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VII.—Note on an Inscription found near the Kesariah Mound, in Tirhzit. By J. B. ELLIOTT, Esq. (Pl. XVII. fig. 6.)
[In a note to the Editor.]
Having seen mention of the Kesariah Mound made in the last No. of your Journal, I beg to enclose the impression of an inscription cut below the figures of the Avatdrs, sculptured on a black stone, which I obtained at Kesariah several years ago from a fakir. The figures being small and rudely sculptured, it is not worth while making a copy of them-; but as the inscription could not be made out by the Pandit of the Chapréh Committee, it may be worth deciphering. I visited and made some notes on the subject of the pillars, and other antiquities in Champaran, which I may, perhaps, hereafter communicate.
Note.--This fragment, which is Brahmanical, not Buddhist, is in an ancient form of Dévanagari, diifering little from that noticed on the Bakra image of Mr. Swnrnnusou. It breaks ofl’ abruptly with an initial 1' :-—for it is only to lrfrtlir iha that any meaning can be traced : while the diphthong 111' or e’ is plain over the last letter, which I conclude to be an In. The reading in modern Dévanagari will be as follows: I have added a literal Latin version.
The interpretation of which in English will be :" The ever-living CHANDBADATTA was born on the Sunday appropriated to the reading of the Sukta by his father SWRYADATTA. Glory
here. . . . . . . (The Siikta is the most sacred hymn of the Rig Veda, closing its 3rd Ashtaka or Ogdoad—and has for one of its verses the celebrated Gfiyatri.)
[N0'rn.-I take this opportunity of pointing out, in reference to my observation on the Bakra image inscription; (page 131,) that I had overlooked in plate in FnANK1.m’s Palibothra, of a Buddhist image, with an inscription, to which Lient. Cunnmonsm has since drawn my attention. On turning to it, I perceive, that the two lines separately given are, though miserably perverted by the copyist, precisely the same as the ye dllarmmri hétun, &c. of Sairnfith. The three lines on the pedestal, though stated in the text to be different, would appear to be the same also ; at least the two first words, ye dharmmzi, are distinct.-—J. P.]
VllI.-—-Proceedings of the Asiatic Society.
Wednesday Evening, the 8rd June, 1835.
The Honorable Sir Enwsnn Russ, President, in the chair.
Read the proceedings of the last meeting.
vnnvsn, was duly elected a member.
Mr. J. P. GRANT was proposed by Mr. TREVELYAN, seconded by Mr. J. Convm. Mr. Wm. ADAM, proposed by Capt. Forums, seconded byMr. Hams. Mr. VVM. HY. BENSON, proposed by Dr. Minn, seconded by Mr. Pnnvsnp.
Captain TAYLOR, Madras Cav. proposed by Mr. MAGNAGHTEN, seconded by Sir E. RYAN
Dr. Evans, Mr. Pnnvnn, 7th Regt. Bengal N’. I., Mr. Srocounmm, and Lieut. MONTRIOU, Ind. N. were proposed by Dr. Pr-mason, and seconded
by Mr. J. PRINSEP.
The Secretary brought up the following:
Report of the Committee of Papers on Mr. J. T. PE.\R.SON'S proposition for creating a new order of Members, to be denominated “Associate Members of the Asiatic Society."
1. “ We consider Dr. Pnaasorfs proposition for creating Associate Members to be worthy of adoption by the Society, and we would propose that they should enjoy all the privileges of ordinary members; but we would suggest, that by way of maintaining more than the mere distinction of name between the Associate and the Honorary Members, some contribution, however trifling, should be required from the former class. The Associates, it may be presumed, would be composed of men, whose reputation would not be sufficiently brilliant to admit of their being classed among our Honorary Members. They would, in all probability, did their circumstances admit, become ordinary paying members, and the principle upon which the present proposition rests, is, that the Society desirous of removing this obstruction, and encouraging their labours, is willing to admit them on a less expensive footing: at the same time, requiring a moderate contribution to distinguish them from those eminent men, whom it considers an honor to itself, to enrol in its list of members.
2. “ Under the above considerations, we concurin recommending that the annual payment of Associate Members be fixed at four rupees. Their election to proceed in the mode prescribed for honorary members, that is, to be previously sub
mitted to the Committee of Papers for report.
“ 20th May, 1835. “J. PRINSEP, Secy.” The President,followed by Mr. J. R. Convm, roposed that “ the first
part of the Report be adopted, “ That there shou d be Associate Members, .
having all the privileges of ordinary members." I Mr. D. Ross, seconded by Mr. MOFARLAN, moved as an amendment, that the
words “ with the exception of any power of voting on money questions” be ad
ded. This amendment was lost, as was another proposed by Mr. N. B. E. BAILun, seconded by Capt. Foanus, “ that they should have all the privileges of
ordinary members, except'the right of voting."
