« PreviousContinue »
name was Narendra Gupta. He seems to have represented a branch of the Imperial Gupta family at Magadha. This is the only possible explanation why Indumati was introduced to time immediately after her introduction to the King of Magādha.
If this was really a branch of the Gupta family, they must have branched off from a very early seriod of the Gupta dominions and as an off-shoot of the Gupta family they were respected like the Imperial family. But if they were not a branch of the Gupta family, but belonged to the “Devarkshitas” of Karnasuvarna, they must have achieved their success immediately after the fall of the Gupta Empire on account of the Huna invasion and were a powerful and respected family in the beginning of
the sixth century.
The political geography of Southern Asia, as given in Kalidasa's work, tallies with real facts, so far as is known at present, of the political geography of the beginning of the sixth century A.1). If we believe the Indian tradition and place Kalidasa in 56 B.C. we get neither the Greeks who were long before conquered by the Romans, nor the Persians who rose to power in the second quarter of the third century A.D., nor the Hunas in the north-west corner of India which was occupied by the Scythic races. Coming to India, we find the Sātakarnīs aiming almost at a universal monarchy under Vāsisthīputra and Vātsāputra Pulumayi whom Kālidāsa does not at all mention. The same facts would not allow us to put him in the first century A.D. for we do not find the Kusans and Satakarnis. In the second century too, the Kusans were all-powerful at Benares, Mathura, Sravasti and even at Pataliputra. In the third century the fall of the Sātakarnīs and Kusans gave rise to anarchy and confusion, unfavourable to the growth of art and literature. The fourth century saw the rapid rise of the Gupta Empire and of the Empire of the Burmans of Pokarana. It would have been impossible for Kálidāsa in that century to speak of the king of Magādha as holding only a pominal sovereignty. The fifth century saw the absorption of the Burman Empire in the Gupta Empire and the invasion of the Hunas.
An independent sovereignty at Mathurā or in Anga would then be impossible. It is only after the fall of the Gupta Empire on account of the Huna invasion, that Northern India would be divided into small kingdoms like those described by Kalidasa. So his geography is true only for the latter end of the fifth century and the first-half of the sixth, and this is the period of Kālidāsa's literary activity. He cannot be later than 550 for he does not at all mention the kingdom of Thaneswar which played such an important part in the latter end of that century and in the first-half of the seventh. He describes the Kurukshettra indeed but only as a sacred place and is absolutely silent about its political existence.
Epigraphy also yields certain facts which lead to the same conclusion. Kālidāsa in his description of the Hiinalayas says that coloured earth washed by the rains falling on berch-bark with red horizontal lines produce the shape of letters ; which barks, the Vidhyadharas, with a little manipulation, use as their love-letters. This evidently shows that Kalidasa was aware of the existence of a rectilineal alphabet which was thought to be very ancient in his time and which was regarded as belonging to the demi-gods Vidhyādharas. This is no other than the Brahmi alphabet of Asoka's time-an alphabet which continued to be in use with some modifications down to the end of the third century A.D. Kálidāsa could not have attributed them to Vidhyād haras if he had lived between third century B.C. and third century A.D., s.c., during the currency of the rectilineal alphabet. That alphabet was beyond the comprehension even of learned men in his time and so he says that it was the alphabet of the Vidhyadbaras.
I suspect that Kālidāsa made the Ramagiri bills the place of banishment for his love-lorn Yaksa, simply because there are caves in that hill, inscribed with the rectilineal alphabet, which scholars consider to be even older than Asoka.
In the Kumārasambhavam Kálidāsa says that on the mango blossoms sat black bees and they look like the letters of the name of cupid. Cupid has many names but the name chosen by Kālidāsa is Manobhava and it is curious that in the later Mandāsore inscriptions all these syllables are broad at the top and at the bottom and thin in the middle, Ma, vo, bha and va each resembling a black bee.
Siva Gupta alias Yayati.
By B.C. Mazumdar, M.R.A.S:
I. This oopper-plate charter of much historical importance was unearthed by a cultivator' four years ago, almost at the boundary of the villages-Jātē Singā and Dungri-in the Feudatory State of Sonpur, some 14 miles to the north-east of the town of Sonpur. Mahārājā Sri Bir Mitrodaya Singh Deo, the Feudatory Chief of Sonpur, very kindly gave to me this record (as well as two other copper-plate Charters of the Bhauja rulers which I shall edit later on) & short time after its discovery. The record was forthwith deciphered and notes regarding its physical character were then duly recorded. As I am a blind man now and cannot revise my notes referring to the text of the charter, I must give this assurance to the readers that the notes I am depending upon in editing the charter now, were very carefully taken. However, as the readers will now be in a position to inspect the charter itself, I need not speak anything as to the quality of my work. On reference to my paper on the three Copper-Plate Records of Sonpur, published in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XI, pages 93-104, it will be seen that this charter was issued twelve years previous to the grant of Nibinna (in the Sonpur State) by the self-same grantor.
