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continued as such. Both brothers helped Ghiyath-ud-din Bahādur Shah to overthrow Muhammad Shah 'Adil, who was defeated and slain at Surajgadh on the Kiyul River, Munger. This battle took place in A.H. 964-1557 A.D. This inscription proves that up to the year 967 (1559 A. D.) they admitted the allegiance to the reigning sovereign of Bengal. Another interesting detail obtained from this inscription is the name of Taj Khan and Sulaiman Khan Kararānī's father, Jamal Khan. Though Masnad-i-'Ali Taj Khan and Hazrat-i-'Ala Miyan Sulaiman were prominent figures in the political arena of Northern India in the latter half of the sixteenth century, their father's name is seldom mentioned in well-known historical works of the period such as the Tarikh-i-Dāūdī or the Tarikh-i-Sālātīn-i-Afāghanā. After the death of Ghiyath-ud-din, Jalal Shah's son, a usurper named Ghiyath-ud-din occupied Bengal.2, in or about 971 A.H.= 1563 A.D. Taj Khan defeated and killed the usurper and occupied Gaur in the name of his brother Miyan Sulaiman,3 He died a year later in A.H. 972=1534 A.D. On his death Sulaiman removed his capital from Patna to Gaur. Taj Khān had a son named Yusuf Khan, who had married a daughter of the celebrated 'Afghān general Miyān Lūdi Khan and was killed by Daud Shah Kararānī in or about 981 A.H.=1593 A D. The following genealogical table can now be constructed on the basis of this inscription:

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3 Dorn's History of the Afghans, Part I, pages 179-180.

▲ Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1875, Part I, page 295.


ا قال النبي صلي الله عليه و سلم و من بنى مسجد الله في الدنيا بني الله له سبعين قصرا في الجنة هذا المسجد بني في العهد السلطان العادل

الباذل بهادر شاه سلطان خلد الله ملکه و سلطانه بانیه مسند عالي تاج خان جمال كر راني في سنة سبع وستين وتسعماية

XIV.-Inscription of the time of Ghyās-ud-din Bahādur Shāk from Kalna--A.H. 967.

This inscription was found along with the records of the time of 'Ala-ud-din Firuz and Nasir-ud-din Mahmud Shah among some ruined Masjids in Kalnā in the Burdwan District of Bengal. The inscription was incised on the back of the lower part of an image of Vishnu. The slab bearing the inscription measures 1′ 10′′ by 1′ 4′′ and the inscribed surface 1' 91" by l′ 31′′. It records the erection of a masjid by some Sarwar Khan on the 10th of Zilhijja in A.H. 967 = 1559 A.D. during the reign of Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Shah, son of Muhammad Shāh Ghazi.


قال الله تعالى ان المساجد الله فلا تدعو ا مع الله احدا ـ قال عليه السلام من بني مسجد الله بني الله له في الجذه قصرا بني هذا المسجد الجامع السلطان العادل خليفة الله بالبرهان السلطان ابن السلطان غياث الدنیا والدین ابو المظفر بہادر شاه سلطان

ابن محمد شاه غازي خلد الله ملكه وسلطانه الباني دبيرالملک السلطان المسمى سرو و خان مواد خافي العاشر من شهر المبارك ذي الحجه سنه سبع وستين وتسعماية

In conclusion I have to thank Mr. S. Khuda Bakhsh, D.S.P., Patna, for a number of valuable suggestions and corrections as well as for reading the proofsheets when the paper was passing through the press.

1 Annual Report of the Archæological Survey, Bengal Circle, 1903-4, page 4.

IX.--On the Use of the Swallow-worts

in the Ritual, Sorcery, and Leechcraft of the Hindus and the Pre-Islamitic Arabs.

By Sarat Chandra Mitra, M.A., B.L.

I.-Preliminary Remarks.

The swallow-worts are plants which belong to the Order Asclepiadea. There are two species of it, one bearing purple flowers, and the other white ones. The purple-flowered species is botanically known as Calotropis gigantea and is an erect spreading perennial shrub which grows plentifully on waste lands in Bengal, Assam and South India. It is also found in Ceylon, Singapore, the Malayan Peninsula and China. While the botanical name of the white-lowered species is Calotropis procera which is a slightly smaller plant and grows in the drier tracts, being found most plentifully in the Sub-Himalayan region from the Indus to the Ganges. It is also found in Central India, Rajputana, the Deccan and Upper Burma. Its Its distribution also extends to Persia and tropical Africa. Sanskrit name is alarka.

