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such a supposition, copies of as many of the various cave characters, on this side of India, as could be easily procured, were collected and arranged in the order of what appeared to be their relative anti. quity.
Selections from these, and also from grants of subsequent date to those which are here principally treated of, have been made to give an idea. of the manner in which the ancient writing has gradually been changed to its present form : these are all taken from copperplate and other inscriptions (which are deposited in the Museum of the Bombay branch of the Royal Asiatic Society). From one of these it appears, that up to Saca 730, or A. D. 808, no very material dif. ference in the character had taken place. The accompanying lithog,.a__ phic plate (No. 3), contains specimens of varieties of writing from the most ancient times to the present*.
The hope of meeting with a key to the alphabet now decyphered, led to references to those of Tibet and other countries ; and a strong similarity was remarked between it, the Kawi (Kdvya Bhdsha) character of Java, used in that country when under the government of its Hindu conquerors, the Pzili of Siam, and the alphabet of Tibet; from each of these, a few lines have been copied, by reference to which, the close resemblance of many of the letters to those of the inscription (No. 2), will be apparent.
Several of the provincial alphabets also have been evidently taken from this source, long before the remodeling of the present devanrigarz’: a few of the most striking coincidences are also given in the same plate with the above (No. 4).
The resemblance of this character to those of Tibet, and the sacred ' alphabets of Siam and Java, may perhaps tend to throw some light‘
upon the acra of the conquest of Java, Sumatra, and several of the eastern islands by the Hindus, and also on that of the introduction of the Buddhist religion into Tibet, and the countries eastward of the Brahmaputra.
The contents of these inscriptions, as tending to elucidate the ancient history of Western India, at the commencement of the fourth century of the Christian aera, are of some interest, as will be pm,
'* We defer the publication of these comparative alphabets, because we think they may be rendered more complete by the addition of those to which we have access on this side of India. Such a palaeographical table has been long 3 desideratum, and Mr. W.\rnr:N’s contribution will furnish a considerable portion of the list. Our recent inscriptions from Shekéwat, and Benares must, however, be added to complete it, and the various Pdli offsets from the Magadhi require to be more fully developed.—En.
sently detailed: 11 list of the princes enumerated will be found in the Appendix, (No. 5).
In the first inscription, as well as in the second, the origin of this dynasty is traced to Bl-IATARCA Snuirarr, who is said to have established his power by signal bravery and prowess: his capital named ValabI|ipura*, is also expressly mentioned in the first grant; both the founder of this sovereignty, and two first successors, did not take the title of king, but Sendputi, or General, whence it may be inferred, that they were under a paramount sovereign, by whom the province of Gujerdt was committed to their charge; and it is stated in the description of the fourth prince of this family, that he was raised to the royal dignity by “the great monarch, the sole sovereign of the entire world,” meaning India.
The third in succession to him, named Sarnnann SENA, would appear to have thrown 05 all dependence on this paramount sovereign of I/_';'a_1/ana or Kanouj ,- for by the date of the first inscription, the Valabhi Samvat or aera would appear to have been instituted in his reign, its date being Samvat nine : this circumstance induced the belief, at first, that the aera referred to was that of VrcnAMA'n1'rYA, until on referring to the 1st volume of Ton’s Réjasthan, the existence of a Suryavansa dynasty in Gujera't, whose capital was Valabhipura, and title " Bhatarca,” and also of a Samvat, or aera peculiar to those kings, as proved by Jaina legends, and inscriptions found at Somndth, Pattan, &c. shewed that these grants must belong to those princes and their aera alone.
Colonel Ton established, from the materials already mentioned, the particulars of which may be seen on reference to his work-f, the following historical data.
1. The emigration of a prince named Kmmxsnn, of the Surya-vansa, or race of the sun, from Koshalai desha, and his establishing himself in Gujerdt about A. D. 144.
2. The institution of an aera, called the Valabhi Samvat, by his successors, who became the independent kings of Gujenit .- the first year of which aera was the 375th of V1cnAMA'n1'rYA, or A. D. 319.
3. The invasion of the kingdom of the Valabhi princes by a barbarian force, the destruction of their capital Valabhipura, in A. D. 524, and the removal of thes eat of government to the north-eastern part of Gujerdt, most probably at first to Sidhapura, about A. D. 554.
The inscriptions confirm, in a singular manner, these several epochs.
“ In Pracrit, it is written with a b, “ Balabhi.”
The first inscription is dated 9th 'ulabhi Sanwat, corresponding with 384 of V1oRAMA’n1rYA, and A. D. 328.
Now allowing twenty years for the average reign of the six princes of the first inscription, this will give 129 years for the interval between SRIDHARA SENA, in whose reign this aara. may be supposed to have commenced, and Bnsmncs SENKPATI, the founder of the dynasty, which will place him as having lived in A. D. 190. or within fortysix years of the time specified by Ton, as that of KsNnKs‘EN's establishment in Gujerdt. That Blzatarca was a family title, and not the real name of this chief, is shewn by its being alone used in the seals aflixed to both the inscriptions.
From the second inscription, we have along line ofprinces, the last of whom, Sininrrrn MUSALLI, would appear, from an allusion therein, to have removed the capital to Sidhapura.
