9 inches long.

Consists of the following sections.

1. Dhammasangani, 72 leaves of 10 lines on each side, each leaf 2 feet 4 inches long.

2. Wibhangan, 130 leaves of 8 lines on each side, each leaf 2 feet, 4 inches long.

3. Kathawatthu, 151 leaves of

4. Puggalan, 28 leaves of 8 lines on each side, each leaf 2 feet, 4 inches long.

5. Dhatu, 31 leaves of 8 lines on each side, each leaf 2 feet, 4 inches long.

6. Yamakan, 131 leaves of 10 lines on each side, each leaf 2 feet, 4 inches long.

7. Patthanan, 170 leaves of 9 and 10 lines on each side, each leaf 2 feet, 4 inches long.

Consists of the following sections.

1. Dighanikayo, 292 leavesof 8 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 10 inches long.

2. Majjhimanikayo, 432 leaves of 8 and 9 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 11 inches long.

3. Sanyuttakanikayo, 351 leaves of 8 and 9 lines each side, each leaf 2 feet, 2 inches long.

4. Anguttranikayo, 654 leaves of 8 and 9 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 10 inches long.

5. Khudakanikayo, is composed of 15 books; viz.

I. Khudupatan, 4 leaves of 8 lines on each side, 2 feet, 4 inches long. (Burmese.)

II. Dhammapadan, 15 leaves of 9 lines each side, each leaf 1 foot, 8 inches long.

III. Udanan, 48 leaves of 9 lines each side, 8 feet long.

IV. Itti-attakan, 31 leaves of 8 lines each side, each leaf 1 foot, 9 inches long.

V. Suttanipatan, 40 leaves of 9 lines each side, each leaf 2 feet.

VI. Wimanawatthu, 158 leaves of 7 and 8 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 9 inches long.

VII. Petawatthu, 142 leaves of 8 and 9 lines each side, each leaf 1 foot, 8 inches long.

VIII. Theragata, 43 leaves of 9 lines each side, 2 feet, 4 inches long. (Burmese.) IX. Tharigata, 110 leaves of 8 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 7 inches long.

X. Jatakan. The commentary is intermixed with the text, and in that form it is a voluminous work of 900 leaves.

XI. Niddeso, not ascertained yet.

XII. Patisambhidan, 220 leaves of 8 lines on each side, each leaf 1 foot, 11 inches long.

XIII. Apadanan, 196 leaves of 10 lines on each side, each leaf 2 feet long.

XIV. Buddhawanso, 37 leaves of 8 lines, each 2 feet long.

XV. Chariyapitako, 10 leaves of 8 lines each side, 3 feet long.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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VI.—Interpretation of the most ancient of the inscriptions on the pillar called the lat of Feroz Shah, near Delhi, and of the Allahabad, Radhia [Lauriya-Araraj (Radiah)] and Mattiah [Lauriya-Nandangarh (Mathia)] pillar, or lat, inscriptions which agree therewith.
by James Prinsep, Sec. As. Soc. &c.
The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal
Vol. VI, Part II
July to December, 1837

Unlike Kharosthi, which was always geographically limited and died out at a relatively early period, the Brahmi script appeared in the third century B.C. as a fully developed pan-Indian national script (sometimes used as a second script even within the proper territory of Kharosthi in the northwest) and continued to play this role throughout history, becoming the parent of all of the modern Indic scripts both within India and beyond. Thus, with the exceptions of the Indus script in the protohistoric period, of Kharosthi in the northwest in the ancient period, and of the Perso-Arabic and European scripts in the medieval and modern periods, respectively, the history of writing in India is virtually synonymous with the history of the Brahmi script and its derivatives.

Until the late nineteenth century, the script of the Asokan (non-Kharosthi) inscriptions and its immediate derivatives was referred to by various names such as "lath" or "Lat,"38 [This name arose from the occurrence of Asokan inscriptions on pillars known colloquially in northern India as lath (< Skt. yasti).] "Southern Asokan," "Indian Pali," "Mauryan," and so on. The application to it of the name Brahmi [sc. lipi], which stands at the head of the Buddhist and Jaina script lists, was first suggested by T[errien] de Lacouperie,39 ["Did Cyrus Introduce Writing into India?" Babylonian and Oriental Record 1, 1886-87, 58-64 (esp. 59-60). As noted by Falk (SAI 84, 106), Terrien de Lacouperie evidently got the references in question from the note of T. Choutze (pseudonym of Gabriel Deveria) in the Revue de l'Extreme-Orient 1, 1882, 158-9, though he does not mention him.] who noted that in the Chinese Buddhist encyclopedia Fa yuan chu lin the scripts whose names corresponded to the Brahmi and Kharosthi of the Lalitavistara are described as written from left to right and from right to left, respectively. He therefore suggested that the name Brahmi should refer to the left-to-right "Indo-Pali" script of the Asokan pillar inscriptions, and Kharosthi to the right-to-left "Bactro-Pali" script of the rock inscriptions from the northwest. Lacouperie's suggestion was adopted by his contemporaries, most significantly by Buhler40 [The expression "Brahma alphabet" used by Buhler in OIBA has, however, been supplanted in modern usage by "Brahmi" [lipi].] in his influential works, and thereby became the accepted term. While the name Brahmi for the ancient Indian national script is no doubt in a general sense correct, it should be kept in mind that we do not really know precisely what form or derivative of the script the authors of the early script lists were referring to as "Brahmi," nor whether this term was actually applied to the script used in the time of Asoka.41 [On this point, see the warnings in 1C 11.667 and OBS 99.] The name Brahmi is thus used loosely, as a matter of convenience, by modern scholars to refer to the Asokan script and to its varieties and earlier derivatives (distinguished by regional or dynastic terms such as "early southern Brahmi" or "eastern Gupta Brahmi") until about the end of the Gupta period in the sixth century A.D. After this time, the scripts have for the most part differentiated into distinct regional and local varieties, and are conceived as separate scripts denoted by descriptive or, more commonly, geographical terms (e.g., Siddhamatrka [post-Gupta northern script] or proto-Kannada). The terminology for the various premodern Brahmi-derived scripts is, however, largely unstandardized and typically made up ad hoc, due mainly to the lack of attested indigenous terms for many of them....

The origin of the Brahmi script is one of the most problematic and controversial problems in Indian epigraphy ...

Recently several writers have put forth theories to the effect that Brahmi was purposefully invented ex nihilo ["creation out of nothing"] in or around the time of Asoka. S. R. Goyal, for example, 55 ["Brahmi—An Invention of the Early Mauryan Period," in OBS 1-53.] argued that the phonetically logical structure, primary geometric forms, and geographical uniformity of early Brahml show that it was "an invention of the grammarians" (10) of the time of Asoka. Similar arguments were presented by T. P. Verma, who proposed an origin in Buddhist circles.56 [The Palaeography of Brahmi Script in North India, 8, and "Fresh Light on the Origin of Brahmi Alphabet," JOI 13, 1964, 360-71 (esp. 367).] ...

The strongest point in favor of the invention theory is the stiffly symmetrical, geometric appearance of Asokan Brahmi, which does indeed give the impression of an arbitrarily created script....

[T]he discovery ... of six Mauryan inscriptions in Aramaic strongly supports the hypothesis of an Aramaic connection.

However, a possible objection to the derivation of Brahmi from Aramaic86 [As noted by Senart, JA, ser. 7, vol. 13, 1879, 534.] is that, since it has been established with virtual certainty that the Kharosthi script is derived from Aramaic, it is hard to see why another, very different, Indic script would have developed from the same prototype in a contiguous region. If the hypothesis of the invention of Brahmi under Asoka's sponsorship is correct, this re-creation may be attributed to the emperor's desire to invent a distinct imperial script, perhaps under the inspiration of Old Persian cuneiform, which would be suited to the promulgation of edicts in written form.87 [As proposed by, among others, Falk (SAI 338-9), although he sees Kharosthi itself, rather than Aramaic, as the principal prototype of Brahmi.] But it must be admitted that there is no direct statement to this effect in the edicts themselves....

The first publication of an old Indian inscription was by the "Sanscrit-mad"3 [So called by H. Colebrooke; see Windisch, Geschichte der Sanskrit-Philologie, 23 n. 1.] (Sir) Charles Wilkins (1749-1836),4 [On Wilkins, see E. H. Johnston, "Charles Wilkins," in Mohammad Shafi, ed., Woolner Commemoration Volume, Mehar Chand Lachhman Das Sanskrit and Prakrit Series, vol. 8 (Lahore: Mehar Chand Lachhman Das, 1940), 124-32; and Mary Lloyd, "Sir Charles Wilkins, 1749-1836," in Indian Office Library and Records: Report for the Year 1978 (London: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1979), 8-39. The dates for Wilkins' life given by Windisch (Geschichte der Sanskrit-Philologie, 23), 1750-1833, are evidently incorrect.] one of the greatest of the pioneer Indologists, in his article "A Royal Grant of Land, Engraved on a Copper Plate, Bearing Date Twenty-three Years Before Christ; and Discovered Among the Ruins at Mongueer. Translated from the Original Sanscrit, by Charles Wilkins, Esq. in the Year 1781,"5 [According to Lloyd, op. cit., this article "had been first published in Calcutta in 1781, printed by Wilkins" (21 n. 27). The paper was presented to the Asiatic Society on July 7, 1785; see Sibadas Chaudhuri, ed., Proceedings of the Asiatic Society. Vol. 1: 1784—1800 (Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, 1980), 57.] in Asiatick Researches (AR) 1 (1788), 123-30.6 [The inscription in question is the Mungir (Monghyr) copper plate of Devapaladeva (IA 21, 253-58).] This was followed by "An Inscription on a Pillar near Buddal" in AR 1, 131-41.7 [The Badal pillar inscription of the time of Narayanapala (SI II, 87-91). The paper was presented to the society on July 14, 1785 (Chaudhuri, Proceedings, 58).] These articles, like most of the earliest epigraphic papers published in AR, consist only of translations, without the text of the inscription and with little or no introductory matter. Both of Wilkins' inscriptions date from the Pala period, about the ninth century A.D.; although decidedly archaic, the script of these two epigraphs could be read by comparisons to the modern and archaic forms of Devanagari and Bengali scripts known in Wilkins' time,8 [Sircar refers to "the application of his knowledge of the late medieval Bengali and Nagari scripts gradually acquired from a study of manuscripts" (EINES 81).] and he was thus able to produce interpretations of the inscriptions which were substantially accurate, though by no means correct in all points. His estimate of the age of these inscriptions, however, was off by nearly a millennium, because he interpreted the date samvat 33 of the Mungir inscription as a year of the Vikrama era equivalent to 23 B.C., whereas in fact it is a regnal year of Devapaladeva, who ruled in the first half of the ninth century.

An even more remarkable achievement by Wilkins was his translation, published as a letter in AR 1, 279-83, of the record now known as the Nagarjuni hill cave inscription of the early Maukhari king Anantavarman.9 [Presented March 17, 1785 (Chaudhuri, Proceedings, 47).] While his comment that the script is "very materially different from that we find in inscriptions of eighteen hundred years ago" is due to his incorrect dating of the Mungir plate alluded to earlier, he was nonetheless correct that "the character is undoubtedly the most ancient of any that have hitherto come under my inspection." (Anantavarman is now known to have ruled sometime in the sixth century A.D.) It is truly remarkable that Wilkins was somehow able to read the late Brahmi of this period, which, unlike the scripts of three centuries later, is very different from modern scripts both in its general form and in many of its specific characters. It is thus not entirely clear how, beyond pure perseverance and genius, Wilkins managed to read this inscription, but presumably he did this by working back from the script of the Pala period which he had already mastered.10 [The precise order in which Wilkins translated his first three inss. is not certain, but it is clear that he worked on the Mungir ins. first, in 1781, and that the Nagarjuni and Badal inss. followed in the period between 1781 and his presentation of all three inss. to the society in 1785 (see Kejariwal, The Asiatic Society, 43-4).] In any case, his translation, while once again not always correct, proves beyond question that he could read the late Brahmi, or early Siddhamatrka, script of the sixth century. We may compare, for example, his translation of the first verse:

When the foot of the Goddess was, with its tinkling ornaments, planted upon the head of Maheeshasoor, all the bloom of the new-blown flower of the fountain was dispersed, with disgrace, by its superior beauty. May that foot, radiant with a fringe of refulgent beams issuing from its pure bright nails, endue you with a steady and an unexampled devotion, offered up with fruits, and shew you the way to dignity and wealth! (282)

with the standard rendition by J. F. Fleet in CII 3, 227:

May the foot of (the goddess) Devi, fringed with the rays of (its) pure nails point out the way to fortune, endowing with a (suitable) reward your state of supplication which is such as befits the expression of firm devotion;—(that foot) which, surpassing in radiance all the beauty of a full-blown waterlily, was disdainfully placed, with its tinkling anklet, on the head of the demon Mahishasura!11 [The text, in Fleet's reading (227), is unnidrasya saroruhasya sakalam aksipya sobham ruca savajnam Mahisasurasya sirasi nyastah kvanannupurah / devya vah sthirabhaktivadasadrsim yunjan phalenarthitam disyad acchanakhansujalajatilah padah padam sampadam //.]

Here Wilkins has clearly read and construed the verse correctly. Elsewhere in this and other articles his translations are less accurate, and not infrequently he errs in dividing words and compounds, in construing the syntax of complex verses, or in rendering idiomatic expressions.12 [E.g., Wilkins translates the beginning of the third verse of the Nagarjuni inscription as "honor was achieved from the deed of death near the uprising ocean," evidently reading udirna-maharnavopa- marana-vyapara-labdham yasah; the correct reading and translation (by Fleet) are udirnamaharnav- opama-rana-vyapara-labdham yasah, "the renown that he had acquired in the occupation of war resembling . . . the great swollen ocean."] But despite such inevitable imperfections, Wilkins' treatment of these difficult documents is nothing short of remarkable, given the almost nonexistent resources available at the time.13 [The same may be said of Wilkins' subsequent translation (AR 2, 1790, 167-9) of two further Maukhari inss. from the Barabar and Nagarjuni caves (= CII 3, 221-6).]...

After the slow but steady progress of the first three decades of the nineteenth century, the study of Indian inscriptions erupted in a blaze of glory in the middle of the 1830s. The "Glanzjahre"23 [Thus appropriately called by Windisch, Geschichte der Sanskrit-Philologie, 98.] of 1834 to 1838 were largely, though by no means exclusively, due to the remarkable efforts and insights of James Prinsep (1799-1840), who came to India in 1819 as assistant to the assay master of the Calcutta Mint and remained until 1838, when he returned to England for reasons of health. During this period Prinsep made a long series of discoveries in the fields of epigraphy and numismatics24 [For a collection of his essays on these subjects, together with extensive supplementary notes by Edward Thomas, see Essays on Indian Antiquities, Historic, Numismatic, and Palaeographic, of the Late James Prinsep.] as well as in the natural sciences and technical fields. But he is best known for his breakthroughs in the decipherment of the Brahmi and Kharosthi scripts.

Although many Sanskrit inscriptions had been published since the time of the pioneers Wilkins and Colebrooke, and although some of the later scripts derived from Brahmi had been successfully read, inscriptions of the Gupta period and earlier remained incomprehensible when Prinsep began his epigraphic researches in the early 1830s; this, despite Wilkins' having already read, four decades earlier, inscriptions of the sixth century. Renewed progress in the decipherment of early Brahmi25 [Referred to in early works by various names, most commonly "lath [i.e., lat] character" and "Indian Pali".] began in 1834 with T. S. Burt's procurement of reliable facsimiles of the inscriptions on the Allahabad pillar,26 [See JASB 3, 105-13.] including the Asokan pillar edicts and the "Queen's Edict" as well as the inscription of Samudragupta. Prinsep's "Notes on Inscription No. 1 [the Asokan inscriptions] of the Allahabad Column"27 [JASB 3, 1834, 114-8.] broke the first ground in the reading of Mauryan Brahmi script. In this brief paper Prinsep displayed a combination of intuition and methodical thought which would do any modern decipherer proud. He expressed, first of all, doubts as to "whether the language this character . . . expresses is Sanscrit" (116), noting especially the "rare occurrence of double letters" (i.e., conjunct consonants). Although in subsequent articles between this one and his final breakthrough three years later Prinsep seems to have changed his mind and considered that the unknown language was Sanskrit,28 [See, e.g., JASB 3, 487.] in the end his first intuition that the inscriptions were not in Sanskrit proved to be correct. Given what little was known at the time of the history of the Indic languages, this was a remarkable insight, since it would have seemed almost automatic to assume that the language of such clearly ancient inscriptions would be Sanskrit.

Equally impressive was Prinsep's arrangement, presented in plate V of JASB 3, of the unknown alphabet, wherein he gave each of the consonantal characters, whose phonetic values were still entirely unknown, with its "five principal inflections" (117), that is, the vowel diacritics. Not only is this table almost perfectly correct in its arrangement, but the phonetic value of the vowels is correctly identified in four out of five cases (plus anusvara); only the vowel sign for i was incorrectly interpreted as o. Moreover, Prinsep also provided statistical counts for each principal consonantal character and its vocalic "inflections" and noted "other forms occurring."...

As one mode of aiding the investigation of the powers of the unknown alphabet, supposing the language expressed to be Sanscrit, I had the letters in a page of the Bhatti Kavya classified and counted, to compare with the enumeration in Plate VI. They were as follows:


I also made the same classification of one page of the Feroz lath inscription, which I found to agree pretty well with the table prepared from that of Allahabad. There is one marked difference, which may be due perhaps to the copyist: —I allude to the separation of the words in the former, which does not appear to be the case in Lieut. Burt's transcript. It would require an accurate acquaintance with many of the learned languages of the East, as well as perfect leisure and abstraction from other pursuits, to engage upon the recovery of this lost language; but when its simplicity of vocables is compared with the difficulties of the Persepolitan, or cuneiform character, lately deciphered by Grotefend and St. Martin, or the more abstruse hieroglyphics of Egypt attempted by Young and CHAMPOLLION, it seems almost a stigma on the learned of our own country that this should have remained so long an enigma to scholars; and the object of the present notice is to invite fresh attention to the subject, lest the indefatigable students of Bonn or Berlin should run away with the honor of first making it known to the learned world.

-- II.—Note on Inscription No. 1 of the Allahabad Column, by James Prinsep, Sec. &c., P. 114, The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. III, Jan-Dec, 1834

Prinsep also provided a statistical count of the letters appearing on a page of a Sanskrit text (the Bhattikavya) for purposes of "aiding the investigation of the powers of the unknown alphabet" (118). Although Prinsep's final decipherment was ultimately to rely on paleographic [the study of ancient or antiquated writings and inscriptions] and contextual rather than statistical methods (cf. Hoernle, Centenary Review, 60), it is still no less a tribute to Prinsep's genius that he should have thought to apply such modern techniques to his problem.

-- Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages, by Richard Salomon

Contextual Inquiry is an ethnographic research method that helps to understand what people do and why they do it.... Contextual Inquiry relies on three main principles: focus, context, and partnership. Researchers establish a focus for the information they want to learn and as a filter for subsequent actions and activities. The focus helps identify the context: the specific environment to be studied. This may be an office, a home, or even a place as specific as an airplane or a coffee shop. The focus also directs selection of participants for research, and it is with these participants that the researchers will try to form a partnership. This partnership is characterized by qualities of apprenticeship—the researcher is an apprentice, hoping to learn as much as possible from the master. This education occurs by watching real work and by probing with questions.

-- Contextual Inquiry: What is it?, by Wicked Problems Worth Solving,

I now proceed to lay before the Society the results of my application of the alphabet, developed by the simple records of Bhilsa, to the celebrated inscription on Feroz's column, of which facsimiles have been in the Society's possession since its very foundation, without any successful attempt having been made to decipher them. This is the less to be wondered at when we find that 500 years before, on the re-erection of the pillar, perhaps for the second or third time, by the emperor Feroz [r. 1351–1388)], the unknown characters were just as much a mystery to the learned as they have proved at a later period — "Round it" says the author of the Haftaklim, "have been engraved literal characters which the most intelligent of all religions have been unable to explain. Report says, this pillar is a monument of renown to the rajas or Hindu princes, and that Feroz Shah set it up within his hunting place: but on this head there are various traditions which it would be tedious to relate."
For a full discussion of the very curious subject of Kang-diz, see Reinaud's 'Introduction to Abulfeda,' pp. ccxx. to ccxxiv. Reinaud himself is inclined to compare the term Kang with the old Chinese name of Kang-kui for Sogdiana but it is a sufficient answer to this to remark that Sughd was the first and the principal Perso-Aryan settlement, whereas nothing can be clearer from the Bundehesh and universal Zoroastrian tradition than that Kang-diz was beyond the Perso-Aryan world to the eastward. Kang-diz is everywhere connected in the Bundehesh 1stly, with the mountains of Shida or Bum, of doubtful orthography, but certainly representing the Tsung-ling of the Chinese; and 2ndly, with the river Shed which is of course the Shida of the Mongols, Sida of the Thibetans, and Sita of the Brahmans, running eastward from Meru, and identical with the river system of Yarkend and Kashghar. Compare the following passages "The Shed-rud where Pashutan (son of Gushtasp) is in Mogulistan." "The river where Pashutan is (i.e., the Shed-rud) is in Kang-diz." "Pashutan called Chitro-mino, is in Kang-diz." "Kang-diz is to the east." "Mount Sejda contains Kang-diz," &c. 'Zend Avesta,' tome ii. pp. 364, 391, 393, 409, and 410. I long ago suggested that Kang was a Pehlevi word, signifying "Heaven," and answering to the Sanscrit [x] ('Journ. Royal As. Soc.,' vol. x. pp. 146 and 321), and perhaps this is after all the most reasonable explanation of the term; but it has sometimes occurred to me that as Biruni evidently considered Kang to be a proper name translating Kang-diz as he did by "Kang's Castle " (see Reinaud, loc. cit.), it may possibly be a relic of the old name of Kanishka, or Kanika, which in the Arabic character is undistinguishable from the other title [x]. There are some grounds for supposing that Kanika (Kanerkes of the coins) derived his origin from Central Asia, and himself led the invading Yue-chi from Yarkend and Tashkurghan down the Chitral Valley to the conquest of Northern India. At any rate he held the Upper Oxus and Little Thibet, whilst reigning over Peshawer and the Punjab, and I cannot help therefore referring to a city of his foundation the curious notice which is preserved by Mirza Hyder in his account of Kashghar and Yarkend in the Tarikh-i-Rashidl. "Formerly," he says, "there were several large cities in this plain; the names of two have survived; Lub (comp. Lop-Nor.) and Kank, but of the rest there is no trace or tradition; all is buried under the sand." I have lately observed from a note in Pauthier's 'Marco Polo,' p. 135, that Quatremere has already published this curious passage regarding the ancient cities of Cashgaria ('Not. des Manuscrits,' tome xiv. p. 494), having found it in the 'Haft Aklim,' into which work it had been copied from the Tarikh-i-Rashidi. Quatremere, however, has been guilty of a singular blunder in his further translation of the passage speaking of the chase of wild camels in the Kashghar desert instead of the chase of ostriches. Quatremere ought to have been aware that the ostrich is called "the camel bird" in Persian, and he might have also remembered that it is described under this title by the Chinese as a native of the Pamir steppes. (See 'Nouv. Mel. Asiat.,' tome i. p. 246, and 'Vie de Hiuen-Tsang,' p. 272.) The objection of course to there having really been a great city of Kanishka's in the vicinity of Yarkend, which furnished the Perso-Aryans with the germ of their Kang-diz myth, is the silence of the Buddhist travellers. Fa-Hian and Hiuen-tsang were both well acquainted with Kanishka, indeed, we derive our chief knowledge of that king, his era and his works, from their writings, and they in no instance associate his name with any of the remarkable buildings they saw about the Tsung-ling Range. Tash-Kurghan, however, does really seem to answer to the Kie-cha of Fa-Hian, as suggested by Colonel Yule and Mr Beal, and Kanika is called in Mongol history, King of Gachu, which is probably the same word (though entirely unconnected with the apocryphal title of Karchu), and it is just possible therefore that Kanishka may be the ancient king of Ko-pan-to (country of Sirkul), wllo conquered Taksha-sila, or Taxila, and who was better known by his title of China-deva-gotra. See ' Vie de Hiuen-thsang,' p. 274. 'Foe-koue-ki,' p. 80. Beal's 'Fa-Hian,' p. 14, &c.

-- Monograph on the Oxus, by Major-General Sir H.C. Rawlinson, K.C.B., President R.G.S., The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, 1872, Vol. 42 (1872), pp. 482-513

The original inscription on the obelisk is primarily in Brahmi script but language was Prakrit, with some Pali and Sanskrit added later.

-- Feroz Shah Kotla, by Wikipedia

Neither Muhammed Ami'n the author of the Haftaklim [Muhammad Amin Razi, [x], vide Amin Ahmad, author of the Haft Aklim -- The Oriental Biographical Dictionary], nor Ferishteh, in his account of Feroz's works alludes to the comparatively modern inscription on the same pillar recording the victories of Visala Deva king of Sacambhari (or Sambhar) in the 12th century, of which Sir William Jones first [XXI. Inscriptions on the Staff of Firuz Shah, translated from the Sanscrit, as explained by Radha Canta Sarman, Asiatic Researches, Volume 1, 1788, P. 315-317.], and Mr. Colebrooke afterwards, ['Translation of one of the Inscriptions on the Pillar at Delhi, called the Lat of Firuz Shah, by Henry Colebrooke, Esq., With Introductory Remarks by Mr. Harrington,' Asiatic Researches, Vol. VII, 1803, P. 175-182] published translations in the first and seventh volumes of the [Asiatic] Researches. This was in quite a modern type of Nagari; differing about as much from the character employed on the Allahabad pillar to record the victories of Chanara and Samudra-gupta, as that type is now perceived to vary from the more ancient form originally engraven on both of these pillars; so that (placing Chandra-gupta, in the third or fourth century, midway between Visala, in the Samvat year 1220, and the oldest inscription) we might have roughly deduced an antiquity of fourteen or fifteen centuries anterior to Visala's reign for the original lat alphabet, from the gradual change of form in the alphabetical symbols, had we no better foundation for fixing the period of these monuments.