II. This charter, like other charters of the Trikalinga Guptas, contains three plates of four sides and are strung together on a circular ring about 3f inches in diameter and f inch in thickness. The ring passes through circular holes bored through the left margins of the plates, and its ends are secured in a lump of copper the apper surface of which may be fitly desoribed as the oval-shaped seal of the grantor. This seal bears the figure of a goddess in relief, ęquatting on a lotus, flanked on e'ch side by an elerhant witli uplifted trunk. The goddess, therefore, is undoubtedly the representation of Kamalā or Kamlátmikā of the group of the Dasa-Maha-Vidyās and as such she should not
Vabā be confounded with the goddess Kamalā or Laksmi [?]. Unlike the seals attached to the charters of the father of the grantor, this seal does not contain any legend. The first plate is slightly thinner than the second one; bilt both of them measure almost equally in their breadth and height. The average breadth of the plates is 8" and the average height 4". Of the three plates of this charter the first and the last are written on the inner sides only. The third plate is very thin and was found broken in the middle, as well as at the corners, at the time of the discovery of the charter ; but fortunately enough, this damag, has not interfered with the legibility of the record. The letters wanting in the third plite, because of the top-corner to the left and a portion to the right side at the ends of lines 1–5 being broken have been put within squire brackets. As the letters are missing in those familiar slokas invariably engraved on all charters of this class, there was no difficulty in filling up the
gaps. III. The remarks I made regarding the orthography of the Trikalinga Gupta records in my paper previously referred to (Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XI, page 93) apply fully to the orthography of this record; consequently, I do not deal with it here. Such wrong spellings as dilotita (Plate 1, l. 7) for dyotita, Yajati (Plate 2, page 1, 1. 6) for Yavā'i, and mb for m in simbra and tāmbra are important as they show the then real pronunciation of them in the right Oriyā fashion as is even now in vorue.
I do not note such misprints as sasthin for sasthi as
[?] In the Brihat-Kali-Tantra, wherein all the god 'esses of the group of the Dasa-Maha-Vid yas have been accurately described in their Dhyanas, Kamalā or Kamalātmikā has been described exaily as she is found represented here. The elephants with uplitel trunks are constantly bathing the goddess with water, wlen she is seated on a lotus of many petals. (Videmy paper on the Tantras in the magazine, “ Sahitya", of the Bengali year 1312, pagos 131-138.)
they will not interfere with the correct reading or with the interpretation of the text. I have suggested some emendations in the foot-notes to the text with a view to obtain an intelligible meaning. I have put those letters in small brackets which were dropped inadvertently by the engraver. I have mentioned it already that some missing letters have been put within square brackets.
IV. The imprecatory verses as well as the verses and the prose lines, which are word for word the same in all copper-plate oharters of the Trikalinga Guptas, have not been translated here, as they hıve been translated several times by myself as well as by such learned scholars as Dr. J. F. Fleet and others in the Epigraphia Indica (e.g., Vol. III, pages 323-359 and Vol. XI, pages 93ff.). I may also mention that the importance of those verses is being discussed in the J. R. A. S. by Mr. F. E. Pargiter, 1.c.8., retired. I give now a literal translation of the portion of the text which is new and original in this record. However, the words and phrases of historioal importance as occur in the portion of the text not fully translated are set out in the next succeeding paragraphs with some comments, under the heading "Historical Notes."
Historical Notes. V. It is very noteworthy that all the epigraphic records of the Trikalinga Guptas hitherto discovered and published, 'relate to the geographical area which may now be described as the Sambalpur tract. That this tract was a part of Kosala country of which Ratanpur in the district of Bilaspur was once the noted capital and did not politically form any part of Orissã from the earliest times to October, 1905, has been discussed by me in the Epigraphia Indica (Vol XI, pages 101-4) and in my work entitled Sonpur. This charter also discloses the fact that the villages Māranja and Murā granted by Yayāti when residing at Sonpur were within the Kosala country (Plate II, page 1, paragraphs 6 and 7). When we take into consideration the dates of all the charters issued by Yayati and his father Jana pejaya, we find that both these rulers were constantly present