Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

This is a broad, catch-all category of works that fit best here and not elsewhere. If you haven't found it someplace else, you might want to look here.

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat Sep 04, 2021 4:08 am

Part 1 of 3

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

That the history of Asoka matches that of Diodotus I line by line can only imply that they were one and the same person....

The Parthian Prince An-shih-kao, who dedicated his life to the spread of Buddhism, is clearly Diodotus...

Asoka does not refer to Diodotus because he was Diodotus himself...

Historians have denied Diodotus his true place in world history.


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


Diodotus was born between 315-300 BC, likely to parents established as nobles in Bactria. His father (also Diodotus) was believed to have been a dignitary and Diadochi of Alexander the Great, awarded land in Bactria.

The region of Bactria, which encompassed the Oxus river Valley in modern Afghanistan and Tajikistan, was conquered by Alexander between 329 and 327 BC and he settled a number of his veterans in the region. In the wars which followed Alexander's death in 323 BC, the region was largely left to its own devices, but it was incorporated in the Seleucid empire by Seleucus I between 308 and 305 BC, along with the rest of the territories that Alexander had conquered in Iran and Central Asia. Seleucus entrusted the region to his son and co-regent, Antiochus I, around 295 BC. Between 295 and 281 BC, Antiochus I established firm Seleucid control over the region. The region was divided into a number of satrapies (provinces), of which Bactria was one. Antiochus founded or refounded a number of cities on the Greek model in the region and he opened a number of mints to produce coinage on the Attic weight standard. After Antiochus I succeeded his father as ruler of the Seleucid empire in 281 BC, he entrusted the east to his own son, Antiochus II who remained in this position until he in turn succeeded to the throne in 261 BC.[8]

Diodotus became Seleucid satrap (governor) of Bactria during Antiochus II's reign, thus about a generation after the original establishment of Seleucid control over the region .... Archaeological evidence for the period comes largely from excavations of the city of Ai-Khanoum, where this period saw the expansion of irrigation networks, the construction and expansion of civic buildings, and some military activity...

At some point, Diodotus seceded from the Seleucid empire, establishing his realm as an independent kingdom, known in modern scholarship as the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom. The event is mentioned briefly by the Roman historian Justin:
Diodotus, the governor of the thousand cities of Bactria, defected and proclaimed himself king; all the other people of the Orient followed his example and seceded from the Macedonians [i.e. the Seleucids].

— Justin Epitome of Pompeius Trogus 41.4...


The limited archaeological evidence reveals no signs of discontinuity or destruction in this period. The transition from Seleucid rule to independence thus seems to have been accomplished peacefully....

The literary sources stress the prosperity of the new kingdom. Justin calls it "the extremely prosperous empire of the thousand cities of Bactria.", while the geographer Strabo says:
The Greeks who caused Bactria to revolt grew so powerful on account of the fertility of the country that they became masters, not only of Ariana, but also of India, as Apollodorus of Artemita says: and more tribes were subdued by them than by Alexander... Their cities were Bactra (also called Zariaspa, through which flows a river bearing the same name and emptying into the Oxus), and Darapsa, and several others.

— Strabo Geography 11.11.1

[A]rchaeological evidence makes clear that goods and people continued to move between Bactria and the Seleucid realm.

Diodotus died during the reign of Seleucus II, sometime around 235 BC, probably of natural causes. He was succeeded by his son Diodotus II. The new king concluded a peace with the Parthians and supported Arsaces when Seleucus II attacked him around 228 BC. Diodotus II was subsequently killed by an usurper, Euthydemus [a Greco-Bactrian king], who founded the Euthydemid dynasty....

Diodotus appears also on coins struck in his memory by the later Graeco-Bactrian kings Agathocles and Antimachus. These coins imitate the original design of the tetradrachms issued by Diodotus I, but with a legend on the obverse identifying the king as Ancient Greek: ΔΙΟΔΟΤΟΥ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ('Of Diodotus Soter' [saviour]).

-- Diodotus I, by Wikipedia


In my ten months journey between Aleppo and this court, I spent just three pounds sterling, yet fared reasonably every day; victuals being so cheap in some of the countries through which I travelled, that I often lived competently for one penny a-day. Of that three pounds, I was actually cozened out of ten shillings, by certain evil Christians of the Armenian nation; so that in reality I only expended fifty shillings in all that time. I have been in a city of this country called Delee, where Alexander the Great joined battle, with Porus king of India, and defeated him; and where, in memory of his victory, he caused erect a brazen pillar, which remains there to this day. At this time I have many irons in the fire, as I am learning the Persian, Turkish, and Arabic languages, having already acquired the Italian. I have been already three months at the court of the Great Mogul, and propose, God willing, to remain here five months longer, till I have got these three languages; after which I propose to visit the river Ganges, and then to return to the court of Persia.

-- A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea and Land, From the Earliest Ages to the Present Time, by Robert Kerry, F.R.S. & F.A.S. Edin., Illustrated by Maps and Charts, Vol. IX, 1824


Asoka’s Lat. —

The next object of interest in the palace of Firoz Shah is the pillar on which Asoka, king of Magadha, published his tolerant edicts to the world. It was put up here by Firoz Shah, in the year 757 A.H. (1356 A D.) It stands on a pyramidal building of rubble stone, with domes of rubble stone irregularly set in mortar of admirable quality, and arches with ribs. [Beglar.]

The pyramid consists of terraces standing on an exterior platform, on the top-most of which the pillar stands; these terraces have cells with arches all round. [Muhammad Anim Razi in his Haft-i-Kalim, describes the pillar, as it was in the time of Akbar, as standing on a house three-storeyed high, being “a monolith of red-stone tapering upwards.” “The three storeys,” says Franklin, “were partly a menagerie, and partly an aviary.” From where this idea was got hold of, I am unable to say.] I agree with Mr. Beglar that there was not another storey over the highest storey now in existence; the presence of two stumps of pillars near the edge of the upper-most storey does not argue, as a matter of even strong probability, that they were parts of pillar- supports, but I am of opinion, that the addition of another storey which would serve to dwarf the size of the pillar would be an ill advised addition for men who were setting up a lofty monument to the glory of their king. The fact that the domes over the four corner towers of the third storey are on a level with the present main roof, is decidedly in favour of the theory that the building was never higher than it is now. “Vertically beneath the base of the pillar, a gallery has been broken through in the top-most storey, disclosing a sort of rough chamber, covered by a rubble dome 4 feet in diameter, on which consequently, the entire weight of the pillar rests. [ Beglar.]

Asoka, king of Magadha, subsequently known as Dhammasoka, was the son of Bindusara, and grandson of Chandra Gupta, “the king of Hindusthan, from Kashmir to Kanauj.” He was born in the orthodox faith, and was a worshipper of Shiva, but became a convert to Bhuddism, and a powerful propagandist of his new faith. He commemorated his conversion and his desire that his new faith should be spread over his empire, by the promulgation of edicts which still stand as undying memorials of his faith, on granite pillars which were erected from Kabul to Orissa. Asoka is the Piyadasi of the pillar inscriptions and Pali records; the contemporary of Antiochus Theos, and his age may be placed between 325-200 B.C.

The pillar under notice is a sand-stone monolith, 42 feet 7 inches high, of which the upper portion of 35 feet is polished and the rest is left rough; the buried portion of the pillar is 4 feet 1 inch long. [Beglar.] Its upper diameter is 25-3 inches and its lower diameter 38-8 inches, the diminution being -39 inches per foot. [Cunningham.] The pillar is supposed to weigh 27 tons. The colour of the stone is pale pink, having black spots outside, something like dark quartz. The usual amount of inaccuracies has found its way in the measurements of this pillar: Major Burt, who examined it in 1837, gives its length as about 35 feet, and diameter as 3-1/4 feet; Franklin gives 50 feet as its length; Von Orlich, 42 feet; William Finch, 24 feet; Shams-i-Siraj, 24 gaz or 34 feet, and its circumference 10 feet. As regards the material of the monolith and the inscriptions it bears, some very curious mistakes have also been made: the Danish Councillor, de Laet, describes it as “a very high obelisk (as some affirm) with Greek characters and placed here (as it is believed) by Alexander the Great;" the eccentric Tom Coryat also ascribes the pillar to Alexander and describes it as “brazen;" the confiding Chaplain Edward Terry, who was so charmed with Coryat’s improbable stories, improves on his informant and calls it a "very great pillar of marble” of Alexander the Great; but strange to say, that the observant Bishop Heber describes it as a pillar of “cast metal,” and, that the description was not an ordinary slip of the pen, is evident from the fact that the Bishop refers to it, to explain the material of the Iron Pillar, both being, in his lordship’s opinion, of “cast metal."

-- Archaeology and Monumental Remains of Delhi, by Carr Stephen, 1876


Delhi is situated in a fine plain; and about two coss [3.6 miles] from thence are the ruins of a hunting seat, or mole, built by Sultan Bemsa, a great Indian sovereign [NOT "Togall Shah"]. It still contains much curious stone-work; and above all the rest is seen a stone pillar, which, after passing through three several stories, rises twenty-four feet above them all, having on the top a globe, surmounted by a crescent. It is said that this stone stands as much below in the earth as it rises above, and is placed below in water, being all one stone. Some say Naserdengady, a Patan king, wanted to take it up, but was prevented by a multitude of scorpions. It has inscriptions.6 [Purchas alleges that these inscriptions are in Greek and Hebrew; and that some affirm it was erected by Alexander the Great.—E.] In divers parts of India the like are to be seen....

From Sirhind, in five stages, making forty-eight coss [86.4 miles], I came to a serai called Fetipoor, built by the present king Shah Selim, in memory of the overthrow of his eldest son, Sultan Cussero, on the following occasion. On some disgust, Shah Selim took up arms in the life of his father Akbar, and fled into Purrop, where he kept the strong castle of Alobasse7 [Purrop, or Porub, has been formerly supposed the ancient kingdom of Porus in the Punjab, and Attobass, here called Alobasse, to have been Attock Benares. — E.] but came in and submitted about three months before his father’s death.


-- A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, By Sea and Land, From the Earliest Ages to the Present Time, by Robert Kerr, F.R.S. & F.A.S. Edin., Vol. VIII, 1824


Abstract. The vanishing of the twelve magnificent altars set up by Alexander the Great has intrigued many scholars. This article shows that one of the Altars was reinscribed by Emperor ASHOKA, WHO WAS THE FAMOUS INDO-GREEK KING DIODOTUS I. There is an indication that Alexander may have tried to promote brotherhood in these altars. It is just possible that the four-lion emblem of India may be linked to Alexander.

Even in the heyday of Assyriology, when the lure of grand discoveries drew archaeologists to Sumer and Akkad, some eminent figures opted for India. Apart from the enigma of the Indus culture, a prime attraction was the undiscovered altars of Alexander cited in several ancient texts. Alexander was the greatest ambassador of the West, and the failure to locate the altars saddened eminent archaeologists like Sir Mortimer Wheeler, who writes:

And yet it is astonishing how very little actual trace we have of his passing... his material presence has eluded us. It is as though a disembodied idea had come and gone as a mighty spiritual force with little immediate tangibility. 2


The vanishing of the altars was seen by some as an index of the insignificance of Alexander’s legacy, and was at the root of much ignorant criticism levelled against him. However, survival of relics is often a matter of chance; to the layman the accounts of Arrian, Plutarch and others may appear trivial in contrast to the lustre of the Taj Mahal or the splendour of Tutenkhamun’s relics, but the historian must tread cautiously. Natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, wilful destruction by political or religious reactionaries, and at times plain misjudgment of historians, may accumulate in order to diminish a legitimate hero. Lastly one must consider the effects of misappropriation. Had it not been for the ballasting of more than one hundred miles of the Lahore-Multan railway with bricks from the monuments of Harappa, the task of reconstructing the glories of the Indus civilisation would have been far easier.

This background has other dimensions as well: only a little more than fifty years after the construction of the altars, all of which apparently disappeared, one encounters the majestic Asokan pillars. Since Asoka has a very strong presence in the northwest, it is natural to suspect a link between the vanishing of all the altars of Alexander and the simultaneous emergence of nearly the same number of his pillar edicts, many of which had lion-capitals. It can be recalled that when Philip wanted to commemorate the momentous victory at Chaeronea he set up the famous lion statue. It is more than likely that his illustrious son had also erected lion capitals in India.

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.]

Thanks largely to Hodgson's discoveries along the Nepalese frontier, Prinsep knew of five Ashoka columns. As he deciphered their messages a sixth came to light in Delhi (the second to be found there). Broken into three pieces and buried in the ground, it was thought to have been the casualty of an explosion in a nearby gunpowder factory sometime in the 17th century. The inscription was badly worn, though evidently the same as that on the other pillars. In due course the whole pillar was offered to the Asiatic Society for their new museum. They accepted it but found the difficulties and cost of transporting it to Calcutta to be prohibitive; eventually they settled for just the bit with the inscription on it.

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 in itself. It was now appreciated that they were all of the same stone, all polished by the same unexplained process, and therefore all from the same quarry. Prinsep thought this was somewhere in the Outer Himalayas, although we now know their source to have been Chunar on the Ganges near Benares. Either way, they had somehow been moved as much as 500 miles, no mean feat considering that the heaviest weighed over 40 tons.

-- India Discovered, by John Keay

Significantly, although most writers placed this quarry at Chunar near Benares, Prinsep located it somewhere in the outer Himalayas. The altars of Alexander were grand structures. Plutarch writes that in his day these were held in much veneration by the Prasiians, whose kings were in the habit of crossing the Ganges every year to offer sacrifices in the Grecian manner upon them (Plut. Alexander, 62). What happened thereafter? Was there a scramble among the later rulers to use these splendid monuments for their own purposes? The fame of Samudragupta as one of the greatest rulers of India rests on his famous Allahabad inscription which was rewritten on an old Asokan pillar. Kulke and Rothermund suggest that it was shifted from Kausambi. In the fourteenth4 century, Sultan Feroz Shah was so impressed by the Asokan pillars that he had two of them shifted to Delhi, one from Meerut and another from Topra in Ambala district, about 90 miles northwest of Delhi.

Monahan writes:

The fact that ten of the pillars bear inscriptions of Ashoka is proof they were erected not later than his reign; it does not prove that none of them was erected earlier.5


In the Sanskrit drama Mudrarakshasa, Chandragupta is called Piadamsana.6 From this, Raychaudhuri concludes that it is not always safe to ascribe all epigraphs that mention Priyadarsana to Ashoka the Great. The intriguing fact7 is that Asoka says that pillars bearing edicts had been in existence in India before his time; he was not the first to use pillars for the propagation of Dhamma (Eusebia). In the seventh Pillar Edict, after recording that he has erected ‘pillars of the Sacred Law’ (dhammathambani), Asoka writes:

Etaṃ devānaṃpiye āhā: iyaṃ dhaṃma-libi ata athi silā-thaṃbānii vā, silā phalakāni vā tata kaṭaviyā ena esa cila-ṭhitike siyā.

The Devānamṃpiya said: wherever there are either stone pillars or stone slabs, thereon this Dharma rescript is to be engraved, so that it may long endure.8


This shows that there were already pillars in India before the Asokan era and also implies that, like Samudragupta, Asoka also had engraved his own message on at least some of them. To realise that no one other than Alexander could have erected these pre-Asokan pillars, one has to take a close look into an age-old blunder in Indology that has greatly falsified world history.

The Location of Palibothra

Alexander historians have often been baffled by the scarcity of new sources, archaeological or textual, and new writers are usually content with reinterpretation of old documents. Unfortunately this is due to a faulty9 perspective; too much stress has been laid on the Greek and Roman sources at the expense of crucial data from Sanskrit and Pali documents. Moreover, the value of the Indian sources has been impaired by one fatal error—Jones’s location of Palibothra at Patna. This has not only blurred the identity of major10 conspirators in the history of Alexander, but has also left room for much injudicious criticism against him. Once Jones’s idea is rejected and the scenario is shifted to the northwest, important clarifications emerge in the history not only of India but also that of Iran and Afghanistan. It turns out that Alexander11 was chasing through Gedrosia a very powerful adversary, and that he was not quite the villain that he has been made out to be.

Image

Gedrosia is a dry, mountainous country along the northwestern shores of the Indian Ocean. It was occupied in the Bronze Age by people who settled in the few oases in the region. Other people settled on the coast and became known in Greek as Ichthyophagi.

The country was conquered by the Persian king Cyrus the Great (559-530 BCE), although information about his campaign is comparatively late. The capital of Gedrosia was Pura, which is probably identical to modern Bampûr, forty kilometers west of Irânshahr.

Gedrosia became famous in Europe when the Macedonian king Alexander the Great tried to cross the Gedrosian desert and lost one third of his men.

-- Gedrosia (satrapy), by Wikipedia


Recounting the scenario after the Hyphasis mutiny (Arr. 5.25, Diod. 17.93-5, Curt. 9.2.1-3.19), Badian writes with an air of definiteness:

For the moment, he tried to use the weapon that had succeeded before. He withdrew to his tent, for three days. But this time it did not help. The men were determined, and as Coenus had made clear, they had the officers’ support. Alexander could not divide them. All that remained was to save face.12


Badian not only finds Alexander in an awkward position, but also casually notes his subsequent declaration that he would go on nonetheless and his ordering of sacrifices for crossing the river. Alexander’s vow to fight against the Prasii in13 the face of stiff opposition from both the soldiers and officers does appear somewhat comical but here lies a trap—where was their capital Palibothra? Could it really have been at Patna, so far removed from the northwest—the centre of early India?

The significance of this question has been glossed over by all. Only Hammond, discoverer of Aegai, recognises the crucial role of geography in history, and states that ‘Patna is too far east’ to be a Palibothra. Renowned14 archaeologists like A. Ghosh also point out that Jones’s discovery has no archaeological basis. Kulke and Rothermund likewise doubt the Jonesian15,16 story. It is well known that the Maurya empire extended to the west as far as Aria, Seistan and Makran and this makes it likely that Palibothra was in this17 region. Elisseeff remarks that from the archaeological viewpoint, eastern Iran18 was closer to India. Bivar is unaware of Jones’ error or the appalling frauds in19 Nepalese archaeology and his view about the Persepolis tablets is heedless and 20 empty:

So far as India is concerned, the Fortification Tablets attest an active and substantial traffic, though they shed no light on the geography of that province. 21


The tablets not only throw invaluable light on the geography of greater India but provide data that revolutionise Indology. Sedda Saramana of the tablets appears to be Siddhartha (Sedda-Arta) Gotama and the ubiquitous Suddayauda Saramana seems to be his father Suddo-dhana. Al-beruni writes that Gotama’s real name was Buddho-dana which puts him in the same bracket as Daniel.22 Nunudda of the tablets may be Nanda, a relative of Gotama.
 
Alexander’s Return Through Gedrosia After the Hyphasis Mutiny

Through the mist of vague reports and geographical misconceptions, it is difficult to probe into the Hyphasis revolt, which came as a serious jolt to Alexander. After this, even though there were safer routes, Alexander chose to return to Iran through the desert of Gedrosia, suffering heavy losses in soldiers and civilians from lack of water, food and the extreme heat. That the motive behind this voyage has appeared so perplexing is due to two crucial lapses—the false location of Palibothra, capital of the Prasii, and the concomitant failure to recognise the mysterious Moeris of Pattala who played a determinant role.

‘Alexander, of course, had read Herodotus’, writes Badian, but misses23 the purport of his reference to Indians in the Gedrosia area. Toynbee writes on world history and makes no mistake to note the shifting nature of India’s boundary:

... and we can already see the beginnings of this progressive extension of the name ‘Indian’ in Herodotus’s usage.24


The reports of Alexander’s historians clearly indicate that southeast Iran was within Greater India in the fourth century BC. As Prasii was in the Gedrosia area, the question arises—did the army refuse to fight the Prasii or only to march eastwards? If Alexander wanted to move eastward it was not to defeat the Prasii. Tarn writes that he had nothing to do with Magadha on the Ganges. If25 he had learnt that the fertile Gangetic plains were only a few days’ march away, and wanted to be there for mere expansion of empire, he would have met little resistance. Reluctance of the army could be due to the lack of any tangible gain, not fear of the mighty Easterners. If this was the case, then Alexander bowed down to the wishes of his men. However, if the reluctance was to confront the Prasii, it appears sensible due to their formidable strength. As Moeris had fought beside Porus, the Prasiian army cannot have been left intact, though it could still have been a fighting force. It is probable that Moeris and his agents fomented discord among Alexander’s officers and soldiers. The magicians and26 other secret agents of Moeris probably overblew the might of the Prasii in order to frighten the invaders. From this point onwards, if not earlier, Eumenes, Perdikkas and Seleucus may have been in touch with Moeris.
Porus himself, mounted on a tall elephant, not only directed the movements of his forces but fought on to the very end of the contest; he then received a wound on his right shoulder, the only unprotected part of his body, all the rest of his person being rendered shot-proof by a coat of mail remarkable for its strength and closeness of fit; he now turned his elephant and began to retire. Alexander who had observed and admired his valour in the field was anxious to save his life and sent Taxiles after him on horseback to summon him to surrender; but the sight of this old enemy and traitor roused the indignation of the Paurava, who gave him no hearing and would have killed him, had not Taxiles instantly put his horse to the gallop and got beyond the reach of Porus’. Even this Alexander did not resent; he sent other messengers till at last Meroes (Maurya ?), an old friend of Porus, persuaded him to hear the message of Alexander.

-- Chapter II: Alexander's Campaigns in India, Excerpt from "Age of the Nandas and Mauryas", by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri

Victory Over Moeris At Palibothra

Only Justin (Just. xii, 8) reports that Alexander had defeated the Prasii.
There was one of the kings of India, named Porus, equally distinguished for strength of body and vigour of mind, who, hearing of the fame of Alexander, had been for some time before preparing for war against his arrival. Coming to battle with him, accordingly, he directed his soldiers to attack the rest of the Macedonians, but desired that their king should be reserved as an antagonist for himself. Nor did Alexander decline the contest; but his horse being wounded in the first shock, he fell headlong to the ground, and was saved by his guards gathering round him. Porus, covered with a number of wounds, was made prisoner, and was so grieved at being defeated, that when his life was granted him by the enemy, he would neither take food nor suffer his wounds to be dressed, and was scarcely at last prevailed upon to consent to live. Alexander, from respect to his valour, sent him back in safety to his kingdom. Here he founded two cities, one called Nicaea, and the other, from the name of his horse, Bucephale.

He then overthrew the Adrestae, the Gesteani, the Presidae, and the Gangaridae, with great slaughter among their troops. When he had reached the Cuphites, where the enemy awaited him with two thousand cavalry, the whole army, wearied not less with the number of their victories than with their toils in the field, besought him with tears that “he would at length make an end of war, and think on his country and his return; considering the years of his soldiers, whose remainder of life would scarcely suffice for their journey home.” One pointed to his hoary hairs, another to his wounds, another to his body worn out with an age, another to his person disfigured with scars,6 saying “that they were the only men who had endured unintermitted service under two kings, Philip and Alexander;” and conjuring him in conclusion that “he should restore their remains at least to the sepulchres of their fathers, since they failed not in zeal but in age; and that, if he would not spare his soldiers, he should yet spare himself, and not wear out his good fortune by pressing it too far.” Moved with these reasonable supplications, he ordered a camp to be formed, as if to mark the termination of his conquests, of greater size than usual, by the works of which the enemy might be astonished, and an admiration of himself be left to posterity. No task did the soldiers execute with more alacrity. After great slaughter of the enemy, they returned to this camp with mutual congratulations.

-- Just. xii, 8

Delu is said to have been a prince of uncommon bravery and generosity; benevolent towards men, and devoted to the service of God. The most remarkable transaction of his reign is the building of the city of Delhi, which derives its name from its founder, Delu. In the fortieth year of his reign, Phoor, a prince of his own family, who was governor of Cumaoon, rebelled against the Emperor, and marched to Kinoge, the capital. Delu was defeated, taken, and confined in the impregnable fort of Rhotas.

Phoor immediately mounted the throne of India, reduced Bengal, extended his power from sea to sea, and restored the empire to its pristine dignity. He died after a long reign, and left the kingdom to his son, who was also called Phoor, and was the same with the famous Porus, who fought against Alexander.

The second Phoor, taking advantage of the disturbances in Persia, occasioned by the Greek invasion of that empire under Alexander, neglected to remit the customary tribute, which drew upon him the arms of that conqueror.
The approach of Alexander did not intimidate Phoor. He, with a numerous army, met him at Sirhind, about one hundred and sixty miles to the north-west of Delhi, and in a furious battle, say the Indian historians, lost many thousands of his subjects, the victory, and his life. The most powerful prince of the Decan, who paid an unwilling homage to Phoor, or Porus, hearing of that monarch's overthrow, submitted himself to Alexander, and sent him rich presents by his son. Soon after, upon a mutiny arising in the Macedonian army, Alexander returned by the way of Persia.

Sinsarchund, the same whom the Greeks call Sandrocottus, assumed the imperial dignity after the death of Phoor, and in a short time regulated the discomposed concerns of the empire. He neglected not, in the mean time, to remit the customary tribute to the Grecian captains, who possessed Persia under, and after the death of, Alexander.
Sinsarchund, and his son after him, possessed the empire of India seventy years. When the grandson of Sinsarchund acceded to the throne, a prince named Jona, who is said to have been a grand-nephew of Phoor, though that circumstance is not well attested, aspiring to the throne, rose in arms against the reigning prince, and deposed him.

-- The History of Hindostan, In Three Volumes, Volume I, by Alexander Dow, Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel in the Company's Service, 1812

Palibothra, the Prasiian capital was famous for peacocks. Lane Fox writes:

... Dhana Nanda's kingdom could have been set against itself and Alexander might yet have walked among Palimbothra's peacocks.27


Curiously, Arrian writes that Alexander was so charmed by the beauty of peacocks that he decreed the severest penalties against anyone killing them (Arrian, Indica, xv.218). The picture of Alexander amidst peacocks appears28 puzzling: where did he come across the majestic bird? Does this fascination lead us to Palibothra? The height of absurdity is reached when we are told that eighteen months after the battle with Porus, Alexander suddenly remembered his ‘victory over the Indians’ in the wilderness of Carmania and set upon to celebrate it with fabulous mirth and abandon. Surprisingly it did not jar with the common sense of anyone why this was not celebrated in India. The ‘victory over the Indians’ in southeast Iran can lead to only one judicious conclusion—this was India in the fourth century BC. Moreover, if Alexander had indeed defeated the Indians, who could have been their leader but Moeris or Maurya? This clearly indicates that Alexander had indeed conquered the Prasii in Gedrosia.
Image
Excerpt from Ptolemy's 9th Asian Map, depicting the lands just west of the Indus River during classical antiquity.

Carmania (Greek: Καρμανία, Karmanía, Old Persian: [x] Karmanā, Middle Persian: Kirmān) is a historical region that approximately corresponds to the modern Iranian province of Kerman, and was a province of the Achaemenid, Seleucid, Arsacid, and Sasanian Empire. The region bordered Persia in the west, Gedrosia in the south-east, Parthia in the north (later known as Abarshahr), and Aria to the north-east. Carmania was considered part of Ariana.

-- Carmania (region), by Wikipedia

Bosworth writes that the name of the place where the victory was celebrated was Kahnuj. The name tells all, for Kanauj was the chief city of the29 Indians, the name of which is echoed in the famous city in eastern India which later became most important.
[29. A. B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great (Cambridge 1988) 150, who gives the name Khanu (maps usually give the name Kohnouj or Kahnuj). Nearby Patali may have been Palibothra.]
As the winter deepened, Alexander approached the Carmanian capital, which Diodorus (xvii.106.4) names Salmus. It was, according to Nearchus (Arr. Ind. 33.7), five days' journey from the coast. The site remains a mystery,386 but it was probably at the western side of the valley of the Halil Rud, in the general vicinity of the modern town of Khanu. The army was in an area of relative plenty but close enough to the coast to receive news of the progress of Nearchus' fleet. There Alexander sacrificed to commemorate his Indian victory and the emergence from the Gedrosian desert, and he held a musical and athletic festival, a drunken and festive affair, notable for the general acclaim achieved by Alexander's favourite Bagoas when he entered the winning chorus.387 During the celebrations, if not before, news came of Nearchus' safe arrival at Harmozeia, the principal seaport of Carmania. The details are supplied for us by Nearchus, and they are open to justifiable suspicion. Nearchus has a rich story, full of dramatic peripeteia, in which he unexpectedly learns of the king's presence in the near vicinity, marches up county with a small escort, strangely missing the search parties sent out by his anxious king, and is finally retrieved, unrecognisable from brine and fatigue, to give the glad news of the fleet's survival to Alexander in person. The details of this Odyssey are beyond verification and there is very probably a good deal of imaginative embellishment.388 What is certain is that the fleet arrived at Harmozeia without serious loss and that its arrival was announced to Alexander by Nearchus in person. It was a moment of general exaltation, and, if we may believe Nearchus (Arr. Ind. 36.3), Alexander renewed the sacrifices and prolonged the games. The celebrations which had begun commemorating the delivery of the army from Gedrosia ended with thanks-offerings for the safe arrival of the fleet.

-- A. B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great (Cambridge 1988), p. 150

Image
Kahnuj (Persian: كهنوج‎, also Romanized as Kahnūj) is a city and capital of Kahnuj County, Kerman Province, Iran.

-- Kahnuj, by Wikipedia

***

Image
Patali (Persian: پاتلي‎, also Romanized as Pātalī; also known as Kheyrābād-e Pātelī) is a village in Jahadabad Rural District, in the Central District of Anbarabad County, Kerman Province, Iran.

-- Patali, Anbarabad, by Wikipedia

Pataligram to Patna -- The Historical Journey Of The 'City of Flowers'

The cities, towns or villages that once occupied the site of modern Patna had carried quite a large number of names in different periods of history and most of them were in the name of 'FLOWERS.' The earliest to exist at the site seems to have been a small sprawling village with the name of Patali, Pataligrama, Padali or Padalipura as mentioned in Buddhist and Jain traditions.

Vayupurana mentions the name of Pataliputra as Kusumapura. In Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati, a celebrated Jain Author who lived here in the first-second centuries A.D., the place is described as Kusumapura. It literally means a 'city of flowers.' Gargi-Samhita names Pataliputra as Kusum-Dhvaja or Pushpapura -- variant of Kusumapura. The modern name of Phulwarisharif of a small hamlet near Patna is obviously a survival of the ancient name. One tradition says that in the time of Nandas, the name was Padmawati. It is under the Mauryans that the name of Pataliputra came in common use. Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador, at the court of Chandragupta Maurya, mentioned Pataliputra with the Greek utterance of 'Palibothra.' The celebrated Buddhist monk, Hiuen-Tsang who came to India in the seventh century A.D., also knew it by the name of Pataliputra.

-- The Wonder That Was Pataliputra, by brandingbihar.com

"Karavira, Jati, Champaka, Lotus, and Patali, are the five flowers (275)."

-- Mahanirvana Tantra: Tantra of the Great Liberation, Translated by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe)
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34239
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat Sep 04, 2021 4:09 am

Part 2 of 3

Smith is aware that Kanauj in eastern India was not the city mentioned in the ancient texts [??]; yet he does not suspect that the30 same could be true of Jones’ Palibothra. Dow identifies Sandrocottos with31 Sinsarchund who, according to Firista, ruled from Kanauj [Kinoge].

It is affirmed, by the Brahmins, that it was in the time of this dynasty that the worship of emblematical figures of the divine attributes, was first established in India. The Persians, in their invasions, say they introduced the worship of the Sun, and other heavenly bodies, together with the proper symbol of God, the element of fire; but the mental adoration of the Divinity, as one Supreme Being, was still followed by many: The great city of Kinoge, so long the capital of Hindostan, was built by one of the Surajas, on the banks of the Ganges. The circumference of its walls are said to have been near one hundred miles.
Image
Sirhind / Patiala / Delhi / Kannauj / "Pataliputra"

After the extinction or deposition of the royal house of Suraja, Baraja acceded to the throne of Hindostan, which he possessed thirty-six years. We know little concerning him, but that he built the city of Barage, still remaining in India. He had a genius for music, and wrote some books upon that subject, which were long in high repute. He, at last, grew disordered in his senses, became tyrannical, and was deposed by Keidar, a Brahmin, who assumed the empire.

Keidar, being a man of learning and genius, became an excellent prince. He paid the customary tribute to the King of Persia, and so secured his kingdom from foreign invasion. A domestic enemy, however, arose, that at length deprived him, in the nineteenth year of his reign, of his life and empire. This was Sinkol, a native of Kinoge, who breaking out into open rebellion, in Bengal and Behâr, defeated, in several battles, the imperial army, and mounted the throne.

Sinkol was a warlike and magnificent prince. He rebuilt the capital of Bengal, famous under the names of Lucknouti and Goura, and adorned it with many noble structures. Goura is said to have been the chief city of Bengal for two thousand years; and the ruins that still remain, prove that it has been an amazingly magnificent place. The unwholesomeness of the air prevailed upon the imperial family of Timur to order its being abandoned, and Tanda became the seat of government two hundred and fifty years ago.

Sinkol, keeping an immense army in pay, was induced to withhold the tribute from the King of Persia, and to turn the ambassador of that Monarch, with disgrace, from his court. Fifty thousand Persian horse, under their general, Peiran, invaded India, and advanced without much opposition to the confines of Bengal, where they came to battle with the imperial army, under Sinkol. Though the bravery of the Persians was much superior to that of the Hindoos, they were, at last, by the mere weight of numbers, driven from the field, and obliged to take shelter, in a strong post, in the neighbouring mountains, from whence the victors found it impossible to dislodge them. They continued to ravage the country, from their strong hold, and dispatched letters to Persia, to inform the King of their situation.

Affrasiab, for that, say the Brahmins, was the name of the monarch who reigned, in the days of Sinkol, over Persia and a great part of Tartary, was at the city of Gindis, near the borders of China, when he received intelligence of the misfortune of his army in India. He hastened to their relief with one hundred thousand horse, came to battle with the Emperor Sinkol, whom he totally defeated, and pursued to the capital of Bengal. Sinkol did not think it safe to remain long at that place, and therefore took refuge in the inaccessible mountains of Turhat. Affrasiab, in the mean time, laid waste the country with fire and sword. Sinkol thought it prudent to beg peace and forgiveness of Affrasiab, and he accordingly came, in the character of a suppliant, to the Persian camp, with a sword and a coffin carried before him, to signify that his life was in the disposal of the King. Sinkol was carried prisoner to Tartary, as an hostage for the obedience of his son Rohata, who was placed upon the throne of Hindostan.

Sinkol died in the 731 year before the Christian æra, and Rohata continued his reign over India. He was a wise, religious, and affable prince. The revenues of the empire, which extended from Kirmi to Malava [The Malavas or Malwas were an ancient Indian tribe. Modern scholars identify them with the Malloi who were settled in the Punjab region at the time of Alexander's invasion in the 4th century BCE. -- Malavas, by Wikipedia], he divided into three parts; one he expended in charities, another he sent to Persia, by way of tribute, and to support his father, and a third he appropriated to the necessary expences of government.
The standing army of the empire was, upon this account, small, which encouraged the prince of Malava to revolt, and to support himself in his rebellion, Rohata built the famous fort of Rhotas, and left what remained to him of the empire, in peace, to his son. The race of Sinkol held the sceptre of India 81 years after his death, and then became extinct.

After a long dispute about the succession, a chief of the Raja-put tribe of Cutswa, assumed the dignities of the empire, under the name of Maraja. The first act of the reign of Maraja, was the reduction of Guzerat, where some disturbances had happened in the time of his predecessor. He built a port in that country, where he constructed vessels, and carried on commerce with all the states of Asia. He mounted the throne, according to the annals of India, in the 586 year before the birth of Christ, and reigned forty years. He is said to have been cotemporary with Gustasp, or Hystaspes, the father of Darius, who mounted the throne of Persia after the death of Smerdis. It is worthy of being remarked in this place, that the chronology of the Hindoos agrees, almost exactly, with that established by Sir Isaac Newton. Newton fixes the commencement of the reign of Darius in the 521 year before the Christian æra; so that, if we suppose that Hystaspes, who was governor of Turkestan, or Transoxiana, made a figure in Tartary twenty-five years before the accession of his son to the throne of Persia, which is no way improbable, the chronology of India agrees perfectly with that of Sir Isaac Newton.

Keda-raja, who was nephew, by a sister, to the former emperor, was nominated by him to the throne. Rustum Dista, the Persian governor of the ceded Indian provinces, being dead, Keda-raja turned his arms that way, reduced the countries upon the Indus, and fixed his residence in the city of Bera. The mountaineers of Cabul and Candahar, who are now called Afgans, or Patans, advanced against Keda-raja, and recovered all the provinces of which he had possessed himself upon the Indus. We know no more of the transactions of Keda-raja. He died after a reign of forty-three years.

Jei-chund, the commander in chief of Keda-raja's armies, found no great difficulty in mounting the throne after the death of his sovereign. We know little of the transactions of the reign of Jei-chund. A pestilence and famine happened in his time, and he himself was addicted to indolence and pleasure. He reigned sixty years, and his son succeeded him in the empire, but was dispossessed by Delu, the brother of Jei-chund. Bemin and Darâb, or Darius, say the Indians, were two successive Kings of Persia, in the days of Jei-chund, and he punctually paid to them the stipulated tribute.

Delu is said to have been a prince of uncommon bravery and generosity; benevolent towards men, and devoted to the service of God. The most remarkable transaction of his reign is the building of the city of Delhi, which derives its name from its founder, Delu. In the fortieth year of his reign, Phoor, a prince of his own family, who was governor of Cumaoon, rebelled against the Emperor, and marched to Kinoge, the capital. Delu was defeated, taken, and confined in the impregnable fort of Rhotas.

Phoor immediately mounted the throne of India, reduced Bengal, extended his power from sea to sea, and restored the empire to its pristine dignity. He died after a long reign, and left the kingdom to his son, who was also called Phoor, and was the same with the famous Porus, who fought against Alexander.

The second Phoor, taking advantage of the disturbances in Persia, occasioned by the Greek invasion of that empire under Alexander, neglected to remit the customary tribute, which drew upon him the arms of that conqueror. The approach of Alexander did not intimidate Phoor. He, with a numerous army, met him at Sirhind, about one hundred and sixty miles to the north-west of Delhi, and in a furious battle, say the Indian historians, lost many thousands of his subjects, the victory, and his life. The most powerful prince of the Decan, who paid an unwilling homage to Phoor, or Porus, hearing of that monarch's overthrow, submitted himself to Alexander, and sent him rich presents by his son. Soon after, upon a mutiny arising in the Macedonian army, Alexander returned by the way of Persia.

