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Varendradesa,  Assam,  Herambadeśa,  Jayantiya,  Srihaṭṭa,  Tripura,  Cattala,  Vadarayogini (Dacca),  Bakla including Barisal,  Jessore,  Manatadesa (Hugli),  Burdwan,  Bhānaka,  Rintambore,  Sāgara,  Bhupal,  Bundelkhhund,  Kosala containing Baira and Abadhi,  Rājagṛha,  Virabhūmi,  Mallabhūmī,  Brāhmaṇabhūmi,  Gauḍadeśa,  Vangadesa,  Draviḍadeśa,  Karṇāladeśa,  Manipura,  Dungaradeśa,  Alapasimha,  Mymensingh,  Susanga,  Sarayūpāra,  Gadhidesā (Ajamgarh),  Tamralipta (Tamluk),  Brajamaṇḍala,  Antarvedideśa.
The manuscripts seem to have been collected for the use of the Fort William College Library, for the library numbers on the manuscripts are written in the same hand as other well-known Fort William College manuscripts. During the distribution of manuscript treasures of that college these manuscripts seem to have fallen to the share of the Sanskrit College, Calcutta, where they are still to be found.
These manuscripts are all written in Devanagri character and in a bold hand. I have only found a fragment in Bengali hand from Bankura, and this fragment is now the property of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.
I have taken too much of your time on one manuscript, but I hope to be excused as the manuscript beongs to the Province of Bihar and to the City of Patna.
My examination of these manuscripts has revealed the fact that for the last 500 years, at least, Hindus and the people of Bihar were striving strenuously to give a full and useful description of the fifty-six countries. The first in this line of work is no less a person than Vidyapati, the charming lyric poet of Mithila whose love-songs are now, thanks to the exertions of Sir George Grierson, the admiration of the world. He was not only a poet but a deeply-read Sanskrit scholar whose works on Smrti and religion are still admired in Mithilā, who was not only a poet and a scholar but a general and an administrator, and it is in the last capacity that he conceived the idea of a gazetteer of
the sixty-five (and not fifty-six as in other works) countries. His sources of information are Puranas, Tantras, old travellers, and what is most important, State records-a source not available to his successors, Jagamohan and Ramakavi. Though his conception was that of a purely rational and scientific character, Vidyapati could not rise superior to the influences of his time and wrote it in the form of an expiatory tour of Balaram, the elder brother of Śri-Króna. Vidyapati's patron Śiva-Simha was then in Mithila. But Vidyapati was with DevaSimha, Siva-Simha's father at Naimiṣaranya where the idea of the book was conceived. Naimişăranya was the place where the Rṣis in ancient times are said to have held long sessions of Vedic sacrifices, and it was during these sessions that the Sūtas recited the Puriņas. So the place was still in Vidyapati's time animated as it were, with a historical spirit. Balaram is said to have come there and killed a Sūta in a fit of anger. Brahma-hatyā (this sin of killing a Brahmana) immediately laid hold upon Balaram in spite of his high and divine birth. The Rṣis advised him to make a tour round the earth and perform all the duties of a pilgrim in the holy places. Balaram left Naimișa and came to Drupada's country, Pañcāla (now Rohilkhund). He saw Drupada's arsenal, Drupada's capital, the shrines consecrated by him and his ancestors as well as villages inhabited by Yogis of modern times. This is the great defect of the Pauranic form of a gazetteer, and our great Vidyapati could not shake off a connection with the Puranas in a human and a modern work. From Drupada's country Balaram went to Brahmavarta, the place of Svayambhu-Manu aud the place of so many ancient and sacred memories. He seems to have an idea that there are two Brahmavartas, Laghu and Vṛhat, and they are apart from each other. From Brahmavarta he came to the hermitage of Valmiki. True to his l'auranic spirit Vidyapati sticks to the old names of hermitages, and so on, and he also describes the reception of Balarām in these countries, thus mixing up things, ancient and modern. From Valmiki's place Balaram comes to Prayaga, the holy places of which are given with some detail. Then he
crosses over to Bharadvaja's grove and recrosses to Pratisthana, thence to Sṛngavera and along the north bank of the Ganges, he comes to Kāśī. From Kasi to Sarnath and the Buddhist remains. Thence following the route of Rama as given in the Ramayana he comes to Gautamäśrama at the confluence of the Ganges and the Sarayu and then to Tāḍakā's place, and after that the hermitage of Chyavana and to Pataliputtra. Vālmīki in his Rāmāyana does not mention Pataliputtra because it did not exist in his time, but Vidyapati found Pataliputtra to be too well-known a place to be omitted altogether. From Pataliputtra he goes to Tirabhakti and thence to Mithila, and here the patriotic poet revels in the description of the ancient holy places, but alas, for me my manuscript breaks off here before even a third of the sixtyfive centuries are described.
