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the Himalayas accessible. In fact none but a great conqueror, whose empire extended from the Western Seas to the Brahmaputra and from the Himalayas to Mahendragiri, who conquered territories unknown to the Guptas and Hunas, could make Himalayas accessible. Kalidasa took full advantage of this accessibility of the Himalayas in his Raghuvamsa, for in that work he describes it lengthwise, he describes the different strata of the Himalayas and even goes beyond it to fight with the primitive people of Tibet who did not know the use of iron but fought with stones. Bāna the court poet of Harsavardhana was a scholar and a travelled man. His travels are detailed in the Harsacarita. Three hundred men travelled in his train. In his Kādambari he traverses many of the countries described by Kalidasa in his Meghadūta—Ujjain, Dasapura and the Himalayas. But his description of the Himalayas is absolutely vague. He gives us no details. His Himalaya is more a creation of his own fancy than the result of his observations. This evidently shows that the Himalayas were not so accessible, even though his patron was a mighty monarch, as in the time of Kālidāsa. Bharavi, too, who preceded Kalidasa, had occasion to describe the Himalayas but only a part of it. His description also shows that he did not see much of the Himalayas. It was Kālidāsa alone who saw the Himalayas and described them in all their glory.
(15) The regions to the south of Narmada were inhabited by the ancient race Haihayas. Kārttavrēyyarjuna was the legendary hero of this race. Their capital was Mähismati which Mr. Pargiter identified with Mandhata on the Narmada. It is said that they gained ascendancy in that region about the third century A.D. They often held the great fort of Kalinjar. They had an era called the Chedi Era or the Traikutaka Era with its epoch falling in the year 249 or 250 A.D. Kālidāsa not only mentions the Haihayas bordering on the sea, but he even mentions the city of Trikūta situated in the Mahadeva Hills of the Satpura range. The city was so called because there were in its neighbourhood three high peaks. From a statement in the fourth canto of Raghuvamsa, we learn that Raghu
captured the city and made the three peaks serve the purpose of pillars of victory.
In the July number of the Indian Antiquary for 1913 is given the substance of an inscription dated 608 of Buddharaj, son of Sankaragana of the Haihaya race who were still disputing the supremacy of the Deccan with the Chalukyas of Badami. So the Haihayas were powerful rulers on the other side of the Narmada for the whole of the 6th century.
(16) Mathura was a very ancient city. It was in the very heart of the Gupta Empire. Yet Kalidasa speaks of an independent kingdom in Mathura. He couldn't say so until after the dismemberment of the Gupta Empire by the Huna invasion. From an inscription deciphered by Bhagavan Lal Indraji in the ninth volume of the Indian Antiquary, we come to learn that a dynasty of kings was reigning there for several generations. The ninth king of that dynasty set up an inscription which on Palæographical grounds is placed by Bhagavan Lal Indraji in the eighth century A.D. Count ng backward the establishment of the kingdom would fall about the time of the fall of the Gupta Empire. The founder of the dynasty was Fakka, a South Indian name. He seems to have come from Southern India, where the Kadamvas were always friendly to the Guptas. Kalidasa says that the dynasty was called Nipa dynasty, which, if Sanskrit lexicography is to be believed, means Kadamva dynaɛty.
(17) Kalinga is a country mentioned twice by Kalidasa, once in connection with the conquests of Raghu and once more in connection with the Royal assemblage at Vidarbha. The Puranas tell us that about the middle of the fifth century A.D. a powerful man, named Guha, established the kingdom of Kalinga and left it to his posterity. His dominions extended all along the Orissa coast down to the Käveri.
(18) Kālidāsa speaks of Anga as a powerful kingdom, the Rājā of which was in rank and honour second only to the king of Magadha. The country was famous for its elephants and for its rich literature on elephants. In Harsacarita we find King Sasanka ruling in this region about 600 A.D. His other
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 period 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 Kālidasa'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.D. 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 Satakarnīs aiming almost at a universal monarchy under Vasisthiputra and Vatsiputra Pulumayi whom Kalidasa 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 Satakarnis 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 Kalidasa in that century to speak of the king of Magadha as holding only a nominal 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 Mathura 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 Kalidāsa. 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 Kalidasa'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. Kalidāsa in his description of the Himalayas 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 Vidhyadharas. 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. Kālidāsa could not have attributed them to Vidhyadharas if he had lived between third century B.C. and third century A.D., i̟.e., 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 Vidhyadharas.
I suspect that Kālidāsa made the Ramagiri hills 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 Kumarasambhavam Kalidasa 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 Kalidasa is Manobhava and it is curious that in the later Mandasore 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 copper-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) a 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 posi tion 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 98-104, 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 3 inches in diameter and 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 upper surface of which may be fitly desoribed as