Sinsarchund, the same whom the Greeks call Sandrocottus, assumed the imperial dignity after the death of Phoor, and in a short time regulated the discomposed concerns of the empire. He neglected not, in the mean time, to remit the customary tribute to the Grecian captains, who possessed Persia under, and after the death of, Alexander. Sinsarchund, and his son after him, possessed the empire of India seventy years. When the grandson of Sinsarchund acceded to the throne, a prince named Jona, who is said to have been a grand-nephew of Phoor, though that circumstance is not well attested, aspiring to the throne, rose in arms against the reigning prince, and deposed him.


Jona was an excellent prince, endued with many and great good qualities. He took great pains in peopling and in cultivating the waste parts of Hindostan, and his indefatigable attention to the police of the country established to him a lasting reputation for justice and benevolence. Jona acceded to the throne of India little more than two hundred and sixty years before the commencement of the Christian æra; and, not many years after, Aridshere, whom the Greeks call Arsaces, possessing himself of the Eastern provinces of Persia, expelled the successors of Alexander, and founded the Parthian, or second Persian empire. Arsaces assumed the name of King about two hundred and fifty-six years before Christ, according to the writers of Greece, which perfectly agrees with the accounts of the Brahmins. Aridshere, or Arsaces, claimed and established the right of Persia to a tribute from the empire of India, and Jona, fearing his arms, made him a present of elephants and a vast quantity of gold and jewels. Jona reigned long after this transaction, in great tranquillity, at Kinoge; and he and his posterity together possessed the throne peaceably, during the space of ninety years.

Callian-chund, by what means is not certain, was in possession of the empire of Hindostan about one hundred and seventy years before the commencement of our æra. He was of an evil disposition, oppressive, tyrannical, and cruel. Many of the best families in Hindostan, to avoid his tyrannies, fled beyond the verge of the empire; so that, say the Brahmin writers, the lustre of the court, and the beauty of the country, were greatly diminished. The dependent princes at length took arms, and Callian-chund, being deserted by his troops, fled, and died in obscurity.

With him the empire of India may be said to have fallen. The princes and governors assumed independence, and though some great men, by their valour and conduct, raised themselves afterwards to the title of Emperors, there never was a regular succession of Kings. From the time of Callian-chund, the scanty records we have, give very little light in the affairs of India, to the time of Bicker-Majit, King of Malava, who made a great figure in that part of the world.

Bicker-Majit is one of the most renowned characters in Indian history. In policy, justice, and wisdom, they affirm that he had no equal. He is said to have travelled over a great part of the East, in the habit of a mendicant devotee, in order to acquire the learning, arts, and policy of foreign nations. It was not till after he was fifty years of age that he made a great figure in the field; and his uncommon success, justified, in some measure, a notion, that he was impelled to take arms by divine command. In a few months he reduced the kingdoms of Malava and Guzerat, securing with acts of justice and sound policy what his arms obtained. The poets of those days praise his justice, by affirming that the magnet, without his permission, durst not exert its power upon iron, nor amber upon the chaff of the field; and such was his temperance and contempt of grandeur, that he slept upon a mat, and reduced the furniture of his apartment to an earthen pot, filled with water from the spring. To engage the attention of the vulgar to religion, he set up the great image of Macâl, or Time, in the city of Ugein, which he built, while he himself worshipped only the infinite and invisible God.

The Hindoos retain such a respect for the memory of Bicker-Majit, that the most of them, to this day, reckon their time from his death, which happened in the 89th year of the Christian æra. Shawpoor, or the famous Sapor, king of Persia, is placed, in the Indian chronology, as cotemporary with this renowned king of Malava. He was slain in his old age, in a battle against a confederacy of the princes of the Decan.

The empire of Malava, after the demise of Bicker. Majit, who had raised it to the highest dignity, fell into anarchy and confusion. The great vassals of the crown assumed independence in their respective governments, and the name of Emperor was, in a great measure, obliterated from the minds of the people. One Raja-Boga, of the same tribe with Bicker-Majit, drew, by his valour, the reins of general government into his hands. He was a luxurious, though otherwise an excellent prince. His passion for architecture produced many magnificent fabrics, and several fine cities in Hindostan own him for their founder. He reigned in all the pomp of luxury, about fifty years, over a great part of India.

The ancient empire of Kinoge was in some measure revived by Basdeo, who, after having reduced Bengal and Behâr, assumed the imperial titles. He mounted the throne at Kinoge about 330 years after the birth of Christ, and reigned with great reputation. Byram-gore, king of Persia, came, in the time of Basdeo, to India, under the character of a merchant, to inform himself of the power, policy, manners, and government of that vast empire. This circumstance is corroborated by the joint testimonies of the Persian writers; and we must observe upon the whole, that, in every point, the accounts extracted from the Maha-barit agree with those of foreign writers, when they happen to treat upon the same subject: which is a strong proof, that the short detail it gives of the affairs of India is founded upon real facts. An accident which redounded much to the honour of Byram-gore brought about his being discovered. A wild elephant, in rutting-time, if that expression may be used, attacked him in the neighbourhood of Kinoge, and he pierced the animal's forehead with an arrow, which acquired to him such reputation, that the Emperor Basdeo ordered the merchant into his presence; where Byram-gore was known by an Indian nobleman, who had carried the tribute, some years before, to the court of Persia. Basdeo, being certainly assured of the truth, descended from his throne, and embraced the royal stranger.

Byram-gore being constrained to assume his proper character, was treated with the utmost magnificence and respect while he remained at the Indian court, where he married the daughter of Basdeo, and returned, after some time, into Persia. Basdeo and the princes, his posterity; ruled the empire in tranquillity for the space of eighty years.

Upon the accession of a prince of the race of Basdeo in his non-age, civil disputes arose, and those soon gave birth to a civil war. The empire being torn to pieces by civil dissensions, an assembly of the nobles thought it prudent to exclude the royal line from the throne, and to raise to the supreme authority Ramdeo, general of the imperial forces. Ramdeo was of the tribe of Rhator, the same with the nation, well known in India, under the name of Mahrators. He was a bold, wise, generous and good prince. He reduced into obedience the chiefs, who, during the distractions of the empire, had rendered themselves independent. He recovered the country of Marvar from the tribe of Cutswa, who had usurped the dominion of it, and planted it with his own tribe of Rhator, who remain in possession of Marvar to this day.

Ramdeo was one of the greatest princes that ever sat upon the throne of Hindostan. In the course of many successful expeditions, which took up several years, he reduced all India under his dominion, and divided the spoil of the vanquished princes among his soldiers. After a glorious reign of fifty-four years, he yielded to his fate; but the actions of his life, says our author, have rendered his name immortal. Notwithstanding his great power, he thought it prudent to continue the payment of the usual tribute to Feros-sassa, the father of the great Kei-kobâd, king of Persia.

After the death of Ramdeo, a dispute arose between his sons concerning the succession, which afterwards terminated in a civil war. Partab-chund, who was captain-general to the Emperor Ramdeo, taking advantage of the public confusions, mounted the throne, and, to secure the possession of it, extirpated the imperial family. Partab was cruel, treacherous and tyrannical. He drew by fair, but false promises, the princes of the empire from their respective governments, and, by cutting off the most formidable, rendered the rest obedient to his commands. An uninterrupted course of success made Partab too confident of his own power. He neglected, for some years, to send the usual tribute to Persia, returning, says our author, the ambassadors of the great Noshirwan, with empty hands, and dishonour, from his court. A Persian invasion, however, soon convinced Partab, that it was in vain to contend with the Lord Paramount of his empire. He was, in short, forced to pay up his arrears, to advance the tribute of the ensuing year, and to give hostages for his future obedience.

Partab mounted the imperial throne of India about the 500th year of Christ; and though he left the empire in the possession of his family, it soon declined in their hands. The dependent princes rendered themselves absolute in their respective governments; and the titular Emperor became so insignificant, with regard to power, that he gradually lost the name of Raja, or Sovereign, and had that of Rana substituted in its place. The Ranas, however, possessed the mountainous country of Combilmere, and the adjacent provinces of Chitor and Mundusir, till they were conquered by the Emperors of Hindostan of the Mogul race.

Soon after the death of Partáb-chund, Annindeo, a chief of the tribe of Bise, seized upon the extensive kingdom of Malava, and, with rapidity of conquest, brought the peninsula of Guzerat, the country of the Mahrattors, and the whole province of Berâr, into the circle of his command. Annindeo was cotemporary with Chusero Purvese, king of Persia; and he reigned over his conquests for sixteen years. At the same time that Annindeo broke the power of the empire, by his usurpation of the best of its provinces, one Maldeo, a man of an obscure original, raised himself into great power, and took the city of Delhi and its territory, from the imperial family. He soon after reduced the imperial city of Kinoge, which was so populous, that there were, within the walls, thirty thousand shops, in which arreca, a kind of nut, which the Indians use as Europeans do tobacco, was sold. There were also in Kinoge, sixty thousand bands of musicians and singers, who paid a tax to government. Maldeo, during the space of forty years, kept possession of his conquests, but he could not transmit them to his posterity. Every petty governor and hereditary chief in Hindostan rendered themselves independent, and the name of universal empire was lost, till it was established, by the Mahommedans, on the confines of India and Persia. The history of this latter empire comprehended the whole plan of Ferishta's annals; but to understand them properly, it may be necessary to throw more light, than he furnishes, upon the origin of that power which spread afterwards over all India.

-- The History of Hindostan, In Three Volumes, Volume I, by Alexander Dow, Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel in the Company's Service, 1812


It is therefore clear that Alexander did not run away from the Prasii, as Badian imagines, but had in fact pursued Moeris, their leader, through Gedrosia. The palace at Kahnuj where Alexander rejoiced must have been the fabled one which, according to Aelian, excelled those at Susa and Ekbatana (Aelian, xiii.18).

The Royal Parks of India and Their Birds

18. In the royal residences in India where the greatest of the kings of that country lives, there are so many objects for admiration that neither Memnon's city of Susa with all its extravagance, nor the magnificence of Ecbatana is to be compared with them. (These places appear to be the pride of Persia, if there is to be any comparison between the two countries.) The remaining splendours it is not the purpose of this narrative to detail; but in the parks tame peacocks and pheasants are kept, and they <live> in the cultivated shrubs to which the royal gardeners pay due attention. Moreover there are shady groves and herbage growing among them, and the boughs are interwoven by the woodman's art. And what is more remarkable about the climate of the country, the actual trees are of the evergreen type, and their leaves never grow old and fall: some of them are indigenous, others have been imported from abroad after careful consideration. And these, the olive alone excepted, are an ornament to the place and enhance its beauty. India does not bear the olive of its own accord, nor if it comes from elsewhere, does it foster its growth.

Well, there are other birds besides, free and unenslaved, which come of their own accord and make their beds and resting-places in these trees. There too Parrots are kept and crowd around the king. But no Indian eats a Parrot in spite of their great numbers, the reason being that the Brahmins regard them as sacred and even place them above all other birds. And they add that they are justified in so doing, for the Parrot is the only bird that gives the most convincing imitation of human speech. There are also in these royal domains beautiful lakes, the work of man's hands, which contain fish of immense size and tame. And nobody hunts them, only the king's sons during their childhood; and in calm waters, quite free from danger, they fish and sport and even learn the art of sailing as well.

-- Aelian, Characteristics of animals, book XIII, Chapter 18


Nearchus certainly had other tasks than scientific fact-finding; the army was ordered to keep close to the shore and the navy moved in tandem. This orchestration and the large number of troops and horses on ships (quite unnecessary for a scientific mission) show that the navy was not only carrying provisions for the army which was engaged in a grim and protracted battle with a mighty adversary, but that the troops on the ships were also ready to support the army if needed. This is why the navy waited for twenty-four days near Karachi. The names Pataliputra and Pattala and Moeris and Maurya leave little32 to imagination.

Nearchos.

Among all the great men associated with Alexander no one has left a reputation more noble and unsullied than that of Nearchos. The long and difficult voyage in unknown seas which he successfully accomplished ranks as one of the greatest achievements in the annals of navigation. He was free from the mad ambition to rule which gave rise to the deadly feuds between Alexander’s other great generals, and stained the records of their lives with so many dark crimes. He was a native of Crete, but settled at Amphipolis, a Macedonian city near the Thracian border. He held a high position at the court of King Philip, where he attached himself to the party of the young prince, and was banished along with Ptolemy, Harpalos, and others, who had involved themselves in his intrigues. Alexander, on mounting the throne, recalled his former partisans, and did not neglect their interests. Nearchos accompanied him into Asia, where he was appointed governor of Lykia and other provinces south of the Tauros. This post he continued to hold for five years. He rejoined Alexander before he left Baktria to invade India, and in India he was appointed commander of the fleet which was built on the Hydaspes. He conducted it down that river and the Akesines and the Indus to Patala (now Haidarabad), a naval station at the apex of the Indus Delta. He arrived at that place about the time when the south-west monsoon usually sets in. Alexander, on returning to Patala from the excursions he made to the ocean, removed the fleet to Killouta, an island in the western branch of the Indus, which possessed a commodious haven. He then set out on his return to Persia, leaving the fleet with Nearchos, who had relieved Alexander’s mind of a load of anxiety by voluntarily proffering his services to conduct the expedition by sea to the head of the Persian Gulf. When we consider, as Bunbury remarks, the total ignorance of the Greeks at this time concerning the Indian seas, and the imperfect character of their navigation, it is impossible not to admire the noble confidence with which Nearchos ventured to promise that he would bring the ships in safety to the shores of Persia, “if the sea were navigable and the thing feasible for mortal man.” Nearchos wished to defer his departure till the monsoon had quite subsided, but as he was in danger of being attacked by the natives, who were no longer overawed by Alexander’s presence, he set sail on the 21st of September, 325 B.C.. He was forced, however, by the violence of the weather, when he had reached the mouth of the Indus, to take refuge in a sheltered bay at a station which he called Alexander’s Haven, and which is now known as Karachi, the great emporium of the trade of the Indus. After a detention here for twenty-four days, he resumed his voyage on the 23rd of October. Coasting the shore of the Arabies for 80 miles, he reached the mouth of the river Arabis (now the Purali), which divides the Arabies from the Oreitai. The coast of the latter people, which was 100 miles in extent, was navigated in eighteen days. At one of the landing-places the ships were supplied by Leonnatos with stores of corn, which lasted ten days. The navigation of the Mekran coast which succeeded occupied twenty days, and the distance traversed was 480 miles English, though Nearchos in his journal has set it down at 10,000 stadia or 1250 miles. The expedition in this part of the voyage suffered great distress for want of provisions. The coast was barren, and its savage inhabitants, the Ichthyophagi,1 [According to Dr. Bellew this name is the Greek equivalent of the Persian Mahikhoran, "fish-eaters,” still surviving in the modern Makran. (Since the above note was written the cause of Eastern learning and research has suffered a grievous loss by the death of this distinguished Orientalist, whose work on the Ethnology of Afghanistan will prove a lasting monument to his fame. The work discusses inter alia the ethnic affinities of the various races with which Alexander came into contact during his Asiatic expedition.)] had little else to subsist on than fish, which some of them ate raw.2 [Major E. Mockler, the political agent of Makran, contributed some years ago to the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society a valuable paper on the identification of places on this coast mentioned by Arrian, Ptolemy, and Marcian, in which he corrected some errors into which the commentators on these authors had fallen.] The Karmanian coast, which succeeded, was not so distressingly barren, but was even, in certain favoured localities, extremely fertile and beautiful. Its length was 296 miles, and the time taken in its navigation was nineteen days, some of which, however, were spent at the mouth of the river Anamis (now the Minab), whence Nearchos made a journey into the interior to apprise Alexander of the safety of his fleet. The coasts of Persis and Sousis were navigated in thirty-one days. Nearchos had intended to sail up the Tigris, but having passed its mouth unawares, continued sailing westward till he reached Diridotis (Teredon), an emporium in Babylonia on the Pallocopas branch of the Euphrates. He thence retraced his course to the Tigris, and ascended its stream till he reached a lake through which at that time it flowed and which received the river Pasitigris, the Ulai of Scripture, and now the Karun. The fleet proceeded up this river till it met the army near a bridge on the highway from Persis to Sousa. It anchored at the bridge on the 24th of February, 324 B.C., so that the whole voyage was performed in 146 days. Nearchos received appropriate rewards for the splendid service he had so successfully performed. Alexander was sending him away on another great maritime expedition when the illness which carried off the great conqueror broke up the enterprise. In the discussions which followed regarding the succession to the throne, Nearchos unsuccessfully advocated the claims of Herakles, the son of Alexander by Barsine, who was the daughter of Artabazos and the widow of Memnon the Rhodian. He acquiesced, however, in the arrangements made by the other generals, and was content with receiving his former government, even though he was to hold it subject to the authority of Antigonos. He accompanied his superior when he marched against Eumenes, and interceded for the life of the latter when he fell into the hands of his enemies. Nothing is known of his history after the year 314 B.C., when he was selected by Antigonos to assist his son Demetrios with his counsels when left for the first time in command of an army.

-- The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great as described by Arrian Q. Curtius Diodorus Plutarch and Justin: Being Translations of Such Portions of the Works of These and Other Classical Authors as Describe Alexander's Campaigns in Afghanistan the Panjab Sindh Gedrosia and Karmania With An Introduction Containing a Life of Alexander, Copious Notes Illustrations Maps and Indices, by J.W. McCrindle M.A., Late Principal of the Government College Patna and Fellow of the Calcutta University Member of the General Council of the University of Edinburgh

Yet Badian fails to recognise that Moeris was Chandragupta33 Maurya of Prasii; and his allusions to Alexander’s insanity, Dyonisius and Semiramis, et cetera are complete non-sequiturs from what can be legitimately inferred from available data. Badian has no idea that the food crisis was due to34 the collusion of Alexander’s officers with Moeris. As a general, Alexander can hardly be blamed for imposing a levy in order to arrange for the supplies for his army; this is the reason why the people of Pattala had fled. In his unseemly haste to cast Alexander in a stereotype, Badian overturns the whole episode and goes on to compare him with Chengiz Khan. Further clarifications in35 Alexander’s history come from an unexpected quarter – the history of Asoka.
The first kings of the Dynasty of the Barhadrathas being omitted in the table, are given here from the Harivansa. The famous Uparichara was the sixth in lineal descent from Curu; and his son was
Vrihadratha
Cushagra
Vrishabha
Pushpavan
Satyasahita
Urja
Sambhava
Jara-Sandha.

Jara-Sandha, literally old Sandha or Sandhas, was the lord paramount of India or Maha Raja, and in the spoken dialects Ma-Raj. This word was pronounced Morieis by the Greeks; for Hesychius says, that Morieis signifies king in India, and in another place, that Mai in the language of that country, signified great. Nonnus, in his Dionysiacs, calls the lord paramount of India, Morrheus, and says that his name was Sandes, with the title of Hercules. Old Sandha is considered as a hero to this day in India, and pilgrimages, I am told, are yearly performed to the place of his abode, to the cast of Gaya, in south Bahar, It is called Raja-Griha, or the royal mansion, in the low hills of Raja-giri, or the royal mountains; though their name I suspect to be derived from Raja-Griha The Dionysiacs of Nonnus are really the history of the Maha Bharata, or great war, as we shall see hereafter.

-- Essay III. Of the Kings of Magadha; their Chronology, by Captain Wilford, Asiatic Researches, Volume 9, 1809.

Who Ruled Arachosia — Asoka the Saviour or Diodotus I Soter?

A powerful heuristic in artificial intelligence research is ‘coalesce’, which consists in assigning the same value to two different variables. In ancient 36 history also a similar approach at times leads to great simplification. It is not often that Soters rub shoulders with Saviours, but at first sight this is what seems to have happened in Arachosia. Macdonald writes:

Who was the lord of Arachosia when it was traversed by the Seleucid troops, it is difficult to say. It had once been Asoka.37


That Asoka was the ruler of Arachosia is clear from his bilingual Kandahar38 edict; but curiously evidence from coins seems to suggest that the Indo-Greek39 king Diodotus I was the master of this area. To unravel this seemingly unsolvable mystery one has to delve deep into the persona of the two men. The picture of Asoka in the Indian sources is that of a fearsome warrior who later turned into a pious missionary king, a matchless propagator of Dhamma.40

Tradition has it that in his youth he had a very violent disposition and killed his elder brother Susima on his way to the throne. Indeed, in the thirteenth Rock41 Edict the Emperor himself recalls his enterprises with the sword, and admits that he found pleasure rather in conquests by the Dhamma than in conquests by the sword. In the edict, he writes that he had sent emissaries to distant kingdoms, including that of Epirus. The circumstance of a king of Patna writing to the King of Epirus, of all persons, is a jarring incongruity which under normal circumstances would have led the investigators to a valuable clue regarding the true identity of Asoka; but so stodgy was the prevailing scholarship that no one suspected that Jones’ identification Palibothra could be wrong. Even such a great scholar as Rhys Davids chooses to distrust the king’s account instead.42
Three languages were used, Prakrit, Greek and Aramaic. The edicts are composed in non-standardized and archaic forms of Prakrit. Prakrit inscriptions were written in Brahmi and Kharosthi scripts, which even a commoner could read and understand. The inscriptions found in the area of Pakistan are in the Kharoshthi script. Other Edicts are written in Greek or Aramaic. The Kandahar Greek Edict of Ashoka (including portions of Edict No.13 and No.14) is in Greek only, and originally probably contained all the Major Rock Edicts 1-14...

The Major Pillar Edicts of Ashoka refer to seven separate major Edicts inscribed on columns, the Pillars of Ashoka, which are significantly detailed and extensive.

These edicts are preceded chronologically by the Minor Rock Edicts and the Major Rock Edicts, and constitute the most technically elegant of the inscriptions made by Ashoka. They were made at the end of his reign, from the years 26 and 27 of his reign, that is, from 237-236 BCE. Chronologically they follow the fall of Seleucid power in Central Asia and the related rise of the Parthian Empire and the independent Greco-Bactrian Kingdom circa 250 BCE. Hellenistic rulers are not mentioned anymore in these last edicts, as they only appear in Major Rock Edict No.13 (and to a lesser extent Major Rock Edict No.2), which can be dated to about the 14th year of the reign of Ashoka circa 256–255. The last Major Pillar Edicts (Edict No.7) is testamental in nature, making a summary of the accomplishments of Ashoka during his life.….

Proselytism beyond India
Now, it is the conquest by the Dharma that the Beloved of the Gods considers as the best conquest. And this one (the conquest by the Dharma) was won here, on the borders, and even 600 yojanas (leagues) from here, where the king Antiochos reigns, and beyond where reign the four kings Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander [Alexander II of Epirus], likewise in the south, where live the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni.

— Extract from Major Rock Edict No.13.
….
It is not clear in Hellenic records whether these emissaries were actually received, or had any influence on the Hellenic world. But the existence of the edicts in a very high-level Greek literary and philosophical language testifies to the high sophistication of the Greek community of Kandahar, and to a true communication between Greek intellectuals and Indian thought. According to historian Louis Robert, it becomes quite likely that these Kandahar Greeks who were very familiar with Indian culture could in turn transmit Indian ideas to the philosophical circles of the Mediterranean world, in Seleucia, Antioch, Alexandria, Pella or Cyrene. He suggests that the famous Ashoka emissaries sent to the Western Hellenistic Courts according to Ashoka's Major Rock Edict No.13 were in fact Greek subjects and citizens of Kandahar, who had the full capacity to carry out these embassies.….

Proselytism within Ashoka's territories

Inside India proper, in the realm of Ashoka, many different populations were the object of the King's proselytism. Greek communities also lived in the northwest of the Mauryan empire, currently in Pakistan, notably ancient Gandhara, and in the region of Gedrosia, nowadays in Southern Afghanistan, following the conquest and the colonization efforts of Alexander the Great around 323 BCE. These communities therefore seem to have been still significant during the reign of Ashoka. The Kambojas are a people of Central Asian origin who had settled first in Arachosia and Drangiana (today's southern Afghanistan), and in some of the other areas in the northwestern Indian subcontinent in Sindhu, Gujarat and Sauvira. The Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas were other people under Ashoka's rule:

Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions in Dhamma.

-- Rock Edict No.13 (S. Dhammika)

-- Edicts of Ashoka, by Wikipedia

Epirus (/ɪˈpaɪrəs/) is a geographical and historical region in southeastern Europe, now shared between Greece and Albania. It lies between the Pindus Mountains and the Ionian Sea, stretching from the Bay of Vlorë and the Acroceraunian Mountains in the north to the Ambracian Gulf and the ruined Roman city of Nicopolis in the south. It is currently divided between the region of Epirus in northwestern Greece and the counties of Gjirokastër, Vlorë, and Berat in southern Albania. The largest city in Epirus is Ioannina, seat of the region of Epirus, with Gjirokastër the largest city in the Albanian part of Epirus.

A rugged and mountainous region, Epirus was the north-west area of ancient Greece. It was inhabited by the Greek tribes of the Chaonians, Molossians, and Thesprotians. It was home to the sanctuary of Dodona, the oldest oracle in ancient Greece, and the second most prestigious after Delphi. Unified into a single state in 370 BC by the Aeacidae dynasty, Epirus achieved fame during the reign of Pyrrhus of Epirus who fought the Roman Republic in a series of campaigns. Epirus subsequently became part of the Roman Republic along with the rest of Greece in 146 BC, which was followed by the Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire.

-- Epirus, by Wikipedia

The Ceylonese chronicles give the exaggerated story of his killing of ninety-nine brothers in his youth.

It is astonishing that the picture of Diodotus I has exactly the same mien. As already noted, the Mauryas ruled Aria and Seistan. This in a way opens up a Pandora’s box, for if Seistan and Aria were within the Mauryan kingdom it immediately follows that some of the Indo-Greek kings of Bactria and Seistan were Mauryas. Was Diodotus I a Maurya? Diodotus belonged to the same space and time as Asoka, and just like the latter he was a fierce warrior in his youth. An unsuspecting Macdonald writes:

The spectacle of the greatness of the Maurya empire would not be lost upon a satrap of such force of character as the elder Diodotus. 43


The figure of Zeus wielding the thunderbolt in his coins is perhaps awesome, but there is much more to Diodotus than just brute power. On his gold and silver coins he sometimes calls himself Soter, ‘the saviour’. That he was regarded as a saviour long after his death is clear from the coins struck in his memory by the later Graeco-Bactrian kings Agathocles and Antimachus, which mention Diodotus Soter. The title has baffled all scholars. Tarn dismisses it as mere44 royal rhodomontade, but this is unwarranted. Narain also grapples with the45 problem, and gives the simplistic explanation that Diodotus I took the title Soter as he considered himself as the saviour of the Bactrian Greeks. Turning a blind46 eye to the very real likelihood that Diodotus the warrior may have transcended into a great missionary, Narain holds the myopic view that his name Theodotus (Theos = God) quoted by Justin (Justin, xli.4) was just a scribal error. The47 story of civilisation is replete with instances of fierce men and women who later responded to higher callings, but due to Jonesian delusions, writers like Holt48 have missed that the image of Diodotus wielding the thunderbolt is not at all irreconcilable with that of a Bodhisatva-like Soter spreading the message of homonoia. That the history of Asoka matches that of Diodotus I line by line can only imply that they were one and the same person.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34239
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:55 am

Part 3 of 3

Devanampiya was the Same as Devadatta

As Seleucus’ daughter had come to the Mauryan household, there is general agreement among scholars that Asoka could have been an Indo-Greek; yet his true face remains veiled because he has been dumped at Patna. Wheeler writes:

It is just possible that Ashoka had Seleukid blood in his veins; at least his reputed vice-royalty of Taxila in the Punjab during the reign of his father could have introduced him to the living memory of Alexander the Great, and, as king, he himself tells us of proselytizing relations with the Western powers. 49


Wheeler misses that there is not a single archaeological relic that links Asoka with Patna but notes the strong Achaemenian influence on him. Tarn is almost50 awed by the very wide scatter of Diodotus’ coins, but fails to recognise the true bearings of Diodotus. His assertion is at best a hasty oversight:

... coins of Diodotus, for example, have been found in Seistan and in Taxila, places where he never ruled and never even was.51


Narain remarks with greater acuity:

It may be more than coincidence that almost at the same time as Euthydemus established his authority in Bactria Asoka died in India. It is not impossible that he was among those who tried to feed on the carcass of the dead Mauryan empire. 52


Due to Jonesian illusions, Narain cannot even dream that if he had not tried to feed on a carcass, Euthydemus had in fact killed a Maurya—Diodotus II, son of Asoka.53

By which name was Asoka known in the West? From the fact that the Greco-Roman writers do not refer to Asoka or his other name Piyadassi, Thapar concludes rather simplistically that he was unknown in the West. This is54 absurd: Asoka was one of the greatest emperors of history, and had sent religious emissaries to the farthest corners of the civilised world. The classical writers must have used a different name—the name Asoka is rare even in his edicts. Only Jones’s blunder obscured that, apart from Piyadassi and Devanampiya, Devadatta was also a name of Asoka. The name dmydty in55 Asoka's famous Taxila pillar Aramaic inscription refers to Devadatta. The line l dmy dty `l’, which Marshall and Andreas translated as ‘for Romedatta’, in fact refers to Damadatta or Devadatta (‘M’ and ‘B’ were often interchanged). Tarn56 notes that Diodorus of the Greeks can be the same as Devadatta of the Indians.57

In fact, Devanampiya, his most common name in the edicts, has the same meaning as Devadatta. Its literal Sanskrit rendering, ‘beloved of the Gods’, is only a secondary sense aimed at his subjects in the sub-continent. Like the Greek word nÒmoj (nomos), the word Nam in Persian means ‘law’, another Persian word for which is Dat. Thus Devanam has the same meaning as Devadat; Piya stands for a redeemer (like Priam of Troy). This clearly shows that Asoka was the same as Diodotus I. After embracing Buddhism, Asoka had to change his name Devadatta as it was the name of Gotama’s hated adversary. In the eighth rock edict he states that his ancestors were also Devanampiyas, which shows that it is a cognomen, not a title—thus even Chandragupta could have been a Devadat or Diodotus (of Erythrae). The term Deva, as known from the Shahnama,(div) the Avesta and Xerxes’ daiva inscription, initially meant a clan, not god. Ignorance of this has led to senseless translations of Asoka's edicts as ‘Gods mingled with men’.


Asoka Ruled Parthia

That Diodotus could have ruled Parthia is natural, but it is difficult to place Asoka so far west. Mahalake hi vijitam (‘vast is my empire’), he proclaims majestically in an edict (RE XIV).2: but how vast really was his kingdom? Asoka’s voice reverberates throughout the length and breadth of India, and his edicts usher in a new era in Indian history; but a careful study reveals that his dominion in the West was far more extensive than anyone could imagine. A perplexed Macdonald writes that the first Arsaces

... is sometimes a Parthian, sometimes a Bactrian, sometimes even a descendant of the Achaemenids.58


Significantly, Asoka is also sometimes a Parthian, sometimes a Bactrian, and sometimes even a descendant of the Achaemenids. Many Parthian Kings assumed the title Arsaces, which was also written as Assak. The similarity of Assak with Asoka may appear fortuitous, but it is not so. Another Parthian royal title, Priapati(us) also resembles Piadassi, Asoka’s title. Asoka’s hold on Bactria is beyond dispute, and great scholars like Wheeler note the strong Achaemenian imprint on his architecture. Furthermore, in the Indian texts the Mauryas are said to be descendants of the Nandas. Due to Jones’ blunder, no59 one realised that the Nandas were great Indo-Iranian kings. Darius II whose title was Nonthos, and Artaxerexes III who is cited in the Babylonian records as Nindin, were Nanda kings. Ignoring the bleak archaeological scenario, Thapar60 places Asoka at faraway Patna but, rummaging among the heap of Jonesian absurdum, she wonders why there are no edicts at his so-called capital. She61 also has no difficulty in asserting that the king of Patna could have been a second cousin of the Syrian king Antiochus II. Was Diodotus a descendant of the great Vedic hero Divodasa the Parthava? Indeed, Hillebrandt asserts that Parthia was once within the sphere of greater India. Rostovtzeff’s suggestion62 of Parthian influence on Buddhist art has been greeted with quiet disbelief in academic circles, but this scepticism is groundless. Another great art critic,63 Yazdani, also makes no mistake to identify the characteristic Parthian dress of some women in Ajanta paintings. Busagli writes:64

It should be borne in mind that at the time of its maximum expansion the Parthian kingdom covered an area far greater than that of Iran proper and included the Indian subcontinent [emphasis added], Mesopotamia, Armenia and some of the regions where Indian and Iranian influences overlap.65


Armed with this definition of Parthia, one can turn to an invaluable clue in Asoka’s edicts on the Mauryas and the Bactrian Greeks. In the Minor Rock Edict I, Asoka explicitly calls himself the ‘king of Pathavi’—an unmistakable allusion to Parthia (Parthava of the Achaemenian records). The word Pathavi66 has been confused by uninformed writers with Prithvi, the Sanskrit word for the Earth, and the statement has been dismissed as just another instance of royal vainglory. This, however, is disproved comprehensively by the fact that his name, Asoka Vardhana, links him with Parthian Kings like Vardanes. Rostovtzeff’s suggestion of Parthian influence becomes only natural if one notes that the king of Pathavi was Asoka. Smith is certain that Seleucus surrendered to Chandragupta the districts of Aria (Herat area), Gedrosia (Baluchistan area), Arachosia (Kandahar region) and Paropamisadae (Kabul region). But, despite his great erudition, Tarn maintained rashly that Asoka67 received no part even of the Paropamisadae. Tarn’s view became untenable in the light of the discovery of Asoka’s Kandahar edict, and even he had to concede that Asoka ‘established some sort of suzerainty over Paropamisadae’.68 Asoka’s own claim of being the king of Pathavi in a way lays the controversy to rest. The Parthian Prince An-shih-kao, who dedicated his life to the spread of Buddhism, is clearly Diodotus. Tsung Ping (AD 375-443) writes in his69 Ming-fo-lun that Buddhism was first brought to China by Asoka. The great70 Indologist F. W. Thomas notes that in his edicts Asoka does not mention his neighbour Diodotus Theos. Thomas tries to explain this within the Jonesian71 framework; but it is strange that the man whose religious overtures won the heart of the entire civilised world failed to impress upon his god-like neighbour. Asoka also does not mention Iran in his edicts; the nearest foreign king that he mentions is Antiochus. This shows that the Syrian King stationed at Selucia72 near Babylon was indeed his neighbour. Asoka does not refer to Diodotus because he was Diodotus himself. According to Wheeler, the first edicts were inscribed ‘in and after 257 BC’. Narain holds that Diodotus proclaimed73 himself as king by about 256 BC. Macdonald points out that Chaldaean74 records indicate that by about 273 BC, Diodotus sent twenty elephants to assist Antiochus I in his war against Ptolemy Philadelphus. The elephants remind75 one of the gift of five hundred elephants by Chandragupta to Seleucus in return for suzerainty over Aria, Arachosia, Paropamisadae and Gedrosia. It is judicious to assume that Diodotus also extracted some favours from Antiochus I in return, and this may correspond to Smith’s view that Asoka became king in 273 BC.76

Asoka seems to have died when Diodotus died. His edicts stopped appearing by about 245 BC. Thapar writes:

The issuing of the pillar edicts was the next known event of Asoka’s reign, and these are dated to the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth year... It is indeed strange that for the next years until his death in 232 B.C. there were no major edicts. For a man so prolific in issuing edicts this silence of ten years is difficult to explain.77


Significantly, according to most scholars, Diodotus died in 245 BC, and this may be the reason why the edicts stopped appearing. The year of Asoka’s death given by Thapar and others is 232 B.C. but this may be a mistake. Diodotus’78 son, who was also a Diodotus, died in 232 B.C. However, an alternative scenario is also possible: some writers give 232 B.C. as Diodotus’ death, which agrees79 with the Indian texts, but the Indian accounts of Asoka after the death of his wife Asandhimitta (ca. 245 B.C.) are so fanciful that it is more sensible to infer that he had died by ca. 245 B.C. The Indian sources blame Asoka’s Queen Tissarakshita for ordering the death of his son Kunala, which may be an echo80 of the alleged marriage of Diodotus with a Seleucid princess.

Lion of Chaeronea and Lions on Asokan Pillars

The vanishing of the altars and the true bearings of Sasigupta and Diodotus cast a flood of light on a vexing problem of art history. When the Sarnath pillar with a lion-capital was discovered, it created a flutter all over the world. Marshall,81 an able and unprejudiced writer on Indian art, writes that ‘the Sarnath capital, on the other hand, though by no means a masterpiece, is the product of the most developed art of which the world was cognisant in the third century B.C’.82 However, despite its Indian symbolism, it bespeaks a strange fusion of Hellenic as well as Achaemenian traditions which has baffled all. At first sight there seems to be nothing unnatural for Asoka, alleged by Thapar to be a native of Bihar, to appoint Greek or Persian artisans; but a little circumspection shows83 the absurdity of the proposition. Apart from Jones’s assertion, nothing links84 Asoka to Patna. Wheeler notes the strong Achaemenian influence on Asoka, and recognises the double-lion capitals at Persepolis as the precursors of Asoka’s lions, yet misses the crux of the problem. Ray, another learned critic, writes85 that the Mauryan artists owed much to the Achaemenians, but attributes the stylistic impetus to Hellenistic art. Marshall points out that Asoka’s lion86 capitals represent a totally new era in Indian art; their fixed expression, authentic spirit, canon-based form and stylisation all betray a strong Hellenistic influence. Foucher is also at a loss to explain how the lion symbol sprang up in87 Sarnath. Both Marshall and Smith hold that the finest of the Asokan pillars88,89 were the work of foreign artists. In retrospect, one must pay tribute to scholars like Marshall, Foucher and Ray who were not aware of the true identity of Diodotus I yet made no mistake in recognising the Hellenistic content of Mauryan art.