The Sanskrit name of the purple-flowered species appears to be arka which also means "the sun ". Hence the synonyms of this plant are arkapatra arkapaṛṇa, ādityapatra and sūryapatra, all of which mean "the sun-leaf" or "the plant whose leaves (are as blinding and fierce as the rays of the sun.” The vernacular names of both the species of Calotropis are mudār (derived from the Sanskrit mandard äk yercum, erukkam erukku, yekka, etc., all of which appear to be derived from the Sanskrit name. This plant is described in the Talif-i-Sharif as being

well known, for its many valuable properties, for which reason it is said to enjoy a high repute among the Indian medical practitioners.

II.-The use of the Swallow-Worts in the Ritual of the

Hindus and of the Pre-Islamitic Arabs.

With reference to this plant, Sir George Watt says: "One of the earliest European writers to describe this plant was Prosper Alpinus (De Pl. Egypti, 1592, ch. XXV). He tells us that it is the beidelsar of Alexandria, where it grows in damp places. Rheede was the earliest Indian botanist to narrate its properties (Hort. Mal., 1679, ii., t. 31), and he furnished a most accurate drawing of it. He calls it ericu. Rumphius (Herb. Amb., 1755, vii., 24, t. 14, f. 1) gives a poor illustration but describes the plant in great detail under the name of mador. Jones (As. Res., 1798, iv., 267) deals with it under the name arca. Roxburgh placed it in the genus Asclepias and Robert Brown a little later assigned to it a separate position under Calotropis. It is a sacred plant with certain Hindus, and is associated with the observances of the Maruts or Winds the demigods of Rudra. The ancient Arabs also appear to have had superstitious beliefs regarding it since they associated it with sun-worship. It is a popular tradition in many parts of India that the great Emperor Akbar was so named from having been born under the shade of an ak bush. It is the ushar of the Arabs and the khark of the Persians, but the former seems to be a generic word for milk-yielding plants and was possibly restricted to Calotropis at a comparatively late date. Abu Hanifeh was perhaps the first Arab writer to give an explicit account of it, but much useful information will be found in the writings of Ebn Baithar (Southeimer, transl 1842, ii., 193)."

In this connection, I may state that Davy, in his welknown Persian-English Dictionary (page 517), gives the meaning of the word khark as "a shrub resembling the costus." Now

• The Commercial Products of India By Sir George Watt, London, John Murray, 1908, page 205,

Costus-the kut, kostum, etc.,-is the Saussurea lappa (Order Composite), a tall and stout herb found in the valley, of Kashmir and also in parts of the basins of the Chenab and Jhelum. It has been regarded as a very valuable medicine from a remote antiquity, is also used as a highly-prized perfume and is frequently employed as an incense in China.*

Now, it appears from the writing of M. Cl. Huart, a French ethnographer, that the plant Calotropis procera appears to be used in the rain-producing ceremony of the PreIslamitic Arabs. It is stated that "the pagau Arabs, when they demanded rain, took the plants salá (Selanthus) and ochar (Calotropis procera) fastened them to the tails of cows, applied fire to them, and carried the animals to a mountain. That was their manner of demanding rain from God, that is to say of proceeding to the ceremony of supplications." † [In this connection, I may say that ochar appears to be the same plant as the uslar of the Arabs mentioned by Sir George Watt, supra].

Another account based upon the testimony of the Arab lexicographers says that, for the purpose of obtaining rain in times of drought or in cases of the unfertility of the earth, the pagan Arabs used to hang to the tails of, or tie upon the backs of wild bulls or cows the plant called Sulaa together with another called ushar, light a fire therein, and then to make these beasts climb upon a mountain or, according to some authorities, to drive them down from the same (Vide Kamus and Sihah, S. V., ¿lu) ‡

It also appears from Davy's Persian-English Dictionary (page 339) that the pre-Islamitic Arabs used to perform a ceremony called Taslia in which they used to tie a lighted branch of the trees called Salaa and ushar to the tails of wild oxen and to make them descend the mountain with it, for the purpose of obtaining rain.

*Op. cit., page 980.

+ Vide the Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay, Vol. X., page 283.

1 Op. cit., Vol. II., p. 209-210.

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