But in my preceding notice, I trust that this point has been set at rest, and that it has been satisfactorily proved that the several pillars of Delhi, Allahabad, Mattiah and Radhia were erected under the orders of king Devanampiya Piyadasi of Ceylon, about three hundred years before the Christian era.
Tissa, later Devanampiya Tissa was one of the earliest kings of Sri Lanka based at the ancient capital of Anuradhapura from 247 BC to 207 BC. His reign was notable for the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka under the aegis of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. The primary source for his reign is the Mahavamsa, which in turn is based on the more ancient Dipavamsa.

Tissa was the second son of Mutasiva of Anuradhapura. The Mahavamsa describes him as being "foremost among all his brothers in virtue and intelligence".

The Mahavamsa mentions an early friendship with Ashoka. Chapter IX of the chronicle mentions that "the two monarchs, Devanampiyatissa and Dhammasoka, already had been friends a long time, though they had never seen each other", Dhammasoka being an alternate name for Ashoka. The chronicle also mentions Tissa sending gifts to the mighty emperor of the Maurya; in reply Ashoka sent not only gifts but also the news that he had converted to Buddhism, and a plea to Tissa to adopt the faith as well. The king does not appear to have done this at the time, instead adopting the name Devānaṃpiya "Beloved of the Gods" and having himself consecrated King of Lanka in a lavish celebration.

Emperor Ashoka took a keen interest in the propagation of Buddhism across the known world, and it was decided that his son, Mahinda, would travel to Sri Lanka and attempt to convert the people there.
The events surrounding Mahinda's arrival and meeting with the king form one of the most important legends of Sri Lankan history.

According to the Mahavamsa king Devanampiyatissa was out enjoying a hunt with some 40,000 of his soldiers near a mountain called Mihintale. The date for this is traditionally associated with the full moon day of the month of Poson.

Having come to the foot of Missaka, Devanampiyatissa chased a stag into the thicket, and came across Mahinda (referred to with the honorific title Thera); the Mahavamsa has the great king 'terrified' and convinced that the Thera was in fact a 'yakka', or demon. However, Thera Mahinda declared that 'Recluses we are, O great King, disciples of the King of Dhamma (Buddha) Out of compassion for you alone have we come here from Jambudipa'. Devanampiyatissa recalled the news from his friend Ashoka and realised that these are missionaries sent from India. Thera Mahinda went on to preach to the king's company and preside over the king's conversion to Buddhism.

-- Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura, by Wikipedia

I have there also explained the nature of the document, and have now only to disclose its contents in detail, as far as my hasty scrutiny, and my very imperfect acquaintance with the languages of ancient India will permit.

The difficulties with which I have had to contend are of a very different nature from those presented by more modern inscriptions, where the sense has to be extracted from a mass of hyperbolical eulogy and extravagant exaggeration embodied still in very legible and classical Sanskrit. Here the case is opposite: — the sentiments and the phraseology are perfectly simple and straightforward — but the orthography is sadly vitiated — and the language differs essentially from every existing written idiom: it is as it were intermediate between the Sanskrit and the Pali; and a degree of license is therefore requisite in selecting the Sanskrit equivalent of each word, upon which to base the interpretation — a license dangerous in the use unless restrained within wholesome rules; for a skilful pandit will easily find a word to answer any purpose if allowed to insert a letter or alter a vowel ad libitum. There are some substitutions authorized by analogy to the Pali which require no explanation — such as the preposition [x] or pati for the Sanskrit [x]; kate for [x]; dhamma for [x]; the use of [x] kh, and sometimes [x] chh, for [x] ksh, &c.; while others again, as [x] hidate for [x], hridhi or hidayate; [x] kayanani for [x] alyanani, &c. have for their adoption the only excuse, that nothing better offers: but it is unnecessary to dwell upon these peculiarities here, as attention has been directed to all that occur in the notes appended to the translation.

On searching the society's portfolio I found the five original manuscript plates of Captain Hoare, whence the engravings published in the Researches seem to have been copied. Their collation has been of essential service in detecting a few errors of the vowel marks that have crept into the engraving. I found also two much larger drawings of the first and last inscription of the series, apparently of the actual dimensions. —
These I suppose to have been the originals presented to Sir William Jones by Colonel Polier, and therefore of themselves venerable for their antiquity! But they are by no means so faithful as Captain Hoare's copy, and the inscription round the column has the singular blunder of the two lowermost lines being copied in an inverted order, that is, written from right to left in the boustrophedon [from right to left and from left to right in alternate lines.] fashion.
Nevertheless in one or two doubtful points they have rendered good service by supplying a vowel, or an anuswara required for the plural of a verb, omitted through mistake in the smaller copy.

In contriving a fount of type adapted to this ancient and highly elegant form of Nagari, I have made but a few insignificant alterations which I trust will not be thought unwarrantable. — The [x], [x] and [x], being of smaller size than the other letters in the original: — I have elongated them to square with the rest. The vowels also are in the original attached to the sides of these letters as [x]- ba, [x] thi, -[x] the; I have made them [x], [x], [x] to avoid an unseemly gap. The letter [x] is inflected on the centre with e and a thus [x], [x]; these I have for uniformity made [x], [x]: it is necessary to notice this, lest consulters of the originals should imagine I had been taking liberties with my materials. For the compound vowel o also I have been forced to content myself with a prolonged stroke (the e and a united) as [x] no, in lieu of the more elegant break given in the original to shew the two vowel marks as [x] no. Nothing material however is lost through these trifling modifications; while with them the ancient alphabet becomes easier to print, and certainly easier to read, than the more complicated letters of the (so-called) perfected (Samskrita) alphabet of the brahmans.

The four inscriptions facing the four cardinal points on the pillar, appear to be enclosed in frames and to be each complete in itself. These four edicts are repeated verbatim on the three other lats, with exception of the lower half of the eastern tablet which is wanting in all, as is likewise the long inscription round the shaft below the separate tablets.

On the other hand the Allahabad pillar has five short insulated lines at foot* [See plate IV. of Vol. III.] which are not to be found elsewhere. They are curious from their allusion three times to the second queen of Devanampiya; but from the incompleteness of the lines on the right hand the context cannot thoroughly be explained: the three letters at the end of the third line look like numerals.


Devanampiyasa vechanena savata vahamaga
Vataviya: eheta dutiyaya deviye dane.
Jambavadi kava alameva dana petha e (?)
Kichhi ganiyataye deviye senani ava.
Datiyaya deviye titivalamatu evakiye.

We might translate the whole of the first line: [x], By the word of Devanampiya — must be called a perfect ascetic or Brahmaga.' The second line certainly records a gift [x] 'of the second queen' — and the alamevadana, a sufficiency of gifts of some particular kind. Kichhi ganiyata dev may be supposed to be the name of the lady, or kichhi may be kinchit, some, little. — Senani, a general: — titi for tritiya third, and other insulated words can be recognized but without coherence.

To return from this digression: — The general object of Devanampiya's series of edicts is according to my reading, to proclaim his renunciation of his former faith, and his adoption of the Buddhist persuasion, to which wholesome change he invites others from every rank in society, by a representation of its great excellency. He addresses to his disciples, or devotees, (for so I have been obliged to translate rajaka, as the Sanskrit [x], though I would have preferred rajaka, ministers, had the first a been long — ) a number of specific rules for their guidance, with penalties of a comparatively mild nature for any omission in their performance: but the chief drift of the writing seems directed to enhance the merits of the author, — the continual recurrence of esa me kate, 'so have I done — arguing rather a vaunt of his own acts, than an inculcation of virtue in others, unless by the force of example.

It is a curious fact that although the intent of the royal convert seems to have been to spread every where the knowledge of his conversion, and of the virtuous acts to which it had given rise on his part, and further to set forth the main principles of his new faith, yet the name of the author of that religion is no where distinctly or directly introduced, as Buddha, Gotama, Shakya muni, &c. At the end of the first sentence, indeed, the expression Sukatam kachhati, which I have supposed to be intended for sugatam gachhati, may be thought to contain one of Buddha's names as Sugato, (the well-come) — but even in this the error in spelling makes the reading doubtful. In another place I have rendered a final expression agnim namisati, 'shall give praise to Agni' — a deity we are hardly at liberty to pronounce connected with the Buddhist worship, though points of agreement and harmony may be adduced. But in any case Agni if rendered generally as 'god' keeps him distinct from Buddha 'the teacher,' of whose deification no evidence is afforded by the inscription; for neither is there any allusion to images of him, nor to temples or shrines enclosing his relics.
It is only by the general tenor of the dogmas inculcated, that we can pronounce it to relate to the Buddhist religion. The sacred name constantly employed — the true keystone of Shakya's reform — is Dhamma (or dharma), 'virtue;' upon the exceeding excellencies, and the incontestable supremacy, of which divine attribute the whole of his system seems to have originally rested, and by which it may have won its way to the hearts of a people whose inclinations were already imbued with admiration of this quality in their own ancient system, though it had since been mixed up with an unseemly mass of inconsistencies and gross idolatries: and the pious and reflecting must have been glad to reject them, when an opportunity was afforded of saving their consciences from the dreadful alternative of being thought to throw off all religion, if they discarded the one in which they were born and bred. Buddhism was at that time only sectarianism; a dissent from a vast proportion of the existing sophistry and metaphysics of the Brahmanical schools, without an absolute relinquishment of belief in their gods, or of conformity in their usages, and with adherence still to the milder qualities of the religion, to all in short that it contained of dharma, — virtue, justice, law. The very term Devanampiya, 'beloved of the gods,' shews the retention of the Hindu pantheon generally; and this might be easily confirmed by reference to Mr. Csoma's note on the birth and life of Shakya.

The conquest by Darius introduced the Persians' new religion, reformed Mazdaism, or Early Zoroastrianism, a strongly monotheistic faith with a creator God, Ahura Mazda, and with ideas of absolute Truth (Avestan asa, Old Persian arta) versus 'the Lie' (druj), and of an accumulation of Good and Bad deeds -- that is, "karma" -- which determined whether a person would be rewarded by "rebirth" in Heaven. These ideas are all found in the Gathas, the oldest part of the Avesta, which are attributed to Zoroaster himself, and all are expressed openly and repeatedly in the Old Persian royal inscriptions as well. Essentially the same ideas occur in the Major Inscriptions of the Mauryas in the third century BC in India. The traditional view is that the Buddha reinterpreted existing Indian ideas found in the Upanishads, but the Upanishads in question cannot be dated to a period earlier than the Buddha, as shown by Bronkhorst and discussed below. Just as Early Buddhism cannot be expected to be similar to the Normative Buddhism of a half millennium or more later, so Early Brahmanism cannot be expected to be similar to Late Brahmanism (not to speak of Hinduism), attested even later. "Zoroaster was ... the first to teach the doctrines of ... Heaven and Hell, the future resurrection of the body ... , and life everlasting for the reunited soul and body", and Early Zoroastrianism was the faith of the ruling nation of the Persian Empire. Both Early Buddhism and Early Brahmanism are the direct outcome of the introduction of Zoroastrianism into eastern Gandhara by Darius I. Early Buddhism resulted from the Buddha's rejection of the basic principles of Early Zoroastrianism, while Early Brahmanism represents the acceptance of those principles. Over time, Buddhism would accept more and more of the rejected principles. Darius also sponsored the creation of a completely new writing system -- Old Persian cuneiform script, which is partly modeled on Aramaic script, one of the main administrative scripts of the Persian Empire -- and the practice of erecting monumental inscriptions.

-- Greek Buddha: Pyrrho's Encounter With Early Buddhism in Central Asia, by Christopher I. Beckwith

Those who have studied the mystics of Buddhism from the lucid dissertation of Mr. Hodgson in the January and February Nos. of last year's Journal [(Jan.) II.—Quotations from original Sanscrit authorities in proof and illustration of Mr. Hodgson's sketch of Buddhism (p. 28); (Feb.) II.—Quotations from Original Sanscrit Authorities in proof and illustration of Mr. Hodgson's Sketch of Buddhism (p. 71)], will know that Dharma is the second member of the Triamnaya, or triad, — (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, — ) according to the theistical school; while what Mr. Hodgson calls the atheistical school exalts Dharma to the first place. With them "Dharma is Diva natura, matter as the sole entity, invested with intrinsic activity and intelligence, the efficient and material cause of all: — Buddha is derivative from Dharma, is the active and intelligent force of nature first put off from it and then operating upon it:—Sangha is the result of that operation; is embryotic creation, the type and sum of all specific forms, which are spontaneously evolved from the union of Buddha with Dharma*." [Journ. As. Soc. Vol. V. page 37.] Happily in our inscription there is no necessity to resort to these subtleties of the schools which have rendered a plain matter perplexed. The word is here evidently used in its simple sense of "the law, virtue, or religion" — and though its gifts and excellencies are vaunted, there is no worship offered to it, no godhead claimed for it.

The word dhamma is in the document before us generally coupled with another word, vadhi,
in its several cases, dhamma-vadhi, dhamma-vadhiya, &c. according to the Sanskrit grammatical rules of combination or samasa.

The most obvious interpretation of the word vadhi is found in the Sanskrit [x] vriddhi, increase, whence are derived the vernacular words barhna, to increase; barhta, increasing; barhai, increase, &c., differing imperceptibly in pronunciation from the vadhi and vadhita of the inscription. The constant recurrence of the same expression would lead to the conclusion that the religion of Buddha was then generally known by this compound title, as 'the increase of virtue,' 'the expansion of the law,' in allusion to the rapid proselytism which it sought and obtained.

While, not surprisingly, the ordinary generic human contrast between truth and falsehood is found in the Vedas, the specifically Early Zoroastrian form of the ideas, including the result of following one or the other path, is completely alien to them. In the early Vedic religion, ritually correct performance of blood sacrifices was believed to be rewarded in this life, but the reward had nothing to do with one's virtuous actions or one's future in the afterlife. These ideas thus seem to have been introduced by the Achaemenid Persians into eastern Gandhara and Sindh, the western limits of the ancient Indic world and southeastern limits of the Central Asian world, just as they were introduced into Near Eastern parts of the vast Persian Empire. In fact, Early Zoroastrianism is attested in Achaemenid Central Asia and India in the earliest Persian imperial written documents from the region.

-- Greek Buddha: Pyrrho's Encounter With Early Buddhism in Central Asia, by Christopher I. Beckwith

Against this interpretation if it be urged that the dental dh [x] is in other cases used for the Sanskrit dh [x]; as in the word dharmma itself; in vadha, murder; bandha, bound, &c. Such objection may be met by instancing other undoubted cases where the cerebral dh is used for the Sanskrit [x] ddh as in [x] adhakosayani (for arddha) 'half kos;' and in like manner the dental rth is generally expressed by the cerebral th, as atha, athaya for [x], [x].

The only other word by which vadhi can be rendered is the Sanskrit [x] vritti, 'occupation, turning.' Now we have examples of the dental t being represented by the cerebral d in the inscription, especially when double or combined with p, as [x] sadda for sapta, (or satta, Pali) seven; and in one compartment (the commencement of the under inscription round the shaft), the same letter, [x] is used indifferently for [x], dh, in the very word, dhamma vadaiya, which we are discussing. It is hardly possible to imagine that two expressions so strikingly similar in orthography as dhammavadhi and dhammavatti or vadai, yet of such opposite meaning should be applied to the same thing. One must be wrong; and I should have had no question which to prefer, were it not for a curious expression I remembered to have met with in the Tibetan translation of the Buddhist volumes. Of the twelve principal acts in Shakya's life described in the Gyacherrolpa (S. Lalitavistara), the tenth is translated by Mr. Csoma Korosi, "He turns the wheel of the law, or publishes his doctrine;" now it was possible that the Sanskrit of this expression might be found [x] or in the Pali, dhammavutti vavethayati, vutti signifying explication or doctrine, as well as 'wheel.'

Finding a copy of the Lalita Vistara in Sanskrit amongst Mr. Hodgson's valuable collection of Buddhist works transferred from the College of Fort William to the Asiatic Society's library, I requested my pandit Kamalakanta to look into it for this expression 'wheel of the law' adopted by the Tibetan translators; and he was not long in extracting an abundance of examples of its use: thus in the 299th leaf, in the 25th adhyaya, Tathagata (Buddha) is made to say: —

'I will go to Benares: — having arrived at the city of Kashi, I will turn the wheel of the law, which is revolving amongst mankind, (i.e. I will run my religious course.')

The word dharmachakra is here distinct enough, and not to be confounded with our dhammavadhi. The following example from the 213th leaf, I therefore add less to strengthen the evidence than as a curious employment of many of the expressions met with in other parts of our inscription, particularly in the eastern tablet.


"Having bowed the head in reverence: — Do thou, oh Bhagavan, be pleased to set about turning the wheel of the law of him that hath firmly embraced Tathagata. Turn thou the wheel of the law oh Sugata! For the benefit of much people, for the delight of much people, for compassion to the world, for the urgent reason of the necessities of man, — for the benefit, for the delight alike of angels and men, — perform thou, oh Bhagavan, the sacrifice of the law: — pour down the plentiful shower of the law: — lift up on high the great banner of the law: — blow forth the great conch of the law: —strike loud the great drum of the law!"
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Part 2 of 3

The multitude of metaphors employed in this example and throughout the volume, in connection with dharma, prepares us for the dhamma kamata, dhamma pekha, dhamma vadhi of our inscription. Still a more direct illustration by the actual employment of the term dharma vriddhi was wanting; and, although on further search the precise expression was not found; the pandit met with many instances of the word vriddhi occurring in connection with bodhi, which as applied to the Buddhist faith was nearly synonymous with dharma: Bodhi vriddhi, the growth of knowledge, or metaphorically the growth of the bodhi or sacred fig tree — the tree of knowledge, being as applicable to Buddhism, as dharma vriddhi, the growth of grace.


Ficus religiosa has got mythological, religious and medicinal importance in Indian culture. References to Ficus religiosa are found in several ancient holy texts like Arthasastra, Puranas, Upanisads, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavadgita and Buddhistic literature, etc. The Brahma Purana and the Padma Purana, relate how once, when the demons defeated the Gods, Vishnu hide in the peepal. The Skanda Purana also considers the peepal, a symbol of Vishnu. He is believed to have been born under this tree. Some believe that the tree houses the Trimurti, the roots being Brahma, the trunk Vishnu and the leaves Shiva. The Gods are said to hold their councils under this tree and so it is associated with spiritual understanding. The peepal is also closely linked to Krishna.

In the Bhagavad Gita, he says: "Among trees, I am the ashvattha." Krishna is believed to have died under this tree, after which the present Kali Yuga is said to have begun. According to the Skanda Purana, if one does not have a son, the peepal should be regarded as one. As long as the tree lives, the family name will continue. To cut down a peepal is considered a sin equivalent to killing a Brahmin, one of the five deadly sins or Panchapataka. According to the Skanda Purana, a person goes to hell for doing so. Some people are particular to touch the peepal only on a Saturday. The Brahma Purana explains why saying that Ashvattha and peepala were two demons who harassed people.

Ashvattha would take the form of a peepal and peepala the form of a Brahmin. The fake Brahmin would advise people to touch the tree, and as soon as they did, Ashvattha would kill them. Later they were both killed by Shani. Because of his influence, it is considered safe to touch the tree on Saturdays. Lakshmi is also believed to inhabit the tree on Saturdays. Therefore it is considered auspicious to worship it. Women ask the tree to bless them with a son tying a red thread or red cloth around its trunk or on its branches.

-- A Review on Ficus Religiosa -- An Important Medicinal Plant, by Shailendra Singh *, S. K. Jain, Shashi Alok, Dilip Chanchal and Surabhi Rashi

Thus in the 181st leaf:


'The bhikshus (priests) at that time (said there were) eight goddesses of bodhi vriddhi; that is to say: — Sri vriddhi, daya, sreyasi, chit, idavala, satyavadini; samaguni, chaya*: [Grace, increase, mercy, happiness, genius, praise-giving, truth-speaking, equality. — Daya is written taya: idavala, ajavala, and samaguni, samagini: in fact the whole volume is so full of errors of transcription that it was with difficulty Kamalakanta could manage to restore the correct reading.] — these (eight divine personifications) from doing service to the great saint, by the practice of asceticism, as well as by the grace of the great saint, (the said priests) have magnified.'

This passage is corrupt and consequently obscure, but it teaches plainly that dharmavriddhi of our inscription may always be understood, like bodhivridhi, in the general acceptation of 'the Buddhist religion.'

Proselytism, turning the wheel, or publishing the doctrines, whichever is preferred, was evidently a main object of the Buddhist system, and it is pointed at continually in the pillar inscription. Not content with injunctions to spread the tenets among the rich, the poor, the householder, and the ascetic; — brahmans, the arch-opponents of the faith, are also named, under the disguise of the corrupt spelling babhana; even the court and the zenanah (if the term is allowable for a period anterior to the seclusion of the fair sex) — are specifically recommended to the discreet and respectful endeavours of the missionary.

I have said that the founder of the faith is not named. Neither is the ordinary title of the priesthood, bhikhu or bhichhu to be found, though the word is so frequently met with among the Bhilsa danams. The words mahamata, (written sometimes mata) and dhamma mahamata seem used for priests 'the wise men, the very learned in religion.' — The same epithet is found in conjunction with bhikhu in the interesting passage quoted by Mr. Turnour in the preceding article on the Pitakattayan, (see page 506.)

But it is possible that this expression has been misunderstood by the pandit: mahamata [x] even if by shortening the a it be read mahamata, the greatly wise, can only metaphorically be said to become vyapta or 'pervading' all orders of society, in order to conversion: while Mr. Hodgson's epitome, above alluded to, gives us another mode of interpretation perhaps more consonant with the spirit of the system. Mahamatra (in Pali mahamata) is another name for Dharma, as Prajna Paramita the great mother of Buddha — the universal mother, omniscience, illusion, maya, &c. — and as such may be more correctly supposed to pervade than mahamata the priests, which moreover is always written in Pali, mahamati.

It will be remarked that assemblies are mentioned (nikayani), and preachings (dhammasavanani), and ordinances of all sorts, but there is no allusion to the vihara by name, nor to the chaitya, or temple: no hint of images of Buddha's person, nor of relics preserved in costly monuments. The spreading fig tree and the great dhatris, perhaps in memory of those under which his doctrines were delivered, are the only objects to be held sacred, or to have rites performed at them; and in those rites, the meat-offering— the sacrifice of blood, is interdicted as the highest sin.

The edict prohibiting the killing of particular animals is perhaps one of the most curious of the whole. — The particularity with which it commences on the birds is ill supported by what follows regarding animals, which are dismissed with a savachatupade 'all quadrupeds' — as if the sculptor or scribe had found the engraving of such a list too long a job to complete. — The two first birds, suke, sarike, the green parrot and maina, are the principal pet birds of the Hindus, still universally domesticated, and not rivalled by the nightingale of Persian introduction. Many of the names in the list are now unknown, and are perhaps irrecoverable, being the vernacular rather than the classical appellations. I have pointed out such endeavours as have been made by the pandits to identify them, in my notes. Others of the names in the enumeration of birds not to be eaten, will remind the reader of the injunctions of Moses to the Jews on the same subject. The list in the 11th chapter of Leviticus comprises 'the eagle, the ossifrage, the ospray, the vulture and kite: every raven after his kind, the owl, night hawk, cuckoo and hawk; the little owl, cormorant and great owl: the swan, pelican, and gier-eagle; the stork, heron, lapwing and bat,' — those marked in italics being found in our list. The verse immediately following the catalogue of birds, "All fowls that creep upon all four shall be an abomination unto you," presents a curious coincidence with the expression of our tablet 'savechatapade ye pati bhogan no ete,' which comes after gamakapote, the tame dove.

But the edict by no means seems to interdict the use of animal food — probably this would have been too great an innovation. It restricts the prohibition to particular days of fast and abstinence, on the chief of which, fowls that have been killed are not even to be offered for sale — and on these days, beasts of burthen are to be exempted from labour: 'the ox even shall not be tied up in his stall.'

The sheep, goat, and pig seem to have been the staple of animal food at the period — they are expressly mentioned as kept for fattening, and are only not to be slaughtered while with young or giving milk; but merit is ascribed to the abstaining from animal food altogether.

Ratna Paula tells me no similar rules are to be found in the Pali works of Ceylon, nor are the particular days set apart for fasting or upavasun in the inscription, exactly in accordance with modern Buddhistic practice which observes only the atthami and panaradassami, or 8th and 15th of each half lunation, (that is, nearly every 7th day.) All the days inserted are however of great weight in the Hindu calendar of festivals, and the sectarians may not yet have relinquished them. Thus the two lunar days mentioned in the south tablet, tishya (or pushya) and punarvasu, though now disregarded, are known from the Lalitu Vistara to have been strictly attended to by the early priests. In the 14th leaf we have the following example.


'The priests perceiving the people of the cities of Bodhisatwa to be sleeping, and knowing too that the middle of the night had arrived, and knowing that the moon had entered into the mansion of Pushya; knowing that this was the time of night to depart (for some religious observance), called their disciples.'

In one respect the mention of these days is of high interest, as proving that the luni-solar system of the brahmans was the same as we see it now, three centuries before our era, and not the modern invention Bentley and some others have pretended. The astronomy of the Puranas was (as Mr. Wilkinson has shewn) as much a bone of contention between the two sects, as were their other branches of metaphysics.

None of the fierce conflicts between the followers of the two religions had yet probably taken place. Occupying the throne and the court it had nothing yet to fear. Nevertheless (if I have read the passage aright) opposition was contemplated as conversion should proceed, and the weapons prescribed to meet it are "the foolishness of preaching," and a stedfast adherence to ordinances. Meantime the example of royal benevolence was exercised in a way to conciliate the Nanapasandas, the Gentiles of every persuasion, by the planting of trees along the roadsides, by the digging of wells, by the establishment of bazars and serais, at convenient distances. Where are they all? On what road are we now to search for these venerable relics, these banyan trees and mangoes, which, with the aid of Professor Candolle's theory*, [See translation of his Essay on the Longevity of Plants, J. A. S. vol. III p. 196.] would enable us to confirm the assumed date of our monuments? The lat of Feroz is the only one which alludes to this circumstance, and we know not whence that was taken to be set up in its present situation by the emperor Feroz in the 14th century — whether it had stood there from the first? or whether it was re-erected when it received the inscription recording the victories of Visala deva in the Samvat year 1220 or A.D. 1163? — This cannot be determined without a careful re-examination of the ruinous building surrounding the pillar, which I hope some of my antiquarian friends will undertake. The chambers described by Captain Hoare as a menagerie and aviary may have been so adapted from their original purpose as cells for the monastic priesthood — a point which the style of their architecture may settle. The neighbourhood should also be examined for traces of a vihara, a holy tree, a road, and boulees or large pakka wells: — the texture of the stone also should be noticed, that the quarry whence it was brought may be discovered, for now that we know so much of its history we feel a vivid curiosity to pry into the further secrets of this interesting silastambha, even to the difficulties and probably cost of its transport, which, judging from the inability of the present Government to afford the expense even of setting the Allahabad pillar upright on its pedestal, must have fallen heavily on the coffers of the Ceylon monarch!