Surprisingly, no one seems to remember that Alexander had come to Punjab. After the Middle Ages, the first Westerner to notice the Asokan pillars was the Englishman Thomas Coryat who, in AD 1616, was greatly impressed by the superbly polished forty feet-high monolithic column, and presumed that it must have been erected by Alexander the Great ‘in token of his victorie’ over Porus. Moreover, although the lion is an intrusive symbol in India, it was90 common in Macedonia. Not many years before Alexander’s arrival in India, his father Philip had erected a famous lion statue after the historic victory at Chaeronea. Even though we know nothing about the artistic pedigree of the altars, it is sensible to assume that the son had also erected lion capitals in India. It is known that Alexander’s sword had a golden lion head. Were the inscriptions in Greek? This may explain why all of them were summarily reinscribed. The history of the altars throws a flood of light on not only Mauryan and Gandhara art but also the nature of the Hellenistic phenomenon spearheaded by Alexander—a world-citizen. Herzfeld, the famous Orientalist, writes with great insight:

There is no deeper Caesura in the 5000 years of history of the Ancient East than the conquest of Alexander the Great, and there is no archaeological object produced after that period that does not bear its stamp.91


An Altar of Alexander from the Beas Area

It turns out that Coryat was right—truth may be indestructible but at times it is stranger than fiction—as it was Asoka who had re-inscribed the much sought-after pillars of Alexander. In Coryat’s time, the inscriptions on the pillar were unreadable. But today, thanks to Prinsep, we know that it contains an inscription of Asoka. Yet there is more to it than meets the eye—it is known92 that many of Asoka’s pillars were not erected by him. One has to recall that after the Hyphasis mutiny, Alexander gave up his plans to march further east, and to commemorate his Indian expedition he erected twelve massive altars of dressed stone. Arrian writes:

Ο ἱ δ ὲ ἐ βόων τε ο ἷ α ἂ ν ὄ χλος ξυμμιγ ὴ ς χαίρων
βοήσειε κα ὶ ἐ δάκρυον ο ἱ πολλο ὶ α ὐ τ ῶ ν· ο ἱ δ ὲ κα ὶ τ ῇ
σκην ῇ τ ῇ βασιλικ ῇ πελάζοντες η ὔ χοντο
Ἀ λεξάνδρ ῳ πολλ ὰ κα ὶ ἀ γαθά, ὅ τι πρ ὸ ς σφ ῶ ν μόνων
νικηθ ῆ ναι ἠ νέσχετο. ἔ νθα δ ὴ διελ ὼ ν κατ ὰ
τάξεις τ ὴ ν στρατι ὰ ν (5)
δώδεκα βωμο ὺ ς κατασκευάζειν προστάττει, ὕ ψος
μ ὲ ν κατ ὰ το ὺ ς μεγίστους πύργους, ε ὖ ρος δ ὲ
μείζονας ἔ τι ἢ κατ ὰ πύργους, χαριστήρια το ῖ ς
θεο ῖ ς το ῖ ς ἐ ς τοσόνδε ἀ γαγο ῦ σιν α ὐ τ ὸ ν νικ ῶ ντα
κα ὶ μνημε ῖ α τ ῶ ν α ὑ το ῦ (2.) πόνων. ὡ ς δ ὲ
κατεσκευασμένοι α ὐ τ ῷ ο ἱ βωμο ὶ ἦ σαν, θύει δ ὴ ἐ π’
α ὐ τ ῶ ν ὡ ς νόμος κα ὶ ἀ γ ῶ να ποιε ῖ γυμ-νικόν τε κα ὶ
ἱ ππικόν.

He then divided the army into brigades, which he ordered to prepare twelve altars to equal in height the highest military towers, and to exceed them in point of breadth, to serve as thank offerings to the gods who had led him so far as a conqueror, and also as a memorial of his own labours. After erecting the altars he offered sacrifice upon them with the customary rites, and celebrated a gymnastic and equestrian contest. (V.29.1-2)


The Hypanisis also there, a very noble river, which formed the limit of Alexander's march, as the altars erected on its banks prove. See Arrian's Anab. V. 29, where we read that Alexander having arranged his troops in separate divisions ordered them to build on the banks of the Hyphasis twelve altars to be of equal height with the loftiest towers, while exceeding them in breadth. From Curtius we learn that they were formed of square blocks of stone. There has been much controversy regarding their site, but it must have been near the capital of Sopithes, whose name Lassen has identified with the Sanskrit Akapati, 'lord of horses.' These Asvapati were a line of princes whose territory, according to the 12th book of the Ramayana, lay on the right or north bank of the Vipasa (Hyphasis or Bias), in the mountainous part of the Doab comprised between that river and the Upper Iravati. Their capital is called in the poem of Valmiki Rajagriha, which still exists under the name of Rajagiri. At some distance from this there is a chain of heights called Sekandar-giri, or 'Alexander's mountain.'— See St. Martin's E'tude, &c. pp. 108-111.]

-- Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian; Being a Translation of the Fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes Collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the First Part of the Indika of Arrian, by J.W. McCrindle


Curiously, unlike most writers who place the altars on the right bank of the river, Pliny places them on the left or the eastern bank:

The Hyphasis was the limit of the marches of Alexander, who, however, crossed [emphasis added] it, and dedicated altars on the further bank. (Plin. HN 6.21)


Pliny’s crucial hint suggests a reappraisal of the riddle of the altars. Precisely how far east had Alexander and his men come? Although Bunbury holds that93 the location of the altars cannot be regarded as known even approximately, the Indian evidence sheds new light. Masson places the altars at the united stream of the Hyphasis and Sutlez. McCrindle also writes that the Sutlez marked the94 limit of Alexander’s march eastward; and this is precisely the locality from95 where Feroze Shah brought the pillar to Delhi.

Thapar ignores Alexander’s voyage and writes heedlessly that, although at present there is no archaeological evidence, Topra must have been an important stopping place on the road from Pataliputra to the north. This not96 only skirts the central issue but also exposes the poverty of Jonesian Indology. There can be little doubt that the Delhi-Topra pillar at Firozabad near Delhi, which bears Asoka’s seventh edict, is a missing altar of Alexander the Great. The very name Chandigarh (Chandragarh) may be an echo of Alakh Chandra, Alexander’s Indian name. In the thirteenth Rock Edict of Asoka, the name Alexander is given as Alika Su(n)dalo.

Alexander and Asoka

Only misjudgment of historians has denied Diodotus his true place in world history. If almost no words seem to be commensurate for the description of Alexander, the same is true of Asoka who swept away all, as it were. His impact on the civilisations of both the East and the West is immense. As Droysen holds, Christianity grew out of an intercourse between Hellenism and the Eastern97 cultures. There can be no doubt that the chief architect of the great expansion of Hellenism and Buddhism, which ultimately paved the way to the rise of Christianity and Islam, was Diodotus. Toynbee writes:

At its maximum extent, Hellenism had expanded in Latin dress as far westward as Britain and Morocco, and in Buddhist dress, as far eastwards as Japan.98


Smith is more specific:

Finally, the central religious literature of both traditions—the Jewish Talmud (an authoritative compendium of law, lore, and interpretation), the New Testament, and the later patristic literature of the Early Church Fathers—are characteristic Hellenistic documents both in form and content. 99


If Alexander was the harbinger of this Hellenistic revolution, Diodotus was its greatest champion. In the thirteenth edict, after declaring that he had himself100 found pleasure rather in conquests by the Dhamma than in conquests by the sword, he says that he had already made such conquests in the realms of the kings of Syria, Egypt, Macedonia, Epirus, and Kyrene, among the Cholas and Pandyas in South India, in Ceylon and among a number of peoples dwelling in the borders of his empire. This was, as Asoka saw it, the Kingdom of God:

… devāṃpiyasā dhaṃmānuṣathi anuvataṃti. Yata pi dutā devāṃpiyasā no yaṃti – te pi sutu devāṃpiyasā dhaṃma-vutaṃ vidhanaṃ dhaṃmānusathi dhaṃmam anuvidhiyaṃti anuvidhiyisaṃti cā. Ye se ladhe etakenā hoti savatā vijaye, piti-lase se.

Everywhere are followed the instructions of the Devānaṃpiya. Even where the envoys of the Devānaṃpiya do not go they (the people of those countries) too, having heard of the Dharma practices, the (Dharma) prescriptions and the Dharma instructions of the Devānaṃpiya follow the Dharma and will continue to follow (it). That conquest which has been won everywhere by this, generates the feeling of satisfaction.101


Diodotus not only utilised Alexander’s monuments, but in many other respects he trod in the latter’s footsteps. In the Rumminidei edict, Asoka reduced taxes102 for the local people as this was the birthplace of Gotama. This has a very distant echo linked with Alexander and Gomata. Impressed by their way of life and civic administration, Alexander extended the boundary of the Ariaspians of Prophthasia and conferred nominal freedom (Arrian III.27). Waiving part of103 the taxes may have been a part of his decree. In the prelude to his famous seventh pillar edict, Asoka states:

Devānaṃpiye Piyadasi lājā hevaṃ āhā: ye atikaṃtaṃ aṃtalaṃ lājāne husu, hevaṃ ichisu - kathaṃ jane dhaṃma-vaḍhiyā vaḍheyā. No cu jane anulupāyā dhaṃma-vaḍhiyā vaḍhithā.

King devānaṃpiya piyadasi spoke thus: The kings who were in times past, desired thus, (viz.) that the people might progress by the promotion of Dharma. But the people did not progress by the adequate progress of Dharma.104


Who are these kings? Despite Asoka’s measured silence on Alexander, it is possible that he is referring to him. Asoka not only used Alexander’s pillars,105 but also undertook to spread the message of homonoia championed by Alexander with a greater resolve.

The Mission of Alexander the Great

In so far as it failed to rout the Prasii, and in view of the great losses in human lives that it caused, Alexander’s Gedrosian operation cannot be called an all-round success. Nevertheless, this unique expedition achieved its goals and marks a high point in world history having no parallel in any other age. That it greatly augmented world trade and ushered in a new era of East-West intercourse cannot be denied. No one could have combined a scientific and a military expedition in the manner Alexander did. It is here that one can recognise the student of Aristotle. His Titanic voyage across so many continents and seas to mingle with the exotic peoples of Africa and Asia appears truly mind-boggling. Nothing could deter him, not the huge Prasiian army or the elephants, not the desert heat, not even the lack of water and food. His emergence from the desert inferno of Gedrosia was a superhuman feat. It is said that he had wept after seeing Nearchus in Carmania (Arrian, Indica xxxv).

When the Macedonians and Greeks first set out with the mandate of the Corinthian League, they were probably guided by simple nationalist motives. But after Alexander was declared a Son of Amon at Siwa, and also under the affectionate guidance of the great Buddhist philosopher Asvaghosa (Calanus)106, this changed into something far more pregnant. More than just a lure for Persian gold or a yearning for the unknown (pÒqoj), Alexander and his followers were driven by a mission to usher in a new world. Russell, one of the towering minds of the last century, squarely reproved Aristotle for his shallow outlook in his Politics:

There is no mention of Alexander, and not even the faintest awareness of the complete transformation that he was effecting in the world.107


Like Cambyses, Alexander got a very bad press. Writers like Badian and Green stress the need for demythologizing, but this demands a precise knowledge of history and geography. It necessary to carefully analyse history to perceive108 Alexander’s greatness, which has been acknowledged through the ages. Like109 many Eastern gods, he was not above sin; his role in his father’s death is far from clear, and his killing of Cleitus and his treatment of Callisthenes were unfortunate yet not inhuman acts. He was certainly less prone to violence than Diodotus in his youth. It is important to consider the possibility that his alienation from his compatriots may have been due to his reinterpretation of Hellenic religion.

For about a century after the voyage, the Orient was witness to momentous events that altered human destiny. It was here that Hellenistic culture and religion were born. It is needless to say that no study of the Hellenistic phenomenon can be complete without reference to Diodotus/Asoka. His edicts indicate that apart from recording his achievements, Alexander’s messages in the altars were also meant for the propagation of homonoia. This is the goal that Asoka took up with a greater zeal. Bevan writes with insight:

One may notice first that nothing was further from Alexander’s own thoughts than that his invasion of India was a mere raid.110


Material evidence for Buddhism in India starts appearing from the fourth century B.C., and this is the era of Alexander. It is impossible to deny Alexander’s role in this renaissance in Indian culture. Only Tarn can see a link between Alexander and Asoka:

For when all is said, we come back at the end to his personality; not the soldier or the statesman, but the man. Whatever Asia did or did not get from him she felt him as she scarcely felt any other; she knew that one of the greatest of the earth had passed. Though his direct influence vanished from India within a generation, and her literature does not know him, he affected Indian history for centuries; for Chandragupta saw him and deduced the possibility of realising in actual fact the conception, handed down from Vedic times, of a comprehensive monarchy in India; hence Alexander indirectly created Asoka’s empire and enabled the spread of Buddhism.111


The influence of Alexander’s pillars, which were later modified by Asoka, on world history is inestimable. Although it cannot be proven conclusively, from considerations of art history, it is not impossible that the Sarnath pillar is also a timeless relic of Alexander the Great modified by Asoka. Due to Jones’s112 error, great scholars like Tarn and Rostovtzeff underrate Alexander’s role. Yet the staggering possibility that the four-lion emblem of India may in fact be a work of Alexander calls for a drastic reassessment of his true legacy. Alexander’s direct influence did not vanish from India. It was due to his vision that East and West first met, and the myriad effects of this fraternisation are beyond any estimate. If homonoia is still a living creed, the credit for part of it must be ascribed to Alexander’s wisdom and tireless energy. His dream of a Brotherhood of Man may forever remain unfulfilled, yet he remains the finest symbol of our vision of a United Nations.

_______________

Notes:

1* In the preparation of this article, the author gratefully remembers the kind encouragement of the late Prof. N. G. L. Hammond.

2 R.E.M. Wheeler, Flames Over Persepolis, Wiedenfeld & Nicholson (London 1968) 129.

3 J. Keay, India Discovered: The Achievement of the British Raj (London 1988) 55.

4 H. Kulke and D. Rothermund, A History of India (London 1990) 86.

5 F. J. Monahan, The Early History of Bengal (Delhi 1974) 225. Monahan (like Vincent Smith, to whom I refer later) was a distinguished British Indologist who was a Civil Servant.

6 Mudrarakshasa, Act vi. Piadamsana is a colloquial error for of Priyadarshana.

7 H.C. Raychaudhuri, Political History of Ancient India (Calcutta 1972) 240.

8 A. C. Sen, Asoka’s Edicts (Calcutta 1956) 168.

9 Archaeologists have found little in India or Iran that can be directly linked to Alexander, and reference to him in Indian literature is scanty though not non-existent. There were about twenty contemporary accounts of Alexander but these are not extant. Aristoboulos and Ptolemy wrote many years later. Historians have been forced to use the later accounts of Arrian, Plutarch and other secondary sources.

10 William Jones, On Asiatick History, Civil and Natural, The Tenth Anniversary Discourse, delivered 28 th February, 1793, by the President at the Asiatick Society of Bengal.

11 Jones’s mistake misled such erudite scholars as Rostovtzeff and Tarn into believing that Alexander is not mentioned in Indian literature and had little impact on Indian civilisation: see D. Musti, The Cambridge Ancient History, vol vii pt.1, ed. F. W. Walbank, A. E. Astin, M. W. Frederiksen and R. M. Ogilvie (Cambridge 1984) 217.; W. W. Tarn, Alexander the Great (Cambridge 1948) 1.142

12 E. Badian, ’Alexander in Iran’, in I. Gershevitch (ed.) The Cambridge History of Iran 2: The Median and Achaemenian Periods (Cambridge 1985) 467. Ptolemy also reported that the omens were unfavourable (Arr., Anab., v. 29). But that may not have been the reason why he turned westwards.

13 ibid.

14 I am indebted to Prof. Hammond for this private communication to me.

15 A. Ghosh, The City in Early Historical India (Simla 1973) 66: ‘... of Pataliputra which is mainly known from non-archaeological sources’. For a more detailed discussion, see R. Pal, Non-Jonesian Indology and Alexander (New Delhi 2002).

16 Kulke and Rothermund [3] 61.

17 V.A. Smith, Ashoka, The Buddhist Emperor of India, (Jaipur 1988) 75.

18 V. Elisseeff, ‘Asiatic Prehistory’, in Encyclopedia of World Art (New York 1960) 3. ‘The Iranian region, with its affinity for the Orient, permitted the development of two different cultural areas: the northwestern one, more properly Iranian, with the localities of Tepe Giyan, Tepe Sialk, Tepe Hissar, and Anau; and the southeastern one, which can be considered Indian, of Baluchistan and the centers of the valley of the Zhob and of Quetta and Amri’. R. N. Frye, on the other hand, stresses only the linguistic diversity of Indo-Iranians, not their common heritage: ‘To the south the Persians and other Iranian invaders found the land occupied by Elamites and related non-Indo-European speakers. Further east were probably Dravidian peoples in Makran, Seistan and Sind, represented today by their descendants, the Brahuis’. R. N. Frye, The Heritage of Persia (London 1962) 27.

19 R.T. Hallock, Persepolis Fortification Tablets, (Chicago 1969). See laso M. B. Garrison and M. C. Root, Seals on the Persepolis Fortification Tablets. I: Images of Heroic Encounter, vol.1 (Chicago 2001). In a private communication to the present writer Prof. Garisson writes, “Too often one feels as if one is working in a vacuum. Good luck on your research”.

20 See the online resource http://www.lumkap.org.uk.

21 A. D. H. Bivar, ‘The Indus Lands’, in The Cambridge Ancient History, ed. I. E. S. Edwards, J. Boardman, N. G. L. Hammond, D. M. Lewis, (Cambridge 1988) 205.

22 E. C. Sachau, Alberuni’s India, vol. 1(London 1910) 40, 380. Apart from his father Suddhodana, Siddhartha’s uncles all had dana-names - Amitodana, Dhotodana, Sukkodana and Sukkhodana. See E. J. Thomas, The Life of Buddha (Delhi 1993) 24.

23 Badian [11] 2.462. Herodotus writes:.. oƒ d ¢pÕ ¹l…ou ¢natolšwn A„q…opej (dixoˆ g¦r d¾ ™strateÚonto) prosetet£cato to‹si 'Indo‹si... oátoi d oƒ ™k tÁj 'As…hj A„q…opej t¦ m n plšw kat£ per 'Indoˆ ™ses£cato... (‘The eastern Ethiopeans—for two nations of this name served in the army—were marshalled with the Indians... Their equipment was in most points like that of the Indians’, Hdt. 7.70.1-7).

24 A. J. Toynbee, A Study Of History 7, Universal States; Universal Churches (Oxford 1979) 650. Toynbee remarks that Herodotus’ India did not include Panjab and Gandhara.

25 W. W. Tarn, Alexander The Great, vol. 2, (Cambridge, 2003) 281. Despite some errors, Tarn’s wide knowledge of both European and Asiatic history gave him a deep insight which remains unmatched.

26 This can be inferred from the Sanskrit drama Mudrarakshasa which recounts the rise of Chandragupta. The fabulous strength of the Nanda army disagrees with the archaeological scenario of fourth century Bihar, and reminds one of the powerful Prasiian army. A century later the Jats and other fierce fighters of Seistan under the Surens humbled the Roman army.

27 R. Lane Fox, Alexander The Great, (London 1974) 372.

28 Asoka's Edicts hint that ritual slaughter of the bird (Mayura) was practised by the Mauryas.

29 A. B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great (Cambridge 1988) 150, who gives the name Khanu (maps usually give the name Kohnouj or Kahnuj). Nearby Patali may have been Palibothra. http://www.chnpress.com/news/?section=2&id=6623.

30 V. Smith, Early History of India (Oxford 1961) 181.

31 A. Dow, The History of Hindostan (London 1772). The famous geographer Rennel was the first to identify Patna as Palibothra but later opted for Kanauj. J. Rennel, Memoir of a Map of Hindoostan (London 1778) 49. William Francklin disagreed with Jones and placed Palibothra at Bhagalpur. W. Francklin, Inquiry concerning the site of ancient Palibothra (London 1815) 47. See also S. N. Mukherjee, Sir William Jones: A Study in Eighteenth Century British Attitudes to India 2 (London 1987) 97.

32 J. W. McCrindle (ed. and tr.), The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great as Described by Arrian, Q. Curtius, Diodorus, Plutarch and Justin (New Delhi 1973) 396.

33 Pattala is said to have been a great city and could have been another Mauryan capital.

34 M. Wood, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great: A Journey from Greece to Asia (Berkeley 1997) 214 discards the Dionysius-Semiramis stories, and proposes that Alexander may have been exploring whether cities could be founded along the coast for trade with India.

35 There may have been a smear campaign launched by the generals who took over after Alexander. The very existence of the junta depended on an extensive falsification and defamation campaign. That Ptolemy had to defend Alexander only shows the extent of such a campaign. Needless to say, Sasigupta could justify his role only by blackening Alexander. The expedition did not immediately bring economic prosperity in Greece, and some Athenians led by the Peripatetics and Demosthenes spared no effort to belittle Alexander.

36 D. B. Lenat, ‘Computer Software for Intelligent Systems’, Scientific American 251 (1984) 157.

37 G. Macdonald, The Hellenic Kingdoms of Syria, Bactria and Parthia in The Cambridge History of India, ed. E. J. Rapson, (New Delhi 1962) 398.

38 Many aspects of Asoka’s life are obscure. Although some punch-marked coins have been associated with his name, this has been disputed. Apart from the edicts, archaeology has unearthed few inscriptions. Palaces unearthed near Patna have been said to be his, but in the absence of inscriptions this is uncertain. Even Taxila, so often associated with his name in the texts, has proved disappointing. Recently inscribed relics of Asoka have been found from Kanganhalli in Karnataka which are said to belong to a later period.

39 While Diodotus-I has numerous coins but no inscriptions, Asoka has many inscriptions but no coins. H.P Ray’s satisfaction about Asoka’s coins is bizzare. H. P. Ray, Ancient India (N. Delhi 2001), 55. Kulke and Rothermund [3] 75, on the other hand, write, “Whereas the Maurya emperors had only produced simple punch-marked coins, even petty Indo-Greek kings issued splendid coins with their image”.

40 E. J. Thomas, The History of Buddhist Thought (London 1933) 154.

41 Coins of Abd Susim, probably a relative of Asoka, have been found at Persepolis. This again hints that Asoka belongs to the northwest.

42 T. W. Rhys Davids, Buddhist India (London 1903) 298.

43 Macdonald [36] 393.

44 P. Gardner, Catalogue of Indian Coins in the British Museum: Greek and Scythic Kings of Bactria and India (London 1886). See also A. von Sallet, ‘Die Nachfolger Alexanders des Grossen in Baktrien und Indien’, Zeitschrift für Numismatik (1879).

45 W. W. Tarn Greeks of Bactria and India (Cambridge 1951) 73.

46 A. K. Narain, The Indo-Greeks (Oxford 1957) 18.

47 Narain ibid, 12.

48 F. L. Holt, Thundering Zeus: The Making of Hellenistic Bacteria (Berkeley 1999), writes much on the Bactrian Greeks but fails to recognise the true Diodotus. Tarn was also an able commentator on the Indian scene, yet he did not recognise Diodotus.

49 R. E. M. Wheeler, Early India and Pakistan to Ashoka (London 1959) 170. See also R. Thapar, Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas (Oxford 1961) 20.

50 Ibid, p. 174.

51 Tarn [44] 216.

52 Narain, [45] 20.

53 That cats and dogs fed on the carcass of Artaxerxes III was reported by the Greek sources. It is uncanny that this is also confirmed by the Mudrarakshasa.

54 R. Thapar’s remark that ‘Greek sources mention Sandrocottus and Amitrochates but do not mention Ašoka’ presupposes that the Greeks would also use the name Ašoka current among the Indians. See Thapar [48] 20.

55 B. N. Mukherjee, Studies in the Aramaic Edicts of Asoka (Calcutta 1984) 26.

56 J. H. Marshall A Guide to Taxila (Delhi 1936) 90.

57 Tarn [44] 392.

58 Macdonald [36] 394. Although nearly all scholars reject the Achaemenian link as a fabrication, this is unwarranted. The name Arsaces or Assak could also have been used by Chandragupta who may be Ashkh of the Shahnama; the eldest son of Darius II was Arsaces.

59 Smith [16] 13

60 A. L. Oppenheim, The Babylonian Evidence for Achaemenian Rule in Mesopotamia, in Gershevitch [11] 533.

61 Thapar [48] 233, writes, without any warrant, that the identification of Pataliputra is certain but remains silent on the fact that not a single relic of the Mauryas or the Nandas has been found at Patna. She fails to realise that the wooden palace unearthed at Patna cannot have belonged to Asoka whose architecture lays such stress on stone.

62 A. Hillebrandt, Vedische Mythologie, I (Breslau 1929) 96.

63 M. Busagli, ‘Parthian Art’, in Encyclopedia of World Art.114.

64 M. K. Dhavalikar, in D. C. Sircar (ed.) Foreigners in Ancient India and Lakshmi and Sarasvati in Art and Literature (Calcutta 1970).

65 Busagli [62]106.

66 In this edict, Asoka describes his dominion as Jambudvipa, which is usually assumed to be the same as modern India. In the version of the edict found at Nittur in Tumkur district of Karnataka, the emperor calls it Pathavi. Some scholars have suggested that Jambudvipa was a much wider territory covering nearly the whole of civilised Asia.

67 Smith [16] 75.

68 Tarn [44] 101.

69 R. N. Frye [19] 172 writes that An-hsi is the same as Arshak. As Ghirshman notes, the name is also given as Assak. R. Ghirshman, Iran (Harmondsworth 1954) 243.

70 W. Lai, The Three Jewels in China, in T. Yoshinori (ed.), Buddhist Spirituality (Delhi 1995) 275.

71 F. W. Thomas, ‘Ashoka’, in E. J. Rapson (ed.), Cambridge History of India 1: Ancient India (Cambridge 1922) 453.

72 From Asoka’s references to Antiochus, the relation between the two appears to be cordial. It is not impossible that he also took a favourable view of Asoka’s Dharmavijaya.

73 Wheeler [48], 176.

74 Narain [45] 16.

75 Macdonald [36] 393.

76 Smith [16] 19.

77 Thapar [48] 51.

78 Ibid.

79

80 Thapar [48] 52.

81 It can be argued that Asoka’s lions were borrowed from Nebuchadrezzar’s Babylon—lions guarded the famous E-Sagila—or from the Sumerians who also preferred the lion symbol. As Cumont notes, the lion was a symbol of ancient Lydia; See A. H. Krappe, The Anatolian Lion God, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 65, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1945), pp. 144-154. Four lions also guarded the Meghazil tomb near Amrit, but Gudea’s double lion mace-head is well known. See R. Pal, ‘Gotama Buddha in West Asia’, Annals of the Bhandarkar Research Institute 77 (1996); R. Pal and T. Sato, Gotama Buddha in West Asia (Osaka 1995) 69.

82 J. H. Marshall, ‘The Monuments of Ancient India’, in Rapson [70] 562.

83 Thapar [48].

84 B. M. Barua, Indian Culture, vol.X, p. 34 sees no link between Chandragupta, Asoka’s grandfather, and Bihar. He writes that the language of Asoka’s stone masons was the West Asian Kharosthi. Only two names of Asoka’s governors are known, and by no stretch of imagination can they be linked to Patna: Tushaspa was surely from the northwest. Smith [29]103, writes that the elaborate hair-washing ceremony of the Mauryas is a Persian custom.

85 R. E. M. Wheeler [48] 174: ‘It has long been recognised that these columns, without precedent in Indian architectural forms, represent in partibus the craftmanship of Persia. Actually, the name ‘Persepolitan’ which is commonly given to them by writers on Indian architecture is not altogether happy, since the innumerable columns of Persepolis are invariably fluted, whereas those of Ashoka are unfluted, as indeed was the normal Persian custom. But if for ‘Persepolitan’ we substitute ‘Persian’ or, better still ‘Achaemenid’, there can be no dispute’.

86 N. Ray, Mauryan Art in Age of the Nandas and Mauryas, ed. N. Sastri (Delhi 1967) 346, indirectly hints, with uncommon boldness, at Jones’s error: ‘The fact remains therefore that we have no examples extant of either sculpture or architecture that can definitely be labelled chronologically as pre-Mauryan or perhaps even as pre-Asokan’. He adds later (376) that: ‘Compared with later figural sculptures in the round of Yakshas and their female counterparts or the reliefs of Bharhut, Sanchi and Bodhgaya, the art represented by these crowning lions belongs to an altogether different world of conception and execution, of style and technique, altogether much more complex, urban and civilised. They have nothing archaic or primitive about them, and the presumption is irresistible that the impetus and inspiration of this art must have come from outside’.

87 Marshall [81]

88 A. Foucher, The Beginnings of Buddhist Art

89 V. Smith, A History of Fine Art in India and Ceylon (Oxford 1930) 16. Marshall [81] 564

90 R. E. Pritchard, Odd Tom Coryate: The English Marco Polo. (Stroud 2004). Philostratos’ statement that Apollonius of Tyana, on his journey into India in the second century AD, found the altars still intact and their inscriptions still legible probably indicates that they were in places where Alexander had erected them. See E. H. Bunbury, A History of Ancient Geography Among the Greeks and Romans (London 1883) 503.

91 E. Herzfeld, Iran in The Ancient East (New York 1941) 303.

92 J. Prinsep, Essays on Indian Antiquities: Historic, Numismatic and Palaeographic, (London 1858).

93 E. H. Bunbury, A History of Ancient Geography among the Greeks and Romans from the Earliest Ages till the Fall of the Roman Empire, (London 1883) 444.

94 McCrindle [32] 120

95 ibid.

96 Thapar [48] 230. Authors like Raychaudhuri and Thapar do not treat Alexander’s voyage in detail and hold that Alexander does not belong to Indian history proper.

97 R. Southard, Droysen and the Prussian School of History (Kentucky 1995), 24.

98 A. J. Toynbee, The Greeks and Their Heritage (Oxford 1981) 44.

99 J. Z. Smith, Hellenistic Religions, in P. W. Goetz et al. (edd.), Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago 1979) 8.751.

100 Wheeler, writes: ‘This book is not a History, but in its last chapter the impersonal disjecta of prehistory may fittingly be assembled in the likeness of a man. Ashoka came to the throne about 268 B.C. and died about 232 B.C. Spiritually and materially his reign marks the first coherent expression of the Indian mind, and, for centuries after the political fabric of his empire had crumbled, his work was implicit in the thought and art of the subcontinent, it is not dead today’. Wheeler [48] 170.

101 Sen [7] 102.

102 This edict has to be examined in view of the widespread frauds in Nepalese archaeology as pointed by T. A. Phelps. See the online resource http://www.lumkap.org.uk. It is more than likely that this pillar was brought from the northwest. A careful study shows that Gomata of the Behistun inscriptions was the true Gotama. See Pal [14]

103 The Ariaspians are the Hariasvas of the Indian texts, who were a lost tribe. The Mahabharata says that King Haryasva never ate flesh in his life (Anusasana Parva 11.67). See V. Mani (ed.), Puranic Encyclopedia (New Delhi 1975) 57. Alexander noted the similarity of their system of justice with that of the Greeks. It is said that the Ariaspians enjoyed special privileges as they had given succour to the starving army of Cyrus, but this cannot be the full story as the holiness of Seistan is well recorded in the Shahnama.

104 Sen [7] 160.

105 The corpus of Asoka’s inscriptions is vast, but one is mystified by what he did not say. He never names his father or his illustrious grandfather. Was he a nephew of Bindusara? See Taranatha’s History of Buddhism in India (Delhi, 1990) 50. Was Asoka’s proscription of samajas (revelling parties) due to his horror of Alexander’s poisoning in such a party?

106 The name given as Sphines by Plutarch is the same as Aspines or Asvaghosa (Plut. Alexander, 65). Asvaghosa may have been an Ariaspian.

107 B. Russell, History of Western Philosophy (London 1969) 196.

108 Badian [11]3.420; See also P. Green, Alexander of Macedon 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography (California 1992).

109 I. Worthington, How ‘Great’ was Alexander the Great?, AHB 13.2 (1999) 39-55, attempts, relying almost exclusively on the Greek and Roman sources, to analyse why Alexander was called ‘Great’ even in ancient sources.

110 E. R. Bevan, Alexander The Great, in Rapson [70] 343.

111 Tarn, [10] 1.142

112 Wheeler writes: ‘Equally Persian are the famous lions which crowned the Ashokan column at Sarnath, near Benaras, and have been assumed as the republican badge of India’. Wheeler [48] 174.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34239
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Sep 07, 2021 1:03 pm

Part 1 of 3

Chapter 1: India – Diplomacy and Ethnography at the Mauryan Empire
Excerpt from "The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in the Seleucid Empire"
by Paul J. Kosmin
©  2014 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College

In the year 305 BC, Seleucus I Nicator went to India and apparently occupied territory as far as the Indus, and eventually waged war with the Maurya Emperor Chandragupta Maurya.[citation needed]

Only a few sources mention his activities in India. Chandragupta (known in Greek sources as Sandrokottos), founder of the Mauryan empire, had conquered the Indus valley and several other parts of the easternmost regions of Alexander's empire. Seleucus began a campaign against Chandragupta and crossed the Indus.[39] Most western historians note that it appears to have fared poorly as he did not achieve his goals[citation needed], even though what exactly happened is unknown. The two leaders ultimately reached an agreement,[40] [Kosmin, Paul J. (2014). The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in Seleucid Empire. P. 98.] and through a treaty sealed in 305 BC,[41] [John Keay (2001). India: A History. Grove Press. pp. 85–86.] Seleucus abandoned the territories he could never securely hold in exchange for stabilizing the East and obtaining elephants, with which he could turn his attention against his great western rival, Antigonus Monophthalmus.[40] The 500 war elephants Seleucus obtained from Chandragupta were to play a key role in the forthcoming battles, particularly at Ipsus [42] against Antigonus and Demetrius. The Maurya king might have married the daughter of Seleucus.[43] [Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2003) [1952]. Ancient India. P. 105.]

-- Seleucus I Nicator, by Wikipedia


Chapter 1: India – Diplomacy and Ethnography at the Mauryan Empire

From Alexander the Great's death at Babylon in 323 until the first decades of the third century the lands over which he had ruled were convulsed by the ambitions, assassinations, and alliances of his greatest generals. With almost forty years of warfare and betrayal, vertiginous collapse and unexpected rise, it is no surprise that Tyche, capricious Fate, achieves new causal prominence in the historiography of this period.1 [ ] But if we stand at a distance from what Braudel called history's "crests of foam," we can understand the playing out of the succession crisis as the birth pangs of a new, but not unfamiliar, world order: the peer-kingdom international system.

Alexander's kingdom, like the Achaemenid imperial structure he conquered and reelaborated, was a hegemonic world empire characterized by an emphasis on totality and exclusivity.2 [ ] The Persian Great King and Alexander monopolized legitimate sovereignty and recognized no entity as external and equivalent. The fragmentation of this all-embracing imperial formation after Alexander's death and the stabilization of independent kingdoms multiplied the royal persona and state. A diachronic succession of world-empires (Achaemenids to Alexander) was replaced with the synchronic coexistence of bounded kingdoms. The emergence of a few "Great Powers" (Antigonid Macedonia, Ptolemaic Egypt, Seleucid Asia, as well as Attalid Pergamum, Mauryan India, the Anatolian kingdoms, and Rome) gradually developed into a system of peer states with semiformalized procedures of interaction. In other words, the east Mediterranean-west Asian region settled back into the multipolarity that had characterized it in the Neo-Babylonian period, immediately before Cyrus' conquests and the foundation of the Persian empire, and in the famous Late Bronze Age of Amarna.3 [ ]

This historical process of division and multiplication can be traced throughout the Wars of Succession that followed Alexander's death.4 [ ] By the third century, a developed and unquestioned international order was operating within the broader Hellenistic world; multipolarity was the assumed framework for everything from asylia (recognition of a city's inviolability)5 [ ] and festival requests6 [ ] to benefactions following natural disasters.7 [ ] Of paramount importance to such a system was the "border," both in its technical definition and its ideological implications. Kingdoms had to be recognized as spatially limited units, as bounded territories with shared frontiers. In this first part of The Land of the Elephant Kings I investigate the construction of the Seleucid empire's political boundary in the east.

In 305 or 304, Macedonian forces once again issued out of the Hindu Kush, more than two decades after they had first entered the Indus valley behind Alexander the Great:8 [ ] for Seleucus I Nicator, who over the previous half decade had extended his authority from Babylonia to Bactria, now led his army in a second Indian invasion. This campaign and the diplomatic agreement that concluded it formed the foundational moment of Seleucid imperial space. For the first time, Seleucus I's rule was formally bounded and thereby territorialized, fixing the empire's southeastern border for at least a century. Furthermore, the encoding of this new political situation in Seleucid court ethnography -- specifically, the Indica of Megasthenes, Seleucus' ambassador to the Indian court -- demonstrates the profound impact of this historical moment on traditional geographical and ethnological ideas.

The Treaty of the Indus

In contrast to the untidy patchwork of rival principalities and gana-sangha oligarchies encountered by Alexander, the land Seleucus entered had recently been annexed and united by Chandragupta Maurya, the new ruler of the first pan-north Indian imperial entity.9 [ ]
Image
Chandragupta had defeated the remaining Macedonian satrapies in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent by 317 BCE.

-- Chandragupta Maurya, by Wikipedia

Seleucus apparently minted coins during his stay in India, as several coins in his name are in the Indian standard and have been excavated in India. These coins describe him as "Basileus" ("King"), which implies a date later than 306 BC. Some of them also mention Seleucus in association with his son Antiochus as king, which would also imply a date as late as 293 BC.

-- Seleucus I Nicator, by Wikipedia

Chandragupta, appearing in classical sources as (S)androcottus,10 [ ] was a peer of the Macedonian Successors and integrated into their world and its struggles.11 [ ] Like them, the new Indian potentate is shown emphasizing his links to Alexander: Plutarch records that king Sandrocottus claimed to have met Alexander as a youth,12 [ ] compared himself to the great Macedonian,13 [ ] and sacrificed on the altars erected by Alexander on the bank of the Hyphasis (mod. Beas) whenever he crossed the river.14 [ ]
Through the mist of vague reports and geographical misconceptions, it is difficult to probe into the Hyphasis revolt, which came as a serious jolt to Alexander. After this, even though there were safer routes, Alexander chose to return to Iran through the desert of Gedrosia, suffering heavy losses in soldiers and civilians from lack of water, food and the extreme heat. That the motive behind this voyage has appeared so perplexing is due to two crucial lapses—the false location of Palibothra, capital of the Prasii, and the concomitant failure to recognise the mysterious Moeris of Pattala who played a determinant role.

‘Alexander, of course, had read Herodotus’, writes Badian, but misses the purport of his reference to Indians in the Gedrosia area.
Image
Territory of Gedrosia, among the eastern territories of the Achaemenid Empire.

-- Gedrosia, by Wikipedia

Toynbee writes on world history and makes no mistake to note the shifting nature of India’s boundary:
... and we can already see the beginnings of this progressive extension of the name ‘Indian’ in Herodotus’s usage.

The reports of Alexander’s historians clearly indicate that southeast Iran was within Greater India in the fourth century BC. As Prasii was in the Gedrosia area, the question arises—did the army refuse to fight the Prasii or only to march eastwards? If Alexander wanted to move eastward it was not to defeat the Prasii. Tarn writes that he had nothing to do with Magadha on the Ganges. If he had learnt that the fertile Gangetic plains were only a few days’ march away, and wanted to be there for mere expansion of empire, he would have met little resistance. Reluctance of the army could be due to the lack of any tangible gain, not fear of the mighty Easterners. If this was the case, then Alexander bowed down to the wishes of his men. However, if the reluctance was to confront the Prasii, it appears sensible due to their formidable strength. As Moeris had fought beside Porus, the Prasiian army cannot have been left intact, though it could still have been a fighting force. It is probable that Moeris and his agents fomented discord among Alexander’s officers and soldiers. The magicians and other secret agents of Moeris probably overblew the might of the Prasii in order to frighten the invaders. From this point onwards, if not earlier, Eumenes, Perdikkas and Seleucus may have been in touch with Moeris.