Taking the number of kings, whose names are given subsequent to SRIDHARA SENA, the founder of the Valablzi aera, at twelve, and the length of their reigns at an average of twenty years each; this calculation will shew a term of about 240, or more years, to have elapsed from this time, to that of S1LA'1>1'rYA MUSALLI of Sidhapura, or A. D. 559, about thirty-five years after the sack of Valabkipura by the
barbarians. On referring to the list of kings, another of the name of S11.A'm'rY.\,
it will be seen, just preceded the prince who made the grant contained in the 2nd inscription, whose reign will thus approximate to A. D. 524, stated in the Jaina legends to be the date when the capital was surprised by a foreign army. From the same source also, we find the name of the prince who then reigned, to have been S11.A'mTYA, as above. ‘
These coincidences are curious, and tend to confirm the authen~ ticity of those fragments of early Hindu history, which T01) has so carefully collected.
The Jaina historical legends all mention the kings of this dynasty, and their :-era, the Valabhi Samvat ,- the capital, from its geographical position, would appcar to have been the Byzantium of PTOLEMY; its kings were of the dynasty called by foreigners the Bal/uira, which may have been a corruption of the title Blzatar-ca*, or derived from the adjoining district of Bhala, and Rai or prince ; the absurd inannerin which Hindu names were, and still are, corrupted by the Arabs, and other foreigners, may easily account for the difliculty of recou
ciling real names with their corruptions.
* Bhatarca, literally means cherishing sun ; it is a royal title.
It is a singular circumstance connected with the destruction of Valabhipura, that it would appear to have been conquered by a Mhlechha, or Bactro-Indian army, which. it may be presumed, came from a B-actri-an kingdom then existing, in which were probably comprised the present Mzilttin, Sintllz, Cachha, and perhaps many other provinces; whether this state became subsequently divided into several petty principalities, one of which held the southern part of Sindh and Cachha, is a query which remains to be solved; the southern part of Sindh, however, has been known from the most ancient times, by the appellation of Lar, which would be in Sanscrit Larica : now the kingdom of Larike is mentioned expressly by PTOLEMY, but is made to comprise the coast of Gujercit, which might have been conquered by it; the strongest fact in support of this theory is, that many Bactro-Indian* coins, with the head of the prince, evidently of inferior Greek workmanship, something similar to those found at the Manikyzila Tape, &c. have been found in great numbers in Cachha, and in parts of Saurdshtrat.
It may be here mentioned, that it is from this very family of Valabhipura, that the legends of the present Rénas of Udayapur (Oodipoor) deduce their descent.
After reigning some years in the north of Gujarat, the power of the dynasty was destroyed, its kingdom dismembered, and the city of Anhalwara Paitan became the capital, under the succeeding dynas_ ties of the Chawura and Chalukia (vulgo Solan/ti) races.
Both of these grants convey fields to brahmans as religious gifts. The lands granted in the second inscription are stated to be situated in Saurdsktra, and the donees are said to have come from Girinagara, (Jiinagur or Girnal,) and to have settled at Sidhapura.
Two facts, proving the great antiquity of these grants, are,—first, the measure of land being square paces; and the other, the existence of the worship of the sun : one of the princes is named as being of that sect.
In the course of antiquarian researches in India, we cannot but remark the very opposite course pursued by the Jainas, and the Brahmans, in regard to the preservation of historical legends; the Brahmans are accused by the Jainas of having destroyed, wherever they
* These are probably the Greek coins Annmn mentions as current at Barigaza or Broach. [We shall, I trust, hear more of these coins from Col. P01-'rmo1m or Capt. BURNES. It is essential to know to which of our new series they
belong.-En.] 1- Saurashtra, or the region of the worshippers of the sun, comprised the whole
of the peninsula at present called Kathiawar.
gained the supremacy, all the historical books in existence, which related facts anterior to the Musalrnan conquest; and we certainly do not find in the Daklzan, and other countries which have been long under their exclusive influence, any thing whatever prior to that period; whereas, on the contrary, the Jainus have treasured up in their libraries, every historical legend and fragment that could be preserved by them.
May it not be inferred, that the brahmans, sensible of the great changes introduced by themselves to serve their own avaricious purposes, in the Hindu worship, at the aera of the Musalman conquest, neglected the preservation of the historical works which then existed ; for as no king of their own faith remained, and their nobles and learned men must have lost their power and influence, no one was left who took any interest in their preservation ; and it appears probable, that at such period, the Purrinas were altered, and the novel practices now existing introduced, to enable these wily priests still to extort from the superstition of the people, what they had formerly enjoyed by the pious munificence of their own kings.
The Jainas indeed assert. that the Purainas are mere historical works; that PAaAsnuA'M.A, RAIMACHANDRA, KRISHNA, &c. were merely great kings, who reigned in Oude and other places, and have not the slightest pretensions to divinity.
It may tend to confirm this theory, when we consider, that all the great reformers of the Hindu religion, whose doctrines and whose expositions of that faith are now followed, flourished about the same period when India was thrown into confusion by the invasions of those ferocious and fanatical barbarians, the Arabs, the Turks*, and Afghans, or from five to eight hundred years back; SANKARA A'cHA'RYA, VALABHA A'onA'aYA, and RAMANUJA A'cnA'aYA, are all supposed to have lived between those periods.
The great Hindu sovereigntics falling to pieces, it became impossible to perform sacrifices requiring such prodigious expendituret, the kingsiof foreign faith, no longer ruling by the Shzistras, no check existed to the intermixture of castes:henoe the Warna. Sankara; the Ksketriyas overcame, and fleeing from their foes, emigrated into various parts, laid down the warlike profession, and engaged in civil and cornmercial pursuits: hence the present Kshelri, the Prab/ii,
" By Turks, I mean natives of Central Asia.
1" Such as Asvamedha, &c., notwithstanding the assertions of the brahmaua that these sacrifices of the horse, Bro. have been abolished in this Kali-yuga, we find instances of their performances recorded in inscriptions of 800 years and later date. i