The motion was then put and carried ,' the second proposal was also made into a resolution, viz. “ That Associate Members shall pay an an. nual contribution of four rupees."
The Secretary submitted also the—
Report of the Committee of Papers, on Mr. GARDNER'S application and estimate
for Repairing the Monument o_/‘Sir WILLIAM Jonas. “ The Committee find on inquiry that the repairs may be executed at an ex
pence of about l50 rupees. “ They trust the members will be unanimous in thinking it desirable, to evince
the respect of the Society for the memory of its illustrious founder, by authoriz
ing the trifling expence which will be required to repair his monument, and to preserve from obliteration that beautiful epitaph which he wrote for himself. and which is so characteristic of the independent upriglitness and the unaffected piety of its author. " For the Committee of Papers, H 20”, Ma;/,'1335. “J. PRINSEP, Set-y."
_ Proposed by the Rev. Dr. MILL, _Vice-President, seconded by Mr. Cor,
vnv. and resolved, that the Report of the Committee be adopted and acted
uP'(l‘nlie draft of a Memorial to Government, regarding Oriental Publica
tions, prepared by a Special Committee, appointed at the last meeting was.
then read by the President, taking the sense of the meeting on eachBpara
graph. The following is the Memorial, as finally adopted :
To the Hon’ble Sir C. T. METCALFE, Bart. Gov. General of India in Council,
_ ' 6,0. #0. ($0. Honorable Sir and Slrs, ' The Members of the Asiatic Society, now resident in Calcutta, have
requested me, as President of their body, to address the Honorable the ~
Governor General in Council, on a subject which engages their deepest interest.
' 2.—It has come to the knowledge of the Society that the funds which have been hitherto in part applied to the revival and improvement of the literature and the encouragement of the learned natives of India, are hence~ forth to be exclusively appropriated to purposes of English education.
3.--The Asiatic Society doesnot presume for a moment to doubt the power of the Government to apply its funds in such manner as it may deem to be most consistent with the intentions of the legislature, and most advan-tageous for the great object of educating its Indian subjects ; but they contemplate with the most sincere alarm the effect that such a measure might produce on the literature and languages of the country, which it had been hitherto an object both with the Government and with the Erlucation Committee, under its orders, to encourage and patronize, unless the proposition which they have the honor to submit, meet with the favorable attention of Government.
4~.--The Society has been informed, that this departure from the course hitherto pursued has been ordered to take such immediate effect, that the printing of several valuable oriental works has been suddenly suspended, while they were in different stages of progress through the press; and that the suspension has been alike extended to the legendary lore of the East, and to the enlightened science of the West, if clothed in an Asiatic lan
a e. gu5.g—The cause of this entire change of system has been, the Society understand, a desire to extend the benefits of English instruction more widely among the natives of India ; the fund hitherto appropriated to that pur.. pose not being deemed sufficient.
6.--The Members of the Society are individually and collectively warm advocates for the diffusion, as far as possible, of English arts, sciences, and literature ,' but they cannot see the necessity, in the pursuit of this favorite object, of abandoning the cultivation of the ancient and beautiful languages of the East.
7.—The peculiar objects of the Asiatic Society, and the success with which its members have, under the‘ auspices of their illustrious founder, prosecuted their researches into the hidden stores of ori
ental knowledge", entitle them to form an opinion of the value of these ancient tongues, inti
mately connected as they are with the history, the habits, the languages, and the institutions of the people ,- and it is this which emboldens them
to step forward on such an occasion as the present to offer an humble but earnest prayer, that the encouragement and support of the British Government may not be withdrawn from the languages and literature of the vast and varied population, whom Providence has committed to its protection. 8.—Many arguments of policy and humanity might be advanced in support of their present solicitation, upon which the Society do not deem it within their province to expatiate. There is one argument, however, which appears to be of so conclusive a character as to require distinct notice in this Appeal. 9.—lt is admitted by all, even the most enthusiastic advocates of the Eng, lish system of tuition, that this language never can become the language of the great body of the people whose moral and intellectual improvement is the benevolent object of the British Government. It is moreover admitted, that the Sanscrit language, while it is directly the parent of the dialects spoken from Cashmere to the Kistna, and from the Indus to the Brahma‘putra, is also the source from which every other dialect of the Peninsula,and even many languages of the neighbouring countries, have been for ages dependent for every term extending beyond the merest purposes of animal or savage life. If it were possible to dry up this source of literary vegetation, which gives beauty and fertility to the dialects of India in proportion to the copiousness of its admixture ; the vernacular languages would become so barren and impoverished, as to be wholly unfit to be the channels of elegant literature or useful knowledge. The same may be said of Arabic and Persian as regards the Hindustani language. l0.