But I must now close these desultory remarks, in the hope of hereafter rendering them more worthy of the object by future study and research; and proceed to lay before the Society, first a correct version of the inscription in its own character, and then in Roman letters which I have preferred to Nagari, because the Pali language has been already made familiar to that type by MM. Bournouf and Lassen, as well as by Mr. Turnour's great edition of the Mahavansa, now just issued from the press.

I. — Inscription on the North compartment.


[The Allahabad version is cut off after the 3 first letters of the 19th line. J. A. S. vol. III. p. 118. The Mathia and Radhia lats contain it entire, adding only iti at the conclusion, and after Sache Sochaye in the 12th line.]

II. — Inscription on the West compartment.


[The second part of the Allahabad inscription begins to be legible at the 12th letter of the 14th line. The whole is to be found on the Radhia pillar, (vol. IV. Pl. VII.) The termination at Mathia differs (vol. III. Pl. XXIX.) in having inserted after the 3rd letter of the 20th line the words Image the rest as here given.]  

III. — Inscription on the South compartment.

[The word Ajakanani at the end of the 7th line seems accidently to have been omitted in the Feroz lat. It is supplied from the Radhia and Mathia pillars. The Allahabad version is erased from the 3rd letter of the 6th line. The other lats have [x] after [x], twice in the 10th line.]

IV. — Inscription on the East compartment.

[The Mathia and Radhia inscriptions terminate with the tenth line. The remainder of this inscription and the following running round the Column are peculiar to the Delhi monument.]

Translation of the Inscription of the North compartment.  

Line / Transcript of the Inscription on the North compartment.

1 / Devanampiya piyadasi Laja evam aha. Saddavisativasa

2 / abhisitename, iyam Dhammalipi likhapita 1. [The opening sentence has been fully explained and commented on in the preceding Journal, page 469.]

3 / Hidatapalite dusampatipadaye 2. [The whole of the northern tablet, although composed of words individually easy of translation, presents more difficulties in a way of a satisfactory interpretation than any of the others. This first sentence particularly was unintelligible to Ratna Paula, who for Dusampati would have substituted Dasabala, 'the tea (elephant) powered' a name of Buddha. The pandit's reading seems more to the purpose, [x] (or nearer still to the text) [x], 'I declare or confess the sins cherished in my heart;' [x] being the proper or regular form as opposed to the common form of the verb according to the rules obtaining in the Pali, as in the Sanskrit, language.] Annata agaya dhammakamataya

4 / agaya palikhaya, agaya sususaya, agena bhayena,

5 / agena usihenda, esa chakhomama anusathiya 3. [The sense of this passage, although at first sight obvious enough, recedes as the construction is grammatically examined. I originally supposed that Annata was meant for Ananta, the anuswara being placed by accident on the left, and had adopted the nearest literal approach to the text in Sanskrit for the translation:— [x], viz.: 'through the examination, &c. of the sinfulness of the numberless sins connected with the worldly passions;' but in this it was necessary to omit two long vowels (in parikhaya and sususaya to place them in the third case. By making them of the fifth case, (in Sanskrit the nyabalope panchami) and by reading Anyata, every letter can be exactly preserved with the sense given in the present translation; thus: [x]; the rest as before. In this the most doubtful words are usritena and chaksho; the latter Ratna Paula would break into cha-kho, 'and certainly' (kho for khalu); the former may be replaced by [x], 'by perseverance,' but this is hardly an improvement. It is also a question whether Dhamma kama is to be applied in a good sense as 'intense desire of virtue,' or in a bad, as 'dominion of the sensual passions.']

6 / Dhamma pekha, dhamma kamata cha suve suve vadhita vadhisati cha vi 4 [This sentence is equally simple in appearance, though ambiguous in meaning from the same cause; [x]; kamata is however here applied in the good sense with dharma.]

7 / pulisapi cha me ukasa cha gevaya cha maritimacha anuvidhiyanti 5, [Two readings here offer, both nearly similar in meaning— [x] — 'my people, yea, the demons, the gods, and those of a middle state:'— or [x], (my people) 'both family folk, ascetics, and mortals (in general),' [, are united together (like the threads in a cloth) and follow together in one path, (or consent together:) for padayanti read padayanti.]

8 / sampatipdaayanti cha: alanchapalan samadipayitave hemeva anta

9 / mahamatapi 6 [Either [x], 'having obtained devout meditation,' or (which is nearer the text [x], from [x], 'abstinence from passion,' the participle termination [x] twa from the prefixing of pra, becomes yap, or is changed to [x]: it seems preserved in the Pali payitave, quasi payitwa. [x], mahamata, supremely wise, may be made nearer to the text, where the third a is long, by reading [x], mahamatra, being the holiest act of brahmanical reverence, accompanied by the closing of every corporeal orifice.] esahi vidhi ya, iyam dhammena palina dhammena vidhane

10 / dhammena sukhiyana dhammena goviti 7. [This passage is somewhat obscure — but it is tolerably made out by attention to the cases of the pronouns and the four times repeated Dharma in the third case: thus [x] from the root [x], to knit or string together. The text gives the literal translation according to this reading: but the aspirated d and the separation of ya would favor the reading [x], &c. 'this is the true path, or rule,' &c. In either case there are errors in the genders of the pronouns.] Devanampiya piyadasi Laja

11 / hevam aha. Dhamme sadhu, kiyamcha dhammeti; apassinavai8 [Apasinavai (in other lats with a double s), is the Sanskrit [x], 'not certainly omitting,' — alluding either to the words [x], or the non-omission of deeds just mentioned, or to what follows.] bahukiyane 9; [By kiyane, both my Pali and my brahmanical advisers insist upon understanding kalyane [x], happiness; bahu kalyane in the seventh case (nimitat saptami) 'for much happiness.' — But I prefer the more simple [x] acts— in the neuter like the preceding kiyam: the Sanskrit kriya is however feminine.]

12 / dayadane, sacha sochaye; chakhodane pime 10; [[x]; [x] may also be read, of the same signification — purity from passion or vice. Chakhuradan is explained in Wilson's Dictionary as 'the ceremony of anointing the eyes of the image at the time of consecration'— but it is also allegorically used for any instruction, or opening of the eyes derived from a spiritual teacher.] bahu vidha dine, Dupada

13 / chatupadesu, pakhi-valichalesu, vividhame anugahe kate 11; [A very easy sentence; [x] — the construction is as that of the Latin ablative absolute, 'many kindnesses being done of me, towards the poor,' &c.] apana

14 / dakhinaye annanipicha me bahuni kayanani katani 12: [This is also equally clear:— [x] — aprana may here allude to vegetable life, or to that which doth not draw breath; benevolence to inanimate things.— For [x] also [x] grain, food, may be intended. A better sense for apana may be obtained by reading [x] pleasing and conciliatory demeanour.] etaye me

15 / athaya iyam dhammalipi likhapita. Heva anupatipajantu chiran

16 / thitikacha hotutiti 13, [[x] 'on this account, or with this intention,' [x] — the Sanskrit verb is in the atmane-pada or regular form, the Pali in the parasmai-pada or ordinary form — 'let all pay attention to:' [x] — 'let it (the ordinance) be enduring for ages.'] Ye cha hevam sampatapajisati se sukatam kachhatiti 14. [If ye and se are here preferred, the verbs must be plural, otherwise ya and sa are required. [x]. In this, the only method of reading the text, there is a corrupt substitution of k for g twice: but other instances of the same substitution occur elsewhere.]

17 / Devanam piya piya dasi Laja hevam aha. Kayanammeva dekhati iyam me

18 / kayanekateti. 15 [By the pandit [x] literally '(whatever) may direct or tend to the happiness of me — this for my happiness is done.' Again [x] (by iteration for) [x] (whatever) may exhibit the sinlessness of me — this for my sinlessness is done, (me'-apape.) In the translation I have supposed iyam to be ayam, in the neuter, and have taken dekhati, as allied to the -vernacular dekhna, which in Sanskrit changes in this tense to drishyate or [x] is seen.] Nomina papam dekhati, iyam me papekateti: iyamva asinave

19 / namati 16. [[x] — or this is called Asinava— a word of unknown meaning. The pandits would read adinava, transgressions — but the word is repeated more than once with the same spelling, and must therefore be retained.] Dupatavekha chukho esa hevam chukho esa dekhiye 17. [An obscure passage, chakho (written chukho) being neuter does not agree with esa m. — overruling this as an error, we may make, [x] — dekhiya, is precisely the modern Hindi subjunctive, 'may or shall it see.' — See note 15.] Imani

20 / asinava gamininama (ti) 18; [The ti does not exist on the Feroz lat though it is retained on the others. — Asinava gamini is the former unknown term — which seems here to mean the nine asa or petty offences. [x] (are) 'included amongst, or called:' — ] atha chandiye nithuriye kodha mane isya:

21 / karananavahakam 19 [[x]— Some of these agree with the nine kinds of subordinate crimes enumerated in Sanscrit works: — which are as follows:— [x] ignorance, deceit, envy, inebriety, lust, hypocrisy, hate, covetousness, and avarice. These several vices [x] shall not even be named.] mapalibhasayisanti: esa badha dekhiye 20 [[x]: 'count these forbidden' (making esa agree with badha as in Latin) and for badha reading badha, opposition — hindrance.] iyam me

22 / hidatikaye iyam mana me paliti kaye (ti) 21. [[x] 'This is established in my heart — this is cherished in my mind.']

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi: — In the twenty-seventh year of my anointment, I have caused this religious edict to be published in writing. I acknowledge and confess the faults that have been cherished in my heart. From the love of virtue, by the side of which all other things are as sins — from the strict scrutiny of sin, — and from a fervent desire to be told of sin: — by the fear of sin and by very enormity of sin: — by these may my eyes be strengthened and confirmed (in rectitude).

One way or the other, it would seem that the Buddha's teachings were unprecedented mainly because they opposed new foreign ideas -- the Early Zoroastrian ideas of good and bad karma, rebirth in Heaven (for those who were good), absolute Truth versus the Lie, and so on -- which were previously unknown in "India proper"....

The conquest by Darius introduced the Persians' new religion, reformed Mazdaism, or Early Zoroastrianism, a strongly monotheistic faith with a creator God, Ahura Mazda, and with ideas of absolute Truth (Avestan asa, Old Persian arta) versus 'the Lie' (druj), and of an accumulation of Good and Bad deeds -- that is, "karma" -- which determined whether a person would be rewarded by "rebirth" in Heaven. These ideas are all found in the Gathas, the oldest part of the Avesta, which are attributed to Zoroaster himself, and all are expressed openly and repeatedly in the Old Persian royal inscriptions as well. Essentially the same ideas occur in the Major Inscriptions of the Mauryas in the third century BC in India....

Timon says, "Pyrrho himself declares that

As for pragmata 'matters, questions, topics', they are all adiaphora 'undifferentiated by a logical differentia' and astathmeta 'unstable, unbalanced, not measurable' and anepikrita 'unjudged, unfixed, undecidable'. Therefore, neither our sense-perceptions nor our 'views, theories, beliefs' (doxat) tell us the truth or lie [about pragmata]; so we certainly should not rely on them [to do it]. Rather, we should be adoxastous 'without views', aklineis 'uninclined [toward this side or that]', and akradantous 'unwavering [in our refusal to choose]', saying about every single one that it no more is than it is not or it both is and is not or it neither is nor is not....

Pyrrho denies that pragmata are in fact differentiated from their contrasting opposites, for example "the just" versus "the unjust", or "the truth" versus "a lie". People dispute pragmata as to whether they are good or bad, just or unjust, and so on, but any specific pragma, in order to be a subject of philosophical discussion at all, must necessarily be discrete and differentiated from other pragmata by a logical differentia. Because pragmata themselves do not actually have differentiae (as Timon says, "by nature"), we ourselves necessarily supply the differentiae. But that makes the entire process strictly circular and therefore logically invalid...

Pyrrho next points out that the logical problem he has noted has specific implications for truth values of anything, and accordingly, for our epistemology: "Therefore, neither our sense perceptions nor our doxa 'views, theories' tell us the (ultimate) truth or lie to us (about pragmata 'matters'). So we certainly should not rely on them (to do it)." Because differentiae and other criteria are provided by human minds,  and ethical "matters, affairs, topics" are by nature unstable and unfixed, both our inductive knowledge (based on perceptions) and our deductive knowledge (views, theories, or arguments, even if based on purely internal logical calculation) must be circular, and therefore logically invalid and fatally defective in general. They are thus useless for determining any ultimate, absolute truth, or its converse, untruth -- the lie -- about pragmata 'matters'; so we certainly should not expect our intrinsically flawed and imperfect sense perceptions and mental abilities to do that.

Pyrrho's rejection of the antilogy of the Truth versus the Lie hearkens back to the fundamental antilogy, repeated over and over in the early Avesta and the early Old Persian inscriptions, between Asha or Arta 'the Truth', supported by Heavenly God, Ahura Mazda 'Lord Wisdom', versus Druj 'the Lie'.

Pyrrho's point here is that humans want to know the ultimate, absolute Truth, but the ultimate or the absolute is a perfectionist metaphysical or ontological category created by humans and superimposed on everything. The same people declare our task to be to learn the absolute, perfect truth, and to understand it, as if it really existed. Yet such categories cannot exist without humans, as pointed out in the Buddha's teaching of anatman -- dharmas do not have inherent self-identities -- and in Pyrrho's version of it, adiaphora....

Pyrrho finally enjoins us to be "unwavering" in our disposition about pragmata '(ethical) things, matters, affairs', reciting the tetralemma formula in response to "every single one" of them so as to deny that they have any validity whatsoever. "For Pyrrho declared no matter to be good or bad or just or unjust, and likewise with regard to all matters, that not one of them is (good or bad or just or unjust) in truth, but that people manage all matters (prattein) by law and custom, because each one is no more this than it is that."...

In sum, Pyrrho points out that because pragmata '(ethical) things, matters, questions' are inherently undifferentiated by logically valid criteria, there is no valid difference between good and bad, just and unjust, and so on. Therefore, neither sense perceptions nor doxa 'views, theories' can either tell the truth or lie, as a consequence of which neither the absolute Truth nor an absolute Lie can "really" exist, nor is it possible to determine "in truth" whether any pragmata exist. Therefore, we should not expect our senses or our doxa 'views, theories' to be able to tell the "real truth" or a "real lie" about anything. Instead, we should have "no views" about pragmata, we should be uninclined toward any extreme with respect to pragmata, and we should be unwavering'in our attitude about them, reciting about every single pragma the tetralemma formula, "It no more is than it is not, or it both is and is not, or it neither is nor is not". This formula invalidates all dogmatic arguments. What is left after maintaining this "attitude" or path, says Timon, is first apatheia 'passionlessness', and then ataraxia 'undisturbedness, peace'. According to Diogenes Laertius, Timon says suspending judgement "brings with it ataraxia 'undisturbedness, calm', like its shadow". Although suspending judgement is a feature specifically of Late Pyrrhonism, essentially the same thing is already advocated by Pyrrho himself in the Aristocles passage, and by Timon in his Pytho, where he puts it as "determining nothing and withholding assent".

-- Greek Buddha: Pyrrho's Encounter With Early Buddhism in Central Asia, by Christopher I. Beckwith

The sight of religion and the love of religion of their own accord increase and will ever increase: and my people whether of the laity, (grihist) or of the priesthood (ascetics) — all mortal beings, are knit together thereby, and prescribe to themselves the same path: and above all having obtained the mastery over their passions, they become supremely wise. For this is indeed true wisdom: it is upheld and bound by (it consists in) religion — by religion which cherishes, religion which teaches pious acts, religion that bestows (the only true) pleasure.

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi: — In religion is the chief excellence: — but religion consists in good works: — in the non-omission of many acts: mercy and charity, purity and chastity; — (these are) to me the anointment of consecration. Towards the poor and the afflicted, towards bipeds and quadrupeds, towards the fowls of the air and things that move in the waters, manifold have been the benevolent acts performed by me. Out of consideration for things inanimate even many other excellent things have been done by me. To this purpose is the present edict promulgated; let all pay attention to it: (or take cognizance thereof,) and let it endure for ages to come: and he who acts in conformity thereto, the same shall attain eternal happiness, (or shall be united with Sugato.)

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi: — Whatever appeareth to me to be virtuous and good, that is so held to be good and virtuous by me, and not the less if it have evil tendency, is it accounted for evil by me or is it named among the asinave (the nine offences?). Eyes are given (to man) to distinguish between the two qualities (between right and wrong): according to the capacity of the eyes so may they behold. The following are accounted among the nine minor transgressions: — mischief, hard-heartedness, anger, pride, envy. These evil deeds of nine kinds shall on no account be mentioned. They should be regarded as opposite (or prohibited). Let this (ordinance) be impressed on my heart, let it be cherished with all my soul.  

Translation of the West inscription.

Line / Transcript of the Inscription on the West compartment.

1 / Devinampiya piyadasi Laja hevam aha. Saddavisati vasa

2 / abhisitename iyam dhammalipi likhapita. Lajakame 1 [[x] ranjakame my devotees or disciples; from [x] to have the affections engaged by any object: — Had the a been long the preferable reading would have been rajaka, assemblies of princes or rulers, quasi courtiers or rulers.]

3 / bahusu pana sata sahasesu janasi ayata 2, [[x] is the pandits reading, making rajaka in the vocative — 'oh devotees who are come in many souls, in hundreds of thousands of people:' — but in this reading janasi which is found alike in all the texts must be placed in the 7th case plural, janesu. [x] jnanasm in ayatva (Pali janasi ayata) 'having come into this knowledge' is, I think, preferable; and is accordingly adopted. In Pali janasi and june are both used.] tesam ye abhihareva

4 / dandeva atapatiya me kate 3. [[x] 'of them' the following confiscations (fines) or punishments for neglect of duty 'by me (are) made' (ordained). — Abhihara, confiscation or seizing in presence of the owner. Atipata, transgression or omission of duty.] Kinti rajaka asvatha abhita 4 [[x] 'around the aswattha' holy fig-tree or (ficus religiosa), If the i be long, the word would signify, 'without fear, fearless.']

5 / kammani pavataye vu (ti) 5: [[x], 'circumambulations must be practised' — or [x] 'pious acts,' will be closer to the original. To the termination evu the other lats add ti in this and the following instances. The former agrees with the vernacular hove 'let be,' the latter with the Sanskrit [x] 'is to be.' The former is perhaps derived from the Sanskrit future participlelar termination taviye or aviye.] janasajanapadasa hitasukham upadahevu (ti) 6 [[x]— 'of the village and its inhabitants (including animals) the benefit and pleasure, a small present or offerings ([x] a nazar), shall be.']

6 / anugahineva cha 7 [[x], 'through their benevolence or otherwise,' that is in proportion to their bounty.] sakhiyana-dukhiyanam janisanti 8: [[x], 'shall they become prosperous or unfortunate,' according to the pandit; but a nearer approach to the construction of the text may be formed; [x], 'shall know good or bad fortune.'] Dhammayatenacha

7 / viyo vadisanti 9. [It is best to regard [x] as a compound of dharma and ayatam, length, endurance, — or (from ayat), 'the coming.' The word viyo is unknown to either the Sanskrit or the Pali scholar, they suppose it to be a term of applause attached to [x] 'they shall say,' as in the modern Hindvi tumko bhala kahengi, they shall say 'well' to you, they shall applaud you. [x] to praise, may be the root of the expression. It also something resembles the Io of the Greeks, which however like eheu is used as an expression of lamentation; and this meaning accords also with the word viyo in Clough's Singhalese Dictionary. — Viyo, viyov, viyoga, 'lamentation, separation, absence.' Viyo-dhamma is translated 'perishable things' by Mr. Turnour, in a passage from the Pitakattayan. See p. 523.] Janamjanapadam kintihi datamcha palitam cha

8 / aladhayevuti 10 [[x], perhaps the 'some little' given of the inhabitants of the village, and preserved, shall be on account of worship,' (or they shall give trifling presents to make puja?)] rajakapilahanti; patichalitaveman pulisanipi me  

9 / chhandannani patichalisanti 11, [This passage is rather obscure in its application to the preceding, the pandit reads [x], 'the devotees also speak,' but the letter p is uncertain, and I would prefer [x], shall receive. [x], and having proceeded my devotees shall obtain the sacred offering of chandan; — [x] being read by the pandit as [x], sandal-wood, an unctuous preparation of which is applied to the forehead in pujas, but the aspirated ch makes this interpretation dubious: chhandani are solitary private (occupations) or desires.] tepi cha kani viyo vadisanti: yenamerajaka
10 / chappanti aradhuyitave 12. [An unknown letter [x] in the word chayanti or chapanti leaves this sentence in the same uncertainty. Adopting the former we have [x], 'by which my devotees (may) accumulate for the purpose of the worship: — to pay the expenses of the worship from the accumulated nazars and offerings.'] Atha hi pajan viyataye dhatiye nisi jata 13 [A new subject here commences. [x] 'moreover let my people frequent the great myrobalan trees (which also the Hindus prize very highly and desire to die under) in the night.' Thus reads the pandit, but the last word is [x], not yatu; and it may be an adverb implying 'occasionally' — or prohibiting altogether. Viyataye may also mean 'for the learned,' viyata in Pali being a scholar: in which case I should understand [x] as the name of some third tree (like [x], the nyctanthes tristis or [x] the white water-lily which opens its petals (or smiles at night) so as to connect the dhatri with the asvattha [x], or holy fig-tree, thus:[x], 'the dhatri, nisijati and asvatha shall be for the learned.']

11 / asvathe hoti; viyata dhati chappati me pajan 14; [The same expression here recurs: [x], 'my people accumulates (or plants?) the auspicious, or the great myrobalan'— perhaps [x] 'caresses' is to be preferred in both places.] sukham hala hatave (ti) 15. [A new enjoinder; [x] or, following the Bakra and Mathia texts, [x], may mean 'the pleasure of drink ([x] vinous liquor) is to be eschewed, but for this sense the words should be inverted, as [x]. The exact translation as it stands is, 'pleasure, as wine must be abandoned,' a common native turn of expression, — 'do this, — (as soon) take poison.']

12 / hevam mama rajaka kata 16, [Kata must here be read as [x] — my devotees having done the foregoing.] janapadasa hitasukhaye, yena ete abhita

13 / asvatha santam avimana kamani pavatayevuti 17: [[x]: 'around the holy tree cheerful.' [x], 'shall they be in the performance of pious acts.'] Etena me rajakanan

14 / abhihareva dandeva atapatiye kate 18. [A new subject: [x], 'in this (edict) confiscations (or fines) and punishments for the transgressions (or non-fulfilment) of my devotees are appointed.'] Ichhataviyehi esa kiti 19! [A curiously introduced parenthesis, [x], 'much to be desired is such glory!']

15 / viyohara samatacha siya danda samatacha; ava ite pichame avuti 20. [[x], destroying viyo, happiness or 'well' (as we say 'let well alone') ... [x], according as the measure of the offence may be so the measure of punishment,' — something is wanting to make the next word intelligible avaite, &c. as if [x], 'but they shall not be put to death by me.']

16 / Bandhana badhana muhisanam tirita dandana 21; [[x]— 'of men deserving of imprisonment or execution, pilgrimage (is) the punishment (awarded)?' This, the only interpretation consonant with the scrupulous care of life among the Buddhists, is supported by the genitive case of munisanam: — yet a closer adherence to the letter of the text may be found in [x], 'the adjudged punishment.' If by [x], pilgrimage, be intended, 'banishment,' there is no such disproportion being the punishment awarded as might be at first supposed. It is in the eyes of natives the heaviest infliction.] pata vadhanam tinne divasani me

17 / yote 22 [The general meaning of this sentence can easily be gathered, but its construction is in some parts doubtful, the words [x] ( or [x]) [x] [x] follow the same idiom as above— the three days of (or for) the highway robbers or murderers: [x], my, generally placed before the verb or participle (as me kate passim) inclines me to read yote as [x] or [x] though usually written vute.] dinnenati kavakani niripayitahanti 23; [Dine natikavakani is transcribed by the pandit [x], 'among the poor people, blasphemies, or atheistical words,' but this does not connect with the next word ni ripayihanti, where we recognize the 3rd plural of the future tense of root [x] to hurt or injure [x] with the prohibitive [x], not, prefixed. Perhaps it should be understood [x] (jane) [x] 'neither among the poor or the rich shall any whatever (criminals) be tortured (or maimed).'] jivitaye tanam 24 [Here are two other propositions coupled together [x] tanam I think should be [x] beating, and [x] destroying— jivitayetaram, might thus be cruelty to living things. But I adopt this correction only because I see not how otherwise sense can be made.]

18 / nasantam va ni ripayita danam dahanti 25 [[x] must be the vernacular corruption of [x] — 'they shall pay a fine, or give an alms.'] paritikam, 26 [[x] relating to the other world, just as we should say, a deodand should be levied: [x], lit. 'or they shall go and fast.']  — upavasaneva kachhanti 27. [A doubtful passage for which I venture thus: [x], 'It is my desire thus that the cherishing of these workers of opposition shall be for the (benefit) of the worship,' meaning that the fines shall be brought to credit in the vihara treasury?]