Victory Over Moeris At Palibothra

Only Justin (Just. xii, 8) reports that Alexander had defeated the Prasii. Palibothra, the Prasiian capital was famous for peacocks....

Curiously, Arrian writes that Alexander was so charmed by the beauty of peacocks that he decreed the severest penalties against anyone killing them (Arrian, Indica, xv.218). The picture of Alexander amidst peacocks appears puzzling: where did he come across the majestic bird? Does this fascination lead us to Palibothra? The height of absurdity is reached when we are told that eighteen months after the battle with Porus, Alexander suddenly remembered his ‘victory over the Indians’ in the wilderness of Carmania and set upon to celebrate it with fabulous mirth and abandon. Surprisingly it did not jar with the common sense of anyone why this was not celebrated in India. The ‘victory over the Indians’ in southeast Iran can lead to only one judicious conclusion—this was India in the fourth century BC. Moreover, if Alexander had indeed defeated the Indians, who could have been their leader but Moeris or Maurya? This clearly indicates that Alexander had indeed conquered the Prasii in Gedrosia.

Bosworth writes that the name of the place where the victory was celebrated was Kahnuj. The name tells all, for Kanauj was the chief city of the Indians
, the name of which is echoed in the famous city in eastern India which later became most important.

Smith is aware that Kanauj in eastern India was not the city mentioned in the ancient texts [??]; yet he does not suspect that the same could be true of Jones’ Palibothra. Dow identifies Sandrocottos with Sinsarchund who, according to Firista, ruled from Kanauj [Kinoge].

Nearchus certainly had other tasks than scientific fact-finding; the army was ordered to keep close to the shore and the navy moved in tandem. This orchestration and the large number of troops and horses on ships (quite unnecessary for a scientific mission) show that the navy was not only carrying provisions for the army which was engaged in a grim and protracted battle with a mighty adversary, but that the troops on the ships were also ready to support the army if needed. This is why the navy waited for twenty-four days near Karachi. The names Pataliputra and Pattala and Moeris and Maurya leave little to imagination.

Yet Badian fails to recognise that Moeris was Chandragupta Maurya of Prasii.

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

Greek scholars often mentioned that Sandrocottus was the king of the country called as Prasii (Prachi or Prachya). Pracha or Prachi means eastern country. During the Nanda and Mauryan era, Magadha kings were ruling almost entire India. Mauryan Empire was never referred in Indian sources as only Prachya desa or eastern country. Prachya desa was generally referred to Gupta Empire because Northern Saka Ksatrapas and Western Saka Ksatrapas were well established in North and West India. Megasthenes mentioned that Sandrocottus is the greatest king of the Indians and Poros is still greater than Sandrocottus which means a kingdom in the North-western region is still independent and enjoying at least equal status with the kingdom of Sandrocottus...

-- Who was Sandrocottus: Samudragupta or Chandragupta Maurya?, The Chronology of Ancient India, Victim of Concoctions and Distortions, by Vedveer Arya

Megasthenes says that he often visited Sandrokottos, the greatest king (maharaja: v. Bohlen, Alte Indian, I. p. 19) of the Indians, and Poros, still greater than he: — Arrian, Lid. c. 5 (Fragm. 24).

-- Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian; Being a Translation of the Fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes Collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the First Part of the Indika of Arrian, by J.W. McCrindle

The course of Seleucus’ campaign against this Indian emperor is not known in detail – an obscurity that has tempted modern historians to political allegory and forgery.15 [ ] Certainly, Seleucus crossed his forces over the river Indus, so invading India proper,16 [ ] but whether Seleucid and Mauryan armies fought a pitched battle is still debated. Whatever happened, at some point, in a momentous and foundational act of the new world order, Seleucus and Chandragupta decided to make peace. The ancient historians Justin, Appian, and Strabo ...

Justinus (XV. 4) says of Seleukos Nikator,
"He carried on many wars in the East after the division of the Makedonian kingdom between himself and the other successors of Alexander, first seizing Babylonia, and then reducing Baktriane, his power being increased by the first success. Thereafter he passed into India, which had, since Alexander's death, killed its governors, thinking thereby to shake off from its neck the yoke of slavery. Sandrokottos had made it free: but when victory was gained he changed the name of freedom to that of bondage, for he himself oppressed with servitude the very people which he had rescued from foreign dominion. Sandrokottos, having thus gained the crown, held India at the time when Seleukos was laying the foundations of his future greatness. Seleukos came to an agreement with him, and, after settling affairs in the East, engaged in the war against Antigonos (302 B.C.).'

Besides Justinus, Appianus [c. 95 – c. AD 165)] (Syr. c. 55) makes mention of the war which Seleukos had with Sandrocottos or Chandragupta king of the Prasii, or, as they are called in the Indian language, Prachyas: [The adjective [x] in Aelianus On the Nature of Animals, xvii. 39 (Megasthen. Fragm. 13. init.) bears a very close resemblance to the Indian word Prachyas (that is 'dwellers in the East'). The substantive would be [x], and Schwanbeck (Megasthenis Indica, p. 82) thinks that this reading should probably be restored in Stephanus of Byzantium, where the MSS. exhibit [x], a form intermediate between [x] and [x]. But they are called [x] by Strabo, Arrianus, and Plinius; [x] in Plutarch (Alex. chap. 62), and frequently in Aeliauna; [x] by Nicolaiis of Damascus, and in the Florilegium of Stobaeus, 37, 38; [x] and [x] are the MS. readings in Diodorus, xvii. 93; Pharranii in Curtius, IX. ii. 3; Praesidae in Justinus, XII. viii. 9. See note on Fragm. 13.]—
'He (Seleukos) crossed the Indus and waged war on Sandrokottos, king of the Indians who dwelt about it, until he made friends and entered into relations of marriage with him.'

So also Strabo (xv. p. 724): —
'Seleukos Nikator gave to Sandrokottos' (sc. a large part of Ariane). Conf. p. 689: — 'The Indians afterwards held a large part of Ariane, (which they had received from the Makedonians), 'entering into marriage relations with him, and receiving in return five hundred elephants' (of which Sandrakottos had nine thousand— Plinius, vi. 22-5);

and Plutarch, Alex. 62:—
'For not long after, Androkottos, being king, presented Seleukos with five hundred elephants, and with six hundred thousand [600,000] men attacked and subdued all India.

Phylarchos (Fragm. 28) in Athenaeus, p. 18 D., refers to some other wonderful enough presents as being sent to Seleukos by Sandrokottos.

"Diodorus [90 B.C.-30 B.C.] (lib. xx.), in setting forth the affairs of Seleukos, has not said a single word about the Indian war. But it would be strange that that expedition should be mentioned so incidentally by other historians, if it were true, as many recent writers have contended, that Seleukos in this war reached the middle of India as far as the Ganges and the town Palimbothra, — nay, even advanced as far as the mouths of the Ganges, and therefore left Alexander far behind him. This baseless theory has been well refuted by Lassen (De Pentap. Ind. 61), by A. G. Schlegel (Berliner Calendar, 1829, p. 31 yet see see Benfey, Ersch. n. Gruber. Encycl. v. Indien, p. 67), and quite recently by Schwanbeck, in a work of great learning and value entitled Megasthenis Indica (Bonn 1846). In the first place, Schwanbeck (p. 13) mentions the passage of Justinus (I. ii. 10) where it is said that no one had entered India but Semiramis and Alexander; whence it would appear that the expedition of Seleukos was considered so insignificant by Trogus as not even to be on a par with the Indian war of Alexander. [Moreover, Schwanbeck calls attention (p. 14) to the words of Appianus (i. 1), whom when he says, somewhat inaccurately, that Sandrakottos was king of the Indians around the Indus([x]) he seems to mean that the war was carried on on the boundaries of India. But this is of no importance, for Appianus has [x], 'of the Indians around it,' as Schwanbeck himself has written it (p. 13).] Then he says that Arrianus, if he had known of that remote expedition of Seleukos, would doubtless have spoken differently in his Indika (c. 5. 4), where he says that Megasthenes did not travel over much of India, 'but yet more than those who invaded it along with Alexander the son or Philip.' Now in this passage the author could have compared Megasthenes much more suitably and easily with Seleukos. [The following passage of the Indian comedy Mudrarakshasa seems to favour the Indian expedition: — "Meanwhile Kusmuapura (i.e. Pataliputra, Palimbothra) the city of Chandragupta and the king of the mountain regions, was invested on every side, by the Kiratas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Persians, Baktrians, and the rest." But "that drama" (Schwanbeck, p. 18), "to follow the authority of Wilson, was written in the tenth century after Christ,— certainly ten centuries after Seleukos. When even the Indian historians have no authority in history, what proof can dramas give written after many centuries? Yavanas, which was also in later times the Indian name for the Greeks, was very anciently the name given to a certain nation which the Indians say dwelt on the north-western boundaries of India; and the same nation (Manu, x. 44) is also numbered with the Kambojas, the Sakas, the Paradas, the Pallavas, and the Kiratas as being corrupted among the Kshatriyas. (Conf. Lassen, Zeitschrift fur d. Kunde des Morgentandes, III p. 245). These Yavanas are to be understood in this passage also, where they are mentioned along with those tribes with which they are usually classed.] I pass over other proofs of less moment, nor indeed is it expedient to set forth in detail here all the reasons from which it is improbable of itself that the arms of Seleukos ever reached the region of the Ganges.

Let us now examine the passage in Plinius which causes man to adopt contrary opinions.
Plinius (Hist. Nat. vi. 21), after finding from Diognetos and Baeto the distances of the places from Portae Caspiae to the Huphasis, the end of Alexander's march, thus proceeds: — 'The other journeys made for Seleukos Nikator are as follows: One hundred and sixty-eight miles to the Hesidrus, and to the river Jomanes as many (some copies add five miles); from thence to the Ganges one hundred arid twelve miles. One hundred and nineteen miles to the Rhodophas (others give three hundred and twenty-five miles for this distance). To the town Kalinipaxa one hundred and sixty-seven. Five hundred (others give two hundred and sixty-five miles), and from thence to the confluence of the Jomanes and Ganges six hundred and twenty-five miles (several add thirteen miles), and to the town Palimbothra four hundred and twenty-five. To the mouth of the Ganges six hundred and thirty-eight' (or seven hundred and thirty-eight, to follow Schwanbeck's correction), — that is, six thousand stadia, as Megasthenes puts it.

"The ambiguous expression reliqua Seleuco Nicatori peragrata suat, translated above as 'the other journeys made, for Seleukos Nikator,' according to Schwanbeck's opinion, contain a dative 'of advantage,' and therefore can bear no other meaning. The reference is to the journeys of Megasthenes, Deimachos, and Patrokles, whom Seleukos had sent to explore the more remote regions of Asia. Nor is the statement of Plinius in a passage before this more distinct. ('India,') he says, 'was thrown open not only by the arms of Alexander the Great, and the kings who were his successors, of whom Seleucus and Antiochus even travelled to the Hyrcanian and Caspian seas, Patrocles being commander of their fleet, but all the Greek writers who stayed behind with the Indian kings (for instance, Megasthenes, and Dionysius, sent by Philadelphus for that purpose) have given accounts of the military force of each nation.' Schwanbeck thinks that the words circumsectis etiam ... Seleuco et Antiocho et Patrocle are properly meant to convey nothing but additional confirmation, and also an explanation how India was opened up by the arms of the kings who succeeded Alexander."

-- Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian; Being a Translation of the Fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes Collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the First Part of the Indika of Arrian, by J.W. McCrindle


preserve the three main terms of what I will call the Treaty of the Indus:17 [ ]

(i) Seleucus transferred to Chandragupta’s kingdom the easternmost satrapies of his empire, certainly Gandhara, Parapamisadae, and the eastern parts of Gedrosia,18 [ ] and possibly also Arachosia and Aria as far as Herat.19 [ ]
Some authors say that the argument relating to Seleucus handing over more of what is now southern Afghanistan is an exaggeration originating in a statement by Pliny the Elder referring not specifically to the lands received by Chandragupta, but rather to the various opinions of geographers regarding the definition of the word "India":

Most geographers, in fact, do not look upon India as bounded by the river Indus, but add to it the four satrapies of the Gedrose, the Arachotë, the Aria, and the Paropamisadë, the River Cophes thus forming the extreme boundary of India. According to other writers, however, all these territories, are reckoned as belonging to the country of the Aria. — Pliny, Natural History VI, 23


Nevertheless, it is usually considered today that Arachosia and the other three regions did become dominions of the Mauryan Empire.[citation needed]


(ii) Chandragupta gave Seleucus 500 Indian war elephants.20 [ ]

(iii) The two kings were joined by some kind of marriage alliance ([x] or [x]); most likely Chandragupta wed a female relative of Seleucus.21 [ ]
The alliance between Chandragupta[??] and Seleucus was affirmed with a marriage (Epigamia). Chandragupta[??] or his son may have married a daughter of Seleucus, or perhaps there was diplomatic recognition of intermarriage between Indians and Greeks.

-- Seleucus I Nicator, by Wikipedia

Having punished with a stern hand the misrule of his satraps, Macedonian and Persian alike, Alexander began to carry out schemes which he had formed. He had unbarred and unveiled the Orient to the knowledge and commerce of the Mediterranean peoples, but his aim was to do much more than this; it was no less than to fuse Asia and Europe into a homogeneous unity. He devised various means for compassing this object. He proposed to transplant Greeks and Macedonians into Asia, and Asiatics into Europe, as permanent settlers. This plan had indeed been partly realised by the foundation of his numerous mixed cities in the Far East. The second means was the promotion of intermarriages between Persians and Macedonians, and this policy was inaugurated in magnificent fashion at Susa. The king himself espoused Statira, the daughter of Darius; his friend Hephaestion took her sister; and a large number of Macedonian officers wedded the daughters of Persian grandees. Of the general mass of the Macedonians 10,000 are said to have followed the example of their officers and taken Asiatic wives; all those were liberally rewarded by Alexander. It is to be noticed that Alexander, already wedded to the princess of Sogdiana, adopted the polygamous custom of Persia; and he even married another royal lady, Parysatis, daughter of Ochus. These marriages were purely dictated by policy; for Alexander never came under the influence of women.

-- Chapter XVIII: The Conquest of the Far East, Excerpt from "History of Greece for Beginners", by J. B. Bury, M.A.

The Greek writers relate that the father of Sandrocottus was a man of low origin, being the son of a barber, whom the queen had married after putting her husband the king to death. He is called by Diodorus Siculus (16.93, 94) Xandrames, and by Q. Curtius (9.2) Aggrammes, the latter name being probably only a corruption of the former. This king sent his son Sandrocottus to Alexander the Great, who was then at the Hyphasis, and he is reported to have said that Alexander might easily have conquered the eastern parts of India, since the king was hated on account of his wickedness and the meanness of his birth. Justin likewise relates, that Sandrocottus saw Alexander, and that having offended him, he was ordered to be put to death, and escaped only by flight. Justin says nothing about his being the king's son, but simply relates that he was of obscure origin, and that after he escaped from Alexander he became the leader of a band of robbers, and finally obtained the supreme power...The name of Sandrocottus is written both by Plutarch and Appian Androcottus without the sibilant, and Athenaeus gives us the form Sandrocuptus (Σανδρόκυπτθς), which bears a much greater resemblance to the Hindu name than the common orthography. (Plut. Alex. 62 ; Justin, 15.4 ; Appian, Syr. 55 ; Strab. xv. pp. 702, 709, 724 ; Athen. 1.18e.; Arrian, Arr. Anab. 5.6.2; Plin. H. N. 6.17.)

-- Sandrocottus, by William Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

The discovery that the Sandrokottos of the Greeks was identical with the Chandragupta who figures in the Sanskrit annals and the Sanskrit drama was one of great moment, as it was the means of connecting Greek with Sanskrit literature, and of thereby supplying for the first time a date to early Indian history, which had not a single chronological landmark of its own. Diodoros distorts the name into Xandrames, and this again is distorted by Curtius into Agrarimes...

According to Eratosthenes, and Megasthenes who lived with Siburtios the satrap of Arachosia, and who, as he himself tells us, often visited Sandrakottos, the king of the Indians...

According to Megasthenes the mean breadth (of the Ganges) is 100 stadia, and its least depth 20 fathoms. At the meeting of this river and another is situated Palibothra, a city eighty stadia in length and fifteen in breadth. It is of the shape of a parallelogram, and is girded with a wooden wall, pierced with loopholes for the discharge of arrows. It has a ditch in front for defence and for receiving the sewage of the city. The people in whose country this city is situated is the most distinguished in all India, and is called the Prasii. The king, in addition to his family name, must adopt the surname of Palibothros, as Sandrakottos, for instance, did, to whom Megasthenes was sent on an embassy....

The Indians all live frugally, especially when in camp. They dislike a great undisciplined multitude, and consequently they observe good order. Theft is of very rare occurrence. Megasthenes says that those who were in the camp of Sandrakottos, wherein lay 400,000 men, found that the thefts reported on any one day did not exceed the value of two hundred drachmae, and this among a people who have no written laws, but are ignorant of writing, and must therefore in all the business of life trust to memory. They live, nevertheless, happily enough, being simple in their manners and frugal. They never drink wine except at sacrifices. [This wine was probably Soma juice.] Their beverage is a liquor composed from rice instead of barley, and their food is principally a rice-pottage. [Curry and rice, no doubt.] The simplicity of their laws and their contracts is proved by the fact that they seldom go to law. They have no suits about pledges or deposits, nor do they require either seals or witnesses, but make their deposits and confide in each other. Their houses and property they generally leave unguarded. These things indicate that they possess good, sober sense; but other things they do which one cannot approve: for instance, that they eat always alone, and that they have no fixed hours when meals are to be taken by all in common, but each one eats when he fools inclined. The contrary custom would be better for the ends of social and civil life....

The wild men could not be brought to Sandrakottos, for they refused to take food and died. Their heels are in front, and the instep and toes are turned backwards. [These wild men are mentioned both by Ketesias and Baeto. They were called Antipodes on account of the peculiar structure of their foot, and were reckoned among Aethiopian races, though they are often referred to in the Indian epics under the name Paschadangulajas, of which the [x] of Megasthenes is an exact translation. Vide Schwanb. 68.]

Some were brought to the court who had no mouths and were tame. They dwell near the sources of the Ganges, and subsist on the savour of roasted flesh and the perfumes of fruits and flowers, having instead of mouths orifices through which they breathe. They are distressed with things of evil smell, and 6 hence it is with difficulty they keep their hold on life, especially in a camp.

-- Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian; Being a Translation of the Fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes Collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the First Part of the Indika of Arrian, by J.W. McCrindle

Sir William Jones (1746-1794) deliberately identified 'Sandrocottus" mentioned by the Greeks as #ChandraguptaMaurya and declared that he was the contemporary of Alexander in 327-326 BCE...

Puranas tell us that Chandragupta Maurya ascended the throne by defeating the last Nanda king around 1500 BCE....

Therefore, #Samudragupta was the contemporary of Alexander in 327-326 BCE not Chandragupta Maurya...

The Greek scholars recorded the names of kings of India as Xandrames, and Sandrocottus. Western historians deliberately identified these names with those of Mahapadmananda or Dhanananda and Chandragupta Maurya. Xandrames was said to be the father of Sandrocottus. According to John W. McCrindle, Diodorus distorted the name "Sandrocottus" into Xandrames and this again is distorted by Curtius into Agrammes...

Seleucus Nikator also sent Deimachos on an embassy to Allitrocades or Amitrocades, the son of Sandrocottus. Western historians identified Allitrocades or Amitrocades to be Bindusara, the son of Chandragupta and concocted that Bindusara was also known as "Amitraghata". None of the Indian sources ever referred Bindusara as Amitraghata. Western historians deliberately created the word "Amitraghata" with some sort of resemblance...

Megasthenes described the system of city administration of Pataliputra but there is no similarity between the system described by Megasthenes and the system of city administration given in Kautilya Arthasastra. Megasthenes also stated that there was no slavery in India but Kautilya Arthasastra's Chapter 65 named "Dasakalpa" is solely devoted to the status of slaves among the Aryans and the Mlecchas. Probably, the slavery system that existed during Mauryan era has gradually declined by Gupta era. Thus, Megasthenes cannot be contemporary to Chandragupta Maurya.

Megasthenes not only often visited Palibothra but also stayed in the court of Sandrocottus for a few years. But he did not even mention about Kautilya or Chanakya who was the real kingmaker and also the patron of Chandragupta. No Greek scholar ever mentioned about Kautilya. Therefore, Megasthenes cannot be the contemporary to Chandragupta Maurya.

Greek scholars often mentioned that Sandrocottus was the king of the country called as Prasii (Prachi or Prachya). Pracha or Prachi means eastern country. During the Nanda and Mauryan era, Magadha kings were ruling almost entire India. Mauryan Empire was never referred in Indian sources as only Prachya desa or eastern country. Prachya desa was generally referred to Gupta Empire because Northern Saka Ksatrapas and Western Saka Ksatrapas were well established in North and West India. Megasthenes mentioned that Sandrocottus is the greatest king of the Indians and Poros is still greater than Sandrocottus which means a kingdom in the North-western region is still independent and enjoying at least equal status with the kingdom of Sandrocottus...

The Greek historian Plutarch mentioned that Androkottus (Sandrocottus) marched over the whole of India with an army of 600 thousand men. Chandragupta Maurya defeated Nandas under the leadership of Chanakya. There was no need for him to go on such expedition to conquer the whole of India because he has already inherited the Magadha kingdom of Nandas covering entire India. Actually, it was Samudragupta who overran the whole of India as details given in Allahabad pillar inscription.

According to Greek historians like Justinus, Appianus etc., Seleukos made friendship with Sandrocottus and entered into relations of marriage with him. Allahabad pillar inscription tells us that Samudragupta was offered their daughters in marriage (Kanyopayanadana ... ) by the kings in the North-west region. There is nothing in Indian sources to prove this fact with reference to Chandragupta Maurya...

The Jain work "Harivamsa" written by Jinasena gives the names of dynasties and kings and the duration of their rule after the nirvana of Mahavira. Jinasena mentions nothing about Mauryas but he tells us that Gupta kings ruled for 231 years. Western historians fixed the date of Mahavira-nirvana in 527 BCE which means Mauryas ruled after Mahavira-nirvana but Jaina Puranas and Jaina Pattavalis had no knowledge of Mauryas after Mahavira-nirvana. Thus, Mauryas ruled prior to Mahavira-nirvana. Therefore, Sandrocottus can only be identified with Samudragupta.

If Sandrocottus was indeed Chandragupta Maurya, why do none of the Greek sources mentioned about Asoka, the most illustrious and greatest of Mauryan kings? It is evident that Greek sources had no knowledge of Asoka. Therefore, the ancient Greeks were contemporaries to Gupta kings not Mauryas...

Interestingly, there is no reference of Alexander's invasion in Indian literary sources because it was actually a non-event for Indians...

Strabo once stated:
"Generally speaking, the men who have hitherto written on the affairs of India were a set of liars. Deimachos holds the first place in the list; Megasthenes comes next; while Onesikritos and Nearchos with others of the same class, manage to stammer out a few words of truth."...

If Samudragupta is accepted as Sandrocottus the contemporary Indian king of Alexander and the epoch of Saka coronation era in 583 BCE, there will be no conflict in the traditional Indian records and epigraphic records.

-- Who was Sandrocottus: Samudragupta or Chandragupta Maurya?, The Chronology of Ancient India, Victim of Concoctions and Distortions, by Vedveer Arya

I cannot help mentioning a discovery which accident threw in my way, though my proofs must be reserved for an essay which I have destined for the fourth volume of your Transactions. To fix the situation of that Palibothra (for there may have been several of the name) which was visited and described by Megasthenes, had always appeared a very difficult problem, for though it could not have been Prayaga, where no ancient metropolis ever stood, nor Canyacubja, which has no epithet at all resembling the word used by the Greeks; nor Gaur, otherwise called Lacshmanavati, which all know to be a town comparatively modern, yet we could not confidently decide that it was Pataliputra, though names and most circumstances nearly correspond, because that renowned capital extended from the confluence of the Sone and the Ganges to the site of Patna, while Palibothra stood at the junction of the Ganges and Erannoboas, which the accurate M. D'Anville had pronounced to be the Yamuna; but this only difficulty was removed, when I found in a classical Sanscrit book, near 2000 years old, that Hiranyabahu, or golden armed, which the Greeks changed into Erannoboas, or the river with a lovely murmur, was in fact another name for the Sona itself; though Megasthenes, from ignorance or inattention, has named them separately. This discovery led to another of greater moment, for Chandragupta, who, from a military adventurer, became like Sandracottus the sovereign of Upper Hindustan, actually fixed the seat of his empire at Pataliputra, where he received ambassadors from foreign princes; and was no other than that very Sandracottus who concluded a treaty with Seleucus Nicator; so that we have solved another problem, to which we before alluded, and may in round numbers consider the twelve and three hundredth years before Christ, as two certain epochs between Rama, who conquered Silan a few centuries after the flood, and Vicramaditya, who died at Ujjayini fifty-seven years before the beginning of our era.

-- Discourse X. Delivered February 28, 1793, P. 192, Excerpt from "Discourses Delivered Before the Asiatic Society: And Miscellaneous Papers, on The Religion, Poetry, Literature, Etc. of the Nations of India", by Sir William Jones

The terms are interrelated: Seleucus’ receipt of elephants is framed as an exchange (Strabo’s verb is [x], “I take in return”) for the territory or the marriage, and the marriage itself may have functioned as the security and guarantee of the treaty, with the ceded land considered a dowry.22 [ ]
In ancient Greek, diadochos is a noun (substantive or adjective) formed from the verb, diadechesthai, "succeed to," a compound of dia- and dechesthai, "receive." The word-set descends straightforwardly from Indo-European *dek-, "receive", the substantive forms being from the o-grade, *dok-. Some important English reflexes are dogma, "a received teaching," decent, "fit to be received," paradox, "against that which is received." The prefix dia- changes the meaning slightly to add a social expectation to the received. The diadochos expects to receive it, hence a successor in command or any other office.

-- Diadochi, by Wikipedia

Seleucus I Nicator was a Greek general and one of the Diadochi, the rival generals, relatives, and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death.

-- Seleucus I Nicator, by Wikipedia

This territory-for-elephants was mutually beneficial. Geopolitically, Seleucus abandoned territories he could never securely hold in favor of peace and security in the east: the treaty and elephants allowed him to turn his attention to his rival, Antigonus Monophthalmus, Syria and the Mediterranean.23 [ ] Chandragupta gained unchallenged expansion into India’s northwest corridor.24 [ ] His gift of elephants may have alleviated the burden of fodder and the return march. Ambassadors and caravans, not conquering armies, would now pass through the intermediate zone. Moreover, the fact and terms of the treaty were a recognition of equal, royal status for kings who lacked the legitimacy of appointment or inheritance. It is even possible that Seleucus used the occasion of this treaty – a wedding on the Indus? – for formally completing his long march from satrap to king.25 [ ]

The Treaty of the Indus was a constitutive act of the Hellenistic state system, creating the Seleucid empire’s eastern frontier by transferring land out of Seleucus’ control. This act of delimitation marked the boundary of Seleucid power and sovereign claims. As such, it was a radical departure from two centuries of Achaemenid and Alexandrian universalist pretensions. Persian kings had recognized no independent, equal monarchy to its east, and in Achaemenid geography, as far as it can be grasped through its Herodotean and Ctesian refractions, the world simply faded into nothingness beyond Persia’s imperial possessions in India. The eastern boundary of Alexander’s conquests was more problematic. From its outset, his anabasis had been a relentless march toward the eastern edge of the world; he was halted only at the Hyphasis river by an army mutiny, a form of internal historical agent entirely consistent with his empire’s effacement of external powers. By contrast, the termination of Seleucus’ eastern conquest was externally motivated. Seleucus, like Alexander, crossed the river Indus (a metonymy for royal invasion),26 [ ] but he met his equal, Chandragupta. In other words, diplomacy is to bounded political space what mutiny is to universal political space. The new world order’s multicentrism results in a historical narrative of multiple agency.

The terms of the treaty, no doubt much negotiated, indicate an economy of exchange. Space is convertible. Seleucid power was not yet embedded in a defined territory: its eastern lands function, like Chandragupta’s elephants, as one resource of the kingdom. The very fact of the treaty’s territorial clause indicates that land was still a possession to be negotiated over and divided up unproblematically. Moreover, the treaty created new spatial units, ignoring the boundaries of ethnic communities and the historical precedents of Achaemenid and Alexandrian imperialism.

The Treaty of the Indus satisfactorily secured the eastern periphery of the Seleucid empire and the western periphery of the Mauryan empire. The Seleucid frontier with the Indian kingdom, settled once and for all, never became an important location for the legitimating of monarchic identity through territorial claims or military aggression: there was no attempt to reconquer the ceded territories or to redraw the border, a clear contrast to the ping-pong regions of Coele Syria and Asia Minor. Likewise, the Mauryan kingdom, satisfied with its territorial gains in the northwest, appears to have turned its attentions eastward and southward.27 [ ] Friendly contacts were maintained by Seleucid diplomats resident in the Mauryan capital. Pataliputra (Gr. Palimbothra, mod. Patna), including, as we will see, Seleucus I’s envoy Megasthenes, and it is very probable that Chandragupta’s representatives were attached to the Seleucid court; his grandson Ashoka certainly sent them.28 [ ] Relations continued into the kingdoms’ second generation: Strabo reports that Megasthenes was replaced by Deimachus, ambassador of Seleucus’ successor, Antiochus I, to Chandragupta’s successor, Amitrochates (Bindusara).29 [ ]

In the new context of permanent, amicable diplomacy opened by the Treaty of the Indus, the land-for-elephants agreement was reperformed as regular, ceremonial gift-giving, exchanges that generated solidarity and renewed equality of rank, as in the Bronze Age “Great Powers” system of Amarna diplomacy,30 [ ] rather than functioning as unidirectional signs of subservience, as in Persepolitan imperialism.31 [ ] The Hellenistic historian Phylarchus, in a passage preserved by Athenaeus, indicates that Chandragupta sent Seleucus a gift package, including Indian aphrodisiacs.32 [ ] The incense trees that Seleucus attempted to import by sea from India33 [ ] and the tigers he sent to the Athenians (see Chapter 4) may well have originated as Chandragupta’s diplomatic gifts. Athenaeus repeats Hegesander’s report that Chandragupta’s son, Amitrochates (Bindusara), requested from Antiochus I wine, figs, and a sophist. Antiochus responded, [x], “The figs and sweet wine we will send you, but it is not lawful among the Greeks for a sophist to be sold.”34 [ ] This delightful passage demonstrates not only that the diplomatic gift exchange between the Seleucid and Mauryan kings was well known and recorded by contemporary authors but also that it was imagined to be open to curiosity, request, negotiation, and refusal: giving is complemented by keeping.35 [ ] The frequency with which the exchanged gifts appear to be of an ethnographic character may be a consequence of our sources’ paradographical preferences, but the sending of figs eastward or tigers westward could only reinforce the new world order’s assertion of independent, essentially external territories.
After Alexander’s conquest of Bactria and Sogdiana, the Indian satrapy was the only province of the Persian empire into which he had not carried his arms.

Satraps were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to the king, though with considerable autonomy. The word came to suggest tyranny or ostentatious splendour. A satrapy is the territory governed by a satrap.

-- Satrap, by Wikipedia

Of this province he must have gained some valuable knowledge from Sisikottos (Sasigupta), the Indian mercenary leader who transferred his services from Bactria to her conqueror. Alexander also received an embassy in Sogdiana from Omphis (Ambhi) of Takshasila (Taxila) which offered him the alliance of the Indian prince and sought the foreigner’s aid against his powerful neighbour Porus, the first recorded instance of an Indian seeking foreign aid against fellow Indians....

Alexander then proceeded to Nikaia (Greek for ‘city of victory’), a place that lay most likely on his route to the river Kabul. Here he offered a sacrifice to the goddess Athena, and met an Indian embassy headed by the king of Takshasila which ‘brought him such presents as are most esteemed by the Indians’ and gave him also all the elephants they had with them, twenty-five in number....

After the subjugation of the Aspasians, Alexander moved, according to Curtius, to the city of Nysa; Arrian records the visit in detail, but gives no indication of the position of Nysa, and is openly sceptical not only of the legendary details, but of the existence of the city itself. The inhabitants of Nysa offered no resistance, but sent an embassy with presents and claimed kinship with the Greeks on the score that their city had been founded by Dionysus and named after his nurse, Nysa, and that the Nysans were the descendants of his followers; the mountain near the city also bore the name Meros (thigh) because Dionysus grew, before his birth, in the thigh of Zeus. Nysa had remained a free city with its own laws ever since, and Alexander should permit them to continue as they were. ‘It gratified Alexander to hear all this' from Akuphis, the leader of the Nysan deputation, and he was not inclined to be too critical of legends that were pleasing to the ears of his soldiers, and promised him the glory of excelling the achievements of Dionysus. So he offered a sacrifice to his divine predecessor and confirmed his colony in the enjoyment of its ancient laws and liberty as an aristocratic republic....

Alexander now appointed Nicanor satrap of the country west of the Indus, and received the submission of Peucelaotis (Pushkalavati), the ancient capital of Gandhara, stationing a garrison of Macedonian soldiers in the city under the command of Philip....

When Alexander reached the bridge at Ohind, at the end of sixteen marches, he gave his army a rest of thirty days, entertaining them with games and contests. Here he was met by an embassy from Ambhi of Takshasila who had recently succeeded to his father’s throne, but was awaiting the arrival of Alexander to assume sovereignty. The embassy brought presents consisting of 200 talents of silver, 3,000 fat oxen, 10,000 sheep or more and 30 elephants; a force of 700 horsemen also came to the assistance of Alexander from the same prince and brought word that Ambhi surrendered into Alexander’s hands his capital Takshasila, ‘the greatest of all the cities between the river Indus and Kydaspes’....

As the invader approached Takshasila a strange incident occurred. When he was at a distance of some four miles from the city, he was met by a whole army drawn in battle order and elephants ranged in a line; Alexander suspected treachery and instructed his troops to prepare for a battle; but Ambhi seeing the mistake made by the Macedonians, left his army with a few friends and contrived to explain to Alexander, with the aid of an interpreter, that he meant not to fight, but to honour his foreign ally whose protection he had been soliciting for so long and with so much persistence. He surrendered himself, his army and kingdom into the hands of Alexander, and got them back as his favoured protege....

Alexander was entertained in Takshasila for three days with lavish hospitality, and on the fourth day he and his friends received presents of golden crowns and eighty talents of coined silver (Curtius). In his turn Alexander showed his gratification by sending to Ambhi a thousand talents from his spoils of war ‘along with many banqueting vessels of gold and silver, a vast quantity of Persian drapery, and thirty chargers from his own stalls, caparisoned as when ridden by himself'. Thus did a fraction of the loot from the store-houses of the old Persian kings find its lodgement in the palace of Takshasila....it secured for him an additional force of five thousand men and the unfailing loyalty of a most useful ally. Embassies from Indian princes met Alexander here with presents and declared their submission to him; even Abhisares of the hill country sent his brother....


He posted Philip, the son of Machatus, at the head of a garrison, as satrap of Takshasila and its neighbourhood, and began his march to the Jhelum with his own army and the Taxilan contingent of 5,000 men commanded by their king in person....

The generals soon developed a stout opposition to further advance into India, and Seleucus, who had seen something of the Indian elephants in the battle of the Jhelum, when he became king, was ready to cede whole provinces in order to secure an adequate number of these noble animals for his army....

Porus himself, mounted on a tall elephant, not only directed the movements of his forces but fought on to the very end of the contest; he then received a wound on his right shoulder, the only unprotected part of his body, all the rest of his person being rendered shot-proof by a coat of mail remarkable for its strength and closeness of fit; he now turned his elephant and began to retire....at last Meroes (Maurya?), an old friend of Porus, persuaded him to hear the message of Alexander....Alexander, who was the first to speak, requested Porus to say how he wished to be treated. ‘Treat me, O Alexander! as befits a king’ was the answer of Porus. Pleased with it, Alexander replied; ‘For mine own sake, O Porus! thou shalt be so treated, but do thou, in thine own behalf, ask for whatever boon thou pleasest' to which Porus said that everything was included in what he had asked. Alexander not only reinstated Porus in his kingdom, but added to it territory of still greater extent. Thus the Paurava took his place in the world-empire of Alexander for a time by the side of his old enemy, the king of Takshasila. Possibly Alexander meant that they should be a check on each other....

When Alexander took the field again with a select division of horse and foot, he invaded the land of the Glausai or Glauganikai (Glauchukayanas) as they were called, a free tribe on the western bank of the Akesines (Chenab) living in thirty-seven cities of between five and ten thousand inhabitants each and a multitude of villages. These people were now placed under the rule of the Paurava against whom they had maintained their independence for so long. From here Taxiles, now reconciled to Porus, was sent back to his capital. The Raja of Abhisara, who could not join the Paurava before the battle of the Jhelum, now sent his brother with forty elephants and a money present to renew the protestations of his friendship to Alexander and offer the surrender of himself and his kingdom into his hands; Alexander demanded the presence of Abhisares in person, adding that if he failed to come Alexander might go himself with his army to look for him. Envoys came also from another Porus across the Chenab, perhaps a relative, but no friend, of the great Paurava....

Alexander now pressed on to the next river, Hydraotes (Ravi), ‘not less in breadth than the Akesines, but not so rapid', leaving garrisons at suitable places along his route to secure his communications. From the banks of that river he despatched Hephaestion with enough troops into the territory of the younger Porus, who had abandoned his country with a handful of followers when he learned of the esteem of Alexander for the other Paurava. Hephaestion was to reduce the territory of the fugitive Porus and of all the independent tribes on the banks of the Ravi, and add it to the kingdom of the great Paurava...

Within two days of his crossing the Ravi, Alexander had received the submission of Pimprama (unidentified), the city of the Adraistai (Adhrshtas or, according to Jayaswal, Arishtas), But the Kathaians of Sangala camped under shelter of a low hill outside the city and offered a determined resistance from behind a triple barricade of wagons. Finding his cavalry of no avail against the enemy, Alexander led the infantry on foot and after much hard fighting, compelled the Indians to seek refuge behind the city walls. Alexander now closely invested the city, and Porus joined him with a force, of 5,000 Indians and several elephants...

While he was encamped on the Beas, Alexander was told by a chieftain named Bhagala (Panini knew the name) about the extent and power of the Nanda empire, and Porus confirmed his statements. Such information whetted Alexander’s eagerness to advance further; but his troops, especially the Macedonians, had begun to lose heart at the thought of the distance they had travelled from their homes and the hardships and dangers they had been called upon to face after their entry into India. And at the Beas the army mutinied and refused to march further....