—-The Society are far from meaning to assert that the withdrawal of the support of Government, from the cherishedlanguages of the natives of India, would put an end to the cultivation of them. On the contrary, they think that the natural and necessary eifect would be that both the Hindus and Muhammedans would, in that event, adhere with tenfold tenacity to those depositaries of all they hold sacred and valuable. But, incaleulable mischief, in a variety of shapes, would nevertheless be effected. If the British Government set the example of neglecting oriental studies, it can hardly be expected that many of their European subjects will cultivate them. The field will then be left in the undisturbed possession of those whose unprofitable husbandry is already but too visible, and who will pursue it with a view to the perpetuation of superstition and defective morality among the people. An influence will thus be lost, the benefit of which to the more intellectual classes of natives can scarcely be estimated too highly, arising from the direction given to their studies and pursuits by those who can freely acknowledge what is intellectually and morally valuable in their previous systems, and distinguish it from what is of an opposite character: and who take the first and most necessary step for removing the wrong prejudices of others, by proving that they are Without unjust prejudice themselves. It needs no laboured proof to shew how infinitely more powerful must be our protest against what is demoralizing or debasing in the native institutions, when we act with this knowledge and this spirit, than if we commenced by repudiating every thing Asiatic, as contemptible, and acknowledged no basis of intellectual communication with them, but what was formed in the peculiar fashions of modern Europe. ll.—If the Sanscrit andArabic languages,consecrated as they are by ages of the remotest antiquity—enshrined, as they are, in the affections of venerating millions-—-the theme, as they are, of the wonder and of the admiration of all the learned nations of Europe ;—if these languages are to receive no support from a Government which has been ever famed for its liberallty and its justice,-—from a Government which draws an annual revenue of: twenty millions from the people by whom these languages are held sacred, it IS the decided opinion of the Asiatic Society—an opinion which they want words to express with adequate force, that the cause of civilization and the character of the British nation will alike sustain irreparable injury. 12.—The Society, therefore, earnestly beseech the Honorablethe Governor General in Council, that if,on full consideration, any reasonable doubt shall be entertained by the Supreme Government of the right of the native literature to a fair proportion of the sum appropriated by Parliament, “ for the revival and improvement of literature, and for the encouragement of learned natives of India,” he will then be pleased either himself to grant, or if necessary, to solicit from the Court of Directors, some specific pecuniary aid to be annually expended on these objects. And the Society will be happy to undertake the duty of superintending the expenditure of this sum, under such checks as it may please the Government to am ose. i,3.——But whatever may be the determination of the Government on this oint, the Society respectfully intreat the Governor General in Council, that he will be pleased to afford to them the assistance of the learned na_ tives hitherto employed in these literary undertakings, together with such pecuniary aid as may be necessary,to complete the printing of the oriental works, which has been interrupted by the resolution of Government to direct the funds hitherto expended upon them to purposes of English education. 14.-.—Should Government be pleased to accede to this request, the Society will furnish with as little delay as possible an estimate of the amount which will be required for the attainment of this object. 15.—The Society cannot doubt that the Governor General in Council will support their appeal to the home authorities with his powerful advocacy, nor that the earliest opportunity will be taken of bringing the merits of the important and entirely national question it embraces, before the Honorable the Court of Directors, in all its bearings. This address has been dictated solely by the desire of protfering to Government the services of an appropriate organ, through which the publication of the oriental classics may be continued, and that further patronage extended to oriental studies, which it cannot believe the Government to have any intention of altogether abandoning. Enwann RYAN, President. Asiatic Socz'et_o’.s- Apartments, June 3rd, 1835. }
Upon the first five paragraphs one or two verbal alterations only were suggested. Onthe 6th, which originally ended, “ but they would deeply regret if, in the pursuit of this favorite object, it were thought necessary or advisable to abandon, &c.”
Mr. CoLvrN begged to propose the omission of the word “ favorite,” as ap
plied in the above paragraph of the Address to the object of extending the means of Englisheducation. It appeared to him to convey an unnecessary imputation, as if of prejudiced favoritism or partiality. He would here say (31. luding to some remarks which had passed in conversation), that he entertained as cordial a desire, as any one could do, to promote the literary purposes, with a view to which the Society was formed. He, as a member of the Society, fully sympathized in the feeling which would seek to maintain the knowledge and cultivation of the oriental languages and literature, and he Would readily join in an address to Government to obtain its patronage and pecuniary support for those studies; but he had hoped that the proceedings of the evening were to be free from controversy. He had not been present at the meeting of the previous month, but he had seen with great gratification, that the proposition then adopted was for the preparation of a memorial, “ which should avoid to the utmost all controversial points." He feared from the observations which had been made that he should be disappointed in this respect. He had, however, been unintentionally led, by what had passed, into a. digression; returning to the 0l)J60t for which he had risen to speak, he proposed the omission of the won} “ favorite” in the passage which had just been read.