There are reasons to put the Buddha's teaching period -- most of his life, according to the traditional accounts -- somewhere in northern India, in a region affected by the monsoons. In particular, the eventual development of the primitive arama, the temporary seasonal shelter of the Buddha's lifetime, into the samgharama (an arama specifically for Buddhist monks) [This is the traditional understanding. Later, in the Kushan period (30-375 A.D.), the fully developed monastery (eventually called the vihara) was introduced from Central Asia, as known from the excavations at Taxila (Marshall 1951). The idea of the "monastery" must have developed slowly within Buddhism -- no other religious or philosophical system anywhere is known to have developed it earlier. It clearly cannot be dated until well after the time of Megasthenes' account, which mentions explicitly where the sramanas lived but says nothing about monasteries or anything similar. The earliest identifiable group living centers, even if they were samgharamas (unlikely, since the stories about them are clearly ahistorical), are primitive affairs that can hardly be called "monasteries", as pointed out by Schopen (2004: 219; 2007: 61; cf. Bronkhorst 2011), partly on the basis of the early donative inscriptions at Sanci, which -- unlike later donative inscriptions -- do not mention viharas, indicating that the monks lived in villages. It is now clear that fully developed organized monasticism must have come first, and preceded any samgharamas, but it developed in Central Asia, whence it was introduced to India and China in the Kushan period (Beckwith 2014; forthcoming-a). Cf. Chapter Two.]

-- Greek Buddha: Pyrrho's Encounter With Early Buddhism in Central Asia, by Christopher I. Beckwith

19 / Ichhahi me hevam nirodhasipi karasi palitam aradhaye vuti; janasacha

20 / varhati vividha dhamma charane, sayame danasa vibhageti 28. [The wind-up is almost pure Sanskrit: [x] -- 'lit. and of the people as increases in every respect the walking in the path of virtue, so shall they of my charitable donations have division;' or perhaps [x] 'spontaneously.']

Thus spake king Piyadasi, beloved of the gods. In the twenty-seventh year of my anointment, I have caused to be promulgated the following religious edict. My devotees, in very many hundred thousand souls, having (now) attained unto knowledge; I have ordained (the following) fines and punishments for their transgressions. Wherever devotees shall abide around, (or circumambulate) the holy fig-tree for the performance of pious duties, the benefit and pleasure of the country and its inhabitants shall be (in making) offerings: and according to their generosity or otherwise shall they enjoy prosperity or adversity: and they shall give thanks for the coming of the faith. Whatever villages with their inhabitants may be given or maintained for the sake of the worship, the devotees shall receive the same and for an example unto my people they shall follow after, (or exercise solitary) austerities. And likewise, whatever blessings they shall pronounce, by these shall my devotees accumulate for the worship (?). Furthermore the people shall attend in the night the great myrobalan tree and the holy fig-tree. My people shall foster (accumulate) the great myrobalan. Pleasure is to be eschewed as intoxication (?).

My devotees doing thus for the profit and pleasure of the village, whereby they (coming) around the beauteous and holy fig-tree may cheerfully abide in the performance of pious acts. In this also are fines and punishments for the transgressions of my devotees appointed. Much to be desired is such renown! According to the measure of the offence (the destruction of viyo or happiness?) shall be the measure of the punishment, but (the offender) shall not be put to death by me. Banishment (shall be) the punishment of those malefactors deserving of imprisonment and execution. Of those who commit murder on the highroad (dacoits?) even none whether of the poor or of the rich shall be injured (tortured) on my three especial days (?). Those guilty of cruelly beating or slaughtering living things, having escaped mutilation (through my clemency) shall give alms (as a deodand) and shall also undergo the penance of fasting. And thus it is my desire that the protection of even the workers of opposition shall tend to (the support of) the worship; and (on the other hand) the people whose righteousness increases in every respect, shall spontaneously partake of my benevolence.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Oct 19, 2021 10:55 am

Part 3 of 3

Translation of the Inscription on the Southern compartment.

Line/ Transcript of the Inscription on the South compartment.

1 / Devanampiya piyadasi Laja hevam aha. Saddavisati vasa

2 / abhisitename 1. [The words iyam dhamma lipi likhapita are here to be understood; otherwise the abstaining from animal Food, and the preservation of animal life prescribed below must be limited to the year specified, and must be regarded as an edict of penance obligatory on the prince himself for that particular period.] Imani jatani avadhiyani katani seyatha 2. [In Sanskrit this sentence will run [x]: The Radhia and Mathia versions have avadhyani, the y being subjoined, [x] both here and in the two subsequent instances of its occurrence.]

3 / Suke, salika 3, [[x] a species of maina. The classical name of this bird, turdus salica, follows the vernacular orthography of the inscription.] arane-chakavake, hansa, nandimukhe 4, [In Sanskrit [x]: the first of the three is precisely 'the wild-duck of the wilderness; the modern chakwi-chakwa, (anas casaca, the brahmany duck) — the last is not to be found in dictionaries, but I render it 'owl' on the authority of Kamalakant who says rightly that this bird may alone challenge the title of bull-faced!'] gerate 5 [The nearest Sanskrit ornithological synonyme to gera a is [x] the giddh or vulture, which I have accordingly adopted. Jatuka, the bat, is the same in Sanskrit, [x].]

4 / jatuka, amba kapilika 6, [Amba kapilika is unknown as a bird. The name may be compounded of the Sanskrit words [x] mother, and [x], a tree bearing seed like pepper, (pothos officinalis:) perhaps therefore some spotted bird may have received the epithet.] dadi, anathi kamave 7, [The next two names are equally unknown: but the former may represent the dandi kak [x], or raven of Bengal; and the latter in this case may be safely interpreted the common crow, 'the thing of no value,' [x], as the word imports.] vedaviyake 8, [The next word vedaveyake may be easily Sanskritized as [x] (disbelieving the vedas) but such a bird is unknown at the present day.]

5 / gangapuputake 9, [The ganga puputaka seems to designate a bird which arrived in the valley of the Ganges at the time of the swelling of its waters [x], or in the rains; as such it may be the 'adjutant,' a bird rarely seen up the country but at that season.] sankujamave 10, [The sankujamava and the two names following it in the enumeration are no longer known. The epithet karhatasayake might be applied to the chikor, quasi [x] sleeping with its head on one side—a habit ascribed in fable to this bird according to the pandit: or it might be rendered [x] or [x] the Numidian crane. The panasasesimala may derive its name from feeding on the panasa or jak fruit.] kadhata sayake, pannasa sesimale,

6 / sandake, okapade, parasate 11, [I feel strongly inclined to translate these three in a general way as the perchers, [x], the waders or web-footed, [x]; and those that assort in pairs [x]. The first epithet might also apply to the common fowls in the sense of capon. The mention of the wild and tame pigeon immediately after the above list obliges us to regard all included between the known names at the commencement, and these winding up the list, as birds; or nearly allied to the feathered race: otherwise panasasesimare might easily be broken into [x], a monkey, and [x], the gangetic porpoise; and in the same way rekapade, ([x]) might be aptly translated, frog: sandak, sadaka, or salaka, [x] the porcupine.] setakapote, gamakapote;  

7 / Save chatapade 12, [The sense requires that a new paragraph should begin with this word although from the final e of the preceding list they might seem all to be classed together in the locative case. As a noun of number savechatupade may remain singular: — in Sanskrit the sentence would run [x]: ye should equally govern a plural verb in the text, where perhaps the anuswara is omitted accidentally in eti and chakhadiyati.] ye patibhogan no eti, na chakhadiyati: — Ajakanani

8 / edakacha, sukaricha, gabhiniva payaminava: avadhaya — pataka

9 / pi chakani asanmasike vadhikakate no kataviye 13: [This paragraph as translated in the text would run in Sanskrit with very slight modification [x] [x]. But the expression is awkward from the repetition, (particularly in the original) of the participle kakate with its gerund kataviye. Another very plausible reading occurs to the pandit; making asanmasike vadhi kakate represent the three holy months of the Buddhist as of the brahmanical year: — [x], in the months of Aswina, Bhadra, and Karkata (or Kartik), to which these prohibitions would particularly apply: but there are two strong objections to this reading, 1st, that the order of the months is inverted, Kartik, the first in order being found last in the enumeration; and 2nd, the gerund kataviye would be left without specification of the act prohibited. Neither of these is however an insuperable objection, as the act had been just before set forth, and the months may be placed in the order of their sanctity. The construction of the succeeding passages may determine which reading is entitled to a preference.] tase sajive
10 / no ripetaviye 14; [This passage varies little from the Sanskrit [x]: from the root [x] to hurt, or injure. I was led to this root from the impossibility of placing the letter [x] of the inscription in any other place in our alphabet than as [x]. In the Girnar inscription the ordinary [x] or r is rendered by [x] which is not to be found in the lats of Delhi, Allahabad, &c. where r is always expressed by [x] l, or a curved form of r [x], nearly similar in figure. Adding the vowel mark [x] or i, we have precisely [x] to express the short sharp ri, in which the burring sound of the r is not convertible so easily into the more liquid sound of l. The aspirated letter [x] ph must necessarily be represented by simple [x], p; at least the corresponding aspirate has not yet been met with on the stone.] dave anathayeva vihasiyeva no ripeyitaviye 15: [The Sanskrit version of this passage hardly differs from the Magadhi, [x]:. The termination differs only from the circumstance of the Sanskrit masculine or feminine being replaced by the neuter in the vernacular, as in the Pali language. The contrast, "whether useless, or whether for amusement," does not sound to us so striking as 'whether for use or for amusement,' might have done; but the meaning of the injunction is that even the uselessness of the object shall not be an excuse for depriving it of life.]

11 / jivenajive no pusitaviye 16. [Jivenajive [x] might admit of three interpretations: 'alive or not alive' — jiva najive, i.e. either living or dead, but this is at variance with the gerund [x], Sanskrit [x]: not to be nurtured. Again [x] is one name for a pheasant, or chakor. But the most obvious and most accordant interpretation is 'that which liveth by life,' to wit a carnivorous animal; which a strict Buddhist could not countenance with consistency.] Tisuchatummasisu tisayam punnamasiyam

12 / tinnidivasani chavudasam pannadasam patipadaye dhavayecha 17 [We now come to the specification of those days wherein peculiar observance of the foregoing rules is enjoined. [x] seems to embrace the whole year, 'in the three four-monthly periods, or seasons:' the expression [x] tisayam punnamasiyam might admit of translation as 'the third full moon,' — but a closer agreement with the Sanskrit is adopted in the text by making the [x] which in fact on the stone is separated from the rest, an expletive, quasi [x] 'the evening of the full moon' generally: and this agrees with the Hindu practice — see Sir William Jones' note on the calendar (As. Res. III. 263) where a syamapuja is noted for the 15th or full moon of Aswina (Kartika) a day set apart for bathing and libations to Yama, the judge of departed spirits. It will be remarked that the numbers tinni, chawudasam, pannadasam, are almost as near to the modern Hindi words tin, chauda, pandara, as to the genuine Pali, tini (neuter), chuddasa and pannarasa, three, 14th and 15th. The patipad (Sanskrit [x]:) is the first day after the full; the Hindus keep particularly the pratipat of the month Kartika (dyuta pratipat) when games of chance are allowed. Dhavaye, I have translated 'current' (Sanskrit [x]:) although this word has rather the signification of 'running' in an active sense.]

13 / anuposatham machhe 18 [The anuposatham or rather uposatha is a religious observance peculiar to the Buddhists; [x], a fast, hardly expresses enough: it requires an abstinence from the five forbidden acts to the laity, or the 8 and 10 obligatory on the upasikas, disciples, and Samaneras, (priests.) 1, destroying life; 2, stealing; 3, fornication; 4, falsehood; 5, intoxication; 6, eating at unpermitted times; 7, dancing, singing and music; 8, exalted seats; 9, the use of flowers and perfumes; 10, the touch of the precious metals. The affix machhe, [x] is equivalent to the Sanskrit [x] or the Pali majjhe, 'midst;' for in our alphabet the jh is always found replaced by chh: had it been separated in the text from anuposatham, it might have been construed with the ensuing words, 'fish unkilled are not to be exposed for sale (during the days specified), Sanskrit [x]: As it stands however avadhya must refer either to 'things unkilled' or the things whose slaughter is above interdicted must not be sold. The Buddhist scriptures count among the uposatha divasani or fast days, the panchami, atthami, chatuddasi and, pannarasi or full moon of every month. The first of these is not alluded to in our text, and the pratipat is perhaps included in the 15th day, which begins with the evening of the full and reaches into the day after.] avadhiye nopiviketaviye: etani (yeva) divasani

14 / nagavanasi-kevatabhogasi yani annani pi jivanikayani

15 / nohantaviyani 19. [The interdiction is here extended to snakes and alligators, the most noxious and destructive reptiles: at least nagavansi, and kevatabhogasi, Sanskrit [x]: 'the generation of nagas, and the feeders on fish,' admit of no better explanation. The whole sentence is perfectly Sanskrit, except that the neuter gender is substituted according to the Pali idiom (?) in lieu of the Sanskrit masculine.] A hamipakhaye 20, [[x] athamipakhaye, Sanskrit [x]: means the eighth day of each paksha or half-month; but perhaps it alludes particularly to the goshthashtami of Kartika, when according to the Bhima parakrama 'cows are to be fed, caressed and attended in their pastures; and the Hindus are to walk round them with ceremony, keeping them always to the right-hand*.' [Sir W. Jones on the Lunar Calendar, As. Res. III. 266.]] chavadasaye, pannadasaye, tisaye

16 / punavasune 20 [[x] athamipakhaye, Sanskrit [x]: means the eighth day of each paksha or half-month; but perhaps it alludes particularly to the goshthashtami of Kartika, when according to the Bhima parakrama 'cows are to be fed, caressed and attended in their pastures; and the Hindus are to walk round them with ceremony, keeping them always to the right-hand*.' [Sir W. Jones on the Lunar Calendar, As. Res. III. 266.]] tisuchatumasi sunsu divasaye gone nonilakhitaviye 21. [As punavasune, [x], is one of the nakshatras or lunar asterisms, (the 7th,) the preceding word tisaye must be similarly understood as [x] the asterism Pausha. For the reverence paid to this lunar day see the preliminary remarks. Otherwise it might be rendered [x] trinsye (tithi) on the 30th or full moon, as pannadasa the 15th is employed for the amavasi, or new moon; but against this reading it may be urged that the vowel i should be long (as in the Hindi tisain): and again the enumeration of the days in the luni-solar calendar is never carried beyond the 15th; for as the lunar month contains only 28-1/2 solar days, there would be great trouble in adopting the second period of 15 tithis or lunar days to them continuously without an adjustment on the day of change.]

17 / Ajake, edake, sukale, evapianne nilakhiyati no nilakhitaviye 22. [Sans. [x], 'cattle shall not be looked at,' or regarded with a view to employment. Were the word simply no-rakhitaviye it would imply that they were not to be 'kept' for labour on such days. See the foregoing note.]

18 / Tisaye punavasune chatummasiye chatummasipakhaye, asvasa gonasa

19 / lakhane nokataviyi 23; [The expression nirakhitatviye is here applied to the other domestic animals with the remarkable addition evapi anne nirakhiyati 'if any such is regarded at all for such purpose,' Sans. [x]: or [x] implying that such animals were then bred for food.] yava saddavisativasa abhisitename etaye

20 / antalikaye pannavisati bandhana mokani katani 24. ['On the tishya and punarvasu days of the nakshatric system' must here be understood; as the term 'of every four months, and every four half-months would otherwise be unintelligible. The division of the Zodiac into 28 asterisms, each representing one day's travel of the moon in her course is the most ancient system known, and peculiar to the Hindus. From the motion of the earth, it will follow that the moon will be in the same stellar mansions on different days of her proper month at different times of the year, hence the impossibility of fixing their date otherwise than is here done. Although the nakshatras days do not seem now to be particularly observed, yet they are constantly alluded to in the narration of the first acts of the priests. — See observations on this head in the preface. We find the word rakhane ([x]) now introduced, so that it was purposely reserved for application to the beasts of burthen in the climax of the prohibitory law, 'horses and oxen shall not be tied up in the stall on these days!' The termination in e in this and the former instances is curious. It is the 7th case used like the Latin ablative absolute, even with the gerund.] 25 [The concluding sentence requires no comment being, except as to genders, identical with the Sanskrit, [x]:, 'Moreover by me having reigned for twenty-seven years, at this present time, five and twenty liberations from imprisonment (are) made.' The verb 'are' or 'shall be' being understood. It is perhaps ambiguous whether 'in this interval' applies to the duration of the 27th year, or to the time previously transpired, yavat signifying both 'until, up to;' and 'as long as, when.']

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi: — In the twenty-seventh year of my anointment. The following animals shall not be put to death; the parrot, the maina (or thrush), the wild duck of the wilderness, the goose, the bull-faced owl, the vulture, the bat, the ambaka-pillika, the raven, and the common crow, the vedaveyaka, the adjutant, the sankujamava, the kadhatasayaka, the panasasesimala, the sandaka, the okapada, those that go in pairs, the white dove and the domestic pigeon. Among all fourfooted beasts the following shall not be for food, — they shall not be eaten: the she-goat of various kind, and the sheep, and the sow, either when heavy with young or when giving milk. Unkilled birds of every sort for the desire of their flesh shall not be put to death. The same being alive shall not be injured: whether because of their uselessness, or for the sake of amusement they shall not be injured. Animals that prey on life shall not be cherished.

In the three four-monthly periods (of the year) on the evening of the full moon, during the three (holy) days, namely, the fourteenth, the fifteenth, and the first day after conjunction, in the midst of the uposatha ceremonies (or strict fasts), unkilled things (or live fish?) shall not be exposed for sale. Yea, on these days, neither the snake tribe, nor the feeders on fish (alligators) nor any living beings whatsoever shall be put to death.

On the eighth day of the paksha (or half month) on the fourteenth, on the fifteenth, on (the days when the moon is in the mansions of) tirsha and punarvasuna; on these several days in the three four-monthly periods, the ox shall not be tended: the goat, the sheep, and the pig, if indeed any be tended (for domestic use), shall not then be tended. On the tirsha and the punarvasuna of every four months, and, of every paksha or semilunation of the four months, it is forbidden to keep (for labour) either the horse or the ox.

Furthermore in the twenty-seventh year of my reign, at this present time, twenty-five prisoners are set at liberty.

Translation of the Inscription on the Eastern compartment.

Line / Inscription on the East side of the column.

1 / Devanampiya piyadasi Laja hevam aha. Duwadasa

2 / vasa abhisitename, dhammalipi likhapita 1 [The omission of the demonstrative pronoun iyam, this, which in the other tablets is united to dhammalipi, requires a different turn to the sentence, such as I have ventured to adopt in the translation: In the 12th year of his reign the raja had published an edict, which he now in the 27th considered in the light of a sin. His conversion to Buddhism then must have been effected in the interval, and we may thus venture a correction of 20 years in the date assigned to Piatissa's succession in Mr. Turnour's table, where he is made to come to the throne on the very year set down for the deputation of Mahinda and the priests from Asoka's court to convert the Ceylon court.] lokasa

3 / hitasukhaye 2: [I have placed the stop here because the following word, setam seemed to divide the sentence 'an edict was promulgated in the 12th year for the good of my subjects, so this having destroyed, or cancelled, I — ' setam seems compounded of sa employed conjunctively as in modern Hindi, and etam this.] setam apahaita 3, [Apahata [x] (is) abandoned: viz. the former dhammalipi setam (neuter) is perhaps used for [x] sa-iyam (feminine) so, that; or supplying the word [x] it may run in the neuter [x] and continuing [x] (Pali tam-tam) [x] this (being) as it were a sin according to dharma vardhi (my new religion, so), the expression being connected by tatpurusha samasa.] tamtam dhammavadhi papova

4 / hevam lokasa hetavakhati pativekhami 4. [The text has petavakhati, which may be either read hitavakhati (S. [x]) a description for the benefit; or hetu vakhati (S. [x]) 'description for the sake,' to wit [x] of mankind. 4. Pati vekhami (vakhami) S. [x] I now formally renounce, — the affix prati gives the sense of recantation from a former opinion.] Atha iyam 5:— [Lipi or katha understood to agree with iyam; atha iyam, may be rendered "furthermore."]

5 / natisu, 6 [Sanskrit, [x], among lords, companions, and lieges. The last word may also be read [x], among the sincere or faithful (adherents).] hevam patiyasannesu, hevam apakathesu

6 / kimankani sukham avahamiti 7; [Sanskrit, [x], 'how many pleasures I forego;' [x], 'and I altogether burn and destroy.'] tathacha vidahami; hemeva

7 / savanikayesu pativekhami 8; [Hemeva, for imanva or imaneva, Sanskrit, [x]— nikaya, an assembly, may signify the congregations at each of the principal viharas or monasteries.] savapasandapime pujita

8 / vividhaya pujaya echa iyam atana pachupagamane

9 / seme mokhyamate 9. [The construction of this passage is not quite grammatical: echa must he read evamcha; then in Sanskrit [x], 'this (is) for the following after (or obedience) of the soul (myself) as connected with my faith or desire of salvation,' — the word upagamane in what is called the nimitta saptami case. I have given what appears the obvious sense. The inscriptions at Allahabad, Mathia and Bakra all end with this sentence: and there is an evident recommencement in the Feroz tablets as if the remainder had been superadded at a later period.] Saddavisativasa abhisitename

10 / iyam dhammalipi likhapita.

11 / Devanampiya piyadasi Laja hevam aha. Ye atikata

12 / ataram rdajanne 10, [I am by no means confident that the precise sense has been apprehended in the following curious paragraph. The word katham, how, implies a question asked, to which the answer is accordingly found immediately following, and a second question is proposed with the same preliminary "thus spake the raja" and solved in like manner, each term rising in logical force so as to produce a climax, that by conversion of the poor the rich would be worked upon, and by their example even kings' sons would be converted; thus shewing the necessity and advantage of continual preaching. For atikata, my pandit reads atikranta, making the whole line; [x] [x]? ataran 3rd. per. pl. 1st. pret. from [x] went to heaven, 'as ancient princes went to heaven under these expectations (departed in the faith) how shall religion increase among men through the same hopes?'] hesa hevam ichhasu. Katham jane

13 / dhammavadhiya vadheya? nichajanne 11 [The first syllable of this word should perhaps be read no, — nochajanne, though differently formed from the usual vowel o; nor will the meaning in such case be obvious. By adopting the pandit's modification nichajanne, 'vile born' we have a contrast with the sujanne, well born of the next sentence: thus [x]; but though the [x] tha of the word vadhitha belongs only to the second person plural and requires the noun to be placed in the objective case, 'you increase religion,' I incline to read it as a corruption of the future tense vadhisati, or the potential vadheyat.] anurupaya dhammavadhiya

14 / vadhitha etam. Devanampiya piyadasi Laja hevam aha. Esama

15 / hutha atikantancha 12 [The letter h in esa mahurtta ([x] an hour, 15th of the day or night) being rather doubtful, I at first took it for a p and translated: 'as my sons and relations,' [x]. But it was remarked that only for the anuswara, thrice repeated, the word antikantan would be precisely the same as atikata, above rendered by atikranta. The same meaning would be obtained again, by making putha the Sanskrit [x], pure, virtuous: 'my virtuous ancestors' but on the whole muhurtha is to be preferred as being nearest to the original.] antaram hevam ichhasu rajanne katham janne

16 / anurupaya dhamma vadhiya vadheyati 13? [The verb is here written [x] vadheyati, the ti being perhaps the intensitive or expletive [x] or [x] added to the vadheya of the preceding sentence.] naichajane anurupaya

17 / dhamma vadhiya vadhitha: se kina sujane anupatipajaya

18 / kina sujane anurupaya 14 [[x], 'what (may not be effected) towards the convincing and converting of the upper classes?' The word anupatipajaya however, from former analogy will be better rendered by the Sanskrit anupratipadye [x], which will then require [x] to agree with sujane.] dhamma vadhiya vadhiyati; kinasukani

19 / a (dyana) maye ham 15 [This sentence is unintelligible from the imperfection of two of the letters. The pandit would read [x]: but this appears overstrained and without meaning. The last two words "dharm shall increase" point out a meaning, that as (religion and conversion?) go on, virtue itself shall be increased. Adya may perhaps be read Aja.] dhamma vadhiyati etam. Devanampiya piyadasi Laja hevam

20 / aha. Esamehutha dhammasavanani savapayami dhammanusathini

21 / anusasami 16. [[x] (sub. [x]) [x], 'at this time I have ordered sermons to be preached (or [x] to my sons? or [x] virtuous sermons) and I have established religious ordinances.'] Etam jane suta anupatipajisati 17 [[x] 'so that among men there shall be conformity and obedience.' It may be read [x], 'which the people having heard (shall obey), and I have preferred this latter reading because it gives a nominative to the verb.] agnim namisati 18. [The anomalous letter of the penultimate word seems to be a compound of gni and anuswara, [x] which would make the reading agnim namisati 'and shall give praise unto, Agni,' but no reason can be assigned for employing such a Mithraic name for the deity in a Buddhist document. A facsimile alone from the pillar can solve this difficulty, for we have here no other text to collate with the Feroz lat inscription. It is probably the same word which is illegible in the 19th line. The only other name beginning with [x] a, which can well be substituted, is [x] Aja, a name of Brahma, Vishnu or Siva, or in general terms, 'God.' Perhaps [x] Aja, 'illusion personified as Sakti—(Maya) may have more of a Buddhistic acceptation.]

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi: — In the twelfth year of my anointment, a religious edict (was) published for the pleasure and profit of the world; having destroyed that (document) and regarding my former religion as sin, I now for the benefit of the world proclaim the fact. And this, (among my nobles, among my near relations, and among my dependents, whatsoever pleasures I may thus abandon,) I therefore cause to be destroyed; and I proclaim the same in all the congregations; while I pray with every variety of prayer for those who differ from me in creed, that they following after my proper example may with me attain unto eternal salvation: wherefore the present edict of religion is promulgated in this twenty-seventh year of my anointment.

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi:— Kings of the olden time have gone to heaven under these very desires. How then among mankind may religion (or growth in grace) be increased? yea through the conversion of the humbly-born shall religion increase.

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi: — The present moment and the past have departed under the same ardent hopes. How by the conversion of the royal-born may religion be increased? Through the conversion of the lowly-born if religion thus increaseth, by how much (more) through the conviction of the high-born, and their conversion, shall religion increase? Among whomsover the name of God resteth (?) verily this is religion, (or verily virtue shall there increase.)

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi: — Wherefore from this very hour I have caused religious discourses to be preached; I have appointed religious observances — that mankind having listened thereto shall be brought to follow in the right path and give glory unto god, (Agni.?)