The country west of the Beas was committed to the charge of Porus—‘Seven nations in all, containing more than 2,000 cities’. While he was making preparations on the Chenab for his voyage to the sea, he received another embassy from Abhisares accompanied by Arsakes, ruler of the neighbouring country of Urasa; Abhisares himself was ill and could not come, as the ambassadors Alexander had sent to him attested. Abhisares was now made satrap of his own dominions and Arsakes placed under him.

-- Chapter II: Alexander's Campaigns in India, Excerpt from "Age of the Nandas and Mauryas", by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34239
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Sep 07, 2021 1:03 pm

Part 2 of 3

Almost a century after Seleucus I had given land for peace, the greatest of his successors, Antiochus III, led a new imperial army into India. No Seleucid ruler had penetrated to the distant eastern borders of the kingdom since Seleucus Nicator had delineated them at the Treaty of the Indus. Polybius describes this second encounter of Seleucid and Indian monarchs:

[Antiochus III] crossed the Caucasus and descended into India, renewed his friendship ([x]) with Sophagasenus, king of the Indians ([x]), and received more elephants, raising their number to a total of one hundred and fifty, and provisioned his army once more on the spot. He himself broke camp with his troops, leaving behind Androsthenes of Cyzicus to bring back the treasure which the king (Sophagasenus) had agreed to give him.36 [ ]


King Sophagasenus, a name probably derived from Subhagasena,37 [ ] is here identified as [x], "the king of the Indians." This title falsely suggests a unified Indian kingdom such as Chandragupta's: a projection of imperial stability in line with Antiochus III's own internally rejuvenating objectives. In fact, the Mauryan state entity had disintegrated, for various reasons, following the death of Ashoka in 232; Sophagasenus was ruler of a northwestern splinter kingdom. Without doubt, the "renewal of friendship" was imposed from a position of strength on the Indian king by the sudden arrival of a large, well-tested, recently reinforced and rested army. In practical terms, it was not an alliance between equals: Androsthenes of Cyzicus was left behind to transport Sophagasenus' own treasure, while king Antiochus simply took the elephants (compare his [x] "taking the elephants" with Seleucus I's [x] "taking in return the elephants"; that is, seizure versus reciprocal exchange38 [ ]). Given his immediate, on-the-ground advantages, it is striking that Antiochus III neither claimed superiority of status nor attempted to integrate these trans-Caucasian territories into his imperial structure, a clear contrast with his actions earlier in his eastern expedition, where he had framed a similar payment from Xerxes, the local ruler of Armenia, as the legitimate extraction of long-overdue tribute39 [ ] and had made an extraordinary, but ultimately unsuccessful, effort to avoid recognizing the royal status and independence of Euthydemus of Bactria.40 [ ]Antiochus' activities in India are explicitly considered an act of renewal. The encounter of Antiochus and Sophagasenus is very clearly framed as a historical reenactment of the Seleucus-Chandragupta Treaty of the Indus ([x], "he renewed the friendship"), guaranteeing amicable relations and uncontested boundaries between the Seleucid and Indian kingdoms by means of, as before, mutual recognition of equivalent status and the gift of elephants. The continuity is, as we have seen, an engineered ideological fiction. Antiochus' actions in northwestern India, a curious combination of compulsion and renunciation, demonstrate his unproblematic acceptance of the Treaty of the Indus and its century-old territorial transfer. Despite marching his army over the Hindu Kush, Antiochus made no attempt to "conquer" India. Rather, he acknowledged the spatial limitation of his own sovereignty, which is to say, the boundedness of Seleucid imperial territory. As we will see in Chapter 5, Antiochus' changed behavior on crossing the border constitutes a kind of threshold ritual: the king distinguished, in his own person, interior from exterior, Seleucid from non-Seleucid territory.

Demonstrably, the Treaty of the Indus retained its salience within the kingdom's official dynastic memory, both as a magnificent episode of grand royal encounter and as a first act of territorial delimitation.41 [ ] In addition to its continued geopolitical importance, the peace treaty also provided the ideological motivation and diplomatic conditions for perhaps the greatest and most influential literary work of the Seleucid court -- the Indica of Megasthenes, Seleucus' envoy to the Mauryan court -- to which we now turn.

Megasthenes' Indica

Seleucus 1's relationship with India was complex. On the one hand, his kingdom's security and ultimate success were founded on his relationship with the Mauryan empire: the 500 war elephants received from Chandragupta defeated Antigonus Monophthalmus at Ipsus in 301.42 [ ] Seleucus' coinage and the kingdom's official historiography depicted the Treaty of the Indus as a success and celebrated it accordingly.43 [ ] On the other hand, Seleucus had abandoned the very territories in which he had first achieved prominence; he had diminished, not extended, Macedonian rule; Alexander's Graeco-Macedonian settlers in the Hindu Kush would now be Yona minorities on the periphery of the Indian kingdom. So when Seleucus was toasted as [x], "elephant-commander," at the banquets of his rival, Demetrius Poliorcetes, the son of Antigonus Monophthalmus, it is likely that he was being mocked for his withdrawal from India, much as Agathodes of Syracuse, whose dream to expand from Sicily to Africa had recently collapsed, was hailed as [x] "island-commander," at the same feast.44 [ ]

I will argue here that Megasthenes' ethnography of India, as a sensitive engagement with the new, multipolar world order, attempted to neutralize this embarrassing, ideologically confusing contradiction. We will see that the ethnography legitimized Seleucus' formal renunciation of the Macedonian conquests in India, reformulated Indian geography to naturalize the post-treaty Mauryan-Seleucid border, and established India as an analogous kingdom for thinking through Seleucid state formation. More generally, an examination of Megasthenes' Indica, the best known and preserved of a host of ethnographies written for the Seleucid kingdom in its pioneering phase, will uncover the considerable energies devoted to generating, ordering, and deploying a governmentally useful spatial knowledge.

Even though historical narrative and monarchic ideology inevitably emplot the Treaty of the Indus as the meeting of two great rulers, it cannot be doubted that the negotiations were parleyed by Indian and Graeco-Macedonian regional experts. It is possible that Megasthenes was Seleucus' main negotiator in 305/4,45 [ ] probable that he was the main literary source for the diplomatic terms,46 [ ] and certain that he was the Seleucid ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya, at Pataliputra on the Ganges; the Appendix discusses the testimonia for Megasthenes' career. At some point during or after his tenure as ambassador, Megasthenes published an ethnographic treatise, titled Indica. The work, like so much of Hellenistic literature, has not survived from antiquity in its own right47 [ ] and so must be reconstructed from the quotations, paraphrases, and allusions of later, extant authors. But we are unusually lucky: the rise of Parthia, the emancipation of Graeco-Bactria, and the collapse of the Mauryan empire after Ashoka's death restricted land access to the Ganges; the discovery of the Gulf trade winds (and the consequent commerce in Indian luxuries) in the first century exploited the west Indian littoral rather than the country's interior. As a result, Megasthenes' Indica was established as the most authoritative ethnography of the Gangetic basin, quickly becoming the standard description of the Indian interior.48 [ ] Extensive and overlapping portions of the Indica have been preserved in Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, and Arrian, as well as brief but eye-catching passages in the Jewish/Christian and paradoxographical literary traditions.49 [ ] Broad similarities of content as well as specific equivalences of vocabulary and phrase permit a relatively unproblematic identification of Megasthenes' material even when he is not explicitly named. 50 [ ] The reconstruction of the work's structure and internal logic is greatly aided both by the unity of Diodorus' epitome and by a basic similarity to Hecataeus of Abdera's Aigyptiaca.51 [ ] It is likely that Megasthenes wrote the Indica in three books:52 [ ] the first discussed India's geography, natural history, and climate; the second, the country's primitive life, early civilization, and historical developments; the third, the customs and administration of the contemporary Mauryan state.

The Indica's historical account narrated a culture myth, explicitly represented as indigenous Indian tradition, of the transformation of Indian society by a conquering Dionysus and an autochthonous Heracles.53 [ ] Such "ascent of man" narratives were regularly treated in universal histories and ethnographic treatises.54 [ ] The Indica's Kulturgeschichte establish the important ethnographic principles and patterns of historical causation that the work will systematically deploy. Accordingly, they playa central role in the logic of Megasthenes' Seleucid apology: as the modalities of cultural formation play out over the course of Indian history, Seleucus' territorial abandonment is made inevitable.

Prehistoric India, that is, India before the arrival of Dionysus and the beginnings of cultural memory, is a world without cities. In the characterization of primitive India's state of nature, this absence is mentioned first and functions as the primary and determinant condition for all other barbarous behaviors:

Long ago the Indians were nomads, just like the nonagricultural Scythians, who, wandering in their wagons, exchange one part of Scythia for another at one time or another ([x]), neither inhabiting cities nor honoring shrines of the gods ([x]). 55 [ ]


In Megasthenes' stagist model, the earliest condition of Indian man was indicated not only by a lack of urbanism or religious piety but also by an absence of territoriality. Indian space was unmarked and expansive and, like the Scythian steppe, uninvested with meaning; it could be abandoned willy-nilly (effectively underlined by the juxtaposition [x]). The Indica's language here is strikingly Herodotean, and the comparison clearly points toward Herodotus' Scythian ethnography.56 [ ] Megasthenes' account moves on emphatically to associate the absence of cities and religion with the stock elements of a generic barbarity: wearing skins, not clothes; eating bark, not grain; devouring meat raw, not cooked.57 [ ] This absence of cities is, for Megasthenes, the very condition of Dionysus' conquest. India is an open, accessible space: "[Dionysus] overran all of India, since there was no important city ([x]) powerful enough to oppose him.58 [ ] India could be conquered because the Indians were nomads. Megasthenes establishes a connection between urban power and resistance to conquest that resonates throughout his treatise.

Dionysus' invasion puts an end to this timeless, primitive India. Arrian paraphrases:

When Dionysus came and became master of the Indians he founded cities and established laws in the cities ([x]), he dispensed wine to the Indians, just as to the Greeks, he taught them to sow the land, giving them seeds . .. Dionysus was the first to yoke the oxen to the plough, and made the majority of Indians agriculturalists instead of nomads; he also armed them with weapons of war. Dionysus also taught them to worship other gods, but himself most of all, clashing cymbals and playing drums.59 [ ]


Megasthenes has avoided the naturalistic, impersonal, random, and gradualist historical anthropology associated with Democritus, Protagoras, and Dicaearchus60 [ ] in favor of Dionysus' momentous role as benefactor, teacher, and inventor. Culture arrives with monarchy: Megasthenes' Kulturgeschichte construct, with other early Hellenistic texts, an image of the monarchic monopoly of historical agency, the royal profile of master-builder, and the cocreation of a political and spatial centrality.61 [ ] And, as in much of Hellenistic literature, Dionysus' violence is suppressed; though bearing the cult-title [x] or [x] ("devourer of raw flesh") in the Greek world, he leads Megasthenes' Indians from the raw to the cooked.62 [ ] Alongside the standardly Bacchic satyric dance, long hair, perfumery, invention of wine, and visibility of women, the continued performances of which were witnessed in India at the time of Alexander's invasion, it is Dionysus' role as city founder that is most unusual and striking. Just as the lack of cities was primitive life's first mentioned and fundamental absence, so the creation of cities is the first mentioned act of civilization and the requirement for associated cultural processes. In Diodorus' parallel account, Dionysus' urban foundations invest the landscape with difference: the unstriated space of prehistoric India is now marked with value ([x], "well-placed sites") where the cities are located.63 [ ] Moreover, Diodorus' Dionysus is an oecist of [x], "important cities": the diction here responds directly to primitive India's absence of a single important city, which was, as we have seen, the precondition of Dionysus' very conquest.

Dionysus' city-founding activities abolish the very circumstance that permitted the success of his own invasion, making it a unique episode in Indian history. Dionysus is also the inventor of Indian warfare, arming the population with weapons of war and influencing their battle order, which obviously goes hand in hand with the land's new urban defensibility. Alongside its generic civilizing function, therefore, the invasion of Dionysus operates as a guarantee of India's future isolation and impregnability, characteristics which Megasthenes' ethnographic descriptions and continued historical narrative repeatedly emphasize. As demonstrated by the failure of all subsequent invasions (see later), this foundational act transforms a penetrable, open space into a closed, fortified, and unconquerable territory.

The Indica introduces a second civilizing superman, Heracles, fifteen generations after Dionysus' invasion; as before, the account is attributed to Indian authority.64 [ ] In accordance with the now established ethnographic principle, Heracles is no invader. Despite the similarity of his clothing and weapon to those of the Theban hero,65 [ ] the new impregnability and inaccessibility of the land require that he be an autochthonous son of India. In addition to purging land and sea of wild beasts,66 [ ] we are told that Heracles "was the founder of not a few cities ([x]), the most distinguished and largest of which he called Palimbothra. In it he built an expensive palace and established a great number of settlers; he fortified the city with worthy ditches filled with river water ([x]."67 [ ] Heracles continues the urbanization, and thus fortification, of India on a grand scale ([x]). Palimbothra, the Mauryan capital. Pataliputra, stands out as the only named city. That it is founded by Heracles, not Dionysus (i.e., its emergence in the second, not the first, stage of cultural development), may encode the city's late rise to primacy under the last Nandas and Chandragupta.68 [ ] The adjective [x], appears again, here qualifying the city's defensive works ([x]) -- precisely the feature of urbanism that Megasthenes' ethnographic principle should underline.

The ethnographic logic outlined in Indian prehistory -- the correlation of urbanism and unconquerability -- plays out in Megasthenes' discussion of contemporary India. By the time of Megasthenes' sojourn there, he reports that progressive urbanization has transformed India from an empty expanse of aimless nomadic wanderings into a land garrisoned by countless cities: "One cannot enumerate accurately the cities in India because of their number."69 [ ] The Indica's description of Palimbothra should be understood as the culminating instantiation of this development. Having established the city as the index of indigenous power, Megasthenes deploys this principle in the synchronous ethnography of his third book to demonstrate the might of the new Mauryan kingdom:

At the junction of this (the Ganges) and the other river (the Erranoboas, mod. Son), Palimbothra was established, eighty stades in length, fifteen in width, in the shape of a parallelogram, surrounded by a perforated wooden construction, such that arrows can be shot through the holes. A ditch lies in front, as a defense and as a reservoir for the sewerage from the city. The ethnos in which the city is located is called the Prasii, and is the most distinguished of all. The ruler must be named after the city ([x]), called "Palimbothros'" in addition to his family name, such as Sandrocottus to whom Megasthenes was sent.70 [ ]


The capital city of the Mauryan kingdom is the largest of all Indian urban foundations, populated by the most distinguished of all Indian tribes. We can note Megasthenes' careful enumeration of Palimbothra's unimaginably large size.71 [ ] As in the account of its foundation by Heracles (given earlier), the city's defenses receive the most attention. The large wooden palisade, uncovered by the late nineteenth-century excavations,72 [ ] the 570 towers,73 [ ] the network of arrow slits, and the encircling ditch [x], "for defense," make this city a bastion against foreign conquest. Importantly, a direct identification is made between city and king: the Mauryan emperor takes the city's name as a royal title, eliding the city's impregnability with his own invincibility. Moreover, the Indica, describing the contemporary Mauryan administration, delineated six groups of city administrators, assigned to various tasks of urban construction and upkeep74 [ ] and so underscores the importance of a city bureaucracy. The city/Palimbothra is the fixed and unmoving point that makes it possible for Indian space to constitute itself as a territory ruled by a power.

In the context of earlier Greek Indography, Megasthenes' urbanism is doubly radical. First, city foundation gives a temporal structure to Indian history. Herodotus' India is populated by nomadic and settled peoples concurrently: [x], "There are many tribes of Indians, and they do not all speak the same language; some are nomads, others not."75 [ ] Megasthenes transforms this uncomplicated and synchronic [x] opposition into a diachronic stagism. Indian history can now be periodized into preurban and urban eras. In doing so, he gives India the chronological depth it was denied in earlier paradoxographical, edge-of-the-earth ethnographies. It is important to note that the cultural heroism of Dionysus and Heracles and the urban trajectory of Indian history do not eradicate nomadism in its entirety. Megasthenes, describing contemporary Mauryan Society in the Indica's third book, observes that nomadism has been shifted to the mountainous margins of the Mauryan kingdom and incorporated as a specific economic occupation within the monarch-centered "caste system": the shepherds and hunters, the third [x] or "class," "live a wandering tent-living existence";76 [ ] "they do not live in cities or villages, but are nomads and live up in the mountains,"77 [ ] They receive a regular food allowance from the king in return for freeing the land from wild beasts. That is to say, the single civilizing act of Heracles has become the socially embedded caste identity of a particular group, whose marginal, nomadic existence guarantees the settled, urban life for the rest of the kingdom. The Mauryan kingdom accomplishes its own ever-renewing cultural heroism through occupational differentiation. Similarly, Megasthenes tells of ascetic Garmanes, who enact a conscious primitivism, living in the wild, gathering fruit, refraining from wine, clothed in the bark of trees.78 [ ] The primitive lifestyle functions here, just as for the Cynics in Greece, as an entirely modern rejection of the urban; its cultural forms depend on the Kulturgeschichte outlined earlier.

Second, Megasthenes has inverted a key and ubiquitous principle of Greek ethnography. As we have seen, his description of primitive India makes clear reference to Herodotus' Scythian logoi, paralleling early Indian and contemporary Scythian nonagricultural nomads. One of the most famous passages in all of Herodotus' histories is his statement that Scythian nomadism was the greatest of all human discoveries because it was the key to unconquerability:

But the Scythian people has made the cleverest discovery that we know in what is the most important of all human affairs; I do not praise the Scythians in all respects, but in this, the most important: that they have contrived that no one who attacks them can escape, and no one can catch them if they do not want to be found. For when men have no established cities or forts ([x]), but are all nomads and mounted archers, not living by tilling the soil but by raising cattle and carrying their dwellings on wagons, how can they not be invincible and unapproachable ([x])?79 [ ]


The causation could not be clearer. Herodotus' Scythians are [x], "invincible and unapproachable," because they are nomads. Scythian nomadism is a cultural discovery, a strategy of space, and a deliberate choice. It is not associated, as in Megasthenes, with primitivism: the Scythians sacrifice, cook, and wear clothes. Rather, in Hartog's felicitous formulation, nomadism is a strategy which is in addition a way of life.80 [ ] And it works: Herodotus is emphatic that Darius I's great invasion of Scythia failed because of the absence of cities. Comparable assertions of nomadic unconquerability recur throughout post-Herodotean ethnography and historiography. In Arrian's Bithynica, for example, contemporary Scythian nomadism is represented as a historically situated rejection of an earlier farming and urban phase, when the settled Scythians had been overrun by the Thracians.81 [ ] Similarly, for Hieronymus of Cardia, a peer of Megasthenes, the Nabataeans of Arabia secured their independence from Antigonid aggression by means of their dogmatic opposition to settled habitation and agriculture;82 [ ] for Agatharchides, nomadism had allowed the Nabataeans to successfully resist Assyrian, Persian, and Macedonian imperial ambitions.83 [ ] A passage in Quintus Curtius Rufus, most likely deriving from Cleitarchus84 [ ] (another contemporary), depicts a Sacan embassy's use of this trope in an attempt to deter Alexander from crossing the Iaxartes river in Central Asia.85 [ ] Greek ethnographic literature in general characterized the nomadic life as permanently hostile and aggressive.86 [ ] In striking contrast, nomadism in Megasthenes' Indica functions as a vulnerability. It is an aberrant way of life, defined only by its deficiencies. Megasthenes represents Indian nomadism as anterior, primitive, and unmarked. It is the baseline of existence, superseded by cultural discovery. Nomadism, that is to say, the absence of cities, allows Dionysus' invasion to succeed.

Can we trace the genealogy of Megasthenes' inversion? I would suggest that the Indica's principle of urban defensibility is a sensitive response to two, perhaps three, traditions. In the historiographical tradition's accounts of prehistory, the civilizing quality of city foundation appears in several instances of comprehensive cultural heroism but does not have a defensive function.87 [ ] We must look, instead, to strands of fifth- and fourth-century Greek Kulturgeschichte. Here the independent city-state naturally manifested the telos of the civilizing process, and nomadism the primordial state of nature out of which humanity laboriously dragged itself. The primitive nomad was an exposed, vulnerable being, culturally naked, and defenseless against beast and nature.88 [ ] For certain naturalistic models, perhaps deriving from Democritean anthropology,89 [ ] city foundation was motivated by communal defensive requirements, albeit of a limited and local nature.90 [ ] Aristotle's model of heroic kingship's benefactions focuses, like that of Megasthenes, on synoecism and defensibility.91 [ ]

Political and military activities of the fourth century manifest a growing awareness of the transformative potential of urban foundations. The first major demonstrations of a deliberate urbanistic strategy within Greece were the Theban general Epaminondas' synoecisms of Messene and Megalopolis in the 360s as bastions against Sparta: Megalopolis is considered explicitly a defensive foundation to strengthen Arcadian resistance.92 [ ] However, this is not quite the urbanism of Megasthenes' ethnography. Peloponnesian synoecism was more a matter of politics than space, associated with people power and an anti-Spartan foreign policy, which threatened the alliance of oligarchic interests on which Lacedaemon's soft imperialism in the Peloponnese depended.93 [ ] Moreover, there is an important distinction between city foundation as the generating act of a single, independent political community, such as Megalopolis or Messene, and urbanization as a form of nodal, defensible power in the creation of an expansive, territorial. monarchic state. This second type, separating a city's military function from any autonomous political pretensions, developed as a spatial strategy of the Macedonian kingdom.94 [ ] Philip II's numerous fortified settlements, concentrated in Thrace and Upper Macedonia, were primary foundations of previously nonurbanized peoples, designed to bring security to rugged areas.95 [ ]

It seems that Megasthenes combined the practical motivation behind Macedonian kings' urbanization and the theoretical musings of prehistoric anthropology into an ethnographic causal principle. Moreover, the possibility of Mesopotamian influence should not be ignored. The primacy of city foundation, the single moment of cultural heroism, the divine identity of the founder figure, the co creation of urbanism and religion, the polarity of nomad and city, and the coexistence of multiple urban foundations within a single kingdom are all elements, albeit not explicitly theorized, of Babylonian genesis accounts.96 [ ] It is not impossible, given Megasthenes' praise of Nebuchadnezzar II (see later) and his attachment to the Seleucid court, as well as Seleucus' own participation in Babylonian religious culture, that these Near Eastern myths helped to shape the Indica's prehistory.

The Indica's emphatic urbanism, a historical trajectory culminating in the contemporary Mauryan empire and its megalopolis of Palimbothra, has an apologetic function. The founding of cities means the closing of India. By the time of Megasthenes, the country is, quite simply, unconquerable and Seleucus' treaty with "Sandrocottus-Palimbothros" is a recognition of this basic power reality.97 [ ] Moreover, the ethnographic principle encoded in the Indica's Kulturgeschichte, historical narrative, and contemporary ethnography is an eminently suitable representation of Seleucus' own city-founding activities. That is to say, Megasthenes does not merely legitimate a territorial retreat but also, perhaps more importantly, transforms this limiting of Seleucid imperial space into an act of cultural self-identification. The Indica's urbanism is a valorizing affirmation of one of the central acts of early Seleucid monarchy-city foundation. The identity of city and king is a reflection of early Hellenistic practice: the Indian monarch was named after his capital, the Seleucid cities were named after their monarchs. As we will see in Chapter 7, Megasthenes' transformative, civilizing, territorializing, defensive, royal, administrative city is the Seleucid colony in its essence. In addition to rewriting Indian history, Megasthenes reformulated Indian geography. His ethnography created the spatial field in which his account of India's historical, cultural, and political dynamics play out,98 [ ] and this cartography differed strikingly from both classical-period Indographers and the Alexander Historians. Pre-Megasthenic Indian geography displays a broadly stable structure: the most civilized core of "India" is the Indus river basin, paradoxically frontier, center, and main artery of travel;99 ] ] to the river's east and south one meets a progressively increasing strangeness, utopianism, or barbarism, as is to be expected from the edge of the world. For Herodotus, presumably using the report of Scylax of Caryanda, who had been commissioned by the Achaemenid king Darius I to explore the region, 100 [ ] the land beyond the Indus just fades away:101 [ ] black-skinned vegetarians to the south, nomads to the east, and eventually an impenetrable, waterless desert.102 [ ] For Ctesias of Cnidus, writing a generation later, India was still the territory watered by the river Indus103 [ ] and enclosed by the great sand desert in the east104 [ ] but was now a unified vassal kingdom of Persia.105 [ ] Ctesias, in an important precedent for Megasthenes, linked the freakish margins to the ruler: the Pygmies, found deep in the heart of India, serve in the royal army,106 [ ] and the Dogheads, who live between the Indus and the mountains, receive gifts from the royal court every five years.107 [ ] Alexander's campaigning in India (326-325) had permitted, for the first time since Scylax' expedition, autopsy and firsthand investigation,108 [ ] and therefore in the Alexander Historians the land's geography has a finer grain and wider horizons;109 [ ] however, the Macedonian army's restriction to the Punjab maintained the primacy of the Indus valley in narrative and geography. In sum, then, Indian geography before Megasthenes reproduced the Indus-centered Achaemenid dahayaus, or provincial district, of Hindus:110 [ ] Herodotus and Ctesias respond to Persian imperial structures, the Alexander Historians to the revitalization of Achaemenid territory and Herodotus' relevance in the new world.111 [ ] As we will see elsewhere, the seismic rupture in the classical worldview occurs not with Alexander but after his death.112 [ ]
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34239
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Wed Sep 08, 2021 10:25 pm

Part 3 of 3

Megasthenes changed the shape of India, rotating it ninety degrees and reducing its size.113 [ ] The country no longer fades off toward an impenetrable desert or an undetermined margin. India now has a terminal, Oceanic boundary to the south and east as well as the long-recognized one to the west:114 [ ] where Alexander's unrelenting quest for the eastern edge of the world had failed, Megasthenes' diplomatic mission succeeds. That one can now circumnavigate India and sail from the ocean up the Ganges to the Mauryan capital, Palimbothra,115 [ ] will prove important for the imaginary voyage of the Seleucid geographer Patrocles, discussed in Chapter 2. Most important of all, India is now centered on the Ganges, not Indus, valley: the first and third books in particular privilege the ethnos of the Prasii, the city of Palimbothra, and the royal administration located there. This is the inevitable geographical consequence of Chandragupta's unification of northern India around the Gangetic core of Maghada and Megasthenes' diplomatic residence in Pataliputra, the imperial capital: Megasthenes' eye gazes out from the Mauryan heartland. We have seen that in earlier Indography, the river Indus was made to function, oddly, as both center and border. Megasthenes resolves this awkwardness. Whereas the Indus flowed at the edge of the country, the Ganges meandered through its core, with India on both sides.116 [ ] Palimbothra, stretching along the northern bank of India's main river, functions as the point from which geographical distance is now measured.117 [ ] Indeed, the notion of a capital city abutting a central river is familiar from the new urban foundations of the Seleucid empire: Seleucia-on- the-Tigris, with which Palimbothra suggestively shares some basic characteristics, 118 [ ] and Antioch-by-Daphne.

The spatializing operation of the Indica not only focalizes a new center but also delineates a periphery. No Indica would be complete, or believable, without its wonders. Just as the Gangetic core of the Mauryan state is associated with normative humanity in its recognizable form, so the kingdom's boundaries are the site of various freakish phenomena. This is achieved, in part, through a Herodotean zoning of information by autopsy or report. For example, the gold-digging ants, whose skins had been observed by Alexander's general Nearchus in the Macedonian camp on the Indus are known to Megasthenes through [x], "oral report," alone.119 [ ] The gynocracy of Pandaea, where nature is accelerated, is found to the south of the Mauryan kingdom: women give birth at age six or seven, men die before their fortieth year, fruits mature and decay more quickly.120 [ ] The gold and pearls of Taprobane (Sri Lanka) are larger and more abundant than elsewhere in India.121 [ ] Megasthenes populates the mountains of India's northwestern frontier with peoples freakish in nomos (human custom), such as having sex in public or eating their dead relatives, and bizarre in physis (nature), such as having no mouths or noses, sleeping in their giant ears, or walking on inverted feet.122 [ ]

Megasthenes links the core and peripheries of his Indian kingdom through a deliberate centripetal policy. The spatial dynamics of Sandrocottus' court reverse the more standard royal procession from center to edge (see Chapter 6); in India, the borders are transported to the king. For example, the Astomoi, the mouthless people who live at the source of the Ganges in the northwest123 [ ] and nourish themselves with smells, "were brought" ([x]) to the royal camp, where they could barely survive the bad odors of military life;124 [ ] the Wild Men, with their feet back to front, "could not be conveyed" ([x]) to the king because they would starve themselves to death.125 [ ] Similarly, Aelian reports that beasts and birds of all kinds were gathered and presented to the Indian monarch.126 [ ] We may even see an echo of the Mauryan king's magnetic pull, as well as Megasthenes' career at court, in a fragment of the almost entirely lost utopian novel of Iambulus:127 [ ] the Odyssean hero, shipwrecked upon a sandy and marshy coast of India, "was brought by the natives into the presence of the king at Palimbothra, many days' journey from the sea" ([x]), from where he was granted safe conduct back to Greece.128 [ ] If this is a parody of the Indica, Iambulus, the normative Greek man, functions as one of the marginal oddities to be brought to court from the kingdom's far periphery.129 [ ]

Megasthenes' restructuring of Indian space transforms the nature of the land. It is no longer the eastern margin of an imperial structure whose capital district lies far to the west or the bizarre, hypertrophic fringe of a Greece-centered oikoumene. Rather, India is now an organized space, a territorialized kingdom with its own center and its own peripheries. The classical and Alexandrian ethnographers and historians had located India within a geographical model of the world, which, in its fundamental Oceanic structure, was organized as a smoothly graded circle around a single center, from which increasing distance correlated with increasing weirdness: the farther from Greece, the more peripheral the region.130 [ ] In this light, Alexander's expedition was a journey outward, into margin and myth, and India's strangeness merely affirmed his achievement. Megasthenes has fragmented this model and reproduced it in miniature. India has its center at Palimbothra and its peripheral circumference. The key point is that one of India's peripheries now lies between its center and the Greek world. The Seleucid and Mauryan empires have different centers but a shared periphery in the mountains of northwestern India. In short, Megasthenes has made India its own continent. In part, as we will see, this must represent a shift from the imperial discourse of the Achaemenids and Alexander to that of the Mauryas.131 [ ] But more importantly, it is a sensitive geographical response to the fragmentation of the Achaemenid-Alexandrian empire in the Successor period and the consequent multiplication of king, state, and capital.

The apologetic function we have observed in the Indica's prehistory can be detected here as well. The spatial operation performed by the Indica encodes in ethnographic discourse the terms of the Seleucus-Chandragupta peace. Just as Indian territory is unconquerable, so Indian space is self-contained and relatively isolated. This plays itself out in the Indica's insistence on economic autarky and the absence of adventures into the outside world.132 [ ] Megasthenes draws India more fully into the oikoumene in order to exclude it from Seleucid space. The sovereign, mutually recognized Mauryan and Seleucid political landscapes that followed the Treaty of the Indus, with their shared mountainous border, are refashioned by Megasthenes into natural geographical units. Moreover, the new geography reinterprets Alexander's Indian conquests: like Seleucus, he crossed the Indus but never conquered the heartland; like Seleucus, he turned back in the face of the Gangetic kingdom, a state which subsequently had expanded westward.133 [ ] India is as much a separate spatial entity as Ptolemaic Egypt or mainland Greece. In between them all lies the Seleucid empire.

This new geography changed the function of Indian ethnography. Megasthenes transformed India from a site of freakish difference and symmetrical opposition, to be wondered at or assimilated by imperial expansion, into a space of similarity and submerged cultural identity. India is now good to think with. The land has become an analogue of the Seleucid state and the Indica a text for working through issues of Seleucid state formation.

While
Chandragupta Maurya's multiethnic, polyglot, expansionist kingdom certainly resembled the Seleucid state in outline134 and probably generated parallel mechanisms of territorial control, Megasthenes' ethnography went beyond this to emphasize consonance with the Seleucid world:135 [ ] certain of India's characteristics, appearing for the first time in ethnography, resemble Seleucid state structures too closely to be anything but observations or fabrications of similarity. The strongest case is the existence of autonomous, democratically governed cities within Megasthenes' Indian kingdom.136 [ ] The coexistence of independent and dependent cities within the same realm is one of the most striking characteristics of the Seleucid empire; it is unattested for the Mauryan kingdom.137 [ ] Megasthenes seems to have deliberately constructed a parallel system of irregular political sovereignty to better support the analogy between the two states. Other parallels include royal land ownership, the capital-on-the-river, the construction of roads and milestones, and various duties of the monarch.


That Asoka was the ruler of Arachosia is clear from his bilingual Kandahar edict; but curiously evidence from coins seems to suggest that the Indo-Greek king Diodotus I was the master of this area...

Indeed, in the thirteenth Rock Edict the Emperor himself recalls his enterprises with the sword, and admits that he found pleasure rather in conquests by the Dhamma than in conquests by the sword. In the edict, he writes that he had sent emissaries to distant kingdoms, including that of Epirus. The circumstance of a king of Patna writing to the King of Epirus [NW area of ancient Greece], of all persons, is a jarring incongruity which under normal circumstances would have led the investigators to a valuable clue regarding the true identity of Asoka; but so stodgy was the prevailing scholarship that no one suspected that Jones’ identification Palibothra could be wrong. Even such a great scholar as Rhys Davids chooses to distrust the king’s account instead....

It is astonishing that the picture of Diodotus I has exactly the same mien [as Ashoka]. As already noted, the Mauryas ruled Aria and Seistan. This in a way opens up a Pandora’s box, for if Seistan and Aria were within the Mauryan kingdom it immediately follows that some of the Indo-Greek kings of Bactria and Seistan were Mauryas. Was Diodotus I a Maurya? Diodotus belonged to the same space and time as Asoka, and just like the latter he was a fierce warrior in his youth. An unsuspecting Macdonald writes:


The spectacle of the greatness of the Maurya empire would not be lost upon a satrap of such force of character as the elder Diodotus.


The figure of Zeus wielding the thunderbolt in his coins is perhaps awesome, but there is much more to Diodotus than just brute power. On his gold and silver coins he sometimes calls himself Soter, ‘the saviour’. That he was regarded as a saviour long after his death is clear from the coins struck in his memory by the later Graeco-Bactrian kings Agathocles and Antimachus, which mention Diodotus Soter. The title has baffled all scholars. Tarn dismisses it as mere royal rhodomontade, but this is unwarranted. Narain also grapples with the problem, and gives the simplistic explanation that Diodotus I took the title Soter as he considered himself as the saviour of the Bactrian Greeks. Turning a blind eye to the very real likelihood that Diodotus the warrior may have transcended into a great missionary, Narain holds the myopic view that his name Theodotus (Theos = God) quoted by Justin (Justin, xli.4) was just a scribal error. The story of civilisation is replete with instances of fierce men and women who later responded to higher callings, but due to Jonesian delusions, writers like Holt have missed that the image of Diodotus wielding the thunderbolt is not at all irreconcilable with that of a Bodhisatva-like Soter spreading the message of homonoia. That the history of Asoka matches that of Diodotus I line by line can only imply that they were one and the same person....

In fact, Devanampiya, his most common name in the edicts, has the same meaning as Devadatta. Its literal Sanskrit rendering, ‘beloved of the Gods’, is only a secondary sense aimed at his subjects in the sub-continent. Like the Greek word nÒmoj (nomos), the word Nam in Persian means ‘law’, another Persian word for which is Dat. Thus Devanam has the same meaning as Devadat; Piya stands for a redeemer (like Priam of Troy). This clearly shows that Asoka was the same as Diodotus I. After embracing Buddhism, Asoka had to change his name Devadatta as it was the name of Gotama’s hated adversary. In the eighth rock edict he states that his ancestors were also Devanampiyas, which shows that it is a cognomen, not a title
thus even Chandragupta could have been a Devadat or Diodotus (of Erythrae).
Diodotus was born between 315-300 BC, likely to parents established as nobles in Bactria. His father (also Diodotus) was believed to have been a dignitary and Diadochi of Alexander the Great, awarded land in Bactria.