He belonged to the fif
I have ascertained
The age of Vidyapati is well known. teenth century and he was a long-lived man. his date from a manuscript got in Nepal. jungle with his patron's family, perhaps fugitives, he got a copy of a Maithila commentary on the Kavya-Prakāśa, and he employed two scribes to hastily copy it out. They did it and the two hands are discernible throughout the manuscript. The post colophon statement gives the date as 291; reduced to A. D., it will come to 1406 or 1407. The fragment of Vidyapati's manuscript of the gazetteer contains a date in the post-colophon statement, namely, 1450. It is most probably the scribe's date. So from the fifteenth century the Bihar people are striving to know the countries around them.
The next work in chronological order is the Vikramasagara. It was also compiled by a member of the Vaijala family and was a work of some authority when Jagamohan wrote his work. In his colophon he often says that he quotes from Vikarma-Sagra. We have no means of verifying his statement, but we are not wrong if we infer that in his time Vikrama-Sagara was a wellknown work. It is by a mere chance that a very small fragment of Vikrama-Sagara has fallen into my hands. It contains the Mañgalacaraṇa, the preamble and the chapter on Pataliputtra
It says that Pataliputtra had a king, named Sucandra, who had a Buddhist wife and had Buddhist tendencies. He conceived the idea of conquering fifty-six countries and going eastward he conquered Bengal, Assam, Manipur, Burma, Pegu and other countries. After this information is obtained the work gets mixed up with Jagamohan's work. In Jagamohan's work, too, the chapter on Pataliputtra, though it comes in the middle, contains the accounts of the conquests of one Sugaticandra, who seems to be a mere translation of Sucandra. Who the Sucandra was, I don't know. It may be a faint memory of Chandragupta and the Mauryas. Sucandra is, however, a well-known name in the later Buddhist tradition. He looms large in the works of Kalacakrayana and he is not unknown in the Pali and Burmese literature.
The last work of this class is Pandava-Digvijaya, cast in the form of the conquest of the world by the four brothers of Yudhisthira as given in the Sabha-Parvan extended, enlarged and modernized by Ramakavi, a favourite poet of the Rājū of Śekhara-Bhūmi during the eighteenth century. He draws profusely on his predecessors and enlarges upon them. He is always fuller than Jagamohan. His book is divided into four parts according to the conquests of four brothers. It is a vast storehouse of information from a Hindu point of view. the condition of the manuscript fragments is deplorable.
It is divided in four parts as Yudhisthira himself did not go out. He sent his four brothers to four quarters for conquests. He sent Bhima to the east, Nakula to the south, Sahadeva to the west and Arjuna to the north. In Nakula-Digvijaya is given an account of Salivahana, the reputed founder of the Saka era. It is a long story. He conquered the whole of India, and last of all he came in conflict with Babhru-Ghotaka, a descendant of Vikramaditya, the founder of the Vikrama era. Salivahana was born of a potter's wife by Taksapati Nāgarája, the king of serpents. But he gained his victories by the grace of Siva. Much interesting description of countries and tribes is given in the course of the conflict with the king of Ujjain. Many Kṣattriya tribes fled away from his prowess to distant countries
on the banks of the Brahmaputra and Indus, took to other trades and callings and renounced the profession of arms.
After the conquest of the whole of the Kumārikākhaṇḍa or southern peninsula, Nakula went to Ceylon inhabited by a large Buddhist population. There is an account of Buddhism as known in India in the first half of the eighteenth century when the Paṇḍava-Digvijaya kāvya was written at Sekharabhūmi by Rámakavi. Folio, 124 B. :
चतु: शतोत्तरे पचसहस्राब्दे गये कसे : ।
यदा नमिषारण्ये च प्राह भागवतं मुदा ॥ २१४६ ॥
सूतस्तदा कोकटे च फल्गुनदास्तटे मुदा ।
गया राजर्षि दुर्गस्य पूर्वभागे च योजनात् ॥ ११४७ ॥
शाक्यमुनि : प्रत्यत्तवादी च देहात्मवादसंरतः ।
अष्टौ शिष्यान् स्थापयित्वा नानादेशान् निगाय च ॥ १९४८ ॥
नवतत्त्वप्रकाशं च तथाशासन देवताम् ।
भूतार्ह देवतानां च व्यई काण्डविनिर्णयम् ॥ ११५० ॥
नानाविधोपासनं हि तथा पर्वतनिर्णयम् ।
मागधदेशोयभाषणं संपेदे यत्नतः खलु ॥ ११५१ ॥
अमराचार्य वृषाचार्य मगाचार्यो इति बुद्धिमान् ।
सिद्धाचार्यो निःश्र यस्माचार्य सुगताचार्य एव हि ॥ ११५२ ॥
सौगताचार्यो हि भूपाल तथा योगाचार्य एव हि ।
माध्यमिकाचार्यो मध्यदेशे पडितान् जितवान् वचा ॥ ११५३ ॥
निरीश्वरवादिनश्च व्यादिचत्वार एव हि ।
वेदाचारक्रिया नष्टा अपरे देहवादिन: ॥ ११५४ ॥