V. — Inscription round the shaft of Feroz's Pillar.



[The figures in brackets denote the number of letters probably missing in the effaced parts. The initial figures show the commencement of each line, on the pillar, and in the engraved plate of the 7th vol. of Researches.]  

Translation of Inscription round the column.

Line / Transcript of the Inscription round the column.

1. / Dhamma vadaiya cha badha 1 [The only word suitable here is [x];, opposition: Ratna Paula would read [x] wisdom. There is no such word as [x] with a cerebral dh. The more proselytism succeeded, the greater opposition it would necessarily meet.] vadhisati; etayema athaye dhammasavanani savapitani 2, [Savapitini should doubtless be savapitani [x] 'caused to be heard.'] dhammanusathini 3 [Anusathini (subauditur valhyani). [x] ordinances, would be the more correct expression. [x], ordered, commanded.] vividhani anapitani: yataya (?) papi bahune janasin ayata 4 [Yataya papi bahune anasin ayata. The first three letters are inserted in dots on the transcript in the society's possession; it is consequently doubtful how to restore the passage; a nominative plural masculine is required to agree with ayata and govern vadisanti, thus [x]. The meaning of paliye or paliyo is very doubtful: it resembles or contrasts with the viyo of a former part of the inscription. The pandit would have [x] 'on all sides' — viz. that they should become missionaries after their own conversion.] ete paliyo vadisantipi, pavithalapantipi 5: [Perhaps [x], 'they shall employ others in speaking' (or preaching).] rajakapi bahukesu panasatasahasesu ayata, tepime anapita, hevamcha hevamcha paliyo vadatha 6 [The word vadatha being in the second person plural [x], the rajaka [x], beginning the sentence must be in the vocative, 'oh disciples.' But even this requires a correction from vadatha to vadatha. Ayata and anapita, are equivalent to the Sanskrit [x] and [x]:, having come and being admitted by me, — or [x]: to them is commanded, which is best because it leads to the imperative conjunction vadatha.]

2. / janam dhammayutam 7. [[x], address yourselves to the people endowed with virtue (the faithful).] Devanam piye Piyadasi heva aha: eta meva me anuvekhamane 8 [[x], etat here agrees with the sentence, called kriya viseshan in Sanskrit. Anuvekhamane 7th case 'among the now apparent,' that is among the present generation.] dhammathabhani katani 9, [[x], 'religious establishments are made,' or perhaps [x]: pillars, made neuter according to the idiom of the Pali dialect?] dhamma mahamata kata 10, [[x]: the very learned in religion are made— i.e. wise priests appointed. The succeeding word is erased, and it is unnecessary to fill it up, as the sense is complete without. From the last line of the inscription, where thambani occurs, the missing letter may perhaps be read dh, dhara.] dhamma ... ra kate. Devanam piye Piyadasi laja hevam aha. Magesu pi me 11 [[x]:, 'in my roads nagrodh trees, (the banyan tree or ficus indica) caused to be planted in rows.'] nigohani ropapitani chhayopagani hasanti pasumanisana 12: [[x], 'shall be for giving shade to animals and men.' The whole of this paragraph is smooth and intelligible.] ambavabhikya ropapita 13: [Abavadikya of the small or printed text is in the large facsimile ambavabhikya which leads us to the otherwise hazardous reading of [x]: ' mangoe trees,' the word ropapita (applied just before to the planting of trees) confirms this satisfactory substitution.] adhukosayani pi me udupanani

3. / khanapapitani 14; [[x], 'wells at every half coss.' — This passage is highly useful in confirming the value of the letter [x] as u. Udupanani should be udapanani. Khanapapitani, may be rendered [x] caused to be dug, or [x]dug, and made complete — (pakha.)] nisi ...... picha kalapita 15; [Several letters are here lost, but it is easy to supply them conjecturally having the two first syllables, nisi and the participle kalapita: — [x], and houses to put up for the night in are caused to be built.] apanani 16 [[x] are taverns or places for drinking. Space for one letter follows [x], probably [x];— tata tata, Sanskrit [x], here and there.] me bahukani tata tata kalapitani, patibhogaya pasumunisanam 17 [[x]. literally, 'for the entertainment of beast and man.' The five following letters are missing, which may be supplied by [x] or some similar word.] ...... Esa patibhogenama 18, [This neat sentence will run thus in Sanskrit, altering one or two vowels only, [x]. In this the only alteration made are yatha for ya; and rajibhi from rajihi (natural to the Pali dialect) the third case of raji, a line or descent. The application of nama indefinitely is quite idiomatical. The ta maybe inserted after hi — but it will read without, 'this people as they take pleasure under my dynasty on account of the various profit and well being by means of entertainment in my town (or country), (tatha must be here understood) so let them take cognizance of (or partake in) this the fame (or laudable effect) of my religion.' Purihi rajihi may also be understood as in town and country, in the translation.] vividhayahi suki__nanaya puli me rajihi mama yacha sukkayite loke; imancha dhammanupatipati anupat pajantuti: etadatha me

4. / esa kate 19. [This sentence is quite grammatical [x]: 'from this cause by me this (is) done.'] Devanampiye Piyadasi heva aha: Dhamma mahamata pi me ta bahu vidhesu 20 [The large facsimile corrects the vowels, te for ta, vidhesu for vidhasu, &c. of the printed transcript, mata is the same in both, but in other places we find mata. The passage may run: [x] — the word [x] 'among unbelievers' cannot well be admitted here — [x], 'with kindnesses and favors' may be the word intended, which though feminine in Sanskrit is here used in the neuter. For vayapata, R. P. would read [x]:, obtaining age, or growing old—in the latter case the sense will be, that the 'wise unto salvation' growing old in the manifold riches of my condescension and in the favors of the ascetics and the laity growing old — they in the sanghat (sanghatasi for sangha te) or places of assembly made by me — shall attain old age? But mahamata, will be much more intelligible if rendered tenets or doctrines, in lieu of teachers. (See preliminary remarks.) Should sanghat be a right reading, it gives us the aspirated g [x], which is exactly the form that would be deduced from the more modern alphabets; but if an h [x], the sense will be the same. From the subsequent repetition of the proposition ime vyapata hahanti with so many nouns of person in the locative case, it seems preferable to take arthesu and pasandesu in the same sense — which may be done by reading the former either as [x], among the afflicted or frightened, or [x] the rich. The verb variously written papanti, hohanti, hahanti, &c. may be [x] rather than [x] — in the [x] yanluk tense — 'shall be occasionally.' [x] here also and further on has the meaning of 'on account of.'] athesu anugahikesu viyapata, se pavajitanam cheva gihithanam cha sava pasandesu picha viyapata; se sanghathasi pi me kate, ime viyapata hahantiti: hemeea babhanesu 21 [We have here undoubtedly the vernacular word for brahman babhanesu for [x] among brahmans (those without trade) — and laity (those following occupations).] ajivikesu pi me kate,

5. / ime viyapata hohantiti; nigathesu 22 [Nigathesu, Sanskrit [x] — those who have abandoned home, or religion, or caste.] pi me kate, ime viyapata hohantiti: nanapasandesu pi me kate, ime viyapata hohantiti: pativisitha pativisitham 23 [Pativisitha pativisitham (the last m redundant. The pandit would read [x] 'do ye enter in or go amongst'— (or stedfastly pursue their object) meaning the mahamatas among the people — but this is inconsistent with the te te which require [x] 'among these several parties respectively, these my several wise men and holy men shall find their way.' The double expression throughout is peculiar, as is the addition after the verb of [x] 'and among all other classes of the Gentiles.'] tesu tesu te te mahamata dhamma mahamata cha me, etesu cheva viyapata, savesu cha anesu pasandesu. Devanam piye Piyadasi laja hevam aha

6. / Ete cha ane cha bahu kamakha 24 [Here the word [x]: — is substituted for [x]: — meaning 'the finished practitioners in religious ceremonial' — for Kamakha read kamaka, or kamatha, [x]: — but if mahamata be made 'doctrines' — kamaka must be rendered ceremonial.] danavisagasi 25 [[x] 'among the free bestowers of charity,' in the Pali the word is used in the singular danavisagasi (asmin) for danavisage.] viyapata se mama cheva devinam 26 [Devinam S. [x], 'among the whole of my queens' in contradistinction to ni (?) rodhanasi, which may mean [x] 'concubines; separated.'] char, savasi cha' me nilodhanasi te bahu vidhena a (da) lena 27 [[x], 'with the utmost respect and reverence,' there is evidently a letter wanting after a, which is supplied by a d.] tani tani tatha yatanani patita 28 [The pandit here also enables me to supply a hiatus of several letters:— [x] or patita (yantu) let them (the priests) thus discreetly or respectfully make their efforts (at conversion), — yatanam, exertion pratita, respectful.] ...... hida cheva disasu 29 [Hida cheva disasucha, quasi [x] (or [x] 'in heart and abroad, within and without;' the application is dubious. I prefer [x] 'with the eyes.'] cha dalakanam 30 [The pandit suggests [x] from [x] wife (whence may be formed [x] possessively) of inferior wives, women, but I find [x] 'a son' in Wilson's dictionary and necessarily prefer a word exactly agreeing with the text.] pi cha me kate; annanam cha devikumaranam 31 [[x] 'of other queens and princes:' danavisagesu is here put in the plural, which makes it doubtful whether the former should not also be so. (See note 25.)] ime danavisagesu viyapata hohantiti, Dhammapadana thaye dhammanupatipatiye 32: [These two words in the 4th case must be connected with the preceding sentence [x] for the purpose of religious abstraction, apadanam, 'restraining the organs of sense,' has however the second a long. [x] (fem.) is a nazar or present, [x] a calamity; [x] 'for the due ascertainment of dharma,' for a regular religious instruction?] esahi dhammapadana

7. / Dhammapatipaticha, ya iyam 33 [Iyam, feminine, agreeing with pratipatti, the worthier of the two as in Latin.] dayadane sachesochave mandavesadhave cha 34 [Of these three coupled qualities the two first are known from the north tablet: The third in the large facsimile reads mandave sadhame, which may be rendered [x] 'among the squalid-clothed, the outcasts (lokasa) of the world.' But though agreeing letter for letter, the sense is unsatisfactory, and I have preferred a translation on the supposition that the derivation of the words is from madhava, sweet, bland, and sadhu, honest. Sadhu is also a term of salutation used to those who have attained arahat-hood. See preceding page 518.] lokasa hevam vadhisatiti. Devanampiye piya dasi laja hevam aha, yanihikani cha mama ya sadhavani katani 35 [[x], 'whateversoever noble actions by me are done.'] tam loke anupatipanne tamcha anuvidhiyanti 36; [[x] (for [x]) [x] 'these things, unto the people who wait upon me for instruction, are prescribed as duties.' [x] sacred rites enjoined by the vedas.] tena vadhita cha

8. / vadhisanti cha 37 [[x] 'By this (means) (those good acts) having increased, shall cause to increase also (the following, good acts; viz.)] mata pitisu sususaya; — gurusu sususaya 38; [[x] 'rendering service to father and mother, and the same to spiritual guides' the next word vaya mahalakanam, is interpreted by R. P. as: 'the very aged' — there is no corresponding Sanskrit word; [x] may be the bald-headed, from [x] forehead. A great man is called barra kapal, from a notion that a man's destiny is written on his forehead: — thus in the Naishadha; when the swan bringing a message from Damoyanti is caught by Nala raja, it laments: — [x] "Why, oh Creator! with thy lotus hand, who makest the tender and the cold wife, hast you written on my forehead the burning letter which says, thou shalt be separated from thy mate?"] vayamahalnkauam anupatipatiya 39; [[x]. The perversion of the word brahman as babhan (before alluded to) is common now in some provinces. The sampratipatti or condescension to these classes, is contrasted with the anupratipatti or respectful behaviour to the aged. Similar doctrines are inculcated in an addendum to the ten moral precepts by Srong btsan a religious king (dharma raja) of Tibet: 1. Reverence to God. — 2. Exercise of true religion. — 3. Respect to the learned. — 4. Honour to parents.— 5. Respect to the higher classes and to old persons. — 6. Good-heartedness, (or sincerity) to friends and acquaintances. 7. To be useful to one's countrymen, &c. — See manuscript volume of Csoma's Analysis of Tibetan works. The Subha shita ratna vidhi of Sakya Pandita. Also Index Kahgur, leaf 23, page 44.] — babhanasamanesu, — kapanavalakesu, avadasa bhatikesu sampatipatiya. Devanampiya Piyadasi laja hevam aha. Munisdanam cha ya iyam dhammavadhi vadhita duwehi yeva akalehi 40 [Duwehi for [x] two-fold, viz.: first [x] 'ia form': the second, [x] (niritiya for nrite, dancing) according to the pandit: but I would prefer dwihi akarehi (in the Pali 3rd case plural) 'by two signs or tokens:' viz. [x] by voluntary practice of its observances, and secondly [x] 'by freedom from violence— security against persecution.' The Sanskrit would be [x] in the dual.] dhamma niyamena cha niritiya cha

9. / tata cha bahuse dhamma niyameniritiyiva cha bhuye; dhamma niyame chakho esa ye me iya ka'e 41. [[x], 'as in the translation.'] Imani cha imani jatani avadhiyani, annanipi cha bahu dhammanayamani 42 [Niyamani neuter for the Sanskrit masculine [x] and so the participle.] yani me katani: niritiya va cha bhuye; munisanam Dhamma vadhi, vadhita avihinsaye 43 [[x], 'by the not killing of animals,' [x], 'by the not sacrificing of living beings.' [x], 'so with such object is this done.'] bhutanam,

10 / analabhaye pananam: se etaye athaye iyam kate: puta papotike 44 [[x] 'pending from sons to greatgrandsons' — from generation to generation.] chanda masuliyike 45 [[x], 'pending the sun's and moon's (duration), [x].] hotuti: tathacha anupatipajantuti hevam hi, anupatipajantam hi 46, [For anupatipajantu, see note 13, north inscription. The duplication [x], the first in the common form, the second proper form of the verb, seem intended to make the order more impressive and imperative.] ata ladha ta aladhahoti, 47 [The half effaced word cannot well be explained; the second is [x], 'let it be reverenced', or 'let reverence be,' probably the word is repeated here as before.] satavisati vasabhisitename iyam dhammalibi likhapapitati, eta Devanampiya aha; — "Iyam

11. / dhammalibi ata atha silathabhaniva sila dhalakaniva tata kataviya; ena esa chilathiti siya."48 [The final sentence I did not quite understand when writing my first notice, having supposed silathabhani to represent the Sanskrit silasthapana. After careful reconsideration with the pandit, we recognize the Pali as rather the exact equivalent for silastambha, a stone pillar (made neuter): the sentence may therefore thus be transcribed [x]. The translation is given in the text. Adhara, a receptacle, a stone intended to contain a record. The words silathabhani and siladhalakani however, being in the plural and neuter, require kataviyani also neuter, which may be effected by altering the next word ena to ani, — ena being superfluous though admissible as a duplication of esa.]

Moreover along with the increase of religion, opposition will increase: for which reason I have appointed sermons to be preached, and I have established ordinances of every kind; through the efficacy of which, the misguided, having acquired true knowledge, shall proclaim it on all sides (?), and shall become active in upholding its duties. The disciples too flocking in vast multitudes (many hundred thousand souls) let these likewise receive my command — 'in such wise do ye too address on all sides (or address comfortably?) the people united in religion.' King Devanampiya Piyadasi thus spake: — Thus among the present generation have I endowed establishments, appointed men very wise in the faith, — and done ...... for the faith.

King Devanampiya Piyadasi again spake as follows: — Along the highroads I have caused fig trees to be planted, that they may be for shade to animals and men; I have (also) planted mango trees: and at every half-coss I have caused wells to be constructed, and (resting-places?) for the night to be erected. And how many taverns (or serais) have been erected by me at various places, for the entertainment of man and beast! So that as the people, finding the road to every species of pleasure and convenience in these places of entertainment, these new towns, (nayapuri?) rejoiceth under my rule, so let them thoroughly appreciate and follow after the same (system of benevolence). This is my object, and thus have I done.

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi: — Let the priests deeply versed in the faith (or let my doctrines?) penetrate among the multitudes of the rich capable of granting favors, and let them penetrate alike among all the unbelievers whether of ascetics, or of householders: and let them penetrate into the assemblies (?) for my sake. Moreover let them for my sake find their way among the brahmans and the most destitute: and among those who have abandoned domestic life, for my sake let them penetrate; and among various unbelievers for my sake let them find their way: — yea use your utmost endeavours among these several classes, that the wise men, these men learned in the religion, (or these doctrines of my religion) may penetrate among these respectively, as well as among all other unbelievers.

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi: — And let these (priests) and others the most skilful in the sacred offices penetrating among the charitably disposed of my queens and among all my secluded women discreetly and respectfully use their most persuasive efforts (at conversion): and acting on the heart and on the eyes of the children, for my sake penetrate in like manner among the charitably disposed of other queens and princes for the purpose (of imparting) religious enthusiasm and thorough religious instruction. And this is the true religious devotion, this the sum of religious instruction: (viz.) that it shall increase the mercy and charity, the truth and purity, the kindness and honesty of the world.

Thus spake king Devanampiya Piyadasi: — And whateversoever benevolent acts have been done by me, the same shall be prescribed as duties to the people who follow after me: and in this (manner) shall their influence and increase be manifest, — by doing service to father and mother; by doing service to spiritual pastors; by respectful demeanour to the aged and full of years, — and by kindness and condescension to brahmans and sramanas, to the orphan and destitute, to servants and the minstrel tribe.

King Devanampiya Piyadasi again spake: — And religion increaseth among men by two separate processes, — by performance of religious offices, and by security against persecution. Accordingly that religious offices and immunities might abound among multitudes, I have observed the ordinances myself as the apple of my eye (?) (as testified by) all these animals which have been saved from slaughter, and by manifold other virtuous acts performed on my behalf. And that the religion may be free from the persecution of men, increasing through the absolute prohibition to put to death living beings, or to sacrifice aught that draweth breath. For such an object is all this done, that it may endure to my sons and their sons' sons — as long the sun and the moon shall last. Wherefore let them follow its injunctions and be obedient thereto — and let it be had in reverence and respect. In the twenty-seventh year of my reign have I caused this edict to be written; so sayeth (Devanampiya):— "Let stone pillars be prepared and let this edict of religion be engraven thereon, that it may endure unto the remotest ages."
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The Inscription fronting West.

1. Dewananpiya Pandu so raja hewan aha. "Sattawisati wasa
2. abhisitena me, iyan dhanmalipi likhapita. Rajjaka me
3. bahusu panasatasahasesu janesuayanti. Tesan yo abhipare
4. dandawe atapati, ye me kathi kin? Te rajjaka aswata abhita
5. kinmani, pawatayewun janasa janapadasa hitasukan rupadahewun;
6. anugahenewacha, sukhiyana dukhiyana janisanti; dhanmaya te nacha-
7. wiyewa disanti janan janapadan. Kin tehi attancha paratancha
8. aradhayewun? Te rajjaka parusata patacharitawe man purisanipime
9. * [The letter chh is read as r throughout; and the letter u as ru.— Ed.] rodhanani paticharisanti; tepi chakkena wiyowadisanti ye na me rajjaka
10. charanta arundhayitawe, athahi pajanwiya taye dhatiya nisijita;
11. aswatheratiwiya ta dhati, charanta me pajan sukhan parihathawe.
12. Hewan mama rajjaka kate, janapadasa pitasukhaye; yena ete abhita
13. aswatha satan awamana, kamani pawateyewuti. Etena me rajjakanan
14. abhikarawadandawe atapatiye katke, iritawyehi esakiti
15. wiyoharasamuticha siya. Dandasamatacha, awaitepicha, me awute,
16. bandhana budhanan manusanan tiritadandinan patawadhanan,tinidiwasani, me
17. Yutte dinne, nitikarikani niripayihantu, Jiwitaye tanan
18. nasantanwa niripayantu: danan dahantu: pahitakan rupawapanwa karontu.
19. Irichime hewan nira dhasipi karipiparatan aradhayewapi: janasacha
20. wadhati: wiwidhadanmacharane; sayame danasan wibhagoti." [By comparing this version with that published in July, it will be seen to what extent the license of altering letters has been exercised. The author has however since relinquished the change of the Raja's name, in consequence of his happy discovery of Piyadasi's identity.— Ed. (James Prinsep)]

-- Further notes on the inscriptions on the columns at Delhi, Allahabad, Betiah, &c., by the Hon'ble George Turnour, Esq. of the Ceylon Civil Service, 1837

Various "Devanampiya Piyadasi" inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka.

"Devānaṃpiyasa Asoka", honorific Devanampiya (Brahmi script: [x], "Beloved of the God", in the adjectival form -sa) and name of Ashoka, in Brahmi script, in the Maski Edict of Ashoka.

"Devānampiyena" ([x]:"Of Devanampiya") in the Lumbini Minor Pillar Edict of Ashoka. Brahmi script.

Devanampriya, also Devanampiya (Brahmi script: [x], Devānaṃpiya), was a Pali honorific epithet used by a few Indian monarchs, but most particularly the Indian Emperor Ashoka (r.269-233 BCE) in his inscriptions (the Edicts of Ashoka).[1] "Devanampriya" means "Beloved of the Gods". It is often used by Ashoka in conjunction with the title Priyadasi, which means "He who regards others with kindness", "Humane"[1]

The Kalsi version of the Major Rock Edict No.8 also uses the title "Devampriyas" to describe previous kings (whereas the other versions use the term "Kings"), suggesting that the title "Denampriya" had a rather wide usage and might just have meant "King".[2][3]

Prinsep in his study and decipherment of the Edicts of Ashoka had originally identified Devanampriya Priyadasi with the King of Ceylon Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura.

But in my preceding notice, I trust that this point has been set at rest, and that it has been satisfactorily proved that the several pillars of Delhi, Allahabad, Mattiah and Radhia were erected under the orders of king Devanampiya Piyadasi of Ceylon, about three hundred years before the Christian era.

-- VI.—Interpretation of the most ancient of the inscriptions on the pillar called the lat of Feroz Shah, near Delhi, and of the Allahabad, Radhia [Lauriya-Araraj (Radiah)] and Mattiah [Lauriya-Nandangarh (Mathia)] pillar, or lat, inscriptions which agree therewit, by James Prinsep, Sec. As. Soc. &c.

Tissa, later Devanampiya Tissa was one of the earliest kings of Sri Lanka based at the ancient capital of Anuradhapura from 247 BC to 207 BC. His reign was notable for the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka under the aegis of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. The primary source for his reign is the Mahavamsa, which in turn is based on the more ancient Dipavamsa.

Tissa was the second son of Mutasiva of Anuradhapura. The Mahavamsa describes him as being "foremost among all his brothers in virtue and intelligence".

The Mahavamsa mentions an early friendship with Ashoka. Chapter IX of the chronicle mentions that "the two monarchs, Devanampiyatissa and Dhammasoka, already had been friends a long time, though they had never seen each other", Dhammasoka being an alternate name for Ashoka. The chronicle also mentions Tissa sending gifts to the mighty emperor of the Maurya; in reply Ashoka sent not only gifts but also the news that he had converted to Buddhism, and a plea to Tissa to adopt the faith as well. The king does not appear to have done this at the time, instead adopting the name Devānaṃpiya "Beloved of the Gods" and having himself consecrated King of Lanka in a lavish celebration.

Emperor Ashoka took a keen interest in the propagation of Buddhism across the known world, and it was decided that his son, Mahinda, would travel to Sri Lanka and attempt to convert the people there.
The events surrounding Mahinda's arrival and meeting with the king form one of the most important legends of Sri Lankan history.

According to the Mahavamsa king Devanampiyatissa was out enjoying a hunt with some 40,000 of his soldiers near a mountain called Mihintale. The date for this is traditionally associated with the full moon day of the month of Poson.

Having come to the foot of Missaka, Devanampiyatissa chased a stag into the thicket, and came across Mahinda (referred to with the honorific title Thera); the Mahavamsa has the great king 'terrified' and convinced that the Thera was in fact a 'yakka', or demon. However, Thera Mahinda declared that 'Recluses we are, O great King, disciples of the King of Dhamma (Buddha) Out of compassion for you alone have we come here from Jambudipa'. Devanampiyatissa recalled the news from his friend Ashoka and realised that these are missionaries sent from India. Thera Mahinda went on to preach to the king's company and preside over the king's conversion to Buddhism.

-- Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura, by Wikipedia

However, in 1837, George Turnour discovered Sri Lankan manuscripts (Dipavamsa, or "Island Chronicle") associating Piyadasi with Ashoka:

I proceed now to give my authority for pronouncing Piyadasi to be Dhanmasoko.

From a very early period, extending back certainly to 800 years, frequent religious missions have been mutually sent to each other's courts, by the monarchs of Ceylon and Siam, on which occasions an exchange of the Pali literature extant in either country appears to have taken place. In the several Solean and Pandian conquests of this island, the literary annals of Ceylon were extensively and intentionally destroyed. The savage Rajasingha in particular, who reigned between A.D. 1581 and 1592, and became a convert from the Buddhistical to the Brahmanical faith, industriously sought out every Buddhistical work he could find, and "delighted in burning them in heaps as high as a cocoanut tree." These losses were in great measure repaired by the embassy to Siam of Wilbagadere Mudiyanse, in the reign of Kirtisri Rajasingha in A.D. 1753, when he brought back Burmese versions of most of the Pali sacred books, a list of which is now lodged in the Dalada temple in Kandy.

The last mission of this character, undertaken however without any royal or official authority, was conducted by the chief priest of the Challia or cinnamon caste of the maritime provinces, then called Kapagama thero. He returned in 1812 with a valuable library, comprising also some historical and philological works. Some time after his return, under the instructions of the late Archdeacon of Ceylon, the Honorable Doctor Twisleton, and of the late Rev. G. Bisset, then senior colonial chaplain, Kapagama became a Convert to Christianity, and at his baptism assumed the name of George Nadoris de Silva, and he is now a modliar or chief of the cinnamon department at Colombo. He resigned his library to his senior pupil, who is the present chief priest of the Challias, and these books are chiefly kept at the wihare at Dadala near Galle. This conversion appears to have produced no estrangement or diminution of regard between the parties. It is from George Nadoris, modliar, that I received the Burmese version of the Tika of the Mahawanso, which enabled me to rectify extensive imperfections in the copy previously obtained from the ancient temple at Mulgirigalla, near Tangalle.