-- Diodotus I, by Wikipedia

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


More fundamentally, a new and central characteristic of the Megasthenic India, consequent on the spatializing operation described earlier, is the normalization of the land. In contrast to the timeless, idealized, edge-of-the-earth qualities that had characterized India in earlier ethnographies, the key to the land's new analogous function is that it is not utopian.138 [ ] The idealized utopias of the Greek imagination were a function of distance, temporal or geographical, and thereby inaccessibility.139 [ ] The tendency to correlate peripheral geography with a flattening of historical time fashioned the most distant. enormous kingdoms of ethnography-including India-into static and unchanging moral paradeigmata.140 [ ] For example, Ctesias contrasts a visitable, historical Persia, where Achaemenid monarchs suffer treason and defections, with an eternal India of perfect justice, devoted subjects, and natural abundance.141 [ ] Megasthenes' ethnography contains certain well-paralleled utopian tropes: India's gentle climate and fertile superabundance guarantees a double harvest, removing all danger of famine;142 the earth is well veined with precious metals;143 [ ] the land's inhabitants are beautiful, skilled, and autochthonous;144 [ ] none is a slave;145 [ ] a seven-tiered "caste system" institutionalizes hierarchy, endogamy, occupational fixity and exclusivity, with philosophers on top;146 [ ] the Indians honor truth and virtue and so trust to leave their houses unguarded, rely on unwritten law, and avoid unnecessary litigation.147 [ ] However, the new Indian geography prevents a mere flight into fantasy. India is now an accessible land148 [ ] with chronological depth, historical development,149 [ ] and some negative social forms. The land's great productivity is the result of, not spontaneous or toilless production of food, but the developed state structure of the Mauryan kingdom, in which irrigation is widespread, agriculture is an exclusive and unavoidable social [unction for part of the population, and, in times of war, farmers are inviolate and agricultural lands unravaged.150 [ ] Crime and misdemeanor exist and are kept in check by a harsh sanctioning system of somatic punishments. 151 [ ] More strikingly, the monarch's lot is not a happy one: a spying network of overseers and courtesans informs in secret from the capital and the military camp;152 [ ] the king is forced to change beds at night because of plots.153 [ ] The sense of reality and recognizability in Megasthenes' India is achieved -- what an indictment! -- through war, violence, corruption, and law. The land resembles Ctesias' Persia much more closely than his India. Simply put, India is no longer too good to be true.154 [ ]

The Indian analogy is about recognition, not aspiration. In this light, recalling that the text was written soon after Seleucus' adoption of the royal diadem and self-transformation from satrap to king, the Indica's unproblematic and casually assumed monarchism is noteworthy. The monarchic thread runs right through the ethnography: in the Kulturgeschichte, culture arrives with kingship; in the description of contemporary India, every aspect of Indian society is structured for and by Sandrocottus: he is the source of all administrative and military employment, the node around which society articulates itself, and the purpose for which all activity is undertaken. In classical-period Greek ethnography, kingship was a fundamental element in the construction of ethnic alterity: "all barbarian power, without further specification of its exact nature or the manner in which it is exercised, simply because it is power, tends to appear as royalty."155 [ ] Kingship is otherness. The basic political development of the early Hellenistic period was the creation of large territorial states under Graeco-Macedonian kings. To most Near Eastern populations this could be seen as an exchange of one foreign dynasty for another, but to the Greek world it was revolutionary. Monarchy, formerly of ethnographic interest as foreign and exotic, is now the court author's own environment and must be naturalized. A key element of the Megasthenic analogy is that monarchy is described in a rhetoric of likeness, not difference. This is, of course, most apparent in Megasthenes' description of Sandrocottus and the world he visits.156 [ ] But it is also found in India's earlier history and in nature. One of the most important of Megasthenes' fragments, preserved by Strabo and Arrian in parallel passages, lists a catalogue of unsuccessful royal expeditions against India:

Megasthenes, moreover, agrees with this point of view when he urges disbelief in the ancient accounts of India, for no army was ever sent outside by the Indians, nor did any from outside invade and conquer them, except that with Heracles and Dionysus and now with the Macedonians. But Sesostris the Egyptian, and Tearcon the Ethiopian advanced as far as Europe, and Nebuchadnezzar, esteemed more among the Chaldaeans than Heracles, went as far as the Pillars and Tearcon also went that far and led an army from Iberia into Thrace and to Pontus. Idanthyrsus the Scythian overran Asia as far as Egypt, but none of these touched India, and Semiramis died before her attempt. The Persians sent for the Hydracae from India as mercenaries, but did not take an expedition there, only coming near it when Cyrus attacked the Massagetae.157 [ ]


The chronicle of never undertaken or failed invasions, even effacing Darius I's actual conquest, repeatedly confirms the Indica's ethnographic principle of post-Dionysus unconquerability. The apologetic force is evident: by inventing precedents for Seleucus' territorial withdrawal, Megasthenes normalizes and vindicates the Treaty of the Indus.158 [ ] The new careers of Semiramis, Sesostris, and Idanthyrsus demonstrate the Indica's creative engagement with its literary environment;159 [ ] Tearcon and Nebuchadnezzar are Megasthenes' own discovery, perhaps from Babylonian or Jewish sources.160 [ ] Megasthenes' chronicle of invasions generates a historical rhythm of power and its limits in Asia, in which monarchy is figured as the entirely standard, unquestionable form of government. Seleucus can be slipped unproblematically into the catalogue.

Kingship, existing throughout the world and in the past, is also found below the waves. A passage in Arrian's Indica, directly attributed to Megasthenes, gives the natural history of the Indian pearl:

There is also a king or queen among the pearls, just like bees. Should anyone happen to catch him, a net can easily be thrown over the rest of the pearls, but if the king escapes, the others can no longer be caught.161 [ ]


This account appears in the context of early Indian monarchy. Having discovered pearls in the sea, the autochthonous culture-hero Heracles considers them a suitable adornment for Pandaea, his daughter-wife and queen of the south.162 [ ] The single attestation of pearls in all extant earlier Greek literature, a short description in the de lapidihus of Theophrastus,163 [ ] merely locates their point of origin in India and the islands of the Persian Gulf. So, the Indica's natural history of the pearl is most likely Megasthenes' own creation. Megasthenes' pearls inhabit a social structure of absolute, total monarchy: the fate of the swarm depends in its entirety on the independence of the king or queen. As Megasthenes observed, the pearls behave like bees,164 [ ] which have a well-established function as a metaphor for good kingship.165 [ ] Such natural monarchy is transferred in the Indica to a geographically appropriate species. It is difficult to imagine a stronger idealization of early Hellenism's philosophy of monarchy;166 [ ] the pearl king could justly boast, "L'etat, c'est moi."

Kings in Egypt, Ethiopia, Assyria, Scythia, and Babylonia; king Seleucus and king Chandragupta; kings under the sea. By asserting the geographical and historical ubiquity of monarchy, the Indica denies its ethnic salience; by finding kingship in the animal world, the Indica naturalizes it. Megasthenes conventionalizes royal power.

To assert that ethnography speaks to ourselves while describing The Other has become a banality. Nonetheless, the relationship between the Seleucid and Mauryan kingdoms, as between historical reality and ethnographic textuality, works here in a specific and novel way. Megasthenes enacts analogy, not allegory, tempering the utopian fables of his generic inheritance with the realistic tones of the Hellenistic world. The early Seleucid ethnography of India is in many ways similar to classical Athenian writings on Sparta: both describe a legitimate, parallel, and equivalent state, capable of peer relations, whose territorial independence is beyond question, and whose externality turns it into a site of political theorizing. Such treatment of India as an analogous kingdom is not merely a narrative device for thinking through Seleucid state formation. In very real terms, this was the inescapable implication of the transformed political spaces brought about by the Treaty of the Indus. The meeting of kings, acts of exchange, and marriage alliance in themselves established India as an equivalent state and separate territory. So, India's ethnographic function as an analogue is, in an important sense, an epiphenomenon of the high-level diplomacy that brought about Megasthenes' mission. The Indica is a textual reproduction of the very condition of its own creation.

The Reproduction of the Boundary

To an engage' and influential hermeneutic, the (European) investigation and categorization of foreign peoples is implicated in the broader project of western colonial oppression, in which space is to be possessed and consumed by an imperial cartography of illegitimate seizure.167 [ ] But Megasthenes could not be further from this profile. The historical context and biographical condition of the Indica's very creation is Seleucid withdrawal, not expansion. Megasthenes is an envoy of renunciation, and this is both a historical fact and a rhetorical choice. The fragments give no hint of Megasthenes' renaming the landscape, populations, or cities of India; they entirely lack the linguistic baptisms found in, say, Seleucid Syria, where Macedonian or dynastic names were superimposed on indigenous ones (see Chapter 4). Megasthenes never registers the problem of cross-cultural communication.168 [ ] Nor was the Indica's spatializing operation unidirectional, for the new southeastern border of the Seleucid kingdom was recognized, acknowledged, and reperformed by the Mauryan state.

The evidence for this is in fact rather exciting. Following the death in 273/2 of Chandragupta's successor, Bindusara (Greek Amitrochates), and a subsequent struggle for succession among his sons,169 [ ] king Ashoka acceded to his father's throne in 269/8 as the third king of the Mauryan dynasty. Ashoka is one of the more outstanding figures of the ancient world. In brief, his conquest of the east Indian state of Kalinga in his eighth regnal year so horrified the king that henceforth he forsook all wars of aggression, converted to a pacifist form of Buddhism, and pursued, with obsessive and missionary zeal, dhamma -- a broad social ethic and practice including abstinence from killing, considerate family relations, and welfare programs.170 [ ] Importantly, the king's devotion to the propagation of dhamma generated an unprecedented epigraphic habit -- fourteen Major Rock Edicts, numerous Minor Rock Edicts, and seven Pillar Edicts survive from his reign -- that demonstrates, among other things, the Mauryan empire's own spatial ideology.171 [ ] We see this in two ways: the findspots of the inscriptions and their content.

The locations of Ashoka's Major Rock Edicts (see Map 2) beat the boundaries of Mauryan imperial territory: the eastern seaboard of conquered Kalinga, the southern Deccan, the western coast, and the northwestern periphery of the Mauryan state, where it bordered the Seleucid empire. At Alexandria-in-Arachosia (mod. Kandahar) a bilingual Greek-Aramaic text, urging vegetarianism and filial piety, was cut into the cliff face by the side of the main trade road. The inscription demonstrates a keen awareness of the culturally specific traditions and languages of the region's "Yona and Kamboja" (Greek and Persian) populations: the Greek version combines vocabulary appropriate to oracular pronouncement and contemporary philosophy,172 [ ] while the Aramaic version, heavily influenced by Old Persian, assimilates dhamma to Zoroastrian truth.173 [ ] Another inscription, found on a stone block at Kandahar, freely translates into Greek parts of Ashoka's Twelfth and Thirteenth Rock Edicts: it is probable that all fourteen Major Rock Edicts of the Indian king were recorded on some kind of stone construction, perhaps with a full Aramaic version.174 [ ] Aramaic inscriptions of Ashoka's edicts have been found at Taxila (in Pakistan), Lampaka, and Laghman (both in Afghanistan). Two more inscriptions, in Karoshti (a script derived from Imperial Aramaic), have been found in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan (at Shahbazgarhi and Mansehra). These inscriptions, while constituting direct evidence for Mauryan control of this region by the reign of Ashoka, indicate through their use of local languages its frontier status within the Mauryan polity, as Megasthenes' ethnography had implied: all other Ashokan inscriptions from the subcontinent, including those of the southern Deccan, are in the Prakrit language and the Brahmi script.175 [ ]

The region's marginality within Mauryan political geography is confirmed by the content of several of Ashoka's edicts. In the king's own speech-act, the Gandharas, Kambojas, and Yonas are explicitly identified as his empire's 'borderers." The Thirteenth Edict, in a quasi-ethnographic observation, states: 'Except among the Yon as, there is no land where the religious orders of brahmans and srama1Jas are not to be found, and there is no land anywhere where men do not support one sect or another."176 [ ] Similarly, the Majjhima Nikaya, a composition most likely of the Mauryan period, has the Buddha expound in ethnographic mode on the strangely fluid and simple social order of the Greek and Iranian world: 'In Yona-Kamboja and adjacent regions (janapada) there are only two vanyas: masters and slaves. One who has been a master may become a slave, and one who has been a slave may become a master."177 [ ] The Thirteenth Edict continues, in a passage of exceptional historical importance:

The Beloved of the Gods considered victory by dhamma to be the foremost victory. And moreover the Beloved of the Gods has gained this victory on all his frontiers to a distance of six hundred yojanas, where reigns the Yona king named Antiyoko, and beyond the realm of that Antiyoko in the lands of the four kings (a sasu pi yojanasatesu yatra Amtiyoko nama Yonaraja param ca tena Atiyokena chature 4 rajani) named Turumaye, Antikini, Maka, and Alikasudaro; and in the south over the Cholas and Pandyas as far as Tamraparni. Likewise here in the imperial territories among the Yonas and the Kambojas, Nabhakas and Nabhapanktis, Bhojas and Pitinikas, Andhras and Parindas, everywhere the people follow the Beloved of the Gods' instructions in dhamma.178 [ ]


The king of India lists five peers in the Hellenistic west: Antiochus II Theos of the Seleucid empire, Ptolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt, Antigonus II Gonatas of Macedon, Magas of Cyrene, and Alexander of Epirus (or Corinth). The overlap of kings determines the chronology for this inscription and so for Ashoka's entire reign: the only possible dates are between 260 and 258. The universalist notion of dhammavijaya, dhamma-conquest, contrasting with simple vijaya, (territorial) conquest, generated this description of the western and southern worlds beyond the horizon of Mauryan political sovereignty. The passage pivots on the opposition of exterior and interior: Ashoka expounds on the total victory of dhamma first outside his kingdom ("on all his frontiers to a distance of six hundred yojanas") and then within his kingdom ("here in the imperial territories"). The Mauryan empire, like the Seleucid, was bounded to the west by peer kingdoms. The Seleucid kingdom performs an important spatial function here. 11 is the point to which distance is measured: 600 yojanas translate to between 4,800 and 6,000 miles.179 [ ] Accordingly, Antiochus II is held to rule an astonishingly large kingdom, several thousand miles from the Mauryan frontier in the Hindu Kush to his distant residence. It is significant that, paralleling the spatializing operation of Megasthenes' Indica, the Seleucid empire holds a position of centrality, situated between Mauryan India to the east and the four other Hellenistic states to the west. The ptolemaic, Antigonid, Cyrenean, and Epirote kingdoms are located by reference to the Seleucid monarch ("to a distance of six hundred yojanas, where reigns the Yona king named Antiyoko, and beyond the realm of that Antiyoko in the lands of the four kings"). The Seleucid kingdom, bounded to the east and west, occupies the same place in the Second Major Rock Edict, which describes Ashoka's welfare programs throughout the world. Here, too, Antiochus appears both in his own right and as place marker for the more distant Hellenistic powers:

Everywhere in the dominions of king Priyadarshin, Beloved of the Gods, and likewise in the bordering territories (amta) of the Cholas, Pandyas, the Satika-putra, Tamraparni, the Yona king named Antiyoka and also the kings who are the neighbors of the said Antiyoka (Amtiyoge nama Yonalaja ye ca amne tasa Amtiyogasa samamta lajano) -- everywhere king Priyadarshin, Beloved of the Gods, has arranged for two kinds of medical treatment, medical treatment for men and medical treatment for animals.180 [ ]


In both the Second and Thirteenth Edicts, Antiochus, alone of the Hellenistic kings, is termed the Yonaraja, the "Greek king."181 [ ] The inscriptions, therefore, present Greek populations living both within and outside the Mauryan kingdom: the political frontier between the Mauryan and Seleucid sovereignties divides an ethnic community, a result of the Treaty of the Indus and the westward retreat of Macedonian sovereignty. Finally, by recognizing the distant Antiochus II as his direct neighbor Ashoka acknowledges the legitimacy of Seleucid sovereignty in the Upper Satrapies. The powerful, nearby satraps -- soon to revolt from the kingdom -- are not even mentioned.

The Indian evidence, supporting the Greek, points to a cooperative and mutual process of delineation. Each kingdom recognized the territorial independence and legitimate sovereignty of the other. In the spatial ideology of Ashoka, as in that of Antiochus III, the Treaty of the Indus retained practical effect and ideological salience. Seleucid diplomacy and Megasthenes' ethnography had closed an imperial boundary at the kingdom's southeast and opened a dialogue with Mauryan India of profound historical significance.

[X]
Map 2: Central Asia and India, with Ashoka’s inscriptions.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34239
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Thu Sep 09, 2021 1:51 am

The Study of Hindu Grammar and the Study of Sanskrit
by William Dwight Whitney
American Journal of Philology, Vol. V, 3, Whole No. 19
1884

The argument of "brahmanical fantasy" has been used in other areas as well. Cf. Mill's statement on the Brahmins above. Also, in connection with the Dhatupatha, a list of some two thousand verbal roots of which more than half have not been met with in Sanskrit literature, it has been suggested that it was "concocted" by the Indian grammarians (Whitney 1884; reprinted in Staal 1992: 142). In fact, the Indian pandits have been accused of inventing the Sanskrit language (Dugald Stewart and Christoph Meiners, quoted in Rosane Rocher 1983: 78).

-- Chapter 4: Law Books in an Oral Culture: The Indian Dharmasastras, Excerpt from "Studies in Hindu Law and Dharmaśastra", by Ludo Rocher


To the beginning study of Sanskrit it was an immense advantage that there existed a Hindu science of grammar, and one of so high a character. To realize how great the advantage, one has only to compare the case of languages destitute of it — as for instance the Zend. It is a science of ancient date, and has even exercised a shaping influence on the language in which all or nearly all the classical literature has been produced. It was an outcome of the same general spirit which is seen in the so careful textual preservation and tradition of the ancient sacred literature of India; and there is doubtless a historical connection between the one and the other; though of just what nature is as yet unclear.

The character of the Hindu grammatical science was, as is usual in such cases, determined by the character of the language which was its subject. The Sanskrit is above all things an analyzable language, one admitting of the easy and distinct separation of ending from stem, and of derivative suffix from primitive word, back to the ultimate attainable elements, the so-called roots. Accordingly, in its perfected form (for all the preparatory stages are unknown to us), the Hindu grammar offers us an established body of roots, with rules for their conversion into stems and for the inflection of the latter, and also for the accompanying phonetic changes — this last involving and resting upon a phonetic science of extraordinary merit, which has called forth the highest admiration of modern scholars; nothing at all approaching it has been produced by any ancient people; it has served as the foundation in no small degree of our own phonetics: even as our science of grammar and of language has borrowed much from India. The treatment of syntax is markedly inferior — though, after all, hardly more than in a measure to correspond with the inferiority of the Sanskrit sentence in point of structure, as compared with the Latin and the Greek. Into any more detailed description it is not necessary to our present purpose to enter; and the matter is one pretty well understood by the students of Indo-European language. It is generally well known also that the Hindu science, after a however long history of elaboration, became fixed for all future time in the system of a single grammarian, named Panini (believed, though on grounds far from convincing, to have lived two or three centuries before the Christian era). Panini's work has been commented without end, corrected in minor points, condensed, re-cast in arrangement, but never rebelled against or superseded; and it is still the authoritative standard of good Sanskrit. Its form of presentation is of the strangest: a miracle of ingenuity, but of perverse and wasted ingenuity. The only object aimed at in it is brevity, at the sacrifice of everything else — of order, of clearness, of even intelligibility except by the aid of keys and commentaries and lists of words, which then are furnished in profusion. To determine a grammatical point out of it is something like constructing a passage of text out of an index verborum [An index of words.]: if you are sure that you have gathered up every word that belongs in the passage, and have put them all in the right order, you have got the right reading; but only then. If you have mastered Panini sufficiently to bring to bear upon the given point every rule that relates to it, and in due succession, you have settled the case; but that is no easy task. For example, it takes nine mutually limitative rules, from all parts of the text-book, to determine whether a certain aorist shall be ajgarisam or ajagarisam (the case is reported in the preface to Muller's grammar): there is lacking only a tenth rule, to tell us that the whole word is a false and never-used formation. Since there is nothing to show how far the application of a rule reaches, there are provided treatises of laws of interpretation to be applied to them; but there is a residual rule underlying and determining the whole: that both the grammar and the laws of interpretation must be so construed as to yield good and acceptable forms, and not otherwise — and this implies (if that were needed) a condemnation of the whole mode of presentation of the system as a failure.

Theoretically, all that is prescribed and allowed by Panini and his accepted commentators is Sanskrit, and nothing else is entitled to the name. The young pandit, then, is expected to master the system and to govern his Sanskrit speech and writing by it. This he does, with immense pains and labor, then naturally valuing the acquisition in part according to what it has cost him. The same course was followed by those European scholars who had to make themselves the pupils of Hindu teachers, in acquiring Sanskrit for the benefit of Europe; and (as was said above) they did so to their very great advantage. Equally as a matter of course, the same must still be done by any one who studies in India, who has to deal with the native scholars, win their confidence and respect, and gain their aid: they must be met upon their own ground. But it is a question, and one of no slight practical importance, how far Western scholars in general are to be held to this method: whether Panini is for us also the law of Sanskrit usage; whether we are to study the native Hindu grammar in order to learn Sanskrit.

There would be less reason for asking this question, if the native grammar were really the instrumentality by which the conserving tradition of the old language had been carried on. But that is a thing both in itself impossible and proved by the facts of the case to be untrue. No one ever mastered a list of roots with rules for their extension and inflection, and then went to work to construct texts upon that basis. Rather, the transmission of Sanskrit has been like the transmission of any highly cultivated language, only with differences of degree. The learner has his models which he imitates; he makes his speech after the example of that of his teacher, only under the constant government of grammatical rule, enforced by the requirement to justify out of the grammar any word or form as to which a question is raised. Thus the language has moved on by its own inertia, only falling, with further removal from its natural vernacular basis, more and more passively and mechanically into the hands of the grammarians. All this is like the propagation of literary English or German; only that here there is much more of a vernacular usage that shows itself able to override and modify the rules of grammar. It is yet more closely like the propagation of Latin; only that here the imitation of previous usage is frankly acknowledged as the guide, there being no iron system of grammar to assume to take its place. That such has really been the history of the later or classical Sanskrit is sufficiently shown by the facts. There is no absolute coincidence between it and the language which Panini teaches. The former, indeed, includes little that the grammarians forbid; but, on the other hand, it lacks a great deal that they allow or prescribe. The difference between the two is so great that Benfey, a scholar deeply versed in the Hindu science, calls it a grammar without a corresponding language, as he calls the pre-classical dialects a language without a grammar.1 [Einleitung in die Grammatik der vedischen Sprache, 1874, pp. 3, 4.] If such a statement can be made with any reason, it would appear that there is to be assumed, as the subject of Hindu grammatical science, a peculiar dialect of Sanskrit, which we may call the grammarians' Sanskrit, different both from the pre-classical dialects and from the classical, and standing either between them or beside them in the general history of Indian language. And it becomes a matter of importance to us to ascertain what this grammarians' Sanskrit is, how it stands related to the other varieties of Sanskrit, and whether it is entitled to be the leading object of our Sanskrit study. Such questions must be settled by a comparison of the dialect referred to with the other dialects, and of them with one another. And it will be found, upon such comparison, that the earlier and later forms of the Vedic dialect, the dialects of the Brahmanas and Sutras, and the classical Sanskrit, stand in a filial relation, each to its predecessor, are nearly or quite successive forms of the same language; while the grammarians' Sanskrit, as distinguished from them, is a thing of grammatical rule merely, having never had any real existence as a language, and being on the whole unknown in practice to even the most modern pandits.

The main thing which makes of the grammarians' Sanskrit a special and peculiar language is its list of roots. Of these there are reported to us about two thousand, with no intimation of any difference in character among them, or warning that a part of them may and that another part may not be drawn upon for forms to be actually used; all stand upon the same plane. But more than half — actually more than half — of them never have been met with, and never will be met with, in the Sanskrit literature of any age. When this fact began to come to light, it was long fondly hoped, or believed, that the missing elements would yet turn up in some corner of the literature not hitherto ransacked; but all expectation of that has now been abandoned. One or another does appear from time to time; but what are they among so many? The last notable case was that of the root stigh, discovered in the Maitrayani-Sanhita, a text of the Brahmana period; but the new roots found in such texts are apt to turn out wanting in the lists of the grammarians. Beyond all question, a certain number of cases are to be allowed for, of real roots, proved such by the occurrence of their evident cognates in other related languages, and chancing not to appear in the known literature; but they can go only a very small way indeed toward accounting for the eleven hundred unauthenticated roots. Others may have been assumed as underlying certain derivatives or bodies of derivatives — within due limits, a perfectly legitimate proceeding; but the cases thus explainable do not prove to be numerous. There remain then the great mass, whose presence in the lists no ingenuity has yet proved sufficient to account for. And in no small part, they bear their falsity and artificiality on the surface, in their phonetic form and in the meanings ascribed to them; we can confidently say that the Sanskrit language, known to us through a long period of development, neither had nor could have any such roots. How the grammarians came to concoct their list, rejected in practice by themselves and their own pupils, is hitherto an unexplained mystery. No special student of the native grammar, to my knowledge, has attempted to cast any light upon it; and it was left for Dr. Edgren, no partisan of the grammarians, to group and set forth the facts for the first time, in the Journal of the American Oriental Society (Vol. XI, 1882 [but the article printed in 1879], pp. 1-55), adding a list of the real roots, with brief particulars as to their occurrence.1 [I have myself now in press a much fuller account of the quotable roots of the language, with all their quotable tense-stems and primary derivatives — everything accompanied by a definition of the period of its known occurrence in the history of the language.] It is quite clear, with reference to this fundamental and most important item, of what character the grammarians' Sanskrit is. The real Sanskrit of the latest period is, as concerns its roots, a true successor to that of the earliest period, and through the known intermediates; it has lost some of the roots of its predecessors, as each of these some belonging to its own predecessors or predecessor; it has, also like these, won a certain number not earlier found: both in such measure as was to be expected. As for the rest of the asserted roots of the grammar, to account for them is not a matter that concerns at all the Sanskrit language and its history; it only concerns the history of the Hindu science of grammar. That, too, has come to be pretty generally acknowledged.1 [Not, indeed, universally; one may find among the selected verbs that are conjugated in full at the end of F. M. Muller's Sanskrit Grammar, no very small number of those that are utterly unknown to Sanskrit usage, ancient or modern.] Every one who knows anything of the history of Indo-European etymology knows how much mischief the grammarians' list of roots wrought in the hands of the earlier more incautious and credulous students of Sanskrit: how many false and worthless derivations were founded upon them. That sort of work, indeed, is not yet entirely a thing of the past; still, it has come to be well understood by most scholars that no alleged Sanskrit root can be accepted as real unless it is supported by such a use in the literary records of the language as authenticates it — for there are such things in the later language as artificial occurrences, forms made for once or twice from roots taken out of the grammarians' list, by a natural license, which one is only surprised not to see oftener availed of (there are hardly more than a dozen or two of such cases quotable): that they appear so seldom is the best evidence of the fact already pointed out above, that the grammar had, after all, only a superficial and negative influence upon the real tradition of the language.

It thus appears that a Hindu grammarian's statement as to the fundamental elements of his language is without authority until tested by the actual facts of the language, as represented by the Sanskrit literature. But the principle won here is likely to prove of universal application; for we have no reason to expect to find the grammarians absolutely trustworthy in other departments of their work, when they have failed so signally in one; there can be nothing in their system that will not require to be tested by the recorded facts of the language, in order to determine its true value. How this is, we will proceed to ascertain by examining a few examples.

In the older language, but not in the oldest (for it is wanting in the Veda), there is formed a periphrastic future tense active by compounding a nometi agentis with an auxiliary, the present tense of the verb as 'be': thus, data 'smi (literally dator sum) 'I will give,' etc. It is quite infrequent as compared with the other future, yet common enough to require to be regarded as a part of the general Sanskrit verb-system. To this active tense the grammarians give a corresponding middle, although the auxiliary in its independent use has no middle inflection; it is made with endings modified so as to stand in the usual relation of middle endings to active, and further with conversion in 1st sing, of the radical s to h — a very anomalous substitution, of which there is not, I believe, another example in the language. Now what support has this middle tense in actual use? Only this: that in the Brahmanas occur four sporadic instances of attempts to make by analogy middle forms for this tense (they are all reported in my Sanskrit Grammar, § 947; further search has brought to light no additional examples): two of them are 1st sing., one having the form se for the auxiliary, the other he, as taught in the grammar; and in the whole later literature, epic and classical, I find record of the occurrence of only one further case, darcayitahe (in Nais. V 71.) 1 [Here, as elsewhere below, my authority for the later literature is chiefly the Petersburg Lexicon (the whole older literature I have examined for myself), and my statements are, of course, always open to modification by the results of further researches. But all the best and most genuine part of the literature has been carefully and thoroughly excerpted for the Lexicon; and for the Mahabharata we have now the explicit statements of Holtzmann, in his Grammatisches aus dem Mahabharata, Leipzig, 1884.] Here also, the classical dialect is the true continuator of the pre-classical; it is only in the grammarians' Sanskrit that every verb conjugated in the middle voice has also a middle periphrastic future.

There is another and much more important part of verbal inflection — namely, the whole aorist-system, in all its variety — as to which the statements of the grammarians are to be received with especial distrust, for the reason that in the classical language the aorist is a decadent formation. In the older dialects, down to the last Sutra, and through the entire list of early and genuine Upanishads, the aorist has its own special office, that of designating the immediate past, and is always to be found where such designation is called for; later, even in the epos, it is only another preterit, equivalent in use to imperfect and perfect, and hence of no value, and subsisting only in occasional use, mainly as a survival from an earlier condition of the language. Thus, for example, of the first kind of aorist, the root-aorist, forms are made in pre-classical Sanskrit from about 120 roots; of these, 15 make forms in the later language also, mostly sporadically (only ga, da, dha, pa, stha, bhu less infrequently); and 8 more in the later language only, all in an occurrence or two (all but one, in active precative forms, as to which see below). Again, of the fifth aorist-form, the is-aorist (rather the most frequent of all), forms are made in the older language from 140 roots, and later from only 18 of these (and sporadically, except in the case of grah, vad, vadh, vid), with a dozen more in the later language exclusively, all sporadic except cank (which is not a Vedic root). Once more, as regards the third or reduplicated aorist, the proportion is slightly different, because of the association of that aorist with the causative conjugation, and the frequency of the latter in use; here, against about 110 roots quotable from the earlier language, 16 of them also in the later, there are about 30 found in the later alone (nearly all of them only sporadically, and none with any frequency). And the case is not otherwise with the remaining forms. The facts being such, it is easily seen that general statements made by the grammarians as to the range of occurrence of each form, and as to the occurrence of one form in the active and a certain other one in the middle from a given root, must be of very doubtful authority; in fact, as regards the latter point, they are the more suspicious as lacking any tolerable measure of support from the facts of the older language. But there are much greater weaknesses than these in the grammarians' treatment of the aorist.

Let us first turn our attention to the aorist optative, the so-called precative (or benedictive). This formation is by the native grammarians not recognized as belonging to the aorist at all — not even so far as to be put next the aorist in their general scheme of conjugation; they suffer the future-systems to intervene between the two. This is in them fairly excusable as concerns the precative active, since it is the optative of the root-aorist, and so has an aspect as if it might come independently from the root directly; nor, indeed, can we much blame them for overlooking the relation of their precative middle to the sibilant or sigmatic aorist, considering that they ignore tense-systems and modes; but that their European imitators, down to the very latest, should commit the same oversight is a different matter. The contrast, now, between the grammarians' dialect and the real Sanskrit is most marked as regards the middle forms. According to the grammar, the precative middle is to be made from every root, and even for its secondary conjugations, the causative etc. It has two alternative modes of formation, which we see to correspond to two of the forms of the sibilant aorist: the s-aorist, namely, and the is-aorist. Of course, a complete inflection is allowed it. To justify all this, now, I am able to point to only a single occurrence of a middle precative in the whole later literature, including the epics: that is ririsista, in the Bhagavata-Purana (III 9, 24), a text notable for its artificial imitation of ancient forms (the same word occurs also in the Rig-Veda); it is made, as will be noticed, from a reduplicated aorist stem, and so is unauthorized by grammatical rule. A single example in a whole literature, and that a false one! In the pre-classical literature also, middle precative forms are made hardly more than sporadically, or from less than 40 roots in all (so far as I have found); those belonging to the s and is-aorists are, indeed, among the most numerous (14 each), but those of the root-aorist do not fall short of them (also 14 roots), and there are examples from three of the other four aorists. Except a single 3d pl. (in irata, instead of iran), only the three singular persons and the 1st pi. are quotable, and forms occur without as well as with the adscititious s between mode-sign and personal ending which is the special characteristic of a precative as distinguished from a simply optative form. Here, again, we have a formation sporadic in the early language and really extinct in the later, but erected by the grammarians into a regular part of every verb-system.

With the precative active the case is somewhat different This also, indeed, is rare even to sporadicalness, being, so far as I know, made from only about 60 roots in the whole language — and of these, only half can show forms containing the true precative s. But it is not quite limited to the pre-classical dialects; it is made also later from 15 roots, 9 of which are additional to those which make a precative in the older language. Being in origin an optative of the root-aorist, it comes, as we may suppose, to seem to be a formation from the root directly, and so to be extended beyond the limits of the aorist; from a clear majority (about three fifths) of all the roots that make it, it has no other aorist-forms by its side. And this begins even in the earliest period (with half-a-dozen roots in the Veda, and toward a score besides in the Brahmana and Sutra); although there the precative more usually makes a part of a general aorist-formation: for instance, and especially, from the root bhu, whose precative forms are oftener met with than those of all other roots together, and which is the only root from which more than two real precative persons are quotable. How rare it is even in the epos is shown by the fact that Holtzmann1 [In his work already cited, at p. 32.] is able to quote only six forms (and one of these doubtful, and another a false formation) from the whole Mahabharata, one of them occurring twice; while the first book of the Ramayana (about 4500 lines) has the single bhuyat. Since it is not quite extinct in the classical period, the Hindu grammarians could not, perhaps, well help teaching its formation; and, considering the general absence of perspective from their work, we should hardly expect them to explain that it was the rare survival of an anciently little-used formation; but we have here another striking example of the great discordance between the real Sanskrit and the grammarians' dialect, and of the insufficiency of the information respecting the former obtainable from the rules for the latter. Again, the reduplicated or third form of aorist, though it has become attached to the causative secondary conjugation (by a process in the Veda not yet complete), as the regular aorist of that conjugation, is not made from the derivative causative stem, but comes from the root itself, not less directly than do the other aorist-formations — except in the few cases where the causative stem contains a p added to a: thus, atisthipat from stem sthapaya, root stha. Perhaps misled by this exception, however, the grammarians teach the formation of the reduplicated aorist from the causative stem, through the intermediate process of converting the stem back to the root, by striking off its conjugation-sign and reducing its strengthened vowel to the simpler root-form. That is to say, we are to make, for example, ababhuvat from the stem bhdvaya, by cutting off aya and reducing the remainder bhav or bhau to bhu, instead of making it from bhu directly! That is a curious etymological process; quite a side-piece to deriving variyas and varistha from uru, and the like, as the Hindu grammarians and their European copyists would likewise have us do. There is one point where the matter is brought to a crucial test: namely, in roots that end in u or u; where, if the vowel on which the reduplication is formed is an u-vowel, the reduplication-vowel should be of the same character; but, in any other case, an z-vowel. Thus, in the example already taken, bhavaya ought to make abibhavat, just as it makes bibhavayisati in the case of a real derivation from the causative stem; and such forms as abibhavat are, in fact, in a great number of cases either prescribed or allowed by the grammarians; but I am not aware of their having been ever met with in use, earlier or later, with the single exception of apiplavam, occurring once in the Catapatha-Brahmana (VI ii, 1, 8).  

Again, the grammarians give a peculiar and problematic rule for an alternative formation of certain passive tenses (aorist and futures) from the special 3d sing. aor. pass.; they allow it in the case of all roots ending in vowels, and of grah, drc, han. Thus, for example, from the root da are allowed adayisi, dayisyate, dayita, beside adisi, dasyate, data. What all this means is quite obscure, since there is no usage, either early or late, to cast light upon it. The Rig-Veda has once (I 147, 5) dhayis, from root dha; but this, being active, is rather a hindrance than a help. The Jaim. Brahmana has once (I 321) akhyayisyante; but this appears to be a form analogous with hvayisyate etc., and so proves nothing. The Bhag. Purana has once (VIII 13, 36) tayita, which the Petersburg Lexicon refers to root tan; but if there is such a thing as the secondary root tay, as claimed by the grammarians, it perhaps belongs rather there. And there remain, so far as I can discover, only asthayisi (Dacak. [Wilson], p. 117, 1. 6) and anayisata (Ind. Spruche2 [ ], 6187, from the Kuvalayananda); and these are with great probability to be regarded as artificial forms, made because the grammar declares them correct. It seems not unlikely that some misapprehension or blunder lies at the foundation of these rules of the grammar; at any rate, the formation is only grammarians' Sanskrit, and not even pandits'; and it should never be obtruded upon the attention of beginners in the language.

Again, the secondary ending dhvam of 2d pl. mid. sometimes has to take the form dhvam. In accordance with the general euphonic usages of the language, this should be whenever in the present condition of Sanskrit there has been lost before the ending a lingual sibilant; thus: we have anedhvam from anes + dhvam, and apavidhvam from apavis + dhvam; we should further have in the precative bhavisidhvam from bhavisi-s-dhvam, if the form ever occurred, as, unfortunately, it does not. And, so far as I know, there is not to be found, either in the earlier language or the later (and as to the former I can speak with authority), a single instance of dhvam in any other situation — the test-cases, however, being far from numerous. But the Hindu grammarians, if they are reported rightly by their European pupils (which in this instance is hard to believe), give rules as to the change of the ending upon this basis only for the s-aorist; for the is-aorist and its optative (the precative), they make the choice between dhvam and dhvam to depend upon whether the i is or is not "preceded by a semi- vowel or h: "that is, apavis + dhvam gives apavidhvam, but ajanis + dhvam gives ajanidhvam, and so likewise we should have janisidhvam. It would be curious to know what ground the grammarians imagined themselves to have for laying down such a rule as this, wherein there is a total absence of discoverable connection between cause and effect; and it happens that all the quotable examples — ajanidhvam, artidhvam, aindhidhvam, vepidhvam — are opposed to their rule, but accordant with reason. What is yet worse, however, is that the grammar extends the same conversion of dh to dh, under the same restrictions, to the primary ending dhve of the perfect likewise, with which it has nothing whatever to do — teaching us that, for instance, cakr and tustu + dhve make necessarily cakrdhve and tustudhve, and that dadhr-i + dhve makes either dadhridhve or dadhridhve, while tutud-i + dhve makes only tutudidhve! This appears to me the most striking case of downright unintelligent blundering on the part of the native grammarians that has come to notice; if there is any way of relieving them of the reproach of it, their partisans ought to cast about at once to find it.

A single further matter of prime importance may be here referred to, in illustration of the character of the Hindu grammarians as classifiers and presenters of the facts of their language. By reason of the extreme freedom and wonderful regularity of word-composition in Sanskrit, the grammarians were led to make a classification of compounds in a manner that brought true enlightenment to European scholars; and the classification has been largely adopted as a part of modern philological science, along even with its bizarre terminology. Nothing could be more accurate and happier than the distinction of dependent, descriptive, possessive, and copulative compounds; only their titles — 'his man' (tatpurusa), 'act-sustaining' (? karmadharaya), 'much-rice' (bahuvrihi), and 'couple' (dvandva), respectively — can hardly claim to be worth preserving. But it is the characteristic of Hindu science generally not to be able to stop when it has done enough; and so the grammarians have given us, on the same plane of division with these four capital classes, two more, which they call dvigu ('two-cow') and avyayibhava ('indeclinable-becoming'); and these have no raison d'etre, but are collections of special cases belonging to some of the other classes, and so heterogeneous that their limits are hardly capable of definition: the dvigu-class are secondary adjective compounds, but sometimes, like other adjectives, used as nouns; and an avyayibhava is always the adverbially-used accusative neuter of an adjective compound. It would be a real service on the part of some scholar, versed in the Hindu science, to draw out a full account of the so-called dvigu-class and its boundaries, and to show if possible how the grammarians were misled into establishing it. But it will probably be long before these two false classes cease to haunt the concluding chapters of Sanskrit grammars, or writers on language to talk of the six kinds of compounds in Sanskrit.1 [Spiegel, for example (Altiranische Grammatik, p. 229), thinks it necessary to specify that dvigu-compounds do, to be sure, occur also in the Old Persian dialects, but that they in no respect form a special class; and a very recent Sanskrit grammar in Italian (Pulle, Turin, 1883) gives as the four primary classes of compounds the dvandva, tatpurusa, bahuvrihi, and avyayibadva as if one were to say that the kingdoms in Nature are four: animal, vegetable, mineral, and cactuses.]

