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II.—-Restitution and Translation of the Inscription found in the Ruins of the Mountain-Temple ofShe/cdvati. By W. H. MILL, D. D. Prin~ cipal of BisI|op’s College, Vice-President, 8;c. &r:.
[Read before the Asiatic Society, August 5, 1835.]
The inscription mentioned in the preceding article, is not unworthy of the labour which Dr. G. C. RANKIN and Serjeant DEAN have severally bestowed on it. Though abounding, like other monuments of the same kind, with much that is little calculated to interest western readers, it is not destitute of philological and historical use, in illustrating the political and literary state of India at the very remarkable period to which it belongs. Its date precedes, by a few years only, the first great invasion of the Mahomedans : who, ever since that period, the close of the tenth century of our era, have so powerfully influenced the civil and social state of the country. The character in_which this inscription is executed, joined with the extreme precision of its date, gives it a value beyond that of its own intrinsic information: furnishing, as it does, a definite standard, from which the age of other monuments of similar or more remotely resembling characters may be inferred with tolerable accuracy.
The character, though illegible at present to the pandits even of northern India, presents no difliculty after the deciphering of the more ancient inscriptions, whose characters resemble those of the second on the pillar of Allahabad. This stone exhibits the Devanagari in its state of transition, from the form visible in that and other yet older monuments, to the writing which now universally bears that name, and which may be traced without sensible variation in inscrip
-tions as old as the 12th century. From the facsimile of Serjeant
DEAN, I easily transcribed all the legible letters of the inscription into the last-mentioned character: and the circumstance of its being in verse of various measures, (though written according to Indian usage, in unbroken lines like prose,) with the exception of a few prosaic enumerations near the end, helped greatly to the restitution of the reading, where the stone was broken or partially defaced*.
* Of the 49 verses or stanzas of which the poetical part of thisinscription consists, 23 are in the measure the most nearly approaching to the freedom of prose, the‘ Iambic Tetrameter of the Ramayana and Mahabharata: and one is in the ancient description of metre called A'r_1/ti, in which, as in the Anapaestic measures of the Greeks, the aggregate quantity of feet is preserved, without regard to the number of syllables. The remaining 25 (which the great length of some of the metres causes to be the most considerable portion of the whole insci-iption,) are in various descriptions of lyrical measure, seven in number, in each of which the number and the quantity of syllables is regulated with the same rigour and precision as in the greater part of the Odes of HORACE. These seven measures are interspersed with the two other metres and with each other ad libitum, as in the drama, and other classical writings of the Hindus.
The subject of the inscription is the erection of the temple, in whose yet splendid ruins it was found, to SIVA MAHADEVA, under a name by which he is not generally known elsewhere—-SR1’ HARSHA : the latter word (id joy), being still the name of a village in the neighbourhood, and apparently of the high mountain itself, as we learn from the descriptions of the site now published. The inscription, however, connects this name with an event of great celebrity in the mythology of India,—S1vA’s destruction of the Asura or demon TmPURA, who had expelled INDRA and his gods from Svarga or heaven ; and his reception of the praises of the restored celestials on this very mountain: whence the name of JOY is stated to have been derived to this hill, and the surrounding region, as well as to the great deity as here worshipped. '
After some of the ordinary topics of praise to SIVA, in which the mythology of the Puranas and the deeper mystical theology of the Upanishads are blended in the usual manner,—and after the commemoration of this peculiar seat of his worship,—the author begins in the 13th of his varied stanzas, to recount the predecessors of the two Shekavati princes, to whose liberality the temple was most indebted. A genealogy of six princes, of the same distinguished family whose head then held the neighbouring kingdom of Ajmeer,—the family of the Chaihumfina or Choh:'zns,—is continued regularly from father to son, and terminated in Swan RKJA, in whose reign this work appears to have been commenced, A. D. 961. Then comes a seventh king of a totally different family, being sprung from the solar race of RAGHU. The name of this descendant of R-A'MA is VIGRAHA RA'JA; but in what character he appears as the successor of the former princes, whether as a conqueror or as a liberator from the power of other conquerors,— and in what manner, if at all, he allied himself to the former race which he is said to have restored, is not distinctly stated in the three verses (19, ‘.20, and 21), where the succession is recorded. We find only that in hisliberalityto this temple of the god of Joy, be emulated and surpassed the donations of his apparently less fortunate predecessor SINHA RA'JA', and that in his time it was probably completed, twelve years after its commencement, in A. D. 973. From this list of monarchs, which is not without value as illustrating the discordant and divided state of India at this critical epoch of its history, the author passes in the 28th verse to what is of paramount importance in the Hindu mind-—the commemora
tion of the chief brahmans of the temple and their predecessors. The princes were but donors and benefactors, but these World-renouncing men are represented as the actual builders, whose spiritual genealogy from preceptor to pupil, the author proceeds to trace. The line when apparently degenerating, is described as reformed by the zeal and devotion of one who is an incarnation of the god NAND1’ himself, the greatest of S1vA's attendant deities,—and who, in his mortal state, received command to erect this magnificent temple in the sacred mount of Harsl2a,—a work, however, which was not completed by himself, but by his pupil. After some descriptions and panegyrics, in which due mention is made of what excites the admiration of all beholders of the ruins at this day, the conveyance of the huge stones of the building to this mountain height, the poetical part of the inscription ceases : and the minute account of the year, the month and the day, in which the work was begun and ended, is followed by a list of benefactors of various degrees, kings and subjects, with their several donations of lands to the temple. The whole is concluded with a verse eulogizing benefactions of this nature, and adjuriug all future princes, in the name of the great RA'MA, to preserve them inviolate.
The last king VIGRAHA is very probably the Yaso-Vumaun of Capt. FnL1.’s Benares inscription, the head of the family whence sprung the last (Rahtore) kings of Kényakubja or Kanoj : though Wu.soN’s calculation of only 24 years each for four generations would bring that chief to A. D. 1024, fifty years after the date of this monument, (A. R. vol. xv. p. 461.) But for the same distance of time, deduced from more certain data, I should have been led to identify VIaa.\n.\'s younger brother, whose name occurs in the 26th verse of the inscription, with a prince who in the same year 1024, in conjunction with another Indian chief called BRAHMA Deva, nearly turned the tide of victory against MAuMu'n GHAZNEVI, after his rapid march from Ajmeer to Somanath, by arriving seasonably to assist his Guzzeratti countrymen ; and whom MAHMU'D, after his reduction of that place, apprehending as a formidable enemy, took prisoner with him to his capital beyond the Indus; whence being sent back to a kinsman of his own, who had been left viceroy of Guzzerat, he succeeded by a most remarkable adventure, in possessing himself of the kingdom of that country. Certainly this prince, whom FERISHTA calls (as well as his kinsman) DA'BSHELI'M*, is called by other authorities, Hindu and Mahomedan, Dunnanna, the same name as that here assigned to the
warlike brother of VIGRAHA. . ‘Dow, vol. i. pp. 74, 79, 82,-Barnes, vol. i. pp. 70-80.--Arm Acmmr, vol. i. pp. 82, 86. ‘