Some time ago the modliar suggested to me that I was wrong in supposing the Mahawanso and the Dipawanso to be the same work, as he thought he had brought the Dipawanso himself from Burmah. I was sceptical. In my last visit, however, to Colombo, he produced the book, with an air of triumph. His triumph could not exceed my delight when I found the work commenced with these lines quoted by the author of the Mahawanso* [Vide in the quarto edition the introduction to the Mahawanso, page xxxi.] as taken from the Mahawanso (another name for Dipawanso) compiled by the priests of the Utaru wihare at Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Ceylon. "I will perspicuously set forth the visits of Buddho to Ceylon; the histories of the convocations and of the schisms of the theros; the introduction of the religion (of Buddho) into the island; and the settlement and pedigree of the sovereign Wijayo."...

In one of the narratives of this book, containing the history of Dhanmasoko, of Asandhimitta his first consort after his accession to the Indian empire, of his nephew Nigrodho, by whom he was converted to Buddhism, and of his contemporary and ally Dewananpiyatisso, the sovereign of Ceylon, — Dhanmasoko is more than once called Piyadaso, viz.:
"Madhudayako pana wanijo Dewalokato chawitwa, Pupphapure rajakule uppajitwa Piyadaso kumaro hutwa chhattan ussapetwa sakala-jambadipa eka-rajjan akasi*." [Vide page 24 of the Mahawanso for an explanation of this passage.]

"The honey-dealer who was the donor thereof (to the Pache Buddho) descending by his demise from the Dewaloko heavens; being born in the royal dynasty at Pupphapura (or Patilipura, Patna); becoming the prince Piyadaso and raising the chhatta, [Parasol of dominion.] established his undivided sovereignty over the whole of Jambudipo'' — and again —

"Anagate Piyadaso, nama kumaro chhattan ussapetwa Asoka nama Dhanma Raja bhawissati."

"Hereafter the prince Piyadaso having raised the chhatta, will assume the title of Asoka the Dhanma Raja, or righteous monarch."

It would be unreasonable to multiply quotations which I could readily do, for pronouncing that Piyadaso, Piyadasino [Piyadassino is the genitive case of Piyadasi, [x]: — Ed.] or Piyadasi, according as metrical exigencies required the appellation to be written, was the name of Dhanmasoko before he usurped the Indian empire; and it is of this monarch that the amplest details are found in Pali annals. The 5th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th chapters of the Mahawanso contain exclusively the history of this celebrated ruler, and there are occasional notices of him in the Tika of that work, which also I have touched upon in my introduction to that publication. He occupies also a conspicuous place in my article No. 2, on Buddhistical annals. His history may be thus summed up.

-- Further notes on the inscriptions on the columns at Delhi, Allahabad, Betiah, &c., by the Hon'ble George Turnour, Esq. of the Ceylon Civil Service, The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. VI, Part II, Jul-Dec, 1837

"Two hundred and eighteen years after the beatitude of the Buddha, was the inauguration of Piyadassi, .... who, the grandson of Chandragupta, and the son of Bindusara, and was at the time Governor of Ujjayani."

— Dipavamsa.[4]

Since then, the association of "Devanampriya Priyadarsin" with Ashoka was reinforced through various inscriptions, and especially confirmed in the Minor Rock Edict inscription discovered in Maski, associating Ashoka with Devanampriya:[1][5]

[A proclamation] of Devanampriya Asoka.
Two and a half years [and somewhat more] (have passed) since I am a Buddha-Sakya.
[A year and] somewhat more (has passed) [since] I have visited the Samgha and have shown zeal.
Those gods who formerly had been unmingled (with men) in Jambudvipa, have how become mingled (with them).
This object can be reached even by a lowly (person) who is devoted to morality.
One must not think thus, — (viz.) that only an exalted (person) may reach this.
Both the lowly and the exalted must be told : "If you act thus, this matter (will be) prosperous and of long duration, and will thus progress to one and a half.

— Maski inscription of Ashoka.[6]

[Librarian's Comment: Contrast increased to show how the word "Ashoka" was added to the end of the first line in a rough-uneven area that the original writer was careful to avoid with respect to the entirety of the remaining inscription, that has all been rendered on the flattest-available portions of the rock face. If stones could speak, this one would cry "foul!"]

Maski is a town and an archaeological site in the Raichur district of the state of Karnataka, India. It lies on the bank of the Maski river which is a tributary of the Tungabhadra. Maski derives its name from Mahasangha or Masangi. The site came into prominence with the discovery of a minor rock edict of Emperor Ashoka by C. Beadon in 1915. It was the first edict of Emperor Ashoka that contained the name Ashoka in it instead of the earlier edicts that referred him as Devanampiye piyadasi. This edict was important to conclude that many edicts found earlier in the Indian sub-continent in the name of Devanampiye piyadasi, all belonged to Emperor Ashoka....

The Maski version of Minor Rock Edict No.1 was historically especially important in that it confirmed the association of the title "Devanampriya" ("Beloved-of-the-Gods") with Ashoka:

[A proclamation] of Devanampriya Asoka.
Two and a half years [and somewhat more] (have passed) since I am a Buddha-Sakya.
[A year and] somewhat more (has passed) [since] I have visited the Samgha and have shown zeal.
Those gods who formerly had been unmingled (with men) in Jambudvipa, have how become mingled (with them).
This object can be reached even by a lowly (person) who is devoted to morality.
One must not think thus, — (viz.) that only an exalted (person) may reach this.
Both the lowly and the exalted must be told: "If you act thus, this matter (will be) prosperous and of long duration, and will thus progress to one and a half.

— Maski Minor Rock Edict of Ashoka.

-- Maski, by Wikipedia

Historical Usage

Devānaṃpiya may refer to:

• Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura (died 267 BCE), ruler of Sri Lanka based at the ancient capital of Anuradhapura from 307 to 267 BC
• Ashoka (ca. 304–232 BCE), Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty
• Dasharatha Maurya (ca. 232 to 224 BCE), grandson of Ashoka, in his Barabar caves inscriptions, in the form "Devanampiya Dasaratha".
• Vana-varampan, early Tamil for "the One who is Loved by the Gods" - title of a Tamil Chera chieftain of early historic south India.


1. The Cambridge Shorter History of India. CUP Archive. p. 42.
2. Beckwith, Christopher I. (2015). Greek Buddha: Pyrrho's Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia. Princeton University Press. pp. 235–236. ISBN 9781400866328.
3. Inscriptions of Asoka. New Edition by E. Hultzsch (in Sanskrit). 1925. p. 37 Note 3.
4. Allen, Charles (2012). Ashoka: The Search for India's Lost Emperor. Little, Brown Book Group. p. 79. ISBN 9781408703885.
5. Gupta, Subhadra Sen (2009). Ashoka. Penguin UK. p. 13. ISBN 9788184758078.
6. Inscriptions of Asoka. New Edition by E. Hultzsch (in Sanskrit). 1925. pp. 174–175.


Until about a hundred years ago in India, Ashoka was merely one of the many kings mentioned in the Mauryan dynastic list included in the Puranas. Elsewhere in the Buddhist tradition he was referred to as a chakravartin/ cakkavatti, a universal monarch, but this tradition had become extinct in India after the decline of Buddhism. However, in 1837, James Prinsep deciphered an inscription written in the earliest Indian script since the Harappan, brahmi. There were many inscriptions in which the King referred to himself as Devanampiya Piyadassi (the beloved of the gods, Piyadassi). The name did not tally with any mentioned in the dynastic lists, although it was mentioned in the Buddhist chronicles of Sri Lanka. Slowly the clues were put together but the final confirmation came in 1915, with the discovery of yet another version of the edicts in which the King calls himself Devanampiya Ashoka.

-- The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to A.D. 1300, by Romila Thapar


In a study of the Mauryan period a sudden flood of source material becomes available. Whereas with earlier periods of Indian history there is a frantic search to glean evidence from sources often far removed and scattered, with the Mauryan period there is a comparative abundance of information, from sources either contemporary or written at a later date.

This is particularly the case with the reign of Aśoka Maurya, since, apart from the unintentional evidence of sources such as religious literature, coins, etc., the edicts of the king himself, inscribed on rocks and pillars throughout the country, are available. These consist of fourteen major rock edicts located at Kālsi, Mānsehrā, Shahbāzgarhi, Girnār, Sopārā, Yeṟṟaguḍi, Dhauli, and Jaugaḍa; and a number of minor rock edicts and inscriptions at Bairāṭ, Rūpanāth, Sahasrām, Brahmagiri, Gāvimath, Jaṭiṅga-Rāmeshwar, Maski, Pālkīguṇḍu, Rajūla-Maṇḍagiri, Siddāpura, Yeṟṟaguḍi, Gujarra and Jhansi. Seven pillar edicts exist at Allahabad, Delhi-Toprā, Delhi-Meerut, Lauriyā-Ararāja, Lauriyā-Nandangarh, and Rāmpūrvā. Other inscriptions have been found at the Barābar Caves (three inscriptions), Rummindei, Nigali-Sāgar, Allahabad, Sanchi, Sārnāth, and Bairāṭ. Recently a minor inscription in Greek and Aramaic was found at Kandahar.

The importance of these inscriptions could not be appreciated until it was ascertained to whom the title ‘Piyadassi’ referred, since the edicts generally do not mention the name of any king; an exception to this being the Maski edict, which was not discovered until very much later in 1915. The earliest publication on this subject was by Prinsep, who was responsible for deciphering the edicts. At first Prinsep identified Devanampiya Piyadassi with a king of Ceylon, owing to the references to Buddhism. There were of course certain weaknesses in this identification, as for instance the question of how a king of Ceylon could order the digging of wells and the construction of roads in India, which the author of the edicts claims to have done. Later in the same year, 1837, the Dīpavaṃsa and the Mahāvaṃsa, two of the early chronicles of the history of Ceylon, composed by Buddhist monks, were studied in Ceylon, and Prinsep was informed of the title of Piyadassi given to Aśoka in those works. This provided the link for the new and correct identification of Aśoka as the author of the edicts.

-- Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, by Romila Thapar


Legends about past lives

Buddhist legends mention stories about Ashoka's past lives. According to a Mahavamsa story, Ashoka, Nigrodha and Devnampiya Tissa were brothers in a previous life. In that life, a pratyekabuddha was looking for honey to cure another, sick pratyekabuddha. A woman directed him to a honey shop owned by the three brothers. Ashoka generously donated honey to the pratyekabuddha, and wished to become the sovereign ruler of Jambudvipa for this act of merit. The woman wished to become his queen, and was reborn as Ashoka's wife Asandhamitta....

According to an Ashokavadana story, Ashoka was born as Jaya in a prominent family of Rajagriha. When he was a little boy, he gave the Gautama Buddha dirt imagining it to be food. The Buddha approved of the donation, and Jaya declared that he would become a king by this act of merit. The text also state that Jaya's companion Vijaya was reborn as Ashoka's prime-minister Radhagupta. In the later life, the Buddhist monk Upagupta tells Ashoka that his rough skin was caused by the impure gift of dirt in the previous life. Some later texts repeat this story, without mentioning the negative implications of gifting dirt; these texts include Kumaralata's Kalpana-manditika, Aryashura's Jataka-mala, and the Maha-karma-vibhaga. The Chinese writer Pao Ch'eng's Shih chia ju lai ying hua lu asserts that an insignificant act like gifting dirt could not have been meritorious enough to cause Ashoka's future greatness. Instead, the text claims that in another past life, Ashoka commissioned a large number of Buddha statues as a king, and this act of merit caused him to become a great emperor in the next life....


Ashoka had almost been forgotten, but in the 19th century James Prinsep contributed in the revelation of historical sources. After deciphering the Brahmi script, Prinsep had originally identified the "Priyadasi" of the inscriptions he found with the King of Ceylon Devanampiya Tissa. However, in 1837, George Turnour discovered an important Sri Lankan manuscript (Dipavamsa, or "Island Chronicle") associating Piyadasi with Ashoka:

"Two hundred and eighteen years after the beatitude of the Buddha, was the inauguration of Piyadassi, .... who, the grandson of Chandragupta, and the son of Bindusara, was at the time Governor of Ujjayani." — Dipavamsa

-- Ashoka, by Wikipedia


[I would like at this point to pay belated acknowledgement to my respected friend and colleague, Karl Khandalawala, which whom I have sometimes expressed differences of interpretation, in this case in opposing his view (which on hindsight appears to be entirely correct) that the Sarnath pillar reveals the influences of foreign (Achaemenid) influence.... A further issue reflecting his correctness is embodied in the self-styled title Asoka used as the opening words of many of his inscriptions (Devanampiya Piyadassi), often translated as 'Beloved of the Gods." A century ago, this term was rightly recognised by the brilliant French Indologist Emile Senart, as borrowed from earlier Achaemenid inscriptions in Persia, yet since then ignored by all authorities writing on Asoka in English.]

-- The True Chronology of Aśokan Pillars, by John Irwin


[The Mahavamsa] is very important in dating the consecration of the Maurya Emperor Ashoka…

The Mahavamsa first came to the attention of Western readers around 1809 CE, when Sir Alexander Johnston, Chief Justice of the British colony in Ceylon, sent manuscripts of it and other Sri Lankan chronicles to Europe for publication. Eugène Burnouf produced a Romanized transliteration and translation into Latin in 1826... Working from Johnston's manuscripts, Edward Upham published an English translation in 1833, but it was marked by a number of errors in translation and interpretation, among them suggesting that the Buddha was born in Sri Lanka and built a monastery atop Adam's Peak. The first printed edition and widely read English translation was published in 1837 by George Turnour, an historian and officer of the Ceylon Civil Service…

Early Western scholars like Otto Franke dismissed the possibility that the Mahavamsa contained reliable historical content…

The Chinese pilgrims Fa Hsien and Hsuan Tsang both recorded myths of the origins of the Sinhala people in their travels that varied significantly from the versions recorded in the Mahavamsa…

[T]he genealogy of the Buddha recorded in the Mahavamsa describes him as being the product of four cross cousin marriages. Cross-cousin marriage is associated historically with the Dravidian people of southern India -- both Sri Lankan Tamils and Sinhala practiced cross-cousin marriage historically -- but exogamous marriage was the norm in the regions of northern India associated with the life of the Buddha. No mention of cross-cousin marriage is found in earlier Buddhist sources…

The Mahavamsa is believed to have originated from an earlier chronicle known as the Dipavamsa... The Dipavamsa is much simpler and contains less information than the Mahavamsa.

-- Mahavamsa, by Wikipedia


In the meantime, Sinha-bahu and Sinhasivali, as king and queen of the kingdom of Lala (Lata), "gave birth to twin sons, sixteen times." The eldest was Vijaya and the second was Sumitta. As Vijaya was of cruel and unseemly conduct, the enraged people requested the king to kill his son. But the king caused him and his seven hundred followers to leave the kingdom, and they landed in Sri Lanka, at a place called Tamba-panni, on the exact day when the Buddha passed into Maha Parinibbana.

The Dipavamsa was translated into English by Hermann Oldenberg in 1879.

-- Dipavamsa, by Wikipedia


Governor of Ujjain

According to the Mahavamsa, Bindusara appointed Ashoka as the viceroy of present-day Ujjain (Ujjeni), which was an important administrative and commercial centre in the Avanti province of central India. This tradition is corroborated by the Saru Maru inscription discovered in central India; this inscription states that he visited the place as a prince.

The Saru Maru commemorative inscription seems to mention the presence of Ashoka [Piyadassi!] in the area of Ujjain as he was still a Prince.

In the main cave were found two inscriptions of Ashoka: a version of the Minor Rock Edict n°1, one of the Edicts of Ashoka, and another inscription mentioning the visit of Piyadasi: ...

"The king, who (now after consecration) is called "Piyadasi", (once) came to this place for a pleasure tour while still a (ruling) prince, living together with his unwedded consort."

-- Saru Maru, by Wikipedia

-- Ashoka, by Wikipedia

R. Thapar writes that the classical writers did not refer to Asoka [xxxvi]. This is clearly absurd; they must have used a different name, not Asoka or Piyadassi. A careful study shows that Devanampiya, the most common name of Asoka in the Edicts is in fact the same as Devadatta[xxxvii] or Diodotus. The interpretation of Devanampiya as `beloved of the Gods' is superficial. Asoka states that his ancestors were Devanampiyas, which shows that it is a patronymic, not a title -- even Chandragupta was a Devanampiya or Diodotus (of Erythrae). 'Nam' in Persian and 'Nomos' in Greek means 'law' another Persian word for which is 'Dat'. Thus Devanam is the same as Devadat. Piya or Priya may have had the sense of a redeemer as in the case of the name of Priam of Troy. Many Parthian Kings assumed the titles Priapatius and Assak. As can be seen from the Shahnama, the Avesta and Xerexes' inscriptions, `Deva' initially meant a clan, not god. Ignorance of this has led to senseless translations of Asoka's Edicts as `Gods mingled with men'. Only oblique scholarship has obscured that the name Devadatta occurring in the second line of Asoka's famous Taxila pillar inscription refers to Asoka himself. The line "l dmy dty `l " [xxxviii] which Marshall and Andreas translated as `for Romedatta', refers to Devadatta.

-- An Altar of Alexander Now Standing at Delhi [REDUCED VERSION], by Ranajit Pal


Asoka, the Sungas and the Andhras

After a reign of some twenty-five years, Bindusara was succeeded about 274 B.C. by his son, Asokavardhana, usually known as Asoka, whose importance in the eyes of Buddhists has given him a place in Indian history to which, from a political point of view, his grandfather is much more entitled. He is called Asokavardhana in the Puranas, and in Buddhist literature Asoka; in the only one of his inscriptions in which he refers to himself by name he is Asoka. In all his other inscriptions he is called Devanampriya, usually with the epithet Priyadarsin. The term Devanampriya, "dear to the gods" may be translated as "His Majesty"; from one of the rock edicts we learn that it was also used by his predecessors, and we find it in an inscription of his grandson, Dasaratha; in the Mudrarakshasa it is applied to his grandfather, Chandragupta. One other reference to Asoka is found, that in the Girnar inscription of the satrap Rudradaman, which calls him Asoka Maurya. It hardly required the recently discovered Maski inscription to confirm the identity of the Asoka of Buddhist tradition with the Priyadarsin or Piyadasi of the inscription. It is to these inscriptions, engraved on rock in various parts of his vast empire, that we owe the fact chat we have a picture of Asoka such as we possess of no other character in early Indian history. But although they throw some valuable light on the history of his reign, these inscriptions were not intended as historical documents.

For the events attending Asoka's accession our only source of information is Buddhist tradition.

-- The Cambridge Shorter History of India, p. 42.


The more he read, the more questions bedevilled Prinsep. Who was this King Piyadasi? At times he referred to himself as 'raja magadhe', so he must have ruled the kingdom of Magadha. None of the ancient Sanskrit lists of kings carried such a name. Then he got a lucky break. A scholar named George Turnour, working in Sri Lanka, was translating an ancient text called Mahavamsa and he discovered that there was a Lankan king named Piyadasi. But it was hard to believe that this king, ruling a tiny island south of the Indian subcontinent, could get inscriptions placed as far north as Bihar! The final link was again found in a Lankan text that explained that Piyadasi was a popular royal title and that the Lankan king shared it with another king who ruled at the same time in India. The two kings were allies and the text gave the real name of this Indian king. [NO CITATION!] A few decades later another inscription was discovered at Maski in Karnataka that confirmed it.

Raja Devanam Piyadasi's name was Ashoka.

-- Chapter 1. Discovering Ashoka, Excerpt from "Ashoka: The Great and Compassionate King", by Subhadra Sen Gupta


According to some scholars such as Christopher I. Beckwith, Ashoka, whose name only appears in the Minor Rock Edicts, should be differentiated from the ruler Piyadasi, or Devanampiya Piyadasi (i.e. "Beloved of the Gods Piyadasi", "Beloved of the Gods" being a fairly widespread title for "King"), who is named as the author of the Major Pillar Edicts and the Major Rock Edicts. Beckwith also highlights the fact that Buddhism nor the Buddha are mentioned in the Major Edicts, but only in the Minor Edicts. Further, the Buddhist notions described in the Minor Edicts (such as the Buddhist canonical writings in Minor Edict No.3 at Bairat, the mention of a Buddha of the past Kanakamuni Buddha in the Nigali Sagar Minor Pillar Edict) are more characteristic of the "Normative Buddhism" of the Saka-Kushan period around the 2nd century CE.

This inscriptional evidence may suggest that Piyadasi and Ashoka were two different rulers. According to Beckwith, Piyadasi was living in the 3rd century BCE, probably the son of Chandragupta Maurya known to the Greeks as Amitrochates, and only advocating for piety ("Dharma") in his Major Pillar Edicts and Major Rock Edicts, without ever mentioning Buddhism, the Buddha or the Samgha. Since he does mention a pilgrimage to Sambhodi (Bodh Gaya, in Major Rock Edict No.8) however, he may have adhered to an "early, pietistic, popular" form of Buddhism. Also, the geographical spread of his inscription shows that Piyadasi ruled a vast Empire, contiguous with the Seleucid Empire in the West.

On the contrary, for Beckwith, Ashoka himself was a later king of the 1st-2nd century CE, whose name only appears explicitly in the Minor Rock Edicts and allusively in the Minor Pillar Edicts, and who does mention the Buddha and the Samgha, explicitly promoting Buddhism. He may have been an unknown or possibly invented ruler named Devanampriya Asoka, with the intent of propagating a later, more institutional version of the Buddhist faith. His inscriptions cover a very different and much smaller geographical area, clustering in Central India. According to Beckwith, the inscriptions of this later Ashoka were typical of the later forms of "normative Buddhism", which are well attested from inscriptions and Gandhari manuscripts dated to the turn of the millennium, and around the time of the Kushan Empire. The quality of the inscriptions of this Ashoka is significantly lower than the quality of the inscriptions of the earlier Piyadasi.

-- Edicts of Ashoka, by Wikipedia
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Firuz Shah Tughlaq
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/23/21

I now proceed to lay before the Society the results of my application of the alphabet, developed by the simple records of Bhilsa, to the celebrated inscription on Feroz's column, of which facsimiles have been in the Society's possession since its very foundation, without any successful attempt having been made to decipher them. This is the less to be wondered at when we find that 500 years before, on the re-erection of the pillar, perhaps for the second or third time, by the emperor Feroz [r. 1351–1388)], the unknown characters were just as much a mystery to the learned as they have proved at a later period — "Round it" says the author of the Haftaklim, "have been engraved literal characters which the most intelligent of all religions have been unable to explain. Report says, this pillar is a monument of renown to the rajas or Hindu princes, and that Feroz Shah set it up within his hunting place: but on this head there are various traditions which it would be tedious to relate."

Neither Muhammed Ami'n the author of the Haftaklim [Muhammad Amin Razi, [x], vide Amin Ahmad, author of the Haft Aklim -- The Oriental Biographical Dictionary], nor Ferishteh, in his account of Feroz's works alludes to the comparatively modern inscription on the same pillar recording the victories of Visala Deva king of Sacambhari (or Sambhar) in the 12th century, of which Sir William Jones first, and Mr. Colebrooke afterwards, published translations in the first and seventh volumes of the Researches. This was in quite a modern type of Nagari; differing about as much from the character employed on the Allahabad pillar to record the victories of Chanara and Samudra-gupta, as that type is now perceived to vary from the more ancient form originally engraven on both of these pillars; so that (placing Chandra-gupta, in the third or fourth century, midway between Visala, in the Samvat year 1220, and the oldest inscription) we might have roughly deduced an antiquity of fourteen or fifteen centuries anterior to Visala's reign for the original lat alphabet, from the gradual change of form in the alphabetical symbols, had we no better foundation for fixing the period of these monuments.

But in my preceding notice, I trust that this point has been set at rest, and that it has been satisfactorily proved that the several pillars of Delhi, Allahabad, Mattiah and Radhia were erected under the orders of king Devanampiya Piyadasi of Ceylon, about three hundred years before the Christian era.

VI.—Interpretation of the most ancient of the inscriptions on the pillar called the lat of Feroz Shah, near Delhi, and of the Allahabad, Radhia [Lauriya-Araraj (Radiah)] and Mattiah [Lauriya-Nandangarh (Mathia)] pillar, or lat, inscriptions which agree therewith., by James Prinsep, Sec. As. Soc. &c.

Firoz Shah Tughlaq
Firoz shah Tuglaq ibne Malik Rajjab
Sultan of Delhi
Reign: 23 March 1351 – 20 September 1388
Predecessor: Muhammad bin Tughluq
Successor: Tughluq Khan
Born: 1309
Died: 20 September 1388 (aged 79), Jaunpur
Burial: 20 September 1388, Tomb of Firoz Shah at Jaunpur, Jaunpur
Issue: Fateh Khan, Zafar Khan, Nasir ud din Muhammad Shah III
Names: Firuz Shah Tughlaq
House: Tughlaq
Dynasty: Tughlaq dynasty
Father: Malik Rajab
Mother: Bibi Naila
Religion: Islam

Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1309 – 20 September 1388) was a Muslim ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty, who reigned over the Sultanate of Delhi[1] from 1351 to 1388.[2][3] He succeeded his cousin Muhammad bin Tughlaq following the latter's death at Thatta in Sindh, where Muhammad bin Tughlaq had gone in pursuit of Taghi the ruler of Gujarat. For the first time in the history of Delhi Sultanate, a situation was confronted wherein nobody was ready to accept the reins of power. With much difficulty, the camp followers convinced Firoz to accept the responsibility. In fact, Khwaja Jahan, the Wazir of Muhammad bin Tughlaq had placed a small boy on throne claiming him to the son of Muhammad bin Tughlaq,[4] who meekly surrendered afterwards. Due to widespread unrest, his realm was much smaller than Muhammad's. Tughlaq was forced by rebellions to concede virtual independence to Bengal and other provinces. He established Sharia across his realm.[1]


His father's name was Rajab (the younger brother of Ghazi Malik) who had the title Sipahsalar. His mother Naila was a Bhati Rajput princess (daughter of Rana Mal) from Dipalpur.[5]


We know of Firoz Shah Tughlaq in part through his 32-page autobiography, titled Futuhat-e-firozshahi.[6][7]

Futuhat-i Firuz Shahi bi tashih-i Abdu'r-Rashid
Rashid, Abdur; editor: [Firoz Shah Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi]
Published by Muslim University, Aligarh, 1954

[This little work, the production of the Sultan Firoz Shah, contains a brief summary of the res gestae [achievements] of his reign, or, as he designates them, his "Victories." Sir H. Elliot was unable to obtain a copy of it, but considered its recovery very desirable, "as everything relating to the noble character of Firoz is calculated to excite attention." Colonel Lees also speaks of it, but he had never seen it, and was not well informed as to its extent.1 [Journal Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. IV., New Series, p. 446. See also Briggs' Ferishta, I., 462.] Mr. Thomas was more fortunate, for he possesses a copy which purports to have been written in 1139 H. (1726 A.D.), but it is quite modern; the date therefore must be that of the MS. from which it was copied. The work is a mere brochure of thirty-two pages, and the editor has translated the whole of it, with the exception of a few lines in the preface laudatory of the prophet. It exhibits the humane and generous spirit of Firoz in a very pleasing unostentatious light, recording his earnest endeavours to discharge the duties of his station with clemency, and to act up to the teaching of his religion with reverence and earnestness.]