Points in abundance, of major or minor consequence, it would be easy to bring up in addition, for criticism or for question. Thus, to take a trifle or two: according to the general analogies of the language, we ought to speak of the root grh, instead of grah; probably the Hindu science adopts the latter form because of some mechanical advantage on the side of brevity resulting from it, in the rules prescribing forms and derivatives: the instances are not few in which that can be shown to have been the preponderating consideration, leading to the sacrifice of things more important. One may conjecture that similar causes led to the setting up of a root div instead of div, 'play, gamble': that it may have been found easier to prescribe the prolongation of the i than its irregular gunation, in devana etc. This has unfortunately misled the authors of the Petersburg Lexicons into their strange and indefensible identification of the asserted root div 'play' with the so-called root div 'shine': the combination of meanings is forced and unnatural; and then especially the phonetic form of the two roots is absolutely distinct, the one showing only short i and u (as in divan, dyubhis), the other always and only long i and u (as in divyati, -divan, and -dyu, dyuta); the one root is really diu, and the other diu (it may be added that the Petersburg Lexicon, on similar evidence, inconsistently but correctly writes the roots siv and sriv, instead of siv and sriv).

It would be easy to continue the work of illustration much further; but this must be enough to show how and how far we have to use and to trust the teachings of the Hindu grammarians. Or, if one prefer to employ the Benfeyan phrase, we see something of what this language is which has a grammar but not an existence, and in what relation it stands to the real Sanskrit language, begun in the Veda, and continued without a break down to our own times, all the rules of the grammar having been able only slightly to stiffen and unnaturalize it. Surely, what we desire to have to do with is the Sanskrit, and not the imaginary dialect that fits the definitions of Panini. There is no escaping the conclusion that, if we would understand Sanskrit, we may not take the grammarians as authorities, but only as witnesses; not a single rule given or fact stated by them is to be accepted on their word, without being tested by the facts of the language as laid down in the less subjective and more trustworthy record of the literature. Of course, most of what the native grammar teaches is true and right; but, until after critical examination, no one can tell which part. Of course, also, there is more or less of genuine supplementary material in the grammarians' treatises — material especially lexical, but doubtless in some measure also grammatical — which needs to be worked in so as to complete our view of the language; but what this genuine material is, as distinguished from the artificial and false, is only to be determined by a thorough and cautious comparison of the entire system of the grammar with the whole recorded language. Such a comparison has not yet been made, and is hardly even making: in part, to be sure, because the time for it has been long in coming; but mainly because those who should be making it are busy at something else. The skilled students of the native grammar, as it seems to me, have been looking at their task from the wrong point of view, and laboring in the wrong direction. They have been trying to put the non-existent grammarians' dialect in the place of the genuine Sanskrit. They have thought it their duty to learn out of Panini and his successors, and to set forth for the benefit of the world, what the Sanskrit really is, instead of studying and setting forth and explaining (and, where necessary, accounting for and excusing) Panini's system itself. They have failed to realize that, instead of a divine revelation, they have in their hands a human work — a very able one, indeed, but also imperfect, like other human works, full of the prescription in place of description that characterizes all Hindu productions, and most perversely constructed; and that in studying it they are only studying a certain branch of Hindu science: one that is, indeed, of the highest interest, and has an important bearing on the history of the language, especially since the dicta of the grammarians have had a marked influence in shaping the latest form of Sanskrit — not always to its advantage. Hence the insignificant amount of real progress that the study of Hindu grammar has made in the hands of European scholars. Its career was well inaugurated, now nearly forty-five years ago (1839-40), by Bohtlingk's edition of Panini's text, with extracts from the native commentaries, followed by an extremely stingy commentary by the editor; but it has not been succeeded by anything of importance,1 [For the photographic reproduction, in 1874, of a single manuscript of Patanjali's Mahabhasya or 'Great Comment' (on Panini), with the glosses upon it, was but a costly piece of child's play; and the English government, as if to make the enterprise a complete fiasco, sent all the copies thus prepared to India, to be buried there in native keeping, instead of placing them in European libraries, within reach of Western scholars.] until now that a critical edition of the Mahabhasya, by Kielhorn, is passing through the press, and is likely soon to be completed: a highly meritorious work, worthy of European learning, and likely, if followed up in the right spirit, to begin a new era in its special branch of study. Considering the extreme difficulty of the system, and the amount of labor that is required before the student can win any available mastery of it, it is incumbent upon the representatives of the study to produce an edition of Panini accompanied with a version, a digest of the leading comments on each rule, and an index that shall make it possible to find what the native authorities teach upon each given point: that is to say, to open the grammatical science to knowledge virtually at first hand without the lamentable waste of time thus far unavoidable — a waste, because both needless and not sufficiently rewarded by its results.

A curious kind of superstition appears to prevail among certain Sanskrit scholars: they cannot feel that they have the right to accept a fact of the language unless they find it set down in Panini's rules. It may well be asked, on the contrary, of what consequence it is, except for its bearing on the grammatical science itself, whether a given fact is or is not so set down. A fact in the pre-classical language is confessedly quite independent of Panini; he may take account of it and he may not; and no one knows as yet what the ground is of the selection he makes for inclusion in his system. As for a fact in the classical language, it is altogether likely to fall within the reach of one of the great grammarian's rules — at least, as these have been extended and restricted and amended by his numerous successors: and this is a thing much to the credit of the grammar; but what bearing it has upon the language would be hard to say. If, however, we should seem to meet with a fact ignored by the grammar, or contravening its rules, we should have to look to see whether supporting facts in the language did not show its genuineness in spite of the grammar. On the other hand, there are facts in the language, especially in its latest records, which have a false show of existence, being the artificial product of the grammar's prescription or permission; and there was nothing but the healthy conservatism of the true tradition of the language to keep them from becoming vastly more numerous. And then, finally, there are the infinite number of facts which, so far as the grammar is concerned, should be or might be in the language, only that they do not happen ever to occur there; for here lies the principal discordance between the grammar and the language. The statement of the grammar that such a thing is so and so is of quite uncertain value, until tested by the facts of the language; and in this testing, it is the grammar, that is on trial, that is to be condemned for artificiality or commended for faithfulness; not the language, which is quite beyond our jurisdiction. It cannot be too strongly urged that the Sanskrit, even that of the most modern authors, even that of the pandits of the present day, is the successor, by natural processes of tradition, of the older dialects; and that the grammar is a more or less successful attempt at its description, the measure of the success being left for us to determine, by comparison of the one with the other.

To maintain this is not to disparage the Hindu grammatical science; it is only to put it in its true place. The grammar remains nearly if not altogether the most admirable product of the scientific spirit in India, ranking with the best products of that spirit that the world has seen; we will scant no praise to it, if we only are not called on to bow down to it as authoritative. So we regard the Greek science of astronomy as one of the greatest and most creditable achievements of the human intellect since men first began to observe and deduce; but we do not plant ourselves upon its point of view in setting forth the movements of the heavenly bodies — though the men of the Middle Ages did so, to their advantage, and the system of epicycles maintained itself in existence, by dint of pure conservatism, long after its artificiality had been demonstrated. That the early European Sanskrit grammars assumed the basis and worked in the methods of the Hindu science was natural and praiseworthy. Bopp was the first who had knowledge and independence enough to begin effectively the work of subordinating Hindu to Western science, using the materials and deductions of the former so far as they accorded with the superior methods of the latter, and turning his attention to the records of the language itself, as fast as they became accessible to him. Since his time, there has been in some respects a retrogression rather than an advance; European scholars have seemed to take satisfaction in submitting themselves slavishly to Hindu teachers, and the grammarians' dialect has again been thrust forward into the place which the Sanskrit language ought to occupy. To refer to but a striking example or two: in Muller's grammar the native science is made the supreme rule after a fashion that is sometimes amusing in its naivete, and the genuine and the fictitious are mingled inextricably, in his rules, his illustrations, and his paradigms, from one end of the volume to the other. And a scholar of the highest rank, long resident in India but now of Vienna, Professor Buhler, has only last year put forth a useful practical introduction to the language, with abundant exercises for writing and speaking,1 [This work, somewhat recast grammatically, is about to be reproduced in English by Professor Perry, of Columbia College, New York.] in which the same spirit of subservience to Hindu methods is shown in an extreme degree, and both forms and material are not infrequently met with which are not Sanskrit, but belong only to the non-existent grammarians' dialect. Its standpoint is clearly characterized by its very first clause, which teaches that "Sanskrit verbs have ten tenses and modes" — that is to say, because the native grammar failed to make the distinction between tense and mode, or to group these formations together into systems, coming from a common tense-stem, Western pupils are to be taught to do the same. This seems about as much an anachronism as if the author had begun, likewise after Hindu example, with the statement that "Sanskrit parts of speech are four: name, predicate, preposition, and particle." Further on, in the same paragraph, he allows (since the Hindus also do so) that "the first four [tenses and modes] are derived from a special present stem"; but he leaves it to be implied, both here and later, that the remaining six come directly from the root. From this we should have to infer, for example, that dadati comes from a stem, but dadatha from the root; that we are to divide nagya-ti but da--syati, a-vica-t but a-sic-at, and so on; and (though this is a mere oversight) that ayat contains a stem, but adat a pure root. No real grammarian can talk of present stems without talking of aorist stems also; nor is the variety of the latter so much inferior to that of the former; it is only the vastly greater frequency of occurrence of present forms that makes the differences of their stems the more important ground of classification. These are but specimens of the method of the book, which, in spite of its merits, is not in its present form a good one to put in the hands of beginners, because it teaches them so much that they will have to unlearn later, if they are to understand the Sanskrit language.

One more point, of minor consequence, may be noted, in which the habit of Western philology shows itself too subservient to the whims of the Sanskrit native grammarians: the order of the varieties of present stems, and the designation of the conjugation classes as founded on it. We accept the Hindu order of the cases in noun-inflection, not seeking to change it, though unfamiliar, because we see that it has a reason, and a good one; but no one has ever been ingenious enough even to conjecture a reason for the Hindu order of the classes. Chance itself, if they had been thrown together into a hat, and set down in their order as drawn out, could not more successfully have sundered what belongs together, and juxtaposed the discordant. That being the case, there is no reason for our paying any heed to the arrangement. In fact, the heed that we do pay is a perversion; the Hindus do not speak of first class, second class, etc., but call each class by the name of its leading verb, as bhu-verbs, ad-verbs, and so on; and it was a decided merit of Muller, in his grammar, to try to substitute for the mock Hindu method this true one, which does not make such a dead pull upon the mechanical memory of the learner. As a matter of course, the most defensible and acceptable method is that of calling each class by its characteristic feature — as, the reduplicating class, the ya-class, and so on. But one still meets, in treatises and papers on general philology, references to verbs "of the fourth class," "of the seventh class," and so on. So far as this is not mere mechanical habit, it is pedantry — as if one meant to say: "I am so familiar with the Sanskrit language and its native grammar that I can tell the order in which the bodies of similarly-conjugated roots follow one another in the dhatupathas, though no one knows any reason for it, and the Hindu grammarians themselves lay no stress upon it." It is much to be hoped that this affectation will die out, and soon.

These and such as these are sufficient reasons why an exposition like that here given is timely and pertinent. It needs to be impressed on the minds of scholars that the study of the Sanskrit language is one thing, and the study of the Hindu science of grammar another and a very different thing; that while there has been a time when the latter was the way to the former, that time is now long past, and the relation of the two reversed; that the present task of the students of the grammar is to make their science accessible, account if possible for its anomalies, and determine how much and what can be extracted from it to fill out that knowledge of the language which we derive from the literature; and that the peculiar Hindu ways of grouping and viewing and naming facts familiar to us from the other related languages are an obstacle in the way of a real and fruitful comprehension of those facts as they show themselves in Sanskrit, and should be avoided. An interesting sentimental glamour, doubtless, is thrown over the language and its study by the retention of an odd classification and terminology; but that attraction is dearly purchased at the cost of a tittle of clearness and objective truth.

W. D. Whitney.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34239
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:05 am

Patala
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/11/21

In the country of the Praxii [Prachyas (i.e. Easterns) are called by Strabo, Arrian, and Pliny Prasii] who are an Indian people, Megasthenes says there are apes not inferior in size to the largest dogs...

The Indus skirts the frontiers of the Prasii, whose mountain tracts are said to be inhabited by the Pygmies...

Now the countries which lie to the east of the Indus I take to be India Proper, and the people who inhabit them to be Indians. [In limiting India to the eastern side of the Indus, Arrian expresses the view generally held in antiquity, which would appear to be also that of the Hindus themselves, since they are forbidden by one of their old traditions to cross that river.[Kala pani taboo] Much, however, may be said for the theory which would extend India to the foot of the great mountain ranges of Hindu Kush and Parapamisos.]...
In the year 305 BC, Seleucus I Nicator went to India and apparently occupied territory as far as the Indus, and eventually waged war with the Maurya Emperor Chandragupta Maurya.[??][citation needed]

Only a few sources mention his activities in India. Chandragupta[??] (known in Greek sources as Sandrokottos), founder of the Mauryan empire, had conquered the Indus valley and several other parts of the easternmost regions of Alexander's empire. Seleucus began a campaign against Chandragupta[??] and crossed the Indus. Most western historians note that it appears to have fared poorly as he did not achieve his goals[citation needed], even though what exactly happened is unknown. The two leaders ultimately reached an agreement, [Kosmin, Paul J. (2014). The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in Seleucid Empire. P. 98.] and through a treaty[??] sealed in 305 BC, [John Keay (2001). India: A History. Grove Press. pp. 85–86.] Seleucus abandoned the territories he could never securely hold in exchange for stabilizing the East and obtaining elephants, with which he could turn his attention against his great western rival, Antigonus Monophthalmus. The 500 war elephants Seleucus obtained from Chandragupta[??] were to play a key role in the forthcoming battles, particularly at Ipsus against Antigonus and Demetrius. The Maurya king might have married the daughter of Seleucus. [Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2003) [1952]. Ancient India. P. 105.]

According to Strabo, the ceded territories bordered the Indus:... "... these places, in part, some that lie along the Indus are held by Indians, although they formerly belonged to the Persians. Alexander took these away from the Arians and established settlements of his own, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus, upon terms of intermarriage and of receiving in exchange five hundred elephants. — Strabo 15.2.9."

From this, it seems that Seleucus surrendered the easternmost provinces of Arachosia, Gedrosia, Paropamisadae and perhaps also Aria.[!!!] On the other hand, he was accepted by other satraps of the eastern provinces. His Iranian wife, Apama, may have helped him implement his rule in Bactria and Sogdiana. This would tend to be corroborated archaeologically, as concrete indications of Mauryan influence, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka which are known to be located in, for example, Kandhahar in today's southern Afghanistan.

Some authors say that the argument relating to Seleucus handing over more of what is now southern Afghanistan is an exaggeration originating in a statement by Pliny the Elder referring not specifically to the lands received by Chandragupta[??], but rather to the various opinions of geographers regarding the definition of the word "India": "Most geographers, in fact, do not look upon India as bounded by the river Indus, but add to it the four satrapies of the Gedrose, the Arachotë, the Aria, and the Paropamisadë, the River Cophes thus forming the extreme boundary of India. According to other writers, however, all these territories, are reckoned as belonging to the country of the Aria. — Pliny, Natural History VI, 23"

Nevertheless, it is usually considered today that Arachosia and the other three regions did become dominions of the Mauryan Empire.[citation needed]


-- Seleucus I Nicator, by Wikipedia

On the west the boundaries of India are marked by the river Indus all the way to the great ocean into which it pours its waters, which it does by two mouths. These mouths are not close to each other, like the five mouths of the Ister (Danube), but diverge like those of the Nile, by which the Egyptian delta is formed. The Indus in like manner makes an Indian delta, which is not inferior in area to the Egyptian, and is called in the Indian tongue Pattala. [Pattala. — The name of the Delta was properly Patalene, and Patala was its capital. This was situated at the head of the Delta, where the western stream of the Indus bifurcated. Thatha has generally been regarded as its modern representative, but General Cunningham would "almost certainly" identify it with Nirankol or Haidarabad, of which Patalpur and Patasila ('flat rock') were old appellations. With regard to the name Patala he suggests that "it may have been derived from Patala, the trumpet flower" (Bignonia suaveolens), "in allusion to the trumpet shape of the province included between the eastern and western branches of the mouth of the Indus, as the two branches as they approach the sea curve outward like the mouth of a trumpet." Ritter, however, says: — "Patala is the designation bestowed by the Brahmans on all the provinces in the west towards sunset, in antithesis to Prasiaka (the eastern realm) in Ganges-land: for Patala is the mythological name in Sanskrit of the under-world, and consequently of the land of the west."

-- Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian; Being a Translation of the Fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes Collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the First Part of the Indika of Arrian, by J.W. McCrindle

Image
The legs of the god Vishnu as the purusha depict earth and the six realms of Patala. The feet rest on Shesha.

Image
Nagas are believed to live in the lowest realm of Patala, called Naga-loka.

In Indian religions, Patala (Sanskrit: पाताल, IAST: pātāla, lit. that which is below the feet), denotes the subterranean realms of the universe – which are located under the earthly dimension.[1][2][3] Patala is often translated as underworld or netherworld. Patala is described as more beautiful than Svarga (subtle dimensions, loosely translated as heaven). Patala is described as filled with splendid jewels, beautiful groves and lakes and lovely demon maidens. Sweet fragrance is in the air and is fused with sweet music. The soil here is white, black, purple, sandy, yellow, stony and also of gold.

In Hindu cosmology, the universe is divided into the three worlds: Svarga, Prithvi or Martya (earth/mortal plane) and Patala (gross dimensions, the underworld).[4] Patala is composed of seven realms/dimensions or lokas,[5][6][7] the seventh and lowest of them is also called Patala or Naga-loka, the region of the Nagas. The Danavas (demon sons of Danu), Daityas (demon sons of Diti), Yakshas and the snake-people Nagas (Serpent-human formed sons of Kadru), live in the realms of Patala.[8]


In Vajrayana Buddhism, caves inhabited by asuras are entrances to Patala; these asuras, particularly female asuras, are often "tamed" (converted to Buddhism) as dharmapala or dakinis by famous Buddhist figures such as Padmasambhava.[9]

The Vishnu Purana tells of a visit by the divine wandering sage Narada to Patala. Narada describes Patala as more beautiful than Svarga. Patala is described as filled with splendid jewels, beautiful groves and lakes and lovely demon maidens. Sweet fragrance is in the air and is fused with sweet music. The soil here is white, black, purple, sandy, yellow, stony and also of gold.[8][10]

The Bhagavata Purana calls the seven lower regions bila-svargas ("subterranean heavens") and they are regarded as planets or planetary systems below the earth. These regions are described as being more opulent than the upper heavenly regions of the universe. The life here is of pleasure, wealth and luxury, with no distress. The demon architect Maya has constructed palaces, temples, houses, yards and hotels for foreigners, with jewels. The natural beauty of Patala is said to surpass that of Swarga. There is no sunlight in the lower realms, but the darkness is dissipated by the shining of the jewels that the residents of Patala wear. There is no old age, no sweat, no disease in Patala.[7]

The Vishnu Purana,[8] states the seven realms of Patala, which are located one above the other, are seventy-thousand yojanas (a unit of measurement) below the Earth's surface. Each of them extends ten thousand Yojanas. In Vishnu Purana, they are named as from the highest to the lowest as: Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Garbhastimat, Mahatala, Sutala and Patala. In the Bhagavata Purana and the Padma Purana, they are called Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala. The Shiva Purana, replaces Mahatala with Tala. The Vayu Purana calls them Rasatala, Sutala, Vitala, Gabhastala, Mahatala, Sritala and Patala.[8] The seven Patalas as well as the earth above them is supported on the head of the tamasic (dark) form of Vishnu, the thousand-headed nāga Shesha.[8][10] Sometimes, Shesha is described to reside in the lowest region of Patala instead of below it.[4] Below the regions of Patala lies Naraka, the Hindu Hell – the realm of death where sinners are punished.[8]

Different realms of Patala are ruled by different demons and Nagas; usually with the Nagas headed by Vasuki assigned to the lowest realm.
[8] Vayu Purana records each realm of Patala has cities in it. The first region has the cities of the daitya Namuchi and Naga Kaliya; in the second Hayagriva and Naga Takshaka; in the third, those of Prahlada and Hemaka; in the fourth of Kalanemi and Vainateya; in the fifth of Hiranyaksha and Kirmira and in the sixth, of Puloman and Vasuki. Bali rules as the sovereign king of Patala.[8]

The Bhagavata Purana presents a detailed description of the seven lower realms.[10] A similar description of the seven Patalas also appears in the Devi-Bhagavata Purana.[11][11][10]

Atala

Atala is ruled by Bala – a son of Maya – who possesses mystical powers. By one yawn, Bala created three types of women – svairiṇīs ("self-willed"), who like to marry men from their own group; kāmiṇīs ("lustful"), who marry men from any group, and the punshchalīs ("those who wholly give themselves up"), who keep changing their partners. When a man enters Atala, these women enchant him and serve him an intoxicating cannabis drink that induces sexual energy in the man. Then, these women enjoy sexual play with the traveller, who feels to be stronger than ten thousand elephants and forgets impending death.[11][10]

Vitala

Vitala is ruled by the god Hara-Bhava, who dwells with attendant ganas including ghosts and goblins as the master of gold mines along with his consort Bhavani and river Hataki here. When fire – fanned by wind – drinks from this river, it spits the water out as a type of gold called Hataka. The residents of this realm are adorned with gold from this region.[11][10]

Sutala

Sutala constructed by Vishwakarma, is the kingdom of the pious demon king Bali. The dwarf Avatar of Vishnu, Vamana tricked Bali – who had conquered the three worlds – by begging for three paces of land and acquired the three worlds in his three paces. Vamana pushed Bali to Sutala, but when Bali surrendered to Vishnu and gave away all his belongings to him, Vishnu in return made Bali, richer than Indra, the god-king of heaven. Bali still prays to Vishnu in this realm. Highly impressed by the devotion of Bali, Vishnu gave him a boon that He Himself would perpetually stand as the watchman to Bali's palace.[11][10]

Talatala

Talātala is the realm of the demon-architect Maya, who is well-versed in sorcery. Shiva, as Tripurantaka, destroyed the three cities of Maya, but was later pleased with Maya and gave him this realm and promised to protect him.[11][10]

Mahatala

Mahātala is the abode of many-hooded Nagas (serpents) – the sons of Kadru, headed by the Krodhavasha (Irascible) band of Kuhaka, Takshaka, Kaliya and Sushena. They live here with their families in peace but always fear garuda.[11][10]

Rasatala

Rasātala at the sole of the feet of the universe form of Vishnu is the home of the demons – Danavas and Daityas, who are mighty but cruel. They are the eternal foes of Devas (the gods). They live in holes like serpents.[11][10]

Patala

Patala or Nagaloka, is the lowest realm and the region of the Nagas, ruled by Vasuki. Here live several Nagas with many hoods. Each of their hood is decorated by a jewel, the light of which illuminates this realm.[11][10]

In Buddhism

As in the Puranas of Hinduism, in early Vajrayana, Patala (Tibetan: ས་འོག་ "the Underground") is understood as underground paradises inhabited by nāgas and asuras above the Naraka realm.[12] While the story of the establishment of Patala as an asura realm is attributed to the defeat of the asuras on Mount Meru, in Buddhist scriptures this is due to their defeat by Śakra using a mantra of Mañjuśrī instead of by their defeat by Vishnu; this is the explanation given for the appearance of Śakra wielding the banner of Mañjuśrī in iconic imagery.[13]

Patala is associated with the Kriyātantras, which are associated with the kīla, the phenomenon of the tertön and terma and water magic[9] and with the attainment of vidyādhara (Chinese: 仙, 仚; pinyin: xiān) status.[14] These practices have been largely ignored after the early period of Tibetan Buddhism and Tangmi but originally were popular.[9]

The importance of Patala to esoteric Buddhism lay in its role as the source of alchemy and magical science or vidyā, immortality and enjoyment, particularly the opportunity for the (male) vidyādhara to have intercourse with female non-humans.[15] It was also viewed as a source of flowing waters.[16]

References

1. Search for "patala" in: "Sanskrit Dictionary Search". Retrieved 7 January 2018.gives results: "1. one of the 7 regions under the earth and the abode of the nAgas or serpents and demons"
2. Wilson, Horace Hayman (1865). "Chapter V". The Vishnu Purana (Translation). II. London: Trubner & co. pp. 209–213.
3. Mani, Vettam (1975). Puranic Encyclopaedia: A Comprehensive Dictionary With Special Reference to the Epic and Puranic Literature. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 580–1. ISBN 0-8426-0822-2.
4. Parmeshwaranand 2001, p. 762-3.
5. Dimmitt, Cornelia; Buitenen, Johannes Adrianus Bernardus (1978). Classical Hindu mythology: a reader in the Sanskrit Purāṇas. Temple University Press. pp. 348–350. ISBN 9781439904640.
6. Dimmitt, Cornelia; Buitenen, Johannes Adrianus Bernardus (1978). Classical Hindu mythology: a reader in the Sanskrit Purāṇas. Temple University Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 9781439904640.
7. Prabhupada. "Bhagavata Purana 5.24". The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. Archived from the original on 4 January 2010. Retrieved 1 July2010.
8. Wilson 1865, p. 209–213. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFWilson1865 (help)
9. Mayer 2007, p. 1.
10. Dimmitt 2012, p. 348-350.
11. Māṇi 1998, pp. 580–1.
12. Mayer 2007, p. 3.
13. Mayer 2007, p. 7.
14. Mayer 2007, p. 2.
15. Mayer 2007, p. 10.
16. Mayer 2007, p. 11-12.

Bibliography

• Dimmitt, Cornelia (2012). Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas. Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1-4399-0464-0.
• Māṇi, Veṭṭaṃ (1998). Purāṇic Encyclopaedia: A Comprehensive Dictionary with Special Reference to the Epic and Purāṇic Literature. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0597-2.
• Mayer, Robert (2007). "The Importance of the Underworlds: Asuras' Caves in Buddhism, and Some Other Themes in Early Buddhist Tantras Reminiscent of the Later Padmasambhava Legends". Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies. 3.
• Parmeshwaranand (2001). Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Puranas. Sarup & Sons. ISBN 978-81-7625-226-3.
• Wilson, Horace Hayman (1865). Works... Trübner. p. 209.

External links

• Media related to Pātāla at Wikimedia Commons

***************

The legend of the Kurma incarnation is associated with the story of the churning of ocean, which is manifestly an allegory in its present form. The legend may be summarised here.

In a war with the Danavas or demons, the gods being vanquished fled for refuge to Brahma, who advised the deities to repair for protection to the immortal and unconquerable Visnu. Visnu instructed the gods to churn the ocean of milk for ambrosia in collaboration with the Asuras. As advised, the Devas made an alliance with the Asuras and began to churn jointly the sea of milk by using the mountain Mandara as the churning stick and the great serpent Vasuki as the cord. The divinities took the tail of Vasuki and the demons took the head and neck of the serpent during the act of churning. As a consequence, the Asuras became scorched by the poisonous flames emitted from the mouth of Vasuki, and the Devas, on the other hand, were invigorated. In the midst of the ocean of milk, Visnu assumed the form of a tortoise and supported the mountain Mandara on his back. As the churning continued, fourteen precious articles appeared on the surface. But no sooner had Dhanvantari appeared with the bowl of nectar than the gods and the demons rushed towards him. The Asuras forcibly seized the cup of ambrosia. Then Visnu assumed the form of a beautiful damsel and deluded them. He recovered the bowl of ambrosia and delivered it to the gods. Rahu, a wicked demon, disguised himself as a god and got a share of the drink. But as soon as the drink entered his throat, the sun and the moon detected the fraud and disclosed it to Visnu, who cut the head of the demon. Brahma, however, transformed the demon into a planet. There ensued after this a severe fight between the Devas and the Asuras. The Devas, invigorated by the ambrosial draught, defeated their enemies, who were forced to plunge into the subterraneous sphere of Patala.

-- Chapter 3: The Avataras: Legends and Allegories, Excerpt from Theory of Avatara and Divinity of Chaitanya, by Janmajit Roy

***************

It was nearly midsummer when the king reached Patala, near the Indian Ocean. On the tidings of an insurrection in Arachosia, he had dispatched Craterus with a considerable portion of the army to march through the Bolan Pass into southern Afghanistan and put down the revolt. Alexander himself designed to march through Baluchistan, and Craterus was ordered to meet him in Kirman, near the entrance of the Persian Gulf. Another division of the host was to go by sea to the mouth of the Tigris. The king fixed upon Patala to be for the Indian empire what the most famous of his Alexandrias was for Egypt. He charged Hephaestion with the task of fortifying the citadel and building an ample harbour.

-- Chapter XVIII: The Conquest of the Far East, Excerpt from "History of Greece for Beginners", by J. B. Bury, M.A.

***************

Image

Regio Patalis is Latin for “the region of Patala”, that is the region around the ancient city of Patala at the mouth of the Indus River in Sindh, Pakistan. The historians of Alexander the Great state that the Indus parted into two branches at the city of Patala before reaching the sea, and the island thus formed was called Patalene, the district of Patala. Alexander constructed a harbour at Patala.

While the Patala was well known to mariners and traders of the Ancient Mediterranean, by the European Middle Ages, mapmakers no longer knew its location. Regio Patalis appeared on late 15th and early 16th century maps and globes in a variety of increasingly erroneous locations, further and further east and south of India. It even appeared on some maps as a promontory of Terra Australis...

Ahmad Hasan Dani, director of the Taxila Institute of Asian Civilisations, Islamabad, concluded: “There has been a vain attempt to identify the city of Patala. If ‘Patala’ is not taken as a proper name but only refers to a city, it can be corrected to ‘Pattana’, that is, [Sanskrit for] a city or port city par excellence, a term applied in a later period to Thatta [onetime capital of Sindh], which is ideally situated in the way the Greek historians describe”.

-- Regio Patalis, by Wikipedia

***************

Legend ascribes the origin of Patna to the mythological King Putraka who created Patna by magic for his queen Patali, literally "trumpet flower", which gives it its ancient name Pataligrama. It is said that in honour of the queen's first-born, the city was named Pataliputra. Gram is Sanskrit for village and Putra means son.

Time travel in light & sound show: Patna Museum plans programme on the lines of Red Fort in Delhi
by Piyush Kumar Tripathi
The Telegraph
Calcutta, India
January 21, 2013

The chequered history of the city from Emperor Asoka to contemporary times would come alive in colourful lights and sound at Patna Museum soon.

The show — tentatively called “History of Patna” — would be written and designed on the lines of the famous light and sound programme at Red Fort in Delhi. Patna Museum authorities have already written to their counterparts at the fort in Delhi, seeking assistance.

On Sunday, JPN Singh, the additional director of the museum, told The Telegraph: “We want the museum to be not only a place to enrich one’s knowledge of history and archaeology but also a site of entertainment. So, we have come up with a plan to organise a light and sound show at Patna Museum. It would be set up like the programme at Red Fort in Delhi. We have recently written a letter to the Delhi fort custodians seeking assistance.”

Archaeological Survey of India is at present responsible for the maintenance of the fort constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1638 and 1648. The famed light and sound show at the historic site began in 1996. It recreates the history of the fort, built for the defence of Shah Jahan’s capital Shahjahanabad and the residence of the Mughal dynasty.

The programme also narrates the history of Delhi from the time of the Pandavas of Mahabharata who, according to legend, established their capital at Indraprastha. It portrays the adventures of the last Rajput ruler of Delhi, Prithviraj Chauhan; expeditions of Afghan chieftain from Bihar Sher Shah Suri who defeated Humayun and chased him out of India; the disastrous romantic liaisons of Razia Sultana, purportedly the first woman empress in the Islamic world; and the Independence of India.

Asked about the show at Patna Museum, Singh said: “The theme of the show would be the history of the city — from erstwhile Patliputra to the present day Patna. People have lived at this site for three millennia.”

The first written account of Patna — then known as Patliputra, the capital of Mauryan Empire — can be found in the writings of Megasthenes, a Greek ambassador to India. Rulers, invaders, visitors and residents have recorded the city’s history in great detail through the ages (see chart).

Singh said: “The script for the show would be written by archaeologists and historians.”

History lessons through light design would not be the only source of entertainment at the museum. The authorities are also planning to install an audio tour system at the facility on the lines of National Museum, New Delhi, and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai.

Visitors would be given a wireless device at the entrance to the museum. When they would approach an artefact, they would be provided information about it through the gizmo,” Singh said.

“Australian company Narrowcasters has evinced interest in the project and has recently submitted its quotation,” said the additional director of the museum.

The estimated cost of the project would be around Rs 8 lakh.

GLIMPSES OF HISTORY

Myth of origin


According to legend, mythological king Putraka created Patna for his queen Patali. When Patali gave birth to a son, the city was renamed Pataliputra, as putra means “son” in Sanskrit.

First record

Megasthenes, Greek ambassador to India, was the first to write about the ancient city. Chinese pilgrim Fa Hien also visited Pataliputra in search of ancient Buddhist texts.

Age of empire

King Asoka ruled nearly all of modern-day India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka from Pataliputra.

Change in name

Mughal emperor Aurangazeb changed the name of the city to Azimabad in 1704 on the request of his favourite grandson Mohammed Azim.

Modern times

Some of the most prominent leaders of modern India, like Rajendra Prasad and Jaiprakash Narayan, have worked in Patna.

Such, then, are the traditions regarding Dionusos and his descendants current among the Indians who inhabit the hill-country. They further assert that Herakles also was born among them. They assign to him, like the Greeks, the club and the lion's skin. He far surpassed other men in personal strength, and prowess, and cleared sea and land of evil beasts. Marrying many wives he begot many sons, but one daughter only. The sons having reached man's estate, he divided all India into equal portions for his children, whom he made kings in different parts of his dominions. He provided similarly for his only daughter, whom he reared up and made a queen. He was the founder, also, of no small number of cities, the most renowned and greatest of which he called Palibothra. He built therein many sumptuous palaces, and settled within its walls a numerous population....

According to Megasthenes the mean breadth (of the Ganges) is 100 stadia, and its least depth 20 fathoms. At the meeting of this river and another is situated Palibothra, a city eighty stadia in length and fifteen in breadth. It is of the shape of a parallelogram, and is girded with a wooden wall, pierced with loopholes for the discharge of arrows. It has a ditch in front for defence and for receiving the sewage of the city. The people in whose country this city is situated is the most distinguished in all India, and is called the Prasii. The king, in addition to his family name, must adopt the surname of Palibothros, as Sandrakottos, for instance, did, to whom Megasthenes was sent on an embassy.


-- Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian; Being a Translation of the Fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes Collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the First Part of the Indika of Arrian, by J.W. McCrindle, M.A.

Legend also says that the Emerald Buddha was created in Patna (then Pataliputra) by Nagasena in 43 BCE.

-- Patna, by Wikipedia

***************

Then came the ruler of Patala and the delta country and offered his submission. He was sent back to his capital with orders to prepare for the reception of the expedition. Diodorus states that in this region there were two hereditary kings and a council of elders; if that was so, one of them set out to meet Alexander and gain time, while the other was preparing for a flight; for Alexander found Patala totally deserted when he came to the city. From here, Craterus was sent away with a large section of the army with all the elephants by the route leading through the Mula pass, Arachosia (Kandahar) and Drangiana (Seistan). With the rest of the army Alexander continued his course downstream and reached Patala in the middle of July 325 B. C.; when he found the city deserted, he sent his emissaries to overtake the fugitives and persuade them to return in safety to their lands and cultivate them as formerly, and so most of the people did return to their homes.

At Patala the Indus divided into two large rivers. Alexander foresaw a big future for the city and Hephaestion was directed to build a citadel and a harbour there. Alexander set out with some ships to explore the western arm of the river; the task was rendered difficult by lack of knowledgeable pilots, the whole country having been deserted by its inhabitants, and by the damages to his fleet due to a storm and the bore, the tidal wave that rushes with great violence up the mouths of some Indian rivers. Some native pilots were at last discovered and the vessels were steered to the open sea. Alexander offered sacrifices in two islands in the river to some gods as prescribed by the Egyptian oracle of Ammon, and in the open sea he sacrificed bulls to the sea god Poseidon and after pouring a libation he flung the golden goblet into the sea, praying for the safety of Nearchus and his fleet in the ensuing voyage. When he returned to Patala, he found that Peithon, who had been left behind to settle colonists in the newly fortified cities and suppress the last embers of rebellion, had arrived after completing the task.

Alexander now explored the eastern branch of the river, found that it gave easier access to the sea, and came by a large sized lake, on the shore of which he caused a harbour to be built, as a starting point for Nearchus; he ordered wells to be dug along the coast and provisions to be collected. The exact location of this lake is not easy to decide; it may have been the Rann of Cutch or the Samarah lake to the west of Umarkot. Alexander returned to Patala and completed his plans for leaving India.
The Cretan Nearchus, who had successfully navigated the rivers during a long voyage of little less than a year, was to bring the fleet from the mouth of the Indus along the coast into the Persian Gulf and rejoin him at the mouth of the Euphrates, while he himself would march with the army by land across Gedrosia keeping as close to the fleet as practicable; he is said to have chosen this difficult route because no one had traversed it except the legendary Semiramis and Cyrus, who escaped with just a few followers and he wanted to surpass them.

-- Chapter II: Alexander's Campaigns in India, Excerpt from "Age of the Nandas and Mauryas", by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri

***************

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)
[«previous (B) next»] — Bharata in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram
Bhārata (भारत) refers to the land of India, according to Tantric texts such as the Kubjikāmata-tantra, the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—Accordingly, “[...] The Virgin (goddess) (kumārikā) established her fame in the land of Bhārata (in this way) and so the meritorious and holy Region of the Virgin (kaumārikākhaṇḍa) came into being”.

Note: The Svacchandabhairavatantra also refers to the Land of Bhārata i.e. India as that of the Virgin, although it is not associated with her Yoni. According to the cosmology of the Svacchandabhairavatantra (cf. Tantrāloka chapter eight) there are eight continents. Each of them lies beyond one of eight mountain chains that surround mount Meru in the centre. Bhārata is to the south of the Himalayan chain, which is itself south of Meru and is shaped like a bow. It differs from the other continents because the beings who inhabit most of it can only experience pleasure and pain (bhoga) and not produce Karma. Bhārata is divided into nine islands, separated from one another by seas. The island closest to the Himalayas is called Kumārikā. This is India. Of all the parts of the continent of Bhārata, this is where Karma is created and destroyed....

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)
[«previous (B) next»] — Bharata in Shaivism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Bhārata (भारत) refers to one of the seven regions (navakhaṇḍa) situated within Jambūdvīpa, according to Parākhyatantra 5.61. It is also known as Bhāratakhaṇḍa. Jambūdvīpa is one of the seven continents situated within the world of the earth (pṛthivī). These continents are located above the seven pātālas and may contain even more sub-continents within them, are round in shape, and are encircled within seven concentric oceans.

