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and to ensure the future utility of the shrine, ascribed to them a divine origin. I feel sure that if excavations are made at the spot where the ruins of the cupola lie, more interesting relics would be found. My description may not be sufficiently accurate to satisfy the curiosity of minds better trained than myself in these matters, but my object in writing of them will be fullfilled if it should induce any of them to visit the spot. himself.
II.—King Pratapa Rudra Deva of Orissa
and his ́ Sarasvati Vilasa'.
By Tarini Charan Rath, B. A.
Pratapa Rudra Deva Gajapathi was a very famous king of ancient Orissa who ruled over an extensive country, during the first quarter of the sixteenth century A.D. He belonged to the Solar Dynasty and with him the fame and glory of the ancient kingdom of Orissa may be said to have waned. His country extended from the Ganges in the North to the mouth of the Krishna river in the South and he even carried arms as far as Rameswara at the extreme south, successfully for a time. He was the son of Purushottama Deva Gajapathi of KanchiKaveri fame, by his beloved Queen Padmavati or Rupambika, the daughter of the king of Karnata, whom he had taken prisoner during his expeditions. King Kapilendra or Kapilesvara Deva of Orissa was the grandfather of Prataparudra. He founded the Solar Dynasty after the extinction of the wellknown Ganga family. Prataparudra Deva was the author or compiler of a most valuable treatise on Hindu Law known by the name of Sarasvati Vilasa' or Recreations of the Goddess of Learning' which is even to this day an authority along with the Mitakshara in Orissa and South India. Several writers on Hindu Law commencing from Sir Charles Grey (afterwards Chief Justice of Bengal) to Mayne including Grady, Macnaghten, Morley, Strange, Thompson, Tagore and others have spoken highly of this legal compilation of the Orissan King. But owing to the confusion and dismemberment that followed the demise of the Great King in Orissa, the valuable treatise on Hindu Law seems to have not been given the due prominence in the country. It appears to have been better known in South
Orissa (Madras Presidency) than in its northern portion. The date of the compilation may be safely assigned to 1515 A.D.
For some time the work was but blindly attributed to the Telingana King Prataparudra Deva Ganapati of the Kakatiya Dynasty of Warangal. The book is in highflown Sanskrit language and anybody who has the patience to go through it will certainly find out the real author. Palm-leaf manuscript copies of the book have been found even in Travancore, Mysore, Coimbatore, Tanjore and other places in the South, written in the Old Grantha, Tamil and Telugu characters.
The work is an extensive one comprising the whole body of Hindu religious, moral and civil laws of the country. It does not omit even the customary law of land tenure. In the introduction to the book it is stated that the King composed it with a view to remedy the difficulties arising from the existence at that time of several authoritative works on law, whose doctrines were in conflict with each other. On the fundamental question of the character of the ownership of property, the treatise is the most pronounced of all the works as yet known, on the secular side of the controversy.
The King is celebrated for his great wisdom, ability, valour, learning and religious knowledge. His skill in the art of war as well as Civil Government was eminent. The introductory chapter of the book records his extensive literary accomplishments. He is said to have composed commentaries and popular narratives. He was a director of dramas and arranged the Dharmasastra. He was very fond of disputes and controversies on points of theology. He was devout and built several temples. The Great Vaishnava Reformer Śrī Chaitanya came to Orissa in his time and was much adored by him.
The book clearly makes mention of the successful and famous Kanchi Kaveri Expedition of his father King Purushottama Deva which is not fully believed by some sceptics, who are few. Rev. Thomas Foulkes translated from the original Sanskrit the portion of the book on 'Daya Bhaga' or Law of
Inheritance' in 1881. This book is now out of print and not available.
The Uriya people may rightly feel proud of such a worthy production of one of their ancient kings. But it is to be regretted that the work has not been yet fully published and translated. It is hoped that steps will be taken soon in the direction by all concerned and also the benign Government which has been doing so much in respect of such ancient and valuable oriental records.
III.-The Naik Caste.
By Prameshwar Lall, M.A., Barrister-at-Law.
I looked into the volume of the Census Report dealing with Bengal, Bihar and Orissa for this caste but I could find no reference to it. Probably its obscurity is due to its being looked upon as disreputable. But whatever may be the cause of its omission it is well known that the caste exists and flourishes in Bihar and the neighbouring provinces of Agra and Oudh. Whether it is to be found in the Punjab I cannot say, but I should not feel surprised if it also exists there. If the name Naek is not used in the Punjab some other name is used for the corresponding class of people. In Bengal the caste is not to be found though castes of hereditary male and female musicians and dancers of various grades of respectability are to be found in Bengal as well as in other parts of India. It would be interesting to know if the caste, or something corresponding to it, is mentioned in the ancient literature of the Hindus. I have referred to the Hindi Bhakt-Mala. There we have an illustration of how even the faithful performance of the duties of this caste with a thorough devotion to the deity may lead to salvation. The caste certainly did exist in Muhammadan times. In Sanskrit literature the castes of Nata (dancers) and Vita ('public') are found. The professional dancing women appear as early as the time of the Buddha. It was not even then a recent institution. The Buddha was invited to dine by a member of this fraternity and went to her house with all his monks. This was in the town of Vaisali (in North Bihar). It gave rise to a great deal of scandal among the more respectable residents of the town and they came to him and asked him about it and thus provided an occasion for one of his great sermons.