-- XVII. Futuhat-i Firoz Shahi of Sultan Firoz Shah, Excerpt from The History of India As Told By Its Own Historians: The Muhammadan Period, edited from the posthumous papers of the Late Sir H.M. Elliot, K.C.B., East India Company's Bengal Civil Service, by Professor John Dowson, M.R.A.S., Staff college, Sandhurst, Vol. III, P. 374-, 1871

He was 42 when he became Sultan of Delhi in 1351. He ruled until 1388. At his succession, after the death of Muhammad Tughlaq, he faced many rebellions, including in Bengal, Gujarat and Warangal. Nonetheless he worked to improve the infrastructure of the empire building canals, rest-houses and hospitals, creating and refurbishing reservoirs and digging wells. He founded several cities around Delhi, including Jaunpur, Firozpur, Hissar, Firozabad, Fatehabad.[8] Most of Firozabad was destroyed as subsequent rulers dismantled its buildings and reused the spolia as building materials,[9] and the rest was subsumed as New Delhi grew.

Religious and administrative policies

Tughlaq was a fervent Muslim and adopted sharia policies. He made a number of important concessions to theologians. He imposed Jizya tax on all non-Muslims. He tried to ban practices that the orthodox theologians considered un-Islamic, an example being his prohibition of the practice of Muslim women going out to worship at the graves of saints. He persecuted a number of sects which were considered heretical by the Muslim theologians.[citation needed] Tughlaq took to heart the mistakes made during his cousin Muhammad's rule. He decided not to reconquer areas that had broken away, nor to keep further areas from taking their independence. He was indiscriminately benevolent and lenient as a sultan.[10] He decided to keep nobles and the Ulema happy so that they would allow him to rule his kingdom peacefully.

"The southern states had drifted away from the Sultanate and there were rebellions in Gujarat and Sindh", while "Bengal asserted its independence." He led expeditions to against Bengal in 1353 and 1358. He captured Cuttack, desecrated the Jagannath Temple, Puri, and forced Raja Gajpati of Jajnagar in Orissa to pay tribute. He converted Chauhan Rajputs from Hinduism to Islam in the 14th century. They are now known as Qaimkhanis in Rajasthan.

He laid siege to Kangra Fort and forced Nagarkot to pay tribute, and did the same with Thatta.[8] During his time Tatar Khan of Greater Khorasan attacked Punjab multiple times and during final battle in Gurdaspur his face was slashed by the sword given by Feroz Shah Tughlaq to Raja Kailash Pal of Mau-Paithan from Nagarkot region. Feroz Shah Tughlaq married off his daughter with Raja Kailash Pal, embraced him to Islam and sent the couple to rule Greater Khorasan, where eleven sons known by the caste of 'badpagey' were born to the queen.[11]

Rather than awarding position based on merit, Tughlaq allowed a noble's son to succeed to his father's position and jagir after his death.[12] The same was done in the army, where an old soldier could send his son, son-in-law or even his slave in his place. He increased the salary of the nobles. He stopped all kinds of harsh punishments such as cutting off hands. He also lowered the land taxes that Muhammad had raised. Tughlaq's reign has been described as the greatest age of corruption in medieval India: he once gave a golden tanka to a distraught soldier so that he could bribe the clerk to pass his sub-standard horse.[13]

Infrastructure and education

Tughlaq instituted economic policies to increase the material welfare of his people. Many rest houses (sarai), gardens and tombs(Tughluq tombs) were built. A number of madrasas (Islamic religious schools) were opened to encourage the religious education of Muslims. He set up hospitals for the free treatment of the poor and encouraged physicians in the development of Unani medicine.[14] He provided money for the marriage of girls belonging to poor families under the department of Diwan-i-khairat. He commissioned many public buildings in Delhi. He built Firoz Shah Palace Complex at Hisar in 1354 CE, over 300 villages and dug five major canals, including the renovation of Prithviraj Chauhan era Western Yamuna Canal, for irrigation bringing more land under cultivation for growing grain and fruit. For day-to-day administration, Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq heavily depended on Malik Maqbul, previously commander of Warangal fort, who was captured and converted to Islam.[15] When Tughlaq was away on a campaign to Sind and Gujarat for six months and no news was available about his whereabouts Maqbul ably protected Delhi.[16] He was the most highly favoured among the significant number of the nobles in Tughlaq's court and retained the trust of the sultan.[17] Sultan Feroze Shah Tughlaq used to call Maqbul as 'brother'. The sultan remarked that Khan-i-Jahan (Malik Maqbul) was the real ruler of Delhi.[18]

Hindu religious works were translated from Sanskrit to Persian and Arabic.[19] He had a large personal library of manuscripts in Persian, Arabic and other languages. He brought 2 Ashokan Pillars from Meerut, and Topra near Radaur in Yamunanagar district of Haryana, carefully cut and wrapped in silk, to Delhi in bullock cart trains. He re-erected one of them on the roof of his palace at Firoz Shah Kotla.[19]

Remains of buildings at Firoz Shah Kotla, Delhi, 1795.

Remains of an Ancient Building near Firoz Shah's Cotilla
Artist and engraver: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840)
Date: 1795
Plate 7 from the first set of Thomas Daniell's 'Oriental Scenery.' In the 14th Century Delhi was the capital of the Tughluqs, powerful rulers whose kingdom encompassed almost all of the subcontinent. The citadel (Daniell's Cotilla or kotla) of Firuz Shah, on the river Jumna, was built by Firuz Shah Tughluq, who ruled between 1351 and 1388. The buildings in this aquatint no longer exist and the citadel is now in the south-east of modern Delhi. The course of the Jumna has now shifted eastwards. This view was reproduced on a Staffordshire earthenware dish around 1810-20.

-- British Library Online Gallery,

I have the pleasure of presenting to the Society a Book of Drawings and Inscriptions prepared under the inspection of their late member, Captain James Hoare, and intended by him (I have reason to believe) for the life of the Society.

Two of the drawings represent elevations, taken on the spot, of the stone building near Dehlee, called the Shikargah, or hunting place, of Feeroz Shah; with the pillar in the center, and above the summit of it, commonly known by the designation of Feeroz Shah’s Lat; and described, with an outline of the building and pillar, in the 21st paper of the 1st Vol. of the Society’s Transactions.

The Staff of Firuz Shah, 1788
[10'4" circumference at base / 37' tall / red]

-- Translation of one of the Inscriptions on the Pillar At Dehlee, called the Lat of Feeroz Shah, Excerpt from Asiatic Researches, Volume 7, by Henry Colebrooke, Esq., With Introductory Remarks by Mr. Harington, P. 175-182, 1803

Transfer of capital was the highlight of his reign. When the Qutb Minar struck by lightning in 1368 AD, knocking off its top storey, he replaced them with the existing two floors, faced with red sandstone and white marble. One of his hunting lodges, Shikargah, also known as Kushak Mahal, is situated within the Teen Murti Bhavan complex, Delhi. The nearby Kushak Road is named after it, as is the Tughlaq Road further on.[20][21]


His eldest son, Fath Khan, died in 1376. He then abdicated in August 1387 and made his other son, Prince Muhammad, king. A slave rebellion forced him to confer the royal title to his grandson, Tughluq Khan.[8]

Tughlaq's death led to a war of succession coupled with nobles rebelling to set up independent states. His lenient attitude had strengthened the nobles, thus weakening the his position. His successor Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlaq II could not control the slaves or the nobles. The army had become weak and the empire had shrunk in size. Ten years after his death, Timur's invasion devastated Delhi. His tomb is located in Hauz Khas (New Delhi), close to the tank built by Alauddin Khalji. Attached to the tomb is a madrasa built by Firoz Shah in 1352–53.

Coin gallery

Gold coin of Firuz Shah

Jital of 40 Rati

Billon Tanka of Hazrat Dehli Dated AH 771

Coin of 32 Rati

Jital of 40 Rati

Jital of 40 Rati

Jital of Firoz Shah


1. Peter Jackson. The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History. Cambridge University Press. p. 288.
2. Tughlaq Shahi Kings of Delhi: Chart The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 2, p. 369..
3. Sarkar, Jadunath (1994) [1984]. A History of Jaipur (Reprinted, revised ed.). Orient Blackswan. p. 37. ISBN 978-8-12500-333-5.
4. Banerjee, Anil Chandra (1983). A New History Of Medieval India. Delhi: S Chand & Company. pp. 61–62.
5. Sarkar, Jadunath (1994) [1984]. A History of Jaipur (Reprinted, revised ed.). Orient Blackswan. p. 37. ISBN 978-8-12500-333-5.
6. Tughlaq, Firoz Shah (1949). Futūḥāt-i Fīrūz Shāhī (Reprinted by Aligarh Muslim University ed.). OCLC 45078860.
7. See Nizami, Khaliq Ahmad (1974). "The Futuhat-i-Firuz Shahi as a medieval inscription". Proceedings of the Seminar on Medieval Inscriptions (6–8th Feb. 1970). Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh: Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University. pp. 28–33. OCLC 3870911. and Nizami, Khaliq Ahmad (1983). On History and Historians of Medieval India. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal. pp. 205–210. OCLC 10349790.
8. Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 97–100. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
9. "West Gate of Firoz Shah Kotla". British Library.
10. Chaurasia, Radhey Shyam (2002). History of Medieval India: From 1000 A.D. to 1707 A.D. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers. pp. 67–76. ISBN 978-81-269-0123-4.
11. Pathania, Raghunath Singh (1904). Twarikye Rajghrane Pathania. English version, 2004 Language & Culture Department Himachal Pradesh Govt.
12. Jackson, Peter (1999). The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 304. ISBN 978-0-521-40477-8.
13. Chaurasia, Radhey Shyam (2002). History of Medieval India: From 1000 A.D. to 1707 A.D. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers. p. 75. ISBN 978-81-269-0123-4.
14. Tibb Firoz Shahi (1990) by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Department of History of Medicine and Science, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, 79pp
15. Ahmend, Manazir (1978). Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq, 1351–1388 A.D. Allahabad: Chugh Publications. pp. 46, 95. OCLC 5220076.
16. Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (1998). A History of India. Routledge. p. 167. ISBN 0-415-15482-0.
17. Jackson, Peter (1999). The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-521-40477-8.
18. Chandra, Satish (2007). Medieval India; From Sultanat to the Mughals. Har Anand Publications. p. 122. ISBN 978-81-241-1064-5.
19. Thapar, Romilla (1967). Medieval India. NCERT. p. 38. ISBN 81-7450-359-5.
20. "Indian cavalry's victorious trysts with India's history". Asian Age. 6 December 2011. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012.
21. "King's resort in the wild". Hindustan Times. 4 August 2012. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013.

External links

• The Dargah Qadam Sharif or Shrine of the Holy Foot, Delhi


Feroz Shah Kotla
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/23/21

Firoz Shah Kotla
Delhi, India
Feroz Shah Kotla Panorama, with Ashokan Pillar (left) and Jami Masjid (right)
Type: Fort
Site information
Condition: Ruins
Site history
Built: 14th century
Built by: Delhi Sultanate
Materials: Granite Stones and lime mortar

The Feroz Shah Kotla or Kotla was a fortress built by Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq to house his version of Delhi city called Firozabad.[1]

A pristine polished sandstone Topra Ashokan pillar from the 3rd century BC rises from the palace's crumbling remains, one of many pillars of Ashoka left by the Mauryan emperor; it was moved from Topra Kalan in Pong Ghati of Yamunanagar district in Haryana to Delhi under orders of Firoz Shah Tughlaq of Delhi Sultanate, and re-erected in its present location in 1356. The original inscription on the obelisk is primarily in Brahmi script but language was Prakrit, with some Pali and Sanskrit added later. The inscription was successfully translated in 1837 by James Prinsep.[2] This and other ancient lats (pillars, obelisk) have earned Firoz Shah Tughlaq and Delhi Sultanate fame for its architectural patronage.[3]

Other than the Ashokan Pillar, the Fort complex also houses the Jami Masjid (Mosque), a Baoli and a large garden complex.


Feroz Shah Tughlaq (r. 1351–1388), the Sultan of Delhi, established the fortified city of Firozabad[4] in 1354, as the new capital of the Delhi Sultanate, and included in it the site of the present Feroz Shah Kotla. Kotla literally means fortress or citadel. The pillar, also called obelisk or Lat is an Ashoka Column, attributed to Mauryan ruler Ashoka. The 13.1 meters high column, made of polished sandstone and dating from the 3rd century BC, was brought from Ambala in the 14th century under orders of Feroz Shah. It was installed on a three-tiered arcaded pavilion near the congregational mosque, inside the Sultanate's fort. In centuries that followed, much of the structure and buildings near it were destroyed as subsequent rulers dismantled them and reused the spolia as building materials.[5][6]

In the pre-independence era, due to lack of auditoriums in the capital, most classical music performances were staged here or at Qutub complex. Later Ebrahim Alkazi, then head of NSD, staged his landmark production of Dharamvir Bharati's Andha Yug here and its premiere in 1964 was attended by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.[7]

Jami Masjid

Jami Masjid is one of the most ancient and largest surviving mosque and monument, still in use. Architecturally it was built on a series of underground cells made of quartzite stone, covered with limestone. It is surrounded by a large courtyard with cloisters and a Prayer Hall. The Prayer Hall now in complete ruins was once used by the Royal Ladies. The masjid and its architecture is an example of Tughluq architecture.

The entrance of Jami Masjid lies on the northern side. It is connected by a causeway to the pyramidal structure of the Ashokan Pillar. This mosque was visited by Sultan Timur in 1398 AD to say his prayers. He was spellbound by its beauty and constructed a mosque in Samarkand in Mawarannahr imitating the design of this Masjid. This mosque is also known to be the place where Imad ul Mulk, a Mughal Prime Minister, got the Emperor Alamgir II murdered in 1759 AD.[8]

Topra Ashokan Pillar

See also: Topra_Kalan § Topra_Ashokan_Pillar, and Ashokan_Edicts_in_Delhi § Delhi-Topra_pillar

Ashokan Pillar at Firoz Shah Kotla as it stands today.

Ashoka Pillar at Feroze Shah Kotla, Delhi, 1861.


Plate IV: Picturesque Elevation of the Shikar-Gah, & the Celebrated Pillar at Dehli in June, 1797
-- Translation of one of the Inscriptions on the Pillar At Dehlee, called the Lat of Feeroz Shah, Excerpt from Asiatic Researches, Volume 7, by Henry Colebrooke, Esq.

Water-colour painting of the Pillar of Firoz Shah at Delhi by an anonymous artist, 1808-1820. Inscribed on the front in pencil is: 'The Lat of Firoz Shah at Delhi.' British Library Online Gallery

A View of Firozabad by William Hodges 1787

The Ashokan Pillar which is now within Feroz Shah Kotla is towards the north of Jama Masjid [Mosque]. The Pillar was first erected by King Ashoka between 273 and 236 BC in Topra Kalan, Yamunanagar district, Haryana.

Of note, there is another Ashokan Pillar, that is seen installed near the Hindu Rao Hospital, also erected by King Ashoka in Meerut. This pillar, however, was unfortunately broken into five pieces after it was damaged during an explosion. The pillar was neglected for a century up till 1838 when after the Revolt of 1857 Raja Hindu Rao took charge to transfer the Ashokan Pillar's broken pieces to Kolkata's Asiatic Society. Within a year, the structure was put together and re-established.

Both the Ashokan Pillars were carefully wrapped with cotton silk and were kept on a bed of reed made of raw silk. These were hence transported on a massive carriage attached with 42 wheels and drawn meticulously by 200 men from their original places to Delhi by Feroz Shah Tughlaq to avoid any damage during the journey. Upon reaching Delhi, they were then transported on huge boats to their final destination, one within Feroz Shah Kotla and the other on the ridge near Delhi University and Bara Hindu Rao Hospital.[8]

Script on stone

The inscription on Ashoka pillar at Firoz Shah Kotla.

The Sultanate wanted to break and reuse the Ashokan pillar for a minaret. Firoz Shah Tuhglaq, however, decided to erect it near the mosque instead. At the time of re-installation of the obelisk in Delhi, in 1356, no one knew the meaning of the script engraved in the stone.[9]

About five hundred years later, the script (Brahmi) was deciphered by James Prinsep in 1837 with help from scripts discovered on other pillars and tablets in South Asia.[2]


The inscription on the 3rd-century pillar describes King Devanampiya Piyadasi's[10] policies and appeal to the people and future generations of the kingdom in matters of dharma (just, virtuous life), moral precepts and freedoms. Some extracts of the translation, per James Prinsep, are as follows:[2]

Along the highroads I have caused fig trees to be planted that they may be for shade to animals and men...

— Inscription on Ashoka Pillar[2]

...And let these and others the most skillful in the sacred offices discreetly and respectfully use their most persuasive efforts, acting on the heart and eyes of the children, to impart enthusiasm and instruction in the dharma (religion).

— Inscription on Ashoka Pillar[2]

And whatsoever benevolent acts have been done by me, the same shall be prescribed as duties to the people who follow after me, and in this manner shall their influence and increase be manifest – by service to father and mother, by service to spiritual pastors, by respectful demeanor to the aged and full of years, by kindness to learn, to the orphan and destitute and servants and minstrel tribe.

— Inscription on Ashoka Pillar[2]

A close up of the inscription on the lat (obelisk).

And religion increaseth among men by two separate processes – by the performance of religious offices, and by security against persecution. (...) And that religion may be free from the persecution of men, that it may increase through the absolute prohibition to put to death (any) living beings or sacrifice aught that draweth breath. For such an object is all this done, that it may endure to my sons and sons' sons – as long the sun and the moon shall last.

— Inscription on Ashoka Pillar[2]

Let stone pillars be prepared and let this edict of dharma (religion) be engraved thereon, that it may endure unto the remotest ages.

— Inscription on Ashoka Pillar, Translated by James Prinsep in 1837[2]

Baoli (The Well)

The Baoli

The circular Baoli, which means 'stepwell', lies towards the northwestern side of the Ashokan Pillar. It lies in the heart of a large garden constructed in the form of subterranean apartments and a large underground canal built on its eastern side through which the water runs into the well. This is the only circular Baoli in Delhi, and also one of the 4 Baolis, where the tank is not separated from the well. It once has a roof on it, which collapsed long ago, exposing the tank at the second level.[11] Originally it had an entry from East and West, but now, only the west side is accessible. Due to security reasons, the Baoli is kept locked, but permission to visit can be obtained easily for research purposes from the Delhi circle office of Archaeological Survey of India.

Prayers at the Fort

Every Thursday there is a huge crowd at the fort. It is popularly believed that Jinn(s) descends at the Fort from the Heavens and accepts requests and wishes from people. A lot of wishes, penned down on paper, can be seen on the walls within the premises.

The association to Jinn(s) seems to be not too old. It is only since 1977, a few months after the end of the Emergency, that there are first records of people starting to come to Firoz Shah Kotla in large numbers.[12]

See also

• Delhi Sultanate
• Ashoka


1. "Firozabad - Delhi Govt Portal". Retrieved 24 September 2021.
2. Prinsep, J (1837). "Interpretation of the most ancient of inscriptions on the pillar called lat of Feroz Shah, near Delhi, and of the Allahabad, Radhia and Mattiah pillar, or lat inscriptions which agree therewith". Journal of the Asiatic Society. 6: 600–609.
3. William Jeffrey McKibben, "The Monumental Pillars of Fīrūz Shāh Tughluq", Ars Orientalis, Vol. 24, (1994), pp. 105–118
4. Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 98. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
5. "West Gate of Firoz Shah Kotla". British Library.
6. "Pillar of Firoz Shah at Delhi". British Library.
7. "Capital's cultural affair began in 50s". Hindustan Times. 16 November 2011. Archived from the original on 7 January 2013.
8. "Feroz Shah Kotla Monuments – Jami Masjid Ashokan Pillars". Retrieved 3 April 2016.
9. HM Elliot & John Dawson (1871), Tarikh I Firozi Shahi – Records of Court Historian Sams-i-Siraj The History of India, as Told by Its Historians, Volume 3, Cornell University Archives, pp 352–353
10. another name for Ashoka
11. Vikramjit Singh Rooprai (2019), Delhi Heritage: Top 10 Baolis, Niyogi Books p41
12. "Believe it or not: Inside 14th century Delhi fort, djinns grant wishes". Retrieved 3 April 2016.


Qutb Minar
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/25/21

Qutb Minar
Minar in Delhi, India
Height 72.5 metres (238 ft)
Architectural style(s) Islamic Architecture
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Type Cultural
Criteria 4
Designated 1993 (17th session)
Reference no. 233
Country India
Continent Asia
Construction Started in 1199 by Qutb-ud-din Aibak / completed in ~ 1220 by his son-in-law Iltutmish[1][2]
Qutb Minar is located in IndiaQutb Minar

Location of Qutb Minar in India

The Qutub Minar, also spelled as Qutb Minar and Qutab Minar, is a minaret and "victory tower" that forms part of the Qutb complex. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli area of New Delhi, India.[3][4] It is one of most visited tourist spots in the city due to it being one of the earliest that survives in the Indian subcontinent.[5][6][3]

It can be compared to the 62-metre all-brick Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan, of c. 1190, which was constructed a decade or so before the probable start of the Delhi tower.[7] The surfaces of both are elaborately decorated with inscriptions and geometric patterns. The Qutb Minar has a shaft that is fluted with "superb stalactite bracketing under the balconies" at the top of each stage.[8][9][10] In general, minarets were slow to be used in India and are often detached from the main mosque where they exist.[11]

A Synthesis of South Asian and Islamic Architecture

This victory tower is a symbol of the synthesis of traditional Islamic architecture and Southwestern Asian design. Elizabeth Lambourn’s Islam Beyond Empires: Mosques and Islamic Landscapes in India and the Indian Ocean studies the introduction of Islam in South Asia and how the region influenced the Islamic religious architecture.[12] These newly arrived Muslims from the Islamic West escaped the Mongol Empire and emigrated to India, where they constructed religious centers. The Qutb Minar serves as a central marker to these new Muslim communities as well as being a reminder of Islam's presence in the area.[12] The architecture of the minaret varies greatly from that of the typical style and design of the mosques constructed in the Middle East. The style of these structures is heavily influenced by the local architecture such as the Indic temples. This affected the different materials, techniques, and decoration that were used in the construction of the Qutb Minar.[12]

The minaret is unique in that historically, these tower minarets were uncommon in South Asian-Islamic design until the 17th century. This lag is due to the slow adoption of the typical Middle Eastern style in India.[12] It is also detached from the main mosque, showcasing how the native culture affected the design of a Middle Eastern structure.[11] The Qutb Minar is seen as the "earliest and best example of a fusion or synthesis of Hindu-Muslim traditions" according to Ved Parkash in his essay The Qutb Minar from Contemporary and Near Contemporary Sources.[12] Like many mosques built in South Asia during this time period, the minaret was constructed by Hindu laborers and craftsmen but overseen by Muslim architects.[12] This led to a construction that synthesized both Hindu and Islamic religious architecture. Since the craftsmen were Hindu and unfamiliar with the Quran, the inscriptions are a compilation of disarranged Quranic texts and other Arabic expressions.[12]


The Qutb Minar was built over the ruins of the Lal Kot, the citadel of Dhillika.[6] Qutub Minar was begun after the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, which was started around 1192 by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate.[13]

Kuttull Minor, Delhi. The Qutb Minar, 1805.

It is usually thought that the tower is named for Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who began it. It is also possible that it is named after Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki a 13th-century sufi saint, because Shamsuddin Iltutmish was a devotee of his.[14]

The Minar is surrounded by several historically significant monuments of the Qutb complex. Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, to the north-east of the Minar was built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak in A.D. 1198. It is the earliest extant - mosque built by the Delhi Sultans. It consists of a rectangular courtyard enclosed by cloisters, erected with the carved columns and architectural members of 27 Hindu and Jaina temples, which were demolished by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak as recorded in his inscription on the main eastern entrance.[15] Later, a lofty arched screen was erected, and the mosque was enlarged, by Shams-ud- Din Itutmish (A.D. 1210-35) and Ala-ud-Din Khalji. The Iron Pillar in the courtyard bears an inscription in Sanskrit in Brahmi script of fourth century A.D., according to which the pillar was set up as a Vishnudhvaja (standard of god Vishnu) on the hill known as Vishnupada in memory of a mighty king named Chandra.[15]

The mosque complex is one of the earliest that survives in the Indian subcontinent.[5][6]

The nearby pillared cupola known as "Smith's Folly" is a remnant of the tower's 19th century restoration, which included an ill-advised attempt to add some more stories.[16][17]

In 1505, an earthquake damaged Qutub Minar; it was repaired by Sikander Lodi. On 1 September 1803, a major earthquake caused serious damage. Major Robert Smith of the British Indian Army renovated the tower in 1828 and installed a pillared cupola over the fifth story, creating a sixth. The cupola was taken down in 1848, under instructions from The Viscount Hardinge, who was the Governor General of India. at the time. It was reinstalled at ground level to the east of Qutb Minar, where it remains. This is known as "Smith's Folly".[18]

It was added to the list of World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

The Ghurids

The construction of the Qutb Minar was planned and financed by an Afghani tribe, the Ghurids, who emigrated to India and brought Islam with them. The Ghurids, historically known as the Shansabanis, were a clan of Tajik origin that hailed from Ghur, the mountainous region of modern-day western Afghanistan.[19] In the late eleventh century to the early twelfth century, the different sects of this nomadic clan united, losing its nomadic culture. During this time, they also converted to Islam.[19]

They then expanded into modern-day India and quickly took control of a substantial part of the country.[19]The Ghurids annexed the Multan and Uch in the western Punjab in 1175-76, the northwestern regions around Peshawar in 1177, and the region of Sindh in 1185-86. In 1193, Qutb al-Din Aibek conquered Delhi and implemented a Ghurid governorship in the province, and the congregational mosque, the Qutb Minar complex, was founded in 1193.[19] In the past, scholars believed that the complex was constructed to promote a conversion to Islam amongst the Ghurids' new subjects as well as a symbol of the Ghurids' adherence to a socio-religious system.[19] There is now new information to suggest that conversion to Islam was not a top priority of the new annexes and instead the Ghurid governors sought to make a synthesis of the local culture and Islam through negotiation.[19]

The Patrons and Architects

Qutb-ud-din Aibak, a deputy of Muhammad of Ghor, who founded the Delhi Sultanate after Muhammad of Ghor's death, started construction of the Qutb Minar's first story in 1199. Aibak's successor and son-in-law Shamsuddin Iltutmish completed a further three stories.[14] After a lightning strike in 1369 damaged the then top story, the ruler at the time, Firuz Shah Tughlaq, replaced the damaged story and added one more. Sher Shah Suri also added an entrance while he was ruling and the Mughal emperor Humayun was in exile.[1]


Qutb Minar in Mehrauli in Delhi. Clifton and Co., around 1890

Pesrian-Arabic and Nagari in different sections of the Qutb Minar reveal the history of its construction and the later restorations and repairs by Firoz Shah Tughluq (1351–88) and Sikandar Lodi (1489–1517).[20]

The height of Qutb Minar is 72.5 meters, making it the tallest minaret in the world built of bricks.[2][21] The tower tapers, and has a 14.3 metres (47 feet) base diameter, reducing to 2.7 metres (9 feet) at the top of the peak.[22] It contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps.[13][1]

The whole tower contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps.[13] At the foot of the tower is the Quwat Ul Islam Mosque. The Minar tilts just over 65 cm from the vertical, which is considered to be within safe limits.[23]

Qutb Minar was an inspiration and prototype for many minarets and towers built. The Chand Minar and Mini Qutub Minar bear resemblance to the Qutb Minar and inspired from it.[24]

The Stories of the Qutb Minar

The stories of the Qutb Minar vary in size, style, and material due to varying architects and builders constructing each section.

The Basement Story of the Qutb Minar

The Qutb Minar consists of five stories of red and grey sandstone. The lowest story, also known as the basement story, was completed during the lifetime of Ghiyeth al-Din Muhammad, a sultan during the Ghurid dynasty.[25]

It is revetted with twelve semicircular and twelve flanged pilasters that are placed in alternating order.[25] This story is separated by flanges and by storied balconies, carried on Muqarnas corbels.[26] The story is placed on top of a low circular plinth that is inscribed with a twelve-pointed star with a semicircle placed with each of the angles between the star’s points.[25]

There are also six horizontal bands with inscriptions inscribed in naskh, a style of Islamic calligraphy, on this story. The inscriptions are as follows: Quran, sura II, verses 255-60; Quran, sura LIX, verses 22-23, and attributes of God; The name and titles of Ghiyath al-Din; Quran, sura XLVIII, verses 1-6; The name and titles of Mu’izz al-Din; and Qur’anic quotations and the following titles in this much restored inscription: "The Amir, the most glorious and great commander of the army."[25] This level also has inscriptions praising Muhammad of Ghor, the sultan of the Ghurids.[14]

The Second, Third, and Fourth Stories

The second, third, and fourth stories were erected by Sham ud-Din Iltutmish, the first Muslim sovereign to rule from Delhi.[27] He is considered to be the first of the Delhi Sultan dynastic line.[27] The second and third stories are also revetted with twelve semicircular and twelve flanged pilasters that are placed in alternating order.[25] These red sandstone columns are separated by flanges and by storied balconies, carried on Muqarnas corbels.[26] Prior to its reconstruction and reduction, the fourth story was also decorated with semicircular pilasters.[25] It was re-constructed in white marble and is relatively plain.[26]

The Fifth Story

In 1369, the fourth story was repaired after lightning struck the minaret. During reconstruction, Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq elected to reduce the size of the fourth story and then separated it into two stories.[27]


On 14 November 2000, Delhi newspapers reported that the Hindu nationalist groups, Vishva Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, planned to host a yajna, a ritualistic Hindu ceremony related to cleansing or purification, at the Qutub Minar complex where the minaret is located.[15] The Delhi police detained 80 activists led by Ram Krishan Gaur that were located by the Qutb Minar and were stopped from performing the yajna inside the tower. Due to a police barricade, the activists instead performed the ritual on the streets outside the mosque complex.[28] Since the spolia of Jain and Hindu temples were used to construct the minaret, the right-wing Hindu groups believed that they needed to perform a cleansing at the complex in order to free the Hindu icons that were "trapped" in the minaret and the mosque complex.[15]


Before 1976, the general public was allowed access to the first floor of the minaret, via the internal staircase. Access to the top was stopped after 2000 due to suicides. On 4 December 1981, the staircase lighting failed. Between 300 and 400 visitors stampeded towards the exit. 45 were killed and some were injured. Most of these were school children.[29] Since then, the tower has been closed to the public. Since this incident the rules regarding entry have been stringent.[30]

In Literature

Letitia Elizabeth Landon's poem The Qutb Minar, Delhi is a reflection on an engraving in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1833.

In Popular Culture

Bollywood actor and director Dev Anand wanted to shoot the song "Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar" from his film Tere Ghar Ke Samne inside the Minar. However, the cameras in that era were too big to fit inside the tower's narrow passage, and therefore the song was shot inside a replica of the Qutb Minar[31]

The site served as the Pit Stop of the second leg of the second series of The Amazing Race Australia.[32]

A picture of the minaret is featured on the travel cards and tokens issued by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. A recently launched start-up in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India has made a 360o walkthrough of Qutb Minar available.[33]

Ministry of Tourism recently gave seven companies the 'Letters of Intent' for fourteen monuments under its 'Adopt a Heritage Scheme.' These companies will be the future 'Monument Mitras.' Qutb Minar has been chosen to part of that list.[34][35]


Qutb Minar

Left to Right:Alai Darwaza, Qutb Minar, Imam Zamin's tomb

Entrance to Minar

Calligraphy on upper-base section

Decorative motifs on upper levels

Close-up of balcony

Plaque at Minar

View through arch

Qutb Minar path view

Qutb Minar from the south

See also

• Red Fort
• Agra Fort
• Firoz Minar
• Fateh Burj
• Chand Minar
• Taj Mahal
• List of tallest minarets


1. "Qutub Minar". Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
2. History And Civics - Page 40. ISBN 9788131763193.
3. "WHC list". 2009. Archived from the original on 27 November 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
4. Singh (2010). Longman History & Civics ICSE 7. Pearson Education India. p. 42. ISBN 978-81-317-2887-1. Archived from the original on 28 May 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
5. "Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque". Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
6. Ali Javid; ʻAlī Jāvīd; Tabassum Javeed (1 July 2008). World Heritage Monuments and Related Edifices in India. pp. 14, 105, 107, 130. ISBN 9780875864846. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
7. Also two huge minarets at Ghazni.
8. Ettinghausen, Grabar & Jenkins 2003, p. 164.
9. Harle 1994, p. 424.
10. Blair & Bloom 1996, p. 149.
11. Harle 1994, p. 429.
12. Lambourn, Elizabeth A. (2017). "Islam beyond Empires". A Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture. pp. 755–776. doi:10.1002/9781119069218.ch30. ISBN 978-1-119-06921-8.
13. "Qutub Minar". Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
14. "Qutub Minar Height". Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
15. Rajagopalan, Mrinalini (2012). "A Medieval Monument and Its Modern Myths of Iconoclasm: The Enduring Contestations over the Qutb Complex in Delhi, India". In Kinney, Dale; Brilliant, Richard (eds.). Reuse Value: Spolia and Appropriation in Art and Architecture from Constantine to Sherrie Levine. Ashgate Publishing. pp. 199–221. doi:10.4324/9781315606187. ISBN 978-1-4094-8684-8.
16. Wright, Colin. "Ruin of Hindu pillars, Kootub temples, Delhi". Archived from the original on 30 June 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
17. Wright, Colin. "Rao Petarah's Temple, Delhi". Archived from the original on 8 July 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
18. "Qutub Minar and Smiths Folly - an architectural disaster." Archived7 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine, WordPress.
19. Patel, A. (2004). "Toward Alternative Receptions of Ghurid Architecture in North India (Late Twelfth-Early Thirtheenth Century CE)". Archives of Asian Art. 54: 35–61. doi:10.1484/aaa.2004.0004. JSTOR 20111315.
20. Plaque at Qutb Minar
21. "World's tallest buildings, monuments and other structures".
22. "Qutb Minar Height". Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
23. Verma, Richi (24 January 2009). "Qutb Minar tilting due to seepage: Experts". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
24. Koch, Ebba (1991). "The Copies of the Quṭb Mīnār". Iran. 100: 95–186. doi:10.2307/4299851. JSTOR 4299851.
25. Pinder-Wilson, Ralph (2001). "Ghaznavid and Ghūrid Minarets". Iran. 39: 155–186. doi:10.2307/4300603. ISSN 0578-6967. JSTOR 4300603.
26. "Qutub Minar". Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
27. Shafiqullah, Shah Muhammad (1 January 1993). "The Qutb Minar: An Observation on Its Calligraphy". Islamic Quarterly. 37 (4): 281–286. ProQuest 1304273557.
28. "VHP yajna thwarted". The Tribune. Chandigarh, India. 14 November 2000.
29. "Around the World; 45 Killed in Stampede at Monument in India". The New York Times. 5 December 1981. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
30. Khandekar, Nivedita (4 December 2012). "31 yrs after tragedy, Qutub Minar's doors remain shut". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 14 February 2018. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
31. Mehul S Thakkar, Mumbai Mirror 22 Nov 2011, IST (22 November 2011). "30 years later, Qutub ready to face the camera". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 2 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
32. "Mehrauli Qutub Minar UNESCO World Heritage Complex Tour Guide - Destination Overview". Holiday Travel. 12 December 2011. Archived from the original on 31 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
33. "Qutub Minar in MEHRAULI, Delhi - 360-degree view on". Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
34. "Adopt a Heritage Scheme, Qutub Minar, Delhi - to be adopted by". India Today. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
35. "Clean water to free WiFi: What will provide after adopting Qutub Minar". Retrieved 2 November 2018.


• Blair, Sheila S.; Bloom, Jonathan M. (1996). The Art and Architecture of Islam 1250-1800. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-06465-0.
• Harle, James C. (1994). The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-06217-5.
• Ettinghausen, Richard; Grabar, Oleg; Jenkins, Marilyn (2003). Islamic Art and Architecture 650-1250: 2nd Edition. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-08869-4.

External links

• Qutub Minar
• Archaeological Survey of India | Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi
• Qutb Minar Ticket
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:26 am

Translation of one of the Inscriptions on the Pillar At Dehlee, called the Lat of Feeroz Shah, Excerpt from Asiatic Researches, Volume 7
by Henry Colebrooke, Esq.
With Introductory Remarks by Mr. Harington.
P. 175-182

Plate IV: Picturesque Elevation of the Shikar-Gah, & the Celebrated Pillar at Dehli in June, 1797

Plate IV: Geometrical Elevation

Plate V: A, B, C, D.

I have the pleasure of presenting to the Society a Book of Drawings and Inscriptions prepared under the inspection of their late member, Captain James Hoare, and intended by him (I have reason to believe) for the life of the Society.

Sikargah or Kushak Mahal, 14th-century hunting lodge built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

-- Teen Murti Bhavan, by Wikipedia

Two of the drawings represent elevations, taken on the spot, of the stone building near Dehlee, called the Shikargah, or hunting place, of Feeroz Shah; with the pillar in the center, and above the summit of it, commonly known by the designation of Feeroz Shah’s Lat; and described, with an outline of the building and pillar, in the 21st paper of the 1st Vol. of the Society’s Transactions. The copy of the inscriptions on this pillar, which was received by our revered President and Founder from Colonel Polier, enabled him to exhibit a translation of one of them, as accurate as the imperfect state of the transcript would admit; but on comparing it with a more perfect copy made by Captain Hoare, it was found in several parts defective and inaccurate; and the date, instead of being 123 of the era of Vicramaditya, or A.D. 67, as appeared from the former copy, was clearly ascertained, from the present, to be 1220 of the above era, or A.D. 1164. An accurate translation of this inscription has therefore been furnished by Mr. Henry Colebrooke, (who has distinguished himself as a Sanscrit scholar by his version of the Hindoo Law Digest, compiled under the superintendence of Sir William Jones,) and is now submitted to the Society, with the original Sanscrit in Roman letters. [/size][/b]

17. Painting of a Firman of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb: India, late 18th century, 15.5 cm x 32 cm
Oliver Hoare's Cabinet of Curiosities, An Exhibition at Ciancimino, 85 Pimlico Road, London SW1 W8PH
6th June-6th July 2012


This curiosity belonged to Captain James Hoare who served in India in the second half of the 18th century. It shows a firman, an official document issued by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (1658–1707, the sixth Mughal emperor), still folded and sealed with stamped wax, and inscribed in black ink: ‘The firman of the one of exalted rank, in the name of Sepahdar Khan about Muhammad Asim, the judge of Jajmu imploring assistance’.

On the reverse a now faint and partly undecipherable inscription in pencil recounts its story. The emperor issued the firman to confirm a cadi (judge) in his functions, which were to be transferred to his descendants. By the end of the century the family was ‘in a state of beggary from large possessions’, and for some reason a member of the family gave this painting to James Hoare in 1792. It is like a surrealist conundrum. The firman is shown unopened. Why was a picture of it given and not the original, and why should this be so interesting? Was it in exchange for some favour granted? Was James Hoare sufficiently tickled by this last vestige of the family’s prestige to have its portrait painted? Not knowing the answers is part of its charm.

James Hoare was an early member of the Asiatic Society established in Bengal by Sir William Jones, to which he contributed a book of drawings of Firoz Shah’s Lat in Delhi and the Lat in Allahabad. They were a major contribution to deciphering Ashoka’s inscriptions, and arriving at an understanding of the Buddhist past of India. He died of a fever while still in India.

Of the five other inscriptions contained in the accompanying book, and taken from the same pillar, but in a different character, no translation has been yet procurable. The deposit of them among the Society’s papers, and, if they think proper, the publication of an engraving of them in their Transactions, may lead to a future explication of them; which must be also facilitated by Captain Hoare’s collection of the characters.

The same characters appear in the inscription on the pillar at Allahabad, a specimen of which, with a modern Arabick and Persian inscription in the reign of Jehangeer, and a drawing of the pillar, are also contained in the accompanying Book. I have not been able to procure any information respecting this pillar, and understand from Moonshee Mohummud Morad, who accompanied Captain Hoare, that his inquiries at Allahabad were equally unsuccessful.

The Feeroz Shah, whose name is now attached to the Dehlee pillar, (though it must have been erected as some Hindoo monument at a much earlier period,) appears, from Ferishtuh’s History, to have reigned at Dehlee between the years 1351 and 1388; in the last of which he died at the age of ninety; and Ferishtuh, in the words of his translator, Lieutenant Colonel Dow, gives him the following character:

“Though no great warrior in the field, he was, by his excellent qualities, well calculated for a reign of peace. His severity to the inhabitants of Cumaoon, for the assassination of the Governor of Samana, is a great blot in his reputation. But to this he, perhaps, was prompted by a religious zeal and euthusiasm; for the persons murdered, were Seids, or descendants of the prophet. He reigned thirty-eight years and nine months, and left many memorials of his magnificence in the land. He built fifty great sluices, forty mosques, thirty schools, twenty caravansaries, an hundred palaces, five hospitals, an hundred tombs, ten baths, ten spires, one hundred and fifty wells, one hundred bridges; and the pleasure gardens he made were without number.”* [Dow’s History of Hindustan, Vol. I. page 336.]

The author of the Huft Akleem, Mohummud Ameem Razee, who wrote his history of the world (or, as the title of his book imports, of the Seven Climes, into which the Mahommedans divide the universe) in the reign of Akbur, corroborates the above character of Feeroz Shah, and adds the following passage, translated verbatim from his history.

“Among the places built by this King (Feeroz Shah) is a hunting place, which the populace call the Lat of Feeroz Shah. It is a house of three stories, in the centre of which has been erected a pillar of red stone, of one piece, and tapering upwards. The visible part of the shaft is, by measurement, twenty-seven Zirras; and it is said, that one-third only is visible; the remaining two-thirds being buried in the earth. In this case, the total length must be eighty-one Zirras; and it is five Zirras in circumference. Round it have been engraved literal characters, which the most intelligent of all religions have been unable to explain. Report says, this pillar is a monument of renown to the Rajuhs, (or Hindoo Princes,) and that Feeroz Shah set it up within his hunting place. But on this head there are various traditions, which it would be tedious to relate.”

Who Erected Pillars In India before Asoka?

The find-spots of relics are of great importance in the reconstruction of history; but one of the recurrent problems in Indian history is that pillars were often rewritten and re-erected at different locations. Unfortunately this has been totally ignored by gullible historians like H. C. Raychaudhuri and R. Thapar. Even though the weight of some of these pillars is about thirty tons, it is not safe to assume that they were erected in their present locations. Keay writes:

The question of how these pillars had originally been moved round India, and whether they were still in their ordained positions, was an intriguing subject by itself. It was now apparent that they were all of the same stone, all polished by the same unexplained process, and therefore all from the same quarry. 3 [J. Keay, India Discovered: The Achievement of the British Raj (London 1988) 55.]

Significantly, although most writers placed this quarry at Chunar near Benares, Prinsep located it somewhere in the outer Himalayas.

-- An Altar of Alexander Now Standing at Delhi [EXPANDED VERSION], by Ranajit Pal, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, India, January, 2006

The traditional idea that all were originally quarried at Chunar, just south of Varanasi and taken to their sites, before or after carving, "can no longer be confidently asserted",15 [Harle, J.C., The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent, 2nd edn. 1994, Yale University Press Pelican History of Art, p. 22] and instead it seems that the columns were carved in two types of stone. Some were of the spotted red and white sandstone from the region of Mathura, the others of buff-colored fine grained hard sandstone usually with small black spots quarried in the Chunar near Varanasi. The uniformity of style in the pillar capitals suggests that they were all sculpted by craftsmen from the same region. It would therefore seem that stone was transported from Mathura and Chunar to the various sites where the pillars have been found, and there was cut and carved by craftsmen.[16] [Thapar, Romila (2001). Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryan, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-564445-X, pp. 267-70]

-- Pillars of Ashoka, by Wikipedia

Ashoka Pillar at Feroze Shah Kotla, Delh

A pristine polished sandstone Topra Ashokan pillar from the 3rd century BC rises from the palace's crumbling remains, one of many pillars of Ashoka left by the Mauryan emperor.

-- Feroz Shah Kotla, by Wikipedia

The exact length of the Zirra, referred to in the above description, is uncertain. But there can be no doubt that the height of the pillar, now visible above the building, is thirty-seven feet; and that its circumference, where it joins the terrace, is ten feet four inches [124 inches]. These dimensions I have from Moonshee Mohummud Morad, who himself measured the pillar for Captain Hoare in July, 1797; and who adds, that, as far as it could be seen, (which, from the ruinous state of the building, it cannot be, at present, below the upper terrace,) it is certainly, as described in the Huft Akleem, a single stone, of reddish colour, as represented in the drawing.

If the circumference of this pillar is 10'4", or 4.06' diameter where it joins the terrace, then this pillar is 50' tall, rather than 37' tall. Neither is this pillar "red." Neither is it located at the Shikargah hunting lodge.

One of Captain Hoare’s drawings further represents the plans of the three stories of the Shikar-gah; and his Moonshee informs me, the current opinion is, that they were used partly for a menagery, and partly for an aviary, which the plans appear to confirm.

Perhaps the same misguided religious zeal which prompted his severity towards the inhabitants of Cumaoon, may have impelled him to erect a mansion for birds and beasts, round a venerable relict of Hindoo antiquity; the age of which cannot, I conceive, be determined by the date of the inscription now communicated to the Society, as the character of it is modern, and altogether different from the older inscriptions not yet explained.

J. H. HARINGTON. [John Herbert Harington, Asiatic Society Secretary, 1784-1792]


samvat 1220 vaisacha sudi 15 sacambhari bhupati srimad vella devatmaja srimad visala devasya.

avindhyad ahimadrer virachita vijayas thirtha yatra prasangad udgriveshu prahart nripatishu vinamat candhareshu prasannah

aryavertam yathartham punar api critavan mlechchha vichchhedanabhir devah sacambharindro jagati vijayate visalah cshonipala.

brute samprati bahujata tilacah sacambhari bhupatih srimad vigraha raja esha vijayi santanajan atmanah.

asmabhih caradam vyadhayi himavad vindhyantaralam bhuvah sesha swicaranaya mastu bhavatam udyoga sunyam manah.

ambho nama ripu priya nayanayoh pratyarthi dantantare pratyacshani trinani vaibhava milat cashtam yasas tavacam

margo loca viruddha eva vijanah sunyam mano vidwisham srimad vigraha rajadeva bhavatah prapte prayanotsave

lila mandira sodareshu swanteshu vamabhruvam satrunan nanu vigraha cshitipate nyayyas cha vasas tava sanca va purushottamasya bhavato nasty eva varan nidher nirmathyapahrita sriyah cimu bhavan crode na nidrayitah.

samvat sri vicramaditya 1220 vaisacha sudi 15 gurau lichitam idam ....

pratyacsham guadanwaya cayastha mahava putra sripatina atra samaye maha -- mantri rajaputra srimal lacshana palah.


In the year 1220, on the 15th day of the bright half of the month Vaisach, [this monument] of the fortunate Visala Deva, son of the fortunate Vella Deva, (1) [Colonel Polier's transcript exhibited Amilla; the present copy may be read either Avella, or Vella.] King of Sacambhari,

As far as Vindhya, (2) [The Vindhya hills form the range which passes through the provinces of Bahar, Benares, &c. Hemadri, the Mountains of Snow, (called Himavat in the next verse,) is the Imaus and Emodus of ancient geographers. Aryaverta signifies the Land of Virtue; or "inhabited by respectable Men." See Menu, Ch. 2, v. 22.] as far as Himadri, (2) having achieved conquest in the course of travelling to holy places; resentful to haughty Kings, and indulgent to those whose necks are humbled; making Aryaverta (2) once more what its name signifies, by causing the barbarians to be exterminated; Visala Deva, supreme ruler of Sacambhari, (3,) [I have not been able to ascertain the situation of Sacambhari.] and sovereign of the earth, is victorious in the world.

This conqueror, the fortunate Vigraha Raja, (4,) [Whether Vigraha Raja, and Visala Deva, be names of the same person, or of different princes, it is impossible to determine from the tenor of the inscription, without other information.] King of Sacambhari, most eminent of the tribe which sprang from the arms (5) [The transcript of the inscription exhibits Vala,ama Tilacah, as it was also read in the former facsimile. Servone Trivedi advises me to read it Bahujata Tilacha, and I accde to his emendation.] [of Brahma,] now addresses his own descendants:

"By us the region of the earth between Himavat (2) and Vindhya (2) has been made tributary; let not your minds be void of exertion to subdue the remainder."

Tears are evident in the eyes of thy enemy's consort; blades of grass are perceived between thy adversary's teeth; (6) [This alludes to the Indian custom of biting a blade of grass as a token of submission, and of asking quarter.] thy fame is predominant throughout space; the minds of thy foes are void [of hope;] their route is the desert where men are hindered from passing, O Vigraha Raja Deva, in the jubilee occasioned by thy march.

May thy abode, O Vigraha, sovereign of the earth, be fixed, as in reason it ought, in the bosoms (akin to the mansion of dalliance) of the women with beautiful eye-brows, who were married to thy enemies. There is no doubt of thy being the highest of embodied souls. (7) [Servone explains this very obscure passage otherwise: "There is (i.e. there should be) no doubt, or hesitation, in the mind of thee, who art the highest of embodied souls." (Purushottama.)] Didst thou not sleep in the lap of Sri, whom thou didst seize from the ocean, having churned it? (8) [Puroshottaama is a title of Vishnu. With reference to this term, the author of the inscription asks, "Art thou not Vishnu himself? Art thou not he who slept in the arms of Lacshm?" The legend of the churching of the ocean is well known.]

In the year from the fortunate Vicramaditya 1220, (9,) [In the present copy the date is very distinct; and proves to be 1220; not 123, as was suspected by Sir William Jones.] on Thursday, the 15th day of the bright half of the month Vaisach, this was written in the presence of (10) [This part of the inscription is not legible.] .... by Sripati, the son of Mahava, a Cayastha of a family in Gauda: at this time the fortunate Lacshana Pala, a Rajaputra, is prime minister.

Siva the terrible, [x] and the universal monarch.

There are on the same page, some short inscriptions, which I cannot decypher. One of them, however, is partly legible, and appears to be in the Hindustani language. It contains the name of Sultan Ibrahim, and wishes him a long life.

Plate VI: Column of Inscription fronting North.

Plate VI: Column of Inscription fronting North.

Plate VII: Fronting East.

Plate VII: Fronting East.

Plate VIII: Fronting South.

Plate VIII: Fronting South.

Plate IX: Fronting West.

Plate IX: Fronting West.

Plate X: Pillar under the foregoing commencing from the East.

Fact similie

Plate X: Inscription running round the Pillar under the foregoing, commencing from the East.

Fact similie specimen of the foregoing Inscription.

Plate XI:

Plate XI:

Plate XII: [illegible] is below the [illegible] encircles the Pillar.

Plate XII: This Inscription is a continuation of the former & joins it at the * it is below the others & in a different Character. It commences on the South side & encircles the Pillar about seven feet from the Terrace of the Building.

Plate XIII: Pillar of Alahabad.

Plate XIV:

Plate XIV: Specimen of the Inscription on the Pillar at Allahabad.


The same Inscription -- in a more modern Character.
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