-- Bharata, Bhārata, Bharatā, Bharaṭa, by Wisdom Library

***************

The relation between Hanuman and Goddess Kali finds mention in the Krittivasi Ramayana. Their meeting takes place in the Yuddha Kanda of Ramayana in the legend of Mahiravana. Mahiravana was a trusted friend/brother of Ravana. After his son, Meghanatha was killed, Ravana sought Mahiravana, the King of Patalaloka's help to kill Rama and Lakshmana. One night, Mahiravana, using his maya, took Vibhishana's form and entered Rama's camp. There he cast the nidra mantra on the Vanar Sena, kidnapped Rama and Lakshmana and took them to Patala Loka. He was an adherent devotee of Devi and Ravana convinced him to sacrifice the valiant fighters of Ayodhya to the goddess, to which Mahiravana agreed. Hanuman, upon understanding the way to Patala from Vibhishana made haste to rescue his lords. On his journey, he met Makardhwaja who claimed of being Hanuman's son, being born from his sweat which was consumed by a Makara (crocodile). Hanuman defeated and tied him and went inside the palace. There he met Chandrasena who told about the sacrifice and the way to kill Ahiravana. Hanuman then shrunk his size to that of a bee and went towards the huge idol of Maha-Kali. He asked her to let him save Rama, and the fierce mother goddess agreed as Hanuman took her place while she slipped below. When Mahiravana asked the prince-sages to bow, they refused as they were of royal lineage and didn't know how to bow. So as Mahiravana was about to show them how to bow, Hanuman took his Pancha-mukha form (with the head of Garuda, Narasimha, Varaha, Hayagreeva and himself: each head signifying a particular trait. Hanuman courage and strength, Narasimha fearlessness, Garuda magical skills and the power to cure snake bites, Varaha health and exorcism and Hayagriva victory over enemies), blew the 5 oil lamps in 5 directions and severed the head of Mahiravana, thus killing him. He later took Shri Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders and as he flew outside Shri Rama saw Makardhwaja tied with his tail. He immediately ordered Hanuman to crown him the King of Patala. The story of Ahiravan finds its place in the Ramayanas of the East. It can be found in the Bengali version of the Ramayana, written by Krittibash. The passage which talks about this incident is known as ‘Mahirabonerpala’. It is also believed that after being pleased with Hanuman, Goddess Kali blessed him to be her dwara-paal or gate-keeper and hence one finds Bhairava and Hanuman on either sides of the temple entrance of the Goddess' shrine....

Though Hanuman is described to be celibate in the Ramayana and most of the Puranas, according to some regional sources, Hanuman married Suvarchala, the daughter of Surya (Sun-God).

However, once Hanuman was flying above the seas to go to Lanka, a drop of his sweat fell in the mouth of a crocodile, which eventually turned into a baby. The monkey baby was delivered by the crocodile, who was soon retrieved by Ahiravana, and raised by him, named Makardhwaja, and made the guard of the gates of Patala, the former's kingdom. One day, Hanuman, when going to save Rama and Lakshmana from Ahiravana, faced Makardhwaja and defeated him combat. Later, after knowing the reality and after saving both, he made his son, the king of Patala.


-- Hanuman [Hanumat] [Anuman] [Hanumantha] [Hanumathudu], by Wikipedia

***************

Below the Hells are the seven nether worlds, Sutala, Vitala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala, Atala, and Patala, where, according to the Puranas, dwell the Naga serpent divinities, brilliant with jewels, and where, too, the lovely daughters of the Daityas and Danavas wander, fascinating even the most austere. Yet below Patala is the form of Vishnu proceeding from the dark quality (tamogunah), known as the Sesha serpent or Ananta, bearing the entire world as a diadem, attended by his Shakti Varuni, his own embodied radiance....

[M]ay the beneficent Beings residing in Patala, on the earth, and in the air, pleased at this hour of thy Purnabhisheka, sprinkle thee with water (160-175)....

"Karavira, Jati, Champaka, Lotus, and Patali, are the five flowers."


-- Mahanirvana Tantra: Tantra of the Great Liberation, Translated by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe)

***************

-- Report on the Excavations At Pataliputra (Patna): The Palibothra of the Greeks, by L.A. Waddell, M.B., LL.D., Lieut.-Colonel

***************

Palibothra = Patala = Pattana = Patali = Pataligrama = Pataliputra = Patna = flower = underworld = East-of-the-Indus = West-of-the-Indus = sunrise = sunset [???]
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34239
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sun Sep 12, 2021 6:21 am

Kala pani (taboo)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/11/21

The fourth class, after herdsmen and hunters, consists of those who work at trades, of those who vend wares, and of those who are employed in bodily labour. Some of these pay tribute, and render to the state certain prescribed services. But the armour-makers and shipbuilders receive wages and their victuals from the king, for whom alone they work. The general in command of the army supplies the soldiers with weapons, and the admiral of the fleet lets out ships on hire for the transport both of passengers and merchandize.

-- Fragm. XXXIII, Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian; Being a Translation of the Fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes Collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the First Part of the Indika of Arrian, by J.W. McCrindle, M.A.


The kala pani (lit. black water) represents the proscription of the over reaching seas in Hinduism.[1] According to this prohibition, crossing the seas to foreign lands causes the loss of one's social respectability, as well as the putrefaction of one’s cultural character and posterity.[2]

History

The offense of crossing the sea is also known as "Samudrolanghana" or "Sagarollanghana". The Dharma Sutra of Baudhayana (II.1.2.2) lists sea voyages as first of the offenses that cause the loss of varna.[3] The Dharma Sutra suggests a person can wipe away this offense in three years by eating little at every fourth meal time; bathing at dawn, noon and dusk; standing during the day; and seated during the night.[4]

The reasons behind the proscription include the inability to carry out the daily rituals of traditional Hindu life and the sin of contact with the characterless, uncivilized mleccha creatures of the foreign lands.[5] An associated notion was that crossing the ocean entailed the end of the reincarnation cycle, as the traveler was cut off from the regenerating waters of the Ganges. Such voyages also meant breaking family and social ties. In another respect, the inhabitants of the land beyond the "black water" were houglis, bad-spirited and monstrous swines who could sometimes mask their true ugliness by presenting an illusion of physical beauty or superiority. The mleccha people were spawned by immoral reprobates and blasphemously held religious belief in nāstika, albeit in different forms. They are understood to have rejected the Vedas and have ceased to worship Bhagavan, the divine Vedic God, in favor of concocted false religions and irreligions with contemptible manners of reverence. Their societies are immoral and built on deceit, subjugation, and corruption. Therefore, it was thought that true Hindus should not come under their influence or embrace their beliefs, as they will be just as deserving of contempt as a mleccha.[6]

During the Portuguese Age of exploration, Portuguese sailors noted that Hindus were reluctant to engage in maritime trade due to the kala pani proscription. In the eighteenth century, the banias of North India even considered the crossing of the Indus River at Attock to be prohibited, and underwent purification rituals upon their return.
However, not all Hindus adhered to the proscription, so as to gain monetary wealth. For instance, Hindu merchants were present in Burma, Muscat, and other places around Asia and Africa, as well as Australia.[7]

British period

Mutinies


The East India Company recruited several upper-caste soldiers, and adapted its military practices to the requirements of their religious rituals. Consequently, the overseas service, considered polluting to their caste, was not required of them.[8]

During the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–26), the Bengal Army was ordered to go to Chittagong. Since no bullock carts were available and since sea voyage was a taboo, the Indian soldiers were asked to march to Chittagong by land. The soldiers were concerned about the difficulty involved in a land march, and were also afraid that their superiors might force them to take a sea voyage if the march failed. As a result of these fears, the 47th Regiment refused to march.[9] This resulted in a mutiny on 2 November 1824 at Barrackpore.[10]

The General Service Enlistment Act of 1856 required the new recruits to serve overseas if asked. The serving high-caste sepoys were fearful that this requirement would be eventually extended to them.[11] Thus, the Hindu soldiers viewed the Act as a potential threat to their faith. The resulting discontent was one of the causes of the Indian rebellion of 1857.[12]

Image
The Cellular Jail was known as Kala Pani, as the overseas journey to the Andaman islands threatened the convicts with the loss of caste, resulting in social exclusion.

Cellular Jail, the British Indian prison on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was known as Kala Pani: an incarceration in this jail threatened the convicts with the loss of caste and the resulting social exclusion.[13]

Indentured laborer diaspora

When slavery was abolished in British colonies (such as Mauritius in 1834), the authorities looked for indentured labor to replace the slaves who had been emancipated. The emissaries sent to India for this purpose were astute in attracting so-called "coolies" to the countries such as South Africa, Mauritius, Fiji and the Caribbean that required cheap labor, which were often presented as "promised lands." But many prospective candidates for the distant colonies expressed their fears of crossing the Kala Pani. So the British often employed a stratagem to dispel the doubts of the indentured: they placed water from the Ganges in large cauldrons on the ships, to ensure the continuity of reincarnation beyond the Kala Pani. The sea voyage was then seen as less fearsome.

The Kala Pani theme features prominently in the Indo-Caribbean history,[14] and has been elaborately discussed in the writings of V. S. Naipaul.[15] Mauritian poet and critic Khal Torabully, who is partly of Indo-Mauritian descent, describes the Kala Pani as a source not only of the dissolution of identity, but also of beauty and reconstruction, leading to what he terms a "coral imaginary."

Modern India

The Tirupati Temple does not allow a priest who has crossed the seas to enter the temple's sanctum sanctorum.[16]

In 2007, the ascension of Sugunendra Tirtha to the Udupi Krishna Temple was opposed by some seers, because he had visited foreign countries, thus committing the offence of saagarolanga (crossing the sea).[17] In 2008, a court verdict formally allowed his ascension.[18] In 2012, both he and his opponent Vishwesha Teertha announced fasts to pressure each other on the issue.[19]

Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri, a noted poet who served as a priest at the Sreevallabha Temple, was not allowed to enter the temple after he returned from an overseas trip to London. The temple authorities, led by the thantri (chief priest), asked him to undergo a thorough cleansing, penance and punaravrodha (reinstallation) before he would be allowed in again.[20] Namboothiri was asked to purify himself by reciting the Gayatri Mantra 1008 times, which he refused to do. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh supported him, calling the taboo an "outdated ritual".[21] The Travancore Devaswom Board also supported him, and fired two of its officials for refusing to support his reinstatement. After the board served the thantri a show-cause notice, Namboothiri was allowed back after purification by sprinkling of holy water (theertham).[22]

References

1. "Crossing the Kala Pani to Britain for Hindu Workers and Elites". American Historical Association. 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
2. Daniel Bass (27 November 2012). Everyday Ethnicity in Sri Lanka: Up-country Tamil Identity Politics. Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-415-52624-1. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
3. Charles Eliot (1998). Hinduism and Buddhism: An Historical Sketch. Curzon. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-7007-0679-2. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
4. Patrick Olivelle (2 September 1999). The Dharmasutras : The Law Codes of Ancient India: The Law Codes of Ancient India. Oxford University Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-19-283882-7. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
5. Crossing the Ocean by Vrindavanam S. Gopalakrishnan. Hinduism Today, July/August/September 2008.
6. Marina Carter (2002). Coolitude: An Anthology of the Indian Labour Diaspora. Anthem Press. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-84331-006-8. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
7. Donna R. Gabaccia and Dirk Hoerder, ed. (11 April 2011). Connecting Seas and Connected Ocean Rims: Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans and China Seas Migrations from the 1830s to the 1930s. BRILL. pp. 84–86. ISBN 978-90-04-19316-1. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
8. Barbara D. Metcalf and Thomas R. Metcalf (2006). A Concise History of Modern India(2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 61. ISBN 0-521-68225-8.
9. Spencer Walpole (1890). A history of England from the conclusion of the great war in 1815. Longmans, Green. p. 279. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
10. Indu Ramchandani (2000). Students' Britannica India. Popular Prakashan. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-85229-760-5. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
11. Philip Mason (2004). A MATTER OF HONOUR: An Account Of The Indian Army, Its Officers And Men. Natraj Publishers. p. 261. ISBN 978-81-8158-012-2. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
12. John F. Riddick (1 April 2006). The History of British India: A Chronology. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-313-32280-8. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
13. Alison Bashford; Carolyn Strange (12 November 2012). Isolation: Places and Practices of Exclusion. Psychology Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-415-30980-6. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
14. Aisha Khan (11 October 2004). Callaloo Nation: Metaphors of Race and Religious Identity Among South Asians in Trinidad. Duke University Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-8223-3388-3. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
15. Dan Ojwang (15 December 2012). Reading Migration and Culture: The World of East African Indian Literature. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-137-26295-0. Retrieved 2 February2013.
16. "Foreign trip may cost Udupi pontiff ascension". DNA. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
17. "Shiroor seer backs Puttige swamiji". The Hindu. 2007-11-29. Archived from the original on 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
18. "Paryaya is my right: Puttige swamiji". The Hindu. 2008-01-15. Archived from the original on 2008-01-16. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
19. "Shiroor Math seer terms fear of swamijis' foreign visits as irrational". The Hindu. 2002-01-17. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
20. "Kerala priest loses his job 'cos he went to London". rediff.com. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
21. "Kerala temple tamasha leaves two jobless, many angry and a few laughing". rediff.com. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
22. "And thus ended the temple tamasha..." rediff.com. Retrieved 2012-02-02.

External links

• Lomarsh Roopnarine, The Long Journey to Today: East Indians in Guyana. Guyana Chronicle Online
• Crossing of Kala Pani, from the exhibition ORIGINS: Creative Tracks of Indian Diaspora

***************

Do Hindus lose their caste when they travel abroad?
by Devdutt Pattanaik @devduttmyth
1/16/2017

Answering this question depends on whether you value caste, or you are indifferent to it. If you value caste, then this thought can be depressing, even terrifying. If you are indifferent, it will not matter.

In pre-modern times, caste really mattered, as it identified you as part of the community. This community gave you a vocation and a wife, and demanded you follow the community rules, which included giving your daughter only to a member of the caste. It was an extended family. And so anything, which led to loss of caste, acquired great significance.

Baudhayana Dharma-sutra, composed about 2,000 years ago, maybe earlier, lists this "Samudrolanghana" or "Sagarollanghana" as the first of many reasons for loss of castes (II.1.2.2). This especially applied to Brahmins, as there was fear that travel abroad prevented a Brahmin from performing various rites and rituals in the prescribed manner at the prescribed time. The belief was that movement away from the sacred Vedic fire, made one vulnerable to pollution. The contemporary ritual of "aarti" or waving of lamps when one is leaving the house is meant to create a shield to protect against pollution; the same at the time of the return is meant to wipe out all pollutants, and ensure purification.


The irony is that India has a long history of sea travel. Yes, the major epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, do not refer to sea travel (Ram builds a bridge to go to Lanka, and Ravana flies through the air in his Pushpak Viman), but the vrata-kathas of India like Satyanarayana Puja and the Topoye story of Odisha, and Sanskrit plays like Ratnavali by Harsha, refer to sea-travels and shipwrecks. We do know that sea-merchants travelled from India to Arabia in the West in Harappan times 5,000 years ago. There are Vedic verses that suggest (but not conclusively) awareness of the sea and sea-travel nearly 3000 years ago.

There was definitely a thriving sea-trade to South East Asia in the Gupta Age 1,500 years ago. [4th century CE - late 6th century CE.] Sages like Agastya and Kaundinya did travel to faraway lands like Malaysia and Cambodia. Chola kings travelled over the sea to Sri Lanka and Malaysia to expand their empire and to increase the wealth of the land through trade routes. Even today, in Odisha, and in the island of Bali, there are festivals related to the departure and arrival of ships, reminding us of ancient travel over sea. It is this sea travel that ensured epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, the art of shadow puppetry and weaving, reached as far as Indonesia and Thailand.

Image
The contemporary ritual of "aarti" or waving of lamps when one is leaving the house is meant to create a shield to protect against pollution.

However, in medieval times, roughly 1,000 years ago, after the age of Adi Shankaracharya, the arrival of Muslims and the collapse of Buddhism, we find the rise of an orthodox form of Hinduism that forbade sea travel. Sea trade continued but was outsourced to the Arabs. The caste system became increasingly rigid and pollution was a constant fear. No one knows what caused this shift. Many theories have been proposed but none can be proved: maybe this was a kneejerk reaction to the violence of the new warlords who came from Central Asia and were breaking temples; maybe it was a way to destroy the merchant class who valued Buddhism and Jainism but not Brahmins; maybe it was to protect Hinduism from being diluted. At one time, this rule was fairly widespread and so strict, that some communities even forbade their members from crossing certain rivers (some scholars argue that in Vedic Sanskrit ''samudra" means a large body of water, not necessarily the sea).

Some argue that sea-travel continued in medieval times, and while "upper" castes shunned sea-travel and outsourced it to the Arabs, the "lower" castes did continue to travel, and it is these "lower" castes who took Hinduism and Buddhism to South East Asia. While some banias in North India refused to cross even the river Indus, others like the Chettiars of Tamil Nadu, did travel abroad to Malaysia and Burma on ships, but they followed strict caste rules like celibacy and dietary restrictions, which included adoration of the celibate Murugan and patronage of Shiva temples in both ports of call.

It is interesting that even the Muslim rulers such as Mughals and Deccan sultans did not set up a navy, but to combat Portuguese might, the Hindu Maratha rulers did establish a navy. But this was about defending the borders of a newly established kingdom, not travelling and trading with another land.

When the Europeans finally wrested control of the sea-trade from the Arabs 500 years ago, a whole new way of thinking came to India. Suddenly, the powerful rulers of India were not men who came on horseback such as the Mughals, but men who came in great ships such as the Portuguese, the French and the English. They wanted Indians to work on their ships. They recruited Indians into their armies, which fought on sea. After slavery was outlawed, they wanted indentured labour from India to work in their farms in faraway colonies in the Caribbean.

The fear of "kalapani" or "black water" of the sea that wipes out caste was at its peak in the 19th century. The East India Company faced a lot of problems with the Brahmins they recruited in their army, who refused to cross the sea. So the worst punishment they came up with, after the 1857 Uprising, was to incarcerate political prisoners in the Cellular Jail at Andaman, across the Bay of Bengal sea, infamous as the kala-pani jail, most feared by Brahmin revolutionaries, as going there meant loss of caste and social excommunication.

People who travelled abroad in the 19th century faced a lot of problems, Raja Rammohan Roy, for example. Swami Vivekananda was criticised, but he took it in his characteristic stride as he spread ideas of Hinduism in America. In the film Man who Knew Infinity, based on the mathematician Ramanujan, we find references to this rule. But as education in England came to be valued, as China became the land for the lucrative opium trade, and job opportunities opened up in America, economic and political reality meant old Brahmin rules had to change.

In the 20th century, people have been largely relaxed about it, though it does matter in certain circles, to the high priests of Tirupati temple and to the seers of Udupi Krishna temple, and in some Kerala temples, for example, leading to court battles. Like all things Hindu, there always was a way out. There are purification rites (shuddhi), such as chanting certain mantras and fasting, suggested for those who return home. This is acceptable to most orthodox Brahmin families, but not all.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34239
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:58 am

Kannauj
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/12/21


Delu is said to have been a prince of uncommon bravery and generosity; benevolent towards men, and devoted to the service of God. The most remarkable transaction of his reign is the building of the city of Delhi, which derives its name from its founder, Delu. In the fortieth year of his reign, Phoor, a prince of his own family, who was governor of Cumaoon, rebelled against the Emperor, and marched to Kinoge, the capital. Delu was defeated, taken, and confined in the impregnable fort of Rhotas.
Image
Sirhind / Patiala / Delhi / Kannauj / "Pataliputra"

Phoor immediately mounted the throne of India, reduced Bengal, extended his power from sea to sea, and restored the empire to its pristine dignity. He died after a long reign, and left the kingdom to his son, who was also called Phoor, and was the same with the famous Porus, who fought against Alexander.

The second Phoor [Porus], taking advantage of the disturbances in Persia, occasioned by the Greek invasion of that empire under Alexander, neglected to remit the customary tribute, which drew upon him the arms of that conqueror. The approach of Alexander did not intimidate Phoor [Porus]. He, with a numerous army, met him at Sirhind, about one hundred and sixty miles to the north-west of Delhi, and in a furious battle, say the Indian historians, lost many thousands of his subjects, the victory, and his life. The most powerful prince of the Decan, who paid an unwilling homage to Phoor, or Porus, hearing of that monarch's overthrow, submitted himself to Alexander, and sent him rich presents by his son. Soon after, upon a mutiny arising in the Macedonian army, Alexander returned by the way of Persia.

Sinsarchund, the same whom the Greeks call Sandrocottus, assumed the imperial dignity after the death of Phoor, and in a short time regulated the discomposed concerns of the empire. He neglected not, in the mean time, to remit the customary tribute to the Grecian captains, who possessed Persia under, and after the death of, Alexander. Sinsarchund, and his son after him, possessed the empire of India seventy years. When the grandson of Sinsarchund acceded to the throne, a prince named Jona, who is said to have been a grand-nephew of Phoor, though that circumstance is not well attested, aspiring to the throne, rose in arms against the reigning prince, and deposed him.


-- The History of Hindostan, In Three Volumes, Volume I, by Alexander Dow, Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel in the Company's Service, 1812

Image
Kannauj
City
Goddess Annapurna Temple
Nickname(s): Perfume Capital of India
Image
Coordinates: 27.07°N 79.92°ECoordinates: 27.07°N 79.92°E
Country: India
State: Uttar Pradesh
District: Kannauj
Elevation: 139 m (456 ft)
Population: (2011) Total: 84,862
Languages: Official: Hindi, Urdu
Website http://www.kannauj.nic.in

Kannauj (Hindustani pronunciation: [kənːɔːd͡ʒ]) is a city, administrative headquarters and a municipal board or Nagar Palika Parishad in Kannauj district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The city's name is a modern form of the classical name Kanyakubja.[1] It was also known as Mahodaya during the time of Mihira Bhoja[2]

Kannauj is an ancient city. It is said that the Kanyakubja Brahmins who included Shandilya (teacher of Rishi Bharadwaja) were held one of the three prominent families originally from Kannauj.[3]

In Classical India, it served as the center of imperial Indian dynasties. The earliest of these was the Maukhari dynasty, and later, Emperor Harsha of the Vardhana dynasty.[4] The city later came under the Gahadavala dynasty, and under the rule of Govindachandra, the city reached "unprecedented glory". Kannauj was also the main place of war in the Tripartite struggle between the Gurjars, the Palas and the Rashtrakutas.

However, the "glory of Imperial Kannauj" ended with conquests of the Delhi Sultanate.[5]

Kannauj is famous for distilling of scents. It is known as India’s perfume capital and is famous for its traditional Kannauj Perfume, a government protected entity,[6][7]

Kannauj itself has more than 200 perfume distilleries and is a market center for tobacco, Ittar (perfume), and rose water.[6] It has given its name to a distinct dialect of the Hindustani known as Kanauji, which has two different codes or registers.

History

Early history


Archaeological discoveries show that Kannauj was inhabited by the Painted Grey Ware and Northern Black Polished Ware cultures,[8] ca. 1200-600 BCE and ca. 700-200 BCE, respectively. Under the names of Kuśasthala and Kanyakubja, it is mentioned as a well-known town in the Hindu Epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and by the grammarian Patanjali (ca. 150 BCE).[9] The early Buddhist literature mentions Kannauj as Kannakujja, and refers to its location on the trade route from Mathura to Varanasi and Rajgir.[10]

Kannauj may have been known to the Greco-Roman civilization under the name of Kanagora or Kanogiza, which appears in Geography by Ptolemy (ca. 140 CE), but this identification is not confirmed. It was also visited by the Chinese Buddhist travellers Faxian and Xuanzang in the fifth and seventh centuries CE, respectively.[11]

Image
Coin of the Maukharis of Kannauj under Maharaja Isanavarman, circa 535-553 CE. [Peacock]

Image
Coin of Emperor Harsha of the Vardhana dynasty, circa 606–647 CE. [Peacock][12]
Image
Moustachiod head of king right, wearing a simple crescent-topped crown, unread legend left / Fan-tailed peacock facing, crude Brahmi legend around: vijitavanir avanapati,13mm, 1.67 grams. Kanauj mint? Unpublished and unknown until recently. This is a coin of the famous king Harsha or Harshavardhana, who ascended the throne of Thaneswar, a small kingdom in present-day Haryana, at the age of 16, and then reconstituted the remnants of a large part of the fragmented Gupta empire in Northern India into a single realm. He moved his capital to Kanauj and had an illustrious reign of over 40 years. Harsha died in the year 647. He ruled for 41 years. After Harsha's death, his empire died with him. The kingdom disintegrated rapidly into small states. The succeeding period is very obscure and badly documented, but it marks the culmination of a process that had begun with the invasion of the Huns in the last years of the Gupta Empire.


Image
The Call of the Peacock A flamboyant men’s printed cotton angrakha in kanauj-pink coromandel chintz. By Sabyasachi, photo by Tarun Vishwa


Only Justin (Just. xii, 8) reports that Alexander had defeated the Prasii. Palibothra, the Prasiian capital was famous for peacocks. Lane Fox writes:
... Dhana Nanda's kingdom could have been set against itself and Alexander might yet have walked among Palimbothra's peacocks.

Curiously, Arrian writes that Alexander was so charmed by the beauty of peacocks that he decreed the severest penalties against anyone killing them (Arrian, Indica, xv.218). The picture of Alexander amidst peacocks appears puzzling: where did he come across the majestic bird? Does this fascination lead us to Palibothra?

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


Kannauj formed part of the Gupta Empire. During the decline of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century, the Maukhari dynasty of Kannauj - who had served as vassal rulers under the Guptas - took advantage of the weakening of central authority, broke away and established control over large areas of northern India.[13]

Under the Maukharis, Kannauj continued to grow in importance and prosperity. It became the greatest city of Northern India under Emperor Harsha (r. 606 to 647 CE) of the Vardhana dynasty, who conquered it and made it his capital.[14][15] Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited India during the reign of Harsha, and described Kannauj as a large, prosperous city with many Buddhist monasteries.[16] Harsha died with no heir, resulting in a power vacuum until Maharaja Yashovarman seized power as the ruler of Kannauj.[4]

The Kannauj Triangle

See also: Raja Jasdhaval at Roopkund

These wars took place from late 8th to early 9th century CE, after which Gurjara Pratiharas retain control of Ujjain.

Kannauj became a focal point for three powerful dynasties, namely the Gurjara Pratiharas (r. 730-1036 CE), Palas (r. 750-1162 CE) and Rashtrakutas (r. 753-982 CE), between the 8th and 10th centuries. The conflict between the three dynasties has been referred to as the Tripartite struggle by many historians.[17][18]

Image
The Kanauj was the focal point of three empires: the Rashtrakutas of Deccan, the Gurjara Pratiharas of Malwa, and the Palas of Bengal.

There were initial struggles but ultimately the Gurjara Pratiharas succeeded in retaining the city.[17] The Gurjara-Pratiharas ruled Avanti (based at Ujjain), which was bounded to the South by the Rashtrakuta Empire, and the Pala Empire to the East. The Tripartite struggle began with the defeat of Indrayudh at the hands of Gurjara-Pratihara ruler Vatsaraja (r. 780-800 CE).[17] The Pala ruler Dharampala (~770-821 CE) was also keen to establish his authority at Kannauj, giving rise to a struggle between Vatsaraja and Dharmapala, in which Dharmapala was defeated.[19] Taking advantage of the chaos, the Rastrakuta ruler Dhruva Dharavarsha (r. 780–793 CE) surged northwards, defeated Vatsaraja, and took Kannauj for himself, completing the furthest northern expansion by a South Indian ruler.[18][20]

When the Rashtrakuta ruler Dhruva Dharavarsha advanced back to the south, Dharampala was left in control of Kannauj for some time. The struggle between the two northern dynasties of Palas and Gurjara Pratiharas continued: the Pala's vassal Chakrayudha (Dharmapala's nominee for Ujjain) was defeated by the Pratihara Nagabhata II (r. 805–833 CE), and Kannauj was again occupied by the Gurjara Pratiharas. Dharmapala tried to take control of Kannauj but was defeated badly at Moongher by the Gurjara Pratiharas.[17] However, Nagabhata II was in turn soon defeated by the Rashtrakuta Govinda III (r. 793–814 CE) , who had initiated a second northern surge. An inscription states that Chakrayudha and Dharmapala invited Govinda III to war against the Gurjara Pratiharas, but Dharmapala and Chakrayudh both submitted to the Govinda III, in order to win his sympathy. After this defeat, Pratihara power degenerated for some time. After the death of Dharampala, Nagabhata II regained hold over Kannuaj and made it the capital of the Gurjara Pratihara Empire. During this period, the Rashtrakutas were facing some internal conflicts, and so they, as well as the Pala Empire, did not contest this.[17] Thus Gurjara Pratiharas became the greatest power in Northern India after occupying Kannauj (9th century CE).[17]

Medieval times

Famous Pir-e-Kamil, Hazrat Pir Shah Jewna Al-Naqvi Al-Bokhari was also born in Kannauj in 1493 in the reign of King Sikandar Lodi. He was a descendant of Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari and his father Syed Sadar-ud-din Shah Kabeer Naqvi Al Bukhari was a great saint and was also among the advisors of King Sikandar Lodhi. Shah Jewna migrated to Shah Jeewna (a town named after him) now in Pakistan. Shah Jewna’s colonized towns in Kannauj :- Siray- e-Miraan, Bibiyaan Jalalpur, Makhdoom Pur, Laal Pur (associated with the name of Saint Sayyed Jalaluddin Haider Surkh Posh Bukhari or Laal Bukhari). His descendants still present in various parts of India and Pakistan.[21][22][23][24]

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni captured Kanauj in 1018. Chandradeva founded the Gahadvala dynasty with its capital at Kanauj around 1090. His grandson Govindachandra "raised Kanauj to unprecedented glory." Muhammad Ghori advanced against the city, and in the Battle of Chandwar of 1193 killed Jayachandra. Jai Chandra had earlier not supported Prithviraj Chauhan when the latter faced Muhammad Ghori and lost the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192

Alberuni has referred to "Kanoj" as the key geographical point to explain marching distances to other Indian cities [25] The "glory of Imperial Kanauj" ended with Iltutmish's conquest.[5]:21, 32–33

Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun at the battle of Kannauj on 17 May 1540.

Colonial period

During early English rule in India, the city was spelled Cannodge by them. The Nawab Hakim Mehndi Ali Khan has been constantly associated with the development of city of kannouj by the travellers and writers of the period. A ghat (Mehndighat), a Sarai (for the free stay of travellers and merchants) and various metalled roads were built by the Nawab which also bear his name.

Geography

Kannauj is located at 27.07°N 79.92°E.[26] It has an average elevation of 139 metres (456 feet).

Demographics

As of 2001 India census,[27] Kannauj had a population of 71,530. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Kannauj has an average literacy rate of 58%: male literacy is 64%, and female literacy is 52%. In Kannauj, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Colleges

Medical College


Government Medical College, Kannauj is a government medical college located in Tirwa of Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is affiliated to King George's Medical University, Lucknow.

Engineering College

Government Engineering College, Kannauj is a government engineering college located at Kannauj. It is a constituent college of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University (formerly Uttar Pradesh Technical University) in Lucknow. The college is situated at Aher, Tirwa.

Transportation

The city is served by two major railway station Kannauj railway station and Kannauj City railway station. The nearest airport is Kanpur Airport situated about 2 hours drive from the town.

It is situated on GT road(Delhi to Kanpur). It has road transportation Kannauj Depo. under the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transportation Corporation(UPSRTC).

Notable people

• Āma, King of Kannauj
• Malini Awasthi, folk singer
• Mihira Bhoja, King of North India
• Shah Jewna, Missionary or Pir
• Sayyid Muhammad Qanauji, Sufi
• Samyukta, Princess of Kannauj
• Yashovarman, King of Kannauj

References

1. Rama Shankar Tripathi (1989). History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 2. ISBN 978-81-208-0404-3.
2. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blo ... rspective/
3. Upinder Singh (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India. Pearson Education India. p. 575. ISBN 9788131711200.
4. Tripathi, History of Kanauj, p.192
5. Sen, S.N., 2013, A Textbook of Medieval Indian History, Delhi: Primus Books, ISBN 9789380607344
6. "Life: India's perfume capital threatened by scent of modernity". The Taipei Times. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
7. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Kanauj" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 648.
8. Dilip K. Chakrabarti (2007), Archaeological geography of the Ganga plain: the upper Ganga (Oudh, Rohilkhand, and the Doab), p.47
9. Rama S. Tripathi, History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest (Motilal Banarsidass, 1964), pp.2,15-16
10. Moti Chandra (1977), Trade Routes in Ancient India pp.16-18
11. Tripathi, History of Kanauj, pp.17-19
12. "CNG: eAuction 329. INDIA, Post-Gupta (Ganges Valley). Vardhanas of Thanesar and Kanauj. Harshavardhana. Circa AD 606-647. AR Drachm (13mm, 2.28 g, 1h)". http://www.cngcoins.com.
13. Tripathi, History of Kanauj, pp.22-24
14. Tripathi, History of Kanauj, p.147
15. James Heitzman, The City in South Asia (Routledge, 2008), p.36
16. Heizman, The City in South Asia, pp.36-37
17. Pratiyogita Darpan. Upkar Prakashan. p. 9.
18. R.C. Majumdar (1994). Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 282–285. ISBN 978-81-208-0436-4.
19. Kumar Sundram (2007). Compendium General Knowledge. Upkar Prakashan. p. 195. ISBN 978-81-7482-181-2.
20. Pratiyogita Darpan. Upkar Prakashan.
21. "Pir-e-Kamil Hazrat Pir Shah Jewna Al-Naqvi Al-Bokhari". http://www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
22. "Hazrat Pir Shah Jewna (RA)". The Nation. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 1 January2021.
23. "Indian Journal Of Archaeology". ijarch.org. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
24. "Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust". nazariapak.info. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
25. (India, Vol 1, from p 199 onwards, Translated by Dr Edward C. Sachau, London 1910).
26. Falling Rain Genomics, Inc – Kannauj
27. "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.

Further reading

• Majumdar, R. C., In Pusalker, A. D., In Majumdar, A. K., & Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan,. (1993). The age of imperial Kanauj.

External links

• District Kannauj Website.
• Dugar, Divya (7 August 2012). "In pictures: Fading fragrance of Kannauj, India's perfume capital". CNN. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
• History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest By Rama Shankar Tripathi

***********************************

Kahnuj
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/13/21
Bosworth writes that the name of the place where the victory was celebrated was Kahnuj. The name tells all, for Kanauj was the chief city of the Indians, the name of which is echoed in the famous city in eastern India which later became most important.29 [A. B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great (Cambridge 1988) 150, who gives the name Khanu (maps usually give the name Kohnouj or Kahnuj). Nearby Patali may have been Palibothra.]
As the winter deepened, Alexander approached the Carmanian capital, which Diodorus (xvii.106.4) names Salmus. It was, according to Nearchus (Arr. Ind. 33.7), five days' journey from the coast. The site remains a mystery,386 but it was probably at the western side of the valley of the Halil Rud, in the general vicinity of the modern town of Khanu. The army was in an area of relative plenty but close enough to the coast to receive news of the progress of Nearchus' fleet. There Alexander sacrificed to commemorate his Indian victory and the emergence from the Gedrosian desert, and he held a musical and athletic festival, a drunken and festive affair, notable for the general acclaim achieved by Alexander's favourite Bagoas when he entered the winning chorus.387 During the celebrations, if not before, news came of Nearchus' safe arrival at Harmozeia, the principal seaport of Carmania. The details are supplied for us by Nearchus, and they are open to justifiable suspicion. Nearchus has a rich story, full of dramatic peripeteia, in which he unexpectedly learns of the king's presence in the near vicinity, marches up county with a small escort, strangely missing the search parties sent out by his anxious king, and is finally retrieved, unrecognisable from brine and fatigue, to give the glad news of the fleet's survival to Alexander in person. The details of this Odyssey are beyond verification and there is very probably a good deal of imaginative embellishment.388 What is certain is that the fleet arrived at Harmozeia without serious loss and that its arrival was announced to Alexander by Nearchus in person. It was a moment of general exaltation, and, if we may believe Nearchus (Arr. Ind. 36.3), Alexander renewed the sacrifices and prolonged the games. The celebrations which had begun commemorating the delivery of the army from Gedrosia ended with thanks-offerings for the safe arrival of the fleet.

-- A. B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great (Cambridge 1988), p. 150

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


Image
Kahnuj is located in Iran
Coordinates: 27°57′N 57°42′ECoordinates: 27°57′N 57°42′E
Country: Iran
Province: Kerman
County: Kahnuj
Bakhsh: Central
Population (2016 Census): 52,624 [1]

Kahnuj (Persian: كهنوج‎, also Romanized as Kahnūj)[2] is a city and capital of Kahnuj County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 38,571, in 8,278 families.[3] To the northwest is Mehroyeh Wildlife Refuge.

References

1. "Statistical Center of Iran > Home".
2. Kahnuj can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3756549" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
3. "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)" (Excel). Statistical Center of Iran. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11.
4. *"Average Maximum temperature in Kahnuj by Month 1989–2010". Iran Meteorological Organization. Retrieved April 8, 2015.[permanent dead link]
 "Average Mean Daily temperature in Kahnuj by Month 1989–2010". Iran Meteorological Organization. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
 "Average Minimum temperature in Kahnuj by Month 1989–2010". Iran Meteorological Organization. Retrieved April 8, 2015.[permanent dead link]
5. "Monthly Total Precipitation in Kahnuj by Month 1989–2010". Iran Meteorological Organization. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
6. "Average relative humidity in Kahnuj by Month 1989–2010". Iran Meteorological Organization. Retrieved April 8, 2015.[permanent dead link]
7. "No. Of days with precipitation equal to or greater than 1 mm in Kahnuj by Month 1989–2010". Iran Meteorological Organization. Retrieved April 8, 2015.[permanent dead link]
8. "Monthly total sunshine hours in Kahnuj by Month 1989–2010". Iran Meteorological Organization. Retrieved April 8, 2015.[permanent dead link]

*********************

Patali, Anbarabad
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/13/21

Image
Patali
village
Patali is located in Iran
Coordinates: 28°21′31″N 57°51′02″ECoordinates: 28°21′31″N 57°51′02″E
Country: Iran
Province: Kerman
County: Anbarabad
Bakhsh: Central
Rural District: Jahadabad
Population (2006): 492

Patali (Persian: پاتلي‎, also Romanized as Pātalī; also known as Kheyrābād-e Pātelī)[1] is a village in Jahadabad Rural District, in the Central District of Anbarabad County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 492, in 105 families.[2]

References

1. Patali can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3078059" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".

2. "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)" (Excel). Statistical Center of Iran. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34239
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

PreviousNext

Return to Articles & Essays

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron